It was his sayings one remembered.

Like the kiss of a wave --
chill and sharp, 
and yet solemn.

He could be intolerable; he could be impossible --
but adorable to walk with,
on a morning like this. 

Everywhere, there was a beating --
a stirring of galloping ponies,
wrapped up in the soft mesh
of the grey-blue morning air,
a flight of gulls across the sky
in this extraordinary silence, 
and peace.

And in this purity, bells struck --
the sound fading up there among the gulls. 
It was plain enough, this beauty;
and tears filled his eyes
as he looked at her.

There was a touch of the jay about her --
blue-green eyes, light, vivacious,
languishing in the melting sky,
bestowing upon him their inexhaustible charity
and laughing goodness;
signaling their intention to provide him,
for nothing --
for ever --
with beauty.

She seemed all light, glowing,
like some bird that has flown in 
and attached itself,
for a moment,
to a bramble.

And then,
opening her eyes --
her look,
passing through all that time and emotion,
reached him doubtfully,
settled on him tearfully,
and rose,
and fluttered away.

As she looked, the whole world
became perfectly silent;
mystery had brushed them with her wing.

And now, when millions of things
had utterly vanished,
she remembered --
how strange it was --
a few sayings of his
about cabbages.


--Adapted from Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway