The Still Midnight

 

As it’s New Year’s Eve, I’m doing one of my favourite things, as is only right when others are doing THEIR favourite things.  I’m at home  – writing. Hopefully in peace and quiet, but that isn’t likely to be the case for too long…
This 2016 has certainly been a tumultuous and up-heaving one for us, with a surgery, a court case, buying a farm in another province, moving to said farm and then frantically rushing about planting, harvesting and trying to meet all-new neighbours! And of course 2016 with the world has been unsettling and full of unrest and shock/sadness, as well…  2017 will hopefully be a bit more ‘routine’ and not too extra-ordinary.
But I thought, as a quiet and relaxing posting, and also because so many will be sleeping tomorrow and perhaps even into Monday, I’d put up some favourite poets and their quotations about REST and SLEEP, as well as some photos from other posts re: the same…
             TO SLEEP, by John Keats
O soft embalmer of  the still midnight,
      Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas’d eyes, embower’d from the light,
      Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
      In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the “Amen,” ere thy poppy throws
      Around my bed its lulling charities.
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,—
      Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
      Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.
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Back  in the early days of June, though I didn’t take MUCH time to rest, sometimes my knee and back made it a mandatory practice. And the hammock under the apple blossoms with the amazing scenery, was just SO spectacular!  

 

 

This Walt Whitman verse reminds me very much of our life here at Blue Belldon Farm:

In midnight sleep… I dream, I dream, I dream…Of scenes of nature,fields and mountains;
Of skies, so beauteous after a storm–and at night the moon so unearthly bright,
Shining sweetly, shining down, where we dig the trenches and gather the heaps,
I dream, I dream, I dream.

 

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as in the poem above by W.W., this is the fields and mountains and moon – as seen from my own bed’s pillow.  Lucky me!

A long, long sleep, by Emily Dickinson

A long, long sleep, a famous sleep
That makes no show for dawn
By stretch of limb or stir of lid, —
An independent one.

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This was poor Simba, after arriving here at Blue Belldon from his two-day trip in a U-Haul!
These are the last two verses of Dylan Thomas’ Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed
…Under the mile off moon we trembled listening
To the sea sound flowing like blood from the loud wound
And when the salt sheet broke in a storm of singing
The voices of all the drowned swam on the wind.

Open a pathway through the slow sad sail,
Throw wide to the wind the gates of the wandering boat
For my voyage to begin to the end of my wound,
We heard the sea sound sing, we saw the salt sheet tell.
Lie still, sleep becalmed, hide the mouth in the throat,
Or we shall obey, and ride with you through the drowned.

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an especial favourite of mine, from a hot day in August, 2016.  

Here is William Blake’s Sleep, Sleep… just the 1st verse:
Sleep! sleep! beauty bright,
Dreaming o’er the joys of night;
Sleep! sleep! in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.

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Smitty in the truck – I just woke him up from an afternoon nap when I returned from a town errand… He couldn’t stop yawning!

Here’s a little wisdom from T.G. Craddock

When is predetermined time reached to rest?
Does mind or body know clockwork answer best?
Is a set bedtime always the best way to rest?

A lack of rest plays havoc on both mind and body.
Yet need requires extra night hours worked in emergency.
An art of make up sleep becomes a sweat necessity.

Sleep a strange bed fellow; we all must dues court.
To stay awake for extended periods; is scale battle fought.
To burn candle at both ends frequently; is not wisdom sought.

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This was Richard one September day when I thought he was raking windfalls!
A Slumber did my Spirit Seal
A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.
No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.
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Love this photo, not  just because he genuinely looks peaceful and relaxed, but because that’s the one and only poem (and painting) my Mom/Joy ever did behind his head , in the frame
And of course, HAVE to include a Canadian, and one of my all-time favourites:
Come, rest awhile, and let us idly stray
In glimmering valleys, cool and far away.

Come from the greedy mart, the troubled street,
And listen to the music, faint and sweet,

That echoes ever to a listening ear,
Unheard by those who will not pause to hear­

The wayward chimes of memory’s pensive bells,
Wind-blown o’er misty hills and curtained dells.

One step aside and dewy buds unclose
The sweetness of the violet and the rose;

Song and romance still linger in the green,
Emblossomed ways by you so seldom seen,

And near at hand, would you but see them, lie
All lovely things beloved in days gone by.

You have forgotten what it is to smile
In your too busy life- ­come, rest awhile.

                      by Lucy Maud Montgomery

This is one of my favourite paintings to go with the famous- and deservedly so-
peace of the Robert Frost poem “And Miles To Go Before I Sleep”…
sleigh
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
And finally , this is just one of many rustic signs and custom woodland wedding items you’ll find at my Rustic Revivals shop on :  www.etsy.com/shop/rusticrevivals
  I’ll likely have it hanging on my doorknob if I’m up much longer…
owl-asleep
Good Night, Sweet Dreams and Happy New Year!
Thanks for reading and supporting this blog – Much appreciated!
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5 thoughts on “The Still Midnight

  1. Very calming to read first thing on Jan.1st after a “long” night of dancing (haha). Glad you had some quiet time to put together another enjoyable blog, Julie.
    Happy New Year Blue Belldon Farm

    Liked by 1 person

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