A Cradle Song – William Blake

Sweet dreams form a shade
O’er my lovely infant’s head;
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams
By happy, silent, moony beams.

Sweet sleep with soft down
Weave thy brows an infant crown.
Sweet sleep, Angel mild,
Hover o’er my happy child.

Sweet smiles in the night
Hover over my delight;
Sweet smiles, Mother’s smiles,
All the livelong night beguiles.

Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,
Chase not slumber from thy eyes.
Sweet moans, sweeter smiles,
All the dovelike moans beguiles.

Sleep sleep, happy child,
All creation slept and smil’d;
Sleep sleep, happy sleep,
While o’er thee thy mother weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Holy image I can trace.
Sweet babe, once like thee,
Thy maker lay and wept for me,

Wept for me for thee for all,
When he was an infant small.
Thou his image ever see.
Heavenly face that smiles on thee,

Smiles on thee on me on all,
Who became an infant small,
Infant smiles are His own smiles,
Heaven & earth to peace beguiles.

Salisbury + Stonehenge

1. West Drayton to Salisbury(West Drayton-Reading-Basingstoke-Reading) – £37.60(2 persons with discount)
2. Try to catch the 9:30 shuttle to Stonehenge. The rush will be less at Stonehenge. Ticket cost is £12.00 ph. If you want to include the ticket for Stonehenge and Old Sarum, it is £20.00. Both of them are English Heritage Properties. It takes around 3 hrs for both Old Sarum and Stonehenge
3. Stonehenge is just a tick mark place. It’s neither impressive nor worth the time spent in reaching it.
4. From Stonehenge to Old Sarum, the route goes through a valley
5. Old Sarum is nothing but a few stones on top of a hill, which are the remains of a castle and nothing more. Only reasons why you want to go there are
a. You got a membership and want to get a RoI
b. Get some good hill top views of Salisbury
c. There are a few nice photographic spots from the top –
i. Inner ring of castle(nothing but a mound) from outside
ii. The outer moat
iii. Hill edge views of the local landscape(one from the outer ring, one at the back of the inner ring)
6. Tourist information office is back of the Guildhall, just in case. It’s a bit hard to find.
7. There’s an art gallery/shop on the way from the tourist centre to the Poultry Cross. It’s worth a look
8. Take the below walk mentioned walk of Salisbury. First half is in the guide attached(Salisbury Pocket Guide and Map by Visit Wiltshire)
9. Once you reached Odeon Cinema, proceed further till you reach the Cathedral. Make a round of the Cathedral Close. There are many houses to look at.
a. The Rifles – not needed. You will find such museums all over England
b. Arundel House – House of an ex-Prime Minister – not needed.
c. Mompesson House – 11am – 5pm. Go inside only if you are a National Trust Member. It has got a nice garden, the paintings are good as well. It’s good to look at, but not worth the money(£5.90 ph). You will come out in less than half-an-hour.
d. Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum – Mon to Sat 10am – 5pm Sun 12 – 5pm. Not that great, but it’s good to pass an hour or so. Ticket cost – £5.40 ph
e. Salisbury Cathedral – There is no ticket for that. They’ll ask for donations though. Things to look at – The Nave and Magna Carta. Have a stroll in the main church. Again, Magna Carta is another tick mark thing. What am I supposed to do, looking at a 700 year old paper, if I can’t understand a single word out of it, how vital it may be for the world? I would rather look at an Egyptian papyrus which is atleast two millennia before this.
10. Once you are done with the Cathedral and surrounding areas, follow the map to Harnham and cut across the Harnham Meadows and across the Town Path back to the Cathedral. Just in case, if you think it’ll get dark by the time you reach the meadows, take a reverse route.

An Indian Coronation – The Coronation of Maharaja Bodhachandra of Manipur

From a news article from the contemporary accounts. The photo is from a different source though.

The Maharaja of Manipur, over whose little state, tucked away in the hills of north-eastern India, bordering on Burma, so many bitter battles have been fought recently, was crowned on Friday, reports The Times correspondent at Imphal, capital of the state.
His Highness Bodh Chandra Singh, now 36, succeeded his father in September, 1941, but the coronation had perforce to be postponed because of hostilities. At last, however, the war receded, and the Palace astrologers and pundits, having taken all the omens and consulted the sacred books, decreed that the time was auspicious.
It was essentially a religious ceremony, according to ancient Manipuri rites, and not an investiture such as can be performed only by the Viceroy of India. The last investiture took place in 1905, with Lord Curzon officiating.
A picturesque procession left the Palace soon after noon on Friday, with His Highness clad in gorgeous Manipuri robes, mounted on an elephant. His Highness was smoking his favourite brand of cigarettes Wild Woodbine. Ahead of him went wrestlers, with spears, heralds blowing on shells, dancers, standard bearers, and guards with shields and scimitars. After them came wise women, tinkling bells, soothsayers, two more elephants, men mounted on stocky little mountain ponies, and musicians playing Manipuri fiddles.
Headed by the Manipur state police band, it moved slowly to the site of the old Palace, arriving to the strains of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.”

Here, in a hole in the ground, “at the very bottom of the world,” lives the divine golden serpent, the mythological ancestor of the royal clan. The serpent was propitiated with offerings of fruit and vegetables, and passages were read from the sacred books.
One of the wise women became possessed, and another performed a sacred dance.
The Maharaja, with impassive countenance, continued his chain-smoking.
After some three hours the procession returned to the Palace, where His Highness performed the rites of purification in the Palace temple. After dark there was an entertainment, attended by Lieut-General Slim, GOC, British 14th Army, other senior British officers, and His Highness’s political advisers, watched from a distance by a motley throng of Manipuris and British and Indian troops.
There was wrestling on the lawn by the light of lamps, and then followed, in the State Durbar Hall, a superb display of Manipuri dancing, for which the state is renowned throughout all India. Four young men, with magnificent torsos, and one famous girl dancer, all strikingly and beautifully dressed, went through the immemorial measures of their race to the throbbing strains of the Palace orchestra, in which there were drums, flutes, cymbals, and zithers.
No women, except the soothsayers, attended the ceremonies.
The present Maharaja has had three official consorts. The first was found murdered in the Palace in mysterious circumstances some years ago. The second, a princess of Nepal, who is the present Maharani, sought safety at her father’s Himalayan home after the first of last year’s Japanese air raids, and has not yet returned. The third, a beautiful Manipuri, was delivered of a daughter five days ago.

The Anacreontic Song – Ralph Tomlinson

To Anacreon in Heav’n, where he sat in full glee,
A few sons of harmony sent a petition,
That he their inspirer and patron would be;
When this answer arriv’d from the jolly old Grecian –
Voice, fiddle, and flute,
No longer be mute;
I’ll lend ye my name, and inspire ye to boot:
And besides, I’ll instruct ye, like me, to intwine
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’ vine.

The news through Olympus immediately flew;
When old Thunder pretended to give himself airs –
If these mortals are suffer’d their scheme to pursue,
The devil a goddess will stay above stairs.
Hark! already they cry,
In transports of joy,
A fig for Parnassus! to Rowley’s we’ll fly;
And there my good fellows, we’ll learn to intwine
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’ vine.

The yellow-hair’d god, and his nine fusty maids,
To the hill of old Lud will incontinent flee,
Idalia will boast but of tenantless shades,
And the biforked hill a mere desert will be.
My thunder, no fear on’t,
Will soon do its errand,
And dam’me! I’ll swinge the ringleaders, I warrant
I’ll trim the young dogs, for thus daring to twine
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’ vine.

Apollo rose up; and said, Pry’thee ne’er quarrel,
Good King of the gods, with my vot’ries below!
Your thunder is useless — then shewing his laurel,
Cry’d, Sic evitabile fulmen, you know!
Then over each head
My laurels I’ll spread;
So my sons from your crackers no mischief shall dread,
Whilst snug in their club-room, they jovially twine
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’ vine.

Next Momus got up, with his risable phiz,
And swore with Apollo he’d chearfully join –
The full tide of harmony still shall be his,
But the song and the catch, and the laugh shall be mine:
Then, Jove, be not jealous
Of these honest fellows.
Cry’d Jove, We relent, since the truth you now tell us;
And swear by Old Styx, that they long shall intwine
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’ vine.

Ye sons of Anacreon, then, join hand in hand;
Preserve unaimity, friendship, and love.
‘Tis your’s to support what’s so happily plan’d;
You’ve the sanction of gods, and the fiat of Jove.
While thus we agree,
Our toast let it be,
May out club flourish happy, united, and free!
And long may the sons of Anacreon intwine
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’ vine.”