Sunday, January 18, 2009


Dirge for the Year

Last Friday I posted verses from, In Tenebris I by Thomas Hardy, a poem that seemed appropriate for our cold dark winter, but was a bit harsh, perhaps too pessimistic - even with my leavening thoughts. For a contrast I turn today to Shelley whose Dirge for the Year, in spite of its' title, contains a bit more hope than found in Hardy's poem. Consider the last stanza:

January gray is here,
Like a sexton by her grave;
February bears the bier,
March with grief doth howl and rave,
And April weeps -- but, O ye Hours!
Follow with May's fairest flowers.

Even in the depth of the grayness of winter we cannot forget the future -- the flowers that may take some months to appear, but that follow that cruelest month as sure as the snow flies today.

from The Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley, ed. by Stephen Spender. Heritage Press, New York. 1974.

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