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A nest of singing birds. Three centuries of English verse with a doctorate from just. Retrospect. This is the twenty sixth program of our series. It's almost a year since I started to plan these programs. We began work on them last summer and since that time I've been very lucky. I've been in the company of artists for part of most days of the week and I don't mean only the poet. I'm also thinking of the actors and actresses. So I suppose I have the advantage of you when I hear the verse spoken I'm not only with the poet I'm listening to my friends as well. I can hear them putting themselves at the disposal of the writers. And as a result of this I suppose at this moment recording the 26 program I find myself wanting to hear it again not to me some particular passages a
verse for what they are as writing but other particular passages as to me memorable or quietly satisfying performances performances which give me the qualities of the performer the actor or actress and of the poet. One of the occupational hazards of making recordings such as these is that you have to live with them and the time comes when you hear every mistake. I never remain satisfied for long with a recorded performance which I have directed but I doubt if I can ever be really ashamed of my part in this. It's soft What light through yonder window break. It is the east. And generally it is the sun I ride is famous and kill the envious mood who's already sick
I'm pale with grief that they may not fall I'm all fat and she be not homemade. Since she is envious I festival the various butts can green and then but food has to weigh that cost to top. It. Yes I've made. It. Oh it is my love. Which you should. Not be screened in my so Stern was on my thumb so I married him I know not how to tell you who I am. My name you say is hateful to myself because it is an enemy to the had I written I would tear the word my ears if you had not drunk a hundred words of thy tongues out of him. Yet I know the sound around me oh and Montacute neither man made it either the destroyer
came started. Tell me and raffle. The orchard was a high and hard to climb and the priest death considering without any of my kinsmen find the here with lovers like wings did I'll purge these will for stony limits cannot hold love out and what love can do that there's love attempt there for my kinsmen I know stopped me to see the they were mad at the back there lies more pedaling by night twenty swords. The grab it sweet and I'm proof against their enmity I would not for the world a song with the hero. I have knights cloak to hide me from their eyes couldn't it. Good night. As we trip pose and rest come to life how does that within my breast leave me so unsatisfied. What satisfaction counts the have to meet the exchange of I love space without a moment by the mind. Before that it's requested and yet I would it were to give
again which they withdraw it for what purpose love but to be frank Oh my lanta this is ponderous is the sea. My love as deep. The more I give to be the more I have. For it. Hope my love I've got to clock to mother she less entity by the hour of night. I will not fail. It's 20. Yeah there's still that. Forgot why I did Cooley better let me stand here till I remembered I shall forget to have the still stay then remembering how I love thy company but I'll still stand to have these to forgive forgetting and I have to pass.
A. SONG WITH morning. I would have the gun and yet no further than the wantons bird that lets it happen little from the hand. Like a poor prisoner in his twisted jives and with the silken thread packs it back again. So loving jealous of his liberty. I would if I were the type of god sweet so would I. Can't type who would kill me with much cherishing. I. Could. I. Could not eat. The. Parting is such sweet sorrow that I should say good night sleep. Dwell upon the knives. Peace in my brain. What I was sleep in peace so sweet to rest. I said a few moments ago that I do not expect to be ashamed of my part in that. Well what was my part in it. Not as great as there's obviously
an active can always find his way. Given enough time without a director but a director can do nothing without an actor. What do I remember of our work. Three of us concentrated on the work together when we knew what we were aiming at. I was the mirror which could tell them if they had achieved our intention or not. Barry and Beth and I have worked at Romeo and Juliet on and off for nearly 10 years and this version I think we have managed to give our audience the basically confident youth of these two the wonderful excitement of just starting to know one another. The tenderness the happiness the fun of having this happen. I also like this version of the play scene from Hamburg done by Jonathan Farwell and shot a devotee. We're going to start with the last two lines of her speech when she assures him that if you seem too upset that only because she loves him so much I
admire Sharon's planning here where love is great the least so thieves where little fears grow great great love grows their faith I must leave the love and shortly to my operant powers their functions leave to do. And thou shalt live in this fair world be hived honored beloved and happy a one as kind for husband health although I haven't found the rest. Such love must needs be treason in my breast in second husband let me be a cursed none wed the second but who killed the first. The instances that second marriage move are base respects of thrift. But none of love a second time I kill my husband dead when second husband kisses me in bed. I like that because it is both good action and action and speaking of
heroic couplets. For some 20 years I have been telling unbelieving pupils and colleagues that this is not a stiff scene written deliberately badly as parody. So I'm grateful to Charlotte and Jonathan for giving me some evidence that I might not be all too ludicrously wrong. But Shepherd and Shakespeare are my two justifications for letting us hear these lines again. She shows how much there is in them and that the Rape of Lucrece ought to be given more attention by students of Shakespeare. The aged man that covers up his gold is plagued with cramps and guts and painful fits and scares have eyes his treasures to behold. But like still pining Tantalus he sits and useless by the harvest of his wits. Having no other pleasures of his game the torment that it cannot cure his pain. So then he has it when he cannot use it and leaves it to be mastered by his young
who in their pride do presently abuse it. Their father was too weak and they're too strong to hold their curses bless it for too long. The sweets we wished for turned to loathe it sours even in the moment that we call them ours. Unruly blasts wait on the tender spring and wholesome weeds take root with precious flowers. The adder he says where the sweet birds sing what virtue breeds iniquity devours. We had no good that we can say is ours. But they were nexted opportunity or kills his life or else his quality. Or opportunity thy guilt is great. There's thou that executes the traitors treason. Lives that's the will for he the land I get. Whoever plots the sin thou points the season is that that spurns to write law and reason and in the shady sell when most by him sits soon to seize the souls that wander by
him. Down makes the vestal violator of the hour blows the fire when temperance is thawed out smother most honestly the murderous troth thou fallen that down no Tory is bald. Doll planted scandal and displaces Lord rubbish about traitor false thief. Lie honey turns to go by joy to grief. When will that be the humble succulents friend and bring him where his suit may be attained. When one of those sort in our great strife story and offering you that soul which wretchedness had shamed. Give physic to the sick ease to the pain and the poor lame blind halt creep. Cry out for the but they're in it with opportunity. The patient dives while the physician sleeps. They
often pines while the oppressive feeds. Justice is feasting while the widow weaves. And vices spouting while infection breeds. But grants no time for charitable beads. Rough envy. Treason rape and murders rages die he knows hours wait on them as their pages. When truth and virtue have to do with the thousand crosses keep them from buying aid. They buy the help that's in there gives a fee. He greatest scams and the Rodwell are paid as well to hear there's ground to what he had said my color time what else have come to me when I talk winded but he was stayed by the. Now what about a sonnet. I think Duncan Ross shows us that a poet's verbal complexities can be heard and understood by the listener when they're spoken by a sensitive actor who understands his author's art himself.
When forty winters showed besieged by Bravo and dig deep trenches in my beauty's field. Die you sprout liver a sow gazed on Ruby a tattered we'd have small worth then being asked where all by beauty lies where all the treasure of the last eight days. To say within Dian own deep sunken eyes and ill eating shame and thriftless praise how much more praise deserved to die beauties use if thou couldst dancer this fair child of mine shall some my count and make my old excuse proving his beauty by succession dying. This were to be a new maid when our art old and see thy blood warm when thou feel the state code.
Let's stay with the sonnet form a little longer loving in truth and Fain in verse I love to show that she dear she might take some pleasure of my pain pleasure might cause her read reading might make her no knowledge might pity win and pity Grace obtain. I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of world studying inventions firing her wits to entertain. After turning others leaves to see if then else would flow some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburned brain. But words came halting forth wanting inventions invention nature's child fled step Dame studies
blows and others feet still seemed but strangers in my way. Vance great with child to speak and helpless in my throes biting my truant pen beating myself for spite. Fool. Said my muse to me. Look in the eye heart and right now here Jonathan again with one by John Donne batter my heart three person and God for us yet but knock breve shine and seek to mend that I may rise and stand or throw me and bend your force to break blow burn and make me new. I like and use the tower to another do you labor to admit you are owed in no way and reason your viceroy in me me
should defend but is captive and proves weak or untrue. Yet dearly I love you and would beloved fade but I am Botros done to your enemy. Divorce me untie or break that knot again. Take me to you imprison me for I accept you and throw me never shall be free nor ever chaste except you ravish me. I have never been happier in preparing these programs than when working with Milton the actors have done me an enormous service by allowing me to share with others the Milton whom I enjoy in my mind here. Mine eyes he closed but open left the cell. Fancy my internal side by which abstract as in a trance we thought I saw those sleeping where I lay and saw the shape still
glorious before whom awake I stirred. Stooping open my left side and took from thence a rib. We've called your spirits warm and the life blood streaming fresh. Why was the wound but suddenly with flesh filled up and healed. The rib he formed and fashioned with his hands under his forming hands a creature crew man like but different sex. So lovely for what seemed fair in all the world seemed now mean or in her summed up in her contained and in her looks which from that time infused sweetness into my heart and fell before and into all things from her inspired the spirit of love and amorous delight. She disappeared and left me dark. I wait to find her or for ever to deplore her loss and other pleasures all of sure
went out of hope. Behold her not far off such as I saw her in my dream adorned with what all earth all heaven could bestow to make her amiable. On She came led by her heavenly maker though unseen and guided by his voice nor uninformed of not to your sanctity and marriage rights. Grace was in all her steps. Heaven in her eye in every gesture dignity and love. Strictly that passage ought not to be part of our retrospect. You haven't heard it in our earlier programs. I've saved it for the last. Is Milton a dramatist. I think we've found that he is. With down at her feet and wavering resolution I came still dreading that displeasure Sampson which to have merited without excuse I cannot but acknowledge. Yet if tears meg speed
that of the fact more you ruin the perverse event than I foresaw my penance have not slackened down my pardon. No way assured. But conjugal affection prevailing over fear and timidness doubt has led me on desirous to behold once more thy face and know of the highest state. If Orton my ability may serve to lighten what us suffer just and appease the mind with what amends is in my power. The lady had in some part to recompense my rash but more unfortunate Miss de trout. These are the I wonted arts and arts of everywoman force likely to break all faith all vowels deceive betray then as repentant to submit the siege and reconcilement move with feigned remorse. Confess and promise wonders in her change. Not truly penitent but cheap to try her husband. How far urged his patience
bears his virtual weakness which way to assail then with more cautious and instructive skill again transgressors. And again submits that wisest and best man full of beguiled with goodness principle not to reject the penitent but never to forgive are drawn to wear out miserable days entangled with the poisonous blossoms make if not by quick destruction soon cut off as I by the two ages an example yet hear me Samms. Not that I endeavor to lessen or extenuate my offense but that on the other side if it be weighed by itself with aggravations not surcharged or else with just allowance counter poised I may if possible I pardon find the easier towards me or the hatred less First grunting as I do. It was a weakness in me but incident to all us ex curiosity inquisitive importune of secrets then with like infirmity to publish them both
common female faults. Was it not weakness also to make no more important unity that is for mood wherein consisted all my strength and safety. To what I did that shows me first the way. But I had two enemies reviewed and should not nor should as I have trusted that a woman's frailty right to the thou to thy self must prove that weakness then with weakness come to pass. Sonia related all the same of kind rhyme forgive mine that men may sense your guy in the gentler of severely that exact not more strength from me than and myself first found. I believe that that scene gave us more difficulty. And of course as a result more satisfaction than anything else that we did. And by us I mean Elizabeth Shepard Fairey boys and me. Now I must indulge myself with one more passage of Milton. It's wonderful writing
and I think Barry does justice to it. It's the opening of book 9 of Paradise Lost. No more of talk where God or angel guest with me and I was with his friend Familia used to suit indulgent. And with him partake rural reparse. But meeting him the wild venial discourse on blame. I now must change those notes to tragic for our distrust and breach disloyal on the part of man revolt and disobedience on the part of heaven now alienated distance and distaste anger and just rebuke. And judgment given the brought into this world a world of world soon and the shadow of death. And misery
death's harbinger. So I had to ask. Yet argument not less but more heroic than the rock of stern Achilles on his foe pursued thrice fugitive about Troy wall. Already turned its full of in years. Despite our host The Neptunes Arab or Jew knows that so long perplex the Greek and superiors son if answerable styli can obtain of my celestial patroness. Who dames her nightly visitation and implored him dictates to me slumbering or inspirers easy my unpremeditated verse. Since first this subject for heroic song please me long choosing and beginning late. Not said EULAs by nature to indict Moore's hitherto the only argument heroic
team. Chief mastery to this sect with long and tedious Havok fabled knights in battles fame and the better fortitude of patience and heroic martyrdom or to describe racism games or tilting furniture in plays and shields impresses quaint comparisons and steeds bases in tins all trapping gorgeous ninths Joust and tournament then Martial feast served up in hall with sewers and center shows the scale of arty face or office mean to that which justly gives heroic name to person or to Poem. Me of these not skilled nor studious hired argument remaining sufficient of itself to raise that name unless an age too late or cold client or years damp my intended wing depressed
and much they may fall that mine not hers who brings it nightly to my ear. What has delighted me over and over again about how passages of spoken verse in these 26 programs is the clarity of sense as well as the melody of the verse. When actors concentrated on speaking the meaning. Every poet whom we have read has sounded natural. Now here are some of Barry boy's reading of Shelley's ode to the west wind. Or wild west wind the breath of autumn's being from whose unseen presence there leaves dead are driven like ghosts remain in Tranter fleeing yellow and black and pale and hectic red pestilence stricken multitudes hoes are all who chatter your tears to their dark wintry bad the winning seeds where they lie cold and low each like a corpse within its grave until the lying eyes your sister of the
spring shall blow her clarion or the dreaming. And Phil driving sweet buds like flocks to feed him with living hues and odors play and Hill wild spirit which are moving every way her destroyer and preserver. Here or here. One of the problems we've had to face in these 26 programs is that of intention. Are we providing education or enjoyment. Ideally of course the two are one. It can be argued that understanding adds to our enjoyment but I admit without any hesitation that it would be wrong to supply an analysis and comment as ends in themselves. I hope my commentary has been successful in only helping to reveal the poet's art for your enjoyment. If on occasion there's been too much of it or if it hasn't been helpful. Now is my last opportunity to make my apology.
I myself prefer to say as little as possible and to let the poet work through the actor. The curfew tolls the knell of parting day. The lowing herd winds slowly over the leaves. The ploughman homeward plods his weary way. And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight. And all the air a solemn stillness holds save where the beak or wheels whose droning flight and drowsy tinkling loud the distant fold. From yonder Ivy mantled tower old I was to the company you know such as wandering in a secret molest an ancient solitary raid.
You have been listening to retrospect the last of a series of twenty six programmes on English this. The readers today where Barry Boyce Elizabeth Shepard Jonathan Powell and Duncan Ross in the rest of the series we have also heard shouted dirty Alan Scarfe Robert Casper Sarah Fowle and Anne Walker. I must also express my thanks too to only competent production managers. Until last September jurist Jensen's and since then Clifford Lenz. This is Bertram Joseph saying goodbye to you and I hope you enjoy whatever else you listen to next week. This program was produced by Radio Broadcast Services of the University of Washington under a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
A nest of singing birds
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Chicago: “A nest of singing birds; 26; Retrospect,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 27, 2023,
MLA: “A nest of singing birds; 26; Retrospect.” 1970-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 27, 2023. <>.
APA: A nest of singing birds; 26; Retrospect. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from