Skating (reprise)

Skating Sweep—IN the frosty season, when the sun
Was set, and, visible for many a mile,
The cottage windows through the twilight blazed,
I heeded not the summons: happy time
It was indeed for all of us; for me
It was a time of rapture. Clear and loud
The village clock tolled six. I wheel’d about,
Proud and exulting, like an untired horse
That cares not for its home. All shod with steel,
We hiss’d along the polish’d ice in games
Confederate, imitative of the chase
And woodland pleasures,—the resounding horn,
The pack loud-bellowing, and the hunted hare.
So through the darkness and the cold we flew,
And not a voice was idle: with the din
Meanwhile the precipices rang aloud;
The leafless trees and every icy crag
Tingled like iron; while the distant hills
Into the tumult sent an alien sound
Of melancholy, not unnoticed, while the stars,
Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in the west
The orange sky of evening died away.

Not seldom from the uproar I retired
Into a silent bay, or sportively
Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng,
To cut across the image of a star
That gleam’d upon the ice; and oftentimes,
When we had given our bodies to the wind,
And all the shadowy banks on either side
Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still
The rapid line of motion, then at once
Have I, reclining back upon my heels,
Stopp’d short; yet still the solitary cliffs
Wheel’d by me, even as if the earth had roll’d
With visible motion her diurnal round.
Behind me did they stretch in solemn train,
Feebler and feebler, and I stood and watch’d
Till all was tranquil as a summer sea.

By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)


2 Comments on “Skating (reprise)”

  1. jeandeberg says:

    Thank you for this. Wordsworth made a habit, it seems, of being surprised by joy. Find , if you can, the recordings (both available on You Tube) of Francis Lai’s (he wrote the score to “A Man and a Woman”) lovely “Skating in Central Park.” Either the take rendered by Jim Hall and Bill Evans and/or the Modern Jazz Quartet’s.

    Liked by 1 person


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