The Nightingale and the Rose
The English lord brought home many strange things from his travels in the East. Carved chests smelling of spices that contained mummified animals or parts of long dead pharoahs. Statues of hybrid gods and lush carpets woven with intricate colorful designs. Long pipes used to smoke forbidden substances. But what caused the most talk, the most clucking of tongues and shaking of heads among the people of the village was not a thing but a person. A young man who lived in the lord’s house, ate the lord’s food and it was rumoured, slept in the lord’s bed. The nobleman called him Nightingale, for he carried with him a lute and sang the most beautiful songs anyone had ever heard.
Nightingale was not troubled by his scandalous reputation or the stories the villagers told about him. For one thing the Englishman had taken him away from a life of hunger and desperation. His name was not Nightingale then. His blue eyes gave him away as the bastard son of a local girl and a traveling European merchant who refused to acknowledge them. Thrown out into the streets she raised him as best she could, their only joy sharing the music they both loved. Sometimes they earned small stacks of coins singing and playing at the bazaar. When he lost her to a fever he had nothing left of her but the old difficult to tune oud she had played while teaching him to sing.
One hot summer’s night he had been playing that oud on a corner, singing an old folksong when the English lord who had come to seek “curiosities” rode by on horseback with his retinue. The lord reigned in his horse and shushed his grumbling servants so that he could hear the rest of the song. Their eyes met, and although Nightingale was sure the other man could not understand the words there was something in his face that showed he knew the meaning of the song perfectly.
The next night he came back again alone on his horse to listen. And the next night after that. Nightingale smiled at him and sang. On the fourth night he got off his horse carrying a lute. It was a shining thing of glistening polished wood and bright metals and worth more than Nightingale had earned in his entire life.
The English lord held it out in his hands. “You are a Nightingale.” he said, speaking the words in the young man’s native tongue much to his surprise. “Your music would make the angels weep. You must have this.” Nightingale took the thing from his hands, eyes wide. “You must sing for me always.”
“Do you know the story of the Nightingale and the Rose? ” Nightingale murmured softly. “The Rose was once only white, until one day the Nightingale saw it and fell in love and for the first time the beautiful song rose from his throat. His love was so strong that he pressed himself to the flower, until his heart’s blood was spilled by the thorns and the Rose was stained crimson forever from his passion. And so the Nightingale died. If I sing for you, Englishman, will you have my heart’s blood?”
The man smiled at him. “I would not have your blood.” He gave a small laugh. “Your heart, however …..”
Nightingale’s eyes sparkled. “Yes. I will sing for you, Englishman. For I think it is already yours.”
And so he did.
So … a few weeks ago I went to Genre: Arabia to buy jewelry and I bought …. a lute.
It was a beautiful lute and I wanted it but then I had to figure out – Why would I have a lute? I put it together with my other purchases from Genre and started searching my inventory for things that someone who had a lute would wear. Once it all came together I knew there had to be a story in it somewhere. So Nightingale was born.
The hat by [^.^Ayashi^.^] came from the last Femboy hunt I did and has the long black hair attached. Everything else came from that starting point.
Hat rakishly tilted. And a rose.
I thought it looked great but started wondering what he would look like with his hat off. I went to Summerfest and problem solved! The new Tableau Vivant hair “Summerwind” was almost a perfect match! It’s the first long hair that I think looks good on me, I really like the way the hair flows in front of and behind the shoulders.
In the above picture you can see the reason I went to Genre in the first place. The “Sweet Sheba” Bindi set by ~*Souzou Eien*~ It comes with a HUD to change the colors of the jewels and metals and for resizing. I’d happily wear it with a more contemporary look also but I think it added the perfect exotic touch here and matches beautifully with the earrings, part of my “Thorned Embrace” Set also from ~*Souzou Eien*~ that includes a necklace and the ear climber that I wore in the post “Hungry”
Here’s another look along with a closer shot of the necklace I bought – “Ayn” in Silver/Blue . I had a Hamsa Hand bracelet on as a good luck charm every day for a long time until it broke from wear in real life so it was nice to find a counterpoint here. I think it brought Nightingale luck also.
A poor street musician can’t afford shoes of course, but I did find this beautiful henna for him to adorn his feet with.
And finally an unretouched photo of the lute so you can see how pretty it is. ( I don’t do a lot of retouching anyway as I don’t use Photoshop but I do sometimes amp up the contrast and saturation to my photos since I can’t smooth anything out ) The lute comes from .:: Dark Forge ::. and includes both male and female versions in the package. The lute plays three songs which are really quite pretty, and you can turn the songs and the animations on and off as you chose.
Besides the lute, some of the inspiration for this story comes from the actual Persian legend of the nightingale and the rose, and also a short story by Oscar Wilde that has a much more cynical take on it.
Now that I’ve revealed myself as an occasional hopeless romantic I think I will post the credits and continue the story of Nightingale and his Englishman in my head 😉
Don Juan Shirt with pants top & Belt with Rose – Tamiron Forge – tamiron.landar
( from complete Don Juan outfit )
Meggings & “Summerwind” Hair – ~Tableau Vivant ~
Deathrock Eyeliner – Schadenfreude – allegory.malaprop
.:: Dark Forge ::. Lute Male – .:: Dark Forge Creations Original ::. – belford.elman
Ayn Necklace – Silver/Blue – .Luminary. – augurer
[^.^Ayashi^.^] Puss in boots hair with hat – Ikira Frimon
Sweet Sheba (Bindi) & Thorned Embrace Earring – both from ~*Souzou Eien*~ draconias.timeless
Spectral Eyes “Maldives” by IKON
Jake Leather Cuffs by Pure Poison
Mehndi Style Hand & Feet tattoo for Slink hands & feet – KoKoLoRes – Leyla Flux ( found on MP )
Hands & Feet by Slink
Skin by <The Abyss> Adam Crius Origin Shaven ( from the Warehouse )
The locations for the photos were
the Gypsy Moon Nature Garden: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gypsy%20Moon/152/164/24
Domicile: 10m of Bliss 1-prim skybox ~ the gentleman 
also in the photos – RoomDivider~stained glass – BellaRose Dunn Designs – bella.bertone