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Rhyme and reason


Ed O'Hagan
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THE MOUNTAIN AND THE SQUIRREL

The mountain and the squirrel

Had a quarrel,

And the former called the latter

“Little prig.”

Bun replied,

“You are doubtless very big;

But all sorts of things and weather

Must be taken in together

To make up a year

And a sphere.

And I think it no disgrace

To occupy my place.

If I'm not so large as you,

You are not so small as I,

And not half so spry:

I'll not deny you make

A very pretty squirrel track.

Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;

If I cannot carry forests on my back,

Neither can you crack a nut."

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

****************

IF

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!

by Rudyard Kipling

*************************

Six Wise Men of Hindustan

There were six men of Hindustan,

to learning much inclined,

Who went to see an elephant,

though all of them were blind,

That each by observation

might satisfy his mind.

The first approached the elephant,

and happening to fall

Against his broad and sturdy side,

at once began to bawl,

"This mystery of an elephant

is very like a wall."

The second, feeling of the tusk,

cried, "Ho, what have we here,

So very round and smooth and sharp?

To me 'tis mighty clear,

This wonder of an elephant

is very like a spear."

The third approached the elephant,

and happening to take

The squirming trunk within his hands,

thus boldly up and spake,

"I see," quoth he,

"the elephant is very like a snake."

The fourth reached out an eager hand,

and felt above the knee,

"What this most wondrous beast

is like is very plain" said he,

"'Tis clear enough the elephant

is very like a tree."

The fifth who chanced to touch the ear

said, "E'en the blindest man

Can tell what this resembles most;

deny the fact who can;

This marvel of an elephant

is very like a fan."

The sixth no sooner had begun

about the beast to grope,

Than seizing on the swinging tail

that fell within his scope;

"I see," said he, "the elephant

is very like a rope."

So six blind men of Hindustan

disputed loud and long,

Each in his own opinion

exceeding stiff and strong;

Though each was partly in the right,

they all were in the wrong!

by John Godfrey Sachs

Audio on and mellowing out to :

http://mit.midco.net/deepow3/ziplo-blueeyes.html

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