Joy in the Woods
By Claude McKay
There is joy in the woods just now,
The leaves are whispers of song,
And the birds make mirth on the bough
And music the whole day long,
And God! to dwell in the town
In these springlike summer days,
On my brow an unfading frown
And hate in my heart always--
A machine out of gear, aye, tired,
Yet forced to go on--for I’m hired.
Just forced to go on through fear,
For every day I must eat
And find ugly clothes to wear,
And bad shoes to hurt my feet
And a shelter for work-drugged sleep!
A mere drudge! but what can one do?
A man that’s a man cannot weep!
Suicide? A quitter? Oh, no!
But a slave should never grow tired,
Whom the masters have kindly hired.
But oh! for the woods, the flowers
Of natural, sweet perfume,
The heartening, summer showers
And the smiling shrubs in bloom,
Dust-free, dew-tinted at morn,
The fresh and life-giving air,
The billowing waves of corn
And the birds’ notes rich and clear:
For a man-machine toil-tired
May crave beauty too--though he’s hired.
Paul had a big computer upgrade that he had to oversee for work on Saturday, so we had a pretty quiet day. Adam went with his friends to the vegan Thanksgiving at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, driven by one of their parents, so I spent a lazy morning reading Isherwood's A Single Man which I've had lying in my pile for nearly a year. In the afternoon, we went to Cabin John Park to walk around by the creek and enjoy a very pretty fall afternoon along with many hysterical squirrels trying to track down every acorn before it gets any colder (we have some of those on our deck, too, only they're trying to steal our birdseed).
We had breakfast food for dinner (French toast, eggs, fake bacon) and watched The Voyage of the Dawn Treader since it was on HBO while I was uploading a couple of thousand songs to Google Music, which is my new favorite electronic toy (yes, I know about all the evils of Google but free cloud storage for 20,000 songs on a service that my phone works with already is a very nice thing). Earlier we had the Maryland-Wake Forest game on, but I think we should simply declare the Terps' season over -- I would also be happier if there hadn't been another armed robbery in College Park. Yet again I have no new photos, so here is one of the Ikebana in autumn colors from Longwood Gardens: