At this time a slight sleep relieved me from the pain of reflection, which was disturbed by the approach of a beautiful child, who came running into the recess I had chosen, with all the sportiveness
It is delightful to drop in on a friend without the solemn prelude of invitation and acceptance--to join a social circle, where we may suffer our minds and hearts to relax and expand in the happy consciousness of perfect security from invidious remark and carping criticism; where we may give the reins to the sportiveness
of innocent fancy, or the enthusiasm of warm-hearted feeling; where we may talk sense or nonsense, (I pity people who cannot talk nonsense) without fear of being looked into icicles by the coldness of unimaginative people, living pieces of clock-work, who dare not themselves utter a word, or lift up a little finger, without first weighing the important point, in the hair-balance of propriety and good breeding.
Drew Milne's various modes, including poems that holiday in lyric sportiveness
, densely imbricated poems with a fierce syllable-by-syllable focus, and poems sniffing the air of the open field, suggest a similar struggle with the disposition to lyric and the penalty that might be incurred for succumbing to it.
The playful sportiveness
in Cassidy toward the death he faces and embodies on the finish line echoes the sensibility Thoreau finds lacking in people as much as in domesticated animals, sadly noting that "any sportiveness
in cattle is unexpected" ("Walking" 169).
The characteristics of youth are, meek dignity, chastened sportiveness
, and gentle seriousness.