A Common-Place Jotting: “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica)

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (1874-1963)
For Cee's FOTD Challenge 

A Common-Place Jotting: Rossetti’s “The Rose”

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

I don’t know about you, but I’m hanging on to summer as long as I can! For fellow simpaticos, here’s a late summer bloom and a Christina Rossetti poem to help.

A late summer garden rose
The Rose

The lily has a smooth stalk,
Will never hurt your hand;
But the rose upon her brier
Is lady of the land.

There's sweetness in an apple tree,
And profit in the corn;
But lady of all beauty
Is a rose upon a thorn.

When with moss and honey
She tips her bending brier,
And half unfolds her glowing heart,
She sets the world on fire.

-- Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Portrait of Christina Rosetti by Dante Gabriel Rosetti

For more on Rosetti, see my Common-Place Jottings post on Rossetti Rhymes”

A Common-Place Jotting: Tintern Abbey

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

Turner_Tintern1
Tintern Abbey in 1794, a watercolour by J. M. W. Turner

From William Wordsworth’s  Lines Written (or Composeda Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798: this benediction of nature’s guardian light on his sister, with whom he went on a walking tour, inspiring this homage to nature:

.  .  . and this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; ’tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e’er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain-winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations!

 

A Common-Place Jotting: Macbeth Act V, Scene 3

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” a place to remember

Orson Welles directed and starred as the titular Macbeth in the 1948 film, with Jeanette Nolan as Lady Macbeth.

Two moving speeches from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, both in the same scene:

one a soliloquy on his own fate . . .

I have lived long enough: My way of life
Is fall’n into the sear, the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.

. . . the other lamenting a physician’s lack of cure for his wife’s guilt-worn sanity —

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?

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The Pilgrim Shadow of Poe

Rather unexpectedly, the first thing that popped into my head at the DPPrompt for today – shadow – was Edgar Allan Poe’s Eldorado.

You may be one of many that had to memorize it at school or maybe you dimly recall it through shrouds of the distant past.

For the latter, I have no doubt at all that it will take just the first haunting lines will jog your memory:

Continue reading “The Pilgrim Shadow of Poe”

Solitude and Setting

I take my solitude as it comes
a gift that drops unexpectedly
but often when I seek it out
I seek it in the woods or sea.

There the waves lap close to shore
and crashing, murmurs of God’s approach;
then boldly run my thoughts to Him
knowing He hears me when I speak.

Continue reading “Solitude and Setting”

Borrowed Time

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I borrow, you borrow, we borrow
She borrows, he borrows, they borrow
The world borrows and borrows to joint sorrow
Hoping there will always be tomorrow.

What, then, do we borrow to our self-destruction
But justice delayed for the satisfaction
Of a life of pursuing our corrupt passion
And ignoring those who need our compassion?

Continue reading “Borrowed Time”

Let All the Earth Give Thanks!

Father of the trumpeting air and the setting sun
the purple skies and rainbow grasses
flapping ears and ardent eyes
grasshoppers dancing with the breezes
thunder of my feet
singing of the stars
beating of my heart,
I thank You whose hands have made
whose breath gives life
to me.

earth-day-google-elephant

God of the aurora glorious
invisible Light of lights towering, blazing
across glacial mountains and hearts
over blue ice, silver melts,
resounding majesty of fiery life
bursting, joyous song of sky and sea
in solitary havens of the northern vasts,
I thank You whose hands have made
whose breath gives life
to me.

Continue reading “Let All the Earth Give Thanks!”