Here is Lowell’s second verse of his famous poem, “What is so rare as a day in June?” followed by my own version. (Verse 1 of both Lowell’s and mine can be found here.)
Now is the high-tide of the year,
And whatever of life hath ebbed away
Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer,
Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God wills it;
No matter how barren the past may have been,
‘Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green;
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing;
The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near,
That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
That the river is bluer than the sky,
That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
And if the breeze kept the good news back,
For our couriers we should not lack;
We could guess it all by yon heifer’s lowing,
And hark! How clear bold chanticleer,
Warmed with the new wine of the year,
Tells all in his lusty crowing!
My new version:
Now is the hot side of the year,
And it feels like my teeth are melting away.
Tears flood my eyes with no hint of cheer,
Making tracks in my make-up, deep as the bay.
Now my heart is so full, my tears overfill it.
At least I’m sure that God does not will it –
No matter how fervent my prayers all have been.
It’s enough for me now that I don’t feel green;
As long as I lie in my bed, I feel well,
But the abscess gets bigger, my gums swell.
I may shut my eyes, but I cannot help knowing,
That whatever I’ve got is growing.
A voice comes whispering in my ear
Saying my next dental trial draws near.
Another tooth breaks, my tears keep flowing,
Self-pity makes me bluer than the sky,
And my mouth is preparing for one more good-bye.
My paltry sleep keeps the good news back,
Couriers of doom I do not lack;
And e’en if I sleep, despite my loud lowing
The dad-gum next-door chanticleer,
Wakes me, if I’ve slept, when I hear,
All his “Cock-a-doodle” crowing!
I know I told some of you in replying to comments on Verse 1, that I would be telling you of our plans to pay for the next dental visit. Well, I guess you will have to wait for Verse 3, which is coming up tomorrow. I got too busy feeling sorry for myself! Even I’m starting to feel like my moaning has gone on long enough. . .