Saturday, February 28, 2009

Beauty

Fridays, apparently, are when I post a random poem going through my mind that I like. I am continuing this from last week, not because I thought it was a good idea, but because it just happened.

I'm currently listening to my iPod, which houses my favorite poems set to music. These two came on and I felt like sharing.


She walks in Beauty
George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788–1824

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o'er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek and o'er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,—
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.

"She Walks in Beauty" has always been a favorite of mine since High School and while I was setting this text, a friend of mine at the time set it too. I thought that his was "perfect" and decided that what I was going to say would not add to what has been said. So I didn't finish.


The Turtle Dove
English Folksong

Fare you well, my dear, I must be gone,
And leave you for a while;
If I roam away I'll come back again,
Though I roam ten thousand miles, my dear,
Though I roam ten thousand miles.

So fair thou art, my bonny lass,
So deep in love am I;
But I never will prove false to the bonny lass I love,
Till the stars fall from the sky, my dear,
Till the stars fall from the sky.

The sea will never run dry, my dear,
Nor the rocks melt with the sun,
But I never will prove false to the bonny lass I love,
Till all these things be done, my dear,
Till all these things be done.

O yonder doth sit that little turtle dove,
He doth sit on yonder high tree,
A-making a moan for the loss of his love,
As I will do for thee, my dear,
As I will do for thee.

A friend introduced this poem to me via his arrangement of the song. I don't recall his arrangement, but I like the song and now the poem.

What do these poems have to do with each other, beside their proximity on my playlist? Love. True love. I'll skip to the end.

They are cheesey, yes, but that's why it's perfect for music. The schmaltz leaves and all that's left is the beauty of the intention. I will leave with a translation of the cheesiest of them all, but when I hear the music, I melt.


Amor de Mi Alma
Garcilaso de la Vega

I was born to love only you;
My soul has formed you to its measure;
I want you as a garment for my soul.

Your very image is written on my soul;
Such indescribable intimacy
I hide even from you.

All that I have, I owe to you;
For you I was born, for you I live,
For you I must die, and for you I give my last breath.


"She Walks in Beauty" set by Eric W. Barnum
"Turtle Dove" set by R Vaughan Williams
"Amor De Mi Alma" set by Z. Randall Stroope