By Matthew Arnold
The sea is calm tonight,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
The Remix Redux III: Reloaded archive is now open! I kind of expected that the person remixing for me would gravitate toward either Star Trek: Voyager or Lord of the Rings, since I've written so much more in those fandoms than others, but my writer remixed "Stolen", one of my rare DS9 stories and Bashir/O'Brien no less, from Molly's POV which is really quite brilliant as that little girl must have been so confused about Daddy being more interested in playing games with Julian than with her. Hers is a much more interesting story than mine was, much more show-not-tell. *g* It's here.
Dover Beach. See the white cliffs and the pebbles, despite the commercial interruptions? It was a very sunny day in town and misty over the Channel, and we spent most of our time here in the castle and walking the streets with all the naval collectibles that I didn't know enough then to seek out, but I insisted on setting my feet in the water here. Yes, the poem is perhaps overused, but I was looking over my Dover photos from 2003 and was in the mood for it. Besides, it's an utterly stunning use of rhyme.
The suitcases are out and we're slowly sorting stuff to go inside. There's a little washer and dryer in the cottage where we're staying in Yorkshire, so we don't need to pack two weeks' worth of clothes, but as we learned from our last trip the temperature could be anywhere from the 30s to the 80s and apparently anything from pissing rain and sleet to brilliant burn-worthy sunshine. This requires careful strategies involving layers, something I suck at. I am not bringing any jewelry worth more than $10 except my wedding ring, which means I have to wear the same gold studs the whole trip. Last trip I lost a silver earring with a moonstone in it, one of my favorites, on the ground somewhere in Stratford-Upon-Avon -- not that I have ever for a moment regretted being there that day, but I don't want to lose any others.
This afternoon my in-laws, who have just returned with their trailer from several months on the west coast, drove down from Hanover, and we went out with my parents to Taste of Saigon for Vietnamese food to celebrate my husband's 40th birthday since we'll be away on the actual day. It was very nice and I am absolutely stuffed on black pepper and caramelized chicken, salmon, duck and hot and sour shrimp soup, plus the German chocolate cake for which we went back to my parents' house. Have given hubby all the small presents I have for him and tomorrow must come up with a Real Present...in between giving perkypaduan a tour of my cats' litter boxes and shopping for last minute items we can't live without!