Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Few Words on Time. -Time Passing

Time Standing Still

Time to Go - Time to Stay

Wasting Time - Coveting Time

Making Time - Remembering Time

which brings to mind.......

TIME, you old gypsy man,

Will you not stay,

Put up your caravan

Just for one day?

All things I'll give you

Will you be my guest,

Bells for your jennet

Of silver the best,

Goldsmiths shall beat you

A great golden ring,

Peacocks shall bow to you,

Little boys sing.

Oh, and sweet girls will

Festoon you with may,

Time, you old gipsy,

Why hasten away?

Last week in Babylon,

Last night in Rome,

Morning, and in the crush

Under Paul's dome;

Under Pauls' dial

You tighten your rein --

Only a moment,

And off once again;

Off to some city

Now blind in the womb,

Off to another

Ere that's in the tomb.

Time, you old gypsy man,

Will you not stay,

Put up your caravan

Just for one day?

I had always associated this poem with Bliss Carmen, so imagine my surprise when I discovered it was written by Ralph Hodgson, who also wrote that lovely, poignant poem "Eve"

EVE, with her basket, was
Deep in the bells and grass,
Wading in bells and grass
Up to her knees,
Picking a dish of sweet
Berries and plums to eat,
Down in the bell and grass
Under the trees.
etc. etc. (look it up!)

And the equally haunting "After"

"HOW fared you when you mortal were?

What did you see on my peopled star?"

"Oh well enough," I answered her,

"It went for me where mortals are!

"I saw blue flowers and the merlin's flight

And the rime on the wintry tree,

Blue doves I saw and summer light

On the wings of the cinnamon bee."

It seems to me that TIME must surely be much on the minds of those who are, well, growing older. I was going to say "mature" but I think you have to be past mature and into the "past shelf date" era before you begin to think seriously about time, and the things that are still left to fill it.

There are the exciting things, which may or may not take place. And there are the things of immediate concern, like organizing the family pictures, going to see the lawyer, little instructions to leave behind, pasting labels on the things one wants to pass on to individual loved ones, being kind to children and setting out wishes in no uncertain terms so that when one says do it like this, and another says, do it like that, mother will have got her bid in first to avoid all disagreement......oh, and when all that gets too morbid, feeling satisfied that it is done and one can relax and enjoy Time Left!!!

How our commitments change as time passes, - once I was committed to nurturing - now I am committed to making each precious moment, day, month, year count in the most splendid and comfortable way possible.

And often in my mind do I contemplate the connection between body and spirit, and between spirit and this lovely earth.....

So why did I attribute the Gypsy Man to Bliss Carman? Perhaps I got him mixed up with the Vagabonds, which Bliss Carman DID write.

We are the vagabonds of time,
And rove the yellow autumn days,
When all the roads are gray with rime

And all the valleys blue with haze.
We came unlooked for as the wind

Trooping across the April hills,

When the brown waking earth had dreams

Of summer in the Wander Kills.

How far afield we joyed to fare,

With June in every blade and tree!

Now with the sea-wind in our
We turn our faces to the sea.

etc. etc. - another poem to look up!

And speaking of Time - I have only until Sunday Evening to read the Deathly Hallows before I must return it to the Granddaughter who kindly loaned it to me. I'm off, for

quite evidently, Time is of the essence......!

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