Saturday, October 23, 2010

Poem for Saturday, 'Lower Decks,' Toad

The Dried-up Fountain
By Robert Leighton

Outside the village, by the public road,
  I know a dried-up fountain, overgrown
With herbs, the haunt of legendary toad,
  And grass, by Nature sown.

I know not where its trickling life was still'd;
  No living ears its babbling tongue has caught;
But often, as I pass, I see it fill'd
  And running o'er with thought.

I see it as it was in days of old,
  The blue-ey'd maiden stooping o'er its brim,
And smoothing in its glass her locks of gold,
  Lest she should meet with him.

She knows that he is near, yet I can see
  Her sweet confusion when she hears him come.
No tryst had they, though every evening he
  Carries her pitchers home.

The ancient beggar limps along the road
  At thirsty noon, and rests him by its brink;
The dusty pedlar lays aside his load,
  And pauses there to drink.

And there the village children come to play,
  When busy parents work in shop and field.
The swallows, too, find there the loamy clay
  When 'neath the eaves they build.

When cows at eve come crooning home, the boy
  Leaves them to drink, while his mechanic skill
Within the brook sets up, with inward joy,
  His tiny water-mill.

And when the night is hush'd in summer sleep,
  And rest has come to laborer and team,
I hear the runnel through the long grass creep,
  As 't were a whispering dream.

Alas! 't is all a dream. Lover and lass,
  Children and wanderers, are in their graves;
And where the fountain flow'd a greener grass —
  Its In Memoriam — waves.


It is finally looking like October, though it's been pretty warm the last two afternoons -- in the 60s -- and the Halloween decorations are slow to arrive, I think because of the seems like Target, CVS, etc. have fewer decorations and costumes for sale than the past several years. I don't even think Mattel made a drugstore Halloween Barbie this year, which makes me sad. But it was beautiful and cool this morning, when I was woken by two Carolina wrens singing about cheeseburgers to each other in different trees outside my bedroom window. And Adam spotted a toad in front of our house on his way home from school; the toad tried to hide in our yard, but not before we took some pictures:

Adam's best photo is here.

I wrote a review of Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Lower Decks", which was a delightful improvement on "Sub Rosa" last week. Saw that Martin Freeman is now confirmed for The Hobbit and sadly my first thought was the hope that this means no one will try to subject me to more sexist racist Sherlock, though I suspect they simply worked his contract so that he can meet obligations to both the series and the films. I very much enjoyed this week's Smallville and Sanctuary both -- small spoilers -- I was very afraid that after Clark told Lois his secret, he'd let her have her memory wiped and decide yet again that it was too dangerous, so the ending pleased me greatly, plus looking at Lois in that Egyptian Halloween costume was not hard on the eyes, and I will never object to Oliver "Coming Out Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" Queen or to more Tess! And I hope Helen's father is coming back on Sanctuary because he's a great character, but the highlight of that show this week were the discussions of Twilight and how the guys all like it even though those vampires are nothing like the vampires they know!

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