A Tribute to Nature

“How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside…”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson, The Swing

The build of De Connick

The old garden with pond and frogs!

“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”
~ William Shakespeare

A missing boat!

“There are moments, above all on June evenings, when the lakes that hold our moons are sucked into the earth, and nothing is left but wine and the touch of a hand.”
~ Charles Morgan

Which fish should I choose?

Green Living

A walk in Fairy Land

Spring is full of poetry.
This is one of my favourite poems by William Shakespeare

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moone’s sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green:
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.

When Nothing Is As It Seems To Be

Constantin Hansen (1804-1880), Slottet Kronborg, 1834. SMK

William Shakespeare and the Danish poet Hans Christian Andersen both linked unforgettable figures to the castle Kronborg
I know that Shakespeare chose the Castle Kronborg as a focal point for Hamlet.
But who put Holger Danske in the casemates in Kronborg, a figure cast in concrete?

I found out that Hans Christian Andersen wrote a fairytale about Holger Danske in Kronborg, which was first published on Apr. 7, 1845.
In 1907 a hotel close to Kronborg ordered a bronze statue of Holger Danske.
The sculptor Hans Pedersen-Dan created a large plaster figure, which formed the basis for the mold of the real statue.
This gypsum figure was placed in the casemate of Kronborg, and became far more famous than the finished statue.
In 1985, the plaster figure was so destroyed by moisture that it was replaced with a copy in concrete.

But we have a saying in Danish: What knowledge do farmers have about cucumber salad?
Perhaps Holger Danske was in fact a dog, a Grand Danois, who belonged to a knight.
The big dogs were trained to run ahead of the front and frighten the enemy’s horses witless.
And what about Shakespeare? Maybe it wasn’t Shakespeare that wrote Hamlet!
This terrible hypothesis is made available by a British Shakespeare researcher and former university teacher, Brenda James, and Professor William Rubinstein of the University of Wales in Aberystwyth.
They claim that the real Shakespeare was an English politician and diplomat Sir Henry Neville, who was the descendant of King Edward III and Johan of Gaunt.

NOTES
The stories of Holger Danske origin is found in the early European poems and epics known as Chansons de Geste.
He first appears in The Song of Roland from the middle of the 12th century as one of Charlemagne’s knights under the name Ogier le Danois.
From the beginning of the 13th century he is found in the song La Chevalerie. In the song, he is the son of the Danish king Gudfred and will be handed over to Charlemagne, ruler of the Frankish Empire as a hostage for peace.

When Gudfred breaks the peace Ogier must die, but the ladies of Charlemagne’s court earnestly pray to spare Ogier’s life because they liked him, and since he is not guilty of his father’s actions, he will be spared.
Later in the 13th century Ogier is found in the poem Les Enfances where Ogier is portrayed as an honorable knight of Charlemagne’s court, and at the end of the song he leads the Frankish army to victory over the Saracens.

In Nordic literature Holger Danske appears in poems inspired by the French, the first time in Karlemagnussaga under the name Oddgeir danski.

In the Danish legend Ogier becomes a king in the mountain; he is said to dwell in the castle of Kronborg, his beard grown down to the floor. He will sleep there until some day when the country of Denmark is in peril, at which time he will rise up and save the nation.

—-

The painting: Constantin Hansen (1804-1880), Slottet Kronborg, 1834. SMK

Elsinore and Kronborg Castle

The old town of Elsinore is like stepping into a fairy tale. One sunny day we went for a stroll from the harbour to Kronborg Castle. Old medieval buildings lure with history, interesting facts and legends. Elsinore and Kronborg Castle always entice with a tale.


Copyright © Hanna Greenwood, Hanna’s Walk 2016.

Note
Elsinore by Wikipedia

Fairy Dust is Essential

The sun breaks through the clouds, and illuminates the bright golden birch trees.
Still, the impression is diffused. As if the colours are more important than the contours.
Has nature decided that today’s colours are the most important issue?
The blueberry rice is empty, but a few hidden blackberries are full of sweetness and memories of the summer’s bounteous harvest of luscious berries.
This place is fairy land. There is no doubt.

Fairy Dust is essential.

Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry,
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.
by William Shakespeare

The Magic Fairy Land

Have you ever been out in field and woodland, by streams and lakes, by a tree all in blossom or a hedgerow laden with berries – and just felt sure that you were not alone?
That’s how Teresa Moorey introduce her book: The Fairy Bible.
I’m tempted to read the book because I feel deeply happy to live in a place much alike.
In these days the hawthorn blossoms on the field, Hvidtjørnesletten and makes an unforgettable impression on all beings.

I have been out there several times this week to experience the atmosphere once again.
One evening the field was kind of sacred. The scent of blossoming hawthorn was intoxicating and the quiet soothing sounds from the animals made the place magical.
The deer moved imperceptible between the hawthorns while they graze.
People seemed affected and stood still or spread a blanket just to sit and be in the present. They were lowering their voice and that might have been because of the fairies.

They were afraid to scare them away.
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.

‘A Fairy Song’ by William Shakespeare

Sweet was the walk along the narrow lane
At noon, the bank and hedge-rows all the way
Shagged with wild pale green tufts of fragrant hay,
Caught by the hawthorns from the loaded wain,
Which Age with many a slow stoop strove to gain;
And childhood, seeming still most busy, took
His little rake; with cunning side-long look,
Sauntering to pluck the strawberries wild, unseen.
Now, too, on melancholy’s idle dreams
Musing, the lone spot with my soul agrees,
Quiet and dark; for through the thick wove trees
Scarce peeps the curious star till solemn gleams
The clouded moon, and calls me forth to stray
Thro’ tall, green, silent woods and ruins gray.

‘Sweet Was The Walk’ by William Wordsworth
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Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is mentioned ruefully by Ophelia in Hamlet (1600–1601):

To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.

—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5