To have been Belshazzar
, King of Babylon; and to have been Belshazzar
, not haughtily but courteously, therein certainly must have been some touch of mundane grandeur.
The old man seems to read Belshazzar
's awful writing.
The Saxon in Heaven's just balance is weighed, His doom like Belshazzar
's in death has been cast, And the hand of the venger shall never be stayed Till his race, faith, and speech are a dream of the past.
Mars Saba, perched upon a crag, a human nest stock high up against a perpendicular mountain wall, is a world of grand masonry that rises, terrace upon terrace away above your head, like the terraced and retreating colonnades one sees in fanciful pictures of Belshazzar
's Feast and the palaces of the ancient Pharaohs.
Here, while the national prosperity feasts, like another Belshazzar
, on the spectacle of its own magnificence, is the Writing on the Wall, which warns the monarch, Money, that his glory is weighed in the balance, and his power found wanting.
Then the letter that Villefort had showed to him recurred to his mind, and every line gleamed forth in fiery letters on the wall like the mene tekel upharsin of Belshazzar
. He told himself that it was the enmity of man, and not the vengeance of heaven, that had thus plunged him into the deepest misery.
BBC PROMS: RATTLE CONDUCTS BELSHAZZAR
'S FEAST (BBC4, 7.30pm) The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts hit a glorious high this summer with Public Service Broadcasting's tribute to the heroes of space flight and those first moon landings.
Spring Song and the colourful Suite from Belshazzar
's Feast are both engagingly played rarities.
's Feast Mick and James have re-united with Dave Bordewey (fiddle, cittern, harmonies) and are joined by Paul Downes (guitar, mando-cello, mandolin, banjo, harmonies).
Now, as Daniel's wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili still thinks she's safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear--until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar
's palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall.
The first half consisted of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite and the second was taken up with Walton's Belshazzar
's Feast for orchestra, choir, vocal soloist and added brass.
John Martin is remembered now as the creator of epic paintings such as The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorroah and Belshazzar