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Six English Romantic Poets

¤  Landscapes

“The world is wide, no two days are alike, nor even two hours; neither were there ever two leaves of a tree alike since the creation of all the world; and the genuine productions of art, like those of nature, are all distinct from each other.” 

→ John Constable  (1776 – 1837)

¤   J.M.W. Turner : The ‘Painter of light’ ⇐[1775-1851]

One of Britain’s most celebrated artists, Turner showed exceptional artistic talent from an early age and entered the Royal Academy aged fourteen. His English landscapes made his name but there was a darker side to his paintings that was difficult for the critics to swallow, both in the increasingly informal use of paint and the subject matter that was critical of the romanticised vision of Britain in the late nineteenth century.

¤  George Gordon→Lord Byron  ⇓  [1788 – 1824]

♦→  ‘She Walks In Beauty’  ↓ 

She walks in beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
 
One shade the more, one ray the less,
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
   Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
   How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
 
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
   A heart whose love is innocent!

•→ “When we Two Parted”⇐ 

Φ  Epitaph to a Dog’  ⇓

“Near this Spot are deposited the Remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferosity, and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.”

This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human Ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of BOATSWAIN, a DOG, who was born in Newfoundland May 1803 and died at Newstead Nov. 18, 1808.

¤  John Keats ← [1795-1821]

◊→ ‘Ode to a Nightingale‘  ⇓

⇓  “Meg Merrilees” 

Old Meg she was a Gypsy,
And lived upon the Moors:
Her bed it was the brown heath turf,
And her house was out of doors.

Her apples were swart blackberries,
Her currants pods o’ broom;
Her wine was dew of the wild white rose,
Her book a churchyard tomb.

Her Brothers were the craggy hills,
Her Sisters larchen trees –
Alone with her great family
She lived as she did please.

No breakfast had she many a morn,
No dinner many a noon,
And ‘stead of supper she would stare
Full hard against the Moon.

But every morn of woodbine fresh
She made her garlanding,
And every night the dark glen Yew
She wove, and she would sing.

And with her fingers, old and brown,
She plaited Mats o’ Rushes,
And gave them to the Cottagers
She met among the Bushes.

Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen,
And tall as Amazon:
An old red blanket cloak she wore;
A chip-hat had she on.
God rest her aged bones somewhere –
She died full long agone!

♦→ “To Autumn”  ⇐

♦→ La Belle Dame Sans Merci  ⇓  [ballad]

∇    “The Day is Gone”   

The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!

   Sweet voice, sweet lips, soft hand, and softer breast,

Warm breath, light whisper, tender semi-tone,

   Bright eyes, accomplish’d shape, and lang’rous waist!

Faded the flower and all its budded charms,

   Faded the sight of beauty from my eyes,

Faded the shape of beauty from my arms,

   Faded the voice, warmth, whiteness, paradise –

Vanish’d unseasonably at shut of eve.

¤  Percy Bysshe Shelley  ⇓  [1798-1822]

◊ “Music, When Soft Voices Die” ↓ 

MUSIC, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,          5
Are heap’d for the belovèd’s bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.
♦  ‘Adonais’An Elegy on the Death of John Keats ↓ [excerpt read by Mick Jagger]

[Stanza 29]
Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep
He hath awakened from the dream of life
‘Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit’s knife
Invulnerable nothings. – We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.

[Stanza 52  . . . ]
The One remains, the many change and pass;
Heaven’s light forever shines, Earth’s shadows fly;
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments. – Die,
If thou wouldst be with that which thou dost seek!
Follow where all is fled! 

⇓  “Mutability” 

We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly! -yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost for ever:

Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
One mood or modulation like the last.

We rest. -A dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise. -One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:

It is the same! -For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free:
Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.

Δ   “Ozymandias”  ⇓

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away

•→Percy Bysshe Shelley, “To Wordsworth”
¤  William Wordsworth  ⇓   [1770-1850]

•→“Ode on Intimations of Immortality “⇐ [from ‘Recollections of Early Childhood’]⇒[listen]

♦  Catherine Z Jones reads “Daffodils”


I wandered lonely as a cloud – That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,  A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine – And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought what wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie in vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.

♣  3 Poems by William Wordsworth ⇓  [Artwork by Samuel Palmer]

01 – Lines Written in Early Spring ⇐

02 – To the Planet Venus ⇐

03 – Influence of Natural Objects in Calling Forth and Strengthening the Inspiration in Boyhood and Early Youth

¤  Samuel Taylor Coleridge ⇐[1772-1834]

enthusiasm•  The Rime of the Ancient Mariner   
Coleridge

For killing an albatross, the mariner and his crew are punished with drought and death. Amidst a series of supernatural events, the mariner’s life alone is spared and he repents, but he must wander the earth and tell his tale with the lesson that “all things great and small” are important.        [Gesine]

• Read →

◊  Listen  ↓ · · ·  Parts I – III

– Voices:

• Richard Burton – the mariner   • Robert Hardy – the wedding guest   • John Neville – narrator

•  •  Parts  IV – V ⇐    /    •  •  Parts VI – VII ⇐

◊  Rime of the Ancient Mariner   ↓  Orson Welles

Larry Jordan‘s 1977 experimental film ↑ using animated engravings of Gustave Dore

♦→  ‘Frost at Midnight’ ⇓ [read by Richard Burton]

¤  ‘Kubla Khan’  – An unfinished poem inspired by a dream which Samuel Taylor Coleridge had in about 1797. According to a story told by Coleridge himself in his introduction to the poem, he was staying at a cottage in a countryside when he fell into a deep sleep and saw the entire poem written out for him in a dream. When he awoke he found that he could still see the text in his mind and immediately started writing it down. Unfortunately, Coleridge had written just the 54 lines when he was interrupted by someone visiting on urgent business from the nearby village of Porlock. Although Coleridge and his visitor had a conversation lasting more than an hour to this day nobody knows who he (or she?) was, or what they spoke about. But when Coleridge returned to his desk, he found that the rest of the poem had vanished from his memory. Since then, a ‘Person from Porlock’ is a humorous term used to describe an unwelcome interruption to creative work.


Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
   Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
   The shadow of the dome of pleasure
   Floated midway on the waves;
   Where was heard the mingled measure
   From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
   A damsel with a dulcimer
   In a vision once I saw:
   It was an Abyssinian maid
   And on her dulcimer she played,
   Singing of Mount Abora.
   Could I revive within me
   Her symphony and song,
   To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

¤   William Blake   ⇓   [1757-1827]

The words of William Blake‘s “London“, set to an original composition by Michael Griffin, and featuring the artwork of George Morton-Clark. All instruments and lead vocals by Michael Griffin. Background vocals by Eden Blue Griffin  ↓

Blake_London

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles
I hear
How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls
But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse
♣  “The Tyger”  ⇓

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies. 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain, 
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp, 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp! 
When the stars threw down their spears 
And water’d heaven with their tears: 
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright . . .
 
GardenofLove

♦ ‘Proverbs of Hell’  ↓ [From “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”] read by Marilyn Manson_2011

In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.

Drive your cart and plow over the bones of the dead.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity.

He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.

The cut worm forgives the plow.

Dip him in the river who loves water.

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.

He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.

No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.

A dead body, revenges not injuries.

The most sublime act is to set another before you.

If the fool would persist in his folly he’d become wise.

Folly is the cloke of knavery ~ Shame is Prides cloke.

Prisons are built with stones of Law ~ Brothels with bricks of Religion.

The pride of the peacock is the glory of God ~ The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.

The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God ~ The nakedness of woman is the work of God.

What is now proved was once, only imagin’d.

One thought, fills immensity.

Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.

Every thing possible to be believ’d is an image of truth.

Expect poison from the standing water.

You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.

Listen to the fools reproach!   it is a kingly title!

The eyes of fire, the nostrils of air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth.

The weak in courage is strong in cunning.

The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his prey.

As the catterpiller chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.

 The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty, the hands &  feet Proportion.

As the air to a bird or the sea to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible.

The crow wish’d every thing was black, the owl, that everything was white.

Exuberance is Beauty.

 Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.

Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believ’d.

Enough! or Too much!

•→http://www.online-literature.com/blake/⇐

◊→  “A Poison Tree” ↓  [Gerg Brown]

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

————–Glossary—————­

wrath (n) – great anger; fury often marked by a desire for vengeance

foe (n) — enemy

deceitful (a) — full of (misleading) lies;    wiles (npl) – trickery intended to persuade someone to do something, especially in the form of insincere charm or flattery

bear (bore – borne) (v) — to carry; to give birth to.

behold (beheld – beheld) (v)- to perceive; notice

steal (stole – stolen) (v) sneak: to move quietly, especially in the hope of not being seen or caught

veil (v) to cover/hide;       the pole — the north star

♦ “Milton A Poem” ↓ ‘I’ll Find My Way Home’

You ask me where to begin
Am I so lost in my sin
You ask me where did I fall
I’ll say I can’t tell you when
But if my spirit is lost
How will I find what is near
Don’t question I’m not alone
Somehow I’ll find my way home

My sun shall rise in the east
So shall my heart be at peace
And if you’re asking me when
I’ll say it starts at the end
You know your will to be free
Is matched with love secretly
And talk will alter your prayer
Somehow you’ll find you are there

Your friend is close by your side
And speaks in far ancient tongue
A season’s wish will come true
All seasons begin with you
One world — we all come from
One world — we melt into one
Just hold my hand and we’re there
Somehow we’re going somewhere
Somehow we’re going somewhere

[Instrumental Interlude]

You ask me where to begin
Am I so lost in my sin
You ask me where did I fall
I’ll say I can’t tell you when
But if my spirit is strong
I know it can’t be long
No questions I’m not alone
Sometime I’ll find my way home
Somehow I’ll find my way home . . .

♦→ “Songs of Innocence”  ⇓· · ·  Jah Wobble←  

(Songs of Innocence…)  ‘THE LITTLE BOY LOST’

Father, father, where are you going?
O do not walk so fast!
Speak, father, speak to your little boy,
Or else I shall be lost.’

The night was dark, no father was there,
The child was wet with dew;
The mire was deep, and the child did weep,
And away the vapour flew.

(Songs of Innocence…)  ‘THE LITTLE BOY FOUND’

The little boy lost in the lonely fen,
Led by the wandering light,
Began to cry, but God, ever nigh,
Appeared like his father, in white.

He kissed the child, and by the hand led,
And to his mother brought,
Who in sorrow pale, through the lonely dale,
Her little boy weeping sought.

(Songs of Innocence…) … ‘A CRADLE SONG’

… Sweet babe, in thy faceSongsofI
Holy image I can trace;
Sweet babe, once like thee
Thy Maker lay, and wept for me:

Wept for me, for thee, for all,
When He was an infant small.
Thou His image ever see,
Heavenly face that smiles on thee!

Songs of Innocence…

◊  ‘Night’  ↓  [voice: Petra Marklund]

The sun descending in the west,
The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest,
And I must seek for mine.
The moon, like a flower,
In heaven’s high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.

Farewell, green fields and happy groves,
Where flocks have took delight.
Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves
The feet of angels bright;
Unseen they pour blessing,
And joy without ceasing,
On each bud and blossom,
And each sleeping bosom.

They look in every thoughtless nest,
Where birds are covered warm;
They visit caves of every beast,
To keep them all from harm.
If they see any weeping
That should have been sleeping,
They pour sleep on their head,
And sit down by their bed.

When wolves and tigers howl for prey,
They pitying stand and weep;
Seeking to drive their thirst away,
And keep them from the sheep.
But if they rush dreadful,
The angels, most heedful,
Receive each mild spirit,
New worlds to inherit.

And there the lion’s ruddy eyes
Shall flow with tears of gold,
And pitying the tender cries,
And walking round the fold,
Saying, “Wrath, by His meekness,
And, by His health, sickness
Is driven away
From our immortal day.

“And now beside thee, bleating lamb,
I can lie down and sleep;
Or think on Him who bore thy name,
Graze after thee and weep.
For, washed in life’s river,
My bright mane for ever
Shall shine like the gold
As I guard o’er the fold.”

soe_wb•→ W. Blake’s Laughing Song 

 by Irene Zolotukhin – (Ha, ha he!)

“…Come live, and be merry, and join with me,
To sing the sweet chorus of ‘Ha, ha, he!’
•→ William Blake’s Illustrated Bible
⇓   Illustrations to Dante’s “Divine Comedy”

◊  Illustrations to Thomas Gray’s Poems  ⇓

•→ The Visual Art of William Blake ⇐  /   •→ BBC Omnibus_Singing for England[doc]

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