Sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive Leap off the rim of earth across the dome. It is a night to make the heavens our home More than the nest whereto apace we strive. Lengths down our road each fir-tree seems a hive, In swarms outrushing from the golden comb. They waken waves of thoughts that burst to foam: The living throb in me, the dead revive. Yon mantle clothes us: there, past mortal breath, Life glistens on the river of the death. It folds us, flesh and dust; and have we knelt, Or never knelt, or eyed as kine the springs Of radiance, the radiance enrings: And this is the soul's haven to have felt.
George Meredith - 1828-1909
Modern Love: XVIII
Here Jack and Tomare are paired with Moll and Meg.
Curved open to the river-reach is seen
A country merry-making on the green.
Fair space for signal shakings of the leg.
That little screwy fiddler from his booth,
Whence flows one nut-brown stream, commands the joints
Of all who caper here at various points.
I have known rustic revels in my youth:
The May-fly pleasures of a mind at ease.
An early goddess was a country lass:
A charmed Amphion-oak she tripped the grass.
What life was that I lived? The life of these?
Heaven keep them happy! Nature they seem near.
They must, I think, be wiser than I am;
They have the secret of the bull and lamb.
’Tis true that when we trace its source, ’tis beer.