Monday, August 10, 2015

My home is in the woods but for a few days I am surrounded by fields and sky. To the west the land flows down, over hedgerows and orchards, toward the southern tip of Lake Champlain, invisible, though it is only a mile or two away. Beyond the hidden lake rises a bank of blue hills, the Adirondacks. To the east, the land ripples up, across pastures and hayfields, past church spires and copses, toward the Green Mountains--the foothills banded with forest, the eastern steeps as blue as the west.

Nothing circumscribes the eye. Between mountain range and mountain range, the landscape is as peaceable as a daisy, the work of three hundred years of cultivation. Here, if nowhere else, rural America plays the role of an English shire . . . the mask of age, of a long-tamed planet, of country life as Arcadian harvest feast.

Sir Philip Sidney

Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust;
And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things;
Grow rich in that which never taketh rust;
Whatever fades but fading pleasure brings.
Draw in thy beams and humble all thy might
To that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be;
Which breaks the clouds and opens forth the light,
That both doth shine and give us sight to see.
O take fast hold; let that light be thy guide
In this small course which birth draws out to death,
And think how evil becometh him to slide,
Who seeketh heav'n, and comes of heav'nly breath.
Then farewell, world; thy uttermost I see:
Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me.

1 comment:

David (n of 49) said...

Descriptions of a landscape and place are unlikely to get much better than this. Beautifully done.