Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Need of Being Versed in Country Things

Being confined to a city, my room surrounded on three sides by highways, I find myself being stifled by the incessant whir of cars. At night, I wonder at God's promise that He would make Abraham's descendents as countless as the stars at night for, here, I can count about seven. Living in a city makes me especially conscious of the beauty of country life: I miss the grey October pastures, spotted with grazing cows and the yellow remnants of summer flowers. I miss the quiet of the days and the darkness of the nights. I miss tromping in muddy boots through rain soaked trees with a filthy little dog at my side. Living here makes me realize the need of being versed in country things, and the need of keeping Robert Frost ever at my side. So, I quote for you his delightful little poem, for which this post is named, and say no more about it. Let the poet speak for himself.

The Need of Being Versed in Country Things

The house had gone to bring again
To the midnight sky a sunset glow.
Now the chimney was all of the house that stood,
like a pistil after the petals go.

The barn opposed across the way,
That would have joined the house in flame
Had it been the will of the wind, was left
To bear forsaken the place's name.

No more it opened with all one end
For teams that came by the stony road
To drum on the floor with scurrying hoofs
And brush the mow with the summer load.

The birds that came to it through the air
At broken windows flew out and in,
Their murmur more like the sigh we sigh
From too much dwelling on what has been.

Yet for them the lilac renewed its leaf,
And the aged elm, though touched with fire;
And the dry pump flung up an awkward arm;
And the fence post carried a strand of wire.

For them there was really nothing sad.
But though they rejoiced in the nest they kept,
One had to be versed in country things
Not to believe that the phoebes wept.

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