Friday, 29 November 2013

Cursed Canaan

Frank Frazetta: Castle of Sin

Genesis 9:1: And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Genesis 9:2: And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
Genesis 9:3: Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
Genesis 9:4: But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
Genesis 9:5: And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
Genesis 9:6: Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Genesis 9:7: And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
Genesis 9:8: And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
Genesis 9:9: And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
Genesis 9:10: And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
Genesis 9:11: And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
Genesis 9:12: And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
Genesis 9:13: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
Genesis 9:14: And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
Genesis 9:15: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Genesis 9:16: And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Genesis 9:17: And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
Genesis 9:18: And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
Genesis 9:19: These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
Genesis 9:20: And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
Genesis 9:21: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
Genesis 9:22: And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
Genesis 9:23: And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
Genesis 9:24: And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
Genesis 9:25: And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
Genesis 9:26: And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
Genesis 9:27: God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
Genesis 9:28: And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.
Genesis 9:29: And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The stars have faded

Edward Robert Hughes: The Valkyrie's Vigil

You've lost this heart
While chasing after a mirage
You've betrayed this heart
And I can do nothing but hate you
Can you hear my pain?
Your voice dies
And stupid as I am, I wait for you forever
or live no longer
or, then, only the night, the night, the night!

The stars have faded
With the pale moon beam
Love cries
That rushes forward like a wave
Then disappears
The night is empty
And the hope it brings is brief
Bitter tears fall
A broken heart, despairing
passes by...

What has happened to the empty dreams?
Where have the brief temptations gone?

Friday, 22 November 2013

Wings of steel, take me there...

Boris Vallejo: Golden Wings

I ride the winds that howl
And bring down the rain
Thunder and lightning strikes
Across the desert plains
I ride alone at night
On my white winged horse
As the roaring sounds come from
The heavens above

Take me through into the night
Guide my way with your bright light
My source of life is in your eyes
Worshipped by millions of lonely cries

Wings of Steel, Take me higher
Take me to the clouds
Where the lightning strikes
And the thunder roar is loud
Wings of Steel, Take me there
So I can be set free
To fly across the universe
To seek my Destiny

A loud thunder crack
From the heavens above
Sends me and my horse
Plummeting towards the earth
We regain our course and fly
Away from the storm
But it's still racing upon us
With great ferocious force

We escape and reach the ancient
City of Cairo
A sacred place in Egypt
The land of the Pharaohs
But again the thunder breaks
Above these grey clouds
An electric storm of fire
Strikes from the Egyptian Gods

Wings of Steel, Take me higher
Take me to the clouds
Where the lightning strikes
And the thunder roar is loud
Wings of Steel, Take me there
So I can be set free
To fly across the universe
To seek my Destiny

Wings of Steel - Set me free...

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

I Guess It Doesn't Matter Anymore

Philip Calderon - A Woodland Nymph 1883

Standing in the rain
The cold and angry rain
In a long white dress
A girl without a name

She stood beneath the light
Glowing like a candle bright
I guess it doesn't matter anymore

I pulled along the side
And offered her a ride
Like the rolling mist she floated inside
As we pulled away
She had nothing to say
So I guess it doesn't matter anymore

I believe something's can't be explained
They are hidden in the mist and in the silver rain...

The road was long
It ran on
When I heard her singing her silent song
I knew the melody
From my memory
But I guess it Doesn't Matter Anymore

Finally she spoke
Come pull off the road
Saying she was headin' home
I turned and she was gone
I was all alone
So I Guess It Doesn't Matter Anymore

As I turned away
No reason to stay
She had faded back into the grey
A whisper in the trees
You could hear it in the breeze
Say I Guess It Doesn't Matter Anymore

Sunday, 17 November 2013

The knight

Sidney Meteyard: St. George and the dragon

No love for useless talk
Nor sleep or excess pleasure
He lives to train, enduring pain
His master's word, his measure

Early morning sunrise finds him
on the fencing grounds
Pursuing quick precision
until mastery is found

And those who ride
Must follow in the way
Of the Knight and Nobleman
For those who fight
Have already layed down their lives

He knows no will but sovereignty
His honor knows no price
His heart is love and loyalty
His body knows no vice

Ready as the dawn breaks
or as even fades to night
His heart prepared for battle
And his hands, prepared to fight

And those who ride
Must follow in the way
Of the Knight and Nobleman
For those who fight
Have already layed down their lives 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Meet me on the battlefield

Herbert Thomas Dicksee - After chevy chase

On the battlefield slain, ours sons of Erin
Through the battlefield's pain, our sons of Erin
The earth will bleed the blood of your king
To a river carved deep by the sword of a Fiann

For our freedom this our plight
This land of life and dreams
Regal martinets march
To rot us at the seams

Course their warships towards the shore
Prepare tools of death
Await the dawn
Vigilant stalk as the waves draw them near

For our freedom this our plight
This land of life and dreams
Regal martinets march
To rot us at the seams
 Meet me on the battlefield
My sons of Erin

So many times has our soil been drenched in blood
So many lives has this blood drenched soil engulfed
 For the freedom this our plight
This land of life and dreams
 Meet me on the battlefield

(old season - meet me on the battlefield)

Monday, 11 November 2013

Live by the sword - Die by the sword

Justin Sweet: Conan the Cimmerian

There, where death's brief pang was quickest,
And the battle's wreck lay thickest,
Strewed beneath the advancing banner
Of the eagle's burning crest—
(There with thunder-clouds to fan her,
Who could then her wing arrest—
Victory beaming from her breast?)
While the broken line enlarging
Fell, or fled along the plain;
There be sure was Murat charging!
There he ne'er shall charge again!
O'er glories gone the invaders march,
Weeps Triumph o'er each levelled arch—
But let Freedom rejoice,
With her heart in her voice;
But, her hand on her sword,
Doubly shall she be adored;
(From "Ode From The French" by George Gordon, Lord Byron)

(Sword - Children of Heaven)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Race of Cain

Valentine Cameron Prinsep: A Venetian Gaming House in the Sixteenth Century

(Charles Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal / Flowers of Evil - Abel and Cain)
(Translation - Roy Campbell)

Race of Abel! eat, sleep, drink. 
God smiles on those that he prefers. 
Race of Cain!in swamps that stink, 
Crawl, and die the death of curs. 
Race of Abel! your crops sprout, 
And your flocks are safe and sound. 
Race of Cain! your guts howl out 
In hunger, like an ancient hound. 
Race of Abel! warm your guts 
At the patriarchal fire. 
Race of Cain! in caves and huts 
Shiver like jackals in the mire. 
Race of Abel! Pullulate : 
Your gold too procreates its kind. 
Race of Cain! Hearts hot with hate, 
Leave all such appetites behind. 
Race of Abel! grow and graze, 
Like woodlice that on timbers prey. 
Race of Cain! along rough ways 
Lead forth your family at bay.

Ah! Race of Abel! your fat carrion 
Will well manure the soil it presses. 
Race of Cain! One task to carry on 
Remains for you, a task that presses. 
Race of Abel! Shame is nigh. 
The coulter's beaten by the sword. 
Race of Cain, climb up the sky, 
And to the earth hurl down the Lord.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Paint it black

Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Giotto Painting the Portrait of Dante

I see my red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I see a line of cars and they're all painted black
With flowers and my love both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a new born baby it just happens every day
I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door, I must have it painted black

Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facin' up when your whole world is black
No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you

If I look hard enough into the settin' sun
My love will laugh with me before the mornin' comes
I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black

I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes
I wanna see your face, painted black
Black as night, black as coal
I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black

Friday, 1 November 2013

But who, alas! can love, and then be wise?

Francesco Hayez : The Kiss

(George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron: Don Juan)

'T was on the sixth of June, about the hour
   Of half-past six --- perhaps still nearer seven ---
When Julia sate within as pretty a bower
   As e'er held houri in that heathenish heaven
Described by Mahomet, and Anacreon Moore,
   To whom the lyre and laurels have been given, 
With all the trophies of triumphant song ---
He won them well, and may he wear them long!

She sate but not alone; I know not well
   How this same interview had taken place,
And even if I knew, I should not tell ---
   People should hold their tongues in any case;
No matter how or why the thing befell,
   But there were she and Juan, face to face ---
When two such faces are so, 't would be wise, 
But very difficult, to shut their eyes.

How beautiful she look'd! her conscious heart 
   Glow'd in her cheek, and yet she felt no wrong.
Oh Love! how perfect is thy mystic art,
   Strengthening the weak, and trampling on the strong,
How self-deceitful is the sagest part
    Of mortals whom thy lure hath led along ---
The precipice she stood on was immense,
So was her creed in her own innocence.

She thought of her own strength, and Juan's youth,
   And of the folly of all prudish fears,
Victorious virtue, and domestic truth,
   And then of Don Alfonso's fifty years:
I wish these last had not occurr'd, in sooth,
   Because that number rarely much endears,
And through all climes, the snowy and the sunny,
Sounds ill in love, whate'er it may in money.

When people say, "I've told you fifty times,"
   They mean to scold, and very often do;
When poets say, "I've written fifty rhymes,"
   They make you dread that they 'II recite them too;
In gangs of fifty, thieves commit their crimes;
   At fifty love for love is rare, 't is true,
But then, no doubt, it equally as true is,
A good deal may be bought for fifty Louis.

Julia had honour, virtue, truth, and love,
   For Don Alfonso; and she inly swore,
By all the vows below to powers above,
   She never would disgrace the ring she wore,
Nor leave a wish which wisdom might reprove;
   And while she ponder'd this, besides much more,
One hand on Juan's carelessly was thrown,
Quite by mistake --- she thought it was her own;

Unconsciously she lean'd upon the other,
   Which play'd within the tangles of her hair:
And to contend with thoughts she could not smother
   She seem'd by the distraction of her air.
'T was surely very wrong in Juan's mother
   To leave together this imprudent pair,
She who for many years had watch'd her son so ---
I'm very certain mine would not have done so.

The hand which still held Juan's, by degrees
   Gently, but palpably confirm'd its grasp,
As if it said, "Detain me, if you please;"
   Yet there 's no doubt she only meant to clasp
His fingers with a pure Platonic squeeze:
   She would have shrunk as from a toad, or asp,
Had she imagined such a thing could rouse
A feeling dangerous to a prudent spouse.

I cannot know what Juan thought of this,
   But what he did, is much what you would do;
His young lip thank'd it with a grateful kiss,
   And then, abash'd at its own joy, withdrew
In deep despair, lest he had done amiss, ---
   Love is so very timid when 't is new:
She blush'd, and frown'd not, but she strove to speak,
And held her tongue, her voice was grown so weak.

The sun set, and up rose the yellow moon:
   The devil 's in the moon for mischief; they
Who call'd her chaste, methinks, began too soon
   Their nomenclature; there is not a day,
The longest, not the twenty-first of June,
   Sees half the business in a wicked way
On which three single hours of moonshine smile ---
And then she looks so modest all the while.

There is a dangerous silence in that hour,
   A stillness, which leaves room for the full soul
To open all itself, without the power
   Of calling wholly back its self-control;
The silver light which, hallowing tree and tower,
   Sheds beauty and deep softness o'er the whole,
Breathes also to the heart, and o'er it throws
A loving languor, which is not repose.

And Julia sate with Juan, half embraced
   And half retiring from the glowing arm,
Which trembled like the bosom where 't was placed;
   Yet still she must have thought there was no harm,
Or else 't were easy to withdraw her waist;
   But then the situation had its charm,
And then --- God knows what next --- I can't go on;
I'm almost sorry that I e'er begun.

Oh Plato! Plato! you have paved the way,
    With your confounded fantasies, to more
Immoral conduct by the fancied sway
    Your system feigns o'er the controulless core
Of human hearts, than all the long array
    Of poets and romancers: --- You 're a bore,
A charlatan, a coxcomb --- and have been,
At best, no better than a go-between.

And Julia's voice was lost, except in sighs,
   Until too late for useful conversation;
The tears were gushing from her gentle eyes,
   I wish indeed they had not had occasion,
But who, alas! can love, and then be wise?
   Not that remorse did not oppose temptation;
A little still she strove, and much repented,
 And whispering "I will never consent" --- consented.

(Silver Mountain - Romeo and Juliet)

Ford Madox Brown: Romeo and Juliet

        Ford Madox Brown: The Finding of Don Juan by Haidee (detail)