At home in France: French country and city living
Henry Van Dyke, a once famous poet, professor and pal of Woodrow Wilson’s, is perhaps best known (if still known at all) for the English words of his “Hymn to Joy” set to a stirring moment in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. But he made something of a specialty of “sundial poems,” most of them commissioned. This one glosses a sundial at Wells College, Aurora NY, commissioned by the college class of 1904. It seems to me to share the spirit of "N'en perdez aucune" and of your beautiful photograph.The shadow by my finger castDivides the future from the past:Before it, sleeps the unborn hourIn darkness, and beyond thy power:Behind its unreturning line,The vanished hour, no longer thine:One hour alone is in thy hands,--The NOW on which the shadow stands.
Thank you, Professor! For years I lived in the Pas-de-Calais where most days sun dials are out of service; Pas-de-Calais, pas de soleil. As one French sun dial devise goes, "Pas de soleil, pas d'ombre."