Sometimes the key to growing up is staying young at heart. These inventive and touching stories imagine unsuspecting friendships and clever innovations, while capturing the joy and sadness universal to all. Travel with the whole family to Brazil, the moon, and even your own backyard in this lively and heartwarming collection of stories.
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Works range from new student work to Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated shorts, represented by noted studios like Cartoon Saloon and Google Spotlight Stories. Penny, a fearless young girl learning to dive, is unperturbed by a talented diver who keeps stealing the spotlight. Jeremy Collins, South Africa , 5 min. Share in this heart-warming journey as Tiana and her classmates struggle to survive a coming-of-age ritual experienced by every Australian child.
Olivia Peniston-Bird, Australia , 9 min. When Duck moves in next door to the reclusive Pig, he learns not only how to become friends, but how to build bridges. Exploring timely topics through music, this song broaches all the different types of families, welcoming us all to practice kindness and cheer. Johnny Kelly, USA , 2 min. A small mouse relies on his cleverness and his friends to make his crazy dream of flying with swallows come true.
From South Korea to Israel, with stops in the Bay Area, take in an exciting collection of ideas, genres, styles, and new voices in this collection of short films made entirely by youth. Sit back and hold tight, you are about to experience the beginning of a cinematic revolution. Two runaways grapple with the pangs of missing home and the unbearable burden of total freedom.
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A tapioca pearl refuses the fate of its peers and goes on the adventure of a lifetime to save itself from peril. Olive E. A young woman faces the tough choice between what tradition expects of her and her punk artist lifestyle. Change, while painful, might ultimately be best. A young couple deals with the denial of their love in a world that continues to shut out those who are different. A recent high-school graduate recollects simple pleasures from her childhood before she moves away for college. This is a Cinema by the Bay film.
Explore the complex issues behind ocean pollution through the views of both youths and professionals alike, learning about the causes, effects, and harms of oceanic pollution. Julian Jordan, USA , 12 min. There is no doubt that the world is cruel and corrupt. One evening Philip gets another proof of this. Daria Litvichenko, Russian Federation , 4 min. A nonfiction short that takes on the ever-troubling social issue of sexual harassment, the MeToo movement, and what it means to love and respect each other.
An eyeball living inside the walls of a house watches over a father and son who anxiously face the end of the world. Theo Taplitz, USA , 7 min. Felony convictions derailed the lives of the San Quentin Prison squad, some of them promising players. Nine-year-old Jo loves Jackie Chan and action movies, and dreams of becoming a superhero herself, despite her terminal diagnosis.
Just here what a company of Gods and mermaids and sea-boys along with the old Mother of Earth somewhere down in the bottom of the ocean! Greek and Teutonic mythology curiously blended : possibly the whole is Apple- seed's own combination, set off with gleams of romantic fancy. Another question cannot be suppressed : What is the underlying significance of this little phan tasmagoric parade? Something more than what is said on the surface cunningly beckons from beneath these aqueous images water being the formable, ever-forming, never-formed.
It must be confessed that Appleseed has a mystical, yea mystifying thread woven through his being, which he sometimes lets run its own course, causing no little perplexity to the reader. For ourselves, we have our guess as to who was this youth sinking to the bottom of the waters," and we think we know the beautiful daughter whom he seized there and carried upward ; but we shall be silent, we might be laughed at.
The thing continu ally grows over his head, and he gets lost in the very wheat-field which he started out to reap, and is unable to harvest the grain. In the deep sea of the Past, into which Appleseed keeps diving, the editor often cannot touch bottom, and so fails to find the pearl, or perchance the beautiful daughter, who dwells down there in maidenly bliss at the home of her mother, the old Mother of Earth. What with oriental wisdom, Greek poetry and philos ophy, medieval and modern lore, each of which now and then sends a little flash into Appleseed' s horizon, the burden has become too heavy for these editorial shoulders.
To this confession, candid enough to soften the heart of the most exacting reader, it may be added that the above ballad is set in an amatory frame-work, which is frequently employed by Appleseed. The lover, after divine intercession and persuasion, seeks and obtains the object of his love, she being also a divinity of some kind. But why this supernatural cast given to every thing? Why these sea-marvels defying the canons of common experience? Again the editor runs upon his limit. Permit him to ask one more question : May there not be some ideal element here which the real world cannot represent?
But enough of this riddle; here goes another handful of versicles. Old Homer shows a young face to the boy, And gives him in love a beautiful toy ; But to the full grown man He reveals God's plan. Seize the present occasion, Make the poem to fit : To-day is the whole of creation, Hath the eternal in it. The world is the source, But the world is coarse, He who handles must know it; The world to refine To a musical line Is what makes the maker a poet. Poesy seems to have come into straits, Though thousands of suitors sing at her gates ; In spite of addresses which to her are paid, The Muse remains still a widow or e'en an old maid.
Look around! But hark! Is that the soft sound of a flute? Naught but the sickliest sweetish toot ; Skimmed milk, though well sugared, makes na ture revolt, Even tears, to be tears, cannot do without salt. List once more! I have heard him, too, higgle-piggle in verses, Till Parnassus blazed forth a volcano of curses. Yes, I opine, all men must agree, Poesy now has gone on a nocturnal spree, And is making out of itself a charivari, As if it were going the tom-tom to marry ; So let us dance to the beat of the big horse- fiddle, And sing to the tune of hey-diddle-diddle.
I see by all that the poets have sung, Who stand at the top, That the brain must also have some dung, To raise its crop. Why he took the pen in hand One could never understand; When he set himself to think, He never failed to spill the ink. That the sense be rendered worse, And too the nonsense ranker, We rhyme now all blank verse To make it a little blanker. Let loose the Lord into the world, That all may find who search; Too long has he been kept a thrall Inside the high-walled church.
And though the priests will fight To keep him in their might, To secularize the Lord Is now the poet's word. It is just to see the bad, Far juster to see the good ; The first alone will make us mad, The second binds our brotherhood. The knowledge that doth come with age Should turn to wisdom of the sage ; The sharper for wrong becomes our sight, The sharper it should become for right. You can hear men pray, " More light," While the Sun is shining bright; What they need is, more sight.
Self must be seen as the one That stands in the way Of the heavenly ray ; Egoism shuts out the Sun. Dost thou know The Earth was once below, And Heaven far above Beyond the reach of knowledge or of love? But see the turn, another path is given On which we go, And now we know The Earth is too in heaven And cannot move from under its celestial dome, While we can run away from home.
Providence is a good business man, Much besought, he will not change his plan ; In his store, what you pray for, If you get, you must pay for. The Lord once gave a toy To man while yet a boy, Saying, " I shall give thee a sum to do ; Thou knowest, one and one make two ; A deeper mathematician thou must be, For now thou art to see How one and one make three, And rising out of difference There comes a higher sense Which brings the world to unity.
The tower of Babel We are building anew, No longer a fable It rises to view, No longer a means to scatter the race, For now it unites them into one place ; And the confusion of tongues is beginning to preach The oneness of man in the oneness of speech. A little more treasure, A little less pleasure, Friend, among thy assets; You cannot make a loan, But you must pay your own the Lord demands his debts.
You may notice that Providence Is himself at times on the fence; But when once he gets down, he is strong, For he takes the fence, too, along; If afterwards any one wishes to ride, There is no fence in between to bestride. Will Providence side with the biggest gun, I wonder?
Then I defy him. Or will the biggest gun as Providence thunder? Then I shall try him ; Heard in the roar of the battle fought and won, Providence himself is the big gun. Tell me the way through the wood? The way to the good end is good, The way to the bad end is bad, Bad way to good end is sad, Though at times thou have to take it ; Good way to bad end is mad, My advice is, always forsake it ; Now even if thou hast well understood, It is left to thyself to get out of the wood.
Evidently he has pondered a good deal over verse-making, for he devotes to it a number of lines, didactic and caustic, lauda tory and damnatory, in which the keen-sighted reader may detect Appleseed secretly writing a commentary on Appleseed, and thus delve underneath these notes of Theophilus Middling, who by the necessity of nature skims along the surface.
In the preceding batch of rhymes it will also be observed that a biblical vein has begun to show itself in the chanting wanderer; he turns a Semitic stream into his garden, flowing with parable, apologue, proverb, legend, all of which have a certain Hebrew tinge derived from Sacred Writ. But it is clear that Appleseed, though possessing faith and religiosity, is not denomina tional; he, with that limit-transcending spirit of his, cannot bear the limits of a sect; he feels the incarceration and starts at once to chafing against and rattling the chains till he somehow slips them over his hands and is off in a trice.
At this point we may catch one of his winged say ings, as it comes floating hitherward like a butterfly on its airy flight : I like to read in the book of the Lord By flashes of lightning, Whenever I feel the tethering word Around me tightening. A moment's attention we would like to call to the last verse No. This question is fundamental for comprehending the great poets, especially Homer and Shakespeare.
Ought Penelope to have deceived the suitors? Was Ulysses justi fied in his craft toward Polyphemus,Circe, in fine, toward the whole world? Everywhere in the works of Shakespeare rises the interrogation: Does the end ever justify the means? One play All's Well That Ends Well is a kind of dramatic teeter, up and down go the two sides in a see-saw, and at the termination they are left hanging in a dubious equilibrium.
So Appleesed takes his tilt at the troublesome question. We think that we have at this juncture a piece of good news to impart to the reader. He had been reading in a prairie town some of these rhymes of Appleseed, accompany ing them here and there with a few illustrative remarks, when' a gentleman in a well-worn coat, with a high forehead and a somewhat weary eye, pushed through the audience at the conclusion of the remarks, and spoke with features lighting up from a pale, ashen background: " I have some of Appleseed's poems; would you like to see them?
What obligations the editor is under to the erudite professor, the rest of the present book will show on many a page. Inquiry was duly made about the scope and pur pose of such an unusual enterprise, wherein we shall let the professor speak for himself. I heard him chant one of his refrains and in an instant I thought of my favorite Horace ; soon after he alluded by name to Homer in one of his quatrains, whereat I inferred that there must be something more in the man than what appeared on the surface.
He glanced over a number of the books, I showed him some rare old editions of the classics, but he seemed to get a headache, he said the air of the library stifled him, and forth he went. But on parting I asked him to give me certain verses of his which I had heard and which appeared to be derived from the ancients, inasmuch as my curi osity was aroused at finding traces of learning in such a wandering mendicant, for such he seemed in outward look. He said that he rarely or never committed anything of his to writing ; it came with the mood and went with the mood. Still I succeeded in catching many a line on the wing and set it down upon paper.
One of them afterward told the editor that the old singer " had the power of giving them some relief from the strait-coat of academic training, and of bring ing into their lives the broad sweep of the prairie and the free air of Heaven.
I kept jotting them down out of curiosity, till quite a little collection, amounting to three or four dozen, had grown on my hands in a random sort of fashion. Reading over these one day, I observed a certain connection with the past ; they assumed the form of fleeting shreds of old sentences which I had seen in print, and which still flitted enticingly through the halls of memory. I took down my volumes and began to explore with some degree of thoroughness. What was my surprise! I had previously noticed coincidences with this and that poet of antiquity but I regarded them as merely accidental ; now, however, I found a chain of thoughts, images, even words running back to Europe, to Greece, even to the Orient.
In what university, I wonder? I became much interested in the man. I went out to search for him in order to keep him with me till I had extracted still larger stores of his erudi tion. He evidently intended to make a complete edition with learned annotations. Still he was not daunted, with eagerness he grasps for what floating gossamers he can find in the sun light of Hardscrabble.
Thus he continues : " After the first discouragement which came from the thought that the spirit had been at my door and I had not recognized it, I went forth and sought those students with whom Appleseed had been in closest intercourse. From them I obtained some copies of verses which were not in my store, and gathered little bits of informa tion concerning the man himself ; moreover I could not help noticing what an influence he had exercised upon the students, sometimes not in harmony with university precedents.
After gather ing a few versicles from an old farmer who had heard and treasured them, I gave up the pursuit, and came back to my library, which I had sorely missed. Here among my books I find many vestiges of this humble versifier, which seem to run through the ages and connect them together. Thus learning links man with his past, and uni fies the products of all time. He is the erudite man whose delight is to gather knowl edge by means of the written word transmit ted from periods long since vanished. We may expect, therefore, that he will bring his special skill to bear upon the present commentary by way of explaining obscure allusions and throwing the light of his vast information upon recondite passages.
Already the editor feels a great weight lifted from his shoulders. If he can bring it about, the Professor will accompany us henceforth unto the end. Then is the macrocosm overwrought Into the microcosm's thought, And the hapless halved soul Becomes a healed whole. Minerva in words of the sages I sought, And found her there, at least so I thought ; Still I know not what she had stated In spite of my years, Till her wisdom she illustrated By a box on the ears. Myself I commanded, But I did not obey; Look! Here I am stranded, For how can I get now away?
Borrow all thou canst from the Past, To the Future's account set it down Then thy funds will certainly last Till thou get out of town. Read this wisdom writ on my back with a scourge In red letters of blood, And thou wilt know the Doctor's omnipotent purge Which turns evil to good.
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Of thine own prison wouldst be freed? Get thee rid of thy narrow deed. For the soul's fetter which is most strong, Is to have done a wrong. If the sower sows his hate, His harvest will be great ; The very weeds no longer stop, But help the crop. Why laughs the man beyond his measure, So very loud, so very?
Set Righteous Goals
He is not happy in his pleasure, He is too merry. The air we breathe, it will not lie, The braying of the poet's ass, forsooth, It will not turn to melody, Or call that sound the Muses' sigh: The air we breathe has in it truth. Thou art not yet so very old, Yet far too old to blame ; First let thy hottest word grow cold, And then go on the same.
He who befouls himself with ink and pen, Will always have to wear the blot ; No crystal stream from mountain glen Will ever make him clean again, E'en though his body die and rot ; And so he wanders down the distant ages With that ugly stain upon his pages. What is Gentile, what is Jew? Seek to unknow it, if you ever knew. Thou must be what thou art, Thou canst not be another, But thou wilt show thy highest part By helping thy brother be brother.
If yourself you do not obey, You are of rebels the first; If yourself you do not command, You are of slaves the worst. I must forgive your wrong, forget it too, But the one who should not forget it, is you, Some think that if they decry you, They make themselves sought; But if they in blindness deny you, They make themselves nought. If it be dry to-day, To-morrow will be the other way ; If the season be too wet, don't fear That the world is getting out of gear; The account will be squared next year, Or perchance year after next. So hearken to the ancient text : Be it dry or be it wet, The weather '11 always pay its debt.
When the wind blows out the North, Within I seek the hearth; When the wind blows out the South, I shrivel with the drouth ; When the wind blows out the East, I feel myself the least ; When the wind blows out the West, I know I am the best. Let every wind now blow, blow, blow, Round all the world I go, go, go. If the Heavens fall, That hurts all ; If you do the right, That helps them stand in might; If you do the right with love, The Heavens will surely stay above.
Yesterday is but a thought, See it clear, with wisdom fraught ; Up! If you hear A clap of thunder On a winter's day, Do not fear Or stop in wonder, But to the rumble say Summer is not far away. Tell me not that he limits hath, Show me not his compass small, I know within his narrow path He can be all. An old saying doth say, He cannot command Who never has learned to obey. Let the saying stand, As well it may. Whoever unto himself is a pander, Can neither soldier be nor commander. But the Great will shrivel at once to a tittle, If the soul that sees it can see but the Little ; Until by itself it be sized, It never is recognized.
For others to recognize you, I know, Is your just fruition ; For you to recognize others, though, Is your best recognition. Very helpful is now the company of Professor Brazennose, whose comments upon some of the foregoing passages we shall cite : " When Apple- seed speaks of matutinal knowledge, he shows some acquaintance with the Schoolmen, whose cognitio matutina plays a somewhat important part in medieval philosophy, as it came from the brain of Aquinas.
The German mystic, Jacob Boehme, weaves also a streak of morning-red through the darkness of his writings. It will be recollected that Faust bids the scholar to rise and bathe in the rejuvenating influences of the dawn. Appleseed in these two verses Nos. The mighty luminary seems to hold the life-giving power, putting to sleep and waking to fresh vigor all nature. Also a healing gift it possesses, making whole " the halved soul," afflicted with the deep dualism of existence, and cut to pieces by the analytic dissecting knife of the present time.
In another brief lay Appleseed has ex pressed his strong affinity with the Sun. Hegel, however, seems not to have been enamored of the maxim; he says: Fiat justitia ought never to have mat coelum as its consequence. In like manner Anacharsis Clootz thought that liberty was so precious a boon that the whole human race should be sacri ficed in order to obtain it ; where, then, would be liberty? And if the Heavens fell, where would be justice?
It arose when the chief argument for any important proposition had to be derived from Scripture. A democratic or even socialistic tinge we note in it ; the primitive condition of man was equality in labor. Many forms of the saying were current in Europe. The Emperor Maximilian's jester is declared to have made the German couplet, which has a simi lar purport. Burke has cited the allusion to a sermon by one John Ball, a priest who preached from this text to Wat Tyler's rebels at Black- heath.
Wisdom, I find, has ever been one, Though it may show all changes, As round the world it ranges ; 'Tis like the ever-patient Sun, Repeating over and over his ray, Outpouring each moment the golden day, Else even the wise man would wander astray, And stumble about in the night, For if he have no light What is the good of his sight? That the sun rose long ago, I well can imagine, is so; That he often has risen since We have a goodly number of hints ; But now, for thy souls's sake, pray May be rise again in new splendor to-day.
Many a woman and some few men Have wished to make me over again, And do aright what the Lord hath done amiss ; I should be that and I should be this, Always what I am not And never can be, Else I were not the owner of me.
Truly it is very sad, Whatever is of me, is bad, Or hid under one big blot, And all that is seen of me is the spot. Not what I am, but what I am not, If you are eager to seek, Every day of the week You may find much evil ; Not where the Lord is, but where he is not, If you carefully search, Even inside of the church, You will find the Devil.
Because it fits snugly The shoe is so ugly. Whether or not you have his name, The man remains the same; If his deeds refuse to tell him, The alphabet will never spell him. The eye was begotten a sun-seer, Else it could never see the light ; The soul was begotten a God-seer, Else it could never see the right. He is aware that wisdom is as old as the world, is indeed but the right knowledge of the world, and cannot vary much in substance, though its forms show great diversity. Originality consists not in novel caprices, but in giving new life to old truth.
Professor Brazennose, himself a dil igent student of the ancient sages, has expressed strong approval of these thoughts of Appleseed No. A learned man will naturally see much in the lore of the Past. If we catch the spirit of the succeeding lines No. Some people had wished to make Appleseed over again preposterous thought! Probably in pure kindness of heart they desired him to be something else not this home less wanderer, not this planter of seeds, not this singer of versicles.
But on the whole, it is bet ter to take him as he is, and not as he is not. So at this point he gets a little splenetic at some good, well-wishing persons, and affirms strongly his right of individuality. Had he been other wise, let the sympathizing reader reflect that these rhymes would never have existed. It is known that he repeated it often, wrought it over into diverse shapes, and even would add sometimes a word of comment a thing which he usually disdained.
The result is that more copies of this verse have reached the editor than of any other. We have heard it re hearsed orally, we have seen it written in various localities, it has also been printed. Naturally so many different means of transmission have led to differences of text ; it has had the fate of the manuscript of classical authors. For example some copies read created instead of begotten in the first line, and we have seen two instances in which the sentence starts as follows : If the eye had been, etc. Other small diversities of lection we have found current among the people, who, while preserving, change all that they touch.
Professor Brazennose, with the painstaking ac curacy of the scholar, has noted all these various readings, but we shall have to pass them by in the presence of weightier matters. As might be expected, the commentators have pitched upon these four lines as a great field requiring the most elaborate fertilization through the manure of erudition.
In the form of jottings and marginal glosses we possess the remarks of several anonymous interpreters who have been stirred in the depths by the thought which they have drawn out of this simple solitary verse. Particularly a passage in the Sixth Book of the Republic, which speaks of vision in connection with the sun, would seem to have set the thought spinning on its way down Time. The question rises before me, Did Appleseed know Greek? What else is the meaning of Virgil's well-known Est Deus in nobis? It is the gift of heaven to be able to see heaven, and only he can find God who shares in God.
Now the question rises, did Appleseed know Latin? He shows it re-appearing in the grand army of Platonizers everywhere and at all times, a most distinguished set of men bearing the ideal palladium and transmitting it to the future. There is the Platonic contingent of the Christian Fathers, the Platonic renascence of Florence in the 15th century, of Cambridge in the 17th, of Germany in the 19th; especially there is the American renascence of Plato on the soil of Illi nois, with headquarters at Jacksonville, under the leadership of Dr.
Jones, which our Professor very properly wheels into line with the great world-movement springing from the Attic philosopher. All of these are made to perform some duty by way of illustrating the verse in hand. They are by an anonymous hand, not quite as definite as we would like them; but as they are written, not by an enthusiastic Platonist, but by an ardent Aristotelian, they ought not to be suppressed. Here is the keen sword-thrust of the Stagyrite, the most penetrating as well as the most sweeping spirit born in Time.
Says he in his ISumma: There must be a similitude of the thing known in the knower as if it were a certain form of himself quasi qucedam forma ipsins. So also in many other passages of his work. When the fact came out, the editor could not conceal his astonishment, but spoke of it to a friend who is learned in the great poets of the world. What was his reply?
From Homer to Goethe it runs as a cardinal principle through all lofty poetry. In the Iliad there are the two worlds, upper and lower, from which flow two streams, celestial and terrestrial, both of which have to unite at last and become harmonious. The God within the man and the God without the man are the two sides which fuse and become one in the Homeric hero when he beholds a divine appear ance.
The poet shows Ulysses seeing the God dess Pallas when she is already inside his soul. Achilles too must be ' a God-seer ' even in the top of his wrath, ere he can see the right. Indeed he has a little poem of four lines in the rhymed Xenia, which, I should con jecture, Appleseed must have known. Goethe himself has called these lines the ' words of an old mystic,' possibly alluding to Plotinus, whom he is known to have read.
At this point the editor will have to cut short these comments which threaten a veritable deluge. What would be the size of the present book, if each verse were to receive as much annotation as this one? The reader, however, may find some satisfaction in the preceding exegesis by observ ing that Appleseed, the wandering singer of the Western Prairies, is connected, by instinct or by learning or by both, with the stream of all cult ure, philosophic and poetic ; that he is, spiritually, the product of his whole race, sprung not simply of his own time and his environment, but rather of all times and environments.
He is on a line with Plato and Aristotle, with Homer and Goethe ; it took them all and many more to make him. The above had been written, and, as was thought, closed forever, when the editor's eye fell upon the jottings of the publisher's taster, to whom allusion has already been made. The desire of having the present commentary as complete as possible, reflecting many, if not all sides of the subject, compels the insertion of a few sentences emanating from that gentleman: "Wonderful expositors I Thus they seek to expound a little verse by the crazy peripatetic, Johnny Appleseed, who never read Plato and Aristotle, never read anything probably of liter ature, in spite of that library carried around in his fiddle bag.
What a forcing, straining, stretching, to make something out of nothing! They have blown up the petty doggerel like an india-rubber balloon, pumping more and more wind into it, till they have expanded it to the size of a mountain inclosed in a thin, circumambient film of a bubble. Draw near and touch it; behold, it explodes and vanishes into air again, whence it came. It is interesting to see him on the rampage, when he paws dirt like a mad bull and flings it upwards, the most of it falling back upon his own head again.
He never thought of all these meanings which are foisted upon him. What an impertinence to the public to ask it to peruse such stuff! But the book will never sell. To the whole business I say Anathema Maranatha. Appleseed had met this man before he was born, and had read his writings ' before they were written. The result is a num ber of verses which pertain just to the subject in hand, namely, the criticaster in literature.
No doubt there is a personal tinge to these verses; Appleseed must have foreseen or forefelt the roasting which he was to get from the publish er's taster and from the whole species to which the latter belongs. So the old fellow whips out his toasting-iron and blazes away right and left, striking blue sparks which leave a decided odor of brimstone in the surrounding atmosphere. For Appleseed, in spite of angelic characteris tics, has in him a demonic element also, like most mortals; he will fight, especially the battles of the Lord.
Hereafter we shall see him taking part in the Civil War, and actually showing fire arms in the front rank at Missionary Ridge, where he stood on the ridge as a missionary with weapons of persuasive eloquence, speaking in tongues of flame. Whomever the pygmy cannot take under His own little brain-pan, He deems an insane man, Or, it may be, his foe, Whom he will then overthrow Just by a wee clap of the tiniest thunder.
But now only look at the apeling! What antics of pygmean pleasure, As he whips his tape string For the man he can measure I What is the oldest news? It is that men abuse What they have not to show. What do they think is wise? It is to criticise Just what they do not know. What the critic cannot subsume, Is certain to meet with his doom; But his doom is certain to meet too with it, And the question remains, Which is hit?
I think it is well for the Muses A hangman to have for abuses, Though I would not be it, I vow, I would rather follow the plow. Nor of their whipping-post for small offenders Shall I ever be one of the tenders. He wore his changeful eyes upon his nose, He put them on or off just as he chose ; He laid them, while he read my book, away, So that he saw not what the book did say ; But when he wrote, he plucked them from their socket, And deftly thrust his eyesight down into his pocket ; And hence it came, his look Was on his pocket-book. Of a sudden he sprawls in the dirt; I wonder if he be hurt?
When Wisdom does not know, she knows it ; When she a limit hath, she knows it; But Folly's foremost temptation Is ignorant condemnation; Whenever she denies, She closes both her eyes. If I cannot do it, Censures resound ; If I once get through it, Still fault is found ; So let them blame and blame, I am resting just the same. But in this matter is our benevolent wanderer and hu mane planter of seed consistent? In damning the critic he has had to turn critic himself, and the truth is, he has rendered himself liable to his own damnation. So he gets involved in his own burning meshes, since it takes the demon to torture the demon in any Inferno, critical or theological.
Now Appleseed really knows all this, and soon shakes himself free. He is also aware of the unfruitfulness of negative criticism in general, aware that it is self-devouring, suicidal, diabolic. Hence after a hard tussle with the fiends, in which he can be and must be as fiendish as they are, or get whipped, he hastens back into his positive mood, and sings or composes from that point of view.
The editor, therefore, now feels it his duty to impart a few verses which show not the darkened half-man, but the illumined whole-man, rising out of his negative, critical, sarcastic, finite vein, and exalting himself into something like universal vision. May they take the sulphurous taste out of the reader's mouth!
You say that in this he is zero, But tell me, in that he is what? For I have found the mightiest hero Is nought in what he is not. Some men in passing through the infernal pit, By that old Hell-dog, Cerberus, get bit, When they return to earth, they snap and fight, They never have recovered from the bite. Hades here they make For their own sake. If the devil by the tail you twitch, It may be fun to see him rear and pitch ; And though he claw you not into his hell, Still to your hand will stick his gruesome smell.
Make no reply, it will do little good; Perchance your kick is just what he would. If he throw the dirt, It may stain your shirt ; If you throw it back again, Your soul will get the stain. Let us now behold Apple- seed in a still different mood, probably a surprise to some readers. In order to get him wholly away from his critical bedevilment, we shall have him repeat a little batch of versicles which show an amatory streak in light-hearted gayety, for which strange freak he seems never to have been too old. Thus we shall have made the complete transition from hate to love. By day no sun up out of the sea, By night no moon in the heavens above; Heigh!
I with nobody in love. The moon, they say, is a cinder, A dead world up there in the skies ; But it becomes the tenderest tinder, Lit by one spark from two lovers' eyes. Churn, churn, churn! A thousand charms I mutter ; The old cow had a hollow horn, And the milk will give no butter. Churn, churn, churn I So next I use hot water; But the cream was skimmed this morn, And the milk will give no butter.
Churn, churn, churn I With dash and splash and splutter! What is sin I have to learn, When the milk will give no butter. But inside it still doth yearn, For the milk will give no butter. The weary word I utter; All my hope, my love I spurn, When the milk will give no butter. Churn, churn, churu! She gives her pail of cream, And now has come the butter. It is emphatically the opinion of the editor that a personal experience lies at the bottom of this churn-song, probably a twofold experience. Is it not plain that Appleseed, in the days of his youth, had to do the churning for the household?
The song evidently springs from a reminis cence of the time when he was chained to that tedious duty of pumping, pumping away for hours at butter-making, and the last verse happily celebrates his glorious release. But who except Appleseed, would have coupled but ter-making with love-making? Truly the poet's Pegasus is a strange steed, dashing, soaring, giving unaccountable leaps through the skies and landing in most unexpected places.
The editor cannot refrain from adding an illus trative item from his own early life. Well does he recollect when he, an impetuous boy, longing to skip forth into the fields and woods, was com pelled to stay at home and churn churn, churn, churn a slavery not to be compared with that of the negro in the South before the war.
The utter misery and detestability of such a situation must have been keenly felt at some time by Appleseed, for does not his desolation speak out of his song? My father invested in the new invention, I threw in all my cash, and when the new order began, I celebrated my freedom by making a bonfire of the old churn. The present generation of young people hardly know enough of that former epoch of galling bondage, I am afraid, to appreciate Appleseed's verses.
Yet his romantic deliverance will be joyfully hailed by every sympathetic heart. The question comes up, Who was this daugh ter who brought the magic pail of cream? No investigation has yet traced her or found her exact name, which is probably destined to be buried forever in the very bottom of the sea of oblivion. But in general it may be affirmed that there is often a female form flitting through, or at times flirting through a number of Appleseed's lays, sayings, apothegms, in a mystifying or be dazzling manner some sweet maiden, pretty girl, fair daughter, Helen, Suleikha, Nancy Jane, or what not on the whole quite intangible, slipping in, whisking out, with many feminine flashes of goodness, of vanity, of true-love, of coquetry.
We shall conclude with a curious remark from Prof. Brazennose, leaving the same for approval to the discernment of the reader. Appleseed, so it seems to me, shows a strand connecting him with the most remote Aryan antiquity, when he has the daughter bring a pail of cream to release him from his painful situation. So she must often have done in the olden time. Truly a far-off ancestral gleam , unconscious, deeply poetic, lighting up the prairie. It is now well known that he carried a book in his fiddle sack ; the printed page, usually some famous song, Homeric, or Wordsworthian, or Wiggles worthian, was put alongside of his musical instrument.
Still, how he obtained his knowledge is one of the literary problems, as difficult of answer as is the question about the learning of Shakespeare. This is the River of Tradition, made up chiefly of what is now called folk-lore, a vast stream of legends, ballads, proverbs, sayings, rhymes, fairy-tales, even humors, jokes and quibbles. To this stream all true poets go and drink ; they seek the primordial My thus of the People as their everlasting material. Our oft-cited friend, William Shakespeare, as it seems to me, draws more copiously from this subterranean Kiver than any other English poet.
Of these waters, more or less hidden, at least not obtrusive, in these days, Johnny Appleseed must have imbibed during his long perambulating career, which certainly gave him a good oppor tunity. He became saturated with the people's utterance, he was himself the incarnation of all tradition, which indeed found a new life in him. To his book-lore which is so well brought out by Professor Brazennose, and perhaps carried to the extreme somewhat, we must add his folk-lore, which must also find its commentary.
Teutonic, perhaps Aryan. An old,very old strand in him seems to run back to his primeval ancestry, and reflect dimly their pursuits. The agricultural class is the preserver and grand de pository of primitive folk-lore, derived immedi ately from nature and life. Hence we may account for the number of images drawn from the farmer's occupation. Some of Appleseed's ballads have touches in them which have been transmitted by the popular song for thousands of years.
Even that which is derived from books is often wrought over till it becomes like the rest. There is an Oriental thread in him, springing originally from the Hebrew Bible; especially do we find traces of a Greco-Roman element. In these matters we have the valuable help of Prof. Brazennose with his exhaustive research and unconquerable industry; sometimes be may be a little dry, he may not always seize the true meaning, yet he is patient, devoted, an honest worker, a genuine investigator.
It is now our intention to put together three longer pieces, which have a family resemblance, and which we may call ballads, all of them hav ing a story or legend at the foundation, which is taken from the mythical stores of the ages. Nay, we shall find that Appleseed has freely employed for his own use certain turns of expression, well known and beloved of the people, turns often repeated in their songs.
The great ques tion rises here as elsewhere : What is the meaning of this strange unreal element? Is it a play of fancy, a mere caprice, or a strong, earnest at tempt to seize upon and image the spiritual world? Then they all seem to show in some form the idea of an ascent, an evolution, an un folding out of the lower into the higher, which idea is the very driving-wheel of the Occident. Even the plant "longs to be a man" in that ballad of The Mandrake, which hints some deeply hidden aspiration in the vegetable world.
A renascence of genuine song usually goes back to this well-head, of which fact we have an English instance in the effect wrought by Percy's Reliques, and a German instance in the far-reaching consequences of the collection known as Des Knaben Wunderhorn. But more of this hereafter. The lily has risen to sunrise On the breast of the beautiful river, Which heaves to the flower a moment, Then rolls on and rolls on forever.
From the hillside the tassels are waving Like banners on stalks of the corn, And beyond them the Elf-knight softly Is giving a wind on his horn. From the castle of uppermost Elfland Down the mountain in music he flies, With the pour of the happiest sunbeams He secretly drops from the skies. In her home young Margery listens, The note of the horn is so near ; " O would that the musical Elf-knight Could whisper a word in mine ear.
They slip from the hearth by the threshold, They hasten in meadows to roam, And soon from Margery's vision Is lost the last glimpse of her home. In the midot of the sweet talk of Elfland They come to the banks of a river, Her picture it shows to the maiden As it rolls to the ocean forever. From under the flow of the water The lilies shoot up to the light, They look in the eyes of the maiden And leave her not out of their sight. US She reaches the outermost limit Just where the last lily doth lie; She sees a pale face in its petals, She sees, too, the tear in its eye. She turns from the torrent beyond it, She thwarts his stormy behest, The Elf-knight then suddenly pushed her, The wave mounted up to her breast.
The Elf- knight is wrought to a frenzy, On fire is the ball of his eye; " Prepare thee to marry this river, O maiden, here thou art to die. Eyes stared from each billowy mirror, Tongues spoke from each turbulent wave, The faces turned up to the heavens, And then they turned down to the grave.
The river ran over with devils, With angels the river ran over, But above the wild waters battle, The words of a maiden now hover: " The sixth you say I am chosen, Five bodies you say you have drowned, O bridegroom, go down to thy marriage, Down, down to the nethermost ground. More joyous the hillsides are flouting Their streamers from stalks of the corn, But from the uppermost castle of Elfland Is silent the sound of the horn. I have lost what I was, an outcast I seem, I can lift no longer the ball of the stream, The ball of its sacred water.
But two days ago, on my prayer intent, To the River divine, to the Ganges I went, I went without pail, without pitcher ; I touched the good stream as I stood on the land, The water rolled rounded up into my hand, I bore it away to my mother. I bore it away, it was pure all through, Its mirror laid open the Heavens to view, The Heavens that spread out above me; The translucent ball showed the holy high place, It showed there too the God's very face, As if from on high he would love me.
I yesterday went once more to the banks, I said my prayer, I gave my thanks To the mighty God of the River; The water had sphered at my touch in the stream, When a beautiful youth I saw in its gleam, Just as he had come from the Giver. Then out of the watery globe he stepped, A carol he sang and a measure he kept, He wooed me in shape of a lover ; But then as I turned and answered his call The globe of crystal I there let fall See the phantom now over me hover! All broken the sphere lay strewn on the ground , Its million of drops can never be found, And I had forgotten my mother ; The youth soon led me away by the hand, We wandered afar from the River's strand I cannot now think of another.
To-day I hurried again to the shore, The water would come to my touch no more How ruffled the River resounded! It sullenly stayed in its lowliest bed, If I dared but touch it, onward it fled, To me it no longer ran rounded. Oh dreadful and dark was Ganges' face!
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I prayed but he rose not up from his place, In the love of the God to greet me ; By chance a globule of water fell near, It had the sad look of a drop of a tear In sorrow divine to meet me. Holy Ganges, if thou wilt no longer bestow Thy gifts upon me, then I shall go And seek thee down deep in thy bosom; In the sacred depths of thy billowy frown, In love, in love I shall cast me down And find in thee still my ransom. She flung her body far out in the wave Herself surrendered herself to save, The deed of one little minute; Once mistress she caused the water to ball, But now she is only its humblest thrall, And rapidly sinks down in it.
Its thousand hands reach down from the Giver, The God will never forsake her! He comes in the brook from the lowliest fountain, He comes in the cloud from the loftiest mountain, Behold! Now list to the whisper and kiss of the River, As it rolls its great ball to the ocean forever! The God with his burden is laden ; He rises aloft from the murmuring tide, He bears in his arms the beautiful bride Behold I 'tis the Indian maiden. A seeming plant in mien! And yet thou hast a feeling heart, Which keeps its beat unseen. Some man transformed thou shalt be found, Who sank just where he stood Till half of him was under ground ; Thy sap must be his blood.
A quiver ran up through the leaves, What doth the mandrake seek? Inside the bark it swells and heaves, It seems to want to speak. O mandrake, though thou be a flower, Thou knowest how to speak; If thou be pulled, thou hast the power To give a human shriek. Thy voice will make the blood run chill, If we but hear thee groan; Thy cry of agony doth kill, It turns the heart to stone.
Again the stalk did pulse and throb, To whimper it began, Until a voice spake out the sob: " I long to be a man. This flower-man is two in one, The first is hid in night, The second shoots up to the sun; He longs to see the light.
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What he doth give unto the day He marks in colors fair, But what he seeks to hide away He keeps below the air. The flower bubbles while I gaze, I try to find its plan, But as I look, again it says : "I long to be a man. Now to thy leaves I place mine ear, Thy secret tell to me. The leaflets thrill upon the stalk, A tone out of the ground Doth rise into a voice and talk : Hark to the tiny sound: " I have a life, a flower-life, And still I have no peace, Let no one put to me the knife, Not thus I find release.
Fain would I shun with thee all strife, Would look within thy portal Where thou dost pass into thy life Which lies outside the mortal. In the preceding verses Appleseed has dropped the epigrammatic form, and betaken himself to the ballad, the primitive poetic utterance of all singing peoples. Note the two threads of which it is spun, which we may call the natural and supernatural, thus representing two sides of man's being, the sphere of the senses and the sphere beyond the senses.
The mythical world of elves, fairies, demons, goblins, kobolds, is woven into our daily existence, and miraculously determines our lives. It may be a good spirit, or a bud spirit, still it is a spirit, and takes its own shape, suggesting a spiritual realm which hovers over and around our actions. This faith of the balladist is fundamental, he is of necessity a supernaturalist, and he invokes the popular myth with all the weird inhabitants peopling fairy-land, who are made to image the ideal, transcendent, supersensible element in human existence.
Suddenly a far-off, unconscious, shadowy world wells up into the prosaic hum drum of daily life, and causes its arid fields to shoot forth into a new inflorescence ; must not such a world be given a visible form and order? The people have thus expressed their belief in the innate power of purity against any demonic foe. Undoubtedly to this form of the ballad there are counterparts which show the maiden overcome and destroyed; tragedy also has its place in the voice of the human heart.
But such an outcome is rare in the present case, chiefly confined, it is said, to a few German and Polish examples. Here again we must appeal to the comment of Professor Brazennose, whose learning in bal- ladology is well known: " One of the highest authorities on the subject has said that this ballad in its essential features has obtained a wider cir culation among men than any other composition of the kind. In all Scandinavian countries, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark ; in every portion of Germany, north and south, east and west ; among Latin peoples, France, Italy, Spain ; among Slavic peoples, Russia, Bohemia, Servia, Poland, not to speak of many outlying districts, as Lapland, it has been traced by the diligence of investigators and expounded by the erudition of scholars.
Thus have all the peoples of Europe united in one grand voice and sang of the heroic maiden who, in spite of love, turns at the fateful moment, and uttering the doom of a last judg ment, settles the account forever between herself and her intended betrayer. A few of these diversities may be briefly noted. First the Elf-knight is sometimes a harper who charms his victim into sleep by his music ; oftener, however, he becomes an ordinary knight of flesh and blood, or sinks down to a common deceiver.
Next his motives are very different in different forms of the ballad ; according to circumstances he shows passion or he seeks the money, the jewels, or the fine garments of the maiden ; oftener he manifests mere cruelty and blood-thirstiness, showing himself a sort of Bluebeard. Again, the place where the deed happens is variously designated as a forest, a well, a sea, a river. In a few instances, the maiden does not save herself through her own inherent strength, but is rescued by a brother, who punishes duly the false knight.
Thus the Original ballad-stuff undergoes many discolora- tions and corruptions; the ideal element gets lost, the supersensible world vanishes out of it, and the whole sinks into mere prose. But the form which it takes at a given peniod varies, is the product of Time and may pass away in Time having received simply the impress of some national, or even individual mind.
Appleseed, for instance, did not create his material, that was given him, but he did give to it the form we see here. Man does not make his gold, nature furnishes it in free bounty; but he does purify it and coin it and place upon it his image. Still the next age or people may melt it and coin it over again, stamping upon it their own emblem or superscription.