The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Monday, 27 August 2012

She Walks In Beauty

SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes …
Mdina 099
I really don’t know why, but these opening lines of Lord Byron’s poem always come to mind when I am walking in our old capital city at sundown.  Strange, really, since Byron was thinking of a woman when he wrote this poem and not about an ancient city. But I think that the words suit the place well. Those of you who read my other blog will already  know how much I love this place. I can’t seem to keep away from it.
Mdina 100
Because Mdina never fails to enchant me. I hover around with my camera in hand, waiting for the dying sun to cast its amber glow on the old, weather-worn buildings. And I am never disappointed. The summer sun has a way of bringing out the beauty of this ancient seductress and I can never let her charms go unheeded.
Mdina 103
So I dawdle, as my son says, and I gaze and I dream and I try to capture the fading beauty. It helps to while away the boredom of hot summer days. There’s always shade in these narrow streets and, somehow, it never feels quite as hot here as it does in other places. But that could be my imagination.
Mdina 152
My infatuation with Mdina started a long time ago, probably when I was around 4. I went to school there for a number of years (I promise I will write about that very soon). I’ve literally been there thousands of times and yet, even though it has barely changed in all these years, each time I visit, I seem to discover a new facet of the place’s character. Perhaps I will make it my life-long ambition to record for posterity each window, each door, each building. It sounds like the perfect activity for sultry summer evenings. That, and quoting Byron to my surroundings. Yes, the heat does make us a little bit mad sometimes.
Mdina 160
SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
Christmas Concert in Mdina (23)

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impair'd the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!
George Gordon , Lord Byron, 1788–1824
Christmas Concert in Mdina (37)

24 comments:

  1. What wonderful photos.

    And I have to admit I've always liked that bit of verse by Lord Byron... she walked in beauty...
    I supposed because that is the essential of how I want to live my life.

    I enjoyed my wee visit... and look forward to coming again. It's a lovely place to stop and stay a while.

    Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places.......

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    1. Welcome Brenda. I hope you will enjoy your visits here.

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  2. No wonder that you love this place ! I would love to walk through there too, that's the style of streets I love !

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    1. If you ever visit Malta again we can walk through the streets together :)

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  3. Beautifully written and from the heart too!
    I hope you will get to fulfill your "life-long ambition to record for posterity each window, each door, each building..." for then we will get to share in the treasures you'll find : )

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  4. Wow, what a lovely post, Loree. If quoting Byron to an aging beauty is what your 'madness' looks like, I say go crazy! :)

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    1. I think I will Suze. I think I will ;)

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  5. Beautiful poem, gorgeous photos! What else can I want? I will go to bed now with this image and the sound of that poem in my mind..

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    1. I hope you had sweet dreams Icy.

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  6. Hi Loree,
    You're right, the words match the scenery beautifully. The setting sun makes the place look fiery, I love the look of the narrow cobbled streets. Must add this to my list of places to visit!
    Thanks :-)
    Di
    xxxx

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    1. It's a tiny place but it's lovely and quite unspoilt.

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  7. Gorgeous photos, beautiful thoughts, and a fantastic poem! I always enjoy reading your post. It seems to take me away to another world..

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    1. So glad I can transport you to another place.

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  8. Loree, What a beautiful post both in words and images. I can so easily see why you are so fascinated by Mdina and why Arles looks familiar to you!!! Although we won't have that golden orange light for a few months yet but it will come.

    We had a thunderstorm this morning--I know that you can appreciate how happy the chill of rain made me. :)
    Bisous,
    Heather

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    1. Heather, you made me smile. I can almost feel the chill.

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  9. Beautiful poem and excellent photography!
    Sue.

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  10. I like the way you joined the poem with your photos (and I wish I could send you some of our rain and cloudy skies!)

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    1. We had some clouds today but no rain. There's still hope for tomorrow.

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  11. Loree what a beautiful post - love the poem and the pictures. Yes please do blog about growing up there - love always to read your blog - you have such interesting places you visit and live. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Debbie. I hope to do some 'growing up' posts soon.

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  12. Those words & your photos have quite an effect on me...

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  13. byron and mdina make a perfect pair.........gorgeous, loree♡

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