Welcome to My Full-Time RV Living LifeStyle Blog!

I suppose I should mention that this is an RV blog. The picture of me standing beside a motorhome in the banner probably tipped you off to that fact already, but you know how it is with blogs, any body can put anything in the header.

Anyways, I was born, raised, and live in Maine, I have 12 cats, and some people would call me homeless. Nope, I have a home, I just don't have what people call a standard house. My house has wheels and her name is Rosebud. My backyard stretches on for thousands and thousands of miles all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Once upon a time I had a "regular home" but a flood came and took it away. Me and my cats spent the next 3 years living under a 8x6 tarp and survived through 3 blizzards and Maine's coldest winter on record when the temps hit -48F. After that me and the cats moved in a Volvo. As hard as it is to live in a tent with 12 cats, it's even harder to live in a Volvo with 12 cats, and a motorhome named No Hurry was the answer. No Hurry: my home, my office, my RV.

I plan to use this blog to share my thoughts, ideas, adventures, and advice on being self-employed, living and working a full-time RV LifeStyle with an army of cats, while boondocking in the wonderful (and sometimes sub-zero) state of Maine.

I hope to write a post a day featuring random thoughts as they pop into my head, and hopefully 2 or 3 posts per week will focus on something helpful to those seeking to live in an RV full time. If you've any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on what sort of posts you'd like to see me write, please comment and let me know.

I hope you all have as much fun reading this blog as I know I'll have writing it.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Poems I Love; EelKat's Favorite Poems

As with last semester, at the end of the Summer Semester 2012 @ SMCC, I am now putting my college essays online. As is well known to my followers, I am someone who has little respect for poets, and has a great dislike for poetry in general. I do not like poems, do not read poems, do not write poems, and have an overall advertion for poems, do largely in fact to the fact that my rampant, insistent, annoying, obnoxious, overbearing, and ever increasingly violent stalker, is himself a poet. Along with everything else he has done in the past 27 years of endless stalking, one of his non-violent habits is that he sends me poems he wrote, handwritting ones, published books of them, him reading them on tape and CD, him singing them on tape and CD...endless hundreds of poems from this sick bastard who refuses to get a life, and leave me alone. The timing of this essay on poetry, came on the heels of this Floridian bastard being here in Maine, and showing up at my Dad's house, a day I was there, with 2 books of chocolates, and 3 more tapes of his poems set to music, than leaving in a raging infernal at my continued refusal to be his incestuous wife. I'm sorry, but I have no wife to marry my mother's brother who is 50 years older than me. My hating poets and poetry is more my hating one poet who has spent the last 30 years making my life a living hell. This essay being on poems, was therefor difficult for me. This is one of several book/article reviews written for the Literature/Poetry class:

Wendy C Allen
ENGL 115 Intro to Literature
Shawna Rand
July 17, 2012

Poems I Love

A personal essay looking for common threads among my favorite poems and answering the questions:
Do I tend to prefer certain styles over others? Is there a consistent pattern in my preferences?

When I first read the syllabus, the poetry section of the class was the part I dreaded. “I’m not a big fan of poetry,” I said to myself. “I hardly like poems at all.” I never read poetry, wouldn’t think of writing it, and thought I’d have absolutely nothing to say about it. When I read this assignment I knew at once the poem I would pick: Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee. It is my favorite poem, and  the only poem I knew. But then I remembered William Allingham’s The Faeries, a poem that has danced through my head since childhood, and also thought of Robert Browning's Pied Piper. Oh, how I love the Pied Piper! Then there is Dr Seuss, a poet for children, and the Brothers Grimm, who sprinkled short poems in their stories. A few more by Poe and an old sea shanty about cannibals added themselves to the mix. Didn’t Robert Lewis Stevenson write a poem about Shadows, and what about Oscar Wildes poems for children? A highwayman went riding through my head, along with a lady drifting dead in a boat, others are joyfully dieing first class on the Titanic, and there is that Road not taken. Suddenly it was a snowball effect as first one poem and then another popped into my head screaming “Pick me!” Wait, wasn’t I just telling myself this part of the class would be hard because I didn’t read poems, didn’t like poems, and didn’t know any poems? In a matter of seconds I went from worrying I would not be able to think of a poem to write about, to wondering how the heck I would ever narrow the list down to just a few.

Sifting it down to only a few was a chore indeed. My favorite poems are not contained within the textbook and so they are included at the end of this paper. They are as follows:

Edgar Allan Poe:
Annabell Lee
A Dream Within a Dream
Robert Browning:
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
William Allingham:
The Fairies
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm:
The Bird’s Song from The Juniper Tree
          David R. Slavitt:
           Sir William Schwenck Gilbert:
The Yarn of the 'Nancy Bell

Now I must determine, why do I like them? Why these and not others? What do they have in common? Do I tend to prefer certain styles over others? Do they fall into a single theme, topic, or genre? Is there a consistent pattern in my preferences?

Let’s start with Poe. Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite poet, as well as being my favorite author. For many years, my favorite poem was Dream Within a Dream. It is a poem, that for me, brought up images of skeletons walking on the seashore, their flesh stripped away by the sifting sand. To me this poem suggested death and an inability to look forward in life, being trapped thinking only of the beloved dead companion. Poe had married young, but far younger than he, was his 12 year old bride. He wrote a few stories and a couple of poems here and there, but focused mostly on editorials, reviews, and essays for the newspaper where he was editor. And then, suddenly, unexpectedly, only 4 years after marriage, his beloved bride fell ill and died. Poe was devastated. He turned to drugs and drink, his life fell apart, he drifted away from non-fiction and suddenly was writing a flurry grim, dark short stories and poems, all on a single them: the death of a young bride and an older man slowly driven out of his mind, tormented by a fear that he had buried his beloved while still alive. In Dream Within a Dream we see Poe’s distraught lover asking himself was she ever real, or was my time spent with her just a dream I dreamed while in another dream? This poem is hauntingly beautiful, and yet so very sad, but the story not nearly as powerful, as the favorite poem which was to replace it. Annabel Lee, another poem by Poe is now my favorite poem, and has been, ever since I saw the movie “Play Misty For Me” some many odd years ago. I had a book with the complete stories by Poe, but it lacked both his essays and poems, so for many years I only knew a few of his poems, and Annabel Lee  was not one of them.

The movie, “Play Misty for Me”, was not anything spectacular, a crazy woman stalking her favorite DJ, played by Clint Eastwood. The movie was on the side of dull and boring. It had one redeeming feature, that had me watch it several times over the years: the recital of the beautiful poem I had ever heard, over, and over, and over again. The line, “It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know, By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with no other thought, Than to love and be loved by me,” is repeated throughout this movie near on a dozen times. The story of the movie, was based on this line, a woman madly in love with a man, so madly in love with him, that she could think of nothing but to be loved, and loved by him. I rewatched the movie, just to rehear the poem. The poem was about a young couple who lived by the sea, the girl loved him and she loved the sea, and one day by the shores of the sea, the angels came and took her away, and so now he sits, day after day, on the shores where she was last seen, repeating the words “she lived with no other thought, Than to love and be loved by me.” The poem goes on with him cursing the Angels for chilling and killing his beloved. The suggestion here is that one day while standing on the cliffs of her beloved ocean, she fell in and drowned, and the spot where he stands is the place where her icy cold body washed ashore.
Even though it takes place in the few short lines of a poem, Annabel Lee is the most mesmerizingly romantic story I have ever read. I love the story of this poem, a man so devoted that he can not leave the place she died. It is the ultimate romance, to be loved so singly and fully, by a man, that even after death, nothing can tear his mind from loving you. I want to be loved like that. Most men are fickle, rare is the man who can be faithful and true, even after death. This became my favorite poem in an instant, and remains as such today, but for many years, I had no idea who the author of this poem was. I knew it only from a movie, and the movie never says who wrote it. I had assumed it written for the movie, and it was not until I came across a book of Poe’s poems did I realize that once again, I had fallen in love with yet another piece written by him.  As irony would have it, the man who wrote the poems and short stories I already knew and loved, was also the writer of the poem I loved most of all.

In my two other favorite poems by Poe, Eldorado and Dream-Land, the theme of death marches forward, with a knight leaving home in search of  a fabled city of gold, but leaving his beloved behind, whom died before his return, and now he rides on forever into eternity trying to grasp hold of the treasure he gave up for the worthless treasure of gold; while in Dream-Land a stranger walks through the Valley of Death, surrounded by faceless ghouls, searching for his lost love, but finding only demons and white grave lilies mocking him in his search. Poe is the master of misty twilights and erry tombs. He can create in a single page, more fog dripping haunting atmosphere then all the world’s horror movies combined. I love his settings. I love his atmospheres. I love his use of cold, dark, and stormy nights. Poe makes you feel that you are right there in the action, living it with his characters. I could talk about Poe for hours, but we have other poets to compare.

And so we leave Poe and move on for happier things, or so the first impression appears, when we begin to read William Allingham’s The Fairies  and Robert Browning’s long epic poem The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Bright sunny openings, smiling happy children, sweet summer days. These grim tales of terror start out so happy and colorful. Sweet little fairies flitting by beautiful, harmless, delicate, deadly. They come in the night singing and dancing, Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen,” waving magic wands, sprinkling Fairy dust, “Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together;” and stealing children out of their cribs. The little girl in this story is whisked away, trapped in a time warp for seven years, and when she escapes a hundred years have past and all she knew are dead, she pines away and dies of loneliness, and the gleeful Fairies rush in and dance away carrying her dead body to the places where people fear to tread for We daren't go a-hunting, For fear of little men;”.

Likewise the Pied Piper dances merrily in with blessing and gaiety, he blesses the town and removes their Gypsy curse, but they cheat him out of his pay, and he throws a far worse curse then they could ever imagine down upon their heads, as he whisks their children away and traps them in the mountains of Transylvania, from whence they emerged centuries later as vampires. All the town can do is watch in horror, “As the piper turned from the High Street, To where the Weser rolled its waters, Right in the way of their sons and daughters!”

In a third German tale, the Brothers Grimm continue the theme of dead children in The Juniper Tree with a wicked step-mother who kills the boy and cooks him in a stew, during a famine that has swept over Germany. His sister buries his bones under the juniper tree, and a red fire bird bursts from the tree singing the warning song of doom as he throws a millstone down upon the wicked stepmothers head. (This story is rather long, about 10 pages, only the poem of the bird said as he flew overhead is included here.)

In Gilbert’s The Yarn of the 'Nancy Bell cannibalism runs amok as a ship crashes on a deserted island, leaving the crew to pick each other off in order to survive, and by the time help arrives to rescue the crew, only one man survives, with him to retell the tale of how he one by one ate Captain, cook, and crew. We finish the set with yet another shipwreck in David R. Slavitt’s Titanic, and the thought that, if we are going to die anyways, why not go out in a best bang of glory of all and go out with a first class ticket that’ll guarantee us eternal fame in books and movies forever?

What is the theme running through these poems? I see several, death reigning out on top. They are all gothic and grim, and most deal with mourning the loss of someone the writer loved. A whole section of them deal with the massive deaths of thousands of children which really did occur in the 1300’s in Germany. To this day, no one knows what caused this massive widespread death of nearly every child in the country. Some historians speculate illness, while others point out that a famine was sweeping across Europe at the time and parents eating children was not an uncommon practice in that time period. Whatever the case, poets and story writers, have spent centuries writing stories of the year all the children vanished out of Germany, with the Pied Piper being of course the most famous of them all. I think the theme is not so much death, but the mystery behind death, the bewonderment of the hows and whys of death., along with the somewhat grim fascination with death of children and the young. What would life had been for them? Why were they taken so early? Is there life after death? Will we ever see them again? Will we ever know what happened? Seeking the answer to deep, unanswerable questions, seems to be the common thread drawing me to this array of dark and dreary poems.

And finally, two more things stand out: the story and the rhythm. Each of these poems is on the long side, for each has a story to tell. They are short stories told in rhythm. Likewise each of these poems reads almost like a song, is a swift moving lyrical flow, which seems to sooth and comfort as it goes, in spite of the dark story it tells. The flow in each of these poems is almost like that of a lullaby. So there you have it, my favorite poems and my thoughts on why I like them and their common themes.

Annabel Lee
by Edgar Allan Poe
(Poe’s last poem)

It was many and many a year ago,
  In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
  By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
  Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
  In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
  I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
  Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
  In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
  My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
  And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
  In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
  Went envying her and me--
Yes!--that was the reason (as all men know,
  In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
  Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
  Of those who were older than we--
  Of many far wiser than we--
And neither the angels in heaven above,
  Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
  Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
  Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
  Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride,
  In her sepulchre there by the sea,
  In her tomb by the sounding sea.

by Edgar Allan Poe

Gaily bedight,
  A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
  Had journeyed long,
  Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

  But he grew old,
  This knight so bold,
And o'er his heart a shadow
  Fell as he found
  No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

  And, as his strength
  Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow;
  "Shadow," said he,
  "Where can it be,
This land of Eldorado?"

  "Over the mountains
  Of the moon,
Down the valley of the shadow,
  Ride, boldly ride,"
  The shade replied,--
"If you seek for Eldorado!"
A Dream Within a Dream
by Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

by Edgar Allan Poe

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule—
From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,
           Out of SPACE— out of TIME.

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
With forms that no man can discover
For the tears that drip all over;
Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire;
Lakes that endlessly outspread
Their lone waters— lone and dead,—
Their still waters— still and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily.

By the lakes that thus outspread
Their lone waters, lone and dead,—
Their sad waters, sad and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily,—
By the mountains— near the river
Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,—
By the grey woods,— by the swamp
Where the toad and the newt encamp—
By the dismal tarns and pools
Where dwell the Ghouls,—
By each spot the most unholy—
In each nook most melancholy—
There the traveller meets aghast
Sheeted Memories of the Past—
Shrouded forms that start and sigh
As they pass the wanderer by—
White—robed forms of friends long given,
In agony, to the Earth— and Heaven.

For the heart whose woes are legion
'Tis a peaceful, soothing region—
For the spirit that walks in shadow
'Tis— oh, 'tis an Eldorado!
But the traveller, travelling through it,
May not— dare not openly view it!
Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
So wills its King, who hath forbid
The uplifting of the fringed lid;
And thus the sad Soul that here passes
Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have wandered home but newly
From this ultimate dim Thule.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin
by Robert Browning

       HAMELIN Town’s in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;
       The river Weser, deep and wide,
       Washes its wall on the southern side;
       A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
       Almost five hundred years ago,
       To see the townsfolk suffer so
               From vermin, was a pity.


They fought the dogs
and killed the cats,
       And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
       And licked the soup from the cook’s own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women’s chats
       By drowning their speaking
       With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.


At last the people in a body
       To the Town Hall came flocking:
“ ’T is clear,” cried they, “our Mayor’s a noddy;
       And as for our Corporation — shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can’t or won’t determine
What’s best to rid us of our vermin!
You hope, because you’re old and obese,
To find in the furry civic robe ease?
Rouse up, sirs!  Give your brains a racking
To find the remedy we’re lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we’ll send you packing!”
At this the Mayor and Corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.

An hour they sat in council;
       At length the Mayor broke silence:
“For a guilder I’d my ermine gown sell,
       I wish I were a mile hence!
It’s easy to bid one rack one’s brain —
I’m sure my poor head aches again,
I’ve scratched it so, and all in vain.
Oh, for a trap, a trap, a trap!”
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber-door but a gentle tap?
“Bless us,” cried the Mayor, “What’s that?”
(With the Corporation as he sat,
Looking little though wondrous fat;
Nor brighter was his eye nor moister
Than a too-long-opened oyster,
Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
For a plate of turtle green and glutinous)
“Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!”


“Come in!” — the Mayor cried, looking bigger:
And in did come the strangest figure!
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of yellow and half of red,
And he himself was tall and thin,
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin,
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
But lips where smiles went out and in;
There was no guessing his kith and kin:
And nobody could enough admire
The tall man and his quaint attire.
Quoth one: “It’s as my great-grandsire,
Starting up at the Trump of Doom’s tone,
Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!”


He advanced to the council-table:
And “Please, your honors,” said he, “I’m able,
By means of a secret charm, to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
That creep or swim or fly or run,
After me so as you never saw!
And I chiefly use my charm
On creatures that do people harm,
The mole and toad and newt and viper;
And people call me the Pied Piper.”
(And here they noticed round his neck
A scarf of red and yellow stripe,
To match with his coat of the self-same cheque;
And at the scarf’s end hung a pipe;
And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying
As if impatient to be playing
Upon this pipe, as low it dangled
Over his vesture so old-fangled.)
“Yet,” said he, “poor piper as I am,
In Tartary I freed the Cham,
Last June, from his huge swarms of gnats;
I eased in Asia the Nizam
Of a monstrous brood of vampire-bats;
And as for what your brain bewilders,
If I can rid your town of rats
Will you give me a thousand guilders?”
“One!?  Fifty thousand!” — was the exclamation
Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation.


Into the street the Piper stept,
       Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept
       In his quiet pipe the while;
Then, like a musical adept,
To blow his pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled.
Like a candle-flame where salt is sprinkled;
And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
You heard as if an army muttered;
And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.

Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats,
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
       Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,
       Families by tens and dozens,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives,
Followed the Piper for their lives.
From street to street he piped advancing,
And step by step they followed dancing,
Until they came to the river Weser,
Wherein all plunged and perished!
— Save one, who, stout as Julias Caeser,
Swam across and lived to carry
(As he, the manuscript he cherished)
to Rat-land home his commentary:
Which was, “At the first shrill notes of the pipe,
I heard a sound as of scraping tripe,
And putting apples, wondrous ripe,
Into a cider-press’s gripe,
And a moving away of pickle tub-boards,
And a leaving ajar of conserve-cupboards,
And a drawing the corks of train-oil-flasks,
And a breaking the hoops of butter-casks:
And it seemed as if a voice
(Sweeter far than by harp or psaltery
Is breathed) called out, ’Oh rats, rejoice!
The world is grown to one vast drysaltery!
So munch on, crunch on, take your nuncheon,
Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon!’
And just as a bulky sugar-puncheon,
All ready staved, like a great sun shone,
Glorious scarce an inch before me,
Just as methought it said, ’Come, bore me!’
— I found the Weser rolling o’er me.”


You should have heard the Hamelin people
Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple.
“Go,” cried the Mayor, “and get long poles,
Poke out the nests and block up the holes!
Consult with carpenters and builders,
And leave in our town not even a trace
of    the rats!” — when suddenly, up the face
Of the Piper perked in the market-place,
With a “First, if you please, my thousand guilders!”


A thousand guilders!  The Mayor looked blue.
So did the corporation too.
For council dinners made rare havoc
With Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-Grave, Hock;
And half the money would replenish
Their cellar’s biggest butt with Rhenish.
To pay this sum to a wandering fellow
With a gypsy coat of red and yellow!
“Beside,” quoth the Mayor with a knowing wink,
“Our business was ended at the river’s brink;
We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
And what’s dead can’t come to life, I think;
So, friend, we’re not the folks to shrink
From the duty of giving you something for drink,
And a matter of money to put in your poke;
But as for the guilders, what we spoke
Of them, as you very well know, was in joke.
Beside, our losses have made us thrifty.
A thousand guilders!  Come, take fifty!”


The Piper’s face fell, and he cried,
“No trifling, I can’t wait, beside!
I’ve promised to visit by dinner time
Bagdat, and accept the prime
Of the Head-Cook’s pottage, all he’s rich in
For having left, in the Caliph’s kitchen
Of a nest of scorpions no survivor,
With him I proved no bargain-driver.
With you, don’t think I’ll bate a stiver!
And folks who put me in a passion
May find me pipe after another fashion.”

“How?” cried the Mayor, “D’ye think I brook
Being worse treated than a cook?
Insulted by a lazy ribald
With idle pipe and vesture piebald?
You threaten us, fellow?  Do your worst,
Blow your pipe there till you burst!”


Once more he stept into the street,
       And to his lips again,
Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
       And ere he blew three notes (such sweet
Soft notes as yet musician’s cunning
       Never gave the enraptured air)
There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling;
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,
Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering,
And, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering,
Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.


The Mayor was dumb, and the Council stood
As if they were changed into blocks of wood,
Unable to move a step, or cry
To the children merrily skipping by,
— Could only follow with the eye
That joyous crowd at the Piper’s back.
But how the Mayor was on the rack,
And the wretched Council’s bosoms beat,
As the piper turned from the High Street
To where the Weser rolled its waters
Right in the way of their sons and daughters!

However, he turned from South to West,
And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed,
And after him the children pressed;
Great was the joy in every breast.
“He never can cross that mighty top!
He’s forced to let the piping drop,
And we shall see our children stop!”
When, lo, as they reached the mountain-side,
A wondrous portal opened wide,
As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed,
And the Piper advanced and the children followed,
And when all were in to the very last,
The door in the mountain-side shut fast.
Did I say all?  No! one was lame,
And could not dance the whole of the way;
And in after years, if you would blame
His sadness, he was used to say, —
“It’s dull in our town since my playmates left!
I can’t forget that I’m bereft
Of all the pleasant sights they see,
Which the Piper also promised me.
For he led us, he said, to a joyous land,
Joining the town and just at hand,
Where waters gushed and fruit-trees grew,
And flowers put forth a fairer hue,
And everything was strange and new;
The sparrows were brighter then peacocks here,
And their dogs outran our fallow deer,
And honey-bees had lost their stings,
And horses were born with eagles’ wings;
And just as I became assured
My lame foot would be speedily cured,
The music stopped and I stood still,
And found myself outside the hill,
Left alone against my will,
To go now limping as before,
And never hear of that country more!”


Alas, alas for Hamelin!
       There came into many a burgher’s pate
       A text which says that heaven’s gate
 Opes to the rich at as easy rate
As the needle’s eye takes a camel in!
The Mayor sent East, West, North and South

To offer the Piper, by word of mouth,
       Wherever it was men’s lot to find him,
Silver and gold to his heart’s content,
If he’d only return the way he went,
       And bring the children behind him.
But when they saw ’t was a lost endeavor,
And Piper and dancers were gone forever,
They made a decree that lawyers never
       Should think their records dated duly
If, after the day of the month and year,
These words did not as well appear,
“And so long after what happened here
       On the Twenty-second of July,
Thirteen hundred and seventy-six:”
And the better in memory to fix
The place of the children’s last retreat,
They called it, the Pied Piper’s Street —
Where anyone playing on pipe or tabor,
Was sure for the future to lose his labor.
Nor suffered they hostelry or tavern
To shock with mirth a street so solemn.
But opposite the place of the cavern
       They wrote the story on a column,
And on the great church-window painted
The same, to make the world acquainted
How their children were stolen away,
And there it stands to this very day.
And I must not omit to say
That in Transylvania there’s a tribe
Of alien people who ascribe
The outlandish ways and dress
On which their neighbors lay such stress,
To their fathers and mothers having risen
Out of some subterraneous prison
Into which they were trepanned
Long time ago in a mighty band
Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
But how or why, they don’t understand.

So, Willy, let me and you be wipers
Of scores out with all men — especially pipers!
And, whether they pipe us free from rats or from mice,
If we’ve promised them aught, let us keep our promise!

The Fairies
by William Allingham

UP the airy mountain,
       Down the rushy glen,
   We daren't go a-hunting
       For fear of little men;
   Wee folk, good folk,
       Trooping all together;
   Green jacket, red cap,
       And a white owl's feather!

   Down along the rocky shore
       Some make their home,
   They live on crispy pancakes
       Of yellow tide-foam;
   Some in the reeds
       Of the black mountain lake,
   With frogs for their watch-dogs,
       All night awake.

   High on the hill-top
       The old King sits;
   He is now so old and gray
       He's nigh lost his wits.
   With a bridge of white mist
       Columbkill he crosses,
   On his stately journeys
       From Slieveleague to Rosses;
   Or going up with music
       On cold starry nights,
   To sup with the Queen
       Of the gay Northern Lights.
They stole little Bridget
       For seven years long;
   When she came down again
       Her friends were all gone.
   They took her lightly back,
       Between the night and morrow,
   They thought that she was fast asleep,
       But she was dead with sorrow.
   They have kept her ever since
       Deep within the lake,
   On a bed of flag-leaves,
       Watching till she wake.

   By the craggy hill-side,
       Through the mosses bare,
   They have planted thorn-trees
       For pleasure here and there.
   Is any man so daring
       As dig them up in spite,
   He shall find their sharpest thorns
       In his bed at night.

   Up the airy mountain,
       Down the rushy glen,
   We daren't go a-hunting
       For fear of little men;
   Wee folk, good folk,
       Trooping all together;
   Green jacket, red cap,
       And a white owl's feather!


The Bird’s Song
from the short story:
The Juniper Tree
by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

"My mother she killed me,
My father he ate me,
My sister, little Marlinchen,
Gathered together all my bones,
Tied them in a silken handkerchief,
Laid them beneath the juniper-tree,
Kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I!"

by David R. Slavitt

Who does not love the Titanic?
If they sold passage tomorrow for that same crossing,
who would not buy?
To go down...We all go down, mostly
alone. But with crowds of people, friends, servants,
well fed, with music, with lights!Ah!
And the world, shocked, mourns, as it ought to do
and almost never does. There will be the books and movies
to remind our grandchildren who we were
and how we died, and give them a good cry.
Not so bad, after all. The cold
water is anesthetic and very quick.
The cries on all sides must be a comfort.
We all go: only a few, first class.   

The Yarn of the 'Nancy Bell
by Sir William Schwenck Gilbert

'Twas on the shores that round our coast
From Deal to Ramsgate span,
That I found alone on a piece of stone
An elderly naval man.

His hair was weedy, his beard was long,
And weedy and long was he,
And I heard this wight on the shore recite,
In a singular minor key:

"Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig."

And he shook his fists and he tore his hair,
Till I really felt afraid,
For I couldn't help thinking the man had been drinking,
And so I simply said:

"Oh, elderly man, it's little I know
Of the duties of men of the sea,
And I'll eat my hand if I understand
However you can be

'At once a cook, and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig.'"

Then he gave a hitch to his trousers, which
Is a trick all seamen larn,
And having got rid of a thumping quid,
He spun this painful yarn:

"'Twas in the good ship Nancy Bell
That we sailed to the Indian Sea,
And there on a reef we come to grief,
Which has often occurred to me.

‘And pretty nigh all the crew was drowned
(There was seventy-seven o' soul),
And only ten of the Nancy's men
Said 'Here!' to the muster-roll.

'There was me and the cook and the captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And the bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig.

'For a month we'd neither wittles nor drink,
Till a-hungry we did feel,
So we drawed a lot, and, accordin' shot
The captain for our meal.

'The next lot fell to the Nancy's mate,
And a delicate dish he made;
Then our appetite with the midshipmite
We seven survivors stayed.

'And then we murdered the bo'sun tight,
And he much resembled pig;
Then we wittled free, did the cook and me,
On the crew of the captain's gig.

'Then only the cook and me was left,
And the delicate question,"Which
Of us two goes to the kettle" arose,
And we argued it out as sich.

'For I loved that cook as a brother, I did,
And the cook he worshipped me;
But we'd both be blowed if we'd either be stowed
In the other chap's hold, you see.

"I'll be eat if you dines off me,"says TOM;
'Yes, that,' says I, 'you'll be, '
'I'm boiled if I die, my friend, ' quoth I;
And "Exactly so," quoth he.
'Says he,"Dear JAMES, to murder me
Were a foolish thing to do,
For don't you see that you can't cook me,
While I can and will cook you!"

'So he boils the water, and takes the salt
And the pepper in portions true
(Which he never forgot), and some chopped shalot.
And some sage and parsley too.

"Come here,"says he, with a proper pride,
Which his smiling features tell,
"'T will soothing be if I let you see
How extremely nice you'll smell."

'And he stirred it round and round and round,
And he sniffed at the foaming froth;
When I ups with his heels, and smothers his squeals
In the scum of the boiling broth.

'And I eat that cook in a week or less,
And as I eating be
The last of his chops, why, I almost drops,
For a wessel in sight I see!

* * * * * *

"And I never larf, and I never smile,
And I never lark nor play,
But I sit and croak, and a single joke
I have--which is to say:

"Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig!"


Good morning Starshine! Liked this post? Looking to connect with me online? I love social networks and am on most of them. You can find me on: BloggerEtsyFaceBookGoogle+KeenMySpaceNaNoWriMoProBoardsScript FrenzySpoonflowerSquidooTwitterULC Ministers NetworkWordpress, and Zazzle Feel free to give me a shout any  time. Many blessings to you, may all your silver clouds be lined with rhinestones and sparkle of golden sunshine. Have yourself a great and wonderful glorious day!

~Rev. Wendy C. Allen aka Empress EelKat of Laughing Gnome Hollow


This post was written by Wendy C Allen aka EelKat, is copyrighted by The Twighlight Manor Press and was posted on Houseless Living @ http://houselessliving.blogspot.com and reposted at EK's Star Log @ http://eelkat.wordpress.com and parts of it may also be seen on http://www.squidoo.com/EelKat and http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com  If you are reading this from a different location than those listed above, please contact me Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat @ http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile and let me know where it is you found this post. Plagiarism is illegal and I DO actively pursue offenders. Unless copying a Blog Meme, you do not have permission to copy anything appearing on this blog, including words, art, or photos. This will be your only warning. Thank you and have a glorious day! ~ EelKat


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