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Your most moving poetry

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by hornet, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. No, not some drek that YOU wrote; poetry that moves your soul, says something to you, or about you, or both.

    No ribald doggerel, please :).

    This was my favourite when I was courting my wonderful wife, and nearly 40 years later I can still recite it by heart.

    William Shakespeare - Sonnet #29

    When, in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes,
    I all alone beweep my outcast state,
    And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
    And look upon myself and curse my fate,
    Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
    Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
    Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
    With what I most enjoy contented least,
    Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
    Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
    Like to the lark at break of day arising
    From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate

    For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
    That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
  2. Bruce Dawe - Enter Without So Much as Knocking
    Blink, blink. HOSPITAL. SILENCE.
    Ten days old, carried in the front door in his
    mother's arms, first thing he heard was
    Bobby Dazzler on Channel 7:
    Hello, hello hello all you lucky people and he
    really was lucky because it didn't mean a thing
    to him then...
    A year or two to settle in and
    get acquainted with the set-up; like every other
    well-equipped smoothly-run household, his included
    one economy-size Mum, one Anthony Squires-
    Coolstream-Summerweight Dad, along with two other kids
    straight off the Junior Department rack.

    When Mom won the
    Luck's-A-Fortch Tricky-Tune Quiz she took him shopping
    in the good-as-new station-wagon (£ 495 dep. at Reno's).
    Beep, beep. WALK. DON'T WALK. TURN
    THIS. WATCH OUT FOR THAT. My God (beep)
    the congestion here just gets (beep)
    worse every day, now what the (beep beep) does
    that idiot think he's doing (beep beep and BEEP).

    However, what he enjoyed most of all was when they
    went to the late show at the local drive-in, on a clear night
    and he could see (beyond the fifty-foot screen where
    giant faces forever snarled screamed or make
    incomprehensible and monstrous love) a pure
    unadulterated fringe of sky, littered with stars
    no-one had got around to fixing up yet: he'd watch them
    circling about in luminous groups like kids at the circus
    who never go quite close enough to the elephant to get kicked.

    Anyway, pretty soon he was old enough to be
    realistic like every other godless
    money-hungry back-stabbing miserable
    so-and-so, and then it was goodbye stars and the soft
    cry in the corner when no-one was looking because
    I'm telling you straight, Jim, it's Number One every time
    for this chicken, hit wherever you see a head and
    kick whoever's down, well thanks for a lovely
    evening Clare, it's good to get away from it all
    once in a while, I mean it's a real battle all the way
    and a man can't help but feel a little soiled, himself,
    at times, you know what I mean?

    Now take it easy
    on those curves, Alice, for God's sake,
    I've had enough for one night, with that Clare Jessup,
    hey, ease up, will you, watch it --

    Probity & Sons, Morticians,
    did a really first-class job on his face
    (everyone was very pleased) even adding a
    healthy tan he'd never had, living, gave him back for keeps
    the old automatic smile with nothing behind it,
    winding the whole show up with a
    nice ride out to the underground metropolis
    permanent residentials, no parking tickets, no taximeters
    ticking, no Bobby Dazzlers here, no down payments,
    nobody grieving over halitosis
    flat feet shrinking gums falling hair.

    Six feet down nobody interested.

    Blink, blink. CEMETERY. Silence.
  3. Being the great grand neice of a very famous writer/poet, I have always had an interest in poetry, although this was not written by my now deceased famous relative, it is very apt for our current situation and I can't help but feel tears well every time I read it!

    Rain from Nowhere

    by Murray Hartin

    His cattle didn't get a bid; they were fairly bloody poor,
    What was he going to do? He couldn't feed them anymore,
    The dams were all but dry; hay was thirteen bucks a bale,
    Last month's talk of rain was just a fairytale.

    His credit had run out, no chance to pay what's owed,
    Bad thoughts ran through his head as he drove down Gully Road.
    "Geez, great grandad bought the place back in 1898,
    "Now I'm such a useless bastard, I'll have to shut the gate.

    "Can't support my wife and kids, not like dad and those before,
    "Crikey, Grandma kept it going while Pop fought in the war."
    With depression now his master, he abandoned what was right,
    There's no place in life for failures, he'd end it all tonight.

    There were still some things to do, he'd have to shoot the cattle first,
    Of all the jobs he'd ever done, that would be the worst.
    He'd have a shower, watch the news, then they'd all sit down for tea
    Read his kids a bedtime story, watch some more TV,

    Kiss his wife goodnight, say he was off to shoot some roos
    Then in a paddock far away he'd blow away the blues.
    But he drove in the gate and stopped – as he always had
    To check the roadside mailbox – and found a letter from his Dad.

    Now his dad was not a writer, Mum did all the cards and mail
    But he knew the writing from the notebooks that he used at cattle sales.
    He sensed the nature of its contents, felt moisture in his eyes,
    Just the fact his dad had written was enough to make him cry.

    "Son, I know it's bloody tough; it's a cruel and twisted game,
    "This life upon the land when you're screaming out for rain,
    "There's no candle in the darkness, not a single speck of light.
    "But don't let the demon get you, you have to do what's right;

    "I don't know what's in your head but push the bad thoughts well away.
    "See, you'll always have your family at the back end of the day;
    "You have to talk to someone, and yes I know I rarely did.
    "But you have to think about Fiona and think about the kids.

    "I'm worried about you, son, you haven't rung for quite a while,
    "I know the road you're on 'cause I've walked every bloody mile.
    "The date? December 7 back in 1983,
    "Behind the shed I had the shotgun rested in the brigalow tree.

    "See, I'd borrowed way too much to buy the Johnson place;
    "Then it didn't rain for years and we got bombed by interest rates.
    "The bank was at the door; I didn't think I had a choice,
    "I began to squeeze the trigger – that's when I heard your voice.

    "You said 'Where are you Daddy? It's time to play our game'
    “I’ve got Squatter all set up, we might get General Rain.'
    "It really was that close, you're the one that stopped me son,
    "And you're the one that taught me there's no answer in a gun.

    "Just remember people love you, good friends won't let you down.
    "Look, you might have to swallow pride and take that job in town,
    "Just 'til things come good, son, you've always got a choice.
    "And when you get this letter ring me, 'cause I'd love to hear your voice."

    Well he cried and laughed and shook his head, then put the truck in gear,
    Shut his eyes and hugged his dad in a vision that was clear.
    Dropped the cattle at the yards, put the truck away,
    Filled the troughs the best he could and fed his last ten bales of hay.

    Then he strode towards the homestead, shoulders back and head held high,
    He still knew the road was tough but there was purpose in his eye.
    He called his wife and children, who'd lived through all his pain,
    Hugs said more than words – he'd come back to them again.

    They talked of silver linings, how good times always follow bad,
    Then he walked towards the phone, picked it up and rang his Dad.
    And while the kids set up the Squatter, he hugged his wife again,
    Then they heard the roll of thunder and they smelt the smell of rain.
  4. i heard that you were feeling ill
    pain, fever and a chill
    i have come to restore your pluck
    cause im the nurse who likes to........

  5. NICE!! You rock stump!! I watched that again just the other day!!

    You forgot the BAM as the door gets slammed in her face!!
  6. Caz VI, that was beautiful.... so relevant today, very beautiful piece.

    Jaq, your talents are urgently needed elsewhere...... go to the Vic pink ribbon thread, cause I cannot send you a pm, but you can do some good there.My good friend Bron, has gone to hell and back over the sh1t, no poetic justice to her at all.

    My mantra has always been a quote from T.S. Elliot.

    "For thine is, for life is, for thine is thee"

    All I got to to is learn to live by it, which I try to do.

    Caz, who was Murray Hartin. Have not heard of him, but that piece is good,very apt and precious and so today.
  7. ah, gooday suz, got your message a little while ago. i just got home. when i post this i will see what time it is [dont ask] and see how long ago you put your post in

  8. Murray Hartin is an Aussie bush poet.
    The above poem is available on CD set to classical guitar, the funds raised go toward helping the battling aussie farmers. $30
    It was written to aid in the prevention of suicide and depression of our struggling farmers.

    Rain From Nowhere features eight moving pieces, some set to music by Australian music legend, Pat Drummond.

    Available at most good music stores :LOL:

  9. The language is a bit old, but if you need it explained, jsut ask.

    John Donne - Death be not proud.

    DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
    Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
    For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
    Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
    From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
    Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
    And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
    Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
    Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
    And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
    And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
    And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
    One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
    And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

    And also

    Dylan Thomas - Do not go gentle.

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
  10. Another one from Murray Hartin..... yep, I am a fan :LOL:

    Who’s To Blame

    It seems I’ve had it all mixed up
    On what life’s all about,
    You see it’s not how much that you put in,
    It’s how much you take out!

    Forget superannuation,
    They’ve got a brand new plan,
    Get yourself a lawyer
    And sue anyone you can.

    Sue your parents, sue your doctor,
    Go for the big result.
    If your life’s not hunky dory
    Well, it must be someone’s fault.

    If you haven’t got a high-paid job
    Or life’s tougher than you thought
    Just find someone to blame
    And drag them into court.

    It looks so dead-set easy
    So get in and grab a quid
    Sue the pub that didn’t serve you
    Then sue the pub that did.

    Sue your boss, sue your neighbours
    Just sue and sue and sue
    And if it’s not enough
    Well then sue your lawyer too.

    Oh I love a sunburnt country,
    A land of cluttered courts
    Where undeserving folk
    Can prosper from these rorts

    Where a judge can make a ruling
    That can support their wildest claims
    While the once-proud land they live in
    Is left to hang its head in shame.
  11. tippy's ashes are coming back in an earn. it's not poetry but

    imagine you're in someone's home, you spot the earn, and the plaque says this;


    "oi, so that's how yo possum got squashed"

    edit: sorry i just realized this is in tippy thread. eh, go suck a lemon :LOL: ]
  12. yep, you guessed it.....
    another one from Murray Hartin :LOL:


    Here's a tale of Billy Hays from out near Alice Springs
    A wild young fellow, he'd done some crazy things
    He'd bucked bulls over fences, rode a colt up Ayrs Rock
    See his legs weren't made for walking they were made for riding stock

    A legend round the rodeo from allaroon to broom
    An untired horse at 6am was saddle broke by noon
    No form of equine foolery he wasn't game to try
    Only one thing ever spooked him,
    He was so scared to fly.

    Well if I was meant to fly he said
    I'd have feathers and a beak,
    You fly and waste a day and I'll drive and waste a week
    I hear they're safe as houses and mechanically they're sound
    But I don't see no rope or bridle so I'm staying on the ground

    One day Bill got a call from his mate in Adelaide,
    He'd got his girl in trouble and the wedding cards were played
    He said, Mate I don't care how you do it you can beg or steel or borrow
    But Mate you're gunna have to catch the plane, coz the big day is tomorrow.

    Billy cursed and spat it "That dopey bloody coot!
    He knows I'll jump on anything that's coming out a chute
    I've caught stallions that'd kill you, caught bulls gone off their brain
    But I never thought there'd come a day I'd have to catch a plane!"

    Bill legged it to the airport and thought "Well this is it"
    The lady at the counter asked "Where would you like to sit?"
    He said "You know that black box thing they always seem to find
    "Well you can stick me right in side it if you wouldn't bloody mind"

    She gave a friendly smile and "Sir I'll just take your bag"
    He said "I don't bloody think so, 'n by the way it's called a swag."
    Bill was sweatin' buckets when they finally cleared the strip
    He had his seatbelt on that tight he was bleedin' from the hip

    But then they levelled out he stopped shakin at the knees
    Looked around , relaxed 'n thought "This flyin' game's a breeze"
    We clipped his belt undone, stretched out in his seat
    Well he couldn't stretch that much 'cause his swag was at his feet.

    Then the captain crackled something, Bill asked the hostess what was said
    "Sir you'd better buckle up there's some turbulence ahead:
    Turbulence - what's that?" "Sir it's pockets caused by heat
    "And when it gets severe it can throw you from your seat."

    "Throw me, I'll be buggered," Bill pushed his seat right back,
    Wrapped his legs around his swag and stuck his left hand through the strap
    He jammed down his Akubra, he was ready now to ride
    Then things got pretty bumpy and Billy yelled "Outside!"

    The plane she dropped a thousand feet, bounced up five hundred more
    When his head hit the roof, his backside hit the floor!
    "I've rode all through the Territory and never come unstuck
    So give me all you've got big bird - buck you bastard buck!"

    And while the passengers were screaming in fear of certain death
    Billy whooped and hollered 'til he near ran out of breath
    You would' thought that canvas swag was welded to his ass
    And before the ringer knew it he's bucked up to business class

    There seemed no way to tame this creature, it had ten gears and reverse
    But that didn't worry Billy, he just bucked on through to first
    He did somersaults with twists on this mongrel mount from hell
    He yelled out to the pilot "for Christ sake ring the bell!"

    Bill was bleeding from the bugle, he had cuts above both eyes
    If you weren't there on the spot ya probably think I'm tellin' lies
    He'd been upside down and inside out, done flips and triple spins
    Ya might a' seen some great tides in your time but hands down Billy wins

    The flight returned to normal, Bill was flat out on the deck
    Still stuck to his swag but he looked a bloody wreck
    He pulled himself together, stood up straight and raised his hat
    He said "I've had some tough trips in me day but never one like that."

    "an eight-second spin in Alice proves your made of sturdy stuff
    But I was on there a near a minute and I reckon that's enough."
    The first class folk were dumbstruck at this crazy ringer's feat
    but Bill just grabbed a XXXX beer and walked back to his seat.

    Now years have passed and Bill's long give the buckin' game away
    Too many breaks and dusty miles for far too little pay
    Now plane's are not a worry, in fact he'd rather fly than ride
    "N when you talk about his maiden voyage his chest puffs out with pride

    "You can talk about your Rocky Neds or that old Chainsaw bloke
    I'd ride 'em both without a rope and roll a bloody smoke
    There's cowboys 'round who think they're hot, well they aint tasted heat
    "Til they've ridden time on Turbulence at 30 3000 feet."
  14. John Donne "Death be not proud" AND some Dylan Thomas, and some current Aussie bush poetry; great stuff.

    My brother and I , by repute, used to be able to recite 6 of Banjo Paterson's poems by heart when we were three years old. My dear dad came from Abderdeen, in the Hunter Valley, and loved the great man's bush poetry. So here's;

    In the Droving Days, by A. B. "Banjo" Paterson

    "Only a pound," said the auctioneer,
    "Only a pound; and I'm standing here
    Selling this animal, gain or loss --
    Only a pound for the drover's horse?
    One of the sort that was ne'er afraid,
    One of the boys of the Old Brigade;
    Thoroughly honest and game, I'll swear,
    Only a little the worse for wear;
    Plenty as bad to be seen in town,
    Give me a bid and I'll knock him down;
    Sold as he stands, and without recourse,
    Give me a bid for the drover's horse."
    Loitering there in an aimless way
    Somehow I noticed the poor old grey,
    Weary and battered and screwed, of course;
    Yet when I noticed the old grey horse,
    The rough bush saddle, and single rein
    Of the bridle laid on his tangled mane,
    Straighway the crowd and the auctioneer
    Seemed on a sudden to disappear,
    Melted away in a kind if haze --
    For my heart went back to the droving days.

    Back to the road, and I crossed again
    Over the miles of the saltbush plain --
    The shining plain that is said to be
    The dried-up bed of an inland sea.
    Where the air so dry and so clear and bright
    Refracts the sun with a wondrous light,
    And out in the dim horizon makes
    The deep blue gleam of the phantom lakes.

    At dawn of day we could feel the breeze
    That stirred the boughs of the sleeping trees,
    And brought a breath of the fragrance rare
    That comes and goes in that scented air;
    For the trees and grass and the shrubs contain
    A dry sweet scent on the saltbush plain.
    for those that love it and understand
    The saltbush plain is a wonderland,
    A wondrous country, were Nature's ways
    Were revealed to me in the droving days.

    We saw the fleet wild horses pass,
    And kangaroos through the Mitchell grass;
    The emu ran with her frightened brood
    All unmolested and unpursued.
    But there rose a shout and a wild hubbub
    When the dingo raced for his native scrub,
    And he paid right dear for his stolen meals
    With the drovers' dogs at his wretched heels.
    For we ran him down at a rattling pace,
    While the pack-horse joined in the stirring chase.
    And a wild halloo at the kill we'd raise --
    We were light of heart in the droving days.

    'Twas a drover's horse, and my hand again
    Made a move to close on a fancied rein.
    For I felt a swing and the easy stride
    Of the grand old horse that I used to ride.
    In drought or plenty, in good or ill,
    The same old steed was my comrade still;
    The old grey horse with his honest ways
    Was a mate to me in the droving days.

    When we kept our watch in the cold and damp,
    If the cattle broke from the sleeping camp,
    Over the flats and across the plain,
    With my head bent down on his waving mane,
    Through the boughs above and the stumps below,
    On the darkest night I could let him go
    At a racing speed; he would choose his course,
    And my life was safe with the old grey horse.
    But man and horse had a favourite job,
    When an outlaw broke from the station mob;
    With a right good will was the stockwhip plied,
    As the old horse raced at the straggler's side,
    And the greenhide whip such a weal would raise --
    We could use the whip in the droving days.

    * * * * * *

    "Only a pound!" and was this the end --
    Only a pound for the drover's friend.
    The drover's friend that has seen his day,
    And now was worthless and cast away
    With a broken knee and a broken heart
    To be flogged and starved in a hawker's cart.
    Well, I made a bid for a sense of shame
    And the memories of the good old game.

    "Thank you? Guinea! and cheap at that!
    Against you there in the curly hat!
    Only a guinea, and one more chance,
    Down he goes if there's no advance,
    Third, and last time, one! two! three!"
    And the old grey horse was knocked down to me.
    And now he's wandering, fat and sleek,
    On the lucerne flats by the Homestead Creek;
    I dare not ride him for fear he's fall,
    But he does a journey to beat them all,
    For though he scarcely a trot can raise,
    He can take me back to the droving days.
  15. I absolutely love this:

    Banjo Paterson

    I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
    Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
    He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
    Just `on spec', addressed as follows, `Clancy, of The Overflow'.

    And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
    (And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
    'Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
    `Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are.'

    In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
    Gone a-droving `down the Cooper' where the Western drovers go;
    As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
    For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

    And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
    In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
    And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
    And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars.

    I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
    Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
    And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
    Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all

    And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
    Of the tramways and the 'buses making hurry down the street,
    And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
    Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

    And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
    As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
    With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
    For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

    And I somehow rather fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
    Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
    While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal --
    But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of `The Overflow'.

  16. I just got this one in an email this morning,pressuming it originated in America by the wording?Tittled

    The Biker

    I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line.
    But, you didn't see me put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.

    I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk.
    But, you didn't see me, playing Santa at the local mall.

    I saw you change your mind about going into the restaurant.
    But, you didn't see me, attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief.

    I saw you, roll up your window and shake your head when I rode by.
    But, you didn't see me, riding behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.

    I saw you, frown at me when I smiled at your children.
    But, you didn't see me, when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.

    I saw you, stare at my long hair.
    But, you didn't see me, and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

    I saw you roll your eyes at our leather jackets and gloves.
    But, you didn't see me, and my brothers donate our old ones to those that had none.

    I saw you look in fright at my tattoos.
    But, you didn't see me, cry as my children were born and have their name written over and in my heart.

    I saw you, change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere.
    But, you didn't see me, going home to be with my family.

    I saw you, complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be.
    But, you didn't see me, when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.

    I saw you, yelling at your kids in the car.
    But, you didn't see me pat my child's hands, knowing he was safe behind me.

    I saw you, reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road.
    But, you didn't see me squeeze my wife's leg when she told me to take the next turn.

    I saw you, race down the road in the rain.
    But, you didn't see me, get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.

    I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time.
    But, you didn't see me, trying to turn right.

    I saw you, cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in.
    But, you didn't see me, leave the road.

    I saw you, waiting impatiently for my friends to pass.
    But, you didn't see me. I wasn't there.

    I saw you go home to your family.
    But, you didn't see me.

    Because, I died that day you cut me off.
    I was just a biker. A person with friends and a family

    But, you didn't see me.

  17. I wrote a poem for our wedding! :oops:
  18. prufrock.
  19. The boy stood upon the burning deck
    His pocket full of Crackers
    A spark flew down the front of his pants
    And blew off both his knackers :oops:

    Sorry here ya go, a bit of Kipling keeps me inspired.

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run --
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!
  20. The opening stanza from my ancestoral epic poem The Kalevala. It is so great that Tolkien stole it and called it "The Lord of the Rings!" This moves me as it connects me directly to people who populated Finland Pre Iron Age and before the Christians came, this is the english translation of the oral story as told.

    MASTERED by desire impulsive,
    By a mighty inward urging,
    I am ready now for singing,
    Ready to begin the chanting
    Of our nation's ancient folk-song
    Handed down from by-gone ages.
    In my mouth the words are melting,
    From my lips the tones are gliding,
    From my tongue they wish to hasten;
    When my willing teeth are parted,
    When my ready mouth is opened,
    Songs of ancient wit and wisdom
    Hasten from me not unwilling.

    My favourite bit is about beer!

    Finally the beer was ready,
    Beverage of noble heroes,
    Stored away in casks and barrels,
    There to rest awhile in silence,
    In the cellars of the Northland,
    In the copper-banded vessels,
    In the magic oaken hogsheads,
    Plugs and faucets made of copper.
    Then the hostess of Pohyola
    Skilfully prepared the dishes,
    Laid them all with careful fingers
    In the boiling-pans and kettles,
    Ordered countless loaves of barley,
    Ordered many liquid dishes,
    All the delicacies of Northland,
    For the feasting of her people,
    For their richest entertainment,
    For the nuptial songs and dances,
    At the marriage of her daughter
    With the blacksmith, Ilmarinen.