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Monday, September 12, 2011

Sweet Afton

Here's a version of the poem, Sweet Afton by Robert Burns, sung by Chris Thile of Nickel Creek (on mandolin). The poem describes the Afton River in Ayrshire, Scotland (the poem is posted below the video) ...



Sweet Afton
- Robert Burns

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Thou stock-dove, whose echo resounds thro' the glen,
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear,
I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,
Far mark'd with the courses of clear winding rills;
There daily I wander as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,
Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;
There oft, as mild Ev'ning leaps over the lea,
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides,
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As gathering sweet flowrets she stems thy clear wave.

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream


2 Comments:

Blogger Dina said...

Really?? And I was thinking it was just a legend about Helene. Oi

1:14 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Dina,

Well, it's hard to say what actually happened of course. Here's a page with some art on the subject - Art in Tscany - describing the painting, The Torture of Judas the Jew by Piero della Francesca.

And a Wikipedia page on the subjects writes that there were three accounts of the discovery of the cross curculating around the Roman Empire in the 4th century and ... In one, the Jew Judas knew of the location of the Cross, and revealed it under torture.

I'm skeptical about the whole story/legend - it's said that if you gathered all the bits of the true cross together, you'd have a forest of crosses :) - but even so, to make a saint of a person who was said to have tortured someone is repugnant, I think.

3:52 PM  

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