Monday, 25 September 2017

I Vow To Thee My Country (Urbs Dei or the Two Father Lands)


I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
Across the waste of waters, she calls and calls to me.
Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
And around her feet are lying the dying and the dead;
I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns;
I haste to thee, my mother, a son among thy sons.


I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.


And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And Her ways are ways of gentleness, and all Her paths are peace.


Original poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice. The final two stanzas being set to music by Gustav Holst (Thaxted/Jupiter from the Planet Suite).



The final line of the second verse is from Proverbs 3:17 (KJV), “Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all Her paths are peace,” in the context of which the feminine pronoun will refer to Wisdom.


The Sally and Jack unofficial duet from the film ‘A Nightmare before Christmas’


Sally’s Song

I sense there's something in the wind,
That feels like tragedy's at hand,
And though I'd like to stand by him.
Can't shake this feeling that I have,
The worst is just around the bend.

And does he notice my feelings for him?
And will he see how much he means to me?
I think it's not to be.

What will become of my dear friend?
Where will his actions lead us then?
Although I'd like to join the crowd,
In their enthusiastic cloud,
Try as I may, it doesn't last.

And will we ever end up together?
No, I think not, it's never to become,
For I am not the one.


Jack and Sally’s song
(My dearest friend/ we’re simply meant to be)

My dearest friend, if you don't mind,
I'd like to join you by your side.
Where we can gaze into the stars,
And sit together,
Now and forever,
For it is plain as anyone can see,
We’re simply meant to be.


Words and music by Danny Elfman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExMPXWPPJ_U

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat by Lewis Carroll from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)


Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat,
How I wonder what you're at:
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea tray in the sky.
Up above the world you fly,
Like at tea tray in the sky.


Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat,
How I wonder what you're at:
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea tray in the sky.


An Anonymous Poem Commemorating the Catholic Martyrs of Derby


When Garlick did the ladder kiss,
And Sympson after hie,
Methought that there St. Andrew was
Desirous for to die.


When Ludlam look├Ęd smilingly,
And joyful did remain,
It seemed St. Stephen was standing by,
For to be stoned again.


And what if Sympson seemed to yield,
For doubt and dread to die;
He rose again, and won the field
And died most constantly.


His watching, fasting, shirt of hair;
His speech, his death, and all,
Do record give, do witness bear,
He wailed his former fall.


Written soon after the execution of Nicholas Garlick, Richard Simpson and Robert Ludlam, taking place on the 24th of July 1588 at Saint Mary's Bridge Derby England.



Sunday, 24 September 2017

To Autumn by John Keats (1819)


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.


Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.


Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.