The Lover’s Almanac 18 September – Untold – A Sigh Too Much – art by Anton Mauve – verse by George MacDonald

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.  Have you heard that sigh?  Comin’ from yourself?  Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

your languishin’ attitude,
your hand, at each moment
gently touches mine,
confirm the suspicions
your look of dismay
awoke within me

do my charms,
such that they are,
speak to your imagination
an imagination which i suspect
is full of untold passion

I shall leave with the regret
that I understood you too late

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Sigh Too Much

How easily things go wrong
A sigh too much
A sigh not enough
A sigh from the deepest well
A sigh for loneliness to end

A sigh from the emptiest part
A sigh that cannot be borne

© copyright 2012 mac Tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

So Jett says Zazie received another picture text from Adele.  Seems her love interest told her she deserves more than he can give her now.  Jett assures me that Adele is a remarkable woman; bold, bright and beautiful.  No doubt she deserves the best of everything, so this guy could be sincere or he could be full of merda.  That is a standard line used by players.  Either way, I full well know the sting of love lost and we hope that Adele moves on and gives love another chance someday.  Sadly, another example of how easily things go wrong.

Anton Mauve

Today is the birthday of Anthonij (Anton) Rudolf Mauve (Zaandam; 18 September 1838 – 5 February 1888 Arnhem); Dutch realist painter who was a leading member of the Hague School.  He signed his paintings ‘A. Mauve’ or with a monogrammed ‘A.M.’.  A master colorist, he was a early influence on his cousin-in-law Vincent van Gogh.  Most of Mauve’s work depicts people and animals in outdoor settings.  In his Morning Ride in the Rijksmuseum, for example, fashionable equestrians at the seacoast are seen riding away from the viewer.  An unconventional detail, horse droppings in the foreground, attests his commitment to realism.

Mauve was married to van Gogh’s cousin Ariëtte (Jet) Sophia Jeannette Carbentus.


a group of well dressed equestrians, the lady riding sidesaddle, descend at a leisurly pace from the dunes to the beach at Scheveningen towards the bathing huts, their horses leaving droppings in the sand

Morning Ride on the Beach (1876), oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum 

 An elegant young lady wearing a fancy bonnet is sitting in the dunes dressed in her Sunday best, a black dress with a pale blue smock.

Ariëtte (Jet) Carbentus, the Artist’s Wife,in the Dunes
Landscape with cattle

The Return of the Flock, Laren

On this day in 1905, Scottish author, poet and Christian minister, George MacDonald died.  He wrote the fantasy novel Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women (1858).  I found an untitled poem/song in Chapter 19.  I thought it POD worthy and I gave it a title, voilà –

A Sigh Too Much

Sir Aglovaile through the churchyard rode;
Sing, All alone I lie:

Little recked he where’er he yode,
All alone, up in the sky.
Swerved his courser, and plunged with fear
All alone I lie:

His cry might have wakened the dead men near,

All alone, up in the sky.
The very dead that lay at his feet,

Lapt in the mouldy winding-sheet.
But he curbed him and spurred him, until he stood
Still in his place, like a horse of wood,
With nostrils uplift, and eyes wide and wan;
But the sweat in streams from his fetlocks ran.
A ghost grew out of the shadowy air,
And sat in the midst of her moony hair.
In her gleamy hair she sat and wept;
In the dreamful moon they lay and slept;
The shadows above, and the bodies below,
Lay and slept in the moonbeams slow.
And she sang, like the moan of an autumn wind

Over the stubble left behind:
Alas, how easily things go wrong!

A sigh too much, or a kiss too long,
And there follows a mist and a weeping rain,
And life is never the same again.
Alas, how hardly things go right!
‘Tis hard to watch on a summer night,
For the sigh will come and the kiss will stay,
And the summer night is a winter day.

“Oh, lovely ghosts my heart is woes
To see thee weeping and wailing so.

Oh, lovely ghost,” said the fearless knight,
“Can the sword of a warrior set it right?
Or prayer of bedesman, praying mild,
As a cup of water a feverish child,
Sooth thee at last, in dreamless mood
To sleep the sleep a dead lady should?
Thine eyes they fill me with longing sore,
As if I had known thee for evermore.
Oh, lovely ghost, I could leave the day
To sit with thee in the moon away
If thou wouldst trust me, and lay thy head

To rest on a bosom that is not dead.”
The lady sprang up with a strange ghost-cry,
And she flung her white ghost-arms on high:
And she laughed a laugh that was not gay,
And it lengthened out till it died away;

And the dead beneath turned and moaned,
And the yew-trees above they shuddered and groaned.
“Will he love me twice with a love that is vain?

Will he kill the poor ghost yet again?
I thought thou wert good; but I said, and wept:
`Can I have dreamed who have not slept?’
And I knew, alas! or ever I would,
Whether I dreamed, or thou wert good.
When my baby died, my brain grew wild.
I awoke, and found I was with my child.”

“If thou art the ghost of my Adelaide,
How is it? Thou wert but a village maid,
And thou seemest an angel lady white,
Though thin, and wan, and past delight.”
The lady smiled a flickering smile,
And she pressed her temples hard the while.
“Thou seest that Death for a woman can

Do more than knighthood for a man.”
“But show me the child thou callest mine,
Is she out to-night in the ghost’s sunshine?”
“In St. Peter’s Church she is playing on,
At hide-and-seek, with Apostle John.
When the moonbeams right through the window go,
Where the twelve are standing in glorious show,
She says the rest of them do not stir,
But one comes down to play with her.
Then I can go where I list, and weep,
For good St. John my child will keep.”
“Thy beauty filleth the very air,
Never saw I a woman so fair.”
“Come, if thou darest, and sit by my side;
But do not touch me, or woe will betide.
Alas, I am weak: I might well know
This gladness betokens some further woe.
Yet come. It will come. I will bear it. I can.
For thou lovest me yet — though but as a man.”
The knight dismounted in earnest speed;
Away through the tombstones thundered the steed,
And fell by the outer wall, and died.
But the knight he kneeled by the lady’s side;
Kneeled beside her in wondrous bliss,
Rapt in an everlasting kiss:
Though never his lips come the lady nigh,
And his eyes alone on her beauty lie.
All the night long, till the cock crew loud,
He kneeled by the lady, lapt in her shroud.
And what they said, I may not say:
Dead night was sweeter than living day.
How she made him so blissful glad
Who made her and found her so ghostly sad,
I may not tell; but it needs no touch
To make them blessed who love so much.
“Come every night, my ghost, to me;
And one night I will come to thee.
‘Tis good to have a ghostly wife:
She will not tremble at clang of strife;
She will only hearken, amid the din,
Behind the door, if he cometh in.”
And this is how Sir Aglovaile
Often walked in the moonlight pale.
And oft when the crescent but thinned the gloom,
Full orbed moonlight filled his room;

And through beneath his chamber door,
Fell a ghostly gleam on the outer floor;
And they that passed, in fear averred
That murmured words they often heard.
‘Twas then that the eastern crescent shone
Through the chancel window, and good St. John
Played with the ghost-child all the night,

And the mother was free till the morning light,
And sped through the dawning night, to stay
With Aglovaile till the break of day.

And their love was a rapture, lone and high,
And dumb as the moon in the topmost sky.
One night Sir Aglovaile, weary, slept
And dreamed a dream wherein he wept.
A warrior he was, not often wept he,
But this night he wept full bitterly.
He woke — beside him the ghost-girl shone
Out of the dark: ’twas the eve of St. John.
He had dreamed a dream of a still, dark wood,
Where the maiden of old beside him stood;
But a mist came down, and caught her away,
And he sought her in vain through the pathless day,

Till he wept with the grief that can do no more,
And thought he had dreamt the dream before.
From bursting heart the weeping flowed on;
And lo! beside him the ghost-girl shone;
Shone like the light on a harbour’s breast,
Over the sea of his dream’s unrest;
Shone like the wondrous, nameless boon,
That the heart seeks ever, night or noon:
Warnings forgotten, when needed most,
He clasped to his bosom the radiant ghost.

She wailed aloud, and faded, and sank.
With upturn’d white face, cold and blank,
In his arms lay the corpse of the maiden pale,
And she came no more to Sir Aglovaile.
Only a voice, when winds were wild,
Sobbed and wailed like a chidden child.
Alas, how easily things go wrong!
A sigh too much, or a kiss too long,
And there follows a mist and a weeping rain,
And life is never the same again

The Song of the Day is “A Sigh” by Crowded House.  

Mac Tag

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