Meg Merrilies

Meg Merrilies, Edward R. Thaxter, 1881

Meg Merrilies¹
By John Keats

Old Meg she was a Gipsy,
And lived upon the Moors:
Her bed it was the brown heath turf,
And her house was out of doors.

Her apples were swart blackberries,
Her currants pods o’ broom;
Her wine was dew of the wild white rose,
Her book a churchyard tomb.

Her Brothers were the craggy hills,
Her Sisters larchen trees—
Alone with her great family
She lived as she did please.

No breakfast had she many a morn,
No dinner many a noon,
And ‘stead of supper she would stare
Full hard against the Moon.

But every morn of woodbine fresh
She made her garlanding,
And every night the dark glen Yew
She wove, and she would sing.

And with her fingers old and brown
She plaited Mats o’ Rushes,
And gave them to the Cottagers
She met among the Bushes.

Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen
And tall as Amazon:
An old red blanket cloak she wore;
A chip hat had she on.
God rest her aged bones somewhere—
She died full long agone!

  1. Meg Merrilies is a character in Walter Scott’s novel. Guy Mannering.

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

It was another dark and stormy night, but no tornados this time. The first thunderstorm wave creeped in at four in the morning and then hung around until past dawn. Then there was a brief lull, before the second wave came through and lasted throughout most of the day. Some wind and lots of rain, but nothing severe. Although, after the storms had pretty much passed, I stuck my head out on the back porch and noticed that a lot of tree limbs had fallen. Nothing super big, but about half-a-dozen good size branches that were scatter over the backyard. That was yesterday. Today, is delightfully cool and also much drier. What we call cabin weather. I collected and cut up all of the downed branches, making littles out of bigs. Unfortunately, I had already filled up the yard waste bucket, with trimmings before the storms, so I went shopping for yard waste bags. I first tried the grocery store, but they must consider the bags to be a seasonal item and they didn’t have any. Then I tried Menards. The Menard store is relatively new here. When we first bought our house there weren’t any big box hardware stores nearby and this was at a time when we were fairly active doing home improvement. Mainly there were only little mom and pop stores that were never open on Sunday and one nearby lumber yard that wasn’t open on the weekend at all. There was a Missouri based chain of big box hardware stores, called Central Hardware, that one of which was on the way home from work. The quality of their building supplies was pretty poor, but there weren’t any alternatives about, but Central Hardware went bankrupt in 1990. Eventually, a Home Depot was put in about a mile away from home and I was happy with that. Next came a Lowes, but we don’t shop there for political reasons. After the Menards was added, Anne informed me that Home Depot was now also politically verboten. The Menards is fine, except it is impossible to find anything there without asking someone. It does have one neat and unique feature, a pair of escalator-like ramps that can take shoppers with carts up and down, because it has a second floor. Today, I had to ask two people, before I finally found the yard waste bags. I bought two sets of bags, instead of just the one that I needed.

Taste of Maplewood

MRH HS Stage Band
Burn It to the Ground

Last night, in-between the storms, we attended the Taste of Maplewood, which has reopened after a two-year pandemic hiatus. Overall, this year’s fair was not as grand as in the past, but it may take a few years for it to come back all the way. There weren’t that many food booths. Those restaurants that did represent were more into selling booze rather than food. County health inspectors might have detoured them too. We did manage to snag a trio of Chateau Maplewood’s Gougéres Sliders that were quite scrumptious. I had a Schlafly Strawberry Hefeweizen to drink and Anne had a pink lemonade. Neither of us were much interested in any cocktail mixes that would burn our intestines to the ground. We listed to the half-hour set by the MRH HS Stage Band. This is the successor to the jazz band that David used to play in, when he was in high school. The above video captures their finale (The Middle by Jimmy Eat World). These days, we seem to be living in a world that is intent to burn itself to the ground. The optimism and strength of the young people overs hope that this will not occur.