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Asking for Roses A house that lacks, seemingly, mistress and master, With doors that none but the wind ever closes, Its floor all littered with glass and with plaster; It stands in a garden of old-fashioned roses. I pass by that way in the gloaming with Mary; ‘I wonder,’ I say, ‘who the owner of those is.’ ‘Oh, no one you know,’ she answers me airy, ‘But one we must ask if we want any roses.’ So we must join hands in the dew coming coldly There in the hush of the wood that reposes, And turn and go up to the open door boldly, And knock to the echoes as beggars for roses. ‘Pray, are you within there, Mistress Who-were-you?’ ‘Tis Mary that speaks and our errand discloses. ‘Pray, are you within there? Bestir you, bestir you! ‘Tis summer again; there’s two come for roses. ‘A word with you, that of the singer recalling— Old Herrick: a saying that every maid knows is A flower unplucked is but left to the falling, And nothing is gained by not gathering roses.’ We do not loosen our hands’ intertwining (Not caring so very much what she supposes), There when she comes on us mistily shining And grants us by silence the boon of her roses. Robert Frost

Annabel Lee In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsman came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me- Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea. Edgar Allan Poe If you forget me I want you to know one thing. You know how this is: if I look at the crystal moon, at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window, if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled body of the log, everything carries me to you, as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me. Well, now, if little by little you stop loving me I shall stop loving you little by little. If suddenly you forget me do not look for me, for I shall already have forgotten you. If you think it long and mad, the wind of banners that passes through my life, and you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots, remember that on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms and my roots will set off to seek another land. But if each day, each hour, you feel that you are destined for me with implacable sweetness, if each day a flower climbs up to your lips to seek me, ah my love, ah my own, in me all that fire is repeated, in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, my love feeds on your love, beloved, and as long as you live it will be in your arms without leaving mine. Pabl neruda The Bee Garden Year A short poem carrying us through the twelve months of an English country garden year, where bees buzz and flowers yield sweetest nectar. Snow drop bells that cannot ring Crocus cups in early spring, Daffo- dills in natural drift Tulips bright, the spirit lift. Orchard branches creamy white Promising fruit for winters night, Cherry blossom, blousy pink, Cups of nectar for bees to drink. Summertime, brings roses fair, Perfumed herbs to scent the air, Honeysuckle climbs the walls Jasmine in it’s branches crawls. Exotic lilies, homely sage, Grow side by side, as on a page, Cumfy chair and planting book Plans to change the garden look. Daisies sprinkled on the lawn, Polka dots where grass is shorn, Shrubs of every colored hue, Larkspur spire, sways graceful blue. Runner beans twine round the stick, Brambles wait to fingers prick, Nectar flows from our flowers Gathered by bees in sun and showers Beeshives buzz, as honey flows Scented sweetness, golden glows, . Fruits and berries ready now. Apples laden on the bough Upon us now, Autumnal feel, Naked trees, falling leaves reveal, Bonfire smoke and harvest done, Bees are missing summer sun. Winter time, and flowers are few, Slumbering under frozen dew, Holly berries paint the hedge, Hungry birds hide in the sedge. The bee garden sleeps, silent n still Waiting for springtime’s quickening thrill, The bees are resting from their labor, Snuggled up to Queen and neighbor. The yearly cycle never fails, To fill with honey, many pails, My bees have flowers by the score, In the garden I adore.. The Wind A poem that treats the wind as if it was a human. I am the Wind I creep and crawl through every swamp and valley Touching every leaf and holding every branch Surrounding every rock and cooling every stream Playing with the leaves that dance on my shoulders I am the Wind. I cradle nature’s breath in my arms Rocking it back and forth Singing to it my sweet lullaby Kissing its tender face with my gentle breeze I am the Wind. I instruct the tall grass to bow before me Ruling over the leaves and governing the water Telling the rain when to fall Commanding even the waves of the ocean to obey me I am the Wind. Nature has given me more than one task I work to complete them all I fly with the birds and run with the cheetahs I guard the baby as she sleeps and watch over the dogs that howl at the moon I play with the hair of a sleeping child I race the cars on the highway I dance around the corn fields at dusk I watch the world begin to slumber and am there at its waking I am the Wind. Tornados are mere toothpicks for my teeth Hurricanes are but drizzling rain Blizzards lose their footing without me as their foundation Rooted as the source of storm and tempest, I will not budge I am the Wind. I hold the stars and stripes of many flags Helping the countries show them with pride I collide with the sails of boats Catching my feet they make me pull them along I am the Wind I pull the leaves off of the trees like apples Laying them carefully on the ground to sleep Letting them rest under a blanket of snow till they wake I am the Wind. I carry the seed of dandelions on my back Washing it with my breeze And planting it in the soft earth beneath my feet I cool it while I blow through pursed lips And bring clouds to quench its thirst Soon my work is done I am the Wind. Curling my fists at the mountains that stand in my way Disobeying the gravity of man Defying even life itself as I live on forever

Vengeance is Not Ours, It’s God’s

(Another winning declamation piece. It’s good to memorize and good to recite. You will really cry when you will deliver this piece in front of the audience. Find out why.)

Alms, alms, alms. Spare me a piece of bread. Spare me your mercy. I am a child so young, so thin, and so ragged. Why are you staring at me? With my eyes I cannot see but I know that you are all staring at me. Why are you whispering to one another? Why? Do you know my mother? Do you know my father? Did you know me five years ago?

Yes, five years of bitterness have passed. I can still remember the vast happiness mother and I shared with each other. We were very happy indeed.

Suddenly, five loud knocks were heard on the door and a deep silence ensued. Did the cruel Nippon’s discover our peaceful home? Mother ran to Father’s side pleading. “Please, Luis, hide in the cellar, there in the cellar where they cannot find you,” I pulled my father’s arm but he did not move. It seemed as though his feet were glued to the floor.

The door went “bang” and before us five ugly beasts came barging in. “Are you Captain Luis Santos?” roared the ugliest of them all. “Yes,” said my father. “You are under arrest,” said one of the beasts. They pulled father roughly away from us. Father was not given a chance to bid us goodbye.

We followed them mile after mile. We were hungry and thirsty. We saw group of Japanese eating. Oh, how our mouths watered seeing the delicious fruits they were eating,
Then suddenly, we heard a voice call, “Consuelo… . Oscar… . Consuelo… . Oscar… . Consuelo… . Oscar… .” we ran towards the direction of the voice, but it was too late. We saw father hanging on a tree… . dead. Oh, it was terrible. He had been badly beaten before he died… . and I cried vengeance, vengeance, vengeance! Everything went black. The next thing I knew I was nursing my poor invalid mother.
One day, we heard the church bell ringing “ding-dong, ding-dong!” It was a sign for us to find a shelter in our hide-out, but I could not leave my invalid mother, I tried to show her the way to the hide-out.

Suddenly, bombs started falling; airplanes were roaring overhead, canyons were firing from everywhere. “Boom, boom, boom, boom!” Mother was hit. Her legs were shattered into pieces. I took her gently in my arms and cried, “I’ll have vengeance, vengeance!” “No, Oscar. Vengeance, it’s God’s,” said mother.

But I cried out vengeance. I was like a pent-up volcano. “Vengeance is mine not the Lord’s”. “No, Oscar. Vengeance is not ours, it’s God’s” these were the words from my mother before she died.

Mother was dead and I was blind. Vengeance is not ours? To forgive is divine but vengeance is sweeter. That was five years ago, five years… .

Alms, alms, alms. Spare me a piece of bread. Spare me your mercy. I am a child so young, so thin, and so ragged. Vengeance is not ours, it’s God’s… . It’s… . God’s. . It’s…

Guilty or not guilty

She stood at the bar of Justice,
A creature, wan and wild,
In form too small for a woman,
In features too old for a child.
For a look so worn and pathetic
Was stamped on her pale young face,
It seemed long years of suffering
Must have left that silent trace.

“Your name,” said the judge, as he eyed her with a kindly look, yet keen.
Mary Aguirre, if you please, sir.””
“And your age?” “I am fifteen.”
“Well, Mary,” – and then from a paper
He slowly and gravely read –
“You are charged here – I am sorry to say it – with stealing three loaves of bread.

“You took not like an old offender,
And I hope that you can show the charge to be false.
Now tell me, Are you guilty of this, or not?”
A passionate burst of weeping
Was at first her sole reply;
But she dried her tears in a moment,
And looked in the judge’s eyes.

I will tell you just how it was, sir
My father and mother are dead,
And my little brothers and sisters were hungry
And asked me for bread.
At first, I earned it for them
By working hard all day.
But somehow the times were hard, sir, and the work all fell away.

I could get no more employment,
The weather was bitter cold;
The young ones cried and shivered
So what was I to do, sir?
I am guilty, but do not condemn;
I took – O! was it stealing? –
The bread to give to them.

Every man in the courtroom,
Graybeard and thoughless youth –
Knew, as he looked upon her,
That the prisoner spoke the truth,
Out from their pockets came kerchiefs,
Out from old, faded wallets
Treasures hoarded for years.

The judge’s face was a study,
The strangest you ever saw,
As he cleared his throat and murmured
Something about the law.
For one so learned in such matters,
So wise in dealing with men
He seemed, on a simple question
Sorely puzzled just then.

No one blamed him, or wondered
When at last these words they heard
“The sentence of this young prisoner is for the present deferred.”
And no one blamed him or wondered
When he went to her and smiled
And tenderly left from the courtroom
Himself, the “guilty” child!

The murderess

It’s already twelve o’clock. Oh, God, I’m hungry! I’ve been running and hiding for almost three days. I’m dead tired. I need some rest. But no, they are looking for me! And if they find me, I will be put to jail. But, where can I hide? Leo’s father is so influential, so powerful. He is the governor of our great province and I happened to kill his son!

No, don’t accuse me like that! I’m not a murderess! Hear me, I’m begging you, I tell you I’m not a murderess.

Audience, let me explain, please.

Okay, okay, okay! It all happened in school one day. I went to the library to find a book. Then I found it. I got so engrossed to what I was reading that I almost didn’t notice the time. It was gone past six and, oh my! I think I was the only student left in the library. To my dismay, Leo was waiting for me outside. I wanted to hide but it was too late. He was already in front of me.

“Hi, Brenda! Can I drive you home?”

I shook my head irritatingly. My God, how I hate him! He often sends me scented love letters in pink stationery which I sent back all unopened. He sends me roses and chocolates, too. They are my favorites. I wanted so much to eat the chocolates, but I hate the person who gave them. So I throw them into the trash. How could I ever get away from this guy?

“Hey, Leo, wait a minute! If you want to drive me home, thanks, but no thanks! I’m old enough to go home on my own, okay? So, please stop following me like a dog! And besides, I’m too young for love and I don’t accept any suitors, understand?”

“But, Brenda, I love you! Can’t you understand? I can give you anything you want. Say it and you’ll have it. And, Brenda, remember, I can get everything I want by hook or crook. So you’d better be good to me or else. Ha… ha… ha…!”

And he started laughing like a monster. I got so scared. I know how powerful his family was, but I still insisted, “Leo, how can you be such a jerk? I don’t like you and I don’t love you. In fact, I hate you! Now, will you leave me alone?”

But instead of leaving, do you know what he did? He pushed me so hard against the wall and started kissing me. I was shouting for help, but no, no one was there!

“Somebody, help me, please! Please, please! Help! Help!”

Then he gave me a big, big punch on my stomach. Oh my God! It was painful!

But even before he reached for me again, I spotted a rusty knife and grabbed it.

“Now, Mr. Leo Monteverde, try to kiss me again, attempt to rape me again, and I will never ever forgive you! Go to hell! Um… um… ummm!”

I didn’t know how many times I pushed the rusty knife in his body. Then I noticed something. Blood, blood… there’s a blood on my hands!

Leo, Leo…! Oh, God! I killed Leo! No, I’m not a murderess! He was going to rape me and I just defended myself. I didn’t mean to do it, I’m not a murderess! I’m not a murderess! But I killed Leo…! I killed him! I’m a murderess! Ha! Ha! I’m a murderess! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Declamation Piece- Conscience
Posted by jhonerliz
I wept, I cried so hard. But this tears can’t bring back my sister to life. My being brought here by my conscience. I want to ask forgiveness. But can she still hear? O heart, forgive me for what I have done, please bring peace to mind.

Dry leaves were crushed down below. As if to freshen my memories that her life perished because of my selfishness.

She was my only sister. Since our childhood, I always believed that I was the favorite of our dad. One night, while I was facing all about to the mirror, with my micro mini, I puffed powder, when I saw Luisa’s face, reflecting in the mirror. “You can’t get out tonight, Lucille.” I heard a threatening tone from her. I turned to her, but I can’t resist at her sharp stare at me. “And who says so, my dear sister?” “We are to celebrate Momma’s death anniversary, you know that don’t you?” In a relaxed and condescending voice, I replied “well I don’t care. I’m going out to party tonight!”

Then I heard a knock on the door. I shouted “Help Papa!” for I knew that it was he. I pulled my hair, I tore my dress away as I was attacked by a squad of monstrous creatures. When the door opened the site Papa saw was that Luisa was holding my neck who was trying to make a rescue. But I cried so hard that made Papa grew to the height of anger. He threw Luisa to the corner, where the head of my poor sister was hit at the edge of the chair.

I slowly rejoiced for I have made a successful revenge. But when she lifted, I saw a different sparkle in her tearful eyes. “Ha ha ha ha ha!” O my, Luisa, she went out of her mind. I was not able to move, as well as Papa. Both of us were motionless. And before we returned to our senses, Luisa ran to the door and proceeded to the open gate of our house. We followed her calling out her name. “Luisa!” “Sister!” “Luisa” “Sister” “Luisa the Truck!” “Don’t cross the road, Luisa, the truck don’t Don’t DON’T!”

The next sight I saw was that Luisa was thrown five meters away from the truck. I ran to her and embraced her. Blood was all over her face. In a low but distinct voice she murmured, that made my heart break so much. She said, “Lucille, please be a good girl. I love you. Please be a good girl ‘coz Papa loves you very much.”

“Luisa? Luisa? Sister… sister!!!” From that moment I cried so hard for killing my only sister, who loved and cared for me, even at the last moment of her life.

Now can you blame me, for asking God to forgive me? Forgive me dear God, Forgive me!

Declamation Piece- Dirty Hands by John P. Delaney S.J.
Posted by jhonerliz
I’m proud of my dirty hands. Yes, they are dirty. And they are rough and knobby and calloused. And I’m proud of the dirt and the knobs and the callouses. I didn’t get them that way by playing bridge or drinking afternoon tea out of dainty cups, or playing the well-advertised Good Samaritan at charity balls.

I got them that way by working with them, and I’m proud of the work and the dirt. Why shouldn’t I feel proud od the work they do – these dirty hands of mine?

My hands are the hands of plumbers, of truck drivers and street cleaners; of carpenters; engineers, machinists and workers in steel. They are not pretty hands, they are dirty and knobby and calloused. But they are strong hands, hands that make so much that the world must have or die.

Someday, I think, the world should go down on its knees and kiss all the dirty hands of the working world, as in the days long past, armored knights would kiss the hands of ladies fair. I’m proud of my dirty hands. The world has kissed such hands. The world will always kiss such hands. Men and women put reverent lips to the hands of Him who held the hammer and the saw and the plane. His weren’t pretty hands either when they chopped trees, dragged rough lumber, and wielded carpenter’s tools. They were workingman’s hands – strong, capable proud hands. And weren’t pretty hands when the executioners got through them. They were torn right clean through by ugly nails, and the blood was running from them, and the edges of the wounds were raw and dirty and swollen; and the joints were crooked and the fingers were horribly bent in a mute appeal for love.

They weren’t pretty hands then, but, O God, they were beautiful – those hands of the Savior. I’m proud of those dirty hands, hands of my Savior, hands of God.

And I’m proud of my hands too, dirty hands, like the hands of my Savior, the Hands of my God!

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