Archive for May 2012

Bell   Leave a comment

Above:  Handbells

Image Source =  Oosoom



There is a little Bell that sounds

Like music fling from harps of gold;

And every vibrate sweet resounds

With chords of loveliness untold.


Each word embodies magic power,

That sooths my heart and quells my fear;

Mild as the dew drop on the flower,

But sharper than a Parthian spear.


Then ring, sweet Bell, your chimes ne’er break,

You hold my soul in magic spell;

All other sounds but discord make,

Compared to you, my charming Bell.


Posted May 30, 2012 by neatnik2009 in John Dodson Taylor Sr.--Poems, Love 1800s

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To Mr. ——-   Leave a comment

Above:  Victorian Men



I detect a pattern relevant to many of my great-grandfather’s poems which he published in 1883.  Many friendships and flirtations seemed to have ended badly.  Either that is true of he wrote of the same ones again and again.



We once were friends?  So I confess, I thought,

But I’ve learned that all things terrestrial change,

And be “friendship” of heaven or earth, ’tis fraught

Now with an import meaningless and strange.


When we have seen and learned men’s imperfections,

As I have yours–tho’ not because I would–

What mean past friendships or fond recollections?

What strength have kindred ties or bonds of blood?


I have not watched you with malicious eye,

I’d wrap your frailties in oblivious night,

But faults which, like yours, tower so broad and high

Above your virtues, can’t be hid from sight.


Had I not learned to know you quite well,

Our hearts had ne’er departed mutual trust,

But I have learned you–learning broke the spell,

And transformed friendship into deep disgust.


Then farewell, sir, we can no more be friends,

For, like love, friendship slain lives not again,

Youth’s sweetness with its bitters sinks and blends

Into one gloomy and oblivious main.


Posted May 21, 2012 by neatnik2009 in John Dodson Taylor Sr.--Poems

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To Miss G. F—- (An Autograph)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Countess Brownlow, by Fredrick Leighton

The God of love has given wealth

And lavished blessings free,

But had the world more like thyself,

How better off ‘twould be!


Naught are the treasures of the earht,

The jewels of the sea,

Compared to that true woman’s worth

That finds a place in thee.


Like some great force without a mind

To utilize its might,

Would mortals be without thy kind

To keep them in the right.


Men often fail her price to own,

Nor to her influence yield,

But virtues blended all in one

Like thee, can all hearts wield.


But here’s my wish, kind friend, may heaven

All wished-for blessings send

To thee; and unto me be given

To prove myself thy friend.


Posted May 15, 2012 by neatnik2009 in John Dodson Taylor Sr.--Poems

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Walking In the Woods   Leave a comment

Walking along trails in the woods

beside Ben Burton Park

in Athens, Georgia,

I notice my surroundings.


I see litter.

That annoys me;

the woods would be better

without decaying furniture,

plastic bottles,

old tires,

and the remains of an old pet carrier.

But annoyed I must be;

no matter how much anyone picks up,

there is more the next time.


Yet I take delight

in looking at trees,

paying close attention to the interesting directions

in which some of them grow–

notably not upright.


One younger tree was growing straight up

until another, dead tree

fell across it.

Now the younger tree grows sideways and up,

parallel to the incline of the hill,

its side almost touching the ground.


Another tree

–for a reason not apparent to me–

grew straight up,

then out to one side,

then to the opposite side,

then straight up again.

It is an old, solid tree,

so the reason(s) for all this certainly

is (are) consigned to natural history.


Nature likes curves

and twists

and turns

and unexpected directions

and oddly placed sprouts.

With curiosity and wonder

about this I burn

as I walk those well-trod routes

in the woods.



Lines On Returning a Picture (Written for a Friend)   Leave a comment

Above:  A Drawing of an 1879 Dress



It seems that my great-grandfather had a series of failed relationships before he married.  At least that is the impression his published poems give me.



Fair maid, once loved and still esteemed

With a regard time cannot move,

I send you back what I once deemed

My tenderest trust, save but thy love.


‘Tis but a picture; why so dear,

So precious to my heart has been it?

‘Tis but a shadow fleet as air

What is there so endearing in it?


The idle tongue may thus inquire,

And how such blisses were begot,

Those joys tho’ that it did inspire

Alone can answer–I can not.


When miles on miles have stretched between

Thyself and me; when lone and drear,

This speechless image oft’ has been

A silent minister of cheer.


It has recalled with something more

Than fancy’s power when bending o’er

It, that thy spirit to was there.


My eyes again thine seemed to meet,

And thine seemed still with love to blaze,

And thy lips looked still no less sweet

Than tasted they in bygone days.


But why say more?  All beauty dies,

‘Tis fair, yet so the rainbow’s hue,

It fades, its glorious beauty flies,

And so will fade the picture too.


But Sol, whose golden tresses twine

Around the pearly drops of rain,

And paint upon the cloud the sign

That storms their fury will retrain;


Tho’ we forget his tinted rays

And mind his glorious wonders not,

Creation dies without his blaze,

And he shall never be forgot.


So tho’ the picture fade away,

As it must do as years shall wear,

Yet, on my memory thou wilt stay,

Whose beauty is reflected there.


Say, do I ask too much of thee,

As down life’s path we severed stray,

That thou wilt sometimes think of me?

If so, forget me then, I pray.


If Heaven decrees we’ll meet no more,

I’ll gladly say: “Thy will be done.”

To see thee would but kindle o’er

A flame not yet entirely gone.


But if we should, our hearts may ache,

Our minds dwell on the past with pain,

Yet let the lips no mention make

Of bliss too sweet to know again.


Some unknown hand,–benign or dire,–

Thee from my mind and heart may take,

Yet fonder hope; that friendship’s fire

From love’s cold ashes might awake.


The cloud that dims the azure skies

Is scattered oft by it its own breath,

And beauties from decay arise,

And life is but the child of death,


Good-bye!  the word with pain is fraught,

Its heart boils o’er my brimming eye,

‘Twas not I only tho’ that wrought

The cureless wound–good-bye, good-bye.


Posted May 4, 2012 by neatnik2009 in John Dodson Taylor Sr.--Poems, Love 1800s

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Silence and Solitude   Leave a comment

Above:  Sarah Polley

Image Source = Nicholas Genin



After 11:00 PM,

after having watched

a Sarah Polley art film

(a rewarding experience),

I sit

and I listen to the silence.


This is a time to listen,

not speak;

to write,

not read;

to listen actively,

not casually;

to reflect inwardly.


Posted May 3, 2012 by neatnik2009 in Kenneth Randolph Taylor 2012

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