Some delightful stuff today…
Great Pics from Australia (Thanks Kath!) Strange Links, A Folktale from Brittany, a bit of Portuguese Poetry, and the wonderful art of Kay Nielsen…
Made it to the coast and back, on my own as Morgan had other things to do. The quickest visit I have ever had to the beach. Down to Pacific City, hit the Brewery for some barrels and back. The Coast is looking a little ragged, as well as the pass over the coastal range. A terrific number of trees are down as well as many land slides. They have been catching the brunt of it all weather-wise this year. Still, such beauty. If I could, I would live on the coast, hands down.
Have To Hop, more on the way!
On The Menu
Pics From The Rainbow Serpent Festival
Folktales of Brittany: The Magic Rose
The Poetry of Luis Vaz de Camoes
Art: Kay Nielsen
Received an email from Kath in Australia… She and many friends (including Graham the man) had attended the Rainbow Serpent Festtival for the last week in Victoria….
Pics o’ Interest:
Kath and Rak Razam giving a talk at the Rainbow Serpent Festival…
Web Grrl’s collection of Photos from the festival (some 9000 gathered!)
Google search history and privacy
And So It Rages On: Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts?
Pollen Reveals Terracotta Army Origins
Folktales of Brittany: The Magic Rose
An aged Breton couple had two sons, the elder of whom went to Paris to seek his fortune, while the younger one was timid by nature and would not leave the paternal roof. His mother, w, ho felt the burden of her age, wished the stay-at-home to marry. At first he would not hear of the idea, but at last, persuaded by her, he took a wife. He had only been married a few weeks, however, when his young bride sickened and died. La Rose, for such was his name, was inconsolable. Every evening he went to the cemetery where his wife was buried, and wept over her tomb.
One night he was about to enter the graveyard on his sad errand when he beheld a terrible phantom standing before him, which asked him in awful tones what he did there. “I am going to pray at the tomb of my wife,” replied the terrified La Rose.
“Do you wish that she were alive again?” asked the spirit.
“Ah, yes!” cried the sorrowing husband. “There is nothing that I would not do in order that she might be restored to me.”
“Hearken, then,” said the phantom. “Return to this place to-morrow night at the same hour. Provide yourself with a pick and you will see what comes to pass.”
On the following night the young widower was punctually at the rendezvous. The phantom presented itself before him and said:
“Go to the tomb of your wife and strike it with your pick; the earth will turn aside and you will behold her lying in her shroud. Take this little silver box, which contains a rose; open it and pass it before her nostrils three times, when she will awake as if from a deep sleep.”
La Rose hastened to the tomb of his wife, and everything happened as the phantom had predicted. He placed the box containing the rose to his wife’s nostrils and she awoke with a sigh, saying: “Ah, I have been asleep for a long time.” Her husband provided her with clothes which he had brought with him, and they returned to their house, much to the joy of his parents.
Some time afterward La Rose’s father died at a great age, and the grief-stricken mother was not long in following him to the grave. La Rose wrote to his brother in Paris to return to Brittany in order to receive his portion of the paternal inheritance, but he was unable to leave the capital, so La Rose had perforce to journey to Paris. He promised his wife before leaving that he would write to her every day, but on his arrival in the city he found his brother very ill, and in the anxiety of nursing him back to health he quite forgot to send his wife news of how he fared. The weeks passed and La Rose’s wife, without word of, her husband, began to dread that something untoward had happened to him. Day by day she sat at her, window weeping and watching for the courier who brought letters from Paris. A regiment of dragoons chanced to be billeted in the town, and the captain, who lodged at the inn directly opposite La Rose’s house, was greatly attracted by the young wife. He inquired of the landlady who was the beautiful dame who sat constantly weeping at her window, and learned, the details of her history. He wrote a letter to her purporting to come from La Rose’s brother in Paris, telling her that her husband had died in the capital, and some time after paid his addresses to the supposed widow, who accepted him. They were married, and. when the regiment left the town the newly wedded pair accompanied it. Meanwhile La Rose’s brother recovered from his illness, and the eager husband hastened back to Brittany. But when he arrived at his home he was surprised to find the doors closed, and was speedily informed of what had occurred during his absence. For a while he was too grief-stricken to act, but, recovering himself somewhat, he resolved to enlist in the regiment of dragoons in which the false captain held his commission. The beauty of his handwriting procured him the post of secretary to one of the lieutenants, but although he frequently attempted to gain sight of his wife he never succeeded in doing so. One day the captain entered the lieutenant’s office, observed the writing of La Rose, and asked his brother officer if he would kindly lend him his secretary for a few days to assist him with some correspondence. While helping the captain La Rose beheld his wife, who did not, however, recognize him. Greatly pleased with his work, the captain invited him to dinner. During the repast a servant, who had stolen a silver dish, fearing that it was about to be missed, slid it into La Rose’s pocket, and when it could not be found, accused the secretary of the theft. La Rose was brought before a court-martial, which condemned him to be shot.
While in prison awaiting his execution La Rose struck up an acquaintance with an old veteran named Père La Chique, who brought him his meals and seemed kindly disposed to him.
“Père La Chique,” said La Rose one day, “I have two thousand francs; if you will do as I ask you they shall be yours.”
The veteran promised instantly, and La Rose requested that after he was shot La Chique should go to the cemetery where he was buried and resuscitate him with the magic rose, which he had carefully preserved. On the appointed day La Rose was duly executed, but Père La Chique, with his pockets full of money, went from inn to inn, drinking and making merry. Whenever the thought of La Rose crossed his mind, he muttered to himself in bibulous accents: “Poor fellow, poor fellow, he is better dead. This is a weary world; why should I bring him back to it?”
When Père La Chique had caroused with his comrades for some days the two thousand francs had almost disappeared. Then remorse assailed him and he made up his mind to do as La Rose had wished. Taking a pick and an axe he went to the graveyard, but when he struck the grave with his tools and the earth rolled back, disclosing the body of La Rose, the old fellow was so terrified that he ran helter-skelter from the spot A draught of good wine brought back his failing courage, however, and he returned and passed the rose three times under the nostrils of his late acquaintance. Instantly La Rose sat up.
“By my faith, I’ve had a good sleep!” he said, rubbing his eyes. “Where are my clothes?”
Père La Chique handed him his garments, and after he had donned them they quitted the graveyard with all haste.
La Rose now found it necessary to cast about for a living. One day he heard the sound of a drum in the street, and, following it, found that it was beaten by a crier who promised in the King’s name a large reward to those who would enlist as sentinels to guard a chapel where the King’s daughter, who had been changed into a monster, was imprisoned. La Rose accepted the offer, and then learned to his dismay that the sentinel who guarded the place between the hours of eleven and midnight was never seen again. On the very first night that he took up his duties this perilous watch fell to his lot. He felt his courage deserting him, and he was about to fly when he heard a voice say: “La Rose, where are you?”
La Rose trembled. “What do you wish with me?” he asked.
“Hearken to me, and no evil will befall you,” replied the voice. “Soon a great and grisly beast will appear. Leave your musket by the side of the sentrybox, climb on the top, and the beast will not touch you.
As eleven o’clock struck La Rose heard a noise and hastened to climb on the top of the sentry-box. Soon a hideous monster came out of the chapel, breathing flames and crying: “Sentinel of my father, where art thou, that I may devour thee?” As it uttered these words, it fell against the musket, which it seized between its teeth. Then the creature disappeared into the chapel and La Rose descended from his perch. He found the musket broken into a thousand pieces.
The old King was delighted to learn that his sentinel had not been devoured, for in order that his daughter should be delivered from her enchantment as a beast it was necessary that the same sentinel should mount guard for three consecutive nights between the hours of eleven and midnight.
On the following night La Rose was pacing up and down on guard, when the same voice addressed him, telling him on this occasion to place his musket before the door of the chapel. The beast issued as before, seized the musket, broke it into small Pieces, and returned to the chapel. On the third night the voice advised him to throw open the door of the chapel, and when the beast came out to run into the building himself, where he would see a leaden shrine, behind which he could take refuge, and where he would find a small bottle, with the contents of which he was to sprinkle the beast’s head. With its usual dreadful roar the monster issued from the chapel. La Rose leapt past it and ran for the leaden shrine. It followed him with hideous howls, and he only reached the protective sanctuary in time. Seizing the little bottle which lay there, he fearlessly confronted the beast and sprinkled its contents over its head. Instantly it changed into a beautiful princess, whom La Rose escorted to her delighted parents. La Rose and the princess were betrothed and duly married, and shortly afterward the King gave up his throne to his son-in-law.
One day the new King was inspecting the regiment of dragoons to which he had once belonged.
“Colonel,” he said, “I miss a man from your regiment.”
“It is true, sire,” replied the Colonel. “It is an old fellow called Père La Chique, whom we have left at the barracks playing his violin, the old good-for-nothing!”
“I wish to see him,” said the King.
Père La Chique was brought forward trembling, and the King, tearing the epaulettes from the shoulders of the captain who had stolen his wife, placed them on those of Père La Chique. He then gave orders for a great fire to be lit, in which were burned the wicked captain and the wife who had so soon forgotten her husband.
La Rose and his Queen lived happily ever afterward–which is rather odd, is it not, when one thinks of the treatment meted out to his resuscitated spouse? But if the lights in folk-tale are bright, the shadows are correspondingly heavy, and rarely does justice go hand in hand with mercy in legend!
The Poetry of Luis Vaz de Camoes (1524-1580)
Sonnet: That Sad And Joyful Dawn
That sad and joyful dawn,
light full of pity and grief,
while the world wakes in loneliness
I’ll praise it and remember it.
The mild light was breaking, shadows
ran from the sun. Light was the eye of the world –
it saw the parting of two souls,
two wills I thought were indivisible.
And light witnessed the tears
that fell from their eyes, ran together. and formed
a river as long and broad as the Amazon –
and heard the bitter, heartsick words
that made the fires of Hell burn cold
and soothed the lost spirits under the world.
Dear Gentle Soul
Dear gentle soul, who went so soon away
Departing from this life in discontent,
Repose in that far sky to which you went
While on this earth I linger in dismay.
In the ethereal seat where you must be,
If you consent to memories of our sphere,
Recall the love which, burning pure and clear;
So often in my eyes you used to see!
If then, in the incurable, long anguish
Of having lost you, as I pine and languish,
You see some merit-do this favour for me:
And to the God who cut your life short, pray
That he as early to your sight restore me
As from my own he swept you far away.
On a Shipmate, Pero Moniz, Dying At Sea
My years on earth were short, but long for me,
And full of bitter hardship at the best:
My light of day sinks early in the sea:
Five lustres from my birth I took my rest.
Through distant lands and seas I was a ranger
Seeking some cure or remedy for life,
Which he whom Fortune loves not as a wife,
Will seek in vain through strife, and toil, and danger
Portugal reared me in my green, my darling
Alanguer but the dank, corrupted air
That festers in the marshes around there
Has made me food for fish here in the snarling,
Fierce seas that dark the Abyssinian shore,
Far from the happy homeland I adore.
Sonnet: My Errors My Loves My Unlucky Star
My errors my loves my unlucky star
these three things have been my curse.
My luck and my errors were bad enough
but love was the worst.
I have survived. But the pain
has bitten so deep in the bone
the rage and grief will not let go –
too hurt to want contentment now.
The blunders scattered through my life
are like a broken rosary.
I gave myself to fortune; fortune broke me.
Of love there is hardly a ghost left.
O who what angel of power can assuage
my terrible demon of revenge!