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, December 26, 2013

Rosa Bonheur - Changing of Meadow, Arcangelo Corelli - Trio Sonatas Opus 3, John Oxenham - Kapiolani

Even Rosa Bonheur's boat pictures are full of animals....  I love the wonderful pastel colors in the waves and mountains! 

File:Rosa Bonheur - Changement de pâturages.jpg
Rosa Bonhuer - Changing of Meadow

Trio Sonatas Opus 3 is the next section of our music by Arcangelo CorelliHere is a link to his complete works. 

A long and moving story poem today - 
Kapiolani by:  John Oxenham

Where the great green combers break in thunder on the barrier reefs,--
Where, unceasing, sounds the mighty diapason of the deep,--
Ringed in bursts of wild wave-laughter, ringed in leagues of flying
Long lagoons of softest azure, curving beaches white as snow,
Lap in sweetness and in beauty all the isles of Owhyhee.

Land more lovely sun ne'er shone on than these isles of Owhyhee,
Spendthrift Nature's wild profusion fashioned them like fairy bowers;
Yet behind--below the sweetness,--underneath the passion-flowers,
Lurked grim deeds, and things of horror, grisly Deaths, and ceaseless
Fears and Deaths that walked in Darkness, grisly Deaths and ceaseless

Mauna Loa--Mona Lo-ah.



On the slope of Mauna Loa, in the pit of Kilauea,
In the lake of molten lava, in the sea of living fire,
In the place of Ceaseless Burnings, in her home of Wrath and Terror,
Dwelt the dreadful goddess Pele--Pele of the Lake of Fire;
Pele of the place of torment, Pele of the Lake of Fire.

In the dim far-off beginnings, Pele flung the islands up
From the bottom of the ocean, from the darksome underworld;
Built them for a house to dwell in, built them for herself alone,
So she claimed them and their people, claimed them as her very own,
And they feared her, and they worshipped--
Pele, the Remorseless One.

But, at times, when she lay sleeping, underneath the lake of fire,
They forgot to do her reverence, they forgot the fiery one;
Then in wrath the goddess thundered from the Lake of Ceaseless
Flamed and thundered in her anger, till the very skies were red,
Poured black ruin on the island, shook it to its rocky bed.

Then in fear the people trembled and bethought them of their sins,
And the great high priest of Pele came like Death down Mauna Loa,
Came to soothe the awful goddess, came to choose the sacrifice,
Chose the fairest youth or maiden, pointed with a deadly finger,
Led them weeping up the mountain, victims to the Lake of Fire.

On the snowy beach of coral, youths and maidens full of laughter,
Flower-bedecked and full of laughter, sported gaily in the sun;
Up above, the slender palm-trees swung and shivered in the trade-wind,
All around them flowers and spices,--red hibiscus, sweet pandanus,
And behind, the labouring mountain groaned and growled unceasingly.

        "_Sea and sunshine,
        Care is moonshine,
      All our hearts are light with laughter.
        We are free
        As sun and sea,
  What care we for what comes after?"


  "Life was sweet before Love found her,
    In his faery bowers.
        Life is sweeter,
        And completer,
        Since he found her,
        There, and crowned her
        With his fadeless flowers."

  "Love sought long before he found her,
  Ne'er was love like ours!
  Long he sought her,
  E'er he caught her.
  But he found her
  There, and bound her
  With his fadeless flowers."

    "Gaily sporting,
    Pleasure courting,
  Nought know we of care or sorrow.
    We are free
    As sun and sea,
  What care we what comes to-morrow_?"

Louder still and louder, Pele roars within her lake of fire,
And the youths and maidens trembling look in fear up Mauna Loa,
Dreading sight of that grim figure stalking down the mountain side;
For when Pele claims her victims none the summons may avoid.
Pele calls for whom she chooses--whom she chooses goes,--and dies.

See! He comes! They start in terror. There, along the mountain side,
Death comes stalking, slowly, surely,--_Pele must be satisfied_.
Which among them will he summon, with his dreadful pointing finger?
All their hearts become as water, all their faces blanch with fear,
Deaths they suffer in the waiting, while dread Death draws near.

Now he stands in dreadful menace, seeking with a baleful eye
For the sweetest and the fairest--for the meetest sacrifice.
"Choose, O choose!"--they cry in terror; "choose your victim and be
For we each die deaths while waiting, till dread Pele's choice be
Choose your victim, Priest of Pele, choose your victim and be gone!"

Slowly points the dreadful finger, marks the newly-wedded bride;
All the rest, save one, fall from her, as the living from the dead.
From the first of time's beginnings Pele ne'er has been gainsayed;
Pele chooses whom she chooses, each and all the choice abide,
For the common good and safety,--_Pele must be satisfied_!

Still the mountain reels and shudders, still the awful thunders peal,
Like a snake the ruthless finger holds them all in terror still;
One is there whose life is broken, parted from his chosen bride,
But the threatening finger, heedless of the lives it may divide,
Lights upon a tiny maiden,--_Pele must be satisfied_!

Slow, the grim high-priest of Pele turns to climb the mountain side;
Slow, the victims turn and follow,--_Pele must be satisfied_.
And the rest shrink, dumb and helpless, daring not to lift an eye,
And beyond, the labouring mountain cracks and belches living fires,
Till the island reels and shudders at dread Pele's agonies.

But a greater one than Pele walked the mountain side that day;--
To them, climbing, dumb and dim-eyed--like a flash of heavenly flame,
Swift and bright as saving angel, fair Kapiolani came,
Swiftly as a saving angel, gleaming like a heavenly flame,
Thirsting like a sword for battle, fair Kapiolani came.

Radiant with the faith of martyrs, all aglow with new-born zeal,
Burning to release the people from the bondage and the thrall,
From the deadly thrall of Pele, from the ever-threatening doom,
From the everlasting menace, from the awful lake of fire,
Like a bright avenging angel fair Kapiolani came!

"Hear me now, you priest of Pele, and ye men of Owhyhee!
Hearken! ye who cringe and tremble, at the sound of Kilauea,
Fearful of the wrath of Pele, fearful of the lake of fire!--
Priest, I say there is no Pele! Pele is not--never was!
Pele lives but in your legends--there is only one true God!"

"Cursed, thrice accursed, you who thus great Pele do defy,
Here, upon her sacred mountain, of a surety you shall die!
Pele, mighty Pele, Vengeance! Strike her with thy dreadful doom!
So let every scoffer perish!--Pele! Pele! Pele! come!"
And Kapiolani answered--"Pele! Pele! Pele! come!"

Loud the mountain roared and thundered; shuddered all who heard and
Dauntless stood Kapiolani, dauntless with her faithful few.
"Come!" she cried again. "Come, Pele! Smite me with thy dreadful doom!
I am waiting, mighty Pele!--Pele! Pele! Pele! come!"
And the mountain roared and thundered;--but the goddess did not come.

"Hearken, Priest! You have deceived us. All your life has been a lie,
Black your heart is, red your hands are, with the blood of those who
All these years you have misled us with your awful threats of doom.
Now it ends! I do defy you, and your goddess I defy.
Pele, is not, never has been. All your worship is a lie.

"I will climb your sacred mountain. I will dare your lake of fire.
I will eat your sacred berries. I will dare your goddess there,
There and then to wreak her vengeance, then and there to come in fire,
And with awful burnings end me, now and for eternity;
But if Pele does not end me, then her worship ends this day."

Then the great high priest of Pele turned to fiery Kilauea.
"Come!" he said, "the goddess calls you!"--and they climbed the
        mountain side,
Up the slopes of Mauna Loa, to the hell of Kilauea,
With the bright blue sky above them, with the blazing sun above them,
While the mountain shook beneath them, and its head was wrapped in

Fearful, hopeful, all the people crept along the shaking path,
Hardly breathing at their daring, thus to brave dread Pele's wrath,
Bending low lest she should see them, breathing soft lest she should
Certain that Kapiolani would be sacrificed that day,
To the vengeance of the goddess, to the anger of Pele.

        "_As little child
        On mother's breast,
        O rest, my heart,
        Have rest!
        Who rests on Him
        Is surely blest.
        So rest, my heart,
        Have rest_!
        _As warrior bold
        His foes among,
        Be strong, my heart,
        Be strong!
        Who rests on Him
        Shall ne'er go wrong.
        Be strong, my heart,
        Be strong_!"

Thus, Kapiolani, dauntless, singing softly as she went,
With a face as calm and fearless as a child on pleasure bent,
Climbed the side of Mauna Loa, to the dreadful lake of fire,
While the mountain shook and thundered, while the people blanched and
Climbed to Hale-Mau-Mau,--to the dreadful lake of fire.

All the people waited trembling, stood afar off pale and trembling,
While Kapiolani, fearless, climbed up to the lake of fire,
With the fiery glow all round her, with a heavenly light about her.
Shining with a radiance brighter than since time began had shone
From the Lake of Ceaseless Burnings, from the dreadful lake of fire.

"Here," she cried, "I pluck your berries, Pele,--and I give you none!
See! I eat your sacred berries, Pele,--and I give you none!
Pele, here I break your tabus! Come, with all your dreadful fires!
Burn me, Pele! I defy you!--Pele! Pele! Pele! come!"
Come now, Pele, or for ever own that you are overcome!

"Pele comes not. Is she sleeping? Is she wandering to-day?
Is she busy with her burnings? Has the goddess nought to say?
Hear me, friends!--There is no Pele! One true God alone there is.
His, this mountain! His, these burnings! You, and I, and all
Goodness, Mercy, Loving-Kindness, Life Eternal--all are His!

"From this day, let no man tremble, when he feels the mountain shake!
From this day, no man or maiden shall be killed for Pele's sake!
From this day, we break the thraldom of the dreadful lake of fire.
From this day, we pass for ever from the scourge of Pele's rod.--
From this day, Thou, Lord Jehovah, be our one and only God!"

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rosa Bonheur - Cattle on a Pasture, Arcangelo Corelli - Trio Sonatas Opus 2, John Oxenham

Rosa Bonheur was very skilled at portraying animals but I enjoy her backgrounds too.  Notice how she has made the trees in the far distance blue and indistinct so they look far away.  I love all the light behind the trees and on the cattle.  How would you like to have cattle in your front yard?

File:Rosa Bonheur - Bétail sur un pâturage.jpg

Arcangelo Corelli - Trio Sonatas Opus 2 - here.

This link is to the complete works of Corelli which includes the above piece if you want to listen to hours of Corelli as background music.  

My dad who went home to be with the LORD over a year ago used to say that death is a door - this beautiful poem by John Oxenham likens it to going to sleep and waking in Heaven. 

This mortal dies,--
But, in the moment when the light fails here,
The darkness opens, and the vision clear
Breaks on his eyes.
The vail is rent,--
On his enraptured gaze heaven's glory breaks,
He was asleep, and in that moment wakes.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Rosa Bonheur - Deer in the Forest, Arcangelo Corelli - Trio Sonatas Opus 3, John Oxenham - What Can a Little Chap Do?

This painting by Rosa Bonhuer is done in pencil, watercolor and gummy arabicum (a bonding agent used with watercolors).  It would be fun to try in colored pencil.
Here  again is the link to the paintings we will be studying this winter by Rosa Bonhuer in case you want to print them ahead.  

If you want links to biographical sketches of our new artist, composer and poet please look at last week's post.  

File:Rosa Bonheur - Cerfs dans la forêt de Fontainebleau.jpg

Here is a link to about 8 hours of music by Arcangelo Corelli.  We've been listening to it as background music all week and enjoying it.

I've chosen Trio Sonatas Opus 1 for this week's featured piece.  It is one of the pieces included in the above link - you can listen to it here.  It is long - over an hour so you may want to use it as background music for other activities.  It is lovely and peaceful. 

Today's poem by John Oxenham would be a wonderful piece to memorize...

What Can a Little Chap Do?
What can a little chap do
For his country and for you?
What CAN a little chap do?

He can play a straight game all through;-
That’s one good thing he can do.

He can fight like a Knight
For the Truth and the Right;-
That’s another good thing he can do.

He can shun all that’s mean,
He can keep himself clean,
Both without and within;-
That’s a very fine thing he can do.

His soul he can brace
Against everything base.
And the trace will be seen
All his life in his face;-
That’s an excellent thing he can do.

He can look to the light,
He can keep his thoughts white,
He can fight the great fight,
He can do with his might
What is good in God’s sight;-
Those are truly great things he can do.

And-in each little thing
He can follow the King.
Yes-in each smallest thing
He can follow the King.
He can follow the Christ, the King.
That’s the very best thing he can do.

If you want a holiday post - you can check out the one from last year, December 6, 2012 "Celebrating the Birth of Christ".  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

1Rosa Bonheur - The Highland Shepherd, Arcangelo Corelli - Preludio (Largo), John Oxenham - The Christ

I've been reading books by George MacDonald lately - many set in Scotland, so this painting of a Highland Shepherd caught my interest when I was looking through paintings by our new artist Rosa Bonhuer.  It's amazing that she can paint this many sheep and make them each look unique.

Here  is Wikipedia's article on Rosa Bonhuer and
Here is Art History Archive's biographical sketch of her life.

Here is a link to a Picasa Web Album with the paintings I've chosen for our Rosa Bonheur study in case you want to copy them ahead.

File:Rosa Bonheur - The Highland Shepherd.jpg
The Highland Shepherd - Rosa Bonheur

Our new composer Arcangelo Corelli was a violinist as well as a composer and teacher and he was widely influential. Corelli was a generation before Bach and Handel and his work was foundational for what they later accomplished.    If you use the Vox Music Masters "The Story of..." CD's Corelli and Vivaldi are together on one CD.

Here  is a link to a concise biographical article on Arcangelo Correlli. or you can view Wikipedia's article on him here.

Our first work by Corelli will be Preludio (Largo)

Our new poet is John Oxenham.  I first discovered this poet in an old, now unused library housed in a tiny cabin at a camp where I was attending family camp. Loving old books I decided to spend some free time there. John Oxenham's book of poetry, Bees in Amber, caught my eye and I enjoyed it so much I borrowed the book for a day and copied a couple of his poems into my journal.  Selected Poems of John Oxenham by Charles L. Wallis has a nice biographical sketch by John Oxenham's daughter.  I would print it here, but the book isn't quite old enough to be in the public domain.  I hope you can find a copy and enjoy both the poems and the biographical sketch.

Here is a link to poems by John Oxenham

                        THE CHRIST

The good intent of God became the Christ.
And lived on earth--the Living Love of God,
That men might draw to closer touch with heaven,
Since Christ in all the ways of man hath trod.