Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday commute xxxi: summer reading

Saddle Meadows


summer reader

do you

live with words.

.. those dark bay steeds are still extant; not in themselves or in their issue; but of the two descendants of stallions of their own breed. For on the lands of Saddle Meadows, man and horse are both hereditary; and this bright morning Pierre Glendenning, grandson of the grand old Pierre, now drives forth with Lucy Tartan, seated where his own ancestor had sat, and reining steeds, whose great-great-great-grandfathers grand old Pierre had reined before.

How proud felt Pierre: In fancy's eye, he saw the horse-ghosts a-tandem in the van; 'These are but wheelers' - cried young Pierre - ' the leaders are the generations'.

But Love has more to do with his own possible and probable posterities, than with the once living but now impossible ancestries in the past. So Pierre's glow of family pride quickly gave place to a deeper hue, when Lucy bade love's banner blush out from his cheek.

'Why, Pierre, thou art transfigured; thou now lookest as one who - why, Pierre?'

'As one who had just peeped in at paradise, Lucy; and - '

'Again wandering in thy mind, Pierre; no more - Come, you must leave me, now. I am quite rested again. Quick, call my aunt, and leave me. Stay, this evening we are to look over the book of plates from the city, you know. Be early; - go now, Pierre'.

'Well, good-bye, till evening, thou height of all delight'.

Herman Melville
Pierre or
  The Ambiguities
Volume Seven, The Writings
  of Herman Melville
Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker
  and G. Thomas Tanselle, editors
Northwestern University Press and
  The Newberry Press, 1971©

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