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Re: Black swans

Posted by Ward on November 04, 2004

In Reply to: Black swans posted by Smokey Stover on November 04, 2004

: : : : : : :
: : : : : : : The Silver Swan who, living, had no note,
: : : : : : : When death approached, unlocked her silent throat.
: : : : : : : Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
: : : : : : : Thus sung her first and last,
: : : : : : : And sung no more:

: : : : : : : "Farewell all joys, O death come close mine eyes.
: : : : : : : More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise."

: : : : : : :
: : : : : : : Need I say more? SS

: : : : : : You might say it is an Orlando Gibbons composition.

: : : : : I might say that, but it might imply that Gibbons was the author of the poem. He set it to music as a madrigal, published in 1601, but no one seems to know who wrote the words. And it is the words that express the sentiments, among others, that I feel today (November 3). SS

: : : : Did you know we have black swans down here. Completely irrelevant, but I thought I'd mention it. And they're stunning too.

: : : I think 1612 is more accurate for the publication date. There's a great recording by the Hilliard Ensemble that I have on this computer, so I think I'll listen to it.
: : : Ah.

: : Bob, you are so right about the date of publication. It was indeed 1612. SS

: Goddess, as a resident of New Jersey (laugh if you will) I know about black swans. There's a small lake, part of a local park, near Cape May, which is visited by numerous birds, like the loon that I saw there, and numerous humans, some of whom get great enjoyment from bringing cracked corn to feed the ducks. The black swans are a permanent ornament, imported from Australia (where else?). A few years ago a couple of boys killed one of the swans, and there was a local uproar. The boys' parents had to pay the cost of importing another swan, and presumably the boys learned their lesson. But truthfully I don't know what lesson they may have learned. Crime and punishment are what they like to call a "vexed problem." One thing for sure, the human users of the lake were vexed as hell. SS

Black swans are native to Western Australia, in the area near Perth. The Swan River was explored by the Dutch and they were attacked by these black swans, which are said to have a dreadful disposition. The swan attacks, along with an island full of little rodents the Dutch thought were rats, just off the coast, persuaded the Dutch they didn't want anything to do with Australia.
Thanks to the swans, we can talk to the Goddess in English.