The Rape of the Lock (Excerpts)
Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744)

Ye Sylphs and Sylphids, to your chief give ear!
Fays, Fairies, Genii, Elves, and Dæmons, hear!
Ye know the spheres and various tasks assign’d
By laws eternal to th’ aërial kind.
Some in the fields of purest Æther play,
And bask and whiten in the blaze of day.
Some guide the course of wand’ring orbs on high,
Or roll the planets thro’ the boundless sky.
Some less refin’d, beneath the moon’s pale light
Pursue the stars that shoot athwart the night,
Or suck the mists in grosser air below,
Or dip their pinions in the painted bow,
Or brew fierce tempests on the wintry main,
Or o’er the glebe distil the kindly rain.
Others on earth o’er human race preside,
Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide:
Of these the chief the care of Nations own,
And guard with Arms divine the British Throne.

Our humbler province is to tend the Fair,
Not a less pleasing, tho’ less glorious care;
To save the powder from too rude a gale,
Nor let th’ imprison’d-essences exhale;
To draw fresh colours from the vernal flow’rs;
To steal from rainbows e’er they drop in show’rs
A brighter wash; to curl their waving hairs,
Assist their blushes, and inspire their airs;
Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow,
To change a Flounce, or add a Furbelow.

Mr. Sheets (from “Black Beetles in Amber”)
Ambrose Bierce (24 June 1842 – 1914)

The Devil stood before the gate
Of Heaven. He had a single mate:
Behind him, in his shadow, slunk
Clay Sheets in a perspiring funk.
“Saint Peter, see this season ticket,”
Said Satan; “pray undo the wicket.”
The sleepy Saint threw slight regard
Upon the proffered bit of card,
Signed by some clerical dead-beats:
“Admit the bearer and Clay Sheets.”
Peter expanded all his eyes:
“‘Clay Sheets?’—well, I’ll be damned!” he cries.
“Our couches are of golden cloud;
Nothing of earth is here allowed.
I’ll let you in,” he added, shedding
On Nick a smile—”but not your bedding.”

8 thoughts on “August-17

  1. ‘rude rainbows’

    ye know that some shoot th’ moon
    and others thwart all their actions
    nay assist nor inspire
    with sheets of rain
    behind them
    they bestow sleepy regard
    their bit of play
    all their ways beneath care–
    watch and guard
    to save some clerical couches
    proffered by dreams
    and not let
    a single cloud
    change our actions
    or suck planets
    from th’ sky

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Before the gate of Heaven

    The Devil had a season ticket to watch the ways of earth.
    A rude gale, fierce tempests roll across the sky.
    Fays and Faeries exhale mists, distill a golden cloud.
    Others steal colours from the stars, or save the moon’s pale light
    to wash the human race in dreams, fresh air of the boundless sky.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Exhale the Tempest

    The glorious funk of the devil imprison’d in amber,
    Shedding golden dead-beats o’er the earth.
    Divine black beetle orb – Saint Satan in his cloud.

    Rain the damned moon’s regard,
    On these perspiring clay saint Dæmons.
    Guard your dreams all Fairies – blaze the colours of the rainbows.

    Whiten the grosser rude in the air,
    Inspire that all are painted fair of shadow.
    Distil brighter dreams kindly with the flounce of your hair.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Painted

    Purest Aether mists earth
    Beneath sheets of golden cloud
    Couches the human
    Fresh from dreams, in a sleepy
    Heaven, divine and glorious
    Shedding stars o’er the Fair
    To whiten day, light the fields
    Of vernal clay, change shadow
    And blaze fresh colours

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Black Dreams of the Damned Exhale

    Curl and roll … … exhale … … exhale.
    Imprison’d in a blaze of amber spheres
    and grosser airs of fierce mists,
    black dreams of the damned exhale,
    and the pinions of shadow daemons, perspiring
    beneath fields of pale wand’ring light,
    below boundless Heaven and golden stars,
    dip before the throne of Satan to pursue his care,
    and the expanded eyes of clay beetles watch their ways.
    Curl and roll … … exhale … … exhale.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. tasks assign’d

    give ear, hear!
    know the tasks assign’d to the chief of arms and to his shadow and his slunk-on-high
    his signed card his damned invention-undo and his care-less planet steal

    know the tasks assign’d to the clerical deadbeats and to their sleepy saint
    their slight regard their bedding-couches their imprison’d-essences and their grosser air

    [mr devil …?]

    know the tasks assign’d to the british throne and their whiten sheets and perspiring funk
    their nothing allowed their proferred blushes and airs and flounce and furbelow

    [mr devil are tasks assign’d to …?]

    know the tasks assign’d to satan and his eyes of damned black beetles
    to the bearer of the ticket and the single gate the steel pinions the guard and the shoot allowed

    [mr devil are tasks assign’d to elves fays and pale faeries to their nothing-of-earth
    dream extracts golden clouds brighter rainbows boundless mists and kindly rain?]

    give ear, hear!
    by the spheres and the laws eternal
    know the various tasks are assign’d
    all are assign’d

    all you humbler less glorious less refined
    – smile and l’ll let you in

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Lucifer’s Vow

    The Dæmon aërial stood before the gate of the Moon’s pale shadow
    and watched the spheres by laws eternal e’er wand’ring
    orbs on high beneath the essences of Light’s colours
    in the mists of glorious Æther-tempests—
    all their course on wintry night:

    “I’ll be damned and I’ll guard o’er
    the imprison’d on Earth below
    these inventions we bestow
    in dreams.”


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