Friday, 20 February 2009

The Bells of Heaven

snow, wind, temps minus 7

Just walked over to the guest cottage to open it up and leave the key. Mike and Dom are visiting this weekend. Helps, we find, if the door is unlocked.

We're heading over there tomorrow for dinner...and having breakfast with Joan tomorrow. So great to re-connect with people back home. And to do nothing. Not that Quebec City was totally hectic, but I do love peace and quiet.

Heading in to Montreal Monday - speaking to a book club Monday night, breakfast with Susan Tuesday, and dentist Tuesday mid-morning. But the BIG event is a hair appointment Monday afternoon. Remember when I had it done just before the big book launch and tour in the US? Back in mid-January? Well, it was a disaster. Horrible! And I know about horrible hair cuts. But this is the worst..epic. Norsemen should be telling tragic tales around camp fires about this - except it's too scary. But, it is just possible I brought it on myself (like a few other of my woes). But, really, who could possibly foresee that getting my hair done by Michael's barber in a tiny shop in our little village might be asking for problems? Inconceivable.

Sent off the revision for THE BRUTAL TELLING today. That always feels terrific.

Maggie (the three-legged wonder) is amazing. Playing with Trudy in the snow, chasing balls. She no longer sleeps with us upstairs because they're too steep but we took her bed into the living room and so she's right below us. Pat and Tony brought over a bunch of throw rugs and runners because Maggie feels more secure on a carpet than bare floor, so now all these mis-matched carpets are everywhere. And dog toys. And bones. Cannot possibly be house-proud with animals.

loved the comments from a couple of days ago about no-kill shelters, and volunteering (heroes all!) and the dentist who takes in stray cats... wonderful. There's that terrific Victorian poem it all reminds me of... (writing from memory, so it's no doubt inaccurate)

T'would ring the bells of Heaven,
The wildest peel in years,
If Parson lost his senses,
And people came to theirs,
And he and they together knelt down with fervent prayers,
For tamed and shabby tigers
And dancing dogs and bears,
For blind and maimed pit-ponies
And little hunted hares.

Be well.


Anonymous said...

Thank you--I couldn't remember how that poem went, and Google directed me to the blog of one of my favorite authors to find it. A double win! I enjoy your novels so much ... and often wish I could find a little place in that village for myself. All the best!

Bob Pike said...

This poem is one of the few which can make me cry. By Ralph Hodgson, 1893-1916,which makes me think that he was killed in the First World War. The poem should be made officially its verbal emblem by the WSPA--not least the dancing bears part.
One of your admirers, Bob Oike

Bob Pike said...

I got it wrong. Ralph Hodgson lived to a ripe old age; dies in the 1960's. But his poem on The Bells of Heaven is still one of his very best

Samhain Rau said...

I have to echo what Anonymous posted, I just read this poem in your book BRUTAL TELLING, and turned to my computer to search for it. I had a recollection of that phrase "shabby tigers" from Dorothy Sayers novel BUSMAN'S HONEYMOON, and gather she must have been drawing from this poem as well. I do love your books, which are rather like a long prose poem...and we care for a large colony of feral cats...:)

Anonymous said...

I often think about the poem you quoted which I recall reading when I was at school in the early 60s. I have always thought that it was anonymous and for some reason I decided to look it up on google and was directed to this site... I used to think that I was the only person who knew about as I have never heard it mentioned before.
It is such a simple and touching poem and I wonder why it is not quoted more often. Always makes me want to cry especially the 'wretched blind pit ponies'..bit !