Tag Archives: books

Earth’s Answer

Blake's illustration and print of "Earth's Answer" in Copy B of Song's of Innocence and Experience, 1789, 1794, The British Museum

Blake’s illustration and print of “Earth’s Answer” in Copy B of Song’s of Innocence and Experience, 1789, 1794, The British Museum

Earth’s Answer by William Blake
from Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, 1794

 

EARTH’S ANSWER

Earth raised up her head
From the darkness dread and drear,
Her light fled,
Stony, dread,
And her locks covered with grey despair.

Prisoned on watery shore,
Starry jealousy does keep my den
Cold and hoar;
Weeping o’er,
I hear the father of the ancient men.

Selfish father of men!
Cruel, jealous, selfish fear!
Can delight,
Chained in night,
The virgins of youth and morning bear.

Does spring hide its joy,
When buds and blossoms grow?
Does the sower
Sow by night,
Or the ploughman in darkness plough?

Break this heavy chain,
That does freeze my bones around!
Selfish, vain,
Eternal bane,
That free love with bondage bound.

 

Books by or about William Blake

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Hayden’s Chats

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century there were lots of books around for collectors of old objects. The books would contain photographs or illustrations alongside descriptions(chats) of things such as, furniture, miniatures, lace and needlework, books, etc. The old photographs often have a haunted and animated quality that belies the rather straightforward descriptions.

The following are some selections from one of the more well-known books, Chats on Old Furniture: A Practical Guide for Collectors by Arthur Hayden, 1905.

***

Take, for example, the mirror with the frame of carved oak, with scroll outline and narrow bands inlaid with small squares of wood, alternately light and dark. This inlay is very coarsely done, and unworthy to compare with Italian marquetry of contemporary date, or of an earlier period. The uprights and feet of the frame, it will be noticed, are baluster-shaped. The glass mirror is of nineteenth-century manufacture. The date carved upon the frame is 1603, the first year of the reign of James I., and it is stated to have come from Derby Old Hall.

oldmirror

MIRROR.

Glass in oak frame with carved scroll outline and narrow 

bands inlaid with small squares of wood. The glass nineteenth 

century.

ENGLISH. DATED 1603.

(Victoria and Albert Museum.)

***

The French Renaissance cabinet of walnut illustrated is from Lyons, and is of the later part of the sixteenth century. It is finely carved with terminal figures, masks, trophies of ornaments, and other ornament. In comparison with the sixteenth-century ebony cabinet of the period of Henry IV., finely inlaid with ivory in most refined style, it is obvious that a great variety of sumptuous furniture was being made by the production of such diverse types as these, and that the craftsmen were possessed of a wealth of invention. The range of English craftsmen’s designs during the Renaissance in this country was never so extensive, as can be seen on a detailed examination of English work.

oldcabinet

CABINET OF WALNUT

FRENCH (LYONS); SECOND HALF OF SIXTEENTH CENTURY.

Carved with terminal figures, masks, and trophies of arms.

(Victoria and Albert Museum.)

***

The illustration of the fine Elizabethan bedstead gives a very good idea of what the domestic furniture was like in the days immediately succeeding the Spanish Armada. It is carved in oak; with columns, tester, and headboard showing the classic influence. It is ornamented in marquetry, and bears the date 1593.

oldbed

ELIZABETHAN BEDSTEAD. DATED 1593.

Carved oak, ornamented in marquetry.

(Height, 7 ft. 4 in.; length, 7 ft. 11 in.; width, 5 ft. 8 in.)

(Victoria and Albert Museum.)

***

FINIS.

oldworms

PIECE OF SPANISH CHESTNUT 

SHOWING RAVAGES OF WORMS.

Also by Arthur Hayden

Chats on Old silver

Furniture Designs of Chippendale Hepplewhite & Sheraton

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail