Saturday, October 22, 2016

Poem for Saturday, Year of Hell Part II, Longwood Nightscape

On an Houre-glasse
By John Hall

My Life is measur'd by this glasse, this glasse
By all those little Sands that thorough passe.
See how they presse, see how they strive, which shall
With greatest speed and greatest quicknesse fall.
See how they raise a little Mount, and then
With their owne weight doe levell it agen.
But when th' have all got thorough, they give o're
Their nimble sliding downe, and move no more.
Just such is man whose houres still forward run,
Being almost finisht ere they are begun;
So perfect nothings, such light blasts are we,
That ere w'are ought at all, we cease to be.
Do what we will, our hasty minutes fly,
And while we sleep, what do we else but die?
How transient are our Joyes, how short their day!
They creepe on towards us, but flie away.
How stinging are our sorrowes! where they gaine
But the least footing, there they will remaine.
How groundlesse are our hopes, how they deceive
Our childish thoughts, and onely sorrow leave!
How reall are our feares! they blast us still,
Still rend us, still with gnawing passions fill;
How senselesse are our wishes, yet how great!
With what toile we pursue them, with what sweat!
Yet most times for our hurts, so small we see,
Like Children crying for some Mercurie.
This gapes for Marriage, yet his fickle head
Knows not what cares waite on a Marriage bed.
This vowes Virginity, yet knowes not what
Lonenesse, griefe, discontent, attends that state.
Desires of wealth anothers wishes hold,
And yet how many have been choak't with Gold?
This onely hunts for honour, yet who shall
Ascend the higher, shall more wretched fall.
This thirsts for knowledge, yet how is it bought
With many a sleeplesse night and racking thought?
This needs will travell, yet how dangers lay
Most secret Ambuscado's in the way?
These triumph in their Beauty, though it shall
Like a pluck't Rose or fading Lillie fall.
Another boasts strong armes, 'las Giants have
By silly Dwarfes been drag'd unto their grave.
These ruffle in rich silke, though ne're so gay,
A well plum'd Peacock is more gay then they.
Poore man, what art! A Tennis ball of Errour,
A Ship of Glasse toss'd in a Sea of terrour,
Issuing in blood and sorrow from the wombe,
Crauling in teares and mourning to the tombe,
How slippery are thy pathes, how sure thy fall,
How art thou Nothing when th' art most of all!


Friday started warm and turned progressively cooler, especially as the rain moved through. Paul had to go to the office for a bit, so I finished my review of "Year of Hell, Part II" until he got home for lunch. I had a bunch of other work to do, so it was a quiet afternoon with cats nudging us for attention.

We had dinner with my parents, then came home and watched the superb Hamilton's America on PBS. Now we're catching up on The Graham Norton Show (the one with Sam Neill and Ewan McGregor plus the one with Daniel Radcliffe, Justin Timberlake, and Anna Kendrick). From Nightscape at Longwood Gardens last night:

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