…to Philadelphia. Really! Part 1 of 4.
For today, a painting and a poem. Happy Valentines Day, everyone.
Good-night? ah! no; the hour is ill
Which severs those it should unite;
Let us remain together still,
Then it will be good night.
How can I call the lone night good,
Though thy sweet wishes wing its flight?
Be it not said, thought, understood—
Then it will be—good night.
To hearts which near each other move
From evening close to morning light,
The night is good; because, my love,
They never say good-night.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley
On this Valentine’s Day, a poem by Christina Rossetti, and a painting.
For another beautiful Valentine poem, and a different painting, please see The Song of Wandering Aengus.
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a daïs of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
—Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Today, on the birthday of Robert Burns (1759-1796), I post the words of his beautiful and heart-tugging verse, as well as this painting (created long ago for the cover of a CD by musicians Linn Barnes and Allison Hampton), because a romantic rugged landscape with a castle and a red, red rose—albeit a Lancaster Rose—says “Robert Burns” to me.
If you have your hankie ready, you can listen to it sung by Scottish singer Andy Stewart.
O, my luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O, my luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun!
O I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.
In honor of his birthday today, a poem by Thomas Moore (1779-1852), and a painting.Though the last glimpse of Erin with sorrow I see, Yet wherever thou art shall seem Erin to me; In exile thy bosom shall still be my home, And thine eyes make my climate wherever we roam.
To the gloom of some desert or cold rocky shore, Where the eye of the stranger can haunt us no more, I will fly with my Coulin, and think the rough wind Less rude than the foes we leave frowning behind.
And I’ll gaze on thy gold hair as graceful it wreathes, And hang o’er thy soft harp, as wildly it breathes; Nor dread that the cold-hearted Saxon will tear One chord from that harp, or one lock from that hair.
—Thomas Moore aa aa Kristen
My dear husband, celebrating Passover a couple of years ago with friends. I chose this picture from my sketchbook because we are once again entering the season. And also because I think he looks really good in a yarmulke. (I hope that’s not sacrilegious.) He was diagnosed with a heart condition since then and yesterday suffered an episode that sent us to the ER for most of the day. He’s in the hospital now, under observation on a new medication. Please send your kind healing thoughts his way.
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
From my series of doorway/window paintings. More on those later, I hope.
Really, this poem properly belongs to Valentines Day…
Wild nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Futile the winds
To a heart in port,
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.
Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!
How often does Chinese New Year fall on Valentines Day? So I had to celebrate both.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2010 is the Year of the Tiger (as were 1998, 1986, 1974, and so on backward every twelve years). If you were born in the Year of the Tiger, you are lively, engaging, sociable, and affectionate. Friends are always welcome in your home. You are impulsive, which can express itself in outbursts of generosity or hot temper. You are stubborn, a bit vain, and sensitive to criticism. Know anyone like this? Maybe you can guess which of your friends are Tigers without even knowing their birth years.
Tigers are supposed to be compatible with Dogs and Horses, and incompatible with Goats and Oxen. A Tiger/Tiger match is not recommended because both like to be in charge. Uh-oh. Well, Happy Chinese New Year, all you Valentines!