Thursday, January 08, 2009
So my good friend Ditty, a regular reader (but not commenter), told me that yesterday's reference to Heraclitus reminded her of a poem that she memorized back in her school days at St. Anne's down near Charlottesville. The headmistress led the girls to many a poem, apparently, including this one from William Johnson Cory:
They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead;
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed;
I wept, as I remembered, how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking, and sent him down the sky.
And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,
A handful of grey ashes, long, long ago at rest,
Still are they pleasant voices, they nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.
Ditty recited this from memory tracing back, I'm guessing, more than 70 years.
I can only hope that if I am lucky enough to live to the age Ditty is now that I do so as full of grace and good memories, and that I stay as attuned as she remains to the current of time flowing.