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Jasper Corner Odes

                                                       The Odes of encouragement
                                             with apologies to Shakespeare, Blake, CJ Dennis and Beckett

William Shakespeare
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
To finish paving the path to the vestry.
In paving there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of brick saw blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest Federals.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to pave. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs are home in Federal, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'For Jasper Corner, this Sunday, from 10am!'

To turf or not to turf
That is the question.
Whether 'tis easier on the mind
To clothe the banks with grassy sods
And thus to pamper the posterns
Of those that will, in likely case,
Regard the world as fitted for their
Close observed but rare enacted
Pleasure; or is't a benefice for them
That grasp the proffered prize,
To cover o'er the verdant batters
With agapanthus, azalea and all manner of growing things
Thus to stimulate the senses, sharpen the eye
And trumpet the notion that
To the universe
Am citizen.

William Blake
And did those hands on Sunday morn
Work upon Jasper's paving dream:
And was the team of working folk ,
On Jasper's muddy pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was our landscaping builded here,
Among these dark Federal Hills?

Bring me my float of paving old;
Bring me my barrows of cement:
Bring me my trowel: O clouds behold!
Bring me my shovel with no dent

I will not cease from paving delight,
Nor shall my brick sleep in my hand:
Till we have paved around our hall ,
In Federal's green & pleasant Land

C J Dennis
The Fer-der-ar -- laise
Fellers of Fer-der-ar-lia,
Birds  an' coves an' coots,
Shift yer -- carcases,
Move yer -- boots.
Gird yer -- loins up,
Get yer -- bricks,
Set the -- level
An' watch the -paving tricks.

Get a -- move on,
Have a -- fling.
Learn the -- art of
Lan- -- -sca ping

Have some -- brawn be-
Side yer -- self.
An' swing a -- shovel
Fer the locals an' the kids.
set  supportin' -- posts,
An' use a -- bexhill brick,
Buy a -- sod an'
then yer can earn a tick

Get a -- move on
Have a -- fling
Learn the -- art of
Lan- -- -sca ping

Joy is -- fleetin',
Life is -- short.
Wot's the use uv wastin' it
All on -- sport?
Hitch yer -- brick saw
To a -- ute.
Let yer -- watchword be
"I'll help - this uz bute"

Get a -- move on
Have a -- fling
Learn the -- art of
Lan- -- -sca ping

'Ow's the -- village
Goin' to ixpand
'Lest us -- birds an' coves
Lend a -- 'and?
'Eave yer -- apathy
Down a -- chasm;
'Ump yer -- burden with
Enthusi- -- -asm.

Get a -- move on
Have a -- fling
Learn the -- art of
Lan- -- -sca ping

W'en the -- com it ee
calls fer yer willing hand
Take a -- shovel
In yer -- 'and
Keep yer -- lower back
Stiff as stiff kin be,
An' lay the -- paver for
Jasper- -- -Corn er ie.

Get a -- move on
Have a -- fling
Learn the -- art of
Lan- -- -sca ping

W'en the -- email
Sounds "work- -- -party"
Don't be like a flock uv sheep
In a -- trance
plant the -- natives
Where there sure to grow.
Ferdi- -- -lise it
To Per -- fectow.

Get a -- move on
Have a -- fling
Learn the -- art of
Lan- -- -sca ping

Fellers of fer-der-ar-lia,
Cobbers, birds an' mates,
Hear the -- com er te
Kickin' at the gates!
Blow the -- bugle,
Beat the -- drum,
Power-cut and in the turf
To Jasper Corner- -- -come!

Get a -- move on
Have a -- fling
Learn the -- art of
Lan- -- -sca ping

Samuel Beckett
Finished, it's finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished. Paver upon paver, one by one, and one day, suddenly, there's a path, a elegant path, the impossible achieved. I can't be ruining my back any more. I'll go now to my Jasper Corner, thirty metres by ten metres by ten metres, and wait for the turf to be delivered. Nice dimensions, nice proportions, I'll lean on my shovel, and look at the lawn laid on Sunday 10 August, and wait for Federal to join me.
photo by Gaby Borgardts