Lament For Bion

Monday… Cool weather (so far) here today. Working on Poetry Post/Boxes, and the magazine. A restless night, persistent visions that vanished with morning light. I have to get that dreaming hat on again.

We had a great evening last night, Rowan & Jessa were here for dinner and a movie. Lots of fun.

I have a couple of more postings coming up in the next two days, I have a backlog of them it seems.

Quiet on the web, many of my friends off to Burning Man. I hope they have fun!
This entry is built around Lament for Bion, by Moschus. Quite the poem. I hope you enjoy this entry!

Have a great week,

On The Menu:
GAUDI – Oud we think we are?
The Seven Ravens
Poetry: Lament for Bion
William Russell Flint Biography
Gaudi – Ayahuasca Deep Fall
Art: William Russell Flint

GAUDI – Oud we think we are?


From Household Tales – The Brothers Grimm

The Seven Ravens

There was once a man who had seven sons, and still he had no daughter, however, much he wished for one. At length his wife again gave him hope of a child, and when it came into the world it was a girl. The joy was great, but the child was sickly and small, and had to be privately baptized on account of its weakness. The father sent one of the boys in haste to the spring to fetch water for the baptism. The other six went with him, and as each of them wanted to be first to fill it, the jug fell into the well. There they stood and did not know what to do, and none of them dared to go home. As they still did not return, the father grew impatient, and said, “They have certainly forgotten it for some game, the wicked boys!” He became afraid that the girl would have to die without being baptized, and in his anger cried, “I wish the boys were all turned into ravens.” Hardly was the word spoken before he heard a whirring of wings over his head in the air, looked up and saw seven coal-black ravens flying away. The parents could not recall the curse, and however sad they were at the loss of their seven sons, they still to some extent comforted themselves with their dear little daughter, who soon grew strong and every day became more beautiful. For a long time she did not know that she had had brothers, for her parents were careful not to mention them before her, but one day she accidentally heard some people saying of herself, “that the girl was certainly beautiful, but that in reality she was to blame for the misfortune which had befallen her seven brothers.” Then she was much troubled, and went to her father and mother and asked if it was true that she had had brothers, and what had become of them? The parents now dared to keep the secret no
longer, but said that what had befallen her brothers was the will of Heaven, and that her birth had only been the innocent cause. But the maiden laid it to heart daily, and thought she must deliver her brothers. She had no rest or peace until she set out secretly, and went forth into the wide world to trace out her brothers and set them free, let it cost what it might. She took nothing with her but a little ring belonging to her parents as a keepsake, a loaf of bread against hunger, a little pitcher of water against thirst, and a little chair as a provision against weariness.

And now she went continually onwards, far, far, to the very end of the world. Then she came to the sun, but it was too hot and terrible, and devoured little children. Hastily she ran away, and ran to the moon, but it was far too cold, and also awful and malicious, and when it saw the child, it said, “I smell, I smell the flesh of men.” On this she ran swiftly away, and came to the stars, which were kind and good to her and each of them sat on its own particular little chair. But the morning star arose, and gave her the drumstick of a chicken, and said, “If thou hast not that drumstick thou canstnot open the Glass mountain, and in the Glass mountain are thy brothers.”

The maiden took the drumstick, wrapped it carefully in a cloth, and went onwards again until she came to the Glass mountain. The door was shut, and she thought she would take out the drumstick; but when she undid the cloth, it was empty, and she had lost the good star’s present. What was she now to do? She wished to rescue her brothers, and had no key to the Glass mountain. The good sister took a knife, cut off one of her little fingers, put it in the door, and succeeded in opening it. When she had gone inside, a little dwarf came to meet her, who said, “My child, what are you looking for?” “I am looking for my brothers, the seven ravens,” she replied. The dwarf said, “The lord ravens are not at home, but if you will wait here until they come, step in.” Thereupon the little dwarf carried the ravens’ dinner in, on seven little plates, and in seven little glasses, and the little sister ate a morsel from each plate, and from each little glass she took a sip, but in the last little glass she dropped the ring which she had brought away with her.

Suddenly she heard a whirring of wings and a rushing through the air, and then the little dwarf said, “Now the lord ravens are flying home.” Then they came, and wanted to eat and drink, and looked for their little plates and glasses. Then said one after the other, “Who has eaten something from my plate? Who has drunk out of my little glass? It was a human mouth.” And when the seventh came to the bottom of the glass, the ring rolled against his mouth. Then he looked at it, and saw that it was a ring belonging to his father and mother, and said, “God grant that our sister may be here, and then we shall be free.” When the maiden, who was standing behind the door watching, heard that wish, she came forth, and on this all the ravens were restored to their human form again. And they embraced and kissed each other, and went joyfully home.

Poetry: Lament for Bion
by: Moschus (fl. 150 B.C.)
translated by George Chapman

Ye mountain valleys, pitifully groan!
Rivers and Dorian springs, for Bion weep!
Ye plants drop tears; ye groves, lamenting moan!
Exhale your life, wan flowers; your blushes deep
In grief, anemones and roses, steep;
In whimpering murmurs, Hyacinth! prolong
The sad, sad woe thy lettered petals keep;
Our minstrel sings no more his friends among–
Sicilian Muses! now begin the doleful song.

Ye nightingales! that mid thick leaves set loose
The gushing gurgle of your sorrow, tell
The fountains of Sicilian Arethuse
That Bion is no more–with Bion fell
The song–the music of the Dorian shell.
Ye swans of Strymon! now your banks along
Your plaintive throats with melting dirges swell
For him, who sang like you the mournful song;
Discourse of Bion’s death the Thracian nymphs among–

The Dorian Orpheus, tell them all, is dead.
His herds the song and darling herdsman miss,
And oaks, beneath whose shade he propt his head;
Oblivion’s ditty now he sings for Dis;
The melancholy mountain silent is;
His pining cows no longer wish to feed,
But moan for him; Apollo wept, I wis,
For thee, sweet Bion! and in mourning weed
The brotherhood of Fauns, and all the Satyr breed.

Sicilian Muses! lead the doleful chant;
Not so much near the shore the dolphin moans;
Nor so much wails within her rocky haunt
The nightingale; nor on their mountain thrones
The swallows utter such lugubrious tones;
Nor Cëyx such for faithful Halcyon,
Whose song the blue wave, where he perished, owns
Nor in the valley, neighbor to the sun,
The funeral birds so wail their Memnon’s tomb upon–

As these moan, wail, and weep for Bion dead,
The nightingales and swallows, whom he taught,
For him their elegiac sadness shed;
And all the birds contagious sorrow caught;
The sylvan realm was all with grief distraught.
Who, bold of heart, will play on Bion’s reed,
Fresh from his lip, yet with his breathing fraught?
For still among the reeds does Echo feed
On Bion’s minstrelsy, Pan only may succeed

To Bion’s pipe; to him I make the gift;
But, lest he second seem, e’en Pan may fear
The pipe of Bion to his mouth to lift.
For thee sweet Galatea drops the tear,
And thy dear song regrets, which sitting near
She fondly listed; ever did she flee
The Cyclops and his songs–but ah! more dear
Thy song and sight than her own native sea;
On the deserted sands the nymph without her fee

Me with thy minstrel still as proper heir–
Others thou didst endow with thine estate.
Alas! alas! when in a garden fair
Mallows, crisp dill, and parsley yield to fate,
These with another year regerminate;
But when of mortal life the bloom and crown,
The wise, the good, the valiant, and the great
Succumb to death, in hollow earth shut down,
We sleep, for ever sleep–for ever lie unknown.

Pan, Echo, and the Satyr
by: Moschus (fl. 150 B.C.)
translated by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Pan loved his neighbour Echo–but that child
Of Earth and Air pined for the Satyr leaping;
The Satyr loved with wasting madness wild
The bright nymph Lyda–and so three went weeping.
As Pan loved Echo, Echo loved the Satyr,
The Satyr Lyda–and so love consumed them.–
And thus to each–which was a woeful matter–
To bear what they inflicted Justice doomed them;
For in as much as each might hate the lover,
Each loving, so was hated.–Ye that love not
Be warned–in thought turn this example over,
That when ye love–the like return ye prove not.

by: Moschus (fl. 150 B.C.)
translated by M. J. Chapman

Cypris, when all but shone the dawn’s glad beam,
To fair Europa sent a pleasant dream;
When sleep, upon the close-shut eyelids sitting,
Sweeter than honey, is eye-fetters knitting,
The limb-dissolving sleep! When to and fro
True dreams, like sheep at pasture, come and go.
Europa, sleeping in her upper room,
The child of Phoenix, in her virgin bloom,
Thought that she saw a contest fierce arise
Betwix two continents, herself the prize;
They to the dreamer seemed like women quite,
Asia, and Asia’s unknown opposite.
This was a stranger, that a native seemed,
And closer hugged her–so Europa dreamed;
And called herself Europa’s nurse and mother,
Said that she bore and reared her; but that other
Spared not her hands, and still the sleeper drew,
With her good will, and claimed her as her due,
And said that Zeus Ægiochus gave her,
By Fate’s appointment, that sweet prisoner.

Up-started from her couch the maiden waking,
And felt her heart within her bosom quaking;
She thought it true, and sat in hushed surprise–
Still saw those women with her open eyes;
Then to her timid voice at last gave vent;–
‘Which of the gods to me this vision sent?
What kind of dream is this that startled me,
And sudden made my pleasant slumber flee?
Who was the stranger that I saw in sleep?
What love for her did to my bosom creep!
And how she hailed me, as her daughter even!
But only turn to good my vision, Heaven!’

So said, and bounded up, and sought her train
Of dear companions, all of noble strain,
Of equal years and stature; gentle, kind,
Sweet to the sight, and pleasant to the mind;
With whom she sported, when she led the choir,
Or in the river’s urn-like reservoir
She bathed her limbs, or in the meadow stopt,
And from its bosom odorous lilies cropt.
Her flower-basket in each maiden’s hand;
And to the meadows near the pleasant shore
They sped, where they had often sped before,
Pleased with the roses growing in their reach,
And with the waves that murmured on the beach.

A basket by Hephæstus wrought of gold,
Europa bore–a marvel to behold;
He gave it Libya, when a blooming bride
She went to grace the great Earth-shaker’s side;
She gave it Telephassa fair and mild,
Who now had given it to her virgin child.
Therein were many sparkling wonders wrought–
The hapless Iö to the sight was brought;
A heifer’s for a virgin’s form she wore;
The briny paths she frantic wandered o’er,
And was a swimming heifer to the view,
While the sea round her darkened into blue.

Two men upon a promontory stood,
And watched the heifer traversing the flood.
Again where seven-mouthed Nile divides his strand,
Zeus stood and gently stroked her with his hand,
And from her horned figure and imbruted
To her original form again transmuted.

In brass the heifer–Zeus was wrought in gold;
Nile softly in a silver current rolled.
And to the life was watchful Hermes shown
Under the rounded basket’s golden crown;
And Argus near him with unsleeping eyes
Lay stretched at length; then from his blood did rise
The bird, exulting in the brilliant pride
Of his rich plumes and hues diversified,
And like a swift ship with her out-spread sail,
Expanding proudly his resplendant tail,
The basket’s galden rim he shadowed o’er.
Such was the basket fair Europa bore.

They reached the mead with vernal blossoms full,
And each begun her favourite flowers to pull.
Narcissus one; another thyme did get;
This hyacinth, and that the violet;
And of the spring-sweets in the meadow found
Much scented bloom was scattered on the ground.
Some of the troop in rivalry chose rather
The sweet and yellow crocuses to gather;
Shining, as mid the graces Cypris glows,
The Princess in the midst preferred the rose;
Nor long with flowers her gentle fancy charmed,
Nor long she kept her virgin flower unharmed.
With love for her was Saturn’s son inflamed,
By unexpected darts of Cypris tamed,
Who only tames e’en Zeus. To shun the rage
Of Heré, and the virgin’s mind engage,
To draw her eyes and her attention claim,
He hid his godhead and a bull became;
Not such as feeds at stall, or then or now,
The furrow cuts and draws the crooked plough;
Not such as feeds the lowing kine among,
Or trails in yoke the heavy wain along;
His body all a yellow hue did own,
But a white circle in his forehead shone;
His sparkling eyes with love’s soft lustre gleamed;
His arched horns like Dian’s crescent seemed.
He came into the meadow, nor the sight
Fluttered the virgins into sudden flight.
But they desired to touch and see him near;
His breath surpassed the meadow sweetness there.
Before Europa’s feet he halted meek,
Licked her fair neck and eke her rosy cheek;
Threw round his neck her arms the Beautiful,
Wiped from his lips the foam and kissed the bull;
Softly he lowed; no lowing of a brute
It seemed, but murmur of Mygdonian flute;
Down on his knees he slunk; and first her eyed,
And then his back, as asking her to ride.
The long-haired maidens she began to call;–
‘Come let us ride, his back will hold us all,
E’en as a ship; a bull unlike the rest,
As if a human heart were in his breast,
He gentle is and tractable and meek,
And wants but voice his gentleness to speak.’

She said and mounted smiling, but before
Another did, he bounded for the shore.
The royal virgin struck with instant fear,
Stretched out her hands and called her playmates dear;
But how could they the ravished Princess reach?
He, like a dolphin, pushed out from the beach.
From their sea-hollows swift the Nereids rose,
Seated on seals, and did his train compose;
Poseidon went before, and smooth did make
The path of waters for his brother’s sake;
Around their king in close array did keep
The loud-voiced Tritons, minstrels of the deep,
And with their conchs proclaimed the nuptial song.
But on Jove’s bull-back as she rode along,
The maid with one hand grasped his branching horn,
The flowing robe, that did her form adorn,
Raised with the other hand, and tried to save
From the salt moisture of the saucy wave;
Her robe, inflated by the wanton breeze,
Seemed like a ship’s sail hovering o’er the seas.
But when, her father-land no longer nigh,
Nor sea-dashed shore was seen, nor mountain high,
But only sky above, and sea below–
She said, and round her anxious glance did throw;–

‘Whither with me, portentous bull? Discover
This and thyself; and how canst thou pass over
The path of waters, walking on the wave,
And dost not fear the dangerous path to brave?
Along this tract swift ships their courses keep,
But bulls are wont to fear the mighty deep.
What pasture here? What sweet drink in the brine?
Art thou a god? Thy doings seem divine.
Nor sea-born dolphins roam the flowery mead,
Nor earth-born bulls through Ocean’s realm proceed;
Fearless on land, and plunging from the shores
Thou roamest ocean, and thy hoofs are oars.
Perchance anon, up-borne into the sky,
Thou without wings like winged birds wilt fly!
Ah me unhappy! who my father’s home
Have left and with a bull o’er ocean roam,
A lonely voyager! My helper be,
Earth-shaking Regent of the hoary sea!
I hope to see this voyage’s cause and guide,
For not without a god these things betide.’

To her the horned bull with accent clear:–
‘Take courage, virgin! nor the billow fear;
The seeming bull is Zeus; for I with ease
Can take at will whatever form I please;
My fond desire for thy sweet beauty gave
To me this shape–my footstep to the wave.
Dear Crete, that nursed me, now shall welcome thee;
In Crete Europa’s nuptial rites shall be;
From our embrace illustrious sons shall spring,
And every one of them a sceptered king.’–

And instantly they were in Crete; his own
Form Zeus put on–and off her virgin zone.
Strowed the glad bed the Hours, of joy profuse;
The whilom virgin was the bride of Zeus.


William Russell Flint Biography:
(via Wiki)
Sir William Russell Flint (4 April 1880 – 30 December 1969) was a Scottish artist and illustrator who was known especially for his watercolour paintings of women. He also worked in oils, tempera, and printmaking.
He was born in Edinburgh. From 1894–1900 Flint apprenticed as a lithographic draughtsman while taking classes at the Royal Academy of Art, Edinburgh.[1] From 1900–02 he worked as a medical illustrator in London while studying part-time at Heatherley’s Art School.[2] He furthered his art education by studying independently at the British Museum. He was an artist for the Illustrated London News from 1903–07, and produced illustrations for editions of several books, including Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (1912).[1]
Flint was president of Britain’s Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours (now the Royal Watercolour Society) from 1936 to 1956, and knighted in 1947.
During visits to Spain he was impressed by Spanish dancers, and he depicted them frequently throughout his career.[2] Flint enjoyed considerable commercial success but little respect from art critics, who were disturbed by a perceived crassness in his eroticized treatment of the female figure.[2]
William Russell Flint was active as an artist until his death in London on 30 December 1969.

Gaudi – Ayahuasca Deep Fall


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