The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday and Lake Whetstone Wildlife

By Henry Vaughan

Award, and still in bonds, one day
I stole abroad,
It was high-spring, and all the way
Primros'd, and hung with shade;
Yet, was it frost within,
And surly winds
Blasted my infant buds, and sin
Like clouds eclips'd my mind.

Storm'd thus; I straight perceiv'd my spring
Mere stage, and show,
My walk a monstrous, mountain's thing
Rough-cast with rocks, and snow;
And as a pilgrim's eye
Far from relief,
Measures the melancholy sky
Then drops, and rains for grief,

So sigh'd I upwards still, at last
'Twixt steps, and falls
I reach'd the pinnacle, where plac'd
I found a pair of scales,
I took them up and laid
In th'one late pains,
The other smoke, and pleasures weigh'd
But prov'd the heavier grains;

With that, some cried, Away; straight I
Obey'd, and led
Full east, a fair, fresh field could spy
Some call'd it Jacob's Bed;
A virgin-soil, which no
Rude feet ere trod,
Where (since he slept there,) only go
Prophets, and friends of God.

Here, I repos'd; but scarce well set,
A grove descried
Of stately height, whose branches met
And mixed on every side;
I entered, and once in
(Amaz'd to see't,)
Found all was chang'd, and a new spring
Did all my senses greet;

The unthrift sun shot vital gold
A thousand pieces,
And heaven its azure did unfold
Checker'd with snowy fleeces,
The air was all in spice
And every bush
A garland wore; thus fed my eyes
But all the ear lay hush.

Only a little fountain lent
Some use for ears,
And on the dumb shades language spent
The music of her tears;
I drew her near, and found
The cistern full
Of diverse stones, some bright, and round
Others ill'shap'd, and dull.

The first (pray mark,) as quick as light
Danc'd through the flood,
But, th'last more heavy than the night
Nail'd to the center stood;
I wonder'd much, but tir'd
At last with thought,
My restless eye that still desir'd
As strange an object brought;

It was a bank of flowers, where I descried
(Though 'twas mid'day,)
Some fast asleep, others broad-eyed
And taking in the ray,
Here musing long, I heard
A rushing wind
Which still increas'd, but whence it stirr'd
No where I could not find;

I turn'd me round, and to each shade
Dispatch'd an eye,
To see, if any leaf had made
Least motion, or reply,
But while I listening sought
My mind to ease
By knowing, where 'twas, or where not,
It whispered: Where I please.
Lord, then said I, On me one breath,
And let me die before my death!


I had a day of chores and schlepping, since we are going to New York this weekend for one family event and Boston next weekend for another family event (so you will please have to excuse short and shallow entries for the next few days). I had laundry to fold and pantyhose to purchase, then after school I had to take Adam to the orthodontist for what was supposed to be a quick retainer check but the orthodontist was running a solid hour late. (Daniel meanwhile had a morning calculus AP exam, then a lunch date with his girlfriend, so he was perfectly happy to stay on the other side of the county and take the bus home hours after the test.) While Adam was stuck in the waiting room, I went to the Hallmark store to pick up Mother's Day cards for friends and to Borders to buy Adam Michio Kaku's Hyperspace, since he is enjoying Parallel Worlds and having interesting conversations about the nature of the universe(s). I also stopped at my mom's to pick up the kids' shirts for the Bar Mitzvah and borrow a purse, since I don't have a dress purse that can hold my phone and camera at the same time.

Speaking of parallel worlds, after Paul made dinner for Cinco de Mayo consisting of veggie chili, corn bread, and the same low-sodium cheese dip with baked nachos that he made for the Super Bowl, we watched Doctor Who's "The Time of Angels" and "Flesh and Stone" -- we won't be in town when BBC America shows either one and this may very well be our last free night where we don't have some event or someone doesn't have an AP or HSA exam to study for, though both kids tell me their English teachers have already seen the episodes as they are both big fans. This may be sacrilege to Doctor fans, but I'm liking the women on the series so far much better than I'm liking Eleven -- I really thought Amy would be too young and too, well, kissogram to hold my interest but I was totally wrong. And I am LOVING River Song this time out! Last time I really resented how much time and attention she was taking away from Donna Noble, who got shunted off into a domestic storyline where she had almost no control over her own fate, which happened far too much for my taste. I'm a bit irritated that Amy was stuck in damsel-in-distress position for so much of this two-parter but she was very brave and it's lovely that River got to rescue her.

I have nothing to say about the weeping angels or the crack in the universe -- frankly, the plot was so convoluted that I am either just not all that bright and must watch it again to see if it makes sense upon reviewing, or it had massive holes that I'd rather not examine too closely. I was thinking more about things like the fact that River's shoes are not practical for spying (either to run or to keep silent in), that I love how much Amy enjoys the Doctor's discomfiture around River and isn't jealous that she might be his wife, only that she can do awesome things like fly the TARDIS, that I couldn't decide whether Ten would have fired a gun with the perfect confidence and competence that Eleven did (which is not necessarily a bad thing). I still mostly see a shadow of Ten when I look at Eleven -- I adored Smith imitating the TARDIS landing noise and River's "You leave the brakes on," but I was picturing Alex Kingston playing the scene with David Tennant -- again, I'm not complaining, because the chemistry is still there, but I'm just not seeing anything original in Matt Smith and there are some things he just doesn't do as well as Tennant, like rapid-fire exposition dump.

Even so, some of the dialogue is fabulous. "How come you can fly the TARDIS?" "I had lessons from the very best. It's a shame you were busy that day." "River, hug Amy because I'm busy." "Believe you me, I have no intention of going back to prison." Especially "I don't need you to die for me! I'm not that clingy!" The angels aren't nearly as creepy as the army cleric forgetting his friends -- in general the angels aren't nearly as creepy as in "Blink," I liked them better when they could wrench you away from your entire life rather than kill you -- and I can't get excited about the possible end of the universe centering on Amy since I expect that to end as badly as the possible end of the universe centering on Donna. I'm not sure I can still get passionately attached to either a Doctor or Companion, really, knowing what will inevitably come (and is it the Doctor himself whom River kills? Is that how they intend eventually to trade in Smith for someone else?). Well, it certainly holds my interest for the full hour, which these days is my only real requirement for sticking with a show...

Here are a few more photos of the wildlife around Lake Whetstone in Gaithersburg, including adult great blue herons...

...yellow-bellied slider turtles... herons... slider turtles... jays (as well as cardinals, robins, and dozens of other birds)...

...tent caterpillars, which will grow up to be gypsy moths if not eaten by birds... great blue herons with their parents in huge treetop nests...

...and, in the backyards of the homes around the side of the lake, azaleas and other flowering plants.

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