The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

The Sleep
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Of all the thoughts of God that are
Borne inward unto souls afar,
Along the Psalmist's music deep,
Now tell me if that any is,
For gift or grace, surpassing this—
'He giveth His beloved sleep'?

What would we give to our beloved?
The hero's heart to be unmoved,
The poet's star-tuned harp, to sweep,
The patriot's voice, to teach and rouse,
The monarch's crown, to light the brows?
He giveth His beloved, sleep.

What do we give to our beloved?
A little faith all undisproved,
A little dust to overweep,
And bitter memories to make
The whole earth blasted for our sake.
He giveth His beloved, sleep.

'Sleep soft, beloved!' we sometimes say,
But have no tune to charm away
Sad dreams that through the eye-lids creep.
But never doleful dream again
Shall break the happy slumber when
He giveth His beloved, sleep.

O earth, so full of dreary noises!
O men, with wailing in your voices!
O delvèd gold, the wailers heap!
O strife, O curse, that o'er it fall!
God strikes a silence through you all,
He giveth His beloved, sleep.

His dews drop mutely on the hill;
His cloud above it saileth still,
Though on its slope men sow and reap.
More softly than the dew is shed,
Or cloud is floated overhead,
He giveth His beloved, sleep.

Aye, men may wonder while they scan
A living, thinking, feeling man
Confirmed in such a rest to keep;
But angels say, and through the word
I think their happy smile is heard—
'He giveth His beloved, sleep.'

For me, my heart that erst did go
Most like a tired child at a show,
That sees through tears the mummers leap,
Would now its wearied vision close,
Would child-like on His love repose,
Who giveth His beloved, sleep.

And, friends, dear friends,—when it shall be
That this low breath is gone from me,
And round my bier ye come to weep,
Let One, most loving of you all,
Say, 'Not a tear must o'er her fall;
He giveth His beloved, sleep.'


Adam had a half-day of school again due to county conferences that don't actually apply to middle school, and I spent the morning waiting for the contractor to come by for ten minutes at what was supposed to be 10 but ended up being 11:40, so it was not a very exciting Monday. (The guys who actually did the contracting work apparently told the supervisor that we owed more for plumbing than they were paid, so we had to remind the supervisor that they used paint that was already in the house from the last time we had it painted rather than buying any...contract's signed and check's paid, they can go argue it out themselves.)

I was going to take Adam to Lashof Violins to rent him a full-size one, but we got there only to discover that they're closed on Mondays...woe! So I dragged him with me to the mall to see if I could use a Bath & Body Works coupon one day past expiration (I could, and now I have lots of Velvet Tuberose, Moonlit Path and Brown Sugar & Fig and smell good and am happy). Plus Hot Topic had Snape t-shirts 75% off. *whistles* Daniel came home usual time and it was a typical afternoon wrestling with them to do homework and practice violin...Adam is playing an Irish piece that I love and that he learned in about three minutes. If either of them actually practiced, they could be so good, because they're both very musical!

Fort Marcy, the Civil War defense along the Potomac River in Virginia parallel to Washington, DC.

Most of what's left are the earthworks, but the trees that have grown up since then are beautiful.

This is how it looked back when.

And this is how it looks now on a late fall afternoon.

Here's the view from one of the Potomac River overlooks on the George Washington Parkway.

In spots the river appears nearly dried up.

But with their leaves falling away against the fall color, the white oaks look very dramatic.

Monday TV was a classic case of "why do I bother" and if I hadn't been addressing holiday cards and doing computer stuff that I could do perfectly well with television droning in the background, I'd probably have shut it off. Heroes has definitely lost me; four months ago I might have cared what happened four months ago, but no longer. There are so many storylines and only a couple of them really grab me, neither of which was in play this week. The Latin American Wonder Twins might have worked better had the storyline started here, with what happened to them when her powers started, but at this point I groan when they appear with or without Sylar, and as for Elle...this is what they're wasting Kristen Bell on? I'm not sorry this will be a short season.

As for Journeyman, there too I want to know why Dan is only now getting around to asking Livia these's like the pacing of the whole series is off. I like the characters in the ongoing arc but can't really get into the episodic bits because they never seem to add up to anything. Other than Pushing Daisies, the writers' strike won't deprive me of anything I want to be watching!

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