Friday, January 21, 2011

Victorian Road Trip


Her Voice
~ Oscar Wilde

The wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing,
Now in a lily-cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering;
Sit closer love: it was here I trow
I made that vow,
Swore that two lives should be like one
As long as the sea-gull loved the sea,
As long as the sunflower sought the sun, -
It shall be, I said, for eternity
'Twixt you and me!

Dear friend, those times are over and done;
Love's web is spun.
Look upward where the poplar trees
Sway and sway in the summer air,
Here in the valley never a breeze
Scatters the thistledown, but there
Great winds blow fair
From the mighty murmuring mystical seas,
And the wave-lashed leas.

Look upward where the white gull screams,
What does it see that we do not see?
Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams
On some outward voyaging argosy, -
Ah! can it be
We have lived our lives in a land of dreams!
How sad it seems.

Sweet, there is nothing left to say
But this, that love is never lost,
Keen winter stabs the breasts of May
Whose crimson roses burst his frost,
Ships tempest-tossed
Will find a harbour in some bay,
And so we may.

And there is nothing left to do
But to kiss once again, and part,
Nay, there is nothing we should rue,
I have my beauty, - you your Art,
Nay, do not start,
One world was not enough for two
Like me and you.

Image: Frankston, Victoria

Rather disappointing sea drive along the Mornington Penninsula.  Lots of traffic, oppressively built up and a flat grey sea looking out into the bay.   (I'm not fond of bays, estuaries or lakes, in addition to rivers.  It's just me.  I crave the surf and the sound of the sea.  And secluded places.)  However, you can see the monied classes have migrated to Sorrento and Portsea where the architecture improves dramatically, the shops are filled with modish wares and the food stores trade in gourmet produce.  Frankston failed to impress even with the celebrated (but overpriced) sand sculpture exhibition and some friendly sea gulls.  It was here, in the highway playground, that I first came across a swing designed for children in wheelchairs - a great, fenced-in, steel contraption which looked like it would require an engineering degree to operate.  A neat idea, although I can see swarms of children hanging about looking on curiously if ever it were used. 

Well, after a rest break and stroll along the esplanade, we clambered back in the car and headed off to the Sorrento - Queenscliff car ferry.  I was turning green at the thought, but it proved to be a pleasant, steady trip with dolphins following alongside and the Spirit of Tasmania passed by on its journey back to the mainland.  We were on that one year ago. Hard to believe.


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