The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday and Mount Vernon Colonial Fair

Lines Written In Kensington Gardens
By Matthew Arnold

In this lone, open glade I lie,
Screen'd by deep boughs on either hand;
And at its end, to stay the eye,
Those black-crown'd, red-boled pine-trees stand!

Birds here make song, each bird has his,
Across the girdling city's hum.
How green under the boughs it is!
How thick the tremulous sheep-cries come!

Sometimes a child will cross the glade
To take his nurse his broken toy;
Sometimes a thrush flit overhead
Deep in her unknown day's employ.

Here at my feet what wonders pass,
What endless, active life is here!
What blowing daisies, fragrant grass!
An air-stirr'd forest, fresh and clear.

Scarce fresher is the mountain-sod
Where the tired angler lies, stretch'd out,
And, eased of basket and of rod,
Counts his day's spoil, the spotted trout.

In the huge world, which roars hard by,
Be others happy if they can!
But in my helpless cradle I
Was breathed on by the rural Pan.

I, on men's impious uproar hurl'd,
Think often, as I hear them rave,
That peace has left the upper world
And now keeps only in the grave.

Yet here is peace for ever new!
When I who watch them am away,
Still all things in this glade go through
The changes of their quiet day.

Then to their happy rest they pass!
The flowers upclose, the birds are fed,
The night comes down upon the grass,
The child sleeps warmly in his bed.

Calm soul of all things! make it mine
To feel, amid the city's jar,
That there abides a peace of thine,
Man did not make, and cannot mar.

The will to neither strive nor cry,
The power to feel with others give!
Calm, calm me more! nor let me die
Before I have begun to live.


Sunday was a gorgeous, overcast day that felt more like fall than summer, so when Adam was finished working at Hebrew school, we picked him up and went to the Mount Vernon Colonial Market & Fair, where we met dementordelta and ngech plus another friend. We brought a picnic but ate it in the outdoor section of the food court so we could sit at a table, then we walked around to see the sheep, pigs, chickens, horses, and cows before walking through the 18th century fair, where we smelled handmade soaps, admired woven goods, pewter kitchen items, and iron snake hooks, watched a sword swallowing demonstration, and listened to the Itinerant Band and various other wandering minstrels. The parking lot was very crowded but since the grounds are so spread out, they really were not, and we managed to avoid being too close to the cannons during the artillery demonstrations when the ground shook -- the sheep were just as loud when they wanted to be fed. Like an idiot I forgot my camera, so these were all taken with my phone, I'm afraid:

Singers perform at the edge of the lawn in front of the mansion at Mount Vernon.

Girls learn how a spinning wheel works.

Monsieur Le Farceur de Villeverte demonstrates the art of lace-making so he can hire away children to do the job and sell their wares.

This craft and ribbon merchant pets her cat, whom she keeps on a ribbon leash.

Otto the Sword Swallower shows off his talents.

The estate rat catcher carries a suspiciously well-fed, adorable rat with him.

The lines to visit the mansion were long, though there were more people at the market and the military encampment.

Here are myself, Lin, Ngech and Delta near the entrance to the marketplace.

We came home in the late afternoon so Adam could finish his homework (Daniel was still not feeling great, but my parents brought him homemade chicken soup so he should recover quickly), listening to the end of the Redskins game which Washington pulled out at the end against Arizona, though the Ravens lost to the Titans. In the evening we watched the Emmys, which I thought started slowly despite Jane Lynch's best efforts -- you'd think TV writers could come up with funnier TV material for her and those poor presenters! -- but picked up when the awards began, helped by the fact that there are a lot fewer big show numbers than at the Oscars. My favorite Lynch line all night was one which barely got a laugh, only nervous titters -- "Katie Holmes is in the house tonight, and I'd love to say something funny about her, but I'm afraid of her husband" -- any my second favorite was, "A lot of people are very curious why I'm a lesbian. Ladies and gentlemen, the cast of Entourage."

I don't watch enough TV to have really strong opinions about who was better than whom is most categories; my major hopes were that Downton Abbey would do really well and Game of Thrones would win nothing but an award for Peter Dinklage, and I got my wish in both cases. In general it was a good year for people who don't look like Hollywood stars, not just Dinklage but Melissa McCarthy and Margo Martindale (and I adored the leading ladies of comedy coming out as a team of girlfriends; it was worth watching just for that, even if it was all for show). I was torn between Betty White and Jane Lynch in the supporting actress category, so it's fine with me that Julie Bowen won; I actually interviewed her back in the day when she was on Three and she was completely unpretentious and funny, plus she was on Boston Legal and she's very feminist and gay friendly, and I like the fact that she so obviously hadn't expected to win that she didn't show up with a speech.

I snickered when Jon Stewart won and did the Lion King gloat with his award after Fallon and Kimmel predicted that they would lose to him (and Colbert kissed Stewart after losing to him, though we know he'll be yelling "STEWWWWWART!" on his show next week). I still haven't watched the last two episodes of Mildred Pierce -- I'd seen the older version, the story just never grabbed me -- but it is always fine with me if Kate Winslet wins anything, and Guy Pearce deserved an award after being so awesome in The King's Speech yet overshadowed by Firth, Rush, and Bonham Carter. It made me particularly happy that Downton Abbey not only won the miniseries award, but also an award for Maggie Smith, since it is always fine with me if she wins, too.

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