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Monday, June 21, 2021

A Little Closer To Heaven ...

(*More pictures and special dedication song added.)

 ... for quiet contemplation ...

Hymn Before Sunrise, in the Vale of Chamouni
Samuel Taylor Coleridge  

Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald, awful head, O sovran Blanc!
The Arve and Arveiron at thy base
Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful Form,
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
How silently! Around thee and above,

Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black—
An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!

O dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon thee
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thoughts: entranced in prayer,
I worshiped the Invisible alone.

Yet, like some sweet, beguiling melody,
So sweet we know not we are listening to it,
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought—
Yea, with my life and life's own secret joy
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused,
Into the mighty vision passing—there,
As in her natural form, swelled vast to Heaven!

Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
Thou owest! Not alone these swelling tears 
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.

Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the vale!
Oh, struggling with the darkness all the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink—
Companion of the morning star at dawn
Thyself Earth's rosy star, and of the dawn

Coherald—wake, oh wake, and utter praise!
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?

And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!
Who called you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
Forever shattered, and the same forever?

Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder, and eternal foam?
And who commanded (and the silence came),
Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest?

Ye icefalls! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain—
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge!
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!

Who made you glorious as the gates of Heaven
Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet?

God!—let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice plains echo, God!
God! sing ye meadow streams with gladsome voice!
Ye pine groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they, too, have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!

Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest!
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
Ye signs and wonders of the elements!
Utter forth, God, and fill the hills with praise!

Thou, too, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene,
Into the depth of clouds that veil thy breast—
Thou too again, stupendous Mountain! thou
That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low

In adoration, upward from thy base,
Slow traveling, with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud,
To rise before me.—Rise, oh ever rise!
Rise like a cloud of incense from the Earth!

Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills,
Thou dread embassador from Earth to Heaven,
Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.

The following pictures were taken after a thunderstorm - this is why they call them the Smoky Mountains (and we're actually at lower elevations - these are not as high as the Smoky Mtns can get ) ... 

This is our cabin, as we're slowly being enveloped in a cloud at sunset.   We're literally inside a cloud :)

I'm pretty sure a cloud just ate us lol. 

So ... do we need to call Stephen King to find out how get out before the fog people come or ... ? ;)


PS - I sang a little song for my husband today, he'd never heard - my granddaddy (the one from Harlan) used to sing it as a sort of lullaby :)

(I think he just can't remember hearing it, because it was actually on an episode of Star Trek NG - Lt. Deanna Troi's father used to sing it to her as a lullaby as a child.)

Though  Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and the Foggy Mountain Boys -  proteges of the father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe -  were among the first to record the song, but the old Appalachian-American folk song has been around for ages, with the original melody has been attributed to an old Irish lullaby :)

It's a strange, sad song for a lullaby, and yet that apparently was the melody's origin despite the ever-changing lyrics ...

"Down In the Valley/Birmingham Jail"
Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and the Foggy Mountain Boys 

Down in the valley, valley so low,
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow
Hear the blow, dear, hear the wind blow ...  hang your head over, hear the wind blow.

Roses love sunshine, violets love dew
Angels in heaven know I love you
If you don't love me, love who you please
Put your arms round me give my heart ease
Give my heart ease, love, give my heart ease
Put your arms round me, give my heart ease

Write me a letter, send it by mail
send it in care of the Birmingham jail
Birmingham Jail, love, Birmingham Jail
Send it in care of the Birmingham jail

Build me a castle forty feet highso I can see her as she rides by
As she rides by, love, as she rides by
so I can see her as she rides by


Down in the valley, valley so low ... hang your head over, hear the wind blow


Bonus Bluegrass Dedication to Mark's father, Thomas Jude Chaplow, September 18, 1939 - June 19,  2021

"Go Rest High on That Mountain"
 Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, and Ricky Skaggs 


I know your life
On earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain
You weren't afraid to face the devil
You were no stranger to the rain

Go rest high on that mountain
Son your work on earth is done
Go to heaven a-shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
We gathered 'round your grave to grieve
Wish I could see the angels faces
When they hear your sweet voice sing

Go rest high on that mountain
Son your work on earth is done
Go to heaven a-shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son

Go rest high on that mountain
Son your work on earth is done
Go to heaven a-shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son
Go to heaven a-shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son

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