Fata Morgana: A Hungarian Legend
By Mary E. Atkinson
Down in the silent, emerald water
The Sea King dwelt, and his lovely daughter.
Grand was the palace under the wave,
And gay with the troops of mermen brave—
Rich with a wealth of sea-gems rare,
And decked with all that was bright and fair;
But richest and brightest and fairest of all
Were the royal maiden’s bower and hall,
Whose myriad arches, firm and light,
Upsprang from clustering pillars bright
Of rainbow opal, and sapphire blue,
And ruby and crystal of every hue.
The gardens were full of strange sea-flowers,
The brilliant growths of the coral bowers—
Gay floating blossoms and stars on stems,
And stony palm trees with diadems
Of soft, outstreaming, delicate blooms,
Whose living and ever-waving plumes
Would disappear if a sound too rude
Invaded their peaceful solitude.
And gaily along each winding walk
Pealed lightsome laughter and merry talk,
Or mermaids’ singing, so sweet and clear
That the dolphin, passing, paused to hear.
‘Twas a joyous life they led, and free,
These beautiful maidens of the sea;
For mild and sweet was the Sea Queen’s sway:
’Twas pleasure to see her, and joy to obey.
Not one of the nymphs, nor wild-wood elves,
Nor even the fairy band themselves,
Surpassed in sweet and delicate grace
The witching charm of her form and face.
I wonder who to the King of Gold
The wondrous tale of her beauty told?
Perhaps ‘twas the Sea Fog, landward bound,
Clinging his desolate crags around:
Perchance some Sea Breeze, carried away
Too far from shore on a summer day,
And lost on the mountains grim and hoary,
To the Goblin King revealed the story.
All night he was pacing his vaulted room,
Grand and solemn with height and gloom,
Like the monstrous burial-chamber hid
In the heart of Cheops’ pyramid.
The roof was of jet; and the columns tall,
In shadowy rows by the porphyry wall,
But mostly somber; yet one or two
Loomed up, great giants in girth and height,
Startling and ghostly, of snowy white.
’Twas down at the roots of the mountains old,
Among the treasures of iron and gold—
The mountains around whose frosty peaks
The storms were playing their wildest freaks,
Muttering thunders out of the mists,
Smiting the crags with their fiery fists,
Till the stony splinters rattled like hail
Down the mountains’ rugged coat of mail.
But down in the goblin hall beneath
’Twas chill, and awful, and still as death,
Save that the King, in the grim torchlight,
Kept one faint Echo awake all night,
Repeating still, in a hollow tone,
His spur’s sharp ring on the floor of stone.
Already his brilliant embassy
Was riding fast to the distant sea,
Through leagues of forest which stretch between,
To ask in marriage the Ocean Queen.
The Sea King’s laughter was long and loud,
And echoed by all the courtier crowd:
“Bid the antelope leave her covert fair
And wheel with the bat in the dusky air;
Or the broad-winged butterfly crawl and creep
With the sightless mole in his burrow deep:
The fairy child of the ocean wave
Could never live in yon goblin cave.
The very sea-shells die on the strand,
The white foam melts on the burning sand;
The flowers of the sea their beauty lose,
Their delicate forms and vivid hues,
If thrown by storms on the fatal shore,
And the fishes die and return no more.
Ye may tell your King that my child shall go
When her native ocean currents flow
From her deep sea-bower to his mountain halls,
And the surf is breaking against his walls:
Then, coming by ship to claim his bride,
I swear it, he shall not be denied!”
Back sped the troop from the sounding surge,
Pursued by winds to the forest’s verge;
But scarce had they passed from the sandy plain
Into the shadowy gloom again,
When they met their monarch, who, loth to wait
For their slow return to the palace gate,
Impatient, chafed at the long delay,
Had striven to hurry the hours away,
And quiet his heart with the restless speed
Of a furious ride on his fiery steed.
When he heard the message he did not speak,
But his dark eyes flashed at the scorn, and his cheek
Grew pale with passion. His spurs struck deep:
Not one could follow his charger’s leap;
And miles behind he had left them all
When he entered alone his silent hall,
Tossed the black locks back from his burning brow,
And muttered: “But One can help me now!”
It is not for Christian tongue to tell
By what black art, what charm and spell,
What incantation or wicked rite,
Or whispered words of infernal might,
This Mountain King of a goblin race
Conferred with the Evil One face to face.
Enough that no gleam on the mountain’s brow
Foretold the dawn, when a ponderous plough—
Which was driven by One whose dreadful look
Not the boldest of mortal men could brook,
And drawn by shadowy, shapeless forms,
Huge as the clouds in thunder-storms—
A furrow had hollowed, deep and straight,
Down to the sea from the palace-gate.
The water-spouts gathered in dread array
To meet it there at the dawn of day,
And filled the channel from side to side
With a torrent of muddy waters wide.
The waves dashed into the monarch’s hall,
And flung their foam on the porphyry wall;
Then down at the feet of those columns old
Lay silent and motionless, calm and cold.
The goblins were watching the wondrous sight
With curious eyes from the craggy height:
Distorted kobolds and weirdest gnomes
Peered out from among the old gray stones,
And there pealed an elfish laugh around,
When, sudden as lightning, without a sound,
A stately galley appeared on the tide,
Like a sea-gull pausing with wings spread wide.
The first on board was the King himself,
And after him followed many an elf,
In silk, and velvet, and cloth of gold,
And jewels, and splendors manifold.
Down stream they dropped, in the early day,
So fast that ere noon the vessel lay
Afloat on the surge of the swelling sea,
With flags unfurled to the salt breeze free.
I will not sadden my verse with all
The sorrow which darkened the Sea King’s hall
When the galley appeared on the heaving tide,
And the Mountain Monarch claimed his bride.
As the words were spoken which sealed her doom,
All things seemed altered from light to gloom;
The King was dumb with his sudden grief,
And his strong hand shook like an aspen leaf;
The mermen gazed, in their wild surprise,
At the strange intruders, with angry eyes;
And the mermaids, thronging with anxious ears,
Were bursting out into sobs and tears;
But queen-like and still stood the lady there,
With the pallor of grief on her cheek so fair:
Her sea-blue eyes had a sorrowful look,
And she calmly spoke, though her sweet voice shook.
“My father,” she said, “since your word was passed,
Though you meant not this, it hath bound us fast.
We may not dally with vain regret,
But guard your honor unsullied yet.
Though my heart clings here, yet I proudly say,
’My father hath spoken, and I obey!’
And look! how broad is the glittering road
Which leads from home to the King’s abode!
I shall greet you there, in the mountain hall,
And often and often shall see you all!”
It is noon again on the shining sea,
Which glitters with pomp and pageantry,
With the dazzling trains of the Elfin King,
And a thousand banners fluttering.
The parting is over, the farewells said,
And the goblin-galley turns its head
To glide up the watery road which lies
Like a burnished snake ‘neath the sunny skies.
The lady stands in the gilded stern,
And nothing her beautiful eyes can turn
From their lingering, mournful gaze toward home,
And the long green surges which break in foam.
But see! how the river’s shores unite!
The wondering gazers doubt their sight;
But it is so! The cleft earth shuts again:
The sandy beach and the broad green plain
Close up behind as the ship speeds on,
And the lady’s last sweet hope is gone.
She only utters one faint, low cry,
One startled moan, but her eyes are dry.
This woe is too deep for words or tears;
Despair hath frozen her hopes and fears:
The smile and the sweet, arch look give place
To a marble calm on her fair, pale face.
When the Goblin King and his silent bride
At the palace gate leave the vessel’s side,
It is gone like a bubble, and naught is seen
Behind them but forests of somber green:
The broad doors ope in the mountain wall,
And they enter the monarch’s gloomy hall.
The lady hath dreamed that the crags command
A glimpse of the ocean beyond the land;
She has painfully climbed the mountain height,
And eagerly strains her anxious sight;
She scans the wood to its utmost bound,
And the far horizon round and round;
But nowhere breaks on her longing view
The gleaming line of the ocean blue.
She looks till the watching powers of air
Take pity at sight of her dumb despair;
And lo! o’er the forest’s immense expanse
The surges play and the bright waves dance;
The grand blue distant curve is seen,
And under the sun the silver sheen;
And nearer, the surf and its tossing spray,
And the white foam blown by the winds away,
The passionate dash o’er the rock-ledge brown,
And the white-winged sea-bird flashing down.
Gazing, she sits in the dying light
Till slowly the vision has faded from sight,
And only the forest and mountains are there
As she dreamily climbs down the rocky stair;
But only to mount it from time to time,
To feast her eyes on the scene sublime,
And live in a dream of a life foregone,
And wake and weep when the night draws on,
And the vision dies, and the gray rocks cold
Enclose her within their dreary fold.
Alas, when the Present and Future are dead,
And the heart has only its Past instead,
Mirages the only joys to crave,
Its life is death and its home a grave!
And now, though the goblins have passed away
(Or never were, as the sages say),
The traveler far on the mountain height
May sometimes gaze on the wondrous sight
Of widespread ocean and distant shore,
Where only the forest was seen before;
And the peasants sigh, as they view the scene,
O’er the mournful fate of the Ocean Queen.
Source: Lippincott’s Magazine Annual 1868, Volume II
A fellow artist posted this guy today! I ran to email and ASKED FOR HIM! How brave huh!
Angie: LOL I made him just for kicks :) How about a trade...either a trading card or something you've made or a few flat ARTsy things.....whatever, surprise me!! If you really want him, I'll stick him in an envy and send him on his way to you. :) Angie
Me: Oh Clapping my hands wildly! YES YES YES I would LOVE to have him! Oh...thinky thinky thinky...what can I trade you???? Ok...I have to think about something fantastic for you! But yes...I will trade you for him! : )
Oh I am a happy girl!!!! Thank You Angie!
Angie: LOL You just missed my mailman....he'll go in the mail Monday :) Glad you like him so much! lol
Today I have been working on the card The Lovers. I am liking how it is coming together so far. I have an interesting background for it.
This card should be easy for me...since I am SO in love with Michael and my life. It should be free flowing and not so darkly emotional for me! I am liking this! This card is all about the hard choices I had to face and make back in 2000. Stay and die in a loveless marriage, or set myself free to be adored and loved by some one who knows how to love me UNconditionally? Oh how torn I was...but clearly I made the right decision...and my life has opened up!
It's the choice between sacred and profane love. Like the choice between spiritual fulfillment and material delights, that kind of thing. And really, all the meanings do kind of come back to that in the end, but that's a pretty universal struggle when you get down to thinking about it all, too. "Do I do this thing that will make me happy in the long run, or do I eat this cupcake?" That kind of thing. :)
MEDITATION on the Lovers is helpful to assist in ascending past your own thoughts, or when faced with tough choices in which both options seem attractive on the surface.
1. How do you make choices? What's important to you in decision-making like that?
2. Give some examples of choices you're faced with that seem to be a choice between spirit and flesh. How do you stay motivated? (Since one of mine always seems to be "make art" vs. "make a living"...that might be interesting to look at.)
3. How do you know what attracts you, and what tools do you use to get to what you want? How can you integrate both your logical side and your intuitive side in your decision-making?
The Lovers is totally multi-layered, just like love and attraction seem to be. Whether that's about attraction to another person, to a tempting choice, or about your spiritual art-quest -- the Lovers' symbolism can be a whack on the side of the head to make careful, integrated decisions with ALL sides of your mind and soul. (Good for picking ephemera, too. :>)
Oh how fun! I took the dress forms to my girl friends tonight...and got to see my purple couches again! They are fun! I can't wait for Sunday or Monday when I get them...they decided to keep them for the party they are having! The are a little worn in some small areas...but wonderful! I Love the shape!
So I guess tomorrow I should really clean my house! Giggle and figure out what I am doing with my old couches!
As you can see from the photo, the technician, Cindy, did a GREAT job on my nails! I know a grown woman and its the first time I have had a manicure! Well, when I was younger I was busy working to support my family, and couldn't afford it! So now that I am old...I know it is good to spoil myself every once in awhile and I felt that I would try this!
So I got a French manicure! Oh it is B E A U T I F U L ! Even with my sausage fingers my nails look wonderful! *grin*
I really liked the gal working on me, and she was so nice, she said I was sweet and she painted two flowers on my nails for free! What a nice woman!
While we were talking she asked if I was married, I said no divorced, I had been married 20 years and when the kids were raised I left. She laughed, she was married for 20 years and left when HER kids were grown! Spirit sisters! Giggle I think maybe that is why she gave me the flowers!
This was a great experience, as she worked on me, she massaged my arms, hands, and fingers! WOW! It was great after all the data entry and typing I had to do today! Nice treat for me for sure! She wants me to come back for a pedicure!
I learned so much, little tricks to do my own French better, I think I will have her do a pedicure for me! Maybe next week after payday! I do a really mean pedicure, I get great compliments all the time, so it will be nice to see how she does it...and a spoiling treat me to have her do it!
This quote reminded me of what Michael said to me that morning waking me up:
"You are a child of the Universe, no less than the moon and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should." -Max Ehrmann
"Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful" - Annette Funicello
He are a few for my art! Ok Muse and Inner critic listen up!
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." -Scott Adams
"Dreams are illustrations...from the book your soul is writng about you!" -Marsha Norman
A friend of mine directed me to the following Ebay Quilt for the Cure™ Auction. The staff of American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine is proud to partner with the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to raise funds for further breast cancer research and community outreach programs.
They have Faboo quilts up for auction! Go check it out and bid! : ) I am not telling you which one I am bidding on! Cause I REALLY, REALLY want it bad!!!!
My girlfriend Sue is having a 60th wedding anniversary party for her inlaws at her home, they rented a big tent for the backyard...and she needed two dress forms for the wedding apparel they wore on that day. So she called on me. Some one in my sewing circle of life would have them!
While Sue and I were in Tahao, she had a nightmare that I was not able to get the dress forms! Can you imagine the stress you have to be under to have a nightmare about little details?! Gah! Poor thing, so I promised her that I would relieve that stress the minute we were home! I called Carol and set up the visit for Today. To get it out of the way, even though her party is this coming weekend.
My Carol, my cheer leader friend, the one that always tells me I am magical was so willing to let me borrow them, she is a jewel! So this morning after commute hours (cause it is my last vacation day) I drove to the City to visit with my friend and pick up the dress forms. She showed me her Halloween decorations, she has faboo glass pumpkins and quite a collection of witches! She also has a tree set up with all of her Halloween ornaments! Oh I covet those!
We had a huge rainstorm...some of the City was flooded! LOL of course it was I was going to visit! But there was a break...I was able to drive there its about an hour away, and then it rained while I visited, and then it stopped and I was able to go home rain free!
I so love when I can help a friend, and when friends can help me! It is such a joy when you love some one to just come together for them.
While Sue and I were on the girls adventure, she told me how she sold her purple couches, and the woman never came by to pay and pick them up. I whined that I knew I should have told her NOT to sell those to anyone but me if she was going to get rid of them!
When she got home, it has been so long since the woman was supposed to come back, they decided to give me the couches! So YEAH! I get new PURPLE couches! This week! I love it! And I am going to see the tables and see if I need those or not!
Now the hard part...what to do with my old couches? They are SO heavy...I only want to move them once! I may try to get Michael to keep the love seat in his living room, since he has no couches.
Last night I got a phone call around 9 pm from my girl friend Linda S who is struggling with the reality of cancer. Even when we know what will be happening to our bodies, when it does finally happen it sure freaks us out.
She was I think washing her hair in the sink, and was able to pull out a lot of her hair. GAH! Hair in the sink! Looks like the Chemo is killing something...
The great thing was is she said she called me because I make her giggle on the phone...and that is what we did. We laughed about it...and I hope I made her feel ok about losing her hair. We are more than our hair afterall!
We just have to look at things differently! We can have fun with it. We can have her wearing faboo scarves! She can make folded flowers with our wonderful silk ribbons and change the look of hats on a whim. She can be in control of the head wear! So at least she has power over something in this process!
I told her she can wear all sorts of wigs! She can be a different person everyday! And to look forward to when her hair comes back, because most likely it will be different. Straight hair turns curly...that type of thing.
Laughter is healing I believe!
In this picture you see the hat and scarf that Carol made Linda for this reason, so she has an opportunity to wear this beautiful hat now!