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

Poem for Saturday


All Souls
By Edith Wharton


I

A thin moon faints in the sky o'erhead,
And dumb in the churchyard lie the dead.
Walk we not, Sweet, by garden ways,
Where the late rose hangs and the phlox delays,
But forth of the gate and down the road,
Past the church and the yews, to their dim abode.
For it's turn of the year and All Souls' night,
When the dead can hear and the dead have sight.

II

Fear not that sound like wind in the trees:
It is only their call that comes on the breeze;
Fear not the shudder that seems to pass:
It is only the tread of their feet on the grass;
Fear not the drip of the bough as you stoop:
It is only the touch of their hands that grope--
For the year's on the turn and it's All Souls' night,
When the dead can yearn and the dead can smite.

III

And where should a man bring his sweet to woo
But here, where such hundreds were lovers too?
Where lie the dead lips that thirst to kiss,
The empty hands that their fellows miss,
Where the maid and her lover, from sere to green,
Sleep bed by bed, with the worm between?
For it's turn of the year and All Souls' night,
When the dead can hear and the dead have sight.

IV

And now they rise and walk in the cold,
Let us warm their blood and give youth to the old.
Let them see us and hear us, and say: "Ah, thus
In the prime of the year it went with us!"
Till their lips drawn close, and so long unkist,
Forget they are mist that mingles with mist!
For the year's on the turn, and it's All Souls' night,
When the dead can burn and the dead can smite.

V

Till they say, as they hear us--poor dead, poor dead!--
"Just an hour of this, and our age-long bed--
Just a thrill of the old remembered pains
To kindle a flame in our frozen veins,
A touch, and a sight, and a floating apart,
As the chill of dawn strikes each phantom heart--
For it's turn of the year and All Souls' night,
When the dead can hear and the dead have sight."

VI

And where should the living feel alive
But here in this wan white humming hive,
As the moon wastes down, and the dawn turns cold,
And one by one they creep back to the fold?
And where should a man hold his mate and say:
"One more, one more, ere we go their way"?
For the year's on the turn, and it's All Souls' night,
When the living can learn by the churchyard light.

VII

And how should we break faith who have seen
Those dead lips plight with the mist between,
And how forget, who have seen how soon
They lie thus chambered and cold to the moon?
How scorn, how hate, how strive, wee too,
Who must do so soon as those others do?
For it's All Souls' night, and break of the day,
And behold, with the light the dead are away. . .

--------

Not a very eventful Friday. I spent the morning writing a review of "The Best of Both Worlds, Part Two", then picked up younger son from school to take him to the orthodontist. He is getting braces on his lower teeth next month to go with the ones on his upper teeth, and he is not happy about this. I had thought there was a Halloween store right near the orthodontist, but it turned out that there wasn't, so we stopped at the mall near our house on the way home to find him a mask for Halloween (he chose one of those all-fabric ones that makes it look like you don't have a face) and I went to get my free 2 oz. Bath & Body Works body lotion, only to discover that they're not carrying Brown Sugar and Fig -- that's the third scent in a row I really liked that they've stopped making, and I can't stand any of their new heavy florals. I need a new body lotion.


The young residents of Middletown, Maryland made fabric statues of helpful people around town for the Main Street Scarecrow Contest.


Here, for instance, is a first grade class impression of a policeman.


This is a nurse, in front of a historic bank building.


And this, apparently, is how teachers dress in Middletown.


Apparently the locals are also aided by a leprechaun...


...a giant spider, a Santa Claus...


...and what seems to be a flying bat-dog, which might not be an impossible sight in Middletown.


This is the garden behind the Snallygaster, an art and jewelry store in Middletown named for the half-bird, half-reptile dragon creature said to live in the mountains of Frederick County, Maryland.
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thefridayfive: When did you last...
1. ...scrounge for change (couch, ashtray, etc) to make a purchase?
Our change is in a bank in the kitchen till we take it to the machine in the bank to be counted and deposited, so while I've grabbed a few quarters here and there for parking or a vending machine, I don't remember when I last scrounged.
2. ...visit a dentist? September 22nd.
3. ...make a needed change to your life? When I told TrekToday that I wasn't going to keep writing news last spring. Unfortunately, I don't have a job to replace it yet.
4. ...decide on a complete menu well in advance of the evening meal? When my husband was out of town this spring and I was solely responsible for dinner.
5. ...spend part of the day (other than daily hygiene) totally/mostly naked? Since my kids' rooms are right next door to mine, it's been a long time!

fannish5: Name five songs that should be in a musical episode of your fandom.
All fandom musicals should be like "Once More With Feeling," the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical, where the songs were original and written for the characters. That said, since Hercules: The Legendary Journeys regularly made excellent use of pop hits and I mostly watched Dawson's Creek for the soundtrack, here is my October Project soundtrack for Harry Potter...
1. "See With Different Eyes"
2. "Always A Place"
3. "It Is Time"
4. "Dark Time"
5. "Return To Me"


Watched the second episode of Crusoe, which made me happy in a number of ways -- the biggest being that even though the IMDb claimed that Sean Bean only appeared in the first two episodes, shown together as the series premiere, he was in this week's episode too! Even if I only get ten seconds of him, it will make me very happy if he keeps appearing! "Sacrifice" is more Indiana Jones than Pirates of the Caribbean but still quite enjoyable, aware of the race and gender issues with the source material and apparently trying to compensate by having Friday be a feminist as well as a genius. ("These people knew things," says Crusoe admirably of the tomb-builders. "Like how to slaughter women," adds Friday. "Says the cannibal king," retorts Crusoe.)

Also watched Sanctuary, didn't like the haunted-house storyline very much but then I never do...the acting's been better than the writing every week I've seen the show, and this one was no exception. Also, some backstory that doesn't recycle stuff we already know would be appreciated. I'm hoping it gets better as it goes, since SGA and BSG are going away in the near future.
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