Monday, May 28, 2012

Poem for Memorial Day and Virginia Renfaire

Decoration Day
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry's shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon's sudden roar,
Or the drum's redoubling beat.

But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.

All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.


Paul and I took the kids and met and Lin at the Virginia Renfaire, where it was as hot as it always seems to be -- there was a bit of a breeze, and it wasn't terrible in the shade of the more open tents or the woods, but I managed to get sunburned despite wearing sunblock. We had fun anyway -- they had full jousting this year, plus the Ship's Company Chanteymen were performing, and we went to see Thunder and Spice, the Surly Mermaids, and various performers around Staffordshire. Adam was unhappy at being dragged around to the jewelry merchants but Daniel was easily placated with cheesecake on a stick.

The Queen and her court walk through Staffordshire.

The Queen's champion in the joust rode in the colors of the Calvert family, so of course we rooted for him.

A few years ago there weren't even horses at this Renfaire, while last year there were only training games, so it was lovely to see jousting.

We did not watch the retired greyhounds racing but we did go visit them to pet them and make a donation for their welfare.

Ship's Company sang maritime songs, largely a cappella with audience clapping along.

Fiber from these alpacas is felted and spun into crafts by this vendor.

We had a friend flirting with us while Thunder and Spice was performing.

The Queen posed and chatted with her young admirers.

My parents called while we were on our way home to ask if we wanted to come over for pizza with them, which we did. Afterwards we came home to watch the finale of Harry's Law, which felt pretty anticlimactic, I suppose since they didn't know when they filmed it that it would be the very last so there was no sense of closure for any of the characters or couples. We then tried to watch the rest of the Memorial Day concert on PBS, but the thunderstorm we were having had caused the evacuation of the National Mall and they were rerunning the second half of last year's concert. Best wishes to all who serve, all veterans, and all families of veterans.

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