Monday, May 31, 2010


Juliet’s Question

It was the one hour in the long twenty-four that stands off alone to itself, far away from midnight, not the least bit close to the dawn. 
 The very dead of night.  
Three am.
I alone was awake in the house.  I alone heard the song.  An eerie tune, almost macabre, that rose up out of the trees in the garden, so unexpected, so strange, a concerto performed by a feathered musician hitherto unheard in these parts.
Singing full tilt at the top of his lungs, like a sentinel warning of battle, his shrill voice split through the night like an arrow.  I slipped out of bed and went to the window.  The Flower moon, so full in the sky, illuminated all her white subjects - Annabelle's and impatiens, gardenia and rose.  They shone like a gargantuan strand of Mother Nature’s best pearls, broken and scattered cross a navy blue floor.
The anonymous bird sang his song on and on, with barely a stop between stanzas, more urgent than joyful, a song for the night.  
“Who is he?”, I thought, as a shudder ran its finger along my shoulders.
 A raven herald of myth, or a starling in the midst of a dream?  A phoenix rising from the ashes of the moon, or a firebird in search of the sun’s golden fruit?
 So I wondered as Juliet had long before me,
 was it the Lark or the Nightingale that sang in my garden,
 long after midnight, too early for dawn?


*************************************
JULIET
 Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day: 
    It was the nightingale, and not the lark, 
    That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear; 
    Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree: 
    Believe me, love, it was the nightingale. 

ROMEO 
It was the lark, the herald of the morn, 
    No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks 
    Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east: 
    Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day 
    Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops. 
    I must be gone and live, or stay and die. 


Romeo and Juliet
Act 3, Scene 5
by William Shakespeare

56 comments:

  1. So fanciful, and yet literary, too!

    Your description of the moon's white subjects was such a good example of your charming and inimitable style.

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  2. Beautiful! You are such an exceptionally talented writer. While rading this, I felt I was THERE - hearing the bird, bathed in moonlight, wonderng....
    So why haven't you written a book?
    Cenya

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  3. Your writing is lovely...I too have awakened this year to a bird singing in the dark night.
    I loved the line.. 'They shone like a gargantuan strand of Mother Nature's best pearls, broken and scattered across a navy blue floor.' I could really picture standing at the window in the moonlight listening.
    Thank you so much for visiting and for your understanding words about my dear Georgie!

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  4. Oh, you brought back such memories...years ago when I lived in a different place, I would hear the nightingale singing in the wee hours...ahhh, that was such a long time ago now...but I am still a *night owl* and now we live in the woods where, very often, other owls are up with me :>]

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  5. Thank you for sharing your evening's events!

    As if I were there listening to the songs too!

    L.

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  6. Your writing is silky smooth and compels one to read on. A picture of the night, and elysian bird song, and the moon white subjects is clear enough to see, to feel, to hear.

    Good job!

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  7. Wow..this gave me goosebumps..soooo beautiful..:)

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  8. A night bird calls, to wit to woo, a portend in the stillness or just luring you to drink of the beauty of the moonlit garden?

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  9. So lovely, I can almost hear the lark. Or is it the nightingale? It is dusk here now, soon it will be dark. The windows are open and I am wondering if I will hear a birdsong between night and dawn. Lovely, so lovely, Pamela. Thank you.

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  10. Just lovely!
    I love to hear the birds singing, no matter the hour. All I hear lately is the hum of the air conditioning! That's just life in steamy South Carolina!

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  11. I wish I could write like you...beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Love from London x

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  12. Lovely written.
    The other night upon returning home very late I saw a small white owl sitting in my driveway. She flew off after a moment and had such wide wing span even though she was rather smmall in height...
    A garden in moon light is magical...

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  13. lovely post on this beautiful Sunday afternoon here in Virginia!

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  14. I got goosebumps reading this, Pamela. So beautiful are your words they stay with me all day.

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  15. Beautiful. Your writing is so very lyrical and your dogs....adorable! Looking forward to more visits....
    xx P&H

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  16. Each post of yours is poetry. I really think your blog is unique!!

    Happy monday xx

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  17. So beautifully written, Pamela......you always have us in the palm of your hand, whether you are bringing us to tears, making us laugh or sending shivers down our spine.
    It is such a joy visiting you.
    Give Edward a hug from, please ! XXXX

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  18. I just love the way you write, gf, you are good! Thanks for the sweet note that you left for me.

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  19. "Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain ", I love that piece of writing so much. The more I read it the more I marvel.

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  20. Your prose is so beautiful and perfect Pamela that I could read it all day long. You must go into print.

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  21. Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree:
    Sweet Juliet....


    All wonderful Pamela...you have captivated us again and this one sentence still lingers with me..I just love it.

    Jeanne:)

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  22. Maybe a cuckoo? In Spring the cuckoos arive and call desperately for a mate all night long.

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  23. Beautiful ... sums it up nicely I think! As ever! Suzie xxxx

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  24. Hello P&E,

    Beautiful words from both Will and you!

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  25. What a beautiful description of the white flowers in the garden illuminated by the moon!

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  26. A teller of wonderful tales you are my friend. I do enjoy each and every one!

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  27. Love the product suggestions! Can't wait to get the lip stain ;).

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  28. If one must be awake in the middle of the night it is lovely to be serenaded...Did you ever find out what kind of bird it was?...My favorite night time singer is the Whipporwill...haunting...

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