A Poem for Tuesday

Perhaps from yesterday’s post you have noted I am in a bit of a mood. Winter is beautiful but hard. There’s some adjusting that needs to be done when it comes early.

Let’s have a little Shakespeare today and think about mercy. Sometimes we have to give ourselves a little bit. Things don’t always go the way we planned. Winter comes around again and it feels like it was just barely spring. Sometimes it feels like we’re not gaining any ground, doesn’t it?

But we do. We are.

My husband and my mother, both true optimists in their pessimistic heart of hearts, bet me that it will be nice again before winter really begins, so I say, let’s give ourselves a break today whether it’s — well, weather — or parenting or career or relationships or illness that’s making us feel like it’s over before it began.

We’re going to have Indian Summer yet.

The Merchant Of Venice
William Shakespeare
Act 4, scene 1, 180–187

PORTIA:
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless’d;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:(190)
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;(195)
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,(200)
Though justice be thy plea, consider this—
That in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer, doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much,(205)
To mitigate the justice of thy plea,
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there.

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