The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Sunday, Goslings, Beauty and the Beast


Love
By James Russell Lowell

True Love is but a humble, low-born thing,
And hath its food served up in earthen ware;
It is a thing to walk with, hand in hand,
Through the every-dayness of this work-day world,
Baring its tender feet to every roughness,
Yet letting not one heart-beat go astray
From Beauty’s law of plainness and content;
A simple, fire-side thing, whose quiet smile
Can warm earth’s poorest hovel to a home;
Which, when our autumn cometh, as it must,
And life in the chill wind shivers bare and leafless,
Shall still be blest with Indian-summer youth
In bleak November, and, with thankful heart,
Smile on its ample stores of garnered fruit,
As full of sunshine to our aged eyes
As when it nursed the blossoms of our spring.
Such is true Love, which steals into the heart
With feet as silent as the lightsome dawn
That kisses smooth the rough brows of the dark,
And hath its will through blissful gentleness,—
Not like a rocket, which, with savage glare,
Whirrs suddenly up, then bursts, and leaves the night
Painfully quivering on the dazed eyes;
A love that gives and takes, that seeth faults,
Now with flaw-seeking eyes like needle-points,
But, loving kindly, ever looks them down
With the o’ercoming faith of meek forgiveness;
A love that shall be new and fresh each hour,
As is the golden mystery of sunset,
Or the sweet coming of the evening-star,
Alike, and yet most unlike, every day,
And seeming ever best and fairest now;
A love that doth not kneel for what it seeks,
But faces Truth and Beauty as their peer,
Showing its worthiness of noble thoughts
By a clear sense of inward nobleness,
A love that in its object findeth not
All grace and beauty, and enough to sate
Its thirst of blessing, but, in all of good
Found there, it sees but Heaven-granted types
Of good and beauty in the soul of man,
And traces, in the simplest heart that beats,
A family-likeness to its chosen one,
That claims of it the rights of brotherhood.
For Love is blind but with the fleshly eye,
That so its inner sight may be more clear;
And outward shows of beauty only so
Are needful at the first, as is a hand
To guide and to uphold an infant’s steps:
Great spirits need them not; their earnest look
Pierces the body’s mask of thin disguise,
And beauty ever is to them revealed,
Behind the unshapeliest, meanest lump of clay,
With arms outstretched and eager face ablaze,
Yearning to be but understood and loved.

--------

It was gloriously cool on Saturday and no cats woke me early. We picked up Adam from his movie marathon, ate lunch, and went to Kohl's because he needed some new clothes before starting his internship and I had a pile of coupons and Kohl's bucks, though I used some of that to buy myself a pair of Skechers super-bouncy flip flops because my feet are killing me from standing all day and the flip flops are spongier than any of the slippers! We also took a walk so we could see the goslings:

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Christine came over for dinner (vegetarian crab cakes) and movie-watching, which included Beauty and the Beast (not my favorite fairy tale by a long stretch for a whole list of reasons; the cast is okay but whose bright idea was it to let Emma Thompson and not Audra McDonald sing the title song?) and an old Aussie TV video from when Hugh Jackman played Gaston. Then we saw Graham Norton and now we're on to the season finale of Saturday Night Live. I'd vote for Dwayne Johnson over many Republicans...
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