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Edward Dowden


In Scotland

(Excerpted from "Memorials of Travel"

Where have I been this perfect summer day,
—Or fortnight is it, since I rose from bed,
Devour’d that kippered fish, the oatmeal bread,
And mounted to this box? O bowl away
Swift stagers through the dusk, I will not say
“Enough,” nor care where I have been or be,
Nor know one name of hill, or lake, or lea,
Or moor, or glen! Were not the clouds at play
Nameless among the hills, and fair as dreams?
On such a day we must love things not words,
And memory take or leave them as they are.
On such a day! What unimagined streams
Are in the world, how many haunts of birds,
What fields and flowers,—and what an evening Star!

This poem is in the public domain.


Edward Dowden (1843 - 1913) was an Irish poet and literary critic who began writing early in life and had a particular interest in Shakespeare. A university professor who believed firmly that literature should be a routine part of life, Edward was a friend and staunch fan of American contemporary Walt Whitman, but maintained an ongoing clash with Irish contemporary William Butler Yeats over their opposing political viewpoints.


Post New Comment:
A lovely day in which one can simply *be*something that I, at least, need to make more time for.
Posted 08/20/2022 05:33 PM
Wilda Morris:
Michael's right! But without that wonderful day and nameless clouds, Dowden would not have provided the words that bring the scene alive for us.
Posted 08/20/2022 11:49 AM
I like his breakfast!
Posted 08/20/2022 09:42 AM
Without Edwards "words" we could not enjoy his sense of place and things!!
Posted 08/20/2022 08:33 AM
Darrell Arnold:
I've spent many days like this. Enjoying nature just because it exists. My wife has a flower garden in every direction. "What is this one called? I don't know, it's just pretty, and I like it."
Posted 08/20/2022 08:23 AM
Larry Schug:
I've often wondered what a hill or streams name for itself is. does anything even need a name? Perhaps the only name is What Is.
Posted 08/20/2022 07:47 AM
Just had such a dayand definitely did not say it better!
Posted 08/20/2022 06:57 AM
Joan Luther:
To feel the moment that hes encapsulated here!
Posted 08/20/2022 05:52 AM

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