The Bear Hunt – Abraham Lincoln

A wild-bear chace, didst never see? 

Then hast thou lived in vain. 

Thy richest bump of glorious glee, 

Lies desert in thy brain. 
When first my father settled here, 

‘Twas then the frontier line: 

The panther’s scream, filled night with fear 

And bears preyed on the swine. 
But wo for Bruin’s short lived fun, 

When rose the squealing cry; 

Now man and horse, with dog and gun, 

For vengeance, at him fly. 
A sound of danger strikes his ear; 

He gives the breeze a snuff; 

Away he bounds, with little fear, 

And seeks the tangled rough. 
On press his foes, and reach the ground, 

Where’s left his half munched meal; 

The dogs, in circles, scent around, 

And find his fresh made trail. 
With instant cry, away they dash, 

And men as fast pursue; 

O’er logs they leap, through water splash, 

And shout the brisk halloo. 
Now to elude the eager pack, 

Bear shuns the open ground; 

Th[r]ough matted vines, he shapes his track 

And runs it, round and round. 
The tall fleet cur, with deep-mouthed voice, 

Now speeds him, as the wind; 

While half-grown pup, and short-legged fice, 

Are yelping far behind. 
And fresh recruits are dropping in 

To join the merry corps: 

With yelp and yell,–a mingled din– 

The woods are in a roar. 
And round, and round the chace now goes, 

The world’s alive with fun; 

Nick Carter’s horse, his rider throws, 

And more, Hill drops his gun. 
Now sorely pressed, bear glances back, 

And lolls his tired tongue; 

When as, to force him from his track, 

An ambush on him sprung. 
Across the glade he sweeps for flight, 

And fully is in view. 

The dogs, new-fired, by the sight, 

Their cry, and speed, renew. 
The foremost ones, now reach his rear, 

He turns, they dash away; 

And circling now, the wrathful bear, 

They have him full at bay. 
At top of speed, the horse-men come, 

All screaming in a row, 

“Whoop! Take him Tiger. Seize him Drum.” 

Bang,–bang–the rifles go. 
And furious now, the dogs he tears, 

And crushes in his ire, 

Wheels right and left, and upward rears, 

With eyes of burning fire. 
But leaden death is at his heart, 

Vain all the strength he plies. 

And, spouting blood from every part, 

He reels, and sinks, and dies. 
And now a dinsome clamor rose, 

‘Bout who should have his skin; 

Who first draws blood, each hunter knows, 

This prize must always win. 
But who did this, and how to trace 

What’s true from what’s a lie, 

Like lawyers, in a murder case 

They stoutly argufy. 
Aforesaid fice, of blustering mood, 

Behind, and quite forgot, 

Just now emerging from the wood, 

Arrives upon the spot. 
With grinning teeth, and up-turned hair– 

Brim full of spunk and wrath, 

He growls, and seizes on dead bear, 

And shakes for life and death. 
And swells as if his skin would tear, 

And growls and shakes again; 

And swears, as plain as dog can swear, 

That he has won the skin. 
Conceited whelp! we laugh at thee– 

Nor mind, that now a few 

Of pompous, two-legged dogs there be, 

Conceited quite as you.

Memory – Abraham Lincoln

MY childhood’s home I see again, 

And sadden with the view; 

And still, as memory crowds my brain, 

There’s pleasure in it, too. 
O memory! thou midway world 

‘Twixt earth and paradise, 

Where things decayed and loved ones lost 

In dreamy shadows rise, 
And, freed from all that’s earthly, vile, 

Seem hallowed, pure and bright, 

Like scenes in some enchanted isle 

All bathed in liquid light. 
As dusky mountains please the eye 

When twilight chases day; 

As bugle notes that, passing by, 

In distance die away; 
As, leaving some grand waterfall, 

We, lingering, list its roar- 

So memory will hallow all 

We’ve known but know no more. 
Near twenty years have passed away 

Since here I bid farewll 

To woods and fields, and scenes of play, 

And playmates loved so well. 
Where many were, but few remain 

Of old familiar things, 

But seeing them to mind again 

The lost and absent brings. 
The friends I left that parting day, 

How changed, as time has sped! 

Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray; 

And half of all are dead. 
I hear the loved survivors tell 

How nought from death could save, 

Till every sound appear a knell 

And every spot a grave. 
I range the fields with pensive tread, 

And pace the hollow rooms, 

And feel (companion of the dead) 

I’m living in the tombs. 

Poem – The Swan Flies Away – Kabir 

The Swan Will Fly Away All Alone, 
Spectacle of the World Will Be a Mere Fair 

As the Leaf Falls from the Tree 

Is Difficult to Find 

Who Knows Where it Will Fall 

Once it is Struck with a Gust Of Wind 

When Life Span is Complete 

Then Listening to Orders, Following Others, Will Be Over 

The Messengers of Yama are Very Strong 

It’s an Entanglement with the Yama 

Servant Kabir Praises the Attributes of the Lord 

He Finds the Lord Soon 

Guru Will Go According to His Doings 

The Disciple According to His!

Poem – The Bhakti Path – Kabir 

The bhakti path winds in a delicate way. 

On this path there is no asking and no not asking. 

The ego simply disappears the moment you touch 

him. 

The joy of looking for him is so immense that you 

just dive in, 

and coast around like a fish in the water. 

If anyone needs a head, the lover leaps up to offer 

his.

Poem – The Unrung Ring – Taslima Nasrin 

So many things ring, 

the cells of the body, 

the ankle bells as they dance, 

the silver wrist bangles. 

As the monsoon rains fall on the window 

the glass panes musically ring. 

As clouds clash with clouds 

lightning rings out. 

Dreams ring, keeping time to their beats, 

and, making a havoc internally, 

loneliness rings. 

Only an intimate bell on my door does not ring.

Poem – The Woman Breaking Bricks – Taslima Nasrin

The woman, breaking bricks and sitting on a sidewalk, 

wears a red sari as she breaks the bricks, under the burning sun, breaks the bricks, 

the bronze coloured woman breaks the bricks. 

Twenty-one? But she has seven children back home, looks forty up, 

and all day for ten taka, not enough to buy food for one, let alone seven, 

she breaks the brick. every day, breaks the bricks. 
Seated beside her, resting under an umbrella, a man is breaking bricks, 

all day long breaking bricks, 

a shaded man who earns twenty a day breaking the bricks. 

Of what does he dream, the man breaking the bricks, 

the man sitting under an umbrella, breaking the bricks? 
And of what does she dream, the woman breaking the bricks? 

She has a dream, a dream of having an umbrella, 

of breaking the bricks veiled from the sun, 

of becoming a man one fine morning, 

earning double for breaking the bricks. 
Her dream is her dream, 

but in the morning she is still a woman breaking the bricks, 

no umbrella, not even a torn one, breaking the bricks under the burning sun. 
New roads and tall towers are built with the bricks she broke, 

but the roof on her house was blown away in last year’s storm, 

the water drips through her tent, and she has a dream about buying a tin roof. 
Her dream is her dream, 

but in the morning her tent is soaked with water. 

So she shouts out to her neighbors, to the world, 

I have a dream, I have a dream. But still no umbrella, still no tin roof. 
Look, neighbors spit on her and say, her seven children are hungry, 

she needs oil for her hair, powder for her face! 

Her skin colour darkens daily, 

her fingers harden, harden like the bricks they are breaking. 
So with her hammer she continues, continues breaking the bricks, 

becoming herself a brick, a brick that cannot be broken 

by the sun’s heat, an underfed stomach, a dreaming heart.