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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

John Constable - Girl with the Doves, Felix Mendelssohn -

Our final painting by John Constable this week is "Girl With the Doves".  It's quite different than his landscapes but a fun and memorable painting just the same.

We watched Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream this past week as we've been studying this play this semester.  The music was by Felix Mendelssohn.  I have come to really enjoy Felix Mendelssohn's music.  Today's piece is Symphony No. 4 in A "Italian" 1st Movement. 

This is the last of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poetry that we will feature now - we're moving on to her husband Robert Browning for next season. 

          ONLY A CURL

FRIENDS of faces unknown and a land
Unvisited over the sea,
Who tell me how lonely you stand
With a single gold curl in the hand
Held up to be looked at by me, --

While you ask me to ponder and say
What a father and mother can do,
With the bright fellow-locks put away
Out of reach, beyond kiss, in the clay
Where the violets press nearer than you.

Shall I speak like a poet, or run
Into weak woman's tears for relief ?
Oh, children ! -- I never lost one, --
Yet my arm 's round my own little son,
And Love knows the secret of Grief.

And I feel what it must be and is,
When God draws a new angel so
Through the house of a man up to His,
With a murmur of music, you miss,
And a rapture of light, you forgo.

How you think, staring on at the door,
Where the face of your angel flashed in,
That its brightness, familiar before,
Burns off from you ever the more
For the dark of your sorrow and sin.

`God lent him and takes him,' you sigh ;
-- Nay, there let me break with your pain :
God 's generous in giving, say I, --
And the thing which He gives, I deny
That He ever can take back again.

He gives what He gives. I appeal
To all who bear babes -- in the hour
When the veil of the body we feel
Rent round us, -- while torments reveal
The motherhood's advent in power,

And the babe cries ! -- has each of us known
By apocalypse (God being there
Full in nature) the child is our own,
Life of life, love of love, moan of moan,
Through all changes, all times, everywhere.

He 's ours and for ever. Believe,
O father ! -- O mother, look back
To the first love's assurance. To give
Means with God not to tempt or deceive
With a cup thrust in Benjamin's sack.

He gives what He gives. Be content !
He resumes nothing given, -- be sure !
God lend ? Where the usurers lent
In His temple, indignant He went
And scourged away all those impure.

He lends not ; but gives to the end,
As He loves to the end. If it seem
That He draws back a gift, comprehend
'Tis to add to it rather, -- amend,
And finish it up to your dream, --

Or keep, -- as a mother will toys
Too costly, though given by herself,
Till the room shall be stiller from noise,
And the children more fit for such joys,
Kept over their heads on the shelf.

So look up, friends ! you, who indeed
Have possessed in your house a sweet piece
Of the Heaven which men strive for, must need
Be more earnest than others are,--speed
Where they loiter, persist where they cease.

You know how one angel smiles there.
Then weep not. 'Tis easy for you
To be drawn by a single gold hair
Of that curl, from earth's storm and despair,
To the safe place above us. Adieu.


  1. Hi Patti,
    If it is not a secret, could you tell me which artist will be featured next? We've been using prints of John Constable's works (that we hang on the wall) in addition to looking at your weekly painting, and would like to see if I can get something similar for your next artist as well.

    If you are curious what I am referring to, you can see the picture portfolios here:
    (I've saved on the cost a little by purchasing just the prints and not the whole portfolios.)

    1. Hi Sarah!

      I checked out the picture portfolios and they look wonderful! They've added quite a few since I last checked. I will consider the artists we haven't used yet for future from that list. For this next season though I have chosen Albert Anker to feature. You can look on Google images for his works. I haven't decided yet which pictures we will feature. If I get time soon I'll try to make a Picasa Web Album that you could download and get printed.... I think it is nice if you can have prints to look at of the pictures we are studying. Like I said, I will keep the Simply Charlotte Mason study portfolios in mind for my choice of future artists to feature. Blessings! Patti

    2. Thanks Patti! I wasn't trying to suggest that you use the artists from the picture portfolios; just wanting to check if they had anything for the next artist. :)

    3. I've just been looking up Albert Anker on the internet, and his work is amazing! I am so excited to share this with my children. I also found plenty of high resolution images of his work to print for our wall!

    4. Oh Sarah, I'm so glad you like his paintings, too - I think it is going to be a challenge to be satisfied with just 13 or 14 as there are so many wonderful paintings! I have made a Picasa web album of the pictures I plan to feature but you of course can use any that appeal to you. . I think I'll send around an extra post with the link as I'm not sure how to add a link here in the comments.... Then people can get started with printing pictures if they want to. I appreciate your taking time to connect and share your thoughts - THANK YOU!