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Encyclopedia > The Dying Swan

The Dying Swan is a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Genera Cygnus Coscoroba Swans are large water birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks. ... Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (August 6, 1809 - October 6, 1892) is generally regarded as one of the greatest English poets. ...

The plain was grassy, wild and bare,
Wide, wild, and open to the air,
Which had built up everywhere
An under-roof of doleful gray.
With an inner voice the river ran,
Adown it floated a dying swan,
And loudly did lament.
It was the middle of the day.
Ever the weary wind went on,
And took the reed-tops as it went.
Some blue peaks in the distance rose,
And white against the cold-white sky,
Shone out their crowning snows.
One willow over the river wept,
And shook the wave as the wind did sigh;
Above in the wind was the swallow,
Chasing itself at its own wild will,
And far thro’ the marish green and still
The tangled water-courses slept,
Shot over with purple, and green, and yellow.
The wild swan’s death-hymn took the soul
Of that waste place with joy
Hidden in sorrow: at first to the ear
The warble was low, and full and clear;
And floating about the under-sky,
Prevailing in weakness, the coronach stole
Sometimes afar, and sometimes anear;
But anon her awful jubilant voice,
With a music strange and manifold,
Flow’d forth on a carol free and bold;
As when a mighty people rejoice
With shawms, and with cymbals, and harps of gold,
And the tumult of their acclaim is roll’d
Thro’ the open gates of the city afar,
To the shepherd who watcheth the evening star.
And the creeping mosses and clambering weeds,
And the willow-branches hoar and dank,
And the wavy swell of the soughing reeds,
And the wave-worn horns of the echoing bank,
And the silvery marish-flowers that throng
The desolate creeks and pools among,
Were flooded over with eddying song.

The Dying Swan is also a famous 1905 solo ballet piece choreographed by Michel Fokine for Anna Pavlova. It is set to music by Camille Saint-Saëns, from Le Carnaval des Animaux. (The Saint-Saëns piece is called simply Les Cygnes (The Swan), not the dying swan). 1905 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... A performance of The Nutcracker ballet Ballet is the name given to a specific dance form and technique. ... Michel Fokine or Mikhail Mikhailovich Fokin (Михаил Михайлович Фокин) (April 23, 1880 (OS: April 11) – August 22, 1942) was a Russian choreographer and dancer. ... Anna Pavlova Anna Pavlova is also the name of an Olympic gymnast. ... Charles Camille Saint-Saëns ( IPA: [ʃaʁl. ... The Carnival of the Animals (Le carnaval des animaux in the original French) is a musical suite of 14 movements by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Swan song - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (355 words)
A swan song is a reference to an ancient and false belief that the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is completely mute during its lifespan, but may sing one heartbreakingly beautiful song just before it dies.
Tennyson's poem "The Dying Swan" is a poetic evocation of the beauty of the supposed song and so full of detail as to imply that he had actually heard it:
It generally carries the connotation that the performer is aware of his or her imminent demise (or retirement) and is expending his or her last breath on one magnificent final effort.
Courtly Lives - Swans in Heraldry and Lore (459 words)
The swan was a rarity in Meditteranean regions.
In alchemy the swan is associated with the element of mercury, because of its volatility.
In the Middle Ages the swan was said to be white on the outside with fl skin, thus thought to be a symbol of duplicity and hypocrites.
  More results at FactBites »



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