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The High Tide At Gettysburg

by Will Henry Thompson

A cloud possessed the hollow field,
The gathering battle's smoky shield:
   Athwart the gloom the lightning flashed,
   And through the cloud some horsemen dashed,
And from the heights the thunder pealed.

Then, at the brief command of Lee,
Moved out that matchless infantry,
   With Pickett leading grandly down,
   To rush against the roaring crown
Of those dread heights of destiny.

Far heard above the angry guns
A cry across the tumult runs,--
   The voice that rang from Shilo's woods
   And Chickamauga's solitudes,
The fierce South cheering on her sons!

Ah, how the withering tempest blew
Against the front of Pettigrew!
   A Khamsin wind that scorched and singed
    Like that infernal flame that fringed
The British squares at Waterloo!

A thousand fell where Kemper led;
A thousand died where Garnett bled:
   In blinding flame and strangling smoke
   Their remnant through the batteries broke
And crossed the works with Armistead.

"Once more in Glory's van with me!"
Virginia cried to Tennessee;
   "We two together, come what may,
   Shall stand upon these works to-day!"
(The reddest day in history.)

Brave Tennessee! In reckless way
Virginia heard her comrade say:
   "Close round this rent and riddled rag!"
   What time she set her battle-flag
Amid the guns of Doubleday.

But who shall break the guards that wait
Before the awful face of Fate?
   The tattered standards of the South
   Were shriveled at the cannon's mouth,
And all her hopes were desolate.

In vain the Tennessean set
His breast against the bayonet;
   In vain Virginia charged and raged,
   A tigress in her wrath uncaged,
Till all the hill was red and wet!

Above the bayonets, mixed and crossed,
Men saw a gray, gigantic ghost
   Receding through the battle-cloud,
   And heard across the tempset loud
The death-cry of a nation lost!

The brave went down! Without disgrace
They leaped to Ruin's red embrace;
   They heard Fame's thunders wake,
   And saw the dazzling sun-burst break
In smiles on Glory's bloody face!

They fell, who lifted up a hand
And bade the sun in heaven to stand;
   They smote and fell, who set the bars
   Against the progress of the stars,
And stayed the march of Motherland!

They stood, who saw the future come
On through the fight's delirium;
   They smote and stood, who held the hope
   Of nations on that slippery slope
Amid the cheers of Christendom.

God lives! He forged the iron will
That clutched and held that trembling hill!
   God lives and reigns! He built and lent
   The heights for freedom's battlement
Where floats her flag in triumph still!

Fold up the banners! Smelt the guns!
Love rules. Her gentler purpose runs.
   A mighty mother turns in tears
   The pages of her battle years,
Lamenting all her fallen sons!

I chose this poem because I liked the language the author used;

it gave me the most vivid description of what I pictured the civil

war to be like. It best represents the mood of the war by using terms

such as “all her hopes were desolate” and “glory’s bloody face”. I feel

like this peom truely captures the essence of the Civil War; it reveals the

heartache, the hoplessness, and acceptance of a soldiers fate.

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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Civil War Poetry

 

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Australian Citizenship Pledge

 

In order to become a citizen of Australia you must recite a pledge of allegiance. The pledge was changed from an oath to an affirmation. The change went into effect in January 1994 and removed the phrase “under God” which was originally stated after “From this time foreward”.

From this time forward, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Pledges

 

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Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine, on February 22, 1892. She and her two sisters were raised by her mother after her father left in 1899. In 1912, Millay won her first poetry contest and the successes resulted in a scholarship to Vassar. While at school she continued to study both poetry and theater. In 1917, her graduatoin year, she published her first book, Renascence and Other Poems. Millay moved to New York, where in 1920, she published A Few Figs from Thistle, her most controversal book of poems due to her descriptions of female sexuality and feminism.   She married Eugen Boissevain, a self-proclaimed feminist, in 1923. He assisted his wife in her career by setting up readings and public appearances that made Millay very famous. The couple was married twenty-six years, during which time they acted like bachelors, remaining “sexually open”. Edna St. Vincent Millay passed away in 1950.

“First Fig”

My candle burns at both ends;

it will not last the night;

But ah, my foes and oh, my friends –

It gives a lovely light.

This poem, while short, provides the reader with a great message about life, which is why I chose it. The first line is what caught my eye because the phrase “my candle burns at both ends” is so intriguing that I immediately wanted to read the rest of the poem. Millay seems to be talking about her life in general and her career. The candle burning at both ends signifies life being short and the line “It gives a lovely light” shows that in life happiness and joy are prominent. Millay seems to also be referring to her fame as a writer with this poem. Success, like so many other pleasures in life, will leave as quickly as it comes, but it is beautiful while it lasts to everyone who witnesses it.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Poets

 

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John Donne

John Donne (1572-1631)

John Donne was born into a prosperous Catholic family in London during 1572. He was raised by his mother, Elizabeth, after his father’s sudden death when John was four years old. Donne studied at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. He then went on to study law as a member of Thanes Inn. The death of his brother in 1593 made John question his faith and during that time he wrote his first book oof poems titled, “Satires”. John later joined the naval expedition and secretely married Anne More, the Daughter of Sir George More. More, stongly disapproved of John and had him thrown in Fleet Prison. His experience in prison and many others in his career in law and religion inspired him to write more poetry. however his most powerful poems were written after his wife’s death in 1617. John Donne contined to be succesful in his writing career up until he suffered from a serious illness and died in 1631.

HOLY SONNETS.

X.

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so ;
For those, whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy picture[s] be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou’rt slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke ;  why swell’st thou then ?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more ;  Death, thou shalt die.

I picked this poem because it seemed to be one of John Donne’s most passionate one’s. The theme of death really stood out to me as i was reading it. It seems as though Donne is mocking death with this poem and stating that he is not afraid of it. The beginning “Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so” seems to be Donne’s proclamation that death is not strong and he is not intimidated by it like others are. To Donne, death is just a time of rest that every man will go through. The end of the poem suggests that John truly believed that after someone died, they soon went to heaven, making death susceptible to dyeing itself.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Poets

 

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1984 is Here

Orwell may not have been completely correct about the specifics, like personal telescreens or a  two-minute hate, but he hit the nail on the head with his picture of privacy(or the lack there of) in 1984.

Invasion of privacy is a constant problem in today’s society. however instead of telescreens, the internet serves as the gateway into every individuals personal life story. Any information that you put online can not only be seen by millions of people around the world but it can be sold to online companies. According to Privacy in Cyberspace: Rules of the Road for the Information Highway when you visit websites they ”deposit data about your visit, called ‘cookies’, on your hard drive.”  The real invasion comes when those online marketers “communicate data about you to an advertising clearinghouse which in turn shares that data with other online marketers.” What if I don’t want my information shared? It doesn’t really matter because the minute I put something on the world wide web, it’s up for grabs to anyone who wants it. The sad truth is, just like Orwell’s society, we are ignorant about the privacy invasions happening on a daily basis. People today don’t think twice about posting their exact whereabouts on facebook or twitter, but they definitely should. In Winston’s case all he had to do to incriminate himself was think of a crime, all we have to is click ‘post’. Information on the web isn’t something you can easily take back, just like thoughtcrime, once it’s done you can’t hide it. This quote from Winston described it best,  “thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.”



If Google can see what you’re doing then the government is certainly just as capable.The article Big Brother is Watching: a History of Government surveillance Programs discussed the 2003 draft of a proposed “Patriot Act II”–which would “allow the government to secretly and permanently “vanish” anyone without trial, including U.S. citizens, if they were suspected of terrorism” . Orwell’s Winston was always aware that they government was “vanishing” people, in chapter one of 1984 he made this statement about it, ” you were abolished, annihilated; vaporized was the usual word.”  All the government would have to do was make the decision to pay extra attention to someone and if they found anything even the least bit incriminating, they could take you. In all reality we should all be like Winston, always anxious and always weary of what we are revealing to Big Brother because whether we like it or not, 1984 is here.

 

Works Cited

Clearinghouse. Privacy in Cyberspace: Rules of the Road for the Information Superhighway.1995-2011, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse/UCAN.

<http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs18-cyb.htm&gt;

Head, Tom. Big Brother is Watching: A History of Government Survallience Programs, 2011, ask.com.

<http://civilliberty.about.com/od/waronterror/tp/Surveillance-History.htm>Orwell, George. 1984. New York: Signet Classic, 1950. Print.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Beyond 1984

 

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European Religion During the Early 16th Century

In the early 16th century, England religion began to spur many conflicts with politics. Henry VIII, the king who desired whatever he pleased, created an ecclesiastic court and called upon the Reformation Parliament to rid of his wife, Catherine. Many other movements in religion were made at this time.  One of which, is the great Protestant Reformation, which lasted more than a century.

The Protestant Reformation was led by Martin Luther(pictured below), a monk from Germany who believed that the Catholic church was full of false doctrines and ecclesiastical malpractice. Belief in this corruption led Luther, along with the majority of the Western European civilization, to desire a reform that would correct the problems throughout the church. One of Luther’s main desires,which was supported by Chancellor Thomas Cramwell, was to translate the original text of all Bibles into the English language. Many people were fearsome that this change would take away from the intended meaning of the biblical word but to their relief, the traditional church services were still held in Latin after the Reformation. As a result of this Christian reform movement, Protestantism was considered a constituent branch of Christianity. 



In the mid-1500s, Thomas More, as the new chancellor of England, began a great persecution of Protestants for his strong opposition of  the relaxation of heresy laws. The reform, still at its birth, may have taken much threat from the violent acts of More. England was still considered to be a Catholic nation under the rule of King Henry VII’s reign even though some sources claim that Catholics were very mistreated. Also at this time, King Henry VIII passed the Act of Six Articles which laid down the beliefs of the church of England. The king knew that these would enforce the fundamental doctrines of the church under heavy penalties.

Below is a picture of the acts that were performed to reform the Roman Catholic Church.

File:Life of Martin Luther.jpg

Barrow, Mandy. “Religion during the Tudor Times.” Woodlands Junior School, Tonbridge, Kent UK. 2010. Web. 26 Oct. 2010. <http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/Homework/tudors/religion.htm&gt;.

Lambert, Tim. “16th Century England.” A World History Encyclopedia. Web. 26 Oct. 2010. <http://www.localhistories.org/henryvii.html&gt;.

“Sixteenth Century.” Le Poulet Gauche. 1 Jan. 2004. Web. 26 Oct. 2010. <http://www.lepg.org/sixteen.htm&gt;.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2010 in Thomas More's Utopia

 

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