Sunday, 3 January 2016

Lyrics of the Heart …



An appropriate title for the first post of the year … this poem “The Siege of Belgrade” I came across in one of my mother’s books … and thought what a wonderful way to lead us forward towards April and our A-Z Challenge 2016.


 Alaric Alexander Watts (1797 – 1864) was a poet and journalist, born in London, who together with his wife, was dedicated to newspaper creation and editing …



It is also available in Audio Book form

… I found this in MacMillan’s “Familiar Quotations” published in 1891, but Watts’ poems were collected as “Lyrics of the Heart” published in 1850.  It is believed this poem was written in the 1820s.  Enjoy ...



An Austrian army, awfully array’d,

Boldly by battery besiege Belgrade;

Cossack commanders cannonading come,

Deal devastation’s dire destructive doom;

Ev’ry endeavour engineers essay,

For fame, for freedom, fight, fierce furious fray.

Gen’rals ‘gainst gen’rals grapple, ---- gracious God!

How honours Heav’n heroic hardihood!

Infuriate, indiscriminate in ill,

Just Jesus, instant innocence instill!

Kinsmen kill kinsmen, kindred kindred kill.

Labour low levels longest, loftiest lines;

Men march ‘midst mounds, motes, mountains, murd’rous mines.

Now noisy, noxious numbers notice nought,

Of outward obstacles o’ercoming ought;

Poor patriots perish, persecution’s pest!

Quite quiet Quakers “Quarter, quarter” quest;

Reason returns, religion, right, redounds,

Suwarrow stop such sanguinary sounds!

Truce to thee, Turkey, terror to they train!

Unwise, unjust, unmerciful Ukraine!

Vanish vile vengeance, vanish victory vain!

Why wish we warfare? Wherefore welcome won

Xerxes, Xantippus, Xavier, Xenoplion?

Yield, ye young Yaghier, yeoman, yield your yell!

Zimmerman’s Zoroaster’s, Zeno’s zeal


Again attract; arts against arms appeal.
Siege of Nandorfehervar
 1456 - Ottoman miniature

All, all ambitious aims, avaunt, away!

Et cætera, et cætera, et cæterā …



All together we commence 2016 … we go forth and multiply our words across the blogosphere …


… we draw new people in, we acknowledge successful authors, poets, photographers, artists ... we encourage, we support those with ill health, we relate to and we share with each other …


Belgrade


… the 2016 A-Z cometh – let’s enjoy ourselves in 2016 broadening our reach for compassion and peace …





Serbia in Europe

For info:     Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia from its creation in 1918, to its final dissolution in 2006.  

It is now capital of Serbia … and is currently negotiating its European Union Accession.


Plus please remember sentiments have changed in 200 years ... since the poem was written.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

43 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Oh what fun.
I am endlessly fascinated by the warmth and the wonder I have found in the blogosphere.
And the talent.

Out on the prairie said...

An interesting piece, I am not sure if they found peace ever.Many I talked with are still in a calamity.

Patsy said...

You're right, Hilary - writing blogs generally are encouraging and supportive and they draw people together in a kind of wordy (rather than worldly!) community.

DEZMOND said...

thanks for mentioning Serbia, Hilary, the secret headquarters of Dezzy the Spy :) Sadly, due to its geographical and strategical position Belgrade is the most time devastated capital city in world history. It was destroyed to the ground by invaders and rebuilt countless times, last time when NATO bombs rained death upon us in 1999 for three months without stopping. But we survived that like everything else.

Beate said...

Hilary, your posts are always so amazing and every time I'm learning something new. Thank you for always sharing this with us!
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas season and I wish you a very happy and healthy New Year!
I've never had the time for the A - Z challenge in the past years but reading it in your post now really makes me curious if I could actually come up with posts for it. I'll have to think about that :)
The blogosphere is so amazing, I had no idea what a wonderful world to expect when I entered it :) I'm so blessed to know you and many other wonderful bloggers.
Have an amazing Sunday!
Lots of hugs to you,
Beate

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

He was doing the A to Z Challenge long before we were even born!

beste barki said...

We don't learn from history, I'm afraid. We look back at how ignorant and futile all endeavor was and yet we continue being just as ignorant and futile in our actions. There is a lot of positive in sharing, though. Salut, Beste

rosaria williams said...

What an uplifting post! Starting the year off on a cheery note, for sure. Happy New Year.

Sai Charan said...

Great poem :) Thanks Hilary for sharing it here, a perfect post to start the year :)

Cheers,
Sai

Vallypee said...

A great and inspiring post, Hilary. And a marvellous poem too! I love blogosphere! There is so much that is interesting to read and such wonderful, warm friends. Long may it continue. Thanks for giving us such a lift into the new year!

Joanne said...

Absolutely
Bravura
Call

to arm the Blog posts.......and write in 2016
(neat post)

Pearson Report said...

Interesting poem, and beautiful picture of Belgrade.

I hope 2016 is starting off with much happiness and joy. I'm sending sunny hugs to you from my side of the planet. xo

Sherry Ellis said...

I second what Alex said. He'd be perfect for the A-Z challenge!

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Apologies for taking so long to arrive here and leave one of my highly sought after comments.

I had no idea that the dreaded alphabet challenge was formulated, possibly in the 1820's. Wonder if Arlee Bird was there to help with the poem.

Seriously, your thoughts for 2016 are ideals I share.

Cheers from "oop North!"

Gary

Jo said...

Fascinating Hilary. In my younger days, when I wrote a lot of poetry, I used to write some poems beginning with the letters of names - it was fun to do.

I am not 100% sure I will do the A to Z this year. We shall see.

Happy New Year

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC - it is fun isn't it .. and yes I agree - amazing time and warmth we all seem to bring to the blogosphere ...

@ Steve - I don't think anyone ever found peace for a long time - one day I sincerely hope ...

@ Patsy - thanks ... I find everyone generous and supportive and we are a community ...

@ Dezmond - good to see you - and thanks re Serbia.

You know that part of the world well - I've never been ... but would hope we can help bring some sort of peace and love to the area: humanity does try, I believe .. though sometimes I do wonder.

@ Beate - gosh thanks so much. I had a lovely Christmas and New Year season. That's good you'll be thinking about the A-Z - it's hard work, but great fun and we meet some amazing fellow bloggers that way.

I don't think any of us expected the blogosphere world we found and this one is particularly fun ... we're very lucky - but we all make it ...

@ Alex - Alaric Watts was clever with his words wasn't he ...

@ Beste - sadly we don't learn about our historical problems, that rear their heads once again .. exactly we don't learn to think ... appreciate you sharing thoughts though ...

@ Rosaria - it is fun isn't it .. and an uplifting different start to 2016 ...

@ Sai - I enjoyed finding it and had to post the poem for New Year ...

@ Val - thanks so much .. the poem is fun isn't it - while the blogosphere is just amazing and I agree with your thoughts ... glad the poem lifts you into the New Year ...

@ Joanne - thanks for your ABCs of approval ... clever comment!

@ Jenny - lovely to see you .. thank you we need some sunny hugs - still gloomy here and wet unfortunately. I gather Yugoslavia is beautiful ...

@ Sherry - I know it was an amazing poem to find - a good tongue twister, I think ...

@ Gary - we all get round when we can - no worries .. it's fun to think the Challenge might have been formulated in the 1820s - I'm sure Arlee's great great grandfather was around to help with the words!!

Thanks - it's the ideals we need to remember and share ..

@ Jo - I'd love to be able to write poetry - but not my forte, however when I find something that totally resonates I must share on the blog. Clever you in being able to draft up some poetry ... there's time to think about the Challenge, you'll be missed - it's fun, but hard work ... great if you do, sad if you don't - but we all understand ...

Thanks to you all - so pleased the poem is being happily received - it's tongue twister material I think! Happy New Year to everyone and your families ... cheers Hilary


Trisha F said...

That was a fun poem to share, though not on a very nice topic! (boo to war!)

It sort of reminds me of when I was studying medieval English writing and read the Chanson de Rolande - they "smote" this and they "smote" that ;)

Elsie Amata said...

I absolutely love that piece! I'm so glad you found it! Happy New Year :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

A to Z will be upon us before we know it. It seems like one war just leads to the next and on and on.

Bish Denham said...

Wow, and it rhymes too! Very cleaver and I bet it took a while to write.

Happy New Year, Hilary!

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

Your post was wonderful as usually. I found the comments quite nice this time around, too. Happy New Year, Hilary.

Chrys Fey said...

That poem is perfect for A to Z. I'd love to see someone do something like that every day. And it was a historical piece which is a bonus.

Madeleine Sara said...

Happy New Year Hilary. I'm always impressed by the amount of reading you must do. I think those poetry lyrics would make a great A-Z blog challenge set of posts, as other commenters have said.

Deborah Weber said...

Oh I do love the idea of starting the year's postings with a bit of A-to-Z ing! Nice start Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Trisha - I know about the War aspects ... but I couldn't resist the words - just wonderful .. ones we don't use in this day and age. I can imagine Medieval English writing would tie in ... they 'smote' this etc ... the word usage has changed so much over time.

@ Elsie - I was chuffed when I found the poem back in the summer and thought ah ha - that's a good one to start the year ...

@ Susan - I know the A-Z does seem to come around very quickly ... I'm afraid War is war, whether it's here or there ... and it's not a good thing at all -

@ Bish - it's a great poem - they (he and his wife) must have been clever wordsmiths - I loved it when I read it ...

@ Holly - thanks so much .. I reckon I'm lucky with the comments - people are pretty kind and thoughtful - sometimes everyone is busy - I understand .. but I do love having that repartee.

@ Chrys - gosh that would stretch someone to do the A-Z like that ... and make it topical, historically or as of today, would add some pressure ...

@ Madeleine - this was opening one of my mother's books and the poem 'popped' out at me - I couldn't resist - so New Year was prepared in the Summer.

I guess I could use each line and add some historical entry ... but not this year - the A-Z is being written right now! It's certainly a good thought.

@ Deborah - it's a good lead in ... especially as most of us know about the A-Z ... the poem was perfect ...

Cheers everyone - lovely to have your comments and thank you for staying to do so - Have very Happy New Years ... Hilary

Janet Johnson said...

That is amazing and so clever! It definitely feels like war. People never cease to amaze me with their creativity. LOVE that it's from the 1820s.

And you amaze me with all your interesting finds. Thank you so much for sharing with us! :) Cheers! And have a wonderful day!

Jeffrey Scott said...

An A-Z poem, how thrilling.
I too am looking forward to this next A-Z come April.
Wow, is it really just three months away?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Janet - it's amazing it's from the 1820s ... I was so glad I found the poem - totally accidental ...

I just find snippets and want to write about them ... and enjoy mixing items up a bit ... so I don't get bored, let alone anyone else!

@ Jeffrey - I was thrilled when I saw the poem .. and I look forward to the A-Z .. though I never seem to be ready for it - perhaps this year I might be.

Cheers to you both - Hilary

Paula Kaye said...

A great poem and I love how you so colorfully displayed it on your blog!!

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary! What a find and so apt at this juncture in history...sadly. When I read poems like this I just feel so thankful I wasn't born in one of those violence riddled countries like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. What did we do to be born into a peaceful country which is not trampled by invading hordes. Nothing. 'There but by the grace of God go I'.

Thank you for bringing it to your readers. And thanks for being such a gem in the blogosphere. We can trust Hilary to have her finger on the pulse.

Denise :-)

DMS said...

When I saw the mention of A-Z I realized that April really will be here before we know it! I have written a lot of poetry in my life, but never one that had each line start with the next letter of the alphabet. So interesting!

I do love the blogging friends I have met. So nice to connect with people all over the world. :)
~Jess

Mark Koopmans said...

That is impressive!!

Especially as it's 200 years old ;)

Happy New Year, Hilary :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Now that's an interesting poetic exercise! Love the title Lyrics of the Heart. Wonder if Watts knew Byron and Keats and Shelley (whom I've been reading more about lately, since they all passed through Switzerland!)...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Paula - I just wanted to separate each line ... as it's quite a difficult elocution lesson! Giving us all a chance to 'carefully' read each line seemed to make sense.

@ Denise - sadly it is apt - but wasn't intended by me to be so - I just loved the alliteration and the poetry and had to let it loose once again into the world. Yes I count my blessings that I was born in England - life is interesting at the moment ... history in the making. Thanks for the compliment ... this posting was a fortuitous find.

@ Jess - April does come round quite quickly ... and just finding this poem reminded me and is a fascinating poetical take on the A-Z ...

Thanks too - there's some amazing talent out there ... which through blogging we find - perhaps we wouldn't in the normal course of events - and the friends we make ... it is quite extraordinary and wonderful.

@ Mark - it's a fun poem as well as appropriate ... would be good with an OIrish accent! Perhaps the boys would have fun reading it ..

@ Deniz - 'exercise' is the word - good one ... tongue twister too. The title seems almost 21st style. I'm sure they would all have known each other or of each other ... though Watts spent some time in Leeds and Manchester and out of London. His photo looks Byronic ...

Manzanita said...

There you go, Hilary, an offshoot of the A-Z. I hate to wish my life away
as there's so little of it left now, but it would be nice to step out into
April right now. I'm thinking of my chickens and how much they love
being outside and hate this cooped up-cold-weather business. A friend
recently sent pictures of Belgrade and I remembered that I used to be
able to sing the Serbian National Anthem. Long, long years ago. LOL

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

His ability to spell all the X word correctly indicates the fine fellow owned a decent dictionary. This was fun. He sounded like a jolly o sort. Happy New Year, Hilary.

Lowcarb team member said...

'Blogging land' can be so much fun and interesting too.
Meeting new people, discovering new and sometimes very different things.

Happy New Year

All the best Jan

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a cool poem! You could probably use it as a unique basis for the A-Z challenge by using one line of it at a time and expounding on it. :)

The blogoshpere is an amazing place, and I'm happy to be a teeny little part of it. Happy New Year, Hilary! It's been fun getting to know you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene - the X words are excellent aren't they ... I guess they must have had dictionaries to look at somewhere ... he obviously loved his language.

@ Jan - yes blogging land is surprisingly fun ... and we learn so much. And then the friends we meet ...

@ Susan - I could do exactly as you thought - but I won't be! However I could bear it in mind for another year at some stage - I'm sure I will re-use it.

As you say ... I've been blown away by how much fun the blogosphere has been - and just being around and meeting new friends, seeing old ones is such fun

Thanks so much - it's a great place being here and seeing everyone come by - love it! Happy New Year to you all .. cheers Hilary

scarlett clay said...

Rich history in that poem, thank you for sharing it. I was supposed to travel to the former Yugoslavia (Dubrovnik) with my family to snow ski when I was young (around 1986) , but I broke my arm a week before the trip and had to cancel. My relatives brought me a coin set from Yugoslavia that I still have. That Ottoman miniature is fascinating, so much detail for such a small piece of art work.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Scarlett - yes .. I loved the poem and am delighted everyone's seemed to enjoy it. What a pity about your trip in the eighties - how sad ... but lovely to have the coin set in lieu - not quite the same thing but a thoughtful gift.

I loved the Ottoman miniature so was glad to put it into the blog - it's good you appreciated the art work.

Cheers and lovely to see you here .. Hilary

Susan Scott said...

I'll go back to read others' comments and your responses in turn Hilary, and no doubt the poem again - how clever it is thank you for reproducing it. It is like a snapshot of history even though 200 years ago.

Will hop off to your other more recent posts while I have a spot of time!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - that's great you're going to see what everyone has said .. I try and answer appropriately ... so hope they all make sense.

The poem is a delight - I simply had to post it. It is a snapshot of history, as well as language too - I'm delighted everyone's enjoyed it ..

Thanks for visiting the other posts and Cheers Hilary