Thomas Hood on Autumn

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Thomas Hood 1799–1845

Thomas Hood
1799–1845

Autumn

I Saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like Silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn;—
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
Pearling his coronet of golden corn.

Henry Herbert La Thangue

Henry Herbert La Thangue

Where are the songs of Summer?—With the sun,
Oping the dusky eyelids of the south,
Till shade and silence waken up as one,
And Morning sings with a warm odorous mouth.
Where are the merry birds?—Away, away,
On panting wings through the inclement skies,
Lest owls should prey
Undazzled at noonday,
And tear with horny beak their lustrous eyes.

John Atkinson Grimshaw

John Atkinson Grimshaw

Where are the blooms of Summer?—In the west,
Blushing their last to the last sunny hours,
When the mild Eve by sudden Night is prest
Like tearful Proserpine, snatch’d from her flow’rs
To a most gloomy breast.
Where is the pride of Summer,—the green prime,—
The many, many leaves all twinkling?—Three
On the moss’d elm; three on the naked lime
Trembling,—and one upon the old oak-tree!
Where is the Dryad’s immortality?—
Gone into mournful cypress and dark yew,
Or wearing the long gloomy Winter through
In the smooth holly’s green eternity.

Arthur East

Arthur East

The squirrel gloats on his accomplish’d hoard,
The ants have brimm’d their garners with ripe grain,
And honey bees have stored
The sweets of Summer in their luscious cells;
The swallows all have wing’d across the main;
But here the Autumn melancholy dwells,
And sighs her tearful spells
Amongst the sunless shadows of the plain.
Alone, alone,
Upon a mossy stone,
She sits and reckons up the dead and gone
With the last leaves for a love-rosary,
Whilst all the wither’d world looks drearily,
Like a dim picture of the drownèd past
In the hush’d mind’s mysterious far away,
Doubtful what ghostly thing will steal the last
Into that distance, gray upon the gray.

Arthur Lowe

Arthur Lowe

O go and sit with her, and be o’ershaded
Under the languid downfall of her hair:
She wears a coronal of flowers faded
Upon her forehead, and a face of care;—
There is enough of wither’d everywhere
To make her bower,—and enough of gloom;
There is enough of sadness to invite,
If only for the rose that died, whose doom
Is Beauty’s,—she that with the living bloom
Of conscious cheeks most beautifies the light:
There is enough of sorrowing, and quite
Enough of bitter fruits the earth doth bear,—
Enough of chilly droppings for her bowl;
Enough of fear and shadowy despair,
To frame her cloudy prison for the soul!

“Nothing Succeeds Like Excess.” Oscar Wilde

Chronic Chinamania (incurable)

Chronic Chinamania (incurable)

Everyone LOVED blue and white china!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/exhibits/chinamania-whistler-and-the-victorian-craze-for-blue-and-white,1168679.html

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/chinamania-now-open-at-the-freer-gallery-388091/?no-ist

http://www.victorianweb.org/art/design/ceramics/haslam1.html

Play Date at the Zoo; The Sad Tale of Ota Benga

Ota Benga at the Bronx Zoo

Ota Benga at the Bronx Zoo

Ota Benga lived in a cage at the Bronx Zoo with the monkeys in 1906 and became a hugely popular exhibit as proof of evolution. Ota was a Pygmy from the Congo when the Congo was the playground and money making property of King Leopold of Belgium.

The pygmies were competitors in the ivory trade and  were systematically killed off; the rationale being that the pygmies,  so small and stupid, were obviously just one evolutionary tick away from the little monkeys. Darwin once wrote: “The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace, the savage races throughout the world.”  No biggie. Science was the new religion–minus the love and compassion.

Ota came to America after he was purchased by a noted American explorer from South Carolina, Phillips Verner, who planned to exhibit him at the 1904 World’s Fair. Falling on hard times, Verner searched for someone to take Ota off his hands. In New York Herman Bumpus the director of the Natural History Museum gave him a home with the stipulation that he’d have to entertain the richie riches when they came for lunch. When Ota threw a chair at Florence Guggenheim Bumpus was like, ” I’m so done with you.”

Off Ota was sent to the Bronx Zoo. When Christians (especially southern black ones) protested that evolution was at best an unproven theory and at worst an invitation for race extermination The New York Times retorted: “It is most amusing to note that one colored brother objects to the curious exhibition on the grounds that it is an impious effort to lend credibility  to Darwin’s dreadful theories . . . The reverend colored brother should be told that evolution, in one form or another, is now taught in the textbooks of all the schools, and that it is no more debatable than the multiplication table.”  And: “As for Benga himself, he is probably enjoying himself as well as he could anywhere in his country, and it is absurd to make moan over the imagined humiliation and degradation he is suffering.”

Eventually Ota was freed. He went to see how much it would cost him to sail back home and shot himself in the chest.

http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/30/otabenga.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/06/nyregion/thecity/06zoo.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

history of human zoos

Story retold from The Political Gene by Dennis Sewell

 

The creative versus the machine

Middlemay Farm:

Monday inspiration!

Originally posted on Jon Rappoport's Blog:

The creative versus the machine

by Jon Rappoport

September 28, 2014

NoMoreFakeNews.com

There are some people who hear the word CREATE and wake up, as if a new flashing music has begun.

This lone word makes them see something majestic and untamed.

They feel the sound of a Niagara approaching.

They suddenly know why they are alive.

Most people don’t travel to that grand arena because they’ve been trained like pets by some sector of this society to be good girls and boys.

Maybe you once saw something truly free that didn’t care about consequences, and it blew you into tomorrow and turned on your soul’s electricity for an hour.

CREATE is a word that should be oceanic. It should shake and blow apart the pillars of the smug boredom of the soul.

CREATE is about what the individual does when he is on fire and doesn’t care about concealing…

View original 279 more words

Too Many Flowers!

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As a gift to my blogging friends, I’m sending out free seed packets of Black-Eyed-Susans and Painted Daisys to the first ten bloggers who comment here or at the farm blog http://raisingmilkandhoney.wordpress.com/

 

The Shadows We Leave

Spencer Trask's shadow lingers amongst the pines at Yaddo.

Spencer Trask’s shadow lingers amongst the pines at Yaddo.

What a strange mix of altruistic and puritanical compulsion. Spencer Trask made his fortune on Wall Street betting on the future–the future of transportation (railroads), news (he saved the New York Times from bankruptcy) and light (he invested heavily in Thomas Edison’s works). Yet the idea of gamblers roaming the streets of Saratoga Springs in August ruffled the feathers on his broad shoulders in the 1880’s and 90’s.

Maybe it was a way to keep the tragic turns in his life from pulling him under. All the money in the world could not bring back four dead children. This money afforded him land with four lakes–each one given a child’s name–Alanson, Christina, Spencer and Katrina–but lakes are mere shadows. Portraits, too. They hang in many of the rooms. Eastman Johnson was a friend. In the library there’s Katrina aged 34 just before two of her children die. Across the way are two enormous paintings of Spencer Jr and Christina (done posthumously by Eastman who would have known the children well). They are the shadows dressed in black against Katrina’s white flowing gowns.

The grounds keeper's house

The grounds keeper’s house

Spencer had a newspaper in Saratoga, but no one wanted to buy it. New York state law prohibited gambling it said. Close down the gambling houses! Close down the track with its magnificent thoroughbreds and seedy wagers! He and Katrina had come to Saratoga for the healing waters and cool air. The townsfolk and the summer folk said enjoy your vast acres and free-thinking, meddlesome friends, but keep your shadow from falling on our fun.

 

Beautiful complexity

Beautiful complexity

I think Spencer was a sweetheart, but he couldn’t see the forest for the trees sometimes. Aren’t we all like that? He couldn’t prevent the shadow of death from his children. He couldn’t regulate the shadowy doings of the gamblers. He could neither save lives nor reform them. In his wallet upon his death was found a small scrap of paper with these words written on it: “For a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth.”

Spencer gave a lot. Sometimes we like to give our opinions when no one wants them. At some point it seems that Spencer shut his mouth and just gave despite it all. He built hospitals and railroads, he built mansions to house his adoring wife Katrina in. We may laugh down our noses at the lavish way they lived in their castle, but in the end they gave it all away.

When Spencer died in the horrific train accident there was very little money for the artists’ sanctuary he and Katrina planned, but there was the land and the gardens and some seed money. Katrina moved into the “tiny” grounds keeper’s house to save money for the Yaddo Foundation for artists they would never know.

On a perfect September day in 2014 the public arrives for a rare tour. Some of these people look like gamblers. Some are beautiful ex-dancers who take their shoes off to feel the floors in the performance art workspace. From the house’s Tiffany windows they can see the fountain in the garden glistening in the sun, but it’s the shadows that silence them–the spirit of Katrina in her rose tinted bedroom writing poetry about chivalrous men; the children peering from behind their painted images; John Cheever begging for a swimming pool and getting one; Truman Capote sliding down the grand staircase on an antique sled.

Art and life; death and shadows. Spencer Trask financier and philanthropist.

A happy volunteer looking quite happy in the shadows of Yaddo

A  volunteer looking quite happy in the shadows of Yaddo

 

 

 

Love

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Love and the Maiden John Roddam Spencer Stanhope 1877

Love and the Maiden
John Roddam Spencer Stanhope 1877

She

 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
    for your love is more delightful than wine.
 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
    your name is like perfume poured out.
    No wonder the young women love you!
 Take me away with you—let us hurry!
    Let the king bring me into his chambers.

Friends

We rejoice and delight in you;
    we will praise your love more than wine.

She

How right they are to adore you!

 Dark am I, yet lovely,
    daughters of Jerusalem,
dark like the tents of Kedar,
    like the tent curtains of Solomon.
 Do not stare at me because I am dark,
    because I am darkened by the sun.
My mother’s sons were angry with me
    and made me take care of the vineyards;
    my own vineyard I had to neglect.
 Tell me, you whom I love,
    where you graze your flock
    and where you rest your sheep at midday.
Why should I be like a veiled woman
    beside the flocks of your friends?

Friends

 If you do not know, most beautiful of women,
    follow the tracks of the sheep
and graze your young goats
    by the tents of the shepherds.

He

 I liken you, my darling, to a mare
    among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.
 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
    your neck with strings of jewels.
 We will make you earrings of gold,
    studded with silver.

She

 While the king was at his table,
    my perfume spread its fragrance.
 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
    resting between my breasts.
 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
    from the vineyards of En Gedi.

He

 How beautiful you are, my darling!
    Oh, how beautiful!
    Your eyes are doves.

She

 How handsome you are, my beloved!
    Oh, how charming!
    And our bed is verdant.

He

 The beams of our house are cedars;
    our rafters are firs.

She

 I am a rose of Sharon,
    a lily of the valleys.

He

Like a lily among thorns
    is my darling among the young women.

She

 Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
    is my beloved among the young men.
I delight to sit in his shade,
    and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
 Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
    and let his banner over me be love.
 Strengthen me with raisins,
    refresh me with apples,
    for I am faint with love.
 His left arm is under my head,
    and his right arm embraces me.
 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
    by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
    until it so desires.

 Listen! My beloved!
    Look! Here he comes,
leaping across the mountains,
    bounding over the hills.
 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
    Look! There he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
    peering through the lattice.
 My beloved spoke and said to me,
    “Arise, my darling,
    my beautiful one, come with me.
 See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
 Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.
 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
    the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
    my beautiful one, come with me.”

He

 My dove in the clefts of the rock,
    in the hiding places on the mountainside,
show me your face,
    let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
    and your face is lovely.
 Catch for us the foxes,
    the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards,
    our vineyards that are in bloom.

She

 My beloved is mine and I am his;
    he browses among the lilies.
 Until the day breaks
    and the shadows flee,
turn, my beloved,
    and be like a gazelle
or like a young stag
    on the rugged hills.

 All night long on my bed
    I looked for the one my heart loves;
    I looked for him but did not find him.
 I will get up now and go about the city,
    through its streets and squares;
I will search for the one my heart loves.
    So I looked for him but did not find him.
 The watchmen found me
    as they made their rounds in the city.
    “Have you seen the one my heart loves?”
 Scarcely had I passed them
    when I found the one my heart loves.
I held him and would not let him go
    till I had brought him to my mother’s house,
    to the room of the one who conceived me.
 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
    by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
    until it so desires.

 Who is this coming up from the wilderness
    like a column of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and incense
    made from all the spices of the merchant?
 Look! It is Solomon’s carriage,
    escorted by sixty warriors,
    the noblest of Israel,
 all of them wearing the sword,
    all experienced in battle,
each with his sword at his side,
    prepared for the terrors of the night.
 King Solomon made for himself the carriage;
    he made it of wood from Lebanon.
 Its posts he made of silver,
    its base of gold.
Its seat was upholstered with purple,
    its interior inlaid with love.
Daughters of Jerusalem, come out,
    and look, you daughters of Zion.
Look on King Solomon wearing a crown,
    the crown with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
    the day his heart rejoiced.

Song of Songs 1-3

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Get the Look!

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What's wrong with beauty?

What’s wrong with beauty?

Amazon Dry Goods Historical Patterns

DRESS HOW YOU WANT TO DRESS! This site offers not only patterns, but the dates and specific names for the clothes you’ve seen in the old pictures. There’s books and shoes as well.

MB002

A Word on Fashion

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Symphony_in_flesh_color_and_pink_by_JM_Whistler,_1871-74

“……all the most ungainly and uncomfortable articles of dress that fashion has ever in her folly prescribed, not the tight corset merely, but the farthingale, the vertugadin, the hoop, the crinoline, and that modern monstrosity the so-called “dress improver”[i.e.bustle] also, all of them have owed their origin to the same error- the error of not seeing that it is from the shoulders, and from the shoulders only, that all garments should be hung. -Oscar Wilde, The Woman’s Dress 1888-1890