classes ::: Place,
children :::
branches ::: Labyrinth, The Labyrinth

bookmarks: Instances - Definitions - Quotes - Chapters - Wordnet - Webgen


object:Labyrinth
class:Place

see also :::

questions, comments, suggestions/feedback, take-down requests, contribute, etc
contact me @ integralyogin@gmail.com or
join the integral discord server (chatrooms)
if the page you visited was empty, it may be noted and I will try to fill it out. cheers



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


OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
SEE ALSO


AUTH

BOOKS
Collected_Fictions
Faust
Heart_of_Matter
Infinite_Library
Labyrinths
Modern_Man_in_Search_of_a_Soul
the_Book
The_Heros_Journey
The_Use_and_Abuse_of_History

IN CHAPTERS TITLE
1.jlb_-_The_Labyrinth

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME
A_Secret_Miracle
Averroes_Search
Deutsches_Requiem
Emma_Zunz
Gods_Script
Kafka_and_His_Precursors
Partial_Magic_in_the_Quixote
Ragnarok
Story_of_the_Warrior_and_the_Captive
The_Book_of_Sand
The_Circular_Ruins
The_Fearful_Sphere_of_Pascal
The_Garden_of_Forking_Paths_1
The_Garden_of_Forking_Paths_2
The_House_of_Asterion
The_Immortal
The_Library_of_Babel
The_Library_Of_Babel_2
The_Lottery_in_Babylon
The_Mirror_of_Enigmas
The_Theologians
The_Waiting
The_Wall_and_the_BOoks
The_Witness
The_Zahir
Valery_as_Symbol

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
01.03_-_Mystic_Poetry
0_1962-05-27
0_1971-05-15
02.02_-_The_Kingdom_of_Subtle_Matter
02.06_-_The_Kingdoms_and_Godheads_of_the_Greater_Life
02.10_-_Two_Mystic_Poems_in_Modern_Bengali
07.41_-_The_Divine_Family
1.01_-_Economy
1.01_-_The_Unexpected
1.02_-_IN_THE_COMPANY_OF_DEVOTEES
1.02_-_The_Refusal_of_the_Call
1.03_-_Supernatural_Aid
1.04_-_BOOK_THE_FOURTH
1.05_-_THE_HOSTILE_BROTHERS_-_ARCHETYPES_OF_RESPONSE_TO_THE_UNKNOWN
1.05_-_The_Magical_Control_of_the_Weather
1.08_-_BOOK_THE_EIGHTH
1.09_-_Equality_and_the_Annihilation_of_Ego
1.10_-_BOOK_THE_TENTH
1.12_-_Sleep_and_Dreams
1.12_-_The_Sociology_of_Superman
1.21_-_WALPURGIS-NIGHT
1.24_-_The_Killing_of_the_Divine_King
1.47_-_Lityerses
1.69_-_Farewell_to_Nemi
1955-10-19_-_The_rhythms_of_time_-_The_lotus_of_knowledge_and_perfection_-_Potential_knowledge_-_The_teguments_of_the_soul_-_Shastra_and_the_Gurus_direct_teaching_-_He_who_chooses_the_Infinite...
1956-01-04_-_Integral_idea_of_the_Divine_-_All_things_attracted_by_the_Divine_-_Bad_things_not_in_place_-_Integral_yoga_-_Moving_idea-force,_ideas_-_Consequences_of_manifestation_-_Work_of_Spirit_via_Nature_-_Change_consciousness,_change_world
1f.lovecraft_-_At_the_Mountains_of_Madness
1f.lovecraft_-_He
1f.lovecraft_-_In_the_Walls_of_Eryx
1f.lovecraft_-_Medusas_Coil
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Beast_in_the_Cave
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Case_of_Charles_Dexter_Ward
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Diary_of_Alonzo_Typer
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Dream-Quest_of_Unknown_Kadath
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Dreams_in_the_Witch_House
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Festival
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Haunter_of_the_Dark
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Horror_in_the_Museum
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Shadow_out_of_Time
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Shadow_over_Innsmouth
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Silver_Key
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Temple
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Whisperer_in_Darkness
1f.lovecraft_-_Through_the_Gates_of_the_Silver_Key
1f.lovecraft_-_Under_the_Pyramids
1.fs_-_Friendship
1.fs_-_Hero_And_Leander
1.jk_-_Endymion_-_Book_I
1.jk_-_Endymion_-_Book_III
1.jk_-_Endymion_-_Book_IV
1.jk_-_Hyperion._Book_III
1.jk_-_Lamia._Part_II
1.jk_-_On_Receiving_A_Laurel_Crown_From_Leigh_Hunt
1.jk_-_Sleep_And_Poetry
1.jk_-_Sonnet_VI._To_G._A._W.
1.jk_-_The_Cap_And_Bells;_Or,_The_Jealousies_-_A_Faery_Tale_.._Unfinished
1.jk_-_To_Some_Ladies
1.jlb_-_Browning_Decides_To_Be_A_Poet
1.jlb_-_Elegy
1.jlb_-_Emanuel_Swedenborg
1.jlb_-_Spinoza
1.jlb_-_Susana_Soca
1.jlb_-_The_Enigmas
1.jlb_-_The_Labyrinth
1.jlb_-_The_Other_Tiger
1.lovecraft_-_Fungi_From_Yuggoth
1.pbs_-_Alastor_-_or,_the_Spirit_of_Solitude
1.pbs_-_Fragment_-_Love_The_Universe_To-Day
1.pbs_-_Lines_Written_Among_The_Euganean_Hills
1.pbs_-_Matilda_Gathering_Flowers
1.pbs_-_Prometheus_Unbound
1.pbs_-_Queen_Mab_-_Part_V.
1.pbs_-_Scenes_From_The_Faust_Of_Goethe
1.pbs_-_The_Revolt_Of_Islam_-_Canto_I-XII
1.pbs_-_The_Witch_Of_Atlas
1.poe_-_Eureka_-_A_Prose_Poem
1.poe_-_Fairy-Land
1.rb_-_Paracelsus_-_Part_II_-_Paracelsus_Attains
1.rb_-_Sordello_-_Book_the_First
1.rb_-_Sordello_-_Book_the_Fourth
1.wby_-_Against_Unworthy_Praise
1.wby_-_Blood_And_The_Moon
1.wby_-_Nineteen_Hundred_And_Nineteen
1.wby_-_The_Phases_Of_The_Moon
1.wby_-_The_Tower
1.whitman_-_Song_Of_The_Universal
1.ww_-_Book_Eighth-_Retrospect--Love_Of_Nature_Leading_To_Love_Of_Man
1.ww_-_Book_Seventh_[Residence_in_London]
1.ww_-_Memorials_Of_A_Tour_In_Scotland-_1814_I._Suggested_By_A_Beautiful_Ruin_Upon_One_Of_The_Islands_Of_Lo
1.ww_-_The_Excursion-_IV-_Book_Third-_Despondency
1.ww_-_The_Excursion-_V-_Book_Fouth-_Despondency_Corrected
1.ww_-_To_Lady_Beaumont
2.01_-_The_Road_of_Trials
2.03_-_DEMETER
2.0_-_THE_ANTICHRIST
2.14_-_The_Origin_and_Remedy_of_Falsehood,_Error,_Wrong_and_Evil
3.16_-_THE_SEVEN_SEALS_OR_THE_YES_AND_AMEN_SONG
4.04_-_THE_REGENERATION_OF_THE_KING
4.06_-_THE_KING_AS_ANTHROPOS
4.15_-_ON_SCIENCE
7_-_Yoga_of_Sri_Aurobindo
Aeneid
A_Secret_Miracle
Avatars_of_the_Tortoise
Averroes_Search
BOOK_II._--_PART_I._ANTHROPOGENESIS.
BOOK_II._--_PART_III._ADDENDA._SCIENCE_AND_THE_SECRET_DOCTRINE_CONTRASTED
BOOK_I._--_PART_I._COSMIC_EVOLUTION
Book_of_Imaginary_Beings_(text)
BOOK_XVIII._-_A_parallel_history_of_the_earthly_and_heavenly_cities_from_the_time_of_Abraham_to_the_end_of_the_world
Deutsches_Requiem
Emma_Zunz
Gods_Script
Kafka_and_His_Precursors
LUX.05_-_AUGOEIDES
Partial_Magic_in_the_Quixote
Ragnarok
Story_of_the_Warrior_and_the_Captive
The_Act_of_Creation_text
The_Aleph
The_Book_of_Sand
The_Circular_Ruins
The_Dwellings_of_the_Philosophers
The_Fearful_Sphere_of_Pascal
The_Garden_of_Forking_Paths_1
The_Garden_of_Forking_Paths_2
The_House_of_Asterion
The_Immortal
The_Library_of_Babel
The_Library_Of_Babel_2
The_Logomachy_of_Zos
The_Lottery_in_Babylon
The_Mirror_of_Enigmas
The_Shadow_Out_Of_Time
The_Theologians
The_Waiting
The_Wall_and_the_BOoks
The_Witness
The_Zahir
Timaeus
Valery_as_Symbol

PRIMARY CLASS

Place
SIMILAR TITLES
Labyrinth
Labyrinths
The Labyrinth
the Labyrinth

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH

Labyrinth [from Greek labyrinthos probably from laura crypt] The complex prison built for King Minos of Crete by Daedalus to house the Minotaur. Theseus succeeded in finding his way out with the aid of the thread given him by the king’s daughter, Ariadne. Symbolically, it may be the celestial labyrinth, into which the souls of the departed plunge, and also its earthly counterpart, as shown in the tortuous subterranean chambers in ancient Egypt, or similar constructions under temples in various ancient lands. These labyrinths also symbolized the races of mankind, and the succession of gods, demigods, and heroes who preceded mortal kings. These underground chambers in general were used as initiation chambers in the Mysteries, where candidates were taught by actual experience various truths regarding human destiny after death; hence there was an exact analogy between the physical construction of these chambers and the truths thus symbolized. The labyrinth therefore refers both to an inner and outer mystery. One of the coins unearthed at Knossos in Crete showed a diagram of such a maze, and this identical pattern, exact to the last important detail, has been found among the Pima Indians of Arizona (cf Theosophical Path, April 1925). Clearly its real significance was common knowledge to initiates in all parts of the world.

labyrinthal ::: a. --> Pertaining to, or resembling, a labyrinth; intricate; labyrinthian.

labyrinth ::: An intricate structure of interconnecting passages through which it is difficult to find one’s way; a maze. (Sri Aurobindo employs the word as an adj.)

labyrinth ::: an intricate structure of interconnecting passages through which it is difficult to find one"s way; a maze. (Sri Aurobindo employs the word as an adj.)

labyrinthian ::: a. --> Intricately winding; like a labyrinth; perplexed; labyrinthal.

labyrinthibranch ::: a. --> Of or pertaining to the Labyrinthici. ::: n. --> One of the Labyrinthici.

labyrinthic ::: a. --> Alt. of Labyrinthical

labyrinthical ::: a. --> Like or pertaining to a labyrinth.

labyrinthici ::: n. pl. --> An order of teleostean fishes, including the Anabas, or climbing perch, and other allied fishes.

labyrinthiform ::: a. --> Having the form of a labyrinth; intricate.

labyrinthine ::: a. --> Pertaining to, or like, a labyrinth; labyrinthal.

labyrinthine ::: resembling a labyrinth in complexity.

labyrinth ::: n. --> An edifice or place full of intricate passageways which render it difficult to find the way from the interior to the entrance; as, the Egyptian and Cretan labyrinths.
Any intricate or involved inclosure; especially, an ornamental maze or inclosure in a park or garden.
Any object or arrangement of an intricate or involved form, or having a very complicated nature.
An inextricable or bewildering difficulty.


labyrinthodon ::: n. --> A genus of very large fossil amphibians, of the Triassic period, having bony plates on the under side of the body. It is the type of the order Labyrinthodonta. Called also Mastodonsaurus.

labyrinthodonta ::: n. pl. --> An extinct order of Amphibia, including the typical genus Labyrinthodon, and many other allied forms, from the Carboniferous, Permian, and Triassic formations. By recent writers they are divided into two or more orders. See Stegocephala.

labyrinthodont ::: a. --> Of or pertaining to the Labyrinthodonta. ::: n. --> One of the Labyrinthodonta.

labyrinth ::: Referring to the internal ear; comprises the cochlea, vestibular apparatus, and the bony canals in which these structures are housed.


TERMS ANYWHERE

An ancient Egyptian zodiac has been found which represented three Virgins: “The three ‘Virgins,’ or Virgo in three different positions, meant . . . the record of the first three ‘divine or astronomical Dynasties,’ who taught the Third Root-Race; and after having abandoned the Atlanteans to their doom, returned (or redescended, rather) during the third Sub-Race of the Fifth, in order to reveal to saved humanity the mysteries of their birth-place — the sidereal Heavens. The same symbolical record of the human races and the three Dynasties (Gods, Manes — semi-divine astrals of the Third and Fourth, and the ‘Heroes’ of the Fifth Race), which preceded the purely human kings, was found in the distribution of the tiers and passages of the Egyptian Labyrinth” (SD 2:435-6).

Ariadne (Greek) In Greek mythology, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, who fell in love with Theseus when he came to kill the Minotaur confined in the labyrinth. She gave Theseus a clue of yarn or thread by means of which he found his way out of the labyrinth again. Ariadne fled with him, but he abandoned her on the Isle of Naxos at the request of Dionysos, who then married her and raised her to immortality. Ariadne was identified in Italy with Libera, goddess of wine. “Analogy is the guiding law in Nature, the only true Ariadne’s thread that can lead us, through the inextricable paths of her domain, toward her primal and final mysteries.” (SD 2:153)

ayonisomanaskAra. [alt. ayonisomanasikAra] (P. ayonisomanasikAra; T. tshul bzhin ma yin pa'i yid la byed pa/tshul min yid byed; C. feili zuoyi/buzheng siwei; J. hiri no sai/fushoshiyui; K. piri chagŭi/pujong sayu 非理作意/不正思惟). In Sanskrit, "unsystematic attention" or "wrong reflection"; attention directed to an object in a superficial manner, without thoroughgoing attention. This term refers especially to the entrancement with the compounded forms of things as revealed through their external marks (LAKsAnA) and secondary characteristics (ANUVYANJANA), so that one does not perceive that they are impermanent (ANITYA). It also entails wrongly ascribing a notion of permanent selfhood (SATKAYADṚstI) to things that are compounded and thus lacking a perduring substratum of being. Because of unsystematic attention to sensory experience, the sentient being becomes subject to an inexorable process of conceptual proliferation (PRAPANCA), in which everything that can be experienced in this world is tied together into a labyrinthine network of concepts, all connected to oneself and projected outward as craving (TṚsnA), conceit (MANA), and wrong views (DṚstI), thus creating bondage to SAMSARA.

Labyrinth [from Greek labyrinthos probably from laura crypt] The complex prison built for King Minos of Crete by Daedalus to house the Minotaur. Theseus succeeded in finding his way out with the aid of the thread given him by the king’s daughter, Ariadne. Symbolically, it may be the celestial labyrinth, into which the souls of the departed plunge, and also its earthly counterpart, as shown in the tortuous subterranean chambers in ancient Egypt, or similar constructions under temples in various ancient lands. These labyrinths also symbolized the races of mankind, and the succession of gods, demigods, and heroes who preceded mortal kings. These underground chambers in general were used as initiation chambers in the Mysteries, where candidates were taught by actual experience various truths regarding human destiny after death; hence there was an exact analogy between the physical construction of these chambers and the truths thus symbolized. The labyrinth therefore refers both to an inner and outer mystery. One of the coins unearthed at Knossos in Crete showed a diagram of such a maze, and this identical pattern, exact to the last important detail, has been found among the Pima Indians of Arizona (cf Theosophical Path, April 1925). Clearly its real significance was common knowledge to initiates in all parts of the world.

Byzantine "jargon, architecture" A term describing any system that has so many labyrinthine internal interconnections that it would be impossible to simplify by separation into loosely coupled or linked components. The city of Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople and then Istanbul, and the Byzantine Empire were vitiated by a bureaucratic overelaboration bordering on lunacy: quadruple banked agencies, dozens or even scores of superfluous levels and officials with high flown titles unrelated to their actual function, if any. Access to the Emperor and his council was controlled by powerful and inscrutable eunuchs and by rival sports factions. [Edward Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"]. (1999-01-15)

Byzantine ::: (jargon, architecture) A term describing any system that has so many labyrinthine internal interconnections that it would be impossible to simplify by separation into loosely coupled or linked components.The city of Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople and then Istanbul, and the Byzantine Empire were vitiated by a bureaucratic overelaboration bordering on lunacy: quadruple banked agencies, dozens or even scores of superfluous levels and officials with high flown titles unrelated to their actual function, if any.Access to the Emperor and his council was controlled by powerful and inscrutable eunuchs and by rival sports factions.[Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire]. (1999-01-15)

cheirotherium ::: n. --> A genus of extinct animals, so named from fossil footprints rudely resembling impressions of the human hand, and believed to have been made by labyrinthodont reptiles. See Illustration in Appendix.

cochlea ::: n. --> An appendage of the labyrinth of the internal ear, which is elongated and coiled into a spiral in mammals. See Ear.

Concerning the labyrinth of ancient Egypt, “Herodotus, preserved for posterity the remembrance of that wonder of the world, the great Labyrinth. . . . Herodotus says that he found therein 3,000 chambers; half subterranean and the other half above-ground. ‘The upper chambers,’ he says, ‘I myself passed through and examined in detail. In the underground ones (which may exist till now, for all the archaeologists know), the keepers of the building would not let me in, for they contain the sepulchres of the kings who built the Labyrinth, and also those of the sacred crocodiles. The upper chambers I saw and examined with my own eyes, and found them to excel all other human productions’ ” (IU 1:522-3).

endolymph ::: n. --> The watery fluid contained in the membranous labyrinth of the internal ear.

endolymph ::: The potassium-rich fluid filling both the cochlear duct and the membranous labyrinth; bathes the apical end of the hair cells.

ganocephala ::: n. pl. --> A group of fossil amphibians allied to the labyrinthodonts, having the head defended by bony, sculptured plates, as in some ganoid fishes.

intricate ::: a. --> Entangled; involved; perplexed; complicated; difficult to understand, follow, arrange, or adjust; as, intricate machinery, labyrinths, accounts, plots, etc. ::: v. t. --> To entangle; to involve; to make perplexing.

intrigue ::: a complicated maze; a puzzle; a labyrinth.

labyrinthal ::: a. --> Pertaining to, or resembling, a labyrinth; intricate; labyrinthian.

labyrinth ::: An intricate structure of interconnecting passages through which it is difficult to find one’s way; a maze. (Sri Aurobindo employs the word as an adj.)

labyrinth ::: an intricate structure of interconnecting passages through which it is difficult to find one"s way; a maze. (Sri Aurobindo employs the word as an adj.)

labyrinthian ::: a. --> Intricately winding; like a labyrinth; perplexed; labyrinthal.

labyrinthibranch ::: a. --> Of or pertaining to the Labyrinthici. ::: n. --> One of the Labyrinthici.

labyrinthic ::: a. --> Alt. of Labyrinthical

labyrinthical ::: a. --> Like or pertaining to a labyrinth.

labyrinthici ::: n. pl. --> An order of teleostean fishes, including the Anabas, or climbing perch, and other allied fishes.

labyrinthiform ::: a. --> Having the form of a labyrinth; intricate.

labyrinthine ::: a. --> Pertaining to, or like, a labyrinth; labyrinthal.

labyrinthine ::: resembling a labyrinth in complexity.

labyrinth ::: n. --> An edifice or place full of intricate passageways which render it difficult to find the way from the interior to the entrance; as, the Egyptian and Cretan labyrinths.
Any intricate or involved inclosure; especially, an ornamental maze or inclosure in a park or garden.
Any object or arrangement of an intricate or involved form, or having a very complicated nature.
An inextricable or bewildering difficulty.


labyrinthodon ::: n. --> A genus of very large fossil amphibians, of the Triassic period, having bony plates on the under side of the body. It is the type of the order Labyrinthodonta. Called also Mastodonsaurus.

labyrinthodonta ::: n. pl. --> An extinct order of Amphibia, including the typical genus Labyrinthodon, and many other allied forms, from the Carboniferous, Permian, and Triassic formations. By recent writers they are divided into two or more orders. See Stegocephala.

labyrinthodont ::: a. --> Of or pertaining to the Labyrinthodonta. ::: n. --> One of the Labyrinthodonta.

labyrinth ::: Referring to the internal ear; comprises the cochlea, vestibular apparatus, and the bony canals in which these structures are housed.

Madhupindikasutta. (C. Miwanyu jing; J. Mitsugan'yukyo; K. Mirhwanyu kyong 蜜丸喩經). In Pāli, "Discourse on the Honey Ball," the eighteenth sutta in the MAJJHIMANIKĀYA (a separate SARVĀSTIVĀDA recension appears as the 115th SuTRA in the Chinese translation of the MADHYAMĀGAMA, along with an untitled recension of unidentified affiliation in the EKOTTARĀGAMA). The Buddha addresses a prince named Dandapāni, describing his teachings as avoiding discord with beings in this world, as indifference to perceptions, as abandoning doubts, and as not craving for existence. The disciple Mahākaccāna (S. MAHĀKĀTYĀYANA) then further explicates the sermon's meaning and the Buddha praises his erudition. The AttHASĀLINĪ cites the Madhupindikasutta as an example of a scripture that, although preached by a disciple, still qualifies as the word of the Buddha (BUDDHAVACANA) because Mahākaccāna's exegesis is based on a synopsis given first by the Buddha. The Madhupindikasutta is best known for its discussion of how the process of sensory perception culminates in conceptual proliferation (P. papaNca; S. PRAPANCA). Any sentient being will be subject to an impersonal causal process of perception in which consciousness (P. viNNāna; S. VIJNĀNA) occurs conditioned by a sense base and a sense object; the contact between these three brings about sensory impingement (P. phassa; S. SPARsA), which in turn leads to sensation (VEDANĀ). At that point, however, the sense of ego intrudes and this process then becomes an intentional one, whereby what one feels, one perceives (P. saNNā; S. SAMJNĀ); what one perceives, one thinks about (P. vitakka; S. VITARKA); and what one thinks about, one conceptualizes (papaNca). However, by allowing oneself to experience sensory objects not as things-in-themselves but as concepts invariably tied to one's own point of view, the perceiving subject now becomes the hapless object of an inexorable process of conceptual subjugation: viz., what one conceptualizes becomes proliferated conceptually (P. papaNcasaNNāsankhā; a term apparently unattested in Sanskrit) throughout all of one's sensory experience in the past, present, and future. The consciousness thus ties together everything that can be experienced in this world into a labyrinthine network of concepts, all tied to oneself and projected into the external world as craving (TṚsnĀ), conceit (MĀNA), and wrong views (DṚstI), thus creating bondage to SAMSĀRA. The goal of training is a state of mind in which this tendency toward conceptual proliferation is brought to an end (P. nippapaNca; S. NIsPRAPANCA).

mastodonsaurus ::: n. --> A large extinct genus of labyrinthodonts, found in the European Triassic rocks.

maze ::: an intricate, usually confusing network of interconnecting pathways, as in a garden; a labyrinth. mazes.

maze ::: n. --> A wild fancy; a confused notion.
Confusion of thought; perplexity; uncertainty; state of bewilderment.
A confusing and baffling network, as of paths or passages; an intricacy; a labyrinth. ::: v. t.


Minos (Greek) King and legislator of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa, afterwards one of the judges of the shades in Hades or the Underworld. Also, a grandson of this Minos, also king of Crete figuring in the story of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur.

minotaur ::: n. --> A fabled monster, half man and half bull, confined in the labyrinth constructed by Daedalus in Crete.

mizmaze ::: n. --> A maze or labyrinth.

  One that contrives, devises, or constructs something: “The labyrinth . . . was built by Daedalus, a most skillful artificer” (Thomas Bulfinch).

Paracelsus, Theophrastus Bombast: (1493-1541) Of Hohenheim, was a physician who endeavored to use philosophy as one of the "pillars" of medical science. His philosophy is a weird combination of Neo-Platonism, experimentalism, and superstitious magic. He rejected much of the traditional theory of Galen and the Arab physicians. His works (Labyrinthus, Opus paramirum, Die grosse Wundarznei, De natura rerum) were written in Swiss-German, translated into Latin by his followers, recent investigators make no attempt to distinguish his personal thought from that of his school. Thorndyke, L., Hist. of Magic and Experimental Science (N. Y., 1941), V, 615-651. -- V.J.B.

perilymph ::: n. --> The fluid which surrounds the membranous labyrinth of the internal ear, and separates it from the walls of the chambers in which the labyrinth lies.

prapaNca. (P. papaNca; T. spros pa; C. xilun; J. keron; K. hŭiron 戲論). In Sanskrit, lit. "diffusion," "expansion"; viz. "conceptualization" or "conceptual proliferation"; the tendency of the process of cognition to proliferate the perspective of the self (ĀTMAN) throughout all of one's sensory experience via the medium of concepts. The locus classicus for describing how sensory perception culminates in conceptual proliferation appears in the Pāli MADHUPIndIKASUTTA. As that scripture explains, any living being will be subject to an impersonal causal process of perception in which consciousness (P. viNNāna; S. VIJNĀNA) occurs conditioned by an internal sense base (INDRIYA) and an external sense object (ĀYATANA); the contact among these three brings about sensory impingement or contact (P. phassa; S. SPARsA), which in turn leads to the sensation (VEDANĀ) of that contact as pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. At that point, however, the sense of ego intrudes and this process then becomes an intentional one, whereby what one feels, one perceives (P. saNNā; S. SAMJNĀ); what one perceives, one thinks about (P. vitakka; S. VITARKA); and what one thinks about, one conceptualizes (P. papaNca; S. prapaNca). By allowing oneself to experience sensory objects not as things-in-themselves but as concepts invariably tied to one's own perspective, the perceiving subject then becomes the hapless object of an inexorable process of conceptual subjugation: viz., what one conceptualizes becomes proliferated conceptually (P. papaNcasaNNāsankhā; a term apparently unattested in Sanskrit) throughout all of one's sensory experience. Everything that can be experienced in this world in the past, present, and future is now bound together into a labyrinthine network of concepts, all tied to oneself and projected into the external world as craving (TṚsnĀ), conceit (MĀNA), and wrong views (DṚstI), thus creating bondage to SAMSĀRA. By systematic attention (YONIsOMANASKĀRA) to the impersonal character of sensory experience and through sensory restraint (INDRIYASAMVARA), this tendency to project ego throughout the entirety of the perceptual process is brought to an end. In this state of "conceptual nonproliferation" (P. nippapaNca; S. NIḤPRAPANCA), perception is freed from concepts tinged by this proliferating tendency, allowing one to see the things of this world as impersonal causal products that are inevitably impermanent (ANITYA), suffering (DUḤKHA), and nonself (ANĀTMAN). ¶ The preceding interpretation reflects the specific denotation of the term as explicated in Pāli scriptural materials. In a Mahāyāna context, prapaNca may also connote "elaboration" or "superimposition," especially in the sense of a fanciful, imagined, or superfluous quality that is mistakenly projected on to an object, resulting in its being misperceived. Such projections are described as manifestations of ignorance (AVIDYĀ); reality and the mind that perceives reality are described as being free from prapaNca (NIsPRAPANCA), and the purpose of Buddhist practice in one sense can be described as the recognition and elimination of prapaNca in order to see reality clearly and directly. In the MADHYAMAKA school, the most dangerous type of prapaNca is the presumption of intrinsic existence (SVABHĀVA). In YOGĀCĀRA, prapaNca is synonymous with the "seeds" (BĪJA) that provide the basis for perception and the potentiality for future action. In this school, prapaNca is closely associated with false discrimination (VIKALPA), specifically the bifurcation of perceiving subject and perceived object (GRĀHYAGRĀHAKAVIKALPA). The goal of practice is said to be a state of mind that is beyond all thought constructions and verbal elaboration. ¶ The precise denotation of prapaNca has been the subject of much perplexity and debate within the Buddhist tradition, which is reflected in the varying translations for the term in Buddhist canonical languages. The standard Chinese rendering xilun means "frivolous debate," which reflects the tendency of prapaNca to complicate meaningful discussion about the true character of sensory cognition. The Tibetan spros ba means something like "extension, elaboration" and reflects the tendency of prapaNca to proliferate a fanciful conception of reality onto the objects of perception.

sacculus ::: n. --> A little sac; esp., a part of the membranous labyrinth of the ear.

Sgrag yang rdzong. (Drakyang Dzong). One of two labyrinthine cave complexes located near RDO RJE BRAG monastery, south of LHA SA in central Tibet; venerated as a site where the Indian adept PADMASAMBHAVA and his consort YE SHES MTSHO RGYAL remained in meditation retreat.

stegocephala ::: n. pl. --> An extinct order of amphibians found fossil in the Mesozoic rocks; called also Stegocephali, and Labyrinthodonta.

The series of chambers in the labyrinth was an attempt to portray in the Mysteries by means of a construction — whether subterranean or above ground — the peregrinations of the human monad in its postmortem destiny, as it wandered from chamber to chamber — from sphere to sphere or globe to globe — in the celestial spaces, finally returning to its point of departure, in this instance to human reimbodiment.

utriculus ::: n. --> A little sac, or bag; a utricle; especially, a part of the membranous labyrinth of the ear. See the Note under Ear.

Vannevar Bush "person" Dr. Vannevar Bush, 1890-1974. The man who invented {hypertext}, which he called {memex}, in the 1930s. Bush did his undergraduate work at Tufts College, where he later taught. His masters thesis (1913) included the invention of the Profile Tracer, used in surveying work to measure distances over uneven ground. In 1919, he joined {MIT}'s Department of Electrical Engineering, where he stayed for twenty-five years. In 1932, he was appointed vice-president and dean. At this time, Bush worked on optical and photocomposition devices, as well as a machine for rapid selection from banks of microfilm. Further positions followed: president of the Carnegie Institute in Washington, DC (1939); chair of National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (1939); director of Office of Scientific Research and Development. This last role was as presidential science advisor, which made him personally responsible for the 6,000 scientists involved in the war effort. During World War II, Bush worked on radar antenna profiles and the calculation of artillery firing tables. He proposed the development of an {analogue computer}, which later became the {Rockefeller Differential Analyser}. Bush is the pivotal figure in hypertext research. His ground-breaking 1945 paper, "As We May Think," speculated on how a machine might be created to assist human reasoning, and introduced the idea of an easily accessible, individually configurable storehouse of knowledge. This machine, which he dubbed "memex," in various ways anticipated {hypermedia} and the {World Wide Web} by nearly half a century. {Electronic Labyrinth article (http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/elab/hfl0034.html)}. {Bush's famous article, "As We May Think" (http://theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/computer/bushf.htm)}. (2001-06-17)



QUOTES [16 / 16 - 620 / 620]


KEYS (10k)

   11 Jorge Luis Borges
   1 Under a veil you must never lift
   1 Swami Ramakrishnananda
   1 Kate Bush
   1 Federico Garcia Lorca
   1 Sri Ramana Maharshi

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

  114 John Green
   43 Jorge Luis Borges
   16 Haruki Murakami
   15 Friedrich Nietzsche
   11 Rick Riordan
   9 Catherynne M Valente
   7 Anonymous
   6 Rebecca Solnit
   5 Joseph Campbell
   5 Gabriel Garc a M rquez
   5 Carlos Ruiz Zafon
   5 Carlos Ruiz Zaf n
   5 Audrey Niffenegger
   4 Umberto Eco
   4 Terry Pratchett
   4 Philip Roth
   4 H P Lovecraft
   4 Galileo Galilei
   4 C S Lewis
   3 Victor Hugo

1:In the Labyrinth. ~ Kate Bush,
2:I found a book on how to be invisible ~ On the edge of the labyrinth ~ Under a veil you must never lift ~ Pages you must never turn ~,
3:I know there is no straight road
   No straight road in this world
   Only a giant labyrinth
   Of intersecting crossroads
   ~ Federico Garcia Lorca,
4:There is no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one. ~ Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths, Selected Stories and Other Writings,
5:We have entangled ourselves and we seem to love to entangle ourselves. Such is the perversity of our nature. But only when we extricate ourselves from this labyrinth of nerves can we hope to be free. ~ Swami Ramakrishnananda,
6:I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars.~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden Of Forking Paths,
7:Ts'ui Pe must have said once: I am withdrawing to write a book. And another time: I am withdrawing to construct a labyrinth. Every one imagined two works; to no one did it occur that the book and the maze were one and the same thing." ~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden Of Forking Paths,
8:This has happened and will happen again,' said Euphorbus. 'You are not lighting a pyre, you are lighting a labyrinth of flames. If all the fires I have seen were gathered together here, they would not fit on earth and the angels would be blinded. I have said this many times.' Then he cried out, because the flames had reached him.~ Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths, Selected Stories and Other Writings,
9:Augustine had written that Jesus is the straight path that saves us from the circular labyrinth followed by the impious; these Aurelian, laboriously trivial, compared with Ixion, with the liver of Prometheus, with Sisyphus, with the king of Thebes who saw two suns, with stuttering, with parrots, with mirrors, with echoes, with the mules of a noria and with two-horned syllogisms. ~ Jorge Luis Borges, Labryinths, The Theologians,
10:To do this is to enter the magical world view in its totality. He takes complete responsibility for his present incarnation and must consider every experience, thing, or piece of information which assails him from any source, as a reflection of the way he is conducting his existence. The idea that things happen to one that may or may not be related to the way one acts is an illusion created by our shallow awareness. Keeping a close eye on the walls of the labyrinth, the conditions of his existence, the magician may then begin his invocation. The genius is not something added to oneself. Rather it is a stripping away of excess to reveal the god within.
   ~ Peter J Carroll, Liber Null,
11:The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their downfall: in the labyrinth, in hardness towards oneself and others, in experiment; their delight lies in self-mastery: asceticism is with them nature, need, instinct. The difficult task they consider a privilege; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation... Knowledge - a form of asceticism. - They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not exclude their being the cheerfullest, the kindliest. They rule not because they want to but because they are; they are not free to be second. - The second type: they are the guardians of the law, the keepers of order and security; they are the noble warriors, with the king above all as the highest formula of warrior, judge, and upholder of the law. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist,
12:2. Refusal of the Call:Often in actual life, and not infrequently in the myths and popular tales, we encounter the dull case of the call unanswered; for it is always possible to turn the ear to other interests. Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or 'culture,' the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless-even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire or renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his minotaur. All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration. ~ Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces,
13:A person doing his true will is assisted by the momentum of the universe and seems possessed of amazing good luck. In beginning the great work of obtaining the knowledge and conversation, the magician vows 'to interpret every manifestation of existence as a direct message from the infinite Chaos to himself personally'
   To do this is to enter the magical world view in its totality. He takes complete responsibility for his present incarnation and must consider every experience, thing, or piece of information which assails him from any source, as a reflection of the way he is conducting his existence. The idea that things happen to one that may or may not be related to the way one acts is an illusion created by our shallow awareness.
   Keeping a close eye on the walls of the labyrinth, the conditions of his existence, the magician may then begin his invocation. The genius is not something added to oneself. Rather it is a stripping away of excess to reveal the god within.
   ~ Peter J Carroll, Liber Null, Liber LUX, Augoeides [49-50],
14:On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph's diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror's face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I'd seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand... ~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph,
15:He had no document but his memory; the training he had acquired with each added hexameter gave him a discipline unsuspected by those who set down and forget temporary, incomplete paragraphs. He was not working for posterity or even for God, whose literary tastes were unknown to him. Meticulously, motionlessly, secretly, he wrought in time his lofty, invisible labyrinth. He worked the third act over twice. He eliminated certain symbols as over-obvious, such as the repeated striking of the clock, the music. Nothing hurried him. He omitted, he condensed, he amplified. In certain instances he came back to the original version. He came to feel affection for the courtyard, the barracks; one of the faces before him modified his conception of Roemerstadt's character. He discovered that the wearying cacophonies that bothered Flaubert so much are mere visual superstitions, weakness and limitation of the written word, not the spoken...He concluded his drama. He had only the problem of a single phrase. He found it. The drop of water slid down his cheek. He opened his mouth in a maddened cry, moved his face, dropped under the quadruple blast.~ Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths, Selected Stories and Other Writings,
16:AUGOEIDES:
   The magicians most important invocation is that of his Genius, Daemon, True Will, or Augoeides. This operation is traditionally known as attaining the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. It is sometimes known as the Magnum Opus or Great Work.
   The Augoeides may be defined as the most perfect vehicle of Kia on the plane of duality. As the avatar of Kia on earth, the Augoeides represents the true will, the raison detre of the magician, his purpose in existing. The discovery of ones true will or real nature may be difficult and fraught with danger, since a false identification leads to obsession and madness. The operation of obtaining the knowledge and conversation is usually a lengthy one. The magician is attempting a progressive metamorphosis, a complete overhaul of his entire existence. Yet he has to seek the blueprint for his reborn self as he goes along. Life is less the meaningless accident it seems. Kia has incarnated in these particular conditions of duality for some purpose. The inertia of previous existences propels Kia into new forms of manifestation. Each incarnation represents a task, or a puzzle to be solved, on the way to some greater form of completion.
   The key to this puzzle is in the phenomena of the plane of duality in which we find ourselves. We are, as it were, trapped in a labyrinth or maze. The only thing to do is move about and keep a close watch on the way the walls turn. In a completely chaotic universe such as this one, there are no accidents. Everything is signifcant. Move a single grain of sand on a distant shore and the entire future history of the world will eventually be changed. A person doing his true will is assisted by the momentum of the universe and seems possessed of amazing good luck. In beginning the great work of obtaining the knowledge and conversation, the magician vows to interpret every manifestation of existence as a direct message from the infinite Chaos to himself personally.
   To do this is to enter the magical world view in its totality. He takes complete responsibility for his present incarnation and must consider every experience, thing, or piece of information which assails him from any source, as a reflection of the way he is conducting his existence. The idea that things happen to one that may or may not be related to the way one acts is an illusion created by our shallow awareness.
   Keeping a close eye on the walls of the labyrinth, the conditions of his existence, the magician may then begin his invocation. The genius is not something added to oneself. Rather it is a stripping away of excess to reveal the god within.
   Directly on awakening, preferably at dawn, the initiate goes to the place of invocation. Figuring to himself as he goes that being born anew each day brings with it the chance of greater rebirth, first he banishes the temple of his mind by ritual or by some magical trance. Then he unveils some token or symbol or sigil which represents to him the Holy Guardian Angel. This symbol he will likely have to change during the great work as the inspiration begins to move him. Next he invokes an image of the Angel into his minds eye. It may be considered as a luminous duplicate of ones own form standing in front of or behind one, or simply as a ball of brilliant light above ones head. Then he formulates his aspirations in what manner he will, humbling himself in prayer or exalting himself in loud proclamation as his need be. The best form of this invocation is spoken spontaneously from the heart, and if halting at first, will prove itself in time. He is aiming to establish a set of ideas and images which correspond to the nature of his genius, and at the same time receive inspiration from that source. As the magician begins to manifest more of his true will, the Augoeides will reveal images, names, and spiritual principles by which it can be drawn into greater manifestation. Having communicated with the invoked form, the magician should draw it into himself and go forth to live in the way he hath willed.
   The ritual may be concluded with an aspiration to the wisdom of silence by a brief concentration on the sigil of the Augoeides, but never by banishing. Periodically more elaborate forms of ritual, using more powerful forms of gnosis, may be employed. At the end of the day, there should be an accounting and fresh resolution made. Though every day be a catalog of failure, there should be no sense of sin or guilt. Magic is the raising of the whole individual in perfect balance to the power of Infinity, and such feelings are symptomatic of imbalance. If any unnecessary or imbalanced scraps of ego become identified with the genius by mistake, then disaster awaits. The life force flows directly into these complexes and bloats them into grotesque monsters variously known as the demon Choronzon. Some magicians attempting to go too fast with this invocation have failed to banish this demon, and have gone spectacularly insane as a result.
   ~ Peter J Carroll, Liber Null,

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:It only takes two facing mirrors to build a labyrinth. ~ jorge-luis-borges, @wisdomtrove
2:A labyrinth of symbols... An invisible labyrinth of time. ~ jorge-luis-borges, @wisdomtrove
3:The minotaur more than justifies the existence of the labyrinth. ~ jorge-luis-borges, @wisdomtrove
4:There's no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one. ~ jorge-luis-borges, @wisdomtrove
5:The worst labyrinth is not that intricate form that can entrap us forever, but a single and precise straight line ~ jorge-luis-borges, @wisdomtrove
6:The Gateway to Christianity is not through an intricate labyrinth of dogma, but by a simple belief in the person of Christ. ~ norman-vincent-peale, @wisdomtrove
7:Loving another person is a wonderful thing, and if that love is sincere, no one ends up tossed into a labyrinth. You have to have more faith in yourself. ~ haruki-murakami, @wisdomtrove
8:We grope about in the labyrinth of our life and in the obscurity of our investigations; bright moments illuminate our path like flashes of lightning. ~ arthur-schopenhauer, @wisdomtrove
9:He, who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life. ~ victor-hugo, @wisdomtrove
10:A man sets himself the task of portraying the world. Shortly before he dies he discovers that this patient labyrinth of lines is a drawing of his own face. ~ jorge-luis-borges, @wisdomtrove
11:I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future . . . I felt myself to be, for an unknown period of time, an abstract perceiver of the world. ~ jorge-luis-borges, @wisdomtrove
12:Things outside you are projections of what's inside you, and what's inside you is a projection of what's outside. So when you step into the labyrinth outside you, at the same time you're stepping into the labyrinth inside. ~ haruki-murakami, @wisdomtrove
13:Tengo could hardly believe it&
14:A studio is an absolute labyrinth of possibilities - this is why records take so long to make because there are millions of permutations of things you can do. The most useful thing you can do is to get rid of some of those options before you start ~ brian-eno, @wisdomtrove
15:Progress was a labyrinth ... people plunging blindly in and then rushing wildly back, shouting that they had found it ... the invisible king-the élan vital-the principle of evolution ... writing a book, starting a war, founding a school. ~ f-scott-fitzgerald, @wisdomtrove
16:It will be easy for us the first time we receive that ball of yarn from Ariadne (love) and then go through all the mazes of the labyrinth (life) and kill the monster. But how many there are who plunge into life (the labyrinth) without taking that precaution? ~ soren-kierkegaard, @wisdomtrove
17:A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face. ~ jorge-luis-borges, @wisdomtrove
18:My peak? Would I even have one? I hardly had had anything you could call a life. A few ripples, some rises and falls. But that's it. Almost nothing. Nothing born of nothing. I'd loved and been loved, but I had nothing to show. It was a singularly plain, featureless landscape. I felt like I was in a video game. A surrogate Pacman, crunching blindly through a labyrinth of dotted lines. The only certainty was my death. ~ haruki-murakami, @wisdomtrove
19:Let the labyrinth of wrinkles be furrowed in my brow with the red-hot iron of my own life, let my hair whiten and my step become vacillating, on condition that I can save the intelligence of my soul - let my unformed childhood soul, as it ages, assume the rational and esthetic forms of an architecture, let me learn just everything that others cannot teach me, what only life would be capable of marking deeply in my skin! ~ salvador-dali, @wisdomtrove
20:We also write to heighten our own awareness of life... We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection... We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it... to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth. We write to expand our world when we feel strangled, or constricted, or lonely... When I don't write, I feel my world shrinking... I feel I lose my fire and my color. ~ anais-nin, @wisdomtrove
21:Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man's best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is took weak and fuddled to shake off. ~ c-s-lewis, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:I choose the labyrinth. ~ John Green,
2:Get me out of this labyrinth ~ John Green,
3:I think Pans Labyrinth is genius. ~ Joe Dante,
4:Is the labyrinth living or dying? ~ John Green,
5:The labyrinth sucks, but I choose it ~ John Green,
6:The labyrinth blows, but I choose it. ~ John Green,
7:Every labyrinth has its minotaur ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
8:Every labyrinth has its minotaur ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafon,
9:And I wrote my way out of the labyrinth. ~ John Green,
10:Politics are a labyrinth without a clue. ~ John Adams,
11:How will I ever get out of this labyrinth! ~ John Green,
12:How will I ever get out of this labyrinth? ~ John Green,
13:We had to forgive to survive the labyrinth ~ John Green,
14:We have to forgive to survive the labyrinth. ~ John Green,
15:We had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth ~ John Green,
16:We had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. ~ John Green,
17:How do i get out of this labyrinth of suffering? ~ John Green,
18:How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering? ~ John Green,
19:You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth. ~ John Green,
20:There is a labyrinth which is a straight line. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
21:Damn it, how will I ever get out of this labyrinth? ~ Simon Bolivar,
22:How will I ever get out of this labyrinth! ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
23:How will I ever get out of this labyrinth! ~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez,
24:Music is a labyrinth with no beginning and no end, ~ Pierre Boulez,
25:and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. ~ John Green,
26:How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? ~ John Green,
27:London is a labyrinth, half of stone and half of flesh. ~ Peter Ackroyd,
28:Which of us saved the other from the Labyrinth, Ged? ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
29:the only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is forgiving ~ John Green,
30:Almost anything at all can be transmuted into a labyrinth. ~ Harold Bloom,
31:Give me a labyrinth to walk and I can usually free my mind. ~ Pam Houston,
32:The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive ~ John Green,
33:I choose the labyrinth. The labyrinth blows, but I choose it. ~ John Green,
34:It only takes two facing mirrors to build a labyrinth. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
35:The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive. ~ John Green,
36:I’m a nerdy, geeky fan of Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. ~ Neil Patrick Harris,
37:We have to forgive to survive in this labyrinth [of suffering] ~ John Green,
38:A labyrinth of symbols... An invisible labyrinth of time. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
39:A labyrinth, when it is big enough, is just the world. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
40:Damn it," he sighed. "How will I ever get out of this Labyrinth! ~ John Green,
41:The only person who can solve the labyrinth of yourself is You. ~ Jeremy Denk,
42:How will i ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering ? -
A Y. ~ John Green,
43:The minotaur more than justifies the existence of the labyrinth. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
44:How will you—you personally—ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? ~ John Green,
45:Maybe "the afterlife" is just to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. ~ John Green,
46:Damn it,' he sighed. 'How will I ever get out of this labyrinth! ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
47:For you know that I myself am a labyrinth, where one easily gets lost. ~ Charles Perrault,
48:How will you - you personally - ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? ~ John Green,
49:There's no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
50:There is no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
51:Is it so hard to die, Mr. Lewis? Is that labyrinth really worse than this one? ~ John Green,
52:Love is a labyrinth of misunderstandings whose way out doesn’t exist. ~ Jacques Alain Miller,
53:The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive- lookng for alaska ~ John Green,
54:The real truth must sometimes be protected by a labyrinth of lies -Vorbis- ~ Terry Pratchett,
55:I’d lived my life in a dim labyrinth of drudgery disguised as fun and pleasure. ~ Randy Alcorn,
56:There's your labyrinth of suffering. We are all going. Find your way out of that maze. ~ John Green,
57:Poetry is the thread that leads us out of the labyrinth of despair and into the light. ~ Gregory Orr,
58:...you found me in my lonely labyrinth and like Beatrice, led me out of my own hell... ~ John Geddes,
59:Is the labyrinth living or dying? Which is he trying to escape—the world or the end of it? ~ John Green,
60:The point of a maze is to find its center. The point of a labyrinth is to find your center. ~ Anonymous,
61:Tumbling into a dark, Lewis Carroll labyrinth of filth, pursuing a white rabbit of smut! ~ Russell Brand,
62:… it only takes two facing mirrors to construct a labyrinth.

from "Nightmares ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
63:The whole life of man until he is converted to Christ is a ruinous labyrinth of wanderings. ~ John Calvin,
64:What a bog and labyrinth the human essence is... We are all overbrained and overemotioned. ~ Barry Hannah,
65:The nature of the labyrinth, I scribbled into my spiral notebook, and the way out of it. This ~ John Green,
66:But to Lord Peter the world presented itself as an entertaining labyrinth of side-issues ~ Dorothy L Sayers,
67:I think—the hero observes that nothing is so frightening as a labyrinth with no center. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
68:I was born into Bolivar's labyrinth, and so I must believe in the hope of Rabelais' Great Perhaps. ~ John Green,
69:I was born into Bolívar's labyrinth, and so I must believe in the hope of Rabelais' Great Perhaps. ~ John Green,
70:It's not life or death, the labyrinth. Suffering. Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. ~ John Green,
71:and dangerous depths of the labyrinth that was her depression. It had prevented her from slipping ~ Gilly Macmillan,
72:Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls his watery labyrinth, which whoso drinks forgets both joy and grief. ~ John Milton,
73:The girl was a labyrinth to him; only by chance and error did he ever stumble blindly into her heart. ~ Michael Chabon,
74:There should always be in sight the draw — a kind of a beacon that draws you on through the labyrinth. ~ Stewart Brand,
75:Although some of us get lost in the labyrinth of our own insecurities, it’s possible to find our way out. ~ Leisa Rayven,
76:Meditative prayer like that we experienced in the labyrinth resonates with hearts of emerging generations. ~ Dan Kimball,
77:The secret to the labyrinth is always at the beginning. Before you enter. Once you do it is too late. ~ Georgia Le Carre,
78:Ah, but are we not, in some ways, all trapped in a labyrinth of our own making?" the Goblin King asked lightly. ~ S Jae Jones,
79:A man in his own secret meditation / Is lost amid the labyrinth that he has made / In art or politics. ~ William Butler Yeats,
80:the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. ~ Anonymous,
81:we are like the wizard who weaves a labyrinth and is forced to wander through it till the end of his days ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
82:It is, indeed, very little that we need! But lacking that, the adventure into the labyrinth is without hope. ~ Joseph Campbell,
83:The female heart is a labyrinth of subtleties, too challenging for the uncouth mind of the male racketeer. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
84:Loving another person is a wonderful thing, and if that love is sincere, no one ends up tossed in a labyrinth. ~ Haruki Murakami,
85:Politics is a tangled web, an intricate labyrinth, an ever-shifting kaleidoscopic pattern. And it is not pretty. ~ Brian Herbert,
86:The only way to get through this whole labyrinth thing, like most other crappy things, was to just get through it. ~ Kami Garcia,
87:Where he had failed, I would triumph. Where he had lost his way, I would find the path out of the labyrinth. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafon,
88:How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!" to a margin note written in her loop-heavy cursive: Straight & Fast. ~ John Green,
89:She became his Ariadne, leading him through the labyrinth of books, stopping now and then to pass another one to him. ~ Donna Leon,
90:Let's make a deal: You figure out what the labyrinth is and how to get out of it, and i'll get you laid. -Alaska Young ~ John Green,
91:Where he had failed, I would triumph.
Where he had lost his way, I would find the path out of the labyrinth. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
92:The worst labyrinth is not that intricate form that can entrap us forever, but a single and precise straight line ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
93:That's the mystery, isn't it? Is the labyrinth living or dying? Which is he trying to escape - the world or the end of it? ~ John Green,
94:That's the mystery, isn't it? Is the labyrinth living or dying? Which is he trying to escape---the world or the end of it? ~ John Green,
95:You’ve wandered into a labyrinth of time, and the biggest problem of all is that you have no desire at all to get out. ~ Haruki Murakami,
96:I know there is no straight road No straight road in this world Only a giant labyrinth Of intersecting crossroads ~ Federico Garcia Lorca,
97:He's complicated and complex, a labyrinth I want to lose myself in. He's my fighter, and I really want to fight to be with him. ~ Katy Evans,
98:There is no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one. ~ Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths, Selected Stories and Other Writings,
99:Underneath Day's azure eyes, Ocean's nursling, Venice lies, A peopled labyrinth of walls, Amphitrite's destined halls ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley,
100:Chiron insisted that we talk about the Labyrinth in the morning which is like 'Hey, your life's in mortal danger. Sleep tight! ~ Rick Riordan,
101:A labyrinth is a symbolic journey . . . but it is a map we can really walk on, blurring the difference between map and world. ~ Rebecca Solnit,
102:she said, "That's the mystery, isn't it? Is the labyrinth living or dying? Which is he trying to escape- the world or the end of it? ~ John Green,
103:I know there is no straight road
   No straight road in this world
   Only a giant labyrinth
   Of intersecting crossroads
   ~ Federico Garcia Lorca,
104:The Gateway to Christianity is not through an intricate labyrinth of dogma, but by a simple belief in the person of Christ. ~ Norman Vincent Peale,
105:Geordie wrote a letter to Mr. Webster in which the shrieking figure of Apology was hounded through a labyrinth of agonized syntax. ~ Robertson Davies,
106:I know there is no straight road
No straight road in this world
Only a giant labyrinth
Of intersecting crossroads ~ Federico Garc a Lorca,
107:Look at the earth and you think it's solid," he said. "But look deeper and you'll see it's riddled with tunnels. A warren. A labyrinth. ~ David Almond,
108:Then we got into a labyrinth, and, when we thought we were at the end,
came out again at the beginning, having still to see as much as ever. ~ Plato,
109:You live in a literal prison inside the labyrinth of a demon witch who is about to kill our entire family. How can there be any hope ? ~ Zoraida C rdova,
110:Mond scheint ins Zimmer. Nichts ist real.
Jeder Augenblick unergründlich, die Welt
Kolossales Echo im Labyrinth der Sinne. ~ Hans Magnus Enzensberger,
111:With a labyrinth, you make a choice to go in - and once you've chosen, around and around you go. But you always find your way to the center. ~ Jeff Bridges,
112:Coincidences don't get questioned. That's why they are coincidences." ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n Daniel Sempere in "The Labyrinth of the Spirits ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
113:To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing. ~ Marcel Duchamp,
114:After all this time, it seems to me like straight and fast is the only way out- but I choose the labyrinth. The labyrinth blows, but I choose it. ~ John Green,
115:Beyond the silver span of the motor bridge lay basins of cracked mud the size of ballrooms - models of a state of mind, a curvilinear labyrinth. ~ J G Ballard,
116:I thanked God for having led me through the labyrinth of darkness to the only point at which the voices of my companions could reach me. (p. 122) ~ Jules Verne,
117:going into a cave might be like going inside one's own mind, crawling around in the pitch-black, nook-and-crannied labyrinth of the human psyche. ~ Barbara Hurd,
118:Trials of a person I didn't know lost in a labyrinth of aisles formed by the immense filing cabinets of Brazil - the movie, not the country. ~ Patti Smith,
119:where there's a labyrinth, there's a minotaur, and vice versa! I can't imagine a decent maze that would be caught dead without a minotaur. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
120:We are all going,” McKinley said to his wife, and we sure are. There’s your labyrinth of suffering. We are all going. Find your way out of that maze. ~ John Green,
121:The first path a human being ever travels is the path that leads out of the maternal womb. Every human being's first labyrinth is that of a woman. ~ Jacques Attali,
122:it's a meeting of minds.She would tell you that's the purest kind of love

-Anabeth ,percy jackson and the olympians(the battle of the labyrinth) ~ Rick Riordan,
123:O the blest eyes, the happy hearts,
That see, that know the guiding thread so fine,
Along the mighty labyrinth."

-from "Song of the Universal ~ Walt Whitman,
124:There are moments when, if one rejects the simple and obvious promptings of duty, one finds oneself in a labyrinth of complexities of some quite new kind. ~ Iris Murdoch,
125:How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?'.... Everybody who has ever lost their way in life has felt the nagging insistence of that question. ~ John Green,
126:The labyrinth of Ephebe is ancient and full of one hundred and one amazing things you can do with hidden springs, razor-sharp knives, and falling rocks. ~ Terry Pratchett,
127:Loving another person is a wonderful thing, and if that love is sincere, no one ends up tossed into a labyrinth. You have to have more faith in yourself. ~ Haruki Murakami,
128:He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life. ~ Victor Hugo,
129:He, who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life. ~ Victor Hugo,
130:Time passes cold and indifferent over us; it knows nothing of our joys or sorrows; it leads us with ice-cold hand deeper and deeper into the labyrinth. ~ Johann Ludwig Tieck,
131:I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
132:This is a labyrinth of wickedness and destruction and pleasure and, above all, love, because in the end it's all just one big, mind-bending love story, isn't it? ~ Ted Dekker,
133:A man sets himself the task of portraying the world. Shortly before he dies he discovers that this patient labyrinth of lines is a drawing of his own face. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
134:I still think that, sometimes, think
that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. ~ John Green,
135:Next she turned the gun upward and thrust the muzzle into her mouth. Now it was aimed directly at her cerebrum-- the gray labyrinth where consciousness resided. ~ Haruki Murakami,
136:So we're racing the Clare and the Courts," said Julian. "Fantastic. Maybe there's someone else we can piss off. The Spiral Labyrinth? The Scholomance? Interpol? ~ Cassandra Clare,
137:A story is a labyrinth, it looks as if there were several ways to go, but only one is right, and there's a nasty surprise ready to punish you for every false step. ~ Cornelia Funke,
138:We should know by now that the most exact, most precise representation of the human heart is the labyrinth. And where the human heart is involved, anything is possible. ~ Jos Saramago,
139:All the barriers were gone. I had unwound the string she had given me, and found my way out of the labyrinth to where she was waiting. I loved her with more than my body. ~ Daniel Keyes,
140:Our love has been the thread through the
labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust. ~ Audrey Niffenegger,
141:To tell of disappointment and misery, to thicken the darkness of futurity, and perplex the labyrinth of uncertainty, has been always a delicious employment of the poets ~ Samuel Johnson,
142:Language is a labyrinth of paths. You approach from one side and know your way about; you approach the same place from another side and no longer know your way about. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein,
143:At a deeper level it is a fantasy of no-limits for a people who live within a labyrinth of limits every day of their lives, and who can transgress them only among themselves. ~ Greil Marcus,
144:He was gone and did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. ~ John Green,
145:I imagined a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars.” –Jorge Luis Borges ~ Peter Morville,
146:was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. ~ John Green,
147:The bottom of the basin is a vast labyrinth of stone: mile-deep chasms; sharp reefs and table-flat mesas; crenellated buttes like castles surrounded by invisible moats. At ~ Jonathan Strahan,
148:He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. ~ John Green,
149:AND SO THE STORY ENDS, bracketed by two architects: Daedalus, who built the Minoan labyrinth, and Ventris, who found the thread that unraveled the tangle of writing unearthed there. ~ Margalit Fox,
150:In a matter of seconds, the world had turned into a confusing labyrinth; the truth there and not there, shifting out beneath my feet, vanishing when I tried to look it head-on. ~ Becca Fitzpatrick,
151:Whoever looks into himself as into vast space and carries galaxies in himself, also knows how irregular all galaxies are; they lead into the chaos and labyrinth of existence. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
152:The Louvre is a labyrinth existing in the space between dream and reality... within each and every (work of art) resides a soul... a requiem for the spirits living within each thing. ~ Jir Taniguchi,
153:the translator, a lonely sort of acrobat, becomes confused in a labyrinth of paradox, or climbs a pyramid of dependent clauses and has to invent a way down from it in his own language. ~ Lydia Davis,
154:You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. ~ John Green,
155:Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That’s the problem. Bolívar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering? ~ John Green,
156:The sky was turning the color of a fresh bruise as we pulled into my grandfather's subdivision, a bewildering labyrinth of interlocking cul-de-sacs known collectively as Circle Village. ~ Ransom Riggs,
157:I think the labyrinth is an interesting metaphor for our lives as musicians. We're always being drawn toward the center of it because that's where the mystery is. What is music? It's a journey. ~ Sting,
158:The city seems to be a labyrinth that can be ordered. The world is an infinite series of curvatures or inflections, and the entire world is enclosed in the soul from one point of view. ~ Gilles Deleuze,
159:The palace of Ephebe is a labyrinth. I know. There are traps. No one gets in without a guide.” “How does the guide get in?” said Vorbis. “I assume he guides himself,” said the general. ~ Terry Pratchett,
160:Hope is an essential thread in the fabric of all fantasies, an Ariadne's thread to guide us out of the labyrinth ... Human beings have always needed hope, and surely now more than ever. ~ Lloyd Alexander,
161:I still think that maybe the "afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe we are just matter, and matter gets recycled ~ John Green,
162:I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars.~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden Of Forking Paths,
163:You spend your whole life, stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day and how awesome it will be. But you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
164:It’s only the sea,’ said Moomintroll. ‘Every wave that dies on the beach sings a little song to a shell. But you mustn’t go inside because it’s a labyrinth and you may never come out again. ~ Tove Jansson,
165:Another metaphorical moral seems built into these two structures, for the maze offers the confusions of free will without a clear destination, the labyrinth an inflexible route to salvation. ~ Rebecca Solnit,
166:Idolatry, then, is always polytheism, an aimless passing from one lord to another. Idolatry does not offer a journey but rather a plethora of paths leading nowhere and forming a vast labyrinth. ~ Pope Francis,
167:The letters, the fading. The labyrinth, the cake. The four hundred brackish lakes of the brain. She searches for the
music, but she can't find it. Oh, God, it was here
only the other day. ~ Laura Kasischke,
168:The Maze, that labyrinth of alleys called ginnels and snickets locally—tiny squares, courtyards, nooks and crannies and small warehouses that had remained unchanged since the eighteenth century. ~ Peter Robinson,
169:Any writer of any worth at all hopes to play only a pocket-torch of light - and rarely, through genius, a sudden flambeau - into the bloody yet beautiful labyrinth of human experience, of being. ~ Nadine Gordimer,
170:In relation to the labyrinth of her heart, every young girl is an Ariadne; she owns the thread by which one can find one’s way through it, but she owns it without herself knowing how to use it. ~ S ren Kierkegaard,
171:I wandered in my mind, slowly, noting every detail of the labyrinth, its paths as familiar as those of my garden and yet ever new, as empty as the heart could wish or alive with strange encounters. ~ Samuel Beckett,
172:There are things roaming around inside my head as clever as Theseus in the Labyrinth. It's just that nobody ever gave them the necessary piece of string, so they'll never find their way out. ~ Geraldine McCaughrean,
173:Ariadne in the labyrinth. The most alive of worlds, human beings with the tenderest flesh, are made of marble. I strew devastation as I pass. I wander dead-eyed through cities and petrified populations. ~ Jean Genet,
174:Have I not?" I gestured to the night sky. "I have beaten you and your godforsaken labyrinth." "Ah, but are we not, in some ways, all trapped in a labyrinth of our own making?" the Goblin King asked lightly. ~ S Jae Jones,
175:Separated as we are by a world of water from other nations,” he explained, “if we are wise, we shall surely avoid being drawn into the labyrinth of their politics and involved in their destructive wars. ~ George C Daughan,
176:Le lecteur, lui non plus, ne voit pas les choses du dehors. Il est dans le labyrinthe aussi. The reader [as well as the main character] does not view the work from outside. He too is in the labyrinth. ~ Alain Robbe Grillet,
177:But nobody in one lifetime could read more than a fragment of what was here, this broken labyrinth of words, this shattered, interrupted story of a people and a world through the centuries, the millennia. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
178:I know there is no straight road No straight road in this world Only a giant labyrinth Of intersecting crossroads ~ Federico Garcia Lorca Photo Sigfrid Lundberg (streetphoto from Lund, Sweden)Fab Friday to us all .... 🍂☀️🍂💃,
179:Julian: “Wikipedia knows about everything. It might be run by warlocks.”
Emma: “You think that’s what they do all day in the Spiral Labyrinth? Run Wikipedia?”
Julian: “I admit it seems like a letdown. ~ Cassandra Clare,
180:Tengo could hardly believe it-- that in this frantic, labyrinth-like world, two people's hearts-- a boy's and a girl's-- could be connected, unchanged, even though they hadn't seen each other for twenty years. ~ Haruki Murakami,
181:Clare, I want to tell you, again, I love you. Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust. ~ Audrey Niffenegger,
182:I thought Pan's Labyrinth was one of the greatest films I've ever seen, just pure artistry. Guillermo Del Toro is just really something, this guy. And he's a real mensch: down-to-earth, funny, huggy, and terrific. ~ Jeffrey Tambor,
183:New York was an inexhaustible space, a labyrinth of endless steps, and no matter how far he walked, no matter how well he came to know its neighborhoods and streets, it always left him with the feeling of being lost. ~ Paul Auster,
184:Of their private fictions, nothing remains but an almost-island, the saga of a labyrinth with no outcome. Omen belongs to this funereal rhetoric. And meaning that builds in direct proportion to the incomprehensible. ~ Mar a Negroni,
185:I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. ~ John Green,
186:I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future . . . I felt myself to be, for an unknown period of time, an abstract perceiver of the world. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
187:Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed. ~ Stanis aw Lem,
188:Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed. ~ Stanislaw Lem,
189:In the labyrinth of a difficult text, we find unmarked forks in the path, detours, blind alleys, loops that deliver us back to our point of entry, and finally the monster who whispers an unintelligible truth in our ears. ~ Mason Cooley,
190:New York was an inexhaustible space, a labyrinth of endless steps, and no matter how far he walked, no matter how well he came to know its neighbourhoods and streets, it always left him with the feeling of being lost. Lost, ~ Paul Auster,
191:You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the ~ John Green,
192:I do most earnestly beg you not to be diverted from the highway of sound policy in this part of the world, both during the war and at the settlement, by wanderings into the labyrinth of Turkish duplicity and intrigue. ~ Winston S Churchill,
193:I looked up towards the immensity of the labyrinth. "How does one choose a single book among so many?" Isaac shrugged his shoulders. 'Some like to believe it's the book that chooses the person...destiny, in other words. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafon,
194:You spend your whole life stuck in a labyrinth thinking of how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present ~ John Green,
195:Things outside you are projections of what's inside you, and what's inside you is a projection of what's outside. So when you step into the labyrinth outside you, at the same time you're stepping into the labyrinth inside. ~ Haruki Murakami,
196:The Labyrinth, a walled garden where humans tortured plants and flowers into growing in straight lines and sharp corners so unnatural that it hurt the mind to see, was east of Thorn’s court, on the very edge of the Center Kingdom. ~ Jon Evans,
197:You spend your whole life stuck in a labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, ad how awesome it will be, and imagining the future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
198:You spend your whole life stuck in labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
199:You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
200:You spend your hole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
201:You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
202:You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present ~ John Green,
203:You spend your while life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
204:You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
205:You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
206:I can't imagine a decent maze that would be caught dead without a minotaur. It's not done! You don't go out of your house without any clothes on, and a minotaur doesn't go into the world without a labyrinth to keep him warm. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
207:I can’t imagine a decent maze that would be caught dead without a minotaur. It’s not done! You don’t go out of your house without any clothes on, and a minotaur doesn’t go into the world without a labyrinth to keep him warm. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
208:I looked up towards the immensity of the labyrinth.
"How does one choose a single book among so many?"
Isaac shrugged his shoulders.
'Some like to believe it's the book that chooses the person...destiny, in other words. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
209:Perhaps a feature of the crucified face lurks in every mirror; perhaps the face died, was erased, so that God may be all of us. Who knows but that tonight we may see it in the labyrinth of dreams, and tomorrow not know we saw it. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
210:Caligula’s madness has encircled him so that although he rules an empire as wide as any ever known, he is entrapped within the labyrinth of his own mind. He cannot see beyond the horizons of his own loves and hatreds, his own family, ~ Naomi Alderman,
211:If string theory is right, the microscopic fabric of our universe is a richly intertwined multidimensional labyrinth within which the strings of the universe endlessly twist and vibrate, rhythmically beating out the laws of the cosmos. ~ Brian Greene,
212:It's not life or death, the labyrinth. Suffering. Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering? ~ John Green,
213:The second cause of failure to enact good stems from conflict of intention. High intelligence leads to multiplicity of interest and a sharpened capacity to foresee the consequences of any action. Will is lost in a labyrinth of hypothesis. ~ John Fowles,
214:You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome
it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the
present. ~ John Green,
215:Ts'ui Pe must have said once: I am withdrawing to write a book. And another time: I am withdrawing to construct a labyrinth. Every one imagined two works; to no one did it occur that the book and the maze were one and the same thing. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
216:Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in the back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. ~ John Green,
217:...It makes me cry, I want to talk about something I am not sure I can talk about, I want to talk about the inside from the inside, I do not want to leave it
I am so happy in the silky damp dark of the labyrinth and there is no thread ~ H l ne Cixous,
218:She had wanted to cover up the core of her decisions by hiding facts or watering them down. But she must have been wise enough to realize, no matter her motivations, no matter the labyrinth, every omission left some sign of its presence. ~ Jeff VanderMeer,
219:You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. - Alaska ~ John Green,
220:I have designed my style pantomimes as white ink drawings on black backgrounds, so that man's destiny appears as a thread lost in an endless labyrinth. I have tried to shed some gleams of light on the shadow of man startled by his anguish. ~ Marcel Marceau,
221:Name me any liquid — except our own blood — that flows more intimately and incessantly through the labyrinth of symbols we have conceived to mark our status as human beings, from the rudest peasant festival to the mystery of the Eucharist. ~ Clifton Fadiman,
222: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,
223:Naïve realism creates a logical labyrinth because it presupposes two things: One, people who are open-minded and fair ought to agree with a reasonable opinion, and, two, any opinion I hold must be reasonable; if it weren’t, I wouldn’t hold it. ~ Carol Tavris,
224:Progress was a labyrinth ... people plunging blindly in and then rushing wildly back, shouting that they had found it ... the invisible king-the élan vital-the principle of evolution ... writing a book, starting a war, founding a school. ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
225:we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed OK at the time because we could not see the future. ~ John Green,
226:A studio is an absolute labyrinth of possibilities - this is why records take so long to make because there are millions of permutations of things you can do. The most useful thing you can do is to get rid of some of those options before you start ~ Brian Eno,
227:The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is like the greatest, most fantastic library you could ever imagine. Its a labyrinth of books with tunnels, bridges, arches, secret sections - and its hidden inside an old palace in the old city of Barcelona. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafon,
228:Nico was devastatingly alone. He’d lost his big sister Bianca. He’d pushed away all other demigods who’d tried to get close to him. His experiences at Camp Half-Blood, in the Labyrinth and in Tartarus had left him scarred, afraid to trust anyone. ~ Rick Riordan,
229:None can comprehend eternity but the eternal God. Eternity is an ocean, whereof we shall never see the shore; it is a deep, where we can find no bottom; a labyrinth from whence we cannot extricate ourselves and where we shall never lose the door. ~ Thomas Boston,
230:The House Rules Committee is perhaps the free world's outstanding bureaucratic abomination - a tiny, airless closet deep in the labyrinth of the Capitol where some of the very meanest people on earth spend their days cleaning democracy like a fish. ~ Matt Taibbi,
231:Whoever has the desire to pursue philosophy correctly should look to Nature's Archetype in every matter, so that by taking up Ariadne's thread in her intricate labyrinth he may keep himself safe and secure from wrong turns and deviant paths. ~ Athanasius Kircher,
232:Within the bowels of these elements, where we are tortured and remain for ever, The Labyrinth hath no limits, nor is circumscribed in one self place; for where we are is the Labyrinth, and where the Labyrinth is, there must we ever be. Hoo. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
233:He was shaken by the overwhelming revelation that the headlong race between his misfortunes ad his dreams was at that moment reaching the finish line. The rest was darkness, 'Damn it,' he sighed. 'How will I ever get out of this labyrinth! ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
234:The house was a vast labyrinth of books. Volumes were stacked from floor to ceiling on every wall, dark, crackling, redolent of leather bindings, smooth to the touch, with their gold titles and translucent gilt-edged pages and delicate typography. ~ Isabel Allende,
235:Das Blöde an einem Labyrinth ist, dass man erst am Ende weiß ob der Weg, für den man sich entschieden hat, richtig oder falsch war. Und wenn man am Ende merkt, dass man sich geirrt hat, ist es meistens zu spät. Das ist das Problem bei Labyrinthen. ~ Haruki Murakami,
236:The labyrinth literally reintroduces the experience of walking a clearly defined path. This reminds us that there is a path, a process that brings us to unity, to the center of our beings. In the simple act of walking, the soul finds solace and peace. ~ Lauren Artress,
237:You walk to toward the center (of the labyrinth), towards the source of that order, releasing the chaos of daily life, seeking wisdom and wholeness. On the outward journey you return to the world -- metaphorically -- with the insights gained within. ~ Kristen Heitzmann,
238:Mai had an unholy obsession with eighties fantasy movies. Labyrinth was her favorite. She was madly in lust with David Bowie’s character, Jareth the Goblin King, who was famous for his tight tights, smoldering stares and a very, ahem, generous codpiece. ~ Hailey Edwards,
239:... he was shaken by the overwhelming revelation that the headlong race between his misfortunes and his dreams was at that moment reaching the finish line. The rest was darkness.
"Damn it," he sighed. "How will I ever get out of this labyrinth! ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
240:Things outside you are projections of what’s inside you, and what’s inside you is a projection of what’s outside. So when you step into the labyrinth outside you, at the same time you’re stepping into the labyrinth inside. Most definitely a risky business. ~ Haruki Murakami,
241:The word 'clue' derives from 'clew', meaning a ball of thread or yarn. It had come to mean 'that which points the way' because of the Greek myth in which Theseus uses a ball of yarn, given to him by Ariadne, to find his way out of the Minotaur's labyrinth. ~ Kate Summerscale,
242:And who over the ruins of his life pursued its fleeting, fluttering significance, while he suffered its seeming meaninglessness and lived its seeming madness, and who hoped in secret at the last turn of the labyrinth of Chaos for revelation and God's presence... ~ Hermann Hesse,
243:It will be easy for us the first time we receive that ball of yarn from Ariadne (love) and then go through all the mazes of the labyrinth (life) and kill the monster. But how many there are who plunge into life (the labyrinth) without taking that precaution? ~ Soren Kierkegaard,
244:Susie had an intense thought and then an effusion. ‘My dear child, we move in a labyrinth.’ ‘Of course we do. That’s just the fun of it!’ said Milly with a strange gaiety. Then she added: ‘Don’t tell me that—in this for instance—there are not abysses. I want abysses. ~ Henry James,
245:He looked down at me without recognition, and I realized with a little stab of anxiety that he must have forgotten all about me, perhaps for some considerable time, and that he himself was so lost in the labyrinth of his own unquiet thoughts that I did not exist. ~ Daphne du Maurier,
246:The whole passage was underlined in bleeding, water-soaked black ink. But there was another ink, this one a crisp blue, post-flood, and an arrow led from “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!" to a margin note written in her loop-heavy cursive: Straight & Fast. ~ John Green,
247:Where did parental fear come from, and what were the forces that sustained it? How had a biological imperative become a labyrinth of societal anxieties? How had we managed to take this thing—raising a child—that’s already next to impossible, and make it even fucking harder? ~ Kim Brooks,
248:It's not about life or death, the labyrinth."
"So what is it?"
"Suffering." she said. "Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering? ~ John Green,
249:I could see sunlight making exquisite patterns on the water's surface above me. Everything seemed fascinating and very slow. All around me lionfish darted like golden suns and moons in an alchemists's dream. I looked down to where a vast labyrinth of black seaweed awaited me. ~ Nick Bantock,
250:Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
251:Sometimes you wish you could go back and ask your teachers again to guide you; but up there onstage, exactly where they always wanted you to be, you must simply find your way. They have given all the help they can; the only person who can solve the labyrinth of yourself is you. ~ Jeremy Denk,
252:The cross is the crux, the crossroads, the twisted knot at the center of reality, to which all previous history leads and from which all subsequent history flows. By it we know all reality is cruciform—the love of God, the shape of creation, the labyrinth of human history. ~ Peter J Leithart,
253:Ts'ui Pe must have said once: I am withdrawing to write a book. And another time: I am withdrawing to construct a labyrinth. Every one imagined two works; to no one did it occur that the book and the maze were one and the same thing." ~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden Of Forking Paths, #index,
254:Oh, why had the Labyrinth brought me here?

As soon as I thought this, I chided myself: Of course it would bring me where I least wanted to be. Austin had been wrong about the maze. It was still evil, designed to kill. It was just a little subtler about its homicides now. ~ Rick Riordan,
255:He enters a labyrinth, he multiplies by a thousand the dangers already inherent in the very act of living, not the least of which is the fact that no one with eyes will see how and where he gets lost and lonely and is torn limb from limb by some cave-Minotaur of conscience. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
256:It was the Steppenwolf. And who over the ruins of his life pursued its fleeting, fluttering significance, while he suffered its seeming meaninglessness and lived its seeming madness, and who hoped in secret at the last turn of the labyrinth of Chaos for revelation and God's presence? ~ Anonymous,
257:The difficulty in dealing with a maze or labyrinth lies not so much in navigating the convolutions to find the exit but in not entering the damn thing in the first place.

Or, at least not yet again.

As a creature of free will, do not be tempted into futility. ~ Vera Nazarian,
258:Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
259:I have traveled down this path before - 'List of Seven' and 'Twin Peaks' both have thematic similarities - but 'Paladin' took me much deeper into the intuitive underground. Always bearing in mind Joseph Campbell's Rule No. 1: When entering a labyrinth, don't forget your ball of twine. ~ Mark Frost,
260:It was almost as if LSD provided the human consciousness with access to a kind of infinite subway system, a labyrinth of tunnels and byways that existed in the subterranean reaches of the unconscious, and one that literally connected everything in the universe with everything else. ~ Michael Talbot,
261:The most intelligent men, like the strongest, find their happiness where others would find only disaster: in the labyrinth, in being hard with themselves and with others, in effort; their delight is self-mastery; in them asceticism becomes second nature, a necessity, as instinct. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
262:The labyrinth, after all, is Sarah's creation. She calls upon the Goblin King. And this is the biggest difference between my brother's afflictions and mine: whatever the biological and historical factors, I still chose mine.... Like her, there was only one person I needed to save: myself. ~ Melissa Febos,
263:An hour later they were being escorted down a long corridor at the Pentagon. In fact, every corridor at the Pentagon was long. It was a labyrinth beyond all labyrinths. Indeed, it was rumored that employees from the 1960s were somewhere in the bowels of the place still looking for an exit. ~ David Baldacci,
264:Esther liked books out where everyone could see them, a sort of graphic index to the intricate labyrinth of her mind arrayed to impress the most casual guest, a system of immediate introduction which she had found to obtain in a number of grimy intellectual households in Greenwich Village. ~ William Gaddis,
265:she said, "It's not life or death, the labyrinth."
"Um, Okay. So what is it?"
"Suffering" She said. "Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolívar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering? ~ John Green,
266:Kafka’s purgatorial vision of a bureaucratic labyrinth without end chimes with Žižek’s claim that the Soviet system was an ‘empire of signs’, in which even the Nomenklatura themselves –including Stalin and Molotov – were engaged in interpreting a complex series of social semiotic signals. No-one ~ Mark Fisher,
267:The whole place is soaking wet. My copy of The General in His Labyrinth is absolutely ruined."
"That's pretty good," the Colonel said, like an artist admiring another's work.
"Hey!" she shouted.
"Sorry. Don't worry, dude," he said. "God will punish the wicked. And before He does, we will. ~ John Green,
268:Schopenhauer’s Will-to-live, commendable as it may seem as a hypothesis, is too overwrought in the proving to be anything more than another intellectual labyrinth for specialists in perplexity. Comparatively, Zapffe’s principles are non-technical and could never arouse the passion of professors ~ Thomas Ligotti,
269:Wir tappen im Labyrinth unsers Lebenswandels und im Dunkel unserer Forschungen umher: helleAugenblicke erleuchten dabei wie Blitze unsernWeg. We grope about in the labyrinth of our life and in the obscurity of our investigations; bright moments illuminate our path like flashes of lightning. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
270:I could try to pretend that I didn't care anymore, but it could never be true again. You can't just make yourself matter and then die, Alaska, because no I am irretrievably different, and I'm sorry I let you go, yes, but you made the choice. You left me Perhapsless, stuck in your goddamned labyrinth. ~ John Green,
271:a real danger by giving it an absurd name, the designations were often facetious: the Godel Gremlin, the Mandelbrot Maze, the Combinatorial Catastrophe, the Transfinite Trap, the Conway Conundrum, the Turing Torpedo, the Lorenz Labyrinth, the Boolean Bomb, the Shannon Snare, the Cantor Cataclysm… ~ Arthur C Clarke,
272:I could try to pretend that I didn't care anymore, but it could never be true again. You can't just make yourself matter and then die, Alaska, because now I am irretrievably different, and I'm sorry I let you go, yes, but you made the choice. You left me Perhapsless, stuck in your goddamned labyrinth. ~ John Green,
273:Personally I wasn’t one but surprised to walk into that theater and see Jo O’Connor’s ghost. I knew as soon as I put my hand on the door handle that something funny was going on. I got all sort of lightheaded.”
Probably the blood trying to find its way through the labyrinth of your brain. ~ Cameron Dokey,
274:She mulled how very Jonathan of him to effortlessly find his way to her when she needed him, labyrinth or no. Just as he'd effortlessly uncovered her secrets. But that was simply because he'd been born knowing the secret to her. He was hers and she was his. Just as there was one key for every lock ~ Julie Anne Long,
275:Where there have been powerful governments, societies, religions, public opinions, in short wherever there has been tyranny, there the solitary philosopher has been hated; for philosophy offers an asylum to a man into which no tyranny can force it way, the inward cave, the labyrinth of the heart. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
276:He did not know what to say in the face of such sorrow. He sat in silence by his sister's side in the spring verdure, which was too young; and the hidden strings in his breast began to quiver; and to sound.
This was the first time that he had ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul. ~ Halld r Kiljan Laxness,
277:Let us consider two important factors, the two poles of the creation of art: the artist on one hand, and on the other the spectator who later becomes the posterity; to all appearances the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing ~ Marcel Duchamp,
278:The life of Dumas is not only a monument of endeavour and success, it is a sort of labyrinth as well. It abounds in pseudonyms and disguises, in sudden and unexpected appearances and retreats as unexpected and sudden, in scandals and in rumours, in mysteries and traps and ambuscades of every kind. ~ William Ernest Henley,
279:I thought for a long time that they way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the already-dead. ~ John Green,
280:The average sendentary man of our time who is at all suggestible must emerge from this chapter believing that his chances of surviving a combination of instinct, complexes, reflexes, glands, sex, and present-day traffic conditions are about equal to those of a one-legged man trying to get out of a labyrinth. ~ James Thurber,
281:Today, when we look at a brain, we see an intricate network of billions of neurons in constant, crackling communication, a chemical labyrinth that senses the world outside and within, produces love and sorrow, keeps our hearts beating and lungs breathing, composes our thoughts, and constructs our consciousness. ~ Carl Zimmer,
282:The labyrinth of emotions that I didn’t want to feel, experience, or face—fear, anger, and unbearable loss—enveloped me. I reached out in desperation like a helpless baby who needed her mommy. Hold me. Comfort me. Tell me that everything will be fine. Where are you? By the time the oceans of deep sorrow moved ~ Paulette Mahurin,
283:The poet Marianne Moore famously wrote of 'real toads in imaginary gardens,' and the labyrinth offers us the possibility of being real creatures in symbolic space...In such spaces as the labyrinth we cross over [between real and imaginary spaces]; we are really travelling, even if the destination is only symbolic. ~ Rebecca Solnit,
284:They wound their way through a labyrinth of streets, partly following their noses, partly the orientation of the map. Jardines, Mirasol, Cruz, Puentezuelas, Capuchinas...
Each word held its magic. They were like brushstrokes painting the landscape of the city, each one helping to build up a picture of the whole. ~ Victoria Hislop,
285:Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
― John Green, Looking for Alaska ~ John Green,
286:The female heart is a labyrinth of subtleties, too challenging for the uncouth mind of the male racketeer. If you really want to possess a woman, you must think like her, and the first thing to do is to win over her soul. The rest, that sweet, soft wrapping that steals away your senses and your virtue, is a bonus. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
287:I feel anxious for the fate of our monarchy, or democracy, or whatever is to take place. I soon get lost in a labyrinth of perplexities; but, whatever occurs, may justice and righteousness be the stability of our times, and order arise out of confusion. Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance. ~ Abigail Adams,
288:London' is a gallery of sensation of impressions. It is a history of London in a thematic rather than a chronological sense with chapters of the history of smells, the history of silence, and the history of light. I have described the book as a labyrinth, and in that sense in complements my description of London itself. ~ Peter Ackroyd,
289:This book is a chronicle of how my family came to be where we are and what we learned along the way as well as a map to guide you on your own journey. I’ll even tell you the moral of the story upfront (the proverbial string tied to the gate of the labyrinth): You have more control over the food you eat than you think. ~ J Natalie Winch,
290:What is the nature of being a person? What is the best way to go about being a person? How did we come to be and what will become of us when we are no longer? In short: what are the rules of this game and how might we best play it?"
The nature of the labyrinth, I scribbled into my spiral notebook, and the way out of it. ~ John Green,
291:A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
292:Yet I feel like Theseus running madly through the coils of the labyrinth with horrors following at my heels and every twist bringing a new and dreaded sight. I dream and it pursues me I am sunk so far in horror heaped upon horror that I cannot taste wine or see the sun above. The world has ended and I don't know why I yet Live ~ Jo Graham,
293:Novelist Victor Hugo believed, "He who every morning plans the transactions of the day and follows out that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life . . . But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incident, chaos will soon reign. ~ John C Maxwell,
294:Now, as far as I knew, he (Luke) was still sailing around on his demon-infested cruise ship while the chopped-up Lord Kronos re-formed, bit by bit, in a golden sarcophagus, biding his time until he had enough power to challenge the Olympian gods. In demigod-speak, we call this a “problem.” - Percy, 'The Battle of the Labyrinth ~ Rick Riordan,
295:Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust. Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you. ~ Audrey Niffenegger,
296:We should consider that the brightness of the Divine countenance, which even an apostle declares to be inaccessible, (1Ti 6: 16) is a kind of labyrinth — a labyrinth to us inextricable, if the Word do not serve us as a thread to guide our path; and that it is better to limp in the way, than run with the greatest swiftness out of it. ~ John Calvin,
297:I am here. I am in the present tense. I'm not always here, and sometimes here is a very difficult place. Sometimes it is a labyrinth, or a Minotaur, or a rope I can neither let go of nor follow. It's hard to find the right words, but I guess I would say that it's something like feeling the floor. And that it is my privilege to feel it. ~ Meg Howrey,
298:Now, as far as I knew, he (Luke) was still sailing around on his demon-infested cruise ship while the chopped-up Lord Kronos re-formed, bit by bit, in a golden sarcophagus, biding his time until he had enough power to challenge the Olympian gods. In demigod-speak, we call this a “problem.”

- Percy, 'The Battle of the Labyrinth ~ Rick Riordan,
299:This has happened and will happen again,' said Euphorbus. 'You are not lighting a pyre, you are lighting a labyrinth of flames. If all the fires I have seen were gathered together here, they would not fit on earth and the angels would be blinded. I have said this many times.' Then he cried out, because the flames had reached him. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
300:The Universe is a quantum computer, and over time, it is simply more likely that structure comes out of it than noise. That means rules, patterns. That means a game. But spend long enough poking at it, and you start to see the game engine, the labyrinth of the quantum circuit, wires looping around each other, forwards and backwards. ~ Hannu Rajaniemi,
301:The person who distrusts himself has no touchstone for reality - for this touchstone can be only oneself. Such a person interpose between himself and reality nothing less than a labyrinth of attitudes. And these attitudes, furthermore, though the person is usually unaware of it (is unaware of so much), are historical and public attitudes. ~ James Baldwin,
302:Something bad happened to me, didn’t it?” Worse than the captivity, worse than the torture after she created the labyrinth. Kaleb knew he’d made a major tactical error. But he’d promised Sahara he’d never lie to her, so he said, “Yes,” and waited. “I’m not ready yet.” Her hand fell to his shoulder. “Not strong enough yet. But I will be soon. ~ Nalini Singh,
303:Chelsea's not near here," I said. "Do whatever hoodoo you need to do to know if Raj is nearby."

"Hoodoo"? said Tybalt, sounding amused. "I'm the King of Cats, October, not the King of Goblins."

"And you don't live in a labyrinth, but that doesn't mean you can't make like a Henson character and start scrying for our missing boy. ~ Seanan McGuire,
304:Trevor climbed once again to the land of the living, naked except for an antique gas mask strapped to his face. As he peered through glass eyes like a mutant fly and breathed through the alien snoot, a single thought coiled through the booby-trapped labyrinth of his brain:
I need to be alone.
I need to be alone.
I need to be alone. ~ Jake Vander Ark,
305:we know the way; we got our knowledge of it from thousands of years in the labyrinth. Who else has found it?—The man of today?—“I don’t know either the way out or the way in; I am whatever doesn’t know either the way out or the way in”—so sighs the man of today… . This is the sort of modernity that made us ill,—we sickened on lazy peace ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
306:Who read by night above the Rhine the cloudscript of the drifting mists? It was the Steppenwolf. And who over the ruins of his life pursued its fleeting, fluttering significance, while he suffered its seeming meaninglessness and lived its seeming madness, and who hoped in secret at the last turn of the labyrinth of Chaos for revelation and God's presence? ~ Hermann Hesse,
307:We must resign ourselves to the fact that the only way in which we can find the clue to the mystery of the rays, systems, and hierarchies, lies in the study of the law of correspondences or analogy. It is the one thread by which we can find our way through the labyrinth, and the one ray of light that shines through the darkness of the surrounding ignorance. ~ Alice A Bailey,
308:...I want to tell you again, I love you. Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this life of mine that I could ever trust. Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you. ~ Audrey Niffenegger,
309:To be honest, and all the external influences aside, there are some parts of this that I remember in great, terrible detail, so much so I fear getting lost in the labyrinth of memory. There are other parts of this that remain as unclear and unknowable as someone else’s mind, and I fear that in my head I’ve likely conflated and compressed timelines and events. ~ Paul Tremblay,
310:Alex thrust her hand and half her arm into the labyrinth of light.
Her stare blanked, and in the halo of the matrix her eyes and glyphs blazed so radiantly she looked as if she were being consumed by a primordial fire.

“She just stuck her hand into Machim Command’s central server matrix!”

Caleb smiled, watching on in blatant awe. “She does that. ~ G S Jennsen,
311:We had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless. ~ John Green,
312:We know that modern art tends to realise these conditions: in this sense it becomes a veritable theatre of metamorphoses and permutations. A theatre where nothing is fixed, a labyrinth without a thread (Ariadne has hung herself). The work of art leaves the domain of representation in order to become 'experience', transcendental empiricism or science of the sensible. ~ Anonymous,
313:I'm not gonna be one of those people who talk about what they're gonna do. I'm just gonna do it. Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. You spend your whole life stuck in a labyrinth thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it'll be and imagining that future keeps you going but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
314:O world, world when I was younger I thought there was some order governing you and your deeds. But now you seem to be a labyrinth of errors, a frightful desert, a den of wild beasts, a game in which men move in circles…a stony field, a meadow full of serpents, a flowering but barren orchard, a spring of cares, a river of tears, a sea of suffering, a vain hope. ~ Fernando de Rojas,
315:Neither this body am I, nor soul, Nor these fleeting images passing by, Nor concepts and thoughts, mental images, Nor yet sentiments and the psyche's labyrinth. Who then am I? A consciousness without origin, Not born in time, nor begotten here below. I am that which was, is and ever shall be, A jewel in the crown of the Divine Self, A star in the firmament of the luminous One. ~ Rumi,
316:Shortly, she passed what she assumed was the center: a wide expanse of lawn, a white garden bench at each end, and a circular pond enlivened with water lilies and irises. Just like the rest of Aubry Park, at least what she had seen of it, the center of the labyrinth was a charming surprise. A place where she might be inclined to sit and read under other circumstances. ~ Olivia Parker,
317:An invisible border arose between the parts of the house occupied by Esteban Trueba and those occupied by his wife. In response to Clara's imagination and the requirements of the moment, the noble, seigniorial architecture began sprouting all sorts of extra little rooms, staircases, turrets, and terraces...the big house on the corner soon came to resemble a labyrinth. ~ Isabel Allende,
318:. . . The senses reign, and reason now is dead;
from one pleasing desire comes another.
Virtue, honor, beauty, gracious bearing,
sweet words have caught me in her lovely branches
in which my heart is tenderly entangled.
In thirteen twenty-seven, and precisely
at the first hour of the sixth of April
I entered the labyrinth, and I see no way out. ~ Francesco Petrarca,
319:I never knew whether his speedy speech patterns reflected amphetamine use or an amphetamine mind. He would often lead me up blind alleys or through an endless labyrinth of incomprehensible logic. I felt like Alice with the Mad Hatter, negotiating jokes without punch lines, and having to retrace my steps on the chessboard floor back to the logic of my own peculiar universe. ~ Patti Smith,
320:Clare, I want to tell you, again, I love you. Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust. Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you. ~ Audrey Niffenegger,
321:The origin of illness may be in the past, but the virulent crisis must be dynamically tackled. I believe in attacking the core of the illness, through its present symptoms, quickly, directly. The past is a labyrinth. One does not have to step into it and move step by step through every turn and twist. The past reveals itself instantly, in today’s fever or abscess of the soul. ~ Ana s Nin,
322:The universe cannot be read until we have learnt the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and the letters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word. Without these, one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth. This ~ Marcus du Sautoy,
323:He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. ~ John Green,
324:Words are substance strange. Speak one and the air ripples into another's ears. Write one and the eye laps it up. But the sense transmutes, and the spoken word winds through the ear's labyrinth into a sense that is no longer the nerve's realm. The written word unfolds behind the eye into the world, world's image, and the imagination sees as the eye cannot see-thoughtfully. ~ Dan Beachy Quick,
325:This has happened and will happen again,' said Euphorbus. 'You are not lighting a pyre, you are lighting a labyrinth of flames. If all the fires I have seen were gathered together here, they would not fit on earth and the angels would be blinded. I have said this many times.' Then he cried out, because the flames had reached him.~ Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths, Selected Stories and Other Writings,
326:Where there have been powerful governments, societies, religions, public opinions, in short wherever there has been tyranny, there the solitary philosopher has been hated; for philosophy offers an asylum to a man into which no tyranny can force it way, the inward cave, the labyrinth of the heart. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, trans. Hollingdale, “Schopenhauer as educator,” § 3.3, p. 139,
327:I'm not going to be one of those people who sits around talking about what they're gonna do. I'm just going to do it. Imagining the future is kind of nostalgia. You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. YOu just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
328:You can't just make yourself matter and then die, Alaska, because now I am irretrievably different, and I'm sorry I let you go, yes, but you made the choice. You left me Perhapsless, stuck in your goddamned labyrinth. And now I don't even know if you chose the straight and fast way out, if you left me like this on purpose. And so I never knew you, did I? I can't remember, because I never knew. ~ John Green,
329:To walk the same route again can mean to think the same thoughts again, as though thoughts and ideas were indeed fixed objects in a landscape one need only know how to travel through. In this way, walking is reading, even when both the walking and reading are imaginary, and the landscape of the memory becomes a text as stable as that to be found in the garden, the labyrinth, or the stations. ~ Rebecca Solnit,
330:We had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth.there were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day.Things that did not go right;things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future.If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless... ~ John Green,
331:Before I got here, I thought that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it didn't exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in the back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied by the last words of the already dead, so I came here looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends and a more-than-minor life. ~ John Green,
332:I follow the path we’ve taken so many times this summer – across the front, down the street, cut back through a neighbor’s yard, down the stairs to the beach, past the pier, through the campfire labyrinth, up to the deck of the Shack, and straight into Sam’s arms.
Without speaking, he kisses me hard on the mouth and I kiss him back, sobbing and crumpling into his chest like a broken puppet. ~ Sarah Ockler,
333:We had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. ~ John Green,
334:we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless. ~ John Green,
335:History is a living horse laughing at a wooden horse. History is a wind blowing where it listeth. History is no sure thing to bet on. History is a box of tricks with a lost key. History is a labyrinth of doors with sliding panels, a book of ciphers with the code in a cave of the Saragossa sea. History says, if it pleases, Excuse me, I beg your pardon, it will never happen again if I can help it. ~ Carl Sandburg,
336:Those who every morning plan the transactions of the day and follow out that plan carry a thread that will guide them through the labyrinth of the most busy life. The orderly arrangement of their time is like a ray of light which darts itself through all their occupations. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidents, chaos will soon reign. ~ Victor Hugo,
337:We had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at that time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless. ~ John Green,
338:we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right. Things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better, until knowing better is useless. ~ John Green,
339:we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. a ~ John Green,
340:that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless. ~ John Green,
341:Jesus, I’m not going to be one of those people who sits around talking about what they’re gonna do. I’m just going to do it. Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. ... You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present ~ John Green,
342:Poor idiot! Are you so foolish as to believe we will openly teach you the greatest and most important of secrets? I assure you that anyone who attempts to study, according to the ordinary and literal sense of their words, what the Hermetic Philosophers write, will soon find himself in the twists of a labyrinth from which he will be unable to escape, having no Ariadne’s thread to lead him out. —Artephius ~ Umberto Eco,
343:He reached for her hand and caught it—lightly—and held it. It was small, smooth, and very real. Up in the citadel, Sarai gasped. She felt the warmth of his skin on hers. A blaze of connection—or collision , as though they had long been wandering in the same labyrinth and had finally rounded the corner that would bring them face-to-face. It was a feeling of being lost and alone and then suddenly neither. ~ Laini Taylor,
344:Jesus, I'm not going to be one of
those people who sits around talking about what they're gonna do. I'm just going to do it. Imagining the future is
a kind of nostalgia. You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the
present. ~ John Green,
345:Still, though, I can't be sure if the zoo as I recall it was really like that. How can I put it? I sometimes feel that it's too vivid, if you know what I mean. And when I start having thoughts like this, the more I think about it, the less I can tell how much of the vividness is real and how much of it my imagination has invented. I feel as if I've wandered into a labyrinth. Has that ever happened to you? ~ Haruki Murakami,
346:Here were two people who had penetrated farther than she into the labyrinth of the wedded state, and struggled through some of its thorniest passages; and yet both, one consciously, the other half-unaware, testified to the mysterious fact which was already dawning on her: that the influence of a marriage begun in mutual understanding is too deep not to reassert itself even in the moment of flight and denial. ~ Edith Wharton,
347:The most intelligent men, like the strongest, find their happiness where others would find only disaster: in the labyrinth, in being hard with themselves and with others, in effort; their delight is in self-mastery; in them asceticism becomes second nature, a necessity, an instinct. They regard a difficult task as a privilege; it is to them a recreation to play with burdens that would crush all others. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
348:Then she told George that the story of the minotaur was one about facing what mazes you. She made it very clear that she was using the word maze, not amaze. Then, when you’d faced it, she said, the thing to do to get out of the labyrinth was to go back the way you’d come, follow your own thread, the thread you’d left behind you, and that this had a lot to do with knowing where we come from and what our roots are – ~ Ali Smith,
349:Augustine had written that Jesus is the straight path that saves us from the circular labyrinth followed by the impious; these Aurelian, laboriously trivial, compared with Ixion, with the liver of Prometheus, with Sisyphus, with the king of Thebes who saw two suns, with stuttering, with parrots, with mirrors, with echoes, with the mules of a noria and with two-horned syllogisms. ~ Jorge Luis Borges, Labryinths, The Theologians,
350:Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the already-dead, so I came here looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends and a more-than-minor life. ~ John Green,
351:Haplo: ‘single, alone.’ That is your name and your destiny,” said his father, his finger rough and hard on Haplo’s chest. “Your mother and I have defeated the odds thrown for us already. Every Gate we pass from now on is a wink at fate. But the time will come when the Labyrinth will claim us, as it claims all except the lucky and the strong. And the lucky and the strong are generally the lonely. Repeat your name. ~ Margaret Weis,
352:Jesus, I’m not going to be one of those people who sits around talking about what they’re gonna do. I’m just going to do it. Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia.” “Huh?” I asked. “You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ Anonymous,
353:There's a great maze of tunnels, a Labyrinth. It's like a great dark city, under the hill. Full of gold, and the swords of old heroes, and old crowns, and bones, and years, and silence.'
She spoke if in trance, rapture. Manan watched her. His slabby face never expressed much but stolid, careful sadness; it was sadder than usual now. 'Well, and you're mistress of all that,' he said. 'The silence, and the dark. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
354:Asuna imagined the light that made up their souls trading infinite information. She knew for certain that no matter what world, no matter how long they traveled, their hearts would never be apart. In fact, their hearts had been connected long ago. Since the moment they disappeared in a rainbow aurora above the collapse of Aincrad, or perhaps even before that - as lonely solo players who met deep in a dark labyrinth. ~ Reki Kawahara,
355:How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!" In reality, "How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!" were probably not Simon Bolivar's last words (although he did, historically, say them). His last words may have been "Jose! Bring the luggage. They do not want us here." The significant source for "How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!" is also Alaska's source, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's The General in his Labyrinth. ~ John Green,
356:Venice is ever the fragile labyrinth at the edge of the sea and it reminds us how brief and perilous the journeys of our lives are; perhaps that is why we love it so. City of plagues and brief liaisons, city of lingering deaths and incendiary loves, city of chimeras, nightmares, pigeons, bells. You are the only city in the world whose dialect has a word for the shimmer of canal water reflected on the ceiling of a room. ~ Erica Jong,
357:My peak? Would I even have one? I hardly had had anything you could call a life. A few ripples, some rises and falls. But that's it. Almost nothing. Nothing born of nothing. I'd loved and been loved, but I had nothing to show. It was a singularly plain, featureless landscape. I felt like I was in a video game. A surrogate Pacman, crunching blindly through a labyrinth of dotted lines. The only certainty was my death. ~ Haruki Murakami,
358:My peak? Would I even have one? I hardly had had anything you could call a life. A few ripples. some rises and falls. But that's it. Almost nothing. Nothing born of nothing. I'd loved and been loved, but I had nothing to show. It was a singularly plain, featureless landscape. I felt like I was in a video game. A surrogate Pacman, crunching blindly through a labyrinth of dotted lines. The only certainty was my death. ~ Haruki Murakami,
359:The encounter with Campbell was, for me and many other people, a life-changing experience. A few days of exploring the labyrinth of his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces produced an electrifying reorganization of my life and thinking. Here, fully explored, was the pattern I had been sensing. Campbell had broken the secret code of story. His work was like a flare suddenly illuminating a deeply shadowed landscape ~ Christopher Vogler,
360:Let the labyrinth of wrinkles be furrowed in my brow with the red-hot iron of my own life, let my hair whiten and my step become vacillating, on condition that I can save the intelligence of my soul - let my unformed childhood soul, as it ages, assume the rational and esthetic forms of an architecture, let me learn just everything that others cannot teach me, what only life would be capable of marking deeply in my skin! ~ Salvador Dal,
361:Let the labyrinth of wrinkles be furrowed in my brow with the red-hot iron of my own life, let my hair whiten and my step become vacillating, on condition that I can save the intelligence of my soul - let my unformed childhood soul, as it ages, assume the rational and esthetic forms of an architecture, let me learn just everything that others cannot teach me, what only life would be capable of marking deeply in my skin! ~ Salvador Dali,
362:Jesus, I’m not going to be one of those people who sits around talking about what they’re gonna do. I’m just going to do it. Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia.”
“Huh?” I asked.
“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. ~ John Green,
363:Is New York such a labyrinth? I thought it so straight up and down—like Fifth Avenue. And with all the cross streets numbered!” She seemed to guess his faint disapproval of this, and added, with the rare smile that enchanted her whole face: “If you knew how I like it for just that—the straight-up-and-downness, and the big honest labels on everything!”
He saw his chance. “Everything may be labelled—but everybody is not. ~ Edith Wharton,
364:I love actors. I enjoy their company, and I get excited each and every time they bring a character I've written to life. Every so often a talented actor doesn't hook in correctly to a character; or someone gets lost in a labyrinth of over-complicated thoughts, and the character and play suffer. However, most of the time I find actors either end up doing exactly what was in my head, or sometimes do something even better. ~ Christopher Durang,
365:We also write to heighten our own awareness of life... We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection... We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it...to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth. We write to expand our world when we feel strangled, or constricted, or lonely... When I don't write, I feel my world shrinking... I feel I lose my fire and my color. ~ Anais Nin,
366:He—that's Simon Bolivar—was shaken by the overwhelming revelation that the headlong race between his misfortunes and his dreams was at that moment reaching the finish line. The rest was darkness. Damn it," he sighed. "'How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!'

"So what's the labyrinth?" I asked her.

"That's the mystery, isn't it? Is the labyrinth living or dying? Which is he trying to escape—the world or the end of it? ~ John Green,
367:Yup, you're in a strange position, all right. You're in love with a girl who is no more, jealous of a boy who's gone forever. Even so, this emotion you're feeling is more real, and more intensely painful, than anything you've ever felt before. And there's no way out. No possibility of finding an exit. You've wandered into a labyrinth of time, and the biggest problem of all is that you have no desire at all to get out. Am I right? ~ Haruki Murakami,
368:The nature of the labyrinth, I scribbled into my spiral notebook, and the way out of it. This teacher rocked. I hated discussion classes. I hated talking, and I hated listening to everyone else stumble on their words and try to phrase things in the vaguest possible way so they wouldn't sound dumb, and I hated how it was all just a game of trying to figure out what the teacher wanted to hear and then saying it. I'm in class, so teach me. ~ John Green,
369:... Such a scribe
you pay and praise for putting life in stones,
Fire into fog, making the past your world.
There's plenty of 'How did you contrive to grasp
The thread which led you through this labyrinth?
How build such solid fabric out of air?
How on so slight foundation found this tale,
Biography, narrative?' or, in other words,
How many lies did it require to make
The portly truth you here present us with? ~ Robert Browning,
370:How unwise had the wanderers been, who had deserted its shelter, entangled themselves in the web of society, and entered on what men of the world called "life," - that labyrinth of evil, that scheme of mutual torture. To live, according to this sense of the word, we must not only observe and learn, we must also feel; we must not only be mere spectators of action, we must act; we must not describe, but be subjects of description. ~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,
371:A smile played around Aomame's straight lips. People were focused on her actions. No one was surprised to see her pull a gun out of her bag-- or at least they did not show surprise on their faces. Maybe they didn't believe it was a real gun. 'It is, though,' Aomame told them mentally. Next she turned the gun upward and thrust the muzzle into her mouth. Now it was aimed directly at her cerebrum-- the gray labyrinth where consciousness resided. ~ Haruki Murakami,
372:that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless. ~ John Green,
373:that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we have to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless. ~ John Green,
374:We are all each of us riddles, when unknown one to the other. The plain map of human powers and purposes, helps us not at all to thread the labyrinth each individual presents in his involution of feelings, desires and capacities; and we must resemble, in quickness of feeling, instinctive sympathy, and warm benevolence, the lovely daughter of Huntley, before we can hope to judge rightly of the good and virtuous of our fellow-creatures. ~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,
375:To the degree that the British right hand didn’t know what the left was doing, it was because a select group of men at the highest reaches of its government went to great lengths to ensure it. To that end, they created a labyrinth of information firewalls—deceptions, in a less charitable assessment—to make sure that crucial knowledge was withheld from Britain’s wartime allies and even from many of her own seniormost diplomats and military commanders. ~ Scott Anderson,
376:Philosophy is written in this all-encompassing book that is constantly open to our eyes, that is the universe; but it cannot be understood unless one first learns to understand the language and knows the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures; without these it is humanly impossible to understand a word of it, and one wanders in a dark labyrinth. ~ Galileo Galilei,
377:The intensity of her religious disposition, the coercion it exercised over her life, was but one aspect of a nature altogether ardent, theoretic, and intellectually consequent: and with such a nature, struggling in the bonds of a narrow teaching, hemmed in by a social life which seemed nothing but a labyrinth of petty courses, a walled-in maze of small paths that led no whither, the outcome was sure to strike others as at once exaggeration and inconsistency. ~ George Eliot,
378:Philosophy is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols, in which it is written. This book is written in the mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth. ~ Galileo Galilei,
379:Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes -- I mean the universe -- but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth. ~ Galileo Galilei,
380:A woman never overcomes these problems by any exercise of thought. They are not to be solved, or only in one way. If her heart chance to come uppermost, they vanish. Thus Hester Prynne, whose heart had lost its regular and healthy throb, wandered without a clue in the dark labyrinth of mind; now turned aside by an insurmountable precipice; now starting back from a deep chasm. There was wild and ghastly scenery all around her, and a home and comfort nowhere. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne,
381:It was the perfect set. Theseus gave a great war cry and brought his sword arcing up toward Sheba’s throat - but the monster of the labyrinth lives inside us all. She is the dark, devouring hunger that is never sated, the creeping shadow that ever plays the fiend to our seraphim, the secret rage hidden in our hearts; deny her, and we become her slaves; fight her, and we make her invincible. By now, you must know that no monster can ever be killed, not really - […] ~ Troy Denning,
382:I e-mailed all my clients a twenty-percent-off coupon.
Diverted all thoughts of Helen.
Thwarted all invitations to binge drink with Lee and Chip.
Allowed myself only brief, utilitarian forays into the labyrinth of Internet porn.
Delighted in the shrinkage of my potbelly.
Took pleasure in the flexing of new muscle tone.
Snacked on baby carrots.
Learned to appreciate the slow crawl of the sun over my patio as I gingerly sipped a Miller Light ~ Julia Elliott,
383:It was right then, between when I asked about the labyrinth and when she answered me, that I realized the importance of curves, of the thousand places where girls' bodies ease from one place to another, from arc to the foot to ankle to calf, from calf to hip to wait to breast to neck to ski-slope nose to forehead to shoulder to the concave arch of the back to the butt to the etc. I'd noticed curves before, of course, but I had never quite apprehended their significance. ~ John Green,
384:I stared at Jean-Claude and it wasn't the beauty of him that made me love him, it was just him. It was love made up of a thousand touches, a million conversations, a trillion shared looks. A love made up of danger shared, enemies conquered, a determination to neither of us would change the other, even if we could. I love Jean-Claude, all of him, because if I took away the Machiavellian plottings, the labyrinth of his mind, it would lessen him, make him someone else. ~ Laurell K Hamilton,
385:If one yearns to see the face of the Divine, one must break out of the aquarium, escape the fish farm, to go swim up wild cataracts, dive in deep fjords. One must explore the labyrinth of the reef, the shadows of the lily pads. How limiting, how insulting to think of God as a benevolent warden, an absentee hatchery manager who imprisons us in the 'comfort' of artificial pools, where intermediaries sprinkle our restrictive waters with sanitized flakes of processed nutriment. ~ Tom Robbins,
386:Since most law-abiding citizens had no contact with the parole system, it was not a priority with the state legislatures. And since most of the state's prisoners were either poor or black, and unable to use the system to their advantage, it was easy to hit them with harsh sentences and keep them locked up. But for an inmate with a few connections and some cash, the parole system was a marvelous labyrinth of contradictory laws that allowed the Parole Board to pass out favors. ~ John Grisham,
387:Sometimes I am assaulted by the memory of a scene from that time on the street, a memory that flares up inside me and leaves me trembling. Other times I wake up sweating with images in my head, as vivid as if they were real. In the dream I see myself running naked, screaming voicelessly, in a labyrinth of narrow alleys that coil like serpents, buildings with blank doors and windows, not a soul to ask for help, my body burning, my feet bleeding, bile in my mouth, all alone. ~ Isabel Allende,
388:I thought it might be a fine time to say the Three Little Words. And I steeled myself to say them as I stared up at that starriest night, convinced myself that she felt it, too, that her hand so alive and vivid against my leg was more than playful, and fuck Lara and fuck Jake because I do, Alaska Young, I do love you and what else matters but that and my lips parted to speak and before I could even begin to breathe out the words, she said, “It’s not life or death, the labyrinth. ~ John Green,
389:To all appearances the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing. If we give the attributes of a medium to the artist, we must then deny him the state of consciousness on the aesthetic plane about what he is doing or why he is doing it. All this decisions in the artistic execution of the work rest with pure intuition and cannot be translated into a self-analysis, spoken or written, or even thought out. ~ Marcel Duchamp,
390:The most fearsome monsters of all may inhabit the dark corners of our mind waiting for us to release them through our believes and gullibility. the phenomenon feeds on fear and believe. Sometimes it destroys us altogether other times it leads us upwards into the labyrinth of electromagnetic frequencies that form a curtain in the area we call windows and stalk us to drink our blood and create all kinds of mischievous beliefs and misconceptions in our feeble little terrestrial minds. ~ John A Keel,
391:Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; and where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world. ~ Joseph Campbell,
392:London always reminds me of a brain. It is similarly convoluted and circuitous. A lot of cities, especially American ones like New York and Chicago, are laid out in straight lines. Like the circuits on computer chips, there are a lot of right angles in cities like this. But London is a glorious mess. It evolved from a score or so of distinct villages, that merged and meshed as their boundaries enlarged. As a result, London is a labyrinth, full of turnings and twistings just like a brain. ~ James Geary,
393:A man craves ultimate truths. Every mortal mind, I think, is that way. But what is ultimate truth? It's the end of the road, where there is no more mystery, no more hope. And no more questions to ask, since all the answers have been given. But there is no such place.
The Universe is a labyrinth made of labyrinths. Each leads to another. And wherever we cannot go ourselves, we reach with mathematics. Out of mathematics we build wagons to carry us into the nonhuman realms of the world. ~ Stanis aw Lem,
394:This was the first time that he has ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul. He was very far from understanding what he saw. But what was of more value, he felt and suffered with her. In years that were yet to come, he relived this memory in song, in the most beautiful song this world has known. For the understanding of the soul's defencelessness, of the conflict between the two poles, is not the source of the greatest song. The source of the greatest song is sympathy. ~ Halld r Kiljan Laxness,
395:I had come to the conclusion a long time ago that there was no escape from the labyrinth of contradictions in which we live except by an entirely new road, unlike anything hitherto known or used by us. But where this new or forgotten road began I was unable to say. I already knew then as an undoubted fact that beyond the thin film of false reality there existed another reality from which, for some reason, something separated us. The 'miraculous' was a penetration into this unknown reality. ~ P D Ouspensky,
396:Theseus and Ariande. Theseus says to Ariande, “I’ll love you forever if you can show me a way to come out of the labyrinth.” So she gives him a ball of string, which he unwinds as he goes into the labyrinth, and then follows to find the way out. You say, “All he had was the string. That’s all you need.” CAMPBELL: That’s all you need—an Ariande thread. MOYERS: Sometimes we look for great wealth to save us, a great power to save us, or great ideas to save us, when all we need is that piece of string. ~ Joseph Campbell,
397:She was gone then in a flurry of bonnet ribbons and clicking slippers. I turned, paying no attention to where I went, wishing the city would swallow me, conscious now of the hunger rising to overtake reason. I was almost loath to put an end to it. I needed to let the lust, the excitement blot out all consciousness, and I thought of the kill over and over and over, walking slowly up this street and down the next, moving inexorably towards it, saying, It's a string which is pulling me through the labyrinth. ~ Anne Rice,
398:Of four infernal rivers that disgorge/ Into the burning Lake their baleful streams;/Abhorred Styx the flood of deadly hate,/Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep;/Cocytus, nam'd of lamentation loud/ Heard on the rueful stream; fierce Phlegethon/ Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage./ Far off from these a slow and silent stream,/ Lethe the River of Oblivion rolls/ Her wat'ry Labyrinth whereof who drinks,/ Forthwith his former state and being forgets,/ Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain. ~ John Milton,
399:Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the characters in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these one is wandering in a dark labyrinth. —Galileo Galilei, The Assayer, 1623 ~ Max Tegmark,
400:The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in hardness against themselves and others, in experiments. Their joy is self-conquest: asceticism becomes in them nature, need, and instinct. Difficult tasks are a privilege to them; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation. Knowledge-a form of asceticism. They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not preclude their being the most cheerful and the kindliest. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
401:The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in hardness against themselves and others, in experiments. Their joy is self-conquest: asceticism becomes in them nature, need, and instinct. Difficult tasks are a privilege to them; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation. Knowledge–a form of asceticism. They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not preclude their being the most cheerful and the kindliest. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
402:This I saw myself, and I found it greater than words can say. For if one should put together and reckon up all the buildings and all the great works produced by Hellenes, they would prove to be inferior in labour and expense to this labyrinth, though it is true that both the temple at Ephesos and that at Samos are works worthy of note. The pyramids also were greater than words can say, and each one of them is equal to many works of the Hellenes, great as they may be; but the labyrinth surpasses even the pyramids. ~ Herodotus,
403:Yes, you are.” Karen’s stomach was huge. Louise didn’t remember being that big with Archie, he had been tiny, almost premature. Louise blamed herself, she had smoked through the first three months because she had no idea she was pregnant. Louise was sure that buried deep inside her, lurking in the murky labyrinth of her heart, there was an incredibly well-behaved person wondering when she would ever be let out. Patrick probably wondered the same thing. Patient Patrick, waiting for her to come good. Long wait, baby. ~ Kate Atkinson,
404:I glanced down several of the walkways that branched off the main one. “Is it a real labyrinth?”

“Yes. But I haven’t checked it out.”

“Looks kind of fun, don’t you think?” I looked up at him. “I’ve never been in a labyrinth before.”

A real smile replaced the smug one. “Maybe if you’re good—and I mean, really good—we can come play in the labyrinth.”

I rolled my eyes. “Gee, really?”

He nodded. “You have to eat your dinner, too.”

I didn’t even bother responding to that. ~ Jennifer L Armentrout,
405:I imagined a labyrinth of labyrinths, a maze of mazes, a twisting, turning, ever-widening labyrinth that contained both past and future and somehow implied the stars. Absorbed in those illusory imaginings, I forgot that I was a pursued man; I felt myself, for an indefinite while, the abstract perceiver of the world. The vague, living countryside, the moon, the remains of the day did their work in me; so did the gently downward road, which forestalled all possibility of weariness. The evening was near, yet infinite. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
406:He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. ~ John Green,
407:A huge maze of tents and mud huts and homes built from plastic and aluminum siding in a labyrinth of narrow passageways littered with dirt and shit. It was a city in the belly of a yet greater city. He had lived in a small mud house there with his brothers… In its alleyways, he and his brothers had learned to walk and talk. They had gone to school there. He had played with sticks and rusty old bicycle wheels on its dirty streets, running around with other refugee kids, until the sun dipped and his grandmother called him home. ~ Khaled Hosseini,
408:Directly below her window, the dark waters of a pond reflected the bruised clouds scuttling across the clearing sky. Next to it crouched a pair of willow trees, their melancholy branches hanging low as if daring to disturb its placid, glass-like beauty.
Beyond the pond sprawled an expansive garden maze with walls of towering yew bushes, expertly clipped. From her vantage point, the maze appeared quite simple to solve, though she suspected that once one was surrounded by the labyrinth of hedges, all sense of direction would contort. ~ Olivia Parker,
409:He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him,
and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who
would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that
seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of
consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless. ~ John Green,
410:The Hero Path

We have not even to risk the adventure alone
for the heroes of all time have gone before us.
The labyrinth is thoroughly known ...
we have only to follow the thread of the hero path.
And where we had thought to find an abomination
we shall find a God.

And where we had thought to slay another
we shall slay ourselves.
Where we had thought to travel outwards
we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone
we shall be with all the world. ~ Joseph Campbell,
411:Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man's best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is took weak and fuddled to shake off. ~ C S Lewis,
412:And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man's best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is too weak and fuddled to shake off. ~ C S Lewis,
413:The proposition is peace. Not peace through the medium of war; not peace to be hunted through the labyrinth of intricate and endless negotiations; not peace to arise out of universal discord, fomented from principle, in all parts of the empire; not peace to depend on the juridical determination of perplexing questions, or the precise marking the shadowy boundaries of a complex government. It is simple peace, sought in its natural course and in its ordinary haunts. It is peace sought in the spirit of peace, and laid in principles purely pacific. ~ Edmund Burke,
414:What I feel for Naoko is a tremendously quiet and gentle and transparent love, but what I feel for Midori is a wholly different emotion. It stands and walks on its own, living and breathing and throbbing and shaking me to the roots of my being. I don’t know what to do. I’m confused. I’m not trying to make excuses for myself, but I do believe that I have lived as sincerely as I knew how. I have never lied to anyone, and I have taken care over the years not to hurt other people. And yet I find myself having been tossed into this labyrinth. How ~ Haruki Murakami,
415:A labyrinth is an ancient device that compresses a journey into a small space, winds up a path like thread on a spool. It contains beginning, confusion, perseverance, arrival, and return. There at last the metaphysical journey of your life and your actual movements are one and the same. You may wander, may learn that in order to get to your destination you must turn away from it, become lost, spin about, and then only after the way has become overwhelming and absorbing, arrive, having gone the great journey without having gone far on the ground. ~ Rebecca Solnit,
416:Once I'd worked out that I couldn't possibly expect people to enjoy a monstrous, 3000-page book, I realised I could in fact create a labyrinth of a story with four different points of entry. But what interested me was creating something that would rearrange itself every time you read one of the other books. So depending on which order you read them, the implications and angles would change. To get that right, each one of the books had to have its own personality and texture -- even though they are connected, they are very different creatures. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafon,
417:Loneliness, I began to realise, was a populated place: a city in itself. And when one inhabits a city, even a city as rigorously and logically constructed as Manhattan, one starts by getting lost. Over time, you begin to develop a mental map, a collection of favoured destinations and preferred routes: a labyrinth no other person could ever precisely duplicate or reproduce. What I was building in those years, and what now follows, is a map of loneliness, built out of both need and interest, pieced together from my own experiences and those of others. ~ Olivia Laing,
418:He that speaks here, conversely, has done nothing so far but reflect: a philosopher and solitary by instinct, who has found his advantage in standing aside and outside, in patience, in procrastination, in staying behind; as a spirit of daring and experiment that has already lost its way once in every labyrinth of the future; as a soothsayer-bird spirit who looks back when relating what will come; as the first perfect nihilist of Europe who, however, has even now lived through the whole of nihilism, to the end, leaving it behind, outside himself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
419:She said, "It's not life or death, the labyrinth." "Um, okay. So what is it?" "Suffering," she said. "Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?... Nothing's wrong. But there's always suffering, Pudge. Homework or malaria or having a boyfriend who lives far away when there's a good-looking boy lying next to you. Suffering is universal. It's the one thing Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims are all worried about." ~ John Green,
420:She said, "It's not life or death, the labyrinth."
"Um, okay. So what is it?"
"Suffering," she said. "Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?... Nothing's wrong. But there's always suffering, Pudge. Homework or malaria or having a boyfriend who lives far away when there's a good-looking boy lying next to you. Suffering is universal. It's the one thing Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims are all worried about. ~ John Green,
421:The fact that Trump's refused to divest from his labyrinth of business holdings, the fact that he's continuing to profit from his brand and indeed create all kinds of new opportunities to profit off the presidency is outrageous. The flip side is that he's left out a lot of levers through which to pressure him. You know, the reason you want a president to divest from his business holdings is that foreign governments can try to exert pressure on him by becoming customers of these hotels and inflating the value of how much they're willing to pay for a Trump brand. ~ Naomi Klein,
422:What came before has dissolved from me, lost like milk teeth. But I think, rather, that it has always been as it is, and there was never a beforethis nor will there be an afternow. I am accepting. This is not a thing to be solved, or conquered, or destroyed. It is. I am. We are. We conjugate together in darkness, plotting against each other, the Labyrinth to eat me and I to eat it, each to swallow the hard, black opium of the other. We hold orange petals beneath our tongues and seethe. It has always been so. It grinds against me and I bite into its skin. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
423:..what came before has dissolved from me, lost like milk teeth. But I think, rather, that it has always been as it is, and there was never a beforethis nor will there be an afternow. I am accepting. This is not a thing to be solved, or conquered, or destroyed. It is. I am. We are. We conjugate together in darkness, plotting against each other, the Labyrinth to eat me and I to eat it, each to swallow the hard, black opium of the other. We hold orange petals beneath our tongues and seethe. It has always been so. It grinds against me and I bite into its skin.. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
424:Upon the whole, Chymistry is as yet but an opening science, closely connected with the usefull and ornamental arts, and worthy the attention of the liberal mind. And it must always become more and more so: for though it is only of late, that it has been looked upon in that light, the great progress already made in Chymical knowledge, gives us a pleasant prospect of rich additions to it. The Science is now studied on solid and rational grounds. While our knowledge is imperfect, it is apt to run into error: but Experiment is the thread that will lead us out of the labyrinth. ~ Joseph Black,
425:That (labyrinth)...became a world whose rules I lived by, and I understood the moral of mazes: sometimes you have to turn your back on your goal to get there, sometimes you're farthest away when you're closest, sometimes the only way is the long one. After that careful walking and looking down, the stillness was deeply moving...It was breathtaking to realize that in the labyrinth, metaphors and meanings could be conveyed spatially. That when you seem farthest from your destination is when you suddenly arrive is a very pat truth in words, but a profound one to find with your feet. ~ Rebecca Solnit,
426:Philosophy is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols, in which it is written. This book is written in the mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth. ~ Galileo Galilei, The Assayer (1623) as quoted by Edwin Arthur Burtt in The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science (1924), p. 64.,
427:The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where extraordinary things are happening under the cover of night. A spectacular popular and critical success The Name of the Rose is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages. ~ Umberto Eco,
428:It has become cliche to talk about faith as a journey, and yet the metaphor holds. Scripture doesn't speak of people who found God. Scripture speaks of people who walked with God. This is a keep-moving, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, who-knows-what's-next deal, and you never exactly arrive. I don't know if the path's all drawn out ahead of time, or if it corkscrews with each step like Alice's Wonderland, or if, as some like to say, we make the road by walking, but I believe the journey is more labyrinth than maze. No step taken in faith is wasted, not by a God who makes all things new. ~ Rachel Held Evans,
429:what did you think you were doing, then, when you went up through one door and down through another, turning this way and that, through the pages of a book and a deep mine and an entire ocean and the hideout of a wise old woman? My dear, labyrinths ensnare and entangle; they draw one inexorably inward-but it wouldn't be much of a labyrinth if you waited in line with a ticket to get it and the door was clearly marked, like some country-harvest hay maze. All underworlds are labyrinths, in the end. Perhaps all the sunlit lands, too. A labyrinth, when it is big enough, is just the world. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
430:It’s not life or death, the labyrinth.” “Um, okay. So what is it?” “Suffering,” she said. “Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That’s the problem. Bolívar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?” “What’s wrong?” I asked. And I felt the absence of her hand on me. “Nothing’s wrong. But there’s always suffering, Pudge. Homework or malaria or having a boyfriend who lives far away when there’s a good-looking boy lying next to you. Suffering is universal. It’s the one thing Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims are all worried about. ~ John Green,
431:I could have done without Khandi Kayne.
“We know things,” Khandi said now, dropping her voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “The women in my family, I mean. We can just sense them.”
I drew a little witch’s hat with an arrow poking through the crown.
“You mean supernatural things?”
She nodded. “Personally I wasn’t one but surprised to walk into that theater and see Jo O’Connor’s ghost. I knew as soon as I put my hand on the door handle that something funny was going on. I got all sort of lightheaded.”
Probably the blood trying to find its way through the labyrinth of your brain. ~ Cameron Dokey,
432:All my life I have felt a great kinship with the madman and the criminal. Practically all my life I have dwelt in big cities; I am unhappy, uneasy, unless I am in a big city. My feeling for Nature is limited to water, mountain and desert. These three form a trine which is more imperative, for me, than any spiritual alimentation. But in the city I am aware of another element which is beyond all these in power of fascination: the labyrinth. To be lost in a strange city is the greatest joy I know; to become oriented is to lose everything. To me the city is crime personified, insanity personified. I feel at home. ~ Henry Miller,
433:The street seen backwards was like an invasion by the sea on the night of a flood. What I saw resembled an inside-out glove, the negative of a street. I was walking over the ocean bed, creeping along the walls, the corroded gateways, the mossy leprosy of cars, octopus-infested gardens, pines encrusted with vampire shells (sap drained, suppliant branches forming reefs); to navigate anywhere beyond this housing estate you'd have needed to be familiar with the shadows of the labyrinth, hearing the helm scraping the rooftops, the keel grating against the gutter rails. But my step was light, steady and brisk. ~ Marie Darrieussecq,
434:Even When She Walks
Even when she walks she seems to dance!
Her garments writhe and glisten like long snakes
obedient to the rhythm of the wands
by which a fakir wakens them to grace.
Like both the desert and the desert sky
insensible to human suffering,
and like the ocean’s endless labyrinth
she shows her body with indifference.
Precious minerals are her polished eyes,
and in her strange symbolic nature
angel and sphinx unite,
where diamonds, gold, and steel dissolve into one light,
shining forever, useless as a star,
the sterile woman’s icy majesty.
~ Charles Baudelaire,
435:The Christians describe the Enemy as one 'without whom Nothing is strong'. And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man's best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is too weak and fuddled to shake off. ~ C S Lewis,
436:The Christians describe the Enemy as one “without whom Nothing is strong”. And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is too weak and fuddled to shake off. ~ C S Lewis,
437:For two days, we had travelled the Labyrinth - across pits of darkness and around lakes of poison, through dilapidated shopping malls with only discount Halloween stores and questionable Chinese food buffets.
The Labyrinth could be a bewildering place. Like a web of capillaries beneath the skin of the mortal world, it connected basements, sewers and forgotten tunnels around the globe with no regard to the rules of time and space. One might enter the Labyrinth through a manhole in Rome, walk ten feet, open a door and find oneself at a training camp for clowns in Buffalo, Minnesota. (Please don't ask. It was traumatic.) ~ Rick Riordan,
438:Those who have entirely lost the ability to see the transcendent reality that shows itself in all things, and who refuse to seek it out or even to believe the search a meaningful one, have confined themselves for now within an illusory world, and wander in a labyrinth of dreams. Those others, however, who are still able to see the truth that shines in and through and beyond the world of ordinary experience, and who know that nature is in its every aspect the gift of the supernatural, and who understand that God is that absolute reality in whom, in every moment, they live and move and have their being—they are awake. ~ David Bentley Hart,
439:Unfortunately they failed to appreciate the best part of you, preferring to lose themselves in the labyrinth of your grosser illusions. Didn't I show our well-behaved audience an angelized version of you? And you saw their reaction. They were bored and just sat in their seats like a bunch of stiffs. Of course, what can you expect? They wanted the death stuff, the pain stuff. All that flashy junk. They wanted cartwheels of agonized passion; somersaults into fires of doom; nosedives, if you will, into the frenzied pageant of vulnerable flesh. They wanted a tangible thrill.

("Drink To Me Only With Labyrinthine Eyes") ~ Thomas Ligotti,
440:Say to a blind man, you’re free, open the door that was separating him from the world, Go, you are free, we tell him once more, and he does not go, he has remained motionless there in the middle of the road, he and the others, they are terrified, they do not know where to go, the fact is that there is no comparison between living in a rational labyrinth, which is, by definition, a mental asylum and venturing forth, without a guiding hand or a dog-leash, into the demented labyrinth of the city, where memory will serve no purpose, for it will merely be able to recall the images of places but not the paths whereby we might get there. ~ Jos Saramago,
441:For she had embodied the Great Perhaps— she had proved to me that it was worth it to leave behind my minor life for grander maybes, and now she was gone and with her my faith in perhaps. I could call everything the Colonel said and did “fine.” I could try to pretend that I didn’t care anymore, but it could never be true again. You can’t just make yourself matter and then die, Alaska, because now I am irretrievably different, and I’m sorry I let you go, yes, but you made the choice. You left me Perhapsless, stuck in your goddamned labyrinth. And now I don’t even know if you chose the straight and fast way out, if you left me like this on purpose. ~ John Green,
442:A maze is a puzzle to be solved, with twists and turns and dead ends. It requires logical, analytical thinking and usually has a different way out than the way in. The maze could be a metaphor of struggling through life, going one way and then another until the exit takes your by surprise.

A maze signifies entrapment, while the labyrinth, with its unicursal path leading into the center and out again the same way, provides enlightenment. It's the process, the journey into your deepest self, your soul, the part where God abides. It's a passive path, a surrender even, to an order and design repeated through creation. A sacred geometry. ~ Kristen Heitzmann,
443:With lingering love she gazed at the dispersed
Colors of dusk. It pleased her utterly
To lose herself in the complex melody
Or in the cunous life to be found in verse.
lt was not the primal red but rather grays
That spun the fine thread of her destiny,
For the nicest distinctions and all spent
In waverings, ambiguities, delays.
Lacking the nerve to tread this treacherous
Labyrinth, she looked in on, whom without,
The shapes, the turbulence, the striving rout,
(Like the other lady of the looking glass.)
The gods that dwell too far away for prayer
Abandoned her to the final tiger, Fire.

~ Jorge Luis Borges, Susana Soca
,
444:He rushed past the usual fragments of painful memories – his mother smiling down at him, her face illuminated by the sunlight rippling off the Venetian Grand Canal; his sister Bianca laughing as she pulled him across the Mall in Washington, D.C., her green floppy hat shading her eyes and the splash of freckles across her nose. He saw Percy Jackson on a snowy cliff outside Westover Hall, shielding Nico and Bianca from the manticore as Nico clutched a Mythomagic figurine and whispered, I’m scared. He saw Minos, his old ghostly mentor, leading him through the Labyrinth. Minos’s smile was cold and cruel. Don’t worry, son of Hades. You will have your revenge. ~ Rick Riordan,
445:Oversimplifying the cosmos just for a transaction of currency and holy spit, those heartless fucks with time to spare, with conceptual frameworks within the word becoming flesh once again upon remote islands our soul could never escape. So my question lies with my Spanish tongue, exploring the pitch black labyrinth where you listen to the deepest drums; hung on a single string wrapping up my skin in dead languages. Oversimplifying the 21st century with a single search, the awakening hatred boiling the oceans and cities; diving below the surface, witnessing underwater queens and goddesses drenched in my lovers scent and deadly sex untouched
by any depth. ~ Brandon Villasenor,
446:In the progress of politics, as in the common occurrences of life, we are not only apt to forget the ground we have travelled over, but frequently neglect to gather up experience as we go. We expend, if I may so say, the knowledge of every day on the circumstances that produce it, and journey on in search of new matter and new refinements: but as it is pleasant and sometimes useful to look back, even to the first periods of infancy, and trace the turns and windings through which we have passed, so we may likewise derive many advantages by halting a while in our political career, and taking a review of the wondrous complicated labyrinth of little more than yesterday. ~ Thomas Paine,
447:To do this is to enter the magical world view in its totality. He takes complete responsibility for his present incarnation and must consider every experience, thing, or piece of information which assails him from any source, as a reflection of the way he is conducting his existence. The idea that things happen to one that may or may not be related to the way one acts is an illusion created by our shallow awareness. Keeping a close eye on the walls of the labyrinth, the conditions of his existence, the magician may then begin his invocation. The genius is not something added to oneself. Rather it is a stripping away of excess to reveal the god within.
   ~ Peter J Carroll, Liber Null,
448:And not just beautiful, but hot, too, with her breasts straining against her tight tank top, her curved legs swinging back and forth beneath the swing, flip-flops dangling from her electric-blue-painted toes. It was right then, between when I asked about the labyrinth and when she answered me, that I realized the importance of curves, of the thousand places where girls’ bodies ease from one place to another, from arc of the foot to ankle to calf, from calf to hip to waist to breast to neck to ski-slope nose to forehead to shoulder to the concave arch of the back to the butt to the etc. I’d noticed curves before, of course, but I had never quite apprehended their significance. ~ John Green,
449:Imagine a place
where time is counted
by ticks and tocks,
but space is measured
in sunset

Imagine a place
where each turn
takes you home.

Imagine a place
where the tang of pine
Meets the salt of sea
where adventure finds
a waiting heart

Imagine a place
where words shelter you
ideas
uphold you,and
thought lead you
to the secret
inside the labyrinth

...

Imagine a place
where castle and cloud
Shift from square to square
and the world lies
in the winner's hand

Imagine a place
where the sigh of waves
spill from your suitcase
and drift into your dreams

Imagine....here ~ Sarah L Thomson,
450:The Big House Brought to you by Pete the Palikos This four-storey sky-blue Victorian is a bona fide gem. The vast veranda offers ample space for pinochle players and convalescents alike. The basement is currently set up for strawberry-jam storage, but can also be used to hide the occasional demigod driven insane by the Labyrinth. The ground-floor living quarters, camp infirmary and combination rec room / meeting room are wheelchair accessible, as is a specially designed bronze-lined office. The rooms of the top floors stand ready to welcome overnight guests, while the attic, now free of its resident desiccated mummy, provides the perfect catch-all for camper discards and memorabilia. ~ Rick Riordan,
451:The labyrinth of Ephebe is ancient and full of one hundred and one amazing things you can do with hidden springs, razor-sharp knives, and falling rocks. There isn't just one guide through it. There are six, and each one knows his way through one-sixth of the labyrinth. Every year they have a special competition, when they do a little redesigning. They vie with one another to see who can make his section even more deadly than the others to the casual wanderer. There's a panel of judges and a small prize.
The furthest anyone ever got through the labyrinth without a guide was nineteen paces. Well, more or less. His head rolled a further seven paces, but that probably doesn't count. ~ Terry Pratchett,
452:You shall delve in the darkness of the endless maze,” I remembered. “The dead, the traitor, and the lost one raise. We raised a lot of the dead. We saved Ethan Nakamura, who turned out to be a traitor. We raised the spirit of Pan, the lost one.” Annabeth shook her head like she wanted me to stop. “You shall rise or fall by the ghost king’s hand,” I pressed on. “That wasn’t Minos, like I’d thought. It was Nico. By choosing to be on our side, he saved us. And the child of Athena’s final stand—that was Daedalus.” “Percy—” “Destroy with a hero’s final breath. That makes sense now. Daedalus died to destroy the Labyrinth. But what was the last—” “And lose a love to worse than death.” Annabeth ~ Rick Riordan,
453:Christ, he thinks, by my age I ought to know. You don't get on by being original. You don't get on by being bright. You don't get on by being strong. You get on by being a subtle crook; somehow he thinks that's what Norris is, and he feels an irrational dislike taking root, and he tries to dismiss it, because he prefers his dislikes rational, but after all, these circumstances are extreme, the cardinal in the mud, the humiliating tussle to get him back in the saddle, the talking, talking, on the barge, and worse, the talking, talking on his knees, as if Wolsey's unraveling, in a great unweaving of scarlet thread that might lead you back into a scarlet labyrinth, with a dying monster at its heart. ~ Hilary Mantel,
454:Titus is seven. His confines, Gormenghast. Suckled on shadows; weaned, as it were, on webs of ritual: for his ears, echoes, for his eyes, a labyrinth of stone: and yet within his body something other – other than this umbrageous legacy. For first and ever foremost he is child.
A ritual, more compelling than ever devised, is fighting anchored darkness. A ritual of the blood; of the jumping blood. These quicks of sentience owe nothing to his forebears, but to those feckless hosts, a trillion deep, of the globe's childhood.

The gift of bright blood. Of blood that laughs when the tenets mutter 'Weep'. Of blood that mourns when the sere laws croak 'Rejoice!' O little revolution in great shades! ~ Mervyn Peake,
455:We write to heighten our own awareness of life. We write to lure and enchant and console others. We write to serenade our lovers. We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection. We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it. We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth. We write to expand our world when we feel strangled, or constricted, or lonely...When I don’t write, I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in prison. I feel I lose my fire and my color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing. ~ Ana s Nin,
456:MINUTES are flying swiftly, and as yet
Nothing unearthly has enticed my brain
Into a delphic Labyrinth I would fain
Catch an unmortal thought to pay the debt
I owe to the kind Poet who has set
Upon my ambitious head a glorious gain.
Two bending laurel Sprigs 'tis nearly pain
To be conscious of such a Coronet.
Still time is fleeting, and no dream arises
Gorgeous as I would have it only I see
A Trampling down of what the world most prizes
Turbans and Crowns, and blank regality;
And then I run into most wild surmises
Of all the many glories that may be.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ John Keats, On Receiving A Laurel Crown From Leigh Hunt
,
457:Could I But Leave Men Wiser By My Song
Could I but leave men wiser by my song,
And somewhat happier in their little day,
Wean them from things that lure but to betray,
Make the harsh gentle, and the feeble strong,
Shunning the paths where pride and folly throng,
Then would I carol all the livelong day,
And, as the golden sunset waned to grey,
With vesper voice my twilight hour prolong.
But now they hear me heedlessly, or pass,
With hurrying steps, to pomp's ambitious strife
But with chagrin and disappointment rife,
And shadows fleeting as one's breath on glass,
Still with foiled feet and baffled hopes, alas!
Lost in the long vain labyrinth of Life.
~ Alfred Austin,
458:When dealing with a depression the problem is not to bring the depressed person back to his/her normality, to reintegrate behavior in the universal standards of normal social language. The goal is to change the focus of his/her depressive attention, to re-focalize, to deterritorialize the mind and the flow of expression. Depression is based on the stiffening of existential refrain, on the obsessive repetition of the stiffened refrain. The depressed person is unable to go out, to leave the repetitive refrain and s/he goes and goes again in the labyrinth. The goal of the schizoanalyst is to give him/her the possibility to see other landscapes, and to change the focus, to open some new ways of imagination. ~ Franco Bifo Berardi,
459:for as long as I have known it, the plant has been empty and silent, a vast labyrinth of corridors and abandoned rooms, some open to the sky, others with glass or metal roofing and, above each kiln—we call them kilns, but there's no real evidence to say what they were used for—a giant chimney rises up into the clouds, a wide brick chimney that, in the wet months, fills with great cascading falls of rain, just as the glass roofs and the sheets of corrugated metal on the storerooms will break into a music that sounds repetitious when you first hear it, but soon begins to reveal itself as an infinitely complex fabric of faint overtones and distant harmonics that is never quite the same from one moment to the next. ~ John Burnside,
460:Sonnet-Vii
Our life is like a forest, where the sun
Glints down upon us through the throbbing leaves;
The full light rarely finds us. One by one,
Deep rooted in our souls, there springeth up
Dark groves of human passion, rich in gloom,
At first no bigger than an acorn-cup.
Hope threads the tangled labyrinth, but grieves
Till all our sins have rotted in their tomb,
And made the rich loam of each yearning heart
To bring forth fruits and flowers to new life.
We feel the dew from heaven, and there start
From some deep fountain little rills whose strife
Is drowned in music. Thus in light and shade
We live, and move, and die, through all this earthly glade.
~ Charles Sangster,
461:I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just matter, and matter gets recycled.

But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. ~ John Green,
462:O HEART, be at peace, because
Nor knave nor dolt can break
What's not for their applause,
Being for a woman's sake.
Enough if the work has seemed,
So did she your strength renew,
A dream that a lion had dreamed
Till the wilderness cried aloud,
A secret between you two,
Between the proud and the proud.
What, still you would have their praise!
But here's a haughtier text,
The labyrinth of her days
That her own strangeness perplexed;
And how what her dreaming gave
Earned slander, ingratitude,
From self-same dolt and knave;
Aye, and worse wrong than these.
Yet she, singing upon her road,
Half lion, half child, is at peace.

~ William Butler Yeats, Against Unworthy Praise
,
463:29. It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, even with the best right, but without being OBLIGED to do so, proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life in itself already brings with it; not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing such a one comes to grief, it is so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it, nor sympathize with it. And he cannot any longer go back! He cannot even go back again to the sympathy of men! ~ Anonymous,
464:It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, even with the best right, but without being OBLIGED to do so, proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life in itself already brings with it; not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing such a one comes to grief, it is so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it, nor sympathize with it. And he cannot any longer go back! He cannot even go back again to the sympathy of men! ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
465:... ongoing care for the soul rather than seek for a cure appreciates the mystery of human suffering and does not offer the illusion of a problem-free life.

I sees every fall into ignorance and confusion as an opportunity to discover that the beast residing at the center of the labyrinth is also an angel.

To approach this paradoxical point of tension where adjustment and abnormality meet is to move closer to the realization of our mystery-filled, star-born nature.

It is a beast this thing that stirs in the core of our being, but it is also the star of our innermost nature.

We have to care for this suffering with extreme reverence so that in our fear and anger at the beast, we do not overlook the star. ~ Thomas Moore,
466:He did not know what to say in the face of such sorrow. He sat in silence by his sister's side in the spring verdure, which was too young; and the hidden strings of his breast began to quiver, and to sound. This was the first time that he had ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul. He was very far from understanding what he saw. But what was of more value, he felt and suffered with her. In years that were yet to come he relived this memory in song, in the most beautiful song the world has ever known. For the understanding of the soul's defenselessness, of the conflict between the two poles, is not the source of the greatest song. The source of the greatest song is sympathy. Sympathy with Asta Sollilja on earth. ~ Halld r Kiljan Laxness,
467:It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, even with the best right, but without being OBLIGED to do so, proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life in itself already brings with it; not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing such a one comes to grief, it is so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it, nor sympathize with it. And he cannot any longer go back! He cannot even go back again to the sympathy of men! 30. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
468:The multitude of men and women choose the less adventurous way of the comparatively unconscious civic and tribal routines. But these seekers, too, are saved—by virtue of the inherited symbolic aids of society, the rites of passage, the grace-yielding sacraments, given to mankind of old by the redeemers and handed down through millenniums. It is only those who know neither an inner call nor an outer doctrine whose plight truly is desperate; that is to say, most of us today, in this labyrinth without and within the heart. Alas, where is the guide, that fond virgin, Ariadne, to supply the simple clue that will give us courage to face the Minotaur, and the means then to find our way to freedom when the monster has been met and slain? ~ Joseph Campbell,
469:In the writings of a recluse one always hears something of the echo of the wilderness, something of the murmuring tones and timid vigilance of solitude; in his strongest words, even in his cry itself, there sounds a new and more dangerous kind of silence, of concealment. He who has sat day and night, from year's end to year's end, alone with his soul in familiar discord and discourse, he who has become a cave-bear, or a treasure-seeker, or a treasure-guardian and dragon in his cave—it may be a labyrinth, but can also be a gold-mine—his ideas themselves eventually acquire a twilight-colour of their own, and an odour, as much of the depth as of the mould, something uncommunicative and repulsive, which blows chilly upon every passer-by. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
470:I mean that certain fictions, chiefly Conan Doyle, Stevenson, but many others also, laid out a template that was more powerful than any local documentary account - the presences that they created, or "figures" if you prefer it, like Rabbi Loew's Golem, became too much and too fast to be contained within the conventional limits of that fiction. They got out into the stream of time, the ether; they escaped into the labyrinth. They achieved an independent existence.
The writers were mediums; they articulated, they gave a shape to some pattern of energy that was already present. They got in on the curve of time, so that by writing, by holding off the inhibiting reflex of the rational mind, they were able to propose a text that was prophetic. ~ Iain Sinclair,
471:With a sigh, he grabbed hold of his chair and lifted himself out of it, then wrote on the blackboard: How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? - A.Y.
'I'm going to leave that up for the rest of the semester,' he said.
'Because everybody who has ever lost their way in life has felt the nagging insistence of that question. At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze, and I don't want us to forget Alaska, and I don't want to forget that even when the material we study seems boring, we're trying to understand how people have answered that question and the questions each of you posed in your papers--how different traditions have come to terms with what Chip, in his final, called 'people's rotten lots in life. ~ John Green,
472:Our Life Is Like A Forest, Where The Sun
Our life is like a forest, where the sun
Glints down upon us through the throbbing leaves;
The full light rarely finds us. One by one,
Deep rooted in our souls, there springeth up
Dark groves of human passion, rich in gloom,
At first no bigger than an acorn-cup.
Hope threads the tangled labyrinth, but grieves
Till all our sins have rotted in their tomb,
And made the rich loam of each yearning heart
To bring forth fruits and flowers to new life.
We feel the dew from heaven, and there start
From some deep fountain little rills whose strife
Is drowned in music. Thus in light and shade
We live, and move, and die, through all this earthly glade.
~ Charles Sangster,
473:She had the kind of eyes that predisposed you to supporting her every endeavor. And not just beautiful, but hot, too, with her breasts straining against her tight tank top, her curved legs swinging back and forth beneath the swing, flip-flops dangling from her electric-blue-painted toes. It was right then, between when I asked about the labyrinth and when she answered me, that I realized the importance of curves, of the thousand places where girls’ bodies ease from one place to another, from arc of the foot to ankle to calf, from calf to hip to waist to breast to neck to ski-slope nose to forehead to shoulder to the concave arch of the back to the butt to the etc. I’d noticed curves before, of course, but I had never quite apprehended their significance. ~ John Green,
474:in Minoan Crete. An almost mind-boggling feat of athleticism and bravery, bull leaping was also a religious rite.5 The athlete, or acrobat, literally grabbed a bull by the horns; when, as a natural reaction, the bull rapidly raised its head, the acrobat was somersaulted into a backflip, the goal being to land on his feet either behind the bull or on the bull’s back. Failure to properly execute this leap meant a severe and probably fatal goring. The archaeologist, Arthur Evans, who first uncovered evidence of this activity when he unearthed the so-called Toreador Fresco at Knossos was the man who coined the term “Minoan” for this culture, after the mythical king Minos, who employed Daedalus to construct the famous labyrinth to contain the half bull–half human ~ Anonymous,
475:... ongoing care for the soul rather than seek for a cure appreciates the mystery of human suffering and does not offer the illusion of a problem-free life.
I sees every fall into ignorance and confusion as an opportunity to discover that the beast residing at the center of the labyrinth is also an angel.
To approach this paradoxial point of tension where adjustment and abnormality meet is to move closer to the realization of our mystery-filled, star-born nature.
It is a beast this thing that stirs in the core of our being, but it is also the star of our innermost nature.
We have to care for this suffering with extreme reverence so that in our fear and anger at the beast, we do not overlock the star. ~ Thomas MooreThomas Moore *Care of the Soul* ~ Thomas Moore,
476:Lot's Wife
How simple the pleasures of those childhood days,
Simple but filled with exquisite satisfactions.
The iridescent labyrinth of the spider,
Its tethered tensor nest of polygons
Puffed by the breeze to a little bellying sail -Merely observing this gave infinite pleasure.
The sound of rain. The gentle graphite veil
Of rain that makes of the world a steel engraving,
Full of soft fadings and faint distances.
The self-congratulations of a fly,
Rubbing its hands. The brown bicameral brain
Of a walnut. The smell of wax. The feel
Of sugar to the tongue: a delicious sand.
One understands immediately how Proust
Might cherish all such postage-stamp details.
Who can resist the charms of retrospection?
~ Anthony Evan Hecht,
477:And if I must follow you to the abyss, follow you I shall!
You are not the passer-by, but the one who remains. The notion of eternity is linked to my love for you. No, you are not the passer-by nor the strange pilot guiding the adventurer through the labyrinth of desire. You have opened to me the country of passion itself. I lose myself in your thoughts more surely than in a desert. And even as I write these lines, I have still not confronted my image of you with your "reality". You are not the passer-by but the eternal lover, whether you wish it or not. Painful joy of the passion aroused by meeting you. I suffer, but my suffering is dear to me, and if I hold my self in any esteem, it is because I have encountered you in my blind rush towards the shifting horizons. ~ Robert Desnos,
478:I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere.

I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. ~ John Green,
479:It seems simple: a quotation is a repetition of a saying : But leading language philosophers — Frege, Tarski, Geach, Quine, Searle — recognized that quotations are trouble. Donald Davidson was taught that quotation is “a somewhat shady device” and an “invitation to sin.” In quotation not only does language turn on itself, but it does so word by word and expression by expression, and this reflexive twist is inseparable from the convenience and universal applicability of the device. Here we already have enough to draw the interest of the philosopher of language.  Quotation might “appear trivial” yet also be “an easy entrance to the labyrinth” of other heady problems: propositional attitudes, explicit performatives, and picture theories of reference ~ Willis Goth Regier, Quotology, (2010), p. 4.,
480:To A Friend Whose Work Has Come To Triumph"

Consider Icarus, pasting those sticky wintgs on,
testing that strange little tug at his shoulder blade,
and think of that first flawless moment over the lawn
of the labyrinth. Think of the difference it made!
There below are the trees, as awkward as camels;
and here are the shocked starlings pumping past
and think of innocent Icarus who is doing quite well:
larger than a sail, over the fog and the blast
of the plushy ocean, he goes. Admire his wings!
Feel the fire at his neck and see how casually
he glances up and is caught, wondrously tunneling
into that hot eye. Who cares that feel back to the sea?
See him acclaiming the sun and come plunging down
while his sensible daddy goes straight into town. ~ Anne Sexton,
481:Walt's father had been shopping with his son on a Sunday afternoon when he'd wandered into All Saints' Passage and found the bookshop. A silent boy, Walt still hadn't spoken, so there was no reason to think he'd be interested in reading yet. But when Walt snuck through the door, under his father's arm, he let out a gasp of delight.
He had stepped into a kingdom: an oak labyrinth of bookshelves, corridors and canyons of literature beckoning him, whispering enchanting words Walt had never heard before. The air was smoky with the scent of leather, ink and paper, caramel-rich and citrus-sharp. Walt stuck out his small tongue to taste this new flavor and grinned, sticky with excitement. And he knew, all of a sudden and deep in his soul, that this was a place he belonged more than any other. ~ Menna van Praag,
482:they Whatever can make life truly happy is absolutely good in its own right because it cannot be warped into evil From whence then comes error In that while all men wish for a happy life they mistake the means for the thing itself and while they fancy themselves in pursuit of it they are flying from it for when the sum of happiness consists in solid tranquillity and an unembarrassed confidence therein they are ever collecting causes of disquiet and not only carry burthens but drag them painfully along through the rugged and deceitful path of life so that they still withdraw themselves from the good effect proposed the more pains they take the more business they have upon their hands instead of advancing they are retrograde and as it happens in a labyrinth their very speed puzzles and confounds them ~ Seneca,
483:To A Friend Whose Work Has Come To Triumph
Consider Icarus, pasting those sticky wintgs on,
testing that strange little tug at his shoulder blade,
and think of that first flawless moment over the lawn
of the labyrinth. Think of the difference it made!
There below are the trees, as awkward as camels;
and here are the shocked starlings pumping past
and think of innocent Icarus who is doing quite well:
larger than a sail, over the fog and the blast
of the plushy ocean, he goes. Admire his wings!
Feel the fire at his neck and see how casually
he glances up and is caught, wondrously tunneling
into that hot eye. Who cares that feel back to the sea?
See him acclaiming the sun and come plunging down
while his sensible daddy goes straight into town.
~ Anne Sexton,
484:The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their downfall: in the labyrinth, in hardness towards oneself and others, in experiment; their delight lies in self-mastery: asceticism is with them nature, need, instinct. The difficult task they consider a privilege; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation... Knowledge - a form of asceticism. - They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not exclude their being the cheerfullest, the kindliest. They rule not because they want to but because they are; they are not free to be second. - The second type: they are the guardians of the law, the keepers of order and security; they are the noble warriors, with the king above all as the highest formula of warrior, judge, and upholder of the law. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist,
485:These thirty years, and more, that I've spent among exotic, barbaric, indomitable gods and goddesses, nourished on myths, obsessed by symbols, nursed and bewitched by so many images which have come down to me from those submerged worlds, today seem to me to be the stages of a long initiation. Each one of these divine figures, each of these myths or symbols, is connected to a danger that was confronted and overcome. How many times I was almost lost, gone astray in this labyrinth where I risked being killed... These were not only bits of knowledge acquired slowly and leisurely in books, but so many encounters, confrontations, and temptations. I realize perfectly well now all the dangers I skirted during this long quest, and, in the first place, the risk of forgetting that I had a goal... that I wanted to reach a 'center'. ~ Mircea Eliade,
486:Woe!
It is true, our tribe is similar to the bees,
It gathers honey of wisdom, carries it, stores it in honeycombs.
I am able to roam for hours
Through the labyrinth of the main library, floor to floor.
But yesterday, looking for the words of masters and prophets,
I wandered into high regions
That are visited by practically no one.
I would open a book and could decipher nothing.
For letters faded and disappeared from the pages.
Woe! I exclaimed-so it comes to this?
Where are you, venerable ones, with your beards and wigs,
Your nights spent by a candle, griefs of your wives?
So a message saving the world is silenced forever?
At your home it was the day of making preserves.
And your dog, sleeping by the fire, would wake up,
Yawn, and look at you, as if knowing.
~ Czeslaw Milosz,
487:Something very sinister happens to the people of a country when they begin to distrust their own reactions as deeply as they do here, and become as joyless as they have become. It is this individual uncertainty on the part of white American men and women, this inability to renew themselves at the fountain of their own lives, that makes the discussion, let alone elucidation, of any conundrum—that is, any reality—so supremely difficult. The person who distrusts himself has no touchstone for reality—for this touchstone can be only oneself. Such a person interposes between himself and reality nothing less than a labyrinth of attitudes. And these attitudes, furthermore, though the person is usually unaware of it (is unaware of so much!), are historical and public attitudes. They do not relate to the present anymore than they relate to the person. ~ James Baldwin,
488:A fine statue of a naked Theseus stands proudly today in Athens' central place of assembly, the city's hub, Syntagma Square. Even today he is a focus of Athenian identity and pride. The ship he brought back from his adventures in the Labyrinth of Crete remained moored in the harbour at Piraeus, a visitor attraction right up to the days of historical ancient Athens, the time of Socrates and Aristotle. Its continuous presence there for such a long time caused the Ship of Theseus to become a subject of intriguing philosophical speculation. Over hundreds of years, its rigging, its planks, its hull, deck, keel, prow, stern and all its timbers had been replaced so that not one atom of the original remained. Could one call it the same ship? Am I the same person I was fifty years ago? Every molecule and cell of my body has been replaced many times over. ~ Stephen Fry,
489:What is it that a young man wants? Where is the central source of that wild fury that boils up in him, that goads and drives and lashes him, that explodes his energies and strews his purpose to the wind of a thousand instant and chaotic impulses? The older and assured people of the world, who have learned to work without waste and error, think they know the reason for the chaos and confusion of a young man’s life. They have learned the thing at hand, and learned to follow their single way through all the million shifting hues and tones and cadences of living, to thread neatly with unperturbed heart their single thread through that huge labyrinth of shifting forms and intersecting energies that make up life—and they say, therefore, that the reason for a young man’s confusion, lack of purpose, and erratic living is because he has not “found himself. ~ Thomas Wolfe,
490:2. Refusal of the Call:Often in actual life, and not infrequently in the myths and popular tales, we encounter the dull case of the call unanswered; for it is always possible to turn the ear to other interests. Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or 'culture,' the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless-even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire or renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his minotaur. All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration. ~ Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces,
491:He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. And as I walked back to give Takumi’s note to the Colonel, I saw that I would never know. I would never know her well enough to know her thoughts in those last minutes, would never know if she left us on purpose. But the not-knowing would not keep me from caring, and I would always love Alaska Young, my crooked neighbor, with all my crooked heart. ~ John Green,
492:It was under English trees that I meditated on that lost labyrinth: I pictured it perfect and inviolate on the secret summit of a mountain; I pictured its outlines blurred by rice paddies, or underwater; I pictured it as infinite—a labyrinth not of octagonal pavillions and paths that turn back upon themselves, but of rivers and provinces and kingdoms....I imagined a labyrinth of labyrinths, a maze of mazes, a twisting, turning, ever-widening labyrinth that contained both past and future and somehow implied the stars. Absorbed in those illusory imaginings, I forgot that I was a pursued man; I felt myself, for an indefinite while, the abstract perceiver of the world. The vague, living countryside, the moon, the remains of the day did their work in me; so did the gently downward road, which forestalled all possibility of weariness. The evening was near, yet infinite. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
493:IN ONE IMPORTANT WAY, an abusive man works like a magician: His tricks largely rely on getting you to look off in the wrong direction, distracting your attention so that you won’t notice where the real action is. He draws you into focusing on the turbulent world of his feelings to keep your eyes turned away from the true cause of his abusiveness, which lies in how he thinks. He leads you into a convoluted maze, making your relationship with him a labyrinth of twists and turns. He wants you to puzzle over him, to try to figure him out, as though he were a wonderful but broken machine for which you need only to find and fix the malfunctioning parts to bring it roaring to its full potential. His desire, though he may not admit it even to himself, is that you wrack your brain in this way so that you won’t notice the patterns and logic of his behavior, the consciousness behind the craziness. ~ Lundy Bancroft,
494:The intensity of her religious disposition, the coercion it exercised over her life, was but one aspect of a nature altogether ardent, theoretic, and intellectually consequent: and with such a nature struggling in the bands of a narrow teaching, hemmed in by a social life which seemed nothing but a labyrinth of petty courses, a walled-in maze of small paths that led no whither, the outcome was sure to strike others as at once exaggeration and inconsistency. The thing which seemed to her best, she wanted to justify by the completest knowledge; and not to live in a pretended admission of rules which were never acted on. Into this soul-hunger as yet all her youthful passion was poured; the union which attracted her was one that would deliver her from her girlish subjection to her own ignorance, and give her the freedom of voluntary submission to a guide who would take her along the grandest path. ~ George Eliot,
495:Wo es mächtige Gesellschaften, Regierungen, Religionen, öffentliche Meinungen gegeben hat, kurz wo je eine Tyrannei war, da hat sie den einsamen Philosophen gehasst; denn die Philosophie eröffnet dem Menschen ein Asyl, wohin keine Tyrannei dringen kann, die Höhle des Innerlichen, das Labyrinth der Brust: und das ärgert die Tyrannen. Dort verbergen sich die Einsamen: aber dort auch lauert die größte Gefahr der Einsamen. Diese Menschen, die ihre Freiheit in das Innerliche geflüchtet haben, müssen auch äußerlich leben, sichtbar werden, sich sehen lassen; sie stehen in zahllosen menschlichen Verbindungen durch Geburt, Aufenthalt, Erziehung, Vaterland, Zufall, Zudringlichkeit Anderer; ebenfalls zahllose Meinungen werden bei ihnen vorausgesetzt, einfach weil sie die herrschenden sind; jede Miene, die nicht verneint, gilt als Zustimmung; jede Handbewegung, die nicht zertrümmert, wird als Billigung gedeutet. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
496:A sincere person owes it to themselves to expose the frightful barbarity which still prevails in the hidden depths of a society so outwardly well-ordered. Take, for instance, our great cities, the leaders of civilization, especially the most populous, and, in many respects, the first of all — the immense London, which gathers to herself the riches of the world, whose every warehouse is worth a king’s ransom; where are to be found enough, and more than enough, of food and clothing for the needs of the teeming millions that throng her streets in greater numbers than the ants which swarm in the never-ending labyrinth of their subterranean galleries. And yet…beside these untold splendors, want is consuming the vitals of entire populations, and it is only sporadically that the fortunate for whom these hoards are amassed hear, as barely a muffled wailing, the bitter cry which rises eternally from those unseen depths. ~ lis e Reclus,
497:The beauty of the world is the mouth of a labyrinth. The unwary individual who on entering takes a few steps is soon unable to find the opening. Worn out, with nothing to eat or drink, in the dark, separated from his dear ones, and from everything he loves and is accustomed to, he walks on without knowing anything or hoping anything, incapable even of discovering whether he is really going forward or merly turning round on the same spot. But this affliction is as nothing compared with the danger threatening him. For if he does not lose courage, if he goes on walking, it is absolutely certain that he will finally arrive at the center of the labyrinth. And there God is waiting to eat him. Later he will go out again, but he will be changed, he will have become different, after being eaten and digested by God. Afterward he will stay near the entrance so that he can gently push all those who come near into the opening. ~ Simone Weil,
498:That woman is a volcano on the point of eruption, with a libido of igneous magma yet the heart of an angel,' he said licking his lips. 'If I had to establish a true parallel, she reminds me of my succulent mulatto girl in Havana, who was very devout and always worshiped her saints. But since, deep down, I'm an old-fashioned gent who doesn't like to take advantage of women, I contend myself with a chaste kiss on the cheek. I'm not in a hurry, you see? All good things must wait. There are yokels out there who think that if they touch a woman's behind and she doesn't complain, they've hooked her. Amateurs. The female heart is a labyrinth of subtleties, too challenging for the uncouth mind of the male racketeer. If you really want to possess a woman, you must think like her, and the first thing to do is win over her soul. The rest, that sweet, soft wrapping that steals away your senses and your virtue, is a bonus ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
499:Her hand just above my knee, the palm flat and soft against my jeans and her index finger making slow, lazy circles that crept toward the inside of my thigh, and with one layer between us, God I wanted her. And lying there, amid the tall, still grass and beneath the star-drunk sky, listening to the just-this-side-of-inaudible sound of her rhythmic breathing and the noisy silence of the bullfrogs, the grasshoppers, the distant cars rushing endlessly on 1-65, I thought it might be a fine time to say the Three Little Words. And I steeled myself to say them as I stared up at that starriest night, convinced myself that she felt it, too, that her hand so alive and vivid against my leg was more than playful, and fuck Lara and fuck Jake because I do, Alaska Young, I do love you and what else matters but that and my lips parted to speak and before I could even begin to breathe out the words, she said, "It's not life or death, the labyrinth. ~ John Green,
500:You can't just make me different and then leave," I said out loud to her. "Because I was fine before, Alaska. I was fine with just me and last words and school friends, and you can't just make me different and then die." For she had embodied the Great Perhaps—she had proved to me that it was worth it to leave behind my minor life for grander maybes, and now she was gone and with her my faith in perhaps. I could call everything the Colonel said and did "fine." I could try to pretend that I didn't care anymore, but it could never be true again. You can't just make yourself matter and then die, Alaska, because now I am irretrievably different, and I'm sorry I let you go, yes, but you made the choice. You left me Perhapsless, stuck in your goddamned labyrinth. And now I don't even know if you chose the straight and fast way out, if you left me like this on purpose. And so I never knew you, did I? I can't remember, because I never knew. ~ John Green,
501:And the more I thought of what had happened, the wilder and darker it grew. I reviewed the whole extraordinary sequence of events as I rattled on through the silent gas-lit streets. There was the original problem: that at least was pretty clear now. The death of Captain Morstan, the sending of the pearls, the advertisement, the letter,—we had had light upon all those events. They had only led us, however, to a deeper and far more tragic mystery. The Indian treasure, the curious plan found among Morstan's baggage, the strange scene at Major Sholto's death, the rediscovery of the treasure immediately followed by the murder of the discoverer, the very singular accompaniments to the crime, the footsteps, the remarkable weapons, the words upon the card, corresponding with those upon Captain Morstan's chart,—here was indeed a labyrinth in which a man less singularly endowed than my fellow-lodger might well despair of ever finding the clue. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle,
502:From death itself I endeavoured to extract its secret; and whole nights I have sat in the crowded asylums of the dying, watching the last spark flutter and decay. Men die away as in sleep, without effort, or struggle, or emotion. I have looked on their countenances a moment before death, and the serenity of repose was upon them, waxing only more deep as it approached that slumber which, is never broken: the breath grew gentler and gentler, till the lips it came from fell from each other, and all was hushed; the light had departed from the cloud, but the cloud itself, gray, cold, altered as it seemed, was as before. They died and made no sign. They had left the labyrinth without bequeathing us its clew. It is in vain that I have sent my spirit into the land of shadows — it has borne back no witnesses of its inquiry. As Newton said of himself, ‘I picked up a few shells by the seashore, but the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me. ~ Edward Bulwer Lytton,
503:I have here Alaska’s final. You’ll recall that you were asked what the most important question facing people is, and how the three traditions we’re studying this year address that question. This was Alaska’s question.” With a sigh, he grabbed hold of his chair and lifted himself out of it, then wrote on the blackboard: How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? —A. Y. “I’m going to leave that up for the rest of the semester,” he said. “Because everybody who has ever lost their way in life has felt the nagging insistence of that question. At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze, and I don’t want us to forget Alaska, and I don’t want to forget that even when the material we study seems boring, we’re trying to understand how people have answered that question and the questions each of you posed in your papers—how different traditions have come to terms with what Chip, in his final, called ‘people’s rotten lots in life. ~ John Green,
504:Such is the strange situation in which modern philosophy finds itself. No former age was ever in such a favourable position with regard to the sources of our knowledge of human nature. Psychology, ethnology, anthropology, and history have amassed an astoundingly rich and constantly increasing body of facts. Our technical instruments for observation and experimentation have been immensely improved, and our analyses have become sharper and more penetrating.

We appear, nonetheless, not yet to have found a method for the mastery and organization of this material. When compared with our own abundance the past may seem very poor. But our wealth of facts is not necessarily a wealth of thoughts. Unless we succeed in finding a clue of Ariadne to lead us out of this labyrinth, we can have no real insight into the general character of human culture; we shall remain lost in a mass of disconnected and disintegrated data which seem to lack all conceptual unity. ~ Ernst Cassirer,
505:He had no answer for that, either. While they’d been talking, the woman had disappeared, and the storefront was deserted. Back in the day the liquor store had been a department store. Long before Hedley was built, there had been an indigenous settlement here, along the river—something his father had told him—and the remains of that, lay beneath the facade of the liquor store. Down below the store, too, a labyrinth of limestone cradling the aquifer, narrow caves and blind albino crawfish and luminescent freshwater fish. Surrounded by the crushed remains of so many creatures, loamed into the soil, pushed down by the foundations of the buildings. Would that be the biologist’s understanding of the street—what she would see? Perhaps she would see, too, one possible future of that space, the liquor store crumbling under an onslaught of vines and weather damage, becoming akin to the sunken, moss-covered hills near Area X. A loss she might not mourn. Or would she? ~ Jeff VanderMeer,
506:Since then I have learned many things, and above all the way in which dinosaurs conquer. First I had believed that disappearing had been, for my brothers, the magnanimous acceptance of a defeat; now I knew that the more the dinosaurs disappear, the more they extend their dominion, and over forests far more vast than those that cover the continents: in the labyrinth of the survivor's thoughts. From the semidarkness of fears and doubts of now ignorant generations, the Dinosaurs continued to extend their necks, to raise their taloned hoofs, and when the last shadow of their image had been erased, their name went on, superimposed on all meanings, perpetuating their presence in relations among living beings. Now, when the name too had been erased, they would become one thing with the mute and anonymous molds of thought, through which thoughts take on form and substance: by the New Ones, and by those who would come after the New Ones, and those who would come even after them. ~ Italo Calvino,
507:Something very sinister happens to the people of a country when they begin to distrust their own reactions as deeply as they do here, and become as joyless as they have become. It is this individual uncertainty on the part of white American men and women, this inability to renew themselves at the fountain of their own lives, that makes the discussion, let alone elucidation, of any conundrum—that is, any reality—so supremely difficult. The person who distrusts himself has no touchstone for reality—for this touchstone can be only oneself. Such a person interposes between himself and reality nothing less than a labyrinth of attitudes. And these attitudes, furthermore, though the person is usually unaware of it (is unaware of so much!), are historical and public attitudes. They do not relate to the present any more than they relate to the person. Therefore, whatever white people do not know about Negroes reveals, precisely and inexorably, what they do not know about themselves. ~ James Baldwin,
508:In 1973, the CIA, informed that reporters were sniffing around their affairs, had destroyed all the files concerning Project MK-Ultra. But the CIA is, above all, an enormous bureaucracy. Joseph Rauth was convinced that some traces had to remain of such an important project, which had extended over twenty-five years and involved dozens of directors and a staff of thousands. Under the auspices of the Rockefeller Commission, we were authorized access to documents or other materials relating to research into mind control. We hired an ex-CIA operative named Frank Macley to look into it. After several weeks of investigation, he confirmed that most of the files had been destroyed by two high-ranking officials: CIA Director Samuel Neels and one of his close associates, Michael Brown. But through his persistence, Macley unearthed seven huge crates of documents relating to MK-Ultra at the Agency’s records storage facility. Crates that had gotten lost in the administrative labyrinth. ~ Franck Thilliez,
509:A man in a topiary maze cannot judge of the twistings and turnings, and which avenue might lead him to the heart; while one who stands above, on some pleasant prospect, looking down upon the labyrinth, is reduced to watching the bewildered circumnavigations of the tiny victim through obvious coils - as the gods, perhaps, looked down on besieged and blood-sprayed Troy from the safety of their couches, and thought mortals weak and foolish while they themselves reclined in comfort, and had only to snap to call Ganymade to theeir side with nectar decanted.
So I, now, with the vantage of my years, am sensible of my foolishness, my blindness, as a child. I cannot think of my blunders without a shriveling of the inward parts - not merely the disiccation attendant on shame, but also the aggravation of remorse that I did not demand explanation, that I did not sooner take my mother by the hand, and-
I do not know what I regret. I sit with my pen, and cannot find an end to that sentence. ~ M T Anderson,
510:In The Tombs of Atuan, the Old Powers, the Nameless Ones, appear as mysterious, ominous, and yet inactive. Arha/Tenar is their priestess, the greatest of all priestesses, whom the Godking himself is supposed to obey: But what is her realm? A prison in the desert. Women guarded by eunuchs. Ancient tombstones, a half-ruined temple, an empty throne. A fearful underground labyrinth where prisoners are left to die of starvation and thirst, where only she can walk the maze, where light must never come. She rules a dark, empty, useless realm. Her power imprisons her. This isn’t the rosy reassurance many novels at the time offered adolescents. It’s a very bleak picture of what a girl may expect. Arha’s life is dreary, unchanging, with almost no experience of kindness except from Manan the eunuch. The third chapter may be the cruelest, most hopeless passage in all the Earthsea books. By consenting to the death of “her” prisoners, Arha locks the prison door upon herself. Her whole life will be lived in a trap. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
511:Oh destiny of Borges
to have sailed across the diverse seas of the world
or across that single and solitary sea of diverse
names,
to have been a part of Edinburgh, of Zurich, of the
two Cordobas,
of Colombia and of Texas,
to have returned at the end of changing generations
to the ancient lands of his forebears,
to Andalucia, to Portugal and to those counties
where the Saxon warred with the Dane and they
mixed their blood,
to have wandered through the red and tranquil
labyrinth of London,
to have grown old in so many mirrors,
to have sought in vain the marble gaze of the statues,
to have questioned lithographs, encyclopedias,
atlases,
to have seen the things that men see,
death, the sluggish dawn, the plains,
and the delicate stars,
and to have seen nothing, or almost nothing
except the face of a girl from Buenos Aires
a face that does not want you to remember it.
Oh destiny of Borges,
perhaps no stranger than your own.
~ Jorge Luis Borges, Elegy
,
512:A person doing his true will is assisted by the momentum of the universe and seems possessed of amazing good luck. In beginning the great work of obtaining the knowledge and conversation, the magician vows 'to interpret every manifestation of existence as a direct message from the infinite Chaos to himself personally'
   To do this is to enter the magical world view in its totality. He takes complete responsibility for his present incarnation and must consider every experience, thing, or piece of information which assails him from any source, as a reflection of the way he is conducting his existence. The idea that things happen to one that may or may not be related to the way one acts is an illusion created by our shallow awareness.
   Keeping a close eye on the walls of the labyrinth, the conditions of his existence, the magician may then begin his invocation. The genius is not something added to oneself. Rather it is a stripping away of excess to reveal the god within.
   ~ Peter J Carroll, Liber Null, Liber LUX, Augoeides [49-50],
513:Estella was the inspiration of it, and the heart of it, of course. But, though she had taken such strong possession of me, though my fancy and my hope were so set upon her, though her influence on my boyish life and character had been all-powerful, I did not, even that romantic morning, invest her with any attributes save those she possessed. I mention this in this place, of a fixed purpose, because it is the clue by which I am to be followed into my poor labyrinth. According to my experience, the conventional notion of a lover cannot be always true. The unqualified truth is, that when I loved Estella with the love of a man, I loved her simply because I found her irresistible. Once for all; I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. Once for all; I loved her none the less because I knew it, and it had no more influence in restraining me, than if I had devoutly believed her to be human perfection. ~ Charles Dickens,
514:On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph's diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror's face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I'd seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand... ~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph,
515:They were moving through a tunnel. Geometric shapes, fragmented into neon colors and labyrinth patterns flew by in every direction. They were morphing inside and out, with new shapes emerging from within like a kind of slow, pixelated evolution. Spheres, cubes, and pyramids fused together to generate patterned hallucinations: three-dimensional casts with hundreds of polygons, shifting into yet more complex patterns. He couldn’t tell if they were standing still and the shapes were moving, or if the shapes were standing still and they were moving through the tunnel themselves. Strings of closed figures were defined by the interstices between one shape and another. Spaces of nothingness spiraled into their own patterns through the movement of the shapes like strands of translucent DNA forming over a radiant background. There was a break in the tunnel, and suddenly, they were in free fall. Below, a city of shapes, still relentless in their transformations, loomed above a floor made out of more tunnels, entangled inside of an intricate meta-pattern with cities submerged inside of cities. ~ M U Riyadad,
516:Admirable, however, as the Paris of the present day appears to you, build up and put together again in imagination the Paris of the fifteenth century; look at the light through that surprising host of steeples, towers, and belfries; pour forth amid the immense city, break against the points of its islands, compress within the arches of the bridges, the current of the Seine, with its large patches of green and yellow, more changeable than a serpent's skin; define clearly the Gothic profile of this old Paris upon an horizon of azure, make its contour float in a wintry fog which clings to its innumerable chimneys; drown it in deep night, and observe the extraordinary play of darkness and light in this sombre labyrinth of buildings; throw into it a ray of moonlight, which shall show its faint outline and cause the huge heads of the towers to stand forth from amid the mist; or revert to that dark picture, touch up with shade the thousand acute angles of the spires and gables, and make them stand out, more jagged than a shark's jaw, upon the copper-coloured sky of evening. Now compare the two. ~ Victor Hugo,
517:Also by Rick Riordan PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS Book One: The Lightning Thief Book Two: The Sea of Monsters Book Three: The Titan’s Curse Book Four: The Battle of the Labyrinth Book Five: The Last Olympian The Demigod Files The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel The Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes From Percy Jackson: Camp Half-Blood Confidential THE KANE CHRONICLES Book One: The Red Pyramid Book Two: The Throne of Fire Book Three: The Serpent’s Shadow The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel The Throne of Fire: The Graphic Novel THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS Book One: The Lost Hero Book Two: The Son of Neptune Book Three: The Mark of Athena Book Four: The House of Hades Book Five: The Blood of Olympus The Demigod Diaries The Lost Hero: The Graphic Novel The Son of Neptune: The Graphic Novel Demigods & Magicians MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD Book One: The Sword of Summer Book Two: The Hammer of Thor For Magnus Chase: Hotel Valhalla Guide to the Norse Worlds THE TRIALS OF APOLLO Book One: The Hidden Oracle ~ Rick Riordan,
518:We ought to be much more fearful of what we don’t know. We should really be fearful of an unconscious that inhabits us, that guides us, that influences our life and of which we don’t know the face and don’t know the message. Actually I have much less fear since I confronted fears. What’s frightening to me is people whose unconscious leads them, destroys them, and yet they will never stop and look at it. That’s the minotaur in the labyrinth, which many people never come face to face with. There was a very remarkable percussion composer, Edgar Varese, who always mocked psychology, mocked psychoanalysis, mocked psychiatry. He was satirical about it, wouldn’t have any of it. And yet his whole life pattern was self-destructive. He was an innovator and a tremendous musician. But he blocked himself. His biography is out now, and you can see the pattern. You can see this demon that was driving him, the origin of it. He seemed to be a very fearless, strong, tremendous tempered man with great force; he even looked like a Corsican bandit. But he had no power over the forces that were pushing him. That is what frightens me. ~ Ana s Nin,
519:EMANUEL SWEDENBORG
Taller than the others, this man
Walked, among them, at a distance,
Now and then calling the angels
By their secret names. He would see
That which earthly eyes do not see:
The fierce geometry, the crystal
Labyrinth of God and the sordid
Milling of infernal delights.
He knew that Glory and Hell too
Are in your soul, with all their myths;
He knew, like the Greek, that the days
Of time are Eternitys mirrors.
In dry Latin he went on listing
The unconditional Last Things.
[Richard Howard and Csar Rennert]

EMANUEL SWEDENBORG
Ms alto que los otros, caminaba
Aquel hombre lejano entre los hombres;
Apenas si llamaba por sus nombres
Secretos a los ngeles. Miraba
Lo que no ven los ojos terrenales:
La ardiente geometra, el cristalino
Laberinto de Dios y el remolino
Srdido de los goces infernales.
Saba que la Gloria y el Averno
En tu alma estn y sus mitologas;
Saba, como el griego, que los das
Del tiempo son espejos del Eterno.
En rido latn fue registrando
Ultimas cosas sin por qu ni cuando.
~ Jorge Luis Borges, Emanuel Swedenborg
,
520:Are you going to change yet again, shift your position according to the questions that are put to you, and say that the objections are not really directed at the place from which you are speaking? Are you going to declare yet again that you have never been what you have been reproached with being? Are you already preparing the way out that will enable you in your next book to spring up somewhere else and declare as you're now doing: no, no, I'm not where you are lying in wait for me, but over here, laughing at you?'
'What, do you imagine that I would take so much trouble and so much pleasure in writing, do you think that I would keep so persistently to my task, if I were not preparing – with a rather shaky hand – a labyrinth into which I can venture, into which I can move my discourse... in which I can lose myself and appear at last to eyes that I will never have to meet again. I am no doubt not the only one who writes in order to have no face. Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same: leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our papers are in order. At least spare us their morality when we write. ~ Michel Foucault,
521:He had no document but his memory; the training he had acquired with each added hexameter gave him a discipline unsuspected by those who set down and forget temporary, incomplete paragraphs. He was not working for posterity or even for God, whose literary tastes were unknown to him. Meticulously, motionlessly, secretly, he wrought in time his lofty, invisible labyrinth. He worked the third act over twice. He eliminated certain symbols as over-obvious, such as the repeated striking of the clock, the music. Nothing hurried him. He omitted, he condensed, he amplified. In certain instances he came back to the original version. He came to feel affection for the courtyard, the barracks; one of the faces before him modified his conception of Roemerstadt's character. He discovered that the wearying cacophonies that bothered Flaubert so much are mere visual superstitions, weakness and limitation of the written word, not the spoken...He concluded his drama. He had only the problem of a single phrase. He found it. The drop of water slid down his cheek. He opened his mouth in a maddened cry, moved his face, dropped under the quadruple blast. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
522:The people who build high, strong fences are the ones who survive the best. You deny that reality only at the risk of being driven into the wilderness yourself'
- Oshima, 316
I'm empty-handed now. The can of yellow spray paint, the little hatchet- they're history. The daypack's gone as well. No canteen, no food. Not even the compass. One by one I left these behind. Doing this gives a visible message to the forest: I'm not afraid anymore. That's why I choose to be totally defenseless. Minus my hard shell, ust flesh and bones, I head for the core of the labyrinth, giving myself up to the void.
...
But I gradually get better at letting these threats pass me by. This forest is basically a part of me, isn't it? This thought takes hold at a certain point. The journey I'm taking is inside me . Just like blood travels down veins, what I'm seeing is my inner self, and what seems threatening is just the echo of fear in my own heart. The spiderweb stretched taut there is the spiderweb inside me. The birds calling out overhead are birds I've fostered in my mind. These images spring up in my mind and take root.
- Kafka, 396-7 ~ Haruki Murakami,
523:SPINOZA
Las traslcidas manos del judo
Labran en la penumbra los cristales
Y la tarde que muere es miedo y fro.
(Las tardes a las tardes son iguales.)
Las manos y el espacio de jacinto
Que palidece en el confn del Ghetto
Casi no existen para el hombre quieto
Que est soando un claro laberinto.
No lo turba la fama, ese reflejo
De sueos en el sueo de otro espejo,
Ni el temeroso amor de las doncellas.
Libre de la metfora y del mito
Labra un arduo cristal: el infinito
Mapa de Aqul que es todas Sus estrellas.

SPINOZA
The Jews hands, translucent in the dusk,
Polish the lenses time and again.
The dying afternoon is fear, is
Cold, and all afternoons are the same.
The hands and the hyacinth-blue air
That whitens at the Ghetto edges
Do not quite exist for this silent
Man who conjures up a clear labyrinth
Undisturbed by fame, that reflection
Of dreams in the dream of another
Mirror, nor by maidens timid love.
Free of metaphor and myth, he grinds
A stubborn crystal: the infinite
Map of the One who is all His stars.
[Richard Howard and Csar Rennert]
~ Jorge Luis Borges, Spinoza
,
524:Let us face ourselves. We are Hyperboreans; we know very well how far off we live. 'Neither by land nor by sea will you find the way to the Hyperboreans'—Pindar already knew this about us. Beyond the north, ice, and death—our life, our happiness. We have discovered happiness, we know the way, we have found the exit out of the labyrinth of thousands of years. Who else has found it? Modern man perhaps? 'I have got lost; I am everything that has got lost,' sighs modern man. This modernity was our sickness: lazy peace, cowardly compromise, the whole virtuous uncleanliness of the modern Yes and No. … Rather live in the ice than among modern virtues and other south winds! We were intrepid enough, we spared neither ourselves nor others; but for a long time we did not know where to turn with our intrepidity. We became gloomy, we were called fatalists. Our fatum—abundance, tension, the damming of strength. We thirsted for lightning and deeds and were most remote from the happiness of the weakling, 'resignation.' In our atmosphere was a thunderstorm; the nature we are became dark—for we saw no way. Formula for our happiness: a Yes, a No, a straight line, a goal. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
525:The room contains a few dozen living human bodies, each one a big sack of guts and fluids so highly compressed that it will squirt for a few yards when pierced. Each one is built around an armature of 206 bones connected to each other by notoriously fault-prone joints that are given to obnoxious creaking, grinding, and popping noises when they are in other than pristine condition. This structure is draped with throbbing steak, inflated with clenching air sacks, and pierced by a Gordian sewer filled with burbling acid and compressed gas and asquirt with vile enzymes and solvents produced by the many dark, gamy nuggets of genetically programmed meat strung along its length. Slugs of dissolving food are forced down this sloppy labyrinth by serialized convulsions, decaying into gas, liquid, and solid matter which must all be regularly vented to the outside world lest the owner go toxic and drop dead. Spherical, gel-packed cameras swivel in mucus-greased ball joints. Infinite phalanxes of cilia beat back invading particles, encapsulate them in goo for later disposal. In each body a centrally located muscle flails away at an eternal, circulating torrent of pressurized gravy. ~ Neal Stephenson,
526:He had no document but his memory; the training he had acquired with each added hexameter gave him a discipline unsuspected by those who set down and forget temporary, incomplete paragraphs. He was not working for posterity or even for God, whose literary tastes were unknown to him. Meticulously, motionlessly, secretly, he wrought in time his lofty, invisible labyrinth. He worked the third act over twice. He eliminated certain symbols as over-obvious, such as the repeated striking of the clock, the music. Nothing hurried him. He omitted, he condensed, he amplified. In certain instances he came back to the original version. He came to feel affection for the courtyard, the barracks; one of the faces before him modified his conception of Roemerstadt's character. He discovered that the wearying cacophonies that bothered Flaubert so much are mere visual superstitions, weakness and limitation of the written word, not the spoken...He concluded his drama. He had only the problem of a single phrase. He found it. The drop of water slid down his cheek. He opened his mouth in a maddened cry, moved his face, dropped under the quadruple blast.~ Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths, Selected Stories and Other Writings,
527:Not immediately, but a decade after Mandelbrot published his physiological speculations, some theoretical biologists began to find fractal organization controlling structures all through the body. The standard "exponential" description of bronchial branching proved to be quite wrong; a fractal description turned out to fit the data. The urinary collecting system proved fractal. The biliary duct in the liver. The network of special fibers in the heart that carry pulses of electric current tot he contracting muscles. The last structure, known to heart specialists as the His-Purkinje network, inspired a particularly important line of research. Considerable work on healthy and abnormal hearts turned out to hinge on the details of how the muscle cells of the left and right pumping chambers all manage to coordinate their timing. Several chaos-minded cardiologists found that the frequency spectrum of heartbeat timing, like earthquakes and economic phenomena, followed fractal laws, and they argued that one key to understanding heartbeat timing was the fractal organization of the His-Purkinje network, a labyrinth of branching pathways organized to be self-similar on smaller and smaller scales. ~ James Gleick,
528:Crime begins with God. It will end with man, when he finds God again. Crime is everywhere, in all the fibres and roots of our being. Every minute of the day adds fresh crimes to the calendar, both those which are detected and punished, and those which are not. The criminal hunts down the criminal. The judge condemns the judger. The innocent torture the innocent. Everywhere, in every family, every tribe, every great community, crimes, crimes, crimes. War is clean by comparison. The hangman is a gentle dove by comparison. Attila, Tamerlane, Genghis Khan reckless automatons by comparison. Your father, your darling mother, your sweet sister: do you know the foul crimes they harbor in their breasts? Can you hold the mirror to iniquity when it is close at hand? Have you looked into the labyrinth of your own despicable heart? Have you sometimes envied the thug for his forthrightness? The study of crime begins with the knowledge of oneself. All that you despise, all that you loathe, all that you reject, all that you condemn and seek to convert by punishment springs from you. The source of it is God whom you place outside, above and beyond. Crime is identification, first with God, then with your own image. ~ Henry Miller,
529:New York was an inexhaustible space, a labyrinth of endless steps, and no matter how far he walked, no matter how well he came to know its neighborhoods and streets, it always left him with the feeling of being lost. Lost, not only in the city, but within himself as well. Each time he took a walk, he felt as though he were leaving himself behind, and by giving himself up to the movement of the streets, by reducing himself to a seeing eye, he was able to escape the obligation to think, and this, more than anything else, brought him a measure of peace, a salutary emptiness within. The world was outside of him, around him, before him, and the speed with which it kept changing made it impossible for him to dwell on any one thing for very long. Motion was of the essence, the act of putting one foot in front of the other and allowing himself to follow the drift of his own body. By wandering aimlessly, all places became equal, and it no longer mattered where he was. On his best walks, he was able to feel that he was nowhere. And this, finally, was all he ever asked of things: to be nowhere. New York was the nowhere he had built around himself, and he realized that he had no intention of ever leaving it again. ~ Paul Auster,
530:LOS ENIGMAS
Yo que soy el que ahora est cantando
Ser maana el misterioso, el muerto,
El morador de un mgico y desierto
Orbe sin antes ni despus ni cuando.
As afirma la mstica. Me creo
Indigno del Infierno o de la Gloria,
Pero nada predigo. Nuestra historia
Cambia como las formas de Proteo.
Qu errante laberinto, qu blancura
Ciega de resplandor ser mi suerte,
Cuando me entregue el fin de esta aventura
La curiosa experiencia de la muerte?
Quiero beber su cristalino Olvido,
Ser para siempre; pero no haber sido.

THE ENIGMAS
I who am singing these lines today
Will be tomorrow the enigmatic corpse
Who dwells in a realm, magical and barren,
Without a before or an after or a when.
So say the mystics. I say I believe
Myself undeserving of Heaven or of Hell,
But make no predictions. Each mans tale
Shifts like the watery forms of Proteus.
What errant labyrinth, what blinding flash
Of splendor and glory shall become my fate
When the end of this adventure presents me with
The curious experience of death?
I want to drink its crystal-pure oblivion,
To be forever; but never to have been.
[John Updike]
~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Enigmas
,
531:At such a time [at dawn] I would dream of being a baker who delivers bread, a fitter from the electric company, or an insurance man collecting the weekly installments. Or at least a chimney sweep. In the morning, at dawn, I would enter some half-opened gateway, still lighted by the watchman's lantern. I would put two fingers to my hat, crack a joke, and enter the labyrinth to leave late in the evening, at the other end of the city. I would spend all day going from apartment to apartment, conducting one never-ending conversation from one end of the city to the other, divided into parts among the householders; I would ask something in one apartment and receive a reply in another, make a joke in one place and collect the fruits of laughter in the third or fourth. Among the banging of doors I would squeeze through narrow passages, through bedrooms full of furniture, I would upset chamberpots, walk into squeaking perambulators in which babies cry, pick up rattles dropped by infants. I would stop for longer than necessary in kitchens and hallways, where servant girls were tidying up. The girls, busy, would stretch their young legs, tauten their high insteps, play with their cheap shining shoes, or clack around in loose slippers. ~ Bruno Schulz,
532:…Just walking one short path could make you feel hopeful, frustrated, bored, excited, or even nothing at all. And that this could change from one step to the next. You’re aware that you want to reach the center, and also aware that the labyrinth keeps taking you away from it. Just as you seem to be getting close, you turn and end up walking almost around its outer limits.... You love the labyrinth and you hate it at different moments, but you never feel like you’ve conquered it, because that would be ridiculous.... This is a path that is determined for you in advance, but no one can tell you what to think while you’re walking it. It’s not like a maze, you can’t get lost. No one’s playing any tricks on you. There aren’t any monsters lurking around any corners. You can see the end and yet, you walk calmly towards it, following perhaps the least logical route (in mathematical terms at least). Perhaps the labyrinth tells us why we don’t simply read the last pages of books. Why we don’t hurry through life looking for outcomes all the time, however many times we’re told that we should, and that we should be overtaking people and overcoming things as we go. The labyrinth doesn’t tell us how to live. It shows us how we do live. ~ Scarlett Thomas,
533:The round, unformed script on the fly-leaf said, Francis Crawford of Lymond. She stared at it; then put it down and picked up another. The writing in this one was older; the neat level hand she had seen once before, in Stamboul. This time it said only, The Master of Culter.

That dated it after the death of his father, when until the birth of Richard’s son Kevin, the heir’s rank and title were Lymond’s. And all the books were his, too. She scanned them: some works in English; others in Latin and Greek, French, Italian and Spanish.… Prose and verse. The classics, pressed together with folios on the sciences, theology, history; bawdy epistles and dramas; books on war and philosophy; the great legends. Sheets and volumes and manuscripts of unprinted music. Erasmus and St Augustine, Cicero, Terence and Ptolemy, Froissart and Barbour and Dunbar; Machiavelli and Rabelais, Bude and Bellenden, Aristotle and Copernicus, Duns Scotus and Seneca.

Gathered over the years; added to on infrequent visits; the evidence of one man’s eclectic taste. And if one studied it, the private labyrinth, book upon book, from which the child Francis Crawford had emerged, contained, formidable, decorative as his deliberate writing, as the Master of Culter. ~ Dorothy Dunnett,
534:And like Vera, I know that "truth lies beyond." I know that faith - like chastity, like intimacy, like the journey to the self - is an ongoing process. Yes, we do walk the labyrinth to the center of every greater knowledge of ourselves as we do in books like Gordimer's. We may also learn from them, as Vera learned, that no single human relationship can fulfill us, draw a small circle around who we are or can be. Others, alas, are as limited, as frail - and as mortal - as we are. We will be compelled, somehow, to leave the center we have found, and continue on our journey. For, self-transcending beings that we are, it is not the center that symbolizes our true selves but the entire labyrinth. If we are courageous enough not to give up on life, on human relationships, or on ourselves - as we surmise from the tone of the last passage is the case with Vera - we will walk it many times, inward and outward, each time going more deeply within, each time reaching out in a wider embrace. And we will have, thanks to the writers among us, not a single book - no single book can satisfy us, either - but many books to accompany us like intimate friends at each stage of the journey, to lead us yet closer to the truth that, as long as we live, lies beyond. ~ Nancy M Malone,
535:I thought at first that she was just dead. Just darkness...I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still that think that, sometimes, maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter...I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take her genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else there entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed...energy is never created and never destroyed. We cannot be born and cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations... Thomas Edison's last words were: It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful. ~ John Green,
536:I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her alot like that, like someone's meal. What was her - green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs - would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes, I think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make the time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just matter, and matter gets recycled.
But ultimately I do not believe that she was just matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. ~ John Green,
537:July 12 “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” 2 Peter 2:9 THE godly are tempted and tried. That is not true faith which is never put to the test. But the godly are delivered out of their trials, and that not by chance, nor by secondary agencies, but by the Lord himself. He personally undertakes the office of delivering those who trust him. God loves the godly or godlike, and he makes a point of knowing where they are, and how they fare. Sometimes their way seems to be a labyrinth, and they cannot imagine how they are to escape from threatening danger. What they do not know their Lord knows. He knows whom to deliver, and when to deliver, and how to deliver. He delivers in the way which is most beneficial to the godly, most crushing to the tempter, and most glorifying to himself. We may leave the “how” with the Lord, and be content to rejoice in the fact that he will, in some way or other, bring his own people through all the dangers, trials, and temptations of this mortal life, to his own right hand in glory. This day it is not for me to pry into my Lord’s secrets, but patiently to wait his time, knowing this, that though I know nothing, my heavenly Father knows. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
538:How unwise had the wanderers been, who had deserted its shelter, entangled themselves in the web of society, and entered on what men of the world call "life,"—that labyrinth of evil, that scheme of mutual torture. To live, according to this sense of the word, we must not only observe and learn, we must also feel; we must not be mere spectators of action, we must act; we must not describe, but be subjects of description. Deep sorrow must have been the inmate of our bosoms; fraud must have lain in wait for us; the artful must have deceived us; sickening doubt and false hope must have chequered our days; hilarity and joy, that lap the soul in ecstasy, must at times have possessed us. Who that knows what "life" is, would pine for this feverish species of existence? I have lived. I have spent days and nights of festivity; I have joined in ambitious hopes, and exulted in victory: now,—shut the door on the world, and build high the wall that is to separate me from the troubled scene enacted within its precincts. Let us live for each other and for happiness; let us seek peace in our dear home, near the inland murmur of streams, and the gracious waving of trees, the beauteous vesture of earth, and sublime pageantry of the skies. Let us leave "life," that we may live. ~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,
539:They have nothing to give. They have no power of making. All their power is to darken and destroy. They cannot leave this place; they are this place; and it should be left to them. They should not be denied nor forgotten, but neither should they be worshiped. The Earth is beautiful, and bright, and kindly, but that is not all. The Earth is also terrible, and dark, and cruel. The rabbit shrieks dying in the green meadows. The mountains clench their great hands full of hidden fire. There are sharks in the sea, and there is cruelty in men’s eyes. And where men worship these things and abase themselves before them, there evil breeds; there places are made in the world where darkness gathers, places given over wholly to the Ones whom we call Nameless, the ancient and holy Powers of the Earth before the Light, the powers of the dark, of ruin, of madness… I think they drove your priestess Kossil mad a long time ago; I think she has prowled these caverns as she prowls the labyrinth of her own self, and now she cannot see the daylight any more. She tells you that the Nameless Ones are dead; only a lost soul, lost to truth, could believe that. They exist. But they are not your Masters. They never were. You are free, Tenar. You were taught to be a slave, but you have broken free. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
540:The room contains a few dozen living human bodies, each one a big sack of guts and fluids so highly compressed that it will squirt for a few yards when pierced. Each one is built around an armature of 206 bones connected to each other by notoriously fault-prone joints that are given to obnoxious creaking, grinding, and popping noises when they are in other than pristine condition. This structure is draped with throbbing steak, inflated with clenching air sacks, and pierced by a Gordian sewer filled with burbling acid and compressed gas and asquirt with vile enzymes and solvents produced by the many dark, gamy nuggets of genetically programmed meat strung along its length. Slugs of dissolving food are forced down this sloppy labyrinth by serialized convulsions, decaying into gas, liquid, and solid matter which must all be regularly vented to the outside world lest the owner go toxic and drop dead. Spherical, gel-packed cameras swivel in mucus-greased ball joints. Infinite phalanxes of cilia beat back invading particles, encapsulate them in goo for later disposal. In each body a centrally located muscle flails away at an eternal, circulating torrent of pressurized gravy. And yet, despite all of this, not one of these bodies makes a single sound at any time during the sultan’s speech. ~ Neal Stephenson,
541:Volume II, Chapter 4
"How unwise had the wanderers been, who had deserted its shelter, entangled themselves in the web of society, and entered on what men of the world call "life,"—that labyrinth of evil, that scheme of mutual torture. To live, according to this sense of the word, we must not only observe and learn, we must also feel; we must not be mere spectators of action, we must act; we must not describe, but be subjects of description. Deep sorrow must have been the inmate of our bosoms; fraud must have lain in wait for us; the artful must have deceived us; sickening doubt and false hope must have chequered our days; hilarity and joy, that lap the soul in ecstasy, must at times have possessed us. Who that knows what "life" is, would pine for this feverish species of existence? I have lived. I have spent days and nights of festivity; I have joined in ambitious hopes, and exulted in victory: now,—shut the door on the world, and build high the wall that is to separate me from the troubled scene enacted within its precincts. Let us live for each other and for happiness; let us seek peace in our dear home, near the inland murmur of streams, and the gracious waving of trees, the beauteous vesture of earth, and sublime pageantry of the skies. Let us leave "life," that we may live. ~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,
542:Now it's serious. At last it's becoming serious. So I've grown older. Was I the only one who wasn't serious? Is it our times that are not serious? I was never lonely neither when I was alone, nor with others. But I would have liked to be alone at last. Loneliness means I'm finally whole. Now I can say it as tonight, I'm at last alone. I must put an end to coincidence. The new moon of decision. I don't know if there's destiny but there's a decision. Decide! We are now the times. Not only the whole town - the whole world is taking part in our decision. We two are now more than us two. We incarnate something. We're representing the people now. And the whole place is full of those who are dreaming the same dream. We are deciding everyone's game. I am ready. Now it's your turn. You hold the game in your hand. Now or never. You need me. You will need me. There's no greater story than ours, that of man and woman. It will be a story of giants... invisible... transposable... a story of new ancestors. Look. My eyes. They are the picture of necessity, of the future of everyone in the place. Last night I dreamt of a stranger... of my man. Only with him could I be alone, open up to him, wholly open, wholly for him. Welcome him wholly into me. Surround him with the labyrinth of shared happiness. I know... it's you. ~ Wim Wenders,
543: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,
544:The STAR WARS Novels Timeline OLD REPUBLIC 5000–33 YEARS BEFORE STAR WARS: A New Hope Lost Tribe of the Sith* Precipice Skyborn Paragon Savior Purgatory Sentinel 3650 YEARS BEFORE STAR WARS: A New Hope The Old Republic: Deceived Lost Tribe of the Sith* Pantheon Secrets Red Harvest The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance 1032 YEARS BEFORE STAR WARS: A New Hope Knight Errant Darth Bane: Path of Destruction Darth Bane: Rule of Two Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil RISE OF THE EMPIRE 33–0 YEARS BEFORE STAR WARS: A New Hope Darth Maul: Saboteur* Cloak of Deception Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter 32 YEARS BEFORE STAR WARS: A New Hope STAR WARS: EPISODE I: The Phantom Menace Rogue Planet Outbound Flight The Approaching Storm 22 YEARS BEFORE STAR WARS: A New Hope STAR WARS: EPISODE II: Attack of the Clones 22–19 YEARS BEFORE STAR WARS: A New Hope The Clone Wars The Clone Wars: Wild Space The Clone Wars: No Prisoners Clone Wars Gambit Stealth Siege Republic Commando Hard Contact Triple Zero True Colors Order 66 Shatterpoint The Cestus Deception The Hive* MedStar I: Battle Surgeons MedStar II: Jedi Healer Jedi Trial Yoda: Dark Rendezvous Labyrinth of Evil 19 YEARS BEFORE STAR WARS: A New Hope STAR WARS: EPISODE III: Revenge of the Sith Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader Imperial Commando 501st Coruscant Nights Jedi Twilight Street of Shadows Patterns of Force The ~ George Lucas,
545:When we arrived in this large room, Rockwell put a fluorescent marker down where we entered so we could find the way back out again. When Hurd failed to do that, her teacher corrected her. “In a cave,” she told Hurd, “always, always look back. Every few minutes, turn around. Nothing looks the same coming out as it did going in, so you have to memorize the backsides of every boulder, the shape of the hole you’ve just come through, see the reverse of every angle of slope.”2 Since my lamp is off, I think about how many hours I have spent in therapy instead, doing more or less the same thing: walking around the boulders of my childhood to see how they look from every angle, peering down into the holes where I spent months in the dark, wondering why the handholds I can see from the top were invisible from the bottom. The difference between the therapy and the cave is that the therapy wants me to look back so I can find another way out, not so I can return by the same way I came. Maybe that makes the cave more like a labyrinth. As long as you stay on the path, you cannot get lost—in time, maybe, but not in space. The path is circular. The way out is the way in. The path, like the cave, never changes. It is literally set in stone. Only the walker changes, not by looking back but by moving ahead, trusting the path to teach her what she needs to know. ~ Barbara Brown Taylor,
546:Most curiously, the very scientist who, in the service of the sinful king, was the brain behind the horror of labyrinth, quite as readily can serve the purposes of freedom. But the hero-heart must be at hand. For centuries Daedahis has represented the type of the artist-scientist: that curiously disinterested, almost diabolic human phenomenon, beyond the normal bounds of social judgment, dedicated to the morals not of his time but of his art. He is the hero of the way of thought — singlehearted, courageous, and full of faith that the truth, as he finds it, shall make us free. And so now we may turn to him, as did Ariadne. The flax for the linen of his thread he has gathered from the fields of the human imagination. Centuries of husbandry, decades of diligent culling, the work of numerous hearts and hands, have gone into the hackling, sorting, and spinning of this tightly twisted yarn.Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the heropath. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world ~ Anonymous,
547:What I'd saved: lost. Worse: I lost it. Can't even tell myself that I sort of lost it that lost I keep it still. I lost the saved.
I've lost. I'm lost.
This is pain, one dies of or kills. Kill it and one kills oneself.
Splashes of bloody skin all over my notebooks.
I haven't forgotten a dream, as it is written happens in the realm of dreams. One forgets a dream, then one forgets one has forgotten, nothing dies of this.
I've lost The Dream.
I cannot tell a soul. I will not enter alive into the beyond. I search for an explanation. To the labyrinth I descend with the chapeau. Maleficent remains but remains, therefore blessed. If I could ask my friend. No one else. He and only he knows the extraordinary value of what is lost, greater by far that the value of what one keeps. Suddenly I'm only this torch consuming itself. What to do? I had the papers, I took them from myself, I threw them in the Trash, I threw out my own being, I had the memory of the future at the window I broke me, I tore up the secret into a thousand pieces, I tweezed the sublime out of me, I had god I squashed him with a hat,
this is not the first time I take myself to the labyrinth but this is the first time I go down into the labyrinth. I went right by the very trash bin of my being, how can you do away with your own eyes, I did it, who knows how ~ H l ne Cixous,
548:Fairy-Land
Dim vales- and shadowy floodsAnd cloudy-looking woods,
Whose forms we can't discover
For the tears that drip all over!
Huge moons there wax and waneAgain- again- againEvery moment of the nightForever changing placesAnd they put out the star-light
With the breath from their pale faces.
About twelve by the moon-dial,
One more filmy than the rest
(A kind which, upon trial,
They have found to be the best)
Comes down- still down- and down,
With its centre on the crown
Of a mountain's eminence,
While its wide circumference
In easy drapery falls
Over hamlets, over halls,
Wherever they may beO'er the strange woods- o'er the seaOver spirits on the wingOver every drowsy thingAnd buries them up quite
In a labyrinth of lightAnd then, how deep!- O, deep!
Is the passion of their sleep.
In the morning they arise,
And their moony covering
Is soaring in the skies,
With the tempests as they toss,
Like- almost anythingOr a yellow Albatross.
They use that moon no more
For the same end as beforeVidelicet, a tentWhich I think extravagant:
Its atomies, however,
41
Into a shower dissever,
Of which those butterflies
Of Earth, who seek the skies,
And so come down again,
(Never-contented things!)
Have brought a specimen
Upon their quivering wings.
~ Edgar Allan Poe,
549:On Easter Monday there was a great display of fireworks from the Castle of St. Angelo. We hired a room in an opposite house, and made our way, to our places, in good time, through a dense mob of people choking up the square in front, and all the avenues leading to it; and so loading the bridge by which the castle is approached, that it seemed ready to sink into the rapid Tiber below. There are statues on this bridge (execrable works), and, among them, great vessels full of burning tow were placed: glaring strangely on the faces of the crowd, and not less strangely on the stone counterfeits above them. The show began with a tremendous discharge of cannon; and then, for twenty minutes or half an hour, the whole castle was one incessant sheet of fire, and labyrinth of blazing wheels of every colour, size, and speed: while rockets streamed into the sky, not by ones or twos, or scores, but hundreds at a time. The concluding burst - the Girandola - was like the blowing up into the air of the whole massive castle, without smoke or dust. In half an hour afterwards, the immense concourse had dispersed; the moon was looking calmly down upon her wrinkled image in the river; and half - a - dozen men and boys with bits of lighted candle in their hands: moving here and there, in search of anything worth having, that might have been dropped in the press: had the whole scene to themselves. ~ Charles Dickens,
550:Let us look one another in the face. We are Hyperboreans—we know well enough how much out of the way we live. 'Neither by land nor sea shalt thou find the road to the Hyperboreans': Pindar already knew that of us. Beyond the North, beyond the ice, beyond death—our life, our happiness.... We have discovered happiness, we know the road, we have found the exit out of whole millennia of labyrinth. Who else has found it? Modern man perhaps? 'I know not which way to turn; I am everything that knows not which way to turn,' sighs modern man.... It was from this modernity that we were ill—from lazy peace, from cowardly compromise, from the whole virtuous uncleanliness of modern Yes and No. This tolerance and largeur of heart which 'forgives' everything because it 'Understands' everything is sirocco to us. Better to live among ice than among modern virtues and other south winds! ...We were brave enough, we spared neither ourselves nor others: but for long we did not know where to apply our courage. We became gloomy, we were called fatalists. Our fatality—was the plenitude, the tension, the blocking-up of our forces. We thirsted for lightning and action, of all things we kept ourselves furthest from the happiness of the weaklings, from 'resignation'.... There was a thunderstorm in our air, the nature which we are grew dark—for we had no road. Formula of our happiness: a Yes, a No, a straight line, a goal... ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
551:Leo Tolstoy was fond of an old eastern fable that describes the mysterious way that even tragedy lures us back to life. His story is about a traveler on the steppes who was surprised by a rampaging tiger. The traveler ran for his life, but the beast was gaining on him, so he leapt into a dried-up well, which roused a dragon that had been sleeping on the bottom. As the traveler fell, he was alert enough to grab on to a single, slim branch growing between the cracks of the bricks in the well. There he clung for his life—above him the tiger roaring, below him the dragon snapping its jaws. The traveler's arms grew tired, and he knew it was only a matter of time before the tiger swiped at him from above or he fell to his death. Stubbornly, he held on. The moment he began to hope for a way out, he noticed two mice, one black, one white, gnawing away at either side of the tender branch he clung to. His time was almost up. Surely, he would die soon. Then a glint of sunlight fell on the wall of the well. The traveler's eyes widened. There on the leaves of the bush were drops of honey. He felt a rush of happiness and with the few moments he had left, he calmly stretched out his tongue and tasted the precious honey. Imagine the time you have spent working your way through the labyrinth of your travels. What was chasing you? What stares up at you from below? Are there no drops of honey on the leaves right before your eyes? ~ Phil Cousineau,
552:I scooted out of the laundry room and skipped down the hallway, arms flaying around my head like one of the hot pink puppets from the movie Labyrinth. “A scent and a sound, I’m lost and I’m found. And I’m hungry like the wolf. Something on a line, it’s discord and rhyme—whatever, whatever, la la la—Mouth is alive, all running inside, and I’m hungry like the—” Warmth spread down my neck.

“It’s actually, ‘I howl and I whine. I’m after you,’ and not blah or whatever.”


Startled by the deep voice, I shrieked and whipped around. My foot slipped on a section of well-cleaned wood and my butt smacked on the floor.

“Holy crap,” I gasped, clutching my chest. “I think I’m having a heart attack.”

“And I think you broke your butt.” Laughter filled Daemon’s voice.

I remained sprawled across the narrow hallway, trying to catch my breath. “What the hell? Do you just walk into people’s houses?”

“And listen to girls absolutely destroy a song in a matter of seconds? Well, yes, I make a habit out of it. Actually, I knocked several times, but I heard your…singing, and your door was unlocked.” He shrugged.

“So I just let myself in.”

“I can see that.” I stood, wincing. “Oh, man, maybe I did break my butt.”

“I hope not. I’m kind of partial to your butt.” He flashed a smile. “Your face is pretty red. You sure you didn’t smack that on the way down?”

I groaned. “I hate you. ~ Jennifer L Armentrout,
553:Love hurts.

Think back over romance novels you’ve loved or the genre-defining books that drive our industry. The most unforgettable stories and characters spring from crushing opposition. What we remember about romance novels is the darkness that drives them. Three hundred pages of folks being happy together makes for a hefty sleeping pill, but three hundred pages of a couple finding a way to be happy in the face of impossible odds makes our hearts soar. In darkness, we are all alone.

So don’t just make love, make anguish for your characters. As you structure a story, don’t satisfy your hero’s desires, thwart them. Make sure your solutions create new problems. Nurture your characters doubts and despair. Make them earn the happy ending they want, even better…make them deserve it. Delay and disappointment charge situations and validate character growth. Misery accompanies love. It’s no accident that many of the stories we think of as timeless romances in Western Literature are fiercely tragic: Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Cupid and Psyche… the pain in them drags us back again and again, hoping that this time we’ll find a way out of the dark.

Only if you let your characters get lost will we get lost in them. And that, more than anything else, is what romance can and should do for its protagonists and its readers: lead us through the labyrinth, skirt the monstrous despair roaming its halls, and find our way into daylight. ~ Damon Suede,
554:Eveningsong At Bellosguardo
Chi vuol esser lieto, sia:
di doman non c'e certezza.
-Lorenzo di Medici
In the poplars' lengthening shadows on this hill,
amid the rows of marigolds and earth,
and through the boxhedge labyrinth we walk,
together, to the choiring twilight bells.
Their fugue of echoes echoes through the hills
and sings against this time-streaked, flowering wall
where breezes coax the potted lemon trees,
the pendant, yellow fruit and shiny leaves.
Beneath the flaming watercolor sky,
the cultivated, terraced dropp of hill,
a gleaming city with its towers and domes,
the Arno shimmering as its drowns the sun.
Chameleon-like, I am tranformed by light,
and wine has blurred the edges of the night.
What gifts I give on this or any night
may be refracted in another light.
You understnad this in a foreign tongue,
but vaguely, for these things will not translate.
I feel it in the cadence of your walk:
you are not whom moonlight can create.
And you will think the loosening of these thighs,
the sudden, urging whiteness of the throat
are muted but distinctly pagan cries
and in your triumph you will fairly gloat.
Tonight the unplucked lemons almost gleam.
And with their legs, the crickets harmonize.
The trees are rustling an uncertain hymn,
and unseen birds contribute trembling cries.
When did the summer censor choiring things?
We know the blood is brutal though it sings.
~ Erica Jong,
555:Here in the labyrinth, I struggle to find words to describe what I feel. Up on the mountaintop, I knew the language to describe God: majestic, transcendent, all-powerful, heavenly Father, Lord, and King. In this vocabulary, God remains stubbornly located in a few select places, mostly in external realms above or beyond: heaven, the church, doctrine, or the sacraments. What happens in the labyrinth seems vague, perhaps even theologically elusive.

Like countless others, I have been schooled in vertical theology. Western culture, especially Western Christianity, has imprinted a certain theological template upon the spiritual imagination: God exists far off from the world and does humankind a favor when choosing to draw close. Sermons declared that God’s holiness was foreign to us and sin separated us from God. Yes, humanity was made in God’s image, but we had so messed things up in the Garden of Eden that any trace of God in us was obscured, if not destroyed. Whether conservative or liberal, most American churches teach some form of the idea that God exists in holy isolation, untouched by the messiness of creation, and that we, God’s children, are morally and spiritually filthy, bereft of all goodness, utterly unworthy to stand before the Divine Presence. In its crudest form, the role of religion (whether through revivals, priesthood, ritual, story, sacraments, personal conversion, or morality) is to act as a holy elevator between God above and those muddling around down below in the world. ~ Diana Butler Bass,
556:EL LABERINTO
Zeus no podra desatar las redes
De piedra que me cercan. He olvidado
Los hombres que antes fui; sigo el odiado
Camino de montonas paredes
Que es mi destino. Rectas galeras
Que se curvan en crculos secretos
Al cabo de los aos. Parapetos
Que ha agrietado la usura de los das.
En el plido polvo he descifrado
Rastros que temo. El aire me ha trado
En las cncavas tardes un bramido
O el eco de un bramido desolado.
S que en la sombra hay Otro, cuya suerte
Es fatigar las largas soledades
Que tejen y destejen este Hades
Y ansiar mi sangre y devorar mi muerte.
Nos buscamos los dos. Ojal fuera
Este el ltimo da de la espera.

THE LABYRINTH
Zeus, Zeus himself could not undo these nets
Of stone encircling me. My mind forgets
The persons I have been along the way,
The hated way of monotonous walls,
Which is my fate. The galleries seem straight
But curve furtively, forming secret circles
At the terminus of years; and the parapets
Have been worn smooth by the passage of days.
Here, in the tepid alabaster dust,
Are tracks that frighten me. The hollow air
Of evening sometimes brings a bellowing,
Or the echo, desolate, of bellowing.
I know that hidden in the shadows there
Lurks another, whose task is to exhaust
The loneliness that braids and weaves this hell,
To crave my blood, and to fatten on my death.
We seek each other. Oh, if only this
Were the last day of our antithesis!
[John Updike]

~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Labyrinth
,
557:Marc’s expression was grim and told me all I needed to know. Sliding my arms across the table I rested my forehead against the smooth surface and then banged it against the wood twice for good measure. “I can’t think,” I said. “Can you deal with it until I have more time?”

“I suppose.”

Marc sat down in a chair across from me and said nothing else, which allowed me to turn my attention back to the girl. She was fading. I straightened abruptly. “It’s diminishing! The bond, it’s fading away.” The triumphant grin on my face vanished at the sight of Marc’s slowly shaking head.

“She’s sleeping. You’ll notice her a lot less when she’s asleep, unless she dreams – that can get interesting.”

I motioned for him to fill my glass. “It isn’t interesting at all,” I said. “It’s a problem. She’s a problem – one that needs dealing with.”

Marc’s face darkened. “Cécile,” he said, emphasizing her name, “isn’t a problem. She’s an innocent girl who has been dragged into this situation entirely against her will. Your father had her violently kidnapped, dragged through the labyrinth, and then bonded to a troll using a magic that I am certain she didn’t know existed. She is not our problem – we are hers.”

Leaning back in my chair, I watched my orb of light circling above us. “You make a valid point.”

“The poor girl is probably terrified,” Marc added. “How could she not be?”

“Well, she isn’t,” I said. “What she is, is blasted inquisitive. I’d rather the fear – fear doesn’t think, it just reacts. ~ Danielle L Jensen,
558:You want to cut off my leg.” His face tightened and a bead of sweat ran down his forehead to soak into the pillow.

“It is our only option,” I said. “The only way you are going to live.”

“Live?” He snorted. “Even if this works, what good will I be?” he asked bitterly. “What good is a miner with one leg – you’d be saving me from death only to see me sent off to feed the sluag.”

“Don’t say that,” I snapped, rising to my feet. “Your worth isn’t determined by your leg – it is determined by your heart and your mind. It is determined by what you do with your life.”

“Pretty words.” He turned his head away from us. “Just let me die.”

“No!” I shouted. “You listen to me, Tips, and you listen well. It isn’t your leg that can smell gold. It isn’t your leg that has ensured your gang never missed quota. And it isn’t your leg that all your friends chose to have as their leader. They need you, Tips. Without you, it will be your friends who will be facing the labyrinth.” I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself. “The odds have been stacked against you from the day you were born, yet here you are. Alive. And having persevered through all of that, how dare you turn your head and tell me to let you die. You’re better than that.” My voice trembled. “You once told me that power doesn’t determine worth. Well, neither does a leg.”

He kept his head turned away from me, and the silence hung long and heavy.

“You make a compelling argument.” His voice was choked, and when he turned his head, I could see the gleam of tears on his cheeks. “Do it then. ~ Danielle L Jensen,
559:What though while the wonders of nature exploring,
I cannot your light, mazy footsteps attend;
Nor listen to accents, that almost adoring,
Bless Cynthia's face, the enthusiasts friend:

Yet over the steep, whence the mountain stream rushes,
With you, kindest friends, in idea I rove;
Mark the clear tumbling crystal, its passionate gushes,
Its spray that the wild flower kindly bedews.

Why linger you so, the wild labyrinth strolling?
Why breathless, unable your bliss to declare?
Ah! you list to the nightingales tender condoling,
Responsive to sylphs, in the moon beamy air.

'Tis morn, and the flowers with dew are yet drooping,
I see you are treading the verge of the sea:
And now! ah, I see it--you just now are stooping
To pick up the keep-sake intended for me.

If a cherub, on pinions of silver descending,
Had brought me a gem from the fret-work of heaven;
And smiles, with his star-cheering voice sweetly blending,
The blessings of Tighe had melodiously given;

It had not created a warmer emotion
Than the present, fair nymphs, I was blest with from you
Than the shell, from the bright golden sands of the ocean
Which the emerald waves at your feet gladly threw.

For, indeed, 'tis a sweet and peculiar pleasure,
(And blissful is he who such happiness finds,)
To possess but a span of the hour of leisure,
In elegant, pure, and aerial minds.
(line 20) 'The reference to Mrs. Tighe, the authoress of the now almost forgotten poem of Psyche, is significant as an indication of hte poet's taste in verse at this period.' ~ John Keats, To Some Ladies
,
560:Her name was Pilar Ternera. She had been part of the exodus that ended with the founding of Macondo, dragged along by her family in order to separate her from the man who had raped her at fourteen and had continued to love her until she was twenty-two, but who never made up his mind to make the situation public because he was a man
apart. He promised to follow her to the ends of the earth, but only later on, when he put his affairs in order, and she had become tired of waiting for him, always identifying  him with the tall and short, blond and brunet men that her cards promised from land and sea within three days, three months, or three years. With her waiting she had lost the strength
of her thighs, the firmness of her breasts, her habit of tenderness, but she kept the madness of her heart intact. Maddened by that prodigious plaything, José Arcadio followed her path every night through the labyrinth of the room. On a certain occasion he found the door barred, and he knocked several times, knowing that if he had the boldness
to knock the first time he would have had to knock until the last, and after an interminable wait she opened the door for him. During the day, lying down to dream, he would secretly enjoy the memories of the night before. But when she came into the house, merry, indifferent, chatty, he did not have to make any effort to hide his tension, because that woman, whose explosive laugh frightened off the doves, had nothing to do with the invisible power that taught him how to breathe from within  and control his heartbeats, and that had permitted him to understand why man are afraid of death. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
561:Mother Of Five
She mothered five!
Night after night she watched a little bed,
Night after night she cooled a fevered head,
Day after day she guarded little feet,
Taught little minds the dangers of the street;
Taught little lips to utter simple prayers,
Whispered of strength that some day would be theirs
And trained them all to use it as they should.
She gave her babies to the nation's good.
She mothered five!
She gave her beauty—from her cheeks let fade
The roses' blushes—to her mother trade.
She saw the wrinkles furrowing her brow,
Yet smiling said, 'My boy grows stronger now.'
When pleasures called she turned away and said:
''I dare not leave my babies to be fed
By strangers' hands; besides they are so small,
I must be near to hear them when they call.'
She mothered five!
Night after night they sat about her knee
And heard her tell of what some day would be.
From her they learned that in the world outside
Are cruelty and vice and selfishness and pride;
From her they learned the wrongs they ought to shun,
What things to love, what work must still be done.
She led them through the labyrinth of youth
And brought five men and women up to Truth.
She mothered five!
Her name may be unknown save to the few,
Of her the outside world but little knew;
But somewhere five are treading Virtue's ways,
Serving the world and brightening its days;
Somewhere are five, who, tempted, stand upright,
Clinging to honor, keeping her memory bright;
Somewhere this mother toils and is alive
No more as one, but in the breasts of five.
468
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
562:She Mothered Five
She mothered five!
Night after night she watched a little bed,
Night after night she cooled a fevered head,
Day after day she guarded little feet,
Taught little minds the dangers of the street,
Taught little lips to utter simple prayers,
Whispered of strength that some day would be theirs,
And trained them all to use it as they should.
She gave her babies to the nation's good.
She mothered five!
She gave her beauty- from her cheeks let fade
Their rose-blush beauty- to her mother trade.
She saw the wrinkles furrowing her brow,
Yet smiling said: 'My boy grows stronger now.'
When pleasures called she turned away and said:
'I dare not leave my babies to be fed
By strangers' hands; besides they are too small;
I must be near to hear them when they call.'
She mothered five!
Night after night they sat about her knee
And heard her tell of what some day would be.
From her they learned that in the world outside
Are cruelty and vice and selfishness and pride;
From her they learned the wrongs they ought to shun,
What things to love, what work must still be done.
She led them through the labyrinth of youth
And brought five men and women up to truth.
She mothered five!
Her name may be unknown save to the few;
Of her the outside world but little knew;
But somewhere five are treading virtue's ways,
Serving the world and brightening its days;
Somewhere are five, who, tempted, stand upright,
Who cling to honor, keep her memory bright;
Somewhere this mother toils and is alive
No more as one, but in the breasts of five.
613
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
563:You see, Brother William,” the abbot said, “to achieve the immense and holy task that enriches those walls”—and he nodded toward the bulk of the Aedificium, which could be glimpsed from the cell’s windows, towering above the abbatial church itself—“devout men have toiled for centuries, observing iron rules. The library was laid out on a plan which has remained obscure to all over the centuries, and which none of the monks is called upon to know. Only the librarian has received the secret, from the librarian who preceded him, and he communicates it, while still alive, to the assistant librarian, so that death will not take him by surprise and rob the community of that knowledge. And the secret seals the lips of both men. Only the librarian has, in addition to that knowledge, the right to move through the labyrinth of the books, he alone knows where to find them and where to replace them, he alone is responsible for their safekeeping. The other monks work in the scriptorium and may know the list of the volumes that the library houses. But a list of titles often tells very little; only the librarian knows, from the collocation of the volume, from its degree of inaccessibility, what secrets, what truths or falsehoods, the volume contains. Only he decides how, when, and whether to give it to the monk who requests it; sometimes he first consults me. Because not all truths are for all ears, not all falsehoods can be recognized as such by a pious soul; and the monks, finally, are in the scriptorium to carry out a precise task, which requires them to read certain volumes and not others, and not to pursue every foolish curiosity that seizes them, whether through weakness of intellect or through pride or through diabolical prompting. ~ Umberto Eco,
564:At last I came upon the hedge maze. Far from the warm circles of light cast by torch and lamp, the leaves and twigs here were wedged in a silver lacework of starlight and shadow. The entrance was framed by two large trees, their branches still bare of any new growth. In the darkness, they seemed less like garden posts marking the way into the labyrinth than two silent sentinels guarding the doorway to the underworld. Shapes writhed in the shadows beyond the archway of bramble and vine, both inviting and intimidating.
Yet I was not frightened. The hedge maze smelled like the forest outside the inn, a deep green scent of growth and decay, where life and death were intermingled. A familiar scent. A welcoming scent.
The scent of home. Removing my mask, I crossed the threshold, letting darkness swallow me whole.
There were no torches or candles lit upon the paths, and neither moonlight nor starlight penetrated the dense bramble. Yet my footing along these paths was sure, every part of me attuned to the wildness around me. Unlike the maze of Schönbrunn Palace, a meticulously manicured and man-made construction, this labyrinth breathed. Nature creeped in along the edges, reclaiming groomed, orderly, and civilized corridors into a twisting tangle of tunnels and tracks, weeds and wildflowers. Paths grew vague, roots unruly, branches untamed. Somewhere deep in the labyrinth, I could hear the giggles and gasps of illicit encounters in the shrubbery. I was careful of my step, lest I trip over a pair of trysting lovers, but when I came upon no one else, I let myself fall into a meditative state of mind. I wandered the recursive spirals of the hedge maze, turn after turn after turn, feeling a measure of calm for the first time in a long time. ~ S Jae Jones,
565:It is not Manu but nature that sets off in one class those who are chiefly intellectual, in another those who are marked by muscular strength and temperament, and in a third those who are distinguished in neither one way or the other, but show only mediocrity—the last-named represents the great majority, and the first two the select. The superior caste—I call it the fewest—has, as the most perfect, the privileges of the few: it stands for happiness, for beauty, for everything good upon earth. Only the most intellectual of men have any right to beauty, to the beautiful; only in them can goodness escape being weakness. Pulchrum est paucorum hominum:[30] goodness is a privilege. Nothing could be more unbecoming to them than uncouth manners or a pessimistic look, or an eye that sees ugliness—or indignation against the general aspect of things. Indignation is the privilege of the Chandala; so is pessimism. “The world is perfect”—so prompts the instinct of the intellectual, the instinct of the man who says yes to life. “Imperfection, whatever is inferior to us, distance, the pathos of distance, even the Chandala themselves are parts of this perfection.” The most intelligent men, like the strongest, find their happiness where others would find only disaster: in the labyrinth, in being hard with themselves and with others, in effort; their delight is in self-mastery; in them asceticism becomes second nature, a necessity, an instinct. They regard a difficult task as a privilege; it is to them a recreation to play with burdens that would crush all others.... Knowledge—a form of asceticism.—They are the most honourable kind of men: but that does not prevent them being the most cheerful and most amiable. They rule, not because they want to, but because they are; they are not at liberty to play second. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
566:Her hand just above my knee, the palm flat and soft against my jeans and her index finger making slow, lazy circles that crept toward the inside of my thigh, and with one layer between us, God I wanted her. And lying there, amid the tall, still grass and beneath the star-drunk sky, listening to the just-this-side-of-inaudible sound of her rhythmic breathing and the noisy silence of the bullfrogs, the grasshoppers, the distant cars rushing endlessly on I-65, I thought it might be a fine time to say the Three Little Words. And I steeled myself to say them as I stared up at that starriest night, convinced myself that she felt it, too, that her hand so alive and vivid against my leg was more than playful, and fuck Lara and fuck Jake because I do, Alaska Young, I do love you and what else matters but that and my lips parted to speak and before I could even begin to breathe out the words, she said, “It’s not life or death, the labyrinth.”
“Um, okay. So what is it?”
“Suffering,” she said. “Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That’s the problem. Bolívar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?”
“What’s wrong?” I asked. And I felt the absence of her hand on me.
“Nothing’s wrong. But there’s always suffering, Pudge. Homework or malaria or having a boyfriend who lives far away when there’s a good-looking boy lying next to you. Suffering is universal. It’s the one thing Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims are all worried about.”
I turned to her. “Oh, so maybe Dr. Hyde’s class isn’t total bullshit.” And both of us lying on our sides, she smiled, our noses almost touching, my unblinking eyes on hers, her face blushing from the wine, and I opened my mouth again but this time not to speak, and she reached up and put a finger to my lips and said, “Shh. Shh. Don’t ruin it. ~ John Green,
567:The Search for Happiness Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of [children]. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. —PSALM 127:5     Storm Jameson, a twentieth-century English writer, wrote, “Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.” Parents want to make their children happy, employers want to make employees happy, married couples want a happy marriage, etc. “Just make me happy, and I’ll be satisfied!” Isn’t that what people (ourselves included) think and expect of others a lot of the time? Yet, we run into so many unhappy people—clearly these expectations are rarely met. Our newspapers are full of stories about unhappy people. They rob, they kill, they steal, they take drugs. They, they, they. Everywhere one looks, there is unhappiness. Then how does one become happy? I’ve found that happiness comes from one’s own perception. No one else is responsible for your happiness. Look in the mirror, and you can see who is responsible for your happiness! Gerald Brenan wrote: One road to happiness is to cultivate curiosity about everything. Not only about people but about subjects, not only about the arts but about history and foreign customs. Not only about countries and cities, but about plants and animals. Not only about lichened rocks and curious markings on the bark of trees, but about stars and atoms. Not only about friends but about that strange labyrinth we inhabit which we call ourselves. Then if we do that, we will never suffer a moment’s boredom.56 Happiness comes from within. It’s what you do: the choices you make, the interests you pursue, the attitudes you have, the friends you make, the faith you embrace, and the peace you live. You, you, you bring happiness to your life—no one else. Turn to the One who created you, inside and out, and follow His lead to happiness and wholeness. ~ Emilie Barnes,
568:Far, far better to die. One by one the rest of the Zavaedis came to cast their stones for either exoneration, exile, or death. Some spoke to the assembly of their reasons why, others simply placed the stone according to their choice. Unfortunately, his mother’s plea moved many people to pity him. When all the rocks had piled up, the orange mat held the most stones. Exile. Kavio swallowed hard to conceal his reaction. You have murdered me all the same. Father pounded the rain stick. “Kavio, you have been found guilty of the most heinous of crimes—hexcraft. Though you remain a member of the secret societies that initiated you and are therefore spared death, nonetheless you are forbidden to enter the Labyrinth, to take with you anything from the Labyrinth, or to study with any dancing society of the Labyrinth. Do you understand and acknowledge your punishment?” “I understand it all too well,” Kavio said through gritted teeth. “But I will never acknowledge it as just.” “So be it,” Father said tonelessly. “Bring the pot of ashes.” Two warriors hefted a ceramic pot from where it had rested in the shadow of the tall platform. They forced Kavio to lean back while still on his knees. They smeared him with a paste and rubbed in the gray-black powder. His bare chest and clean shaven face disappeared under a scum of grey crud. Humiliation itched, but like poison ivy, he knew it would be worse if he scratched it. He forced himself still as stone while the warriors slapped on more mud. “You must wear mud and ash for the rest of your days,” the Maze Zavaedi concluded. His voice broke. “I am ashamed to call you my son.” Kavio struggled to his feet. The warriors escorting him surrounded him with a hedge of spears. Did they fear him, even now? “You never could just trust me, could you, Father?” Kavio asked. Father’s jaw jutted forward. A muscle moved in his neck. Otherwise, he might have been rock. “Escort my son out of the Labyrinth. ~ Tara Maya,
569:Hillcrest
(To Mrs. Edward MacDowell)
No sound of any storm that shakes
Old island walls with older seas
Comes here where now September makes
An island in a sea of trees.
Between the sunlight and the shade
A man may learn till he forgets
The roaring of a world remade,
And all his ruins and regrets;
And if he still remembers here
Poor fights he may have won or lost,—
If he be ridden with the fear
Of what some other fight may cost,—
If, eager to confuse too soon,
What he has known with what may be,
He reads a planet out of tune
For cause of his jarred harmony,—
If here he venture to unroll
His index of adagios,
And he be given to console
Humanity with what he knows,—
He may by contemplation learn
A little more than what he knew,
And even see great oaks return
To acorns out of which they grew.
He may, if he but listen well,
Through twilight and the silence here,
Be told what there are none may tell
To vanity’s impatient ear;
And he may never dare again
123
Say what awaits him, or be sure
What sunlit labyrinth of pain
He may not enter and endure.
Who knows to-day from yesterday
May learn to count no thing too strange:
Love builds of what Time takes away,
Till Death itself is less than Change.
Who sees enough in his duress
May go as far as dreams have gone;
Who sees a little may do less
Than many who are blind have done;
Who sees unchastened here the soul
Triumphant has no other sight
Than has a child who sees the whole
World radiant with his own delight.
Far journeys and hard wandering
Await him in whose crude surmise
Peace, like a mask, hides everything
That is and has been from his eyes;
And all his wisdom is unfound,
Or like a web that error weaves
On airy looms that have a sound
No louder now than falling leaves.
~ Edwin Arlington Robinson,
570:Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art. The artist is the only one who knows the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements. It is a materialization, an incarnation of his inner world. Then he hopes to attract others into it, he hopes to impose this particular vision and share it with others. When the second stage is not reached, the brave artist continues nevertheless. The few moments of communion with the world are worth the pain, for it is a world for others, an inheritance for others, a gift to others, in the end. When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.
We also write to heighten our own awareness of life, we write to lure and enchant and console others, we write to serenade our lovers. We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.. We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it. We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth, we write to expand our world, when we feel strangled, constricted, lonely. We write as the birds sing. As the primitive dance their rituals. If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write. Because our culture has no use for any of that. When I don't write I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in prison. I feel I lose my fire, my color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave. I call it breathing. ~ Ana s Nin,
571:Theseus Within the Labyrinth pt.1

The lives of Greeks in the old days were deep,
mysterious and often lead to questions like
just what was wrong with Ariadne anyway, that’s
what I’d like to know? She would have done
anything for that rascally Theseus, and what
did he do but sneak out in the night and row
back to his ship with black sails. Let’s get
the heck out of here, he muttered to his crew
and they leaned on their oars as he went whack-
whack on the whacking board—a human metronome
of adventure and ill-fortune. She was King Minos’s
daughter and had helped Theseus kill the king’s
pet monster, her half-brother, so possibly
he didn’t like feeling beholden—people might
think he wasn’t tough. But certainly he’d spent
his life knocking chips off shoulders and flattening
any fellow reckless enough to step across a line
drawn in the dust. If you wanted a punch thrown,
Theseus was just the cowboy to throw it. I’m only
happy when hitting and scratching, he’d told Ariadne
that first night. So he’d been the logical choice
to sail down from Athens to Crete to stop this
nonsense of a tribute of virgins for some
monster to eat. Those Cretans called it eating but
Theseus thought himself no fool and liked a virgin
as well as the next man. Not that he could have got
into the Labyrinth without Ariadne’s help or out
either for that matter. As for the Minotaur, lounging
on his couch, nibbling grapes and sipping wine, while
a troop of ex-virgins fluttered to his beck and call,
Theseus must have scared the horns right off him,
slamming back the door and standing there in his lion
skin suit and waving that ugly club. The poor beast
might have had a stroke had there been time before
Theseus pummelled him into the earth. Then, with
Ariadne’s help, Theseus escaped, and soon after he
ditched her on an island and sailed off in his ship
with black sails, which returns us to the question:
Just what was wrong with Ariadne anyway? ~ Stephen Dobyns,
572:A tiger comes to mind. The twilight here
Exalts the vast and busy Library
And seems to set the bookshelves back in gloom;
Innocent, ruthless, bloodstained, sleek
It wanders through its forest and its day
Printing a track along the muddy banks
Of sluggish streams whose names it does not know
(In its world there are no names or past
Or time to come, only the vivid now)
And makes its way across wild distances
Sniffing the braided labyrinth of smells
And in the wind picking the smell of dawn
And tantalizing scent of grazing deer;
Among the bamboo's slanting stripes I glimpse
The tiger's stripes and sense the bony frame
Under the splendid, quivering cover of skin.
Curving oceans and the planet's wastes keep us
Apart in vain; from here in a house far off
In South America I dream of you,
Track you, O tiger of the Ganges' banks.

It strikes me now as evening fills my soul
That the tiger addressed in my poem
Is a shadowy beast, a tiger of symbols
And scraps picked up at random out of books,
A string of labored tropes that have no life,
And not the fated tiger, the deadly jewel
That under sun or stars or changing moon
Goes on in Bengal or Sumatra fulfilling
Its rounds of love and indolence and death.
To the tiger of symbols I hold opposed
The one that's real, the one whose blood runs hot
As it cuts down a herd of buffaloes,
And that today, this August third, nineteen
Fifty-nine, throws its shadow on the grass;
But by the act of giving it a name,
By trying to fix the limits of its world,
It becomes a fiction not a living beast,
Not a tiger out roaming the wilds of earth.

We'll hunt for a third tiger now, but like
The others this one too will be a form
Of what I dream, a structure of words, and not
The flesh and one tiger that beyond all myths
Paces the earth. I know these things quite well,
Yet nonetheless some force keeps driving me
In this vague, unreasonable, and ancient quest,
And I go on pursuing through the hours
Another tiger, the beast not found in verse.

~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Other Tiger
,
573:Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter for the way was barred to me. There was a padlock and a chain upon the gate. I called in my dream to the lodge-keeper, and had no answer, and peering closer through the rusted spokes of the gate I saw that the lodge was uninhabited. No smoke came from the chimney, and the little lattice windows gaped forlorn. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a spirit through the barrier before me. The drive wound away in front of me, twisting and turning as it had always done, but as I advanced I was aware that a change had come upon it; it was narrow and unkempt, not the drive that we had known. At first I was puzzled and did not understand, and it was only when I bent my head to avoid the low swinging branch of a tree that I realized what had happened. Nature had come into her own again, and, little by little, in her stealthy, insidious way, had encroached upon the drive with long, tenacious fingers. The woods, always a menace even in the past, had triumphed in the end. They crowded, dark and uncontrolled, to the orders of the drive. The beeches with white, naked limbs leant close to one another, their branches intermingled in a strange embrace, making a vault above my head like the archway of a church. And there were other trees as well, trees that I did not recognize, squat oaks and tortured elms that straggled cheek by jowl with the beeches, and had thrust themselves out of the quiet earth, along with monster shrubs and plants, none of which I remembered surely the miles had multiplied, even as the trees had done, and this path led but to a labyrinth, some choked wilderness, and not to the house at all. I cam upon it suddenly There was Manderley secretive and silent as it had always been, the grey stone shining in the moonlight of my dream, the mullioned windows reflecting the green lawns and the terrace. Time could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls nor the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand.” Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca, 1938. ~ Daphne du Maurier,
574:While most of us go through life feeling that we are the thinker of our thoughts and the experiencer of our experience, from the perspective of science we know that this is a distorted view. There is no discrete self or ego lurking like a minotaur in the labyrinth of the brain. There is no region of cortex or pathway of neural processing that occupies a privileged position with respect to our personhood. There is no unchanging “center of narrative gravity” (to use Daniel Dennett’s phrase). In subjective terms, however, there seems to be one — to most of us, most of the time.

Our contemplative traditions (Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc.) also suggest, to varying degrees and with greater or lesser precision, that we live in the grip of a cognitive illusion. But the alternative to our captivity is almost always viewed through the lens of religious dogma. A Christian will recite the Lord’s Prayer continuously over a weekend, experience a profound sense of clarity and peace, and judge this mental state to be fully corroborative of the doctrine of Christianity; A Hindu will spend an evening singing devotional songs to Krishna, feel suddenly free of his conventional sense of self, and conclude that his chosen deity has showered him with grace; a Sufi will spend hours whirling in circles, pierce the veil of thought for a time, and believe that he has established a direct connection to Allah.

The universality of these phenomena refutes the sectarian claims of any one religion. And, given that contemplatives generally present their experiences of self-transcendence as inseparable from their associated theology, mythology, and metaphysics, it is no surprise that scientists and nonbelievers tend to view their reports as the product of disordered minds, or as exaggerated accounts of far more common mental states — like scientific awe, aesthetic enjoyment, artistic inspiration, etc.

Our religions are clearly false, even if certain classically religious experiences are worth having. If we want to actually understand the mind, and overcome some of the most dangerous and enduring sources of conflict in our world, we must begin thinking about the full spectrum of human experience in the context of science.

But we must first realize that we are lost in thought. ~ Sam Harris,
575:I thought at first that she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something’s meal. What was her—green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs—would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe ‘the afterlife’ is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable.



Maybe she was just matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska’s genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed.



Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, one thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself—those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say, ‘Teenagers think they are invincible’ with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. ~ John Green,
576:The closest that most of us come to a direct experience of the centerlessness of capitalism is an encounter with the call center. As a consumer in late capitalism, you increasingly exist in two, distinct realities: the one in which the services are provided without hitch, and another reality entirely, the crazed Kafkaesque labyrinth of call centers, a world without memory, where cause and effect connect together in mysterious, unfathomable ways, where it is a miracle that anything ever happens, and you lose hope of ever passing back over to the other side, where things seem to function smoothly. What exemplifies the failure of the neoliberal world to live up to its own PR better than the call center? Even so, the universality of bad experiences with call centers does nothing to unsettle the operating assumption that capitalism is inherently efficient, as if the problems with call centers weren’t the systemic consequences of a logic of Capital which means organizations are so fixated on making profits that they can’t actually sell you anything. The call center experience distils the political phenomenology of late capitalism: the boredom and frustration punctuated by cheerily piped PR, the repeating of the same dreary details many times to different poorly trained and badly informed operatives, the building rage that must remain impotent because it can have no legitimate object, since – as is very quickly clear to the caller –there is no-one who knows, and no-one who could do anything even if they could. Anger can only be a matter of venting; it is aggression in a vacuum, directed at someone who is a fellow victim of the system but with whom there is no possibility of communality. Just as the anger has no proper object, it will have no effect. In this experience of a system that is unresponsive, impersonal, centerless, abstract and fragmentary, you are as close as you can be to confronting the artificial stupidity of Capital in itself. Call center angst is one more illustration of the way that Kafka is poorly understood as exclusively a writer on totalitarianism; a decentralized, market Stalinist bureaucracy is far more Kafkaesque than one in which there is a central authority. Read, for instance, the bleak farce of K’s encounter with the telephone system in the Castle, and it is hard not to see it as uncannily prophetic of the call center experience. ~ Mark Fisher,
577:but in the meanwhile here were these slow undulations of lips and cheek, the articulate movements of tongue and jaw, the glow of alabaster skin.

Sometimes in the woods near the farm in Percussina he lay on the leaf-soft ground and listened to the two-tone song of the birds, high low high, high low high low, high low high low high. Sometimes by a woodland stream he watched the water rush over the pebbled bed, its tiny modulations of bounce and flow. A woman's body was like that. If you watched it carefully enough you could see how it moved to the rhythm of the world, the deep rhythm, the music below the music, the truth below the truth. He believed in this hidden truth the way other men believed in God or love, believed that truth was in fact always hidden, that the apparent, the overt, was invariably a kind of lie. Because he was a man fond of precision he wanted to capture the hidden truth precisely, to see it clearly and set it down, the truth beyond ideas of right and wrong, ideas of good and evil, ideas of ugliness and beauty, all of “deceptions of the world, having little to do with how things really worked, disconnected from the what-ness, the secret codes, the hidden forms, the mystery.

Here in this woman's body the mystery could be seen. This apparently inert being, her self erased or buried beneath this never-ending story, this labyrinth of story-rooms in which more tales had been hidden than he was interested to hear. This toothsome sleepwalker. This blank. The rote-learned words poured out of her as he looked on, and while he unbuttoned and caressed. He exposed her nudity without compunction, touched it without guilt, manipulated her without any feelings of remorse. He was the scientist of her soul. In the smallest motion of an eyebrow, in the twitch of a muscle in her thigh, in a sudden minuscule curling of the left corner of her upper lip, he deduced the presence of life. Her self, that sovereign treasure, had not been destroyed. It slept and could be awakened. He whispered in her ear, "This is the last time you will ever tell this story. As you tell it, let it go." Slowly, phrase by phrase, episode by episode, he would unbuild the “only a man looking for the deeper truth would have seen it, her back arched in return. There was nothing wrong in what he did. He was her rescuer. She would thank him in time”

Excerpt From: Toppy. “The Enchantress of Florence - Salman Rushdie. ~ Salman Rushdie,
578:The Cave Painters
Holding only a handful of rushlight
they pressed deeper into the dark, at a crouch
until the great rock chamber
flowered around them and they stood
in an enormous womb of
flickering light and darklight, a place
to make a start. Raised hands cast flapping shadows
over the sleeker shapes of radiance.
They've left the world of weather and panic
behind them and gone on in, drawing the dark
in their wake, pushing as one pulse
to the core of stone. The pigments mixed in big shells
are crushed ore, petals and pollens, berries
and the binding juices oozed
out of chosen barks. The beasts
begin to take shape from hands and feather-tufts
(soaked in ochre, manganese, madder, mallow white)
stroking the live rock, letting slopes and contours
mould those forms from chance, coaxing
rigid dips and folds and bulges
to lend themselves to necks, bellies, swelling haunches,
a forehead or a twist of horn, tails and manes
curling to a crazy gallop.
Intent and human, they attach
the mineral, vegetable, animal
realms to themselves, inscribing
the one unbroken line
everything depends on, from that
impenetrable centre
to the outer intangibles of light and air, even
the speed of the horse, the bison's fear, the arc
of gentleness that this big-bellied cow
arches over its spindling calf, or the lancing
dance of death that
bristles out of the buck's
struck flank. On this one line they leave
10
a beak-headed human figure of sticks
and one small, chalky, human hand.
We'll never know if they worked in silence
like people praying—the way our monks
illuminated their own dark ages
in cross-hatched rocky cloisters,
where they contrived a binding
labyrinth of lit affinities
to spell out in nature's lace and fable
their mindful, blinding sixth sense
of a god of shadows—or whether (like birds
tracing their great bloodlines over the globe)
they kept a constant gossip up
of praise, encouragement, complaint.
It doesn't matter: we know
they went with guttering rushlight
into the dark; came to terms
with the given world; must have had
—as their hands moved steadily
by spiderlight—one desire
we'd recognise: they would—before going on
beyond this border zone, this nowhere
that is now here—leave something
upright and bright behind them in the dark.
~ Eamon Grennan,
579:I thought at first that she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something’s meal. What was her—green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs—would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe “the afterlife” is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska’s genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, one thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself—those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Edison’s last words were: “It’s very beautiful over there.” I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful. ~ John Green,
580:Theseus Within the Labyrinth pt.2

But nobody like Theseus likes a smart girl, always
telling him to dress warmly and eat plenty of fiber.
She was one of those people who are never in doubt.
Had he sharpened his sword, tied his sandals?
Without her, of course, he would have never escaped
the labyrinth. Why hadn’t he thought of that trick
with the ball of yarn? But as he looked down
at her sleeping form, this woman who was already
carrying his child, maybe he thought of their
future together, how she would correctly foretell
the mystery or banality behind each locked door.
So probably he shook his head and said, Give me
a dumb girl any day, and crept back to his ship
and sailed away. Of course Ariadne was revenged.
She would have told him to change the sails,
to take down the black ones, put up the white.
She would have reminded him that his father,
the king of Athens, was waiting on a high cliff
scanning the Aegean for Theseus’s returning ship,
white for victory, black for defeat. She would
have said how his father would see the black sails,
how the grief for the supposed death of his one son
would destroy him. But Theseus and his men had
brought out the wine and were cruising a calm sea
in a small boat filled to the brim with ex-virgins.
Who could have blamed him? Until he heard the distant
scream and his head shot up to see the black sails
and he knew. The girls disappeared, the ship grew
quiet except for the lap-lap of the water. Staring
toward the spot where his father had tumbled
headfirst into the Aegean, Theseus understood
he would always be a stupid man with a thick stick,
scratching his forehead long after the big event.
But think, does he change his mind, turn back
the ship, hunt up Ariadne and beg her pardon?
Far better to be stupid by himself than smart
because she’d been tugging on his arm; better
to live in the eternal present with a boatload
of ex-virgins than in that dark land of consequences
promised by Ariadne, better to live like any one of us,
thinking to outwit the darkness, but knowing
it will catch us, that we will be surprised like
the Minotaur on his couch when the door slams back
and the hired gun of our personal destruction bursts
upon us, upsetting the good times and scaring the girls.
Better to be ignorant, to go into the future as into
a long tunnel, without ball of yarn or clear direction,
to tiptoe forward like any fool or saint or hero,
jumpy, full of second thoughts, and bravely unprepared. ~ Stephen Dobyns,
581:Nope. Look. The Raft is a media event. But in a much more profound, general
sense than you can possibly imagine."
"Huh?"
"It's created by the media in that without the media, people wouldn't know it
was here, Refus wouldn't come out and glom onto it the way they do. And it
sustains the media. It creates a lot of information flow-movies, news reports -
- you know."
"So you're creating your own news event to make money off the information flow
that it creates?" says the journalist, desperately trying to follow. His tone
of voice says that this is all a waste of videotape. His weary attitude
suggests that this is not the first time Rife has flown off on a bizarre
tangent.
"Partly. But that's only a very crude explanation. It really goes a lot deeper
than that. You've probably heard the expression that the Industry feeds off of
biomass, like a whale straining krill from the ocean."
"I've heard the expression, yes."
"That's my expression. I made it up. An expression like that is just like a
virus, you know -- it's a piece of information -- data -- that spreads from one
person to the next. Well, the function of the Raft is to bring more biomass.
To renew America. Most countries are static, all they need to do is keep having
babies. But America's like this big old clanking, smoking machine that just
lumbers across the landscape scooping up and eating everything in sight. Leaves
behind a trail of garbage a mile wide. Always needs more fuel...
"Now I have a different perspective on it. America must look, to those poor
little buggers down there, about the same as Crete looked to those poor Greek
suckers. Except that there's no coercion involved. Those people down there
give up their children willingly. Send them into the labyrinth by the millions
to be eaten up. The Industry feeds on them and spits back images, sends out
movies and TV programs, over my networks, images of wealth and exotic things
beyond their wildest dreams, back to those people, and it gives them something
to dream about, something to aspire to. And that is the function of the Raft.
It's just a big old krill carrier."
Finally the journalist gives up on being a journalist, just starts to slag L.
Bob Rife openly. He's had it with this guy. "That's disgusting. I can't
believe you can think about people that way."
"Shit, boy, get down off your high horse. Nobody really gets eaten. It's just
a figure of speech. They come here, they get decent jobs, find Christ, buy a
Weber grill, and live happily ever after. What's wrong with that? ~ Neal Stephenson,
582:A Masque Of Venice
(A Dream.)
Not a stain,
In the sun-brimmed sapphire cup that is the skyNot a ripple on the black translucent lane
Of the palace-walled lagoon.
Not a cry
As the gondoliers with velvet oar glide by,
Through the golden afternoon.
From this height
Where the carved, age-yellowed balcony o'erjuts
Yonder liquid, marble pavement, see the light
Shimmer soft beneath the bridge,
That abuts
On a labyrinth of water-ways and shuts
Half their sky off with its ridge.
We shall mark
All the pageant from this ivory porch of ours,
Masques and jesters, mimes and minstrels, while we hark
To their music as they fare.
Scent their flowers
Flung from boat to boat in rainbow radiant showers
Through the laughter-ringing air.
See! they come,
Like a flock of serpent-throated black-plumed swans,
With the mandoline, viol, and the drum,
Gems afire on arms ungloved,
Fluttering fans,
Floating mantles like a great moth's streaky vans
Such as Veronese loved.
But behold
In their midst a white unruffled swan appear.
One strange barge that snowy tapestries enfold,
White its tasseled, silver prow.
Who is here?
Prince of Love in masquerade or Prince of Fear,
Clad in glittering silken snow?
Cheek and chin
Where the mask's edge stops are of the hoar-frosts hue,
And no eyebeams seem to sparkle from within
Where the hollow rings have place.
Yon gay crew
Seem to fly him, he seems ever to pursue.
'T is our sport to watch the race.
At his side
Stands the goldenest of beauties; from her glance,
From her forehead, shines the splendor of a bride,
And her feet seem shod with wings,
To entrance,
For she leaps into a wild and rhythmic dance,
Like Salome at the King's.
'T is his aim
Just to hold, to clasp her once against his breast,
Hers to flee him, to elude him in the game.
Ah, she fears him overmuch!
Is it jest,Is it earnest? a strange riddle lurks half-guessed
In her horror of his touch.
For each time
That his snow-white fingers reach her, fades some ray
From the glory of her beauty in its prime;
And the knowledge grows upon us that the dance
Is no play
'Twixt the pale, mysterious lover and the fayBut the whirl of fate and chance.
Where the tide
Of the broad lagoon sinks plumb into the sea,
There the mystic gondolier hath won his bride.
Hark, one helpless, stifled scream!
Must it be?
Mimes and minstrels, flowers and music, where are ye?
Was all Venice such a dream?
~ Emma Lazarus,
583:BLESSED be this place,
More blessed still this tower;
A bloody, arrogant power
Rose out of the race
Uttering, mastering it,
Rose like these walls from these
Storm-beaten cottages
In mockery I have set
A powerful emblem up,
And sing it rhyme upon rhyme
In mockery of a time
HaIf dead at the top.
Alexandria's was a beacon tower, and Babylon's
An image of the moving heavens, a log-book of the
sun's journey and the moon's;
And Shelley had his towers, thought's crowned powers
he called them once.
I declare this tower is my symbol; I declare
This winding, gyring, spiring treadmill of a stair is my
ancestral stair;
That Goldsmith and the Dean, Berkeley and Burke
have travelled there.
Swift beating on his breast in sibylline frenzy blind
Because the heart in his blood-sodden breast had
dragged him down into mankind,
Goldsmith deliberately sipping at the honey-pot of his
mind,
And haughtier-headed Burke that proved the State a
tree,
That this unconquerable labyrinth of the birds, cen-
tury after century,
Cast but dead leaves to mathematical equality;
And God-appointed Berkeley that proved all things a
dream,
That this pragmatical, preposterous pig of a world, its
farrow that so solid seem,
Must vanish on the instant if the mind but change its
theme;
Saeva Indignatio and the labourer's hire,
The strength that gives our blood and state magnani-
mity of its own desire;
Everything that is not God consumed with intellectual
fire.
III
The purity of the unclouded moon
Has flung its atrowy shaft upon the floor.
Seven centuries have passed and it is pure,
The blood of innocence has left no stain.
There, on blood-saturated ground, have stood
Soldier, assassin, executioner.
Whether for daily pittance or in blind fear
Or out of abstract hatred, and shed blood,
But could not cast a single jet thereon.
Odour of blood on the ancestral stair!
And we that have shed none must gather there
And clamour in drunken frenzy for the moon.

IV
Upon the dusty, glittering windows cling,
And seem to cling upon the moonlit skies,
Tortoiseshell butterflies, peacock butterflies,
A couple of night-moths are on the wing.
Is every modern nation like the tower,
Half dead at the top? No matter what I said,
For wisdom is the property of the dead,
A something incompatible with life; and power,
Like everything that has the stain of blood,
A property of the living; but no stain
Can come upon the visage of the moon
When it has looked in glory from a cloud.

~ William Butler Yeats, Blood And The Moon
,
584:Molech had the advantage. This was his turf and his dwelling. He had spent much of his time over the millennia below the surface, which made his skin pale white and his eyes unable to see well when up above on the surface. But down below, he was the god of the underworld. He could see better than even Mikael’s preternatural night vision. Mikael didn’t know what he was running into down here. He arrived at a fork in the small tunnel. He looked at the dirt and could see that his adversary had gone to the right. Mikael followed. The tunnels were quite small, only big enough for the bulky eight foot deity to move, with little leeway. For Mikael, there was more room because he was smaller, but not by much. He stopped again. Another split. But this time, three options. He took the middle way. Mikael figured that by now, his comrade archangels would have moved the stone away and were on their way to join him. He felt his pathway was circling back. When he saw another crossroads, he realized what he was now inside: a maze. The mole god had burrowed out a complex labyrinth of tunnels that seemed to Mikael a web of confusion. The rock was harder and the dust sparser, making it even more difficult for Mikael to follow his prey’s foot prints. About the only thing he could follow now was the creature’s stench. He heard the sound of footsteps in the dark, not far from him. He picked up his pace, trying not to make as much noise as the clumsy brute was making. He turned a corner and saw the deity jump down into an opening in the rocky floor. When he reached it, he saw it was an opening that led deeper still, to a lower level. He heard the voices of his comrades in the distance, shouting for him. He decided he would take this one time to give some direction, even though it would also warn Molech. But he needed his comrades. He shouted, “Down here, Angels! There’s an opening to a deeper level!” Then he jumped. He landed twenty feet below. Before him, a new opening to a new maze of tunnels. He thought, This has been one busy little worm. He followed the smell. His opponent now knew how close he was. Mikael turned another corner and saw the god waiting for him, before bolting down a pathway. Mikael responded instinctively to the sight of the fleeing divinity. It wasn’t until he was almost upon the pathway that it registered in his mind that he was being led into a trap. He slid to a stop. It was too late. He heard the sound of a release being tripped and rocks shifting. Above him. A triggered cave-in crushed him beneath a ton of rock. He was completely immobilized. He could not get to his weapons. He could only see through a thin crevice of some rocks as Molech walked up to him, laughed and spit at him, before disappearing deeper into the network of twisting tunnels. ~ Brian Godawa,
585:On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph's diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror's face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I'd seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand; I saw a woman in Inverness whom I shall never forget; I saw her tangled hair, her tall figure, I saw the cancer in her breast; I saw a ring of baked mud in a sidewalk, where before there had been a tree; I saw a summer house in Adrogué and a copy of the first English translation of Pliny -- Philemon Holland's -- and all at the same time saw each letter on each page (as a boy, I used to marvel that the letters in a closed book did not get scrambled and lost overnight); I saw a sunset in Querétaro that seemed to reflect the colour of a rose in Bengal; I saw my empty bedroom; I saw in a closet in Alkmaar a terrestrial globe between two mirrors that multiplied it endlessly; I saw horses with flowing manes on a shore of the Caspian Sea at dawn; I saw the delicate bone structure of a hand; I saw the survivors of a battle sending out picture postcards; I saw in a showcase in Mirzapur a pack of Spanish playing cards; I saw the slanting shadows of ferns on a greenhouse floor; I saw tigers, pistons, bison, tides, and armies; I saw all the ants on the planet; I saw a Persian astrolabe; I saw in the drawer of a writing table (and the handwriting made me tremble) unbelievable, obscene, detailed letters, which Beatriz had written to Carlos Argentino; I saw a monument I worshipped in the Chacarita cemetery; I saw the rotted dust and bones that had once deliciously been Beatriz Viterbo; I saw the circulation of my own dark blood; I saw the coupling of love and the modification of death; I saw the Aleph from every point and angle, and in the Aleph I saw the earth and in the earth the Aleph and in the Aleph the earth; I saw my own face and my own bowels; I saw your face; and I felt dizzy and wept, for my eyes had seen that secret and conjectured object whose name is common to all men but which no man has looked upon -- the unimaginable universe.

I felt infinite wonder, infinite pity. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
586:Adelia began to get cross. Why was it women who were to blame for everything—everything, from the Fall of Man to these blasted hedges?

“We are not in a labyrinth, my lord,” she said clearly.

“Where are we, then?”

“It’s a maze.”

“Same difference.” Puffing at the horse: “Get back, you great cow.”

“No, it isn’t. A labyrinth has only one path and you merely have to follow it. It’s a symbol of life or, rather, of life and death. Labyrinths twist and turn, but they have a beginning and an end, through darkness into light.”

Softening, and hoping that he would, too, she added, “Like Ariadne’s. Rather beautiful, really.”

“I don’t want mythology, mistress, beautiful or not, I want to get to that sodding tower. What’s a maze when it’s at home?”

“It’s a trick. A trick to confuse. To amaze.”

“And I suppose Mistress Clever-boots knows how to get us out?”

“I do, actually.” God’s rib, he was sneering at her, sneering. She’d a mind to stay where she was and let him sweat.

“Then in the name of Christ, do it.”

“Stop bellowing at me,” she yelled at him. “You’re bellowing.”

She saw his teeth grit in the pretense of a placatory smile; he always had good teeth. Still did. Between them, he said, “The Bishop of Saint Albans presents his compliments to Mistress Adelia and please to escort him out of this hag’s hole, for the love of God. How will you do it?”

“My business.” Be damned if she’d tell him. Women were defenseless enough without revealing their secrets. “I’ll have to take the lead.”

She stumped along in front, holding Walt’s mount’s reins in her right hand. In the other was her riding crop, which she trailed with apparent casualness so that it brushed against the hedge on her left.

As she went, she chuntered to herself. Lord, how disregarded I am in this damned country. How disregarded all women are.

...

Ironically, the lower down the social scale women were, the greater freedom they had; the wives of laborers and craftsmen could work alongside their men—even, sometimes, when they were widowed, take over their husband’s trade.

Adelia trudged on. Hag’s hole. Grendel’s mother’s entrails. Why was this dreadful place feminine to the men lost in it? Because it was tunneled? Womb-like? Is this woman’s magic? The great womb?

Is that why the Church hates me, hates all women? Because we are the source of all true power? Of life?

She supposed that by leading them out of it, she was only confirming that a woman knew its secrets and they did not.

Great God, she thought, it isn't a question of hatred. It’s fear. They are frightened of us.

And Adelia laughed quietly, sending a suggestion of sound reverberating backward along the tunnel, as if a small pebble was skipping on water, making each man start when it passed him.

“What in hell was that?”

Walt called back stolidly, “Reckon someone’s laughing at us, master.”

“Dear God. ~ Ariana Franklin,
587:The Transfiguration
So from the ground we felt that virtue branch
Through all our veins till we were whole, our wrists
As fresh and pure as water from a well,
Our hands made new to handle holy things,
The source of all our seeing rinsed and cleansed
Till earth and light and water entering there
Gave back to us the clear unfallen world.
We would have thrown our clothes away for lightness,
But that even they, though sour and travel stained,
Seemed, like our flesh, made of immortal substance,
And the soiled flax and wool lay light upon us
Like friendly wonders, flower and flock entwined
As in a morning field. Was it a vision?
Or did we see that day the unseeable
One glory of the everlasting world
Perpetually at work, though never seen
Since Eden locked the gate that’s everywhere
And nowhere? Was the change in us alone,
And the enormous earth still left forlorn,
An exile or a prisoner? Yet the world
We saw that day made this unreal, for all
Was in its place. The painted animals
Assembled there in gentle congregations,
Or sought apart their leafy oratories,
Or walked in peace, the wild and tame together,
As if, also for them, the day had come.
The shepherds’ hovels shone, for underneath
The soot we saw the stone clean at the heart
As on the starting-day. The refuse heaps
Were grained with that fine dust that made the world;
For he had said, ‘To the pure all things are pure.’
And when we went into the town, he with us,
The lurkers under doorways, murderers,
With rags tied round their feet for silence, came
Out of themselves to us and were with us,
And those who hide within the labyrinth
Of their own loneliness and greatness came,
And those entangled in their own devices,
The silent and the garrulous liars, all
33
Stepped out of their dungeons and were free.
Reality or vision, this we have seen.
If it had lasted but another moment
It might have held for ever! But the world
Rolled back into its place, and we are here,
And all that radiant kingdom lies forlorn,
As if it had never stirred; no human voice
Is heard among its meadows, but it speaks
To itself alone, alone it flowers and shines
And blossoms for itself while time runs on.
But he will come again, it’s said, though not
Unwanted and unsummoned; for all things,
Beasts of the field, and woods, and rocks, and seas,
And all mankind from end to end of the earth
Will call him with one voice. In our own time,
Some say, or at a time when time is ripe.
Then he will come, Christ the uncrucified,
Christ the discrucified, his death undone,
His agony unmade, his cross dismantled—
Glad to be so—and the tormented wood
Will cure its hurt and grow into a tree
In a green springing corner of young Eden,
And Judas damned take his long journey backward
From darkness into light and be a child
Beside his mother’s knee, and the betrayal
Be quite undone and never more be done.
~ Edwin Muir,
588:Oedipa spent the next several days in and out of libraries and earnest discussions with Emory Bortz and Genghis Cohen. She feared a little for their security in view of what was happening to everyone else she knew. The day after reading Blobb's Peregrinations she, with Bortz, Grace, and the graduate students, attended Randolph Driblette's burial, listened to a younger brother's helpless, stricken eulogy, watched the mother, spectral in afternoon smog, cry, and came back at night to sit on the grave and drink Napa Valley muscatel, which Driblette in his time had put away barrels of. There was no moon, smog covered the stars, all black as a Tristero rider. Oedipa sat on the earth, ass getting cold, wondering whether, as Driblette had suggested that night from the shower, some version of herself hadn't vanished with him. Perhaps her mind would go on flexing psychic muscles that no longer existed; would be betrayed and mocked by a phantom self as the amputee is by a phantom limb. Someday she might replace whatever of her had gone away by some prosthetic device, a dress of a certain color, a phrase in a ' letter, another lover. She tried to reach out, to whatever coded tenacity of protein might improbably have held on six feet below, still resisting decay-any stubborn quiescence perhaps gathering itself for some last burst, some last scramble up through earth, just-glimmering, holding together with its final strength a transient, winged shape, needing to settle at once in the warm host, or dissipate forever into the dark. If you come to me, prayed Oedipa, bring your memories of the last night. Or if you have to keep down your payload, the last five minutes-that may be enough. But so I'll know if your walk into the sea had anything to do with Tristero. If they got rid of you for the reason they got rid of Hilarius and Mucho and Metzger-maybe because they thought I no longer needed you. They were wrong. I needed you. Only bring me that memory, and you can live with me for whatever time I've got. She remembered his head, floating in the shower, saying, you could fall in love with me. But could she have saved him? She looked over at the girl who'd given her the news of his death. Had they been in love? Did she know why Driblette had put in those two extra lines that night? Had he even known why? No one could begin to trace it. A hundred hangups, permuted, combined-sex, money, illness, despair with the history of his time and place, who knew. Changing the script had no clearer motive than his suicide. There was the same whimsy to both. Perhaps-she felt briefly penetrated, as if the bright winged thing had actually made it to the sanctuary of her heart-perhaps, springing from the same slick labyrinth, adding those two lines had even, in a way never to be explained, served him as a rehearsal for his night's walk away into that vast sink of the primal blood the Pacific. She waited for the winged brightness to announce its safe arrival. But there was silence. Driblette, she called. The signal echoing down twisted miles of brain circuitry. Driblette!

But as with Maxwell's Demon, so now. Either she could not communicate, or he did not exist. ~ Thomas Pynchon,
589:When I pull my hand away, my fingertips are not stained red, but silver. I stare at my nails, trying to make sense of what I see when out of the formless gloom, a monster emerges.
I do scream when a pair of blue-white eyes appear, a pinprick of black in their center. Slowly, a shape coalesces into being- a long, elegant face, whorls of inky shadows swirling over moon-pale skin, ram's horns curling around pointed, elfin ears. He is more terrifying and more real than the vision I experienced in the labyrinth. But worst of all are the hands, gnarled and curled and with one too many joints in each finger. With a silver ring around the base of one. A wolf's-head ring, with two gems of blue and green for eyes.
My ring. His ring. The symbol of our promise I had returned to the Goblin King back in the Goblin Grove.
Mein Herr?
For a brief moment, those blue-white eyes regain some color, the only color in this gray world. Blue and green, like the gems on the ring about his finger. Mismatched eyes. Human eyes. The eyes of my immortal beloved.
Elisabeth, he says, and his lips move painfully around a mouth full of sharpened teeth, like the fangs of some horrifying beast. Despite the fear knifing my veins, my heart grows soft with pity. With tenderness. I reach for my Goblin King, longing to touch him, to hold his face in my hands the way I had done when I was his bride.
Mein Herr. My hands lift to stroke his cheek, but he shakes his head, batting my fingers away.
I am not he, he says, and an ominous growl laces his words as his eyes return to that eerie blue-white. He that you love is gone.
Then who are you?
I ask.
His nostrils flare and shadows deepen around us, giving shape to the world. He swirls a cloak about him as a dark forest comes into view, growing from the mist. I am the Lord of Mischief and the Ruler Underground. His lips stretch thin over that dangerous mouth in a leering smile. I am death and doom and Der Erlkönig.
No!
I cry, reading for him again. No, you are he that I love, a king with music in his soul and a prayer in his heart. You are a scholar, a philosopher, and my own austere young man.
Is that so?
The corrupted Goblin King runs a tongue over his gleaming teeth, those pale eyes devouring me as though I were a sumptuous treat to be savored. Then prove it. Call him by name.
A jolt sings through me- guilt and fear and desire altogether. His name, a name, the only link my austere young man has to the world above, the one thing he could not give me.
Der Erlkönig throws his head back in a laugh. You do not even know your beloved's name, maiden? How can you possibly call it love when you walked away, when you abandoned him and all that he fought for?
I shall find it,
I say fiercely. I shall call him by name and bring him home.
Malice lights those otherworldly eyes, and despite the monstrous markings and horns and fangs and fur that claim the Goblin King's comely form, he turns seductive, sly. Come, brave maiden, he purrs. Come, join me and be my bride once more, for it was not your austere young man who showed you the dark delights of the Underground and the flesh. It was I. ~ S Jae Jones,
590:In consequence of the inevitably scattered and fragmentary nature of our thinking, which has been mentioned, and of the mixing together of the most heterogeneous representations thus brought about and inherent even in the noblest human mind, we really possess only *half a consciousness*. With this we grope about in the labyrinth of our life and in the obscurity of our investigations; bright moments illuminate our path like flashes of lighting. But what is to be expected generally from heads of which even the wisest is every night the playground of the strangest and most senseless dreams, and has to take up its meditations again on emerging from these dreams? Obviously a consciousness subject to such great limitations is little fitted to explore and fathom the riddle of the world; and to beings of a higher order, whose intellect did not have time as its form, and whose thinking therefore had true completeness and unity, such an endeavor would necessarily appear strange and pitiable. In fact, it is a wonder that we are not completely confused by the extremely heterogeneous mixture of fragments of representations and of ideas of every kind which are constantly crossing one another in our heads, but that we are always able to find our way again, and to adapt and adjust everything. Obviously there must exist a simple thread on which everything is arranged side by side: but what is this? Memory alone is not enough, since it has essential limitations of which I shall shortly speak; moreover, it is extremely imperfect and treacherous. The *logical ego*, or even the *transcendental synthetic unity of apperception*, are expressions and explanations that will not readily serve to make the matter comprehensible; on the contrary, it will occur to many that

“Your wards are deftly wrought, but drive no bolts asunder.”

Kant’s proposition: “The *I think* must accompany all our representations ,” is insufficient; for the “I” is an unknown quantity, in other words, it is itself a mystery and a secret. What gives unity and sequence to consciousness, since by pervading all the representations of consciousness, it is its substratum, its permanent supporter, cannot itself be conditioned by consciousness, and therefore cannot be a representation. On the contrary, it must be the *prius* of consciousness, and the root of the tree of which consciousness is the fruit. This, I say, is the *will*; it alone is unalterable and absolutely identical, and has brought forth consciousness for its own ends. It is therefore the will that gives unity and holds all its representations and ideas together, accompanying them, as it were, like a continuous ground-bass. Without it the intellect would have no more unity of consciousness than has a mirror, in which now one thing now another presents itself in succession, or at most only as much as a convex mirror has, whose rays converge at an imaginary point behind its surface. But it is *the will* alone that is permanent and unchangeable in consciousness. It is the will that holds all ideas and representations together as means to its ends, tinges them with the colour of its character, its mood, and its interest, commands the attention, and holds the thread of motives in its hand. The influence of these motives ultimately puts into action memory and the association of ideas. Fundamentally it is the will that is spoken of whenever “I” occurs in a judgement. Therefore, the will is the true and ultimate point of unity of consciousness, and the bond of all its functions and acts. It does not, however, itself belong to the intellect, but is only its root, origin, and controller."

—from The World as Will and Representation . Translated from the German by E. F. J. Payne in two volumes: volume II, pp. 139-140 ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
591:Proem
Alice, I need not tell you that the Art
That copies Nature, even at its best,
Is but the echo of a splendid tone,
Or like the answer of a little child
To the deep question of some frosted sage.
For Nature in her grand magnificence,
Compared to Art, must ever raise her head
Beyond the cognizance of human minds:
This is the spirit merely; that, the soul.
We watch her passing, like some gentle dream,
And catch sweet glimpses of her perfect face;
We see the flashing of her gorgeous robes,
And, if her mantle ever falls at all,
How few Elishas wear it sacredly,
As if it were a valued gift from heaven.
God has created; we but re-create,
According to the temper of our minds;
According to the grace He has bequeathed;
According to the uses we have made
Of His good-pleasure given unto us.
And so I love my art; chiefly, because
Through it I rev'rence Nature, and improve
The tone and tenor of the mind He gave.
God sends a Gift; we crown it with high Art,
And make it worthy the bestower, when
The talent is not hidden in the dust
Of pampered negligence and venial sin,
But put to studious use, that it may work
The end and aim for which it was bestowed.
All Good is God's; all Love and Truth are His;
We are His workers; and we dare not plead
But that He gave us largely of all these,
Demanding a discreet return, that when
The page of life is written to its close
It may receive the seal and autograph
Of His good pleasure-the right royal sign
And signet of approval, to the end
That we were worthy of the gift divine,
109
And through it praised the Great Artificer.
In my long rambles through Orillian woods;
Out on the ever-changing Couchiching;
By the rough margin of the Lake St. John;
Down the steep Severn, where the artist sun,
In dainty dalliance with the blushing stream,
Transcribes each tree, branch, leaf, and rock and flower,
Perfect in shape and colour, clear, distinct,
With all the panoramic change of skyEven as Youth's bright river, toying with
The fairy craft where Inexperience dreams,
And subtle Fancy builds its airy halls,
In blest imagination pictures most
Of bright or lovely that adorn life's banks,
With the blue vault of heaven over all;
On that serene and wizard afternoon,
As hunters chase the wild and timid deer
We chased the quiet of Medonte's shades
Through the green windings of the forest road,
Past Nature's venerable rank and file
Of primal woods-her Old Guard, sylvan-plumedThe far-off Huron, like a silver thread,
The clue to some enchanted labyrinth,
Dimly perceived beyond the stretch of woods,
Th' approaches tinted by a purple haze,
And softened into beauty like the dream
Of some rapt seer's Apocalyptic mood;
And when at Rockridge we sat looking out
Upon the softened shadows of the night,
And the wild glory of the throbbing stars;
Where'er we bent our Eden-tinted way:
My brain was a weird wilderness of Thought:
My heart, love's sea of passion tossed and torn,
Calmed by the presence of the loving souls
By whom I was surrounded. All the while
They deemed me passing tame, and wondered when
My dreamy castle would come toppling down.
I was but driving back the aching past,
And mirroring the future. And these leaves
Of meditation are but perfumes from
110
The censer of my feelings; honied drops
Wrung from the busy hives of heart and brain;
Mere etchings of the artist; grains of sand
From the calm shores of that unsounded deep
Of speculation, where all thought is lost
Amid the realms of Nature and of God.
~ Charles Sangster,
592:Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life.

And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends.

When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her.

Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know:

I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere.

I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled.

But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed.

And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be.

When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are.

We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.

So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful. ~ John Green,
593:Spring Song
Make me over, Mother April,
When the sap beings to stir!
When thy flowery hand delivers
All the mountain-prisoned rivers,
And thy great heart beats and quivers
To revive the days that were,
Make me over, Mother April,
When the sap begins to stir!
Take my dust and all my dreaming,
Count my heart-beats one by one,
Send them where the winters perish;
Then some golden noon recherish
And restore them in the sun,
Flower and scent and dust and dreaming,
With their heart-beats every one!
Set me in the urge and tide-drift
Of the streaming hosts a-wing!
Breast of scarlet, throat of yellow,
Raucous challenge, wooings mellow Every migrant is my fellow,
Making northward with the spring.
Loose me in the urge and tide-drift
Of the streaming hosts a-wing!
Shrilling pipe or fluting whistle,
In the valleys come again;
Fife of frog and call of tree-toad,
All my brothers, five or three-toed,
With their revel no more vetoed,
Making music in the rain;
Shrilling pipe or fluting whistle,
In the valleys come again.
Make me of thy seed to-morrow,
When the sap begins to stir!
Tawny light-foot, sleepy bruin,
Bright-eyes in the orchard ruin,
143
Gnarl the good life goes askew in,
Whiskey-jack, or tanager, Make me anything to-morrow,
When the sap begins to stir!
Make me even (How do I know?)
Like my friend the gargoyle there;
It may be the heart within him
Swells that doltish hands should pin him
Fixed forever in mid-air.
Make me even sport for swallows,
Like the soaring gargoyle there!
Give me the old clue to follow,
Through the labyrinth of night!
Clod of clay with heart of fire,
Things that burrow and aspire,
With the vanishing desire,
For the perishing delight, Only the old clue to follow,
Through the labyrinth of night!
Make me over, Mother April,
When the sap begins to stir!
Fashion me from swamp or meadow,
Garden plot or ferny shadow,
Hyacinth or humble burr!
Make me over, Mother April,
When the sap begins to stir!
Let me hear the far, low summons,
When the silver winds return;
Rills that run and streams that stammer,
Goldenwing with his loud hammer,
Icy brooks that brawl and clamor,
Where the Indian willows burn;
Let me hearken to the calling,
When the silver winds return,
Till recurring and recurring,
Long since wandered and come back,
144
Like a whim of Grieg's or Gounod's,
This same self, bird, bud, or Bluenose,
Some day I may capture (Who knows?)
Just the one last joy I lack,
Waking to the far new summons,
When the old spring winds come back.
For I have no choice of being,
When the sap begins to climb, Strong insistence, sweet intrusion,
Vasts and verges of illusion, So I win, to time's confusion,
The one perfect pearl of time,
Joy and joy and joy forever,
Till the sap forgets to climb!
Make me over in the morning
From the rag-bag of the world!
Scraps of dream and duds of daring,
Home-brought stuff from far sea-faring,
Faded colors once so flaring,
Shreds of banners long since furled!
Hues of ash and glints of glory,
In the rag-bag of the world!
Let me taste the old immortal
Indolence of life once more;
Not recalling nor foreseeing,
Let the great slow joys of being
Well my heart through as of yore!
Let me taste the old immortal
Indolence of life once more!
Give me the old drink for rapture,
The delirium to drain,
All my fellows drank in plenty
At the Three Score Inns and Twenty
From the mountains to the main!
Give me the old drink for rapture,
The delirium to drain!
Only make me over, April,
145
When the sap begins to stir!
Make me man or make me woman,
Make me oaf or ape or human,
Cup of flower or cone of fir;
Make me anything but neuter
When the sap begins to stir!
~ Bliss William Carman,
594:AUGOEIDES:
   The magicians most important invocation is that of his Genius, Daemon, True Will, or Augoeides. This operation is traditionally known as attaining the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. It is sometimes known as the Magnum Opus or Great Work.
   The Augoeides may be defined as the most perfect vehicle of Kia on the plane of duality. As the avatar of Kia on earth, the Augoeides represents the true will, the raison detre of the magician, his purpose in existing. The discovery of ones true will or real nature may be difficult and fraught with danger, since a false identification leads to obsession and madness. The operation of obtaining the knowledge and conversation is usually a lengthy one. The magician is attempting a progressive metamorphosis, a complete overhaul of his entire existence. Yet he has to seek the blueprint for his reborn self as he goes along. Life is less the meaningless accident it seems. Kia has incarnated in these particular conditions of duality for some purpose. The inertia of previous existences propels Kia into new forms of manifestation. Each incarnation represents a task, or a puzzle to be solved, on the way to some greater form of completion.
   The key to this puzzle is in the phenomena of the plane of duality in which we find ourselves. We are, as it were, trapped in a labyrinth or maze. The only thing to do is move about and keep a close watch on the way the walls turn. In a completely chaotic universe such as this one, there are no accidents. Everything is signifcant. Move a single grain of sand on a distant shore and the entire future history of the world will eventually be changed. A person doing his true will is assisted by the momentum of the universe and seems possessed of amazing good luck. In beginning the great work of obtaining the knowledge and conversation, the magician vows to interpret every manifestation of existence as a direct message from the infinite Chaos to himself personally.
   To do this is to enter the magical world view in its totality. He takes complete responsibility for his present incarnation and must consider every experience, thing, or piece of information which assails him from any source, as a reflection of the way he is conducting his existence. The idea that things happen to one that may or may not be related to the way one acts is an illusion created by our shallow awareness.
   Keeping a close eye on the walls of the labyrinth, the conditions of his existence, the magician may then begin his invocation. The genius is not something added to oneself. Rather it is a stripping away of excess to reveal the god within.
   Directly on awakening, preferably at dawn, the initiate goes to the place of invocation. Figuring to himself as he goes that being born anew each day brings with it the chance of greater rebirth, first he banishes the temple of his mind by ritual or by some magical trance. Then he unveils some token or symbol or sigil which represents to him the Holy Guardian Angel. This symbol he will likely have to change during the great work as the inspiration begins to move him. Next he invokes an image of the Angel into his minds eye. It may be considered as a luminous duplicate of ones own form standing in front of or behind one, or simply as a ball of brilliant light above ones head. Then he formulates his aspirations in what manner he will, humbling himself in prayer or exalting himself in loud proclamation as his need be. The best form of this invocation is spoken spontaneously from the heart, and if halting at first, will prove itself in time. He is aiming to establish a set of ideas and images which correspond to the nature of his genius, and at the same time receive inspiration from that source. As the magician begins to manifest more of his true will, the Augoeides will reveal images, names, and spiritual principles by which it can be drawn into greater manifestation. Having communicated with the invoked form, the magician should draw it into himself and go forth to live in the way he hath willed.
   The ritual may be concluded with an aspiration to the wisdom of silence by a brief concentration on the sigil of the Augoeides, but never by banishing. Periodically more elaborate forms of ritual, using more powerful forms of gnosis, may be employed. At the end of the day, there should be an accounting and fresh resolution made. Though every day be a catalog of failure, there should be no sense of sin or guilt. Magic is the raising of the whole individual in perfect balance to the power of Infinity, and such feelings are symptomatic of imbalance. If any unnecessary or imbalanced scraps of ego become identified with the genius by mistake, then disaster awaits. The life force flows directly into these complexes and bloats them into grotesque monsters variously known as the demon Choronzon. Some magicians attempting to go too fast with this invocation have failed to banish this demon, and have gone spectacularly insane as a result.
   ~ Peter J Carroll, Liber Null,
595:MANY ingenious lovely things are gone
That seemed sheer miracle to the multitude,
protected from the circle of the moon
That pitches common things about. There stood
Amid the ornamental bronze and stone
An ancient image made of olive wood
And gone are phidias' famous ivories
And all the golden grasshoppers and bees.
We too had many pretty toys when young:
A law indifferent to blame or praise,
To bribe or threat; habits that made old wrong
Melt down, as it were wax in the sun's rays;
Public opinion ripening for so long
We thought it would outlive all future days.
O what fine thought we had because we thought
That the worst rogues and rascals had died out.
All teeth were drawn, all ancient tricks unlearned,
And a great army but a showy thing;
What matter that no cannon had been turned
Into a ploughshare? Parliament and king
Thought that unless a little powder burned
The trumpeters might burst with trumpeting
And yet it lack all glory; and perchance
The guardsmen's drowsy chargers would not prance.
Now days are dragon-ridden, the nightmare
Rides upon sleep: a drunken soldiery
Can leave the mother, murdered at her door,
To crawl in her own blood, and go scot-free;
The night can sweat with terror as before
We pieced our thoughts into philosophy,
And planned to bring the world under a rule,
Who are but weasels fighting in a hole.
He who can read the signs nor sink unmanned
Into the half-deceit of some intoxicant
From shallow wits; who knows no work can stand,
Whether health, wealth or peace of mind were spent
On master-work of intellect or hand,
No honour leave its mighty monument,
Has but one comfort left: all triumph would
But break upon his ghostly solitude.
But is there any comfort to be found?
Man is in love and loves what vanishes,
What more is there to say? That country round
None dared admit, if Such a thought were his,
Incendiary or bigot could be found
To burn that stump on the Acropolis,
Or break in bits the famous ivories
Or traffic in the grasshoppers or bees.
When Loie Fuller's Chinese dancers enwound
A shining web, a floating ribbon of cloth,
It seemed that a dragon of air
Had fallen among dancers, had whirled them round
Or hurried them off on its own furious path;
So the platonic Year
Whirls out new right and wrong,
Whirls in the old instead;
All men are dancers and their tread
Goes to the barbarous clangour of a gong.
III
Some moralist or mythological poet
Compares the solitary soul to a swan;
I am satisfied with that,
Satisfied if a troubled mirror show it,
Before that brief gleam of its life be gone,
An image of its state;
The wings half spread for flight,
The breast thrust out in pride
Whether to play, or to ride
Those winds that clamour of approaching night.
A man in his own secret meditation
Is lost amid the labyrinth that he has made
In art or politics;
Some platonist affirms that in the station
Where we should cast off body and trade
The ancient habit sticks,
And that if our works could
But vanish with our breath
That were a lucky death,
For triumph can but mar our solitude.
The swan has leaped into the desolate heaven:
That image can bring wildness, bring a rage
To end all things, to end
What my laborious life imagined, even
The half-imagined, the half-written page;
O but we dreamed to mend
Whatever mischief seemed
To afflict mankind, but now
That winds of winter blow
Learn that we were crack-pated when we dreamed.
We, who seven yeats ago
Talked of honour and of truth,
Shriek with pleasure if we show
The weasel's twist, the weasel's tooth.
Come let us mock at the great
That had such burdens on the mind
And toiled so hard and late
To leave some monument behind,
Nor thought of the levelling wind.
Come let us mock at the wise;
With all those calendars whereon
They fixed old aching eyes,
They never saw how seasons run,
And now but gape at the sun.
Come let us mock at the good
That fancied goodness might be gay,
And sick of solitude
Might proclaim a holiday:
Wind shrieked and where are they?
Mock mockers after that
That would not lift a hand maybe
To help good, wise or great
To bar that foul storm out, for we
Traffic in mockery.
Violence upon the roads: violence of horses;
Some few have handsome riders, are garlanded
On delicate sensitive ear or tossing mane,
But wearied running round and round in their courses
All break and vanish, and evil gathers head:
Herodias' daughters have returned again,
A sudden blast of dusty wind and after
Thunder of feet, tumult of images,
Their purpose in the labyrinth of the wind;
And should some crazy hand dare touch a daughter
All turn with amorous cries, or angry cries,
According to the wind, for all are blind.
But now wind drops, dust settles; thereupon
There lurches past, his great eyes without thought
Under the shadow of stupid straw-pale locks,
That insolent fiend Robert Artisson
To whom the love-lorn Lady Kyteler brought
Bronzed peacock feathers, red combs of her cocks.

~ William Butler Yeats, Nineteen Hundred And Nineteen
,
596:The Bread Of Angels
AT that lost hour disowned of day and night,
The after-birth of midnight, when life's face
Turns to the wall and the last lamp goes out
Before the incipient irony of dawn -In that obliterate interval of time
Between the oil's last flicker and the first
Reluctant shudder of averted day,
Threading the city's streets (like mine own ghost
Wakening the echoes of dispeopled dreams),
I smiled to see how the last light that fought
Extinction was the old familiar glare
Of supper tables under gas-lit ceilings,
The same old stale monotonous carouse
Of greed and surfeit nodding face to face
O'er the picked bones of pleasure . . .
So that the city seemed, at that waste hour,
Like some expiring planet from whose face
All nobler life had perished -- love and hate,
And labor and the ecstasy of thought -Leaving the eyeless creatures of the ooze,
Dull offspring of its first inchoate birth,
The last to cling to its exhausted breast.
And threading thus the aimless streets that strayed
Conjectural through a labyrinth of death,
Strangely I came upon two hooded nuns,
Hands in their sleeves, heads bent as if beneath
Some weight of benediction, gliding by
Punctual as shadows that perform their round
Upon the inveterate bidding of the sun
Again and yet again their ordered course
At the same hour crossed mine: obedient shades
Cast by some high-orbed pity on the waste
Of midnight evil! and my wondering thoughts
Tracked them from the hushed convent where there kin
Lay hived in sweetness of their prayer built cells.
What wind of fate had loosed them from the lee
Of that dear anchorage where their sisters slept?
On what emprise of heavenly piracy
63
Did such frail craft put forth upon this world;
In what incalculable currents caught
And swept beyond the signal-lights of home
Did their white coifs set sail against the night?
At last, upon my wonder drawn, I followed
The secret wanderers till I saw them pause
Before the dying glare of those tall panes
Where greed and surfeit nodded face to face
O'er the picked bones of pleasure . . .
And the door opened and the nuns went in.
Again I met them, followed them again.
Straight as a thought of mercy to its goal
To the same door they sped. I stood alone.
And suddenly the silent city shook
With inarticulate clamor of gagged lips,
As in Jerusalem when the veil was rent
And the dead drove the living from the streets.
And all about me stalked the shrouded dead,
Dead hopes, dead efforts, loves and sorrows dead,
With empty orbits groping for their dead
In that blind mustering of murdered faiths . . .
And the door opened and the nuns came out.
I turned and followed. Once again we came
To such a threshold, such a door received them,
They vanished, and I waited. The grim round
Ceased only when the festal panes grew dark
And the last door had shot its tardy bolt.
'Too late!' I heard one murmur; and 'Too late!'
The other, in unholy antiphon.
And with dejected steps they turned away.
They turned, and still I tracked them, till they bent
Under the lee of a calm convent wall
Bounding a quiet street. I knew the street,
One of those village byways strangely trapped
In the city's meshes, where at loudest noon
The silence spreads like moss beneath the foot,
And all the tumult of the town becomes
64
Idle as Ocean's fury in a shell.
Silent at noon -- but now, at this void hour,
When the blank sky hung over the blank streets
Clear as a mirror held above dead lips,
Came footfalls, and a thronging of dim shapes
About the convent door: a suppliant line
Of pallid figures, ghosts of happier folk,
Moving in some gray underworld of want
On which the sun of plenty never dawns.
And as the nuns approached I saw the throng
Pale emanation of that outcast hour,
Divide like vapor when the sun breaks through
And take the glory on its tattered edge.
For so a brightness ran from face to face,
Faint as a diver's light beneath the sea
And as a wave draws up the beach, the crowd
Drew to the nuns.
I waited. Then those two
Strange pilgrims of the sanctuaries of sin
Brought from beneath their large conniving cloaks
Two hidden baskets brimming with rich store
Of broken viands -- pasties, jellies, meats,
Crumbs of Belshazzar's table, evil waste
Of that interminable nightly feast
Of greed and surfeit, nodding face to face
O'er the picked bones of pleasure . . .
And piteous hands were stretched to take the bread
Of this strange sacrament -- this manna brought
Out of the antique wilderness of sin.
Each seized a portion, turning comforted
From this new breaking of the elements;
And while I watched the mystery of renewal
Whereby the dead bones of old sins become
The living body of the love of God,
It seemed to me that a like change transformed
The city's self . . . a little wandering air
Ruffled the ivy on the convent wall;
A bird piped doubtfully; the dawn replied;
And in that ancient gray necropolis
65
Somewhere a child awoke and took the breast.
~ Edith Wharton,
597:Narcissus
THE MIND IS AN ANCIENT AND FAMOUS CAPITAL
The mind is a city like London,
Smoky and populous: it is a capital
Like Rome, ruined and eternal,
Marked by the monuments which no one
Now remembers. For the mind, like Rome, contains
Catacombs, aqueducts, amphitheatres, palaces,
Churches and equestrian statues, fallen, broken or soiled.
The mind possesses and is possessed by all the ruins
Of every haunted, hunted generation’s celebration.
“Call us what you will: we are made such by love.”
We are such studs as dreams are made on, and
Our little lives are ruled by the gods, by Pan,
Piping of all, seeking to grasp or grasping
All of the grapes; and by the bow-and-arrow god,
Cupid, piercing the heart through, suddenly and forever.
Dusk we are, to dusk returning, after the burbing,
After the gold fall, the fallen ash, the bronze,
Scattered and rotten, after the white null statues which
Are winter, sleep, and nothingness: when
Will the houselights of the universe
Light up and blaze?
For it is not the sea
Which murmurs in a shell,
And it is not only heart, at harp o’clock,
It is the dread terror of the uncontrollable
Horses of the apocalypse, running in wild dread
Toward Arcturus—and returning as suddenly ...
THE FEAR AND DREAD OF THE MIND OF THE OTHERS
—The others were the despots of despair—
41
The river’s freshness sailed from unknown sources—
... They snickered giggled, laughed aloud at last,
They mocked and marvelled at the statue which was
A caricature, as strained and stiff, and yet
A statue of self-love!—since self-love was
To them, truly my true love, how, then, was I a stillness of nervousness
So nervous a caricature: did they suppose
Self-love was unrequited, or betrayed?
They thought I had fallen in love with my own face,
And this belief became the night-like obstacle
To understanding all my unbroken suffering,
My studious self-regard, the pain of hope,
The torment of possibility:
How then could I have expected them to see me
As I saw myself, within my gaze, or see
That being thus seemed as a toad, a frog, a wen, a mole.
Knowing their certainty that I was only
A monument, a monster who had fallen in love
With himself alone, how could I have
Told them what was in me, within my heart, trembling and passionate
Within the labyrinth and caves of my mind, which is
Like every mind partly or wholly hidden from itself?
The words for what is in my heart and in my mind
Do not exist. But I must seek and search to find
Amid the vines and orchards of the vivid world of day
Approximate images, imaginary parallels
For what is my heart and dark within my mind:
Comparisons and mere metaphors: for all
Of them are substitutes, both counterfeit and vague:
They are, at most, deceptive resemblances,
False in their very likeness, like the sons
Who are alike and kin and more unlike and false
Because they seem the father’s very self: but each one is
—Although begotten by the same forbears—himself,
The unique self, each one is unique, like every other one,
And everything, older or younger, nevertheless
A passionate nonesuch who has before has been.
Do you hear, do you see? Do you understand me now, and how
42
The words for what is my heart do not exist?
THE RIVER WAS THE EMBLEM OF ALL BEAUTY: ALL
...
The river was the abundant belly of beauty itself
The river was the dream space where I walked,
The river was itself and yet it was—flowing and freshening—
A self anew, another self, or self renewed
At every tick of eternity, and by each glint of light
Mounting or sparkling, descending to shade and black
—Had I but told them my heart, told how it was
Taunted at noon and pacified at dusk, at starfall midnight
Strong in hope once more, ever in eagerness
Jumping like joy, would they have heard? How could they?
How, when what they knew was, like the grass,
Simple and certain, known through the truth of touch, another form and fountain
of falsehood’s fecundity—
Gazing upon their faces as they gazed
Could they have seen my faces as whores who are
Holy and deified as priestesses of hope
—the sacred virgins of futurity—
Promising dear divinity precisely because
They were disfigured ducks who might become
And be, and ever beloved, white swans, noble and beautiful.
Could they have seen how my faces were
Bonfires of worship and vigil, blazes of adoration and hope
—Surely they would have laughed again, renewed their scorn,
Giggled and snickered, cruel. Surely have said
This is the puerile mania of the obsessed,
The living logic of the lunatic:
I was the statue of their merriment,
Dead and a death, Pharoah and monster forsaken and lost.
...
My faces were my apes: my apes became
Performers in the Sundays of their parks,
Buffoons or clowns in the farce or comedy
When they took pleasure in knowing that they were not like me.
43
...
I waited like obsession in solitude:
The sun’s white terror tore and roared at me,
The moonlight, almond white, at night,
Whether awake or sleeping, arrested me
And sang, softly, haunted, unlike the sun
But as the sun. Withheld from me or took away
Despair or peace, making me once more
With thought of what had never been before——
~ Delmore Schwartz,
598:An old man cocked his car upon a bridge;
He and his friend, their faces to the South,
Had trod the uneven road. Their hoots were soiled,
Their Connemara cloth worn out of shape;
They had kept a steady pace as though their beds,
Despite a dwindling and late-risen moon,
Were distant still. An old man cocked his ear.
Aherne. What made that Sound?
Robartes. A rat or water-hen
Splashed, or an otter slid into the stream.
We are on the bridge; that shadow is the tower,
And the light proves that he is reading still.
He has found, after the manner of his kind,
Mere images; chosen this place to live in
Because, it may be, of the candle-light
From the far tower where Milton's Platonist
Sat late, or Shelley's visionary prince:
The lonely light that Samuel Palmer engraved,
An image of mysterious wisdom won by toil;
And now he seeks in book or manuscript
What he shall never find.
Aherne. Why should not you
Who know it all ring at his door, and speak
Just truth enough to show that his whole life
Will scarcely find for him a broken crust
Of all those truths that are your daily bread;
And when you have spoken take the roads again?
Robartes. He wrote of me in that extravagant style
He had learnt from pater, and to round his tale
Said I was dead; and dead I choose to be.
Aherne. Sing me the changes of the moon once more;
True song, though speech: "mine author sung it me.'
Robartes. Twenty-and-eight the phases of the moon,
The full and the moon's dark and all the crescents,
Twenty-and-eight, and yet but six-and-twenty
The cradles that a man must needs be rocked in:
For there's no human life at the full or the dark.
From the first crescent to the half, the dream
But summons to adventure and the man
Is always happy like a bird or a beast;
But while the moon is rounding towards the full
He follows whatever whim's most difficult
Among whims not impossible, and though scarred.
As with the cat-o'-nine-tails of the mind,
His body moulded from within his body
Grows comelier. Eleven pass, and then
Athene takes Achilles by the hair,
Hector is in the dust, Nietzsche is born,
Because the hero's crescent is the twelfth.
And yet, twice born, twice buried, grow he must,
Before the full moon, helpless as a worm.
The thirteenth moon but sets the soul at war
In its own being, and when that war's begun
There is no muscle in the arm; and after,
Under the frenzy of the fourteenth moon,
The soul begins to tremble into stillness,
To die into the labyrinth of itself!
Aherne. Sing out the song; sing to the end, and sing
The strange reward of all that discipline.
Robartes. All thought becomes an image and the soul
Becomes a body: that body and that soul
Too perfect at the full to lie in a cradle,
Too lonely for the traffic of the world:
Body and soul cast out and cast away
Beyond the visible world.
Aherne. All dreams of the soul
End in a beautiful man's or woman's body.
Robartes, Have you not always known it?
Aherne. The song will have it
That those that we have loved got their long fingers
From death, and wounds, or on Sinai's top,
Or from some bloody whip in their own hands.
They ran from cradle to cradle till at last
Their beauty dropped out of the loneliness
Of body and soul.
Robartes. The lover's heart knows that.
Aherne. It must be that the terror in their eyes
Is memory or foreknowledge of the hour
When all is fed with light and heaven is bare.
Robartes. When the moon's full those creatures of the
full
Are met on the waste hills by countrymen
Who shudder and hurry by: body and soul
Estranged amid the strangeness of themselves,
Caught up in contemplation, the mind's eye
Fixed upon images that once were thought;
For separate, perfect, and immovable
Images can break the solitude
Of lovely, satisfied, indifferent eyes.
And thereupon with aged, high-pitched voice
Aherne laughed, thinking of the man within,
His sleepless candle and lahorious pen.
Robartes. And after that the crumbling of the moon.
The soul remembering its loneliness
Shudders in many cradles; all is changed,
It would be the world's servant, and as it serves,
Choosing whatever task's most difficult
Among tasks not impossible, it takes
Upon the body and upon the soul
The coarseness of the drudge.
Aherne. Before the full
It sought itself and afterwards the world.
Robartes. Because you are forgotten, half out of life,
And never wrote a book, your thought is clear.
Reformer, merchant, statesman, learned man,
Dutiful husband, honest wife by turn,
Cradle upon cradle, and all in flight and all
Deformed because there is no deformity
But saves us from a dream.
Aherne. And what of those
That the last servile crescent has set free?
Robartes. Because all dark, like those that are all light,
They are cast beyond the verge, and in a cloud,
Crying to one another like the bats;
And having no desire they cannot tell
What's good or bad, or what it is to triumph
At the perfection of one's own obedience;
And yet they speak what's blown into the mind;
Deformed beyond deformity, unformed,
Insipid as the dough before it is baked,
They change their bodies at a word.
Aherne. And then?
Rohartes. When all the dough has been so kneaded up
That it can take what form cook Nature fancies,
The first thin crescent is wheeled round once more.
Aherne. But the escape; the song's not finished yet.
Robartes. Hunchback and Saint and Fool are the last
crescents.
The burning bow that once could shoot an arrow
Out of the up and down, the wagon-wheel
Of beauty's cruelty and wisdom's chatter
Out of that raving tide is drawn betwixt
Deformity of body and of mind.
Aherne. Were not our beds far off I'd ring the bell,
Stand under the rough roof-timbers of the hall
Beside the castle door, where all is stark
Austerity, a place set out for wisdom
That he will never find; I'd play a part;
He would never know me after all these years
But take me for some drunken countryman:
I'd stand and mutter there until he caught
"Hunchback and Sant and Fool,' and that they came
Under the three last crescents of the moon.
And then I'd stagger out. He'd crack his wits
Day after day, yet never find the meaning.
And then he laughed to think that what seemed hard
Should be so simple a bat rose from the hazels
And circled round him with its squeaky cry,
The light in the tower window was put out.

~ William Butler Yeats, The Phases Of The Moon
,
599:I
WHAT shall I do with this absurdity -
O heart, O troubled heart - this caricature,
Decrepit age that has been tied to me
As to a dog's tail?
Never had I more
Excited, passionate, fantastical
Imagination, nor an ear and eye
That more expected the impossible -
No, not in boyhood when with rod and fly,
Or the humbler worm, I climbed Ben Bulben's back
And had the livelong summer day to spend.
It seems that I must bid the Muse go pack,
Choose Plato and Plotinus for a friend
Until imagination, ear and eye,
Can be content with argument and deal
In abstract things; or be derided by
A sort of battered kettle at the heel.

II
I pace upon the battlements and stare
On the foundations of a house, or where
Tree, like a sooty finger, starts from the earth;
And send imagination forth
Under the day's declining beam, and call
Images and memories
From ruin or from ancient trees,
For I would ask a question of them all.

Beyond that ridge lived Mrs. French, and once
When every silver candlestick or sconce
Lit up the dark mahogany and the wine.
A serving-man, that could divine
That most respected lady's every wish,
Ran and with the garden shears
Clipped an insolent farmer's ears
And brought them in a little covered dish.

Some few remembered still when I was young
A peasant girl commended by a Song,
Who'd lived somewhere upon that rocky place,
And praised the colour of her face,
And had the greater joy in praising her,
Remembering that, if walked she there,
Farmers jostled at the fair
So great a glory did the song confer.

And certain men, being maddened by those rhymes,
Or else by toasting her a score of times,
Rose from the table and declared it right
To test their fancy by their sight;
But they mistook the brightness of the moon
For the prosaic light of day -
Music had driven their wits astray -
And one was drowned in the great bog of Cloone.

Strange, but the man who made the song was blind;
Yet, now I have considered it, I find
That nothing strange; the tragedy began
With Homer that was a blind man,
And Helen has all living hearts betrayed.
O may the moon and sunlight seem
One inextricable beam,
For if I triumph I must make men mad.

And I myself created Hanrahan
And drove him drunk or sober through the dawn
From somewhere in the neighbouring cottages.
Caught by an old man's juggleries
He stumbled, tumbled, fumbled to and fro
And had but broken knees for hire
And horrible splendour of desire;
I thought it all out twenty years ago:

Good fellows shuffled cards in an old bawn;
And when that ancient ruffian's turn was on
He so bewitched the cards under his thumb
That all but the one card became
A pack of hounds and not a pack of cards,
And that he changed into a hare.
Hanrahan rose in frenzy there
And followed up those baying creatures towards -

O towards I have forgotten what - enough!
I must recall a man that neither love
Nor music nor an enemy's clipped ear
Could, he was so harried, cheer;
A figure that has grown so fabulous
There's not a neighbour left to say
When he finished his dog's day:
An ancient bankrupt master of this house.

Before that ruin came, for centuries,
Rough men-at-arms, cross-gartered to the knees
Or shod in iron, climbed the narrow stairs,
And certain men-at-arms there were
Whose images, in the Great Memory stored,
Come with loud cry and panting breast
To break upon a sleeper's rest
While their great wooden dice beat on the board.

As I would question all, come all who can;
Come old, necessitous. half-mounted man;
And bring beauty's blind rambling celebrant;
The red man the juggler sent
Through God-forsaken meadows; Mrs. French,
Gifted with so fine an ear;
The man drowned in a bog's mire,
When mocking Muses chose the country wench.

Did all old men and women, rich and poor,
Who trod upon these rocks or passed this door,
Whether in public or in secret rage
As I do now against old age?
But I have found an answer in those eyes
That are impatient to be gone;
Go therefore; but leave Hanrahan,
For I need all his mighty memories.

Old lecher with a love on every wind,
Bring up out of that deep considering mind
All that you have discovered in the grave,
For it is certain that you have
Reckoned up every unforeknown, unseeing
plunge, lured by a softening eye,
Or by a touch or a sigh,
Into the labyrinth of another's being;

Does the imagination dwell the most
Upon a woman won or woman lost?
If on the lost, admit you turned aside
From a great labyrinth out of pride,
Cowardice, some silly over-subtle thought
Or anything called conscience once;
And that if memory recur, the sun's
Under eclipse and the day blotted out.

III
It is time that I wrote my will;
I choose upstanding men
That climb the streams until
The fountain leap, and at dawn
Drop their cast at the side
Of dripping stone; I declare
They shall inherit my pride,
The pride of people that were
Bound neither to Cause nor to State.
Neither to slaves that were spat on,
Nor to the tyrants that spat,
The people of Burke and of Grattan
That gave, though free to refuse -
pride, like that of the morn,
When the headlong light is loose,
Or that of the fabulous horn,
Or that of the sudden shower
When all streams are dry,
Or that of the hour
When the swan must fix his eye
Upon a fading gleam,
Float out upon a long
Last reach of glittering stream
And there sing his last song.
And I declare my faith:
I mock plotinus' thought
And cry in plato's teeth,
Death and life were not
Till man made up the whole,
Made lock, stock and barrel
Out of his bitter soul,
Aye, sun and moon and star, all,
And further add to that
That, being dead, we rise,
Dream and so create
Translunar paradise.
I have prepared my peace
With learned Italian things
And the proud stones of Greece,
Poet's imaginings
And memories of love,
Memories of the words of women,
All those things whereof
Man makes a superhuman,
Mirror-resembling dream.

As at the loophole there
The daws chatter and scream,
And drop twigs layer upon layer.
When they have mounted up,
The mother bird will rest
On their hollow top,
And so warm her wild nest.

I leave both faith and pride
To young upstanding men
Climbing the mountain-side,
That under bursting dawn
They may drop a fly;
Being of that metal made
Till it was broken by
This sedentary trade.

Now shall I make my soul,
Compelling it to study
In a learned school
Till the wreck of body,
Slow decay of blood,
Testy delirium
Or dull decrepitude,
Or what worse evil come -
The death of friends, or death
Of every brilliant eye
That made a catch in the breath - .
Seem but the clouds of the sky
When the horizon fades;
Or a bird's sleepy cry
Among the deepening shades.
First published in the 'New Republic,' 29th June 1927
~ William Butler Yeats, The Tower
,
600:Maiden-Song
Long ago and long ago,
And long ago still,
There dwelt three merry maidens
Upon a distant hill.
One was tall Megan,
And one was dainty May,
But one was fair Margaret,
More fair than I can say,
Long ago and long ago.
When Megan plucked the thorny rose,
And when May pulled the brier,
Half the birds would swoop to see,
Half the beasts draw nigher;
Half the fishes of the streams
Would dart up to admire:
But when Margaret plucked a flag-flower,
Or poppy hot aflame,
All the beasts and all the birds
And all the fishes came
To her hand more soft than snow.
Strawberry leaves and May-dew
In brisk morning air,
Strawberry leaves and May-dew
Make maidens fair.
'I go for strawberry leaves,'
Megan said one day:
'Fair Margaret can bide at home,
But you come with me, May;
Up the hill and down the hill,
Along the winding way 30
You and I are used to go.'
So these two fair sisters
Went with innocent will
Up the hill and down again,
And round the homestead hill:
While the fairest sat at home,
258
Margaret like a queen,
Like a blush-rose, like the moon
In her heavenly sheen,
Fragrant-breathed as milky cow
Or field of blossoming bean,
Graceful as an ivy bough
Born to cling and lean;
Thus she sat to sing and sew.
When she raised her lustrous eyes
A beast peeped at the door;
When she downward cast her eyes
A fish gasped on the floor;
When she turned away her eyes
A bird perched on the sill,
Warbling out its heart of love,
Warbling warbling still,
With pathetic pleadings low.
Light-foot May with Megan
Sought the choicest spot,
Clothed with thyme-alternate grass:
Then, while day waxed hot,
Sat at ease to play and rest,
A gracious rest and play;
The loveliest maidens near or far,
When Margaret was away,
Who sat at home to sing and sew.
Sun-glow flushed their comely cheeks,
Wind-play tossed their hair,
Creeping things among the grass
Stroked them here and there;
Megan piped a merry note,
A fitful wayward lay,
While shrill as bird on topmost twig
Piped merry May;
Honey-smooth the double flow.
Sped a herdsman from the vale,
Mounting like a flame,
All on fire to hear and see,
259
With floating locks he came.
Looked neither north nor south,
Neither east nor west,
But sat him down at Megan's feet
As love-bird on his nest,
And wooed her with a silent awe,
With trouble not expressed;
She sang the tears into his eyes,
The heart out of his breast:
So he loved her, listening so.
She sang the heart out of his breast,
The words out of his tongue;
Hand and foot and pulse he paused
Till her song was sung.
Then he spoke up from his place
Simple words and true:
'Scanty goods have I to give,
Scanty skill to woo;
But I have a will to work,
And a heart for you:
Bid me stay or bid me go.'
Then Megan mused within herself:
'Better be first with him,
Than dwell where fairer Margaret sits,
Who shines my brightness dim,
For ever second where she sits,
However fair I be:
I will be lady of his love,
And he shall worship me;
I will be lady of his herds
And stoop to his degree,
At home where kids and fatlings grow.'
Sped a shepherd from the height
Headlong down to look,
(White lambs followed, lured by love
Of their shepherd's crook):
He turned neither east nor west,
Neither north nor south,
260
But knelt right down to May, for love
Of her sweet-singing mouth;
Forgot his flocks, his panting flocks
In parching hill-side drouth;
Forgot himself for weal or woe.
Trilled her song and swelled her song
With maiden coy caprice
In a labyrinth of throbs,
Pauses, cadences;
Clear-noted as a dropping brook,
Soft-noted like the bees,
Wild-noted as the shivering wind
Forlorn through forest trees:
Love-noted like the wood-pigeon
Who hides herself for love,
Yet cannot keep her secret safe,
But coos and coos thereof:
Thus the notes rang loud or low.
He hung breathless on her breath;
Speechless, who listened well;
Could not speak or think or wish
Till silence broke the spell.
Then he spoke, and spread his hands,
Pointing here and there:
'See my sheep and see the lambs,
Twin lambs which they bare.
All myself I offer you,
All my flocks and care,
Your sweet song hath moved me so.'
In her fluttered heart young May
Mused a dubious while:
'If he loves me as he says'-Her lips curved with a smile:
'Where Margaret shines like the sun
I shine but like a moon;
If sister Megan makes her choice
I can make mine as soon;
At cockcrow we were sister-maids,
We may be brides at noon.'
261
Said Megan, 'Yes;' May said not 'No.'
Fair Margaret stayed alone at home,
Awhile she sang her song,
Awhile sat silent, then she thought:
'My sisters loiter long.'
That sultry noon had waned away,
Shadows had waxen great:
'Surely,' she thought within herself,
'My sisters loiter late.'
She rose, and peered out at the door,
With patient heart to wait,
And heard a distant nightingale
Complaining of its mate;
Then down the garden slope she walked,
Down to the garden gate,
Leaned on the rail and waited so.
The slope was lightened by her eyes
Like summer lightning fair,
Like rising of the haloed moon
Lightened her glimmering hair,
While her face lightened like the sun
Whose dawn is rosy white.
Thus crowned with maiden majesty
She peered into the night,
Looked up the hill and down the hill,
To left hand and to right,
Flashing like fire-flies to and fro.
Waiting thus in weariness
She marked the nightingale
Telling, if any one would heed,
Its old complaining tale.
Then lifted she her voice and sang,
Answering the bird:
Then lifted she her voice and sang,
Such notes were never heard
From any bird when Spring's in blow.
The king of all that country
Coursing far, coursing near,
262
Curbed his amber-bitted steed,
Coursed amain to hear;
All his princes in his train,
Squire, and knight, and peer,
With his crown upon his head,
His sceptre in his hand,
Down he fell at Margaret's knees
Lord king of all that land,
To her highness bending low.
Every beast and bird and fish
Came mustering to the sound,
Every man and every maid
From miles of country round:
Megan on her herdsman's arm,
With her shepherd May,
Flocks and herds trooped at their heels
Along the hill-side way;
No foot too feeble for the ascent,
Not any head too grey;
Some were swift and none were slow.
So Margaret sang her sisters home
In their marriage mirth;
Sang free birds out of the sky,
Beasts along the earth,
Sang up fishes of the deep-All breathing things that move
Sang from far and sang from near
To her lovely love;
Sang together friend and foe;
Sang a golden-bearded king
Straightway to her feet,
Sang him silent where he knelt
In eager anguish sweet.
But when the clear voice died away,
When longest echoes died,
He stood up like a royal man
And claimed her for his bride.
So three maids were wooed and won
In a brief May-tide,
263
Long ago and long ago.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti,
601:Ode To Silence
Aye, but she?
Your other sister and my other soul
Grave Silence, lovelier
Than the three loveliest maidens, what of her?
Clio, not you,
Not you, Calliope,
Nor all your wanton line,
Not Beauty's perfect self shall comfort me
For Silence once departed,
For her the cool-tongued, her the tranquil-hearted,
Whom evermore I follow wistfully,
Wandering Heaven and Earth and Hell and the four seasons through;
Thalia, not you,
Not you, Melpomene,
Not your incomparable feet, O thin Terpsichore, I seek in this great hall,
But one more pale, more pensive, most beloved of you all.
I seek her from afar,
I come from temples where her altars are,
From groves that bear her name,
Noisy with stricken victims now and sacrificial flame,
And cymbals struck on high and strident faces
Obstreperous in her praise
They neither love nor know,
A goddess of gone days,
Departed long ago,
Abandoning the invaded shrines and fanes
Of her old sanctuary,
A deity obscure and legendary,
Of whom there now remains,
For sages to decipher and priests to garble,
Only and for a little while her letters wedged in marble,
Which even now, behold, the friendly mumbling rain erases,
And the inarticulate snow,
Leaving at last of her least signs and traces
None whatsoever, nor whither she is vanished from these places.
"She will love well," I said,
"If love be of that heart inhabiter,
The flowers of the dead;
The red anemone that with no sound
93
Moves in the wind, and from another wound
That sprang, the heavily-sweet blue hyacinth,
That blossoms underground,
And sallow poppies, will be dear to her.
And will not Silence know
In the black shade of what obsidian steep
Stiffens the white narcissus numb with sleep?
(Seed which Demeter's daughter bore from home,
Uptorn by desperate fingers long ago,
Reluctant even as she,
Undone Persephone,
And even as she set out again to grow
In twilight, in perdition's lean and inauspicious loam).
She will love well," I said,
"The flowers of the dead;
Where dark Persephone the winter round,
Uncomforted for home, uncomforted,
Lacking a sunny southern slope in northern Sicily,
With sullen pupils focussed on a dream,
Stares on the stagnant stream
That moats the unequivocable battlements of Hell,
There, there will she be found,
She that is Beauty veiled from men and Music in a swound."
"I long for Silence as they long for breath
Whose helpless nostrils drink the bitter sea;
What thing can be
So stout, what so redoubtable, in Death
What fury, what considerable rage, if only she,
Upon whose icy breast,
Unquestioned, uncaressed,
One time I lay,
And whom always I lack,
Even to this day,
Being by no means from that frigid bosom weaned away,
If only she therewith be given me back?"
I sought her down that dolorous labyrinth,
Wherein no shaft of sunlight ever fell,
And in among the bloodless everywhere
I sought her, but the air,
Breathed many times and spent,
Was fretful with a whispering discontent,
94
And questioning me, importuning me to tell
Some slightest tidings of the light of day they know no more,
Plucking my sleeve, the eager shades were with me where I went.
I paused at every grievous door,
And harked a moment, holding up my hand,—and for a space
A hush was on them, while they watched my face;
And then they fell a-whispering as before;
So that I smiled at them and left them, seeing she was not there.
I sought her, too,
Among the upper gods, although I knew
She was not like to be where feasting is,
Nor near to Heaven's lord,
Being a thing abhorred
And shunned of him, although a child of his,
(Not yours, not yours; to you she owes not breath,
Mother of Song, being sown of Zeus upon a dream of Death).
Fearing to pass unvisited some place
And later learn, too late, how all the while,
With her still face,
She had been standing there and seen me pass, without a smile,
I sought her even to the sagging board whereat
The stout immortals sat;
But such a laughter shook the mighty hall
No one could hear me say:
Had she been seen upon the Hill that day?
And no one knew at all
How long I stood, or when at last I sighed and went away.
There is a garden lying in a lull
Between the mountains and the mountainous sea,
I know not where, but which a dream diurnal
Paints on my lids a moment till the hull
Be lifted from the kernel
And Slumber fed to me.
Your foot-print is not there, Mnemosene,
Though it would seem a ruined place and after
Your lichenous heart, being full
Of broken columns, caryatides
Thrown to the earth and fallen forward on their jointless knees,
And urns funereal altered into dust
Minuter than the ashes of the dead,
And Psyche's lamp out of the earth up-thrust,
95
Dripping itself in marble wax on what was once the bed
Of Love, and his young body asleep, but now is dust instead.
There twists the bitter-sweet, the white wisteria Fastens its fingers in the
strangling wall,
And the wide crannies quicken with bright weeds;
There dumbly like a worm all day the still white orchid feeds;
But never an echo of your daughters' laughter
Is there, nor any sign of you at all
Swells fungous from the rotten bough, grey mother of Pieria!
Only her shadow once upon a stone
I saw,—and, lo, the shadow and the garden, too, were gone.
I tell you you have done her body an ill,
You chatterers, you noisy crew!
She is not anywhere!
I sought her in deep Hell;
And through the world as well;
I thought of Heaven and I sought her there;
Above nor under ground
Is Silence to be found,
That was the very warp and woof of you,
Lovely before your songs began and after they were through!
Oh, say if on this hill
Somewhere your sister's body lies in death,
So I may follow there, and make a wreath
Of my locked hands, that on her quiet breast
Shall lie till age has withered them!
(Ah, sweetly from the rest
I see
Turn and consider me
Compassionate Euterpe!)
"There is a gate beyond the gate of Death,
Beyond the gate of everlasting Life,
Beyond the gates of Heaven and Hell," she saith,
"Whereon but to believe is horror!
Whereon to meditate engendereth
Even in deathless spirits such as I
A tumult in the breath,
96
A chilling of the inexhaustible blood
Even in my veins that never will be dry,
And in the austere, divine monotony
That is my being, the madness of an unaccustomed mood.
This is her province whom you lack and seek;
And seek her not elsewhere.
Hell is a thoroughfare
For pilgrims,—Herakles,
And he that loved Euridice too well,
Have walked therein; and many more than these;
And witnessed the desire and the despair
Of souls that passed reluctantly and sicken for the air;
You, too, have entered Hell,
And issued thence; but thence whereof I speak
None has returned;—for thither fury brings
Only the driven ghosts of them that flee before all things.
Oblivion is the name of this abode: and she is there."
Oh, radiant Song! Oh, gracious Memory!
Be long upon this height
I shall not climb again!
I know the way you mean,—the little night,
And the long empty day,—never to see
Again the angry light,
Or hear the hungry noises cry my brain!
Ah, but she,
Your other sister and my other soul,
She shall again be mine;
And I shall drink her from a silver bowl,
A chilly thin green wine,
Not bitter to the taste,
Not sweet,
Not of your press, oh, restless, clamorous nine,—
To foam beneath the frantic hoofs of mirth—
But savoring faintly of the acid earth,
And trod by pensive feet
From perfect clusters ripened without haste
Out of the urgent heat
In some clear glimmering vaulted twilight under the odorous vine
. Lift up your lyres! Sing on!
97
But as for me, I seek your sister whither she is gone.
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay,
602:See you the towers, that, gray and old,
Frown through the sunlight's liquid gold,
Steep sternly fronting steep?
The Hellespont beneath them swells,
And roaring cleaves the Dardanelles,
The rock-gates of the deep!
Hear you the sea, whose stormy wave,
From Asia, Europe clove in thunder?
That sea which rent a world, cannot
Rend love from love asunder!

In Hero's, in Leander's heart,
Thrills the sweet anguish of the dart
Whose feather flies from love.
All Hebe's bloom in Hero's cheek
And his the hunter's steps that seek
Delight, the hills above!
Between their sires the rival feud
Forbids their plighted hearts to meet;
Love's fruits hang over danger's gulf,
By danger made more sweet.

Alone on Sestos' rocky tower,
Where upward sent in stormy shower,
The whirling waters foam,
Alone the maiden sits, and eyes
The cliffs of fair Abydos rise
Afarher lover's home.
Oh, safely thrown from strand to strand,
No bridge can love to love convey;
No boatman shoots from yonder shore,
Yet Love has found the way.

That love, which could the labyrinth pierce
Which nerves the weak, and curbs the fierce,
And wings with wit the dull;
That love which o'er the furrowed land
Bowedtame beneath young Jason's hand
The fiery-snorting bull!
Yes, Styx itself, that ninefold flows,
Has love, the fearless, ventured o'er,
And back to daylight borne the bride,
From Pluto's dreary shore!

What marvel then that wind and wave,
Leander doth but burn to brave,
When love, that goads him, guides!
Still when the day, with fainter glimmer,
Wanes palehe leaps, the daring swimmer,
Amid the darkening tides;
With lusty arms he cleaves the waves,
And strikes for that dear strand afar;
Where high from Hero's lonely tower
Lone streams the beacon-star.

In vain his blood the wave may chill,
These tender arms can warm it still
And, weary if the way,
By many a sweet embrace, above
All earthly boonscan liberal love
The lover's toil repay,
Until Aurora breaks the dream,
And warns the loiterer to depart
Back to the ocean's icy bed,
Scared from that loving heart.

So thirty suns have sped their flight
Still in that theft of sweet delight
Exult the happy pair;
Caress will never pall caress,
And joys that gods might envy, bless
The single bride-night there.
Ah! never he has rapture known,
Who has not, where the waves are driven
Upon the fearful shores of hell,
Plucked fruits that taste of heaven!

Now changing in their season are,
The morning and the Hesper star;
Nor see those happy eyes
The leaves that withering droop and fall,
Nor hear, when, from its northern hall,
The neighboring winter sighs;
Or, if they see, the shortening days
But seem to them to close in kindness;
For longer joys, in lengthening nights,
They thank the heaven in blindness.

It is the time, when night and day,
In equal scales contend for sway
Lone, on her rocky steep,
Lingers the girl with wistful eyes
That watch the sun-steeds down the skies,
Careering towards the deep.
Lulled lay the smooth and silent sea,
A mirror in translucent calm,
The breeze, along that crystal realm,
Unmurmuring, died in balm.

In wanton swarms and blithe array,
The merry dolphins glide and play
Amid the silver waves.
In gray and dusky troops are seen,
The hosts that serve the ocean-queen,
Upborne from coral caves:
Theyonly theyhave witnessed love
To rapture steal its secret way:
And Hecate [36] seals the only lips
That could the tale betray!

She marks in joy the lulled water,
And Sestos, thus thy tender daughter,
Soft-flattering, woos the sea!
"Fair godand canst thou then betray?
No! falsehood dwells with them that say
That falsehood dwells with thee!
Ah! faithless is the race of man,
And harsh a father's heart can prove;
But thee, the gentle and the mild,
The grief of love can move!"

"Within these hated walls of stone,
Should I, repining, mourn alone,
And fade in ceaseless care,
But thou, though o'er thy giant tide,
Nor bridge may span, nor boat may glide,
Dost safe my lover bear.
And darksome is thy solemn deep,
And fearful is thy roaring wave;
But wave and deep are won by love
Thou smilest on the brave!"

"Nor vainly, sovereign of the sea,
Did Eros send his shafts to thee
What time the rain of gold,
Bright Helle, with her brother bore,
How stirred the waves she wandered o'er,
How stirred thy deeps of old!
Swift, by the maiden's charms subdued,
Thou cam'st from out the gloomy waves,
And in thy mighty arms, she sank
Into thy bridal caves."

"A goddess with a god, to keep
In endless youth, beneath the deep,
Her solemn ocean-court!
And still she smooths thine angry tides,
Tames thy wild heart, and favoring guides
The sailor to the port!
Beautiful Helle, bright one, hear
Thy lone adoring suppliant pray!
And guide, O goddessguide my love
Along the wonted way!"

Now twilight dims the waters' flow,
And from the tower, the beacon's glow
Waves flickering o'er the main.
Ah, where athwart the dismal stream,
Shall shine the beacon's faithful beam
The lover's eyes shall strain!
Hark! sounds moan threatening from afar
From heaven the blessed stars are gone
More darkly swells the rising sea
The tempest labors on!

Along the ocean's boundless plains
Lies nightin torrents rush the rains
From the dark-bosomed cloud
Red lightning skirs the panting air,
And, loosed from out their rocky lair,
Sweep all the storms abroad.
Huge wave on huge wave tumbling o'er,
The yawning gulf is rent asunder,
And shows, as through an opening pall,
Grim earththe ocean under!

Poor maiden! bootless wail or vow
"Have mercy, Jovebe gracious, thou!
Dread prayer was mine before!"
What if the gods have heardand he,
Lone victim of the stormy sea,
Now struggles to the shore!
There's not a sea-bird on the wave
Their hurrying wings the shelter seek;
The stoutest ship the storms have proved,
Takes refuge in the creek.

"Ah, still that heart, which oft has braved
The danger where the daring saved,
Love lureth o'er the sea;
For many a vow at parting morn,
That naught but death should bar return,
Breathed those dear lips to me;
And whirled around, the while I weep,
Amid the storm that rides the wave,
The giant gulf is grasping down
The rash one to the grave!

"False Pontus! and the calm I hailed,
The awaiting murder darkly veiled
The lulled pellucid flow,
The smiles in which thou wert arrayed,
Were but the snares that love betrayed
To thy false realm below!
Now in the midway of the main,
Return relentlessly forbidden,
Thou loosenest on the path beyond
The horrors thou hadst hidden."

Loud and more loud the tempest raves
In thunder break the mountain waves,
White-foaming on the rock
No ship that ever swept the deep
Its ribs of gnarled oak could keep
Unshattered by the shock.
Dies in the blast the guiding torch
To light the struggler to the strand;
'Tis death to battle with the wave,
And death no less to land!

On Venus, daughter of the seas,
She calls the tempest to appease
To each wild-shrieking wind
Along the ocean-desert borne,
She vows a steer with golden horn
Vain vowrelentless wind!
On every goddess of the deep,
On all the gods in heaven that be,
She callsto soothe in calm, awhile
The tempest-laden sea!

"Hearken the anguish of my cries!
From thy green halls, arisearise,
Leucothoe the divine!
Who, in the barren main afar,
Oft on the storm-beat mariner
Dost gently-saving shine.
Oh,reach to him thy mystic veil,
To which the drowning clasp may cling,
And safely from that roaring grave,
To shore my lover bring!"

And now the savage winds are hushing.
And o'er the arched horizon, blushing,
Day's chariot gleams on high!
Back to their wonted channels rolled,
In crystal calm the waves behold
One smile on sea and sky!
All softly breaks the rippling tide,
Low-murmuring on the rocky land,
And playful wavelets gently float
A corpse upon the strand!

'Tis he!who even in death would still
Not fail the sweet vow to fulfil;
She looksseesknows him there!
From her pale lips no sorrow speaks,
No tears glide down her hueless cheeks;
Cold-numbed in her despair
She looked along the silent deep,
She looked upon the brightening heaven,
Till to the marble face the soul
Its light sublime had given!

"Ye solemn powers men shrink to name,
Your might is here, your rights ye claim
Yet think not I repine
Soon closed my course; yet I can bless
The life that brought me happiness
The fairest lot was mine!
Living have I thy temple served,
Thy consecrated priestess been
My last glad offering now receive
Venus, thou mightiest queen!"

Flashed the white robe along the air,
And from the tower that beetled there
She sprang into the wave;
Roused from his throne beneath the waste,
Those holy forms the god embraced
A god himself their grave!
Pleased with his prey, he glides along
More blithe the murmured music seems,
A gush from unexhausted urns
His everlasting streams!

~ Friedrich Schiller, Hero And Leander
,
603:'Thus do the generations of the earth
Go to the grave and issue from the womb,
Surviving still the imperishable change
That renovates the world; even as the leaves
Which the keen frost-wind of the waning year
Has scattered on the forest-soil and heaped
For many seasons therethough long they choke,
Loading with loathsome rottenness the land,
All germs of promise, yet when the tall trees
From which they fell, shorn of their lovely shapes,
Lie level with the earth to moulder there,
They fertilize the land they long deformed;
Till from the breathing lawn a forest springs
Of youth, integrity and loveliness,
Like that which gave it life, to spring and die.
Thus suicidal selfishness, that blights
The fairest feelings of the opening heart,
Is destined to decay, whilst from the soil
Shall spring all virtue, all delight, all love,
And judgment cease to wage unnatural war
With passion's unsubduable array.
Twin-sister of Religion, Selfishness!
Rival in crime and falsehood, aping all
The wanton horrors of her bloody play;
Yet frozen, unimpassioned, spiritless,
Shunning the light, and owning not its name,
Compelled by its deformity to screen
With flimsy veil of justice and of right
Its unattractive lineaments that scare
All save the brood of ignorance; at once
The cause and the effect of tyranny;
Unblushing, hardened, sensual and vile;
Dead to all love but of its abjectness;
With heart impassive by more noble powers
Than unshared pleasure, sordid gain, or fame;
Despising its own miserable being,
Which still it longs, yet fears, to disenthrall.

'Hence commerce springs, the venal interchange
Of all that human art or Nature yield;
Which wealth should purchase not, but want demand,
And natural kindness hasten to supply
From the full fountain of its boundless love,
Forever stifled, drained and tainted now.
Commerce! beneath whose poison-breathing shade
No solitary virtue dares to spring,
But poverty and wealth with equal hand
Scatter their withering curses, and unfold
The doors of premature and violent death
To pining famine and full-fed disease,
To all that shares the lot of human life,
Which, poisoned body and soul, scarce drags the chain
That lengthens as it goes and clanks behind.

'Commerce has set the mark of selfishness,
The signet of its all-enslaving power,
Upon a shining ore, and called it gold;
Before whose image bow the vulgar great,
The vainly rich, the miserable proud,
The mob of peasants, nobles, priests and kings,
And with blind feelings reverence the power
That grinds them to the dust of misery.
But in the temple of their hireling hearts
Gold is a living god and rules in scorn
All earthly things but virtue.

'Since tyrants by the sale of human life
Heap luxuries to their sensualism, and fame
To their wide-wasting and insatiate pride,
Success has sanctioned to a credulous world
The ruin, the disgrace, the woe of war.
His hosts of blind and unresisting dupes
The despot numbers; from his cabinet
These puppets of his schemes he moves at will,
Even as the slaves by force or famine driven,
Beneath a vulgar master, to perform
A task of cold and brutal drudgery;
Hardened to hope, insensible to fear,
Scarce living pulleys of a dead machine,
Mere wheels of work and articles of trade,
That grace the proud and noisy pomp of wealth!

'The harmony and happiness of man
Yields to the wealth of nations; that which lifts
His nature to the heaven of its pride,
Is bartered for the poison of his soul;
The weight that drags to earth his towering hopes,
Blighting all prospect but of selfish gain,
Withering all passion but of slavish fear,
Extinguishing all free and generous love
Of enterprise and daring, even the pulse
That fancy kindles in the beating heart
To mingle with sensation, it destroys,
Leaves nothing but the sordid lust of self,
The grovelling hope of interest and gold,
Unqualified, unmingled, unredeemed
Even by hypocrisy.

           And statesmen boast
Of wealth! The wordy eloquence that lives
After the ruin of their hearts, can gild
The bitter poison of a nation's woe;
Can turn the worship of the servile mob
To their corrupt and glaring idol, fame,
From virtue, trampled by its iron tread,
Although its dazzling pedestal be raised
Amid the horrors of a limb-strewn field,
With desolated dwellings smoking round.
The man of ease, who, by his warm fireside,
To deeds of charitable intercourse
And bare fulfilment of the common laws
Of decency and prejudice confines
The struggling nature of his human heart,
Is duped by their cold sophistry; he sheds
A passing tear perchance upon the wreck
Of earthly peace, when near his dwelling's door
The frightful waves are driven,when his son
Is murdered by the tyrant, or religion
Drives his wife raving mad. But the poor man
Whose life is misery, and fear and care;
Whom the morn wakens but to fruitless toil;
Who ever hears his famished offspring's scream;
Whom their pale mother's uncomplaining gaze
Forever meets, and the proud rich man's eye
Flashing command, and the heart-breaking scene
Of thousands like himself;he little heeds
The rhetoric of tyranny; his hate
Is quenchless as his wrongs; he laughs to scorn
The vain and bitter mockery of words,
Feeling the horror of the tyrant's deeds,
And unrestrained but by the arm of power,
That knows and dreads his enmity.

'The iron rod of penury still compels
Her wretched slave to bow the knee to wealth,
And poison, with unprofitable toil,
A life too void of solace to confirm
The very chains that bind him to his doom.
Nature, impartial in munificence,
Has gifted man with all-subduing will.
Matter, with all its transitory shapes,
Lies subjected and plastic at his feet,
That, weak from bondage, tremble as they tread.
How many a rustic Milton has passed by,
Stifling the speechless longings of his heart,
In unremitting drudgery and care!
How many a vulgar Cato has compelled
His energies, no longer tameless then,
To mould a pin or fabricate a nail!
How many a Newton, to whose passive ken
Those mighty spheres that gem infinity
Were only specks of tinsel fixed in heaven
To light the midnights of his native town!

'Yet every heart contains perfection's germ.
The wisest of the sages of the earth,
That ever from the stores of reason drew
Science and truth, and virtue's dreadless tone,
Were but a weak and inexperienced boy,
Proud, sensual, unimpassioned, unimbued
With pure desire and universal love,
Compared to that high being, of cloudless brain,
Untainted passion, elevated will,
Which death (who even would linger long in awe
Within his noble presence and beneath
His changeless eye-beam) might alone subdue.
Him, every slave now dragging through the filth
Of some corrupted city his sad life,
Pining with famine, swoln with luxury,
Blunting the keenness of his spiritual sense
With narrow schemings and unworthy cares,
Or madly rushing through all violent crime
To move the deep stagnation of his soul,
Might imitate and equal.

              But mean lust
Has bound its chains so tight about the earth
That all within it but the virtuous man
Is venal; gold or fame will surely reach
The price prefixed by Selfishness to all
But him of resolute and unchanging will;
Whom nor the plaudits of a servile crowd,
Nor the vile joys of tainting luxury,
Can bribe to yield his elevated soul
To Tyranny or Falsehood, though they wield
With blood-red hand the sceptre of the world.

'All things are sold: the very light of heaven
Is venal; earth's unsparing gifts of love,
The smallest and most despicable things
That lurk in the abysses of the deep,
All objects of our life, even life itself,
And the poor pittance which the laws allow
Of liberty, the fellowship of man,
Those duties which his heart of human love
Should urge him to perform instinctively,
Are bought and sold as in a public mart
Of undisguising Selfishness, that sets
On each its price, the stamp-mark of her reign.
Even love is sold; the solace of all woe
Is turned to deadliest agony, old age
Shivers in selfish beauty's loathing arms,
And youth's corrupted impulses prepare
A life of horror from the blighting bane
Of commerce; whilst the pestilence that springs
From unenjoying sensualism, has filled
All human life with hydra-headed woes.

'Falsehood demands but gold to pay the pangs
Of outraged conscience; for the slavish priest
Sets no great value on his hireling faith;
A little passing pomp, some servile souls,
Whom cowardice itself might safely chain
Or the spare mite of avarice could bribe
To deck the triumph of their languid zeal,
Can make him minister to tyranny.
More daring crime requires a loftier meed.
Without a shudder the slave-soldier lends
His arm to murderous deeds, and steels his heart,
When the dread eloquence of dying men,
Low mingling on the lonely field of fame,
Assails that nature whose applause he sells
For the gross blessings of the patriot mob,
For the vile gratitude of heartless kings,
And for a cold world's good word,viler still!

'There is a nobler glory which survives
Until our being fades, and, solacing
All human care, accompanies its change;
Deserts not virtue in the dungeon's gloom,
And in the precincts of the palace guides
Its footsteps through that labyrinth of crime;
Imbues his lineaments with dauntlessness,
Even when from power's avenging hand he takes
Its sweetest, last and noblest titledeath;
The consciousness of good, which neither gold,
Nor sordid fame, nor hope of heavenly bliss,
Can purchase; but a life of resolute good,
Unalterable will, quenchless desire
Of universal happiness, the heart
That beats with it in unison, the brain
Whose ever-wakeful wisdom toils to change
Reason's rich stores for its eternal weal.
'This commerce of sincerest virtue needs
No meditative signs of selfishness,
No jealous intercourse of wretched gain,
No balancings of prudence, cold and long;
In just and equal measure all is weighed,
One scale contains the sum of human weal,
And one, the good man's heart.

                 How vainly seek
The selfish for that happiness denied
To aught but virtue! Blind and hardened, they,
Who hope for peace amid the storms of care,
Who covet power they know not how to use,
And sigh for pleasure they refuse to give,
Madly they frustrate still their own designs;
And, where they hope that quiet to enjoy
Which virtue pictures, bitterness of soul,
Pining regrets, and vain repentances,
Disease, disgust and lassitude pervade
Their valueless and miserable lives.

'But hoary-headed selfishness has felt
Its death-blow and is tottering to the grave;
A brighter morn awaits the human day,
When every transfer of earth's natural gifts
Shall be a commerce of good words and works;
When poverty and wealth, the thirst of fame,
The fear of infamy, disease and woe,
War with its million horrors, and fierce hell,
Shall live but in the memory of time,
Who, like a penitent libertine, shall start,
Look back, and shudder at his younger years.'



~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab - Part V.
,
604:Amen
It is over. What is over?
Nay, now much is over truly!—
Harvest days we toiled to sow for;
Now the sheaves are gathered newly,
Now the wheat is garnered duly.
It is finished. What is finished?
Much is finished known or unknown:
Lives are finished; time diminished;
Was the fallow field left unsown?
Will these buds be always unblown?
It suffices. What suffices?
All suffices reckoned rightly:
Spring shall bloom where now the ice is,
Roses make the bramble sightly,
And the quickening sun shine brightly,
And the latter wind blow lightly,
And my garden teem with spices.
Maiden-Song
Long ago and long ago,
And long ago still,
There dwelt three merry maidens
Upon a distant hill.
One was tall Meggan,
And one was dainty May,
But one was fair Margaret,
More fair than I can say,
Long ago and long ago.
When Meggan plucked the thorny rose,
And when May pulled the brier,
Half the birds would swoop to see,
Half the beasts draw nigher;
Half the fishes of the streams
Would dart up to admire:
But when Margaret plucked a flag-flower,
Or poppy hot aflame,
71
All the beasts and all the birds
And all the fishes came
To her hand more soft than snow.
Strawberry leaves and May-dew
In brisk morning air,
Strawberry leaves and May-dew
Make maidens fair.
'I go for strawberry leaves,'
Meggan said one day:
'Fair Margaret can bide at home,
But you come with me, May;
Up the hill and down the hill,
Along the winding way
You and I are used to go.'
So these two fair sisters
Went with innocent will
Up the hill and down again,
And round the homestead hill:
While the fairest sat at home,
Margaret like a queen,
Like a blush-rose, like the moon
In her heavenly sheen,
Fragrant-breathed as milky cow
Or field of blossoming bean,
Graceful as an ivy bough
Born to cling and lean;
Thus she sat to sing and sew.
When she raised her lustrous eyes
A beast peeped at the door;
When she downward cast her eyes
A fish gasped on the floor;
When she turned away her eyes
A bird perched on the sill,
Warbling out its heart of love,
Warbling warbling still,
With pathetic pleadings low.
Light-foot May with Meggan
Sought the choicest spot,
72
Clothed with thyme-alternate grass:
Then, while day waxed hot,
Sat at ease to play and rest,
A gracious rest and play;
The loveliest maidens near or far,
When Margaret was away,
Who sat at home to sing and sew.
Sun-glow flushed their comely cheeks,
Wind-play tossed their hair,
Creeping things among the grass
Stroked them here and there;
Meggan piped a merry note,
A fitful wayward lay,
While shrill as bird on topmost twig
Piped merry May;
Honey-smooth the double flow.
Sped a herdsman from the vale,
Mounting like a flame,
All on fire to hear and see,
With floating locks he came.
Looked neither north nor south,
Neither east nor west,
But sat him down at Meggan's feet
As love-bird on his nest,
And wooed her with a silent awe,
With trouble not expressed;
She sang the tears into his eyes,
The heart out of his breast:
So he loved her, listening so.
She sang the heart out of his breast,
The words out of his tongue;
Hand and foot and pulse he paused
Till her song was sung.
Then he spoke up from his place
Simple words and true:
'Scanty goods have I to give,
Scanty skill to woo;
But I have a will to work,
And a heart for you:
73
Bid me stay or bid me go.'
Then Meggan mused within herself:
'Better be first with him,
Than dwell where fairer Margaret sits,
Who shines my brightness dim,
For ever second where she sits,
However fair I be:
I will be lady of his love,
And he shall worship me;
I will be lady of his herds
And stoop to his degree,
At home where kids and fatlings grow.'
Sped a shepherd from the height
Headlong down to look,
(White lambs followed, lured by love
Of their shepherd's crook):
He turned neither east nor west,
Neither north nor south,
But knelt right down to May, for love
Of her sweet-singing mouth;
Forgot his flocks, his panting flocks
In parching hill-side drouth;
Forgot himself for weal or woe.
Trilled her song and swelled her song
With maiden coy caprice
In a labyrinth of throbs,
Pauses, cadences;
Clear-noted as a dropping brook,
Soft-noted like the bees,
Wild-noted as the shivering wind
Forlorn through forest trees:
Love-noted like the wood-pigeon
Who hides herself for love,
Yet cannot keep her secret safe,
But coos and coos thereof:
Thus the notes rang loud or low.
He hung breathless on her breath;
Speechless, who listened well;
74
Could not speak or think or wish
Till silence broke the spell.
Then he spoke, and spread his hands,
Pointing here and there:
'See my sheep and see the lambs,
Twin lambs which they bare.
All myself I offer you,
All my flocks and care,
Your sweet song hath moved me so.'
In her fluttered heart young May
Mused a dubious while:
'If he loves me as he says'—
Her lips curved with a smile:
'Where Margaret shines like the sun
I shine but like a moon;
If sister Meggan makes her choice
I can make mine as soon;
At cockcrow we were sister-maids,
We may be brides at noon.'
Said Meggan, 'Yes;' May said not 'No.'
Fair Margaret stayed alone at home,
Awhile she sang her song,
Awhile sat silent, then she thought:
'My sisters loiter long.'
That sultry noon had waned away,
Shadows had waxen great:
'Surely,' she thought within herself,
'My sisters loiter late.'
She rose, and peered out at the door,
With patient heart to wait,
And heard a distant nightingale
Complaining of its mate;
Then down the garden slope she walked,
Down to the garden gate,
Leaned on the rail and waited so.
The slope was lightened by her eyes
Like summer lightning fair,
Like rising of the haloed moon
Lightened her glimmering hair,
75
While her face lightened like the sun
Whose dawn is rosy white.
Thus crowned with maiden majesty
She peered into the night,
Looked up the hill and down the hill,
To left hand and to right,
Flashing like fire-flies to and fro.
Waiting thus in weariness
She marked the nightingale
Telling, if any one would heed,
Its old complaining tale.
Then lifted she her voice and sang,
Answering the bird:
Then lifted she her voice and sang,
Such notes were never heard
From any bird when Spring's in blow.
The king of all that country
Coursing far, coursing near,
Curbed his amber-bitted steed,
Coursed amain to hear;
All his princes in his train,
Squire, and knight, and peer,
With his crown upon his head,
His sceptre in his hand,
Down he fell at Margaret's knees
Lord king of all that land,
To her highness bending low.
Every beast and bird and fish
Came mustering to the sound,
Every man and every maid
From miles of country round:
Meggan on her herdsman's arm,
With her shepherd May,
Flocks and herds trooped at their heels
Along the hill-side way;
No foot too feeble for the ascent,
Not any head too grey;
Some were swift and none were slow.
76
So Margaret sang her sisters home
In their marriage mirth;
Sang free birds out of the sky,
Beasts along the earth,
Sang up fishes of the deep—
All breathing things that move
Sang from far and sang from near
To her lovely love;
Sang together friend and foe;
Sang a golden-bearded king
Straightway to her feet,
Sang him silent where he knelt
In eager anguish sweet.
But when the clear voice died away,
When longest echoes died,
He stood up like a royal man
And claimed her for his bride.
So three maids were wooed and won
In a brief May-tide,
Long ago and long ago.
JESSIE CAMERON
'Jessie, Jessie Cameron,
Hear me but this once,' quoth he.
'Good luck go with you, neighbor's son,
But I'm no mate for you,' quoth she.
Day was verging toward the night
There beside the moaning sea,
Dimness overtook the light
There where the breakers be.
'O Jessie, Jessie Cameron,
I have loved you long and true.'—
'Good luck go with you, neighbor's son,
But I'm no mate for you.'
She was a careless, fearless girl,
And made her answer plain,
Outspoken she to earl or churl,
Kindhearted in the main,
But somewhat heedless with her tongue,
And apt at causing pain;
77
A mirthful maiden she and young,
Most fair for bliss or bane.
'Oh, long ago I told you so,
I tell you so to-day:
Go you your way, and let me go
Just my own free way.'
The sea swept in with moan and foam,
Quickening the stretch of sand;
They stood almost in sight of home;
He strove to take her hand.
'Oh, can't you take your answer then,
And won't you understand?
For me you're not the man of men,
I've other plans are planned.
You're good for Madge, or good for Cis,
Or good for Kate, may be:
But what's to me the good of this
While you're not good for me?'
They stood together on the beach,
They two alone,
And louder waxed his urgent speech,
His patience almost gone:
'Oh, say but one kind word to me,
Jessie, Jessie Cameron.'—
'I'd be too proud to beg,' quoth she,
And pride was in her tone.
And pride was in her lifted head,
And in her angry eye
And in her foot, which might have fled,
But would not fly.
Some say that he had gipsy blood;
That in his heart was guile:
Yet he had gone through fire and flood
Only to win her smile.
Some say his grandam was a witch,
A black witch from beyond the Nile,
Who kept an image in a niche
And talked with it the while.
And by her hut far down the lane
78
Some say they would not pass at night,
Lest they should hear an unked strain
Or see an unked sight.
Alas, for Jessie Cameron!—
The sea crept moaning, moaning nigher:
She should have hastened to begone,—
The sea swept higher, breaking by her:
She should have hastened to her home
While yet the west was flushed with fire,
But now her feet are in the foam,
The sea-foam, sweeping higher.
O mother, linger at your door,
And light your lamp to make it plain,
But Jessie she comes home no more,
No more again.
They stood together on the strand,
They only, each by each;
Home, her home, was close at hand,
Utterly out of reach.
Her mother in the chimney nook
Heard a startled sea-gull screech,
But never turned her head to look
Towards the darkening beach:
Neighbours here and neighbours there
Heard one scream, as if a bird
Shrilly screaming cleft the air:—
That was all they heard.
Jessie she comes home no more,
Comes home never;
Her lover's step sounds at his door
No more forever.
And boats may search upon the sea
And search along the river,
But none know where the bodies be:
Sea-winds that shiver,
Sea-birds that breast the blast,
Sea-waves swelling,
Keep the secret first and last
Of their dwelling.
79
Whether the tide so hemmed them round
With its pitiless flow,
That when they would have gone they found
No way to go;
Whether she scorned him to the last
With words flung to and fro,
Or clung to him when hope was past,
None will ever know:
Whether he helped or hindered her,
Threw up his life or lost it well,
The troubled sea, for all its stir
Finds no voice to tell.
Only watchers by the dying
Have thought they heard one pray
Wordless, urgent; and replying
One seem to say him nay:
And watchers by the dead have heard
A windy swell from miles away,
With sobs and screams, but not a word
Distinct for them to say:
And watchers out at sea have caught
Glimpse of a pale gleam here or there,
Come and gone as quick as thought,
Which might be hand or hair.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti,
605:Many a green isle needs must be
In the deep wide sea of Misery,
Or the mariner, worn and wan,
Never thus could voyage on -
Day and night, and night and day,
Drifting on his dreary way,
With the solid darkness black
Closing round his vessel's track:
Whilst above the sunless sky,
Big with clouds, hangs heavily,
And behind the tempest fleet
Hurries on with lightning feet,

He is ever drifted on
O'er the unreposing wave
To the haven of the grave.
What, if there no friends will greet;
What, if there no heart will meet
His with love's impatient beat;
Wander wheresoe'er he may,
Can he dream before that day
To find refuge from distress
In friendship's smile, in love's caress?
Then 'twill wreak him little woe
Whether such there be or no:
Senseless is the breast, and cold,
Which relenting love would fold;
Bloodless are the veins and chill
Which the pulse of pain did fill;
Every little living nerve
That from bitter words did swerve
Round the tortured lips and brow,
Are like sapless leaflets now
Frozen upon December's bough.

On the beach of a northern sea
Which tempests shake eternally,
As once the wretch there lay to sleep,
Lies a solitary heap,
One white skull and seven dry bones,
On the margin of the stones,
Where a few grey rushes stand,
Boundaries of the sea and land:
Nor is heard one voice of wail
But the sea-mews, as they sail
O'er the billows of the gale;
Or the whirlwind up and down
Howling, like a slaughtered town,
When a king in glory rides
Through the pomp and fratricides:
Those unburied bones around
There is many a mournful sound;
There is no lament for him,
Like a sunless vapour, dim,
Who once clothed with life and thought
What now moves nor murmurs not.

Ay, many flowering islands lie
In the waters of wide Agony:
To such a one this morn was led,
My bark by soft winds piloted:
'Mid the mountains Euganean
I stood listening to the paean
With which the legioned rooks did hail
The sun's uprise majestical;
Gathering round with wings all hoar,
Through the dewy mist they soar
Like gray shades, till the eastern heaven
Bursts, and then, as clouds of even,
Flecked with fire and azure, lie
In the unfathomable sky,
So their plumes of purple grain,
Starred with drops of golden rain,
Gleam above the sunlight woods,
As in silent multitudes
On the morning's fitful gale
Through the broken mist they sail,
And the vapours cloven and gleaming
Follow, down the dark steep streaming,
Till all is bright, and clear, and still,
Round the solitary hill.

Beneath is spread like a green sea
The waveless plain of Lombardy,
Bounded by the vaporous air,
Islanded by cities fair;
Underneath Day's azure eyes
Ocean's nursling, Venice, lies,
A peopled labyrinth of walls,
Amphitrite's destined halls,
Which her hoary sire now paves
With his blue and beaming waves.
Lo! the sun upsprings behind,
Broad, red, radiant, half-reclined
On the level quivering line
Of the waters crystalline;
And before that chasm of light,
As within a furnace bright,
Column, tower, and dome, and spire,
Shine like obelisks of fire,
Pointing with inconstant motion
From the altar of dark ocean
To the sapphire-tinted skies;
As the flames of sacrifice
From the marble shrines did rise,
As to pierce the dome of gold
Where Apollo spoke of old.

Sea-girt City, thou hast been
Ocean's child, and then his queen;
Now is come a darker day,
And thou soon must be his prey,
If the power that raised thee here
Hallow so thy watery bier.
A less drear ruin then than now,
With thy conquest-branded brow
Stooping to the slave of slaves
From thy throne, among the waves
Wilt thou be, when the sea-mew
Flies, as once before it flew,
O'er thine isles depopulate,
And all is in its ancient state,
Save where many a palace gate
With green sea-flowers overgrown
Like a rock of Ocean's own,
Topples o'er the abandoned sea
As the tides change sullenly.
The fisher on his watery way,
Wandering at the close of day,
Will spread his sail and seize his oar
Till he pass the gloomy shore,
Lest thy dead should, from their sleep
Bursting o'er the starlight deep,
Lead a rapid masque of death
O'er the waters of his path.

Those who alone thy towers behold
Quivering through aereal gold,
As I now behold them here,
Would imagine not they were
Sepulchres, where human forms,
Like pollution-nourished worms,
To the corpse of greatness cling,
Murdered, and now mouldering:
But if Freedom should awake
In her omnipotence and shake
From the Celtic Anarch's hold
All the keys of dungeons cold,
Where a hundred cities lie
Chained like thee, ingloriously,
Thou and all thy sister band
Might adorn this sunny land,
Twining memories of old time
With new virtues more sublime;
If not, perish thou ldering:
But if Freedom should awake
In her omnipotence and shake
From the Celtic Anarch's hold
All the keys of dungeons cold,
Where a hundred cities lie
Chained like thee, ingloriously,
Thou and all thy sister band
Might adorn this sunny land,
Twining memories of old time
With new virtues more sublime;
If not, perish thou and they! -
Clouds which stain truth's rising day
By her sun consumed away -
Earth can spare ye; while like flowers,
In the waste of years and hours,
From your dust new nations spring
With more kindly blossoming.

Perish -let there only be
Floating o'er thy heartless sea
As the garment of thy sky
Clothes the world immortally,
One remembrance, more sublime
Than the tattered pall of time,
Which scarce hides thy visage wan; -
That a tempest-cleaving Swan
Of the sons of Albion,
Driven from his ancestral streams
By the might of evil dreams,
Found a nest in thee; and Ocean
Welcomed him with such emotion
That its joy grew his, and sprung
From his lips like music flung
O'er a mighty thunder-fit,
Chastening terror: -what though yet
Poesy's unfailing River,
Which through Albion winds forever
Lashing with melodious wave
Many a sacred Poet's grave,
Mourn its latest nursling fled?
What though thou with all thy dead
Scarce can for this fame repay
Aught thine own? oh, rather say
Though thy sins and slaveries foul
Overcloud a sunlike soul?
As the ghost of Homer clings
Round Scamander's wasting springs;
As divinest Shakespeare's might
Fills Avon and the world with light
Like omniscient power which he
Imaged 'mid mortality;
As the love from Petrarch's urn,
Yet amid yon hills doth burn,
A quenchless lamp by which the heart
Sees things unearthly; -so thou art,
Mighty spirit -so shall be
The City that did refuge thee.

Lo, the sun floats up the sky
Like thought-winged Liberty,
Till the universal light
Seems to level plain and height;
From the sea a mist has spread,
And the beams of morn lie dead
On the towers of Venice now,
Like its glory long ago.
By the skirts of that gray cloud
Many-domed Padua proud
Stands, a peopled solitude,
'Mid the harvest-shining plain,
Where the peasant heaps his grain
In the garner of his foe,
And the milk-white oxen slow
With the purple vintage strain,
Heaped upon the creaking wain,
That the brutal Celt may swill
Drunken sleep with savage will;
And the sickle to the sword
Lies unchanged, though many a lord,
Like a weed whose shade is poison,
Overgrows this region's foison,
Sheaves of whom are ripe to come
To destruction's harvest-home:
Men must reap the things they sow,
Force from force must ever flow,
Or worse; but 'tis a bitter woe
That love or reason cannot change
The despot's rage, the slave's revenge.

Padua, thou within whose walls
Those mute guests at festivals,
Son and Mother, Death and Sin,
Played at dice for Ezzelin,
Till Death cried, "I win, I win!"
And Sin cursed to lose the wager,
But Death promised, to assuage her,
That he would petition for
Her to be made Vice-Emperor,
When the destined years were o'er,
Over all between the Po
And the eastern Alpine snow,
Under the mighty Austrian.
She smiled so as Sin only can,
And since that time, ay, long before,
Both have ruled from shore to shore, -
That incestuous pair, who follow
Tyrants as the sun the swallow,
As Repentance follows Crime,
And as changes follow Time.

In thine halls the lamp of learning,
Padua, now no more is burning;
Like a meteor, whose wild way
Is lost over the grave of day,
It gleams betrayed and to betray:
Once remotest nations came
To adore that sacred flame,
When it lit not many a hearth
On this cold and gloomy earth:
Now new fires from antique light
Spring beneath the wide world's might;
But their spark lies dead in thee,
Trampled out by Tyranny.
As the Norway woodman quells,
In the depth of piny dells,
One light flame among the brakes,
While the boundless forest shakes,
And its mighty trunks are torn
By the fire thus lowly born:
The spark beneath his feet is dead,
He starts to see the flames it fed
Howling through the darkened sky
With a myriad tongues victoriously,
And sinks down in fear: so thou,
O Tyranny, beholdest now
Light around thee, and thou hearest
The loud flames ascend, and fearest:
Grovel on the earth; ay, hide
In the dust thy purple pride!

Noon descends around me now:
'Tis the noon of autumn's glow,
When a soft and purple mist
Like a vapourous amethyst,
Or an air-dissolved star
Mingling light and fragrance, far
From the curved horizon's bound
To the point of Heaven's profound,
Fills the overflowing sky;
And the plains that silent lie
Underneath the leaves unsodden
Where the infant Frost has trodden
With his morning-winged feet,
Whose bright print is gleaming yet;
And the red and golden vines,
Piercing with their trellised lines
The rough, dark-skirted wilderness;
The dun and bladed grass no less,
Pointing from this hoary tower
In the windless air; the flower
Glimmering at my feet; the line
Of the olive-sandalled Apennine
In the south dimly islanded;
And the Alps, whose snows are spread
High between the clouds and sun;
And of living things each one;
And my spirit which so long
Darkened this swift stream of song, -
Interpenetrated lie
By the glory of the sky:
Be it love, light, harmony,
Odour, or the soul of all
Which from Heaven like dew doth fall,
Or the mind which feeds this verse
Peopling the lone universe.

Noon descends, and after noon
Autumn's evening meets me soon,
Leading the infantine moon,
And that one star, which to her
Almost seems to minister
Half the crimson light she brings
From the sunset's radiant springs:
And the soft dreams of the morn
(Which like winged winds had borne
To that silent isle, which lies
Mid remembered agonies,
The frail bark of this lone being)
Pass, to other sufferers fleeing,
And its ancient pilot, Pain,
Sits beside the helm again.

Other flowering isles must be
In the sea of Life and Agony:
Other spirits float and flee
O'er that gulf: even now, perhaps,
On some rock the wild wave wraps,
With folded wings they waiting sit
For my bark, to pilot it
To some calm and blooming cove,
Where for me, and those I love,
May a windless bower be built,
Far from passion, pain, and guilt,
In a dell mid lawny hills,
Which the wild sea-murmur fills,
And soft sunshine, and the sound
Of old forests echoing round,
And the light and smell divine
Of all flowers that breathe and shine:
We may live so happy there,
That the Spirits of the Air,
Envying us, may even entice
To our healing Paradise
The polluting multitude;
But their rage would be subdued
By that clime divine and calm,
And the winds whose wings rain balm
On the uplifted soul, and leaves
Under which the bright sea heaves;
While each breathless interval
In their whisperings musical
The inspired soul supplies
With its own deep melodies;
And the love which heals all strife
Circling, like the breath of life,
All things in that sweet abode
With its own mild brotherhood:
They, not it, would change; and soon
Every sprite beneath the moon
Would repent its envy vain,
And the earth grow young again.
Composed at Este, October, 1818. Published with Rosalind and Helen, 1819. Amongst the late Mr. Fredk. Locker-Lampsons collections at Rowfant there is a manuscript of the lines (167-205) on Byron, interpolated after the completion of the poem.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lines Written Among The Euganean Hills
,
606: THE

(on:

THE SEVEN SEALS

YES AND AMEN SONG)

1

If I am a soothsayer and full of that soothsaying spirit
which wanders on a high ridge between two seas, wandering like a heavy cloud between past and future, an
enemy of all sultry plains and all that is weary and can
neither die nor live-in its dark bosom prepared for
lightning and the redemptive flash, pregnant with lightning bolts that say Yes and laugh Yes, soothsaying
lightning bolts-blessed is he who is thus pregnant!
And verily, long must he hang on the mountains like a
dark cloud who shall one day kindle the light of the
future: Oh, how should I not lust after eternity and
after the nuptial ring of rings, the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
2

If ever my wrath burst tombs, moved boundary
stones, and rolled old tablets, broken, into steep depths;
if ever my mockery blew moldy words into the wind,
and I came as a broom to the cross-marked spiders and
as a sweeping gust to old musty tomb chambers; if ever
I sat jubilating where old gods lie buried, world-blessing, world-loving, beside the monuments of old worldslanders-for I love even churches and tombs of gods,
once the sky gazes through their broken roofs with its
229
pure eyes, and like grass and red poppies, I love to sit
on broken churches: Oh, how should I not lust after
eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings, the ring of
recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
3

If ever one breath came to me of the creative breath
and of that heavenly need that constrains even accidents
to dance star-dances; if I ever laughed the laughter of
creative lightning which is followed obediently but
grumblingly by the long thunder of the deed; if I ever
played dice with gods at the gods' table, the earth, till
the earth quaked and burst and snorted up floods of
fire-for the earth is a table for gods and trembles with
creative new words and gods' throws: Oh, how should
I not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of
rings, the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
4

If ever I drank full drafts from that foaming spice and blend-mug in which all things are well blended; if
my hand ever poured the farthest to the nearest, and
fire to spirit, and joy to pain, and the most wicked to
the most gracious; if I myself am a grain of that redeeming salt which makes all things blend well in the
blend-mug-for there is a salt that unites good with
evil; and even the greatest evil is worthy of being used
230
as spice for the last foaming over: Oh, how should I
not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings,
the ring or recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
5

If I am fond of the sea and of all that is of the sea's
kind, and fondest when it angrily contradicts me; if that
delight in searching which drives the sails toward the
undiscovered is in me, if a seafarer's delight is in my
delight; if ever my jubilation cried, "The coast has
vanished, now the last chain has fallen from me; the
boundless roars around me, far out glisten space and
time; be of good cheer, old heart!" Oh, how should I
not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings,
the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
6
If my virtue is a dancer's virtue and I have often
jumped with both feet into golden-emerald delight; if
my sarcasm is a laughing sarcasm, at home under rose
slopes and hedges of lilies-for in laughter all that is
evil comes together, but is pronounced -holy and absolved by its own bliss; and if this is my alpha and
omega, that all that is heavy and grave should become
light; all that is body, dancer; all that is spirit, bird and verily, that is my alpha and omega: Oh, how should
231
I not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of
rings, the fing of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity
7
If ever I spread tranquil skies over myself and soared
on my own wings into my own skies; if I swam playfully in the deep light-distances, and the bird-wisdom
of my freedom came-but bird-wisdom speaks thus:
"Behold, there is no above, no below Throw yourself
around, out, back, you who are lightly Sing! Speak no
morel Are not all words made for the grave and heavy?
Are not all words lies to those who are light? Single
Speak no morel" Oh, how should I not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings, the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity

Thus Spoke Zarathustra:
Fourth and Last Part
Alas, where in the world has there been more
folly than among the pitying? And what in the
world has caused more suffering than the folly of
the pitying? Woe to all who love without having
a height that is above their pityl
232
Thus spoke the devil to me once: "God too has
his hell: that is his love of man." And most recently I heard him say this: "God is dead; God
died of his pity for man." (Zarathustra, II, p. go)
TRANSLATOR'S NOTES

Part Four was originally intended as an intermezzo, not
as the end of the book. The very appearance of a collection
of sayings is abandoned: Part Four forms a whole, and
as such represents a new stylistic experiment-as well as
a number of widely different stylistic experiments, held
together by a unity of plot and a pervasive sense of
humor.
1.

The Honey Sacrifice: Prologue. The "queer fish" are not

long in coming: the first of them appears in the next chapter.
2. The Cry of Distress: Beginning of the story that continues to the end of the book. The soothsayer of Part Two
reappears, and Zarathustra leaves in search of the higher
man. Now that he has overcome his nausea, his final
trial is: pity.
3. Conversation with the Kings: The first of seven encounters in each of which Zarathustra meets men who have
accepted some part of his teaching without, however,
embodying the type he envisages. Their revolting and tiresome flatteries might be charged to their general inadequacy. But Zarathustra's own personality, as it emerges
in chapter after chapter, poses a more serious problem. At
least in part, this is clearly due to the author's deliberate
malice: he does not want to be a "new idol": "I do not
want to be a saint, rather even a buffoon. Perhaps I am a
buffoon. And nevertheless, or rather not nevertheless-for
there has never been anybody more mendacious than
saints-truth speaks out of me" (Ecce Homo). Earlier in
the same work he says of Shakespeare: "What must a
man have suffered to have found it that necessary to be
a buffoon!" In these pages Nietzsche would resemble the
233
dramatist rather than the hagiographer, and a Shakespearean fool rather than the founder of a new cult.
4. The Leech: Encounter with "the conscientious in spirit."
5. The Magician: In the magician some of Nietzsche's
own features blend with some of Wagner's as conceived
by Nietzsche. The poem appears again in a manuscript of
a888, which bears the title "Dionysus Dithyrambs" and
the motto: "These are the songs of Zarathustra which he
sang to himself to endure his ultimate loneliness." In this
later context, the poem is entitled "Ariadne's Lament,"
and a new conclusion has been added by Nietzsche:
(Lightning.
beauty.)

Dionysus becomes

DIONYSUS:

visible in emerald

Be clever, Ariadnel

You have small ears, you have my ears:
Put a clever word into them
Must one not first hate each other
if one is to love each other?
I am your labyrinth.
The song is not reducible to a single level of meaning. The
outcry is (1) Nietzsche's own; and the unnamable, terrible
thought near the beginning is surely that of the eternal
recurrence; it is (2) projected onto Wagner, who is here
imagined as feeling desperately forsaken after Nietzsche
left him (note especially the penultimate stanza); it is
(3) wishfully projected onto Cosima Wagner-Nietzsche's
Ariadne (see my Nietzsche, i, 11)-who is here imagined as desiring and possessed by Nietzsche-Dionysus.
Part Four is all but made up of similar projections. All the
characters are caricatures of Nietzsche. And like the magician, he too would lie if he said: "'I did all this only as a
game.' There was seriousness in it too."
6. Retired: Encounter with the last pope. Reflections on
the death and inadequacies of God.
7. The Ugliest Man: The murderer of God. The sentence
beginning "Has not all success . . ." reads in German:
234
War nicht aller Erfolg fisher bei den Gut-Verfolgten? Und
wer gut verfolgt, lernt leicht folgen:-ist er doch einmalhinterherl
8. The Voluntary Beggar: A sermon on a mount-about
cows.
9. The Shadow: An allusion to Nietzsche's earlier work,
The Wanderer and His Shadow (188o).
10. At Noon: A charming intermezzo.
:i. The Welcome: Zarathustra rejects his guests, though
together they form a kind of higher man compared to their
contemporaries. He repudiates these men of great longing
and nausea as well as all those who enjoy his diatribes and
denunciations and desire recognition and consideration
for being out of tune with their time. What Nietzsche
envisages is the creator for whom all negation is merely
incidental to his great affirmation: joyous spirits, "laughing
lions."
12. The Last Supper: One of the persistent themes of Part
Four reaches its culmination in this chapter: Nietzsche not
only satirizes the Gospels, and all hagiography generally,
but he also makes fun of and laughs at himself.
13. On the Higher Man: A summary comparable to "On
Old and New Tablets" in Part Three. Section 5 epitomizes
Nietzsche's praise of "evir"-too briefly to be clear apart
from the rest of his work-and the conclusion should be
noted. The opening paragraph of section 7 takes up the
same theme: Nietzsche opposes sublimation to both license
and what he elsewhere calls "castratism." A fine epigram
is mounted in the center of section 9. The mellow moderation of the last lines of section 15 is not usually associated
with Nietzsche. And the chapter ends with a praise of
laughter.
14. The Song of Melancholy: In the 3888 manuscript of
the "Dionysus Dithyrambs" this is the first poem and it
bears the title "Only Fooll Only Poetl" The two introductory sections of this chapter help to dissociate Nietzsche
from the poem, while the subsquent references to this song
show that he considered it far more depressing than it
235
appears in its context. Though his solitude sometimes
flattered him, "On every parable you ride to every truth"
("The Return Home"), he also knew moments when he
said to himself, "I am ashamed that I must still be a poet"
("On Old and New Tablets"). Although Zarathustra's
buffooneries are certainly intended as such by the author,
the thought that he might be "only" a fool, "only" a poet
"climbing around on mendacious word bridges," made
Nietzsche feel more than despondent. Soon it led him to
abandon further attempts to ride on parables in favor of
some of the most supple prose in German literature.
15. On Science: Only the origin of science is considered.
The attempt to account for it in terms of fear goes back to
the period of The Dawn (188i), in which Nietzsche tried
to see how far he could reduce different phenomena to
fear and power. Zarathustra suggests that courage is crucial
-that is, the will to power over fear.
i6. Among Daughters of the Wilderness: Zarathustra, about
to slip out of his cave for the second time because he cannot stand the bad smell of the "higher men," is called
back by his shadow, who has nowhere among men smelled
better air-except once. In the following song Nietzsche's
buffoonery reaches its climax. But though it can and should
be read as thoroughly delightful nonsense, it is not entirely
void of personal significance. Wilste means "desert" or
"wilderness," and wdist can also mean wild and dissolute;
and the "flimsy little fan-, flutter-, and tinsel-skirts" seem
to have been suggested by the brothel to which a porter
in Cologne once took the young Nietzsche, who had asked
to be shown to a hotel. (He ran away, shocked; cf. my
Nietzsche, 3, I.) Certainly the poem is full of sexual
fantasies. But the double meaning of "date" is not present
in the original.
17. The Awakening: The titles of this and the following
chapter might well be reversed; for it is this chapter that
culminates in the ass festival, Nietzsche's version of the
Black Mass. But "the awakening' here does not refer to the
moment when an angry Moses holds his people accountable
236
for their worship of the golden calf, but to the moment
when "they have learned to laugh at themselves." In this
art, incidentally, none of the great philosophers excelled
the author of Part Four of Zarathustra.
i8. The Ass Festival: Five of the participants try to justify
themselves. The pope satirizes Catholicism (Luther was
last made fun of at the end of the song in Chapter i6),
while the conscientious in spirit develops a new theology
-and suggests that Zarathustra himself is pretty close to
being an ass.
19. The Drunken Song: Nietzsche's great hymn to joy invites comparison with Schiller's-minus Beethoven's music.
That they use different German words is the smallest difference. Schiller writes:
Suffer bravely, myriadsl
Suffer for the better world
Up above the firmament
A great God will give rewards.
Nietzsche wants the eternity of this life with all its agonies
-and seeing that it flees, its eternal recurrence. As it is expressed in sections 9, io, and 3i, the conception of the
eternal recurrence is certainly meaningful; but its formulation as a doctrine depended on Nietzsche's mistaken belief
that science compels us to accept the hypothesis of the
eternal recurrence of the same events at gigantic intervals.
(See "On the Vision and the Riddle" and "The Convalescent," both in Part Three, and, for a detailed discussion,
my Nietzsche, 11, II.)
20. The Sign: In "The Welcome," Zarathustra repudiated
the "higher men" in favor of "laughing lions." Now a lion
turns up and laughs, literally. And in place of the single
dove in the New Testament, traditionally understood as a
symbol of the Holy Ghost, we are presented with a whole
flock. Both the lion and the doves were mentioned before
("On Old and New Tablets," section 3) as the signs for
which Zarathustra must wait, and now afford Nietzsche an
237
opportunity to preserve his curious blend of myth, irony,
and hymn to the very end.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE SEVEN SEALS OR THE YES AND AMEN SONG
,
607:Love in a hut, with water and a crust,
IsLove, forgive us!cinders, ashes, dust;
Love in a palace is perhaps at last
More grievous torment than a hermits fast:
That is a doubtful tale from faery land,
Hard for the non-elect to understand.
Had Lycius livd to hand his story down,
He might have given the moral a fresh frown,
Or clenchd it quite: but too short was their bliss
To breed distrust and hate, that make the soft voice hiss.
Besides, there, nightly, with terrific glare,
Love, jealous grown of so complete a pair,
Hoverd and buzzd his wings, with fearful roar,
Above the lintel of their chamber door,
And down the passage cast a glow upon the floor.

For all this came a ruin: side by side
They were enthroned, in the even tide,
Upon a couch, near to a curtaining
Whose airy texture, from a golden string,
Floated into the room, and let appear
Unveild the summer heaven, blue and clear,
Betwixt two marble shafts:there they reposed,
Where use had made it sweet, with eyelids closed,
Saving a tythe which love still open kept,
That they might see each other while they almost slept;
When from the slope side of a suburb hill,
Deafening the swallows twitter, came a thrill
Of trumpetsLycius startedthe sounds fled,
But left a thought, a buzzing in his head.
For the first time, since first he harbourd in
That purple-lined palace of sweet sin,
His spirit passd beyond its golden bourn
Into the noisy world almost forsworn.
The lady, ever watchful, penetrant,
Saw this with pain, so arguing a want
Of something more, more than her empery
Of joys; and she began to moan and sigh
Because he mused beyond her, knowing well
That but a moments thought is passions passing bell.
Why do you sigh, fair creature? whisperd he:
Why do you think? returnd she tenderly:
You have deserted me;where am I now?
Not in your heart while care weighs on your brow:
No, no, you have dismissd me; and I go
From your breast houseless: ay, it must be so.
He answerd, bending to her open eyes,
Where he was mirrord small in paradise,
My silver planet, both of eve and morn!
Why will you plead yourself so sad forlorn,
While I am striving how to fill my heart
With deeper crimson, and a double smart?
How to entangle, trammel up and snare
Your soul in mine, and labyrinth you there
Like the hid scent in an unbudded rose?
Ay, a sweet kissyou see your mighty woes.
My thoughts! shall I unveil them? Listen then!
What mortal hath a prize, that other men
May be confounded and abashd withal,
But lets it sometimes pace abroad majestical,
And triumph, as in thee I should rejoice
Amid the hoarse alarm of Corinths voice.
Let my foes choke, and my friends shout afar,
While through the thronged streets your bridal car
Wheels round its dazzling spokes.The ladys cheek
Trembled; she nothing said, but, pale and meek,
Arose and knelt before him, wept a rain
Of sorrows at his words; at last with pain
Beseeching him, the while his hand she wrung,
To change his purpose. He thereat was stung,
Perverse, with stronger fancy to reclaim
Her wild and timid nature to his aim:
Besides, for all his love, in self despite,
Against his better self, he took delight
Luxurious in her sorrows, soft and new.
His passion, cruel grown, took on a hue
Fierce and sanguineous as twas possible
In one whose brow had no dark veins to swell.
Fine was the mitigated fury, like
Apollos presence when in act to strike
The serpentHa, the serpent! certes, she
Was none. She burnt, she lovd the tyranny,
And, all subdued, consented to the hour
When to the bridal he should lead his paramour.
Whispering in midnight silence, said the youth,
Sure some sweet name thou hast, though, by my truth,
I have not askd it, ever thinking thee
Not mortal, but of heavenly progeny,
As still I do. Hast any mortal name,
Fit appellation for this dazzling frame?
Or friends or kinsfolk on the citied earth,
To share our marriage feast and nuptial mirth?
I have no friends, said Lamia, no, not one;
My presence in wide Corinth hardly known:
My parents bones are in their dusty urns
Sepulchred, where no kindled incense burns,
Seeing all their luckless race are dead, save me,
And I neglect the holy rite for thee.
Even as you list invite your many guests;
But if, as now it seems, your vision rests
With any pleasure on me, do not bid
Old Apolloniusfrom him keep me hid.
Lycius, perplexd at words so blind and blank,
Made close inquiry; from whose touch she shrank,
Feigning a sleep; and he to the dull shade
Of deep sleep in a moment was betrayd.

It was the custom then to bring away
The bride from home at blushing shut of day,
Veild, in a chariot, heralded along
By strewn flowers, torches, and a marriage song,
With other pageants: but this fair unknown
Had not a friend. So being left alone,
(Lycius was gone to summon all his kin)
And knowing surely she could never win
His foolish heart from its mad pompousness,
She set herself, high-thoughted, how to dress
The misery in fit magnificence.
She did so, but tis doubtful how and whence
Came, and who were her subtle servitors.
About the halls, and to and from the doors,
There was a noise of wings, till in short space
The glowing banquet-room shone with wide-arched grace.
A haunting music, sole perhaps and lone
Supportress of the faery-roof, made moan
Throughout, as fearful the whole charm might fade.
Fresh carved cedar, mimicking a glade
Of palm and plantain, met from either side,
High in the midst, in honour of the bride:
Two palms and then two plantains, and so on,
From either side their stems branchd one to one
All down the aisled place; and beneath all
There ran a stream of lamps straight on from wall to wall.
So canopied, lay an untasted feast
Teeming with odours. Lamia, regal drest,
Silently paced about, and as she went,
In pale contented sort of discontent,
Missiond her viewless servants to enrich
The fretted splendour of each nook and niche.
Between the tree-stems, marbled plain at first,
Came jasper pannels; then, anon, there burst
Forth creeping imagery of slighter trees,
And with the larger wove in small intricacies.
Approving all, she faded at self-will,
And shut the chamber up, close, hushd and still,
Complete and ready for the revels rude,
When dreadful guests would come to spoil her solitude.

The day appeard, and all the gossip rout.
O senseless Lycius! Madman! wherefore flout
The silent-blessing fate, warm cloisterd hours,
And show to common eyes these secret bowers?
The herd approachd; each guest, with busy brain,
Arriving at the portal, gazd amain,
And enterd marveling: for they knew the street,
Rememberd it from childhood all complete
Without a gap, yet neer before had seen
That royal porch, that high-built fair demesne;
So in they hurried all, mazd, curious and keen:
Save one, who lookd thereon with eye severe,
And with calm-planted steps walkd in austere;
Twas Apollonius: something too he laughd,
As though some knotty problem, that had daft
His patient thought, had now begun to thaw,
And solve and melt:twas just as he foresaw.

He met within the murmurous vestibule
His young disciple. Tis no common rule,
Lycius, said he, for uninvited guest
To force himself upon you, and infest
With an unbidden presence the bright throng
Of younger friends; yet must I do this wrong,
And you forgive me. Lycius blushd, and led
The old man through the inner doors broad-spread;
With reconciling words and courteous mien
Turning into sweet milk the sophists spleen.

Of wealthy lustre was the banquet-room,
Filld with pervading brilliance and perfume:
Before each lucid pannel fuming stood
A censer fed with myrrh and spiced wood,
Each by a sacred tripod held aloft,
Whose slender feet wide-swervd upon the soft
Wool-woofed carpets: fifty wreaths of smoke
From fifty censers their light voyage took
To the high roof, still mimickd as they rose
Along the mirrord walls by twin-clouds odorous.
Twelve sphered tables, by silk seats insphered,
High as the level of a mans breast reard
On libbards paws, upheld the heavy gold
Of cups and goblets, and the store thrice told
Of Ceres horn, and, in huge vessels, wine
Came from the gloomy tun with merry shine.
Thus loaded with a feast the tables stood,
Each shrining in the midst the image of a God.

When in an antichamber every guest
Had felt the cold full sponge to pleasure pressd,
By ministring slaves, upon his hands and feet,
And fragrant oils with ceremony meet
Pourd on his hair, they all movd to the feast
In white robes, and themselves in order placed
Around the silken couches, wondering
Whence all this mighty cost and blaze of wealth could spring.

Soft went the music the soft air along,
While fluent Greek a voweld undersong
Kept up among the guests discoursing low
At first, for scarcely was the wine at flow;
But when the happy vintage touchd their brains,
Louder they talk, and louder come the strains
Of powerful instruments:the gorgeous dyes,
The space, the splendour of the draperies,
The roof of awful richness, nectarous cheer,
Beautiful slaves, and Lamias self, appear,
Now, when the wine has done its rosy deed,
And every soul from human trammels freed,
No more so strange; for merry wine, sweet wine,
Will make Elysian shades not too fair, too divine.
Soon was God Bacchus at meridian height;
Flushd were their cheeks, and bright eyes double bright:
Garlands of every green, and every scent
From vales deflowerd, or forest-trees branch rent,
In baskets of bright osierd gold were brought
High as the handles heapd, to suit the thought
Of every guest; that each, as he did please,
Might fancy-fit his brows, silk-pillowd at his ease.

What wreath for Lamia? What for Lycius?
What for the sage, old Apollonius?
Upon her aching forehead be there hung
The leaves of willow and of adders tongue;
And for the youth, quick, let us strip for him
The thyrsus, that his watching eyes may swim
Into forgetfulness; and, for the sage,
Let spear-grass and the spiteful thistle wage
War on his temples. Do not all charms fly
At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
We know her woof, her texture; she is given
In the dull catalogue of common things.
Philosophy will clip an Angels wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine
Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made
The tender-persond Lamia melt into a shade.

By her glad Lycius sitting, in chief place,
Scarce saw in all the room another face,
Till, checking his love trance, a cup he took
Full brimmd, and opposite sent forth a look
Cross the broad table, to beseech a glance
From his old teachers wrinkled countenance,
And pledge him. The bald-head philosopher
Had fixd his eye, without a twinkle or stir
Full on the alarmed beauty of the bride,
Brow-beating her fair form, and troubling her sweet pride.
Lycius then pressd her hand, with devout touch,
As pale it lay upon the rosy couch:
Twas icy, and the cold ran through his veins;
Then sudden it grew hot, and all the pains
Of an unnatural heat shot to his heart.
Lamia, what means this? Wherefore dost thou start?
Knowst thou that man? Poor Lamia answerd not.
He gazd into her eyes, and not a jot
Ownd they the lovelorn piteous appeal:
More, more he gazd: his human senses reel:
Some hungry spell that loveliness absorbs;
There was no recognition in those orbs.
Lamia! he criedand no soft-toned reply.
The many heard, and the loud revelry
Grew hush; the stately music no more breathes;
The myrtle sickend in a thousand wreaths.
By faint degrees, voice, lute, and pleasure ceased;
A deadly silence step by step increased,
Until it seemd a horrid presence there,
And not a man but felt the terror in his hair.
Lamia! he shriekd; and nothing but the shriek
With its sad echo did the silence break.
Begone, foul dream! he cried, gazing again
In the brides face, where now no azure vein
Wanderd on fair-spaced temples; no soft bloom
Misted the cheek; no passion to illume
The deep-recessed vision:all was blight;
Lamia, no longer fair, there sat a deadly white.
Shut, shut those juggling eyes, thou ruthless man!
Turn them aside, wretch! or the righteous ban
Of all the Gods, whose dreadful images
Here represent their shadowy presences,
May pierce them on the sudden with the thorn
Of painful blindness; leaving thee forlorn,
In trembling dotage to the feeblest fright
Of conscience, for their long offended might,
For all thine impious proud-heart sophistries,
Unlawful magic, and enticing lies.
Corinthians! look upon that gray-beard wretch!
Mark how, possessd, his lashless eyelids stretch
Around his demon eyes! Corinthians, see!
My sweet bride withers at their potency.
Fool! said the sophist, in an under-tone
Gruff with contempt; which a death-nighing moan
From Lycius answerd, as heart-struck and lost,
He sank supine beside the aching ghost.
Fool! Fool! repeated he, while his eyes still
Relented not, nor movd; from every ill
Of life have I preservd thee to this day,
And shall I see thee made a serpents prey?
Then Lamia breathd death breath; the sophists eye,
Like a sharp spear, went through her utterly,
Keen, cruel, perceant, stinging: she, as well
As her weak hand could any meaning tell,
Motiond him to be silent; vainly so,
He lookd and lookd again a level--No!
A Serpent! echoed he; no sooner said,
Than with a frightful scream she vanished:
And Lycius arms were empty of delight,
As were his limbs of life, from that same night.
On the high couch he lay!his friends came round--
Supported himno pulse, or breath they found,
And, in its marriage robe, the heavy body wound.
(line 50): Keats adopted here, in the manuscript, a pointing notice before: he placed the note of interrogation at the end of this line, a semi-colon at the end of line 51, and a full-stop at the end of line 54. The pointing of the text is from the first edition.

(lines 124-6): Leigh Hunt notes - "This is the very quintessence of the romantic."

(line 140): Rejected reading, "wainscoated" for "marbled plain."

(line 239): In the Autobiography of Haydon, as edited by the late Mr. Tom Taylor, we read at page 354 of Volume 1 (edition of 1853) that Keats and Lamb, at one of the meetings at Haydon's house, agreed that Newton "had destroyed all the poetry of the rainbow, by reducing it to the prismatic colours." This meeting was what Haydon calls "the immortal dinner" of the 28th of December 1817; so that the idea appears to have persisted in Keats's mind.

Last line: The following extract is appended in Keats's edition as a note to the last line of Lamia:--
"Philostratus, in his fourth book 'de Vita Apollonii', hath a memorable instance in this kind, which I may not omit, of one Menippus Lycius, a young man twenty-five years of age, that going betwixt Cenchreas and Corinth, met such a phantasm in the habit of a fair gentlewoman, which taking him by the hand, carried him home to her house, in the suburbs of Corinth, and told him she was a Phoenician by birth, and if he would tarry with her, he should hear her sing and play, and drink such wine as never any drank, and no man should molest him; but she, being fair and lovely, would live and die with him, that was fair and lovely to behold. The young man, a philosopher, otherwise staid and discreet, able to moderate his passions, though not this of love, tarried with her a while to his great content, and at last married her, to whose wedding, amongst other guests, came Apollonius; who, by some probable conjectures, found her out to be a serpent, a lamia; and that all her furniture was, like Tantalus' gold, descried by Homer, no substance but mere illusions. When she saw herself descried, she wept, and desired Apollonius to be silent, but he would not be moved, and thereupon she, plate, house, and all that was in it, vanished in an instant: many thousands took notice of this fact, for it was done in the midst of Greece." ~ John Keats, Lamia. Part II
,
608: XXI - WALPURGIS-NIGHT

THE HARTZ MOUNTAINS.

District of Schierke and Elend.

FAUST MEPHISTOPHELES

MEPHISTOPHELES

DOST thou not wish a broomstick-steed's assistance?
The sturdiest he-goat I would gladly see:
The way we take, our goal is yet some distance.

FAUST

So long as in my legs I feel the fresh existence.
This knotted staff suffices me.
What need to shorten so the way?
Along this labyrinth of vales to wander,
Then climb the rocky ramparts yonder,
Wherefrom the fountain flings eternal spray,
Is such delight, my steps would fain delay.
The spring-time stirs within the fragrant birches,
And even the fir-tree feels it now:
Should then our limbs escape its gentle searches?

MEPHISTOPHELES

I notice no such thing, I vow!
'Tis winter still within my body:
Upon my path I wish for frost and snow.
How sadly rises, incomplete and ruddy,
The moon's lone disk, with its belated glow,
And lights so dimly, that, as one advances,
At every step one strikes a rock or tree!
Let us, then, use a Jack-o'-lantern's glances:
I see one yonder, burning merrily.
Ho, there! my friend! I'll levy thine attendance:
Why waste so vainly thy resplendence?
Be kind enough to light us up the steep!

WILL-O'-THE-WISP

My reverence, I hope, will me enable
To curb my temperament unstable;
For zigzag courses we are wont to keep.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Indeed? he'd like mankind to imitate!
Now, in the Devil's name, go straight,
Or I'll blow out his being's flickering spark!

WILL-O'-THE-WISP

You are the master of the house, I mark,
And I shall try to serve you nicely.
But then, reflect: the mountain's magic-mad to-day,
And if a will-o'-the-wisp must guide you on the way,
You mustn't take things too precisely.

FAUST, MEPHISTOPHELES, WILL-O'-THE-WISP

(in alternating song)

We, it seems, have entered newly
In the sphere of dreams enchanted.
Do thy bidding, guide us truly,
That our feet be forwards planted
In the vast, the desert spaces!
See them swiftly changing places,
Trees on trees beside us trooping,
And the crags above us stooping,
And the rocky snouts, outgrowing,
Hear them snoring, hear them blowing!
O'er the stones, the grasses, flowing
Stream and streamlet seek the hollow.
Hear I noises? songs that follow?
Hear I tender love-petitions?
Voices of those heavenly visions?
Sounds of hope, of love undying!
And the echoes, like traditions
Of old days, come faint and hollow.

Hoo-hoo! Shoo-hoo! Nearer hover
Jay and screech-owl, and the plover,
Are they all awake and crying?
Is't the salamander pushes,
Bloated-bellied, through the bushes?
And the roots, like serpents twisted,
Through the sand and boulders toiling,
Fright us, weirdest links uncoiling
To entrap us, unresisted:
Living knots and gnarls uncanny
Feel with polypus-antennae
For the wanderer. Mice are flying,
Thousand-colored, herd-wise hieing
Through the moss and through the heather!

And the fire-flies wink and darkle,
Crowded swarms that soar and sparkle,
And in wildering escort gather!

Tell me, if we still are standing,
Or if further we're ascending?
All is turning, whirling, blending,
Trees and rocks with grinning faces,
Wandering lights that spin in mazes,
Still increasing and expanding!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Grasp my skirt with heart undaunted!
Here a middle-peak is planted,
Whence one seeth, with amaze,
Mammon in the mountain blaze.

FAUST

How strangely glimmers through the hollows
A dreary light, like that of dawn!
Its exhalation tracks and follows
The deepest gorges, faint and wan.
Here steam, there rolling vapor sweepeth;
Here burns the glow through film and haze:
Now like a tender thread it creepeth,
Now like a fountain leaps and plays.
Here winds away, and in a hundred
Divided veins the valley braids:
There, in a corner pressed and sundered,
Itself detaches, spreads and fades.
Here gush the sparkles incandescent
Like scattered showers of golden sand;
But, see! in all their height, at present,
The rocky ramparts blazing stand.
Under the old ribs of the rock retreating
Under the old ribs of the rock retreating

MEPHISTOPHELES

Has not Sir Mammon grandly lighted
His palace for this festal night?
'Tis lucky thou hast seen the sight;
The boisterous guests approach that were invited.

FAUST

How raves the tempest through the air!
With what fierce blows upon my neck 'tis beating!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Under the old ribs of the rock retreating,
Hold fast, lest thou be hurled down the abysses there!
The night with the mist is black;
Hark! how the forests grind and crack!
Frightened, the owlets are scattered:
Hearken! the pillars are shattered.
The evergreen palaces shaking!
Boughs are groaning and breaking,
The tree-trunks terribly thunder,
The roots are twisting asunder!
In frightfully intricate crashing
Each on the other is dashing,
And over the wreck-strewn gorges
The tempest whistles and surges!
Hear'st thou voices higher ringing?
Far away, or nearer singing?
Yes, the mountain's side along,
Sweeps an infuriate glamouring song!

WITCHES (in chorus)

The witches ride to the Brocken's top,
The stubble is yellow, and green the crop.
There gathers the crowd for carnival:
Sir Urian sits over all.

And so they go over stone and stock;
The witch she-s, and-s the buck.

A VOICE

Alone, old Baubo's coming now;
She rides upon a farrow-sow.

CHORUS

Then honor to whom the honor is due!
Dame Baubo first, to lead the crew!
A tough old sow and the mother thereon,
Then follow the witches, every one.

A VOICE

Which way com'st thou hither?

VOICE

O'er the Ilsen-stone.
I peeped at the owl in her nest alone:
How she stared and glared!

VOICE

Betake thee to Hell!
Why so fast and so fell?

VOICE

She has scored and has flayed me:
See the wounds she has made me!

WITCHES (chorus)

The way is wide, the way is long:
See, what a wild and crazy throng!
The broom it scratches, the fork it thrusts,
The child is stifled, the mother bursts.

WIZARDS (semichorus)

As doth the snail in shell, we crawl:
Before us go the women all.
When towards the Devil's House we tread,
Woman's a thousand steps ahead.

OTHER SEMICHORUS

We do not measure with such care:
Woman in thousand steps is theft.
But howsoe'er she hasten may,
Man in one leap has cleared the way.

VOICE (from above)

Come on, come on, from Rocky Lake!

VOICE (from below)

Aloft we'd fain ourselves betake.
We've washed, and are bright as ever you will,
Yet we're eternally sterile still.

BOTH CHORUSES

The wind is hushed, the star shoots by.
The dreary moon forsakes the sky;
The magic notes, like spark on spark,
Drizzle, whistling through the dark.

VOICE (from below)

Halt, there! Ho, there!

VOICE (from above)

Who calls from the rocky cleft below there?

VOICE (below)

Take me, too! take me, too!
I'm climbing now three hundred years,
And yet the summit cannot see:
Among my equals I would be.

BOTH CHORUSES

Bears the broom and bears the stock,
Bears the fork and bears the buck:
Who cannot raise himself to-night
Is evermore a ruined wight.

HALF-WITCH (below)

So long I stumble, ill bestead,
And the others are now so far ahead!
At home I've neither rest nor cheer,
And yet I cannot gain them here.

CHORUS OF WITCHES

To cheer the witch will salve avail;
A rag will answer for a sail;
Each trough a goodly ship supplies;
He ne'er will fly, who now not flies.

BOTH CHORUSES

When round the summit whirls our flight,
Then lower, and on the ground alight;
And far and wide the heather press
With witchhood's swarms of wantonness!

(They settle down.)

MEPHISTOPHELES

They crowd and push, they roar and clatter!
They whirl and whistle, pull and chatter!
They shine, and spirt, and stink, and burn!
The true witch-element we learn.
Keep close! or we are parted, in our turn,
Where art thou?

FAUST (in the distance)

Here!

MEPHISTOPHELES

What! whirled so far astray?
Then house-right I must use, and clear the way.
Make room! Squire Voland comes! Room, gentle rabble,
room!

Here, Doctor, hold to me: in one jump we'll resume
An easier space, and from the crowd be free:
It's too much, even for the like of me.
Yonder, with special light, there's something shining clearer
Within those bushes; I've a mind to see.
Come on! we'll slip a little nearer.

FAUST

Spirit of Contradiction! On! I'll follow straight.
'Tis planned most wisely, if I judge aright:
We climb the Brocken's top in the Walpurgis-Night,
That arbitrarily, here, ourselves we isolate.

MEPHISTOPHELES

But see, what motley flames among the heather!
There is a lively club together:
In smaller circles one is not alone.

FAUST

Better the summit, I must own:
There fire and whirling smoke I see.
They seek the Evil One in wild confusion:
Many enigmas there might find solution.

MEPHISTOPHELES

But there enigmas also knotted be.
Leave to the multitude their riot!
Here will we house ourselves in quiet.
It is an old, transmitted trade,
That in the greater world the little worlds are made.
I see stark-nude young witches congregate,
And old ones, veiled and hidden shrewdly:
On my account be kind, nor treat them rudely!
The trouble's small, the fun is great.
I hear the noise of instruments attuning,
Vile din! yet one must learn to bear the crooning.
Come, come along! It must be, I declare!
I'll go ahead and introduce thee there,
Thine obligation newly earning.
That is no little space: what say'st thou, friend?
Look yonder! thou canst scarcely see the end:
A hundred fires along the ranks are burning.
They dance, they chat, they cook, they drink, they court:
Now where, just tell me, is there better sport?

FAUST

Wilt thou, to introduce us to the revel,
Assume the part of wizard or of devil?

MEPHISTOPHELES

I'm mostly used, 'tis true, to go incognito,
But on a gala-day one may his orders show.
The Garter does not deck my suit,
But honored and at home is here the cloven foot.
Perceiv'st thou yonder snail? It cometh, slow and steady;
So delicately its feelers pry,
That it hath scented me already:
I cannot here disguise me, if I try.
But come! we'll go from this fire to a newer:
I am the go-between, and thou the wooer.

(To some, who are sitting around dying embers:)

Old gentlemen, why at the outskirts? Enter!
I'd praise you if I found you snugly in the centre,
With youth and revel round you like a zone:
You each, at home, are quite enough alone.

GENERAL

Say, who would put his trust in nations,
Howe'er for them one may have worked and planned?
For with the people, as with women,
Youth always has the upper hand.

MINISTER

They're now too far from what is just and sage.
I praise the old ones, not unduly:
When we were all-in-all, then, truly,
Then was the real golden age.

PARVENU

We also were not stupid, either,
And what we should not, often did;
But now all things have from their bases slid,
Just as we meant to hold them fast together.

AUTHOR

Who, now, a work of moderate sense will read?
Such works are held as antiquate and mossy;
And as regards the younger folk, indeed,
They never yet have been so pert and saucy.

MEPHISTOPHELES

(who all at once appears very old)

I feel that men are ripe for Judgment-Day,
Now for the last time I've the witches'-hill ascended:
Since to the lees my cask is drained away,
The world's, as well, must soon be ended.

HUCKSTER-WITCH

Ye gentlemen, don't pass me thus!
Let not the chance neglected be!
Behold my wares attentively:
The stock is rare and various.
And yet, there's nothing I've collected
No shop, on earth, like this you'll find!
Which has not, once, sore hurt inflicted
Upon the world, and on mankind.
No dagger's here, that set not blood to flowing;
No cup, that hath not once, within a healthy frame
Poured speedy death, in poison glowing:
No gems, that have not brought a maid to shame;
No sword, but severed ties for the unwary,
Or from behind struck down the adversary.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Gossip! the times thou badly comprehendest:
What's done has happedwhat haps, is done!
'Twere better if for novelties thou sendest:
By such alone can we be won.

FAUST

Let me not lose myself in all this pother!
This is a fair, as never was another!

MEPHISTOPHELES

The whirlpool swirls to get above:
Thou'rt shoved thyself, imagining to shove.

FAUST

But who is that?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Note her especially,
Tis Lilith.

FAUST

Who?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Adam's first wife is she.
Beware the lure within her lovely tresses,
The splendid sole adornment of her hair!
When she succeeds therewith a youth to snare,
Not soon again she frees him from her jesses.

FAUST

Those two, the old one with the young one sitting,
They've danced already more than fitting.

MEPHISTOPHELES

No rest to-night for young or old!
They start another dance: come now, let us take hold!

FAUST (dancing with the young witch)

A lovely dream once came to me;
I then beheld an apple-tree,
And there two fairest apples shone:
They lured me so, I climbed thereon.

THE FAIR ONE

Apples have been desired by you,
Since first in Paradise they grew;
And I am moved with joy, to know
That such within my garden grow.

MEPHISTOPHELES (dancing with the old one)

A dissolute dream once came to me:
Therein I saw a cloven tree,
Which had a;
Yet,as 'twas, I fancied it.

THE OLD ONE

I offer here my best salute
Unto the knight with cloven foot!
Let him aprepare,
If himdoes not scare.

PROKTOPHANTASMIST

Accursd folk! How dare you venture thus?
Had you not, long since, demonstration
That ghosts can't stand on ordinary foundation?
And now you even dance, like one of us!

THE FAIR ONE (dancing)

Why does he come, then, to our ball?

FAUST (dancing)

O, everywhere on him you fall!
When others dance, he weighs the matter:
If he can't every step bechatter,
Then 'tis the same as were the step not made;
But if you forwards go, his ire is most displayed.
If you would whirl in regular gyration
As he does in his dull old mill,
He'd show, at any rate, good-will,
Especially if you heard and heeded his hortation.

PROKTOPHANTASMIST

You still are here? Nay, 'tis a thing unheard!
Vanish, at once! We've said the enlightening word.
The pack of devils by no rules is daunted:
We are so wise, and yet is Tegel haunted.
To clear the folly out, how have I swept and stirred!
Twill ne'er be clean: why, 'tis a thing unheard!

THE FAIR ONE

Then cease to bore us at our ball!

PROKTOPHANTASMIST

I tell you, spirits, to your face,
I give to spirit-despotism no place;
My spirit cannot practise it at all.

(The dance continues)

Naught will succeed, I see, amid such revels;
Yet something from a tour I always save,
And hope, before my last step to the grave,
To overcome the poets and the devils.

MEPHISTOPHELES

He now will seat him in the nearest puddle;
The solace this, whereof he's most assured:
And when upon his rump the leeches hang and fuddle,
He'll be of spirits and of Spirit cured.

(To FAUST, who has left the dance:)

Wherefore forsakest thou the lovely maiden,
That in the dance so sweetly sang?

FAUST

Ah! in the midst of it there sprang
A red mouse from her mouthsufficient reason.

MEPHISTOPHELES

That's nothing! One must not so squeamish be;
So the mouse was not gray, enough for thee.
Who'd think of that in love's selected season?

FAUST

Then saw I.

MEPHISTOPHELES

What?

FAUST

Mephisto, seest thou there,
Alone and far, a girl most pale and fair?
She falters on, her way scarce knowing,
As if with fettered feet that stay her going.
I must confess, it seems to me
As if my kindly Margaret were she.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Let the thing be! All thence have evil drawn:
It is a magic shape, a lifeless eidolon.
Such to encounter is not good:
Their blank, set stare benumbs the human blood,
And one is almost turned to stone.
Medusa's tale to thee is known.

FAUST

Forsooth, the eyes they are of one whom, dying,
No hand with loving pressure closed;
That is the breast whereon I once was lying,
The body sweet, beside which I reposed!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Tis magic all, thou fool, seduced so easily!
Unto each man his love she seems to be.

FAUST

The woe, the rapture, so ensnare me,
That from her gaze I cannot tear me!
And, strange! around her fairest throat
A single scarlet band is gleaming,
No broader than a knife-blade seeming!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Quite right! The mark I also note.
Her head beneath her arm she'll sometimes carry;
Twas Perseus lopped it, her old adversary.
Thou crav'st the same illusion still!
Come, let us mount this little hill;
The Prater shows no livelier stir,
And, if they've not bewitched my sense,
I verily see a theatre.
What's going on?

SERVIBILIS

'Twill shortly recommence:
A new performance'tis the last of seven.
To give that number is the custom here:
'Twas by a Dilettante written,
And Dilettanti in the parts appear.
That now I vanish, pardon, I entreat you!
As Dilettante I the curtain raise.

MEPHISTOPHELES

When I upon the Blocksberg meet you,
I find it good: for that's your proper place.
Faust

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, WALPURGIS-NIGHT
,
609:Resignation Pt 2
But what in either sex, beyond
All parts, our glory crowns?
'In ruffling seasons to be calm,
And smile, when fortune frowns.'
Heaven's choice is safer than our own;
Of ages past inquire,
What the most formidable fate?
'To have our own desire.'
If, in your wrath, the worst of foes
You wish extremely ill;
Expose him to the thunder's stroke,
Or that of his own will.
What numbers, rushing down the steep
Of inclination strong,
Have perish'd in their ardent wish!
Wish ardent, ever wrong!
'Tis resignation's full reverse,
Most wrong, as it implies
Error most fatal in our choice,
Detachment from the skies.
By closing with the skies, we make
Omnipotence our own;
That done, how formidable ill's
Whole army is o'erthrown!
No longer impotent, and frail,
Ourselves above we rise:
We scarce believe ourselves below!
We trespass on the skies!
The Lord, the soul, and source of all,
Whilst man enjoys his ease,
Is executing human will,
In earth, and air, and seas;
70
Beyond us, what can angels boast?
Archangels what require?
Whate'er below, above, is done,
Is done as-we desire.
What glory this for man so mean,
Whose life is but a span!
This is meridian majesty!
This, the sublime of man!
Beyond the boast of pagan song
My sacred subject shines!
And for a foil the lustre takes
Of Rome's exalted lines.
'All, that the sun surveys, subdued,
But Cato's mighty mind.'
How grand! most true; yet far beneath
The soul of the resign'd:
To more than kingdoms, more than worlds,
To passion that gives law;
Its matchless empire could have kept
Great Cato's pride in awe;
That fatal pride, whose cruel point
Transfix'd his noble breast;
Far nobler! if his fate sustain'd
And left to heaven the rest;
Then he the palm had borne away,
At distance Caesar thrown;
Put him off cheaply with the world,
And made the skies his own.
What cannot resignation do?
It wonders can perform;
That powerful charm, 'Thy will be done,'
Can lay the loudest storm.
Come, resignation! then, from fields,
71
Where, mounted on the wing,
A wing of flame, blest martyrs' souls
Ascended to their king.
Who is it calls thee? one whose need
Transcends the common size;
Who stands in front against a foe
To which no equal rise:
In front he stands, the brink he treads
Of an eternal state;
How dreadful his appointed post!
How strongly arm'd by fate:
His threatening foe! what shadows deep
O'erwhelm his gloomy brow!
His dart tremendous! -at fourscore
My sole asylum, thou!
Haste, then, O resignation! haste,
'Tis thine to reconcile
My foe, and me; at thy approach
My foe begins to smile:
O! for that summit of my wish,
Whilst here I draw my breath,
That promise of eternal life,
A glorious smile in death:
What sight, heaven's azure arch beneath,
Has most of heaven to boast?
The man resign'd; at once serene,
And giving up the ghost.
At death's arrival they shall smile,
Who, not in life o'er gay,
Serious and frequent thought send out
To meet him on his way:
My gay coevals! (such there are)
If happiness is dear;
Approaching death's alarming day
72
Discreetly let us fear:
The fear of death is truly wise,
Till wisdom can rise higher;
And, arm'd with pious fortitude,
Death dreaded once, desire:
Grand climacteric vanities
The vainest will despise;
Shock'd, when beneath the snow of age
Man immaturely dies:
But am not I myself the man?
No need abroad to roam
In quest of faults to be chastis'd;
What cause to blush at home?
In life's decline, when men relapse
Into the sports of youth,
The second child out-fools the first,
And tempts the lash of truth;
Shall a mere truant from the grave
With rival boys engage?
His trembling voice attempt to sing,
And ape the poet's rage?
Here, madam! let me visit one,
My fault who, partly, shares,
And tell myself, by telling him,
What more becomes our years;
And if your breast with prudent zeal
For resignation glows,
You will not disapprove a just
Resentment at its foes.
In youth, Voltaire! our foibles plead
For some indulgence due;
When heads are white, their thoughts and aims
Should change their colour too:
73
How are you cheated by your wit!
Old age is bound to pay,
By nature's law, a mind discreet,
For joys it takes away;
A mighty change is wrought by years,
Reversing human lot;
In age 'tis honour to lie hid,
'Tis praise to be forgot;
The wise, as flowers, which spread at noon,
And all their charms expose,
When evening damps and shades descend,
Their evolutions close.
What though your muse has nobly soar'd,
Is that our truth sublime?
Ours, hoary friend! is to prefer
Eternity to time:
Why close a life so justly fam'd
With such bold trash as this? (54)
This for renown? yes, such as makes
Obscurity a bliss:
Your trash, with mine, at open war,
Is obstinately bent,(55)
Like wits below, to sow your tares
Of gloom and discontent:
With so much sunshine at command,
Why light with darkness mix?
Why dash with pain our pleasure?
Your Helicon with Styx?
Your works in our divided minds
Repugnant passions raise,
Confound us with a double stroke,
We shudder whilst we praise;
A curious web, as finely wrought
As genius can inspire,
74
From a black bag of poison spun,
With horror we admire.
Mean as it is, if this is read
With a disdainful air,
I can't forgive so great a foe
To my dear friend Voltaire:
Early I knew him, early prais'd,
And long to praise him late;
His genius greatly I admire,
Nor would deplore his fate;
A fate how much to be deplor'd!
At which our nature starts;
Forbear to fall on your own sword.
To perish by your parts:
'But great your name'-To feed on air,
Were then immortals born?
Nothing is great, of which more great,
More glorious is the scorn.
Can fame your carcass from the worm
Which gnaws us in the grave,
Or soul from that which never dies,
Applauding Europe save?
But fame you lose; good sense alone
Your idol, praise, can claim;
When wild wit murders happiness,
It puts to death our fame!
Nor boast your genius, talents bright;
E'en dunces will despise,
If in your western beams is miss'd
A genius for the skies;
Your taste too fails; what most excels
True taste must relish most!
And what, to rival palms above,
Can proudest laurels boast?
75
Sound heads salvation's helmet seek,(56)
Resplendent are its rays,
Let that suffice; it needs no plume,
Of sublunary praise.
May this enable couch'd Voltaire
To see that-'All is right,'(57)
His eye, by flash of wit struck blind,
Restoring to its sight;
If so, all's well: who much have err'd,
That much have been forgiven;
I speak with joy, with joy he'll hear,
'Voltaires are, now, in heaven.'
Nay, such philanthropy divine,
So boundless in degree,
Its marvellous of love extends
(Stoops most profound!) to me:
Let others cruel stars arraign,
Or dwell on their distress;
But let my page, for mercies pour'd,
A grateful heart express:
Walking, the present God was seen,
Of old, in Eden fair;
The God as present, by plain steps
Of providential care,
I behold passing through my life;
His awful voice I hear;
And, conscious of my nakedness,
Would hide myself for fear:
But where the trees, or where the clouds,
Can cover from his sight?
Naked the centre to that eye,
To which the sun is night.
As yonder glittering lamps on high
76
Through night illumin'd roll;
My thoughts of him, by whom they shine,
Chase darkness from my soul;
My soul, which reads his hand as clear
In my minute affairs,
As in his ample manuscript
Of sun, and moon, and stars;
And knows him not more bent aright
To wield that vast machine,
Than to correct one erring thought
In my small world within;
A world, that shall survive the fall
Of all his wonders here;
Survive, when suns ten thousand drop,
And leave a darken'd sphere.
Yon matter gross, how bright it shines!
For time how great his care!
Sure spirit and eternity
Far richer glories share;
Let those our hearts impress, on those
Our contemplation dwell;
On those my thoughts how justly thrown,
By what I now shall tell:
When backward with attentive mind
Life's labyrinth I trace,
I find him far myself beyond
Propitious to my peace:
Through all the crooked paths I trod,
My folly he pursued;
My heart astray to quick return
Importunately woo'd;
Due resignation home to press
On my capricious will,
How many rescues did I meet,
77
Beneath the mask of ill!
How many foes in ambush laid
Beneath my soul's desire!
The deepest penitents are made
By what we most admire.
Have I not sometimes (real good
So little mortals know!)
Mounting the summit of my wish,
Profoundly plung'd in woe?
I rarely plann'd, but cause I found
My plan's defeat to bless:
Oft I lamented an event;
It turn'd to my success.
By sharpen'd appetite to give
To good intense delight,
Through dark and deep perplexities
He led me to the right.
And is not this the gloomy path,
Which you are treading now?
The path most gloomy leads to light,
When our proud passions bow:
When labouring under fancied ill,
My spirits to sustain,
He kindly cur'd with sovereign draughts
Of unimagin'd pain.
Pain'd sense from fancied tyranny
Alone can set us free;
A thousand miseries we feel,
Till sunk in misery.
Cloy'd with a glut of all we wish,
Our wish we relish less;
Success, a sort of suicide,
Is ruin'd by success:
78
Sometimes he led me near to death,
And, pointing to the grave,
Bid terror whisper kind advice;
And taught the tomb to save:
To raise my thoughts beyond where worlds
As spangles o'er us shine,
One day he gave, and bid the next
My soul's delight resign.
We to ourselves, but through the means
Of mirrors, are unknown;
In this my fate can you descry
No features of your own?
And if you can, let that excuse
These self-recording lines;
A record, modesty forbids,
Or to small bound confines:
In grief why deep ingulf'd? You see
You suffer nothing rare;
Uncommon grief for common fate!
That wisdom cannot bear.
When streams flow backward to their source,
And humbled flames descend,
And mountains wing'd shall fly aloft,
Then human sorrows end;
But human prudence too must cease,
When sorrows domineer,
When fortitude has lost its fire,
And freezes into fear:
The pang most poignant of my life
Now heightens my delight;
I see a fair creation rise
From chaos, and old night:
From what seem'd horror, and despair,
The richest harvest rose;
79
And gave me in the nod divine
An absolute repose.
Of all the plunders of mankind,
More gross, or frequent, none,
Than in their grief and joy misplac'd,
Eternally are shown.
But whither points all this parade?
It says, that near you lies
A book, perhaps yet unperus'd,
Which you should greatly prize:
Of self-perusal, science rare!
Few know the mighty gain;
Learn'd prelates, self-unread, may read
Their Bibles o'er in vain:
Self-knowledge, which from heaven itself
(So sages tell us) came,
What is it, but a daughter fair
Of my maternal theme?
Unletter'd and untravel'd men
An oracle might find,
Would they consult their own contents,
The Delphos of the mind.
Enter your bosom; there you'll meet
A revelation new,
A revelation personal;
Which none can read but you.
There will you clearly read reveal'd
In your enlighten'd thought,
By mercies manifold, through life,
To fresh remembrance brought,
A mighty Being! and in him
A complicated friend,
A father, brother, spouse; no dread
Of death, divorce, or end:
80
Who such a matchless friend embrace,
And lodge him in their heart,
Full well, from agonies exempt,
With other friends may part:
As when o'erloaded branches bear
Large clusters big with wine,
We scarce regret one falling leaf
From the luxuriant vine.
My short advice to you may sound
Obscure or somewhat odd,
Though 'tis the best that man can give,'E'en be content with God.'
Through love he gave you the deceas'd,
Through greater took him hence;
This reason fully could evince,
Though murmur'd at by sense.
This friend, far past the kindest kind,
Is past the greatest great;
His greatness let me touch in points
Not foreign to your state;
His eye, this instant, reads your heart;
A truth less obvious hear;
This instant its most secret thoughts
Are sounding in his ear:
Dispute you this? O! stand in awe,
And cease your sorrow; know,
That tears now trickling down, he saw
Ten thousand years ago;
And twice ten thousand hence, if you
Your temper reconcile
To reason's bound, will he behold
Your prudence with a smile;
A smile, which through eternity
81
Diffuses so bright rays,
The dimmest deifies e'en guilt,
If guilt, at last, obeys:
Your guilt (for guilt it is to mourn
When such a sovereign reigns) ,
Your guilt diminish; peace pursue;
How glorious peace in pains!
Here, then, your sorrows cease; if not,
Think how unhappy they,
Who guilt increase by streaming tears,
Which guilt should wash away;
Of tears that gush profuse restrain;
Whence burst those dismal sighs?
They from the throbbing breast of one
(Strange truth!) most happy rise;
Not angels (hear it, and exult!)
Enjoy a larger share
Than is indulg'd to you, and yours,
Of God's impartial care;
Anxious for each, as if on each
His care for all was thrown;
For all his care as absolute,
As all had been but one.
And is he then so near! so kind! How little then, and great,
That riddle, man! O! let me gaze
At wonders in his fate;
His fate, who yesterday did crawl
A worm from darkness deep,
And shall, with brother worms, beneath
A turf, to-morrow sleep;
How mean! -And yet, if well obey'd
His mighty Master's call,
The whole creation for mean man
82
Is deem'd a boon too small:
Too small the whole creation deem'd
For emmets in the dust!
Account amazing! yet most true;
My song is bold, yet just:
Man born for infinite, in whom
Nor period can destroy
The power, in exquisite extremes,
To suffer, or enjoy;
Give him earth's empire (if no more)
He's beggar'd, and undone!
Imprison'd in unbounded space!
Benighted by the sun!
For what the sun's meridian blaze
To the most feeble ray
Which glimmers from the distant dawn
Of uncreated day?
'Tis not the poet's rapture feign'd
Swells here the vain to please;
The mind most sober kindles most
At truths sublime as these;
They warm e'en me.-I dare not say,
Divine ambition strove
Not to bless only, but confound,
Nay, fright us with its love;
And yet so frightful what, or kind,
As that the rending rock,
The darken'd sun, and rising dead,
So formidable spoke?
And are we darker than that sun?
Than rocks more hard, and blind?
We are; -if not to such a God
In agonies resigned.
83
Yes, e'en in agonies forbear
To doubt almighty love;
Whate'er endears eternity,
Is mercy from above;
What most imbitters time, that most
Eternity endears,
And thus, by plunging in distress,
Exalts us to the spheres;
Joy's fountain head! where bliss o'er bliss,
O'er wonders wonders rise,
And an Omnipotence prepares
Its banquet for the wise:
Ambrosial banquet! rich in wines
Nectareous to the soul!
What transports sparkle from the stream,
As angels fill the bowl!
Fountain profuse of every bliss!
Good-will immense prevails;
Man's line can't fathom its profound
An angel's plummet fails.
Thy love and might, by what they know,
Who judge, nor dream of more;
They ask a drop, how deep the sea!
One sand, how wide the shore!
Of thy exuberant good-will,
Offended Deity!
The thousandth part who comprehends,
A deity is he.
How yonder ample azure field
With radiant worlds is sown!
How tubes astonish us with those
More deep in ether thrown!
And those beyond of brighter worlds
Why not a million more? -
84
In lieu of answer, let us all
Fall prostrate, and adore.
Since thou art infinite in power,
Nor thy indulgence less;
Since man, quite impotent and blind,
Oft drops into distress;
Say, what is resignation? 'T is
Man's weakness understood;
And wisdom grasping, with a hand
Far stronger, every good.
Let rash repiners stand appall'd,
In thee who dare not trust;
Whose abject souls, like demons dark,
Are murmuring in the dust;
For man to murmur, or repine
At what by thee is done,
No less absurd, than to complain
Of darkness in the sun.
Who would not, with a heart at ease,
Bright eye, unclouded brow,
Wisdom and goodness at the helm,
The roughest ocean plough?
What, though I'm swallow'd in the deep?
Though mountains o'er me roar?
Jehovah reigns! as Jonah safe,
I'm landed, and adore:
Thy will is welcome, let it wear
Its most tremendous form;
Roar, waves; rage, winds! I know that thou
Canst save me by a storm.
From the immortal spirits born,
To thee, their fountain, flow,
If wise; as curl'd around to theirs
Meandering streams below:
85
Not less compell'd by reason's call,
To thee our souls aspire,
Than to thy skies, by nature's law,
High mounts material fire;
To thee aspiring they exult,
I feel my spirits rise,
I feel myself thy son, and pant
For patrimonial skies;
Since ardent thirst of future good,
And generous sense of past,
To thee man's prudence strongly ties,
And binds affection fast;
Since great thy love, and great our want,
And men the wisest blind,
And bliss our aim; pronounce us all
Distracted, or resigned;
Resign'd through duty, interest, shame;
Deep shame! dare I complain,
When (wondrous truth!) in heaven itself
Joy ow'd its birth to pain?
And pain for me! for me was drain'd
Gall's overflowing bowl;
And shall one dropp to murmur bold
Provoke my guilty soul?
If pardon'd this, what cause, what crime
Can indignation raise?
The sun was lighted up to shine,
And man was born to praise;
And when to praise the man shall cease,
Or sun to strike the view;
A cloud dishonors both; but man's
The blacker of the two:
For oh! ingratitude how black!
86
With most profound amaze
At love, which man belov'd o'erlooks,
Astonish'd angels gaze.
Praise cheers, and warms, like generous wine;
Praise, more divine than prayer;
Prayer points our ready path to heaven;
Praise is already there.
Let plausive resignation rise,
And banish all complaint;
All virtues thronging into one,
It finishes the saint;
Makes the man bless'd, as man can be;
Life's labours renders light;
Darts beams through fate's incumbent gloom,
And lights our sun by night;
'T is nature's brightest ornament,
The richest gift of grace,
Rival of angels, and supreme
Proprietor of peace;
Nay, peace beyond, no small degree
Of rapture 't will impart;
Know, madam! when your heart's in heaven,
'All heaven is in your heart.'
But who to heaven their hearts can raise?
Denied divine support,
All virtue dies; support divine
The wise with ardour court:
When prayer partakes the seraph's fire,
'T is mounted on his wing,
Bursts thro' heaven's crystal gates, and
Sure audience of its king:
The labouring soul from sore distress
That bless'd expedient frees;
I see you far advanc'd in peace;
87
I see you on your knees:
How on that posture has the beam
Divine for ever shone!
An humble heart, God's other seat! (58)
The rival of his throne:
And stoops Omnipotence so low!
And condescends to dwell,
Eternity's inhabitant,
Well pleas'd, in such a cell?
Such honour how shall we repay?
How treat our guest divine?
The sacrifice supreme be slain!
Let self-will die: resign.
Thus far, at large, on our disease;
Now let the cause be shown,
Whence rises, and will ever rise,
The dismal human groan:
What our sole fountain of distress?
Strong passion for this scene;
That trifles make important, things
Of mighty moment mean:
When earth's dark maxims poison shed
On our polluted souls,
Our hearts and interests fly as far
Asunder, as the poles.
Like princes in a cottage nurs'd,
Unknown their royal race,
With abject aims, and sordid joys,
Our grandeur we disgrace;
O! for an Archimedes new,
Of moral powers possess'd,
The world to move, and quite expel
That traitor from the breast.
88
No small advantage may be reap'd
From thought whence we descend;
From weighing well, and prizing weigh'd
Our origin, and end:
From far above the glorious sun
To this dim scene we came:
And may, if wise, for ever bask
In great Jehovah's beam:
Let that bright beam on reason rous'd
In awful lustre rise,
Earth's giant ills are dwarf'd at once,
And all disquiet dies.
Earth's glories too their splendour lose,
Those phantoms charm no more;
Empire's a feather for a fool,
And Indian mines are poor:
Then levell'd quite, whilst yet alive,
The monarch and his slave;
Not wait enlighten'd minds to learn
That lesson from the grave:
A George the Third would then be low
As Lewis in renown,
Could he not boast of glory more
Than sparkles from a crown.
When human glory rises high
As human glory can;
When, though the king is truly great,
Still greater is the man;
The man is dead, where virtue fails;
And though the monarch proud
In grandeur shines, his gorgeous robe
Is but a gaudy shroud.
Wisdom! where art thou? None on earth,
Though grasping wealth, fame, power,
89
But what, O death! through thy approach,
Is wiser every hour;
Approach how swift, how unconfin'd!
Worms feast on viands rare,
Those little epicures have kings
To grace their bill of fare:
From kings what resignation due
To that almighty will,
Which thrones bestows, and, when they fail,
Can throne them higher still!
Who truly great? The good and brave,
The masters of a mind
The will divine to do resolv'd,
To suffer it resign'd.
Madam! if that may give it weight,
The trifle you receive
Is dated from a solemn scene,
The border of the grave;
Where strongly strikes the trembling soul
Eternity's dread power,
As bursting on it through the thin
Partition of an hour;
Hear this, Voltaire! but this, from me,
Runs hazard of your frown;
However, spare it; ere you die,
Such thoughts will be your own.
In mercy to yourself forbear
My notions to chastise,
Lest unawares the gay Voltaire
Should blame Voltaire the wise:
Fame's trumpet rattling in your ear,
Now, makes us disagree;
When a far louder trumpet sounds,
Voltaire will close with me:
90
How shocking is that modesty,
Which keeps some honest men
From urging what their hearts suggest,
When brav'd by folly's pen.
Assaulting truths, of which in all
Is sown the sacred seed!
Our constitution's orthodox,
And closes with our creed:
What then are they, whose proud conceits
Superior wisdom boast?
Wretches, who fight their own belief,
And labour to be lost!
Though vice by no superior joys
Her heroes keeps in pay;
Through pure disinterested love
Of ruin they obey!
Strict their devotion to the wrong,
Though tempted by no prize;
Hard their commandments, and their creed
A magazine of lies
From fancy's forge: gay fancy smiles
At reason plain, and cool;
Fancy, whose curious trade it is
To make the finest fool.
Voltaire! long life's the greatest curse
That mortals can receive,
When they imagine the chief end
Of living is to live;
Quite thoughtless of their day of death,
That birthday of their sorrow!
Knowing, it may be distant far,
Nor crush them till-to-morrow.
These are cold, northern thoughts, conceiv'd
91
Beneath an humble cot;
Not mine, your genius, or your state,
No castle is my lot:(59)
But soon, quite level shall we lie;
And, what pride most bemoans,
Our parts, in rank so distant now,
As level as our bones;
Hear you that sound? Alarming sound!
Prepare to meet your fate!
One, who writes finis to our works,
Is knocking at the gate;
Far other works will soon be weigh'd;
Far other judges sit;
Far other crowns be lost or won,
Than fire ambitious wit:
Their wit far brightest will be prov'd,
Who sunk it in good sense;
And veneration most profound
Of dread omnipotence.
'Tis that alone unlocks the gate
Of blest eternity;
O! mayst thou never, never lose
That more than golden key! (60)
Whate'er may seem too rough excuse,
Your good I have at heart:
Since from my soul I wish you well;
As yet we must not part:
Shall you, and I, in love with life,
Life's future schemes contrive,
The world in wonder not unjust,
That we are still alive?
What have we left? How mean in man
A shadow's shade to crave!
When life, so vain! is vainer still,
92
'Tis time to take your leave:
Happier, than happiest life, is death,
Who, falling in the field
Of conflict with his rebel will,
Writes vici, on his shield;
So falling man, immortal heir
Of an eternal prize;
Undaunted at the gloomy grave,
Descends into the skies.
O! how disorder'd our machine,
When contradictions mix!
When nature strikes no less than twelve,
And folly points at six!
To mend the moments of your heart,
How great is my delight
Gently to wind your morals up,
And set your hand aright!
That hand, which spread your wisdom wide
To poison distant lands:
Repent, recant; the tainted age
Your antidote demands;
To Satan dreadfully resign'd,
Whole herds rush down the steep
Of folly, by lewd wits possess'd,
And perish in the deep.
Men's praise your vanity pursues;
'Tis well, pursue it still;
But let it be of men deceas'd,
And you'll resign the will;
And how superior they to those
At whose applause you aim;
How very far superior they
In number, and in name!
93
~ Edward Young,
610:Scene. Constantinople; the house of a Greek Conjurer. 1521.
Paracelsus.
Paracelsus.
Over the waters in the vaporous West
The sun goes down as in a sphere of gold
Behind the arm of the city, which between,
With all that length of domes and minarets,
Athwart the splendour, black and crooked runs
Like a Turk verse along a scimitar.
There lie, sullen memorial, and no more
Possess my aching sight! 'T is done at last.
Strangeand the juggles of a sallow cheat
Have won me to this act! 'T is as yon cloud
Should voyage unwrecked o'er many a mountain-top
And break upon a molehill. I have dared
Come to a pause with knowledge; scan for once
The heights already reached, without regard
To the extent above; fairly compute
All I have clearly gained; for once excluding
A brilliant future to supply and perfect
All half-gains and conjectures and crude hopes:
And all because a fortune-teller wills
His credulous seekers should inscribe thus much
Their previous life's attainment, in his roll,
Before his promised secret, as he vaunts,
Make up the sum: and here amid the scrawled
Uncouth recordings of the dupes of this
Old arch-genethliac, lie my life's results!
A few blurred characters suffice to note
A stranger wandered long through many lands
And reaped the fruit he coveted in a few
Discoveries, as appended here and there,
The fragmentary produce of much toil,
In a dim heap, fact and surmise together
Confusedly massed as when acquired; he was
Intent on gain to come too much to stay
And scrutinize the little gained: the whole
Slipt in the blank space 'twixt an idiot's gibber
And a mad lover's dittythere it lies.
And yet those blottings chronicle a life
A whole life, and my life! Nothing to do,
No problem for the fancy, but a life
Spent and decided, wasted past retrieve
Or worthy beyond peer. Stay, what does this
Remembrancer set down concerning "life"?
"'Time fleets, youth fades, life is an empty dream,'
"It is the echo of time; and he whose heart
"Beat first beneath a human heart, whose speech
"Was copied from a human tongue, can never
"Recall when he was living yet knew not this.
"Nevertheless long seasons pass o'er him
"Till some one hour's experience shows what nothing,
"It seemed, could clearer show; and ever after,
"An altered brow and eye and gait and speech
"Attest that now he knows the adage true
"'Time fleets, youth fades, life is an empty dream.'"
Ay, my brave chronicler, and this same hour
As well as any: now, let my time be!
Now! I can go no farther; well or ill,
'T is done. I must desist and take my chance.
I cannot keep on the stretch: 't is no back-shrinking
For let but some assurance beam, some close
To my toil grow visible, and I proceed
At any price, though closing it, I die.
Else, here I pause. The old Greek's prophecy
Is like to turn out true: "I shall not quit
"His chamber till I know what I desire!"
Was it the light wind sang it o'er the sea?
An end, a rest! strange how the notion, once
Encountered, gathers strength by moments! Rest!
Where has it kept so long? this throbbing brow
To cease, this beating heart to cease, all cruel
And gnawing thoughts to cease! To dare let down
My strung, so high-strung brain, to dare unnerve
My harassed o'ertasked frame, to know my place,
My portion, my reward, even my failure,
Assigned, made sure for ever! To lose myself
Among the common creatures of the world,
To draw some gain from having been a man,
Neither to hope nor fear, to live at length!
Even in failure, rest! But rest in truth
And power and recompense . . . I hoped that once!
What, sunk insensibly so deep? Has all
Been undergone for this? This the request
My labour qualified me to present
With no fear of refusal? Had I gone
Slightingly through my task, and so judged fit
To moderate my hopes; nay, were it now
My sole concern to exculpate myself,
End things or mend them,why, I could not choose
A humbler mood to wait for the event!
No, no, there needs not this; no, after all,
At worst I have performed my share of the task
The rest is God's concern; mine, merely this,
To know that I have obstinately held
By my own work. The mortal whose brave foot
Has trod, unscathed, the temple-court so far
That he descries at length the shrine of shrines,
Must let no sneering of the demons' eyes,
Whom he could pass unquailing, fasten now
Upon him, fairly past their power; no, no
He must not stagger, faint, fall down at last,
Having a charm to baffle them; behold,
He bares his front: a mortal ventures thus
Serene amid the echoes, beams and glooms!
If he be priest henceforth, if he wake up
The god of the place to ban and blast him there,
Both well! What's failure or success to me?
I have subdued my life to the one purpose
Whereto I ordained it; there alone I spy,
No doubt, that way I may be satisfied.
Yes, well have I subdued my life! beyond
The obligation of my strictest vow,
The contemplation of my wildest bond,
Which gave my nature freely up, in truth,
But in its actual state, consenting fully
All passionate impulses its soil was formed
To rear, should wither; but foreseeing not
The tract, doomed to perpetual barrenness,
Would seem one day, remembered as it was,
Beside the parched sand-waste which now it is,
Already strewn with faint blooms, viewless then.
I ne'er engaged to root up loves so frail
I felt them not; yet now, 't is very plain
Some soft spots had their birth in me at first,
If not love, say, like love: there was a time
When yet this wolfish hunger after knowledge
Set not remorselessly love's claims aside.
This heart was human once, or why recall
Einsiedeln, now, and Wrzburg which the Mayne
Forsakes her course to fold as with an arm?
And Festusmy poor Festus, with his praise
And counsel and grave fearswhere is he now
With the sweet maiden, long ago his bride?
I surely loved themthat last night, at least,
When we . . . gone! gone! the better. I am saved
The sad review of an ambitious youth
Choked by vile lusts, unnoticed in their birth,
But let grow up and wind around a will
Till action was destroyed. No, I have gone
Purging my path successively of aught
Wearing the distant likeness of such lusts.
I have made life consist of one idea:
Ere that was master, up till that was born,
I bear a memory of a pleasant life
Whose small events I treasure; till one morn
I ran o'er the seven little grassy fields,
Startling the flocks of nameless birds, to tell
Poor Festus, leaping all the while for joy,
To leave all trouble for my future plans,
Since I had just determined to become
The greatest and most glorious man on earth.
And since that morn all life has been forgotten;
All is one day, one only step between
The outset and the end: one tyrant all-
Absorbing aim fills up the interspace,
One vast unbroken chain of thought, kept up
Through a career apparently adverse
To its existence: life, death, light and shadow,
The shows of the world, were bare receptacles
Or indices of truth to be wrung thence,
Not ministers of sorrow or delight:
A wondrous natural robe in which she went.
For some one truth would dimly beacon me
From mountains rough with pines, and flit and wink
O'er dazzling wastes of frozen snow, and tremble
Into assured light in some branching mine
Where ripens, swathed in fire, the liquid gold
And all the beauty, all the wonder fell
On either side the truth, as its mere robe;
I see the robe nowthen I saw the form.
So far, then, I have voyaged with success,
So much is good, then, in this working sea
Which parts me from that happy strip of land:
But o'er that happy strip a sun shone, too!
And fainter gleams it as the waves grow rough,
And still more faint as the sea widens; last
I sicken on a dead gulf streaked with light
From its own putrefying depths alone.
Then, God was pledged to take me by the hand;
Now, any miserable juggle can bid
My pride depart. All is alike at length:
God may take pleasure in confounding pride
By hiding secrets with the scorned and base
I am here, in short: so little have I paused
Throughout! I never glanced behind to know
If I had kept my primal light from wane,
And thus insensibly amwhat I am!
Oh, bitter; very bitter!
             And more bitter,
To fear a deeper curse, an inner ruin,
Plague beneath plague, the last turning the first
To light beside its darkness. Let me weep
My youth and its brave hopes, all dead and gone,
In tears which burn! Would I were sure to win
Some startling secret in their stead, a tincture
Of force to flush old age with youth, or breed
Gold, or imprison moonbeams till they change
To opal shafts!only that, hurling it
Indignant back, I might convince myself
My aims remained supreme and pure as ever!
Even now, why not desire, for mankind's sake,
That if I fail, some fault may be the cause,
That, though I sink, another may succeed?
O God, the despicable heart of us!
Shut out this hideous mockery from my heart!
'T was politic in you, Aureole, to reject
Single rewards, and ask them in the lump;
At all events, once launched, to hold straight on:
For now' t is all or nothing. Mighty profit
Your gains will bring if they stop short of such
Full consummation! As a man, you had
A certain share of strength; and that is gone
Already in the getting these you boast.
Do not they seem to laugh, as who should say
"Great master, we are here indeed, dragged forth
"To light; this hast thou done: be glad! Now, seek
"The strength to use which thou hast spent in getting!"
And yet't is much, surely't is very much,
Thus to have emptied youth of all its gifts,
To feed a fire meant to hold out till morn
Arrived with inexhaustible light; and lo,
I have heaped up my last, and day dawns not!
And I am left with grey hair, faded hands,
And furrowed brow. Ha, have I, after all,
Mistaken the wild nursling of my breast?
Knowledge it seemed, and power, and recompense!
Was she who glided through my room of nights,
Who laid my head on her soft knees and smoothed
The damp locks,whose sly soothings just began
When my sick spirit craved repose awhile
God! was I fighting sleep off for death's sake?
God! Thou art mind! Unto the master-mind
Mind should be precious. Spare my mind alone!
All else I will endure; if, as I stand
Here, with my gains, thy thunder smite me down,
I bow me; 't is thy will, thy righteous will;
I o'erpass life's restrictions, and I die;
And if no trace of my career remain
Save a thin corpse at pleasure of the wind
In these bright chambers level with the air,
See thou to it! But if my spirit fail,
My once proud spirit forsake me at the last,
Hast thou done well by me? So do not thou!
Crush not my mind, dear God, though I be crushed!
Hold me before the frequence of thy seraphs
And say"I crushed him, lest he should disturb
"My law. Men must not know their strength: behold
"Weak and alone, how he had raised himself!"
But if delusions trouble me, and thou,
Not seldom felt with rapture in thy help
Throughout my toils and wanderings, dost intend
To work man's welfare through my weak endeavour,
To crown my mortal forehead with a beam
From thine own blinding crown, to smile, and guide
This puny hand and let the work so wrought
Be styled my work,hear me! I covet not
An influx of new power, an angel's soul:
It were no marvel thenbut I have reached
Thus far, a man; let me conclude, a man!
Give but one hour of my first energy,
Of that invincible faith, but only one!
That I may cover with an eagle-glance
The truths I have, and spy some certain way
To mould them, and completing them, possess!
Yet God is good: I started sure of that,
And why dispute it now? I'll not believe
But some undoubted warning long ere this
Had reached me: a fire-labarum was not deemed
Too much for the old founder of these walls.
Then, if my life has not been natural,
It has been monstrous: yet, till late, my course
So ardently engrossed me, that delight,
A pausing and reflecting joy,'t is plain,
Could find no place in it. True, I am worn;
But who clothes summer, who is life itself?
God, that created all things, can renew!
And then, though after-life to please me now
Must have no likeness to the past, what hinders
Reward from springing out of toil, as changed
As bursts the flower from earth and root and stalk?
What use were punishment, unless some sin
Be first detected? let me know that first!
No man could ever offend as I have done . . .
[A voice from within.]
I hear a voice, perchance I heard
Long ago, but all too low,
So that scarce a care it stirred
If the voice were real or no:
I heard it in my youth when first
The waters of my life outburst:
But, now their stream ebbs faint, I hear
That voice, still low, but fatal-clear
As if all poets, God ever meant
Should save the world, and therefore lent
Great gifts to, but who, proud, refused
To do his work, or lightly used
Those gifts, or failed through weak endeavour,
So, mourn cast off by him for ever,
As if these leaned in airy ring
To take me; this the song they sing.
"Lost, lost! yet come,
With our wan troop make thy home.
Come, come! for we
Will not breathe, so much as breathe
Reproach to thee,
Knowing what thou sink'st beneath.
So sank we in those old years,
We who bid thee, come! thou last
Who, living yet, hast life o'erpast.
And altogether we, thy peers,
Will pardon crave for thee, the last
Whose trial is done, whose lot is cast
With those who watch but work no more,
Who gaze on life but live no more.
Yet we trusted thou shouldst speak
The message which our lips, too weak,
Refused to utter,shouldst redeem
Our fault: such trust, and all a dream!
Yet we chose thee a birthplace
Where the richness ran to flowers:
Couldst not sing one song for grace?
Not make one blossom man's and ours?
Must one more recreant to his race
Die with unexerted powers,
And join us, leaving as he found
The world, he was to loosen, bound?
Anguish! ever and for ever;
Still beginning, ending never.
Yet, lost and last one, come!
How couldst understand, alas,
What our pale ghosts strove to say,
As their shades did glance and pass
Before thee night and day?
Thou wast blind as we were dumb:
Once more, therefore, come, O come!
How should we clothe, how arm the spirit
Shall next thy post of life inherit
How guard him from thy speedy ruin?
Tell us of thy sad undoing
Here, where we sit, ever pursuing
Our weary task, ever renewing
Sharp sorrow, far from God who gave
Our powers, and man they could not save!"
Aprile enters.
Aprile.
Ha, ha! our king that wouldst be, here at last?
Art thou the poet who shall save the world?
Thy hand to mine! Stay, fix thine eyes on mine!
Thou wouldst be king? Still fix thine eyes on mine!
Paracelsus.
Ha, ha! why crouchest not? Am I not king?
So torture is not wholly unavailing!
Have my fierce spasms compelled thee from thy lair?
Art thou the sage I only seemed to be,
Myself of after-time, my very self
With sight a little clearer, strength more firm,
Who robes him in my robe and grasps my crown
For just a fault, a weakness, a neglect?
I scarcely trusted God with the surmise
That such might come, and thou didst hear the while!
Aprile.
Thine eyes are lustreless to mine; my hair
Is soft, nay silken soft: to talk with thee
Flushes my cheek, and thou art ashy-pale.
Truly, thou hast laboured, hast withstood her lips,
The siren's! Yes, 't is like thou hast attained!
Tell me, dear master, wherefore now thou comest?
I thought thy solemn songs would have their meed
In after-time; that I should hear the earth
Exult in thee and echo with thy praise,
While I was laid forgotten in my grave.
Paracelsus.
Ah fiend, I know thee, I am not thy dupe!
Thou art ordained to follow in my track,
Reaping my sowing, as I scorned to reap
The harvest sown by sages passed away.
Thou art the sober searcher, cautious striver,
As if, except through me, thou hast searched or striven!
Ay, tell the world! Degrade me after all,
To an aspirant after fame, not truth
To all but envy of thy fate, be sure!
Aprile.
Nay, sing them to me; I shall envy not:
Thou shalt be king! Sing thou, and I will sit
Beside, and call deep silence for thy songs,
And worship thee, as I had ne'er been meant
To fill thy throne: but none shall ever know!
Sing to me; for already thy wild eyes
Unlock my heart-strings, as some crystal-shaft
Reveals by some chance blaze its parent fount
After long time: so thou reveal'st my soul.
All will flash forth at last, with thee to hear!
Paracelsus.
(His secret! I shall get his secretfool!)
I am he that aspired to know: and thou?
Aprile.
I would love infinitely, and be loved!
Paracelsus.
Poor slave! I am thy king indeed.
Aprile.
                 Thou deem'st
Thatborn a spirit, dowered even as thou,
Born for thy fatebecause I could not curb
My yearnings to possess at once the full
Enjoyment, but neglected all the means
Of realizing even the frailest joy,
Gathering no fragments to appease my want,
Yet nursing up that want till thus I die
Thou deem'st I cannot trace thy safe sure march
O'er perils that o'erwhelm me, triumphing,
Neglecting nought below for aught above,
Despising nothing and ensuring all
Nor that I could (my time to come again)
Lead thus my spirit securely as thine own.
Listen, and thou shalt see I know thee well.
I would love infinitely . . . Ah, lost! lost!
Oh ye who armed me at such cost,
How shall I look on all of ye
With your gifts even yet on me?
Paracelsus.
(Ah, 't is some moonstruck creature after all!
Such fond fools as are like to haunt this den:
They spread contagion, doubtless: yet he seemed
To echo one foreboding of my heart
So truly, that . . . no matter! How he stands
With eve's last sunbeam staying on his hair
Which turns to it as if they were akin:
And those clear smiling eyes of saddest blue
Nearly set free, so far they rise above
The painful fruitless striving of the brow
And enforced knowledge of the lips, firm-set
In slow despondency's eternal sigh!
Has he, too, missed life's end, and learned the cause?)
I charge thee, by thy fealty, be calm!
Tell me what thou wouldst be, and what I am.
Aprile.
I would love infinitely, and be loved.
First: I would carve in stone, or cast in brass,
The forms of earth. No ancient hunter lifted
Up to the gods by his renown, no nymph
Supposed the sweet soul of a woodland tree
Or sapphirine spirit of a twilight star,
Should be too hard for me; no shepherd-king
Regal for his white locks; no youth who stands
Silent and very calm amid the throng,
His right hand ever hid beneath his robe
Until the tyrant pass; no lawgiver,
No swan-soft woman rubbed with lucid oils
Given by a god for love of hertoo hard!
Every passion sprung from man, conceived by man,
Would I express and clothe it in its right form,
Or blend with others struggling in one form,
Or show repressed by an ungainly form.
Oh, if you marvelled at some mighty spirit
With a fit frame to execute its will
Even unconsciously to work its will
You should be moved no less beside some strong
Rare spirit, fettered to a stubborn body,
Endeavouring to subdue it and inform it
With its own splendour! All this I would do:
And I would say, this done, "His sprites created,
"God grants to each a sphere to be its world,
"Appointed with the various objects needed
"To satisfy its own peculiar want;
"So, I create a world for these my shapes
"Fit to sustain their beauty and their strength!"
And, at the word, I would contrive and paint
Woods, valleys, rocks and plains, dells, sands and wastes,
Lakes which, when morn breaks on their quivering bed,
Blaze like a wyvern flying round the sun,
And ocean isles so small, the dog-fish tracking
A dead whale, who should find them, would swim thrice
Around them, and fare onwardall to hold
The offspring of my brain. Nor these alone:
Bronze labyrinth, palace, pyramid and crypt,
Baths, galleries, courts, temples and terraces,
Marts, theatres and wharfsall filled with men,
Men everywhere! And this performed in turn,
When those who looked on, pined to hear the hopes
And fears and hates and loves which moved the crowd,
I would throw down the pencil as the chisel,
And I would speak; no thought which ever stirred
A human breast should be untold; all passions,
All soft emotions, from the turbulent stir
Within a heart fed with desires like mine,
To the last comfort shutting the tired lids
Of him who sleeps the sultry noon away
Beneath the tent-tree by the wayside well:
And this in language as the need should be,
Now poured at once forth in a burning flow,
Now piled up in a grand array of words.
This done, to perfect and consummate all,
Even as a luminous haze links star to star,
I would supply all chasms with music, breathing
Mysterious motions of the soul, no way
To be defined save in strange melodies.
Last, having thus revealed all I could love,
Having received all love bestowed on it,
I would die: preserving so throughout my course
God full on me, as I was full on men:
He would approve my prayer, "I have gone through
"The loveliness of life; create for me
"If not for men, or take me to thyself,
"Eternal, infinite love!"
             If thou hast ne'er
Conceived this mighty aim, this full desire,
Thou hast not passed my trial, and thou art
No king of mine.
Paracelsus.
         Ah me!
         Aprile.
           But thou art here!
Thou didst not gaze like me upon that end
Till thine own powers for compassing the bliss
Were blind with glory; nor grow mad to grasp
At once the prize long patient toil should claim,
Nor spurn all granted short of that. And I
Would do as thou, a second time: nay, listen!
Knowing ourselves, our world, our task so great,
Our time so brief, 't is clear if we refuse
The means so limited, the tools so rude
To execute our purpose, life will fleet,
And we shall fade, and leave our task undone.
We will be wise in time: what though our work
Be fashioned in despite of their ill-service,
Be crippled every way? 'T were little praise
Did full resources wait on our goodwill
At every turn. Let all be as it is.
Some say the earth is even so contrived
That tree and flower, a vesture gay, conceal
A bare and skeleton framework. Had we means
Answering to our mind! But now I seem
Wrecked on a savage isle: how rear thereon
My palace? Branching palms the props shall be,
Fruit glossy mingling; gems are for the East;
Who heeds them? I can pass them. Serpents' scales,
And painted birds' down, furs and fishes' skins
Must help me; and a little here and there
Is all I can aspire to: still my art
Shall show its birth was in a gentler clime.
"Had I green jars of malachite, this way
"I'd range them: where those sea-shells glisten above,
"Cressets should hang, by right: this way we set
"The purple carpets, as these mats are laid,
"Woven of fern and rush and blossoming flag."
Or if, by fortune, some completer grace
Be spared to me, some fragment, some slight sample
Of the prouder workmanship my own home boasts,
Some trifle little heeded there, but here
The place's one perfectionwith what joy
Would I enshrine the relic, cheerfully
Foregoing all the marvels out of reach!
Could I retain one strain of all the psalm
Of the angels, one word of the fiat of God,
To let my followers know what such things are!
I would adventure nobly for their sakes:
When nights were still, and still the moaning sea
And far away I could descry the land
Whence I departed, whither I return,
I would dispart the waves, and stand once more
At home, and load my bark, and hasten back,
And fling my gains to them, worthless or true.
"Friends," I would say, "I went far, far for them,
"Past the high rocks the haunt of doves, the mounds
"Of red earth from whose sides strange trees grow out,
"Past tracts of milk-white minute blinding sand,
"Till, by a mighty moon, I tremblingly
"Gathered these magic herbs, berry and bud,
"In haste, not pausing to reject the weeds,
"But happy plucking them at any price.
"To me, who have seen them bloom in their own soil,
"They are scarce lovely: plait and wear them, you!
"And guess, from what they are, the springs that fed them,
"The stars that sparkled o'er them, night by night,
"The snakes that travelled far to sip their dew!"
Thus for my higher loves; and thus even weakness
Would win me honour. But not these alone
Should claim my care; for common life, its wants
And ways, would I set forth in beauteous hues:
The lowest hind should not possess a hope,
A fear, but I'd be by him, saying better
Than he his own heart's language. I would live
For ever in the thoughts I thus explored,
As a discoverer's memory is attached
To all he finds; they should be mine henceforth,
Imbued with me, though free to all before:
For clay, once cast into my soul's rich mine,
Should come up crusted o'er with gems. Nor this
Would need a meaner spirit, than the first;
Nay, 't would be but the selfsame spirit, clothed
In humbler guise, but still the selfsame spirit:
As one spring wind unbinds the mountain snow
And comforts violets in their hermitage.
But, master, poet, who hast done all this,
How didst thou'scape the ruin whelming me?
Didst thou, when nerving thee to this attempt,
Ne'er range thy mind's extent, as some wide hall,
Dazzled by shapes that filled its length with light,
Shapes clustered there to rule thee, not obey,
That will not wait thy summons, will not rise
Singly, nor when thy practised eye and hand
Can well transfer their loveliness, but crowd
By thee for ever, bright to thy despair?
Didst thou ne'er gaze on each by turns, and ne'er
Resolve to single out one, though the rest
Should vanish, and to give that one, entire
In beauty, to the world; forgetting, so,
Its peers, whose number baffles mortal power?
And, this determined, wast thou ne'er seduced
By memories and regrets and passionate love,
To glance once more farewell? and did their eyes
Fasten thee, brighter and more bright, until
Thou couldst but stagger back unto their feet,
And laugh that man's applause or welfare ever
Could tempt thee to forsake them? Or when years
Had passed and still their love possessed thee wholly,
When from without some murmur startled thee
Of darkling mortals famished for one ray
Of thy so-hoarded luxury of light,
Didst thou ne'er strive even yet to break those spells
And prove thou couldst recover and fulfil
Thy early mission, long ago renounced,
And to that end, select some shape once more?
And did not mist-like influences, thick films,
Faint memories of the rest that charmed so long
Thine eyes, float fast, confuse thee, bear thee off,
As whirling snow-drifts blind a man who treads
A mountain ridge, with guiding spear, through storm?
Say, though I fell, I had excuse to fall;
Say, I was tempted sorely: say but this,
Dear lord, Aprile's lord!
Paracelsus.
             Clasp me not thus,
Aprile! That the truth should reach me thus!
We are weak dust. Nay, clasp not or I faint!
Aprile.
My king! and envious thoughts could outrage thee?
Lo, I forget my ruin, and rejoice
In thy success, as thou! Let our God's praise
Go bravely through the world at last! What care
Through me or thee? I feel thy breath. Why, tears?
Tears in the darkness, and from thee to me?
Paracelsus.
Love me henceforth, Aprile, while I learn
To love; and, merciful God, forgive us both!
We wake at length from weary dreams; but both
Have slept in fairy-land: though dark and drear
Appears the world before us, we no less
Wake with our wrists and ankles jewelled still.
I too have sought to know as thou to love
Excluding love as thou refusedst knowledge.
Still thou hast beauty and I, power. We wake:
What penance canst devise for both of us?
Aprile.
I hear thee faintly. The thick darkness! Even
Thine eyes are hid. 'T is as I knew: I speak,
And now I die. But I have seen thy face!
O poet, think of me, and sing of me!
But to have seen thee and to die so soon!
Paracelsus.
Die not, Aprile! We must never part.
Are we not halves of one dissevered world,
Whom this strange chance unites once more? Part? never!
Till thou the lover, know; and I, the knower,
Loveuntil both are saved. Aprile, hear!
We will accept our gains, and use themnow!
God, he will die upon my breast! Aprile!
Aprile.
To speak but once, and die! yet by his side.
Hush! hush!
     Ha! go you ever girt about
With phantoms, powers? I have created such,
But these seem real as I.
Paracelsus.
             Whom can you see
Through the accursed darkness?
Aprile.
                Stay; I know,
I know them: who should know them well as I?
White brows, lit up with glory; poets all!
Paracelsus.
Let him but live, and I have my reward!
Aprile.
Yes; I see now. God is the perfect poet,
Who in his person acts his own creations.
Had you but told me this at first! Hush! hush!
Paracelsus.
Live! for my sake, because of my great sin,
To help my brain, oppressed by these wild words
And their deep import. Live! 't is not too late.
I have a quiet home for us, and friends.
Michal shall smile on you. Hear you? Lean thus,
And breathe my breath. I shall not lose one word
Of all your speech, one little word, Aprile!
Aprile.
No, no. Crown me? I am not one of you!
'T is he, the king, you seek. I am not one.
Paracelsus.
Thy spirit, at least, Aprile! Let me love!
I have attained, and now I may depart.


~ Robert Browning, Paracelsus - Part II - Paracelsus Attains
,
611:Gotham - Book Iii
Can the fond mother from herself depart?
Can she forget the darling of her heart,
The little darling whom she bore and bred,
Nursed on her knees, and at her bosom fed;
To whom she seem'd her every thought to give,
And in whose life alone she seem'd to live?
Yes, from herself the mother may depart,
She may forget the darling of her heart,
The little darling whom she bore and bred,
Nursed on her knees, and at her bosom fed,
To whom she seem'd her every thought to give,
And in whose life alone she seem'd to live;
But I cannot forget, whilst life remains,
And pours her current through these swelling veins,
Whilst Memory offers up at Reason's shrine;
But I cannot forget that Gotham's mine.
Can the stern mother, than the brutes more wild,
From her disnatured breast tear her young child,
Flesh of her flesh, and of her bone the bone,
And dash the smiling babe against a stone?
Yes, the stern mother, than the brutes more wild,
From her disnatured breast may tear her child,
Flesh of her flesh, and of her bone the bone,
And dash the smiling babe against a stone;
But I, (forbid it, Heaven!) but I can ne'er
The love of Gotham from this bosom tear;
Can ne'er so far true royalty pervert
From its fair course, to do my people hurt.
With how much ease, with how much confidence-As if, superior to each grosser sense,
Reason had only, in full power array'd,
To manifest her will, and be obey'd-Men make resolves, and pass into decrees
The motions of the mind! with how much ease,
In such resolves, doth passion make a flaw,
And bring to nothing what was raised to law!
In empire young, scarce warm on Gotham's throne,
The dangers and the sweets of power unknown,
Pleased, though I scarce know why, like some young child,
55
Whose little senses each new toy turns wild,
How do I hold sweet dalliance with my crown,
And wanton with dominion, how lay down,
Without the sanction of a precedent,
Rules of most large and absolute extent;
Rules, which from sense of public virtue spring,
And all at once commence a Patriot King!
But, for the day of trial is at hand,
And the whole fortunes of a mighty land
Are staked on me, and all their weal or woe
Must from my good or evil conduct flow,
Will I, or can I, on a fair review,
As I assume that name, deserve it too?
Have I well weigh'd the great, the noble part
I'm now to play? have I explored my heart,
That labyrinth of fraud, that deep dark cell,
Where, unsuspected e'en by me, may dwell
Ten thousand follies? have I found out there
What I am fit to do, and what to bear?
Have I traced every passion to its rise,
Nor spared one lurking seed of treacherous vice?
Have I familiar with my nature grown?
And am I fairly to myself made known?
A Patriot King!--why, 'tis a name which bears
The more immediate stamp of Heaven; which wears
The nearest, best resemblance we can show
Of God above, through all his works below.
To still the voice of Discord in the land;
To make weak Faction's discontented band,
Detected, weak, and crumbling to decay,
With hunger pinch'd, on their own vitals prey;
Like brethren, in the self-same interests warm'd,
Like different bodies, with one soul inform'd;
To make a nation, nobly raised above
All meaner thought, grow up in common love;
To give the laws due vigour, and to hold
That secret balance, temperate, yet bold,
With such an equal hand, that those who fear
May yet approve, and own my justice clear;
To be a common father, to secure
The weak from violence, from pride the poor;
Vice and her sons to banish in disgrace,
56
To make Corruption dread to show her face;
To bid afflicted Virtue take new state,
And be at last acquainted with the great;
Of all religions to elect the best,
Nor let her priests be made a standing jest;
Rewards for worth with liberal hand to carve,
To love the arts, nor let the artists starve;
To make fair Plenty through the realm increase,
Give fame in war, and happiness in peace;
To see my people virtuous, great, and free,
And know that all those blessings flow from me;
Oh! 'tis a joy too exquisite, a thought
Which flatters Nature more than flattery ought;
'Tis a great, glorious task, for man too hard;
But no less great, less glorious the reward,
The best reward which here to man is given,
'Tis more than earth, and little short of heaven;
A task (if such comparison may be)
The same in Nature, differing in degree,
Like that which God, on whom for aid I call,
Performs with ease, and yet performs to all.
How much do they mistake, how little know
Of kings, of kingdoms, and the pains which flow
From royalty, who fancy that a crown,
Because it glistens, must be lined with down!
With outside show, and vain appearance caught,
They look no further, and, by Folly taught,
Prize high the toys of thrones, but never find
One of the many cares which lurk behind.
The gem they worship which a crown adorns,
Nor once suspect that crown is lined with thorns.
Oh, might Reflection Folly's place supply,
Would we one moment use her piercing eye,
Then should we find what woe from grandeur springs,
And learn to pity, not to envy kings!
The villager, born humbly and bred hard,
Content his wealth, and Poverty his guard,
In action simply just, in conscience clear,
By guilt untainted, undisturb'd by fear,
His means but scanty, and his wants but few,
Labour his business, and his pleasure too,
Enjoys more comforts in a single hour
57
Than ages give the wretch condemn'd to power.
Call'd up by health, he rises with the day,
And goes to work, as if he went to play,
Whistling off toils, one half of which might make
The stoutest Atlas of a palace quake;
'Gainst heat and cold, which make us cowards faint,
Harden'd by constant use, without complaint
He bears what we should think it death to bear;
Short are his meals, and homely is his fare;
His thirst he slakes at some pure neighbouring brook,
Nor asks for sauce where appetite stands cook.
When the dews fall, and when the sun retires
Behind the mountains, when the village fires,
Which, waken'd all at once, speak supper nigh,
At distance catch, and fix his longing eye,
Homeward he hies, and with his manly brood
Of raw-boned cubs enjoys that clean, coarse food,
Which, season'd with good-humour, his fond bride
'Gainst his return is happy to provide;
Then, free from care, and free from thought, he creeps
Into his straw, and till the morning sleeps.
Not so the king--with anxious cares oppress'd
His bosom labours, and admits not rest:
A glorious wretch, he sweats beneath the weight
Of majesty, and gives up ease for state.
E'en when his smiles, which, by the fools of pride,
Are treasured and preserved from side to side,
Fly round the court, e'en when, compell'd by form,
He seems most calm, his soul is in a storm.
Care, like a spectre, seen by him alone,
With all her nest of vipers, round his throne
By day crawls full in view; when Night bids sleep,
Sweet nurse of Nature! o'er the senses creep;
When Misery herself no more complains,
And slaves, if possible, forget their chains;
Though his sense weakens, though his eyes grow dim,
That rest which comes to all, comes not to him.
E'en at that hour, Care, tyrant Care, forbids
The dew of sleep to fall upon his lids;
From night to night she watches at his bed;
Now, as one moped, sits brooding o'er his head;
Anon she starts, and, borne on raven's wings,
58
Croaks forth aloud--'Sleep was not made for kings!'
Thrice hath the moon, who governs this vast ball,
Who rules most absolute o'er me and all;
To whom, by full conviction taught to bow,
At new, at full, I pay the duteous vow;
Thrice hath the moon her wonted course pursued,
Thrice hath she lost her form, and thrice renew'd,
Since, (bless'd be that season, for before
I was a mere, mere mortal, and no more,
One of the herd, a lump of common clay,
Inform'd with life, to die and pass away)
Since I became a king, and Gotham's throne,
With full and ample power, became my own;
Thrice hath the moon her wonted course pursued,
Thrice hath she lost her form, and thrice renew'd,
Since sleep, kind sleep! who like a friend supplies
New vigour for new toil, hath closed these eyes.
Nor, if my toils are answer'd with success,
And I am made an instrument to bless
The people whom I love, shall I repine;
Theirs be the benefit, the labour mine.
Mindful of that high rank in which I stand,
Of millions lord, sole ruler in the land,
Let me,--and Reason shall her aid afford,-Rule my own spirit, of myself be lord.
With an ill grace that monarch wears his crown,
Who, stern and hard of nature, wears a frown
'Gainst faults in other men, yet all the while
Meets his own vices with a partial smile.
How can a king (yet on record we find
Such kings have been, such curses of mankind)
Enforce that law 'gainst some poor subject elf
Which conscience tells him he hath broke himself?
Can he some petty rogue to justice call
For robbing one, when he himself robs all?
Must not, unless extinguish'd, Conscience fly
Into his cheek, and blast his fading eye,
To scourge the oppressor, when the State, distress'd
And sunk to ruin, is by him oppress'd?
Against himself doth he not sentence give;
If one must die, t' other's not fit to live.
Weak is that throne, and in itself unsound,
59
Which takes not solid virtue for its ground.
All envy power in others, and complain
Of that which they would perish to obtain.
Nor can those spirits, turbulent and bold,
Not to be awed by threats, nor bought with gold,
Be hush'd to peace, but when fair legal sway
Makes it their real interest to obey;
When kings, and none but fools can then rebel,
Not less in virtue, than in power, excel.
Be that my object, that my constant care,
And may my soul's best wishes centre there;
Be it my task to seek, nor seek in vain,
Not only how to live, but how to reign;
And to those virtues which from Reason spring,
And grace the man, join those which grace the king.
First, (for strict duty bids my care extend
And reach to all who on that care depend,
Bids me with servants keep a steady hand,
And watch o'er all my proxies in the land)
First, (and that method Reason shall support)
Before I look into, and purge my court,
Before I cleanse the stable of the State,
Let me fix things which to myself relate.
That done, and all accounts well settled here,
In resolution firm, in honour clear,
Tremble, ye slaves! who dare abuse your trust,
Who dare be villains, when your king is just.
Are there, amongst those officers of state,
To whom our sacred power we delegate,
Who hold our place and office in the realm,
Who, in our name commission'd, guide the helm;
Are there, who, trusting to our love of ease,
Oppress our subjects, wrest our just decrees,
And make the laws, warp'd from their fair intent,
To speak a language which they never meant;
Are there such men, and can the fools depend
On holding out in safety to their end?
Can they so much, from thoughts of danger free,
Deceive themselves, so much misdeem of me,
To think that I will prove a statesman's tool,
And live a stranger where I ought to rule?
What! to myself and to my state unjust,
60
Shall I from ministers take things on trust,
And, sinking low the credit of my throne,
Depend upon dependants of my own?
Shall I,--most certain source of future cares,-Not use my judgment, but depend on theirs?
Shall I, true puppet-like, be mock'd with state,
Have nothing but the name of being great;
Attend at councils which I must not weigh;
Do what they bid, and what they dictate, say;
Enrobed, and hoisted up into my chair,
Only to be a royal cipher there?
Perish the thought--'tis treason to my throne-And who but thinks it, could his thoughts be known
Insults me more than he, who, leagued with Hell,
Shall rise in arms, and 'gainst my crown rebel.
The wicked statesman, whose false heart pursues
A train of guilt; who acts with double views,
And wears a double face; whose base designs
Strike at his monarch's throne; who undermines
E'en whilst he seems his wishes to support;
Who seizes all departments; packs a court;
Maintains an agent on the judgment-seat,
To screen his crimes, and make his frauds complete;
New-models armies, and around the throne
Will suffer none but creatures of his own,
Conscious of such his baseness, well may try,
Against the light to shut his master's eye,
To keep him coop'd, and far removed from those
Who, brave and honest, dare his crimes disclose,
Nor ever let him in one place appear,
Where truth, unwelcome truth, may wound his ear.
Attempts like these, well weigh'd, themselves proclaim,
And, whilst they publish, balk their author's aim.
Kings must be blind into such snares to run,
Or, worse, with open eyes must be undone.
The minister of honesty and worth
Demands the day to bring his actions forth;
Calls on the sun to shine with fiercer rays,
And braves that trial which must end in praise.
None fly the day, and seek the shades of night,
But those whose actions cannot bear the light;
None wish their king in ignorance to hold
61
But those who feel that knowledge must unfold
Their hidden guilt; and, that dark mist dispell'd
By which their places and their lives are held,
Confusion wait them, and, by Justice led,
In vengeance fall on every traitor's head.
Aware of this, and caution'd 'gainst the pit
Where kings have oft been lost, shall I submit,
And rust in chains like these? shall I give way,
And whilst my helpless subjects fall a prey
To power abused, in ignorance sit down,
Nor dare assert the honour of my crown?
When stern Rebellion, (if that odious name
Justly belongs to those whose only aim,
Is to preserve their country; who oppose,
In honour leagued, none but their country's foes;
Who only seek their own, and found their cause
In due regard for violated laws)
When stern Rebellion, who no longer feels
Nor fears rebuke, a nation at her heels,
A nation up in arms, though strong not proud,
Knocks at the palace gate, and, calling loud
For due redress, presents, from Truth's fair pen,
A list of wrongs, not to be borne by men:
How must that king be humbled, how disgrace
All that is royal in his name and place,
Who, thus call'd forth to answer, can advance
No other plea but that of ignorance!
A vile defence, which, was his all at stake,
The meanest subject well might blush to make;
A filthy source, from whence shame ever springs;
A stain to all, but most a stain to kings.
The soul with great and manly feelings warm'd,
Panting for knowledge, rests not till inform'd;
And shall not I, fired with the glorious zeal,
Feel those brave passions which my subjects feel?
Or can a just excuse from ignorance flow
To me, whose first great duty is--to know?
Hence, Ignorance!--thy settled, dull, blank eye
Would hurt me, though I knew no reason why.
Hence, Ignorance!--thy slavish shackles bind
The free-born soul, and lethargise the mind.
Of thee, begot by Pride, who look'd with scorn
62
On every meaner match, of thee was born
That grave inflexibility of soul,
Which Reason can't convince, nor Fear control;
Which neither arguments nor prayers can reach,
And nothing less than utter ruin teach.
Hence, Ignorance!--hence to that depth of night
Where thou wast born, where not one gleam of light
May wound thine eye--hence to some dreary cell
Where monks with superstition love to dwell;
Or in some college soothe thy lazy pride,
And with the heads of colleges reside;
Fit mate for Royalty thou canst not be,
And if no mate for kings, no mate for me.
Come, Study! like a torrent swell'd with rains,
Which, rushing down the mountains, o'er the plains
Spreads horror wide, and yet, in horror kind,
Leaves seeds of future fruitfulness behind;
Come, Study!--painful though thy course, and slow,
Thy real worth by thy effects we know-Parent of Knowledge, come!--Not thee I call,
Who, grave and dull, in college or in hall
Dost sit, all solemn sad, and moping weigh
Things which, when found, thy labours can't repay-Nor, in one hand, fit emblem of thy trade,
A rod; in t' other, gaudily array'd,
A hornbook gilt and letter'd, call I thee,
Who dost in form preside o'er A, B, C:
Nor (siren though thou art, and thy strange charms,
As 'twere by magic, lure men to thine arms)
Do I call thee, who, through a winding maze,
A labyrinth of puzzling, pleasing ways,
Dost lead us at the last to those rich plains,
Where, in full glory, real Science reigns;
Fair though thou art, and lovely to mine eye,
Though full rewards in thy possession lie
To crown man's wish, and do thy favourites grace;
Though (was I station'd in an humbler place)
I could be ever happy in thy sight,
Toil with thee all the day, and through the night,
Toil on from watch to watch, bidding my eye,
Fast rivetted on Science, sleep defy;
Yet (such the hardships which from empire flow)
63
Must I thy sweet society forego,
And to some happy rival's arms resign
Those charms which can, alas! no more be mine!
No more from hour to hour, from day to day,
Shall I pursue thy steps, and urge my way
Where eager love of science calls; no more
Attempt those paths which man ne'er trod before;
No more, the mountain scaled, the desert cross'd,
Losing myself, nor knowing I was lost,
Travel through woods, through wilds, from morn to night,
From night to morn, yet travel with delight,
And having found thee, lay me down content,
Own all my toil well paid, my time well spent.
Farewell, ye Muses too!--for such mean things
Must not presume to dwell with mighty kings-Farewell, ye Muses! though it cuts my heart
E'en to the quick, we must for ever part.
When the fresh morn bade lusty Nature wake;
When the birds, sweetly twittering through the brake,
Tune their soft pipes; when, from the neighbouring bloom
Sipping the dew, each zephyr stole perfume;
When all things with new vigour were inspired,
And seem'd to say they never could be tired;
How often have we stray'd, whilst sportive rhyme
Deceived the way and clipp'd the wings of Time,
O'er hill, o'er dale; how often laugh'd to see,
Yourselves made visible to none but me,
The clown, his works suspended, gape and stare,
And seem to think that I conversed with air!
When the sun, beating on the parched soil,
Seem'd to proclaim an interval of toil;
When a faint langour crept through every breast,
And things most used to labour wish'd for rest,
How often, underneath a reverend oak,
Where safe, and fearless of the impious stroke,
Some sacred Dryad lived; or in some grove,
Where, with capricious fingers, Fancy wove
Her fairy bower, whilst Nature all the while
Look'd on, and view'd her mockeries with a smile,
Have we held converse sweet! How often laid,
Fast by the Thames, in Ham's inspiring shade,
Amongst those poets which make up your train,
64
And, after death, pour forth the sacred strain,
Have I, at your command, in verse grown gray,
But not impair'd, heard Dryden tune that lay
Which might have drawn an angel from his sphere,
And kept him from his office listening here!
When dreary Night, with Morpheus in her train,
Led on by Silence to resume her reign,
With darkness covering, as with a robe,
The scene of levity, blank'd half the globe;
How oft, enchanted with your heavenly strains,
Which stole me from myself; which in soft chains
Of music bound my soul; how oft have I,
Sounds more than human floating through the sky,
Attentive sat, whilst Night, against her will,
Transported with the harmony, stood still!
How oft in raptures, which man scarce could bear,
Have I, when gone, still thought the Muses there;
Still heard their music, and, as mute as death,
Sat all attention, drew in every breath,
Lest, breathing all too rudely, I should wound,
And mar that magic excellence of sound;
Then, Sense returning with return of day,
Have chid the Night, which fled so fast away!
Such my pursuits, and such my joys of yore,
Such were my mates, but now my mates no more.
Placed out of Envy's walk, (for Envy, sure,
Would never haunt the cottage of the poor,
Would never stoop to wound my homespun lays)
With some few friends, and some small share of praise,
Beneath oppression, undisturb'd by strife,
In peace I trod the humble vale of life.
Farewell, these scenes of ease, this tranquil state;
Welcome the troubles which on empire wait!
Light toys from this day forth I disavow;
They pleased me once, but cannot suit me now:
To common men all common things are free,
What honours them, might fix disgrace on me.
Call'd to a throne, and o'er a mighty land
Ordain'd to rule, my head, my heart, my hand,
Are all engross'd; each private view withstood,
And task'd to labour for the public good:
Be this my study; to this one great end
65
May every thought, may every action tend!
Let me the page of History turn o'er,
The instructive page, and needfully explore
What faithful pens of former times have wrote
Of former kings; what they did worthy note,
What worthy blame; and from the sacred tomb
Where righteous monarchs sleep, where laurels bloom,
Unhurt by Time, let me a garland twine,
Which, robbing not their fame, may add to mine.
Nor let me with a vain and idle eye
Glance o'er those scenes, and in a hurry fly,
Quick as the post, which travels day and night;
Nor let me dwell there, lured by false delight;
And, into barren theory betray'd,
Forget that monarchs are for action made.
When amorous Spring, repairing all his charms,
Calls Nature forth from hoary Winter's arms,
Where, like a virgin to some lecher sold,
Three wretched months she lay benumb'd, and cold;
When the weak flower, which, shrinking from the breath
Of the rude North, and timorous of death,
To its kind mother earth for shelter fled,
And on her bosom hid its tender head,
Peeps forth afresh, and, cheer'd by milder sties,
Bids in full splendour all her beauties rise;
The hive is up in arms--expert to teach,
Nor, proudly, to be taught unwilling, each
Seems from her fellow a new zeal to catch;
Strength in her limbs, and on her wings dispatch,
The bee goes forth; from herb to herb she flies,
From flower to flower, and loads her labouring thighs
With treasured sweets, robbing those flowers, which, left,
Find not themselves made poorer by the theft,
Their scents as lively, and their looks as fair,
As if the pillager had not been there.
Ne'er doth she flit on Pleasure's silken wing;
Ne'er doth she, loitering, let the bloom of Spring
Unrifled pass, and on the downy breast
Of some fair flower indulge untimely rest;
Ne'er doth she, drinking deep of those rich dews
Which chemist Night prepared, that faith abuse
Due to the hive, and, selfish in her toils,
66
To her own private use convert the spoils.
Love of the stock first call'd her forth to roam,
And to the stock she brings her booty home.
Be this my pattern--as becomes a king,
Let me fly all abroad on Reason's wing;
Let mine eye, like the lightning, through the earth
Run to and fro, nor let one deed of worth,
In any place and time, nor let one man,
Whose actions may enrich dominion's plan,
Escape my note; be all, from the first day
Of Nature to this hour, be all my prey.
From those whom Time, at the desire of Fame,
Hath spared, let Virtue catch an equal flame;
From those who, not in mercy, but in rage,
Time hath reprieved, to damn from age to age,
Let me take warning, lesson'd to distil,
And, imitating Heaven, draw good from ill.
Nor let these great researches, in my breast
A monument of useless labour rest;
No--let them spread--the effects let Gotham share,
And reap the harvest of their monarch's care:
Be other times, and other countries known,
Only to give fresh blessings to my own.
Let me, (and may that God to whom I fly,
On whom for needful succour I rely
In this great hour, that glorious God of truth,
Through whom I reign, in mercy to my youth,
Assist my weakness, and direct me right;
From every speck which hangs upon the sight
Purge my mind's eye, nor let one cloud remain
To spread the shades of Error o'er my brain!)
Let me, impartial, with unwearied thought,
Try men and things; let me, as monarchs ought,
Examine well on what my power depends;
What are the general principles and ends
Of government; how empire first began;
And wherefore man was raised to reign o'er man.
Let me consider, as from one great source
We see a thousand rivers take their course,
Dispersed, and into different channels led,
Yet by their parent still supplied and fed,
That Government, (though branch'd out far and wide,
67
In various modes to various lands applied)
Howe'er it differs in its outward frame,
In the main groundwork's every where the same;
The same her view, though different her plan,
Her grand and general view--the good of man.
Let me find out, by Reason's sacred beams,
What system in itself most perfect seems,
Most worthy man, most likely to conduce
To all the purposes of general use;
Let me find, too, where, by fair Reason tried,
It fails, when to particulars applied;
Why in that mode all nations do not join,
And, chiefly, why it cannot suit with mine.
Let me the gradual rise of empires trace,
Till they seem founded on Perfection's base;
Then (for when human things have made their way
To excellence, they hasten to decay)
Let me, whilst Observation lends her clue
Step after step to their decline pursue,
Enabled by a chain of facts to tell
Not only how they rose, but why they fell.
Let me not only the distempers know
Which in all states from common causes grow,
But likewise those, which, by the will of Fate,
On each peculiar mode of empire wait;
Which in its very constitution lurk,
Too sure at last to do its destined work:
Let me, forewarn'd, each sign, each symptom learn,
That I my people's danger may discern,
Ere 'tis too late wish'd health to reassure,
And, if it can be found, find out a cure.
Let me, (though great, grave brethren of the gown
Preach all Faith up, and preach all Reason down,
Making those jar whom Reason meant to join,
And vesting in themselves a right divine),
Let me, through Reason's glass, with searching eye,
Into the depth of that religion pry
Which law hath sanction'd; let me find out there
What's form, what's essence; what, like vagrant air,
We well may change; and what, without a crime,
Cannot be changed to the last hour of time.
Nor let me suffer that outrageous zeal
68
Which, without knowledge, furious bigots feel,
Fair in pretence, though at the heart unsound,
These separate points at random to confound.
The times have been when priests have dared to tread,
Proud and insulting, on their monarch's head;
When, whilst they made religion a pretence,
Out of the world they banish'd common-sense;
When some soft king, too open to deceit,
Easy and unsuspecting join'd the cheat,
Duped by mock piety, and gave his name
To serve the vilest purposes of shame.
Pear not, my people! where no cause of fear
Can justly rise--your king secures you here;
Your king, who scorns the haughty prelate's nod,
Nor deems the voice of priests the voice of God.
Let me, (though lawyers may perhaps forbid
Their monarch to behold what they wish hid,
And for the purposes of knavish gain,
Would have their trade a mystery remain)
Let me, disdaining all such slavish awe,
Dive to the very bottom of the law;
Let me (the weak, dead letter left behind)
Search out the principles, the spirit find,
Till, from the parts, made master of the whole,
I see the Constitution's very soul.
Let me, (though statesmen will no doubt resist,
And to my eyes present a fearful list
Of men, whose wills are opposite to mine,
Of men, great men, determined to resign)
Let me, (with firmness, which becomes a king.
Conscious from what a source my actions spring,
Determined not by worlds to be withstood,
When my grand object is my country's good)
Unravel all low ministerial scenes,
Destroy their jobs, lay bare their ways and means,
And track them step by step; let me well know
How places, pensions, and preferments go;
Why Guilt's provided for when Worth is not,
And why one man of merit is forgot;
Let me in peace, in war, supreme preside,
And dare to know my way without a guide.
Let me, (though Dignity, by nature proud,
69
Retires from view, and swells behind a cloud,-As if the sun shone with less powerful ray,
Less grace, less glory, shining every day,-Though when she comes forth into public sight,
Unbending as a ghost, she stalks upright,
With such an air as we have often seen,
And often laugh'd at, in a tragic queen,
Nor, at her presence, though base myriads crook
The supple knee, vouchsafes a single look)
Let me, (all vain parade, all empty pride,
All terrors of dominion laid aside,
All ornament, and needless helps of art,
All those big looks, which speak a little heart)
Know (which few kings, alas! have ever known)
How Affability becomes a throne,
Destroys all fear, bids Love with Reverence live,
And gives those graces Pride can never give.
Let the stern tyrant keep a distant state,
And, hating all men, fear return of hate,
Conscious of guilt, retreat behind his throne,
Secure from all upbraidings but his own:
Let all my subjects have access to me,
Be my ears open, as my heart is free;
In full fair tide let information flow;
That evil is half cured, whose cause we know.
And thou, where'er thou art, thou wretched thing,
Who art afraid to look up to a king,
Lay by thy fears; make but thy grievance plain,
And, if I not redress thee, may my reign
Close up that very moment. To prevent
The course of Justice from her vain intent,
In vain my nearest, dearest friend shall plead,
In vain my mother kneel; my soul may bleed,
But must not change. When Justice draws the dart,
Though it is doom'd to pierce a favourite's heart,
'Tis mine to give it force, to give it aim-I know it duty, and I feel it fame.
~ Charles Churchill,
612:TO MARY
(ON HER OBJECTING TO THE FOLLOWING POEM, UPON THE SCORE OF ITS CONTAINING NO HUMAN INTEREST)

I.
How, my dear Mary, -- are you critic-bitten
(For vipers kill, though dead) by some review,
That you condemn these verses I have written,
Because they tell no story, false or true?
What, though no mice are caught by a young kitten,
May it not leap and play as grown cats do,
Till its claws come? Prithee, for this one time,
Content thee with a visionary rhyme.

II.
What hand would crush the silken-wingd fly,
The youngest of inconstant April's minions,
Because it cannot climb the purest sky,
Where the swan sings, amid the sun's dominions?
Not thine. Thou knowest 'tis its doom to die,
When Day shall hide within her twilight pinions
The lucent eyes, and the eternal smile,
Serene as thine, which lent it life awhile.

III.
To thy fair feet a wingd Vision came,
Whose date should have been longer than a day,
And o'er thy head did beat its wings for fame,
And in thy sight its fading plumes display;
The watery bow burned in the evening flame,
But the shower fell, the swift Sun went his way
And that is dead.O, let me not believe
That anything of mine is fit to live!

IV.
Wordsworth informs us he was nineteen years
Considering and retouching Peter Bell;
Watering his laurels with the killing tears
Of slow, dull care, so that their roots to Hell
Might pierce, and their wide branches blot the spheres
Of Heaven, with dewy leaves and flowers; this well
May be, for Heaven and Earth conspire to foil
The over-busy gardener's blundering toil.

V.
My Witch indeed is not so sweet a creature
As Ruth or Lucy, whom his graceful praise
Clothes for our grandsonsbut she matches Peter,
Though he took nineteen years, and she three days
In dressing. Light the vest of flowing metre
She wears; he, proud as dandy with his stays,
Has hung upon his wiry limbs a dress
Like King Lear's 'looped and windowed raggedness.'

VI.
If you strip Peter, you will see a fellow
Scorched by Hell's hyperequatorial climate
Into a kind of a sulphureous yellow:
A lean mark, hardly fit to fling a rhyme at;
In shape a Scaramouch, in hue Othello.
If you unveil my Witch, no priest nor primate
Can shrive you of that sin, -- if sin there be
In love, when it becomes idolatry.
THE WITCH OF ATLAS.

I.
Before those cruel Twins, whom at one birth
Incestuous Change bore to her father Time,
Error and Truth, had hunted from the Earth
All those bright natures which adorned its prime,
And left us nothing to believe in, worth
The pains of putting into learnd rhyme,
A lady-witch there lived on Atlas' mountain
Within a cavern, by a secret fountain.

II.
Her mother was one of the Atlantides:
The all-beholding Sun had ne'er beholden
In his wide voyage o'er continents and seas
So fair a creature, as she lay enfolden
In the warm shadow of her loveliness;--
He kissed her with his beams, and made all golden
The chamber of gray rock in which she lay--
She, in that dream of joy, dissolved away.

III.
'Tis said, she first was changed into a vapour,
And then into a cloud, such clouds as flit,
Like splendour-wingd moths about a taper,
Round the red west when the sun dies in it:
And then into a meteor, such as caper
On hill-tops when the moon is in a fit:
Then, into one of those mysterious stars
Which hide themselves between the Earth and Mars.

IV.
Ten times the Mother of the Months had bent
Her bow beside the folding-star, and bidden
With that bright sign the billows to indent
The sea-deserted sand -- like children chidden,
At her command they ever came and went--
Since in that cave a dewy splendour hidden
Took shape and motion: with the living form
Of this embodied Power, the cave grew warm.

V.
A lovely lady garmented in light
From her own beauty -- deep her eyes, as are
Two openings of unfathomable night
Seen through a Temple's cloven roof -- her hair
Darkthe dim brain whirls dizzy with delight,
Picturing her form; her soft smiles shone afar,
And her low voice was heard like love, and drew
All living things towards this wonder new.

VI.
And first the spotted cameleopard came,
And then the wise and fearless elephant;
Then the sly serpent, in the golden flame
Of his own volumes intervolved -- all gaunt
And sanguine beasts her gentle looks made tame.
They drank before her at her sacred fount;
And every beast of beating heart grew bold,
Such gentleness and power even to behold.

VII.
The brinded lioness led forth her young,
That she might teach them how they should forego
Their inborn thirst of death; the pard unstrung
His sinews at her feet, and sought to know
With looks whose motions spoke without a tongue
How he might be as gentle as the doe.
The magic circle of her voice and eyes
All savage natures did imparadise.

VIII.
And old Silenus, shaking a green stick
Of lilies, and the wood-gods in a crew
Came, blithe, as in the olive copses thick
Cicadae are, drunk with the noonday dew:
And Dryope and Faunus followed quick,
Teasing the God to sing them something new;
Till in this cave they found the lady lone,
Sitting upon a seat of emerald stone.

IX.
And universal Pan, 'tis said, was there,
And though none saw him,through the adamant
Of the deep mountains, through the trackless air,
And through those living spirits, like a want,
He passed out of his everlasting lair
Where the quick heart of the great world doth pant,
And felt that wondrous lady all alone,
And she felt him, upon her emerald throne.

X.
And every nymph of stream and spreading tree,
And every shepherdess of Ocean's flocks,
Who drives her white waves over the green sea,
And Ocean with the brine on his gray locks,
And quaint Priapus with his company,
All came, much wondering how the enwombd rocks
Could have brought forth so beautiful a birth;
Her love subdued their wonder and their mirth.

XI.
The herdsmen and the mountain maidens came,
And the rude kings of pastoral Garamant
Their spirits shook within them, as a flame
Stirred by the air under a cavern gaunt:
Pigmies, and Polyphemes, by many a name,
Centaurs, and Satyrs, and such shapes as haunt
Wet clefts,and lumps neither alive nor dead,
Dog-headed, bosom-eyed, and bird-footed.

XII.
For she was beautifulher beauty made
The bright world dim, and everything beside
Seemed like the fleeting image of a shade:
No thought of living spirit could abide,
Which to her looks had ever been betrayed,
On any object in the world so wide,
On any hope within the circling skies,
But on her form, and in her inmost eyes.

XIII.
Which when the lady knew, she took her spindle
And twined three threads of fleecy mist, and three
Long lines of light, such as the dawn may kindle
The clouds and waves and mountains with; and she
As many star-beams, ere their lamps could dwindle
In the belated moon, wound skilfully;
And with these threads a subtle veil she wove
A shadow for the splendour of her love.

XIV.
The deep recesses of her odorous dwelling
Were stored with magic treasuressounds of air,
Which had the power all spirits of compelling,
Folded in cells of crystal silence there;
Such as we hear in youth, and think the feeling
Will never dieyet ere we are aware,
The feeling and the sound are fled and gone,
And the regret they leave remains alone.

XV.
And there lay Visions swift, and sweet, and quaint,
Each in its thin sheath, like a chrysalis,
Some eager to burst forth, some weak and faint
With the soft burthen of intensest bliss
It was its work to bear to many a saint
Whose heart adores the shrine which holiest is,
Even Love's -- and others white, green, gray, and black,
And of all shapesand each was at her beck.

XVI.
And odours in a kind of aviary
Of ever-blooming Eden-trees she kept,
Clipped in a floating net, a love-sick Fairy
Had woven from dew-beams while the moon yet slept;
As bats at the wired window of a dairy.
They beat their vans; and each was an adept,
When loosed and missioned, making wings of winds,
To stir sweet thoughts or sad, in destined minds.

XVII.
And liquors clear and sweet, whose healthful might
Could medicine the sick soul to happy sleep,
And change eternal death into a night
Of glorious dreamsor if eyes needs must weep,
Could make their tears all wonder and delight,
She in her crystal vials did closely keep:
If men could drink of those clear vials, 'tis said
The living were not envied of the dead.

XVIII.
Her cave was stored with scrolls of strange device,
The works of some Saturnian Archimage,
Which taught the expiations at whose price
Men from the Gods might win that happy age
Too lightly lost, redeeming native vice;
And which might quench the Earth-consuming rage
Of gold and bloodtill men should live and move
Harmonious as the sacred stars above;

XIX.
And how all things that seem untameable,
Not to be checked and not to be confined,
Obey the spells of Wisdom's wizard skill;
Time, earth, and firethe ocean and the wind,
And all their shapes -- and man's imperial will;
And other scrolls whose writings did unbind
The inmost lore of Lovelet the profane
Tremble to ask what secrets they contain.

XX.
And wondrous works of substances unknown,
To which the enchantment of her father's power
Had changed those ragged blocks of savage stone,
Were heaped in the recesses of her bower;
Carved lamps and chalices, and vials which shone
In their own golden beams -- each like a flower,
Out of whose depth a fire-fly shakes his light
Under a cypress in a starless night.

XXI.
At first she lived alone in this wild home,
And her own thoughts were each a minister,
Clothing themselves, or with the ocean foam,
Or with the wind, or with the speed of fire,
To work whatever purposes might come
Into her mind; such power her mighty Sire
Had girt them with, whether to fly or run,
Through all the regions which he shines upon.

XXII.
The Ocean-nymphs and Hamadryades,
Oreads and Naiads, with long weedy locks,
Offered to do her bidding through the seas,
Under the earth, and in the hollow rocks,
And far beneath the matted roots of trees,
And in the gnarld heart of stubborn oaks,
So they might live for ever in the light
Of her sweet presence -- each a satellite.

XXIII.
'This may not be,' the wizard maid replied;
'The fountains where the Naiades bedew
Their shining hair, at length are drained and dried;
The solid oaks forget their strength, and strew
Their latest leaf upon the mountains wide;
The boundless ocean like a drop of dew
Will be consumedthe stubborn centre must
Be scattered, like a cloud of summer dust.

XXIV.
'And ye with them will perish, one by one;
If I must sigh to think that this shall be,
If I must weep when the surviving Sun
Shall smile on your decay -- oh, ask not me
To love you till your little race is run;
I cannot die as ye must -- over me
Your leaves shall glance -- the streams in which ye dwell
Shall be my paths henceforth, and so -- farewell!'--

XXV.
She spoke and wept:the dark and azure well
Sparkled beneath the shower of her bright tears,
And every little circlet where they fell
Flung to the cavern-roof inconstant spheres
And intertangled lines of light:a knell
Of sobbing voices came upon her ears
From those departing Forms, o'er the serene
Of the white streams and of the forest green.

XXVI.
All day the wizard lady sate aloof,
Spelling out scrolls of dread antiquity,
Under the cavern's fountain-lighted roof;
Or broidering the pictured poesy
Of some high tale upon her growing woof,
Which the sweet splendour of her smiles could dye
In hues outshining heavenand ever she
Added some grace to the wrought poesy.

XXVII.
While on her hearth lay blazing many a piece
Of sandal wood, rare gums, and cinnamon;
Men scarcely know how beautiful fire is
Each flame of it is as a precious stone
Dissolved in ever-moving light, and this
Belongs to each and all who gaze upon.
The Witch beheld it not, for in her hand
She held a woof that dimmed the burning brand.

XXVIII.
This lady never slept, but lay in trance
All night within the fountain -- as in sleep.
Its emerald crags glowed in her beauty's glance;
Through the green splendour of the water deep
She saw the constellations reel and dance
Like fire-flies -- and withal did ever keep
The tenour of her contemplations calm,
With open eyes, closed feet, and folded palm.

XXIX.
And when the whirlwinds and the clouds descended
From the white pinnacles of that cold hill,
She passed at dewfall to a space extended,
Where in a lawn of flowering asphodel
Amid a wood of pines and cedars blended,
There yawned an inextinguishable well
Of crimson firefull even to the brim,
And overflowing all the margin trim.

XXX.
Within the which she lay when the fierce war
Of wintry winds shook that innocuous liquor
In many a mimic moon and bearded star
O'er woods and lawns -- the serpent heard it flicker
In sleep, and dreaming still, he crept afar--
And when the windless snow descended thicker
Than autumn leaves, she watched it as it came
Melt on the surface of the level flame.

XXXI.
She had a boat, which some say Vulcan wrought
For Venus, as the chariot of her star;
But it was found too feeble to be fraught
With all the ardours in that sphere which are,
And so she sold it, and Apollo bought
And gave it to this daughter: from a car
Changed to the fairest and the lightest boat
Which ever upon mortal stream did float.

XXXII.
And others say, that, when but three hours old,
The first-born Love out of his cradle lept,
And clove dun Chaos with his wings of gold,
And like an horticultural adept,
Stole a strange seed, and wrapped it up in mould,
And sowed it in his mother's star, and kept
Watering it all the summer with sweet dew,
And with his wings fanning it as it grew.

XXXIII.
The plant grew strong and green, the snowy flower
Fell, and the long and gourd-like fruit began
To turn the light and dew by inward power
To its own substance; woven tracery ran
Of light firm texture, ribbed and branching, o'er
The solid rind, like a leaf's veind fan--
Of which Love scooped this boat -- and with soft motion
Piloted it round the circumfluous ocean.

XXXIV.
This boat she moored upon her fount, and lit
A living spirit within all its frame,
Breathing the soul of swiftness into it.
Couched on the fountain like a panther tame,
One of the twain at Evan's feet that sit--
Or as on Vesta's sceptre a swift flame--
Or on blind Homer's heart a wingd thought,--
In joyous expectation lay the boat.

XXXV.
Then by strange art she kneaded fire and snow
Together, tempering the repugnant mass
With liquid love -- all things together grow
Through which the harmony of love can pass;
And a fair Shape out of her hands did flow--
A living Image, which did far surpass
In beauty that bright shape of vital stone
Which drew the heart out of Pygmalion.

XXXVI.
A sexless thing it was, and in its growth
It seemed to have developed no defect
Of either sex, yet all the grace of both,--
In gentleness and strength its limbs were decked;
The bosom swelled lightly with its full youth,
The countenance was such as might select
Some artist that his skill should never die,
Imaging forth such perfect purity.

XXXVII.
From its smooth shoulders hung two rapid wings,
Fit to have borne it to the seventh sphere,
Tipped with the speed of liquid lightenings,
Dyed in the ardours of the atmosphere:
She led her creature to the boiling springs
Where the light boat was moored, and said: 'Sit here!'
And pointed to the prow, and took her seat
Beside the rudder, with opposing feet.

XXXVIII.
And down the streams which clove those mountains vast,
Around their inland islets, and amid
The panther-peopled forests, whose shade cast
Darkness and odours, and a pleasure hid
In melancholy gloom, the pinnace passed;
By many a star-surrounded pyramid
Of icy crag cleaving the purple sky,
And caverns yawning round unfathomably.

XXXIX.
The silver noon into that winding dell,
With slanted gleam athwart the forest tops,
Tempered like golden evening, feebly fell;
A green and glowing light, like that which drops
From folded lilies in which glow-worms dwell,
When Earth over her face Night's mantle wraps;
Between the severed mountains lay on high,
Over the stream, a narrow rift of sky.

XL.
And ever as she went, the Image lay
With folded wings and unawakened eyes;
And o'er its gentle countenance did play
The busy dreams, as thick as summer flies,
Chasing the rapid smiles that would not stay,
And drinking the warm tears, and the sweet sighs
Inhaling, which, with busy murmur vain,
They had aroused from that full heart and brain.

XLI.
And ever down the prone vale, like a cloud
Upon a stream of wind, the pinnace went:
Now lingering on the pools, in which abode
The calm and darkness of the deep content
In which they paused; now o'er the shallow road
Of white and dancing waters, all besprent
With sand and polished pebbles:mortal boat
In such a shallow rapid could not float.

XLII.
And down the earthquaking cataracts which shiver
Their snow-like waters into golden air,
Or under chasms unfathomable ever
Sepulchre them, till in their rage they tear
A subterranean portal for the river,
It fledthe circling sunbows did upbear
Its fall down the hoar precipice of spray,
Lighting it far upon its lampless way.

XLIII.
And when the wizard lady would ascend
The labyrinths of some many-winding vale,
Which to the inmost mountain upward tend
She called 'Hermaphroditus!'and the pale
And heavy hue which slumber could extend
Over its lips and eyes, as on the gale
A rapid shadow from a slope of grass,
Into the darkness of the stream did pass.

XLIV.
And it unfurled its heaven-coloured pinions,
With stars of fire spotting the stream below;
And from above into the Sun's dominions
Flinging a glory, like the golden glow
In which Spring clothes her emerald-wingd minions,
All interwoven with fine feathery snow
And moonlight splendour of intensest rime,
With which frost paints the pines in winter time.

XLV.
And then it winnowed the Elysian air
Which ever hung about that lady bright,
With its aethereal vansand speeding there,
Like a star up the torrent of the night,
Or a swift eagle in the morning glare
Breasting the whirlwind with impetuous flight,
The pinnace, oared by those enchanted wings,
Clove the fierce streams towards their upper springs.

XLVI.
The water flashed, like sunlight by the prow
Of a noon-wandering meteor flung to Heaven;
The still air seemed as if its waves did flow
In tempest down the mountains; loosely driven
The lady's radiant hair streamed to and fro:
Beneath, the billows having vainly striven
Indignant and impetuous, roared to feel
The swift and steady motion of the keel.

XLVII.
Or, when the weary moon was in the wane,
Or in the noon of interlunar night,
The lady-witch in visions could not chain
Her spirit; but sailed forth under the light
Of shooting stars, and bade extend amain
Its storm-outspeeding wings, the Hermaphrodite;
She to the Austral waters took her way,
Beyond the fabulous Thamondocana,

XLVIII.
Where, like a meadow which no scythe has shaven,
Which rain could never bend, or whirl-blast shake,
With the Antarctic constellations paven,
Canopus and his crew, lay the Austral lake
There she would build herself a windless haven
Out of the clouds whose moving turrets make
The bastions of the storm, when through the sky
The spirits of the tempest thundered by:

XLIX.
A haven beneath whose translucent floor
The tremulous stars sparkled unfathomably,
And around which the solid vapours hoar,
Based on the level waters, to the sky
Lifted their dreadful crags, and like a shore
Of wintry mountains, inaccessibly
Hemmed in with rifts and precipices gray,
And hanging crags, many a cove and bay.

L.
And whilst the outer lake beneath the lash
Of the wind's scourge, foamed like a wounded thing,
And the incessant hail with stony clash
Ploughed up the waters, and the flagging wing
Of the roused cormorant in the lightning flash
Looked like the wreck of some wind-wandering
Fragment of inky thunder-smoke -- this haven
Was as a gem to copy Heaven engraven,--

LI.
On which that lady played her many pranks,
Circling the image of a shooting star,
Even as a tiger on Hydaspes' banks
Outspeeds the antelopes which speediest are,
In her light boat; and many quips and cranks
She played upon the water, till the car
Of the late moon, like a sick matron wan,
To journey from the misty east began.

LII.
And then she called out of the hollow turrets
Of those high clouds, white, golden and vermilion,
The armies of her ministering spirits
In mighty legions, million after million,
They came, each troop emblazoning its merits
On meteor flags; and many a proud pavilion
Of the intertexture of the atmosphere
They pitched upon the plain of the calm mere.

LIII.
They framed the imperial tent of their great Queen
Of woven exhalations, underlaid
With lambent lightning-fire, as may be seen
A dome of thin and open ivory inlaid
With crimson silk -- cressets from the serene
Hung there, and on the water for her tread
A tapestry of fleece-like mist was strewn,
Dyed in the beams of the ascending moon.

LIV.
And on a throne o'erlaid with starlight, caught
Upon those wandering isles of ary dew,
Which highest shoals of mountain shipwreck not,
She sate, and heard all that had happened new
Between the earth and moon, since they had brought
The last intelligence -- and now she grew
Pale as that moon, lost in the watery night--
And now she wept, and now she laughed outright.

LV.
These were tame pleasures; she would often climb
The steepest ladder of the crudded rack
Up to some beakd cape of cloud sublime,
And like Arion on the dolphin's back
Ride singing through the shoreless air; -- oft-time
Following the serpent lightning's winding track,
She ran upon the platforms of the wind,
And laughed to hear the fire-balls roar behind.

LVI.
And sometimes to those streams of upper air
Which whirl the earth in its diurnal round,
She would ascend, and win the spirits there
To let her join their chorus. Mortals found
That on those days the sky was calm and fair,
And mystic snatches of harmonious sound
Wandered upon the earth where'er she passed,
And happy thoughts of hope, too sweet to last.

LVII.
But her choice sport was, in the hours of sleep,
To glide adown old Nilus, where he threads
Egypt and Aethiopia, from the steep
Of utmost Axum, until he spreads,
Like a calm flock of silver-fleecd sheep,
His waters on the plain: and crested heads
Of cities and proud temples gleam amid,
And many a vapour-belted pyramid.

LVIII.
By Moeris and the Mareotid lakes,
Strewn with faint blooms like bridal chamber floors,
Where naked boys bridling tame water-snakes,
Or charioteering ghastly alligators,
Had left on the sweet waters mighty wakes
Of those huge forms -- within the brazen doors
Of the great Labyrinth slept both boy and beast,
Tired with the pomp of their Osirian feast.

LIX.
And where within the surface of the river
The shadows of the massy temples lie,
And never are erased -- but tremble ever
Like things which every cloud can doom to die,
Through lotus-paven canals, and wheresoever
The works of man pierced that serenest sky
With tombs, and towers, and fanes, 'twas her delight
To wander in the shadow of the night.

LX.
With motion like the spirit of that wind
Whose soft step deepens slumber, her light feet
Passed through the peopled haunts of humankind,
Scattering sweet visions from her presence sweet,
Through fane, and palace-court, and labyrinth mined
With many a dark and subterranean street
Under the Nile, through chambers high and deep
She passed, observing mortals in their sleep.

LXI.
A pleasure sweet doubtless it was to see
Mortals subdued in all the shapes of sleep.
Here lay two sister twins in infancy;
There, a lone youth who in his dreams did weep;
Within, two lovers linkd innocently
In their loose locks which over both did creep
Like ivy from one stem;and there lay calm
Old age with snow-bright hair and folded palm.

LXII.
But other troubled forms of sleep she saw,
Not to be mirrored in a holy song--
Distortions foul of supernatural awe,
And pale imaginings of visioned wrong;
And all the code of Custom's lawless law
Written upon the brows of old and young:
'This,' said the wizard maiden, 'is the strife
Which stirs the liquid surface of man's life.'

LXIII.
And little did the sight disturb her soul.--
We, the weak mariners of that wide lake
Where'er its shores extend or billows roll,
Our course unpiloted and starless make
O'er its wild surface to an unknown goal:--
But she in the calm depths her way could take,
Where in bright bowers immortal forms abide
Beneath the weltering of the restless tide.

LXIV.
And she saw princes couched under the glow
Of sunlike gems; and round each temple-court
In dormitories ranged, row after row,
She saw the priests asleepall of one sort--
For all were educated to be so.
The peasants in their huts, and in the port
The sailors she saw cradled on the waves,
And the dead lulled within their dreamless graves.

LXV.
And all the forms in which those spirits lay
Were to her sight like the diaphanous
Veils, in which those sweet ladies oft array
Their delicate limbs, who would conceal from us
Only their scorn of all concealment: they
Move in the light of their own beauty thus.
But these and all now lay with sleep upon them,
And little thought a Witch was looking on them.

LXVI.
She, all those human figures breathing there,
Beheld as living spirits -- to her eyes
The naked beauty of the soul lay bare,
And often through a rude and worn disguise
She saw the inner form most bright and fair--
And then she had a charm of strange device,
Which, murmured on mute lips with tender tone,
Could make that spirit mingle with her own.

LXVII.
Alas! Aurora, what wouldst thou have given
For such a charm when Tithon became gray?
Or how much, Venus, of thy silver heaven
Wouldst thou have yielded, ere Proserpina
Had half (oh! why not all?) the debt forgiven
Which dear Adonis had been doomed to pay,
To any witch who would have taught you it?
The Heliad doth not know its value yet.

LXVIII.
'Tis said in after times her spirit free
Knew what love was, and felt itself alone--
But holy Dian could not chaster be
Before she stooped to kiss Endymion,
Than now this lady -- like a sexless bee
Tasting all blossoms, and confined to none,
Among those mortal forms, the wizard-maiden
Passed with an eye serene and heart unladen.

LXIX.
To those she saw most beautiful, she gave
Strange panacea in a crystal bowl:--
They drank in their deep sleep of that sweet wave,
And lived thenceforward as if some control,
Mightier than life, were in them; and the grave
Of such, when death oppressed the weary soul,
Was as a green and overarching bower
Lit by the gems of many a starry flower.

LXX.
For on the night when they were buried, she
Restored the embalmers' ruining, and shook
The light out of the funeral lamps, to be
A mimic day within that deathy nook;
And she unwound the woven imagery
Of second childhood's swaddling bands, and took
The coffin, its last cradle, from its niche,
And threw it with contempt into a ditch.

LXXI.
And there the body lay, age after age,
Mute, breathing, beating, warm, and undecaying,
Like one asleep in a green hermitage,
With gentle smiles about its eyelids playing,
And living in its dreams beyond the rage
Of death or life; while they were still arraying
In liveries ever new, the rapid, blind
And fleeting generations of mankind.

LXXII.
And she would write strange dreams upon the brain
Of those who were less beautiful, and make
All harsh and crooked purposes more vain
Than in the desert is the serpent's wake
Which the sand coversall his evil gain
The miser in such dreams would rise and shake
Into a beggar's lap;the lying scribe
Would his own lies betray without a bribe.

LXXIII.
The priests would write an explanation full,
Translating hieroglyphics into Greek,
How the God Apis really was a bull,
And nothing more; and bid the herald stick
The same against the temple doors, and pull
The old cant down; they licensed all to speak
What'er they thought of hawks, and cats, and geese,
By pastoral letters to each diocese.

LXXIV.
The king would dress an ape up in his crown
And robes, and seat him on his glorious seat,
And on the right hand of the sunlike throne
Would place a gaudy mock-bird to repeat
The chatterings of the monkey.Every one
Of the prone courtiers crawled to kiss the feet
Of their great Emperor, when the morning came,
And kissed -- alas, how many kiss the same!

LXXV.
The soldiers dreamed that they were blacksmiths, and
Walked out of quarters in somnambulism;
Round the red anvils you might see them stand
Like Cyclopses in Vulcan's sooty abysm,
Beating their swords to ploughshares; -- in a band
The gaolers sent those of the liberal schism
Free through the streets of Memphis, much, I wis,
To the annoyance of king Amasis.

LXXVI.
And timid lovers who had been so coy,
They hardly knew whether they loved or not,
Would rise out of their rest, and take sweet joy,
To the fulfilment of their inmost thought;
And when next day the maiden and the boy
Met one another, both, like sinners caught,
Blushed at the thing which each believed was done
Only in fancy -- till the tenth moon shone;

LXXVII.
And then the Witch would let them take no ill:
Of many thousand schemes which lovers find,
The Witch found one,and so they took their fill
Of happiness in marriage warm and kind.
Friends who, by practice of some envious skill,
Were torn apart -- a wide wound, mind from mind!--
She did unite again with visions clear
Of deep affection and of truth sincere.

LXXVIII.
These were the pranks she played among the cities
Of mortal men, and what she did to Sprites
And Gods, entangling them in her sweet ditties
To do her will, and show their subtle sleights,
I will declare another time; for it is
A tale more fit for the weird winter nights
Than for these garish summer days, when we
Scarcely believe much more than we can see.
Composed at the Baths of San Giuliano, near Pisa, August 14-16, 1820; published in Posthumous Poems, ed. Mrs. Shelley, 1824. The dedication To Mary first appeared in the Poetical Works, 1839, 1st ed.

Note by Mrs. Shelley: 'We spent the summer of 1820 at the Baths of San Giuliano, four miles from Pisa. These baths were of great use to Shelley in soothing his nervous irritability. We made several excursions in the neighbourhood. The country around is fertile, and diversified and rendered picturesque by ranges of near hills and more distant mountains. The peasantry are a handsome intelligent race; and there was a gladsome sunny heaven spread over us, that rendered home and every scene we visited cheerful and bright. During some of the hottest days of August, Shelley made a solitary journey on foot to the summit of Monte San Pellegrino -- a mountain of some height, on the top of which there is a chapel, the object, during certain days of the year, of many pilgrimages. The excursion delighted him while it lasted; though he exerted himself too much, and the effect was considerable lsasitude and weakness on his return. During the expedition he conceived the idea, and wrote, in the three days immediately succeeding to his return, the Witch of Atlas.
This poem is peculiarly characteristic of his tastes -- wildly fanciful, full of brilliant imagery, and discarding human interest and passion, to revel in the fantastic ideas that his imagination suggested.'
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Witch Of Atlas
,
613:I.
In midmost Ind, beside Hydaspes cool,
There stood, or hover'd, tremulous in the air,
A faery city 'neath the potent rule
Of Emperor Elfinan; fam'd ev'rywhere
For love of mortal women, maidens fair,
Whose lips were solid, whose soft hands were made
Of a fit mould and beauty, ripe and rare,
To tamper his slight wooing, warm yet staid:
He lov'd girls smooth as shades, but hated a mere shade.

II.
This was a crime forbidden by the law;
And all the priesthood of his city wept,
For ruin and dismay they well foresaw,
If impious prince no bound or limit kept,
And faery Zendervester overstept;
They wept, he sin'd, and still he would sin on,
They dreamt of sin, and he sin'd while they slept;
In vain the pulpit thunder'd at the throne,
Caricature was vain, and vain the tart lampoon.

III.
Which seeing, his high court of parliament
Laid a remonstrance at his Highness' feet,
Praying his royal senses to content
Themselves with what in faery land was sweet,
Befitting best that shade with shade should meet:
Whereat, to calm their fears, he promis'd soon
From mortal tempters all to make retreat,--
Aye, even on the first of the new moon,
An immaterial wife to espouse as heaven's boon.

IV.
Meantime he sent a fluttering embassy
To Pigmio, of Imaus sovereign,
To half beg, and half demand, respectfully,
The hand of his fair daughter Bellanaine;
An audience had, and speeching done, they gain
Their point, and bring the weeping bride away;
Whom, with but one attendant, safely lain
Upon their wings, they bore in bright array,
While little harps were touch'd by many a lyric fay.

V.
As in old pictures tender cherubim
A child's soul thro' the sapphir'd canvas bear,
So, thro' a real heaven, on they swim
With the sweet princess on her plumag'd lair,
Speed giving to the winds her lustrous hair;
And so she journey'd, sleeping or awake,
Save when, for healthful exercise and air,
She chose to "promener l'aile," or take
A pigeon's somerset, for sport or change's sake.

VI.
"Dear Princess, do not whisper me so loud,"
Quoth Corallina, nurse and confidant,
"Do not you see there, lurking in a cloud,
Close at your back, that sly old Crafticant?
He hears a whisper plainer than a rant:
Dry up your tears, and do not look so blue;
He's Elfinan's great state-spy militant,
His running, lying, flying foot-man too,--
Dear mistress, let him have no handle against you!

VII.
"Show him a mouse's tail, and he will guess,
With metaphysic swiftness, at the mouse;
Show him a garden, and with speed no less,
He'll surmise sagely of a dwelling house,
And plot, in the same minute, how to chouse
The owner out of it; show him a" --- "Peace!
Peace! nor contrive thy mistress' ire to rouse!"
Return'd the Princess, "my tongue shall not cease
Till from this hated match I get a free release.

VIII.
"Ah, beauteous mortal!" "Hush!" quoth Coralline,
"Really you must not talk of him, indeed."
"You hush!" reply'd the mistress, with a shinee
Of anger in her eyes, enough to breed
In stouter hearts than nurse's fear and dread:
'Twas not the glance itself made nursey flinch,
But of its threat she took the utmost heed;
Not liking in her heart an hour-long pinch,
Or a sharp needle run into her back an inch.

IX.
So she was silenc'd, and fair Bellanaine,
Writhing her little body with ennui,
Continued to lament and to complain,
That Fate, cross-purposing, should let her be
Ravish'd away far from her dear countree;
That all her feelings should be set at nought,
In trumping up this match so hastily,
With lowland blood; and lowland blood she thought
Poison, as every staunch true-born Imaian ought.

X.
Sorely she griev'd, and wetted three or four
White Provence rose-leaves with her faery tears,
But not for this cause; -- alas! she had more
Bad reasons for her sorrow, as appears
In the fam'd memoirs of a thousand years,
Written by Crafticant, and published
By Parpaglion and Co., (those sly compeers
Who rak'd up ev'ry fact against the dead,)
In Scarab Street, Panthea, at the Jubal's Head.

XI.
Where, after a long hypercritic howl
Against the vicious manners of the age,
He goes on to expose, with heart and soul,
What vice in this or that year was the rage,
Backbiting all the world in every page;
With special strictures on the horrid crime,
(Section'd and subsection'd with learning sage,)
Of faeries stooping on their wings sublime
To kiss a mortal's lips, when such were in their prime.

XII.
Turn to the copious index, you will find
Somewhere in the column, headed letter B,
The name of Bellanaine, if you're not blind;
Then pray refer to the text, and you will see
An article made up of calumny
Against this highland princess, rating her
For giving way, so over fashionably,
To this new-fangled vice, which seems a burr
Stuck in his moral throat, no coughing e'er could stir.

XIII.
There he says plainly that she lov'd a man!
That she around him flutter'd, flirted, toy'd,
Before her marriage with great Elfinan;
That after marriage too, she never joy'd
In husband's company, but still employ'd
Her wits to 'scape away to Angle-land;
Where liv'd the youth, who worried and annoy'd
Her tender heart, and its warm ardours fann'd
To such a dreadful blaze, her side would scorch her hand.

XIV.
But let us leave this idle tittle-tattle
To waiting-maids, and bed-room coteries,
Nor till fit time against her fame wage battle.
Poor Elfinan is very ill at ease,
Let us resume his subject if you please:
For it may comfort and console him much,
To rhyme and syllable his miseries;
Poor Elfinan! whose cruel fate was such,
He sat and curs'd a bride he knew he could not touch.

XV.
Soon as (according to his promises)
The bridal embassy had taken wing,
And vanish'd, bird-like, o'er the suburb trees,
The Emperor, empierc'd with the sharp sting
Of love, retired, vex'd and murmuring
Like any drone shut from the fair bee-queen,
Into his cabinet, and there did fling
His limbs upon a sofa, full of spleen,
And damn'd his House of Commons, in complete chagrin.

XVI.
"I'll trounce some of the members," cry'd the Prince,
"I'll put a mark against some rebel names,
I'll make the Opposition-benches wince,
I'll show them very soon, to all their shames,
What 'tis to smother up a Prince's flames;
That ministers should join in it, I own,
Surprises me! -- they too at these high games!
Am I an Emperor? Do I wear a crown?
Imperial Elfinan, go hang thyself or drown!

XVII.
"I'll trounce 'em! -- there's the square-cut chancellor,
His son shall never touch that bishopric;
And for the nephew of old Palfior,
I'll show him that his speeches made me sick,
And give the colonelcy to Phalaric;
The tiptoe marquis, mortal and gallant,
Shall lodge in shabby taverns upon tick;
And for the Speaker's second cousin's aunt,
She sha'n't be maid of honour,-- by heaven that she sha'n't!

XVIII.
"I'll shirk the Duke of A.; I'll cut his brother;
I'll give no garter to his eldest son;
I won't speak to his sister or his mother!
The Viscount B. shall live at cut-and-run;
But how in the world can I contrive to stun
That fellow's voice, which plagues me worse than any,
That stubborn fool, that impudent state-dun,
Who sets down ev'ry sovereign as a zany,--
That vulgar commoner, Esquire Biancopany?

XIX.
"Monstrous affair! Pshaw! pah! what ugly minx
Will they fetch from Imaus for my bride?
Alas! my wearied heart within me sinks,
To think that I must be so near ally'd
To a cold dullard fay,--ah, woe betide!
Ah, fairest of all human loveliness!
Sweet Bertha! what crime can it be to glide
About the fragrant plaintings of thy dress,
Or kiss thine eyes, or count thy locks, tress after tress?"

XX.
So said, one minute's while his eyes remaind'
Half lidded, piteous, languid, innocent;
But, in a wink, their splendour they regain'd,
Sparkling revenge with amorous fury blent.
Love thwarted in bad temper oft has vent:
He rose, he stampt his foot, he rang the bell,
And order'd some death-warrants to be sent
For signature: -- somewhere the tempest fell,
As many a poor fellow does not live to tell.

XXI.
"At the same time, Eban," -- (this was his page,
A fay of colour, slave from top to toe,
Sent as a present, while yet under age,
From the Viceroy of Zanguebar, -- wise, slow,
His speech, his only words were "yes" and "no,"
But swift of look, and foot, and wing was he,--)
"At the same time, Eban, this instant go
To Hum the soothsayer, whose name I see
Among the fresh arrivals in our empery.

XXII.
"Bring Hum to me! But stay -- here, take my ring,
The pledge of favour, that he not suspect
Any foul play, or awkward murdering,
Tho' I have bowstrung many of his sect;
Throw in a hint, that if he should neglect
One hour, the next shall see him in my grasp,
And the next after that shall see him neck'd,
Or swallow'd by my hunger-starved asp,--
And mention ('tis as well) the torture of the wasp."

XXIII.
These orders given, the Prince, in half a pet,
Let o'er the silk his propping elbow slide,
Caught up his little legs, and, in a fret,
Fell on the sofa on his royal side.
The slave retreated backwards, humble-ey'd,
And with a slave-like silence clos'd the door,
And to old Hun thro' street and alley hied;
He "knew the city," as we say, of yore,
And for short cuts and turns, was nobody knew more.

XXIV.
It was the time when wholesale dealers close
Their shutters with a moody sense of wealth,
But retail dealers, diligent, let loose
The gas (objected to on score of health),
Convey'd in little solder'd pipes by stealth,
And make it flare in many a brilliant form,
That all the powers of darkness it repell'th,
Which to the oil-trade doth great scaith and harm,
And superseded quite the use of the glow-worm.

XXV.
Eban, untempted by the pastry-cooks,
(Of pastry he got store within the palace,)
With hasty steps, wrapp'd cloak, and solemn looks,
Incognito upon his errand sallies,
His smelling-bottle ready for the allies;
He pass'd the Hurdy-gurdies with disdain,
Vowing he'd have them sent on board the gallies;
Just as he made his vow; it 'gan to rain,
Therefore he call'd a coach, and bade it drive amain.

XXVI.
"I'll pull the string," said he, and further said,
"Polluted Jarvey! Ah, thou filthy hack!
Whose springs of life are all dry'd up and dead,
Whose linsey-woolsey lining hangs all slack,
Whose rug is straw, whose wholeness is a crack;
And evermore thy steps go clatter-clitter;
Whose glass once up can never be got back,
Who prov'st, with jolting arguments and bitter,
That 'tis of modern use to travel in a litter.

XXVII.
"Thou inconvenience! thou hungry crop
For all corn! thou snail-creeper to and fro,
Who while thou goest ever seem'st to stop,
And fiddle-faddle standest while you go;
I' the morning, freighted with a weight of woe,
Unto some lazar-house thou journeyest,
And in the evening tak'st a double row
Of dowdies, for some dance or party drest,
Besides the goods meanwhile thou movest east and west.

XXVIII.
"By thy ungallant bearing and sad mien,
An inch appears the utmost thou couldst budge;
Yet at the slightest nod, or hint, or sign,
Round to the curb-stone patient dost thou trudge,
School'd in a beckon, learned in a nudge,
A dull-ey'd Argus watching for a fare;
Quiet and plodding, thou dost bear no grudge
To whisking Tilburies, or Phaetons rare,
Curricles, or Mail-coaches, swift beyond compare."

XXIX.
Philosophizing thus, he pull'd the check,
And bade the Coachman wheel to such a street,
Who, turning much his body, more his neck,
Louted full low, and hoarsely did him greet:
"Certes, Monsieur were best take to his feet,
Seeing his servant can no further drive
For press of coaches, that to-night here meet,
Many as bees about a straw-capp'd hive,
When first for April honey into faint flowers they dive."

XXX.
Eban then paid his fare, and tiptoe went
To Hum's hotel; and, as he on did pass
With head inclin'd, each dusky lineament
Show'd in the pearl-pav'd street, as in a glass;
His purple vest, that ever peeping was
Rich from the fluttering crimson of his cloak,
His silvery trowsers, and his silken sash
Tied in a burnish'd knot, their semblance took
Upon the mirror'd walls, wherever he might look.

XXXI.
He smil'd at self, and, smiling, show'd his teeth,
And seeing his white teeth, he smil'd the more;
Lifted his eye-brows, spurn'd the path beneath,
Show'd teeth again, and smil'd as heretofore,
Until he knock'd at the magician's door;
Where, till the porter answer'd, might be seen,
In the clear panel more he could adore,--
His turban wreath'd of gold, and white, and green,
Mustachios, ear-ring, nose-ring, and his sabre keen.

XXXII.
"Does not your master give a rout to-night?"
Quoth the dark page. "Oh, no!" return'd the Swiss,
"Next door but one to us, upon the right,
The Magazin des Modes now open is
Against the Emperor's wedding;--and, sir, this
My master finds a monstrous horrid bore;
As he retir'd, an hour ago I wis,
With his best beard and brimstone, to explore
And cast a quiet figure in his second floor.

XXXIII.
"Gad! he's oblig'd to stick to business!
For chalk, I hear, stands at a pretty price;
And as for aqua vitae -- there's a mess!
The dentes sapientiae of mice,
Our barber tells me too, are on the rise,--
Tinder's a lighter article, -- nitre pure
Goes off like lightning, -- grains of Paradise
At an enormous figure! -- stars not sure! --
Zodiac will not move without a slight douceur!

XXXIV.
"Venus won't stir a peg without a fee,
And master is too partial, entre nous,
To" -- "Hush -- hush!" cried Eban, "sure that is he
Coming down stairs, -- by St. Bartholomew!
As backwards as he can, -- is't something new?
Or is't his custom, in the name of fun?"
"He always comes down backward, with one shoe"--
Return'd the porter -- "off, and one shoe on,
Like, saving shoe for sock or stocking, my man John!"

XXXV.
It was indeed the great Magician,
Feeling, with careful toe, for every stair,
And retrograding careful as he can,
Backwards and downwards from his own two pair:
"Salpietro!" exclaim'd Hum, "is the dog there?
He's always in my way upon the mat!"
"He's in the kitchen, or the Lord knows where,"--
Reply'd the Swiss, -- "the nasty, yelping brat!"
"Don't beat him!" return'd Hum, and on the floor came pat.

XXXVI.
Then facing right about, he saw the Page,
And said: "Don't tell me what you want, Eban;
The Emperor is now in a huge rage,--
'Tis nine to one he'll give you the rattan!
Let us away!" Away together ran
The plain-dress'd sage and spangled blackamoor,
Nor rested till they stood to cool, and fan,
And breathe themselves at th' Emperor's chamber door,
When Eban thought he heard a soft imperial snore.

XXXVII.
"I thought you guess'd, foretold, or prophesy'd,
That's Majesty was in a raving fit?"
"He dreams," said Hum, "or I have ever lied,
That he is tearing you, sir, bit by bit."
"He's not asleep, and you have little wit,"
Reply'd the page; "that little buzzing noise,
Whate'er your palmistry may make of it,
Comes from a play-thing of the Emperor's choice,
From a Man-Tiger-Organ, prettiest of his toys."

XXXVIII.
Eban then usher'd in the learned Seer:
Elfinan's back was turn'd, but, ne'ertheless,
Both, prostrate on the carpet, ear by ear,
Crept silently, and waited in distress,
Knowing the Emperor's moody bitterness;
Eban especially, who on the floor 'gan
Tremble and quake to death,-- he feared less
A dose of senna-tea or nightmare Gorgon
Than the Emperor when he play'd on his Man-Tiger-Organ.

XXXIX.
They kiss'd nine times the carpet's velvet face
Of glossy silk, soft, smooth, and meadow-green,
Where the close eye in deep rich fur might trace
A silver tissue, scantly to be seen,
As daisies lurk'd in June-grass, buds in green;
Sudden the music ceased, sudden the hand
Of majesty, by dint of passion keen,
Doubled into a common fist, went grand,
And knock'd down three cut glasses, and his best ink-stand.

XL.
Then turning round, he saw those trembling two:
"Eban," said he, "as slaves should taste the fruits
Of diligence, I shall remember you
To-morrow, or next day, as time suits,
In a finger conversation with my mutes,--
Begone! -- for you, Chaldean! here remain!
Fear not, quake not, and as good wine recruits
A conjurer's spirits, what cup will you drain?
Sherry in silver, hock in gold, or glass'd champagne?"

XLI.
"Commander of the faithful!" answer'd Hum,
"In preference to these, I'll merely taste
A thimble-full of old Jamaica rum."
"A simple boon!" said Elfinan; "thou may'st
Have Nantz, with which my morning-coffee's lac'd."
"I'll have a glass of Nantz, then," -- said the Seer,--
"Made racy -- (sure my boldness is misplac'd!)--
With the third part -- (yet that is drinking dear!)--
Of the least drop of crme de citron, crystal clear."

XLII.
"I pledge you, Hum! and pledge my dearest love,
My Bertha!" "Bertha! Bertha!" cry'd the sage,
"I know a many Berthas!" "Mine's above
All Berthas!" sighed the Emperor. "I engage,"
Said Hum, "in duty, and in vassalage,
To mention all the Berthas in the earth;--
There's Bertha Watson, -- and Miss Bertha Page,--
This fam'd for languid eyes, and that for mirth,--
There's Bertha Blount of York, -- and Bertha Knox of Perth."

XLIII.
"You seem to know" -- "I do know," answer'd Hum,
"Your Majesty's in love with some fine girl
Named Bertha; but her surname will not come,
Without a little conjuring." "'Tis Pearl,
'Tis Bertha Pearl! What makes my brain so whirl?
And she is softer, fairer than her name!"
"Where does she live?" ask'd Hum. "Her fair locks curl
So brightly, they put all our fays to shame!--
Live? -- O! at Canterbury, with her old grand-dame."

XLIV.
"Good! good!" cried Hum, "I've known her from a child!
She is a changeling of my management;
She was born at midnight in an Indian wild;
Her mother's screams with the striped tiger's blent,
While the torch-bearing slaves a halloo sent
Into the jungles; and her palanquin,
Rested amid the desert's dreariment,
Shook with her agony, till fair were seen
The little Bertha's eyes ope on the stars serene."

XLV.
"I can't say," said the monarch; "that may be
Just as it happen'd, true or else a bam!
Drink up your brandy, and sit down by me,
Feel, feel my pulse, how much in love I am;
And if your science is not all a sham.
Tell me some means to get the lady here."
"Upon my honour!" said the son of Cham,
"She is my dainty changeling, near and dear,
Although her story sounds at first a little queer."

XLVI.
"Convey her to me, Hum, or by my crown,
My sceptre, and my cross-surmounted globe,
I'll knock you" -- "Does your majesty mean -- down?
No, no, you never could my feelings probe
To such a depth!" The Emperor took his robe,
And wept upon its purple palatine,
While Hum continued, shamming half a sob,--
"In Canterbury doth your lady shine?
But let me cool your brandy with a little wine."

XLVII.
Whereat a narrow Flemish glass he took,
That since belong'd to Admiral De Witt,
Admir'd it with a connoisseuring look,
And with the ripest claret crowned it,
And, ere the lively bead could burst and flit,
He turn'd it quickly, nimbly upside down,
His mouth being held conveniently fit
To catch the treasure: "Best in all the town!"
He said, smack'd his moist lips, and gave a pleasant frown.

XLVIII.
"Ah! good my Prince, weep not!" And then again
He filled a bumper. "Great Sire, do not weep!
Your pulse is shocking, but I'll ease your pain."
"Fetch me that Ottoman, and prithee keep
Your voice low," said the Emperor; "and steep
Some lady's-fingers nice in Candy wine;
And prithee, Hum, behind the screen do peep
For the rose-water vase, magician mine!
And sponge my forehead, -- so my love doth make me pine.

XLIX.
"Ah, cursed Bellanaine!" "Don't think of her,"
Rejoin'd the Mago, "but on Bertha muse;
For, by my choicest best barometer,
You shall not throttled be in marriage noose;
I've said it, Sire; you only have to choose
Bertha or Bellanaine." So saying, he drew
From the left pocket of his threadbare hose,
A sampler hoarded slyly, good as new,
Holding it by his thumb and finger full in view.

L.
"Sire, this is Bertha Pearl's neat handy-work,
Her name, see here, Midsummer, ninety-one."
Elfinan snatch'd it with a sudden jerk,
And wept as if he never would have done,
Honouring with royal tears the poor homespun;
Whereon were broider'd tigers with black eyes,
And long-tail'd pheasants, and a rising sun,
Plenty of posies, great stags, butterflies
Bigger than stags,-- a moon,-- with other mysteries.

LI.
The monarch handled o'er and o'er again
Those day-school hieroglyphics with a sigh;
Somewhat in sadness, but pleas'd in the main,
Till this oracular couplet met his eye
Astounded -- Cupid, I do thee defy!
It was too much. He shrunk back in his chair,
Grew pale as death, and fainted -- very nigh!
"Pho! nonsense!" exclaim'd Hum, "now don't despair;
She does not mean it really. Cheer up, hearty -- there!

LII.
"And listen to my words. You say you won't,
On any terms, marry Miss Bellanaine;
It goes against your conscience -- good! Well, don't.
You say you love a mortal. I would fain
Persuade your honour's highness to refrain
From peccadilloes. But, Sire, as I say,
What good would that do? And, to be more plain,
You would do me a mischief some odd day,
Cut off my ears and limbs, or head too, by my fay!

LIII.
"Besides, manners forbid that I should pass any
Vile strictures on the conduct of a prince
Who should indulge his genius, if he has any,
Not, like a subject, foolish matters mince.
Now I think on't, perhaps I could convince
Your Majesty there is no crime at all
In loving pretty little Bertha, since
She's very delicate,-- not over tall, --
A fairy's hand, and in the waist why -- very small."

LIV.
"Ring the repeater, gentle Hum!" "'Tis five,"
Said the gentle Hum; "the nights draw in apace;
The little birds I hear are all alive;
I see the dawning touch'd upon your face;
Shall I put out the candles, please your Grace?"
"Do put them out, and, without more ado,
Tell me how I may that sweet girl embrace,--
How you can bring her to me." "That's for you,
Great Emperor! to adventure, like a lover true."

LV.
"I fetch her!" -- "Yes, an't like your Majesty;
And as she would be frighten'd wide awake
To travel such a distance through the sky,
Use of some soft manoeuvre you must make,
For your convenience, and her dear nerves' sake;
Nice way would be to bring her in a swoon,
Anon, I'll tell what course were best to take;
You must away this morning." "Hum! so soon?"
"Sire, you must be in Kent by twelve o'clock at noon."

LVI.
At this great Caesar started on his feet,
Lifted his wings, and stood attentive-wise.
"Those wings to Canterbury you must beat,
If you hold Bertha as a worthy prize.
Look in the Almanack -- Moore never lies --
April the twenty- fourth, -- this coming day,
Now breathing its new bloom upon the skies,
Will end in St. Mark's Eve; -- you must away,
For on that eve alone can you the maid convey."

LVII.
Then the magician solemnly 'gan to frown,
So that his frost-white eyebrows, beetling low,
Shaded his deep green eyes, and wrinkles brown
Plaited upon his furnace-scorched brow:
Forth from his hood that hung his neck below,
He lifted a bright casket of pure gold,
Touch'd a spring-lock, and there in wool or snow,
Charm'd into ever freezing, lay an old
And legend-leaved book, mysterious to behold.

LVIII.
"Take this same book,-- it will not bite you, Sire;
There, put it underneath your royal arm;
Though it's a pretty weight it will not tire,
But rather on your journey keep you warm:
This is the magic, this the potent charm,
That shall drive Bertha to a fainting fit!
When the time comes, don't feel the least alarm,
But lift her from the ground, and swiftly flit
Back to your palace. * * * * * * * * * *

LIX.
"What shall I do with that same book?" "Why merely
Lay it on Bertha's table, close beside
Her work-box, and 'twill help your purpose dearly;
I say no more." "Or good or ill betide,
Through the wide air to Kent this morn I glide!"
Exclaim'd the Emperor. "When I return,
Ask what you will, -- I'll give you my new bride!
And take some more wine, Hum; -- O Heavens! I burn
To be upon the wing! Now, now, that minx I spurn!"

LX.
"Leave her to me," rejoin'd the magian:
"But how shall I account, illustrious fay!
For thine imperial absence? Pho! I can
Say you are very sick, and bar the way
To your so loving courtiers for one day;
If either of their two archbishops' graces
Should talk of extreme unction, I shall say
You do not like cold pig with Latin phrases,
Which never should be used but in alarming cases."

LXI.
"Open the window, Hum; I'm ready now!"
Zooks!" exclaim'd Hum, as up the sash he drew.
"Behold, your Majesty, upon the brow
Of yonder hill, what crowds of people!" "Whew!
The monster's always after something new,"
Return'd his Highness, "they are piping hot
To see my pigsney Bellanaine. Hum! do
Tighten my belt a little, -- so, so, -- not
Too tight, -- the book! -- my wand! -- so, nothing is forgot."

LXII.
"Wounds! how they shout!" said Hum, "and there, -- see, see!
Th' ambassador's return'd from Pigmio!
The morning's very fine, -- uncommonly!
See, past the skirts of yon white cloud they go,
Tinging it with soft crimsons! Now below
The sable-pointed heads of firs and pines
They dip, move on, and with them moves a glow
Along the forest side! Now amber lines
Reach the hill top, and now throughout the valley shines."

LXIII.
"Why, Hum, you're getting quite poetical!
Those 'nows' you managed in a special style."
"If ever you have leisure, Sire, you shall
See scraps of mine will make it worth your while,
Tid-bits for Phoebus! -- yes, you well may smile.
Hark! hark! the bells!" "A little further yet,
Good Hum, and let me view this mighty coil."
Then the great Emperor full graceful set
His elbow for a prop, and snuff'd his mignonnette.

LXIV.
The morn is full of holiday; loud bells
With rival clamours ring from every spire;
Cunningly-station'd music dies and swells
In echoing places; when the winds respire,
Light flags stream out like gauzy tongues of fire;
A metropolitan murmur, lifeful, warm,
Comes from the northern suburbs; rich attire
Freckles with red and gold the moving swarm;
While here and there clear trumpets blow a keen alarm.

LXV.
And now the fairy escort was seen clear,
Like the old pageant of Aurora's train,
Above a pearl-built minister, hovering near;
First wily Crafticant, the chamberlain,
Balanc'd upon his grey-grown pinions twain,
His slender wand officially reveal'd;
Then black gnomes scattering sixpences like rain;
Then pages three and three; and next, slave-held,
The Imaian 'scutcheon bright, -- one mouse in argent field.

LXVI.
Gentlemen pensioners next; and after them,
A troop of winged Janizaries flew;
Then slaves, as presents bearing many a gem;
Then twelve physicians fluttering two and two;
And next a chaplain in a cassock new;
Then Lords in waiting; then (what head not reels
For pleasure?) -- the fair Princess in full view,
Borne upon wings, -- and very pleas'd she feels
To have such splendour dance attendance at her heels.

LXVII.
For there was more magnificence behind:
She wav'd her handkerchief. "Ah, very grand!"
Cry'd Elfinan, and clos'd the window-blind;
"And, Hum, we must not shilly-shally stand,--
Adieu! adieu! I'm off for Angle-land!
I say, old Hocus, have you such a thing
About you, -- feel your pockets, I command,--
I want, this instant, an invisible ring,--
Thank you, old mummy! -- now securely I take wing."

LXVIII.
Then Elfinan swift vaulted from the floor,
And lighted graceful on the window-sill;
Under one arm the magic book he bore,
The other he could wave about at will;
Pale was his face, he still look'd very ill;
He bow'd at Bellanaine, and said -- "Poor Bell!
Farewell! farewell! and if for ever! still
For ever fare thee well!" -- and then he fell
A laughing! -- snapp'd his fingers! -- shame it is to tell!

LXIX.
"By'r Lady! he is gone!" cries Hum, "and I --
(I own it) -- have made too free with his wine;
Old Crafticant will smoke me. By-the-bye!
This room is full of jewels as a mine,--
Dear valuable creatures, how ye shine!
Sometime to-day I must contrive a minute,
If Mercury propitiously incline,
To examine his scutoire, and see what's in i,
For of superfluous diamonds I as well may thin it.

LXX.
"The Emperor's horrid bad; yes, that's my cue!"
Some histories say that this was Hum's last speech;
That, being fuddled, he went reeling through
The corridor, and scarce upright could reach
The stair-head; that being glutted as a leech,
And us'd, as we ourselves have just now said,
To manage stairs reversely, like a peach
Too ripe, he fell, being puzzled in his head
With liquor and the staircase: verdict -- found stone dead.

LXXI.
This as a falsehood Crafticanto treats;
And as his style is of strange elegance,
Gentle and tender, full of soft conceits,
(Much like our Boswell's,) we will take a glance
At his sweet prose, and, if we can, make dance
His woven periods into careless rhyme;
O, little faery Pegasus! rear -- prance --
Trot round the quarto -- ordinary time!
March, little Pegasus, with pawing hoof sublime!

LXXII.
Well, let us see, -- tenth book and chapter nine,--
Thus Crafticant pursues his diary:--
"'Twas twelve o'clock at night, the weather fine,
Latitude thirty-six; our scouts descry
A flight of starlings making rapidly
Towards Thibet. Mem.: -- birds fly in the night;
From twelve to half-past -- wings not fit to fly
For a thick fog -- the Princess sulky quite;
Call'd for an extra shawl, and gave her nurse a bite.

LXXIII.
"Five minutes before one -- brought down a moth
With my new double-barrel -- stew'd the thighs
And made a very tolerable broth --
Princess turn'd dainty, to our great surprise,
Alter'd her mind, and thought it very nice;
Seeing her pleasant, try'd her with a pun,
She frown'd; a monstrous owl across us flies
About this time, -- a sad old figure of fun;
Bad omen -- this new match can't be a happy one.

LXXIV.
"From two to half-past, dusky way we made,
Above the plains of Gobi, -- desert, bleak;
Beheld afar off, in the hooded shade
Of darkness, a great mountain (strange to speak),
Spitting, from forth its sulphur-baken peak,
A fan-shap'd burst of blood-red, arrowy fire,
Turban'd with smoke, which still away did reek,
Solid and black from that eternal pyre,
Upon the laden winds that scantly could respire.

LXXV.
"Just upon three o'clock a falling star
Created an alarm among our troop,
Kill'd a man-cook, a page, and broke a jar,
A tureen, and three dishes, at one swoop,
Then passing by the princess, singed her hoop:
Could not conceive what Coralline was at,
She clapp'd her hands three times and cry'd out 'Whoop!'
Some strange Imaian custom. A large bat
Came sudden 'fore my face, and brush'd against my hat.

LXXVI.
"Five minutes thirteen seconds after three,
Far in the west a mighty fire broke out,
Conjectur'd, on the instant, it might be,
The city of Balk -- 'twas Balk beyond all doubt:
A griffin, wheeling here and there about,
Kept reconnoitring us -- doubled our guard --
Lighted our torches, and kept up a shout,
Till he sheer'd off -- the Princess very scar'd --
And many on their marrow-bones for death prepar'd.

LXXVII.
"At half-past three arose the cheerful moon--
Bivouack'd for four minutes on a cloud --
Where from the earth we heard a lively tune
Of tambourines and pipes, serene and loud,
While on a flowery lawn a brilliant crowd
Cinque-parted danc'd, some half asleep reposed
Beneath the green-fan'd cedars, some did shroud
In silken tents, and 'mid light fragrance dozed,
Or on the opera turf their soothed eyelids closed.

LXXVIII.
"Dropp'd my gold watch, and kill'd a kettledrum--
It went for apoplexy -- foolish folks! --
Left it to pay the piper -- a good sum --
(I've got a conscience, maugre people's jokes,)
To scrape a little favour; 'gan to coax
Her Highness' pug-dog -- got a sharp rebuff --
She wish'd a game at whist -- made three revokes --
Turn'd from myself, her partner, in a huff;
His majesty will know her temper time enough.

LXXIX.
"She cry'd for chess -- I play'd a game with her --
Castled her king with such a vixen look,
It bodes ill to his Majesty -- (refer
To the second chapter of my fortieth book,
And see what hoity-toity airs she took).
At half-past four the morn essay'd to beam --
Saluted, as we pass'd, an early rook --
The Princess fell asleep, and, in her dream,
Talk'd of one Master Hubert, deep in her esteem.

LXXX.
"About this time, -- making delightful way,--
Shed a quill-feather from my larboard wing --
Wish'd, trusted, hop'd 'twas no sign of decay --
Thank heaven, I'm hearty yet! -- 'twas no such thing:--
At five the golden light began to spring,
With fiery shudder through the bloomed east;
At six we heard Panthea's churches ring --
The city wall his unhiv'd swarms had cast,
To watch our grand approach, and hail us as we pass'd.

LXXXI.
"As flowers turn their faces to the sun,
So on our flight with hungry eyes they gaze,
And, as we shap'd our course, this, that way run,
With mad-cap pleasure, or hand-clasp'd amaze;
Sweet in the air a mild-ton'd music plays,
And progresses through its own labyrinth;
Buds gather'd from the green spring's middle-days,
They scatter'd, -- daisy, primrose, hyacinth,--
Or round white columns wreath'd from capital to plinth.

LXXXII.
"Onward we floated o'er the panting streets,
That seem'd throughout with upheld faces paved;
Look where we will, our bird's-eye vision meets
Legions of holiday; bright standards waved,
And fluttering ensigns emulously craved
Our minute's glance; a busy thunderous roar,
From square to square, among the buildings raved,
As when the sea, at flow, gluts up once more
The craggy hollowness of a wild reefed shore.

LXXXIII.
"And 'Bellanaine for ever!' shouted they,
While that fair Princess, from her winged chair,
Bow'd low with high demeanour, and, to pay
Their new-blown loyalty with guerdon fair,
Still emptied at meet distance, here and there,
A plenty horn of jewels. And here I
(Who wish to give the devil her due) declare
Against that ugly piece of calumny,
Which calls them Highland pebble-stones not worth a fly.

LXXXIV.
"Still 'Bellanaine!' they shouted, while we glide
'Slant to a light Ionic portico,
The city's delicacy, and the pride
Of our Imperial Basilic; a row
Of lords and ladies, on each hand, make show
Submissive of knee-bent obeisance,
All down the steps; and, as we enter'd, lo!
The strangest sight -- the most unlook'd for chance --
All things turn'd topsy-turvy in a devil's dance.

LXXXV.
"'Stead of his anxious Majesty and court
At the open doors, with wide saluting eyes,
Conges and scrape-graces of every sort,
And all the smooth routine of gallantries,
Was seen, to our immoderate surprise,
A motley crowd thick gather'd in the hall,
Lords, scullions, deputy-scullions, with wild cries
Stunning the vestibule from wall to wall,
Where the Chief Justice on his knees and hands doth crawl.

LXXXVI.
"Counts of the palace, and the state purveyor
Of moth's-down, to make soft the royal beds,
The Common Council and my fool Lord Mayor
Marching a-row, each other slipshod treads;
Powder'd bag-wigs and ruffy-tuffy heads
Of cinder wenches meet and soil each other;
Toe crush'd with heel ill-natur'd fighting breeds,
Frill-rumpling elbows brew up many a bother,
And fists in the short ribs keep up the yell and pother.

LXXXVII.
"A Poet, mounted on the Court-Clown's back,
Rode to the Princess swift with spurring heels,
And close into her face, with rhyming clack,
Began a Prothalamion; -- she reels,
She falls, she faints! while laughter peels
Over her woman's weakness. 'Where!' cry'd I,
'Where is his Majesty?' No person feels
Inclin'd to answer; wherefore instantly
I plung'd into the crowd to find him or die.

LXXXVIII.
"Jostling my way I gain'd the stairs, and ran
To the first landing, where, incredible!
I met, far gone in liquor, that old man,
That vile impostor Hum. ----"
So far so well,--
For we have prov'd the Mago never fell
Down stairs on Crafticanto's evidence;
And therefore duly shall proceed to tell,
Plain in our own original mood and tense,
The sequel of this day, though labour 'tis immense!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
'Lord Houghton first gave this composition in the Life, Letters &c. (1848), and in Volume II, page 51, refers to it as "the last of Keats's literary labours." The poet says in a letter to Brown, written after the first attack of blood-spitting,
"I shall soon begin upon 'Lucy Vaughan Lloyd.' I do not begin composition yet, being willing, in case of a relapse, to have nothing to reproach myself with."
I presume, therefore, that the composition may be assigned to the Spring or Summer of 1820. In August of that year, Leigh Hunt seems to have had the manuscript in his hands, for, in the first part of his article on Coaches, which fills The Indicator for the 23rd of August 1820, he quotes four stanzas and four lines from the poem, as by "a very good poetess, of the name of Lucy V---- L----, who has favoured us with a sight of a manuscript poem," &c. The stanzas quoted are XXV to XXIX. Lord Houghton gives, in the Aldine Edition of 1876, the following note by Brown: --
"This Poem was written subject to future amendments and omissions: it was begun without a plan, and without any prescribed laws for the supernatural machinery."

His Lordship adds an interesting passage from a letter written to him by Lord Jeffrey: --
"There are beautiful passages and lines of ineffable sweetness in these minor pieces, and strange outbursts of individual fancy and felicitous expressions in the 'Cap and Bells,' though the general extravagance of the poetry is more suited to an Italian than to an English taste."
The late Dante Gabriel Rossetti wrote to me of this poem as "the only unworthy stuff Keats ever wrote except an early trifle or two," and again as "the to me hateful Cap and Bells." I confess that it seems to me entirely unworthy of Keats, though certainly a proof, if proof were needed, of his versatility. It has the character of a mere intellectual and mechanical exercise, performed at a time when those higher forces constituting the mainspring of poetry were exhausted; but even so I find it difficult to figure Keats as doing anything so aimless as this appears when regarded solely as an effort of the fancy. He probably had a satirical under-current of meaning; and it needs no great stretch of the imagination to see the illicit passion of Emperor Elfinan, and his detestation for his authorized bride-elect, an oblique glance at the martial relations of George IV.
It is not difficult to suggest prototypes for many of the faery-land statesmen against whom Elfinan vows vengeance; and there are many particulars in which earthly incidents are too thickly strewn to leave one in the settled belief that the poet's programme was wholly unearthly.--- H. B. F.'
~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ John Keats, The Cap And Bells; Or, The Jealousies - A Faery Tale .. Unfinished
,
614:Muse of my native land! loftiest Muse!
O first-born on the mountains! by the hues
Of heaven on the spiritual air begot:
Long didst thou sit alone in northern grot,
While yet our England was a wolfish den;
Before our forests heard the talk of men;
Before the first of Druids was a child;--
Long didst thou sit amid our regions wild
Rapt in a deep prophetic solitude.
There came an eastern voice of solemn mood:--
Yet wast thou patient. Then sang forth the Nine,
Apollo's garland:--yet didst thou divine
Such home-bred glory, that they cry'd in vain,
"Come hither, Sister of the Island!" Plain
Spake fair Ausonia; and once more she spake
A higher summons:--still didst thou betake
Thee to thy native hopes. O thou hast won
A full accomplishment! The thing is done,
Which undone, these our latter days had risen
On barren souls. Great Muse, thou know'st what prison
Of flesh and bone, curbs, and confines, and frets
Our spirit's wings: despondency besets
Our pillows; and the fresh to-morrow morn
Seems to give forth its light in very scorn
Of our dull, uninspired, snail-paced lives.
Long have I said, how happy he who shrives
To thee! But then I thought on poets gone,
And could not pray:nor can I now--so on
I move to the end in lowliness of heart.--

"Ah, woe is me! that I should fondly part
From my dear native land! Ah, foolish maid!
Glad was the hour, when, with thee, myriads bade
Adieu to Ganges and their pleasant fields!
To one so friendless the clear freshet yields
A bitter coolness, the ripe grape is sour:
Yet I would have, great gods! but one short hour
Of native airlet me but die at home."

Endymion to heaven's airy dome
Was offering up a hecatomb of vows,
When these words reach'd him. Whereupon he bows
His head through thorny-green entanglement
Of underwood, and to the sound is bent,
Anxious as hind towards her hidden fawn.

"Is no one near to help me? No fair dawn
Of life from charitable voice? No sweet saying
To set my dull and sadden'd spirit playing?
No hand to toy with mine? No lips so sweet
That I may worship them? No eyelids meet
To twinkle on my bosom? No one dies
Before me, till from these enslaving eyes
Redemption sparkles!I am sad and lost."

Thou, Carian lord, hadst better have been tost
Into a whirlpool. Vanish into air,
Warm mountaineer! for canst thou only bear
A woman's sigh alone and in distress?
See not her charms! Is Phoebe passionless?
Phoebe is fairer farO gaze no more:
Yet if thou wilt behold all beauty's store,
Behold her panting in the forest grass!
Do not those curls of glossy jet surpass
For tenderness the arms so idly lain
Amongst them? Feelest not a kindred pain,
To see such lovely eyes in swimming search
After some warm delight, that seems to perch
Dovelike in the dim cell lying beyond
Their upper lids?Hist!      "O for Hermes' wand
To touch this flower into human shape!
That woodland Hyacinthus could escape
From his green prison, and here kneeling down
Call me his queen, his second life's fair crown!
Ah me, how I could love!My soul doth melt
For the unhappy youthLove! I have felt
So faint a kindness, such a meek surrender
To what my own full thoughts had made too tender,
That but for tears my life had fled away!
Ye deaf and senseless minutes of the day,
And thou, old forest, hold ye this for true,
There is no lightning, no authentic dew
But in the eye of love: there's not a sound,
Melodious howsoever, can confound
The heavens and earth in one to such a death
As doth the voice of love: there's not a breath
Will mingle kindly with the meadow air,
Till it has panted round, and stolen a share
Of passion from the heart!"

               Upon a bough
He leant, wretched. He surely cannot now
Thirst for another love: O impious,
That he can even dream upon it thus!
Thought he, "Why am I not as are the dead,
Since to a woe like this I have been led
Through the dark earth, and through the wondrous sea?
Goddess! I love thee not the less: from thee
By Juno's smile I turn notno, no, no
While the great waters are at ebb and flow.
I have a triple soul! O fond pretence
For both, for both my love is so immense,
I feel my heart is cut in twain for them."

And so he groan'd, as one by beauty slain.
The lady's heart beat quick, and he could see
Her gentle bosom heave tumultuously.
He sprang from his green covert: there she lay,
Sweet as a muskrose upon new-made hay;
With all her limbs on tremble, and her eyes
Shut softly up alive. To speak he tries.
"Fair damsel, pity me! forgive that I
Thus violate thy bower's sanctity!
O pardon me, for I am full of grief
Grief born of thee, young angel! fairest thief!
Who stolen hast away the wings wherewith
I was to top the heavens. Dear maid, sith
Thou art my executioner, and I feel
Loving and hatred, misery and weal,
Will in a few short hours be nothing to me,
And all my story that much passion slew me;
Do smile upon the evening of my days:
And, for my tortur'd brain begins to craze,
Be thou my nurse; and let me understand
How dying I shall kiss that lily hand.
Dost weep for me? Then should I be content.
Scowl on, ye fates! until the firmament
Outblackens Erebus, and the full-cavern'd earth
Crumbles into itself. By the cloud girth
Of Jove, those tears have given me a thirst
To meet oblivion."As her heart would burst
The maiden sobb'd awhile, and then replied:
"Why must such desolation betide
As that thou speakest of? Are not these green nooks
Empty of all misfortune? Do the brooks
Utter a gorgon voice? Does yonder thrush,
Schooling its half-fledg'd little ones to brush
About the dewy forest, whisper tales?
Speak not of grief, young stranger, or cold snails
Will slime the rose to night. Though if thou wilt,
Methinks 'twould be a guilta very guilt
Not to companion thee, and sigh away
The lightthe duskthe darktill break of day!"
"Dear lady," said Endymion, "'tis past:
I love thee! and my days can never last.
That I may pass in patience still speak:
Let me have music dying, and I seek
No more delightI bid adieu to all.
Didst thou not after other climates call,
And murmur about Indian streams?"Then she,
Sitting beneath the midmost forest tree,
For pity sang this roundelay
     "O Sorrow,
     Why dost borrow
The natural hue of health, from vermeil lips?
     To give maiden blushes
     To the white rose bushes?
Or is it thy dewy hand the daisy tips?

     "O Sorrow,
     Why dost borrow
The lustrous passion from a falcon-eye?
     To give the glow-worm light?
     Or, on a moonless night,
To tinge, on syren shores, the salt sea-spry?

     "O Sorrow,
     Why dost borrow
The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue?
     To give at evening pale
     Unto the nightingale,
That thou mayst listen the cold dews among?

     "O Sorrow,
     Why dost borrow
Heart's lightness from the merriment of May?
     A lover would not tread
     A cowslip on the head,
Though he should dance from eve till peep of day
     Nor any drooping flower
     Held sacred for thy bower,
Wherever he may sport himself and play.

     "To Sorrow
     I bade good-morrow,
And thought to leave her far away behind;
     But cheerly, cheerly,
     She loves me dearly;
She is so constant to me, and so kind:
     I would deceive her
     And so leave her,
But ah! she is so constant and so kind.

"Beneath my palm trees, by the river side,
I sat a weeping: in the whole world wide
There was no one to ask me why I wept,
     And so I kept
Brimming the water-lily cups with tears
     Cold as my fears.

"Beneath my palm trees, by the river side,
I sat a weeping: what enamour'd bride,
Cheated by shadowy wooer from the clouds,
    But hides and shrouds
Beneath dark palm trees by a river side?

"And as I sat, over the light blue hills
There came a noise of revellers: the rills
Into the wide stream came of purple hue
    'Twas Bacchus and his crew!
The earnest trumpet spake, and silver thrills
From kissing cymbals made a merry din
    'Twas Bacchus and his kin!
Like to a moving vintage down they came,
Crown'd with green leaves, and faces all on flame;
All madly dancing through the pleasant valley,
    To scare thee, Melancholy!
O then, O then, thou wast a simple name!
And I forgot thee, as the berried holly
By shepherds is forgotten, when, in June,
Tall chesnuts keep away the sun and moon:
    I rush'd into the folly!

"Within his car, aloft, young Bacchus stood,
Trifling his ivy-dart, in dancing mood,
    With sidelong laughing;
And little rills of crimson wine imbrued
His plump white arms, and shoulders, enough white
    For Venus' pearly bite;
And near him rode Silenus on his ****,
Pelted with flowers as he on did pass
    Tipsily quaffing.

"Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye!
So many, and so many, and such glee?
Why have ye left your bowers desolate,
    Your lutes, and gentler fate?
We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the wing?
    A conquering!
Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide,
We dance before him thorough kingdoms wide:
Come hither, lady fair, and joined be
    To our wild minstrelsy!'

"Whence came ye, jolly Satyrs! whence came ye!
So many, and so many, and such glee?
Why have ye left your forest haunts, why left
    Your nuts in oak-tree cleft?
For wine, for wine we left our kernel tree;
For wine we left our heath, and yellow brooms,
    And cold mushrooms;
For wine we follow Bacchus through the earth;
Great God of breathless cups and chirping mirth!
Come hither, lady fair, and joined be
To our mad minstrelsy!'

"Over wide streams and mountains great we went,
And, save when Bacchus kept his ivy tent,
Onward the tiger and the leopard pants,
    With Asian elephants:
Onward these myriadswith song and dance,
With zebras striped, and sleek Arabians' prance,
Web-footed alligators, crocodiles,
Bearing upon their scaly backs, in files,
Plump infant laughers mimicking the coil
Of seamen, and stout galley-rowers' toil:
With toying oars and silken sails they glide,
    Nor care for wind and tide.

"Mounted on panthers' furs and lions' manes,
From rear to van they scour about the plains;
A three days' journey in a moment done:
And always, at the rising of the sun,
About the wilds they hunt with spear and horn,
    On spleenful unicorn.

"I saw Osirian Egypt kneel adown
    Before the vine-wreath crown!
I saw parch'd Abyssinia rouse and sing
    To the silver cymbals' ring!
I saw the whelming vintage hotly pierce
    Old Tartary the fierce!
The kings of Inde their jewel-sceptres vail,
And from their treasures scatter pearled hail;
Great Brahma from his mystic heaven groans,
    And all his priesthood moans;
Before young Bacchus' eye-wink turning pale.
Into these regions came I following him,
Sick hearted, wearyso I took a whim
To stray away into these forests drear
    Alone, without a peer:
And I have told thee all thou mayest hear.

     "Young stranger!
     I've been a ranger
In search of pleasure throughout every clime:
     Alas! 'tis not for me!
     Bewitch'd I sure must be,
To lose in grieving all my maiden prime.

     "Come then, Sorrow!
     Sweetest Sorrow!
Like an own babe I nurse thee on my breast:
     I thought to leave thee
     And deceive thee,
But now of all the world I love thee best.

     "There is not one,
     No, no, not one
But thee to comfort a poor lonely maid;
     Thou art her mother,
     And her brother,
Her playmate, and her wooer in the shade."

O what a sigh she gave in finishing,
And look, quite dead to every worldly thing!
Endymion could not speak, but gazed on her;
And listened to the wind that now did stir
About the crisped oaks full drearily,
Yet with as sweet a softness as might be
Remember'd from its velvet summer song.
At last he said: "Poor lady, how thus long
Have I been able to endure that voice?
Fair Melody! kind Syren! I've no choice;
I must be thy sad servant evermore:
I cannot choose but kneel here and adore.
Alas, I must not thinkby Phoebe, no!
Let me not think, soft Angel! shall it be so?
Say, beautifullest, shall I never think?
O thou could'st foster me beyond the brink
Of recollection! make my watchful care
Close up its bloodshot eyes, nor see despair!
Do gently murder half my soul, and I
Shall feel the other half so utterly!
I'm giddy at that cheek so fair and smooth;
O let it blush so ever! let it soothe
My madness! let it mantle rosy-warm
With the tinge of love, panting in safe alarm.
This cannot be thy hand, and yet it is;
And this is sure thine other softlingthis
Thine own fair bosom, and I am so near!
Wilt fall asleep? O let me sip that tear!
And whisper one sweet word that I may know
This is this worldsweet dewy blossom!"Woe!
Woe! Woe to that Endymion! Where is he?
Even these words went echoing dismally
Through the wide foresta most fearful tone,
Like one repenting in his latest moan;
And while it died away a shade pass'd by,
As of a thunder cloud. When arrows fly
Through the thick branches, poor ring-doves sleek forth
Their timid necks and tremble; so these both
Leant to each other trembling, and sat so
Waiting for some destructionwhen lo,
Foot-feather'd Mercury appear'd sublime
Beyond the tall tree tops; and in less time
Than shoots the slanted hail-storm, down he dropt
Towards the ground; but rested not, nor stopt
One moment from his home: only the sward
He with his wand light touch'd, and heavenward
Swifter than sight was goneeven before
The teeming earth a sudden witness bore
Of his swift magic. Diving swans appear
Above the crystal circlings white and clear;
And catch the cheated eye in wild surprise,
How they can dive in sight and unseen rise
So from the turf outsprang two steeds jet-black,
Each with large dark blue wings upon his back.
The youth of Caria plac'd the lovely dame
On one, and felt himself in spleen to tame
The other's fierceness. Through the air they flew,
High as the eagles. Like two drops of dew
Exhal'd to Phoebus' lips, away they are gone,
Far from the earth awayunseen, alone,
Among cool clouds and winds, but that the free,
The buoyant life of song can floating be
Above their heads, and follow them untir'd.
Muse of my native land, am I inspir'd?
This is the giddy air, and I must spread
Wide pinions to keep here; nor do I dread
Or height, or depth, or width, or any chance
Precipitous: I have beneath my glance
Those towering horses and their mournful freight.
Could I thus sail, and see, and thus await
Fearless for power of thought, without thine aid?
There is a sleepy dusk, an odorous shade
From some approaching wonder, and behold
Those winged steeds, with snorting nostrils bold
Snuff at its faint extreme, and seem to tire,
Dying to embers from their native fire!

There curl'd a purple mist around them; soon,
It seem'd as when around the pale new moon
Sad Zephyr droops the clouds like weeping willow:
'Twas Sleep slow journeying with head on pillow.
For the first time, since he came nigh dead born
From the old womb of night, his cave forlorn
Had he left more forlorn; for the first time,
He felt aloof the day and morning's prime
Because into his depth Cimmerian
There came a dream, shewing how a young man,
Ere a lean bat could plump its wintery skin,
Would at high Jove's empyreal footstool win
An immortality, and how espouse
Jove's daughter, and be reckon'd of his house.
Now was he slumbering towards heaven's gate,
That he might at the threshold one hour wait
To hear the marriage melodies, and then
Sink downward to his dusky cave again.
His litter of smooth semilucent mist,
Diversely ting'd with rose and amethyst,
Puzzled those eyes that for the centre sought;
And scarcely for one moment could be caught
His sluggish form reposing motionless.
Those two on winged steeds, with all the stress
Of vision search'd for him, as one would look
Athwart the sallows of a river nook
To catch a glance at silver throated eels,
Or from old Skiddaw's top, when fog conceals
His rugged forehead in a mantle pale,
With an eye-guess towards some pleasant vale
Descry a favourite hamlet faint and far.

These raven horses, though they foster'd are
Of earth's splenetic fire, dully drop
Their full-veined ears, nostrils blood wide, and stop;
Upon the spiritless mist have they outspread
Their ample feathers, are in slumber dead,
And on those pinions, level in mid air,
Endymion sleepeth and the lady fair.
Slowly they sail, slowly as icy isle
Upon a calm sea drifting: and meanwhile
The mournful wanderer dreams. Behold! he walks
On heaven's pavement; brotherly he talks
To divine powers: from his hand full fain
Juno's proud birds are pecking pearly grain:
He tries the nerve of Phoebus' golden bow,
And asketh where the golden apples grow:
Upon his arm he braces Pallas' shield,
And strives in vain to unsettle and wield
A Jovian thunderbolt: arch Hebe brings
A full-brimm'd goblet, dances lightly, sings
And tantalizes long; at last he drinks,
And lost in pleasure at her feet he sinks,
Touching with dazzled lips her starlight hand.
He blows a bugle,an ethereal band
Are visible above: the Seasons four,
Green-kyrtled Spring, flush Summer, golden store
In Autumn's sickle, Winter frosty hoar,
Join dance with shadowy Hours; while still the blast,
In swells unmitigated, still doth last
To sway their floating morris. "Whose is this?
Whose bugle?" he inquires: they smile"O Dis!
Why is this mortal here? Dost thou not know
Its mistress' lips? Not thou?'Tis Dian's: lo!
She rises crescented!" He looks, 'tis she,
His very goddess: good-bye earth, and sea,
And air, and pains, and care, and suffering;
Good-bye to all but love! Then doth he spring
Towards her, and awakesand, strange, o'erhead,
Of those same fragrant exhalations bred,
Beheld awake his very dream: the gods
Stood smiling; merry Hebe laughs and nods;
And Phoebe bends towards him crescented.
O state perplexing! On the pinion bed,
Too well awake, he feels the panting side
Of his delicious lady. He who died
For soaring too audacious in the sun,
Where that same treacherous wax began to run,
Felt not more tongue-tied than Endymion.
His heart leapt up as to its rightful throne,
To that fair shadow'd passion puls'd its way
Ah, what perplexity! Ah, well a day!
So fond, so beauteous was his bed-fellow,
He could not help but kiss her: then he grew
Awhile forgetful of all beauty save
Young Phoebe's, golden hair'd; and so 'gan crave
Forgiveness: yet he turn'd once more to look
At the sweet sleeper,all his soul was shook,
She press'd his hand in slumber; so once more
He could not help but kiss her and adore.
At this the shadow wept, melting away.
The Latmian started up: "Bright goddess, stay!
Search my most hidden breast! By truth's own tongue,
I have no ddale heart: why is it wrung
To desperation? Is there nought for me,
Upon the bourne of bliss, but misery?"

These words awoke the stranger of dark tresses:
Her dawning love-look rapt Endymion blesses
With 'haviour soft. Sleep yawned from underneath.
"Thou swan of Ganges, let us no more breathe
This murky phantasm! thou contented seem'st
Pillow'd in lovely idleness, nor dream'st
What horrors may discomfort thee and me.
Ah, shouldst thou die from my heart-treachery!
Yet did she merely weepher gentle soul
Hath no revenge in it: as it is whole
In tenderness, would I were whole in love!
Can I prize thee, fair maid, all price above,
Even when I feel as true as innocence?
I do, I do.What is this soul then? Whence
Came it? It does not seem my own, and I
Have no self-passion or identity.
Some fearful end must be: where, where is it?
By Nemesis, I see my spirit flit
Alone about the darkForgive me, sweet:
Shall we away?" He rous'd the steeds: they beat
Their wings chivalrous into the clear air,
Leaving old Sleep within his vapoury lair.

The good-night blush of eve was waning slow,
And Vesper, risen star, began to throe
In the dusk heavens silvery, when they
Thus sprang direct towards the Galaxy.
Nor did speed hinder converse soft and strange
Eternal oaths and vows they interchange,
In such wise, in such temper, so aloof
Up in the winds, beneath a starry roof,
So witless of their doom, that verily
'Tis well nigh past man's search their hearts to see;
Whether they wept, or laugh'd, or griev'd, or toy'd
Most like with joy gone mad, with sorrow cloy'd.

Full facing their swift flight, from ebon streak,
The moon put forth a little diamond peak,
No bigger than an unobserved star,
Or tiny point of fairy scymetar;
Bright signal that she only stoop'd to tie
Her silver sandals, ere deliciously
She bow'd into the heavens her timid head.
Slowly she rose, as though she would have fled,
While to his lady meek the Carian turn'd,
To mark if her dark eyes had yet discern'd
This beauty in its birthDespair! despair!
He saw her body fading gaunt and spare
In the cold moonshine. Straight he seiz'd her wrist;
It melted from his grasp: her hand he kiss'd,
And, horror! kiss'd his ownhe was alone.
Her steed a little higher soar'd, and then
Dropt hawkwise to the earth.    There lies a den,
Beyond the seeming confines of the space
Made for the soul to wander in and trace
Its own existence, of remotest glooms.
Dark regions are around it, where the tombs
Of buried griefs the spirit sees, but scarce
One hour doth linger weeping, for the pierce
Of new-born woe it feels more inly smart:
And in these regions many a venom'd dart
At random flies; they are the proper home
Of every ill: the man is yet to come
Who hath not journeyed in this native hell.
But few have ever felt how calm and well
Sleep may be had in that deep den of all.
There anguish does not sting; nor pleasure pall:
Woe-hurricanes beat ever at the gate,
Yet all is still within and desolate.
Beset with painful gusts, within ye hear
No sound so loud as when on curtain'd bier
The death-watch tick is stifled. Enter none
Who strive therefore: on the sudden it is won.
Just when the sufferer begins to burn,
Then it is free to him; and from an urn,
Still fed by melting ice, he takes a draught
Young Semele such richness never quaft
In her maternal longing. Happy gloom!
Dark Paradise! where pale becomes the bloom
Of health by due; where silence dreariest
Is most articulate; where hopes infest;
Where those eyes are the brightest far that keep
Their lids shut longest in a dreamless sleep.
O happy spirit-home! O wondrous soul!
Pregnant with such a den to save the whole
In thine own depth. Hail, gentle Carian!
For, never since thy griefs and woes began,
Hast thou felt so content: a grievous feud
Hath let thee to this Cave of Quietude.
Aye, his lull'd soul was there, although upborne
With dangerous speed: and so he did not mourn
Because he knew not whither he was going.
So happy was he, not the aerial blowing
Of trumpets at clear parley from the east
Could rouse from that fine relish, that high feast.
They stung the feather'd horse: with fierce alarm
He flapp'd towards the sound. Alas, no charm
Could lift Endymion's head, or he had view'd
A skyey mask, a pinion'd multitude,
And silvery was its passing: voices sweet
Warbling the while as if to lull and greet
The wanderer in his path. Thus warbled they,
While past the vision went in bright array.

"Who, who from Dian's feast would be away?
For all the golden bowers of the day
Are empty left? Who, who away would be
From Cynthia's wedding and festivity?
Not Hesperus: lo! upon his silver wings
He leans away for highest heaven and sings,
Snapping his lucid fingers merrily!
Ah, Zephyrus! art here, and Flora too!
Ye tender bibbers of the rain and dew,
Young playmates of the rose and daffodil,
Be careful, ere ye enter in, to fill
    Your baskets high
With fennel green, and balm, and golden pines,
Savory, latter-mint, and columbines,
Cool parsley, basil sweet, and sunny thyme;
Yea, every flower and leaf of every clime,
All gather'd in the dewy morning: hie
    Away! fly, fly!
Crystalline brother of the belt of heaven,
Aquarius! to whom king Jove has given
Two liquid pulse streams 'stead of feather'd wings,
Two fan-like fountains,thine illuminings
    For Dian play:
Dissolve the frozen purity of air;
Let thy white shoulders silvery and bare
Shew cold through watery pinions; make more bright
The Star-Queen's crescent on her marriage night:
    Haste, haste away!
Castor has tamed the planet Lion, see!
And of the Bear has Pollux mastery:
A third is in the race! who is the third,
Speeding away swift as the eagle bird?
    The ramping Centaur!
The Lion's mane's on end: the Bear how fierce!
The Centaur's arrow ready seems to pierce
Some enemy: far forth his bow is bent
Into the blue of heaven. He'll be shent,
    Pale unrelentor,
When he shall hear the wedding lutes a playing.
Andromeda! sweet woman! why delaying
So timidly among the stars: come hither!
Join this bright throng, and nimbly follow whither
    They all are going.
Danae's Son, before Jove newly bow'd,
Has wept for thee, calling to Jove aloud.
Thee, gentle lady, did he disenthral:
Ye shall for ever live and love, for all
    Thy tears are flowing.
By Daphne's fright, behold Apollo!"

                    More
Endymion heard not: down his steed him bore,
Prone to the green head of a misty hill.

His first touch of the earth went nigh to kill.
"Alas!" said he, "were I but always borne
Through dangerous winds, had but my footsteps worn
A path in hell, for ever would I bless
Horrors which nourish an uneasiness
For my own sullen conquering: to him
Who lives beyond earth's boundary, grief is dim,
Sorrow is but a shadow: now I see
The grass; I feel the solid groundAh, me!
It is thy voicedivinest! Where?who? who
Left thee so quiet on this bed of dew?
Behold upon this happy earth we are;
Let us ay love each other; let us fare
On forest-fruits, and never, never go
Among the abodes of mortals here below,
Or be by phantoms duped. O destiny!
Into a labyrinth now my soul would fly,
But with thy beauty will I deaden it.
Where didst thou melt too? By thee will I sit
For ever: let our fate stop herea kid
I on this spot will offer: Pan will bid
Us live in peace, in love and peace among
His forest wildernesses. I have clung
To nothing, lov'd a nothing, nothing seen
Or felt but a great dream! O I have been
Presumptuous against love, against the sky,
Against all elements, against the tie
Of mortals each to each, against the blooms
Of flowers, rush of rivers, and the tombs
Of heroes gone! Against his proper glory
Has my own soul conspired: so my story
Will I to children utter, and repent.
There never liv'd a mortal man, who bent
His appetite beyond his natural sphere,
But starv'd and died. My sweetest Indian, here,
Here will I kneel, for thou redeemed hast
My life from too thin breathing: gone and past
Are cloudy phantasms. Caverns lone, farewel!
And air of visions, and the monstrous swell
Of visionary seas! No, never more
Shall airy voices cheat me to the shore
Of tangled wonder, breathless and aghast.
Adieu, my daintiest Dream! although so vast
My love is still for thee. The hour may come
When we shall meet in pure elysium.
On earth I may not love thee; and therefore
Doves will I offer up, and sweetest store
All through the teeming year: so thou wilt shine
On me, and on this damsel fair of mine,
And bless our simple lives. My Indian bliss!
My river-lily bud! one human kiss!
One sigh of real breathone gentle squeeze,
Warm as a dove's nest among summer trees,
And warm with dew at ooze from living blood!
Whither didst melt? Ah, what of that!all good
We'll talk aboutno more of dreaming.Now,
Where shall our dwelling be? Under the brow
Of some steep mossy hill, where ivy dun
Would hide us up, although spring leaves were none;
And where dark yew trees, as we rustle through,
Will drop their scarlet berry cups of dew?
O thou wouldst joy to live in such a place;
Dusk for our loves, yet light enough to grace
Those gentle limbs on mossy bed reclin'd:
For by one step the blue sky shouldst thou find,
And by another, in deep dell below,
See, through the trees, a little river go
All in its mid-day gold and glimmering.
Honey from out the gnarled hive I'll bring,
And apples, wan with sweetness, gather thee,
Cresses that grow where no man may them see,
And sorrel untorn by the dew-claw'd stag:
Pipes will I fashion of the syrinx flag,
That thou mayst always know whither I roam,
When it shall please thee in our quiet home
To listen and think of love. Still let me speak;
Still let me dive into the joy I seek,
For yet the past doth prison me. The rill,
Thou haply mayst delight in, will I fill
With fairy fishes from the mountain tarn,
And thou shalt feed them from the squirrel's barn.
Its bottom will I strew with amber shells,
And pebbles blue from deep enchanted wells.
Its sides I'll plant with dew-sweet eglantine,
And honeysuckles full of clear bee-wine.
I will entice this crystal rill to trace
Love's silver name upon the meadow's face.
I'll kneel to Vesta, for a flame of fire;
And to god Phoebus, for a golden lyre;
To Empress Dian, for a hunting spear;
To Vesper, for a taper silver-clear,
That I may see thy beauty through the night;
To Flora, and a nightingale shall light
Tame on thy finger; to the River-gods,
And they shall bring thee taper fishing-rods
Of gold, and lines of Naiads' long bright tress.
Heaven shield thee for thine utter loveliness!
Thy mossy footstool shall the altar be
'Fore which I'll bend, bending, dear love, to thee:
Those lips shall be my Delphos, and shall speak
Laws to my footsteps, colour to my cheek,
Trembling or stedfastness to this same voice,
And of three sweetest pleasurings the choice:
And that affectionate light, those diamond things,
Those eyes, those passions, those supreme pearl springs,
Shall be my grief, or twinkle me to pleasure.
Say, is not bliss within our perfect seisure?
O that I could not doubt?"

               The mountaineer
Thus strove by fancies vain and crude to clear
His briar'd path to some tranquillity.
It gave bright gladness to his lady's eye,
And yet the tears she wept were tears of sorrow;
Answering thus, just as the golden morrow
Beam'd upward from the vallies of the east:
"O that the flutter of this heart had ceas'd,
Or the sweet name of love had pass'd away.
Young feather'd tyrant! by a swift decay
Wilt thou devote this body to the earth:
And I do think that at my very birth
I lisp'd thy blooming titles inwardly;
For at the first, first dawn and thought of thee,
With uplift hands I blest the stars of heaven.
Art thou not cruel? Ever have I striven
To think thee kind, but ah, it will not do!
When yet a child, I heard that kisses drew
Favour from thee, and so I kisses gave
To the void air, bidding them find out love:
But when I came to feel how far above
All fancy, pride, and fickle maidenhood,
All earthly pleasure, all imagin'd good,
Was the warm tremble of a devout kiss,
Even then, that moment, at the thought of this,
Fainting I fell into a bed of flowers,
And languish'd there three days. Ye milder powers,
Am I not cruelly wrong'd? Believe, believe
Me, dear Endymion, were I to weave
With my own fancies garlands of sweet life,
Thou shouldst be one of all. Ah, bitter strife!
I may not be thy love: I am forbidden
Indeed I amthwarted, affrighted, chidden,
By things I trembled at, and gorgon wrath.
Twice hast thou ask'd whither I went: henceforth
Ask me no more! I may not utter it,
Nor may I be thy love. We might commit
Ourselves at once to vengeance; we might die;
We might embrace and die: voluptuous thought!
Enlarge not to my hunger, or I'm caught
In trammels of perverse deliciousness.
No, no, that shall not be: thee will I bless,
And bid a long adieu."

             The Carian
No word return'd: both lovelorn, silent, wan,
Into the vallies green together went.
Far wandering, they were perforce content
To sit beneath a fair lone beechen tree;
Nor at each other gaz'd, but heavily
Por'd on its hazle cirque of shedded leaves.

Endymion! unhappy! it nigh grieves
Me to behold thee thus in last extreme:
Ensky'd ere this, but truly that I deem
Truth the best music in a first-born song.
Thy lute-voic'd brother will I sing ere long,
And thou shalt aidhast thou not aided me?
Yes, moonlight Emperor! felicity
Has been thy meed for many thousand years;
Yet often have I, on the brink of tears,
Mourn'd as if yet thou wert a forester,
Forgetting the old tale.

              He did not stir
His eyes from the dead leaves, or one small pulse
Of joy he might have felt. The spirit culls
Unfaded amaranth, when wild it strays
Through the old garden-ground of boyish days.
A little onward ran the very stream
By which he took his first soft poppy dream;
And on the very bark 'gainst which he leant
A crescent he had carv'd, and round it spent
His skill in little stars. The teeming tree
Had swollen and green'd the pious charactery,
But not ta'en out. Why, there was not a slope
Up which he had not fear'd the antelope;
And not a tree, beneath whose rooty shade
He had not with his tamed leopards play'd.
Nor could an arrow light, or javelin,
Fly in the air where his had never been
And yet he knew it not.

             O treachery!
Why does his lady smile, pleasing her eye
With all his sorrowing? He sees her not.
But who so stares on him? His sister sure!
Peona of the woods!Can she endure
Impossiblehow dearly they embrace!
His lady smiles; delight is in her face;
It is no treachery.

           "Dear brother mine!
Endymion, weep not so! Why shouldst thou pine
When all great Latmos so exalt wilt be?
Thank the great gods, and look not bitterly;
And speak not one pale word, and sigh no more.
Sure I will not believe thou hast such store
Of grief, to last thee to my kiss again.
Thou surely canst not bear a mind in pain,
Come hand in hand with one so beautiful.
Be happy both of you! for I will pull
The flowers of autumn for your coronals.
Pan's holy priest for young Endymion calls;
And when he is restor'd, thou, fairest dame,
Shalt be our queen. Now, is it not a shame
To see ye thus,not very, very sad?
Perhaps ye are too happy to be glad:
O feel as if it were a common day;
Free-voic'd as one who never was away.
No tongue shall ask, whence come ye? but ye shall
Be gods of your own rest imperial.
Not even I, for one whole month, will pry
Into the hours that have pass'd us by,
Since in my arbour I did sing to thee.
O Hermes! on this very night will be
A hymning up to Cynthia, queen of light;
For the soothsayers old saw yesternight
Good visions in the air,whence will befal,
As say these sages, health perpetual
To shepherds and their flocks; and furthermore,
In Dian's face they read the gentle lore:
Therefore for her these vesper-carols are.
Our friends will all be there from nigh and far.
Many upon thy death have ditties made;
And many, even now, their foreheads shade
With cypress, on a day of sacrifice.
New singing for our maids shalt thou devise,
And pluck the sorrow from our huntsmen's brows.
Tell me, my lady-queen, how to espouse
This wayward brother to his rightful joys!
His eyes are on thee bent, as thou didst poise
His fate most goddess-like. Help me, I pray,
To lureEndymion, dear brother, say
What ails thee?" He could bear no more, and so
Bent his soul fiercely like a spiritual bow,
And twang'd it inwardly, and calmly said:
"I would have thee my only friend, sweet maid!
My only visitor! not ignorant though,
That those deceptions which for pleasure go
'Mong men, are pleasures real as real may be:
But there are higher ones I may not see,
If impiously an earthly realm I take.
Since I saw thee, I have been wide awake
Night after night, and day by day, until
Of the empyrean I have drunk my fill.
Let it content thee, Sister, seeing me
More happy than betides mortality.
A hermit young, I'll live in mossy cave,
Where thou alone shalt come to me, and lave
Thy spirit in the wonders I shall tell.
Through me the shepherd realm shall prosper well;
For to thy tongue will I all health confide.
And, for my sake, let this young maid abide
With thee as a dear sister. Thou alone,
Peona, mayst return to me. I own
This may sound strangely: but when, dearest girl,
Thou seest it for my happiness, no pearl
Will trespass down those cheeks. Companion fair!
Wilt be content to dwell with her, to share
This sister's love with me?" Like one resign'd
And bent by circumstance, and thereby blind
In self-commitment, thus that meek unknown:
"Aye, but a buzzing by my ears has flown,
Of jubilee to Dian:truth I heard!
Well then, I see there is no little bird,
Tender soever, but is Jove's own care.
Long have I sought for rest, and, unaware,
Behold I find it! so exalted too!
So after my own heart! I knew, I knew
There was a place untenanted in it:
In that same void white Chastity shall sit,
And monitor me nightly to lone slumber.
With sanest lips I vow me to the number
Of Dian's sisterhood; and, kind lady,
With thy good help, this very night shall see
My future days to her fane consecrate."

As feels a dreamer what doth most create
His own particular fright, so these three felt:
Or like one who, in after ages, knelt
To Lucifer or Baal, when he'd pine
After a little sleep: or when in mine
Far under-ground, a sleeper meets his friends
Who know him not. Each diligently bends
Towards common thoughts and things for very fear;
Striving their ghastly malady to cheer,
By thinking it a thing of yes and no,
That housewives talk of. But the spirit-blow
Was struck, and all were dreamers. At the last
Endymion said: "Are not our fates all cast?
Why stand we here? Adieu, ye tender pair!
Adieu!" Whereat those maidens, with wild stare,
Walk'd dizzily away. Pained and hot
His eyes went after them, until they got
Near to a cypress grove, whose deadly maw,
In one swift moment, would what then he saw
Engulph for ever. "Stay!" he cried, "ah, stay!
Turn, damsels! hist! one word I have to say.
Sweet Indian, I would see thee once again.
It is a thing I dote on: so I'd fain,
Peona, ye should hand in hand repair
Into those holy groves, that silent are
Behind great Dian's temple. I'll be yon,
At vesper's earliest twinklethey are gone
But once, once, once again" At this he press'd
His hands against his face, and then did rest
His head upon a mossy hillock green,
And so remain'd as he a corpse had been
All the long day; save when he scantly lifted
His eyes abroad, to see how shadows shifted
With the slow move of time,sluggish and weary
Until the poplar tops, in journey dreary,
Had reach'd the river's brim. Then up he rose,
And, slowly as that very river flows,
Walk'd towards the temple grove with this lament:
"Why such a golden eve? The breeze is sent
Careful and soft, that not a leaf may fall
Before the serene father of them all
Bows down his summer head below the west.
Now am I of breath, speech, and speed possest,
But at the setting I must bid adieu
To her for the last time. Night will strew
On the damp grass myriads of lingering leaves,
And with them shall I die; nor much it grieves
To die, when summer dies on the cold sward.
Why, I have been a butterfly, a lord
Of flowers, garlands, love-knots, silly posies,
Groves, meadows, melodies, and arbour roses;
My kingdom's at its death, and just it is
That I should die with it: so in all this
We miscal grief, bale, sorrow, heartbreak, woe,
What is there to plain of? By Titan's foe
I am but rightly serv'd." So saying, he
Tripp'd lightly on, in sort of deathful glee;
Laughing at the clear stream and setting sun,
As though they jests had been: nor had he done
His laugh at nature's holy countenance,
Until that grove appear'd, as if perchance,
And then his tongue with sober seemlihed
Gave utterance as he entered: "Ha!" I said,
"King of the butterflies; but by this gloom,
And by old Rhadamanthus' tongue of doom,
This dusk religion, pomp of solitude,
And the Promethean clay by thief endued,
By old Saturnus' forelock, by his head
Shook with eternal palsy, I did wed
Myself to things of light from infancy;
And thus to be cast out, thus lorn to die,
Is sure enough to make a mortal man
Grow impious." So he inwardly began
On things for which no wording can be found;
Deeper and deeper sinking, until drown'd
Beyond the reach of music: for the choir
Of Cynthia he heard not, though rough briar
Nor muffling thicket interpos'd to dull
The vesper hymn, far swollen, soft and full,
Through the dark pillars of those sylvan aisles.
He saw not the two maidens, nor their smiles,
Wan as primroses gather'd at midnight
By chilly finger'd spring. "Unhappy wight!
Endymion!" said Peona, "we are here!
What wouldst thou ere we all are laid on bier?"
Then he embrac'd her, and his lady's hand
Press'd, saying:" Sister, I would have command,
If it were heaven's will, on our sad fate."
At which that dark-eyed stranger stood elate
And said, in a new voice, but sweet as love,
To Endymion's amaze: "By Cupid's dove,
And so thou shalt! and by the lily truth
Of my own breast thou shalt, beloved youth!"
And as she spake, into her face there came
Light, as reflected from a silver flame:
Her long black hair swell'd ampler, in display
Full golden; in her eyes a brighter day
Dawn'd blue and full of love. Aye, he beheld
Phoebe, his passion! joyous she upheld
Her lucid bow, continuing thus; "Drear, drear
Has our delaying been; but foolish fear
Withheld me first; and then decrees of fate;
And then 'twas fit that from this mortal state
Thou shouldst, my love, by some unlook'd for change
Be spiritualiz'd. Peona, we shall range
These forests, and to thee they safe shall be
As was thy cradle; hither shalt thou flee
To meet us many a time." Next Cynthia bright
Peona kiss'd, and bless'd with fair good night:
Her brother kiss'd her too, and knelt adown
Before his goddess, in a blissful swoon.
She gave her fair hands to him, and behold,
Before three swiftest kisses he had told,
They vanish'd far away!Peona went
Home through the gloomy wood in wonderment.

(line 2): This line originally began with 'O Mountain-born in the draft, where also 'while' stands cancelled in favour of 'by.'

(line 158): Keats has been supposed to have invented the variant 'spry' for 'spray' for convenience of rhyming, just as Shelley has been accused of inventing for like reasons the word 'uprest', for example, in Laon And Cythna, Canto III, Stanza xxi. Sandys, the translator of Ovid, may not be a very good authority; but he is not improbably Keats's authority for 'spry', and will certainly do in default of a better.

(line 273): The biblical dissyllabic form 'mayest' is clearly used by deliberate preference, for the line originally stood thus in the draft :
And I have told thee all that thou canst hear.

(line 298): Remember'd from its velvet summer song : The gentleness of summer wind seems to have been a cherished idea with Keats. Compare with Sleep And Poetry, line 1 --
'What is more gentle than a wind in summer?'

(line 585): This was originally a short line consisting of the words "Thine illuminings" alone. The whole stanza, ... was sent by Keats to his friend Baily for his "vote, pro or con," in a letter dated the 22nd of November 1817.

(line 668): An imagination in which Hunt would have found it difficult to discover the reality; but probably Keats had never seen the miserable platform of dry twigs that serves for "a dove's nest among summer trees."

(line 672): Endymion's imaginary home and employments as pictured in the next fifty lines may be compared with Shelley's AEgean island described so wonderfully in Epipsychidion. Both passages are thoroughly characteristic; and they show the divergence between the modes of thought and sentiment of the two men in a very marked way.

(line 885-86): A curious importation from Hebrew theology into a subject from Greek mythology. Compare St. Matthew, X, 29: "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." Or, as made familiar to our childhood by the popular hymn-wright,---
'A little sparrow cannot fall,
Unnoticed, Lord, by Thee.'

In the finished manuscript the word "kist" occurs twice instead of "kiss'd" as in the first edition; but "bless'd" is not similarly transformed to "blest."

At the end of the draft Keats wrote "Burford Bridge Nov. 28, 1817--".

The imprint of Endymion is as follows:-- T. Miller, Printer, Noble Street, Cheapside. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ John Keats, Endymion - Book IV
,
615:Meantime Ferrara lay in rueful case;
The lady-city, for whose sole embrace
Her pair of suitors struggled, felt their arms
A brawny mischief to the fragile charms
They tugged forone discovering that to twist
Her tresses twice or thrice about his wrist
Secured a point of vantageone, how best
He 'd parry that by planting in her breast
His elbow spikeeach party too intent
For noticing, howe'er the battle went,
The conqueror would but have a corpse to kiss.
"May Boniface be duly damned for this!"
Howled some old Ghibellin, as up he turned,
From the wet heap of rubbish where they burned
His house, a little skull with dazzling teeth:
"A boon, sweet Christlet Salinguerra seethe
"In hell for ever, Christ, and let myself
"Be there to laugh at him!"moaned some young Guelf
Stumbling upon a shrivelled hand nailed fast
To the charred lintel of the doorway, last
His father stood within to bid him speed.
The thoroughfares were overrun with weed
Docks, quitchgrass, loathy mallows no man plants.
The stranger, none of its inhabitants
Crept out of doors to taste fresh air again,
And ask the purpose of a splendid train
Admitted on a morning; every town
Of the East League was come by envoy down
To treat for Richard's ransom: here you saw
The Vicentine, here snowy oxen draw
The Paduan carroch, its vermilion cross
On its white field. A-tiptoe o'er the fosse
Looked Legate Montelungo wistfully
After the flock of steeples he might spy
In Este's time, gone (doubts he) long ago
To mend the ramparts: sure the laggards know
The Pope's as good as here! They paced the streets
More soberly. At last, "Taurello greets
"The League," announced a pursuivant,"will match
"Its courtesy, and labours to dispatch
"At earliest Tito, Friedrich's Pretor, sent
"On pressing matters from his post at Trent,
"With Mainard Count of Tyrol,simply waits
"Their going to receive the delegates."
"Tito!" Our delegates exchanged a glance,
And, keeping the main way, admired askance
The lazy engines of outlandish birth,
Couched like a king each on its bank of earth
Arbalist, manganel and catapult;
While stationed by, as waiting a result,
Lean silent gangs of mercenaries ceased
Working to watch the strangers. "This, at least,
"Were better spared; he scarce presumes gainsay
"The League's decision! Get our friend away
"And profit for the future: how else teach
"Fools 't is not safe to stray within claw's reach
"Ere Salinguerra's final gasp be blown?
"Those mere convulsive scratches find the bone.
"Who bade him bloody the spent osprey's nare?"
The carrochs halted in the public square.
Pennons of every blazon once a-flaunt,
Men prattled, freelier than the crested gaunt
White ostrich with a horse-shoe in her beak
Was missing, and whoever chose might speak
"Ecelin" boldly out: so,"Ecelin
"Needed his wife to swallow half the sin
"And sickens by himself: the devil's whelp,
"He styles his son, dwindles away, no help
"From conserves, your fine triple-curded froth
"Of virgin's blood, your Venice viper-broth
"Eh? Jubilate!""Peace! no little word
"You utter here that 's not distinctly heard
"Up at Oliero: he was absent sick
"When we besieged Bassanowho, i' the thick
"O' the work, perceived the progress Azzo made,
"Like Ecelin, through his witch Adelaide?
"She managed it so well that, night by night
"At their bed-foot stood up a soldier-sprite,
"First fresh, pale by-and-by without a wound,
"And, when it came with eyes filmed as in swound,
"They knew the place was taken.""Ominous
"That Ghibellins should get what cautelous
"Old Redbeard sought from Azzo's sire to wrench
"Vainly; Saint George contrived his town a trench
"O' the marshes, an impermeable bar."
"Young Ecelin is meant the tutelar
"Of Padua, rather; veins embrace upon
"His hand like Brenta and Bacchiglion."
What now?"The founts! God's bread, touch not a plank!
"A crawling hell of carrionevery tank
"Choke-full!found out just now to Cino's cost
"The same who gave Taurello up for lost,
"And, making no account of fortune's freaks,
"Refused to budge from Padua then, but sneaks
"Back now with Concorezzi: 'faith! they drag
"Their carroch to San Vitale, plant the flag
"On his own palace, so adroitly razed
"He knew it not; a sort of Guelf folk gazed
"And laughed apart; Cino disliked their air
"Must pluck up spirit, show he does not care
"Seats himself on the tank's edgewill begin
"To hum, za, za, Cavaler Ecelin
"A silence; he gets warmer, clinks to chime,
"Now both feet plough the ground, deeper each time,
"At last, za, za and up with a fierce kick
"Comes his own mother's face caught by the thick
"Grey hair about his spur!"
               Which means, they lift
The covering, Salinguerra made a shift
To stretch upon the truth; as well avoid
Further disclosures; leave them thus employed.
Our dropping Autumn morning clears apace,
And poor Ferrara puts a softened face
On her misfortunes. Let us scale this tall
Huge foursquare line of red brick garden-wall
Bastioned within by trees of every sort
On three sides, slender, spreading, long and short;
Each grew as it contrived, the poplar ramped,
The fig-tree reared itself,but stark and cramped,
Made fools of, like tamed lions: whence, on the edge,
Running 'twixt trunk and trunk to smooth one ledge
Of shade, were shrubs inserted, warp and woof,
Which smothered up that variance. Scale the roof
Of solid tops, and o'er the slope you slide
Down to a grassy space level and wide,
Here and there dotted with a tree, but trees
Of rarer leaf, each foreigner at ease,
Set by itself: and in the centre spreads,
Borne upon three uneasy leopards' heads,
A laver, broad and shallow, one bright spirt
Of water bubbles in. The walls begirt
With trees leave off on either hand; pursue
Your path along a wondrous avenue
Those walls abut on, heaped of gleamy stone,
With aloes leering everywhere, grey-grown
From many a Moorish summer: how they wind
Out of the fissures! likelier to bind
The building than those rusted cramps which drop
Already in the eating sunshine. Stop,
You fleeting shapes above there! Ah, the pride
Or else despair of the whole country-side!
A range of statues, swarming o'er with wasps,
God, goddess, woman, man, the Greek rough-rasps
In crumbling Naples marblemeant to look
Like those Messina marbles Constance took
Delight in, or Taurello's self conveyed
To Mantua for his mistress, Adelaide,
A certain font with caryatides
Since cloistered at Goito; only, these
Are up and doing, not abashed, a troop
Able to right themselveswho see you, stoop
Their arms o' the instant after you! Unplucked
By this or that, you pass; for they conduct
To terrace raised on terrace, and, between,
Creatures of brighter mould and braver mien
Than any yet, the choicest of the Isle
No doubt. Here, left a sullen breathing-while,
Up-gathered on himself the Fighter stood
For his last fight, and, wiping treacherous blood
Out of the eyelids just held ope beneath
Those shading fingers in their iron sheath,
Steadied his strengths amid the buzz and stir
Of the dusk hideous amphitheatre
At the announcement of his over-match
To wind the day's diversion up, dispatch
The pertinactious Gaul: while, limbs one heap,
The Slave, no breath in her round mouth, watched leap
Dart after dart forth, as her hero's car
Clove dizzily the solid of the war
Let coil about his knees for pride in him.
We reach the farthest terrace, and the grim
San Pietro Palace stops us.
               Such the state
Of Salinguerra's plan to emulate
Sicilian marvels, that his girlish wife
Retrude still might lead her ancient life
In her new home: whereat enlarged so much
Neighbours upon the novel princely touch
He took,who here imprisons Boniface.
Here must the Envoys come to sue for grace;
And here, emerging from the labyrinth
Below, Sordello paused beside the plinth
Of the door-pillar.
          He had really left
Verona for the cornfields (a poor theft
From the morass) where Este's camp was made;
The Envoys' march, the Legate's cavalcade
All had been seen by him, but scarce as when,
Eager for cause to stand aloof from men
At every point save the fantastic tie
Acknowledged in his boyish sophistry,
He made account of such. A crowd,he meant
To task the whole of it; each part's intent
Concerned him therefore: and, the more he pried,
The less became Sordello satisfied
With his own figure at the moment. Sought
He respite from his task? Descried he aught
Novel in the anticipated sight
Of all these livers upon all delight?
This phalanx, as of myriad points combined,
Whereby he still had imaged the mankind
His youth was passed in dreams of rivalling,
His agein plans to prove at least such thing
Had been so dreamed,which now he must impress
With his own will, effect a happiness
By theirs,supply a body to his soul
Thence, and become eventually whole
With them as he had hoped to be without
Made these the mankind he once raved about?
Because a few of them were notable,
Should all be figured worthy note? As well
Expect to find Taurello's triple line
Of trees a single and prodigious pine.
Real pines rose here and there; but, close among,
Thrust into and mixed up with pines, a throng
Of shrubs, he saw,a nameless common sort
O'erpast in dreams, left out of the report
And hurried into corners, or at best
Admitted to be fancied like the rest.
Reckon that morning's proper chiefshow few!
And yet the people grew, the people grew,
Grew ever, as if the many there indeed,
More left behind and most who should succeed,
Simply in virtue of their mouths and eyes,
Petty enjoyments and huge miseries,
Mingled with, and made veritably great
Those chiefs: he overlooked not Mainard's state
Nor Concorezzi's station, but instead
Of stopping there, each dwindled to be head
Of infinite and absent Tyrolese
Or Paduans; startling all the more, that these
Seemed passive and disposed of, uncared for,
Yet doubtless on the whole (like Eglamor)
Smiling; for if a wealthy man decays
And out of store of robes must wear, all days,
One tattered suit, alike in sun and shade,
'T is commonly some tarnished gay brocade
Fit for a feast-night's flourish and no more:
Nor otherwise poor Misery from her store
Of looks is fain upgather, keep unfurled
For common wear as she goes through the world,
The faint remainder of some worn-out smile
Meant for a feast-night's service merely. While
Crowd upon crowd rose on Sordello thus,
(Crowds no way interfering to discuss,
Much less dispute, life's joys with one employed
In envying them,or, if they aught enjoyed,
Where lingered something indefinable
In every look and tone, the mirth as well
As woe, that fixed at once his estimate
Of the result, their good or bad estate)
Old memories returned with new effect:
And the new body, ere he could suspect,
Cohered, mankind and he were really fused,
The new self seemed impatient to be used
By him, but utterly another way
Than that anticipated: strange to say,
They were too much below him, more in thrall
Than he, the adjunct than the principal.
What booted scattered units?here a mind
And there, which might repay his own to find,
And stamp, and use?a few, howe'er august,
If all the rest were grovelling in the dust?
No: first a mighty equilibrium, sure,
Should he establish, privilege procure
For all, the few had long possessed! He felt
An error, an exceeding error melt:
While he was occupied with Mantuan chants,
Behoved him think of men, and take their wants,
Such as he now distinguished every side,
As his own want which might be satisfied,
And, after that, think of rare qualities
Of his own soul demanding exercise.
It followed naturally, through no claim
On their part, which made virtue of the aim
At serving them, on his,that, past retrieve,
He felt now in their toils, theirsnor could leave
Wonder how, in the eagerness to rule,
Impress his will on mankind, he (the fool!)
Had never even entertained the thought
That this his last arrangement might be fraught
with incidental good to them as well,
And that mankind's delight would help to swell
His own. So, if he sighed, as formerly
Because the merry time of life must fleet,
'T was deeplier now,for could the crowds repeat
Their poor experiences? His hand that shook
Was twice to be deplored. "The Legate, look!
"With eyes, like fresh-blown thrush-eggs on a thread,
"Faint-blue and loosely floating in his head,
"Large tongue, moist open mouth; and this long while
"That owner of the idiotic smile
"Serves them!"
       He fortunately saw in time
His fault however, and since the office prime
Includes the secondarybest accept
Both offices; Taurello, its adept,
Could teach him the preparatory one,
And how to do what he had fancied done
Long previously, ere take the greater task.
How render first these people happy? Ask
The people's friends: for there must be one good
One way to itthe Cause! He understood
The meaning now of Palma; why the jar
Else, the ado, the trouble wide and far
Of Guelfs and Ghibellins, the Lombard hope
And Rome's despair?'twixt Emperor and Pope
The confused shifting sort of Eden tale
Hardihood still recurring, still to fail
That foreign interloping fiend, this free
And native overbrooding deity:
Yet a dire fascination o'er the palms
The Kaiser ruined, troubling even the calms
Of paradise; or, on the other hand,
The Pontiff, as the Kaisers understand,
One snake-like cursed of God to love the ground,
Whose heavy length breaks in the noon profound
Some saving treewhich needs the Kaiser, dressed
As the dislodging angel of that pest:
Yet flames that pest bedropped, flat head, full fold,
With coruscating dower of dyes. "Behold
"The secret, so to speak, and master-spring
"O' the contest!which of the two Powers shall bring
"Men good, perchance the most good: ay, it may
"Be that!the question, which best knows the way."
And hereupon Count Mainard strutted past
Out of San Pietro; never seemed the last
Of archers, slingers: and our friend began
To recollect strange modes of serving man
Arbalist, catapult, brake, manganel,
And more. "This way of theirs may,who can tell?
"Need perfecting," said he: "let all be solved
"At once! Taurello 't is, the task devolved
"On late: confront Taurello!"
               And at last
He did confront him. Scarce an hour had past
When forth Sordello came, older by years
Than at his entry. Unexampled fears
Oppressed him, and he staggered off, blind, mute
And deaf, like some fresh-mutilated brute,
Into Ferraranot the empty town
That morning witnessed: he went up and down
Streets whence the veil had been stript shred by shred,
So that, in place of huddling with their dead
Indoors, to answer Salinguerra's ends,
Townsfolk make shift to crawl forth, sit like friends
With any one. A woman gave him choice
Of her two daughters, the infantile voice
Or the dimpled knee, for half a chain, his throat
Was clasped with; but an archer knew the coat
Its blue cross and eight lilies,bade beware
One dogging him in concert with the pair
Though thrumming on the sleeve that hid his knife.
Night set in early, autumn dews were rife,
They kindled great fires while the Leaguers' mass
Began at every carroch: he must pass
Between the kneeling people. Presently
The carroch of Verona caught his eye
With purple trappings; silently he bent
Over its fire, when voices violent
Began, "Affirm not whom the youth was like
"That struck me from the porch: I did not strike
"Again: I too have chestnut hair; my kin
"Hate Azzo and stand up for Ecelin.
"Here, minstrel, drive bad thoughts away! Sing! Take
"My glove for guerdon!" And for that man's sake
He turned: "A song of Eglamor's!"scarce named,
When, "Our Sordello's rather!"all exclaimed;
"Is not Sordello famousest for rhyme?"
He had been happy to deny, this time,
Profess as heretofore the aching head
And failing heart,suspect that in his stead
Some true Apollo had the charge of them,
Was champion to reward or to condemn,
So his intolerable risk might shift
Or share itself; but Naddo's precious gift
Of gifts, he owned, be certain! At the close
"I made that," said he to a youth who rose
As if to hear: 't was Palma through the band
Conducted him in silence by her hand.
Back now for Salinguerra. Tito of Trent
Gave place to Palma and her friend, who went
In turn at Montelungo's visit: one
After the other were they come and gone,
These spokesmen for the Kaiser and the Pope,
This incarnation of the People's hope,
Sordello,all the say of each was said;
And Salinguerra sat,himself instead
Of these to talk with, lingered musing yet.
'T was a drear vast presence-chamber roughly set
In order for the morning's use; full face,
The Kaiser's ominous sign-mark had first place,
The crowned grim twy-necked eagle, coarsely-blacked
With ochre on the naked wall; nor lacked
Romano's green and yellow either side;
But the new token Tito brought had tried
The Legate's patiencenay, if Palma knew
What Salinguerra almost meant to do
Until the sight of her restored his lip
A certain half-smile, three months' chieftainship
Had banished! Afterward, the Legate found
No change in him, nor asked what badge he wound
And unwound carelessly. Now sat the Chief
Silent as when our couple left, whose brief
Encounter wrought so opportune effect
In thoughts he summoned not, nor would reject,
Though time 't was now if ever, to pausefix
On any sort of ending: wiles and tricks
Exhausted, judge! his charge, the crazy town,
Just managed to be hindered crashing down
His last sound troops rangedcare observed to post
His best of the maimed soldiers innermost
So much was plain enough, but somehow struck
Him not before. And now with this strange luck
Of Tito's news, rewarding his address
So well, what thought he of?how the success
With Friedrich's rescript there, would either hush
Old Ecelin's scruples, bring the manly flush
To his young son's white cheek, or, last, exempt
Himself from telling what there was to tempt?
No: that this minstrel was Romano's last
Servanthimself the first! Could he contrast
The whole!that minstrel's thirty years just spent
In doing nought, their notablest event
This morning's journey hither, as I told
Who yet was lean, outworn and really old,
A stammering awkward man that scarce dared raise
His eye before the magisterial gaze
And Salinguerra with his fears and hopes
Of sixty years, his Emperors and Popes,
Cares and contrivances, yet, you would say,
'T was a youth nonchalantly looked away
Through the embrasure northward o'er the sick
Expostulating treesso agile, quick
And graceful turned the head on the broad chest
Encased in pliant steel, his constant vest,
Whence split the sun off in a spray of fire
Across the room; and, loosened of its tire
Of steel, that head let breathe the comely brown
Large massive locks discoloured as if a crown
Encircled them, so frayed the basnet where
A sharp white line divided clean the hair;
Glossy above, glossy below, it swept
Curling and fine about a brow thus kept
Calm, laid coat upon coat, marble and sound:
This was the mystic mark the Tuscan found,
Mused of, turned over books about. Square-faced,
No lion more; two vivid eyes, enchased
In hollows filled with many a shade and streak
Settling from the bold nose and bearded cheek.
Nor might the half-smile reach them that deformed
A lip supremely perfect elseunwarmed,
Unwidened, less or more; indifferent
Whether on trees or men his thoughts were bent,
Thoughts rarely, after all, in trim and train
As now a period was fulfilled again:
Of such, a series made his life, compressed
In each, one story serving for the rest
How his life-streams rolling arrived at last
At the barrier, whence, were it once overpast,
They would emerge, a river to the end,
Gathered themselves up, paused, bade fate befriend,
Took the leap, hung a minute at the height,
Then fell back to oblivion infinite:
Therefore he smiled. Beyond stretched garden-grounds
Where late the adversary, breaking bounds,
Had gained him an occasion, That above,
That eagle, testified he could improve
Effectually. The Kaiser's symbol lay
Beside his rescript, a new badge by way
Of baldric; while,another thing that marred
Alike emprise, achievement and reward,
Ecelin's missive was conspicuous too.
What past life did those flying thoughts pursue?
As his, few names in Mantua half so old;
But at Ferrara, where his sires enrolled
It latterly, the Adelardi spared
No pains to rival them: both factions shared
Ferrara, so that, counted out, 't would yield
A product very like the city's shield,
Half black and white, or Ghibellin and Guelf
As after Salinguerra styled himself
And Este who, till Marchesalla died,
(Last of the Adelardi)never tried
His fortune there: with Marchesalla's child
Would pass,could Blacks and Whites be reconciled
And young Taurello wed Linguetta,wealth
And sway to a sole grasp. Each treats by stealth
Already: when the Guelfs, the Ravennese
Arrive, assault the Pietro quarter, seize
Linguetta, and are gone! Men's first dismay
Abated somewhat, hurries down, to lay
The after indignation, Boniface,
This Richard's father. "Learn the full disgrace
"Averted, ere you blame us Guelfs, who rate
"Your Salinguerra, your sole potentate
"That might have been, 'mongst Este's valvassors
"Ay, Azzo'swho, not privy to, abhors
"Our step; but we were zealous." Azzo then
To do with! Straight a meeting of old men:
"Old Salinguerra dead, his heir a boy,
"What if we change our ruler and decoy
"The Lombard Eagle of the azure sphere
"With Italy to build in, fix him here,
"Settle the city's troubles in a trice?
"For private wrong, let public good suffice!"
In fine, young Salinguerra's staunchest friends
Talked of the townsmen making him amends,
Gave him a goshawk, and affirmed there was
Rare sport, one morning, over the green grass
A mile or so. He sauntered through the plain,
Was restless, fell to thinking, turned again
In time for Azzo's entry with the bride;
Count Boniface rode smirking at their side;
"She brings him half Ferrara," whispers flew,
"And all Ancona! If the stripling knew!"
Anon the stripling was in Sicily
Where Heinrich ruled in right of Constance; he
Was gracious nor his guest incapable;
Each understood the other. So it fell,
One Spring, when Azzo, thoroughly at ease,
Had near forgotten by what precise degrees
He crept at first to such a downy seat,
The Count trudged over in a special heat
To bid him of God's love dislodge from each
Of Salinguerra's palaces,a breach
Might yawn else, not so readily to shut,
For who was just arrived at Mantua but
The youngster, sword on thigh and tuft on chin,
With tokens for Celano, Ecelin,
Pistore, and the like! Next news,no whit
Do any of Ferrara's domes befit
His wife of Heinrich's very blood: a band
Of foreigners assemble, understand
Garden-constructing, level and surround,
Build up and bury in. A last news crowned
The consternation: since his infant's birth,
He only waits they end his wondrous girth
Of trees that link San Pietro with Tom,
To visit Mantua. When the Podest
Ecelin, at Vicenza, called his friend
Taurello thither, what could be their end
But to restore the Ghibellins' late Head,
The Kaiser helping? He with most to dread
From vengeance and reprisal, Azzo, there
With Boniface beforehand, as aware
Of plots in progress, gave alarm, expelled
Both plotters: but the Guelfs in triumph yelled
Too hastily. The burning and the flight,
And how Taurello, occupied that night
With Ecelin, lost wife and son, I told:
Not how he bore the blow, retained his hold,
Got friends safe through, left enemies the worst
O' the fray, and hardly seemed to care at first:
But afterward men heard not constantly
Of Salinguerra's House so sure to be!
Though Azzo simply gained by the event
A shifting of his plaguesthe first, content
To fall behind the second and estrange
So far his nature, suffer such a change
That in Romano sought he wife and child,
And for Romano's sake seemed reconciled
To losing individual life, which shrunk
As the other prosperedmortised in his trunk;
Like a dwarf palm which wanton Arabs foil
Of bearing its own proper wine and oil,
By grafting into it the stranger-vine,
Which sucks its heart out, sly and serpentine,
Till forth one vine-palm feathers to the root,
And red drops moisten the insipid fruit.
Once Adelaide set on,the subtle mate
Of the weak soldier, urged to emulate
The Church's valiant women deed for deed,
And paragon her namesake, win the meed
O' the great Matilda,soon they overbore
The rest of Lombardy,not as before
By an instinctive truculence, but patched
The Kaiser's strategy until it matched
The Pontiff's, sought old ends by novel means.
"Only, why is it Salinguerra screens
"Himself behind Romano?him we bade
"Enjoy our shine i' the front, not seek the shade!"
Asked Heinrich, somewhat of the tardiest
To comprehend. Nor Philip acquiesced
At once in the arrangement; reasoned, plied
His friend with offers of another bride,
A statelier functionfruitlessly: 't was plain
Taurello through some weakness must remain
Obscure. And Otho, free to judge of both
Ecelin the unready, harsh and loth,
And this more plausible and facile wight
With every point a-sparklechose the right,
Admiring how his predecessors harped
On the wrong man: "thus," quoth he, "wits are warped
"By outsides!" Carelessly, meanwhile, his life
Suffered its many turns of peace and strife
In many landsyou hardly could surprise
The man; who shamed Sordello (recognize!)
In this as much beside, that, unconcerned
What qualities were natural or earned,
With no ideal of graces, as they came
He took them, singularly well the same
Speaking the Greek's own language, just because
Your Greek eludes you, leave the least of flaws
In contracts with him; while, since Arab lore
Holds the stars' secrettake one trouble more
And master it! 'T is done, and now deter
Who may the Tuscan, once Jove trined for her,
From Friedrich's path!Friedrich, whose pilgrimage
The same man puts aside, whom he 'll engage
To leave next year John Brienne in the lurch,
Come to Bassano, see Saint Francis' church
And judge of Guido the Bolognian's piece
Which,lend Taurello credit,rivals Greece
Angels, with aureoles like golden quoits
Pitched home, applauding Ecelin's exploits.
For elegance, he strung the angelot,
Made rhymes thereto; for prowess, clove he not
Tiso, last siege, from crest to crupper? Why
Detail you thus a varied mastery
But to show how Taurello, on the watch
For men, to read their hearts and thereby catch
Their capabilities and purposes,
Displayed himself so far as displayed these:
While our Sordello only cared to know
About men as a means whereby he 'd show
Himself, and men had much or little worth
According as they kept in or drew forth
That self; the other's choicest instruments
Surmised him shallow.
           Meantime, malcontents
Dropped off, town after town grew wiser. "How
"Change the world's face?" asked people; "as 't is now
"It has been, will be ever: very fine
"Subjecting things profane to things divine,
"In talk! This contumacy will fatigue
"The vigilance of Este and the League!
"The Ghibellins gain on us!"as it happed.
Old Azzo and old Boniface, entrapped
By Ponte Alto, both in one month's space
Slept at Verona: either left a brace
Of sonsbut, three years after, either's pair
Lost Guglielm and Aldobrand its heir:
Azzo remained and Richardall the stay
Of Este and Saint Boniface, at bay
As 't were. Then, either Ecelin grew old
Or his brain alterednot o' the proper mould
For new applianceshis old palm-stock
Endured no influx of strange strengths. He 'd rock
As in a drunkenness, or chuckle low
As proud of the completeness of his woe,
Then weep real tears;now make some mad onslaught
On Este, heedless of the lesson taught
So painfully,now cringe for peace, sue peace
At price of past gain, bar of fresh increase
To the fortunes of Romano. Up at last
Rose Este, down Romano sank as fast.
And men remarked these freaks of peace and war
Happened while Salinguerra was afar:
Whence every friend besought him, all in vain,
To use his old adherent's wits again.
Not he!"who had advisers in his sons,
"Could plot himself, nor needed any one's
"Advice." 'T was Adelaide's remaining staunch
Prevented his destruction root and branch
Forthwith; but when she died, doom fell, for gay
He made alliances, gave lands away
To whom it pleased accept them, and withdrew
For ever from the world. Taurello, who
Was summoned to the convent, then refused
A word at the wicket, patience thus abused,
Promptly threw off alike his imbecile
Ally's yoke, and his own frank, foolish smile.
Soon a few movements of the happier sort
Changed matters, put himself in men's report
As heretofore; he had to fight, beside,
And that became him ever. So, in pride
And flushing of this kind of second youth,
He dealt a good-will blow. Este in truth
Lay proneand men remembered, somewhat late,
A laughing old outrageous stifled hate
He bore to Estehow it would outbreak
At times spite of disguise, like an earthquake
In sunny weatheras that noted day
When with his hundred friends he tried to slay
Azzo before the Kaiser's face: and how,
On Azzo's calm refusal to allow
A liegeman's challenge, straight he too was calmed:
As if his hate could bear to lie embalmed,
Bricked up, the moody Pharaoh, and survive
All intermediate crumblings, to arrive
At earth's catastrophe't was Este's crash
Not Azzo's he demanded, so, no rash
Procedure! Este's true antagonist
Rose out of Ecelin: all voices whist,
All eyes were sharpened, wits predicted. He
'T was, leaned in the embrasure absently,
Amused with his own efforts, now, to trace
With his steel-sheathed forefinger Friedrich's face
I' the dust: but as the trees waved sere, his smile
Deepened, and words expressed its thought erewhile.
"Ay, fairly housed at last, my old compeer?
"That we should stick together, all the year
"I kept Vicenza!How old Boniface,
"Old Azzo caught us in its market-place,
"He by that pillar, I at this,caught each
"In mid swing, more than fury of his speech,
"Egging the rabble on to disavow
"Allegiance to their MarquisBacchus, how
"They boasted! Ecelin must turn their drudge,
"Nor, if released, will Salinguerra grudge
"Paying arrears of tribute due long since
"Bacchus! My man could promise then, nor wince
"The bones-and-muscles! Sound of wind and limb,
"Spoke he the set excuse I framed for him:
"And now he sits me, slavering and mute,
"Intent on chafing each starved purple foot
"Benumbed past aching with the altar slab:
"Will no vein throb there when some monk shall blab
"Spitefully to the circle of bald scalps,
"'Friedrich 's affirmed to be our side the Alps'
"Eh, brother Lactance, brother Anaclet?
"Sworn to abjure the world, its fume and fret,
"God's own now? Drop the dormitory bar,
"Enfold the scanty grey serge scapular
"Twice o'er the cowl to muffle memories out!
"So! But the midnight whisper turns a shout,
"Eyes wink, mouths open, pulses circulate
"In the stone walls: the past, the world you hate
"Is with you, ambush, open fieldor see
"The surging flamewe fire Vicenzaglee!
"Follow, let Pilio and Bernardo chafe!
"Bring up the Mantuansthrough San Biagiosafe!
"Ah, the mad people waken? Ah, they writhe
"And reach us? If they block the gate? No tithe
"Can passkeep back, you Bassanese! The edge,
"Use the edgeshear, thrust, hew, melt down the wedge,
"Let out the black of those black upturned eyes!
"Hellare they sprinkling fire too? The blood fries
"And hisses on your brass gloves as they tear
"Those upturned faces choking with despair.
"Brave! Slidder through the reeking gate! `How now?
"'You six had charge of her?' And then the vow
"Comes, and the foam spirts, hair's plucked, till one shriek
"(I hear it) and you flingyou cannot speak
"Your gold-flowered basnet to a man who haled
"The Adelaide he dared scarce view unveiled
"This morn, naked across the fire: how crown
"The archer that exhausted lays you down
"Your infant, smiling at the flame, and dies?
"While one, while mine . . .
               "Bacchus! I think there lies
"More than one corpse there" (and he paced the room)
"Another cinder somewhere: 't was my doom
"Beside, my doom! If Adelaide is dead,
"I live the same, this Azzo lives instead
"Of that to me, and we pull, any how,
"Este into a heap: the matter 's now
"At the true juncture slipping us so oft.
"Ay, Heinrich died and Otho, please you, doffed
"His crown at such a juncture! Still, if hold
"Our Friedrich's purpose, if this chain enfold
"The neck of . . . who but this same Ecelin
"That must recoil when the best days begin!
"Recoil? that 's nought; if the recoiler leaves
"His name for me to fight with, no one grieves:
"But he must interfere, forsooth, unlock
"His cloister to become my stumbling-block
"Just as of old! Ay, ay, there 't is again
"The land's inevitable Headexplain
"The reverences that subject us! Count
"These Ecelins now! Not to say as fount,
"Originating power of thought,from twelve
"That drop i' the trenches they joined hands to delve,
"Six shall surpass him, but . . . why men must twine
"Somehow with something! Ecelin 's a fine
"Clear name! 'Twere simpler, doubtless, twine with me
"At once: our cloistered friend's capacity
"Was of a sort! I had to share myself
"In fifty portions, like an o'ertasked elf
"That 's forced illume in fifty points the vast
"Rare vapour he 's environed by. At last
"My strengths, though sorely frittered, e'en converge
"And crown . . . no, Bacchus, they have yet to urge
"The man be crowned!
           "That aloe, an he durst,
"Would climb! Just such a bloated sprawler first
"I noted in Messina's castle-court
"The day I came, when Heinrich asked in sport
"If I would pledge my faith to win him back
"His right in Lombardy: 'for, once bid pack
"Marauders,' he continued, `in my stead
"'You rule, Taurello!' and upon this head
`Laid the silk glove of ConstanceI see her
"Too, mantled head to foot in miniver,
"Retrude following!
          "I am absolved
"From further toil: the empery devolved
"On me, 't was Tito's word: I have to lay
"For once my plan, pursue my plan my way,
"Prompt nobody, and render an account
"Taurello to Taurello! Nay, I mount
"To Friedrich: he conceives the post I kept,
"Who did true service, able or inept,
"Who 's worthy guerdon, Ecelin or I.
"Me guerdoned, counsel follows: would he vie
"With the Pope really? Azzo, Boniface
"Compose a right-arm Hohenstauffen's race
"Must break ere govern Lombardy. I point
"How easy 't were to twist, once out of joint,
"The socket from the bone: my Azzo's stare
"Meanwhile! for I, this idle strap to wear,
"Shallfret myself abundantly, what end
"To serve? There 's left me twenty years to spend
"How better than my old way? Had I one
"Who laboured overthrow my worka son
"Hatching with Azzo superb treachery,
"To root my pines up and then poison me,
"Suppose't were worth while frustrate that! Beside,
"Another life's ordained me: the world's tide
"Rolls, and what hope of parting from the press
"Of waves, a single wave though weariness
"Gently lifted aside, laid upon shore?
"My life must be lived out in foam and roar,
"No question. Fifty years the province held
"Taurello; troubles raised, and troubles quelled,
"He in the midstwho leaves this quaint stone place,
"These trees a year or two, then not a trace
"Of him! How obtain hold, fetter men's tongues
"Like this poor minstrel with the foolish songs
"To which, despite our bustle, he is linked?
"Flowers one may teaze, that never grow extinct.
"Ay, that patch, surely, green as ever, where
"I set Her Moorish lentisk, by the stair,
"To overawe the aloes; and we trod
"Those flowers, how call you such?into the sod;
"A stately foreignera world of pain
"To make it thrive, arrest rough windsall vain!
"It would decline; these would not be destroyed:
"And now, where is it? where can you avoid
"The flowers? I frighten children twenty years
"Longer!which way, too, Ecelin appears
"To thwart me, for his son's besotted youth
"Gives promise of the proper tigertooth:
"They feel it at Vicenza! Fate, fate, fate,
"My fine Taurello! Go you, promulgate
"Friedrich's decree, and here 's shall aggrandise
"Young Ecelinyour Prefect's badge! a prize
"Too precious, certainly.
             "How now? Compete
"With my old comrade? shuffle from their seat
"His children? Paltry dealing! Do n't I know
"Ecelin? now, I think, and years ago!
"What 's changedthe weakness? did not I compound
"For that, and undertake to keep him sound
"Despite it? Here 's Taurello hankering
"After a boy's prefermentthis plaything
"To carry, Bacchus!" And he laughed.
                   Remark
Why schemes wherein cold-blooded men embark
Prosper, when your enthusiastic sort
Fail: while these last are ever stopping short
(So much they shouldso little they can do!)
The careless tribe see nothing to pursue
If they desist; meantime their scheme succeeds.
Thoughts were caprices in the course of deeds
Methodic with Taurello; so, he turned,
Enough amused by fancies fairly earned
Of Este's horror-struck submitted neck,
And Richard, the cowed braggart, at his beck,
To his own petty but immediate doubt
If he could pacify the League without
Conceding Richard; just to this was brought
That interval of vain discursive thought!
As, shall I say, some Ethiop, past pursuit
Of all enslavers, dips a shackled foot
Burnt to the blood, into the drowsy black
Enormous watercourse which guides him back
To his own tribe again, where he is king;
And laughs because he guesses, numbering
The yellower poison-wattles on the pouch
Of the first lizard wrested from its couch
Under the slime (whose skin, the while, he strips
To cure his nostril with, and festered lips,
And eyeballs bloodshot through the desert-blast)
That he has reached its boundary, at last
May breathe;thinks o'er enchantments of the South
Sovereign to plague his enemies, their mouth,
Eyes, nails, and hair; but, these enchantments tried
In fancy, puts them soberly aside
For truth, projects a cool return with friends,
The likelihood of winning mere amends
Ere long; thinks that, takes comfort silently,
Then, from the river's brink, his wrongs and he,
Hugging revenge close to their hearts, are soon
Off-striding for the Mountains of the Moon.
Midnight: the watcher nodded on his spear,
Since clouds dispersing left a passage clear
For any meagre and discoloured moon
To venture forth; and such was peering soon
Above the harassed cityher close lanes
Closer, not half so tapering her fanes,
As though she shrunk into herself to keep
What little life was saved, more safely. Heap
By heap the watch-fires mouldered, and beside
The blackest spoke Sordello and replied
Palma with none to listen. "'T is your cause:
"What makes a Ghibellin? There should be laws
"(Remember how my youth escaped! I trust
"To you for manhood, Palma! tell me just
"As any child)there must be laws at work
"Explaining this. Assure me, good may lurk
"Under the bad,my multitude has part
"In your designs, their welfare is at heart
"With Salinguerra, to their interest
"Refer the deeds he dwelt on,so divest
"Our conference of much that scared me. Why
"Affect that heartless tone to Tito? I
"Esteemed myself, yes, in my inmost mind
"This morn, a recreant to my racemankind
"O'erlooked till now: why boast my spirit's force,
"Such force denied its object? why divorce
"These, then admire my spirit's flight the same
"As though it bore up, helped some half-orbed flame
"Else quenched in the dead void, to living space?
"That orb cast off to chaos and disgrace,
"Why vaunt so much my unencumbered dance,
"Making a feat's facilities enhance
"Its marvel? But I front Taurello, one
"Of happier fate, and all I should have done,
"He does; the people's good being paramount
"With him, their progress may perhaps account
"For his abiding still; whereas you heard
"The talk with Titothe excuse preferred
"For burning those five hostages,and broached
"By way of blind, as you and I approached,
"I do believe."
        She spoke: then he, "My thought
"Plainlier expressed! All to your profitnought
"Meantime of these, of conquests to achieve
"For them, of wretchedness he might relieve
"While profiting your party. Azzo, too,
"Supports a cause: what cause? Do Guelfs pursue
"Their ends by means like yours, or better?"
                       When
The Guelfs were proved alike, men weighed with men,
And deed with deed, blaze, blood, with blood and blaze,
Morn broke: "Once more, Sordello, meet its gaze
"Proudlythe people's charge against thee fails
"In every point, while either party quails!
"These are the busy ones: be silent thou!
"Two parties take the world up, and allow
"No third, yet have one principle, subsist
"By the same injustice; whoso shall enlist
"With either, ranks with man's inveterate foes.
"So there is one less quarrel to compose:
"The Guelf, the Ghibellin may be to curse
"I have done nothing, but both sides do worse
"Than nothing. Nay, to me, forgotten, reft
"Of insight, lapped by trees and flowers, was left
"The notion of a serviceha? What lured
"Me here, what mighty aim was I assured
"Must move Taurello? What if there remained
"A cause, intact, distinct from these, ordained
"For me, its true discoverer?"
                Some one pressed
Before them here, a watcher, to suggest
The subject for a ballad: "They must know
"The tale of the dead worthy, long ago
"Consul of Romethat 's long ago for us,
"Minstrels and bowmen, idly squabbling thus
`In the world's cornerbut too late no doubt,
"For the brave time he sought to bring about.
"Not know Crescentius Nomentanus?" Then
He cast about for terms to tell him, when
Sordello disavowed it, how they used
Whenever their Superior introduced
A novice to the Brotherhood("for I
"Was just a brown-sleeve brother, merrily
"Appointed too," quoth he, "till Innocent
"Bade me relinquish, to my small content,
"My wife or my brown sleeves")some brother spoke
Ere nocturns of Crescentius, to revoke
The edict issued, after his demise,
Which blotted fame alike and effigies,
All out except a floating power, a name
Including, tending to produce the same
Great act. Rome, dead, forgotten, lived at least
Within that brain, though to a vulgar priest
And a vile stranger,two not worth a slave
Of Rome's, Pope John, King Otho,fortune gave
The rule there: so, Crescentius, haply dressed
In white, called Roman Consul for a jest,
Taking the people at their word, forth stepped
As upon Brutus' heel, nor ever kept
Rome waiting,stood erect, and from his brain
Gave Rome out on its ancient place again,
Ay, bade proceed with Brutus' Rome, Kings styled
Themselves mere citizens of, and, beguiled
Into great thoughts thereby, would choose the gem
Out of a lapfull, spoil their diadem
The Senate's cypher was so hard to scratch
He flashes like a phanal, all men catch
The flame, Rome 's just accomplished! when returned
Otho, with John, the Consul's step had spurned,
And Hugo Lord of Este, to redress
The wrongs of each. Crescentius in the stress
Of adverse fortune bent. "They crucified
"Their Consul in the Forum; and abide
"E'er since such slaves at Rome, that I(for I
"Was once a brown-sleeve brother, merrily
"Appointed)I had option to keep wife
"Or keep brown sleeves, and managed in the strife
"Lose both. A song of Rome!"
               And Rome, indeed,
Robed at Goito in fantastic weed,
The Mother-City of his Mantuan days,
Looked an established point of light whence rays
Traversed the world; for, all the clustered homes
Beside of men, seemed bent on being Romes
In their degree; the question was, how each
Should most resemble Rome, clean out of reach.
Nor, of the Two, did either principle
Struggle to change, but to possess Rome,still
Guelf Rome or Ghibellin Rome.
               Let Rome advance!
Rome, as she struck Sordello's ignorance
How could he doubt one moment? Rome 's the Cause!
Rome of the Pandects, all the world's new laws
Of the Capitol, of Castle Angelo;
New structures, that inordinately glow,
Subdued, brought back to harmony, made ripe
By many a relic of the archetype
Extant for wonder; every upstart church
That hoped to leave old temples in the lurch,
Corrected by the Theatre forlorn
That,as a mundane shell, its world late born,
Lay and o'ershadowed it. These hints combined,
Rome typifies the scheme to put mankind
Once more in full possession of their rights.
"Let us have Rome again! On me it lights
"To build up Romeon me, the first and last:
"For such a future was endured the past!"
And thus, in the grey twilight, forth he sprung
To give his thought consistency among
The very Peoplelet their facts avail
Finish the dream grown from the archer's tale.


~ Robert Browning, Sordello - Book the Fourth
,
616:There are who lord it o'er their fellow-men
With most prevailing tinsel: who unpen
Their baaing vanities, to browse away
The comfortable green and juicy hay
From human pastures; or, O torturing fact!
Who, through an idiot blink, will see unpack'd
Fire-branded foxes to sear up and singe
Our gold and ripe-ear'd hopes. With not one tinge
Of sanctuary splendour, not a sight
Able to face an owl's, they still are dight
By the blear-eyed nations in empurpled vests,
And crowns, and turbans. With unladen breasts,
Save of blown self-applause, they proudly mount
To their spirit's perch, their being's high account,
Their tiptop nothings, their dull skies, their thrones
Amid the fierce intoxicating tones
Of trumpets, shoutings, and belabour'd drums,
And sudden cannon. Ah! how all this hums,
In wakeful ears, like uproar past and gone
Like thunder clouds that spake to Babylon,
And set those old Chaldeans to their tasks.
Are then regalities all gilded masks?
No, there are throned seats unscalable
But by a patient wing, a constant spell,
Or by ethereal things that, unconfin'd,
Can make a ladder of the eternal wind,
And poise about in cloudy thunder-tents
To watch the abysm-birth of elements.
Aye, 'bove the withering of old-lipp'd Fate
A thousand Powers keep religious state,
In water, fiery realm, and airy bourne;
And, silent as a consecrated urn,
Hold sphery sessions for a season due.
Yet few of these far majesties, ah, few!
Have bared their operations to this globe
Few, who with gorgeous pageantry enrobe
Our piece of heavenwhose benevolence
Shakes hand with our own Ceres; every sense
Filling with spiritual sweets to plenitude,
As bees gorge full their cells. And, by the feud
'Twixt Nothing and Creation, I here swear,
Eterne Apollo! that thy Sister fair
Is of all these the gentlier-mightiest.
When thy gold breath is misting in the west,
She unobserved steals unto her throne,
And there she sits most meek and most alone;
As if she had not pomp subservient;
As if thine eye, high Poet! was not bent
Towards her with the Muses in thine heart;
As if the ministring stars kept not apart,
Waiting for silver-footed messages.
O Moon! the oldest shades 'mong oldest trees
Feel palpitations when thou lookest in:
O Moon! old boughs lisp forth a holier din
The while they feel thine airy fellowship.
Thou dost bless every where, with silver lip
Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine,
Couched in thy brightness, dream of fields divine:
Innumerable mountains rise, and rise,
Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes;
And yet thy benediction passeth not
One obscure hiding-place, one little spot
Where pleasure may be sent: the nested wren
Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken,
And from beneath a sheltering ivy leaf
Takes glimpses of thee; thou art a relief
To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps
Within its pearly house.The mighty deeps,
The monstrous sea is thinethe myriad sea!
O Moon! far-spooming Ocean bows to thee,
And Tellus feels his forehead's cumbrous load.

Cynthia! where art thou now? What far abode
Of green or silvery bower doth enshrine
Such utmost beauty? Alas, thou dost pine
For one as sorrowful: thy cheek is pale
For one whose cheek is pale: thou dost bewail
His tears, who weeps for thee. Where dost thou sigh?
Ah! surely that light peeps from Vesper's eye,
Or what a thing is love! 'Tis She, but lo!
How chang'd, how full of ache, how gone in woe!
She dies at the thinnest cloud; her loveliness
Is wan on Neptune's blue: yet there's a stress
Of love-spangles, just off yon cape of trees,
Dancing upon the waves, as if to please
The curly foam with amorous influence.
O, not so idle: for down-glancing thence
She fathoms eddies, and runs wild about
O'erwhelming water-courses; scaring out
The thorny sharks from hiding-holes, and fright'ning
Their savage eyes with unaccustomed lightning.
Where will the splendor be content to reach?
O love! how potent hast thou been to teach
Strange journeyings! Wherever beauty dwells,
In gulf or aerie, mountains or deep dells,
In light, in gloom, in star or blazing sun,
Thou pointest out the way, and straight 'tis won.
Amid his toil thou gav'st Leander breath;
Thou leddest Orpheus through the gleams of death;
Thou madest Pluto bear thin element;
And now, O winged Chieftain! thou hast sent
A moon-beam to the deep, deep water-world,
To find Endymion.

         On gold sand impearl'd
With lily shells, and pebbles milky white,
Poor Cynthia greeted him, and sooth'd her light
Against his pallid face: he felt the charm
To breathlessness, and suddenly a warm
Of his heart's blood: 'twas very sweet; he stay'd
His wandering steps, and half-entranced laid
His head upon a tuft of straggling weeds,
To taste the gentle moon, and freshening beads,
Lashed from the crystal roof by fishes' tails.
And so he kept, until the rosy veils
Mantling the east, by Aurora's peering hand
Were lifted from the water's breast, and fann'd
Into sweet air; and sober'd morning came
Meekly through billows:when like taper-flame
Left sudden by a dallying breath of air,
He rose in silence, and once more 'gan fare
Along his fated way.

           Far had he roam'd,
With nothing save the hollow vast, that foam'd
Above, around, and at his feet; save things
More dead than Morpheus' imaginings:
Old rusted anchors, helmets, breast-plates large
Of gone sea-warriors; brazen beaks and targe;
Rudders that for a hundred years had lost
The sway of human hand; gold vase emboss'd
With long-forgotten story, and wherein
No reveller had ever dipp'd a chin
But those of Saturn's vintage; mouldering scrolls,
Writ in the tongue of heaven, by those souls
Who first were on the earth; and sculptures rude
In ponderous stone, developing the mood
Of ancient Nox;then skeletons of man,
Of beast, behemoth, and leviathan,
And elephant, and eagle, and huge jaw
Of nameless monster. A cold leaden awe
These secrets struck into him; and unless
Dian had chaced away that heaviness,
He might have died: but now, with cheered feel,
He onward kept; wooing these thoughts to steal
About the labyrinth in his soul of love.

"What is there in thee, Moon! that thou shouldst move
My heart so potently? When yet a child
I oft have dried my tears when thou hast smil'd.
Thou seem'dst my sister: hand in hand we went
From eve to morn across the firmament.
No apples would I gather from the tree,
Till thou hadst cool'd their cheeks deliciously:
No tumbling water ever spake romance,
But when my eyes with thine thereon could dance:
No woods were green enough, no bower divine,
Until thou liftedst up thine eyelids fine:
In sowing time ne'er would I dibble take,
Or drop a seed, till thou wast wide awake;
And, in the summer tide of blossoming,
No one but thee hath heard me blithly sing
And mesh my dewy flowers all the night.
No melody was like a passing spright
If it went not to solemnize thy reign.
Yes, in my boyhood, every joy and pain
By thee were fashion'd to the self-same end;
And as I grew in years, still didst thou blend
With all my ardours: thou wast the deep glen;
Thou wast the mountain-topthe sage's pen
The poet's harpthe voice of friendsthe sun;
Thou wast the riverthou wast glory won;
Thou wast my clarion's blastthou wast my steed
My goblet full of winemy topmost deed:
Thou wast the charm of women, lovely Moon!
O what a wild and harmonized tune
My spirit struck from all the beautiful!
On some bright essence could I lean, and lull
Myself to immortality: I prest
Nature's soft pillow in a wakeful rest.
But, gentle Orb! there came a nearer bliss
My strange love cameFelicity's abyss!
She came, and thou didst fade, and fade away
Yet not entirely; no, thy starry sway
Has been an under-passion to this hour.
Now I begin to feel thine orby power
Is coming fresh upon me: O be kind,
Keep back thine influence, and do not blind
My sovereign vision.Dearest love, forgive
That I can think away from thee and live!
Pardon me, airy planet, that I prize
One thought beyond thine argent luxuries!
How far beyond!" At this a surpris'd start
Frosted the springing verdure of his heart;
For as he lifted up his eyes to swear
How his own goddess was past all things fair,
He saw far in the concave green of the sea
An old man sitting calm and peacefully.
Upon a weeded rock this old man sat,
And his white hair was awful, and a mat
Of weeds were cold beneath his cold thin feet;
And, ample as the largest winding-sheet,
A cloak of blue wrapp'd up his aged bones,
O'erwrought with symbols by the deepest groans
Of ambitious magic: every ocean-form
Was woven in with black distinctness; storm,
And calm, and whispering, and hideous roar
Were emblem'd in the woof; with every shape
That skims, or dives, or sleeps, 'twixt cape and cape.
The gulphing whale was like a dot in the spell,
Yet look upon it, and 'twould size and swell
To its huge self; and the minutest fish
Would pass the very hardest gazer's wish,
And show his little eye's anatomy.
Then there was pictur'd the regality
Of Neptune; and the sea nymphs round his state,
In beauteous vassalage, look up and wait.
Beside this old man lay a pearly wand,
And in his lap a book, the which he conn'd
So stedfastly, that the new denizen
Had time to keep him in amazed ken,
To mark these shadowings, and stand in awe.

The old man rais'd his hoary head and saw
The wilder'd strangerseeming not to see,
His features were so lifeless. Suddenly
He woke as from a trance; his snow-white brows
Went arching up, and like two magic ploughs
Furrow'd deep wrinkles in his forehead large,
Which kept as fixedly as rocky marge,
Till round his wither'd lips had gone a smile.
Then up he rose, like one whose tedious toil
Had watch'd for years in forlorn hermitage,
Who had not from mid-life to utmost age
Eas'd in one accent his o'er-burden'd soul,
Even to the trees. He rose: he grasp'd his stole,
With convuls'd clenches waving it abroad,
And in a voice of solemn joy, that aw'd
Echo into oblivion, he said:

"Thou art the man! Now shall I lay my head
In peace upon my watery pillow: now
Sleep will come smoothly to my weary brow.
O Jove! I shall be young again, be young!
O shell-borne Neptune, I am pierc'd and stung
With new-born life! What shall I do? Where go,
When I have cast this serpent-skin of woe?
I'll swim to the syrens, and one moment listen
Their melodies, and see their long hair glisten;
Anon upon that giant's arm I'll be,
That writhes about the roots of Sicily:
To northern seas I'll in a twinkling sail,
And mount upon the snortings of a whale
To some black cloud; thence down I'll madly sweep
On forked lightning, to the deepest deep,
Where through some sucking pool I will be hurl'd
With rapture to the other side of the world!
O, I am full of gladness! Sisters three,
I bow full hearted to your old decree!
Yes, every god be thank'd, and power benign,
For I no more shall wither, droop, and pine.
Thou art the man!" Endymion started back
Dismay'd; and, like a wretch from whom the rack
Tortures hot breath, and speech of agony,
Mutter'd: "What lonely death am I to die
In this cold region? Will he let me freeze,
And float my brittle limbs o'er polar seas?
Or will he touch me with his searing hand,
And leave a black memorial on the sand?
Or tear me piece-meal with a bony saw,
And keep me as a chosen food to draw
His magian fish through hated fire and flame?
O misery of hell! resistless, tame,
Am I to be burnt up? No, I will shout,
Until the gods through heaven's blue look out!
O Tartarus! but some few days agone
Her soft arms were entwining me, and on
Her voice I hung like fruit among green leaves:
Her lips were all my own, andah, ripe sheaves
Of happiness! ye on the stubble droop,
But never may be garner'd. I must stoop
My head, and kiss death's foot. Love! love, farewel!
Is there no hope from thee? This horrid spell
Would melt at thy sweet breath.By Dian's hind
Feeding from her white fingers, on the wind
I see thy streaming hair! and now, by Pan,
I care not for this old mysterious man!"

He spake, and walking to that aged form,
Look'd high defiance. Lo! his heart 'gan warm
With pity, for the grey-hair'd creature wept.
Had he then wrong'd a heart where sorrow kept?
Had he, though blindly contumelious, brought
Rheum to kind eyes, a sting to human thought,
Convulsion to a mouth of many years?
He had in truth; and he was ripe for tears.
The penitent shower fell, as down he knelt
Before that care-worn sage, who trembling felt
About his large dark locks, and faultering spake:

"Arise, good youth, for sacred Phoebus' sake!
I know thine inmost bosom, and I feel
A very brother's yearning for thee steal
Into mine own: for why? thou openest
The prison gates that have so long opprest
My weary watching. Though thou know'st it not,
Thou art commission'd to this fated spot
For great enfranchisement. O weep no more;
I am a friend to love, to loves of yore:
Aye, hadst thou never lov'd an unknown power
I had been grieving at this joyous hour
But even now most miserable old,
I saw thee, and my blood no longer cold
Gave mighty pulses: in this tottering case
Grew a new heart, which at this moment plays
As dancingly as thine. Be not afraid,
For thou shalt hear this secret all display'd,
Now as we speed towards our joyous task."

So saying, this young soul in age's mask
Went forward with the Carian side by side:
Resuming quickly thus; while ocean's tide
Hung swollen at their backs, and jewel'd sands
Took silently their foot-prints. "My soul stands
Now past the midway from mortality,
And so I can prepare without a sigh
To tell thee briefly all my joy and pain.
I was a fisher once, upon this main,
And my boat danc'd in every creek and bay;
Rough billows were my home by night and day,
The sea-gulls not more constant; for I had
No housing from the storm and tempests mad,
But hollow rocks,and they were palaces
Of silent happiness, of slumberous ease:
Long years of misery have told me so.
Aye, thus it was one thousand years ago.
One thousand years!Is it then possible
To look so plainly through them? to dispel
A thousand years with backward glance sublime?
To breathe away as 'twere all scummy slime
From off a crystal pool, to see its deep,
And one's own image from the bottom peep?
Yes: now I am no longer wretched thrall,
My long captivity and moanings all
Are but a slime, a thin-pervading scum,
The which I breathe away, and thronging come
Like things of yesterday my youthful pleasures.

"I touch'd no lute, I sang not, trod no measures:
I was a lonely youth on desert shores.
My sports were lonely, 'mid continuous roars,
And craggy isles, and sea-mew's plaintive cry
Plaining discrepant between sea and sky.
Dolphins were still my playmates; shapes unseen
Would let me feel their scales of gold and green,
Nor be my desolation; and, full oft,
When a dread waterspout had rear'd aloft
Its hungry hugeness, seeming ready ripe
To burst with hoarsest thunderings, and wipe
My life away like a vast sponge of fate,
Some friendly monster, pitying my sad state,
Has dived to its foundations, gulph'd it down,
And left me tossing safely. But the crown
Of all my life was utmost quietude:
More did I love to lie in cavern rude,
Keeping in wait whole days for Neptune's voice,
And if it came at last, hark, and rejoice!
There blush'd no summer eve but I would steer
My skiff along green shelving coasts, to hear
The shepherd's pipe come clear from aery steep,
Mingled with ceaseless bleatings of his sheep:
And never was a day of summer shine,
But I beheld its birth upon the brine:
For I would watch all night to see unfold
Heaven's gates, and Aethon snort his morning gold
Wide o'er the swelling streams: and constantly
At brim of day-tide, on some grassy lea,
My nets would be spread out, and I at rest.
The poor folk of the sea-country I blest
With daily boon of fish most delicate:
They knew not whence this bounty, and elate
Would strew sweet flowers on a sterile beach.

"Why was I not contented? Wherefore reach
At things which, but for thee, O Latmian!
Had been my dreary death? Fool! I began
To feel distemper'd longings: to desire
The utmost privilege that ocean's sire
Could grant in benediction: to be free
Of all his kingdom. Long in misery
I wasted, ere in one extremest fit
I plung'd for life or death. To interknit
One's senses with so dense a breathing stuff
Might seem a work of pain; so not enough
Can I admire how crystal-smooth it felt,
And buoyant round my limbs. At first I dwelt
Whole days and days in sheer astonishment;
Forgetful utterly of self-intent;
Moving but with the mighty ebb and flow.
Then, like a new fledg'd bird that first doth shew
His spreaded feathers to the morrow chill,
I tried in fear the pinions of my will.
'Twas freedom! and at once I visited
The ceaseless wonders of this ocean-bed.
No need to tell thee of them, for I see
That thou hast been a witnessit must be
For these I know thou canst not feel a drouth,
By the melancholy corners of that mouth.
So I will in my story straightway pass
To more immediate matter. Woe, alas!
That love should be my bane! Ah, Scylla fair!
Why did poor Glaucus everever dare
To sue thee to his heart? Kind stranger-youth!
I lov'd her to the very white of truth,
And she would not conceive it. Timid thing!
She fled me swift as sea-bird on the wing,
Round every isle, and point, and promontory,
From where large Hercules wound up his story
Far as Egyptian Nile. My passion grew
The more, the more I saw her dainty hue
Gleam delicately through the azure clear:
Until 'twas too fierce agony to bear;
And in that agony, across my grief
It flash'd, that Circe might find some relief
Cruel enchantress! So above the water
I rear'd my head, and look'd for Phoebus' daughter.
Aeaea's isle was wondering at the moon:
It seem'd to whirl around me, and a swoon
Left me dead-drifting to that fatal power.

"When I awoke, 'twas in a twilight bower;
Just when the light of morn, with hum of bees,
Stole through its verdurous matting of fresh trees.
How sweet, and sweeter! for I heard a lyre,
And over it a sighing voice expire.
It ceasedI caught light footsteps; and anon
The fairest face that morn e'er look'd upon
Push'd through a screen of roses. Starry Jove!
With tears, and smiles, and honey-words she wove
A net whose thraldom was more bliss than all
The range of flower'd Elysium. Thus did fall
The dew of her rich speech: "Ah! Art awake?
O let me hear thee speak, for Cupid's sake!
I am so oppress'd with joy! Why, I have shed
An urn of tears, as though thou wert cold dead;
And now I find thee living, I will pour
From these devoted eyes their silver store,
Until exhausted of the latest drop,
So it will pleasure thee, and force thee stop
Here, that I too may live: but if beyond
Such cool and sorrowful offerings, thou art fond
Of soothing warmth, of dalliance supreme;
If thou art ripe to taste a long love dream;
If smiles, if dimples, tongues for ardour mute,
Hang in thy vision like a tempting fruit,
O let me pluck it for thee." Thus she link'd
Her charming syllables, till indistinct
Their music came to my o'er-sweeten'd soul;
And then she hover'd over me, and stole
So near, that if no nearer it had been
This furrow'd visage thou hadst never seen.

"Young man of Latmos! thus particular
Am I, that thou may'st plainly see how far
This fierce temptation went: and thou may'st not
Exclaim, How then, was Scylla quite forgot?

"Who could resist? Who in this universe?
She did so breathe ambrosia; so immerse
My fine existence in a golden clime.
She took me like a child of suckling time,
And cradled me in roses. Thus condemn'd,
The current of my former life was stemm'd,
And to this arbitrary queen of sense
I bow'd a tranced vassal: nor would thence
Have mov'd, even though Amphion's harp had woo'd
Me back to Scylla o'er the billows rude.
For as Apollo each eve doth devise
A new appareling for western skies;
So every eve, nay every spendthrift hour
Shed balmy consciousness within that bower.
And I was free of haunts umbrageous;
Could wander in the mazy forest-house
Of squirrels, foxes shy, and antler'd deer,
And birds from coverts innermost and drear
Warbling for very joy mellifluous sorrow
To me new born delights!

             "Now let me borrow,
For moments few, a temperament as stern
As Pluto's sceptre, that my words not burn
These uttering lips, while I in calm speech tell
How specious heaven was changed to real hell.

"One morn she left me sleeping: half awake
I sought for her smooth arms and lips, to slake
My greedy thirst with nectarous camel-draughts;
But she was gone. Whereat the barbed shafts
Of disappointment stuck in me so sore,
That out I ran and search'd the forest o'er.
Wandering about in pine and cedar gloom
Damp awe assail'd me; for there 'gan to boom
A sound of moan, an agony of sound,
Sepulchral from the distance all around.
Then came a conquering earth-thunder, and rumbled
That fierce complain to silence: while I stumbled
Down a precipitous path, as if impell'd.
I came to a dark valley.Groanings swell'd
Poisonous about my ears, and louder grew,
The nearer I approach'd a flame's gaunt blue,
That glar'd before me through a thorny brake.
This fire, like the eye of gordian snake,
Bewitch'd me towards; and I soon was near
A sight too fearful for the feel of fear:
In thicket hid I curs'd the haggard scene
The banquet of my arms, my arbour queen,
Seated upon an uptorn forest root;
And all around her shapes, wizard and brute,
Laughing, and wailing, groveling, serpenting,
Shewing tooth, tusk, and venom-bag, and sting!
O such deformities! Old Charon's self,
Should he give up awhile his penny pelf,
And take a dream 'mong rushes Stygian,
It could not be so phantasied. Fierce, wan,
And tyrannizing was the lady's look,
As over them a gnarled staff she shook.
Oft-times upon the sudden she laugh'd out,
And from a basket emptied to the rout
Clusters of grapes, the which they raven'd quick
And roar'd for more; with many a hungry lick
About their shaggy jaws. Avenging, slow,
Anon she took a branch of mistletoe,
And emptied on't a black dull-gurgling phial:
Groan'd one and all, as if some piercing trial
Was sharpening for their pitiable bones.
She lifted up the charm: appealing groans
From their poor breasts went sueing to her ear
In vain; remorseless as an infant's bier
She whisk'd against their eyes the sooty oil.
Whereat was heard a noise of painful toil,
Increasing gradual to a tempest rage,
Shrieks, yells, and groans of torture-pilgrimage;
Until their grieved bodies 'gan to bloat
And puff from the tail's end to stifled throat:
Then was appalling silence: then a sight
More wildering than all that hoarse affright;
For the whole herd, as by a whirlwind writhen,
Went through the dismal air like one huge Python
Antagonizing Boreas,and so vanish'd.
Yet there was not a breath of wind: she banish'd
These phantoms with a nod. Lo! from the dark
Came waggish fauns, and nymphs, and satyrs stark,
With dancing and loud revelry,and went
Swifter than centaurs after rapine bent.
Sighing an elephant appear'd and bow'd
Before the fierce witch, speaking thus aloud
In human accent: "Potent goddess! chief
Of pains resistless! make my being brief,
Or let me from this heavy prison fly:
Or give me to the air, or let me die!
I sue not for my happy crown again;
I sue not for my phalanx on the plain;
I sue not for my lone, my widow'd wife;
I sue not for my ruddy drops of life,
My children fair, my lovely girls and boys!
I will forget them; I will pass these joys;
Ask nought so heavenward, so tootoo high:
Only I pray, as fairest boon, to die,
Or be deliver'd from this cumbrous flesh,
From this gross, detestable, filthy mesh,
And merely given to the cold bleak air.
Have mercy, Goddess! Circe, feel my prayer!"

That curst magician's name fell icy numb
Upon my wild conjecturing: truth had come
Naked and sabre-like against my heart.
I saw a fury whetting a death-dart;
And my slain spirit, overwrought with fright,
Fainted away in that dark lair of night.
Think, my deliverer, how desolate
My waking must have been! disgust, and hate,
And terrors manifold divided me
A spoil amongst them. I prepar'd to flee
Into the dungeon core of that wild wood:
I fled three dayswhen lo! before me stood
Glaring the angry witch. O Dis, even now,
A clammy dew is beading on my brow,
At mere remembering her pale laugh, and curse.
"Ha! ha! Sir Dainty! there must be a nurse
Made of rose leaves and thistledown, express,
To cradle thee my sweet, and lull thee: yes,
I am too flinty-hard for thy nice touch:
My tenderest squeeze is but a giant's clutch.
So, fairy-thing, it shall have lullabies
Unheard of yet; and it shall still its cries
Upon some breast more lily-feminine.
Oh, noit shall not pine, and pine, and pine
More than one pretty, trifling thousand years;
And then 'twere pity, but fate's gentle shears
Cut short its immortality. Sea-flirt!
Young dove of the waters! truly I'll not hurt
One hair of thine: see how I weep and sigh,
That our heart-broken parting is so nigh.
And must we part? Ah, yes, it must be so.
Yet ere thou leavest me in utter woe,
Let me sob over thee my last adieus,
And speak a blessing: Mark me! thou hast thews
Immortal, for thou art of heavenly race:
But such a love is mine, that here I chase
Eternally away from thee all bloom
Of youth, and destine thee towards a tomb.
Hence shalt thou quickly to the watery vast;
And there, ere many days be overpast,
Disabled age shall seize thee; and even then
Thou shalt not go the way of aged men;
But live and wither, cripple and still breathe
Ten hundred years: which gone, I then bequeath
Thy fragile bones to unknown burial.
Adieu, sweet love, adieu!"As shot stars fall,
She fled ere I could groan for mercy. Stung
And poisoned was my spirit: despair sung
A war-song of defiance 'gainst all hell.
A hand was at my shoulder to compel
My sullen steps; another 'fore my eyes
Moved on with pointed finger. In this guise
Enforced, at the last by ocean's foam
I found me; by my fresh, my native home.
Its tempering coolness, to my life akin,
Came salutary as I waded in;
And, with a blind voluptuous rage, I gave
Battle to the swollen billow-ridge, and drave
Large froth before me, while there yet remain'd
Hale strength, nor from my bones all marrow drain'd.

"Young lover, I must weepsuch hellish spite
With dry cheek who can tell? While thus my might
Proving upon this element, dismay'd,
Upon a dead thing's face my hand I laid;
I look'd'twas Scylla! Cursed, cursed Circe!
O vulture-witch, hast never heard of mercy?
Could not thy harshest vengeance be content,
But thou must nip this tender innocent
Because I lov'd her?Cold, O cold indeed
Were her fair limbs, and like a common weed
The sea-swell took her hair. Dead as she was
I clung about her waist, nor ceas'd to pass
Fleet as an arrow through unfathom'd brine,
Until there shone a fabric crystalline,
Ribb'd and inlaid with coral, pebble, and pearl.
Headlong I darted; at one eager swirl
Gain'd its bright portal, enter'd, and behold!
'Twas vast, and desolate, and icy-cold;
And all aroundBut wherefore this to thee
Who in few minutes more thyself shalt see?
I left poor Scylla in a niche and fled.
My fever'd parchings up, my scathing dread
Met palsy half way: soon these limbs became
Gaunt, wither'd, sapless, feeble, cramp'd, and lame.

"Now let me pass a cruel, cruel space,
Without one hope, without one faintest trace
Of mitigation, or redeeming bubble
Of colour'd phantasy; for I fear 'twould trouble
Thy brain to loss of reason: and next tell
How a restoring chance came down to quell
One half of the witch in me.        On a day,
Sitting upon a rock above the spray,
I saw grow up from the horizon's brink
A gallant vessel: soon she seem'd to sink
Away from me again, as though her course
Had been resum'd in spite of hindering force
So vanish'd: and not long, before arose
Dark clouds, and muttering of winds morose.
Old Eolus would stifle his mad spleen,
But could not: therefore all the billows green
Toss'd up the silver spume against the clouds.
The tempest came: I saw that vessel's shrouds
In perilous bustle; while upon the deck
Stood trembling creatures. I beheld the wreck;
The final gulphing; the poor struggling souls:
I heard their cries amid loud thunder-rolls.
O they had all been sav'd but crazed eld
Annull'd my vigorous cravings: and thus quell'd
And curb'd, think on't, O Latmian! did I sit
Writhing with pity, and a cursing fit
Against that hell-born Circe. The crew had gone,
By one and one, to pale oblivion;
And I was gazing on the surges prone,
With many a scalding tear and many a groan,
When at my feet emerg'd an old man's hand,
Grasping this scroll, and this same slender wand.
I knelt with painreached out my handhad grasp'd
These treasurestouch'd the knucklesthey unclasp'd
I caught a finger: but the downward weight
O'erpowered meit sank. Then 'gan abate
The storm, and through chill aguish gloom outburst
The comfortable sun. I was athirst
To search the book, and in the warming air
Parted its dripping leaves with eager care.
Strange matters did it treat of, and drew on
My soul page after page, till well-nigh won
Into forgetfulness; when, stupefied,
I read these words, and read again, and tried
My eyes against the heavens, and read again.
O what a load of misery and pain
Each Atlas-line bore off!a shine of hope
Came gold around me, cheering me to cope
Strenuous with hellish tyranny. Attend!
For thou hast brought their promise to an end.

"In the wide sea there lives a forlorn wretch,
Doom'd with enfeebled carcase to outstretch
His loath'd existence through ten centuries,
And then to die alone. Who can devise
A total opposition? No one. So
One million times ocean must ebb and flow,
And he oppressed. Yet he shall not die,
These things accomplish'd:If he utterly
Scans all the depths of magic, and expounds
The meanings of all motions, shapes, and sounds;
If he explores all forms and substances
Straight homeward to their symbol-essences;
He shall not die. Moreover, and in chief,
He must pursue this task of joy and grief
Most piously;all lovers tempest-tost,
And in the savage overwhelming lost,
He shall deposit side by side, until
Time's creeping shall the dreary space fulfil:
Which done, and all these labours ripened,
A youth, by heavenly power lov'd and led,
Shall stand before him; whom he shall direct
How to consummate all. The youth elect
Must do the thing, or both will be destroy'd."

"Then," cried the young Endymion, overjoy'd,
"We are twin brothers in this destiny!
Say, I intreat thee, what achievement high
Is, in this restless world, for me reserv'd.
What! if from thee my wandering feet had swerv'd,
Had we both perish'd?""Look!" the sage replied,
"Dost thou not mark a gleaming through the tide,
Of divers brilliances? 'tis the edifice
I told thee of, where lovely Scylla lies;
And where I have enshrined piously
All lovers, whom fell storms have doom'd to die
Throughout my bondage." Thus discoursing, on
They went till unobscur'd the porches shone;
Which hurryingly they gain'd, and enter'd straight.
Sure never since king Neptune held his state
Was seen such wonder underneath the stars.
Turn to some level plain where haughty Mars
Has legion'd all his battle; and behold
How every soldier, with firm foot, doth hold
His even breast: see, many steeled squares,
And rigid ranks of ironwhence who dares
One step? Imagine further, line by line,
These warrior thousands on the field supine:
So in that crystal place, in silent rows,
Poor lovers lay at rest from joys and woes.
The stranger from the mountains, breathless, trac'd
Such thousands of shut eyes in order plac'd;
Such ranges of white feet, and patient lips
All ruddy,for here death no blossom nips.
He mark'd their brows and foreheads; saw their hair
Put sleekly on one side with nicest care;
And each one's gentle wrists, with reverence,
Put cross-wise to its heart.

               "Let us commence,
Whisper'd the guide, stuttering with joy, even now."
He spake, and, trembling like an aspen-bough,
Began to tear his scroll in pieces small,
Uttering the while some mumblings funeral.
He tore it into pieces small as snow
That drifts unfeather'd when bleak northerns blow;
And having done it, took his dark blue cloak
And bound it round Endymion: then struck
His wand against the empty air times nine.
"What more there is to do, young man, is thine:
But first a little patience; first undo
This tangled thread, and wind it to a clue.
Ah, gentle! 'tis as weak as spider's skein;
And shouldst thou break itWhat, is it done so clean?
A power overshadows thee! Oh, brave!
The spite of hell is tumbling to its grave.
Here is a shell; 'tis pearly blank to me,
Nor mark'd with any sign or charactery
Canst thou read aught? O read for pity's sake!
Olympus! we are safe! Now, Carian, break
This wand against yon lyre on the pedestal."

'Twas done: and straight with sudden swell and fall
Sweet music breath'd her soul away, and sigh'd
A lullaby to silence."Youth! now strew
These minced leaves on me, and passing through
Those files of dead, scatter the same around,
And thou wilt see the issue."'Mid the sound
Of flutes and viols, ravishing his heart,
Endymion from Glaucus stood apart,
And scatter'd in his face some fragments light.
How lightning-swift the change! a youthful wight
Smiling beneath a coral diadem,
Out-sparkling sudden like an upturn'd gem,
Appear'd, and, stepping to a beauteous corse,
Kneel'd down beside it, and with tenderest force
Press'd its cold hand, and weptand Scylla sigh'd!
Endymion, with quick hand, the charm applied
The nymph arose: he left them to their joy,
And onward went upon his high employ,
Showering those powerful fragments on the dead.
And, as he pass'd, each lifted up its head,
As doth a flower at Apollo's touch.
Death felt it to his inwards; 'twas too much:
Death fell a weeping in his charnel-house.
The Latmian persever'd along, and thus
All were re-animated. There arose
A noise of harmony, pulses and throes
Of gladness in the airwhile many, who
Had died in mutual arms devout and true,
Sprang to each other madly; and the rest
Felt a high certainty of being blest.
They gaz'd upon Endymion. Enchantment
Grew drunken, and would have its head and bent.
Delicious symphonies, like airy flowers,
Budded, and swell'd, and, full-blown, shed full showers
Of light, soft, unseen leaves of sounds divine.
The two deliverers tasted a pure wine
Of happiness, from fairy-press ooz'd out.
Speechless they eyed each other, and about
The fair assembly wander'd to and fro,
Distracted with the richest overflow
Of joy that ever pour'd from heaven.

                  "Away!"
Shouted the new-born god; "Follow, and pay
Our piety to Neptunus supreme!"
Then Scylla, blushing sweetly from her dream,
They led on first, bent to her meek surprise,
Through portal columns of a giant size,
Into the vaulted, boundless emerald.
Joyous all follow'd, as the leader call'd,
Down marble steps; pouring as easily
As hour-glass sandand fast, as you might see
Swallows obeying the south summer's call,
Or swans upon a gentle waterfall.

Thus went that beautiful multitude, nor far,
Ere from among some rocks of glittering spar,
Just within ken, they saw descending thick
Another multitude. Whereat more quick
Moved either host. On a wide sand they met,
And of those numbers every eye was wet;
For each their old love found. A murmuring rose,
Like what was never heard in all the throes
Of wind and waters: 'tis past human wit
To tell; 'tis dizziness to think of it.

This mighty consummation made, the host
Mov'd on for many a league; and gain'd, and lost
Huge sea-marks; vanward swelling in array,
And from the rear diminishing away,
Till a faint dawn surpris'd them. Glaucus cried,
"Behold! behold, the palace of his pride!
God Neptune's palaces!" With noise increas'd,
They shoulder'd on towards that brightening east.
At every onward step proud domes arose
In prospect,diamond gleams, and golden glows
Of amber 'gainst their faces levelling.
Joyous, and many as the leaves in spring,
Still onward; still the splendour gradual swell'd.
Rich opal domes were seen, on high upheld
By jasper pillars, letting through their shafts
A blush of coral. Copious wonder-draughts
Each gazer drank; and deeper drank more near:
For what poor mortals fragment up, as mere
As marble was there lavish, to the vast
Of one fair palace, that far far surpass'd,
Even for common bulk, those olden three,
Memphis, and Babylon, and Nineveh.

As large, as bright, as colour'd as the bow
Of Iris, when unfading it doth shew
Beyond a silvery shower, was the arch
Through which this Paphian army took its march,
Into the outer courts of Neptune's state:
Whence could be seen, direct, a golden gate,
To which the leaders sped; but not half raught
Ere it burst open swift as fairy thought,
And made those dazzled thousands veil their eyes
Like callow eagles at the first sunrise.
Soon with an eagle nativeness their gaze
Ripe from hue-golden swoons took all the blaze,
And then, behold! large Neptune on his throne
Of emerald deep: yet not exalt alone;
At his right hand stood winged Love, and on
His left sat smiling Beauty's paragon.

Far as the mariner on highest mast
Can see all round upon the calmed vast,
So wide was Neptune's hall: and as the blue
Doth vault the waters, so the waters drew
Their doming curtains, high, magnificent,
Aw'd from the throne aloof;and when storm-rent
Disclos'd the thunder-gloomings in Jove's air;
But sooth'd as now, flash'd sudden everywhere,
Noiseless, sub-marine cloudlets, glittering
Death to a human eye: for there did spring
From natural west, and east, and south, and north,
A light as of four sunsets, blazing forth
A gold-green zenith 'bove the Sea-God's head.
Of lucid depth the floor, and far outspread
As breezeless lake, on which the slim canoe
Of feather'd Indian darts about, as through
The delicatest air: air verily,
But for the portraiture of clouds and sky:
This palace floor breath-air,but for the amaze
Of deep-seen wonders motionless,and blaze
Of the dome pomp, reflected in extremes,
Globing a golden sphere.

             They stood in dreams
Till Triton blew his horn. The palace rang;
The Nereids danc'd; the Syrens faintly sang;
And the great Sea-King bow'd his dripping head.
Then Love took wing, and from his pinions shed
On all the multitude a nectarous dew.
The ooze-born Goddess beckoned and drew
Fair Scylla and her guides to conference;
And when they reach'd the throned eminence
She kist the sea-nymph's cheek,who sat her down
A toying with the doves. Then,"Mighty crown
And sceptre of this kingdom!" Venus said,
"Thy vows were on a time to Nais paid:
Behold!"Two copious tear-drops instant fell
From the God's large eyes; he smil'd delectable,
And over Glaucus held his blessing hands.
"Endymion! Ah! still wandering in the bands
Of love? Now this is cruel. Since the hour
I met thee in earth's bosom, all my power
Have I put forth to serve thee. What, not yet
Escap'd from dull mortality's harsh net?
A little patience, youth! 'twill not be long,
Or I am skilless quite: an idle tongue,
A humid eye, and steps luxurious,
Where these are new and strange, are ominous.
Aye, I have seen these signs in one of heaven,
When others were all blind; and were I given
To utter secrets, haply I might say
Some pleasant words:but Love will have his day.
So wait awhile expectant. Pr'ythee soon,
Even in the passing of thine honey-moon,
Visit my Cytherea: thou wilt find
Cupid well-natured, my Adonis kind;
And pray persuade with theeAh, I have done,
All blisses be upon thee, my sweet son!"
Thus the fair goddess: while Endymion
Knelt to receive those accents halcyon.

Meantime a glorious revelry began
Before the Water-Monarch. Nectar ran
In courteous fountains to all cups outreach'd;
And plunder'd vines, teeming exhaustless, pleach'd
New growth about each shell and pendent lyre;
The which, in disentangling for their fire,
Pull'd down fresh foliage and coverture
For dainty toying. Cupid, empire-sure,
Flutter'd and laugh'd, and oft-times through the throng
Made a delighted way. Then dance, and song,
And garlanding grew wild; and pleasure reign'd.
In harmless tendril they each other chain'd,
And strove who should be smother'd deepest in
Fresh crush of leaves.

             O 'tis a very sin
For one so weak to venture his poor verse
In such a place as this. O do not curse,
High Muses! let him hurry to the ending.

All suddenly were silent. A soft blending
Of dulcet instruments came charmingly;
And then a hymn.

          "KING of the stormy sea!
Brother of Jove, and co-inheritor
Of elements! Eternally before
Thee the waves awful bow. Fast, stubborn rock,
At thy fear'd trident shrinking, doth unlock
Its deep foundations, hissing into foam.
All mountain-rivers lost, in the wide home
Of thy capacious bosom ever flow.
Thou frownest, and old Eolus thy foe
Skulks to his cavern, 'mid the gruff complaint
Of all his rebel tempests. Dark clouds faint
When, from thy diadem, a silver gleam
Slants over blue dominion. Thy bright team
Gulphs in the morning light, and scuds along
To bring thee nearer to that golden song
Apollo singeth, while his chariot
Waits at the doors of heaven. Thou art not
For scenes like this: an empire stern hast thou;
And it hath furrow'd that large front: yet now,
As newly come of heaven, dost thou sit
To blend and interknit
Subdued majesty with this glad time.
O shell-borne King sublime!
We lay our hearts before thee evermore
We sing, and we adore!

"Breathe softly, flutes;
Be tender of your strings, ye soothing lutes;
Nor be the trumpet heard! O vain, O vain;
Not flowers budding in an April rain,
Nor breath of sleeping dove, nor river's flow,
No, nor the Eolian twang of Love's own bow,
Can mingle music fit for the soft ear
Of goddess Cytherea!
Yet deign, white Queen of Beauty, thy fair eyes
On our souls' sacrifice.

"Bright-winged Child!
Who has another care when thou hast smil'd?
Unfortunates on earth, we see at last
All death-shadows, and glooms that overcast
Our spirits, fann'd away by thy light pinions.
O sweetest essence! sweetest of all minions!
God of warm pulses, and dishevell'd hair,
And panting bosoms bare!
Dear unseen light in darkness! eclipser
Of light in light! delicious poisoner!
Thy venom'd goblet will we quaff until
We fillwe fill!
And by thy Mother's lips"
            Was heard no more
For clamour, when the golden palace door
Opened again, and from without, in shone
A new magnificence. On oozy throne
Smooth-moving came Oceanus the old,
To take a latest glimpse at his sheep-fold,
Before he went into his quiet cave
To muse for everThen a lucid wave,
Scoop'd from its trembling sisters of mid-sea,
Afloat, and pillowing up the majesty
Of Doris, and the Egean seer, her spouse
Next, on a dolphin, clad in laurel boughs,
Theban Amphion leaning on his lute:
His fingers went across itAll were mute
To gaze on Amphitrite, queen of pearls,
And Thetis pearly too.

             The palace whirls
Around giddy Endymion; seeing he
Was there far strayed from mortality.
He could not bear itshut his eyes in vain;
Imagination gave a dizzier pain.
"O I shall die! sweet Venus, be my stay!
Where is my lovely mistress? Well-away!
I dieI hear her voiceI feel my wing"
At Neptune's feet he sank. A sudden ring
Of Nereids were about him, in kind strife
To usher back his spirit into life:
But still he slept. At last they interwove
Their cradling arms, and purpos'd to convey
Towards a crystal bower far away.

Lo! while slow carried through the pitying crowd,
To his inward senses these words spake aloud;
Written in star-light on the dark above:
Dearest Endymion! my entire love!
How have I dwelt in fear of fate: 'tis done
Immortal bliss for me too hast thou won.
Arise then! for the hen-dove shall not hatch
Her ready eggs, before I'll kissing snatch
Thee into endless heaven. Awake! awake!

The youth at once arose: a placid lake
Came quiet to his eyes; and forest green,
Cooler than all the wonders he had seen,
Lull'd with its simple song his fluttering breast.
How happy once again in grassy nest!

(line 1): Woodhouse notes that "Keats said, with much simplicity, 'It will be easily seen what I think of the present ministers, by the beginning of the third Book.'"

(line 407): Whether the reference is to the Pillars of Hercules, the confluence of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, or to the scene of the Death of Hercules, is not very clear; but probably "wound up his story" refers rather to his last labour than to his death on Mount ta.

(lines 863-65): This simile must surely be a reminiscence of Perrin's Fables Amusantes or some similar book used in Mr. Clarke's School. I remember the Fable of the old eagle and her young stood first in the book I used at school. The draft gives line 860 thus -- 'But soon like eagles natively their gaze...'

At the end of this Book Keats wrote in the draft, "Oxf: Sept. 26."
~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ John Keats, Endymion - Book III
,
617:BOOK THE TENTH

The Story of Orpheus and Eurydice

Thence, in his saffron robe, for distant Thrace,
Hymen departs, thro' air's unmeasur'd space;
By Orpheus call'd, the nuptial Pow'r attends,
But with ill-omen'd augury descends;
Nor chearful look'd the God, nor prosp'rous spoke,
Nor blaz'd his torch, but wept in hissing smoke.
In vain they whirl it round, in vain they shake,
No rapid motion can its flames awake.
With dread these inauspicious signs were view'd,
And soon a more disastrous end ensu'd;
For as the bride, amid the Naiad train,
Ran joyful, sporting o'er the flow'ry plain,
A venom'd viper bit her as she pass'd;
Instant she fell, and sudden breath'd her last.

When long his loss the Thracian had deplor'd,
Not by superior Pow'rs to be restor'd;
Inflam'd by love, and urg'd by deep despair,
He leaves the realms of light, and upper air;
Daring to tread the dark Tenarian road,
And tempt the shades in their obscure abode;
Thro' gliding spectres of th' interr'd to go,
And phantom people of the world below:
Persephone he seeks, and him who reigns
O'er ghosts, and Hell's uncomfortable plains.
Arriv'd, he, tuning to his voice his strings,
Thus to the king and queen of shadows sings.

Ye Pow'rs, who under Earth your realms extend,
To whom all mortals must one day descend;
If here 'tis granted sacred truth to tell:
I come not curious to explore your Hell;
Nor come to boast (by vain ambition fir'd)
How Cerberus at my approach retir'd.
My wife alone I seek; for her lov'd sake
These terrors I support, this journey take.
She, luckless wandring, or by fate mis-led,
Chanc'd on a lurking viper's crest to tread;
The vengeful beast, enflam'd with fury, starts,
And thro' her heel his deathful venom darts.
Thus was she snatch'd untimely to her tomb;
Her growing years cut short, and springing bloom.
Long I my loss endeavour'd to sustain,
And strongly strove, but strove, alas, in vain:
At length I yielded, won by mighty love;
Well known is that omnipotence above!
But here, I doubt, his unfelt influence fails;
And yet a hope within my heart prevails.
That here, ev'n here, he has been known of old;
At least if truth be by tradition told;
If fame of former rapes belief may find,
You both by love, and love alone, were join'd.
Now, by the horrors which these realms surround;
By the vast chaos of these depths profound;
By the sad silence which eternal reigns
O'er all the waste of these wide-stretching plains;
Let me again Eurydice receive,
Let Fate her quick-spun thread of life re-weave.
All our possessions are but loans from you,
And soon, or late, you must be paid your due;
Hither we haste to human-kind's last seat,
Your endless empire, and our sure retreat.
She too, when ripen'd years she shall attain,
Must, of avoidless right, be yours again:
I but the transient use of that require,
Which soon, too soon, I must resign entire.
But if the destinies refuse my vow,
And no remission of her doom allow;
Know, I'm determin'd to return no more;
So both retain, or both to life restore.

Thus, while the bard melodiously complains,
And to his lyre accords his vocal strains,
The very bloodless shades attention keep,
And silent, seem compassionate to weep;
Ev'n Tantalus his flood unthirsty views,
Nor flies the stream, nor he the stream pursues;
Ixion's wond'ring wheel its whirl suspends,
And the voracious vulture, charm'd, attends;
No more the Belides their toil bemoan,
And Sisiphus reclin'd, sits list'ning on his stone.

Then first ('tis said) by sacred verse subdu'd,
The Furies felt their cheeks with tears bedew'd:
Nor could the rigid king, or queen of Hell,
Th' impulse of pity in their hearts repell.

Now, from a troop of shades that last arriv'd,
Eurydice was call'd, and stood reviv'd:
Slow she advanc'd, and halting seem to feel
The fatal wound, yet painful in her heel.
Thus he obtains the suit so much desir'd,
On strict observance of the terms requir'd:
For if, before he reach the realms of air,
He backward cast his eyes to view the fair,
The forfeit grant, that instant, void is made,
And she for ever left a lifeless shade.

Now thro' the noiseless throng their way they bend,
And both with pain the rugged road ascend;
Dark was the path, and difficult, and steep,
And thick with vapours from the smoaky deep.
They well-nigh now had pass'd the bounds of night,
And just approach'd the margin of the light,
When he, mistrusting lest her steps might stray,
And gladsome of the glympse of dawning day,
His longing eyes, impatient, backward cast
To catch a lover's look, but look'd his last;
For, instant dying, she again descends,
While he to empty air his arms extends.
Again she dy'd, nor yet her lord reprov'd;
What could she say, but that too well he lov'd?
One last farewell she spoke, which scarce he heard;
So soon she drop'd, so sudden disappear'd.

All stunn'd he stood, when thus his wife he view'd
By second Fate, and double death subdu'd:
Not more amazement by that wretch was shown,
Whom Cerberus beholding, turn'd to stone;
Nor Olenus cou'd more astonish'd look,
When on himself Lethaea's fault he took,
His beauteous wife, who too secure had dar'd
Her face to vye with Goddesses compar'd:
Once join'd by love, they stand united still,
Turn'd to contiguous rocks on Ida's hill.

Now to repass the Styx in vain he tries,
Charon averse, his pressing suit denies.
Sev'n days entire, along th' infernal shores,
Disconsolate, the bard Eurydice deplores;
Defil'd with filth his robe, with tears his cheeks,
No sustenance but grief, and cares, he seeks:
Of rigid Fate incessant he complains,
And Hell's inexorable Gods arraigns.
This ended, to high Rhodope he hastes,
And Haemus' mountain, bleak with northern blasts.

And now his yearly race the circling sun
Had thrice compleat thro' wat'ry Pisces run,
Since Orpheus fled the face of womankind,
And all soft union with the sex declin'd.
Whether his ill success this change had bred,
Or binding vows made to his former bed;
Whate'er the cause, in vain the nymphs contest,
With rival eyes to warm his frozen breast:
For ev'ry nymph with love his lays inspir'd,
But ev'ry nymph repuls'd, with grief retir'd.

A hill there was, and on that hill a mead,
With verdure thick, but destitute of shade.
Where, now, the Muse's son no sooner sings,
No sooner strikes his sweet resounding strings.
But distant groves the flying sounds receive,
And list'ning trees their rooted stations leave;
Themselves transplanting, all around they grow,
And various shades their various kinds bestow.
Here, tall Chaonian oaks their branches spread,
While weeping poplars there erect their head.
The foodful Esculus here shoots his leaves,
That turf soft lime-tree, this, fat beach receives;
Here, brittle hazels, lawrels here advance,
And there tough ash to form the heroe's lance;
Here silver firs with knotless trunks ascend,
There, scarlet oaks beneath their acorns bend.
That spot admits the hospitable plane,
On this, the maple grows with clouded grain;
Here, watry willows are with Lotus seen;
There, tamarisk, and box for ever green.
With double hue here mirtles grace the ground,
And laurestines, with purple berries crown'd.
With pliant feet, now, ivies this way wind,
Vines yonder rise, and elms with vines entwin'd.
Wild Ornus now, the pitch-tree next takes root,
And Ar butus adorn'd with blushing fruit.
Then easy-bending palms, the victor's prize,
And pines erect with bristly tops arise.
For Rhea grateful still the pine remains,
For Atys still some favour she retains;
He once in human shape her breast had warm'd,
And now is cherish'd, to a tree transform'd.

The Fable of Cyparissus

Amid the throng of this promiscuous wood,
With pointed top, the taper cypress stood;
A tree, which once a youth, and heav'nly fair,
Was of that deity the darling care,
Whose hand adapts, with equal skill, the strings
To bows with which he kills, and harps to which he sings.

For heretofore, a mighty stag was bred,
Which on the fertile fields of Caea fed;
In shape and size he all his kind excell'd,
And to Carthaean nymphs was sacred held.
His beamy head, with branches high display'd,
Afforded to itself an ample shade;
His horns were gilt, and his smooth neck was grac'd
With silver collars thick with gems enchas'd:
A silver boss upon his forehead hung,
And brazen pendants in his ear-rings rung.
Frequenting houses, he familiar grew,
And learnt by custom, Nature to subdue;
'Till by degrees, of fear, and wildness, broke,
Ev'n stranger hands his proffer'd neck might stroak.

Much was the beast by Caea's youth caress'd,
But thou, sweet Cyparissus, lov'dst him best:
By thee, to pastures fresh, he oft was led,
By thee oft water'd at the fountain's head:
His horns with garlands, now, by thee were ty'd,
And, now, thou on his back wou'dst wanton ride;
Now here, now there wou'dst bound along the plains,
Ruling his tender mouth with purple reins.

'Twas when the summer sun, at noon of day,
Thro' glowing Cancer shot his burning ray,
'Twas then, the fav'rite stag, in cool retreat,
Had sought a shelter from the scorching heat;
Along the grass his weary limbs he laid,
Inhaling freshness from the breezy shade:
When Cyparissus with his pointed dart,
Unknowing, pierc'd him to the panting heart.
But when the youth, surpriz'd, his error found,
And saw him dying of the cruel wound,
Himself he would have slain thro' desp'rate grief:
What said not Phoebus, that might yield relief!
To cease his mourning, he the boy desir'd,
Or mourn no more than such a loss requir'd.
But he, incessant griev'd: at length address'd
To the superior Pow'rs a last request;
Praying, in expiation of his crime,
Thenceforth to mourn to all succeeding time.

And now, of blood exhausted he appears,
Drain'd by a torrent of continual tears;
The fleshy colour in his body fades,
And a green tincture all his limbs invades;
From his fair head, where curling locks late hung,
A horrid bush with bristled branches sprung,
Which stiffning by degrees, its stem extends,
'Till to the starry skies the spire ascends.

Apollo sad look'd on, and sighing, cry'd,
Then, be for ever, what thy pray'r imply'd:
Bemoan'd by me, in others grief excite;
And still preside at ev'ry fun'ral rite.

Thus the sweet artist in a wondrous shade
Of verdant trees, which harmony had made,
Encircled sate, with his own triumphs crown'd,
Of listning birds, and savages around.
Again the trembling strings he dext'rous tries,
Again from discord makes soft musick rise.
Then tunes his voice: O Muse, from whom I sprung,
Jove be my theme, and thou inspire my song.
To Jove my grateful voice I oft have rais'd,
Oft his almighty pow'r with pleasure prais'd.
I sung the giants in a solemn strain,
Blasted, and thunder-struck on Phlegra's plain.
Now be my lyre in softer accents mov'd,
To sing of blooming boys by Gods belov'd;
And to relate what virgins, void of shame,
Have suffer'd vengeance for a lawless flame.

The King of Gods once felt the burning joy,
And sigh'd for lovely Ganimede of Troy:
Long was he puzzled to assume a shape
Most fit, and expeditious for the rape;
A bird's was proper, yet he scorns to wear
Any but that which might his thunder bear.
Down with his masquerading wings he flies,
And bears the little Trojan to the skies;
Where now, in robes of heav'nly purple drest,
He serves the nectar at th' Almighty's feast,
To slighted Juno an unwelcome guest.

Hyacinthus transform'd into a Flower

Phoebus for thee too, Hyacinth, design'd
A place among the Gods, had Fate been kind:
Yet this he gave; as oft as wintry rains
Are past, and vernal breezes sooth the plains,
From the green turf a purple flow'r you rise,
And with your fragrant breath perfume the skies.

You when alive were Phoebus' darling boy;
In you he plac'd his Heav'n, and fix'd his joy:
Their God the Delphic priests consult in vain;
Eurotas now he loves, and Sparta's plain:
His hands the use of bow and harp forget,
And hold the dogs, or bear the corded net;
O'er hanging cliffs swift he pursues the game;
Each hour his pleasure, each augments his flame.

The mid-day sun now shone with equal light
Between the past, and the succeeding night;
They strip, then, smooth'd with suppling oyl, essay
To pitch the rounded quoit, their wonted play:
A well-pois'd disk first hasty Phoebus threw,
It cleft the air, and whistled as it flew;
It reach'd the mark, a most surprizing length;
Which spoke an equal share of art, and strength.
Scarce was it fall'n, when with too eager hand
Young Hyacinth ran to snatch it from the sand;
But the curst orb, which met a stony soil,
Flew in his face with violent recoil.
Both faint, both pale, and breathless now appear,
The boy with pain, the am'rous God with fear.
He ran, and rais'd him bleeding from the ground,
Chafes his cold limbs, and wipes the fatal wound:
Then herbs of noblest juice in vain applies;
The wound is mortal, and his skill defies.

As in a water'd garden's blooming walk,
When some rude hand has bruis'd its tender stalk,
A fading lilly droops its languid head,
And bends to earth, its life, and beauty fled:
So Hyacinth, with head reclin'd, decays,
And, sickning, now no more his charms displays.

O thou art gone, my boy, Apollo cry'd,
Defrauded of thy youth in all its pride!
Thou, once my joy, art all my sorrow now;
And to my guilty hand my grief I owe.
Yet from my self I might the fault remove,
Unless to sport, and play, a fault should prove,
Unless it too were call'd a fault to love.
Oh cou'd I for thee, or but with thee, dye!
But cruel Fates to me that pow'r deny.
Yet on my tongue thou shalt for ever dwell;
Thy name my lyre shall sound, my verse shall tell;
And to a flow'r transform'd, unheard-of yet,
Stamp'd on thy leaves my cries thou shalt repeat.
The time shall come, prophetick I foreknow,
When, joyn'd to thee, a mighty chief shall grow,
And with my plaints his name thy leaf shall show.

While Phoebus thus the laws of Fate reveal'd,
Behold, the blood which stain'd the verdant field,
Is blood no longer; but a flow'r full blown,
Far brighter than the Tyrian scarlet shone.
A lilly's form it took; its purple hue
Was all that made a diff'rence to the view,
Nor stop'd he here; the God upon its leaves
The sad expression of his sorrow weaves;
And to this hour the mournful purple wears
Ai, Ai, inscrib'd in funeral characters.
Nor are the Spartans, who so much are fam'd
For virtue, of their Hyacinth asham'd;
But still with pompous woe, and solemn state,
The Hyacinthian feasts they yearly celebrate

The Transformations of the Cerastae and Propoetides

Enquire of Amathus, whose wealthy ground
With veins of every metal does abound,
If she to her Propoetides wou'd show,
The honour Sparta does to him allow?
Nor more, she'd say, such wretches wou'd we grace,
Than those whose crooked horns deform'd their face,
From thence Cerastae call'd, an impious race:
Before whose gates a rev'rend altar stood,
To Jove inscrib'd, the hospitable God:
This had some stranger seen with gore besmear'd,
The blood of lambs, and bulls it had appear'd:
Their slaughter'd guests it was; nor flock nor herd.

Venus these barb'rous sacrifices view'd
With just abhorrence, and with wrath pursu'd:
At first, to punish such nefarious crimes,
Their towns she meant to leave, her once-lov'd climes:
But why, said she, for their offence shou'd I
My dear delightful plains, and cities fly?
No, let the impious people, who have sinn'd,
A punishment in death, or exile, find:
If death, or exile too severe be thought,
Let them in some vile shape bemoan their fault.
While next her mind a proper form employs,
Admonish'd by their horns, she fix'd her choice.
Their former crest remains upon their heads,
And their strong limbs an ox's shape invades.

The blasphemous Propoetides deny'd
Worship of Venus, and her pow'r defy'd:
But soon that pow'r they felt, the first that sold
Their lewd embraces to the world for gold.
Unknowing how to blush, and shameless grown,
A small transition changes them to stone.

The Story of Pygmalion and the Statue

Pygmalion loathing their lascivious life,
Abhorr'd all womankind, but most a wife:
So single chose to live, and shunn'd to wed,
Well pleas'd to want a consort of his bed.
Yet fearing idleness, the nurse of ill,
In sculpture exercis'd his happy skill;
And carv'd in iv'ry such a maid, so fair,
As Nature could not with his art compare,
Were she to work; but in her own defence
Must take her pattern here, and copy hence.
Pleas'd with his idol, he commends, admires,
Adores; and last, the thing ador'd, desires.
A very virgin in her face was seen,
And had she mov'd, a living maid had been:
One wou'd have thought she cou'd have stirr'd, but strove

With modesty, and was asham'd to move.
Art hid with art, so well perform'd the cheat,
It caught the carver with his own deceit:
He knows 'tis madness, yet he must adore,
And still the more he knows it, loves the more:
The flesh, or what so seems, he touches oft,
Which feels so smooth, that he believes it soft.
Fir'd with this thought, at once he strain'd the breast,

And on the lips a burning kiss impress'd.
'Tis true, the harden'd breast resists the gripe,
And the cold lips return a kiss unripe:
But when, retiring back, he look'd again,
To think it iv'ry, was a thought too mean:
So wou'd believe she kiss'd, and courting more,
Again embrac'd her naked body o'er;
And straining hard the statue, was afraid
His hands had made a dint, and hurt his maid:
Explor'd her limb by limb, and fear'd to find
So rude a gripe had left a livid mark behind:
With flatt'ry now he seeks her mind to move,
And now with gifts (the pow'rful bribes of love),
He furnishes her closet first; and fills
The crowded shelves with rarities of shells;
Adds orient pearls, which from the conchs he drew,
And all the sparkling stones of various hue:
And parrots, imitating human tongue,
And singing-birds in silver cages hung:
And ev'ry fragrant flow'r, and od'rous green,
Were sorted well, with lumps of amber laid between:
Rich fashionable robes her person deck,
Pendants her ears, and pearls adorn her neck:
Her taper'd fingers too with rings are grac'd,
And an embroider'd zone surrounds her slender waste.
Thus like a queen array'd, so richly dress'd,
Beauteous she shew'd, but naked shew'd the best.
Then, from the floor, he rais'd a royal bed,
With cov'rings of Sydonian purple spread:
The solemn rites perform'd, he calls her bride,
With blandishments invites her to his side;
And as she were with vital sense possess'd,
Her head did on a plumy pillow rest.

The feast of Venus came, a solemn day,
To which the Cypriots due devotion pay;
With gilded horns the milk-white heifers led,
Slaughter'd before the sacred altars, bled.

Pygmalion off'ring, first approach'd the shrine,
And then with pray'rs implor'd the Pow'rs divine:
Almighty Gods, if all we mortals want,
If all we can require, be yours to grant;
Make this fair statue mine, he wou'd have said,
But chang'd his words for shame; and only pray'd,
Give me the likeness of my iv'ry maid.

The golden Goddess, present at the pray'r,
Well knew he meant th' inanimated fair,
And gave the sign of granting his desire;
For thrice in chearful flames ascends the fire.
The youth, returning to his mistress, hies,
And impudent in hope, with ardent eyes,
And beating breast, by the dear statue lies.
He kisses her white lips, renews the bliss,
And looks, and thinks they redden at the kiss;
He thought them warm before: nor longer stays,
But next his hand on her hard bosom lays:
Hard as it was, beginning to relent,
It seem'd, the breast beneath his fingers bent;
He felt again, his fingers made a print;
'Twas flesh, but flesh so firm, it rose against the dint:

The pleasing task he fails not to renew;
Soft, and more soft at ev'ry touch it grew;
Like pliant wax, when chasing hands reduce
The former mass to form, and frame for use.
He would believe, but yet is still in pain,
And tries his argument of sense again,
Presses the pulse, and feels the leaping vein.
Convinc'd, o'erjoy'd, his studied thanks, and praise,
To her, who made the miracle, he pays:
Then lips to lips he join'd; now freed from fear,
He found the savour of the kiss sincere:
At this the waken'd image op'd her eyes,
And view'd at once the light, and lover with surprize.
The Goddess, present at the match she made,
So bless'd the bed, such fruitfulness convey'd,
That ere ten months had sharpen'd either horn,
To crown their bliss, a lovely boy was born;
Paphos his name, who grown to manhood, wall'd
The city Paphos, from the founder call'd.

The Story of of Cinyras and Myrrha

Nor him alone produc'd the fruitful queen;
But Cinyras, who like his sire had been
A happy prince, had he not been a sire.
Daughters, and fathers, from my song retire;
I sing of horror; and could I prevail,
You shou'd not hear, or not believe my tale.
Yet if the pleasure of my song be such,
That you will hear, and credit me too much,
Attentive listen to the last event,
And, with the sin, believe the punishment:
Since Nature cou'd behold so dire a crime,
I gratulate at least my native clime,
That such a land, which such a monster bore,
So far is distant from our Thracian shore.
Let Araby extol her happy coast,
Her cinamon, and sweet Amomum boast,
Her fragrant flow'rs, her trees with precious tears,
Her second harvests, and her double years;
How can the land be call'd so bless'd, that Myrrha bears?

Nor all her od'rous tears can cleanse her crime;
Her Plant alone deforms the happy clime:
Cupid denies to have inflam'd thy heart,
Disowns thy love, and vindicates his dart:
Some Fury gave thee those infernal pains,
And shot her venom'd vipers in thy veins.
To hate thy sire, had merited a curse;
But such an impious love deserv'd a worse.
The neighb'ring monarchs, by thy beauty led,
Contend in crowds, ambitious of thy bed:
The world is at thy choice; except but one,
Except but him, thou canst not chuse, alone.
She knew it too, the miserable maid,
Ere impious love her better thoughts betray'd,
And thus within her secret soul she said:
Ah Myrrha! whither wou'd thy wishes tend?
Ye Gods, ye sacred laws, my soul defend
From such a crime as all mankind detest,
And never lodg'd before in human breast!
But is it sin? Or makes my mind alone
Th' imagin'd sin? For Nature makes it none.
What tyrant then these envious laws began,
Made not for any other beast, but Man!
The father-bull his daughter may bestride,
The horse may make his mother-mare a bride;
What piety forbids the lusty ram,
Or more salacious goat, to rut their dam?
The hen is free to wed the chick she bore,
And make a husband, whom she hatch'd before.
All creatures else are of a happier kind,
Whom nor ill-natur'd laws from pleasure bind,
Nor thoughts of sin disturb their peace of mind.
But Man a slave of his own making lives;
The fool denies himself what Nature gives:
Too-busie senates, with an over-care,
To make us better than our kind can bear,
Have dash'd a spice of envy in the laws,
And straining up too high, have spoil'd the cause.
Yet some wise nations break their cruel chains,
And own no laws, but those which love ordains;
Where happy daughters with their sires are join'd,
And piety is doubly paid in kind.
O that I had been born in such a clime,
Not here, where 'tis the country makes the crime!
But whither wou'd my impious fancy stray?
Hence hopes, and ye forbidden thoughts away!
His worth deserves to kindle my desires,
But with the love, that daughters bear to sires.
Then had not Cinyras my father been,
What hinder'd Myrrha's hopes to be his queen?
But the perverseness of my fate is such,
That he's not mine, because he's mine too much:
Our kindred-blood debars a better tie;
He might be nearer, were he not so nigh.
Eyes, and their objects, never must unite;
Some distance is requir'd to help the sight:
Fain wou'd I travel to some foreign shore,
Never to see my native country more,
So might I to my self my self restore;
So might my mind these impious thoughts remove,
And ceasing to behold, might cease to love.
But stay I must, to feed my famish'd sight,
To talk, to kiss, and more, if more I might:
More, impious maid! What more canst thou design?
To make a monstrous mixture in thy line,
And break all statutes human and divine!
Can'st thou be call'd (to save thy wretched life)
Thy mother's rival, and thy father's wife?
Confound so many sacred names in one,
Thy brother's mother! Sister to thy son!
And fear'st thou not to see th' infernal bands,
Their heads with snakes; with torches arm'd their hands
Full at thy face th' avenging brands to bear,
And shake the serpents from their hissing hair;
But thou in time th' increasing ill controul,
Nor first debauch the body by the soul;
Secure the sacred quiet of thy mind,
And keep the sanctions Nature has design'd.
Suppose I shou'd attempt, th' attempt were vain,
No thoughts like mine, his sinless soul profane;
Observant of the right: and o that he
Cou'd cure my madness, or be mad like me!
Thus she: but Cinyras, who daily sees
A crowd of noble suitors at his knees,
Among so many, knew not whom to chuse,
Irresolute to grant, or to refuse.
But having told their names, enquir'd of her
Who pleas'd her best, and whom she would prefer.
The blushing maid stood silent with surprize,
And on her father fix'd her ardent eyes,
And looking sigh'd, and as she sigh'd, began
Round tears to shed, that scalded as they ran.
The tender sire, who saw her blush, and cry,
Ascrib'd it all to maiden modesty,
And dry'd the falling drops, and yet more kind,
He stroak'd her cheeks, and holy kisses join'd.
She felt a secret venom fire her blood,
And found more pleasure, than a daughter shou'd;
And, ask'd again what lover of the crew
She lik'd the best, she answer'd, One like you.
Mistaking what she meant, her pious will
He prais'd, and bid her so continue still:
The word of pious heard, she blush'd with shame
Of secret guilt, and cou'd not bear the name.

'Twas now the mid of night, when slumbers close
Our eyes, and sooth our cares with soft repose;
But no repose cou'd wretched Myrrha find,
Her body rouling, as she roul'd her mind:
Mad with desire, she ruminates her sin,
And wishes all her wishes o'er again:
Now she despairs, and now resolves to try;
Wou'd not, and wou'd again, she knows not why;
Stops, and returns; makes, and retracts the vow;
Fain wou'd begin, but understands not how.
As when a pine is hew'd upon the plains,
And the last mortal stroke alone remains,
Lab'ring in pangs of death, and threatning all,
This way, and that she nods, consid'ring where to fall:
So Myrrha's mind, impell'd on either side,
Takes ev'ry bent, but cannot long abide;
Irresolute on which she shou'd relie,
At last, unfix'd in all, is only fix'd to die.
On that sad thought she rests, resolv'd on death,
She rises, and prepares to choak her breath:
Then while about the beam her zone she ties,
Dear Cinyras farewell, she softly cries;
For thee I die, and only wish to be
Not hated, when thou know'st die I for thee:
Pardon the crime, in pity to the cause:
This said, about her neck the noose she draws.
The nurse, who lay without, her faithful guard,
Though not the words, the murmurs over-heard;
And sighs, and hollow sounds: surpriz'd with fright,
She starts, and leaves her bed, and springs a light;
Unlocks the door, and entring out of breath,
The dying saw, and instruments of death;
She shrieks, she cuts the zone with trembling haste,
And in her arms her fainting charge embrac'd:
Next (for she now had leisure for her tears),
She weeping ask'd, in these her blooming years,
What unforeseen misfortune caus'd her care,
To loath her life, and languish in despair!
The maid, with down-cast eyes, and mute with grief
For death unfinish'd, and ill-tim'd relief,
Stood sullen to her suit: the beldame press'd
The more to know, and bar'd her wither'd breast,
Adjur'd her by the kindly food she drew
From those dry founts, her secret ill to shew.
Sad Myrrha sigh'd, and turn'd her eyes aside:
The nurse still urg'd, and wou'd not be deny'd:
Nor only promis'd secresie, but pray'd
She might have leave to give her offer'd aid.
Good-will, she said, my want of strength supplies,
And diligence shall give what age denies:
If strong desires thy mind to fury move,
With charms and med'cines I can cure thy love:
If envious eyes their hurtuful rays have cast,
More pow'rful verse shall free thee from the blast:
If Heav'n offended sends thee this disease,
Offended Heav'n with pray'rs we can appease.
What then remains, that can these cares procure?
Thy house is flourishing, thy fortune sure:
Thy careful mother yet in health survives,
And, to thy comfort, thy kind father lives.
The virgin started at her father's name,
And sigh'd profoundly, conscious of the shame
Nor yet the nurse her impious love divin'd,
But yet surmis'd that love disturb'd her mind:
Thus thinking, she pursu'd her point, and laid,
And lull'd within her lap the mourning maid;
Then softly sooth'd her thus; I guess your grief:
You love, my child; your love shall find relief.
My long-experienc'd age shall be your guide;
Rely on that, and lay distrust aside.
No breath of air shall on the secret blow,
Nor shall (what most you fear) your father know.
Struck once again, as with a thunder-clap,
The guilty virgin bounded from her lap,
And threw her body prostrate on the bed.
And, to conceal her blushes, hid her head;
There silent lay, and warn'd her with her hand
To go: but she receiv'd not the command;
Remaining still importunate to know:
Then Myrrha thus: Or ask no more, or go;
I pr'ythee go, or staying spare my shame;
What thou would'st hear, is impious ev'n to name.
At this, on high the