Table of Contents

CanadianGay
presents
THIS DAY IN GAY HISTORY
based on: The White Crane Institute's 'Gay Wisdom', Gay Birthdays, Gay For Today, Famous GLBT, glbt-Gay Encylopedia, Today in Gay History, Wikipedia, and more …

Collected by Ted

March 31

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1809Edward Fitzgerald, English poet (d.1883); An English writer, best known as the poet of the first and most famous English translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. FitzGerald's emotional life was extremely complex. He lived for his friends, almost all of whom were men, but he also had a series of extremely intimate friends (also male).

The first was William Browne, who was sixteen when he met Fitzgerald. They were very close friends until Browne's marriage. Browne's early death was a major catastrophe for FitzGerald. In 1851 FitzGerald published a work called Euphranor: A Dialogue on Youth in memory of a friend who had died young. In it he recounts how, after the death of his beloved William Kenworthy Browne, he cruised the Suffolk docks "looking for some fellow to accost me and fill a very vacant place in my heart." Whether he was in fact accosted, and whether his vacant place was filled, he does not say. But 15 years later, now famous as the translator of The Rubaiyat, FitzGerald returned to the docks and became part owner of a herring-lugger, Meum and Teum.

The "You" of the "I and You" was a strapping young fisherman named Joseph Fletcher, whom he called "Posh." Although FitzGerald wrote about being taken with Posh's blue eyes and auburn hair, and although several letters addressed to "My Dear Poshy" have survived, there is no proof the virile Posh ever actually filled FitzGerald's vacant place. For the sake of love, let us hope he did.

As FitzGerald grew older, he grew more and more disenchanted with Christianity and finally gave up attending church entirely. This drew the attention of the local pastor, who decided to pay a visit to this self-absenting member of his flock. The conversation was very short. FitzGerald told the pastor that his decision to absent himself from church services was the fruit of long and hard meditation. When the pastor protested, FitzGerald showed him to the door, and explained that no further visits would be necessary.

1860Pennsylvania enacts an outlaw statute saying that persons who flee when accused of certain crimes-including sodomy-can be found guilty without trial.

 

1872 – On this date the Russian choreographer Sergei Diaghilev was born (d.1929). A Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes from which many famous dancers and choreographers would later arise.

Diaghilev engaged in a number of homosexual relationships. His first important affair was with Dima Filosofov, his cousin, when they were both little more than adolescents; his second with Vaslav Nijinsky, who had already had a homosexual liaison with a wealthy aristocrat, partly in order to help support his mother, sister, and mentally disabled brother (his father had deserted the family). Later affairs of Diaghilev were with Boris Kochno, who served as his secretary from 1921 until the end of his life, and with Anton Dolin, the American dancer. Diaghilev had a close platonic relationship with two women, Misia Sert and the dancer Tamara Karsavina, either of whom he said he would like to have married

One cannot underestimate the influence of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes on the development of 20th century art. But the importance of his sexuality to Diaghelev's creative art is sometimes overlooked. Had he not been a gay man, had he not attracted to his cause the great gay writers, dancers, and artists of the day, the stream of 20th century art may have flowed in an entirely different direction. As Martin Green wrote in Children of the Sun,
"He made the dancer Nijinsky first his lover and then his choreographer, slyly displacing Michel Fokine and inspiring Nijinsky to become the company's chief ballet-creator. Diaghilev's superb taste...was made manifest in this new Nijinksy, the choreographer, and in the ballets he created. These works of art were the children of Diaghilev's sexual passion. The same thing happened later with Leonide Massine and Serge Lifar...These men created ballets under the spell of Diaghilev's passion and he created through them.
"

 

1930 – The Rev Sir Derek Pattinson (d.2006) was the secretary general of the general synod of the Church of England from 1972-1990. Always dressed in black morning coat and pin-striped trousers, he was the Church of England's supreme civil servant, and for most of that time he managed the role with political skill and geniality. The geniality never slipped but, towards the end of his time, his judgment did, and led in part to "the Crockford preface affair", when the scandal surrounding a scathing preface to the Crockford's Clerical Directory, in 1987, prompted the suicide of its author Canon Gareth Bennett. Pattinson retired soon afterwards; he was ordained a priest, and spent some time as the curate of a London parish.

Pattinson was a skilful and confident operator in committees, almost Machiavellian in purpose, but that purpose was invariably the good of the Church of England. One of his great talents was drafting documents in elegant prose. He worked tremendously hard. A bachelor, a suspected homosexual, though nobody knew for sure, he would say, with truth, that he was married to his job.

Despite criticism, particularly among lay evangelicals who disliked his liberal Anglo-Catholicism, he was ordained deacon in 1991, and the following year was ordained a priest and became a curate for a short while at St Gabriel's, Pimlico.

In spite of his homosexuality, not a breath of scandal had ever touched Pattinson during his synod years. But two unfortunate friendships in his retirement, one with a man involved with drugs and later murdered, the other with Barnaby Miln, a former member of the general synod, who had served a short prison sentence, touched Pattinson by association, and gave further public satisfaction to his critics, although he himself was never directly involved in either offence.

He lived it down and continued to share his flat with Miln who cared for him as his health deteriorated. He spent his last few years in a nursing home.

1934Richard Chamberlain, American actor, born; an American actor of stage and screen who became a teen idol in the title role of the television show Dr. Kildare (1961-1966) and the miniseries The Thornbirds.

Born in Los Angeles, he decided to pursue acting as a career. However, he was drafted into the army for two years, but enrolled in acting classes on his release, where he met his first same-sex love - but fearing the attitudes of the time, the late 1950s, the pair kept their year-long affair secret.

He appeared in his first film in 1960, and the following year won the title role in TV drama Dr Kildare, which ran for five successful years and made Chamberlain a household name and a romantic idol.

He made a number of successful and critically acclaimed movies in the 1970s - Ken Russell's The Music Lovers (1971), proto disaster epic The Towering Inferno (1974), The Swarm (1974) and The Three Musketeers (1974). In the late-70s and 1980s Chamberlain returned to TV and his career thrived in the then-new mini-series genre - Centennial (1978), Shogun (1980) and his best known role as Father Ralph de Bricassart in Colleen McCullough's The Thorn Birds (1983) - a TV phenonemon at the time. When the mini-series fell out of favour, he returned to the theatre where he continues to work.

Chamberlain was romantically involved with television actor Wesley Eure in the early 1970s. In 1977, he met actor-writer-producer Martin Rabbett, with whom he began a long-term relationship. This led to a civil union in the state of Hawaii, where the couple resided from 1986 to 2010 and during which time Chamberlain legally adopted Rabbett to protect his future estate. Rabbett and Chamberlain starred together in, among others, Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold, in which they played brothers Allan and Robeson Quatermain. In the spring of 2010 Chamberlain returned to Los Angeles to pursue career opportunities, leaving Rabbett in Hawaii, at least temporarily.

Chamberlain was outed, at the age of 55, by the French women's magazine Nous Deux in December 1989, but it was not until 2003 that he confirmed his homosexuality, in his autobiography, Shattered Love which describes how he felt obliged to hide his sexuality in order to have an acting career, and detailed affairs with dancer Rudolph Nureyev and actor Anthony Perkins.

Since his coming out Chamberlain has made occasional guest appearances on TV shows such as Will & Grace, Nip/Tuck and Desperate Housewives, usually bringing a new knowingness or just playing gay as he was unable to do for so many years.

In an interview with The Advocate in 2010 promoting his role in ABC's Brothers & Sisters Chamberlain controversially said,

'For an actor to be working [at all] is a kind of miracle, because most actors aren't, so it's just silly for a working actor to say, "Oh, I don't care if anybody knows I'm gay" - especially if you're a leading man.

'Personally, I wouldn't advise a gay leading man-type actor to come out.'

 Added 2022

 

1938Joel Godard, born in Milledgeville, Georgia, is an American television announcer and voiceover artist, best known as the announcer for Late Night with Conan O'Brien during its entire 16-year run from 1993 to 2009.

Godard attended Emory University. He was accepted into the school's medical program, but instead chose to try a career in the entertainment industry. Around 1968, Godard worked three jobs at the same time while living in Macon, Georgia: analyzing electroplating solutions at Maxson Electronics; acting as a news anchor and "stand-up weatherman" for WMAZ-TV; and as a licensed pilot for Lowe Aviation. He served as a production assistant at WMAZ radio in 1970.

During the early 1980s, Godard had roles in the made-for-TV movie Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones and the TBS soap opera The Caitlins. In the 1980s and 1990s, Godard made voiceover appearances on Saturday Night Live, NBC Nightly News, and Issues and Answers. Around 1986, he became an NBC staff announcer. Godard was the voice of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from 2000 to 2011.

In 2014, he starred in a series of online comedy shorts by Turtle with Lemonade Productions, entitled "Little Known Moments in American History."

Godard joined Late Night with Conan O'Brien when it was launched in 1993. Godard, blatantly heterosexual, frequently appeared in sketches, often pretending to be a suicidal homosexual filled with self-loathing, and with a penchant for bizarre sex acts, substance abuse, and "young Asian men (preferably wearing Speedos)". Through the years, Late Night's writers gave Godard a number of bizarre backstories; for example, one typical skit involved the announcer referring to having had multiple "loveless" marriages and "a botched mid-life circumcision," as well as his "ultimate sexual fantasy": a man dressed as Abraham Lincoln wearing BDSM leathers and a ball gag. Godard would almost always deliver all of his lines – no matter how bizarre or disturbing the content – in a cheerful announcer's voice along with a wide smile plastered on his face.

When Conan O'Brien left Late Night to take over The Tonight Show, Godard did not follow him to Los Angeles. Godard wrote on his Facebook fan page that "Reports of my retirement were exaggerated. Conan just didn't take me to California with him. I remain in New York City with no LA lease to be stuck with!!!"

 

1940Barney Frank, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts, born; American politician and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Frank is a Democrat and has represented Massachusetts' 4th congressional district since 1981. Following the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in the 2006 midterm elections, Frank assumed the chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee. He is a prominent figure in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and has been outspoken on many civil rights issues including gay rights. In 1987, he spoke publicly about his homosexuality for the first time. He said in a 1996 interview: "I'm used to being in the minority. I'm a left-handed, gay Jew. I've never felt, automatically, a member of any majority."

In 1990, the House voted to reprimand Frank when it was revealed that Steve Gobie, a male escort whom Frank had befriended after hiring him through a personal ad, claimed to have conducted an escort service from Frank's apartment when he was not at home. Frank had dismissed Gobie earlier that year and reported the incident to the House Ethics Committee after learning of Gobie's activities. After an investigation, the House Ethics Committee found no evidence that Frank had known of or been involved in the alleged illegal activity. Regarding Gobie's more scandalous claims the report by the Ethics Committee concluded, "In numerous instances where an assertion made by Mr. Gobie (either publicly or during his Committee deposition) was investigated for accuracy, the assertion was contradicted by third-party sworn testimony or other evidence of Mr. Gobie himself."

The New York Times reported on July 20, 1990 that the House Ethics Committee recommended "that Representative Barney Frank receive a formal reprimand from the House for his relationship with a male prostitute." Attempts to expel or censure Frank, led by Republican member Larry Craig failed. Rather, the House voted 408-18 to reprimand him. This condemnation was not reflected in Frank's district, where he won re-election in 1990 with 66 percent of the vote, and has won by larger margins ever since.

In 1995, then-Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey referred to Frank as "Barney Fag" in a press interview. Armey apologized and said it was "a slip of the tongue". Frank did not accept the "slip of the tongue" excuse and responded, "I turned to my own expert, my mother, who reports that in 59 years of marriage, no one ever introduced her as Elsie Fag."

In 1998, he founded the National Stonewall Democrats, the national gay, Lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Democratic organization. In 2004 and again in 2006, a survey of Capitol Hill staffers published in Washington magazine gave Frank the title of the "brainiest", "funniest", and "most eloquent" member of the House.

Frank is known for his witty, self-deprecating sense of humor. He once famously quipped that he was unable to complete his review of the Starr Report detailing President Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky, complaining that it was "too much reading about heterosexual sex." Frank is also noted for his occasionally caustic remarks about Republicans. In a June 2007 New England Cable News interview, Frank said of Mitt Romney: "The real Romney is clearly an extraordinarily ambitious man with no perceivable political principle whatsoever. He is the most intellectually dishonest human being in the history of politics."

Frank's blunt stance on outing certain gay Republicans has become well- publicized, dubbed "The Frank Rule"—that it is acceptable to out a closeted gay person, if that person uses their power or notoriety to hurt gay people. The issue became especially relevant during the Mark Foley-page scandal of 2006, during which Frank clarified his position on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher:
"I think there's a right to privacy. But the right to privacy should not be a right to hypocrisy. And people who want to demonize other people shouldn't then be able to go home and close the door and do it themselves."


Barney Frank with husband Jim Ready

Frank resides in a studio apartment complex in Newton, Massachusetts. His husband, Jim Ready, is a surfing enthusiast whom Frank met during a gay political fundraiser in Maine, where Ready still lives. On July 7, 2012, Frank married Ready, his longtime partner, at Boston Marriott Newton in suburban Boston.

 

1957– Sir Alan Duncan KCMG MP is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rutland and Melton. He is known as one of the most strident and ideological libertarians within the leading ranks of the Conservative Party.

Following the 2010 UK General Election, the new Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Duncan as Minister of State for International Development. He left this post following the government reshuffle in July 2014 and was subsequently awarded a knighthood of the Order of St Michael and St George.

After two years out of government, he returned to frontline politics when new Prime Minister Theresa May appointed him as Minister for Europe and the Americas and effective deputy to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in July 2016.

Duncan was the first sitting Conservative MP voluntarily to acknowledge that he is gay; he did this in an interview with The Times on 29 July 2002, although he has said that this came as no surprise to friends. Indeed, in an editorial published on the news of Duncan's coming out, The Daily Telegraph reported,
"The news that Alan Duncan is gay will come as a surprise only to those who have never met him. The bantam Tory frontbencher can hardly be accused of having hidden his homosexuality."

Duncan became the first member of either the Cabinet or the Shadow Cabinet to enter into a civil partnership when he was joined as civil partners with his partner James Dunseath in July 2008. Duncan has a committed following in the gay community and is active in speaking up for gay rights. He was responsible for formulating the Conservatives' policy response to the introduction of civil partnership legislation in 2004, which he considered his proudest achievement of the Parliament between 2001 and 2005. In 2007, Pink News named him the 15th most powerful LGBT person in the UK.

 

1961 – American composer and pianist Jake Heggie celebrates his birthday today. Born in West Palm Beach, Florida. Heggie is the composer of the operas Dead Man Walking (2000), The End of the Affair (2004), At The Statue of Venus (2005), and To Hell and Back (2006). He is also the composer of more than 200 art songs as well as chamber and concert works.

Heggie started learning the piano when he was five years old. After spending two years in Paris, he continued his studies at the age of 20 at the University of California, Los Angeles, with the pianist Johana Harris (1912-1995), widow of the composer Roy Harris. They married in 1982 and separated in 1993.

In 1998 he was appointed composer in residence to the San Francisco Opera, where his first opera, Dead Man Walking, was first performed in 2000. With a libretto by Terrence McNally and a production by director Joe Mantello, the opera was extensively acclaimed and it ran for two extra performances due to popularity. It has since been seen in 15 international productions. In 2007 alone, Dead Man Walking received more than 50 performances. His second opera, The End of the Affair, was premiered in 2004 at the Houston Grand Opera.

In 2005, Heggie collaborated again with Terrence McNally to create At the Statue of Venus, which opened in Denver. In 2006, he debuted To Hell and Back (libretto by Gene Scheer) in November 2006.

On 29 February 2008, his opera Last Acts, with a libretto by Gene Scheer based on a play by Terrence McNally, opened at the Houston Grand Opera, which commissioned the work in association with the San Francisco Opera and Cal Performances. Last Acts was its working title; it will in future be known as Three Decembers.

On April 30, 2010, Heggie premiered his most recent opera, Moby-Dick (libretto by Gene Scheer) at The Dallas Opera.

Heggie married his partner of eight years, singer aand actor Curt Branom, in October 2008.

 Added 2022

 

1963Laurent Daniels, born Laurent Peter Holzamer in Mainz, is a German actor who lives in Berlin.

He is the grandson of former ZDF - director Karl Holzamer.

In 1991, he and David Wilms presented the gay magazine Andersrum, which was broadcast on the local Berlin broadcaster FAB.

From 1997 to 2000 Daniels played the role of homosexual Philip Krüger in Good Times, Bad Times. He also played in the spin-off Großstadtträume in 2000 and tried his hand at singing for a while.

From August 21, 2006 to February 10, 2007 he played the role of Volker Möllenkamp in the telenovela Butterflies in the Belly. In 2007 he appeared in the last episode of Adelheid and her murderers ( Mord à la mode ).

In 2014 he stood in front of the camera for the German production Plan B: Scheiss auf Plan A , which opened in German cinemas on June 8, 2017.

1964Ed Northe founds the Imperial Court of Canada, a monarchist society comprised primarily of drag personalities, and becomes a driving force in the effort to achieve equality in Canada. The Court of Canada now has at least 14 chapters across the country and is the oldest, continuously running GLBT Organization in Canada.

 

1972 – Rev. Scott Rennie, born in Aberdeen, Scotland, was Minister of Brechin Cathedral in the Church of Scotland from 4 November 1999 until 2 July 2009. He is currently the minister of Queen's Cross Church, Aberdeen. He was the first openly gay minister to be appointed wthin the Church of Scotland.

Rennie was born on 31 March 1972 in Bucksburn, Aberdeen. He studied Geography at the University of Aberdeen, and Divinity at Christ's College, Aberdeen. He served as Assistant Minister at Queen's Cross Church, Aberdeen, studying for a Masters in Sacred Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City on a Scots Fellowship. Rev. Rennie is a member of the Church of Scotland's Taskforce on Human Sexuality, and is currently working towards a Doctor of Ministry degree at the University of Aberdeen and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Rev. Rennie was married to his wife, Ruth, with whom he has a daughter, for five years before they separated and divorced. Rennie subsequently formed a relationship with his now partner, Dr. David Smith, an Educationalist at the University of Aberdeen and Religion scholar. Rennie is a member of the Liberal Democrats and a former Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Angus.

Rennie's appointment to Queen's Cross Church in 2009 triggered the row over gay clergy being allowed in the Church of Scotland.

He entered a civil partnership with David Smith at Aberdeen's Marischal College on May 8, while the Kirk discussed the issues at the General Assembly in Edinburgh.

They agreed to back a motion giving Church of Scotland congregations the freedom to appoint gay people as ministers. Six congregations have left the denomination since the Church of Scotland made the decision.

Rev. Rennie welcomed this decision:

"There is no doubt that it [the vote] is a milestone, because it is at last a recognition of the place of gay and lesbian people in the ministry, of which there are a number. It also recognises liberty of conscience on this matter, as there is on many other matters, within the broad church that is the national church…There is no doubt, an important step has been taken."

 

1972 – Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar was born in Santiago, Chile. In addition to writing and directing his own films, Amenábar has maintained a notable career as a composer of film scores, including the Goya Awards-nominated score for José Luis Cuerda's La lengua de las mariposas.

Amenábar was awarded the Grand Prix of the Jury at the International Venice Film Festival in 2004 for Mar adentro ("The Sea Inside") starring Javier Bardem, and in February 2005 the same film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

In February 2004, Amenábar came out to the Spanish gay magazine Shangay Express.

In 2008 Amenábar shot an epic film called Agora which he wrote with Mateo Gill. Set in Roman Egypt, the film is based on the life of philosopher and mathematician Hypatia of Alexandria.

On 18 July 2015, he married David Blanco.

1976 – The Florida Supreme Court reverses a conviction for open and gross lewdness of a man who fondled another in a dark bar.

 

1978Romaine Patterson is an American gay rights activist, radio personality, and author. She first received national attention for her activism at the funeral of murdered gay student Matthew Shepard; the two were friends in high school. She is currently the co-host with Derek Hartley of the Derek and Romaine show on Sirius Satellite Radio's SIRIUS OutQ channel 108 and XM Satellite Radio channel 98.

Born in Wyoming, Patterson is the youngest of eight children. Three of her brothers are gay, and one of them, Michael, died from AIDS. She spent several summers during high school in Denver, Colorado, living with her brothers and working at a Coffee Shop.

Openly lesbian, Patterson lives in New Jersey with her partner Iris and her first child, a daughter born 2007, also named Romaine.

Patterson's best-known activist work was her response to the planned anti-gay protests by Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church during the trials of Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney for the murder of Matthew Shepard. Patterson organized counter protests known as "Angel Action", in which groups of people dressed as angels with extremely large wings that shielded the families from Phelps and his group. Patterson was later depicted in The Laramie Project, a play about the event based on interviews with the participants. In the film version of the play. She was portrayed by actress Christina Ricci. She was portrayed by Canadian actress Kristen Thomson in the TV movie The Matthew Shepard Story.

Patterson later worked at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation as a Regional Media Manager. She has written a book about her experiences as an activist since Shepard's death, called The Whole World Was Watching.

1981Montana adds a fine of up to $50,000 for sodomy, but exempts paupers from paying it.

2014 – Model and activist Geena Rocero comes out as transgender during her TED talk filmed in Vancouver on the Transgender Day of Visibility. She is a Filipino American supermodel, TED speaker, and transgender advocate based in New York City. Rocero is the founder of Gender Proud, an advocacy and aid organization that stands up for the right of transgender people worldwide to gain "self-identify with the fewest possible barriers".

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TODAY'S GAY WISDOM

Edward FitzGerald's translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, verses 1 - 12 (of 75):

1
Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.

2
Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry.

3
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted--Open then the Door.
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more.

4
Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the WHITE HAND OF MOSES on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

5
Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose,
And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one knows;
But still the Vine her ancient Ruby yields,
And still a Garden by the Water blows.

6
And David's Lips are lock't; but in divine
High piping Pelevi, with Wine! Wine! Wine!
Red Wine!--the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That yellow Cheek of hers to'incarnadine.

7
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly--and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

8
And look--a thousand Blossoms with the Day
Woke--and a thousand scatter'd into Clay:
And this first Summer Month that brings the Rose
Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.

9
But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot:
Let Rustum lay about him as he will,
Or Hatim Tai cry Supper--heed them not.

10
With me along some Strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultan scarce is known,
And pity Sultan Mahmud on his Throne.

11
Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse--and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

12
How sweet is mortal Sovranty!--think some:
Others--How blest the Paradise to come!
Ah, take the Cash in hand and waive the Rest;
Oh, the brave Music of a distant Drum!

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