October 28th, 2001

s60 harriet half smile

(no subject)

by Neil Gaiman

Half-remembered lines of Shakespeare --
change of times and states and crystal tresses --
and Pepys, going out with his wife to see the comet,
and afterward the plague,
and then the fire.

I always wondered how they noticed comets,
after all, the sky is filled with stars
and planets, and I've never quite been able
to tell the two apart, see which was which.
And why did comets scare them so?
Stars fall, Which is much worse,

But that does not make us fear that wars will come,
and fires and plagues will come,
established things be overturned and new things come
-- and new things are never comfortable things.

So I walk down to the woods, and stare up
at the night. So many stars.
But only one comet, obvious, and perfect and precise,

its tail a ghost and white against the night.
On seeing it, I understand at last.
And shiver,
for the change that's always coming.
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