Friday, October 3, 2008

This Very Night

On the sea, where the stone cyclops dwells just off shore, and keeps his watch with a proprietary stare on the hillside above, never blinking, never looking away, a sentinel with a permanence as solid as the rock of his composition, we spoke our name into the air and the massive gates began to slowly open. The ancient fir trees nodded to each other as they watched us pass, on and further on, till we turned right at the monkey puzzle tree and beheld the old house waiting, just beyond the moss covered wall. A gust of wind ushered fat, unwieldy raindrops into our path as we were bundled in through the old carved door by kindly souls who escorted us safely into our quarters where the fire blazed and the rooms were scented with sandalwood. As the wind howled, the stony giant watched through our windows.
All through the black night.
The first time, on this very night in October, I slept here.

The Castle By The Sea

Hast thou seen that lordly castle,
That Castle by the Sea?
Golden and red above it
The clouds float gorgeously.

And fain it would stoop downward
To the mirrored wave below;
And fain it would soar upward
In the evening's crimson glow.

Well have I seen that castle,
That Castle by the Sea,
And the moon above it standing,
And the mist rise solemnly.

The winds and the waves of ocean,
Had they a merry chime?
Didst thou hear, from those lofty chambers,
The harp and the minstrel's rhyme?....

from Castle by the Sea by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


  1. Oooo-all shiveringly beautiful!

  2. Beautiful! And I'm in the mood for a good castle tour. Where is this one?

  3. Can I book a room for this weekend?

  4. Just the job for recharging the batteries.

  5. A favorite poem....

    I could definitely indulge in an escape like this...Lovely imagery to begin this beautiful autumn weekend,Pamela....

  6. I too have slept in a castle by the sea, and it was a wondrous thing....

  7. Oh my....if you don't write a book soon, I just don't know what I will do. Please, please consider it. My daughter is writing a book, and this is the sort of imagery we were talking about yesterday. Simply magical in how I can just see the scene, and feel the rain and smell the sandalwood.Sigh. I am there.

  8. I'm reading some short Victorian ghost stories at the moment and this description would fit right in. I want to know what happens next.

    The scene is set, the fire is crackling and I'm sitting comfortably in a big arm chair with the rain pouring down outside.

  9. That sounds like quite a lovely trip. I also love that you mentioned monkey puzzle trees because my husband, who lived in England for a number of years as a boy, was just telling me about them the other day!

  10. Whenever I read a post like this, I get the itch to travel.

  11. Perfect.
    Brings the immovable stone to life.

  12. Oh...I would love to stay there a night!


  13. your posts are so entertaining and your story telling is spell binding! i love my visits here!

  14. Hi! Thank you for your comment! I just LOVE your blog header, with your sweet dog in the center of the crest!

    Cheers to you all!
    I'll be checking back...

  15. I rather fancy that!

    Thanks for your regular doses of unashamed whimsy, they're most welcome!

  16. Beautiful again, Pamela. You have an alchemists touch, turning words into gold.

    Kim x

  17. Did you meet the Laird and did Edward get to wear his tartan coat?

  18. How wonderful, i've never slept in a castle before. It makes me think of knights in shining armour and fair maidens!

  19. Great time of year for overnighting in a castle. :-)

    Your blog always makes me feel like I'm reading a very wonderful, illustrated fantasy novel, or artist's memoir or something just on the left, more idealized side of reality... Thanks for sharing.

  20. Oh, to sleep, perchance to dream, in such a place as this! It is beautiful, as is your description. I second the book wish.

  21. Pamela,this is just lovely..tell me more

  22. I went to a different castle this weekend...see blog. ;)

  23. Oh! I have seen many castles by the sea b ut will have to remember the poem next time.

  24. Oh Pamela, what an enchanting visit! I've never slept in a castle before. You make it sound so magical! This is going on my 'must do' list right away!

  25. I love the photo. I like the way the building stretches into the distance. And the poem is beautiful.

    Greetings from London.

  26. Pamela, what a lovely poem and photo. My family is partial to Longfellow since he lived in our town, Brunswick, Maine while attending Bowdoin College. My kids went to Longfellow School on Longfellow Ave. My daughter took national exams in England (SATs) and was amused to find a familiar poem him. It’s like running into an old friend, seeing his beautiful, timeless words. It was nice to catch up on your blog.


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