May 20, 2012

A Ballad of Dreamland

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--Description: 20th C, Swinburne A.C., Dreams, Love--


I hid my heart in a nest of roses,
Out of the sun's way, hidden apart;
In a softer bed then the soft white snow's is,
Under the roses I hid my heart.
Why would it sleep not? why should it start,
When never a leaf of the rose-tree stirred?
What made sleep flutter his wings and part?
Only the song of a secret bird.

Lie still, I said, for the wind's wing closes,
And mild leaves muffle the keen sun's dart;
Lie still, for the wind on the warm seas dozes,
And the wind is unquieter yet than thou art.
Does a thought in thee still as a thorn's wound smart?
Does the fang still fret thee of hope deferred?
What bids the lips of thy sleep dispart?
Only the song of a secret bird.

The green land's name that a charm encloses,
It never was writ in the traveller's chart,
And sweet on its trees as the fruit that grows is,
It never was sold in the merchant's mart.
The swallows of dreams through its dim fields dart,
And sleep's are the tunes in its tree-tops heard;
No hound's note wakens the wildwood hart,
Only the song of a secret bird.

ENVOI

In the world of dreams I have chosen my part,
To sleep for a season and hear no word
Of true love's truth or of light love's art,
Only the song of a secret bird.


Algernon Charles Swinburne

--Did You Know: (1837–1909) Swinburne was an English poet, controversial in his own day. He invented the roundel form, wrote some novels, and contributed to the famous Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. From 1903 to 1909 he was constantly nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Swinburne was born at 7 Chester Street, Grosvenor Place, London, on 5 April 1837. He was the eldest of six children born to Captain (later Admiral) Charles Henry Swinburne and Lady Jane Henrietta, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Ashburnham. He grew up at East Dene in Bonchurch on the Isle of Wight and attended Eton College 1849-53, where he first started writing poetry, and then Balliol College, Oxford 1856-60 with a brief hiatus when he was rusticated from the university in 1859, returning in May 1860, though he never received a degree. He spent summer holidays at Capheaton Hall in Northumberland, the house of his grandfather, Sir John Swinburne, 6th Baronet (1762-1860) (see Swinburne Baronets) who had a famous library and was President of the Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle upon Tyne. Swinburne considered Northumberland to be his native county, an emotion memorably reflected in poems like the intensely patriotic 'Northumberland', 'Grace Darling' and others. He enjoyed riding his pony across the moors. Read more at: A. C. Swinburne

--Word of the Day: palladian \puh-LEY-dee-uhn\, adjective:
1. Pertaining to wisdom, knowledge, or study.
2. Of or pertaining to the goddess Athena.
3. Pertaining to, introduced by, or in the architectural style of Andrea Palladio.
Example:
Within the sanctuary the gold and ivory image of Athena, fashioned by Phidias, had given way to the pale face of Our Lady, Mother of the Holy Child, and the grandiloquent Latin of the mass rolled its volume through the hall that once had echoed to the sonorous Greek of the Palladian hymns.
-Justin Huntly McCarthy, The dryad: a novel

--Quote of the Day: It is a good idea to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presence may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.
~James Douglas

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