Sunday, 19 October 2014

A poem for the day

The weather is unseasonably warm in most of Europe and you wonder how the birds know they should be migrating and how the leaves know they should be turning gold. The signs are all around us that we are in Autumn, even though we can still wear our summer clothes. My poem for the day is by George MacDonald (1824-1905). It seems a bit over the top with lots of exclamation marks. He was a Scotsman who spent a lot of time in Italy mainly in Bordighera on the Ligurian coastline. Scots are often considered to be the Neapolitans of the North.  Reading these verses you can just picture the poet's enthusiasm for the beauty of the world around him.

'O all wide places, far from feverous towns!
Great shining seas! Pine-forests! mountains wild!
 Rock-bosomed shores! Rough heaths, and sheep-cropt downs!
 Vast pallid clouds! Blue spaces undefiled!
Room! Give me room! Give loneliness and air!
Free things and plenteous in your regions fair.

O God of mountains, stars and boundless spaces!
O God of freedom and of joyous hearts!
When thy face looketh forth from all men's faces;
There will be room enough in crowded marts:
Brood thou around me, and the noise is o'er,
Thy universe my closet with shut door.'

A warm Autumn day

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