Algy sat on the rocks by the side of the loch and thought of Stephanie and her family. As the light streamed through the clouds onto the water, he sang this poem by Goethe for her, in its beautiful Lieder setting by Franz Schubert:

          Des Menschen Seele
          Gleicht dem Wasser:
          Vom Himmel kommt es,
          Zum Himmel steigt es,
          Und wieder nieder
          Zur Erde muß es,
          Ewig wechselnd.

          Man’s soul
          Is like water:
          From Heaven it comes,
          To Heaven it rises,
          And down again
          To Earth it must descend,
          Constantly fluctuating.

Listen to this lovely recording of Gesang der Geister über den Wassern by the Vienna Vocalists and the String Ensemble of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

[You can read the full text of the poem in German and English, but Algy feels that the English translation given there does not do full justice to the original, and nor does Algy’s own translation!]

Today Algy is very, very sad, because he has suddenly lost a dear friend and neighbour. She was a wonderful, good person, and exceptionally kind to animals and birds. Algy and his friends are especially sad for her husband. Tonia was much loved in this tiny Highland community, and her death has been a terrible shock. She will be very greatly missed.

Tonia believed in Heaven for both animals and people, so Algy hopes that she is now reunited with all the many creatures she cared for and loved, that went before her XX

Break, Break, Break

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Algy sat on a rock with the Atlantic waves crashing around him, and thought of the neighbour who had just died in mid-life, of Lindsey’s young friend Connor who had died in mid-childhood, and of all those friends and strangers whose lives ended much too soon. Inevitably he was reminded of Tennyson’s famous elegy:

          Break, break, break,
              On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
          And I would that my tongue could utter
              The thoughts that arise in me.

          O, well for the fisherman’s boy,
              That he shouts with his sister at play!
          O, well for the sailor lad,
               That he sings in his boat on the bay!

          And the stately ships go on
              To their haven under the hill;
          But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,
              And the sound of a voice that is still!

[Algy is reciting the first three stanzas of Break, Break, Break by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.]

Algy’s Adventures: Temporarily Interrupted

Algy apologizes for the sudden interruption of his adventures.

Sadly, Algy’s friends suffered a family bereavement in mid-May 2012, and had to go away from home for a while.

The funeral service – which was held in a strange city far away – included some verses from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

          “I came like Water, and like Wind I go.”