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now begins generated list of local instances, definitions, quotes, instances in chapters, wordnet info if available and instances among weblinks












cathedral ::: 1. A large and important church of imposing architectural beauty. 2. Of, relating to, or resembling a cathedral.

cathedralic ::: a. --> Cathedral.

cathedral ::: In Night’s bare session to cathedral Light

cathedral ::: n. --> The principal church in a diocese, so called because in it the bishop has his official chair (Cathedra) or throne. ::: a. --> Pertaining to the head church of a diocese; as, a cathedral church; cathedral service.
Emanating from the chair of office, as of a pope or


blackmass ::: Black Mass The Black Mass was a way of lampooning the Catholic Mass, practiced occasionally by wealthy opponents of the Church in the 'Dark Ages'. 'Black Masses' used to be performed by priests to curse enemies, but this practice was condemned by the church. During the witch trials of the Spanish Inquisition, witches were accused of this practice, but it is considered highly unlikely that it was practiced by commoners. So, contrary to popular belief, it is not a standard practice in ancient or modern witchcraft. Similarly, traditional (as opposed to secular) Satanists have been accused of conducting rituals which are specifically aimed at attacking Christian beliefs and practices (particularly the Roman Catholic Church), rituals in which they recite the Lord's Prayer backwards, or desecrate and use the host and wine stolen from a cathedral! This is pure fiction which can be traced back to the Inquisition and to books written during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance periods. Examples of traditional Satanism are extremely rare, and testimonies of 'alleged former Satanists' and Satanic Ritual abuse have long since been discredited. Cleromancy, when all the dominoes have been turned face-down and shuffled, the collection/set of randomised tiles is referred to as the "boneyard". The sitter draws tiles from the boneyard to form his/her spread.

canonry ::: n. pl. --> A benefice or prebend in a cathedral or collegiate church; a right to a place in chapter and to a portion of its revenues; the dignity or emoluments of a canon.

cathedral ::: 1. A large and important church of imposing architectural beauty. 2. Of, relating to, or resembling a cathedral.

cathedralic ::: a. --> Cathedral.

cathedral ::: In Night’s bare session to cathedral Light

cathedral ::: n. --> The principal church in a diocese, so called because in it the bishop has his official chair (Cathedra) or throne. ::: a. --> Pertaining to the head church of a diocese; as, a cathedral church; cathedral service.
Emanating from the chair of office, as of a pope or

chapter ::: n. --> A division of a book or treatise; as, Genesis has fifty chapters.
An assembly of monks, or of the prebends and other clergymen connected with a cathedral, conventual, or collegiate church, or of a diocese, usually presided over by the dean.
A community of canons or canonesses.
A bishop&

Chaucer, Geoffrey: Born around 1343, Chaucer died on 25 October 1400. He was an eminent author, poet and politician whose works most notably included the unfinished The Canterbury Tales. The tales are a compilation of stories written in the 14th century. Whilst two of them are in prose, the remaining twenty-two are inverse. Written in Middle English, the tales are told by a group of pilgrims on a pilgrimage from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral.

consistory ::: n. --> Primarily, a place of standing or staying together; hence, any solemn assembly or council.
The spiritual court of a diocesan bishop held before his chancellor or commissioner in his cathedral church or elsewhere.
An assembly of prelates; a session of the college of cardinals at Rome.
A church tribunal or governing body.
A civil court of justice.

design ::: n. --> To draw preliminary outline or main features of; to sketch for a pattern or model; to delineate; to trace out; to draw.
To mark out and exhibit; to designate; to indicate; to show; to point out; to appoint.
To create or produce, as a work of art; to form a plan or scheme of; to form in idea; to invent; to project; to lay out in the mind; as, a man designs an essay, a poem, a statue, or a cathedral.
To intend or purpose; -- usually with for before the remote

domino ::: n. --> A kind of hood worn by the canons of a cathedral church; a sort of amice.
A mourning veil formerly worn by women.
A kind of mask; particularly, a half mask worn at masquerades, to conceal the upper part of the face. Dominos were formerly worn by ladies in traveling.
A costume worn as a disguise at masquerades, consisting of a robe with a hood adjustable at pleasure.

duomo ::: n. --> A cathedral. See Dome, 2.

enthronization ::: n. --> The act of enthroning; hence, the admission of a bishop to his stall or throne in his cathedral.

faldstool ::: n. --> A folding stool, or portable seat, made to fold up in the manner of a camo stool. It was formerly placed in the choir for a bishop, when he offciated in any but his own cathedral church.

galilee ::: n. --> A porch or waiting room, usually at the west end of an abbey church, where the monks collected on returning from processions, where bodies were laid previous to interment, and where women were allowed to see the monks to whom they were related, or to hear divine service. Also, frequently applied to the porch of a church, as at Ely and Durham cathedrals.

hermestrismegitus ::: Hermes Trismegistus The central figure of the mystical tradition known as Hermeticism, as portrayed in the literature known as the Hermetica. Hermes Trismegistus (Hermes thrice great) is a combination of Hermes, Mercury, and Thoth. At one time Hermes was esteemed as a prophet to the Gentiles and was considered as important theologically as Moses. Many cathedrals throughout Europe bear his image to this day.

How these magnificent lines from Savitri continue to reverberate in the mind and heart and soul I do not know. I know only this, that Savitri, as Mother has said, is”a mantra for the transformation of the world.” As understanding grows within, not in the mind but in the inner cathedral which is always drenched in light, certain lines repeat themselves as mantra and I share what comes to me in a spirit of wonder and hushed elation.

Jo khang. In Tibetan, "House of the Lord"; the earliest Tibetan temple and monastery, located in the capital of LHA SA. The central image is a statue of sĀKYAMUNI Buddha as a youth, said to have been sculpted in India during the Buddha's lifetime. This statue, the most sacred in Tibet, is known simply as the JO BO ("Lord") SHĀKYAMUNI or Jo bo Rin po che ("Precious Lord"). The temple takes its name from this image housed within it. Indeed, the name Lha sa ("Place of the Gods") may have referred originally to the Jo khang, only later becoming by extension to be the name of the city that surrounds it. The Jo khang stands at the heart of the old city, and is the central point for three circumambulation routes. The most famous of these is the BAR BSKOR, or middle circuit, which passes around the outer walls and surrounding structures of the Jo khang. The Jo khang and bar bskor together have long been Lha sa's primary religious space, with pilgrims circling it in a clockwise direction each day. The central market of Lha sa is also located along the bar bskor. Despite its well-known name, Tibetans tend to refer to the Jo khang simply as the Gtsug lag khang (Tsuklakang), the Tibetan term for VIHĀRA, meaning "monastery"; the original structure was likely laid out by Newari artisans following the plan of an Indian Buddhist vihāra. Western sources have rather misleadingly dubbed the Jo khang the "Cathedral of Lhasa." According to traditional Tibetan sources (most importantly, the MAnI BKA' 'BUM) the original structure was established by the Tibetan king SRONG BTSAN SGAM PO and his two queens (one Chinese and one Nepalese), around 640 CE. The statue of sākyamuni, said to have been crafted during the Buddha's lifetime, eventually made its way to China. It is said to have been brought to Tibet from China by the king's Chinese bride, Princess WENCHENG. The many difficulties she encountered en route from China convinced her that the landscape of Tibet was in fact a supine demoness (SRIN MO), who was inimical to the introduction of Buddhism. On her advice, the king (who had recently converted to Buddhism), the Chinese princess, and the king's other wife, the Nepalese princess BHṚKUTĪ, built the Jo khang directly over the heart of the demoness; according to Tibetan legends, the king himself built much of the first-floor structure. Other temples were subsequently built across Tibet, corresponding to other parts of the demoness's vast body, in order essentially to nail her to the earth and prevent her further obstruction of the dharma (see MTHA' 'DUL GTSUG LAG KHANG). When the Jo khang was completed, a different statue than the more famous Jo bo Shākyamuni or Jo bo rin bo che, was the central image; it was a statue of the buddha called JO BO MI BSKYOD RDO RJE brought to Tibet by Bhṛkutī. The statue brought by Wencheng (known as Jo bo rin bo che) was housed in the nearby RA MO CHE temple, founded by Wencheng. After the king's death, the two statues were switched, moving the Jo bo Shākyamuni statue to the Jo khang and the Jo bo mi bskyod rdo rje statue to Ra mo che, where they would remain over the subsequent centuries. Modern scholarship has raised questions about many details of this tale, including the degree of Srong btsan sgam po's devotion to Buddhism and the existence of his Nepalese queen. However, the story of the Jo khang's founding, depicted on murals inside the temple itself, is widely known, and the Jo khang remains central to the sacred geography of the Tibetan Buddhist world. The Jo khang has been the site of many important moments of Tibetan history, including the establishment of the SMON LAM CHEN MO festival in 1409, when TSONG KHA PA offered a crown to the Jo bo statue, giving it the aspect of a SAMBHOGAKĀYA. Over the course of its long history, the Jo khang has been enlarged and renovated many times (although elements of the original structure, such as juniper beams, are still visible) to become a complex of chapels, courtyards, residential quarters (including those for the DALAI LAMA and PAn CHEN LAMA), monastic dormitories, government offices, and storerooms. The temple suffered during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), when parts of the complex and much of its original statuary and murals were damaged or destroyed, including the central image. During this period, the complex was occupied by Red Guards and People's Liberation Army troops, and the temple was used as a pigsty. The temple has since been restored, beginning in 1972 and again during the early 1990s. In 2000, it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

kremlin ::: n. --> The citadel of a town or city; especially, the citadel of Moscow, a large inclosure which contains imperial palaces, cathedrals, churches, an arsenal, etc.

lateran ::: n. --> The church and palace of St. John Lateran, the church being the cathedral church of Rome, and the highest in rank of all churches in the Catholic world.

Melchisedek, Abraham, and Moses, from the porch of the northern transept of Chartres Cathedral (late

open source "philosophy, legal" A method and philosophy for software licensing and distribution designed to encourage use and improvement of software written by volunteers by ensuring that anyone can copy the {source code} and modify it freely. The term "open source" is now more widely used than the earlier term "{free software}" (promoted by the {Free Software Foundation}) but has broadly the same meaning - free of distribution restrictions, not necessarily free of charge. There are various {open source licenses} available. Programmers can choose an appropriate license to use when distributing their programs. The {Open Source Initiative} promotes the {Open Source Definition}. {The Cathedral and the Bazaar (}. was a seminal paper describing the open source phenomenon. {Open Sources - O'Reilly book with full text online (}. {Articles from ZDNet (}. (1999-12-29)

prebendary ::: n. --> A clergyman attached to a collegiate or cathedral church who enjoys a prebend in consideration of his officiating at stated times in the church. See Note under Benefice, n., 3.
A prebendaryship.

prebend ::: n. --> A payment or stipend; esp., the stipend or maintenance granted to a prebendary out of the estate of a cathedral or collegiate church with which he is connected. See Note under Benefice.
A prebendary.

precentor ::: n. --> A leader of a choir; a directing singer.
The leader of the choir in a cathedral; -- called also the chanter or master of the choir.
The leader of the congregational singing in Scottish and other churches.

sacrist ::: n. --> A sacristan; also, a person retained in a cathedral to copy out music for the choir, and take care of the books.

Scholasticism: Scholasticism is both a method and system of thought. The name is derived from its proponents who were called doctores scholastici. This term, in turn, came from scholazein, which originally meant to have leisure or spare time but later, as in Xen. Cyr. 7. 5, 39, took the meaning to denote oneself to pupils or, conversely, to a master. The term Skolastikos is used for the first time by Theophrastus as recorded by Diog. L. 5. 37 (or V. 50 according to Ueberweg). From Roman antiquity the expression was handed down to the ninth century, when doctores scholastici came into general usage and was applied indifferently to those who taught the seven liberal arts or theology in the cloister and cathedral schools.

Tehmi: “Here Sri Aurobindo uses the word in a unique way, as a verb; to house as in a cathedral.”

This symbol can be traced “from our modern cathedrals down to the Temple of Solomon, to the Egyptian Karnac, 1600 BC. The Thebans find it in the oldest Coptic records of symbols preserved on tablets of stone and recognize it, varying its multitudinous forms with every epoch, every people, creed or worship. It is a Rosicrucian symbol, one of the most ancient and the most mysterious. As the Egyptian Crux ansata, crossor crossthat travelled from India, where it was considered as belonging to the Indian symbolism of the most early ages, its lines and curves could be suited to answer the purpose of many symbols in every age and fitted for every worship” (Some Unpublished Letters of Blavatsky 153-5).

University of Durham ::: (body, education) A busy research and teaching community in the historic cathedral city of Durham, UK (population 61000). Its work covers key branches of a major employer, the University contributes in a wide social and economic sense to the community.Founded in 1832, the University developed in Durham and Newcastle until 1963 when the independent University of Newcastle upon Tyne came into being. Durham launched University College, Stockton-on-Tees, which has 190 students in the first year. . (1995-03-17)

University of Durham "body, education" A busy research and teaching community in the historic cathedral city of Durham, UK (population 61000). Its work covers key branches of science and technology and traditional areas of scholarship. Durham graduates are in great demand among employers and the University helps to attract investment into the region. It provides training, short courses, and expertise for industry. Through its cultural events, conferences, tourist business and as a major employer, the University contributes in a wide social and economic sense to the community. Founded in 1832, the University developed in Durham and Newcastle until 1963 when the independent University of Newcastle upon Tyne came into being. Durham is a collegiate body, with 14 Colleges or Societies which are a social and domestic focus for students. In 1992, the Universities of Durham and Teesside launched University College, Stockton-on-Tees, which has 190 students in the first year. {(}. (1995-03-17)

QUOTES [2 / 2 - 638 / 638]

KEYS (10k)

   1 Jonathan Swift
   1 Allen Ginsberg


   9 Anonymous
   7 Marcel Proust
   7 Isaac Marion
   7 Hermann Hesse
   6 Emily Dickinson
   6 Charles Dickens
   5 Terry Pratchett
   5 Richard Dawkins
   5 Herman Melville
   5 Henry Ward Beecher
   5 Anthony Doerr
   4 Sinclair Lewis
   4 Robert Louis Stevenson
   4 Rainer Maria Rilke
   4 Penelope Lively
   4 Joan Didion
   4 C S Lewis
   4 Bill Bryson
   4 Anne Rice
   3 William Gibson

1:se man is never less alone than when he is alone." ~ Jonathan Swift, (1667-1745), an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric, became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Wikipedia.,
2:Death & Fame

When I die

I don't care what happens to my body throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery

But I want a big funeral St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in Manhattan

First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother 96, Aunt Honey from old Newark,

Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sister-in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters their grandchildren, companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan--

Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya's ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche, there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting America, Satchitananda Swami Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche, Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi's phantoms Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau Roshis, Lama Tarchen --

Then, most important, lovers over half-century Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories

"He taught me to meditate, now I'm an old veteran of the thousandday retreat --"

"I played music on subway platforms, I'm straight but loved him he loved me"

"I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone"

"We'd lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly arms round each other"

"I'd always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my skivvies would be on the floor"

"Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master"

"We'd talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then sleep in his captain's bed."

"He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy"

"I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my stomach shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips-- "

"All I did was lay back eyes closed, he'd bring me to come with mouth & fingers along my waist"

"He gave great head"

So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commin-gling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997 and surprise -- "You too? But I thought you were straight!"

"I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me."

"I forgot whether I was straight gay queer or funny, was myself, tender and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head, my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly. on my prick, tickled with his tongue my behind"

"I loved the way he'd recite 'But at my back allways hear/ time's winged chariot hurrying near,' heads together, eye to eye, on a pillow --"

Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear

"I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his walk-up flat, seduced me didn't want to, made me come, went home, never saw him again never wanted to... "

"He couldn't get it up but loved me," "A clean old man." "He made sure I came first"

This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor--

Then poets & musicians -- college boys' grunge bands -- age-old rock star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con-ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum-peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto-harp pennywhistles & kazoos

Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60's India, Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa-chusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American provinces

Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate biblio-philes, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex

"I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved him anyway, true artist"

"Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me from suicide hospitals"

"Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my studio guest a week in Budapest"

Thousands of readers, "Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois"

"I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet-- "

"He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas City"

"Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City"

"Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982"

"I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized others like me out there"

Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures

Then Journalists, editors's secretaries, agents, portraitists & photo-graphy aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural historians come to witness the historic funeral Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autograph-hunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers

Everyone knew they were part of 'History" except the deceased who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive
February 22, 1997
~ Allen Ginsberg,


1:That great Cathedral space which was childhood. ~ virginia-woolf, @wisdomtrove
2:The opera is to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral. ~ h-l-mencken, @wisdomtrove
3:This is *our* Universe, our museum of wonder and beauty, our cathedral. ~ john-wheeler, @wisdomtrove
4:Of all man's works of art, a cathedral is greatest. A vast and majestic tree is greater than that. ~ henry-ward-beecher, @wisdomtrove
5:A grove of giant redwood or sequoias should be kept just as we keep a great and beautiful cathedral. ~ theodore-roosevelt, @wisdomtrove
6:There's a certain slant of light, On winter afternoons, That oppresses, like the weight Of cathedral tunes. ~ emily-dickinson, @wisdomtrove
7:A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral. ~ antoine-de-saint-exupery, @wisdomtrove
8:I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral. ~ robert-louis-stevenson, @wisdomtrove
9:He who bears in his heart a cathedral to be built is already victorious. He who seeks to become sexton of a finished cathedral is already defeated. ~ antoine-de-saint-exupery, @wisdomtrove
10:Crystal Cathedral Pastor Says &
11:We say nothing essential about the cathedral when we speak of its stones. We say nothing essential about Man when we seek to define him by the qualities of men. ~ antoine-de-saint-exupery, @wisdomtrove
12:Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral: a thing as simple and specious as a statue to the first glance, and yet on examination, as lively and interesting as a forest in detail. ~ robert-louis-stevenson, @wisdomtrove
13:Christian faith is a grand cathedral, with divinely pictured windows. Standing without, you see no glory, nor can possibly imagine any; standing within, every ray of light reveals a harmony of unspeakable splendors. ~ nathaniel-hawthorne, @wisdomtrove
14:The charm, one might say the genius, of memory is that it is choosy, chancy and temperamental; it rejects the edifying cathedral and indelibly photographs the small boy outside, chewing a hunk of melon in the dust. ~ elizabeth-barrett-browning, @wisdomtrove
15:A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impulse to smash something, a warehouse perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself, to committ outrages. ~ hermann-hesse, @wisdomtrove
16:never harm the dreaming world, the world of green, the world of leaves, but let its million palms unfold the adoration of the trees Of all man's works of art, a cathedral is greatest. A vast and majestic tree is greater than that. ~ henry-ward-beecher, @wisdomtrove
17:The forest is the first cathedral. I felt that from the time I was a child. I credit my mother with that. I used to think it came from her Native-American side. Whichever it was, she instinctively connected with nature, and taught me that. ~ alice-walker, @wisdomtrove
18:The forest is the first cathedral. I felt that from the time I was a child. I credit my mother with that. I used to think it came from her Native-American side. Whichever it was, she instinctively connected with nature, and taught me that. Church just could not hold my spirit. ~ alice-walker, @wisdomtrove
19:The sun,&
20:The Hindu religion appears ... as a cathedral temple, half in ruins, noble in the mass, often fantastic in detail but always fantastic with a significance crumbling or badly outworn in places, but a cathedral temple in which service is still done to the Unseen and its real presence can be felt by those who enter with the right spirit. ~ sri-aurobindo, @wisdomtrove
21:Not only is the day waning, but the year. The low sun is fiery and yet cold behind the monastery ruin, and the Virginia creeper on the Cathedral wall has showered half its deep-red leaves down on the pavement. There has been rain this afternoon, and a wintry shudder goes among the little pools on the cracked, uneven flag-stones, and through the giant elm-trees as they shed a gust of tears. ~ charles-dickens, @wisdomtrove
22:The pyramids will perish in the course of the centuries but the ideas which gave them birth will develop onwards. The cathedral of today will take another form. Raphael's pictures will fall into dust but the soul of Raphael and the ideas which his creations represent will be living powers forever. The Art of today will be the Nature of tomorrow and will blossom again in her. Thus does Involution become Evolution. ~ rudolf-steiner, @wisdomtrove
23:Although I am a Protestant, I frequently, on weekday afternoons, drop into St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, and remind myself that I'll be dead in another thirty years, but that the great spiritual truths that all churches teach are eternal. I close my eyes and pray. I find that doing this calms my nerves, rests my body, clarifies my perspective, and helps me revalue my values. May I recommend this practice to you? ~ dale-carnegie, @wisdomtrove
24:The Enemy wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour's talents&
25:Not only rationality, but individuality too is a myth. Humans rarely think for themselves. Rather, we think in groups. Just as it takes a tribe to raise a child, it also takes a tribe to invent a tool, solve a conflict, or cure a disease. No individual knows everything it takes to build a cathedral, an atom bomb, or an aircraft. What gave Homo sapiens an edge over all other animals and turned us into the masters of the planet was not our individual rationality but our unparalleled ability to think together in large groups. ~ yuval-noah-harari, @wisdomtrove
26:When a thousand people believe some made-up story for one month, that’s fake news. When a billion people believe it for a thousand years, that’s a religion, and we are admonished not to call it fake news in order not to hurt the feelings of the faithful (or incur their wrath). Note, however, that I am not denying the effectiveness or potential benevolence of religion. Just the opposite. For better or worse, fiction is among the most effective tools in humanity’s tool kit. By bringing people together, religious creeds make large-scale human cooperation possible. They inspire people to build hospitals, schools, and bridges in addition to armies and prisons. Adam and Eve never existed, but Chartres Cathedral is still beautiful. ~ yuval-noah-harari, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Sir Christopher Wren’s Cathedral ~ P L Travers,
2:I am a cathedral of almost-lovers ~ Ashe Vernon,
3:Even peasants can build a cathedral. ~ Daryl Gregory,
4:Everyone will live in his own cathedral. ~ Ivan Chtcheglov,
5:Every sport needs its temple, its cathedral. ~ Thomas Friedman,
6:That great Cathedral space which was childhood. ~ Virginia Woolf,
7:An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. ~ Clarence Darrow,
8:I wish someone would ask me to design a cathedral. ~ Philip Johnson,
9:the words carved above the cathedral of my childhood ~ Daniel Keyes,
10:The opera is to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral. ~ H L Mencken,
11:The opera…is to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral. ~ H L Mencken,
12:A story is like building a chapel; a novel is a cathedral. ~ Rosario Ferre,
13:All churches are an echo of this—the Cathedral of Nature. ~ Seth Adam Smith,
14:A peaceful home is as sacred a place as any chapel or cathedral. ~ Bil Keane,
15:have seen the head of Saint Catherine in the cathedral in Siena. ~ Rhys Bowen,
16:It was a secular cathedral, dedicated to the rites of travel. ~ Robert Hughes,
17:Good writing is like a great cathedral. The echoes are lovely. ~ Douglas Wilson,
18:[He] was an insect wandering in the cathedral his mind had become. ~ Vernor Vinge,
19:Maimed but still magnificent... Europe's mightiest medieval cathedral. ~ R W Apple,
20:How did you jump off the cathedral roof and not die?" - Clary Fray ~ Cassandra Clare,
21:Intellectuals are cynical and cynics have never built a cathedral. ~ Henry A Kissinger,
22:One Cardinal entered his cathedral for the first time at his funeral. ~ Barbara W Tuchman,
23:A Gothic cathedral affirms that it was done by us and not done by us. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
24:The challenge of a cathedral is very good for architectural inventiveness. ~ Oscar Niemeyer,
25:The raising of a child is the building of a cathedral. You can't cut corners. ~ Dave Eggers,
26:The Christian faith is a grand cathedral with divinely pictured windows. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne,
27:This is *our* Universe, our museum of wonder and beauty, our cathedral. ~ John Archibald Wheeler,
28:I have come to regard the law courts not as a cathedral but rather as a casino. ~ Richard Ingrams,
29:Within the magnificent cathedral of the Vermont forest, the joy of young love sang. ~ Dana Marton,
30:Saint Isaac's Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor (Russian: Исааќ иевский Собор́ ) in Saint ~ Anonymous,
31:Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright,
32:Step by step, a path; stone by stone, a cathedral,' my great-grandfather used to say. ~ Phil Cousineau,
33:The heavy bell of St. Paul's cathedral rang out, announcing the death of another day. ~ Charles Dickens,
34:photosynthesis: a feat of chemical engineering underpinning creation’s entire cathedral. ~ Richard Powers,
35:The Sabbath is a weekly cathedral raised up in my dining room, in my family, in my heart. ~ Anita Diament,
36:too. Who knows when the water will go out again. Her fingers travel back to the cathedral ~ Anthony Doerr,
37:I would just as soon have abused the old village church at home for not being a cathedral. ~ Joseph Conrad,
38:If friendship is like a cathedral, then forsaken friendship is like roofless ruins... ~ Hilary Thayer Hamann,
39:A cathedral, a wave of a storm, a dancer's leap, never turn out to be as high as we had hoped. ~ Marcel Proust,
40:Matt raised an eyebrow. “Tour the Greek cathedral, huh? We can call it that, if you want. Sure. ~ Jessica Park,
41:She couldn't see him, but his voice was like light through a stained-glass window in a cathedral. ~ Graham Joyce,
42:Hope, I’ve discovered, is a sad nuisance. Hope is a horse with a broken leg. Inside the cathedral, ~ Lyndsay Faye,
43:A dozen pigeons roosting on the cathedral spire cataract down its length and wheel out over the sea. ~ Anthony Doerr,
44:We say nothing essential about the cathedral when we speak of its stones. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ~ Louis Rosenfeld,
45:What was it like in there? Inside a daisy?” My answer: “Like a cathedral made of mathematics and honey. ~ Tom Robbins,
46:You can't build a cathedral in a day. A look at the club's history tells you these things take time. ~ Gerard Houllier,
47:Of all man's works of art, a cathedral is greatest. A vast and majestic tree is greater than that. ~ Henry Ward Beecher,
48:The Gothic cathedral is a blossoming in stone subdued by the insatiable demand of harmony in man. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
49:Once upon a time, chimaera descended by the thousands into a cathedral beneath the earth. And never left. ~ Laini Taylor,
50:A grove of giant redwood or sequoias should be kept just as we keep a great and beautiful cathedral. ~ Theodore Roosevelt,
51:Hood an ass with reverend purple,
And he shall pass for a cathedral doctor"

(1. 2. 113-115) ~ Ben Jonson,
52:Cathedral Close, when I got to St Leonard’s, was emptier than a Sally Army collection box at a Pride festival, ~ J L Merrow,
53:I read the Scriptures at the American Cathedral on Christmas and Easter; that's it. It's a task I love. ~ Olivia de Havilland,
54:There's a certain slant of light, On winter afternoons, That oppresses, like the weight Of cathedral tunes. ~ Emily Dickinson,
55:In this toxic atmosphere, good intentions are eroding like the noses of stone gargoyles on cathedral peaks. ~ Peter Matthiessen,
56:I grew up in a forest. It's like a room. It's protected. Like a cathedral... it is a place between heaven and earth. ~ Anselm Kiefer,
57:It is easy to turn our religious life into a cathedral for beautiful memories, but there are feet to be washed . . . ~ Oswald Chambers,
58:There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes. ~ Emily Dickinson,
59:But one never finds a cathedral, a wave in a storm, a dancer's leap in the air quite as high as one has been expecting; ~ Marcel Proust,
60:Chartres Cathedral’ after Corot, of the ‘Fountains of Saint-Cloud’ after Hubert Robert, and of ‘Vesuvius’ after Turner, ~ Marcel Proust,
61:Peace is not just the absence of war. Like a cathedral, peace must be constructed patiently and with unshakable faith. ~ Pope John Paul II,
62:And me still not seeing, and the brightness coiled within me assumed an almost hushed quality, as if we were in a cathedral. ~ Jeff VanderMeer,
63:[Rumi] is trying to get us to feel the vastness of our true identity... like the sense you might get walking into a cathedral. ~ Coleman Barks,
64:Put three grains of sand inside a vast cathedral, and the cathedral will be more closely packed with sand than space is with stars. ~ James Jeans,
65:Sex wasn't God's big mistake. Judging against sex was humanity's big mistake. Pleasure is as divine as any cathedral, any temple. ~ Deepak Chopra,
66:I believe that love is better than hate. And that there is more nobility in building a chicken coop than in destroying a cathedral. ~ Bette Greene,
67:All Barchester was in a tumult. Dr. Grantly could hardly get himself out of the cathedral porch before he exploded in his wrath. ~ Anthony Trollope,
68:could try to tell you the story, but it would be like describing a cathedral by saying it’s a pile of stones ending in a spire. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
69:How do you open the eyes to see how to take the daily, domestic, workday vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral? ~ Ann Voskamp,
70:Religions exist primarily for people to achieve together what they cannot achieve alone. —David Sloan Wilson, Darwin’s Cathedral ~ Daniel C Dennett,
71:Spencer had never been able to sit in a crowded church pew and feel anything but hopeless and tormented. But Nature was his cathedral. ~ Tessa Dare,
72:A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral. ~ Antoine de Saint Exupery,
73:A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral. ~ Antoine de Saint Exup ry,
74:People said making clothes inside out was not proper. I disagreed because clothes that are inside out are as beautiful as a cathedral. ~ Sonia Rykiel,
75:His love was an architect that entirely remade the reality of the chapel, transforming it into a cathedral as grand as any in the world. ~ Dean Koontz,
76:The whole wide world is a cathedral; I stand inside, the air is calm, And from afar at times there reaches My ear the echo of a psalm. ~ Boris Pasternak,
77:Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral. ~ Ingmar Bergman,
78:People in those old times had convictions; we moderns only have opinions. And it needs more than a mere opinion to erect a Gothic cathedral. ~ Heinrich Heine,
79:You need a plan for everything, whether it's building a cathedral or a chicken coop. Without a plan, you'll postpone living until you're dead. ~ John Goddard,
80:In his book Darwin’s Cathedral, Wilson catalogues the ways that religions have helped groups cohere, divide labor, work together, and prosper. ~ Jonathan Haidt,
81:Discovering a new street in Paris, or a new café, is much more interesting to me than visiting an old château or cathedral in some godforsaken hamlet. ~ Ana s Nin,
82:We will live to see the day that St. Patrick's Cathedral is a child-care center and the pope is no longer a disgrace to the skirt that he has on. ~ Gloria Steinem,
83:afterlife, the space between earth and not-earth, world and not-world, highly polished floors and glass-roof cathedral echoes and the whole anonymous ~ Donna Tartt,
84:Concepts differentiate architecture from mere building...A bicycle shed with a concept is architecture; a cathedral without one is just a building. ~ Bernard Tschumi,
85:A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” —Antoine De Saint-Exupery ~ Gavin de Becker,
86:I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson,
87:What, without you is life eternal?
what are my boundless realms infernal?
Just empty words, a loud discord,
a vast cathedral - with no lord! ~ Mikhail Lermontov,
88:A Hubble Space Telescope photograph of the universe evokes far more awe for creation than light streaming through a stained glass window in a cathedral. ~ Michael Shermer,
89:It seemed she was in a cathedral—if, that is, the earth itself were to dream a cathedral into being over thousands of years of water weeping through stone. ~ Laini Taylor,
90:temple and cathedral are attractive because they spatially and acoustically recreate the cave, where early humans first expressed their spiritual yearnings. ~ David Byrne,
91:A medieval cathedral could consume a hundred man-centuries in its construction, yet was never used as a dwelling, or for any recognizably useful purpose. ~ Richard Dawkins,
92:A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” —Antoine De Saint-Exupery See ~ Gavin de Becker,
93:The unpurged images of day recede; The Emperor's drunken soldiery are abed; Night resonance recedes, night-walkers' song After great cathedral gong. ~ William Butler Yeats,
94:I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil - or perhaps a saint - out of stone. ~ Ingmar Bergman,
95:The images did not quite mesh, but they were very unsettling, as if you had entered a cathedral for high mass and found people copulating on the altar. Brian, ~ Jeff Lindsay,
96:He who bears in his heart a cathedral to be built is already victorious. He who seeks to become sexton of a finished cathedral is already defeated. ~ Antoine de Saint Exupery,
97:[It is] the most hideous waterfront structure ever inflicted on a city by a combination of architectural conceit and official bad taste. the Cathedral of Asphalt. ~ Robert Moses,
98:An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And the advance of man's knowledge is more of a miracle than any sticks turned to snakes, or the parting of waters! ~ Jerome Lawrence,
99:Loving her felt like creating something. A cathedral. Spires and stained glass and bells. But she broke one window and I indiscriminately tore the whole thing down. ~ Suanne Laqueur,
100:Time is your cathedral. You know the present is only a pretty illusion in the minds of men. And I think you know that nothing has ever passed away, not entirely. ~ Caitl n R Kiernan,
101:To my way of thinking, no one can live in the grandest cathedral on earth, the Rocky Mountains, and not know that there's someone bigger than man in charge of the world. ~ Mary Connealy,
102:the voices of the choir ringing off the ancient stones of the cathedral—did not make Arthur believe in God, but it did make him want to believe. The service had been sung ~ Charlie Lovett,
103:We say nothing essential about the cathedral when we speak of its stones. We say nothing essential about Man when we seek to define him by the qualities of men. ~ Antoine de Saint Exupery,
104:In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, it all collapses. ~ Isaac Marion,
105:No permanence is ours; we are a wave
That flows to fit whatever form it finds:
Through night or day, cathedral or the cave
We pass forever, craving form that binds. ~ Hermann Hesse,
106:We knowingly chose to protest in the Christ the Savior Cathedral, the most important church in the country, to denounce the connection between the church and Putin. ~ Yekaterina Samutsevich,
107:...for he of all men knew how dangerously stubborn Henry Fitz Empress could be.
There were faint bloodstains upon the tiles in Canterbury Cathedral testifying to that. ~ Sharon Kay Penman,
108:I'm not a preacher, and I'm certainly not a good example, but I have my own feelings about God. I'm kind of a nature guy. My cathedral is forests, or the prairies, or the beach. ~ Neil Young,
109:The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate, and beautiful. ~ Francis Collins,
110:I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips. ~ Violette Leduc,
111:On August 19, 1418, a competition was announced in Florence, where the city's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, had been under construction for more than a century ~ Ross King,
112:In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, everything collapses. ~ Isaac Marion,
113:The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate, and beautiful. ~ Francis S Collins,
114:The pursuit of peace resembles the building of a great cathedral. It is the work of a generation. In concept it requires a mater-architect; in execution, the labors of many. ~ Hubert H Humphrey,
115:In a small cathedral town where changes are few, there are always people who remember who used to live in a particular house, what happened to them there and afterwards, and so on. ~ James Hilton,
116:Mountains had taken the place of religion, had satisfied her religious sense, her need for adoration and worship as no service in any Cathedral, however sublime, had been able to do. ~ Ann Bridge,
117:At last she came to the old French houses around St. Louis Cathedral, and sat down on the steps of the cathedral and put herself in the hands of God. Any God, even a Catholic one. ~ Paulette Jiles,
118:I have a feeling of reverence about my father being in his 80s - a feeling that I want to whisper, take soft steps, not intrude too much. He's like a stately old cathedral to me now. ~ Patti Davis,
119:Multitudinous, full of seats, corridors, hierarchies, and rituals of hope, silent on their upper floors, hospitals are the closest thing to a cathedral we unbelievers can step into. ~ Andr s Neuman,
120:Libraries for me have always had a cathedral-like ambiance, a hushed sanctuary where learning is revered, where we the people elevate books and education to the level of the religious. ~ Harlan Coben,
121:All my life, I've been trying to fill an emptiness inside. But that emptiness...I've built myself around it. Filling it in would be like filling in the empty space within a cathedral. ~ Blake Charlton,
122:Isaakievskiy Sobor (Russian: Исааќ иевский Собор́ ) in Saint Petersburg, Russia is the largest cathedral (sobor) in the city and was the largest church in Russia when it was built (101.5 meters ~ Anonymous,
123:You think my paintings are calm, like windows in some cathedral? You should look again. I'm the most violent of all the American painters. Behind those colours there hides the final cataclysm. ~ Mark Rothko,
124:As often as I have witnessed the miracle [birth], held the perfect creature with its tiny hands and feet, each time I have felt as though I were entering a cathedral with prayer in my heart. ~ Margaret Sanger,
125:We develop a plan and put a hierarchy in place to manage its execution, which allows us to lay a railroad track across the country or build a huge cathedral that takes generations to complete. ~ Frans de Waal,
126:One hundred years from now, our engineering may seem as archaic as the techniques used by medieval cathedral builders seem to today's civil engineers, while our craftsmanship will still be honored. ~ Anonymous,
127:I think that when Lady Tamarind looks at you, she feels as the cathedral might if it suddenly remembered that once it had been a grim little church facing down musket fire and a cruel sea wind. ~ Frances Hardinge,
128:The poor priest went to his poor mountaineers with empty hands, and he returns from them with his hands full. I set out bearing only my faith in God; I have brought back the treasure of a cathedral. ~ Victor Hugo,
129:Adam understood, then, that Gansey and Blue’s awe changed this place. Ronan and Adam may have seen this place as magical, but Gansey and Blue’s wonder made it holy. It became a cathedral of bones. ~ Maggie Stiefvater,
130:Everything was flame shades of tangerine and pomegranate, ripeness on the brink of decay, and when the wind rippled the leaves they looked like a mosaic of fire, like the walls of the Cathedral Basilica. ~ Leah Raeder,
131:I’ll leave a note to the rector of the cathedral and remind him that a woman gave him birth. Something for him to think about the next time he gives one of his sermons. I’m writing all this down. ~ Benjamin Alire S enz,
132:When asked, “What are you doing?” the first bricklayer replied, “Laying brick.” The second answered, “Making $9.30 an hour.” And the third said, “Me? Why, I’m building the world’s greatest cathedral. ~ David J Schwartz,
133:unless you’re an astronaut, it’s not the work we do that inspires us either. It’s the cause we come to work for. We don’t want to come to work to build a wall, we want to come to work to build a cathedral. ~ Simon Sinek,
134:We thought of universities as the cathedrals of the modern world. In the middle ages, the cathedral was the center and symbol of the city. In the modern world, its place could be taken by the university. ~ Roger Revelle,
135:Simeon Potter notes that when James II first saw St. Paul’s Cathedral he called it amusing, awful, and artificial, and meant that it was pleasing to look at, deserving of awe, and full of skillful artifice. ~ Bill Bryson,
136:And unless you’re an astronaut, it’s not the work we do that inspires us either. It’s the cause we come to work for. We don’t want to come to work to build a wall, we want to come to work to build a cathedral. ~ Simon Sinek,
137:He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something; he who has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all. ~ Sinclair Lewis,
138:In the cathedral-size lobby, the usual scene was going on. In front of the roaring fireplace, teenage einherjar hung out playing board games or just chillaxing (which is like chilling, except with battle-axes). ~ Rick Riordan,
139:Mythologist Joseph Campbell, however, thought that the temple and cathedral are attractive because they spatially and acoustically recreate the cave, where early humans first expressed their spiritual yearnings. ~ David Byrne,
140:Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral. The size of the project means little in art, beyond the money matter. It is the quality of the character that really counts. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright,
141:A dirty, joyous, bare-limbed freedom, which rose in his imagination like a vast airy cathedral, ruined perhaps, roofless, fan-vaulted to the skies, where they would weightlessly drift upward in a powerful embrace... ~ Ian McEwan,
142:Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral: a thing as simple and specious as a statue to the first glance, and yet on examination, as lively and interesting as a forest in detail. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson,
143:Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral: a thing as single and specious as a statue to the first glance, and yet, on examination, as lively and interesting as a forest in detail.  ~ Robert Louis Stevenson,
144:What did you say, Gram? About there being no church out here?" "I said that the sky was the roof of my cathedral and the desert was its floor and any time I paid attention, I could feel a higher power all around me. ~ Terri Farley,
145:Sigmund Freud was the apostle of disbelief. He was the one who made psychoanalysis a part of our culture, and in so doing he kicked out a flying buttress that had been essential for holding up our cathedral of faith. ~ Tony Campolo,
146:Le Havre-de-Grâce lay cornered by the Atlantic and the river Seine. A humble city, low and flat, and unremarkable save for its cathedral; its minaret overlooked the port like an artificial moon scaffolded into the sky. ~ A S Peterson,
147:The public library building, in my view, is just a little lower than the church, the cathedral, the temple, the synagogue and the mosque. Within those walls and along those stacks, I have found security and assurance. ~ Maya Angelou,
148:We remember, so to speak. We remain eternally nostalgic for the innocence of childhood, the divine, unconscious Being of the animal, and the untouched cathedral-like old-growth forest. We find respite in such things. ~ Jordan Peterson,
149:Bayes’ theorem says that P(cause | effect) = P(cause) × P(effect | cause) / P(effect). Replace cause by A and effect by B and omit the multiplication sign for brevity, and you get the ten-foot formula in the cathedral. ~ Pedro Domingos,
150:Christian faith is a grand cathedral, with divinely pictured windows. Standing without, you can see no glory, nor can imagine any, but standing within, every ray of light reveals a harmony of unspeakable splendors. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne,
151:We remember, so to speak. We remain eternally nostalgic for the innocence of childhood, the divine, unconscious Being of the animal, and the untouched cathedral-like old-growth forest. We find respite in such things. ~ Jordan B Peterson,
152:Christian faith is a grand cathedral, with divinely pictured windows. Standing without, you see no glory, nor can possibly imagine any; standing within, every ray of light reveals a harmony of unspeakable splendors. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne,
153:Growing up in a cathedral precinct, what did I know of the absurdities of communism, of how brave man and women in bleak and remote penal colonies were reduced to thinking day by day of nothing else beyond their own survival? ~ Ian McEwan,
154:And other times there would be tenderness and holding-close liek a warm bath, and hands stroking my hair and brow, and the words carved about the cathedral of my childhood: 'He's like all the other children. He's a good boy. ~ Daniel Keyes,
155:[...] there was room only for the Bureau of Commerce, the Palace of Justice, the Prefecture of Police, the cathedral, the morgue - in other words, the means of being declared bankrupt, guilty, jailed, buried, and even rescued. ~ Jules Verne,
156:The charm, one might say the genius, of memory is that it is choosy, chancy and temperamental; it rejects the edifying cathedral and indelibly photographs the small boy outside, chewing a hunk of melon in the dust. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
157:We are... living in a free society without the faith that built that society - and without the conviction and dedication needed to sustain it... We still have the cathedral of freedom but how long will it last without the faith? ~ Thomas Sowell,
158:THE WARDEN This is the first novel in Trollope’s popular series known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire. The novel (Trollope’s fourth) was first published in 1855 and was reportedly inspired by a walk around Salisbury cathedral. ~ Anthony Trollope,
159:a savage desire for strong emotions and sensations burns inside me: a rage against this soft-tinted, shallow, standardized and sterilized life, and a mad craving to smash something up, a department store, say, or a cathedral, or myself. ~ Anonymous,
160:In the immense cathedral which is the universe of God, each person, whether scholar or manual laborer, is called to act as the priest of his whole life--to take all that is human, and to turn it into an offering and a hymn of glory. ~ Paul Evdokimov,
161:The cathedral as a whole is awesome and stirring in spite, and possibly because, of the fact that we have no idea who built it. When we walk through it, we are communing not with individual stone carvers but with an entire culture. ~ Neal Stephenson,
162:God's signs are not always the ones we look for. We learn in tragedy that his purposes are not always our own. Yet the prayers of private suffering, whether in our homes or in this great cathedral, are known and heard, and understood. ~ George W Bush,
163:the cathedral-like Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, which Mark Twain found so enchanting that he declared he would happily live in it for the rest of his life. It is still probably the most beautiful shopping center in the world. ~ Bill Bryson,
164:A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impulse to smash something, a warehouse perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself, to committ outrages. ~ Hermann Hesse,
165:A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impulse to smash something, a warehouse perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself, to committ outrages… ~ Hermann Hesse,
166:A cathedral without windows, a face without eyes, a field without flowers, an alphabet without vowels, a continent without rivers, a night without stars, and a sky without a sun—these would not be so sad as a . . . soul without Christ. ~ Tad R Callister,
167:A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impulse to smash something, a warehouse perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself, to committ outrages... ~ Hermann Hesse,
168:It’s not just the books Alba craves, it’s standing inside a place that houses millions of them. Libraries are Alba’s churches, and the university library, containing one edition of every book ever published in England, is her cathedral. ~ Menna van Praag,
169:Natural places are no different than human cities. The old exists next to the new. Invasive species integrate with or push out native species. The landscape you see around you is the same as seeing an old cathedral next to a skyscraper. ~ Jeff VanderMeer,
170:O never harm the dreaming world, the world of green, the world of leaves, but let its million palms unfold the adoration of the trees Of all man's works of art, a cathedral is greatest. A vast and majestic tree is greater than that. ~ Henry Ward Beecher,
171:The forest is the first cathedral. I felt that from the time I was a child. I credit my mother with that. I used to think it came from her Native-American side. Whichever it was, she instinctively connected with nature, and taught me that. ~ Alice Walker,
172:To reach the cathedral’s entrance, Kate had to go down a narrow cobblestone street, a bottleneck of restaurants, coffeehouses, and Leonidas chocolate shops, all crammed tightly together and stuck to the side of the church like barnacles. ~ Janet Evanovich,
173:Were you ever at the cathedral in Chartres? You walk the labyrinth,” he says, “set into the pavement, and it seems there is no sense in it. But if you follow it faithfully it leads you straight to the center. Straight to where you should be. ~ Hilary Mantel,
174:It may not look it, but all the glass on Earth is flowing downwards under the relentless drag of gravity. Remove a pane of really old glass from the window of a European cathedral and it will be noticeably thicker at the bottom than at the top. ~ Bill Bryson,
175:Human beings, for some reason or another, like symmetry. You leave a bunch of them next to a jungle for a couple of days and you'll come back to find an ornamental garden. We take stones and turn them into the Taj Mahal or St. Paul's Cathedral. ~ Mark Forsyth,
176:He felt his faith deeply, and above all out of doors, where the vaulted sky was his cathedral nave and the oaks its transept pillars: when faith failed, as it sometimes did, he saw the heavens declare the glory of God and heard the stones cry out. ~ Sarah Perry,
177:If there is a secular equivalent of standing in a great spired Cathedral with marble pillars and streams of mystic light slanting through two-tier Gothic windows, it would be watching children in their little bedrooms fast asleep. Girls especially. ~ Don DeLillo,
178:Spencer had never been able to sit in a crowded church pew and feel anything but hopeless and tormented. But Nature was his cathedral. In places and moments like these, he truly felt the presence of the divine. Both humbling and comforting, at once. ~ Tessa Dare,
179:How smart Parisians had been to remove the great stained-glass windows of the cathedral of Notre-Dame and store them for safety, replacing them with pale yellow panes. Victory flags fluttered in the harsh wind from every streetlamp and window. ~ Martha Hall Kelly,
180:It seemed to give shape to the open air, or rather to reveal the hidden architecture that was there all along - the invisible cathedral that vaulted over the surface of the pond - known only to sparrows and dragonflies but invisible to the human eye. ~ Amor Towles,
181:Petersburg, Russia is the largest cathedral (sobor) in the city and was the largest church in Russia when it was built (101.5 meters high). It is dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great who had been born on the feast day ~ Anonymous,
182:It's aquarium light and it's cathedral ceilings offered asylum and a lounge where coffee substitutes were served to those who still try to believe that life went on, and that tomorrow, or perhaps the day after tomorrow, would be just another day. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
183:The tropical night has the companionability of a Roman Catholic Cathedral compared to the Protestant Churches of the North, which let you in on business only. Here in the great room everybody comes and goes, this is the place where things are going on. ~ Isak Dinesen,
184:This is my greatest obstacle, the biggest of all the boulders littering my path. In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, it all collapses. ~ Isaac Marion,
185:Ankh-Morpork is as full of life as an old cheese on a hot day, as loud as a curse in a cathedral, as bright as an oil slick, as colourful as a bruise and as full of activity, industry, bustle and sheer exuberant busyness as a dead dog on a termite mound. ~ Terry Pratchett,
186:DEAD FLIES ON THE SILLS OF sunny windows, weeds along the pathway, the kitchen empty. The house was melancholy, deceiving; it was like a cathedral where, amid the serenity, something is false, the saints are made of florist’s wax, the organ has been gutted. ~ James Salter,
187:I stood in a clearing among a stand of beech trees, leaves as red as rubies, branches black as jet. It was sunset, and shafts of richly colored sunlight struck through the delicate pillars of the tree trunks, as if through the lancet windows of a cathedral. ~ Kate Forsyth,
188:You've picked up a rummy habit," James Banister said cordially as they approached one another. "Sort of a crouch. You look a bit... well, I'm sorry, but you look a bit Victor Hugo, if you catch my drift. Would you like to adjourn to a cathedral or something? ~ Nick Harkaway,
189:Everyone takes a turn, and when it gets to me, I shout out what Jewish people say at times like this: "L'chaim!"

"It means 'to life,'" I explain. And as I say it, I think that maybe this is what I was saying a prayer for back in the cathedral. To life. ~ Gayle Forman,
190:Grandeur . . . consists in form, and not in size: and to the eye of the philosopher, the curve drawn on a paper two inches long, is just as magnificent, just as symbolic of divine mysteries and melodies, as when embodied in the span of some cathedral roof. ~ Charles Kingsley,
191:There was a much smaller room on the other side. It was merely the size of, say, a cathedral. And it was lined floor to ceiling with more hourglasses that Susan could just see dimly in the light from the big room. She stepped inside and snapped her fingers. ~ Terry Pratchett,
192:People use the word "natural" ... What is natural to me is these botanical species which interact directly with the nervous system. What I consider artificial is 4 years at Harvard, and the Bible, and Saint Patrick's cathedral, and the Sunday school teachings. ~ Timothy Leary,
193:Like a couple of peasants huddled together in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Jack and Eliza performed their role in the Mass and then departed, leaving no sign that they’d ever been there, save perhaps for an evanescent ripple in the coursing tide of quicksilver. ~ Neal Stephenson,
194:Five days a week I drive from our home to the Episcopal Cathedral Center of Los Angeles where I have an office, my computer, and a wonderful sense of community - especially nurtured by the presence of several younger gay men and women who are good friends. ~ Reverend Malcolm Boyd,
195:Oh, if there were only a true religion. Fool that I am, I see a Gothic cathedral and venerable stained-glass windows, and my weak heart conjures up the priest to fit the scene. My soul would understand him, my soul has need of him. I only find a nincompoop with dirty hair. ~ Stendhal,
196:I love the hybrid quality, the new computer sections and the books yellowing with age. Libraries for me have always had a cathedral-like ambiance, a hushed sanctuary where learning is revered, where we the people elevate books and education to the level of the religious. ~ Harlan Coben,
197:Our skyscrapers are not separate from nature; they are nature, as much as a termite colony’s cathedral mound or a chaffinch nest or a bee hive. As are our iPhones and washing machines and bathyscaphe research submarines that take us to the depths of the Mariana Trench. ~ Leigh Phillips,
198:I like the thought that what we are to do on this earth is embellish it for its greater beauty, so that oncoming generations can look back to the shapes we leave here and get the same thrill that I get in looking back at theirs - at the Parthenon, at Chartres Cathedral. ~ Philip Johnson,
199:The arts speak across epochs. If you think that people started to build a cathedral in 1315 and the people worked on that cathedral, it wasn't going to be finished until 1585. So they were thinking 200 years from now. Maybe by the time I die, this wall might be put up. ~ Wynton Marsalis,
200:Religions in general have to rediscover their roots. In Hinduism and the Koran, animals are described as equals. If you walk into a cathedral and look at the decorations of early Christianity, there are vines, animals, creatures and birds thriving all over the stonework. ~ Margaret Atwood,
201:To write rhythmic prose one must go deep into oneself and find the anonymous and multiple rhythm of the blood. Prose needs to be built like a cathedral. There, one is truly without a name, without ambition, without help; on scaffoldings, alone with one's consciousness. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke,
202:I did finally make it to Paris, in June of 2010. And though most tourists go straight to the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, or to Notre-Dame Cathedral, I headed for the chipped blue door of 74 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, Hadley and Ernest’s first apartment in the Latin Quarter. The ~ Paula McLain,
203:I struggle with confidence, every time. I’m never completely sure I can write another book. Maybe my scope is too grand, my questions too hard, surely readers won’t want to follow me here. A novel is like a cathedral, it knocks you down to size when you enter into it. ~ Barbara Kingsolver,
204:Four years of occupation, and the roar of oncoming bombers is the roar of what? Deliverance? Extirpation? The clack-clack of small-arms fire. The gravelly snare drums of flak. A dozen pigeons roosting on the cathedral spire cataract down its length and wheel out over the sea. ~ Anthony Doerr,
205:The forest is the first cathedral. I felt that from the time I was a child. I credit my mother with that. I used to think it came from her Native-American side. Whichever it was, she instinctively connected with nature, and taught me that. Church just could not hold my spirit. ~ Alice Walker,
206:So no Eucharist?' Denise asked. 'No Latin readings? No confession to a priest?'
'Not like you're used to. But that doesn't translate to 'no God.' God is as present here as He is in the cathedral of Notre Dame. And, always, always, we can pray. In fact, I recommend it. Come. ~ Jocelyn Green,
207:Bondurant was no expert on where sex between consenting adults on cathedral grounds fit in the grand hierarchy of sins in the Catholic faith. But he figured it must be high up the ladder of mortal sins, ones that required serious contrition and confession to a priest. Bondurant ~ John Heubusch,
208:For me, the reason why people go to a mountaintop or go to the edge of the ocean is to look at something larger than themselves. That feeling of awe, of going to a cathedral, it's all about feeling lost in something bigger than oneself. To me, that's the definition of spectacle. ~ Diane Paulus,
209:I am absolutely enraptured by the atmosphere of a wreck. A dead ship is the house of a tremendous amount of life-fish and plants. The mixture of life and death is mysterious, even religious. There is the same sense of peace and mood that you feel on entering a cathedral. ~ Jacques Yves Cousteau,
210:His thoughts were starting to take on a strange ring: they had shrunk from their usual size and now the ordinary attic that was his ordinary mind looked like a cathedral at night, with endless galleries and rafters lost in the dark and nothing but the echoes to show where they were. ~ Natasha Pulley,
211:The archbishop arrived at the lectern, dressed in archbishopric finery, or so Kiva supposed, since she didn’t actually attend church with any regularity, although she had once had sex in a cathedral, which was great, if you like cold and echoey, which Kiva discovered she didn’t so much. ~ John Scalzi,
212:The sun,--the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to man--burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory. Through costly-coloured glass and paper-mended window, through cathedral dome and rotten crevice, it shed its equal ray. ~ Charles Dickens,
213:Building cathedrals is a calling. In Italy they gave masons who died during the construction of a church the status of a martyr. Even though cathedral builders built for humanity there isn't a single cathedral in human history that was not founded on human bones and human blood. - Tom Waaler ~ Jo Nesb,
214:A cathedral is built with stones; it is made up of stones; but the cathedral ennobles each stone, which becomes a cathedral stone. In the same way, you will only find brotherhood in something larger than yourselves, because one is a brother "in" something, not merely a brother ~ Antoine de Saint Exup ry,
215:The sun in its slow descent filtered great cathedral-moats of gold through latticed boughs of pine and birch and maple. It was that time of day- or afternoon- when the forest's breath, sun-stunned, yearning for night, impalpably swoons to the slow pulsations of blood and time and silence. ~ Dalton Trumbo,
216:Devotees who say that À la recherche du temps perdu reminds them of a cathedral should be asked which cathedral they mean. It reminds me of a sandcastle that the tide reached before its obsessed constructor could finish it; but he knew that would happen, or else why build it on a beach? ~ Clive James,
217:Christian faith is a grand cathedral, with divinely pictured windows. Standing without you see no glory, nor can possibly imagine any. Nothing is visible but the merest outline of dusky shapes. Standing within all is clear and defined; every ray of light reveals an army of unspeakable splendors. ~ John Ruskin,
218:Within the overall structure of a project there is always room for individuality and craftsmanship… One hundred years from now, our engineering may seem as archaic as the techniques used by medieval cathedral builders seem to today’s civil engineers, while our craftsmanship will still be honored. ~ Cal Newport,
219:Finch refused to discuss these ideas and didn't brook criticism from his colleagues, much less from a mere photographer. What must it be like, Guilford wondered, to have such a baroque architecture crammed inside one's skull? Such a strange cathedral, so well buttressed, so well defended? ~ Robert Charles Wilson,
220:We must see the old king; we must “do” the cathedral,’ he said; ‘we must know all about it. If we could but take,’ he exhaled, ‘the full opportunity!’ And then while, for all they seemed to give him, he sounded again her eyes: ‘I feel the day like a great gold cup that we must somehow drain together. ~ Henry James,
221:Each thing I do, I rush through so I can do something else. In such a way do the days pass - -a blend of stock car racing and the never ending building of a gothic cathedral. Through the windows of my speeding car I see all that I love falling away: books unread, jokes untold, landscapes unvisited. ~ Stephen Dobyns,
222:When you start, the world of publishing seems like a great cathedral citadel of talent, resisting attempts to let you inside. It isn't like that at all. It may be more difficult now, and take longer than when I started to write, but there's a great, empty warehouse out there looking for simple talent. ~ Alan Garner,
223:Each thing I do, I rush through so I can do something else. In such a way do the days pass---a blend of stock car racing and the never ending building of a gothic cathedral. Through the windows of my speeding car I see all that I love falling away: books unread, jokes untold, landscapes unvisited... ~ Stephen Dobyns,
224:On December 29 four heavily armed men smashed through a side door to Canterbury Cathedral with an ax. The archbishop of Canterbury was waiting for them inside. They were angry. He was unarmed. They tried to arrest him. He resisted. They hacked the top of his head off and mashed his brains with their boots. ~ Dan Jones,
225:Universities are renowned for their tolerance of unusual characters, especially if they show originality and dedication to their research. I have often made the comment that not only are universities a 'cathedral' for worship of knowledge, they are also 'sheltered workshops' for the socially challenged. ~ Tony Attwood,
226:I love Chatsworth, Winchester Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle... Every time I'm in the vicinity of something old and worth looking at, I try to go. You don't even have to leave your home town to see some places. How many Londoners have seen the crown jewels? Not many, and they'll blow you away, I promise. ~ Alan Titchmarsh,
227:In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, it all collapses. So far my personal record is four rolling syllables before some...thing...jams. And I may be the most loquacious zombie in the airport. ~ Isaac Marion,
228:You see, I have been at revaluing myself in the last few days. I may have some value to historians because I have destroyed a few things. The builder of your Cathedral is forgotten even now, but I, who burned it, may be remembered for a hundred years or so. And that may mean something or other about mankind. ~ John Steinbeck,
229:The heaving sickness past, her nausea gone, her bodily fluids replaced, she felt the lightness of being in the open space around her. Her walls the canyon's walls, she owned them not at all; her floor, the river beach. Her view, the heavens. It was, this freedom she was in, the longed-for cathedral of her dreams. ~ Alice Walker,
230:London is not a city, London is a person. Tower Bridge talks to you; National Gallery reads a poem for you; Hyde Park dances with you; Palace of Westminster plays the piano; Big Ben and St Paul’s Cathedral sing an opera! London is not a city; it is a talented artist who is ready to contact with you directly! ~ Mehmet Murat ildan,
231:In his play Murder in the Cathedral, T. S. Eliot describes a martyr as one “who has become an instrument of God, who has lost his will in the will of God, not lost it but found it, for he has found freedom in submission to God. The martyr no longer desires anything for himself, not even the glory of ­martyrdom. ~ Richard Wurmbrand,
232:People everywhere hear the excuse “there’s not enough money”. In actuality, there is enough money… just different priorities. New stadium, heathcare for all, faster trains, extravagant cathedral, subsidized education, tax cuts, next-generation bomber … each society makes different choices according to its priorities. ~ Rick Steves,
233:You can’t bring an unwritten place to life without losing something substantial. Manila is the cradle, the graveyard, the memory. The Mecca, the Cathedral, the bordello. The shopping mall, the urinal, the discotheque. I’m hardly speaking in metaphor. It’s the most impermeable of cities. How does one convey all that? ~ Miguel Syjuco,
234:Philadelphia caught my attention in 1995 when a group of homeless families were living in an abandoned cathedral. Even from the beginning they connected theology with what they were doing. They put a banner on the front of the cathedral that said, "How can we worship a homeless man on Sunday and ignore one on Monday." ~ Shane Claiborne,
235:You have started the book with this bubble over your head that contains a cathedral full of fire - that contains a novel so vast and great and penetrating and bright and dark that it will put all other novels ever written to shame. And then, as you get towards the end, you begin to realise, no, it's just this book. ~ Michael Cunningham,
236:Few people in Cologne would miss the symbolism of the fact that almost exactly a year later the cathedral’s lights were blazing as hundreds of local women were molested, raped and robbed by migrants in the same streets in which the cathedral authorities had objected to Pegida protesters walking, standing or congregating. ~ Douglas Murray,
237:Words change meaning over time, and often in unpredictable ways. Queen Anne is said (probably apocryphally) to have commented about Sir Christopher Wren's architecture at St. Paul's Cathedral that it was "awful, artificial, and amusing"—by which she meant that it was awe-inspiring, highly artistic, and thought-provoking. ~ Antonin Scalia,
238:Scarcely had Don Christoval ceased to speak, when the Domina* of St. Clare appeared, followed by a long procession of Nuns. Each upon entering the Church took off her veil. The Prioress crossed her hands upon her bosom, and made a profound reverence as She passed the Statue of St. Francis, the Patron of this Cathedral. The ~ Matthew Lewis,
239:That perhaps is at the core of Wicca--it is a joyous union with nature. The earth is a manifestation of divine energy. Wicca's temples are flower-splashed meadows, forests, beaches, and deserts. When a Wicca is outdoors, she or he is actually surrounded by sanctity, much as is a Christian when entering a church or cathedral. ~ Scott Cunningham,
240:Given the choice between four perfectly acceptable movies, they invariably opt for a walk through the Picasso museum or a tour of the cathedral, saying, “I didn’t come all the way to Paris so I can sit in the dark.” They make it sound so bad. “Yes,” I say, “but this is the French dark. It’s… darker than the dark we have back home. ~ David Sedaris,
241:I believe talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it. You can plug into it and light up a lamp, keep a heart pump going, light a cathedral, or you can electrocute a person with it. Electricity will do all that. It makes no judgment. I think talent is like that. I believe every person is born with talent. ~ Maya Angelou,
242:One Easter, when she heard the priest say He is risen, she found herself standing up from the pew and walking out the cathedral door. She left the order, dyed her hair pink, and hiked the Appalachian Trail. It was somewhere on the Presidential Range that Jesus appeared to her in a vision, and told her there were many souls to feed. ~ Jodi Picoult,
243:The campus spreads around him like the verdant pleasure garden of an ancient king. He is enraptured by the enormous trees that lift branches like cathedral roofs overhead, shoot roots like polished ballroom floors underfoot. In the hot afternoons he leaves the crowded rooms to study under the protection of these spreading giants. ~ Nayomi Munaweera,
244:A variation of Get Rich Quick schemes was robbing Peter to pay Paul, or benefiting one person at the expense of others. The origin of the phrase is open to dispute, but one account traces it to the 1500s in England, when the lands of Saint Peter’s Church at Westminster were sold to fund repairs at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London. ~ Mitchell Zuckoff,
245:The Hindu religion appears ... as a cathedral temple, half in ruins, noble in the mass, often fantastic in detail but always fantastic with a significance crumbling or badly outworn in places, but a cathedral temple in which service is still done to the Unseen and its real presence can be felt by those who enter with the right spirit. ~ Sri Aurobindo,
246:The sun—the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to man—burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory. Through costly-coloured glass and paper-mended window, through cathedral dome and rotten crevice, it shed its equal ray. It lighted up the room where the murdered woman lay. It ~ Charles Dickens,
247:He was riding back through a doorway in time to a place that had nothing to do with the airplanes, and motorized vehicle and telephones wires, and radios that surrounded him now....... The woods in late autumn had become his private sun dappled cathedral, one that contained presences antithetical to the conventional notion of a church. ~ James Lee Burke,
248:Let brothers and sisters from one end of the world, speak in all brotherly love, all affection, and one sweetness, to their brothers and sisters in the other extremity of the world. Then we shall succeed in rearing up one vast cathedral in this world, where men of all nations and races shall glorify the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. ~ Keshub Chandra Sen,
249:I went and looked at one of these great cathedrals one day, and I was blown away by it. From there I became interested in how cathedrals were built, and from there I became interested in the society that built the medieval cathedral. It occurred to me at some point that the story of the building of a cathedral could be a great popular novel. ~ Ken Follett,
250:I'Ve Heard An Organ Talk, Sometimes
I've heard an Organ talk, sometimes
In a Cathedral Aisle,
And understood no word it said—
Yet held my breath, the while—
And risen up—and gone away,
A more Berdardine Girl—
Yet—know not what was done to me
In that old Chapel Aisle.
~ Emily Dickinson,
251:What have we been doing all these centuries but trying to call God back to the mountain, or, failing that, raise a peep out of anything that isn't us? What is the difference between a cathedral and a physics lab? Are not they both saying: Hello? We spy on whales and on interstellar radio objects; we starve ourselves and pray till we're blue. ~ Annie Dillard,
252:For some reason altogether beyond our conception - and man may have been a mere accident, a by-product evolved in the process. It is as if the scum upon the surface of the ocean imagined that the ocean was created in order to produce and sustain it or a mouse in a cathedral thought that the building was its own proper ordained residence. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle,
253:Living there [Horse Mesa] was like living in a natural cathedral. Waking up every morning, you walked outside and looked down at the blue lake, then up at the sandstone cliffs--those awe-inspiring layers of red and yellow rock shaped over the millennia, with dozens of black-streaked crevices that temporarily became waterfalls after rainstorms. ~ Jeannette Walls,
254:The never-ending competition between writers hasn't changed between 1868 and 2000. I used to belong to writers' workshops with other professionals, but that becomes impossible after a while. Everyone's on a different step of the career ladder. Jealousy doesn't have to erupt into murder and burying someone in Wells Cathedral, but it is always there. ~ Dan Simmons,
255:If the calculus is much like a cathedral, its construction the work of centuries, it remained until the nineteenth century a cathedral suspiciously suspended in midair, the thing simply hanging there, with no one absolutely convinced that one day the gorgeous and elaborate structure would not come crashing down and fracture in a thousand pieces. ~ David Berlinski,
256:To safeguard the holiest symbol of their Catholic faith, the Toledo churchmen, escorted by a small cohort of armed nobles, had fled with the cathedral's high altar for a fortified place the Muslims would call Wadi al-Hijara ("river of stones")-Guadalajara-some three days' ride frim the capital and but a few miles from the village of Madrid. ~ David Levering Lewis,
257:A society that says we are defined exclusively by the bar and the nightclub , by self-indulgence and our sense of entitlement, cannot be said to have deep roots or much likelihood of survival. But, a society which holds that our culture consists of the cathedral, the playhouse and the playing field, the shopping mall and Shakespeare, has a chance. ~ Douglas Murray,
258:The borders between life and death are somewhere in the taking of their meal. I couldn’t let that suffering happen. Hunting makes you animal, but the death of an animal makes you human. Kneeling next to the hawk and her prey, I felt a responsibility so huge that it battered inside my own chest, ballooning out into a space the size of a cathedral. ~ Helen Macdonald,
259:If theory is the role of the architect, then such beautiful proofs are the role of the craftsman. Of course, as with the great renaissance artists, such roles are not mutually exclusive. A great cathedral has both structural impressiveness and delicate detail. A great mathematical theory should similarly be beautiful on both large and small scales. ~ Michael Atiyah,
260:She was extremely gentle, very shy, and she was someone that as a young girl you thought was everything a princess should be. Very beautiful, very young, very calm – and yet there was a kind of nervousness about her. But the feeling inside the cathedral was just enormous. It’s a very hollow place but it was filled with so much warmth and excitement. .  ~ Tim Clayton,
261:The priest had been kind but could not draw her out. Instead she chose to tell her story in the greater church, the green cathedral that is nature. For nature too is holy, more holy than the icons, more holy than the relics of saints. These were dead things compared to the most insignificant living thing. The fox knows this, and the deer, and the pine. ~ Patti Smith,
262:Now this was like trying to comprehend all the activity of an anthill, and read all the words in a book, and feel all the splendor of a cathedral, in one glance. Jack’s mind was not equal to the demands that Cairo placed on it, and so for a long while he fixed his attention on small and near matters, as if he were a boy peering through a hollow reed. ~ Neal Stephenson,
263:I try to think of things to say but nothing comes, and if something did come I probably couldn't say it. This is my great obstacle, the biggest of all the boulders littering my path. In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, it all collapses. ~ Isaac Marion,
264:There's a certain Slant of light,  Winter afternoons—  That oppresses, like the Heft  Of Cathedral Tunes— Heavenly Hurt, it gives us—  We can find no scar,  But internal difference,  Where the Meanings, are.... When it comes, the Landscape listens—  Shadows—hold their breath—  When it goes, 'tis like the Distance  On the look of Death. ~ Emily Dickinson,
265:When the Cathedral bell tolled just after dark, the Mexican population of Santa Fe fell upon their knees, and all American Catholics as well. Many others who did not kneel prayed in their hearts. Eusabio and the Tesuque boys went quietly away to tell their people; and the next morning the old Archbishop lay before the high altar in the church he had built. ~ Willa Cather,
266:I try to think of things to say but nothing comes, and if something did come I probably couldn't say it. This is my great obstacle, the biggest of all the boulders littering my path. In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thought. But when I open my mouth, everything collapses. ~ Isaac Marion,
267:I try to think of things to say but nothing comes, and if something did come I probably couldn’t say it. This is my great obstacle, the biggest of all the boulders littering my path. In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, everything collapses. ~ Isaac Marion,
268:Watching children sleep makes me feel devout, part of a spiritual system. It is the closest I can come to God. If there is a secular equivalent of standing in a great spired cathedral with marble pillars and streams of mystical light slanting through two-tier Gothic windows, it would be watching children in their little bedrooms fast asleep. Girls especially. ~ Don DeLillo,
269:Parents who want a fresh point of view on their furniture are advised to drop down on all fours and accompany the nine or ten month old on his rounds. It is probably many years since you last studied the underside of a dining room chair. The ten month old will study this marvel with as much concentration and reverence as a tourist in the Cathedral of Chartres. ~ Selma Fraiberg,
270:Let us presume that Barchester is a quiet town in the West of England, more remarkable for the beauty of its cathedral and the antiquity of its monuments than for any commercial prosperity; that the west end of Barchester is the cathedral close, and that the aristocracy of Barchester are the bishop, dean, and canons, with their respective wives and daughters. ~ Anthony Trollope,
271:She looked up to see a lovely enclosure of trees, wild cherry, fir, and willow with long golden catkins and slender, pointed green fronds swaying gracefully in the breeze. And in the center of the green cathedral of trees and surrounded by wildly untended hedges and what had once been a beautiful lawn, was one of the most picturesque cottages she had ever seen. ~ Michael Talbot,
272:At noon I feel as though I could devour all the elephants of Hindostan, and then pick my teeth with the spire of Strasburg cathedral; in the evening I become so sentimental that I would fain drink up the Milky Way without reflecting how indigestible I should find the little fixed stars, and by night there is the Devil himself broke loose in my head and no mistake. ~ Heinrich Heine,
273:Alfred Delbern put forward the idea that there was no such thing as the death of sound; that it never died but diminished in amplitude. He had a friend who believed, for example, that Stonehenge was a repository of dormant sound, and that if you invented the right device you could uncover lost music. What would the music in the stones of a Gothic cathedral sound like? ~ James Runcie,
274:Photography is all about capturing a mood, a feeling. I feel a special connection with nature, often very powerful. This late afternoon was phenomenal. Standing on the edge of the ocean, I gasped in awe as the holy light illuminated this cathedral window. Witnessing such a moment and capturing it is what I live for. Mother Nature is so powerful, I never underestimate Her. ~ Peter Lik,
275:The palace started as a single vaulted room and grew in proportion to my despair. It began as an exercise to keep my mind from its melancholy, then it became a dream and a necessity. . . . I built a temple in my head. . . . Its hallways were as lofty as a cathedral, and the arch of each window as supple as a bow. Its corridors were the passages of my own brain. ~ Lisa St Aubin de Ter n,
276:No one spoke much, as if to speak was to affirm reality. To remain silent was to accommodate the possibility that it all was merely a nightmare. The silence reached up to the cathedral ceiling and cluttered there, echoing sadness an unseen mayhem, as if too many souls were rising at once. We were existing somewhere between life and death, with neithe accepting us fully. ~ Susan Abulhawa,
277:No one spoke much, as if to speak was to affirm reality. To remain silent was to accommodate the possibility that it all was merely a nightmare. The silence reached up to the cathedral ceiling and cluttered there, echoing sadness an unseen mayhem, as if too many souls were rising at once. We were existing somewhere between life and death, with neither accepting us fully. ~ Susan Abulhawa,
278:I'll find my father through words. I'll bring him back to life with words. I will build a cathedral of words. I'll create a country will my words. In my words I'll find the universe and i'll understand the eternal present through my words. In my words, I will find, I will end, I will become the words themselves, become words, words, words, I will incarnate words, words, words. ~ Arturo Arias,
279:No, not ten, not seconds, everything's different there, space slips away, and time collapses sideways like a ragged wave, and everything spins, spins like a top: there, one second is huge, slow, and resonant, like an abandoned cathedral, another is tiny, sharp, fast--you strike a match and burn up a thousand millennia; a step to the side--and you're in another universe.... ~ Tatyana Tolstaya,
280:The splendor of a human heart that trusts it is loved unconditionally gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”, Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”, the sight of 10,000 butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom. Trust is our gift back to God, and he finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for love of it. ~ Brennan Manning,
281:At Burgos
Miraculous silver-work in stone
Against the blue miraculous skies,
The belfry towers and turrets rise
Out of the arches that enthrone
That airy wonder of the skies.
Softly against the burning sun
The great cathedral spreads its wings;
High up, the lyric belfry sings.
Behold Ascension Day begun
Under the shadow of those wings!
~ Arthur Symons,
282:I was suspended in mid- air, clinging to a chandelier, many stories above the ground, directly under the dome of a massive cathedral. The people on the floor below were distant and tiny. There was a great expanse between me and any wall— and even the peak of the dome itself. I have learned to pay attention to dreams, not least because of my training as a clinical psychologist. ~ Jordan Peterson,
283:Starting with religion, as the British historian Hugh Thomas noted in his monumental study The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440–1870, “There is no record in the seventeenth century of any preacher who, in any sermon, whether in the Cathedral of Saint-André in Bordeaux, or in a Presbyterian meeting house in Liverpool, condemned the trade in black slaves. ~ Michael Shermer,
284:I remember a dinner party when he spent the whole time writing an article. At a requiem concert in the cathedral, he spent his whole time writing notes. At a wedding disco, Boris was going round interviewing people for his column while Marina was breast-feeding. He is completely driven. He has an ability to focus on one thing, no matter what human beings may be in the way.’ Boris ~ Sonia Purnell,
285:The two men emerged from the narrow street into the open square in front of Notre-Dame Basilica, weaving around tourists taking photographs of themselves in front of the cathedral. When looked at years from now, they’d see the magnificent structure, and a whole lot of sweaty people in shorts and sundresses wilting in the scorching heat as the sun throbbed down on the cobblestones. ~ Louise Penny,
286:I was suspended in mid- air, clinging to a chandelier, many stories above the ground, directly under the dome of a massive cathedral. The people on the floor below were distant and tiny. There was a great expanse between me and any wall— and even the peak of the dome itself. I have learned to pay attention to dreams, not least because of my training as a clinical psychologist. ~ Jordan B Peterson,
287:What counts is not the data, but the mind that deals with
them. The data that Galileo, Newton, Ricardo, Menger, and
Freud made use of for their great discoveries lay at the disposal
of every one of their contemporaries and of untold previous
generations. Galileo was certainly not the first to observe the
swinging motion of the chandelier in the cathedral at Pisa. ~ Ludwig von Mises,
288:But, curiously, though Mr. Norrell was able to work feats of the most breath-taking wonder, he was only able to describe them in his usual dry manner, so that Sit Walter was left with the impression that the spectacle of half a thousand stone figures in York Cathedral all speaking together had been rather a dull affair and that he had been fortunate in being elsewhere at the time. ~ Susanna Clarke,
289:Her fingers travel back to the cathedral spire. South to the Gate of Dinan. All evening she has been marching her fingers around the model, waiting for her great-uncle Etienne, who owns this house, who went out the previous night while she slept, and who has not returned. And now it is night again, another revolution of the clock, and the whole block is quiet, and she cannot sleep. ~ Anthony Doerr,
290:Yet is it possible in terms of the motion of atoms to explain how men can invent an electric motor, or design and build a great cathedral? If such achievements represent anything more than the requirements of physical law, it means that science must investigate the additional controlling factors, whatever they may be, in order that the world of nature may be adequately understood. ~ Arthur Compton,
291:This is the cathedral. Neo-Gothic. They had midnight Mass there last Christmas, but they held it at noon because, of course, no one went out at night at that time unless they were suicidal. On its left you see the synagogue and the mosque. On the right the Orthodox church. All the places where none of us go to worship, situated within a very convenient hundred meters of one another. ~ Geraldine Brooks,
292:At the center of any tree is the great pillar of the central trunk... It's like building a cathedral by applying paint every week and waiting for it to dry before applying the next paint-thin layer of living material. Each angelic layer is applied, in times of drought and times of moisture alike. The tree simply keeps growing, higher and higher, expanding its territory, pushing out new growth. ~ Ned Hayes,
293:Not only is the day waning, but the year. The low sun is fiery and yet cold behind the monastery ruin, and the Virginia creeper on the Cathedral wall has showered half its deep-red leaves down on the pavement. There has been rain this afternoon, and a wintry shudder goes among the little pools on the cracked, uneven flag-stones, and through the giant elm-trees as they shed a gust of tears. ~ Charles Dickens,
294:I became the very air; I was full of stars. I was the soaring spaces between the spires of the cathedral, the solemn breath of chimneys, a whispered prayer upon the winter wind. I was silence,and I was music, one clear transcendent chord rising toward Heaven. I believed, then, that I would have risen bodily into the sky but for the anchor of his hand in my hair and his round soft perfect mouth. ~ Rachel Hartman,
295:He liked seeing the world through her eyes. The night, to him, was rather ordinary, overlaid with London's crowded odors and a damp that promised a deeply unlovely fog in the near future. But she preferred to consider the commonest patch of grass and the most unremarkable clump of trees worthy of a Constable canvas - in which case this night could very well have graced the ceiling of a great cathedral. ~ Sherry Thomas,
296:A shared table is the supreme expression of hospitality in every culture on earth. When your worn-out kitchen table hosts good people and good conversation, when it provides a safe place to break bread and share wine, your house becomes a sanctuary, holy as a cathedral. I've left a friend's table as sanctified and renewed as any church service. If you have a porch, then you have an altar to gather around. ~ Jen Hatmaker,
297:Sometimes I get lonesome for a storm. A full-blown storm where everything changes. The sky goes through four days in an hour, the trees wail, little animals skitter in the mud and everything gets dark and goes completely wild. But its really God — playing music in his favorite cathedral in heaven — shattering stained glass — playing a gigantic organ — thundering on the keys — perfect harmony — perfect joy. ~ Joan Didion,
298:The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.”
Woodrow Wilson, twenty-eighth President of the United States of America. Served 1913–1921. President during World War I, only President to be interred within Washington, DC, at the National Cathedral. ~ Max Allan Collins,
299:Sometimes I get lonesome for a storm. A full blown storm where everything changes. The sky goes through four days in an hour, the trees wail, little animals skitter in the mud and everything gets dark and goes completely wild. But it is really God - playing music in his favourite cathedral in heaven - shattering stained glass - playing a gigantic organ - thundering on the keys - perfect harmony - perfect joy. ~ Joan Baez,
300:All night I streched my arms across
him, rivers of blood, the dark woods, singing
with all my skin and bone ''Please keep him safe.
Let him lay his head on my chest and we will be
like sailors, swimming in the sound of it, dashed
to pieces.'' Makes a cathedral, him pressing against
me, his lips at my neck, and yes, I do believe
his mouth is heaven, his kisses falling over me like stars. ~ Richard Siken,
301:Tacheen is a domed medley of baked saffron rice and chicken, forming the shape of a cathedral ceiling. On first glance, the dish looks curiously like 'chelow', plain steamed rice; it is only after slicing through its center that the layers of fortitude are exposed; first buttered rice and almonds, then fried chicken and sautéed spinach, the yogurt binding them into a brotherhood of delicious play. 'Tacheen. ~ Marsha Mehran,
302:The columns of the Cathedral porch were still supported on featureless porphyry lions worn smooth by generations of loungers; and above the octagonal baptistery ran a fantastic basrelief wherein the spirals of the vine framed an allegory of men and monsters symbolising, in their mysterious conflicts, the ever-recurring Manicheism of the middle ages. Fresh from his talk with Crescenti, Odo lingered curiously ~ Edith Wharton,
303:-A cloud is never a mirror
-Words about clouds are clouds themselves
-If snow falls inside a cloud, only the cloud knows
-A cloud dreams only of triangles
-Clouds are in love with horizons
-The cloud that was gone would never come back
-Every lake desires a cloud
-A cloud is a cathedral without belief
-Clouds cannot see what we do under the umbrella
-Clouds are thoughts without words ~ Mark Strand,
304:The thunder traveled over the ship, from west to east, with prolonged reverberations, before it moved away with its clouds, leaving the sea, by mid-afternoon, bathed in a strange auroral light, which turned its as smooth and iridescent as a mountain lake. The bow of the Arrow became a plough, breaking up the tranquility of the surface with the frothy arabesques of its wake. Pg 301 Explosion in the Cathedral ~ Alejo Carpentier,
305:I half expected cathedral bells to ring out across the city in memoriam, a carillon of joyous bells that said Someone is free at last, and simultaneously a monody of heavy bells, iron bells, as solemn as those rung for heroes and for statesmen, bells that said He is gone who was much loved. But the night was empty of all bells. There were no bells for such as us, no funerals, no crowd of mourners around our graves. ~ Dean Koontz,
306:Recall the words of Alan Jones, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, who writes, “We are impoverished in our longing and devoid of imagination when it comes to our reaching out to others.…We need to be introduced to our longings, because they guard our mystery.” Ask yourself what mystery is being guarded by your longing. Are you taking the time to find out? The time for this never appears; it is discovered. ~ Phil Cousineau,
307:It made me feel less mortal, less ordinary. It was support and vindication; it was sustenance and sum. It was the keystone that held the whole cathedral up. And it was awful to learn, by having it so suddenly vanish from under me, that all my adult life I'd been privately sustained by that great, hidden, savage joy: the conviction that my whole life was balanced atop a secret that might at any movement blow me part. ~ Donna Tartt,
308:The pyramids will perish in the course of the centuries but the ideas which gave them birth will develop onwards. The cathedral of today will take another form. Raphael's pictures will fall into dust but the soul of Raphael and the ideas which his creations represent will be living powers forever. The Art of today will be the Nature of tomorrow and will blossom again in her. Thus does Involution become Evolution. ~ Rudolf Steiner,
309:He wandered to the window. In that blast of snow, the shaft of the Plymouth National Bank Building was aspiring as a cathedral; twenty gray stories, with unbroken vertical lines swooping up beyond his vision into the snowy fog. It had nobility, but it seemed cruel, as lone and contemptuous of friendly human efforts as a forgotten tower on the Siberian steppes. How indifferently it would watch him starve and freeze! ~ Sinclair Lewis,
310:It's absurd and quite tragic the way people have managed to pit science against faith. They aren't in conflict at all - they're long lost dance partners. I don't divide the world up into Christians and other people - we are all human beings, brothers and sisters, and we embrace truth wherever we find it, whether that's in a lab, a field or a cathedral. Because sometimes you need a scientist and sometimes you need a poet. ~ Rob Bell,
311:When my grandson-in-law heard about it, he was fairly struck flat for half a day. Then he pasted up a kind of hat out of paper and held it over my stove, and it went up, and then he thought it was nothing that the cathedral rose, no miracle at all. That shows what it is to be a fool—it never came to him that the reason things were made so was so the cathedral would rise just like it did. He can't see the Hand in nature. ~ Gene Wolfe,
312:And for you, I think, a religious life,' she said, a calm certainty all over her crisscrossed face. She didn't even bother with a question mark. My calling was so obvious; it was written all over me. Two years later, I would be living in my own convent as an order of one, typing poetry in the deep glowing hours to a stranger. Four close walls and cathedral space within, arriving with a rush to myself every moment. ~ Patricia Lockwood,
313:I am not a religious soul, but I must say it does seem a little uncanny that on that morning of all mornings I should have looked over the bridge at such a propitious moment. I mentioned the story at lunch to one of the members of the cathedral, and he nodded sagely and pointed a finger heavenward, as if to say, ‘It was God, of course.’ I nodded and didn’t say anything, but thought: ‘Then why did He push him in?’ Beyond ~ Bill Bryson,
314:I don’t know anything different about death than I ever have, but I feel differently. I inhabit this difference in feeling- or does it live in me?- at the same time as I’m sorrowing. The possibility of consolation, of joy even, does not dispel the sorrow. Sorrow is the cathedral, the immense architecture; in its interior there’s room for almost everything; for desire, for flashes of happiness, for making plans for the future… ~ Mark Doty,
315:The trails are a reminder of our insignificance. We come and go, but nature is forever. It puts us in our place, underscoring that we are not lords of the universe but components of it...So when the world seems to be falling apart, when we humans seem to be creating messes everywhere we turn, maybe it's time to rejuvenate in the cathedral of the wilderness - and there, away from humanity, rediscover our own humanity. ~ Nicholas D Kristof,
316:These two sections [of Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise], plus some of the author's notes, are all we have -- this in itself is a tragedy and waste of war. Had this novel been finished we would be hailing it as one of the supreme works of literature. As it stands, it is like a great cathedral gutted by a bomb. The ruined shell still soars to heaven, a reminder of the human spirit triumphing despite human destructiveness. ~ Ir ne N mirovsky,
317:In the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales for the disrobed faceless forms of no position. Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts - all down in taken-for-granted situations. Tolling for the deaf an' blind, tolling for the mute, and the mistreated mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute, for the misdemeanor outlaw, chained an' cheated by pursuit. And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing. ~ Bob Dylan,
318:There are two ways to interpret what Paul says in Galatians 3:28 about our being one in Christ: either it means that we're all whitewashed and homogenized and our differences are erased... or it means that we're called to find a way to make our different identities fit together, like the bright shards in assorted colors that make up the stained glass windows of a cathedral. Are we called to sameness, or are we called to oneness? ~ Austen Hartke,
319:Just imagine! In the early nineteenth century, this cathedral was in such a state of disrepair that the city considered tearing it down. Luckily for us, Victor Hugo heard about the plans to destroy it and wrote The Hunchback of Notre-Dame to raise awareness of its glorious history. And, by golly, did it work! Parisians campaigned to save it, and the building was repaired and polished to the pristine state you find today. ~ Stephanie Perkins,
320:High up overhead the snow settled among the tracery
of the cathedral towers. Many a niche was drifted full; many a statue
wore a long white bonnet on its grotesque or sainted head. The gargoyles
had been transformed into great false noses, drooping toward the point.
The crockets were like upright pillows swollen on one side. In the
intervals of the wind there was a dull sound dripping about the
precincts of the church. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson,
321:9/11 was a signal that we were living in a new world - a world of interdependence, a world in which people could attack the United States not from the outside, but from the inside. It was a sign that the United States, the most powerful country in the world, could watch the cathedral of capitalism at the Trade Center and the heart of its defense at the Pentagon be struck internally, not really across borders, so that borders don't matter anymore. ~ Benjamin Barber,
322:The life of this alien city was lived under the cathedral dome of the sky. People ate where the birds could share their food and gambled where any cutpurse could steal their winnings, they kissed in full view of strangers and even fucked in the shadows if they wanted to. What did it mean to be a man so completely among men, and women too? When solitude was banished, did one become more oneself, or less? Did the crowd enhance one's selfhood or erase it? ~ Salman Rushdie,
323:But I now leave my cetological System standing thus unfinished, even as the great Cathedral of Cologne was left, with the crane still standing upon the top of the uncompleted tower. For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draught—nay, but the draught of a draught. Oh, Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience! ~ Herman Melville,
324:There is no period in history when it would have been better to be alive than today. People who fantasise about a romantic past imagine themselves living in Pharaoh’s court, Caesar’s palace, Plato’s athenaeum, a medieval knight’s manor, a king’s castle, a queen’s château, an emperor’s citadel, a cardinal’s cathedral. But the cold, hard reality is that 99.99 per cent of all the people who ever lived existed in what we would today consider squalid poverty. ~ Michael Shermer,
325:I felt a kind of impersonal kinship with them and a joy in that kinship. Beauty of earth and sea and air meant more to me. I was in harmony with it, melted into the universe, lost in it, as one is lost in a canticle of praise, swelling from an unknown crowd in a cathedral. ‘Praise ye the Lord, all ye fishes of the sea – all ye birds of the air – all ye children of men – Praise ye the Lord!’ Yes, I felt closer to my fellow men too, even in my solitude. ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh,
326:But she saw that his eyes, which were sand-colored like his face, and sandy-lashed, had found another occupation. They were fixed on Conchita Closson, who sat opposite to him; they rested on her unblinkingly, immovably, as if she had been a natural object, a landscape or a cathedral, that one had traveled far to see, and had the right to look at as long as one chose. He's drinking her up like blotting paper. I thought they were better brought up over in England! ~ Edith Wharton,
327:Huddled in folds they listened with wide eyes while the shepherds told of ravening wolves. With great gladness they exchanged their fleeces for security. Shorn and shivering, they had the happiness of seeing their protectors comfortable and warm. Through all the years, those who plowed divided with those who prayed. Wicked industry supported pious idleness, the hut gave to the cathedral, and frightened poverty gave even its rags to buy a robe for hypocrisy. ~ Robert G Ingersoll,
328:I have always believed that places with long history, especially those in which terrible events have taken place, retain something of those times, some trace in the air, just as I have been in many a cathedral all over the world and sensed the impress of centuries of prayers and devotions. Places are often filled with their own pasts and exude a sense of then, an atmosphere of great good or great evil, which can be picked up by anyone sensitive to their surroundings. ~ Susan Hill,
329:To-day, to-morrow, every day, to thousands the end of the world is close at hand. And why should we fear it? We walk here, as it were, in the crypts of life; at times, from the great cathedral above us, we can hear the organ and the chanting choir; we see the light stream through the open door, when some friend goes up before us; and shall we fear to mount the narrow staircase of the grave that leads us out of this uncertain twilight into life eternal? ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
330:I held my hand up, frowning. "Wait a minute. Where did you say this thing was stolen from?"
"The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist." Father Vincent said.
"In Northern Italy." I said.
He nodded.
"In Turin, to be exact."
"He nodded again, his expression reserved.
"Someone stole the freaking Shroud of Turin?" I demanded.
I settled back in the chair, looking down at the photos again. This changed things.
This changed things a lot. ~ Jim Butcher,
331:It will seem as if you were making the visions banal — but then you need to do that — then you are freed from the power of them Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book and turn over the pages and for you it will be your church — your cathedral — the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them — then you will lose your soul — for in that book is your soul. ~ Carl Jung,
332:Perhaps I shall not write my account of the Paleolithic at all, but make a film of it. A silent film at that, in which I shall show you first the great slumbering rocks of the Cambrian period, and move from those to the mountains of Wales...from Ordovician to Devonian, on the lush glowing Cotswolds, on to the white cliffs of Dover... An impressionistic, dreaming film, in which the folded rocks arise and flower and grow and become Salisbury Cathedral and York Minster. ~ Penelope Lively,
333:Perhaps I shall not write my account of the Paleolithic at all, but make a film of it. A silent film at that, in which I shall show you first the great slumbering rocks of the Cambrian period, and move from those to the mountains of Wales, from Ordovician to Devonian, on the lush glowing Cotswolds, on to the white cliffs of Dover... An impressionistic, dreaming film, in which the folded rocks arise and flower and grow and become Salisbury Cathedral and York Minster... ~ Penelope Lively,
334:The preliminaries were out of the way, the creative process was about to begin. The creative process, that mystic life force, that splurge out of which has come the Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa, the Fantasie Impromptu, the Bayeux tapestries, Romeo and Juliet, the windows of Chartres Cathedral, Paradise Lost - and a pulp murder story by Dan Moody. The process is the same in all; if the results are a little uneven, that doesn't invalidate the basic similarity of origin. ~ Cornell Woolrich,
335:The Second Table of the Ten Commandments reads in Hebrew something like this: 'Don't kill; don't be vile; don't steal; don't tell lies about others; don't envy any man his wife or house or animals, or anything he has.' This sounds shockingly wrong in English. For the English genius, religion is solemn and stately; Canterbury Cathedral, not a shul. The grand slow march of "Thou Shalt Nots" is exactly right. Religion for the Jews is intimate and colloquial, or it is nothing. ~ Herman Wouk,
336:Soft sun shone down on a misty cathedral at the opposite end of a football-field length courtyard. The cathedral had a long pointed tower with beautiful rose and ivory stained glass windows. Pink-petal flowers and deep green ivy climbed the stones from the ground to it’s roof. A large fountain stood in the middle of the courtyard with water falling from several lion’s heads. Between the misty air and rolling slope of the earth, the grounds reminded me of a long lost fairy tale. ~ Priya Ardis,
There's A Certain Slant Of Light (258)
There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons-That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes-Heavenly Hurt, it gives us-We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are-None may teach it--Any-'Tis the Seal Despair-An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air-When it comes, the Landscape listens-Shadows--hold their breath-When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
On the look of Death-~ Emily Dickinson,
338:Lying there, I thought of my own culture, of the assembly of books in the library at Alexandria; of the deliberations of Darwin and Mendel in their respective gardens; of the architectural conception of the cathedral at Chartres; of Bach's cello suites, the philosophy of Schweitzer, the insights of Planck and Dirac. Have we come all this way, I wondered, only to be dismantled by our own technologies, to be betrayed by political connivance or the impersonal avarice of a corporation? ~ Barry Lopez,
339:So even that doesn’t make you happy? What about your Seventh Symphony? At least it rallied people. Once you told me how alive you felt then; you said you gave it your all—
Didn’t you learn in school, he demanded in a hateful voice, that Ivan the Terrible, having coaxed his architect into, so to speak, putting the very best of himself into building Polrovsky Cathedral, afterwards put out his eyes? Anyway, things are so much easier in our century. LIFE HAS BECOME MORE JOYFUL! ~ William T Vollmann,
340:Bertrand Russell said, 'Electricity is not a thing like St. Paul's Cathedral; it is a way in which things behave.' And it's not 'they' who say, but Walter Benjamin who said, 'Things are only mannequins and even the great world-historical events are only costumes beneath which they exchange glances with nothingness, with the base and the banal.' In September, 1940, Benjamin died under ambiguous circumstances in the French-Spanish border town of Portbou, while attempting to flee the Nazis. ~ Mary Jo Bang,
341:The meaning of geography is as much a sealed book to the person of ordinary intelligence and education as the meaning of a great cathedral would be to a backwoodsman, and yet no cathedral can be more suggestive of past history in its many architectural forms than is the land about us, with its innumerable and marvellously significant geographic forms. It makes one grieve to think of opportunity for mental enjoyment that is last because of the failure of education in this respect. ~ William Morris Davis,
342:Ragnarok. Is that all the North ever thinks about? Is that what you want, Snorri? Some great battle and the world ruined and dead?” I couldn’t blame him if he did. Not with what had befallen him this past year, but I would be disturbed to know he had always lusted after such an end, even on the night before the black ships came to Eight Quays.
The light kindling on my torch caught him in midshrug. “Do you want the paradise your priests paint for you on cathedral ceilings?”
“Good point. ~ Mark Lawrence,
343:She smiled back at him. Neither of them had said so much as hello yet she was looking at him with those eyes. Deep in the cathedral of his young being, Erik felt a bell toll, a peal of recognition. And for the rest of his life, he would swear, he would swear to anyone who asked, although nothing was said aloud, he heard Daisy Bianco speak to him. She said it with her eyes, he heard it clearly in his head, and it wasn’t hello.
It was, “Well, here you are.”
Here I am, he thought. ~ Suanne Laqueur,
344:The Enemy wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour's talents--or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall. ~ C S Lewis,
345:She smiled back at him. Neither of them had said so much as hello yet she was looking at him with those eyes. Deep in the cathedral of his young being, Erik felt a bell toll, a peal of recognition. And for the rest of his life, he would swear, he would swear to anyone who asked, although nothing was said aloud, he heard Daisy Bianco speak to him. She said it with her eyes, he heard it clearly in his head, and it wasn’t hello.
It was, 'Well, here you are...'
Here I am, he thought. ~ Suanne Laqueur,
346:to substitute for the bulk of it what was art still, to introduce, as it might be, several ‘thicknesses’ of art; instead of photographs of Chartres Cathedral, of the Fountains of Saint-Cloud, or of Vesuvius she would inquire of Swann whether some great painter had not made pictures of them, and preferred to give me photographs of ‘Chartres Cathedral’ after Corot, of the ‘Fountains of Saint-Cloud’ after Hubert Robert, and of ‘Vesuvius’ after Turner, which were a stage higher in the scale of art. ~ Marcel Proust,
347:And suddenly, in the middle of the central nave, I realize something very important: the cathedral is me, it is all of us. We are all growing and changing shape, we notice certain weaknesses that need to be corrected, we don't always choose the best solutions, but we carry on regardless, trying to remain upright and decent, in order to do honor not to the walls or the doors or the windows, but to the empty space inside, the space where we worship and venerate what is dearest and most important to us. ~ Paulo Coelho,
348:Creativity or talent, like electricity, is something I don’t understand but something I’m able to harness and use. While electricity remains a mystery, I know I can plug into it and light up a cathedral or a synagogue or an operating room and use it to help save a life. Or I can use it to electrocute someone. Like electricity, creativity makes no judgment. I can use it productively or destructively. The important thing is to use it. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have. ~ Maya Angelou,
349:Now that music is faithfully reproducible, musicians are not needed as once they were. And music itself has changed. Though small cadres of classicists keep the sacred and ineffable alive, they are under siege by coarse generations whose music is hardly as musical as a bus engine or a chain saw. Something must have occurred during their mothers' pregnancies. How else is it possible to explain that playing Bach keeps them away from public spaces the way iron spikes drive pigeons from cathedral ledges? ~ Mark Helprin,
350:And with the image of Jesus carrying the cross, I hearken back to the statue of Atlas on Fifth Avenue, where there is a poignant contrast. Across the street from Atlas stands the majestic Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. There, facing one another, these monuments pay tribute to the world views of my fathers: Christianity and Objectivism; Faith and Reason. Each is resolute in its position and stands in strength. Yet, they could not be more disparate. Where Atlas carries the world, Jesus carries the cross. ~ Mark David Henderson,
351:The quickest door to open in the woods for a child is the one that leads to the smallest room, by knowing the name each thing is called. The door that leads to the cathedral is marked by a hesitancy to speak to speak at all, rather to encourage by example a sharpness of the senses. If one speaks it should only be to say, as well as one can, how wonderfully all this fits together, to indicate what a long, fierce peace can derive from this knowledge. (Chaos, Wonder and the Spiritual Adventure of Parenting anthology) ~ Barry Lopez,
352:For example: never underestimate the formative power of the family supper table. This vanishing liturgy is a powerful site of formation. Most of the time it will be hard to keep the cathedral in view, especially when dinner is the primary occasion for sibling bickering. Yet even then, members of your little tribe are learning to love their neighbor. And your children are learning something about the faithful promises of a covenant-keeping Lord in the simple routine of that daily promise of dinner together. Then ~ James K A Smith,
353:Armstrong, sitting in the commander's seat, spacesuit on, helmet on, plugged into electrical and environmental umbilical's, is a man who is not only a machine himself in the links of these networks, but is also a man sitting in (what Collins is later to call) a 'mini-cathedral.' a man somewhat more than a pilot, somewhat more than a superpilot, is in fact a veritable high priest of the forces of society and scientific history concentrated in that mini cathedral, a general of the church of the forces of technology. ~ Norman Mailer,
354:HMS Belfast is a gunship of 11,000 tons, commissioned in 1939, which saw active service in the Second World War. Since then it has been moored on the south bank of the Thames, in postcard-land, between Tower Bridge and London Bridge, opposite the Tower of London. From its deck one can see St. Paul’s Cathedral and the gilt top of the columnlike Monument to the Great Fire of London erected, as so much of London was erected, by Christopher Wren. The ship serves as a floating museum, as a memorial, as a training ground. ~ Neil Gaiman,
355:I come from a tradition of Western culture, in which the ideal (my ideal) was the complex, dense, and 'cathedral-like' structure of the highly educated and articulate personality--a man or woman who carried inside themselves a personally constructed and unique version of the entire heritage of the West. [But now] I see within us all (myself included) there placement of complex inner density with a new kind of self--evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the 'instantly available.' ~ Richard Foreman,
356:It surprised M not at all to discover that though the library had technically been closed for hours, there was a small door in the back that was still open, and that it led to a long, hushed corridor, and then into a chamber, which was more like the nave of an immense cathedral than the checkout room in a library. Libraries—like train stations, crossroads, church belfries, and attics—are places where worlds leak together, where the Management, in its ineffable wisdom, tends not to look too closely on what goes on. ~ Daniel Polansky,
357:For in his later books, if he had hit upon some great truth, or upon the name of an historic cathedral, he would break off his narrative, and in an invocation, an apostrophe, a long prayer, would give free rein to those exhalations which, in the earlier volumes, had been immanent in his prose, discernible only in a rippling of its surface, and perhaps even more delightful, more harmonious when they were thus veiled, when the reader could give no precise indication of where their murmuring began or where it died away. ~ Marcel Proust,
358:I call this my church house trilogy. Souls' Chapel really was music from the Mississippi Delta, which to me is a church within itself. The Delta is the church of American Roots music. The Badlands is a cathedral without a top on it. And the Ryman has been called the Mother Church of Country Music, but to me it's the Mother Church of American Music. If you can think it up, it's been done there. In my mind, this is kind of a spiritual odyssey as much as anything else, and I had the settings of three churches to make it in. ~ Marty Stuart,
359:There's a certain slant of light"

There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
'Tis the seal, despair,-
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 't is like the distance
On the look of death. ~ Emily Dickinson,
360:Poets have tried to describe Ankh-Morpork. They have failed. Perhaps it’s the sheer zestful vitality of the place, or maybe it’s just that a city with a million inhabitants and no sewers is rather robust for poets, who prefer daffodils and no wonder. So let’s just say that Ankh-Morpork is as full of life as an old cheese on a hot day, as loud as a curse in a cathedral, as bright as an oil slick, as colorful as a bruise and as full of activity, industry, bustle and sheer exuberant busyness as a dead dog on a termite mound. ~ Terry Pratchett,
361:The local drunks - there must have been about sixty-five or seventy of them, many related by blood or sexual history - were a close-knit population involved in an ongoing collective enterprise: the building over several generations, of a basilica of failure, on whose overcrowded friezes they figured in vivid depictions of bankruptcy, drug rehabilitation, softball and arrest. There was no role in this communal endeavor for the summer islander, on leave, as it were, from work on the cathedral of his or her own bad decisions. ~ Michael Chabon,
362:Poets have tried to describe Ankh-Morpork. They have failed. Perhaps it's the sheer zestful vitality of the place, or maybe it's just that a city with a million inhabitants and no sewers is rather robust for poets, who prefer daffodils and no wonder. So let's just say that Ankh-Morpork is as full of life as an old cheese on a hot day, as loud as a curse in a cathedral, as bright as an oil slick, as colourful as a bruise and as full of activity, industry, bustle and sheer exuberant busyness as a dead dog on a termite mound. ~ Terry Pratchett,
363:Harry knew very little about architecture but enough to know that Lucifer’s labors here had later inspired a whole architecture of the living world and their own Gothic creations. He’d been inside some of them on his travels around Europe, in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Santa Eulalia in Barcelona, in Bourdeaux Cathedral, and of course in Chartres Cathedral, where he’d once taken sanctuary, having just killed in the blizzard-blinded streets a demon who had been seducing infants to their deaths with corrupt nursery rhymes. ~ Clive Barker,
364:The destruction of Dresden was an overkill. It was done in February, 1945, when it was clear that Germany would lose the war. Russians could have already swept across the country but they waited for some reason. Firebombing mostly old people and children and women, hardly any of them culprits in the war, wasn’t the most ethical thing to do, but it was done, and now, watching the restoration of the cathedral, which takes place for years and takes millions of dollars, it is clear how much easier destruction is than construction. ~ Josip Novakovich,
365:Why does your weak king send a filthy pirate to do his bidding?” sneered the Fjerdan ambassador, his words echoing across the cathedral.
“Privateer,” corrected Sturmhond. “I suppose he thought my good looks would give me the advantage. Not a concern where you’re from, I take it?”
“Preening, ridiculous peacock. You stink of Grisha foulness.”
Sturmhond sniffed the air. “I’m amazed you can detect anything over the reek of ice and inbreeding.”
The ambassador turned purple, and one of his companions hastily drew him away. ~ Leigh Bardugo,
366:I noticed countless eyes following me. They belonged to shop-keeps closing up for the night, the homeless watching me from their makeshift beds, call girls pretending to wait for their next tricks on the corners, but all the while, wary of my every move. I didn’t belong here and they knew it. I could feel Les Foncés all around me, too, watching me from behind the tombs of the cemeteries, waiting for me around the corners of St. Louis Cathedral. With each breeze that floated off the Mississippi, I could feel their breath on my neck. ~ Nancy K Duplechain,
367:Hostel Luna (one block east and one block north of the cathedral, tel. 505/8441-8466, is run by British expat Jane Boyd, offering dorm beds for $10 and private rooms for $20. Breakfast is served at Cafe Luz across the street where you can hang in the garden hammocks. Jane is a valuable source of knowledge on activities in the area and can help arrange anything from a trip to Miraflor, a cigar factory tour, or a walking mural tour with a local guide. ~ Randall Wood,
368:God did not live in this church; these statues gave an image to nothingness. I was the supernatural in this cathedral. I was the only Supermortal thing that stood conscious under this roof! Loneliness. Loneliness to the point of madness. The cathedral crumbled in my vision; the saints listed and fell. Rats ate the Holy Eucharist and nested on the sills. A solitary rat with an enormous tail stood tugging and gnawing at the rotted altar cloth until the candlesticks fell and rolled on the slime-covered stones. And I remained standing. Untouched. ~ Anne Rice,
369:Instead of waiting around for church to assemble a perfect group dynamic of People Who Can Meet on Tuesdays, maybe just invite some folks over. A shared table is the supreme expression of hospitality in every culture on earth. When your worn-out kitchen table hosts good people and good conversation, when it provides a safe place to break bread and share wine, your house becomes a sanctuary, holy as a cathedral. I’ve left a friend’s table as sanctified and renewed as any church service. If you have a porch, then you have an altar to gather around. ~ Jen Hatmaker,
370:MAIN CHARACTERS Cesare Borgia (c. 1475–1507). Italian warrior, illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI, subject of Machiavelli’s The Prince, Leonardo employer. Donato Bramante (1444–1514). Architect, friend of Leonardo in Milan, worked on Milan Cathedral, Pavia Cathedral, and St. Peter’s in the Vatican. Caterina Lippi (c. 1436–1493). Orphaned peasant girl from near Vinci, mother of Leonardo; later married Antonio di Piero del Vaccha, known as Accattabriga. Charles d’Amboise (1473–1511). French governor of Milan from 1503 to 1511, Leonardo patron. ~ Walter Isaacson,
371:I helped lift a sixty-five-year-old woman out of the bloody machine that had just torn four fingers off her hand, and I still hear her cries—"Jesus and Mary, I won't be able to work again!"
The factory. Long live the factory! Today, even as new factories are being built, the civilization that made the factory into a cathedral is dying. And somewhere, right now, other young men and women are driving through the night into the heart of the emergent Third Wave civilization. Our task from here on will be to join, as it were, their quest for tomorrow. ~ Alvin Toffler,
372:That is, through his imagination, Goethe could, when practising ‘active seeing’, enter into the inner being of whatever he was observing, in the way that the philosopher Bergson argued ‘intuition’ could. Here ‘imagination’ is not understood in the reductive sense of ‘unreal’ but in the sense given it by Hermetic thinkers such as Ficino and Suhrawardi, as a means of entering the Hūrqalyā, the Imaginal World or anima mundi that mediates between the world of pure abstraction (Plato’s Ideas) and physical reality (in Goethe’s case, a plant or a cathedral). ~ Gary Lachman,
373:The city as a center where, any day in any year, there may be a fresh encounter with a new talent, a keen mind or a gifted specialist-this is essential to the life of a country. To play this role in our lives a city must have a soul-a university, a great art or music school, a cathedral or a great mosque or temple, a great laboratory or scientific center, as well as the libraries and museums and galleries that bring past and present together. A city must be a place where groups of women and men are seeking and developing the highest things they know. ~ Margaret Mead,
374:For I do not believe God means us thus to divide life into half halves - to wear a grave face on Sunday, and to think it out-of-place to even so much as mention Him on a weekday. Do you think he cares to see only kneeling figures, and to hear only tones of prayer - and that He does not also love to see the lambs leaping in the sunlight, and to hear the merry voices of the children as they roll among the hay? Surely their innocent laughter is as sweet in His ears as the grandest anthem that ever rolled up from the 'dim religious light' of some solemn cathedral? ~ Lewis Carroll,
375:...Alan, the first winter we knew him, stood at my desk in the Cathedral library and remarked, "I think you and Hugh live more existentially than most people."

I felt we'd made it: we, like Sartre and Camus and Kierkegaard, were existential; we were really with it. It doesn't matter that I'm still not quite sure what living existentially means, though I have a suspicion that it's not far from living ontologically, because it's one of those words that's outside the realm of provable fact and touches on mystery. Nothing important is completely explicable. ~ Madeleine L Engle,
376:It was spring and they stood on the banks of the small river that ran beside the ruins of the old cathedral at Dyemore Abbey. The stone arch rose into a clear, blue sky and below, the scattered stones that had once made up the cathedral were carpeted with yellow. Hundreds of thousands of daffodils, wild in this part of England, had taken over the old ruins and made a home for themselves. The view was gorgeous. The daffodils rolled in a yellow-dotted wave right up to the stream itself and splashed over onto the opposite bank, disappearing into the little wood there. ~ Elizabeth Hoyt,
377:They call it haunted; you call it sacred.” Grandmother chuckled, placing a cup of tea on a saucer beside me. “When your father took you to the Great Cathedral, how did you feel? Frightened, or full of holy awe?” I thought of the gargoyles, the soaring stained glass and colored light . . . the vast space and dim heights . . . the joyous and fiendish and suffering faces, carved in high places and in low, in brightness and shadow. “Both,” I answered. “There you are, then. Haunted and sacred. Maybe they want to mean the same thing, but neither word is big enough.” I ~ Frederic S Durbin,
378:I confront the city with my body; my legs measure the length of the arcade and the width of the square; my gaze unconsciously projects my body onto the facade of the cathedral, where it roams over the mouldings and contours, sensing the size of recesses and projections; my body weight meets the mass of the cathedral door, and my hand grasps the door pull as I enter the dark void behind. I experience myself in the city, and the city exists through my embodied experience. The city and my body supplement and define each other. I dwell in the city and the city dwells in me. ~ Juhani Pallasmaa,
379:Jerome Falsoner, aged forty-five, was a bachelor who lived alone in a flat on Cathedral Street, on an income more than sufficient for his comfort. He was a tall man, but of a delicate physique, the result, it may have been, of excessive indulgence on a constitution none too strong in the beginning. He was well-known, at least by sight, to all night-living Baltimoreans, and to those who frequented race-track, gambling-house, and the furtive cockpits that now and then materialize for a few brief hours in the forty miles of country that lie between Baltimore and Washington. ~ Dashiell Hammett,
380:There’s a story my father used to tell about the peak. She was a grand old thing, a cathedral of a mountain. The range had other mountains, taller, more imposing, but Buck’s Peak was the most finely crafted. Its base spanned a mile, its dark form swelling out of the earth and rising into a flawless spire. From a distance, you could see the impression of a woman’s body on the mountain face: her legs formed of huge ravines, her hair a spray of pines fanning over the northern ridge. Her stance was commanding, one leg thrust forward in a powerful movement, more stride than step ~ Tara Westover,
381:You can't live on nothing." "I can live on sunlight falling across little bridges. I can live on the Botticelli-blue cornflower pattern on the out-billowing garments of the attendant to Aphrodite and the pattern of strawberry blossoms and the little daisies in the robe of Primavera. I can live on the doves flying (he says) in cohorts from the underside of the faded gilt of the balcony of Saint Mark's cathedral and the long corridors of the Pitti Palace. I can gorge myself on Rome and the naked Bacchus and the face like a blasted lightning-blasted white birch that is some sort of Fury. ~ H D,
382:Vanish. Pass into nothingness: the Keats line that frightened her. Fade as the blue nights fade, go as the brightness goes. Go back into the blue. I myself placed her ashes in the wall. I myself saw the cathedral doors locked at six. I know what it is I am now experiencing. I know what the frailty is, I know what the fear is. The fear is not for what is lost. What is lost is already in the wall. What is lost is already behind the locked doors. The fear is for what is still to be lost. You may see nothing still to be lost. Yet there is no day in her life on which I do not see her. ~ Joan Didion,
383:The God you imagine looks like Father Brennan, the man who baptized you: tall and Irish, with white hair and kind blue eyes, shooting a basketball in black vestments on the parish playground. The Virgin is one of the nuns who ran the adjoining schoolhouse: a spinster with a downy chin, her veil a habit. Old and sacred words, they taught you. You would not invent your own any more than you would try to build your own cathedral. Bead by bead, you whisper the same words Saint Peter spoke in Rome, the same words spoken today by all believers in São Paulo and Boston and Limerick and Cebu. ~ Mia Alvar,
384:I know, in any case, that the most crucial time in my own development came when I was forced to recognize that I was a kind of a bastard of the West; when I followed the line of my past, I did not find myself in Europe but in Africa. And this meant that in some subtle way, in a really profound way, I brought to Shakespeare, Bach, Rembrandt, to the stones of Paris, to the cathedral at Chartres, and to the Empire State Building, a special attitude. These were not really my creations, they did not contain my history; I might search in them in vain forever for any reflection of myself. ~ James Baldwin,
385:Marveling he stands on the cathedral's
steep ascent, close to the rose window,
as though frightened at the apotheosis
which grew and all at once

set him down over these and these.
And straight he stands and glad of his endurance,
simply determined; as the husbandman
who began and who knew not how

from the garden of Eden finished-full
to find a way out into
the new earth. God was hard to persuade;

and threatened him, instead of acceding,
ever and again, that he would die.
Yet man persisted: she will bring forth.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Adam
386:Even the Raven King - who was not a fairy, but an Englishman - had a somewhat regrettable habit of abducting men and women and taking them to live with him in his castle in the Other Lands. Now, had you and I the power to seize by magic any human being that took our fancy and the power to keep that person by our side through all eternity, and had we all the world to chuse from, then I dare say our choice might fall on someone a little more captivating than a member of the Learned Society of York Magicians, but this comforting thought did not occur to the gentlemen inside York Cathedral ~ Susanna Clarke,
387:Religion shows a pattern of heredity which I think is similar to genetic heredity. ... There are hundreds of different religious sects, and every religious person is loyal to just one of these. ... The overwhelming majority just happen to choose the one their parents belonged to. Not the sect that has the best evidence in its favour, the best miracles, the best moral code, the best cathedral, the best stained-glass, the best music when it comes to choosing from the smorgasbord of available religions, their potential virtues seem to count for nothing compared to the matter of heredity. ~ Richard Dawkins,
388:She was wearing a dress of some soft dark red material, and sitting as she was with the light from the long narrow window behind her, she reminded Kemp of a stained glass figure he had once seen in a cathedral abroad. The long oval of her face and the slight angularity of her shoulders helped the illusion. Saint Somebody or other, they had told him—but Lady Alexandra Farraday was no saint—not by a long way. And yet some of these old saints had been funny people from his point of view, not kindly ordinary decent Christian folk, but intolerant, fanatical, cruel to themselves and others. ~ Agatha Christie,
389:We are asking if thought can be aware of itself. That is rather a complex question, and requires very careful observation. Thought has created wars through nationalism, through sectarian religions. Thought has created all this; God has not created the hierarchy of the church--the pope, all the robes, all the rituals, the swinging of the incense, the candles. All that paraphernalia that goes on in a cathedral or in a church is put together by thought, copied, some of it, from the ancient Egyptians, from the ancient Hindus, and Hebrews. It is all thought. So "God" is created by thought. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti,
390:I need the place where everything is hidden, Harry begged of it inside his head, and the door materialized on their third run past.
The furor of the battle died the moment they crossed the threshold and closed the door behind them: All was silent. They were in a place the size of a cathedral with the appearance of a city, its towering walls built of objects hidden by thousands of long-gone students.
“And he never realized anyone could get in?” said Ron, his voice echoing in the silence.
“He thought he was the only one,” said Harry. “Too bad for him I’ve had to hide stuff in my time… ~ J K Rowling,
391:Wake up! There’s incredible beauty all around you. I’m absorbed in writing this book but I managed to look closely at a tiger swallowtail butterfly in the garden yesterday. Did you know there are gorgeous shades of red and blue among the black streaks at the bottom of the wings? It looks like nothing other than cathedral windows, a quarter inch high. Yet if you’d asked me, I would have said that butterfly is yellow with black stripes. If I can see that, with less than two weeks to go before my deadline, you can discover something beautiful today, too. Open up to your senses. Become a connoisseur of small pleasures. ~ Anonymous,
392:It was merely a white-haired elderly cleric who came in. He stood for a moment looking round him with a slightly puzzled air as of one who fails to understand where he was or how he had come there. Such an experience was no novelty to Canon Pennyfather. It came to him in trains when he did not remember where he had come from, where he was going, or why! It came to him when he was walking along the street, it came to him when he found himself sitting on a committee. It had come to him before now when he was in his cathedral stall, and did not know whether he had already preached his sermon or was about to do so. ~ Agatha Christie,
Pass into nothingness: the Keats line that frightened her.
Fade as the blue nights fade, go as the brightness goes.
Go back into the blue.
I myself placed her ashes in the wall.
I myself saw the cathedral doors locked at six.
I know what it is I am now experiencing.
I know what the frailty is, I know what the fear is.
The fear is not for what is lost.
What is lost is already in the wall.
What is lost is already behind the locked doors.
The fear is for what is still to be lost.
You may see nothing still to be lost.
Yet there is no day in her life on which I do not see her. ~ Joan Didion,
394:The process of technological development is like building a cathedral. Over the course of several hundred years new people come along and each lays down a block on top of the old foundations, each saying, “I built a cathedral.” Next month another block is placed atop the previous one. Then comes along an historian who asks, “Well, who built the cathedral?” Peter added some stones here, and Paul added a few more. If you are not careful, you can con yourself into believing that you did the most important part. But the reality is that each contribution has to follow onto previous work. Everything is tied to everything else.109 ~ Walter Isaacson,
395:Dane discarded his speargun with visible relief. As a paladin of the Church of God Kraken, he had few options. Like many groups devoid of real power and realpolitik, the church was actually constrained by its aesthetics. Its operatives could not have guns, simply, because guns were not squiddy enough.
It was a common moan. Drunk new soldiers of the Cathedral of the Bees might whine: “It’s not that I don’t think sting-tipped blowpipes aren’t cool, it’s just…” “I’ve gotten rally good with the steam-cudgel,” a disaffected Pistonpunk might ask her elders “but wouldn’t it be useful to…?” Oh for a carbine, devout assassins pined. ~ China Mi ville,
396:The woods were definitely changing. Aurora and Phillip could no longer see the sky at all because of the ancient tall trees that stretched far overhead. Pines and other shaggy-barked species shot a hundred feet straight up on massive trunks, some of which were as thick around as a small house. The canopies that spread out at their tops blocked out most of the sun; only a rare dappled shaft made it through. But it didn't feel claustrophobic. The absence of light kept the underbrush low: moss on ancient fallen logs, puddles of shade flowers, mushrooms and tiny lilies. It was airy and endless like the largest cathedral ever imagined. ~ Liz Braswell,
397:Russian Cathedral
Bow down my soul in worship very low
And in the holy silences be lost.
Bow down before the marble man of woe,
Bow down before the singing angel host.
What jewelled glory fills my spirit's eye,
What golden grandeur moves the depths of me!
The soaring arches lift me up on high
Taking my breath with their rare symmetry.
Bow down my soul and let the wondrous light
Of beauty bathe thee from her lofty throne,
Bow down before the wonder of man's might.
Bow down in worship, humble and alone;
Bow lowly down before the sacred sight
Of man's divinity alive in stone.
~ Claude McKay,
398:When I have neither pleasure nor pain and have been breathing for a while the lukewarm insipid air of these so called good and tolerable days, I feel so bad in my childish soul that I smash my moldering lyre of thanksgiving in the face of the slumbering god of contentment and would rather feel the very devil burn in me than this warmth of a well-heated room. A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impulse to smash something, a warehouse, perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself, to commit outrages, to pull off the wigs of a few revered idols... ~ Hermann Hesse,
399:The rooks were sailing about the cathedral towers; and the towers themselves, overlooking many a long unaltered mile of the rich country and its pleasant streams, were cutting the bright morning air as if there were no such thing as change on earth. Yet the bells, when they sounded told me sorrowfully of change in everything; told me of their own age, and my pretty Dora's youth; and of the many, never old, who had lived and loved and died, while the reverberations of the bells had hummed through the rusty armour of the Black Prince hanging up within, and, motes upon the deep of Time, had lost themselves in air, as circles do in water. ~ Charles Dickens,
400:Then, despite all my better judgement, I asked the question I'd wanted to ask for nearly a year. "You and Mal, back in Kribirsk-"

"It happened."

I knew that and I knew there had been plenty of others before her, but it still stung. Zoya glanced at me, her long black lashes sparkling with rain. "But never since," she said grudgingly, "and it hasn't been for lack of trying. If a man can say no to me, that's something."

I rolled my eyes. Zoya poked me in the arm with one long finger. "He hasn't been with anyone, you idiot. Do you know what the girls back at the White Cathedral called him? Beznako"

A lost cause. ~ Leigh Bardugo,
401:I looked up and saw myself in a most palpable vision ascending the altar steps, opening the tiny sacrosanct tabernacle, reaching with monstrous hands for the consecrated ciborium, and taking the Body of Christ and strewing Its white wafers all over the carpet; and walking then on the sacred wafers, walking up and down before the altar, giving Holy Communion to the dust. I rose up now in the pew and stood there staring at this vision. I knew full well the meaning of it. “God did not live in this church; these statues gave an image to nothingness, I was the supernatural in this cathedral. I was the only supermortal thing that stood conscious under this roof! ~ Anne Rice,
402:Even as I begin to realize the magnitude of what I’m doing, a thought occurs to me. Somewhere in the city of rebirth, Paul is lifting himself out of bed, staring out his window, and waiting. There are pigeons cooing on rooftops, cathedral bells tolling from towers in the distance. We are sitting here, continents apart, the same way we always did: at the edges of our mattresses, together. On the ceilings where I am going there will be saints and gods and flights of angels. Everywhere I walk there will be reminders of all that time can’t touch. My heart is a bird in a cage, ruffling its wings with the ache of expectation.
In Italy, the sun is rising. ~ Dustin Thomason,
403:I feel so bad in my childish soul that I smash my moldering lyre of thanksgiving in the face of the slumbering god of contentment and would rather feel the very devil burn in me than this warmth of a well-heated room. A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impluse to smash something, a warehouse, perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself (...)For what I have always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood of mediocrity. ~ Hermann Hesse,
404:Years ago, when I was working on my master's thesis, I went to New York for a semester as an exchange student. What struck me most was the sky. On that side of the world, so far away from the North Pole, the sky is flat and gray, a one-dimensional universe. Here, the sky is arched, and there's almost no pollution. In spring and fall the sky is dark blue or violet, and sunsets last for hours. The sun turns into a dim orange ball that transforms clouds into silver-rimmed red and violet towers. In winter, twenty-four hours a day, uncountable stars outline the vaulted ceiling of the great cathedral we live in. Finnish skies are the reason I believe in God. ~ James Thompson,
405:I would totally support a pond scene like the one in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, but only if you were stripped first."
He slid her a glance out of the corner of his eye. She was giving him a lascivious grin that made him feel like singing at the top of his lungs. "You have a smutty mind, Alice. It's one of the many things I admire in you. Unfortunately, we are in a holy place, and although I don't particularly hold strong religious feelings, I feel it would be insulting to the caretakers of this cathedral to give in to your lustful desires and engage in sex right her and now." He thought for a moment. "Although I have to admit it is a tempting thought... ~ Katie MacAlister,
406:Not only is religion thriving, but it is thriving because it helps people to adapt and survive in the world. In his book Darwin's Cathedral, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson argues that religion provides something that secular society doesn't: a vision of transcendent purpose. Consequently, religious people have a zest for life that is, in a sense, unnatural. They exhibit a hopefulness about the future that may exceed what is warranted by how the world is going. And they forge principles of morality and charity that simply make them more cohesive, adaptive, and successful than groups whose members lack this binding and elevating force. ~ Dinesh D Souza,
407:This love, this mortal love, is of their own making," Hermes muses, "the thing we did not intend, foresee or sanction. How then should it not fascinate us? . . . It is as if a fractious child had been handed a few timber shavings and a bucket of mud to keep him quiet only for him promptly to erect a cathedral. . . . Within the precincts of this consecrated house they afford each other sanctuary, excuse each other their failings, their sweats and smells, their lies and subterfuges, above all their ineradicable self-obsession. This is what baffles us, how they wriggled out of our grasp and somehow became free to forgive each other for all that they are not. ~ John Banville,
408:This great church is an incomparable work of art. There is neither aridity nor confusion in the tenets it sets forth. . . . It is the zenith of a style, the work of artists who had understood and assimilated all their predecessors' successes, in complete possession of the techniques of their times, but using them without indiscreet display nor gratuitous feats of skill. It was Jean d'Orbais who undoubtedly conceived the general plan of the building, a plan which was respected, at least in its essential elements, by his successors. This is one of the reasons for the extreme coherence and unity of the edifice. —REIMS CATHEDRAL GUIDEBOOK[1] Conceptual ~ Frederick P Brooks Jr,
409:My life is a crystal teardrop. There are snowflakes falling in the teardrop and little figures trudging around in slow motion. If I were to look into the teardrop for the next million years, I might never find out who the people are, and what they are doing. Sometimes I get lonesome for a storm. A full-blown storm where everything changes. The sky goes through four days in an hour, the trees wail, little animals skitter in the mud and everything gets dark and goes completely wild. But it's really God - playing music in his favorite cathedral in heaven - shattering stained glass - playing a gigantic organ - thundering on the keys - perfect harmony - prefect joy. ~ Joan Didion,
410:Prayers For Rain' begins like practically every Cure song, with an introduction that's longer than most Bo Diddley singles. Never mind the omnipresent chill, why does Robert Smith write such interminable intros? I can put on 'Prayers For Rain,' then cook an omelette in the time it takes him to start singing. He seems to have a rule that the creepier the song, the longer the wait before it actually starts. I'm not sure if Smith spends the intro time applying eye-liner or manually reducing his serotonin level, but one must endure a lot of doom-filled guitar patterns, cathedral-reverb drums and modal string synth wanderings during the opening of 'Prayers for Rain. ~ Tom Reynolds,
411:The Pragmatic Programmer, a well-regarded book in the computer programming field, makes this connection between code and old-style craftsmanship more directly by quoting the medieval quarry worker’s creed in its preface: “We who cut mere stones must always be envisioning cathedrals.” The book then elaborates that computer programmers must see their work in the same way: Within the overall structure of a project there is always room for individuality and craftsmanship… One hundred years from now, our engineering may seem as archaic as the techniques used by medieval cathedral builders seem to today’s civil engineers, while our craftsmanship will still be honored. ~ Cal Newport,
412:The Nigger was a handsome, austere woman with snow-white hair and a dark and awful dignity. Her brown eyes, brooding deep in her skull, looked out on an ugly world with philosophic sorrow. She conducted her house like a cathedral dedicated to a sad but erect Priapus. If you wanted a good laugh
and a poke in the ribs, you went to Jenny’s and got your money’s worth; but if the sweet worldsadness close to tears crept out of your immutable loneliness, the Long Green was your place. When you came out of there you felt that something pretty stern and important had happened. It was no jump in the hay. The dark beautiful eyes of the Nigger stayed with you for days. ~ John Steinbeck,
413:She had changed into another mourning gown, cut somewhat fuller than the other, and instead of a hat she had wound her black lace shawl about her hair for covering. She was talking to Wellington, her profile turned to me, and got some reason or other I remembered what she had said the night before about Ambrose teasing her, how he had told her once that she reeked of old Rome. I think I knew now what he meant. Her features were like those stamped on a Roman coin, definite, yet small; and now with that lace shawl wound about her hair I was reminded of the women I had seen kneeling in that cathedral in Florence, or lurking in the doorways of the silent houses. ~ Daphne du Maurier,
414:It is often said by the critics of Christian origins that certain ritual feasts, processions or dances are really of pagan origin. They might as well say that our legs are of pagan origin. Nobody ever disputed that humanity was human before it was Christian; and no Church manufactured the legs with which men walked or danced, either in a pilgrimage or a ballet. What can really be maintained, so as to carry not a little conviction, is this: that where such a Church has existed it has preserved not only the processions but the dances; not only the cathedral but the carnival. One of the chief claims of Christian civilisation is to have preserved things of pagan origin. ~ G K Chesterton,
415:God shall have a starring role in my history of the world. How could it be otherwise? If He exists, then He is responsible for the whole marvellous appalling narrative. If He does not, then the very proposition that He might have killed more people and exercised more minds than anything else. He dominates the stage. In His name has been devised the rack, the thumbscrew, the Iron Maiden, the stake; for Him have people been crucified, flayed alive, fried, boiled, flattened; He has generated the Crusades, the pogroms, the Inquisition and more wars than I can number. But for Him there would not be the St Mathews Passion, the works of Michelangelo and Chartres Cathedral. ~ Penelope Lively,
416:In the cathedral in Florence, there's a beautiful clock designed by Paolo Uccello in 1443. The curious thing about this clock is that, although it keeps time like all other clocks, its hands go in the opposite direction to that of normal clocks.
When he made this clock, Paolo Uccello was not trying to be original: The fact is that, at the time, there were clocks like his as well as others with hands that went in the direction we're familiar with now. For some unknown reason, perhaps because the duke had a clock with hands that went in the direction we now think of as the right direction, that became the only direction, and Uccello's clock then seemed an aberration, a madness. ~ Paulo Coelho,
417:The bear, which by now was as large as the cathedral on Catherine’s canal, rose on its hind legs like a dancing bear in a street market. For a moment the sun was blotted out by its size, and then it fell. As it fell, it came apart. It disintegrated. It fell like brown snow, but each flake was a person. The bear had been one hundred thousand people, and now the people came to earth, tumbling into the snowy streets of the city and picking themselves up, laughing at it all. Far from being hurt, they realised that they felt strong. But, like the bear, they felt hungry. They ran through the streets, swarming like bees, joining others who had emerged when the sun had. It was chaos. ~ Marcus Sedgwick,
418:doesn’t matter whether the cultural hero-system is frankly magical, religious, and primitive or secular, scientific, and civilized. It is still a mythical hero-system in which people serve in order to earn a feeling of primary value, of cosmic specialness, of ultimate usefulness to creation, of unshakable meaning. They earn this feeling by carving out a place in nature, by building an edifice that reflects human value: a temple, a cathedral, a totem pole, a skyscraper, a family that spans three generations. The hope and belief is that the things that man creates in society are of lasting worth and meaning, that they outlive or outshine death and decay, that man and his products count. ~ Ernest Becker,
419:The South African coal miner, or the African digging for roots in the bush, or the Algerian mason working in Paris, not only have no reason to bow down before Shakespeare, or Descartes, or Westminster Abbey, or the cathedral at Chartres: they have, once these monuments intrude on their attention, no honorable access to them. Their apprehension of this history cannot fail to reveal to them that they have been robbed, maligned, and rejected: to bow down before that history is to accept that history’s arrogant and unjust judgment. This is why, ultimately, all attempts at dialogue between the subdued and subduer, between those placed within history and those dispersed outside, break down. ~ James Baldwin,
420:And don't succumb too much to the spell of these cases. I have seen many other fragments of the cross, in other churches. If all were genuine, our Lord's torment could not have been on a couple of planks nailed together, but on an entire forest.'

'Master!' I said, shocked.

'So it is, Adso. And there are ever richer treasuries. Some time ago, in the cathedral of Cologne, I saw the skull of John the Baptist at the age of twelve.'

'Really?' I exclaimed, amazed. Then, siezed by doubt, I added, 'But the Baptist was executed at a more advanced age!'

'The other skull must be in another treasury,' William said, with a grave face. I never understood when he was jesting. ~ Umberto Eco,
421:In The Cathedral
THE altar-lights burn low, the incense-fume
Sickens: O listen, how the priestly prayer
Runs as a fenland stream; a dim despair
Hails through their chaunt of praise, who here inhume
A clay-cold Faith within its carven tomb.
But come thou forth into the vital air
Keen, dark, and pure! grave Night is no betrayer,
And if perchance some faint cold star illume
Her brow of mystery, shall we walk forlorn?
An altar of the natural rock may rise
Somewhere for men who seek; there may be borne
On the night-wind authentic prophecies:
If not, let this--to breathe sane breath--suffice,
Till in yon East, mayhap, the dark be worn.
~ Edward Dowden,
422:An Altar-Flame
EVEN as when utter summer makes the grain
Bow heavily along through the whole land
It seems to me whatever while I stand
Where thou art standing; and upon my brain
Thy presence weighs like a most awful strain
Of music, heard in some cathedral fanned
With the deep breath of prayer, while the priest's hand
Uplifts the solemn sign which shall remain
After the world. Thy beauty perfecteth
A noble calmness in me; it doth send
Through my weak heart to my strong mind a rule
Of life that they shall keep till shut of death:
Death—an arched path too long to see the end,
But which hath shadows that seem pure and cool.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
423:Impossibly, the static coalesces into music. Volkheimer's eyes open as wide as they can. Straining the blackness for every stray photon. A single piano runs up scales. Then back down. He listens to the notes and the silences between them, and then finds himself leading horses through a forest at dawn, trudging through snow behind his great-grandfather, who walks with a saw draped over his huge shoulders, the snow squeaking beneath boots and hooves, all the trees above them whispering and creaking. They reach the edge of a frozen pond, where a pine grows as tall as a cathedral. His great-grandfather goes to his knees like a penitent, fits the saw into a groove in the bark, and begins to cut. ~ Anthony Doerr,
424:I have seen a large dog fox several times recently but it was a hot afternoon and no doubt, like most creatures, it was lying low in the shade. The fox has an unfortunate reputation. A crafty thief, often a charming one in fable and fairy story, its name is a byword for low (and occasionally high) cunning. A moral outlaw, a trickster and sometimes downright malevolent. The Christian Church often equated the fox with the devil. In many churches across the land you will find images of the fox in priestly robes preaching to a flock of geese. (There is a fine woodcut in the Cathedral at Ely.) The fox is a subtle outlaw, a devilish predator without conscience, and the geese a flock of innocents … ~ Kate Atkinson,
425:On Seeing The Diabutsu--At Kamakura, Japan
Long have I searched, Cathedral shrine, and hall,
To find a symbol, from the hand of art,
That gave the full expression (not a part)
Of that ecstatic peace which follows all
Life's pain and passion. Strange it should befall
This outer emblem of the inner heart
Was waiting far beyond the great world's martImmortal answer, to the mortal call.
Unknown the artist, vaguely known his creed:
But the bronze wonder of his work sufficed
To lift me to the heights his faith had trod.
For one rich moment, opulent indeed,
I walked with Krishna, Buddha, and the Christ,
And felt the full serenity of God.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
Not we who daily walk the City's street;
Not those who have been cradled in its heart,
Best understand its architectural art,
Or realise its grandeur. Oft we meet
Some stranger who has stayed his passing feet
And lingered with us for a single hour,
And learned more of cathedral, and of tower,
Than we, who deem our knowledge quite complete.
Not always those we hold most loved and dear,
Not always those who dwell with us, know best
Our greater selves. Because they stand so near
They cannot see the lofty mountain crest,
The gleaming sun-kissed height, which fair and dear
Stands forth-revealed unto the some-time guest.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
427:people’s commissar, he was once as close to Stalin as Goering was to Hitler. He helped direct the collectivization program of the 1920s and early 1930s, a brutal campaign that annihilated the peasantry and left the villages of Ukraine strewn with an endless field of human husks. As the leader of the Moscow Party organization, Kaganovich built the city subway system and, briefly, had it named for himself. He was responsible as well for the destruction of dozens of churches and synagogues. He dynamited Christ the Savior, a magnificent cathedral in one of the oldest quarters of Moscow. It was said at the time that Stalin could see the cathedral belltower from his window and wanted it eliminated. ~ David Remnick,
428:He therefore turned to mankind only with regret. His cathedral was enough for him. It was peopled with marble figures of kings, saints and bishops who at least did not laugh in his face and looked at him with only tranquillity and benevolence. The other statues, those of monsters and demons, had no hatred for him – he resembled them too closely for that. It was rather the rest of mankind that they jeered at. The saints were his friends and blessed him; the monsters were his friends and kept watch over him. He would sometimes spend whole hours crouched before one of the statues in solitary conversation with it. If anyone came upon him then he would run away like a lover surprised during a serenade. ~ Victor Hugo,
429:It had become too powerful, its abbots competed with kings: in Abo did I not perhaps have the example of a monarch who, with monarch’s demeanor, tried to settle controversies between monarchs? The very knowledge that the abbeys had accumulated was now used as barter goods, cause for pride, motive for boasting and prestige; just as knights displayed armor and standards, our abbots displayed illuminated manuscripts. . . . And all the more so now (what madness!), when our monasteries had also lost the leadership in learning: cathedral schools, urban corporations, universities were copying books, perhaps more and better than we, and producing new ones, and this may have been the cause of many misfortunes. ~ Umberto Eco,
430:She thought it funny how the poor environment had been raped just fine until there was a sufficient excess of the people who had effected the raping to produce sufficient numbers of themselves who were sufficiently idle that they might begin to protest the raping of the environment, which was irretrievably lost to the raping by that point.

And this would be the great soothing cathedral music, the stopping of the chainsaws amid the patter of acid rain, that all good citizens would listen to for the quarter-century it took them all to wire up to cyberspace and forget about the lost hopeless run-over gang-ridden land, reproducing madly still all the while, inside their bunkers listening to NPR. ~ Padgett Powell,
431:The Two Coffins
In yonder old cathedral
Two lovely coffins lie;
In one, the head of the state lies dead,
And a singer sleeps hard by.
Once had that King great power
And proudly ruled the land-His crown e'en now is on his brow
And his sword is in his hand.
How sweetly sleeps the singer
With calmly folded eyes,
And on the breast of the bard at rest
The harp that he sounded lies.
The castle walls are falling
And war distracts the land,
But the sword leaps not from that mildewed spot
There in that dead king's hand.
But with every grace of nature
There seems to float along-To cheer again the hearts of men
The singer's deathless song.
~ Eugene Field,
432:Thinking! Thinking! The process should no longer be merely this feeble flurry of hailstones that raises a little dust. It should be something quite different. Thinking should be a terrifying process. When the earth thinks, whole towns crumble to the ground and thousands of people die.
Thinking: raising boulders, hollowing out valleys, preparing tidal waves at sea. Thinking like a town: that's to say: eight million inhabitants, twelve million rats, nine million pints of carbon dioxide, two billion tons. Grey light. Cathedral of light. Din. Sudden flashes. Low-lying blanket of black cloud. Flat roofs. Fire alarms. Elevators. Streets. Eighteen thousand miles of streets. 145 million electric light bulbs. ~ J M G Le Cl zio,
433:Everybody has heard of the great Heidelberg Tun, and most people have seen it, no doubt. It is a wine-cask as big as a cottage, and some traditions say it holds eighteen hundred thousand bottles, and other traditions say it holds eighteen hundred million barrels. I think it likely that one of these statements is a mistake, and the other is a lie. However, the mere matter of capacity is a thing of no sort of consequence, since the cask is empty, and indeed has always been empty, history says. An empty cask the size of a cathedral could excite but little emotion in me. I do not see any wisdom in building a monster cask to hoard up emptiness in, when you can get a better quality, outside, any day, free of expense. ~ Mark Twain,
434:In An Illuminated Missal
I would have loved: there are no mates in heaven;
I would be great: there is no pride in heaven;
I would have sung, as doth the nightingale
The summer's night beneath the moone pale,
But Saintes hymnes alone in heaven prevail.
My love, my song, my skill, my high intent,
Have I within this seely book y-pent:
And all that beauty which from every part
I treasured still alway within mine heart,
Whether of form or face angelical,
Or herb or flower, or lofty cathedral,
Upon these sheets below doth lie y-spred,
In quaint devices deftly blazoned.
Lord, in this tome to thee I sanctify
The sinful fruits of worldly fantasy.
~ Charles Kingsley,
Since I lost you, my darling, the sky has come near,
And I am of it, the small sharp stars are quite near,
The white moon going among them like a white bird among snow-berries,
And the sound of her gently rustling in heaven like a bird I hear.
And I am willing to come to you now, my dear,
As a pigeon lets itself off from a cathedral dome
To be lost in the haze of the sky, I would like to come,
And be lost out of sight with you, and be gone like foam.
For I am tired, my dear, and if I could lift my feet,
My tenacious feet from off the dome of the earth
To fall like a breath within the breathing wind
Where you are lost, what rest, my love, what rest!
~ David Herbert Lawrence,
436:Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Antwerp)
“Messieurs, le Dieu des peintres”: We felt odd:
'Twas Rubens, sculptured. A mean florid church
Was the next thing we saw,—from vane to porch
His drivel. The museum: as we trod
Its steps, his bust held us at bay. The clod
Has slosh by miles along the wall within.
(“I say, I somehow feel my gorge begin
To rise.”)—His chair in a glass case, by God!
. . . To the Cathedral. Here too the vile snob
Has fouled in every corner. (“Wherefore brave
Our fate? Let's go.”) There is a monument
We pass. “Messieurs, you tread upon the grave
Of the great Rubens.” “Well, that's one good job!
What time this evening is the train for Ghent?”
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
437:The English novelist J. B. Priestley once said that if he were an American, he would make the final test of whatever men chose to do in art, business, or politics a comparison with the Grand Canyon. He believed that whatever was false and ephemeral would be exposed for what it was when set against that mass of geology and light. Priestley was British, but he had placed his finger on an abiding American truth: the notion that the canyon stands as one of our most important touchstones—a kind of roofless tabernacle whose significance is both natural and national. It is our cathedral in the desert, and the word our is key because although the canyon belongs to the entire world, we, as Americans, belong particularly to it. ~ Kevin Fedarko,

No permanence is ours; we are a wave
That flows to fit whatever form it finds:
Through day or night, cathedral or the cave
We pass forever, craving form that binds.

Mold after mold we fill and never rest,
We find no home where joy or grief runs deep.
We move, we are the everlasting guest.
No field nor plow is ours; we do not reap.

What God would make of us remains unknown:
He plays; we are the clay to his desire.
Plastic and mute, we neither laugh nor groan;
He kneads, but never gives us to the fire.

To stiffen to stone, to persevere!
We long forever for the right to stay.
But all that ever stays with us is fear,
And we shall never rest upon our way. ~ Hermann Hesse,
439:There's a trick to being whatever you want to be in life. It starts with the simple belief that you are what or who you say you are. It starts, like all faiths, with a belief-a belief predicated more on whimsy than reality. And you've gotta believe for everybody else, too-until you can show them proof. If you're lucky, someone starts believing with you-first theoretically, then in practice. And two people believing are the start of a congregation. You build a congregation of believers and eventually you set out to craft a cathedral. Sometimes it's just a church; sometimes it turns out to be a chapel. Folks who don't build churches will try to tell you how you're doing it wrong, even as your steeple breaks the clouds. Never listen. ~ Kevin Smith,
440:The night wore out, and, as he stood upon the bridge listening to the water as it splashed the river-walls of the Island of Paris, where the picturesque confusion of houses and cathedral shone bright in the light of the moon, the day came coldly, looking like a dead face out of the sky. Then, the night, with the moon and the stars, turned pale and died, and for a little while it seemed as if Creation were delivered over to Death's dominion. But, the glorious sun, rising, seemed to strike those words, that burden of the night, straight and warm to his heart in its long bright rays. And looking along them, with reverently shaded eyes, a bridge of light appeared to span the air between him and the sun, while the river sparkled under it. ~ Charles Dickens,
441:Imagine considering every moment as a potential time of communion with God. By the time your life is over, you will have spent six months at stoplights, eight months opening junk mail, a year and a half looking for lost stuff (double that number in my case), and a whopping five years standing in various lines.7Why don’t you give these moments to God? By giving God your whispering thoughts, the common becomes uncommon. Simple phrases such as “Thank you, Father,” “Be sovereign in this hour, O Lord,” “You are my resting place, Jesus” can turn a commute into a pilgrimage. You needn’t leave your office or kneel in your kitchen. Just pray where you are. Let the kitchen become a cathedral or the classroom a chapel. Give God your whispering thoughts. ~ Max Lucado,
442:A Sigh In The Night
O sweet darkness, still, and calm, and lonely!
Spread thy downy pinions round about.
Spare me from thy hidden riches only
One dream-face; blot all the others out.
Bring him now, for thou hast power to free him,
From that ugly garb he wears by day;
Bring him now—my darling!—let me see him
Ere the tender kindness pass away.
O sweet night-winds, wandering in the larches!
Sigh, and croon, and whisper as you creep;
Sing my songs through green cathedral arches,
While the weary workers are asleep.
Snarl and fret not of the grief and passion;
Sing in minor cadence, sweet and low;
Sing of peace and rest, in soft wind-fashion—
Of the love and faith I used to know!
~ Ada Cambridge,
443:Out of all of the sects in the world, we notice an uncanny coincidence: the overwhelming majority just happen to choose the one that their parents belong to. Not the sect that has the best evidence in its favour, the best miracles, the best moral code, the best cathedral, the best stained glass, the best music: when it comes to choosing from the smorgasbord of available religions, their potential virtues seem to count for nothing, compared to the matter of heredity. This is an unmistakable fact; nobody could seriously deny it. Yet people with full knowledge of the arbitrary nature of this heredity, somehow manage to go on believing in their religion, often with such fanaticism that they are prepared to murder people who follow a different one. ~ Richard Dawkins,
444:Sometimes she’d just walk around the city alone. Watch the people, smell the food, the bus exhaust, the smoke coming up through the grating. She’d feel protected somehow, found a sense of belonging in the hectic sprawl. And the next minute she’d feel like the one who couldn’t break the code, hit the right stride, catch the wave. Potholes and traffic and bums, oh my. With all the honking and the hum of movement, the living, breathing blur of noise gently pressing in on her, the great purr of the Metropolitan Cat turning into a dull roar. She’d feel so silent on the inside, her head as quiet as a stretch of sand, a cathedral silently worshipping the life that was all around her, storing it up for later when she needed some 'too much' to draw upon. ~ Carrie Fisher,
445:Michael Heseltine, a wild-haired visionary, Klaus Kinski to Margaret's Thatcher's Werner Herzog, pushed Docklands across the Thames to the East Greenwich Peninsula. The Millennium Dome concept was a remake of 'Fitzcarraldo', a film in which suborned natives (expendable extras) drag a paddle steamer over a hill in order to force a short cut to more exploitable territory. The point being to bring Enrico Caruso, one of the gods of opera, to an upstream trading post. An insane achievement mirrored in the rebranding of the Dome, after its long and expensive limbo, as the O2 Arena, a popular showcase for cryogenic rock acts:Norma Desmond divas and the resurrected Michael Jackson, whose virtual rebirth,post-mortem, gave the shabby tent the status of a riverside cathedral. ~ Iain Sinclair,
446:Strike, with hand of fire, O weird musician, thy harp strung with Apollo's golden hair; fill the vast cathedral aisles with symphonies sweet and dim, deft toucher of the organ keys; blow, bugler, blow, until thy silver notes do touch and kiss the moonlit waves, and charm the lovers wandering 'mid the vine-clad hills. But know, your sweetest strains are discords all, compared with childhood's happy laugh—the laugh that fills the eyes with light and every heart with joy. O rippling river of laughter, thou art the blessed boundary line between the beasts and men; and every wayward wave of thine doth drown some fretful fiend of care. O Laughter, rose-lipped daughter of Joy, there are dimples enough in thy cheeks to catch and hold and glorify all the tears of grief. ~ Robert G Ingersoll,
447:Point Partageuse got its name from French explorers who mapped the cape that jutted from the south-western corner of the Australian continent well before the British dash to colonize the west began in 1826. Since then, settlers had trickled north from Albany and south from the Swan River Colony, laying claim to the virgin forests in the hundreds of miles between. Cathedral-high trees were felled with handsaws to create grazing pasture; scrawny roads were hewn inch by stubborn inch by pale-skinned fellows with teams of shire horses, as this land, which had never before been scarred by man, was excoriated and burned, mapped and measured and meted out to those willing to try their luck in a hemisphere which might bring them desperation, death, or fortune beyond their dreams. ~ M L Stedman,
448:For this village, even were it incomparably more remote and incredibly more primitive, is the West, the West onto which I have been so strangely grafted. These people cannot be, from the point of view of power, strangers anywhere in the world; they have made the modern world, in effect, even if they do not know it. The most illiterate among them is related, in a way that I am not, to Dante, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Aeschylus, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Racine; the cathedral at Chartres says something to them which it cannot say to me, as indeed would New York’s Empire State Building, should anyone here ever see it. Out of their hymns and dances come Beethoven and Bach. Go back a few centuries and they are in their full glory—but I am in Africa, watching the conquerors arrive. ~ James Baldwin,
449:Mimicry flows like beauty from Mexico City’s faucets, space and time are relative, and instead of the usual floral-and-stone façade, there’s dahlia and obsidian. In the course of time, what was yesterday a lake of water becomes asphalt today, and the past is a perpetual duplication that drowns the future. Yesterday’s omens come back, the same substance in a different shape. The city is a nagual that becomes a wall of skulls, an intelligent domotique structure: the Huitzilopochtli temple in a cathedral and Castile roses in cactus bouquets. Time is measured simultaneously with the Aztec, Julian, and Gregorian calendars and the cesium fountain atomic clock; the heart of Mexico City is made of mud and green rocks, and the God of Rain continues to cry over the whole country. ~ Paco Ignacio Taibo II,
450:Turning back to Salta, he reappeared at the hospital and was asked by the staff what he had seen on his journey. “In truth, what do I see?” he reflected. “At least I am not nourished in the same ways as the tourists, and I find it strange to find, on the tourist brochures of Jujuy, for example, the Altar of the Fatherland, the cathedral where the national ensign was blessed, the jewel of the pulpit and the miraculous little virgin of Río Blanco and Pompeii. ... No, one doesn’t come to know a country or find an interpretation of life in this way. That is a luxurious façade, while its true soul is reflected in the sick of the hospitals, the detainees in the police stations or the anxious passersby one gets to know, as the Río Grande shows the turbulence of its swollen level from underneath. ~ Jon Lee Anderson,
451:Doing Without
's an interesting
custom, involving such invisible items as the food
that's not on the table, the clothes
that are not on the back
the radio whose music
is silence. Doing without
is a great protector of reputations
since all places one cannot go
are fabulous, and only the rare and
enlightened plowman in his field
or on his mountain does not overrate
what he does not or cannot have.
Saluting through their windows
of cathedral glass those restaurants
we must not enter (unless like
burglars we become subject to
arrest) we greet with our twinkling
eyes the faces of others who do
without, the lady with the
fishing pole, and the man who looks
amused to have discovered on a walk
another piece of firewood.
~ David Ray,
452:He settled himself with assurance behind the wheel and I climbed in beside him. As he turned the car away from the cathedral, and so out on to Rue Voltaire, he continued to enthuse in schoolboy fashion, murmuring, "Magnificent, excellent!" under his breath, obviously enjoying every moment of what soon turned out to be, from my own rather cautious standard, a hair-raising ride. When we had jumped one set of lights, and sent an old man, leaping for his life, and forced a large Buick driven by an infuriated American into the side of the street, he proceeded to circle the town in order, so he explained to try the car's pace. "You know," he said, "it amuses me enormously to use other people's possessions. It is one of life's great pleasures." I closed my eyes as we took another corner like a bob-sleigh. ~ Daphne du Maurier,
453:Come to think of it, I do know one preacher who tried something like that - from the pulpit of a cathedral in a major city, no less. I do not remember what the subject of her sermon was, only the response to it. She must have suggested that the Christian way was one among many ways to God (a wave and not the ocean), because afterward a man came up to her and said, 'If God isn't partial to Christianity, then what am I doing here?'

I wish ordinary Christians took exams, so I could put that question on the final. As natural as it may be to want to play on the winning team, the wish to secure divine favoritism strikes me as the worst possible reason to practice any religion. If the man who asked that question could not think of a dozen better reasons to be a Christian than that, indeed, was he doing there? ~ Barbara Brown Taylor,
454:NEWT withdraws his head, still leaning against the wall of the dark alleyway, to find a single black glove hanging in the air in front of him. He looks at it, expressionless. It gives a little wave, then points into the far distance. NEWT looks to where it is pointing. High on the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, a tiny human figure raises its arm.
NEWT looks back at the glove, which makes as though to shake hands. NEWT takes it, and he and the glove Disapparate.
Apparating beside a dandyesque forty-five-year-old wizard with graying auburn hair and beard. NEWT hands back his glove.
NEWT: Dumbledore. (amused) Were the less conspicuous rooftops full, then?
DUMBLEDORE (looking out over city): I do enjoy a view. Nebulus.
A swirling fog descends over London.
They Disapparate. ~ J K Rowling,
455:A minister was walking by a construction project and saw two men laying bricks. “What are you doing?” he asked the first. “I’m laying bricks,” he answered gruffly. “And you?’’ he asked the other. “I’m building a cathedral,” came the happy reply. The minister was agreeably impressed with this man’s idealism and sense of participation in God’s Grand Plan. He composed a sermon on the subject, and returned the next day to speak to the inspired bricklayer. Only the first man was at work. “Where’s your friend?” asked the minister. “He got fired.” “How terrible. Why?” “He thought we were building a cathedral, but we’re building a garage.”9 So ask yourself: am I designing a cathedral or a garage? The difference between the two is important, and it’s often hard to tell them apart when your focus is on laying bricks. Sometimes ~ Louis Rosenfeld,
456:The illusion of being superior engenders the need to prove it; and so oppression is born. A bishop in Africa told me that, even though there were few Christians in the area, he had built his cathedral bigger than the local mosque. All this to prove that Christianity was a better, more powerful religion than Islam. So we build walls around our group and cultivate our certitudes. Prejudice grows on such walls. How did we, the human race, get to this position where we judge it natural not just to band ourselves into groups, but to set ourselves group against group, neighbour against neighbour, in order to establish some ephemeral sense of superiority? One of the fundamental issues for people to examine is how to break down these walls that separate us one from another; how to open up one to another; how to create trust and places of dialogue. ~ Jean Vanier,
457:The door behind Terico opened. He turned to find a tall, hooded figure in black armor stepping into the wrecked council room. The man wasn’t eigni—he was human. “They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery,” called a familiar voice. “Though I have to say, it is amusing to see you killing others with the same skills I used to kill your parents, and everyone else in that shoddy cathedral.” Delkol. Terico widened his eyes and leaped to his feet. He raised his sword and gripped his Elpis fragment tight. The man who murdered his parents, destroyed his village, and brought an end to everything good in Terico’s life. Delkol Shire stood just a few meters in front of him. The man flipped back his hood, revealing a thin, all-knowing smile. Staring at this man replayed the entire tragedy of Edellerston in Terico’s head. It all came down to this. ~ Aaron McGowan,
458:Actually, the great traveler is usually a small, mussy person in a faded, green, fuzzy hat, inconspicuous in a corner of the steamer bar. He speaks only one language, and that gloomily. He knows all the facts about 19 countries except the home lives, wage scales, exports, religions, politics, agriculture, history and languages of those countries. He is as valuable as Baedeker in regard to hotels and railroads, only not so accurate. He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something. He who has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little, and he who has spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all. Four hundred pictures on a wall are four hundred times less interesting than one picture, and no one knows a cafe until he has gone there often enough to know the names of the waiters. These are the laws of travel. ~ Sinclair Lewis,
459:William’s reign did indeed prove to be long, but it was far from peaceful. While he wore the crown, England experienced greater and more seismic change than at any point before or since. The years immediately after his coronation were ones of almost constant violence, filled with English rebellion, Norman repression and even Viking invasion. Huge areas of the country were laid waste with fire and sword, especially the North, which was harried into submission without mercy during the winter of 1069–70. The old ruling elite of England were swept away in their thousands and replaced by continental newcomers, who spoke a different language and had very different views about the way society should be ordered. Hundreds of castles were constructed all over the kingdom to enforce Norman rule, and every major abbey and cathedral was ripped down and rebuilt. The ~ Marc Morris,
460:There was something in Lima that was wrappd up in yards of violet satin from which protruded a great dropsical head and two fat pearly hands; and that was its archbishop. Between the rolls of flesh that surrounded them looked out two black eyes speaking discomfort, kindliness, and wit. A curious and eager soul was imprisoned in all this lard, but by dint of never refusing himself a pheasant or a goose or his daily procession of Roman wines, he was his own bitter jailer. He loved his cathedral; he loved his duties; he was very devout. Some days he regarded his bulk ruefully; but the distress of remorse was less poignant than the distress of fasting, and he was presently found deliberating over the secret messages that a certain roast sends to the certain salad that will follow it. And to punish himself he led an exemplary life in every other respect. ~ Thornton Wilder,
461:The chanting grew louder, deep male voice pumping.
She looked to the brothers, the tall, fierce men who were now part of her life. Wrath pivoted and put his arm around her. Together, they swayed to the rhythm that swelled, filling the air. The brothers were as one as they paid homage in their language, a single powerful entity.
But then, in a high, keening call, one voice broke out, lifting above the others, shooting higher and higher. The sound of the tenor was so clear, so pure, it brought shivers to the skin, a yearning warmth to the chest. The sweet notes blew the ceiling off with their glory, turning the chamber into cathedral, the brothers into a tabernacle.
Bringing the very heavens close enough to touch.
It was Zsadist.
His eys closed, his head back, his mouth wide open, he sang.
The scarred one, the soulless one, had the voice of an angel. ~ J R Ward,
462:Between this half-wooded half-naked hill, and the vague still horizon that its summit indistinctly commanded, was a mysterious sheet of fathomless shade—the sounds from which suggested that what it concealed bore some reduced resemblance to features here. The thin grasses, more or less coating the hill, were touched by the wind in breezes of differing powers, and almost of differing natures—one rubbing the blades heavily, another raking them piercingly, another brushing them like a soft broom. The instinctive act of humankind was to stand and listen, and learn how the trees on the right and the trees on the left wailed or chaunted to each other in the regular antiphonies of a cathedral choir; how hedges and other shapes to leeward then caught the note, lowering it to the tenderest sob; and how the hurrying gust then plunged into the south, to be heard no more.   The ~ Thomas Hardy,
463:Strangler Fig
The light years of their birth & death. The immeasurable
Expansion & collapse of eras, like a husband’s stretched
Snort of breath at his wife’s nippy questions. A snail’s oozy
Diminutive progress in slow motion or a gradual weave on
Time’s parasitic loom, threads inflating like a clown’s trick
Balloon, the poodle twisting into place. Their millennial
Embrace, as finally green fingers encircle & clasp, caught
In mid-strangulation, a psychotic Daphne transformed into
An aerial-killer or Bluebeard wrapping his cloak around
His bride’s bare shoulders. A Tin Soldier of sub-tropical
Rainforest, the two hearts meld into one, then inexorably
Decay sets in. The long marriage never lasts, as drizzle
& borers carve out memory’s core. Until, an open-air,
Walk-in cathedral is all that remains of cellular union.
~ B. R. Dionysius,
464:Nintendo released its NES version of “Tetris”—slickly redesigned, with a score of Russian music—and it sold rapidly, remaining on the Nintendo top-ten most-popular game list (behind “Super Mario Bros. 3”) for over a year. Pajitnov laughed when he heard that when millions of American children watched the evening news and saw a shot of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, they shouted excitedly, “Look, the ‘Tetris’ towers!” Similarly, Tchaikovsky lost credit for his “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy;” kids knew it only as “the ‘Tetris’ song.” On a modest level, Pajitnov’s dream that his game would be a bridge between cultures was realized. “Tetris” contest winners were awarded a ten-day tour of Kiev, Leningrad, and Moscow, “home of Alexey Pajitnov.” Nintendo Power ran features about his homeland, and kids who played the game saw that something wonderful had come from the former “evil empire. ~ David Sheff,
465:Accepting a religion may be more like enjoying a poem, or following the football. It might be a matter of immersion in a set of practices. Perhaps the practices have only an emotional point, or a social point. Perhaps religious rituals only serve necessary psychological and social ends. The rituals of birth, coming of age, or funerals do this. It is silly to ask whether a marriage ceremony is true or false. People do not go to a funeral service to hear something true, but to mourn, or to begin to stop mourning, or to meditate on departed life. It can be as inappropriate to ask whether what is said is true as to ask whether Keats’s ode to a Grecian urn is true. The poem is successful or not in quite a different dimension, and so is Chartres cathedral, or a statue of the Buddha. They may be magnificent, and moving, and awe-inspiring, but not because they make statements that are true or false. ~ Simon Blackburn,
466:Excessive preoccupation with psyche and evil - either from supportive or antagonistic standpoints - fosters a degree of self-consciousness and self-importance that is very likely to eclipse the ever-present mystery of God's truth. Discernments are essential, but it is not at all necessary or helpful to become attached to making them. If possible, it is best to see psychological phenomena such as dreams, fantasies, images, and thoughts as manifestations of God's potential in the same way that nature, art, relationships, and all other phenomena are. Gazing into an empty, blue sky, kneeling in prayer in a cathedral, and recalling memories associated with a dream can all be worthwhile spiritual explorations. The can also all be distractions from spiritual exploration. The beauty of the sky or the cathedral can create an absorption with sensate experience, just as dream analysis can create ego-absorption. ~ Gerald G May,
467:There, eastward, within a stone’s throw, stood the twin towers of All Souls, fantastic, unreal as a house of cards, clear-cut in the sunshine, the drenched oval in the quad beneath brilliant as an emerald in the bezel of a ring. Behind them, black and grey, New College frowning like a fortress, with dark wings wheeling about her belfry louvres; and Queen’s with her dome of green copper; and, as the eye turned southward, Magdalen, yellow and slender, the tall lily of towers; the Schools and the battlemented front of University; Merton, square-pinnacled, half-hidden behind the shadowed North side and mounting spire of St. Mary’s. Westward again, Christ Church, vast between Cathedral spire and Tom Tower; Brasenose close at hand; St. Aldate’s and Carfax beyond; spire and tower and quadrangle, all Oxford springing underfoot in living leaf and enduring stone, ringed far off by her bulwark of blue hills. ~ Dorothy L Sayers,
468:Durham Cathedral, like all great buildings of antiquity, is essentially just a giant pile of rubble held in place by two thin layers of dressed stone. But—and here is the truly remarkable thing—because that gloopy mortar was contained between two impermeable outer layers, air couldn’t get to it, so it took a very long time—forty years to be precise—to dry out. As it dried, the whole structure gently settled, which meant that the cathedral masons had to build doorjambs, lintels, and the like at slightly acute angles so that they would ease over time into the correct alignments. And that’s exactly what happened. After forty years of slow-motion sagging, the building settled into a position of impeccable horizontality, which it has maintained ever since. To me, that is just amazing—the idea that people would have the foresight and dedication to ensure a perfection that they themselves might never live to see. ~ Bill Bryson,
469:The most solid thing was the light. It smashed through the rows of windows in the south aisle, so that they exploded with colour, it slanted before him from right to left in an exact formation, to hit the bottom yard of the pillars on the north side of the nave. Everywhere, fine dust gave these rods and trunks of light the importance of a dimension. He blinked at them again, seeing, near at hand, how the individual grains of dust turned over each other, or bounced all together, like mayfly in a breath of wind. He saw how further away they drifted cloudily, coiled, or hung in a moment of pause, becoming, in the most distant rods and trunks, nothing but colour, honey-colour slashed across the body of the cathedral. Where the south transept lighted the crossways from a hundred and fifty foot of grisaille, the honey thickened in a pillar that lifted straight as Abel’s from the men working with crows at the pavement. ~ William Golding,
470:A Cathedral Façade at Midnight

Along the sculptures of the western wall
I watched the moonlight creeping:
It moved as if it hardly moved at all
Inch by inch thinly peeping
Round on the pious figures of freestone, brought
And poised there when the Universe was wrought
To serve its centre, Earth, in mankind’s thought.

The lunar look skimmed scantly toe, breast, arm,
Then edged on slowly, slightly,
To shoulder, hand, face; till each austere form
Was blanched its whole length brightly
Of prophet, king, queen, cardinal in state,
That dead men’s tools had striven to simulate;
And the stiff images stood irradiate.

A frail moan from the martyred saints there set
Mid others of the erection
Against the breeze, seemed sighings of regret
At the ancient faith’s rejection
Under the sure, unhasting, steady stress
Of Reason’s movement, making meaningless. ~ Thomas Hardy,
471:This undoubtedly accounts for my sense of shock when, on my first visit to Duke University, and by surprise, I came face-to-face with James B. Duke in his dignity, his glory perhaps, as the founder of that university. He stands imperially in bronze in front of a Methodist chapel aspiring to be a cathedral. He holds between two fingers of his left hand a bronze cigar. On one side of his pedestal is the legend: INDUSTRIALIST. On the other side is another single word: PHILANTHROPIST. The man thus commemorated seemed to me terrifyingly ignorant, even terrifyingly innocent, of the connection between his industry and his philanthropy. But I did know the connection. I felt it instantly and physically. The connection was my grandparents and thousands of others more or less like them. If you can appropriate for little or nothing the work and hope of enough such farmers, then you may dispense the grand charity of “philanthropy. ~ Wendell Berry,
472:Will we turn our backs on science because it is perceived as a threat to God, abandoning all the promise of advancing our understanding of nature and applying that to the alleviation of suffering and the betterment of humankind? Alternatively, will we turn our backs on faith, concluding that science has rendered the spiritual life no longer necessary, and that traditional religious symbols can now be replaced by engravings of the double helix on our alters?

Both of these choices are profoundly dangerous. Both deny truth. Both will diminish the nobility of humankind. Both will be devastating to our future. And both are unnecessary. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate and beautiful - and it cannot be at war with itself. Only we imperfect humans can start such battles. And only we can end them. ~ Francis S Collins,
473:The organist was almost at the end of the anthem’s long introduction, and as the crescendo increases the cathedral began to glitter before my eyes until I felt as if every stone in the building was vibrating in anticipation of the sweeping sword of sound from the Choir.

The note exploded in our midst, and at that moment I knew our creator had touched not only me but all of us, just as Harriet had touched that sculpture with a loving hand long ago, and in that touch I sensed the indestructible fidelity, the indescribable devotion and the inexhaustible energy of the creator as he shaped his creation, bringing life out of dead matter, wresting form continually from chaos. Nothing was ever lost, Harriet had said, and nothing was ever wasted because always, when the work was finally completed, every article of the created process, seen or unseen, kept or discarded, broken or mended – EVERYTHING was justified, glorified and redeemed. ~ Susan Howatch,
474:Science in its everyday practice is much closer to art than to philosophy. When I look at Godel's proof of his undecidability theorem, I do not see a philosophical argument. The proof is a soaring piece of architecture, as unique and as lovely as Chartres Cathedral. Godel took Hilbert's formalized axioms of mathematics as his building blocks and built out of them a lofty structure of ideas into which he could finally insert his undecidable arithmetical statement as the keystone of the arch. The proof is a great work of art. It is a construction, not a reduction. It destroyed Hilbert's dream of reducing all mathematics to a few equations, and replaced it with a greater dream of mathematics as an endlessly growing realm of ideas. Godel proved that in mathematics the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts. Every formalization of mathematics raises questions that reach beyond the limits of the formalism into unexplored territory. ~ Freeman Dyson,
475:Try to imagine being a destitute beet farmer in 1700. All of your life you hear only the birds in the sky, the sounds of hammers on wood and iron, and shovels digging in fields. The closest thing to music you get is a rowdy chorus once or twice a month at the local commons, more often during a harvest.

At some point during your simple life, you have occasion to travel to a great city with a grand cathedral. It is the largest building you've ever seen, adorned by previously unimaginable wealth and splendor. It is God's house. And there is music. It is a haunting, terrible melody that fills your chest with something that you cannot describe.

The sound is so loud that it simply can't be real. The pipe organ creating the noise is a device that you have heard stories about, but it is more impressive than you could ever guess. It is a colossus, a sparkling gilded tribute to God and truly must be the greatest creation of man.

What a world we live in. ~ M,
476:Cinderella winced in the silence and was about to whisper to the minster to move on when Friedrich touched her arm. When she met his gaze, he tilted his head toward the courtyard. When Cinderella looked, a resounding, almost deafening, “WE DO,” blasted in through the open windows. Cinderella broke ranks and hurried to the banister—Friedrich at her side. There, standing in the courtyard with the rest of the well-wishers, was every servant of Aveyron. They were headed by Gilbert and Jeanne, and all of them—from the head butler to the youngest chicken girl—wore bracelets or bands of scarlet red silk tied around their foreheads and the arms of their coats. They carried flags with the Aveyron crest, and bowed and curtsied when they saw that Cinderella looked down at them. “They couldn’t all have possibly fit in the cathedral, so they asked to be outside where they might all stand together as your witness,” Friedrich said, speaking directly into Cinderella’s ear. Now ~ K M Shea,
477:As it unfolded, the structure of the story began to
remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain
innumerable diminishing replicas of itself inside. Step by step the narrative split into a thousand stories, as if it had entered a gallery of mirrors, its identity fragmented into endless reflections. The minutes and hours glided by as in a dream. When the cathedral bells tolled midnight, I barely heard them. Under the warm light cast by the reading lamp, I was plunged into a new world of images and sensations peopled by characters who seemed as real to me as my surroundings. Page after page I let the spell of the story and its world take me over, until the breath of dawn touched my window and my tired eyes slid over the last page. I lay in the bluish half-light with the book on my chest and listened to the murmur of the sleeping city. My eyes began to close, but I resisted. I did not want to lose the story's spell or bid farewell to its characters just yet. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
478:Indeed, our sins—hate, fear, greed, jealousy, lust, materialism, pride—can at times take such distinct forms in our lives that we recognize them in the faces of the gargoyles and grotesques that guard our cathedral doors. And these sins join in a chorus—you might even say a legion—of voices locked in an ongoing battle with God to lay claim over our identity, to convince us we belong to them, that they have the right to name us. Where God calls the baptized beloved, demons call her addict, slut, sinner, failure, fat, worthless, faker, screwup. Where God calls her child, the demons beckon with rich, powerful, pretty, important, religious, esteemed, accomplished, right. It is no coincidence that when Satan tempted Jesus after his baptism, he began his entreaties with, “If you are the Son of God . . .” We all long for someone to tell us who we are. The great struggle of the Christian life is to take God’s name for us, to believe we are beloved and to believe that is enough. ~ Rachel Held Evans,
479:Arnold had never given much thought to whether or not he loved America—but now it seemed pretty obvious to him that he didn’t. Not in the way Nathan Hale had loved America. Or even in the way his late father, a Dutch-Jewish refugee, had loved America. In fact, he found the idea of sacrificing his life for his country somewhat abhorrent. Moreover, it wasn’t that he disliked abstract loyalties in general. He loved New York, for instance: Senegalese takeout at three a.m., and strolling through the Botanical Gardens on the first crisp day of autumn, and feeding the peacocks at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. If Manhattan were invaded—if New Jersey were to send an expeditionary force of militiamen across the Hudson River—he’d willingly take up arms to defend his city. He also loved Sandpiper Key in Florida, where they owned a time-share, and maybe Brown University, where he’d spent five years of graduate school. But the United States? No one could mistake his qualified praise for love. ~ Jacob M Appel,
480:He knew that she was to have an elaborate wedding, and the being who loved her most, who would love her forever, would not even have the right to die for her. Jealousy, which until that time had been drowned in weeping, took possession of his soul. He prayed to God that lightning of divine justice would strike Fermina Daza as she was about to give her vow of love and obedience to a man who wanted her for his wife only as a social adornment, and he went into rapture at the vision of the bride, his bride or no one’s, lying face up on the flagstones of the Cathedral, her orange blossoms laden with the dew of death, and the foaming torrent of her veil covering the funerary marbles of the fourteen bishops who were buried in front of the main altar. Once his revenge was consummated, however, he repented of his own wickedness, and then he saw Fermina Daza rising from the ground, her spirit intact, distant but alive, because it was not possible for him to imagine the world without her. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
481:To anticipate the Enemy’s strategy, we must consider His aims. The Enemy wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour’s talents—or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall. He wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognise all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things. He wants to kill their animal self-love as soon as possible; but it is His long-term policy, I fear, to restore to them a new kind of self-love—a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own; when they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours. ~ C S Lewis,
482:When I have neither pleasure nor pain and have been breathing for a while the lukewarm insipid air of these so called good and tolerable days, I feel so bad in my childish soul that I smash my moldering lyre of thanksgiving in the face of the slumbering god of contentment and would rather feel tle very devil burn in me than this warmth of a well-heated room. A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impulse to smash something, a warehouse, perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself, to commit outrages, to pull off the wigs of a few revered idols, to provide a few rebellious schoolboys with the longed-for ticket to Hamburg, or to stand one or two representatives of the established order on their heads. For what I always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood of mediocrity. ~ Hermann Hesse,
483:I crossed over to Broadway and walked north to Twenty-fifth Street to the Serbian Orthadox Cathedral dedicated to Saint Seva, the patron saint of the Serbs, I stopped, as I had many times before, to visit the bust of Nikola Tesla, the patron saint of alternating current, placed outside the church like a lone sentinel. I stood as a Con Edison truck parked within eyeshot. No respect, I thought.

-And you think you have problems, he said to me.
-Oh, I'm just having trouble writing. I move back and forth between lethargy and agitation,
-A pity. Perhaps you should step inside and light a candle to Saint Seva. He calms the sea for ships,
-yeah, maybe. I'm off balance, not sure what's wrong.
-You have misplaced joy, he said without hesitation. Without joy we are as dead,
-How do I find it again?
-Find those who have it and bathe in their perfection.
-Thank you, Mr. Tesla. Is there something I can do for you?
-Yes, he said, could you move a bit to the left? You're standing in my light. ~ Patti Smith,
484:Hitler flaunted his evil intentions and deeds to the world. The Vatican had no excuse for its Nazi partnership or for its continued commendation of Hitler on the one hand and its thunderous silence regarding the Jewish question on the other hand. As the evil mounted, the Roman Catholic Church continued to work with the Fuehrer and even to praise him. Even after Hitler's troops, in spite of promises to the contrary, marched in and took over the demilitarized Rhineland, Catholic leaders all over Germany lauded him, among them Cardinal Schulte in Cologne's cathedral.18 The concordat with Hitler was nothing new. The popes had been partners with evil rulers for centuries. Would Jesus make a deal with Pilate or the apostle Peter with Nero? Yet those who claimed to be Peter's successors had been in unholy alliances with pagan emperors from Constantine onward, and continued in the alliance with Hitler until the end of the war, reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in payments from the Nazi government to the Vatican. ~ Dave Hunt,
485:I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension. God may be either a world-soul or a collection of world-souls. So I am thinking that atoms and humans and God may have minds that differ in degree but not in kind. We stand, in a manner of speaking, midway between the unpredictability of atoms and the unpredictability of God. Atoms are small pieces of our mental apparatus, and we are small pieces of God's mental apparatus. Our minds may receive inputs equally from atoms and from God. This view of our place in the cosmos may not be true, but it is compatible with the active nature of atoms as revealed in the experiments of modern physics. I don't say that this personal theology is supported or proved by scientific evidence. I only say that it is consistent with scientific evidence. ~ Freeman Dyson, in "Progress In Religion : A Talk By Freeman Dyson", his acceptance speech for the Templeton Prize, Washington National Cathedral (9 May 2000),
486:We cross a bridge, and all of us girls gasp in unison and crane our necks to the right-hand window of the car, pushing each other to get a sight of Florence by night--the dark velvety river lit up with glittering lights; narrow bridges farther down, the famous one with all the houses on it clustered tight together; a cathedral dome, terra-cotta and white, rising above the marble buildings, illuminated with soft spotlights, exactly like--
“Oh, it’s like a movie!” Paige exclaims in delight.
A Room with a View,” Kendra agrees. “I love that movie.”
I do too; I think the bit where Julian Sands goes up to Helena Bonham Carter in the cornfield and kisses her is one of the most romantic scenes I’ve ever seen. I’m just about to agree, when Luca says, “Oh, yes. Italy is very romantic,” so dryly that the words die on my lips. His accent’s light, his English seems very good. “Lots of corruption, lots of bribes. Very romantic.”
“Well, he’s a load of fun, isn’t he?” Paige says in my ear. ~ Lauren Henderson,
487:i am a little church(no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
--i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
--i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness) ~ E E Cummings,
488:In England, to any one who looks forward, the rampant bribery of the old fishing-ports, or the traditional and respectable corruption of the cathedral cities, seem comparatively small and manageable evils. The more serious grounds for apprehension come from the newest inventions of wealth and enterprise, the up-to-date newspapers, the power and skill of the men who direct huge aggregations of industrial capital, the organised political passions of working men who have passed through the standards of the elementary schools, and who live in hundreds of square miles of new, healthy, indistinguishable suburban streets. Every few years some invention in political method is made, and if it succeeds both parties adopt it. In politics, as in football, the tactics which prevail are not those which the makers of the rules intended, but those by which the players find that they can win, and men feel vaguely that the expedients by which their party is most likely to win may turn out not to be those by which a State is best governed. ~ Graham Wallas,
489:Several yards away – closer to the cathedral’s legendary carved doorways – Anna and St. Clair are standing on top of Point Zéro. It’s been hand-brushed clear of its dusting of snow. Point Zéro is the bronze marker, a star, which designates the official centre of France. There are at least two superstitions about it. One is that anyone who stands on the star will return to France. The other is that you can use it to make a wish.
“Wait for it,” Josh says.

Lola stands straighter, excited. “No!”

“Yes,” Cricket says.

I’m the last one in the dark, until – suddenly – it happens. St. Clair removes something from his pocket. And then he gets down on one knee.

Anna’s entire body lights with shock and joy and love. She nods a vigorous yes. St. Clair places the ring on her finger. He stands, she throws her arms around him, and they kiss. He spins her in a circle. They kiss again. Deep, hungry, long. And then he turns to us and waves – with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen – clearly aware that we’ve been standing here the whole time. ~ Stephanie Perkins,
490:Some say the Tudors transcend this history, bloody and demonic as it is: that they descend from Brutus through the line of Constantine, son of St Helena, who was a Briton. Arthur, High King of Britain, was Constantine's grandson. He married up to three women, all called Guinevere, and his tomb is at Glastonbury, but you must understand that he is not really dead, only waiting his time to come again.

His blessed descendant, Prince Arthur of England, was born in the year 1486, eldest son of Henry, the first Tudor king. This Arthur married Katharine the princess of Aragon, died at fifteen and was buried in Worcester Cathedral. If he were alive now, he would be King of England. His younger brother Henry would likely be Archbishop of Canterbury, and would not (at least, we devoutly hope not) be in pursuit of a woman of whom the cardinal hears nothing good: a woman to whom, several years before the dukes walk in to despoil him, he will need to turn his attention; whose history, before ruin seizes him, he will need to comprehend.

Beneath every history, another history. ~ Hilary Mantel,
491:The true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth. All true Masons know that they only are heathen who, having great ideals, do not live up to them. They know that all religions are but one story told in divers ways for peoples whose ideals differ but whose great purpose is in harmony with Masonic ideals. North, east, south and west stretch the diversities of human thought, and while the ideals of man apparently differ, when all is said and the crystallization of form with its false concepts is swept away, one basic truth remains: all existing things are Temple Builders, laboring for a single end. No true Mason can be narrow, for his Lodge is the divine expression of all broadness. There is no place for little minds in a great work. ~ Manly P Hall,
492:Meanwhile, in Genoa, the noons were getting hotter, the converging outer roads getting deeper with white dust, the oleanders in the tubs along the wayside gardens looking more and more like fatigued holiday-makers, and the sweet evening changing her office - scattering abroad those whom the mid-day had sent under shelter, and sowing all paths with happy social sounds, little tinklings of mule-bells and whirrings of thrumbed strings, light footsteps and voices, if not leisurely, then with the hurry of pleasure in them; while the encircling heights, crowned with forts, skirted with fine dwellings and gardens, seemed also to come forth and gaze in fulness of beauty after their long siesta, till all strong colour melted in the stream of moonlight which made the streets a new spectacle with shadows, both still and moving, on cathedral steps and against the facades of massive palaces; and then slowly with the descending moon all sank in deep night and silence, and nothing shone but the port lights of the great Lanterna in the blackness below, and the glimmering stars in the blackness above. ~ George Eliot,
493:We are the consciousness of the universe, and our job is to spread that around, to go look at things, to live everywhere we can. It’s too dangerous to keep the consciousness of the universe on only one planet, it could be wiped out. And so now we’re on two, three if you count the moon. And we can change this one to make it safer to live on.

Changing it won’t destroy it. Reading its past might get harder, but the beauty of it won’t go away. If there are lakes, or forests, or glaciers, how does that diminish Mars’s beauty? I don’t think it does. I think it only enhances it. It adds life, the most beautiful system of all. But nothing life can do will bring Tharsis down, or fill Marineris. Mars will always remain Mars, different from Earth, colder and wilder. But it can be Mars and ours at the same time. And it will be.

There is this about the human mind: if it can be done, it will be done. We can transform Mars and build it like you would build a cathedral, as a monument to humanity and the universe both. We can do it, so we will do it. So - we might as well start ~ Kim Stanley Robinson,
494:When we are harassed and reach the limit of our own strength, many of us then turn in desperation to God-"There are no atheists in foxholes." But why wait till we are desperate? Why not renew our strength every day? Why wait even until Sunday? For years I have had the habit of dropping into empty churches on weekday afternoons.
When I feel that I am too rushed and hurried to spare a few minutes to think about spiritual things, I say to myself: "Wait a minute, Dale Carnegie, wait a minute. Why all the feverish hurry and rush, little man? You need to pause and acquire a little perspective." At such times, I frequently drop into the first church that I find open.
Although I am a Protestant, I frequently, on weekday afternoons, drop into St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, and remind myself that I'll be dead in another thirty years, but that the great spiritual truths that all churches teach are eternal. I close my eyes and pray. I find that doing this calms my nerves, rests my body, clarifies my perspective, and helps me revalue my values. May I recommend this practice to you? ~ Dale Carnegie,
495:Beauty means this to one person, perhaps, and that to another. And yet when any one of us has seen or heard or read that which to him is beautiful, he has known an emotion which is in every case the same in kind, if not in degree; an emotion precious and uplifting. A choirboy's voice, a ship in sail, an opening flower, a town at night, the song of the blackbird, a lovely poem, leaf shadows, a child's grace, the starry skies, a cathedral, apple trees in spring, a thorough-bred horse, sheep-bells on a hill, a rippling stream, a butterfly, the crescent moon -- the thousand sights or sounds or words that evoke in us the thought of beauty -- these are the drops of rain that keep the human spirit from death by drought. They are a stealing and a silent refreshment that we perhaps do not think about but which goes on all the time....It would surprise any of us if we realized how much store we unconsciously set by beauty, and how little savour there would be left in life if it were withdrawn. It is the smile on the earth's face, open to all, and needs but the eyes to see, the mood to understand. ~ John Galsworthy,
496:Down To The Mothers
Linger no more, my beloved, by abbey and cell and cathedral;
Mourn not for holy ones mourning of old them who knew not the Father,
Weeping with fast and scourge, when the bridegroom was taken from them.
Drop back awhile through the years, to the warm rich youth of the nations,
Childlike in virtue and faith, though childlike in passion and pleasure,
Childlike still, and still near to their God, while the day-spring of Eden
Lingered in rose-red rays on the peaks of Ionian mountains.
Down to the mothers, as Faust went, I go, to the roots of our manhood,
Mothers of us in our cradles; of us once more in our glory.
New-born, body and soul, in the great pure world which shall be
In the renewing of all things, when man shall return to his Eden
Conquering evil, and death, and shame, and the slander of conscienceFree in the sunshine of Godhead-and fearlessly smile on his Father.
Down to the mothers I go-yet with thee still!-be with me, thou purest!
Lead me, thy hand in my hand; and the dayspring of God go before us.
Eversley, 1852.
~ Charles Kingsley,
497:When It Clears Up
The lake is like a giant saucer;
Beyond-a gathering of clouds;
Like stern and dazzling mountain-ranges
Their massif the horizon crowds.
And with the light that swiftly changes,
The landscape never stays the same.
One moment clad in sooty shadows,
The next-the woods are all aflame.
When, after days of rainy weather,
The heavy curtain is withdrawn,
How festive is the sky, burst open!
How full of triumph is the lawn!
The wind dies down, the distance lightens,
And sunshine spreads upon the grass;
The steaming foliage is translucent
Like figures in stained-window glass.
Thus from the church's narrow windows
In glimmering crowns, on spreading wings
Gaze into time in sleepless vigil
Saints, hermits, prophets, angels, kings.
The whole wide world is a cathedral;
I stand inside, the air is calm,
And from afar at times there reaches
My ear the echo of a psalm.
World, Nature, Universe's Essence,
With secret trembling, to the end,
I will thy long and moving service
In tears of happiness attend.
~ Boris Pasternak,
498:In The Wood
Blurred by a lilac heat, the meadows:
in the wood, cathedral shadows swirled.
What on earth was left for them to kiss? So
like wax, soft in the fingers, theirs, the world.
There’s a dream – you do not sleep, you only
dream you long for sleep: someone’s dozing,
two black suns are beating under eyelids,
burning eyelashes, while he’s slumbering.
Sunbeams play. Iridescent beetles flow by,
dragon-flies’ glass skims over his cheek.
With tiny scintillations, the wood’s alive,
like those the clockmakers’ tweezers seek.
It seems he slept to the tick of figures,
while in acid, amber ether, over his head,
the hands of a carefully tested clock quiver,
regulated precisely by tremors of heat.
They calibrate, they shake the pines,
scatter the shadow, exhaust and pierce
the darkness of timber raised up high,
in the day’s fatigue, on the blue clock-face.
It seems a primal happiness was setting,
it seems the wood was sunk in sunlit dream.
Happy folk don’t spend time clock-watching,
but this pair were only sleeping, it seems.
~ Boris Pasternak,
499:ELIZABETH Goudge, born at the turn of the 20th century in England, was a gifted writer whose own life is reflected in most of the stories she wrote. Her father was an Anglican rector who taught theological courses in various cathedral cities across the country, eventually accepting a Professorship of Divinity at Oxford. The many moves during her growing-up years provided settings and characters that she developed and described with great care and insight. Elizabeth’s maternal grandparents lived in the Channel Islands, and she loved her visits there. Eventually several of her novels were set in that charming locale. Her mother, a semi-invalid for much of her life, urged Elizabeth to attend The Art College for training as a teacher, and she appreciated the various crafts she learned. She said it gave her the ability to observe things in minute detail and stimulated her imagination. Elizabeth’s first writing attempts were three screenplays which were performed in London as a charity fund-raiser. She submitted them to a publisher who told her to go away and write a novel. “We are forever in his debt,” writes one of her biographers. ~ Elizabeth Goudge,
500:You felt, in spite of all bureaucracy and inefficiency and party strife, something that was like the feeling you expected to have and did not have when you made your first communion. It was a feeling of consecration to a duty toward all of the oppressed of the world which would be as difficult and embarrassing to speak about as religious experience and yet it was authentic as the feeling you had when you heard Bach, or stood in Chartres Cathedral or the Cathedral at Leon and saw the light coming through the great windows; or when you saw Mantegna and Greco and Brueghel in the Prado. It gave you a part in something that you could believe in wholly and completely and in which you felt an absolute brotherhood with the others who were engaged in it. It was something that you had never known before but that you had experienced now and you gave such importance to it and the reasons for it that your own death seemed of complete unimportance; only a thing to be avoided because it would interfere with the performance of your duty. But the best thing was that there was something you could do about this feeling and this necessity too. You could fight. ~ Anonymous,
501:You felt, in spite of all bureaucracy and inefficiency and party strife something that was like the feeling you expected to have and did not have when you made your first communion. It was a feeling of consecration to a duty toward all of the oppressed of the world which would be as difficult and embarrasing to speak about as religious experience and yet it was as authentic as the feeling you had when you heard Bach, or stood in Chartres Cathedral or the Cathedral at León and saw the light coming through the great windows; or when you saw Mantegna and Greco and Brueghel in the Prado. It gave you a part in something that you could believe in wholly and completely and in which you felt an absolute brotherhood with the others who were engaged in it. It was something that you had never known before but that you had experienced now and you gave such importance to it and the reasons for it that you own death seemed of complete unimportance; only a thing to be avoided because it would interfere with the performance of your duty. But the best thing was that there was something you could do about this feeling and this necessity too. You could fight. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
502:The pilgrimage of Italy, which I now accomplished, had long been the object of my curious devotion. The passage of Mount Cenis, the regular streets of Turin, the Gothic cathedral of Milan, the scenery of the Boromean Islands, the marble palaces of Genoa, the beauties of Florence, the wonders of Rome, the curiosities of Naples, the galleries of Bologna, the singular aspect of Venice, the amphitheatre of Verona, and the Palladian architecture of Vicenza, are still present to my imagination. I read the Tuscan writers on the banks of the Arno; but my conversation was with the dead rather than the living, and the whole college of Cardinals was of less value in my eyes than the transfiguration of Raphael, the Apollo of the Vatican, or the massy greatness of the Coliseum. It was at Rome, on the fifteenth of October, 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted fryars were singing Vespers in the temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the City first started to my mind. After Rome has kindled and satisfied the enthusiasm of the Classic pilgrim, his curiosity for all meaner objects insensibly subsides. ~ Edward Gibbon,
503:He got carried away as he developed his idea: 'The aesthetic quality of towns is essential. If, as has been said, every landscape is a frame of mind, then it is even more true of a townscape. The way the inhabitants think and feel corresponds to the town they live in. An analogous phenomenon can be observed in certain women who, during their pregnancy, surround themselves with harmonious objects, calm statues, bright gardens, delicate curios, so that their child-to-be, under their influence, will be beautiful. In the same way one cannot imagine a genius coming from other than a magnificent town. Goethe was born in Frankfurt, a noble city where the Main flows between venerable palaces, between walls where the ancient heart of Germany lives on. Hoffmann explains Nuremberg - his soul performs acrobatics on the gables like a gnome on the decorated face of an old German clock. In France there is Rouen, with its rich accumulation of architectural monuments, its. cathedral like an oasis of stone, which produced Corneille and then Flaubert, two pure geniuses shaking hands across the centuries. There is no doubt about it, beautiful towns make beautiful souls. ~ Georges Rodenbach,
504:I am convinced that poets are toddlers in a cathedral, slobbering on wooden blocks and piling them up in the light of the stained glass. We can hardly make anything beautiful that wasn’t beautiful in the first place. We aren’t writers, but gleeful rearrangers of words whose meanings we can’t begin to know. When we manage to make something pretty, it’s only so because we are ourselves a flourish on a greater canvas. That means there’s no end to the discovery. We may crawl around the cathedral floor for ages before we grow up enough to reach the doorknob and walk outside into a garden of delights. Beyond that, the city, then the rolling hills, then the sea. And when the world of every cell has been limned and painted and sung, we lie back on the grass, satisfied that our work is done. Then, of course, the sun sets and we see above us the dark dome of glittering stars.

On and on it goes, all the way to the lightless borderlands of time and space, which we come to discover in some future age are but the beginnings or endings of a single word spoken from the mouth of God. Some nights, while I traipse down the hill, I imagine that word isn’t a word at all, but a burst of laughter. ~ Andrew Peterson,
505:Old Time heaved a moldy sigh from tomb and arch and vault; and gloomy shadows began to deepen in corners; and damps began to rise from green patches of stone; and jewels, cast upon the pavement of the nave from stained glass by the declining sun, began to perish. Within the grill-gate of the chancel, up the steps surmounted loomingly by the fast darkening organ, white robes could be dimly seen, and one feeble voice, rising and falling in a cracked monotonous mutter, could at intervals be faintly heard. In the free outer air, the river, the green pastures, and the brown arable lands, the teeming hills and dales, were reddened by the sunset: while the distant little windows in windmills and farm homesteads, shone, patches of bright beaten gold. In the Cathedral, all became gee, murky, and sepulchral, and the cracked monotonous mutter went on like a dying voice, until the organ and the choir burst forth, and drowned it in a sea of music. Then, the sea fell, and the dying voice made another feeble effort, and then the sea rose high, and beat its life out, and lashed the roof, and surged among the arches, and pierced the heights of the great tower; and then the sea was dry, and all was still. ~ Charles Dickens,
506:IF I CAN’T SEE YOU FOR SOME REASON but can only hear you, you don’t exist for me in space, which is where seeing happens, but in time, which is where hearing happens. Your words follow one after the other the way tock follows tick. When I have only the sound of you to go by, I don’t experience you as an object the way I would if you stood before me—something that I can walk around, inspect from all angles, more or less define. I experience you more the way I experience the beating of my own heart or the flow of my own thoughts. A deaf man coming upon me listening to you would think that nothing of importance was going on. But something of extraordinary importance is going on. I am taking you more fully into myself than I can any other way. Hearing you speak brings me by the most direct of all routes something of the innermost secret of who you are. It is no surprise that the Bible uses hearing, not seeing, as the predominant image for the way human beings know God. They can’t walk around God and take God in like a cathedral or an artichoke. They can only listen to time for the sound of God—to the good times and bad times of their own lives for the words God is addressing to, of all people, them. ~ Frederick Buechner,
507:Nothing—and I mean really, absolutely nothing—is more extraordinary in Britain than the beauty of the countryside. Nowhere in the world is there a landscape that has been more intensively utilized—more mined, farmed, quarried, covered with cities and clanging factories, threaded with motorways and railroad tracks—and yet remains so comprehensively and reliably lovely over most of its extent. It is the happiest accident in history. In terms of natural wonders, you know, Britain is a pretty unspectacular place. It has no alpine peaks or broad rift valleys, no mighty gorges or thundering cataracts. It is built to really quite a modest scale. And yet with a few unassuming natural endowments, a great deal of time, and an unfailing instinct for improvement, the makers of Britain created the most superlatively park-like landscapes, the most orderly cities, the handsomest provincial towns, the jauntiest seaside resorts, the stateliest homes, the most dreamily-spired, cathedral-rich, castle-strewn, abbey-bedecked, folly-scattered, green-wooded, winding-laned, sheep-dotted, plumply-hedgerowed, well-tended, sublimely decorated 88,386 square miles the world has ever known—almost none of it undertaken with aesthetics ~ Bill Bryson,
508:Elizabeth Gone
You lay in the nest of your real death,
Beyond the print of my nervous fingers
Where they touched your moving head;
Your old skin puckering, your lungs' breath
Grown baby short as you looked up last
At my face swinging over the human bed,
And somewhere you cried, let me go let me go.
You lay in the crate of your last death,
But were not you, not finally you.
They have stuffed her cheeks, I said;
This clay hand, this mask of Elizabeth
Are not true. From within the satin
And the suede of this inhuman bed,
Something cried, let me go let me go.
They gave me your ash and bony shells,
Rattling like gourds in the cardboard urn,
Rattling like stones that their oven had blest.
I waited you in the cathedral of spells
And I waited you in the country of the living,
Still with the urn crooned to my breast,
When something cried, let me go let me go.
So I threw out your last bony shells
And heard me scream for the look of you,
Your apple face, the simple creche
Of your arms, the August smells
Of your skin. Then I sorted your clothes
And the loves you had left, Elizabeth,
Elizabeth, until you were gone.
~ Anne Sexton,
509:Even when I thought, with most other well-informed, though unscholarly, people, that Buddhism and Christianity were alike, there was one thing about them that always perplexed me; I mean the startling difference in their type of religious art. I do not mean in its technical style of representation, but in the things that it was manifestly meant to represent. No two ideals could be more opposite than a Christian saint in a Gothic cathedral and a Buddhist saint in a Chinese temple. The opposition exists at every point; but perhaps the shortest statement of it is that the Buddhist saint always has his eyes shut, while the Christian saint always has them very wide open. The Buddhist saint has a sleek and harmonious body, but his eyes are heavy and sealed with sleep. The mediaeval saint's body is wasted to its crazy bones, but his eyes are frightfully alive. There cannot be any real community of spirit between forces that produced symbols so different as that. Granted that both images are extravagances, are perversions of the pure creed, it must be a real divergence which could produce such opposite extravagances. The Buddhist is looking with a peculiar intentness inwards. The Christian is staring with a frantic intentness outwards. ~ G K Chesterton,
510:Teodor’s wife. They were planning to spend some of the summer in France, were they not?”
France. Luca had studied in France. Cass had to stop thinking of Luca or she would go mad. She forced herself to concentrate on Madalena’s face. “Is that right?” she mustered. “I’ve heard France is lovely.”
“Yes. She and her husband have been exploring Paris.” Mada smiled. “Her letter goes on and on about the Notre Dame cathedral. Apparently it has the most breathtaking stained-glass windows.”
“Notre Dame,” Marco mused. “Have you seen it, Signore?” He turned to Madalena’s father.
“I have, indeed,” Signor Rambaldo said. “A stunning piece of architecture. Though to be fair, Venice has her share of beautitful structures as well.”
“Is it true,” Marco went on, “that there are catacombs beneath Notre Dame’s courtyard? Ruins of the original settlement built by the Celts?”
“I have heard that. Crumbling walls, broken swords, perhaps some ghosts trolling the place looking for their bones.” Signor Rambaldo rubbed his beard thoughtfully.
Madalena flung down her fork. “Both of you ought to be ashamed,” she cried out. “I’ve been trying to distract Cass from morbid thoughts, and you two turn a lovely conversation about Paris into a ghost story. ~ Fiona Paul,
511:And I hope that all my readers are acquainted with an old English Cathedral town or I fear the significance of Mr Norrell’s chusing that particular place will be lost upon them. They must understand that in an old Cathedral town the great old church is not one building among many; it is the building - different from all others in scale, beauty, and solemnity. Even in modern times when an old Cathedral town may have provided itself with all the elegant appurtenances of civic buildings, assembly and meeting rooms (and York was well-stocked with these) the Cathedral rises above them - a witness to the devotion of our forefathers. It is as if the town contains within itself something larger than itself. When going about ones business in the muddle of narrow streets one is sure to lose sight of the Cathedral, but then the town will open out and suddenly it is there, many times taller and many times larger than any other building, and one realizes that one has reached the heart of the town and that all streets and lanes have in some way led here, to a place of mysteries much deeper than any Mr Norrell knew of. Such were Mr Segundus’s thoughts as he entered the Close and stood before the great brooding blue shadow of the Cathedral’s west face. ~ Susanna Clarke,
512:Its substance was known to me. The crawling infinity of colours, the chaos of textures that went into each strand of that eternally complex tapestry…each one resonated under the step of the dancing mad god, vibrating and sending little echoes of bravery, or hunger, or architecture, or argument, or cabbage or murder or concrete across the aether. The weft of starlings’ motivations connected to the thick, sticky strand of a young thief’s laugh. The fibres stretched taut and glued themselves solidly to a third line, its silk made from the angles of seven flying buttresses to a cathedral roof. The plait disappeared into the enormity of possible spaces.

Every intention, interaction, motivation, every colour, every body, every action and reaction, every piece of physical reality and the thoughts that it engendered, every connection made, every nuanced moment of history and potentiality, every toothache and flagstone, every emotion and birth and banknote, every possible thing ever is woven into that limitless, sprawling web.

It is without beginning or end. It is complex to a degree that humbles the mind. It is a work of such beauty that my soul wept...

..I have danced with the spider. I have cut a caper with the dancing mad god. ~ China Mi ville,
513:knew. And his ex had seemed so kind on those first few dates, so infatuated with his Navy uniform, so enthusiastic in tearing up his bed. His ex-wife, a former stripper named Trish Bardoe, had married on the rebound a fellow by the name of Eddie Stipowicz, an unemployed engineer with a drinking problem. Lee thought she was heading for disaster and had tried to get custody of Renee on the grounds that her mom and stepfather could not provide for her. Well, about that time, Eddie, a sneaky runt Lee despised, invented, mostly by accident, some microchip piece of crap that had made him a gazillionaire. Lee’s custody battle had lost its juice after that. To add insult to injury, there had been stories on Eddie in the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek and a number of other publications. He was famous. Their house had even been featured in Architectural Digest. Lee had gotten that issue of the Digest. Trish’s new home was grossly huge, mostly crimson red or eggplant so dark it made Lee think of the inside of a coffin. The windows were cathedral-size, the furniture large enough to become lost in and there were enough wood moldings, paneling and staircases to heat a typical midwestern town for an entire year. There were also stone fountains sculpted ~ David Baldacci,
514:The phone was laid on a desk thousands of miles away. Once more, with that clear familiarity, the footsteps, the pause, and, at last, the raising of the window.

"Listen," whispered the old man to himself.

And he heard a thousand people in another sunlight, and the faint, tinkling music of an organ grinder playing "La Marimba"— oh, a lovely, dancing tune.

With eyes tight, the old man put up his hand as if to click pictures of an old cathedral, and his body was heavier with flesh, younger, and he felt the hot pavement underfoot.

He wanted to say, "You're still there, aren't you? All of: you people in that city in the time of the early siesta, the shops closing, the little boys crying loteria nacional para hoy! to sell lottery tickets. You are all there, the
people in the city. I can't believe I was ever among you. When you are away I: from a city it becomes a fantasy. Any town, New York, Chicago, with its people, becomes improbable with distance. Just as I am improbable here, in Illinois, in a small town by a ' quiet lake. All of us improbable to one another because we are not present to one another. And it is so good to hear the sounds, and know that Mexico City is still there and the people moving and living . . . ~ Ray Bradbury,
515:This was true mountain country, now, and true wilderness. Valley meadows, leafy trees halfway up the slopes, then evergreens gradually taking over at the higher altitudes... their road wound its way up and down through tree-tunnels that only intermittently allowed them to see the sky.
It would have been a lovely journey under other circumstances. The weather remained fair, and remarkably pleasant, even if the night was going to be cold. She had only read about the wilderness, never experienced it for herself, and she found herself liking it a lot. Or- parts of it, anyway. The way it was never entirely silent, but simply 'quiet'- birdsong and insect noises, the rustle of leaves, the distant sound of water. She had never before realized how noisy people were. And the forest was so beautiful. She wasn't at all used to deep forest; it was like being inside a living cathedral, with beams of light penetrating the tree-canopy and illuminating unexpected treasures, a moss-covered rock, a small cluster of flowers, a spray of ferns. These woods were 'old', too, the trees had trunks so big it would take three people to put their arms around them, and there was a scent to the place that somehow conveyed that centuries of leaves had fallen here and become earth. ~ Mercedes Lackey,
516:...Would you like to know the view I have out of my window, since you love snow? So here you are: the broad whiteness of the Moldau, and along that whiteness, little black silhouettes of people cross from one shore to the other, like musical notes. For example, the figure of some boy is dragging behind him a D-sharp: a sledge. Across the river there are snowy roofs in a distant, lightweight sky...

I walked around the cathedral along a slippery path between snowdrifts. The snow was light, dry: grab a handful, throw it up, and it disperses in the air like dust, as if flying back up. The sky darkened. In it appeared a thin golden moon: half of a broken halo. I walked along the edge of the fortress wall. Old Prague lay below in the thickening mist. The snowy roofs clustered together, cumbrous and dim. The houses seemed to have been piled anyhow, in a moment of terrible and fantastic carelessness. In this frozen storm of outlines, in this snowy semi-darkness, the streetlamps and windows were burning with a warm and sweet lustre, like well-licked punch lollipops. In just one place you could also see a little scarlet light, a drop of pomegranate juice. And in the fog of crooked walls and smoky corners I divined an ancient ghetto, mystical ruins, the alley of Alchemists... ~ Vladimir Nabokov,

I’m surrounded by thousands of words. Maybe millions.

Cathedral. Mayonnaise. Pomegranate.
Mississippi. Neapolitan. Hippopotamus.
Silky. Terrifying. Iridescent.
Tickle. Sneeze. Wish. Worry.

Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes—each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands.

Deep within me, words pile up in huge drifts. Mountains of phrases and sentences and connected ideas. Clever expressions. Jokes. Love songs.

From the time I was really little—maybe just a few months old—words were like sweet, liquid gifts, and I drank them like lemonade. I could almost taste them. They made my jumbled thoughts and feelings have substance. My parents have always blanketed me with conversation. They chattered and babbled. They verbalized and vocalized. My father sang to me. My mother whispered her strength into my ear.

Every word my parents spoke to me or about me I absorbed and kept and remembered. All of them.

I have no idea how I untangled the complicated process of words and thought, but it happened quickly and naturally. By the time I was two, all my memories had words, and all my words had meanings.

But only in my head.

I have never spoken one single word. I am almost eleven years old. ~ Sharon M Draper,
518:Another step came when, starting in 1314, the Venetian state began to take over and nationalize trade. It organized state galleys to engage in trade and, from 1324 on, began to charge individuals high levels of taxes if they wanted to engage in trade. Long-distance trade became the preserve of the nobility. This was the beginning of the end of Venetian prosperity. With the main lines of business monopolized by the increasingly narrow elite, the decline was under way. Venice appeared to have been on the brink of becoming the world’s first inclusive society, but it fell to a coup. Political and economic institutions became more extractive, and Venice began to experience economic decline. By 1500 the population had shrunk to one hundred thousand. Between 1650 and 1800, when the population of Europe rapidly expanded, that of Venice contracted. Today the only economy Venice has, apart from a bit of fishing, is tourism. Instead of pioneering trade routes and economic institutions, Venetians make pizza and ice cream and blow colored glass for hordes of foreigners. The tourists come to see the pre-Serrata wonders of Venice, such as the Doge’s Palace and the lions of St. Mark’s Cathedral, which were looted from Byzantium when Venice ruled the Mediterranean. Venice went from economic powerhouse to museum. I ~ Daron Acemo lu,
519:I wasn’t reading poetry because my aim was to work my way through English Literature in Prose A–Z.

But this was different.

I read [in, Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot]: This is one moment, / But know that another / Shall pierce you with a sudden painful joy.

I started to cry.

(…)The unfamiliar and beautiful play made things bearable that day, and the things it made bearable were another failed family—the first one was not my fault, but all adopted children blame themselves. The second failure was definitely my fault.

I was confused about sex and sexuality, and upset about the straightforward practical problems of where to live, what to eat, and how to do my A levels.

I had no one to help me, but the T.S. Eliot helped me.

So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language—and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers—a language powerful enough to say how it is.

It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place. ~ Jeanette Winterson,
520:Cowperwood, who saw things in the large, could scarcely endure this minutae. He was but little
interested in the affairs of bygone men and women, being so intensely engaged with the living present.
And after a time he slipped outside, preferring the wide sweep of gardens, with their flower-lined
walks and views of the cathedral. Its arches and towers and stained-glass windows, this whole
carefully executed shrine, still held glamor, but all because of the hands and brains, aspirations and
dreams of selfish and self-preserving creatures like himself. And so many of these, as he now mused,
walking about, had warred over possession of this church. And now they were within its walls,
graced and made respectable, the noble dead! Was any man noble? Had there ever been such a thing
as an indubitably noble soul? He was scarcely prepared to believe it. Men killed to live—all of them
—and wallowed in lust in order to reproduce themselves. In fact, wars, vanities, pretenses, cruelties,
greeds, lusts, murder, spelled their true history, with only the weak running to a mythical saviour or
god for aid. And the strong using this belief in a god to further the conquest of the weak. And by such
temples or shrines as this. He looked, meditated, and was somehow touched with the futility of so ~ Theodore Dreiser,
521:Nothing – and I mean, really, absolutely nothing – is more extraordinary in Britain than the beauty of the countryside. Nowhere in the world is there a landscape that has been more intensively utilized – more mined, farmed, quarried, covered with cities and clanging factories, threaded with motorways and railway lines – and yet remains so comprehensively and reliably lovely over most of its extent. It is the happiest accident in history. In terms of natural wonders, you know, Britain is a pretty unspectacular place. It has no alpine peaks or broad rift valleys, no mighty gorges or thundering cataracts. It is built to really quite a modest scale. And yet with a few unassuming natural endowments, a great deal of time and an unfailing instinct for improvement, the makers of Britain created the most superlatively park-like landscapes, the most orderly cities, the handsomest provincial towns, the jauntiest seaside resorts, the stateliest homes, the most dreamily spired, cathedral-rich, castle-strewn, abbey-bedecked, folly-scattered, green-wooded, winding-laned, sheep-dotted, plumply hedgerowed, well-tended, sublimely decorated 88,386 square miles the world has ever known – almost none of it undertaken with aesthetics in mind, but all of it adding up to something that is, quite often, perfect. What an achievement that is. And ~ Bill Bryson,
522:I’ve learned, from working with translators over the years, that the original novel is, in a way, a translation itself. It is not, of course, translated into another language but it is a translation from the images in the author’s mind to that which he is able to put down on paper. Here’s a secret. Many novelists, if they are pressed and if they are being honest, will admit that the finished book is a rather rough translation of the book they’d intended to write. It’s one of the heartbreaks of writing fiction. You have, for months or years, been walking around with the idea of a novel in your mind, and in your mind it’s transcendent, it’s brilliantly comic and howlingly tragic, it contains everything you know, and everything you can imagine, about human life on the planet earth. It is vast and mysterious and awe-inspiring. It is a cathedral made of fire. But even if the book in question turns out fairly well, it’s never the book that you’d hoped to write. It’s smaller than the book you’d hoped to write. It is an object, a collection of sentences, and it does not remotely resemble a cathedral made of fire. It feels, in short, like a rather inept translation of a mythical great work. The translator, then, is simply moving the book another step along the translation continuum. The translator is translating a translation. ~ Michael Cunningham,
523:Even asleep, the little greyhound trailed after her madame, through a weave of green stars and gas lamps, along the boulevards of Paris. It was a conjured city that no native would recognize—Emma Bovary’s head on the pillow, its architect. Her Paris was assembled from a guidebook with an out-of-date map, and from the novels of Balzac and Sand, and from her vividly disordered recollections of the viscount’s ball at La Vaubyessard, with its odor of dying flowers, burning flambeaux, and truffles. (Many neighborhoods within the city’s quivering boundaries, curiously enough, smelled identical to the viscount’s dining room.) A rose and gold glow obscured the storefront windows, and cathedral bells tolled continuously as they strolled past the same four landmarks: a tremulous bridge over the roaring Seine, a vanilla-white dress shop, the vague façade of the opera house—overlaid in more gold light—and the crude stencil of a theater. All night they walked like that, companions in Emma’s phantasmal labyrinth, suspended by her hopeful mists, and each dawn the dog would wake to the second Madame Bovary, the lightly snoring woman on the mattress, her eyes still hidden beneath a peacock sleep mask. Lumped in the coverlet, Charles’s blocky legs tangled around her in an apprehensive pretzel, a doomed attempt to hold her in their marriage bed. ~ Jennifer Egan,
524:The Traveled Man
Sometimes I wish the railroads all were torn out,
The ships all sunk among the coral strands.
I am so very weary, yea, so worn out,
With tales of those who visit foreign lands.
When asked to dine, to meet these traveled people,
My soup seems brewed from cemetery bones.
The fish grows cold on some cathedral steeple,
I miss two courses while I stare at thrones.
I'm forced to leave my salad quite untasted,
Some musty, moldy temple to explore.
The ices, fruit and coffee all are wasted
While into realms of ancient art I soar.
I'd rather take my chance of life and reason,
If in a den of roaring lions hurled
Than for a single year, ay, for one season,
To dwell with folks who'd traveled round the world.
So patronizing are they, so oppressive,
With pity for the ones who stay at home,
So mighty is their knowledge, so aggressive,
I ofttimes wish they had not ceased to roam.
They loathe the new, they quite detest the present;
They revel in a pre-Columbian morn;
Just dare to say America is pleasant,
And die beneath the glances of their scorn.
They are increasing at a rate alarming,
Go where I will, the traveled man is there.
And now I think that rustic wholly charming
Who has not strayed beyond his meadows fair.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
It happened that sometimes I kissed in mirrors the reflection of my face, since
the hands, face and tears of Annalena had caressed it, it seemed to me divinely
beautiful as if suffused with heavenly sweetness. I liked her velvet wetness, long
voyages in the delta her legs. A striving upstream toward her beating heart
through more and more savage currents saturated with the light of hops and
bindweed. And our vehemence and triumphant laughter and our hasty dressing
in the middle of the night to walk on the stone stairs of the upper city. Our
breath held in amazement and silence, porosity of worn-out stones and the great
door of the cathedral. Over the gate of the rectory fragments of brick among
weeds, in darkness the touch of a rough buttressed wall. And later our looking
from the bridge down to the orchard, when under the moon every tree is
separate on its kneeler, and from the secret interior of dimmed poplars the echo
carries the sound of a water turbine. To whom do we tell what happened on this
earth, for whom do we place everywhere huge mirrors in the hope that they will
be filled up and will stay so? Always in doubt whether it was we who were there,
she and I,, or just anonymous lovers on the enameled tablets of a fairy-land....
.......LAmoureuse initiation
~ Czeslaw Milosz,
526:All of the stimuli of awe and wonder, whose capacity is invested in the human mind, have been appropriated by religious faiths across centuries, in masterpieces of literature, the visual arts, music, and architecture. Three thousand years of Yahweh have wrought an aesthetic power in these creative arts second to none. There is nothing in my own experience more moving than the Roman Catholic Lucernarium, when the lumen Christi (light of Christ) is spread by Paschal candlelight into a darkened cathedral; or the choral hymns to the standing faithful and approaching procession during an evangelical Protestant altar call. These benefits require submission to God, or his Son the Redeemer, or both, or to His final chosen spokesman Muhammad. This is too easy. It is necessary only to submit, to bow down, to repeat the sacred oaths. Yet let us ask frankly, to whom is such obeisance really directed? Is it to an entity that may have no meaning within reach of the human mind—or may not even exist? Yes, perhaps it really is to God. But perhaps it is to no more than a tribe united by a creation myth. If the latter, religious faith is better interpreted as an unseen trap unavoidable during the biological history of our species. And if this is correct, surely there exist ways to find spiritual fulfillment without surrender and enslavement. Humankind deserves better. ~ Edward O Wilson,
527:Immediately beneath and about them the lines of the Gothic building plunged outwards into the void with a sickening swiftness akin to suicide. There is that element of Titan energy in the architecture of the Middle Ages that, from whatever aspect it be seen, it always seems to be rushing away, like the strong back of some maddened horse. This church was hewn out of ancient and silent stone, bearded with old fungoids and stained with the nests of birds. And yet, when they saw it from below, it sprang like a fountain at the stars; and when they saw it, as now, from above, it poured like a cataract into a voiceless pit. For these two men on the tower were left alone with the most terrible aspect of Gothic; the monstrous foreshortening and disproportion, the dizzy perspectives, the glimpses of great things small and small things great; a topsy-turvydom of stone in the mid-air. Details of stone, enormous by their proximity, were relieved against a pattern of fields and farms, pygmy in their distance. A carved bird or beast at a corner seemed like some vast walking or flying dragon wasting the pastures and villages below. The whole atmosphere was dizzy and dangerous, as if men were upheld in air amid the gyrating wings of colossal genii; and the whole of that old church, as tall and rich as a cathedral, seemed to sit upon the sunlit country like a cloudburst. ~ G K Chesterton,
528:But what if I don't believe in God? It's like they've sat me in front of a mannequin and said, Fall in love with him. You can't will feeling.
What Jack says issues from some still, true place that could not be extinguished by all the schizophrenia his genetic code could muster. It sounds something like this.
Get on your knees and find some quiet space inside yourself, a little sunshine right about here. Jack holds his hands in a ball shape about midchest, saying, Let go. Surrender, Dorothy, the witch wrote in the sky. Surrender, Mary.
I want to surrender but have no idea what that means.
He goes on with a level gaze and a steady tone: Yield up what scares you. Yield up what makes you want to scream and cry. Enter into that quiet. It's a cathedral. It's an empty football stadium with all the lights on. And pray to be an instrument of peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is conflict, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair hope...
What if I get no answer there?
If God hasn't spoken, do nothing. Fulfill the contract you entered into at the box factory, amen. Make the containers you promised to tape and staple. Go quietly and shine. Wait. Those not impelled to act must remain in the cathedral. Don't be lonely. I get so lonely sometimes, I could put a box on my head and mail myself to a stranger ... ~ Mary Karr,
529:I knelt and started to pray and prayed for everybody I thought of, Brett and Mike and Bill and Robert Cohn and myself, and all the bullfighters, separately for the ones I liked, and lumping all the rest, then I prayed for myself again, and while i was praying for myself I found I was getting sleepy, so I prayed that the bull-fights would be good, and that it would be a fine fiesta, and that we would get some fishing. I wondered if there was anything else I might pray for, and I thought I would like to have some money, so I prayed that I would make a lot of money, and then I started to think how I would make it and thinking of making money reminded me of the count, and I started wondering about where he was, and regretting I hadn't seen him since that night in Montmartre, and about something funny Brett told me about him, and as all the time I was kneeling with my forehead on the wood in front of me, and was thinking of myself praying, I was a little ashamed, and regretted that I was such a rotten Catholic, but realized there was nothing I could do about it, at least for a while, and maybe never, but that anyway it was a grand religion, and I only wished I felt religious and maybe I would the next time; and then I was out in the hot sun on the steps of the cathedral, and the forefingers and the thumb of my right hand were still damp, and I felt them dry in the sun. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
530:But it hasn’t gone at all. And that’s why it’s better than gold. It hasn’t gone, it’s just that we can’t see it any more. In fact, it’s still going, still growing. It’ll never stop going, or growing wider and wider, the ring you saw. You were lucky to see it at all. Cause when it got to the edge of the puddle it left the puddle and entered the air instead, it went invisible. A marvel. Didn’t you feel it go through you? No? But it did, you’re inside it now. I am too. We both are. And the yard. And the brickpiles. And the sandpiles. And the firing shed. And the houses. And the horses, and your father, your uncle, and your brothers, and the workmen, and the street. And the other houses. And the walls, and the gardens and houses, the churches, the palace tower, the top of the cathedral, the river, the fields behind us, the fields way over there, see? See how far your eye can go. See the tower and the houses in the distance? It’s passing through them and nothing and nobody will feel a thing but there it is doing it nonetheless. And imagine it circling the fields and the farms we can’t see from here. And the towns beyond those fields and farms all the way to the sea. And across the sea. The ring you saw in the water’ll never stop travelling till the edge of the world and then when it reaches the edge it’ll go beyond that too. Nothing can stop it. She looked down into the horse piss. ~ Ali Smith,
531:How the penises of Western men have leapt, for a century, to the sight of this singular point at the top of a lady's stocking, this transition from silk to bare skin and suspender! It's easy for non-fetishists to sneer about Pavlovian conditioning and let it go at that, but any underwear enthusiast worth his unwholesome giggle can tell you there is much more here - there is a cosmology: of nodes and cusps and points of osculation, mathematical kisses… singularities! Consider cathedral spires, holy minarets, the crunch of trainwheels over the points as you watch peeling away the track you didn't take… mountain peaks rising sharply to heaven, such as those to be noted at scenic Berchtesgaden… the edges of steel razors, always holding potent mystery… rose thorns that prick us by surprise… even, according to the Russian mathematician Friedmann, the infinitely dense point from which the present Universe expanded… In each case, the change from point to no-point carries a luminosity and enigma at which something in us must leap and sing, or withdraw in fright. Watching the A4 pointed at the sky - just before the last firing-switch closes - watching that singular point at the very top of the Rocket, where the fuze is… Do all these points imply, like the Rocket's, an annihilation? What is that, detonating in the sky above the cathedral? beneath the edge of the razor, under the rose? ~ Thomas Pynchon,
I’ve lit the Christmas candle,
As we used to long ago
When it shone through cabin windows
On Holly-hedge and snow.
In this fine new house they’ve built me
That is furnished rich and fairBut I’m hearing now the breakers rolling round the cliffs of Moher,
And my heart is aching, aching for a breath of Irish air.
The wren boys on St. Stephen’s Day.
Went singin’ up and down
With their poor dead wren and thorn bush,
I heard them through the town.
But to-night down lighted city streets,
I hear the distant band,
And when’er they play ‘our own’ hymns or tune of dear old Ireland,
The poor old foolish heart of me is in another land.
‘Twas a lonely hillside chapel,
Where we tramped to midnight Mass,
With the flaring lights we carried
Throwing shadows on the grass.
But to-night my boy will drive me
In his grand new limousine,
And he’ll wrap my furs around me, proudly caring for his Mother,
And I’ll ride to the Cathedral just as grand as any queen.
Ah! No, I’m not repinin’,
And I love this wide new land,
And I’m proud to see the childer
Growin’ prosperous and grand,
But roots strike deep in Irish soil,
Old memories are sweet,
And to-night my heart is yearnin’ for the cabin I was born in,
And I smell the reek of turf-smoke driftin’ up the city streets.
~ Alice Guerin Crist,
533:Martin suggests, let's see Chartres on the way back.
The cathedral with its bleached stone and green roofs is visible across miles of flat fields and popular breaks. Approaching it through the dog's leg alleyways of the old town, its proportions are dizzying. Pigeons wheel about its height like cliff birds.
The afternoon light begins to go; a battery of floodlights makes an unearthly theatre of spires, pinnacles and buttresses.
Martin quotes Ruskin. ' "Trees of stone" '.
Inside the cathedral is humbling, it's like walking into the belly of a whale. The glass is a deep rich crimson of blue, eliminating what daylight's left. Furtive figures scurry off into angles of shadow. The medieval darkness is pricked with lighted candles.
Martin says it's like Debussy's 'Drowned Cathedral'. 'La Cathédrale Engloutie'. I don't know it, but he's right, exactly right.
The weeping wax smells cloyingly sweet. While a priest intones, worshippers kneel and pray in whispers - and it seems to me that what they're begging from the mother of God is hope, and luck, and to be spared this survival game, living from minute to minute to minute.
It's what drowning must be like. You find you've somersaulted head-over-heels and upside-down and you're travelling backwards through a vast, lightless place.
So much sweet, lulling darkness in the middle of the world, it 'is' a kind of dying... ~ Ronald Frame,
534:Only last Sunday, when poor wretches were gay—within the walls playing with children among the clipped trees and the statues in the Palace Garden; walking, a score abreast, in the Elysian Fields, made more Elysian by performing dogs and wooden horses; between whiles filtering (a few) through the gloomy Cathedral of Our Lady to say a word or two at the base of a pillar within flare of a rusty little gridiron-full of gusty little tapers; without the walls encompassing Paris with dancing, love-making, wine-drinking, tobacco-smoking, tomb-visiting, billiard card and domino playing, quack-doctoring, and much murderous refuse, animate and inanimate—only last Sunday, my Lady, in the desolation of Boredom and the clutch of Giant Despair, almost hated her own maid for being in spirits. She cannot, therefore, go too fast from Paris. Weariness of soul lies before her, as it lies behind—her Ariel has put a girdle of it round the whole earth, and it cannot be unclasped—but the imperfect remedy is always to fly from the last place where it has been experienced. Fling Paris back into the distance, then, exchanging it for endless avenues and cross-avenues of wintry trees! And, when next beheld, let it be some leagues away, with the Gate of the Star a white speck glittering in the sun, and the city a mere mound in a plain—two dark square towers rising out of it, and light and shadow descending on it aslant, like the angels in Jacob's dream! ~ Charles Dickens,
535:In Imitation Of Cowley : The Garden
Fain would my Muse the flow'ry Treasures sing,
And humble glories of the youthful Spring;
Where opening Roses breathing sweets diffuse,
And soft Carnations show'r their balmy dews;
Where Lilies smile in virgin robes of white,
The thin Undress of superficial Light,
And vary'd Tulips show so dazzling gay,
Blushing in bright diversities of day.
Each painted flow'ret in the lake below
Surveys its beauties, whence its beauties grow;
And pale Narcissus on the bank, in vain
Transformed, gazes on himself again.
Here aged trees Cathedral Walks compose,
And mount the Hill in venerable rows:
There the green Infants in their beds are laid,
The Garden's Hope, and its expected shade.
Here Orange-trees with blooms and pendantis shine,
And vernal honours to their autumn join;
Exceed their promise in the ripen'd store,
Yet in the rising blossom promise more.
There in bright drops the crystal Fountains play,
By Laurels shielded from the piercing day;
Where Daphne, now a tree as once a maid,
Still from Apollo vindicates her shade,
Still turns her Beauties from th' invading beam,
Nor seeks in vain for succour to the Stream.
The stream at once preserves her virgin leaves,
At once a shelter from her boughs receives,
Where Summer's beauty midst of Winter stays,
And Winter's Coolness spite of Summer's rays.
~ Alexander Pope,
536:At present, a good many men engaged in scientific pursuits, and who have signally failed in gaining recognition among their fellows, are endeavoring to make reputations among the churches by delivering weak and vapid lectures upon the 'harmony of Genesis and Geology.' Like all hypocrites, these men overstate the case to such a degree, and so turn and pervert facts and words that they succeed only in gaining the applause of other hypocrites like themselves. Among the great scientists they are regarded as generals regard sutlers who trade with both armies.

Surely the time must come when the wealth of the world will not be wasted in the propagation of ignorant creeds and miraculous mistakes. The time must come when churches and cathedrals will be dedicated to the use of man; when minister and priest will deem the discoveries of the living of more importance than the errors of the dead; when the truths of Nature will outrank the 'sacred' falsehoods of the past, and when a single fact will outweigh all the miracles of Holy Writ.

Who can over estimate the progress of the world if all the money wasted in superstition could be used to enlighten, elevate and civilize mankind?

When every church becomes a school, every cathedral a university, every clergyman a teacher, and all their hearers brave and honest thinkers, then, and not until then, will the dream of poet, patriot, philanthropist and philosopher, become a real and blessed truth. ~ Robert G Ingersoll,
537:Liverpool Poems
Youths disguised as stockbrokers
Sitting on the grass eating the Sacred Mushroom.
Liverpool I love your horny­handed tons of soil.
Open your wallets and repeat after me
There's one way of being sure of keeping fresh
LIFEBUOY helps you rise again on the 3rd day
after smelling something that smelt like other peoples' socks.
Note for a definition of optimism:
A man trying the door of Yates Wine Lodge
At quarter past four in the afternoon.
I have seen Pare UBU walking across Lime St
And Alfred Jarry cycling down Elliott Street.
And I Saw DEATH in Upper Duke St
Cloak flapping black tall Batman collar
Striding tall shoulders down the hill past the Cathedral brown shoes slightly down
at the heel
Unfrocked Chinese mandarins holding lonely feasts in
Falkner Sq gardens to enjoy the snow.
Prostitutes in the snow in Canning St like strange erotic
And Marcel Proust in the Kardomah eating Madeleine
butties dipped in tea.
Wyatt James Virgil and Morgan Earp with Doc Holliday
Shooting it out with the Liver Birds at the Pier Head.
And a Polish gunman young beautiful dark glasses
combatjacket/staggers down Little St Bride St blood
dripping moaning clutches/collapses down a back jigger
coughing/falls in a wilderness of Dazwhite washing
~ Adrian Henri,
Rushing like an ambulance
to the Casualty Ward at
Royal Perth Hospital our car
stalls and drops its clutch
on a hill at a Stop sign,
me not able to push
in my breathless panic,
the fear that drove us
this far, wife, daughter
and me. The tall cathedral
lurches between us
and the hospital, we walk slowly around, derelicts dreaming
in greystone shadows, leaves
locked in chicken-wire cages,
mortality so much
a presence I suck air
like a desert wind,
then enter
air-conditioned Casualty.
We wait. My panic
leaps inside me in this
chapel of victims street girl cursing in
her blunt tongue; cops
like store mannequins,
their case losing
too much blood,
eyes spinning ...
A tow truck hooks up
our car, tows it away.
I lie back amongst
masks and gases.
This scene's a clip
from a madhouse movie yet who would think
to play these cops
just so, standing,
waiting, missing
their free burgers,
shaping their anger
the angst of others.
I am towed now,
scanned, and parked.
A toothless crone
lies beside me
mouthing soundless air,
thrashing at her belts,
one free hand
jerking like
a dying fish's fin.
I see my mother
new to her coffin,
thrashing, hands
ripping the lining,
her soundless mouth
opens and shuts.
'Taxi!' I scream,
laughing, 'Taxi!'
~ Andrew Burke,
539:I was drawing near to the curve of the track; already the twelve hooves of those dead horses were visible in the distance, jutting towards the sky like the columns in the cathedral crypt at Stará Boleslav. I thought of Masha, and of how we met for the first time, when I was still with the track superintendent. He gave us two buckets of red paint and told us to paint the fence round the entire state workshops. Masha began by the railway track, just as I did. We stood facing each other with the tall wire fence between us, at our feet we each had a bucket of cinnabar paint, we each had a brush, and we stippled away with our brushes opposite each other and painted that fence, she from her side and I from mine.

There were four kilometres altogether of this fence; for five months we stood facing each other like this, and there wasn't anything we didn't say to each other, Masha and I, but always there was this fence between us. After we'd painted two kilometres of it, one day I'd done just as high as Masha's mouth with this red colour, and I told her that I loved her, and she, from her side, had painted just up to there, too, and she said that she loved me, too ... and she looked into my eyes, and, as this was in a ditch and among tall goosefoot plants, I put out my lips, and we kissed through the newly painted fence, and when we opened our eyes she had a sort of tiny red fence-pale striped across her mouth, and so had I, and we burst out laughing, and from that moment on we were happy. ~ Bohumil Hrabal,
540:I knelt and started to pray and prayed for everybody I thought of, Brett and Mike and Bill and Robert Cohn and myself, and all the bull-fighters, separately for the ones I liked, and lumping all the rest, then I prayed for myself again, and while I was praying for myself I found I was getting sleepy, so I prayed that the bullfights would be good, and that it would be a fine fiesta, and that we would get some fishing. I wondered if there was anything else I might pray for, and I thought I would like to have some money, so I prayed that I would make a lot of money, and then I started to think how I would make it, and thinking of making money reminded me of the count, and I started wondering about where he was, and regretting I hadn’t seen him since that night in Montmartre, and about something funny Brett told me about him, and as all the time I was kneeling with my forehead on the wood in front of me, and was thinking of myself as praying, I was a little ashamed, and regretted that I was such a rotten Catholic, but realized there was nothing I could do about it, at least for a while, and maybe never, but that anyway it was a grand religion, and I only wished I felt religious and maybe I would the next time; and then I was out in the hot sun on the steps of the cathedral, and the forefingers and the thumb of my right hand were still damp, and I felt them dry in the sun. The sunlight was hot and hard, and I crossed over beside some buildings, and walked back along side-streets to the hotel. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
541:I think there is a limit beyond which free speech can't go….a limit that is very seldom mentioned. It's the point where free speech begins to collide with the right to privacy… I don't think there are any other conditions to free speech. I have the right to say and to believe anything I please, but I don't have the right to press it on anybody else. For example, take for instance the Catholic Church, which I am on good terms with, personally, but which I have no belief in whatsoever. I have a right to print my dissent from its doctrines, to utter them. I have exercised that right for many years. But I have no right to go on the cathedral steps on Sunday morning, when the Catholics are coming out from High Mass, and make a speech denouncing them. I don't think there is any such right. Nobody has got the right to be a nuisance to his neighbors, or to hurt his neighbor's feelings wantonly. If they come to him and say "What do you think of this Mass that we have just finished?", I think that he has the right to answer. But he has no right to press his opinions on them. Of course you'll notice the peculiar thing about the United States, where there is very little free speech. Free speech is a very limited right, in this country, as I have learned to my bitter experience, more than once. Yet, it is the country where the right to press opinions on reluctant hearers is carried to a development that is unheard of on earth. The whole country's full of propagandists who are bothering everybody, all the time. ~ H L Mencken,
542:THE unpurged images of day recede;
The Emperor's drunken soldiery are abed;
Night resonance recedes, night walkers' song
After great cathedral gong;
A starlit or a moonlit dome disdains
All that man is,
All mere complexities,
The fury and the mire of human veins.
Before me floats an image, man or shade,
Shade more than man, more image than a shade;
For Hades' bobbin bound in mummy-cloth
May unwind the winding path;
A mouth that has no moisture and no breath
Breathless mouths may summon;
I hail the superhuman;
I call it death-in-life and life-in-death.
Miracle, bird or golden handiwork,
More miracle than bird or handiwork,
Planted on the star-lit golden bough,
Can like the cocks of Hades crow,
Or, by the moon embittered, scorn aloud
In glory of changeless metal
Common bird or petal
And all complexities of mire or blood.
At midnight on the Emperor's pavement flit
Flames that no **** feeds, nor steel has lit,
Nor storm disturbs, flames begotten of flame,
Where blood-begotten spirits come
And all complexities of fury leave,
Dying into a dance,
An agony of trance,
An agony of flame that cannot singe a sleeve.
Astraddle on the dolphin's mire and blood,
Spirit after Spirit! The smithies break the flood.
The golden smithies of the Emperor!
Marbles of the dancing floor
Break bitter furies of complexity,
Those images that yet
Fresh images beget,
That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea.

~ William Butler Yeats, Byzantium
543:To live without comparison, to live without any kind of measurement inwardly, never to compare what you are with what you should be. The word 'meditation' means not only to ponder, to think over, to probe, to look, to weigh; it also has a much deeper meaning in Sanskrit - to measure, which is `to become'. In meditation there must be no measurement. This meditation must not be a conscious meditation in deliberately chosen postures. This meditation must be totally unconscious, never knowing that you are meditating. If you deliberately meditate it is another form of desire, as any other expression of desire. The objects may vary; your meditation may be to reach the highest, but the motive is the desire to achieve, as the business man, as the builder of a great cathedral. Meditation is a movement without any motive, without words and the activity of thought. It must be something that is not deliberately set about. Only then is meditation a movement in the infinite, measureless to man, without a goal, without an end and without a beginning. And that has a strange action in daily life, because all life is one and then becomes sacred. And that which is sacred can never be killed. To kill another is unholy. It cries to heaven as a bird kept in a cage. One never realizes how sacred life is, not only your little life but the lives of millions of others, from the things of nature to extraordinary human beings. And in meditation which is without measurement, there is the very action of that which is most noble, most sacred and holy. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti,

The unpurged images of day recede;
The Emperor's drunken soldiery are abed;
Night resonance recedes, night-walkers' song
After great cathedral gong;
A starlit or a moonlit dome disdains
All that man is,
All mere complexities,
The fury and the mire of human veins.

Before me floats an image, man or shade,
Shade more than man, more image than a shade;
For Hades' bobbin bound in mummy-cloth
May unwind the winding path;
A mouth that has no moisture and no breath
Breathless mouths may summon;
I hail the superhuman;
I call it death-in-life and life-in-death.

Miracle, bird or golden handiwork,
More miracle than bird or handiwork,
Planted on the starlit golden bough,
Can like the cocks of Hades crow,
Or, by the moon embittered, scorn aloud
In glory of changeless metal
Common bird or petal
And all complexities of mire or blood.

At midnight on the Emperor's pavement flit
Flames that no faggot feeds, nor steel has lit,
Nor storm disturbs, flames begotten of flame,
Where blood-begotten spirits come
And all complexities of fury leave,
Dying into a dance,
An agony of trance,
An agony of flame that cannot singe a sleeve.

Astraddle on the dolphin's mire and blood,
Spirit after spirit! The smithies break the flood,
The golden smithies of the Emperor!
Marbles of the dancing floor
Break bitter furies of complexity,
Those images that yet
Fresh images beget,
That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea. ~ W B Yeats,
545:Sunday In The Country
SUNDAY in the country — that's how we spent the day,
Drinking in the perfume of the fragrant breath of May;
Gazing at the splendors of the meadows and the hills,
Laughing with the babbling brooks and singing with the rills,
Dancing with the sunbeams and smiling with the skies,
And worshiping the Master with our hearts and minds and eyes.
Sunday in the country — with an arch of blue above,
And the green trees whispering to us simple messages of love;
With the song birds singing anthems just as sacred and as sweet
And as stirring and uplifting as the church choir down the street;
In God's own great cathedral, where the poorest man may go,
And catch a glimpse of Heaven as he journeys here below.
Sunday in the country — that's how we spent the day,
And we thanked God every minute for His precious gifts of May;
For the green trees waving o'er us as the shady lanes we strolled,
For the silver of the waters and the sunbeams' yellow gold,
For the fragrance of the lilacs and the apple trees in bloom,
For the glory of the sunshine and the blossoms' sweet perfume.
Sunday in the country — till the shades of night came down,
When we turned our faces homeward and we journeyed back to town;
Back to all the ceaseless striving in the dreary haunts of men,
To the constant quest for money with its anguish once again,
But with faith in God above us, and serene contentment, too,
For our hearts were drenched with gladness as the fields are drenched with dew.
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
546:In Warsaw
What are you doing here, poet, on the ruins
Of St. John's Cathedral this sunny
Day in spring?
What are you thinking here, where the wind
Blowing from the Vistula scatters
The red dust of the rubble?
You swore never to be
A ritual mourner.
You swore never to touch
The deep wounds of your nation
So you would not make them holy
With the accursed holiness that pursues
Descendants for many centuries.
But the lament of Antigone
Searching for her brother
Is indeed beyond the power
Of endurance. And the heart
Is a stone in which is enclosed,
Like an insect, the dark love
Of a most unhappy land.
I did not want to love so.
That was not my design.
I did not want to pity so.
That was not my design.
My pen is lighter
Than a hummingbird's feather. This burden
Is too much for it to bear.
How can I live in this country
Where the foot knocks against
The unburied bones of kin?
I hear voices, see smiles. I cannot
Write anything; five hands
Seize my pen and order me to write
The story of their lives and deaths.
Was I born to become
a ritual mourner?
I want to sing of festivities,
The greenwood into which Shakespeare
Often took me. Leave
To poets a moment of happiness,
Otherwise your world will perish.
It's madness to live without joy
And to repeat to the dead
Whose part was to be gladness
Of action in thought and in the flesh, singing, feasts
Only the two salvaged words:
Truth and justice.
~ Czeslaw Milosz,
547:But what if I don’t believe in God? It’s like they’ve sat me in front of a mannequin and said, Fall in love with him. You can’t will feeling.
What Jack says issues from some still, true place that could not be extinguished by all the schizophrenia his genetic code could muster. It sounds something like this:
Get on your knees and find some quiet space inside yourself, a little sunshine right about here. Jack holds his hands in a ball about midchest, saying, Let go. Surrender, Dorothy, the witch wrote in the sky. Surrender, Mary.
I want to surrender but have no idea what that means.
He goes on with a level gaze and a steady tone: Yield up what scares you. Yield up what makes you want to scream and cry. Enter into that quiet. It’s a cathedral. It’s an empty football stadium with all the lights on. And pray to be an instrument of peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is conflict, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope…
What if I get no answer there?
If god hasn’t spoken, do nothing. Fulfill the contract you entered into at the box factory, amen. Make the containers you promised to tape and staple. Go quietly and shine. Wait. Those not impelled to act must remain in the cathedral. Don’t be lonely. I get so lonely sometimes, I could put a box on my head and mail myself to a stranger. But I have to go to a meeting and make the chairs circle perfect.
He kisses his index finger and plants it in the middle of my forehead, and I swear it burns like it had eucalyptus on it. Like a coal from the archangel onto the mouth of Isaiah. ~ Mary Karr,
548:The history of Immanuel Kant's life is difficult to portray, for he had neither life nor history. He led a mechanical, regular, almost abstract bachelor existence in a little retired street of Königsberg, an old town on the north-eastern frontier of Germany. I do not believe that the great clock of the cathedral performed in a more passionless and methodical manner its daily routine than did its townsman, Immanuel Kant. Rising in the morning, coffee-drinking, writing, reading lectures, dining, walking, everything had its appointed time, and the neighbors knew that it was exactly half-past three o'clock when Kant stepped forth from his house in his grey, tight-fitting coat, with his Spanish cane in his hand, and betook himself to the little linden avenue called after him to this day the "Philosopher's Walk." Summer and winter he walked up and down it eight times, and when the weather was dull or heavy clouds prognosticated rain, the townspeople beheld his servant, the old Lampe, trudging anxiously behind Kant with a big umbrella under his arm, like an image of Providence.

What a strange contrast did this man's outward life present to his destructive, world-annihilating thoughts! In sooth, had the citizens of Königsberg had the least presentiment of the full significance of his ideas, they would have felt far more awful dread at the presence of this man than at the sight of an executioner, who can but kill the body. But the worthy folk saw in him nothing more than a Professor of Philosophy, and as he passed at his customary hour, they greeted him in a friendly manner and set their watches by him. ~ Heinrich Heine,
549:An Apple Tree In France
An apple tree beside the way,
Drinking the sunshine day by day
According to the Master's plan,
Had been a faithful friend to man.
It had been kind to all who came,
Nor asked the traveler's race or name,
But with the peasant boy or king
Had shared its blossoms in the spring,
And from the summer's dreary heat
To all had offered sweet retreat.
When autumn brought the harvest time,
Its branches all who wished might climb,
And take from many a tender shoot
Its rosy-cheeked, delicious fruit.
Good men, by careless speech or deed,
Have caused a neighbor's heart to bleed;
Wrong has been done by high intent;
Hate has been born where love was meant,
Yet apple trees of field or farm
Have never done one mortal harm.
Then came the Germans into France
And found this apple tree by chance.
They shared its blossoms in the spring;
They heard the songs the thrushes sing;
They rested in the cooling shade
Its old and friendly branches made,
And in the fall its fruit they ate.
And then they turn on it in hate,
Like beasts, on blood and passion drunk,
They hewed great gashes in its trunk.
Beneath its roots, with hell's delight,
They placed destruction's dynamite
And blew to death, with impish glee,
An old and friendly apple tree.
Men may rebuild their homes in time;
Swiftly cathedral towers may climb,
And hearts forget their weight of woe,
As over them life's currents flow,
But this their lasting shame shall be:
They put to death an apple tree!
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
550:AFTER THE DELUGE AS SOON as the idea of the Deluge had subsided, A hare stopped in the clover and swaying flower-bells, and said a prayer to the rainbow, through the spider’s web. Oh! the precious stones that began to hide,—and the flowers that already looked around. In the dirty main street, stalls were set up and boats were hauled toward the sea, high tiered as in old prints. Blood flowed at Blue Beard’s,—through slaughterhouses, in circuses, where the windows were blanched by God’s seal. Blood and milk flowed. Beavers built. “Mazagrans” smoked in the little bars. In the big glass house, still dripping, children in mourning looked at the marvelous pictures. A door banged; and in the village square the little boy waved his arms, understood by weather vanes and cocks on steeples everywhere, in the bursting shower. Madame *** installed a piano in the Alps. Mass and first communions were celebrated at the hundred thousand altars of the cathedral. Caravans set out. And Hotel Splendid was built in the chaos of ice and of the polar night. Ever after the moon heard jackals howling across the deserts of thyme, and eclogues in wooden shoes growling in the orchard. Then in the violet and budding forest, Eucharis told me it was spring. Gush, pond,—Foam, roll on the bridge and over the woods;—black palls and organs, lightning and thunder, rise and roll;—waters and sorrows rise and launch the Floods again. For since they have been dissipated—oh! the precious stones being buried and the opened flowers!—it’s unbearable! and the Queen, the Witch who lights her fire in the earthen pot will never tell us what she knows, and what we do not know. ~ Arthur Rimbaud,
551:It Is The Sinners' Dust-Tongued Bell
It is the sinners' dust-tongued bell claps me to churches
When, with his torch and hourglass, like a sulpher priest,
His beast heel cleft in a sandal,
Time marks a black aisle kindle from the brand of ashes,
Grief with dishevelled hands tear out the altar ghost
And a firewind kill the candle.
Over the choir minute I hear the hour chant:
Time's coral saint and the salt grief drown a foul sepulchre
And a whirlpool drives the prayerwheel;
Moonfall and sailing emperor, pale as their tide-print,
Hear by death's accident the clocked and dashed-down spire
Strike the sea hour through bellmetal.
There is loud and dark directly under the dumb flame,
Storm, snow, and fountain in the weather of fireworks,
Cathedral calm in the pulled house;
Grief with drenched book and candle christens the cherub time
From the emerald, still bell; and from the pacing weather-cock
The voice of bird on coral prays.
Forever it is a white child in the dark-skinned summer
Out of the font of bone and plants at that stone tocsin
Scales the blue wall of spirits;
From blank and leaking winter sails the child in colour,
Shakes, in crabbed burial shawl, by sorcerer's insect woken,
Ding dong from the mute turrets.
I mean by time the cast and curfew rascal of our marriage,
At nightbreak born in the fat side, from an animal bed
In a holy room in a wave;
And all love's sinners in sweet cloth kneel to a hyleg image,
Nutmeg, civet, and sea-parsley serve the plagued groom and bride
Who have brought forth the urchin grief.
~ Dylan Thomas,
552:When the Bolide Fragmentation Rate shot up through a certain level on Day 701, marking the formal beginning of the White Sky, a number of cultural organizations launched programs that they had been planning since around the time of the Crater Lake announcement. Many of these were broadcast on shortwave radio, and so Ivy had her pick of programs from Notre Dame, Westminster Abbey, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Tiananmen Square, the Potala Palace, the Great Pyramids, the Wailing Wall.

After sampling all of them she locked her radio dial on Notre Dame, where they were holding the Vigil for the End of the World and would continue doing so until the cathedral fell down in ruins upon the performers’ heads and extinguished all life in the remains of the building. She couldn’t watch it, since video bandwidth was scarce, but she could imagine it well: the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, its ranks swollen by the most prestigious musicians of the Francophone world, all dressed in white tie and tails, ball gowns and tiaras, performing in shifts around the clock, playing a few secular classics but emphasizing the sacred repertoire: masses and requiems. The music was marred by the occasional thud, which she took to be the sonic booms of incoming bolides. In most cases the musicians played right through. Sometimes a singer would skip a beat. An especially big boom produced screams and howls of dismay from the audience, blended with the clank and clatter of shattered stained glass raining to the cathedral’s stone floor. But for the most part the music played sweetly, until it didn’t. Then there was nothing. ~ Neal Stephenson,
553:Monet Refuses the Operation"

Doctor, you say that there are no halos
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don’t see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don’t know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and changes our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end. ~ Lisel Mueller,
554:The sun goes down and it's night-time in New Orleans. The moon rises, midnight chimes from St. Louis cathedral, and hardly has the last note died away than a gruesome swampland whistle sounds outside the deathly still house. A fat Negress, basket on arm, comes trudging up the stairs a moment later, opens the door, goes in to the papaloi, closes it again, traces an invisible mark on it with her forefinger and kisses it. Then she turns and her eyes widen with surprise. Papa Benjamin is in bed, covered up to the neck with filthy rags. The familiar candles are all lit, the bowl for the blood, the sacrificial knife, the magic powders, all the paraphernalia of the ritual are laid out in readiness, but they are ranged about the bed instead of at the opposite end of the room as usual.

The old man's head, however, is held high above the encumbering rags, his beady eyes gaze back at her unflinchingly, the familiar semicircle of white wool rings his crown, his ceremonial mask is at his side. 'I am a little tired, my daughter,' he tells her. His eyes stray to the tiny wax image of Eddie Bloch under the candles, hairy with pins, and hers follow them. 'A doomed one, nearing his end, came here last night thinking I could be killed like other men. He shot a bullet from a gun at me. I blew my breath at it, it stopped in the air, turned around, and went back in the gun again. But it tired me to blow so hard, strained my voice a little.'

A revengeful gleam lights up the woman's broad face. 'And he'll die soon, papaloi?'

'Soon,' cackles the weazened figure in the bed. The woman gnashes her teeth and hugs herself delightedly. ("Papa Benjamin" aka "Dark Melody Of Madness") ~ Cornell Woolrich,
555:The eye in this city acquires an autonomy similar to that of a tear. The only difference is that it doesn't sever itself from the body but subordinates it totally. After a while - on the third or fourth day here- the body starts to regard itself as merely the eye's carrier, as a kind of submarine to its now dilating, now squinting periscope. Of course, for all its targets, its explosions are invariably self-inflicted: it's own heart, or else your mind, that sinks; the eye pops up to the surface. This, of course, owes to local topography, to the streets - narrow, meandering like eels - that finally bring you to a flounder of a campo with a cathedral in the middle of it, barnacled with saints and flaunting its Medusa-like cupolas. No matter what you set out for as you leave the house here, you are bound to get lost in these long, coiling lanes and passageways that beguile you to see them through to follow them to their elusive end, which usually hits water, so that you can't even call it a cul-de-sac. On the map this city looks like two grilled fish sharing a plate, or perhaps like two nearly overlapping lobster claws ( Pasternak compared it to a swollen croissant); but it has no north, south, east, or west; the only direction it has is sideways. It surrounds you like frozen seaweed, and the more you dart and dash about trying to get your bearings, the more you get lost. The yellow arrow signs at intersections are not much help either, for they, too, curve. In fact, they don't so much help you as kelp you. And in the fluently flapping hand of the native whom you stop to ask for directions, the eye, oblivious to his sputtering, A destra, a sinistra, dritto, dritto, readily discerns a fish. ~ Joseph Brodsky,
556:~ Adrian Henri

's Last Will And Testament
`No one owns life, but anyone who can pick up a Fryingpan owns death.'
William Burroughs
To whom it may concern:
As my imminent death is hourly expected these days/ carbrakes screaming on
East Lancs tarmac/trapped in the blazing cinema/mutely screaming I TOLD YOU
SO from melting eyeballs as the whitehot fireball dissolves the Cathedral/being
the first human being to die of a hangover/ dying of over­emotion after seeing 20
schoolgirls waiting at a zebracrossing.
I appoint Messrs Bakunin and Kropotkin my executors and make the following
1. I leave my priceless collections of Victorian Oil Lamps, photographs of Hayley
Mills, brass fenders and Charlie Mingus records to all Liverpool poets under 2 3
who are also blues singers and failed sociology students.
2. I leave the entire East Lancs Road with all its landscapes to the British people.
3. I hereby appoint Wm. Burroughs my literary executor, instructing him to cut
up my collected works and distribute them through the public lavatories of the
4. Proceeds from the sale of relics: locks of hair, pieces of floorboards I have
stood on, fragments of bone flesh teeth bits of old underwear etc. to be given to
my widow.
5. I leave my paintings to the Nation with the stipulation that they must be
exhibited in Public Houses, Chip Shops, Coffee Bars and the Cellar Clubs
throughout the country.
6. Proceeds from the sale of my other effects to be divided equally amongst the
20 most beautiful schoolgirls in England (these to be chosen after due
deliberation and exhaustive tests by an informal committee of my friends).
~ Adrian Henri,
557:Sylvia Plath's greatest poetry was sometimes conceived while she was baking bread, she was such a perfectionist and ultimately such a fool. The trouble is, of course, that the role of the goddess, the role of the glory and the grandeur of the female in the universe exists in the fantasy of the male artist and no woman can ever draw it to her heart for comfort, but the role of menial, unfortunately, is real and that she knows because she tastes it everyday. So the barbaric yawp of utter adoration for the power and the glory and the grandeur of the female in the universe is uttered at the expense of the particular living woman every time. And because we can be neither one nor the other with any piece of mind, because we are unfortunately improper goddesses and unwilling menials, there is a battle waged between us. And after all, in the description of this battle, maybe I find the justification of my idea that the achievement of the male artistic ego is at my expense for I find that the battle is dearer to him than the peace would ever be. The eternal battle with women, he boasts, sharpens our resistance, develops our strength, enlarges the scope of our cultural achievements. So is the scope after all worth it? Again, the same question, just as if we were talking of the income of a thousand families for a whole year. You see, I strongly suspect that when this revolution takes place, art will no longer be distinguished by its rarity, or its expense, or its inaccessibility, or the extraordinary way which in it is marketed, it will be the prerogative of all of us and we will do it as those artists did whom Freud understood not at all, the artists who made the Cathedral of Chartres or the mosaics of Byzantine, the artist who had no ego and no name. ~ Germaine Greer,
558:In The Cathedral Close
IN the Dean's porch a nest of clay
With five small tentants may be seen;
Five solemn faces, each as wise
As if its owner were a Dean.
Five downy fledglings in a row,
Packed close, as in the antique pew
The school-girls are whose foreheads clear
At the Venite shine on you.
Day after day the swallows sit
With scarce a stir, with scarce a sound,
But dreaming and digesting much
They grow thus wise and soft and round:
They watch the Canons come to dine,
And hear, the mullion-bars across,
Over the fragrant fruit and wine
Deep talk of rood-screen and reredos.
Her hands with field-flowers drenched, a child
Leaps past in wind-blown dress and hair,
The swallows turn their heads askew -Five judges deem that she is fair.
Prelusive touches sound within,
Straightway they recognise the sign,
And, blandly nodding, they approve
The minuet of Rubinstein.
They mark the cousins' schoolboy talk,
(Male birds flown wide from minster bell),
And blink at each broad term of art,
Binomial or bicycle.
Ah! downy soft ones, soft and warm,
Doth such a stillness mask from sight
Such swiftness? can such peace conceal
Passion and ecstasy of flight?
Yet somewhere 'mid your Easter suns,
Under a white Greek architrave
At morn, or when the shaft of fire
Lies large upon the Indian wave,
A sense of something dear gone by
Will stir, strange longings thrill the heart
For a small world embowered close,
Of which ye sometime were a part.
The dew-drenched flowers, the child's glad eyes
Your joy inhuman shall control,
And in your wings a light and wind
Shall move from the Maestro's soul.
~ Edward Dowden,
559:He came softly, unobserved, and yet, strange to say, every one recognized Him. That might be one of the best passages in the poem. I mean, why they recognized Him. The people are irresistibly drawn to Him, they surround Him, they flock about Him, follow Him. He moves silently in their midst with a gentle smile of infinite compassion. The sun of love burns in His heart, light and power shine from His eyes, and their radiance, shed on the people, stirs their hearts with responsive love. He holds out His hands to them, blesses them, and a healing virtue comes from contact with Him, even with His garments. An old man in the crowd, blind from childhood, cries out, ‘O Lord, heal me and I shall see Thee!’ and, as it were, scales fall from his eyes and the blind man sees Him. The crowd weeps and kisses the earth under His feet. Children throw flowers before Him, sing, and cry hosannah. ‘It is He—it is He!’ all repeat. ‘It must be He, it can be no one but Him!’ He stops at the steps of the Seville cathedral at the moment when the weeping mourners are bringing in a little open white coffin. In it lies a child of seven, the only daughter of a prominent citizen. The dead child lies hidden in flowers. ‘He will raise your child,’ the crowd shouts to the weeping mother. The priest, coming to meet the coffin, looks perplexed, and frowns, but the mother of the dead child throws herself at His feet with a wail. ‘If it is Thou, raise my child!’ she cries, holding out her hands to Him. The procession halts, the coffin is laid on the steps at His feet. He looks with compassion, and His lips once more softly pronounce, ‘Maiden, arise!’ and the maiden arises. The little girl sits up in the coffin and looks round, smiling with wide-open wondering eyes, holding a bunch of white roses they had put in her hand. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
560:Bakushan had only been open for a couple of months, but expectations were already sky-high. Still, few people had mentioned the food. Instead, everyone was writing about the up-and-coming chef, Pascal Fox. According to nearly every article, he'd dropped out of college and worked at top French restaurants around the world. Then, at twenty-five and on every "30 under 30" list in existence, he had received an offer to take over L'Escalier, a cathedral-ceilinged white-tablecloth institution in Midtown. But just as New York was ready to inaugurate him into a realm of Immortal Chefs synonymous with a certain level of luxurious precision, Pascal had said he would open a place on his own. He didn't have a location or a concept- or so he'd said in his interviews- just a conviction that he didn't want to fall into the trap of being yet another French chef at another fancy restaurant.
So there we were, in front of his brand-new place. It was hard to label it. I had read neo-modernist and Asian-American eclectic. The food was hard to pin down, but the inside was just cool, at least from my sidewalk vantage point. It was 5:45 and already there was a forty-five-minute wait for a spot at one of the communal, no-reservation tables.
I looked at the crowd while we waited and saw a couple of girls dressed in tight, short dresses. One of them held a food magazine with Pascal Fox's face on the cover against a blurred kitchen background. I stole a peek at the photo. His eyes were a deep black-brown with a streak of gold. His hair was charmingly messed up, longish bits going every which way, casting shadows on his sculpted cheekbones.
That was the other thing. Pascal was exceedingly good-looking. I hadn't paid attention to the hype around his looks, but seeing these girls swoon over his photo made his handsomeness hard to ignore. And... the pictures. I'm only human. ~ Jessica Tom,
561:Pictures From An Exhibition
(Painting and Sculpture of a Decade 54­G4 Tate Gallery London April­June 1964)
No. 54 Jean Dubuffet 'Déclinaison de la Barbe' 1. 1959
'as­tu cuilli les fleurs de la barbe?'
Jean Dubuffet I wander the dark pebbles of your mind
picking beardflowers.
No. 73 Joseph Cornell 'Hotel de l'Etoile'
cool pillars of the hotel/in the
night outside the stars are always
so white/the sky is always so
blue/silver moon waiting patiently.
No. 84 Mark Rothko 'Reds ­ No. 229 x957
No. 291 Robert Rauschenberg 'windward' 1963
printed oranges are painted
painted oranges are painted
Angry skyline over the gasworks
A Hawk sits brooding inside a painted rainbow.
Nos. 10­13 Josef Albers, Studies for 'Homage to the Square' 1961 – 2
long ago.
No. 314 Bernard Requichot 'Sans Titre ­ Chasse de papiers choisis'
chasse aux papillons:
`Here Be Tygers' –
the fruit in the tin has a thousand eyes.
No. 349 Jim Dine 'Black Bathroom No. 2' 1962
black splashes on the white walls
interrupting the commercials
No. 139 Victor Vasarely 'Supernovae' 1959 - 61
No. So Louise Nevelson 'Sky Cathedral III' 1960
No. 247 Richard Diebenkorn 'Ingleside' 1963
Look through the Supermarket window/up the highway
the hill rises steeply/hoardings and magnolias bright
in the sunlight/white walls black freeways traffic signs
at intersections/green lawns dark hedges/colours
clear and bright as the packets in your wire basket.
~ Adrian Henri,
562:Now alongside Scovell, John eased preserved peaches out of galliot pots of syrup and picked husked walnuts from puncheons of salt. He clarified butter and poured it into rye-paste coffins. From the Master Cook, John learned to set creams with calves' feet, then isinglass, then hartshorn, pouring decoctions into egg-molds to set and be placed in nests of shredded lemon peel. To make cabbage cream he let the thick liquid clot, lifted off the top layer, folded it then repeated the process until the cabbage was sprinkled with rose water and dusted with sugar, ginger and nutmeg. He carved apples into animals and birds. The birds themselves he roasted, minced and folded into beaten egg whites in a foaming forcemeat of fowls.
John boiled, coddled, simmered and warmed. He roasted, seared, fried and braised. He poached stock-fish and minced the meats of smoked herrings while Scovell's pans steamed with ancient sauces: black chawdron and bukkenade, sweet and sour egredouce, camelade and peppery gauncil. For the feasts above he cut castellations into pie-coffins and filled them with meats dyed in the colors of Sir William's titled guests. He fashioned palaces from wafers of spiced batter and paste royale, glazing their walls with panes of sugar. For the Bishop of Carrboro they concocted a cathedral.
'Sprinkle salt on the syrup,' Scovell told him, bent over the chafing dish in his chamber. A golden liquor swirled in the pan. 'Very slowly.'
'It will taint the sugar,' John objected.
But Scovell shook his head. A day later they lifted off the cold clear crust and John split off a sharp-edged shard. 'Salt,' he said as it slid over his tongue. But little by little the crisp flake sweetened on his tongue. Sugary juices trickled down his throat. He turned to the Master Cook with a puzzled look.
'Brine floats,' Scovell said. 'Syrup sinks.' The Master Cook smiled. 'Patience, remember? Now, to the glaze... ~ Lawrence Norfolk,
563:A character like that," he said to himself—"a real little passionate force to see at play is the finest thing in nature. It's finer than the finest work of art—than a Greek bas-relief, than a great Titian, than a Gothic cathedral. It's very pleasant to be so well treated where one had least looked for it. I had never been more blue, more bored, than for a week before she came; I had never expected less that anything pleasant would happen. Suddenly I receive a Titian, by the post, to hang on my wall—a Greek bas-relief to stick over my chimney-piece. The key of a beautiful edifice is thrust into my hand, and I'm told to walk in and admire. My poor boy, you've been sadly ungrateful, and now you had better keep very quiet and never grumble again." The sentiment of these reflexions was very just; but it was not exactly true that Ralph Touchett had had a key put into his hand. His cousin was a very brilliant girl, who would take, as he said, a good deal of knowing; but she needed the knowing, and his attitude with regard to her, though it was contemplative and critical, was not judicial. He surveyed the edifice from the outside and admired it greatly; he looked in at the windows and received an impression of proportions equally fair. But he felt that he saw it only by glimpses and that he had not yet stood under the roof. The door was fastened, and though he had keys in his pocket he had a conviction that none of them would fit. She was intelligent and generous; it was a fine free nature; but what was she going to do with herself? This question was irregular, for with most women one had no occasion to ask it. Most women did with themselves nothing at all; they waited, in attitudes more or less gracefully passive, for a man to come that way and furnish them with a destiny. Isabel's originality was that she gave one an impression of having intentions of her own. "Whenever she executes them," said Ralph, "may I be there to see! ~ Henry James,
564:Time and time again I am astounded by the regularity and repetition of form in this valley and elsewhere in wild nature: basic patterns, sculpted by time and the land, appearing everywhere I look. The twisted branches in the forest that look so much like the forked antlers of the deer and elk. The way the glacier-polished hillside boulders look like the muscular, rounded bodies of the animals- deer, bear- that pass among these boulders like loving ghosts. The way the swirling deer hair is the exact shape and size of the larch and pine needles the deer hair lies upon one it is torn loose and comes to rest on the forest floor. As if everything up here is leaning in the same direction, shaped by the same hands, or the same mind; not always agreeing or in harmony, but attentive always to the same rules of logic and in the playing-out, again and again, of the infinite variations of specificity arising from that one shaping system of logic an incredible sense of community develops…

Felt at night when you stand beneath the stars and see the shapes and designs of bears and hunters in the sky; felt deep in the cathedral of an old forest, when you stare up at the tops of the swaying giants; felt when you take off your boots and socks and wade across the river, sensing each polished, mossy stone with your bare feet. Felt when you stand at the edge of the marsh and listen to the choral uproar of the frogs, and surrender to their shouting, and allow yourself, too, like those pine needles and that deer hair, like those branches and those antlers, to be remade, refashioned into the shape and the pattern and the rhythm of the land. Surrounded, and then embraced, by a logic so much more powerful and overarching than anything that a man or woman could create or even imagine that all you can do is marvel and laugh at it, and feel compelled to give, in one form or another, thanks and celebration for it, without even really knowing why… ~ Rick Bass,
565:I barely remember drawing this." Daniel sounded disappointed in himself. "I don't know what it is any more than you do."
"I'm sure that once you get there, you'll be able to figure it out," Gabbe said, trying hard to be encouraging.
"We will," Luce said. "I'm sure we will."
Gabbe blinked, smile, and went on. "Roland, Annabelle, and Arriane-you three will go to Vienna. That leaves-" Her mouth twitched as she realized what she was about to say, but she put on a brave face anyway. "Molly, Cam, and I will take Avalon."
Cam rolled back his shoulders and let out his astoundingly golden wings with a great rush, slamming into Molly's face with his right wing tip and sending her lunging back five feet.
"Do that again and I will wreck you," Molly spat, glaring at a carpet burn on her elbow. "In fact-" She started to go for Cam with her fist raised but Gabbe intervened.
She wrenched Cam and Molly apart with a put-upon sigh. "Speaking of wrecking, I would really rather not have to wreck the next one of you who provokes the other"-she smiled sweetly at her two demon companions-"but I will. This is going to be a very long nine days."
"Let's hope its long," Daniel muttered under his breath.
Luce turned to him. The Venice in her mind was out of a guidebook: postcard of boats jostling down canals, sunsets over tall cathedral spires, and dark-haired girls licking gelato. That wasn't the trip they were about to take. Not with the end of the world reaching out for them with razor claws.
"And once we find all three of the relics?" Luce said.
"We'll meet at Mount Sinai," Daniel said, "unite the relics-"
"And say a little prayer that they shed any light whatsoever on where we landed when we fell," Cam muttered darkly, rubbing his forehead. "At which point, all that's left is somehow coaxing the psychopathic hellhound holding our entire existence in his jaw that he should just abandon his silly scheme for universal domination. What could be simpler? I think we have every reason to feel optimistic. ~ Lauren Kate,


(MARGARET among much people: the EVIL SPIRIT behind


HOW otherwise was it, Margaret,
When thou, still innocent,
Here to the altar cam'st,
And from the worn and fingered book
Thy prayers didst prattle,
Half sport of childhood,
Half God within thee!
Where tends thy thought?
Within thy bosom
What hidden crime?
Pray'st thou for mercy on thy mother's soul,
That fell asleep to long, long torment, and through thee?
Upon thy threshold whose the blood?
And stirreth not and quickens
Something beneath thy heart,
Thy life disquieting
With most foreboding presence?


Woe! woe!
Would I were free from the thoughts
That cross me, drawing hither and thither
Despite me!


Diesira, dies illa,
Solvet soeclum in favilla!
(Sound of the organ.)


Wrath takes thee!
The trumpet peals!
The graves tremble!
And thy heart
From ashy rest
To fiery torments
Now again requickened,
Throbs to life!


Would I were forth!
I feel as if the organ here
My breath takes from me,
My very heart
Dissolved by the anthem!

Judex ergo cum sedebit,
Quidquid latet, ad parebit,
Nil inultum remanebit.


I cannot breathe!
The massy pillars
Imprison me!
The vaulted arches
Crush me!Air!


Hide thyself! Sin and shame
Stay never hidden.
Air? Light?
Woe to thee!


Quid sum miser tunc dicturus,
Quem patronem rogaturus,
Cum vix Justus sit securus


They turn their faces,
The glorified, from thee:
The pure, their hands to offer,
Shuddering, refuse thee!


Quid sum miser tune dicturus?


Neighbor! your cordial!    (She falls in a swoon.)
She falls in a swoon

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, CATHEDRAL
567:Yet each time, after consulting her watch, she sat down again at my request, so that in the end she had spent several hours with me without my having demanded anything of her; the things I said to her were related to those I had said during the preceding hours, were totally unconnected with what I was thinking about, what I desired, and remained doggedly parallel to all this. There is nothing like desire for obstructing any resemblance between what one says and what one has on one’s mind. Time presses, and yet it seems as though we were trying to gain time by speaking about things that are utterly alien to the one thing that preoccupies us. We chatter away, whereas the words we should like to utter would have by now been accompanied by a gesture, if indeed we have not – to give ourselves the pleasure of immediate action and to slake the curiosity we feel about the ensuing reactions to it – without a word, without so much as a by-your-leave, already made this gesture. It is true that I was not in the least in love with Albertine: born from the mist outside, she could do no more than satisfy the fanciful desire awakened in me by the change in the weather, poised midway between the desires that are satisfied by culinary arts and by monumental sculpture respectively, because it made me dream both of mingling my flesh with a substance that was different and warm, and of attaching to some point of my recumbent body a divergent body, as Eve’s body is barely attached by the feet to the side of Adam, to whose body hers is almost perpendicular in the Romanesque bas-reliefs in the Balbec cathedral, representing in so noble and so placid a fashion, still almost like a classical frieze, the creation of woman; in them God is followed everywhere, as by two ministers, by two little angels recalling – like the winged, swirling creatures of the summer that winter has caught by surprise and spared – cupids from Herculaneum still surviving well into the thirteenth century, flagging now in their last flight, weary, but never relinquishing the grace we might expect of them, over the whole front of the porch. ~ Marcel Proust,
568:She had humor and common sense and she soon knew what she must do. She must have done with her dream world, laugh at the ridiculous Mary who had lived in it and get to know the Mary whom she did not want to know, find out what she was like and what her prospects were. It sounded an easy program but she found it a grueling one. The phantasy world, she discovered, had tentacles like an octopus and cannot be escaped without mortal combat, and when at last her strong will had won the battle it seemed as though she were living in a vacuum, so little had the real world to offer the shy, frustrated, unattractive girl who was the Mary she must live with until she died. But free of the tentacles she was able now to sum up the situation with accuracy. She would not marry and being a gentlewoman no other career was open to her. She was not gifted in any way and she would never be strong and probably never free from pain. She was not a favorite with either of her parents, both of whom were vaguely ashamed of having produced so unattractive a child, and yet she was the one who would have to stay at home with them. The prospect was one of lifelong boredom and seemed to her as bleak as the cold winds that swept across the fens, even at times as terrible as the great Cathedral in whose shadow she must live and die. For at that time she did not love the Cathedral and in her phantasy life the city had merely been the hub from which her radiant dreams stretched out to the wide wheel of the world. What should she do? Her question was not a cry of despair but a genuine and honest with to know.

She never knew what put it into her head that she, unloved, should love. Religion for her parents, and therefore for their children, was not much more than a formality and it had not occurred to her to pray about her problem, and yet from somewhere the idea came as though in answer to her question, and sitting in Blanche's Bower with the cat she dispassionately considered it. Could mere loving be a life's work? Could it be a career like marriage or nursing the sick or going on the stage? Could it be adventure? ~ Elizabeth Goudge,
569:The Cathedral Tombs
THEY lie, with upraised hands, and feet
Stretched like dead feet that walk no more,
And stony masks oft human sweet,
As if the olden look each wore,
Familiar curves of lip and eye,
Were wrought by some fond memory.
All waiting: the new-coffined dead,
The handful of mere dust that lies
Sarcophagused in stone and lead
Under the weight of centuries:
Knight, cardinal, bishop, abbess mild,
With last week's buried year-old child.
After the tempest cometh peace,
After long travail sweet repose;
These folded palms, these feet that cease
From any motion, are but shows
Of--what? What rest? How rest they? Where?
The generations naught declare.
Dark grave, unto whose brink we come,
Drawn nearer by all nights and days;
Each after each, thy solemn gloom
We pierce with momentary gaze,
Then go, unwilling or content,
The way that all our fathers went.
Is there no voice or guiding hand
Arising from the awful void,
To say, 'Fear not the silent land;
Would He make aught to be destroyed?
Would He? or can He? What know we
Of Him who is Infinity?
Strong Love, which taught us human love,
Helped us to follow through all spheres
Some soul that did sweet dead lips move,
Lived in dear eyes in smiles and tears,
Love--once so near our flesh allied,
That 'Jesus wept' when Lazarus died;-Eagle-eyed Faith that can see God,
In worlds without and heart within;
In sorrow by the smart o' the rod,
In guilt by the anguish of the sin;
In everything pure, holy, fair,
God saying to man's soul, 'I am there';-These only, twin-archangels, stand
Above the abyss of common doom,
These only stretch the tender hand
To us descending to the tomb,
Thus making it a bed of rest
With spices and with odors drest.
So, like one weary and worn, who sinks
To sleep beneath long faithful eyes,
Who asks no word of love, but drinks
The silence which is paradise-We only cry--'Keep angelward,
And give us good rest, O good Lord!'
~ Dinah Maria Mulock Craik,
570:Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly, woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren't. It would be odd if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist. Now if anyone says that this duty of general enlightenment (even when freed from modern rules and hours, and exercised more spontaneously by a more protected person) is in itself too exacting and oppressive, I can understand the view. I can only answer that our race has thought it worth while to cast this burden on women in order to keep common-sense in the world. But when people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean. When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery, all the difficulty arises from a double meaning in the word. If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge at the Cathedral of Amiens or drudge behind a gun at Trafalgar. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean. To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets, cakes. and books, to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness. ~ G K Chesterton,
571:At last Angela turned in to the space between the pews. She picked her way around Solembum--who crouched next to the novitiate he had killed, every hair on his body standing on end--and then carefully made her way over the corpses of the three novitiates Eragon had slain.
As she approached, the High Priest began to thrash like a hooked fish in an attempt to push itself farther up the pew. At the same time, the pressure on Eragon’s mind lessened, although not enough for him to risk moving.
The herbalist stopped when she reached the High Priest, and the High Priest surprised Eragon by giving up its struggle and lying panting on the seat of the bench. For a minute, the hollow-eyed creature and the short, stern-faced woman glared at each other, an invisible battle of wills taking place between them.
Then the High Priest flinched, and a smile appeared on Angela’s lips. She dropped her poniard and, from within her dress, drew forth a tiny dagger with a blade the color of a ruddy sunset. Leaning over the High Priest, she whispered, ever so faintly, “You ought to know my name, tongueless one. If you had, you never would have dared oppose us. Here, let me tell it to you…
Her voice dropped even lower then, too low for Eragon to hear, but as she spoke, the High Priest blanched, and its puckered mouth opened, forming a round black oval, and an unearthly howl emanated from its throat, and the whole of the cathedral rang with the creature’s baying.
“Oh, be quiet!” exclaimed the herbalist, and she buried her sunset-colored dagger in the center of the High Priest’s chest.
The blade flashed white-hot and vanished with a sound like a far-off thunderclap. The area around the wound glowed like burning wood; then skin and flesh began to disintegrate into a fine, dark soot that poured into the High Priest’s chest. With a choked gargle, the creature’s howl ceased as abruptly as it had begun.
The spell quickly devoured the rest of the High Priest, reducing its body to a pile of black powder, the shape of which matched the outline of the priest’s head and torso.
“And good riddance,” said Angela with a firm nod. ~ Christopher Paolini,
572:He closed his hand on the twenty copecks, walked on for ten paces, and turned facing the Neva, looking towards the palace. The sky was without a cloud and the water was almost bright blue, which is so rare in the Neva. The cupola of the cathedral, which is seen at its best from the bridge about twenty paces from the chapel, glittered in the sunlight, and in the pure air every ornament on it could be clearly distinguished. The pain from the lash went off, and Raskolnikov forgot about it; one uneasy and not quite definite idea occupied him now completely. He stood still, and gazed long and intently into the distance; this spot was especially familiar to him. When he was attending the university, he had hundreds of times—generally on his way home—stood still on this spot, gazed at this truly magnificent spectacle and almost always marvelled at a vague and mysterious emotion it roused in him. It left him strangely cold; this gorgeous picture was for him blank and lifeless. He wondered every time at his sombre and enigmatic impression and, mistrusting himself, put off finding the explanation of it. He vividly recalled those old doubts and perplexities, and it seemed to him that it was no mere chance that he recalled them now. It struck him as strange and grotesque, that he should have stopped at the same spot as before, as though he actually imagined he could think the same thoughts, be interested in the same theories and pictures that had interested him… so short a time ago. He felt it almost amusing, and yet it wrung his heart. Deep down, hidden far away out of sight all that seemed to him now—all his old past, his old thoughts, his old problems and theories, his old impressions and that picture and himself and all, all…. He felt as though he were flying upwards, and everything were vanishing from his sight. Making an unconscious movement with his hand, he suddenly became aware of the piece of money in his fist. He opened his hand, stared at the coin, and with a sweep of his arm flung it into the water; then he turned and went home. It seemed to him, he had cut himself off from everyone and from everything at that moment. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
573:He closed his hand on the twenty kopecks, walked on for ten paces, and turned facing the Neva, looking towards the palace. The sky was cloudless and the water was almost bright blue, which is so rare in the Neva. The dome of the cathedral, which is seen at its best from the bridge about twenty paces from the chapel, glittered in the sunlight, and in the pure air every ornament on it could be clearly distinguished. The pain from the lash eased off, and Raskolnikov forgot about it; one uneasy and not quite definite idea now occupied him completely. He stood still, and gazed long and intently into the distance; this spot was especially familiar to him. When he was attending the university, he had hundreds of times—generally on his way home—stood still on this spot, gazed at this truly magnificent spectacle and almost always marveled at a vague and mysterious emotion it aroused in him. It left him strangely cold; for him, this gorgeous picture was blank and lifeless. He wondered every time at his somber and enigmatic impression and, mistrusting himself, put off finding an explanation for it. He vividly recalled those old doubts and perplexities, and it seemed to him that it was no mere chance that he recalled them now. It struck him as strange and grotesque that he should have stopped at the same spot as before, as though he actually imagined he could think the same thoughts, be interested in the same theories and pictures that had interested him . . . so short a time ago. He felt it almost amusing, and yet it wrung his heart. Deep down, hidden far away out of sight all that seemed to him now—all his old past, his old thoughts, his old problems and theories, his old impressions and that picture and himself and all, all . . . He felt as though he were flying upwards, and everything were vanishing from his sight. Making an unconscious movement with his hand, he suddenly became aware of the piece of money in his fist. He opened his hand, stared at the coin, and with a sweep his arm flung it into the water; then he turned and went home. It seemed to him, he had cut himself off from every one and from everything at that moment. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
574:Spring Longing
Lilac hazes veil the skies.
Languid sighs
Breathes the mild, caressing air.
Pink as coral's branching sprays,
Orchard ways
With the blossomed peach are fair.
Sunshine, cordial as a kiss,
Poureth bliss
In this craving soul of mine,
And my heart her flower-cup
Lifteth up,
Thirsting for the draught divine.
Swift the liquid golden flame
Through my frame
Sets my throbbing veins afire.
Bright, alluring dreams arise,
Brim mine eyes
With the tears of strong desire.
All familiar scenes anear
DisappearHomestead, orchard, field, and wold.
Moorish spires and turrets fair
Cleave the air,
Arabesqued on skies of gold.
Low, my spirit, this May morn,
Outward borne,
Over seas hath taken wing:
Where the mediaeval town,
Like a crown,
Wears the garland of the Spring.
Light and sound and odors sweet
Fill the street;
Gypsy girls are selling flowers.
Lean hidalgos turn aside,
'Neath the grim cathedral towers.
Oh, to be in Spain to-day,
Where the May
Recks no whit of good or evil,
Love and only love breathes she!
Oh, to be
'Midst the olive-rows of Seville!
Or on such a day to glide
With the tide
Of the berylline lagoon,
Through the streets that mirror heaven,
Crystal paven,
In the warm Venetian noon.
At the prow the gondolier
May not hear,
May not see our furtive kiss;
But he lends with cadenced strain
The refrain
To our ripe and silent bliss.
Golden shadows, silver light,
Burnish bright
Air and water, domes and skies;
As in some ambrosial dream,
On the stream
Floats our bark in magic wise.
Oh, to float day long just so!
Naught to know
Of the trouble, toil, and fret!
This is love, and this is May:
And to-morrow to forget!
Whither hast thou, Fancy free,
Guided me,
Wild Bohemian sister dear?
All thy gypsy soul is stirred
Since yon bird
Warbled that the Spring was here.
Tempt no more! I may not follow,
Like the swallow,
Gayly on the track of Spring.
Bounden by an iron fate,
I must wait,
Dream and wonder, yearn and sing.
~ Emma Lazarus,
575:The beauty of Mars exists in the human mind. without the human presence it is just a concatenation of atoms, no different than any other random speck of matter in the universe. It's we who understand it, and we who give it meaning. All our centuries of looking up at the night sky and watching it wander through the stars. All those nights of watching it through the telescopes, looking at a tiny disk trying to see canals in the albedo changes. All those dumb sci-fi novels with their monsters and maidens and dying civilizations. And all the scientists who studied the data, or got us here. That's what makes Mars Beautiful. Not the basalt and the oxides.

Now that we are here, it isn't enough to just hide under ten meters of soil and study the rock. That's science, yes, and needed science too. But science is more than that. Science is part of a larger human enterprise, and that enterprise includes going to the stars, adapting to other planets, adapting them to us. Science is creation. The lack of life here, and the lack of any finding in fifty years of the SETI program, indicates that life is rare, and intelligent life even rarer. And yet the whole meaning of the universe, its beauty, is contained in the consciousness of intelligent life. We are the consciousness of the universe, and our job is to spread that around, to go look at things, to live everywhere we can. It's too dangerous to keep the consciousness of the universe on only one planet, it could be wiped out. And so now we're on two, three if you count the moon. And we can change this one to make it safer to live on. Changing it won't destroy it. Reading its past might get harder, but the beauty of it won't go away. If there are lakes, or forests, or glaciers, how does that diminish Mars beauty? I don't think it does. I think it only enhances it. It adds life, the most beautiful system of all. But nothing life can do will bring Tharsis down, or fill Marineris. Mars will always remain Mars, different from Earth, colder and wilder. But it can be Mars and ours at the same time. And it will be. There is this about the human mind; if it can be done, it will be done. We can transform Mars and build it like you would build a cathedral, as a monument to humanity and the universe both. We can do it, so we will do it. So, we might as well start. ~ Kim Stanley Robinson,
576:La Nue
Oft when sweet music undulated round,
Like the full moon out of a perfumed sea
Thine image from the waves of blissful sound
Rose and thy sudden light illumined me.
And in the country, leaf and flower and air
Would alter and the eternal shape emerge;
Because they spoke of thee the fields seemed fair,
And Joy to wait at the horizon's verge.
The little cloud-gaps in the east that filled
Gray afternoons with bits of tenderest blue
Were windows in a palace pearly-silled
That thy voluptuous traits came glimmering through.
And in the city, dominant desire
For which men toil within its prison-bars,
I watched thy white feet moving in the mire
And thy white forehead hid among the stars.
Mystical, feminine, provoking, nude,
Radiant there with rosy arms outspread,
Sum of fulfillment, sovereign attitude,
Sensual with laughing lips and thrown-back head,
Draped in the rainbow on the summer hills,
Hidden in sea-mist down the hot coast-line,
Couched on the clouds that fiery sunset fills,
Blessed, remote, impersonal, divine;
The gold all color and grace are folded o'er,
The warmth all beauty and tenderness embower, -Thou quiverest at Nature's perfumed core,
The pistil of a myriad-petalled flower.
Round thee revolves, illimitably wide,
The world's desire, as stars around their pole.
Round thee all earthly loveliness beside
Is but the radiate, infinite aureole.
Thou art the poem on the cosmic page -In rubric written on its golden ground -That Nature paints her flowers and foliage
And rich-illumined commentary round.
Thou art the rose that the world's smiles and tears
Hover about like butterflies and bees.
Thou art the theme the music of the spheres
Echoes in endless, variant harmonies.
Thou art the idol in the altar-niche
Faced by Love's congregated worshippers,
Thou art the holy sacrament round which
The vast cathedral is the universe.
Thou art the secret in the crystal where,
For the last light upon the mystery Man,
In his lone tower and ultimate despair,
Searched the gray-bearded Zoroastrian.
And soft and warm as in the magic sphere,
Deep-orbed as in its erubescent fire,
So in my heart thine image would appear,
Curled round with the red flames of my desire.
~ Alan Seeger,
577:Reade drew a deep breath. He said with resignation, "All right. I'll try to explain. But it's rather difficult. You see, I've devoted my life to the problem of why certain men see visions. Men like Blake and Boehme and Thomas Traherne. A psychologist once suggested that it's a chemical in the bloodstream—the same sort of thing that makes a dipsomaniac see pink elephants. Now obviously, I can't accept this view. But I've spent a certain amount of time studying the action of drugs, and taken some of them myself. And it's become clear to me that what we call 'ordinary consciousness' is simply a special, limited case. . . But this is obvious after a single glass of whiskey. It causes a change in consciousness, a kind of deepening. In ordinary consciousness, we're mainly aware of the world around us and its problems. This is awfully difficult to explain. . ."

Fisher said, "You're being very clear so far. Please go on."

"Perhaps an analogy will help. In our ordinary state of consciousness, we look out from behind our eyes as a motorist looks from behind the windscreen of a car. The car is very small, and the world out there is very big. Now if I take a few glasses of whiskey, the world out there hasn't really changed, but the car seems to have grown bigger. When I look inside myself, there seem to be far greater spaces than I'm normally aware of. And if I take certain drugs, the car becomes vast, as vast as a cathedral. There are great, empty spaces. . . No, not empty. They're full of all kinds of things—of memories of my past life and millions of things I never thought I'd noticed. Do you see my point? Man deliberately limits his consciousness. It would frighten him if he were aware of these vast spaces of consciousness all the time. He stays sane by living in a narrow little consciousness that seems to be limited by the outside world. Because these spaces aren't just inhabited by memories. There seem to be strange, alien things, other minds. . ."

As he said this, he saw Violet de Merville shudder. He said, laughing, "I'm not trying to be alarming. There's nothing fundamentally horrible about these spaces. One day we shall conquer them, as we shall conquer outer space. They're like a great jungle, full of wild creatures. We build a high wall around us for safety, but that doesn't mean we're afraid of the jungle. One day we shall build cities and streets in its spaces. ~ Colin Wilson,
578:The Wanderer
To see the clouds his spirit yearned toward so
Over new mountains piled and unploughed waves,
Back of old-storied spires and architraves
To watch Arcturus rise or Fomalhaut,
And roused by street-cries in strange tongues when day
Flooded with gold some domed metropolis,
Between new towers to waken and new bliss
Spread on his pillow in a wondrous way:
These were his joys. Oft under bulging crates,
Coming to market with his morning load,
The peasant found him early on his road
To greet the sunrise at the city-gates,--There where the meadows waken in its rays,
Golden with mist, and the great roads commence,
And backward, where the chimney-tops are dense,
Cathedral-arches glimmer through the haze.
White dunes that breaking show a strip of sea,
A plowman and his team against the blue
Swiss pastures musical with cowbells, too,
And poplar-lined canals in Picardie,
And coast-towns where the vultures back and forth
Sail in the clear depths of the tropic sky,
And swallows in the sunset where they fly
Over gray Gothic cities in the north,
And the wine-cellar and the chorus there,
The dance-hall and a face among the crowd,--Were all delights that made him sing aloud
For joy to sojourn in a world so fair.
Back of his footsteps as he journeyed fell
Range after range; ahead blue hills emerged.
Before him tireless to applaud it surged
The sweet interminable spectacle.
And like the west behind a sundown sea
Shone the past joys his memory retraced,
And bright as the blue east he always faced
Beckoned the loves and joys that were to be.
From every branch a blossom for his brow
He gathered, singing down Life's flower-lined road,
And youth impelled his spirit as he strode
Like winged Victory on the galley's prow.
That Loveliness whose being sun and star,
Green Earth and dawn and amber evening robe,
That lamp whereof the opalescent globe
The season's emulative splendors are,
That veiled divinity whose beams transpire
From every pore of universal space,
As the fair soul illumes the lovely face--That was his guest, his passion, his desire.
His heart the love of Beauty held as hides
One gem most pure a casket of pure gold.
It was too rich a lesser thing to bold;
It was not large enough for aught besides.
~ Alan Seeger,
579:The former South African archbishop Desmond Tutu used to famously say, “We are prisoners of hope.” Such a statement might be taken as merely rhetorical or even eccentric if you hadn’t seen Bishop Tutu stare down the notorious South African Security Police when they broke into the Cathedral of St. George’s during his sermon at an ecumenical service. I was there and have preached about the dramatic story of his response more times than I can count. The incident taught me more about the power of hope than any other moment of my life. Desmond Tutu stopped preaching and just looked at the intruders as they lined the walls of his cathedral, wielding writing pads and tape recorders to record whatever he said and thereby threatening him with consequences for any bold prophetic utterances. They had already arrested Tutu and other church leaders just a few weeks before and kept them in jail for several days to make both a statement and a point: Religious leaders who take on leadership roles in the struggle against apartheid will be treated like any other opponents of the Pretoria regime. After meeting their eyes with his in a steely gaze, the church leader acknowledged their power (“You are powerful, very powerful”) but reminded them that he served a higher power greater than their political authority (“But I serve a God who cannot be mocked!”). Then, in the most extraordinary challenge to political tyranny I have ever witnessed, Archbishop Desmond Tutu told the representatives of South African apartheid, “Since you have already lost, I invite you today to come and join the winning side!” He said it with a smile on his face and enticing warmth in his invitation, but with a clarity and a boldness that took everyone’s breath away. The congregation’s response was electric. The crowd was literally transformed by the bishop’s challenge to power. From a cowering fear of the heavily armed security forces that surrounded the cathedral and greatly outnumbered the band of worshipers, we literally leaped to our feet, shouted the praises of God and began…dancing. (What is it about dancing that enacts and embodies the spirit of hope?) We danced out of the cathedral to meet the awaiting police and military forces of apartheid who hardly expected a confrontation with dancing worshipers. Not knowing what else to do, they backed up to provide the space for the people of faith to dance for freedom in the streets of South Africa. ~ Jim Wallis,
580:Between the onion and the parsley, therefore, I shall give the summation of my case for paying attention. Man's real work is to look at the things of the world and to love them for what they are. That is, after all, what God does, and man was not made in God's image for nothing. The fruits of his attention can be seen in all the arts, crafts, and sciences. It can cost him time and effort, but it pays handsomely. If an hour can be spent on one onion, think how much regarding it took on the part of that old Russian who looked at onions and church spires long enough to come up with St. Basil's Cathedral. Or how much curious and loving attention was expended by the first man who looked hard enough at the inside of trees, the entrails of cats, the hind ends of horses and the juice of pine trees to realize he could turn them all into the first fiddle. No doubt his wife urged him to get up and do something useful. I am sure that he was a stalwart enough lover of things to pay no attention at all to her nagging; but how wonderful it would have been if he had known what we know now about his dawdling. He could have silenced her with the greatest riposte of all time: Don't bother me; I am creating the possibility of the Bach unaccompanied sonatas.

But if man's attention is repaid so handsomely, his inattention costs him dearly. Every time he diagrams something instead of looking at it, every time he regards not what a thing is but what it can be made to mean to him - every time he substitutes a conceit for a fact - he gets grease all over the kitchen of the world. Reality slips away from him; and he is left with nothing but the oldest monstrosity in the world: an idol. Things must be met for themselves. To take them only for their meaning is to convert them into gods - to make them too important, and therefore to make them unimportant altogether. Idolatry has two faults. It is not only a slur on the true God; it is also an insult to true things.

They made a calf in Horeb; thus they turned their Glory into the similitude of a calf that eateth hay. Bad enough, you say. Ah, but it was worse than that. Whatever good may have resided in the Golden Calf - whatever loveliness of gold or beauty of line - went begging the minute the Israelites got the idea that it was their savior out of the bondage of Egypt. In making the statue a matter of the greatest point, they missed the point of its matter altogether. ~ Robert Farrar Capon,
581:That day in Chartres they had passed through town and watched women kneeling at the edge of the water, pounding clothes against a flat, wooden board. Yves had watched them for a long time. They had wandered up and down the old crooked streets, in the hot sun; Eric remembered a lizard darting across a wall; and everywhere the cathedral pursued them. It is impossible to be in that town and not be in the shadow of those great towers; impossible to find oneself on those plains and not be troubled by that cruel and elegant, dogmatic and pagan presence. The town was full of tourists, with their cameras, their three-quarter coats, bright flowered dresses and shirts, their children, college insignia, Panama hats, sharp, nasal cries, and automobiles crawling like monstrous gleaming bugs over the laming, cobblestoned streets. Tourist buses, from Holland, from Denmark, from Germany, stood in the square before the cathedral. Tow-haired boys and girls, earnest, carrying knapsacks, wearing khaki-colored shorts, with heavy buttocks and thighs, wandered dully through the town. American soldiers, some in uniform, some in civilian clothes, leaned over bridges, entered bistros in strident, uneasy, smiling packs, circled displays of colored post cards, and picked up meretricious mementos, of a sacred character. All of the beauty of the town, all the energy of the plains, and all the power and dignity of the people seemed to have been sucked out of them by the cathedral. It was as though the cathedral demanded, and received, a perpetual, living sacrifice. It towered over the town, more like an affliction than a blessing, and made everything seem, by comparison with itself, wretched and makeshift indeed. The houses in which the people lived did not suggest shelter, or safety. The great shadow which lay over them revealed them as mere doomed bits of wood and mineral, set down in the path of a hurricane which, presently, would blow them into eternity. And this shadow lay heavy on the people, too. They seemed stunted and misshapen; the only color in their faces suggested too much bad wine and too little sun; even the children seemed to have been hatched in a cellar. It was a town like some towns in the American South, frozen in its history as Lot's wife was trapped in salt, and doomed, therefore, as its history, that overwhelming, omnipresent gift of God, could not be questioned, to be the property of the gray, unquestioning mediocre. ~ James Baldwin,
582:and is quoted as saying:
~ Bruce Beaver

is one of Australia's greatest and most magical poets. I have
been carrying his book Charmed Lives(UQP) around in my bag like an amulet. His
poetry is pungent, discursive, feral, disturbing, wise and very funny. Charmed
Lives is out of print. It shouldn't be.

Cat Lady
Outside the cathedral at five
the cats congregated and I was fulfilled
feeding them. I would shuffle
in my modest skirt and tatty shawl
towards the drinking fountain, its base
sprayed with the territorial signatures
of toms warmed by the effusions
of tabbies. The air charmed by a broken
mewing, the cheap scraps replaced
by a glottal monotone of purring —
my poor ones — so many types
of the single need. So many desperate
appetites. An insane male
human once accosted me
and asked why didn’t I think of the starving
children in South East Asia, Western Africa.
I said what if I did?
What good would it do them?
He jumped up and down and tried to kick
my cats. I am known as the Cat Lady
and not the patron saint of the world’s
starving, or this city’s.
It’s all because the sexes cannot
cease from procreating. I saw
on the television frogs copulating
in their green myriads. Sometimes the female
would die underneath the onslaught
but another male would mount her dead
body. In the park the other
day I watched a sick pigeon
collapse beneath the weight of another
then with her last life surge
somersault backwards and lie dead
while the male moved on uninterruptedly
pecking towards another breeding bird
I have no argument with people in other ways;
I move among them in no deliberate disguise
I am no cleaner than my cats. It is
my work to feed them, not to breed them.
Nobody else will help to keep them alive.
Every epochal now and then
I know who I am actually. I think
I know who I was in a personal sense. I recreate
thoughts of the past under the shade
of the cathedral’s walls.
I think merely of our breathing sanely together.
Only not here, not in this sometime city
of madmen and deprived cats,
where values are all equated with money
and the highest prayer is for power.
I have no prescriptions, interpretations, prophecies.
With no comment other than Share
I waddle towards my first three thousand years.
~ Bruce Beaver,
583:Practising The Anthem
A summer wind blows through the open porch,
And, 'neath the rustling eaves,
A summer light of moonrise, calm and pale,
Shines through a vale of leaves.
The soft gusts bring a scent of summer flowers,
Fresh with the falling dew,
And round the doorway, glimmering white as snow,
The tender petals strew.
Clear through the silence, from a reedy pool
The curlew's whistle thrills;
A lonely mopoke sorrowfully cries
From the far-folding hills.
O lovely night, and yet so sad and strange!
My fingers touch the key;
And down the empty church my Christmas song
Goes ringing, glad and free.
Each sweet note knocks at dreaming memory's door,
And memory wakes in pain;
The spectral faces she had turn'd away
Come crowding in again.
The air seems full of music all around—
I know not what I hear,
The multitudinous echoes of the past,
Or these few voices near.
Ah me! the dim aisle vaguely widens out,
I see me stand therein;
A glory of grey sculpture takes the light
A winter morn brings in.
No more I smell the fragrant jessamine flowers
That flake a moonlit floor;
The rustling night-breeze and the open porch
I hear and see no more.
Great solemn windows, down a long, long nave
Their shadow'd rainbows fling;
Dark Purbeck shafts, with hoary capitals,
In carven archways spring.
And overhead the throbbing organ waves
Roll in one mighty sea,
Bearing the song the herald angels sang
Of Christ's nativity.
Dear hands touch mine beneath the open book,
Sweet eyes look in my face,—
They smile, they melt in darkness; I am snatch'd
From my familiar place.
The summer night-wind blows upon my tears;
Its flowery scent is pain.
O cold, white day! O noble minster—when
May I come back again!
To hear the angels' anthem shake the air,
Where never discord jars,—
The Christmas carols in the windy street,
Under the frosty stars;
The dream-like falling from the still, grey skies,
With falling flakes of snow,
Of mellow chimes from old cathedral bells,
Solemn and sweet and slow.
To hear loved footsteps beating time with mine
Along the churchyard path,—
To see that ring of faces once again
Drawn round the blazing hearth.
When may I come? O Lord, when may I go?
Nay, I must wait Thy will.
Give patience, Lord, and in Thine own best way
My hopes and prayers fulfil.
~ Ada Cambridge,
584:I still don’t see why we couldn’t sleep in that cave,” Mari said as MacRieve led her out into the night.
“Because my cave’s better than their cave.”
“You know, that really figures.” After the rain, the din of cicadas and frogs resounded in the underbrush all around them, forcing her to raise her voice. “Is it far?” When he shook his head, she said, “Then why do I have to hold your hand through the jungle? This path looks like a tractor busted through here.”
“I went back this way while you ate to make sure everything was clear. Brought your things here, too,” he said as he steered her toward a lit cave entrance.
When they crossed the threshold, wings flapped in the shadows, building to a furor before settling. Inside, a fire burned. Beside it, she saw he’d unpacked some of his things, and had made up one pallet. “Well, no one can call you a pessimist, MacRieve.” She yanked her hand from his. “Deluded fits, though.”
He merely leaned back against the wall, seeming content to watch her as she explored on her own. She’d read about this part of Guatemala and knew that here limestone caverns spread out underground like a vast web. Above them a cathedral ceiling soared, with stalactites jutting down. “What’s so special about this cave?”
“Mine has bats.”
She breathed, “If I stick with you, I’ll have nothing but the best.”
“Bats mean fewer mosquitoes. And then there’s also the bathtub for you to enjoy.” He waved her attention to an area deeper within. A subterranean stream with a sandy beach meandered through the cavern. Her eyes widened. A small pool sat off to the side, not much larger than an oversize Jacuzzi, and laid out along its edge were her toiletries, her washcloth, and her towel. Her bag—filled with all of her clean clothes—was off just to the side.
Mari cried out at the sight, doubling over to yank at her bootlaces. Freed of her boots, she hopped forward on one foot then the other as she snatched off her socks. She didn’t pause until she was about to start on the button fly of her shorts.
She glanced up to find him watching her with a gleam of expectation in his eyes. “You will be leaving, of course.”
“Or I could help you.”
“I’ve had a bit of practice bathing myself and think I can stumble my way through this.”
“But you’re tired. Why no’ let me help? Now that I’ve two hands again, I’m eager to use them.”
“You give me privacy or I go without.”
“Verra well.” He shrugged. “I’ll leave—because your going without is no’ an option. Call me if you need me. ~ Kresley Cole,

You said ‘The world is going back to Paganism’.
Oh bright Vision! I saw our dynasty in the bar of the House
Spill from their tumblers a libation to the Erinyes,
And Leavis with Lord Russell wreathed in flowers, heralded with flutes,
Leading white bulls to the cathedral of the solemn Muses
To pay where due the glory of their latest theorem.
Hestia’s fire in every flat, rekindled, burned before
The Lardergods. Unmarried daughters with obedient hands
Tended it. By the hearth the white-armd venerable mother
Domum servabat, lanam faciebat. At the hour
Of sacrifice their brothers came, silent, corrected, grave
Before their elders; on their downy cheeks easily the blush
Arose (it is the mark of freemen’s children) as they trooped,
Gleaming with oil, demurely home from the palaestra or the dance.
Walk carefully, do not wake the envy of the happy gods,
Shun Hubris. The middle of the road, the middle sort of men,
Are best. Aidos surpasses gold. Reverence for the aged
Is wholesome as seasonable rain, and for a man to die
Defending the city in battle is a harmonious thing.
Thus with magistral hand the Puritan Sophrosune
Cooled and schooled and tempered our uneasy motions;
Heathendom came again, the circumspection and the holy fears …
You said it. Did you mean it? Oh inordinate liar, stop.


Or did you mean another kind of heathenry?
Think, then, that under heaven-roof the little disc of the earth,
Fortified Midgard, lies encircled by the ravening Worm.
Over its icy bastions faces of giant and troll
Look in, ready to invade it. The Wolf, admittedly, is bound;
But the bond wil1 break, the Beast run free. The weary gods,
Scarred with old wounds the one-eyed Odin, Tyr who has lost a hand,
Will limp to their stations for the Last defence. Make it your hope
To be counted worthy on that day to stand beside them;
For the end of man is to partake of their defeat and die
His second, final death in good company. The stupid, strong
Unteachable monsters are certain to be victorious at last,
And every man of decent blood is on the losing side.
Take as your model the tall women with yellow hair in plaits
Who walked back into burning houses to die with men,
Or him who as the death spear entered into his vitals
Made critical comments on its workmanship and aim.
Are these the Pagans you spoke of? Know your betters and crouch, dogs;
You that have Vichy water in your veins and worship the event
Your goddess History (whom your fathers called the strumpet Fortune). ~ C S Lewis,
586:I suggest you stand slowly and walk out with my men,” Zrakovi said, tapping a napkin against his lying, two-faced mouth and putting a twenty on the table to cover the drinks. “If you make a scene, innocent humans will be injured. I have a Blue Congress cleanup team in place, however, so if you want to fight in public and damage a few humans, knock yourself out. It will only add to your list of crimes.”
I stood slowly, gritting my teeth when Squirrel Chin patted me down while feeling me up and making it look like a romantic moment. He’d been so busy feeling the naughty bits that he missed both Charlie, sitting in my bag next to my foot, and the dagger attached to my inner forearm.
Idiot. Alex would never have been so sloppy. If Alex had patted me down, he’d have found not only the weapons but also the portable magic kit.
From the corner of my eye, I saw a tourist taking mobile phone shots of us. He’d no doubt email them to all his friends back home with stories of those crazy New Orleanians and their public displays of affection.
I considered pretending to faint, but I was too badly outnumbered for it to work. Like my friend Jean
Lafitte, whose help I could use about now, I didn’t want to try something unless it had a reasonable chance at succeeding. I also didn’t want to pull Charlie out and risk humans getting hurt.
“Walk out the door onto Chartres and turn straight toward the cathedral.” Zrakovi pulled his jacket aside enough for me to see a shoulder holster. I hadn’t even known the man could hold a gun, although for all I knew about guns it could be a water pistol.
The walk to the cathedral transport was three very long city blocks. My best escape opportunity would be near Jackson Square. When the muscular goons tried to turn me left toward the cathedral, I’d try to break and run right toward the river, where I could get lost among the wharves and docks long enough to draw and power a transport. Of course in order to run, I’d have to get away from the clinch of Dreadlocks and Squirrel Chin. Charlie could take care of that.
I slipped the messenger bag over my head slowly, and not even Zrakovi noticed the stick of wood protruding from the top by a couple of inches.
Not to be redundant, but . . . idiots.
None of us spoke as we proceeded down Chartres Street, where, to our south, the clouds continued to build. The wind had grown stronger and drier. The hurricane was sucking all the humidity out of the air, all the better to gain intensity. I hoped Zrakovi, a Bostonian, would enjoy his first storm. I hoped a live oak landed on his head. ~ Suzanne Johnson,
587:I Want To Paint
I want to paint
2000 dead birds crucified on a background of night
Thoughts that lie too deep for tears
Thoughts that lie too deep for queers
Thoughts that move at 186,000 miles/second
The Entry of Christ into Liverpool in 1966
The installation of Roger McGough in the Chair of Poetry at Oxford
Francis Bacon making the President's Speech at the Royal Academy dinner
I want to paint
50 life-sized nudes of Marianne Faithfull
(all of them painted from life)
Welsh Maids by Welsh Waterfalls
Heather Holden as Our Lady of Haslingden
A painting as big as Piccadilly full of neon signs and buses
Christmas decorations and beautiful girls with dark blonde hair shading their
I want to paint
The assassination of the entire Royal Family
Enormous pictures of every pavingstone in Canning Street
The Beatles composing a new national anthem
Brian Patten writing poems with a flamethrower on disused ferry boats
A new cathedral 50 miles high made entirely of pram wheels
An empty Woodbine packet covered in kisses
I want to paint
A picture made from the tears of dirty-faced children in Chatham Street
I want to paint
I LOVE YOU across the steps of St. George's hall
I want to paint
I want to paint
The Simultaneous and Historical Faces of Death
10,000 shocking pink hearts with your name on
The phantom negro postmen who bring me money in my dreams
The first plastic daffodil of spring pushing its way
Through the OMO packets in the supermarket
The portrait of every sixth-form schoolgirl in the country
A full-scale map of the world with YOU at the centre
An enormous lily-of-the-valley with every flower on a separate canvas
Life-sized jelly babies shaped like Hayley Mills
A black-and-red flag flying over Parliament
I want to paint
Every car crash on all the motorways of England
Pere Ubu at 11 o'clock at night in Lime Street
in black running letters 50 miles high over Liverpool
I want to paint
Pictures that children play hopscotch on
Pictures that can be used as evidence at murder trials
Pictures that can be used to advertise cornflakes
Pictures that can be used to frighten naughty children
Pictures worth their weight in money
Pictures that tramps can live in
Pictures that children would find in their stockings on Christmas morning
Pictures that teenage lovers can send each other
I want to paint
~ Adrian Henri,
588:Let us pause for a moment and consider the structure of the atom as we know it now. Every atom is made from three kinds of elementary particles: protons, which have a positive electrical charge; electrons, which have a negative electrical charge; and neutrons, which have no charge. Protons and neutrons are packed into the nucleus, while electrons spin around outside. The number of protons is what gives an atom its chemical identity. An atom with one proton is an atom of hydrogen, one with two protons is helium, with three protons is lithium, and so on up the scale. Each time you add a proton you get a new element. (Because the number of protons in an atom is always balanced by an equal number of electrons, you will sometimes see it written that it is the number of electrons that defines an element; it comes to the same thing. The way it was explained to me is that protons give an atom its identity, electrons its personality.) Neutrons don't influence an atom's identity, but they do add to its mass. The number of neutrons is generally about the same as the number of protons, but they can vary up and down slightly. Add a neutron or two and you get an isotope. The terms you hear in reference to dating techniques in archeology refer to isotopes—carbon-14, for instance, which is an atom of carbon with six protons and eight neutrons (the fourteen being the sum of the two). Neutrons and protons occupy the atom's nucleus. The nucleus of an atom is tiny—only one millionth of a billionth of the full volume of the atom—but fantastically dense, since it contains virtually all the atom's mass. As Cropper has put it, if an atom were expanded to the size of a cathedral, the nucleus would be only about the size of a fly—but a fly many thousands of times heavier than the cathedral. It was this spaciousness—this resounding, unexpected roominess—that had Rutherford scratching his head in 1910. It is still a fairly astounding notion to consider that atoms are mostly empty space, and that the solidity we experience all around us is an illusion. When two objects come together in the real world—billiard balls are most often used for illustration—they don't actually strike each other. “Rather,” as Timothy Ferris explains, “the negatively charged fields of the two balls repel each other . . . were it not for their electrical charges they could, like galaxies, pass right through each other unscathed.” When you sit in a chair, you are not actually sitting there, but levitating above it at a height of one angstrom (a hundred millionth of a centimeter), your electrons and its electrons implacably opposed to any closer intimacy. ~ Bill Bryson,
589:Are you so eager for war?” the drow asked, his face barely an inch from the elf’s. “Do you long to hear the screams of the dying, lying helplessly in fields amidst rows and rows of corpses? Have you ever borne witness to that?” “Orcs!” the elf protested. Drizzt grabbed him in both hands, pulled him forward, and slammed him back against the wall. Hralien called to Drizzt, but the dark elf hardly heard it. “I have ventured outside of the Silver Marches,” Drizzt said, “have you? I have witnessed the death of once-proud Luskan, and with it, the death of a dear, dear friend, whose dreams lay shattered and broken beside the bodies of five thousand victims. I have watched the greatest cathedral in the world burn and collapse. I witnessed the hope of the goodly drow, the rise of the followers of Eilistraee. But where are they now?” “You speak in ridd—” the elf started, but Drizzt slammed him again. “Gone!” Drizzt shouted. “Gone, and gone with them the hopes of a tamed and gentle world. I have watched once safe trails revert to wilderness, and have walked a dozen-dozen communities that you will never know. They are gone now, lost to the Spellplague or worse! Where are the benevolent gods? Where is the refuge from the tumult of a world gone mad? Where are the candles to chase away the darkness?” Hralien had quietly moved around the wall and walked up beside Drizzt. He put a hand on the drow’s shoulder, but that brought no more than a brief pause in the tirade. Drizzt glanced at him before turning back to the captured elf. “They are here, those lights of hope,” Drizzt said, to both elves. “In the Silver Marches. Or they are nowhere. Do we choose peace or do we choose war? If it is battle you seek, fool elf, then get you gone from this land. You will find death aplenty, I assure you. You will find ruins where once proud cities stood. You will find fields of wind-washed bones, or perhaps the remains of a single hearth, where once an entire village thrived. “And in that hundred years of chaos, amidst the coming of darkness, few have escaped the swirl of destruction, but we have flourished. Can you say the same for Thay? Mulhorand? Sembia? You say I betray those who befriended me, yet it was the vision of one exceptional dwarf and one exceptional orc that built this island against the roiling sea.” The elf, his expression more cowed, nonetheless began to speak out again, but Drizzt pulled him forward from the wall and slammed him back even harder. “You fall to your hatred and you seek excitement and glory,” the drow said. “Because you do not know. Or is it because you do not care that your pursuits will bring utter misery to thousands in your wake? ~ R A Salvatore,
590:Cliche Came Out Of Its Cage
You said 'The world is going back to Paganism'.
Oh bright Vision! I saw our dynasty in the bar of the House
Spill from their tumblers a libation to the Erinyes,
And Leavis with Lord Russell wreathed in flowers, heralded with flutes,
Leading white bulls to the cathedral of the solemn Muses
To pay where due the glory of their latest theorem.
Hestia's fire in every flat, rekindled, burned before
The Lardergods. Unmarried daughters with obedient hands
Tended it By the hearth the white-armd venerable mother
Domum servabat, lanam faciebat. at the hour
Of sacrifice their brothers came, silent, corrected, grave
Before their elders; on their downy cheeks easily the blush
Arose (it is the mark of freemen's children) as they trooped,
Gleaming with oil, demurely home from the palaestra or the dance.
Walk carefully, do not wake the envy of the happy gods,
Shun Hubris. The middle of the road, the middle sort of men,
Are best. Aidos surpasses gold. Reverence for the aged
Is wholesome as seasonable rain, and for a man to die
Defending the city in battle is a harmonious thing.
Thus with magistral hand the Puritan Sophrosune
Cooled and schooled and tempered our uneasy motions;
Heathendom came again, the circumspection and the holy fears ...
You said it. Did you mean it? Oh inordinate liar, stop.
Or did you mean another kind of heathenry?
Think, then, that under heaven-roof the little disc of the earth,
Fortified Midgard, lies encircled by the ravening Worm.
Over its icy bastions faces of giant and troll
Look in, ready to invade it. The Wolf, admittedly, is bound;
But the bond wil1 break, the Beast run free. The weary gods,
Scarred with old wounds the one-eyed Odin, Tyr who has lost a hand,
Will limp to their stations for the Last defence. Make it your hope
To be counted worthy on that day to stand beside them;
For the end of man is to partake of their defeat and die
His second, final death in good company. The stupid, strong
Unteachable monsters are certain to be victorious at last,
And every man of decent blood is on the losing side.
Take as your model the tall women with yellow hair in plaits
Who walked back into burning houses to die with men,
Or him who as the death spear entered into his vitals
Made critical comments on its workmanship and aim.
Are these the Pagans you spoke of? Know your betters and crouch, dogs;
You that have Vichy water in your veins and worship the event
Your goddess History (whom your fathers called the strumpet Fortune).
~ Clive Staples Lewis,
591:Have you ever been to Florence?” asked Dr. Igor.
“You should go there; it’s not far, for that is where you will find my second example. In the cathedral in Florence, there’s a beautiful clock designed by Paolo Uccello in 1443. Now, the curious thing about this clock is that, although it keeps time like all other clocks, its hands go in the opposite direction to that of normal clocks.”
“What’s that got to do with my illness?”
“I’m just coming to that. When he made this clock, Paolo Uccello was not trying to be original: The fact is that, at the time, there were clocks like his as well as others with hands that went in the direction we’re familiar with now. For some unknown reason, perhaps because the duke had a clock with hands that went in the direction we now think of as the “right” direction, that became the only direction, and Uccello’s clock then seemed an aberration, a madness.”
Dr. Igor paused, but he knew that Mari was following his reasoning.
“So, let’s turn to your illness: Each human being is unique, each with their own qualities, instincts, forms of pleasure, and desire for adventure. However, society always imposes on us a collective way of behaving, and people never stop to wonder why they should behave like that. They just accept it, the way typists accepted the fact that the QWERTY keyboard was the best possible one. Have you ever met anyone in your entire life who asked why the hands of a clock should go in one particular direction and not in the other?”
“If someone were to ask, the response they’d get would probably be: ‘You’re crazy.’ If they persisted, people would try to come up with a reason, but they’d soon change the subject, because there isn’t a reason apart from the one I’ve just given you. So to go back to your question. What was it again?”
“Am I cured?”
“No. You’re someone who is different, but who wants to be the same as everyone else. And that, in my view, is a serious illness.”
“Is wanting to be different a serious illness?”
“It is if you force yourself to be the same as everyone else. It causes neuroses, psychoses, and paranoia. It’s a distortion of nature, it goes against God’s laws, for in all the world’s woods and forests, he did not create a single leaf the same as another. But you think it’s insane to be different, and that’s why you chose to live in Villete, because everyone is different here, and so you appear to be the same as everyone else. Do you understand?”
Mari nodded.
“People go against nature because they lack the courage to be different, and then the organism starts to produce Vitriol, or bitterness, as this poison is more commonly known. ~ Paulo Coelho,
592:Closing the distance between them, he had saved the modest allure of her walk and felt his body respond to the graceful sway of her hips as they approached the pool. He had envisioned her taking off her robe and showing him her slender nakedness, but instead, she had just stood there, as though searching for someone. It skipped through his mind that when he caught up to the girl, he would either apprehend or ravish her. He still wasn't sure which it would be as he stood before her, blocking her escape with a dark, slight smile.
As she peered up at him fearfully from the shadowed folds of her hood, he found himself staring into the bluest eyes he had ever seen. He had only encountered that deep, dream-spun shade of cobalt once in his life before, in the stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral. His awareness of the crowd them dimmed in the ocean-blue depths of her eyes. 'Who are you?' He did not say a word nor ask her permission. With the smooth self-assurance of a man who has access to every woman in the room, he captured her chin in a firm but gentle grip. She jumped when he touched her, panic flashing in her eyes.
His hard stare softened slightly in amusement at that, but then his faint smile faded, for her skin was silken beneath his fingertips. With one hand, he lifted her face toward the dim torchlight, while the other softly brushed back her hood. Then Lucien faltered, faced with a beauty the likes of which he had never seen.
His very soul grew hushed with reverence as he gazed at her, holding his breath for fear the vision would dissolve, a figment of his overactive brain. With her bright tresses gleaming the flame-gold of dawn and her large, frightened eyes of that shining, ethereal blue, he was so sure for a moment that she was a lost angel that he half expected to see silvery, feathered wings folded demurely beneath her coarse brown robe. She appeared somewhere between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two- a wholesome, nay, a virginal beauty of trembling purity. He instantly 'knew' that she was utterly untouched, impossible as that seemed in this place.
Her face was proud and weary. Her satiny skin glowed in the candlelight, pale and fine, but her soft, luscious lips shot off an effervescent champagne-pop of desire that fizzed more sweetly in his veins than anything he'd felt since his adolescence, which had taken place, if he recalled correctly, some time during the Dark Ages. There was intelligence and valor in her delicate face, courage, and a quivering vulnerability that made him ache with anguish for the doom of all innocent things.
'A noble youth, a questing youth,' he thought, and if she had come to slay dragons, she had already pierced him in his black, fiery heart with the lance of her heaven-blue gaze. ~ Gaelen Foley,
593:Closing the distance between them, he had savored the modest allure of her walk and felt his body respond to the graceful sway of her hips as they approached the pool. He had envisioned her taking off her robe and showing him her slender nakedness, but instead, she had just stood there, as though searching for someone. It skipped through his mind that when he caught up to the girl, he would either apprehend or ravish her. He still wasn't sure which it would be as he stood before her, blocking her escape with a dark, slight smile.
As she peered up at him fearfully from the shadowed folds of her hood, he found himself staring into the bluest eyes he had ever seen. He had only encountered that deep, dream-spun shade of cobalt once in his life before, in the stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral. His awareness of the crowd them dimmed in the ocean-blue depths of her eyes. 'Who are you?' He did not say a word nor ask her permission. With the smooth self-assurance of a man who has access to every woman in the room, he captured her chin in a firm but gentle grip. She jumped when he touched her, panic flashing in her eyes.
His hard stare softened slightly in amusement at that, but then his faint smile faded, for her skin was silken beneath his fingertips. With one hand, he lifted her face toward the dim torchlight, while the other softly brushed back her hood. Then Lucien faltered, faced with a beauty the likes of which he had never seen.
His very soul grew hushed with reverence as he gazed at her, holding his breath for fear the vision would dissolve, a figment of his overactive brain. With her bright tresses gleaming the flame-gold of dawn and her large, frightened eyes of that shining, ethereal blue, he was so sure for a moment that she was a lost angel that he half expected to see silvery, feathered wings folded demurely beneath her coarse brown robe. She appeared somewhere between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two- a wholesome, nay, a virginal beauty of trembling purity. He instantly 'knew' that she was utterly untouched, impossible as that seemed in this place.
Her face was proud and weary. Her satiny skin glowed in the candlelight, pale and fine, but her soft, luscious lips shot off an effervescent champagne-pop of desire that fizzed more sweetly in his veins than anything he'd felt since his adolescence, which had taken place, if he recalled correctly, some time during the Dark Ages. There was intelligence and valor in her delicate face, courage, and a quivering vulnerability that made him ache with anguish for the doom of all innocent things.
'A noble youth, a questing youth,' he thought, and if she had come to slay dragons, she had already pierced him in his black, fiery heart with the lance of her heaven-blue gaze. ~ Gaelen Foley,
594:The Precinct. Rochester
The tall yellow hollyhocks stand,
Still and straight,
With their round blossoms spread open,
In the quiet sunshine.
And still is the old Roman wall,
Rough with jagged bits of flint,
And jutting stones,
Old and cragged,
Quite still in its antiquity.
The pear-trees press their branches against it,
And feeling it warm and kindly,
The little pears ripen to yellow and red.
They hang heavy, bursting with juice,
Against the wall.
So old, so still!
The sky is still.
The clouds make no sound
As they slide away
Beyond the Cathedral Tower,
To the river,
And the sea.
It is very quiet,
Very sunny.
The myrtle flowers stretch themselves in the sunshine,
But make no sound.
The roses push their little tendrils up,
And climb higher and higher.
In spots they have climbed over the wall.
But they are very still,
They do not seem to move.
And the old wall carries them
Without effort, and quietly
Ripens and shields the vines and blossoms.
A bird in a plane-tree
Sings a few notes,
Cadenced and perfect
They weave into the silence.
The Cathedral bell knocks,
One, two, three, and again,
And then again.
It is a quiet sound,
Calling to prayer,
Hardly scattering the stillness,
Only making it close in more densely.
The gardener picks ripe gooseberries
For the Dean's supper to-night.
It is very quiet,
Very regulated and mellow.
But the wall is old,
It has known many days.
It is a Roman wall,
Left-over and forgotten.
Beyond the Cathedral Close
Yelp and mutter the discontents of people not mellow,
Not well-regulated.
People who care more for bread than for beauty,
Who would break the tombs of saints,
And give the painted windows of churches
To their children for toys.
People who say:
'They are dead, we live!
The world is for the living.'
Fools! It is always the dead who breed.
Crush the ripe fruit, and cast it aside,
Yet its seeds shall fructify,
And trees rise where your huts were standing.
But the little people are ignorant,
They chaffer, and swarm.
They gnaw like rats,
And the foundations of the Cathedral are honeycombed.
The Dean is in the Chapter House;
He is reading the architect's bill
For the completed restoration of the Cathedral.
He will have ripe gooseberries for supper,
And then he will walk up and down the path
By the wall,
And admire the snapdragons and dahlias,
Thinking how quiet and peaceful
The garden is.
The old wall will watch him,
Very quietly and patiently it will watch.
For the wall is old,
It is a Roman wall.
~ Amy Lowell,
595:A Sermon
Midsummer, 1867.
We have heard many sermons, you and I,
And many more may hear,
When sitting quiet in cathedral nave,
With folded palms and faces meek and grave;—
But few like this one, dear.
We ofttimes watch together 'fore the veil,
With reverent, gleaming eyes,
While priestly hands are busy with the folds,—
And pant to see the holy place, which holds
Life's dreadest mysteries.
We watch weak, foolish fingers straying o'er
The broidered boss, to grasp
Vaguely at some small end of thread, and twist
And shake the glorious pattern into mist,
And leave us nought to clasp.
We watch, with eyes dilated, some strong hand
Of nerve and muscle, trace
The grand, faint outlines, erewhile undefined
To our slow earth-enfolded sense, and find
The great design—the shadow from behind—
Dawning before our face.
But seldom do we see, dear, you and I,
The pattern melt in light,
And all the shine flow out on us, uncheck'd—
With eyes of soul and not of intellect—
As we did see that night.
It was a summer-night—the sun was low,
But overlaid the sea,
And made gold-crystals of the wet sea-sand,
And drew our shadows short upon the strand
That stretched out shallowly.
It was a Sunday night—far off we heard
The solemn vesper-chime
From some grey wind-swept steeple by the shore,
Chanting “For ev-er-more! for ev-er-more!”
While the deep sea beat time.
We wandered far that night, dear, you and I,
We wandered out of reach,—
Until the golden distances grew grey,
And narrowed in the glory, as it lay
'Mid horizon and beach.
We wandered far along the lonely waste,
Where seldom foot had trod;
The world behind us dared not to intrude—
The summer silence and the solitude
Were only filled with God.
We sat down on the sand there, you and I,
We sat down awed and dumb,
And watched the fiery circle fall and fall
Through solemn folds of purple, and the small
Soft ripples go and come.
There was not wind enough to stir the reeds
Around us, nor to curl
The sheeny, dimpled surface of the deep;
The waters murmured low, as half in sleep,
With measured swish and swirl.
Two sea-birds came and dabbled in the pools,
And cried their plaintive cry,
As their strong wings swept o'er us as we sat
(No profanation of the stillness that,
But added sanctity).
They flecked the crimson shallows with black streaks,
Low-wheeling to and fro,
Crying their bold, sweet cry, as knowing well
It was a place where God, not man, did dwell—
A father, not a foe.
Ah, we hear many sermons, you and I—
The poor words fall and drown;
But this, whose speech was silence, this has stirred
The stream of years,—and aye it will be heard
As when that sun went down!
~ Ada Cambridge,
596:Death's Directives (Ii)
Death beckoned me towards the beach
the same one on which I’d spent days,
weeks, years made up of the hours
of my life as a child —
The hidden in the warm salt hazy dusk
of summer evenings I’d moved mesmerically
from end to end of the darkened sands
feeling their mush of powder between my toes
at the phosphorescent tideline
or breathing the tired air
beneath the seawall.
Or forgetful of everything but the now
of sunlight and spray of the breaking wave
shouts and cries of the playful surfers
at morning, midday or dreamily fading
late afternoon of the interminable days
of summer, blue white sky and the jade
and opal of the everywhere reaching sea
and the illimitable horizon line.
Or walking forward towards the central
Steyne’s mid-point of beach and my home
two streets back from the sands and the blowing
spray, walking beneath those colonnades
and high cathedral rood of healthy pines
where the pigeons clustered and rose to fall
gently irresistibly to the grassy verge
of the path beneath the pines, where I heard
walking a music moving with my steps
withing me as I was within that landscape.
Or kneeling again on the cool sands
of autumn, following the line
of wrack, on my childish knees, shuffling
forward like some pale and smooth skinned
animal snuffling its way from stick to weed
and other relics of the ocean’s saga.
It was death that walked with or knelt
beside me there — Death the colour of dawn
or sunset, bright midday or dark midnight
of deep summer when the sleepless people
come to walk within the lukewarm shallows
or sit beside the wall in the breathless air.
Whether in heat or chill air I moved
beside the ocean it was death that led
or accompanied me — Not mine, but the myriad
around me in the streets and every second
house, the simple cottage or the foursquare
block of flats. Up from the beach or down
from the hill I’d watched death knock at many doors
and the dead come out and move towards the ocean,
go lightly across the sand or heavily
dragging reluctant feet to fade into
the neverending cortege of waves —
Until I knew I moved and went with the dead
in pretty costumes or the plainest cloth,
lightly or heavily garbed to suit the season
until the great storms would come and neither
the partly living nor the dead could cross
the battered shelving sand or find a way
into that abyss of the transformed ocean.
The I would huddle in the sheltered room
and make new myths about the life of things
until death beckoned once again
to me to go out into the streets
of Limbo, down to the sands and waves
and wait a while as forever came and went
across the calmer waters towards and from
the perpetually falling horizon.
~ Bruce Beaver,
597:Many people in this room have an Etsy store where they create unique, unreplicable artifacts or useful items to be sold on a small scale, in a common marketplace where their friends meet and barter. I and many of my friends own more than one spinning wheel. We grow our food again. We make pickles and jams on private, individual scales, when many of our mothers forgot those skills if they ever knew them. We come to conventions, we create small communities of support and distributed skills--when one of us needs help, our village steps in. It’s only that our village is no longer physical, but connected by DSL instead of roads. But look at how we organize our tribes--bloggers preside over large estates, kings and queens whose spouses’ virtues are oft-lauded but whose faces are rarely seen. They have moderators to protect them, to be their knights, a nobility of active commenters and big name fans, a peasantry of regular readers, and vandals starting the occasional flame war just to watch the fields burn. Other villages are more commune-like, sharing out resources on forums or aggregate sites, providing wise women to be consulted, rabbis or priests to explain the world, makers and smiths to fashion magical objects. Groups of performers, acrobats and actors and singers of songs are traveling the roads once more, entertaining for a brief evening in a living room or a wheatfield, known by word of mouth and secret signal. Separate from official government, we create our own hierarchies, laws, and mores, as well as our own folklore and secret history. Even my own guilt about having failed as an academic is quite the crisis of filial piety--you see, my mother is a professor. I have not carried on the family trade.

We dwell within a system so large and widespread, so disorganized and unconcerned for anyone but its most privileged and luxurious members, that our powerlessness, when we can summon up the courage to actually face it, is staggering. So we do not face it. We tell ourselves we are Achilles when we have much more in common with the cathedral-worker, laboring anonymously so that the next generation can see some incremental progress. We lack, of course, a Great Work to point to and say: my grandmother made that window; I worked upon the door. Though, I would submit that perhaps the Internet, as an object, as an aggregate entity, is the cathedral we build word by word and image by image, window by window and portal by portal, to stand taller for our children, if only by a little, than it does for us. For most of us are Lancelots, not Galahads. We may see the Grail of a good Classical life, but never touch it. That is for our sons, or their daughters, or further off.

And if our villages are online, the real world becomes that dark wood on the edge of civilization, a place of danger and experience, of magic and blood, a place to make one’s name or find death by bear. And here, there be monsters. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
598:Goggles but no bathing suit?" she asked.
Daniel blushed. "I guess that was stupid. But I was in a hurry, only thinking about what you would need to get the halo." He drove the paddle back into the water, propelling them more quickly than a speedboat. "You can swim in your underwear, right?"
Now Luce blushed. Under normal circumstances, the question might have seemed thrilling, something they both would have giggled at. Not these nine days. She nodded. Eight days now. Daniel was deadly serious. Luce just swallowed hard and said, "Of course."
The pair of green-gray spires grew larger, more detailed, and then they were upon them. They were tall and conical, made of rusted slats of copper. They had once been capped by small teardrop-shaped copper flags sculpted to look like they were rippling in the wind, but one weathered flag was pocked with holes, and the other had broken off completely. In the open water, the spires' protrusion was bizarre, suggesting a cavernous cathedral of the deep. Luce wondered how long ago the church had sunk, how deep it sat below.
The thought of diving down there in ridiculous goggles and mom-bought underwear made her shudder.
"This church must be huge," she said. She meant I don't think I can do this. I can't breathe underwater. How are we going to find one small halo sunk in the middle of the sea?
"I can take you down as far as the chapel itself, but only that far. So long as you hold on to my hand." Daniel extended a warm hand to help Luce stand up in the gondola. "Breathing will not be a problem. But the church will still be sanctified, which means I'll need you to find the halo and bring it out to me."
Daniel yanked his T-shirt off over his head, dropping it to the bench of the gondola. He stepped out of his pants quickly, perfectly balanced on the boat, then kicked off his tennis shoes. Luce watched, feeling something stir inside her, until she realized she was supposed to be stripping down, too. She kicked off her boots, tugged off her socks, stepped out of her jeans as modestly as she could. Daniel held her hand to help her balance; he was watching her but not the way she would have expected. He was worried about her, the goose bumps rising on her skin. He rubbed her arms when she slipped off he sweater and stood freezing in her sensible underwear n the gondola in the middle of the Venetian lagoon.
Again she shivered, cold and fear an indecipherable mass inside her. But her voice sounded brave when she tugged the goggles, which pinched, down over her eyes and said, "Okay, let's swim."
They held hands, just like they had the last time they'd swum together at Sword & Cross. As their feet lifted off the varnished floor of the gondola, Daniel's hand tugged her upward, higher than she ever could have jumped herself-and then they dove.
Her body broke the surface of the sea, which wasn't as cold as she'd expected. In fact, the closer she swam beside Daniel, the warmer the wake around them grew.
He was glowing. ~ Lauren Kate,
599:The Rendezvous
He faints with hope and fear. It is the hour.
Distant, across the thundering organ-swell,
In sweet discord from the cathedral-tower,
Fall the faint chimes and the thrice-sequent bell.
Over the crowd his eye uneasy roves.
He sees a plume, a fur; his heart dilates -Soars . . . and then sinks again. It is not hers he loves.
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
Braided with streams of silver incense rise
The antique prayers and ponderous antiphones.
`Gloria Patri' echoes to the skies;
`Nunc et in saecula' the choir intones.
He marks not the monotonous refrain,
The priest that serves nor him that celebrates,
But ever scans the aisle for his blonde head. . . . In vain!
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
How like a flower seemed the perfumed place
Where the sweet flesh lay loveliest to kiss;
And her white hands in what delicious ways,
With what unfeigned caresses, answered his!
Each tender charm intolerable to lose,
Each happy scene his fancy recreates.
And he calls out her name and spreads his arms . . . No use!
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
But the long vespers close. The priest on high
Raises the thing that Christ's own flesh enforms;
And down the Gothic nave the crowd flows by
And through the portal's carven entry swarms.
Maddened he peers upon each passing face
Till the long drab procession terminates.
No princess passes out with proud majestic pace.
She has not come, the woman that he waits.
Back in the empty silent church alone
He walks with aching heart. A white-robed boy
Puts out the altar-candles one by one,
Even as by inches darkens all his joy.
He dreams of the sweet night their lips first met,
And groans -- and turns to leave -- and hesitates . . .
Poor stricken heart, he will, he can not fancy yet
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
But in an arch where deepest shadows fall
He sits and studies the old, storied panes,
And the calm crucifix that from the wall
Looks on a world that quavers and complains.
Hopeless, abandoned, desolate, aghast,
On modes of violent death he meditates.
And the tower-clock tolls five, and he admits at last,
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
Through the stained rose the winter daylight dies,
And all the tide of anguish unrepressed
Swells in his throat and gathers in his eyes;
He kneels and bows his head upon his breast,
And feigns a prayer to hide his burning tears,
While the satanic voice reiterates
`Tonight, tomorrow, nay, nor all the impending years,
She will not come,' the woman that he waits.
Fond, fervent heart of life's enamored spring,
So true, so confident, so passing fair,
That thought of Love as some sweet, tender thing,
And not as war, red tooth and nail laid bare,
How in that hour its innocence was slain,
How from that hour our disillusion dates,
When first we learned thy sense, ironical refrain,
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
~ Alan Seeger,
600:If brute force wouldn't suffice, however, there was always the famous Viking cunning. The fleet was put to anchor and under a flag of truce some Vikings approached the gate. Their leader, they claimed, was dying and wished to be baptized as a Christian. As proof, they had brought along the ailing Hastein on a litter, groaning and sweating.  The request presented a moral dilemma for the Italians. As Christians they could hardly turn away a dying penitent, but they didn't trust the Vikings and expected a trick. The local count, in consultation with the bishop, warily decided to admit Hastein, but made sure that he was heavily guarded. A detachment of soldiers was sent to collect Hastein and a small retinue while the rest of the Vikings waited outside.  Despite the misgivings, the people of Luna flocked to see the curiosity of a dreaded barbarian peacefully inside their city. The Vikings were on their best behavior as they were escorted to the cathedral, remaining silent and respectful. Throughout the service, which probably lasted a few hours, Hastein was a picture of reverence and weakness, a dying man who had finally seen the light. The bishop performed the baptism, and the count stood in as godfather, christening Hastein with a new name. When the rite had concluded, the Vikings respectfully picked up the litter and carried their stricken leader back to the ships.  That night, a Viking messenger reappeared at the gates, and after thanking the count for allowing the baptism, sadly informed him that Hastein had died. Before he expired, however, he had asked to be given a funeral mass and to be buried in the holy ground of the cathedral cemetery.  The next day a solemn procession of fifty Vikings, each dressed in long robes of mourning, entered the city carrying Hastein's corpse on a bier. Virtually all the inhabitants of the city had turned out to witness the event, joining the cavalcade all the way to the cathedral. The bishop, surrounded by a crowd of monks and priests bearing candles, blessed the coffin with holy water, and led the entire procession inside.  As the bishop launched into the funerary Mass, reminding all good Christians to look forward to the day of resurrection, the coffin lid was abruptly thrown to the ground and a very much alive Hastein leapt out. As he cut down the bishop, his men threw off their cloaks and drew their weapons. A few ran to bar the doors, the rest set about slaughtering the congregation.  At the same time – perhaps alerted by the tolling bell – Bjorn Ironside led the remaining Vikings into the city and they fanned out, looking for treasure. The plundering lasted for the entire day. Portable goods were loaded onto the ships, the younger citizens were spared to be sold as slaves, and the rest were killed. Finally, when night began to fall, Hastein called off the attack. Since nothing more could fit on their ships, they set fire to the city and sailed away.97 For the next two years, the Norsemen criss-crossed the Mediterranean, raiding both the African and European coasts. There are even rumors that they tried to sack Alexandria in Egypt, but were apparently unable to take it by force or stealth. ~ Lars Brownworth,
601:Champagne, 1914-15
In the glad revels, in the happy fetes,
When cheeks are flushed, and glasses gilt and pearled
With the sweet wine of France that concentrates
The sunshine and the beauty of the world,
Drink sometimes, you whose footsteps yet may tread
The undisturbed, delightful paths of Earth,
To those whose blood, in pious duty shed,
Hallows the soil where that same wine had birth.
Here, by devoted comrades laid away,
Along our lines they slumber where they fell,
Beside the crater at the Ferme d'Alger
And up the bloody slopes of La Pompelle,
And round the city whose cathedral towers
The enemies of Beauty dared profane,
And in the mat of multicolored flowers
That clothe the sunny chalk-fields of Champagne.
Under the little crosses where they rise
The soldier rests. Now round him undismayed
The cannon thunders, and at night he lies
At peace beneath the eternal fusillade. . . .
That other generations might possess -- From shame and menace free in years to come -- A richer heritage of happiness,
He marched to that heroic martyrdom.
Esteeming less the forfeit that he paid
Than undishonored that his flag might float
Over the towers of liberty, he made
His breast the bulwark and his blood the moat.
Obscurely sacrificed, his nameless tomb,
Bare of the sculptor's art, the poet's lines,
Summer shall flush with poppy-fields in bloom,
And Autumn yellow with maturing vines.
There the grape-pickers at their harvesting
Shall lightly tread and load their wicker trays,
Blessing his memory as they toil and sing
In the slant sunshine of October days. . . .
I love to think that if my blood should be
So privileged to sink where his has sunk,
I shall not pass from Earth entirely,
But when the banquet rings, when healths are drunk,
And faces that the joys of living fill
Glow radiant with laughter and good cheer,
In beaming cups some spark of me shall still
Brim toward the lips that once I held so dear.
So shall one coveting no higher plane
Than nature clothes in color and flesh and tone,
Even from the grave put upward to attain
The dreams youth cherished and missed and might have known;
And that strong need that strove unsatisfied
Toward earthly beauty in all forms it wore,
Not death itself shall utterly divide
From the belovèd shapes it thirsted for.
Alas, how many an adept for whose arms
Life held delicious offerings perished here,
How many in the prime of all that charms,
Crowned with all gifts that conquer and endear!
Honor them not so much with tears and flowers,
But you with whom the sweet fulfilment lies,
Where in the anguish of atrocious hours
Turned their last thoughts and closed their dying eyes,
Rather when music on bright gatherings lays
Its tender spell, and joy is uppermost,
Be mindful of the men they were, and raise
Your glasses to them in one silent toast.
Drink to them -- - amorous of dear Earth as well,
They asked no tribute lovelier than this -- And in the wine that ripened where they fell,
Oh, frame your lips as though it were a kiss.
~ Alan Seeger,
602:A Commuted Sentence
Boruck and Waterman upon their grills
In Hades lay, with many a sigh and groan,
Hotly disputing, for each swore his own
Were clearly keener than the other's ills.
And, truly, each had much to boast of-bone
And sinew, muscle, tallow, nerve and skin,
Blood in the vein and marrow in the shin,
Teeth, eyes and other organs (for the soul
Has all of these and even a wagging chin)
Blazing and coruscating like a coal!
For Lower Sacramento, you remember,
Has trying weather, even in mid-December.
Now this occurred in the far future. All
Mankind had been a million ages dead,
And each to her reward above had sped,
Each to his punishment below,-I call
That quite a just arrangement. As I said,
Boruck and Waterman in warmest pain
Crackled and sizzed with all their might and main.
For, when on earth, they'd freed a scurvy host
Of crooks from the State prison, who again
Had robbed and ravaged the Pacific Coast
And (such the felon's predatory nature)
Even got themselves into the Legislature.
So Waterman and Boruck lay and roared
In Hades. It is true all other males
Felt the like flames and uttered equal wails,
But did not suffer _them_; whereas _they_ bored
Each one the other. But indeed my tale's
Not getting on at all. They lay and browned
Till Boruck (who long since his teeth had ground
Away and spoke Gum Arabic and made
Stump speeches even in praying) looked around
And said to Bob's incinerated shade:
'Your Excellency, this is mighty hard on
The inventors of the unpardonable pardon.'
The other soul-his right hand all aflame,
For 'twas with that he'd chiefly sinned, although
His tongue, too, like a wick was working woe
To the reserve of tallow in his frameSaid, with a sputtering, uncertain flow,
And with a gesture like a shaken torch:
'Yes, but I'm sure we'll not much longer scorch.
Although this climate is not good for Hope,
Whose joyous wing 'twould singe, I think the porch
Of Hell we'll quit with a pacific slope.
Last century I signified repentance
And asked for commutation of our sentence.'
Even as he spoke, the form of Satan loomed
In sight, all crimson with reflections's fire,
Like some tall tower or cathedral spire
Touched by the dawn while all the earth is gloomed
In mists and shadows of the night time. 'Sire,'
Said Waterman, his agitable wick
Still sputtering, 'what calls you back so quick?
It scarcely was a century ago
You left us.' 'I have come to bring,' said Nick,
'St. Peter's answer (he is never slow
In correspondence) to your application
For pardon-pardon me!-for commutation.
'He says that he's instructed to reply
(And he has so instructed me) that sin
Like yours-and this poor gentleman's who's in
For bad advice to you-comes rather high;
But since, apparently, you both begin
To feel some pious promptings to the right,
And fain would turn your faces to the light,
Eternity seems all too long a term.
So 'tis commuted to one-half. I'm quite
Prepared, when that expires, to free the worm
And quench the fire.' And, civilly retreating,
He left them holding their protracted meeting.
~ Ambrose Bierce,
603:The Dream
I stood in a princely hall, and where
Round me gather'd the brave and fair,
Music in softest strains flew by,
Flashing like gems was each radiant eye;
Joining the fair in the festal dance,
Now the proud warrior lays down his lance,
And the hand which but lately the sword had grasp'd
In love's fond pressure was gently clasp'd.
But who of such lofty stature there,
Comes to unite in the revels fair,
Beauty and grace, in his movements are,
Born but to rule, 'tis the Czar, the Czar!
See the blush deepen on beauty's cheek,
As that eagle eye to the heart doth speak,
For the softest glance, yet how fierce in war,
Is the eye of the proud Imperial Czar!
The dance has ceased, and he stands alone,
Far from the scene has his spirit flown,
That spirit proud which no more can see,
Aught of the dance or minstrelsy;
For o'er barren steppes it has wander'd far,
Where the trumpet's blast tells of fiery war,
And his strongest city beleaguered lies
By the army brave of the bold Allies!
Crushing the thoughts which his bosom swell,
He leaves the scene, as the vesper bell,
Of the dim cathedral calls to prayer;
The scene is changed, we behold him there;
Soft falls the light on the chequer'd floor,
And the form of Him who our deep sins bore,
Is raised on high, whilst around are seen,
Relics of those who have sainted been.
Still dreamed I on, as sweet chaunting stole
With soothing accents upon the soul,
And quivering banners above were hung,
While incense sweet thro' the air was flung;
Now rose with triumphant swell the strain,
Then with plaintive sweetness it died again;
And the long aisles echoed its dying tone,
Till it ceased in a low and farewell moan.
Hush'd is the strain, but its tones seemed fraught
With pain and dread to the conqueror's thought,
And there swept o'er his brow a deeper gloom,
As if it betokened mysterious doom;
For the workings fierce in that mighty breast,
Of remorse and passion forbade him rest;
And near to the altar's step he came,
To seek for peace from that passion's flame.
The Priest advanced, and that proud form shook,
As the sacred bread in his hand he took;
He bowed his head to the marble floor,
But cold big drops on his brow he bore,
For a shadowy hand on the wall pass'd by,
And he knew 'twas an omen which call'd to die;
Then a voice which but he alone could hear,
The summons gave that he soon appear-Before the throne of the King of Kings;
Still on his ear that dread voice rings,
The Priest beholds him with awe, who dare,
Encounter the ray of that eye's fierce glare?
He turned that eye on the casement dim,
And shadowy forms rose up to him,
Bleeding and dying, who still enfold,
Their banners around them in death's last hold.
He gazes still, and a weeping throng,
Widows and orphans come sweeping on,
And he hears their low and bewailing cry,
For their bosoms lords who have gone to die.
And beyond in the barren steppes below,
Lie Russia's serfs in the drifted snow,
While a glorious form is hovering nigh,
The avenging angel with sword on high!
He sees it all -- and a secret pang,
Through that all unconquered spirit rang,
And I turned to look on the conqueror dread,
I woke, 'twas a dream, and the vision fled.
~ Caroline Hayward,
604:Not Aladdin magian
Ever such a work began;
Not the wizard of the Dee
Ever such a dream could see;
Not St. John, in Patmos' Isle,
In the passion of his toil,
When he saw the churches seven,
Golden aisl'd, built up in heaven,
Gaz'd at such a rugged wonder.
As I stood its roofing under
Lo! I saw one sleeping there,
On the marble cold and bare.
While the surges wash'd his feet,
And his garments white did beat.
Drench'd about the sombre rocks,
On his neck his well-grown locks,
Lifted dry above the main,
Were upon the curl again.
"What is this? and what art thou?"
Whisper'd I, and touch'd his brow;
"What art thou? and what is this?"
Whisper'd I, and strove to kiss
The spirit's hand, to wake his eyes;
Up he started in a trice:
"I am Lycidas," said he,
"Fam'd in funeral minstrely!
This was architectur'd thus
By the great Oceanus!--
Here his mighty waters play
Hollow organs all the day;
Here by turns his dolphins all,
Finny palmers great and small,
Come to pay devotion due--
Each a mouth of pearls must strew.
Many a mortal of these days,
Dares to pass our sacred ways,
Dares to touch audaciously
This Cathedral of the Sea!
I have been the pontiff-priest
Where the waters never rest,
Where a fledgy sea-bird choir
Soars for ever; holy fire
I have hid from mortal man;
Proteus is my Sacristan.
But the dulled eye of mortal
Hath pass'd beyond the rocky portal;
So for ever will I leave
Such a taint, and soon unweave
All the magic of the place."
* * * * * *
So saying, with a Spirit's glance
He dived!
'After a detention of a few hours at Inverary owing to Brown's suffering from sore feet, the travellers started again on the 19th of July, walked along "20 miles by the side of Loch Awe" -- southward, I suppose, for they next paused "between Loch Craignish and the sea just opposite Long Island," where Keats gives a very minute account to Tom of the locale. They then pushed on to Oban, "15 miles in a soaking rain" -- due north again. At Oban Keats finished the unpublished letter to Tom containing The Gadfly and the Stranger sonnet, and posted it, announcing that the travellers had given up the idea of Mull and Staffa on account of the expense. This was probably on the 22nd of July. On the 23rd he begins a fresh letter (Life, Letters &c.) stating that just after he had posted the other the guide to Mull came in and made a bargain with them. This latter letter is dated the 23rd of July, "Dunancullen" in the Life: "Dimancullen" is the name given in the same connexion in the New York World, where some Keats documents appeared; but probably the place indicated is Derrynaculen, which is at a situation on the walk through the southern part of the Isle of Mull corresponding with Keats's narrative. This narrative seems to show that on the 23rd of July they crossed from Oban to Kerrera by one ferry and from Kerrera to Mull by another, and walked across the south of the Island to the western extremity to cross to Iona by boat. By the 26th, Keats resumed his letter to Tom at Oban, and narrated that the thirty-seven miles of walking had been very miserable, and that he and Brown had taken a boat at a bargain to carry them from Iona to Staffa, and land them finally at the head of Loch Nakeal, whence they could return to Oban by a better route. He vividly describes Staffa, including Fingal's Cave, breaks into verse with the lines given above, and resumes prose with,
"I am sorry I am so indolent as to write such stuff as this." Probably the poem should be dated the 26th of July, 1818.'
~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ John Keats, Staffa
605:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. The Epilogue
‘Ah, dearest Wife, a fresh-lit fire
‘Sends forth to heaven great shows of fume,
‘And watchers, far away, admire;
‘But when the flames their power assume,
‘The more they burn the less they show,
‘The clouds no longer smirch the sky,
‘And then the flames intensest glow
‘When far-off watchers think they die.
‘The fumes of early love my verse
‘Has figured—’ ‘You must paint the flame!’
‘'Twould merit the Promethean curse!
‘But now, Sweet, for your praise and blame.’
‘You speak too boldly; veils are due
‘To women's feelings.’ ‘Fear not this!
‘Women will vow I say not true,
‘And men believe the lips they kiss.’
‘I did not call you 'Dear' or 'Love,'
‘I think, till after Frank was born.’
‘That fault I cannot well remove;
‘The rhymes’—but Frank now blew his horn,
And Walter bark'd, on hands and knees,
At Baby in the mignonette,
And all made, full-cry, for the trees
Where Felix and his Wife were set.
Again disturb'd, (crickets have cares!)
True to their annual use they rose,
To offer thanks at Evening Prayers
In three times sacred Sarum Close.
Passing, they left a gift of wine
At Widow Neale's. Her daughter said:
‘O, Ma'am, she's sinking! For a sign,
‘She cried just now, of him that's dead,
‘'Mary, he's somewhere close above,
‘'Weeping and wailing his dead wife,
‘'With forceful prayers and fatal love
‘'Conjuring me to come to life.
‘'A spirit is terrible though dear!
‘'It comes by night, and sucks my breath,
‘'And draws me with desire and fear.'
‘Ah, Ma'am, she'll soon be his in death!’
Vaughan, when his kind Wife's eyes were dry,
Said, ‘This thought crosses me, my Dove;
‘If Heaven should proffer, when we die,
‘Some unconceiv'd, superior love,
‘How take the exchange without despair,
‘Without worse folly how refuse?’
But she, who, wise as she was fair,
For subtle doubts had simple clues,
Said, ‘Custom sanctifies, and faith
‘Is more than joy: ah, how desire
‘In any heaven a different path,
‘Though, found at first, it had been higher?
‘Yet love makes death a dreadful thought!
‘Felix, at what a price we live!’
But present pleasures soon forgot
The future's dread alternative;
For, as became the festal time,
He cheer'd her heart with tender praise,
And speeches wanting only rhyme
To make them like his winged lays.
He discommended girlhood. ‘What
‘For sweetness like the ten-years' wife,
‘Whose customary love is not
‘Her passion, or her play, but life?
‘With beauties so maturely fair,
‘Affecting, mild, and manifold,
‘May girlish charms no more compare
‘Than apples green with apples gold.
‘Ah, still unpraised Honoria, Heaven,
‘When you into my arms it gave,
‘Left nought hereafter to be given
‘But grace to feel the good I have.’
Her own and manhood's modesty
Made dumb her love, but, on their road,
His hand in hers felt soft reply,
And like rejoinder fond bestow'd;
And, when the carriage set them down,
‘How strange,’ said he, ‘'twould seem to meet,
‘When pacing, as we now this town,
‘A Florence or a Lisbon Street,
‘That Laura or that Catherine, who,
‘In the remote, romantic years,
‘From Petrarch or Camoens drew
‘Their songs and their immortal tears!’
But here their converse had its end;
For, crossing the Cathedral Lawn,
There came an ancient college-friend,
Who, introduced to Mrs. Vaughan,
Lifted his hat, and bow'd and smiled,
And fill'd her kind large eyes with joy,
By patting on the cheek her child,
With, ‘Is he yours, this handsome boy?’
~ Coventry Patmore,
606:Breitmann Am Rhein - Cologne.
HOW wunderschon das Vaterland
In audumn-life abbears;
Vot rainpows gild ids vallies crand,
Ven seen troo vallin tears.
Und VON I'll creet mit sang und klang,
Und drown in goldnen wein;
Old Deutschland's cot her sohn again:
Hans Breitmann's on der Rhein.
Und doughts ish schwell dat mighdy heart,
Too awfool for make known;
Ven dey shunt him from de railroat car
Und tropped him in Cologne.
De holy towers of de dome
Cleam, twilicht-veiled, afar;
Und like some lonely bilgrim's pipe,
Dim shines de efenin star.
Hans look to find his baggage check,
Und see dat all ish shdraighdts,
Denn toorn him to de city toors,
'Mein nadife land - wie gehts?'
Boot dat's vot all who read may runFool blainly armies write;
Id's ofer all half Shermany,
Set down in Black and White.
Oh, Black and White! O Weiss and Schwarz!
Vot dings ish dis to see?
I vonder vot in future years
Your mission ish to pe?
Also in crate America
We had soosh colors too!
Die Farb' sind mir nicht unbekanntId's shoost tout comme chez nous.
Next tay to de Cathedral
He vent de dings to view,
Und found it shoost drei thaler cost
To see de sighds all troo.
'Id's tear,' said Hans; 'boot go ahet,
I'fe cot de cash all right;
Boot id's queer dat's only Protestands
Vot mosdly see de sighdt!
'Im Mittelalter I hafe read
De shoorsh vas alvays sureAn open bicdure gallerie,
Und book for all de poor.
Boot now de dings is so arrange
No poor volk can get in;
We Yankees und de Englisch are
Pout all ash shbends de tin.
'I shmiles like Mephistopheles
In shoorshes ven I see
Poor Catholics vollerin round apout
To shdeal a sighdt - troo ME!
Dey peep und creep roundt chapel gates,
Boot soon kits trofe afay,
Dey gross demselfs, und make a brayerBoot den dey cannot bay!
'Dese Deutsche sacrisdans might learn
More goot in Italy,
Where beoples bays shoost half de brice,
For ten dimes more to see,
De volk vot dink I shbeak sefere
Apout dese Kuster vays,
May read vot Mr. Badeker
In his Belgine Hand Buch says.'
Und valkin oop und town de down
Von ding vas shdill de same:
Shoost ash of oldt he saw de shpread
Of Jean Farina's name.
He find it nort', he find it sout',
He find it eferyvhere;
Dere vas no house in all Cologne
Boot J. M. F. vas dere.
De best Cologne in all Cologne
I'll shwear for cerdain sure,
Ish maket in de Julichsplatz
Und dat at Numero Four.
Boot of dis Cologne in Julichsplatz
Let dis pe understood,
Dat some of id ish foorst-rate pad,
Vhile some is foorst-rate good.
Boot von ding drafellers moost opserve,
Dis treadful trut I dells,
Fast ash dis Farinaceous crowd
So vast hafe grown the schmellsDose awfool schmells in gass' und strass'
Vitch mofe crate Coleridge squalm:
If so he wrote, vot vouldt he write
Apout dem now, py tam?
Of all de schmells I efer schmelt,
Py gutter, sink, or well,
At efery gorner of Cologne
Dere's von can peat dat schmell.
Vhen dere you go you'll find it so,
Don't dake de ding on troost;
De meanest skunk in Yankee land
Vould die dere of disgoost.
Boot noding dinked der Breitmann
Of schmutz or idle schein,
Vhen he sat in Abendammerung
Und looket owd on der Rhein
Im goldnen gleam - vhile pealin far
Rang shlow, shveet kloster bells,
Und in de dim, plue peaudiful,
Rose distant Drachenfels.
Dey trinket lieb Liebfrauenmilch
So pure ash voman's trut';
De singed de songs of Shermany,
De songs of Breitmann's yout'.
De songs mit tears of vanished years,
Made peaudiful in wein.
Dus endet out de firster tay
Of Breitmann on der Rhein.
~ Charles Godfrey Leland,
607:What is so often said about the solders of the 20th century is that they fought to make us free. Which is a wonderful sentiment and one witch should evoke tremendous gratitude if in fact there was a shred of truth in that statement but, it's not true. It's not even close to true in fact it's the opposite of truth.

There's this myth around that people believe that the way to honor deaths of so many of millions of people; that the way to honor is to say that we achieved some tangible, positive, good, out of their death's. That's how we are supposed to honor their deaths. We can try and rescue some positive and forward momentum of human progress, of human virtue from these hundreds of millions of death's but we don't do it by pretending that they'd died to set us free because we are less free; far less free now then we were before these slaughters began. These people did not die to set us free. They did not die fighting any enemy other than the ones that the previous deaths created.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names. Solders are paid killers, and I say this with a great degree of sympathy to young men and women who are suckered into a life of evil through propaganda and the labeling of heroic to a man in costume who kills for money and the life of honor is accepting ordered killings for money, prestige, and pensions. We create the possibility of moral choice by communicating truth about ethics to people. That to me is where real heroism and real respect for the dead lies. Real respect for the dead lies in exhuming the corpses and hearing what they would say if they could speak out; and they would say: If any ask us why we died tell it's because our fathers lied, tell them it's because we were told that charging up a hill and slaughtering our fellow man was heroic, noble, and honorable. But these hundreds of millions of ghosts encircled the world in agony, remorse will not be released from our collective unconscious until we lay the truth of their murders on the table and look at the horror that is the lie; that murder for money can be moral, that murder for prestige can be moral.

These poor young men and woman propagandized into an undead ethical status lied to about what is noble, virtuous, courageous, honorable, decent, and good to the point that they're rolling hand grenades into children's rooms and the illusion that, that is going to make the world a better place. We have to stare this in the face if we want to remember why these people died. They did not die to set us free. They did not die to make the world a better place. They died because we are ruled by sociopaths. The only thing that can create a better world is the truth is the virtue is the honor and courage of standing up to the genocidal lies of mankind and calling them lies and ultimate corruptions.

The trauma and horrors of this century of staggering bloodshed of the brief respite of the 19th century. This addiction to blood and the idea that if we pour more bodies into the hole of the mass graves of the 20th century, if we pour more bodies and more blood we can build some sort of cathedral to a better place but it doesn't happen. We can throw as many young men and woman as we want into this pit of slaughter and it will never be full. It will never do anything other than sink and recede further into the depths of hell. We can’t build a better world on bodies. We can’t build peace on blood. If we don't look back and see the army of the dead of the 20th century calling out for us to see that they died to enslave us. That whenever there was a war the government grew and grew.

We are so addicted to this lie. What we need to do is remember that these bodies bury us. This ocean of blood that we create through the fantasy that violence brings virtue. It drowns us, drowns our children, our future, and the world. When we pour these endless young bodies into this pit of death; we follow it. ~ Stefan Molyneux,
608:The Cathedral Of Rheims
He who walks through the meadows of Champagne
At noon in Fall, when leaves like gold appear,
Sees it draw near
Like some great mountain set upon the plain,
From radiant dawn until the close of day,
Nearer it grows
To him who goes
Across the country. When tall towers lay
Their shadowy pall
Upon his way,
He enters, where
The solid stone is hollowed deep by all
Its centuries of beauty and of prayer.
Ancient French temple! thou whose hundred kings
Watch over thee, emblazoned on thy walls,
Tell me, within thy memory-hallowed halls
What chant of triumph, or what war-song rings?
Thou hast known Clovis and his Frankish train,
Whose mighty hand Saint Remy's hand did keep
And in thy spacious vault perhaps may sleep
An echo of the voice of Charlemagne.
For God thou has known fear, when from His side
Men wandered, seeking alien shrines and new,
But still the sky was bountiful and blue
And thou wast crowned with France's love and pride.
Sacred thou art, from pinnacle to base;
And in thy panes of gold and scarlet glass
The setting sun sees thousandfold his face;
Sorrow and joy, in stately silence pass
Across thy walls, the shadow and the light;
Around thy lofty pillars, tapers white
Illuminate, with delicate sharp flames,
The brows of saints with venerable names,
And in the night erect a fiery wall.
A great but silent fervour burns in all
Those simple folk who kneel, pathetic, dumb,
And know that down below, beside the Rhine Cannon, horses, soldiers, flags in line -
With blare of trumpets, mighty armies come.
Suddenly, each knows fear;
Swift rumours pass, that every one must hear,
The hostile banners blaze against the sky
And by the embassies mobs rage and cry.
Now war has come, and peace is at an end.
On Paris town the German troops descend.
They are turned back, and driven to Champagne.
And now, as to so many weary men,
The glorious temple gives them welcome, when
It meets them at the bottom of the plain.
At once, they set their cannon in its way.
There is no gable now, nor wall
That does not suffer, night and day,
As shot and shell in crushing torrents fall.
The stricken tocsin quivers through the tower;
The triple nave, the apse, the lonely choir
Are circled, hour by hour,
With thundering bands of fire
And Death is scattered broadcast among men.
And then
That which was splendid with baptismal grace;
The stately arches soaring into space,
The transepts, columns, windows gray and gold,
The organ, in whose tones the ocean rolled,
The crypts, of mighty shades the dwelling places,
The Virgin's gentle hands, the Saints' pure faces,
All, even the pardoning hands of Christ the Lord
Were struck and broken by the wanton sword
Of sacrilegious lust.
O beauty slain, O glory in the dust!
Strong walls of faith, most basely overthrown!
The crawling flames, like adders glistening
Ate the white fabric of this lovely thing.
Now from its soul arose a piteous moan,
The soul that always loved the just and fair.
Granite and marble loud their woe confessed,
The silver monstrances that Popes had blessed,
The chalices and lamps and crosiers rare
Were seared and twisted by a flaming breath;
The horror everywhere did range and swell,
The guardian Saints into this furnace fell,
Their bitter tears and screams were stilled in death.
Around the flames armed hosts are skirmishing,
The burning sun reflects the lurid scene;
The German army, fighting for its life,
Rallies its torn and terrified left wing;
And, as they near this place
The imperial eagles see
Before them in their flight,
Here, in the solemn night,
The old cathedral, to the years to be
Showing, with wounded arms, their own disgrace.
~ Emile Verhaeren,
That idol, black eyes and yellow mop, without parents or court,
nobler than Mexican and Flemish fables;
his domain, insolent azure and verdure,
runs over beaches called by the shipless waves,
names ferociously Greek, Slav, Celt.
At the border of the forest-- dream flowers tinkle, flash, and flare,-the girl with orange lips, knees
crossed in the clear flood that gushes from the fields,
nakedness shaded, traversed, dressed by rainbow, flora, sea.
Ladies who stroll on terraces adjacent to the sea;
baby girls and giantesses,
superb blacks in the verdigris moss,
jewels upright on the rich ground
of groves and little thawed gardens,-young mothers and big sisters with eyes full of pilgrimages,
sultanas, princesses tyrannical of costume and carriage,
little foreign misses and young ladies gently unhappy.
What boredom, the hour of the 'dear body' and 'dear heart.'
It is she, the little girl, dead behind the rosebushes. -The young mamma, deceased, comes down the stoop.-The cousin's carriage creaks on the sand.-The little brother (he is in India!) there,
before the western sky in the meadow of pinks.
The old men who have been buried upright
in the rampart overgrown with gillyflowers.
Swarms of golden leaves surround the general's house.
They are in the south.-You follow the red road to reach the empty inn.
The chateau is for sale; the shutters are coming off.
The priest must have taken away the key of the church.
Around the park the keepers' cottages are uninhabited.
The enclosures are so high that nothing
can be seen but the rustling tree tops.
Besides, there is nothing to be seen within.
The meadows go up to the hamlets without anvils or cocks.
The sluice gate is open.
O the Calvaries and the windmills of the desert,
the islands and the haystacks!
Magic flowers droned.
The slopes cradled him.
Beasts of a fabulous elegance moved about.
The clouds gathered over the high sea,
formed of an eternity of hot tears.
In the woods there is a bird;
his song stops you and makes you blush.
There is a clock that never strikes.
There is a hollow with a nest of white beasts.
There is a cathedral that goes down and a lake that goes up.
There is a little carriage abandoned in the copse
or that goes running down the road beribboned.
There is a troupe of little actors in costume, glimpsed on the road
through the border of the woods.
And then, when you are hungry and thirsty,
there is someone who drives you away.
I am the saint at prayer on the terrace
like the peaceful beasts
that graze down to the sea of Palestine.
I am the scholar of the dark armchair.
Branches and rain hurl themselves at the windows of my library.
I am the pedestrian of the highroad by way of the dwarf woods;
the roar of the sluices drowns my steps.
I can see for a long time the melancholy wash of the setting sun.
I might well be the child abandoned on the jetty
on its way to the high seas, the little farm boy following the lane,
its forehead touching the sky. The paths are rough.
The hillocks are covered with broom.
The air is motionless. How far away are the birds and the springs!
It can only be the end of the world ahead.
Let them rent me this whitewashed tomb, at last,
with cement lines in relief,-- far down under ground.
I lean my elbows on the table,
the lamp shines brightly on these newspapers
I am fool enough to read again, these stupid books.
An enormous distance above my subterranean parlor,
houses take root, fogs gather.
The mud is red or black.
Monstrous city, night without end!
Less high are the sewers. At the sides,
nothing but the thickness of the globe.
Chasms of azure, wells of fire perhaps.
Perhaps it is on these levels that moons and comets meet,
fables and seas. In hours of bitterness,
I imagine balls of sapphire, of metal.
I am master of silence.
Why should the semblance of an opening
pale under one corner of the vault?
~ Arthur Rimbaud,
610:The Midnight Mass
An incident of the French Revolution.
The light lay trembling in a silver bar
Along the western borders of the sky;
From out the shadowy dome a little star
Stole forth to keep its patient watch on high;
And night came down, with solemn, soft embrace,
On storied Brittany.
Another night lay over all the land—
The dark of hell, and lurid with its fire.
She heard the roar of fiends; she saw the brand
Flung red and hissing over roof and spire;
She saw her golden spurs and reaping-hooks
Tossed on the funeral pyre.
She stood in calm defiance, while the flood
Swept over her;—while everywhere was seen
Her dim, majestic cities drenched in blood;
Ashes and smoke where temple-walls had been;
And high on woodland knoll and market-place,
The ghastly guillotine.
'Twas hard to tear her peasant-souls apart
From priest and liege, and clinging faith of old;
'Twas hard to bend the strong and simple heart
By fear of torture or by love of gold:
For naught those gory hands could offer them
Might consciences be sold.
“No tower or belfry shall be left to stand,”
Saint André swore, and waved his cap of red;
“You shall have naught in all this cursèd land
For sign of your superstition,—it is dead!”
A peasant heard, and raised his eyes to heaven;—
“You'll leave the stars,” he said.
True were the priests and people, each to each,
And all alike to their unlettered creed;
No violent force of sophistry could reach
Their rough-hewn faith in bitter time of need.
They died with deaf ears and dumb mouths; and theirs
Was martyrdom indeed!
Night—midnight—lay beneath her silver lamps;
Her deep sleep broken by the fitful glare
Of bivouac fires in noisy village camps,
And hoarse shouts mellowed through the listening air;
Save only where the sea-waves washed the coast—
'Twas still and quiet there:
The heave and swell, and sudden, plunging dash
Against the low rocks lying in their reach;
The hissing shingle, and the sweet, free plash
Of long-drawn breakers on the open beach;
And now and then, in momentary pause,
The curlew's mournful screech:
The soft, low gurgle in the hollowed track
Through reef and boulder; and the rippling fall
Of idle wandering waters, swirling back
From secret tryst in Naiads' rocky hall;—
Only these sounds—save that deep monotone
Which held and hushed them all.
Only these sounds? Was nothing to be heard
But voice of breaker as it rose and fell,
The kelpie's song, the wailing of a bird?
Ay, far and faint amid the restless swell,
One other voice stole whispering through the air—
The chime of a silver bell.
It came from dim mid-ocean, wild and free,
To listening ears, in silence of the night;
And watchful eyes saw, out upon the sea
And 'neath the stars, a little twinkling light—
Now lost behind a waving mountain-top,
Now shining clear and bright.
Softly the fishers' boats began to glide
From shadowy rock and sheltered cave and creek;
Bronzed men and gentle maidens, side by side,
Dipped muffled oars; no woman-hand was weak.
All eyes turned, wistful, to the beacon-lamp;
But no one dared to speak.
The scattered specks, with each its little crowd,
Drew near, converging on the distant bark;
The sweet bell rang out louder and more loud,
The light shone bright and brighter in the dark;
And soon a hundred lips burst forth in praise—
For all had reach'd the ark.
There was the priest, with whom they came to sup,
White-hair'd and holy, by his humble board;
There, amid light and darkness lifted up,
The blessed rood, by simple eyes adored.
Each head was bowed, each pious knee was bent
In presence of the Lord.
Ah! 'twas a grand cathedral where they knelt!
Grand was the organ-music—vast the crypt
Wherein its wild, mysterious echoes dwelt;
And fresh and pure the incense, as it slipp'd
Down shining floor and down wide altar-steps,
With frosted silver tipp'd.
Grand was the darken'd aisles and solemn nave—
The domèd roof, magnificently high—
The airy walls and mighty architrave—
The sweet star-tapers that could never die!
And grander still its purity of peace,
Its untouched sanctity.
The worn and weary ones came there, to search
For rest and hope in holy Eucharist;
There—in the splendour of that solemn church—
They, priest and people, communed with the Christ;
Thus—with all other temples overthrown—
They kept his sacred tryst.
With calm, grave eyes and even-pulsing breath,
They dipp'd their still oars in the darken'd space.
Strong now the hands fast rowing back to death!—
And strong the simple hearts, new clothed in grace—
The hush'd and quiet souls—ere long to meet
Their Saviour face to face.
~ Ada Cambridge,
611:The Bombardment
Slowly, without force, the rain drops into the city. It stops a moment
on the carved head of Saint John, then slides on again, slipping and trickling
over his stone cloak. It splashes from the lead conduit of a gargoyle,
and falls from it in turmoil on the stones in the Cathedral square.
Where are the people, and why does the fretted steeple sweep about in the sky?
Boom! The sound swings against the rain. Boom, again! After it, only water
rushing in the gutters, and the turmoil from the spout of the gargoyle.
Silence. Ripples and mutters. Boom!
The room is damp, but warm. Little flashes swarm about from the firelight.
The lustres of the chandelier are bright, and clusters of rubies
leap in the bohemian glasses on the `etagere'. Her hands are restless,
but the white masses of her hair are quite still. Boom! Will it never cease
to torture, this iteration! Boom! The vibration shatters a glass
on the `etagere'. It lies there, formless and glowing,
with all its crimson gleams shot out of pattern, spilled, flowing red,
blood-red. A thin bell-note pricks through the silence. A door creaks.
The old lady speaks: 'Victor, clear away that broken glass.' 'Alas!
Madame, the bohemian glass!' 'Yes, Victor, one hundred years ago
my father brought it -' Boom! The room shakes, the servitor quakes.
Another goblet shivers and breaks. Boom!
It rustles at the window-pane, the smooth, streaming rain, and he is shut
within its clash and murmur. Inside is his candle, his table, his ink,
his pen, and his dreams. He is thinking, and the walls are pierced with
beams of sunshine, slipping through young green. A fountain tosses itself
up at the blue sky, and through the spattered water in the basin he can see
copper carp, lazily floating among cold leaves. A wind-harp in a cedar-tree
grieves and whispers, and words blow into his brain, bubbled, iridescent,
shooting up like flowers of fire, higher and higher. Boom!
The flame-flowers snap on their slender stems. The fountain rears up
in long broken spears of dishevelled water and flattens into the earth. Boom!
And there is only the room, the table, the candle, and the sliding rain.
Again, Boom! - Boom! - Boom! He stuffs his fingers into his ears.
He sees corpses, and cries out in fright. Boom! It is night,
and they are shelling the city! Boom! Boom!
A child wakes and is afraid, and weeps in the darkness. What has made
the bed shake? 'Mother, where are you? I am awake.' 'Hush, my Darling,
I am here.' 'But, Mother, something so queer happened, the room shook.'
Boom! 'Oh! What is it? What is the matter?' Boom! 'Where is Father?
I am so afraid.' Boom! The child sobs and shrieks. The house
trembles and creaks. Boom!
Retorts, globes, tubes, and phials lie shattered. All his trials
oozing across the floor. The life that was his choosing, lonely, urgent,
goaded by a hope, all gone. A weary man in a ruined laboratory,
that is his story. Boom! Gloom and ignorance, and the jig of drunken brutes.
Diseases like snakes crawling over the earth, leaving trails of slime.
Wails from people burying their dead. Through the window, he can see
the rocking steeple. A ball of fire falls on the lead of the roof,
and the sky tears apart on a spike of flame. Up the spire,
behind the lacings of stone, zigzagging in and out of the carved tracings,
squirms the fire. It spouts like yellow wheat from the gargoyles, coils round
the head of Saint John, and aureoles him in light. It leaps into the night
and hisses against the rain. The Cathedral is a burning stain on the white,
wet night.
Boom! The Cathedral is a torch, and the houses next to it begin to scorch.
Boom! The bohemian glass on the `etagere' is no longer there.
Boom! A stalk of flame sways against the red damask curtains.
The old lady cannot walk. She watches the creeping stalk and counts.
Boom! - Boom! - Boom!
The poet rushes into the street, and the rain wraps him in a sheet of silver.
But it is threaded with gold and powdered with scarlet beads. The city burns.
Quivering, spearing, thrusting, lapping, streaming, run the flames.
Over roofs, and walls, and shops, and stalls. Smearing its gold on the sky,
the fire dances, lances itself through the doors, and lisps and chuckles
along the floors.
The child wakes again and screams at the yellow petalled flower
flickering at the window. The little red lips of flame creep along
the ceiling beams.
The old man sits among his broken experiments and looks at
the burning Cathedral. Now the streets are swarming with people.
They seek shelter and crowd into the cellars. They shout and call,
and over all, slowly and without force, the rain drops into the city.
Boom! And the steeple crashes down among the people. Boom! Boom, again!
The water rushes along the gutters. The fire roars and mutters. Boom!
~ Amy Lowell,
612:Death & Fame

When I die

I don't care what happens to my body throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery

But I want a big funeral St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in Manhattan

First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother 96, Aunt Honey from old Newark,

Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sister-in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters their grandchildren, companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan--

Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya's ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche, there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting America, Satchitananda Swami Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche, Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi's phantoms Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau Roshis, Lama Tarchen --

Then, most important, lovers over half-century Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories

"He taught me to meditate, now I'm an old veteran of the thousandday retreat --"

"I played music on subway platforms, I'm straight but loved him he loved me"

"I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone"

"We'd lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly arms round each other"

"I'd always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my skivvies would be on the floor"

"Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master"

"We'd talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then sleep in his captain's bed."

"He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy"

"I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my stomach shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips-- "

"All I did was lay back eyes closed, he'd bring me to come with mouth & fingers along my waist"

"He gave great head"

So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commin-gling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997 and surprise -- "You too? But I thought you were straight!"

"I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me."

"I forgot whether I was straight gay queer or funny, was myself, tender and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head, my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly. on my prick, tickled with his tongue my behind"

"I loved the way he'd recite 'But at my back allways hear/ time's winged chariot hurrying near,' heads together, eye to eye, on a pillow --"

Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear

"I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his walk-up flat, seduced me didn't want to, made me come, went home, never saw him again never wanted to... "

"He couldn't get it up but loved me," "A clean old man." "He made sure I came first"

This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor--

Then poets & musicians -- college boys' grunge bands -- age-old rock star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con-ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum-peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto-harp pennywhistles & kazoos

Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60's India, Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa-chusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American provinces

Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate biblio-philes, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex

"I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved him anyway, true artist"

"Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me from suicide hospitals"

"Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my studio guest a week in Budapest"

Thousands of readers, "Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois"

"I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet-- "

"He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas City"

"Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City"

"Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982"

"I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized others like me out there"

Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures

Then Journalists, editors's secretaries, agents, portraitists & photo-graphy aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural historians come to witness the historic funeral Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autograph-hunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers

Everyone knew they were part of 'History" except the deceased who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive
February 22, 1997
~ Allen Ginsberg,
613:Death &Amp; Fame
When I die
I don't care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River
bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
But l want a big funeral
St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in
First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother
96, Aunt Honey from old Newark,
Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sisterin-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters
their grandchildren,
companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan-Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya's ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche,
there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting
America, Satchitananda Swami
Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche,
Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi's phantoms
Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau
Roshis, Lama Tarchen -Then, most important, lovers over half-century
Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich
young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each
other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories
"He taught me to meditate, now I'm an old veteran of the thousand
day retreat --"
"I played music on subway platforms, I'm straight but loved him he
loved me"
"I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone"
"We'd lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly
arms round each other"
"I'd always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my
skivvies would be on the floor"
"Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master"
"We'd talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then
sleep in his captain's bed."
"He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy"
"I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my
shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips-- "
"All I did was lay back eyes closed, he'd bring me to come with mouth
& fingers along my waist"
"He gave great head"
So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commingling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997
and surprise -- "You too? But I thought you were straight!"
"I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me."
"I forgot whether I was straight gay queer or funny, was myself, tender
and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head,
my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly. on my prick,
tickled with his tongue my behind"
"I loved the way he'd recite 'But at my back allways hear/ time's winged
chariot hurrying near,' heads together, eye to eye, on a
pillow --"
Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear
"I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his
walk-up flat,
seduced me didn't want to, made me come, went home, never saw him
again never wanted to... "
"He couldn't get it up but loved me," "A clean old man." "He made
sure I came first"
This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor-Then poets & musicians -- college boys' grunge bands -- age-old rock
star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical conductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trumpeters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger
fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin autoharp pennywhistles & kazoos
Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60's India,
Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massachusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty
sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American
Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate bibliophiles, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex
"I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved
him anyway, true artist"
"Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me
from suicide hospitals"
"Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my
studio guest a week in Budapest"
Thousands of readers, "Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois"
"I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet-- "
"He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas
"Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City"
"Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982"
"I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized
others like me out there"
Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures
Then Journalists, editors's secretaries, agents, portraitists & photography aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural
historians come to witness the historic funeral
Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autographhunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers
Everyone knew they were part of 'History" except the deceased
who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive
February 22, 1997
~ Allen Ginsberg,
614:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto I.
I The Impossibility
Lo, Love's obey'd by all. 'Tis right
That all should know what they obey,
Lest erring conscience damp delight,
And folly laugh our joys away.
Thou Primal Love, who grantest wings
And voices to the woodland birds,
Grant me the power of saying things
Too simple and too sweet for words!
II Love's Reality
I walk, I trust, with open eyes;
I've travell'd half my worldly course;
And in the way behind me lies
Much vanity and some remorse;
I've lived to feel how pride may part
Spirits, tho' match'd like hand and glove;
I've blush'd for love's abode, the heart;
But have not disbelieved in love;
Nor unto love, sole mortal thing
Of worth immortal, done the wrong
To count it, with the rest that sing,
Unworthy of a serious song;
And love is my reward; for now,
When most of dead'ning time complain,
The myrtle blooms upon my brow,
Its odour quickens all my brain.
III The Poet's Confidence
The richest realm of all the earth
Is counted still a heathen land:
Lo, I, like Joshua, now go forth
To give it into Israel's hand.
I will not hearken blame or praise;
For so should I dishonour do
To that sweet Power by which these Lays
Alone are lovely, good, and true;
Nor credence to the world's cries give,
Which ever preach and still prevent
Pure passion's high prerogative
To make, not follow, precedent.
From love's abysmal ether rare
If I to men have here made known
New truths, they, like new stars, were there
Before, though not yet written down.
Moving but as the feelings move,
I run, or loiter with delight,
Or pause to mark where gentle Love
Persuades the soul from height to height,
Yet, know ye, though my words are gay
As David's dance, which Michal scorn'd,
If kindly you receive the Lay,
You shall be sweetly help'd and warn'd.
The Cathedral Close.
Once more I came to Sarum Close,
With joy half memory, half desire,
And breathed the sunny wind that rose
And blew the shadows o'er the Spire,
And toss'd the lilac's scented plumes,
And sway'd the chestnut's thousand cones,
And fill'd my nostrils with perfumes,
And shaped the clouds in waifs and zones,
And wafted down the serious strain
Of Sarum bells, when, true to time,
I reach'd the Dean's, with heart and brain
That trembled to the trembling chime.
'Twas half my home, six years ago.
The six years had not alter'd it:
Red-brick and ashlar, long and low,
With dormers and with oriels lit.
Geranium, lychnis, rose array'd
The windows, all wide open thrown;
And some one in the Study play'd
The Wedding-March of Mendelssohn.
And there it was I last took leave:
'Twas Christmas: I remember'd now
The cruel girls, who feign'd to grieve,
Took down the evergreens; and how
The holly into blazes woke
The fire, lighting the large, low room
A dim, rich lustre of old oak
And crimson velvet's glowing gloom.
No change had touch'd Dean Churchill: kind,
By widowhood more than winters bent,
And settled in a cheerful mind,
As still forecasting heaven's content.
Well might his thoughts be fix'd on high,
Now she was there! Within her face
Humility and dignity
Were met in a most sweet embrace.
She seem'd expressly sent below
To teach our erring minds to see
The rhythmic change of time's swift flow
As part of still eternity.
Her life, all honour, observed, with awe
Which cross experience could not mar,
The fiction of the Christian law
That all men honourable are;
And so her smile at once conferr'd
High flattery and benign reproof;
And I, a rude boy, strangely stirr'd,
Grew courtly in my own behoof.
The years, so far from doing her wrong,
Anointed her with gracious balm,
And made her brows more and more young
With wreaths of amaranth and palm.
Was this her eldest, Honor; prude,
Who would not let me pull the swing;
Who, kiss'd at Christmas, call'd me rude,
And, sobbing low, refused to sing?
How changed! In shape no slender Grace,
But Venus; milder than the dove;
Her mother's air; her Norman face;
Her large sweet eyes, clear lakes of love.
Mary I knew. In former time
Ailing and pale, she thought that bliss
Was only for a better clime,
And, heavenly overmuch, scorn'd this.
I, rash with theories of the right,
Which stretch'd the tether of my Creed,
But did not break it, held delight
Half discipline. We disagreed.
She told the Dean I wanted grace.
Now she was kindest of the three,
And soft wild roses deck'd her face.
And, what, was this my Mildred, she
To herself and all a sweet surprise?
My Pet, who romp'd and roll'd a hoop?
I wonder'd where those daisy eyes
Had found their touching curve and droop.
Unmannerly times! But now we sat
Stranger than strangers; till I caught
And answer'd Mildred's smile; and that
Spread to the rest, and freedom brought.
The Dean talk'd little, looking on,
Of three such daughters justly vain.
What letters they had had from Bonn,
Said Mildred, and what plums from Spain!
By Honor I was kindly task'd
To excuse my never coming down
From Cambridge; Mary smiled and ask'd
Were Kant and Goethe yet outgrown?
And, pleased, we talk'd the old days o'er;
And, parting, I for pleasure sigh'd.
To be there as a friend, (since more),
Seem'd then, seems still, excuse for pride;
For something that abode endued
With temple-like repose, an air
Of life's kind purposes pursued
With order'd freedom sweet and fair.
A tent pitch'd in a world not right
It seem'd, whose inmates, every one,
On tranquil faces bore the light
Of duties beautifully done,
And humbly, though they had few peers,
Kept their own laws, which seem'd to be
The fair sum of six thousand years'
Traditions of civility.
~ Coventry Patmore,
615:The Wargeilah Handicap
Wargeilah town is very small,
There's no cathedral nor a club,
In fact the township, all in all,
Is just one unpretentious pub;
And there, from all the stations round,
The local sportsmen can be found.
The sportsmen of Wargeilah-side
Are very few but very fit;
There's scarcely any sport been tried
But they can hold their own at it;
In fact, to search their records o'er,
They hold their own and something more.
The precincts of Wargeilah town
An English new-chum did infest:
He used to wander up and down
In baggy English breeches drest;
His mental aspect seemed to be
Just stolid self-sufficiency.
The local sportsmen vainly sought
His tranquil calm to counteract
By urging that he should be brought
Within the Noxious Creatures Act.
"Nay, harm him not," said one more wise,
"He is a blessing in disguise!
"You see, he wants to buy a horse,
To ride, and hunt, and steeplechase,
And carry ladies, too, of course,
And pull a cart, and win a race.
Good gracious! he must be a flat
To think he'll get a horse like that!
"But, since he has so little sense
And such a lot of cash to burn,
We'll sell him some experience
By which alone a fool can learn.
Suppose we let him have The Trap
To win Wargeilah Handicap!"
And her, I must explain to you
That round about Wargeilah run
There lived a very aged screw
Whose days of brilliancy were done.
A grand old warrior in his prime -But age will beat us any time.
A trooper's horse in seasons past
He did his share to keep the peace,
But took to falling, and at last
Was cast for age from the Police.
A publican at Conroy's Gap
Bought him and christened him The Trap.
When grass was good and horses dear,
He changed his owner now and then
At prices ranging somewhere near
The neighbourhood of two-pound-ten:
And manfully he earned his keep
By yarding cows and ration sheep.
They brought him in from off the grass
And fed and groomed the old horse up;
His coat began to shine like glass -You'd think he'd win the Melbourne Cup.
And when they'd got him fat and flash
They asked the new chum -- fifty -- cash!
And when he said the price was high,
Their indignation knew no bounds.
They said, "It's seldom you can buy
A horse like that for fifty pounds!
We'll refund twenty if The Trap
Should fail to win the handicap!"
The deed was done, the price was paid,
The new-chum put the horse in train.
The local sports were much afraid
That he would sad experience gain
By racing with some shearer's hack,
Who'd beat him half-way round the track.
So, on this guileless English spark
They did most fervently impress
That he must keep the matter dark,
And not let any person guess
That he was purchasing The Trap
To win Wargeilah Handicap.
They spoke of "spielers from the Bland",
And "champions from the Castlereagh",
And gave the youth to understand
That all of these would stop away,
And spoil the race, if they should hear
That they had got The Trap to fear.
"Keep dark! They'll muster thick as flies
When once the news gets sent around
We're giving such a splendid prize -A Snowdon horse worth fifty pound!
They'll come right in from Dandaloo,
And find -- that it's a gift for you!"
The race came on -- with no display
Nor any calling of the card,
But round about the pub all day
A crowd of shearers, drinking hard,
And using language in a strain
'Twere flattery to call profane.
Our hero, dressed in silk attire -Blue jacket and scarlet cap -With boots that shone like flames of fire,
Now did his canter on The Trap,
And walked him up and round about,
Until other steeds came out.
He eyed them with a haughty look,
But saw a sight that caught his breath!
It was Ah John! the Chinee cook!
In boots and breeches! pale as death!
Tied with a rope, like any sack,
Upon a piebald pony's back!
The next, a colt -- all mud and burrs,
Half-broken, with a black boy up,
Who said, "You gim'me pair o' spurs,
I win the bloomin' Melbourne Cup!"
These two were to oppose The Trap
For the Wargeilah Handicap!
They're off! The colt whipped down his head,
And humped his back, and gave a squeal,
And bucked into the drinking shed,
Revolving like a Catherine wheel!
Men ran like rats! The atmosphere
Was filled with oaths and pints of beer!
But up the course the bold Ah John
Beside The Trap raced neck and neck:
The boys had tied him firmly on,
Which ultimately proved his wreck;
The saddle turned, and, like a clown,
He rode some distance upside-down.
His legs around the horse were tied,
His feet towards the heavens were spread,
He swung and bumped at every stride
And ploughed the ground up with his head!
And when they rescued him, The Trap
Had won Wargeilah Handicap!
And no enquiries we could make
Could tell by what false statements swayed
Ah John was led to undertake
A task so foreign to his trade!
He only smiled and said, "Hoo Ki!
I stop topside, I win all li'!"
But never in Wargeilah Town
Was heard so eloquent a cheer
As when the President came down,
And toasted, in Colonial beer,
"The finest rider on the course!
The winner of the Snowdon Horse!
"You go and get your prize," he said;
"He's with a wild mob, somewhere round
The mountains near the Watershed;
He's honestly worth fifty pound -A noble horse, indeed, to win,
But none of us can run him in!
"We've chased him poor, we've chased him fat,
We've run him till our horses dropped;
But by such obstacles as that
A man like you will not be stopped;
You'll go and yard him any day,
So here's your health! Hooray! Hooray!"
The day wound up with booze and blow
And fights till all were well content.
But of the new-chum all I know
Is shown by this advertisement -"For sale, the well-known racehorse Trap.
He won Wargeilah Handicap!"
~ Banjo Paterson,
616:The Dance At Darmstadt
In the city of Darmstadt, the Sabbath morn
Shone over the broad Cathedral Square,
And to nobly, richly, and lowly born,
The belfry carilloned call to prayer.
Then banker, and burgher, and learn'd in law,
With clean-cut forehead and firm-set jaw,
Master, and prentice, and tradesman trim,
Pikemen stalwart of port and limb,
Pledged to die for their native town,
Scholars stately in cap and gown,
Splendid and simple, halt and hale,
Rosy tapster and student pale,
Stepped from their thresholds, and gravely trod
The streets that lead to the House of God.
And, hurrying after them, maid and dame,
Wives, and daughters, and sweethearts, came,
All in their Sabbath best arrayed,
Delicate ribbon and dainty braid,
Creaseless corset and kirtle clean,
Of sombre homespun or silken sheen,
Rustling by with looks demure,
As bright as posies, and just as pure.
And tight to their kirtles their children clung,
With ambling footstep and nimble tongue,
Prattled and questioned them all the way,
Forgetting quite 'twas the Sabbath Day,
Till they came to the great Cathedral Square,
Where the organ pealed through the House of Prayer.
``Now why do you waste the summer day?''
Cried a velveted stripling with locks of gold,
And eyes like forget-me-nots in May,
When the milch-cows stream from the wintry fold.
``Week after week you troop in there,
To mutter and mumble the self-same prayer,
Through the self-same psalmody drowse and nod;
And that's what you, sooth, call praising God!
Look! the sun is shining on roof and spire,
And the wings of the swallow never tire,
The stork hovers over her callow nest,
And Spring is folded to Summer's breast.
There's a flutter of love in the lime-tree leaves,
And the starlings flute on the Rathhaus eaves.
Come away, come away where the sycamore swings
Its tassels of gold, and the blackbird sings,
Where the river swirls past a tangled ledge
Of willow-weed, meadow-sweet, thyme, and sedge,
Where the veins of the vine are flushed with juice,
And the trout in the stream past the miller's sluice
Cast wavering shadows on stone and sand;
And, when we have rambled through all the land,
We will halt at the Inn with the Jocund Sign,
And freshen our throats with the Mosel wine.
But, ere ever we go, let us, hand in hand,
Be comrades sworn of a joyous band,
And, while they jabber and wail in there,
Have a dance in the sunny Cathedral Square.''
Then tabor and viol began to sound,
And ribald and losel to beat the ground,
Boys who mocked at the Sacred Name,
And wantons brazening out their shame.
With languishing eyes and streaming hair,
They footed it all about the Square,
Footed, and frolicked, and revelled round,
To the viol's twang and the tabor's sound;
Shouted, and clapped their hands for glee;
Was never such madcap company:
Forward, backward, forward once more,
Like ebb and flow on a tidal shore,
Trooped together more near and near,
Like a troop of colts at a sound they fear,
Then scampered away and scattered wide,
Again to draw to each other's side;
Hand within hand, and face to face,
Twirled and circled in lewd embrace,
Hurried, slackened, then swept along,
Trilling and trolling a shameful song,
Hurtful and hateful to godly ears.
Never, I ween, in all the years
Since the Autumn woods waxed sere and brown,
Was danced such a dance in Darmstadt town.
Now the sermon was over, the service done,
And the grave-faced worshippers, one by one,
Poured into the bright Cathedral Square,
And beheld the ungodly dancing there.
Then they cried, ``Now, shame on you! Stay! O stay!
Surely ye know 'tis the Sabbath Day,
The day of the merciful mighty Lord:
If ye flaunt His mercy, yet dread His sword!''
Yet never an instant the dancing stayed,
But ribald stripling, and wanton maid,
Gasped out, ``Don't you see we are nigh to drop
With panting and pain, but we cannot stop.
The demons have entered our limbs, and we
No longer have power to pause or flee.
They force us to hammer the hard hot ground,
And make us pirouette round and round.
Will never some Christian soul advance,
And break the spell of this demon dance!''
Then the sober and godly would fain have heard
Piteous cry and panting word.
But a something stronger than human will
Fettered their feet, and kept them still
Helplessly watching the ghastly crew;
So swiftly they whirled, and so fast they flew,
It made one giddy to see them there.
So, out of the broad Cathedral Square,
Banker and burgher, and learn'd in law,
With clean-cut forehead and firm-set jaw,
Master and prentice, and tradesman trim,
Pikemen stalwart of port and limb,
Sister, and sweetheart, and wife demure,
As fresh as posies, and just as pure,
With children clutching their mother's gown,
Homeward walked through the awestruck town.
But still, when the godly crowd had gone,
The derelict band went dancing on.
The sunlight glittered on roof and spire,
And the wings of the swallow did never tire,
The stork hovered over her callow nest,
And Spring was folded to Summer's breast.
Far away in the woodland the sycamore swung
Its tassels of gold, and the blackbird sung.
The river went swirling past tangled ledge
Of willow-weed, meadow-sweet, thyme, and sedge.
The veins of the vine were flushed with juice,
And the trout poised still by the miller's sluice.
But, though longer and longer the shadows grew,
Still gambolled and anticked the ribald crew,
Wavered and wantoned in broken line,
As though mad-drunk with the Mosel wine,
Reeled and rolled till the sun went down,
And the stars shone over the darkened town,
Golden stars in a dome of blue;
Careered and capered the whole night through,
Till their loose flesh flapped on their creaking bones,
And they staggered and dropped on the hard dry stones.
And when at last in a heap they lay,
Like refuse the scavenger carts away,
They throbbed up still, as at farmyard pyre
The flickering flames of an unfed fire;
Nor yet from their ghastly gambols ceased,
Till the sun ensanguined the pallid East,
And the starlings piped on the Rathhaus eaves.
Never, never since wintry woods waxed brown,
Was danced such a dance in Darmstadt town.
~ Alfred Austin,
617:A Royal Princess
I, a princess, king-descended, decked with jewels, gilded, drest,
Would rather be a peasant with her baby at her breast,
For all I shine so like the sun, and am purple like the west.
Two and two my guards behind, two and two before,
Two and two on either hand, they guard me evermore;
Me, poor dove, that must not coo—eagle that must not soar.
All my fountains cast up perfumes, all my gardens grow
Scented woods and foreign spices, with all flowers in blow
That are costly, out of season as the seasons go.
All my walls are lost in mirrors, whereupon I trace
Self to right hand, self to left hand, self in every place,
Self-same solitary figure, self-same seeking face.
Then I have an ivory chair high to sit upon,
Almost like my father's chair, which is an ivory throne;
There I sit uplift and upright, there I sit alone.
Alone by day, alone by night, alone days without end;
My father and my mother give me treasures, search and spend—
O my father! O my mother! have you ne'er a friend?
As I am a lofty princess, so my father is
A lofty king, accomplished in all kingly subtilties,
Holding in his strong right hand world-kingdoms' balances.
He has quarrelled with his neighbours, he has scourged his foes;
Vassal counts and princes follow where his pennon goes,
Long-descended valiant lords whom the vulture knows,
On whose track the vulture swoops, when they ride in state
To break the strength of armies and topple down the great:
Each of these my courteous servant, none of these my mate.
My father counting up his strength sets down with equal pen
So many head of cattle, head of horses, head of men;
These for slaughter, these for breeding, with the how and when.
Some to work on roads, canals; some to man his ships;
Some to smart in mines beneath sharp overseers' whips;
Some to trap fur-beasts in lands where utmost winter nips.
Once it came into my heart, and whelmed me like a flood,
That these too are men and women, human flesh and blood;
Men with hearts and men with souls, though trodden down like mud.
Our feasting was not glad that night, our music was not gay:
On my mother's graceful head I marked a thread of grey,
My father frowning at the fare seemed every dish to weigh.
I sat beside them sole princess in my exalted place,
My ladies and my gentlemen stood by me on the dais:
A mirror showed me I look old and haggard in the face;
It showed me that my ladies all are fair to gaze upon,
Plump, plenteous-haired, to every one love's secret lore is known,
They laugh by day, they sleep by night; ah me, what is a throne?
The singing men and women sang that night as usual,
The dancers danced in pairs and sets, but music had a fall,
A melancholy windy fall as at a funeral.
Amid the toss of torches to my chamber back we swept;
My ladies loosed my golden chain; meantime I could have wept
To think of some in galling chains whether they waked or slept.
I took my bath of scented milk, delicately waited on,
They burned sweet things for my delight, cedar and cinnamon,
They lit my shaded silver lamp, and left me there alone.
A day went by, a week went by. One day I heard it said:
'Men are clamouring, women, children, clamouring to be fed;
Men like famished dogs are howling in the streets for bread.'
So two whispered by my door, not thinking I could hear,
Vulgar naked truth, ungarnished for a royal ear;
Fit for cooping in the background, not to stalk so near.
But I strained my utmost sense to catch this truth, and mark:
'There are families out grazing like cattle in the park.'
'A pair of peasants must be saved even if we build an ark.'
A merry jest, a merry laugh, each strolled upon his way;
One was my page, a lad I reared and bore with day by day;
One was my youngest maid as sweet and white as cream in May.
Other footsteps followed softly with a weightier tramp;
Voices said: 'Picked soldiers have been summoned from the camp
To quell these base-born ruffians who make free to howl and stamp.'
'Howl and stamp?' one answered: 'They made free to hurl a stone
At the minister's state coach, well aimed and stoutly thrown.'
'There's work then for the soldiers, for this rank crop must be mown.'
'One I saw, a poor old fool with ashes on his head,
Whimpering because a girl had snatched his crust of bread:
Then he dropped; when some one raised him, it turned out he was dead.'
'After us the deluge,' was retorted with a laugh:
'If bread's the staff of life, they must walk without a staff.'
'While I've a loaf they're welcome to my blessing and the chaff.'
These passed. The king: stand up. Said my father with a smile:
'Daughter mine, your mother comes to sit with you awhile,
She's sad to-day, and who but you her sadness can beguile?'
He too left me. Shall I touch my harp now while I wait,—
(I hear them doubling guard below before our palace gate—)
Or shall I work the last gold stitch into my veil of state;
Or shall my woman stand and read some unimpassioned scene,
There's music of a lulling sort in words that pause between;
Or shall she merely fan me while I wait here for the queen?
Again I caught my father's voice in sharp word of command:
'Charge!' a clash of steel: 'Charge again, the rebels stand.
Smite and spare not, hand to hand; smite and spare not, hand to hand.'
There swelled a tumult at the gate, high voices waxing higher;
A flash of red reflected light lit the cathedral spire;
I heard a cry for faggots, then I heard a yell for fire.
'Sit and roast there with your meat, sit and bake there with your bread,
You who sat to see us starve,' one shrieking woman said:
'Sit on your throne and roast with your crown upon your head.'
Nay, this thing will I do, while my mother tarrieth,
I will take my fine spun gold, but not to sew therewith,
I will take my gold and gems, and rainbow fan and wreath;
With a ransom in my lap, a king's ransom in my hand,
I will go down to this people, will stand face to face, will stand
Where they curse king, queen, and princess of this cursed land.
They shall take all to buy them bread, take all I have to give;
I, if I perish, perish; they to-day shall eat and live;
I, if I perish, perish; that's the goal I half conceive:
Once to speak before the world, rend bare my heart and show
The lesson I have learned which is death, is life, to know.
I, if I perish, perish; in the name of God I go.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti,
618:Two Visions
The curtains of the Night were folded
Over suspended sense;
So that the things I saw were moulded
I know not how nor whence.
Straight I beheld a marble city,
Built upon wayward slopes,
Along whose paths, as if for pity,
Ran tight-drawn golden ropes.
Withal, of many who ascended,
No one appeared to use
This help, allowed in days since mended,
When folks had frailer thews.
The men, all animal in vigour,
Strode stalwart and erect;
But on their brows, in placid rigour,
Watched sovereign Intellect.
Women brave-limbed, sound-lunged, full-breasted,
Walked at a rhythmic pace;
Yet not for that the less invested
With every female grace.
Unveiled and wholly unattended,
Strolled maidens to and fro:
Youths looked respect, but never bended
Obsequiously low.
And each with other, sans condition,
Held parley brief or long,
Without provoking rash suspicion
Of marriage or of wrong.
Distinction none of wooed or winning,
And no one made remark,
Till came they where the old were spinning,
As it was growing dark,
And saying-hushed untimely laughter`Henceforward we are one,'
Went homewards. Nor could ever after
Such Sanction be undone.
All were well clad, but none were better,
And gems beheld I none,
Save where there hung a jewelled fetter,
Symbolic, in the sun.
I found Cathedral none nor steeple,
Nor loud defiant choirs;
No martyr worshipped by the people,
On half-extinguished pyres.
But oft exclaimed they one to other,
Or as they passed or stood,
`Let us coöperate, my brother;
For God is very good.'
I saw a noble-looking maiden
Close Dante's solemn book,
Go, and return with linen laden,
And wash it in the brook.
Anon, a broad-browed poet dragging
Logs for his hearth along,
Without one single moment flagging
In shaping of his song.
Each one some handicraft attempted,
Or holp the willing soil:
None but the agëd were exempted
From communistic toil.
Yet 'twas nor long nor unremitting,
Since shared in by the whole;
But left to each one, as is fitting,
Full leisure for the Soul.
Was many a group in allocution
On problems that delight,
And lift, when e'en beyond solution,
Man to a nobler height.
And oftentimes was brave contention,
Such as beseems the wise;
But always courteous abstention
From over-swift replies.
And-I remarked-though whilst debating,
'Twas settled what they sought,
There was completest vindicating
Of unrestricted thought.
Age lorded not, nor rose the hectic
Up to the cheek of Youth;
But reigned throughout their dialectic
Sobriety of truth.
And if a long-held contest tended
To ill-defined result,
It was by calm consent suspended
As over-difficult:
And verse or music was demanded;
Then solitude of night:
By which all-potent Three expanded
Waxeth the Inner Sight.
So far the city. All around it
Olive or vine or corn;
Those having pressed or trod or ground it,
By these 'twas townwards borne,
And placed in halls unbarred and splendid,
With none to overlook,
But whither each at leisure wended,
And what he wanted took.
I saw no crippled forms nor meagre,
None smitten by disease:
Only the old, nor loth nor eager,
Dying by sweet degrees.
And when, without or pain or trouble,
These sank as sinks the sun,
`This is the sole Inevitable,'
All said; `His will be done!'
And went, with music ever swelling,
Where slopes o'erlook the sea,
Piled up the corse with herbs sweet-smelling,
Consumed, and so set free.
O'er ocean wave and mountain daisy
As curled the perfumed smoke,
The notes grew faint, the vision hazyStraining my sense, I woke.
Swift I arose. Soft winds were stirring
The curtains of the Morn,
Auguring day, by signs unerring,
Lovely as e'er was born.
No bluer, calmer sky surmounted
The city of my dream,
And what few trees could then be counted
Did full as gracious seem.
But here the pleasant likeness ended
Between the cities twain:
Level and straight these streets extended
Over an easy plain.
Withal, the people who thus early
Began the ways to throng,
With curving back and visage surly,
Toiled painfully along.
Groups of them met at yet closed portals,
And huddled round the gate,
Patient, as smit by the Immortals,
And helots as by Fate.
Right many a cross-crowned front and steeple
Clave the cerulean air:
As grew the concourse of the people,
They rang to rival prayer.
On their confronting walls were posted
Placards in glaring type,
Whereof there was not one but boasted
Truth full-grown, round, and ripe.
And, with this self-congratulation,
Each one the other banned,
With threats of durable damnation
From the Eternal Hand.
Hard by, were challenges to wrangle
On any themes, or allFrom the trisection of the angle
To what they termed the Fall.
Surmounting these were Forms forbidding
Some strife about the Flood;
Since in such points divine unthridding
Shed had been human blood.
From arch and alley sodden wretches
Crept out in half attire,
And groped for fetid husks and vetches
In heaps of tossed-out mire;
Until disturbed by horses' trample,
Bearing the homeward gay,
Who, sleek and warm, with ermines ample,
And glittering diamond spray.
That lightly flecked the classic ripple
Of their full-flowing hairFor shivering child and leprous cripple
Had not a look to spare.
With garments which the morn ill mated,
Anon came youths along;
From side to side they oscillated,
And trolled a shameful song.
Fair as is fair a cankered lily,
A girl who late did lie
Beneath my window slumbrous-stilly,
Rose as these youths came nigh.
She seized the comeliest, and stroked him,
And plied each foul device;
And having to her flesh provoked him,
Then haggled for the price.
Hereat my heart-this long while throbbing,
And brimming by degreesO'erflowed; and, passionately sobbing,
I dropped upon my knees.
And made forgetful by the fluster
Of trouble's fierce extreme,
I cried, `O Thou, the great Adjuster,
God, realise my dream!'
Up came the sun, and straight were shining
Steeple and sill and roof:
To such rash prayer and bold repining
A visible reproof.
Rebuked, I rose from genuflexion,
And did no more blaspheme,
Closing mine eyes for retrospection
Of the departed dream,
Where men saluted one the other,
Or as they passed or stood,
`Let us coöperate, my brother;
For God is very good.'
And I resolved, by contrast smitten,
To live and strive by Law;
And first to write, as here are written,
The Visions Twain I saw.
~ Alfred Austin,
619: XIX - NIGHT


VALENTINE (a soldier, MARGARET'S brother)

When I have sat at some carouse.
Where each to each his brag allows,
And many a comrade praised to me
His pink of girls right lustily,
With brimming glass that spilled the toast,
And elbows planted as in boast:
I sat in unconcerned repose,
And heard the swagger as it rose.
And stroking then my beard, I'd say,
Smiling, the bumper in my hand:
"Each well enough in her own way.
But is there one in all the land
Like sister Margaret, good as gold,
One that to her can a candle hold?"
Cling! clang! "Here's to her!" went around
The board: "He speaks the truth!" cried some;
"In her the flower o' the sex is found!"
And all the swaggerers were dumb.
And now!I could tear my hair with vexation.
And dash out my brains in desperation!
With turned-up nose each scamp may face me,
With sneers and stinging taunts disgrace me,
And, like a bankrupt debtor sitting,
A chance-dropped word may set me sweating!
Yet, though I thresh them all together,
I cannot call them liars, either.

But what comes sneaking, there, to view?
If I mistake not, there are two.
If he's one, let me at him drive!
He shall not leave the spot alive.



How from the window of the sacristy
Upward th'eternal lamp sends forth a glimmer,
That, lessening side-wards, fainter grows and dimmer,
Till darkness closes from the sky!
The shadows thus within my bosom gather.


I'm like a sentimental tom-cat, rather,
That round the tall fire-ladders sweeps,
And stealthy, then, along the coping creeps:
Quite virtuous, withal, I come,
A little thievish and a little frolicsome.
I feel in every limb the presage
Forerunning the grand Walpurgis-Night:
Day after to-morrow brings its message,
And one keeps watch then with delight.


Meanwhile, may not the treasure risen be,
Which there, behind, I glimmering see?


Shalt soon experience the pleasure,
To lift the kettle with its treasure.
I lately gave therein a squint
Saw splendid lion-dollars in 't.


Not even a jewel, not a ring,
To deck therewith my darling girl?


I saw, among the rest, a thing
That seemed to be a chain of pearl.


That's well, indeed! For painful is it
To bring no gift when her I visit.


Thou shouldst not find it so annoying,
Without return to be enjoying.
Now, while the sky leads forth its starry throng,
Thou'lt hear a masterpiece, no work completer:
I'll sing her, first, a moral song,
The surer, afterwards, to cheat her.

(Sings to the cither.)

What dost thou here
In daybreak clear,
Kathrina dear,
Before thy lover's door?
Beware! the blade
Lets in a maid.
That out a maid
Departeth nevermore!

The coaxing shun
Of such an one!
When once 'tis done
Good-night to thee, poor thing!
Love's time is brief:
Unto no thief
Be warm and lief,
But with the wedding-ring!

VALENTINE (comes forward)

Whom wilt thou lure? God's-element!
Rat-catching piper, thou!perdition!
To the Devil, first, the instrument!
To the Devil, then, the curst musician!


The cither's smashed! For nothing more 'tis fitting.


There's yet a skull I must be splitting!


Sir Doctor, don't retreat, I pray!
Stand by: I'll lead, if you'll but tarry:
Out with your spit, without delay!
You've but to lunge, and I will parry.


Then parry that!


Why not? 'tis light.


That, too!


Of course.


I think the Devil must fight!
How is it, then? my hand's already lame:


Thrust home!


O God!


Now is the lubber tame!
But come, away! 'Tis time for us to fly;
For there arises now a murderous cry.
With the police 'twere easy to compound it,
But here the penal court will sift and sound it.

[Exit with FAUST.

MARTHA (at the window)

Come out! Come out!

MARGARET (at the window)

Quick, bring a light!

MARTHA (as above)

They swear and storm, they yell and fight!


Here lies one dead alreadysee!

MARTHA (coming from the house)

The murderers, whither have they run?

MARGARET (coming out)

Who lies here?


'Tis thy mother's son!


Almighty God! what misery!


I'm dying! That is quickly said,
And quicker yet 'tis done.
Why howl, you women there? Instead,
Come here and listen, every one!

(All gather around him)

My Margaret, see! still young thou art,
But not the least bit shrewd or smart,
Thy business thus to slight:
So this advice I bid thee heed
Now that thou art a whore indeed,
Why, be one then, outright!


My brother! God! such words to me?


In this game let our Lord God be!
What's done's already done, alas!
What follows it, must come to pass.
With one begin'st thou secretly,
Then soon will others come to thee,
And when a dozen thee have known,
Thou'rt also free to all the town.
When Shame is born and first appears,
She is in secret brought to light,
And then they draw the veil of night
Over her head and ears;
Her life, in fact, they're loath to spare her.
But let her growth and strength display,
She walks abroad unveiled by day,
Yet is not grown a whit the fairer.
The uglier she is to sight,
The more she seeks the day's broad light.
The time I verily can discern
When all the honest folk will turn
From thee, thou jade! and seek protection
As from a corpse that breeds infection.
Thy guilty heart shall then dismay thee.
When they but look thee in the face:
Shalt not in a golden chain array thee,
Nor at the altar take thy place!
Shalt not, in lace and ribbons flowing,
Make merry when the dance is going!
But in some corner, woe betide thee!
Among the beggars and cripples hide thee;
And so, though even God forgive,
On earth a damned existence live!


Commend your soul to God for pardon,
That you your heart with slander harden!


Thou pimp most infamous, be still!
Could I thy withered body kill,
'Twould bring, for all my sinful pleasure,
Forgiveness in the richest measure.


My brother! This is Hell's own pain!


I tell thee, from thy tears refrain!
When thou from honor didst depart
It stabbed me to the very heart.
Now through the slumber of the grave
I go to God as a soldier brave.


~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, NIGHT


(MARGARET on FAUST'S arm. MARTHA and MEPHISTOPHELES walking up and down.)


I feel, the gentleman allows for me,
Demeans himself, and shames me by it;
A traveller is so used to be
Kindly content with any diet.
I know too well that my poor gossip can
Ne'er entertain such an experienced man.


A look from thee, a word, more entertains
Than all the lore of wisest brains.

(He kisses her hand.)


Don't incommode yourself! How could you ever kiss it!
It is so ugly, rough to see!
What work I do,how hard and steady is it!
Mother is much too close with me.

[They pass.


And you, Sir, travel always, do you not?


Alas, that trade and duty us so harry!
With what a pang one leaves so many a spot,
And dares not even now and then to tarry!


In young, wild years it suits your ways,
This round and round the world in freedom sweeping;
But then come on the evil days,
And so, as bachelor, into his grave a-creeping,
None ever found a thing to praise.


I dread to see how such a fate advances.


Then, worthy Sir, improve betimes your chances!

[They pass.


Yes, out of sight is out of mind!
Your courtesy an easy grace is;
But you have friends in other places,
And sensibler than I, you'll find.


Trust me, dear heart! what men call sensible
Is oft mere vanity and narrowness.


How so?


Ah, that simplicity and innocence ne'er know
Themselves, their holy value, and their spell!
That meekness, lowliness, the highest graces
Which Nature portions out so lovingly


So you but think a moment's space on me,
All times I'll have to think on you, all places!


No doubt you're much alone?


Yes, for our household small has grown,
Yet must be cared for, you will own.
We have no maid: I do the knitting, sewing, sweeping,
The cooking, early work and late, in fact;
And mother, in her notions of housekeeping,
Is so exact!
Not that she needs so much to keep expenses down:
We, more than others, might take comfort, rather:
A nice estate was left us by my father,
A house, a little garden near the town.
But now my days have less of noise and hurry;
My brother is a soldier,
My little sister's dead.
True, with the child a troubled life I led,
Yet I would take again, and willing, all the worry,
So very dear was she.


An angel, if like thee!


I brought it up, and it was fond of me.
Father had died before it saw the light,
And mother's case seemed hopeless quite,
So weak and miserable she lay;
And she recovered, then, so slowly, day by day.
She could not think, herself, of giving
The poor wee thing its natural living;
And so I nursed it all alone
With milk and water: 'twas my own.
Lulled in my lap with many a song,
It smiled, and tumbled, and grew strong.


The purest bliss was surely then thy dower.


But surely, also, many a weary hour.
I kept the baby's cradle near
My bed at night: if 't even stirred, I'd guess it,
And waking, hear.
And I must nurse it, warm beside me press it,
And oft, to quiet it, my bed forsake,
And dandling back and forth the restless creature take,
Then at the wash-tub stand, at morning's break;
And then the marketing and kitchen-tending,
Day after day, the same thing, never-ending.
One's spirits, Sir, are thus not always good,
But then one learns to relish rest and food.

[They pass.


Yes, the poor women are bad off, 'tis true:
A stubborn bachelor there's no converting.


It but depends upon the like of you,
And I should turn to better ways than flirting.


Speak plainly, Sir, have you no one detected?
Has not your heart been anywhere subjected?


The proverb says: One's own warm hearth
And a good wife, are gold and jewels worth.


I mean, have you not felt desire, though ne'er so slightly?


I've everywhere, in fact, been entertained politely.


I meant to say, were you not touched in earnest, ever?


One should allow one's self to jest with ladies never.

MARTHA Ah, you don't understand!


I'm sorry I'm so blind: But I am sure that you are very kind.

[They pass.


And me, thou angel! didst thou recognize,
As through the garden-gate I came?


Did you not see it? I cast down my eyes.


And thou forgiv'st my freedom, and the blame
To my impertinence befitting,
As the Cathedral thou wert quitting?


I was confused, the like ne'er happened me;
No one could ever speak to my discredit.
Ah, thought I, in my conduct has he read it
Something immodest or unseemly free?
He seemed to have the sudden feeling
That with this wench 'twere very easy dealing.
I will confess, I knew not what appeal
On your behalf, here, in my bosom grew;
But I was angry with myself, to feel
That I could not be angrier with you.


Sweet darling!


Wait a while!

(She plucks a star-flower, and pulls off the leaves, one after
the other.)


Shall that a nosegay be?


No, it is just in play.




Go! you'll laugh at me.
(She pulls off the leaves and murmurs.)


What murmurest thou?

MARGARET (half aloud)

He loves meloves me not.


Thou sweet, angelic soul!

MARGARET (continues)

Loves menotloves menot
(plucking the last leaf, she cries with frank delight:)

He loves me!


Yes, child! and let this blossom-word
For thee be speech divine! He loves thee!
Ah, know'st thou what it means? He loves thee!

(He grasps both her hands.)


I'm all a-tremble!


O tremble not! but let this look,
Let this warm clasp of hands declare thee
What is unspeakable!
To yield one wholly, and to feel a rapture
In yielding, that must be eternal!
Eternal!for the end would be despair.
No, no,no ending! no ending!

MARTHA (coming forward)

The night is falling.


Ay! we must away.


I'd ask you, longer here to tarry,
But evil tongues in this town have full play.
It's as if nobody had nothing to fetch and carry,
Nor other labor,
But spying all the doings of one's neighbor:
And one becomes the talk, do whatsoe'er one may.
Where is our couple now?


Flown up the alley yonder,
The wilful summer-birds!


He seems of her still fonder.


And she of him. So runs the world away!

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, GARDEN
621:Easter Eve
Hear me, Brother, gently met;
Just a little, turn, not yet,
Thou shalt laugh, and soon forget:
Now the midnight draweth near.
I have little more to tell;
Soon with hallow stroke and knell,
Thou shalt count the palace bell,
Calling that the hour is here.
Burdens black and strange to bear,
I must tell, and thou must share,
Listening with that stony stare,
Even as many a man before.
Years have lightly come and gone
In their jocund unison,
But the tides of life roll onThey remember now no more.
Once upon a night of glee,
In an hour of revelry,
As I wandered restlessly,
I beheld with burning eye,
How a pale procession rolled
Through a quarter quaint and old,
With its banners and its gold,
And the crucifix went by.
Well I knew that body brave
That was pierced and hung to save,
But my flesh was now a grave
For the soul that gnashed within.
He that they were bearing by,
With their banners white and high,
He was pure, and foul was I,
And his whiteness mocked my sin.
Ah, meseemed that even he,
Would not wait to look on me,
In my years and misery,
Things that he alone could heal.
In mine eyes I felt the flame
Of a rage that naught could tame,
And I cried and cursed his name,
Till my brain began to reel.
In a moment I was 'ware,
How that many watching there,
Fearfully with blanch and stare,
Crossed themselves and shrank away;
Then upon my reeling mind,
Like a sharp blow from behind,
Fell the truth, and left me blind,
Hopeless now and all astray.
O'er the city wandering wide,
Seeking but some place to hide,
Where the sounds of mirth had died,
Through the shaken night I stole;
From the ever-eddying stream
Of the crowds that did but seem
Like the processions in a dream
To my empty echoing soul.
Till I came at last alone
To a hidden street of stone,
Where the city's monotone
On the silence fell no more.
Then I saw how one in white
With a footstep mute and light,
Through the shadow of the night
Like a spirit paced before.
And a sudden stillness came
Through my spirit and my frame,
And a spell without a name
Held me in his mystic track.
Though his presence seemed so mild,
Yet he led me like a child,
With a yearning strange and wild,
That I dared not turn me back.
Oh, I could not see his face,
Nor behold his utmost grace,
Yet I might not change my pace
Fastened by a strange belief;
For his steps were sad and slow,
And his hands hung straight below,
And his head was bowed, as though
Pressed by some immortal grief.
So I followed, yet not I
Held alone that company:
Every silent passer-by
Paled and turned and joined with me;
So we followed still and fleet,
While the city street by street,
Fell behind our rustling feet
Like a deadened memory.
Where the sound of sin and riot
Broke upon the night's dim quiet,
And the solemn bells hung nigh it
Echoed from their looming towers;
Where the mourners wept alway,
Watching for the morning grey;
Where the weary toiler lay,
Husbanding the niggard hours;
By the gates where all night long
Guests in many a joyous throng,
With the sound of dance and song,
Dreamed in golden palaces;
Still he passed, and door by door
Opened with a pale outpour,
And the revel rose no more
Hushed in deeper phantasies.
As we passed, the talk and stir
Of the quiet wayfarer
And the noisy banqueter
Died upon the midnight dim.
They that reeled in drunken glee
Shrank upon the trembling knee,
And their jests died pallidly,
As they rose and followed him.
From the street and from the hall,
From the flare of festival
None that saw him stayed, but all
Followed where his wonder would:
And our feet at first so few
Gathered as those white feet drew
To a pallid multitude;
And the hushed and awful beat
Of our pale unnumbered feet
Made a murmur strange and sweet,
As we followed evermore.
Now the night was almost passed,
And the dawn was overcast,
When the stranger stayed at last
At a great cathedral door.
Never word the stranger said,
But he slowly raised his head,
And the vast door opened
By an unseen hand withdrawn;
And in silence wave on wave,
Like an army from the grave,
Up the aisles and up the nave,
All that spectral crowd rolled on.
As I followed close behind,
Knowledge like an awful wind
Seemed to blow my naked mind
Into darkness black and bare;
Yet with longing wild and dim,
And a terror vast and grim,
Nearer still I pressed to him,
Till I almost touched his hair.
From the gloom so strange and eery,
From the organ low and dreary,
Rose the wailing miserere,
By mysterious voices sung;
And a dim light shone, none knew,
How it came, or whence it grew,
From the dusky roof and through
All the solemn spaces flung.
But the stranger still passed on,
Till he reached the alter stone,
And with body white and prone
Sunk his forehead to the floor;
And I saw in my despair,
Standing like a spirit there,
How his head was bruised and bare,
And his hand were clenched before,
How his hair was fouled and knit
With the blood that clotted it,
Where the prickled thorns had bit
In his crowned agony;
In his hands so wan and blue,
Leaning out, I saw the two
Marks of where the nails pierced through,
Once on gloomy Calvary.
Then with trembling throat I owned
All my dark sin unatoned,
Telling it with lips that moaned,
And methought an echo came
From the bended crowd below,
Each one breathing faint and low,
Sins that none but he might know:
'Master I did curse thy name.'
And I saw him slowly rise
With his sad unearthly eyes,
Meeting mine with meek surprise,
And a voice came solemnly:
'Never more on mortal ground
For they soul shall rest be found,
But when bells at midnight sound
Thou must rise and come with me.'
Then my forehead smote the floor,
Swooning, and I knew no more,
Till I heard the chancel door
Open for the choristers:
But the stranger's form was gone,
And the church was dim and lone:
Through the silence, one by one
Stole the early worshippers.
I an ageing now I know;
That was many years ago,
Yet or I shall rest below
In the grave where none intrude,
Night by night I roam the street,
And that awful form I meet,
And I follow pale and fleet,
With a ghostly multitude.
Every night I see his face,
With its sad and burdened grace,
And the torn and bloody trace,
That in hands and feet he has.
Once my life was dark and bad;
Now its days are strange and sad,
And the people call me mad:
See, they whisper as they pass.
Even now the echoes roll
From the swinging bells that toll;
It is midnight, now my soul
Hasten, for he glideth by.
Stranger, 'tis no phantasie:
Look! my master waits for me
Mutely, but thou canst not see
With the mortal blinded eye.
~ Archibald Lampman,
622:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto Xii.
I The Chace
She wearies with an ill unknown;
In sleep she sobs and seems to float,
A water-lily, all alone
Within a lonely castle-moat;
And as the full-moon, spectral, lies
Within the crescent's gleaming arms,
The present shows her heedless eyes
A future dim with vague alarms.
She sees, and yet she scarcely sees,
For, life-in-life not yet begun,
Too many are its mysteries
For thought to fix on any one.
She's told that maidens are by youths
Extremely honour'd and desired;
And sighs, ‘If those sweet tales be truths,
‘What bliss to be so much admired!’
The suitors come; she sees them grieve;
Her coldness fills them with despair;
She'd pity if she could believe;
She's sorry that she cannot care.
But who now meets her on her way?
Comes he as enemy or friend,
Or both? Her bosom seems to say,
He cannot pass, and there an end.
Whom does he love? Does he confer
His heart on worth that answers his?
Or is he come to worship her?
She fears, she hopes, she thinks he is!
Advancing stepless, quick, and still,
As in the grass a serpent glides,
He fascinates her fluttering will,
Then terrifies with dreadful strides.
At first, there's nothing to resist;
He fights with all the forms of peace;
He comes about her like a mist,
With subtle, swift, unseen increase;
And then, unlook'd for, strikes amain
Some stroke that frightens her to death,
And grows all harmlessness again,
Ere she can cry, or get her breath.
At times she stops, and stands at bay;
But he, in all more strong than she,
Subdues her with his pale dismay,
Or more admired audacity.
She plans some final, fatal blow,
But when she means with frowns to kill
He looks as if he loved her so,
She smiles to him against her will.
How sweetly he implies her praise!
His tender talk, his gentle tone,
The manly worship in his gaze,
They nearly made her heart his own.
With what an air he speaks her name;
His manner always recollects
Her sex, and still the woman's claim
Is taught its scope by his respects.
Her charms, perceived to prosper first
In his beloved advertencies,
When in her glass they are rehearsed,
Prove his most powerful allies.
Ah, whither shall a maiden flee,
When a bold youth so swift pursues,
And siege of tenderest courtesy,
With hope perseverant, still renews!
Why fly so fast? Her flatter'd breast
Thanks him who finds her fair and good;
She loves her fears; veil'd joys arrest
The foolish terrors of her blood.
By secret, sweet degrees, her heart,
Vanquish'd, takes warmth from his desire;
She makes it more, with hidden art,
And fuels love's late dreaded fire.
The generous credit he accords
To all the signs of good in her
Redeems itself; his praiseful words
The virtues they impute confer.
Her heart is thrice as rich in bliss,
She's three times gentler than before;
He gains a right to call her his
Now she through him is so much more;
'Tis heaven where'er she turns her head;
Tis music when she talks; 'tis air
On which, elate, she seems to tread,
The convert of a gladder sphere!
Ah, might he, when by doubts aggrieved,
Behold his tokens next her breast,
At all his words and sighs perceived
Against its blythe upheaval press'd!
But still she flies. Should she be won,
It must not be believed or thought
She yields; she's chased to death, undone,
Surprised, and violently caught.
II Denied
The storm-cloud, whose portentous shade
Fumes from a core of smother'd fire,
His livery is whose worshipp'd maid
Denies herself to his desire.
Ah, grief that almost crushes life,
To lie upon his lonely bed,
And fancy her another's wife!
His brain is flame, his heart is lead.
Sinking at last, by nature's course,
Cloak'd round with sleep from his despair,
He does but sleep to gather force
That goes to his exhausted care.
He wakes renew'd for all the smart.
His only Love, and she is wed!
His fondness comes about his heart,
As milk comes, when the babe is dead.
The wretch, whom she found fit for scorn,
His own allegiant thoughts despise;
And far into the shining morn
Lazy with misery he lies.
III The Churl
This marks the Churl: when spousals crown
His selfish hope, he finds the grace,
Which sweet love has for even the clown,
Was not in the woman, but the chace.
The Abdication.
From little signs, like little stars,
Whose faint impression on the sense
The very looking straight at mars,
Or only seen by confluence;
From instinct of a mutual thought,
Whence sanctity of manners flow'd;
From chance unconscious, and from what
Concealment, overconscious, show'd;
Her hand's less weight upon my arm,
Her lowlier mien; that match'd with this;
I found, and felt with strange alarm,
I stood committed to my bliss.
I grew assured, before I ask'd,
That she'd be mine without reserve,
And in her unclaim'd graces bask'd,
At leisure, till the time should serve,
With just enough of dread to thrill
The hope, and make it trebly dear;
Thus loth to speak the word to kill
Either the hope or happy fear.
Till once, through lanes returning late,
Her laughing sisters lagg'd behind;
And, ere we reach'd her father's gate,
We paused with one presentient mind;
And, in the dim and perfumed mist,
Their coming stay'd, who, friends to me,
And very women, loved to assist
Love's timid opportunity.
Twice rose, twice died my trembling word;
The faint and frail Cathedral chimes
Spake time in music, and we heard
The chafers rustling in the limes.
Her dress, that touch'd me where I stood,
The warmth of her confided arm,
Her bosom's gentle neighbourhood,
Her pleasure in her power to charm;
Her look, her love, her form, her touch,
The least seem'd most by blissful turn,
Blissful but that it pleased too much,
And taught the wayward soul to yearn.
It was as if a harp with wires
Was traversed by the breath I drew;
And, oh, sweet meeting of desires,
She, answering, own'd that she loved too.
Honoria was to be my bride!
The hopeless heights of hope were scaled;
The summit won, I paused and sigh'd,
As if success itself had fail'd.
It seem'd as if my lips approach'd
To touch at Tantalus' reward,
And rashly on Eden life encroach'd,
Half-blinded by the flaming sword.
The whole world's wealthiest and its best,
So fiercely sought, appear'd, when found,
Poor in its need to be possess'd,
Poor from its very want of bound.
My queen was crouching at my side,
By love unsceptred and brought low,
Her awful garb of maiden pride
All melted into tears like snow;
The mistress of my reverent thought,
Whose praise was all I ask'd of fame,
In my close-watch'd approval sought
Protection as from danger and blame;
Her soul, which late I loved to invest
With pity for my poor desert,
Buried its face within my breast,
Like a pet fawn by hunters hurt.
~ Coventry Patmore,
623:Ballad Of The Long-Legged Bait
The bows glided down, and the coast
Blackened with birds took a last look
At his thrashing hair and whale-blue eye;
The trodden town rang its cobbles for luck.
Then good-bye to the fishermanned
Boat with its anchor free and fast
As a bird hooking over the sea,
High and dry by the top of the mast,
Whispered the affectionate sand
And the bulwarks of the dazzled quay.
For my sake sail, and never look back,
Said the looking land.
Sails drank the wind, and white as milk
He sped into the drinking dark;
The sun shipwrecked west on a pearl
And the moon swam out of its hulk.
Funnels and masts went by in a whirl.
Good-bye to the man on the sea-legged deck
To the gold gut that sings on his reel
To the bait that stalked out of the sack,
For we saw him throw to the swift flood
A girl alive with his hooks through her lips;
All the fishes were rayed in blood,
Said the dwindling ships.
Good-bye to chimneys and funnels,
Old wives that spin in the smoke,
He was blind to the eyes of candles
In the praying windows of waves
But heard his bait buck in the wake
And tussle in a shoal of loves.
Now cast down your rod, for the whole
Of the sea is hilly with whales,
She longs among horses and angels,
The rainbow-fish bend in her joys,
Floated the lost cathedral
Chimes of the rocked buoys.
Where the anchor rode like a gull
Miles over the moonstruck boat
A squall of birds bellowed and fell,
A cloud blew the rain from its throat;
He saw the storm smoke out to kill
With fuming bows and ram of ice,
Fire on starlight, rake Jesu's stream;
And nothing shone on the water's face
But the oil and bubble of the moon,
Plunging and piercing in his course
The lured fish under the foam
Witnessed with a kiss.
Whales in the wake like capes and Alps
Quaked the sick sea and snouted deep,
Deep the great bushed bait with raining lips
Slipped the fins of those humpbacked tons
And fled their love in a weaving dip.
Oh, Jericho was falling in their lungs!
She nipped and dived in the nick of love,
Spun on a spout like a long-legged ball
Till every
Till every
Till every
Rose and
beast blared down in a swerve
turtle crushed from his shell
bone in the rushing grave
crowed and fell!
Good luck to the hand on the rod,
There is thunder under its thumbs;
Gold gut is a lightning thread,
His fiery reel sings off its flames,
The whirled boat in the burn of his blood
Is crying from nets to knives,
Oh the shearwater birds and their boatsized brood
Oh the bulls of Biscay and their calves
Are making under the green, laid veil
The long-legged beautiful bait their wives.
Break the black news and paint on a sail
Huge weddings in the waves,
Over the wakeward-flashing spray
Over the gardens of the floor
Clash out the mounting dolphin's day,
My mast is a bell-spire,
Strike and smoothe, for my decks are drums,
Sing through the water-spoken prow
The octopus walking into her limbs
The polar eagle with his tread of snow.
From salt-lipped beak to the kick of the stern
Sing how the seal has kissed her dead!
The long, laid minute's bride drifts on
Old in her cruel bed.
Over the graveyard in the water
Mountains and galleries beneath
Nightingale and hyena
Rejoicing for that drifting death
Sing and howl through sand and anemone
Valley and sahara in a shell,
Oh all the wanting flesh his enemy
Thrown to the sea in the shell of a girl
Is old as water and plain as an eel;
Always good-bye to the long-legged bread
Scattered in the paths of his heels
For the salty birds fluttered and fed
And the tall grains foamed in their bills;
Always good-bye to the fires of the face,
For the crab-backed dead on the sea-bed rose
And scuttled over her eyes,
The blind, clawed stare is cold as sleet.
The tempter under the eyelid
Who shows to the selves asleep
Mast-high moon-white women naked
Walking in wishes and lovely for shame
Is dumb and gone with his flame of brides.
Susannah's drowned in the bearded stream
And no-one stirs at Sheba's side
But the hungry kings of the tides;
Sin who had a woman's shape
Sleeps till Silence blows on a cloud
And all the lifted waters walk and leap.
Lucifer that bird's dropping
Out of the sides of the north
Has melted away and is lost
Is always lost in her vaulted breath,
Venus lies star-struck in her wound
And the sensual ruins make
Seasons over the liquid world,
White springs in the dark.
Always good-bye, cried the voices through the shell,
Good-bye always, for the flesh is cast
And the fisherman winds his reel
With no more desire than a ghost.
Always good luck, praised the finned in the feather
Bird after dark and the laughing fish
As the sails drank up the hail of thunder
And the long-tailed lightning lit his catch.
The boat swims into the six-year weather,
A wind throws a shadow and it freezes fast.
See what the gold gut drags from under
Mountains and galleries to the crest!
See what clings to hair and skull
As the boat skims on with drinking wings!
The statues of great rain stand still,
And the flakes fall like hills.
Sing and strike his heavy haul
Toppling up the boatside in a snow of light!
His decks are drenched with miracles.
Oh miracle of fishes! The long dead bite!
Out of the urn a size of a man
Out of the room the weight of his trouble
Out of the house that holds a town
In the continent of a fossil
One by one in dust and shawl,
Dry as echoes and insect-faced,
His fathers cling to the hand of the girl
And the dead hand leads the past,
Leads them as children and as air
On to the blindly tossing tops;
The centuries throw back their hair
And the old men sing from newborn lips:
Time is bearing another son.
Kill Time! She turns in her pain!
The oak is felled in the acorn
And the hawk in the egg kills the wren.
He who blew the great fire in
And died on a hiss of flames
Or walked the earth in the evening
Counting the denials of the grains
Clings to her drifting hair, and climbs;
And he who taught their lips to sing
Weeps like the risen sun among
The liquid choirs of his tribes.
The rod bends low, divining land,
And through the sundered water crawls
A garden holding to her hand
With birds and animals
With men and women and waterfalls
Trees cool and dry in the whirlpool of ships
And stunned and still on the green, laid veil
Sand with legends in its virgin laps
And prophets loud on the burned dunes;
Insects and valleys hold her thighs hard,
Times and places grip her breast bone,
She is breaking with seasons and clouds;
Round her trailed wrist fresh water weaves,
with moving fish and rounded stones
Up and down the greater waves
A separate river breathes and runs;
Strike and sing his catch of fields
For the surge is sown with barley,
The cattle graze on the covered foam,
The hills have footed the waves away,
With wild sea fillies and soaking bridles
With salty colts and gales in their limbs
All the horses of his haul of miracles
Gallop through the arched, green farms,
Trot and gallop with gulls upon them
And thunderbolts in their manes.
O Rome and Sodom To-morrow and London
The country tide is cobbled with towns
And steeples pierce the cloud on her shoulder
And the streets that the fisherman combed
When his long-legged flesh was a wind on fire
And his loin was a hunting flame
Coil from the thoroughfares of her hair
And terribly lead him home alive
Lead her prodigal home to his terror,
The furious ox-killing house of love.
Down, down, down, under the ground,
Under the floating villages,
Turns the moon-chained and water-wound
Metropolis of fishes,
There is nothing left of the sea but its sound,
Under the earth the loud sea walks,
In deathbeds of orchards the boat dies down
And the bait is drowned among hayricks,
Land, land, land, nothing remains
Of the pacing, famous sea but its speech,
And into its talkative seven tombs
The anchor dives through the floors of a church.
Good-bye, good luck, struck the sun and the moon,
To the fisherman lost on the land.
He stands alone in the door of his home,
With his long-legged heart in his hand.
~ Dylan Thomas,
624:City Without A Name
Who will honor the city without a name
If so many are dead and others pan gold
Or sell arms in faraway countries?
What shepherd's horn swathed in the bark of birch
Will sound in the Ponary Hills the memory of the absent—
Vagabonds, Pathfinders, brethren of a dissolved lodge?
This spring, in a desert, beyond a campsite flagpole,
—In silence that stretched to the solid rock of yellow and red mountains—
I heard in a gray bush the buzzing of wild bees.
The current carried an echo and the timber of rafts.
A man in a visored cap and a woman in a kerchief
Pushed hard with their four hands at a heavy steering oar.
In the library, below a tower painted with the signs of the zodiac,
Kontrym would take a whiff from his snuffbox and smile
For despite Metternich all was not yet lost.
And on crooked lanes down the middle of a sandy highway
Jewish carts went their way while a black grouse hooted
Standing on a cuirassier's helmet, a relict of La Grande Armée.
In Death Valley I thought about styles of hairdo,
About a hand that shifted spotlights at the Student's Ball
In the city from which no voice could reach me.
Minerals did not sound the last trumpet.
There was only the rustle of a loosened grain of lava.
In Death Valley salt gleams from a dried-up lake bed.
Defend, defend yourself, says the tick-tock of the blood.
From the futility of solid rock, no wisdom.
In Death Valley no hawk or eagle against the sky.
The prediction of a Gypsy woman has come true.
In a lane under an arcade, then, I was reading a poem
Of someone who had lived next door, entitled 'An Hour of Thought.'
I looked long at the rearview mirror: there, the one man
Within three miles, an Indian, was walking a bicycle uphill.
With flutes, with torches
And a drum, boom, boom,
Look, the one who died in Istanbul, there, in the first row.
He walks arm in arm with his young lady,
And over them swallows fly.
They carry oars or staffs garlanded with leaves
And bunches of flowers from the shores of the Green Lakes,
As they came closer and closer, down Castle Street.
And then suddenly nothing, only a white puff of cloud
Over the Humanities Student Club,
Division of Creative Writing.
Books, we have written a whole library of them.
Lands, we have visited a great many of them.
Battles, we have lost a number of them.
Till we are no more, we and our Maryla.
Understanding and pity,
We value them highly.
What else?
Beauty and kisses,
Fame and its prizes,
Who cares?
Doctors and lawyers,
Well-turned-out majors,
Six feet of earth.
Rings, furs, and lashes,
Glances at Masses,
Rest in peace.
Sweet twin breasts, good night.
Sleep through to the light,
Without spiders.
The sun goes down above the Zealous Lithuanian Lodge
And kindles fire on landscapes 'made from nature':
The Wilia winding among pines; black honey of the Żejmiana;
The Mereczanka washes berries near the Żegaryno village.
The valets had already brought in Theban candelabra
And pulled curtains, one after the other, slowly,
While, thinking I entered first, taking off my gloves,
I saw that all the eyes were fixed on me.
When I got rid of grieving
And the glory I was seeking,
Which I had no business doing,
I was carried by dragons
Over countries, bays, and mountains,
By fate, or by what happens.
Oh yes, I wanted to be me.
I toasted mirrors weepily
And learned my own stupidity.
From nails, mucous membrane,
Lungs, liver, bowels, and spleen
Whose house is made? Mine.
So what else is new?
I am not my own friend.
Time cuts me in two.
Monuments covered with snow,
Accept my gift. I wandered;
And where, I don't know.
Absent, burning, acrid, salty, sharp.
Thus the feast of Insubstantiality.
Under a gathering of clouds anywhere.
In a bay, on a plateau, in a dry arroyo.
No density. No harness of stone.
Even the Summa thins into straw and smoke.
And the angelic choirs fly over in a pomegranate seed
Sounding every few instants, not for us, their trumpets.
Light, universal, and yet it keeps changing.
For I love the light too, perhaps the light only.
Yet what is too dazzling and too high is not for me.
So when the clouds turn rosy, I think of light that is level
In the lands of birch and pine coated with crispy lichen,
Late in autumn, under the hoarfrost when the last milk caps
Rot under the firs and the hounds' barking echoes,
And jackdaws wheel over the tower of a Basilian church.
Unexpressed, untold.
But how?
The shortness of life,
the years quicker and quicker,
not remembering whether it happened in this or that autumn.
Retinues of homespun velveteen skirts,
giggles above a railing, pigtails askew,
sittings on chamberpots upstairs
when the sledge jingles under the columns of the porch
just before the moustachioed ones in wolf fur enter.
Female humanity,
children's snots, legs spread apart,
snarled hair, the milk boiling over,
stench, shit frozen into clods.
And those centuries,
conceiving in the herring smell of the middle of the night
instead of playing something like a game of chess
or dancing an intellectual ballet.
And palisades,
and pregnant sheep,
and pigs, fast eaters and poor eaters,
and cows cured by incantations.
Not the Last Judgment, just a kermess by a river.
Small whistles, clay chickens, candied hearts.
So we trudged through the slush of melting snow
To buy bagels from the district of Smorgonie.
A fortune-teller hawking: 'Your destiny, your planets.'
And a toy devil bobbing in a tube of crimson brine.
Another, a rubber one, expired in the air squeaking,
By the stand where you bought stories of King Otto and Melusine.
Why should that city, defenseless and pure as the wedding necklace of
a forgotten tribe, keep offering itself to me?
Like blue and red-brown seeds beaded in Tuzigoot in the copper desert
seven centuries ago.
Where ocher rubbed into stone still waits for the brow and cheekbone
it would adorn, though for all that time there has been no one.
What evil in me, what pity has made me deserve this offering?
It stands before me, ready, not even the smoke from one chimney is
lacking, not one echo, when I step across the rivers that separate us.
Perhaps Anna and Dora Drużyno have called to me, three hundred miles
inside Arizona, because except fo me no one else knows that they ever
They trot before me on Embankment Street, two hently born parakeets
from Samogitia, and at night they unravel their spinster tresses of gray
Here there is no earlier and no later; the seasons of the year and of the
day are simultaneous.
At dawn shit-wagons leave town in long rows and municipal employees
at the gate collect the turnpike toll in leather bags.
Rattling their wheels, 'Courier' and 'Speedy' move against the current
to Werki, and an oarsman shot down over England skiffs past, spreadeagled by his oars.
At St. Peter and Paul's the angels lower their thick eyelids in a smile
over a nun who has indecent thoughts.
Bearded, in a wig, Mrs. Sora Klok sits at the ocunter, instructing her
twelve shopgirls.
And all of German Street tosses into the air unfurled bolts of fabric,
preparing itself for death and the conquest of Jerusalem.
Black and princely, an underground river knocks at cellars of the
cathedral under the tomb of St. Casimir the Young and under the
half-charred oak logs in the hearth.
Carrying her servant's-basket on her shoulder, Barbara, dressed in
mourning, returns from the Lithuanian Mass at St. Nicholas to the
Romers' house in Bakszta Street.
How it glitters! the snow on Three Crosses Hill and Bekiesz Hill, not
to be melted by the breath of these brief lives.
And what do I know now, when I turn into Arsenal Street and open
my eyes once more on a useless end of the world?
I was running, as the silks rustled, through room after room without
stopping, for I believed in the existence of a last door.
But the shape of lips and an apple and a flower pinned to a dress were
all that one was permitted to know and take away.
The Earth, neither compassionate nor evil, neither beautiful nor atrocious, persisted, innocent, open to pain and desire.
And the gift was useless, if, later on, in the flarings of distant nights,
there was not less bitterness but more.
If I cannot so exhaust my life and their life that the bygone crying is
transformed, at last, into harmony.
Like a Noble Jan Dęboróg in the Straszun's secondhand-book shop, I am
put to rest forever between tow familiar names.
The castle tower above the leafy tumulus grows small and there is still
a hardly audible—is it Mozart's Requiem?—music.
In the immobile light I move my lips and perhaps I am even glad not
to find the desired word.
~ Czeslaw Milosz,
First, London, for its myriads; for its height,
Manhattan heaped in towering stalagmite;
But Paris for the smoothness of the paths
That lead the heart unto the heart's delight. . . .
Fair loiterer on the threshold of those days
When there's no lovelier prize the world displays
Than, having beauty and your twenty years,
You have the means to conquer and the ways,
And coming where the crossroads separate
And down each vista glories and wonders wait,
Crowning each path with pinnacles so fair
You know not which to choose, and hesitate --
Oh, go to Paris. . . . In the midday gloom
Of some old quarter take a little room
That looks off over Paris and its towers
From Saint Gervais round to the Emperor's Tomb, --
So high that you can hear a mating dove
Croon down the chimney from the roof above,
See Notre Dame and know how sweet it is
To wake between Our Lady and our love.
And have a little balcony to bring
Fair plants to fill with verdure and blossoming,
That sparrows seek, to feed from pretty hands,
And swallows circle over in the Spring.
There of an evening you shall sit at ease
In the sweet month of flowering chestnut-trees,
There with your little darling in your arms,
Your pretty dark-eyed Manon or Louise.
And looking out over the domes and towers
That chime the fleeting quarters and the hours,
While the bright clouds banked eastward back of them
Blush in the sunset, pink as hawthorn flowers,
You cannot fail to think, as I have done,
Some of life's ends attained, so you be one
Who measures life's attainment by the hours
That Joy has rescued from oblivion.
Come out into the evening streets. The green light lessens in the west.
The city laughs and liveliest her fervid pulse of pleasure beats.
The belfry on Saint Severin strikes eight across the smoking eaves:
Come out under the lights and leaves
to the Reine Blanche on Saint Germain. . . .
Now crowded diners fill the floor of brasserie and restaurant.
Shrill voices cry "L'Intransigeant," and corners echo "Paris-Sport."
Where rows of tables from the street are screened with shoots of box and bay,
The ragged minstrels sing and play and gather sous from those that eat.
And old men stand with menu-cards, inviting passers-by to dine
On the bright terraces that line the Latin Quarter boulevards. . . .
But, having drunk and eaten well, 'tis pleasant then to stroll along
And mingle with the merry throng that promenades on Saint Michel.
Here saunter types of every sort. The shoddy jostle with the chic:
Turk and Roumanian and Greek; student and officer and sport;
Slavs with their peasant, Christ-like heads,
and courtezans like powdered moths,
And peddlers from Algiers, with cloths
bright-hued and stitched with golden threads;
And painters with big, serious eyes go rapt in dreams, fantastic shapes
In corduroys and Spanish capes and locks uncut and flowing ties;
And lovers wander two by two, oblivious among the press,
And making one of them no less, all lovers shall be dear to you:
All laughing lips you move among, all happy hearts that, knowing what
Makes life worth while, have wasted not the sweet reprieve of being young.
"Comment ca va!" "Mon vieux!" "Mon cher!"
Friends greet and banter as they pass.
'Tis sweet to see among the mass comrades and lovers everywhere,
A law that's sane, a Love that's free, and men of every birth and blood
Allied in one great brotherhood of Art and Joy and Poverty. . . .
The open cafe-windows frame loungers at their liqueurs and beer,
And walking past them one can hear fragments of Tosca and Boheme.
And in the brilliant-lighted door of cinemas the barker calls,
And lurid posters paint the walls with scenes of Love and crime and war.
But follow past the flaming lights, borne onward with the stream of feet,
Where Bullier's further up the street is marvellous on Thursday nights.
Here all Bohemia flocks apace; you could not often find elsewhere
So many happy heads and fair assembled in one time and place.
Under the glare and noise and heat the galaxy of dancing whirls,
Smokers, with covered heads, and girls dressed in the costume of the street.
From tables packed around the wall the crowds that drink and frolic there
Spin serpentines into the air far out over the reeking hall,
That, settling where the coils unroll, tangle with pink and green and blue
The crowds that rag to "Hitchy-koo" and boston to the "Barcarole". . . .
Here Mimi ventures, at fifteen, to make her debut in romance,
And join her sisters in the dance and see the life that they have seen.
Her hair, a tight hat just allows to brush beneath the narrow brim,
Docked, in the model's present whim, `frise' and banged above the brows.
Uncorseted, her clinging dress with every step and turn betrays,
In pretty and provoking ways her adolescent loveliness,
As guiding Gaby or Lucile she dances, emulating them
In each disturbing stratagem and each lascivious appeal.
Each turn a challenge, every pose an invitation to compete,
Along the maze of whirling feet the grave-eyed little wanton goes,
And, flaunting all the hue that lies in childish cheeks and nubile waist,
She passes, charmingly unchaste, illumining ignoble eyes. . . .
But now the blood from every heart leaps madder through abounding veins
As first the fascinating strains of "El Irresistible" start.
Caught in the spell of pulsing sound, impatient elbows lift and yield
The scented softnesses they shield to arms that catch and close them round,
Surrender, swift to be possessed, the silken supple forms beneath
To all the bliss the measures breathe and all the madness they suggest.
Crowds congregate and make a ring. Four deep they stand and strain to see
The tango in its ecstasy of glowing lives that clasp and cling.
Lithe limbs relaxed, exalted eyes fastened on vacancy, they seem
To float upon the perfumed stream of some voluptuous Paradise,
Or, rapt in some Arabian Night, to rock there, cradled and subdued,
In a luxurious lassitude of rhythm and sensual delight.
And only when the measures cease and terminate the flowing dance
They waken from their magic trance and join the cries that clamor "Bis!" . . .
Midnight adjourns the festival. The couples climb the crowded stair,
And out into the warm night air go singing fragments of the ball.
Close-folded in desire they pass, or stop to drink and talk awhile
In the cafes along the mile from Bullier's back to Montparnasse:
The "Closerie" or "La Rotonde", where smoking, under lamplit trees,
Sit Art's enamored devotees, chatting across their `brune' and `blonde'. . . .
Make one of them and come to know sweet Paris -- not as many do,
Seeing but the folly of the few, the froth, the tinsel, and the show --
But taking some white proffered hand that from Earth's barren every day
Can lead you by the shortest way into Love's florid fairyland.
And that divine enchanted life that lurks under Life's common guise -That city of romance that lies within the City's toil and strife --
Shall, knocking, open to your hands, for Love is all its golden key,
And one's name murmured tenderly the only magic it demands.
And when all else is gray and void in the vast gulf of memory,
Green islands of delight shall be all blessed moments so enjoyed:
When vaulted with the city skies, on its cathedral floors you stood,
And, priest of a bright brotherhood, performed the mystic sacrifice,
At Love's high altar fit to stand, with fire and incense aureoled,
The celebrant in cloth of gold with Spring and Youth on either hand.
Choral Song
Have ye gazed on its grandeur
Or stood where it stands
With opal and amber
Adorning the lands,
And orcharded domes
Of the hue of all flowers?
Sweet melody roams
Through its blossoming bowers,
Sweet bells usher in from its belfries the train of the honey-sweet hour.
A city resplendent,
Fulfilled of good things,
On its ramparts are pendent
The bucklers of kings.
Broad banners unfurled
Are afloat in its air.
The lords of the world
Look for harborage there.
None finds save he comes as a bridegroom, having roses and vine in his hair.
'Tis the city of Lovers,
There many paths meet.
Blessed he above others,
With faltering feet,
Who past its proud spires
Intends not nor hears
The noise of its lyres
Grow faint in his ears!
Men reach it through portals of triumph, but leave through a postern of tears.
It was thither, ambitious,
We came for Youth's right,
When our lips yearned for kisses
As moths for the light,
When our souls cried for Love
As for life-giving rain
Wan leaves of the grove,
Withered grass of the plain,
And our flesh ached for Love-flesh beside it with bitter, intolerable pain.
Under arbor and trellis,
Full of flutes, full of flowers,
What mad fortunes befell us,
What glad orgies were ours!
In the days of our youth,
In our festal attire,
When the sweet flesh was smooth,
When the swift blood was fire,
And all Earth paid in orange and purple to pavilion the bed of Desire!
~ Alan Seeger,
626:The Star-Apple Kingdom
There were still shards of an ancient pastoral
in those shires of the island where the cattle drank
their pools of shadow from an older sky,
surviving from when the landscape copied such objects as
'Herefords at Sunset in the valley of the Wye.'
The mountain water that fell white from the mill wheel
sprinkling like petals from the star-apple trees,
and all of the windmills and sugar mills moved by mules
on the treadmill of Monday to Monday, would repeat
in tongues of water and wind and fire, in tongues
of Mission School pickaninnies, like rivers remembering
their source, Parish Trelawny, Parish St David, Parish
St Andrew, the names afflicting the pastures,
the lime groves and fences of marl stone and the cattle
with a docile longing, an epochal content.
And there were, like old wedding lace in an attic,
among the boas and parasols and the tea-colored
daguerreotypes, hints of an epochal happiness
as ordered and infinite to the child
as the great house road to the Great House
down a perspective of casuarinas plunging green manes
in time to the horses, an orderly life
reduced by lorgnettes day and night, one disc the sun,
the other the moon, reduced into a pier glass:
nannies diminished to dolls, mahogany stairways
no larger than those of an album in which
the flash of cutlery yellows, as gamboge as
the piled cakes of teatime on that latticed
bougainvillea verandah that looked down toward
a prospect of Cuyp-like Herefords under a sky
lurid as a porcelain souvenir with these words:
'Herefords at Sunset in the Valley of the Wye.'
Strange, that the rancor of hatred hid in that dream
of slow rivers and lily-like parasols, in snaps
of fine old colonial families, curled at the edge
not from age of from fire or the chemicals, no, not at all,
but because, off at its edges, innocently excluded
stood the groom, the cattle boy, the housemaid, the gardeners,
the tenants, the good Negroes down in the village,
their mouth in the locked jaw of a silent scream.
A scream which would open the doors to swing wildly
all night, that was bringing in heavier clouds,
more black smoke than cloud, frightening the cattle
in whose bulging eyes the Great House diminished;
a scorching wind of a scream
that began to extinguish the fireflies,
that dried the water mill creaking to a stop
as it was about to pronounce Parish Trelawny
all over, in the ancient pastoral voice,
a wind that blew all without bending anything,
neither the leaves of the album nor the lime groves;
blew Nanny floating back in white from a feather
to a chimerical, chemical pin speck that shrank
the drinking Herefords to brown porcelain cows
on a mantelpiece, Trelawny trembling with dusk,
the scorched pastures of the old benign Custos; blew
far the decent servants and the lifelong cook,
and shriveled to a shard that ancient pastoral
of dusk in a gilt-edged frame now catching the evening sun
in Jamaica, making both epochs one.
He looked out from the Great House windows on
clouds that still held the fragrance of fire,
he saw the Botanical Gardens officially drown
in a formal dusk, where governors had strolled
and black gardeners had smiled over glinting shears
at the lilies of parasols on the floating lawns,
the flame trees obeyed his will and lowered their wicks,
the flowers tightened their fists in the name of thrift,
the porcelain lamps of ripe cocoa, the magnolia's jet
dimmed on the one circuit with the ginger lilies
and left a lonely bulb on the verandah,
and, had his mandate extended to that ceiling
of star-apple candelabra, he would have ordered
the sky to sleep, saying, I'm tired,
save the starlight for victories, we can't afford it,
leave the moon on for one more hour,and that's it.
But though his power, the given mandate, extended
from tangerine daybreaks to star-apple dusks,
his hand could not dam that ceaseless torrent of dust
that carried the shacks of the poor, to their root-rock music,
down the gullies of Yallahs and August Town,
to lodge them on thorns of maca, with their rags
crucified by cactus, tins, old tires, cartons;
from the black Warieka Hills the sky glowed fierce as
the dials of a million radios,
a throbbing sunset that glowed like a grid
where the dread beat rose from the jukebox of Kingston.
He saw the fountains dried of quadrilles, the water-music
of the country dancers, the fiddlers like fifes
put aside. He had to heal
this malarial island in its bath of bay leaves,
its forests tossing with fever, the dry cattle
groaning like winches, the grass that kept shaking
its head to remember its name. No vowels left
in the mill wheel, the river. Rock stone. Rock stone.
The mountains rolled like whales through phosphorous stars,
as he swayed like a stone down fathoms into sleep,
drawn by that magnet which pulls down half the world
between a star and a star, by that black power
that has the assassin dreaming of snow,
that poleaxes the tyrant to a sleeping child.
The house is rocking at anchor, but as he falls
his mind is a mill wheel in moonlight,
and he hears, in the sleep of his moonlight, the drowned
bell of Port Royal's cathedral, sees the copper pennies
of bubbles rising from the empty eye-pockets
of green buccaneers, the parrot fish floating
from the frayed shoulders of pirates, sea horses
drawing gowned ladies in their liquid promenade
across the moss-green meadows of the sea;
he heard the drowned choirs under Palisadoes,
a hymn ascending to earth from a heaven inverted
by water, a crab climbing the steeple,
and he climbed from that submarine kingdom
as the evening lights came on in the institute,
the scholars lamplit in their own aquarium,
he saw them mouthing like parrot fish, as he passed
upward from that baptism, their history lessons,
the bubbles like ideas which he could not break:
Jamaica was captured by Penn and Venables,
Port Royal perished in a cataclysmic earthquake.
Before the coruscating façades of cathedrals
from Santiago to Caracas, where penitential archbishops
washed the feet of paupers (a parenthetical moment
that made the Caribbean a baptismal font,
turned butterflies to stone, and whitened like doves
the buzzards circling municipal garbage),
the Caribbean was borne like an elliptical basin
in the hands of acolytes, and a people were absolved
of a history which they did not commit;
the slave pardoned his whip, and the dispossessed
said the rosary of islands for three hundred years,
a hymn that resounded like the hum of the sea
inside a sea cave, as their knees turned to stone,
while the bodies of patriots were melting down walls
still crusted with mute outcries of La Revolucion!
'San Salvador, pray for us,St. Thomas, San Domingo,
ora pro nobis, intercede for us, Sancta Lucia
of no eyes,' and when the circular chaplet
reached the last black bead of Sancta Trinidad
they began again, their knees drilled into stone,
where Colon had begun, with San Salvador's bead,
beads of black colonies round the necks of Indians.
And while they prayed for an economic miracle,
ulcers formed on the municipal portraits,
the hotels went up, and the casinos and brothels,
and the empires of tobacco, sugar, and bananas,
until a black woman, shawled like a buzzard,
climbed up the stairs and knocked at the door
of his dream, whispering in the ear of the keyhole:
'Let me in, I'm finished with praying, I'm the Revolution.
I am the darker, the older America.'
She was as beautiful as a stone in the sunrise,
her voice had the gutturals of machine guns
across khaki deserts where the cactus flower
detonates like grenades, her sex was the slit throat
of an Indian, her hair had the blue-black sheen of the crow.
She was a black umbrella blown inside out
by the wind of revolution, La Madre Dolorosa,
a black rose of sorrow, a black mine of silence,
raped wife, empty mother, Aztec virgin
transfixed by arrows from a thousand guitars,
a stone full of silence, which, if it gave tongue
to the tortures done in the name of the Father,
would curdle the blood of the marauding wolf,
the fountain of generals, poets, and cripples
who danced without moving over their graves
with each revolution; her Caesarean was stitched
by the teeth of machine guns,and every sunset
she carried the Caribbean's elliptical basin
as she had once carried the penitential napkins
to be the footbath of dictators, Trujillo, Machado,
and those whose faces had yellowed like posters
on municipal walls. Now she stroked his hair
until it turned white, but she would not understand
that he wanted no other power but peace,
that he wanted a revolution without any bloodshed,
he wanted a history without any memory,
streets without statues,
and a geography without myth. He wanted no armies
but those regiments of bananas, thick lances of cane,
and he sobbed,'I am powerless, except for love.'
She faded from him, because he could not kill;
she shrunk to a bat that hung day and night
in the back of his brain. He rose in his dream.
~ Derek Walcott,
627:Wild, pale, and wonder-stricken, even as one
Who staggers forth into the air and sun
From the dark chamber of a mortal fever,
Bewildered, and incapable, and ever
Fancying strange comments in her dizzy brain
Of usual shapes, till the familiar train
Of objects and of persons passed like things
Strange as a dreamers mad imaginings,
Ginevra from the nuptial altar went;
The vows to which her lips had sworn assent
Rung in her brain still with a jarring din,
Deafening the lost intelligence within.

And so she moved under the bridal veil,
Which made the paleness of her cheek more pale,
And deepened the faint crimson of her mouth,
And darkened her dark locks, as moonlight doth,--
And of the gold and jewels glittering there
She scarce felt conscious,--but the weary glare
Lay like a chaos of unwelcome light,
Vexing the sense with gorgeous undelight,
A moonbeam in the shadow of a cloud
Was less heavenly fair--her face was bowed,
And as she passed, the diamonds in her hair
Were mirrored in the polished marble stair
Which led from the cathedral to the street;
And ever as she went her light fair feet
Erased these images.

The bride-maidens who round her thronging came,
Some with a sense of self-rebuke and shame,
Envying the unenviable; and others
Making the joy which should have been anothers
Their own by gentle sympathy; and some
Sighing to think of an unhappy home:
Some few admiring what can ever lure
Maidens to leave the heaven serene and pure
Of parents smiles for lifes great cheat; a thing
Bitter to taste, sweet in imagining.

But they are all dispersed--and, lo! she stands
Looking in idle grief on her white hands,
Alone within the garden now her own;
And through the sunny air, with jangling tone,
The music of the merry marriage-bells,
Killing the azure silence, sinks and swells;--
Absorbed like one within a dream who dreams
That he is dreaming, until slumber seems
A mockery of itself--when suddenly
Antonio stood before her, pale as she.
With agony, with sorrow, and with pride,
He lifted his wan eyes upon the bride,
And said--Is this thy faith? and then as one
Whose sleeping face is stricken by the sun
With light like a harsh voice, which bids him rise
And look upon his day of life with eyes
Which weep in vain that they can dream no more,
Ginevra saw her lover, and forbore
To shriek or faint, and checked the stifling blood
Rushing upon her heart, and unsubdued
Said--Friend, if earthly violence or ill,
Suspicion, doubt, or the tyrannic will
Of parents, chance or custom, time or change,
Or circumstance, or terror, or revenge,
Or wildered looks, or words, or evil speech,
With all their stings and venom can impeach
Our love,--we love not:--if the grave which hides
The victim from the tyrant, and divides
The cheek that whitens from the eyes that dart
Imperious inquisition to the heart
That is anothers, could dissever ours,
We love not.--What! do not the silent hours
Beckon thee to Gherardis bridal bed?
Is not that ring--a pledge, he would have said,
Of broken vows, but she with patient look
The golden circle from her finger took,
And said--Accept this token of my faith,
The pledge of vows to be absolved by death;
And I am dead or shall be soonmy knell
Will mix its music with that merry bell,
Does it not sound as if they sweetly said
We toll a corpse out of the marriage-bed?
The flowers upon my bridal chamber strewn
Will serve unfaded for my bierso soon
That even the dying violet will not die
Before Ginevra. The strong fantasy
Had made her accents weaker and more weak,
And quenched the crimson life upon her cheek,
And glazed her eyes, and spread an atmosphere
Round her, which chilled the burning noon with fear,
Making her but an image of the thought
Which, like a prophet or a shadow, brought
News of the terrors of the coming time.
Like an accuser branded with the crime
He would have cast on a beloved friend,
Whose dying eyes reproach not to the end
The pale betrayerhe then with vain repentance
Would share, he cannot now avert, the sentence--
Antonio stood and would have spoken, when
The compound voice of women and of men
Was heard approaching; he retired, while she
Was led amid the admiring company
Back to the palace,--and her maidens soon
Changed her attire for the afternoon,
And left her at her own request to keep
An hour of quiet rest:--like one asleep
With open eyes and folded hands she lay,
Pale in the light of the declining day.

Meanwhile the day sinks fast, the sun is set,
And in the lighted hall the guests are met;
The beautiful looked lovelier in the light
Of love, and admiration, and delight
Reflected from a thousand hearts and eyes,
Kindling a momentary Paradise.
This crowd is safer than the silent wood,
Where loves own doubts disturb the solitude;
On frozen hearts the fiery rain of wine
Falls, and the dew of music more divine
Tempers the deep emotions of the time
To spirits cradled in a sunny clime:--
How many meet, who never yet have met,
To part too soon, but never to forget.
How many saw the beauty, power and wit
Of looks and words which neer enchanted yet;
But lifes familiar veil was now withdrawn,
As the world leaps before an earthquakes dawn,
And unprophetic of the coming hours,
The matin winds from the expanded flowers
Scatter their hoarded incense, and awaken
The earth, until the dewy sleep is shaken
From every living heart which it possesses,
Through seas and winds, cities and wildernesses,
As if the future and the past were all
Treasured i the instant;--so Gherardis hall
Laughed in the mirth of its lords festival,
Till some one asked--Where is the Bride? And then
A bridesmaid went,--and ere she came again
A silence fell upon the guests--a pause
Of expectation, as when beauty awes
All hearts with its approach, though unbeheld;
Then wonder, and then fear that wonder quelled;--
For whispers passed from mouth to ear which drew
The colour from the hearers cheeks, and flew
Louder and swifter round the company;
And then Gherardi entered with an eye
Of ostentatious trouble, and a crowd
Surrounded him, and some were weeping loud.

They found Ginevra dead! if it be death
To lie without motion, or pulse, or breath,
With waxen cheeks, and limbs cold, stiff, and white,
And open eyes, whose fixed and glassy light
Mocked at the speculation they had owned.
If it be death, when there is felt around
A smell of clay, a pale and icy glare,
And silence, and a sense that lifts the hair
From the scalp to the ankles, as it were
Corruption from the spirit passing forth,
And giving all it shrouded to the earth,
And leaving as swift lightning in its flight
Ashes, and smoke, and darkness: in our night
Of thought we know thus much of death,no more
Than the unborn dream of our life before
Their barks are wrecked on its inhospitable shore.
The marriage feast and its solemnity
Was turned to funeral pomp--the company,
With heavy hearts and looks, broke up; nor they
Who loved the dead went weeping on their way
Alone, but sorrow mixed with sad surprise
Loosened the springs of pity in all eyes,
On which that form, whose fate they weep in vain,
Will never, thought they, kindle smiles again.
The lamps which, half extinguished in their haste,
Gleamed few and faint oer the abandoned feast,
Showed as it were within the vaulted room
A cloud of sorrow hanging, as if gloom
Had passed out of mens minds into the air.
Some few yet stood around Gherardi there,
Friends and relations of the dead,--and he,
A loveless man, accepted torpidly
The consolation that he wanted not;
Awe in the place of grief within him wrought.
Their whispers made the solemn silence seem
More still--some wept,...
Some melted into tears without a sob,
And some with hearts that might be heard to throb
Leaned on the table and at intervals
Shuddered to hear through the deserted halls
And corridors the thrilling shrieks which came
Upon the breeze of night, that shook the flame
Of every torch and taper as it swept
From out the chamber where the women kept;--
Their tears fell on the dear companion cold
Of pleasures now departed; then was knolled
The bell of death, and soon the priests arrived,
And finding Death their penitent had shrived,
Returned like ravens from a corpse whereon
A vulture has just feasted to the bone.
And then the mourning women came.--


Old winter was gone
In his weakness back to the mountains hoar,
And the spring came down
From the planet that hovers upon the shore

Where the sea of sunlight encroaches
On the limits of wintry night;--
If the land, and the air, and the sea,
Rejoice not when spring approaches,
We did not rejoice in thee,

She is still, she is cold
On the bridal couch,
One step to the white deathbed,
And one to the bier,
And one to the charnel--and one, oh where?
The dark arrow fled
In the noon.

Ere the sun through heaven once more has rolled,
The rats in her heart
Will have made their nest,
And the worms be alive in her golden hair,
While the Spirit that guides the sun,
Sits throned in his flaming chair,
She shall sleep.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ginevra
628:Phi Beta Kappa Poem
Harvard, 1914
SIR, friends, and scholars, we are here to serve
A high occasion. Our New England wears
All her unrivalled beauty as of old;
And June, with scent of bayberry and rose
And song of orioles— as she only comes
By Massachusetts Bay —is here once more,
Companioning our fête of fellowship.
The open trails, South, West, and North, lead back
From populous cities or from lonely plains,
Ranch, pulpit, office, factory, desk, or mill,
To this fair tribunal of ambitious youth,
The shadowy town beside the placid Charles,
Where Harvard waits us through the passing years,
Conserving and administering still
Her savor for the gladdening of the race.
Yearly, of all the sons she has sent forth,
And men her admiration would adopt,
She summons whom she will back to her side
As if to ask, 'How fares my cause of truth
In the great world beyond these studious walls?'
Here, from their store of life experience,
They must make answer as grace is given them,
And their plain creed, in verity, declare.
Among the many, there is sometimes called
One who, like Arnold's scholar gypsy poor,
Is but a seeker on the dusky way,
'Still waiting for the spark from heaven to fall.'
He must bethink him first of other days,
And that old scholar of the seraphic smile,
As we recall him in this very place
With all the sweetest culture of his age,
His gentle courtesy and friendliness,
A chivalry of soul now strangely rare,
And that ironic wit which made him, too,
The unflinching critic and most dreaded foe
Of all things mean, unlovely, and untrue.
What Mr. Norton said, with that slow smile,
Has put the fear of God in many a heart,
Even while his hand encouraged eager youth.
From such enheartening who would not dare speak—
Seeing no truth can be too small to serve,
And no word worthless that is born of love?
Within the noisy workshop of the world,
Where still the strife is upward out of gloom,
Men doubt the value of high teaching —cry,
'What use is learning? Man must have his will!
The élan of life alone is paramount!
Away with old traditions! We are free!'
So folly mocks at truth in Freedom's name.
Pale Anarchy leads on, with furious shriek,
Her envious horde of reckless malcontents
And mad destroyers of the Commonwealth,
While Privilege with indifference grows corrupt,
Till the Republic stands in jeopardy
From following false idols and ideals,
Though sane men cry for honesty once more,
Order and duty and self-sacrifice.
Our world and all it holds of good for us
Our fathers and unselfish mothers made,
With noble passion and enduring toil,
Strenuous, frugal, reverent, and elate,
Caring above all else to guard and save
The ampler life of the intelligence
And the fine honor of a scrupulous code —
Ideals of manhood touched with the divine.
For this they founded these great schools we serve,
Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale,
Amherst and Williams, trusting to our hands
The heritage of all they held most high,
Possessions of the spirit and the mind,
Investments in the provinces of joy.
Vast provinces are these! And fortunate they
Who at their will may go adventuring there,
Exploring all the boundaries of Truth,
Learning the roads that run through Beauty's realm,
Sighting the pinnacles where Good meets God,
Encompassed by the eternal unknown sea!
Even for a little to o'erlook those lands,
The kingdoms of Religion, Science, Art,
Is to be made forever happier
With blameless memories that shall bring content
And inspiration for all after days.
And fortunate they whom destiny allows
To rest within those provinces and serve
The dominion of ideals all their lives.
For whoso will, putting dull greed aside,
And holding fond allegiance to the best,
May dwell there and find fortitude and joy.
In the free fellowship of kindred minds,
One band of scholar gypsies I have known,
Whose purpose all unworldly was to find
An answer to the riddle of the Earth —
A key that should unlock the book of life
And secrets of its sorceries reveal.
This, they discovered, had long since been found
And laid aside forgotten and unused.
Our dark young poet who from Dartmouth came
Was told the secret by his gypsy bride,
Who had it from a master over seas,
And he it was first hinted to the band
The magic of that universal lore,
Before the great Mysteriarch summoned him.
It was the doctrine of the threefold life,
The beginning of the end of all their doubt.
In that Victorian age it has become
So much the fashion now to half despise,
Within the shadow of Cathedral walls
They had been schooled, and heard the mellow chimes
For Lenten litanies and daily prayers,
With a mild, eloquent, beloved voice
Exhorting to all virtue and that peace
Surpassing understanding —casting there
That 'last enchantment of the Middle Age,'
The spell of Oxford and her ritual.
So duteous youth was trained, until there grew
Restive outreaching in men's thought to find
Some certitude beyond the dusk of faith.
They cried on mysticism to be gone,
Mazed in the shadowy princedom of the soul.
Then as old creeds fell round them into dust,
They reached through science to belief in law,
Made reason paramount in man, and guessed
At reigning mind within the universe.
Piecing the fragments of a fair design
With reverent patience and courageous skill,
They saw the world from chaos step by step,
Under far-seeing guidance and restraint,
Emerge to order and to symmetry,
As logical and sure as music's own.
With Spencer, Darwin, Tyndall, and the rest,
Our band saw roads of knowledge open wide
Through the uncharted province of the truth,
As on they fared through that unfolding world.
Yet there they found no rest-house for the heart,
No wells sufficient for the spirit's thirst,
No shade nor glory for the senses starved. . . .
Turning— they fled by moonlit trails to seek
The magic principality of Art,
Where loveliness, not learning, rules supreme.
They stood intoxicated with delight before
The poised unanxious splendor of the Greek;
They mused upon the Gothic minsters gray,
Where mystic spirit took on mighty form,
Until their prayers to lovely churches turned —
(Like a remembrance of the Middle Age
They rose where Ralph or Bertram dreamed in stone);
Entranced they trod a painters' paradise,
Where color wasted by the Scituate shore
Between the changing marshes and the sea;
They heard the golden voice of poesie
Lulling the senses with its last caress
In Tennysonion accents pure and fine;
And all their laurels were for Beauty's brow,
Though toiling Reason went ungarlanded.
Then poisonous weeds of artifice sprang up,
Defiling Nature at her sacred source;
And there the questing World-soul could not stay,
Onward must journey with the changing time,
To come to this uncouth rebellious age,
Where not an ancient creed nor courtesy
Is underided, and each demagogue
Cries some new nostrum for the cure of ills.
To-day the unreasoning iconoclast
Would scoff at science and abolish art,
To let untutored impulse rule the world.
Let learning perish, and the race returns
To that first anarchy from which we came,
When spirit moved upon the deep and laid
The primal chaos under cosmic law.
And even now, in all our wilful might,
The satiated being cannot bide,
But to that austere country turns again,
The little province of the saints of God,
Where lofty peaks rise upward to the stars
From the gray twilight of Gethsemane,
And spirit dares to climb with wounded feet
Where justice, peace, and loving kindness are.
What says the lore of human power we hold
Through all these striving and tumultuous days?
'Why not accept each several bloom of good,
Without discarding good already gained,
As one might weed a garden overgrown —
Save the new shoots, yet not destroy the old?
Only the fool would root up his whole patch
Of fragrant flowers, to plant the newer seed.'
Ah, softly, brothers! Have we not the key,
Whose first fine luminous use Plotinus gave,
Teaching that ecstasy must lead the man?
Three things, we see, men in this life require,
(As they are needed in the universe):
First of all spirit, energy, or love,
The soul and mainspring of created things;
Next wisdom, knowledge, culture, discipline,
To guide impetuous spirit to its goal;
And lastly strength, the sound apt instrument,
Adjusted and controlled to lawful needs.
The next world-teacher must be one whose word
Shall reaffirm the primacy of soul,
Hold scholarship in her high guiding place,
And recognize the body's equal right
To culture such as it has never known,
In power and beauty serving soul and mind.
Inheritors of this divine ideal,
With courage to be fine as well as strong,
Shall know what common manhood may become,
Regain the gladness of the sons of morn,
The radiance of immortality.
Out of heroic wanderings of the past,
And all the wayward gropings of our time,
Unswerved by doubt, unconquered by despair,
The messengers of such a hope must go;
As one who hears far off before the dawn,
On some lone trail among the darkling hills,
The hermit thrushes in the paling dusk,
And at the omen lifts his eyes to see
Above him, with its silent shafts of light,
The sunrise kindling all the peaks with fire.
~ Bliss William Carman,
629:'O happy Earth, reality of Heaven!
To which those restless souls that ceaselessly
Throng through the human universe, aspire!
Thou consummation of all mortal hope!
Thou glorious prize of blindly working will,
Whose rays, diffused throughout all space and time,
Verge to one point and blend forever there!
Of purest spirits thou pure dwelling-place
Where care and sorrow, impotence and crime,
Languor, disease and ignorance dare not come!
O happy Earth, reality of Heaven!

'Genius has seen thee in her passionate dreams;
And dim forebodings of thy loveliness,
Haunting the human heart, have there entwined
Those rooted hopes of some sweet place of bliss,
Where friends and lovers meet to part no more.
Thou art the end of all desire and will,
The product of all action; and the souls,
That by the paths of an aspiring change
Have reached thy haven of perpetual peace,
There rest from the eternity of toil
That framed the fabric of thy perfectness.

'Even Time, the conqueror, fled thee in his fear;
That hoary giant, who in lonely pride
So long had ruled the world that nations fell
Beneath his silent footstep. Pyramids,
That for millenniums had withstood the tide
Of human things, his storm-breath drove in sand
Across that desert where their stones survived
The name of him whose pride had heaped them there.
Yon monarch, in his solitary pomp,
Was but the mushroom of a summer day,
That his light-wingd footstep pressed to dust;
Time was the king of earth; all things gave way
Before him but the fixed and virtuous will,
The sacred sympathies of soul and sense,
That mocked his fury and prepared his fall.

'Yet slow and gradual dawned the morn of love;
Long lay the clouds of darkness o'er the scene,
Till from its native heaven they rolled away:
First, crime triumphant o'er all hope careered
Unblushing, undisguising, bold and strong,
Whilst falsehood, tricked in virtue's attributes,
Long sanctified all deeds of vice and woe,
Till, done by her own venomous sting to death,
She left the moral world without a law,
No longer fettering passion's fearless wing,
Nor searing reason with the brand of God.
Then steadily the happy ferment worked;
Reason was free; and wild though passion went
Through tangled glens and wood-embosomed meads,
Gathering a garland of the strangest flowers,
Yet, like the bee returning to her queen,
She bound the sweetest on her sister's brow,
Who meek and sober kissed the sportive child,
No longer trembling at the broken rod.

'Mild was the slow necessity of death.
The tranquil spirit failed beneath its grasp,
Without a groan, almost without a fear,
Calm as a voyager to some distant land,
And full of wonder, full of hope as he.
The deadly germs of languor and disease
Died in the human frame, and purity
Blessed with all gifts her earthly worshippers.
How vigorous then the athletic form of age!
How clear its open and unwrinkled brow!
Where neither avarice, cunning, pride or care
Had stamped the seal of gray deformity
On all the mingling lineaments of time.
How lovely the intrepid front of youth,
Which meek-eyed courage decked with freshest grace;
Courage of soul, that dreaded not a name,
And elevated will, that journeyed on
Through life's phantasmal scene in fearlessness,
With virtue, love and pleasure, hand in hand!

'Then, that sweet bondage which is freedom's self,
And rivets with sensation's softest tie
The kindred sympathies of human souls,
Needed no fetters of tyrannic law.
Those delicate and timid impulses
In Nature's primal modesty arose,
And with undoubting confidence disclosed
The growing longings of its dawning love,
Unchecked by dull and selfish chastity,
That virtue of the cheaply virtuous,
Who pride themselves in senselessness and frost.
No longer prostitution's venomed bane
Poisoned the springs of happiness and life;
Woman and man, in confidence and love,
Equal and free and pure together trod
The mountain-paths of virtue, which no more
Were stained with blood from many a pilgrim's feet.

'Then, where, through distant ages, long in pride
The palace of the monarch-slave had mocked
Famine's faint groan and penury's silent tear,
A heap of crumbling ruins stood, and threw
Year after year their stones upon the field,
Wakening a lonely echo; and the leaves
Of the old thorn, that on the topmost tower
Usurped the royal ensign's grandeur, shook
In the stern storm that swayed the topmost tower,
And whispered strange tales in the whirlwind's ear.

'Low through the lone cathedral's roofless aisles
The melancholy winds a death-dirge sung.
It were a sight of awfulness to see
The works of faith and slavery, so vast,
So sumptuous, yet so perishing withal,
Even as the corpse that rests beneath its wall!
A thousand mourners deck the pomp of death
To-day, the breathing marble glows above
To decorate its memory, and tongues
Are busy of its life; to-morrow, worms
In silence and in darkness seize their prey.

'Within the massy prison's mouldering courts,
Fearless and free the ruddy children played,
Weaving gay chaplets for their innocent brows
With the green ivy and the red wall-flower
That mock the dungeon's unavailing gloom;
The ponderous chains and gratings of strong iron
There rusted amid heaps of broken stone
That mingled slowly with their native earth;
There the broad beam of day, which feebly once
Lighted the cheek of lean captivity
With a pale and sickly glare, then freely shone
On the pure smiles of infant playfulness;
No more the shuddering voice of hoarse despair
Pealed through the echoing vaults, but soothing notes
Of ivy-fingered winds and gladsome birds
And merriment were resonant around.

'These ruins soon left not a wreck behind;
Their elements, wide-scattered o'er the globe,
To happier shapes were moulded, and became
Ministrant to all blissful impulses;
Thus human things were perfected, and earth,
Even as a child beneath its mother's love,
Was strengthened in all excellence, and grew
Fairer and nobler with each passing year.

'Now Time his dusky pennons o'er the scene
Closes in steadfast darkness, and the past
Fades from our charmd sight. My task is done;
Thy lore is learned. Earth's wonders are thine own
With all the fear and all the hope they bring.
My spells are passed; the present now recurs.
Ah me! a pathless wilderness remains
Yet unsubdued by man's reclaiming hand.

'Yet, human Spirit! bravely hold thy course;
Let virtue teach thee firmly to pursue
The gradual paths of an aspiring change;
For birth and life and death, and that strange state
Before the naked soul has found its home,
All tend to perfect happiness, and urge
The restless wheels of being on their way,
Whose flashing spokes, instinct with infinite life,
Bicker and burn to gain their destined goal;
For birth but wakes the spirit to the sense
Of outward shows, whose unexperienced shape
New modes of passion to its frame may lend;
Life is its state of action, and the store
Of all events is aggregated there
That variegate the eternal universe;
Death is a gate of dreariness and gloom,
That leads to azure isles and beaming skies
And happy regions of eternal hope.
Therefore, O Spirit! fearlessly bear on.
Though storms may break the primrose on its stalk,
Though frosts may blight the freshness of its bloom,
Yet spring's awakening breath will woo the earth
To feed with kindliest dews its favorite flower,
That blooms in mossy bank and darksome glens,
Lighting the greenwood with its sunny smile.

'Fear not then, Spirit, death's disrobing hand,
So welcome when the tyrant is awake,
So welcome when the bigot's hell-torch burns;
'T is but the voyage of a darksome hour,
The transient gulf-dream of a startling sleep.
Death is no foe to virtue; earth has seen
Love's brightest roses on the scaffold bloom,
Mingling with freedom's fadeless laurels there,
And presaging the truth of visioned bliss.
Are there not hopes within thee, which this scene
Of linked and gradual being has confirmed?
Whose stingings bade thy heart look further still,
When, to the moonlight walk by Henry led,
Sweetly and sadly thou didst talk of death?
And wilt thou rudely tear them from thy breast,
Listening supinely to a bigot's creed,
Or tamely crouching to the tyrant's rod,
Whose iron thongs are red with human gore?
Never: but bravely bearing on, thy will
Is destined an eternal war to wage
With tyranny and falsehood, and uproot
The germs of misery from the human heart.
Thine is the hand whose piety would soothe
The thorny pillow of unhappy crime,
Whose impotence an easy pardon gains,
Watching its wanderings as a friend's disease;
Thine is the brow whose mildness would defy
Its fiercest rage, and brave its sternest will,
When fenced by power and master of the world.
Thou art sincere and good; of resolute mind,
Free from heart-withering custom's cold control,
Of passion lofty, pure and unsubdued.
Earth's pride and meanness could not vanquish thee,
And therefore art thou worthy of the boon
Which thou hast now received; virtue shall keep
Thy footsteps in the path that thou hast trod,
And many days of beaming hope shall bless
Thy spotless life of sweet and sacred love.
Go, happy one, and give that bosom joy,
  Whose sleepless spirit waits to catch
  Light, life and rapture from thy smile!'

  The Fairy waves her wand of charm.
Speechless with bliss the Spirit mounts the car,
  That rolled beside the battlement,
Bending her beamy eyes in thankfulness.
  Again the enchanted steeds were yoked;
  Again the burning wheels inflame
The steep descent of heaven's untrodden way.
  Fast and far the chariot flew;
  The vast and fiery globes that rolled
  Around the Fairy's palace-gate
Lessened by slow degrees, and soon appeared
Such tiny twinklers as the planet orbs
That there attendant on the solar power
With borrowed light pursued their narrower way.

   Earth floated then below;
  The chariot paused a moment there;
   The Spirit then descended;
The restless coursers pawed the ungenial soil,
Snuffed the gross air, and then, their errand done,
Unfurled their pinions to the winds of heaven.

  The Body and the Soul united then.
A gentle start convulsed Ianthe's frame;
Her veiny eyelids quietly unclosed;
Moveless awhile the dark blue orbs remained.
She looked around in wonder, and beheld
Henry, who kneeled in silence by her couch,
Watching her sleep with looks of speechless love,
   And the bright beaming stars
   That through the casement shone.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab - Part IX.
630:HOW wonderful is Death,
   Death, and his brother Sleep!
  One, pale as yonder waning moon
   With lips of lurid blue;
   The other, rosy as the morn
  When throned on ocean's wave
     It blushes o'er the world;
  Yet both so passing wonderful!

   Hath then the gloomy Power
Whose reign is in the tainted sepulchres
   Seized on her sinless soul?
   Must then that peerless form
Which love and admiration cannot view
Without a beating heart, those azure veins
Which steal like streams along a field of snow,
  That lovely outline which is fair
   As breathing marble, perish?
   Must putrefaction's breath
  Leave nothing of this heavenly sight
   But loathsomeness and ruin?
  Spare nothing but a gloomy theme,
On which the lightest heart might moralize?
   Or is it only a sweet slumber
   Stealing o'er sensation,
  Which the breath of roseate morning
     Chaseth into darkness?
     Will Ianthe wake again,
   And give that faithful bosom joy
  Whose sleepless spirit waits to catch
  Light, life and rapture, from her smile?

     Yes! she will wake again,
Although her glowing limbs are motionless,
     And silent those sweet lips,
     Once breathing eloquence
  That might have soothed a tiger's rage
Or thawed the cold heart of a conqueror.
     Her dewy eyes are closed,
  And on their lids, whose texture fine
  Scarce hides the dark blue orbs beneath,
     The baby Sleep is pillowed;
     Her golden tresses shade
     The bosom's stainless pride,
   Curling like tendrils of the parasite
     Around a marble column.

   Hark! whence that rushing sound?
     'T is like the wondrous strain
   That round a lonely ruin swells,
   Which, wandering on the echoing shore,
     The enthusiast hears at evening;
   'T is softer than the west wind's sigh;
   'T is wilder than the unmeasured notes
   Of that strange lyre whose strings
   The genii of the breezes sweep;
     Those lines of rainbow light
   Are like the moonbeams when they fall
Through some cathedral window, but the tints
     Are such as may not find
     Comparison on earth.

Behold the chariot of the Fairy Queen!
Celestial coursers paw the unyielding air;
Their filmy pennons at her word they furl,
And stop obedient to the reins of light;
  These the Queen of Spells drew in;
  She spread a charm around the spot,
And, leaning graceful from the ethereal car,
  Long did she gaze, and silently,
     Upon the slumbering maid.

Oh! not the visioned poet in his dreams,
When silvery clouds float through the wildered brain,
When every sight of lovely, wild and grand
  Astonishes, enraptures, elevates,
   When fancy at a glance combines
   The wondrous and the beautiful,--
  So bright, so fair, so wild a shape
     Hath ever yet beheld,
As that which reined the coursers of the air
  And poured the magic of her gaze
     Upon the maiden's sleep.

   The broad and yellow moon
   Shone dimly through her form--
  That form of faultless symmetry;
  The pearly and pellucid car
   Moved not the moonlight's line.
   'T was not an earthly pageant.
  Those, who had looked upon the sight
   Passing all human glory,
   Saw not the yellow moon,
   Saw not the mortal scene,
   Heard not the night-wind's rush,
   Heard not an earthly sound,
   Saw but the fairy pageant,
   Heard but the heavenly strains
   That filled the lonely dwelling.

The Fairy's frame was slight--yon fibrous cloud,
That catches but the palest tinge of even,
And which the straining eye can hardly seize
When melting into eastern twilight's shadow,
Were scarce so thin, so slight; but the fair star
That gems the glittering coronet of morn,
Sheds not a light so mild, so powerful,
As that which, bursting from the Fairy's form,
Spread a purpureal halo round the scene,
   Yet with an undulating motion,
   Swayed to her outline gracefully.

   From her celestial car
   The Fairy Queen descended,
   And thrice she waved her wand
  Circled with wreaths of amaranth;
   Her thin and misty form
   Moved with the moving air,
   And the clear silver tones,
   As thus she spoke, were such
  As are unheard by all but gifted ear.

  'Stars! your balmiest influence shed!
  Elements! your wrath suspend!
  Sleep, Ocean, in the rocky bounds
   That circle thy domain!
  Let not a breath be seen to stir
  Around yon grass-grown ruin's height!
   Let even the restless gossamer
   Sleep on the moveless air!
   Soul of Ianthe! thou,
Judged alone worthy of the envied boon
That waits the good and the sincere; that waits
Those who have struggled, and with resolute will
Vanquished earth's pride and meanness, burst the chains,
The icy chains of custom, and have shone
The day-stars of their age;--Soul of
     Awake! arise!'

     Sudden arose
   Ianthe's Soul; it stood
  All beautiful in naked purity,
The perfect semblance of its bodily frame;
Instinct with inexpressible beauty and grace--
    Each stain of earthliness
   Had passed away--it reassumed
   Its native dignity and stood
    Immortal amid ruin.

   Upon the couch the body lay,
   Wrapt in the depth of slumber;
Its features were fixed and meaningless,
   Yet animal life was there,
   And every organ yet performed
   Its natural functions; 'twas a sight
Of wonder to behold the body and the soul.
   The self-same lineaments, the same
   Marks of identity were there;
Yet, oh, how different! One aspires to Heaven,
Pants for its sempiternal heritage,
And, ever changing, ever rising still,
   Wantons in endless being:
The other, for a time the unwilling sport
Of circumstance and passion, struggles on;
Fleets through its sad duration rapidly;
Then like an useless and worn-out machine,
   Rots, perishes, and passes.

   'Spirit! who hast dived so deep;
   Spirit! who hast soared so high;
   Thou the fearless, thou the mild,
  Accept the boon thy worth hath earned,
   Ascend the car with me!'

   'Do I dream? Is this new feeling
   But a visioned ghost of slumber?
     If indeed I am a soul,
   A free, a disembodied soul,
     Speak again to me.'

  'I am the Fairy MAB: to me 'tis given
  The wonders of the human world to keep;
  The secrets of the immeasurable past,
  In the unfailing consciences of men,
  Those stern, unflattering chroniclers, I find;
  The future, from the causes which arise
  In each event, I gather; not the sting
  Which retributive memory implants
  In the hard bosom of the selfish man,
  Nor that ecstatic and exulting throb
  Which virtue's votary feels when he sums up
  The thoughts and actions of a well-spent day,
  Are unforeseen, unregistered by me;
  And it is yet permitted me to rend
  The veil of mortal frailty, that the spirit,
  Clothed in its changeless purity, may know
  How soonest to accomplish the great end
  For which it hath its being, and may taste
  That peace which in the end all life will share.
  This is the meed of virtue; happy Soul,
    Ascend the car with me!'

  The chains of earth's immurement
   Fell from Ianthe's spirit;
They shrank and brake like bandages of straw
  Beneath a wakened giant's strength.
   She knew her glorious change,
  And felt in apprehension uncontrolled
   New raptures opening round;
  Each day-dream of her mortal life,
  Each frenzied vision of the slumbers
   That closed each well-spent day,
   Seemed now to meet reality.
  The Fairy and the Soul proceeded;
   The silver clouds disparted;
  And as the car of magic they ascended,
   Again the speechless music swelled,
   Again the coursers of the air
Unfurled their azure pennons, and the Queen,
   Shaking the beamy reins,
   Bade them pursue their way.

   The magic car moved on.
  The night was fair, and countless stars
  Studded heaven's dark blue vault;
   Just o'er the eastern wave
  Peeped the first faint smile of morn.
   The magic car moved on
   From the celestial hoofs
  The atmosphere in flaming sparkles flew,
   And where the burning wheels
  Eddied above the mountain's loftiest peak,
   Was traced a line of lightning.
   Now it flew far above a rock,
   The utmost verge of earth,
  The rival of the Andes, whose dark brow
   Lowered o'er the silver sea.

   Far, far below the chariot's path,
    Calm as a slumbering babe,
    Tremendous Ocean lay.
   The mirror of its stillness showed
    The pale and waning stars,
    The chariot's fiery track,
    And the gray light of morn
    Tinging those fleecy clouds
    That canopied the dawn.

  Seemed it that the chariot's way
Lay through the midst of an immense concave
Radiant with million constellations, tinged
   With shades of infinite color,
   And semicircled with a belt
   Flashing incessant meteors.

   The magic car moved on.
   As they approached their goal,
  The coursers seemed to gather speed;
The sea no longer was distinguished; earth
  Appeared a vast and shadowy sphere;
   The sun's unclouded orb
   Rolled through the black concave;
   Its rays of rapid light
Parted around the chariot's swifter course,
  And fell, like ocean's feathery spray
   Dashed from the boiling surge
   Before a vessel's prow.

   The magic car moved on.
   Earth's distant orb appeared
The smallest light that twinkles in the heaven;
   Whilst round the chariot's way
   Innumerable systems rolled
   And countless spheres diffused
   An ever-varying glory.
  It was a sight of wonder: some
  Were hornd like the crescent moon;
  Some shed a mild and silver beam
  Like Hesperus o'er the western sea;
  Some dashed athwart with trains of flame,
  Like worlds to death and ruin driven;
Some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed,
   Eclipsed all other light.

     Spirit of Nature! here
   In this interminable wilderness
   Of worlds, at whose immensity
     Even soaring fancy staggers,
     Here is thy fitting temple!
      Yet not the lightest leaf
    That quivers to the passing breeze
     Is less instinct with thee;
     Yet not the meanest worm
  That lurks in graves and fattens on the dead,
   Less shares thy eternal breath!
    Spirit of Nature! thou,
   Imperishable as this scene--
    Here is thy fitting temple!

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab - Part I.
631:Sea Dreams
A city clerk, but gently born and bred;
His wife, an unknown artist's orphan childOne babe was theirs, a Margaret, three years old:
They, thinking that her clear germander eye
Droopt in the giant-factoried city-gloom,
Came, with a month's leave given them, to the sea:
For which his gains were dock'd, however small:
Small were his gains, and hard his work; besides,
Their slender household fortunes (for the man
Had risk'd his little) like the little thrift,
Trembled in perilous places o'er a deep:
And oft, when sitting all alone, his face
Would darken, as he cursed his credulousness,
And that one unctuous mount which lured him, rogue,
To buy strange shares in some Peruvian mine.
Now seaward-bound for health they gain'd a coast,
All sand and cliff and deep-inrunning cave,
At close of day; slept, woke, and went the next,
The Sabbath, pious variers from the church,
To chapel; where a heated pulpiteer,
Not preaching simple Christ to simple men,
Announced the coming doom, and fulminated
Against the scarlet woman and her creed:
For sideways up he swung his arms, and shriek'd
`Thus, thus with violence,' ev'n as if he held
The Apocalyptic millstone, and himself
Were that great Angel; `Thus with violence
Shall Babylon be cast into the sea;
Then comes the close.' The gentle-hearted wife
Sat shuddering at the ruin of a world;
He at his own: but when the wordy storm
Had ended, forth they came and paced the shore,
Ran in and out the long sea-framing caves,
Drank the large air, and saw, but scarce believed
(The sootflake of so many a summer still
Clung to their fancies) that they saw, the sea.
So now on sand they walk'd, and now on cliff,
Lingering about the thymy promontories,
Till all the sails were darken'd in the west,
And rosed in the east: then homeward and to bed:
Where she, who kept a tender Christian hope
Haunting a holy text, and still to that
Returning, as the bird returns, at night,
`Let not the sun go down upon your wrath,'
Said, `Love, forgive him:' but he did not speak;
And silenced by that silence lay the wife,
Remembering her dear Lord who died for all,
And musing on the little lives of men,
And how they mar this little by their feuds.
But while the two were sleeping, a full tide
Rose with ground-swell, which, on the foremost rocks
Touching, upjetted in spirts of wild sea-smoke,
And scaled in sheets of wasteful foam, and fell
In vast sea-cataracts- ever and anon
Dead claps of thunder from within the cliffs
Heard thro' the living roar. At this the babe,
Their Margaret cradled near them, wail'd and woke
The mother, and the father suddenly cried,
`A wreck, a wreck! ' then turn'd, and groaning said,
`Forgive! How many will say, 'forgive,' and find
A sort of absolution in the sound
To hate a little longer! No; the sin
That neither God nor man can well forgive,
Hypocrisy, I saw it in him at once.
Is it so true that second thoughts are best?
Not first, and third, which are a riper first?
Too ripe, too late! they come too late for use.
Ah love, there surely lives in man and beast
Something divine to warn them of their foes:
And such a sense, when first I fronted him,
Said, 'trust him not; ' but after, when I came
To know him more, I lost it, knew him less;
Fought with what seem'd my own uncharity;
Sat at his table; drank his costly wines;
Made more and more allowance for his talk;
Went further, fool! and trusted him with all,
All my poor scrapings from a dozen years
Of dust and deskwork: there is no such mine,
None; but a gulf of ruin, swallowing gold,
Not making. Ruin'd! ruin'd! the sea roars
Ruin: a fearful night! '
`Not fearful; fair,'
Said the good wife, `if every star in heaven
Can make it fair: you do but bear the tide.
Had you ill dreams? '
`O yes,' he said, `I dream'd
Of such a tide swelling toward the land,
And I from out the boundless outer deep
Swept with it to the shore, and enter'd one
Of those dark caves that run beneath the cliffs.
I thought the motion of the boundless deep
Bore through the cave, and I was heaved upon it
In darkness: then I saw one lovely star
Larger and larger. 'What a world,' I thought,
'To live in! ' but in moving I found
Only the landward exit of the cave,
Bright with the sun upon the stream beyond:
And near the light a giant woman sat,
All over earthy, like a piece of earth,
A pickaxe in her hand: then out I slipt
Into a land all of sun and blossom, trees
As high as heaven, and every bird that sings:
And here the night-light flickering in my eyes
Awoke me.'
`That was then your dream,' she said,
`Not sad, but sweet.'
`So sweet, I lay,' said he,
`And mused upon it, drifting up the stream
In fancy, till I slept again, and pieced
The broken vision; for I dream'd that still
The motion of the great deep bore me on,
And that the woman walk'd upon the brink:
I wonder'd at her strength, and ask'd her of it:
'It came,' she said, 'by working in the mines:'
O then to ask her of my shares, I thought;
And ask'd; but not a word; she shook her head.
And then the motion of the current ceased,
And there was rolling thunder; and we reach'd
A mountain, like a wall of burs and thorns;
But she with her strong feet up the steep hill
Trod out a path: I follow'd; and at top
She pointed seaward: there a fleet of glass,
That seem'd a fleet of jewels under me,
Sailing along before a gloomy cloud
That not one moment ceased to thunder, past
In sunshine: right across its track there lay,
Down in the water, a long reef of gold,
Or what seem'd gold: and I was glad at first
To think that in our often-ransack'd world
Still so much gold was left; and then I fear'd
Lest the gay navy there should splinter on it,
And fearing waved my arm to warn them off;
An idle signal, for the brittle fleet
(I thought I could have died to save it) near'd,
Touch'd, clink'd, and clash'd, and vanish'd, and I woke,
I heard the clash so clearly. Now I see
My dream was Life; the woman honest Work;
And my poor venture but a fleet of glass
Wreck'd on a reef of visionary gold.'
`Nay,' said the kindly wife to comfort him,
`You raised your arm, you tumbled down and broke
The glass with little Margaret's medicine it it;
And, breaking that, you made and broke your dream:
A trifle makes a dream, a trifle breaks.'
`No trifle,' groan'd the husband; `yesterday
I met him suddenly in the street, and ask'd
That which I ask'd the woman in my dream.
Like her, he shook his head. 'Show me the books! '
He dodged me with a long and loose account.
'The books, the books! ' but he, he could not wait,
Bound on a matter he of life and death:
When the great Books (see Daniel seven and ten)
Were open'd, I should find he meant me well;
And then began to bloat himself, and ooze
All over with the fat affectionate smile
That makes the widow lean. 'My dearest friend,
Have faith, have faith! We live by faith,' said he;
'And all things work together for the good
Of those'- it makes me sick to quote him- last
Gript my hand hard, and with God-bless-you went.
I stood like one that had received a blow:
I found a hard friend in his loose accounts,
A loose one in the hard grip of his hand,
A curse in his God-bless-you: then my eyes
Pursued him down the street, and far away,
Among the honest shoulders of the crowd,
Read rascal in the motions of his back,
And scoundrel in the supple-sliding knee.'
`Was he so bound, poor soul? ' said the good wife;
`So are we all: but do not call him, love,
Before you prove him, rogue, and proved, forgive.
His gain is loss; for he that wrongs his friend
Wrongs himself more, and ever bears about
A silent court of justice in his breast,
Himself the judge and jury, and himself
The prisoner at the bar, ever condemn'd:
And that drags down his life: then comes what comes
Hereafter: and he meant, he said he meant,
Perhaps he meant, or partly meant, you well.'
` 'With all his conscience and one eye askew'Love, let me quote these lines, that you may learn
A man is likewise counsel for himself,
Too often, in that silent court of yours'With all his conscience and one eye askew,
So false, he partly took himself for true;
Whose pious talk, when most his heart was dry,
Made wet the crafty crowsfoot round his eye;
Who, never naming God except for gain,
So never took that useful name in vain;
Made Him his catspaw and the Cross his tool,
And Christ the bait to trap his dupe and fool;
Nor deeds of gift, but gifts of grace he forged,
And snakelike slimed his victim ere he gorged;
And oft at Bible meetings, o'er the rest
Arising, did his holy oily best,
Dropping the too rough H in Hell and Heaven,
To spread the Word by which himself had thriven.'
How like you this old satire? '
`Nay,' she said
`I loathe it: he had never kindly heart,
Nor ever cared to better his own kind,
Who first wrote satire, with no pity in it.
But will you hear MY dream, for I had one
That altogether went to music? Still
It awed me.'
Then she told it, having dream'd
Of that same coast.
- But round the North, a light,
A belt, it seem'd, of luminous vapor, lay,
And ever in it a low musical note
Swell'd up and died; and, as it swell'd, a ridge
Of breaker issued from the belt, and still
Grew with the growing note, and when the note
Had reach'd a thunderous fullness, on those cliffs
Broke, mixt with awful light (the same as that
Living within the belt) whereby she saw
That all those lines of cliffs were cliffs no more,
But huge cathedral fronts of every age,
Grave, florid, stern, as far as eye could see.
One after one: and then the great ridge drew,
Lessening to the lessening music, back,
And past into the belt and swell'd again
Slowly to music: ever when it broke
The statues, king or saint, or founder fell;
Then from the gaps and chasms of ruin left
Came men and women in dark clusters round,
Some crying, 'Set them up! they shall not fall! '
And others 'Let them lie, for they have fall'n.'
And still they strove and wrangled: and she grieved
In her strange dream, she knew not why, to find
Their wildest wailings never out of tune
With that sweet note; and ever as their shrieks
Ran highest up the gamut, that great wave
Returning, while none mark'd it, on the crowd
Broke, mixt with awful light, and show'd their eyes
Glaring, and passionate looks, and swept away
The men of flesh and blood, and men of stone,
To the waste deeps together.
`Then I fixt
My wistful eyes on two fair images,
Both crown'd with stars and high among the stars,The Virgin Mother standing with her child
High up on one of those dark minster-frontsTill she began to totter, and the child
Clung to the mother, and sent out a cry
Which mixt with little Margaret's, and I woke,
And my dream awed me:- well- but what are dreams?
Yours came but from the breaking of a glass,
And mine but from the crying of a child.'
`Child? No! ' said he, `but this tide's roar, and his,
Our Boanerges with his threats of doom,
And loud-lung'd Antibabylonianisms
(Altho' I grant but little music there)
Went both to make your dream: but if there were
A music harmonizing our wild cries,
Sphere-music such as that you dream'd about,
Why, that would make our passions far too like
The discords dear to the musician. NoOne shriek of hate would jar all the hymns of heaven:
True Devils with no ear, they howl in tune
With nothing but the Devil! '
`'True' indeed!
One of our town, but later by an hour
Here than ourselves, spoke with me on the shore;
While you were running down the sands, and made
The dimpled flounce of the sea-furbelow flap,
Good man, to please the child. She brought strange news.
Why were you silent when I spoke to-night?
I had set my heart on your forgiving him
Before you knew. We MUST forgive the dead.'
`Dead! who is dead? '
`The man your eye pursued.
A little after you had parted with him,
He suddenly dropt dead of heart-disease.'
`Dead? he? of heart-disease? what heart had he
To die of? dead! '
`Ah, dearest, if there be
A devil in man, there is an angel too,
And if he did that wrong you charge him with,
His angel broke his heart. But your rough voice
(You spoke so loud) has roused the child again.
Sleep, little birdie, sleep! will she not sleep
Without her 'little birdie? ' well then, sleep,
And I will sing you 'birdie.''
Saying this,
The woman half turn'd round from him she loved,
Left him one hand, and reaching thro' the night
Her other, found (for it was close beside)
And half embraced the basket cradle-head
With one soft arm, which, like the pliant bough
That moving moves the nest and nestling, sway'd
The cradle, while she sang this baby song.
What does the little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till the little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.
What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till the little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby too shall fly away.
`She sleeps: let us too, let all evil, sleep.
He also sleeps- another sleep than ours.
He can do no more wrong: forgive him, dear,
And I shall sleep the sounder! '
Then the man,
`His deeds yet live, the worst is yet to come.
Yet let your sleep for this one night be sound:
I do forgive him! '
`Thanks, my love,' she said,
`Your own will be the sweeter,' and they slept.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
632:Jeanette Speaks
A bright and barefoot little girl
with a garland of cherry blossoms
enters the unattended village church.
She makes a shorthand cross
upon the makeshift wooden amulet
attached to her leather necklace.
She then runs her bony fingers
through the long, black locks
parted above her forehead.
She walks past the empty benches
towards the peaceful altar
and her petite, russet-clad figure
stoops to kneel there.
She clasps her delicate hands
in front of a wooden statue
and casts her large, green eyes
upon the Saint’s figurine.
She whispers
in a soft but confident voice:
– Sister Catherine. I didn’t give you
the spring’s gift yesterday.
Mama told me to donate
my pickings to Mother Mary.
It’s Jeannette speaking, sister
in case you’ve forgotten me.
Please don’t be mad.
Here, I hope you like these.
She places the crimson wreath
at the pedestal of the religious icon
and stands up to leaves the chapel
glowing with a heart-felt grin.
I think
she liked the flowers.
I know I would
if I was a saint.
I wonder how
a girl gets to become a saint?
My Godmother, old Madame Agnes
says before there were saints
there used to be sacred women called High Priestesses
or Goddesses in this land. But Mama says
Madame Agnes is a witch
and I shouldn’t listen to her.
Now I should go and do my chores.
Afterwards, if there’s time
I’ll go with my friends
to the slopes near the Fairies’ Tree.
The Tree, they say, is a hundred years old.
We’ll pick lilies-of-the-valley and camellia
for wreaths to put on the branches of the Tree at Lent
and I’ll get some jasmine
for Mama’s vase at home.
The jasmine have such an amazing
smell now
in early spring.
The best mushrooms grow on the paddocks
behind the Virgin Spring.
I’ve heard the nuns at the Hermitage say
the Spring has healing powers.
I’ve even seen a leper and a blind monk
come all the way from Nancy to drink its water.
I wonder if any of them is cured. I’m lucky
to be “strong and healthy,” Mama says.
She reckons
I was born in winter, on the night of Epiphany
about nine or ten years ago. She says
Epiphany was when Lord Jesus
was first recognised as the Son of God by
people. But
Madame Agnes says my birthday
was on the same day as Le Jour des Rois,
Day of the Kings, an ancient celebration
when the rich baked a cake for the beggars
and the last beggar to get a piece
was named the Bean-King, or something like
Mama says
it’s blessed for girls
to go down the Valley to pick
blossoms and weave garlands
for the images of saints in our Church
and for those in the Hermitage behind the Bois
Oak Forest. I love
Saint Catherine’s statue, and Saint Margaret
She sometimes looks
straight at my praying and
when feeling the kindness of her eyes
I wonder why Papa says
the statue is a lifeless thing.
Mama calls Papa sacrilegious
whenever he makes fun of our praying. Why
does he call the statue
lifeless? Doesn’t wood
come from the living trees?
My dress today
is the colour of oak. It’s made of
rough wool cut out of Mama’s old dress.
She’s given it
puffy sleeves and stitched pretty
blue ribbons
on the skirt
making it look like the dress
of a rich city girl. She says
I’m short like her but have Papa’s
I’m not sure what she means.
My hair’s black like Papa’s
and really messy today
I’ll have to get Mama to brush it
once I’ve been to the well
and drawn water. Now
she’s making lunch for Papa and the
and putting the bundle of bread and fruit
into the saddle of the mule they’ll take with
to the farms.
Sometimes they take me with them
to help with sowing the seeds, pruning the
or ploughing. I like
digging furrows between the rows of grape
and corn.
I like using a sharp spade
and getting my hands dirty, but
being a girl, and “little”
Papa usually makes me take the sheep
to the meadows near the Village of Maxey.
I have to sit there and watch them
stuff their mouths with grass and leaves.
I use my spinning distaff
for handling the silly animals when they don’t
listen to me.
I have wound a bit of wool
on top of my staff. When I get bored with being
a shepherdess
I spin the wool
around the stick. I use it
like a cane when climbing a steep hillock
and it’s a weapon
if the Maxey kids come to annoy my flock.
I know I’m supposed to act like a girl
and scream and cry if there’s
but sometimes I can’t help
chasing the bullies, or at least yelling at
Mama gets upset sometimes
telling me I’m too much like a boy
but I’m very good at spinning wool
and sing with the girls
the Maiden Melodies
at the dances and celebrations.
And today
after visiting Saint Catherine,
getting water and milking the
I’m in the kitchen with Mama
with canvas aprons over our
She’s teaching me to make
the dish she calls
“Our great region’s most famous cuisine.”
I don’t really like Quiche Lorraine.
I prefer fresh bread and creamy cheese.
But Mama is very keen
and doesn’t give up until I’ve beaten my eggs
and made them as foamy as hers. She tells me
with pride in her voice:
“Ah, Jeannette, have I told you about my pilgrimage to
(She has. About a hundred times)
“There I presented a slice of our cherished pastry
to our Holy Father, the Pope himself.
That’s why they call me
Isabelle Romee, because I’ve been to the
Holy City.”
After pouring the mixture
into the vessels covered with pastry
we take the clay pots
to the communal village oven.
Mama’s worried I could burn myself
and lets me go before
kindling the fire herself. I return home
take off the apron, put an apple
in my pocket and fasten the clog sandals
to my ankles. I take my distaff
and go out into our back garden…
the silly rabbits
have made it through the fence again.
I step over the leftovers of our baby carrots
and yell at the neighbour’s cottage:
– Margarette! Margarette! You
wanna go
graze the sheep?
My oldest friend quickly runs out.
Her golden hair is so beautiful
and her teeth are much nicer than mine.
She throws herself at me
and giggles: “Let’s run! I’m so sick of my baby sister!
She’s crying all the time!”
And we lock arms
and skip in our heavy clogs
to where the animals are caged
in a fenced field behind our cottages.
We open the strong gates
and my cattle dog Claude
a big wolfy breed called Alsatian
barks the sleepy sheep into action.
The lazy beasts bleat unhappily.
I yell: “OHOY OHOY” and poke my distaff
into the stubborn ones refusing to move
accidentally hitting the grumpy ram
Papa’s told me to stay away from.
I stand still and see the horned beast
huff and shiver with anger.
My heart beats fast and I go
to call for Margarette but how
could she help?
The ram attacks me.
I jump out of his way
over the lazy sheep.
But he hasn’t forgiven me
and shoves the others out of his
spotting me with his furious eyes
and bolting towards me again.
And all of a sudden
a gilded image
I’ve seen painted on the walls of the
flashes across my mind:
Saint Michael the Archangel
Hero of the Battle of Heaven
and Hell
a winged, armoured knight
pushing his lance into the
of a vicious serpent.
All of a sudden my distaff
becomes the Angel’s holy lance
and I firmly aim it
at the oncoming monster
pushing it into his thick fleece
making him stop. The ram
angrily stamps his short legs
pushing against the tip
of my hard distaff.
I clench my teeth and groan
against his force
holding the distaff with both hands
when Claude, my strong wolf-dog
jumps over the other sheep
into the scene of my battle
and furiously barks at the ram
who’s been outnumbered
and begins to set back.
I pat Claude’s hairy neck
when the ram has been pushed
into the flow of sheep
exiting the fenced area for the pastures.
I plant my distaff into the ground
to catch my breath while putting my messy hair
into a horsetail. I notice
Margarette staring at me from the other side of the
I say:
– Stupid ram! What was his problem?!
Margarette doesn’t laugh
at my smart remark
like she usually would. Her blue eyes
are bulging with fear. She speaks
how did you do that?”
– How did I do what, Margarette?
“Fight! How did you
fight like a…
like a…
boy! You looked
so mean…so angry! Why didn’t
cry for help?”
– I… dunno…
Margarette hitches her skirt
and steps carefully over the fence
coming over and giving me a hug
her beautiful eyes breaking into tears:
“I was so worried... Oh sister... I was so
I giggle and boast: – It was only a sheep! By God!
It wasn’t a wild boar or anything!
She sniffs her nose and says:
“No it wasn’t… it was… it was…
terrible… you… you
scared me… don’t do that again. Promise me!”
Feeling confused and uncomfortable
I push her away and run towards a wandering lamb
who’s left the others
– C’mon Margarette! I wanna pick mushrooms later
we’re gonna run out of time. C’mon!
That night after the Campanile
when Papa and the boys return from the farms
Mama serves the quiche
she’s made. My quiche
“didn’t have the proper consistency” she reckons
and was given to the parish priest instead.
Papa teases me:
“You won’t find a husband if you can’t cook properly!
We’ll have to send you to a bloody convent! How about
I stick my tongue out at him.
He laughs and ruffles my head.
A few months later, on Saint Jean the Baptist’s Eve
everyone in the village brings a log
or a bundle of sticks. Jeannette has a twig
for the bonfire lit every year near the Fairies’ Tree.
Madame Agnes has told her that this ritual is actually
a pagan salute to summer called Midsummer,
symbolising the passage of spring
with a bonfire that consumes the flowers. But
Jeannette’s mother, Isabelle, believes
that the fire is a reminder of Hell for the sinful
and the vain; she’s told her daughter to burn
something precious to her, so Jeannette’s tied a fresh lily
to her twig.
The evening begins with the chiming of church bells
and the villagers, in their best dresses and tunics
walk cheerfully up the hill towards the primeval Tree.
Jeannette and the children sing:
“This is Saint Jean’s night
The great occasion
When lovers delight
And burn with passion
The moon has risen.”
Madame Agnes, despite her frail legs,
has climbed the hillock ahead of the others
instructing the young men and girls
to arrange the wood in a pyramid
that would last long and look prominent.
She whispers to Jeannette’s oldest brother, Joe
quietly so that the parish priest can’t hear:
“You’ll see, dear boy, once the flames have risen
the fairy folk will come to dance beneath the Tree.”
Jeannette is full of verve
running ahead of the other children
her singing is the loudest
noise after the ringing of the bells.
The thin girl hops like a stag
and her green eyes radiate
with anticipation. The elders choose her
as “Saint Jean’s Queen”
to light the bonfire. She’s hoisted
on the shoulders of her uncle, Durand,
and Isabelle holds the torch that sets fire
to her daughter’s twig. Jeannette brushes
the unruly black hair off her pink face
and throws the ignited flower
at the hay stacked beneath the tower of wood.
The villagers crack open the barrels of wine
and the priest begins playing his lyre.
Margarette is holding the hands of a boy
called Collot and Joe has his eyes on a girl
he hasn’t met before. Jeannette, having drunk
a cup of wine diluted with water,
is almost shouting at Madame Agnes:
– The Goddess of Moon?!!!
I wanna see her! And the fairies!
Where are they! You promised!
Jacques and Isabelle watch their children
from a distance. She tells him: “Jacques
could we go to Toul, please. I wanna give alms
at the cathedral there. We must thank our Lord
for our children, the harvest, oh…for everything!
We’re so blessed…Can we Jacques?”
Jacques kisses her and empties another goblet
into his mouth before saying: “Sure, sweetheart.
We should thank God, and our lucky stars.”
Now everyone’s smeared with the orange glow
of the flames. Some are dancing in a circle around the pyre.
Some of them believe that this dance will prevent
illness and bad luck for the next year. As is
and has been customary for centuries,
the night ends with the younger couples jumping the subsiding blaze
holding hands to strengthen their romance. Jeannette
who has no interest in boys yet
has decided to take part in this closing ritual alone
because Madame Agnes has told her that her father’s crops
will grow as tall as her leap tonight. She’s rolled up her skirt
above her calves and kneecaps, watching impatiently
as the others hesitate to brave the fire. She yells:
– My turn! My turn!
and runs towards the flames. Her legs heave
and fly over the bonfire. She swims through
the smoky air. The flames brush the soles of her feet
but can’t hurt her. She makes it and joyously screams
upon landing, but her excitement
quickly dissipates. She’s exhausted; her large eyes close
and her body collapses into the grass. By the time
Jacques has come to her side, she’s fast asleep.
She’s so bloody adorable, he thinks
and lifts his snoring daughter carefully. He places her
on the bed at their house and himself returns
to have a few more drinks with the other farmers.
Jeannette’s tiny lips shiver in sleep
and her cheeks tremble as she breathes
heavily; she dreams
of the villagers drinking and being merry
a year of joy descends upon the Valley
her white sheep flying through the blue sky
the crops weaving into crowns for her head
ghosts twist into the tubers of the Fairies’ Tree
Archangel Michael and Saint Catherine get
a bouquet of daisies burns in the sacred fire
the sun mixes with the soil and plants are
and far behind the Oak Forest
a flood
of identical men
wielding axes
cut down the trees and crush the farms
they’re thousands and their stampede rattles the
they’re soldiers of the greatest army in the world
their faces are eyeless and their feet are hooves
they have black crosses tattooed on the
Jeannette wakes up
next to her parents and brothers under the blanket.
They’re deep asleep
and the girl’s shivering figure doesn’t wake them.
Outside, a few farmers
strew the ashes of the fire over the vegetation
to banish bad omens.
~ Ali Alizadeh,
633:Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;
Forest on forest hung about his head
Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer's day
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass,
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
By reason of his fallen divinity
Spreading a shade: the Naiad 'mid her reeds
Press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.

  Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went,
No further than to where his feet had stray'd,
And slept there since. Upon the sodden ground
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed;
While his bow'd head seem'd list'ning to the Earth,
His ancient mother, for some comfort yet.

  It seem'd no force could wake him from his place;
But there came one, who with a kindred hand
Touch'd his wide shoulders, after bending low
With reverence, though to one who knew it not.
She was a Goddess of the infant world;
By her in stature the tall Amazon
Had stood a pigmy's height: she would have ta'en
Achilles by the hair and bent his neck;
Or with a finger stay'd Ixion's wheel.
Her face was large as that of Memphian sphinx,
Pedestal'd haply in a palace court,
When sages look'd to Egypt for their lore.
But oh! how unlike marble was that face:
How beautiful, if sorrow had not made
Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self.
There was a listening fear in her regard,
As if calamity had but begun;
As if the vanward clouds of evil days
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear
Was with its stored thunder labouring up.
One hand she press'd upon that aching spot
Where beats the human heart, as if just there,
Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain:
The other upon Saturn's bended neck
She laid, and to the level of his ear
Leaning with parted lips, some words she spake
In solemn tenor and deep organ tone:
Some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue
Would come in these like accents; O how frail
To that large utterance of the early Gods!
"Saturn, look up!-though wherefore, poor old King?
I have no comfort for thee, no not one:
I cannot say, 'O wherefore sleepest thou?'
For heaven is parted from thee, and the earth
Knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a God;
And ocean too, with all its solemn noise,
Has from thy sceptre pass'd; and all the air
Is emptied of thine hoary majesty.
Thy thunder, conscious of the new command,
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house;
And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands
Scorches and burns our once serene domain.
O aching time! O moments big as years!
All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth,
And press it so upon our weary griefs
That unbelief has not a space to breathe.
Saturn, sleep on:-O thoughtless, why did I
Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude?
Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes?
Saturn, sleep on! while at thy feet I weep."

  As when, upon a tranced summer-night,
Those green-rob'd senators of mighty woods,
Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars,
Dream, and so dream all night without a stir,
Save from one gradual solitary gust
Which comes upon the silence, and dies off,
As if the ebbing air had but one wave;
So came these words and went; the while in tears
She touch'd her fair large forehead to the ground,
Just where her fallen hair might be outspread
A soft and silken mat for Saturn's feet.
One moon, with alteration slow, had shed
Her silver seasons four upon the night,
And still these two were postured motionless,
Like natural sculpture in cathedral cavern;
The frozen God still couchant on the earth,
And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet:
Until at length old Saturn lifted up
His faded eyes, and saw his kingdom gone,
And all the gloom and sorrow ofthe place,
And that fair kneeling Goddess; and then spake,
As with a palsied tongue, and while his beard
Shook horrid with such aspen-malady:
"O tender spouse of gold Hyperion,
Thea, I feel thee ere I see thy face;
Look up, and let me see our doom in it;
Look up, and tell me if this feeble shape
Is Saturn's; tell me, if thou hear'st the voice
Of Saturn; tell me, if this wrinkling brow,
Naked and bare of its great diadem,
Peers like the front of Saturn? Who had power
To make me desolate? Whence came the strength?
How was it nurtur'd to such bursting forth,
While Fate seem'd strangled in my nervous grasp?
But it is so; and I am smother'd up,
And buried from all godlike exercise
Of influence benign on planets pale,
Of admonitions to the winds and seas,
Of peaceful sway above man's harvesting,
And all those acts which Deity supreme
Doth ease its heart of love in.-I am gone
Away from my own bosom: I have left
My strong identity, my real self,
Somewhere between the throne, and where I sit
Here on this spot of earth. Search, Thea, search!
Open thine eyes eterne, and sphere them round
Upon all space: space starr'd, and lorn of light;
Space region'd with life-air; and barren void;
Spaces of fire, and all the yawn of hell.-
Search, Thea, search! and tell me, if thou seest
A certain shape or shadow, making way
With wings or chariot fierce to repossess
A heaven he lost erewhile: it must-it must
Be of ripe progress-Saturn must be King.
Yes, there must be a golden victory;
There must be Gods thrown down, and trumpets blown
Of triumph calm, and hymns of festival
Upon the gold clouds metropolitan,
Voices of soft proclaim, and silver stir
Of strings in hollow shells; and there shall be
Beautiful things made new, for the surprise
Of the sky-children; I will give command:
Thea! Thea! Thea! where is Saturn?"
This passion lifted him upon his feet,
And made his hands to struggle in the air,
His Druid locks to shake and ooze with sweat,
His eyes to fever out, his voice to cease.
He stood, and heard not Thea's sobbing deep;
A little time, and then again he snatch'd
Utterance thus.-"But cannot I create?
Cannot I form? Cannot I fashion forth
Another world, another universe,
To overbear and crumble this to nought?
Where is another Chaos? Where?"-That word
Found way unto Olympus, and made quake
The rebel three.-Thea was startled up,
And in her bearing was a sort of hope,
As thus she quick-voic'd spake, yet full of awe.

  "This cheers our fallen house: come to our friends,
O Saturn! come away, and give them heart;
I know the covert, for thence came I hither."
Thus brief; then with beseeching eyes she went
With backward footing through the shade a space:
He follow'd, and she turn'd to lead the way
Through aged boughs, that yielded like the mist
Which eagles cleave upmounting from their nest.

  Meanwhile in other realms big tears were shed,
More sorrow like to this, and such like woe,
Too huge for mortal tongue or pen of scribe:
The Titans fierce, self-hid, or prison-bound,
Groan'd for the old allegiance once more,
And listen'd in sharp pain for Saturn's voice.
But one of the whole mammoth-brood still kept
His sov'reigny, and rule, and majesy;-
Blazing Hyperion on his orbed fire
Still sat, still snuff'd the incense, teeming up
From man to the sun's God: yet unsecure:
For as among us mortals omens drear
Fright and perplex, so also shuddered he-
Not at dog's howl, or gloom-bird's hated screech,
Or the familiar visiting of one
Upon the first toll of his passing-bell,
Or prophesyings of the midnight lamp;
But horrors, portion'd to a giant nerve,
Oft made Hyperion ache. His palace bright,
Bastion'd with pyramids of glowing gold,
And touch'd with shade of bronzed obelisks,
Glar'd a blood-red through all its thousand courts,
Arches, and domes, and fiery galleries;
And all its curtains of Aurorian clouds
Flush'd angerly: while sometimes eagles' wings,
Unseen before by Gods or wondering men,
Darken'd the place; and neighing steeds were heard
Not heard before by Gods or wondering men.
Also, when he would taste the spicy wreaths
Of incense, breath'd aloft from sacred hills,
Instead of sweets, his ample palate took
Savor of poisonous brass and metal sick:
And so, when harbor'd in the sleepy west,
After the full completion of fair day,-
For rest divine upon exalted couch,
And slumber in the arms of melody,
He pac'd away the pleasant hours of ease
With stride colossal, on from hall to hall;
While far within each aisle and deep recess,
His winged minions in close clusters stood,
Amaz'd and full offear; like anxious men
Who on wide plains gather in panting troops,
When earthquakes jar their battlements and towers.
Even now, while Saturn, rous'd from icy trance,
Went step for step with Thea through the woods,
Hyperion, leaving twilight in the rear,
Came slope upon the threshold of the west;
Then, as was wont, his palace-door flew ope
In smoothest silence, save what solemn tubes,
Blown by the serious Zephyrs, gave of sweet
And wandering sounds, slow-breathed melodies;
And like a rose in vermeil tint and shape,
In fragrance soft, and coolness to the eye,
That inlet to severe magnificence
Stood full blown, for the God to enter in.

  He enter'd, but he enter'd full of wrath;
His flaming robes stream'd out beyond his heels,
And gave a roar, as if of earthly fire,
That scar'd away the meek ethereal Hours
And made their dove-wings tremble. On he flared
From stately nave to nave, from vault to vault,
Through bowers of fragrant and enwreathed light,
And diamond-paved lustrous long arcades,
Until he reach'd the great main cupola;
There standing fierce beneath, he stampt his foot,
And from the basements deep to the high towers
Jarr'd his own golden region; and before
The quavering thunder thereupon had ceas'd,
His voice leapt out, despite of godlike curb,
To this result: "O dreams of day and night!
O monstrous forms! O effigies of pain!
O spectres busy in a cold, cold gloom!
O lank-eared phantoms of black-weeded pools!
Why do I know ye? why have I seen ye? why
Is my eternal essence thus distraught
To see and to behold these horrors new?
Saturn is fallen, am I too to fall?
Am I to leave this haven of my rest,
This cradle of my glory, this soft clime,
This calm luxuriance of blissful light,
These crystalline pavilions, and pure fanes,
Of all my lucent empire? It is left
Deserted, void, nor any haunt of mine.
The blaze, the splendor, and the symmetry,
I cannot see but darkness, death, and darkness.
Even here, into my centre of repose,
The shady visions come to domineer,
Insult, and blind, and stifle up my pomp.-
Fall!-No, by Tellus and her briny robes!
Over the fiery frontier of my realms
I will advance a terrible right arm
Shall scare that infant thunderer, rebel Jove,
And bid old Saturn take his throne again."-
He spake, and ceas'd, the while a heavier threat
Held struggle with his throat but came not forth;
For as in theatres of crowded men
Hubbub increases more they call out "Hush!"
So at Hyperion's words the phantoms pale
Bestirr'd themselves, thrice horrible and cold;
And from the mirror'd level where he stood
A mist arose, as from a scummy marsh.
At this, through all his bulk an agony
Crept gradual, from the feet unto the crown,
Like a lithe serpent vast and muscular
Making slow way, with head and neck convuls'd
From over-strained might. Releas'd, he fled
To the eastern gates, and full six dewy hours
Before the dawn in season due should blush,
He breath'd fierce breath against the sleepy portals,
Clear'd them of heavy vapours, burst them wide
Suddenly on the ocean's chilly streams.
The planet orb of fire, whereon he rode
Each day from east to west the heavens through,
Spun round in sable curtaining of clouds;
Not therefore veiled quite, blindfold, and hid,
But ever and anon the glancing spheres,
Circles, and arcs, and broad-belting colure,
Glow'd through, and wrought upon the muffling dark
Sweet-shaped lightnings from the nadir deep
Up to the zenith,-hieroglyphics old,
Which sages and keen-eyed astrologers
Then living on the earth, with laboring thought
Won from the gaze of many centuries:
Now lost, save what we find on remnants huge
Of stone, or rnarble swart; their import gone,
Their wisdom long since fled.-Two wings this orb
Possess'd for glory, two fair argent wings,
Ever exalted at the God's approach:
And now, from forth the gloom their plumes immense
Rose, one by one, till all outspreaded were;
While still the dazzling globe maintain'd eclipse,
Awaiting for Hyperion's command.
Fain would he have commanded, fain took throne
And bid the day begin, if but for change.
He might not:-No, though a primeval God:
The sacred seasons might not be disturb'd.
Therefore the operations of the dawn
Stay'd in their birth, even as here 'tis told.
Those silver wings expanded sisterly,
Eager to sail their orb; the porches wide
Open'd upon the dusk demesnes of night
And the bright Titan, phrenzied with new woes,
Unus'd to bend, by hard compulsion bent
His spirit to the sorrow of the time;
And all along a dismal rack of clouds,
Upon the boundaries of day and night,
He stretch'd himself in grief and radiance faint.
There as he lay, the Heaven with its stars
Look'd down on him with pity, and the voice
Of Coelus, from the universal space,
Thus whisper'd low and solemn in his ear:
"O brightest of my children dear, earth-born
And sky-engendered, son of mysteries
All unrevealed even to the powers
Which met at thy creating; at whose joys
And palpitations sweet, and pleasures soft,
I, Coelus, wonder, how they came and whence;
And at the fruits thereof what shapes they be,
Distinct, and visible; symbols divine,
Manifestations of that beauteous life
Diffus'd unseen throughout eternal space:
Of these new-form'd art thou, O brightest child!
Of these, thy brethren and the Goddesses!
There is sad feud among ye, and rebellion
Of son against his sire. I saw him fall,
I saw my first-born tumbled from his throne!
To me his arms were spread, to me his voice
Found way from forth the thunders round his head!
Pale wox I, and in vapours hid my face.
Art thou, too, near such doom? vague fear there is:
For I have seen my sons most unlike Gods.
Divine ye were created, and divine
In sad demeanour, solemn, undisturb'd,
Unruffled, like high Gods, ye liv'd and ruled:
Now I behold in you fear, hope, and wrath;
Actions of rage and passion; even as
I see them, on the mortal world beneath,
In men who die.-This is the grief, O son!
Sad sign of ruin, sudden dismay, and fall!
Yet do thou strive; as thou art capable,
As thou canst move about, an evident God;
And canst oppose to each malignant hour
Ethereal presence:-I am but a voice;
My life is but the life of winds and tides,
No more than winds and tides can I avail:-
But thou canst.-Be thou therefore in the van
Of circumstance; yea, seize the arrow's barb
Before the tense string murmur.-To the earth!
For there thou wilt find Saturn, and his woes.
Meantime I will keep watch on thy bright sun,
And of thy seasons be a careful nurse."-
Ere half this region-whisper had come down,
Hyperion arose, and on the stars
Lifted his curved lids, and kept them wide
Until it ceas'd; and still he kept them wide:
And still they were the same bright, patient stars.
Then with a slow incline of his broad breast,
Like to a diver in the pearly seas,
Forward he stoop'd over the airy shore,
And plung'd all noiseless into the deep night.
'Lord Houghton records, on the authority of Brown, that "Hyperion" was begun after the death of Tom Keats, when the poet took up his residence at Wentworth Place.

(line 14): It seems to me that the power of realization shown in the first decade, and indeed throughout the fragment, answers all objections to the subject, and is the most absolute security for the nobility of the result which Keats would have achieved had he finished the poem. It is impossible to over-estimate the value of such a landscape, so touched in with a few strokes of titanic meaning and completeness; and the whole sentiment of gigantic despair reflected around the fallen god of the Titan dynasty, and permeating the landscape, is resumed in the most perfect manner in the incident of the motionless fallen leaf, a line almost as intense and full of the essence of poetry as any line in our language. It were ungracious to take exception to the poor Naiad; but she has not the convincing appropriateness of the rest of this sublime opening.'

(line 51): Leigh Hunt's remarks upon Keats's failure to finish the poem are specially appropriate to this passage, "If any living poet could finish this fragment, we believe it is the author himself. But perhaps he feels that he ought not. A story which involves passion, almost of necessity involves speech; and though we may well enough describe beings greater than ourselves by comparison, unfortunately we cannot make them speak by comparison." ~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895.

by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ John Keats, Hyperion. Book I

    What is more gentle than a wind in summer?
    What is more soothing than the pretty hummer
    That stays one moment in an open flower,
    And buzzes cheerily from bower to bower?
    What is more tranquil than a musk-rose blowing
    In a green island, far from all men's knowing?
    More healthful than the leafiness of dales?
    More secret than a nest of nightingales?
    More serene than Cordelia's countenance?
    More full of visions than a high romance?
    What, but thee Sleep? Soft closer of our eyes!
    Low murmurer of tender lullabies!
    Light hoverer around our happy pillows!
    Wreather of poppy buds, and weeping willows!
    Silent entangler of a beauty's tresses!
    Most happy listener! when the morning blesses
    Thee for enlivening all the cheerful eyes
    That glance so brightly at the new sun-rise.

    But what is higher beyond thought than thee?
    Fresher than berries of a mountain tree?
    More strange, more beautiful, more smooth, more regal,
    Than wings of swans, than doves, than dim-seen eagle?
    What is it? And to what shall I compare it?
    It has a glory, and naught else can share it:
    The thought thereof is awful, sweet, and holy,
    Chasing away all worldliness and folly;
    Coming sometimes like fearful claps of thunder,
    Or the low rumblings earth's regions under;
    And sometimes like a gentle whispering
    Of all the secrets of some wond'rous thing
    That breathes about us in the vacant air;
    So that we look around with prying stare,
    Perhaps to see shapes of light, aerial limning,
    And catch soft floatings from a faint-heard hymning;
    To see the laurel wreath, on high suspended,
    That is to crown our name when life is ended.
    Sometimes it gives a glory to the voice,
    And from the heart up-springs, rejoice! rejoice!
    Sounds which will reach the Framer of all things,
    And die away in ardent mutterings.

    No one who once the glorious sun has seen,
    And all the clouds, and felt his bosom clean
    For his great Maker's presence, but must know
    What 'tis I mean, and feel his being glow:
    Therefore no insult will I give his spirit,
    By telling what he sees from native merit.

    O Poesy! for thee I hold my pen
    That am not yet a glorious denizen
    Of thy wide heaven- Should I rather kneel
    Upon some mountain-top until I feel
    A glowing splendour round about me hung,
    And echo back the voice of thine own tongue?
    O Poesy! for thee I grasp my pen
    That am not yet a glorious denizen
    Of thy wide heaven; yet, to my ardent prayer,
    Yield from thy sanctuary some clear air,
    Smooth'd for intoxication by the breath
    Of flowering bays, that I may die a death
    Of luxury, and my young spirit follow
    The morning sun-beams to the great Apollo
    Like a fresh sacrifice; or, if I can bear
    The o'erwhelming sweets, 'twill bring to me the fair
    Visions of all places: a bowery nook
    Will be elysium- an eternal book
    Whence I may copy many a lovely saying
    About the leaves, and flowers- about the playing
    Of nymphs in woods, and fountains; and the shade
    Keeping a silence round a sleeping maid;
    And many a verse from so strange influence
    That we must ever wonder how, and whence
    It came. Also imaginings will hover
    Round my fire-side, and haply there discover
    Vistas of solemn beauty, where I'd wander
    In happy silence, like the clear Meander
    Through its lone vales; and where I found a spot
    Of awfuller shade, or an enchanted grot,
    Or a green hill o'erspread with chequer'd dress
    Of flowers, and fearful from its loveliness,
    Write on my tablets all that was permitted,
    All that was for our human senses fitted.
    Then the events of this wide world I'd seize
    Like a strong giant, and my spirit teaze
    Till at its shoulders it should proudly see
    Wings to find out an immortality.

    Stop and consider! life is but a day;
    A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way
    From a tree's summit; a poor Indian's sleep
    While his boat hastens to the monstrous steep
    Of Montmorenci. Why so sad a moan?
    Life is the rose's hope while yet unblown;
    The reading of an ever-changing tale;
    The light uplifting of a maiden's veil;
    A pigeon tumbling in clear summer air;
    A laughing school-boy, without grief or care,
    Riding the springy branches of an elm.

    O for ten years, that I may overwhelm
    Myself in poesy; so I may do the deed
    That my own soul has to itself decreed.
    Then will I pass the countries that I see
    In long perspective, and continually
    Taste their pure fountains. First the realm I'll pass
    Of Flora, and old Pan: sleep in the grass,
    Feed upon apples red, and strawberries,
    And choose each pleasure that my fancy sees;
    Catch the white-handed nymphs in shady places,
    To woo sweet kisses from averted faces,-
    Play with their fingers, touch their shoulders white
    Into a pretty shrinking with a bite
    As hard as lips can make it: till agreed,
    A lovely tale of human life we'll read.
    And one will teach a tame dove how it best
    May fan the cool air gently o'er my rest;
    Another, bending o'er her nimble tread,
    Will set a green robe floating round her head,
    And still will dance with ever varied ease,
    Smiling upon the flowers and the trees:
    Another will entice me on, and on
    Through almond blossoms and rich cinnamon;
    Till in the bosom of a leafy world
    We rest in silence, like two gems upcurl'd
    In the recesses of a pearly shell.

    And can I ever bid these joys farewell?
    Yes, I must pass them for a nobler life,
    Where I may find the agonies, the strife
    Of human hearts: for lo! I see afar,
    O'ersailing the blue cragginess, a car
    And steeds with streamy manes- the charioteer
    Looks out upon the winds with glorious fear:
    And now the numerous tramplings quiver lightly
    Along a huge cloud's ridge; and now with sprightly
    Wheel downward come they into fresher skies,
    Tipt round with silver from the sun's bright eyes.
    Still downward with capacious whirl they glide;
    And now I see them on the green-hill's side
    In breezy rest among the nodding stalks.
    The charioteer with wond'rous gesture talks
    To the trees and mountains; and there soon appear
    Shapes of delight, of mystery, and fear,
    Passing along before a dusky space
    Made by some mighty oaks: as they would chase
    Some ever- fleeting music on they sweep.
    Lo! how they murmur, laugh, and smile, and weep:
    Some with upholden hand and mouth severe;
    Some with their faces muffled to the ear
    Between their arms; some, clear in youthful bloom,
    Go glad and smilingly athwart the gloom;
    Some looking back, and some with upward gaze;
    Yes, thousands in a thousand different ways
    Flit onward- now a lovely wreath of girls
    Dancing their sleek hair into tangled curls;
    And now broad wings. Most awfully intent
    The driver of those steeds is forward bent,
    And seems to listen: O that I might know
    All that he writes with such a hurrying glow.

    The visions all are fled- the car is fled
    Into the light of heaven, and in their stead
    A sense of real things comes doubly strong,
    And, like a muddy stream, would bear along
    My soul to nothingness: but I will strive
    Against all doubtings, and will keep alive
    The thought of that same chariot, and the strange
    Journey it went.
               Is there so small a range
    In the present strength of manhood, that the high
    Imagination cannot freely fly
    As she was wont of old? prepare her steeds,
    Paw up against the light, and do strange deeds
    Upon the clouds? Has she not shown us all?
    From the clear space of ether, to the small
    Breath of new buds unfolding? From the meaning
    Of Jove's large eye-brow, to the tender greening
    Of April meadows? Here her altar shone,
    E'en in this isle; and who could paragon
    The fervid choir that lifted up a noise
    Of harmony, to where it aye will poise
    Its mighty self of convoluting sound,
    Huge as a planet, and like that roll round,
    Eternally around a dizzy void?
    Ay, in those days the Muses were nigh cloy'd
    With honors; nor had any other care
    Than to sing out and sooth their wavy hair.

    Could all this be forgotten? Yes, a schism
    Nurtured by foppery and barbarism,
    Made great Apollo blush for this his land.
    Men were thought wise who could not understand
    His glories: with a puling infant's force
    They sway'd about upon a rocking horse,
    And thought it Pegasus. Ah dismal soul'd!
    The winds of heaven blew, the ocean roll'd
    Its gathering waves- ye felt it not. The blue
    Bared its eternal bosom, and the dew
    Of summer nights collected still to make
    The morning precious: beauty was awake!
    Why were ye not awake? But ye were dead
    To things ye knew not of,- were closely wed
    To musty laws lined out with wretched rule
    And compass vile: so that ye taught a school
    Of dolts to smooth, inlay, and clip, and fit,
    Till, like the certain wands of Jacob's wit,
    Their verses tallied. Easy was the task:
    A thousand handicraftsmen wore the mask
    Of Poesy. Ill-fated, impious race!
    That blasphemed the bright Lyrist to his face,
    And did not know it,- no, they went about,
    Holding a poor, decrepid standard out
    Mark'd with most flimsy mottos, and in large
    The name of one Boileau!

                   O ye whose charge
    It is to hover round our pleasant hills!
    Whose congregated majesty so fills
    My boundly reverence, that I cannot trace
    Your hallowed names, in this unholy place,
    So near those common folk; did not their shames
    Affright you? Did our old lamenting Thames
    Delight you? Did ye never cluster round
    Delicious Avon, with a mournful sound,
    And weep? Or did ye wholly bid adieu
    To regions where no more the laurel grew?
    Or did ye stay to give a welcoming
    To some lone spirits who could proudly sing
    Their youth away, and die? 'Twas even so:
    But let me think away those times of woe:
    Now 'tis a fairer season; ye have breathed
    Rich benedictions o'er us; ye have wreathed
    Fresh garlands: for sweet music has been heard
    In many places;- some has been upstirr'd
    From out its crystal dwelling in a lake,
    By a swan's ebon bill; from a thick brake,
    Nested and quiet in a valley mild,
    Bubbles a pipe; fine sounds are floating wild
    About the earth: happy are ye and glad.

    These things are doubtless: yet in truth we've had
    Strange thunders from the potency of song;
    Mingled indeed with what is sweet and strong,
    From majesty: but in clear truth the themes
    Are ugly clubs, the Poets' Polyphemes
    Disturbing the grand sea. A drainless shower
    Of light is poesy; 'tis the supreme of power;
    'Tis might half slumb'ring on its own right arm.
    The very archings of her eye-lids charm
    A thousand willing agents to obey,
    And still she governs with the mildest sway:
    But strength alone though of the Muses born
    Is like a fallen angel: trees uptorn,
    Darkness, and worms, and shrouds, and sepulchres
    Delight it; for it feeds upon the burrs,
    And thorns of life; forgetting the great end
    Of poesy, that it should be a friend
    To sooth the cares, and lift the thoughts of man.

     Yet I rejoice: a myrtle fairer than
    E'er grew in Paphos, from the bitter weeds
    Lifts its sweet head into the air, and feeds
    A silent space with ever sprouting green.
    All tenderest birds there find a pleasant screen,
    Creep through the shade with jaunty fluttering,
    Nibble the little cupped flowers and sing.
    Then let us clear away the choking thorns
    From round its gentle stem; let the young fawns,
    Yeaned in after times, when we are flown,
    Find a fresh sward beneath it, overgrown
    With simple flowers: let there nothing be
    More boisterous than a lover's bended knee;
    Nought more ungentle than the placid look
    Of one who leans upon a closed book;
    Nought more untranquil than the grassy slopes
    Between two hills. All hail delightful hopes!
    As she was wont, th' imagination
    Into most lovely labyrinths will be gone,
    And they shall be accounted poet kings
    Who simply tell the most heart-easing things.
    O may these joys be ripe before I die.

    Will not some say that I presumptuously
    Have spoken? that from hastening disgrace
    'Twere better far to hide my foolish face?
    That whining boyhood should with reverence bow
    Ere the dread thunderbolt could reach? How!
    If I do hide myself, it sure shall be
    In the very fane, the light of Poesy:
    If I do fall, at least I will be laid
    Beneath the silence of a poplar shade;
    And over me the grass shall be smooth shaven;
    And there shall be a kind memorial graven.
    But off Despondence! miserable bane!
    They should not know thee, who athirst to gain
    A noble end, are thirsty every hour.
    What though I am not wealthy in the dower
    Of spanning wisdom; though I do not know
    The shiftings of the mighty winds that blow
    Hither and thither all the changing thoughts
    Of man: though no great minist'ring reason sorts
    Out the dark mysteries of human souls
    To clear conceiving: yet there ever rolls
    A vast idea before me, and I glean
    Therefrom my liberty; thence too I've seen
    The end and aim of Poesy. 'Tis clear
    As anything most true; as that the year
    Is made of the four seasons- manifest
    As a large cross, some old cathedral's crest,
    Lifted to the white clouds. Therefore should I
    Be but the essence of deformity,
    A coward, did my very eye-lids wink
    At speaking out what I have dared to think.
    Ah! rather let me like a madman run
    Over some precipice; let the hot sun
    Melt my Dedalian wings, and drive me down
    Convuls'd and headlong! Stay! an inward frown
    Of conscience bids me be more calm awhile.
    An ocean dim, sprinkled with many an isle,
    Spreads awfully before me. How much toil!
    How many days! what desperate turmoil!
    Ere I can have explored its widenesses.
    Ah, what a task! upon my bended knees,
    I could unsay those- no, impossible!

           For sweet relief I'll dwell
    On humbler thoughts, and let this strange assay
    Begun in gentleness die so away.
    E'en now all tumult from my bosom fades:
    I turn full hearted to the friendly aids
    That smooth the path of honour; brotherhood,
    And friendliness the nurse of mutual good.
    The hearty grasp that sends a pleasant sonnet
    Into the brain ere one can think upon it;
    The silence when some rhymes are coming out;
    And when they're come, the very pleasant rout:
    The message certain to be done to-morrow.
    'Tis perhaps as well that it should be to borrow
    Some precious book from out its snug retreat,
    To cluster round it when we next shall meet.
    Scarce can I scribble on; for lovely airs
    Are fluttering round the room like doves in pairs;
    Many delights of that glad day recalling,
    When first my senses caught their tender falling.
    And with these airs come forms of elegance
    Stooping their shoulders o'er a horse's prance,
    Careless, and grand-fingers soft and round
    Parting luxuriant curls;- and the swift bound
    Of Bacchus from his chariot, when his eye
    Made Ariadne's cheek look blushingly.
    Thus I remember all the pleasant flow
    Of words at opening a portfolio.

    Things such as these are ever harbingers
    To trains of peaceful images: the stirs
    Of a swan's neck unseen among the rushes:
    A linnet starting all about the bushes:
    A butterfly, with golden wings broad parted,
    Nestling a rose, convuls'd as though it smarted
    With over pleasure- many, many more,
    Might I indulge at large in all my store
    Of luxuries: yet I must not forget
    Sleep, quiet with his poppy coronet:
    For what there may be worthy in these rhymes
    I partly owe to him: and thus, the chimes
    Of friendly voices had just given place
    To as sweet a silence, when I 'gan retrace
    The pleasant day, upon a couch at ease.
    It was a poet's house who keeps the keys
    Of pleasure's temple. Round about were hung
    The glorious features of the bards who sung
    In other ages- cold and sacred busts
    Smiled at each other. Happy he who trusts
    To clear Futurity his darling fame!
    Then there were fauns and satyrs taking aim
    At swelling apples with a frisky leap
    And reaching fingers, 'mid a luscious heap
    Of vine-leaves. Then there rose to view a fane
    Of liny marble, and thereto a train
    Of nymphs approaching fairly o'er the sward:
    One, loveliest, holding her white hand toward
    The dazzling sun-rise: two sisters sweet
    Bending their graceful figures till they meet
    Over the trippings of a little child:
    And some are hearing, eagerly, the wild
    Thrilling liquidity of dewy piping.
    See, in another picture, nymphs are wiping
    Cherishingly Diana's timorous limbs;-
    A fold of lawny mantle dabbling swims
    At the bath's edge, and keeps a gentle motion
    With the subsiding crystal: as when ocean
    Heaves calmly its broad swelling smoothness o'er
    Its rocky marge, and balances once more
    The patient weeds; that now unshent by foam
    Feel all about their undulating home.

    Sappho's meek head was there half smiling down
    At nothing; just as though the earnest frown
    Of over thinking had that moment gone
    From off her brow, and left her all alone.

    Great Alfred's too, with anxious, pitying eyes,
    As if he always listened to the sighs
    Of the goaded world; and Kosciusko's worn
    By horrid suffrance- mightily forlorn.
    Petrarch, outstepping from the shady green,
    Starts at the sight of Laura; nor can wean
    His eyes from her sweet face. Most happy they!
    For over them was seen a free display
    Of out-spread wings, and from between them shone
    The face of Poesy: from off her throne
    She overlook'd things that I scarce could tell.
    The very sense of where I was might well
    Keep Sleep aloof: but more than that there came
    Thought after thought to nourish up the flame
    Within my breast; so that the morning light
    Surprised me even from a sleepless night;
    And up I rose refresh'd, and glad, and gay,
    Resolving to begin that very day
    These lines; and howsoever they be done,
    I leave them as a father does his son.

            THE END
(lines 250-1): An idea, says Leigh Hunt... "of as lovely and powerful a nature in embodying an abstraction, as we ever remember to have seen put into words."

(line 354): Leigh Hunt's house: he says ... the poem "originated in sleeping in a room adorned with busts and pictures," -- "many a bust from Shout," as Shelley wrote to Mrs. Gisborne. In Hunt's Correspondence (Volume i, page 289) we read "Keats's Sleep and Poetry is a description of a parlour that was mine, no bigger than an old mansion's closet." Charles Cowden Clarke says (Gentleman's Magazine, February 1874) "It was in the library at Hunt's cottage, where an extemporary bed had been made up for him on the sofa." ~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ Chaucer
635:I am poor brother Lippo, by your leave!
You need not clap your torches to my face.
Zooks, what's to blame? you think you see a monk!
What, 'tis past midnight, and you go the rounds,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar?
The Carmine's my cloister: hunt it up,
Do,harry out, if you must show your zeal,
Whatever rat, there, haps on his wrong hole,
And nip each softling of a wee white mouse,
Weke, weke, that's crept to keep him company!
Aha, you know your betters! Then, you'll take
Your hand away that's fiddling on my throat,
And please to know me likewise. Who am I?
Why, one, sir, who is lodging with a friend
Three streets offhe's a certain . . . how d'ye call?
MasteraCosimo of the Medici,
I' the house that caps the corner. Boh! you were best!
Remember and tell me, the day you're hanged,
How you affected such a gullet's-gripe!  
But you, sir, it concerns you that your knaves
Pick up a manner nor discredit you:
Zooks, are we pilchards, that they sweep the streets
And count fair price what comes into their net?
He's Judas to a tittle, that man is!
Just such a face! Why, sir, you make amends.
Lord, I'm not angry! Bid your hang-dogs go
Drink out this quarter-florin to the health
Of the munificent House that harbours me
(And many more beside, lads! more beside!)
And all's come square again. I'd like his face
His, elbowing on his comrade in the door
With the pike and lantern,for the slave that holds
John Baptist's head a-dangle by the hair
With one hand ("Look you, now," as who should say)
And his weapon in the other, yet unwiped!
It's not your chance to have a bit of chalk,
A wood-coal or the like? or you should see!
Yes, I'm the painter, since you style me so.
What, brother Lippo's doings, up and down,
You know them and they take you? like enough!
I saw the proper twinkle in your eye
'Tell you, I liked your looks at very first.
Let's sit and set things straight now, hip to haunch.
Here's spring come, and the nights one makes up bands
To roam the town and sing out carnival,
And I've been three weeks shut within my mew,
A-painting for the great man, saints and saints
And saints again. I could not paint all night
Ouf! I leaned out of window for fresh air.
There came a hurry of feet and little feet,
A sweep of lute strings, laughs, and whifts of song,
Flower o' the broom,
Take away love, and our earth is a tomb!
Flower o' the quince,
I let Lisa go, and what good in life since?
Flower o' the thymeand so on. Round they went.
Scarce had they turned the corner when a titter
Like the skipping of rabbits by moonlight,three slim shapes,
And a face that looked up . . . zooks, sir, flesh and blood,
That's all I'm made of! Into shreds it went,
Curtain and counterpane and coverlet,
All the bed-furniturea dozen knots,
There was a ladder! Down I let myself,
Hands and feet, scrambling somehow, and so dropped,
And after them. I came up with the fun
Hard by Saint Laurence, hail fellow, well met,
Flower o' the rose,
If I've been merry, what matter who knows?
And so as I was stealing back again
To get to bed and have a bit of sleep
Ere I rise up to-morrow and go work
On Jerome knocking at his poor old breast
With his great round stone to subdue the flesh,
You snap me of the sudden. Ah, I see!
Though your eye twinkles still, you shake your head
Mine's shaveda monk, you saythe sting 's in that!
If Master Cosimo announced himself,
Mum's the word naturally; but a monk!
Come, what am I a beast for? tell us, now!
I was a baby when my mother died
And father died and left me in the street.
I starved there, God knows how, a year or two
On fig-skins, melon-parings, rinds and shucks,
Refuse and rubbish. One fine frosty day,
My stomach being empty as your hat,
The wind doubled me up and down I went.
Old Aunt Lapaccia trussed me with one hand,
(Its fellow was a stinger as I knew)
And so along the wall, over the bridge,
By the straight cut to the convent. Six words there,
While I stood munching my first bread that month:
"So, boy, you're minded," quoth the good fat father
Wiping his own mouth, 'twas refection-time,--
"To quit this very miserable world?
Will you renounce" . . . "the mouthful of bread?" thought I;
By no means! Brief, they made a monk of me;
I did renounce the world, its pride and greed,
Palace, farm, villa, shop, and banking-house,
Trash, such as these poor devils of Medici
Have given their hearts toall at eight years old.
Well, sir, I found in time, you may be sure,
'T#was not for nothingthe good bellyful,
The warm serge and the rope that goes all round,
And day-long blessed idleness beside!
"Let's see what the urchin's fit for"that came next.
Not overmuch their way, I must confess.
Such a to-do! They tried me with their books:
Lord, they'd have taught me Latin in pure waste!
Flower o' the clove.
All the Latin I construe is, "amo" I love!
But, mind you, when a boy starves in the streets
Eight years together, as my fortune was,
Watching folk's faces to know who will fling
The bit of half-stripped grape-bunch he desires,
And who will curse or kick him for his pains,
Which gentleman processional and fine,
Holding a candle to the Sacrament,
Will wink and let him lift a plate and catch
The droppings of the wax to sell again,
Or holla for the Eight and have him whipped,
How say I?nay, which dog bites, which lets drop
His bone from the heap of offal in the street,
Why, soul and sense of him grow sharp alike,
He learns the look of things, and none the less
For admonition from the hunger-pinch.
I had a store of such remarks, be sure,
Which, after I found leisure, turned to use.
I drew men's faces on my copy-books,
Scrawled them within the antiphonary's marge,
Joined legs and arms to the long music-notes,
Found eyes and nose and chin for A's and B's,
And made a string of pictures of the world
Betwixt the ins and outs of verb and noun,
On the wall, the bench, the door. The monks looked black.
"Nay," quoth the Prior, "turn him out, d'ye say?
In no wise. Lose a crow and catch a lark.
What if at last we get our man of parts,
We Carmelites, like those Camaldolese
And Preaching Friars, to do our church up fine
And put the front on it that ought to be!"
And hereupon he bade me daub away.
Thank you! my head being crammed, the walls a blank,
Never was such prompt disemburdening.
First, every sort of monk, the black and white,
I drew them, fat and lean: then, folk at church,
From good old gossips waiting to confess
Their cribs of barrel-droppings, candle-ends,
To the breathless fellow at the altar-foot,
Fresh from his murder, safe and sitting there
With the little children round him in a row
Of admiration, half for his beard and half
For that white anger of his victim's son
Shaking a fist at him with one fierce arm,
Signing himself with the other because of Christ
(Whose sad face on the cross sees only this
After the passion of a thousand years)
Till some poor girl, her apron o'er her head,
(Which the intense eyes looked through) came at eve
On tiptoe, said a word, dropped in a loaf,
Her pair of earrings and a bunch of flowers
(The brute took growling), prayed, and so was gone.
I painted all, then cried " `T#is ask and have;
Choose, for more's ready!"laid the ladder flat,
And showed my covered bit of cloister-wall.
The monks closed in a circle and praised loud
Till checked, taught what to see and not to see,
Being simple bodies,"That's the very man!
Look at the boy who stoops to pat the dog!
That woman's like the Prior's niece who comes
To care about his asthma: it's the life!''
But there my triumph's straw-fire flared and funked;
Their betters took their turn to see and say:
The Prior and the learned pulled a face
And stopped all that in no time. "How? what's here?
Quite from the mark of painting, bless us all!
Faces, arms, legs, and bodies like the true
As much as pea and pea! it's devil's-game!
Your business is not to catch men with show,
With homage to the perishable clay,
But lift them over it, ignore it all,
Make them forget there's such a thing as flesh.
Your business is to paint the souls of men
Man's soul, and it's a fire, smoke . . . no, it's not . . .
It's vapour done up like a new-born babe
(In that shape when you die it leaves your mouth)
It's . . . well, what matters talking, it's the soul!
Give us no more of body than shows soul!
Here's Giotto, with his Saint a-praising God,
That sets us praisingwhy not stop with him?
Why put all thoughts of praise out of our head
With wonder at lines, colours, and what not?
Paint the soul, never mind the legs and arms!
Rub all out, try at it a second time.
Oh, that white smallish female with the breasts,
She's just my niece . . . Herodias, I would say,
Who went and danced and got men's heads cut off!
Have it all out!" Now, is this sense, I ask?
A fine way to paint soul, by painting body
So ill, the eye can't stop there, must go further
And can't fare worse! Thus, yellow does for white
When what you put for yellow's simply black,
And any sort of meaning looks intense
When all beside itself means and looks nought.
Why can't a painter lift each foot in turn,
Left foot and right foot, go a double step,
Make his flesh liker and his soul more like,
Both in their order? Take the prettiest face,
The Prior's niece . . . patron-saintis it so pretty
You can't discover if it means hope, fear,
Sorrow or joy? won't beauty go with these?
Suppose I've made her eyes all right and blue,
Can't I take breath and try to add life's flash,
And then add soul and heighten them three-fold?
Or say there's beauty with no soul at all
(I never saw itput the case the same)
If you get simple beauty and nought else,
You get about the best thing God invents:
That's somewhat: and you'll find the soul you have missed,
Within yourself, when you return him thanks.
"Rub all out!" Well, well, there's my life, in short,
And so the thing has gone on ever since.
I'm grown a man no doubt, I've broken bounds:
You should not take a fellow eight years old
And make him swear to never kiss the girls.
I'm my own master, paint now as I please
Having a friend, you see, in the Corner-house!
Lord, it's fast holding by the rings in front
Those great rings serve more purposes than just
To plant a flag in, or tie up a horse!
And yet the old schooling sticks, the old grave eyes
Are peeping o'er my shoulder as I work,
The heads shake still"It's art's decline, my son!
You're not of the true painters, great and old;
Brother Angelico's the man, you'll find;
Brother Lorenzo stands his single peer:
Fag on at flesh, you'll never make the third!"
Flower o' the pine,
You keep your mistr manners, and I'll stick to mine!
I'm not the third, then: bless us, they must know!
Don't you think they're the likeliest to know,
They with their Latin? So, I swallow my rage,
Clench my teeth, suck my lips in tight, and paint
To please themsometimes do and sometimes don't;
For, doing most, there's pretty sure to come
A turn, some warm eve finds me at my saints
A laugh, a cry, the business of the world
(Flower o' the peach
Death for us all, and his own life for each!)
And my whole soul revolves, the cup runs over,
The world and life's too big to pass for a dream,
And I do these wild things in sheer despite,
And play the fooleries you catch me at,
In pure rage! The old mill-horse, out at grass
After hard years, throws up his stiff heels so,
Although the miller does not preach to him
The only good of grass is to make chaff.
What would men have? Do they like grass or no
May they or mayn't they? all I want's the thing
Settled for ever one way. As it is,
You tell too many lies and hurt yourself:
You don't like what you only like too much,
You do like what, if given you at your word,
You find abundantly detestable.
For me, I think I speak as I was taught;
I always see the garden and God there
A-making man's wife: and, my lesson learned,
The value and significance of flesh,
I can't unlearn ten minutes afterwards.
You understand me: I'm a beast, I know.
But see, nowwhy, I see as certainly
As that the morning-star's about to shine,
What will hap some day. We've a youngster here
Comes to our convent, studies what I do,
Slouches and stares and lets no atom drop:
His name is Guidihe'll not mind the monks
They call him Hulking Tom, he lets them talk
He picks my practice uphe'll paint apace.
I hope sothough I never live so long,
I know what's sure to follow. You be judge!
You speak no Latin more than I, belike;
However, you're my man, you've seen the world
The beauty and the wonder and the power,
The shapes of things, their colours, lights and shades,
Changes, surprises,and God made it all!
For what? Do you feel thankful, ay or no,
For this fair town's face, yonder river's line,
The mountain round it and the sky above,
Much more the figures of man, woman, child,
These are the frame to? What's it all about?
To be passed over, despised? or dwelt upon,
Wondered at? oh, this last of course!you say.
But why not do as well as say,paint these
Just as they are, careless what comes of it?
God's workspaint any one, and count it crime
To let a truth slip. Don't object, "His works
Are here already; nature is complete:
Suppose you reproduce her(which you can't)
There's no advantage! you must beat her, then."
For, don't you mark? we're made so that we love
First when we see them painted, things we have passed
Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see;
And so they are better, paintedbetter to us,
Which is the same thing. Art was given for that;
God uses us to help each other so,
Lending our minds out. Have you noticed, now,
Your cullion's hanging face? A bit of chalk,
And trust me but you should, though! How much more,
If I drew higher things with the same truth!
That were to take the Prior's pulpit-place,
Interpret God to all of you! Oh, oh,
It makes me mad to see what men shall do
And we in our graves! This world's no blot for us,
Nor blank; it means intensely, and means good:
To find its meaning is my meat and drink.
"Ay, but you don't so instigate to prayer!"
Strikes in the Prior: "when your meaning's plain
It does not say to folkremember matins,
Or, mind you fast next Friday!" Why, for this
What need of art at all? A skull and bones,
Two bits of stick nailed crosswise, or, what's best,
A bell to chime the hour with, does as well.
I painted a Saint Laurence six months since
At Prato, splashed the fresco in fine style:
"How looks my painting, now the scaffold's down?"
I ask a brother: "Hugely," he returns
"Already not one phiz of your three slaves
Who turn the Deacon off his toasted side,
But's scratched and prodded to our heart's content,
The pious people have so eased their own
With coming to say prayers there in a rage:
We get on fast to see the bricks beneath.
Expect another job this time next year,
For pity and religion grow i' the crowd
Your painting serves its purpose!" Hang the fools!
That isyou'll not mistake an idle word
Spoke in a huff by a poor monk, God wot,
Tasting the air this spicy night which turns
The unaccustomed head like Chianti wine!
Oh, the church knows! don't misreport me, now!
It's natural a poor monk out of bounds
Should have his apt word to excuse himself:
And hearken how I plot to make amends.
I have bethought me: I shall paint a piece
There's for you! Give me six months, then go, see
Something in Sant' Ambrogio's! Bless the nuns!
They want a cast o' my office. I shall paint
God in the midst, Madonna and her babe,
Ringed by a bowery, flowery angel-brood,
Lilies and vestments and white faces, sweet
As puff on puff of grated orris-root
When ladies crowd to Church at midsummer.
And then i' the front, of course a saint or two
Saint John' because he saves the Florentines,
Saint Ambrose, who puts down in black and white
The convent's friends and gives them a long day,
And Job, I must have him there past mistake,
The man of Uz (and Us without the z,
Painters who need his patience). Well, all these
Secured at their devotion, up shall come
Out of a corner when you least expect,
As one by a dark stair into a great light,
Music and talking, who but Lippo! I!
Mazed, motionless, and moonstruckI'm the man!
Back I shrinkwhat is this I see and hear?
I, caught up with my monk's-things by mistake,
My old serge gown and rope that goes all round,
I, in this presence, this pure company!
Where's a hole, where's a corner for escape?
Then steps a sweet angelic slip of a thing
Forward, puts out a soft palm"Not so fast!"
Addresses the celestial presence, "nay
He made you and devised you, after all,
Though he's none of you! Could Saint John there draw
His camel-hair make up a painting brush?
We come to brother Lippo for all that,
Iste perfecit opus! So, all smile
I shuffle sideways with my blushing face
Under the cover of a hundred wings
Thrown like a spread of kirtles when you're gay
And play hot cockles, all the doors being shut,
Till, wholly unexpected, in there pops
The hothead husband! Thus I scuttle off
To some safe bench behind, not letting go
The palm of her, the little lily thing
That spoke the good word for me in the nick,
Like the Prior's niece . . . Saint Lucy, I would say.
And so all's saved for me, and for the church
A pretty picture gained. Go, six months hence!
Your hand, sir, and good-bye: no lights, no lights!
The street's hushed, and I know my own way back,
Don't fear me! There's the grey beginning. Zooks!


First published in Men and Women, 1855.In this poem, Browning makes use of the account of
Lippi in Vasari's Lives of the Painters, from
which the following is an extract: "The Carmelite monk,
Fra Filippo di Tommaso Lippi (1412-1469), was born
at Florence in a bye-street called Ardiglione, under the
Canto alla Cuculia, and behind the convent of the
Carmelites. By the death of his father he was left a
friendless orphan at the age of two years, his mother
having also died shortly after his birth. The child was
for some time under the care of a certain Mona Lapaccia,
his aunt, the sister of his father, who brought him up
with very great difficulty till he had attained his eighth
year, when, being no longer able to support the burden
of his maintenance, she placed him in the above-named
convent of the Carmelites. Here, in proportion as he
showed himself dexterous and ingenious in all works
performed by hand, did he manifest the utmost dullness
and incapacity in letters, to which he would never apply
himself, nor would he take any pleasure in learning of
any kind. The boy continued to be called by his worldly
name of Filippo, and being placed with others, who like
himself were in the house of the novices, under the care
of the master, to the end that the latter might see what
could be done with him\; in place of studying, he never
did anything but daub his own books, and those of the
other boys, with caricatures, whereupon the prior determined
to give him all means and every opportunity for learning
to draw. The chapel of the Carmine had then been newly
painted by Masaccio, and this being exceedingly beautiful,
pleased Fra Filippo greatly, wherefore he frequented it daily
for his recreation, and, continually practising there, in
company with many other youths, who were constantly
drawing in that place, he surpassed all the others by very
much in dexterity and knowledge .... Proceeding thus, and
improving from day to day, he has so closely followed the
manner of Masaccio, and his works displayed so much
similarity to those of the latter, that many affirmed the spirit
of Masaccio to have entered the body of Fra Filippo .... "It is
said that Fra Filippo was much addicted to the pleasures of
sense, insomuch that he would give all he possessed to secure
the gratification of whatever inclination might at the moment
be predominant .... It was known that, while occupied in the
pursuit of his pleasures, the works undertaken by him received
little or none of his attention\; for which reason Cosimo de'
Medici, wishing him to execute a work in his own palace, shut
him up, that he might not waste his time in running about\; but
having endured this confinement for two days, he then made
ropes with sheets of his bed, which he cut to pieces for that
purpose, and so having let himself down from a window, escaped,
and for several days gave himself up to his amusements. When
Cosimo found that the painter had disappeared, he caused him
to be sought, and Fra Filippo at last returned to his work, but
from that time forward Cosimo gave him liberty to go in and
out at his pleasure, repenting greatly of having previously shut
him up, when he considered the danger that Fra Filippo had
incurred by his folly in descending from the window\; and ever
afterwards labouring to keep him to his work by kindness only,
he was by this means much more promptly and effectually
served by the painter, and was wont to say that the excellencies
of rare genius were as forms of light and not beasts of burden."

Cosimo of the Medici (1389-1464): the real ruler of Florence,
and a patron of art and literature.

The snatches of song represent a species of Italian folk-song
called Stornelli\; each consisting of three lines of a set form,
and containing the name of a flower in the first line.

Saint Laurence: the Church at San Lorenzo, now famous for
the tombs of the Medici, the work of Michael Angelo.

Jerome: one of the Christian Fathers, translated the Bible
into Latin\; he led a life of extreme asceticism.

A reference to the procession carrying the consecrated wafer.

the Eight: a body of magistrates who kept order.

antiphonary: the service-book.

Preaching Friars: the Dominicans.

funked: turned to smoke.

176 ff.
Lippi belonged to the naturalistic school which developed
among the Florentines. These showed a greater attention to
natural form and beauty, as opposed to the conventional school,
who were men under the influence of earlier artists and inherited
an ascetic timidity in the representation of material things.

Giotto (1267-1337): the earliest of the greater Florentine

Herodias: sister-in-law of Herod, and mother of Salome.
See Matthew, 14 for the story of Salome's dance and the beheading
of John the Baptist.

See line 18 above.

Brother Angelico: Fra Angelico (1387-1455), "By purity of
life, habitual elevation of thought, and natural sweetness of
disposition, he was enabled to express the sacred affections
upon the human countenance, as no one ever did before or since" (Ruskin).

Lorenzo: Lorenzo Monaco (1370-1425), a Camaldolese
friar who painted in Florence.

273 ff.
Tommaso Guidi (1401-28) better known as Masaccio (which means
"hulking") "because," says Vasari, "of his excessive negligence and
disregard of himself." He was the teacher--not, as here represented,
the pupil--of Filippo Lippi (see first note above).

Prato: a town some dozen miles from Florence\; in the Cathedral
are frescoes by Filippo, but they represent St. Stephen, and the
Baptist, not St. Laurence.

According to tradition, St. Laurence was roasted on a gridiron.

Chianti wine: the common red wine of Tuscany.

Browning proceeds to put into Fra Filippo's mouth a description
of what is considered his masterpiece --a Coronation of the Virgin--which
he painted for the nuns of Sant' Ambrogio. Browning, following Vasari,
believes that the painter put a self-portrait in the lower corner of the
picture. Recent research has shown that the figure is a portrait, not of
Fra Filippo, but of the benefactor who ordered the picture for the
church. In this case, perfecit opus means "caused the work to
be made," not, as Browning takes it, "completed the work himself."

St. John the Baptist is the patron saint of the Florentines.

~ Robert Browning, Fra Lippo Lippi
636:The Bush
I wonder if the spell, the mystery,
That like a haze about your silence clings,
Moulding your void until we seem to see
Tangible Presences of Deathless Things,
Patterned but little to our spirits' woof,
Yet from our love or hate not all aloof,
Can. be the matrix where are forming slowly
Troy tales of Old Australia, to refine
Eras to come of ordered melancholy
'Neath lily-pale Perfection's anodyne.
For Troy hath ever been, and Homer sang
Its younger story for a lodging's fee,
While o'er Scamander settlers' axes rang
Amid the Bush where Ilium was to be.
For Cretan Art, dim centuries before,
Minoan Dream-times some Briseis bore.
Sumerian Phoebus by a willowed water
Song-built a Troy for far Chaldea, where
The sons of God, beholding Leda's daughter,
Bartered eternal thrones for love of her.
Across each terraced aeon Time hath sowed
With green tautology of vanished years,
Gaping aghast or webbed with shining lode,
Achilles' anger's earthquake-rift appears.
The towers that Phoebus builds can never fall:
Desire that Helen lights can never pall:
Yea, wounded Love hath still but gods to fly to,
When lust of war inflames Diomedes:
Must some Australian Hector vainly die, too?
Captives in ships? (0 change that omen, Trees!)
Yea, Mother Bush, in your deep dreams abide
Cupids alert for man and maid unborn,
Apprentice Pucks amid your saplings hide,
And wistful gorges wait a Roland horn:
Wallet of Sigurd shall this swag replace,
And centaurs curvet where those brumbies race.
That drover's tale of love shall greaten duly
Through magic prisms of a myriad years,
Till bums Isolde to Tristram's fervour newly,
Or Launcelot to golden Guinevere's.
The miner cradling washdirt by the creek,
Or pulled through darkness dripping to the plat:
The navvy boring tunnels through the peak:
The farmer grubbing box-trees on the flat:
The hawker camping by the roadside spring:
The hodman on the giddy scaffolding:
Moths that around the fashion windows flutter:
The racecourse spider and the betting fly:
The children romping by the city gutter,
While baby crows to every passer-byFrom these rough blocks strewn o'er our ancient stream
Sculptors shall chisel brownie, fairy, faun,
Any myrmidons of some Homeric dream
From Melbourne mob and Sydney push be drawn.
The humdrum lives that now we tire of, then
Romance shall be, and 'we heroic men
Treading the vestibule of Golden Ages,
The Isthmus of the Land of Heart's Desire:
For lo! the Sybil's final volume's pages
Ope with our Advent, close when we expire.
Forgetful Change in one 'antiquity'
Boreal gleams shall drown, and southern glows;
Out of some singing woman's heart-break plea
Australia's dawn shall flush with Sappho's rose:
Strong Shirlow's hand shall trace Mantegna's line,
And Soma foam from Victor Daley's wine:
Scholars to be our prehistoric drama
From Esson's 'Woman Tamer' shall restore,
Or find in Gilbert's 'Lotus Stream and Lama'
An Austral Nile and Buddhas we adore.
The sunlit Satyrs follow Hugh McCrae,
Quinn spans the ocean with a Celtic ford,
And Williamson the Pan-pipe learns to play
From magpie-songs our schoolboy ears ignored:
A sweeter woe no keen of Erin gave
Than Kendall sings o'er Araluen's grave:
Tasmanian Wordsworth to his chapel riding
The Burning Bush and Ardath mead shall pass,
Or, from the sea-coast of Bohemia gliding
On craft of dream, behold a shepherd lass.
Jessie Mackay on Southern Highlands sees
The elves deploy in kem and gallowglass:
Our Gilbert Murray writes 'Euripides':
Pirani merges in Pythagoras:
Marsyas plunges into Lethe, flayed,
From Rhadamanthine Stephens' steady blade:
While Benvenuto Morton, drunk with singing,
Sees salamanders in a bush-fire's bed,
And Spencer sails from Alcheringa bringing
Intaglios, totems and Books of the Dead.
On Southern fiords shall Brady's Long Snakes hiss,
Heavy with brides he wins to Viking troth:
O'Reilly's Sydney shall be Sybaris,
While Melbourne's Muses sup their Spartan broth:
Murdoch, Zenobia's counsellor, in time,
Redacts from Burke his book on The Sublime:
By Way was Homer into Greek translated:
And Shakespeare's self is Sophocles so plain
They know the kerb whereon the Furies waited
Outside the Mermaid Inn in Brogan's Lane.
Vane shall divide with Vern Eureka's fame;
Tillett and Mann are Tyler then and Cade:
Dowie's entwines with Cagliostro's name,
And in Tarpeia's, lo, those fair forms fade
Who drug the poor, for social bread and wine,
And lift the furtive latch to Catiline:
There, where the Longmore-featured Gracchi hurry,
And Greek-browed Higinbotham walks, anon,
The 'wealthy lower orders' leap the Murray
Before the stockwhip cracks of Jardine Don.
Cleons in 'Windsor dress at Syracuse
Their thin plebeians' promised meal delay;
And Archibald begets Australia's Muse
Upon an undine red of Chowder Bay:
Paterson's swan draws Amphitrite's car,
And Sidon learns from Young what purples are:
Rose Scott refutes dogmatic Cyril gaily,
Hypatia turns the anti-suffrage flank,
And Herod's daughter sools her 'morning daily'
On John the Baptist by the Yarra Bank.
Yon regal bustard, fading hence ere long,
Shall seem the guide we followed to the Grail;
This lyre-bird on his dancing-mound of song
Our mystagogue of some Bacchantic vale,
Where feathered Pan guffaws 'Evoe!' above,
And Maenad curlews shriek their midnight love:
That trailing flight of distant swans is bearing
Sarpedon's soul to its eternal joy:
This ibis, from the very Nile, despairing,
Memnon our own would warn from fatal Troy.
Primeval gnomes distilled the golden bribes
That have impregnated your musing waste with men;
But shall the spell of your pathetic tribes
Curl round, in time, our fairer limbs again?
Through that long tunnel of your gloom, I see
Gardens of a metropolis to be!
Out of the depths the mountain ash is soaring
To embryon gods of what unsounded space?
Out of the heights what influence is pouring
Thin desolation on your haunted face?
Many there are who see no higher lot
For all your writhing centuries of toil
Than that the avaricious plough should blot
Their wilding burgeon, and the red brand spoil
Your cyclopean garniture, to sow
The cheap parterres of Europe on your woe.
They weave all sorceries but yours, and borrow
The tinkling spells of alien winds and seas
To drown the chord of purifying sorrow,
Bom ere the world, that pulses through your trees.
For, save when we, in not o'er-subtle mood,
Hear magpies warbling soft November in,
Or, hand in hand with Love, a dreaming wood
Or bouldered crest of crisper April win,
Your harps, unblurred by glozing strings, intone
The dirges that behind Creation moan'Where, riding reinless billows, new lives dash on
The souring beach of yesterday's decay,
Where Love's chord leaps from mandrake shrieks of passion,
And groping gods mould man from quivering clay.
(Is Nature deaf and blind and dumb? A cruse
Unfilled of wine? Clay for an unbreathed soul?
Alien to man, till his desires transfuse
Their flames through wind and water, leaf and bole,
And each crude fane elaborately fit
With oracles that echo all his wit?
The living wilds of Greece saw death returning
When Pan that men had made fell from his throne:
Till through her sap our very blood is churning
The Bush her lonely alien woe shall moan!
Or is she reticent but to be kind?
Whispers she not beneath her mask of clods'Who asks he shall receive, who seeks shall find,
Who knocks shall open every door of God's?'
Dumb Faith's, blind Hope's eternal consort she,
Gravid with all that is on earth to be;
Corn, wine and oil in hungry granite hiding,
All Beauty under sober wings of clay,
All life beneath her dead heart long abiding,
Yea, all the gods her sons and she obey!)
What sin's wan expiation strewed your Vast
With mounded pillage of what conquering fire?
Slumbering throes of what prodigious Past
Exhale these lingering ghosts of its desire?
Sunshine that bleached corruption out, that glare?
Desolate blue of Purgatory, there?
Flagellant winds through guilty Eden scouring?
Sahara drowning Prester John's domain?
Satumian dam her progeny devouring?
Hath dawn-time Hun these footprints left? Hath Cain?
Even the human wave, that shall at length
To man's endurance key your strident surge,
Sings in your poignant tones and sombre strength,
And makes, as yet, its own your primal dirge:
A gun-shot startles dawn back from the sky,
And mourning tea-trees echo Gordon's sigh:
Nardoo with Burke's faint sweat is dank for ever:
Spectral a tribe round poisoned rations shrieks:
Till doomday Leichhardt walks die Never Never:
Pensive, of Boake, the circling stock-whip speaks.
The wraiths unseen of roadside crimes unnamed
About that old-time shanty's ruins roam:
This squatter's fenceless acres hide ashamed
The hearth and battered zinc of Naboth's home:
Deserted 'yam-holes' pit your harmonies
With sloughing pock-marks of the gold-disease:
The sludgy creek 'mid hungry rushes rambles,
Where teal once dived and lowan raised her mound:
That tree, with crows, o'erlooks the township shambles:
These paddocks, ordure-smeared, the city bound.
0 yield not all to factory and farm!
For we, who drew a milk no stranger knows
From her scant paps, yearn for the acrid charm
That gossamers the Bush Where No Tree Grows.
And we have ritual moments when we crave
For worship in some messmate-pillared nave,
Where contrite 'bears' for woodland sins are kneeling,
And, 'mid the censers of the mountain musk,
Acolyte bell-birds the Angelus are pealing,
And boobooks moan lone vespers in the dusk,
And you have Children of the Dreaming Star,
Who care but little for the crowded ways
Where meagre spirits' vapid prizes are,
Or for the paddocked ease of dreamless days
And hedges clipped of every sunny growth
That plights the soul to God in daily troth:
Their wayward love prefers your desolation,
Or (where the human trail hath seared its charm)
The briar-rose on some abandoned 'station',
To all the tilled obedience of the farm.
Vineyards that purblind thrift shall never glean
The weedy waste and thistly gully hold:
No mint shall melt to currency unclean
Yon river-rounded hillock's Cape-broom gold:
The onion-grass upon that dark green slope
Returns our gaze from eyes of heliotrope:
But more we seek your underflowered expanses
Of scrub monotonous, or, where, O Bush,
The craters of your fiery noon's romances,
Like great firm bosoms, through the bare plains push.
As many. Mother, are your moods and forms
As all the sons who love you. Here, you mow
Careering grounds for every brood of storms
The wild sea-mares to desert stallions throw;
Anon, up through a sea of sand you glance
With green ephemeral exuberance,
And then quick seeds dive deep to years of slumber
From hot-hoofed drought's precipitate return:
There, league on league, the snow's cold fingers number
The shrinking nerves of supple-jack and fern.
To other eyes and ears you are a great
Pillared cathedral tremulously green,
An odorous and hospitable gate
To genial mystery, the happy screen
Of truants or of lovers rambling there
'Neath sun-shot boughs o'er miles of maidenhair.
Wee rubies dot the leaflets of the cherries,
The wooing wagtails hop from log to bough,
The bronzewing comes from Queensland for the berries,
The bell-bird by the creek is calling now.
And you can ride, an Eastern queen, they say,
By living creatures sumptuously borne,
With all barbaric equipages gay,
Beneath the torrid blue of Capricorn.
That native lotus is the very womb
That was the Hindoo goddess' earthly tomb.
The gang-gang screams o'er cactus wildernesses,
Palm trees are there, and swampy widths of rice,
Unguents and odours ooze from green recesses,
The jungles blaze with birds of Paradise.
But I, in city exile, hear you sing
Of saplinged hill and box-tree dotted plain,
Or silver-grass that prays the North Wind's wing
Convey its sigh to the loitering rain:
And Spring is half distraught with wintry gusts,
Summer the daily spoil of tropic lusts
The sun and she too fiercely shared together
Lingering thro' voluptuous Hindoo woods,
But o'er my windless, soft autumnal weather
The peace that passes understanding broods.
When, now, they say 'The Bush!', I see the top
Delicate amber leanings of the gum
Flutter, or flocks of screaming green leeks drop
Silent, where in the shining morning hum
The gleaning bees for honey-scented hours
'Mid labyrinthine leaves and white gum flowers.
Cantering midnight hoofs are nearing, nearing,
The straining bullocks flick the harpy flies,
The 'hatter' weeds his melancholy clearing,
The distant cow-bell tinkles o'er the rise.
You are the brooding comrade of our way,
Whispering rumour of a new Unknown,
Moulding us white ideals to obey,
Steeping whate'er we learn in lore your own,
And freshening with unpolluted light
The squalid city's day and pallid night,
Till we become ourselves distinct, Australian,
(Your native lightning charging blood and nerve),
Stripped to the soul of borrowed garments, alien
To that approaching Shape of God you serve.
Brooding, brooding, your whispers murmur plain
That searching for the clue to mystery
In grottos of decrepitude is vain,
That never shall the eye of prophet see
In crooked Trade's tumultuous streets the plan
Of templed cities adequate to man.
Brooding, brooding, you make us Brahmins waiting
(While uninspired pass on the hurtling years),
Faithful to dreams your spirit is creating,
Till Great Australia, born of you, appears.
For Great Australia is not yet: She waits
(Where o'er the Bush prophetic auras play)
The passing of these temporary States,
Flaunting their tawdry flags of far decay.
Her aureole above the alien mists
Beacons our filial eyes to mountain trysts:
'Mid homely trees with all ideals fruited,
She shelters us till Trade's Simoom goes by,
And slakes our thirst from cisterns unpolluted .
For ages cold in brooding deeps of sky.
We love our brothers, and to heal their woe
Pluck simples from the known old gardens still:
We love our kindred over seas, and grow
Their symbols tenderly o'er plain and hill;
We feel their blood rebounding in our hearts,
And speak as they would speak our daily parts:
But under all we know, we know that only
A virgin womb unsoiled by ancient fear
Can Saviours bear. So, we, your Brahmins, lonely,
Deaf to the barren tumult, wait your Year.
The Great Year's quivering dawn pencils the Night
To be the morning of our children's prime,
And weave from rays of yet ungathered Light
A richer noon than e'er apparelled Time.
If it must be, as Tuscan wisdom knew,
Babylon's seer, and wistful Egypt too,
That mellow afternoon shall pensive guide us
Down somnolent Decay's ravine to rest,
Then you, reborn, 0 Mother Bush, shall hide us
All the long night at your dream-laden breast.
Australian eyes that heed your lessons know
Another world than older pilgrims may:
Prometheus chained in Kosciusko's snow
Sees later gods than Zeus in turn decay:
Boundless plateaux expand the spirit's sight,
Resilient gales uphold her steeper flight:
And your close beating heart, 0 savage Mother,
Throbs secret words of joy and starker pain
Than reach the ears all old deceptions smother
In Lebanon, or e'en in Westermain.
We marvel not, who hear your undersong,
And catch a glimpse in rare exalted hours
Of something like a Being gleam along
Festooned arcades of flossie creeper flowers,
Or, toward the mirk, seem privileged to share
The silent rapture of the trees at prayerWe marvel not that seers in other ages,
With eyes unstrained by peering logic, saw
The desolation glow with Koran pages,
Or Sinai stones with Tables of the Law.
Homers are waiting in the gum trees now,
Far driven from the tarnished Cyclades:
More Druids to your green enchantment bow
Than 'neath unfaithful Mona's vanished trees:
A wind hath spirited from ageing France
To our fresh hills the carpet of Romance:
Heroes and maids of old with young blood tingling
In ampler gardens grow their roses new:
And races long apart their manas mingling
Prepare the cradle of an Advent due.
And those who dig the mounded eld for runes
To read Religion's tangled cipher, here,
Where all Illusion haunts the fainting noons
Of days hysteric with the tireless leer
Of ravenous enamoured suns, shall find
How May a flings her mantle o'er the mind,
Till sober sand to shining water changes,
Dodona whispers from the she-oak groves,
Afreets upon the tempest cross the ranges,
And Fafnir through the bunyip marshes roves.
Once, when Uranian Love appeared to glow
Through that abysmal Night that bounds our reignLove that a man may scarcely feel and know i
Quite the same world as other men againWith earthward-streaming frontier wraiths distraught,
Your oracles, 0 Mother Bush, I sought:
But found, dismayed, that eerie light revealing
Those wraiths already in your depths on sleuth,
Termagant Scorns along your hillsides stealing,
Remorse unbaring slow her barbed tooth.
My own thoughts first from far dispersion flew
Back to their sad creator, with the crops
Of woes in flower and all the harvests due
Till tiring Time the fearful seeding stops:
In pigmy forms of friends and foes, anon
In my own image, they came, stung, were gone:
And then I heard the voice of Him Who Questions,
Knowing the faltered answer ere it came,
Chilling the soul by hovering suggestions
Of wan damnation at a wince of blame.
And all your leaves in symbols were arranged,
Despairs long dead would leap from bough to bough,
A gum-tree buttress to a goblin changed
Grinning the warmth of some old broken vow:
Furtive desires for scarce-remembered maids
Glanced in a fearful bo-peep from your shades:
Till you became a purgatory cleansing
With rosy flakes in form of manikins,
To fiercer shame within my soul condensing,
The dim pollution of forgotten sins.
And She, the human symbol of that Love,
Would, as my cleansed eyes forgot their fear,
Comrade beside me. Comforter above,
With sunny smile ubiquitous appear:
Run on before me to the nooks we knew,
Walk hand in hand as glad young lovers do,
Gravely reprove me toying with temptation,
Show me the eyes and ears in roots and clods,
Bend with me o'er some blossom's revelation,
Or read from clouds the judgments of the gods.
My old ideals She would tune until
The grating note of self no longer rang:
She drove the birds of gloom and evil will
Out of the cote wherein my poems sang.
Time at Her wand annulled his calendar,
And Space his fallacy of Near and Far,
For through my Bush along with me She glided,
And crowded days of Beauty made more fair,
Though lagging weeks and ocean widths divided
Her mortal casing from Her Presence there.
Her wetted finger oped my shuttered eyes
To boyhood's scership of the Real again:
Upon the Bush descended from the skies
The rapt-up Eden of primordial men:
August Dominions through the vistas strode:
On white-maned clouds the smiling cherubs rode:
Maltreated Faith restored my jangled hearing
Till little seraphs sang from chip and clod:
And prayers were radiant children that, unfearing,
Floated as kisses to the lips of God.
It matters not that for some purpose wise
Myopic Reason censored long ago
The revelations of that Paradise,
When, back of all I feel or will or know,
Its silent angels beacon through the Dark
And point to harbours new my drifted ark.
Nor need we dread the fogs that round us thicken
Questing the Bush for Grails decreed for man,
When Powers our fathers saw unseen still quicken
Eyes that were ours before the world began.
'Twas then I saw the Vision of the Ways,
And 'mid their gloom and glory seemed to live,
Threaded the coverts of the Dark Road's maze,
Toiled up, with tears, the Track Retributive,
And, on the Path of Grace, beheld aglow
The love-lit Nave of all that wheeled below.
And She who flowered, my Mystic Rose, in Heaven,
And lit the Purging Mount, my Guiding Star,
Trudged o'er the marl, my mate, through Hell's wan levin,
Nor shrank, like lonely Dante's love, afar.
High towered a cloud over one leafy wild,
And to a bridged volcano grew. Above,
A great Greek group of father, mother, child,
Illumed a narrow round with radiant love.
Below, a smoke-pool thick with faces swirled,
The mutinous omen. of an Under-world,
Defeated, plundered, blackened, but preparing,
E'en though that calm, white dominance fell down,
To overflow the rim, and, sunward faring,
Shape myriad perfect groups from slave and clown.
Or thus I read the symbol, though 'twas sent
To hound compunction on my wincing pride,
That dreamed of raceless brotherhood, content
Though all old Charm dissolved and Glory died.
For often signs will yield their deeper signs,
Virginal Bush, in your untrodden shrines,
Than where the craven ages' human clamour
Distorts the boldest oracle with fear,
Or where dissolving wizards dew with glamour
Arden, Broceliande, or Windermere.
Once while my mother by a spreading tree
Our church's sober rubric bade me con,
My vagrant eyes among the boughs would see
Forbidden wings and •wizard aprons on
Father's 'wee people' from their Irish glades
Brighten and darken with your lights and shades.
And I would only read again those stern leaves
For whispered bribe that, when their tale I told,
We would go and look for fairies in the fern-leaves
And red-capped leprechauns with crocks of gold.
Anon, my boyhood saw how Sunbursts flamed
Or filmy hinds lured on a pale Oisin,
Where lithe indignant saplings crowding claimed
The digger's ravage for their plundered queen:
And heard within yon lichened 'mullock-heap'
Lord Edward's waiting horsemen moan in sleep:
Or flew the fragrant path of swans consoling
Lir's exiled daughter wandering with me,
And traced below the Wattle River rolling
Exuberant and golden toward the sea.
Here, would the •wavering wings of heat uplift
Some promontory till the tree-crowned pile
Above a phantom sea would swooning drift,
St. Brendan's vision of the Winged Isle:
Anon, the isle divides again, again,
Till archipelagos poise o'er the main.
There, lazy fingers of a breeze have scattered
The distant blur of factory chimney smoke
hi poignant groups of all the young lives shattered
To feed the ravin of a piston-stroke!
Or when I read the tale of what you were
Beyond these hungry eyes' home-keeping view,
I peopled petrel rocks with Sirens fair,
In Maid Mirage the Fairy Morgan knew,
Steered Quetzalcoatl's skiff to coral coasts,
On Chambers' Pillar throned the Olympian hosts,
Heard in white sulphur-crested parrots' screeches
Remorseful Peris vent their hopeless rage,
Atlantis' borders traced on sunken beaches,
m Alcheringa found the Golden Age.
Sibyl and Siren, with alternate breaths
You read our foetal nation's boon and bane,
And lure to trysts of orgiastic Deaths
Adventurous love that listens to your strain:
Pelsarts and Vanderdeckens of the world
Circle your charms or at your feet are hurled:
And, Southern witch, whose glamour drew De Quiros
O'er half the earth for one unyielded kiss,
Were yours the arms that healed the scalded Eros
When Psyche's curious lamp darkened their bliss?
Ye, who would challenge when we claim to see
The bush alive with Northern wealth of wings,
Forget that at a common mother's knee
We learned, with you, the lore of Silent Things.
There is no New that is not older far
Than swirling cradle of the first-born star:
Our youngest hearts prolong the far pulsation
And churn the brine of the primordial sea:
The foetus writes the précis of Creation:
Australia is the whole world's legatee.
Imagination built her throne in us
Before your present bodies saw the sky:
Your myths were counters of our abacus,
And in your brain developed long our eye:
We from the misty folk have also sprung
Who saw the gnomes and heard the Ever Young:
Do Southern skies the fancy disinherit
Of moly flower and Deva-laden breeze?
Do nerves attuned by old defect and merit
Their timbre lose by crossing tropic seas?
All mysteries ye claim as yours alone
Have wafted secrets over oceans here:
Our living soil Antiquity hath sown
With just the corn and tares ye love and fear:
Romance and song enthral us just as you,
Nor change of zenith changes spirit too:
Our necks as yours are sore with feudal halters:
To the Pole ye know our compasses are set;
And shivering years that huddled round your altars
Beneath our stars auspicious tremble yet.
Who fenced the nymphs in European vales?
Or Pan tabooed from all but Oxford dreams?
Warned Shakespeare off from foreign Plutarch's tales?
Or tethered Virgil to Italian themes?
And when the body sailed from your control
Think ye we left behind in bond the soul?
Whate'er was yours is ours in equal measure,
The Temple was not built for you alone,
Altho' 'tis ours to grace the common treasure
With Lares and Penates of our own!
Ye stole yourselves from gardens fragrant long
The sprouting seed-pods of your choicest blooms,
And wove the splendid garments of your song
From Viking foam on grave Hebraic looms:
'Twas Roman nerve and rich Hellenic lymph
Changed your pale pixie to a nubile nymph:
Yea, breathed at dawn around Atlantis' islands,
Wind-home o'er some Hesperidean road,
The morning clouds on dim Accadian highlands
Spring-fed the Nile that over Hellas flowed!
As large-eyed Greek amid Sicilian dews
Saw Dis, as ne'er before, pursue the Maid,
Or, safe 'neath screening billows, Arethuse
Alpheus' rugged sleuth unsoiled evade:
We shall complete the tale ye left half-told,
Under the ocean lead your fountains old,
To slake our sceptic thirst with haunted water,
And tame our torrents with a wedding kiss,
Shall loose, mayhap, the spell on Ceres' daughter,
And show, unclouded, God in very Dis.
(Yet, there are moods and mornings when I hear,
Above the music of the Bush's breath,
The rush of alien breezes far and near
Drowning her oracles to very death:
Exotic battle-cries the silence mar,
Seductive perfumes drive the gum-scent far;
And organ-tones august a moment show me
Miltonic billows and Homeric gales
Until I feel the older worlds below me,
And all her wonder trembles, thins and fails.)
Yea, you are all that we may be, and yet
In us is all you are to be for aye!
The Giver of the gifts that we shall get?
An empty womb that waits the wedding day?
Thus drifting sense by age-long habit buoyed
Plays round the thought that knows all nature void!
And so, my song alternate would believe her
Idiot Bush and Daughter of the Sun,
A worthless gift apart from the receiver,
An empty womb, but in a Deathless One.
To shapes we would of Freedom, Truth and Joy
Shall we your willing plasm mould for man:
Afresh rebuild the world, and thus destroy
What only Ragnarok in Europe can:
There is no Light but in your dark blendes sleeps,
Drops from your stars or through your ether leaps:
Yea, you are Nature, Chaos since Creation,
Waiting what human Word to chord in song?
Matrix inert of what auspicious nation?
For what far bees your nectar hiving long?
Exhausted manas of the conquering North
Shall rise refreshed to vivid life again
At your approach, and in your lap pour forth
Grateful the gleanings of his mighty reign:
As, when a tropic heat-king southward crawls,
Blistering the ranges, till he hears the calls
Of some cold high-browed bride, her streaming tresses,
Sprinkled with rose-buds, make his wild eyes thrill
To such desire for her superb caresses
He yields his fiery treasures to her will.
'Where is Australia, singer, do you know?
These sordid farms and joyless factories,
Mephitic mines and lanes of pallid woe?
Those ugly towns and cities such as these
With incense sick to all unworthy power,
And all old sin in full malignant flower?
No! to her bourn her children still are faring:
She is a Temple that we are to build:
For her the ages have been long preparing:
She is a prophecy to be fulfilled!
All that we love in olden lands and lore
Was signal of her coming long ago!
Bacon foresaw her, Campanella, More
And Plato's eyes were with her star aglow!
Who toiled for Truth, whate'er their countries were,
Who fought for Liberty, they yearned for her!
No corsair's gathering ground, or tryst for schemers,
No chapman Carthage to a huckster Tyre,
She is the Eldorado of old dreamers,
The Sleeping Beauty of the world's desire!
She is the scroll on which we are to write
Mythologies our own and epics new:
She is the port of our propitious flight
From Ur idolatrous and Pharaoh's crew.
She is our own, unstained, if worthy we,
By dream, or god, or star we would not see:
Her crystal beams all but the eagle dazzle;
Her wind-wide ways none but the strong-winged sail:
She is Eutopia, she is Hy-Brasil,
The watchers on the tower of morning hail I
Yet she shall be as we, the Potter, mould:
Altar or tomb, as we aspire, despair:
What wine we bring shall she, the chalice, hold:
What word we write shall she, the script, declare:
Bandage our eyes, she shall be Memphis, Spain:
Barter our souls, she shall be Tyre again:
And if we pour on her the red oblation
All o'er the world shall Asshur's buzzards throng:
Love-lit, her Chaos shall become Creation:
And dewed with dream, her silence flower in song.
~ Bernard O'Dowd,
637: Ahana

(Ahana, the Dawn of God, descends on the world where amid the strife and trouble of mortality the Hunters of Joy, the
Seekers after Knowledge, the Climbers in the quest of Power are toiling up the slopes or waiting in the valleys. As she stands on the mountains of the East, voices of the Hunters of Joy are the first to greet her.)
Vision delightful alone on the hills whom the silences cover,
Closer yet lean to mortality; human, stoop to thy lover.

Wonderful, gold like a moon in the square of the sun where thou strayest
Glimmers thy face amid crystal purities; mighty thou playest
Sole on the peaks of the world, unafraid of thy loneliness. Glances
Leap from thee down to us, dream-seas and light-falls and magical trances;
Sun-drops flake from thy eyes and the heart's caverns packed are with pleasure
Strange like a song without words or the dance of a measureless measure.

Tread through the edges of dawn, over twilight's grey-lidded margin;
Heal earth's unease with thy feet, O heaven-born delicate virgin.

Children of Time whose spirits came down from eternity, seizing
Joys that escape us, yoked by our hearts to a labour unceasing,
Earth-bound, torn with our longings, our life is a brief incompleteness.

Thou hast the stars to sport with, the winds run like bees to thy sweetness.

Art thou not heaven-bound even as I with the earth? Hast thou ended
All desirable things in a stillness lone and unfriended?
Only is calm so sweet? is our close tranquillity only?
Cold are the rivers of peace and their banks are leafless and lonely.

Heavy is godhead to bear with its mighty sun-burden of lustre.

Art thou not weary of only the stars in their solemn muster,
Sky-hung the chill bare plateaus and peaks where the eagle rejoices
In the inhuman height of his nesting, solitude's voices
Making the heart of the silence lonelier? strong and untiring,
Deaf with the cry of the waterfall, lonely the pine lives aspiring.

Two are the ends of existence, two are the dreams of the Mother:


Pondicherry, c. 1910 - 1920

Heaven unchanging, earth with her time-beats yearn to each other, -
Earth-souls needing the touch of the heavens peace to recapture,
Heaven needing earth's passion to quiver its peace into rapture.

Marry, O lightning eternal, the passion of a moment-born fire!
Out of thy greatness draw close to the breast of our mortal desire!
Is he thy master, Rudra the mighty, Shiva ascetic?
Has he denied thee his world? In his dance that they tell of, ecstatic,
Slaying, creating, calm in the midst of the movement and madness,
Stole there no rhythm of an earthly joy and a mortal sadness?
Wast thou not made in the shape of a woman? Sweetness and beauty
Move like a song of the gods in thy limbs and to love is thy duty
Graved in thy heart as on tablets of fate; joy's delicate blossom
Sleeps in thy lids of delight; all Nature hides in thy bosom
Claiming her children unborn and the food of her love and her laughter.

Is he the first? was there none then before him? shall none come after?
He who denies and his blows beat down on our hearts like a hammer's,
He whose calm is the silent reply to our passion and clamours!
Is not there deity greater here new-born in a noble
Labour and sorrow and struggle than stilled into rapture immobile?
Earth has beatitudes warmer than heaven's that are bare and undying,
Marvels of Time on the crest of the moments to Infinity flying.

Earth has her godheads; the Tritons sway on the toss of the billows,
Emerald locks of the Nereids stream on their foam-crested pillows,
Dryads peer out from the branches, Naiads glance up from the waters;
High are her flame-points of joy and the gods are ensnared by her daughters.

Artemis calls as she flees through the glades and the breezes pursue her;
Cypris laughs in her isles where the ocean-winds linger to woo her.

Here thou shalt meet amid beauty forgotten the dance of the Graces;
Night shall be haunted for ever with strange and delicate faces.

Music is here of the fife and the flute and the lyre and the timbal,
Wind in the forests, bees in the grove, - spring's ardent cymbal
Thrilling, the cry of the cuckoo; the nightingale sings in the branches,
Human laughter is heard and the cattle low in the ranches.

Frankly and sweetly she gives to her children the bliss of her body,
Breath of her lips and the green of her garments, rain-pourings heady
Tossed from her cloud-carried beaker of tempest, oceans and streamlets,
Dawn and the mountain-air, corn-fields and vineyards, pastures and hamlets,



Tangles of sunbeams asleep, mooned dream-depths, twilight's shadows,
Taste and scent and the fruits of her trees and the flowers of her meadows,
Life with her wine-cup of longing under the purple of her tenture,
Death as her gate of escape and rebirth and renewal of venture.

Still must they mutter that all here is vision and passing appearance,
Magic of Maya with falsehood and pain for its only inherence.

One is there only, apart in his greatness, the End and Beginning, -
He who has sent through his soul's wide spaces the universe spinning.

One eternal, Time an illusion, life a brief error!
One eternal, Master of heaven - and of hell and its terror!
Spirit of silence and purity rapt and aloof from creation, -
Dreaming through aeons unreal his splendid and empty formation!
Spirit all-wise in omnipotence shaping a world but to break it, -
Pushed by what mood of a moment, the breath of what fancy to make it?
None is there great but the eternal and lonely, the unique and unmated,
Bliss lives alone with the self-pure, the single, the forever-uncreated.

Truths? or thought's structures bridging the vacancy mute and unsounded
Facing the soul when it turns from the stress of the figures around it?
Solely we see here a world self-made by some indwelling Glory
Building with forms and events its strange and magnificent story.

Yet at the last has not all been solved and unwisdom demolished,
Myth cast out and all dreams of the soul, and all worship abolished?
All now is changed, the reverse of the coin has been shown to us; Reason
Waking, detecting the hoax of the spirit, at last has arisen,
Captured the Truth and built round her its bars that she may not skedaddle,
Gallop again with the bit in her teeth and with Fancy in the saddle.

Now have the wise men discovered that all is the craft of a superMagic of Chance and a movement of Void and inconscient Stupor.

Chance by a wonderful accident ever her ripples expanding
Out of a gaseous circle of Nothingness, implacably extending
Freak upon freak, repeating rigidly marvels on marvels,
Making a world out of Nothing, started on the arc of her travels.

Nothingness born into feeling and action dies back to Nothing.

Sea of a vague electricity, romping through space-curves and clothing
Strangely the Void with a semblance of Matter, painfully flowered
Into this giant phenomenon universe. Man who has towered
Out of the plasm and struggled by thought to Divinity's level,


Pondicherry, c. 1910 - 1920

Man, this miniature second creator of good and of evil,
He too was only a compost of Matter made living, organic,
Forged as her thinking tool by an Energy blind and mechanic.

Once by an accident queer but quite natural, provable, simple,
Out of blind Space-Nought lashed into life, wearing Mind as its wimple,
Dupe of a figment of consciousness, doped with behaviour and feature,
Matter deluded claimed to be spirit and sentient creature.

All the high dreams man has dreamed and his hopes and his deeds, his soul's greatness
Are but a food-seeking animal's acts with the mind for their witness, -
Mind a machine for the flickers of thought, Matter's logic unpremissed, -
Are but a singular fireworks, chemistry lacking the chemist,
Matter's nervous display; the heart's passion, the sorrow and burning
Fire of delight and sweet ecstasy, love and its fathomless yearning,
Boundless spiritual impulses making us one with world-being,
Outbursts of vision opening doors to a limitless seeing,
Gases and glands and the genes and the nerves and the brain-cells have done it,
Brooded out drama and epic, structured the climb of the sonnet,
Studied the stars and discovered the brain and the laws of its thinking,
Sculptured the cave-temple, reared the cathedral, infinity drinking
Wrought manufacturing God and the soul for the uplift of Nature, -
Science, philosophy, head of his mystical chemical stature,
Music and painting revealing the godhead in sound and in colour,
Acts of the hero, thoughts of the thinker, search of the scholar,
All the magnificent planning, all the inquiry and wonder
Only a trick of the atom, its marvellous magical blunder.

Who can believe it? Something or someone, a Force or a Spirit
Conscious, creative, wonderful shaped out a world to inherit
Here for the beings born from its vast universal existence, -
Fields of surprise and adventure, vistas of light-haunted distance,
Play-routes of wisdom and vision and struggle and rapture and sorrow,
Sailing in Time through the straits of today to the sea of tomorrow.

Worlds and their wonders, suns and their flamings, earth and her nations,
Voyages endless of Mind through the surge of its fate-tossed creations,
Star upon star throbbing out in the silence of infinite spaces,
Species on species, bodies on bodies, faces on faces,



Souls without number crossing through Time towards eternity, aeons
Crowding on aeons, loving and battle, dirges and paeans,
Thoughts ever leaping, hopes ever yearning, lives ever streaming,
Millions and millions on trek through the days with their doings and dreaming,
Herds of the Sun who move on at the cry of the radiant drover, -
Countless, surviving the death of the centuries, lost to recover,
Finished, but only to begin again, who is its tireless creator,
Cause or the force of its driving, its thinker or formless dictator?
Surely no senseless Vacancy made it, surely 'twas fashioned
By an almighty One million-ecstasied, thousand-passioned.

Self-made? then by what self from which thought could arise and emotion,
Waves that well up to the surface, born from what mysteried ocean?
Nature alone is the fountain. But what is she? Is she not only
Figure and name for what none understands, though all feel, or a lonely
Word in which all finds expression, spirit-heights, dumb work of Matter, -
Vague designation filling the gaps of our thought with its clatter?
Power without vision that blunders in man into thinking and sinning?
Rigid, too vast inexhaustible mystery void of a meaning?
Energy blindly devising, unconsciously ranging in order?
Chance in the march of a cosmic Insanity crossing the border
Out of the eternal silence to thought and its strangeness and splendour?
Consciousness born by an accident until an accident end her?
Nought else is she but the power of the Spirit who dwells in her ever,
Witness and cause of her workings, lord of her pauseless endeavour.

All things she knows, though she seems here unseeing; even in her slumber
Wondrous her works are, design and its magic and magic of number,
Plan of her mighty cosmic geometry, balance of forces,
Universe flung beyond universe, law of the stars and their courses,
Cosmos atomic stretched to the scale of the Infinite's measure.

Mute in the trance of the Eternal she sleeps with the stone and the azure.

Now she awakes; for life has just stirred in her, stretching first blindly
Outward for sense and its pleasure and pain and the gifts of the kindly
Mother of all, for her light and her air and the sap from her flowing,
Pleasure of bloom and inconscient beauty, pleasure of growing.

Then into mind she arises; heart's yearning awakes and reflection
Looks out on struggle and harmony, - conscious, her will of selection


Pondicherry, c. 1910 - 1920

Studies her works and illumines the choice of her way; last, slowly
Inward she turns and stares at the Spirit within her. Holy
Silences brood in her heart and she feels in her ardent recesses
Passions too great for her frame, on her body immortal caresses.

Into the calm of the Greatness beyond her she enters, burning
Now with a light beyond thought's, towards Self and Infinity turning,
Turned to beatitude, turned to eternity, spiritual grandeur,
Power without limit, ecstasy imperishable, shadowless splendour.

Then to her mortals come, flashing, thoughts that are wisdom's fire-kernel;
Leaping her flame-sweeps of might and delight and of vision supernal
Kindle the word and the act, the Divine and humanity fusing,
Illuminations, trance-seeds of silence, flowers of musing, -
Light of our being that yet has to be, its glory and glimmer
Smiting with sunrise the soul of the sage and the heart of the dreamer.

Or is it all but a vain expectation and effort ungrounded,
Wings without body, sight without object, waters unsounded,
Hue of a shimmer that steals through some secret celestial portal,
Glory of a gleam or a dream in an animal brief-lived and mortal?
Are they not radiances native to heaven's more fortunate ether,
Won when we part from this body, this temporal house of a nether
Mystery of life lived in vain? Upon earth is the glory forbidden,
Nature for ever accursed, frustrated, grief-vexed, fate-ridden?
Half of the glory she dreamed of forgotten or lost in earth's darkness,
Half of it mangled and missed as the death-wheels whirl in their starkness,
Cast out from heaven a goddess rebellious with mind for her mirror,
Cursed with desire and self-will and doomed to self-torture and error,
Came she to birth then with God for her enemy? Were we created
He unwilling or sleeping? did someone transgress the fated
Limits he set, outwitting God? In the too hasty vision
Marred of some demiurge filmed there the blur of a fatal misprision,
Making a world that revolves on itself in a circuit of failure,
Aeons of striving, death for a recompense, Time for our tenure?
Out of him rather she came and for him are her cry and her labour;
Deep are her roots in him; topless she climbs, to his greatness a neighbour.

All is himself in her, brooding in darkness, mounting the sun-ways;
Air-flight to him is man's journey with heaven and earth for the runways.

He is the witness and doer, he is the loved and the lover,



He the eternal Truth that we look in ourselves to discover.

All is his travel in Time; it is he who turns history's pages,
Act and event and result are the trail that he leaves through the ages;
Form and idea are his signs and number and sound are his symbols,
Music and singing, the word and its rhythm are Divinity's cymbals,
Thunder and surge are the drums of his marching. Through us, with urges
Self-ward, form-bound, mute, motionless, slowly inevitably emerges
Vast as the cosmos, minute as the atom, the Spirit eternal.

Often the gusts of his force illumining moments diurnal
Flame into speech and idea; transcendences splendid and subtle
Suddenly shoot through the weft of our lives from a magical shuttle;
Hid in our hearts is his glory; the Spirit works in our members.

Silence is he, with our voices he speaks, in our thoughts he remembers.

Deep in our being inhabits the voiceless invisible Teacher;
Powers of his godhead we live; the Creator dwells in the creature.

Out of his Void we arise to a mighty and shining existence,
Out of Inconscience, tearing the black Mask's giant resistance;
Waves of his consciousness well from him into these bodies in Nature,
Forms are put round him; his oneness, divided by mind's nomenclature,
High on the summits of being ponders immobile and single,
Penetrates atom and cell as the tide drenches sand-grain and shingle.

Oneness unknown to us dwells in these millions of figures and faces,
Wars with itself in our battles, loves in our clinging embraces,
Inly the self and the substance of things and their cause and their mover
Veiled in the depths which the foam of our thoughts and our life's billows cover,
Heaves like the sea in its waves; like heaven with its star-fires it gazes
Watching the world and its works. Interned in the finite's mazes,
Still shall he rise to his vast superconscience, we with him climbing;
Truth of man's thought with the truth of God's spirit faultlessly timing,
That which was mortal shall enter immortality's golden precincts,
Hushed breath of ecstasy, honey of lotus depths where the bee sinks,
Timeless expanses too still for the voice of the hours to inveigle,
Spaces of spirit too vast for the flight of the God-bearing eagle, -
Enter the Splendour that broods now unseen on us, deity invading,
Sight without error, light without shadow, beauty unfading,
Infinite largeness, rapture eternal, love none can sever,


Pondicherry, c. 1910 - 1920

Life, not this death-play, but a power God-driven and blissful for ever.

"No," cry the wise, "for a circle was traced, there was pyloned a limit
Only we escape through dream's thin passages. None can disclaim it;
All things created are made by their borders, sketched out and coded;
Vain is the passion to divinise manhood, humanise godhead.

None can exceed himself; even to find oneself hard for our search is:
Only we see as in night by a lustre of flickering torches.

To be content with our measure, our space is the law of our living.

All of thyself to thy manhood and Nature and Circumstance giving,
Be what thou must be or be what thou canst be, one hour in an era.

Knowing the truth of thy days, shun the light of ideal and chimera:
Curb heart's impatience, bind thy desires down, pause from self-vexing."
Who is the nomad then? who is the seeker, the gambler risking
All for a dream in a dream, the old and the sure and the stable
Flung as a stake for a prize that was never yet laid on the table?
Always the world is expanding and growing from minute to minute;
Playing the march of the adventure of Time with our lives for her spinet
Maya or Nature, the wonderful Mother, strikes out surprising
Strains of the spirit disprisoned; creation heavenward rising
Wrestles with Time and Space and the Unknown to give form to the Formless.

Bliss is her goal, but her road is through whirlwind and death-blast and storm-race.

All is a wager and danger, all is a chase and a battle.

Vainly man, crouched in his corner of safety, shrinks from the fatal
Lure of the Infinite. Guided by Powers that surround and precede us
Fearful and faltering steps are our perishing efforts that lead us
On through the rooms of the finite till open the limitless spaces
And we can look into all-seeing eyes and imperishable faces.

But we must pass through the aeons; Space is a bar twixt our ankles,
Time is a weight that we drag and the scar of the centuries rankles:
Caught by the moments, held back from the spirit's timelessness, slowly
Wading in shallows we take not the sea-plunge vastly and wholly.

Hard is the way to the Eternal for the mind-born will of the mortal
Bound by the body and life to the gait of the house-burdened turtle.

Here in this world that knows not its morrow, this reason that stumbles
Onward from error to truth and from truth back to error while crumbles
All that it fashioned, after the passion and travail are ended,



After the sacrifice offered when the will and the strength are expended,
Nothing is done but to have laid down one stone of a road without issue,
Added our quota of evil and good to an ambiguous tissue.

Destiny's lasso, its slip-knot tied by delight and repining,
Draws us through tangles of failure and victory's inextricable twining.

In the hard reckoning made by the grey-robed accountant at even
Pain is the ransom we pay for the smallest foretaste of heaven.

Ignorance darkens, death and inconscience gape to absorb us;
Thick and persistent the Night confronts us, its hunger enormous
Swallowing our work and our lives. Our love and our knowledge squandered
Lie like a treasure refused and trod down on the ways where we wandered;
All we have done is effaced by the thousands behind us arriving.

Trapped in a round fixed for ever circles our thought and our living.

Fiercely the gods in their jealousy strike down the heads that have neighboured
Even for a moment their skies; in the sands our achievements are gravured.

Yet survives bliss in the rhythm of our heart-beats, yet is there wonder,
Beauty's immortal delight, and the seals of the mystery sunder.

Honied a thousand whispers come, in the birds, in the breezes,
Moonlight, the voices of streams; with a hundred marvellous faces
Always he lures us to love him, always he draws us to pleasure
Leaving remembrance and anguish behind for our only treasure.

Passionate we seek for him everywhere, yearn for some sign of him, calling,
Scanning the dust for his footprints, praying and stumbling and falling;
Nothing is found and no answer comes from the masks that are passing.

Memories linger, lines from the past like a half-faded tracing.

He has passed on into silence wearing his luminous mantle.

Out of the melodied distance a laugh rings pure-toned, infantile,
Sole reminder that he is, last signal recalling his presence.

There is a joy behind suffering; pain digs our road to his pleasance.

All things have bliss for their secret; only our consciousness falters
Fearing to offer itself as a victim on ecstasy's altars.

Is not the world his disguise? when that cloak is tossed back from his shoulders,
Beauty looks out like a sun on the hearts of the ravished beholders.

Mortals, your end is beatitude, rapture eternal his meaning:
Joy, which he most now denies, is his purpose: the hedges, the screening


Pondicherry, c. 1910 - 1920

Were but the rules of his play; his denials came to lure farther.

These too were magic of Maya, smiles of the marvellous Mother.

Oh, but the cruelty! oh, but the empty pain we go rueing!
Edges of opposite sweetness, calls to a closer pursuing.

All that we meet is a symbol and gateway; cryptic intention
Lurks in a common appearance, smiles from a casual mention:
Opposites hide in each other; in the laughter of Nature is danger,
Glory and greatness their embryos form in the womb of her anger.

Why are we terrified? wherefore cry out and draw back from the smiting -
Blows from the hands of a lover to direr exactions exciting,
Fiery points of his play! Was he Rudra only the mighty?
Whose were the whispers of sweetness, whose were the murmurs of pity?
Something opposes our grasp on the light and the sweetness and power,
Something within us, something without us, trap-door or tower,
Nature's gap in our being - or hinge! That device could we vanquish,
Once could we clasp him and hold, his joy we could never relinquish.

Then we could not be denied, for our might would be single and flawless.

Sons of the Eternal, sovereigns of Nature absolute and lawless,
Termlessly our souls would possess as he now enjoys and possesses,
Termlessly probe the delight of his laughter's lurking recesses,
Chasing its trail to the apex of sweetness and secrecy. Treasured
Close to the beats of Eternity's heart in a greatness unmeasured,
Locked into a miracle and mystery of Light we would live in him, - seated
Deep in his core of beatitude ceaselessly by Nature repeated,
Careless of Time, with no fear of an end, with no need for endeavour
Caught by his ecstasy dwell in a rapture enduring for ever.

What was the garden he built when the stars were first set in their places,
Soul and Nature together mid streams and in cloudless spaces
Naked and innocent? Someone offered a fruit of derision,
Knowledge of good and of evil, cleaving in God a division.

Though He who made all said, "It is good; I have fashioned perfection,"
"No, there is evil," someone whispered, "'tis screened from detection."
Wisest he of the beasts of the field, one cunning and creeping;
"See it," he said, "be wise; you shall be as the gods are, unsleeping,
They who know all." And they ate. The roots of our being were shaken;
Hatred and weeping and wrath at once trampled a world overtaken,
Terror and fleeing and anguish and shame and desires unsated;



Cruelty stalked like a lion; Revenge and her brood were created.

Out to the desert he drove the rebellious. Flaming behind them
Streamed out the sword of his wrath and it followed leaping to find them,
Stabbing at random. The pure and the evil, the strong and the tempted,
All are confounded in punishment; justly is no one exempted.

Virtuous? yes, there are many, but who is there innocent? Toiling
Therefore we seek, but find not that Eden. Planting and spoiling,
"This is the garden," we say, "lo, the trees and this is the river."
Vainly redeemers came, not one has availed to deliver.

Never can Nature go back to her careless and childlike beginning,
Laugh of the babe and the song of the wheel in its delicate spinning,
Smile of the sun upon flowers and earth's beauty, life without labour
Plucking the fruits of the soil and rejoicing in cottage and arbour.

Once we have chosen to be as the gods, we must follow that motion.

Knowledge must grow in us, might like a Titan's, bliss like an ocean,
Calmness and purity born of the spirit's gaze on the Real,
Rapture of his oneness embracing the soul in a clasp hymeneal.

Was it not he once in Brindavan? Woods divine to our yearning,
Memorable always! O flowers, O delight on the tree-tops burning,
Grasses his herds have grazed and crushed by his feet in the dancing,
Yamuna flowing with song, through the greenness always advancing,
You unforgotten remind; for his flute with its sweetness ensnaring
Sounds in our ears in the night and our souls of their teguments baring
Hales us out naked and absolute, out to his woodlands eternal,
Out to his moonlit dances, his dalliance sweet and supernal,
And we go stumbling, maddened and thrilled to his dreadful embraces,
Slaves of his rapture to Brindavan crowded with amorous faces,
Luminous kine in the green glades seated, soft-eyed gazing,
Flowers on the branches distressing us, moonbeams unearthly amazing,
Yamuna flowing before us, laughing low with her voices,
Brindavan arching o'er us where Shyama sports and rejoices.

Inly the miracle trembles repeated; mist-walls are broken
Hiding that country of God and we look on the wonderful token,
Clasp the beautiful body of the Eternal; his flute-call of yearning
Cries in our breast with its blissful anguish for ever returning;
Life flows past us with passionate voices, a heavenly river,
All our being goes back as a bride of his bliss to the Giver.

Pondicherry, c. 1910 - 1920

Even an hour of the soul can unveil the Unborn, the Everlasting,
Gaze on its mighty Companion; the load of mortality casting,
Mind hushes stilled in eternity; waves of the Infinite wander
Thrilling body and soul and its endless felicity squander;
All world-sorrow is finished, the cry of the parting is over;
Ecstasy laughs in our veins, in our heart is the heart of the Lover.

As when a stream from a highl and plateau green mid the mountains
Draws through broad lakes of delight the gracious sweep of its fountains,
Life from its heaven of desire comes down to the toil of the earth-ways;
Streaming through mire it pours still the mystical joy of its birthplace,
Green of its banks and the green of its trees and the hues of the flower.

Something of child-heart beauty, something of greatness and power,
Dwell with it still in its early torrent laughter and brightness,
Call in the youth of its floods and the voice of the wideness and whiteness.

But in its course are set darkness and fall and the spirit's ordeal.

Hating its narrowness, forced by an ardour to see all and be all,
Dashed on the inconscient rocks and straining through mud, over gravel,
Flows, like an ardent prisoner bound to the scenes of his travail,
Life, the river of the Spirit, consenting to anguish and sorrow
If by her heart's toil a loan-light of joy from the heavens she can borrow.

Out of the sun-rays and moon-rays, the winds' wing-glimmer and revel,
Out of the star-fields of wonder, down to earth's danger and evil
Headlong cast with a stridulant thunder, the doom-ways descending,
Shuddering below into sunless depths, across chasms unending,
Baulked of the might of its waters, a thread in a mountainous vastness,
Parcelled and scanted it hurries as if storming a Titan fastness,
Carving the hills with a sullen and lonely gigantic labour.

Hurled into strangling ravines it escapes with a leap and a quaver,
Breaks from the channels of hiding it grooves out and chisels and twistens,
Angry, afraid, white, foaming. A stony and monstrous resistance
Meets it piling up stubborn limits. Afflicted the river
Treasures a scattered sunbeam, moans for a god to deliver,
Longing to lapse through the plain's green felicity, yearning to widen
Joined to the ocean's shoreless eternity far-off and hidden.

High on the cliffs the Great Ones are watching, the Mighty and Deathless,
Soaring and plunging the roadway of the Gods climbs uplifted and breathless;



Ever we hear in the heart of the peril a flute go before us,
Luminous beckoning hands in the distance invite and implore us.

Ignorant, circled with death and the abyss, we have dreamed of a human
Paradise made from the mind of a man, from the heart of a woman,
Dreamed of the Isles of the Blest in a light of perpetual summer,
Dreamed of the joy of an earthly life with no pain for incomer.

Never, we said, can these waters from heaven be lost in the marshes,
Cease in the sands of the desert, die where the simoom parches;
Plains are beyond, there are hamlets and fields where the river rejoices
Pacing once more with a quiet step and with amical voices:
Bright amid woodlands red with the berries and cool with the breezes
Glimmer the leaves; all night long the heart of the nightingale eases
Sweetly its burden of pity and sorrow. There amid flowers
We shall take pleasure in arbours delightful, leng thening the hours,
Time for our servitor waiting our fancy through moments unhasting,
Under the cloudless blue of those skies of tranquillity resting,
Lying on beds of lilies, hearing the bells of the cattle
Tinkle, and drink red wine of life and go forth to the battle,
Fight and unwounded return to our beautiful home by the waters,
Fruit of our joy rear tall strong sons and radiant daughters.

Then shall the Virgins of Light come down to us clad in clear raiment
Woven from sunbeam and moonbeam and lightnings, limitless payment
Bring of our toil and our sorrow, carrying life-giving garlands
Plucked by the fountains of Paradise, bring from imperishable star-lands
Hymn-words of wisdom, visions of beauty, heaven-fruit ruddy,
Wine-cups of ecstasy sending the soul like a stream through the body.

Fate shall not know; if her spies come down to our beautiful valley,
They shall grow drunk with its grapes and wander in woodl and and alley.

There leaps the anger of Rudra? there will his lightnings immortal
Circle around with their red eye of cruelty stabbing the portal?
Fearless is there life's play; I shall sport with my dove from his highlands,
Drinking her laughter of bliss like a god in my Grecian islands.

Life in my limbs shall grow deathless, flesh with the God-glory tingle,
Lustre of Paradise, light of the earth-ways marry and mingle.

These are but dreams and the truth shall be greater. Heaven made woman!
Flower of beatitude! living shape of the bliss of the Brahman!
Art thou not she who shall bring into life and time the Eternal?


Pondicherry, c. 1910 - 1920

Body of the summer of the Gods, a sweetness virginal, vernal,
Breathes from thy soul into Nature; Love sits dreaming in thy bosom,
Wisdom gazes from thy eyes, thy breasts of God-rapture are the blossom.

If but the joy of thy feet once could touch our spaces smiting
Earth with a ray from the Unknown, on the world's heart heaven's script writing,
All then would change into harmony and beauty, Time's doors shudder
Swinging wide on their hinges into Eternity, other
Voices than earth's would be fire in our speech and make deathless our thinking.

One who is hidden in Light would grow visible, multitudes linking,
Lyres of a single ecstasy, throbs of the one heart beating,
Wonderful bodies and souls in the spirit's identity meeting
Even as stars in sky-vastness know their kindred in grandeur.

Yet may it be that although in the hands of our destiny stands sure
Fixed to its hour the Decree of the Advent, still it is fated
Only when kindling earth's bodies a mightier Soul is created.

Far-off the gold and the greatness, the rapture too splendid and dire.

Are not the ages too young? too low in our hearts burns the fire.

Bringest thou only a gleam on the summits, a cry in the distance,
Seen by the eyes that are wakened, heard by a spirit that listens?
Form of the formless All-Beautiful, lodestar of Nature's aspirance,
Music of prelude giving a voice to the ineffable Silence,
First white dawn of the God-Light cast on these creatures that perish,
Word-key of a divine and eternal truth for mortals to cherish,
Come! let thy sweetness and force be a breath in the breast of the future
Making the god-ways alive, immortality's golden-red suture:
Deep in our lives there shall work out a honeyed celestial leaven,
Bliss shall grow native to being and earth be a kin-soil to heaven.

Open the barriers of Time, the world with thy beauty enamour.

Trailing behind thee the purple of thy soul and the dawn-moment's glamour,
Forcing the heart of the Midnight where slumber and secrecy linger,
Guardians of Mystery, touching her bosom with thy luminous finger,
Daughter of Heaven, break through to me moonlike, mystic and gleaming;
Tread through the margins of twilight, cross over borders of dreaming.

Vision delightful alone on the peaks whom the silences cover,
Vision of bliss, stoop down to mortality, lean to thy lover.


Voice of the sensuous mortal, heart of eternal longing,
Thou who hast lived as in walls, thy soul with thy senses wronging!
But I descend at last. Fickle and terrible, sweet and deceiving,
Poison and nectar one has dispensed to thee, luring thee, leaving.

We two together shall capture the flute and the player relentless.

Son of man, thou hast crowned thy life with the flowers that are scentless,
Chased the delights that wound. But I come and midnight shall sunder.

Lo, I come, and behind me Knowledge descends and with thunder
Filling the spaces Strength, the Angel, bears on his bosom
Joy to thy arms. Thou shalt look on her face like a child's or a blossom,
Innocent, free as in Eden of old, not afraid of her playing,
When thy desires I have seized and devoured like a lioness preying.

Thou shalt not suffer always nor cry to me lured and forsaken:
I have a snare for his footsteps, I have a chain for him taken.

Come then to Brindavan, soul of the joyous; faster and faster
Follow the dance I shall teach thee with Shyama for slave and for master.

Follow the notes of the flute with a soul aware and exulting;
Trample Delight that submits and crouch to a sweetness insulting.

Then shalt thou know what the dance meant, fathom the song and the singer,
Hear behind thunder its rhymes, touched by lightning thrill to his finger,
Brindavan's rustle shalt understand and Yamuna's laughter,
Take thy place in the Ras1 and thy share of the ecstasy after.
1 The dance-round of Krishna with the cowherdesses in the moonlit groves of Brindavan, type of the dance of Divine Delight with the souls of men liberated in the world of
Bliss secret within us.
Poems from Manuscripts
Circa 1912 - 1913
~ Sri Aurobindo, - Ahana
The Landgrave Hermann held a gathering
Of minstrels, minnesingers, troubadours,
At Wartburg in his palace, and the knight,
Sir Tannhauser of France, the greatest bard,
Inspired with heavenly visions, and endowed
With apprehension and rare utterance
Of noble music, fared in thoughtful wise
Across the Horsel meadows. Full of light,
And large repose, the peaceful valley lay,
In the late splendor of the afternoon,
And level sunbeams lit the serious face
Of the young knight, who journeyed to the west,
Towards the precipitous and rugged cliffs,
Scarred, grim, and torn with savage rifts and chasms,
That in the distance loomed as soft and fair
And purple as their shadows on the grass.
The tinkling chimes ran out athwart the air,
Proclaiming sunset, ushering evening in,
Although the sky yet glowed with yellow light.
The ploughboy, ere he led his cattle home,
In the near meadow, reverently knelt,
And doffed his cap, and duly crossed his breast,
Whispering his 'Ave Mary,' as he heard
The pealing vesper-bell. But still the knight,
Unmindful of the sacred hour announced,
Disdainful or unconscious, held his course.
'Would that I also, like yon stupid wight,
Could kneel and hail the Virgin and believe!'
He murmured bitterly beneath his breath.
'Were I a pagan, riding to contend
For the Olympic wreath, O with what zeal,
What fire of inspiration, would I sing
The praises of the gods! How may my lyre
Glorify these whose very life I doubt?
The world is governed by one cruel God,
Who brings a sword, not peace. A pallid Christ,
Unnatural, perfect, and a virgin cold,
They give us for a heaven of living gods,
Beautiful, loving, whose mere names were song;
A creed of suffering and despair, walled in
On every side by brazen boundaries,
That limit the soul's vision and her hope
To a red hell or and unpeopled heaven.
Yea, I am lost already,-even now
Am doomed to flaming torture for my thoughts.
O gods! O gods! where shall my soul find peace?'
He raised his wan face to the faded skies,
Now shadowing into twilight; no response
Came from their sunless heights; no miracle,
As in the ancient days of answering gods.
With a long, shuddering sigh he glanced to earth,
Finding himself among the Horsel cliffs.
Gray, sullen, gaunt, they towered on either side;
Scant shrubs sucked meagre life between the rifts
Of their huge crags, and made small darker spots
Upon their wrinkled sides; the jaded horse
Stumbled upon loose, rattling, fallen stones,
Amidst the gathering dusk, and blindly fared
Through the weird, perilous pass. As darkness waxed,
And an oppressive mystery enwrapped
The roadstead and the rocks, Sir Tannhauser
Fancied he saw upon the mountain-side
The fluttering of white raiment. With a sense
Of wild joy and horror, he gave pause,
For his sagacious horse that reeked of sweat,
Trembling in every limb, confirmed his thought,
That nothing human scaled that haunted cliff.
The white thing seemed descending,-now a cloud
It looked, and now a rag of drifted mist,
Torn in the jagged gorge precipitous,
And now an apparition clad in white,
Shapely and real,-then he lost it quite,
Gazing on nothing with blank, foolish face.
As with wide eyes he stood, he was aware
Of a strange splendor at his very side,
A presence and a majesty so great,
That ere he saw, he felt it was divine.
He turned, and, leaping from his horse, fell prone,
In speechless adoration, on the earth,
Before the matchless goddess, who appeared
With no less freshness of immortal youth
Than when first risen from foam of Paphian seas.
He heard delicious strains of melody,
Such as his highest muse had ne'er attained,
Float in the air, while in the distance rang,
Harsh and discordant, jarring with those tones,
The gallop of his frightened horse's hoofs,
Clattering in sudden freedom down the pass.
A voice that made all music dissonance
Then thrilled through heart and flesh of that prone knight,
Triumphantly: 'The gods need but appear,
And their usurped thrones are theirs again!'
Then tenderly: 'Sweet knight, I pray thee, rise;
Worship me not, for I desire thy love.
Look on me, follow me, for I am fain
Of thy fair, human face.' He rose and looked,
Stirred by that heavenly flattery to the soul.
Her hair, unbraided and unfilleted,
Rained in a glittering shower to the ground,
And cast forth lustre. Round her zone was clasped
The scintillant cestus, stiff with flaming gold,
Thicker with restless gems than heaven with stars.
She might have flung the enchanted wonder forth;
Her eyes, her slightest gesture would suffice
To bind all men in blissful slavery.
She sprang upon the mountain's dangerous side,
With feet that left their print in flowers divine,Flushed amaryllis and blue hyacinth,
Impurpled amaranth and asphodel,
Dewy with nectar, and exhaling scents
Richer than all the roses of mid-June.
The knight sped after her, with wild eyes fixed
Upon her brightness, as she lightly leapt
From crag to crag, with flying auburn hair,
Like a gold cloud, that lured him ever on,
Higher and higher up the haunted cliff.
At last amidst a grove of pines she paused,
Until he reached her, breathing hard with haste,
Delight, and wonder. Then upon his hand
She placed her own, and all his blood at once
Tingled and hotly rushed to brow and cheek,
At the supreme caress; but the mere touch
Infused fresh life, and when she looked at him
With gracious tenderness, he felt himself
Strong suddenly to bear the blinding light
Of those great eyes. 'Dear knight,' she murmured low,
'For love of me, wilt thou accord this boon,To grace my weary home in banishment?'
His hungry eyes gave answer ere he spoke,
In tones abrupt that startled his own ears
With their strange harshness; but with thanks profuse
She guided him, still holding his cold hand
In her warm, dainty palm, unto a cave,
Whence a rare glory issued, and a smell
Of spice and roses, frankincense and balm.
They entering stood within a marble hall,
With straight, slim pillars, at whose farther end
The goddess led him to a spiral flight
Of stairs, descending always 'midst black gloom
Into the very bowels of the earth.
Down these, with fearful swiftness, they made way,
The knight's feet touching not the solid stair,
But sliding down as in a vexing dream,
Blind, feeling but that hand divine that still
Empowered him to walk on empty air.
Then he was dazzled by a sudden blaze,
In vast palace filled with reveling folk.
Cunningly pictured on the ivory walls
Were rolling hills, cool lakes, and boscage green,
And all the summer landscape's various pomp.
The precious canopy aloft was carved
In semblance of the pleached forest trees,
Enameled with the liveliest green, wherethrough
A light pierced, more resplendent than the day.
O'er the pale, polished jasper of the floor
Of burnished metal, fretted and embossed
With all the marvelous story of her birth
Painted in prodigal splendor of rich tincts,
And carved by heavenly artists,-crystal seas,
And long-haired Nereids in their pearly shells,
And all the wonder of her lucent limbs
Sphered in a vermeil mist. Upon the throne
She took her seat, the knight beside her still,
Singing on couches of fresh asphodel,
And the dance ceased, and the flushed revelers came
In glittering phalanx to adore their queen.
Beautiful girls, with shining delicate heads,
Crested with living jewels, fanned the air
With flickering wings from naked shoulders soft.
Then with preluding low, a thousand harps,
And citherns, and strange nameless instruments,
Sent through the fragrant air sweet symphonies,
And the winged dancers waved in mazy rounds,
With changing lustres like a summer sea.
Fair boys, with charming yellow hair crisp-curled,
And frail, effeminate beauty, the knight saw,
But of strong, stalwart men like him were none.
He gazed thereon bewitched, until the hand
Of Venus, erst withdrawn, now fell again
Upon his own, and roused him from his trance.
He looked on her, and as he looked, a cloud
Auroral, flaming as at sunrising,
Arose from nothing, floating over them
In luminous folds, like that vermilion mist
Penciled upon the throne, and as it waxed
In density and brightness, all the throng
Of festal dancers, less and less distinct,
Grew like pale spirits in a vague, dim dream,
And vanished altogether; and these twain,
Shut from the world in that ambrosial cloud,
Now with a glory inconceivable,
Vivid and conflagrant, looked each on each.
All hours came laden with their own delights
In that enchanted place, wherein Time
Knew no divisions harsh of night and day,
But light was always, and desire of sleep
Was satisfied at once with slumber soft,
Desire of food with magical repast,
By unseen hands on golden tables spread.
But these the knight accepted like a god,
All less was lost in that excess of joy,
The crowning marvel of her love for him,
Assuring him of his divinity.
Meanwhile remembrance of the earth appeared
Like the vague trouble of a transient dream,The doubt, the scruples, the remorse for thoughts
Beyond his own control, the constant thirst
For something fairer than his life, more real
Than airy revelations of his Muse.
Here was his soul's desire satisfied.
All nobler passions died; his lyre he flung
Recklessly forth, with vows to dedicate
His being to herself. She knew and seized
The moment of her mastery, and conveyed
The lyre beyond his sight and memory.
With blandishment divine she changed for him,
Each hour, her mood; a very woman now,
Fantastic, voluble, affectionate,
And jealous of the vague, unbodied air,
Exacting, penitent, and pacified,
All in a breath. And often she appeared
Majestic with celestial wrath, with eyes
That shot forth fire, and a heavy brow,
Portentous as the lowering front of heaven,
When the reverberant, sullen thunder rolls
Among the echoing clouds. Thus she denounced
Her ancient, fickle worshippers, who left
Her altars desecrate, her fires unfed,
Her name forgotten. 'But I reign, I reign!'
She would shrill forth, triumphant; 'yea, I reign.
Men name me not, but worship me unnamed,
Beauty and Love within their heart of hearts;
Not with bent knees and empty breath of words,
But with devoted sacrifice of lives.'
Then melting in a moment, she would weep
Ambrosial tears, pathetic, full of guile,
Accusing her own base ingratitude,
In craving worship, when she had his heart,
Her priceless knight, her peerless paladin,
Her Tannhauser; then, with an artful glance
Of lovely helplessness, entreated him
Not to desert her, like the faithless world,
For these unbeautiful and barbarous gods,
Or she would never cease her prayers to Jove,
Until he took from her the heavy curse
Of immortality. With closer vows,
The knight then sealed his worship and forswore
All other aims and deeds to serve her cause.
Thus passed unnoted seven barren years
Of reckless passion and voluptuous sloth,
Undignified by any lofty thought
In his degraded mind, that sometime was
Endowed with noble capability.
From revelry to revelry he passed,
Craving more pungent pleasure momently,
And new intoxications, and each hour
The siren goddess answered his desires.
Once when she left him with a weary sense
Of utter lassitude, he sat alone,
And, raising listless eyes, he saw himself
In a great burnished mirror, wrought about
With cunning imagery of twisted vines.
He scarcely knew those sunken, red-rimmed eyes,
For his who in the flush of manhood rode
Among the cliffs, and followed up the crags
The flying temptress; and there fell on him
A horror of her beauty, a disgust
For his degenerate and corrupted life,
With irresistible, intense desire,
To feel the breath of heaven on his face.
Then as Fate willed, who rules above the gods,
He saw, within the glass, behind him glide
The form of Venus. Certain of her power,
She had laid by, in fond security,
The enchanted cestus, and Sir Tannhauser,
With surfeited regard, beheld her now,
No fairer than the women of the earth,
Whom with serenity and health he left,
Duped by a lovely witch. Before he moved,
She knew her destiny; and when he turned,
He seemed to drop a mask, disclosing thus
An alien face, and eyes with vision true,
That for long time with glamour had been blind.
Hiding the hideous rage within her breast,
With girlish simpleness of folded hands,
Auroral blushes, and sweet, shamefast mien,
She spoke: 'Behold, my love, I have cast forth
All magic, blandishments and sorcery,
For I have dreamed a dream so terrible,
That I awoke to find my pillow stained
With tears as of real woe. I thought my belt,
By Vulcan wrought with matchless skill and power,
Was the sole bond between us; this being doffed,
I seemed to thee an old, unlovely crone,
Wrinkled by every year that I have seen.
Thou turnedst from me with a brutal sneer,
So that I woke with weeping. Then I rose,
And drew the glittering girdle from my zone,
Jealous thereof, yet full of fears, and said,
'If it be this he loves, then let him go!
I have no solace as a mortal hath,
No hope of change or death to comfort me
Through all eternity; yet he is free,
Though I could hold him fast with heavy chains,
Bound in perpetual imprisonment.'
Tell me my vision was a baseless dream;
See, I am kneeling, and kiss thy hands,In pity, look on me, before thy word
Condemns me to immortal misery!'
As she looked down, the infernal influence
Worked on his soul again; for she was fair
Beyond imagination, and her brow
Seemed luminous with high self-sacrifice.
He bent and kissed her head, warm, shining, soft,
With its close-curling gold, and love revived.
But ere he spoke, he heard the distant sound
Of one sweet, smitten lyre, and a gleam
Of violent anger flashed across the face
Upraised to his in feigned simplicity
And singleness of purpose. Then he sprang,
Well-nigh a god himself, with sudden strength
to vanquish and resist, beyond her reach,
Crying, 'My old Muse calls me, and I hear!
Thy fateful vision is no baseless dream;
I will be gone from this accursed hall!'
Then she, too, rose, dilating over him,
And sullen clouds veiled all her rosy limbs,
Unto her girdle, and her head appeared
Refulgent, and her voice rang wrathfully:
'Have I cajoled and flattered thee till now,
To lose thee thus! How wilt thou make escape?
Yea, not my love, but my poor slave and fool.'
But he, with both hands pressed upon his eyes,
Against that blinding lustre, heeded not
Her thundered words, and cried in sharp despair,
'Help me, O Virgin Mary! and thereat,
The very bases of the hall gave way,
The roof was rived, the goddess disappeared,
And Tannhauser stood free upon the cliff,
Amidst the morning sunshine and fresh air.
Around him were the tumbled blocks and crags,
Huge ridges and sharp juts of flinty peaks,
Black caves, and masses of the grim, bald rock.
The ethereal, unfathomable sky,
Hung over him, the valley lay beneath,
Dotted with yellow hayricks, that exhaled
Sweet, healthy odors to the mountain-top.
He breathed intoxicate the infinite air,
And plucked the heather blossoms where they blew,
Reckless with light and dew, in crannies green,
And scarcely saw their darling bells for tears.
No sounds of labor reached him from the farms
And hamlets trim, nor from the furrowed glebe;
But a serene and sabbath stillness reigned,
Till broken by the faint, melodious chimes
Of the small village church that called to prayer.
He hurried down the rugged, scarped cliff,
And swung himself from shelving granite slopes
To narrow foot-holds, near wide-throated chasms,
Tearing against the sharp stones his bleeding hands,
With long hair flying from his dripping brow,
Uncovered head, and white, exalted face.
No memory had he of his smooth ascent,
No thought of fear upon those dreadful hills;
He only heard the bell, inviting him
To satisfy the craving of his heart,
For worship 'midst his fellow men. He reached
The beaten, dusty road, and passed thereon
The pious peasants faring towards the church,
And scarce refrained from greeting them like friends
Dearly beloved, after long absence met.
How more than fair the sunburnt wenches looked,
In their rough, homespun gowns and coifs demure,
After the beauty of bare, rosy limbs,
And odorous, loose hair! He noted not
Suspicious glances on his garb uncouth,
His air extravagant and face distraught,
With bursts of laughter from the red-cheeked boys,
And prudent crossings of the women's breasts.
He passed the flowering close about the church,
And trod the well worn-path, with throbbing heart,
The little heather-bell between his lips,
And his eyes fastened on the good green grass.
Thus entered he the sanctuary, lit
With frequent tapers, and with sunbeams stained
Through painted glass. How pure and innocent
The waiting congregation seemed to him,
Kneeling, or seated with calm brows upraised!
With faltering strength, he cowered down alone,
And held sincere communion with the Lord,
For one brief moment, in a sudden gush
Of blessed tears. The minister of God
Rose to invoke a blessing on his flock,
And then began the service,-not in words
To raise the lowly, and to heal the sick,
But an alien tongue, with phrases formed,
And meaningless observances. The knight,
Unmoved, yet thirsting for the simple word
That might have moved him, held his bitter thoughts,
But when in his own speech a new priest spake,
Looked up with hope revived, and heard the text:
'Go, preach the Gospel unto all the world.
He that believes and is baptized, is saved.
He that believeth not, is damned in hell!'
He sat with neck thrust forth and staring eyes;
The crowded congregation disappeared;
He felt alone in some black sea of hell,
While a great light smote one exalted face,
Vivid already with prophetic fire,
Whose fatal mouth now thundered forth his doom.
He longed in that void circle to cry out,
With one clear shriek, but sense and voice seemed bound,
And his parched tongue clave useless to his mouth.
As the last words resounded through the church,
And once again the pastor blessed his flock,
Who, serious and subdued, passed slowly down
The arrow aisle, none noted, near the wall,
A fallen man with face upon his knees,
A heap of huddled garments and loose hair,
Unconscious 'mid the rustling, murmurous stir,
'Midst light and rural smell of grass and flowers,
Let in athwart the doorway. One lone priest,
Darkening the altar lights, moved noiselessly,
Now with the yellow glow upon his face,
Now a black shadow gliding farther on,
Amidst the smooth, slim pillars of hewn ash.
But from the vacant aisles he heard at once
A hollow sigh, heaved from a depth profound.
Upholding his last light above his head,
And peering eagerly amidst the stalls,
He cried, 'Be blest who cometh in God's name.'
Then the gaunt form of Tannhauser arose.
'Father, I am a sinner, and I seek
Forgiveness and help, by whatso means
I can regain the joy of peace with God.'
'The Lord hath mercy on the penitent.
'Although thy sins be scarlet,' He hath said,
'Will I not make them white as wool?' Confess,
And I will shrive you.' Thus the good priest moved
Towards the remorseful knight and pressed his hand.
But shrinking down, he drew his fingers back
From the kind palm, and kissed the friar's feet.
'Thy pure hand is anointed, and can heal.
The cool, calm pressure brings back sanity,
And what serene, past joys! yet touch me not,
My contact is pollution,-hear, O hear,
While I disburden my charged soul.' He lay,
Casting about for words and strength to speak.
'O father, is there help for such a one,'
In tones of deep abasement he began,
'Who hath rebelled against the laws of God,
With pride no less presumptuous than his
Who lost thereby his rank in heaven?' 'My son,
There is atonement for all sins,-or slight
Or difficult, proportioned to the crime.
Though this may be the staining of thy hands
With blood of kinsmen or of fellow-men.'
'My hands are white,-my crime hath found no name,
This side of hell; yet though my heart-strings snap
To live it over, let me make the attempt.
I was a knight and bard, with such a gift
Of revelation that no hour of life
Lacked beauty and adornment, in myself
The seat and centre of all happiness.
What inspiration could my lofty Muse
Draw from those common and familiar themes,
Painted upon the windows and the walls
Of every church,-the mother and her child,
The miracle and mystery of the birth,
The death, the resurrection? Fool and blind!
That saw not symbols of eternal truth
In that grand tragedy and victory,
Significant and infinite as life.
What tortures did my skeptic soul endure,
At war against herself and all mankind!
The restless nights of feverish sleeplessness,
With balancing of reasons nicely weighed;
The dawn that brought no hope nor energy,
The blasphemous arraignment of the Lord,
Taxing His glorious divinity
With all the grief and folly of the world.
Then came relapses into abject fear,
And hollow prayer and praise from craven heart.
Before a sculptured Venus I would kneel,
Crown her with flowers, worship her, and cry,
'O large and noble type of our ideal,
At least my heart and prayer return to thee,
Amidst a faithless world of proselytes.
Madonna Mary, with her virgin lips,
And eyes that look perpetual reproach,
Insults and is a blasphemy on youth.
Is she to claim the worship of a man
Hot with the first rich flush of ripened life?'
Realities, like phantoms, glided by,
Unnoted 'midst the torment and delights
Of my conflicting spirit, and I doffed
the modest Christian weeds of charity
And fit humility, and steeled myself
In pagan panoply of stoicism
And self-sufficing pride. Yet constantly
I gained men's charmed attention and applause,
With the wild strains I smote from out my lyre,
To me the native language of my soul,
To them attractive and miraculous,
As all things whose solution and whose source
Remain a mystery. Then came suddenly
The summons to attend the gathering
Of minstrels at the Landgrave Hermann's court.
Resolved to publish there my pagan creed
In harmonies so high and beautiful
That all the world would share my zeal and faith,
I journeyed towards the haunted Horsel cliffs.
O God! how may I tell you how SHE came,
The temptress of a hundred centuries,
Yet fresh as April? She bewitched my sense,
Poisoned my judgment with sweet flatteries,
And for I may not guess how many years
Held me a captive in degrading bonds.
There is no sin of lust so lewd and foul,
Which I learned not in that alluring hell,
Until this morn, I snapped the ignoble tie,
By calling on the Mother of our Lord.
O for the power to stand again erect,
And look men in the eyes! What penitence,
What scourging of the flesh, what rigid fasts,
What terrible privations may suffice
To cleanse me in the sight of God and man?'
Ill-omened silence followed his appeal.
Patient and motionless he lay awhile,
Then sprang unto his feet with sudden force,
Confronting in his breathless vehemence,
With palpitating heart, the timid priest.
'Answer me, as you hope for a response,
One day, at the great judgment seat yourself.'
'I cannot answer,' said the timid priest,
'I have not understood.' 'Just God! is this
The curse Thou layest upon me? I outstrip
The sympathy and brotherhood of men,
So far removed is my experience
From their clean innocence. Inspire me,
Prompt me to words that bring me near to them!
Father,' in gentler accents he resumed,
'Thank Heaven at your every orison
That sin like mine you cannot apprehend.
More than the truth perchance I have confessed,
But I have sinned, and darkly,-this is true;
And I have suffered, and am suffering now.
Is there no help in your great Christian creed
Of liberal charity, for such a one?'
'My son,' the priest replied, 'your speech distraught
Hath quite bewildered me. I fain would hope
That Christ's large charity can reach your sin,
But I know naught. I cannot but believe
That the enchantress who first tempted you
Must be the Evil one,-your early doubt
Was the possession of your soul by him.
Travel across the mountain to the town,
The first cathedral town upon the road
That leads to Rome,-a sage and reverend priest,
The Bishop Adrian, bides there. Say you have come
From his leal servant, Friar Lodovick;
He hath vast lore and great authority,
And may absolve you freely of your sin.'
Over the rolling hills, through summer fields,
By noisy villages and lonely lanes,
Through glowing days, when all the landscape stretched
Shimmering in the heat, a pilgrim fared
Towards the cathedral town. Sir Tannhauser
Had donned the mournful sackcloth, girt his loins
With a coarse rope that ate into his flesh,
Muffled a cowl about his shaven head,
Hung a great leaden cross around his neck;
And bearing in his hands a knotty staff,
With swollen, sandaled feet he held his course.
He snatched scant rest at twilight or at dawn,
When his forced travel was least difficult.
But most he journeyed when the sky, o'ercast,
Uprolled its threatening clouds of dusky blue,
And angry thunder grumbled through the hills,
And earth grew dark at noonday, till the flash
Of the thin lightning through the wide sky leapt.
And tumbling showers scoured along the plain.
Then folk who saw the pilgrim penitent,
Drenched, weird, and hastening as as to some strange doom,
Swore that the wandering Jew had crossed their land,
And the Lord Christ had sent the deadly bolt
Harmless upon his cursed, immortal head.
At length the hill-side city's spires and roofs,
With all its western windows smitten red
By a rich sunset, and with massive towers
Of its cathedral overtopping all,
greeted his sight. Some weary paces more,
And as the twilight deepened in the streets,
He stood within the minster. How serene,
In sculptured calm of centuries, it seemed!
How cool and spacious all the dim-lit aisles,
Still hazy with fumes of frankincense!
The vesper had been said, yet here and there
A wrinkled beldam, or mourner veiled,
Or burly burgher on the cold floor knelt,
And still the organist, with wandering hands,
Drew from the keys mysterious melodies,
And filled the church with flying waifs of song,
That with ethereal beauty moved the soul
To a more tender prayer and gentler faith
Than choral anthems and the solemn mass.
A thousand memories, sweet to bitterness,
Rushed on the knight and filled his eyes with tears;
Youth's blamelessness and faith forever lost,
The love of his neglected lyre, his art,
Revived by these aerial harmonies.
He was unworthy now to touch the strings,
Too base to stir men's soul to ecstasy
And high resolves, as in the days agone;
And yet, with all his spirit's earnestness,
He yearned to feel the lyre between his hands,
To utter all the trouble of his life
Unto the Muse who understands and helps.
Outworn with travel, soothed to drowsiness
By dying music and sweet-scented air,
His limbs relaxed, and sleep possessed his frame.
Auroral light the eastern oriels touched,
When with delicious sense of rest he woke,
Amidst the cast and silent empty aisles.
'God's peace hath fallen upon me in this place;
This is my Bethel; here I feel again
A holy calm, if not of innocence,
Yet purest after that, the calm serene
Of expiation and forgiveness.'
He spake, and passed with staff and wallet forth
Through the tall portal to the open square,
And turning, paused to look upon the pile.
The northern front against the crystal sky
Loomed dark and heavy, full of sombre shade,
With each projecting buttress, carven cross,
Gable and mullion, tipped with laughing light
By the slant sunbeams of the risen morn.
The noisy swallows wheeled above their nests,
Builded in hidden nooks about the porch.
No human life was stirring in the square,
Save now and then a rumbling market-team,
Fresh from the fields and farms without the town.
He knelt upon the broad cathedral steps,
And kissed the moistened stone, while overhead
The circling swallows sang, and all around
The mighty city lay asleep and still.
To stranger's ears must yet again be made
The terrible confession; yet again
A deathly chill, with something worse than fear,
Seized the knight's heart, who knew his every word
Widened the gulf between his kind and him.
The Bishop sat with pomp of mitred head,
In pride of proven virtue, hearkening to all
With cold, official apathy, nor made
A sign of pity nor encouragement.
The friar understood the pilgrim's grief,
The language of his eyes; his speech alone
Was alien to these kind, untutored ears.
But this was truly to be misconstrued,
To tear each palpitating word alive
From out the depths of his remorseful soul,
And have it weighed with the precision cool
And the nice logic of a reasoning mind.
This spiritual Father judged his crime
As the mad mischief of a reckless boy,
That call for strict, immediate punishment.
But Tannhauser, who felt himself a man,
Though base, yet fallen through passions and rare gifts
Of an exuberant nature rankly rich,
And knew his weary head was growing gray
With a life's terrible experience,
Found his old sense of proper worth revive;
But modestly he ended: 'Yet I felt,
O holy Father, in the church, this morn,
A strange security, a peace serene,
As though e'en yet the Lord regarded me
With merciful compassion; yea, as though
Even so vile a worm as I might work
Mine own salvation, through repentant prayers.'
'Presumptuous man, it is no easy task
To expiate such sin; a space of prayer
That deprecates the anger of the Lord,
A pilgrimage through pleasant summer lands,
May not atone for years of impious lust;
Thy heart hath lied to thee in offering hope.'
'Is there no hope on earth?' the pilgrim sighed.
'None through thy penance,' said the saintly man.
'Yet there may be through mediation, help.
There is a man who by a blameless life
Hath won the right to intercede with God.
No sins of his own flesh hath he to purge,The Cardinal Filippo,-he abides,
Within the Holy City. Seek him out;
This is my only counsel,-through thyself
Can be no help and no forgiveness.'
How different from the buoyant joy of morn
Was this discouraged sense of lassitude,
The Bishop's words were ringing in his ears,
Measured and pitiless, and blent with these,
The memory of the goddess' last wild cry,'ONCE BEING MINE, THOU ART FOREVER MINE.'
Was it the truth, despite his penitence,
And the dedication of his thought to God,
That still some portion of himself was hers,
Some lust survived, some criminal regret,
For her corrupted love? He searched his heart:
All was remorse, religious and sincere,
And yet her dreadful curse still haunted him;
For all men shunned him, and denied him help,
Knowing at once in looking on his face,
Ploughed with deep lines and prematurely old,
That he had struggled with some deadly fiend,
And that he was no longer kin to them.
Just past the outskirts of the town, he stopped,
To strengthen will and courage to proceed.
The storm had broken o'er the sultry streets,
But now the lessening clouds were flying east,
And though the gentle shower still wet his face,
The west was cloudless while the sun went down,
And the bright seven-colored arch stood forth,
Against the opposite dull gray. There was
A beauty in the mingled storm and peace,
Beyond clear sunshine, as the vast, green fields
Basked in soft light, though glistening yet with rain.
The roar of all the town was now a buzz
Less than the insects' drowsy murmuring
That whirred their gauzy wings around his head.
The breeze that follows on the sunsetting
Was blowing whiffs of bruised and dripping grass
Into the heated city. But he stood,
Disconsolate with thoughts of fate and sin,
Still wrestling with his soul to win it back
From her who claimed it to eternity.
Then on the delicate air there came to him
The intonation of the minster bells,
Chiming the vespers, musical and faint.
He knew not what of dear and beautiful
There was in those familiar peals, that spake
Of his first boyhood and his innocence,
Leading him back, with gracious influence,
To pleasant thoughts and tender memories,
And last, recalling the fair hour of hope
He passed that morning in the church. Again,
The glad assurance of God's boundless love
Filled all his being, and he rose serene,
And journeyed forward with a calm content.
Southward he wended, and the landscape took
A warmer tone, the sky a richer light.
The gardens of the graceful, festooned with hops,
With their slight tendrils binding pole to pole,
Gave place to orchards and the trellised grape,
The hedges were enwreathed with trailing vines,
With clustering, shapely bunches, 'midst the growth
Of tangled greenery. The elm and ash
Less frequent grew than cactus, cypresses,
And golden-fruited or large-blossomed trees.
The far hills took the hue of the dove's breast,
Veiled in gray mist of olive groves. No more
He passed dark, moated strongholds of grim knights,
But terraces with marble-paven steps,
With fountains leaping in the sunny air,
And hanging gardens full of sumptuous bloom.
Then cloisters guarded by their dead gray walls,
Where now and then a golden globe of fruit
Or full-flushed flower peered out upon the road,
Nodding against the stone, and where he heard
Sometimes the voices of the chanting monks,
Sometimes the laugh of children at their play,
Amidst the quaint, old gardens. But these sights
Were in the suburbs of the wealthy towns.
For many a day through wildernesses rank,
Or marshy, feverous meadow-lands he fared,
The fierce sun smiting his close-muffled head;
Or 'midst the Alpine gorges faced the storm,
That drave adown the gullies melted snow
And clattering boulders from the mountain-tops.
At times, between the mountains and the sea
Fair prospects opened, with the boundless stretch
Of restless, tideless water by his side,
And their long wash upon the yellow sand.
Beneath this generous sky the country-folk
Could lead a freer life,-the fat, green fields
Offered rich pasturage, athwart the air
Rang tinkling cow-bells and the shepherds' pipes.
The knight met many a strolling troubadour,
Bearing his cithern, flute, or dulcimer;
And oft beneath some castle's balcony,
At night, he heard their mellow voices rise,
Blent with stringed instruments or tambourines,
Chanting some lay as natural as a bird's.
Then Nature stole with healthy influence
Into his thoughts; his love of beauty woke,
His Muse inspired dreams as in the past.
But after this came crueler remorse,
And he would tighten round his loins the rope,
And lie for hours beside some wayside cross,
And feel himself unworthy to enjoy
The splendid gift and privilege of life.
Then forth he hurried, spurred by his desire
To reach the City of the Seven Hills,
And gain his absolution. Some leagues more
Would bring him to the vast Campagna land,
When by a roadside well he paused to rest.
'T was noon, and reapers in the field hard by
Lay neath the trees upon the sun-scorched grass.
But from their midst one came towards the well,
Not trudging like a man forespent with toil,
But frisking like a child at holiday,
With light steps. The pilgrim watched him come,
And found him scarcely older than a child,
A large-mouthed earthen pitcher in his hand,
And a guitar upon his shoulder slung.
A wide straw hat threw all his face in shade,
But doffing this, to catch whatever breeze
Might stir among the branches, he disclosed
A charming head of rippled, auburn hair,
A frank, fair face, as lovely as a girls,
With great, soft eyes, as mild and grave as kine's.
Above his head he slipped the instrument,
And laid it with his hat upon the turf,
Lowered his pitcher down the well-head cool,
And drew it dripping upward, ere he saw
The watchful pilgrim, craving (as he thought)
The precious draught. 'Your pardon, holy sir,
Drink first,' he cried, 'before I take the jar
Unto my father in the reaping-field.'
Touched by the cordial kindness of the lad,
The pilgrim answered,-'Thanks, my thirst is quenched
From mine own palm.' The stranger deftly poised
The brimming pitcher on his head, and turned
Back to the reaping-folk, while Tannhauser
Looked after him across the sunny fields,
Clasping each hand about his waist to bear
The balanced pitcher; then, down glancing, found
The lad's guitar near by, and fell at once
To striking its tuned string with wandering hands,
And pensive eyes filled full of tender dreams.
'Yea, holy sir, it is a worthless thing,
And yet I love it, for I make it speak.'
The boy again stood by him and dispelled
His train of fantasies half sweet, half sad.
'That was not in my thought,' the knight replied.
'Its worth is more than rubies; whoso hath
The art to make this speak is raised thereby
Above all loneliness or grief or fear.'
More to himself than to the lad he spake,
Who, understanding not, stood doubtfully
At a loss for answer; but the knight went on:
'How came it in your hands, and who hath tuned
your voice to follow it.' 'I am unskilled,
Good father, but my mother smote its strings
To music rare.' Diverted from one theme,
Pleased with the winsome candor of the boy,
The knight encouraged him to confidence;
Then his own gift of minstrelsy revealed,
And told bright tales of his first wanderings,
When in lords' castles and kings' palaces
Men still made place for him, for in his land
The gift was rare and valued at its worth,
And brought great victory and sounding fame.
Thus, in retracing all his pleasant youth,
His suffering passed as though it had not been.
Wide-eyed and open-mouthed the boy gave ear,
His fair face flushing with the sudden thoughts
That went and came,-then, as the pilgrim ceased,
Drew breath and spake: 'And where now is your lyre?'
The knight with both hands hid his changed, white face,
Crying aloud, 'Lost! lost! forever lost!'
Then, gathering strength, he bared his face again
Unto the frightened, wondering boy, and rose
With hasty fear. 'Ah, child, you bring me back
Unwitting to remembrance of my grief,
For which I donned eternal garb of woe;
And yet I owe you thanks for one sweet hour
Of healthy human intercourse and peace.
'T is not for me to tarry by the way.
Farewell!' The impetuous, remorseful boy,
Seeing sharp pain on that kind countenance,
Fell at his feet and cried, 'Forgive my words,
Witless but innocent, and leave me not
Without a blessing.' Moved unutterably,
The pilgrim kissed with trembling lips his head,
And muttered, 'At this moment would to God
That I were worthy!' Then waved wasted hands
Over the youth in act of blessing him,
But faltered, 'Cleanse me through his innocence,
O heavenly Father!' and with quickening steps
Hastened away upon the road to Rome.
The noon was past, the reapers drew broad swaths
With scythes sun-smitten 'midst the ripened crop.
Thin shadows of the afternoon slept soft
On the green meadows as the knight passed forth.
He trudged amidst the sea of poisonous flowers
On the Campagna's undulating plain,
With Rome, the many-steepled, many-towered,
Before him regnant on her throne of hills.
A thick blue cloud of haze o'erhung the town,
But the fast-sinking sun struck fiery light
From shining crosses, roofs, and flashing domes.
Across his path an arching bridge of stone
Was raised above a shrunken yellow stream,
Hurrying with the light on every wave
Towards the great town and outward to the sea.
Upon the bridge's crest he paused, and leaned
Against the barrier, throwing back his cowl,
And gazed upon the dull, unlovely flood
That was the Tiber. Quaggy banks lay bare,
Muddy and miry, glittering in the sun,
And myriad insects hovered o'er the reeds,
Whose lithe, moist tips by listless airs were stirred.
When the low sun had dropped behind the hills,
He found himself within the streets of Rome,
Walking as in a sleep, where naught seemed real.
The chattering hubbub of the market-place
Was over now; but voices smote his ear
Of garrulous citizens who jostled past.
Loud cries, gay laughter, snatches of sweet song,
The tinkling fountains set in gardens cool
About the pillared palaces, and blent
With trickling of the conduits in the squares,
The noisy teams within the narrow streets,All these the stranger heard and did not hear,
While ringing bells pealed out above the town,
And calm gray twilight skies stretched over it.
Wide open stood the doors of every church,
And through the porches pressed a streaming throng.
Vague wonderment perplexed him, at the sight
Of broken columns raised to Jupiter
Beside the cross, immense cathedrals reared
Upon a dead faith's ruins; all the whirl
And eager bustle of the living town
Filling the storied streets, whose very stones
Were solemn monuments, and spake of death.
Although he wrestled with himself, the thought
Of that poor, past religion smote his heart
With a huge pity and deep sympathy,
Beyond the fervor which the Church inspired.
Where was the noble race who ruled the world,
Moulded of purest elements, and stuffed
With sternest virtues, every man a king,
Wearing the purple native in his heart?
These lounging beggars, stealthy monks and priests,
And womanish patricians filled their place.
Thus Tannhauser, still half an infidel,
Pagan through mind and Christian through the heart,
Fared thoughtfully with wandering, aimless steps,
Till in the dying glimmer of the day
He raised his eyes and found himself alone
Amid the ruined arches, broken shafts,
And huge arena of the Coliseum.
He did not see it as it was, dim-lit
By something less than day and more than night,
With wan reflections of the rising moon
Rather divined than seen on ivied walls,
And crumbled battlements, and topless columnsBut by the light of all the ancient days,
Ringed with keen eager faces, living eyes,
Fixed on the circus with a savage joy,
Where brandished swords flashed white, and human blood
Streamed o'er the thirsty dust, and Death was king.
He started, shuddering, and drew breath to see
The foul pit choked with weeds and tumbled stones,
The cross raised midmost, and the peaceful moon
Shining o'er all; and fell upon his knees,
Restored to faith in one wise, loving God.
Day followed day, and still he bode in Rome,
Waiting his audience with the Cardinal,
And from the gates, on pretext frivolous,
Passed daily forth,-his Eminency slept,Again, his Eminency was fatigued
By tedious sessions of the Papal court,
And thus the patient pilgrim was referred
Unto a later hour. At last the page
Bore him a missive with Filippo's seal,
That in his name commended Tannhauser
Unto the Pope. The worn, discouraged knight
Read the brief scroll, then sadly forth again,
Along the bosky alleys of the park,
Passed to the glare and noise of summer streets.
'Good God!' he muttered, 'Thou hast ears for all,
And sendest help and comfort; yet these men,
Thy saintly ministers, must deck themselves
With arrogance, and from their large delight
In all the beauty of the beauteous earth,
And peace of indolent, untempted souls,
Deny the hungry outcast a bare word.'
Yet even as he nourished bitter thoughts,
He felt a depth of clear serenity,
Unruffled in his heart beneath it all.
No outward object now had farther power
To wound him there, for the brooding o'er those deeps
Of vast contrition was boundless hope.
Yet not to leave a human chance untried,
He sought the absolution of the Pope.
In a great hall with airy galleries,
Thronged with high dignitaries of the Church,
He took his seat amidst the humblest friars.
Through open windows came sweet garden smells,
Bright morning light, and twittered song of birds.
Around the hall flashed gold and sunlit gems,
And splendid wealth of color,-white-stoled priests,
And scarlet cardinals, and bishops clad
In violet vestments,-while beneath the shade
Of the high gallery huddled dusky shapes,
With faded, travel-tattered, sombre smocks,
And shaven heads, and girdles of coarse hemp;
Some, pilgrims penitent like Tannhauser;
Some, devotees to kiss the sacred feet.
The brassy blare of trumpets smote the air,
Shrill pipes and horns with swelling clamor came,
And through the doorway's wide-stretched tapestries
Passed the Pope's trumpeters and mace-bearers,
His vergers bearing slender silver wands,
Then mitred bishops, red-clad cardinals,
The stalwart Papal Guard with halberds raised,
And then, with white head crowned with gold ingemmed,
The vicar of the lowly Galilean,
Holding his pastoral rod of smooth-hewn wood,
With censer swung before and peacock fans
Waved constantly by pages, either side.
Attended thus, they bore him to his throne,
And priests and laymen fell upon their knees.
Then, after pause of brief and silent prayer,
The pilgrims singly through the hall defiled,
To kiss the borders of the papal skirts,
Smiting their foreheads on the paven stone;
Some silent, abject, some accusing them
Of venial sins in accents of remorse,
Craving his grace, and passing pardoned forth.
Sir Tannhauser came last, no need for him
To cry 'Peccavi,' and crook suppliant knees.
His gray head rather crushed than bowed, his face
Livid and wasted, his deep thoughtful eyes,
His tall gaunt form in those unseemly weeds,
Spake more than eloquence. His hollow voice
Brake silence, saying, 'I am Tannhauser.
For seven years I lived apart from men,
Within the Venusberg.' A horror seized
The assembled folk; some turbulently rose;
Some clamored, 'From the presence cast him forth!'
But the knight never ceased his steady gaze
Upon the Pope. At last,-'I have not spoken
To be condemned,' he said, 'by such as these.
Thou, spiritual Father, answer me.
Look thou upon me with the eyes of Christ.
Can I through expiation gain my shrift,
And work mine own redemption?' 'Insolent man!'
Thundered the outraged Pope, 'is this the tone
Wherewith thou dost parade thy loathsome sin?
Down on thy knees, and wallow on the earth!
Nay, rather go! there is no ray of hope,
No gleam, through cycles of eternity,
For the redemption of a soul like thine.
Yea, sooner shall my pastoral rod branch forth
In leaf and blossom, and green shoots of spring,
Than Christ will pardon thee.' And as he spoke,
He struck the rod upon the floor with force
That gave it entrance 'twixt two loosened tiles,
So that it stood, fast-rooted and alone.
The knight saw naught, he only heard his judge
Ring forth his curses, and the court cry out
'Anathema!' and loud, and blent therewith,
Derisive laughter in the very hall,
And a wild voice that thrilled through flesh and heart:
Half-mad he clasped both hands upon his brow,
Amidst the storm of voices, till they died,
And all was silence, save the reckless song
Of a young bird upon a twig without.
Then a defiant, ghastly face he raised,
And shrieked, ''T is false! I am no longer thine!'
And through the windows open to the park,
Rushed forth, beyond the sight and sound of men.
By church nor palace paused he, till he passed
All squares and streets, and crossed the bridge of stone,
And stood alone amidst the broad expanse
Of the Campagna, twinkling in the heat.
He knelt upon a knoll of turf, and snapped
The cord that held the cross about his neck,
And far from him the leaden burden flung.
'O God! I thank Thee, that my faith in Thee
Subsists at last, through all discouragements.
Between us must no type nor symbol stand,
No mediator, were he more divine
Than the incarnate Christ. All forms, all priests,
I part aside, and hold communion free
Beneath the empty sky of noon, with naught
Between my nothingness and thy high heavensSpirit with spirit. O, have mercy, God!
Cleanse me from lust and bitterness and pride,
Have mercy in accordance with my faith.'
Long time he lay upon the scorching grass,
With his face buried in the tangled weeds.
Ah! who can tell the struggles of his soul
Against its demons in that sacred hour,
The solitude, the anguish, the remorse?
When shadows long and thin lay on the ground,
Shivering with fever, helpless he arose,
But with a face divine, ineffable,
Such as we dream the face of Israel,
When the Lord's wrestling angel, at gray dawn,
Blessed him, and disappeared.
Upon the marsh,
All night, he wandered, striving to emerge
From the wild, pathless plain,-now limitless
And colorless beneath the risen moon;
Outstretching like a sea, with landmarks none,
Save broken aqueducts and parapets,
And ruined columns glinting 'neath the moon.
His dress was dank and clinging with the dew;
A thousand insects fluttered o'er his head,
With buzz and drone; unseen cicadas chirped
Among the long, rank grass, and far and near
The fire-flies flickered through the summer air.
Vague thoughts and gleams prophetic filled his brain.
'Ah, fool!' he mused, 'to look for help from men.
Had they the will to aid, they lack the power.
In mine own flesh and soul the sin had birth,
Through mine own anguish it must be atoned.
Our saviours are not saints and ministers,
But tear-strung women, children soft of heart,
Or fellow-sufferers, who, by some chance word,
Some glance of comfort, save us from despair.
These I have found, thank heaven! to strengthen trust
In mine own kind, when all the world grew dark.
Make me not proud in spirit, O my God!
Yea, in thy sight I am one mass of sin,
One black and foul corruption, yet I know
My frailty is exceeded by thy love.
Neither is this the slender straw of hope,
Whereto I, drowning, cling, but firm belief,
That fills my inmost soul with vast content.
As surely as the hollow faiths of old
Shriveled to dust before one ray of Truth,
So will these modern temples pass away,
Piled upon rotten doctrines, baseless forms,
And man will look in his own breast for help,
Yea, search for comfort his own inward reins,
Revere himself, and find the God within.
Patience and patience!' Through the sleepless night
He held such thoughts; at times before his eyes
Flashed glimpses of the Church that was to be,
Sublimely simple in the light serene
Of future ages; then the vision changed
To the Pope's hall, thronged with high priests, who hurled
Their curses on him. Staggering, he awoke
Unto the truth, and found himself alone,
Beneath the awful stars. When dawn's first chill
Crept though the shivering grass and heavy leaves,
Giddy and overcome, he fell and slept
Upon the dripping weeds, nor dreamed nor stirred,
Until the wide plain basked in noon's broad light.
He dragged his weary frame some paces more,
Unto a solitary herdsman's hut,
Which, in the vagueness of the moonlit night,
Was touched with lines of beauty, till it grew
Fair as the ruined works of ancient art,
Now squat and hideous with its wattled roof,
Decaying timbers, and loose door wide oped,
Half-fallen from the hinge. A drowsy man,
Bearded and burnt, in shepherd habit lay,
Stretched on the floor, slow-munching, half asleep,
His frugal fare; for thus, at blaze of noon,
The shepherds sought a shelter from the sun,
Leaving their vigilant dogs beside their flock.
The knight craved drink and bread, and with respect
For pilgrim weeds, the Roman herdsman stirred
His lazy length, and shared with him his meal.
Refreshed and calm, Sir Tannhauser passed forth,
Yearning with morbid fancy once again
To see the kind face of the minstrel boy
He met beside the well. At set of sun
He reached the place; the reaping-folk were gone,
The day's toil over, yet he took his seat.
A milking-girl with laden buckets full,
Came slowly from the pasture, paused and drank.
From a near cottage ran a ragged boy,
And filled his wooden pail, and to his home
Returned across the fields. A herdsman came,
And drank and gave his dog to drink, and passed,
Greeting the holy man who sat there still,
Awaiting. But his feeble pulse beat high
When he descried at last a youthful form,
Crossing the field, a pitcher on his head,
Advancing towards the well. Yea, this was he,
The same grave eyes, and open, girlish face.
But he saw not, amidst the landscape brown,
The knight's brown figure, who, to win his ear,
Asked the lad's name. 'My name is Salvator,
To serve you, sir,' he carelessly replied,
With eyes and hands intent upon his jar,
Brimming and bubbling. Then he cast one glance
Upon his questioner, and left the well,
Crying with keen and sudden sympathy,
'Good Father, pardon me, I knew you not.
Ah! you have travelled overmuch: your feet
Are grimed with mud and wet, your face is changed,
Your hands are dry with fever.' But the knight:
'Nay, as I look on thee, I think the Lord
Wills not that I should suffer any more.'
'Then you have suffered much,' sighed Salvator,
With wondering pity. 'You must come with me;
My father knows of you, I told him all.
A knight and minstrel who cast by his lyre,
His health and fame, to give himself to God,Yours is a life indeed to be desired!
If you will lie with us this night, our home
Will verily be blessed.' By kindness crushed,
Wandering in sense and words, the broken knight
Resisted naught, and let himself be led
To the boy's home. The outcast and accursed
Was welcomed now by kindly human hands;
Once more his blighted spirit was revived
By contact with refreshing innocence.
There, when the morning broke upon the world,
The humble hosts no longer knew their guest.
His fleshly weeds of sin forever doffed,
Tannhauser lay and smiled, for in the night
The angel came who brings eternal peace.
Far into Wartburg, through all Italy,
In every town the Pope sent messengers,
Riding in furious haste; among them, one
Who bore a branch of dry wood burst in bloom;
The pastoral rod had borne green shoots of spring,
And leaf and blossom. God is merciful.
~ Emma Lazarus,


   26 Poetry
   18 Integral Yoga
   5 Occultism
   4 Fiction
   3 Psychology
   2 Mysticism
   1 Sufism
   1 Philsophy
   1 Philosophy
   1 Alchemy

   9 The Mother
   8 Satprem
   6 Sri Aurobindo
   4 Walt Whitman
   4 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   4 John Keats
   3 William Wordsworth
   3 Percy Bysshe Shelley
   2 Rainer Maria Rilke
   2 Jordan Peterson
   2 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
   2 James George Frazer
   2 H P Lovecraft
   2 Aleister Crowley

   4 Whitman - Poems
   4 Savitri
   4 Keats - Poems
   3 Wordsworth - Poems
   3 Shelley - Poems
   2 The Secret Doctrine
   2 The Golden Bough
   2 Rilke - Poems
   2 Questions And Answers 1953
   2 On the Way to Supermanhood
   2 Maps of Meaning
   2 Magick Without Tears
   2 Lovecraft - Poems
   2 Faust
   2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01

01.05 - The Yoga of the King - The Yoga of the Spirits Freedom and Greatness, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Pacing the vast Cathedral of his thoughts
  Under its arches dim with infinity

0 1961-04-29, #Agenda Vol 02, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   One of my most terrible experiences took place in Venice (the Cathedrals there are so beautifulmagnificent!). I remember I was painting they had let me settle down in a corner to paintand nearby there was a (what do they call it?) a confessional. And a poor woman was kneeling there in distresswith such a dreadful sense of sin! So piteous! She wept and wept. Then I saw the priest coming, oh, like a monster, a hard-hearted monster! He went inside; he was like an iron bar. And there was this poor woman sobbing, sobbing; and the voice of the other one, hard, curt. I could barely contain myself.
   I dont know why, but I have had this kind of experience so very often: either a hostile force lurking behind and swallowing up everything, or else manruthless man abusing the Power.
   I remember a good-hearted priest in Pau [Southern France] who was an artist and wanted to have his church decorateda tiny Cathedral. He consulted a local anarchist (a great artist) about it. The anarchist was acquainted with Andrs father and me. He told the priest, I recommend these people to do the paintings they are true artists. He was doing the mural decorationsome eight panels in all, I believe. So I set to work on one of the panels. (The church was dedicated to San Juan de Compostello, a hero of Spanish history; he had appeared in a battle between the Christians and the Moors and his apparition vanquished the Moors. And he was magnificent! He appeared in golden light on a white horse, almost like Kalki.6) All the slaughtered and struggling Moors were depicted at the bottom of the painting, and it was I who painted them; it was too hard for me to climb high up on a ladder to paint, so I did the things at the bottom! But anyway, it all went quite well. Then, naturally, the priest received us and invited us to dinner with the anarchist. And he was so nicereally a kind-hearted man! I was already a vegetarian and didnt drink, so he scolded me very gently, saying, But its Our Lord who gives us all this, so why shouldnt you take it? I found him charming. And when he looked at the paintings, he tapped Morisset on the shoulder (Morisset was an unbeliever), and said, with the accent of Southern France, Say what you like, but you know Our Lord; otherwise you could never have painted like that!

0 1963-07-03, #Agenda Vol 04, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Another time, when I was younger, I was in Italy, in Venice, painting in a corner of St. Marks Cathedral (a marvelous place of great beauty), and I happened to be sitting right next to a confessional. One day, as I sat there painting, I saw the priest arrive and enter the confessional that man completely black, tall, thin, the very face of wickedness and hardness: a pitiless wickedness. He closeted himself in there. After a short while there came a rather young woman, perhaps thirty years old, gentle, very sweetnot intelligent but very sweetentirely dressed in black. She entered the box (he was already shut in and could no longer be seen), and they spoke through a grille. I should add that its far more medieval than in France, it was really it was almost theatrical. She knelt down there, I saw her long gown flowing out, and she was speaking. (I couldnt hear, she was whispering; besides, both of them spoke in Italian, although I understand Italian.) The voices were barely audible, there was no sound. Then all at once, I heard the woman sobbing (she was sobbing in spasms), and it went on till suddenlya collapse: she crumpled in a heap on the floor. Then that man opened the door, shoving aside her body with the door and he strode away without a backward glance. I was young, you know, and if I could have, I would have killed him. What he had just done was monstrous. And he was going away it was a chunk of steel that walked out.
   Incidents of that sort have left me with a peculiar impression. The stories of the Inquisition had already given me a sufficient Now, of course, youve heard what I told you [the story of the Asura], and thats really my way of seeing the thing. But there was a time when I might have said, No religion has done more evil in the world than this one.

0 1967-02-15, #Agenda Vol 08, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   But it might be amusing if we put together one specimen of every religion from every country and every epoch. A city of religions, can you see that? The totem pole next to the Cathedral! Oh, that would be very amusing! All the ancient religions the Egyptian, the Tyrian, the Scandinavian gods and then the new religions.
   They would all quarrel with each other!
   Its a subject I found very interesting, in the beginning I even wanted to give a class1 on it, when the School had only thirty children or so: a class on religions showing the whole course, from the gods with the heads of birds or jackals to Cathedrals. Oh, when I was just five, I was revolted by that God who really was a wicked character and caused bloodshed.
   So we could have a city of religions. But we would have to re-create the atmosphere.
   No, a museum is too intellectuala city of religions. We would have to re-create the atmosphere and have a temple, churches, a Cathedral, a totem pole (laughing) Wed entrust the Greek temple to Ananta!2 That would be really unique on earth.
   But you know, there are still so many fanaticsmore than we think. You would think all that has disappeared with modern developmentnot at all.

0 1968-11-06, #Agenda Vol 09, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   As for the Catholics, it depended a lot on the church or the Cathedralon the placea lot. Varied. So then, I would compare with all the other sanctuaries. You understand, in the course of my travels I would always go and seevery interesting.
   Buddhist temples are VERY FINE. Obviously nihilistic, but there is always a very concentrated atmosphereconcentrated and SINCERE. A sincere effort.

0 1969-12-31, #Agenda Vol 10, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   He says that for a few years, energies in Auroville have been scattered: they are egoistic, everyone wants to build his own little hut, his own little story, or, at best, hopes to build a supercity, which will only be an improvement on all the existing cities of the world. In this Auroville, an axis, a center is missing. Whats missing is a unification of the consciousnesses around a center, an axis. So he said that in the past, they built pyramids, they built Cathedrals, and around those symbolic constructions, consciousnesses could unify
   (Mother nods approvingly)
   That the Force is now at work is without a shadow of doubt. And there is such a great (how can I put it?) a very active will: NO RELIGION, no religion, no religious forms. Quite naturally, people immediately So thats why I have left them very free. That was why I didnt insist on building the center first, because thats in fact the Cathedral of old, the temple of old, the whole thing of old (Mother makes a gesture of taking firm root), and then everything gets organized around that: a religionwe want NO religion.1
   Yes, but we can pull down something other than religion.

02.04 - The Kingdoms of the Little Life, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  In her obscure Cathedral of delight
  To dim dwarf gods she offers secret rites.

03.04 - The Other Aspect of European Culture, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Nor is it a fact that Europe is and has been merely profane and materialistic in her outlook and attainment. The godless and mechanistic civilisation which is rampant today in Europe is a distemper of comparatively recent growth. Its farthest limit does not go beyond the sixteenth or the fifteenth century when the first seeds were sown by the Humanists of the Renaissance. It sprouted with the rationalists of the eighteenth century and the French Revolution cleared the ground for its free and untrammelled growth. But only in the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries has it reached such vast and disconcerting proportions as to swallow all Europe's other motives and velleities and to appear as the only form of her life-expression. But in the earlier centuries, those that preceded the New Enlightenment, Europe had a different conception of culture and civilisation, she possessed almost another soul. The long period that is known as the mediaeval age was not after all so dark and unregenerate as it has been the familiar custom to represent it. Christian Europe the Europe of Cathedrals and monasteries, of saints and sages, of St. Francis and St. Teresa, of Boehme and Bernard, of Thomas Aquinas and Augustine, had an enlightenment all her own, which was real and living and dynamic, possessing a far-extending and deeply penetrating influence; in as much as it was this that called into being and fashioned the more abiding forces, which underlie Europe's cultural life and social institutions, although latterly "fallen on evil days and on evil tongues".
   Even the still more ancient Grco-Latin Europe which was not, to a general and apparent view, quite spiritual or other-worldly, was yet not so exclusively materialistic and profane as modern Europe. Classical culture was rationalistic, without doubt; but that rationalism was the function of a sublimated intelligence and a refined sensibility and served as a vehicle for a Higher Perceptiona ratiocinative and ultra-logical mind, like that of Socrates, could yet be so passive and upgazing as to receive and obey the commandments of a Dmon; whereas the rationalism, which is in vogue today and to which orthodox Scientism has affixed its royal sign manual, is the product of mere brain-power, vigorous but crude, of an intellect shut up in its self-complacent cunningness, obfuscated by its infinite but shallow inquisitiveness.

03.05 - The Spiritual Genius of India, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Was not Europe also in her theocratic and mediaeval ages as largely spiritual and as fundamentally religious as India? Churches and Cathedrals and monasteries grew like mushrooms in every nook and corner, in all the countries of Europe; it was the clergy who, with their almost unbounded influence and power, moulded and guided the life and aspiration of the people; devotion to God and love of prayer and pilgrimage were as much in the nature of the average European of those times as they are in any Indian of today; every family considered it a duty and an honour to rear up one child at least to be consecrated to the service of God and the Church. The internal as well as the external life of the men of mediaeval Europe was steeped through and through in a religious atmosphere.
   The whole world, in fact, was more or less religious in the early stages of its evolution; for it is characteristic of the primitive nature of man to be god-fearing and addicted to religious rite and ceremony. And Europe too, when she entered on a new cycle of life and began to reconstruct herself after the ruin of the Grco-Latin culture, started with the religion of the Christ and experimented with it during a long period of time. But that is what wasTroja fuit. Europe has outgrown her nonage and for a century and a half, since the mighty upheaval of the French Revolution, she has been rapidly shaking off the last vestiges of her mediaevalism. Today she stands clean shorn of all superstition, which she only euphemistically calls religion or spirituality. Not Theology but Science, not Revelation but Reason, not Magic but Logic, not Fiction but Fact, governs her thoughts and guides her activities. Only India, in part under the stress of her own conservative nature, in part under compelling circumstances, still clings to her things of the past, darknesses that have been discarded by the modern illumination. Indian spirituality is nothing but consolidated mediaevalism; it has its companion shibboleth in the cry, "Back to the village" or "Back to the bullock-cart"! One of the main reasons, if not the one reason why India has today no place in the comity of nations, why she is not in the vanguard of civilisation, is precisely this obstinate atavism, this persistent survival of a spirit subversive of all that is modern and progressive.

04.03 - The Call to the Quest, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  In Matter as in a Cathedral cave.
  Annulled were the transient values of the mind,

07.42 - The Nature and Destiny of Art, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Here in India things are and should be a little different. In spite of the modern European invasion and in spite of certain lapses in some directions I may refer to what Sri Aurobindo calls the Ravi Varma interlude the heart of India is not anglicised or Europeanised. The Calcutta School is a signalthough their attempt is rather on a small scaleyet it is a sign that India's artistic taste, in spite of a modern education, still turns to what is essential and permanent in her culture and civilisation. You have still before you, within your reach, the old temples, the old paintings, to teach you that art creation is meant to express a faith, to give you the sense of totality and organisation. You will note in this connection another fact which is very significant. All these paintings, all these sculptures in caves and temples bear no signature. They were not done with the idea of making a name. Today you fix your name to every bit of work you do, announce the event with a great noise in the papers, so that the thing may not be forgotten. In those days the artist did what he had to do, without caring whether posterity would remember his name or not. The work was done in an urge of aspiration towards expressing a higher beauty, above all with the idea of preparing a dwelling fit for the deity whom one invokes. In Europe in the Cathedrals of the Middle Ages, things were done in the same spirit. There too at that time works were anonymous and bore no signature of the author. If any name came to be preserved, it was more or less by accident.
   However, even the commercialism of today, hideous as it is, has an advantage of its own. Commercialism means the mixing together of all parts of the world. It effaces the distinction between Orient and Occident, brings the Orient near to the Occident and the Occident near to the Orient. With the exchange of goods, there happens an exchange of ideas and even of habits and manners. In ancient days Rome conquered Greece and through that conquest was herself conquered by the culture and civilisation of Greece. The thing is happening today on a much greater scale and more intensely perhaps. At one time Japan was educating herself on the American pattern; now that America has conquered Japan physically, she is being conquered by the spirit of Japan; even in objects manufactured in America, you notice the Japanese influence in some way or other.

10.03 - The Debate of Love and Death, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  In Night's bare session to Cathedral Light,
  In Death's realm repatriate immortality.

1.02 - MAPS OF MEANING - THREE LEVELS OF ANALYSIS, #Maps of Meaning, #Jordan Peterson, #Psychology
  I dreamed that I was standing in the grassy yard of a stone Cathedral, on a bright sunny day. The yard
  was unblemished, a large well-kept green expanse. As I stood there, I saw a slab of grass pull back

1.02 - The Eternal Law, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  unexplored.16 This substantial difference between Indians and other peoples appears most strikingly in their art, as it does also in Egyptian art (and, we assume without knowing it, in the art of Central America). If we leave behind our light and open Cathedrals that soar high like a triumph of the divine thought in man suddenly to find 16
  The Synthesis of Yoga, 20:439
  ourselves before Sekmeth in the silence of Abydos on the Nile, or face to face with Kali behind the peristyle of Dakshineshwar, we do feel something; we suddenly gape before an unknown dimension, a "something" that leaves us a little stunned and speechless, which is not at all there in our Western art. There are no secrets in our Cathedrals!
  Everything is there for every outer eye to see, all neat and tidy, open to the four winds; yet, there are many secrets. The intent here is not to weigh one form of art against the other that would be rather absurd

1.02 - The Three European Worlds, #The Ever-Present Origin, #Jean Gebser, #Integral
  The early years of the Renaissance, which one might even characterize as being dramatic, are the source of further writings in the wake of Cennini's treatise. Of equally epochal importance are the three volumes of Leon Battista Alberti'sDellapittura of 1436,which, besides a theory of proportions and anatomy based anVitruvius, contain a first systematic attempt at a theory of perspectival construction (the chapter "Della prospettiva"). Earlier, Brunelleschi had achieved a perspectival construction in his dome for the Cathedral of Florence, and Manetti justifiably calls him the "founder of perspectival drawing." But it was Alberti who first formulated an epistemological description of the new manner of depiction, stated, still in very general terms, in the words: "Accordingly, the painting is a slice through the visual pyramid corresponding to a particular space or interval with its Center and specific hues rendered an a given surface by lines and colors." What Vitruvius in his Architettura still designated as "scenografia" has become for Alberti a "prospettiva", a clearly depicted visual pyramid.
  Some dozen years later, the three Commentarii of Lorenzo Ghiberti also treat of this same perspective; but despite his attempt to remain within the tradition, his treatises describe in a novel way not only perspective but also anatomy and a theory of drawing (teorica del disegno). It is significant that he corrects his principal model, Vitruvius, by inserting a chapter an "perspective" where Vitruvius would have included a chapter an the "knowledge of rules," and consequently intentionally 'elevates perspectivity to a basic axiom of his time.

1.05 - THE HOSTILE BROTHERS - ARCHETYPES OF RESPONSE TO THE UNKNOWN, #Maps of Meaning, #Jordan Peterson, #Psychology
  people keep saying. Who else could it be! He stops on the steps of the Cathedral of Seville at a moment
  when a small white coffin is carried into the church by weeping bearers. In it lies a girl of seven, the
  dead! people shout to the weeping mother. The priest, who has come out of the Cathedral to meet the
  procession, looks perplexed and frowns. But now the mother of the dead child throws herself at His feet,
  Just at that moment, the Cardinal, the Grand Inquisitor himself, crosses the Cathedral square. He is a
  man of almost ninety, tall and erect. His face is drawn, his eyes are sunken, but they still glow as though
  darkened Cathedral. The chandelier hung hundreds of feet below its point of connection on the dome,
  and was still so high off the ground that the people below, on the floor, looked like ants. These people
  were in charge of the Cathedral, and I could tell that they were angry at me for being where I was. I did
  not feel guilty, because I was not there by choice I just happened to have arrived there, and I wanted
  The people of the Cathedral protested my presence but didnt really bother me. All I wanted to do was
  get home, where it was familiar, and go back to sleep.
  chandelier, in the center of the Cathedral. I attempted to fight the wind, but found that I was virtually
  like that on a gothic Cathedral, between my bedroom and the adjacent room, which were only partially
  separated. I shook myself, and the apparition disappeared. The terror I was experiencing vanished much
  I found myself at the central point of a Cathedral, in my dream and I could not escape. A Cathedral is
  sacred space, designed to keep the forces of chaos at bay; it has the same layout as the cross. The central
  point of a Cathedral is, symbolically, the place where Christ was crucified, and the center of the universe
  simultaneously. All the forces embodied in my dream were conspiring to put me there, awake, despite my

1.07 - Savitri, #Twelve Years With Sri Aurobindo, #Nirodbaran, #Integral Yoga
  I desist from giving my own impression of the incomparable epic. I have no such competence and though I have been made a poet by the Master I leave it to more efficient authorities. One fact alone makes me dumb with a reverent awe and exalted admiration: the colossal labour Sri Aurobindo put forth to build this unique structure. It reminds me of one of those majestic ancient temples like Konarak or of a Gothic Cathedral like Notre Dame before which you stand and stare in speechless ecstasy, your soul takes a flight beyond time and space. Before I knew much about Sri Aurobindo, I asked him in my foolish way, why, himself being the master of inspiration and having all higher planes at his command, sending inspiration to others, should he still have to work so hard? With his consciousness entirely silent, he had only to hitch to the right source and words, images, ideas would tumble down in a Brahmaputra of inspiration! To which he answered in his habitual indulgent tone, perhaps a bit piqued by my facile observation: "The highest planes are not so accommodating as all that. If they were so, why should it be so difficult to bring down and organise the supermind in the physical consciousness? What happy-go-lucky fancy-web-spinning ignoramuses you all are. You speak of silence, consciousness, overmental, supramental, etc. as if they were so many electric buttons you have only to press and there you are. It may be one day, but meanwhile I have to discover everything about the working of all possible modes of electricity, all the laws, possibilities, perils, etc., construct roads of connection and communication, make the whole far-wiring system, try to find out how it can be made foolproof and all that in the course of a single lifetime. And I have to do it while my blessed disciples are firing off their gay or gloomy a priori reasonings at me from a position of entire irresponsibility and expecting me to divulge everything to them not in hints but at length. Lord God in omnibus!"
  Then, with regard to hard labour on Savitri, he wrote: "That is very simple. I used Savitri as a means of ascension. I began with it on a certain mental level, each time I could reach a higher level I rewrote from that level. Moreover I was particular if part seemed to me to come from any lower levels I was not satisfied to leave it because it was good poetry. All had to be as far as possible of the same mint. In fact, Savitri has not been regarded by me as a poem to be written and finished; but as a field of experimentation to see how far poetry could be written from one's own Yogic consciousness and how that could be made creative. I did not rewrite Rose of God or the sonnets except for two or three verbal alterations made at the moment."

1.11 - The Change of Power, #On the Way to Supermanhood, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  And the seeker discovers on his own small scale, in the microcosm he represents that the Harmony of the new world, the new consciousness he has touched gropingly, is a tremendous transforming Power. In the past, it may have chanted up above, produced lovely poems and Cathedrals of wisdom and beauty, but when it touches matter, it takes on the austere face of the angry Mother, thrashing her children and sculpting them mercilessly into the image of her own demanding Rectitude and compassion, the infinite grace that stops just in time, administers just the necessary does and does not inflict one ounce of suffering more than is indispensable. When the seeker begins to open his eyes to this Compassion, this infinite wisdom in the minutest detail, these unbelievable detours to achieve a fuller and more encompassing perfection, these studied obscurities and concerted rebellions, these falls into a greater light, and the infinite march of a Beauty that leaves no hidden stain, no trace of imperfection, no refuge of weakness or disguised pettiness, no recess of falsehood, he is filled with a wonder that surpasses all sidereal measures and cosmic magic. For, truly, being able to attend to such a microscopic point of matter so futile under the stars, so complicated in its tangle of pain and revolt, its obscure resistance that threatens disaster at every instant, and those thousands of little disasters to ward off every day and at every step, those millions of little sufferings to transmute without blowing up the world requires a power such as the earth has never known before. Disease is breaking out everywhere, in every country, every consciousness, every atom of the great earthly body this is a merciless revolution, a relentless transmutation and yet, here and there, in each human consciousness, each country, each fragment of the great torn body, the catastrophe is avoided at the last minute, the best slowly comes out of the worst, consciousness awakens, and our stumbling steps take us despite themselves to the ultimate gate of deliverance. Such is the formidable Harmony, the imperative Power that the seeker discovers step by step and in his own substance.
  We have therefore come to a new change of power. A new power such as there has never been since the first anthropoids, a tidal wave of power that has nothing to do with our little philosophical and spiritual meditations of past ages, a worldwide, collective and perhaps universal phenomenon as radically new as the first surge of thought upon the world, when mind took over from the simian order and overthrew all its laws and instinctual mechanisms. But here and this is really the characteristic of the new world being born the power is not a power of abstraction, not a talent for getting a bird's-eye view of things and reducing the scattered data of the world into an equation in order to make a synthesis, which is always wobbly the mind has turned everything into abstraction; it lives in an image of the world, a yellow or blue reflection of the great bubble, like a man inside a glass statue not a discursive and contingent power that only adds and subtracts, not a gathering of knowledge that never makes a whole. It is a direct power of the truth of each instant and each thing harmonized with the total truth of the millions of instants and things, a power to enter the truth of each gesture and each circumstance, which accords with all other gestures and circumstances because Truth is one and the Self is unique, and if this point is touched, everything else is instantly touched, like cell and cell of the same body. It is a tremendous power of concretization of Truth, acting directly upon the same Truth contained in each point of space and each second of time, or rather, c