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 - Lane Castine Harbor and Town, Henry Purcell - King Arthur Aria: What Power Art Thou (The Cold Song), Rose Fyleman - The Birthday Child, John Keats - To Sleep

This painting by Fitz Henry Lane - "Lane Castine Harbor and Town" has a lovely setting sun peeking through a bank of clouds.  I love that sky and the sails in mixed light and shadow.  It's  not exactly either peaceful or stormy but somewhere in between. 

Lane Castine Harbor and Town
Henry Purcell - King Arthur Aria: What Power Art Thou (The Cold Song) This song is a bit strange but the music definitely fits the words....

Lyrics follow:

What Power art thou,
Who from below,
Hast made me rise,
Unwillingly and slow,
From beds of everlasting snow!
See'st thou not how stiff,
And wondrous old,
Far unfit to bear the bitter cold.
I can scarcely move,
Or draw my breath,
I can scarcely move,
Or draw my breath.
Let me, let me,
Let me, let me,
Freeze again...
Let me, let me,
Freeze again to death!

I've been searching online for Rose Fyleman poems and not coming up with many, so I ordered her Fairies and Chimneys from our state inter-library loan (our library only had her book Mice).  In the meantime I decided to check my favorite children's poetry anthology, Favorite Poems Old and New, and was happily surprised to find it has half a dozen poems by Rose Fyleman!  Today's is a fun birthday poem -

     The Birthday Child 
Everything's been different
   All the day long,
Lovely things have happened,
   Nothing has gone wrong.

Nobody has scolded me,
   Everyone has smiled.
Isn't it delicious
   To be a birthday child?

Today's poem by John Keats is, as usual, very descriptive in a few words.  Do you think he's talking about sleep or his upcoming death?

            To Sleep

O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
      Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas'd eyes, embower'd from the light,
      Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
      In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the "Amen," ere thy poppy throws
      Around my bed its lulling charities.
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,—
      Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
      Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.

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.