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TO ALL YOU SOLDIERS
THEIR FAMILIESSalute to all Soldiers
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,> I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.>>
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,>>
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.>>
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,>>
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.>>
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,>>
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.>>
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,>>
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.>>
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,>>
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.>>>
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,>>
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.>>
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the>>
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.>>
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,>>
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.>>
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,>>
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.>>>>
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,>>
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.>>
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,>>
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.>>
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,>>
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!>>
Put down your pack , brush the snow from your sleeve,>>
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!">>>>
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,>>
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..>>
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light>>
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,>>
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.">>
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,>>
That separates you from the darkest of times.>>
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,>>
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.>>
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,">>
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always>remembers.">>
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',>>
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.>>
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,>>
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smle.>>
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag>>
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.>>
I can live through the cold and the being alone,>>
Away from my family, my house and my home.>>
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,>>
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.>>
I can carry the weight of killing another,>>
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..>>
Who stand at the front against any and all,>>
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.">>>>
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,>>
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right.">>
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,>>
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?>>
It seems all too little for all that you've done,>>
For being away from your wife and your son.">>
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,>>
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.>>
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,>>
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.>>
For when we come home, either standing or dead,>>
To know you remember we fought and we bled.>>
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,>
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
May the luck of the Irish keep you safe and bring you all home safe.
JOKES AND POEM ST. PATRICKS DAY
What do you get when you cross poison ivy with a four-leaf clover? A rash of good luck. ~Author Unknown
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
Oh, Paddy, dear, an' did ye hear the news that's goin' round?
The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground!
No more St. Patrick's Day we'll keep, his colour can't be seen,
For there's a cruel law agin' the Wearin' o' the green.
When law can stop the blades of grass from growin' as they grow,
An' when the leaves in summer time their color dare not show,
Then I will change the color, too, I wear in my caubeen;
But till that day, plaise God, I'll stick to the Wearin' o' the Green.
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
So, success attend St. Patrick's fist,
For he's a saint so clever;
Oh! he gave the snakes and toads a twist,
And bothered them forever!
Saint Patrick was a gentleman, who through strategy and stealth
Drove all the snakes from Ireland, here's a drink to his health!
But not too many drinks, lest we lose ourselves and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick, and see them snakes again!
Never iron a four-leaf clover, because you don't want to press your luck. ~Author Unknown
Oh, the music in the air!
An' the joy that's ivrywhere -
Shure, the whole blue vault of heaven is wan grand triumphal arch,
An' the earth below is gay
Wid its tender green th'-day,
Fur the whole world is Irish on the Seventeenth o' March!
~Thomas Augustin Daly
When Irish eyes are smiling, sure 'tis like a morn in spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter you can hear the angels sing,
When Irish hearts are happy all the world seems bright and gay,
And when Irish eyes are smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.
~Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr. (lyrics), Ernest R. Ball (music)
He was a terror to any snake that came in his path, whether it was the cold, slimy reptile sliding along the ground or the more dangerous snake that oppresses men through false teachings. And he drove the snakes out of the minds of men, snakes of superstition and brutality and cruelty.
Oh, while a man may dream awake,
On gentle Irish ground,
'Tis Paradise without the snake -
That's easy to be found.
For 'tis green, green, green, where the ruined towers are gray,
And it's green, green, green, all the happy night and day;
Green of leaf and green of sod, green of ivy on the wall,
And the blessed Irish shamrock with the fairest green of all.
~Mary Elizabeth Blake