Saturday, April 24, 2004

Notes From My Knapsack – May 2004 “The Church Window”

At the end of this month, Hebron will see the return of a too-long absent friend: a community festival with carnival rides, concerts, and displays along the “midway” of Canal Park. The Hebron Crossroads Festival is Memorial Day weekend, starting Friday evening and wrapping up with our longstanding parade to Hebron Cemetery and program there Monday morning.

This is also the weekend when the long awaited WW II Memorial is dedicated on the National Mall in DC, with a few of our local veterans making the trip to the foot of the Washington memorial to salute the 16 million vets and nearly half-million honored dead of that conflict.

There will be much work to do, especially with the long (12 years, we think) gap since our village and surrounding area pulled one of these off, but the wagon train last summer proved that, between groups like the Hebron Elementary PTO, village staff, and our churches, we can do about anything. Two days of festivities last year sort of got this ball rolling, and this year is going to be a true festival for our historic crossroads for years to come.

Jesus spoke of simple things in his parables like yeast, the leaven in the loaf that was a small percentage of the whole, but changed all the contents; community leadership is like that, and our Christian influence and leadership has been present in groups like the PTO, the village and township government, or Lakewood school board and staff.

But don’t forget that we can be that infectious energy and enthusiasm even in our church’s regional structure; key roles like camp counselors are filled by people like Dory Smathers, the Wildermuths, and pastors past and present, and then there are folks like David Dernberger who’ve served on the regional board, or Ila Mason with the CWF commission.

The parable of the yeast says that sheer numbers aren’t everything. But it is gratifying to note that Lent attendance was up dramatically, and our size continues above the median for Protestant congregations in the US (well above it for our region, the Christian Church in Ohio). 15% of American churches are one member larger than they were five years ago, and only 5% of congregations founded are around 100 years later, let alone 137.

As we greet – and say goodbye! – to our interim regional pastor, Suzanne Webb, in worship May 2 remember that Hebron Christian has a role to play and a voice to share that makes a transforming difference in our community and world; we are called to be the yeast in the loaf and the salt of the world.

In Grace & Peace,
Pastor Jeff

* * * * * * *

Camp Christian Re-Dedication
Sat., June 12
Come see how we
“Keep The Fire Burning”
in the new Dining Hall!
(watch the Sunday bulletin for details)

Hocking Chi Rho (6-8 gr.)
Camp Christian -- June 13-19

Phyo CYF Conference (9-12 gr.)
Camp Christian – July 4-10

Badger JYF Camp
Templed Hills – July 11-17

Registrations due May 16;
See Lisa McNichols, Jessica Slater,
or Pastor Jeff for forms and info

* * * * * * *

Hebron Crossroads Festival
Sponsored by Hebron PTO
28-30 May

Carnival rides, games, food
Gazebo events and Sunday
Symphonic Band concert 3 pm
Evans Park

Memorial Day Parade, Mon. May 31
10 am, with program and
Hebron Christian wreathlaying
at Thos & N.V. Madden gravesite

* * * * * * *

Youth Sunday
May 30

A special music Sunday
Including a Memorial Day
Tribute on the dedication of the
National WWII Memorial in DC

* * * * * * *

If you know of any graduates in our church family, on any educational level, please let Jessica Slater know immediately!

* * * * * * *

Mother-of-the-Year voting in worship, May 2
Presentation of traveling Bible and plaque, May 9
for Mother’s Day!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

The last special posting in honor of National Poetry Month --

Emily Dickinson is known so well and so little; of her 1775 collected poems, here are a few out of the middle, mostly not the ones that can be sung to "The Yellow Rose of Texas," a legend that grew up about "all" her work because her well-intended admirerers tended to only publish what sounded to them the more lyrical.


(number in the official collected works) 300

"Morning" -- means "Milking" -- to the Farmer --
Dawn -- to the Teneriffe --
Dice -- to the Maid --
Morning means just Risk -- to the Lover --
Just revelation -- to the Beloved --

Epicures -- date a Breakfast -- by it --
Brides -- an Apocalypse --
Worlds -- a Flood --
Faint-going Lives -- Their Lapse from Sighing --
Faith -- The Experiment of Our Lord



I reason, Earth is short --
And Anguish -- absolute --
And many hurt,
But, what of that?

I reason, we could die --
The best Vitality
Cannot excel Decay,
But, what of that?

I reason, that in Heaven --
Somehow, it will be even --
Some new Equation, given --
But, what of that?



Like Some Old fashioned Miracle
When Summertime is done --
Seems Summer's Recollection
And the Affairs of June

As infinite Tradition
As Cinderella's Bays --
Or Little John -- of Lincoln Green --
Or Blue Beard's Galleries --

Her Bees have a fictitious Hum --
Her Blossoms, like a Dream --
Elate us -- till we almost weep --
So plausible -- they seem --

Her Memories like Strains -- Review --
When Orchestra is dumb --
The Violin in Baize replaced --
And Ear -- and Heaven -- numb --



The Soul selects her own Society --
Then -- shuts the Door --
To her divine Majority --
Present no more --

Unmoved -- she notes the Chariots -- pausing --
At her low Gate --
Unmoved -- an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat --

I've known her -- from an ample nation --
Choose One --
Then -- close the Valves of her attention --
Like Stone --



The Day came slow -- till Five o'clock --
Then sprang before the Hills
Like Hindered Rubies -- or the Light
A Sudden Musket -- spills --

The Purple could not keep the East --
The Sunrise shook abroad
Like Breadths of Topaz -- packed a Night --
The Lady just unrolled --

The Happy Winds -- their Timbrels took --
The Birds -- in docile Rows
Arranged themselves around their Prince
The Wind -- is Prince of Those --

The Orchard sparkled like a Jew --
How mighty 'twas -- to be
A Guest in this stupendous place --
The Parlor -- of the Day --



The difference between Despair
And Fear -- is like the One
Between the instant of a Wreck
And when the Wreck has been --

The Mind is smooth -- no Motion --
Contented as the Eye
Upon the Forehead of a Bust --
That knows -- it cannot see --



The Soul's Superior instants
Occur to Her -- alone --
When friend -- and Earth's occasion
Have infinite withdrawn --

Or She -- Herself -- ascended
To too remote a Height
For lower Recognition
Than Her Omnipotent --

This Mortal Abolition
Is seldom -- but as fair
As Apparition -- subject
To Autocratic Air --

Eternity's disclosure
To favorites -- a few --
Of the Colossal substance
Of Immortality



The One who could repeat the Summer day --
Were greater than itself -- though He
Minutest of Mankind should be --

And He -- could reproduce the Sun --
At period of going down --
The Lingering -- and the Stain -- I mean --

When Orient have been outgrown
And Occident -- become Unknown --
His Name -- remain --

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Hebron Crossroads 4-25-04
By Jeff Gill

Laura Finkes, we mentioned here at the Crossroads recently, has set records not only at Lakewood High School but now for Denison University as a track and field star.
Laura holds records for discus and shotput distance in the North Coast Athletic Conference, and has the school record for the shot now, proceeding on to NCAA competition.
But did you know this Hebron woman is not only an All-American honoree, but has made the Senior Dean’s List, completed an Honors project in the Honors Program at Denison, and is in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.”
Oh, and she’s a Heritage Scholar. In her spare time, no doubt.
This is not the result of careful, diligent journalism, mind you. She was an invited guest at a gala reception and dinner at Denison where various faculty and board members were honored (your correspondent was there to take charge of the shiny backing sheets you peel off of nametags, but that’s another story), and it was interesting how many Lakewood area folk were there, as participants or spousal units. We’re taking over, we Lakewood people are!
Another note in passing: the assembly of young trees and shrubs on the southwest corner of the Hebron Elementary property looks particularly beautiful in the spring, with a range of shades in green and accents of white and maroon. If southwest is confusing you, just think the view to your right as you go around the back corner of the building waiting in the pick-up line after school. Which tells you where I picked up that tidbit. . .

We’re still observing “National Poetry Month” around the Hebron crossroads, and you can see more than can be wedged into this space at from Longfellow (in honor of Lexington and Concord, April 19!), Frost, Yeats, Kinnell, and Tolkien.
You can read some poetry, or better yet, write some. It isn’t hard; try haiku. . .you know, five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables, and they don’t even have to rhyme. (It was Frost who said free verse, poetry with no syllable count, rhythm, or rhyme scheme, was “like playing tennis with the net down.”)
A speedy example of a haiku:

My keyboard clicking
Words streaming across the screen
Crickets click outside

See? Give it a try.

Anyone can be a poet, but it takes a special kind of person to be a children’s author. Steve Isham came to Hebron Elementary a few weeks ago. . .from Australia! He spent some of his youth in Columbus, and still has some ties to the area, giving him and his wife, Marion, a list of titles that includes both “Tasmanian Tiger” (they live on the island of Tasmania just off the southeast corner of the Australian continent) and “Johnny Appleseed” of local fame.
Steve was truly an inspiration to the kids, as he talked about becoming a writer and artist and showed them his diligent working methods both alone and along with his wife. He wove into his talks question and answer on geography, history, biology, art and literature, and was clearly impressed by our kids’ immediate responses about everything from editing “sloppy copy” to what makes marsupials what they are.
Did you know that, while Australia has kangaroos, koalas, and perhaps the Tasmanian tiger, we have a distant counsin here on the other side of the globe. . .the opossum! Well, our kids knew that and more.
He was also inspiring to us grownups, teachers and parents, as he patiently spoke to every child in the building, signing literally hundreds of books with personal dedications and even a little original art. Every child knew Mr. Isham was delighted to be there, and to meet them.
Class group after class group came to hear him, and his program was tailored to the age in front of him. All of this was impressive, but my own perspective was also that of a reading tutor, and what I saw in my time reading that afternoon.
The impact on those young readers was obvious in the extra effort and energy students were putting into work they otherwise might have let frustrate and even halt them. Because it was Steve Isham’s book, and one he had told them about, they wanted not only to read it, but get the full measure of understanding they could from the pages.
When you hear about special days like this in our Lakewood schools, know that they aren’t a distraction from their educational aims, but a real fulfillment of their purposes.
And a hat-tip to Mr. Isham and his devotion to young readers, writers, and artists. You can still see in the halls at both Hebron and Jackson Elementary the art Steve inspired and reviewed.

Earth Day is observed this weekend at Dawes Arboretum and Licking Park District’s William Kraner Nature Center with an assortment of Saturday events. We certainly are with the farmers in hoping that the rich blessing of rain might be eased this weekend, and for a few weeks ahead. Fishing is picking up again for our area anglers, and May 1-2 is “Free Fishing” weekend at all public areas, with the Hebron Fish Hatchery on Canal Road holding a special children’s program on Saturday, May 1, from 9 to 1 pm. An adult must accompany each child.

Beauty all around
Not only up or around
Mud between your toes

Get outside and look for beauty; there’s plenty to see.

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and usually wears boots in the mud, to tell the truth; if you would like to leave your own tracks across this column with news or notes of local interest, call 928-4066 or e-mail

* * * * * * *

Hatching Fish Spawns Local Hidden Gem
By Jeff Gill
For the Community Booster

“We’ve got millions of fish here, but you can’t see them too easily from the bank,” says Jim Stafford, superintendent of the Hebron State Fish Hatchery.
Thousands, if not millions of Ohio anglers and tourists, take up the challenge to see some of those fish up close and personal at the end of their fishing line.
The job of this major local asset is to help ensure that there are fish to catch, and as the largest of Ohio’s six hatcheries, they provide a large portion of what go into fishing camp frying pans at the end of a long, relaxing day all over the state.
Superintendent Stafford and his crew have been working long hours through the spring, first with nearly 15 million eggs “harvested” from fish (think milking, but with even more dexterity required), then the fertilized eggs hatching in complexes of tanks into “fry” that grow into 6.5 million “fingerlings” which ideally result in close to 5 million fish.
They’re tired, but along with delivering the walleyes, saugeyes, bluegills, channel catfish, and striped bass to areas where no natural reproduction occurs, the staff at the Hebron Fish Hatchery take on an additional task: to teach a new generation of young fishermen and women the art and skill of catching your own fish.
Saturday, May 1, the hatchery will host a youth fishing event from 9 am to 1 pm. Children, who must have an adult along with them, will get a chance to learn about fish, fishing, and the work of the facility. “We’re inviting any young people up to age 18 to come out and get oriented to what fishing is all about,” says Stafford.
That weekend is “Free Fishing Weekend” around the state on any public waters, but the hatchery staff wanted to do something a little extra.
“We have nature trails, woods, and wetlands, along with the 63 ponds on this property, along with this building,” he adds with a sweep of his hand, pointing to the visitor’s area through the middle of the Administration/Education Building, one of the newest in the complex. Displays and interactive kiosks combine with an assortment of not only mounted fish (which you’d expect) but a number of other creatures you might find around the grounds, from herons to beavers. “That blank spot will have a bear soon,” Stafford notes, pointing back to the area above the entrance.
At the end of the display area is an outdoor observation deck looking across one of the rearing ponds. Birders have long known that this is a hot spot for observation, with over 250 species sighted on the 230 acres.

All of this is open to the public any weekday from 8 to 4:30 pm, and on the Saturday Fishing Day May 1 from 9 am to 1 pm. For specific information, call 928-8092.

The facility was built in 1938 with assistance from the Civilian Conservation Corps based out of Newark at what is now Great Circle State Memorial, “Camp Moundbuilders.” While the CCC finished work quickly, the first fish weren’t produced until 1941.
As a division of the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the war slowed down progress at the hatchery, but picked up right after, leading to an expansion in 1951. Transferred to the Ohio Division of Wildlife in 1982, a renovation in 1992 led to the complex of buildings and 63 one acre rearing ponds you see today, also home to the Inland Fisheries Research Unit.
Another historical note is that the water for the ponds comes from Buckeye Lake through a working spur of the Ohio & Erie Canal, probably the only ongoing use of the canal along its formerly state-spanning length. So the living history at the Hebron Fish Hatchery goes back to 1826, in a way.
Local historians and archaeologists know fish were speared and netted in rivers, streams, and lakes going back thousands of years in the Big Buffalo Swamp area, now submerged beneath Buckeye Lake, the feeder reservoir for the canal. Salt licks, which attracted animals in search of minerals they craved, are also lost beneath the lake’s surface.
But the area around the lake and the hatchery still see flint knives and other traces of ancient hunter gatherers, who no doubt fished in their hunting camp time while waiting for herds of bison or even a stray mastodon (if you go back far enough) to come to the licks.
Contrast this ancient history for the art and skill of fishing with the science that mobilizes the hatchery staff each spring.
Biotechnology doesn’t have to be in a white coated lab. Here crews muffled against the cold wade out into half drained ponds, picking out the fish loaded with eggs, milking the thousands of eggs into containers soon mixed with the milt of the males to fertilize them, leading to the first set of hatching a fish.
The process varies depending on the species, and some few do things the old fashioned way out in the ponds (keep those thoughts clean; this is what biologists call an “external process” of fertilization), but the careful monitoring and managing of hatched fry, fingerlings, and yearlings is as scientific as rocket science, and hard work to boot.
“We have a success rate much better than Mother Nature,” Stafford says, referring to how many eggs end up being fish to stock at the end of the process. They also have a few tricks she doesn’t use, such as how “Saugeye,” a popular sport fish, come into being. Female walleye eggs are mixed with milt from male saugers; in the same way, hybrid striped bass come from female white bass and male stripers. All of this is very hands-on, labor intensive work, as is the monitoring of fry through the spring from hatching jars as they live off their egg yolk sacs, then swim up to where they can be skimmed off to rearing troughs. These steps take place indoors, until they are judged ready to be transported to the ponds, where each species gets the feeding and water management appropriate to their needs.
“We’re what they call a cool water hatchery, so we don’t raise trout, which require a cold water process,” said Stafford, pointing out that trout and other fish are raised at some of the other five state hatcheries. They all help each other out, as well as coordinating schedules for the stocking around Ohio. Special tanker trucks are used for transport of the fish ready to stock, and the count (done by sampling) will tell them at the end of the process how well they’ve done.
This is a great time of year to visit this mix of history and modern science, outdoor and indoor interests. You don’t have to be fascinated by fish to enjoy the Hebron Fish Hatchery (we saw a heron fly overhead driving in, and a foot-and-a-half snapping turtle stomping off to a pond as we left), but you will certainly find fish more interesting by the time you have to leave.

Monday, April 19, 2004

When readers send along wonderful stuff like this, how can i not add one more?
pax, jbg

Saint Francis And The Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

by Galway Kinnell
Well, since you've asked (somebody, anyhow), two more by Robert Frost, including the aforementioned "Two Tramps in Mud Time," but don't forget to scroll down to read "Paul Revere's Ride" in all its glorious historical inaccuracy this anniversary week (Revere's and Lexington's, not Longfellow's):

Two Tramps in Mud Time
by Robert Frost

Out of the mud two strangers came
And caught me splitting wood in the yard,
And one of them put me off my aim
By hailing cheerily "Hit them hard!"
I knew pretty well why he dropped behind
And let the other go on a way.
I knew pretty well what he had in mind:
He wanted to take my job for pay.
Good blocks of beech it was I split,
As large around as the chopping block;
And every piece I squarely hit
Fell splinterless as a cloven rock.
The blows that a life of self-control
Spares to strike for the common good
That day, giving a loose to my soul,
I spent on the unimportant wood.
The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You´re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you´re two months back in the middle of March.
A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight
And fronts the wind to unruffle a plume
His song so pitched as not to excite
A single flower as yet to bloom.
It is snowing a flake: and he half knew
Winter was only playing possum.
Except in color he isn´t blue,
But he wouldn´t advise a thing to blossom.
The water for which we may have to look
In summertime with a witching wand,
In every wheel rut´s now a brook,
In every print of a hoof a pond.
Be glad of water, but don´t forget
The lurking frost in the earth beneath
That will steal forth after the sun is set
And show on the water its crystal teeth.
The time when most I loved my task
These two must make me love it more
By coming with what they came to ask.
You´d think I never had felt before
The weight of an axhead poised aloft,
The grip on earth of outspread feet.
The life of muscles rocking soft
And smooth and moist in vernal heat.
Out of the woods two hulking tramps
(From sleeping God knows where last night,
But not long since in the lumber camps.)
They thought all chopping was theirs of right.
Men of the woods and lumberjacks,
They judged me by their appropriate tool.
Except as a fellow handled an ax,
They had no way of knowing a fool.
Nothing on either side was said.
They knew they had but to stay their stay
And all their logic would fill my head:
As that I had no right to play
With what was another man´s work for gain.
My right might be love but theirs was need.
And where the two exist in twain
Theirs was the better right -- agreed.
But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For heaven and the future´s sakes.

. . .and


Mary sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table
Waiting for Warren. When she heard his step,
She ran on tip-toe down the darkened passage
To meet him in the doorway with the news
And put him on his guard. 'Silas is back.'
She pushed him outward with her through the door
And shut it after her. "Be kind,' she said.
She took the market things from Warren's arms
And set them on the porch, then drew him down
To sit beside her on the wooden steps.
'When was I ever anything but kind to him?
But I'll not have the fellow back,' he said.
'I told him so last haying, didn't I?
"If he left then," I said, "that ended it."
What good is he? Who else will harbour him
At his age for the little he can do?
What help he is there's no depending on.
Off he goes always when I need him most.
'He thinks he ought to earn a little pay,
Enough at least to buy tobacco with,
won't have to beg and be beholden."
"All right," I say "I can't afford to pay
Any fixed wages, though I wish I could."
"Someone else can."
"Then someone else will have to.
I shouldn't mind his bettering himself
If that was what it was. You can be certain,
When he begins like that, there's someone at him
Trying to coax him off with pocket-money, --
In haying time, when any help is scarce.
In winter he comes back to us. I'm done.'
'Shh I not so loud: he'll hear you,' Mary said.
'I want him to: he'll have to soon or late.'
'He's worn out. He's asleep beside the stove.
When I came up from Rowe's I found him here,
Huddled against the barn-door fast asleep,
A miserable sight, and frightening, too-
You needn't smile -- I didn't recognize him-
I wasn't looking for him- and he's changed.
Wait till you see.'
'Where did you say he'd been?
'He didn't say. I dragged him to the house,
And gave him tea and tried to make him smoke.
I tried to make him talk about his travels.
Nothing would do: he just kept nodding off.'
'What did he say? Did he say anything?'
'But little.'
'Anything? Mary, confess
He said he'd come to ditch the meadow for me.'
'But did he? I just want to know.'
'Of course he did. What would you have him say?
Surely you wouldn't grudge the poor old man
Some humble way to save his self-respect.
He added, if you really care to know,
He meant to dear the upper pasture, too.
That sounds like something you have heard before?
Warren, I wish you could have heard the way
He jumbled everything. I stopped to look
Two or three times -- he made me feel so queer--
To see if he was talking in his sleep.
He ran on Harold Wilson -- you remember -
The boy you had in haying four years since.
He's finished school, and teaching in his college.
Silas declares you'll have to get him back.
He says they two will make a team for work:
Between them they will lay this farm as smooth!
The way he mixed that in with other things.
He thinks young Wilson a likely lad, though daft
On education -- you know how they fought
All through July under the blazing sun,
Silas up on the cart to build the load,
Harold along beside to pitch it on.'
'Yes, I took care to keep well out of earshot.'
'Well, those days trouble Silas like a dream.
You wouldn't think they would. How some things linger!
Harold's young college boy's assurance piqued him.
After so many years he still keeps finding
Good arguments he sees he might have used.
I sympathize. I know just how it feels
To think of the right thing to say too late.
Harold's associated in his mind with Latin.
He asked me what I thought of Harold's saying
He studied Latin like the violin
Because he liked it -- that an argument!
He said he couldn't make the boy believe
He could find water with a hazel prong--
Which showed how much good school had ever done
him. He wanted to go over that. 'But most of all
He thinks if he could have another chance
To teach him how to build a load of hay --'
'I know, that's Silas' one accomplishment.
He bundles every forkful in its place,
And tags and numbers it for future reference,
So he can find and easily dislodge it
In the unloading. Silas does that well.
He takes it out in bunches like big birds' nests.
You never see him standing on the hay
He's trying to lift, straining to lift himself.'
'He thinks if he could teach him that, he'd be
Some good perhaps to someone in the world.
He hates to see a boy the fool of books.
Poor Silas, so concerned for other folk,
And nothing to look backward to with pride,
And nothing to look forward to with hope,
So now and never any different.'
Part of a moon was filling down the west,
Dragging the whole sky with it to the hills.
Its light poured softly in her lap. She saw
And spread her apron to it. She put out her hand
Among the harp-like morning-glory strings,
Taut with the dew from garden bed to eaves,
As if she played unheard the tenderness
That wrought on him beside her in the night.
'Warren,' she said, 'he has come home to die:
You needn't be afraid he'll leave you this time.'
'Home,' he mocked gently.
'Yes, what else but home?
It all depends on what you mean by home.
Of course he's nothing to us, any more
then was the hound that came a stranger to us
Out of the woods, worn out upon the trail.'
'Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.'
'I should have called it
Something you somehow haven't to deserve.'
Warren leaned out and took a step or two,
Picked up a little stick, and brought it back
And broke it in his hand and tossed it by.
'Silas has better claim on' us, you think,
Than on his brother? Thirteen little miles
As the road winds would bring him to his door.
Silas has walked that far no doubt to-day.
Why didn't he go there? His brother's rich,
A somebody- director in the bank.'
'He never told us that.'
'We know it though.'
'I think his brother ought to help, of course.
I'll see to that if there is need. He ought of right
To take him in, and might be willing to-=
He may be better than appearances.
But have some pity on Silas. Do you think
If he'd had any pride in claiming kin
Or anything he looked for from his brother,
He'd keep so still about him all this time?'
'I wonder what's between them.'
'I can tell you.
Silas is what he is -- we wouldn't mind him--
But just the kind that kinsfolk can't abide.
He never did a thing so very bad.
He don't know why he isn't quite as good
As anyone. He won't be made ashamed
To please his brother, worthless though he is.'
'I can't think Si ever hurt anyone.'
'No, but he hurt my heart the way he lay
And rolled his old head on that sharp-edged chair-back.
He wouldn't let me put him on the lounge.
You must go in and see what you can do.
I made the bed up for him there to-night.
You'll be surprised at him -- how much he's broken.
His working days are done; I'm sure of it.'
'I'd not be in a hurry to say that.'
'I haven't been. Go, look, see for yourself.
But, Warren, please remember how it is:
He' come to help you ditch the meadow.
He has a plan, You mustn't laugh at him.
He may not speak of it, and then he may.
I'll sit and see if that small sailing cloud
Will hit or miss the moon.'
It hit the moon.
Then there were three there, making a dim row,
The moon, the little silver cloud, and she.
Warren returned-- too soon, it seemed to her,
Slipped to her side, caught up her hand and waited.
'Warren?' she questioned.
'Dead,' was all he answered.
April, National Poetry Month, continues here in the knapsack. . .

. . .and in honor of April 18-20, the first of this week's two:

Paul Revere’s Ride

LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower, as a signal light, --
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm."
Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison-bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street
Wanders and watches with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the somber rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade, --
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay, --
A line of black, that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now gazed on the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and somber and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock,
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When be came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British regulars fired and fled, --
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
>From behind each fence and farm-yard wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm, --
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beat of that steed,
And the midnight-message of Paul Revere.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1860.

* * * * * * *

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it
And spills the upper boulder in the sun,
And make gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there,
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there,
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

Robert Frost, from “North of Boston” 1915