Great waves of dark clouds rolled across the sky, bringing fast, fierce showers of snow and hail, and the sea tossed angrily against the rocks in the wind. Algy’s feathers were limp and sodden, but he could see no way to get dry in such conditions; he reflected that he must be mad to be perching out there on the cold, wet rocks when he could be tucked up warmly in a sheltered nest. As he watched the sea spray fighting the wind he thought of some verses by one of his favourite poets:

          Bolt and bar the shutter,
          For the foul winds blow:
          Our minds are at their best this night,
          And I seem to know
          That everything outside us is
          Mad as the mist and snow.

          Horace there by Homer stands,
          Plato stands below,
          And here is Tully’s open page.
          How many years ago
          Were you and I unlettered lads
          Mad as the mist and snow?

          You ask what makes me sigh, old friend,
          What makes me shudder so?
          I shudder and I sigh to think
          That even Cicero
          And many-minded Homer were
          Mad as the mist and snow.

Algy dedicates this post especially to his kind friend qbnscholar and to all those of his friends who are as mad as the mist and snow, and for whom many years have passed since they were “unlettered lads”… xoxoxo

[ Algy is quoting the poem Mad as the Mist and Snow by the late 19th/early 20th century Irish poet William Butler Yeats. ]


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