The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Dear Old Sheep of the Lake District...

When I was a boy, about 13 or so, I found at a tag sale two lovely Oxford poets works edition, Milton and Wordsworth. Handsome maroon volumes, from the 1920s (I still have them). And I remember lying on the floor and reading, falling in love with the sound as much as the sense:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreath├Ęd horn.
I still have an affection for them both, especially Wordsworth, whom Horace Rumpole famously termed "the dear old sheep of the Lake District. And yet his reading of the poem showed his true feelings.

Look outside tonight. It is a beauteous evening--calm and free, with a slight, invigorating bite in the air. Pause for a moment, and relish it.

Good night, until tomorrow.

{Edited to remove the awesome typo depicting Wordsworth as the "dear Ood sheep of the Lake District." That's a Doctor Who ep I'll pass on, thanks!}

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