Introduction and Welcome

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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.

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