Mighty One, We Have Lost Us Another

a19840190000cp01Rush Limbaugh has passed on. He was 70 years old and succumbed to lung cancer, a little over a year after it was diagnosed, and a little over a year after he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He didn’t lead troops into battle; he didn’t save the world. All he did was, with unflinching, unfeigned honesty, speak the truth.

“Rush will forever be the greatest of all time,” his wife added. “Rush was an extraordinary man, a gentle giant, brilliant, quick-witted, genuinely kind, extremely generous, passionate, courageous, and the hardest working person I know.”

Breitbart adds a bit of biographical context:

Limbaugh was born on January 12, 1951, in Cape Giradeau, Missouri. As a high school student, he landed his first job in radio at local station KGMO. Limbaugh attended Southeast Missouri State University in 1971 and dropped out after one year to return to the radio business. Limbaugh was first syndicated in 1988. At its peak, The Rush Limbaugh Show reached over 15 million listeners.

For a while, at least three of those listeners were a family working within earshot of the farm truck, working the horses or out in the garden with the radio volume cranked all the way up.

Spare none of the rites. One of the highest has fallen this day.

A Sea-Song, by Someone Who Lives Inland

Gull-cries quaverwaterhouse-nymphs-hylas-560979-o
on grey-cresting swells
Yet under them waver
sweet voices like bells.
The breakers are bringing
—can you not hear?
The ocean-depths ringing
a chorus of fear?
The mer-maidens singing
as they wring out their hair?

With sailors’ blood deeply
their locks are dyed red
As broke hulls sink steeply
among the faint dead,
The violent thrashings
soon quiet to peace,
As storm-breakers’ crashings
thunder, then cease.john-william-waterhouse-5275-hylas-ve-su-perileri
The sea-maidens’ chanting,
alone or in band
is lost in the ranting
of waves on the sand.

Whale-songs echo
from sea-shore to sea,
from reef-edge to grotto
in the mountainside’s lea
and dolphins are dancing,
far, playful and free.
While cruel sunrays’ lancing
pierce the cold sea,
and dolphins dart, leaping
from foam-crest to crest,
the cold maids are sleeping:
till men come, they rest.
When men come, they rise
from their shaded, dark beds;
they lift up their eyes
and their dark, sleek heads.

Through crystal Sea-waters
the light cutter skips;
Her fair, lonely daughters,
with storms for their whips,
take wing for the cutter,
lay hand on the ships.
The maidens lay hand
on the sweeping wide rudder,
the_sirenAnd at their command,
the tempests arise.

Sweet is their song:
They sing it full-hearted
Whenever they long
For their sisters departed.
Plaintive, melodious,
Full-hearted, demure—
Down sea-depths commodious
Their chant weaves a lure.

The mer-maidens sing
from reef-edges wide
as their dark hair they wring
In the ebb of the tide.

(Reposted from 2018)