Archive |

An Evening Prayer

9 Feb

by Robert Lewis Stevenson

Receive our supplications for this house, family, and country.
Protect the innocent, restrain the greedy and the treacherous, lead us out of our tribulation into a quiet land.
Look down upon ourselves and upon our absent dear ones.
Help us and them; prolong our days in peace and honor.
Give us health, food, bright weather, and light hearts.
In what we meditate of evil, frustrate our will; in what of good, further our endeavors.
Cause injuries to be forgot and benefits to be remembered.
Let us lie down without fear and awake and arise with exultation.
For his sake, in whose words we now conclude.

from a review by Denis Haack

Stand and Deliver and Agincourt

9 Feb

Stand and Deliver was made in 1988 and set in East LA in a poor Hispanic high school.  A great movie, especially if you have Hispanic children, since the more things change the more they stay the same.  And the title song by Mr. Mister plays at the end credits.

Public Libraries are one of the blessings of living in the USA.  I just finished Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell.  I had read one other period history novel by him and was not impressed.  But the Wall Street Journal and at least one other reviewer liked this book, so when it appeared on the New shelf I checked it out. And was not disappointed.

When we visited England for our 20th anniversary, we made a trip to Tunbridge Wells, then took a steam engine train out to Groombridge.  We walked from the station to Groombridge Place, which was used as the Bennett House in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film.  The formal gardens in May there were stunning.  Off in one corner, almost hidden near the Secret Garden, was an ancient Yew tree.  The tag informed us that the tree was planted in the 1400’s after England’s victory over France at Agincourt.   Why a yew tree?

Now I know.  Because the longbows used by English archers were made of yew.  And because English archers and the weather made the victory against overwhelming numbers at Agincourt possible.

The article is not nearly as intriguing as the book. Nor as bloody.

%d bloggers like this: