Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Holy Places of France - the beauty of the Mont

Didn't I see the sheep?

So beautiful and pure

Grazing as though in Heaven

So peaceful and secure:


In the distance a mountain

So lovely to behold

perhaps as a graceful fountain

sometime made of gold:


For was it not thus

this rock of St Michel so?

For us,

looking as from below?


The Heavens must have gazed down upon us this day

For it had been raining all upon the way-

A beautiful place

this saintly abode

Mont St Michel

The Angels sing:


Heaven's grace could surely

not find another

of beauty and harmony

graceful in each other;

This life, this love

enduring spirit

Mont St Michel

Shines as from above:


for it was in June

I visited this place;

the Sun shone down

upon its face:-

come late after noon:


Majesty, beauty

so rare, so unseen

Graces from Heaven

a celestial Queen;

For this was a place

I always wished to see

My hope, my esprit,

My reason to be-

for God in his mercy

Looked down upon me-


I came to Mont St Michel

with hope in my heart

to be inspired

right from the start;


Beauteous gardens

do wrap around me

Old stone walls

do surround me;


Garlands of flowers

do cry out to the sea

The measure of beauty

is unknown to thee;

whispering trees

bedecked and unknown

Stand shivering

in lees

golden and blown;

This beauteous monument

flings wild its charms

Joan of Arc, Saint Michael

the free;

Praying for more of wonders

to see;

A chapel beholden

The spirit emboldened

This wondrous place

A haven of grace;

Came from above

to render its place;

A miracle

wrought to be;

In dazzling light

splendour bright

a silvery show

glistening reflections

of a sea and sky bow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Beloved of Isis by Christian Jacq

Once again Christian Jacq writes a masterpiece. Wonderful story-telling!

This story revolves around the last days of Mozart's life,

the French revolution and its impact, the freemasonry of the times and

the beauty of Mozart's music.

This book is a gem.

Unfortunately, this book also deals with the last days of Mozart.

It is beautiful in its telling. So many truths and unanswered questions.

It is an unfortunate and sad time for Mozart but there are

also many wonderful highlights with his friendships, his

wife, Constance, his children and his dog, Gaukerl.

Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute, is the culmination of

many years of enlightenment.

He composed beautiful music

which was serene and enduring for clarinet

and horn. He also composed string quartets.

He had been composing dances

for the Viennese people who liked to enjoy themselves

and dance, especially in the week-ends.

The music of Mozart endures today

and it is wonderful to read a book which gives inspiration

and shows the courage and beauty of the musician.

The book is spiritual, beautiful, truthful and gives such wonderful

insights into the dramas of the times.

A book well recommended for people who love the music of Mozart!

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

A wonderful way to start the New Year!

A perennial favourite, These Old Shades, by Georgette Heyer

is a wonderful romance story which would appeal to people

who enjoy reading of the elegance and beauty of earlier times.

This story is set during the time of Louis XV in France.

Descriptions of the Court of Versailles, the nobility of France and England

at Versailles and in Paris and also in England are related in a unique way with

special insights which give the story its charm.

A way of life which seems all but lost now is quite fascinating in

its detail to read.

Elegance, wit, sophistication and drama are all elements of this story.

The story centres around Leon, a page of his Grace, the Duke of Avon,

and of the Duke's friends and family.. also of the Duke's rivalry with an

old enemy the Count of Saint-Vire.

Little is known of Leon until later in the story.

There is a game to be played of which many of the characters are ignorant.

However, the Duke of Avon has a winning hand in this game which involves

old passions, the way of the world in eighteenth century France and high society.

I loved this story.

Adventure and romance engage the reader and enliven the story.

The characters are believable, the settings authentic, even an old stage coach inn

in France where many of the characters of the story meet before embarking

on a journey to Paris.

The spirited page, Leon, whose

loyalty and love for the Duke of Avon give a magical touch

and add another dimension to the story which is quite beautiful.

The true identity of Leon, the page, who later becomes a ward of the Duke of Avon

is also finally revealed.

A magical story!