Friday, December 31, 2010

Tennyson for New Year's Eve

Venerable Old Fence Post On Our Property Line

Here's a poem to help chase away the heating bill blues -- not that we need it today, since it just so happens to be a balmy, 60 degrees F, in Indiana (actually, somewhat eerie -- but don't worry -- back to freezing temps tomorrow)!

Lately, I have felt like the backs of my hands will never be warm again, even though the heat is cranking away and there's a fire in the fireplace! Sometimes I sit here at the computer wearing fingerless gloves while I type -- like Bob Cratchitt, except he was using a quill & ink, not typing. I wonder if my knitting friend Cate ever makes fingerless gloves? Ben's English teacher at St. Peter's was a knitter and that was her specialty. She gave him a few pairs when we moved away, one of which still happens to be tucked away in the pocket of his ski jacket.

I came across this poem recently in a little gift book about the seasons. Don't you agree that it seems rather modern-sounding for Tennyson? Not that I don't like the 19th C Tennyson, but this one makes an unexpected change.

Happy New Year! Keep a warm heart!

The frost is here,
And fuel is dear,
And woods are sear,
And fires burn clear,
And frost is here
And has bitten the heel of the going year.

Bite, frost, bite!
You roll up away from the light
The blue wood-louse, and the plump dormouse,
And the bees are still'd and the flies are kill'd,
And you bite far into the heart of the house,
But not into mine.

Bite, frost, bite!
The woods are all the searer,
The fuel is all the dearer,
The fires are all the clearer,
My spring is all the nearer,
You have bitten into the heart of the earth,
But not into mine.

Section #4 from
"The Window; or, The Songs / Loves of the Wrens"

music by Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan, 1842 - 1900
Ever popular British Composer

lyrics by by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1809 - 1892
Poet Laureate of Victorian England, 1850 - 1892;
still one of the most popular poets in the English language.

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