Blast from the Past:
For singing till his heaven fills, 65
’T is love of earth that he instils,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup,
And he the wine which overflows
To lift us with him as he goes: 70
The woods and brooks, the sheep and kine
He is, the hills, the human line,
The meadows green, the fallows brown,
The dreams of labor in the town;
He sings the sap, the quicken’d veins; 75
The wedding song of sun and rains
He is, the dance of children, thanks
Of sowers, shout of primrose-banks,
And eye of violets while they breathe;
All these the circling song will wreathe,
And you shall hear the herb and tree,
The better heart of men shall see,
Shall feel celestially, as long
As you crave nothing save the song
From The Lark Ascending by George Meredith (1828–1909) http://www.bartleby.com/246/680.html
Did not know this poem as I began reading it. As I continued reading, I began thinking of Ralph Vaughn Williams' Romance for violin & orchestra,'The Lark Ascending'. & lo, completing the read, the title & author struck me in the eyes! Do you know if RVW was inspired to write his music by the poem?
Could have??? I chose it for the music. You felt the music in the words. A complete circle. Isn't this beautiful?
Thanks for sharing your ideas :)
Failed to tell truthist how much RVW music means to me, & in particular the Lark Ascending.
Some areas around the Salish Sea & Puget Sound must be a bit similar to England. Traveling in the Salish Sea river bottomlands, I often listen to the RVW symphonies, concertos & tone poems, as well as the Lark Ascending. Pretend to walk with RVW, for he was a long distance walker & hiker, often moving from one township to another, to pick up country melodies from people he met, that he might transform into a symphonic interlude.
In the Pacific Northwest, we have the western Meadowlark, similar to the eastern Meadowlark, but with an exquisitely present, three dimensional, yet plaintive, short-phrased, but endearing trill of notes. Walking the fields in the vicinity of Meadowlarks, I often risk getting closer to them, to hear their clear song, evermore clearer. Hiding easily in the tall grasses, the Meadowlarks never-the-less flush with little cause, not letting me get very near, at all. Bursting from the grasses, they rise quickly on hundreds of blurring wings. Unlike the violin melody tho, they do not rise to the high sky, but clear my head by five or six body lengths & whisk away to other parts of the green grassy fields.
But imagining the violin music, I also imagine one Meadowlark, striking out for the high sky. Rising out of the lowlands, above short & tall trees alike, leveling & circling like the melodies, alternately wistful & thrumming energies. The music paints circling views of river, hill, dale & even unEnglish-like mountains in the background. Then upward once again...... rising..... rising above hill & hills more than hills.... always rising to match the heights of those more distant mountains & the music.... up, up & tiny, so tiny. With the last fading strains of music in the highest register of strings, the Meadowlark....... disappears from sight.... so very very high.
Listen to the Lark Ascending, clear tones that define the word soaring, & elegance & bursting life.