Sunday, April 27, 2014

Alcott and Thoreau...


A funeral yesterday morning, a Reiki treatment yesterday afternoon and family needs into the evening means no poetry post yesterday. I do apologize. Having just finished reading John Matteson's Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, and recently having finished Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother by Eve LaPlante, and preparing to reread Thoreau's Walden, I decided today's poems should combine the talents of my favorite author and one who was a mentor to her. Thus, Thoreau's Flute, written by Louisa at Thoreau's death, and I Am the Autumnal Sun, by Henry David Thoreau.


Thoreau's Flute


We sighing said, "Our Pan is dead;
His pipe hangs mute beside the river
Around it wistful sunbeams quiver,
But Music's airy voice is fled.
Spring mourns as for untimely frost;
The bluebird chants a requiem;
The willow-blossom waits for him;
The Genius of the wood is lost."

Then from the flute, untouched by hands,
There came a low, harmonious breath:
"For such as he there is no death;
His life the eternal life commands;
Above man's aims his nature rose.
The wisdom of a just content
Made one small spot a continent
And turned to poetry life's prose.

"Haunting the hills, the stream, the wild,
Swallow and aster, lake and pine,
To him grew human or divine,
Fit mates for this large-hearted child.
Such homage Nature ne'er forgets,
And yearly on the coverlid
'Neath which her darling lieth hid
Will write his name in violets.

"To him no vain regrets belong
Whose soul, that finer instrument,
Gave to the world no poor lament,
But wood-notes ever sweet and strong.
O lonely friend! he still will be
A potent presence, though unseen,
Steadfast, sagacious, and serene;
Seek not for him -- he is with thee."
      

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