As you may have divined from the title, my weekend of beer and tents has caught up with me, hit me repeatedly about the head with a blunt instrument and run off with my wallet. I managed to hold it together while working and driving today, but my consciousness is unravelling fast and I’ll have to be brief this week.

I’m sure I haven’t mentioned aeroplanes in at least a fortnight; it’s been even longer since I said something religious in Latin. These are both unacceptable oversights, but fortunately they can be remedied by a single poem by F. MacNeece Foster.

Laus Deo in Excelsis

The sullen cloud that screens the world below
Changes before my eyes to purest snow,
And peerless napery for mile on mile
Lies laden in the joy of Heaven’s smile.
And all the time the little aeroplane
Plays with its shadow on that wondrous plain.
And as for me, I nod
To mine own image bidden to the feast,
And for that moment, I am not the least
Of all the sons of God.

This next poem by John Fletcher concerns a subject that’s currently very close to my heart. I think it speaks for itself.

Sleep

Come, sleep, and with thy sweet deceiving
Lock me in delight awhile;
Let some pleasing dreams beguile
All my fancies; that from thence
I may feel an influence
All my powers of care bereaving!

Though but a shadow, but a sliding,
Let me know some little joy!
We that suffer long annoy
Are contente with a thought
Through an idle fancy wrought:
O let my joys have some abiding!

The next poem is a very short piece from Edgar Lee Masters’ strange collection, Spoon River. Perhaps because I stand poised between youth and age this has the look of a discussion forum signature to me.

Alexander Throckmorton

In youth my wings were strong and tireless,
But I did not know the mountains.
In age I knew the mountains
But my weary wings could not follow my vision –
Genius is wisdom and youth.

Lastly, before I collapse insensate upon my opiate couch, a wry little piece by Rupert Brooke. It isn’t about war, so you may not know it.

The Way that Lovers Use

The way that lovers use is this;
They bow, catch hands, with never a word,
And their lips meet, and they do kiss,
– So I have heard.

They queerly find some healing so,
And strange attainment to the touch;
There is a secret lovers know,
– I have read as much.

And theirs no longer joy nor smart,
Changing or ending, night or day;
But mouth to mouth and heart on heart,
– So lovers say.

1913

On such a note I must end this week’s selection, gentle readers. My eyes are burning and it’s time to shut them for a while. I would write more, but…zzzzzzzz

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