Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Today, I got caught in the rain.

It was supposed to be a forty-minute walk on the Nanaimo Parkway Walkway, but it was cut short at twenty minutes when the rain began to fall. I huddled in a little shelter and waited for Robin to pick me up. I felt a little silly, because as soon as I made the call, the rain stopped. However, by the time we got home, it was raining in earnest, so I felt better. I wasn't wearing rain gear, and that would have made for a cold and soggy hike.

Just as I got home, the CBC played "I Have Loved Flowers That Fade", a part song by Gerald Finzi. It is a setting of the poem by Robert Bridges.

I rushed inside to find the piece on YouTube, because I really, really wanted you to hear it - but it sn't there. Drat. I did find the poem, though. I found it here.

I Have Loved Flowers That Fade

by Robert Bridges


I have loved flowers that fade,
Within whose magic tents
Rich hues have marriage made
With sweet unmemoried scents:
A honeymoon delight,
A joy of love at sight,
That ages in an hour
My song be like a flower!.

I have loved airs that die
Before their charm is writ
Along a liquid sky
Trembling to welcome it.
Notes, that with pulse of fire
Proclaim the spirit's desire,
Then die, and are nowhere
My song be like an air!.

Die, song, die like a breath,
And wither as a bloom;
Fear not a flowery death,
Dread not an airy tomb!
Fly with delight, fly hence!
'Twas thine love's tender sense
To feast; now on thy bier
Beauty shall shed a tear.

The poem is lovely, but the poem set to music by Finzi and sung by Musica Intima was breathtaking. I proceeded to scour YouTube for more Finzi or more Bridges, and I did find lots more Finzi - mostly recordings of his well-known "My Spirit Sang All Day", which is also a setting of a Bridges poem. This version features Chanticleer.



To backtrack a little, yesterday's trip to Victoria was fun but frustrating. We ran seven errands here in Nanaimo before we left town, so by the time we got to Victoria it was well after noon and we were famished.
We picked up our friend Clarence and went to Spinnakers, where we shared a delicious lunch. I am proud to say that I did not succumb to the temptation presented as soon as you walk in the door, a case full of hand-made chocolates that include the candy of my dreams - dark chocolate with black pepper and lavender, which sounds awful and tastes heavenly. There's another case off to the right, which contains the artisan bread that Spinnakers also makes. It's an evil place, I tell you.
Then we went back to Clarence's place, because he had a collection of photos to show us. His father had a long navy career, and the photos document that career. It was all very interesting, and it included some pre-WWII and WWII snapshots (of people, not ships) that I found fascinating. Unfortunately, by the time we finished looking at pictures and documents, we had to rush to get out of Victoria before rush hour. I didn't get a chance to see the things that I love best about Victoria. I love to walk on the sea wall at Dallas Road, to wander the gardens at the Provincial Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel, and to stop in at Starfish Glassworks to watch the glass blowers at work. All that will have to wait for our next trip, I'm afraid. We did manage to beat the rush, though, so I have no complaint (not any more. I complained bitterly at the time!)

The sun is out again, so I think I'll prune some of the shrubs outside the house, else the sunshine will never reach our windows.

n.b. This is my second attempt to post this message. The first one got garbled in the translation.

2 comments:

John Hayes said...

Lovely singing, & I liked the (printed) Bridges' poem too-- don't know his work that well-- mainly know his connection to Hopkins & that he was laureate.

I'm that way about visiting places, too-- there are always the familiar haunts that I want to go to or it doesn't seem right!

Sandra Leigh said...

I lived in Victoria for a year. I was a fifteen-minute walk from the Empress, two blocks from Dallas Road. It was a wonderful place to live. There were several houses along my route to work where I had to stop and smell the roses over the front fence.

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