The Last Chrysanthemum
By Thomas Hardy
Why should this flower delay so long
To show its tremulous plumes?
Now is the time of plaintive robin-song,
When flowers are in their tombs.
Through the slow summer, when the sun
Called to each frond and whorl
That all he could for flowers was being done,
Why did it not uncurl?
It must have felt that fervid call
Although it took no heed,
Waking but now, when leaves like corpses fall,
And saps all retrocede.
Too late its beauty, lonely thing,
The season's shine is spent,
Nothing remains for it but shivering
In tempests turbulent.
Had it a reason for delay,
Dreaming in witlessness
That for a bloom so delicately gay
Winter would stay its stress?
- I talk as if the thing were born
With sense to work its mind;
Yet it is but one mask of many worn
By the Great Face behind.
Hoarse post-sixth-game quickie after yelling a lot at the TV, first because of one of the worst calls in World Series history, then because Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg took their rage and put it into a couple of amazing innings and won the game. I had a very nice, very busy day beforehand: rushed through chores in the morning to go meet three high school friends for lunch at Cooper's Hawk Winery, where I split wonderful gnocchi and butternut squash with Linda, then home to try to get some work done, then a hastily planned but long overdue dinner with Karen at Thai House (Jim was away for work, but I brought Paul since I was changing the schedule so last minute). We missed the first couple of innings of the Nationals game, but we saw the good part! Here from Longwood Gardens last weekend are some specimens from the conservatory chrysanthemum show: