After Trakl

Up betimes, but now the days begin to shorten, and so whereas I used to rise by four o’clock, it is not broad daylight now till after five o’clock, so that it is after five before I do rise. To my office, and about 8 o’clock I went over to Redriffe, and walked to Deptford, where I found Mr. Coventry and Sir W. Pen beginning the pay, it being my desire to be there to-day because it is the first pay that Mr. Coventry has been at, and I would be thought to be as much with Mr. Coventry as I can. Here we staid till noon, and by that time paid off the Breda, and then to dinner at the tavern, where I have obtained that our commons is not so large as they used to be, which I am glad to see. After dinner by water to the office, and there we met and sold the Weymouth, Successe, and Fellowship hulkes, where pleasant to see how backward men are at first to bid; and yet when the candle is going out, how they bawl and dispute afterwards who bid the most first.
And here I observed one man cunninger than the rest that was sure to bid the last man, and to carry it; and inquiring the reason, he told me that just as the flame goes out the smoke descends, which is a thing I never observed before, and by that he do know the instant when to bid last, which is very pretty. In our discourse in the boat Mr. Coventry told us how the Fanatiques and the Presbyters, that did intend to rise about this time, did choose this day as the most auspicious to them in their endeavours against monarchy: it being fatal twice to the King, and the day of Oliver’s death. But, blessed be God! all is likely to be quiet, I hope.
After the sale I walked to my brother’s, in my way meeting with Dr. Fairbrother, of whom I enquired what news in Church matters. He tells me, what I heard confirmed since, that it was fully resolved by the King’s new Council that an indulgence should be granted the Presbyters; but upon the Bishop of London’s speech (who is now one of the most powerful men in England with the King), their minds were wholly turned. And it is said that my Lord Albemarle did oppose him most; but that I do believe is only in appearance. He told me also that most of the Presbyters now begin to wish they had complied, now they see that no Indulgence will be granted them, which they hoped for; and that the Bishop of London hath taken good care that places are supplied with very good and able men, which is the only thing that will keep all quiet.
I took him in the tavern at Puddle dock, but neither he nor I drank any of the wine we called for, but left it, and so after discourse parted, and Mr. Townsend not being at home I went to my brother’s, and there heard how his love matter proceeded, which do not displease me, and so by water to White Hall to my Lord’s lodgings, where he being to go to Hinchingbroke to-morrow morning, I staid and fiddled with Will. Howe some new tunes very pleasant, and then my Lord came in and had much kind talk with him, and then to bed with Mr. Moore there alone. So having taken my leave of my Lord before I went to bed, I resolved to rise early and be gone without more speaking to him

Now the days begin to shorten
and when the candle is going out

the smoke descends
like a mind turned quiet

and we hear love take leave
without speaking…


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 3 September 1662.

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