By Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes; I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.
Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man--
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem'd
To his great heart none other than a God!
I ask'd thee, "Give me immortality."
Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
Like wealthy men who care not how they give.
But thy strong Hours indignant work'd their wills,
And beat me down and marr'd and wasted me,
And tho' they could not end me, left me maim'd
To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
Immortal age beside immortal youth,
And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love,
Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now,
Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men,
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?
A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comes
A glimpse of that dark world where I was born.
Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals
From any pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,
And bosom beating with a heart renew'd.
Thy cheek begins to redden thro' the gloom,
Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,
Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team
Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise,
And shake the darkness from their loosen'd manes,
And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.
Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful
In silence, then before thine answer given
Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.
Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
"The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts."
Ay me! ay me! with what another heart
In days far-off, and with what other eyes
I used to watch--if I be he that watch'd--
The lucid outline forming round thee; saw
The dim curls kindle into sunny rings;
Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood
Glow with the glow that slowly crimson'd all
Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,
Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm
With kisses balmier than half-opening buds
Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss'd
Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,
Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,
While Ilion like a mist rose into towers.
Yet hold me not for ever in thine East;
How can my nature longer mix with thine?
Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
Floats up from those dim fields about the homes
Of happy men that have the power to die,
And grassy barrows of the happier dead.
Release me, and restore me to the ground;
Thou seest all things, thou wilt see my grave:
Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;
I earth in earth forget these empty courts,
And thee returning on thy silver wheels.
* * * *
Due to the weather, my husband could not go into work in the early hours, so this morning I woke up to nearly eight glorious inches. Of snow.
Unfortunately this means that my children have no school, which unfortunately means that they will have school on the day after what was originally intended to be the last day of school in June. And it means that I will be busy with snow-related entertainment today. Let's hope my son's sore throat is well and truly gone.
I read this marvelous contrelamontre Moulin Rouge fic by aerachnae last night. I highly recommend it.
From my dearest telesilla:
Congratulations! You're Aragorn!
Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
And a friends survey, gacked from tvillingar:
1. How often do you read your friends page? Two to three times a day, depending on how much free time I have while I'm at my computer.
2. Does it annoy you when people post too often? It's relative. Some people post several times a day, but they're short posts and the graphics and silly stuff are behind cut tags, so that doesn't bother me. There's only one person on my friends list who regularly leaves multiple long posts, and that person's a good enough friend that I don't care all that much.
3. How often is "too often"? I tend to be a 2-3 times a day but long posts kind of poster, so I don't really have a standard for short frequent posts. I guess 15+ times a day would seem like a lot.
4. Do you worry when particular friends don't post often enough? Some friends only post a few times a week, so I don't worry about them. If I don't hear from certain friends either on LJ or via e-mail in a 24-hour period I worry.
5. Do you read every word of every post on your friends page? Not always quizzes and surveys, especially if they're behind cut tags.
6. Do you religiously check what's behind any lj-cuts? No -- see above.
7. Do you use a reading filter? I don't even know how these work. I am still an LJ ignoramus in many ways.
8. What type of entry do you most like to read? Discovering great fic always makes me very happy. So do posts where people describe places they've been, art or theater they've seen, things I can't possibly get to because they're too far away from me. But I also just like to listen to what people think about life, religion, movies, TV, etc.
9. What type of entry makes you grind your teeth? Things that seem to be in secret code. Rants where the anger is clear but the subject and object of the anger are not. "I know something you don't"-type posts. "My friends and I all know something you don't"-type posts.
10. What type of entry sends you to sleep? None, just because if I start reading a post that really bores me, I skim and go on to the next one.
11. What type of entry would prompt you to defriend someone? Constant ranting about other people (political ranting is fine). Too many big pictures without cut tags. But it wouldn't ever be just one entry -- it would be an ongoing thing and I'd probably say something, unless it was someone I barely knew.