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10.9.07

With rue my heart is laden

The news that no one ever wants to hear arrived at school this morning. A recent alumnus, just starting his sophomore year at college, has been killed in a motorcycle crash. My most profound regrets go to his family. This was a kid who was a favorite student, of me and many of my colleagues, because of a seemingly endless supply of talents. He was brilliant in every subject, one of the brightest students I have taught. He had a beautiful treble voice in middle school, to boot, and an impressive baritone after his voice changed.

This summer, while in Rome, I had dinner with another former student who also had a beautiful treble voice. He has also taken to riding a scooter around the city, and he had been visiting a friend who was in the hospital for serious injuries after a motorcycle accident. Young people, you are not invulnerable. Please be careful.

With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
And many a lightfoot lad.

By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
In fields where roses fade.

-- A. E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad, Poem LIV (1896)

2 comments:

ACB said...

I'm so sorry, Charles.

Charles T. Downey said...

Thanks, ACB. It's not a good week, what with the memories of six years ago, too, also a Tuesday morning. The most horrible day I have ever known as a teacher.