The Light that Brings Cold Cheer

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“Afar away the light that brings cold cheer
Unto this wall, one instant and no more
Admitted at my distant palace-door.
Afar the flowers of Enna from this drear
Dire fruit, which, tasted once, must thrall me here.
Afar those skies from this Tartarean grey
That chills me: and afar, how far away,
The nights that shall be from the days that were.
Afar from mine own self I seem, and wing
Strange ways in thought, and listen for a sign;
And still some heart unto some soul doth pine,
(Whose sounds mine inner sense is faith to bring,
Continually together murmuring,)
“Woe’s me for thee, unhappy Proserpine!”
(Dante Gabriel Rossetti – Ballads and Sonnets,1881)

One day, Proserpine, a young maid of spring, was out picking wildflowers with her mother, Ceres, goddess of grain when she saw the white petals of the narcissus flower. She began straying far from her mother.
Out of the dark depths sprang Pluto, god of the underworld. He grabbed Proserpine and drove his chariot back into the caves of the earth…
Ceres, devastated by the kidnapping allowed the earth to become barren.
Mercury, the messenger god, wandered the underworld until he came to the misty throne room of Pluto and Proserpine.
There he told Pluto he must return Proserpine.
She remembered the joyful times of her mother’s love, the wildflowers, and open sunlit meadows.
Before returning Proserpine, Pluto offered her the seeds of a pomegranate fruit.
When Ceres heard this, she told Proserpine that the fruit was a symbol of marriage.
As a result, when Fall and Winter come, the earth grows cold and barren because Proserpine must return to the underworld with Pluto.
But when she comes back, Ceres turns the world to spring and summer.
…This is how seasons began.
(Chrysantha Gakopoulos – The story of Ceres and Proserpina)

There is no editing on this picture which was shot at night at the ”Bosquet de la Colonnade” which stands in the gardens of the Château de Versailles.
The green lights were settled for a special evening.
This is a close-up of the famous group “Proserpine Ravished by Pluto” which is in the centre, it was sculpted by François Girardon in 1699.


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