As far as he could discover, there were no signs of spring. The decay that covered the surface of the mottled ground was not the kind in which life generates. Last year, he remembered, May had failed to quicken these soiled fields. It had taken all the brutality of July to torture a few green spikes through the exhausted dirt.What the little park needed, even more than he did, was a drink. Neither alcohol nor rain would do. Tomorrow, in his column, he would ask Broken-hearted, Sick-of-it-all, Desperate, Disillusioned-with-tubercular-husband and the rest of his correspondents to come here and water the soil with their tears. Flowers would then spring up, flowers that smelled of feet."Ah, humanity..." But he was heavy with shadow and the joke went into a dying fall. He trist to break its fall by laughing at himself.
In my own shire, if I was sadHomely comforters I had:The earth, because my heart was sore,Sorrowed for the son she bore;And standing hills, long to remain,Shared their short-lived comrade's pain.And bound for the same bourn as I,On every road I wandered by,Trod beside me, close and dear,The beautiful and death-struck year:Whether in the woodland brownI heard the beechnut rustle down,And saw the purple crocus paleFlower about the autumn dale;Or littering far the fields of MayLady-smocks a-bleaching lay,And like a skylit water stoodThe bluebells in the azured wood. Yonder, lightening other loads,The season range the country roads,But here in London streets I kenNo such helpmates, only men;And these are not in plight to bear,If they would, another's care.They have enough as 'tis: I seeIn many an eye that measures meThe mortal sickness of a mindToo unhappy to be kind.Undone with misery, all they canIs to hate their fellow man;And till they drop they needs must stillLook at you and wish you ill.
No, not of course at all—it is really all hocus-pocus. The days lengthen in the winter-time, and when the longest comes, the twenty-first of June, the beginning of summer, they begin to go downhill again, toward winter. You call that ‘of course’; but if one once loses hold of the fact that it is of course, it is quite frightening, you feel like hanging on to something. It seems like a practical joke—that spring begins at the beginning of winter, and autumn at the beginning of summer. You feel you’re being fooled, led about in a circle, with your eye fixed on something that turns out to be a moving point. A moving point in a circle. For the circle consists of nothing but such transitional points without any extent whatever; the curvature is incommensurable, there is no duration of motion, and eternity turns out to be not ‘straight ahead’ but ‘merry-go-round’!
The summer ended. Day by day, and taking its time, the summer ended. The noises in the street began to change, diminish, voices became fewer, the music sparse. Daily, blocks and blocks of children were spirited away. Grownups retreated from the streets, into the houses. Adolescents moved from the sidewalk to the stoop to the hallway to the stairs, and rooftops were abandoned. Such trees as there were allowed their leaves to fall - they fell unnoticed - seeming to promise, not without bitterness, to endure another year. At night, from a distance, the parks and playgrounds seemed inhabited by fireflies, and the night came sooner, inched in closer, fell with a greater weight. The sound of the alarm clock conquered the sound of the tambourine, the houses put on their winter faces. The houses stared down a bitter landscape, seeming, not without bitterness, to have resolved to endure another year.
The seasons long for each other, like men and women, in order that they may be cured of their excesses.Spring, if it lingers more than a week beyond its span, starts to hunger for summer to end the days of perpetual promise. Summer in its turn soon begins to sweat for something to quench its heat, and the mellowest of autumns will tire of gentility at last, and ache for a quick sharp frost to kill its fruitfulness.Even winter - the hardest season, the most implacable - dreams, as February creeps on, of the flame that will presently melt it away. Everything tires with time, and starts to seek some opposition, to save it from itself.
How I will cherish you then, you grief-torn nights!Had I only received you, inconsolable sisters,on more abject knees, only buried myself with more abandon in your loosened hair. How we waste our afflictions!We study them, stare out beyond them into bleak continuance, hoping to glimpse some end. Whereas they're reallyour wintering foliage, our dark greens of meaning, oneof the seasons of the clandestine year -- ; not onlya season --: they're site, settlement, shelter, soil, abode.
Our winters are very long here, very long and very monotonous. But we don't complain about it downstairs, we're shielded against the winter. Oh, spring does come eventually, and summer, and they last for a while, but now, looking back, spring and summer seem too short, as if they were not much more than a couple of days, and even on those days, no matter how lovely the day, it still snows occasionally.