Malapert Minx

The discombobulate warbling of a malapert minx interspersed with reverential impartations of beauty and greatness.

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Location: London, United Kingdom
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30 December, 2005

19th: Rumi



Blessed time! when we are sitting,
I and thou,
With two forms and only one soul,
I and thou.
Fragrance, song of birds, they quicken ev'rything
When we come into the garden,
I and thou.
All the stars of heaven hurry
to see us,
And we show them our own moon,
I and thou-
I and thou without words, without
I and thou-
In delight we are united,
I and thou.
Sugar chew the heaven's parrots
in that place
Where we're sitting, laughing sweetly,
I and thou.
Strange that I and thou together
in this nook
Are apart a thousand miles, see-
I and thou.
One form in this dust, the other
in that land.
Sweet eternal Paradise there...
I and thou.
~~~
Rumi

17 December, 2005

17th: John Donne


THE GOOD-MORROW.
by John Donne


I WONDER by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved ? were we not wean'd till then ?
But suck'd on country pleasures, childishly ?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den ?
'Twas so ; but this, all pleasures fancies be ;
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear ;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone ;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown ;
Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest ;
Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west ?
Whatever dies, was not mix'd equally ;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die.
~~~
Picture: Thatched Cottages in Sunshine - Vincent Van Gogh
Music: Syrinx - Debussy


10 December, 2005

16th: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

(Lines 1 – 19)

Reading by Marie Borroff

Passus I

SIÞEN þe sege and þe assaut watz sesed at Troye,
Þe bor brittened and brent to bronde and askez,
Þe tulk þat þe trammes of tresoun þer wrot
Watz tried for his tricherie, þe trewest on erthe:
Hit watz Ennias þe athel, and his highe kynde,
Þat siþen depreced prouinces, and patrounes bicome
Welnee of al þe wele in þe west iles.
Fro riche Romulus to Rome ricchis hym swyþe,
With gret bobbaunce þat bure he biges vpon fyrst,
And neuenes hit his aune nome, as hit now hat;
Tirius to Tuskan and teldes bigynnes,
Langaberde in Lumbardie lyftes vp homes,
And fer ouer þe French flod Felix Brutus
On mony bonkkes ful brode Bretayn he settez
wyth wynne,
Where werre and wrake and wonder
Bi syþez hatz wont þerinne,
And oft boþe blysse and blunder
Ful skete hatz skyfted synne.



Modern Translation

Historical Prologue (1)

The siege and assault having ceased at Troy
as its blazing battlements blackened to ash,
the man who had planned and plotted that treason
had trial enough for the truest traitor!
Then Aeneas the prince and his honored line
plundered provinces and held in their power
nearly all the wealth of the western isles.
Thus Romulus swiftly arriving at Rome
sets up that city and in swelling pride
gives it his name, the name it now bears;
and in Tuscany Tirius raises up towns,
and in Lombardy Langoberde settles the land,
and far past the French coast Felix Brutus
founds Britain on broad hills, and so bright hopes
begin,
where wonders, wars, misfortune
and troubled times have been,
where bliss and blind confusion
have come and gone again.


08 December, 2005

15th: Baudelaire

De Profundis Clamavi

Have pity, You alone whom I adore
From down this black pit where my heart is sped,
A sombre universe ringed round with lead
Where fear and curses the long night explore.

Six months a cold sun hovers overhead;
The other six is night upon this land.
No beast; no stream; no wood; no leaves expand.
The desert Pole is not a waste so dead.

Now in the whole world there's no horror quite
so cold and cruel as this glacial sun,
So like old Chaos as this boundless night;

I envy the least animals that run,
Which can find respite in brute slumber drowned,
So slowly is the skein of time unwound.

Charles Baudelaire

04 December, 2005

14th: La Wally - Catalani


Ebbene? ... N'andrò lontana
~~~
An Aria
If the music is working you
may hear this being sung by
Maria Callas
~~~
Ebbene? ... N'andrò lontana,
come va l'eco della pia campana,
là, fra la neve bianca;
là, fra le nubi d'or;
là, dov'è la speranza, la speranza
il rimpianto, il rimpianto, e il dolor!

O della madre mia casa gioconda,
la Wally n'andrà da te,
da te lontana assai,
e forse a te, e forse a te,
non farà mai più ritorno,
nè più la rivedrai!
mai più, mai più!

N'andrò sola e lontana,
come l'eco è della pia campana,
là, fra la neve bianca;
n'andrò, n'andrò sola e lontana!
e fra le nubi d'or!
~~~
'Tis well! my way lies yonder!
I hear afar the snowy mountains calling;
Forth to their heights I wander,
Forth to the sunset glow;
'Tis they shall calm the sorrow, calm the sorrow,
This heart alone, this heart alone may know.

Oh! peaceful cottage,
Dear home of my childhood,
The mountains are calling me!
Alas! I now must leave thee!
And nevermore,
And nevermore shall mine eyes fondly behold thee!
Home that I love so dearly.
Farewell! farewell!

'Tis well! my way lies yonder;
I can hear the snowy mountains calling;
Forth to their heights I wander;
Farewell! farewell! home of my childhood!
Farewell for evermore!
~~~

Librettist: Luigi Illica
Composer: Alfredo Catalani
Sung By: Maria Callas, recorded 1955
Possibly remembered from the film “Diva”

Post script
And then the lovers die in an avalanche…
Well, what did you expect, this is an opera.


03 December, 2005

13th: Shakespeare


Sonnet LX

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end,
Each changing place with that which goes before
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith, being crowned,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight
And Time that gave, doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,
Feeds on the rarities of natures truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow;
And yet, to times, in hope, my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

William Shakespeare

01 December, 2005

12th: Milton

Great things, and full of wonder in our eares,
Farr differing from this World, thou hast reveal'd
Divine interpreter, by favour sent
Down from the Empyrean to forewarne
Us timely of what might else have bin our loss,
Unknown, which human knowledg could not reach:
For which to the infinitly Good we owe
Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
Receave with solemne purpose to observe
Immutably his sovran will, the end
Of what we are. But since thou hast voutsaf't
Gently for our instruction to impart
Things above Earthly thought, which yet concernd
Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seemd,
Deign to descend now lower, and relate
What may no less perhaps availe us known,
How first began this Heav'n which we behold
Distant so high, with moving Fires adornd
Innumerable, and this which yeelds or fills
All space, the ambient Aire, wide interfus'd
Imbracing round this florid Earth, what cause
Mov'd the Creator in his holy Rest
Through all Eternitie so late to build
In Chaos, and the work begun, how soon
Absolv'd, if unforbid thou maist unfould
What wee, not to explore the secrets aske
Of his Eternal Empire, but the more
To magnifie his works, the more we know.
And the great Light of Day yet wants to run
Much of his Race though steep, suspens in Heav'n
Held by thy voice, thy potent voice he heares,
And longer will delay to heare thee tell
His Generation, and the rising Birth
Of Nature from the unapparent Deep:
Or if the Starr of Eevning and the Moon
Haste to thy audience, Night with her will bring
Silence, and Sleep listning to thee will watch,
Or we can bid his absence, till thy Song
End, and dismiss thee ere the Morning shine.
~~~
From “Paradise Lost”

John Milton