I took this photo from my office window last Friday evening, catching just the very tail end of the sunset. And for some reason, although there is no seascape, no chalk cliffs visible, no sound of pebbles being washed by waves on the shore, looking at this image again this evening, before deciding to throw artistic caution to the winds and post it, reminded me of the below poem which I first discovered in a college English class, and never forgot . . .
Dover Beach . . . . . by Matthew Arnold
The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Agaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hearIts melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
And in case anyone might have been wondering what I was listening to while doing these posts, I'd like to thank Heather Ainsworth at Freewheelin' for posting a few photos from a concert by Grace Potter, who I admit I was not familiar with, but I'm now making up for lost time by watching video's like this one on YouTube :
The First Stone
8 hours ago