BLTC Press Titles

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle

The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

The Bhagavad Gita


The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

Fairies and Fusiliers

by Robert Graves


By Fricourt and by Festubert,

By whipping rain, by the sun's glare,

By all the misery and loud sound,

By a Spring day,

By Picard clay.

Show me the two so closely bound
As we, by the red bond of blood,
By friendship, blossoming from mud,
By Death: we faced him, and we found
Beauty in Death,
In dead men breath.

To Robert Nichols

(From Frise on the Somme in February, 1917, in answer to a letter saying: "I am just finishing my 'Faun's Holiday.' I wish you were here to feed him with cherries.")

Here by a snowbound river
In scrapen holes we shiver,
And like old bitterns we
Boom to you plaintively:
Robert, how can I rhyme
Verses for your desire —
Sleek fauns and cherry-time,
Vague music and green trees,
Hot soft and gentle breeze,
England in June attire,
And life born young again,
For your gay goatish brute
Drunk with warm melody
Singing on beds of thyme

With red and rolling eye,
Waking with wanton lute
All the Devonian plain,
Lips dark with juicy stain,
Ears hung with bobbing fruit?
Why should I keep him time?
Why in this cold and rime,
Where even to dream is pain?
No, Robert, there's no reason:
Cherries are out of season,
Ice grips at branch and root,
And singing birds are mute.

Dead Cow Farm

An ancient saga tells us how
In the beginning the First Cow
(For nothing living yet had birth
But Elemental Cow on earth)
Began to lick cold stones and mud:
Under her warm tongue flesh and blood
Blossomed, a miracle to believe:
And so was Adam born, and Eve.
Here now is chaos once again,
Primeval mud, cold stones and rain.
Here flesh decays and blood drips red,
And the Cow's dead, the old Cow's dead.

Goliath and David

(for D. C. Tm Killed At FriCourt,
March, 1916.)

Yet once an earlier David took
Smooth pebbles from the brook:
Out between the lines he went
To that one-sided tournament,
A shepherd boy who stood out fine
And young to fight a Philistine
Clad all in brazen mail. He swears
That he's killed lions, he's killed bears,
And those that scorn the God of Zion
Shall perish so like bear or lion.
But ... the historian of that fight
Had not the heart to tell it right.

Striding within javelin range,
Goliath marvels at this strange

Goodly-faced boy so proud of strength.

David's clear eye measures the length;

With hand thrust back, he cramps one knee,

Poises a moment thoughtfully,

And hurls with a long vengeful swing.

The pebble, humming from the sling

Like a wild bee, flies a sure line

For the forehead of the Philistine;

Then • • • but there comes a brazen clink,

And quicker than a man can think

Goliath's shield parries each cast.

Clang! clang I and clang I was David's last.

Scorn blazes in the Giant's eye,

Towering unhurt six cubits high.

Says foolish David, "Damn your shield 1

And damn my sling! but I'll not yield."

He takes his staff of Mamre oak,

A knotted shepherd-staff that's broke

The skull of many a wolf and fox

Come filching lambs from Jesse's flocks.

Loud laughs Goliath, and that laugh

Can scatter chariots like blown chaff

To rout; but David, calm and brave,

Holds his ground, for God will save.

Steel crosses wood, a flash, and oh I

Shame for beauty's overthrow I

(God's eyes are dim, His ears are shut.)

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