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, April 25, 2013

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer - Lion: A Newfoundland Dog, Franz Schubert - Piano Trio No. 2, William Wordsworth - A Sketch

I chose this picture because of the lovely background setting and because the motion of the majestic, bounding dog is captured so well by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer.
Lion: a Newfoundland Dog by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer

Franz Schubert - Piano Trio No. 2. This piece of music is quite intense - full of emotional highs and lows, now loud and insistent, then quiet and tender again. 

Today's Poem by William Wordsworth is short but wonderfully descriptive!Can't you just picture the man and value all that has brought him to this quiet, settled spirit. 

A Sketch

The little hedgerow birds,
That peck along the road, regard him not.
He travels on, and in his face, his step,
His gait, is one expression; every limb,
His look and bending figure, all bespeak
A man who does not move with pain, but moves
With thought. -He is insensibly subdued
To settled quiet: he is one by whom
All effort seems forgotten; one to whom
Long patience hath such mild composure given
That patience now doth seem a thing of which
He hath no need. He is by nature led
To peace so perfect, that the young behold
With envy what the Old Man hardly feels.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer - The Shoeing of the Bay Mare, Franz Schubert - Ave Maria

This painting was my introduction to Sir Edwin Henry Landseer.  Lots of details here for study.

Shoeing the Bay Mare - Sir Edwin Henry Landseer

 A lovely piece of music today by Franz Schubert - Ave Maria.

If you want more music by Schubert here is a link to five favorites - Best of Schubert.

I featured this poem in February, but I wanted to feature it again now that Spring is actually coming in Northern Minnesota, or is it?  There seems to be some contention about it, but God has promised that Spring will eventually come, so this poem is in faith that Spring is on its way, even here....

Lines Written in Early Spring

by William Wordsworth

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;                         
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played:
Their thoughts I cannot measure,
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.                              

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer - A Distinguished Member or the Humane Society, Franz Schubert - Serenade, William Wordsworth - The Pet Lamb: A Pastoral

Many of Sir Edwin Henry Landseer's paintings include dogs.  I also like his portrayal of the sea, sky and gulls.
A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society - By Sir Edwin Landseer

 A lovely piece of music by Franz Schubert - Serenade
We are enjoying the book by Opal Wheeler, Franz Schubert and His Merry Friends.  It's a chapter book but easy to read.  It also has some of his pieces of music printed in it if you have an instrument and can play.  

I hope you enjoy today's poem by William Wordsworth:

                       The Pet Lamb:  A Pastoral 

THE dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink;
I heard a voice; it said, "Drink, pretty creature, drink!"
And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied
A snow-white mountain-lamb with a Maiden at its side.

Nor sheep nor kine were near; the lamb was all alone,
And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone;
With one knee on the grass did the little Maiden kneel,
While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening meal.

The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper took,
Seemed to feast with head and ears; and his tail with pleasure
"Drink, pretty creature, drink," she said in such a tone
That I almost received her heart into my own.

'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty rare!
I watched them with delight, they were a lovely pair.
Now with her empty can the Maiden turned away:
But ere ten yards were gone her footsteps did she stay.

Right towards the lamb she looked; and from a shady place
I unobserved could see the workings of her face:
If Nature to her tongue could measured numbers bring,
Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little Maid might sing:

"What ails thee, young One? what? Why pull so at thy cord?
Is it not well with thee? well both for bed and board?
Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can be;
Rest, little young One, rest; what is't that aileth thee?

"What is it thou wouldst seek? What is wanting to thy heart?
Thy limbs are they not strong? And beautiful thou art:
This grass is tender grass; these flowers they have no peers;
And that green corn all day is rustling in thy ears!

"If the sun be shining hot, do but stretch thy woollen chain,
This beech is standing by, its covert thou canst gain;
For rain and mountain-storms! the like thou need'st not fear,
The rain and storm are things that scarcely can come here.

"Rest, little young One, rest; thou hast forgot the day
When my father found thee first in places far away;
Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert owned by none,
And thy mother from thy side for evermore was gone.

"He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought thee home:
A blessed day for thee! then whither wouldst thou roam?
A faithful nurse thou hast; the dam that did thee yean
Upon the mountain-tops no kinder could have been.

"Thou know'st that twice a day I have brought thee in this can
Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran;
And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with dew,
I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is and new.

"Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they are now,
Then I'll yoke thee to my cart like a pony in the plough;
My playmate thou shalt be; and when the wind is cold
Our hearth shall be thy bed, our house shall be thy fold.

"It will not, will not rest!--Poor creature, can it be
That 'tis thy mother's heart which is working so in thee?
Things that I know not of belike to thee are dear,
And dreams of things which thou canst neither see nor hear.

"Alas, the mountain-tops that look so green and fair!
I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come there;
The little brooks that seem all pastime and all play,
When they are angry, roar like lions for their prey.

"Here thou need'st not dread the raven in the sky;
Night and day thou art safe,--our cottage is hard by.
Why bleat so after me? Why pull so at thy chain?
Sleep--and at break of day I will come to thee again!"

--As homeward through the lane I went with lazy feet,
This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat;
And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by line,
That but half of it was hers, and one half of it was 'mine'.

Again, and once again, did I repeat the song;
"Nay," said I, "more than half to the damsel must belong,
For she looked with such a look and she spake with such a tone,
That I almost received her heart into my own."  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer - Windsor Castle in Modern Times, Franz Schubert - Quintet in A Major, William Wordsworth - The Two April Mornings

Sir Edwin Landseer was good friends with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  The biography I read portrayed him as spending a lot of time with them and he did many paintings for them of their children and animals.  
Windsor Castle in Modern Times - Sir Edwin Henry Landseer
You can read a short biographical sketch of Sir Edwin Henry Landseer's life here.

Franz SchubertQuintet in A Major
This piece is a little longer than some - almost a half hour but it's fun to watch the musicians play.  If your children tire of watching  you can give them something to do with their hands will they listen. 

This poem  by William Wordsworth is a bit sad but so beautifully written

WE walked along, while bright and red
Uprose the morning sun;
And Matthew stopped, he looked, and said,
"The will of God be done!"

A village schoolmaster was he,
With hair of glittering grey;
As blithe a man as yon could see
On a spring holiday.

And on that morning, through the grass,
And by the steaming rills,
We travelled merrily, to pass
A day among the hills.

"Our work," said I, "was well begun,
Then, from thy breast what thought,
Beneath so beautiful a sun,
So sad a sigh has brought?"

A second time did Matthew stop;
And fixing still his eye
Upon the eastern mountain-top,
To me he made reply:

"Yon cloud with that long purple cleft
Brings fresh into my mind
A day like this which I have left
Full thirty years behind.

"And just above yon slope of corn
Such colours, and no other,
Were in the sky, that April morn,
Of this the very brother.

"With rod and line I sued the sport
Which that sweet season gave,
And, to the church-yard come, stopped short
Beside my daughter's grave.

"Nine summers had she scarcely seen,
The pride of all the vale;
And then she sang;--she would have been
A very nightingale.

"Six feet in earth my Emma lay;
And yet I loved her more,
For so it seemed, than till that day
I e'er had loved before.

"And, turning from her grave, I met,
Beside the church-yard yew,
A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet
With points of morning dew.

"A basket on her head she bare;
Her brow was smooth and white:
To see a child so very fair,
It was a pure delight!

"No fountain from its rocky cave
E'er tripped with foot so free;
She seemed as happy as a wave
That dances on the sea.

"There came from me a sigh of pain
Which I could ill confine;
I looked at her, and looked again:
And did not wish her mine!"

Matthew is in his grave, yet now,
Methinks, I see him stand,
As at that moment, with a bough
Of wilding in his hand.