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Martha
By Walter de la Mare

"Once...Once upon a time..."
Over and over again,
Martha would tell us her stories,
In the hazel glen.

Hers were those clear gray eyes
You watch, and the story seems
Told by their beautifulness
Tranquil as dreams.

She'd sit with her two slim hands
Clasped round her bended knees;
While we on our elbows lolled,
And stared at ease.

Her voice and her narrow chin,
Her grave small lovely head,
Seemed half the meaning
Of the words she said.

"Once...Once upon a time..."
Like a dream you dream in the night,
Fairies and gnomes stole out
In the leaf-green light.

And her beauty far away
Would fade, as her voice ran on,
Till hazel and summer sun
And all were gone:--

All fordone and forgot;
And like clouds in the height of the sky,
Our hearts stood still in the hush
Of an age gone by.

--------

Wednesday was a gorgeous day, which makes me feel even more accomplished when I announce that three of my four laundries are now folded! We went for a walk in Cabin John Park, which still has crocuses and now has daffodils and early cherry blossoms too. I am traumatized that CBS has cast Jason Isaacs in Discovery; I was really ready to be done with Star Trek, especially with paying for Star Trek, and now I may have to track down All Access, sigh.

We caught up on The 100, which continues to be excellent -- most feminist show on TV -- before the return of Designated Survivor, which has a couple of interesting women and a trio of stereotypes all circling Kirkman, who needs to be more interesting himself instead of always being acted upon. Here are some photos from Tarascon, where Martha went to preach after arriving in Gaul with her brother Lazarus, who became the first Bishop of Marseille:


The relics of Saint Martha...


...in the Collégiale Royale in Tarascon-sur-Rhône.


Her tomb is in the crypt.


Like Mary Magdalene and Martha's sister Mary of Bethany, the French believe she fled the Holy Land to live and preach in Gaul.


According to local lore, Martha tamed a monster, the Tarasque, with a cross and holy water.


The nearby Château de Tarascon has a statue of the monster, which was supposed to be part dragon and part fish with the tail of a serpent.


Like the Marys, Joan of Arc is a frequent figure in French churches, including Martha's.


Women are the focus of the stained glass illustrations.

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