Algy Reads a Book of Verse


Algy was in need of a wee rest after his recent exertions, so he settled down quietly in the garden with a book of verse.

Very few poets are called Algernon, so he thought that Mr. Swinburne’s verse would surely suit. In the event, however, it turned out to be not quite as he had expected. He turned the pages rather hurriedly, hoping that no-one was watching. Here and there, he found a passage that he liked…

        Make us too music, to be with us
        As a word from a world’s heart warm,
        To sail the dark as a sea with us,
        Full-sailed, outsinging the storm

[Algy quotes part of the poem To Walt Whitman in America, from the book of verse Songs Before Sunrise by Algernon Charles Swinburne, published in 1871. For those with more stamina than Algy, this complete book of verse is available to read online or download from Project Gutenberg.]

Several days had passed, but still the rainbow colours had not worn off.
Algy was getting fed up. Then he had what he thought was a bright idea…

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The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls

        The tide rises, the tide falls,
        The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
        Along the sea-sands damp and brown
        The traveller hastens toward the town,
        And the tide rises, the tide falls.

And Algy waits…  and wonders just how many tides will rise and fall before the colours fade away.

[From The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.]

Algy discovered that walking over a rainbow is more tiring than he had expected. He found a comfortable rock to rest on, and sat quietly dangling his foot over the water, watching the rippling light, and listening to the soothing sounds of the sea.

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