Sep 18, 2007

Maritime Races, Poetry, and Butterfly Hunts

In truth, though Lady Kate and I enjoyed breakfast together the day after the Highland Fling when she unexpectedly dropped by to help with some of the clean up duties, the real reason that the events of the week and weekend have gone without mention in my blog for so long is that my typist decided to spend all afternoon and evening at the local Renaissance Faire. What a wonderful event! This was Scottish Weekend at the Faire. How very appropriate. (But more on that later - perhaps with pictures - we'll see.)

So now I see here reflecting happily on the events of the latter part of last week. All in all the Harvest Festival was a huge success in my estimation. As the life of my typist does actually have to come first before my own, I did not nearly attend all of the events that Harvest Festival had to offer. Here are a couple of them presented alongside some poetry that came my way this week.

The Firth of Caledon was certainly the scene of much activity this last week. I was fortunate to be invited to join His Grace, Otenth Paderborn, Duke of Murdann on the sky platform over the start/finish line. The company of citizens gathered there was most convivial, and the races quite exciting. All in all a very good event.

The Hunley - Mr. O'Toole's entry in the steam race

Lord Primbroke's Steamray - Winner of the steam race. (Being followed by Mr Expedition Offcourse's new airship.)

On Wednesday evening, the Loch hosted a Butterfly Hunt. The butterflies were either filled with jewelry by Random Calliope, or were decoys. Guest began arriving at just before 7pm anxiously awaiting the race for the jewels. While we had a good number of Caledonians and Steelheadians (??) present for this, I have estimated that over 60% of those in attendance were from other sims. Mr Calliope does draw a crowd! And I heard more than one person exclaim what a wonderful sim Caledon Loch Avie is....and taht they should go explore more of Caledon/Steelhead. Hurray! Just the effect we hoped for.
Sadly, I was actually called away from my own event a couple of times due to RL needs, but even when I slipped away for good, the folks hunting the butterflies seemed to feel unoffended as they scoured the Loch. *smiles happily*

And now a little poetry:

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788–1824

She walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that 's best of dark and bright
Meet 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!

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939). Responsibilities and Other Poems. 1916.

The Mountain Tomb

Pour wine and dance if Manhood still have pride
Bring roses if the rose be yet in bloom;
The cataract smokes upon the mountain side,
Our Father Rosicross is in his tomb.

Pull down the blinds, bring fiddle and clarionet
That there be no foot silent in the room
Nor mouth from kissing, nor from wine unwet;
Our Father Rosicross is in his tomb.

In vain, in vain; the cataract still cries
The everlasting taper lights the gloom;
All wisdom shut into his onyx eyes
Our Father Rosicross sleeps in his tomb.

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939). The Wild Swans at Coole. 1919.

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939). The Wild Swans at Coole. 1919.

The Wild Swans at Coole

THE TREES are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.
The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?


Hotspur O'Toole said...

Ah, your grace, thank you for posting "An Irish Airman". One of my favorite poems in English, it is. I find these lines to be perfect:

Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.