Time for a Canadian sonnet.
Winter Evening (1899)Archibald LampmanTo-night the very horses springing byToss gold from whitened nostrils. In a dreamThe streets that narrow to the westward gleamLike rows of golden palaces; and highFrom all the crowded chimneys tower and dieA thousand aureoles. Down in the westThe brimming plains beneath the sunset rest,One burning sea of gold. Soon, shall flyThe glorious vision, and the hours shall feelA mightier master; soon from height to height,With silence and the sharp unpitying stars,Stern creeping frosts, and winds that touch like steel,Out of the depth beyond the eastern bars,Glittering and still shall come the awful night.
Still, as I type out this sonnet, I'm realizing that it's not all that scintillating a piece of work. Perhaps I will try to find another cold sonnet.
This one, for instance.
Cold Are the Crabs (I don't know the date but 19th century, of course)Edward LearCold are the crabs that crawl on yonder hills,Colder the cucumbers that grow beneath,And colder still the brazen chops that wreatheThe tedious gloom of philosophic pills!For when the tardy film of nectar fillsThe ample bowls of demons and of men,There lurks the feeble mouse, the homely hen,And there the porcupine with all her quills.Yet much remains--to weave a solemn strainThat lingering sadly--slowly dies away,Daily departing with departing day.A pea-green gamut on a distant plainWhen wily walruses in congress meet--Such such is life--
Clearly melodrama is the best way to close this rapidly melting endeavor.
SonnetMary Locke (also 19th century)I hate the Spring in parti-colored vest,What time she breathes upon the opening rose,When every vale in cheerfulness is dressed,And man with grateful admiration glows.Still may he glow, and love the sprightly scene,Who ne'er has felt the iron hand of Care;But what avails to me a sky serene,Whose mind is torn with Anguish and Despair?Give me the Winter's desolating reign,The gloomy sky in which no star is found;Howl, ye wild winds, across the desert plain;Ye water roar, ye falling woods resound!Congenial horrors, hail! I love to seeAll Nature mourn, and share my misery.
"Congenial horrors, hail!" How do you think it would look on a t-shirt? Or do you think it would work better on a greeting card?
Dinner tonight: beef vegetable soup, popovers, green salad, and maybe I'll scald milk and make eggnog or hot chocolate for dessert, and then maybe I'll sit under the couch blanket and fruitlessly attempt to defend my household cribbage title.