It seems to be quite common now, this form of greeting, simply: "Alright?" This afternoon in the newsagent: "Alright?"
At last cold, crisp weather, the sort we used to know at this time of year. I catch my breath condensing.
The windows of houses at the edge of the Grove are lit by the setting sun. And I recall that passage in Wordsworth's Prelude, where he remembers, how as a boy, he skated on the lake as night was falling
"...And in the frosty season, when the sun
Was set and visible for many a mile
The cottage windows through the twilight blaz'd.."
And then, as it got darker,
"Not seldom from the uproar I retired
Inot a silent bay, or sportivley
Glanced sideways, leaving the tumultous throng,
To cut across the image of a star
That gleamed upon the ice...."
There's something that the senses of sight and hearing can both pick up in these lines - a magical sense of being there. Dare I say it - very Romantic!
Up here in Yorkshire, and in Manchester, 'alright?' is a very common greeting.
For many years I believed the penultimate line to be "to cut across the reflex of a star". I might even argue it is superior but how could I have possibly come up with such a different word?
As a trainee reporter (in the West Riding as it happens) I had my wrist smacked for "alright" and told to substitute "all right".
I've had another look. You're right, Barret, and I'm right. My quote was from the original 1805 version of the Prelude, which happens to be the one I checked on the first time round. The "reflex" of a star is in Wordsworth's corrected version as published in 1850.
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