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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

F for From My Armchair.

From My Arm-Chair.  by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

'To the children of Cambridge. who presented to me, on my Seventy Second Birthday, February 27th 1879, this chair from the wood of the village Chestnut Tree'.

 The tree was cut down due to safety concerns. The children of Cambridge Massachusetts US. raised money to have a chair constructed from it's wood and presented it to Longfellow on his birthday.


From My Arm-Chair.

Am I as a king, that I should call my own this splendid ebon throne?  

Or by what reason, or what right divine,

can I proclaim it mine                           

Only perhaps, by right divine of song

  It may to me belong ,

Only because the spreading chestnut tree

Of old was sung by me.

Well I remember it in all its prime, when in summertime

The affluent foliage of its branches made

A cavern of cool shade.

There by the blacksmith's forge beside

the street

It's blossoms white and sweet

Enticed the bees, until it seemed alive,

And murmured like a hive.

 And when the winds of Autumn, with a shout

 Tossed its great arms about.

 The shining chestnuts, bursting from the sheath.


 Dropped to the ground beneath.


And now some  fragments of its branches bare, Shaped as a stately chair,

 Have by my hearthstone found a home at last.

 And whisper of the past.


The Danish King could not in all his pride

 Repel the ocean tide,

 But seated in this chair, I can in rhyme

 Roll back the tides of Time.


 I see again in one vision sees,

 The blossom and  the bees,

 And hear the children's voices shout and call,

 And the brown chestnuts fall.


I see the smithy with its fires aglow,

 I hear the bellows blow.

 And the shrill hammers on the anvil beat The iron white with heat!

 And thus dear children have ye made for me

 This day a jubilee,

 And to my more than three score years and ten

 Brought back my youth again.

 The hearth has its early memory like the mind,

 And in it are enshrined The precious keepsakes, into which are wrought

 The giver's loving thought.

 Only your love and your remembrance could

 Give life to this dead wood, And make these branches, leafless now so long, Blossom again in song. 

My sincere thanks to the Fabulous Denise for devising ABCW and also to the Fair-minded Roger for his never Failing efforts in the administration of ABCW.
 Thanks also go out to the team of helpers too! 
Best wishes to all Di. x  




Monday, 10 August 2015

E For Edward Lear,

Edward Lear (1812-1888) was a poet and an illustrator.  He was talented in many fields, including music and in particular, famed for his wonderful nonsense poetry and limericks .


At the age of 16,  Edward Lear was employed by The Zoological Society as an ornithological draughtsman. Then, from 1832-1836 he was employed by The Earl of Derby who had a menagerie, at his stately home and estate, known as Knowsley Hall, in Liverpool UK. (My home town.)

Edward Lear's first publication in 1830 was 'Illustrations of The Family of  Parrots'. The paintings were well received and compared favourably with the works of John James Audubon.

Edward Lear's early paintings of the parrots for his illustrated book. 

I cannot write about Edward Lear without sharing a couple of his amusing limericks, of course I'm tempted into 'going into one' again (a description by my daughters of moi when I get a little over enthusiastic).... you may recall I covered 'The Owl and the Pussy Cat on an earlier ABCW and as I've been EULOGIZING for quite long ENOUGH, I'll just throw in a couple of limericks from the fabled Edward Lear

There was an old man of the South,

 Who had an immoderate mouth

 But in swallowing a dish that was quite full of fish,

 He was choked, that old man of the South.

There was an old man of the North,

Who fell in a basin of broth,

But a laudable cook,

Fished him out with a hook,

Which saved the Old Man of The North.

That's ENOUGH for now..... I'm  EXHAUSTED....

My thanks to the  ENDEARINGLY lovely Denise, for devising ABCW and also  Roger, the EPITOME of EXCELLENCE in his quest to keep us all in order!
Oh! and not forgetting the team of helpers assisting them..Di xx


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

D stands for Diana

Diana (My namesake.)

In Roman mythology Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and childbirth, being associated with wild animals and woodland and having the power to talk to and control animals.

Diana was known to be the virgin goddess of childbirth and women, she was one of  the three  maiden goddesses, Diana , Minerva, and  Vesta  who swore to never marry. 

Diana reposing.

Worship of  Diana is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles Ephesian.

Metal Smiths who felt threatened by St Paul's preaching of Christianity,  jealously noted in her defence, shouting, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians !(Acts 19:28 The New English Bible.) The city secretary hushed the crowd, saying "Men of Ephesus, what person is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the Keeper (Guardian of the Temple) of the great Diana and of her image that fell from heaven?" (Acts 19:36.) 

In Ephesus where she was worshipped as Diana of Ephesus. The Temple of Artemision used to be one of the World's seven wonders.


The Temple of Artemis / Diana.


I wrote about Ephesus on the previous round of ABCW , this is the wonderful place we visited on many of our trips to Turkey, somehow I find myself there again ! Then I wrote about the temple, first named The Temple of Artemis, then, the Romans arrived and renamed it The Temple of Diana. There is a lot written about Ephesus in the Acts of the Apostles which I believe tells it all and particularly through Christ's disciples St Peter and St Paul.

 A fortune teller once told me  I was a descendant from an eastern goddess, I was amazed because I hadn't told her my name! Stranger still my youngest daughter was also told that she too descended from an eastern goddess.....maybe they all have the same script !

My thanks to Dear Denise for Devising ABCW and the dashing Roger for all that he does, also not forgetting the dependable team of helpers.
Best wishes Di, ABCW team. 

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