Thursday, March 09, 2006

Despatches

Despatches [SIC], n. pl. A complete account of all the murders, outrages and other disgusting crimes which take place everywhere, disseminated daily by an Associated Press for the amelioration of the world in general.

2006 Update: A host of trumpets announcing the trysts of celebrity to the archangels.

22 comments:

~Daydreamer~ said...

I'm the first here :D!! Yay!! Will think of something to add later, Doug ;)

Anonymous said...

"Despatches rather itchy and I'm a wild and crazy guy."

- Steve Martin's SNL character on wearing a nicorette patch.

Sar said...

(that was me)

karma said...

sounds like a Christmas carol.

did you have to look up the meaning of 'amelioration'? i just did. you should put up a sub-dictionary or get yourself a tuba

Logophile said...

The way by which the unworthy pass on the unwarranted to the unwitting unwashed.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

what you get when you inquire as to "waz up bro".

or
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 sombre 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, and 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 he gazed at 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 sombre 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, black 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 he 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 meadow 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 farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats 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 for evermore!
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-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

dddragon said...

And a gaggle of trombones poking you in the back of your head.

Cowgirl said...

This one makes me think to hard.

"Des patches of bling are proof you can rise from gang-bangin' and use your GSW scars to win the ladies and validate your musical influence."

Sad I know, but that is all I could think of.

Miz BoheMia said...

What?

I understand nothing today. Nothing...

I must go and weep now... weep.

Sreekesh Menon said...

An Iowan ups guy with an eye patch

Tom & Icy said...

woof!

Jamie Dawn said...

I don't have a clue what this word means, so I will use something I've learned as a homeschooling mom called Context Clues. Based on your & Bierce's definitions, I will use the context clues you've give me to come up with my definition.

Despatches: Celebrity murderers who have trysts with disgusting criminals who play trumpet for the Associated Press.

pia said...

Wow did Alice memorize that
Doug you have everybody stumped today

a4g said...

Alice,

I love that poem. I always get weepy thinking of the patriot farmers who made this nation possible:

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.




Despatches, [SIC] n.pl The first draft of history, later to be revised with the truth.

Doug said...

I've been trying to comment here all day. I have to believe the webmaster loathes me. Just FYI, everybody, That's Dispatches. It was spelled wrong in the Devil's Dictionary and you all know how faithful I am.

Marwa, Thanks for the greeting.

Sar, are you taking a sick day or something?

Haha, Karma. I should have been a tuba player.

Logo, Well written.

Wow, Alice. I'm saying that's your memory, not Google and don't wish to be corrected.

Dddragon, you have two brass players. Dispatch one.

Cowgirl, sad that I couldn't understand it. GSW? Gunshot wound! Gotcha. I'm slow.

Miz B, it's just been that kind of day. We're there with you.

Sreekesh, bless you for bringing a Des Moines joke to this site. Iowa, Iowa.

Icy, Good Girl. I've been trying to comment on your site for two days that your dad sounds like Anthony Hopkins. Cursed commenting!

Jamie Dawn, that's precisely correct. Where were you when I was writing this?

Pia, don't give me the credit. The Editor of the book mis-spelled and I went with it. Makes me look smart, ironically.

Well done, a4g. At least, if you're being ironic.

actonbell said...

This just in: um

ah

what were you saying?

(I think it was really good)

karma said...

you guys mis-spell everything. like leaving out the 'u' after an 'o' as in humour. but we still understand you

Cowgirl said...

Sorry Doug, its the medic coming out.

shayna said...

"The night is over long distance sending out
Despatches from the outpost we’re moving in
Got burnt in the sun didn’t have any fun
So tired of the desert we’re moving in
Nothing matters when you feel like this the way we feel
Nothing matters in the morning"

Doug said...

Actonbell, *Applause*

Karma, there is no "I" in team and no "U" in humor. OK 1.

Gee, Cowgirl, what don't you do? I'm wondering if tomorrow will bring out your icthyologist.

Shayna, ya gotta get up, gotta get up, gotta get up in the morning.

weirsdo said...

When I first red this I thot it was a fashon excessary!!!!! But you're deffinition explane's it butifully!!!!!!!

Cowgirl said...

Doug - I am in the National Guard (ARNG). (Hmmmm...seems that is clear as day in my blog) lol.

ichthyology n. The branch of zoology that deals with the study of fishes. ich ' thyolog ' ic or ich ' thyolog ' ical adj.
Sorry Doug, not into playing with fishies all day.

Is a blogologist someone that studies blogs? Just curious...