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Rosy Morn | poem | essay | photographs

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Rosy Morn

Yellow-robed rose of the morning,
drops and drips on your yellow folds,
lit like a glorious fire, you sing
with the dawn-woken birds

—Michael Dickel

Rosy-fingered and saffron-robed

The past couple of days have seen off and on rain here in Jerusalem. Often the sun emerges between light showers—all glows and shines in those moments. I caught a picture of a rainbow with my iPhone Tuesday, along with some lovely roses covered in rain drops. This morning, as I entered my studio, the roses massed between the parking area and the sidewalk held chirping birds, flitting about, possibly drinking water drops from the leaves and petals. A few more photos with my iPhone inspired a short line for each, a sort of poem that I revised into “Rosy Morn.”

Saffron Dawn

Rosy-fingered
and saffron-robed
dawn embody themselves
in the rose bud opening.

—Michael Dickel

Click to view slideshow.

Rosy morn / rosy morning appears in many poems, usually referring to the pink to red flush of the Eastern sky. The Greeks often describe Eos, the dawn goddess as rosy-fingered (also rosy-forearmed), so Homer used the epithet “rosy-fingered dawn” (which fit his meter) to describe the dawn:

…when rosy-fingered Dawn appeared they sailed… (Iliad I:487)

…when rosy-fingered Dawn glows fair… (Iliad IX:712)

Next day, when rosy-fingered Dawn appeared, the people gathered at glorious Hector’s pyre.(Iliad XXIV:778)

The roses I focused my lens on this morning shone yellow, not red. Fortunately, Homer and the Greeks dressed Eos in saffron robes as well:

“As Dawn prepared to spread her saffron mantle over the land…” (Iliad VIII:1).

As Dawn, in saffron robes, rose from the stream of Ocean, bringing light to gods and men…(Ilian XIX:1)

At the hour when the Morning Star rises, heralding the new day, and in his wake saffron-robed Dawn spreads light on the waves, the fire died down and the flames ceased. (Iliad XXIII:194)

As saffron-robed Dawn lit the wide earth, they reached the ford of eddying Xanthus… (Iliad XXIV:678)

Here for your poetry pleasure, you can browse and listen to some less saffron-robed and more rosy-fingered delights on this rosy morning—from poems and songs.

From Robert Burns

Mild be the sun on this sweet blushing flower,
In the gay rosy morn, as it bathes in the dew;
And gentle the fall of the soft vernal shower,
That steals on the evening each leaf to renew!

—Robert Burns | The Banks of the Devon


Banks of the Devon Sung by Karine Polwart

Rosy Morn now lifts his eye,
Numbering ilka bud, which Nature
Waters wi’the tears ‘o-Joy.

—Robert Burns | Music for the Hunt

From Christina Rossetti

She left the rosy morn,
She left the fields of corn,
For twilight cold and lorn
And water springs.

—Christina Rossetti | Dream Land

From Jane Austen’s Sheet-Music Collection (possibly)

145460_Page_1-WEBSweet doth blush the rosy morning,
Sweet doth beam the glist’ning dew,
Sweeter still, the day adorning,
Thy dear smiles transport my view.
‘Midst the blossoms’ fragrance flowing,
Why delights the honied bee?
Sweeter breaths thyself bestowing
One kind kiss on me.

Anonymous
probably the composer
Henry Harington
(1727–1816)

Originally published as “The Egyptian love song; from Potiphar’s wife to young Joseph”, for two voices (1775–1776). Jane Austen may have owned a manuscript copy.

Hear the music. | Download score. | Download cover page to score. | Source.

From William Blake

The Angel

The Angel Wm. Blake facsimile page from the British Museum archives pg. 5 Songs of Innocence and Experience

The Angel Wm. Blake
Songs of Innocence & Experience

I Dreamt a Dream! what can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen;
Guarded by an Angel mild;
Witless woe, was ne’er beguil’d!

And I wept both night and day
And he wip’d my tears away
And I wept both day and night
And hid from him my hearts delight

So he took his wings and fled:
Then the morn blush’d rosy red;
I dried my tears & arm’d my fears,
With ten thousand shields and spears

Soon my Angel came again;
I was arm’d, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled
And grey hairs were on my head

—William Blake

From Folk Music


Sung at the pub


And in a house




This post first appeared on Meta/Phor(e)/Play, please read the originial post: here

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