“Ye, Who Would More Of Spain…”

…from the quills of dead white poets

Lord Byron (1788 – 1824)

 

(From “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,” Canto One)

LXXXVII

Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know,

Go, read whate’er is writ of bloodiest strife:

Whate’er keen Vengeance urged on foreign foe

Can act, is acting there against man’s life:

From flashing scimitar to secret knife,

War mouldeth there each weapon to his need –

So may he guard the sister and the wife,

So may he make each curst oppressor bleed –

So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deeds!

LXXXVIII

Flows there a tear of Pity for the dead?

Look o’er the ravage of the reeking plain;

Look on the hands with female slaughter red;

Then to the dogs resign the unburied slain,

Then to the vulture let each corpse remain,

Albeit unworthy of the prey-bird’s maw;

Let their bleached bones, and blood’s unbleaching stain,

Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe:

Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we saw.

XC

Not all the blood at Talavera shed,

Not all the marvels of Barossa‘s fight,

Not Albuera lavish of the dead,

Have won for Spain her well asserted right.

When shall her Olive-Branch be free from blight?

When shall she breathe her from the blushing toil?

How many a doubtful day shall sink in night.

Ere the Frank robber turn him from his spoil,

And Freedom’s stranger-tree grow native of the soil!

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Wishful thinking

…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

If the following survey resembles the truth at least to some extent, something not to be taken for granted nowadays, the Americans are not as divided in their concerns as the media like to show and Soros at al wishes.

midterm-issues-

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

31st October, 1941 : The Luftwaffe carries out at least 45 air raids on Moscow in a single day.

In the extreme north of Finland, German mountain troops under General Dietl (but who come under the command of the commander-in-chief of the occupation forces in Norway, General von Falkenhorst) make a thrust towards Murmansk, but are soon firmly checked by the Russians. In central Finland there are two German divisions of XXXVI Army Corps in action, while Finnish troops are operating from the area of Salla to Karelian isthmus, though their offensive thrust is becoming exhausted.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

30th October, 1941 : Southern sector: the siege of the fortress of Sevastopol begins. It is to last another eight months.

Moscow radio admits that the town of Tula is in danger.

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“Yet Here, Laertes!…”

…from the quills of the dead white poets

William Shakespeare (15641616)

 

(From “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”)

Yet here, Laertes! Aboard, aboard, for

The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,

And you are stay’d for. There, — my blessing with you!

And these few precepts in thy memory

See thou character. – Give thy thoughts no tongue,

Nor any unproportion’d thought his act.

Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.

The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,

Graplle them to thy soul with hoops of steel;

But do not dull your palm with entertainment

Of each new-hatch’d, unfledg’d comrade. Beware

Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in,

Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.

Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:

Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,

But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy:

For the apparel oft proclaims the man;

And they in France of the best rank and station

Are most select and generous chief in that.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be:

For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

This above all: — to thine ownself be true;

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

27th October, 1941 : Southern sector: after ten days of fierce fighting the German 11th Army occupies the whole of the Crimea except for the fortress of Sevastopol. The whole industrial area of the southern Soviet Union is now in German hands.

Formation of a ‘Jeanne d’Arc Legion in France to fight with the Germans in Russia is reported.

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Silence

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849)


There are some qualities- some incorporate things,

That have a double life, which thus is made

A type of that twin entity which springs

From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.

There is a two-fold Silence- sea and shore-

Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places,

Newly with grass o’ergrown; some solemn graces,

Some human memories and tearful lore,

Render him terrorless: his name’s “No More.”

He is the corporate Silence: dread him not!

No power hath he of evil in himself;

But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)

Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,

That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod

No foot of man,) commend thyself to God!


							
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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

20th October, 1941 : Pressure on Moscow continues without respite. The Germans advance to within 65 miles of the city. The Russians throw all available forces into the fight. All looters and black marketeers are to be executed without trial. Up to this date the Russians have lost 600,000 square miles of territory, with a population of 65 million. According to German sources, only partly denied, the Russians have lost 3,200,000 prisoners of war besides an unknown number of dead, 19,000 tanks, 28,000 guns and 14,600 aircraft. Some of this material has been destroyed, some captured by the enemy. t-34-tank.infantryAnd still, thanks to the fresh forces brought in from beyond the Urals and the tanks they are feverishly turning out from factories in Moscow and from those transported to the other side of the Urals (plus the ‘scorched earth’ policy in front of the invader) Soviet commanders are able to organise counter-attacks everywhere. The T-34 and other heavy Soviet tanks inflict heavy losses on the enemy. Their wide tracks prevent them from sinking in the mud, whereas the German tanks often get stuck.

In Moscow 500,000 people, men and woman are mobilised and in a record time construct a formidable ring of fortifications, digging 5,000 miles of trenches and anti-tank ditches. Putting up 185 miles of barbed wire and making barriers out of felled trees.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

18th October, 1941 :Mozhaysk, east of Moscow, one of the key points in the Soviet defence system, falls to Hoeppner’s Panzergruppe.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

16th October, 1941 : In the souther sector German and Rumanian troops capture Odessa after a two months’ siege.

In the northern sector the Germans take Vaidal.

This is the day of the bolshoi drap, the ‘great panic’ , in Moscow. The people finally realize that the Germans are at their gates and, not least on account of the reports of atrocities committed by the enemy (though exaggerated for propaganda purposes), all who can flee to the east. Many of the People’s Commissars and all the diplomatic corps are evacuated to Kuibishev, beyond the Volga. Disorder and looting in the city.

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“I’m Hamlet Now…”

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Alexandr Alexandrovich Blok (1880 – 1921)

aleksandr-blok_9

I’m Hamlet now. Freezes blood,

When the perfidy waves laces,

While love is first – and lives in heart

For her – the one in times and spaces.

Ophelia, my dear friend,

You got away by cold fierce,

And, Prince, I’m dying in my land,

With poisoned swords in fighting pierced.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, January, 1995 – March, 2002

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…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

Soros’ Christmas Dream

us.divided.flag

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

13th October, 1941 : Russians evacuate Vyazma. Luftwaffe makes violent raids on railway communications round Moscow. Pressure by the Army Group Centre on Moscow continues, but the Russians defend the Mozhaysk line very vigorously.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

12th October, 1941 : Bryansk evacuated by Russians. Women and children start being moved from Moscow. In the central sector the Germans take Kaluga, some 100 miles south-west of Moscow, an important rail centre on the Moscow-Kiev line. The Germans begin the liquidation of the Soviet troops cut off in the Wyazma and Bryansk pockets. The bulk of Timoshenko’s forces are wiped out; about 660,000 men are taken prisoner.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

8th October, 1941 : In the southern sector the Germans reach Mariupol on the sea of Azov; seven Soviet divisions are surrounded.

In the central sector the advance of the big German mobile formations begins to be seriously held up by the rain and mud.

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Monte Cassino

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882)

Terra Di Lavoro

Beautiful valley! through whose verdant meads

Unheard the Garigliano glides along;–

The Liris, nurse of rushes and of reeds,

The river taciturn of classic song.

The Land of Labor and the Land of Rest,

Where mediaeval towns are white on all

The hillsides, and where every mountain’s crest

Is an Etrurian or a Roman wall.

There is Alagna, where Pope Boniface

Was dragged with contumely from his throne;

Sciarra Colonna, was that day’s disgrace

The Pontiff’s only, or in part thine own?

There is Ceprano, where a renegade

Was each Apulian, as great Dante saith,

When Manfred by his men-at-arms betrayed

Spurred on to Benevento and to death.

There is Aquinum, the old Volscian town,

Where Juvenal was born, whose lurid light

Still hovers o’er his birthplace like the crown

Of splendor seen o’er cities in the night.

Doubled the splendor is, that in its streets

The Angelic Doctor as a school-boy played,

And dreamed perhaps the dreams, that he repeats

In ponderous folios for scholastics made.

And there, uplifted, like a passing cloud

That pauses on a mountain summit high,

Monte Cassino’s convent rears its proud

And venerable walls against the sky.

Well I remember how on foot I climbed

The stony pathway leading to its gate;

Above, the convent bells for vespers chimed,

Below, the darkening town grew desolate.

Well I remember the low arch and dark,

The court-yard with its well, the terrace wide,

From which, far down, the valley like a park

Veiled in the evening mists, was dim descried.

The day was dying, and with feeble hands

Caressed the mountain-tops; the vales between

Darkened; the river in the meadowlands

Sheathed itself as a sword, and was not seen.

The silence of the place was like a sleep,

So full of rest it seemed; each passing tread

Was a reverberation from the deep

Recesses of the ages that are dead.

For, more than thirteen centuries ago,

Benedict fleeing from the gates of Rome,

A youth disgusted with its vice and woe,

Sought in these mountain solitudes a home.

He founded here his Convent and his Rule

Of prayer and work, and counted work as prayer;

The pen became a clarion, and his school

Flamed like a beacon in the midnight air.

What though Boccaccio, in his reckless way,

Mocking the lazy brotherhood, deplores

The illuminated manuscripts, that lay

Torn and neglected on the dusty floors?

Boccaccio was a novelist, a child

Of fancy and of fiction at the best!

This the urbane librarian said, and smiled

Incredulous, as at some idle jest.

Upon such themes as these, with one young friar

I sat conversing late into the night,

Till in its cavernous chimney the woodfire

Had burnt its heart out like an anchorite.

And then translated, in my convent cell,

Myself yet not myself, in dreams I lay,

And, as a monk who hears the matin bell,

Started from sleep; already it was day.

From the high window I beheld the scene

On which Saint Benedict so oft had gazed,–

The mountains and the valley in the sheen

Of the bright sun,–and stood as one amazed.

Gray mists were rolling, rising, vanishing;

The woodlands glistened with their jewelled crowns;

Far off the mellow bells began to ring

For matins in the half-awakened towns.

The conflict of the Present and the Past,

The ideal and the actual in our life,

As on a field of battle held me fast,

Where this world and the next world were at strife.

For, as the valley from its sleep awoke,

I saw the iron horses of the steam

Toss to the morning air their plumes of smoke,

And woke, as one awaketh from a dream.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

6th October, 1941 : Germans launch two-pronged assault against Moscow. German armour breaks through the line from Rzhev to Vyzama and advances on Mozhaysk, only 50 miles from Moscow. The German attack is halted by the heroic resistance out up by the Russians, but six days later the Germans surround the town, advancing south towards Kaluga.

In the southern sector the I Panzergruppe (von Kleist) crosses the Dniepr and the Samara and reaches Berdyansk, surrounding the Soviet 9th and 18th Armies. Over 100,000 Russians are taken prisoners.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

3rd October, 1941 : Hitler announces that Russia ‘has already been broken and will never rise again’. He tells the German people of the start, the previous day, of a great offensive on the Eastern Front. This is the attack on Moscow, regarded as decisive. But the Wehrmacht’s supreme effort fails in its aim, although on 9 October Otto Dietrich, head of the Reich’s press service, declares: ‘The struggle in the east is settled’.

Northern sector: the Germans take the defences of Tsarskoe Selo (now Pushkin), near Leningrad.

Central sector: the Soviet front at Bryansk, defended by the 43rd,3rd, 50th and 13th Armies under the command of Timoshenko, begins to crumble. Two big pockets are formed north and south of Bryansk, while further north a third pocket is forming near Vyazma.

Souther sector: the German Dnepropetrovsk bridgehead is strengthened.

In an interview Mahatma Gandi incites all the subject people of the British Empire to passive resistance.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

2nd October, 1941 : Operation Taifun (Typhoon), the attack on Moscow, begins. The right wing of the Army Group Centre ( 2nd Armoured Army, Guderian’s Panzergruppe) smashes through the Russian defences at Glukov and sweeps on towards Orel, then suddenly turns north towards Tula, about 125 miles from Moscow. The 2nd Army and part of Guderian’s armour converge on Bryansk. The 4th Army and IV Panzergruppe (Hoepner) break through the right wing of the Soviet western front (under Konev) east of Roslavl and advance on Vyazma, and the tanks of Hoth’s III Panzergruppe converge on the same town.

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Delilah

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)

We have another viceroy now, — those days are dead and done

Of Delilah Aberyswith and depraved Ulysses Gunne.

Delilah Aberyswith was a lady — not too young –

With a perfect taste in dresses and a badly-bitted tongue,

With a thirst for information, and a greater thirst for praise,

And a little house in Simla in the Prehistoric Days.

By reason of her marriage to a gentleman in power,

Delilah was acquainted with the gossip of the hour;

And many little secrets, of the half-official kind,

Were whispered to Delilah, and she bore them all in mind.

She patronized extensively a man, Ulysses Gunne,

Whose mode of earning money was a low and shameful one.

He wrote for certain papers, which, as everybody knows,

Is worse than serving in a shop or scaring off the crows.

He praised her “queenly beauty” first; and, later on, he hinted

At the “vastness of her intellect” with compliment unstinted.

He went with her a-riding, and his love for her was such

That he lent her all his horses and — she galled them very much.

One day, THEY brewed a secret of a fine financial sort;

It related to Appointments, to a Man and a Report.

‘Twas almost worth the keeping, — only seven people knew it –

And Gunne rose up to seek the truth and patiently ensue it.

It was a Viceroy’s Secret, but — perhaps the wine was red –

Perhaps an Aged Councillor had lost his aged head –

Perhaps Delilah’s eyes were bright — Delilah’s whispers sweet –

The Aged Member told her what ’twere treason to repeat.

Ulysses went a-riding, and they talked of love and flowers;

Ulysses went a-calling, and he called for several hours;

Ulysses went a-waltzing, and Delilah helped him dance –

Ulysses let the waltzes go, and waited for his chance.

The summer sun was setting, and the summer air was still,

The couple went a-walking in the shade of Summer Hill.

The wasteful sunset faded out in turkis-green and gold,

Ulysses pleaded softly, and . . . that bad Delilah told!

Next morn, a startled Empire learnt the all-important news;

Next week, the Aged Councillor was shaking in his shoes.

Next month, I met Delilah and she did not show the least

Hesitation in affirming that Ulysses was a “beast.”

* * * * *

We have another Viceroy now, those days are dead and done –

 

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