Sunday, November 23, 2008

Words: Katherine's Tyger of the East

I teamed up with Jon Blaecstan again to make Katherine Stanhope's Tyger of the East scroll. Jon's calligraphy and illumination for this were based on the Black Hours. Both the source and his work are amazing.

Sometimes when I write poetic scrolls, I just freely write in a form appropriate to the time and place of the scroll style. At other times, I also try to use a specific source in that style, and integrate words, phrases, and themes from the period source. For Katherine's scroll, I based the words on Shakespeare's Sonnet 5, and there are several correlations between scroll text and source.

Katherine Stanhope's Tyger of the East

The Duchess Katherine Stanhope, twice Our Queen,
Past Tyger Clerk and Queen’s Equestrian,
Has blessed Our courts with little rest between
Each year of service, candles at both ends
Were burning in her watches of the night;
Those hours, that with her gentle work did frame
The lovely Eastern art and archer’s might,
Now celebrate in court the very same:
With thankfulness the King and Queen have called
Her favored presence into noble court;
This summer’s distillation in the halls
Of winter brings to Us most welcome warmth:
To this great lady, raise a glass at feast,
We name her Katherine, Tyger of the East.

Shakespeare's Sonnet 5

Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Will play the tyrants to the very same
And that unfair which fairly doth excel:
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter and confounds him there;
Sap cheque'd with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o'ersnow'd and bareness every where:
Then, were not summer's distillation left,
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft,
Nor it nor no remembrance what it was:
But flowers distill'd though they with winter meet,
Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.

So We, King Darius and Queen Alethea, say on this Feast Day of St. John, the 25th day of October, in the 43rd year of the Society, at the tournament to find Our successors in the Shire of Glenn Linn, and to this We give Our names and seal.

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