Iste terraram mini preter omntj Angulus ridet –Horace
Written during a visit at the Nook, near Airth, Stirlingshire
One thing seems agreed on in speech and in book,
That, if comfort exists, ‘twill be found in a nook ;
All seems dreary and cold in an open area,
But a corner – how charming the very idea!
Hence, when, weary with toiling, we think of retreat ,
A nook is the spot that we ask for our seat –
Some small piece of earth, ‘tis no matter how small,
But a corner it must be, or nothing at all.
The poor man an object of kindred desire
Regards, in the nook of his bright evening fire,
Where, his labours all done, he may sit at his ease,
With his wee things devoutly caressing his knees ,
And where, I would know, to what promising shade,
Runs the kiss threatened, bashful, yet half-willing maid?
To some nook, to be sure, to some hidden recess,
Where her lover his fondness is free to confess.
Even less might have been the delight of Jack Horner,
Had his plums been enjoyed anywhere but a corner!
Since thus open pleasures are viler than tangle,
Such thoughts it is easy to string up together ;
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com
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