Princeton crossed the rainbow bridge this evening at 10.30 we wish him peace and happiness with darling Tabbatha, his lost brother Ping Wa and little Freddy forever.
This afternoon he wanted to be in the sunshine by the window, watching the garden and listening to the birds. When he first arrived here he caught a baby thrush. We nursed Franceska and eventually she plucked up the courage to fly out into the garden, I think she was singing to Princeton today..
William (Johnson) Cory. 1823–1892
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 remember'd 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 thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.
(my mother taught me this poem, I think of her)
On a Thrush Singing in Autumn
Sir Lewis Morris (b. 1833)
SWEET singer of the Spring, when the new world
Was fill’d with song and bloom, and the fresh year
Tripp’d, like a lamb playful and void of fear,
Through daisied grass and young leaves scarce unfurl’d,
Where is thy liquid voice 5
That all day would rejoice?
Where now thy sweet and homely call,
Which from gray dawn to evening’s chilling fall
Would echo from thin copse and tassell’d brake,
For homely duty tun’d and love’s sweet sake? 10
The spring-tide pass’d, high summer soon should come.
The woods grew thick, the meads a deeper hue;
The pipy summer growths swell’d, lush and tall;
The sharp scythes swept at daybreak through the dew.
Thou didst not heed at all, 15
Thy prodigal voice grew dumb;
No more with song mightst thou beguile,
She sitting on her speckled eggs the while,
Thy mate’s long vigil as the slow days went,
Solacing her with lays of measureless content. 20
Nay, nay, thy voice was Duty’s, nor would dare
Sing were Love fled, though still the world were fair;
The summer wax’d and wan’d, the nights grew cold,
The sheep were thick within the wattled fold,
The woods began to moan, 25
Dumb wert thou and alone;
Yet now, when leaves are sere, thy ancient note
Comes low and halting from thy doubtful throat.
Oh, lonely loveless voice, what dost thou here
In the deep silence of the fading year? 30
Thus do I read answer of thy song:
“I sang when winds blew chilly all day long;
I sang because hope came and joy was near,
I sang a little while, I made good cheer;
In summer’s cloudless day 35
My music died away;
But now the hope and glory of the year
Are dead and gone, a little while I sing
Songs of regret for days no longer here,
And touch’d with presage of the far-off Spring.” 40
Is this the meaning of thy note, fair bird?
Or do we read into thy simple brain
Echoes of thoughts which human hearts have stirr’d,
High-soaring joy and melancholy pain?
Nay, nay, that lingering note 45
Belated from thy throat—
“Regret,” is what it sings, “regret, regret!
The dear days pass, but are not wholly gone.
In praise of those I let my song go on;
’T is sweeter to remember than forget.” 50