Jun. 13, 2001

Advice to a Girl

by Thomas Campion

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Poem: "Advice to a Girl," by Thomas Campion.

Advice to a Girl

Never love unless you can
Bear with all the faults of man!
Men sometimes will jealous be
Though but little cause they see,
And hang the head as discontent,
And speak what straight they will repent.

Men, that but one Saint adore,
Make a show of love to more;
Beauty must be scorned in none,
Though but truly served in one:
For what is courtship but disguise?
True hearts may have dissembling eyes.

Men, when their affairs require,
Must awhile themselves retire;
Sometimes hunt, and sometimes hawk,
And not ever sit and talk:
If these and such-like you can bear,
Then like, and love, and never fear!

Today is the feast day of Saint Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of the illiterate and the poor.

It's the birthday of novelist Fanny Burney, born in King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, in 1752. She was the daughter of a musician and the keeper of robes in the queen's household. She learned to read at age 8, began writing at the age of 10, and at the age of 26, published her novel Evelina, or, A Young Lady's Entrance into the World in 1778. It was a book in which a male character remarks, "I don't know what the devil a woman lives for after thirty. She is only in other folks' way." Fanny Burney, who said, "It's a delightful thing to think of perfection; but it's vastly more amusing to talk of errors and absurdities."

It's the birthday of poet William Butler Yeats, born in Dublin in 1865. He, along with Lady Gregory, started the Irish Literary Theatre in 1899, which became the Abbey Theatre. If he had died then, at the age of 40, Yeats might now be thought a minor poet, but he lived and produced his greatest work (unusual for a poet) between the ages of 50 and 75. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

It's the birthday of mystery writer Dorothy L. Sayers, born in Oxford, England, in 1893. She earned a degree in medieval literature and in 1923 she issued the first of her 11 mystery novels featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. Dorothy Sayers once wrote, "As I grow older and older/And totter towards the tomb/I find that I care less and less/Who goes to bed with whom."

It's the birthday of poet and teacher Mark Van Doren, born in Hope, Illinois, in 1894. In almost 40 years of teaching at Columbia University, he met such students as John Berryman, Clifton Fadiman, Thomas Merton, Lionel Trilling, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac. He also wrote more than 50 works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

It's the birthday of physicist Louis Alvarez, born in San Francisco 1911. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his use of bubble chambers to detect new subatomic particles.

It's the birthday of conceptual artist Christo, born Christo Javacheff in Bulgaria in 1935, and famous for wrapping things in colorful plastic.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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