"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Friday, 7 August 2009

Strange Dreams - Strange Day

The Rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose,
The Moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare,
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's Priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.


  1. Thank you for this: some beauty for a Friday morning with a whole day of grey to go.

    I only skirted the Romantics at uni; being more of a mediaevalist by choice back then, but here if we need reminding [and I think that we do] that beauty of form and clarity of expression can co-exist in art. And life, too, I think, though you couldn't tell it from me.

    And it's a good reminder that our liberal assailants and competitors don't get all of their ideas and motivations from bitter, bloody Marxist briefings. Once the Left dreamed big and from beauty, and despite the degradation of their once lovely hope, in poems like this we can see something of what appealed so strongly to their heart and souls.

    You still see it at Harry's Place or in 'Mad Mel's' longing for a gentler and more loving society.

    So there you go; four days to Culture Wars Day and already you've reminded me at least of the important truth that it isn't just the Devil that has the best tunes, or even us Right-side types.

    Of course, I prefer Wordsworth the man in his later years...

    Thanks again for this.


  2. Thank you for your thoughtful response NNW. We're all idealists in our own way and the Left have no claim to the lyrical beauty of Wordsworth or the passion of Blake - they would only foul it.

    I make no high-minded claim for posting this snippet - it was prompted by remembered snatches of vivid dreams and waking up feeling a sense of otherness and disconnect. Like I said - strange day.


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