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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
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Sunday, 1 September 2013
Town and country
Every night now the tree-toads (if they are tree-toads) sing from dusk till some unascertained hour in the middle of the night. One of them, near this garden or in it, makes a noise of absolute regularity - a long note and a very short pause - for hours and hours.
I notice that in building here - there is a house going up in the main street - when the workmen finish a chimney they do as is done in England, they stick a flag on it - the tricolour.
Yesterday morning at 6.30 when I looked out of the window the forest was half hidden in mist. In a few minutes the mist had rolled over the village, and in another few minutes all was clear. The day developed into heat.
I finished "Cupid and Commonsense", definitely, giving all stage directions, etc., and then we rode over to Fontainebleau to lunch with the Martins.
I am pleased with a poem recently finished, and have sent it to Phillpotts for an opinion.
TOWN AND COUNTRY
God made the country and man made the town
And so man made the doctor, God the down.
God made the mountain, and the ants their hill,
Where grinding servitudes each day fulfil.
God doubtless made the flowers, while in the hive
Unnatural bees against their passions strive.
God made the jackass and the bounding flea;
I render thanks to God that man made me.
Let those who recognise God's shaping power
Here but not there, in tree but not in tower,
In lane and field, but, not in street and square,
And in man's work see nothing that is fair -
Bestir their fancy to the odd
Conception of a 'country' ruled by God;
Where birds perceive the wickedness of strife
Against the winds, and lead the simple life
Nestless on God's own twigs; and squirrels free
From carking care, exist through February
On nuts that God has stored. Pray let them give
The fields to God's kind hand for just a year,
And then of God's own harvest make good cheer.
This cant of God and man would turn me sick,
Did I not deeply know the age was quick
With large conception of a prouder creed
Whereon we shall not feel the craven need
To count ourselves less noble than a weed.
For me a rural pond is not more pure
Nor more spontaneous than my city sewer.
Additionally for September 1st., see 'Wartime interlude' - http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/wartime-interlude.html