A Nations Anthem

daffodils(I wrote this over a year ago when I first started and my ‘health’ got in the way before I published it. Not this time!!)

I thought it be nice to celebrate my patron saints day; St David. So by way of my Special Guest Post, I present to you the Welsh National Anthem. This was written and composed by a Welsh father and son duo, Evan and James James (yip, you read it right) back in 1856. It’s original name was Glan Rhondda.

Some of you will know this anthem from the many concerts and sporting events that it’s played at, for those of you who don’t have a listen over on YouTube. I have also included the very loose English Translation. Please don’t ask me what I mean by ‘very loose’ as I’m no Welsh Teacher and it would probable take a whole first year in school to explain.

Suffice to say, we’ve replaced the letters K, Q, V, X and Z and added two extra’s to make a 28 letter alphabet.

Enjoy!

Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau

Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,

Fathers of the old country dearest to me,

Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;

A country of poets and singers, renowned celebrities;

Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mad,

Her courageous warriors, patriotic people,

Dros ryddid collasant eu gwaed.

For freedom they lost their blood.


(Chorus)

Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i’m gwlad.

Country, country, favourable to my country.

Tra môr yn fur i’r bur hoff bau,

Through sea is a wall of the best favorite,

O bydded i’r hen iaith barhau.

O may the old language continue.


Hen Gymru fynyddig, paradwys y bardd,

The ancient mountainous Wales, paradise of the poet,

Pob dyffryn, pob clogwyn, i’m golwg sydd hardd;

Every valley, every cliff, to my sight is beautiful;

Trwy deimlad gwladgarol, mor swynol yw si

Through a patriotic feeling, it is so charming

Ei nentydd, afonydd, i fi.

Its streams, rivers, for me.


(Chorus)


Os treisiodd y gelyn fy ngwlad tan ei droed,

If the enemy raiseth my country to his feet,

Mae hen iaith y Cymry mor fyw ag erioed,

The old language of the Welsh is as live as ever,

Ni luddiwyd yr awen gan erchyll law brad,

The dread was not dreadfully horrible,

Na thelyn berseiniol fy ngwlad.

Not the berry of my country.

 

 

My Special Guest tonight is…

Helen Hunt Jackson and New Year’s Morning

Mrs Jackson was born in 1830 in Massachusetts. An American poet and writer, she became an activist on behalf of improved treatment of Native Americans by the United States government.

The first book wrote and published under her own name was called ‘A Century of Dishonor’, condemning state and federal Indian policies. She recounted a history of broken treaties and called for significant reform in government policy towards them.

As this is my first guest appearance of the New Year it had to of course be New Year related, so during my search, which I must say seemed difficult, I found this lovely verse. It says a lot about out with the old and in with the new.

New Year’s Morning

Only a night from old to new!
Only a night, and so much wrought!
The Old Year’s heart all weary grew,
But said: The New Year rest has brought.”
The Old Year’s hopes its heart laid down,
As in a grave; but trusting, said:
“The blossoms of the New Year’s crown
Bloom from the ashes of the dead.”
The Old Year’s heart was full of greed;
With selfishness it longed and ached,
And cried: “I have not half I need.
My thirst is bitter and unslaked.
But to the New Year’s generous hand
All gifts in plenty shall return;
True love it shall understand;
By all y failures it shall learn.
I have been reckless; it shall be
Quiet and calm and pure of life.
I was a slave; it shall go free,
And find sweet pace where I leave strife.”

Only a night from old to new!
Never a night such changes brought.
The Old Year had its work to do;
No New Year miracles are wrought.

Always a night from old to new!
Night and the healing balm of sleep!
Each morn is New Year’s morn come true,
Morn of a festival to keep.
All nights are sacred nights to make
Confession and resolve and prayer;
All days are sacred days to wake
New gladness in the sunny air.
Only a night from old to new;
Only a sleep from night to morn.
The new is but the old coem true;
Each sunrise sees a new year born.

My Special Guest tonight is…

Clement Clarke Moore and A Visit from St. Nicholas.

How can you not love this. I’m sure it warms the cockles of every heart and if it doesn’t then… BAH Humbug on you !!!

Until I did my homework I always thought it was called “The Night Before Christmas” some also call it “T’was the Night Before Christmas” from its first line. Whatever you call it it’s brilliant. Everything a Christmas poem should be and more.

Digging deeper though it seems there’s a little scandal behind it. It was first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837. Some commentators now believe the poem was written by Henry Livingston Junior, (Oww Err Mrs). Well whoever wrote it… Bravo!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

 

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

 

The children were nestled all snug in their beds;

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

 

And mamma in her ‘kerchief’, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

 

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

 

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

 

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,

 

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,

 

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.

 

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

 

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

 

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

 

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

 

So up to the housetop the coursers they flew

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too —

 

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

 

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

 

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

 

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.

 

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

 

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;

 

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;

 

He had a broad face and a little round belly

That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

 

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

 

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

 

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

 

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

 

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

 

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

 

Image from Pixabay, Modified by JRFC

My Special Guest tonight is…

Christina Rossetti and In the Bleak Mid Winter

So I love the song with the same title but it turns out that this poem, which I’ve actually tried to read with the tune but doesn’t quite work, was written long before the song. Huh who would have known.

Christina Georgina Rossetti born in England in 1830 wrote a variety or poems but was famous for the Goblin Market and Remember. She also wrote the words of two Christmas carols well known in the British Isles: This one, first published as ‘A Christmas Carol’ and Love Came Down at Christmas.

By the way, if you get a chance to read the Goblin Market; do it. I almost posted it for Halloween but it is a very long piece and I just didn’t think it suited at the time.

So, sit yourself in front of what ever heat source you have and enjoy.

In the Bleak Mid Winter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

 

Image from Pixabay, modified by JRFC

My Special Guest tonight is…

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Christmas Bells

Well whadda you know Mr Longfellow wrote some Christmas stuff as well.

Allow me to explain. Back in October I found this great poem while doing a bit of recon for Halloween and came across the gentleman. You can have a look at that post here if you like. The point is I found this little jewel and fell in love with it.

It’s so oldie worldy Christmas with phrases like… Don’t worry I won’t spoil it for you.

Hope you enjoy.

Christmas Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th’unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
‘There is no peace on earth, ‘ I said
‘For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.’

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

Image from Pixabay, modified by JRFC.