Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.



Friday, June 01, 2007

Daisy Lupin's Poetry Fest




Daisy Lupin has started a new blog for people to post their favourite poems and June is favourites from your childhood. Now, as I've mentioned before, I'm not a great fan of poetry but, when I was a child at primary school, we had to learn poems by heart and recite them in class. One of those was Browning's 'Home Thoughts From Abroad' which I posted in April. Another was one that wouldn't immediately spring to mind as a poem for children but somehow it has stuck in my mind for all these years and I can still recite the first bit of it from memory. I think it's the vision of 'his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold' that caught my imagination, I could see the rich purple cloth and the sun glinting off the armour. Each verse creates an immediate and vivid picture in my mind. I love the rhythmn of it too so here is:


The Destruction of Sennacherib
by Lord Byron



The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.


Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.


For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed on the face of the foe as he passed:
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!


And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride:
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.


And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.


And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!


The description of a battlefield is still relevant today I think.

5 comments:

Remiman said...

Rowan,
On the one hand I find this appealing, as I'm a great fan of medieval times and Knights in armor.

But the sights of war, after having experienced them in the flesh, are more than enough to curdle one's blood and erase any here-to-fore romatic images from the mind.

ps. I do think you like poetry more than you let on. ;-)
rel

Daisy Lupin said...

Thank you Rowan I will be posting your poem later today, early evening probably. I have just been on Sheila's site where she has the Diary of the Edwardian Country Lady and have commented on this, you may remember the other book I mention.

Oh I love that book, my husband bought the original copy for me many many years ago. It is such a beautiful book. I do remember that when it was published there was a bit of a discussion as to whether it was orginal or a made up book. Another book from that time that my husband also bought me was called, I think, if I remember correctly 'Nature Notes' Janet Marsh, a modern day painting and note book.

Janet said...

I'm not a big poetry fan either but I do love your flower photos. I've had to be away for much too long....I've missed you and your beautiful photos.

PAT said...

Love the photos.

I enjoyed reading your poem.

Thank you for stopping by the back porch and your wonderful comments!

Pat
Back Porch Musings

meggie said...

I love your Iris pics.
I also enjoyed that poem, I too, remember it from childhood. The images created are so sad & stark.