Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Good job, Maine, latest member of the anyone-can-get-married-here club! (though as I mention in my Milton memoir I myself am not sure I would ever go through such a grueling experience again). Off in a few minutes to a Little League baseball game in the drizzle, but first I thought I would share an epithalamion in honor of Maine's great legislative occasion.

from Epithalmion

Edmund Spenser

Ah! when will this long weary day have end,
And lend me leave to come unto my love?
How slowly do the hours their numbers spend!
How slowly does sad Time his feathers move!
Haste thee, O fairest planet, to thy home
Within the western foam;
Thy tired steeds long since have need of rest.
Long though it be, at last I see it gloom
And the bright evening star with golden crest
Appear out of the East.
Fair child of beauty! glorious lamp of love!
That all the host of heaven in ranks dost lead
And guidest lovers through the night's sad dread,
How cheerfully thou lookest from above
And seem'st to laugh atween thy twinkling light,
As joining in the sight
Of these glad many, which for joy do sing
That all the woods them answer, and their echo ring!


Sheila Byrne said...

One comment I heard about marriage equity was:"Why shouldn't gay couples have the opportunity to be as unhappy as straight married people?" A bit cynical, to be sure.

I think that 'making a marriage' as it used to be called, really buying into that whole union of souls thing, that can only be done once. That idealism- the thought of a life completed and coupled to one person, through sickness, health, children, and the ups and downs of life- I think you only get that once. After that, you know too much, you realize the fragility of relationships, how easily they can be broken, despite how hard you try to keep them shored up. People who marry repeatedly- that's just habit.

I love Spenser for his optimism, for his rush of love in the midst of the mundane. It reminds me of a speech I had my students watch in anticipation of their Senior Presentations- where Randy Pausch says he waited until he was 39 to get married, because he finally found someone whose needs were more important to him than his own.

This prompted many "awwwws" from the girls, and eye rolling from the boys.

Dawn Potter said...

I once taught "Come Live with Me and Be My Love" to a group of h.s. juniors and seniors: 10 girls and 1 boy. The girls all thought the poem was a cynical I-want-to-get-into-your pants lyric. And then the boy said, "Oh no! This poem is so romantic!" At that, all the girls fell silent and stared at him as if the scales had fallen from their eyes. I often wonder what subsequent effect this had on his love life. The signs were good.

But, yes, marriage . . . what a strange and terrible bond. Or fissure.