This morning's adventure is alas already ended...

Under grey skies left from yesterday; the stiff winds, however, seem to have vanished into the ether whence they came. There was sunlight earlier, at 0600 and 0700; perhaps later. I've been to the dermatologist. whose office, as it turns out, is within five minutes walking of the house that I lived in before moving to this venerable pile.

The taxi driver who collected me to take me to my appointment could barely hear, and the driver who returned me, two hours later, couldn't stop talking: he was trying to tell what was in fact a quite amusing story but kept interrupting himself. He was, ah, of unkempt mien-- this is involved in his story-- but right on time at the office door so I was ready to forgive nearly anything. Unkempt, not unwashed. Anyway, one 'dark and stormy evening' early in his driving career he was sent to pick up a woman in one of the city's less salubrious neighborhoods in a vehicle that was serving as a replacement for one in the shop. Purple with gold rims (these are parts of the wheels, evidently), darkened windows. He rang the woman to inform her that he had arrived. The door opened and she began to walk down the flight of stairs: only to see him standing by the driver's door: her apprehension of his unkemptness, together with a vague recollection of television police melodramas having to do with criminals' and their taste in vulgar additions to their vehicles' factory-standard equipment, caused her to imagine that an abduction was about to occur: she, therefore, ran back into her apartment, slamming the door. The driver telephoned again, describing himself; she insisted on calling the dispatcher; he eventually got her to wherever she was going, having been entertained throughout the trip by her sermon attempting to convert him to the ways of righteousness and professional hair cuts and attire.

My beard, which while untrimmed is scarcely unkempt, didn't prompt his story-telling: it was the fact that he was driving a yellow taxi whereas the first driver of the day was driving his own vehicle, which fact I remarked upon, being surprised at having reached the end of my series of private cars being used as taxis: have had them from the beginning of my medical adventures in April.

Such a lovely song! and while the entire album 'Dowland in Dublin' is worth adding to one's collection this one song is worth the cost of the entire CD, I think. But perhaps my judgment is skewed because my own helmet makes a hive for bees and so forth, ahem.

His golden locks Time hath to silver turned.
O Time too swift! Oh swiftness never ceasing!
His youth 'gainst Time and Age hath ever spurned,
But spurned in vain; youth waneth by increasing.

His helmet now shall make a hive for bees,
And lover's sonnets turn to holy psalms.
A man-at-arms must now serve on his knees,
And feed on prayers which are Age's alms.

And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
He'll teach his swains this carol for a song:
Beauty, strength, youth are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love are roots and ever green.

That's the text sung; Dowland's 'carol' has another eight lines, making it clear that Golden Locks once wooed a sovereign lady and is now but her bedesman ("one who prays for the soul or spiritual welfare of another").

Later, before Vespers. I see, having investigated, that the poem set by Dowland is properly called 'A Farewell to Armes' that is the preface sonnet to a play in verse by George Peele entitled Polyhymnia. It takes away some of the lustre, knowing that it was dedicated to the tyrant Elizabeth I, but I can overlook that since Dowland's version as performed by what's his name-- I've already forgotten it...-- Michael Slattery cuts the lines that explicitly refer to her. I am enamored of it, for the moment. And it is so simple, the melody, although requiring a great delicacy and command of the voice.

Ah, the dermatologist; she assured me that my leg wound is not cancerous and that I might want to think about wearing compression stockings, eating two or three grains of salt per week, never sitting, and asking my primary doctor about a prescription for water pills. Prayers are Age's alms and politely listening to doctors, too, I reckon.