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 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.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fitz Henry lane - Fishing party, Henry Purcell - John Keats - A Thing of Beauty, and Rose Fyleman - Mice

Our new artist is Fitz Henry Lane.  His paintings are filled with boats and the sea.  This first painting is a lovely moonlit scene.

Two introductory articles follow -  Wikipedia entry for Fitz Henry Lane and Fitz Henry Lane Online

And here is my Picasa Web Album of Fitz Henry Lane paintings with the paintings we will be covering this term.  One of them is a closeup of a larger painting.  You can print them yourself, or copy them to a flash drive or disk to get printed in town or of course enjoy them on your computer screen.

Our first painting is Fishing party.  Night scenes are very hard to paint but Fitz Henry Lane has done a beautiful job here!  You can feel the peace and beauty in the scene. If you want a close-up for details check here. There are various groups of people out enjoying the full moon.
Fishing Party

Next week we will be looking at the two paintings used in Fitz Henry Lane Online Educational Resources a website with lesson plans for studying  a couple of Fitz Henry Lane's paintings.  You can look ahead and prepare if you like.  You can use the online resources in whatever way they would best work for you and your family. I only plan to use Lesson #4.   Or if you don't care to use this resource you can just use the two paintings in the usual format we study them - observing and narrating.

If you want to study this artist but prefer choosing your own paintings, I recommend Fitz Hugh lane - The Complete Works.

Our new composer is Henry Purcell.  He's new to me so we'll be learning about him and his music together. Following are several options with short biographies: 
Wikipedia - Henry Purcell
A Concise Biography
Naxos Classical Music - Entry for Henry Purcell
Classic FM - Henry Purcell

A beautiful Psalm today, by Henry Purcell - Hear My Prayer, O Lord.  You can follow the written music for eight parts - simple words, beautiful harmonies!  Lovely! 

I think I will continue again with two poets - one whimsical and one more advanced.  I've chosen Rose Fyleman who writes about mice and fairies for our easy poet.  Links to brief biographies here:  Wikipedia - Rose Fyleman or Poem Hunter - Rose Fyleman. You can find a copy of today's poem in a children's book here- Mice by Rose Fyleman or try your local library. Rose Fyleman has other books containing her poetry. And I chose John Keats for contemplation. Short biographical sketches here: Poem Hunter - John Keats or Wikipedia - John Keats. And a Dealoz listing of books containing his poetry
First a John Keats' poem with a familiar first line - "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." We've started memorizing this poem.

A Thing of Beauty

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink. 

And a favorite poem of mine by Rose Fyleman - Mice.  Though I don't like mice, I like this poem and my youngest daughter adores mice, so for you, Ruthie - 


I think mice 
Are rather nice
Their tails are long
Their faces small,
They haven't any
Chins at all
Their ears are pink
Their teeth are white,
They run about 
The house at night.
They nibble things
They shouldn't touch
And no one seems 
To like them much
But I think mice
Are nice.