Meeting... pleasure or pain, or both
Still on the wedding (Osama Bin Laden?... Who’s that?), here’s another little anecdote that I have had on my mind all the while the wedding week was playing out. No doubt some of you know that I have an affinity toward good prose and poetry and that which I’m gonna share now alludes to that.
Two years ago, Freddy Windsor, one of those minor royals who attended the wedding and who is 37th in the line of succession (he’s 37th in line to the throne), got married himself. He is known to me because over the last few years he has been associated with, and courted two local girls, in fact sisters, that live just up the road from me ~ less than a mile away. Yes both J, one after the other J
PM me if you want more on that. . .
Anyway, to get back to the point of the blog, one of the readings at his wedding was a poem from an old favourite of mine, an American poet, probably best known for Hiawatha, I speak of course of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
The poem was read by one of the guests ~ Jane Asher. You remember! She was the actress who, back in the late sixties struck up an early relationship with the Beatles’ Paul McCartney, they were together for several years and got engaged. Sadly, that all ended just a few months after the engagement when she returned from a short trip to find him in bed with another girl. She is still, even now, a good looking woman!
I digress again. . . back to the point and the poem! The poem Jane read is called The Meeting and with Longfellow at his deep and poignant best ~ here it is. . .
After so long an absence
At last we meet agin:
Does the meeting give us pleasure,
Or does it give us pain?
The tree of life has been shaken,
And but few of us linger now,
Like the prophets two or three berries
In the top of the uppermost bough.
We cordially greet each other
In the old, familiar tone;
And we think, though we do not say it,
How old and gray he is grown!
We speak of a Merry Christmas
And many a Happy New Year;
But each in his heart is thinking
Of those that are not here.
We speak of friends and their fortunes,
And of what they did and said,
Till the dead alone seem living,
And the living alone seem dead.
And at last we hardly distinguish
Between the ghosts and the guests;
And a mist and shadow of sadness
Steals over our merriest jests.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It actually brought to mind another poem from an old
Irish favourite, one Thomas Moore (you can find more of his here earlier in my Blog) which would have been my choice for Kate and Wills personally and for their wedding if they were to have featured a poem in their readings. I’ll get right on it and make it my next blog. . . you can find it here