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Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon in front of them

Volley'd & thunder'd; 

Storm'd at with shot and shell,

Boldly they rode and well,

Into the jaws of Death, 

Into the mouth of Hell

Rode the six hundred. 



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I may or may not own multiple versions of this in book and audio form.

In non-Eliot verse, Louis McNiece's "The Sunlight on the Garden" and a whole heap of Ogden Nash with a special mention to:


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Oh when my love, my darling,
You’ve left me here alone,
I’ll walk the streets of London
Which once seemed all our own.
The vast suburban churches
Together we have found:
The ones which smelt of gaslight
The ones in incense drown’d;
I’ll use them now for praying in
And not for looking round.
No more the Hackney Empire
Shall find us in its stalls
When on the limelit crooner
The thankful curtain falls,
And soft electric lamplight
Reveals the gilded walls.

I will not go to Finsbury Park
The putting course to see
Nor cross the crowded High Road
To Williamsons’ to tea,
For these and all the other things
Were part of you and me.
I love you, oh my darling,
And what I can’t make out
Is why since you have left me
I’m somehow still about.


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I've never been big on poetry but I remember in high school buying a Leonard Cohen poetry book because.. I was a high school student and thought that's what I should do I guess? Regardless I remember the first one and namesake for the book clearly - for the ending mostly.


The book of longing


I can't make the hills 
The system is shot 
I'm living on pills 
For which I thank G-d
I followed the course
From chaos to art 
Desire the horse 
Depression the cart 
I sailed like a swan 
I sank like a rock 
But time is long gone 
Past my laughing stock 
My page was too white 
My ink was too thin 
The day wouldn't write 
What the night pencilled in 
My animal howls 
My angel's upset 
But I'm not allowed 
A trace of regret 
For someone will use 
What I couldn't be 
My heart will be hers 
She'll step on the path 
She'll see what I mean 
My will cut in half 
And freedom between 
For less than a second 
Our lives will collide 
The endless suspended 
The door open wide 
Then she will be born 
To someone like you 
What no one has done 
She'll continue to do 
I know she is coming 
I know she will look 
And that is the longing 
And this is the book


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Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, 
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, 
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs 
And towards our distant rest began to trudge. 
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots 
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; 
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots 
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling, 
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; 
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, 
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . . 
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, 
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. 
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, 
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. 
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace 
Behind the wagon that we flung him in, 
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, 
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; 
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood 
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, 
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, 
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory, 
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est 
Pro patria mori.

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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference





Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.




Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

I always really liked Robert Frost.

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    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar
    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
    Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
    Remember us-if at all-not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men.


    Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
    In death's dream kingdom
    These do not appear:
    There, the eyes are
    Sunlight on a broken column
    There, is a tree swinging
    And voices are
    In the wind's singing
    More distant and more solemn
    Than a fading star.
    Let me be no nearer
    In death's dream kingdom
    Let me also wear
    Such deliberate disguises
    Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
    In a field
    Behaving as the wind behaves
    No nearer-
    Not that final meeting
    In the twilight kingdom


    This is the dead land
    This is cactus land
    Here the stone images
    Are raised, here they receive
    The supplication of a dead man's hand
    Under the twinkle of a fading star.
    Is it like this
    In death's other kingdom
    Waking alone
    At the hour when we are
    Trembling with tenderness
    Lips that would kiss
    Form prayers to broken stone.


    The eyes are not here
    There are no eyes here
    In this valley of dying stars
    In this hollow valley
    This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
    In this last of meeting places
    We grope together
    And avoid speech
    Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
    Sightless, unless
    The eyes reappear
    As the perpetual star
    Multifoliate rose
    Of death's twilight kingdom
    The hope only
    Of empty men.

    Here we go round the prickly pear
    Prickly pear prickly pear
    Here we go round the prickly pear
    At five o'clock in the morning.

    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow
                                   Life is very long
    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

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By Siegfried Sassoon

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.




I FOUND him in the guard-room at the Base. 

From the blind darkness I had heard his crying 

And blundered in. With puzzled, patient face 

A sergeant watched him; it was no good trying 

To stop it; for he howled and beat his chest.        

And, all because his brother had gone west, 

Raved at the bleeding war; his rampant grief 

Moaned, shouted, sobbed, and choked, while he was kneeling 

Half-naked on the floor. In my belief 

Such men have lost all patriotic feeling. 


 Base Details


IF I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath, 

  I’d live with scarlet Majors at the Base, 

And speed glum heroes up the line to death. 

  You’d see me with my puffy petulant face, 

Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,        

  Reading the Roll of Honour. ‘Poor young chap,’ 

I’d say—‘I used to know his father well; 

  Yes, we’ve lost heavily in this last scrap.’ 

And when the war is done and youth stone dead, 

I’d toddle safely home and die—in bed. 


I do like me some Siegfried Sassoon.

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My mother gave me a copy of Where The Sidewalk Ends when I was a kid. I still have it today. After my dog and a box I keep my important paperwork in, I think it's the next thing I'd grab if my house caught on fire.


It's not really my "favorite", but it's the only one I can and do recite from memory. I have taken to using "zugg" as a verb on the job to describe when somebody ends up making more work for me/themselves/everybody.


This one would probably be my favorite.

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