Introduction and Welcome

Welcome to All Things Bright and Beautiful. If you are new to this site, I would recommend that you read my very first entry - which is an introduction and welcome to this blog. You can view it here

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fitz Henry Lane - Norman's Woe Glouster Harbor, Henry Purcell -Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary , Rose Fyleman - 10 Little Tadpoles, John Keats - Teignmouth

I love the wonderful peach color in this painting by Fitz Henry Lane and the circular ripples, the light in the sky behind the hill and the cute little island. The rock in the foreground almost looks like a treasure chest. If you want close up details the picture check here and click on the "enlarge" beneath the picture.  There is also an interesting article here discussing this painting as well as his preliminary drawing and another painting of the same scene.

Norman's Woe Gloucester Harbor - Fitz Henry Lane

Henry Purcell - Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, sad and reflective, but lovely singing!

Our Rose Fyleman poem this week is a darling little poem about tadpoles - Ten Little Tadpoles.  If you want to hear it performed to music Click Here

Our John Keats poem this week feels like he's playing with words even if you weren't picturing the lovely scenes, the words themselves are wonderful but added to the beauty of what he is describing it makes a marvelous poem!  If you want to know more about the River Teign check this Wikipedia Article.


Here all the summer could I stay,
For there's Bishop's teign
And King's teign
And Coomb at the clear Teign head--
Where close by the stream
You may have your cream
All spread upon barley bread.

There's Arch Brook
And there's Larch Brook
Both turning many a mill,
And cooling the drouth
Of the salmon's mouth
And fattening his silver gill.

There is Wild wood,
A Mild hood
To the sheep on the lea o' the down,
Where the golden furze,
With its green, thin spurs,
Doth catch at the maiden's gown

There is Newton Marsh
With its spear grass harsh--
A pleasant summer level
Where the maidens sweet
Of the Market Street
Do meet in the dusk to revel.

There's the Barton rich
With dyke and ditch
And hedge for the thrush to live in,
And the hollow tree
For the buzzing bee
And a bank for the wasp to hive in.

And O, and O
The daisies blow
And the primroses are waken'd,
And violets white
Sit in silver plight,
And the green bud's as long as the spike end.

Then who would go
Into dark Soho,
And chatter with dack'd-hair'd critics,
When he can stay
For the new-mown hay,
And startle the dappled Prickets*?
* Pricket -  A male deer in its second year, before the antlers branch

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fitz Henry Lane -Fresh Water Cove from Dolliver's Neck, Gloucester, Henry Purcell - The duke of Glouster's Trumpet suite - the King's Consort, Rose Fyleman - I stood Against the Window,

Are you enjoying the paintings by Fitz Henry Lane? Today's painting is a lovely, serene water scene with sailboats.  This painting is divided roughly into thirds if you count the cloud mass with the land on the far side of the cove.  When laying out a painting you want to avoid placing your horizon in the center - it needs to be above or below the center - thirds is ideal.  

Fresh Water Cove from Dolliver's Neck, Gloucester
Today's music by Henry Purcell features trumpet -The Duke of Glouster's Trumpet Suite - the King's Consort.

Another fun fairy poem by Rose Fyleman this week:

I Stood Against The Window -

 I stood against the window

And looked between the bars,
And there were strings of fairies

Hanging from the stars;
Everywhere and everywhere

In shining, swinging chains;
The air was full of shimmering,

Like sunlight when it rains.

They kept on swinging, swinging,

They flung themselves so high
They caught upon the pointed moon

And hung across the sky.
And when I woke next morning,

There still were crowds and crowds
In beautiful bright bunches

All sleeping on the clouds. 

And our poem this week by John Keats is 

        Ode to Melancholy

No, no! go not to Lethe*, neither twist
Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kissed
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine*;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows, 

Imprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty - Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips;
Ay, in the very temple of delight
Veiled Melancholy has her sovran* shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung. 

* Lethe is the river that runs through Hades or the underworld and its goddess.  It was the stream of oblivion or the personification of forgetfulness.
* Proserpine - see Wikipedia article 
*Sovran -  alteration of sovereign

Friday, May 13, 2016

Fitz Henry Lane - Brace's Rock, Brace's Cove, Henry Purcell - An Evening Hymn, Rose Fyleman - Singing Time, John Keats - To My Brother George

I'm sure you've noticed that Fitz Henry Lane's paintings all center around ships and boats, today's painting is no different in that way, but it is different in that the boat isn't actually on the water, but is up on shore.  I love the soft pastels in the cloudy sky and the how the sea foam and fog blends the sky and sea together, all so soft and pastel that it seems unreal next to the solid boat and shore.  I think this would be fun to do in pastel chalks.

Brace's Rock, Brace's Cove

Henry Purcell wrote a lot of opera style music, which it takes time to develop a taste for. Today's piece "An Evening Hymn" is beautiful and restful.  If you give your students the text for the song they  may follow better and enjoy it more. The words are beautiful and comforting!
Now, now that the sun hath veil’d his light
And bid the world goodnight;
To the soft bed my body I dispose,
But where shall my soul repose?
Dear, dear God, even in Thy arms,
And can there be any so sweet security!
Then to thy rest, O my soul!
And singing, praise the mercy
That prolongs thy days.

If you want to hear it sung by a tenor rather than the soprano above, or to compare the two, this link is Thomas Cooley singing An Evening Prayer.

On a lighter note, Rose Fyleman's poem this week would be easy and fun to memorize with small children - you may be familiar with this poem from one of your children's poetry anthologies.

             Singing Time

      I wake in the morning early
And always, the very first thing,
I poke out my head and I sit up in bed
And I sing and I sing and I sing.

John Keats was very close to his brothers.  George had moved to America hoping to make money to support his family back home.  Instead he lost his money in speculation and had to come back and borrow from George.  He didn't realize that George was dying of Consumption.  Following are two quotes by the brothers about their love for one another:

“My brother George has ever been more than a brother to me, he has been my greatest friend,” John Keats wrote in 1818.
George wrote nearly a decade after his older brother’s death: “I claim being the affectionate Friend and Brother of John Keats. I loved him from boyhood even when he wronged me, for the goodness of his heart and the nobleness of his spirit.”

John's love for his brother George comes through in today's poem.
  To My Brother George

Many the wonders I this day have seen:
The sun, when first he kissed away the tears
That filled the eyes of Morn;—the laurelled peers
Who from the feathery gold of evening lean;—
The ocean with its vastness, its blue green,
Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,
Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears
Must think on what will be, and what has been.
E'en now, dear George, while this for you I write,
Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping
So scantly, that it seems her bridal night,
And she her half-discovered revels keeping.
But what, without the social thought of thee,
Would be the wonders of the sky and sea?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Fitz Henry Lane - Ships in Ice Off Ten Pound Island Glouscester, Henry Purcell - Hail Bright Cecelia, Rose Fyleman - Very Lovely, John Keats Last Sonnet - Bright Star

This week's picture by Fitz Henry Lane is different because the water in the scene is frozen.  There are lots of people in this scene. You can use the following link for closeup details. Or here.  It might be fun to have your students tell a story about this scene.  

Ships in Ice Off Ten Pound Island Gloucester - Fitz Henry Lane

Our Henry Purcell piece today is Ode for St. Cecelia's Day Hail Bright Cecelia.   If you want to know more about St. Cecelia - check out this Wikipedia article.

Our poem by Rose Fyleman is Very Lovely, full of imagination!

And a sober, contemplative love poem by John Keats:

                    Bright Star

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art! -
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,*
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors -
No -yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever -or else swoon to death.

* An Eremite is a recluse or hermit, especially a religious recluse. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fitz Henry Lane - Boston Harbor Boston, Henry Purcell- Dido's Lament, Rose Fyleman - Fairies, John Keats - Written on the Day that Mr. Leigh Hunt Left Prison

Our picture this week by Fitz Henry Lane is a lovely golden sunset.  There are lots of different kinds of boats in this painting.  The mood is very different from last week's stormy sea.

Boston Harbor by Fitz Henry Lane

Here's a link to Museum of Fine Art's copy of this painting if you want a larger clearer copy of this painting.  The color seems a little duskier there, too.

 Henry Purcell - When I am Laid in Earth This hauntingly sad song sometimes called Dido's Lament, from the opera Dido and Aeneas.  The melody is beautiful - I'm not especially fond of the words, I wonder how hard it would be to adjust one of the lament Psalms to fit it - if any of you or your children try it, please share your work in the comments.... Thanks.

Lyrics:  When I am laid, am laid in earth, may my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in, in thy breast.
When I am laid, am laid in earth, may my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in, in thy breast.
Remember me, remember me, but ah!
Forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah!
Forget my fate.
Remember me, remember me, but ah!
Forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah!
Forget my fate.

Another fairy poem by Rose Fyleman this week - titled simply, "Fairies"

    THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
    It's not so very, very far away;
    You pass the gardner's shed and you just keep straight ahead --
    I do so hope they've really come to stay.
    There's a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,
    And a little stream that quietly runs through;
    You wouldn't think they'd dare to come merrymaking there--
          Well, they do.
    There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
    They often have a dance on summer nights;
    The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,
    And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.
    Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams
    And pick a little star to make a fan,
    And dance away up there in the middle of the air?
          Well, they can.
    There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
    You cannot think how beautiful they are;
    They all stand up and sing when the Fairy Queen and King
    Come gently floating down upon their car.
    The King is very proud and very handsome;
    The Queen--now you can guess who that could be
    (She's a little girl all day, but at night she steals away)?
          Well -- it's Me!

And I found a poem by John Keats that touched me this week in the copy of Keats poetry that I found at a used book store.  We're reading Bold as a Lamb, the story of Samuel Lamb, a Chinese pastor who spent years in prison as a Christian, and three of our daughters recently volunteered at camp Moria on the island of Lesbos in Greece, so prison walls resonated with me.  I do think that an education in all things beautiful would give one, things to think on, remember and meditate on if we found ourselves imprisoned for our faith.  Spenser and Milton are both mentioned in this poem. If you're interested in more about who Leigh Hunt was see the paragraph following this poem.


What though, for showing turth to flatter'd state,
  Kind Hunt was shut in prison, yet has he,
  In his immortal spirit, been as free
As the sky-searching lark, and as elate.
Minion of grandeur! think you he did wait?
   Think you he nought but prison walls did see,
  Till, so unwilling, thou unturn'dst the key?
Ah, no! far happier, nobler was his fate!
In Spenser's halls he stayed, and bowers fair,
  Culling enchanted flowers; and he flew
With daring Milton through the firelds of air:
  To regions of his own his genius true
Took happy flights.  Who shall his fame impair
  When thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew?

Leigh Hunt, in 1808 became editor of the Examiner, a newspaper founded by his brother, John.  The journal soon acquired a reputation for unusual political independence; it would attack any worthy target.  An attack on the Prince Regent, based on substantial truth, resulted in prosecution and a sentence of two years' imprisonment for each of the brothers --Leigh Hunt served his term at the Surrey County Gaol.  

The above information came from This Wikipedia article on Leigh Hunt.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Henry Fitz Lane - Three-Master in Rough Seas, Henry Purcell - Rondo from Abdelazer, Rose Fyleman - The Best Game the Fairies Play, John Keats - Ode to a Nightingale

This painting by Fitz Henry Lane is full of energy with it's diagonal masts and the huge waves.  The clouds and waves would be fun to try to copy.  Use whatever medium you have on hand, even pencil with good shading would work.  It might not look exactly like this painting, but it would be fun to see what you can do...

 Three-Master in Rough Seas
Henry Purcell - Rondo from Abdelazer Voices of Music performed on original instruments. This is a very short piece of music, but it has a catchy tune I hope you enjoy it.

Another Rose Fyleman poem about fairies this week....

The Best Game the Fairies Play 

The best game the fairies play,
The best game of all,
Is sliding down steeples—
(You know they're very tall).
You fly to the weathercock,
And when you hear it crow,
You fold your wings and clutch your things
And then let go!
They have a million other games—
Cloud-catching's one,
And mud-mixing after rain
Is heaps and heaps of fun;
But when you go and stay with them
Never mind the rest,
Take my advice—they're very nice,
But steeple-sliding's best! 

Our John Keats poem this week is melancholy.  He wishes he could be like the nightingale who is so free of pain and care and doesn't have to face death.  He says, "Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!"  (a few words I didn't know are defined at the bottom - watch for the *)  

Ode to a Nightingale

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,---
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Cooled a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provencal* song, and sun-burnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene*,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs;
Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new love pine at them beyond tomorrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus* and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Clustered around by all her starry fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast-fading violets covered up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Called him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain---
To thy high requiem become a sod

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:---do I wake or sleep?

 *Pro·ven·çal ˌprävänˈsäl,ˌprōˌvänˈsäl/ adjective  - of, relating to or denoting Provence or its people or language.  Provence is a geographical and historical province in southeastern France

 * Hippocrene -  In Greek mythology this was the name of a spring on Mount Helicon.  It was sacred to the Muses and was formed by the hooves of Pegasus.  The name literally translates as "Horse's Fountain" and the water was supposed to bring forth poetic inspiration when imbibed.

* Bacchus was the Roman god of agriculture and wine.  His plants were vines and twirling ivy. He was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fitz Henry Lane - Western Shore of Gloucester Outer Harbor, Henry Purcell - Sonatas, Rose Fyleman - If You Meet a Fairy, John Keats - When I Have Fears

Western Shore of Gloucester Outer Harbor

Close-up view of the above painting

I love the soft pastel colors in our painting today by Fitz Henry Lane titled "Western Shore of Gloucester Outer Harbor".  The second picture here is a close-up for detail or you can click here and click the enlarge to the bottom left of the picture to look closely at details.  If you want to use prepared lesson plans for this painting check out Pictures Worth Talking About for elementary lesson plans. Actually this site has four different lessons, for this blog I'm only using #4 but you can use any of them that you like.  I found quite a bit of interesting information on this site, about the painting as well as about the area and the artist.  This site compares two paintings with the same name,  painted of the same rocks but with different boats and at different times of day.  If you click on the interactive feature here (right under the picture) you can find detailed information about the boats and the land features - just click on the numbers you are interested in.  

Today we will listen to Henry Purcell  Sonatas.

I also found a documentary about Henry Purcell and his music that you might find interesting.

 I found Rose Fyleman's poem "If You Meet a Fairy" read on Youtube - here.  Or you can read it yourself....

If You Meet A Fairy

IF you meet a fairy
Don't run away ;
She won't want to hurt you,
She'll only want to play.

Show her round the garden,
Round the house too,
She'll want to see the kitchen
(I know they always do).

Find a tiny present
To give her when she goes,
They love silver paper
And little ribbon bows.

I knew a little girl once
Who saw twenty-three
Playing in the orchard
As jolly as could be.

They asked her to dance with them
To make a twenty-four ;
She ran to the nursery
And hid behind the door.

Hid behind the nursery door
(What a thing to do !)
She grew up very solemn
And rather ugly too.

If you meet a fairy
Remember what I say,
Talk to her nicely
And don't run away.
Keep in mind while you read our poem this week by John Keats that he only lived to be 25 and probably wrote this with a knowledge of his impending death due to Tuberculosis. 

               When I Have Fears

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.