Friday Poetry: Love and Friendship

In her poem, Bronte rejects love which is like “the silly rose”. She seems to suggest that friendship, in times of suffering as in winter, will offer greater comfort.

Personally I think love and friendship are best when they go together. Without friendship, as in a true sharing of minds, hearts, laughter and suffering, love would lack substance or endurance. As Bronte says, it would be silly.

Love and Friendship

Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?
The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?
Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly’s sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He may still leave thy garland green.

Emily Bronte

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Happy Birthday to my best girl Eloise! She was showered with gifts. I’m slightly smug, and amazed, that her favourite presents were the books. She prefers to read them herself and will spend ages looking through them. I wonder what stories she is imagining…

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Friday Poetry: First Love

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Autumn really is the most romantic time of year. There is something about the golden leaves and the sudden need for wearing coats and scarves. My husband and I first started going out in Autumn. I remember walking home, wearing a garish pair of gumboots, to get ready for a Friday night date. All was right with the world, I felt.

So in the spirit of falling in love, and for anyone falling in love this Friday, here is John Clare’s poem.

First Love

John Clare

I ne’er was struck before that hour

With love so sudden and so sweet,

Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower

And stole my heart away complete.

My face turned pale as deadly pale,

My legs refused to walk away,

And when she looked, what could I ail?

My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face

And took my eyesight quite away,

The trees and bushes round the place

Seemed midnight at noonday.

I could not see a single thing,

Words from my eyes did start—

They spoke as chords do from the string,

And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winter’s choice?

Is love’s bed always snow?

She seemed to hear my silent voice,

Not love’s appeals to know.

I never saw so sweet a face

As that I stood before.

My heart has left its dwelling-place

And can return no more.

Trains and Lovers

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