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Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Byron's Bride of Abydos: poetry reading

Byron's Bride of Abydos: poetry reading

1:49

Actor Helen Morse reads an excerpt from Lord Byron's The bride of Abydos.

This reading is part of a series of excerpts from the romantic stories and lyrical verse written or inspired by some of the great Persian poets of the past, as showcased in the Love and devotion: from Persia and beyond exhibition.

Byron's Bride of Abydos: poetry reading transcript


From The bride of Abydos, by Lord Byron

Know ye the land of the cedar and vine?
Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine,
Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppressed with perfume,
Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gul in her bloom;
Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit,
And the voice of the nightingale never is mute;
Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky,
In colour though varied, in beauty may vie,
And the purple of Ocean is deepest in die;
Where virgins are soft as the roses they twine,
And all, save the spirit of man is divine –
'tis the clime of the east – 'tis the land of the Sun –
Can he smile on such deeds as his children have done?
Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell
Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell.

31:05
Enjoy an insight into the exhibition Love and devotion as co-curator Susan Scollay reveals the beauty of Persian poetry.
5:14
A preview of the Persian manuscripts that feature in Love and devotion, the Library's landmark 2012 exhibition.
17:17
Richard Ovenden discusses the Bodleian Libraries and the 'Love and devotion' exhibition.
1:23
Actor Helen Morse introduces lyrical works written by the great Persian poets of the past.
2:22
Hear Helen Morse read from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
24:57
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.
23:44
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.
46:39
Dr Mammad Aidani explores contemporary ways of understanding the poetry of Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi.
40:52
Dr Zahra Taheri discusses the role of the feminine in the life and teachings of the mystic Sufi poet Rumi.
40:53
Dr Barbara Brend discusses the illustrations in the 'Khamsa' of Nizami and the 'Khamsa' of Amir Khusrau.
8:57
Cameron Douraghy talks about the Rostam: Tales from the Shahnameh comic book series.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read from Goethe’s West-eastern Divan.
1:49
Hear Helen Morse read from Lord Byron's The bride of Abydos.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read Shakespeare's Sonnet no 54.
2:09
Hear Helen Morse read from the Divan of Hafiz.
1:46
Hear Helen Morse read from Dante's Divine comedy.
1:47
Hear Helen Morse read from the story of Layla and Majnun, as told in the Khamsa of Nizami.
2:19
Hear Helen Morse read from ʿAttar's Conference of the birds.
2:01
Hear Helen Morse read from Rumi's Masnavi.
2:42
Hear Helen Morse read from Firdausi's Shahnama.
2:09
Hear Helen Morse read from the Divan of Hafiz.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read Shakespeare's Sonnet no 54.
1:49
Hear Helen Morse read from Lord Byron's The bride of Abydos.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read from Goethe’s West-eastern Divan.
1:23
Actor Helen Morse introduces lyrical works written by the great Persian poets of the past.
2:22
Hear Helen Morse read from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
2:42
Hear Helen Morse read from Firdausi's Shahnama.
2:01
Hear Helen Morse read from Rumi's Masnavi.
2:19
Hear Helen Morse read from ʿAttar's Conference of the birds.
1:47
Hear Helen Morse read from the story of Layla and Majnun, as told in the Khamsa of Nizami.
1:46
Hear Helen Morse read from Dante's Divine comedy.
40:53
Dr Barbara Brend discusses the illustrations in the 'Khamsa' of Nizami and the 'Khamsa' of Amir Khusrau.
40:52
Dr Zahra Taheri discusses the role of the feminine in the life and teachings of the mystic Sufi poet Rumi.
46:39
Dr Mammad Aidani explores contemporary ways of understanding the poetry of Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi.
23:44
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.
24:57
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.

Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.

Conference

Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Tel +61 3 8664 7000