Timekeeper

Up betimes, and to my office, where I found Griffen’s girl making it clean, but, God forgive me! what a mind I had to her, but did not meddle with her. She being gone, I fell upon boring holes for me to see from my closet into the great office, without going forth, wherein I please myself much.
So settled to business, and at noon with my wife to the Wardrobe, and there dined, and staid talking all the afternoon with my Lord, and about four o’clock took coach with my wife and Lady, and went toward my house, calling at my Lady Carteret’s, who was within by chance (she keeping altogether at Deptford for a month or two), and so we sat with her a little. Among other things told my Lady how my Lady Fanshaw is fallen out with her only for speaking in behalf of the French, which my Lady wonders at, they having been formerly like sisters, but we see there is no true lasting friendship in the world.
Thence to my house, where I took great pride to lead her through the Court by the hand, she being very fine, and her page carrying up her train.
She staid a little at my house, and then walked through the garden, and took water, and went first on board the King’s pleasure boat, which pleased her much. Then to Greenwich Park; and with much ado she was able to walk up to the top of the hill, and so down again, and took boat, and so through bridge to Blackfryers, and home, she being much pleased with the ramble in every particular of it. So we supped with her, and then walked home, and to bed.
Observations
This I take to be as bad a juncture as ever I observed. The King and his new Queen minding their pleasures at Hampton Court. All people discontented; some that the King do not gratify them enough; and the others, Fanatiques of all sorts, that the King do take away their liberty of conscience; and the height of the Bishops, who I fear will ruin all again. They do much cry up the manner of Sir H. Vane’s death, and he deserves it. They clamour against the chimney-money, and say they will not pay it without force. And in the mean time, like to have war abroad; and Portugall to assist, when we have not money to pay for any ordinary layings-out at home.
Myself all in dirt about building of my house and Sir W. Batten’s a story higher. Into a good way, fallen on minding my business and saving money, which God encrease; and I do take great delight in it, and see the benefit of it. In a longing mind of going to see Brampton, but cannot get three days time, do what I can.
In very good health, my wife and myself.

Time gone, I fell upon
boring holes in the clock
and calling it chance,
keeping a month or two with me
like water in a boat, black
with every particular of home.
I observed the fanatics
who cry up death say
they will not pay for time,
like a road when we have
no money for ordinary dirt.
Building my house
a story higher, saving light,
I long to see time heal.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 30 June 1662.

3 Comments


    1. Thanks. I originally wrote it as a prose poem, which loosened things up a bit, I think.

      Reply

  1. Always interesting to get a glimpse of the process – thank you for boring that hole in the wall!

    Reply

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