I think I have a bit too much time on my hands, even though everything feels crazy! I just looked at how many times I have posted over the last few days, and whew!  Oh well.  But I just wanted to share this poem, because I have lately been thinking a lot about our soldiers, how wonderful they are and how much they sacrifice for our collective freedom.  Sometimes, if I get thinking hard enough, I even start to cry. 😐

So although this is in reference to England (hence, the name) I loved it and thought it fitting.  So, without further nonsense and ado, and with a heart that goes out to America’s wonderful military, here is Winifred M. Letts’ The Spires of Oxford.

I saw the spires of Oxford
As I was passing by,
The gray spires of Oxford
Against the pearl-gray sky.
My heart was with the Oxford men
Who went abroad to die.

The years go fast in Oxford,
The golden years and gay,
The hoary Colleges look down
On careless boys at play.
But when the bugles sounded war
They put their games away.

They left the peaceful river,
The cricket-field, the quad,
The shaven lawns of Oxford,
To seek a bloody sod—
They gave their merry youth away
For country and for God.

God rest you, happy gentlemen,
Who laid your good lives down,
Who took the khaki and the gun
Instead of cap and gown.
God bring you to a fairer place
Than even Oxford town.

(The only image I could find)

This was the only image of Mrs. Letts that I could find, unfortunately.

Edgar Allan Poe portrait

I recently fell in love with this poem, “Annabel Lee”, by Edgar Allen Poe; I feel like everyone else knows it but me, but after listening to it over and over read my Matthew Gray Gubler, my favorite actor (Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds, among other roles). It’s such a sad, beautiful poem that I nearly choke up each time I hear it. Matthew does a wonderful job of inflection and emotion, too. You can listen to his reading of it HERE and I strongly encourage it. Here are the words at any rate.

“It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

“I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

“And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

“The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

“But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

“For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.”

Wonderful, isn’t it?