Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tribute to a Fallen Tribune

Jersey McJones


FreeThinke said...

_________ NOCTURNE _________

Now through night's caressing grip
Earth and all her oceans slip,
Capes of China slide away
From her fingers into day
And th'Americas incline
Coasts towards her shadow line.

Now the ragged baggar creeps
Into crooked holes to sleep:
Just and unjust, worst and best,
Change their places as they rest:
Awkward lovers like in fields
Where disdainful beauty yields:

While the splendid and the proud
Naked stand before the crowd
And the losing gambler gains
And the beggar entertains:
May sleep's healing power extend
Through these hours to our friend.
Unpursued by hostile force,
Traction engine, bull, or horse
Or revolting succubus;
Calmly till the morning break
Let him lie, then gently wake.

~ W.H. Auden (1907-1973)

Set to music by Benjamin Britten as part of the cycle "On This Island."

FreeThinke said...

After great pain ––
A formal feeling comes.
The nerves sit ceremoniously ––
Like tombs.

The stiff heart questions ––
"Was it He that bore
And Yesterday or centuries before?"

The feet, mechanical, go 'round ––
A wooden way ––
Of ground –– or air –– or ought ––
Regardless grown ––
A quartz contentment –– like a stone.

This is the Hour of Lead.
Remembered –– if outlived ––
As freezing persons recollect the snow.

First chill –– then stupor ––
Then the letting go.

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

-FJ said...

Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
Why does the drum come hither?
March within.

Enter FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors, and others.


Let four captains
Bear Jersey, like a soldier, to the stage;
For he was likely, had he been put on,
To have proved most royally: and, for his passage,
The soldiers' music and the rites of war
Speak loudly for him.
Take up the bodies: such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
Go, bid the soldiers shoot.

A dead march. Exeunt, bearing off the dead bodies; after which a peal of ordnance is shot off.

-William Shakespeare, "Hamlet"

FreeThinke said...

Give All to Love

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good-fame,
Plans, credit and the Muse,—
Nothing refuse.

’Tis a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
Untold intent:
But it is a god,
Knows its own path
And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout.
Souls above doubt,
Valor unbending,
It will reward,—
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.

Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,—
Keep thee today,
Tomorrow, forever,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.

Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
First vague shadow of surmise
Flits across her bosom young,
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture’s hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.

Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Though her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive;
Heartily know,
When half-gods go,   
The gods arrive.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Thersites said...

...some thoughts for those he left behind.

Silverfiddle said...

Quite fitting, Farmer. Jersey was a pugilistic mug. Boy we had some donnybrooks.

Thersites said...

Amen. Much to admire in the fighter who forced to leave, yet in part, still remains.

Thersites said...

I think Jersey much enjoyed the second line... as he was much more apt to comment at a blog than post on his own!

jez said...

fair well jersey. I particularly liked his comments about music... in his honour I shall find some acceptable heavy metal to listen to!

Do you know how old he was?

-FJ said...

I believe he was a mere pup @ age 48.

Silverfiddle said...

Jez, Motorhead was his favorite.

The blog threads were most interesting when folks like you and Jersey weighed in.

FreeThinke said...

____ The Darkling Thrush ___

I leant upon a coppice gate
___ When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
___ The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
___ Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
___ Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
___ The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
___ The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
___ Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
___ Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
___ The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
___ Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
___ In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
___ Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
___ Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
___ Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
___ His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
___ And I was unaware.

~ Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

FreeThinke said...

... Parting is all we know of heaven ––
And all we need of Hell.

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

FreeThinke said...

____________ Riders in the Sky ___________

An old cowpoke went riding out one dark and windy day
Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd of red-eyed cows he saw
A'plowin' through the ragged skies and up a cloudy draw

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o
Ghost riders in the sky

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Their horns wuz black and shiny and their hot breath he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
For he saw the riders comin' hard and he heard their mournful cry

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o
Ghost riders in the sky

Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, and shirts all soaked with sweat
They're ridin' hard to catch that herd but they ain't caught them yet
They've got to ride forever in that range up in the sky
On horses snortin' fire, as they ride on, hear their cry

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o
Ghost riders in the sky

As the riders loped on by him, he heard one call his name
"If you want to save your soul from hell a' ridin' on our range"
"Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride"
"A-tryin' to catch the Devil's herd across these endless skies."

Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o
Ghost riders in the sky
Ghost riders in the sky

~ Oliver Jones (1949) - recorded by Frankie Laine, Vaughan Monroe, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, and Johnny cash among others

When I was a boy, this song was heard on the radio every day and on every jukebox in every hash house and restaurant for many months. It was certainly not Jersey's style –– at least not as he presented himself here in Blogistan –– but I think he would have found it appealing all the same. I was fortunate to be able to get to know him outside the blogosphere, and found he had a vivid imagination and the capacity to see far beyond his familiar parochial interests.

He knew full well that I frankly despised the kind of music he professed to love best, and yet he was KIND enough, and WISE enough to realize there was great virtue in classical music. He told me he did in fact enjoy Beethoven & CO. a lot, and had even been known to attend the opera now and then, though he preferred not to emphasizethat side of himself here –– part of maintaining the unique, rough and ready blog persona he had created for himself no doubt.

At any rate, –– though I doubt two people could be farther apart in their stated political aims, –– and all the other things that might have kept us forever at odds ––, we were able to look beneath the surface and find much to like and respect in each other because of our common humanity –– and doubtless our common point of origin in the New York metropolitan area. The latter created an instant bond no doubt. You'd have to have been born and brought up there, yourself, to understand, but we New Yorkers and Jerseyites have an instinctive understanding, love and respect for each other that transcends, social, economic and cultural barriers.

In short Jersey and I LIKED each other –– even LOVED each other before it was al over –– and in the end, my friends, that is ALL that really matters.

Jen Brimmage said...

I never commented on Jersey's blog (don't comment much at all anymore), but I noticed how kind he was to everyone.

Speedy G said...

He mellowed once he started his own blog (and realized just how easy it was and how infuriating it could be, to get trolled).