Saturday, 26 September 2015

Lord Byron

Lord Byron

George Gordon Byron (later Noel), 6th Baron Byron, FRS (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among Byron's best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and the short lyric She Walks in Beauty.

Byron is regarded as one of the greatest British poets, and remains widely read and influential. He travelled widely across Europe, especially in Italy where he lived for seven years. Later in life, Byron joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire, for which many Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died one year later at age 36 from a fever contracted while in Messolonghi in Greece. Often described as the most flamboyant and notorious of the major Romantics.

Carl Spitzweg ~ Badende Nymphe

William Blake Richmond ~ Phaëton and the Horses of the Sun.
George Frederic Watts ~ She Shall Be Called Woman
Thomas Buchanan Read ~ The Harp of Erin
Victor Gabriel Gilbert  ~ Sleeping Beauty.
Arnold Böcklin ~ The sacred Grove.
Caspar David Friedrich ~ Grabmale alter Helden
Carl Schweninger ~ The Morning Star and the Moon

When We Two Parted


      WHEN we two parted 
          In silence and tears, 
      Half broken-hearted 
          To sever for years, 
      Pale grew thy cheek and cold, 
          Colder thy kiss; 
      Truly that hour foretold 
          Sorrow to this.


      The dew of the morning 
          Sunk chill on my brow — 
      It felt like the warning 
          Of what I feel now. 
      Thy vows are all broken, 
          And light is thy fame: 
      I hear thy name spoken, 
          And share in its shame.


      They name thee before me, 
          A knell to mine ear; 
      A shudder comes o'er me — 
          Why wert thou so dear? 
      They know not I knew thee, 
          Who knew thee too well: — 
      Long, long shall I rue thee, 
          Too deeply to tell.


      In secret we met — 
          In silence I grieve, 
      That thy heart could forget, 
          Thy spirit deceive. 
      If I should meet thee 
          After long years, 
      How should I greet thee? — 
          With silence and tears.

John Duncan The Turn of the Tide
Francis Danby ~ Disappointed Love
Thomas Ralph Spence (British, 1845-1918)
Maxfield Parrish

The Dream

Our life is twofold: Sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their developement have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of Joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off our waking toils,
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of Eternity;
They pass like spirits of the past,—they speak
Like Sibyls of the future; they have power—
The tyranny of pleasure and of pain;
They make us what we were not—what they will,
And shake us with the vision that's gone by,
The dread of vanished shadows—Are they so?
Is not the past all shadow?—What are they?
Creations of the mind?—The mind can make
Substance, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
I would recall a vision which I dreamed
Perchance in sleep—for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.


I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,
Green and of mild declivity, the last
As 'twere the cape of a long ridge of such,
Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
But a most living landscape, and the wave
Of woods and cornfields, and the abodes of men
Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke
Arising from such rustic roofs;—the hill
Was crowned with a peculiar diadem
Of trees, in circular array, so fixed,
Not by the sport of nature, but of man:
These two, a maiden and a youth, were there
Gazing—the one on all that was beneath
Fair as herself—but the Boy gazed on her;
And both were young, and one was beautiful:
And both were young—yet not alike in youth.
As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge,
The Maid was on the eve of Womanhood;
The Boy had fewer summers, but his heart
Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye
There was but one belovéd face on earth,
And that was shining on him: he had looked
Upon it till it could not pass away;
He had no breath, no being, but in hers;
She was his voice; he did not speak to her,
But trembled on her words; she was his sight,i
For his eye followed hers, and saw with hers,
Which coloured all his objects:—he had ceased
To live within himself; she was his life,
The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
Which terminated all: upon a tone,
A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and flow,
And his cheek change tempestuously—his heart
Unknowing of its cause of agony.
But she in these fond feelings had no share:
Her sighs were not for him; to her he was
Even as a brother—but no more; 'twas much,
For brotherless she was, save in the name
Her infant friendship had bestowed on him;
Herself the solitary scion left
Of a time-honoured race.—It was a name
Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not—and why?
Time taught him a deep answer—when she loved
Another: even now she loved another,
And on the summit of that hill she stood
Looking afar if yet her lover's steed
Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew.


A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
There was an ancient mansion, and before
Its walls there was a steed caparisoned:
Within an antique Oratory stood
The Boy of whom I spake;—he was alone,
And pale, and pacing to and fro: anon
He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced
Words which I could not guess of; then he leaned
His bowed head on his hands, and shook as 'twere
With a convulsion—then arose again,
And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear
What he had written, but he shed no tears.
And he did calm himself, and fix his brow
Into a kind of quiet: as he paused,
The Lady of his love re-entered there;
She was serene and smiling then, and yet
She knew she was by him beloved—she knew,
For quickly comes such knowledge, that his heart
Was darkened with her shadow, and she saw
That he was wretched, but she saw not all.
He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp
He took her hand; a moment o'er his face
A tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced, and then it faded, as it came;
He dropped the hand he held, and with slow steps
Retired, but not as bidding her adieu,
For they did part with mutual smiles; he passed
From out the massy gate of that old Hall,
And mounting on his steed he went his way;
And ne'er repassed that hoary threshold more.


A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Boy was sprung to manhood: in the wilds
Of fiery climes he made himself a home,
And his Soul drank their sunbeams: he was girt
With strange and dusky aspects; he was not
Himself like what he had been; on the sea
And on the shore he was a wanderer;
There was a mass of many images
Crowded like waves upon me, but he was
A part of all; and in the last he lay
Reposing from the noontide sultriness,
Couched among fallen columns, in the shade
Of ruined walls that had survived the names
Of those who reared them; by his sleeping side
Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds
Were fastened near a fountain; and a man
Clad in a flowing garb did watch the while,
While many of his tribe slumbered around:
And they were canopied by the blue sky,
So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful,
That God alone was to be seen in Heaven.


A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Lady of his love was wed with One
Who did not love her better:—in her home,
A thousand leagues from his,—her native home,
She dwelt, begirt with growing Infancy,
Daughters and sons of Beauty,—but behold!
Upon her face there was the tint of grief,
The settled shadow of an inward strife,
And an unquiet drooping of the eye,
As if its lid were charged with unshed tears.
What could her grief be?—she had all she loved,
And he who had so loved her was not there
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
Or ill-repressed affliction, her pure thoughts.
What could her grief be?—she had loved him not,
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved,
Nor could he be a part of that which preyed
Upon her mind—a spectre of the past.


A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Wanderer was returned.—I saw him stand
Before an Altar—with a gentle bride;
Her face was fair, but was not that which made
The Starlight of his Boyhood;—as he stood
Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came
The self-same aspect, and the quivering shock
That in the antique Oratory shook
His bosom in its solitude; and then—
As in that hour—a moment o'er his face
The tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced,—and then it faded as it came,
And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke
The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,
And all things reeled around him; he could see
Not that which was, nor that which should have been—
But the old mansion, and the accustomed hall,
And the remembered chambers, and the place,
The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade,
All things pertaining to that place and hour
And her who was his destiny, came back
And thrust themselves between him and the light:
What business had they there at such a time?


A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Lady of his love;—Oh! she was changed
As by the sickness of the soul; her mind
Had wandered from its dwelling, and her eyes
They had not their own lustre, but the look
Which is not of the earth; she was become
The Queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts
Were combinations of disjointed things;
And forms, impalpable and unperceived
Of others' sight, familiar were to hers.
And this the world calls frenzy; but the wise
Have a far deeper madness—and the glance
Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
What is it but the telescope of truth?
Which strips the distance of its fantasies,
And brings life near in utter nakedness,
Making the cold reality too real!j


A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Wanderer was alone as heretofore,
The beings which surrounded him were gone,
Or were at war with him; he was a mark
For blight and desolation, compassed round
With Hatred and Contention; Pain was mixed
In all which was served up to him, until,
Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,
He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
But were a kind of nutriment; he lived
Through that which had been death to many men,
And made him friends of mountains: with the stars
And the quick Spirit of the Universe
He held his dialogues; and they did teach
To him the magic of their mysteries;
To him the book of Night was opened wide,
And voices from the deep abyss revealed
A marvel and a secret—Be it so.


My dream was past; it had no further change.
It was of a strange order, that the doom
Of these two creatures should be thus traced out
Almost like a reality—the one
To end in madness—both in misery.

Aurora Marina
Frederic Edwin Church El Rio De Luz The River of Light

Carl Gustav Carus ~ The Goethe Monument

Evelyn de Morgan ~ The Sleeping Earth and Wakening Moon
Auguste Raynaud ~ The Night

love and light

Character Tommy

South London ~ His Manor
(James Edward Quaintance aka Jimmy Q)
Book Character ~ Tommy 
HEIGHT 183 - 6' 0" 
CHEST 87 - 34" 
WAIST 78 - 30" 
HIPS 92 - 36" 
SHOE SIZE ~ 43 - 10.5 

Character Board ~ Tommy HERE

Deer Soul


By Heavenia.

When you have the deer as spirit animal, you are highly sensitive and have a strong intuition. By affinity with this animal, you have the power to deal with challenges with grace. You master the art of being both determined and gentle in your approach. The deer totem wisdom imparts those with a special connection with this animal with the ability to be vigilant, move quickly, and trust their instincts to get out the trickiest situations.

The meanings associated with the deer combine both soft, gentle qualities with strength and determination:
Ability to move through life and obstacles with grace
Being in touch with inner child, innocence
Being sensitive and intuitive
Vigilance, ability to change directions quickly
Magical ability to regenerate, being in touch with life’s mysteries

When you have the deer as spirit animal, you are able to bring gentleness and grace in every aspects of your life, even in the most challenging moments. By inspiration from the deer’s qualities, you can achieve ambitious goals and tackle difficult situation smoothly with a touch of gentleness and grace.

The deer spirit animal will remind you to be gentle with yourself and others. The grace and gentleness characteristic of this spirit animal echo the qualities brought forth when living from the heart. For example, the traditional symbol used for the heart chakra has the deer (sometimes also represented as an antelope) as emblematic animal of the energy of love and harmony with oneself and others.

Source: Here

love and light

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

John Keats ~ La Belle Dame sans Merci

John Keats

Henry Meynell Rheam


John Keats ( 31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821) was an English Romantic poet. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets, along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his work having been in publication for only four years before his death.

A poem needs understanding through the senses. 

Sir Frank Dicksee

Volume two of Le Canon Graphique (editions Télémaque)

La Belle Dame sans Merci

Although his poems were not generally well received by critics during his lifetime, his reputation grew after his death, and by the end of the 19th century, he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets.

"La Belle Dame sans Merci" by Henry Meynell Rheam, 1901

John Melhuish Strudwick

La Belle Dame sans Merci (French: "The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy" ) is a ballad written by the English poet John Keats. It exists in two versions, with minor differences between them. The original was written by Keats in 1819. He used the title of the 15th century La Belle Dame sans Mercy by Alain Chartier, though the plots of the two poems are different. The poem is considered an English classic, stereotypical to other of Keats' works. It avoids simplicity of interpretation despite simplicity of structure. At only a short twelve stanzas, of only four lines each, with a simple ABCB rhyme scheme, the poem is nonetheless full of enigmas, and has been the subject of numerous interpretations.

Marc Fishman

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her Elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Walter Crane
Arthur Hughes ~ Arthur Hughes’s La Belle Dame sans merci
 is a little known pre-Raphaelite painting. 

In keeping with the ballad tradition, Keats does not identify his questioner, or the knight, or the destructively beautiful lady. What Keats does not include in his poem contributes as much to it in arousing the reader's imagination as what he puts into it. La belle dame sans merci, the beautiful lady without pity, is a femme fatale, a Circe-like figure who attracts lovers only to destroy them by her supernatural powers. She destroys because it is her nature to destroy. Keats could have found patterns for his "faery's child" in folk mythology, classical literature, Renaissance poetry, or the medieval ballad. With a few skillful touches, he creates a woman who is at once beautiful, erotically attractive, fascinating, and deadly.

Marc Fishman

Some readers see the poem as Keats' personal rebellion against the pains of love. In his letters and in some of his poems, he reveals that he did experience the pains, as well as the pleasures, of love and that he resented the pains, particularly the loss of freedom that came with falling in love. However, the ballad is a very objective form, and it may be best to read "La Belle Dame sans Merci" as pure story and no more.

(Lamia and the Soldier)
John William Waterhouse

Rose Cecil O'Neill 
George Frampton

Keats’s ballad tells the story of a knight’s enthralment by a ‘faery child’ which condemns him to wander forever, lost to the world. First published in 1820 the poem is an early example of the 19th century fascination with the femme fatale which was to culminate in a veritable invasion of European culture by fatal women in the last two decades of the 19th century – in literature, the visual arts, painting, fashion, design and advertising. There were evil women from history, the Bible, mythology, folklore and literature – such as Cleopatra, Lucrezia Borgia, Lilith, Salome and Lamia. There were witches and sorceresses, like the Medusa, Circe, Nimüe and Morgan-le-Fay. And there were demonic creatures, half-human, half-animal, like the sphinx, sirens, mermaids, harpies and vampires. Cruel, lustful and evil these femmes fatales lured men to their doom and destruction through their beauty, enchantments and erotic power.
F C Cowper 1946

Arthur Hughes’s La Belle Dame sans merci was painted five years before Lady Lilith, and therefore just precedes the emergence of the fully-fledged fatal woman. 

Hughes’s image refers to the first line in particular. At the same time the painting attempts to go beyond this single moment by the suggestion of the aftermath of the knight’s encounter with the lady. Like all Victorian narrative paintings La Belle Dame sans merci aspires to the condition of cinema, seeking to extend the temporal dimensions of the single image. Thus the picture introduces the pale kings, princes and warriors who subsequently visit the knight in a dream and warn him of this thraldom to the belle dame. 

In the poem the knight meets the lady in the ‘mead’, and their activities suggest that this took place in summer. But at the end he awakens to find himself on ‘the cold hill’s side’, and is discovered by the narrator loitering by a lake from which ‘the sedge has wither’d’. In the painting however, instead of the mead we find the cold hill-side (blown by a gale-like wind not mentioned in the poem) and the lake – referring to moments that come after the meeting with the lady. There are further signs of autumn, the season in which these later events occur, in the dead oak leaves and the scantily-clad tree behind the knight. On the other hand, there is an overall impression of summer lushness and fertility in the blooming briar roses, the red and white poppies and the dense green mat of grasses and reeds. 

His use of natural symbolism. The pre-Raphaelites made particular use of natural symbols both as a means of gaining temporality and as a way of investing the material objects they so patiently recorded with a significance beyond what was merely visible. Thus the presence of briar roses and poppies brings together symbols of love, sleep and death. The belle dame holds a red poppy in her hand, doubly symbolic because it is withered, associating her with the sleep she lulls the knight into and the living death to which he awakens. 

About the figures themselves are signs and symbols not found in the poem, referring to the story and the knight’s fate. His surcoat bears the heraldic arms of a hand crushing a serpent; yet he is oblivious of the serpents entwined around the neck of the belle dame, referring back ultimately to Eve and her temptation. The knight is removing his shield, and his sword lies across the lap of the belle dame. He has made himself vulnerable by these actions. The placement of the sword, the symbol of his manhood, refers also to his sexual enslavement and loss of virility.    

But there is a further significance to the knight’s taking off his shield and giving up his sword, to be understood within the context of the Victorian interest in Arthurian legend and chivalric ideals.

In Keats’s poem there is no mention of snakes, a sword or shield. What these additions indicate is the carry over of Hughes’s Arthurian interests into the poem, which is thus passed through the filter of Victorian ideas about medieval chivalry. As a consequence Hughes’s knight is ‘fallen’ as well as enthralled, and the sword across the belle dame’s lap symbolises both his fall from grace and his sexual enslavement. The painting is thus a site for the meeting of discourses on chivalry and the femme fatale. But the meeting is an ambiguous one and allows an alternative reading of the painting which inverts the relationship between the femme fatale and the knight. 

The spectator’s reading of the painting as a representation of a fallen and enthralled knight is dependent on a knowledge of Keats’s poem and a correct decoding of the signs and symbols in the painting. Without these aids the painting lends itself to a very different reading.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Robert Anning Bell

Most of us, lacking Keats' Black Letter Chaucer, fail to realize that "La Belle Dame sans Merci" is in Thynne's and Speght's canon and included in their Black Letter Chaucer editions. Though eventually excluded in 1896's Kelmscott Black Letter by its editor, F. S. Ellis, on the basis of W. W. Skeat's advice,6 it had originally apocryphally been in the Chaucerian canon. I shared with my gentle reader the 1532 and 1542 opening verses. 

Then Chaucer, or pseudo-Chaucer, the love-lorn poet, enters the poem landscape, dialoguing, as Amant, with the Dame. While Keats, as reader, in his poem, written in May of 1819 and published in May of 1820, the year before his death, describes himself with a Knight which whom he dialogues, the Knight having been bewitched by a Faerie Queene.7 Thus he imitates the Chaucer of the Book of the Duchess and of the "Sir Thopas," and the Spenser of The Faerie Queene. He is writing about writing, its enchantment of the act of reading, and I quote here from the "Ode to the Nightingale,"

. . . the same that oft-times hath 
Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam 
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

In the beginning of the nineteenth century it had been John Keats and Walter Savage Landor, Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning who responded as poets to Chaucer. 

Loreena McKennitt - The English Ladye and the Knight

Bright Star (2009) - La Belle Dame sans Merci - Ben Whishaw recites Keats
Bright Star (detailing the gorgeous love story of John Keats for Fanny Brawne) 

Wish we were butterflies

From a letter to his love, Fanny Brawne ~ 5th Nov' 1820

Bright Star - A Room Of Butterflies

love and light