Tuesday, 18 August 2009

There's a beautiful old song that reminds me of walking down this path next to the rambling rose. It's from an opera by Handel though was popularised as Silent Worship by various early c20th tenors. (credit: Susan Hamlyn)

Did you not hear My Lady Go down the garden singing Blackbird and thrush were silent To hear the alleys ringing...
Oh saw you not My Lady Out in the garden there Shaming the rose and lily For she is twice as fair.
Though I am nothing to her Though she must rarely look at me And though I could never woo her I love her till I die.
Surely you heard My Lady Go down the garden singing Silencing all the songbirds And setting the alleys ringing...
But surely you see My Lady Out in the garden there Rivaling the glittering sunshine With a glory of golden hair.

I have visions of one of the early residents of this house doing just that, her white, empire line gown dragging behind her slightly on the grass.

Now, I'm not really one for reality but I should probably mention that they would be wearing something different in 1881 but perhaps there was another garden here on this site before. This has put me in mind to find out what was here before. Apparently the Bodleian Library in Oxford has some old maps of the neighbourhood dating from 1850 so they might give me a clue; from now on, I'm on the hunt...

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