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The Little Review
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Poem for Wednesday and Neighborhood Animals


The House-top
By Herman Melville

A Night Piece (July, 1863)

No sleep. The sultriness pervades the air
And binds the brain—a dense oppression, such
As tawny tigers feel in matted shades,
Vexing their blood and making apt for ravage.
Beneath the stars the roofy desert spreads
Vacant as Libya. All is hushed near by.
Yet fitfully from far breaks a mixed surf
Of muffled sound, the Atheist roar of riot.
Yonder, where parching Sirius set in drought,
Balefully glares red Arson—there—and there.
The Town is taken by its rats—ship-rats.
And rats of the wharves. All civil charms
And priestly spells which late held hearts in awe—
Fear-bound, subjected to a better sway
Than sway of self; these like a dream dissolve,
And man rebounds whole aeons back in nature.
Hail to the low dull rumble, dull and dead,
And ponderous drag that shakes the wall.
Wise Draco comes, deep in the midnight roll
Of black artillery; he comes, though late;
In code corroborating Calvin's creed
And cynic tyrannies of honest kings;
He comes, nor parlies; and the Town redeemed,
Give thanks devout; nor, being thankful, heeds
The grimy slur on the Republic's faith implied,
Which holds that Man is naturally good,
And—more—is Nature's Roman, never to be scourged.

--------

I had a fairly quiet Tuesday with a bunch of work to do. It was drizzly and gloomy in the morning, which was conducive to staying home and getting work done, then it got quite hot and sunny in the afternoon -- when I walked in the woods I must have seen two dozen chipmunks, all of whom may have had waterlogged holes, plus several bunnies enjoying the still-damp grass. Adam's friend Daniel had me take a photo of a baby chipmunk in his yard while Adam was walking our neighbor's dog Nellie:











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I feel like I do all my political posting on Facebook these days so I will mention my deep revulsion and outrage about this (someone tried to convince me that it was my Christian duty to love and forgive the haters, which enrages me almost as much as the hate speech itself -- demands for righteousness do a hell of a lot more good) and my sad amusement about this which exemplifies how certain people (mis)use the Old Testament.

We watched the Glee season finale, which left me unimpressed in every possible way, even musically this time. I see that Smash is ditching Dev and Ellis next season and wish Glee would do the same with its most annoying characters, though I can't say I'm glad that the former is getting rid of two of its three characters of color. On Glee I want to keep Santana and get rid of Rachel and Finn!
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