Search This Blog

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

K stands for


 King Witlaf's  Drinking Horn.

( By Henry W Longfellow),

Witlaf a King of the Saxons,

 Ere yet his last  he breathed

 To the merry monks of Croyland

 His drinking horn bequeathed--,


 That whoever they sat at their revels,

 And drank from the golden bowl,

 

 They might remember the donor

 And breath a prayer for his soul.

 

 So sat they once at Christmas

 And bade the goblet pass;

 In their beards the red wine glistened

 Like dewdrops in the grass.

 

 They drank to the soul of Witlac,

They drank to Christ the Lord,

 And to each of the Twelve Apostles,

 Who had preached his holy word.

 

 They drank to Saints and Martyrs,

 of the dismal days of yore,

 And as soon as the horn was empty,

They remembered one Saint more.

 

 And the reader droned from the pulpit,

 Like the murmur of many bees,

 The legend of good Saint Guthlac,

 And Saint Basil's homilies.

 

 Till the great bells of the convent,

 from their prison in the tower,

 Guthlac and Bartholomaeus,

  Proclaimed the midnight hour.

 

And theYule -log cracked in the chimney, 

 And the Abbot bowed his head,

 And the flamelets flapped and flickered,

 But the Abbot was stark and dead.

 

 Yet still in his pallid fingers,

 He clutched the golden bowl,

 In which, like a pearl dissolving,

 Had sunk and dissolved his soul.

 

 But not for this their revels

 The jovial monks forbore,

 For they cried "Fill high the goblet!

 We must drink to one Saint more".

 

My thanks to Denise for devising and Keeping ABCW going for many years and to Roger for his infinite knowledge in kindly helping us all to share our thoughts. and not forgetting the team of helpers too! 

 

36 comments:

  1. An impressive entry... i had to read it twice and look up some words before i could understand it ...
    One of the nice things in this meme, comming across things one does not know anything about ;-)

    Have a nice abc-week / day

    ♫ Mel☺dy ♫ (abc-w-team)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Melody,
    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to analyse
    the poem. I'm afraid I can't speak Dutch so cannot be
    of any help in the translation.
    It is a great way to learn participating in ABCW,
    I love it!

    Di.
    ABCW team.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such fun! Always enjoy your "historical" poetry!

    Leslie
    abcw team

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Leslie,
    I love Longfellow and it is usually easy to
    add some suitable pictures to lighten the frame!
    However, in this case I struggled...
    So rather than being 'Historical', it was more likely 'Hysterical'!

    Best wishes,
    Di.
    ABCW team.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm feeling a bit soused. Just sayin'.

    ROG, ABCW

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Rajesh,,Thanks xx7

    Di.
    ABCW team,

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Roger,
    I love soused herrings, we always had them for Saturday lunch
    when I lived at home, I can remember the delicious smell of the herbs and spices and vinegar when my mama cooked them the night before.
    But then being 'soused' also means being 'pickled' e.g.... having too much alcohol and I didn't have you down as an imbiber?

    Best wishes,
    ABCW team.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This poem is new for me, but I found a German translation
    http://gedichte.xbib.de/Longfellow_gedicht_K%F6nig+Witlafs+Trinkhorn.htm
    It's always good to learn new things :-)
    Greetings from Germany

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for a fun. post! You write every post with so much love and care, that is a pleasure to read it.
    Have a great week, Di!
    Wil, ABCW Team

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've never read this poem before, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Word picture of a jolly evening....here's to the Saints!

    ReplyDelete
  13. That's my KIND of party. Happy ABC Wednesday, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  14. When I think of soused my idea is so different! I do love the jolly poem. Fun entry.
    Ann

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fun post Trubes! I was just thinking if I drank to all those you'd find me under the table for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I liked how you matched up all those pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Mascha: Glad you were able to get a German translation.
    Thanks for stopping by.

    best wishes,
    Di.
    ABCW team.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Reader Wil:
    Thank you so much for your kind comments, most encouraging.
    At present I'm rather enamoured with Longfellow's wonderful
    writing, I feel so in tune with him,

    Best wishes,
    Di.
    ABCW team.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Gigi Ann,
    thanks for your kind comments,

    Best wishes,

    Di.
    ABCW team

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hello Hildred,
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
    Yes it seems a jolly good time was had by all!
    I wouldn't want their heads the next day though!

    Best wishes,
    Di.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello Arnoldo,
    Your kind of party,? not mine I'm afraid, I couldn't
    cope with all that alchohol, it would wipe me out now!
    Happy week end to you my friend,

    best wishes,
    Di.
    ABCW team

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ann;
    So glad you love the poem,
    It always makes me smile
    , thanks for your kind words of encouragement.
    best wishes,
    Di,
    ABCW team.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ellen B,
    Thanks for your kind comments,
    I'm sure I'd be joining you under the table if I took
    part in toasting all those Saints!

    Best wishes,
    Di,
    ABCW team,

    ReplyDelete
  24. Photo Cache;

    Thank you for your kind words,
    I'm pleased you liked my post.

    best wishes,
    Di.
    ABCW team.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Beataboutthebook,
    Thanks for dropping by,
    Matching the pictures was no mean task,
    but I got there eventually,

    Best wishes,
    Di.
    ABCW team.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wonderful. fun choice for K. Great poem and photos.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Nice interpretation for K !

    Gattina
    ABC Team

    http://gattina-keyholepictures.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've never heard this one before, I always like the rhythm of his poetry. Sounds like a great party, good for both the heart and souls.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Beverley Baird:
    Hi Beverley,
    Thanks for dropping by and your kind comments.
    Glad you liked the poem and pics.

    best wishes,
    Di.
    ABCW team.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hello Gattina,
    Thanks for your comments,
    glad you liked my choice for K,

    Best wishes,

    Di,
    ABCW team

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hello Joy,
    Thanks for stopping by.
    I am surprised you haven't heard of Good King Witlaf's
    Horn before, It was a popular poem when I was at school.
    My English tutor was a great fan of Longfellow and never
    missed an opportunity to have us all, reading and dissecting
    his works.
    She was a brilliant teacher, and died prematurely
    from cancer aged 41, so sad, I've never forgotten her.
    Best wishes,
    Di.
    ABCW team.

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is great! Never heard the legend, and how cool is that? Loved the images you chose for this as well. Amy

    ReplyDelete
  33. The poem reminded me of Animal House with Jim Belushi. Fortunately, no one over drank themselves in the movie.

    ReplyDelete

I always try to reply to each comment on an individual basis so please pop back, when you have time, as there may be more to learn from either side, i.e. myself and commenter Thank you, Di x

Shaky and Silver Linings.