[Milton-L] Apropos of nothing

Mario A. DiCesare dicesare1 at mindspring.com
Sat Apr 12 11:12:51 EDT 2014


I recall that when I was a boy attending Catholic school  the floor of 
our church featured a large mosaic of a pelican feeding greedy little 
pelicans with its blood.  The little guys just pecked happily away.  I 
don't now recall any emotional reaction to the sight, which was gory in 
a mild way, but I do recall that pelicans became interesting to me in 
various contexts, not the least of which sometime later was the line 
"Pie pellicane Jesu Domine" in Thomas Aquinas's wonderful hymn, "Adoro 
Te," which we sang often.  While it is hardly Milton's style, Crashaw no 
doubt knew the hymn.

Mario

On 4/12/2014 10:30 AM, Hannibal Hamlin wrote:
> Well, Milton may not have been interested in pelicans, but Crashaw is 
> another story:
>
> O soft self-wounding Pelican!
> Whose breast weeps Balm for wounded man.
> All this way bend thy benign flood
> To a bleeding Heart that gasps for blood.
> That blood, whose least drops sovereign be
> To wash my worlds of sins from me.
> Come love! Come Lord! and that long day
> For which I languish, come away.
> When this dry soul those eyes shall see,
> And drink the unseal'd source of thee.
> When Glory's sun faith's shades shall chase,
> And for thy veil give me thy Face.
> Amen.
>
> (For a particular treat, check out the setting of this text by Gerald 
> Finzi, "Lo, the Full Final Sacrifice.")
>
> Hannibal
>
>
>
>
> On Sat, Apr 12, 2014 at 5:25 AM, Gregory Machacek 
> <Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu <mailto:Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu>> wrote:
>
>
>      Well, of course, not "seen"
>
>
>     Greg Machacek
>     Professor of English
>     Marist College
>
>      -----Nancy Charlton <charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com
>     <mailto:charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com>> wrote: -----
>
>      =======================
>      To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
>     <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>>
>      From: Nancy Charlton <charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com
>     <mailto:charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com>>
>      Date: 04/12/2014 05:07AM
>      Subject: [Milton-L] Apropos of nothing
>      =======================
>        A Facebook friend in London posted a picture of the pelicans in
>     St James Park, whose forebears were a gift to England from the
>     Czar or Russia in 1664. I suppose by that time Milton would not
>     have been able to indulge any such interest as he might have once
>     had in animals and birds. His descriptions of them seem rather
>     academic and don't have the ring of a naturalist or even a hunter
>     or an angler.
>
>     I thought it fascinating to think that JM might have seen the
>     original pelicans.
>
>     Pelicans
>
>
>     Living near Duck Island are St James's Park's famous resident
>     pelicans.
>
>     Pelicans were first introduced into St James's Park in 1664 as a
>     gift from the Russian Ambassador.
>
>     In March 2013, an additional three Great White pelicans - a gift
>     from the City of Prague - were introduced into the park.
>
>     Regular visitors can see the pelicans basking on their favourite
>     rocks and getting fed fresh fish between 2:30 pm and 3:00 pm every
>     day.
>
>     There are currently six pelicans in the park:
>
>     5 Eastern (or Great) White Pelicans
>     1 South American White Pelican which is distinguished by different
>     colouring and a crest on its bill.
>     They're gregarious, social creatures and there are numerous
>     stories of their entertaining antics.
>
>     One rather mischievous pelican used to fly over to London Zoo in
>     Regent's Park to steal their fish for his lunch and they're often
>     seen climbing out of the lake to sit on the benches alongside
>     visitors!
>
>     - See more at:
>     http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/st-jamess-park/flora-and-fauna/pelicans#sthash.NhNmxRjR.dpuf
>
>     Nancy Charlton
>
>     Sent from my iPhone_______________________________________________
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>
>
> -- 
> Hannibal Hamlin
> Associate Professor of English
> Author of /The Bible in Shakespeare/, now available through all good 
> bookshops, or direct from Oxford University Press at 
> http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199677610.do
> Editor, /Reformation/
> The Ohio State University
> 164 West 17th Ave., 421 Denney Hall
> Columbus, OH 43210-1340
> hamlin.22 at osu.edu/ <http://hamlin.22@osu.edu/>
> hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com <mailto:hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com>
>
>
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