When Sammy was homeschooled for 6th grade, we spent a lot of time in English literature. We read through three Shakespeare plays, and Sam had a poetry journal where he sketched illustrations for the poems he wrote out in longhand. Sammy was always my reader and poet, and I treasure memories of that year as we read through some of the world’s great literature together (while William and Mary played at our feet!)
There was a price war among the airlines that year, and it became cheaper to fly to London than it was to go to Florida. Tom took Charlie and Sammy on an unforgettable trip to England and France, and the boys were able to visit places like Shakespeare’s Globe Theater to see a play acted out by some school children, Spurgeon and Wesley’s churches, the British Museum, Westminster Abbey and all the usual historical sites. Sam came home also talking about the daffodils he saw in the French countryside which he informed me were “just like in the poem by Wordsworth.”
One of the poems he memorized before he knew he would actually get to see the place, was Wordsworth’s Inside King’s College Chapel.
TAX not the royal Saint with vain expense,
With ill-matched aims the Architect who planned–
Albeit labouring for a scanty band
Of white robed Scholars only–this immense
And glorious Work of fine intelligence!
Give all thou canst; high Heaven rejects the lore
Of nicely-calculated less or more;
So deemed the man who fashioned for the sense
These lofty pillars, spread that branching roof
Self-poised, and scooped into ten thousand cells,
Where light and shade repose, where music dwells
Lingering–and wandering on as loth to die;
Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof
That they were born for immortality.
~ William Wordsworth
Those last four lines about light and shade reposing in those ten thousand cells of the roof are so beautiful. Here is a fascinating little film about the architecture of King’s College Chapel. Will has taken to reading about the architecture of some of these old cathedrals where theology was expressed in the building’s design itself, something we don’t see much of in church architecture now. It is astounding that buildings like this could be built so very long ago without any of the technology we have today, and yet when you see what is built these days with technology, it appears we’re going backwards.
Here’s a photo of Sammy and Charlie in front of King’s College Chapel at Cambridge University with the statue of its founder, King Henry the VI, in the background. (Why Sammy is wearing that huge Navy jacket, I do not know. Kids! Unfortunately, it shows up in all the photos, LOL)