Monday, July 09, 2007

popped up to parliament square for a few minutes after work

commemorating the abolition of slavery here in 1834

a lot of crack and rumble above putney heath this afternoon ... puts you in mind of william shakespeare

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!

You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout

Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!

You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,

Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,

Singe my white head!

And thou, all-shaking thunder,

Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!

Crack nature's moulds, an germens spill at once,

That make ingrateful man!

I conjure you, by that which you profess,—

Howe’er you come to know it,—answer me:

Though you untie the winds and let them fight

Against the churches; though the yesty waves

Confound and swallow navigation up;

Though bladed corn be lodg’d and trees blown down;

Though castles topple on their warders’ heads;

Though palaces and pyramids do slope

Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure

Of Nature’s germens tumble all together,

Even till destruction sicken; answer me

To what I ask you.

If by your art, my dearest father, you have

Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.

The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,

But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheek,

Dashes the fire out.

O, I have suffered

With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel,

Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her,

Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock

Against my very heart.

Poor souls, they perish'd.

Had I been any god of power, I would

Have sunk the sea within the earth or ere

It should the good ship so have swallow'd and

The fraughting souls within her.