Saturday, February 14, 2015

Silent Noon - A Valentine

Today on Valentine's Day it is a multi-media convergence of love and the romantic on this blog!

Have you ever felt comfortable enough with someone that you did not need to talk? Hopefully everyone has a relationship like that, but rarely has the feeling been expressed in language so gorgeous and memorable as Silent Noon by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. I love the way it suggests that two people of one mind can jointly share and appreciate the beauty of nature in all its fine details. A few years ago it was part of a Valentine I gave to my wife, and this year it is my Valentine to the world.

Silent Noon

Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, -- 
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms: 
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms 
'Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass. 
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass, 
Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge 
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge. 
'Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.

Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly 
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky: -- 
So this wing'd hour is dropt to us from above. 
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower, 
This close-companioned inarticulate hour 
When twofold silence was the song of love.

I'm far from the only person who has appreciated these words. They were set to music by the great British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. There is a fine video of tenor Ian Bostridge singing the song in the out of doors, and you can watch it here.

The above painting, Pair of Lovers, by Pal Szinyei Merse, also captures the feeling of these words in a wonderful way. 

I told you this was multi-media! Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!

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