Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dover Beach and looking to the horizon

August, September and October roundup

The good ship Leaving Normal has sailed in quieter waters this year and the Summer and Autumn has passed with good weather and gentle winds.  There have been a few squalls on the horizon but their shrieks and wails have been mercifully distant.  They have not made it past the breakwater.  A few hawkers came around and promised much but their goods were made of rice paper and one dose of sea mist caused them to melt and vanish.

The Captain looks to the horizon and wonders when it is ever going to be time to chase the setting sun.

Written by Matthew Arnold |  

Dover Beach

The sea is calm to-night.

The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.

Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.