Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: “Full many a flower is born to blush unseen”

 

Anglo-Flemish School, Arthur, Prince of Wales (Granard portrait) -004.jpgNo, that’s not actually the quote of the day. It’s just a line from one of my favorite poems. The actual quote of the day for today, September 20, 2020, is:

“Of all losses, time is the most irrecuperable for it can never be redeemed.”–King Henry VIII

I have no idea if Henry VIII ever actually uttered those words. They’re included as a quote from Henry to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, in an episode of the TV series The Tudors, and that’s close enough for gubmint work right now. Because it’s certainly true, isn’t it? I mean, which of us hasn’t, at some point in our lives, spent an inordinate amount of time on something; a job, a project, a relationship, a hobby, something, anything and somewhere along the way recognized what an utter bloody waste of time it is and has been? And then (at least if you’re me), who hasn’t spent even more time regretting, second-guessing, and trying to put things right before giving ourselves a metaphorical slap upside the head and moving on?

None of you? Well, alrighty then. You’re better men than I am, Gunga Din! (that’s not the Quote of the Day, either. Please try to keep up.)

The reason I’m thinking about Henry VIII today is that it’s the 536th birthday of Arthur, Prince of Wales. Born on September 20, 1484 to Henry VII and his bride Elizabeth of York, Arthur had every expectation of inheriting the throne upon the death of his father.

But (please observe that nothing comes before “but”), on April 2, 1502, and only a year after his arranged marriage, at the age of 15, to Catherine of Aragon (yes, that Catherine. And that Aragon), Arthur died at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire, of an “unknown ailment,” thus ensuring that the throne of England would pass, upon his father’s death, to Henry VII’s second son, the future King Henry VIII.

Hard to imagine an untimely death of a teenager that had more of an impact on world history, and upon which it’s more fun to speculate upon the “what if’s.”

Arthur, Prince of Wales has always been a bit special to me because he’s buried in Worcester, in my hometown cathedral, where his chantry is a beautiful place to visit, and a prime attraction for visitors.

Prince Arthur, Chantry, Tudor heraldry, Worcester Cathedral

I love Worcester Cathedral. It’s large enough, and old enough, to enjoy all the wonderful accoutrements of tradition and history that I require in such special places, yet small enough to encompass and get my head around when I’m trying to understand the whole. I highly recommend it as a stop on a tour of England (if we’re ever allowed to enjoy such things again) for all those who love, as I do, visiting ancient churches and places of worship.

One of the side benefits of Arthur’s burial there is that Henry VIII largely spared Worcester from the worst effects of the dissolution of the monasteries and the ravaging of the churches. So it is a largely intact example of a pre-Henry VIII English monastery and cathedral.

Another huge attraction there is the tomb of King John. Poor old King John.

John, John, bad King John
Shamed the throne that he sat on;
Not a scruple, not a straw,
Cared this monarch for the law;
Promises he daily broke;
None could trust a word he spoke;
So the Barons brought a Deed;
Down to rushy Runnymede,
Magna Carta was it hight,
Charter of the People’s Right,
Framed and fashioned to correct
Kings who act with disrespect –
And with stern and solemn air,
Pointing to the parchment there,
“Sign! Sign! Sign!” they said
“Sign, King John, or resign instead!” —Eleanor Farjeon

Once more, not the QOTD. But a bit of doggerel I learned as a child that stuck with me, through thick and thin, through actual history lessons, and through historical/romantic novels covering the period.

So, when I’m in the English Midlands (please God that I will be again, one day, and that if and when I am, I will be able to make it home to Western PA afterward), I make it a point to visit Worcester Cathedral to see King John and say hello to Prince Arthur.

Here’s Dad, the last time I took him to say hello to King John:

Hello, Dad. Sixty-six years ago today I said those words (in my infant mind) to you for the first time. And that, and all the time I spend with you over the ensuing 53 years, is time I never regretted a moment of, and of which I never considered a moment “wasted.” Thanks for the memories. Love you much and miss you every day.

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  1. Arahant Member

    Happy birthday!


    This is the Quote of the Day. If you have a quotation you would like to share while celebrating some occasion in your life, our sign-up sheet awaits. We still have four open dates this month, including tomorrow and the next day.

    There is also the Group Writing Project. This month, the theme is an easy one: If I was a —, I would —. It looks as if Clifford has three open dates in the future, and some in the past if you have a handy time machine.

    If you haven’t written much on Ricochet, these projects are easy ways to get involved.

    • #1
    • September 20, 2020, at 3:01 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    Oh, also, October is open for those looking ahead.

    • #2
    • September 20, 2020, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. Randy Webster Member

    She: You’re better men than I am, Gunga Din! (that’s not the Quote of the Day, either. Please try to keep up.)

    You’re better than this She

    Though I’ve belted you and flayed you,

    By the living God that made you,

    You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

    • #3
    • September 20, 2020, at 3:05 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Randy Webster Member

    “Full many a flower is born to blush unseen”

    Here I’ve always thought the writers of “Bull Durham” came up with that one on their own.

    • #4
    • September 20, 2020, at 3:09 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. KentForrester Moderator

    Yours is one eclectic post, She. Very eclectic.

    • #5
    • September 20, 2020, at 4:05 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Hoyacon Member

    Thanks for this. It also was one of my father’s favorite poems (English teacher) and he just called it “Gray’s Elegy.” I didn’t know it had an “actual name” until later.

    • #6
    • September 20, 2020, at 4:25 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Midwest Southerner Member

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Happy birthday!

    • #7
    • September 20, 2020, at 10:10 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  8. KentForrester Moderator

    After reading Southerner’s comment, I went back to your last paragraph and finally figured out that it was your birthday. So happy 66th birthday, She. Let the wisdom of your accumulated years flow to all mankind — or at the least to us lucky Ricocheters.

    • #8
    • September 20, 2020, at 11:17 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  9. She Reagan
    SheJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thanks, all. 

     

    • #9
    • September 21, 2020, at 2:25 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. She Reagan
    SheJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ludlow Castle, where poor Prince Arthur died, is another beautiful and evocative place to visit. It’s been about 15 years since I last visited, and it looks as if it’s under new management (when Mr. She and I went, it was pretty much a catch-as-catch can wander about the castle ruins). The town of Ludlow is also worth a visit, especially if you’re a fan of A.E. Housman, whose ashes are interred in St. Laurence Churchyard:

    Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
    And left my necktie God knows where,
    And carried half way home, or near,
    Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
    Then the world seemed none so bad,
    And I myself a sterling lad;
    And down in lovely muck I’ve lain,
    Happy till I woke again.
    Then I saw the morning sky:
    Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
    The world, it was the old world yet,
    I was I, my things were wet,
    And nothing now remained to do
    But begin the game anew.

    I’m reading a Housman biography at the moment. Perhaps that’s what’s got me all maudlin. 

     

    • #10
    • September 21, 2020, at 3:01 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. KentForrester Moderator

    She (View Comment):

    Ludlow Castle, where poor Prince Arthur died, is another beautiful and evocative place to visit. It’s been about 15 years since I last visited, and it looks as if it’s under new management (when Mr. She and I went, it was pretty much a catch-as-catch can wander about the castle ruins). The town of Ludlow is also worth a visit, especially if you’re a fan of A.E. Housman, whose ashes are interred in St. Laurence Churchyard:

    Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
    And left my necktie God knows where,
    And carried half way home, or near,
    Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
    Then the world seemed none so bad,
    And I myself a sterling lad;
    And down in lovely muck I’ve lain,
    Happy till I woke again.
    Then I saw the morning sky:
    Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
    The world, it was the old world yet,
    I was I, my things were wet,
    And nothing now remained to do
    But begin the game anew.

    I’m reading a Housman biography at the moment. Perhaps that’s what’s got me all maudlin.

    Mrs. She, I’ve always liked Housman’s “philosophy” that when he’s drunk on pints of Ludlow beer, “Then the world seemed none so bad/ And I myself a sterling lad.”

    Note that even the muck is “lovely” when he’s drunk. 

     

     

    • #11
    • September 21, 2020, at 4:01 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. She Reagan
    SheJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
    And left my necktie God knows where,
    And carried half way home, or near,
    Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
    Then the world seemed none so bad,
    And I myself a sterling lad;
    And down in lovely muck I’ve lain,
    Happy till I woke again.
    Then I saw the morning sky:
    Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
    The world, it was the old world yet,
    I was I, my things were wet,
    And nothing now remained to do
    But begin the game anew.

    I’m reading a Housman biography at the moment. Perhaps that’s what’s got me all maudlin.

    Mrs. She, I’ve always liked Housman’s “philosophy” that when he’s drunk on pints of Ludlow beer, “Then the world seemed none so bad/ And I myself a sterling lad.”

    Note that even the muck is “lovely” when he’s drunk.

    I’ve been to the farmers’ market in the center of Ludlow a few times (not sure if that’s actually “Ludlow Fair,” but close enough). And I’ve tried the local beer (very good) and the local cheeses (ditto).

    What I most like about the excerpt above is the rather stoical acceptance of the fact that, after getting plastered and lying down in the lovely muck, and after having happy and lovely dreams, when he finally wakes up the narrator must face the fact that it was all a distraction and a phantasm, that reality has resurrected itself, and that really, nothing has changed–“I was I, my things were wet.”

    And that all that’s left to do is wake up, get up, start putting one foot in front of the other again and get on with it.

    Yep.

    Ezra Pound is not a poet I gravitate towards naturally (although he’s sometimes good for a laugh), and I did not know that he’d published Song in the Manner of Housman until reading the biography I mentioned above. It starts like this:

    O woe, woe,
    People are born and die,
    We also shall be dead pretty soon
    Therefore let us act as if we were
    dead already.

    LOL.

    I do love Housman though. So short. So simple. So direct. And so quotable.

    When I was one-and-twenty I heard a wise man say,
    “Give crowns and pounds and guineas
    But not your heart away;
    Give pearls away and rubies
    But keep your fancy free.”
    But I was one-and-twenty,
    No use to talk to me.

    When I was one-and-twentyI heard him say again,
    “The heart out of the bosom
    Was never given in vain;
    ’Tis paid with sighs a plenty
    And sold for endless rue.”
    And I am two-and-twenty,
    And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.

    And

    Here dead lie we because we did not choose
    To live and shame the land from which we sprung.
    Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose;
    But young men think it is, and we were young.

    • #12
    • September 21, 2020, at 5:37 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  13. Manny Member

    I didn’t really have the time to read this, but I did because it was so intriguing. Wonderful piece She. Yes, history would have been totally different if Arthur had lived.

    Yet even these bones from insult to protect
    Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
    With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,
    Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

    • #13
    • September 21, 2020, at 1:00 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. She Reagan
    SheJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Manny (View Comment):

    I didn’t really have the time to read this, but I did because it was so intriguing. Wonderful piece She. Yes, history would have been totally different if Arthur had lived.

    Yet even these bones from insult to protect
    Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
    With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,
    Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

    Thanks, @manny. Also for the additional Gray quote.

    • #14
    • September 21, 2020, at 1:24 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sweet She,

    For you.

    “This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
    This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
    This other Eden, demi-paradise,
    This fortress built by Nature for herself
    Against infection and the hand of war,
    This happy breed of men, this little world,
    This precious stone set in the silver sea,
    Which serves it in the office of a wall,
    Or as a moat defensive to a house,
    Against the envy of less happier lands,
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.” ~ Shakespeare

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #15
    • September 21, 2020, at 1:55 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. She Reagan
    SheJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Sweet She,

    For you.

    “This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
    This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
    This other Eden, demi-paradise,
    This fortress built by Nature for herself
    Against infection and the hand of war,
    This happy breed of men, this little world,
    This precious stone set in the silver sea,
    Which serves it in the office of a wall,
    Or as a moat defensive to a house,
    Against the envy of less happier lands,
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.” ~ Shakespeare

    Thanks, Jim. Here’s my St. George’s Day post from a couple years ago: https://ricochet.com/424485/archives/a-bloody-cross/.  In hoc signo vinces. (That’s for me.)

    Shanah Tovah. (That’s for you.)

    L

     

     

    • #16
    • September 21, 2020, at 2:34 PM PDT
    • Like