The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday and Calvert County

Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward
By John Donne

Let man's soul be a sphere, and then, in this,
Th' intelligence that moves, devotion is;
And as the other spheres, by being grown
Subject to foreign motion, lose their own,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a year their natural form obey;
Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit
For their first mover, and are whirl'd by it.
Hence is't, that I am carried towards the west,
This day, when my soul's form bends to the East.
There I should see a Sun by rising set,
And by that setting endless day beget.
But that Christ on His cross did rise and fall,
Sin had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for me.
Who sees Gods face, that is self-life, must die;
What a death were it then to see God die?
It made His own lieutenant, Nature, shrink,
It made His footstool crack, and the sun wink.
Could I behold those hands, which span the poles
And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes?
Could I behold that endless height, which is
Zenith to us and our antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood, which is
The seat of all our soul's, if not of His,
Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn
By God for His apparel, ragg'd and torn?
If on these things I durst not look, durst I
On His distressed Mother cast mine eye,
Who was God's partner here, and furnish'd thus
Half of that sacrifice which ransom'd us?
Though these things as I ride be from mine eye,
They're present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and Thou look'st towards me,
O Saviour, as Thou hang'st upon the tree.
I turn my back to thee but to receive
Corrections till Thy mercies bid Thee leave.
O think me worth Thine anger, punish me,
Burn off my rust, and my deformity;
Restore Thine image, so much, by Thy grace,
That Thou mayst know me, and I'll turn my face.


We spent Good Friday in Calvert County, first hiking to Calvert Cliffs and enjoying the beach, then at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons where we had the added pleasure of seeing the Ocean Trio performing. We had a picnic in the park near the parking lot right after we arrived, then headed into the woods, following the stream on what started as a firm dirt path, then degenerated into swamp as we approached the wetlands. Our shoes are rather worse for wear but we got to see lots of turtles and a big bullfrog, plus plenty of evidence of beaver activity though the beavers themselves were apparently asleep. The tide was pretty high when we arrived at the Chesapeake shore, so the beach was narrower than usual, but the water was warm enough for us to stick bare feet in (and in younger son's case, to get drenched from the waist down).

In the late afternoon we hiked back to the car, then drove to the museum, where we opted to have dinner in the car since it had gotten quite chilly and several of us were damp. The museum was having a First Free Friday, meaning that it's free in the evenings on the first Friday of each month, and Ocean was performing as the final event in the concert series -- the trio of Jennifer Cutting, Lisa Moscatiello, and Laura Byrne, who did several of my favorites including "Eileen Aroon" and the New St. George's "The Mermaid," with Steve Winick joining them on "General Taylor" and a song in Manx. We also got to walk through the museum's ship gallery, which is under renovation, and to see the rays and skates, the local wildlife exhibit, and the fossils. A Mennonite couple were selling homemade baked goods and flowers out front, so we had brownies in the van on the long drive home.

Turtles on a log near the trail that leads to Calvert Cliffs.

The dirt path begins paralleling a small stream that widens into a swamp...

...though beavers have dammed up the stream at various points.

Here I am at last on the beach near the Chesapeake Bay. (Photo by Paul.)

Adam looked for the shark's teeth for which Calvert Cliffs is renowned.

Later we visited Drum Point Lighthouse at the Calvert Marine Museum...

...which has a tank of rays and skates, plus skate egg cases and babies in a smaller tank.

Jennifer Cutting, Lisa Moscatiello, and Laura Byrne performed in the auditorium.

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