Sailing to Byzantium

26 11 2006


That is no country for old men. The young

In one another’s arms, birds in the trees –

Those dying generations – at their song,

The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,

Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long

Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.

Caught in that sensual music all neglect

Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,

A tattered coat upon a stick, unless

Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing

For every tatter in its mortal dress,

Nor is there singing school but studying

Monuments of its own magnificence;

And therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire

As in the gold mosaic of a wall,

Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,

And be the singing-masters of my soul.

Consume my heart away; sick with desire

And fastened to a dying animal

It knows not what it is; and gather me

Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take

My bodily form from any natural thing,

But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make

Of hammered gold and gold enamelling

To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;

Or set upon a golden bough to sing

To lords and ladies of Byzantium

Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

William Butler Yeats


Viscount Armstrong Dumaurier – Fragments

26 11 2006

Porcelain and Marble

When Imogen met with the Viscount, before he said anything, he suggested she take the items he gave her into her luggage as fragments for the tour. Needless to say she was intrigued. A piece of old marble and a shard of oriental china. He said he received them once from a potter named Orlando Non Furioso, in the famed “City of Ladies” in Lemuria, who had unearthed them from underneath his studio there.

(copyright Imogen Crest 2006.)

Enchanteur Ready to Go

26 11 2006


Enchanteur is in control, at the harbour, ready to set out on the Grand Tour. She has bags of dream seeds to be loaded on the boats and plenty of helpers. This is going to be quite an adventure and it may be years before she returns. Who will be her companion and guide? Rumour hath it that there is a titled Lord who will travel with her? Lord Montgomery no less! How Enchanteur has become involved with a Lord is unclear but she does have an extensive network and is ever an opportunist. Perhaps this Lord has something to teach her.

Preparing to Go

26 11 2006


A traveller, at Riversleigh Manor, packed and ready to leave on the Grand Tour.

Packing Cases

26 11 2006

Guide Book

Luggage for the Grand Tour with the Viscount has been packed with subdued anticipation. There are maps, binoculars, paints, papers, small canvas, pen and ink, jangling coins in a leather pouch, small guidebooks, and suitable clothing. Seasickness pills, lotions and potions, grooming requisites and bottled water fill our leather satchels and cases. Great works of art and architecture fill our minds, treasures of the orient, great urns and vases of antiquity with tales to tell. The breeze blows around the cool winds of the Southampton docks, and the travellers gather, expectant of warmer climes.

(copyright Imogen Crest 2006.)