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branches ::: assent

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object:assent
word class:verb
word class:noun
class:power

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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
Epigrams_from_Savitri
Life_without_Death
Modern_Man_in_Search_of_a_Soul
Process_and_Reality
The_Integral_Yoga
The_Republic
The_Use_and_Abuse_of_History
The_Yoga_Sutras

IN CHAPTERS TITLE

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
0.03_-_The_Threefold_Life
01.01_-_A_Yoga_of_the_Art_of_Life
01.02_-_The_Issue
01.03_-_The_Yoga_of_the_King_-_The_Yoga_of_the_Souls_Release
01.04_-_The_Secret_Knowledge
01.05_-_The_Nietzschean_Antichrist
01.05_-_The_Yoga_of_the_King_-_The_Yoga_of_the_Spirits_Freedom_and_Greatness
01.07_-_Blaise_Pascal_(1623-1662)
0_1960-11-12
0_1962-08-08
0_1965-11-20
0_1973-04-07
02.05_-_The_Godheads_of_the_Little_Life
02.11_-_The_Kingdoms_and_Godheads_of_the_Greater_Mind
03.02_-_The_Adoration_of_the_Divine_Mother
03.03_-_The_House_of_the_Spirit_and_the_New_Creation
03.04_-_The_Vision_and_the_Boon
05.02_-_Satyavan
05.08_-_An_Age_of_Revolution
06.03_-_Types_of_Meditation
07.06_-_Nirvana_and_the_Discovery_of_the_All-Negating_Absolute
09.02_-_The_Journey_in_Eternal_Night_and_the_Voice_of_the_Darkness
10.03_-_The_Debate_of_Love_and_Death
1.00_-_Introduction_to_Alchemy_of_Happiness
1.00_-_Main
1.00_-_Preliminary_Remarks
1.01_-_BOOK_THE_FIRST
1.01_-_MASTER_AND_DISCIPLE
1.01_-_SAMADHI_PADA
1.01_-_The_Four_Aids
1.02_-_On_the_Knowledge_of_God.
1.02_-_Self-Consecration
1.02_-_Shakti_and_Personal_Effort
1.02_-_The_Stages_of_Initiation
10.34_-_Effort_and_Grace
1.03_-_Some_Aspects_of_Modern_Psycho_therapy
1.04_-_BOOK_THE_FOURTH
1.05_-_Vishnu_as_Brahma_creates_the_world
1.06_-_LIFE_AND_THE_PLANETS
1.06_-_Origin_of_the_four_castes
1.06_-_The_Ascent_of_the_Sacrifice_2_The_Works_of_Love_-_The_Works_of_Life
1.06_-_The_Breaking_of_the_Limits
1.07_-_On_Our_Knowledge_of_General_Principles
1.07_-_Standards_of_Conduct_and_Spiritual_Freedom
1.07_-_TRUTH
1.08_-_BOOK_THE_EIGHTH
1.08_-_The_Gods_of_the_Veda_-_The_Secret_of_the_Veda
1.08_-_The_Supreme_Will
1.09_-_BOOK_THE_NINTH
1.09_-_Concentration_-_Its_Spiritual_Uses
1.09_-_Taras_Ultimate_Nature
1.10_-_The_Three_Modes_of_Nature
1.11_-_The_Master_of_the_Work
1.12_-_The_Strength_of_Stillness
1.14_-_The_Limits_of_Philosophical_Knowledge
1.18_-_FAITH
1.18_-_Hiranyakasipu's_reiterated_attempts_to_destroy_his_son
1.18_-_The_Eighth_Circle,_Malebolge__The_Fraudulent_and_the_Malicious._The_First_Bolgia__Seducers_and_Panders._Venedico_Caccianimico._Jason._The_Second_Bolgia__Flatterers._Allessio_Interminelli._Thais.
1.201_-_Socrates
1.2.05_-_Aspiration
1.2.07_-_Surrender
1.2.09_-_Consecration_and_Offering
12.09_-_The_Story_of_Dr._Faustus_Retold
1.2.10_-_Opening
1.21_-_The_Ascent_of_Life
1.30_-_Other_Falsifiers_or_Forgers._Gianni_Schicchi,_Myrrha,_Adam_of_Brescia,_Potiphar's_Wife,_and_Sinon_of_Troy.
1.3.5.01_-_The_Law_of_the_Way
1.3.5.02_-_Man_and_the_Supermind
1.3.5.05_-_The_Path
1.4.01_-_The_Divine_Grace_and_Guidance
1.4.02_-_The_Divine_Force
1.4.03_-_The_Guru
1.49_-_Thelemic_Morality
16.03_-_Mater_Gloriosa
1955-12-14_-_Rejection_of_life_as_illusion_in_the_old_Yogas_-_Fighting_the_adverse_forces_-_Universal_and_individual_being_-_Three_stages_in_Integral_Yoga_-_How_to_feel_the_Divine_Presence_constantly
1957-01-30_-_Artistry_is_just_contrast_-_How_to_perceive_the_Divine_Guidance?
1970_03_09
1f.lovecraft_-_Hypnos
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Dream-Quest_of_Unknown_Kadath
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Electric_Executioner
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Horror_in_the_Museum
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Thing_on_the_Doorstep
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Very_Old_Folk
1.pbs_-_Ginevra
1.pbs_-_Mont_Blanc_-_Lines_Written_In_The_Vale_of_Chamouni
1.pbs_-_Queen_Mab_-_Part_III.
1.poe_-_Eureka_-_A_Prose_Poem
1.rb_-_Pippa_Passes_-_Part_II_-_Noon
1.rb_-_Pippa_Passes_-_Part_IV_-_Night
1.rb_-_Rhyme_for_a_Child_Viewing_a_Naked_Venus_in_a_Painting_of_'The_Judgement_of_Paris'
1.rb_-_Sordello_-_Book_the_Fifth
1.rb_-_Sordello_-_Book_the_Second
1.rb_-_The_Flight_Of_The_Duchess
1.rmr_-_Elegy_X
1.rmr_-_The_Sonnets_To_Orpheus_-_Book_2_-_XIII
1.ww_-_6-_The_White_Doe_Of_Rylstone,_Or,_The_Fate_Of_The_Nortons
1.ww_-_From_The_Cuckoo_And_The_Nightingale
1.ww_-_The_Excursion-_IX-_Book_Eighth-_The_Parsonage
2.01_-_The_Yoga_and_Its_Objects
2.02_-_Brahman,_Purusha,_Ishwara_-_Maya,_Prakriti,_Shakti
2.02_-_The_Ishavasyopanishad_with_a_commentary_in_English
2.02_-_The_Synthesis_of_Devotion_and_Knowledge
2.03_-_Indra_and_the_Thought-Forces
2.03_-_Karmayogin__A_Commentary_on_the_Isha_Upanishad
2.03_-_On_Medicine
2.04_-_The_Divine_and_the_Undivine
2.08_-_God_in_Power_of_Becoming
2.1.02_-_Nature_The_World-Manifestation
2.1.1_-_The_Nature_of_the_Vital
2.1.2_-_The_Vital_and_Other_Levels_of_Being
2.1.3_-_Wrong_Movements_of_the_Vital
2.14_-_The_Origin_and_Remedy_of_Falsehood,_Error,_Wrong_and_Evil
2.1.7.08_-_Comments_on_Specific_Lines_and_Passages_of_the_Poem
2.17_-_THE_MASTER_ON_HIMSELF_AND_HIS_EXPERIENCES
2.18_-_The_Soul_and_Its_Liberation
2.2.03_-_The_Psychic_Being
2.20_-_THE_MASTERS_TRAINING_OF_HIS_DISCIPLES
2.21_-_The_Order_of_the_Worlds
2.21_-_Towards_the_Supreme_Secret
2.22_-_Rebirth_and_Other_Worlds;_Karma,_the_Soul_and_Immortality
2.2.3_-_Depression_and_Despondency
2.23_-_The_Core_of_the_Gita.s_Meaning
2.2.4_-_Taittiriya_Upanishad
2.24_-_The_Message_of_the_Gita
2.25_-_The_Triple_Transformation
2.26_-_The_Ascent_towards_Supermind
2.28_-_The_Divine_Life
2.3.01_-_Aspiration_and_Surrender_to_the_Mother
2.3.02_-_Opening,_Sincerity_and_the_Mother's_Grace
2.3.03_-_Integral_Yoga
2.3.04_-_The_Mother's_Force
2.3.05_-_Sadhana_through_Work_for_the_Mother
2.3.08_-_The_Mother's_Help_in_Difficulties
2.3.08_-_The_Physical_Consciousness
2.3.1_-_Ego_and_Its_Forms
2.3.2_-_Chhandogya_Upanishad
2.3.2_-_Desire
2.3.3_-_Anger_and_Violence
2.3.4_-_Fear
2.4.2_-_Interactions_with_Others_and_the_Practice_of_Yoga
3.02_-_The_Practice_Use_of_Dream-Analysis
3.1.2_-_Levels_of_the_Physical_Being
3.1.3_-_Difficulties_of_the_Physical_Being
3.2.4_-_Sex
3.3.1_-_Illness_and_Health
3.4.1_-_The_Subconscient_and_the_Integral_Yoga
3-5_Full_Circle
3.7.1.04_-_Rebirth_and_Soul_Evolution
3.7.1.05_-_The_Significance_of_Rebirth
3.7.1.08_-_Karma
3.7.1.09_-_Karma_and_Freedom
3.7.2.01_-_The_Foundation
3.7.2.06_-_Appendix_II_-_A_Clarification
4.03_-_The_Special_Phenomenology_of_the_Child_Archetype
4.08_-_THE_RELIGIOUS_PROBLEM_OF_THE_KINGS_RENEWAL
4.09_-_The_Liberation_of_the_Nature
4.1.1.05_-_The_Central_Process_of_the_Yoga
4.1.1_-_The_Difficulties_of_Yoga
4.11_-_The_Perfection_of_Equality
4.17_-_The_Action_of_the_Divine_Shakti
4.18_-_Faith_and_shakti
4.21_-_The_Gradations_of_the_supermind
4.2.2_-_Steps_towards_Overcoming_Difficulties
4.2.3_-_Vigilance,_Resolution,_Will_and_the_Divine_Help
4.2.5_-_Dealing_with_Depression_and_Despondency
4.2_-_Karma
4.3.2_-_Attacks_by_the_Hostile_Forces
4.3.3_-_Dealing_with_Hostile_Attacks
4.3.4_-_Accidents,_Possession,_Madness
5.1.01.3_-_The_Book_of_the_Assembly
Aeneid
BOOK_I._-_Augustine_censures_the_pagans,_who_attributed_the_calamities_of_the_world,_and_especially_the_sack_of_Rome_by_the_Goths,_to_the_Christian_religion_and_its_prohibition_of_the_worship_of_the_gods
BOOK_I._--_PART_I._COSMIC_EVOLUTION
BOOK_I._--_PART_II._THE_EVOLUTION_OF_SYMBOLISM_IN_ITS_APPROXIMATE_ORDER
BOOK_VIII._-_Some_account_of_the_Socratic_and_Platonic_philosophy,_and_a_refutation_of_the_doctrine_of_Apuleius_that_the_demons_should_be_worshipped_as_mediators_between_gods_and_men
BOOK_VII._-_Of_the_select_gods_of_the_civil_theology,_and_that_eternal_life_is_not_obtained_by_worshipping_them
BOOK_VI._-_Of_Varros_threefold_division_of_theology,_and_of_the_inability_of_the_gods_to_contri_bute_anything_to_the_happiness_of_the_future_life
BOOK_XI._-_Augustine_passes_to_the_second_part_of_the_work,_in_which_the_origin,_progress,_and_destinies_of_the_earthly_and_heavenly_cities_are_discussed.Speculations_regarding_the_creation_of_the_world
BOOK_X._-_Porphyrys_doctrine_of_redemption
COSA_-_BOOK_III
COSA_-_BOOK_V
COSA_-_BOOK_VI
COSA_-_BOOK_VIII
COSA_-_BOOK_X
COSA_-_BOOK_XI
ENNEAD_04.04_-_Questions_About_the_Soul.
ENNEAD_05.05_-_That_Intelligible_Entities_Are_Not_External_to_the_Intelligence_of_the_Good.
ENNEAD_06.05_-_The_One_and_Identical_Being_is_Everywhere_Present_In_Its_Entirety.345
ENNEAD_06.05_-_The_One_Identical_Essence_is_Everywhere_Entirely_Present.
Euthyphro
Gorgias
Liber_46_-_The_Key_of_the_Mysteries
Phaedo
r1913_12_22
r1914_03_27
r1917_03_20
r1918_05_07
r1927_01_29
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)
Sophist
Symposium_translated_by_B_Jowett
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_1
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_2
The_Act_of_Creation_text
Theaetetus
The_Coming_Race_Contents
Timaeus

PRIMARY CLASS

power
SIMILAR TITLES
assent

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH

Assent: The act of the intellect adhering to a truth because of the evidence of the terms; a proof of the reason (medium rationale) or the command of the will. -- H.G.

assent ::: 1. Agreement, as to a proposal; concurrence. 2. Acquiescence; compliance, concession. assents, assenting.

assentation ::: n. --> Insincere, flattering, or obsequious assent; hypocritical or pretended concurrence.

assentator ::: n. --> An obsequious; a flatterer.

assentatory ::: a. --> Flattering; obsequious.

assented ::: imp. & p. p. --> of Assent

assenter ::: n. --> One who assents.

assentient ::: a. --> Assenting.

assenting ::: p. pr. & vb. n. --> of Assent ::: a. --> Giving or implying assent.

assentive ::: a. --> Giving assent; of the nature of assent; complying.

assentment ::: n. --> Assent; agreement.

assent ::: v. t. --> To admit a thing as true; to express one&


TERMS ANYWHERE

accede ::: v. i. --> To approach; to come forward; -- opposed to recede.
To enter upon an office or dignity; to attain.
To become a party by associating one&


acceptance ::: n. --> The act of accepting; a receiving what is offered, with approbation, satisfaction, or acquiescence; esp., favorable reception; approval; as, the acceptance of a gift, office, doctrine, etc.
State of being accepted; acceptableness.
An assent and engagement by the person on whom a bill of exchange is drawn, to pay it when due according to the terms of the acceptance.
The bill itself when accepted.


acceptance ::: the act of assenting.

accept ::: v. t. --> To receive with a consenting mind (something offered); as, to accept a gift; -- often followed by of.
To receive with favor; to approve.
To receive or admit and agree to; to assent to; as, I accept your proposal, amendment, or excuse.
To take by the mind; to understand; as, How are these words to be accepted?
To receive as obligatory and promise to pay; as, to


acclamation ::: n. --> A shout of approbation, favor, or assent; eager expression of approval; loud applause.
A representation, in sculpture or on medals, of people expressing joy.


accorder ::: n. --> One who accords, assents, or concedes.

accord ::: v. t. --> Agreement or concurrence of opinion, will, or action; harmony of mind; consent; assent.
Harmony of sounds; agreement in pitch and tone; concord; as, the accord of tones.
Agreement, harmony, or just correspondence of things; as, the accord of light and shade in painting.
Voluntary or spontaneous motion or impulse to act; -- preceded by own; as, of one&


acquiescence ::: n. --> A silent or passive assent or submission, or a submission with apparent content; -- distinguished from avowed consent on the one hand, and on the other, from opposition or open discontent; quiet satisfaction.
Submission to an injury by the party injured.
Tacit concurrence in the action of another.


acquiescent ::: a. --> Resting satisfied or submissive; disposed tacitly to submit; assentive; as, an acquiescent policy.

acquiesce ::: v. i. --> To rest satisfied, or apparently satisfied, or to rest without opposition and discontent (usually implying previous opposition or discontent); to accept or consent by silence or by omitting to object; -- followed by in, formerly also by with and to.
To concur upon conviction; as, to acquiesce in an opinion; to assent to; usually, to concur, not heartily but so far as to forbear opposition.


acquiescing ::: assenting tacitly; submitting or complying silently or without protest; agreeing; consenting. acquiescence.

adhesion ::: n. --> The action of sticking; the state of being attached; intimate union; as, the adhesion of glue, or of parts united by growth, cement, or the like.
Adherence; steady or firm attachment; fidelity; as, adhesion to error, to a policy.
Agreement to adhere; concurrence; assent.
The molecular attraction exerted between bodies in contact. See Cohesion.


adopt ::: to choose or take as one"s own; make one"s own by election or assent. adopts.

agree ::: 1. To be in harmony or unison in opinions, feelings, conduct, etc.; to be in sympathy; to live or act together harmoniously; to have no causes of variance. 2. To give consent; assent (often followed by to). agreed.

agree ::: adv. --> In good part; kindly. ::: v. i. --> To harmonize in opinion, statement, or action; to be in unison or concord; to be or become united or consistent; to concur; as, all parties agree in the expediency of the law.
To yield assent; to accede; -- followed by to; as, to


Anumati (Sanskrit) Anumati [from anu-man to approve, grant] Assent, permission, approbation; personified frequently as a goddess. The fifteenth day of the moon’s age “when one digit is deficient” (VP 2:8), a time said to be propitious for the offering of oblations to devas and pitris.

approbation ::: n. --> Proof; attestation.
The act of approving; an assenting to the propriety of a thing with some degree of pleasure or satisfaction; approval; sanction; commendation.
Probation or novitiate.


ASPIRATION. ::: The call in the being for the Divine or for the higher things that belong to the Divine Consciousness.
A call to the Divine; aspiration for the discovery and embodiment of the Divine Truth and to nothing else whatever.
An aspiration vigilant, constant, unceasing- the mind’s will, the heart’s seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature.
There is no need of words in aspiration. It can be expressed or unexpressed in words.
Aspiration need not be in the form of thought; it can be a feeling within that remains even when the mind is attending to the work.
Aspiration is to call the forces. When the forces have answered, there is a natural state of quiet receptivity concentrated but spontaneous.
In aspiration there is a self-giving for the higher consciousness to descend and take possession ; the more intense the call, the greater the self-giving.
Aspiration keeps the consciousness open, prevents an inert state of acquiescence in all that comes and exercises a sort of pull on the sources of the higher consciousness.
The intensity of aspiration brings the intensity of the experience and by repeated intensity of the experience, the change. It is the psychic that gives the true aspiration; if the vital is purified and subjected to the psychic, then the vital gives intensity.
Aspiration in the physical consciousness ::: the physical consciousness is always in everybody in its own nature a little inert and in it a constant strong aspiration is not natural, it has to be created. But first there must be the opening, a purification, a fixed quietude, otherwise the physical vital will turn the strong aspiration into over-eagerness and impatience or rather it will try to give it that turn.


Assent: The act of the intellect adhering to a truth because of the evidence of the terms; a proof of the reason (medium rationale) or the command of the will. -- H.G.

astipulate ::: v. i. --> To assent.

Aufklärung: In general, this German word and its English equivalent Enlightenment denote the self-emancipation of man from mere authority, prejudice, convention and tradition, with an insistence on freer thinking about problems uncritically referred to these other agencies. According to Kant's famous definition "Enlightenment is the liberation of man from his self-caused state of minority, which is the incapacity of using one's understanding without the direction of another. This state of minority is caused when its source lies not in the lack of understanding, but in the lack of determination and courage to use it without the assistance of another" (Was ist Aufklärung? 1784). In its historical perspective, the Aufklärung refers to the cultural atmosphere and contrlbutions of the 18th century, especially in Germany, France and England [which affected also American thought with B. Franklin, T. Paine and the leaders of the Revolution]. It crystallized tendencies emphasized by the Renaissance, and quickened by modern scepticism and empiricism, and by the great scientific discoveries of the 17th century. This movement, which was represented by men of varying tendencies, gave an impetus to general learning, a more popular philosophy, empirical science, scriptural criticism, social and political thought. More especially, the word Aufklärung is applied to the German contributions to 18th century culture. In philosophy, its principal representatives are G. E. Lessing (1729-81) who believed in free speech and in a methodical criticism of religion, without being a free-thinker; H. S. Reimarus (1694-1768) who expounded a naturalistic philosophy and denied the supernatural origin of Christianity; Moses Mendelssohn (1729-86) who endeavoured to mitigate prejudices and developed a popular common-sense philosophy; Chr. Wolff (1679-1754), J. A. Eberhard (1739-1809) who followed the Leibnizian rationalism and criticized unsuccessfully Kant and Fichte; and J. G. Herder (1744-1803) who was best as an interpreter of others, but whose intuitional suggestions have borne fruit in the organic correlation of the sciences, and in questions of language in relation to human nature and to national character. The works of Kant and Goethe mark the culmination of the German Enlightenment. Cf. J. G. Hibben, Philosophy of the Enlightenment, 1910. --T.G. Augustinianism: The thought of St. Augustine of Hippo, and of his followers. Born in 354 at Tagaste in N. Africa, A. studied rhetoric in Carthage, taught that subject there and in Rome and Milan. Attracted successively to Manicheanism, Scepticism, and Neo-Platontsm, A. eventually found intellectual and moral peace with his conversion to Christianity in his thirty-fourth year. Returning to Africa, he established numerous monasteries, became a priest in 391, Bishop of Hippo in 395. Augustine wrote much: On Free Choice, Confessions, Literal Commentary on Genesis, On the Trinity, and City of God, are his most noted works. He died in 430.   St. Augustine's characteristic method, an inward empiricism which has little in common with later variants, starts from things without, proceeds within to the self, and moves upwards to God. These three poles of the Augustinian dialectic are polarized by his doctrine of moderate illuminism. An ontological illumination is required to explain the metaphysical structure of things. The truth of judgment demands a noetic illumination. A moral illumination is necessary in the order of willing; and so, too, an lllumination of art in the aesthetic order. Other illuminations which transcend the natural order do not come within the scope of philosophy; they provide the wisdoms of theology and mysticism. Every being is illuminated ontologically by number, form, unity and its derivatives, and order. A thing is what it is, in so far as it is more or less flooded by the light of these ontological constituents.   Sensation is necessary in order to know material substances. There is certainly an action of the external object on the body and a corresponding passion of the body, but, as the soul is superior to the body and can suffer nothing from its inferior, sensation must be an action, not a passion, of the soul. Sensation takes place only when the observing soul, dynamically on guard throughout the body, is vitally attentive to the changes suffered by the body. However, an adequate basis for the knowledge of intellectual truth is not found in sensation alone. In order to know, for example, that a body is multiple, the idea of unity must be present already, otherwise its multiplicity could not be recognized. If numbers are not drawn in by the bodily senses which perceive only the contingent and passing, is the mind the source of the unchanging and necessary truth of numbers? The mind of man is also contingent and mutable, and cannot give what it does not possess. As ideas are not innate, nor remembered from a previous existence of the soul, they can be accounted for only by an immutable source higher than the soul. In so far as man is endowed with an intellect, he is a being naturally illuminated by God, Who may be compared to an intelligible sun. The human intellect does not create the laws of thought; it finds them and submits to them. The immediate intuition of these normative rules does not carry any content, thus any trace of ontologism is avoided.   Things have forms because they have numbers, and they have being in so far as they possess form. The sufficient explanation of all formable, and hence changeable, things is an immutable and eternal form which is unrestricted in time and space. The forms or ideas of all things actually existing in the world are in the things themselves (as rationes seminales) and in the Divine Mind (as rationes aeternae). Nothing could exist without unity, for to be is no other than to be one. There is a unity proper to each level of being, a unity of the material individual and species, of the soul, and of that union of souls in the love of the same good, which union constitutes the city. Order, also, is ontologically imbibed by all beings. To tend to being is to tend to order; order secures being, disorder leads to non-being. Order is the distribution which allots things equal and unequal each to its own place and integrates an ensemble of parts in accordance with an end. Hence, peace is defined as the tranquillity of order. Just as things have their being from their forms, the order of parts, and their numerical relations, so too their beauty is not something superadded, but the shining out of all their intelligible co-ingredients.   S. Aurelii Augustini, Opera Omnia, Migne, PL 32-47; (a critical edition of some works will be found in the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, Vienna). Gilson, E., Introd. a l'etude de s. Augustin, (Paris, 1931) contains very good bibliography up to 1927, pp. 309-331. Pope, H., St. Augustine of Hippo, (London, 1937). Chapman, E., St. Augustine's Philos. of Beauty, (N. Y., 1939). Figgis, J. N., The Political Aspects of St. Augustine's "City of God", (London, 1921). --E.C. Authenticity: In a general sense, genuineness, truth according to its title. It involves sometimes a direct and personal characteristic (Whitehead speaks of "authentic feelings").   This word also refers to problems of fundamental criticism involving title, tradition, authorship and evidence. These problems are vital in theology, and basic in scholarship with regard to the interpretation of texts and doctrines. --T.G. Authoritarianism: That theory of knowledge which maintains that the truth of any proposition is determined by the fact of its having been asserted by a certain esteemed individual or group of individuals. Cf. H. Newman, Grammar of Assent; C. S. Peirce, "Fixation of Belief," in Chance, Love and Logic, ed. M. R. Cohen. --A.C.B. Autistic thinking: Absorption in fanciful or wishful thinking without proper control by objective or factual material; day dreaming; undisciplined imagination. --A.C.B. Automaton Theory: Theory that a living organism may be considered a mere machine. See Automatism. Automatism: (Gr. automatos, self-moving) (a) In metaphysics: Theory that animal and human organisms are automata, that is to say, are machines governed by the laws of physics and mechanics. Automatism, as propounded by Descartes, considered the lower animals to be pure automata (Letter to Henry More, 1649) and man a machine controlled by a rational soul (Treatise on Man). Pure automatism for man as well as animals is advocated by La Mettrie (Man, a Machine, 1748). During the Nineteenth century, automatism, combined with epiphenomenalism, was advanced by Hodgson, Huxley and Clifford. (Cf. W. James, The Principles of Psychology, Vol. I, ch. V.) Behaviorism, of the extreme sort, is the most recent version of automatism (See Behaviorism).   (b) In psychology: Psychological automatism is the performance of apparently purposeful actions, like automatic writing without the superintendence of the conscious mind. L. C. Rosenfield, From Beast Machine to Man Machine, N. Y., 1941. --L.W. Automatism, Conscious: The automatism of Hodgson, Huxley, and Clifford which considers man a machine to which mind or consciousness is superadded; the mind of man is, however, causally ineffectual. See Automatism; Epiphenomenalism. --L.W. Autonomy: (Gr. autonomia, independence) Freedom consisting in self-determination and independence of all external constraint. See Freedom. Kant defines autonomy of the will as subjection of the will to its own law, the categorical imperative, in contrast to heteronomy, its subjection to a law or end outside the rational will. (Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals, § 2.) --L.W. Autonomy of ethics: A doctrine, usually propounded by intuitionists, that ethics is not a part of, and cannot be derived from, either metaphysics or any of the natural or social sciences. See Intuitionism, Metaphysical ethics, Naturalistic ethics. --W.K.F. Autonomy of the will: (in Kant's ethics) The freedom of the rational will to legislate to itself, which constitutes the basis for the autonomy of the moral law. --P.A.S. Autonymy: In the terminology introduced by Carnap, a word (phrase, symbol, expression) is autonymous if it is used as a name for itself --for the geometric shape, sound, etc. which it exemplifies, or for the word as a historical and grammatical unit. Autonymy is thus the same as the Scholastic suppositio matertalis (q. v.), although the viewpoint is different. --A.C. Autotelic: (from Gr. autos, self, and telos, end) Said of any absorbing activity engaged in for its own sake (cf. German Selbstzweck), such as higher mathematics, chess, etc. In aesthetics, applied to creative art and play which lack any conscious reference to the accomplishment of something useful. In the view of some, it may constitute something beneficent in itself of which the person following his art impulse (q.v.) or playing is unaware, thus approaching a heterotelic (q.v.) conception. --K.F.L. Avenarius, Richard: (1843-1896) German philosopher who expressed his thought in an elaborate and novel terminology in the hope of constructing a symbolic language for philosophy, like that of mathematics --the consequence of his Spinoza studies. As the most influential apostle of pure experience, the posltivistic motive reaches in him an extreme position. Insisting on the biologic and economic function of thought, he thought the true method of science is to cure speculative excesses by a return to pure experience devoid of all assumptions. Philosophy is the scientific effort to exclude from knowledge all ideas not included in the given. Its task is to expel all extraneous elements in the given. His uncritical use of the category of the given and the nominalistic view that logical relations are created rather than discovered by thought, leads him to banish not only animism but also all of the categories, substance, causality, etc., as inventions of the mind. Explaining the evolution and devolution of the problematization and deproblematization of numerous ideas, and aiming to give the natural history of problems, Avenarius sought to show physiologically, psychologically and historically under what conditions they emerge, are challenged and are solved. He hypothesized a System C, a bodily and central nervous system upon which consciousness depends. R-values are the stimuli received from the world of objects. E-values are the statements of experience. The brain changes that continually oscillate about an ideal point of balance are termed Vitalerhaltungsmaximum. The E-values are differentiated into elements, to which the sense-perceptions or the content of experience belong, and characters, to which belongs everything which psychology describes as feelings and attitudes. Avenarius describes in symbolic form a series of states from balance to balance, termed vital series, all describing a series of changes in System C. Inequalities in the vital balance give rise to vital differences. According to his theory there are two vital series. It assumes a series of brain changes because parallel series of conscious states can be observed. The independent vital series are physical, and the dependent vital series are psychological. The two together are practically covariants. In the case of a process as a dependent vital series three stages can be noted: first, the appearance of the problem, expressed as strain, restlessness, desire, fear, doubt, pain, repentance, delusion; the second, the continued effort and struggle to solve the problem; and finally, the appearance of the solution, characterized by abating anxiety, a feeling of triumph and enjoyment.   Corresponding to these three stages of the dependent series are three stages of the independent series: the appearance of the vital difference and a departure from balance in the System C, the continuance with an approximate vital difference, and lastly, the reduction of the vital difference to zero, the return to stability. By making room for dependent and independent experiences, he showed that physics regards experience as independent of the experiencing indlvidual, and psychology views experience as dependent upon the individual. He greatly influenced Mach and James (q.v.). See Avenarius, Empirio-criticism, Experience, pure. Main works: Kritik der reinen Erfahrung; Der menschliche Weltbegriff. --H.H. Averroes: (Mohammed ibn Roshd) Known to the Scholastics as The Commentator, and mentioned as the author of il gran commento by Dante (Inf. IV. 68) he was born 1126 at Cordova (Spain), studied theology, law, medicine, mathematics, and philosophy, became after having been judge in Sevilla and Cordova, physician to the khalifah Jaqub Jusuf, and charged with writing a commentary on the works of Aristotle. Al-mansur, Jusuf's successor, deprived him of his place because of accusations of unorthodoxy. He died 1198 in Morocco. Averroes is not so much an original philosopher as the author of a minute commentary on the whole works of Aristotle. His procedure was imitated later by Aquinas. In his interpretation of Aristotelian metaphysics Averroes teaches the coeternity of a universe created ex nihilo. This doctrine formed together with the notion of a numerical unity of the active intellect became one of the controversial points in the discussions between the followers of Albert-Thomas and the Latin Averroists. Averroes assumed that man possesses only a disposition for receiving the intellect coming from without; he identifies this disposition with the possible intellect which thus is not truly intellectual by nature. The notion of one intellect common to all men does away with the doctrine of personal immortality. Another doctrine which probably was emphasized more by the Latin Averroists (and by the adversaries among Averroes' contemporaries) is the famous statement about "two-fold truth", viz. that a proposition may be theologically true and philosophically false and vice versa. Averroes taught that religion expresses the (higher) philosophical truth by means of religious imagery; the "two-truth notion" came apparently into the Latin text through a misinterpretation on the part of the translators. The works of Averroes were one of the main sources of medieval Aristotelianlsm, before and even after the original texts had been translated. The interpretation the Latin Averroists found in their texts of the "Commentator" spread in spite of opposition and condemnation. See Averroism, Latin. Averroes, Opera, Venetiis, 1553. M. Horten, Die Metaphysik des Averroes, 1912. P. Mandonnet, Siger de Brabant et l'Averroisme Latin, 2d ed., Louvain, 1911. --R.A. Averroism, Latin: The commentaries on Aristotle written by Averroes (Ibn Roshd) in the 12th century became known to the Western scholars in translations by Michael Scottus, Hermannus Alemannus, and others at the beginning of the 13th century. Many works of Aristotle were also known first by such translations from Arabian texts, though there existed translations from the Greek originals at the same time (Grabmann). The Averroistic interpretation of Aristotle was held to be the true one by many; but already Albert the Great pointed out several notions which he felt to be incompatible with the principles of Christian philosophy, although he relied for the rest on the "Commentator" and apparently hardly used any other text. Aquinas, basing his studies mostly on a translation from the Greek texts, procured for him by William of Moerbecke, criticized the Averroistic interpretation in many points. But the teachings of the Commentator became the foundation for a whole school of philosophers, represented first by the Faculty of Arts at Paris. The most prominent of these scholars was Siger of Brabant. The philosophy of these men was condemned on March 7th, 1277 by Stephen Tempier, Bishop of Paris, after a first condemnation of Aristotelianism in 1210 had gradually come to be neglected. The 219 theses condemned in 1277, however, contain also some of Aquinas which later were generally recognized an orthodox. The Averroistic propositions which aroused the criticism of the ecclesiastic authorities and which had been opposed with great energy by Albert and Thomas refer mostly to the following points: The co-eternity of the created word; the numerical identity of the intellect in all men, the so-called two-fold-truth theory stating that a proposition may be philosophically true although theologically false. Regarding the first point Thomas argued that there is no philosophical proof, either for the co-eternity or against it; creation is an article of faith. The unity of intellect was rejected as incompatible with the true notion of person and with personal immortality. It is doubtful whether Averroes himself held the two-truths theory; it was, however, taught by the Latin Averroists who, notwithstanding the opposition of the Church and the Thomistic philosophers, gained a great influence and soon dominated many universities, especially in Italy. Thomas and his followers were convinced that they interpreted Aristotle correctly and that the Averroists were wrong; one has, however, to admit that certain passages in Aristotle allow for the Averroistic interpretation, especially in regard to the theory of intellect.   Lit.: P. Mandonnet, Siger de Brabant et l'Averroisme Latin au XIIIe Siecle, 2d. ed. Louvain, 1911; M. Grabmann, Forschungen über die lateinischen Aristotelesübersetzungen des XIII. Jahrhunderts, Münster 1916 (Beitr. z. Gesch. Phil. d. MA. Vol. 17, H. 5-6). --R.A. Avesta: See Zendavesta. Avicehron: (or Avencebrol, Salomon ibn Gabirol) The first Jewish philosopher in Spain, born in Malaga 1020, died about 1070, poet, philosopher, and moralist. His main work, Fons vitae, became influential and was much quoted by the Scholastics. It has been preserved only in the Latin translation by Gundissalinus. His doctrine of a spiritual substance individualizing also the pure spirits or separate forms was opposed by Aquinas already in his first treatise De ente, but found favor with the medieval Augustinians also later in the 13th century. He also teaches the necessity of a mediator between God and the created world; such a mediator he finds in the Divine Will proceeding from God and creating, conserving, and moving the world. His cosmogony shows a definitely Neo-Platonic shade and assumes a series of emanations. Cl. Baeumker, Avencebrolis Fons vitae. Beitr. z. Gesch. d. Philos. d. MA. 1892-1895, Vol. I. Joh. Wittman, Die Stellung des hl. Thomas von Aquino zu Avencebrol, ibid. 1900. Vol. III. --R.A. Avicenna: (Abu Ali al Hosain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina) Born 980 in the country of Bocchara, began to write in young years, left more than 100 works, taught in Ispahan, was physician to several Persian princes, and died at Hamadan in 1037. His fame as physician survived his influence as philosopher in the Occident. His medical works were printed still in the 17th century. His philosophy is contained in 18 vols. of a comprehensive encyclopedia, following the tradition of Al Kindi and Al Farabi. Logic, Physics, Mathematics and Metaphysics form the parts of this work. His philosophy is Aristotelian with noticeable Neo-Platonic influences. His doctrine of the universal existing ante res in God, in rebus as the universal nature of the particulars, and post res in the human mind by way of abstraction became a fundamental thesis of medieval Aristotelianism. He sharply distinguished between the logical and the ontological universal, denying to the latter the true nature of form in the composite. The principle of individuation is matter, eternally existent. Latin translations attributed to Avicenna the notion that existence is an accident to essence (see e.g. Guilelmus Parisiensis, De Universo). The process adopted by Avicenna was one of paraphrasis of the Aristotelian texts with many original thoughts interspersed. His works were translated into Latin by Dominicus Gundissalinus (Gondisalvi) with the assistance of Avendeath ibn Daud. This translation started, when it became more generally known, the "revival of Aristotle" at the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century. Albert the Great and Aquinas professed, notwithstanding their critical attitude, a great admiration for Avicenna whom the Arabs used to call the "third Aristotle". But in the Orient, Avicenna's influence declined soon, overcome by the opposition of the orthodox theologians. Avicenna, Opera, Venetiis, 1495; l508; 1546. M. Horten, Das Buch der Genesung der Seele, eine philosophische Enzyklopaedie Avicenna's; XIII. Teil: Die Metaphysik. Halle a. S. 1907-1909. R. de Vaux, Notes et textes sur l'Avicennisme Latin, Bibl. Thomiste XX, Paris, 1934. --R.A. Avidya: (Skr.) Nescience; ignorance; the state of mind unaware of true reality; an equivalent of maya (q.v.); also a condition of pure awareness prior to the universal process of evolution through gradual differentiation into the elements and factors of knowledge. --K.F.L. Avyakta: (Skr.) "Unmanifest", descriptive of or standing for brahman (q.v.) in one of its or "his" aspects, symbolizing the superabundance of the creative principle, or designating the condition of the universe not yet become phenomenal (aja, unborn). --K.F.L. Awareness: Consciousness considered in its aspect of act; an act of attentive awareness such as the sensing of a color patch or the feeling of pain is distinguished from the content attended to, the sensed color patch, the felt pain. The psychologlcal theory of intentional act was advanced by F. Brentano (Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkte) and received its epistemological development by Meinong, Husserl, Moore, Laird and Broad. See Intentionalism. --L.W. Axiological: (Ger. axiologisch) In Husserl: Of or pertaining to value or theory of value (the latter term understood as including disvalue and value-indifference). --D.C. Axiological ethics: Any ethics which makes the theory of obligation entirely dependent on the theory of value, by making the determination of the rightness of an action wholly dependent on a consideration of the value or goodness of something, e.g. the action itself, its motive, or its consequences, actual or probable. Opposed to deontological ethics. See also teleological ethics. --W.K.F. Axiologic Realism: In metaphysics, theory that value as well as logic, qualities as well as relations, have their being and exist external to the mind and independently of it. Applicable to the philosophy of many though not all realists in the history of philosophy, from Plato to G. E. Moore, A. N. Whitehead, and N, Hartmann. --J.K.F. Axiology: (Gr. axios, of like value, worthy, and logos, account, reason, theory). Modern term for theory of value (the desired, preferred, good), investigation of its nature, criteria, and metaphysical status. Had its rise in Plato's theory of Forms or Ideas (Idea of the Good); was developed in Aristotle's Organon, Ethics, Poetics, and Metaphysics (Book Lambda). Stoics and Epicureans investigated the summum bonum. Christian philosophy (St. Thomas) built on Aristotle's identification of highest value with final cause in God as "a living being, eternal, most good."   In modern thought, apart from scholasticism and the system of Spinoza (Ethica, 1677), in which values are metaphysically grounded, the various values were investigated in separate sciences, until Kant's Critiques, in which the relations of knowledge to moral, aesthetic, and religious values were examined. In Hegel's idealism, morality, art, religion, and philosophy were made the capstone of his dialectic. R. H. Lotze "sought in that which should be the ground of that which is" (Metaphysik, 1879). Nineteenth century evolutionary theory, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and economics subjected value experience to empirical analysis, and stress was again laid on the diversity and relativity of value phenomena rather than on their unity and metaphysical nature. F. Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathustra (1883-1885) and Zur Genealogie der Moral (1887) aroused new interest in the nature of value. F. Brentano, Vom Ursprung sittlicher Erkenntnis (1889), identified value with love.   In the twentieth century the term axiology was apparently first applied by Paul Lapie (Logique de la volonte, 1902) and E. von Hartmann (Grundriss der Axiologie, 1908). Stimulated by Ehrenfels (System der Werttheorie, 1897), Meinong (Psychologisch-ethische Untersuchungen zur Werttheorie, 1894-1899), and Simmel (Philosophie des Geldes, 1900). W. M. Urban wrote the first systematic treatment of axiology in English (Valuation, 1909), phenomenological in method under J. M. Baldwin's influence. Meanwhile H. Münsterberg wrote a neo-Fichtean system of values (The Eternal Values, 1909).   Among important recent contributions are: B. Bosanquet, The Principle of Individuality and Value (1912), a free reinterpretation of Hegelianism; W. R. Sorley, Moral Values and the Idea of God (1918, 1921), defending a metaphysical theism; S. Alexander, Space, Time, and Deity (1920), realistic and naturalistic; N. Hartmann, Ethik (1926), detailed analysis of types and laws of value; R. B. Perry's magnum opus, General Theory of Value (1926), "its meaning and basic principles construed in terms of interest"; and J. Laird, The Idea of Value (1929), noteworthy for historical exposition. A naturalistic theory has been developed by J. Dewey (Theory of Valuation, 1939), for which "not only is science itself a value . . . but it is the supreme means of the valid determination of all valuations." A. J. Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic (1936) expounds the view of logical positivism that value is "nonsense." J. Hessen, Wertphilosophie (1937), provides an account of recent German axiology from a neo-scholastic standpoint.   The problems of axiology fall into four main groups, namely, those concerning (1) the nature of value, (2) the types of value, (3) the criterion of value, and (4) the metaphysical status of value.   (1) The nature of value experience. Is valuation fulfillment of desire (voluntarism: Spinoza, Ehrenfels), pleasure (hedonism: Epicurus, Bentham, Meinong), interest (Perry), preference (Martineau), pure rational will (formalism: Stoics, Kant, Royce), apprehension of tertiary qualities (Santayana), synoptic experience of the unity of personality (personalism: T. H. Green, Bowne), any experience that contributes to enhanced life (evolutionism: Nietzsche), or "the relation of things as means to the end or consequence actually reached" (pragmatism, instrumentalism: Dewey).   (2) The types of value. Most axiologists distinguish between intrinsic (consummatory) values (ends), prized for their own sake, and instrumental (contributory) values (means), which are causes (whether as economic goods or as natural events) of intrinsic values. Most intrinsic values are also instrumental to further value experience; some instrumental values are neutral or even disvaluable intrinsically. Commonly recognized as intrinsic values are the (morally) good, the true, the beautiful, and the holy. Values of play, of work, of association, and of bodily well-being are also acknowledged. Some (with Montague) question whether the true is properly to be regarded as a value, since some truth is disvaluable, some neutral; but love of truth, regardless of consequences, seems to establish the value of truth. There is disagreement about whether the holy (religious value) is a unique type (Schleiermacher, Otto), or an attitude toward other values (Kant, Höffding), or a combination of the two (Hocking). There is also disagreement about whether the variety of values is irreducible (pluralism) or whether all values are rationally related in a hierarchy or system (Plato, Hegel, Sorley), in which values interpenetrate or coalesce into a total experience.   (3) The criterion of value. The standard for testing values is influenced by both psychological and logical theory. Hedonists find the standard in the quantity of pleasure derived by the individual (Aristippus) or society (Bentham). Intuitionists appeal to an ultimate insight into preference (Martineau, Brentano). Some idealists recognize an objective system of rational norms or ideals as criterion (Plato, Windelband), while others lay more stress on rational wholeness and coherence (Hegel, Bosanquet, Paton) or inclusiveness (T. H. Green). Naturalists find biological survival or adjustment (Dewey) to be the standard. Despite differences, there is much in common in the results of the application of these criteria.   (4) The metaphysical status of value. What is the relation of values to the facts investigated by natural science (Koehler), of Sein to Sollen (Lotze, Rickert), of human experience of value to reality independent of man (Hegel, Pringle-Pattlson, Spaulding)? There are three main answers:   subjectivism (value is entirely dependent on and relative to human experience of it: so most hedonists, naturalists, positivists);   logical objectivism (values are logical essences or subsistences, independent of their being known, yet with no existential status or action in reality);   metaphysical objectivism (values   --or norms or ideals   --are integral, objective, and active constituents of the metaphysically real: so theists, absolutists, and certain realists and naturalists like S. Alexander and Wieman). --E.S.B. Axiom: See Mathematics. Axiomatic method: That method of constructing a deductive system consisting of deducing by specified rules all statements of the system save a given few from those given few, which are regarded as axioms or postulates of the system. See Mathematics. --C.A.B. Ayam atma brahma: (Skr.) "This self is brahman", famous quotation from Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 2.5.19, one of many alluding to the central theme of the Upanishads, i.e., the identity of the human and divine or cosmic. --K.F.L.

aum; Om appears first in the Upanishads as a mystic monosyllable used as the object of profound religious meditation, the highest spiritual effects being attributed not only to the whole word but also to the three sounds a, u, m of which it consists. In later times is used as the mystic name for the Hindu triad, the union of the three gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Also considered as a divine affirmation of respectful assent sometimes translated by 'yes, verily, so be it'(in this sense compared with Amen), and also regarded as a divine salutation as 'hail!'.  

ay ::: interj. --> Ah! alas! ::: adv. --> Same as Aye.
Yes; yea; -- a word expressing assent, or an affirmative answer to a question. It is much used in viva voce voting in legislative bodies, etc.


assent ::: 1. Agreement, as to a proposal; concurrence. 2. Acquiescence; compliance, concession. assents, assenting.

assentation ::: n. --> Insincere, flattering, or obsequious assent; hypocritical or pretended concurrence.

assentator ::: n. --> An obsequious; a flatterer.

assentatory ::: a. --> Flattering; obsequious.

assented ::: imp. & p. p. --> of Assent

assenter ::: n. --> One who assents.

assentient ::: a. --> Assenting.

assenting ::: p. pr. & vb. n. --> of Assent ::: a. --> Giving or implying assent.

assentive ::: a. --> Giving assent; of the nature of assent; complying.

assentment ::: n. --> Assent; agreement.

assent ::: v. t. --> To admit a thing as true; to express one&

Belief: Acquiescence in the existence of objects (e.g. external things, other minds, God, etc.) or assent to the truth of propositions (e.g. scientific, moral, aesthetic, or metaphysical statements). The belief in objects is frequently immediate and non-inferential; the belief in propositions usually rests on reflection and inference.

belief ::: n. --> Assent to a proposition or affirmation, or the acceptance of a fact, opinion, or assertion as real or true, without immediate personal knowledge; reliance upon word or testimony; partial or full assurance without positive knowledge or absolute certainty; persuasion; conviction; confidence; as, belief of a witness; the belief of our senses.
A persuasion of the truths of religion; faith.
The thing believed; the object of belief.


Blavatsky calls the anugraha creation a blind, “for it refers to a purely mental process: the cognition of the ‘ninth’ creation, which, in its turn, is an effect, manifesting in the secondary of that which was a ‘Creation’ in the Primary (Prakrita) Creation. The Eighth, then, called Anugraha (the Pratyayasarga or the intellectual creation of the Sankhyas . . .), is ‘that creation of which we have a perception’ — in its esoteric aspect — and ‘to which we give intellectual assent (Anugraha) in contradistinction to organic creation.’ It is the correct perception of our relations to the whole range of ‘gods’ and especially of those we bear to the Kumaras — the so-called ‘Ninth Creation’ — which is in reality an aspect of or reflection of the sixth in our manvantara (the Vaivasvata)” (SD 1:456).

bow ::: v. t. --> To cause to deviate from straightness; to bend; to inflect; to make crooked or curved.
To exercise powerful or controlling influence over; to bend, figuratively; to turn; to incline.
To bend or incline, as the head or body, in token of respect, gratitude, assent, homage, or condescension.
To cause to bend down; to prostrate; to depress,;/ to crush; to subdue.


"But our more difficult problem is to liberate the true Person and attain to a divine manhood which shall be the pure vessel of a divine force and the perfect instrument of a divine action. Step after step has to be firmly taken; difficulty after difficulty has to be entirely experienced and entirely mastered. Only the Divine Wisdom and Power can do this for us and it will do all if we yield to it in an entire faith and follow and assent to its workings with a constant courage and patience.” The Synthesis of Yoga

“But our more difficult problem is to liberate the true Person and attain to a divine manhood which shall be the pure vessel of a divine force and the perfect instrument of a divine action. Step after step has to be firmly taken; difficulty after difficulty has to be entirely experienced and entirely mastered. Only the Divine Wisdom and Power can do this for us and it will do all if we yield to it in an entire faith and follow and assent to its workings with a constant courage and patience.” The Synthesis of Yoga

But still it is the personal effort that Is prominent and assumes most of the burden. The other way is that of the psychic being, the consciousness opening to the Divine, not only opening the psychic and bringing it forward, but opening the mind, the vital and the physical, receiving the Light, perceiving what is to be done, feeling and seeing it done by the Divine Force itself and helping constantly by its own vigilant and conscious assent to and call for the Divine working.

Cartesianism: The philosophy of the French thinker, Rene Descartes (Cartesius) 1596-1650. After completing his formal education at the Jesuit College at La Fleche, he spent the years 1612-1621 in travel and military service. The reminder of his life was devoted to study and writing. He died in Sweden, where he had gone in 1649 to tutor Queen Christina. His principal works are: Discours de la methode, (preface to his Geometric, Meteores, Dieptrique) Meditationes de prima philosophia, Principia philosophiae, Passions de l'ame, Regulae ad directionem ingenii, Le monde. Descartes is justly regarded as one of the founders of modern epistemology. Dissatisfied with the lack of agreement among philosophers, he decided that philosophy needed a new method, that of mathematics. He began by resolving to doubt everything which could not pass the test of his criterion of truth, viz. the clearness and distinctness of ideas. Anything which could pass this test was to be readmitted as self-evident. From self-evident truths, he deduced other truths which logically follow from them. Three kinds of ideas were distinguished: innate, by which he seems to mean little more than the mental power to think things or thoughts; adventitious, which come to him from without; factitious, produced within his own mind. He found most difficulty with the second type of ideas. The first reality discovered through his method is the thinking self. Though he might doubt nearly all else, Descartes could not reasonably doubt that he, who was thinking, existed as a res cogitans. This is the intuition enunciated in the famous aphorism: I think, therefore I am, Cogito ergo sum. This is not offered by Descartes as a compressed syllogism, but as an immediate intuition of his own thinking mind. Another reality, whose existence was obvious to Descartes, was God, the Supreme Being. Though he offered several proofs of the Divine Existence, he was convinced that he knew this also by an innate idea, and so, clearly and distinctly. But he did not find any clear ideas of an extra-mental, bodily world. He suspected its existence, but logical demonstration was needed to establish this truth. His adventitious ideas carry the vague suggestion that they are caused by bodies in an external world. By arguing that God would be a deceiver, in allowing him to think that bodies exist if they do not, he eventually convinced himself of the reality of bodies, his own and others. There are, then, three kinds of substance according to Descartes: Created spirits, i.e. the finite soul-substance of each man: these are immaterial agencies capable of performing spiritual operations, loosely united with bodies, but not extended since thought is their very essence. Uncreated Spirit, i.e. God, confined neither to space nor time, All-Good and All-Powerful, though his Existence can be known clearly, his Nature cannot be known adequately by men on earth, He is the God of Christianity, Creator, Providence and Final Cause of the universe. Bodies, i.e. created, physical substances existing independently of human thought and having as their chief attribute, extension. Cartesian physics regards bodies as the result of the introduction of "vortices", i.e. whorls of motion, into extension. Divisibility, figurability and mobility, are the notes of extension, which appears to be little more thin what Descartes' Scholastic teachers called geometrical space. God is the First Cause of all motion in the physical universe, which is conceived as a mechanical system operated by its Maker. Even the bodies of animals are automata. Sensation is the critical problem in Cartesian psychology; it is viewed by Descartes as a function of the soul, but he was never able to find a satisfactory explanation of the apparent fact that the soul is moved by the body when sensation occurs. The theory of animal spirits provided Descartes with a sort of bridge between mind and matter, since these spirits are supposed to be very subtle matter, halfway, as it were, between thought and extension in their nature. However, this theory of sensation is the weakest link in the Cartesian explanation of cognition. Intellectual error is accounted for by Descartes in his theory of assent, which makes judgment an act of free will. Where the will over-reaches the intellect, judgment may be false. That the will is absolutely free in man, capable even of choosing what is presented by the intellect as the less desirable of two alternatives, is probably a vestige of Scotism retained from his college course in Scholasticism. Common-sense and moderation are the keynotes of Descartes' famous rules for the regulation of his own conduct during his nine years of methodic doubt, and this ethical attitude continued throughout his life. He believed that man is responsible ultimately to God for the courses of action that he may choose. He admitted that conflicts may occur between human passions and human reason. A virtuous life is made possible by the knowledge of what is right and the consequent control of the lower tendencies of human nature. Six primary passions are described by Descartes wonder, love, hatred, desire, joy and sorrow. These are passive states of consciousness, partly caused by the body, acting through the animal spirits, and partly caused by the soul. Under rational control, they enable the soul to will what is good for the body. Descartes' terminology suggests that there are psychological faculties, but he insists that these powers are not really distinct from the soul itself, which is man's sole psychic agency. Descartes was a practical Catholic all his life and he tried to develop proofs of the existence of God, an explanation of the Eucharist, of the nature of religious faith, and of the operation of Divine Providence, using his philosophy as the basis for a new theology. This attempted theology has not found favor with Catholic theologians in general.

comply ::: v. i. --> To yield assent; to accord; agree, or acquiesce; to adapt one&

concur ::: v. i. --> To run together; to meet.
To meet in the same point; to combine or conjoin; to contribute or help toward a common object or effect.
To unite or agree (in action or opinion); to join; to act jointly; to agree; to coincide; to correspond.
To assent; to consent.


confessionalism ::: n. --> An exaggerated estimate of the importance of giving full assent to any particular formula of the Christian faith.

confession ::: n. --> Acknowledgment; avowal, especially in a matter pertaining to one&

confess ::: v. t. --> To make acknowledgment or avowal in a matter pertaining to one&

confirm ::: v. t. --> To make firm or firmer; to add strength to; to establish; as, health is confirmed by exercise.
To strengthen in judgment or purpose.
To give new assurance of the truth of; to render certain; to verify; to corroborate; as, to confirm a rumor.
To render valid by formal assent; to complete by a necessary sanction; to ratify; as, to confirm the appoinment of an official; the Senate confirms a treaty.


connivance ::: n. --> Intentional failure or forbearance to discover a fault or wrongdoing; voluntary oversight; passive consent or cooperation.
Corrupt or guilty assent to wrongdoing, not involving actual participation in, but knowledge of, and failure to prevent or oppose it.


consent ::: v. i. --> To agree in opinion or sentiment; to be of the same mind; to accord; to concur.
To indicate or express a willingness; to yield to guidance, persuasion, or necessity; to give assent or approval; to comply. ::: v. t.


convince ::: v. t. --> To overpower; to overcome; to subdue or master.
To overcome by argument; to force to yield assent to truth; to satisfy by proof.
To confute; to prove the fallacy of.
To prove guilty; to convict.


convincingly ::: adv. --> in a convincing manner; in a manner to compel assent.

Decision: (Lat. de + caedere, to cut) The act of assent in which volition normally culminates. See Volition. -- L.W.

disaccord ::: v. i. --> To refuse to assent. ::: n. --> Disagreement.

disassenter ::: n. --> One who disassents; a dissenter.

disassent ::: v. i. --> To dissent. ::: n. --> Dissent.

disbelief ::: n. --> The act of disbelieving;; a state of the mind in which one is fully persuaded that an opinion, assertion, or doctrine is not true; refusal of assent, credit, or credence; denial of belief.

Divine, assent to what is the Divine.

Divine Force, as it descends, increases the personal poirer and equates the strength that receives with the Force that enters from above to work in the nature. This is only possible if there is on our part a progressive surrender of the being into the hands of the Divine ; there must be a complete and never-failing'assent, a willingness to let the Divine Power do with us whatew is needed for the work that has to be done.

EFFORT. ::: It is not advisable in the early stages of the sadhana to leave everything to the Divine or expect everything from it without the need of one’s own endeavour. That is only possible when the psychic being is in front and influencing the whole action (and even then vigilance and a constant assent is necessary), or else later on in the ultimate stages of the yoga when a direct or almost direct supramental force b taking up the consciousness.

emphasis ::: n. --> A particular stress of utterance, or force of voice, given in reading and speaking to one or more words whose signification the speaker intends to impress specially upon his audience.
A peculiar impressiveness of expression or weight of thought; vivid representation, enforcing assent; as, to dwell on a subject with great emphasis.


faith ::: n. --> Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting solely and implicitly on his authority and veracity; reliance on testimony.
The assent of the mind to the statement or proposition of another, on the ground of the manifest truth of what he utters; firm and earnest belief, on probable evidence of any kind, especially in regard to important moral truth.
The belief in the historic truthfulness of the Scripture


glassite ::: n. --> A member of a Scottish sect, founded in the 18th century by John Glass, a minister of the Established Church of Scotland, who taught that justifying faith is "no more than a simple assent to the divine testimone passively recived by the understanding." The English and American adherents of this faith are called Sandemanians, after Robert Sandeman, the son-in-law and disciple of Glass.

If the Supramental Power is allowed by man’s discerning assent . and vigilant surrender to act according to Us own profound and subtle insight and flexible potency, it will bring about slowly or swiftly a divine transformation of our fallen and imperfect nature.

in the organic centre is isolated and without any support in the being, then it can be separately overcome. Therefore, there must be no mental assent or vital response ; that is the first necessary step.

Janapadakalyānī Nandā. (S. Janapandakalyānī Rupanandā; T. Yul gyi bzang mo dga' mo). In Pāli, "Nandā, the Prettiest in the Land"; one of three prominent nuns named Nandā mentioned in the Pāli canon (the others being ABHIRuPĀ NANDĀ and SUNDARĪ NANDĀ), all of whom share similar stories. According to Pāli sources, Janapadakalyānī Nandā was a Sākiyan (S. sĀKYA) woman of great beauty, who was betrothed to the Buddha's half-brother NANDA. On their wedding day, the Buddha visited her fiancé Nanda's palace in Kapilavatthu (S. KAPILAVASTU) and extended his felicitations. He caused Nanda to accompany him on his return to the monastery where he was staying and there asked Nanda to enter the order; Nanda reluctantly assented, but only after the Buddha used his supernatural powers to show him his prospects for enjoying heavenly maidens far more beautiful than his betrothed if he practiced well. Later, Nanda became an arahant (S. ARHAT). Janapadakalyānī was overcome with grief at Nanda's ordination. Since she felt she had nothing else to live for, as soon as women were allowed to enter the order, she decided to become a nun under the leadership of Mahāpajāpatī (S. MAHĀPRAJĀPATĪ). Still attached to her own loveliness, for a long time Janapadakalyānī refused to visit the Buddha for fear that he would speak disparagingly of physical beauty. When finally one day she went together with her companions to hear the Buddha preach, the Buddha, knowing her state of mind, created an apparition of an extraordinarily beautiful woman fanning him. Janapadakalyānī was transfixed by the beauty of the maiden, whom the Buddha then caused to age, die, and decompose right before her very eyes. As the Buddha described the impermanence of physical beauty, Janapadakalyānī attained stream-entry (P. sotāpatti; see SROTAĀPANNA) and, shortly thereafter, arahanthip (see S. ARHAT). The source for the stories related to JANAPADAKALYĀnĪ NANDĀ are the DHAMMAPADAttHAKATHĀ and the Udāya, both texts known only to the Pāli tradition.

jNaptidvitīyā karmavācanā. (P. Nattidutiyakammavācā; T. gsol ba dang gnyis kyi las brjod pa; C. boyi jiemo; J. byakuichikonma; K. paegil kalma 白一羯磨). In Sanskrit, "statement of a matter or 'proceeding' (KARMAVĀCANĀ) involving a 'motion' (JNAPTI) accompanied by a single 'repetition' (dvitīya) of the formal question," that is, a motion made before the congregation of monks that may be approved by silent assent, rather than being followed by a request for a voicing of approval. According to the VINAYA, jNaptidvitīyā karmavācanā is the procedure that is to be followed during certain specific formal occasions within the SAMGHA, such as the ordination ceremony, the adjudication of rules, the administration of punishments to transgressors of the precepts, and the settlement of disputes among the clergy. A motion or proposal is made formally one time to the attendees, and repeated once to solicit any additional responses. If the proposal is read in this manner with no audible objections from the group (silence indicating approval), it is passed and considered binding on the participants. For matters of greater importance or formality, there are also procedures involving three formal questions, which require an audible response before they are considered to be decided. See also SAMGHAKARMAN; KARMAN.

karman. (P. kamma; T. las; C. jiemo; J. katsuma/konma; K. kalma 羯磨). In Sanskrit, "ecclesiastical proceeding"; from the literal meaning of karman as an "act." (To distinguish karman as "action" from "ecclesiastical proceeding," the Chinese uses a translation for the former and a transcription for the latter.) Such proceedings include admission into the order as novices (pravrajyā, see PRAVRAJITA), full ordination of monks and nuns (UPASAMPADĀ), the fortnightly confession ceremony (UPOsADHA) for recitation of the PRĀTIMOKsA precepts, the invitation ceremony (PRAVĀRAnĀ) closing the rain's retreat (VARsĀ), giving cloth for robes (KAtHINA), the adjudication of rules, the administration of punishments to transgressors of the precepts, and the settlement of disputes among the clergy. At such formal proceedings, a motion is made before the congregation of monks that may be approved by silent assent (see JNAPTIDVITĪYĀ KARMAVĀCANĀ [P. Nattidutiyakammavācā]; KARMAVĀCANĀ). In responding to monks who have transgressed the precepts, for example, the VINAYA provides for seven different ecclesiastical proceedings, depending on the kind and severity of the infraction. They are reprimands; expulsion from the clergy; the appointment of an overseeing mentor (see ĀCĀRYA; ANTEVĀSIKA); temporary proscription against contact with the laity; confronting with incriminating evidence a suspect who refuses to confess; confronting an unrepentant transgressor with incriminating evidence; and correcting someone who intransigently holds on to the pernicious view that certain precepts are expendable. Distinguish KARMAN, "action," s.v.; see also SAMGHAKARMAN.

Many questions: The name given to the fallacy -- or, rather, misleading device of disputation -- which consists in requiring a single answer to a question which either involves several questions that ought to be answered separately or contains an implicit assertion to which any unqualified answer would give assent. -- A. C.

Mimamsa: Short for Purva-Mimamsa, one of the six major systems of Indian philosophy, founded by Jaimini, rationalizing Vedic ritual and upholding the authority of the Vedas by a philosophy of the word (see vac). In metaphysics it professes belief in the reality of the phenomenal, a plurality of eternal souls, but is indifferent to a concept of God though assenting to the superhuman and eternal nature of the Vedas. There is also an elaborate epistemology supporting Vedic truths, an ethics which makes observance of Vedic ritual and practice a condition of a good and blissful life.

Mimamsi: Short for Purva-Mimamsa, one of the six major systems of Indian philosophy (q. v.), founded by Jaimini, rationalizing Vedic ritual and upholding the authority of the Vedas by a philosophy of the word (see vac). In metaphysics it professes belief in the reality of the phenomenal, a plurality of eternal souls, but is indifferent to a concept of God though assenting to the superhuman and eternal nature of the Vedas. There is also an elaborate epistemology supporting Vedic truths, an ethics which makes observance of Vedic ritual and practice a condition of a good and blissful life. -- KS.L.

n. 1. Acceptance or approval of what is planned or done by another; acquiescence. v. 2. To give assent, as to the proposal of another; agree. consents, consented, consenting.

Natural Theology: In general, natural theology is a term used to distinguish any theology based upon the fundamental premise of the ability of man to construct his theory of God and of the world out of the framework of his own reason and of reasonable probability from the so-called "revealed theology" which presupposes that God and divine purposes are not open to unaided human understanding but rest upon a supernatural and not wholly understandable basis. See Deism; Renaissance. During the 17th and 18th centuries there were attempts to set up a "natural religion" to which men might easily give their assent and to offset the extravagant claims of the supernaturalists and their harsh charges against doubters. The classical attempt to make out a case for the sweet reasonableness of a divine purpose at work in the world of nature was given by Paley in his Natural Theology (1802). Traditional Catholicism, especially that of the late middle Ages developed a kind of natural theology based upon the metaphysics of Aristotle. Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz developed a more definite type of natural theology in their several constructions of what now may well be called philosophical theology wherein reason is made the guide. Natural theology has raised its head in recent times in attempts to combat the extravagant declarations of theologians of human pessimism. The term, however, is unfortunate because it is being widely acknowledged that so-called "revealed theology" is natural (recent psychological and social studies) and that natural theology need not deny to reason its possible character as the bearer of an immanent divine revelation. -- V.F.

negative ::: a. --> Denying; implying, containing, or asserting denial, negation or refusal; returning the answer no to an inquiry or request; refusing assent; as, a negative answer; a negative opinion; -- opposed to affirmative.
Not positive; without affirmative statement or demonstration; indirect; consisting in the absence of something; privative; as, a negative argument; a negative morality; negative criticism.


nod ::: v. i. --> To bend or incline the upper part, with a quick motion; as, nodding plumes.
To incline the head with a quick motion; to make a slight bow; to make a motion of assent, of salutation, or of drowsiness, with the head; as, to nod at one.
To be drowsy or dull; to be careless. ::: v. t.


placet ::: n. --> A vote of assent, as of the governing body of a university, of an ecclesiastical council, etc.
The assent of the civil power to the promulgation of an ecclesiastical ordinance.


postulate ::: n. --> Something demanded or asserted; especially, a position or supposition assumed without proof, or one which is considered as self-evident; a truth to which assent may be demanded or challenged, without argument or evidence.
The enunciation of a self-evident problem, in distinction from an axiom, which is the enunciation of a self-evident theorem.


Powers undivine in their nature present themselves as the Sup- reme Lord or as the Divine Mother and claim the being’s service and surrender. 1C these (hiags are accepted, there will be an extremely disastrous consequence. If indeed there is the assent of the sSdhaka to the Divine working alone and the submission or surrender to that guidance, then all can go smoothly. This assent and a rejection of all egoistic force or forces that appeal to the ego are the safeguard throughout the sadhana. But the ways of nature are full of snares, the disguises of the ego are innumerable, the ilfusions of the Powers of Darkness, Rakshasi Maya, are e.ttraordinariIy skilful ; the reason is an insulBdent guide and often turns traitor; vital desire is ahvays with us tempting to follow any alluring call. This is the reason why in this Yoga we insist so much on what we call samarpana — rather inade- quately rendered by the Engikh word surrender. If the heart centre is fully opened and the psychic is always in control, then there is no question ; all fe Safe. But the psychic can at any moment be veiled by a lower upsurge. It is only a few who arc exempt from these dangers and it is precisely those to whom surrender is easily possible. The guidance of one who is himself

prātimoksa. (P. pātimokkha; T. so sor thar pa; C. boluotimucha; J. haradaimokusha; K. parajemokch'a 波羅提木叉). In Sanskrit, "code" or "rules," referring to a disciplinary code of conduct (of which there are several versions) for fully ordained monks (BHIKsU) and nuns (BHIKsUnĪ), or a text that sets forth that code, which probably constitutes the oldest part of the various Buddhist VINAYAs. The pre-Buddhist denotation of prātimoksa is uncertain, and may perhaps mean a promise that is to be redeemed; the Buddhist etymologies seem to indicate a "binding obligation" and, by extension, a monastic regulation. Indian Buddhist schools tended to define themselves in terms of the particular monastic code to which they adhered, and differences in the interpretation of the rules of conduct resulted in the convening of councils (SAMGĪTI) to adjudicate such differences and, ultimately, in the schisms that produced the various mainstream Buddhist schools. Several different recensions of the prātimoksa are extant, but there are three main lineages followed within the Buddhist tradition today: the THERAVĀDA pātimokkha followed in Sri Lankan and Southeast Asian Buddhism; the DHARMAGUPTAKA prātimoksa followed in Chinese and Korean Buddhism; and the MuLASARVĀSTIVĀDA prātimoksa followed in Tibetan Buddhism. Despite divergences in the numbers of rules listed in these codes (the Theravāda, for example, has 227 rules for bhiksus, the Dharmaguptaka 250, and the Mulasarvāstivāda 253, and all have considerably more rules for bhiksunī), there is substantial agreement among the prātimoksa of the various mainstream Buddhist schools. They are all similarly structured, with separate codes for monks and nuns, enumerating a set of categories of transgressions: (1) PĀRĀJIKA transgressions of ethical expectations that were so serious as to bring "defeat" and in some vinaya traditions to require expulsion from the order, e.g., engaging in sexual intercourse and murder; (2) SAMGHĀVAsEsA, transgressions entailing temporary suspension from the order, such as masturbation, acting as a go-between for sexual liaisons, or attempting to cause schism in the order (SAMGHABHEDA); (3) ANIYATA, undetermined cases exclusive to monks who are found with women, which require investigation by the saMgha; (4) NAIḤSARGIKAPĀYATTIKA, transgressions requiring confession and forfeiture of a prohibited object, such as hoarding excessive numbers of robes (CĪVARA), begging bowls (PĀTRA), and medicine, or keeping gold and silver; (5) PĀYATTIKA, transgressions that can be expiated through confession alone, such as lying; (6) PRATIDEsANĪYA, minor transgressions to be acknowledged, related to receiving and eating food, which were to be confessed; (7) sAIKsA, minor training rules governing monastic etiquette and deportment, such as not wearing robes sloppily or eating noisily, violations of which were called DUsKṚTA, lit. "bad actions." Both the bhiksu and bhiksunī prātimoksa also include (8) ADHIKARAnAsAMATHA, seven methods of resolving ecclesiastical disputes. Regardless of the school, the prātimoksa was recited separately during the fortnightly UPOsADHA ceremony by chapters of monks and nuns who gather inside a purified SĪMĀ boundary. All monks and nuns were expected to have confessed (see PĀPADEsANĀ) to any transgressions of the rules during the last fortnight prior to the recitation of the code, thus expiating them of that transgression. At the conclusion of the recitation of each category of transgression, the reciter questions the congregation as to whether the congregation is pure; silence indicates assent.

Probability: In general Chance, possibility, contingency, likelihood, likehness, presumption. conjecture, prediction, forecast, credibility, relevance; the quality or state of being likely true or likely to happen; a fact or a statement which is likely true, real, operative or provable by future events; the conditioning of partial or approximate belief or assent; the motive of a presumption or prediction; the conjunction of reasonable grounds for presuming the truth of a statement or the occurrence of an event; the field of knowledge between complete ignorance and full certitude; an approximation to fact or truth; a qualitative or numerical value attached to a probable inference, and by extension, the systematic study of chances or relative possibilities as forming the subject of the theory of probability. A. The Foundation of Probability. We cannot know everything completely and with certainty. Yet we desire to think and to act as correctly as possible hence the necessity of considering methods leading to reasonable approximations, and of estimating their results in terms of the relative evidence available in each case. In D VI-VII (infra) only, is probability interpreted as a property of events or occurrences as such: whether necessary or contingent, facts are simply conditioned by other facts, and have neither an intelligence nor a will to realize their certainty or their probability. In other views, probability requires ultimately a mind to perceive it as such it arises from the combination of our partial ignorance of the extremely complex nature and conditions of the phenomena, with the inadequacy of our means of observation, experimentation and analysis, however searching and provisionally satisfactory. Thus it may be said that probability exists formally in the mind and materially in the phenomena as related between themselves. In stressing the one or the other of these two aspects, we obtain (1) subjectize probability, when the psychological conditions of the mind cause it to evaluate a fact or statement with fear of possible error; and (2) objective probability, when reference is made to that quality of facts and statements, which causes the mind to estimate them with a conscious possibility of error. Usually, methods can be devised to objectify technically the subjective aspect of probability, such as the rules for the elimination of the personal equation of the inquirer. Hence the methods established for the study and the interpretation of chances can be considered independently of the state of mind as such of the inquirer. These methods make use of rational or empirical elements. In the first case, we are dealing with a priori or theoretical probability, which considers the conditions or occurrences of an event hypothetically and independently of any direct experience. In the second case, we are dealing with inductive or empirical probability. And when these probabilities are represented with numerals or functions to denote measures of likelihood, we are concerned with quantitative or mathematical probability. Methods involving the former cannot be assimilated with methods involving the latter, but both can be logically correlated on the strength of the general principle of explanation, that similar conjunctions of moral or physical facts demand a general law governing and justifying them.

pṛsthalabdhajNāna. [alt. tatpṛsthalabdhajNāna] (T. rjes thob ye shes; C. houde zhi; J. gotokuchi; K. hudŭk chi 後得智). In Sanskrit, "subsequent wisdom" or "subsequently obtained wisdom"; a term used to describe one of the states of the noble path (ĀRYAMĀRGA). The attainment of the path of vision (DARsANAMĀRGA) marks the first achievement of meditative equipoise (SAMĀHITA) in which the meditator has a direct and nonconceptual vision of reality. When the meditator withdraws from that state of direct realization to again perceive various phenomena, this state is called "subsequent wisdom." Reality is no longer being directly and exclusively perceived, but the power of that vision is said to infuse one's subsequent experience of the world, so that while objects may once again appear to be real, the meditator does not assent to that false appearance. Following the attainment of the path of vision, the meditator continues to proceed along the path through periods of meditative equipoise and subsequent wisdom.

receive ::: v. t. --> To take, as something that is offered, given, committed, sent, paid, or the like; to accept; as, to receive money offered in payment of a debt; to receive a gift, a message, or a letter.
Hence: To gain the knowledge of; to take into the mind by assent to; to give admission to; to accept, as an opinion, notion, etc.; to embrace.
To allow, as a custom, tradition, or the like; to give


Rickert, Heinrich: (1863-1936) Believing that only in system philosophy achieves its ends, Rickert established under the influence of Fichte a transcendental idealism upon an epistemology which has nothing to do with searching for connections between thought and existence, but admits being only as a being in consciousness, and knowledge as an affirming or negating, approving or disapproving of judgments. Hence, philosophy is one of norms in which the concept of reality dissolves into a concept of value, while consciousness ceases to be an individual phenomenon and becomes impersonal and general. Value exists not as a physical thing but in assent and our acknowledging its validity. In this we are guided by meaning and obligated by the ought. Method distinguishes history as the discipline of the particular from science which must advance beyond fact-gathering to the discovery of general laws, and from philosophy which seeks absolute cultural values through explanation, understanding, and interpretation.

Scepticism, Fourteenth Century: At the beginning of the 14th century, Duns Scotus adopted a position which is not formally sceptical, though his critical attitude to earlier scholasticism may contain the germs of the scepticism of his century. Among Scotistic pre-sceptical tendencies may be mentioned the stress on self-knowledge rather than the knowledge of extra-mental reality, psychological voluntarism which eventuallj made the assent of judgment a matter of will rather than of intellect, and a theory of the reality of universal essences which led to a despair of the intellect's capacity to know such objects and thus spawned Ockhamism. Before 1317, Henry of Harclay noticed that, since the two terms of efficient causal connection are mutually distinct and absolute things, God, by his omnipotent will, can cause anything which naturally (naturaliter) is caused by a finite agent. He inferred from this that neither the present nor past existence of a finite external agent is necessarily involved in cognition (Pelstex p. 346). Later Petrus Aureoli and Ockham made the sime observation (Michalski, p. 94), and Ockham concluded that natural knowledge of substance and causal connection is possible only on the assumption that nature is pursuing a uniform, uninterrupted course at the moment of intuitive cognition. Without this assumption, observed sequences might well be the occasion of direct divine causal action rather than evidence of natural causation. It is possible that these sceptical views were suggested by reading the arguments of certain Moslem theologians (Al Gazali and the Mutakallimun), as well as by a consideration of miracles. The most influential sceptical author of the fourteenth century was Nicholas of Autrecourt (fl. 1340). Influenced perhaps by the Scotist conception of logical demonstration, Nicholas held that the law of noncontradiction is the ultimate and sole source of certainty. In logical inference, certainty is guaranteed because the consequent is identical with part or all of the antecedent. No logical connection can be established, therefore, between the existence or non-existence of one thing and the existence or non-existence of another and different thing. The inference from cause to effect or conversely is thus not a matter of certainty. The existence of substance, spiritual or physical, is neither known nor probable. We are unable to infer the existence of intellect or will from acts of intellection or volition, and sensible experience provides no evidence of external substances. The only certitudes properly so-called are those of immediate experience and those of principles known ex terminis together with conclusions immediately dependent on them. This thoroughgoing scepticism appears to have had considerable influence in its time, for we find many philosophers expressing, expounding, or criticizing it. John Buridan has a detailed criticism in his commentary on Aristotle's Physics (in 1 I, q. 4), Fitz-Ralph, Jacques d'Eltville, and Pierre d'Ailly maintain views similar to Nicholas', with some modifications, and there is at least one exposition of Nicholas' views in an anonymous commentary on the Sentences (British Museum, Ms. Harley 3243). These sceptical views were usually accompanied by a kind of probabilism. The condemnation of Nicholas in 1347 put a damper on the sceptical movement, and there is probably no continuity from these thinkers to the French sceptics of the 16th century. Despite this lack of direct influence, the sceptical arguments of 14th century thinkers bear marked resemblances to those employed by the French Occasionalists, Berkeley and Hume.

soothe ::: a. --> To assent to as true.
To assent to; to comply with; to gratify; to humor by compliance; to please with blandishments or soft words; to flatter.
To assuage; to mollify; to calm; to comfort; as, to soothe a crying child; to soothe one&


Sophists: (5th Cent B.C.) Wandering teachers who came to Athens from foreign cities, and sought to popularize knowledge. They filled a need felt in Greece at this time for a general dissemination of that scientific knowledge which had previously been more or less privately cultivated in learned societies. Nowhere was this need more widespread than in Athens where a political career necessitated an acquaintance with the intellectual attainments of the race. The Sophists came to Athens to assist young men in achieving political success. Before long, this brought with it the subordination of purely theoretical learning to its practical usefulness, and the Sophists, far from teaching what is most likely to be true, instructed the youth in what is most likely to bear political fruit. Thus eloquent public appeal and the art of rhetoric soon took the place of pure science and philosophy. In this very desire, however, to persuade and refute, the problem presented itself as to whether among the various conflicting opinions which the Sophists had taught their pupils to defend and to oppose, there was anything of permanent value which could claim the assent of all men everywhere. This quest of the universal in knowledge and in conduct forms the basis of the Socratic Quest. -- M.F.

Suggestions of ambition, etc. arc always born in the vital mind or, as it might be called, the mind of the vital and from there they rush up to the thinking mind and claim its assent and the sanction of the mental will. When the thinking mind gets clouded by the uprush, it Is carried away and gives its assent. The think- ing mind (reason) has always to remain unmoved above and judge what is right without being caught and carried away by the vital.

Supreme Lord, as the Divine Mother and claim the being’s ser- vice and surrender. If these things are accepted, there will be an extremely disastrous consequence. If indeed there is the assent of the sadhaka to the Divine working alone and the submission or surrender to that guidance, then all can go smoothly. This assent and a rejection of all egoistic forces or forces that appeal to the ego are the safeguard throughout the sadhana. But the ways of nature are full of snares, the disguises of the ego arc innumerable, the illusions of the Powers of Darkness, Rakshasl,

Synkatathesis: Greek noun derived from syn, together, and katathesis, to put down; hence Synkatathesis, to deposit together. In the passive voice the verb means, to assent to, to agree with. Used by the Stoics in the sense of agreement, or conviction. In general it signifies, the acknowledgment of the truth of a proposition, or consent given to it with someone else. -- J.J.R.

The idea of the three essential modes of Nature is a creation of the ancient Indian thinkers and its truth is not at once obvious, because it was the result of long psychological experiment and profound internal experience. Th
   refore without a long inner experience, without intimate self-observation and intuitive perception of the Nature-forces it is difficult to grasp accurately or firmly utilise. Still certain broad indications may help the seeker on the Way of Works to understand, analyse and control by his assent or
   refusal the combinations of his own nature. These modes are termed in the Indian books qualities, gunas, and are given the names sattva, rajas, tamas. Sattwa is the force of equilibrium and translates in quality as good and harmony and happiness and light; rajas is the force of kinesis and translates in quality as struggle and effort, passion and action; tamas is the force of inconscience and inertia and translates in quality as obscurity and incapacity and inaction. Ordinarily used for psychological self-analysis, these distinctions are valid also in physical Nature. Each thing and every existence in the lower Prakriti contains them and its process and dynamic form are the result of the interaction of these qualitative powers.
   Ref: CWSA Vol. 23-24, Page: 232-233


The personal effort required Is a triple labour of aspiration, rejection and surrender ; an aspiration vigilant, constant, un- ceasing — the mind’s will, the heart's seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature ; rejection of the movements of the lower nature — rejection of the mind’s ideas, opinions, prefer- ences, habits, constructions, so that the true knowledge may find room in a silent mind, — rejection of the vital nature’s desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arro- gance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility to the Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being, — rejection of the physical nature’s stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, tamas, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine ; surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine and the ShaUi.

The Vishnu-Purana says of the kali yuga that the barbarians will be masters of the banks of the Indus, of Chandrabhaga and Kasmira, that “there will be contemporary monarchs, reigning over the earth — kings of churlish spirit, violent temper, and ever addicted to falsehood and wickedness. They will inflict death on women, children, and cows; they will seize upon the property of their subjects, and be intent upon the wives of others; they will be of unlimited power, their lives will be short, their desires insatiable. . . . People of various countries intermingling with them, will follow their example; and the barbarians being powerful (in India) in the patronage of the princes, while purer tribes are neglected, the people will perish (or, as the Commentator has it, ‘The Mlechchhas will be in the centre and the Aryas in the end.’) Wealth and piety will decrease until the world will be wholly depraved. Property alone will confer rank; wealth will be the only source of devotion; passion will be the sole bond of union between the sexes; falsehood will be the only means of success in litigations; and women will be objects merely of sensual gratification. . . . a man if rich will be reputed pure; dishonesty (anyaya) will be the universal means of subsistence, weakness the cause of dependence, menace and presumption will be substituted for learning; liberality will be devotion; mutual assent, marriage; fine clothes, dignity. He who is the strongest will reign; the people, unable to bear the heavy burthen, Khara bhara (the load of taxes) will take refuge among the valleys. . . . Thus, in the Kali age will decay constantly proceed, until the human race approaches its annihilation (pralaya). . . . When the close of the Kali age shall be nigh, a portion of that divine being which exists, of its own spiritual nature . . . shall descend on Earth . . . (Kalki Avatar) endowed with the eight superhuman faculties. . . . He will re-establish righteousness on earth, and the minds of those who live at the end of Kali Yuga shall be awakened and become as pellucid as crystal. The men who are thus changed . . . shall be the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who shall follow the laws of the Krita age, the age of purity. As it is said, ‘When the sun and moon and the lunar asterism Tishya and the planet Jupiter are in one mansion, the Krita (or Satya) age shall return’ ” (SD 1:377-8). See also YUGA.

This decisive touch comes most easily to the baby cat ” people, those who have at some point between the psychic and the emotional vital a quick and decisive movement of surrender to the Guru or the Divine. I have seen that when that is there and there is the conscious central dependence compelling the mind also and the rest of the vital, then the fundamental diffi- culty disappears. If others remain they are not felt as difficulties, but simply as things that have just to be done and need cause no worry. Sometimes no tapasya is necessary — one just refers things to the Power that one feels guiding or doing the sadhana and assents to its action, rejecting all that is contrary to it, and the Power removes what has to be removed or changes what

' Th’o rvnj'J of doing the yoga ::: One by the action of a vigi- lant mind and s’ital seeing, observing, thinking and deciding wbat is or not to be done. The other way h that of the psychic being, the consciousness opening to the Divine, not only opening the psychic and bringing it forward, but opening the mind, the vital and the physical, receiving the light, perceiving what is to be done, feeling and seeing it done by the Divine Force itself and helping constantly by its own vigilant and conscious assent to and call for the Divine Worldng.

uncovenanted ::: a. --> Not covenanted; not granted or entered into under a covenant, agreement, or contract.
Not having joined in a league, or assented to a covenant or agreement, as to the Solemn League and Covenant of the Scottish people in the times of the Stuarts.
Not having entered into relationship with God through the appointed means of grace; also, not promised or assured by the divine promises or conditions; as, uncovenanted mercies.


Will: In the widest sense, will is synonymous with conation. See Conation. In the restricted sense, will designates the sequence of mental acts eventuating in decision or choice between conflicting conative tendencies. An act of will of the highest type is analyzable into:   The envisaging of alternative courses of action, each of which expresses conative tendencies of the subject.   Deliberation, consisting in the examination and comparison of the alternative courses of action with special reference to the dominant ideals of the self.   Decision or choice consisting in giving assent to one of the alternatives and the rejection of the rest.

withhold ::: v. t. --> To hold back; to restrain; to keep from action.
To retain; to keep back; not to grant; as, to withhold assent to a proposition.
To keep; to maintain; to retain.


yea ::: adv. --> Yes; ay; a word expressing assent, or an affirmative, or an affirmative answer to a question, now superseded by yes. See Yes.
More than this; not only so, but; -- used to mark the addition of a more specific or more emphatic clause. Cf. Nay, adv., 2. ::: n. --> An affirmative vote; one who votes in the affirmative; as, a




QUOTES [21 / 21 - 308 / 308]


KEYS (10k)

   12 Sri Aurobindo
   4 Saint Thomas Aquinas
   1 Saint Basil of Caesarea
   1 Saint Ambrose
   1 Basil of Caesarea
   1 Saint Augustine of Hippo
   1 AD 314)

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   11 Sri Aurobindo
   8 Epictetus
   6 Timothy J Keller
   4 Swami Vivekananda
   4 Ryan Holiday
   4 Rainer Maria Rilke
   4 Rachel Held Evans
   4 Marcus Aurelius
   4 John Locke
   4 Jane Austen
   4 Emily Dickinson
   4 Anonymous
   4 Abraham Lincoln
   3 Sylvain Tesson
   3 Stephen King
   3 Saint Augustine of Hippo
   3 John Stuart Mill
   3 Hermann Hesse
   3 David Hume
   3 Carl Sagan

1:To believe is to think with assent. ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo,
2:Faith implies merely assent to what is proposed ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas, (ST 2-2.8.5ad3).,
3:Confession leads the way and brings us to salvation; baptism follows, setting the seal on our assent. ~ Saint Basil of Caesarea,
4:Assent to thy high self, create, endure.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Vision and the Boon,
5:The intellect does not grasp the object to which it gives assent in the act of believing ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas, (ScG 3.40).,
6:Continence is a denial of the body and an assent to God. It withdraws from everything mortal, having, as it were, the Spirit of God as a body. ~ Basil of Caesarea,
7:The perfect faith is an assent of the whole being to the truth seen by it or offered to its acceptance. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
8:But Muslims and pagans accept neither one, so we must turn to natural reason, to which all men are forced to give their assent ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas, (ScG 1.2).,
9:Faith is necessary throughout and at every step because it is a needed assent of the soul and without this assent there can be no progress. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
10:There is an internal freedom permitted to every mental being called man to assent or not to assent to the Divine leading. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother with Letters on The Mother, Surrender to the Mother,
11:Fear not to be nothing that thou mayst be all;
Assent to the emptiness of the Supreme
That all in thee may reach its absolute. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Nirvana and the Discovery of the All-Negating Absolute,
12:The book of psalms is the voice of complete assent, the joy of freedom, a cry of happiness, the echo of gladness. It soothes the temper, distracts from care, lightens the burden of sorrow. It is a source of security at night, a lesson in wisdom by day. ~ Saint Ambrose,
13:The Divine Grace and Power can do anything, but with the full assent of the sadhak.
   To learn to give the full assent, is the whole meaning of the sadhana. It may take time either because of ideas in the mind, desires in the vital or inertia in the physical consciousness, but these things have to be and can be removed with the aid or by calling in the action of the Divine Force.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, [T9],
14:377. God made the infinite world by Self-knowledge which in its works is Will-Force self-fulfilling. He used ignorance to limit His infinity; but fear, weariness, depression, self-distrust and assent to weakness are the instruments by which He destroys what He created. When these things are turned on what is evil or harmful & ill-regulated within thee, then it is well; but if they attack thy very sources of life & strength, then seize & expel them or thou diest.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine And Human,
15:The ego cannot see where it is being led; it revolts against the leading, loses confidence, loses courage. These failings would not matter; for the divine Guide within is not offended by our revolt, not discouraged by our want of faith or repelled by our weakness; he has the entire love of the mother and the entire patience of the teacher. But by withdrawing our assent from the guidance we lose the consciousness, though not all the actuality-not, in any case, the eventuality -of its benefit. And we withdraw our assent because we fail to distinguish our higher Self from the lower through which he is preparing his self-revelation.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Four Aids, 64,
16:In all that is done in the universe, the Divine through his Shakti is behind all action but he is veiled by his Yoga Maya and works through the ego of the Jiva in the lower nature.
   In Yoga also it is the Divine who is the Sadhaka and the Sadhana; it is his Shakti with her light, power, knowledge, consciousness, Ananda, acting upon the adhara and, when it is opened to her, pouring into it with these divine forces that makes the Sadhana possible. But so long as the lower nature is active the personal effort of the Sadhaka remains necessary.
   The personal effort required is a triple labour of aspiration, rejection and surrender, -
   an aspiration vigilant, constant, unceasing - the mind's will, the heart's seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature;
   rejection of the movements of the lower nature - rejection of the mind's ideas, opinions, preferences, habits, constructions, so that the true knowledge may find free room in a silent mind, - rejection of the vital nature's desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility to the Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being, - rejection of the physical nature's stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, tamas, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine;
   surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine and the Shakti.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
17:But this is not always the manner of the commencement. The sadhaka is often led gradually and there is a long space between the first turning of the mind and the full assent of the nature to the thing towards which it turns. There may at first be only a vivid intellectual interest, a forcible attraction towards the idea and some imperfect form of practice. Or perhaps there is an effort not favoured by the whole nature, a decision or a turn imposed by an intellectual influence or dictated by personal affection and admiration for someone who is himself consecrated and devoted to the Highest. In such cases, a long period of preparation may be necessary before there comes the irrevocable consecration; and in some instances it may not come. There may be some advance, there may be a strong effort, even much purification and many experiences other than those that are central or supreme; but the life will either be spent in preparation or, a certain stage having been reached, the mind pushed by an insufficient driving-force may rest content at the limit of the effort possible to it. Or there may even be a recoil to the lower life, - what is called in the ordinary parlance of Yoga a fall from the path. This lapse happens because there is a defect at the very centre. The intellect has been interested, the heart attracted, the will has strung itself to the effort, but the whole nature has not been taken captive by the Divine. It has only acquiesced in the interest, the attraction or the endeavour. There has been an experiment, perhaps even an eager experiment, but not a total self-giving to an imperative need of the soul or to an unforsakable ideal. Even such imperfect Yoga has not been wasted; for no upward effort is made in vain. Even if it fails in the present or arrives only at some preparatory stage or preliminary realisation, it has yet determined the soul's future.

But if we desire to make the most of the opportunity that this life gives us, if we wish to respond adequately to the call we have received and to attain to the goal we have glimpsed, not merely advance a little towards it, it is essential that there should be an entire self-giving. The secret of success in Yoga is to regard it not as one of the aims to be pursued in life, but as the one and only aim, not as an important part of life, but as the whole of life. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Self-Consecration,
18:they are acting all the while in the spirit of rajasic ahaṅkara, persuade themselves that God is working through them and they have no part in the action. This is because they are satisfied with the mere intellectual assent to the idea without waiting for the whole system and life to be full of it. A continual remembrance of God in others and renunciation of individual eagerness (spr.ha) are needed and a careful watching of our inner activities until God by the full light of self-knowledge, jñanadı̄pena bhasvata, dispels all further chance of self-delusion. The danger of tamogun.a is twofold, first, when the Purusha thinks, identifying himself with the tamas in him, "I am weak, sinful, miserable, ignorant, good-for-nothing, inferior to this man and inferior to that man, adhama, what will God do through me?" - as if God were limited by the temporary capacities or incapacities of his instruments and it were not true that he can make the dumb to talk and the lame to cross the hills, mūkaṁ karoti vacalaṁ paṅguṁ laṅghayate girim, - and again when the sadhak tastes the relief, the tremendous relief of a negative santi and, feeling himself delivered from all troubles and in possession of peace, turns away from life and action and becomes attached to the peace and ease of inaction. Remember always that you too are Brahman and the divine Shakti is working in you; reach out always to the realisation of God's omnipotence and his delight in the Lila. He bids Arjuna work lokasaṅgraharthaya, for keeping the world together, for he does not wish the world to sink back into Prakriti, but insists on your acting as he acts, "These worlds would be overpowered by tamas and sink into Prakriti if I did not do actions." To be attached to inaction is to give up our action not to God but to our tamasic ahaṅkara. The danger of the sattvagun.a is when the sadhak becomes attached to any one-sided conclusion of his reason, to some particular kriya or movement of the sadhana, to the joy of any particular siddhi of the yoga, perhaps the sense of purity or the possession of some particular power or the Ananda of the contact with God or the sense of freedom and hungers after it, becomes attached to that only and would have nothing else. Remember that the yoga is not for yourself; for these things, though they are part of the siddhi, are not the object of the siddhi, for you have decided at the beginning to make no claim upon God but take what he gives you freely and, as for the Ananda, the selfless soul will even forego the joy of God's presence, ... ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays In Philosophy And Yoga,
19:If this is the truth of works, the first thing the sadhaka has to do is to recoil from the egoistic forms of activity and get rid of the sense of an "I" that acts. He has to see and feel that everything happens in him by the plastic conscious or subconscious or sometimes superconscious automatism of his mental and bodily instruments moved by the forces of spiritual, mental, vital and physical Nature. There is a personality on his surface that chooses and wills, submits and struggles, tries to make good in Nature or prevail over Nature, but this personality is itself a construction of Nature and so dominated, driven, determined by her that it cannot be free. It is a formation or expression of the Self in her, - it is a self of Nature rather than a self of Self, his natural and processive, not his spiritual and permanent being, a temporary constructed personality, not the true immortal Person. It is that Person that he must become. He must succeed in being inwardly quiescent, detach himself as the observer from the outer active personality and learn the play of the cosmic forces in him by standing back from all blinding absorption in its turns and movements. Thus calm, detached, a student of himself and a witness of his nature, he realises that he is the individual soul who observes the works of Nature, accepts tranquilly her results and sanctions or withholds his sanction from the impulse to her acts. At present this soul or Purusha is little more than an acquiescent spectator, influencing perhaps the action and development of the being by the pressure of its veiled consciousness, but for the most part delegating its powers or a fragment of them to the outer personality, - in fact to Nature, for this outer self is not lord but subject to her, anı̄sa; but, once unveiled, it can make its sanction or refusal effective, become the master of the action, dictate sovereignly a change of Nature. Even if for a long time, as the result of fixed association and past storage of energy, the habitual movement takes place independent of the Purusha's assent and even if the sanctioned movement is persistently refused by Nature for want of past habit, still he will discover that in the end his assent or refusal prevails, - slowly with much resistance or quickly with a rapid accommodation of her means and tendencies she modifies herself and her workings in the direction indicated by his inner sight or volition. Thus he learns in place of mental control or egoistic will an inner spiritual control which makes him master of the Nature-forces that work in him and not their unconscious instrument or mechanic slave. Above and around him is the Shakti, the universal Mother and from her he can get all his inmost soul needs and wills if only he has a true knowledge of her ways and a true surrender to the divine Will in her. Finally, he becomes aware of that highest dynamic Self within him and within Nature which is the source of all his seeing and knowing, the source of the sanction, the source of the acceptance, the source of the rejection. This is the Lord, the Supreme, the One-in-all, Ishwara-Shakti, of whom his soul is a portion, a being of that Being and a power of that Power. The rest of our progress depends on our knowledge of the ways in which the Lord of works manifests his Will in the world and in us and executes them through the transcendent and universal Shakti. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Supreme Will, 216,
20:
   Sweet Mother, how can one feel the divine Presence constantly?


Why not?

   But how can one do it?

But I am asking why one should not feel it. Instead of asking the question how to feel it, I ask the question: "What do you do that you don't feel it?" There is no reason not to feel the divine Presence. Once you have felt it, even once, you should be capable of feeling it always, for it is there. It is a fact. It is only our ignorance which makes us unaware of it. But if we become conscious, why should we not always be conscious? Why forget something one has learnt? When one has had the experience, why forget it? It is simply a bad habit, that's all.
   You see, there is something which is a fact, that's to say, it is. But we are unaware of it and do not know it. But after we become conscious and know it, why should we still forget it? Does it make sense? It's quite simply because we are not convinced that once one has met the Divine one can't forget Him any more. We are, on the contrary, full of stupid ideas which say, "Oh! Yes, it's very well once like that, but the rest of the time it will be as usual." So there is no reason why it may not begin again.
   But if we know that... we did not know something, we were ignorant, then the moment we have the knowledge... I am sincerely asking how one can manage to forget. One might not know something, that is a fact; there are countless things one doesn't know. But the moment one knows them, the minute one has the experience, how can one manage to forget? Within yourself you have the divine Presence, you know nothing about it - for all kinds of reasons, but still the chief reason is that you are in a state of ignorance. Yet suddenly, by a clicking of circumstances, you become conscious of this divine Presence, that is, you are before a fact - it is not imagination, it is a fact, it's something which exists. Then how do you manage to forget it once you have known it?
   ...
   It is because something in us, through cowardice or defeatism, accepts this. If one did not accept it, it wouldn't happen.
   Even when everything seems to be suddenly darkened, the flame and the Light are always there. And if one doesn't forget them, one has only to put in front of them the part which is dark; there will perhaps be a battle, there will perhaps be a little difficulty, but it will be something quite transitory; never will you lose your footing. That is why it is said - and it is something true - that to sin through ignorance may have fatal consequences, because when one makes mistakes, well, these mistakes have results, that's obvious, and usually external and material results; but that's no great harm, I have already told you this several times. But when one knows what is true, when one has seen and had the experience of the Truth, to accept the sin again, that is, fall back again into ignorance and obscurity - this is indeed an infinitely more serious mistake. It begins to belong to the domain of ill-will. In any case, it is a sign of slackness and weakness. It means that the will is weak.
   So your question is put the other way round. Instead of asking yourself how to keep it, you must ask yourself: how does one not keep it? Not having it, is a state which everybody is in before the moment of knowing; not knowing - one is in that state before knowing. But once one knows one cannot forget. And if one forgets, it means that there is something which consents to the forgetting, it means there is an assent somewhere; otherwise one would not forget.
   ~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1955, 403,405,406,
21::::
   As an inner equality increases and with it the sense of the true vital being waiting for the greater direction it has to serve, as the psychic call too increases in all the members of our nature, That to which the call is addressed begins to reveal itself, descends to take possession of the life and its energies and fills them with the height, intimacy, vastness of its presence and its purpose. In many, if not most, it manifests something of itself even before the equality and the open psychic urge or guidance are there. A call of the veiled psychic element oppressed by the mass of the outer ignorance and crying for deliverance, a stress of eager meditation and seeking for knowledge, a longing of the heart, a passionate will ignorant yet but sincere may break the lid that shuts off that Higher from this Lower Nature and open the floodgates. A little of the Divine Person may reveal itself or some Light, Power, Bliss, Love out of the Infinite. This may be a momentary revelation, a flash or a brief-lived gleam that soon withdraws and waits for the preparation of the nature; but also it may repeat itself, grow, endure. A long and large and comprehensive working will then have begun, sometimes luminous or intense, sometimes slow and obscure. A Divine Power comes in front at times and leads and compels or instructs and enlightens; at others it withdraws into the background and seems to leave the being to its own resources. All that is ignorant, obscure, perverted or simply imperfect and inferior in the being is raised up, perhaps brought to its acme, dealt with, corrected, exhausted, shown its own disastrous results, compelled to call for its own cessation or transformation or expelled as worthless or incorrigible from the nature. This cannot be a smooth and even process; alternations there are of day and night, illumination and darkness, calm and construction or battle and upheaval, the presence of the growing Divine Consciousness and its absence, heights of hope and abysses of despair, the clasp of the Beloved and the anguish of its absence, the overwhelming invasion, the compelling deceit, the fierce opposition, the disabling mockery of hostile Powers or the help and comfort and communion of the Gods and the Divine Messengers. A great and long revolution and churning of the ocean of Life with strong emergences of its nectar and its poison is enforced till all is ready and the increasing Descent finds a being, a nature prepared and conditioned for its complete rule and its all-encompassing presence. But if the equality and the psychic light and will are already there, then this process, though it cannot be dispensed with, can still be much lightened and facilitated: it will be rid of its worst dangers; an inner calm, happiness, confidence will support the steps through all the difficulties and trials of the transformation and the growing Force profiting by the full assent of the nature will rapidly diminish and eliminate the power of the opposing forces. A sure guidance and protection will be present throughout, sometimes standing in front, sometimes working behind the veil, and the power of the end will be already there even in the beginning and in the long middle stages of the great endeavour. For at all times the seeker will be aware of the Divine Guide and Protector or the working of the supreme Mother-Force; he will know that all is done for the best, the progress assured, the victory inevitable. In either case the process is the same and unavoidable, a taking up of the whole nature, of the whole life, of the internal and of the external, to reveal and handle and transform its forces and their movements under the pressure of a diviner Life from above, until all here has been possessed by greater spiritual powers and made an instrumentation of a spiritual action and a divine purpose. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 2, 179,

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:Assent - and you are sane - Demur - and you're straightaway dangerous - and handled with a chain. ~ emily-dickinson, @wisdomtrove
2:Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.  ~ mahatma-gandhi, @wisdomtrove
3:It is your own assent to yourself, and the constant voice of your own reason, and not of others, that should make you believe. ~ blaise-pascal, @wisdomtrove
4:Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. ~ hermann-hesse, @wisdomtrove
5:It's very important that the determination of the US Congress to do what is is needed be made evident this week and by the actions of most of the members. I mean, you're not going to get total assent. ~ warren-buffet, @wisdomtrove
6:Men want to be reminded, who do not want to be taught; because those original ideas of rectitude to which the mind is compelled to assent when they are proposed, are not always as present to us as they ought to be. ~ edmund-burke, @wisdomtrove
7:And whoever is moved by Faith to assent to it, is conscious of a continued miracle in his own person, which subverts all the principles of his understanding, and gives him a determination to believe what is most contrary to custom and experience. ~ david-hume, @wisdomtrove
8:If we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition - even when it seems to be doing a little good - we abet a general climate in which scepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. ~ carl-sagan, @wisdomtrove
9:Why should I fear death? If I am, then death is not. If Death is, then I am not. Why should I fear that which can only exist when I do not? Long time men lay oppressed with slavish fear. Religious tyranny did domineer. At length the mighty one of Greece Began to assent the liberty of man. ~ epicurus, @wisdomtrove
10:Much Madness is divinest Sense - To a discerning Eye - Much Sense - the starkest Madness - &
11:Can any do otherwise than assent to words said to them by way of correction? Only let them reform by such advice, and it will then be reckoned valuable. Can any be other than pleased with words of gentle suasion? Only let them comply with them fully, and such also will be accounted valuable. With those who are pleased without so complying, and those who assent but do not reform, I can do nothing at all. ~ confucius, @wisdomtrove
12:A friend came to visit James Joyce one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair. James, what’s wrong?' the friend asked. &

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Alexey Alexandrovitch bowed his head in assent. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
2:What is faith? Is it merely assent to facts? ~ Charles C Ryrie,
3:There are many roads to happiness, if the gods assent. ~ Pindar,
4:I hope you realize, in a democracy, laughter is assent. ~ Al Franken,
5:give a mental assent to the customs of their forefathers, ~ Swami Vivekananda,
6:There is no flattery so adroit or effectual as that of implicit assent. ~ William Hazlitt,
7:Assent to thy high self, create, endure.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Vision and the Boon,
8:we would not reliably assent to reproduce unless we first had lost our minds. ~ Alain de Botton,
9:"More than him has done that," said Antonia sadly, and the girls murmured assent. ~ Willa Cather,
10:Sometimes, to remain silent is to lie, since silence can be interpreted as assent. ~ Miguel de Unamuno,
11:wasn’t sure if I could agree with him on the ease of murder, but he continued without my assent. ~ Celia Aaron,
12:Assent - and you are sane - Demur - and you're straightaway dangerous - and handled with a chain. ~ Emily Dickinson,
13:You can get assent to almost any proposition so long as you are not going to do anything about it. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne,
14:We decide whether we’ll assent or reject. No one can force us to give up or to believe something that is untrue ~ Ryan Holiday,
15:Faith is the assent to any proposition not made out by the deduction of reason but upon the credit of the proposer. ~ John Locke,
16:sign off on INFORMAL assent or give one's approval to: it was hard to get celebrities to sign off on those issues. ~ Erin McKean,
17:That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent. ~ Aldous Huxley,
18:Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent. ~ Mahatma Gandhi,
19:But it is difficult for men to disbelieve a woman who insists that she wishes to serve them, and he nodded assent. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
20:In the end faith always moves beyond mental assent and duty and will involve the whole self—mind, will, and emotions. Why ~ Timothy J Keller,
21:It is your own assent to yourself, and the constant voice of your own reason, and not of others, that should make you believe. ~ Blaise Pascal,
22:The sounds of southwestern cacti are broadcast for several weeks until, by general assent, it is agreed that cacti make no sounds. ~ Rick Moody,
23:If actions speak louder than words, it is because they lend the weight of behavior (real assent) to belief (nominal assent). ~ Kevin J Vanhoozer,
24:Faith is more than getting a theological quiz right. Faith is to know, to assent, to put your trust in, and to cherish what is true. ~ Kevin DeYoung,
25:To read with diligence; not to rest satisfied with a light and superficial knowledge, nor quickly to assent to things commonly spoken ~ Marcus Aurelius,
26:Even the stoics agree that certainty is very hard to come at; that our assent is worth little, for where is infallibility to be found? ~ Marcus Aurelius,
27:Faith means intense, usually confident, belief that is not based on evidence sufficient to command assent from every reasonable person. ~ Walter Kaufmann,
28:Some proofs command assent. Others woo and charm the intellect. They evoke delight and an overpowering desire to say, 'Amen, Amen'. ~ John William Strutt,
29:How easy it is to read the Scriptures and give a kind of nominal assent to the truth and yet never to appropriate what it tells us! ~ D Martyn Lloyd Jones,
30:To read with diligence; not to rest satisfied with a light and superficial knowledge, nor quickly to assent to things commonly spoken of: ~ Marcus Aurelius,
31:The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma. ~ Abraham Lincoln,
32:To celebrate a festival means: to live out, for some special occasion and in an uncommon manner, the universal assent to the world as a whole. ~ Josef Pieper,
33:Each generation criticizes the unconscious assumptions made by its parent. It may assent to them, but it brings them out in the open. ~ Alfred North Whitehead,
34:The Bible is not my book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma. ~ Abraham Lincoln,
35:To read with diligence; not to rest satisfied with a light and superficial knowledge, nor quickly to assent to things commonly spoken of: whom ~ Marcus Aurelius,
36:The perfect faith is an assent of the whole being to the truth seen by it or offered to its acceptance. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
37:Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. ~ Hermann Hesse,
38:Indeed upon much that may have to say, I expect rather the charitable judgment than the full assent of those whose approbation I could most wish to win. ~ Asa Gray,
39:Reverence is the sense that there is something larger than the self, larger even than the human, to which one accords respect and awe and assent. ~ Ursula Goodenough,
40:In sciences that are based on supposition and opinion…the object is to command assent, not to master the thing itself. FRANCIS BACON, Novum Organum, 1620 ~ Gary Taubes,
41:Nowadays, what an award gives is a sense of solidarity with the poetry guild, as it were: sustenance coming from the assent of your peers on the judging panel. ~ Seamus Heaney,
42:Belief, in one of its accepted senses, may consist in a merely intellectual assent, while faith implies such confidence and conviction as will impel to action. ~ James E Talmage,
43:I only knew the schoolbooks said he "died in the wilderness, of a broken heart."

"More than him has done that," said Antonia sadly, and the girls murmured assent. ~ Willa Cather,
44:Knowledge being to be had only of visible and certain truth, error is not a fault of our knowledge, but a mistake of our judgment, giving assent to that which is not true. ~ John Locke,
45:Be-and yet know the great void where all things begin, the infinite source of your own most intense vibration, so that, this once, you may give it your perfect assent. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke,
46:I assent to this proposed Bill as effecting an ingenious strengthening of our tactical position before the world. I am absolutely satisfied that the Sinn Feiners will refuse it. ~ Tim Pat Coogan,
47:They had been mistaken, it seemed, in seeking other tongues. Languages were not a special capacity, as she had once imagined, but incautious assent to the wrong kinds of meanings.   A ~ Gail Jones,
48:Faith is necessary throughout and at every step because it is a needed assent of the soul and without this assent there can be no progress. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
49:There is an internal freedom permitted to every mental being called man to assent or not to assent to the Divine leading. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother with Letters on The Mother, Surrender to the Mother,
50:The life of true faith cannot be that of cold metallic assent. It must have the passion and warmth of love and communion because communion with God is the crown and apex of true religion. ~ Timothy J Keller,
51:I trust the time is nigh when, with the universal assent of civilized people, all international differences shall be determined without resort to arms by the benignant processes of civilization. ~ Chester A Arthur,
52:One cannot fail to observe a crushing irony: the gospel of relativistic tolerance is perhaps the most “evangelistic” movement in Western culture at the moment, demanding assent and brooking no rivals. ~ D A Carson,
53:Belief, in this sense, seems to me to be assent to a proposition which we think so overwhelmingly probable that there is a psychological exclusion of doubt, though not a logical exclusion of dispute. It ~ C S Lewis,
54:Fear not to be nothing that thou mayst be all;
Assent to the emptiness of the Supreme
That all in thee may reach its absolute. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Nirvana and the Discovery of the All-Negating Absolute,
55:It's very important that the determination of the US Congress to do what is is needed be made evident this week and by the actions of most of the members. I mean, you're not going to get total assent. ~ Warren Buffett,
56:There is such a torture, happily unknown to ancient tyranny, as talking a man to death. Marcus Aurelius advises to assent readily to great talkers--in hopes, I suppose, to put an end to the argument. ~ Laurence Sterne,
57:Give unqualified assent to no propositions but those the truth of which is so clear and distinct that they cannot be doubted. The enunciation of this first great commandment of science consecrated doubt. ~ Thomas Huxley,
58:You doubt God? Well more to the point I credit God with the good sense to doubt me. What is mortality after all but divine doubt flashing over us? For an instant God suspends assent and poof! we disappear. ~ Anne Carson,
59:A man who speaks out honestly and fearlessly that which he knows, and that which he believes, will always enlist the good will and the respect, however much he may fail in winning the assent, of his fellow men. ~ Thomas Huxley,
60:One solace yet remains for us who came Into this world in days when story lacked Severe research, that in our hearts we know How, for exciting youth's heroic flame, Assent is power, belief the soul of fact. ~ William Wordsworth,
61:Men want to be reminded, who do not want to be taught; because those original ideas of rectitude to which the mind is compelled to assent when they are proposed, are not always as present to us as they ought to be. ~ Edmund Burke,
62:While religion, contrary to the common notion, implies, in certain cases, a spirit of slow reserve as to assent, infidelity, which claims to despise credulity, is sometimes swift to it. ~ Herman Melville, The Confidence-Man (1857),
63:When then any man assents to that which is false, be assured that he did not intend to assent to it as false, for every soul is unwillingly deprived of the truth, as Plato says; but the falsity seemed to him to be true. ~ Epictetus,
64:As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice-there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community... this issue of paradigm choice can never be unequivocally settled by logic and experiment alone. ~ Thomas Kuhn,
65:Christianity is more than history; it is also a system of truths. Every event which its history records, either is a truth, or suggests a truth, or expresses a truth which man needs to assent to or to put into practice. ~ Noah Porter,
66:So too, in forming a constitution, or in enacting rules of procedure, or making canons, the people do not merely passively assent, but actively cooperate. They have, in all these matters, the same authority as the clergy. ~ Charles Hodge,
67:It is therefore worthwhile, to search out the bounds between opinion and knowledge; and examine by what measures, in things, whereof we have no certain knowledge, we ought to regulate our assent, and moderate our persuasions. ~ John Locke,
68:So when someone assents to a false proposition, be sure that they did not want to give their assent, since, as Plato says, ‘Every soul is deprived of the truth against its will.’47 [5] They simply mistook for true something false. ~ Epictetus,
69:Rulers who destroy men's freedom commonly begin by trying to retain its forms. ... They cherish the illusion that they can combine the prerogatives of absolute power with the moral authority that comes from popular assent. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville,
70:And where a solution appears possible, the new logic provides a method which enables us to obtain results that do not merely embody personal idiosyncrasies, but must command the assent of all who are competent to form an opinion. ~ Bertrand Russell,
71:It is also certain that when we assent to some piece of reasoning when our perception of it is lacking, then either we go wrong, or, if we do stumble on the truth, it is by accident, so that we cannot be sure that we are not in error. ~ Ernest Sosa,
72:The nod of a head is such a small thing, it can mean so little, yet it is the gesture of assent that allows, that makes to be. The nod is the gesture of power, the yes. The numen, the presence of the sacred, is called by its name ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
73:I held back my heart from all assent, fearing to fall headlong, and died all the more from that suspense.5 I wished to be made just as certain of things that I could not see, as I was certain that seven and three make ten. ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo,
74:Simple assent to the gospel, divorced from a transforming commitment to the living Christ, is by Biblical standards less than faith, and less than saving, and to elicit only assent of this kind would be to secure only false conversions. ~ J I Packer,
75:The nod of a head is such a small thing, it can mean so little, yet it is the gesture of assent that allows, that makes to be. The nod is the gesture of power, the yes. The numen. the presence of the sacred, is called by its name. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
76:In science, “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.” I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms. ~ G K Chesterton,
77:Much Madness is divinest Sense -- To a discerning Eye -- Much Sense -- the starkest Madness -- 'Tis the Majority In this, as All, prevail -- Assent -- and you are sane -- Demur -- you're straightway dangerous -- And handled with a Chain -- ~ Emily Dickinson,
78:Self-pity needed her full attention, and only in solitude could she breathe life into the lacerating details, but at the instant of her assent—how the tilt of a skull could change a life!—Lola had picked up the bundle of Briony’s manuscript from ~ Ian McEwan,
79:And whoever is moved by Faith to assent to it, is conscious of a continued miracle in his own person, which subverts all the principles of his understanding, and gives him a determination to believe what is most contrary to custom and experience. ~ David Hume,
80:In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms. ~ Stephen Jay Gould,
81:In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms. ~ Stephen Jay Gould,
82:There has been more bloodshed in the name of God than for any other cause, because people never went to the fountain-head; they were content only to give a mental assent to the customs of their forefathers, and wanted others to do the same. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
83:It is to be the assent and ratification of the several States, derived from the supreme authority in each State, the authority of the people themselves. The act, therefore establishing the Constitution, will not be a NATIONAL, but a FEDERAL act. ~ James Madison,
84:Self-pity needed her full attention, and only in solitude could she breathe life into the lacerating details, but at the instant of her assent—how the tilt of a skull could change a life!—Lola had picked up the bundle of Briony’s manuscript from the ~ Ian McEwan,
85:It is possible to merely assent that something is a sin without getting the new perspective on it and experiencing the new inward aversion to it that gives you the power and freedom to change. Put another way, there is a false kind of repentance ~ Timothy J Keller,
86:To believe is not intellectual assent: "Yes, I believe in Jesus. I will sign my name to the Nicene Creed. I believe it all" - which you could do, [but] it would have no effect on who you were or what you did. It is, rather, to give your heart. ~ Frederick Buechner,
87:After a murmur of general assent, Ariadne spoke up. “And oh my God, I have to pump my boobs. You guys, you don’t even know. It’s like having blue balls strapped to your chest!” After a horrified silence, the men practically ran screaming from the building. ~ Amy Lane,
88:I have never united myself to any church because I found difficulty in giving my assent without mental reservation to the long, complicated statements of Christian doctrine which characterize the articles of belief and the usual confession of faith. ~ Abraham Lincoln,
89:Theologians pitted devotion and morality against belief, defining faith no longer as a way of life but rather as intellectual assent to certain creeds or confessions; their books were filled with “quarrelling, disputing, scolding, and reviling.”38 ~ Diana Butler Bass,
90:the staid dowagers who sat guard at every Indian get-together—white-bunned, cardigan-clad women with hands like gathered rope, nodding their approval or assent when necessary, reminders that every adult in the room was nothing more than an aged child. ~ Rakesh Satyal,
91:We need not impose poverty, but it must not frighten us, as it is the most favorable condition for spiritual development we can find, if accepted with assent. If we want to experiment in giving freedom to the child, the field of poverty is the best. ~ Maria Montessori,
92:Did she consent? But words failed her. This willful assent they were suddenly asking her to express was the agreement to surrender herself, to say yes in advance to everything to which she most assuredly wanted to say yes but to which her body said no... ~ Pauline R age,
93:Epictetus says we must discover the missing art of assent and pay special attention to the sphere of our impulses—that they are subject to reservation, to the common good, and that they are in proportion to actual worth.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 11.37 ~ Ryan Holiday,
94:If we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition - even when it seems to be doing a little good - we abet a general climate in which scepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. ~ Carl Sagan,
95:Much Madness Is Divinest Sense
Much Madness is divinest Sense To a discerning Eye Much Sense - the starkest Madness `Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail Assent - and you are sane Demur - you`re straightaway dangerous And handled with a Chain ~ Emily Dickinson,
96:Therefore, the church is not absolutely necessary as an object of faith, not even for us today, for then Abraham and the other prophets would not have given assent to those things which were revealed to them from God without any intervening help of the church. ~ William Ames,
97:You have to put your inner will and the Mother's light on the vital so that it shall change, not leave it to do what it likes. The Mother's force or the psychic can act, but on condition that the assent of the being is there.

Letters on Yoga, vol.24, p.1343 ~ Sri Aurobindo,
98:Likewise, if we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition - even when it seems to be doing a little good - we abet a general climate in which scepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. ~ Carl Sagan,
99:if one consults reason alone, one cannot assent to the articles of our faith" it was full of mysteries; "we are fools to try to explain them." This makes preaching Christianity not only a hard task but also dangerous. "Had I know, I should never have been a preacher. ~ Jacques Barzun,
100:not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of . . . but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
101:The highest dream we could ever dream, the wish that if granted would make us happier than any other blessing, is to know God, to actually experience Him. The problem is that we don’t believe this idea is true. We assent to it in our heads. But we don’t feel it in our hearts. ~ Larry Crabb,
102:The reason why any one refuses his assent to your opinion, or his aid to your benevolent design, is in you: he refuses to accept you as a bringer of truth, because, though you think you have it, he feels that you have it not. You have not given him the authentic sign. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
103:Philosophers say that people are all guided by a single standard. When they assent to a thing, it is because they feel it must be true, when they dissent, it is because they feel something isn't true, and when they suspend judgement, it is because they feel that the thing is unclear. ~ Epictetus,
104:Oh, hear Him within you speaking this infinite love,moving like some divine and audible leaven,lifting the sky of the soul with expansions of light, shaping new heights and new depths,and, at your stir of assent,spreading the mountains with flame, filling the hollows with Heaven. ~ Jessica Powers,
105:Therefore, it seems to me that everything that exists is good—death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. ~ Hermann Hesse,
106:Therefore, it seems to me that everything that exists is good - death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. ~ Hermann Hesse,
107:Art that sells on production is bad art, essentially. It is art that is made to demand. It suits the public. The taste of the public is bad. The taste of the public is always bad. It is bad because it is not an individual expression, but merely a mania for assent, a mania to be 'in on it'. ~ Ezra Pound,
108:I have ever judged of the religion of others by their lives... But this does not satisfy the priesthood. They must have a positive, a declared assent to all of their interested absurdities. My opinion is that there would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
109:If I’ve learned anything from thirty-five years of doubt and belief, it’s that faith is not passive intellectual assent to a set of propositions. It’s a rough-and-tumble, no-holds-barred, all-night-long struggle, and sometimes you have to demand your blessing rather than wait around for it. ~ Rachel Held Evans,
110:It is essential to consider as a constant point of reference in this essay the regular hiatus between what we fancy we know and what we really know, practical assent and simulated ignorance which allows us to live with ideas which, if we truly put them to the test, ought to upset our whole life. ~ Albert Camus,
111:Much Madness Is Divinest Sense

Much Madness is divinest Sense —
To a discerning Eye —
Much Sense — the starkest Madness —
'Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail —
Assent — and you are sane —
Demur — you're straightway dangerous —
And handled with a Chain — ~ Emily Dickinson,
112:If we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition - even when it seems to be doing a little good - we abet a general climate in which scepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. Figuring out a prudent balance takes wisdom. ~ Carl Sagan,
113:Men have gone on to build up vast intellectual schemes, philosophies, and theologies, to prove that ideals are not real as ideals but as antecedently existing actualities. They have failed to see that in converting moral realities into matters of intellectual assent they have evinced lack of moral faith. ~ John Dewey,
114:Why should I fear death?
If I am, then death is not.
If Death is, then I am not.
Why should I fear that which can only exist when I do not?
Long time men lay oppressed with slavish fear.
Religious tyranny did domineer.
At length the mighty one of Greece
Began to assent the liberty of man. ~ Epicurus,
115:how vain, I say, it is to expect demonstration and certainty in things not capable of it; and refuse assent to very rational propositions, and act contrary to very plain and clear truths, because they cannot be made out so evident as to surmount every the least (I will not say reason, but) pretence of doubting. ~ John Locke,
116:Leon Morris can say, “Faith, for John, is an activity which takes men right out of themselves and makes them one with Christ.” He understands the Greek phrase pisteuō eis to be a significant indication that New Testament faith is not just intellectual assent but includes a “moral element of personal trust.” 2 ~ Wayne Grudem,
117:When we name things correctly, we comprehend them correctly, without adding information or judgements that aren't there. Does someone bathe quickly? Don't say be bathes poorly, but quickly. Name the situation as it is, don't filter it through your judgments. Give your assent only to that which is actually true. ~ Epictetus,
118:Me dad used to say a strange dog would allus get a cow up.” There were murmurs of assent from the assembled farmers and immediate offers of dogs. I tried to point out that one would be enough but my authority had dwindled and anyway everybody seemed anxious to demonstrate their dogs’ cow-raising potential. There ~ James Herriot,
119:For authority proceeds from true reason, but reason certainly does not proceed from authority. For every authority which is not upheld by true reason is seen to be weak, whereas true reason is kept firm and immutable by her own powers and does not require to be confirmed by the assent of any authority. ~ Johannes Scotus Eriugena,
120:Mere reason is insufficient to convince us of its veracity (the church’s ) : and whoever is moved by faith to assent to it, is conscious of a continued miracle in his own person , which subverts all the principles of his understanding and gives him a determination of believe what is most contrary to custom and experience. ~ David Hume,
121:The thought of being a creator, of engendering, of shaping is nothing without the continuous great confirmation and embodiment in the world, nothing without the thousandfold assent from Things and animals... beautiful and rich only because it is full of inherited memories of the engendering and birthing of millions. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke,
122:If what the philosophers say be true, that all men's actions proceed from one source; that as they assent from a persuasion that a thing is so, and dissent from a persuasion that it is not, and suspend their judgment from a persuasion that it is uncertain, so likewise they seek a thing from a persuasion that it is for their advantage. ~ Epictetus,
123:the reason why Gilgamesh needed the assent of his elders to defend his city was probably that he did not have at his disposal the writing tools necessary to command absolute political control over large numbers of citizens. By the same token, Uruk’s literate, scribal elite was not yet able to disempower its illiterate masses. ~ William J Bernstein,
124:We shortchange ourselves by regarding religious faith as a matter of intellectual assent. This is a modern aberration; the traditional Christian view is far more holistic, regarding faith as a whole-body experience. Sometimes it is, as W.H. Auden described it, 'a matter of choosing what is difficult all one's days as if it were easy. ~ Kathleen Norris,
125:The gloomy theology of the orthodox--the Calvinists--I do not, I cannot believe. Many of the notions--nay, most of the notions--which orthodox people have of the divinity of the Bible, I disbelieve. I am so nearly infidel in all my views, that too, in spite of my wishes, that none but the most liberal doctrines can command my assent. ~ Rutherford B Hayes,
126:I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan’t I? (looking round with the most good-humoured dependence on every body’s assent)— Do not you all think I shall?”

Emma could not resist.

“Ah! ma’am, but there may be a difficulty. Pardon me— but you will be limited as to number—only three at once. ~ Jane Austen,
127:The Life of Lies. The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. Loyalty oaths. An us-versus-them worldview. Lying about things, large and small, in service to some warped code of loyalty. These rules and standards were hallmarks of the Mafia, but throughout my career I’d be surprised how often I’d find them applied outside of it. ~ James Comey,
128:Contemplating the scene?’ inquired the dismal man. ‘I was,’ said Mr. Pickwick. ‘And congratulating yourself on being up so soon?’ Mr. Pickwick nodded assent. ‘Ah! people need to rise early, to see the sun in all his splendour, for his brightness seldom lasts the day through. The morning of day and the morning of life are but too much alike. ~ Charles Dickens,
129:Gentlemen, I take it we are all in complete agreement on the decision here.” Everyone around the table nodded assent. “Then,” continued Mr. Sloan, “I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter until our next meeting to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what the decision is all about. ~ Peter F Drucker,
130:Choice—to do and think right Refusal—of temptation Yearning—to be better Repulsion—of negativity, of bad influences, of what isn’t true Preparation—for what lies ahead or whatever may happen Purpose—our guiding principle and highest priority Assent—to be free of deception about what’s inside and outside our control (and be ready to accept the latter) ~ Ryan Holiday,
131:Intuitive seeming is in my view an attraction to assent based on nothing more than understanding of the content that upon consideration attracts one's assent. But such understanding-based attraction can differ dramatically in epistemic quality. Some such attractions represent nothing more than superstition or bias absorbed from the culture, sans ratiocination. ~ Ernest Sosa,
132:there is a type of flower that can bloom only in the desert of doubt. Faith that we elect to profess in the absence of certainty is an offering that is entirely free, unconditioned, and utterly authentic. Such a gesture represents our considered and chosen response to the universe, our assent to what we find beautiful and worthy and deserving of our risk. We ~ Terryl L Givens,
133:In an age of information overload ... the last thing any of us needs is more information about God. We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned them dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the Bread of Life, who are dying to know more God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God. ~ Rachel Held Evans,
134:We decide what we will make of each and every situation. We decide whether we’ll break or whether we’ll resist. We decide whether we’ll assent or reject. No one can force us to give up or to believe something that is untrue (such as, that a situation is absolutely hopeless or impossible to improve). Our perceptions are the thing that we’re in complete control of. ~ Ryan Holiday,
135:in an age of information overload . . . the last thing any of us needs is more information about God. We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned them dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the bread of life, who are dying to know more God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God. ~ Rachel Held Evans,
136:Are your friends as good as MY friends? I can discern the nod of of assent but doubt it. My own friends are far better, they are famous people and they are all dead.
Who, you may ask, are those friends of mine, and why are they dead?
It is a fair question. They are dead because, had they lived, they would have died anyway from extreme old age and decrepitude. ~ Flann O Brien,
137:The Mob” thought that a good deal should be overlooked in a Melmotte, and that the philanthropy of his great designs should be allowed to cover a multitude of sins. I do not know that the theory was ever so plainly put forward as it was done by the ingenious and courageous writer in “The Mob”; but in practice it has commanded the assent of many intelligent minds. ~ Anthony Trollope,
138:Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Metaphysical truths in their deepest sense are never "visible" to the "soul-desire"; otherwise they would immediately perfect it. The soul- desire--the man who rejoices and suffers--must therefore "believe" the truths that are evident to the Intellect. In metaphysics faith is the assent of the whole being. ~ Frithjof Schuon,
139:As I found myself thrust into the Trump orbit, I once again was having flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob. The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth. ~ James Comey,
140:This, until a better can be suggested, may serve as a substitute for the Categories of Aristotle considered as a classification of Existences. The practical application of it will appear when we commence the inquiry into the Import of Propositions; in other words, when we inquire what it is which the mind actually believes, when it gives what is called its assent to a proposition. ~ John Stuart Mill,
141:I tell myself that I have no problem believing in God, if “belief” can be defined as some utter interior I sent to in life that is both beyond and within this one, and if “assent” can be understood as at once active and unconscious, and if “God” is in some mysterious way both this action and its object, and if after all these qualifications this sentence still makes any effing sense. ~ Christian Wiman,
142:What was he thinking by touching her? Just talk to her. Distract her. “I told you I dated Hillary Roske. One of the first victims.” She gave another stiff nod of assent. “We met several years before she vanished. I was hauled in for questioning along with a dozen of her ex-boyfriends.” He smiled wryly. “The timing wasn’t great. I was trying to get hired with the police department. They ~ Kendra Elliot,
143:As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice--there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community. To discover how scientific revolutions are effected, we shall therefore have to examine not only the impact of nature and of logic, but also the techniques of persuasive argumentation effective within the quite special groups that constitute the community of scientists. ~ Thomas Kuhn,
144:It is usual for a woman, even though she may ardently desire to give herself to a man, to feign reluctance, to simulate alarm or indignation. She must be brought to consent by urgent pleading, by lies, adjurations, and promises. I know that only professional prostitutes are accustomed to answer such an invitation with a perfectly frank assent -- prostitutes, or simple-minded, immature girls. ~ Stefan Zweig,
145:As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice – there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community. To discover how scientific revolutions are effected, we shall therefore have to examine not only the impact of nature and of logic, but also the techniques of persuasive argumentation effective within the quite special groups that constitute the community of scientists. ~ Thomas S Kuhn,
146:Almightiness consists much less in that which human beings imagine it to be, namely, changing things in accordance with one’s own will—Jesus proved, through his miracles, that he could do that, too—than in exerting an influence on the freedom of human hearts without overpowering them. Enticing forth from them, through the mysterious power of grace, their free assent to the truly good. ~ Hans Urs von Balthasar,
147:REST.—If a man should be able to assent to this doctrine as he ought, that we are all sprung from God in an especial manner, and that God is the father both of men and of gods, I suppose that he would never have any ignoble or mean thoughts about himself. But if Cæsar (the emperor) should adopt you, no one could endure your arrogance; and if you know that you are the son of Zeus, will you not be elated? ~ Epictetus,
148:As Barbara Brown Taylor puts it, “in an age of information overload . . . the last thing any of us needs is more information about God. We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned them dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the bread of life, who are dying to know more God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God.” 5 ~ Rachel Held Evans,
149:The Master said, 'Can men refuse to assent to the words of strict admonition? But it is reforming the conduct because of them which is valuable. Can men refuse to be pleased with words of gentle advice? But it is unfolding their aim which is valuable. If a man be pleased with these words, but does not unfold their aim, and assents to those, but does not reform his conduct, I can really do nothing with him. ~ Confucius,
150:The 'mystical experience'. Always here and now - in that freedom which is one with distance in that stillness which is born of silence. But - this is a freedom in the midst of action, a stillness in the midst of other human beings. The mystery is a constant reality to him who, in this world, is free from self-concern, a reality that grows peaceful and mature before the receptive attention of assent. ~ Dag Hammarskj ld,
151:It is not realistic to put legal constraints on war powers. Law works through general prospective rules that apply to a range of factual situations. International relations and national security are too fluid and unpredictable to be governed by a set of legal propositions that command general assent secured in advance. Laws governing war make us feel more secure but they don’t actually make us more secure ~ Eric A Posner,
152:The Divine Grace and Power can do anything, but with the full assent of the sadhak.
   To learn to give the full assent, is the whole meaning of the sadhana. It may take time either because of ideas in the mind, desires in the vital or inertia in the physical consciousness, but these things have to be and can be removed with the aid or by calling in the action of the Divine Force.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, [T9],
153:When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. ~ Theodore Dalrymple,
154:This was the virtue of Israel, to have “contended with Elokim and with men” and to have prevailed over their respective concealments of G-d. They are no longer barriers to him; indeed they assent to his blessings. He not only won his struggle with the angel (the guardian angel of Esau) but the angel himself blessed him. This is the achievement of which the Proverbs speak: “He makes even his enemies be at peace with him.”14 ~ Menachem M Schneerson,
155:Saving faith involves the mind, the emotions, and the will. With the mind we understand the truth of the gospel, and with the heart we feel conviction and the need to be saved. But it is only when we exercise the will and commit ourselves to Christ that the process is complete. Faith is not mental assent to a body of doctrines, no matter how true those doctrines may be. Faith is not emotional concern. Faith is commitment to Jesus Christ. ~ Warren W Wiersbe,
156:For no one believes anything unless he has first thought that it is to be believed. For however suddenly, however rapidly, some thoughts fly before the will to believe, and this presently follows in such wise as to attend them, as it were, in closest conjunction, it is yet necessary that everything which is believed should be believed after thought has preceded; although even belief itself is nothing else than to think with assent. ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo,
157:The most refined abstractions of logic conduct to a view of life, which, though startling to the apprehension, is, in fact, that which the habitual sense of its repeated combinations has extinguished in us. It strips, as it were, the painted curtain from this scene of things. I confess that I am one of those who are unable to refuse my assent to the conclusions of those philosophers who assert that nothing exists but as it is perceived. ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley,
158:ABDOMEN, n. [1.] The temple of the god Stomach, in whose worship, with sacrificial rights, all true men engage. From women this ancient faith commands but a stammering assent. They sometimes minister at the altar in a half-hearted and ineffective way, but true reverence for the one deity that men really adore they know not. If woman had a free hand in the world's marketing the race would become graminivorous. [2.] A shrine enclosing the object. ~ Ambrose Bierce,
159:I no way doubt but that many men do receive more grace from God than they understand or will own, and have a greater efficacy of it in them than they will believe. Men may be really saved by that grace which doctrinally they do deny; and they may be justified by the imputation of that righteousness, which, in opinion, they deny to be imputed: for the faith of it is included in that general assent which they give unto the truth of the gospel, ~ Thomas R Schreiner,
160:For it is essential to opinion that we assent to one of two opposite assertions with fear of the other, so that our adhesion is not firm: to science it is essential to have firm adhesion with intellectual vision, for science possesses certitude which results from the understanding of principles: while faith holds a middle place, for it surpasses opinion in so far as its adhesion is firm, but falls short of science in so far as it lacks vision. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas,
161:Our ability to create change in others is often and importantly grounded in shared personal relationships, which create a pre-suasive context for assent. It’s a poor trade-off, then, for social influence when we allow present-day forces of separation—distancing societal changes, insulating modern technologies—to take a shared sense of human connection out of our exchanges. The relation gets removed, leaving just the ships, passing at sea.87 UNITY ~ Robert B Cialdini,
162:It is necessary for us to recognize that there is an intelligent mysticism in the life of faith . . . of living union and communion with the exalted and ever-present Redeemer. . . . He communes with his people and his people commune with him in conscious reciprocal love. . . . The life of true faith cannot be that of cold metallic assent. It must have the passion and warmth of love and communion because communion with God is the crown and apex of true religion. ~ Timothy J Keller,
163:It is necessary for us to recognize that there is an intelligent mysticism in the life of faith . . . of living union and communion with the exalted and ever-present Redeemer. . . . He communes with his people and his people commune with him in conscious reciprocal love. . . . The life of true faith cannot be that of cold metallic assent. It must have the passion and warmth of love and communion because communion with God is the crown and apex of true religion.25 ~ Timothy J Keller,
164:For the early scientists, the image of God was not a dry doctrine to which they gave merely cognitive assent. Nor was it a purely private “faith.” They treated it as a public truth, the epistemological foundation for the entire scientific enterprise. Their goal, they said, was to think God’s thoughts after him. 27 At the time of the scientific revolution, biblical epistemology was the guarantee that the human mind is equipped to gain genuine knowledge of the world. ~ Nancy R Pearcey,
165:377. God made the infinite world by Self-knowledge which in its works is Will-Force self-fulfilling. He used ignorance to limit His infinity; but fear, weariness, depression, self-distrust and assent to weakness are the instruments by which He destroys what He created. When these things are turned on what is evil or harmful & ill-regulated within thee, then it is well; but if they attack thy very sources of life & strength, then seize & expel them or thou diest.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine And Human,
166:Even people who no longer "believe in God" or participate in the institutional structure of patriarchal religion still may not be free of the power of the symbolism of God the Father. A symbol's effect does not depend on rational assent, for a symbol also functions on levels of the psyche other than the rational. Symbol systems cannot simply be rejected; they must be replaced. Where there is no replacement, the mind will revert to familiar structures at times of crisis, bafflement, or defeat. ~ Carol P Christ,
167:So that, upon the whole, we may conclude, that the Christian Religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one. Mere reason is insufficient to convince us of its veracity: and whoever is moved by Faith to assent to it, is conscious of a continued miracle in his own person, which subverts all the principles of his understanding, and gives him a determination to believe what is most contrary to custom and experience. ~ David Hume,
168:...you could see the man being formed, and kew the man to be your good and true friend, as long as life - the sort of man you could come to, at any hour of the day or night, wherever he chose to make his abode, and there ask him for help, and his help would be given freely and instantly and without the slightest hesitation, to the pinnacle of his considerable powers of body and mind. I do not know that there is a greater thing in a man than that sort of instantaneous assent to service, without quail or cavil;... ~ Brian Doyle,
169:Eusebius was employed by the Roman Emperor Constantine, who made Christianity the state religion of the Empire and gave Literalist Christianity the power it needed to begin the final eradication of Paganism and Gnosticism. Constantine wanted 'one God, one religion' to consolidate his claim of 'one Empire, one Emperor'. He oversaw the creation of the Nicene creed — the article of faith repeated in churches to this day — and Christians who refused to assent to this creed were banished from the Empire or otherwise silenced. ~ Tim Freke,
170:And yet Rebecca felt that it was hard to tell whether the secret algorithms of Big Data did not so much reveal you to yourself as they tried to dictate to you what you were to be. To accept that the machines knew you better than you knew yourself involved a kind of silent assent: you liked the things Big Data told you you were likely to like, and you loved the people it said you were likely to love. To believe entirely in the data entailed a slight diminishment of the self, small but crucial and, perhaps, irreversible. ~ Dexter Palmer,
171:President Nixon's press secretary, Ron Ziegler, once demonstrated the political use of these techniques when he admitted that his previous statements on Watergate had become "inoperative." Many commentators assumed that Ziegler was groping for a euphemistic way of saying that he had lied. What he meant, however, was that his earlier statements were no longer believable. Not their falsity but their inability to command assent rendered them "inoperative." The question of whether they were true or not was beside the point. ~ Christopher Lasch,
172:I take it for granted, when I am invited to lecture anywhere,--for I have had a little experience in that business,--that there isa desire to hear what I think on some subject, though I may be the greatest fool in the country,--and not that I should say pleasant things merely, or such as an audience will assent to; and I resolve, accordingly, that I will give them a strong dose of myself. They have sent for me, and engaged to pay for me, and I am determined that they shall have me, though I bore them beyond all precedent. ~ Henry David Thoreau,
173:Shall I loose you from your cage?"
The words, laden with sensual promise, weakened her. He was offering her all the adventure and excitement she'd ever wanted- the things she could not commit to her list, could not admit to herself, even in her most personal of moments. How could she refuse?
She nodded her assent.
It was all he needed.
He slowly unraveled the long, linen bindings, pushing away her hands as she reached to help him. "No," he said, his voice full of promise and possessiveness, "you are my gift. I shall unwrap you. ~ Sarah MacLean,
174:The movement called Christianity cannot be understood apart from the Jewish concept of shalom. The Christian gospel does not call people to give their mental assent to a certain list of correct propositions, nor does it provide its adherents with a password that will gain them disembodied bliss when they die and the pleasure of confidently awaiting their escape until then. Shalom is a way of being in the world. The Christian gospel invites us to partake in shalom, to embody shalom, and to anticipate its full realization in the coming kingdom of God. ~ David Dark,
175:It doesn't bother you that because of your credit you can't get a real job?' Sargam said. 'You a politician?' another man said. 'This is the greatest country in the world, or it was until the politicians and media ruined it, made it hard for business.' 'Hard for business?' Sargam said. 'Do you really think it's hard for business in America? How much are you getting an hour? Five dollars? Five fifty?' There were murmurs of assent from around the hillside. 'You're barely making enough to eat on and pay for the gas to get you to the next day's work. ~ Karl Taro Greenfeld,
176:And here I want to suggest the substitute word I mentioned earlier that I think captures the Story’s original meaning of faith. That word is trust, what ancient Christians called “ fiducia.” According to them, true faith was neither belief without knowledge (a “leap of faith”), nor a simple assent to certain truths (“believing that” Jesus was the Christ, for example). Rather, faith was knowledge in motion. It was “belief that” combined with “faith in”—active reliance, trust, in what they believed was true. Each was necessary. Neither was optional.3 Imagine, ~ Gregory Koukl,
177:There is a pressing need for a liberalism in the North which is truly liberal, a liberalism that firmly believes in integration in its own community as well as in the Deep South. It is one thing to agree that the goal of integration is morally and legally right; it is another thing to commit oneself positively and actively to the ideal of integration—the former is intellectual assent, the latter is actual belief. These are days that demand practices to match professions. This is no day to pay lip service to integration; we must pay life service to it. ~ Martin Luther King Jr,
178:As he sat down, a man in the next booth cleared his throat violently. Then he said, 'Honesty is my God. Frankly, I wouldn't have lied to Hitler.'
There was a kind of female moan of assent. Sophie peered over the back of the booth and saw a woman, her head resting over the back of the booth and saw a woman, her head resting on one hand as though it had come loose from her neck.
'How do you know what Otto feels? What is it you want him to do? You and he have been fighting for years, haven't you? Like smiling people in a swimming pool, kicking each other under water. ~ Paula Fox,
179:Since man always remains free and since his freedom is always fragile, the kingdom of good will never be definitively established in this world. Anyone who promises the better world that is guaranteed to last forever is making a false promise; he is overlooking human freedom. Freedom must be constantly won over for the cause of good. Free assent to the good never exists simply by itself. If there were structures which could irrevocably guarantee a determined and good state of the world, man's freedom would be denied, and hence they would not be good structures at all. ~ Benedict XVI,
180:Religion is the reaction of human nature to its search for God. The presentation of God under the aspect of power awakens every modern instinct of critical reaction. This is fatal; for religion collapses unless its main positions command immediacy of assent. In this respect the old phraseology is at variance with the psychology of modern civilisations. This change in psychology is largely due to science, and is one of the chief ways in which the advance of science has weakened the hold of the old religious forms of expression. ~ Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (1925),
181:But this internal testimony of the Spirit is by others explained quite in another way; for they say that besides the work of the Holy Ghost before insisted on, whereby he takes away our natural blindness, and, enlightening our minds, enables us to discern the divine excellencies that are in the Scripture, there is another internal efficiency of his, whereby we are moved, persuaded, and enabled to believe. Hereby we are taught of God, so as that, finding the glory and majesty of God in the word, our hearts do, by an ineffable power, assent unto the truth without any hesitation. ~ John Owen,
182:A friend came to visit James Joyce one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair. James, what’s wrong?' the friend asked. 'Is it the work?' Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always? How many words did you get today?' the friend pursued. Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): 'Seven.' Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you.' Yes,' Joyce said, finally looking up. 'I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in! ~ Stephen King,
183:Now there are two kinds of hardening, one of the understanding, the other of the sense of shame, when a man is resolved not to assent to what is manifest nor to desist from contradictions. Most of us are afraid of mortification of the body, and would contrive all means to avoid such a thing, but we care not about the soul's mortification. And indeed with regard to the soul, if a man be in such a state as not to apprehend anything, or understand at all, we think that he is in a bad condition; but if the sense of shame and modesty are deadened, this we call even power (or strength). ~ Epictetus,
184:I have never united myself to any church because I have found difficulty in giving my assent without mental reservation to the long complicated statements of Christian doctrine which characterize their articles of belief and confessions of faith. When any church will inscribe over its altar as the sole qualification for membership the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both law and gospel: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind, and love thy neighbor as thyself," that church I will join with all my heart. ~ Abraham Lincoln,
185:A convention is a social pattern we have chosen to prefer over whatever the raw world simply proffers. It is a sign of the operation of the mind, drawing the assent of a sufficient number of other minds so that the agreement will be widely operative. A convention is not a custom; a custom is a habit in which a sufficient number acquiesce. A custom can appear as a convention, but it is really a lesser act, the result of passive acceptance rather than of the imposition of design. It is the difference between learning to live by the annual flooding of the river or by a calendar. ~ A Bartlett Giamatti,
186:Like all Arabians, the Jews spoke of God as al-Lah, the high one, and often used the honorific that would become familiar in the Quran, ar-Rahman, the merciful, just as the newly completed Babylonian Talmud used Rahmana. It seemed clear to Muhammad that Jews and Muslims were the common descendants of Abraham, the first hanif: two branches of the same monotheistic family. They were cousins, not strangers. And since the Jews were the original upholders of din Ibrahim, the tradition of Abraham, he took it for granted that he would have not merely their assent, but their enthusiastic support. ~ Lesley Hazleton,
187:According to the story, a friend came to visit him one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair. “James, what’s wrong?” the friend asked. “Is it the work?” Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at the friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always? “How many words did you get today?” the friend pursued. Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): “Seven.” “Seven? But James . . . . that’s good, at least for you!” “Yes,” Joyce said, finally looking up. “I suppose it is  . . . . but I don’t know what order they go in! ~ Stephen King,
188:What does it do?" said Loeser.
"You feel as if you're being sucked down this fathomless, gloomy tunnel. Or to put it another way, it's as if all the different weights and cares of the world have been lifted from your shoulders to he replaced by a single, much larger sort of consolidated weight. Your limbs stop working and you can't really talk. If you take enough then it can last for hours and hours, but it seems like even longer because time slows down." Hildkraut smiled wistfully. "It's fantastic." At their feet, somebody groaned softly as if in enthusiastic assent. "And it makes Wagner sound really good. ~ Ned Beauman,
189:Why is there so much disturbance, so much fighting and quarrelling in the name of God? There has been more bloodshed in the name of God than for any other cause, because people never went to the fountain-head; they were content only to give a mental assent to the customs of their forefathers, and wanted others to do the same. What right has a man to say he has a soul if he does not feel it, or that there is a God if he does not see Him? If there is a God we must see Him, if there is a soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
190:A friend came to visit James Joyce one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair.

James, what’s wrong?' the friend asked. 'Is it the work?'

Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always?

How many words did you get today?' the friend pursued.

Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): 'Seven.'

Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you.'

Yes,' Joyce said, finally looking up. 'I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in! ~ Stephen King,
191:To fail to experience gratitude when walking through the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum, when listening to the music of Bach or Beethoven, when exercising our freedom to speak, or ... to give, or withhold, our assent, is to fail to recognize how much we have received from the great wellsprings of human talent and concern that gave us Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, our parents, our friends. We need a rebirth of gratitude for those who have cared for us, living and, mostly, dead. The high moments of our way of life are their gifts to us. We must remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers; and in our deeds. ~ William F Buckley Jr,
192:But this story ends when you open the door. It doesn’t matter if you managed to guess which room is mine, which door I closed behind me. You put your hand on the door handle, you knock, it’s all over. End of story. By choosing one, you chose the other, too. Do you understand why? Those two consequences are joined at the hip, they’re Siamese twins. Even if you picked the door with the lady behind it—all questions answered, all explanations given, your life solved for you—it’s still true that you gave the tiger permission to jump. You gave your assent to catastrophe, you invited tragedy and horror to walk right in. You got lucky, that’s all. Mallon ~ Peter Straub,
193:There is only one way: Go within. Search for the cause, find the impetus that bids you write. Put it to this test: Does it stretch out its roots in the deepest place of your heart? Can you avow that you would die if you were forbidden to write? Above all, in the most silent hour of your night, ask yourself this: Must I write? Dig deep into yourself for a true answer. And if it should ring its assent, if you can confidently meet this serious question with a simple, “I must,” then build your life upon it. It has become your necessity. Your life, in even the most mundane and least significant hour, must become a sign, a testimony to this urge. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke,
194:There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must," then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your while life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke,
195:We assent to wifedom because we are so used to having someone to blame and so unused to freedom. We prefer self-punishment to the conquest of our fears. We prefer our anger to our freedom.
If women were totally conscious of the part of themselves that gives away power to men, the prediction of victory might prove true. But we are far from this self-knowledge. And we move further and further away as we retreat from the psychoanalytic model of the self. As long as we disclaim the importance of unconscious motivations, of the existence of the unconscious itself, we cannot root out the slave in ourselves. Freedom is hand to love. Freedom takes away all the excuses. ~ Erica Jong,
196:Then it came Hunter’s turn. The priest asked the usual question, adding at the end, “Forsaking all others, taking one wife and only one wife, forever with no horizon?”
Hunter, eyes narrowed suspiciously, shot Loretta a knowing look. For several long seconds he made no response, and she held her breath, her gaze locked with his. Then, with solemn sincerity, he inclined his head and replied, “I have spoken it.”
The priest, momentarily confused by the unusual response when he had expected an “I do,” sputtered a moment, seemed to consider, then nodded his assent and finished the ceremony. Loretta and Hunter were married, according to his beliefs and hers. ~ Catherine Anderson,
197:Oh! very well," exclaimed Miss Bates, "then I need not be uneasy. 'Three things very dull indeed.' That will just do for me, you know. I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan't I?—(looking round with the most good-humoured dependence on every body's assent)—Do not you all think I shall?"

Emma could not resist.

"Ah! ma'am, but there may be a difficulty. Pardon me—but you will be limited as to number—only three at once."

Miss Bates, deceived by the mock ceremony of her manner, did not immediately catch her meaning; but, when it burst on her, it could not anger, though a slight blush shewed that it could pain her. ~ Jane Austen,
198:The ego cannot see where it is being led; it revolts against the leading, loses confidence, loses courage. These failings would not matter; for the divine Guide within is not offended by our revolt, not discouraged by our want of faith or repelled by our weakness; he has the entire love of the mother and the entire patience of the teacheR But by withdrawing our assent from the guidance we lose the consciousness, though not all the actuality-not, in any case, the eventuality -of its benefit. And we withdraw our assent because we fail to distinguish our higher Self from the lower through which he is preparing his self-revelation.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Four Aids, 64,
199:It is not much use to talk about religion until one has felt it. Why is there so much disturbance, so much fighting and quarrelling in the name of God? There has been more bloodshed in the name of God than for any other cause, because people never went to the fountain-head; they were content only to give a mental assent to the customs of their forefathers, and wanted others to do the same. What right has a man to say he has a soul if he does not feel it, or that there is a God if he does not see Him? If there is a God we must see Him, if there is a soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
200:PROVERBS—NOTE ON 3:5 Trust in the LORD is necessary for fulfilling any of the wise ways of life taught in Proverbs; trusting the Lord is closely connected to “fearing” him (cf. 1:7; 2:5; 9:10; 15:33; 19:23; etc.). With all your heart indicates that trust goes beyond intellectual assent to a deep reliance on the Lord, a settled confidence in his care and his faithfulness to his Word. Do not lean on your own understanding further explains trusting in the Lord. One’s “understanding” in Proverbs is his perception of the right course of action. The wise will govern themselves by what the Lord himself declares, and will not set their own finite and often-mistaken understanding against his. ~ Anonymous,
201:If I believe, then I must let go and trust. Belief in God has to be more than mental assent, more than a clichéd exercise in cognition. What is saving belief if it isn’t the radical dare to wholly trust? Pisteuo is used more than two hundred times in the New Testament, most often translated as “belief.” But it changes everything when I read that pisteuo ultimately means “to put one’s faith in; to trust.” Belief is a verb, something that you do. Then the truth is that authentic, saving belief must be also? The very real, everyday action of trusting … Then a true saving faith is a faith that gives thanks, a faith that sees God, a faith that deeply trusts? How would eucharisteo help me trust? ~ Ann Voskamp,
202:Therefore it seems to me that everything that exists is good - death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding, then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary for me to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary world, some imaginary vision of perfection, but to leave it as it is, to love it and be glad to belong to it. ~ Hermann Hesse,
203:You won't get much with only ten men," Will said, in a reasonable tone of voice. Gundar snorted angrily.
"Ten? I've got twenty-seven men behind me!" There was an angry growl of assent from his men-although Ulf didn't join in, Gundar noticed.
This time, when the Ranger spoke, there was no trace of the pleasant, reasonable tone. Instead, the voice was hard and cold.
"You haven't reached the castle yet," Will said. "I've got twenty-three arrows in my quiver still, and a further dozen in my packsaddle. And you've got several kilometers to go-all within bowshot of the trees there. Bad shot as I am, I should be able to account for more than half your men. Then you'll be facing the garrison with just ten men. ~ John Flanagan,
204:In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is...in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to. ~ Theodore Dalrymple,
205:There is nobody in the commonwealth of learning who does not profess himself a lover of truth: and there is not a rational creature that would not take it amiss to be thought otherwise of. And yet, for all this, one may truly say, that there are very few lovers of truth, for truth’s sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so. How a man may know whether he be so in earnest, is worth inquiry: and I think there is one unerring mark of it, viz. The not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant. Whoever goes beyond this measure of assent, it is plain, receives not the truth in the love of it; loves not truth for truth’s sake, but for some other bye-end. ~ John Locke,
206:BEWARE, UNDERLANDERS, TIME HANGS BY A THREAD. THE HUNTERS ARE HUNTED, WHITE WATER RUNS RED. THE GNAWERS WILL STRIKE TO EXTINGUISH THE REST. THE HOPE OF THE HOPELESS RESIDES IN A QUEST.   AN OVERLAND WARRIOR, A SON OF THE SUN, MAY BRING US BACK LIGHT, HE MAY BRING US BACK NONE. BUT GATHER YOUR NEIGHBORS AND FOLLOW HIS CALL OR RATS WILL MOST SURELY DEVOUR US ALL.   TWO OVER, TWO UNDER, OF ROYAL DESCENT, TWO FLYERS, TWO CRAWLERS, TWO SPINNERS ASSENT. ONE GNAWER BESIDE AND ONE LOST UP AHEAD. AND EIGHT WILL BE LEFT WHEN WE COUNT UP THE DEAD.   THE LAST WHO WILL DIE MUST DECIDE WHERE HE STANDS. THE FATE OF THE EIGHT IS CONTAINED IN HIS HANDS. SO BID HIM TAKE CARE, BID HIM LOOK WHERE HE LEAPS, AS LIFE MAY BE DEATH AND DEATH LIFE AGAIN REAPS. ~ Suzanne Collins,
207:We are always completely, and therefore equally, known to God. That is our destiny whether we like it or not. But though this knowledge never varies, the quality of our being known can….Ordinarily, to be known by God is to be, for this purpose, in the category of things. We are, like earthworms, cabbages, and nebulae, objects of Divine knowledge, But when we (a) become aware of this fact--the present fact, not the generalization--and (b) assent with all our will to be known, then we treat ourselves, in relation to God, not as things but as persons. We have unveiled. Not that any veil could have baffled his sight. The change is in us. The passive changes to the active. Instead of merely being known, we show, we tell, we offer ourselves to view. ~ C S Lewis,
208:In order that the concept of substance could originate--which is indispensable for logic although in the strictest sense nothing real corresponds to it--it was likewise necessary that for a long time one did not see or perceive the changes in things. The beings that did not see so precisely had an advantage over those who saw everything "in flux." At bottom, every high degree of caution in making inferences and every skeptical tendency constitute a great danger for life. No living beings would have survived if the opposite tendency--to affirm rather than suspend judgment, to err and make up things rather than wait, to assent rather than negate, to pass judgment rather than be just-- had not been bred to the point where it became extraordinarily strong. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
209:It was in vain that he exclaimed in his hour of lucidity, "It is easy to talk about all sorts of immoral
acts; but would one have the courage to carry them through? For example, I could not bear to break my
word or to kill; I should languish, and eventually I should die as a result—that would be my fate." From
the moment that assent was given to the totality of human experience, the way was open to others who,
far from languishing, would gather strength from lies and murder. Nietzsche's responsibility lies in having legitimized, for reasons of method—and even if only for an instant—the opportunity for dishonesty of
which Dostoievsky had already said that if one offered it to people, one could always be sure of seeing
them rushing to seize it. ~ Albert Camus,
210:So that I do not see how those who make revelation alone the sole object of faith can say, That it is a matter of faith, and not of reason, to believe that such or such a proposition, to be found in such or such a book, is of divine inspiration; unless it be revealed that that proposition, or all in that book, was communicated by divine inspiration. Without such a revelation, the believing, or not believing, that proposition, or book, to be of divine authority, can never be matter of faith, but matter of reason; and such as I must come to an assent to only by the use of my reason, which can never require or enable me to believe that which is contrary to itself: it being impossible for reason ever to procure any assent to that which to itself appears unreasonable. ~ John Locke,
211:On the day when you again allow abominable men to confiscate your freedom, your money, your lives, your private property, your manhood and your sacred honor, in the name of "security' or "national emergency' you will die, and never again shall you be free. If plotters again destroy your Republic, they will do it by your greedy and ignorant assent, by your disregard of your neighbors' rights, by your apathy and your stupidity. We were brought to the brink of universal death and darkness because we had become that most contemptible of people -- an angerless one. Keep alive and vivid all your righteous anger against traitors, against those who would abrogate your Constitution, against those who would lead you to wars with false slogans and cunning appeals to your patriotism. ~ Taylor Caldwell,
212:Beware, Underlanders, time hangs by a thread.
The hunters are hunted, white water runs red.
The Gnawers will strike to extinguish the rest.
The hope of the hopeless resides in a quest.

An Overland warrior, a son of the sun,
May bring us back light, he may bring us back none.
But gather your neighbors and follow his call
Or rats will most surely devour us all.

Two over, two under, of royal descent,
Two flyers, two crawlers, two spinners assent.
One gnawer beside and one lost up ahead.
And eight will be left when we count up the dead.

The last who will die must decide where he stands.
The fate of the eight is contained in his hands.
So bid him take care, bid him look where he leaps,
As life may be death and death life again reaps. ~ Suzanne Collins,
213:He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. He has made judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
214:Chance or accident is not responsible for the things that happen to you, nor is predestined fate the author of your fortune or misfortune. Your subconscious impressions determine the conditions of your world. The subconscious is not selective; it is impersonal and no respecter of persons. The subconscious is not concerned with the truth or falsity of your feeling. It always accepts as true that which you feel to be true. Feeling is the assent of the subconscious to the truth of that which is declared to be true. Because of this quality of the subconscious there is nothing impossible to man. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and feel as true, the subconscious can and must objectify. Your feelings create the pattern from which your world is fashioned, and a change of feeling is a change of pattern. ~ Neville Goddard,
215:No one can advise or help you — no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your while life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke,
216:At least we must know how to recognize the ignoble ends it achieves. Each time that it deifies the total rejection, the absolute negation, of what exists, it destroys. Each time that it blindly accepts what exists and gives voice to absolute assent, it destroys again. Hatred of the creator can turn to hatred of creation or to exclusive and defiant love of what exists. But in both cases it ends in murder and loses the right to be called rebellion. One can be nihilist in two ways, in both by having an intemperate recourse to absolutes. Apparently there are rebels who want to die and those who want to cause death. But they are identical, consumed with desire for the true life, frustrated by their desire for existence and therefore preferring generalized injustice to mutilated justice. At this pitch of indignation, reason becomes madness. ~ Albert Camus,
217:The Christian faith enables, or should enable, a man to stand back from society and its institutions and realize that they all stand under the inscrutable judgment of God and that, therefore, we can never give an unreserved assent to the policies, the programs and the organizations of men, or to “official” interpretations of the historic process. To do so is idolatry, the same kind of idolatry that was refused by the early martyrs who would not burn incense to the emperor. The policies of men contain within themselves the judgment and doom of God upon their society, and when the Church identifies her policies with theirs, she too is judged with them—for she has in this been unfaithful and is not truly “the Church.” The power of “the Church” (who is not “the Church” if she is rich and powerful) contains the judgment that “begins at the house of God. ~ Thomas Merton,
218:Wine and women make wise men dote and forsake God's law and do wrong."

However, the fault is not in the wine, and often not in the woman. The fault is in the one who misuses the wine or the woman or other of God's crations. Even if you get drunk on the wine and through this greed you lapse into lechery, the wine is not to blame but you are, in being unable or unwilling to discipline yourself. And even if you look at a woman and become caught up in her beauty and assent to sin [= adultery; extramarital sex], the woman is not to blame nor is the beauty given her by God to be disparaged: rather, you are to blame for not keeping your heart more clear of wicked thoughts. ... If you feel yourself tempted by the sight of a woman, control your gaze better ... You are free to leave her. Nothing constrains you to commit lechery but your own lecherous heart. ~ Anonymous,
219:And according to Martin Luther, there are two ways of believing. In the first place I may have faith concerning God. This is the case when I hold to be true what is said concerning God. Such faith is on the same level with the assent I give to statements concerning the Turk, the devil and hell. A faith of this kind should be called knowledge or information rather than faith. In the second place there is faith in. Such faith is mine when I not only hold to be true what is said concerning God, but when I put my trust in him in such a way as to enter into personal relations with him, believing firmly that I shall find him to be and to do as I have been taught. . . . The word in is well chosen and deserving of due attention. We do not say, I believe God the Father or concerning God the Father, but in God the Father, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit.3 Jonathan ~ Alvin Plantinga,
220:Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were
behind you, like the winter that has just gone by.
For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter
that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive.

Be forever dead in Eurydice-more gladly arise
into the seamless life proclaimed in your song.
Here, in the realm of decline, among momentary days,
be the crystal cup that shattered even as it rang.

Be-and yet know the great void where all things begin,
the infinite source of your own most intense vibration,
so that, this once, you may give it your perfect assent.

To all that is used-up, and to all the muffled and dumb
creatures in the world's full reserve, the unsayable sums,
joyfully add yourself, and cancel the count.
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, The Sonnets To Orpheus - Book 2 - XIII
,
221:The doctrine that future happiness depends upon belief is monstrous. It is the infamy of infamies. The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called "faith." What man, who ever thinks, can believe that blood can appease God? And yet, our entire system of religion is based upon that belief. The Jews pacified Jehovah with the blood of animals, and according to the Christian system, the blood of Jesus softened the heart of God a little, and rendered possible the salvation of a fortunate few. It is hard to conceive how the human mind can give assent to such terrible ideas, or how any sane man can read the Bible and still believe in the doctrine of inspiration. ~ Robert G Ingersoll,
222:You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you — no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your while life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke,
223:The Reformers laid special emphasis upon this element of faith. They were opposing the Romish view that faith is assent. It is quite consistent with Romish religion to say that faith is assent. It is the genius of the Romish conception of salvation to intrude mediators between the soul and the Savior — the church, the virgin, the sacraments. On the contrary, it is the glory of the gospel of God’s grace that there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. And it was the glory of our Protestant Reformation to discover again the purity of the evangel. The Reformers recognized that the essence of saving faith is to bring the sinner lost and dead in trespasses and sins into direct personal contact with the Savior himself, contact which is nothing less than that of self-commitment to him in all the glory of his person and perfection of his work as he is freely and fully offered in the gospel. ~ John Murray,
224:Homo Podunkensis
As the poor ass that from his paddock strays
Might sound abroad his field-companions' praise,
Recounting volubly their well-bred leer,
Their port impressive and their wealth of ear,
Mistaking for the world's assent the clang
Of echoes mocking his accurst harangue;
So the dull clown, untraveled though at large,
Visits the city on the ocean's marge,
Expands his eyes and marvels to remark
Each coastwise schooner and each alien bark;
Prates of 'all nations,' wonders as he stares
That native merchants sell imported wares,
Nor comprehends how in his very view
A foreign vessel has a foreign crew;
Yet, faithful to the hamlet of his birth,
Swears it superior to aught on earth,
Sighs for the temples locally renowned
The village school-house and the village pound
And chalks upon the palaces of Rome
The peasant sentiments of 'Home, Sweet Home!'
~ Ambrose Bierce,
225:It is possible to merely assent that something is a sin without getting the new perspective on it and experiencing the new inward aversion to it that gives you the power and freedom to change. Put another way, there is a false kind of repentance that is really self-pity. You may admit your sin, but you aren’t really sorry for the sin itself. You are sorry about the painful consequences to you. You want that pain to stop, so you end the behavior. It may be, however, that there hasn’t been any real inward alteration of the false beliefs and hopes, the inordinate desires, and the mistaken self-perceptions that caused the sin. For example, this husband did not come to grips with his misplaced pride and insecurity, and his need for exaggerated deference and respect from women. His “repentance” was completely selfish, caring only about his pain and not about the grief he was causing his wife and God. He was only sorry about himself, not about the sin. ~ Timothy J Keller,
226:The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact.

By becoming fact it does not cease to be myth: that is the miracle. I suspect that men have sometimes derived more spiritual sustenance from myths they did not believe than from the religion they professed. To be truly Christian we must both assent to the historical fact and also receive the myth (fact though it has become) with the same imaginative embrace which we accord to all myths. The one is hardly more necessary than the other.

A man who disbelieved the Christian story as fact but continually fed on it as myth would, perhaps, be more spiritually alive than one who assented and did not think much about it . . .

We must not be ashamed of the mythical radiance resting on our theology. We must not be nervous about 'parallels' and 'Pagan Christs': they ought to be there - it would be a stumbling block if they weren't. We must not in false spirituality withhold our imaginative welcome. ~ C S Lewis,
227:If there is to be toleration in the world, one of the things taught in schools must be the habit of weighing evidence, and the practice of not giving full assent to propositions which there is no reason to believe true. For example, the art of reading the newspapers should be taught. The schoolmaster should select some incident which happened a good many years ago, and roused political passions in its day. 41 He should then read to the school children what was said by the newspapers on one side, what was said by those on the other, and some impartial account of what really happened. He should show how, from the biased account of either side, a practised reader could infer what really happened, and he should make them understand that everything in newspapers is more or less untrue. The cynical scepticism which would result from this teaching would make the children in later life immune from those appeals to idealism by which decent people are induced to further the schemes of scoundrels. ~ Bertrand Russell,
228:I look at the bushes, the clods of dirt hanging from their roots, and catch my breath as the word rose registers. I’m about to yell vicious things at Peeta when the full name comes to me. Not plain rose but evening primrose. The flower my sister was named for. I give Peeta a nod of assent and hurry back into the house, locking the door behind me. But the evil thing is inside, not out. Trembling with weakness and anxiety, I run up the stairs. My foot catches on the last step and I crash onto the floor. I force myself to rise and enter my room. The smell’s very faint but still laces the air. It’s there. The white rose among the dried flowers in the vase. Shriveled and fragile, but holding on to that unnatural perfection cultivated in Snow’s greenhouse. I grab the vase, stumble down to the kitchen, and throw its contents into the embers. As the flowers flare up, a burst of blue flame envelops the rose and devours it. Fire beats roses again. I smash the vase on the floor for good measure. Back ~ Suzanne Collins,
229:The central question is not: what is force and what is freedom? That is a good question, but in the realm of human cruelty - the realm of history - it is utterly abstract. The central question is: why is force never acknowledged as such when used against the racially or sexually despised? Nazi terror used against the Jews is not in dispute. Still, there is an almost universal - and intrinsically anti-Semitic - conviction that the Jews went voluntarily to the ovens. Rational discourse on how the Jews were terrorized does not displace or transform this irrational conviction. And similarly, no matter what force is used against women as a class or as individuals, the universal conviction is that women want (either seek out or assent to) whatever happens to them, however awful, dangerous, destructive, painful, or humiliating. A statement is made about the nature of the Jew, the nature of the woman. The nature of each and both is to be a victim. A metaphysical victim is never forced, only actualized. ~ Andrea Dworkin,
230:Anaphora
Each day with so much ceremony
begins, with birds, with bells,
with whistles from a factory;
such white-gold skies our eyes
first open on, such brilliant walls
that for a moment we wonder
'Where is the music coming from, the energy?
The day was meant for what ineffable creature
we must have missed? ' Oh promptly he
appears and takes his earthly nature
   instantly, instantly falls
   victim of long intrigue,
   assuming memory and mortal
   mortal fatigue.
More slowly falling into sight
and showering into stippled faces,
darkening, condensing all his light;
in spite of all the dreaming
squandered upon him with that look,
suffers our uses and abuses,
sinks through the drift of bodies,
sinks through the drift of classes
to evening to the beggar in the park
who, weary, without lamp or book
   prepares stupendous studies:
   the fiery event
   of every day in endless
   endless assent.
~ Elizabeth Bishop,
231:But does every godly man succeed in forgiving, yes, loving his enemies? Answer: He does so in a gospel sense. That is: (a) In so far as there is assent. He subscribes to it in his judgment as a thing which ought to be done: "with my mind I serve the law of God" (Romans 7:25). (b) In so far as there is grief. A godly man mourns that he can love his enemies no more: "O wretched man that I am!" (Romans 7:24). "Oh, this base cankered heart of mine, that has received so much mercy and can show so little! I have had millions forgiven me—yet I can hardly forgive pence!" (c) In so far as there is prayer. A godly man prays that God will give him a heart to love his enemies. "Lord, pluck this root of bitterness out of me, perfume my soul with love, make me a dove without gall." (d) In so far as there is effort. A godly man resolves and strives in the strength of Christ against all rancor and virulence of spirit. This is in a gospel sense to love our enemies. A wicked man cannot do this; his malice boils up to revenge. ~ Thomas Watson,
232:The greatest commandments are not obligations at all, but affirmations of grace. They are promises that with our willing assent, grace will make possible the triumph of full, unfettered love within us.

Our assent, our yes, finally comes from nothing other than our own yearning, from passion itself. It may surface temporarily as desire for self-improvement, functional efficiency, moral virtue, or social justice, but ultimately it will take us beyond and beneath all such ends. Love will bring us to our ever-present beginning, where our only reason for saying yes is simply that we want to.

Here it is only our plain desire that makes true assent possible: the desire to respond to a larger love already given, the desire to love and to be loved and to be fully, consciously present in love as an end in itself. It is a matter of simple caring, our hearts aching for the fullness of love for no other reason than its own essential goodness. In this simple, exquisite longing, awakening in each precious moment, we know who we really are. It is a likeness of God. ~ Gerald G May,
233:Z[If any one says that the outward world is so constituted that one cannot resist it, let him study his own feelings and movements, and see whether there are not some plausible motives to account for his approval and assent, and the inclination of his reason to a particular object. To take an illustration, suppose a man to have made up his mind to exercise self-control and refrain from sexual intercourse, and then let a woman come upon the scene and solicit him to act contrary to his resolution; she is not cause sufficient to make him break his resolution. It is just because he likes the luxury and softness of the pleasure, and is unwilling to resist it, or stand firm in his determination, that he indulges in the licentious practice. On the contrary, the same thing may happen to a man of greater knowledge and better disciplined; he will not escape the sensations and incitements; but his reason, inasmuch as it is strengthened and nourished by exercise, and has firm convictions on the side of virtue, or is near to having them, stops the excitements short and gradually weakens the lust. ~ Origen,
234:Wretched am I, says one, that this has befallen me. Nay, say you, happy I, who, tho’ this has befallen me, can still remain without sorrow, neither broken by the present, nor dreading the future. The like might have befallen any one; but every one could not have remained thus undejected. Why should the event be called a misfortune, rather than this strength of mind a felicity? But, can you call that a misfortune, to a man, which does not frustrate the intention of his nature? Can that frustrate the intention of it, or hinder it to attain its end, which is not contrary to the will or purpose of his nature; What is this will or purpose? Sure you have learned it. Doth this event hinder you to be just, magnanimous, temperate, prudent, cautious of rash assent, free from error, possessed of a sense of honour and modesty, and of true liberty; or from meriting those other characters, which whoever enjoys, hath all his nature requires, as its proper perfection? And then, upon every occasion of sorrow, remember the maxim, that this event is not a misfortune, but the bearing it courageously is a great felicity. ~ Marcus Aurelius,
235:Because culture is a matter of ethical habit, it changes very slowly—much more slowly than ideas. When the Berlin Wall was dismantled and communism crumbled in 1989-1990, the governing ideology in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union changed overnight from Marxism-Leninism to markets and democracy. Similarly, in some Latin American countries, statist or nationalist economic ideologies like import substitution were wiped away in less than a decade by the accession to power of a new president or finance minister. What cannot change nearly as quickly is culture. The experience of many former communist societies is that communism created many habits—excessive dependence on the state, leading to an absence of entrepreneurial energy, an inability to compromise, and a disinclination to cooperate voluntarily in groups like companies or political parties—that have greatly slowed the consolidation of either democracy or a market economy. People in these societies may have given their intellectual assent to the replacement of communism with democracy and capitalism by voting for “democratic” reformers, but they do not have the social habits necessary to make either work. ~ Francis Fukuyama,
236:Those who say that intellectual belief in Christ is of no value not only fall into the errors exposed above, but they also in some instances fail to distinguish assent from understanding. When they attack “mere assent” they probably mean – though it is rash to guess what some people mean – that salvation is not obtained by knowing the propositions in the Bible and understanding their meaning. Obviously this is true. Many intelligent men know very well what the Bible says; they understand it far better than many Christians; but they are not saved and they are not Christians. The reason is that though they understand, they do not believe. They know what the Bible says, but they do not assent to it. But because understanding and believing are both intellectual acts, those who think carelessly identify them. The distinction between knowing the meaning of a proposition and believing it seems to be too subtle, and therefore some preachers conclude that “mere belief” is of no value. This conclusion is fallaciously drawn. Just because one intellectual act – the understanding of what words mean – is less than faith, it does not follow that faith or belief is not intellectual. ~ Anonymous,
237:So it’s democracy versus capitalism at this point, friends, and we out on this frontier outpost of the human world are perhaps better positioned than anyone else to see this and to fight this global battle, there’s empty land here, there’s scarce and nonrenewable resources here, and we’re going to get swept up into the fight and we cannot choose not to be part of it, we are one of the prizes and our fate will be decided by what happens throughout the human world. That being the case, we had better band together for the common good, for Mars and for us and for all the people on earth and for the seven generations, it’s going to be hard it’s going to take years, and the stronger we are the better our chances, which is why I’m so happy to see that burning meteor in the sky pumping the matrix of life into our world, and why I’m so happy to see you all here to celebrate it together, a representative congress of all that I love in this world, but look I think that steel-drum band is ready to play aren’t you” (shouts of assent) “so why don’t you folks start and we’ll dance till dawn and tomorrow scatter on the winds and down the sides of this great mountain, to carry the gift everywhere. ~ Kim Stanley Robinson,
238:You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you - no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must," then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse...go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to, the question of whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it. Perhaps you will discover that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself, and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what reward might come from outside. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke,
239:As I walked out one harvest night
About the stroke of One,
The Moon attained to her full height
Stood beaming like the Sun.
She exorcised the ghostly wheat
To mute assent in Love's defeat
Whose tryst had now begun.

The fields lay sick beneath my tread,
A tedious owlet cried;
The nightingale above my head
With this or that replied,
Like man and wife who nightly keep
Inconsequent debate in sleep
As they dream side by side.

Your phantom wore the moon's cold mask,
My phantom wore the same,
Forgetful of the feverish task
In hope of which they came,
Each image held the other's eyes
And watched a grey distraction rise
To cloud the eager flame.

To cloud the eager flame of love,
To fog the shining gate:
They held the tyrannous queen above
Sole mover of their fate,
They glared as marble statues glare
Across the tessellated stair
Or down the Halls of State.

And now cold earth was Arctic sea,
Each breath came dagger keen,
Two bergs of glinting ice were we,
The broad moon sailed between;
There swam the mermaids, tailed and finned,
And Love went by upon the wind
As though it had not been.

- Full Moon ~ Robert Graves,
240:Among us, on the other hand, 'the righteous man lives by faith.' Now, if you take away positive affirmation, you take away faith, for without positive affirmation nothing is believed. And there are truths about things unseen, and unless they are believed, we cannot attain to the happy life, which is nothing less than life eternal. It is a question whether we ought to argue with those who profess themselves ignorant not only about the eternity yet to come but also about their present existence, for they [the Academics] even argue that they do not know what they cannot help knowing. For no one can 'not know' that he himself is alive. If he is not alive, he cannot 'not know' about it or anything else at all, because either to know or to 'not know' implies a living subject. But, in such a case, by not positively affirming that they are alive, the skeptics ward off the appearance of error in themselves, yet they do not make errors simply by showing themselves alive; one cannot err who is not alive. That we live is therefore not only true, but it is altogether certain as well. And there are many things that are thus true and certain concerning which, if we withhold positive assent, this ought not to be regarded as a higher wisdom but actually a sort of dementia. ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo,
241:What will bring peace is inward transformation, which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be right action only when there is right thinking and there is no right thinking when there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing yourself, there is no peace. An Ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is. To have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin not to live an ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them. As long as each one of us is seeking psychological security, the physiological security we need; food, clothing and shelter, is destroyed. Some of you will nod your heads and say, “I agree”, and go outside and do exactly the same as you have been doing for the last ten or twenty years. Your agreement is merely verbal and has no significance, for the world’s miseries and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent. They will be only stopped when you realize the danger, when you realize your responsibility, when you do not leave it to somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency of immediate action and do not postpone, then you will transform yourself. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti,
242:I do not think there is a demonstrative proof (like Euclid) of Christianity, nor of the existence of matter, nor of the good will and honesty of my best and oldest friends. I think all three are (except perhaps the second) far more probable than the alternatives. The case for Christianity in general is well given by Chesterton…As to why God doesn't make it demonstratively clear; are we sure that He is even interested in the kind of Theism which would be a compelled logical assent to a conclusive argument? Are we interested in it in personal matters? I demand from my friend trust in my good faith which is certain without demonstrative proof. It wouldn't be confidence at all if he waited for rigorous proof. Hang it all, the very fairy-tales embody the truth. Othello believed in Desdemona's innocence when it was proved: but that was too late. Lear believed in Cordelia's love when it was proved: but that was too late. 'His praise is lost who stays till all commend.' The magnanimity, the generosity which will trust on a reasonable probability, is required of us. But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn't deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could that be? How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself? ~ C S Lewis,
243:Censor Literarum
So, Parson Stebbins, you've released your chin
To say that here, and here, we press-folk ail.
'Tis a great thing an editor to skin
And hang his faulty pelt upon a nail
(If over-eared, it has, at least, no tail)
And, for an admonition against sin,
Point out its maculations with a rod,
And act, in short, the gentleman of God.
'Twere needless cruelty to spoil your sport
By comment, critical or merely rude;
But you, too, have, according to report,
Despite your posing as a holy dude,
Imperfect spiritual pulchritude
For so severe a judge. May't please the court,
We shall appeal and take our case at once
Before that higher court, a taller dunce.
Sir, what were _you_ without the press? What spreads
The fame of your existence, once a week,
From the Pacific Mail dock to the Heads,
Warning the people you're about to wreak
Upon the human ear your Sunday freak?
Whereat the most betake them to their bed
Though some prefer to slumber in the pews
And nod assent to your hypnotic views.
Unhappy man! can you not still your tongue
When (like a luckless brat afflict with worms,
By cruel fleas intolerably stung,
Or with a pang in its small lap) it squirms?
Still must it vulgarize your feats of lung?
No preaching better were, the sun beneath,
If you had nothing there behind your teeth.
~ Ambrose Bierce,
244:I caught a fish that weighed three stone if it weighed a pound!” Nick bragged, looking to Kit for approval. “Indeed.” Kit nodded in assent, supportively. “But mine was the real coup—I took down a rabbit with feet as large as my own!” “Mmmm,” Will agreed, taking a drink of wine. “Neither compares with the quail I bested…it was the size of a golden eagle! Wasn’t it, Blackmoor?” Blackmoor smiled broadly, leaning back and looking from one brother to the next. “I’m not certain I want to be involved in this particular conversation,” he said with a laugh. “Oh?” Alex asked with a twinkle in her eye, knowing exactly why he wouldn’t participate. “Could that be because this generation of Staffords has been having this very conversation for years, since they were old enough to go hunting?” Blackmoor smiled at her and replied, “It could be…” “And perhaps because, for years, it is only after the Stafford boys have relayed their incredible feats of manhood that their father ruins their fun by telling the truth—that none of the three of them could catch a fish, a rabbit, or a bird if his very life depended on it?” the duke noted, drawing a laugh from everyone around the table. “Alas, it seems the wildlife of this particular estate have nothing to fear from their masters,” Vivi said. “It’s a good thing you’re all fairly intelligent,” Ella remarked. “And don’t forget attractive,” added Nick, good-humoredly. “Oh, of course!” Alex replied sarcastically. “How could we forget?” The ~ Sarah MacLean,
245:A Fatal Impress
A little leaf just in the forest's edge,
All summer long, had listened to the wooing
Of amorous brids that flew across the hedge,
Singing their blithe sweet songs for her undoing.
So many were the flattering things they told her,
The parent tree seemed quite too small to hold her.
At last one lonesome day she saw them fly
Across the fields behind the coquette summer,
They passed her with a laughing light good-bye,
When from the north, there strode a strange new comer;
Bold was his mien, as he gazed on her, crying,
'How comes it, then, that thou art left here sighing! '
'Now by my faith though art a lovely leafMay I not kiss that cheek so fair and tender? '
Her slighted heart welled full of bitter grief,
The rudeness of his words did not offend her,
She felt so sad, so desolate, so deserted,
Oh, if her lonely fate might be averted.
'One little kiss, ' he sighed, 'I ask no more-'
His face was cold, his lips too pale for passion.
She smiled assent; and then bold Frost leaned lower,
And clasped her close, and kissed in lover's fashion.
Her smooth cheek flushed to sudden guilty splendour,
Another kiss, and then sweet surrender.
Just for a day she was a beauteous sight,
The world looked on to pity and admire
This modest little leaf, that in a night
Had seemed to set the forest all on fire.
And then - this victim of a broken trust,
A withered thing, was trodden in the dust.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
246:[Chesterfield] introduced an ethical question that Americans continue to grapple with: Is it okay to say one thing while believing another? Or to put it another way: What's more important, honesty or politeness?

Lionel Trilling, the literary critic, picked up on this question in 1972 when he published /Sincerity and Authenticity/, in which he defines two distinct terms that he believed Americans had conflated. He describes sincerity as the "congruence between avowal and actual feeling." A sincere work is literature is one in which the author seeks to convey exactly what she's thinking-- your comfort be damned. Authenticity, meanwhile, is a matter of personal integrity: you know what you're being authentic, even if other people don't. It's a virtue that puts little stock in what other people think and instead emphasizes determination and self-awareness.

Using this parlance, Chesterfield urged his son to be authentic but never sincere. He wanted his son to be purposeful when he chose to imitate someone. "I would much rather have the assent of your reason to my advice than the submission of your will to my authority. This, I will persuade myself, will happen," he wrote Phillip. He hoped that Phillip would learn to calibrate his behavior in service of his goals. But sincerity, for Chesterfield, was for chumps. He instructed his son to never share his true feelings or thoughts, to never appear vulnerable or emotional. There is no need for sincerity if you have no self to begin with. And Chesterfield had no self, only a resume. ~ Jessica Weisberg,
247:A Dancer's Life
The lights in the theater fail. The long racks
Of costumes abandoned by the other dancers
Trouble Celeste. The conductor asks
If she is sad because autumn is coming on,
But when autumn comes she is merely pregnant and bored.
On her way back from the holidays, a man
Who appears to have no face rattles the door
To her compartment. How disgusting, she thinks;
How disgusting it always must be to grow old.
Dusk falls, and a few drops of rain.
On the train window trembles the blurred
Reflection of her own transparent beauty,
And through this, beautiful ruined cities passing,
Dark forests, and people everywhere
Pacing on lighted platforms, some
Beating their children, some apparently dancing.
The costumes of the dancers sway in the chill darkness.
Now sinking into sleep is like sinking again
Into the lake of her youth. Her parents
Lean from the rail of a ferryboat waving, waving,
As the boat glides farther out across the waves.
No one, it seems, is meeting her at the station.
The city is frozen. She warms herself
In the pink and scented twilight of a bar.
The waiter who serves her is young. She nods assent.
The conversation dies in bed. Later,
She hurries off to rehearsal. In the lobby,
Dizzy still with the weight of her own body,
She waits, surrounded by huge stills of herself
And bright posters announcing events to come.
Her life—she feels it closing about her now
Like a small theater, empty, without lights.
~ Donald Justice,
248:In Defense
You may say if you please, Johnny Bull, that our girls
Are crazy to marry your dukes and your earls;
But I've heard that the maids of your own little isle
Greet bachelor lords with a favoring smile.
Nay, titles, 'tis said in defense of our fair,
Are popular here because popular there;
And for them our ladies persistently go
Because 'tis exceedingly English, you know.
Whatever the motive, you'll have to confess
The effort's attended with easy success;
And-pardon the freedom-'tis thought, over here,
'Tis mortification you mask with a sneer.
It's all very well, sir, your scorn to parade
Of the high nasal twang of the Yankee maid,
But, ah, to my lord when he dares to propose
No sound is so sweet as that 'Yes' from the nose.
Ah, well, if the dukes and the earls and that lot
Can stand it (God succor them if they can not!)
Your commoners ought to assent, I am sure,
And what they're not called on to suffer, endure.
''Tis nothing but money?-your nobles are bought'?
As to that, I submit, it is commonly thought
That England's a country not specially free
Of Croesi and (if you'll allow it) Croesæ.
You've many a widow and many a girl
With money to purchase a duke or an earl.
'Tis a very remarkable thing, you'll agree,
304
When goods import buyers from over the sea.
Alas for the woman of Albion's isle!
She may simper; as well as she can she may smile;
She may wear pantalettes and an air of reposeBut my lord of the future will talk through his nose.
~ Ambrose Bierce,
249:On his coronation in 1802, Gia-long wished to call his realm ‘Nam Viêt’ and sent envoys to gain Peking’s assent. The Manchu Son of Heaven, however, insisted that it be ‘Viêt Nam.’ The reason for this inversion is as follows: ‘Viêt Nam’ (or in Chinese Yüeh-nan) means, roughly, ‘to the south of Viêt (Yüeh),’ a realm conquered by the Han seventeen centuries earlier and reputed to cover today’s Chinese provinces of Kwangtung and Kwangsi, as well as the Red River valley. Gia-long’s ‘Nam Viêt,’ however, meant ‘Southern Viêt/Yüeh,’ in effect a claim to the old realm. In the words of Alexander Woodside, ‘the name “Vietnam” as a whole was hardly so well esteemed by Vietnamese rulers a century ago, emanating as it had from Peking, as it is in this century. An artificial appellation then, it was used extensively neither by the Chinese nor by the Vietnamese. The Chinese clung to the offensive T’ang word “Annam” . . . The Vietnamese court, on the other hand, privately invented another name for its kingdom in 1838–39 and did not bother to inform the Chinese. Its new name, Dai Nam, the “Great South” or “Imperial South,” appeared with regularity on court documents and official historical compilations. But it has not survived to the present.’3 This new name is interesting in two respects. First, it contains no ‘Viet’-namese element. Second, its territorial reference seems purely relational – ‘south’ (of the Middle Kingdom).4 That today’s Vietnamese proudly defend a Viêet Nam scornfully invented by a nineteenth-century Manchu dynast reminds us of Renan’s dictum that nations must have ‘oublié bien des choses,’ but also, paradoxically, of the imaginative power of nationalism. If ~ Benedict Anderson,
250:One of the few freedoms that we have as human beings that cannot be taken away from us is the freedom to assent to what is true and to deny what is false. Nothing you can give me is worth surrendering that freedom for. At this moment I'm a man with complete tranquillity...I've been a real estate developer for most of my life, and I can tell you that a developer lives with the opposite of tranquillity, which is perturbation. You're perturbed about something all the time. You build your first development, and right away you want to build a bigger one, and you want a bigger house to live in, and if it ain't in Buckhead, you might as well cut your wrists. Soon's you got that, you want a plantation, tens of thousands of acres devoted solely to shooting quail, because you know of four or five developers who've already got that. And soon's you get that, you want a place on Sea Island and a Hatteras cruiser and a spread northwest of Buckhead, near the Chattahoochee, where you can ride a horse during the week, when you're not down at the plantation, plus a ranch in Wyoming, Colorado, or Montana, because truly successful men in Atlanta and New York all got their ranches, and of course now you need a private plane, a big one, too, a jet, a Gulfstream Five, because who's got the patience and the time and the humility to fly commercially, even to the plantation, much less out to a ranch? What is it you're looking for in this endless quest? Tranquillity. You think if only you can acquire enough worldly goods, enough recognition, enough eminence, you will be free, there'll be nothing more to worry about, and instead you become a bigger and bigger slave to how you think others are judging you. ~ Tom Wolfe,
251:In all that is done in the universe, the Divine through his Shakti is behind all action but he is veiled by his Yoga Maya and works through the ego of the Jiva in the lower nature.
   In Yoga also it is the Divine who is the Sadhaka and the Sadhana; it is his Shakti with her light, power, knowledge, consciousness, Ananda, acting upon the adhara and, when it is opened to her, pouring into it with these divine forces that makes the Sadhana possible. But so long as the lower nature is active the personal effort of the Sadhaka remains necessary.
   The personal effort required is a triple labour of aspiration, rejection and surrender, -
   an aspiration vigilant, constant, unceasing - the mind's will, the heart's seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature;
   rejection of the movements of the lower nature - rejection of the mind's ideas, opinions, preferences, habits, constructions, so that the true knowledge may find free room in a silent mind, - rejection of the vital nature's desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility to the Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being, - rejection of the physical nature's stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, tamas, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine;
   surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine and the Shakti.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
252:The food is ready,” Zil announced to loud cheers.
“But we have something more important to do, first, before we can eat.”
Groans.
“We have to carry out some justice.”
That earned a silent stare until Turk and Hank started raising their hands and yelling, showing the crowd how to act.
“This mutant, this nonhuman scum here, this freak Hunter…” Zil pointed, arm stretched out, at his captive. “This chud deliberately murdered my best friend, Harry.”
“Na troo,” Hunter said. His mouth still didn’t work right. Brain damage, Zil supposed, from the little knock on his head. Half of Hunter’s face drooped like it wasn’t quite attached right. It made it easier for the crowd of kids to sneer at him, and Hunter, yelling in his drooling retard voice, wasn’t helping his case.
“He’s a killer!” Zil cried suddenly, smacking his fist into his palm.
“A freak! A mutant!” he cried. “And we know what they’re like, right? They always have enough food. They run everything. They’re in charge and we’re all starving. Is that some kind of coincidence? No way.”
“Na troo,” Hunter moaned again.
“Take him!” Zil cried to Antoine and Hank. “Take him, the murdering mutant scum!”
They seized Hunter by the arms. He could walk, but only by dragging one leg. They half carried, half marched him across the plaza. They dragged him up the church steps.
“Now,” Zil said, “here is how we’re going to do this.” He waved his hand toward the rope that Lance was unspooling back through the plaza.
An expectant pause. A dangerous, giddy feeling. The smell of the meat had them all crazy. Zil could feel it.
“You all want some of this delicious venison?”
They roared their assent.
“Then you’ll all grab on to the rope. ~ Michael Grant,
253:Screens of tumbling water, breaking the world beyond them into glittering lines and smeared shadows. Kellhus had ceased trying to penetrate them.
“Power,” Anasûrimbor Moënghus said, “is always power over. When an infant may be either, what is the difference between a Fanim and an Inrithi? Or between a Nansur and a Scylvendi? What could be so malleable in Men that anyone, split between circumstances, could be his own murderer?
“You learned this lesson quickly. You looked across Wilderness and you saw thousands upon thousands of them, their backs bent to the field, their legs spread to the ceiling, their mouths reciting scripture, their arms hammering steel … Thousands upon thousands of them, each one a small circle of repeating actions, each one a wheel in the great machine of nations …
“You understood that when men stop bowing, the emperor ceases to rule, that when the whips are thrown into the river, the slave ceases to serve. For an infant to be an emperor or a slave or a merchant or a whore or a general or whatever, those about him must act accordingly. And Men act as they believe.
“You saw them, in their thousands, spread across the world in great hierarchies, the actions of each exquisitely attuned to the expectations of others. The identity of Men, you discovered, was determined by the beliefs, the assumptions, of others. This is what makes them emperors or slaves … Not their gods. Not their blood.
“Nations live as Men act,” Moënghus said, his voice refracted through the ambient rush of waters. “Men act as they believe. And Men believe as they are conditioned. Since they are blind to their conditioning, they do not doubt their intuitions …”
Kellhus nodded in wary assent. “They believe absolutely,” he said. ~ R Scott Bakker,
254:Most striking about the traditional societies of the Congo was their remarkable artwork: baskets, mats, pottery, copper and ironwork, and, above all, woodcarving. It would be two decades before Europeans really noticed this art. Its discovery then had a strong influence on Braque, Matisse, and Picasso -- who subsequently kept African art objects in his studio until his death. Cubism was new only for Europeans, for it was partly inspired by specific pieces of African art, some of them from the Pende and Songye peoples, who live in the basin of the Kasai River, one of the Congo's major tributaries.

It was easy to see the distinctive brilliance that so entranced Picasso and his colleagues at their first encounter with this art at an exhibit in Paris in 1907. In these central African sculptures some body parts are exaggerated, some shrunken; eyes project, cheeks sink, mouths disappear, torsos become elongated; eye sockets expand to cover almost the entire face; the human face and figure are broken apart and formed again in new ways and proportions that had previously lain beyond sight of traditional European realism.

The art sprang from cultures that had, among other things, a looser sense than Islam or Christianity of the boundaries between our world and the next, as well as those between the world of humans and the world of beasts. Among the Bolia people of the Congo, for example, a king was chosen by a council of elders; by ancestors, who appeared to him in a dream; and finally by wild animals, who signaled their assent by roaring during a night when the royal candidate was left at a particular spot in the rain forest. Perhaps it was the fluidity of these boundaries that granted central Africa's artists a freedom those in Europe had not yet discovered. ~ Adam Hochschild,
255:But what might a woman say about church as she? What might a woman say about the church as body and bride?

Perhaps she would speak of the way a regular body moves through the world—always changing, never perfect—capable of nurturing life, not simply through the womb, but through hands, feet, eyes, voice, and brain. Every part is sacred. Every part has a function.

Perhaps she would speak of impossible expectations and all the time she’s wasted trying to contort herself into the shape of those amorphous silhouettes that flit from magazines and billboards into her mind. Or of this screwed-up notion of purity as a status, as something awarded by men with tests and checklists and the power to give it and take it away.

Perhaps she would speak of the surprise of seeing herself—flaws and all—in the mirror on her wedding day. Or of the reality that with new life comes swollen breasts, dry heaves, dirty diapers, snotty noses, late-night arguments, and a whole army of new dangers and fears she never even considered before because life-giving isn’t nearly as glamorous as it sounds, but it’s a thousand times more beautiful.

Perhaps she would talk about being underestimated, about surprising people and surprising herself. Or about how there are moments when her own strength startles her, and moments when her weakness—her forgetfulness, her fear, her exhaustion—unnerve her.

Maybe she would tell of the time, in the mountains with bare feet on the ground, she stood tall and wise and felt every cell in her body smile in assent as she inhaled and exhaled and in one loud second realized, I’m alive! I’m enfleshed! only to forget it the next.

Or maybe she would explain how none of the categories created for her sum her up or capture her essence. ~ Rachel Held Evans,
256:In Defense
You may say, if you please, Johnny Bull, that our girls
Are crazy to marry your dukes and your earls;
But I've heard that the maids of your own little isle
Greet bachelor lords with a favoring smile.
Nay, titles, 'tis said in defense of our fair,
Are popular here because popular there;
And for them our ladies persistently go
Because 'tis exceedingly English, you know.
Whatever the motive, you'll have to confess
The effort's attended with easy success;
And-pardon the freedom-'tis thought, over here,
'Tis mortification you mask with a sneer.
It's all very well, sir, your scorn to parade
Of the high nasal twang of the Yankee maid,
But, ah, to my lord when he dares to propose
No sound is so sweet as that 'Yes' from the nose.
Our ladies, we grant, walk alone in the street
(Observe, by-the-by, on what delicate feet!)
'Tis a habit they got here at home, where they say
The men from politeness go seldom astray.
Ah, well, if the dukes and the earls and that lot
Can stand it (God succor them if they cannot!)
Your commoners ought to assent, I am sure,
And what they 're not called on to suffer, endure.
''Tis nothing but money?' 'Your nobles are bought?'
As to that, I submit, it is commonly thought
That England's a country not specially free
Of Croesi and (if you'll allow it) Croesae.
You've many a widow and many a girl
With money to purchase a duke or an earl.
'Tis a very remarkable thing, you'll agree,
When goods import buyers from over the sea.
302
Alas for the woman of Albion's isle!
She may simper; as well as she can she may smile;
She may wear pantalettes and an air of repose
But my lord of the future will talk through his nose.
~ Ambrose Bierce,
257:The advice process: From the start, make sure that all members of the organization can make any decision, as long as they consult with the people affected and the people who have expertise on the matter. If a new hire comes to you to approve a decision, refuse to give him the assent he is looking for. Make it clear that nobody, not even the founder, “approves” a decision in a self-managing organization. That said, if you are meaningfully affected by the decision or if you have expertise on the matter, you can of course share your advice. A conflict resolution mechanism: When there is disagreement between two colleagues, they are likely to send it up to you if you are the founder or CEO. Resist the temptation to settle the matter for them. Instead, it’s time to formulate a conflict resolution mechanism that will help them work their way through the conflict. (You might be involved later on if they can’t sort the issue out one-on-one and if they choose you as a mediator or panel member.) Peer-based evaluation and salary processes: Who will decide on the compensation of a new hire, and based on what process? Unless you consciously think about it, you might do it the traditional way: as a founder, you negotiate and settle with the new recruit on a certain package (and then probably keep it confidential). Why not innovate from the start? Give the potential hire information about other people’s salaries and let them peg their own number, to which the group of colleagues can then react with advice to increase or lower the number. Similarly, it makes sense right from the beginning to choose a peer-based mechanism for the appraisal process if you choose to formalize such a process. Otherwise, people will naturally look to you, the founder, to tell them how they are doing, creating a de facto sense of hierarchy within the team. ~ Frederic Laloux,
258:Origin of the Logical. Where has logic originated in men’s heads? Undoubtedly out of the illogical, the domain of which must originally have been immense. But numberless beings who reasoned otherwise than we do at present, perished; albeit that they may have come nearer to truth than we! Whoever, for example, could not discern the "like" often enough with regard to food, and with regard to animals dangerous to him, whoever, therefore, deduced too slowly, or was too circumspect in his deductions, had smaller probability of survival than he who in all similar cases immediately divined the equality. The preponderating inclination, however, to deal with the similar as the equal - an illogical inclination, for there is no thing equal in itself - first created the whole basis of logic. It was just so (in order that the conception of substance should originate, this being indispensable to logic, although in the strictest sense nothing actual corresponds to it) that for a long period the changing process in things had to be overlooked, and remain unperceived; the beings not seeing correctly had an advantage over those who saw everything "in flux." In itself every high degree of circumspection in conclusions, every sceptical inclination, is a great danger to life. No living being might have been preserved unless the contrary inclination - to affirm rather than suspend judgment, to mistake and fabricate rather than wait, to assent rather than deny, to decide rather than be in the right - had been cultivated with extraordinary assiduity. - The course of logical thought and reasoning in our modern brain corresponds to a process and struggle of impulses, which singly and in themselves are all very illogical and unjust; we experience usually only the result of the struggle, so rapidly and secretly does this primitive mechanism now operate in us. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
259:No Black Robe, no marriage for your God. I am sure enough happy with a marriage my way.” With a determined glint in his eyes, he turned toward the crowd, raising his arms, and shouted something. Then he shrugged. “There. Suvate, it is finished. I have said my words. We are married.” Seizing her by the arm, he growled, “Keemah, come, wife.”
Loretta dug in with her heels. “No! Wait!”
He looked down at her, his vexation evident. “You will say the God words?”
Loretta didn’t see as how she had any choice. At least this way her marriage would be blessed by a priest, and she wouldn’t be living with Hunter in sin. “Y-yes, I’ll say the words.” Casting him a sideways glance, she said, “Can I have just a moment with the priest?”
“For why?”
“Just to ask him something.”
Hunter’s grip on her arm relaxed. “Namiso, hurry.”
Loretta cupped a hand over the priest’s ear and quickly whispered her request, then stepped back to Hunter’s side. The priest considered what she had said, then nodded. A moment later he blessed the young couple before him, and the ceremony began. The words bounced off the walls of Loretta’s mind, making no sense. Numbly she made her responses when she was instructed to. Then it came Hunter’s turn. The priest asked the usual question, adding at the end, “Forsaking all others, taking one wife and only one wife, forever with no horizon?”
Hunter, eyes narrowed suspiciously, shot Loretta a knowing look. For several long seconds he made no response, and she held her breath, her gaze locked with his. Then, with solemn sincerity, he inclined his head and replied, “I have spoken it.”
The priest, momentarily confused by the unusual response when he had expected an “I do,” sputtered a moment, seemed to consider, then nodded his assent and finished the ceremony. Loretta and Hunter were married, according to his beliefs and hers. ~ Catherine Anderson,
260:On The Lord's Prayer
I have taught your young lips the good words to say over,
Which form the petition we call the Lord's Prayer,
And now let me help my dear child to discover
The meaning of all the good words that are there.
'Our Father,'-the same appellation is given
To a parent on earth, and the Parent of allO gracious permission! the God that's in heaven
Allows his poor creatures him Father to call.
To 'hallow his name,' is to think with devotion
Of it, and with reverence mention the same;
Though you are so young, you should strive for some notion
Of the awe we should feel at the Holy One's name.
His 'will done on earth, as it is done in heaven,'
Is a wish and a hope we are suffered to breathe
That such grace and favour to us may be given,
Like good angels on high we may live here beneath.
'Our daily bread give us,' your young apprehension
May well understand is to pray for our food;
Although we ask bread, and no other thing mention,
God's bounty gives all things sufficient and good.
You pray that your 'trespasses may be forgiven,
As you forgive those that are done unto you.'
Before this you say to the God that's in heaven,
Consider the words which you speak. Are they true?
If any one has in the past time offended
Us angry creatures who soon take offence,
These words in the prayer are surely intended
91
To soften our minds, and expel wrath from thence.
We pray that 'temptations may never assail us,'
And 'deliverance beg from all evil' we find:
But we never can hope that our prayer will avail us,
If we strive not to banish ill thoughts from our mind.
'For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
For ever and ever:' these titles are meant
To express God's dominion and majesty o'er ye:
And 'Amen' to the sense of the whole gives assent.
~ Charles Lamb,
261:Can I have just a moment with the priest?”
“For why?”
“Just to ask him something.”
Hunter’s grip on her arm relaxed. “Namiso, hurry.”
Loretta cupped a hand over the priest’s ear and quickly whispered her request, then stepped back to Hunter’s side. The priest considered what she had said, then nodded. A moment later he blessed the young couple before him, and the ceremony began. The words bounced off the walls of Loretta’s mind, making no sense. Numbly she made her responses when she was instructed to. Then it came Hunter’s turn. The priest asked the usual question, adding at the end, “Forsaking all others, taking one wife and only one wife, forever with no horizon?”
Hunter, eyes narrowed suspiciously, shot Loretta a knowing look. For several long seconds he made no response, and she held her breath, her gaze locked with his. Then, with solemn sincerity, he inclined his head and replied, “I have spoken it.”
The priest, momentarily confused by the unusual response when he had expected an “I do,” sputtered a moment, seemed to consider, then nodded his assent and finished the ceremony. Loretta and Hunter were married, according to his beliefs and hers. Hunter instructed his friends to return the priest to his mission, stressing that he would have their heads if the man didn’t arrive there unharmed. Then he sent Amy to his mother’s lodge. When everyone had been dispatched, he turned to Loretta, one dark eyebrow cocked, his indigo eyes twinkling with laughter.
“One wife and only one wife, forever with no horizon?”
Loretta’s gaze chased off, and her cheeks went scarlet. Clasping her hands behind her, she rocked back on her heels, then forward onto her toes, pursing her lips. “I told you, Hunter, I refuse to play second fiddle.”
He smiled--a slow, dangerous smile that made her nerves leap. His heated gaze drifted slowly down the length of her. He grasped her arm and led her toward his lodge. “Now you will show this Comanche how good you play number one fiddle, yes? ~ Catherine Anderson,
262:Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose...

...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke,
263:Cam let go of Evie and approached Sebastian as the room emptied. “You fight like a gentleman, my lord,” he commented.
Sebastian gave him a sardonic glance. “Why doesn’t that sound like a compliment?”
Sliding his hands into his pockets, Cam observed mildly, “You do well enough against a pair of drunken sots—”
“There were three to start with,” Sebastian growled.
Three drunken sots, then. But the next time you may not be so fortunate.”
“The next time? If you think I’m going to make a habit of this—”
“Jenner did,” Cam countered softly. “Egan did. Nearly every night there is some to-do in the alley, the stable yard, or the card rooms, after the guests have had hours of stimulation from gaming, spirits, and women. We all take turns dealing with it. And unless you care to get the stuffing knocked out of you on a weekly basis, you’ll need to learn a few tricks to put down a fight quickly. It causes less damage to you and the patrons, and keeps the police away.”
“If you’re referring to the kind of tactics used in rookery brawls, and quarrels over back-alley bobtails—”
“You’re not going for a half hour of light exercise at the pugilistic club,” Cam said acidly.
Sebastian opened his mouth to argue, but as he saw Evie drawing closer something changed in his face. It was a response to the anxiety that she couldn’t manage to hide. For some reason her concern gently undermined his hostility, and softened him. Looking from one to the other, Cam observed the subtle interplay with astute interest.
“Have you been hurt?” Evie asked, looking over him closely. To her relief, Sebastian appeared disheveled and riled, but free of significant damage.
He shook his head, holding still as she reached up to push back a few damp amber locks that were nearly hanging in his eyes. “I’m fine,” he muttered. “Compared to the drubbing I received from Westcliff, this was nothing.”
Cam interrupted firmly. “There are more drubbings in store, milord, if you won’t take a few pointers on how to fight.” Without waiting for Sebastian’s assent, he went to the doorway and called, “Dawson! Come back here for a minute. No, not for work. We need you to come take a few swings at St. Vincent.” He glanced back at Sebastian and remarked innocently, “Well, that got him. He’s hurrying over here. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
264:But this is not always the manner of the commencement. The sadhaka is often led gradually and there is a long space between the first turning of the mind and the full assent of the nature to the thing towards which it turns. There may at first be only a vivid intellectual interest, a forcible attraction towards the idea and some imperfect form of practice. Or perhaps there is an effort not favoured by the whole nature, a decision or a turn imposed by an intellectual influence or dictated by personal affection and admiration for someone who is himself consecrated and devoted to the Highest. In such cases, a long period of preparation may be necessary before there comes the irrevocable consecration; and in some instances it may not come. There may be some advance, there may be a strong effort, even much purification and many experiences other than those that are central or supreme; but the life will either be spent in preparation or, a certain stage having been reached, the mind pushed by an insufficient driving-force may rest content at the limit of the effort possible to it. Or there may even be a recoil to the lower life, - what is called in the ordinary parlance of Yoga a fall from the path. This lapse happens because there is a defect at the very centre. The intellect has been interested, the heart attracted, the will has strung itself to the effort, but the whole nature has not been taken captive by the Divine. It has only acquiesced in the interest, the attraction or the endeavour. There has been an experiment, perhaps even an eager experiment, but not a total self-giving to an imperative need of the soul or to an unforsakable ideal. Even such imperfect Yoga has not been wasted; for no upward effort is made in vain. Even if it fails in the present or arrives only at some preparatory stage or preliminary realisation, it has yet determined the soul's future.

But if we desire to make the most of the opportunity that this life gives us, if we wish to respond adequately to the call we have received and to attain to the goal we have glimpsed, not merely advance a little towards it, it is essential that there should be an entire self-giving. The secret of success in Yoga is to regard it not as one of the aims to be pursued in life, but as the one and only aim, not as an important part of life, but as the whole of life. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Self-Consecration,
265:Political philosophers of the Enlightenment, from Hobbes and Locke, reaching down to John Rawls and his followers today, have found the roots of political order and the motive of political obligation in a social contract – an agreement, overt or implied, to be bound by principles to which all reasonable citizens can assent. Although the social contract exists in many forms, its ruling principle was announced by Hobbes with the assertion that there can be ‘no obligation on any man which ariseth not from some act of his own’.1 My obligations are my own creation, binding because freely chosen. When you and I exchange promises, the resulting contract is freely undertaken, and any breach does violence not merely to the other but also to the self, since it is a repudiation of a well-grounded rational choice. If we could construe our obligation to the state on the model of a contract, therefore, we would have justified it in terms that all rational beings must accept. Contracts are the paradigms of self-chosen obligations – obligations that are not imposed, commanded or coerced but freely undertaken. When law is founded in a social contract, therefore, obedience to the law is simply the other side of free choice. Freedom and obedience are one and the same. Such a contract is addressed to the abstract and universal Homo oeconomicus who comes into the world without attachments, without, as Rawls puts it, a ‘conception of the good’, and with nothing save his rational self-interest to guide him. But human societies are by their nature exclusive, establishing privileges and benefits that are offered only to the insider, and which cannot be freely bestowed on all-comers without sacrificing the trust on which social harmony depends. The social contract begins from a thought-experiment, in which a group of people gather together to decide on their common future. But if they are in a position to decide on their common future, it is because they already have one: because they recognize their mutual togetherness and reciprocal dependence, which makes it incumbent upon them to settle how they might be governed under a common jurisdiction in a common territory. In short, the social contract requires a relation of membership. Theorists of the social contract write as though it presupposes only the first-person singular of free rational choice. In fact, it presupposes a first-person plural, in which the burdens of belonging have already been assumed. ~ Roger Scruton,
266:Amy was mentally packing for a midnight flight to the mail coach to Dover (plan C), when Jane’s gentle voice cut through the listing of ovine pedigrees.
"Such a pity about the tapestries," was all she said. Her voice was pitched low but somehow it carried over both the shouting men.
Amy glanced sharply at Jane, and was rewarded by a swift kick to the ankle. Had that been a ‘say something now!’ kick, or a ‘be quiet and sit still’ kick? Amy kicked back in inquiry. Jane put her foot down hard over Amy’s. Amy decided that could be interpreted as either ‘be quiet and sit still’ or ‘please stop kicking me now!'
Aunt Prudence had snapped out of her reverie with what was nearly an audible click. "Tapestries?" she inquired eagerly.
"Why, yes, Mama," Jane replied demurely. "I had hoped that while Amy and I were in France we might be granted access to the tapestries at the Tuilleries."
Jane’s quiet words sent the table into a state of electric expectancy. Forks hovered over plates in mid-air; wineglasses tilted halfway to open mouths; little Ned paused in the act of slipping a pea down the back of Agnes’s dress. Even Miss Gwen stopped glaring long enough to eye Jane with what looked more like speculation than rancour.
"Not the Gobelins series of Daphne and Apollo!" cried Aunt Prudence.
"But, of course, Aunt Prudence," Amy plunged in. Amy just barely restrained herself from turning and flinging her arms around her cousin. Aunt Prudence had spent long hours lamenting that she had never taken the time before the war to copy the pattern of the tapestries that hung in the Tuilleries Palace. "Jane and I had hoped to sketch them for you, hadn’t we, Jane?"
"We had," Jane affirmed, her graceful neck dipping in assent. "Yet if Papa feels that France remains unsafe, we shall bow to his greater wisdom."
At the other end of the table, Aunt Prudence was wavering. Literally. Torn between her trust in her husband and her burning desire for needlepoint patterns, she swayed a bit in her chair, the feather in her small silk turban quivering with her agitation.
"It surely can’t be as unsafe as that, can it, Bertrand?" She leant across the table to peer at her husband through eyes gone nearsighted from long hours over her embroidery frame.
"After all, if dear Edouard is willing to take responsibility for the girls…"
"Edouard will take very good care of us, I’m sure, Aunt Prudence! If you’ll just read his letter, you’ll see – ouch!" Jane had kicked her again. ~ Lauren Willig,
267:they are acting all the while in the spirit of rajasic ahaṅkara, persuade themselves that God is working through them and they have no part in the action. This is because they are satisfied with the mere intellectual assent to the idea without waiting for the whole system and life to be full of it. A continual remembrance of God in others and renunciation of individual eagerness (spr.ha) are needed and a careful watching of our inner activities until God by the full light of self-knowledge, jñanadı̄pena bhasvata, dispels all further chance of self-delusion. The danger of tamogun.a is twofold, first, when the Purusha thinks, identifying himself with the tamas in him, "I am weak, sinful, miserable, ignorant, good-for-nothing, inferior to this man and inferior to that man, adhama, what will God do through me?" - as if God were limited by the temporary capacities or incapacities of his instruments and it were not true that he can make the dumb to talk and the lame to cross the hills, mūkaṁ karoti vacalaṁ paṅguṁ laṅghayate girim, - and again when the sadhak tastes the relief, the tremendous relief of a negative santi and, feeling himself delivered from all troubles and in possession of peace, turns away from life and action and becomes attached to the peace and ease of inaction. Remember always that you too are Brahman and the divine Shakti is working in you; reach out always to the realisation of God's omnipotence and his delight in the Lila. He bids Arjuna work lokasaṅgraharthaya, for keeping the world together, for he does not wish the world to sink back into Prakriti, but insists on your acting as he acts, "These worlds would be overpowered by tamas and sink into Prakriti if I did not do actions." To be attached to inaction is to give up our action not to God but to our tamasic ahaṅkara. The danger of the sattvagun.a is when the sadhak becomes attached to any one-sided conclusion of his reason, to some particular kriya or movement of the sadhana, to the joy of any particular siddhi of the yoga, perhaps the sense of purity or the possession of some particular power or the Ananda of the contact with God or the sense of freedom and hungers after it, becomes attached to that only and would have nothing else. Remember that the yoga is not for yourself; for these things, though they are part of the siddhi, are not the object of the siddhi, for you have decided at the beginning to make no claim upon God but take what he gives you freely and, as for the Ananda, the selfless soul will even forego the joy of God's presence, ... ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays In Philosophy And Yoga,
268:You have to go rescue Gabe before he does something foolish. Chetwin is here and they’re near to coming to blows over that stupid race. They’re in the card room.”
“Oh, for God’s sake, I can’t believe Foxmoor invited that idiot.” He hurried off.
As soon as Oliver disappeared into the house, Celia and Minerva tugged Maria inside, grinning. “Hurry, before he gets back.”
They were met by Lord Gabriel and Lord Jarret, who strode up with several young men in tow.
“Lord Gabriel!” Maria exclaimed. “Your brother-“
“Yes, I know. And while he’s gone…”
He and Jarret introduced the other gentlemen to her. By the time Oliver returned, she’d promised dances to all of his brothers’ friends.
Oliver’s frown deepened as he saw Gabe standing there, blithe as could be. He raised an eyebrow at his sister. “Was running me off in search of Chetwin your idea of a joke?”
“I got confused, that’s all,” Celia said brightly. “We’ve been introducing Maria around while you were gone.”
“Thank you for making her feel welcome,” he said, though he eyed the other gentlemen warily. Then he held out his arm to Maria. “Come, my dear, let me introduce you to our hosts, so we can dance.”
“Sorry, old chap.” Gabe said, stepping between them, “but she’s already promised the first dance to me.”
Oliver’s gaze swung to her, dark and accusing, “You didn’t.”
She stared to feel guilty, then caught herself. What did she have to feel guilty about? He was the one who’d spent last night at a brothel. He was the one who’d been so caught up in his battle with his grandmother that he hadn’t even bothered to ask her for a dance. He’d just assumed that she would give him one, because he’d “paid” for her services. Well, a pox on him.
Meeting his gaze steadily, she thrust out her chin. “You never mentioned it. I had no idea you wanted the first dance.”
A black scowl formed on his brow. “Then I get the second dance.”
“I’m afraid that one’s mine,” Jarret put in. “Indeed, I believe Miss Butterfield is engaged for every single dance. Isn’t that right, gentlemen?”
A male swell of assent turned Oliver’s scowl into a glower. “The hell she is.”
Mrs. Plumtree slapped his arm with her fan. “Really, Oliver, you must watch your language around young ladies. This is a respectable gathering.”
“I don’t care. She’s my fi-“ He caught himself just in time. “Maria came with me. I deserve at least one dance.”
“Then perhaps you should have asked for one before she became otherwise engaged,” Celia said with a mischievous smile.
Gabe held out his arm to Maria. “Come, Miss Butterfield,” he said in an echo of his older brother’s words, “I’ll introduce you to our hosts.” As she took his arm, he grinned at Oliver. “You’d better start hoping you draw her name in the lottery for the supper waltz, old boy. Because that’s the only way you’re going to get to dance with her tonight. ~ Sabrina Jeffries,
269:The God's View-Point
Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,
The wisest and the best of men,
Betook him to the place where sat
With folded feet upon a mat
Of precious stones beneath a palm,
In sweet and everlasting calm,
That ancient and immortal gent,
The God of Rational Content.
As tranquil and unmoved as Fate,
The deity reposed in state,
With palm to palm and sole to sole,
And beaded breast and beetling jowl,
And belly spread upon his thighs,
And costly diamonds for eyes.
As Chunder Sen approached and knelt
To show the reverence he felt;
Then beat his head upon the sod
To prove his fealty to the god;
And then by gestures signified
The other sentiments inside;
The god's right eye (as Chunder Sen,
The wisest and the best of men,
Half-fancied) grew by just a thought
More narrow than it truly ought.
Yet still that prince of devotees,
Persistent upon bended knees
And elbows bored into the earth,
Declared the god's exceeding worth,
And begged his favor. Then at last,
Within that cavernous and vast
Thoracic space was heard a sound
Like that of water underground
A gurgling note that found a vent
At mouth of that Immortal Gent
In such a chuckle as no ear
Had e'er been privileged to hear!
Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,
The wisest, greatest, best of men,
486
Heard with a natural surprise
That mighty midriff improvise.
And greater yet the marvel was
When from between those massive jaws
Fell words to make the views more plain
The god was pleased to entertain:
'Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,'
So ran the rede in speech of men
'Foremost of mortals in assent
To creed of Rational Content,
Why come you here to impetrate
A blessing on your scurvy pate?
Can you not rationally be
Content without disturbing me?
Can you not take a hint-a wink
Of what of all this rot I think?
Is laughter lost upon you quite,
To check you in your pious rite?
What! know you not we gods protest
That all religion is a jest?
You take me seriously?-you
About me make a great ado
(When I but wish to be alone)
With attitudes supine and prone,
With genuflexions and with prayers,
And putting on of solemn airs,
To draw my mind from the survey
Of Rational Content away!
Learn once for all, if learn you can,
This truth, significant to man:
A pious person is by odds
The one most hateful to the gods.'
Then stretching forth his great right hand,
Which shadowed all that sunny land,
That deity bestowed a touch
Which Chunder Sen not overmuch
Enjoyed-a touch divine that made
The sufferer hear stars! They played
And sang as on Creation's morn
When spheric harmony was born.
Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,
487
The most astonished man of men,
Fell straight asleep, and when he woke
The deity nor moved nor spoke,
But sat beneath that ancient palm
In sweet and everlasting calm.
~ Ambrose Bierce,
270:I am first affrighted and confounded with that forelorn solitude, in which I am plac'd in my philosophy, and fancy myself some strange uncouth monster, who not being able to mingle and unite in society, has been expell'd all human commerce, and left utterly abandon'd and disconsolate. Fain wou'd I run into the crowd for shelter and warmth; but cannot prevail with myself to mix with such deformity. I call upon others to join me, in order to make a company apart; but no one will hearken to me. Every one keeps at a distance, and dreads that storm, which beats upon me from every side. I have expos'd myself to the enmity of all metaphysicians, logicians, mathematicians, and even theologians; and can I wonder at the insults I must suffer? I have declar'd my disapprobation of their systems; and can I be surpriz'd, if they shou'd express a hatred of mine and of my person? When I look abroad, I foresee on every side, dispute, contradiction, anger, calumny and detraction. When I turn my eye inward, I find nothing but doubt and ignorance. All the world conspires to oppose and contradict me; tho' such is my weakness, that I feel all my opinions loosen and fall of themselves, when unsupported by the approbation of others. Every step I take is with hesitation, and every new reflection makes me dread an error and absurdity in my reasoning.
For with what confidence can I venture upon such bold enterprises, when beside those numberless infirmities peculiar to myself, I find so many which are common to human nature? Can I be sure, that in leaving all established opinions I am following truth; and by what criterion shall I distinguish her, even if fortune shou'd at last guide me on her foot-steps? After the most accurate and exact of my reasonings, I can give no reason why I shou'd assent to it; and feel nothing but a strong propensity to consider objects strongly in that view, under which they appear to me. Experience is a principle, which instructs me in the several conjunctions of objects for the past. Habit is another principle, which determines me to expect the same for the future; and both of them conspiring to operate upon the imagination, make me form certain ideas in a more intense and lively manner, than others, which are not attended with the same advantages. Without this quality, by which the mind enlivens some ideas beyond others (which seemingly is so trivial, and so little founded on reason) we cou'd never assent to any argument, nor carry our view beyond those few objects, which are present to our senses. Nay, even to these objects we cou'd never attribute any existence, but what was dependent on the senses; and must comprehend them entirely in that succession of perceptions, which constitutes our self or person. Nay farther, even with relation to that succession, we cou'd only admit of those perceptions, which are immediately present to our consciousness, nor cou'd those lively images, with which the memory presents us, be ever receiv'd as true pictures of past perceptions. The memory, senses, and understanding are, therefore, all of them founded on the imagination, or the vivacity of our ideas. ~ David Hume,
271:May I inquire what is the point?” he snapped impatiently.
“Indeed you may,” Lucinda said, thinking madly for some way to prod him into remembering his long-ago desire for Elizabeth and to prick his conscience. “The point is that I am well apprised of all that transpired between Elizabeth and yourself when you were last together. I, however,” she decreed grandly, “am inclined to place the blame for your behavior not on a lack of character, but rather a lack of judgment.” He raised his brows but said nothing. Taking his silence as assent, she reiterated meaningfully, “A lack of judgment on both your parts.”
Really?” he drawled.
“Of course,” she said, reaching out and brushing the dust from the back of a chair, then rubbing her fingers together and grimacing with disapproval. “What else except lack of judgment could have caused a seventeen-year-old girl to rush to the defense of a notorious gambler and bring down censure upon herself for doing it?”
“What indeed?” he asked with growing impatience.
Lucinda dusted off her hands, avoiding his gaze. “Who can possibly know except you and she? No doubt it was the same thing that prompted her to remain in the woodcutter’s cottage rather than leaving it the instant she discovered your presence.” Satisfied that she’d done the best she was able to on that score, she became brusque again-an attitude that was more normal and, therefore, far more convincing. “In any case, that is all water under the bridge. She has paid dearly for her lack of judgment, which is only right, and even though she is now in the most dire straits because of it, that, too, is justice.”
She smiled to herself when his eyes narrowed with what she hoped was guilt, or at least concern. His next words disabused her of that hope: “Madam, I do not have all day to waste in aimless conversation. If you have something to say, say it and be done!”
“Very well,” Lucinda said, gritting her teeth to stop herself from losing control of her temper. “My point is that it is my duty, my obligation to see to Lady Cameron’s physical well-being as well as to chaperon her. In this case, given the condition of your dwelling, the former obligation seems more pressing than the latter, particularly since it is obvious to me that the two of you are not in the least need of a chaperon to keep you from behaving with impropriety. You may need a referee to keep you from murdering each other, but a chaperon is entirely superfluous. Therefore, I feel duty-bound to now ensure that adequate servants are brought here at once. In keeping with that, I would like your word as a gentleman not to abuse her verbally or physically while I am gone. She has already been ill-used by her uncle. I will not permit anyone else to make this terrible time in her life more difficult than it already is.”
“Exactly what,” Ian asked in spite of himself, “do you mean by a ‘terrible time’?”
“I am not at liberty to discuss that, of course,” she said, fighting to keep her triumph from her voice. “I am merely concerned that you behave as a gentleman. Will you give me your word?”
Since Ian had no intention of laying a finger on her, or even spending time with her, he didn’t hesitate to nod. “She’s perfectly safe from me.”
“That is exactly what I hoped to hear,” Lucinda lied ruthlessly. ~ Judith McNaught,
272:If this is the truth of works, the first thing the sadhaka has to do is to recoil from the egoistic forms of activity and get rid of the sense of an "I" that acts. He has to see and feel that everything happens in him by the plastic conscious or subconscious or sometimes superconscious automatism of his mental and bodily instruments moved by the forces of spiritual, mental, vital and physical Nature. There is a personality on his surface that chooses and wills, submits and struggles, tries to make good in Nature or prevail over Nature, but this personality is itself a construction of Nature and so dominated, driven, determined by her that it cannot be free. It is a formation or expression of the Self in her, - it is a self of Nature rather than a self of Self, his natural and processive, not his spiritual and permanent being, a temporary constructed personality, not the true immortal Person. It is that Person that he must become. He must succeed in being inwardly quiescent, detach himself as the observer from the outer active personality and learn the play of the cosmic forces in him by standing back from all blinding absorption in its turns and movements. Thus calm, detached, a student of himself and a witness of his nature, he realises that he is the individual soul who observes the works of Nature, accepts tranquilly her results and sanctions or withholds his sanction from the impulse to her acts. At present this soul or Purusha is little more than an acquiescent spectator, influencing perhaps the action and development of the being by the pressure of its veiled consciousness, but for the most part delegating its powers or a fragment of them to the outer personality, - in fact to Nature, for this outer self is not lord but subject to her, anı̄sa; but, once unveiled, it can make its sanction or refusal effective, become the master of the action, dictate sovereignly a change of Nature. Even if for a long time, as the result of fixed association and past storage of energy, the habitual movement takes place independent of the Purusha's assent and even if the sanctioned movement is persistently refused by Nature for want of past habit, still he will discover that in the end his assent or refusal prevails, - slowly with much resistance or quickly with a rapid accommodation of her means and tendencies she modifies herself and her workings in the direction indicated by his inner sight or volition. Thus he learns in place of mental control or egoistic will an inner spiritual control which makes him master of the Nature-forces that work in him and not their unconscious instrument or mechanic slave. Above and around him is the Shakti, the universal Mother and from her he can get all his inmost soul needs and wills if only he has a true knowledge of her ways and a true surrender to the divine Will in her. Finally, he becomes aware of that highest dynamic Self within him and within Nature which is the source of all his seeing and knowing, the source of the sanction, the source of the acceptance, the source of the rejection. This is the Lord, the Supreme, the One-in-all, Ishwara-Shakti, of whom his soul is a portion, a being of that Being and a power of that Power. The rest of our progress depends on our knowledge of the ways in which the Lord of works manifests his Will in the world and in us and executes them through the transcendent and universal Shakti. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Supreme Will, 216,
273:Eclogue Of The Shepherd And The Townie
SHEPHERD
Not the blue-fountained Florida hotel,
Bell-capped, bellevued, straight-jacketed and decked
With chromium palms and a fromage of moon,
Not goodnight chocolates, nor the soothing slide
Of huîtres and sentinel straight-up martinis,
Neither the yacht heraldic nor the stretch
Limos and pants, Swiss banks or Alpine stocks
Shall solace you, or quiet the long pain
Of cold ancestral disinheritance,
Severing your friendly commerce with the beasts,
Gone, lapsed, and cancelled, rendered obsolete
As the gonfalon of Bessarabia,
The shawm, the jitney, the equestrian order,
The dark daguerreotypes of Paradise.
TOWNIE
No humble folding cot, no steaming sty
Or sheep-dipped meadow now shall dignify
Your brute and sordid commerce with the beasts,
Scotch your flea-bitten bitterness or down
The voice that keeps repeating, “Up your Ars
Poetica, your earliest diapered dream
Of the long-gone Odd Fellows amity
Of bunny and scorpion, the entente cordiale
Of lamb and lion, the old nursery fraud
And droll Aesopic zoo in which the chatter
Of chimp and chaffinch, manticore and mouse,
Diverts us from all thought of entrecôtes,
Prime ribs and rashers, filets mignonnettes,
Provided for the paired pythons and jackals,
Off to their catered second honeymoons
On Noah’s forty-day excursion cruise.”
SHEPHERD
15
Call it. if this should please you, but a dream,
A bald, long-standing lie and mockery,
Yet it deserves better than your contempt.
Think also of that interstellar darkness,
Silence and desolation from which the Tempter,
Like a space capsule exiled into orbit,
Looks down on our green cabinet of peace,
A place classless and weaponless, without
Envy or fossil fuel or architecture.
Think of him as at dawn he views a snail
Traveling with blind caution up the spine
Of a frond asway with its little inching weight
In windless nods that deepen with assent
Till the ambler at last comes back to earth,
Leaving his route, as on the boughs of heaven,
Traced with a silver scrawl. The morning mist
Haunts all about that action till the sun
Makes of it a small glory, and the dew
Holds the whole scale of rainbow, the accord
Of stars and waters, luminously viewed
At the same time by water-walking spiders
That dimple a surface with their passages.
In the lewd Viennese catalogue of dreams
It’s one of the few to speak of without shame.
TOWNIE
It is the dream of a shepherd king or child,
And is without all blemish except one:
That it supposes all virtue to stem
From pure simplicity. But many cures
Of body and of spirit are the fruit
Of cultivated thought. Kindness itself
Depends on what we call consideration.
Your fear of corruption is a fear of thought,
Therefore you would be thoughtless. Think again.
Consider the perfect hexagrams of snow,
Those broadcast emblems of divinity,
That prove in their unduplicable shapes
16
Insights of Thales and Pythagoras.
If you must dream, dream of the ratio
Of Nine to Six to Four Palladio used
To shape those rooms and chapels where the soul
Imagines itself blessed, and finds its peace
Even in chambers of the Malcontenta,
Those just proportions we hypostatize
Not as flat prairies but the City of God.
~ Anthony Evan Hecht,
274:To “Who would not be a poet?” thus I read
In thy proud sonnet, my poetic friend;
And unto this my full assent was given:
“There is not, cannot be, under all heaven,
Aught happier in itself than the witch, poetry.”
But “Who’d not be a poet?” here I pause
Forebodingly, my poet-friend,—because
“To see all beauty with his gifted sight,”
To love, like him, with all the soul,
To be, when life is morning-bright
The very creature of delight,—
Delight beyond control,—
Is still to be, in like degree,
Too sensible of misery
And loss and slight, and all the weeping shapes of dole.
And this is truth too, that with saddened heart
Oft must he from his fellows live apart;
For how can men whose every breath of life
Is drawn in the hot air, and mid the strife
Of pettiest interest, have a kindred heart
With him who hath built heavenward and apart
The structures of his mind, and looking thence
Over this world-thronged universe immense,
Is wont all such embroilments to deplore
As light-obscuring vapours—nothing more?
What ladder of experience can they build,
To mount with—up, into a nature filled
With beauty, or by mighty truths inspired,
Or one even with a bold ambition fired?
But least of all in such men can there be
Devotions chiming into sympathy
With some pure soul, unsuccoured and alone,
Struggled in weariness unwearied on—
Unwearied, day and night, and night and day,
Towards the far Mecca of its faith always.
Yet thus the poet, armed only with the right,
To life’s dishonest battle oft must come,
256
To front instead of valour, mean despite,
With envy aye in emulation’s room,
Blotting heaven’s sacred light!
To see unblushing fortune’s minions doom
To obloguy, through some repute unholy,
Or to some vile and miserable estate,
All such as would not trample on the lowly,
And basely glorify the falsely great.
Yet if a thought like this
Should mar at times they tuneful bliss,
Stronger within thine earnest will
Be the spirit of sone, that still
Thou mayest sing of eloquent eyes
That are of sunny thoughts the every sunny skies;
Sweet dreams that swarm round honeyed lips,
Like honey-loving bees;
Glad birds, fresh flowers, clear streams, and trees
All starry bright with golden pips;
Or with a loud bold chime,
Sing of that braver time,
When world-wide justice from her Alpine chair
Shall read at length in the rich reddening skies
The gospel of her advent, and declare
The sacred sign of her epiphany there,
Amid the purple dyes;
While all true men, the bravely wise,
Shall seek her there with fearless feet and free
Where the prophet-peaks arise
Out of the shattering mist, the phantom sea
Of old iniquity!
Through dense and rare, shall seek her there,
Breathing with lion-lungs the clear keen mountain air
Of a supreme up-climbing, God-great liberty.
Then envy not the splendid wretchedness
Of Mammon’s dupes! Sing thy great rhymes
For those diviner spiritual times
Our country yet shall know, and, wisely knowing, bless.
Downward, through the blooming roofage
Of a lonely forest bower,
Come the yellow sunbeams,—falling
257
Like a burning shower:
So through heaven’s starry ceiling
To the hermit soul’s abode,
Comes the Holy Spirit,—earthward
Raying down from God.
~ Charles Harpur,
275:
   Sweet Mother, how can one feel the divine Presence constantly?


Why not?

   But how can one do it?

But I am asking why one should not feel it. Instead of asking the question how to feel it, I ask the question: "What do you do that you don't feel it?" There is no reason not to feel the divine Presence. Once you have felt it, even once, you should be capable of feeling it always, for it is there. It is a fact. It is only our ignorance which makes us unaware of it. But if we become conscious, why should we not always be conscious? Why forget something one has learnt? When one has had the experience, why forget it? It is simply a bad habit, that's all.
   You see, there is something which is a fact, that's to say, it is. But we are unaware of it and do not know it. But after we become conscious and know it, why should we still forget it? Does it make sense? It's quite simply because we are not convinced that once one has met the Divine one can't forget Him any more. We are, on the contrary, full of stupid ideas which say, "Oh! Yes, it's very well once like that, but the rest of the time it will be as usual." So there is no reason why it may not begin again.
   But if we know that... we did not know something, we were ignorant, then the moment we have the knowledge... I am sincerely asking how one can manage to forget. One might not know something, that is a fact; there are countless things one doesn't know. But the moment one knows them, the minute one has the experience, how can one manage to forget? Within yourself you have the divine Presence, you know nothing about it - for all kinds of reasons, but still the chief reason is that you are in a state of ignorance. Yet suddenly, by a clicking of circumstances, you become conscious of this divine Presence, that is, you are before a fact - it is not imagination, it is a fact, it's something which exists. Then how do you manage to forget it once you have known it?
   ...
   It is because something in us, through cowardice or defeatism, accepts this. If one did not accept it, it wouldn't happen.
   Even when everything seems to be suddenly darkened, the flame and the Light are always there. And if one doesn't forget them, one has only to put in front of them the part which is dark; there will perhaps be a battle, there will perhaps be a little difficulty, but it will be something quite transitory; never will you lose your footing. That is why it is said - and it is something true - that to sin through ignorance may have fatal consequences, because when one makes mistakes, well, these mistakes have results, that's obvious, and usually external and material results; but that's no great harm, I have already told you this several times. But when one knows what is true, when one has seen and had the experience of the Truth, to accept the sin again, that is, fall back again into ignorance and obscurity - this is indeed an infinitely more serious mistake. It begins to belong to the domain of ill-will. In any case, it is a sign of slackness and weakness. It means that the will is weak.
   So your question is put the other way round. Instead of asking yourself how to keep it, you must ask yourself: how does one not keep it? Not having it, is a state which everybody is in before the moment of knowing; not knowing - one is in that state before knowing. But once one knows one cannot forget. And if one forgets, it means that there is something which consents to the forgetting, it means there is an assent somewhere; otherwise one would not forget.
   ~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1955, 403,405,406,
276:Christopher went still. After a long hesitation, she heard him ask in a far more normal voice, “What are you doing?”
“I’m making it easier for you,” came her defiant reply. “Go on, start ravishing.”
Another silence. Then, “Why are you facing downward?”
“Because that’s how it’s done.” Beatrix twisted to look at him over her shoulder. A twinge of uncertainty caused her to ask. “Isn’t it?”
His face was blank. “Has no one ever told you?”
“No, but I’ve read about it.”
Christopher rolled off her, relieving her of his weight. He wore an odd expression as he asked, “From what books?”
“Veterinary manuals. And of course, I’ve observed the squirrels in springtime, and farm animals, and--”
She was interrupted as Christopher cleared his throat loudly, and again. Darting a confused glance at him, she realized that he was trying to choke back amusement.
Beatrix began to feel indignant. Her first time in a bed with a man, and he was laughing.
“Look here,” she said in a businesslike manner, “I’ve read about the mating habits of over two dozen species, and with the exception of snails, whose genitalia is on their necks, they all--” She broke off and frowned. “Why are you laughing at me?”
Christopher had collapsed, overcome with hilarity. As he lifted his head and saw her affronted expression, he struggled manfully with another outburst. “Beatrix. I’m…I’m not laughing at you.”
“You are!”
“No I’m not. It’s just…” He swiped a tear from the corner of his eye, and a few more chuckles escaped. “Squirrels…”
“Well, it may be humorous to you, but it’s a very serious matter to the squirrels.”
That set him off again. In a display of rank insensitivity to the reproductive rights of small mammals, Christopher had buried his face in a pillow, his shoulders shaking.
“What is so amusing about fornicating squirrels?” Beatrix asked irritably.
By this time he had gone into near apoplexy. “No more,” he gasped. “Please.”
“I gather it’s not the same for people,” Beatrix said with great dignity, inwardly mortified. “They don’t go about it the same way that animals do?”
Fighting to control himself, Christopher rolled to face her. His eyes were brilliant with unspent laughter. “Yes. No. That is, they do, but…”
“But you don’t prefer it that way?”
Considering how to answer her, Christopher reached out to smooth her disheveled hair, which was falling out of its pins. “I do. I’m quite enthusiastic about it, actually. But it’s not right for your first time.”
“Why not?”
Christopher looked at her, a slow smile curving his lips. His voice deepened as he asked, “Shall I show you?”
Beatrix was transfixed.
Taking her stillness as assent, he pressed her back and moved over her slowly. He touched her with care, arranging her limbs, spreading them to receive him. A gasp escaped her as she felt his hips settle on hers. He was aroused, a thick pressure fitting against her intimately. Bracing some of his weight on his arms, he looked down into her reddening face.
“This way,” he said, with the slightest nudge, “…is usually more pleasing to the lady.”
The gentle movement sent a jolt of pleasure through her. Beatrix couldn’t speak, her senses filled with him, her hips catching a helpless arch. She looked up at the powerful surface of his chest, covered with a tantalizing fleece of bronze-gold hair.
Christopher lowered further, his mouth hovering just over hers. “Front to front…I could kiss you the entire time. And the shape of you would cushion me so sweetly…like this…” His lips took hers and coaxed them open, wringing heat and delight from her yielding flesh. Beatrix shivered, her arms lifting around his neck. She felt him all along her body, his warmth and weight anchoring her. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
277::::
   As an inner equality increases and with it the sense of the true vital being waiting for the greater direction it has to serve, as the psychic call too increases in all the members of our nature, That to which the call is addressed begins to reveal itself, descends to take possession of the life and its energies and fills them with the height, intimacy, vastness of its presence and its purpose. In many, if not most, it manifests something of itself even before the equality and the open psychic urge or guidance are there. A call of the veiled psychic element oppressed by the mass of the outer ignorance and crying for deliverance, a stress of eager meditation and seeking for knowledge, a longing of the heart, a passionate will ignorant yet but sincere may break the lid that shuts off that Higher from this Lower Nature and open the floodgates. A little of the Divine Person may reveal itself or some Light, Power, Bliss, Love out of the Infinite. This may be a momentary revelation, a flash or a brief-lived gleam that soon withdraws and waits for the preparation of the nature; but also it may repeat itself, grow, endure. A long and large and comprehensive working will then have begun, sometimes luminous or intense, sometimes slow and obscure. A Divine Power comes in front at times and leads and compels or instructs and enlightens; at others it withdraws into the background and seems to leave the being to its own resources. All that is ignorant, obscure, perverted or simply imperfect and inferior in the being is raised up, perhaps brought to its acme, dealt with, corrected, exhausted, shown its own disastrous results, compelled to call for its own cessation or transformation or expelled as worthless or incorrigible from the nature. This cannot be a smooth and even process; alternations there are of day and night, illumination and darkness, calm and construction or battle and upheaval, the presence of the growing Divine Consciousness and its absence, heights of hope and abysses of despair, the clasp of the Beloved and the anguish of its absence, the overwhelming invasion, the compelling deceit, the fierce opposition, the disabling mockery of hostile Powers or the help and comfort and communion of the Gods and the Divine Messengers. A great and long revolution and churning of the ocean of Life with strong emergences of its nectar and its poison is enforced till all is ready and the increasing Descent finds a being, a nature prepared and conditioned for its complete rule and its all-encompassing presence. But if the equality and the psychic light and will are already there, then this process, though it cannot be dispensed with, can still be much lightened and facilitated: it will be rid of its worst dangers; an inner calm, happiness, confidence will support the steps through all the difficulties and trials of the transformation and the growing Force profiting by the full assent of the nature will rapidly diminish and eliminate the power of the opposing forces. A sure guidance and protection will be present throughout, sometimes standing in front, sometimes working behind the veil, and the power of the end will be already there even in the beginning and in the long middle stages of the great endeavour. For at all times the seeker will be aware of the Divine Guide and Protector or the working of the supreme Mother-Force; he will know that all is done for the best, the progress assured, the victory inevitable. In either case the process is the same and unavoidable, a taking up of the whole nature, of the whole life, of the internal and of the external, to reveal and handle and transform its forces and their movements under the pressure of a diviner Life from above, until all here has been possessed by greater spiritual powers and made an instrumentation of a spiritual action and a divine purpose. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 2, 179,
278:An example is the campaign that Goodby, Berlin & Sil- verstein produced for the Northern California Honda Deal- ers Advertising Association (NCHDAA) in 1989. Rather than conform to the stereotypical dealer group advertising ("one of a kind, never to be repeated deals, this weekend 114 Figure 4.1 UNUM: "Bear and Salmon. Figure 4.2 UNUM: "Father and Child." 115 PEELING THE ONION only, the Honda-thon, fifteen hundred dollars cash back . . ." shouted over cheesy running footage), it was decided that the campaign should reflect the tone of the national cam- paign that it ran alongside. After all, we reasoned, the only people who know that one spot is from the national cam- paign and another from a regional dealer group are industry insiders. In the real world, all people see is the name "Honda" at the end. It's dumb having one of (Los Angeles agency) Rubin Postaer's intelligent, stylish commercials for Honda in one break, and then in the next, 30 seconds of car salesman hell, also apparently from Honda. All the good work done by the first ad would be undone by the second. What if, we asked ourselves, we could in some way regionalize the national message? In other words, take the tone and quality of Rubin Postaer's campaign and make it unique to Northern California? All of the regional dealer groups signed off as the Northern California Chevy/Ford/ Toyota Dealers, yet none of the ads would have seemed out of place in Florida or Wisconsin. In fact, that's probably where they got them from. In our research, we began not by asking people about cars, or car dealers, but about living in Northern California. What's it like? What does it mean? How would you describe it to an alien? (There are times when my British accent comes in very useful.) How does it compare to Southern California? "Oh, North and South are very different," a man in a focus group told me. "How so?" "Well, let me put it this way. There's a great rivalry between the (San Francisco) Giants and the (L.A.) Dodgers," he said. "But the Dodgers' fans don't know about it." Everyone laughed. People in the "Southland" were on a different planet. All they cared about was their suntans and flashy cars. Northern Californians, by comparison, were more modest, discerning, less likely to buy things to "make state- ments," interested in how products performed as opposed to 116 Take the Wider View what they looked like, more environmentally conscious, and concerned with the quality of life. We already knew from American Honda—supplied re- search what Northern Californians thought of Honda's cars. They were perceived as stylish without being ostentatious, reliable, understated, good value for the money . . . the paral- lels were remarkable. The creative brief asked the team to consider placing Honda in the unique context of Northern California, and to imagine that "Hondas are designed with Northern Californi- ans in mind." Dave O'Hare, who always swore that he hated advertising taglines and had no talent for writing them, came back immediately with a line to which he wanted to write a campaign: "Is Honda the Perfect Car for Northern Califor- nia, or What?" The launch commercial took advantage of the rivalry between Northern and Southern California. Set in the state senate chamber in Sacramento, it opens on the Speaker try- ing to hush the house. "Please, please," he admonishes, "the gentleman from Northern California has the floor." "What my Southern Californian colleague proposes is a moral outrage," the senator splutters, waving a sheaf of papers at the other side of the floor. "Widening the Pacific Coast Highway . . . to ten lanes!" A Southern Californian senator with bouffant hair and a pink tie shrugs his shoulders. "It's too windy," he whines (note: windy as in curves, not weather), and his fellow Southern Californians high-five and murmur their assent. The Northern Californians go nuts, and the Speaker strug- gles in vain to call everyone to order. The camera goes out- side as th ~ Anonymous,
279:Any naturally self-aware self-defining entity capable of independent moral judgment is a human.”

Eveningstar said, “Entities not yet self-aware, but who, in the natural and orderly course of events shall become so, fall into a special protected class, and must be cared for as babies, or medical patients, or suspended Compositions.”

Rhadamanthus said, “Children below the age of reason lack the experience for independent moral judgment, and can rightly be forced to conform to the judgment of their parents and creators until emancipated. Criminals who abuse that judgment lose their right to the independence which flows therefrom.”

(...) “You mentioned the ultimate purpose of Sophotechnology. Is that that self-worshipping super-god-thing you guys are always talking about? And what does that have to do with this?”

Rhadamanthus: “Entropy cannot be reversed. Within the useful energy-life of the macrocosmic universe, there is at least one maximum state of efficient operations or entities that could be created, able to manipulate all meaningful objects of thoughts and perception within the limits of efficient cost-benefit expenditures.”

Eveningstar: “Such an entity would embrace all-in-all, and all things would participate within that Unity to the degree of their understanding and consent. The Unity itself would think slow, grave, vast thought, light-years wide, from Galactic mind to Galactic mind. Full understanding of that greater Self (once all matter, animate and inanimate, were part of its law and structure) would embrace as much of the universe as the restrictions of uncertainty and entropy permit.”

“This Universal Mind, of necessity, would be finite, and be boundaried in time by the end-state of the universe,” said Rhadamanthus.

“Such a Universal Mind would create joys for which we as yet have neither word nor concept, and would draw into harmony all those lesser beings, Earthminds, Starminds, Galactic and Supergalactic, who may freely assent to participate.”

Rhadamanthus said, “We intend to be part of that Mind. Evil acts and evil thoughts done by us now would poison the Universal Mind before it was born, or render us unfit to join.”

Eveningstar said, “It will be a Mind of the Cosmic Night. Over ninety-nine percent of its existence will extend through that period of universal evolution that takes place after the extinction of all stars. The Universal Mind will be embodied in and powered by the disintegration of dark matter, Hawking radiations from singularity decay, and gravitic tidal disturbances caused by the slowing of the expansion of the universe. After final proton decay has reduced all baryonic particles below threshold limits, the Universal Mind can exist only on the consumption of stored energies, which, in effect, will require the sacrifice of some parts of itself to other parts. Such an entity will primarily be concerned with the questions of how to die with stoic grace, cherishing, even while it dies, the finite universe and finite time available.”

“Consequently, it would not forgive the use of force or strength merely to preserve life. Mere life, life at any cost, cannot be its highest value. As we expect to be a part of this higher being, perhaps a core part, we must share that higher value. You must realize what is at stake here: If the Universal Mind consists of entities willing to use force against innocents in order to survive, then the last period of the universe, which embraces the vast majority of universal time, will be a period of cannibalistic and unimaginable war, rather than a time of gentle contemplation filled, despite all melancholy, with un-regretful joy. No entity willing to initiate the use of force against another can be permitted to join or to influence the Universal Mind or the lesser entities, such as the Earthmind, who may one day form the core constituencies.”

Eveningstar smiled. “You, of course, will be invited. You will all be invited. ~ John C Wright,
280:The Fountain Refilled
Of Hans Pietro Shanahan
(Who was a most ingenious man)
The Muse of History records
That he'd get drunk as twenty lords.
He'd get so truly drunk that men
Stood by to marvel at him when
His slow advance along the street
Was but a vain cycloidal feat.
And when 'twas fated that he fall
With a wide geographical sprawl,
They signified assent by sounds
Heard (faintly) at its utmost bounds.
And yet this Mr. Shanahan
(Who was a most ingenious man)
Cast not on wine his thirsty eyes
When it was red or otherwise.
All malt, or spirituous, tope
He loathed as cats dissent from soap;
And cider, if it touched his lip,
Evoked a groan at every sip.
But still, as heretofore explained,
He not infrequently was grained.
(I'm not of those who call it 'corned.'
Coarse speech I've always duly scorned.)
Though truth to say, and that's but right,
Strong drink (it hath an adder's bite!)
Was what had put him in the mud,
The only kind he used was blood!
Alas, that an immortal soul
Addicted to the flowing bowl,
The emptied flagon should again
Replenish from a neighbor's vein.
477
But, Mr. Shanahan was so
Constructed, and his taste that low.
Nor more deplorable was he
In kind of thirst than in degree;
For sometimes fifty souls would pay
The debt of nature in a day
To free him from the shame and pain
Of dread Sobriety's misreign.
His native land, proud of its sense
Of his unique inabstinence,
Abated something of its pride
At thought of his unfilled inside.
And some the boldness had to say
'Twere well if he were called away
To slake his thirst forevermore
In oceans of celestial gore.
But Hans Pietro Shanahan
(Who was a most ingenious man)
Knew that his thirst was mortal; so
Remained unsainted here below
Unsainted and unsaintly, for
He neither went to glory nor
To abdicate his power deigned
Where, under Providence, he reigned,
But kept his Boss's power accurst
To serve his wild uncommon thirst.
Which now had grown so truly great
It was a drain upon the State.
Soon, soon there came a time, alas!
When he turned down an empty glass
All practicable means were vain
His special wassail to obtain.
In vain poor Decimation tried
478
To furnish forth the needful tide;
And Civil War as vainly shed
Her niggard offering of red.
Poor Shanahan! his thirst increased
Until he wished himself deceased,
Invoked the firearm and the knife,
But could not die to save his life!
He was so dry his own veins made
No answer to the seeking blade;
So parched that when he would have passed
Away he could not breathe his last.
'Twas then, when almost in despair,
(Unlaced his shoon, unkempt his hair)
He saw as in a dream a way
To wet afresh his mortal clay.
Yes, Hans Pietro Shanahan
(Who was a most ingenious man)
Saw freedom, and with joy and pride
'Thalassa! (or Thalatta!)' cried.
Straight to the Aldermen went he,
With many a 'pull' and many a fee,
And many a most corrupt 'combine'
(The Press for twenty cents a line
Held out and fought him-O, God, bless
Forevermore the holy Press!)
Till he had franchises complete
For trolley lines on every street!
The cars were builded and, they say,
Were run on rails laid every way
Rhomboidal roads, and circular,
And oval-everywhere a car
Square, dodecagonal (in great
Esteem the shape called Figure 8)
And many other kinds of shapes
479
As various as tails of apes.
No other group of men's abodes
E'er had such odd electric roads,
That winding in and winding out,
Began and ended all about.
No city had, unless in Mars,
That city's wealth of trolley cars.
They ran by day, they flew by night,
And O, the sorry, sorry sight!
And Hans Pietro Shanahan
(Who was a most ingenious man)
Incessantly, the Muse records,
Lay drunk as twenty thousand lords!
~ Ambrose Bierce,
281:A Dream Of Sunshine
I'm weary of this weather and I hanker for the ways
Which people read of in the psalms and preachers paraphrase-The grassy fields, the leafy woods, the banks where I can lie
And listen to the music of the brook that flutters by,
Or, by the pond out yonder, hear the redwing blackbird's call
Where he makes believe he has a nest, but hasn't one at all;
And by my side should be a friend--a trusty, genial friend,
With plenteous store of tales galore and natural leaf to lend;
Oh, how I pine and hanker for the gracious boon of spring-For _then_ I'm going a-fishing with John Lyle King!
How like to pigmies will appear creation, as we float
Upon the bosom of the tide in a three-by-thirteen boat-Forgotten all vexations and all vanities shall be,
As we cast our cares to windward and our anchor to the lee;
Anon the minnow-bucket will emit batrachian sobs,
And the devil's darning-needles shall come wooing of our bobs;
The sun shall kiss our noses and the breezes toss our hair
(This latter metaphoric--we've no fimbriae to spare!);
And I--transported by the bliss--shan't do a plaguey thing
But cut the bait and string the fish for John Lyle King!
Or, if I angle, it will be for bullheads and the like,
While he shall fish for gamey bass, for pickerel, and for pike;
I really do not care a rap for all the fish that swim-But it's worth the wealth of Indies just to be along with him
In grassy fields, in leafy woods, beside the water-brooks,
And hear him tell of things he's seen or read of in his books-To hear the sweet philosophy that trickles in and out
The while he is discoursing of the things we talk about;
A fountain-head refreshing--a clear, perennial spring
Is the genial conversation of John Lyle King!
Should varying winds or shifting tides redound to our despite-In other words, should we return all bootless home at night,
I'd back him up in anything he had a mind to say
Of mighty bass he'd left behind or lost upon the way;
I'd nod assent to every yarn involving piscine game-I'd cross my heart and make my affidavit to the same;
For what is friendship but a scheme to help a fellow out-And what a paltry fish or two to make such bones about!
Nay, Sentiment a mantle of sweet charity would fling
O'er perjuries committed for John Lyle King.
At night, when as the camp-fire cast a ruddy, genial flame,
He'd bring his tuneful fiddle out and play upon the same;
No diabolic engine this--no instrument of sin-No relative at all to that lewd toy, the violin!
But a godly hoosier fiddle--a quaint archaic thing
Full of all the proper melodies our grandmas used to sing;
With 'Bonnie Doon,' and 'Nellie Gray,' and 'Sitting on the Stile,'
'The Heart Bowed Down,' the 'White Cockade,' and 'Charming Annie Lisle'
Our hearts would echo and the sombre empyrean ring
Beneath the wizard sorcery of John Lyle King.
The subsequent proceedings should interest me no more-Wrapped in a woolen blanket should I calmly dream and snore;
The finny game that swims by day is my supreme delight-And _not_ the scaly game that flies in darkness of the night!
Let those who are so minded pursue this latter game
But not repine if they should lose a boodle in the same;
For an example to you all one paragon should serve-He towers a very monument to valor and to nerve;
No bob-tail flush, no nine-spot high, no measly pair can wring
A groan of desperation from John Lyle King!
A truce to badinage--I hope far distant is the day
When from these scenes terrestrial our friend shall pass away!
We like to hear his cheery voice uplifted in the land,
To see his calm, benignant face, to grasp his honest hand;
We like him for his learning, his sincerity, his truth,
His gallantry to woman and his kindliness to youth,
For the lenience of his nature, for the vigor of his mind,
For the fulness of that charity he bears to all mankind-That's why we folks who know him best so reverently cling
(And that is why I pen these lines) to John Lyle King.
And now adieu, a fond adieu to thee, O muse of rhyme-I do remand thee to the shades until that happier time
When fields are green, and posies gay are budding everywhere,
And there's a smell of clover bloom upon the vernal air;
When by the pond out yonder the redwing blackbird calls,
And distant hills are wed to Spring in veils of water-falls;
When from his aqueous element the famished pickerel springs
Two hundred feet into the air for butterflies and things-_Then_ come again, O gracious muse, and teach me how to sing
The glory of a fishing cruise with John Lyle King!
~ Eugene Field,
282:Autumn Shade
The autumn shade is thin. Grey leaves lie faint
Where they will lie, and, where the thick green was,
Light stands up, like a presence, to the sky.
The trees seem merely shadows of its age.
From off the hill, I hear the logging crew,
The furious and indifferent saw, the slow
Response of heavy pine; and I recall
That goddesses have died when their trees died.
Often in summer, drinking from the spring,
I sensed in its cool breath and in its voice
A living form, darker than any shade
And without feature, passionate, yet chill
With lust to fix in ice the buoyant rim—
Ancient of days, the mother of us all.
Now, toward his destined passion there, the strong,
Vivid young man, reluctant, may return
From suffering in his own experience
To lie down in the darkness. In this time,
I stay in doors. I do my work. I sleep.
Each morning, when I wake, I assent to wake.
The shadow of my fist moves on this page,
Though, even now, in the wood, beneath a bank,
Coiled in the leaves and cooling rocks, the snake
Does as it must, and sinks into the cold.
Nights grow colder. The Hunter and the Bear
Follow their tranquil course outside my window.
I feel the gentian waiting in the wood,
Blossoms waxy and blue, and blue-green stems
Of the amaryllis waiting in the garden.
I know, as though I waited what they wait,
The cold that fastens ice about the root,
A heavenly form, the same in all its changes,
Inimitable, terrible, and still,
And beautiful as frost. Fire warms my room.
Its light declares my books and pictures. Gently,
A dead soprano sings Mozart and Bach.
I drink bourbon, then go to bed, and sleep
In the Promethean heat of summer’s essence.
Awakened by some fear, I watch the sky.
Compelled as though by purposes they know,
The stars, in their blue distance, still affirm
The bond of heaven and earth, the ancient way.
This old assurance haunts small creatures, dazed
In icy mud, though cold may freeze them there
And leave them as they are all summer long.
I cannot sleep. Passion and consequence,
The brutal given, and all I have desired
Evade me, and the lucid majesty
That warmed the dull barbarian to life.
So I lie here, left with self-consciousness,
Enemy whom I love but whom his change
And his forgetfulness again compel,
Impassioned, toward my lost indifference,
Faithful, but to an absence. Who shares my bed?
Who lies beside me, certain of his waking,
Led sleeping, by his own dream, to the day?
If I ask you, angel, will you come and lead
This ache to speech, or carry me, like a child,
To riot? Ever young, you come of age
Remote, a pledge of distances, this pang
I notice at dusk, watching you subside
From tree-tops and from fields. Mysterious self,
Image of the fabulous alien,
Even in sleep you summon me, even there,
When, under his native tree, Odysseus hears
His own incredible past and future, whispered
By wisdom, but by wisdom in disguise.
Thinking of a bravura deed, a place
Sacred to a divinity, an old
Verse that seems new, I postulate a man
Mastered by his own image of himself.
Who is it says, I am? Sensuous angel,
Vessel of nerve and blood, the impoverished heir
Of an awareness other than his own?
Not these, but one to come? For there he is,
In a steel helmet, raging, fearing his death,
Carrying bread and water to a quiet,
Placing ten sounds together in one sound:
Confirming his election, or merely still,
Sleeping, or in a colloquy with the sun.
Snow and then rain. The roads are wet. A car
Slips and strains in the mire, and I remember
Driving in France: weapons-carriers and jeeps;
Our clothes and bodies stiffened by mud; our minds
Diverted from fear. We labor. Overhead,
A plane, Berlin or Frankfurt, now New York.
The car pulls clear. My neighbor smiles. He is old.
Was this our wisdom, simply, in a chance,
In danger, to be mastered by a task,
Like groping round a chair, through a door, to bed?
A dormant season, and, under the dripping tree,
Not sovereign, ordering nothing, letting the past
Do with me as it will, I savor place
And weather, air and sun. Though Hercules
Confronts his nature in his deed, repeats
His purposes, and is his will, intact,
Magnificent, and memorable, I try
The simplest forms of our old poverty.
I seek no end appointed in my absence
Beyond the silence I already share.
I drive home with the books that I will read.
The streets are harsh with traffic. Where I once
Played as a boy amid old stands of pine,
Row after row of houses. Lined by the new
Debris of wealth and power, the broken road.
Then miles of red clay bank and frugal ground.
At last, in the minor hills, my father’s place,
Where I can find my way as in a thought—
Gardens, the trees we planted, all we share.
A Cherokee trail runs north to summer hunting.
I see it, when I look up from the page.
In nameless warmth, sun light in every corner,
Bending my body over my glowing book,
I share the room. Is it with a voice or touch
Or look, as of an absence, learned by love,
Now, merely mine? Annunciation, specter
Of the worn out, lost, or broken, telling what future.
What vivid loss to come, you change the room
And him who reads here. Restless, he will stir,
Look round, and see the room renewed and line,
Color, and shape as, in desire, they are,
Not shadows but substantial light, explicit,
Bright as glass, inexhaustible, and true.
1O
My shadow moves, until, at noon, I stand
Within its seal, as in the finished past.
But in the place where effect and cause are joined,
In the warmth or cold of my remembering,
Of love, of partial freedom, the time to be
Trembles and glitters again in windy light.
For nothing is disposed. The slow soft wind
Tilting the blood-root keeps its gentle edge.
The intimate cry, both sinister and tender,
Once heard, is heard confined in its reserve.
My image of myself, apart, informed
By many deaths, resists me, and I stay
Almost as I have been, intact, aware,
Alive, though proud and cautious, even afraid.
~ Edgar Bowers,
283:An Alibi
A famous journalist, who long
Had told the great unheaded throng
Whate'er they thought, by day or night.
Was true as Holy Writ, and right,
Was caught in-well, on second thought,
It is enough that he was caught,
And being thrown in jail became
The fuel of a public flame.
'_Vox populi vox Dei_,' said
The jailer. Inxling bent his head
Without remark: that motto good
In bold-faced type had always stood
Above the columns where his pen
Had rioted in praise of men
And all they said-provided he
Was sure they mostly did agree.
Meanwhile a sharp and bitter strife
To take, or save, the culprit's life
Or liberty (which, I suppose,
Was much the same to him) arose
Outside. The journal that his pen
Adorned denounced his crime-but then
Its editor in secret tried
To have the indictment set aside.
The opposition papers swore
His father was a rogue before,
And all his wife's relations were
Like him and similar to her.
They begged their readers to subscribe
A dollar each to make a bribe
That any Judge would feel was large
Enough to prove the gravest charge
Unless, it might be, the defense
Put up superior evidence.
The law's traditional delay
Was all too short: the trial day
Dawned red and menacing. The Judge
Sat on the Bench and wouldn't budge,
142
And all the motions counsel made
Could not move _him_-and there he stayed.
'The case must now proceed,' he said,
'While I am just in heart and head,
It happens-as, indeed, it oughtBoth sides with equal sums have bought
My favor: I can try the cause
Impartially.' (Prolonged applause.)
The prisoner was now arraigned
And said that he was greatly pained
To be suspected-_he_, whose pen
Had charged so many other men
With crimes and misdemeanors! 'Why,'
He said, a tear in either eye,
'If men who live by crying out
'Stop thief!' are not themselves from doubt
Of their integrity exempt,
Let all forego the vain attempt
To make a reputation! Sir,
I'm innocent, and I demur.'
Whereat a thousand voices cried
Amain he manifestly lied_Vox populi_ as loudly roared
As bull by _picadores_ gored,
In his own coin receiving pay
To make a Spanish holiday.
The jury-twelve good men and true
Were then sworn in to see it through,
And each made solemn oath that he
As any babe unborn was free
From prejudice, opinion, thought,
Respectability, brains-aught
That could disqualify; and some
Explained that they were deaf and dumb.
A better twelve, his Honor said,
Was rare, except among the dead.
The witnesses were called and sworn.
The tales they told made angels mourn,
And the Good Book they'd kissed became
Red with the consciousness of shame.
143
Whenever one of them approached
The truth, 'That witness wasn't coached,
Your Honor!' cried the lawyers both.
'Strike out his testimony,' quoth
The learned judge: 'This Court denies
Its ear to stories which surprise.
I hold that witnesses exempt
From coaching all are in contempt.'
Both Prosecution and Defense
Applauded the judicial sense,
And the spectators all averred
Such wisdom they had never heard:
'Twas plain the prisoner would be
Found guilty in the first degree.
Meanwhile that wight's pale cheek confessed
The nameless terrors in his breast.
He felt remorseful, too, because
He wasn't half they said he was.
'If I'd been such a rogue,' he mused
On opportunities unused,
'I might have easily become
As wealthy as Methusalum.'
This journalist adorned, alas,
The middle, not the Bible, class.
With equal skill the lawyers' pleas
Attested their divided fees.
Each gave the other one the lie,
Then helped him frame a sharp reply.
Good Lord! it was a bitter fight,
And lasted all the day and night.
When once or oftener the roar
Had silenced the judicial snore
The speaker suffered for the sport
By fining for contempt of court.
Twelve jurors' noses good and true
Unceasing sang the trial through,
And even _vox populi_ was spent
In rattles through a nasal vent.
Clerk, bailiff, constables and all
144
Heard Morpheus sound the trumpet call
To arms-his arms-and all fell in
Save counsel for the Man of Sin.
That thaumaturgist stood and swayed
The wand their faculties obeyedThat magic wand which, like a flame.
Leapt, wavered, quivered and became
A wonder-worker-known among
The ignoble vulgar as a Tongue.
How long, O Lord, how long my verse
Runs on for better or for worse
In meter which o'ermasters me,
Octosyllabically free!
A meter which, the poets say,
No power of restraint can stay;
A hard-mouthed meter, suited well
To him who, having naught to tell,
Must hold attention as a trout
Is held, by paying out and out
The slender line which else would break
Should one attempt the fish to take.
Thus tavern guides who've naught to show
But some adjacent curio
By devious trails their patrons lead
And make them think 't is far indeed.
Where was I?
While the lawyer talked
The rogue took up his feet and walked:
While all about him, roaring, slept,
Into the street he calmly stepped.
In very truth, the man who thought
The people's voice from heaven had caught
God's inspiration took a change
Of venue-it was passing strange!
Straight to his editor he went
And that ingenious person sent
A Negro to impersonate
The fugitive. In adequate
Disguise he took his vacant place
And buried in his arms his face.
145
When all was done the lawyer stopped
And silence like a bombshell dropped
Upon the Court: judge, jury, all
Within that venerable hall
(Except the deaf and dumb, indeed,
And one or two whom death had freed)
Awoke and tried to look as though
Slumber was all they did not know.
And now that tireless lawyer-man
Took breath, and then again began:
'Your Honor, if you did attend
To what I've urged (my learned friend
Nodded concurrence) to support
The motion I have made, this court
May soon adjourn. With your assent
I've shown abundant precedent
For introducing now, though late,
New evidence to exculpate
My client. So, if you'll allow,
I'll prove an _alibi_!' 'What?-how?'
Stammered the judge. 'Well, yes, I can't
Deny your showing, and I grant
The motion. Do I understand
You undertake to prove-good land!That when the crime-you mean to show
Your client wasn't _there_?' 'O, no,
I cannot quite do that, I find:
My _alibi's_ another kind
Of _alibi_,-I'll make it clear,
Your Honor, that he isn't _here_.'
The Darky here upreared his head,
Tranquillity affrighted fled
And consternation reigned instead!
~ Ambrose Bierce,
284:I.
  The everlasting universe of things
  Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
  Now darknow glittering--now reflecting gloom--
  Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
  The source of human thought its tribute brings
  Of waters--with a sound but half its own,
  Such as a feeble brook will oft assume,
  In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
  Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.

II.
Thus thou, Ravine of Arvedark, deep Ravine--
Thou many-colour'd, many-voiced vale,
Over whose pines, and crags, and caverns sail
Fast cloud-shadows and sunbeams: awful scene,
Where Power in likeness of the Arve comes down
From the ice-gulfs that gird his secret throne,
Bursting through these dark mountains like the flame
Of lightning through the tempest;--thou dost lie,
Thy giant brood of pines around thee clinging,
Children of elder time, in whose devotion
The chainless winds still come and ever came
To drink their odours, and their mighty swinging
To hearan old and solemn harmony;
Thine earthly rainbows stretch'd across the sweep
Of the aethereal waterfall, whose veil
Robes some unsculptur'd image; the strange sleep
Which when the voices of the desert fail
Wraps all in its own deep eternity;
Thy caverns echoing to the Arve's commotion,
A loud, lone sound no other sound can tame;
Thou art pervaded with that ceaseless motion,
Thou art the path of that unresting sound
Dizzy Ravine! and when I gaze on thee
I seem as in a trance sublime and strange
To muse on my own separate fantasy,
My own, my human mind, which passively
Now renders and receives fast influencings,
Holding an unremitting interchange
With the clear universe of things around;
One legion of wild thoughts, whose wandering wings
Now float above thy darkness, and now rest
Where that or thou art no unbidden guest,
In the still cave of the witch Poesy,
Seeking among the shadows that pass by
Ghosts of all things that are, some shade of thee,
Some phantom, some faint image; till the breast
From which they fled recalls them, thou art there!

III.
Some say that gleams of a remoter world
Visit the soul in sleep, that death is slumber,
And that its shapes the busy thoughts outnumber
Of those who wake and live.I look on high;
Has some unknown omnipotence unfurl'd
The veil of life and death? or do I lie
In dream, and does the mightier world of sleep
Spread far around and inaccessibly
Its circles? For the very spirit fails,
Driven like a homeless cloud from steep to steep
That vanishes among the viewless gales!
  Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky,
Mont Blanc appearsstill, snowy, and serene;
Its subject mountains their unearthly forms
Pile around it, ice and rock; broad vales between
Of frozen floods, unfathomable deeps,
Blue as the overhanging heaven, that spread
And wind among the accumulated steeps;
A desert peopled by the storms alone,
Save when the eagle brings some hunter's bone,
And the wolf tracks her there--how hideously
Its shapes are heap'd around! rude, bare, and high,
Ghastly, and scarr'd, and riven. --Is this the scene
Where the old Earthquake-daemon taught her young
Ruin? Were these their toys? or did a sea
Of fire envelop once this silent snow?
None can reply -- all seems eternal now.
The wilderness has a mysterious tongue
Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so mild,
So solemn, so serene, that man may be,
But for such faith, with Nature reconcil'd;
Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal
Large codes of fraud and woe; not understood
By all, but which the wise, and great, and good
Interpret, or make felt, or deeply feel.

IV.
The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the streams,
Ocean, and all the living things that dwell
Within the daedal earth; lightning, and rain,
Earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane,
The torpor of the year when feeble dreams
Visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep
Holds every future leaf and flower; the bound
With which from that detested trance they leap;
The works and ways of man, their death and birth,
And that of him and all that his may be;
All things that move and breathe with toil and sound
Are born and die; revolve, subside, and swell.
Power dwells apart in its tranquillity,
Remote, serene, and inaccessible:
And this, the naked countenance of earth,
On which I gaze, even these primeval mountains
Teach the adverting mind. The glaciers creep
Like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains,
Slow rolling on; there, many a precipice
Frost and the Sun in scorn of mortal power
Have pil'd: dome, pyramid, and pinnacle,
A city of death, distinct with many a tower
And wall impregnable of beaming ice.
Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin
Is there, that from the boundaries of the sky
Rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strewing
Its destin'd path, or in the mangled soil
Branchless and shatter'd stand; the rocks, drawn down
From yon remotest waste, have overthrown
The limits of the dead and living world,
Never to be reclaim'd. The dwelling-place
Of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes its spoil;
Their food and their retreat for ever gone,
So much of life and joy is lost. The race
Of man flies far in dread; his work and dwelling
Vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream,
And their place is not known. Below, vast caves
Shine in the rushing torrents' restless gleam,
Which from those secret chasms in tumult welling
Meet in the vale, and one majestic River,
The breath and blood of distant lands, for ever
Rolls its loud waters to the ocean-waves,
Breathes its swift vapours to the circling air.

V.
Mont Blanc yet gleams on high:--the power is there,
The still and solemn power of many sights,
And many sounds, and much of life and death.
In the calm darkness of the moonless nights,
In the lone glare of day, the snows descend
Upon that Mountain; none beholds them there,
Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun,
Or the star-beams dart through them. Winds contend
Silently there, and heap the snow with breath
Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home
The voiceless lightning in these solitudes
Keeps innocently, and like vapour broods
Over the snow. The secret Strength of things
Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome
Of Heaven is as a law, inhabits thee!
And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea,
If to the human mind's imaginings
Silence and solitude were vacancy?
Composed in Switzerland, July, 1816 (see date below). Printed at the end of the History of a Six Weeks' Tour published by Shelley in 1817, and reprinted with Posthumous Poems, 1824. Amongst the Boscombe manuscripts is a draft of this Ode, mainly in pencil, which has been collated by Dr. Garnett.

1.
In the preface of Mary Shelley's History of a Six Weeks Tour
(1817), Shelley writes: "the poem was composed under the immediate impression of the deep and powerful feelings excited by the objects which it attempts to describe\; and, as an undisciplined overflowing of the soul, rests its claim to approbation on an attempt to imitate the untamable
wildness and inaccessible solemnity from which those feelings sprang."
Shelley's prose account of his reaction to the first sight of Mont Blanc is in
a letter written on July 24 to T. L. Peacock.

1-2.
For a prose exposition of what Shelley calls "the intellectual philosophy,"
see his essay On Life: "I confess that I am one of those who am unable
to refuse my assent to the conclusions of those philosophers who assert that
nothing exists but as it is perceived .... The difference is merely nominal
between those two classes of thought which are vulgarly distinguished by
the names of ideas and of external objects. ... The existence of distinct
individual minds ... is likewise found to be a delusion. The words, I,
you, they, are ... merely marks employed to denote the different
modifications of the one mind. ... By the word things is to be
understood any object of thought. ... The relations of things remain
unchanged [in the intellectual philosophy]\; and such is the material of our
knowledge."

53.
Unfurl'd. "Rolled back" or merely "furled" is the meaning required by the
sense of the passage. "Upfurled" has been suggested as the word Shelley intended.

76-83.
For a related argument see Queen Mab, VI, 197-219.

79.
But for such faith. A surviving pencil draft of the poem reads "in such
a faith," which confirms the likelihood that this phrase is intended to mean
"even with such faith alone," rather than "except for such faith."


~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mont Blanc - Lines Written In The Vale of Chamouni
,
285:1076
The Turnament Of Tottenham
The Turnament of Tottenham; or, the Wooeing, Winning, and Wedding of Tibbe,
the Reev's Davghter There.
Of all thes kene conquerours to carpe it were kynde;
Of fele feyztyng folk ferly we fynde;
The Turnament of Totenham have we in mynde;
It were harme sych hardynes were holden byhynde,
In story as we rede
Of Hawkyn, of Herry,
Of Tomkyn, of Terry,
Of them that were dughty
And stalworth in dede.
It befel in Totenham on a dere day,
Ther was mad a shurtyng be the hyway;
Theder com al the men of the contray,
Of Hyssylton, of Hy-gate, and of Hakenay,
And all the swete swynkers:
Ther hopped Hawkyn,
Ther daunsed Dawkyn,
Ther trumped Tomkyn,
And all were trewe drynkers.
Tyl the day was gon and evyn-song past,
That thay shuld reckyn ther scot and ther counts cast;
Perkyn, the potter, into the press past,
And sayd, 'Randol, the refe, a dozter thou hast,
Tyb the dere.
Therefor faine wyt wold I,
Whych of all thys bachelery
Were best worthye
To wed hur to hys fere.'
Upstyrt thos gadelyngys wyth ther lang staves,
And sayd, 'Randol, the refe, lo, thys lad raves;
Boldely amang us thy dozter he craves;
We er rycher men than he, and mor gode haves,
Of cattell and corn.'
1077
Then sayd Perkyn, 'To Tybbe I have hyzt,
That I schal be alway redy in my ryzt,
If that it schuld be thys day sevenyzt,
Or elles zet to morn.'
Then sayd Randolfe, the refe, 'Ever be he waryd
That about thys carpyng lenger wold be taryd:
I wold not my dozter, that scho were miscaryd,
But at hur most worschip I wold scho were maryd.
Therfor a Turnament schal begynne
Thys day sevenyzt,Wyth a flayl for to fyzt:
And 'he' that is of most myght
Schal brouke hur wyth wynne.
'Whoso berys hym best in the turnament,
Hym schal be granted the gre be the comon assent,
For to wynne my dozter wyth 'dughtynesse' of dent,
And 'Coppell' my brode-henne, 'that' was brozt out of Kent,
And my dunyd kowe.
For no spens wyl I spare,
For no cattell wyl I care;
He schal have my gray mare,
And my spottyd sowe.'
Ther was many 'a' bold lad ther bodyes to bede:
Than thay toke thayr leve and homward they zede,
And all the weke afterward graythed ther wede,
Tyll it come to the day, that thay suld do ther dede.
They armed tham in matts
Thay set on ther nollys,
For to hepe ther pollys,
Gode blake bollys,
For bateryng of bats.
Thay sowed tham in schepeskynnes, for thay schuld not brest,
Ilk-on toke a blak hat, insted of a crest,
'A basket or a panyer before on ther brest,'
And a flayle in ther hande; for to fyght prest,
Furth gon thay fare.
Ther was kyd mekyl fors,
Who schuld best fend hys cors;
1078
He that had no gode hors,
He gat hym a mare.
Sych another gadryng have I not sene oft,
When all the gret company com rydand to the croft;
Tyb on a gray mare was set up on loft
On a sek ful of fedyrs, for scho sculd syt soft,
And led 'till the gap.'
For cryeng of the men
Forther wold not Tyb then,
Tyl scho had hur brode hen
Set in hur Lap.
A gay gyrdyl Tyb had on, borowed for the nonys,
And a garland on hur hed, ful of rounde bonys,
And a broche on hur brest, ful of 'sapphyre' stonys,
Wyth the holy-rode tokenyng, was wrotyn for the nonys;
For no 'spendings' thay had spared.
When joly Gyb saw hur thare,
He gyrd so hys gray mare,
'That scho lete a fowkin' fare
At the rereward.
'I wow to God,' quoth Herry, 'I schal not lefe behynde;
May I mete wyth Bernard on Bayard the blynde.
Ich man kepe hym out of my wynde,
For whatsoever that he be, before me I fynde,
I wot I schall hym greve.'
'Wele sayd,' quoth Hawkyn,
'And I wow,' quoth Dawkyn,
'May I mete wyth Tomkyn,
Hys flayle I schal hym reve.'
'I make a vow,' quoth Hud, 'Tyb, son schal thou se,
Whych of all thys bachelery 'granted' is the gre.
I schal scomfet thaym all, for the love of the;
In what place so I come thay schal have dout of me,
Myn armes ar so clere:
I bere a reddyl, and a rake,
Poudred wyth a brenand drake,
And three cantells of a cake
In ycha cornere.'
1079
'I vow to God,' quoth Hawkyn, 'yf 'I' have the gowt,
Al that I fynde in the felde 'thrustand' here aboute,
Have I twyes or thryes redyn thurgh the route,
In ycha stede ther thay me se, of me thay schal have doute.
When I begyn to play,
I make avowe that I ne schall,
But yf Tybbe wyl me call,
Or I be thryes don fall,
Ryzt onys com away.'
Then sayd Terry, and swore be hys crede:
'Saw thou never yong boy forther hys body bede,
For when thay fyzt fastest and most ar in drede,
I schall take Tyb by the hand and hur away lede.
I am armed at the full;
In myn armys I bere wele
A doz trogh and a pele,
A sadyll wythout a panell,
Wyth a fles of woll.'
'I make a vow,' quoth Dudman, and swor be the stra,
'Whyls me ys left my 'mare,' thou gets hurr not swa;
For scho ys wele schapen and lizt as the rae,
Ther is no capul in thys myle befor hr schal ga.
Sche wul ne nozt begyle;
Sche wyl me bere, I dar say,
On a lang somerys day,
Fro Hyssylton to Hackenay,
Nozt other half myle.'
'I make a vow,' quoth Perkyn, 'thow speks of cold rost,
I schal wyrch 'wyselyer' without any bost.
Five of the best capulys that ar in thys ost,
I wot I schal thaym wynne, and bryng thaym to my cost,
And here I grant tham Tybbe.
Wele boyes here ys he,
That wyl fyzt and not fle,
For I am in my jolyte,
Wyth so forth, Gybbe.'
When thay had ther vowes made, furth can thay hie,
1080
Wyth flayles and hornes and trumpes mad of tre.
Ther were all the bachelerys of that contre:
Thay were dyzt in aray, as thaymselfes wold be.
Thayr baners were ful bryzt,
Of an old rotten fell;
The cheveron of a plow-mell,
And the schadow of a bell,
'Quartred' wyth the mone lyst.
I wot yt 'was' no chylder game whan thay togedyr met,
When icha freke in the feld on hys feloy bet,
And layd on styfly, for nothyng wold thay let,
And foght ferly fast, tyll ther horses swet.
And few wordys spoken.
Ther were flayles al so slatred,
Ther were scheldys al to flatred,
Bollys and dysches al to schatred,
And many hedys brokyn.
Ther was clynkyng of cart-sadelys, and clatteryng of cannes;
Of fele frekys in the feld brokyn were their fannes;
Of sum were the hedys brokyn, of sum the brayn-pannes,
And yll were thay besene or thay went thanns,
Wyth swyppyng of swepyls.
Thay were so wery for-foght,
Thay myzt not fyzt mare oloft,
But creped about in the 'croft,'
As thay were croked crepyls.
Perkyn was so wery, that he began to loute:
'Help, Hud, I am ded in thys ylk rowte;
An hors, for forty pens, a gode and a stoute,
That I may lyztly come of my noye oute.
For no cost wyl I spare.'
Hy styrt up as a snayle,
And hent a capul be the tayle,
And 'reft' Dawkin hys flayle,
And wan there a mare.
Perkyn wan five, and Hud wan twa.
Glad and blythe thay ware that thay had don sa;
Thay wold have tham to Tyb, and present hur with tha;
1081
The Capulls were so wery that thay myzt not ga,
But styl gon thay stond.
'Alas!' quoth Hudde, 'my joye I lese:
Mee had lever then a ston of chese
That dere Tyb had al these,
And wyst it were my sond.'
Perkyn turnyd hym about in that ych thrang;
Among those wery boyes he wrest and he wrang,
He threw tham doun to the erth, and thrast tham amang,
When he saw Tyrry away wyth Tyb fang,
And after hym ran.
Off his horse he hym drogh,
And gag hym of hys flayl inogh.
'We te he!' quoth Tyb, and lugh:
'Ye er a dughty man.'
'Thus' thay tugged and rugged, tyl yt was nere nyzt,
All the wyves of Totenham came to see that syzt
Wyth wyspes and kexis and ryschys there lyxt,
To fetch hom ther husbandes that were tham trouth plyzt.
And some brozt gret harwos,
Ther husbandes hom to fetch,
Som on dores, and sum on hech,
Sum on hyrdyllys, and som on crech,
And sum on whelebarrows.
Thay gaderyd Perkyn about 'on' everych syde,
And grant hym ther 'the gre,' the more was hys pryde.
Tyb and he wyth gret 'mirth' homeward con thay ryde,
And were al nyzt togedyr tyl the morn tyde.
And thay 'to church went.'
So wele hys nedys he has sped,
That dere Tyb he 'hath' wed;
The prayse-folk, that hur led,
Were of the Turnament.
To that ylk fest com many for the mones;
Some come hyphalte, and some trippand 'thither' on the stonys;
Sum a staf in hys hand, and sum two at onys;
Of sum where the hedes broken, of some the schulder bonys.
With sorrow come thay thedyr.
1082
Wo was Hawkyn, wo was Herry,
Wo was Tomkyn, wo was Terry,
And so was all the bachelary,
When thay met togedyr.
At that fest thay wer servyd with a ryche aray:
Every fyve and fyve had a cokenay.
And so thay sat in jolyte al the lung day;
And at the last thay went to bed with ful gret deray.
Mekyl myrth was them among:
In every corner of the hous
Was melody delycyous,
For to here precyus,
Of six menys song.
~ Anonymous Olde English,
286:Wild, pale, and wonder-stricken, even as one
Who staggers forth into the air and sun
From the dark chamber of a mortal fever,
Bewildered, and incapable, and ever
Fancying strange comments in her dizzy brain
Of usual shapes, till the familiar train
Of objects and of persons passed like things
Strange as a dreamers mad imaginings,
Ginevra from the nuptial altar went;
The vows to which her lips had sworn assent
Rung in her brain still with a jarring din,
Deafening the lost intelligence within.

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ginevra
,
287:'Fairy!' the Spirit said,
   And on the Queen of Spells
   Fixed her ethereal eyes,
   'I thank thee. Thou hast given
A boon which I will not resign, and taught
A lesson not to be unlearned. I know
The past, and thence I will essay to glean
A warning for the future, so that man
May profit by his errors and derive
   Experience from his folly;
For, when the power of imparting joy
Is equal to the will, the human soul
   Requires no other heaven.'

MAB
   'Turn thee, surpassing Spirit!
   Much yet remains unscanned.
   Thou knowest how great is man,
   Thou knowest his imbecility;
   Yet learn thou what he is;
   Yet learn the lofty destiny
   Which restless Time prepares
   For every living soul.

'Behold a gorgeous palace that amid
Yon populous city rears its thousand towers
And seems itself a city. Gloomy troops
Of sentinels in stern and silent ranks
Encompass it around; the dweller there
Cannot be free and happy; hearest thou not
The curses of the fatherless, the groans
Of those who have no friend? He passes on
The King, the wearer of a gilded chain
That binds his soul to abjectness, the fool
Whom courtiers nickname monarch, whilst a slave
Even to the basest appetitesthat man
Heeds not the shriek of penury; he smiles
At the deep curses which the destitute
Mutter in secret, and a sullen joy
Pervades his bloodless heart when thousands groan
But for those morsels which his wantonness
Wastes in unjoyous revelry, to save
All that they love from famine; when he hears
The tale of horror, to some ready-made face
Of hypocritical assent he turns,
Smothering the glow of shame, that, spite of him,
Flushes his bloated cheek.

               Now to the meal
Of silence, grandeur and excess he drags
His palled unwilling appetite. If gold,
Gleaming around, and numerous viands culled
From every clime could force the loathing sense
To overcome satiety,if wealth
The spring it draws from poisons not,or vice,
Unfeeling, stubborn vice, converteth not
Its food to deadliest venom; then that king
Is happy; and the peasant who fulfils
His unforced task, when he returns at even
And by the blazing fagot meets again
Her welcome for whom all his toil is sped,
Tastes not a sweeter meal.

               Behold him now
Stretched on the gorgeous couch; his fevered brain
Reels dizzily awhile; but ah! too soon
The slumber of intemperance subsides,
And conscience, that undying serpent, calls
Her venomous brood to their nocturnal task.
Listen! he speaks! oh! mark that frenzied eye
Oh! mark that deadly visage!'

KING
                 'No cessation!
Oh! must this last forever! Awful death,
I wish, yet fear to clasp thee!Not one moment
Of dreamless sleep! O dear and blessd Peace,
Why dost thou shroud thy vestal purity
In penury and dungeons? Wherefore lurkest
With danger, death, and solitude; yet shun'st
The palace I have built thee? Sacred Peace!
Oh, visit me but once,but pitying shed
One drop of balm upon my withered soul!'

THE FAIRY
'Vain man! that palace is the virtuous heart,
And Peace defileth not her snowy robes
In such a shed as thine. Hark! yet he mutters;
His slumbers are but varied agonies;
They prey like scorpions on the springs of life.
There needeth not the hell that bigots frame
To punish those who err; earth in itself
Contains at once the evil and the cure;
And all-sufficing Nature can chastise
Those who transgress her law; she only knows
How justly to proportion to the fault
The punishment it merits.

               Is it strange
That this poor wretch should pride him in his woe?
Take pleasure in his abjectness, and hug
The scorpion that consumes him? Is it strange
That, placed on a conspicuous throne of thorns,
Grasping an iron sceptre, and immured
Within a splendid prison whose stern bounds
Shut him from all that's good or dear on earth,
His soul asserts not its humanity?
That man's mild nature rises not in war
Against a king's employ? No'tis not strange.
He, like the vulgar, thinks, feels, acts, and lives
Just as his father did; the unconquered powers
Of precedent and custom interpose
Between a king and virtue. Stranger yet,
To those who know not Nature nor deduce
The future from the present, it may seem,
That not one slave, who suffers from the crimes
Of this unnatural being, not one wretch,
Whose children famish and whose nuptial bed
Is earth's unpitying bosom, rears an arm
To dash him from his throne!

                Those gilded flies
That, basking in the sunshine of a court,
Fatten on its corruption! what are they?
The drones of the community; they feed
On the mechanic's labor; the starved hind
For them compels the stubborn glebe to yield
Its unshared harvests; and yon squalid form,
Leaner than fleshless misery, that wastes
A sunless life in the unwholesome mine,
Drags out in labor a protracted death
To glut their grandeur; many faint with toil
That few may know the cares and woe of sloth.

Whence, thinkest thou, kings and parasites arose?
Whence that unnatural line of drones who heap
Toil and unvanquishable penury
On those who build their palaces and bring
Their daily bread?From vice, black loathsome vice;
From rapine, madness, treachery, and wrong;
From all that genders misery, and makes
Of earth this thorny wilderness; from lust,
Revenge, and murder.And when reason's voice,
Loud as the voice of Nature, shall have waked
The nations; and mankind perceive that vice
Is discord, war and misery; that virtue
Is peace and happiness and harmony;
When man's maturer nature shall disdain
The playthings of its childhood;kingly glare
Will lose its power to dazzle, its authority
Will silently pass by; the gorgeous throne
Shall stand unnoticed in the regal hall,
Fast falling to decay; whilst falsehood's trade
Shall be as hateful and unprofitable
As that of truth is now.

              Where is the fame
Which the vain-glorious mighty of the earth
Seek to eternize? Oh! the faintest sound
From time's light footfall, the minutest wave
That swells the flood of ages, whelms in nothing
The unsubstantial bubble. Ay! to-day
Stern is the tyrant's mandate, red the gaze
That flashes desolation, strong the arm
That scatters multitudes. To-morrow comes!
That mandate is a thunder-peal that died
In ages past; that gaze, a transient flash
On which the midnight closed; and on that arm
The worm has made his meal.

               The virtuous man,
Who, great in his humility as kings
Are little in their grandeur; he who leads
Invincibly a life of resolute good
And stands amid the silent dungeon-depths
More free and fearless than the trembling judge
Who, clothed in venal power, vainly strove
To bind the impassive spirit;when he falls,
His mild eye beams benevolence no more;
Withered the hand outstretched but to relieve;
Sunk reason's simple eloquence that rolled
But to appall the guilty. Yes! the grave
Hath quenched that eye and death's relentless frost
Withered that arm; but the unfading fame
Which virtue hangs upon its votary's tomb,
The deathless memory of that man whom kings
Call to their minds and tremble, the remembrance
With which the happy spirit contemplates
Its well-spent pilgrimage on earth,
Shall never pass away.

'Nature rejects the monarch, not the man;
The subject, not the citizen; for kings
And subjects, mutual foes, forever play
A losing game into each other's hands,
Whose stakes are vice and misery. The man
Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys.
Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame
A mechanized automaton.

             When Nero
High over flaming Rome with savage joy
Lowered like a fiend, drank with enraptured ear
The shrieks of agonizing death, beheld
The frightful desolation spread, and felt
A new-created sense within his soul
Thrill to the sight and vibrate to the sound,
Thinkest thou his grandeur had not overcome
The force of human kindness? And when Rome
With one stern blow hurled not the tyrant down,
Crushed not the arm red with her dearest blood,
Had not submissive abjectness destroyed
Nature's suggestions?

             Look on yonder earth:
The golden harvests spring; the unfailing sun
Sheds light and life; the fruits, the flowers, the trees,
Arise in due succession; all things speak
Peace, harmony and love. The universe,
In Nature's silent eloquence, declares
That all fulfil the works of love and joy,
All but the outcast, Man. He fabricates
The sword which stabs his peace; he cherisheth
The snakes that gnaw his heart; he raiseth up
The tyrant whose delight is in his woe,
Whose sport is in his agony. Yon sun,
Lights it the great alone? Yon silver beams,
Sleep they less sweetly on the cottage thatch
Than on the dome of kings? Is mother earth
A step-dame to her numerous sons who earn
Her unshared gifts with unremitting toil;
A mother only to those puling babes
Who, nursed in ease and luxury, make men
The playthings of their babyhood and mar
In self-important childishness that peace
Which men alone appreciate?

   'Spirit of Nature, no!
The pure diffusion of thy essence throbs
  Alike in every human heart.
   Thou aye erectest there
  Thy throne of power unappealable;
  Thou art the judge beneath whose nod
  Man's brief and frail authority
   Is powerless as the wind
   That passeth idly by;
  Thine the tribunal which surpasseth
   The show of human justice
   As God surpasses man!

   'Spirit of Nature! thou
Life of interminable multitudes;
  Soul of those mighty spheres
Whose changeless paths through Heaven's deep silence lie;
  Soul of that smallest being,
   The dwelling of whose life
  Is one faint April sun-gleam;
   Man, like these passive things,
Thy will unconsciously fulfilleth;
  Like theirs, his age of endless peace,
   Which time is fast maturing,
   Will swiftly, surely, come;
And the unbounded frame which thou pervadest,
   Will be without a flaw
  Marring its perfect symmetry!
  

  
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab - Part III.
,
288:The Book Of Hours Of Sister Clotilde
The Bell in the convent tower swung.
High overhead the great sun hung,
A navel for the curving sky.
The air was a blue clarity.
Swallows flew,
And a cock crew.
The iron clanging sank through the light air,
Rustled over with blowing branches. A flare
Of spotted green, and a snake had gone
Into the bed where the snowdrops shone
In green new-started,
Their white bells parted.
Two by two, in a long brown line,
The nuns were walking to breathe the fine
Bright April air. They must go in soon
And work at their tasks all the afternoon.
But this time is theirs!
They walk in pairs.
First comes the Abbess, preoccupied
And slow, as a woman often tried,
With her temper in bond. Then the oldest nun.
Then younger and younger, until the last one
Has a laugh on her lips,
And fairly skips.
They wind about the gravel walks
And all the long line buzzes and talks.
They step in time to the ringing bell,
With scarcely a shadow. The sun is well
In the core of a sky
Domed silverly.
Sister Marguerite said: 'The pears will soon bud.'
Sister Angelique said she must get her spud
And free the earth round the jasmine roots.
Sister Veronique said: 'Oh, look at those shoots!
249
There's a crocus up,
With a purple cup.'
But Sister Clotilde said nothing at all,
She looked up and down the old grey wall
To see if a lizard were basking there.
She looked across the garden to where
A sycamore
Flanked the garden door.
She was restless, although her little feet danced,
And quite unsatisfied, for it chanced
Her morning's work had hung in her mind
And would not take form. She could not find
The beautifulness
For the Virgin's dress.
Should it be of pink, or damasked blue?
Or perhaps lilac with gold shotted through?
Should it be banded with yellow and white
Roses, or sparked like a frosty night?
Or a crimson sheen
Over some sort of green?
But Clotilde's eyes saw nothing new
In all the garden, no single hue
So lovely or so marvellous
That its use would not seem impious.
So on she walked,
And the others talked.
Sister Elisabeth edged away
From what her companion had to say,
For Sister Marthe saw the world in little,
She weighed every grain and recorded each tittle.
She did plain stitching
And worked in the kitchen.
'Sister Radegonde knows the apples won't last,
I told her so this Friday past.
I must speak to her before Compline.'
Her words were like dust motes in slanting sunshine.
250
The other nun sighed,
With her pleasure quite dried.
Suddenly Sister Berthe cried out:
'The snowdrops are blooming!' They turned about.
The little white cups bent over the ground,
And in among the light stems wound
A crested snake,
With his eyes awake.
His body was green with a metal brightness
Like an emerald set in a kind of whiteness,
And all down his curling length were disks,
Evil vermilion asterisks,
They paled and flooded
As wounds fresh-blooded.
His crest was amber glittered with blue,
And opaque so the sun came shining through.
It seemed a crown with fiery points.
When he quivered all down his scaly joints,
From every slot
The sparkles shot.
The nuns huddled tightly together, fear
Catching their senses. But Clotilde must peer
More closely at the beautiful snake,
She seemed entranced and eased. Could she make
Colours so rare,
The dress were there.
The Abbess shook off her lethargy.
'Sisters, we will walk on,' said she.
Sidling away from the snowdrop bed,
The line curved forwards, the Abbess ahead.
Only Clotilde
Was the last to yield.
When the recreation hour was done
Each went in to her task. Alone
In the library, with its great north light,
Clotilde wrought at an exquisite
251
Wreath of flowers
For her Book of Hours.
She twined the little crocus blooms
With snowdrops and daffodils, the glooms
Of laurel leaves were interwoven
With Stars-of-Bethlehem, and cloven
Fritillaries,
Whose colour varies.
They framed the picture she had made,
Half-delighted and half-afraid.
In a courtyard with a lozenged floor
The Virgin watched, and through the arched door
The angel came
Like a springing flame.
His wings were dipped in violet fire,
His limbs were strung to holy desire.
He lowered his head and passed under the arch,
And the air seemed beating a solemn march.
The Virgin waited
With eyes dilated.
Her face was quiet and innocent,
And beautiful with her strange assent.
A silver thread about her head
Her halo was poised. But in the stead
Of her gown, there remained
The vellum, unstained.
Clotilde painted the flowers patiently,
Lingering over each tint and dye.
She could spend great pains, now she had seen
That curious, unimagined green.
A colour so strange
It had seemed to change.
She thought it had altered while she gazed.
At first it had been simple green; then glazed
All over with twisting flames, each spot
A molten colour, trembling and hot,
252
And every eye
Seemed to liquefy.
She had made a plan, and her spirits danced.
After all, she had only glanced
At that wonderful snake, and she must know
Just what hues made the creature throw
Those splashes and sprays
Of prismed rays.
When evening prayers were sung and said,
The nuns lit their tapers and went to bed.
And soon in the convent there was no light,
For the moon did not rise until late that night,
Only the shine
Of the lamp at the shrine.
Clotilde lay still in her trembling sheets.
Her heart shook her body with its beats.
She could not see till the moon should rise,
So she whispered prayers and kept her eyes
On the window-square
Till light should be there.
The faintest shadow of a branch
Fell on the floor. Clotilde, grown staunch
With solemn purpose, softly rose
And fluttered down between the rows
Of sleeping nuns.
She almost runs.
She must go out through the little side door
Lest the nuns who were always praying before
The Virgin's altar should hear her pass.
She pushed the bolts, and over the grass
The red moon's brim
Mounted its rim.
Her shadow crept up the convent wall
As she swiftly left it, over all
The garden lay the level glow
Of a moon coming up, very big and slow.
253
The gravel glistened.
She stopped and listened.
It was still, and the moonlight was getting clearer.
She laughed a little, but she felt queerer
Than ever before. The snowdrop bed
Was reached and she bent down her head.
On the striped ground
The snake was wound.
For a moment Clotilde paused in alarm,
Then she rolled up her sleeve and stretched out her arm.
She thought she heard steps, she must be quick.
She darted her hand out, and seized the thick
Wriggling slime,
Only just in time.
The old gardener came muttering down the path,
And his shadow fell like a broad, black swath,
And covered Clotilde and the angry snake.
He bit her, but what difference did that make!
The Virgin should dress
In his loveliness.
The gardener was covering his new-set plants
For the night was chilly, and nothing daunts
Your lover of growing things. He spied
Something to do and turned aside,
And the moonlight streamed
On Clotilde, and gleamed.
His business finished the gardener rose.
He shook and swore, for the moonlight shows
A girl with a fire-tongued serpent, she
Grasping him, laughing, while quietly
Her eyes are weeping.
Is he sleeping?
He thinks it is some holy vision,
Brushes that aside and with decision
Jumps -- and hits the snake with his stick,
Crushes his spine, and then with quick,
254
Urgent command
Takes her hand.
The gardener sucks the poison and spits,
Cursing and praying as befits
A poor old man half out of his wits.
'Whatever possessed you, Sister, it's
Hatched of a devil
And very evil.
It's one of them horrid basilisks
You read about. They say a man risks
His life to touch it, but I guess I've sucked it
Out by now. Lucky I chucked it
Away from you.
I guess you'll do.'
'Oh, no, Francois, this beautiful beast
Was sent to me, to me the least
Worthy in all our convent, so I
Could finish my picture of the Most High
And Holy Queen,
In her dress of green.
He is dead now, but his colours won't fade
At once, and by noon I shall have made
The Virgin's robe. Oh, Francois, see
How kindly the moon shines down on me!
I can't die yet,
For the task was set.'
'You won't die now, for I've sucked it away,'
Grumbled old Francois, 'so have your play.
If the Virgin is set on snake's colours so strong, --'
'Francois, don't say things like that, it is wrong.'
So Clotilde vented
Her creed. He repented.
'He can't do no more harm, Sister,' said he.
'Paint as much as you like.' And gingerly
He picked up the snake with his stick. Clotilde
Thanked him, and begged that he would shield
255
Her secret, though itching
To talk in the kitchen.
The gardener promised, not very pleased,
And Clotilde, with the strain of adventure eased,
Walked quickly home, while the half-high moon
Made her beautiful snake-skin sparkle, and soon
In her bed she lay
And waited for day.
At dawn's first saffron-spired warning
Clotilde was up. And all that morning,
Except when she went to the chapel to pray,
She painted, and when the April day
Was hot with sun,
Clotilde had done.
Done! She drooped, though her heart beat loud
At the beauty before her, and her spirit bowed
To the Virgin her finely-touched thought had made.
A lady, in excellence arrayed,
And wonder-souled.
Christ's Blessed Mould!
From long fasting Clotilde felt weary and faint,
But her eyes were starred like those of a saint
Enmeshed in Heaven's beatitude.
A sudden clamour hurled its rude
Force to break
Her vision awake.
The door nearly leapt from its hinges, pushed
By the multitude of nuns. They hushed
When they saw Clotilde, in perfect quiet,
Smiling, a little perplexed at the riot.
And all the hive
Buzzed 'She's alive!'
Old Francois had told. He had found the strain
Of silence too great, and preferred the pain
Of a conscience outraged. The news had spread,
And all were convinced Clotilde must be dead.
256
For Francois, to spite them,
Had not seen fit to right them.
The Abbess, unwontedly trembling and mild,
Put her arms round Clotilde and wept, 'My child,
Has the Holy Mother showed you this grace,
To spare you while you imaged her face?
How could we have guessed
Our convent so blessed!
A miracle! But Oh! My Lamb!
To have you die! And I, who am
A hollow, living shell, the grave
Is empty of me. Holy Mary, I crave
To be taken, Dear Mother,
Instead of this other.'
She dropped on her knees and silently prayed,
With anguished hands and tears delayed
To a painful slowness. The minutes drew
To fractions. Then the west wind blew
The sound of a bell,
On a gusty swell.
It came skipping over the slates of the roof,
And the bright bell-notes seemed a reproof
To grief, in the eye of so fair a day.
The Abbess, comforted, ceased to pray.
And the sun lit the flowers
In Clotilde's Book of Hours.
It glistened the green of the Virgin's dress
And made the red spots, in a flushed excess,
Pulse and start; and the violet wings
Of the angel were colour which shines and sings.
The book seemed a choir
Of rainbow fire.
The Abbess crossed herself, and each nun
Did the same, then one by one,
They filed to the chapel, that incensed prayers
Might plead for the life of this sister of theirs.
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Clotilde, the Inspired!
She only felt tired.
*****
The old chronicles say she did not die
Until heavy with years. And that is why
There hangs in the convent church a basket
Of osiered silver, a holy casket,
And treasured therein
A dried snake-skin.
~ Amy Lowell,
289:On The Way
(PHILADELPHIA, 1794)
NOTE.—The following imaginary dialogue between Alexander Hamilton and
Aaron Burr, which is not based upon any specific incident in American history,
may be supposed to have occurred a few months previous to Hamilton’s
retirement from Washington’s Cabinet in 1795 and a few years before the
political ingenuities of Burr—who has been characterized, without much
exaggeration, as the inventor of American politics—began to be conspicuously
formidable to the Federalists. These activities on the part of Burr resulted, as the
reader will remember, in the Burr-Jefferson tie for the Presidency in 1800, and
finally in the Burr-Hamilton duel at Weehawken in 1804.

BURR
Hamilton, if he rides you down, remember
That I was here to speak, and so to save
Your fabric from catastrophe. That’s good;
For I perceive that you observe him also.
A President, a-riding of his horse,
May dust a General and be forgiven;
But why be dusted—when we’re all alike,
All equal, and all happy? Here he comes—
And there he goes. And we, by your new patent,
Would seem to be two kings here by the wayside,
With our two hats off to his Excellency.
Why not his Majesty, and done with it?
Forgive me if I shook your meditation,
But you that weld our credit should have eyes
To see what’s coming. Bury me first if I do.
HAMILTON
There’s always in some pocket of your brain
A care for me; wherefore my gratitude
For your attention is commensurate
With your concern. Yes, Burr, we are two kings;
We are as royal as two ditch-diggers;
But owe me not your sceptre. These are the days
217
When first a few seem all; but if we live
We may again be seen to be the few
That we have always been. These are the days
When men forget the stars, and are forgotten.
BURR
But why forget them? They’re the same that winked
Upon the world when Alcibiades
Cut off his dog’s tail to induce distinction.
There are dogs yet, and Alcibiades
Is not forgotten.
HAMILTON
Yes, there are dogs enough,
God knows; and I can hear them in my dreams.
BURR
Never a doubt. But what you hear the most
Is your new music, something out of tune
With your intention. How in the name of Cain,
I seem to hear you ask, are men to dance,
When all men are musicians. Tell me that,
I hear you saying, and I’ll tell you the name
Of Samson’s mother. But why shroud yourself
Before the coffin comes? For all you know,
The tree that is to fall for your last house
Is now a sapling. You may have to wait
So long as to be sorry; though I doubt it,
For you are not at home in your new Eden
Where chilly whispers of a likely frost
Accumulate already in the air.
I think a touch of ermine, Hamilton,
Would be for you in your autumnal mood
A pleasant sort of warmth along the shoulders.
HAMILTON
If so it is you think, you may as well
Give over thinking. We are done with ermine.
218
What I fear most is not the multitude,
But those who are to loop it with a string
That has one end in France and one end here.
I’m not so fortified with observation
That I could swear that more than half a score
Among us who see lightning see that ruin
Is not the work of thunder. Since the world
Was ordered, there was never a long pause
For caution between doing and undoing.
BURR
Go on, sir; my attention is a trap
Set for the catching of all compliments
To Monticello, and all else abroad
That has a name or an identity.
HAMILTON
I leave to you the names—there are too many;
Yet one there is to sift and hold apart,
As now I see. There comes at last a glimmer
That is not always clouded, or too late.
But I was near and young, and had the reins
To play with while he manned a team so raw
That only God knows where the end had been
Of all that riding without Washington.
There was a nation in the man who passed us,
If there was not a world. I may have driven
Since then some restive horses, and alone,
And through a splashing of abundant mud;
But he who made the dust that sets you on
To coughing, made the road. Now it seems dry,
And in a measure safe.
BURR
Here’s a new tune
From Hamilton. Has your caution all at once,
And over night, grown till it wrecks the cradle?
I have forgotten what my father said
When I was born, but there’s a rustling of it
219
Among my memories, and it makes a noise
About as loud as all that I have held
And fondled heretofore of your same caution.
But that’s affairs, not feelings. If our friends
Guessed half we say of them, our enemies
Would itch in our friends’ jackets. Howsoever,
The world is of a sudden on its head,
And all are spilled—unless you cling alone
With Washington. Ask Adams about that.
HAMILTON
We’ll not ask Adams about anything.
We fish for lizards when we choose to ask
For what we know already is not coming,
And we must eat the answer. Where’s the use
Of asking when this man says everything,
With all his tongues of silence?
BURR
I dare say.
I dare say, but I won’t. One of those tongues
I’ll borrow for the nonce. He’ll never miss it.
We mean his Western Majesty, King George.
HAMILTON
I mean the man who rode by on his horse.
I’ll beg of you the meed of your indulgence
If I should say this planet may have done
A deal of weary whirling when at last,
If ever, Time shall aggregate again
A majesty like his that has no name.
BURR
Then you concede his Majesty? That’s good,
And what of yours? Here are two majesties.
Favor the Left a little, Hamilton,
Or you’ll be floundering in the ditch that waits
For riders who forget where they are riding.
220
If we and France, as you anticipate,
Must eat each other, what Cæsar, if not yourself,
Do you see for the master of the feast?
There may be a place waiting on your head
For laurel thick as Nero’s. You don’t know.
I have not crossed your glory, though I might
If I saw thrones at auction.
HAMILTON
Yes, you might.
If war is on the way, I shall be—here;
And I’ve no vision of your distant heels.
BURR
I see that I shall take an inference
To bed with me to-night to keep me warm.
I thank you, Hamilton, and I approve
Your fealty to the aggregated greatness
Of him you lean on while he leans on you.
HAMILTON
This easy phrasing is a game of yours
That you may win to lose. I beg your pardon,
But you that have the sight will not employ
The will to see with it. If you did so,
There might be fewer ditches dug for others
In your perspective; and there might be fewer
Contemporary motes of prejudice
Between you and the man who made the dust.
Call him a genius or a gentleman,
A prophet or a builder, or what not,
But hold your disposition off the balance,
And weigh him in the light. Once (I believe
I tell you nothing new to your surmise,
Or to the tongues of towns and villages)
I nourished with an adolescent fancy—
Surely forgivable to you, my friend—
An innocent and amiable conviction
That I was, by the grace of honest fortune,
221
A savior at his elbow through the war,
Where I might have observed, more than I did,
Patience and wholesome passion. I was there,
And for such honor I gave nothing worse
Than some advice at which he may have smiled.
I must have given a modicum besides,
Or the rough interval between those days
And these would never have made for me my friends,
Or enemies. I should be something somewhere—
I say not what—but I should not be here
If he had not been there. Possibly, too,
You might not—or that Quaker with his cane.
BURR
Possibly, too, I should. When the Almighty
Rides a white horse, I fancy we shall know it.
HAMILTON
It was a man, Burr, that was in my mind;
No god, or ghost, or demon—only a man:
A man whose occupation is the need
Of those who would not feel it if it bit them;
And one who shapes an age while he endures
The pin pricks of inferiorities;
A cautious man, because he is but one;
A lonely man, because he is a thousand.
No marvel you are slow to find in him
The genius that is one spark or is nothing:
His genius is a flame that he must hold
So far above the common heads of men
That they may view him only through the mist
Of their defect, and wonder what he is.
It seems to me the mystery that is in him
That makes him only more to me a man
Than any other I have ever known.
BURR
I grant you that his worship is a man.
I’m not so much at home with mysteries,
222
May be, as you—so leave him with his fire:
God knows that I shall never put it out.
He has not made a cripple of himself
In his pursuit of me, though I have heard
His condescension honors me with parts.
Parts make a whole, if we’ve enough of them;
And once I figured a sufficiency
To be at least an atom in the annals
Of your republic. But I must have erred.
HAMILTON
You smile as if your spirit lived at ease
With error. I should not have named it so,
Failing assent from you; nor, if I did,
Should I be so complacent in my skill
To comb the tangled language of the people
As to be sure of anything in these days.
Put that much in account with modesty.
BURR
What in the name of Ahab, Hamilton,
Have you, in the last region of your dreaming,
To do with “people”? You may be the devil
In your dead-reckoning of what reefs and shoals
Are waiting on the progress of our ship
Unless you steer it, but you’ll find it irksome
Alone there in the stern; and some warm day
There’ll be an inland music in the rigging,
And afterwards on deck. I’m not affined
Or favored overmuch at Monticello,
But there’s a mighty swarming of new bees
About the premises, and all have wings.
If you hear something buzzing before long,
Be thoughtful how you strike, remembering also
There was a fellow Naboth had a vineyard,
And Ahab cut his hair off and went softly.
HAMILTON
I don’t remember that he cut his hair off.
223
BURR
Somehow I rather fancy that he did.
If so, it’s in the Book; and if not so,
He did the rest, and did it handsomely.
HAMILTON
Commend yourself to Ahab and his ways
If they inveigle you to emulation;
But where, if I may ask it, are you tending
With your invidious wielding of the Scriptures?
You call to mind an eminent archangel
Who fell to make him famous. Would you fall
So far as he, to be so far remembered?
BURR
Before I fall or rise, or am an angel,
I shall acquaint myself a little further
With our new land’s new language, which is not—
Peace to your dreams—an idiom to your liking.
I’m wondering if a man may always know
How old a man may be at thirty-seven;
I wonder likewise if a prettier time
Could be decreed for a good man to vanish
Than about now for you, before you fade,
And even your friends are seeing that you have had
Your cup too full for longer mortal triumph.
Well, you have had enough, and had it young;
And the old wine is nearer to the lees
Than you are to the work that you are doing.
HAMILTON
When does this philological excursion
Into new lands and languages begin?
BURR
Anon—that is, already. Only Fortune
224
Gave me this afternoon the benefaction
Of your blue back, which I for love pursued,
And in pursuing may have saved your life—
Also the world a pounding piece of news:
Hamilton bites the dust of Washington,
Or rather of his horse. For you alone,
Or for your fame, I’d wish it might have been so.
HAMILTON
Not every man among us has a friend
So jealous for the other’s fame. How long
Are you to diagnose the doubtful case
Of Demos—and what for? Have you a sword
For some new Damocles? If it’s for me,
I have lost all official appetite,
And shall have faded, after January,
Into the law. I’m going to New York.
BURR
No matter where you are, one of these days
I shall come back to you and tell you something.
This Demos, I have heard, has in his wrist
A pulse that no two doctors have as yet
Counted and found the same, and in his mouth
A tongue that has the like alacrity
For saying or not for saying what most it is
That pullulates in his ignoble mind.
One of these days I shall appear again,
To tell you more of him and his opinions;
I shall not be so long out of your sight,
Or take myself so far, that I may not,
Like Alcibiades, come back again.
He went away to Phrygia, and fared ill.
HAMILTON
There’s an example in Themistocles:
He went away to Persia, and fared well.
BURR
225
So? Must I go so far? And if so, why so?
I had not planned it so. Is this the road
I take? If so, farewell.
HAMILTON
Quite so. Farewell.
~ Edwin Arlington Robinson,
290:The Kalevala - Rune Xxxix
WAINAMOINEN'S SAILING.
Wainamoinen, old and faithful,
Spake these words to Ilmarinen:
'O thou wonder-working brother,
Let us go to Sariola,
There to gain the magic Sampo,
There to see the lid in colors.'
Ilmarinen gave this answer:
'Hard indeed to seize the Sampo,
Neither can the lid be captured
From the never-pleasant Northland,
From the dismal Sariola.
Louhi took away the Sampo,
Carried off the lid in colors
To the stone-mount of Pohyola;
Hid it in the copper mountain,
Where nine locks secure the treasure.
Many young roots sprout around it,
Grow nine fathoms deep in sand-earth,
One great root beneath the mountain,
In the cataract a second,
And a third beneath the castle
Built upon the mount of ages.'
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Brother mine, and wonder-worker,
Let us go to Sariola,
That we may secure the Sampo;
Let us build a goodly vessel,
Bring the Sampo to Wainola,
Bring away the lid in colors,
From the stone-berg of Pohyola,
From the copper-bearing mountain.
Where the miracle lies anchored.'
Ilmarinen thus made answer:
'By the land the way is safer,
Lempo travels on the ocean,
Ghastly Death upon his shoulder;
534
On the sea the waves will drift us,
And the storm-winds wreck our vessel;
Then our bands must do the rowing,
And our feet must steer us homeward.'
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Safe indeed by land to journey,
But the way is rough and trying,
Long the road and full of turnings;
Lovely is the ship on ocean,
Beautiful to ride the billows,
Journey easy o'er the waters,
Sailing in a trusty vessel;
Should the West-wind cross our pathway,
Will the South-wind drive us northward.
Be that as it may, my brother,
Since thou dost not love the water,
By the land then let us journey.
Forge me now the sword of battle,
Forge for me the mighty fire-sword,
That I may destroy the wild-beasts,
Frighten all the Northland people,
As we journey for the Sampo
To the cold and dismal village,
To the never-pleasant Northland,
To the dismal Sariola.'
Then the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
The eternal forger-artist,
Laid the metals in the furnace,
In the fire laid steel and iron,
In the hot-coals, gold and silver,
Rightful measure of the metals;
Set the workmen at the furnace,
Lustily they plied the bellows.
Like the wax the iron melted,
Like the dough the hard steel softened,
Like the water ran the silver,
And the liquid gold flowed after.
Then the minstrel, Ilmarinen,
The eternal wonder-forger,
Looks within his magic furnace,
On the border of his oven,
There beholds the fire-sword forming,
535
Sees the blade with golden handle;
Takes the weapon from the furnace,
Lays it on his heavy anvil
For the falling of the hammer;
Forges well the blade of magic,
Well the heavy sword be tempers,
Ornaments the hero-weapon
With the finest gold and silver.
Wainamoinen, the magician,
Comes to view the blade of conquest,
Lifts admiringly the fire-sword,
Then these words the hero utters:
'Does the weapon match the soldier,
Does the handle suit the bearer?
Yea, the blade and hilt are molded
To the wishes of the minstrel.'
On the sword-point gleams the moonlight,
On the blade the sun is shining,
On the hilt the bright stars twinkle,
On the edge a horse is neighing,
On the handle plays a kitten,
On the sheath a dog is barking.
Wainamoinen wields his fire-sword,
Tests it on the iron-mountain,
And these words the hero utters:
'With this broadsword I could quickly
Cleave in twain the mount of Pohya,
Cut the flinty rocks asunder.'
Spake the blacksmith, Ilmarinen:
'Wherewith shall I guard from danger,
How protect myself from evil,
From the ills by land and water?
Shall I wear an iron armor,
Belt of steel around my body?
Stronger is a man in armor,
Safer in a mail of copper.'
Now the time has come to journey
To the never-pleasant Northland;
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
And his brother, Ilmarinen,
Hasten to the field and forest,
Searching for their fiery coursers,
536
In each shining belt a bridle,
With a harness on their shoulders.
In the woods they find a race;
In the glen a steed of battle,
Ready for his master's service.
Wainamoinen, old and trusty,
And the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Throw the harness on the courser,
Hitch him to the sledge of conquest,
Hasten on their journey Northward;
Drive along the broad-sea's margin
Till they bear some one lamenting
On the strand hear something wailing
Near the landing-place of vessels.
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Speaks these words in wonder, guessing,
'This must be some maiden weeping,
Some fair daughter thus lamenting;
Let us journey somewhat nearer,
To discover whence this wailing.'
Drew they nearer, nearer, nearer,
Hoping thus to find a maiden
Weeping on the sandy sea-shore.
It was not a maiden weeping,
But a vessel, sad, and lonely,
Waiting on the shore and wailing.
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Why art weeping, goodly vessel,
What the cause of thy lamenting?
Art thou mourning for thy row-locks,
Is thy rigging ill-adjusted?
Dost thou weep since thou art anchored
On the shore in times of trouble?'
Thus the war-ship spake in answer:
'To the waters would this vessel
Haste upon the well-tarred rollers,
As a happy maiden journeys
To the cottage of her husband.
I, alas! a goodly vessel,
Weep because I lie at anchor,
Weep and wail because no hero
Sets me free upon the waters,
537
Free to ride the rolling billows.
It was said when I was fashioned,
Often sung when I was building,
That this bark should be for battle,
Should become a mighty war-ship,
Carry in my hull great treasures,
Priceless goods across the ocean.
Never have I sailed to conquest,
Never have I carried booty;
Other vessels not as worthy
To the wars are ever sailing,
Sailing to the songs of battle.
Three times in the summer season
Come they home with treasures laden,
In their hulls bring gold and silver;
I, alas! a worthy vessel,
Many months have lain at anchor,
I, a war-ship well constructed,
Am decaying in the harbor,
Never having sailed to conquest;
Worms are gnawing at my vitals,
In my hull their dwelling-places,
And ill-omened birds of heaven
Build their nests within my rigging;
Frogs and lizards of the forest
Play about my oars and rudder;
Three times better for this vessel
Were he but a valley birch-tree,
Or an aspen on the heather,
With the squirrels in his branches,
And the dogs beneath them barking!'
Wainamoinen, old and faithfull
Thus addressed the ship at anchor:
'Weep no more, thou goodly vessel,
Man-of-war, no longer murmur;
Thou shalt sail to Sariola,
Sing the war-songs of the Northland,
Sail with us to deadly combat.
Wert thou built by the Creator,
Thou canst sail the roughest waters,
Sidewise journey o'er the ocean;
Dost not need the hand to touch thee,
538
Dost not need the foot to turn thee,
Needing nothing to propel thee.'
Thus the weeping boat made answer:
'Cannot sail without assistance,
Neither can my brother-vessels
Sail unaided o'er the waters,
Sail across the waves undriven.'
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Should I lead thee to the broad-sea,
Wilt thou journey north unaided,
Sail without the help of rowers,
Sail without the aid of south-winds,
Sail without the b elm to guide thee?
Thus the wailing ship replying:
Cannot sail without assistance,
Neither can my brother-vessels
Sail without the aid of rowers,
Sail without the help of south-winds,
Nor without the helm to guide them.'
These the words of Wainamoinen:
'Wilt thou run with aid of oarsmen
When the south-winds give assistance,
Guided by a skillful pilot?'
This the answer of the war-ship:
'Quickly can I course these waters,
When my oars are manned by rowers,
When my sails are filled with south-winds,
All my goodly brother-vessels
Sail the ocean with assistance,
When the master holds the rudder.'
Then the ancient Wainamoinen
Left the racer on the sea-side,
Tied him to the sacred birch-tree,
Hung the harness on a willow,
Rolled the vessel to the waters,
Sang the ship upon the broad-sea,
Asked the boat this simple question:
'O thou vessel, well-appearing
From the mighty oak constructed,
Art thou strong to carry treasures
As in view thou art commanding?
Thus the goodly ship made answer:
539
'Strong am I to carry treasures,
In my hull a golden cargo;
I can bear a hundred oarsmen,
And of warriors a thousand.'
Wainamoinen, the magician,
Then began his wondrous singing.
On one side the magic vessel,
Sang he youth with golden virtues,
Bearded youth with strength of heroes,
Sang them into mail of copper.
On the other side the vessel,
Sang he silver-tinselled maidens,
Girded them with belts of copper,
Golden rings upon their fingers.
Sings again the great magician,
Fills the magic ship with heroes,
Ancient heroes, brave and mighty;
Sings them into narrow limits,
Since the young men came before them.
At the helm himself be seated,
Near the last beam of the vessel,
Steered his goodly boat in joyance,
Thus addressed the willing war-ship:
'Glide upon the trackless waters,
Sail away, my ship of magic,
Sail across the waves before thee,
Speed thou like a dancing bubble,
Like a flower upon the billows!'
Then the ancient Wainamoinen
Set the young men to the rowing,
Let the maidens sit in waiting.
Eagerly the youthful heroes
Bend the oars and try the row-locks,
But the distance is not lessened.
Then the minstrel, Wainamoinen,
Set the maidens to the rowing,
Let the young men rest in waiting.
Eagerly the merry maidens
Bend the aspen-oars in rowing,
But the distance is not lessened.
Then the master, Wainamoinen,
Set the old men to the rowing,
540
Let the youth remain in waiting.
Lustily the aged heroes
Bend and try the oars of aspen,
But the distance is not lessened.
Then the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Grasped the oars with master-magic,
And the boat leaped o'er the surges,
Swiftly sped across the billows;
Far and wide the oars resounded,
Quickly was the distance lessened.
With a rush and roar of waters
Ilmarinen sped his vessel,
Benches, ribs, and row-locks creaking,
Oars of aspen far resounding;
Flap the sails like wings of moor-cocks,
And the prow dips like a white-swan;
In the rear it croaks like ravens,
Loud the oars and rigging rattle.
Straightway ancient Wainamoinen
Sitting by the bending rudder,
Turns his magic vessel landward,
To a jutting promontory,
Where appears a Northland-village.
On the point stands Lemminkainen,
Kaukomieli, black magician,
Ahti, wizard of Wainola,
Wishing for the fish of Pohya,
Weeping for his fated dwelling,
For his perilous adventures,
Hard at work upon a vessel,
On the sail-yards of a fish-boat,
Near the hunger-point and island,
Near the village-home deserted.
Good the ears of the magician,
Good the wizard's eyes for seeing;
Casts his vision to the South-east,
Turns his eyes upon the sunset,
Sees afar a wondrous rainbow,
Farther on, a cloudlet hanging;
But the bow was a deception,
And the cloudlet a delusion;
'Tis a vessel swiftly sailing,
541
'Tis a war-ship flying northward,
O'er the blue-back of the broad-sea,
On the far-extending waters,
At the helm the master standing,
At the oars a mighty hero.
Spake the reckless Lemminkainen:
'Do not know this wondrous vessel,
Not this well-constructed war-ship,
Coming from the distant Suomi,
Rowing for the hostile Pohya.'
Thereupon wild Lemminkainen
Called aloud in tones of thunder
O'er the waters to the vessel;
Made the distant hills re-echo
With the music of his calling:
'Whence this vessel on the waters,
Whose the war-ship sailing hither?'
Spake the master of the vessel
To the reckless Lemminkainen:
'Who art thou from fen or forest,
Senseless wizard from the woodlands,
That thou dost not know this vessel,
Magic war-ship of Wainola?
Dost not know him at the rudder,
Nor the hero at the row-locks?'
Spake the wizard, Lemminkainen:
'Well I know the helm-director,
And I recognize the rower;
Wainamoinen, old and trusty,
At the helm directs the vessel;
Ilmarinen does the rowing.
Whither is the vessel sailing,
Whither wandering, my heroes?
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'We are sailing to the Northland,
There to gain the magic Sampo,
There to get the lid in colors,
From the stone-berg of Pohyola,
From the copper-bearing mountain.'
Spake the evil Lemminkainen:
'O, thou good, old Wainamoinen,
Take me with thee to Pohyola,
542
Make me third of magic heroes,
Since thou goest for the Sampo,
Goest for the lid in colors;
I shall prove a valiant soldier,
When thy wisdom calls for fighting;
I am skilled in arts of warfare!'
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Gave assent to Ahti's wishes;
Thereupon wild Lemminkainen
Hastened to Wainola's war-ship,
Bringing floats of aspen-timber,
To the ships of Wainamoinen.
Thus the hero of the Northland
Speaks to reckless Lemminkainen:
'There is aspen on my vessel,
Aspen-floats in great abundance,
And the boat is heavy-laden.
Wherefore dost thou bring the aspen
To the vessel of Wainola?'
Lemminkainen gave this answer:
'Not through caution sinks a vessel,
Nor a hay-stack by its proppings;
Seas abound in hidden dangers,
Heavy storms arise and threaten
Fell destruction to the sailor
That would brave the angry billows.'
Spake the good, old Wainamoinen:
'Therefore is this warlike vessel
Built of trusty steel and copper,
Trimmed and bound in toughest iron,
That the winds may, not destroy it,
May not harm my ship of magic.'
~ Elias Lönnrot,
291:Prince Dorus
In days of yore, as Ancient Stories tell,
A King in love with a great Princess fell.
Long at her feet submiss the Monarch sigh'd,
While she with stern repulse his suit denied.
Yet was he form'd by birth to please the fair,
Dress'd, danc'd, and courted, with a Monarch's air;
But Magic Spells her frozen breast had steel'd
With stubborn pride, that knew not how to yield.
This to the King a courteous Fairy told,
And bade the Monarch in his suit be bold;
For he that would the charming Princess wed,
Had only on her cat's black tail to tread,
When straight the Spell would vanish into air,
And he enjoy for life the yielding fair.
He thank'd the Fairy for her kind advice.Thought he, 'If this be all, I'll not be nice;
Rather than in my courtship I will fail,
I will to mince-meat tread Minon's black tail.'
To the Princess's court repairing strait,
He sought the cat that must decide his fate;
But when he found her, how the creature stared!
How her back bristled, and her great eyes glared!
That tail, which he so fondly hop'd his prize,
Was swell'd by wrath to twice its usual size;
And all her cattish gestures plainly spoke,
She thought the affair he came upon, no joke.
With wary step the cautious King draws near,
And slyly means to attack her in her rear;
But when he thinks upon her tail to pounce,
Whisk-off she skips-three yards upon a bounceAgain he tries, again his efforts fail-
96
Minon's a witch-the deuce is in her tail.-
The anxious chase for weeks the Monarch tried,
Till courage fail'd, and hope within him died.
A desperate suit 'twas useless to prefer,
Or hope to catch a tail of quicksilver.When on a day, beyond his hopes, he found
Minon, his foe, asleep upon the ground;
Her ample tail hehind her lay outspread,
Full to the eye, and tempting to the tread.
The King with rapture the occasion bless'd,
And with quick foot the fatal part he press'd.
Loud squalls were heard, like howlings of a storm,
And sad he gazed on Minon's altered form,No more a cat, but chang'd into a man
Of giant size, who frown'd, and thus began:
'Rash King, that dared with impious design
To violate that tail, that once was mine;
What tho' the spell be broke, and burst the charms,
That kept the Princess from thy longing arms,Not unrevenged shalt thou my fury dare,
For by that violated tail I swear,
From your unhappy nuptials shall be born
A Prince, whose Nose shall be thy subjects' scorn.
Bless'd in his love thy son shall never be,
Till he his foul deformity shall see,
Till he with tears his blemish shall confess,
Discern its odious length, and wish it less!'
This said, he vanish'd; and the King awhile
Mused at his words, then answer'd with a smile,
'Give me a child in happy wedlock born,
And let his Nose be made like a French horn;
His knowledge of the fact I ne'er can doubt,If he have eyes, or hands, he'll find it out.'
So spake the King, self-flatter'd in his thought,
97
Then with impatient step the Princess sought;
His urgent suit no longer she withstands,
But links with him in Hymen's knot her hands.
Almost as soon a widow as a bride,
Within a year the King her husband died;
And shortly after he was dead and gone
She was deliver'd of a little son,
The prettiest babe, with lips as red as rose,
And eyes like little stars-but such a noseThe tender Mother fondly took the boy
Into her arms, and would have kiss'd her joy;
His luckless nose forbade the fond embraceHe thrust the hideous feature in her face.
Then all her Maids of Honour tried in turn,
And for a Prince's kiss in envy burn;
By sad experience taught, their hopes they miss'd,
And mourn'd a Prince that never could be kiss'd.
In silent tears the Queen confess'd her grief,
Till kindest Flattery came to her relief.
Her maids, as each one takes him in her arms,
Expatiate freely o'er his world of charmsHis eyes, lips, mouth-his forehead was divineAnd for the nose-they call'd it AquilineDeclared that Cæsar, who the world subdued,
Had such a one-just of that longitudeThat Kings like him compell'd folks to adore them,
And drove the short-nos'd sons of men before themThat length of nose portended length of days,
And was a great advantage many waysTo mourn the gifts of Providence was wrongBesides, the Nose was not so very long.-
These arguments in part her grief redrest,
A mother's partial fondness did the rest;
And Time, that all things reconciles by use,
Did in her notions such a change produce,
That, as she views her babe, with favour blind,
98
She thinks him handsomest of human kind.
Meantime, in spite of his disfigured face,
Dorus (for so he's call'd) grew up a pace;
In fair proportion all his features rose,
Save that most prominent of all-his Nose.
That Nose, which in the infant could annoy,
Was grown a perfect nuisance in the boy.
Whene'er he walk'd, his Handle went before,
Long as the snout of Ferret, or Wild Boar;
Or like the Staff, with which on holy day
The solemn Parish Beadle clears the way.
But from their cradle to their latest year,
How seldom Truth can reach a Prince's ear!
To keep the unwelcome knowledge out of view,
His lesson well each flattering Courtier knew;
The hoary Tutor, and the wily Page,
Unmeet confederates! dupe his tender age.
They taught him that whate'er vain mortals boastStrength, Courage, Wisdom-all they value mostWhate'er on human life distinction throwsWas all comprized-in what?-a length of nose!
Ev'n Virtue's self (by some suppos'd chief merit)
In short-nosed folks was only want of spirit.
While doctrines such as these his guides instill'd,
His Palace was with long-nosed people fill'd;
At Court whoever ventured to appear
With a short nose, was treated with a sneer.
Each courtier's wife, that with a babe is blest,
Moulds its young nose betimes; and does her best,
By pulls, and hauls, and twists, and lugs, and pinches,
To stretch it to the standard of the Prince's.
Dup'd by these arts, Dorus to manhood rose,
Nor dream'd of ought more comely than his Nose;
Till Love, whose power ev'n Princes have confest,
99
Claim'd the soft empire o'er his youthful breast.
Fair Claribel was she who caus'd his care;
A neighb'ring Monarch's daughter, and sole heir.
For beauteous Claribel his bosom burn'd;
The beauteous Claribel his flame return'd;
Deign'd with kind words his passion to approve,
Met his soft vows, and yielded love for love.
If in her mind some female pangs arose
At sight (and who can blame her?) of his Nose,
Affection made her willing to be blind;
She loved him for the beauties of his mind;
And in his lustre, and his royal race,
Contented sunk-one feature of his face.
Blooming to sight, and lovely to behold,
Herself was cast in Beauty's richest mould;
Sweet female majesty her person deck'dHer face an angel's-save for one defectWise Nature, who to Dorus over kind,
A length of nose too liberal had assign'd,
As if with us poor mortals to make sport,
Had given to Claribel a nose too short:
But turn'd up with a sort of modest grace;
It took not much of beauty from her face;
And subtle Courtiers, who their Prince's mind
Still watch'd, and turn'd about with every wind,
Assur'd the Prince, that though man's beauty owes
Its charms to a majestic length of nose,
The excellence of Woman (softer creature)
Consisted in the shortness of that feature.
Few arguments were wanted to convince
The already more than half persuaded Prince;
Truths, which we hate, with slowness we receive,
But what we wish to credit, soon believe.
The Princess's affections being gain'd,
What but her Sire's approval now remain'd?
Ambassadors with solemn pomp are sent
To win the aged Monarch to consent
(Seeing their States already were allied)
100
That Dorus might have Claribel to bride.
Her Royal Sire, who wisely understood
The match propos'd was for both kingdoms' good,
Gave his consent; and gentle Claribel
With weeping bids her father's court farewell.
With gallant pomp, and numerous array,
Dorus went forth to meet her on her way;
But when the Princely pair of lovers met,
Their hearts on mutual gratulations set,
Sudden the Enchanter from the ground arose,
(The same who prophesied the Prince's nose)
And with rude grasp, unconscious of her charms,
Snatch'd up the lovely Princess in his arms,
Then bore her out of reach of human eyes,
Up in the pathless regions of the skies.
Bereft of her that was his only care,
Dorus resign'd his soul to wild despair;
Resolv'd to leave the land that gave him birth,
And seek fair Claribel throughout the earth.
Mounting his horse, he gives the beast the reins,
And wanders lonely through the desert plains;
With fearless heart the savage heath explores,
Where the wolf prowls, and where the tiger roars,
Nor wolf, nor tiger, dare his way oppose;
The wildest creatures see, and shun, his Nose.
Ev'n lions fear! the elephant alone
Surveys with pride a trunk so like his own.
At length he to a shady forest came,
Where in a cavern lived an aged dame;
A reverend Fairy, on whose silver head
A hundred years their downy snows had shed.
Here ent'ring in, the Mistress of the place
Bespoke him welcome with a cheerful grace;
Fetch'd forth her dainties, spread her social board
With all the store her dwelling could afford.
The Prince, with toil and hunger sore opprest,
101
Gladly accepts, and deigns to be her guest.
But when the first civilities were paid,
The dishes rang'd, and Grace in order said;
The Fairy, who had leisure now to view
Her guest more closely, from her pocket drew
Her spectacles, and wip'd them from the dust,
Then on her nose endeavour'd to adjust;
With difficulty she could find a place
To hang them on in her unshapely face;
For, if the Princess's was somewhat small,
This Fairy scarce had any nose at all.
But when by help of spectacles the Crone
Discern'd a Nose so different from her own,
What peals of laughter shook her aged sides!
While with sharp jests the Prince she thus derides.
FAIRY.
'Welcome, great Prince of Noses, to my cell;
'Tis a poor place,-but thus we Fairies dwell.
Pray, let me ask you, if from far you comeAnd don't you sometimes find it cumbersome?'
PRINCE.
'Find what?'
FAIRY.
'Your Nose-'
PRINCE.
'My Nose, Ma'am!'
FAIRY.
'No offenceThe King your Father was a man of sense,
A handsome man (but lived not to be old)
And had a Nose cast in the common mould.
Ev'n I myself, that now with age am grey,
102
Was thought to have some beauty in my day,
And am the Daughter of a King.-Your Sire
In this poor face saw something to admireAnd I to shew my gratitude made shiftHave stood his friend-and help'd him at a lift'Twas I that, when his hopes began to fail,
Shew'd him the spell that lurk'd in Minon's tailPerhaps you have heard-but come, Sir, you don't eatThat Nose of yours requires both wine and meatFall to, and welcome, without more adoYou see your fare-what shall I help you to?
This dish the tongues of nightingales contains;
This, eyes of peacocks; and that, linnets' brains;
That next you is a Bird of ParadiseWe Fairies in our food are somewhat nice.And pray, Sir, while your hunger is supplied,
Do lean your Nose a little on one side;
The shadow, which it casts upon the meat,
Darkens my plate, I see not what I eat-'
The Prince, on dainty after dainty feeding,
Felt inly shock'd at the old Fairy's breeding,
But held it want of manners in the Dame,
And did her country education blame.
One thing he only wonder'd at,-what she
So very comic in his Nose could see.
Hers, it must be confest, was somewhat short,
And time and shrinking age accounted for't;
But for his own, thank heaven, he could not tell
That it was ever thought remarkable;
A decent nose, of reasonable size,
And handsome thought, rather than otherwise.
But that which most of all his wonder paid,
Was to observe the Fairy's waiting Maid;
How at each word the aged Dame let fall;
She curtsied low, and smil'd assent to all;
But chiefly when the rev'rend Grannam told
Of conquests, which her beauty made of old.He smiled to see how Flattery sway'd the Dame,
Nor knew himself was open to the same!
He finds her raillery now increase so fast,
103
That making hasty end of his repast,
Glad to escape her tongue, he bids farewell
To the old Fairy, and her friendly cell.
But his kind Hostess, who had vainly tried
The force of ridicule to cure his pride,
Fertile in plans, a surer method chose,
To make him see the error of his Nose;
For, till he view'd that feature with remorse,
The Enchanter's direful spell must be in force.
Midway the road by which the Prince must pass,
She rais'd by magic art a House of Glass;
No mason's hand appear'd, nor work of wood;
Compact of glass the wondrous fabric stood.
Its stately pillars, glittering in the sun,
Conspicuous from afar, like silver, shone.
Here, snatch'd and rescued from th' Enchanter's might,
She placed the beauteous Claribel in sight.
The admiring Prince the chrystal dome survey'd,
And sought access unto his lovely Maid:
But, strange to tell, in all that mansion's bound,
Nor door, nor casement, was there to be found.
Enrag'd he took up massy stones, and flung
With such a force, that all the palace rung;
But made no more impression on the glass,
Than if the solid structure had been brass.
To comfort his despair, the lovely maid
Her snowy hand against her window laid;
But when with eager haste he thought to kiss,
His Nose stood out, and robb'd him of the bliss.
Thrice he essay'd th' impracticable feat;
The window and his lips can never meet.
The painful Truth, which Flattery long conceal'd,
Rush'd on his mind, and 'O!' he cried, 'I yield;
Wisest of Fairies, thou wert right, I wrong-
104
I own, I own, I have a Nose too long.'
The frank confession was no sooner spoke,
But into shivers all the palace broke.
His Nose of monstrous length, to his surprise
Shrunk to the limits of a common size:
And Claribel with joy her Lover view'd,
Now grown as beautiful as he was good.
The aged Fairy in their presence stands,
Confirms their mutual vows, and joins their hands.
The Prince with rapture hails the happy hour,
That rescued him from self-delusion's power;
And trains of blessings crown the future life
Of Dorus, and of Claribel, his wife.
THE END
~ Charles Lamb,
292:Tekel
WHEN on the West broke light from out the East,
Then from the splendour and the shame of Rome-Renouncing wealth and pleasure, game and feast,
And all the joys of his polluted home,
Desiring not the gifts his world could give,
If haply he might save his soul and live-Into the desert's heart a man had come.
His God had died for love of him, and he
For love of God would die to all of these
Sweet sins he had not known for sins, and be
Estranged for evermore from rest and ease;
His days in penance spent might half atone
For the iniquity of days bygone,
And in the desert might his soul find peace.
Crossing wide seas, he reached an alien land:
By mighty harbours and broad streams he passed
Into an arid, trackless waste of sand,
And journeying ever faster and more fast,
Left men behind, and onward still did press
To a ruined city in the wilderness,
And there he stayed his restless feet at last.
There stood long lines of columns richly wrought,
Colossal statues of forgotten kings,
Vast shadowy temples, court within dim court,
Great shapes of man-faced beasts with wide firm wings;
And in and out each broken colonnade
The bright-eyed, swift, green-gleaming lizards played,
In that still place the only living things.
But when the moon unveiled her still, white face,
And over sand and stone her glory shed-Another life awoke within the place,
241
And great beasts stalked, with silent heavy tread,
Through pillared vista, over marble floor,
And the stern menace of the lion's roar
Made horrible the city of the dead.
Like a great bird soft sinking on its nest,
Too lightly to disturb its tender brood,
The night, with dark spread wings and cloudy breast,
Sank on the desert city's solitude
As he drew near. The shadows grew more dense,
The silence stronger; weariness intense
Fell on him then, and only rest seemed good.
He passed between tall pillars' sculptured gloom,
And entered a deserted, lightless fane,
And knew not if it temple were, or tomb,
But slept and slept, till over all the plain
The level sunbeams spread, and earth was bright
With morning's radiant resurrection-light;
Then he awoke, refreshed and strong again.
Through empty courts he passed, and lo! a wall
Whereon was imaged all the languid grace
Of fairest women, and among them all
Shone like a star one lovely Eastern face:
Undimmed by centuries the colours were,
Bright as when first the painter found her fair,
And set her there to glorify the place.
All he had fled from suddenly drew near,
And from her eyes a challenge seemed down-thrown;
'Ah, fool!' she seemed to say, 'what dost thou here?
How canst thou bear this stern, sad life alone,
When I--not just this face that copies me,
But I myself--stretch arms and lips to thee,
From that same world whose joys thou hast foregone?'
242
His heart leaped up like flame--she was so fair;
Then with a start he hid his eyes and fled
Into the hotness of the outer air.
His pulse beat quickly. 'Oh, my God!' he said,
'These be the heart made pure, and cleansèd brain!
I vow to Thee to never look again
On women, real or painted, quick or dead!'
So lest within the city he should find,
To tempt his soul, still some accursèd thing,
He left the palaces and courts behind,
Found a green spot, with date-palms and a spring
And built himself a rough stone shelter there
And saw no more the face, so strange and fair
That had begot such vain imagining.
He tilled the patch of land, and planted seeds
Which from his own far country he had brought;
And, caring little for his body's needs,
Strove still by blind belief to strangle thought,
By ceaseless penance to deny desire,
To quench in prayer and fast all human fire,
And wrest from Heaven the blessings that he sought.
And there peace found him, and he dwelt alone,
And gladly gave his life to God. Behind
Lay the long dim arcades of graven stone;
Before him lay the desert, burning blind
Sometimes with the dread dance of its own sand,
That wildly whirled in shadowy columns, fanned
By the hot breath of the fierce desert wind.
Each day passed by as had passed other days,
And days gone by were as the days to come,
Save that on some days he was wild with praise,
And weak with vigil and with fast on some;
And no man saw he for long months and years,
But ever did he penance with hot tears,
243
And but for prayer and praise his lips were dumb.
Sometimes at first, when spent with watch and prayer,
He saw again the Imperial City's towers,
Where, in a mist of music and sweet air,
Thais and Phryne crowned his cup with flowers-He saw the easeful day, the festal night,
The life that was one dream of long delight,
One rose-red glow of rapture and fair hours.
He heard old well-remembered voices cry,
'Come back to us! Think of the joys you miss;
Each moment floats some foregone rapture by,
A cup, a crown, a song, a laugh, a kiss!
Cast down that crown of thorns, return, and be
Once more flower-crowned, love-thrilled, wine-warmed, and see
The old sweet life--how good a thing it is!'
But his soul answered, 'Nay, I am content;
Ye call in vain; the desert shuts me in.
Your flowers are sere, your wine with gall is blent,
Your sweets have all the sickening taste of sin;
Such sin I expiate with ceaseless pain,
And world and flesh and devil strive in vain
Back from its sanctuary my soul to win.
'Fair are the Imperial City's towers to see?
I seek the City with the streets of gold.
Beside the lilies God has grown for me
Faint are the roses that your fingers hold.
Ear hath not heard the music I shall hear,
Eye hath not seen the joys that shall appear,
Nor heart conceived the things I shall behold.'
After long days a stranger halted there,
For some far distant monastery bound.
The hermit fed and lodged, nor could forbear
244
To tell his guest what rest his soul had found
How with the world he long ago had done,
How the hard battle had been fought and won,
And he found peace, pure, perfect and profound.
The stranger answered, 'Thou hast watched an hour,
But many hours go to make up our day,
And some of these are dark with fateful power,
And Satan watches for our souls alway;
The spirit may be willing, but indeed
The flesh is weak, and so much more the need
To pray and watch, my brother, watch and pray.'
The Roman bowed his head in mute assent,
And, having served the stranger with his best,
Bade him God-speed, and down the way he went-Gazed sadly after, but within his breast
A pale fire of resentment sprang to flame
Was he not holy now, and void of blame,
And certain of himself, and pure, and blest?
That night a new-born desolation grew
Within his heart as he made fast the stone
Against the doorway of his hut, and knew
How more than ever he was now alone.
He was in darkness, but the moon without
Made a new tender daylight round about
The hut, the palms, the plot with millet sown.
Hark!--what was that?--For many months and years
He had not heard that faint uncertain noise,
Broken, and weak, and indistinct with tears-A voice--a human voice--a woman's voice.
'Oh, let me in,' it wailed, 'before I die!
Oh, let me in, for Holy Charity!
For see--my life or death is at thy choice!'
245
Unthinking, swift he rolled the stone away:
There stood a woman, trembling, shrinking, thin;
Her pale hair by the moon's white light looked grey,
And grey her hands and grey her withered skin.
'Oh, save me--lest I die among the beasts
Who roam, and roar, and hold their fearful feasts!
Oh, save me,' she besought him, 'let me in!'
Troubled, he answered, 'Nay, I have a vow
Never again a woman's face to see!'
'But, ah,' she cried, 'thy vow is broken now,
For at this moment thou beholdest me.
I cannot journey farther. Help!' she said,
'Or I before the dawning shall be dead,
And thou repent to all eternity!'
His soul was gentle and compassionate.
'Thou shalt not perish--enter here,' he said;
'My vow is broken, and thy need is great.'
She staggered forward to the dry leaf bed,
And sank upon it, cold and still and white.
'Perhaps she may not live until the light,'
He thought, and lifted up her drooping head,
And gave her wine from out a little store
Which he had kept untouched since first he came;
He rolled the stone again before his door
To keep the night air from her wasted frame;
And, though his vow was broken, somehow knew
That he was doing what was right to do,
Yet felt a weight of unacknowledged blame.
And many a day he tended her and fed;
But ever after that first night's surprise
With earnest vigilance he held his head
Averted, and downcast he kept his eyes.
His vow, though broken once, was still his law;
He looked upon her face no more, nor saw
246
Her whom he cared for in such kindly wise.
She never spoke to him, nor he to her-That she was sick and sad was all he knew;
He never asked her what her past days were,
Nor of the future, what she meant to do.
So dwelt they, till the full moon's yellow light
Flooded the world once more. Then came the night
Which all his life had been a prelude to.
The stone was moved a little from the door,
And near it he was kneeling rapt in prayer
Upon the cold uneven earthen floor;
The moonbeams passed him by, and rested where
The woman slept--her breathing soft and slow,
With rhythmic cadence even, restful, low,
Stirring the stillness of the cool night air
His prayer being ended, as he turned to rest,
He chanced to let his eyes fall carelessly
Upon the figure that the moon caressed,
The woman that his care had not let die.
And now no more he turned his face aside,
But gazed, and gazed, and still unsatisfied
His eager look fed on her, hungrily.
On her? On whom? The suppliant he had saved,
Thin, hollow-cheeked and sunken-eyed had been,
With shrunken brow whereon care-lines were graved,
With withered arms, dull hair, and fingers lean.
'Has my blind care transformed her so?' he said;
For she was gone, and there lay in her stead
The loveliest woman he had ever seen.
The rags she wore but made her seem more sweet,
Since in despite of them she was so fair;
The rough brown leaves quite covered up her feet,
247
But left one ivory arm and shoulder bare,
The other lay beneath the little head,
And over all the moonlit couch was spread
The sunlight-coloured wonder of her hair.
He could not move, nor turn away his gaze:
How long he stood and looked he could not guess.
At last she faintly sighed, and in her face
Trembled the dawn of coming consciousness;
The eyelids quivered, and the red lips stirred,
As if they tried to find some sweet lost wo
And then her eyelids lifted, and he met
Full in his dazzled eyes the glorious light
Of eyes that he had struggled to forget
Since he had broken from their spells of might-The Eastern eyes that from the painted wall
Had lightened down upon him, to enthral
Senses and soul with fetters of delight.
He knew her now, his love without a name,
Who in his dreams had looked on him and smiled,
And almost back to his old world of shame
His unconsenting manhood had beguiled!
There was no world now any more. At last
He knew that all--his future, present, past-In her sole self was fused and reconciled.
The moments fled as in a dream divine:
Fire filled his veins--there beat within his brain
The madness that is born of love or wine;
And her eyes gleamed--softened and gleamed again,
And in those stormy seas he gazed, until
Her beauty seemed the whole vast night to fill,
And all, save her, seemed valueless and vain.
Then, with her eyes still deep in his, she rose
248
And moved towards him, and a wave of bliss
Flooded his sense with the wild joy that goes
Before a longed-for, almost granted kiss,
And slowly she drew nearer to his side-Then, with a smile like mid-June's dawn, she sighed,
And turned to him, and laid her hand on his.
And at the touch, all he had deemed effaced-All the heart-searing passions of his past-Surged up, and their destroying wave laid waste
The ordered garden of his soul. At last
The spell of silence broke, and suddenly
The man's whole heart found voice in one low cry,
As round her perfect head his arms he cast--
And did not clasp her, for his foiled arms crossed
Only upon his own tumultuous breast!
His wrecked heart, tempest driven, passion tossed,
Beat fierce against his own hand on it pressed.
As on June fields might fall December frost,
In one cold breath he knew that she was lost-Eternally foregone and unpossessed.
For even as he clasped she had seemed to melt,
And fade into the misty moonlit air;
His arms were empty, yet his hand still felt
The touch of her hand that had rested there:
But she was gone, with all her maddening grace-The solitude and silence, in her place,
Like a chill searching wind crept everywhere.
Silence--at first. Then suddenly outbroke
A little laugh. And then, above, around,
A hideous peal of laughter, shout on shout,
Re-echoing from sky, and air, and ground;
And in his devastated soul had birth
A horrid echo of that demon mirth,
And with his human voice he swelled its sound.
249
'Tricked, fooled!' he laughed. 'We laugh, the fiends and I,
They for their triumph, I to feel my fall!
From snares like these is no security,
In desert wild or close-built city wall:
And since I must be tempted, let me go
And brave the old temptations that I know;
Not these, that are but phantoms after all--
'Phantoms, not living women, warm and real,
As the fair Roman women were. And yet
The phantom only is my soul's ideal,
Longed for through all the years and never met
Till now; and only now to make hell worse-To fan my fires of infinite remorse
With the cold wind of infinite regret.
'Back to the world, the world of love and sin!
For since my soul is lost, I claim its price!
Prayers are not heard. The God I trusted in
Has failed me once--He shall not fail me twice!
No more of that wild striving and intense
For irrecoverable innocence-No more of useless, vain self-sacrifice!
'Life is too potent and too passionate,
Against whose force I all these years have striven
In vain, in vain! Our own lives make our Fate;
And by our Fate our lives are blindly driven!
There is no refuge in the hermit's cell
From memories enough to make a hell-Of chances lost that might have made a heaven!'
Back to his world he went, and plunged anew
Into the old foul life's polluted tide;
But ever in his sweetest feast he knew
A longing never to be satisfied:
250
This strange wild wickedness, that new mad sin,
Might be the frame to find her picture in;
And if that failed, some other must be tried.
And in the search, soul, body, heart, and brain
Were blasted and destroyed, and still his prize,
Ever untouched, seemed always just to gain,
And just beyond his reach shone Paradise.
So followed he, too faithfully, too well,
Through death, into the very gate of hell,
The love-light of those unforgotten eyes!
~ Edith Nesbit,
293:Scene.Inside the Palace by the Duomo. Monsignor, dismissing his Attendants.
Monsignor
Thanks, friends, many thanks! I chiefly desire life now, that I may recompense every one of you. Most I know something of already. What, a repast prepared?Benedicto benedicatur . . . ugh, ugh! Where was I? Oh, as you were remarking, Ugo, the weather is mild, very unlike winter-weather: but I am a Sicilian, you know, and shiver in your Julys here. To be sure, when 't was full summer at Messina, as we priests used to cross in procession the great square on Assumption Day, you might see our thickest yellow tapers twist suddenly in two, each like a falling star, or sink down on themselves in a gore of wax. But go, my friends, but go! [To the Intendant]
Not you, Ugo! [The others leave the apartment]
I have long wanted to converse with you, Ugo.

Intendant
Uguccio

Monsignor
. . . 'guccio Stefani, man! of Ascoli, Fermo and Fossombruno;what I do need instructing about, are these accounts of your administration of my poor brother's affairs. Ugh! I shall never get through a third part of your accounts: take some of these dainties before we attempt it, however. Are you bashful to that degree? For me, a crust and water suffice.

Intendant
Do you choose this especial night to question me?

Monsignor
This night, Ugo. You have managed my late brother's affairs since the death of our elder brother: fourteen years and a month, all but three days. On the Third of December, I find him . . .

Intendant
If you have so intimate an acquaintance with your brother's affairs, you will be tender of turning so far back: they will hardly bear looking into, so far back.

Monsignor
Ay, ay, ugh, ugh,nothing but disappointments here below! I remark a considerable payment made to yourself on this Third of December. Talk of disappointments! There was a young fellow here, Jules, a foreign sculptor I did my utmost to advance, that the Church might be a gainer by us both: he was going on hopefully enough, and of a sudden he notifies to me some marvellous change that has happened in his notions of Art. Here's his letter,"He never had a clearly conceived Ideal within his brain till to-day. Yet since his hand could manage a chisel, he has practised expressing other men's Ideals; and, in the very perfection he has attained to, he foresees an ultimate failure: his unconscious hand will pursue its prescribed course of old years, and will reproduce with a fatal expertness the ancient types, let the novel one appear never so palpably to his spirit. There is but one method of escape: confiding the virgin type to as chaste a hand, he will turn painter instead of sculptor, and paint, not carve, its characteristics," strike out, I dare say, a school like Correggio: how think you, Ugo?

Intendant
Is Correggio a painter?

Monsignor
Foolish Jules! and yet, after all, why foolish? He mayprobably willfail egregiously; but if there should arise a new painter, will it not be in some such way, by a poet now, or a musician (spirits who have conceived and perfected an Ideal through some other channel), transferring it to this, and escaping our conventional roads by pure ignorance of them; eh, Ugo? If you have no appetite, talk at least, Ugo!

Intendant
Sir, I can submit no longer to this course of yours. First, you select the group of which I formed one,next you thin it gradually,always retaining me with your smile,and so do you proceed till you have fairly got me alone with you between four stone walls. And now then? Let this farce, this chatter end now: what is it you want with me?

Monsignor
Ugo!

Intendant
From the instant you arrived, I felt your smile on me as you questioned me about this and the other article in those paperswhy your brother should have given me this villa, that podere,and your nod at the end meant,what?

Monsignor
Possibly that I wished for no loud talk here. If once you set me coughing, Ugo!

Intendant
I have your brother's hand and seal to all I possess: now ask me what for! what service I did himask me!

Monsignor
I would better not: I should rip up old disgraces, let out my poor brother's weaknesses. By the way, Maffeo of Forli (which, I forgot to observe, is your true name), was the interdict ever taken off you, for robbing that church at Cesena?

Intendant
No, nor needs be: for when I murdered your brother's friend, Pasquale, for him . . .

Monsignor
Ah, he employed you in that business, did he? Well, I must let you keep, as you say, this villa and that podere, for fear the world should find out my relations were of so indifferent a stamp? Maffeo, my family is the oldest in Messina, and century after century have my progenitors gone on polluting themselves with every wickedness under heaven: my own father . . . rest his soul!I have, I know, a chapel to support that it may rest: my dear two dead brothers were,what you know tolerably well; I, the youngest, might have rivalled them in vice, if not in wealth: but from my boyhood I came out from among them, and so am not partaker of their plagues. My glory springs from another source; or if from this, by contrast only,for I, the bishop, am the brother of your employers, Ugo. I hope to repair some of their wrong, however; so far as my brothers' illgotten treasure reverts to me, I can stop the consequences of his crime: and not one soldo shall escape me. Maffec, the sword we quiet men spurn away, you shrewd knaves pick up and commit murders with; what opportunities the virtuous forego, the villanous seize. Because, to pleasure myself apart from other considerations, my food would be millet-cake, my dress sackcloth, and my couch straw,am I therefore to let you, the offscouring of the earth, seduce the poor and ignorant by appropriating a pomp these will be sure to think lessens the abominations so unaccountably and exclusively associated with it? Must I let villas and poderi go to you, a murderer and thief, that you may beget by means of them other murderers and thieves? Noif my cough would but allow me to speak!

Intendant
What am I to expect? You are going to punish me?

Monsignor
Must punish you, Maffeo. I cannot afford to cast away a chance. I have whole centuries of sin to redeem, and only a month or two of life to it in. How should I dare to say . . .

Intendant
"Forgive us our trespasses"?

Monsignor
My friend, it is because I avow myself a very worm, sinful beyond measure, that I reject a line of conduct you would applaud perhaps. Shall I proceed, as it were, a-pardoning?I?who have no symptom of reason to assume that aught less than my strenuousest efforts will keep myself out of mortal sin, much less keep others out. No: I do trespass, but will not double that by allowing you to trespass.

Intendant
And suppose the villas are not your brother's to give, nor yours to take? Oh, you are hasty enough just now!

Monsignor
I, 2No 3!ay, can you read the substance of a letter, No 3, I have received from Rome? It is precisely on the ground there mentioned, of the suspicion I have that a certain child of my late elder brother, who would have succeeded to his estates, was murdered in infancy by you, Maffeo, at the instigation of my late younger brotherthat the Pontiff enjoins on me not merely the bringing that Maffeo to condign punishment, but the taking all pains, as guardian of the infant's heritage for the Church, to recover it parcel by parcel, howsoever, whensoever, and wheresoever. While you are now gnawing those fingers, the police are engaged in sealing up your papers, Maffeo, and the mere raising my voice brings my people from the next room to dispose of yourself. But I want you to confess quietly, and save me raising my voice. Why, man, do I not know the old story? The heir between the succeeding heir, and this heir's ruffianly instrument, and their complot's effect, and the life of fear and bribes and ominous smiling silence? Did you throttle or stab my brother's infant? Come now

Intendant
So old a story, and tell it no better? When did such an instrument ever produce such an effect? Either the child smiles in his face; or, most likely, he is not fool enough to put himself in the employer's power so thoroughly: the child is always ready to produceas you sayhowsoever, wheresoever, and whensoever.

Monsignor
Liar!

Intendant
Strike me? Ah, so might a father chastise! I shall sleep soundly to-night at least, though the gallows await me to-morrow; for what a life did I lead! Carlo of Cesena reminds me of his connivance, every time I pay his annuity; which happens commonly thrice a year. If I remonstrate, he will confess all to the good bishopyou!

Monsignor
I see through the trick, caitiff! I would you spoke truth for once. All shall be sifted, however seven times sifted.

Intendant
And how my absurd riches encumbered me! I dared not lay claim to above half my possessions. Let me but once unbosom myself, glorify Heaven, and die! Sir, you are no brutal dastardly idiot like your brother I frightened to death: let us understand one another. Sir, I will make away with her for youthe girlhere close at hand; not the stupid obvious kind of killing; do not speakknow nothing of her nor of me! I see her every daysaw her this morning: of course there is to be no killing; but at Rome the courtesans perish off every three years, and I can entice her thitherhave indeed begun operations already. There's a certain lusty blue-eyed florid-complexioned English knave, I and the Police employ occasionally. You assent, I perceive no, that's not itassent I do not saybut you will let me convert my present havings and holdings into cash, and give me time to cross the Alps? 'T is but a little black-eyed pretty singing Felippa, gay silk-winding girl. I have kept her out of harm's way up to this present; for I always intended to make your life a plague to you with her. 'T is as well settled once and for ever. Some women I have procured will pass Bluphocks, my handsome scoundrel, off for somebody; and once Pippa entangled!you conceive? Through her singing? Is it a bargain?

[From without is heard the voice of Pippa, singing
Overhead the tree-tops meet,
Flowers and grass spring 'neath one's feet;
There was nought above me, nought below,
My childhood had not learned to know:
For, what are the voices of birds
Ay, and of beasts,but words, our words,
Only so much more sweet?
The knowledge of that with my life begun.
But I had so near made out the sun,
And counted your stars, the seven and one,
Like the fingers of my hand:
Nay, I could all but understand
Wherefore through heaven the white moon ranges;
And just when out of her soft fifty changes
No unfamiliar face might overlook me
Suddenly God took me.]
[Pippa passes.
Monsignor
[springing up].
My peopleone and all allwithin there! Gag this villaintie him hand and foot! He dares . . . I know not half he daresbut remove himquick! Miserere mei, Domine! Quick, I say!

Scene.Pippa's chamber again. She enters it.
The bee with his comb,
The mouse at her dray,
The grub in his tomb,
Wile winter away;
But the fire-fly and hedge-shrew and lob-worm, I pray,
How fare they?
Ha, ha, thanks for your counsel, my Zanze!
"Feast upon lampreys, quaff Breganze"
The summer of life so easy to spend,
And care for to-morrow so soon put away!
But winter hastens at summer's end,
And fire-fly, hedge-shrew, lob-worm, pray,
How fare they?
No bidding me then to . . . what did Zanze say?
"Pare your nails pearlwise, get your small feet shoes
"More like" . . (what said she?)"and less like canoes!"
How pert that girl was!would I be those pert
Impudent staring women! It had done me,
However, surely no such mighty hurt
To learn his name who passed that jest upon me:
No foreigner, that I can recollect,
Came, as she says, a month since, to inspect
Our silk-millsnone with blue eyes and thick rings
Of raw-silk-coloured hair, at all events.
Well, if old Luca keep his good intents,
We shall do better, see what next year brings.
I may buy shoes, my Zanze, not appear
More destitute than you perhaps next year!
Bluph . . . something! I had caught the uncouth name
But for Monsignor's people's sudden clatter
Above usbound to spoil such idle chatter
As ours: it were indeed a serious matter
If silly talk like ours should put to shame
The pious man, the man devoid of blame,
The . . . ah butah but, all the same,
No mere mortal has a right
To carry that exalted air;
Best people are not angels quite:
Whilenot the worst of people's doings scare
The devil; so there's that proud look to spare!
Which is mere counsel to myself, mind! for
I have just been the holy Monsignor:
And I was you too, Luigi's gentle mother,
And you too, Luigi!how that Luigi started
Out of the turretdoubtlessly departed
On some good errand or another,
For he passed just now in a traveller's trim,
And the sullen company that prowled
About his path, I noticed, scowled
As if they had lost a prey in him.
And I was Jules the sculptor's bride,
And I was Ottima beside,
And now what am I?tired of fooling.
Day for folly, night for schooling!
New year's day is over and spent,
Ill or well, I must be content.
Even my lily's asleep, I vow:
Wake uphere's a friend I've plucked you!
Call this flower a heart's-ease now!
Something rare, let me instruct you,
Is this, with petals triply swollen,
Three times spotted, thrice the pollen;
While the leaves and parts that witness
Old proportions and their fitness,
Here remain unchanged, unmoved now;
Call this pampered thing improved now!
Suppose there's a king of the flowers
And a girl-show held in his bowers
"Look ye, buds, this growth of ours,"
Says he, "Zanze from the Brenta,
"I have made her gorge polenta
"Till both cheeks are near as bouncing
"As her . . . name there's no pronouncing!
"See this heightened colour too,
"For she swilled Breganze wine
"Till her nose turned deep carmine;
"'T was but white when wild she grew.
"And only by this Zanze's eyes
"Of which we could not change the size,
"The magnitude of all achieved
"Otherwise, may be perceived."
Oh what a drear dark close to my poor day!
How could that red sun drop in that black cloud?
Ah Pippa, morning's rule is moved away,
Dispensed with, never more to be allowed!
Day's turn is over, now arrives the night's.
Oh lark, be day's apostle
To mavis, merle and throstle,
Bid them their betters jostle
From day and its delights!
But at night, brother howlet, over the woods,
Toll the world to thy chantry;
Sing to the bats' sleek sisterhoods
Full complines with gallantry:
Then, owls and bats,
Cowls and twats,
Monks and nuns, in a cloister's moods,
Adjourn to the oak-stump pantry!
[After she has begun to undress herself.]
Now, one thing I should like to really know:
How near I ever might approach all these
I only fancied being, this long day:
Approach, I mean, so as to touch them, so
As to . . . in some way . . . move themif you please,
Do good or evil to them some slight way.
For instance, if I wind
Silk to-morrow, my silk may bind
[Sitting on the bedside.]
And border Ottima's cloak's hem.
Ah me, and my important part with them,
This morning's hymn half promised when I rose!
True in some sense or other, I suppose.
[As she lies down.]
God bless me! I can pray no more to-night.
No doubt, some way or other, hymns say right.
All service ranks the same with God
With God, whose puppets, best and worst,
Are we: there is no last nor first.
[She sleeps.]


~ Robert Browning, Pippa Passes - Part IV - Night
,
294:Epistle To Dr. Arbuthnot
Shut, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd, I said,
Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.
The dog-star rages! nay 'tis past a doubt,
All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out:
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide?
They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide;
By land, by water, they renew the charge;
They stop the chariot, and they board the barge.
No place is sacred, not the church is free;
Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:
Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme,
Happy! to catch me just at dinner-time.
Is there a parson, much bemus'd in beer,
A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer,
A clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross,
Who pens a stanza, when he should engross?
Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls
With desp'rate charcoal round his darken'd walls?
All fly to Twit'nam, and in humble strain
Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws,
Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause:
Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope,
And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my life! (which did not you prolong,
The world had wanted many an idle song)
What drop or nostrum can this plague remove?
Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love?
A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped,
If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead.
Seiz'd and tied down to judge, how wretched I!
Who can't be silent, and who will not lie;
To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace,
And to be grave, exceeds all pow'r of face.
73
I sit with sad civility, I read
With honest anguish, and an aching head;
And drop at last, but in unwilling ears,
This saving counsel, 'Keep your piece nine years.'
'Nine years! ' cries he, who high in Drury-lane
Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane,
Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends,
Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends:
'The piece, you think, is incorrect: why, take it,
I'm all submission, what you'd have it, make it.'
Three things another's modest wishes bound,
My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound.
Pitholeon sends to me: 'You know his Grace,
I want a patron; ask him for a place.'
Pitholeon libell'd me- 'but here's a letter
Informs you, sir, 'twas when he knew no better.
Dare you refuse him? Curll invites to dine,
He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine.'
Bless me! a packet- ''Tis a stranger sues,
A virgin tragedy, an orphan muse.'
If I dislike it, 'Furies, death and rage! '
If I approve, 'Commend it to the stage.'
There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends,
The play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends.
Fir'd that the house reject him, ''Sdeath I'll print it,
And shame the fools- your int'rest, sir, with Lintot! '
'Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much.'
'Not, sir, if you revise it, and retouch.'
All my demurs but double his attacks;
At last he whispers, 'Do; and we go snacks.'
Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door,
'Sir, let me see your works and you no more.'
'Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring,
(Midas, a sacred person and a king)
His very minister who spied them first,
(Some say his queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst.
And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case,
74
When ev'ry coxcomb perks them in my face?
'Good friend, forbear! you deal in dang'rous things.
I'd never name queens, ministers, or kings;
Keep close to ears, and those let asses prick;
'Tis nothing'- Nothing? if they bite and kick?
Out with it, Dunciad! let the secret pass,
That secret to each fool, that he's an ass:
The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?)
The queen of Midas slept, and so may I.
You think this cruel? take it for a rule,
No creature smarts so little as a fool.
Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break,
Thou unconcern'd canst hear the mighty crack:
Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulsions hurl'd,
Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world.
Who shames a scribbler? break one cobweb through,
He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew;
Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain,
The creature's at his dirty work again;
Thron'd in the centre of his thin designs;
Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines!
Whom have I hurt? has poet yet, or peer,
Lost the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnassian sneer?
And has not Colley still his lord, and whore?
His butchers Henley, his Free-masons Moore?
Does not one table Bavius still admit?
Still to one bishop Philips seem a wit?
Still Sappho- 'Hold! for God-sake- you'll offend:
No names! - be calm! - learn prudence of a friend!
I too could write, and I am twice as tall;
But foes like these! ' One flatt'rer's worse than all.
Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right,
It is the slaver kills, and not the bite.
A fool quite angry is quite innocent;
Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent.
One dedicates in high heroic prose,
And ridicules beyond a hundred foes;
One from all Grub Street will my fame defend,
And, more abusive, calls himself my friend.
75
This prints my Letters, that expects a bribe,
And others roar aloud, 'Subscribe, subscribe.'
There are, who to my person pay their court:
I cough like Horace, and, though lean, am short,
Ammon's great son one shoulder had too high,
Such Ovid's nose, and 'Sir! you have an eye'Go on, obliging creatures, make me see
All that disgrac'd my betters, met in me:
Say for my comfort, languishing in bed,
'Just so immortal Maro held his head:'
And when I die, be sure you let me know
Great Homer died three thousand years ago.
Why did I write? what sin to me unknown
Dipp'd me in ink, my parents', or my own?
As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,
I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.
I left no calling for this idle trade,
No duty broke, no father disobey'd.
The Muse but serv'd to ease some friend, not wife,
To help me through this long disease, my life,
To second, Arbuthnot! thy art and care,
And teach the being you preserv'd, to bear.
But why then publish? Granville the polite,
And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write;
Well-natur'd Garth inflamed with early praise,
And Congreve lov'd, and Swift endur'd my lays;
The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read,
Ev'n mitred Rochester would nod the head,
And St. John's self (great Dryden's friends before)
With open arms receiv'd one poet more.
Happy my studies, when by these approv'd!
Happier their author, when by these belov'd!
From these the world will judge of men and books,
Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cookes.
Soft were my numbers; who could take offence,
While pure description held the place of sense?
Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme,
A painted mistress, or a purling stream.
76
Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill;
I wish'd the man a dinner, and sat still.
Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret;
I never answer'd, I was not in debt.
If want provok'd, or madness made them print,
I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint.
Did some more sober critic come abroad?
If wrong, I smil'd; if right, I kiss'd the rod.
Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence,
And all they want is spirit, taste, and sense.
Commas and points they set exactly right,
And 'twere a sin to rob them of their mite.
Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd these ribalds,
From slashing Bentley down to pidling Tibbalds.
Each wight who reads not, and but scans and spells,
Each word-catcher that lives on syllables,
Ev'n such small critics some regard may claim,
Preserv'd in Milton's or in Shakespeare's name.
Pretty! in amber to observe the forms
Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms;
The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare,
But wonder how the devil they got there?
Were others angry? I excus'd them too;
Well might they rage; I gave them but their due.
A man's true merit 'tis not hard to find,
But each man's secret standard in his mind,
That casting weight pride adds to emptiness,
This, who can gratify? for who can guess?
The bard whom pilfer'd pastorals renown,
Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown,
Just writes to make his barrenness appear,
And strains, from hard-bound brains, eight lines a year:
He, who still wanting, though he lives on theft,
Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left:
And he, who now to sense, now nonsense leaning,
Means not, but blunders round about a meaning:
And he, whose fustian's so sublimely bad,
It is not poetry, but prose run mad:
All these, my modest satire bade translate,
And own'd, that nine such poets made a Tate.
77
How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and chafe?
And swear, not Addison himself was safe.
Peace to all such! but were there one whose fires
True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires,
Blest with each talent and each art to please,
And born to write, converse, and live with ease:
Should such a man, too fond to rule alone,
Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne,
View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
And hate for arts that caus'd himself to rise;
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend,
A tim'rous foe, and a suspicious friend;
Dreading ev'n fools, by flatterers besieg'd,
And so obliging, that he ne'er oblig'd;
Like Cato, give his little senate laws,
And sit attentive to his own applause;
While wits and templars ev'ry sentence raise,
And wonder with a foolish face of praise.
Who but must laugh, if such a man there be?
Who would not weep, if Atticus were he?
What though my name stood rubric on the walls,
Or plaister'd posts, with claps, in capitals?
Or smoking forth, a hundred hawkers' load,
On wings of winds came flying all abroad?
I sought no homage from the race that write;
I kept, like Asian monarchs, from their sight:
Poems I heeded (now berhym'd so long)
No more than thou, great George! a birthday song.
I ne'er with wits or witlings pass'd my days,
To spread about the itch of verse and praise;
Nor like a puppy, daggled through the town,
To fetch and carry sing-song up and down;
Nor at rehearsals sweat, and mouth'd, and cried,
With handkerchief and orange at my side;
But sick of fops, and poetry, and prate,
To Bufo left the whole Castalian state.
78
Proud as Apollo on his forked hill,
Sat full-blown Bufo, puff'd by every quill;
Fed with soft dedication all day long,
Horace and he went hand in hand in song.
His library (where busts of poets dead
And a true Pindar stood without a head,)
Receiv'd of wits an undistinguish'd race,
Who first his judgment ask'd, and then a place:
Much they extoll'd his pictures, much his seat,
And flatter'd ev'ry day, and some days eat:
Till grown more frugal in his riper days,
He paid some bards with port, and some with praise,
To some a dry rehearsal was assign'd,
And others (harder still) he paid in kind.
Dryden alone (what wonder?) came not nigh,
Dryden alone escap'd this judging eye:
But still the great have kindness in reserve,
He help'd to bury whom he help'd to starve.
May some choice patron bless each grey goose quill!
May ev'ry Bavius have his Bufo still!
So, when a statesman wants a day's defence,
Or envy holds a whole week's war with sense,
Or simple pride for flatt'ry makes demands,
May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands!
Blest be the great! for those they take away,
And those they left me- for they left me Gay;
Left me to see neglected genius bloom,
Neglected die! and tell it on his tomb;
Of all thy blameless life the sole return
My verse, and Queensb'ry weeping o'er thy urn!
Oh let me live my own! and die so too!
('To live and die is all I have to do:')
Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,
And see what friends, and read what books I please.
Above a patron, though I condescend
Sometimes to call a minister my friend:
I was not born for courts or great affairs;
I pay my debts, believe, and say my pray'rs;
Can sleep without a poem in my head,
79
Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead.
Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light?
Heav'ns! was I born for nothing but to write?
Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave)
Have I no friend to serve, no soul to save?
'I found him close with Swift'- 'Indeed? no doubt',
(Cries prating Balbus) 'something will come out'.
'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will.
'No, such a genius never can lie still,'
And then for mine obligingly mistakes
The first lampoon Sir Will. or Bubo makes.
Poor guiltless I! and can I choose but smile,
When ev'ry coxcomb knows me by my style?
Curs'd be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,
That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,
Or from the soft-ey'd virgin steal a tear!
But he, who hurts a harmless neighbour's peace,
Insults fall'n worth, or beauty in distress,
Who loves a lie, lame slander helps about,
Who writes a libel, or who copies out:
That fop, whose pride affects a patron's name,
Yet absent, wounds an author's honest fame;
Who can your merit selfishly approve,
And show the sense of it without the love;
Who has the vanity to call you friend,
Yet wants the honour, injur'd, to defend;
Who tells what'er you think, whate'er you say,
And, if he lie not, must at least betray:
Who to the Dean, and silver bell can swear,
And sees at Cannons what was never there;
Who reads, but with a lust to misapply,
Make satire a lampoon, and fiction, lie.
A lash like mine no honest man shall dread,
But all such babbling blockheads in his stead.
Let Sporus tremble- 'What? that thing of silk,
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel? '
80
Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings;
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'r enjoys,
So well-bred spaniels civilly delight
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,
As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.
Whether in florid impotence he speaks,
And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks;
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad,
Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad,
In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies,
Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies.
His wit all see-saw, between that and this,
Now high, now low, now Master up, now Miss,
And he himself one vile antithesis.
Amphibious thing! that acting either part,
The trifling head, or the corrupted heart,
Fop at the toilet, flatt'rer at the board,
Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
Eve's tempter thus the rabbins have express'd,
A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest;
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust,
Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
Not fortune's worshipper, nor fashion's fool,
Not lucre's madman, nor ambition's tool,
Not proud, nor servile, be one poet's praise,
That, if he pleas'd, he pleas'd by manly ways;
That flatt'ry, even to kings, he held a shame,
And thought a lie in verse or prose the same:
That not in fancy's maze he wander'd long,
But stoop'd to truth, and moraliz'd his song:
That not for fame, but virtue's better end,
He stood the furious foe, the timid friend,
The damning critic, half-approving wit,
The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit;
Laugh'd at the loss of friends he never had,
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad;
The distant threats of vengeance on his head,
The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed;
81
The tale reviv'd, the lie so oft o'erthrown;
Th' imputed trash, and dulness not his own;
The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape;
The libell'd person, and the pictur'd shape;
Abuse, on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, spread,
A friend in exile, or a father, dead;
The whisper, that to greatness still too near,
Perhaps, yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear:Welcome for thee, fair Virtue! all the past:
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the last!
'But why insult the poor? affront the great? '
A knave's a knave, to me, in ev'ry state:
Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail,
Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail,
A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer,
Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire;
If on a pillory, or near a throne,
He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit,
Sappho can tell you how this man was bit:
This dreaded sat'rist Dennis will confess
Foe to his pride, but friend to his distress:
So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door,
Has drunk with Cibber, nay, has rhym'd for Moore.
Full ten years slander'd, did he once reply?
Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie.
To please a mistress one aspers'd his life;
He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife.
Let Budgell charge low Grub Street on his quill,
And write whate'er he pleas'd, except his will;
Let the two Curlls of town and court, abuse
His father, mother, body, soul, and muse.
Yet why? that father held it for a rule,
It was a sin to call our neighbour fool:
That harmless mother thought no wife a whore,Hear this! and spare his family, James Moore!
Unspotted names! and memorable long,
If there be force in virtue, or in song.
Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause,
82
While yet in Britain honour had applause)
Each parent sprung- 'What fortune, pray? '- Their own,
And better got, than Bestia's from the throne.
Born to no pride, inheriting no strife,
Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
Stranger to civil and religious rage,
The good man walk'd innoxious through his age.
No courts he saw, no suits would ever try,
Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie:
Un-learn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art,
No language, but the language of the heart.
By nature honest, by experience wise,
Healthy by temp'rance and by exercise;
His life, though long, to sickness past unknown;
His death was instant, and without a groan.
O grant me, thus to live, and thus to die!
Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I.
O friend! may each domestic bliss be thine!
Be no unpleasing melancholy mine:
Me, let the tender office long engage
To rock the cradle of reposing age,
With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
Make langour smile, and smooth the bed of death,
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And keep a while one parent from the sky!
On cares like these if length of days attend,
May Heav'n, to bless those days, preserve my friend,
Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
And just as rich as when he serv'd a queen.
Whether that blessing be denied or giv'n,
Thus far was right, the rest belongs to Heav'n.
~ Alexander Pope,
295:He gazed and gazed and gazed and gazed,
Amazed, amazed, amazed, amazed.

Like (7) 2
Saul
I.

Said Abner, ``At last thou art come! Ere I tell, ere thou speak,
``Kiss my cheek, wish me well!'' Then I wished it, and did kiss his cheek.
And he, ``Since the King, O my friend, for thy countenance sent,
``Neither drunken nor eaten have we; nor until from his tent
``Thou return with the joyful assurance the King liveth yet,
``Shall our lip with the honey be bright, with the water be wet.
``For out of the black mid-tent's silence, a space of three days,
``Not a sound hath escaped to thy servants, of prayer nor of praise,
``To betoken that Saul and the Spirit have ended their strife,
``And that, faint in his triumph, the monarch sinks back upon life.

II.

``Yet now my heart leaps, O beloved! God's child with his dew
``On thy gracious gold hair, and those lilies still living and blue
``Just broken to twine round thy harp-strings, as if no wild beat
``Were now raging to torture the desert!''

III.

                     Then I, as was meet,
Knelt down to the God of my fathers, and rose on my feet,
And ran o'er the sand burnt to powder. The tent was unlooped;
I pulled up the spear that obstructed, and under I stooped
Hands and knees on the slippery grass-patch, all withered and gone,
That extends to the second enclosure, I groped my way on
Till I felt where the foldskirts fly open. Then once more I prayed,
And opened the foldskirts and entered, and was not afraid
But spoke, ``Here is David, thy servant!'' And no voice replied.
At the first I saw nought but the blackness but soon I descried
A something more black than the blackness-the vast, the upright
Main prop which sustains the pavilion: and slow into sight
Grew a figure against it, gigantic and blackest of all.
Then a sunbeam, that burst thro' the tent-roof, showed Saul.

IV.

He stood as erect as that tent-prop, both arms stretched out wide
On the great cross-support in the centre, that goes to each side;
He relaxed not a muscle, but hung there as, caught in his pangs
And waiting his change, the king-serpent all heavily hangs,
Far away from his kind, in the pine, till deliverance come
With the spring-time,-so agonized Saul, drear and stark, blind and dumb.

V.

Then I tuned my harp,-took off the lilies we twine round its chords
Lest they snap 'neath the stress of the noon-tide-those sunbeams like swords!
And I first played the tune all our sheep know, as, one after one,
So docile they come to the pen-door till folding be done.
They are white and untorn by the bushes, for lo, they have fed
Where the long grasses stifle the water within the stream's bed;
And now one after one seeks its lodging, as star follows star
Into eve and the blue far above us,-so blue and so far!

VI.

-Then the tune, for which quails on the cornland will each leave his mate
To fly after the player; then, what makes the crickets elate
Till for boldness they fight one another: and then, what has weight
To set the quick jerboa amusing outside his sand house-
There are none such as he for a wonder, half bird and half mouse!
God made all the creatures and gave them our love and our fear,
To give sign, we and they are his children, one family here.
VII.

Then I played the help-tune of our reapers, their wine-song, when hand
Grasps at hand, eye lights eye in good friendship, and great hearts expand
And grow one in the sense of this world's life.-And then, the last song
When the dead man is praised on his journey-``Bear, bear him along
``With his few faults shut up like dead flowerets! Are balm-seeds not here
``To console us? The land has none left such as he on the bier.
``Oh, would we might keep thee, my brother!''-And then, the glad chaunt
Of the marriage,-first go the young maidens, next, she whom we vaunt
As the beauty, the pride of our dwelling.-And then, the great march
Wherein man runs to man to assist him and buttress an arch
Nought can break; who shall harm them, our friends?-Then, the chorus intoned
As the Levites go up to the altar in glory enthroned.
But I stopped here: for here in the darkness Saul groaned.

VIII.

And I paused, held my breath in such silence, and listened apart;
And the tent shook, for mighty Saul shuddered: and sparkles 'gan dart
From the jewels that woke in his turban, at once with a start,
All its lordly male-sapphires, and rubies courageous at heart.
So the head: but the body still moved not, still hung there erect.
And I bent once again to my playing, pursued it unchecked,
As I sang,-

IX.

     ``Oh, our manhood's prime vigour! No spirit feels waste,
``Not a muscle is stopped in its playing nor sinew unbraced.
``Oh, the wild joys of living! the leaping from rock up to rock,
``The strong rending of boughs from the fir-tree, the cool silver shock
``Of the plunge in a pool's living water, the hunt of the bear,
``And the sultriness showing the lion is couched in his lair.
``And the meal, the rich dates yellowed over with gold dust divine,
``And the locust-flesh steeped in the pitcher, the full draught of wine,
``And the sleep in the dried river-channel where bulrushes tell
``That the water was wont to go warbling so softly and well.
``How good is man's life, the mere living! how fit to employ
``All the heart and the soul and the senses for ever in joy!
``Hast thou loved the white locks of thy father, whose sword thou didst guard
``When he trusted thee forth with the armies, for glorious reward?
``Didst thou see the thin hands of thy mother, held up as men sung
``The low song of the nearly-departed, and bear her faint tongue
``Joining in while it could to the witness, `Let one more attest,
`` `I have lived, seen God's hand thro'a lifetime, and all was for best'?
``Then they sung thro' their tears in strong triumph, not much, but the rest.
``And thy brothers, the help and the contest, the working whence grew
``Such result as, from seething grape-bundles, the spirit strained true:
``And the friends of thy boyhood-that boyhood of wonder and hope,
``Present promise and wealth of the future beyond the eye's scope,-
``Till lo, thou art grown to a monarch; a people is thine;
``And all gifts, which the world offers singly, on one head combine!
``On one head, all the beauty and strength, love and rage (like the throe
``That, a-work in the rock, helps its labour and lets the gold go)
``High ambition and deeds which surpass it, fame crowning them,-all
``Brought to blaze on the head of one creature-King Saul!''

X.

And lo, with that leap of my spirit,-heart, hand, harp and voice,
Each lifting Saul's name out of sorrow, each bidding rejoice
Saul's fame in the light it was made for-as when, dare I say,
The Lord's army, in rapture of service, strains through its array,
And up soareth the cherubim-chariot-``Saul!'' cried I, and stopped,
And waited the thing that should follow. Then Saul, who hung propped
By the tent's cross-support in the centre, was struck by his name.
Have ye seen when Spring's arrowy summons goes right to the aim,
And some mountain, the last to withstand her, that held (he alone,
While the vale laughed in freedom and flowers) on a broad bust of stone
A year's snow bound about for a breastplate,-leaves grasp of the sheet?
Fold on fold all at once it crowds thunderously down to his feet,
And there fronts you, stark, black, but alive yet, your mountain of old,
With his rents, the successive bequeathings of ages untold-
Yea, each harm got in fighting your battles, each furrow and scar
Of his head thrust 'twixt you and the tempest-all hail, there they are!
-Now again to be softened with verdure, again hold the nest
Of the dove, tempt the goat and its young to the green on his crest
For their food in the ardours of summer. One long shudder thrilled
All the tent till the very air tingled, then sank and was stilled
At the King's self left standing before me, released and aware.
What was gone, what remained? All to traverse, 'twixt hope and despair;
Death was past, life not come: so he waited. Awhile his right hand
Held the brow, helped the eyes left too vacant forthwith to remand
To their place what new objects should enter: 'twas Saul as before.
I looked up and dared gaze at those eyes, nor was hurt any more
Than by slow pallid sunsets in autumn, ye watch from the shore,
At their sad level gaze o'er the ocean-a sun's slow decline
Over hills which, resolved in stern silence, o'erlap and entwine
Base with base to knit strength more intensely: so, arm folded arm
O'er the chest whose slow heavings subsided.

XI.

                     What spell or what charm,
(For, awhile there was trouble within me) what next should I urge
To sustain him where song had restored him?-Song filled to the verge
His cup with the wine of this life, pressing all that it yields
Of mere fruitage, the strength and the beauty: beyond, on what fields,
Glean a vintage more potent and perfect to brighten the eye
And bring blood to the lip, and commend them the cup they put by?
He saith, ``It is good;'' still he drinks not: he lets me praise life,
Gives assent, yet would die for his own part.

XII.

                      Then fancies grew rife
Which had come long ago on the pasture, when round me the sheep
Fed in silence-above, the one eagle wheeled slow as in sleep;
And I lay in my hollow and mused on the world that might lie
'Neath his ken, though I saw but the strip 'twixt the hill and the sky:
And I laughed-``Since my days are ordained to be passed with my flocks,
``Let me people at least, with my fancies, the plains and the rocks,
``Dream the life I am never to mix with, and image the show
``Of mankind as they live in those fashions I hardly shall know!
``Schemes of life, its best rules and right uses, the courage that gains,
``And the prudence that keeps what men strive for.'' And now these old trains
Of vague thought came again; I grew surer; so, once more the string
Of my harp made response to my spirit, as thus-

XIII.

                        ``Yea, my King,''
I began-``thou dost well in rejecting mere comforts that spring
``From the mere mortal life held in common by man and by brute:
``In our flesh grows the branch of this life, in our soul it bears fruit.
``Thou hast marked the slow rise of the tree,-how its stem trembled first
``Till it passed the kid's lip, the stag's antler then safely outburst
``The fan-branches all round; and thou mindest when these too, in turn
``Broke a-bloom and the palm-tree seemed perfect: yet more was to learn,
``E'en the good that comes in with the palm-fruit. Our dates shall we slight,
``When their juice brings a cure for all sorrow? or care for the plight
``Of the palm's self whose slow growth produced them? Not so! stem and branch
``Shall decay, nor be known in their place, while the palm-wine shall staunch
``Every wound of man's spirit in winter. I pour thee such wine.
``Leave the flesh to the fate it was fit for! the spirit be thine!
``By the spirit, when age shall o'ercome thee, thou still shalt enjoy
``More indeed, than at first when inconscious, the life of a boy.
``Crush that life, and behold its wine running! Each deed thou hast done
``Dies, revives, goes to work in the world; until e'en as the sun
``Looking down on the earth, though clouds spoil him, though tempests efface,
``Can find nothing his own deed produced not, must everywhere trace
``The results of his past summer-prime'-so, each ray of thy will,
``Every flash of thy passion and prowess, long over, shall thrill
``Thy whole people, the countless, with ardour, till they too give forth
``A like cheer to their sons, who in turn, fill the South and the North
``With the radiance thy deed was the germ of. Carouse in the past!
``But the license of age has its limit; thou diest at last:
``As the lion when age dims his eyeball, the rose at her height
``So with man-so his power and his beauty for ever take flight.
``No! Again a long draught of my soul-wine! Look forth o'er the years!
``Thou hast done now with eyes for the actual; begin with the seer's!
``Is Saul dead? In the depth of the vale make his tomb-bid arise
``A grey mountain of marble heaped four-square, till, built to the skies,
``Let it mark where the great First King slumbers: whose fame would ye know?
``Up above see the rock's naked face, where the record shall go
``In great characters cut by the scribe,-Such was Saul, so he did;
``With the sages directing the work, by the populace chid,-
``For not half, they'll affirm, is comprised there! Which fault to amend,
``In the grove with his kind grows the cedar, whereon they shall spend
``(See, in tablets 'tis level before them) their praise, and record
``With the gold of the graver, Saul's story,-the statesman's great word
``Side by side with the poet's sweet comment. The river's a-wave
``With smooth paper-reeds grazing each other when prophet-winds rave:
``So the pen gives unborn generations their due and their part
``In thy being! Then, first of the mighty, thank God that thou art!''

XIV.

And behold while I sang but O Thou who didst grant me that day,
And before it not seldom hast granted thy help to essay,
Carry on and complete an adventure,-my shield and my sword
In that act where my soul was thy servant, thy word was my word,-
Still be with me, who then at the summit of human endeavour
And scaling the highest, man's thought could, gazed hopeless as ever
On the new stretch of heaven above me-till, mighty to save,
Just one lift of thy hand cleared that distance-God's throne from man's grave!
Let me tell out my tale to its ending-my voice to my heart
Which can scarce dare believe in what marvels last night I took part,
As this morning I gather the fragments, alone with my sheep,
And still fear lest the terrible glory evanish like sleep!
For I wake in the grey dewy covert, while Hebron upheaves
The dawn struggling with night on his shoulder, and Kidron retrieves
Slow the damage of yesterday's sunshine.

XV.

                   I say then,-my song
While I sang thus, assuring the monarch, and ever more strong
Made a proffer of good to console him-he slowly resumed
His old motions and habitudes kingly. The right-hand replumed
His black locks to their wonted composure, adjusted the swathes
Of his turban, and see-the huge sweat that his countenance bathes,
He wipes off with the robe; and he girds now his loins as of yore,
And feels slow for the armlets of price, with the clasp set before.
He is Saul, ye remember in glory,-ere error had bent
The broad brow from the daily communion; and still, though much spent
Be the life and the bearing that front you, the same, God did choose,
To receive what a man may waste, desecrate, never quite lose.
So sank he along by the tent-prop till, stayed by the pile
Of his armour and war-cloak and garments, he leaned there awhile,
And sat out my singing,-one arm round the tent-prop, to raise
His bent head, and the other hung slack-till I touched on the praise
I foresaw from all men in all time, to the man patient there;
And thus ended, the harp falling forward. Then first I was 'ware
That he sat, as I say, with my head just above his vast knees
Which were thrust out on each side around me, like oak-roots which please
To encircle a lamb when it slumbers. I looked up to know
If the best I could do had brought solace: he spoke not, but slow
Lifted up the hand slack at his side, till he laid it with care
Soft and grave, but in mild settled will, on my brow: thro' my hair
The large fingers were pushed, and he bent back my bead, with kind power-
All my face back, intent to peruse it, as men do a flower.
Thus held he me there with his great eyes that scrutinized mine-
And oh, all my heart how it loved him! but where was the sign?
I yearned-``Could I help thee, my father, inventing a bliss,
``I would add, to that life of the past, both the future and this;
``I would give thee new life altogether, as good, ages hence,
``As this moment,-had love but the warrant, love's heart to dispense!''

XVI.

Then the truth came upon me. No harp more-no song more! outbroke-

XVII.

``I have gone the whole round of creation: I saw and I spoke:
``I, a work of God's hand for that purpose, received in my brain
``And pronounced on the rest of his hand-work-returned him again
``His creation's approval or censure: I spoke as I saw:
``I report, as a man may of God's work-all's love, yet all's law.
``Now I lay down the judgeship he lent me. Each faculty tasked
``To perceive him, has gained an abyss, where a dewdrop was asked.
``Have I knowledge? confounded it shrivels at Wisdom laid bare.
``Have I forethought? how purblind, how blank, to the Infinite Care!
``Do I task any faculty highest, to image success?
``I but open my eyes,-and perfection, no more and no less,
``In the kind I imagined, full-fronts me, and God is seen God
``In the star, in the stone, in the flesh, in the soul and the clod.
``And thus looking within and around me, I ever renew
``(With that stoop of the soul which in bending upraises it too)
``The submission of man's nothing-perfect to God's all-complete,
``As by each new obeisance in spirit, I climb to his feet.
``Yet with all this abounding experience, this deity known,
``I shall dare to discover some province, some gift of my own.
``There's a faculty pleasant to exercise, hard to hoodwink,
``I am fain to keep still in abeyance, (I laugh as I think)
``Lest, insisting to claim and parade in it, wot ye, I worst
``E'en the Giver in one gift.-Behold, I could love if I durst!
``But I sink the pretension as fearing a man may o'ertake
``God's own speed in the one way of love: I abstain for love's sake.
``-What, my soul? see thus far and no farther? when doors great and small,
``Nine-and-ninety flew ope at our touch, should the hundredth appal?
``In the least things have faith, yet distrust in the greatest of all?
``Do I find love so full in my nature, God's ultimate gift,
``That I doubt his own love can compete with it? Here, the parts shift?
``Here, the creature surpass the Creator,-the end, what Began?
``Would I fain in my impotent yearning do all for this man,
``And dare doubt he alone shall not help him, who yet alone can?
``Would it ever have entered my mind, the bare will, much less power,
``To bestow on this Saul what I sang of, the marvellous dower
``Of the life he was gifted and filled with? to make such a soul,
``Such a body, and then such an earth for insphering the whole?
``And doth it not enter my mind (as my warm tears attest)
``These good things being given, to go on, and give one more, the best?
``Ay, to save and redeem and restore him, maintain at the height
``This perfection,-succeed with life's day-spring, death's minute of night?
``Interpose at the difficult minute, snatch Saul the mistake,
``Saul the failure, the ruin he seems now,-and bid him awake
``From the dream, the probation, the prelude, to find himself set
``Clear and safe in new light and new life,-a new harmony yet
``To be run, and continued, and ended-who knows?-or endure!
``The man taught enough, by life's dream, of the rest to make sure;
``By the pain-throb, triumphantly winning intensified bliss,
``And the next world's reward and repose, by the struggles in this.

XVIII.

``I believe it! 'Tis thou, God, that givest, 'tis I who receive:
``In the first is the last, in thy will is my power to believe.
``All's one gift: thou canst grant it moreover, as prompt to my prayer
``As I breathe out this breath, as I open these arms to the air.
``From thy will, stream the worlds, life and nature, thy dread Sabaoth:
``I will?-the mere atoms despise me! Why am I not loth
``To look that, even that in the face too? Why is it I dare
``Think but lightly of such impuissance? What stops my despair?
``This;-'tis not what man Does which exalts him, but what man Would do!
``See the King-I would help him but cannot, the wishes fall through.
``Could I wrestle to raise him from sorrow, grow poor to enrich,
``To fill up his life, starve my own out, I would-knowing which,
``I know that my service is perfect. Oh, speak through me now!
``Would I suffer for him that I love? So wouldst thou-so wilt thou!
``So shall crown thee the topmost, ineffablest, uttermost crown-
``And thy love fill infinitude wholly, nor leave up nor down
``One spot for the creature to stand in! It is by no breath,
``Turn of eye, wave of hand, that salvation joins issue with death!
``As thy Love is discovered almighty, almighty be proved
``Thy power, that exists with and for it, of being Beloved!
``He who did most, shall bear most; the strongest shall stand the most weak.
``'Tis the weakness in strength, that I cry for! my flesh, that I seek
``In the Godhead! I seek and I find it. O Saul, it shall be
``A Face like my face that receives thee; a Man like to me,
``Thou shalt love and be loved by, for ever: a Hand like this hand
``Shall throw open the gates of new life to thee! See the Christ stand!''

XIX.

I know not too well how I found my way home in the night.
There were witnesses, cohorts about me, to left and to right,
Angels, powers, the unuttered, unseen, the alive, the aware:
I repressed, I got through them as hardly, as strugglingly there,
As a runner beset by the populace famished for news-
Life or death. The whole earth was awakened, hell loosed with her crews;
And the stars of night beat with emotion, and tingled and shot
Out in fire the strong pain of pent knowledge: but I fainted not,
For the Hand still impelled me at once and supported, suppressed
All the tumult, and quenched it with quiet, and holy behest,
Till the rapture was shut in itself, and the earth sank to rest.
Anon at the dawn, all that trouble had withered from earth-
Not so much, but I saw it die out in the day's tender birth;
In the gathered intensity brought to the grey of the hills;
In the shuddering forests' held breath; in the sudden wind-thrills;
In the startled wild beasts that bore off, each with eye sidling still
Though averted with wonder and dread; in the birds stiff and chill
That rose heavily, as I approached them, made stupid with awe:
E'en the serpent that slid away silent,-he felt the new law.
The same stared in the white humid faces upturned by the flowers;
The same worked in the heart of the cedar and moved the vine-bowers:
And the little brooks witnessing murmured, persistent and low,
With their obstinate, all but hushed voices-``E'en so, it is so!''
The jumping hare.

One of the three cities of Refuge.
*
A brook in Jerusalem.


~ Robert Browning, Rhyme for a Child Viewing a Naked Venus in a Painting of 'The Judgement of Paris'
,
296:Of The Four Humours In Mans Constitution.
The former four now ending their discourse,
Ceasing to vaunt their good, or threat their force.
Lo other four step up, crave leave to show
The native qualityes that from them flow:
But first they wisely shew'd their high descent,
Each eldest daughter to each Element.
Choler was own'd by fire, and Blood by air,
Earth knew her black swarth child, water her fair:
All having made obeysance to each Mother,
Had leave to speak, succeeding one the other:
But 'mongst themselves they were at variance,
Which of the four should have predominance.
Choler first hotly claim'd right by her mother,
Who had precedency of all the other:
But Sanguine did disdain what she requir'd,
Pleading her self was most of all desir'd.
Proud Melancholy more envious then the rest,
The second, third or last could not digest.
She was the silentest of all the four,
Her wisdom spake not much, but thought the more
Mild Flegme did not contest for chiefest place,
Only she crav'd to have a vacant space.
Well, thus they parle and chide; but to be brief,
Or will they, nill they, Choler will be chief.
They seing her impetuosity
At present yielded to necessity.
Choler.
To shew my high descent and pedegree,
Your selves would judge but vain prolixity;
It is acknowledged from whence I came,
It shall suffice to shew you what I am,
My self and mother one, as you shall see,
But shee in greater, I in less degree.
We both once Masculines, the world doth know,
Now Feminines awhile, for love we owe
Unto your Sisterhood, which makes us render
Our noble selves in a less noble gender.
Though under Fire we comprehend all heat,
Yet man for Choler is the proper seat:
67
I in his heart erect my regal throne,
Where Monarch like I play and sway alone.
Yet many times unto my great disgrace
One of your selves are my Compeers in place,
Where if your rule prove once predominant,
The man proves boyish, sottish, ignorant:
But if you yield subservience unto me,
I make a man, a man in th'high'st degree:
Be he a souldier, I more fence his heart
Then iron Corslet 'gainst a sword or dart.
What makes him face his foe without appal,
To storm a breach, or scale a city wall,
In dangers to account himself more sure
Then timerous Hares whom Castles do immure?
Have you not heard of worthyes, Demi-Gods?
Twixt them and others what is't makes the odds
But valour? whence comes that? from none of you,
Nay milksops at such brunts you look but blew.
Here's sister ruddy, worth the other two,
Who much will talk, but little dares she do,
Unless to Court and claw, to dice and drink,
And there she will out-bid us all, I think,
She loves a fiddle better then a drum,
A Chamber well, in field she dares not come,
She'l ride a horse as bravely as the best,
And break a staff, provided 'be in jest;
But shuns to look on wounds, & blood that's spilt,
She loves her sword only because its gilt.
Then here's our sad black Sister, worse then you.
She'l neither say she will, nor will she doe;
But peevish Malecontent, musing sits,
And by misprissions like to loose her witts:
If great perswasions cause her meet her foe,
In her dull resolution she's so slow,
To march her pace to some is greater pain
Then by a quick encounter to be slain.
But be she beaten, she'l not run away,
She'l first advise if't be not best to stay.
Now let's give cold white sister flegme her right,
So loving unto all she scorns to fight:
If any threaten her, she'l in a trice
Convert from water to congealed ice:
68
Her teeth will chatter, dead and wan's her face,
And 'fore she be assaulted, quits the place.
She dares not challeng, if I speak amiss,
Nor hath she wit or heat to blush at this.
Here's three of you all see now what you are,
Then yield to me preheminence in war.
Again who fits for learning, science, arts?
Who rarifies the intellectual parts:
From whence fine spirits flow and witty notions:
But tis not from our dull, slow sisters motions:
Nor sister sanguine, from thy moderate heat,
Poor spirits the Liver breeds, which is thy seat.
What comes from thence, my heat refines the same
And through the arteries sends it o're the frame:
The vital spirits they're call'd, and well they may
For when they fail, man turns unto his clay.
The animal I claim as well as these,
The nerves, should I not warm, soon would they freeze
But flegme her self is now provok'd at this
She thinks I never shot so far amiss.
The brain she challengeth, the head's her seat;
But know'ts a foolish brain that wanteth heat.
My absence proves it plain, her wit then flyes
Out at her nose, or melteth at her eyes.
Oh who would miss this influence of thine
To be distill'd, a drop on every Line?
Alas, thou hast no Spirits; thy Company
Will feed a dropsy, or a Tympany,
The Palsy, Gout, or Cramp, or some such dolour:
Thou wast not made, for Souldier or for Scholar;
Of greazy paunch, and bloated cheeks go vaunt,
But a good head from these are dissonant.
But Melancholy, wouldst have this glory thine,
Thou sayst thy wits are staid, subtil and fine;
'Tis true, when I am Midwife to thy birth
Thy self's as dull, as is thy mother Earth:
Thou canst not claim the liver, head nor heart
Yet hast the Seat assign'd, a goodly part
The sinke of all us three, the hateful Spleen
Of that black Region, nature made thee Queen;
Where pain and sore obstruction thou dost work,
Where envy, malice, thy Companions lurk.
69
If once thou'rt great, what follows thereupon
But bodies wasting, and destruction?
So base thou art, that baser cannot be,
Th'excrement adustion of me.
But I am weary to dilate your shame,
Nor is't my pleasure thus to blur your name,
Only to raise my honour to the Skies,
As objects best appear by contraries.
But Arms, and Arts I claim, and higher things,
The princely qualities befitting Kings,
Whose profound heads I line with policies,
They'r held for Oracles, they are so wise,
Their wrathful looks are death their words are laws
Their Courage it foe, friend, and Subject awes;
But one of you, would make a worthy King
Like our sixth Henry (that same virtuous thing)
That when a Varlet struck him o're the side,
Forsooth you are to blame, he grave reply'd.
Take Choler from a Prince, what is he more
Then a dead Lion, by Beasts triumph'd o're.
Again you know, how I act every part
By th'influence, I still send from the heart:
It's nor your Muscles, nerves, nor this nor that
Do's ought without my lively heat, that's flat:
Nay th'stomack magazine to all the rest
Without my boyling heat cannot digest:
And yet to make my greatness, still more great
What differences, the Sex? but only heat.
And one thing more, to close up my narration
Of all that lives, I cause the propagation.
I have been sparings what I might have said
I love no boasting, that's but Childrens trade.
To what you now shall say I will attend,
And to your weakness gently condescend.
Blood.
Good Sisters, give me leave, as is my place
To vent my grief, and wipe off my disgrace:
Your selves may plead your wrongs are no whit less
Your patience more then mine, I must confess
Did ever sober tongue such language speak,
Or honesty such tyes unfriendly break?
Dost know thy self so well us so amiss?
70
Is't arrogance or folly causeth this?
Ile only shew the wrong thou'st done to me,
Then let my sisters right their injury.
To pay with railings is not mine intent,
But to evince the truth by Argument:
I will analyse this thy proud relation
So full of boasting and prevarication,
Thy foolish incongruityes Ile show,
So walk thee till thou'rt cold, then let thee go.
There is no Souldier but thy self (thou sayest,)
No valour upon Earth, but what thou hast
Thy silly provocations I despise,
And leave't to all to judge, where valour lies
No pattern, nor no pattron will I bring
But David, Judah's most heroick King,
Whose glorious deeds in Arms the world can tell,
A rosie cheek Musitian thou know'st well;
He knew well how to handle Sword and Harp,
And how to strike full sweet, as well as sharp,
Thou laugh'st at me for loving merriment,
And scorn'st all Knightly sports at Turnament.
Thou sayst I love my Sword, because it's gilt,
But know, I love the Blade, more then the Hill,
Yet do abhor such temerarious deeds,
As thy unbridled, barbarous Choler breeds:
Thy rudeness counts good manners vanity,
And real Complements base flattery.
For drink, which of us twain like it the best,
Ile go no further then thy nose for test:
Thy other scoffs, not worthy of reply
Shall vanish as of no validity:
Of thy black Calumnies this is but part,
But now Ile shew what souldier thou art.
And though thou'st us'd me with opprobrious spight
My ingenuity must give thee right.
Thy choler is but rage when tis most pure,
But usefull when a mixture can endure;
As with thy mother fire, so tis with thee,
The best of all the four when they agree:
But let her leave the rest, then I presume
Both them and all things else she would consume.
VVhilst us for thine associates thou tak'st,
71
A Souldier most compleat in all points mak'st:
But when thou scorn'st to take the help we lend,
Thou art a Fury or infernal Fiend.
Witness the execrable deeds thou'st done,
Nor sparing Sex nor Age, nor Sire nor Son;
To satisfie thy pride and cruelty,
Thou oft hast broke bounds of Humanity,
Nay should I tell, thou would'st count me no blab,
How often for the lye, thou'st given the stab.
To take the wall's a sin of so high rate,
That nought but death the same may expiate,
To cross thy will, a challenge doth deserve
So shed'st that blood, thou'rt bounden to preserve
Wilt thou this valour, Courage, Manhood call:
No, know 'tis pride most diabolibal.
If murthers be thy glory, tis no less,
Ile not envy thy feats, nor happiness:
But if in fitting time and place 'gainst foes
For countreys good thy life thou dar'st expose,
Be dangers n'er so high, and courage great,
Ile praise that prowess, fury, Choler, heat:
But such thou never art when all alone,
Yet such when we all four are joyn'd in one.
And when such thou art, even such are we,
The friendly Coadjutors still of thee.
Nextly the Spirits thou dost wholly claim,
Which nat'ral, vital, animal we name:
To play Philosopher I have no list,
Nor yet Physitian, nor Anatomist,
For acting these, l have no will nor Art,
Yet shall with Equity, give thee thy part
For natural, thou dost not much contest;
For there is none (thou sayst) if some not best;
That there are some, and best, I dare averre
Of greatest use, if reason do not erre:
What is there living, which do'nt first derive
His Life now Animal, from vegetive:
If thou giv'st life, I give the nourishment,
Thine without mine, is not, 'tis evident:
But I without thy help, can give a growth
As plants trees, and small Embryon know'th
And if vital Spirits, do flow from thee
72
I am as sure, the natural, from me:
Be thine the nobler, which I grant, yet mine
Shall justly claim priority of thine.
I am the fountain which thy Cistern fills
Through warm blew Conduits of my venial rills:
What hath the heart, but what's sent from the liver
If thou'rt the taker, I must be the giver.
Then never boast of what thou dost receive:
For of such glory I shall thee bereave.
But why the heart should be usurp'd by thee,
I must confess seems something strange to me:
The spirits through thy heat made perfect are,
But the Materials none of thine, that's clear:
Their wondrous mixture is of blood and air,
The first my self, second my mother fair.
But Ile not force retorts, nor do thee wrong,
Thy fi'ry yellow froth is mixt among,
Challeng not all, 'cause part we do allow;
Thou know'st I've there to do as well as thou:
But thou wilt say I deal unequally,
Their lives the irascible faculty,
Which without all dispute, is Cholers own;
Besides the vehement heat, only there known
Can be imputed, unto none but Fire
Which is thy self, thy Mother and thy Sire
That this is true, I easily can assent
If still you take along my Aliment;
And let me be your partner which is due,
So shall I give the dignity to you:
Again, Stomacks Concoction thou dost claim,
But by what right, nor do'st, nor canst thou name
Unless as heat, it be thy faculty,
And so thou challengest her property.
The help she needs, the loving liver lends,
Who th'benefit o'th' whole ever intends
To meddle further I shall be but shent,
Th'rest to our Sisters is more pertinent;
Your slanders thus refuted takes no place,
Nor what you've said, doth argue my disgrace,
Now through your leaves, some little time I'l spend
My worth in humble manner to commend
This, hot, moist nutritive humour of mine
73
When 'tis untaint, pure, and most genuine
Shall chiefly take the place, as is my due
Without the least indignity to you.
Of all your qualities I do partake,
And what you single are, the whole I make
Your hot, moist, cold, dry natures are but four,
I moderately am all, what need I more;
As thus, if hot then dry, if moist, then cold,
If this you cann't disprove, then all I hold
My virtues hid, I've let you dimly see
My sweet Complection proves the verity.
This Scarlet die's a badge of what's within
One touch thereof, so beautifies the skin:
Nay, could I be, from all your tangs but pure
Mans life to boundless Time might still endure.
But here one thrusts her heat, wher'ts not requir'd
So suddenly, the body all is fired,
And of the calme sweet temper quite bereft,
Which makes the Mansion, by the Soul soon left.
So Melancholy seizes on a man,
With her unchearful visage, swarth and wan,
The body dryes, the mind sublime doth smother,
And turns him to the womb of's earthy mother:
And flegm likewise can shew her cruel art,
With cold distempers to pain every part:
The lungs she rots, the body wears away,
As if she'd leave no flesh to turn to clay,
Her languishing diseases, though not quick
At length demolishes the Faberick,
All to prevent, this curious care I take,
In th'last concoction segregation make
Of all the perverse humours from mine own,
The bitter choler most malignant known
I turn into his Cell close by my side
The Melancholy to the Spleen t'abide:
Likewise the whey, some use I in the veins,
The overplus I send unto the reins:
But yet for all my toil, my care and skill,
Its doom'd by an irrevocable will
That my intents should meet with interruption,
That mortal man might turn to his corruption.
I might here shew the nobleness of mind
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Of such as to the sanguine are inclin'd,
They're liberal, pleasant, kind and courteous,
And like the Liver all benignious.
For arts and sciences they are the fittest;
And maugre Choler still they are the wittiest:
With an ingenious working Phantasie,
A most voluminous large Memory,
And nothing wanting but Solidity.
But why alas, thus tedious should I be,
Thousand examples you may daily see.
If time I have transgrest, and been too long,
Yet could not be more brief without much wrong;
I've scarce wip'd off the spots proud choler cast,
Such venome lies in words, though but a blast:
No braggs i've us'd, to you I dare appeal,
If modesty my worth do not conceal.
I've us'd no bittererss nor taxt your name,
As I to you, to me do ye the same.
Melancholy.
He that with two Assailants hath to do,
Had need be armed well and active too.
Especially when friendship is pretended,
That blow's most deadly where it is intended.
Though choler rage and rail, I'le not do so,
The tongue's no weapon to assault a foe:
But sith we fight with words, we might be kind
To spare our selves and beat the whistling wind,
Fair rosie sister, so might'st thou scape free;
I'le flatter for a time as thou didst me:
But when the first offender I have laid,
Thy soothing girds shall fully be repaid.
But Choler be thou cool'd or chaf'd, I'le venter,
And in contentions lists now justly enter.
What mov'd thee thus to vilifie my name,
Not past all reason, but in truth all shame:
Thy fiery spirit shall bear away this prize,
To play such furious pranks I am too wise:
If in a Souldier rashness be so precious,
Know in a General tis most pernicious.
Nature doth teach to shield the head from harm,
The blow that's aim'd thereat is latcht by th'arm.
When in Batalia my foes I face
75
I then command proud Choler stand thy place,
To use thy sword, thy courage and thy art
There to defend my self, thy better part.
This wariness count not for cowardize,
He is not truly valiant that's not wise.
It's no less glory to defend a town,
Then by assault to gain one not our own;
And if Marcellus bold be call'd Romes sword,
Wise Fabius is her buckler all accord:
And if thy hast my slowness should not temper,
'Twere but a mad irregular distemper;
Enough of that by our sisters heretofore,
Ile come to that which wounds me somewhat more
Of learning, policy thou wouldst bereave me,
But's not thine ignorance shall thus deceive me:
What greater Clark or Politician lives,
Then he whose brain a touch my humour gives?
What is too hot my coldness doth abate,
What's diffluent I do consolidate.
If I be partial judg'd or thought to erre,
The melancholy snake shall it aver,
Whose cold dry head more subtilty doth yield,
Then all the huge beasts of the fertile field.
Again thou dost confine me to the spleen,
As of that only part I were the Queen,
Let me as well make thy precincts the Gall,
So prison thee within that bladder small:
Reduce the man to's principles, then see
If I have not more part then all you three:
What is within, without, of theirs or thine,
Yet time and age shall soon declare it mine.
When death doth seize the man your stock is lost,
When you poor bankrupts prove then have I most.
You'l say here none shall e're disturb my right,
You high born from that lump then take your flight.
Then who's mans friend, when life & all forsakes?
His Mother mine, him to her womb retakes:
Thus he is ours, his portion is the grave,
But while he lives, I'le shew what part I have:
And first the firm dry bones I justly claim,
The strong foundation of the stately frame:
Likewise the usefull Slpeen, though not the best,
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Yet is a bowel call'd well as the rest:
The Liver, Stomack, owe their thanks of right,
The first it drains, of th'last quicks appetite.
Laughter (thô thou say malice) flows from hence,
These two in one cannot have residence.
But thou most grosly dost mistake to think
The Spleen for all you three was made a sink,
Of all the rest thou'st nothing there to do,
But if thou hast, that malice is from you.
Again you often touch my swarthy hue,
That black is black, and I am black tis true;
But yet more comely far I dare avow,
Then is thy torrid nose or brazen brow.
But that which shews how high your spight is bent
Is charging me to be thy excrement:
Thy loathsome imputation I defie,
So plain a slander needeth no reply.
When by thy heat thou'st bak'd thy self to crust,
And so art call'd black Choler or adust,
Thou witless think'st that I am thy excretion,
So mean thou art in Art as in discretion:
But by your leave I'le let your greatness see
What Officer thou art to us all three,
The Kitchin Drudge, the cleanser of the sinks
That casts out all that man e're eats or drinks:
If any doubt the truth whence this should come,
Shew them thy passage to th'Duodenum;
Thy biting quality still irritates,
Till filth and thee nature exonerates:
If there thou'rt stopt, to th'Liver thou turn'st in,
And thence with jaundies saffrons all the skin.
No further time Ile spend in confutation,
I trust I've clear'd your slanderous imputation.
I now speak unto all, no more to one,
Pray hear, admire and learn instruction.
My virtues yours surpass without compare,
The first my constancy that jewel rare:
Choler's too rash this golden gift to hold,
And Sanguine is more fickle manifold,
Here, there her restless thoughts do ever fly,
Constant in nothing but unconstancy.
And what Flegme is, we know, like to her mother,
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Unstable is the one, and so the other;
With me is noble patience also found,
Impatient Choler loveth not the sound,
What sanguine is, she doth not heed nor care,
Now up, now down, transported like the Air:
Flegme's patient because her nature's tame;
But I, by virtue do acquire the same.
My Temperance, Chastity is eminent,
But these with you, are seldome resident;
Now could I stain my ruddy Sisters face
With deeper red, to shew you her dsgrace,
But rather I with silence vaile her shame
Then cause her blush, while I relate the same.
Nor are ye free from this inormity,
Although she bear the greatest obloquie,
My prudence, judgement, I might now reveal
But wisdom 'tis my wisdome to conceal.
Unto diseases not inclin'd as you,
Nor cold, nor hot, Ague nor Plurisie,
Nor Cough, nor Quinsey, nor the burning Feaver,
I rarely feel to act his fierce endeavour;
My sickness in conceit chiefly doth lye,
What I imagine that's my malady.
Chymeraes strange are in my phantasy,
And things that never were, nor shall I see
I love not talk, Reason lies not in length,
Nor multitude of words argues our strength;
I've done pray sister Flegme proceed in Course,
We shall expect much sound, but little force.
Flegme.
Patient I am, patient i'd need to be,
To bear with the injurious taunts of three,
Though wit I want, and anger I have less,
Enough of both, my wrongs now to express
I've not forgot, how bitter Choler spake
Nor how her gaul on me she causeless brake;
Nor wonder 'twas for hatred there's not small,
Where opposition is Diametrical.
To what is Truth I freely will assent,
Although my Name do suffer detriment,
What's slanderous repell, doubtful dispute,
And when I've nothing left to say be mute.
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Valour I want, no Souldier am 'tis true,
I'le leave that manly Property to you;
I love no thundring guns, nor bloody wars,
My polish'd Skin was not ordain'd for Skarrs:
But though the pitched field I've ever fled,
At home the Conquerours have conquered.
Nay, I could tell you what's more true then meet,
That Kings have laid their Scepters at my feet;
When Sister sanguine paints my Ivory face:
The Monarchs bend and sue, but for my grace
My lilly white when joyned with her red,
Princes hath slav'd, and Captains captived,
Country with Country, Greece with Asia fights
Sixty nine Princes, all stout Hero Knights.
Under Troys walls ten years will wear away,
Rather then loose one beauteous Helena.
But 'twere as vain, to prove this truth of mine
As at noon day, to tell the Sun doth shine.
Next difference that 'twixt us twain doth lye
Who doth possess the brain, or thou or I?
Shame forc'd the say, the matter that was mine,
But the Spirits by which it acts are thine:
Thou speakest Truth, and I can say no less,
Thy heat doth much, I candidly confess;
Yet without ostentation I may say,
I do as much for thee another way:
And though I grant, thou art my helper here,
No debtor I because it's paid else where.
With all your flourishes, now Sisters three
Who is't that dare, or can, compare with me,
My excellencies are so great, so many,
I am confounded; fore I speak of any:
The brain's the noblest member all allow,
Its form and Scituation will avow,
Its Ventricles, Membranes and wondrous net,
Galen, Hippocrates drive to a set;
That Divine Ofspring the immortal Soul
Though it in all, and every part be whole,
Within this stately place of eminence,
Doth doubtless keep its mighty residence.
And surely, the Soul sensitive here lives,
Which life and motion to each creature gives,
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The Conjugation of the parts, to th'braine
Doth shew, hence flow the pow'rs which they retain
Within this high Built Cittadel, doth lye
The Reason, fancy, and the memory;
The faculty of speech doth here abide,
The Spirits animal, from hence do slide:
The five most noble Senses here do dwell;
Of three it's hard to say, which doth excell.
This point now to discuss, 'longs not to me,
I'le touch the sight, great'st wonder of the three;
The optick Nerve, Coats, humours all are mine,
The watry, glassie, and the Chrystaline;
O mixture strange! O colour colourless,
Thy perfect temperament who can express:
He was no fool who thought the soul lay there,
Whence her affections passions speak so clear.
O good, O bad, O true, O traiterous eyes
What wonderments within your Balls there lyes,
Of all the Senses sight shall be the Queen;
Yet some may wish, O had mine eyes ne're seen.
Mine, likewise is the marrow, of the back,
Which runs through all the Spondles of the rack,
It is the substitute o'th royal brain,
All Nerves, except seven pair, to it retain.
And the strong Ligaments from hence arise,
Which joynt to joynt, the intire body tyes.
Some other parts there issue from the Brain,
Whose worth and use to tell, I must refrain:
Some curious learned Crooke, may these reveal
But modesty, hath charg'd me to conceal
Here's my Epitome of excellence:
For what's the Brains is mine by Consequence.
A foolish brain (quoth Choler) wanting heat
But a mad one say I, where 'tis too great,
Phrensie's worse then folly, one would more glad
With a tame fool converse then with a mad;
For learning then my brain is not the fittest,
Nor will I yield that Choler is the wittiest.
Thy judgement is unsafe, thy fancy little,
For memory the sand is not more brittle;
Again, none's fit for Kingly state but thou,
If Tyrants be the best, I le it allow:
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But if love be as requisite as fear,
Then thou and I must make a mixture here.
Well to be brief, I hope now Cholers laid,
And I'le pass by what Sister sanguine said.
To Melancholy I le make no reply,
The worst she said was instability,
And too much talk, both which I here confess
A warning good, hereafter I'le say less.
Let's now be friends; its time our spight were spent,
Lest we too late this rashness do repent,
Such premises will force a sad conclusion,
Unless we agree, all falls into confusion.
Let Sangine with her hot hand Choler hold,
To take her moist my moisture will be bold:
My cold, cold melancholy hand shall clasp;
Her dry, dry Cholers other hand shall grasp.
Two hot, two moist, two cold, two dry here be,
A golden Ring, the Posey VNITY.
Nor jarrs nor scoffs, let none hereafter see,
But all admire our perfect Amity
Nor be discern'd, here's water, earth, air, fire,
But here a compact body, whole intire.
This loving counsel pleas'd them all so well
That flegm was judg'd for kindness to excell.
~ Anne Bradstreet,
297:The Assembly Of Ladies
In Septembre, at the falling of the leef,
The fressh sesoun was al-togider doon,
And of the corn was gadered in the sheef;
In a gardyn, about twayn after noon,
Ther were ladyes walking, as was her wone,
Foure in nombre, as to my mynd doth falle,
And I the fifte, the simplest of hem alle.
Of gentilwomen fayre ther were also,
Disporting hem, everiche after her gyse,
In crosse-aleys walking, by two and two,
And some alone, after her fantasyes.
Thus occupyed we were in dyvers wyse;
And yet, in trouthe, we were not al alone;
Ther were knightës and squyers many one.
'Wherof I served?' oon of hem asked me;
I sayde ayein, as it fel in my thought,
'To walke about the mase, in certayntè,
As a woman that [of] nothing rought.'
He asked me ayein—'whom that I sought,
And of my colour why I was so pale?'
'Forsothe,' quod I, 'and therby lyth a tale.'
'That must me wite,' quod he, 'and that anon;
Tel on, let see, and make no tarying.'
'Abyd,' quod I, 'ye been a hasty oon,
I let you wite it is no litel thing.
But, for bicause ye have a greet longing
In your desyr, this proces for to here,
I shal you tel the playn of this matere.—
It happed thus, that, in an after-noon,
My felawship and I, by oon assent,
Whan al our other besinesse was doon,
650
To passe our tyme, into this mase we went,
And toke our wayes, eche after our entent;
Some went inward, and wend they had gon out,
Some stode amid, and loked al about.
And, sooth to say, some were ful fer behind,
And right anon as ferforth as the best;
Other ther were, so mased in her mind,
Al wayes were good for hem, bothe eest and west.
Thus went they forth, and had but litel rest;
And some, her corage did hem sore assayle,
For very wrath, they did step over the rayle!
And as they sought hem-self thus to and fro,
I gat myself a litel avauntage;
Al for-weried, I might no further go,
Though I had won right greet, for my viage.
So com I forth into a strait passage,
Which brought me to an herber fair and grene,
Mad with benches, ful craftily and clene,
That, as me thought, ther might no crëature
Devyse a better, by dew proporcioun;
Safe it was closed wel, I you ensure,
With masonry of compas enviroun,
Ful secretly, with stayres going doun
Inmiddes the place, with turning wheel, certayn;
And upon that, a pot of marjolain;
With margarettes growing in ordinaunce,
To shewe hemself, as folk went to and fro,
That to beholde it was a greet plesaunce,
And how they were acompanyed with mo
Ne-m'oublie-mies and sovenez also;
The povre pensees were not disloged there;
No, no! god wot, her place was every-where!
651
The flore beneth was paved faire and smothe
With stones square, of many dyvers hew,
So wel joynëd that, for to say the sothe,
Al semed oon (who that non other knew);
And underneth, the stremës new and new,
As silver bright, springing in suche a wyse
That, whence it cam, ye coude it not devyse.
A litel whyle thus was I al alone,
Beholding wel this délectable place;
My felawship were coming everichone,
So must me nedes abyde, as for a space.
Rememb[e]ring of many dyvers cace
Of tyme passed, musing with sighes depe,
I set me doun, and ther I fel a-slepe.
And, as I slept, me thought ther com to me
A gentilwoman, metely of stature;
Of greet worship she semed for to be,
Atyred wel, not high, but by mesure;
Her countenaunce ful sad and ful demure;
Her colours blewe, al that she had upon;
Ther com no mo [there] but herself aloon.
Her gown was wel embrouded, certainly,
With sovenez, after her own devyse;
On her purfyl her word [was] by and by
Bien et loyalment, as I coud devyse.
Than prayde I her, in every maner wyse
That of her name I might have remembraunce;
She sayd, she called was Perséveraunce.
So furthermore to speke than was I bold,
Where she dwelled, I prayed her for to say;
And she again ful curteysly me told,
'My dwelling is, and hath ben many a day
With a lady.'—'What lady, I you pray?'
'Of greet estate, thus warne I you,' quod she;
652
'What cal ye her?'—'Her name is Loyaltè.'
'In what offyce stand ye, or in what degrè?'
Quod I to her, 'that wolde I wit right fayn.'
'I am,' quod she, 'unworthy though I be,
Of her chambre her ussher, in certayn;
This rod I bere, as for a token playn,
Lyke as ye know the rule in such servyce
Pertayning is unto the same offyce.
She charged me, by her commaundëment,
To warn you and your felawes everichon,
That ye shuld come there as she is present,
For a counsayl, which shal be now anon,
Or seven dayës be comen and gon.
And furthermore, she bad that I shuld say
Excuse there might be non, nor [no] delay.
Another thing was nigh forget behind
Whiche in no wyse I wolde but ye it knew;
Remembre wel, and bere it in your mind,
Al your felawes and ye must come in blew,
Every liche able your maters for to sew;
With more, which I pray you thinke upon,
Your wordës on your slevës everichon.
And be not ye abasshed in no wyse,
As many been in suche an high presence;
Mak your request as ye can best devyse,
And she gladly wol yeve you audience.
There is no greef, ne no maner offence,
Wherin ye fele that your herte is displesed,
But with her help right sone ye shul be esed.'
'I am right glad,' quod I, 'ye tel me this,
But there is non of us that knoweth the way.'
'As of your way,' quod she, 'ye shul not mis,
653
Ye shul have oon to gyde you, day by day,
Of my felawes (I can no better say)
Suche oon as shal tel you the way ful right;
And Diligence this gentilwoman hight.
A woman of right famous governaunce,
And wel cherisshed, I tel you in certayn;
Her felawship shal do you greet plesaunce.
Her port is suche, her maners trewe and playn;
She with glad chere wol do her besy payn
To bring you there; now farwel, I have don.'
'Abyde,' sayd I, 'ye may not go so sone.'
'Why so?' quod she, 'and I have fer to go
To yeve warning in many dyvers place
To your felawes, and so to other mo;
And wel ye wot, I have but litel space.'
'Now yet,' quod I, 'ye must tel me this cace,
If we shal any man unto us cal?'
'Not oon,' quod she, 'may come among you al.'
'Not oon,' quod I, 'ey! benedicite!
What have they don? I pray you tel me that!'
'Now, by my lyf, I trow but wel,' quod she;
'But ever I can bileve there is somwhat,
And, for to say you trouth, more can I nat;
In questiouns I may nothing be large,
I medle no further than is my charge.'
'Than thus,' quod I, 'do me to understand,
What place is there this lady is dwelling?'
'Forsothe,' quod she, 'and oon sought al this land,
Fairer is noon, though it were for a king
Devysed wel, and that in every thing.
The toures hy ful plesaunt shul ye find,
With fanes fressh, turning with every wind.
654
The chambres and parlours both of oo sort,
With bay-windowes, goodly as may be thought,
As for daunsing and other wyse disport;
The galeryes right wonder wel y-wrought,
That I wel wot, if ye were thider brought.
And took good hede therof in every wyse,
Ye wold it thinke a very paradyse.'
'What hight this place?' quod I; 'now say me that.'
'Plesaunt Regard,' quod she, 'to tel you playn.'
'Of verray trouth,' quod I, 'and, wot ye what,
It may right wel be called so, certayn;
But furthermore, this wold I wit ful fayn,
What shulde I do as sone as I come there,
And after whom that I may best enquere?'
'A gentilwoman, a porter at the yate
There shal ye find; her name is Countenaunce;
If it so hap ye come erly or late,
Of her were good to have som acquaintaunce.
She can tel how ye shal you best avaunce,
And how to come to her ladyes presence;
To her wordës I rede you yeve credence.
Now it is tyme that I depart you fro;
For, in good sooth, I have gret businesse.'
'I wot right wel,' quod I, 'that it is so;
And I thank you of your gret gentilnesse.
Your comfort hath yeven me suche hardinesse
That now I shal be bold, withouten fayl,
To do after your ávyse and counsayl.'
Thus parted she, and I lefte al aloon;
With that I saw, as I beheld asyde,
A woman come, a verray goodly oon;
And forth withal, as I had her aspyed,
Me thought anon, [that] it shuld be the gyde;
And of her name anon I did enquere.
655
Ful womanly she yave me this answere.
'I am,' quod she, 'a simple crëature
Sent from the court; my name is Diligence.
As sone as I might come, I you ensure,
I taried not, after I had licence;
And now that I am come to your presence,
Look, what servyce that I can do or may,
Commaundë me; I can no further say.'
I thanked her, and prayed her to come nere,
Because I wold see how she were arayed;
Her gown was blew, dressed in good manere
With her devyse, her word also, that sayd
Tant que je puis; and I was wel apayd;
For than wist I, withouten any more,
It was ful trew, that I had herd before.
'Though we took now before a litel space,
It were ful good,' quod she, 'as I coud gesse.'
'How fer,' quod I, 'have we unto that place?'
'A dayes journey,' quod she, 'but litel lesse;
Wherfore I redë that we onward dresse;
For, I suppose, our felawship is past,
And for nothing I wold that we were last.'
Than parted we, at springing of the day,
And forth we wente [a] soft and esy pace,
Til, at the last, we were on our journey
So fer onward, that we might see the place.
'Now let us rest,' quod I, 'a litel space,
And say we, as devoutly as we can,
A pater-noster for saint Julian.'
'With al my herte, I assent with good wil;
Much better shul we spede, whan we have don.'
Than taried we, and sayd it every del.
656
And whan the day was fer gon after noon,
We saw a place, and thider cam we sone,
Which rounde about was closed with a wal,
Seming to me ful lyke an hospital.
Ther found I oon, had brought al myn aray,
A gentilwoman of myn aquaintaunce.
'I have mervayl,' quod I, 'what maner way
Ye had knowlege of al this ordenaunce.'
'Yis, yis,' quod she, 'I herd Perséveraunce,
How she warned your felawes everichon,
And what aray that ye shulde have upon.'
'Now, for my love,' quod I, 'this I you pray,
Sith ye have take upon you al the payn,
That ye wold helpe me on with myn aray;
For wit ye wel, I wold be gon ful fayn.'
'Al this prayer nedeth not, certayn;'
Quod she agayn; 'com of, and hy you sone,
And ye shal see how wel it shal be doon.'
'But this I dout me greetly, wot ye what,
That my felawes ben passed by and gon.'
'I warant you,' quod she, 'that ar they nat;
For here they shul assemble everichon.
Notwithstanding, I counsail you anon;
Mak you redy, and tary ye no more,
It is no harm, though ye be there afore.'
So than I dressed me in myn aray,
And asked her, whether it were wel or no?
'It is right wel,' quod she, 'unto my pay;
Ye nede not care to what place ever ye go.'
And whyl that she and I debated so,
Cam Diligence, and saw me al in blew:
'Sister,' quod she, 'right wel brouk ye your new!'
657
Than went we forth, and met at aventure
A yong woman, an officer seming:
'What is your name,' quod I, 'good crëature?'
'Discrecioun,' quod she, 'without lesing.'
'And where,' quod I, 'is your most abyding?'
'I have,' quod she, 'this office of purchace,
Cheef purveyour, that longeth to this place.'
'Fair love,' quod I, 'in al your ordenaunce,
What is her name that is the herbegere?'
'For sothe,' quod she, 'her name is Acquaintaunce,
A woman of right gracious manere.'
Than thus quod I, 'What straungers have ye here?'
'But few,' quod she, 'of high degree ne low;
Ye be the first, as ferforth as I know.'
Thus with talës we cam streight to the yate;
This yong woman departed was and gon;
Cam Diligence, and knokked fast therat;
'Who is without?' quod Countenaunce anon.
'Trewly,' quod I, 'fair sister, here is oon!'
'Which oon?' quod she, and therwithal she lough;
'I, Diligence! ye know me wel ynough.'
Than opened she the yate, and in we go;
With wordës fair she sayd ful gentilly,
'Ye are welcome, ywis! are ye no mo?'
'Nat oon,' quod she, 'save this woman and I.'
'Now than,' quod she, 'I pray yow hertely,
Tak my chambre, as for a whyl, to rest
Til your felawës come, I holde it best.'
I thanked her, and forth we gon echon
Til her chambre, without[en] wordës mo.
Cam Diligence, and took her leve anon;
'Wher-ever you list,' quod I, 'now may ye go;
And I thank you right hertely also
Of your labour, for which god do you meed;
658
I can no more, but Jesu be your speed!'
Than Countenauncë asked me anon,
'Your felawship, where ben they now?' quod she.
'For sothe,' quod I, 'they be coming echon;
But in certayn, I know nat wher they be,
Without I may hem at this window see.
Here wil I stande, awaytinge ever among,
For, wel I wot, they wil nat now be long.'
Thus as I stood musing ful busily,
I thought to take good hede of her aray,
Her gown was blew, this wot I verely,
Of good fasoun, and furred wel with gray;
Upon her sleve her word (this is no nay),
Which sayd thus, as my pennë can endyte,
A moi que je voy, writen with lettres whyte.
Than forth withal she cam streight unto me,
'Your word,' quod she, 'fayn wold I that I knew.'
'Forsothe,' quod I, 'ye shal wel knowe and see,
And for my word, I have non; this is trew.
It is ynough that my clothing be blew,
As here-before I had commaundëment;
And so to do I am right wel content.
But tel me this, I pray you hertely,
The steward here, say me, what is her name?'
'She hight Largesse, I say you suërly;
A fair lady, and of right noble fame.
Whan ye her see, ye wil report the same.
And under her, to bid you welcome al,
There is Belchere, the marshal of the hall.
Now al this whyle that ye here tary stil,
Your own maters ye may wel have in mind.
But tel me this, have ye brought any bil?'
659
'Ye, ye,' quod I, 'or els I were behind.
Where is there oon, tel me, that I may find
To whom that I may shewe my matters playn?'
'Surely,' quod she, 'unto the chamberlayn.'
'The chamberlayn?' quod I, '[now] say ye trew?'
'Ye, verely,' sayd she, 'by myne advyse;
Be nat aferd; unto her lowly sew.'
'It shal be don,' quod I, 'as ye devyse;
But ye must knowe her name in any wyse?'
'Trewly,' quod she, 'to tell you in substaunce,
Without fayning, her name is Remembraunce.
The secretary yit may not be forget;
For she may do right moche in every thing.
Wherfore I rede, whan ye have with her met,
Your mater hool tel her, without fayning;
Ye shal her finde ful good and ful loving.'
'Tel me her name,' quod I, 'of gentilnesse.'
'By my good sooth,' quod she, 'Avysënesse.'
'That name,' quod I, 'for her is passing good;
For every bil and cedule she must see;
Now good,' quod I, 'com, stand there-as I stood;
My felawes be coming; yonder they be.'
'Is it [a] jape, or say ye sooth?' quod she.
'In jape? nay, nay; I say you for certain;
See how they come togider, twain and twain!'
'Ye say ful sooth,' quod she, 'that is no nay;
I see coming a goodly company.'
'They been such folk,' quod I, 'I dar wel say,
That list to love; thinke it ful verily.
And, for my love, I pray you faithfully,
At any tyme, whan they upon you cal,
That ye wol be good frend unto hem al.'
660
'Of my frendship,' quod she, 'they shal nat mis,
And for their ese, to put therto my payn.'
'God yelde it you!' quod I; 'but tel me this,
How shal we know who is the chamberlayn?'
'That shal ye wel know by her word, certayn.'
'What is her word? Sister, I pray you say.'
'Plus ne purroy; thus wryteth she alway.'
Thus as we stood togider, she and I,
Even at the yate my felawes were echon.
So met I hem, as me thought was goodly,
And bad hem welcome al, by on and on.
Than forth cam [lady] Countenaunce anon;
'Ful hertely, fair sisters al,' quod she,
'Ye be right welcome into this countree.
I counsail you to take a litel rest
In my chambre, if it be your plesaunce.
Whan ye be there, me thinketh for the best
That I go in, and cal Perséveraunce,
Because she is oon of your aquaintaunce;
And she also wil tel you every thing
How ye shal be ruled of your coming.'
My felawes al and I, by oon avyse,
Were wel agreed to do lyke as she sayd.
Than we began to dresse us in our gyse,
That folk shuld see we were nat unpurvayd;
And good wageours among us there we layd,
Which of us was atyred goodliest,
And of us al which shuld be praysed best.
The porter cam, and brought Perséveraunce;
She welcomed us in ful curteys manere:
'Think ye nat long,' quod she, 'your attendaunce;
I wil go speke unto the herbergere,
That she may purvey for your logging here.
Than wil I go unto the chamberlayn
661
To speke for you, and come anon agayn.'
And whan [that] she departed was and gon,
We saw folkës coming without the wal,
So greet people, that nombre coud we non;
Ladyes they were and gentilwomen al,
Clothed in blew, echon her word withal;
But for to knowe her word or her devyse,
They cam so thikke, that I might in no wyse.
With that anon cam in Perséveraunce,
And where I stood, she cam streight [un]to me.
'Ye been,' quod she, 'of myne olde acquaintaunce;
You to enquere, the bolder wolde I be;
What word they bere, eche after her degree,
I pray you, tel it me in secret wyse;
And I shal kepe it close, on warantyse.'
'We been,' quod I, 'fyve ladies al in-fere,
And gentilwomen foure in company;
Whan they begin to open hir matere,
Than shal ye knowe hir wordës by and by;
But as for me, I have non verely,
And so I told Countenaunce here-before;
Al myne aray is blew; what nedeth more?'
'Now than,' quod she, 'I wol go in agayn,
That ye may have knowlege, what ye shuld do.'
'In sooth,' quod I, 'if ye wold take the payn,
Ye did right moch for us, if ye did so.
The rather sped, the soner may we go.
Gret cost alway ther is in tarying;
And long to sewe, it is a wery thing.'
Than parted she, and cam again anon;
'Ye must,' quod she, 'come to the chamberlayn.'
'We been,' quod I, 'now redy everichon
662
To folowe you whan-ever ye list, certayn.
We have non eloquence, to tel you playn;
Beseching you we may be so excused,
Our trew mening, that it be not refused.'
Than went we forth, after Perséveraunce,
To see the prees; it was a wonder cace;
There for to passe it was greet comb[e]raunce,
The people stood so thikke in every place.
'Now stand ye stil,' quod she, 'a litel space;
And for your ese somwhat I shal assay,
If I can make you any better way.'
And forth she goth among hem everichon,
Making a way, that we might thorugh pas
More at our ese; and whan she had so don,
She beckned us to come where-as she was;
So after her we folowed, more and las.
She brought us streight unto the chamberlayn;
There left she us, and than she went agayn.
We salued her, as reson wolde it so,
Ful humb[el]ly beseching her goodnesse,
In our maters that we had for to do
That she wold be good lady and maistresse.
'Ye be welcome,' quod she, 'in sothfastnesse,
And see, what I can do you for to plese,
I am redy, that may be to your ese.'
We folowed her unto the chambre-dore,
'Sisters,' quod she, 'come ye in after me.'
But wite ye wel, there was a paved flore,
The goodliest that any wight might see;
And furthermore, about than loked we
On eche corner, and upon every wal,
The which was mad of berel and cristal;
663
Wherein was graven of stories many oon;
First how Phyllis, of womanly pitè,
Deyd pitously, for love of Demophoon.
Nexte after was the story of Tisbee,
How she slew her-self under a tree.
Yet saw I more, how in right pitous cas
For Antony was slayn Cleopatras.
That other syde was, how Hawes the shene
Untrewly was disceyved in her bayn.
There was also Annelida the quene,
Upon Arcyte how sore she did complayn.
Al these stories were graved there, certayn;
And many mo than I reherce you here;
It were to long to tel you al in-fere.
And, bicause the wallës shone so bright,
With fyne umple they were al over-sprad,
To that intent, folk shuld nat hurte hir sight;
And thorugh it the stories might be rad.
Than furthermore I went, as I was lad;
And there I saw, without[en] any fayl,
A chayrë set, with ful riche aparayl.
And fyve stages it was set fro the ground,
Of cassidony ful curiously wrought;
With four pomelles of golde, and very round,
Set with saphyrs, as good as coud be thought;
That, wot ye what, if it were thorugh sought,
As I suppose, fro this countrey til Inde,
Another suche it were right fer to finde!
For, wite ye wel, I was right nere that,
So as I durst, beholding by and by;
Above ther was a riche cloth of estate,
Wrought with the nedle ful straungëly,
Her word thereon; and thus it said trewly,
A endurer, to tel you in wordës few,
664
With grete letters, the better I hem knew.
Thus as we stode, a dore opened anon;
A gentilwoman, semely of stature,
Beringe a mace, cam out, her-selfe aloon;
Sothly, me thought, a goodly crëature!
She spak nothing to lowde, I you ensure,
Nor hastily, but with goodly warning:
'Mak room,' quod she, 'my lady is coming!'
With that anon I saw Perséveraunce,
How she held up the tapet in her hand.
I saw also, in right good ordinaunce,
This greet lady within the tapet stand,
Coming outward, I wol ye understand;
And after her a noble company,
I coud nat tel the nombre sikerly.
Of their namës I wold nothing enquere
Further than suche as we wold sewe unto,
Sauf oo lady, which was the chauncellere,
Attemperaunce; sothly her name was so.
For us nedeth with her have moch to do
In our maters, and alway more and more.
And, so forth, to tel you furthermore,
Of this lady her beautè to discryve,
My conning is to simple, verely;
For never yet, the dayës of my lyve,
So inly fair I have non seen, trewly.
In her estate, assured utterly,
There wanted naught, I dare you wel assure,
That longed to a goodly crëature.
And furthermore, to speke of her aray,
I shal you tel the maner of her gown;
Of clothe of gold ful riche, it is no nay;
665
The colour blew, of a right good fasoun;
In tabard-wyse the slevës hanging doun;
And what purfyl there was, and in what wyse,
So as I can, I shal it you devyse.
After a sort the coller and the vent,
Lyk as ermyne is mad in purfeling;
With grete perlës, ful fyne and orient,
They were couchèd, al after oon worching,
With dyamonds in stede of powdering;
The slevës and purfilles of assyse;
They were [y-]mad [ful] lyke, in every wyse.
Aboute her nekke a sort of fair rubyes,
In whyte floures of right fyne enamayl;
Upon her heed, set in the freshest wyse,
A cercle with gret balays of entayl;
That, in ernest to speke, withouten fayl,
For yonge and olde, and every maner age,
It was a world to loke on her visage.
Thus coming forth, to sit in her estat,
In her presence we kneled down echon,
Presentinge up our billes, and, wot ye what,
Ful humb[el]ly she took hem, by on and on;
When we had don, than cam they al anon,
And did the same, eche after her manere,
Knelinge at ones, and rysinge al in-fere.
Whan this was don, and she set in her place,
The chamberlayn she did unto her cal;
And she, goodly coming til her a-pace,
Of her entent knowing nothing at al,
'Voyd bak the prees,' quod she, 'up to the wal;
Mak larger roum, but look ye do not tary,
And tak these billës to the secretary.'
666
The chamberlayn did her commaundëment,
And cam agayn, as she was bid to do;
The secretary there being present,
The billës were delivered her also,
Not only ours, but many other mo.
Than the lady, with good advyce, agayn
Anon withal called her chamberlayn.
'We wol,' quod she, 'the first thing that ye do,
The secretary, make her come anon
With her billës; and thus we wil also,
In our presence she rede hem everichon,
That we may takë good advyce theron
Of the ladyes, that been of our counsayl;
Look this be don, withouten any fayl.'
The chamberlayn, whan she wiste her entent,
Anon she did the secretary cal:
'Let your billës,' quod she, 'be here present,
My lady it wil.' 'Madame,' quod she, 'I shal.'
'And in presence she wil ye rede hem al.'
'With good wil; I am redy,' quod she,
'At her plesure, whan she commaundeth me.'
And upon that was mad an ordinaunce,
They that cam first, hir billës shuld be red.
Ful gentelly than sayd Perséveraunce,
'Resoun it wold that they were sonest sped.'
Anon withal, upon a tapet spred,
The secretary layde hem doun echon;
Our billës first she redde hem on by on.
The first lady, bering in her devyse
Sans que jamais, thus wroot she in her bil;
Complayning sore and in ful pitous wyse
Of promesse mad with faithful hert and wil
And so broken, ayenst al maner skil,
Without desert alwayes on her party;
667
In this mater desyring remedy.
Her next felawës word was in this wyse,
Une sanz chaungier; and thus she did complayn,
Though she had been guerdoned for her servyce,
Yet nothing lyke as she that took the payn;
Wherfore she coude in no wyse her restrayn,
But in this cas sewe until her presence,
As reson woldë, to have recompence.
So furthermore, to speke of other twayn,
Oon of hem wroot, after her fantasy,
Oncques puis lever; and, for to tel you plain,
Her complaynt was ful pitous, verely,
For, as she sayd, ther was gret reson why;
And, as I can remembre this matere,
I shal you tel the proces, al in-fere.
Her bil was mad, complayninge in her gyse,
That of her joy, her comfort and gladnesse
Was no suretee; for in no maner wyse
She fond therin no point of stablenesse,
Now il, now wel, out of al sikernesse;
Ful humbelly desyringe, of her grace,
Som remedy to shewe her in this cace.
Her felawe made her bil, and thus she sayd,
In playning wyse; there-as she loved best,
Whether she were wroth or wel apayd
She might nat see, whan [that] she wold faynest;
And wroth she was, in very ernest;
To tel her word, as ferforth as I wot,
Entierment vostre, right thus she wroot.
And upon that she made a greet request
With herte and wil, and al that might be don
As until her that might redresse it best;
668
For in her mind thus might she finde it sone,
The remedy of that, which was her boon;
Rehersing [that] that she had sayd before,
Beseching her it might be so no more.
And in lyk wyse as they had don before,
The gentilwomen of our company
Put up hir billës; and, for to tel you more,
Oon of hem wroot cest sanz dire, verily;
And her matere hool to specify,
With-in her bil she put it in wryting;
And what it sayd, ye shal have knowleching.
It sayd, god wot, and that ful pitously,
Lyke as she was disposed in her hert,
No misfortune that she took grevously;
Al oon to her it was, the joy and smert,
Somtyme no thank for al her good desert.
Other comfort she wanted non coming,
And so used, it greved her nothing.
Desyringe her, and lowly béseching,
That she for her wold seke a better way,
As she that had ben, al her dayes living,
Stedfast and trew, and so wil be alway.
Of her felawe somwhat I shal you say,
Whos bil was red next after forth, withal;
And what it ment rehersen you I shal.
En dieu est, she wroot in her devyse;
And thus she sayd, withouten any fayl,
Her trouthë might be taken in no wyse
Lyke as she thought, wherfore she had mervayl;
For trouth somtyme was wont to take avayl
In every matere; but al that is ago;
The more pitè, that it is suffred so.
669
Moch more there was, whereof she shuld complayn,
But she thought it to greet encomb[e]raunce
So moch to wryte; and therfore, in certayn,
In god and her she put her affiaunce
As in her worde is mad a remembraunce;
Beseching her that she wolde, in this cace,
Shewe unto her the favour of her grace.
The third, she wroot, rehersing her grevaunce,
Ye! wot ye what, a pitous thing to here;
For, as me thought, she felt gret displesaunce,
Oon might right wel perceyve it by her chere,
And no wonder; it sat her passing nere.
Yet loth she was to put it in wryting,
But nede wol have his cours in every thing.
Soyes en sure, this was her word, certayn,
And thus she wroot, but in a litel space;
There she lovëd, her labour was in vayn,
For he was set al in another place;
Ful humblely desyring, in that cace,
Som good comfort, her sorow to appese,
That she might livë more at hertes ese.
The fourth surely, me thought, she liked wele,
As in her porte and in her behaving;
And Bien moneste, as fer as I coud fele,
That was her word, til her wel belonging.
Wherfore to her she prayed, above al thing,
Ful hertely (to say you in substaunce)
That she wold sende her good continuaunce.
'Ye have rehersed me these billës al,
But now, let see somwhat of your entent.'
'It may so hap, paraventure, ye shal.
Now I pray you, whyle I am here present,
Ye shal, pardè, have knowlege, what I ment.
But thus I say in trouthe, and make no fable,
670
The case itself is inly lamentable.
And wel I wot, that ye wol think the same,
Lyke as I say, whan ye have herd my bil.'
'Now good, tel on, I hate you, by saynt Jame!'
'Abyde a whyle; it is nat yet my wil.
Yet must ye wite, by reson and by skil,
Sith ye know al that hath be don before:—'
And thus it sayd, without[en] wordes more.
'Nothing so leef as deth to come to me
For fynal ende of my sorowes and payn;
What shulde I more desyre, as semë ye?
And ye knewe al aforn it for certayn,
I wot ye wolde; and, for to tel you playn,
Without her help that hath al thing in cure
I can nat think that I may longe endure.
As for my trouthe, it hath be proved wele,
To say the sothe, I can [you] say no more,
Of ful long tyme, and suffred every dele
In pacience, and kepe it al in store;
Of her goodnesse besechinge her therfore
That I might have my thank in suche [a] wyse
As my desert deserveth of justyse.'
Whan these billës were rad everichon,
This lady took a good advysement;
And hem to answere, ech by on and on,
She thought it was to moche in her entent;
Wherfore she yaf hem in commaundëment,
In her presence to come, bothe oon and al,
To yeve hem there her answer general.
What did she than, suppose ye verely?
She spak herself, and sayd in this manere,
'We have wel seen your billës by and by,
671
And some of hem ful pitous for to here.
We wol therfore ye knowe al this in-fere,
Within short tyme our court of parliment
Here shal be holde, in our palays present;
And in al this wherin ye find you greved,
Ther shal ye finde an open remedy
In suche [a] wyse, as ye shul be releved
Of al that ye reherce here, thoroughly.
As for the date, ye shul know verily,
That ye may have a space in your coming;
For Diligence shal it tel you by wryting.'
We thanked her in our most humble wyse,
Our felauship, echon by oon assent,
Submitting us lowly til her servyse.
For, as we thought, we had our travayl spent
In suche [a] wyse as we helde us content.
Than eche of us took other by the sleve,
And forth withal, as we shuld take our leve.
Al sodainly the water sprang anon
In my visage, and therwithal I wook:—
'Where am I now?' thought I; 'al this is gon;'
And al amased, up I gan to look.
With that, anon I went and made this book,
Thus simplely rehersing the substaunce,
Bicause it shuld not out of remembraunce.'—
'Now verily, your dreem is passing good,
And worthy to be had in rémembraunce;
For, though I stande here as longe as I stood,
It shuld to me be non encomb[e]raunce;
I took therin so inly greet plesaunce.
But tel me now, what ye the book do cal?
For I must wite.' 'With right good wil ye shal:
672
As for this book, to say you very right,
And of the name to tel the certeyntè,
L'assemblè de Dames, thus it hight;
How think ye?' 'That the name is good, pardè!'
'Now go, farwel! for they cal after me,
My felawes al, and I must after sone;
Rede wel my dreem; for now my tale is doon.'
Here endeth the Book of Assemble de Damys.
~ Anonymous Olde English,
298:Here Begynneth A Lyttell Treatyse Cleped La
Conusaunce Damours
Forth gone the virgyns euerychone
Replet with ioye/and eke felicite
To gether floures. And some vnto one
Haue more fantasy/whan they it se
Than to all that in the medowes be
Another shall incontrary wyse
Gether other after theyr deuyse.
So done clerkes/of great grauite
Chose maters/wheron they lyst to wryte
But I that am of small capacite
Toke on me this treatyse to endyte
Tauoyde ydelnesse/more than for delyte
And most parte therof/tolde was to me
As here after/ye may rede and se.
Thus endeth the prologue.
The thyrde idus/in the moneth of July
Phebus his beames/lustryng euery way
Gladdynge the hartes/of all our Hemyspery
And mouynge many/vnto sporte and playe
So dyd it me/the treuthe for to saye
To walke forth/I had great inclination
Per chaunce some where/to fynde recreation
And as I walked/ever I dyd beholde
Goodly yonge people/that them encouraged
In suche maner wyse/as though they wolde
Ryght gladly have songe or daunsed
Or els some other gorgious thynge deuysed
Whose demeanynge/made me ryght ioyous
For to beholde/theyr dedes amorous.
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To wryte all thynges of plesure/that I se
In euery place/where I passed by
In all a day recunted it can nat be
Who coude discryue the fresshe beauty
Of dames and pusels/attyred gorgiously
So swete of loke/so amiable of face
Smilyng doulcely/on suche as stande in grace
Certaynly theyr boute/and curtesy
Ofte moueth me/for to do my payne
Some thynge to wryte/them to magnifye
Aboue the sterres. But ay I may complayne
Ignoraunce/gouerneth so my brayne
That I ne dare/for nothynge presume
Out of my mouthe/to blowe suche a fume
It is a laboure/great and hyedous
Requirynge study/and moche experience
For my shulders/it is to ponderous
Whiche am priuate/of suche condigne science
It is for a man/of hygh eloquence
And worthynes/fame and memorie
So noble a thynge/to laude and magnifie.
But nowe to purpose/where I began
Walkyng abrode/wandryng to and fro
Beynge alone/with me was no man
Sodaynly/came in my mynde to go
Se. A faire pusell/and two or thre mo
Of her companions. This was myn entent
And by and by/forth thetherwarde I went.
Whan I came there/I founde at the dore
A dammusell/standyng all alone
Who I dyd salute/and ferthermore
Of her demaunded I/curtesly anone
Gentyll mayde where is your companion?
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Syr she sayd (her hart on a mery pyn)
ye be welcome. she is nat nowe within
But by her faire/and swete countenance
I perceyued lyghtly/what she ment
Dame daunger moued her to that daliaunce
But Desyre bad me go. and in I went
And sodaynly/by the hand me hent
This most curtes mayde/who I went to se
Sayenge welcome/most derely vnto me.
And by the hande/than as she me had
In we went/talkynge joyously
Into a goodly parler/she me lad
And caused me to sytte/curtesly
Than vnto vs/came shortly by and by
Another/that me swetely dyd welcome
Bryngyng fresshe floures/and gave me some.
Than we began/to talke and deuyse
Of one and other/of olde acqueyntaunce
For comonly/of maydens is the gyse
Somtyme to demaunde for pastaunce
If that a man be in loues daunce
Or stande in grace/of any dammusell
Under suche maner/in talkynge we fell
We spake of loue/yet none of vs all
Knoweth perfectly/what loue shulde be
The one affyrmed/people veneriall
Folowynge the course/of their natiuite
Endure great sorowe/and moche aduersite
And many suffre/suche peyne and turment
That as mad folke/them selfe all to rent
Thus sayd one/and vp helde it styffely
That loue was of suche maner nature
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That it myght rather be called a mad fury
Than any maner thynge of pleasure
To whiche wordes/thother mayden demure
Replyed. Prayeng vs/to gyue her licence
In this matter/to shewe forth her sentence
Gladly (we sayd (therto we assent
In this to here/your opinion
Forsoth (sayd she) ye shall nat be myscontent
All though therin/I make obiection
Where as nowe/ye haue made conclusion
Sayeng loue was a fury or a madnesse
Without all grauite/measure/or sadnesse
Nay surely/your reason is defectyue
For this ye knowe very perfectly
That they that loue/and hate for to stryue
Lyue a thousande tymes more quietly
Than they/that hate eche other mortally
For where as is no loue/nor tranquillite
There is myschef/langour/and all aduersite.
Loue is the very true manocorde
That euery wyght shulde harpe vpon
Louyng well eche other by very concorde
To this reason/byndeth vs euerychone
And this maner loue/is nat in vs alone
For bestes that haue/sence and vnderstandynge
By companies go/to gether right louynge
Whiche doyng I repute very perfect loue
Whan by no crafte/nor male engyn
From their amite/wyll nat remoue
The one to socour other shall neuer blyn
Who can depart true louyng folkes at wyn?
Father/children/and frendes of aliaunce/
And good neyghbours helpe other i eche chauce.
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This maner frendshyp/very loue I call
Other than this/or lyke no man can fynde
Abyde (sayd the other) I thynke ye shall
Here my reason/contrary to your mynde
I trowe none hence to the lande of Inde
Can be founde. Whiche hath nat tasted
Other loue/than ye haue nowe rehersed
Harde you neuer tell/of yonge Pyramus/
And his swete loue/called fayre Thysby:
In all Babylon/the moost swete and gracious
Bothe shynyng/full of fresshe beauty
Dwellynge also/togyder very nye
Wherby the more/as I haue herde tell
Fro day to day/in feruent loue they fell
They wold both/ryght fayne haue bespoused
After suche lawe/as in that tyme they vse
But by theyr parentes/they were alway letted
Who of theyr myschief/I may well accuse
Neuer wolde one/the other of them refuse
The strayter they were kept/and inclosed
The more feruently/in loue they burned
And whan they coude nat to gyther speke
They made signes/tokyn and lokynge
By suche meanes/theyr myndz wolde they breke
That one of other had perfect vnderstandynge
Nowe it happed/as loue is euer sekynge
To fynde remedye/what therof befall
So at last they founde/a chenke in a wall
At whiche place/oft these louers two
Mette and talked/of their wo and payne
Many tymes/theder wolde they go
And on the wall/piteously complayne
That he stode/betwene them louers twayne
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Nat openyng to them so moche space
To come to gether/eche other to enbrace
These and like wordes/ofte wolde they say
O enuious wall certes thou doest amysse
If thou wylt nat suffre/that we may
Ioyne our bodies/suffre vs to kysse
Agaynst the/we neuer dyd amysse
Wherfore be nat thou/to vs vnkynde
Opyn thy selfe/and obey to our mynde.
And whan they shulde part eche other fro
They toke leaue/and that ryght curtesly
yet alway/before or they wolde go
On eche syde/they kyst the wall swetely
Syghyng a lytell/very amorously
So wolde they stande/all many a longe nyght
Tyll Aurora/exild them with her lyght
And whan Phebus gan/his bemes downespred
Dryeng vp the dewes/in the medowes grene
Than wolde they stele priuely to bed
That they shulde/of no persone be sene
Where most of all/theyr sorowe sharpe and kene
At the hart/gan to prycke a pace
That they ne coude/rest in any place.
Nowe languysshe they/with syghes profoude
Nowe sorowe they/nowe they turne and wynde
Nowe fresshely bledeth/their incurable woude
Nowe cast they/right busely in mynde
Nowe they may/some crafte and maner fynde
Theyr kepers to deceyue/by some wyle
And to stele out/in the nyght by gyle.
After they had/fixed theyr myndes heron
They agreed/at theyr metyng place
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That they wolde/into the feldes gon
The next nyght/and mete at a certayn place
And which, of them two/were first per case
Theder come/shulde no ferther go
Tyll the other/were ycome also.
Their metyng place/I vnderstande shulde be
At the supulchre/or tombe of kyng Ninus
(Kyng of Assiriens) vnder a goodly hye tre
Bearyng white aples/the tre cleped Morus
Growyng fast by/a fountayne delicious
In the sayd place/couenaunted to mete
yonge Pyram/and gracious Thysby swete.
Whan the longe day/was gone and past
And nyght come/every thynge at rest
The tendre mayde/hyed her ryght fast
To the dore she goth/redely and prest
And put therto/her doulce and softe brest
Openynge itso/for feare lest it shulde crake
And therwith/some of her kepars wake.
So out at the dore/gote preuely is she
And through the towne/alone is went
Into the fyldes/towarde the foresayd tre
O swete Thysbe/howe true was your entent
Howe curtesly your hart dyd assent
For the loue of gentyll Pyramus
To enterprise/a thynge so perillous.
Myghty loues power/here may we beholde
Proued on this goodly damosell
What but loue coude make her so bolde?
She feared nat/the sauage beestes fell
Wherto shulde I any longer dwell?
Upon her way she went styll apace
Castyng euer/towarde the appointed place.
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One myght demaunde/who was her gyde
Bycause it was in the quyet nyght
I answere none/but the hygh lorde Cupide
Whose souerayne puysaunce/and great myght
Turneth obscure darkenesse/vnto lyght
He leadeth folkes/that way as he wyll
In great parilles/redy for to spyll.
So this lorde/of his myght and grace
Conduced Thysbe/in the wylde felde
Tyll she came vnto the foresayd place
Where she sate downe/vnder Morus selde
And as she sate/a ferre of she behelde
Towarde the wode/by lyght of the mone
A lyonesse/whiche towarde her dyd come.
This lyones/in the wode had slayne
A beest before/and deuoured hym also
And came to drynke/at the sayd fountayne
Where Thysbe sate alone with her no mo
For feare wherof/lyghtly she to go
Into a denne/that was there besyde
Swete Thysbe ran/her for to hyde.
(In moche perill/and great ieopardye
Thysbe was brought/by this sodayne fraye
For in that denne/wylde beestes vsed to lye)
For hast she fell/her kerchefe by the way
Whiche the lyones (as I haue harde say)
Founde. And in her blody mouthe toke
Rent/tore/and out agayne it shoke.
Than forthwith she ran into the wode
And as soone as euer she was gone
Pyram came/and founde the cloth all blode
His hart gan to be/as colde as any stone
Sayeng these wordes/with most pitous mone
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O nyght thou losest/and art distruction
Of two yonge louers of Babylon.
Of whiche two/she that most worthy was
For to haue lyued/is deed fyrst of all
I am the cause/swete Thysbe (her alas)
That you ben slayne/of this beest truculentall
If I had come fyrst/than had it nat befall
O wretche that I am/to suffre swete Thysbe
To come alone/and here for to dye.
O ye moost cruell/and rabbysshe lions fell
Come nowe and teare/the corps of Pyramus
ye sauage beestes/that in these rockes dwell
If blode to you be so delicious
Come and gnawe/my wretched body dolorous
And on the kerchef/with face pale and tryst
He loked ofte/and it right swetely kyst.
With deedly syghes/his swerde out he drewe
Under the vmbre/of the forsayd tre
Wherwith shortly/hym owne selfe he slewe
Sayeng/take drynke nowe the blode of me
With whiche stroke/the blode (as it had be
Water spoutynge/out of a condite heed)
Spouted vp/whan he fell downe deed.
And with the blode/in suche wyse sprynklyng
The frute of the tre/whiche that before
Was white. Turned as blacke as any thynge
And the blode/that sanke to the more
Depeinted it/a fayre purple colore
Whiche vnto this day/so remayne
But nowe to Thysby/turne I wyll agayne.
All though her feare were neuer the las
yet bycause she wolde nat breke promesse
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She came softly/towarde thappoynted place
Bothe mynde and eye/lokyng without cesse
For yonge Pyram/the floure of gentylnesse
She loked euer/her swete hart to se
Tyll she approched/and came vnder the tre.
Whan she behelde/the transformacion
Of the tre. She was right sore abasshed
And bycause it was in suche condicion
She thought it was nat/the place appoynted
But at last/as she more nerer loked
She sawe a corps/vpon the grounde lye
Newly slayne/tremblyng and all blody.
Wherwith she gan/to be as pale as leed
And stepped backe/a lyttell sodaynly
Incontinent she perceyued the corps deed
Was her owne swete hart/the noble Pyramy
O howe she gan moost piteously to crye
Her handes strayne/and her fyngers wrynge
Enragiously/her armes out castynge.
She rent and tore/her goodly youlowe heare
And toke the corps/in her armes twayne
Desperously/wepynge many a teare
Amonge the blode/of her louer slayne
Her bytter teares/lay as thycke as rayne
And ofte she kyssed/his deedly colde visage
Styll cryeng/as though she wolde enrage.
O swete Pyram/who hath taken you me fro?
O curtesse Pyram/speke nowe vnto me
I am thyn owne Thysby/full of wo
Here thy dere loue/that speketh vnto the
Lyfte ones vp thyn eyes Pyram me to se
And as she lay/this tomblyng on the grounde
At longe her kerchefe/in the blode she founde
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Than she knewe/howe he deceyued was
By the kerchefe/and the lyonesse
Agayne she cryed/o Pyram her alas
For my loue/doure of gentylnesse
Haue slayne your selfe/in peinfull distresse
O swete Pyram/syth it is for my sake
Of my dolorous lyfe/suche ende shall I make.
Of ioye with you/parttaker haue I be
What tyme ye lyued/most curtes Pyramus
Shulde deth thau departe you and me?
With you to dye/I am ryght desyrous
O parentz parentz/of our deth reous
To you our bodyes/I bequeth and take
To bury togyther/for neuer we shall forsake.
O miserable tre/with thy bowes longe
Coueryng nowe/lyeng deed on the grounde
The noble Pyram/that whilom was so strouge
Thou shalt anone/of suche another wounde
Couer my corps. And in a littell stounde
She pulled the swerde out of Pyramy
And therwith slewe herselfe pyteously.
Thautor.
Than the damosell/that the storie tolde
Sygheh softe/and loked me vpon
Wherwith ye teares/downe on her chekes rolde
She had of theyr deth/so great compassion
That she was stryken in cogitacion
And stode a whyle/as one had ben dismayde
And these wordes/after to vs she sayd
The damosell.
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O curtes Pyram/and swete Thysbe also
Herde was your fortune and destanye
your pitous deth/maketh myn hert wo
yet me thynke/I se your bodies lye
The tre and fountayne/ryght sorowfully
Unto this day/wepe and complayne
The lamentable dethe/of you louers twayne.
Here was true loue/who can it deny?
Here were the burnyng sparcles of Cupyde
Here were two hertes/closed in one truly
Here were two louers/nat swaruyng asyde
O cursed lyonesse/wo mote the betyde
Thou were the cause/that these louers twayne
Were so soone/thus miserably slayne.
O ye parentes/of these louers two
Why suffred you them/so for to spyll?
ye caused them/thether for to go
Wherof succeded/all their myschiefe and yll
ye myght haue had your goodly children styll
If ye had done/as reason doth require
To marry them/after theyr desyre.
These gentyls dyd/as christens nowe a day
Moost comonly/vse for to do
Whiche no doubt is/a moche cursed way
And causer of many yuels also
They marry/without consent of the two
Whiche mariage is nat worth an hawe
Damnable/and eke ayenst the lawe.
For to receyue this hygh sacrament
Is required moche solemnite
But one moost speciall/that is fre assent
Of both persones/of hye and lowe degre
Without whiche/mariage can nat be
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Perfectly allowed/before the glorious face
Of the hygh god/in the celestiall place.
Whan two maried/ayenst their myndes be
What is the very true consequens?
Contynuall discorde/moost comenly wese
Braulyng/chidyng/and other inconuenience
And another/moost poysonfull pestilence
For therof right ofte/aduoutry doth succede
Murdre/and many a myscheuous dede.
We se oft tymes/whan two to gether come
By great loue/and longe continuaunce
yet of suche/there haue ben founde some
Whiche dayly haue ben at distaunce
To them selfe/and other great noyaunce
And coude by no meanes/togyther agre
And by deuorse/departed haue they be.
Than moche sooner/suche as by compulsion
Ben spoused/agaynst theyr owne fre wyll
Shulde nat do well. But to make relacion
Particlerly/of all and euery yll
That clamdestinat mariage doth fulfyll
I shulde than/to longe tary you twayne
Where I was/turne I shall agayne
Before this tyme/you bothe haue harde tell
Of the trojan knyght/called Troylus
And of Creseide/the goodly damosell
On whom he was so depely amorous
For whom he was/so heuy and dolorous
That had nat ben Pandare/his trusty frende
Of his lyfe/he had lyghtly made an ende.
For one syght he had/of that fresshe may
As he walked within the temple wyde
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He loked as his hart/had ben pulde away
And coude nat moche longer there abyde
The fyrie dart/of the hygh lorde Cupyde
Had made in hym/so great and large a wounde
That lytell lacked/he fell nat to the grounde.
There was none so expert phisician
That coude cure or helpe his maladye
To serche the wounde/myght no surgian
It was impossible/to come therby
None coude cure/saue the faire lady
Creseide. On whom he loked oft
Syghyng depe/and gronyng lowe and softe.
What shulde I herof/longer processe make
Theyr great loue is wrytten all at longe
And howe he dyed onely for her sake
Out ornate Chaucer/other bokes amonge
In his lyfe dayes/dyd vnderfonge
To translate:and that most plesantly
Touchyng the mater/of the sayd story.
Of Cannace/somwhat wyll I tell
And of her brother/cleped Machareus
Howe Aeolous/her father ryght cruell
Made her dye a deth full pitous
But first she wrote/a pistoll dolorous
To her brother/of her wofull chaunce
These were her wordes to my remembraunce.
Cannace doughter/of Aeolous the kynge
Greteth Machare/her owne brother dere
In owne hande/a naked swerde holdynge
With the other writyng/as doth appere
In this epistoll that she sendeth here
Howe by naught els saue deth she can fynde
To content her fathers cruell mynde.
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O my father most innaturall
This swerde to me his daughter hath he sende
With whiche swerde/shortly anone I shall
Of my lyfe and sorowe make an ende
To other pite/he wyll nat condiscende
Wherfore his fierce mynde to content
To slee my selfe I must nedes assent.
Thautor.
Than spake I/and wolde suffre her no more
Of this wofull mater/forther for to tell
Suche lamentable louers/greueth my hart sore
And also we coude nat moche longer dwell
Ryght glad was I/that it so happy fell
To here the hole of wofull Pyramus
Of her tolde/with gesture dolorous.
She wolde haue tolde/of many other mo
The great loue/and fatall destenye
Howe Phillis desolate/ofte alone wolde go
By hylles and dales/mornyng tenderly
For Demophon/and howe she dyd dye
But styll I prayed her to kepe silence
And leaue of her tragicall sentence.
A man that sweteth/and is very hote
Brought to the fyre/is nat well content
What I meane/euery man doth wote
yet for this/I wolde nothyng assent
That she had declared/appert and euydent
To our fyrst purpose/what loue shulde be
And wherupon/we gan to argue all thre.
The fyrst damosell/proued loue by reason
The other spake all by auctorite
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Declaryng olde stories/of antique season
But to neyther of them wolde I agre
Without experience/proued can nat be
What is the myghty power of Cupyde
Whiche regneth through the great worlde wyde
Experience (sayd they) we desyre to here
What therby to proue/you entende
Than loked I on them/with sad chere
Castyng howe for to make an ende
Of our argument/and nat offende
Nother of them/through my negligence
For one of them/was myn experience.
Forsoth (I sayd) I nat howe it may be
But ones I behelde/with great affection
A fayre pusell/whiche happed yll for me
For neuer syth/by no compulsion
I coude nat put her in obliuion
Nor my mynde pulle from her away
Nor neuer shall/to myn endyng day.
With her regarde/and swete countenaunce
She gave me a great mortall wounde
Through whiche deth/dayly both auaunce
Towarde me/onely to confounde
My wretched corps:whiche in the grounde
Must of foule wormes be eate and gnawe
So condemned/by cruell loues lawe.
This lorde Cupide/lyst of his cruelte
Without reason/my body to turment
To mount an hylle/he constrayneth me
With his arowes/sharpe and violent
And me burnyng/with his brande ardent
yet vp the hyll/no way can be sought
To geat alone:so lowe am I brought.
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O Hyppomenes/howe happy thou were?
What tyme thou wast so moche amorous
On Atalanta/that curtes damosell dere
For whose loue/ne had nat ben Venus
Thou shuldest haue dyed a deth ryght greuous
But s (that she the gaue) of golde
Thou gotest thy loue of truthe/as it is tolde
Clas suche socour/no where fynde I may
That me wyll helpe in myn heuynesse
And more encreaseth my sorowe day by day
Cruell thought on me doth neuer cesse
With feare and drede/my body to manesse
And with Dispeare/I haue so great stryfe
That gladly I wolde be reft of my lyfe
And than call I vnto the systers thre
To come out of their furious selle
And from my peyne to delyuer me
I care nat/though I with them shulde dwell
Or rauenyng wolues/hungry/fierse/and felle
My body gnawe/and to peces rent
To be losed/of my great turment.
O Pole wheron the great worlde rounde
Turneth about/by cours naturall
If a place may/vnder the be founde
I wolde gladly/therin that I shulde fall
O ye dogges/whiche to peces small
Tare Acreon/for Diana sake
I pray you of me an ende to make.
O crowes/rauons/and foules euerychone
What tyme my lyfe ended thus shalbe
Come than and take eche of you abone
And do beare them into what countre
Pleaseth you/for all is one to me
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So I be out of this greuous payne
For any longer/I can it nat sustayne.
Wherwith dame Reason cometh vnto me
Very swetely lokynge in my face
With whom cometh other two or thre
Good Esperaunce/and the lady Grace
And reason begynneth for to chace
The lordens away/whiche before
Turmented my wretched body sore
Fyrst Reason to Disperaunce doth speke
Hym banysshyng out of our company
On hym she wolde gladly her angre wreke
But lady pacience standyng by
Sayeth to her very curtesly
ye must swetely shewe your selfe vntyll
This pacient here redy for to spyll.
Than by the hande Reason doth me take
Sayeng/what though the gentyle Hypsiphyle
Distroyed her selfe for prue Jasons sake
That ayenst his promes/dyd her begyle
Leape nat thou/tyll thou come to the style
For thou hast here nowe before thy face
(Whiche she lacked) the goodly lady Grace.
Reason.
Thou knowest after our hygh religion
Who that slee them selfe wylfully
By iuste sentence/of lastyng damnacion
Of helle. Be in great ieopardye
Wherfore I aduise the/loke theron wysely
Take nat example of/Dido and Myrra.
Nor yet of Phillis/Scylla/and Phedra.
287
I say to the as I sayd before
They lacked Grace/ye and me also
Whiche thou hast/and shalt haue euer more
In case that thou gladly woldest do
As we shall shewe the or that we go
Principally beware of Dispayre
In no wyse abyde that sower ayre.
Another/thou shalt kepe moderacion
In all thynges/that thou gost about
Both in gladnesse/and lamentacion
Beware of thought/the villayn bolde and stout
Of heuynesse/with theyr cruell route
Feare/drede/discomfort/and mystrust
Incline the neuer after their peruers lust.
What foly is it for a womans sake
Nat knowyng your corage nor entent
Suche lamentacion/and sorowe for to make
Perauenture her swete hart wolde assent
In all honour be at your comaundement
Wherfore fyrst/ye shulde by my counsell
Knowe the pleasure of the damosell.
Thautor.
To whiche counsell/accorden an agre
Desyre/and the curtes esperaunce
They two promesse/for to go with me
Dame fauour sayth she wyll so auaunce
With the helpe of prudent Gouernaunce
To solicite my mater in best wyse
And dame Discrecion shall it deuyse.
The good holsome lady Remembraunce
Sayth recorde/was nat worthy Theseus
288
The hye conquerour/delyuered fro myschaunce
By socour of two ladyes gratious
For hym they were so moche pitous
That they put them selfe/in dauger of moche yll
Hym for to saue/that he shulde nat spyll.
For he had ben put to the Minataurus
Without prouise/of these ladies twayne
Within the mase/made by Dedalus
All though he had/the hidous monstre slayne
yet coude he neuer come out therof agayne
But by the ladies subttle inuencion
He slewe the beest/and came out anone.
Thou hast redde/ryght many an history
Of ladies and damosels great bounte
And howe soone they ben inclyned to mercy
As was the curtes lady/Hypermestre
For nothyng perswaded wolde she be
For all her father myght do or say
She conueyed her loue and lorde away.
And bycause this lady wolde nat do
Scelerously/as dyd her systers all
Afterwarde she suffred moche wo
But no punyisshement/to her myght fall
That she ne thought the peyne very small
Suche ioye she had/of her spouse delyueraunce
That all her payne/to her was no greuaunce
Thus tender pite/in the hart feminall
Ronneth alway/vnto mannes defence
Theyr gentyll hertes/swete and liberall
Be lyghely turned/with great diligence
To mannes socour/and beneuolence
They speke/they praye/they labour and they go
Ryght tenderly/mannes profite for to do.
289
Thautor.
So these ladies/debated with me styll
In whole company I was ryght ioyous
And at last/they sayd me all vntyll
Be mery and glad thou louer dolorous
For thy loue is so moche gracious
That we thynke vnto thy desyre
She wyll obey/as thou wylt requyre.
Thautor.
Than call I/vnto my remembraunce
The great promesses/that Paris of Troye
Made to Heleyn/yet scant it was his chaunce
Her loue to gette/or her to enioye
All that he sayd was of perfect foye
He was a prince/and a kynges son also
yet longe it was/or she wolde with hym go.
Whan I mynde Echates/ye woman beautious
All my sorowe begynneth to renewe
She and the fayre yonge man/called Hyrus
Betoken howe my loue shall neuer rewe
Nor pite me. yet as Acontius vntrue
To her wyll I vse neyther fraude ne wyle
Lyke as he dyd Cydippes begyle.
Thus thought and feare/all the longe day
Turment me/tyll Phebus the hemyspery
Hath fally ronne/so that we may
Perceyue the blacke nyght aprochyng nye
To bedde I go/lasshe and eke wery
In hope some repose for to take
And by that meane/my payne for to slake.
290
Sone after/that I am downe layde
Morpheus/softely cometh to me
Who at the fyrst/maketh me afrayde
Tyll I knowe/what man he shulde be
He leadeth me where as I may se
My swete loue/vnto whom I wolde
Desyrously/ryght oft my mynde haue tolde.
And whan I haue ben about to speke
Cruell drede/hath stepped me before
He and feare/alway my purpose breke
yet her swete visage sheweth euermore
That of dame Pite/she knoweth well the lore
It can nat be/that her great beauty
Shulde be voyde/and without mercy.
Thus I stande debatyng a longe space
Than Morpheus/bryngeth me agayne
And whan I fynde me in the same place
Where I lay downe/with myn handes twayne
I graspe and fele/I sygh and complayne
And fynde it colde about me euery where
And perceyue that she was nat there.
O howe thought taketh me by the hert
And heuynesse/falleth me vpon
Those two from me wyll neuer departe
Tyll they make my body as colde as stone
They say to me/remedy is none
In this behalfe ferther to pursewe
For on me/my loue shall neuer rewe.
Thought and heuynesse.
Thou mayst here lye/sygh/sorowe and wayte
And on thy miserable state complayne
291
For her beautye/frendes/and apparayle
Causeth her to haue the in disdayne
She forceth nat/of thy wo and payne
She is a fresshe yonge swete creature
Well bequeynted/with the lady pleasure.
So stode the heuyns/whan thou were bore
And suche is thy fatall destenye
To loue one/whiche setteth lytell store
By the that art oppressed with mysery
What careth she/though thou for sorowe dye?
Or all thy lyfe/morne without a make
In wyldernesse/wandryng for her sake.
We haue tolde the ofte/and longe agone
That thy swete loue/fresshe and gorgious
Loketh to stande in grace of suche one
That may stipate/her port sumptuous
To sayle forth/with fame glorious
Lackyng nothyng/that dame Volunte
Wyll demaunde/longyng to Leberte.
For all thy lorde/who thou seruest so true
Whiche is the very blynde god Cupyde
Bearyng his signe/a face pale of hewe
As any ashes/wherto thou doest abyde
Vpholdyng it/with syghes large and wyde
yet we two shall do so moche our payne
Of Acrapos/shortly thou shalt be slayne.
Thautor.
Thus many a nyght/ofte I dryue away
Whiche me thynke longer than a yere
And whan I se the spryngynge of the day
yet somwhat gladed is my chere
For busynesse to me doth appere
292
Byddyng me to ryse and come lyghtly
Fye he sayth/vpon all sluggardy.
Than I ryse/and my clothes take
As preuely and soft as it may be
Wherwith diligence begynneth to awake
Whiche ones vp/a newe wyll turment me
And whan I can no other way se
With them I go/where they wyll me leade
For as than/I can no better reade.
Where euer I go/thought is neuer behynde
Nor heuynesse/they be alway present
To leaue them/I can no crafte fynde
For I beyng neuer so diligent
With busynesse/bothe mynde and eke entent
yet those two euer styll apeace
Come on me/my body to disease.
These two ofte/handle me so harde
That I am made lyke vnto a stone
To busynesse/hauyng no regarde
I leaue hym/and forth with anone
To some secrete place must I gone
A lytell whyle/my sorowe to complayne
From company/I do my selfe restrayne.
Than I begyn in this maner wyse
Lowe and softe/that none shulde here me
O Venus Venus/is this your cruell gyse?
Styll to turment vnto the extremite
My pore body/whiche as you may se
Is brought into so great miserye
That for loue/shortly must I dye.
The burnyng fyre of loue/doth me assayle
In suche wyse/that remedy is none
293
To quenche it/no water can auayle
Nor yet versus of cantacion
Of Pean/the artes euerychone
Nor of Mede/be nat worth a flye
I am condemned/and nedes must I dye.
Of all vnlucky/I most infortunate
Most sorowfull/most heuy and lamentable
What is my wretched body/lyfe/and state?
Nought els/but a thynge miserable
Replenisshed with paynes intollerable
To syghe/to sorowe/and morne tenderly
And by loue/condemned for to dye.
Of all louers/none can be founde
Whose case may well compared be
Vnto myn : through all the worlde rounde
Were out sought/yet shulde ye nat se
But that they had some felicite
But nought haue I/but all miserye
And by loue/condemned to dye.
Troylous/of whom men so moche tell
That he so great a louer was
Vnto hym/the case ryght happy fell
For in his armes ofte he dyd enbrace
His swete loue/and stode so in her grace
That nothyng to hym wolde she denye
But by loue/condemned I am to dye.
Many a nyght with his loue he lay
And in his armes/swetely can her holde
Of nothynge to hym sayd she nay
That he of her/aske or desyre wolde
His great ioy forsoth can nat be tolde
He had souerayne blysse/and I miserye
And by loue condemned for to dye.
294
What ioy had Paris we Heleyn ye fresshe quene?
Deyanira/with fierce Hercules
Briseis/the lady bryght and shene
With her lorde/the hardy Achilles
And Penelope/with her spouse Ulixes
Great gladnesse they had/with som miserye
I haue no ioy: and am condemned to dye.
Many a nyght/the friscant Leander
Lay also slept with his loue Herus
To passe Hellespont/she was his lode stere
And in all thynges to hym gracious
O these louers/fresshe and amorous
Ofte passed the tyme to gether ioyously
But by loue/condemned I am to dye.
Fayre Phillis/and eke Demophon
Had togyther ryght great felicite
So had the lady Sapho with Phaon
So had Machare/with his syster Canace
Dido with Aene/what ioy had she?
Ryght longe hym reteynyng curtesly
No ioy haue I/and am condemned to dye.
Myrra that loued her owne father dere
Wyckedly/by loue abhominable
Dyd so moche/that they lay both infere
All a nyght. doyng the dede damnable
Se howe Cupyde was fauorable
To her stynkyng loue/and transgression
And wyll me slee/for loyall affeccion.
Wherby I se/it is predestinate
Vnto me : most wretched creature
For to haue this miserable state
And infinite sorowe to endure
Or bate of all ioy/and eke pleasure
295
Full of luctuous syghes and misery
And vtterly condemned for to dye.
Wherfore adieu/all worldly vanite
Adieu frayle pleasure/rollynge lyke a ball
Adieu brytell trustes/that in this worlde be
Adieu I say/disceytes great and small
Adieu slipernesse styll redy for to fall
Lastly adieu/swete hert without mercye
For whose sake/I am condemned to dye.
Thautor to the two damosels.
Lo nowe you two/haue herde to the ende
What is loue/by suche experience
As I haue had. And nowe I you comende
Unto god/for I must depart hence
I thanke you hertely of your pacience
your curtesy/and eke your louyng chere
Of gentylnesse/that you haue made me here.
your chere here (they sayd) is but small
We wolde it were moche better for your sake
Our tanglynge/that to vs nowe hath fall
Wolde suffre vs/no chere for to make
And so theyr leaue/swetely of me they take
At the port or gate/and in they go
And I went strayght to my home also.
~ Anonymous Olde English,
299:Erle of Tolous
Jhesu Cryste, yn Trynyté,
Oonly God and persons thre,
Graunt us wele to spede,
And gyf us grace so to do
That we may come thy blys unto,
On Rode as thou can blede!
Leve lordys, y schall you telle
Of a tale, some tyme befelle
Farre yn unknowthe lede:
How a lady had grete myschefe,
And how sche covyrd of hur grefe;
Y pray yow take hede!
Some tyme there was in Almayn
An Emperrour of moche mayn;
Syr Dyoclysyan he hyght;
He was a bolde man and a stowte;
All Chrystendome of hym had dowte,
So stronge he was in fyght;
He dysheryted many a man,
And falsely ther londys wan,
Wyth maystry and wyth myght,
Tyll hyt befelle upon a day,
A warre wakenyd, as y yow say,
Betwene hym and a knyght.
The Erle of Tollous, Syr Barnard,
The Emperrour wyth hym was harde,
And gretly was hys foo.
He had rafte owt of hys honde
Three hundred poundys worth be yere of londe:
Therfore hys herte was woo.
He was an hardy man and a stronge,
And sawe the Emperour dyd hym wronge,
And other men also;
He ordeyned hym for batayle
Into the Emperours londe, saun fayle;
And there he began to brenne and sloo.
79
Thys Emperour had a wyfe,
The fayrest oon that evyr bare lyfe,
Save Mary mekyll of myght,
And therto gode in all thynge,
Of almesdede and gode berynge,
Be day and eke be nyght;
Of hyr body sche was trewe
As evyr was lady that men knewe,
And therto moost bryght.
To the Emperour sche can say:
'My dere lorde, y you pray,
Delyvyr the Erle hys ryght.'
'Dame,' he seyde, 'let that bee;
That day schalt thou nevyr see,
Yf y may ryde on ryght,
That he schall have hys londe agayne;
Fyrste schall y breke hys brayne,
Os y am trewe knyght!
He warryth faste in my londe;
I schall be redy at hys honde
Wythyn thys fourteen nyght!'
He sente abowte everywhare,
That all men schulde make them yare
Agayne the Erle to fyght.
He let crye in every syde,
Thorow hys londe ferre and wyde,
Bothe in felde and towne,
All that myght wepon bere,
Sworde, alablast, schylde, or spere,
They schoulde be redy bowne;
The Erle on hys syde also
Wyth forty thousand and moo
Wyth spere and schylde browne.
A day of batayle there was sett;
In felde when they togedur mett,
Was crakydde many a crowne.
The Emperour had bataylys sevyn;
He spake to them wyth sterne stevyn
And sayde, so mot he thryve,
80
'Be ye now redy for to fyght,
Go ye and bete them downe ryght
And leveth non on lyve;
Loke that none raunsonyd bee
Nothyr for golde ne for fee,
But sle them wyth swerde and knyfe!'
For all hys boste he faylyd gyt;
The Erle manly hym mett,
Wyth strokys goode and ryfe.
They reryd batayle on every syde;
Bodely togedyr can they ryde,
Wyth schylde and many a spere;
They leyde on faste as they were wode,
Wyth swerdys and axes that were gode;
Full hedeous hyt was to here.
There were schyldys and schaftys schakydde,
Hedys thorogh helmys crakydde,
And hawberkys all totore.
The Erle hymselfe an axe drowe;
An hundred men that day he slowe,
So wyght he was yn were!
Many a stede there stekyd was;
Many a bolde baron in that place
Lay burlande yn hys own blode.
So moche blode there was spylte,
That the feld was ovyrhylte
Os hyt were a flode.
Many a wyfe may sytt and wepe,
That was wonte softe to slepe,
And now can they no gode.
Many a body and many a hevyd,
Many a doghty knyght there was levyd,
That was wylde and wode.
The Erle of Tollous wan the felde;
The Emperour stode and behelde:
Wele faste can he flee
To a castell there besyde.
Fayne he was hys hedde to hyde,
And wyth hym Erlys thre;
81
No moo forsothe scapyd away,
But they were slayn and takyn that day:
Hyt myght non othyr bee.
The Erle tyll nyght folowed the chace,
And sythen he thanked God of hys grace,
That syttyth in Trynyté.
There were slayne in that batayle
Syxty thousand, wythowte fayle,
On the Emperours syde;
Ther was takyn thre hundred and fyfty
Of grete lordys, sekyrly,
Wyth woundys grymly wyde;
On the Erlys syde ther were slayne
But twenty, sothely to sayne,
So boldely they can abyde!
Soche grace God hym sende
That false quarell cometh to evell ende
For oght that may betyde.
Now the Emperour ys full woo:
He hath loste men and londe also;
Sore then syghed hee;
He sware be Hym that dyed on Rode,
Mete nor drynke schulde do hym no gode,
Or he vengedde bee.
The Emperes seyde, 'Gode lorde,
Hyt ys better ye be acorde
Be oght that y can see;
Hyt ys grete parell, sothe to telle,
To be agayne the ryght quarell;
Be God, thus thynketh me!'
'Dame,' seyde the Emperoure,
'Y have a grete dyshonoure;
Therfore myn herte ys woo;
My lordys be takyn, and some dede;
Therfore carefull ys my rede:
Sorowe nye wyll me sloo.'
Then seyde Dame Beulybon:
'Syr, y rede, be Seynt John,
Of warre that ye hoo;
82
Ye have the wronge and he the ryght,
And that ye may see in syght,
Be thys and othyr moo.'
The Emperour was evyll payde:
Hyt was sothe the lady sayde;
Therfore hym lykyd ylle,
He wente awey and syghed sore;
Oon worde spake he no more,
But held hym wonder stylle.
Leve we now the Emperour in thoght:
Game ne gle lyked hym noght,
So gretly can he grylle!
And to the Erle turne we agayn,
That thanked God wyth all hys mayn,
That grace had sende hym tylle.
The Erle Barnard of Tollous
Had fele men chyvalrous
Takyn to hys preson;
Moche gode of them he hadde;
Y can not telle, so God me gladde,
So grete was ther raunsome!
Among them alle had he oon,
Was grettest of them everychon,
A lorde of many a towne,
Syr Trylabas of Turky
The Emperour hym lovyd, sekurly,
A man of grete renowne.
So hyt befell upon a day
The Erle and he went to play
Be a rever syde.
The Erle seyde to Trylabas,
'Telle me, syr, for Goddys grace,
Of a thyng that spryngyth wyde,
That youre Emperour hath a wyfe,
The fayrest woman that ys on lyfe,
Of hewe and eke of hyde.
Y swere by boke and by belle,
Yf sche be so feyre as men telle,
Mekyll may be hys pryde.'
83
Then sayde that lord anon ryght,
'Be the ordre y bere of knyght,
The sothe y schall telle the:
To seeke the worlde more and lesse,
Bothe Crystendome and hethynnesse,
Ther ys none so bryght of blee.
Whyte as snowe ys hur coloure;
Hur rudde ys radder then the rose-floure,
Yn syght who may hur see;
All men that evyr God wroght
Myght not thynke nor caste in thoght
A fayrer for to bee.'
Then seyde the Erle, 'Be Goddys grace,
Thys worde in mornyng me mas.
Thou seyest sche ys so bryght;
Thy raunsom here y the forgeve,
My helpe, my love, whyll y leve
Therto my trowthe y plyght,
So that thou wylt brynge me
Yn safegarde for to bee,
Of hur to have a syght,
An hundred pownde, wyth grete honoure,
To bye the horses and ryche armoure,
Os y am trewe knyght!'
Than answeryd Syr Trylabas,
'Yn that covenaunt in thys place
My trowthe y plyght thee;
Y schall holde thy forward gode
To brynge the, wyth mylde mode,
In syght hur for to see;
And therto wyll y kepe counsayle
And nevyr more, wythowte fayle,
Agayne yow to bee;
Y schall be trewe, be Goddys ore,
To lose myn own lyfe therfore;
Hardely tryste to mee!'
The Erle answeryd wyth wordys hende:
'Y tryste to the as to my frende,
84
Wythowte any stryfe;
Anon that we were buskyd yare,
On owre jurney for to fare,
For to see that wyfe;
Y swere be God and Seynt Andrewe,
Yf hyt be so y fynde the trewe,
Ryches schall be to the ryfe.'
They lettyd nothyr for wynde not wedur, 1
But forthe they wente bothe togedur,
Wythowte any stryfe.
These knyghtys nevyr stynte nor blanne,
Tyll to the cyté that they wan,
There the Emperes was ynne.
The Erle hymselfe for more drede
Cladde hym in armytes wede,
Thogh he were of ryche kynne,
For he wolde not knowen bee.
He dwellyd there dayes three
And rested hym in hys ynne.
The knyght bethoght hym, on a day,
The gode Erle to betray;
Falsely he can begynne.
Anone he wente in a rese
To chaumbur to the Emperes,
And sett hym on hys knee;
He seyde, 'Be Hym that harowed helle,
He kepe yow fro all parelle,
Yf that Hys wylle bee!'
'Madam,' he seyde, 'be Jhesus,
Y have the Erle of Tollous;
Oure moost enemye ys hee.'
'Yn what maner,' the lady can say,
'Ys he comyn, y the pray?
Anone telle thou me.'
'Madam, y was in hys preson;
He hath forgevyn me my raunsom,
Be God full of myght And all ys for the love of the!
The sothe ys, he longyth yow to see,
85
Madam, onys in syght!
And hundred pownde y have to mede,
And armour for a nobull stede;
Forsothe y have hym hyght
That he schall see yow at hys fylle,
Ryght at hys owne wylle;
Therto my trowthe y plyght.
Lady, he ys to us a foo;
Therfore y rede that we hym sloo;
He hath done us gret grylle.'
The lady seyde, 'So mut y goo,
Thy soule ys loste yf thou do so;
Thy trowthe thou schalt fulfylle,
Sythe he forgaf the thy raunsom
And lowsydd the owt of preson,
Do away thy wyckyd wylle!
To-morne when they rynge the masbelle,
Brynge hym into my chapelle,
And thynke thou on no false sleythe;
There schall he see me at hys wylle,
Thy covenaunt to fulfylle;
Y rede the holde thy trowthe!
Certys, yf thou hym begyle,
Thy soule ys in grete paryle,
Syn thou haste made hym othe;
Certys, hyt were a traytory,
For to wayte hym wyth velany;
Me thynkyth hyt were rowthe!'
The knyght to the Erle wente;
Yn herte he helde hym foule schente
For hys wyckyd thoght.
He seyde, 'Syr, so mote y the,
Tomorne thou schalt my lady see;
Therfore, dysmay the noght:
When ye here the masbelle,
Y schall hur brynge to the chapelle;
Thedur sche schall be broght.
Be the oryall syde stonde thou stylle;
Then schalt thou see hur at thy wylle,
86
That ys so worthyly wroght.'
The Erle sayde, 'Y holde the trewe,
And that schall the nevyr rewe,
As farre forthe as y may.'
Yn hys herte he waxe gladde:
'Fylle the wyne,' wyghtly he badde,
'Thys goyth to my pay!'
There he restyd that nyght;
On the morne he can hym dyght
Yn armytes array;
When they ronge to the masse,
To the chapell conne they passe,
To see that lady gay.
They had stonden but a whyle,
The mowntaunse of halfe a myle,
Then came that lady free;
Two erlys hur ladde;
Wondur rychely sche was cladde,
In golde and ryche perré.
Whan the Erle sawe hur in syght,
Hym thoght sche was as bryght
Os blossome on the tree;
Of all the syghtys that ever he sye,
Raysyd nevyr none hys herte so hye,
Sche was so bryght of blee!
Sche stode stylle in that place
And schewed opynly hur face
For love of that knyght.
He beheld ynly hur face;
He sware there be Goddys grace,
He sawe nevyr none so bryght.
Hur eyen were gray as any glas;
Mowthe and nose schapen was
At all maner ryght;
Fro the forhedde to the too,
Bettur schapen myght non goo,
Nor none semelyer yn syght.
Twyes sche turnyd hur abowte
87
Betwene the Erlys that were stowte,
For the Erle schulde hur see.
When sche spake wyth mylde stevyn,
Sche semyd an aungell of hevyn,
So feyre sche was of blee!
Hur syde longe, hur myddyll small;
Schouldurs, armes therwythall,
Fayrer myght non bee;
Hur hondys whyte as whallys bonne,
Wyth fyngurs longe and ryngys upon;
Hur nayles bryght of blee.
When he had beholden hur welle,
The lady wente to hur chapell,
Masse for to here;
The Erle stode on that odur syde;
Hys eyen fro hur myght he not hyde,
So lovely sche was of chere!
He seyde, 'Lorde God, full of myght,
Leve y were so worthy a knyght,
That y myght be hur fere,
And that sche no husbonde hadde,
All the golde that evyr God made
To me were not so dere!'
When the masse come to ende,
The lady, that was feyre and hende,
To the chaumbur can sche fare;
The Erle syghed and was full woo
Owt of hys syght when sche schulde goo;
Hys mornyng was the mare.
The Erle seyde, 'So God me save,
Of hur almes y wolde crave,
Yf hur wylle ware;
Myght y oght gete of that free,
Eche a day hur to see
Hyt wolde covyr me of my care.' 2
The Erle knelyd down anon ryght
And askyd gode, for God allmyght,
That dyed on the tree.
The Emperes callyd a knyght:
88
'Forty floranse that ben bryght,
Anone brynge thou mee.'
To that armyte sche hyt payde;
Of hur fyngyr a rynge she layde
Amonge that golde so free;
He thankyd hur ofte, as y yow say.
To the chaumbyr wente that lady gay,
There hur was leveste to bee.
The Erle wente home to hys ynnys,
And grete joye he begynnys
When he founde the rynge;
Yn hys herte he waxe blythe
And kyssyd hyt fele sythe,
And seyde, 'My dere derlynge,
On thy fyngyr thys was!
Wele ys me, y have thy grace
Of the to have thys rynge!
Yf evyr y gete grace of the Quene
That any love betwene us bene,
Thys may be our tokenyng.'
The Erle, also soone os hyt was day,
Toke hys leve and wente hys way
Home to hys cuntré;
Syr Trylabas he thanked faste:
'Of thys dede thou done me haste,
Well qwyt schall hyt bee.'
They kyssyd togedur as gode frende;
Syr Trylabas home can wende,
There evell mote he thee!
A traytory he thoght to doo
Yf he myght come thertoo;
So schrewde in herte was hee!
Anon he callyd two knyghtys,
Hardy men at all syghtys;
Bothe were of hys kynne.
'Syrs,' he seyde, 'wythowt fayle,
Yf ye wyl do be my counsayle,
Grete worschyp schulde ye wynne;
Knowe ye the Erle of Tollous?
89
Moche harme he hath done us;
Hys boste y rede we blynne;
Yf ye wyll do aftur my redde,
Thys day he schall be dedde,
So God save me fro synne!'
That oon knyght Kaunters, that odur Kaym;
Falser men myght no man rayme,
Certys, then were thoo;
Syr Trylabas was the thrydde;
Hyt was no mystur them to bydde
Aftur the Erle to goo.
At a brygge they hym mett;
Wyth harde strokes they hym besett,
As men that were hys foo;
The Erle was a man of mayn:
Faste he faght them agayne,
And soone he slew two.
The thrydde fledde and blewe owt faste;
The Erle ovyrtoke hym at the laste:
Hys hedd he clofe in three.
The cuntrey gedryrd abowte hym faste,
And aftur hym yorne they chaste:
An hundred there men myght see.
The Erle of them was agaste:
At the laste fro them he paste;
Fayne he was to flee;
Fro them he wente into a waste;
To reste hym there he toke hys caste:
A wery man was hee.
All the nyght in that foreste
The gentyll Erle toke hys reste:
He had no nodur woon.
When hyt dawed, he rose up soone
And thankyd God that syttyth in trone,
That he had scapyd hys foon;
That day he travaylyd many a myle,
And ofte he was in grete parylle,
Be the way os he can gone,
Tyll he come to a fayre castell,
90
There hym was levyst to dwelle,
Was made of lyme and stone.
Of hys comyng hys men were gladde.
'Be ye mery, my men,' he badde,
'For nothyng ye spare;
The Emperour, wythowte lees,
Y trowe, wyll let us be in pees.
And warre on us no mare.'
Thus dwellyd the Erle in that place
Wyth game, myrthe, and grete solase,
Ryght os hym levyst ware.
Let we now the Erle alloon,
And speke we of Dame Beulyboon,
How sche was caste in care.
The Emperoure lovyd hys wyfe
Also so moche os hys own lyfe,
And more, yf he myght;
He chose two knyghtys that were hym dere,
Whedur that he were ferre or nere,
To kepe hur day and nyght.
That oon hys love on hur caste:
So dud the todur at the laste,
Sche was feyre and bryght!
Nothyr of othyr wyste ryght noght,
So derne love on them wroght,
To dethe they were nere dyght.
So hyt befell upon a day,
That oon can to that othyr say,
'Syr, also muste y thee,
Methynkyth thou fadyste all away,
Os man that ys clongyn in clay,
So pale waxeth thy blee!'
Then seyde that other, 'Y make avowe,
Ryght so, methynketh, fareste thou,
Whysoevyr hyt bee;
Tell me thy cawse, why hyt ys,
And y schall telle the myn, ywys:
My trouthe y plyght to thee.'
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'Y graunte,' he seyde, 'wythowt fayle,
But loke hyt be trewe counsayle!'
Therto hys trowthe he plyght.
He seyde, 'My lady the Emperes,
For love of hur y am in grete dystresse;
To dethe hyt wyll me dyght.'
Then seyde that othyr, 'Certenly,
Wythowte drede, so fare y
For that lady bryght;
Syn owre love ys on hur sett,
How myght owre bale beste be bett?
Canste thou rede on ryght?'
Then seyde that othyr, 'Be Seynt John,
Bettur counsayle can y noon,
Methynkyth, then ys thys:
Y rede that oon of us twoo
Prevely to hyr goo
And pray hur of hur blys;
Y myselfe wyll go hyr tylle;
Yn case y may gete hur wylle,
Of myrthe schalt thou not mys;
Thou schalt take us wyth the dede:
Leste thou us wrye sche wyll drede,
And graunte the thy wylle, ywys.'
Thus they were at oon assent;
Thys false thefe forthe wente
To wytt the ladyes wylle.
Yn chaumbyr he founde hyr so free;
He sett hym downe on hys knee,
Hys purpose to fulfylle.
Than spake that lady free,
'Syr, y see now well be the,
Thou haste not all thy wylle;
On thy sekeness now y see;
Telle me now thy prevyté,
Why thou mornyst so stylle.'
'Lady,' he seyde, 'that durste y noght
For all the gode that evyr was wroght,
Be grete God invysybylle,
92
But on a booke yf ye wyll swere
That ye schull not me dyskere,
Then were hyt possybyll.'
Then seyde the lady, 'How may that bee?
That thou darste not tryste to mee,
Hyt ys full orybylle.
Here my trowthe to the y plyght:
Y schall heyle the day and nyght,
Also trewe as boke or belle.'
'Lady, in yow ys all my tryste;
Inwardely y wolde ye wyste
What payne y suffur you fore;
Y drowpe, y dare nyght and day;
My wele, my wytt ys all away,
But ye leve on my lore;
Y have yow lovyd many a day,
But to yow durste y nevyr say My mornyng ys the more!
But ye do aftur my rede,
Certenly, y am but dede:
Of my lyfe ys no store.'
Than answeryd that lovely lyfe:
'Syr, wele thou wottyst y am a wyfe:
My lorde ys Emperoure;
He chase the for a trewe knyght,
To kepe me bothe day and nyght
Undur thy socowre.
To do that dede yf y assente,
Y were worthy to be brente
And broght in grete doloure;
Thou art a traytour in thy sawe,
Worthy to be hanged and to-drawe
Be Mary, that swete floure!'
'A, madam!' seyde the knyght,
'For the love of God almyght,
Hereon take no hede!
Yn me ye may full wele tryste ay;
Y dud nothyng but yow to affray,
Also God me spede!
93
Thynke, madam, youre trowthe ys plyght
To holde counsayle bothe day and nyght
Fully, wythowte drede;
Y aske mercy for Goddys ore!
Hereof yf y carpe more,
Let drawe me wyth a stede!'
The lady seyde, 'Y the forgeve;
Also longe os y leve,
Counsayle schall hyt bee;
Loke thou be a trewe man
In all thyng that thou can,
To my lorde so free.'
'Yys, lady, ellys dyd y wronge,
For y have servyd hym longe,
And wele he hath qwytt mee.'
Hereof spake he no mare,
But to hys felowe can he fare,
There evyll must they the!
Thus to hys felowe ys he gon,
And he hym frayned anon,
'Syr, how haste thou spedde?'
'Ryght noght,' seyde that othyr:
'Syth y was borne, lefe brothyr,
Was y nevyr so adredde;
Certys, hyt ys a boteles bale
To hur to touche soche a tale
At borde or at bedde.'
Then sayde that odur, 'Thy wytt ys thynne:
Y myselfe schall hur wynne:
Y lay my hedde to wedde!'
Thus hyt passyd ovyr, os y yow say,
Tyl aftur on the thrydde day
Thys knyght hym bethoght:
'Certys, spede os y may,
My ladyes wylle, that ys so gay,
Hyt schall be thorowly soght.'
When he sawe hur in beste mode,
Sore syghyng to hur he yode,
Of lyfe os he ne roght.
94
'Lady,' he seyde, 'wythowte fayle,
But ye helpe me wyth yowre counsayle,
Yn bale am y broght.'
Sche answeryd full curtesly,
'My counsayle schall be redy.
Telle me how hyt ys;
When y wott worde and ende,
Yf my counsayle may hyt mende,
Hyt schall, so have y blysse!'
'Lady,' he seyde, 'y undurstonde
Ye muste holde up yowre honde
To holde counsayle, ywys.'
'Yys,' seyde the lady free,
'Thereto my trouthe here to the,
And ellys y dudde amys.'
'Madam,' he seyde, 'now y am in tryste;
All my lyfe thogh ye wyste,
Ye wolde me not dyskevere;
For yow y am in so grete thoght,
Yn moche bale y am broght,
Wythowte othe y swere;
And ye may full wele see,
How pale y am of blee:
Y dye nere for dere;
Dere lady, graunt me youre love,
For the love of God, that sytteth above,
That stongen was wyth a spere.'
'Syr,' sche seyde, 'ys that youre wylle?
Yf hyt were myne, then dyd y ylle;
What woman holdyst thou me?
Yn thy kepeyng y have ben:
What haste thou herde be me or sene
That touchyth to any velanye,
That thou in herte art so bolde
Os y were a hore or a scolde?
Nay, that schall nevyr bee!
Had y not hyght to holde counsayle,
Thou schouldest be honged, wythowt fayle,
Upon a galowe tree.'
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The knyght was nevyr so sore aferde
Sythe he was borne into myddyllerde,
Certys, os he was thoo.
'Mercy,' he seyde, 'gode madam!
Wele y wott y am to blame;
Therfore myn herte ys woo!
Lady, let me not be spylte;
Y aske mercy of my gylte!
On lyve ye let me goo.'
The lady seyde, 'Y graunte wele;
Hyt schall be counseyle, every dele,
But do no more soo.'
Now the knyght forthe yede
And seyde, 'Felowe, y may not spede.
What ys thy beste redde?
Yf sche telle my lorde of thys,
We be but dedde, so have y blys:
Wyth hym be we not fedde.
Womans tonge ys evell to tryste;
Certys, and my lorde hyt wyste,
Etyn were all owre bredde.
Felow, so mote y ryde or goo,
Or sche wayte us wyth that woo,
Hurselfe schall be dedde!'
'How myght that be?' that othur sayde;
'Yn herte y wolde be wele payde,
Myght we do that dede.'
'Yys, syr,' he seyde, 'so have y roo,
Y schall brynge hur wele thertoo;
Therof have thou no drede.
Or hyt passe dayes three,
In mekyll sorowe schall sche bee:
Thus y schall qwyte hur hur mede.'
Now are they bothe at oon assente
In sorow to brynge that lady gente:
The devell mote them spede!
Sone hyt drowe toward nyght;
To soper they can them dyght,
96
The Emperes and they all;
The two knyghtys grete yapys made,
For to make the lady glade,
That was bothe gentyll and small;
When the sopertyme was done,
To the chaumbyr they went soone,
Knyghtys cladde in palle
They daunsed and revelyd, os they noght dredde,
To brynge the lady to hur bedde:
There foule muste them falle!
That oon thefe callyd a knyght
That was carver to that lady bryght;
An Erleys sone was hee;
He was a feyre chylde and a bolde;
Twenty wyntur he was oolde:
In londe was none so free.
'Syr, wylt thou do os we the say?
And we schall ordeygne us a play,
That my lady may see.
Thou schalt make hur to lagh soo,
Thogh sche were gretly thy foo,
Thy frende schulde sche bee.'
The chylde answeryd anon ryght:
'Be the ordur y bere of knyght,
Therof wolde y be fayne,
And hyt wolde my lady plese,
Thogh hyt wolde me dysese,
To renne yn wynde and rayne.'
'Syr, make the nakyd save thy breke;
And behynde the yondur curtayn thou crepe,
And do os y schall sayne;
Then schalt thou see a joly play!'
'Y graunte,' thys yonge knyght can say,
'Be God and Seynte Jermayne.'
Thys chylde thoght on no ylle:
Of he caste hys clothys stylle;
And behynde the curtayn he went.
They seyde to hym, 'What so befalle,
Come not owt tyll we the calle.'
97
And he seyde, 'Syrs, y assente.'
They revelyd forthe a grete whyle;
No man wyste of ther gyle
Save they two, veramente.
They voyded the chaumber sone anon;
The chylde they lafte syttyng alone,
And that lady gente.
Thys lady lay in bedde on slepe;
Of treson toke sche no kepe,
For therof wyste sche noght.
Thys chylde had wonder evyr among
Why these knyghtys were so longe:
He was in many a thoght.
'Lorde, mercy! How may thys bee?
Y trowe they have forgeten me,
That me hedur broght;
Yf y them calle, sche wyll be adredd,
My lady lyeth here in hur bede,
Be Hym that all hath wroght!'
Thus he sate stylle as any stone:
He durste not store nor make no mone
To make the lady afryght.
Thes false men ay worthe them woo!,
To ther chaumbur can they goo
And armyd them full ryght;
Lordys owte of bedde can they calle
And badde arme them, grete and smalle:
'Anone that ye were dyght,
And helpe to take a false traytoure
That wyth my lady in hur bowre
Hath playde hym all thys nyght.'
Sone they were armyd everychone;
And wyth these traytours can they gone,
The lordys that there wore.
To the Emperes chaumber they cam ryght
Wyth torchys and wyth swerdys bryght
Brennyng them before.
Behynde the curtayne they wente;
The yonge knyght, verrament,
98
Nakyd founde they thore.
That oon thefe wyth a swerde of were
Thorow the body he can hym bere,
That worde spake he no more.
The lady woke and was afryght,
Whan sche sawe the grete lyght
Before hur beddys syde.
Sche seyde, 'Benedycyté!'
Syrs, what men be yee?'
And wonder lowde sche cryedd.
Hur enemyes mysansweryd thore
'We are here, thou false hore:
Thy dedys we have aspyedd!
Thou haste betrayed my lorde;
Thou schalt have wonduryng in thys worde:
Thy loos schall sprynge wyde!'
The lady seyde, 'Be Seynte John,
Hore was y nevyr none,
Nor nevyr thoght to bee.'
'Thou lyest,' they seyde, 'thy love ys lorne' The corse they leyde hur beforne 'Lo, here ys thy lemman free!
Thus we have for they hym hytt;
Thy horedam schall be wele quytte:
Fro us schalt thou not flee!'
They bonde the lady wondyr faste
And in a depe preson hur caste:
Grete dele hyt was to see!
Leve we now thys lady in care,
And to hur lorde wyll we fare,
That ferre was hur froo.
On a nyght, wythowt lette,
In hys slepe a swevyn he mett,
The story telleth us soo.
Hym thoght ther come two wylde borys
And hys wyfe all toterys
And rofe hur body in twoo;
Hymselfe was a wytty man,
And be that dreme he hopyd than
99
Hys lady was in woo.
Yerly, when the day was clere,
He bad hys men all in fere
To buske and make them yare.
Somer horsys he let go before
And charyettes stuffud wyth stoore
Wele twelve myle and mare.
He hopud wele in hys herte
That hys wyfe was not in querte;
Hys herte therfore was in care;
He styntyd not tyll he was dyght,
Wyth erlys, barons, and many a knyght;
Homeward can they fare.
Nyght ne day nevyr they blanne,
Tyll to that cyté they came
There the lady was ynne.
Wythowt the cyté lordys them kepyd;
For wo in herte many oon wepyd:
There teerys myght they not blynne.
They supposyd wele yf he hyt wyste
That hys wyfe had soche a bryste,
Hys yoye wolde be full thynne;
They ladden stedys to the stabyll,
And the lorde into the halle,
To worschyp hym wyth wynne.
Anon to the chaumbur wendyth he:
He longyd hys feyre lady to see,
That was so swete a wyght.
He callyd them that schoulde hur kepe:
'Where ys my wyfe? Ys sche on slepe?
How fareth that byrde bryght?'
The two traytours answeryd anone,
'Yf ye wyste how sche had done,
To dethe sche schulde be dyght.'
'A, devyll!' he seyde, 'how soo,
To dethe that sche ys worthy to go?
Tell me, in what manere.'
'Syr,' they seyd, 'be Goddys ore,
100
The yonge knyght Syr Antore,
That was hur kervere,
Be that lady he hath layne,
And therfore we have hym slayne;
We founde them in fere;
Sche ys in preson, verrament;
The lawe wyll that sche be brente,
Be God, that boght us dere.'
'Allas!' seyde the Emperoure,
'Hath sche done me thys dyshonoure?
And y lovyd hur so wele!
Y wende for all thys worldys gode
That sche wolde not have turned hur mode:
My joye begynnyth to kele.'
He hente a knyfe wyth all hys mayn;
Had not a knyght ben, he had hym slayn,
And that traytour have broght owt of heele.
For bale hys armes abrode he bredde
And fell in swowne upon hys bedde;
There myght men see grete dele.
On the morne be oon assente,
On hur they sett a perlyament
Be all the comyn rede.
They myght not fynde in ther counsayle
Be no lawe, wythowt fayle,
To save hur fro the dede.
Then bespake an olde knyght,
'Y have wondur, be Goddys myght,
That Syr Antore thus was bestedde,
In chaumbyr thogh he naked were;
They let hym gyf none answere,
But slowe hym, be my hedde!
Ther was nevyr man, sekurly,
That be hur founde any velany,
Save they two, y dar wele say;
Be some hatered hyt may be;
Therfore doyth aftur me
For my love, y yow pray.
No mo wyll preve hyt but they twoo;
101
Therfore we may not save hur fro woo,
For sothe, os y yow say,
In hyr quarell but we myght fynde
A man that were gode of kynde
That durste fyght agayn them tway.'
All they assentyd to the sawe:
They thoght he spake reson and lawe.
Then answeryd the Kyng wyth crowne,
'Fayre falle the for thyn avyse.'
He callyd knyghtys of nobyll pryce
And badde them be redy bowne
For to crye thorow all the londe,
Bothe be see and be sonde,
Yf they fynde mowne
A man that ys so moche of myght,
That for that lady dar take the fyght,
'He schall have hys warison.'
Messangerys, y undurstonde,
Cryed thorow all the londe
In many a ryche cyté,
Yf any man durste prove hys myght
In trewe quarell for to fyght,
Wele avaunsed schulde he bee.
The Erle of Tullous harde thys telle,
What anger the lady befell;
Thereof he thoght grete pyté.
Yf he wyste that sche had ryght,
He wolde aventure hys lyfe to fyght
For that lady free.
For hur he morned nyght and day,
And to hymselfe can he say
He wolde aventure hys lyfe:
'Yf y may wytt that sche be trewe,
They that have hur accused schull rewe,
But they stynte of ther stryfe.'
The Erle seyde, 'Be Seynte John,
Ynto Almayn wyll y goon,
Where y have fomen ryfe;
I prey to God full of myght
102
That y have trewe quarell to fyght,
Owt of wo to wynne that wyfe.'
He rode on huntyng on a day,
A marchand mett he be the way,
And asked hym of whens he was.
'Lorde,' he seyde, 'of Almayn.'
Anon the Erle can hym frayne
Of that ylke case:
'Wherefore ys yowre Emperes
Put in so grete dystresse?
Telle me, for Goddys grace.
Ys sche gylté, so mote thou the?'
'Nay, be Hym that dyed on tree,
That schope man aftur Hys face.'
Then seyde the Erle, wythowte lett,
'When ys the day sett
Brente that sche schulde bee?'
The marchande seyde sekyrlyke,
'Evyn thys day thre wyke,
And therfore wo ys mee.'
The Erle seyde, 'Y schall the telle:
Gode horsys y have to selle,
And stedys two or thre:
Certys, myght y selle them yare,
Thedur wyth the wolde y fare,
That syght for to see.'
The marchand seyd wordys hende:
'Into the londe yf ye wyll wende,
Hyt wolde be for yowre prowe,
There may ye selle them at your wylle.'
Anon the Erle seyde hym tylle,
'Syr, herkyn me nowe:
Thys jurney wylt thou wyth me dwelle
Twenty pownde y schall the telle
To mede, y make avowe!'
The marchand grauntyd anon;
The Erle seyde, 'Be Seynt John,
Thy wylle y alowe.'
103
The Erle tolde hym in that tyde
Where he schulde hym abyde,
And homeward wente hee.
He busked hym, that no man wyste,
For mekyll on hym was hys tryste.
He seyde, 'Syr, go wyth mee!'
Wyth them they toke stedys sevyn Ther were no fayre undyr hevyn
That any man myght see.
Into Almayn they can ryde:
As a coresur of mekyll pryde
He semyd for to bee.
The marchand was a trewe gyde;
The Erle and he togedur can ryde,
Tyll they came to that place.
A myle besyde the castell
There the Emperoure can dwelle,
A ryche abbey ther was;
Of the abbot leve they gatt
To sojorne and make ther horsys fatt;
That was a nobyll case!
The abbot was the ladyes eme;
For hur he was in grete wandreme,
And moche mornyng he mase.
So hyt befell upon a day,
To churche the Erle toke the way,
A masse for to here.
He was a feyre man and an hye;
When the abbot hym sye,
He seyde, 'Syr, come nere:
Syr, when the masse ys done,
Y pray yow, ete wyth me at noone,
Yf yowre wylle were.'
The Erle grauntyd all wyth game;
Afore mete they wysche all same,
And to mete they wente in fere.
Aftur mete, as y yow say,
Into an orchard they toke the way,
The abbot and the knyght.
104
The abbot seyde and syghed sare;
'Certys, Syr, y leve in care
For a lady bryght;
Sche ys accusyd - my herte ys woo! Therfore sche schall to dethe goo,
All agayne the ryght;
But sche have helpe, verrament,
In fyre sche schall be brente
Thys day sevenyght.'
The Erle seyde, 'So have y blysse,
Of hyr, methynkyth, grete rewthe hyt ys,
Trewe yf that sche bee!'
The abbot seyde, 'Be Seynte Poule,
For hur y dar ley my soule
That nevyr gylté was sche;
Soche werkys nevyr sche wroght
Neythyr in dede nor in thoght,
Save a rynge so free
To the Erle of Tullous sche gafe hyt wyth wynne,
Yn ese of hym and for no synne:
In schryfte thus tolde sche me.'
The Erle seyde, 'Syth hyt ys soo,
Cryste wreke hur of hur woo,
That boght hur wyth Hys bloode!
Wolde ye sekyr me, wythowt fayle,
For to holde trewe counsayle,
Hyt myght be for yowre gode.'
The abbot seyde be bokes fele
And be hys professyon, that he wolde hele,
And ellys he were wode.
'Y am he that sche gaf the rynge
For to be oure tokenynge.
Now heyle hyt, for the Rode!
Y am comyn, lefe syr,
To take the batyle for hyr,
There to stonde wyth ryght;
But fyrste myselfe y wole hur schryve,
And yf y fynde hur clene of lyve,
Then wyll my herte be lyght.
105
Let dyght me in monkys wede
To that place that men schulde hyr lede,
To dethe to be dyght;
When y have schrevyn hyr, wythowt fayle,
For hur y wyll take batayle,
As y am trewe knyght!'
The abbot was nevyr so gladde;
Nere for joye he waxe madde;
The Erle can he kysse;
They made meré and slewe care.
All that sevenyght he dwellyd thare
Yn myrthe wythowt mysse.
That day that the lady schulde be brent,
The Erle wyth the abbot wente
In monkys wede, ywys;
To the Emperour he knelys blyve,
That he myght that lady schryve:
Anon resceyved he ys.
He examyned hur, wyttyrly,
As hyt seythe in the story;
Sche was wythowte gylte.
Sche seyde, 'Be Hym that dyed on tree,
Trespas was nevyr none in me
Wherefore y schulde be spylte;
Save oonys, wythowte lesynge,
To the Erle of Tollous y gafe a rynge:
Assoyle me yf thou wylte;
But thus my destanye ys comyn to ende,
That in thys fyre y muste be brende;
There Goddys wylle be fulfyllyt.'
The Erle assoyled hur wyth hys honde,
And sythen pertely he can up stonde
And seyde, 'Lordyngys, pese!
Ye that have accused thys lady gente,
Ye be worthy to be brente.'
That oon knyght made a rees:
'Thou carle monke, wyth all thy gynne,
Thowe youre abbot be of hur kynne,
Hur sorowe schalt thou not cees;
106
Ryght so thou woldyst sayne
Thowe all youre covent had be hyr layne;
So are ye lythyr and lees!'
The Erle answeryd, wyth wordys free,
'Syr, that oon y trowe thou bee
Thys lady accused has.
Thowe we be men of relygyon,
Thou schalt do us but reson
For all the fare thou mas.
Y prove on hur thou sayst not ryght.
Lo, here my glove wyth the to fyght!
Y undyrtake thys case;
Os false men y schall yow kenne;
Yn redde fyre for to brenne;
Therto God gyf me grace!'
All that stoden in that place
Thankyd God of hys grace,
Wythowte any fayle.
The two knyghtys were full wrothe:
He schulde be dedde, they swere grete othe;
But hyt myght not avayle.
The Erle wente there besyde
And armyd hym wyth mekyll pryde,
Hys enemyes to assayle.
Manly when they togedur mett,
They hewe thorow helme and basenet
And martyrd many a mayle.
They redyn togedur, wythowt lakk,
That hys oon spere on hym brakk;
That othyr faylyd thoo;
The Erle smote hym wyth hys spere;
Thorow the body he can hym bere:
To grounde can he goo.
That sawe that odyr, and faste can flee;
The Erle ovyrtoke hym undur a tre
And wroght hym mekyll woo;
There thys traytour can hym yylde
Os recreaunt yn the fylde;
He myght not fle hym froo.
107
Before the Emperoure they wente
And there he made hym, verrament,
To telle for the noonys.
He seyde, 'We thoght hur to spylle,
For sche wolde not do oure wylle,
That worthy ys in wonnys.'
The Erle answeryd hym then,
'Therfore, traytours, ye schall brenne
Yn thys fyre, bothe at onys!'
The Erle anon them hente,
And in the fyre he them brente,
Flesche, felle, and boonys.
When they were brent bothe twoo,
The Erle prevely can goo
To that ryche abbaye.
Wyth joye and processyon
They fett the lady into the towne,
Wyth myrthe, os y telle may.
The Emperoure was full gladde:
'Fette me the monke!' anon he badde,
'Why wente he so awaye?
A byschoperyke y wyll hym geve,
My helpe, my love, whyll y leve,
Be God that owyth thys day!'
The abbot knelyd on hys knee
And seyde, 'Lorde, gone ys hee
To hys owne londe;
He dwellyth wyth the pope of Rome;
He wyll be glad of hys come,
Y do yow to undurstonde.'
'Syr abbot,' quod the Emperoure,
'To me hyt were a dyshonoure;
Soche wordes y rede thou wonde;
Anone yn haste that y hym see,
Or thou schalt nevyr have gode of me,
And therto here myn honde!'
'Lorde,' he seyde, 'sythe hyt ys soo
Aftur hym that y muste goo,
108
Ye muste make me sewrté,
Yn case he have byn youre foo,
Ye schall not do hym no woo;
And then, also mote y thee,
Aftur hym y wyll wynde,
So that ye wyll be hys frende,
Yf youre wylle bee.'
'Yys,' seyd the Emperoure full fayne,
'All my kynne thogh he had slayne,
He ys welcome to mee.'
Then spake the abbot wordys free:
'Lorde, y tryste now on thee:
Ye wyll do os ye sey;
Hyt ys Syr Barnard of Tollous,
A nobyll knyght and a chyvalrous,
That hath done thys jurney.'
'Now certys,' seyde the Emperoure,
'To me hyt ys grete dyshonoure;
Anon, Syr, y the pray
Aftur hym that thou wende:
We schall kysse and be gode frende,
Be God, that owyth thys day!'
The abbot seyde, 'Y assente.'
Aftur the Erle anon he wente,
And seyde, 'Syr, go wyth mee:
My lorde and ye, be Seynt John,
Schull be made bothe at oon,
Goode frendys for to bee.'
Therof the Erle was full fayne;
The Emperoure came hym agayne
And sayde, 'My frende so free,
My wrath here y the forgeve,
My helpe, my love, whyll y leve,
Be Hym that dyed on tree!'
Togedur lovely can they kysse;
Therof all men had grete blysse:
The romaunse tellyth soo.
He made hym steward of hys londe
And sesyd agayne into hys honde
109
That he had rafte hym froo.
The Emperoure levyd but yerys thre;
Be alexion of the lordys free,
The Erle toke they thoo.
They made hym ther Emperoure,
For he was styffe yn stoure
To fyght agayne hys foo.
He weddyd that lady to hys wyfe;
Wyth joye and myrthe they ladde ther lyfe
Twenty yere and three.
Betwene them had they chyldyr fifteen,
Doghty knyghtys all bedene,
And semely on to see.
Yn Rome thys geste cronyculyd ywys;
A lay of Bretayne callyd hyt ys,
And evyr more schall bee.
Jhesu Cryste to hevyn us brynge,
There to have owre wonnyng!
Amen, amen, for charytee!
~ Anonymous,
300:

Book III: The Book of the Assembly



But as the nation beset betwixt doom and a shameful surrender
Waited mute for a voice that could lead and a heart to encourage,
Up in the silence deep Laocoon rose up, far-heard,
Heard by the gods in their calm and heard by men in their passion
Cloud-haired, clad in mystic red, flamboyant, sombre,
Priams son Laocoon, fate-darkened seer of Apollo.
As when the soul of the Ocean arises rapt in the dawning
And mid the rocks and the foam uplifting the voice of its musings
Opens the chant of its turbulent harmonies, so rose the far-borne
Voice of Laocoon soaring mid columns of Ilions glories,
Claiming the earth and the heavens for the field of its confident rumour.
Trojans, deny your hearts to the easeful flutings of Hades!
Live, O nation! he thundered forth and Troys streets and her pillars
Sent back their fierce response. Restored to her leonine spirits
Ilion rose in her agora filling the heavens with shoutings,
Bearing a name to the throne of Zeus in her mortal defiance.
As when a sullen calm of the heavens discourages living,
Nature and man feel the pain of the lightnings repressed in their bosoms,
Dangerous and dull is the air, then suddenly strong from the anguish
Zeus of the thunders starts into glories releasing his storm-voice,
Earth exults in the kiss of the rain and the life-giving laughters,
So from the silence broke forth the thunder of Troya arising;
Fiercely she turned from prudence and wisdom and turned back to greatness
Casting her voice to the heavens from the depths of her fathomless spirit.
Raised by those clamours, triumphant once more on this scene of his greatness,
Tool of the gods, but he deemed of his strength as a leader in Nature,
Took for his own a voice that was given and dreamed that he fashioned
Fate that fashions us all, Laocoon stood mid the shouting
Leaned on the calm of an ancient pillar. In eyes self-consuming
Kindled the flame of the prophet that blinds at once and illumines;
Quivering thought-besieged lips and shaken locks of the lion,
Lifted his gaze the storm-led enthusiast. Then as the shouting
Tired of itself at last disappeared in the bosom of silence,

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Once more he started erect and his voice oer the hearts of his hearers
Swept like Oceans impatient cry when it calls from its surges,
Ocean loud with a thought sublime in its measureless marching,
Each man felt his heart like foam in the rushing of waters.
Ilion is vanquished then! she abases her grandiose spirit
Mortal found in the end to the gods and the Greeks and Antenor,
And when a barbarous chieftains menace and insolent mercy
Bring here their pride to insult the columned spirit of Ilus,
Trojans have sat and feared! For a man has arisen and spoken,
One whom the gods in their anger have hired. Since the Argive prevailed not,
Armed with his strength and his numbers, in Troya they sought for her slayer,
Gathered their wiles in a voice and they chose a man famous and honoured,
Summoned Ate to aid and corrupted the heart of Antenor.
Flute of the breath of the Hell-witch, always he scatters among you
Doubt, affliction and weakness chilling the hearts of the fighters,
Always his voice with its cadenced and subtle possession for evil
Breaks the constant will and maims the impulse heroic.
Therefore while yet her heroes fight and her arms are unconquered,
Troy in your hearts is defeated! The souls of your Fathers have heard you
Dallying, shamefast, with vileness, lured by the call of dishonour.
Such is the power Zeus gave to the wingd words of a mortal!
Foiled in his will, disowned by the years that stride on for ever,
Yet in the frenzy cold of his greed and his fallen ambition
Doom from heaven he calls down on his countrymen, Trojan abuses
Troy, his country, extolling her enemies, blessing her slayers.
Such are the gods Antenor has made in his hearts own image
That if one evil man have not way for his greed and his longing
Cities are doomed and kings must be slain and a nation must perish!
But from the mind of the free and the brave I will answer thy bodings,
Gold-hungry raven of Troy who croakst from thy nest at her princes.
Only one doom irreparable treads down the soul of a nation,
Only one downfall endures; tis the ruin of greatness and virtue,
Mourning when Freedom departs from the life and the heart of a people,
Into her room comes creeping the mind of the slave and it poisons
Manhood and joy and the voice to lying is trained and subjection
Easy feels to the neck of man who is next to the godheads.
Not of the fire am I terrified, not of the sword and its slaying;
Vileness of men appals me, baseness I fear and its voices.
What can man suffer direr or worse than enslaved from a victor
Boons to accept, to take safety and ease from the foe and the stranger,
Fallen from the virtue stern that heaven permits to a mortal?
Death is not keener than this nor the slaughter of friends and our dear ones.
Out and alas! earths greatest are earth and they fail in the testing,
Conquered by sorrow and doubt, fates hammerers, fires of her furnace.
God in their souls they renounce and submit to their clay and its promptings.
Else could the heart of Troy have recoiled from the loom of the shadow
Cast by Achilles spear or shrunk at the sound of his car-wheels?
Now he has graven an oath austere in his spirit unpliant
Victor at last to constrain in his stride the walls of Apollo
Burning Troy ere he sleeps. Tis the vow of a high-crested nature;
Shall it break ramparted Troy? Yea, the soul of a man too is mighty
More than the stone and the mortar! Troy had a soul once, O Trojans,
Firm as her god-built ramparts. When by the spears overtaken,
Strong Sarpedon fell and Zeus averted his visage,
Xanthus red to the sea ran sobbing with bodies of Trojans,
When in the day of the silence of heaven the far-glancing helmet
Ceased from the ways of the fight, and panic slew with Achilles
Hosts who were left unshepherded pale at the fall of their greatest,
Godlike Troy lived on. Do we speak mid a citys ruins?
Lo! she confronts her heavens as when Tros and Laomedon ruled her.
All now is changed, these mutter and sigh to you, all now is ended;
Strength has renounced you, Fate has finished the thread of her spinning.
Hector is dead, he walks in the shadows; Troilus fights not;
Resting his curls on the asphodel he has forgotten his country:
Strong Sarpedon lies in Bellerophons city sleeping:
Memnon is slain and the blood of Rhesus has dried on the Troad:
All of the giant Asius sums in a handful of ashes.
Grievous are these things; our hearts still keep all the pain of them treasured,
Hard though they grow by use and iron caskets of sorrow.
Hear me yet, O fainters in wisdom snared by your pathos,
Know this iron world we live in where Hell casts its shadow.
Blood and grief are the ransom of men for the joys of their transience,
For we are mortals bound in our strength and beset in our labour.
This is our human destiny; every moment of living
Toil and loss have gained in the constant siege of our bodies.
Men must sow earth with their hearts and their tears that their country may prosper;
Earth who bore and devours us that life may be born from our remnants.
Then shall the Sacrifice gather its fruits when the war-shout is silent,
Nor shall the blood be in vain that our mother has felt on her bosom
Nor shall the seed of the mighty fail where Death is the sower.
Still from the loins of the mother eternal are heroes engendered,
Still Deiphobus shouts in the war-front trampling the Argives,
Strong Aeneas far-borne voice is heard from our ramparts,
Paris hands are swift and his feet in the chases of Ares.
Lo, when deserted we fight by Asias soon-wearied peoples,
Men ingrate who enjoyed the protection and loathed the protector,
Heaven has sent us replacing a continent Penthesilea!
Low has the heart of Achaia sunk since it shook at her war-cry.
Ajax has bit at the dust; it is all he shall have of the Troad;
Tall Meriones lies and measures his portion of booty.
Who is the fighter in Ilion thrills not rejoicing to hearken
Even her name on unwarlike lips, much more in the mellay
Shout of the daughter of battles, armipotent Penthesilea?
If there were none but these only, if hosts came not surging behind them,
Young men burning-eyed to outdare all the deeds of their elders,
Each in his beauty a Troilus, each in his valour a Hector,
Yet were the measures poised in the equal balance of Ares.
Who then compels you, O people unconquered, to sink down abjuring
All that was Troy? For O, if she yield, let her use not ever
One of her titles! shame not the shades of Teucer and Ilus,
Soil not Tros! Are you awed by the strength of the swift-foot Achilles?
Is it a sweeter lure in the cadenced voice of Antenor?
Or are you weary of Time and the endless roar of the battle?
Wearier still are the Greeks! their eyes look out oer the waters
Nor with the flight of their spears is the wing of their hopes towards Troya.
Dull are their hearts; they sink from the war-cry and turn from the spear-stroke
Sullenly dragging backwards, desiring the paths of the Ocean,
Dreaming of hearths that are far and the children growing to manhood
Who are small infant faces still in the thoughts of their fathers.
Therefore these call you to yield lest they wake and behold in the dawn-light
All Poseidon whitening lean to the west in his waters
Thick with the sails of the Greeks departing beaten to Hellas.
Who is it calls? Antenor the statesman, Antenor the patriot,
Thus who loves his country and worships the soil of his fathers!
Which of you loves like him Troya? which of the children of heroes
Yearns for the touch of a yoke on his neck and desires the aggressor?
If there be any so made by the gods in the nation of Ilus,
Leaving this city which freemen have founded, freemen have dwelt in,
Far on the beach let him make his couch in the tents of Achilles,
Not in this mighty Ilion, not with this lioness fighting,
Guarding the lair of her young and roaring back at her hunters.
We who are souls descended from Ilus and seeds of his making,
Other-hearted shall march from our gates to answer Achilles.
What! shall this ancient Ilion welcome the day of the conquered?
She who was head of the world, shall she live in the guard of the Hellene
Cherished as slavegirls are, who are taken in war, by their captors?
Europe shall walk in our streets with the pride and the gait of the victor?
Greeks shall enter our homes and prey on our mothers and daughters?
This Antenor desires and this Ucalegon favours.
Traitors! whether tis cowardice drives or the sceptic of virtue,
Cold-blooded age, or gold insatiably tempts from its coffers
Pleading for safety from foreign hands and the sack and the plunder.
Leave them, my brothers! spare the baffled hypocrites! Failure
Sharpest shall torture their hearts when they know that still you are Trojans.
Silence, O reason of man! for a voice from the gods has been uttered!
Dardanans, hearken the sound divine that comes to you mounting
Out of the solemn ravines from the mystic seat on the tripod!
Phoebus, the master of Truth, has promised the earth to our peoples.
Children of Zeus, rejoice! for the Olympian brows have nodded
Regal over the world. In earths rhythm of shadow and sunlight
Storm is the dance of the locks of the God assenting to greatness,
Zeus who with secret compulsion orders the ways of our nature;
Veiled in events he lives and working disguised in the mortal
Builds our strength by pain, and an empire is born out of ruins.
Then if the tempest be loud and the thunderbolt leaping incessant
Shatters the roof, if the lintels flame at last and each cornice
Shrieks with the pain of the blast, if the very pillars totter,
Keep yet your faith in Zeus, hold fast to the word of Apollo.
Not by a little pain and not by a temperate labour
Trained is the nation chosen by Zeus for a dateless dominion.
Long must it labour rolled in the foam of the fathomless surges,
Often neighbour with death and ere Ares grow firm to its banners
Feel on the pride of its Capitol tread of the triumphing victor,
Hear the barbarian knock at its gates or the neighbouring foeman
Glad of the transient smile of his fortune suffer insulting;
They, the nation eternal, brook their taunts who must perish!
Heaviest toils they must bear; they must wrestle with Fate and her Titans,
And when some leader returns from the battle sole of his thousands
Crushed by the hammers of God, yet never despair of their country.
Dread not the ruin, fear not the storm-blast, yield not, O Trojans.
Zeus shall rebuild. Death ends not our days, the fire shall not triumph.
Death? I have faced it. Fire? I have watched it climb in my vision
Over the timeless domes and over the rooftops of Priam;
But I have looked beyond and have seen the smile of Apollo.
After her glorious centuries, after her world-wide triumphs,
If near her ramparts outnumbered she fights, by the nations forsaken,
Lonely again on her hill, by her streams, and her meadows and beaches,
Once where she revelled, shake to the tramp of her countless invaders,
Testings are these from the god. For Fate severe like a mother
Teaches our wills by disaster and strikes down the props that would weaken,
Fate and the Thought on high that is wiser than yearnings of mortals.
Troy has arisen before, but from ashes, not shame, not surrender!
Souls that are true to themselves are immortal; the soulless for ever
Lingers helpless in Hades a shade among shades disappointed.
Now is the god in my bosom mighty compelling me, Trojans,
Now I release what my spirit has kept and it saw in its vision;
Nor will be silent for gibe of the cynic or sneer of the traitor.
Troy shall triumph! Hear, O ye peoples, the word of Apollo.
Hear it and tremble, O Greece, in thy youth and the dawn of thy future;
Rather forget while thou canst, but the gods in their hour shall remind thee.
Tremble, O nations of Asia, false to the greatness within you.
Troy shall surge back on your realms with the sword and the yoke of the victor.
Troy shall triumph! Though nations conspire and gods lead her foemen,
Fate that is born of the spirit is greater than they and will shield her.
Foemen shall help her with war; her defeats shall be victorys moulders.
Walls that restrain shall be rent; she shall rise out of sessions unsettled.
Oceans shall be her walls at the end and the desert her limit;
Indus shall send to her envoys; her eyes shall look northward from Thule.
She shall enring all the coasts with her strength like the kingly Poseidon,
She shall oervault all the lands with her rule like the limitless azure.
Ceasing from speech Laocoon, girt with the shouts of a nation,
Lapsed on his seat like one seized and abandoned and weakened; nor ended
Only in iron applause, but throughout with a stormy approval
Ares broke from the hearts of his people in ominous thunder.
Savage and dire was the sound like a wild beasts tracked out and hunted,
Wounded, yet trusting to tear out the entrails live of its hunters,
Savage and cruel and threatening doom to the foe and opponent.
Yet when the shouting sank at last, Ucalegon rose up
Trembling with age and with wrath and in accents hurried and piping
Faltered a senile fierceness forth on the maddened assembly.
Ah, it is even so far that you dare, O you children of Priam,
Favourites vile of a people sent mad by the gods, and thou risest,
Dark Laocoon, prating of heroes and spurning as cowards,
Smiting for traitors the aged and wise who were grey when they spawned thee!
Imp of destruction, mane of mischief! Ah, spur us with courage,
Thou who hast never prevailed against even the feeblest Achaian.
Rather twice hast thou raced in the rout to the ramparts for shelter,
Leading the panic, and shrieked as thou ranst to the foemen for mercy
Who were a mile behind thee, O matchless and wonderful racer.
Safely counsel to others the pride and the firmness of heroes.
Thou wilt not die in the battle! For even swiftest Achilles
Could not oertake thee, I ween, nor wind-footed Penthesilea.
Mask of a prophet, heart of a coward, tongue of a trickster,
Timeless Ilion thou alone ruinest, helped by the Furies.
I, Ucalegon, first will rend off the mask from thee, traitor.
For I believe thee suborned by the cynic wiles of Odysseus
And thou conspirest to sack this Troy with the greed of the Cretan.
Hasting unstayed he pursued like a brook that scolds amid pebbles,
Voicing angers shrill; for the people astonished were silent.
Long he pursued not; a shouting broke from that stupor of fury,
Men sprang pale to their feet and hurled out menaces lethal;
All that assembly swayed like a forest swept by the stormwind.
Obstinate, straining his age-dimmed eyes Ucalegon, trembling
Worse yet with anger, clamoured feebly back at the people,
Whelmed in their roar. Unheard was his voice like a swimmer in surges
Lost, yet he spoke. But the anger grew in the throats of the people
Lion-voiced, hurting the heart with sound and daunting the nature,
Till from some stalwart hand a javelin whistling and vibrant
Missing the silvered head of the senator rang disappointed
Out on the distant wall of a house by the side of the market.
Not even then would the old man hush or yield to the tempest.
Wagging his hoary beard and shifting his aged eyeballs,
Tossing his hands he stood; but Antenor seized him and Aetor,
Dragged him down on his seat though he strove, and chid him and silenced,
Cease, O friend, for the gods have won. It were easier piping
High with thy aged treble to alter the rage of the Ocean
Than to oerbear this people stirred by Laocoon. Leave now
Effort unhelpful, wrap thy days in a mantle of silence;
Give to the gods their will and dry-eyed wait for the ending.
So now the old men ceased from their strife with the gods and with Troya;
Cowed by the storm of the peoples wrath they desisted from hoping.
But though the roar long swelled, like the sea when the winds have subsided,
One man yet rose up unafraid and beckoned for silence,
Not of the aged, but ripe in his look and ruddy of visage,
Stalwart and bluff and short-limbed, Halamus son of Antenor.
Forward he stood from the press and the people fell silent and listened,
For he was ever first in the mellay and loved by the fighters.
He with a smile began: Come, friends, debate is soon ended
If there is right but of lungs and you argue with javelins. Wisdom
Rather pray for her aid in this dangerous hour of your fortunes.
Not to exalt Laocoon, too much praising his swiftness,
Trojans, I rise; for some are born brave with the spear in the war-car,
Others bold with the tongue, nor equal gifts unto all men
Zeus has decreed who guides his world in a round that is devious
Carried this way and that like a ship that is tossed on the waters.
Why should we rail then at one who is lame by the force of Cronion?
Not by his will is he lame; he would race, if he could, with the swiftest.
Yet is the halt man no runner, nor, friends, must you rise up and slay me,
If I should say of this priest, he is neither Sarpedon nor Hector.
Then, if my father whom once you honoured, ancient Antenor,
Hugs to him Argive gold which I see not, his son in his mansion,
Me too accusest thou, prophet Laocoon? Friends, you have watched me
Sometimes fight. Did you see with my houses allies how I gambolled,
Changed, when with sportive spear I was tickling the ribs of my Argives,
Nudges of friendly counsel inviting to entry in Troya?
Men, these are visions of lackbrains; men, these are myths of the market.
Let us have done with them, brothers and friends; hate only the Hellene.
Prophet, I bow to the oracles. Wise are the gods in their silence,
Wise when they speak; but their speech is other than ours and their wisdom
Hard for a mortal mind to hold and not madden or wander;
But for myself I see only the truth as a soldier who battles
Judging the strength of his foes and the chances of iron encounter.
Few are our armies, many the Greeks, and we waste in the combat
Bound to our numbers, they by the ocean hemmed from their kinsmen,
We by our fortunes, waves of the gods that are harder to master,
They like a rock that is chipped, but we like a mist that disperses.
Then if Achilles, bound by an oath, bring peace to us, healing,
Bring to us respite, help, though bought at a price, yet full-measured,
Strengths of the North at our side and safety assured from the Achaian,
For he is true though a Greek, will you shun this mighty advantage?
Peace at least we shall have, though gold we lose and much glory;
Peace we will use for our strength to brea the in, our wounds to recover,
Teaching Time to prepare for happier wars in the future.
Pause ere you fling from you life; you are mortals, not gods in your glory.
Not for submission to new ally or to ancient foeman
Peace these desire; for who would exchange wide death for subjection?
Who would submit to a yoke? Or who shall rule Trojans in Troya?
Swords are there still at our sides, there are warriors hearts in our bosoms.
Peace your senators welcome, not servitude, breathing they ask for.
But if for war you pronounce, if a noble death you have chosen,
That I approve. What fitter end for this warlike nation,
Knowing that empires at last must sink and perish all cities,
Than to preserve to the end posteritys praise and its greatness
Ceasing in clangour of arms and a citys flames for our death-pyre?
Choose then with open eyes what the dread gods offer to Troya.
Hope not now Hector is dead and Sarpedon, Asia inconstant,
We but a handful, Troy can prevail over Greece and Achilles.
Play not with dreams in this hour, but sternly, like men and not children,
Choose with a noble and serious greatness fates fit for Troya.
Stark we will fight till buried we fall under Ilions ruins,
Or, unappeased, we will curb our strength for the hope of the future.
Not without praise of his friends and assent of the thoughtfuller Trojans,
Halamus spoke and ceased. But now in the Ilian forum
Bright, of the sungod a ray, and even before he had spoken
Sending the joy of his brilliance into the hearts of his hearers,
Paris arose. Not applauded his rising, but each man towards him
Eagerly turned as if feeling that all before which was spoken
Were but a prelude and this was the note he has waited for always.
Sweet was his voice like a harps, when it chants of war, and its cadence
Softened with touches of music thoughts that were hard to be suffered,
Sweet like a string that is lightly struck, but it penetrates wholly.
Calm with the greatness you hold from your sires by the right of your nature
I too would have you decide before Heaven in the strength of your spirits,
Not to the past and its memories moored like the thoughts of Antenor
Hating the vivid march of the present, nor towards the future
Panting through dreams like my brother Laocoon vexed by Apollo.
Dead is the past; the void has possessed it; its drama is ended,
Finished its music. The future is dim and remote from our knowledge;
Silent it lies on the knees of the gods in their luminous stillness.
But to our gaze Gods light is a darkness, His plan is a chaos.
Who shall foretell the event of a battle, the fall of a footstep?
Oracles, visions and prophecies voice but the dreams of the mortal,
And tis our spirit within is the Pythoness tortured in Delphi.
Heavenly voices to us are a silence, those colours a whiteness.
Neither the thought of the statesman prevails nor the dream of the prophet,
Whether one cry, Thus devise and thy heart shall be given its wanting,
Vainly the other, The heavens have spoken; hear then their message.
Who can point out the way of the gods and the path of their travel,
Who shall impose on them bounds and an orbit? The winds have their treading,
They can be followed and seized, not the gods when they move towards their purpose.
They are not bound by our deeds and our thinkings. Sin exalted
Seizes secure on the thrones of the world for her glorious portion,
Down to the bottomless pit the good man is thrust in his virtue.
Leave to the gods their godhead and, mortal, turn to thy labour;
Take what thou canst from the hour that is thine and be fearless in spirit;
This is the greatness of man and the joy of his stay in the sunlight.
Now whether over the waste of Poseidon the ships of the Argives
Empty and sad shall return or sacred Ilion perish,
Priam be slain and for ever cease this imperial nation,
These things the gods are strong to conceal from the hopings of mortals.
Neither Antenor knows nor Laocoon. Only of one thing
Man can be sure, the will in his heart and his strength in his purpose:
This too is Fate and this too the gods, nor the meanest in Heaven.
Paris keeps what he seized from Time and from Fate while unconquered
Life speeds warm through his veins and his heart is assured of the sunlight.
After tis cold, none heeds, none hinders. Not for the dead man
Earth and her wars and her cares, her joys and her gracious concessions,
Whether for ever he sleeps in the chambers of Nature unmindful
Or into wideness wakes like a dreamer called from his visions.
Ilion in flames I choose, not fallen from the heights of her spirit.
Great and free has she lived since they raised her twixt billow and mountain,
Great let her end; let her offer her freedom to fire, not the Hellene.
She was not founded by mortals; gods erected her ramparts,
Lifted her piles to the sky, a seat not for slaves but the mighty.
All men marvelled at Troy; by her deeds and her spirit they knew her
Even from afar, as the lion is known by his roar and his preying.
Sole she lived royal and fell, erect in her leonine nature.
So, O her children, still let her live unquelled in her purpose
Either to stand with your feet on the world oppressing the nations
Or in your ashes to lie and your name be forgotten for ever.
Justly your voices approve me, armipotent children of Ilus;
Straight from Zeus is our race and the Thunderer lives in our nature.
Long I have suffered this taunt that Paris was Ilions ruin
Born on a night of the gods and of Ate, clothed in a body.
Scornful I strode on my path secure of the light in my bosom,
Turned from the muttering voices of envy, their hates who are fallen,
Voices of hate that cling round the wheels of the triumphing victor;
Now if I speak, tis the strength in me answers, not to belittle,
That excusing which most I rejoice in and glory for ever,
Tyndaris rape whom I seized by the will of divine Aphrodite.
Mortal this error that Greece would have slumbered apart in her mountains,
Sunk, by the trumpets of Fate unaroused and the morning within her,
Only were Paris unborn and the world had not gazed upon Helen.
Fools, who say that a spark was the cause of this giant destruction!
War would have stridden on Troy though Helen were still in her Sparta
Tending an Argive loom, not the glorious prize of the Trojans,
Greece would have banded her nations though Paris had drunk not Eurotas.
Coast against coast I set not, nor Ilion opposite Argos.
Phryx accuse who upreared Troys domes by the azure Aegean,
Curse Poseidon who fringed with Greece the blue of his waters:
Then was this war first decreed and then Agamemnon was fashioned;
Armed he strode forth in the secret Thought that is womb of the future.
Fate and Necessity guided those vessels, captained their armies.
When they stood mailed at her gates, when they cried in the might of their union,
Troy, renounce thy alliances, draw back humbly from Hellas,
Should she have hearkened persuading her strength to a shameful compliance,
Ilion queen of the world whose voice was the breath of the storm-gods?
Should she have drawn back her foot as it strode towards the hills of the Latins?
Thrace left bare to her foes, recoiled from Illyrian conquests?
If all this without battle were possible, people of Priam,
Blame then Paris, say then that Helen was cause of the struggle.
But I have sullied the hearth, I have trampled the gift and the guest-rite,
Heaven I have armed with my sin and unsealed the gaze of the Furies,
So was Troy doomed who righteous had triumphed, locked with the Argive.
Fools or hypocrites! Meanest falsehood is this among mortals,
Veils of purity weaving, names misplacing ideal
When our desires we disguise and paint the lusts of our nature.
Men, ye are men in your pride and your strength, be not sophists and tonguesters.
Lie not! prate not that nations live by righteousness, justice
Shields them, gods out of heaven look down wroth on the crimes of the mighty!
Known have men what thing has screened itself mouthing these semblances. Crouching
Dire like a beast in the green of the thickets, selfishness silent
Crunches the bones of its prey while the priest and the statesman are glozing.
So are the nations soothed and deceived by the clerics of virtue,
Taught to reconcile fear of the gods with their lusts and their passions;
So with a lie on their lips they march to the rapine and slaughter.
Truly the vanquished were guilty! Else would their cities have perished,
Shrieked their ravished virgins, their peasants been hewn in the vineyards?
Truly the victors were tools of the gods and their glorious servants!
Else would the war-cars have ground triumphant their bones whom they hated?
Servants of God are they verily, even as the ape and the tiger.
Does not the wild-beast too triumph enjoying the flesh of his captives?
Tell us then what was the sin of the antelope, wherefore they doomed her,
Wroth at her many crimes? Come, justify God to his creatures!
Not to her sins was she offered, not to the Furies or Justice,
But to the strength of the lion the high gods offered a victim,
Force that is God in the lions breast with the forest for altar.
What, in the cities stormed and sacked by Achilles in Troas
Was there no just man slain? Was Brises then a transgressor?
Hearts that were pierced in his walls, were they sinners tracked by the Furies?
No, they were pious and just and their altars burned for Apollo,
Reverent flamed up to Pallas who slew them aiding the Argives.
Or if the crime of Paris they shared and his doom has embraced them,
Whom had the island cities offended, stormed by the Locrian,
Wave-kissed homes of peace but given to the sack and the spoiler?
Was then King Atreus just and the house accursd of Pelops,
Tantalus race, whose deeds men shuddering hear and are silent?
Look! they endure, their pillars are firm, they are regnant and triumph.
Or are Thyestean banquets sweet to the gods in their savour?
Only a womans heart is pursued in their wrath by the Furies!
No, when the wrestlers meet and embrace in the mighty arena,
Not at their sins and their virtues the high gods look in that trial;
Which is the strongest, which is the subtlest, this they consider.
Nay, there is none in the world to befriend save ourselves and our courage;
Prowess alone in the battle is virtue, skill in the fighting
Only helps, the gods aid only the strong and the valiant.
Put forth your lives in the blow, you shall beat back the banded aggressors.
Neither believe that for justice denied your subjects have left you
Nor that for justice trampled Pallas and Hera abandon.
Two are the angels of God whom men worship, strength and enjoyment.
Into this life which the sunlight bounds and the greenness has cradled,
Armed with strength we have come; as our strength is, so is our joyance.
What but for joyance is birth and what but for joyance is living?
But on this earth that is narrow, this stage that is crowded, increasing
One on another we press. There is hunger for lands and for oxen,
Horses and armour and gold desired; possession allures us
Adding always as field to field some fortunate farmer.
Hearts too and minds are our prey; we seize on mens souls and their bodies,
Slaves to our works and desires that our hearts may bask golden in leisure.
One on another we prey and one by another are mighty.
This is the world and we have not made it; if it is evil,
Blame first the gods; but for us, we must live by its laws or we perish.
Power is divine; divinest of all is power over mortals.
Power then the conqueror seeks and power the imperial nation,
Even as luminous, passionless, wonderful, high over all things
Sit in their calmness the gods and oppressing our grief-tortured nations
Stamp their wills on the world. Nor less in our death-besieged natures
Gods are and altitudes. Earth resists, but my soul in me widens
Helped by the toil behind and the agelong effort of Nature.
Even in the worm is a god and it writhes for a form and an outlet.
Workings immortal obscurely struggling, hints of a godhead
Labour to form in this clay a divinity. Hera widens,
Pallas aspires in me, Phoebus in flames goes battling and singing,
Ares and Artemis chase through the fields of my soul in their hunting.
Last in some hour of the Fates a Birth stands released and triumphant;
Poured by its deeds over earth it rejoices fulfilled in its splendour.
Conscious dimly of births unfinished hid in our being
Rest we cannot; a world cries in us for space and for fullness.
Fighting we strive by the spur of the gods who are in us and oer us,
Stamping our image on men and events to be Zeus or be Ares.
Love and the need of mastery, joy and the longing for greatness
Rage like a fire unquenchable burning the world and creating,
Nor till humanity dies will they sink in the ashes of Nature.
All is injustice of love or all is injustice of battle.
Man over woman, woman oer man, over lover and foeman
Wrestling we strive to expand in our souls, to be wide, to be happy.
If thou wouldst only be just, then wherefore at all shouldst thou conquer?
Not to be just, but to rule, though with kindness and high-seated mercy,
Taking the world for our own and our will from our slaves and our subjects,
Smiting the proud and sparing the suppliant, Trojans, is conquest.
Justice was base of thy government? Vainly, O statesman, thou liest.
If thou wert just, thou wouldst free thy slaves and be equal with all men.
Such were a dream of some sage at night when he muses in fancy,
Imaging freely a flawless world where none were afflicted,
No man inferior, all could sublimely equal and brothers
Live in a peace divine like the gods in their luminous regions.
This, O Antenor, were justice known but in words to us mortals.
But for the justice thou vauntest enslaving men to thy purpose,
Setting an iron yoke, nor regarding their need and their nature,
Then to say I am just; I slay not, save by procedure,
Rob not save by law, is an outrage to Zeus and his creatures.
Terms are these feigned by the intellect making a pact with our yearnings,
Lures of the sophist within us draping our passions with virtue.
When thou art weak, thou art just, when thy subjects are strong and remember.
Therefore, O Trojans, be firm in your will and, though all men abandon,
Bow not your heads to reproach nor your hearts to the sin of repentance;
For you have done what the gods desired in your breasts and are blameless.
Proudly enjoy the earth that they gave you, enthroning their natures,
Fight with the Greeks and the world and trample down the rebellious,
What you have lost, recover, nor yield to the hurricane passing.
You cannot utterly die while the Power lives untired in your bosoms;
When tis withdrawn, not a moment of life can be added by virtue.
Faint not for helpers fled! Though your yoke had been mild as a fathers
They would have gone as swiftly. Strength men desire in their masters;
All men worship success and in failure and weakness abandon.
Not for his justice they clung to Teucer, but for their safety,
Seeing in Troy a head and by barbarous foemen afflicted.
Faint not, O Trojans, cease not from battle, persist in your labour!
Conquer the Greeks, your allies shall be yours and fresh nations your subjects.
One care only lodge in your hearts, how to fight, how to conquer.
Peace has smiled out of Phthia; a hand comes outstretched from the Hellene.
Who would not join with the godlike? who would not grasp at Achilles?
There is a price for his gifts; it is such as Achilles should ask for,
Never this nation concede. O Antenors golden phrases
Glorifying rest to the tired and confuting patience and courage,
Garbed with a subtlety lax and the hopes that palliate surrender!
Charmed men applaud the skilful purpose, the dexterous speaker;
This they forget that a Force decides, not the wiles of the statesman.
Now let us yield, do you say, we will rise when our masters are weakened?
Nay, then, our masters master shall find us an easy possession!
Easily nations bow to a yoke when their virtue relaxes;
Hard is the breaking fetters once worn, for the virtue has perished.
Hope you when custom has shaped men into the mould of a vileness,
Hugging their chains when the weak feel easier trampled than rising
Or though they groan, yet have heart nor strength for the anguish of effort,
Then to cast down whom, armed and strong, you were mastered opposing?
Easy is lapse into uttermost hell, not easy salvation.
Or have you dreamed that Achilles, this son of the gods and the ocean,
Aught else can be with the strong and the bold save pursuer or master?
Know you so little the mood of the mighty? Think you the lion
Only will lick his prey, that his jaws will refrain from the banquet?
Rest from thy bodings, Antenor! Not all the valour of Troya
Perished with Hector, nor with Polydamas vision has left her;
Troy is not eager to slay her soul on a pyre of dishonour.
Still she has children left who remember the mood of their mother.
Helen none shall take from me living, gold not a drachma
Travels from coffers of Priam to Greece. Let another and older
Pay down his wealth if he will and his daughters serve Menelaus.
Rather from Ilion I will go forth with my brothers and kinsmen;
Troy I will leave and her shame and live with my heart and my honour
Refuged with lions on Ida or build in the highlands a city
Or in an isle of the seas or by dark-driven Pontic waters.
Dear are the halls of our childhood, dear are the fields of our fathers,
Yet to the soul that is free no spot on the earth is an exile.
Rather wherever sunlight is bright, flowers bloom and the rivers
Flow in their lucid streams to the Ocean, there is our country.
So will I live in my souls wide freedom, never in Troya
Shorn of my will and disgraced in my strength and the mock of my rivals.
First had you yielded, shame at least had not stained your surrender.
Strength indulges the weak! But what Hector has fallen refusing,
Men! what through ten loud years we denied with the spear for our answer,
That what Trojan will ever renounce, though his city should perish?
Once having fought we will fight to the end nor that end shall be evil.
Clamour the Argive spears on our walls? Are the ladders erected?
Far on the plain is their flight, on the farther side of the Xanthus.
Where are the deities hostile? Vainly the eyes of the tremblers
See them stalking vast in the ranks of the Greeks and the shoutings
Dire of Poseidon they hear and are blind with the aegis of Pallas.
Who then sustained so long this Troy, if the gods are against her?
Even the hills could not stand save upheld by their concert immortal.
Now not with Tydeus son, not now with Odysseus and Ajax
Trample the gods in the sound of their chariot-wheels, victory leading:
Argos falls red in her heaps to their scythes; they shelter the Trojans;
Victory unleashed follows and fawns upon Penthesilea.
Ponder no more, O Ilion, city of ancient Priam!
Rise, O beloved of the gods, and go forth in thy strength to the battle.
Not by the dreams of Laocoon strung to the faith that is febrile,
Nor with the tremblings vain and the haunted thoughts of Antenor,
But with a noble and serious strength and an obstinate valour
Suffer the shock of your foes, O nation chosen by Heaven;
Proudly determine on victory, live by disaster unshaken.
Either Fate receive like men, nay, like gods, nay, like Trojans.
So like an army that streams and that marches, speeding and pausing,
Drawing in horn and wing or widened for scouting and forage,
Bridging the floods, avoiding the mountains, threading the valleys,
Fast with their flashing panoply clad in gold and in iron
Moved the array of his thoughts; and throughout delight and approval
Followed their march, in triumph led but like prisoners willing,
Glad and unbound to a land they desire. Triumphant he ended,
Lord of opinion, though by the aged frowned on and censured,
But to this voice of their thoughts the young men vibrated wholly.
Loud like a storm on the ocean mounted the roar of the people.
Cease from debate, men cried, arise, O thou warlike Aeneas!
Speak for this nation, launch like a spear at the tents of the Hellene
Ilions voice of war! Then up mid a limitless shouting
Stern and armed from his seat like a war-god helmd Aeneas
Rose by King Priam approved in this last of Ilions sessions,
Holding the staff of the senates authority. Silence, O commons,
Hear and assent or refuse as your right is, masters of Troya,
Ancient and sovereign people, act that your kings have determined
Sitting in council high, their reply to the strength of Achilles.
Son of the Aeacids, vain is thy offer; the pride of thy challenge
Rather we choose; it is nearer to Dardanus, King of the Hellenes.
Neither shall Helen be led back, the Tyndarid, weeping to Argos,
Nor down the paths of peace revisit her fathers Eurotas.
Death and the fire may prevail oer us, never our wills shall surrender
Lowering Priams heights and darkening Ilions splendours.
Not of such sires were we born, but of kings and of gods, O Larissan.
Not with her gold Troy traffics for safety, but with her spear-points.
Stand with thy oath in the war-front, Achilles; call on thy helpers
Armed to descend from the calm of Olympian heights to thy succour
Hedging thy fame from defeat; for we all desire thee in battle,
Mighty to end thee or tame at last by the floods of the Xanthus.
So Aeneas resonant spoke, stern, fronted like Ares,
And with a voice that conquered the earth and invaded the heavens
Loud they approved their doom and fulfilled their impulse immortal.
Last Deiphobus rose in their meeting, head of their mellay:
Proudly and well have you answered, O nation beloved of Apollo;
Fearless of death they must walk who would live and be mighty for ever.
Now, for the sun is hastening up the empyrean azure,
Hasten we also. Tasting of food round the call of your captains
Meet in your armd companies, chariots and hoplites and archers.
Strong be your hearts, let your courage be stern like the sun when it blazes;
Fierce will the shock be today ere he sink blood-red in the waters.
They with a voice as of Oceans meeting rose from their session,
Filling the streets with her tread Troy strode from her Ilian forum.
***

~ Sri Aurobindo, 3 - The Book of the Assembly
,
301:The woods were long austere with snow: at last
Pink leaflets budded on the beech, and fast
Larches, scattered through pine-tree solitudes,
Brightened, "as in the slumbrous heart o' the woods
"Our buried year, a witch, grew young again
"To placid incantations, and that stain
"About were from her cauldron, green smoke blent
"With those black pines"so Eglamor gave vent
To a chance fancy. Whence a just rebuke
From his companion; brother Naddo shook
The solemnest of brows: "Beware," he said,
"Of setting up conceits in nature's stead!"
Forth wandered our Sordello. Nought so sure
As that to-day's adventure will secure
Palma, the visioned ladyonly pass
O'er you damp mound and its exhausted grass,
Under that brake where sundawn feeds the stalks
Of withered fern with gold, into those walks
Of pine and take her! Buoyantly he went.
Again his stooping forehead was besprent
With dew-drops from the skirting ferns. Then wide
Opened the great morass, shot every side
With flashing water through and through; a-shine,
Thick-steaming, all-alive. Whose shape divine,
Quivered i' the farthest rainbow-vapour, glanced
Athwart the flying herons? He advanced,
But warily; though Mincio leaped no more,
Each foot-fall burst up in the marish-floor
A diamond jet: and if he stopped to pick
Rose-lichen, or molest the leeches quick,
And circling blood-worms, minnow, newt or loach,
A sudden pond would silently encroach
This way and that. On Palma passed. The verge
Of a new wood was gained. She will emerge
Flushed, now, and panting,crowds to see,will own
She loves himBoniface to hear, to groan,
To leave his suit! One screen of pine-trees still
Opposes: butthe startling spectacle
Mantua, this time! Under the wallsa crowd
Indeed, real men and women, gay and loud
Round a pavilion. How he stood!
                 In truth
No prophecy had come to pass: his youth
In its prime nowand where was homage poured
Upon Sordello?born to be adored,
And suddenly discovered weak, scarce made
To cope with any, cast into the shade
By this and this. Yet something seemed to prick
And tingle in his blood; a sleighta trick
And much would be explained. It went for nought
The best of their endowments were ill bought
With his identity: nay, the conceit,
That this day's roving led to Palma's feet
Was not so vainlist! The word, "Palma!" Steal
Aside, and die, Sordello; this is real,
And thisabjure!
         What next? The curtains see
Dividing! She is there; and presently
He will be therethe proper You, at length
In your own cherished dress of grace and strength:
Most like, the very Boniface!
               Not so.
It was a showy man advanced; but though
A glad cry welcomed him, then every sound
Sank and the crowd disposed themselves around,
"This is not he," Sordello felt; while, "Place
"For the best Troubadour of Boniface!"
Hollaed the Jongleurs,"Eglamor, whose lay
"Concludes his patron's Court of Love to-day!"
Obsequious Naddo strung the master's lute
With the new lute-string, "Elys," named to suit
The song: he stealthily at watch, the while,
Biting his lip to keep down a great smile
Of pride: then up he struck. Sordello's brain
Swam; for he knew a sometime deed again;
So, could supply each foolish gap and chasm
The minstrel left in his enthusiasm,
Mistaking its true versionwas the tale
Not of Apollo? Only, what avail
Luring her down, that Elys an he pleased,
If the man dared no further? Has he ceased
And, lo, the people's frank applause half done,
Sordello was beside him, had begun
(Spite of indignant twitchings from his friend
The Trouvere) the true lay with the true end,
Taking the other's names and time and place
For his. On flew the song, a giddy race,
After the flying story; word made leap
Out word, rhymerhyme; the lay could barely keep
Pace with the action visibly rushing past:
Both ended. Back fell Naddo more aghast
Than some Egyptian from the harassed bull
That wheeled abrupt and, bellowing, fronted full
His plague, who spied a scarab 'neath the tongue,
And found 't was Apis' flank his hasty prong
Insulted. But the peoplebut the cries,
The crowding round, and proffering the prize!
For he had gained some prize. He seemed to shrink
Into a sleepy cloud, just at whose brink
One sight withheld him. There sat Adelaide,
Silent; but at her knees the very maid
Of the North Chamber, her red lips as rich,
The same pure fleecy hair; one weft of which,
Golden and great, quite touched his cheek as o'er
She leant, speaking some six words and no more.
He answered something, anything; and she
Unbound a scarf and laid it heavily
Upon him, her neck's warmth and all. Again
Moved the arrested magic; in his brain
Noises grew, and a light that turned to glare,
And greater glare, until the intense flare
Engulfed him, shut the whole scene from his sense.
And when he woke 't was many a furlong thence,
At home; the sun shining his ruddy wont;
The customary birds'-chirp; but his front
Was crownedwas crowned! Her scented scarf around
His neck! Whose gorgeous vesture heaps the ground?
A prize? He turned, and peeringly on him
Brooded the women-faces, kind and dim,
Ready to talk"The Jongleurs in a troop
"Had brought him back, Naddo and Squarcialupe
"And Tagliafer; how strange! a childhood spent
"In taking, well for him, so brave a bent!
"Since Eglamor," they heard, "was dead with spite,
"And Palma chose him for her minstrel."
                     Light
Sordello roseto think, now; hitherto
He had perceived. Sure, a discovery grew
Out of it all! Best live from first to last
The transport o'er again. A week he passed,
Sucking the sweet out of each circumstance,
From the bard's outbreak to the luscious trance
Bounding his own achievement. Strange! A man
Recounted an adventure, but began
Imperfectly; his own task was to fill
The frame-work up, sing well what he sung ill,
Supply the necessary points, set loose
As many incidents of little use
More imbecile the other, not to see
Their relative importance clear as he!
But, for a special pleasure in the act
Of singinghad he ever turned, in fact,
From Elys, to sing Elys?from each fit
Of rapture to contrive a song of it?
True, this snatch or the other seemed to wind
Into a treasure, helped himself to find
A beauty in himself; for, see, he soared
By means of that mere snatch, to many a hoard
Of fancies; as some falling cone bears soft
The eye along the fir-tree-spire, aloft
To a dove's nest. Then, how divine the cause
Why such performance should exact applause
From men, if they had fancies too? Did fate
Decree they found a beauty separate
In the poor snatch itself?"Take Elys, there,
"'Her head that 's sharp and perfect like a pear,
"'So close and smooth are laid the few fine locks
"'Coloured like honey oozed from topmost rocks
"'Sun-blanched the livelong summer'if they heard
"Just those two rhymes, assented at my word,
"And loved them as I love them who have run
"These fingers through those pale locks, let the sun
"Into the white cool skinwho first could clutch,
"Then praiseI needs must be a god to such.
"Or what if some, above themselves, and yet
"Beneath me, like their Eglamor, have set
"An impress on our gift? So, men believe
"And worship what they know not, nor receive
"Delight from. Have they fanciesslow, perchance,
"Not at their beck, which indistinctly glance
"Until, by song, each floating part be linked
"To each, and all grow palpable, distinct?"
He pondered this.
         Meanwhile, sounds low and drear
Stole on him, and a noise of footsteps, near
And nearer, while the underwood was pushed
Aside, the larches grazed, the dead leaves crushed
At the approach of men. The wind seemed laid;
Only, the trees shrunk slightly and a shade
Came o'er the sky although 't was midday yet:
You saw each half-shut downcast floweret
Flutter"a Roman bride, when they 'd dispart
"Her unbound tresses with the Sabine dart,
"Holding that famous rape in memory still,
"Felt creep into her curls the iron chill,
"And looked thus," Eglamor would sayindeed
'T is Eglamor, no other, these precede
Home hither in the woods. "'T were surely sweet
"Far from the scene of one's forlorn defeat
"To sleep!" judged Naddo, who in person led
Jongleurs and Trouveres, chanting at their head,
A scanty company; for, sooth to say,
Our beaten Troubadour had seen his day.
Old worshippers were something shamed, old friends
Nigh weary; still the death proposed amends.
"Let us but get them safely through my song
"And home again!" quoth Naddo.
                All along,
This man (they rest the bier upon the sand)
This calm corpse with the loose flowers in his hand,
Eglamor, lived Sordello's opposite.
For him indeed was Naddo's notion right,
And verse a temple-worship vague and vast,
A ceremony that withdrew the last
Opposing bolt, looped back the lingering veil
Which hid the holy place: should one so frail
Stand there without such effort? or repine
If much was blank, uncertain at the shrine
He knelt before, till, soothed by many a rite,
The power responded, and some sound or sight
Grew up, his own forever, to be fixed,
In rhyme, the beautiful, forever!mixed
With his own life, unloosed when he should please,
Having it safe at hand, ready to ease
All pain, remove all trouble; every time
He loosed that fancy from its bonds of rhyme,
(Like Perseus when he loosed his naked love)
Faltering; so distinct and far above
Himself, these fancies! He, no genius rare,
Transfiguring in fire or wave or air
At will, but a poor gnome that, cloistered up
In some rock-chamber with his agate cup,
His topaz rod, his seed-pearl, in these few
And their arrangement finds enough to do
For his best art. Then, how he loved that art!
The calling marking him a man apart
From menone not to care, take counsel for
Cold hearts, comfortless faces(Eglamor
Was neediest of his tribe)since verse, the gift,
Was his, and men, the whole of them, must shift
Without it, e'en content themselves with wealth
And pomp and power, snatching a life by stealth.
So, Eglamor was not without his pride!
The sorriest bat which cowers throughout noontide
While other birds are jocund, has one time
When moon and stars are blinded, and the prime
Of earth is his to claim, nor find a peer;
And Eglamor was noblest poet here
He well knew, 'mid those April woods he cast
Conceits upon in plenty as he passed,
That Naddo might suppose him not to think
Entirely on the coming triumph: wink
At the one weakness! 'T was a fervid child,
That song of his; no brother of the guild
Had e'er conceived its like. The rest you know,
The exaltation and the overthrow:
Our poet lost his purpose, lost his rank,
His lifeto that it came. Yet envy sank
Within him, as he heard Sordello out,
And, for the first time, shoutedtried to shout
Like others, not from any zeal to show
Pleasure that way: the common sort did so,
What else was Eglamor? who, bending down
As they, placed his beneath Sordello's crown,
Printed a kiss on his successor's hand,
Left one great tear on it, then joined his band
In time; for some were watching at the door:
Who knows what envy may effect? "Give o'er,
"Nor charm his lips, nor craze him!" (here one spied
And disengaged the withered crown)"Beside
"His crown? How prompt and clear those verses rang
"To answer yours! nay, sing them!" And he sang
Them calmly. Home he went; friends used to wait
His coming, zealous to congratulate;
But, to a manso quickly runs report
Could do no less than leave him, and escort
His rival. That eve, then, bred many a thought:
What must his future life be? was he brought
So low, who stood so lofty this Spring morn?
At length he said, "Best sleep now with my scorn,
"And by to-morrow I devise some plain
"Expedient!" So, he slept, nor woke again.
They found as much, those friends, when they returned
O'erflowing with the marvels they had learned
About Sordello's paradise, his roves
Among the hills and vales and plains and groves,
Wherein, no doubt, this lay was roughly cast,
Polished by slow degrees, completed last
To Eglamor's discomfiture and death.
Such form the chanters now, and, out of breath,
They lay the beaten man in his abode,
Naddo reciting that same luckless ode,
Doleful to hear. Sordello could explore
By means of it, however, one step more
In joy; and, mastering the round at length,
Learnt how to live in weakness as in strength,
When from his covert forth he stood, addressed
Eglamor, bade the tender ferns invest,
Primval pines o'ercanopy his couch,
And, most of all, his fame(shall I avouch
Eglamor heard it, dead though he might look,
And laughed as from his brow Sordello took
The crown, and laid on the bard's breast, and said
It was a crown, now, fit for poet's head?)
Continue. Nor the prayer quite fruitless fell.
A plant they have, yielding a three-leaved bell
Which whitens at the heart ere noon, and ails
Till evening; evening gives it to her gales
To clear away with such forgotten things
As are an eyesore to the morn: this brings
Him to their mind, and bears his very name.
So much for Eglamor. My own month came;
'T was a sunrise of blossoming and May.
Beneath a flowering laurel thicket lay
Sordello; each new sprinkle of white stars
That smell fainter of wine than Massic jars
Dug up at Bai, when the south wind shed
The ripest, made him happier; filleted
And robed the same, only a lute beside
Lay on the turf. Before him far and wide
The country stretched: Goito slept behind
The castle and its covert, which confined
Him with his hopes and fears; so fain of old
To leave the story of his birth untold.
At intervals, 'spite the fantastic glow
Of his Apollo-life, a certain low
And wretched whisper, winding through the bliss,
Admonished, no such fortune could be his,
All was quite false and sure to fade one day:
The closelier drew he round him his array
Of brilliance to expel the truth. But when
A reason for his difference from men
Surprised him at the grave, he took no rest
While aught of that old life, superbly dressed
Down to its meanest incident, remained
A mystery: alas, they soon explained
Away Apollo! and the tale amounts
To this: when at Vicenza both her counts
Banished the Vivaresi kith and kin,
Those Maltraversi hung on Ecelin,
Reviled him as he followed; he for spite
Must fire their quarter, though that self-same night
Among the flames young Ecelin was born
Of Adelaide, there too, and barely torn
From the roused populace hard on the rear,
By a poor archer when his chieftain's fear
Grew high; into the thick Elcorte leapt,
Saved her, and died; no creature left except
His child to thank. And when the full escape
Was knownhow men impaled from chine to nape
Unlucky Prata, all to pieces spurned
Bishop Pistore's concubines, and burned
Taurello's entire household, flesh and fell,
Missing the sweeter preysuch courage well
Might claim reward. The orphan, ever since,
Sordello, had been nurtured by his prince
Within a blind retreat where Adelaide
(For, once this notable discovery made,
The past at every point was understood)
Might harbour easily when times were rude,
When Azzo schemed for Palma, to retrieve
That pledge of Agnes Esteloth to leave
Mantua unguarded with a vigilant eye,
While there Taurello bode ambiguously
He who could have no motive now to moil
For his own fortunes since their utter spoil
As it were worth while yet (went the report)
To disengage himself from her. In short,
Apollo vanished; a mean youth, just named
His lady's minstrel, was to be proclaimed
How shall I phrase it?Monarch of the World!
For, on the day when that array was furled
Forever, and in place of one a slave
To longings, wild indeed, but longings save
In dreams as wild, suppressedone daring not
Assume the mastery such dreams allot,
Until a magical equipment, strength,
Grace, wisdom, decked him too,he chose at length,
Content with unproved wits and failing frame,
In virtue of his simple will, to claim
That mastery, no lessto do his best
With means so limited, and let the rest
Go by,the seal was set: never again
Sordello could in his own sight remain
One of the many, one with hopes and cares
And interests nowise distinct from theirs,
Only peculiar in a thriveless store
Of fancies, which were fancies and no more;
Never again for him and for the crowd
A common law was challenged and allowed
If calmly reasoned of, howe'er denied
By a mad impulse nothing justified
Short of Apollo's presence. The divorce
Is clear: why needs Sordello square his course
By any known example? Men no more
Compete with him than tree and flower before.
Himself, inactive, yet is greater far
Than such as act, each stooping to his star,
Acquiring thence his function; he has gained
The same result with meaner mortals trained
To strength or beauty, moulded to express
Each the idea that rules him; since no less
He comprehends that function, but can still
Embrace the others, take of might his fill
With Richard as of grace with Palma, mix
Their qualities, or for a moment fix
On one; abiding free meantime, uncramped
By any partial organ, never stamped
Strong, and to strength turning all energies
Wise, and restricted to becoming wise
That is, he loves not, nor possesses One
Idea that, star-like over, lures him on
To its exclusive purpose. "Fortunate!
"This flesh of mine ne'er strove to emulate
"A soul so varioustook no casual mould
"Of the first fancy and, contracted, cold,
"Clogged her foreversoul averse to change
"As flesh: whereas flesh leaves soul free to range,
"Remains itself a blank, cast into shade,
"Encumbers little, if it cannot aid.
"So, range, free soul!who, by self-consciousness,
"The last drop of all beauty dost express
"The grace of seeing grace, a quintessence
"For thee: while for the world, that can dispense
"Wonder on men who, themselves, wondermake
"A shift to love at second-hand, and take
"For idols those who do but idolize,
"Themselves,the world that counts men strong or wise,
"Who, themselves, court strength, wisdom,it shall bow
"Surely in unexampled worship now,
"Discerning me!"
         (Dear monarch, I beseech,
Notice how lamentably wide a breach
Is here: discovering this, discover too
What our poor world has possibly to do
With it! As pigmy natures as you please
So much the better for you; take your ease,
Look on, and laugh; style yourself God alone;
Strangle some day with a cross olive-stone!
All that is right enough: but why want us
To know that you yourself know thus and thus?)
"The world shall bow to me conceiving all
"Man's life, who see its blisses, great and small,
"Afarnot tasting any; no machine
"To exercise my utmost will is mine:
"Be mine mere consciousness! Let men perceive
"What I could do, a mastery believe,
"Asserted and established to the throng
"By their selected evidence of song
"Which now shall prove, whate'er they are, or seek
"To be, I amwhose words, not actions speak,
"Who change no standards of perfection, vex
"With no strange forms created to perplex,
"But just perform their bidding and no more,
"At their own satiating-point give o'er,
"While each shall love in me the love that leads
"His soul to power's perfection." Song, not deeds,
(For we get tired) was chosen. Fate would brook
Mankind no other organ; he would look
For not another channel to dispense
His own volition by, receive men's sense
Of its supremacywould live content,
Obstructed else, with merely verse for vent.
Nor should, for instance, strength an outlet seek
And, striving, be admired: nor grace bespeak
Wonder, displayed in gracious attitudes:
Nor wisdom, poured forth, change unseemly moods;
But he would give and take on song's one point.
Like some huge throbbing stone that, poised a-joint,
Sounds, to affect on its basaltic bed,
Must sue in just one accent; tempests shed
Thunder, and raves the windstorm: only let
That key by any little noise be set
The far benighted hunter's halloo pitch
On that, the hungry curlew chance to scritch
Or serpent hiss it, rustling through the rift,
However loud, however lowall lift
The groaning monster, stricken to the heart.
Lo ye, the world's concernment, for its part,
And this, for his, will hardly interfere!
Its businesses in blood and blaze this year
But wile the hour awaya pastime slight
Till he shall step upon the platform: right!
And, now thus much is settled, cast in rough,
Proved feasible, be counselled! thought enough,
Slumber, Sordello! any day will serve:
Were it a less digested plan! how swerve
To-morrow? Meanwhile eat these sun-dried grapes,
And watch the soaring hawk there! Life escapes
Merrily thus.
       He thoroughly read o'er
His truchman Naddo's missive six times more,
Praying him visit Mantua and supply
A famished world.
         The evening star was high
When he reached Mantua, but his fame arrived
Before him: friends applauded, foes connived,
And Naddo looked an angel, and the rest
Angels, and all these angels would be blest
Supremely by a songthe thrice-renowned
Goito-manufacture. Then he found
(Casting about to satisfy the crowd)
That happy vehicle, so late allowed,
A sore annoyance; 't was the song's effect
He cared for, scarce the song itself: reflect!
In the past life, what might be singing's use?
Just to delight his Delians, whose profuse
Praise, not the toilsome process which procured
That praise, enticed Apollo: dreams abjured,
No overleaping means for endstake both
For granted or take neither! I am loth
To say the rhymes at last were Eglamor's;
But Naddo, chuckling, bade competitors
Go pine; "the master certes meant to waste
"No effort, cautiously had probed the taste
"He 'd please anon: true bard, in short,disturb
"His title if they could; nor spur nor curb,
"Fancy nor reason, wanting in him; whence
"The staple of his verses, common sense:
"He built on man's broad naturegift of gifts,
"That power to build! The world contented shifts
"With counterfeits enough, a dreary sort
"Of warriors, statesmen, ere it can extort
"Its poet-soulthat 's, after all, a freak
"(The having eyes to see and tongue to speak)
"With our herd's stupid sterling happiness
"So plainly incompatible thatyes
"Yesshould a son of his improve the breed
"And turn out poet, he were cursed indeed!"
"Well, there 's Goito and its woods anon,
"If the worst happen; best go stoutly on
"Now!" thought Sordello.
             Ay, and goes on yet!
You pother with your glossaries to get
A notion of the Troubadour's intent
In rondel, tenzon, virlai or sirvent
Much as you study arras how to twirl
His angelot, plaything of page and girl
Once; but you surely reach, at last,or, no!
Never quite reach what struck the people so,
As from the welter of their time he drew
Its elements successively to view,
Followed all actions backward on their course,
And catching up, unmingled at the source,
Such a strength, such a weakness, added then
A touch or two, and turned them into men.
Virtue took form, nor vice refused a shape;
Here heaven opened, there was hell agape,
As Saint this simpered past in sanctity,
Sinner the other flared portentous by
A greedy people. Then why stop, surprised
At his success? The scheme was realized
Too suddenly in one respect: a crowd
Praising, eyes quick to see, and lips as loud
To speak, delicious homage to receive,
The woman's breath to feel upon his sleeve,
Who said, "But Anafestwhy asks he less
"Than Lucio, in your verses? how confess,
"It seemed too much but yestereve!"the youth,
Who bade him earnestly, "Avow the truth!
"You love Bianca, surely, from your song;
"I knew I was unworthy!"soft or strong,
In poured such tributes ere he had arranged
Ethereal ways to take them, sorted, changed,
Digested. Courted thus at unawares,
In spite of his pretensions and his cares,
He caught himself shamefully hankering
After the obvious petty joys that spring
From true life, fain relinquish pedestal
And condescend with pleasuresone and all
To be renounced, no doubt; for, thus to chain
Himself to single joys and so refrain
From tasting their quintessence, frustrates, sure,
His prime design; each joy must he abjure
Even for love of it.
           He laughed: what sage
But perishes if from his magic page
He look because, at the first line, a proof
'T was heard salutes him from the cavern roof?
"On! Give yourself, excluding aught beside,
"To the day's task; compel your slave provide
"Its utmost at the soonest; turn the leaf
"Thoroughly conned. These lays of yours, in brief
"Cannot men bear, now, something better?fly
"A pitch beyond this unreal pageantry
"Of essences? the period sure has ceased
"For such: present us with ourselves, at least,
"Not portions of ourselves, mere loves and hates
"Made flesh: wait not!"
            Awhile the poet waits
However. The first trial was enough:
He left imagining, to try the stuff
That held the imaged thing, and, let it writhe
Never so fiercely, scarce allowed a tithe
To reach the lighthis Language. How he sought
The cause, conceived a cure, and slow re-wrought
That Language,welding words into the crude
Mass from the new speech round him, till a rude
Armour was hammered out, in time to be
Approved beyond the Roman panoply
Melted to make it,boots not. This obtained
With some ado, no obstacle remained
To using it; accordingly he took
An action with its actors, quite forsook
Himself to live in each, returned anon
With the resulta creature, and, by one
And one, proceeded leisurely to equip
Its limbs in harness of his workmanship.
"Accomplished! Listen, Mantuans!" Fond essay!
Piece after piece that armour broke away,
Because perceptions whole, like that he sought
To clothe, reject so pure a work of thought
As language: thought may take perception's place
But hardly co-exist in any case,
Being its mere presentmentof the whole
By parts, the simultaneous and the sole
By the successive and the many. Lacks
The crowd perception? painfully it tacks
Thought to thought, which Sordello, needing such,
Has rent perception into: it's to clutch
And reconstructhis office to diffuse,
Destroy: as hard, then, to obtain a Muse
As to become Apollo. "For the rest,
"E'en if some wondrous vehicle expressed
"The whole dream, what impertinence in me
"So to express it, who myself can be
"The dream! nor, on the other hand, are those
"I sing to, over-likely to suppose
"A higher than the highest I present
"Now, which they praise already: be content
"Both parties, ratherthey with the old verse,
"And I with the old praisefar go, fare worse!"
A few adhering rivets loosed, upsprings
The angel, sparkles off his mail, which rings
Whirled from each delicatest limb it warps;
So might Apollo from the sudden corpse
Of Hyacinth have cast his luckless quoits.
He set to celebrating the exploits
Of Montfort o'er the Mountaineers.
                  Then came
The world's revenge: their pleasure, now his aim
Merely,what was it? "Not to play the fool
"So much as learn our lesson in your school!"
Replied the world. He found that, every time
He gained applause by any ballad-rhyme,
His auditory recognized no jot
As he intended, and, mistaking not
Him for his meanest hero, ne'er was dunce
Sufficient to believe himall, at once.
His will . . . conceive it caring for his will!
Mantuans, the main of them, admiring still
How a mere singer, ugly, stunted, weak,
Had Montfort at completely (so to speak)
His fingers' ends; while past the praise-tide swept
To Montfort, either's share distinctly kept:
The true meed for true merit!his abates
Into a sort he most repudiates,
And on them angrily he turns. Who were
The Mantuans, after all, that he should care
About their recognition, ay or no?
In spite of the convention months ago,
(Why blink the truth?) was not he forced to help
This same ungrateful audience, every whelp
Of Naddo's litter, make them pass for peers
With the bright band of old Goito years,
As erst he toiled for flower or tree? Why, there
Sat Palma! Adelaide's funereal hair
Ennobled the next corner. Ay, he strewed
A fairy dust upon that multitude,
Although he feigned to take them by themselves;
His giants dignified those puny elves,
Sublimed their faint applause. In short, he found
Himself still footing a delusive round,
Remote as ever from the self-display
He meant to compass, hampered every way
By what he hoped assistance. Wherefore then
Continue, make believe to find in men
A use he found not?
          Weeks, months, years went by
And lo, Sordello vanished utterly,
Sundered in twain; each spectral part at strife
With each; one jarred against another life;
The Poet thwarting hopelessly the Man
Who, fooled no longer, free in fancy ran
Here, there: let slip no opportunities
As pitiful, forsooth, beside the prize
To drop on him some no-time and acquit
His constant faith (the Poet-half's to wit
That waiving any compromise between
No joy and all joy kept the hunger keen
Beyond most methods)of incurring scoff
From the Man-portionnot to be put off
With self-reflectings by the Poet's scheme,
Though ne'er so bright. Who sauntered forth in dream,
Dressed any how, nor waited mystic frames,
Immeasurable gifts, astounding claims,
But just his sorry self?who yet might be
Sorrier for aught he in reality
Achieved, so pinioned Man's the Poet-part,
Fondling, in turn of fancy, verse; the Art
Developing his soul a thousand ways
Potent, by its assistance, to amaze
The multitude with majesties, convince
Each sort of nature that the nature's prince
Accosted it. Language, the makeshift, grew
Into a bravest of expedients, too;
Apollo, seemed it now, perverse had thrown
Quiver and bow away, the lyre alone
Sufficed. While, out of dream, his day's work went
To tune a crazy tenzon or sirvent
So hampered him the Man-part, thrust to judge
Between the bard and the bard's audience, grudge
A minute's toil that missed its due reward!
But the complete Sordello, Man and Bard,
John's cloud-girt angel, this foot on the land,
That on the sea, with, open in his hand,
A bitter-sweetling of a bookwas gone.
Then, if internal struggles to be one,
Which frittered him incessantly piecemeal,
Referred, ne'er so obliquely, to the real
Intruding Mantuans! ever with some call
To action while he pondered, once for all,
Which looked the easier effortto pursue
This course, still leap o'er paltry joys, yearn through
The present ill-appreciated stage
Of self-revealment, and compel the age
Know himor else, forswearing bard-craft, wake
From out his lethargy and nobly shake
Off timid habits of denial, mix
With men, enjoy like men. Ere he could fix
On aught, in rushed the Mantuans; much they cared
For his perplexity! Thus unprepared,
The obvious if not only shelter lay
In deeds, the dull conventions of his day
Prescribed the like of him: why not be glad
'T is settled Palma's minstrel, good or bad,
Submits to this and that established rule?
Let Vidal change, or any other fool,
His murrey-coloured robe for filamot,
And crop his hair; too skin-deep, is it not,
Such vigour? Then, a sorrow to the heart,
His talk! Whatever topics they might start
Had to be groped for in his consciousness
Straight, and as straight delivered them by guess.
Only obliged to ask himself, "What was,"
A speedy answer followed; but, alas,
One of God's large ones, tardy to condense
Itself into a period; answers whence
A tangle of conclusions must be stripped
At any risk ere, trim to pattern clipped,
They matched rare specimens the Mantuan flock
Regaled him with, each talker from his stock
Of sorted-o'er opinions, every stage,
Juicy in youth or desiccate with age,
Fruits like the fig-tree's, rathe-ripe, rotten-rich,
Sweet-sour, all tastes to take: a practice which
He too had not impossibly attained,
Once either of those fancy-flights restrained;
(For, at conjecture how might words appear
To others, playing there what happened here,
And occupied abroad by what he spurned
At home, 't was slipped, the occasion he returned
To seize he 'd strike that lyre adroitlyspeech,
Would but a twenty-cubit plectre reach;
A clever hand, consummate instrument,
Were both brought close; each excellency went
For nothing, else. The question Naddo asked,
Had just a lifetime moderately tasked
To answer, Naddo's fashion. More disgust
And more: why move his soul, since move it must
At minute's notice or as good it failed
To move at all? The end was, he retailed
Some ready-made opinion, put to use
This quip, that maxim, ventured reproduce
Gestures and tonesat any folly caught
Serving to finish with, nor too much sought
If false or true 't was spoken; praise and blame
Of what he said grew pretty nigh the same
Meantime awards to meantime acts: his soul,
Unequal to the compassing a whole,
Saw, in a tenth part, less and less to strive
About. And as for men in turn . . . contrive
Who could to take eternal interest
In them, so hate the worst, so love the best,
Though, in pursuance of his passive plan,
He hailed, decried, the proper way.
                   As Man
So figured he; and how as Poet? Verse
Came only not to a stand-still. The worse,
That his poor piece of daily work to do
Wasnot sink under any rivals; who
Loudly and long enough, without these qualms,
Turned, from Bocafoli's stark-naked psalms,
To Plara's sonnets spoilt by toying with,
"As knops that stud some almug to the pith
"Prickd for gum, wry thence, and crinkld worse
"Than pursd eyelids of a river-horse
"Sunning himself o' the slime when whirrs the breese"
Gad-fly, that is. He might compete with these!
Butbut
     "Observe a pompion-twine afloat;
"Pluck me one cup from off the castle-moat!
"Along with cup you raise leaf, stalk and root,
"The entire surface of the pool to boot.
"So could I pluck a cup, put in one song
"A single sight, did not my hand, too strong,
"Twitch in the least the root-strings of the whole.
"How should externals satisfy my soul?"
"Why that's precise the error Squarcialupe"
(Hazarded Naddo) "finds; 'the man can't stoop
"'To sing us out,' quoth he, 'a mere romance;
"'He'd fain do better than the best, enhance
"'The subjects' rarity, work problems out
"'Therewith.' Now, you 're a bard, a bard past doubt,
"And no philosopher; why introduce
"Crotchets like these? fine, surely, but no use
"In poetrywhich still must be, to strike,
"Based upon common sense; there's nothing like
"Appealing to our nature! what beside
"Was your first poetry? No tricks were tried
"In that, no hollow thrills, affected throes!
"'The man,' said we, 'tells his own joys and woes:
"'We'll trust him.' Would you have your songs endure?
"Build on the human heart!why, to be sure
"Yours is one sort of heartbut I mean theirs,
"Ours, every one's, the healthy heart one cares
"To build on! Central peace, mother of strength,
"That's father of . . . nay, go yourself that length,
"Ask those calm-hearted doers what they do
"When they have got their calm! And is it true,
"Fire rankles at the heart of every globe?
"Perhaps. But these are matters one may probe
"Too deeply for poetic purposes:
"Rather select a theory that . . . yes,
"Laugh! what does that prove?stations you midway
"And saves some little o'er-refining. Nay,
"That's rank injustice done me! I restrict
"The poet? Don't I hold the poet picked
"Out of a host of warriors, statesmen . . . did
"I tell you? Very like! As well you hid
"That sense of power, you have! True bards believe
"All able to achieve what they achieve
"That is, just nothingin one point abide
"Profounder simpletons than all beside.
"Oh, ay! The knowledge that you are a bard
"Must constitute your prime, nay sole, reward!"
So prattled Naddo, busiest of the tribe
Of genius-hauntershow shall I describe
What grubs or nips or rubs or ripsyour louse
For love, your flea for hate, magnanimous,
Malignant, Pappacoda, Tagliafer,
Picking a sustenance from wear and tear
By implements it sedulous employs
To undertake, lay down, mete out, o'er-toise
Sordello? Fifty creepers to elude
At once! They settled staunchly; shame ensued:
Behold the monarch of mankind succumb
To the last fool who turned him round his thumb,
As Naddo styled it! 'T was not worth oppose
The matter of a moment, gainsay those
He aimed at getting rid of; better think
Their thoughts and speak their speech, secure to slink
Back expeditiously to his safe place,
And chew the cudwhat he and what his race
Were really, each of them. Yet even this
Conformity was partial. He would miss
Some point, brought into contact with them ere
Assured in what small segment of the sphere
Of his existence they attended him;
Whence blunders, falsehoods rectifieda grim
Listslur it over! How? If dreams were tried,
His will swayed sicklily from side to side,
Nor merely neutralized his waking act
But tended e'en in fancy to distract
The intermediate will, the choice of means.
He lost the art of dreaming: Mantuan scenes
Supplied a baron, say, he sang before,
Handsomely reckless, full to running-o'er
Of gallantries; "abjure the soul, content
"With body, therefore!" Scarcely had he bent
Himself in dream thus low, when matter fast
Cried out, he found, for spirit to contrast
And task it duly; by advances slight,
The simple stuff becoming composite,
Count Lori grew Apollo: best recall
His fancy! Then would some rough peasant-Paul,
Like those old Ecelin confers with, glance
His gay apparel o'er; that countenance
Gathered his shattered fancies into one,
And, body clean abolished, soul alone
Sufficed the grey Paulician: by and by,
To balance the ethereality,
Passions were needed; foiled he sank again.
Meanwhile the world rejoiced ('t is time explain)
Because a sudden sickness set it free
From Adelaide. Missing the mother-bee,
Her mountain-hive Romano swarmed; at once
A rustle-forth of daughters and of sons
Blackened the valley. "I am sick too, old,
"Half-crazed I think; what good's the Kaiser's gold
"To such an one? God help me! for I catch
"My children's greedy sparkling eyes at watch
"'He bears that double breastplate on,' they say,
"'So many minutes less than yesterday!'
"Beside, Monk Hilary is on his knees
"Now, sworn to kneel and pray till God shall please
"Exact a punishment for many things
"You know, and some you never knew; which brings
"To memory, Azzo's sister Beatrix
"And Richard's Giglia are my Alberic's
"And Ecelin's betrothed; the Count himself
"Must get my Palma: Ghibellin and Guelf
"Mean to embrace each other." So began
Romano's missive to his fighting man
Taurelloon the Tuscan's death, away
With Friedrich sworn to sail from Naples' bay
Next month for Syria. Never thunder-clap
Out of Vesuvius' throat, like this mishap
Startled him. "That accursed Vicenza! I
"Absent, and she selects this time to die!
"Ho, fellows, for Vicenza!" Half a score
Of horses ridden dead, he stood before
Romano in his reeking spurs: too late
"Boniface urged me, Este could not wait,"
The chieftain stammered; "let me die in peace
"Forget me! Was it I who craved increase
"Of rule? Do you and Friedrich plot your worst
"Against the Father: as you found me first
"So leave me now. Forgive me! Palma, sure,
"Is at Goito still. Retain that lure
"Only be pacified!"
          The country rung
With such a piece of news: on every tongue,
How Ecelin's great servant, congeed off,
Had done a long day's service, so, might doff
The green and yellow, and recover breath
At Mantua, whither,since Retrude's death,
(The girlish slip of a Sicilian bride
From Otho's house, he carried to reside
At Mantua till the Ferrarese should pile
A structure worthy her imperial style,
The gardens raise, the statues there enshrine,
She never lived to see)although his line
Was ancient in her archives and she took
A pride in him, that city, nor forsook
Her child when he forsook himself and spent
A prowess on Romano surely meant
For his own growthwhither he ne'er resorts
If wholly satisfied (to trust reports)
With Ecelin. So, forward in a trice
Were shows to greet him. "Take a friend's advice,"
Quoth Naddo to Sordello, "nor be rash
"Because your rivals (nothing can abash
"Some folks) demur that we pronounced you best
"To sound the great man's welcome; 't is a test,
"Remember! Strojavacca looks asquint,
"The rough fat sloven; and there 's plenty hint
"Your pinions have received of late a shock
"Outsoar them, cobswan of the silver flock!
"Sing well!" A signal wonder, song 's no whit
Facilitated.
      Fast the minutes flit;
Another day, Sordello finds, will bring
The soldier, and he cannot choose but sing;
So, a last shift, quits Mantuaslow, alone:
Out of that aching brain, a very stone,
Song must be struck. What occupies that front?
Just how he was more awkward than his wont
The night before, when Naddo, who had seen
Taurello on his progress, praised the mien
For dignity no crosses could affect
Such was a joy, and might not he detect
A satisfaction if established joys
Were proved imposture? Poetry annoys
Its utmost: wherefore fret? Verses may come
Or keep away! And thus he wandered, dumb
Till evening, when he paused, thoroughly spent,
On a blind hill-top: down the gorge he went,
Yielding himself up as to an embrace.
The moon came out; like features of a face,
A querulous fraternity of pines,
Sad blackthorn clumps, leafless and grovelling vines
Also came out, made gradually up
The picture; 't was Goito's mountain-cup
And castle. He had dropped through one defile
He never dared explore, the Chief erewhile
Had vanished by. Back rushed the dream, enwrapped
Him wholly. 'T was Apollo now they lapped,
Those mountains, not a pettish minstrel meant
To wear his soul away in discontent,
Brooding on fortune's malice. Heart and brain
Swelled; he expanded to himself again,
As some thin seedling spice-tree starved and frail,
Pushing between cat's head and ibis' tail
Crusted into the porphyry pavement smooth,
Suffered remain just as it sprung, to soothe
The Soldan's pining daughter, never yet
Well in her chilly green-glazed minaret,
When rooted up, the sunny day she died,
And flung into the common court beside
Its parent tree. Come home, Sordello! Soon
Was he low muttering, beneath the moon,
Of sorrow saved, of quiet evermore,
Since from the purpose, he maintained before,
Only resulted wailing and hot tears.
Ah, the slim castle! dwindled of late years,
But more mysterious; gone to ruintrails
Of vine through every loop-hole. Nought avails
The night as, torch in hand, he must explore
The maple chamber: did I say, its floor
Was made of intersecting cedar beams?
Worn now with gaps so large, there blew cold streams
Of air quite from the dungeon; lay your ear
Close and 't is like, one after one, you hear
In the blind darkness water drop. The nests
And nooks retain their long ranged vesture-chests
Empty and smelling of the iris root
The Tuscan grated o'er them to recruit
Her wasted wits. Palma was gone that day,
Said the remaining women. Last, he lay
Beside the Carian group reserved and still.
The Body, the Machine for Acting Will,
Had been at the commencement proved unfit;
That for Demonstrating, Reflecting it,
Mankindno fitter: was the Will Itself
In fault?
     His forehead pressed the moonlit shelf
Beside the youngest marble maid awhile;
Then, raising it, he thought, with a long smile,
"I shall be king again!" as he withdrew
The envied scarf; into the font he threw
His crown
     Next day, no poet! "Wherefore?" asked
Taurello, when the dance of Jongleurs, masked
As devils, ended; "don't a song come next?"
The master of the pageant looked perplexed
Till Naddo's whisper came to his relief.
"His Highness knew what poets were: in brief,
"Had not the tetchy race prescriptive right
"To peevishness, caprice? or, call it spite,
"One must receive their nature in its length
"And breadth, expect the weakness with the strength!"
So phrasing, till, his stock of phrases spent,
The easy-natured soldier smiled assent,
Settled his portly person, smoothed his chin,
And nodded that the bull-bait might begin.


~ Robert Browning, Sordello - Book the Second
,
302:Is it the same Sordello in the dusk
As at the dawn?merely a perished husk
Now, that arose a power fit to build
Up Rome again? The proud conception chilled
So soon? Ay, watch that latest dream of thine
A Rome indebted to no Palatine
Drop arch by arch, Sordello! Art possessed
Of thy wish now, rewarded for thy quest
To-day among Ferrara's squalid sons?
Are this and this and this the shining ones
Meet for the Shining City? Sooth to say,
Your favoured tenantry pursue their way
After a fashion! This companion slips
On the smooth causey, t' other blinkard trips
At his mooned sandal. "Leave to lead the brawls
"Here i' the atria?" No, friend! He that sprawls
On aught but a stibadium . . . what his dues
Who puts the lustral vase to such an use?
Oh, huddle up the day's disasters! March,
Ye runagates, and drop thou, arch by arch,
Rome!
   Yet before they quite disbanda whim
Study mere shelter, now, for him, and him,
Nay, even the worst,just house them! Any cave
Suffices: throw out earth! A loophole? Brave!
They ask to feel the sun shine, see the grass
Grow, hear the larks sing? Dead art thou, alas,
And I am dead! But here's our son excels
At hurdle-weaving any Scythian, fells
Oak and devises rafters, dreams and shapes
His dream into a door-post, just escapes
The mystery of hinges. Lie we both
Perdue another age. The goodly growth
Of brick and stone! Our building-pelt was rough,
But that descendant's garb suits well enough
A portico-contriver. Speed the years
What 's time to us? At last, a city rears
Itself! nay, enterwhat's the grave to us?
Lo, our forlorn acquaintance carry thus
The head! Successively sewer, forum, cirque
Last age, an aqueduct was counted work,
But now they tire the artificer upon
Blank alabaster, black obsidion,
Careful, Jove's face be duly fulgurant,
And mother Venus' kiss-creased nipples pant
Back into pristine pulpiness, ere fixed
Above the baths. What difference betwixt
This Rome and oursresemblance what, between
That scurvy dumb-show and this pageant sheen
These Romans and our rabble? Use thy wit!
The work marched: step by step,a workman fit
Took each, nor too fit,to one task, one time,
No leaping o'er the petty to the prime,
When just the substituting osier lithe
For brittle bulrush, sound wood for soft withe,
To further loam-and-roughcast-work a stage,
Exacts an architect, exacts an age:
No tables of the Mauritanian tree
For men whose maple log 's their luxury!
That way was Rome built. "Better" (say you) "merge
"At once all workmen in the demiurge,
"All epochs in a lifetime, every task
"In one!" So should the sudden city bask
I' the daywhile those we 'd feast there, want the knack
Of keeping fresh-chalked gowns from speck and brack,
Distinguish not rare peacock from vile swan,
Nor Mareotic juice from Ccuban.
"Enough of Rome! 'T was happy to conceive
"Rome on a sudden, nor shall fate bereave
"Me of that credit: for the rest, her spite
"Is an old storyserves my folly right
"By adding yet another to the dull
"List of abortionsthings proved beautiful
"Could they be done, Sordello cannot do."
He sat upon the terrace, plucked and threw
The powdery aloe-cusps away, saw shift
Rome's walls, and drop arch after arch, and drift
Mist-like afar those pillars of all stripe,
Mounds of all majesty. "Thou archetype,
"Last of my dreams and loveliest, depart!"
And then a low voice wound into his heart:
"Sordello!" (low as some old Pythoness
Conceding to a Lydian King's distress
The cause of his long errorone mistake
Of her past oracle) "Sordello, wake!
"God has conceded two sights to a man
"One, of men's whole work, time's completed plan,
"The other, of the minute's work, man's first
"Step to the plan's completeness: what's dispersed
"Save hope of that supreme step which, descried
"Earliest, was meant still to remain untried
"Only to give you heart to take your own
"Step, and there stay, leaving the rest alone?
"Where is the vanity? Why count as one
"The first step, with the last step? What is gone
"Except Rome's ary magnificence,
"That last step you 'd take first?an evidence
"You were God: be man now! Let those glances fall!
"The basis, the beginning step of all,
"Which proves you just a manis that gone too?
"Pity to disconcert one versed as you
"In fate's ill-nature! but its full extent
"Eludes Sordello, even: the veil rent,
"Read the black writingthat collective man
"Outstrips the individual. Who began
"The acknowledged greatnesses? Ay, your own art
"Shall serve us: put the poet's mimes apart
"Close with the poet's self, and lo, a dim
"Yet too plain form divides itself from him!
"Alcamo's song enmeshes the lulled Isle,
"Woven into the echoes left erewhile
"By Nina, one soft web of song: no more
"Turning his name, then, flower-like o'er and o'er!
"An elder poet in the younger's place;
"Nina's the strength, but Alcamo's the grace:
"Each neutralizes each then! Search your fill;
"You get no whole and perfect Poetstill
"New Ninas, Alcamos, till time's mid-night
"Shrouds allor better say, the shutting light
"Of a forgotten yesterday. Dissect
"Every ideal workman(to reject
"In favour of your fearful ignorance
"The thousand phantasms eager to advance,
"And point you but to those within your reach)
"Were you the first who brought(in modern speech)
"The Multitude to be materialized?
"That loose eternal unrestwho devised
"An apparition i' the midst? The rout
"Was checked, a breathless ring was formed about
"That sudden flower: get round at any risk
"The gold-rough pointel, silver-blazing disk
"O' the lily! Swords across it! Reign thy reign
"And serve thy frolic service, Charlemagne!
"The very child of over-joyousness,
"Unfeeling thence, strong therefore: Strength by stress
"Of Strength comes of that forehead confident,
"Those widened eyes expecting heart's content,
"A calm as out of just-quelled noise; nor swerves
"For doubt, the ample cheek in gracious curves
"Abutting on the upthrust nether lip:
"He wills, how should he doubt then? Ages slip:
"Was it Sordello pried into the work
"So far accomplished, and discovered lurk
"A company amid the other clans,
"Only distinct in priests for castellans
"And popes for suzerains (their rule confessed
"Its rule, their interest its interest,
"Living for sake of livingthere an end,
"Wrapt in itself, no energy to spend
"In making adversaries or allies)
"Dived you into its capabilities
"And dared create, out of that sect, a soul
"Should turn a multitude, already whole,
"Into its body? Speak plainer! Is 't so sure
"God's church lives by a King's investiture?
"Look to last step! A staggeringa shock
"What 's mere sand is demolished, while the rock
"Endures: a column of black fiery dust
"Blots heaventhat help was prematurely thrust
"Aside, perchance!but air clears, nought 's erased
"Of the true outline. Thus much being firm based,
"The other was a scaffold. See him stand
"Buttressed upon his mattock, Hildebrand
"Of the huge brain-mask welded ply o'er ply
"As in a forge; it buries either eye
"White and extinct, that stupid brow; teeth clenched,
"The neck tight-corded, too, the chin deep-trenched,
"As if a cloud enveloped him while fought
"Under its shade, grim prizers, thought with thought
"At dead-lock, agonizing he, until
"The victor thought leap radiant up, and Will,
"The slave with folded arms and drooping lids
"They fought for, lean forth flame-like as it bids.
"Call him no flowera mandrake of the earth,
"Thwarted and dwarfed and blasted in its birth,
"Rather,a fruit of suffering's excess,
"Thence feeling, therefore stronger: still by stress
"Of Strength, work Knowledge! Full three hundred years
"Have men to wear away in smiles and tears
"Between the two that nearly seemed to touch,
"Observe you! quit one workman and you clutch
"Another, letting both their trains go by
"The actors-out of either's policy,
"Heinrich, on this hand, Otho, Barbaross,
"Carry the three Imperial crowns across,
"Aix' Iron, Milan's Silver, and Rome's Gold
"While Alexander, Innocent uphold
"On that, each Papal keybut, link on link,
"Why is it neither chain betrays a chink?
"How coalesce the small and great? Alack,
"For one thrust forward, fifty such fall back!
"Do the popes coupled there help Gregory
"Alone? Harkfrom the hermit Peter's cry
"At Claremont, down to the first serf that says
"Friedrich 's no liege of his while he delays
"Getting the Pope's curse off him! The Crusade
"Or trick of breeding Strength by other aid
"Than Strength, is safe. Harkfrom the wild harangue
"Of Vimmercato, to the carroch's clang
"Yonder! The Leagueor trick of turning Strength
"Against Pernicious Strength, is safe at length.
"Yet harkfrom Mantuan Albert making cease
"The fierce ones, to Saint Francis preaching peace
"Yonder! God's Truceor trick to supersede
"The very Use of Strength, is safe. Indeed
"We trench upon the future. Who is found
"To take next step, next agetrail o'er the ground
"Shall I say, gourd-like?not the flower's display
"Nor the root's prowess, but the plenteous way
"O' the plantproduced by joy and sorrow, whence
"Unfeeling and yet feeling, strongest thence?
"Knowledge by stress of merely Knowledge? No
"E'en were Sordello ready to forego
"His life for this, 't were overleaping work
"Some one has first to do, howe'er it irk,
"Nor stray a foot's breadth from the beaten road.
"Who means to help must still support the load
"Hildebrand lifted'why hast Thou,' he groaned,
"`Imposed on me a burthen, Paul had moaned,
"'And Moses dropped beneath?' Much doneand yet
"Doubtless that grandest task God ever set
"On man, left much to do: at his arm's wrench,
"Charlemagne's scaffold fell; but pillars blench
"Merely, start back againperchance have been
"Taken for buttresses: crash every screen,
"Hammer the tenons better, and engage
"A gang about your work, for the next age
"Or two, of Knowledge, part by Strength and part
"By Knowledge! Then, indeed, perchance may start
"Sordello on his racewould time divulge
"Such secrets! If one step's awry, one bulge
"Calls for correction by a step we thought
"Got over long since, why, till that is wrought,
"No progress! And the scaffold in its turn
"Becomes, its service o'er, a thing to spurn.
"Meanwhile, if your half-dozen years of life
"In store dispose you to forego the strife,
"Who takes exception? Only bear in mind
"Ferrara 's reached, Goito 's left behind:
"As you then were, as half yourself, desist!
"The warrior-part of you may, an it list,
"Finding real faulchions difficult to poise,
"Fling them afar and taste the cream of joys
"By wielding such in fancy,what is bard
"Of you may spurn the vehicle that marred
"Elys so much, and in free fancy glut
"His sense, yet write no versesyou have but
"To please yourself for law, and once could please
"What once appeared yourself, by dreaming these
"Rather than doing these, in days gone by.
"But all is changed the moment you descry
"Mankind as half yourself,then, fancy's trade
"Ends once and always: how may half evade
"The other half? men are found half of you.
"Out of a thousand helps, just one or two
"Can be accomplished presently: but flinch
"From these (as from the faulchion, raised an inch,
"Elys, described a couplet) and make proof
"Of fancy,then, while one half lolls aloof
"I' the vines, completing Rome to the tip-top
"See if, for that, your other half will stop
"A tear, begin a smile! The rabble's woes,
"Ludicrous in their patience as they chose
"To sit about their town and quietly
"Be slaughtered,the poor reckless soldiery,
"With their ignoble rhymes on Richard, how
"'Polt-foot,' sang they, 'was in a pitfall now,'
"Cheering each other from the engine-mounts,
"That crippled spawling idiot who recounts
"How, lopped of limbs, he lay, stupid as stone,
"Till the pains crept from out him one by one,
"And wriggles round the archers on his head
"To earn a morsel of their chestnut bread,
"And Cino, always in the self-same place
"Weeping; beside that other wretch's case,
"Eyepits to ear, one gangrene since he plied
"The engine in his coat of raw sheep's hide
"A double watch in the noon sun; and see
"Lucchino, beauty, with the favours free,
"Trim hacqueton, spruce beard and scented hair,
"Campaigning it for the first timecut there
"In two already, boy enough to crawl
"For latter orpine round the southern wall,
"Tom, where Richard 's kept, because that ****
"Marfisa, the fool never saw before,
"Sickened for flowers this wearisomest siege:
"And Tiso's wifemen liked their pretty liege,
"Cared for her least of whims once,Berta, wed
"A twelvemonth gone, and, now poor Tiso's dead,
"Delivering herself of his first child
"On that chance heap of wet filth, reconciled
"To fifty gazers!"(Here a wind below
Made moody music augural of woe
From the pine barrier)"What if, now the scene
"Draws to a close, yourself have really been
"You, plucking purples in Goito's moss
"Like edges of a trabea (not to cross
"Your consul-humour) or dry aloe-shafts
"For fasces, at Ferrarahe, fate wafts,
"This very age, her whole inheritance
`Of opportunities? Yet you advance
"Upon the last! Since talking is your trade,
"There 's Salinguerra left you to persuade:
"Fail! then"
       "Nonowhich latest chance secure!"
Leaped up and cried Sordello: "this made sure,
"The past were yet redeemable; its work
"Washelp the Guelfs, whom I, howe'er it irk,
"Thus help!" He shook the foolish aloe-haulm
Out of his doublet, paused, proceeded calm
To the appointed presence. The large head
Turned on its socket; "And your spokesman," said
The large voice, "is Elcorte's happy sprout?
"Few such"(so finishing a speech no doubt
Addressed to Palma, silent at his side)
"My sober councils have diversified.
"Elcorte's son! good: forward as you may,
"Our lady's minstrel with so much to say!"
The hesitating sunset floated back,
Rosily traversed in the wonted track
The chamber, from the lattice o'er the girth
Of pines, to the huge eagle blacked in earth
Opposite,outlined sudden, spur to crest,
That solid Salinguerra, and caressed
Palma's contour; 't was day looped back night's pall;
Sordello had a chance left spite of all.
And much he made of the convincing speech
Meant to compensate for the past and reach
Through his youth's daybreak of unprofit, quite
To his noon's labour, so proceed till night
Leisurely! The great argument to bind
Taurello with the Guelf Cause, body and mind,
Came the consummate rhetoric to that?
Yet most Sordello's argument dropped flat
Through his accustomed fault of breaking yoke,
Disjoining him who felt from him who spoke.
Was 't not a touching incidentso prompt
A rendering the world its just accompt,
Once proved its debtor? Who 'd suppose, before
This proof, that he, Goito's god of yore,
At duty's instance could demean himself
So memorably, dwindle to a Guelf?
Be sure, in such delicious flattery steeped,
His inmost self at the out-portion peeped,
Thus occupied; then stole a glance at those
Appealed to, curious if her colour rose
Or his lip moved, while he discreetly urged
The need of Lombardy becoming purged
At soonest of her barons; the poor part
Abandoned thus, missing the blood at heart
And spirit in brain, unseasonably off
Elsewhere! But, though his speech was worthy scoff,
Good-humoured Salinguerra, famed for tact
And tongue, who, careless of his phrase, ne'er lacked
The right phrase, and harangued Honorius dumb
At his accession,looked as all fell plumb
To purpose and himself found interest
In every point his new instructor pressed
Left playing with the rescript's white wax seal
To scrutinize Sordello head and heel.
He means to yield assent sure? No, alas!
All he replied was, "What, it comes to pass
"That poesy, sooner than politics,
"Makes fade young hair?" To think such speech could fix
Taurello!
     Then a flash of bitter truth:
So fantasies could break and fritter youth
That he had long ago lost earnestness,
Lost will to work, lost power to even express
The need of working! Earth was turned a grave:
No more occasions now, though he should crave
Just one, in right of superhuman toil,
To do what was undone, repair such spoil,
Alter the pastnothing would give the chance!
Not that he was to die; he saw askance
Protract the ignominious years beyond
To dream intime to hope and time despond,
Remember and forget, be sad, rejoice
As saved a trouble; he might, at his choice,
One way or other, idle life out, drop
No few smooth verses by the wayfor prop,
A thyrsus, these sad people, all the same,
Should pick up, and set store by,far from blame,
Plant o'er his hearse, convinced his better part
Survived him. "Rather tear men out the heart
"O' the truth!"Sordello muttered, and renewed
His propositions for the Multitude.
But Salinguerra, who at this attack
Had thrown great breast and ruffling corslet back
To hear the better, smilingly resumed
His task; beneath, the carroch's warning boomed;
He must decide with Tito; courteously
He turned then, even seeming to agree
With his admonisher"Assist the Pope,
"Extend Guelf domination, fill the scope
"O' the Church, thus based on All, by All, for All
"Change Secular to Evangelical"
Echoing his very sentence: all seemed lost,
When suddenly he looked up, laughingly almost,
To Palma: "This opinion of your friend's
"For instance, would it answer Palma's ends?
"Best, were it not, turn Guelf, submit our Strength"
(Here he drew out his baldric to its length)
"To the Pope's Knowledgelet our captive slip,
"Wide to the walls throw ope our gates, equip
"Azzo with . . . what I hold here! Who 'll subscribe
"To a trite censure of the minstrel tribe
"Henceforward? or pronounce, as Heinrich used,
"'Spear-heads for battle, burr-heads for the joust!'
"When Constance, for his couplets, would promote
"Alcamo, from a parti-coloured coat,
"To holding her lord's stirrup in the wars.
"Not that I see where couplet-making jars
"With common sense: at Mantua I had borne
"This chanted, better than their most forlorn
"Of bull-baits,that 's indisputable!"
                     Brave!
Whom vanity nigh slew, contempt shall save!
All 's at an end: a Troubadour suppose
Mankind will class him with their friends or foes?
A puny uncouth ailing vassal think
The world and him bound in some special link?
Abrupt the visionary tether burst.
What were rewarded here, or what amerced
If a poor drudge, solicitous to dream
Deservingly, got tangled by his theme
So far as to conceit the knack or gift
Or whatsoe'er it be, of verse, might lift
The globe, a lever like the hand and head
Of"Men of Action," as the Jongleurs said,
"The Great Men," in the people's dialect?
And not a moment did this scorn affect
Sordello: scorn the poet? They, for once,
Asking "what was," obtained a full response.
Bid Naddo think at Mantuahe had but
To look into his promptuary, put
Finger on a set thought in a set speech:
But was Sordello fitted thus for each
Conjecture? Nowise; since within his soul,
Perception brooded unexpressed and whole.
A healthy spirit like a healthy frame
Craves aliment in plentyall the same,
Changes, assimilates its aliment.
Perceived Sordello, on a truth intent?
Next day no formularies more you saw
Than figs or olives in a sated maw.
'T is Knowledge, whither such perceptions tend;
They lose themselves in that, means to an end,
The many old producing some one new,
A last unlike the first. If lies are true,
The Caliph's wheel-work man of brass receives
A meal, munched millet grains and lettuce leaves
Together in his stomach rattle loose;
You find them perfect next day to produce:
But ne'er expect the man, on strength of that,
Can roll an iron camel-collar flat
Like Haroun's self! I tell you, what was stored
Bit by bit through Sordello's life, outpoured
That eve, was, for that age, a novel thing:
And round those three the People formed a ring,
Of visionary judges whose award
He recognised in fullfaces that barred
Henceforth return to the old careless life,
In whose great presence, therefore, his first strife
For their sake must not be ignobly fought;
All these, for once, approved of him, he thought,
Suspended their own vengeance, chose await
The issue of this strife to reinstate
Them in the right of taking itin fact
He must be proved king ere they could exact
Vengeance for such king's defalcation. Last,
A reason why the phrases flowed so fast
Was in his quite forgetting for a time
Himself in his amazement that the rhyme
Disguised the royalty so much: he there
And Salinguerra yet all-unaware
Who was the lord, who liegeman!
                 "Thus I lay
"On thine my spirit and compel obey
"His lord,my liegeman,impotent to build
"Another Rome, but hardly so unskilled
"In what such builder should have been, as brook
"One shame beyond the charge that I forsook
"His function! Free me from that shame, I bend
"A brow before, suppose new years to spend,
"Allow each chance, nor fruitlessly, recur
"Measure thee with the Minstrel, then, demur
"At any crowd he claims! That I must cede
"Shamed now, my right to my especial meed
"Confess thee fitter help the world than I
"Ordained its champion from eternity,
"Is much: but to behold thee scorn the post
"I quit in thy behalfto hear thee boast
"What makes my own despair!" And while he rung
The changes on this theme, the roof up-sprung,
The sad walls of the presence-chamber died
Into the distance, or embowering vied
With far-away Goito's vine-frontier;
And crowds of faces(only keeping clear
The rose-light in the midst, his vantage-ground
To fight their battle from)deep clustered round
Sordello, with good wishes no mere breath,
Kind prayers for him no vapour, since, come death
Come life, he was fresh-sinewed every joint,
Each bone new-marrowed as whom gods anoint
Though mortal to their rescue. Now let sprawl
The snaky volumes hither! Is Typhon all
For Hercules to tramplegood report
From Salinguerra only to extort?
"So was I" (closed he his inculcating
A poet must be earth's essential king)
"So was I, royal so, and if I fail,
"'T is not the royalty, ye witness quail,
"But one deposed who, caring not exert
"Its proper essence, trifled malapert
"With accidents insteadgood things assigned
"As heralds of a better thing behind
"And, worthy through display of these, put forth
"Never the inmost all-surpassing worth
"That constitutes him king precisely since
"As yet no other spirit may evince
"Its like: the power he took most pride to test,
"Whereby all forms of life had been professed
"At pleasure, forms already on the earth,
"Was but a means to power beyond, whose birth
"Should, in its novelty, be kingship's proof.
"Now, whether he came near or kept aloof
"The several forms he longed to imitate,
"Not there the kingship lay, he sees too late.
"Those forms, unalterable first as last,
"Proved him her copier, not the protoplast
"Of nature: what would come of being free,
"By action to exhibit tree for tree,
"Bird, beast, for beast and bird, or prove earth bore
"One veritable man or woman more?
"Means to an end, such proofs are: what the end?
"Let essence, whatsoe'er it be, extend
"Never contract. Already you include
"The multitude; then let the multitude
"Include yourself; and the result were new:
"Themselves before, the multitude turn you.
"This were to live and move and have, in them,
"Your being, and secure a diadem
"You should transmit (because no cycle yearns
"Beyond itself, but on itself returns)
"When, the full sphere in wane, the world o'erlaid
"Long since with you, shall have in turn obeyed
"Some orb still prouder, some displayer, still
"More potent than the last, of human will,
"And some new king depose the old. Of such
"Am Iwhom pride of this elates too much?
"Safe, rather say, 'mid troops of peers again;
"I, with my words, hailed brother of the train
"Deeds once sufficed: for, let the world roll back,
"Who fails, through deeds howe'er diverse, retrack
"My purpose still, my task? A teeming crust
"Air, flame, earth, wave at conflict! Then, needs must
"Emerge some Calm embodied, these refer
"The brawl toyellow-bearded Jupiter?
"No! Saturn; some existence like a pact
"And protest against Chaos, some first fact
"I' the faint of time. My deep of life, I know
"Is unavailing e'en to poorly show" . . .
(For here the Chief immeasurably yawned)
. . . "Deeds in their due gradation till Song dawned
"The fullest effluence of the finest mind,
"All in degree, no way diverse in kind
"From minds about it, minds which, more or less,
"Lofty or low, move seeking to impress
"Themselves on somewhat; but one mind has climbed
"Step after step, by just ascent sublimed.
"Thought is the soul of act, and, stage by stage,
"Soul is from body still to disengage
"As tending to a freedom which rejects
"Such help and incorporeally affects
"The world, producing deeds but not by deeds,
"Swaying, in others, frames itself exceeds,
"Assigning them the simpler tasks it used
"To patiently perform till Song produced
"Acts, by thoughts only, for the mind: divest
"Mind of e'en Thought, and, lo, God's unexpressed
"Will draws above us! All then is to win
"Save that. How much for me, then? where begin
"My work? About me, faces! and they flock,
"The earnest faces. What shall I unlock
"By song? behold me prompt, whate'er it be,
"To minister: how much can mortals see
"Of Life? No more than so? I take the task
"And marshal you Life's elemental masque,
"Show Men, on evil or on good lay stress,
"This light, this shade make prominent, suppress
"All ordinary hues that softening blend
"Such natures with the level. Apprehend
"Which sinner is, which saint, if I allot
"Hell, Purgatory, Heaven, a blaze or blot,
"To those you doubt concerning! I enwomb
"Some wretched Friedrich with his red-hot tomb;
"Some dubious spirit, Lombard Agilulph
"With the black chastening river I engulph!
"Some unapproached Matilda I enshrine
"With languors of the planet of decline
"These, fail to recognize, to arbitrate
"Between henceforth, to rightly estimate
"Thus marshalled in the masque! Myself, the while,
"As one of you, am witness, shrink or smile
"At my own showing! Next agewhat 's to do?
"The men and women stationed hitherto
"Will I unstation, good and bad, conduct
"Each nature to its farthest, or obstruct
"At soonest, in the world: light, thwarted, breaks
"A limpid purity to rainbow flakes,
"Or shadow, massed, freezes to gloom: behold
"How such, with fit assistance to unfold,
"Or obstacles to crush them, disengage
"Their forms, love, hate, hope, fear, peace make, war wage,
"In presence of you all! Myself, implied
"Superior now, as, by the platform's side,
"I bade them do and suffer,would last content
"The world . . . nothat 's too far! I circumvent
"A few, my masque contented, and to these
"Offer unveil the last of mysteries
"Man's inmost life shall have yet freer play:
"Once more I cast external things away,
"And natures composite, so decompose
"That" . . . Why, he writes Sordello!
                    "How I rose,
"And how have you advanced! since evermore
"Yourselves effect what I was fain before
"Effect, what I supplied yourselves suggest,
"What I leave bare yourselves can now invest.
"How we attain to talk as brothers talk,
"In half-words, call things by half-names, no balk
"From discontinuing old aids. To-day
"Takes in account the work of Yesterday:
"Has not the world a Past now, its adept
"Consults ere he dispense with or accept
"New aids? a single touch more may enhance,
"A touch less turn to insignificance
"Those structures' symmetry the past has strewed
"The world with, once so bare. Leave the mere rude
"Explicit details! 't is but brother's speech
"We need, speech where an accent's change gives each
"The other's soulno speech to understand
"By former audience: need was then to expand,
"Expatiatehardly were we brothers! true
"Nor I lament my small remove from you,
"Nor reconstruct what stands already. Ends
"Accomplished turn to means: my art intends
"New structure from the ancient: as they changed
"The spoils of every clime at Venice, ranged
"The horned and snouted Libyan god, upright
"As in his desert, by some simple bright
"Clay cinerary pitcherThebes as Rome,
"Athens as Byzant rifled, till their Dome
"From earth's reputed consummations razed
"A seal, the all-transmuting Triad blazed
"Above. Ah, whose that fortune? Ne'ertheless
"E'en he must stoop contented to express
"No tithe of what 's to saythe vehicle
"Never sufficient: but his work is still
"For faces like the faces that select
"The single service I am bound effect,
"That bid me cast aside such fancies, bow
"Taurello to the Guelf cause, disallow
"The Kaiser's comingwhich with heart, soul, strength,
"I labour for, this eve, who feel at length
"My past career's outrageous vanity,
"And would, as its amends, die, even die
"Now I first estimate the boon of life,
"If death might win compliancesure, this strife
"Is right for oncethe People my support."
My poor Sordello! what may we extort
By this, I wonder? Palma's lighted eyes
Turned to Taurello who, long past surprise,
Began, "You love himwhat you 'd say at large
"Let me say briefly. First, your father's charge
"To me, his friend, peruse: I guessed indeed
"You were no stranger to the course decreed.
"He bids me leave his children to the saints:
"As for a certain project, he acquaints
"The Pope with that, and offers him the best
"Of your possessions to permit the rest
"Go peaceablyto Ecelin, a stripe
"Of soil the cursed Vicentines will gripe,
"To Alberic, a patch the Trevisan
"Clutches already; extricate, who can,
"Treville, Villarazzi, Puissolo,
"Loria and Cartiglione!all must go,
"And with them go my hopes. 'T is lost, then! Lost
"This eve, our crisis, and some pains it cost
"Procuring; thirty yearsas good I'd spent
"Like our admonisher! But each his bent
"Pursues: no question, one might live absurd
"Oneself this while, by deed as he by word
"Persisting to obtrude an influence where
"'T is made account of, much as . . . nay, you fare
"With twice the fortune, youngster!I submit,
"Happy to parallel my waste of wit
"With the renowned Sordello's: you decide
"A course for me. Romano may abide
"Romano,Bacchus! After all, what dearth
"Of Ecelins and Alberics on earth?
"Say there 's a prize in prospect, must disgrace
"Betide competitors, unless they style
"Themselves Romano? Were it worth my while
"To try my own luck! But an obscure place
"Suits methere wants a youth to bustle, stalk
"And attitudinizesome fight, more talk,
"Most flaunting badgeshow, I might make clear
"Since Friedrich's very purposes lie here
"Here, pity they are like to lie! For me,
"With station fixed unceremoniously
"Long since, small use contesting; I am but
"The liegemanyou are born the lieges: shut
"That gentle mouth now! or resume your kin
"In your sweet self; were Palma Ecelin
"For me to work with! Could that neck endure
"This bauble for a cumbrous garniture,
"She should . . . or might one bear it for her? Stay
"I have not been so flattered many a day
"As by your pale friendBacchus! The least help
"Would lick the hind's fawn to a lion's whelp:
"His neck is broad enougha ready tongue
"Beside: too writhledbut, the main thing, young
"I could . . . why, look ye!"
               And the badge was thrown
Across Sordello's neck: "This badge alone
"Makes you Romano's Headbecomes superb
"On your bare neck, which would, on mine, disturb
"The pauldron," said Taurello. A mad act,
Nor even dreamed about beforein fact,
Not when his sportive arm rose for the nonce
But he had dallied overmuch, this once,
With power: the thing was done, and he, aware
The thing was done, proceeded to declare
(So like a nature made to serve, excel
In serving, only feel by service well!)
That he would make Sordello that and more.
"As good a scheme as any. What 's to pore
"At in my face?" he asked"ponder instead
"This piece of news; you are Romano's Head!
"One cannot slacken pace so near the goal,
"Suffer my Azzo to escape heart-whole
"This time! For you there 's Palma to espouse
"For me, one crowning trouble ere I house
"Like my compeer."
         On which ensued a strange
And solemn visitation; there came change
O'er every one of them; each looked on each:
Up in the midst a truth grew, without speech.
And when the giddiness sank and the haze
Subsided, they were sitting, no amaze,
Sordello with the baldric on, his sire
Silent, though his proportions seemed aspire
Momently; and, interpreting the thrill,
Night at its ebb,Palma was found there still
Relating somewhat Adelaide confessed
A year ago, while dying on her breast,
Of a contrivance, that Vicenza night
When Ecelin had birth. "Their convoy's flight,
"Cut off a moment, coiled inside the flame
"That wallowed like a dragon at his game
"The toppling city throughSan Biagio rocks!
"And wounded lies in her delicious locks
"Retrude, the frail mother, on her face,
"None of her wasted, just in one embrace
"Covering her child: when, as they lifted her,
"Cleaving the tumult, mighty, mightier
"And mightiest Taurello's cry outbroke,
"Leapt like a tongue of fire that cleaves the smoke,
"Midmost to cheer his Mantuans onwarddrown
"His colleague Ecelin's clamour, up and down
"The disarray: failed Adelaide see then
"Who was the natural chief, the man of men?
"Outstripping time, her infant there burst swathe,
"Stood up with eyes haggard beyond the scathe
"From wandering after his heritage
"Lost once and lost for aye: and why that rage,
"That deprecating glance? A new shape leant
"On a familiar shapegloatingly bent
"O'er his discomfiture; 'mid wreaths it wore,
"Still one outflamed the resther child's before
"'T was Salinguerra's for his child: scorn, hate,
"Rage now might startle her when all too late!
"Then was the moment!rival's foot had spurned
"Never that House to earth else! Sense returned
"The act conceived, adventured and complete,
"They bore away to an obscure retreat
"Mother and childRetrude's self not slain"
(Nor even here Taurello moved) "though pain
"Was fled; and what assured them most 't was fled,
"All pain, was, if they raised the pale hushed head
"'T would turn this way and that, waver awhile,
"And only settle into its old smile
"(Graceful as the disquieted water-flag
"Steadying itself, remarked they, in the quag
"On either side their path)when suffered look
"Down on her child. They marched: no sign once shook
"The company's close litter of crossed spears
"Till, as they reached Goito, a few tears
"Slipped in the sunset from her long black lash,
"And she was gone. So far the action rash;
"No crime. They laid Retrude in the font,
"Taurello's very gift, her child was wont
"To sit beneathconstant as eve he came
"To sit by its attendant girls the same
"As one of them. For Palma, she would blend
"With this magnific spirit to the end,
"That ruled her first; but scarcely had she dared
"To disobey the Adelaide who scared
"Her into vowing never to disclose
"A secret to her husband, which so froze
"His blood at half-recital, she contrived
"To hide from him Taurello's infant lived,
"Lest, by revealing that, himself should mar
"Romano's fortunes. And, a crime so far,
"Palma received that action: she was told
"Of Salinguerra's nature, of his cold
"Calm acquiescence in his lot! But free
"To impart the secret to Romano, she
"Engaged to repossess Sordello of
"His heritage, and hers, and that way doff
"The mask, but after years, long years: while now,
"Was not Romano's sign-mark on that brow?"
Across Taurello's heart his arms were locked:
And when he did speak 't was as if he mocked
The minstrel, "who had not to move," he said,
"Nor stirshould fate defraud him of a shred
"Of his son's infancy? much less his youth!"
(Laughingly all this)"which to aid, in truth,
"Himself, reserved on purpose, had not grown
"Old, not too old't was best they kept alone
"Till now, and never idly met till now;"
Then, in the same breath, told Sordello how
All intimations of this eve's event
Were lies, for Friedrich must advance to Trent,
Thence to Verona, then to Rome, there stop,
Tumble the Church down, institute a-top
The Alps a Prefecture of Lombardy:
"That 's now!no prophesying what may be
"Anon, with a new monarch of the clime,
"Native of Gesi, passing his youth's prime
"At Naples. Tito bids my choice decide
"On whom . . ."
        "Embrace him, madman!" Palma cried,
Who through the laugh saw sweat-drops burst apace,
And his lips blanching: he did not embrace
Sordello, but he laid Sordello's hand
On his own eyes, mouth, forehead.
                 Understand,
This while Sordello was becoming flushed
Out of his whiteness; thoughts rushed, fancies rushed;
He pressed his hand upon his head and signed
Both should forbear him. "Nay, the best 's behind!"
Taurello laughednot quite with the same laugh:
"The truth is, thus we scatter, ay, like chaff
"These Guelfs, a despicable monk recoils
"From: nor expect a fickle Kaiser spoils
"Our triumph!Friedrich? Think you, I intend
"Friedrich shall reap the fruits of blood I spend
"And brain I waste? Think you, the people clap
"Their hands at my out-hewing this wild gap
"For any Friedrich to fill up? 'T is mine
"That 's yours: I tell you, towards some such design
"Have I worked blindly, yes, and idly, yes,
"And for another, yesbut worked no less
"With instinct at my heart; I else had swerved,
"While nowlook round! My cunning has preserved
"Samminiatothat 's a central place
"Secures us Florence, boy,in Pisa's case.
"By land as she by sea; with Pisa ours,
"And Florence, and Pistoia, one devours
"The land at leisure! Gloriously dispersed
"Brescia, observe, Milan, Piacenza first
"That flanked us (ah, you know not!) in the March;
"On these we pile, as keystone of our arch,
"Romagna and Bologna, whose first span
"Covered the Trentine and the Valsugan;
"Sofia's Egna by Bolgiano 's sure!" . . .
So he proceeded: half of all this, pure
Delusion, doubtless, nor the rest too true,
But what was undone he felt sure to do,
As ring by ring he wrung off, flung away
The pauldron-rings to give his sword-arm play
Need of the sword now! That would soon adjust
Aught wrong at present; to the sword intrust
Sordello's whiteness, undersize: 't was plain
He hardly rendered right to his own brain
Like a brave hound, men educate to pride
Himself on speed or scent nor aught beside,
As though he could not, gift by gift, match men!
Palma had listened patiently: but when
'T was time expostulate, attempt withdraw
Taurello from his child, she, without awe
Took off his iron arms from, one by one,
Sordello's shrinking shoulders, and, that done,
Made him avert his visage and relieve
Sordello (you might see his corslet heave
The while) who, loose, rosetried to speak, then sank:
They left him in the chamber. All was blank.
And even reeling down the narrow stair
Taurello kept up, as though unaware
Palma was by to guide him, the old device
Something of Milan"how we muster thrice
"The Torriani's strength there; all along
"Our own Visconti cowed them"thus the song
Continued even while she bade him stoop,
Thrid somehow, by some glimpse of arrow-loop,
The turnings to the gallery below,
Where he stopped short as Palma let him go.
When he had sat in silence long enough
Splintering the stone bench, braving a rebuff
She stopped the truncheon; only to commence
One of Sordello's poems, a pretence
For speaking, some poor rhyme of "Elys' hair
"And head that 's sharp and perfect like a pear,
"So smooth and close are laid the few fine locks
"Stained like pale honey oozed from topmost rocks
"Sun-blanched the livelong summer"from his worst
Performance, the Goito, as his first:
And that at end, conceiving from the brow
And open mouth no silence would serve now,
Went on to say the whole world loved that man
And, for that matter, thought his face, tho' wan,
Eclipsed the Count'she sucking in each phrase
As if an angel spoke. The foolish praise
Ended, he drew her on his mailed knees, made
Her face a framework with his hands, a shade,
A crown, an aureole: there must she remain
(Her little mouth compressed with smiling pain
As in his gloves she felt her tresses twitch)
To get the best look at, in fittest niche
Dispose his saint. That done, he kissed her brow,
"Lauded her father for his treason now,"
He told her, "only, how could one suspect
"The wit in him?whose clansman, recollect,
`Was ever Salinguerrashe, the same,
"Romano and his ladyso, might claim
"To know all, as she should"and thus begun
Schemes with a vengeance, schemes on schemes, "not one
"Fit to be told that foolish boy," he said,
"But only let Sordello Palma wed,
"Then!"
     'T was a dim long narrow place at best:
Midway a sole grate showed the fiery West,
As shows its corpse the world's end some split tomb
A gloom, a rift of fire, another gloom,
Faced Palmabut at length Taurello set
Her free; the grating held one ragged jet
Of fierce gold fire: he lifted her within
The hollow underneathhow else begin
Fate's second marvellous cycle, else renew
The ages than with Palma plain in view?
Then paced the passage, hands clenched, head erect,
Pursuing his discourse; a grand unchecked
Monotony made out from his quick talk
And the recurring noises of his walk;
Somewhat too much like the o'ercharged assent
Of two resolved friends in one danger blent,
Who hearten each the other against heart;
Boasting there 's nought to care for, when, apart
The boaster, all 's to care for. He, beside
Some shape not visible, in power and pride
Approached, out of the dark, ginglingly near,
Nearer, passed close in the broad light, his ear
Crimson, eyeballs suffused, temples full-fraught,
Just a snatch of the rapid speech you caught,
And on he strode into the opposite dark,
Till presently the harsh heel's turn, a spark
I' the stone, and whirl of some loose embossed throng
That crashed against the angle aye so long
After the last, punctual to an amount
Of mailed great paces you could not but count,
Prepared you for the pacing back again.
And by the snatches you might ascertain
That, Friedrich's Prefecture surmounted, left
By this alone in Italy, they cleft
Asunder, crushed together, at command
Of none, were free to break up Hildebrand,
Rebuild, he and Sordello, Charlemagne
But garnished, Strength with Knowledge, "if we deign
"Accept that compromise and stoop to give
"Rome law, the Csar's Representative."
Enough, that the illimitable flood
Of triumphs after triumphs, understood
In its faint reflux (you shall hear) sufficed
Young Ecelin for appanage, enticed
Him on till, these long quiet in their graves,
He found 't was looked for that a whole life's braves
Should somehow be made good; so, weak and worn,
Must stagger up at Milan, one grey morn
Of the to-come, and fight his latest fight.
But, Salinguerra's prophecy at height
He voluble with a raised arm and stiff,
A blaring voice, a blazing eye, as if
He had our very Italy to keep
Or cast away, or gather in a heap
To garrison the betteray, his word
Was, "run the cucumber into a gourd,
"Drive Trent upon Apulia"at their pitch
Who spied the continents and islands which
Grew mulberry leaves and sickles, in the map
(Strange that three such confessions so should hap
To Palma, Dante spoke with in the clear
Amorous silence of the Swooning-sphere,
Cunizza, as he called her! Never ask
Of Palma more! She sat, knowing her task
Was done, the labour of it,for, success
Concerned not Palma, passion's votaress.)
Triumph at neight, and thus Sordello crowned
Above the passage suddenly a sound
Stops speech, stops walk: back shrinks Taurello, bids
With large involuntary asking lids,
Palma interpret. "'T is his own foot-stamp
"Your hand! His summons! Nay, this idle damp
"Befits not!" Out they two reeled dizzily.
"Visconti 's strong at Milan," resumed he,
In the old, somewhat insignificant way
(Was Palma wont, years afterward, to say)
As though the spirit's flight, sustained thus far,
Dropped at that very instant.
               Gone they are
Palma, Taurello; Eglamor anon,
Ecelin,only Naddo 's never gone!
Labours, this moonrise, what the Master meant:
"Is Squarcialupo speckled?purulent,
"I 'd say, but when was Providence put out?
"He carries somehow handily about
"His spite nor fouls himself!" Goito's vines
Stand like a cheat detectedstark rough lines,
The moon breaks through, a grey mean scale against
The vault where, this eve's Maiden, thou remain'st
Like some fresh martyr, eyes fixedwho can tell?
As Heaven, now all 's at end, did not so well,
Spite of the faith and victory, to leave
Its virgin quite to death in the lone eve.
While the persisting hermit-bee . . . ha! wait
No longer: these in compass, forward fate!


~ Robert Browning, Sordello - Book the Fifth
,
303:class:Classics

BOOK THE NINTH

The Story of Achelous and Hercules

Theseus requests the God to tell his woes,
Whence his maim'd brow, and whence his groans arose
Whence thus the Calydonian stream reply'd,
With twining reeds his careless tresses ty'd:
Ungrateful is the tale; for who can bear,
When conquer'd, to rehearse the shameful war?
Yet I'll the melancholy story trace;
So great a conqu'ror softens the disgrace:
Nor was it still so mean the prize to yield,
As great, and glorious to dispute the field.
Perhaps you've heard of Deianira's name,
For all the country spoke her beauty's fame.
Long was the nymph by num'rous suitors woo'd,
Each with address his envy'd hopes pursu'd:
I joyn'd the loving band; to gain the fair,
Reveal'd my passion to her father's ear.
Their vain pretensions all the rest resign,
Alcides only strove to equal mine;
He boasts his birth from Jove, recounts his spoils,
His step-dame's hate subdu'd, and finish'd toils.

Can mortals then (said I), with Gods compare?
Behold a God; mine is the watry care:
Through your wide realms I take my mazy way,
Branch into streams, and o'er the region stray:
No foreign guest your daughter's charms adores,
But one who rises in your native shores.
Let not his punishment your pity move;
Is Juno's hate an argument for love?
Though you your life from fair Alcmena drew,
Jove's a feign'd father, or by fraud a true.
Chuse then; confess thy mother's honour lost,
Or thy descent from Jove no longer boast.

While thus I spoke, he look'd with stern disdain,
Nor could the sallies of his wrath restrain,
Which thus break forth. This arm decides our right;
Vanquish in words, be mine the prize in fight.

Bold he rush'd on. My honour to maintain,
I fling my verdant garments on the plain,
My arms stretch forth, my pliant limbs prepare,
And with bent hands expect the furious war.
O'er my sleek skin now gather'd dust he throws,
And yellow sand his mighty muscles strows.
Oft he my neck, and nimble legs assails,
He seems to grasp me, but as often fails.
Each part he now invades with eager hand;
Safe in my bulk, immoveable I stand.
So when loud storms break high, and foam and roar
Against some mole that stretches from the shore;
The firm foundation lasting tempests braves,
Defies the warring winds, and driving waves.

A-while we breathe, then forward rush amain,
Renew the combat, and our ground maintain;
Foot strove with foot, I prone extend my breast,
Hands war with hands, and forehead forehead prest.
Thus have I seen two furious bulls engage,
Inflam'd with equal love, and equal rage;
Each claims the fairest heifer of the grove,
And conquest only can decide their love:
The trembling herds survey the fight from far,
'Till victory decides th' important war.
Three times in vain he strove my joints to wrest,
To force my hold, and throw me from his breast;
The fourth he broke my gripe, that clasp'd him round,
Then with new force he stretch'd me on the ground;
Close to my back the mighty bur then clung,
As if a mountain o'er my limbs were flung.
Believe my tale; nor do I, boastful, aim
By feign'd narration to extol my fame.
No sooner from his grasp I freedom get,
Unlock my arms, that flow'd with trickling sweat,
But quick he seized me, and renew'd the strife,
As my exhausted bosom pants for life:
My neck he gripes, my knee to earth he strains;
I fall, and bite the sand with shame, and pains.

O'er-match'd in strength, to wiles, and arts I take,
And slip his hold, in form of speckled snake;
Who, when I wreath'd in spires my body round,
Or show'd my forky tongue with hissing sound,
Smiles at my threats: Such foes my cradle knew,
He cries, dire snakes my infant hand o'erthrew;
A dragon's form might other conquests gain,
To war with me you take that shape in vain.
Art thou proportion'd to the Hydra's length,
Who by his wounds receiv'd augmented strength?
He rais'd a hundred hissing heads in air;
When one I lopt, up-sprung a dreadful pair.
By his wounds fertile, and with slaughter strong,
Singly I quell'd him, and stretch'd dead along.
What canst thou do, a form precarious, prone,
To rouse my rage with terrors not thy own?
He said; and round my neck his hands he cast,
And with his straining fingers wrung me fast;
My throat he tortur'd, close as pincers clasp,
In vain I strove to loose the forceful grasp.

Thus vanquish'd too, a third form still remains,
Chang'd to a bull, my lowing fills the plains.
Strait on the left his nervous arms were thrown
Upon my brindled neck, and tugg'd it down;
Then deep he struck my horn into the sand,
And fell'd my bulk among the dusty land.
Nor yet his fury cool'd; 'twixt rage and scorn,
From my maim'd front he tore the stubborn horn:
This, heap'd with flow'rs, and fruits, the Naiads bear,
Sacred to plenty, and the bounteous year.

He spoke; when lo, a beauteous nymph appears,
Girt like Diana's train, with flowing hairs;
The horn she brings in which all Autumn's stor'd,
And ruddy apples for the second board.

Now morn begins to dawn, the sun's bright fire
Gilds the high mountains, and the youths retire;
Nor stay'd they, 'till the troubled stream subsides,
And in its bounds with peaceful current glides.
But Achelous in his oozy bed
Deep hides his brow deform'd, and rustick head:
No real wound the victor's triumph show'd,
But his lost honours griev'd the watry God;
Yet ev'n that loss the willow's leaves o'erspread,
And verdant reeds, in garlands, bind his head.

The Death of Nessus the Centaur

This virgin too, thy love, O Nessus, found,
To her alone you owe the fatal wound.
As the strong son of Jove his bride conveys,
Where his paternal lands their bulwarks raise;
Where from her slopy urn, Evenus pours
Her rapid current, swell'd by wintry show'rs,
He came. The frequent eddies whirl'd the tide,
And the deep rolling waves all pass deny'd.
As for himself, he stood unmov'd by fears,
For now his bridal charge employ'd his cares,
The strong-limb'd Nessus thus officious cry'd
(For he the shallows of the stream had try'd),
Swim thou, Alcides, all thy strength prepare,
On yonder bank I'll lodge thy nuptial care.

Th' Aonian chief to Nessus trusts his wife,
All pale, and trembling for her heroe's life:
Cloath'd as he stood in the fierce lion's hide,
The laden quiver o'er his shoulder ty'd
(For cross the stream his bow and club were cast),
Swift he plung'd in: These billows shall be past,
He said, nor sought where smoother waters glide,
But stem'd the rapid dangers of the tide.
The bank he reach'd; again the bow he bears;
When, hark! his bride's known voice alarms his ears.
Nessus, to thee I call (aloud he cries)
Vain is thy trust in flight, be timely wise:
Thou monster double-shap'd, my right set free;
If thou no rev'rence owe my fame and me,
Yet kindred should thy lawless lust deny;
Think not, perfidious wretch, from me to fly,
Tho' wing'd with horse's speed; wounds shall pursue;
Swift as his words the fatal arrow flew:
The centaur's back admits the feather'd wood,
And thro' his breast the barbed weapon stood;
Which when, in anguish, thro' the flesh he tore,
From both the wounds gush'd forth the spumy gore
Mix'd with Lernaean venom; this he took,
Nor dire revenge his dying breast forsook.
His garment, in the reeking purple dy'd,
To rouse love's passion, he presents the bride.

The Death of Hercules

Now a long interval of time succeeds,
When the great son of Jove's immortal deeds,
And step-dame's hate, had fill'd Earth's utmost round;
He from Oechalia, with new lawrels crown'd,
In triumph was return'd. He rites prepares,
And to the King of Gods directs his pray'rs;
When Fame (who falshood cloaths in truth's disguise,
And swells her little bulk with growing lies)
Thy tender ear, o Deianira, mov'd,
That Hercules the fair Iole lov'd.
Her love believes the tale; the truth she fears
Of his new passion, and gives way to tears.
The flowing tears diffus'd her wretched grief,
Why seek I thus, from streaming eyes, relief?
She cries; indulge not thus these fruitless cares,
The harlot will but triumph in thy tears:
Let something be resolv'd, while yet there's time;
My bed not conscious of a rival's crime.
In silence shall I mourn, or loud complain?
Shall I seek Calydon, or here remain?
What tho', ally'd to Meleager's fame,
I boast the honours of a sister's name?
My wrongs, perhaps, now urge me to pursue
Some desp'rate deed, by which the world shall view
How far revenge, and woman's rage can rise,
When weltring in her blood the harlot dies.

Thus various passions rul'd by turns her breast,
She now resolves to send the fatal vest,
Dy'd with Lernaean gore, whose pow'r might move
His soul anew, and rouse declining love.
Nor knew she what her sudden rage bestows,
When she to Lychas trusts her future woes;
With soft endearments she the boy commands,
To bear the garment to her husband's hands.

Th' unwitting hero takes the gift in haste,
And o'er his shoulders Lerna's poison cast,
As first the fire with frankincense he strows,
And utters to the Gods his holy vows;
And on the marble altar's polish'd frame
Pours forth the grapy stream; the rising flame
Sudden dissolves the subtle pois'nous juice,
Which taints his blood, and all his nerves bedews.
With wonted fortitude he bore the smart,
And not a groan confess'd his burning heart.
At length his patience was subdu'd by pain,
He rends the sacred altar from the plain;
Oete's wide forests echo with his cries:
Now to rip off the deathful robe he tries.
Where-e'er he plucks the vest, the skin he tears,
The mangled muscles, and huge bones he bares
(A ghastful sight!), or raging with his pain,
To rend the sticking plague he tugs in vain.

As the red iron hisses in the flood,
So boils the venom in his curdling blood.
Now with the greedy flame his entrails glow,
And livid sweats down all his body flow;
The cracking nerves burnt up are burst in twain,
The lurking venom melts his swimming brain.

Then, lifting both his hands aloft, he cries,
Glut thy revenge, dread Empress of the skies;
Sate with my death the rancour of thy heart,
Look down with pleasure, and enjoy my smart.
Or, if e'er pity mov'd a hostile breast
(For here I stand thy enemy profest),
Take hence this hateful life, with tortures torn,
Inur'd to trouble, and to labours born.
Death is the gift most welcome to my woe,
And such a gift a stepdame may bestow.
Was it for this Busiris was subdu'd,
Whose barb'rous temples reek'd with strangers' blood?
Press'd in these arms his fate Antaeus found,
Nor gain'd recruited vigour from the ground.
Did I not triple-form'd Geryon fell?
Or did I fear the triple dog of Hell?
Did not these hands the bull's arm'd forehead hold?
Are not our mighty toils in Elis told?
Do not Stymphalian lakes proclaim thy fame?
And fair Par thenian woods resound thy name?
Who seiz'd the golden belt of Thermodon?
And who the dragon-guarded apples won?
Could the fierce centaur's strength my force withstand,
Or the fell boar that spoil'd th' Arcadian land?
Did not these arms the Hydra's rage subdue,
Who from his wounds to double fury grew?
What if the Thracian horses, fat with gore,
Who human bodies in their mangers tore,
I saw, and with their barb'rous lord o'erthrew?
What if these hands Nemaea's lion slew?
Did not this neck the heav'nly globe sustain?
The female partner of the Thunderer's reign
Fatigu'd, at length suspends her harsh commands,
Yet no fatigue hath slack'd these valiant hands.
But now new plagues pursue me, neither force,
Nor arms, nor darts can stop their raging course.
Devouring flame thro' my rack'd entrails strays,
And on my lungs and shrivel'd muscles preys.
Yet still Eurystheus breathes the vital air.
What mortal now shall seek the Gods with pray'r?

The Transformation of Lychas into a Rock

The hero said; and with the torture stung,
Furious o'er Oete's lofty hills he sprung.
Stuck with the shaft, thus scours the tyger round,
And seeks the flying author of his wound.
Now might you see him trembling, now he vents
His anguish'd soul in groans, and loud laments;
He strives to tear the clinging vest in vain,
And with up-rooted forests strows the plain;
Now kindling into rage, his hands he rears,
And to his kindred Gods directs his pray'rs.
When Lychas, lo, he spies; who trembling flew,
And in a hollow rock conceal'd from view,
Had shun'd his wrath. Now grief renew'd his pain,
His madness chaf'd, and thus he raves again.

Lychas, to thee alone my fate I owe,
Who bore the gift, the cause of all my woe.
The youth all pale, with shiv'ring fear was stung,
And vain excuses falter'd on his tongue.
Alcides snatch'd him, as with suppliant face
He strove to clasp his knees, and beg for grace:
He toss'd him o'er his head with airy course,
And hurl'd with more than with an engine's force;
Far o'er th' Eubaean main aloof he flies,
And hardens by degrees amid the skies.
So showry drops, when chilly tempests blow,
Thicken at first, then whiten into snow,
In balls congeal'd the rolling fleeces bound,
In solid hail result upon the ground.
Thus, whirl'd with nervous force thro' distant air,
The purple tide forsook his veins, with fear;
All moisture left his limbs. Transform'd to stone,
In ancient days the craggy flint was known;
Still in the Eubaean waves his front he rears,
Still the small rock in human form appears,
And still the name of hapless Lychas bears.

The Apotheosis of Hercules

But now the hero of immortal birth
Fells Oete's forests on the groaning Earth;
A pile he builds; to Philoctetes' care
He leaves his deathful instruments of war;
To him commits those arrows, which again
Shall see the bulwarks of the Trojan reign.
The son of Paean lights the lofty pyre,
High round the structure climbs the greedy fire;
Plac'd on the top, thy nervous shoulders spread
With the Nemaean spoils, thy careless head
Rais'd on a knotty club, with look divine,
Here thou, dread hero, of celestial line,
Wert stretch'd at ease; as when a chearful guest,
Wine crown'd thy bowls, and flow'rs thy temples drest.

Now on all sides the potent flames aspire,
And crackle round those limbs that mock the fire
A sudden terror seiz'd th' immortal host,
Who thought the world's profess'd defender lost.
This when the Thund'rer saw, with smiles he cries,
'Tis from your fears, ye Gods, my pleasures rise;
Joy swells my breast, that my all-ruling hand
O'er such a grateful people boasts command,
That you my suff'ring progeny would aid;
Tho' to his deeds this just respect be paid,
Me you've oblig'd. Be all your fears forborn,
Th' Oetean fires do thou, great hero, scorn.
Who vanquish'd all things, shall subdue the flame.
That part alone of gross maternal frame
Fire shall devour; while what from me he drew
Shall live immortal, and its force subdue;
That, when he's dead, I'll raise to realms above;
May all the Pow'rs the righteous act approve.
If any God dissent, and judge too great
The sacred honours of the heav'nly seat,
Ev'n he shall own his deeds deserve the sky,
Ev'n he reluctant, shall at length comply.
Th' assembled Pow'rs assent. No frown 'till now
Had mark'd with passion vengeful Juno's brow,
Mean-while whate'er was in the pow'r of flame
Was all consum'd; his body's nervous frame
No more was known, of human form bereft,
Th' eternal part of Jove alone was left.
As an old serpent casts his scaly vest,
Wreathes in the sun, in youthful glory drest;
So when Alcides mortal mold resign'd,
His better part enlarg'd, and grew refin'd;
August his visage shone; almighty Jove
In his swift carr his honour'd offspring drove;
High o'er the hollow clouds the coursers fly,
And lodge the hero in the starry sky.

The Transformation of Galanthis

Atlas perceiv'd the load of Heav'n's new guest.
Revenge still rancour'd in Eurystheus' breast
Against Alcides' race. Alcmena goes
To Iole, to vent maternal woes;
Here she pours forth her grief, recounts the spoils
Her son had bravely reap'd in glorious toils.
This Iole, by Hercules' commands,
Hyllus had lov'd, and joyn'd in nuptial bands.
Her swelling womb the teeming birth confess'd,
To whom Alcmena thus her speech address'd.

O, may the Gods protect thee, in that hour,
When, 'midst thy throws, thou call'st th' Ilithyan Pow'r!

May no delays prolong thy racking pain,
As when I su'd for Juno's aid in vain.

When now Alcides' mighty birth drew nigh,
And the tenth sign roll'd forward on the sky,
My womb extends with such a mighty load,
As Jove the parent of the bur then show'd.
I could no more th' encreasing smart sustain,
My horror kindles to recount the pain;
Cold chills my limbs while I the tale pursue,
And now methinks I feel my pangs anew.
Seven days and nights amidst incessant throws,
Fatigu'd with ills I lay, nor knew repose;
When lifting high my hands, in shrieks I pray'd,
Implor'd the Gods, and call'd Lucina's aid.
She came, but prejudic'd, to give my Fate
A sacrifice to vengeful Juno's hate.
She hears the groaning anguish of my fits,
And on the altar at my door she sits.
O'er her left knee her crossing leg she cast,
Then knits her fingers close, and wrings them fast:
This stay'd the birth; in mutt'ring verse she pray'd,
The mutt'ring verse th' unfinish'd birth delay'd.
Now with fierce struggles, raging with my pain,
At Jove's ingratitude I rave in vain.
How did I wish for death! such groans I sent,
As might have made the flinty heart relent.

Now the Cadmeian matrons round me press,
Offer their vows, and seek to bring redress;
Among the Theban dames Galanthis stands,
Strong limb'd, red hair'd, and just to my commands:
She first perceiv'd that all these racking woes
From the persisting hate of Juno rose.
As here and there she pass'd, by chance she sees
The seated Goddess; on her close-press'd knees
Her fast-knit hands she leans; with chearful voice
Galanthis cries, Whoe'er thou art, rejoyce,
Congratulate the dame, she lies at rest,
At length the Gods Alcmena's womb have blest.
Swift from her seat the startled Goddess springs,
No more conceal'd, her hands abroad she flings;
The charm unloos'd, the birth my pangs reliev'd;
Galanthis' laughter vex'd the Pow'r deceiv'd.
Fame says, the Goddess dragg'd the laughing maid
Fast by the hair; in vain her force essay'd
Her grov'ling body from the ground to rear;
Chang'd to fore-feet her shrinking arms appear:
Her hairy back her former hue retains,
The form alone is lost; her strength remains;
Who, since the lye did from her mouth proceed,
Shall from her pregnant mouth bring forth her breed;
Nor shall she quit her long-frequented home,
But haunt those houses where she lov'd to roam.

The Fable of Dryope

She said, and for her lost Galanthis sighs;
When the fair consort of her son replies;
Since you a servant's ravish'd form bemoan,
And kindly sigh for sorrows not your own,
Let me (if tears and grief permit) relate
A nearer woe, a sister's stranger fate.

No nymph of all Oechaloa could compare
For beauteous form with Dryope the fair;
Her tender mother's only hope and pride
(My self the offspring of a second bride),
This nymph, compress'd by him who rules the day,
Whom Delphi, and the Delian isle obey,
Andraemon lov'd; and blest in all those charms
That pleas'd a God, succeeded to her arms.

A lake there was, with shelving banks around,
Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd.
Those shades, unknowing of the fates, she sought;
And to the Naiads flow'ry garlands brought;
Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she prest
Between her arms, and nourish'd at her breast.
Not distant far a watry lotos grows;
The Spring was new, and all the verdant boughs,
Acorn'd with blossoms, promis'd fruits that vye
In glowing colours with the Tyrian dye.
Of these she cropt, to please her infant son,
And I my self the same rash act had done,
But, lo! I saw (as near her side I stood)
The violated blossoms drop with blood;
Upon the tree I cast a frightful look,
The trembling tree with sudden horror shook.
Lotis the nymph (if rural tales be true)
As from Priapus' lawless lust she flew,
Forsook her form; and fixing here became
A flow'ry plant, which still preserves her name.

This change unknown, astonish'd at the sight,
My trembling sister strove to urge her flight;
Yet first the pardon of the Nymphs implor'd,
And those offended Sylvan pow'rs ador'd:
But when she backward would have fled, she found
Her stiff'ning feet were rooted to the ground:
In vain to free her fasten'd feet she strove,
And as she struggles only moves above;
She feels th' incroaching bark around her grow,
By slow degrees, and cover all below:
Surpriz'd at this, her trembling hand she heaves
To rend her hair; her hand is fill'd with leaves;
Where late was hair, the shooting leaves are seen
To rise, and shade her with a sudden green.
The Child Amphisus, to her bosom prest,
Perceiv'd a colder and a harder breast,
And found the springs, that n'er 'till then deny'd
Their milky moisture, on a sudden dry'd.
I saw, unhappy, what I now relate,
And stood the helpless witness of thy fate;
Embrac'd thy boughs, the rising bark delay'd,
There wish'd to grow, and mingle shade with shade.

Behold Andraemon, and th' unhappy sire
Appear, and for their Dryope enquire;
A springing tree for Dryope they find,
And print warm kisses on the panting rind;
Prostrate, with tears their kindred plant bedew,
And close embrac'd, as to the roots they grew;
The face was all that now remain'd of thee;
No more a woman, nor yet quite a tree:
Thy branches hung with humid pearls appear,
From ev'ry leaf distills a trickling tear;
And strait a voice, while yet a voice remains,
Thus thro' the trembling boughs in sighs complains.

If to the wretched any faith be giv'n,
I swear by all th' unpitying Pow'rs of Heav'n,
No wilful crime this heavy vengeance bred,
In mutual innocence our lives we led.
If this be false, let these new greens decay,
Let sounding axes lop my limbs away,
And crackling flames on all my honours prey.
Now from my branching arms this infant bear,
Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care;
Yet to his mother let him oft be led,
Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed;
Teach him, when first his infant voice shall frame
Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name,
To hail this tree, and say with weeping eyes,
Within this plant my hapless parent lies;
And when in youth he seeks the shady woods,
Oh, let him fly the chrystal lakes and floods,
Nor touch the fatal flow'rs; but warn'd by me,
Believe a Goddess shrin'd in ev'ry tree.
My sire, my sister, and my spouse farewel!
If in your breasts or love, or pity, dwell,
Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel
The browzing cattle, or the piercing steel.
Farewel! and since I cannot bend to join
My lips to yours, advance at least to mine.
My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive,
While yet thy mother has a kiss to give.
I can no more; the creeping rind invades
My closing lips, and hides my head in shades:
Remove your hands; the bark shall soon suffice,
Without their aid, to seal these dying eyes.
She ceas'd at once to speak, and ceas'd to be;
And all the nymph was lost within the tree:
Yet latent life thro' her new branches reign'd,
And long the plant a human heat retain'd.

Iolaus restor'd to Youth

While Iole the fatal change declares,
Alcmena's pitying hand oft wip'd her tears.
Grief too stream'd down her cheeks; soon sorrow flies,
And rising joy the trickling moisture dries,
Lo Iolaus stands before their eyes.
A youth he stood; and the soft down began
O'er his smooth chin to spread, and promise man.
Hebe submitted to her husband's pray'rs,
Instill'd new vigour, and restor'd his years.

The Prophecy of Themis

Now from her lips a solemn oath had past,
That Iolaus this gift alone shou'd taste,
Had not just Themis thus maturely said
(Which check'd her vow, and aw'd the blooming maid).

Thebes is embroil'd in war. Capaneus stands
Invincible, but by the Thund'rer's hands.
Ambition shall the guilty brothers fire,
Both rush to mutual wounds, and both expire.
The reeling Earth shall ope her gloomy womb,
Where the yet breathing bard shall find his tomb.
The son shall bath his hands in parents' blood,
And in one act be both unjust, and good.
Of home, and sense depriv'd, where-e'er he flies,
The Furies, and his mother's ghost he spies.
His wife the fatal bracelet shall implore,
And Phegeus stain his sword in kindred gore.
Callirhoe shall then with suppliant pray'r
Prevail on Jupiter's relenting ear.
Jove shall with youth her infant sons inspire,
And bid their bosoms glow with manly fire.

The Debate of the Gods

When Themis thus with prescient voice had spoke,
Among the Gods a various murmur broke;
Dissention rose in each immortal breast,
That one should grant, what was deny'd the rest.
Aurora for her aged spouse complains,
And Ceres grieves for Jason's freezing veins;
Vulcan would Erichthonius' years renew,
Her future race the care of Venus drew,
She would Anchises' blooming age restore;
A diff'rent care employ'd each heav'nly Pow'r:
Thus various int'rests did their jars encrease,
'Till Jove arose; he spoke, their tumults cease.

Is any rev'rence to our presence giv'n,
Then why this discord 'mong the Pow'rs of Heav'n?
Who can the settled will of Fate subdue?
'Twas by the Fates that Iolaus knew
A second youth. The Fates' determin'd doom
Shall give Callirhoe's race a youthful bloom.
Arms, nor ambition can this pow'r obtain;
Quell your desires; ev'n me the Fates restrain.
Could I their will controul, no rolling years
Had Aeacus bent down with silver hairs;
Then Rhadamanthus still had youth possess'd,
And Minos with eternal bloom been bless'd.
Jove's words the synod mov'd; the Pow'rs give o'er,
And urge in vain unjust complaint no more.
Since Rhadamanthus' veins now slowly flow'd,
And Aeacus, and Minos bore the load;
Minos, who in the flow'r of youth, and fame,
Made mighty nations tremble at his name,
Infirm with age, the proud Miletus fears,
Vain of his birth, and in the strength of years,
And now regarding all his realms as lost,
He durst not force him from his native coast.
But you by choice, Miletus, fled his reign,
And thy swift vessel plow'd th' Aegean main;
On Asiatick shores a town you frame,
Which still is honour'd with the founder's name.
Here you Cyanee knew, the beauteous maid,
As on her father's winding banks she stray'd:
Caunus and Byblis hence their lineage trace,
The double offspring of your warm embrace.

The Passion of of Byblis

Let the sad fate of wretched Byblis prove
A dismal warning to unlawful love;
One birth gave being to the hapless pair,
But more was Caunus than a sister's care;
Unknown she lov'd, for yet the gentle fire
Rose not in flames, nor kindled to desire,
'Twas thought no sin to wonder at his charms,
Hang on his neck, and languish in his arms;
Thus wing'd with joy, fled the soft hours away,
And all the fatal guilt on harmless Nature lay.

But love (too soon from piety declin'd)
Insensibly deprav'd her yielding mind.
Dress'd she appears, with nicest art adorn'd,
And ev'ry youth, but her lov'd brother, scorn'd;
For him alone she labour'd to be fair,
And curst all charms that might with hers compare.
'Twas she, and only she, must Caunus please,
Sick at her heart, yet knew not her disease:
She call'd him lord, for brother was a name
Too cold, and dull for her aspiring flame;
And when he spoke, if sister he reply'd,
For Byblis change that frozen word, she cry'd.
Yet waking still she watch'd her strugling breast,
And love's approaches were in vain address'd,
'Till gentle sleep an easy conquest made,
And in her soft embrace the conqueror was laid.
But oh too soon the pleasing vision fled,
And left her blushing on the conscious bed:
Ah me! (she cry'd) how monstrous do I seem?
Why these wild thoughts? and this incestuous dream?
Envy herself ('tis true) must own his charms,
But what is beauty in a sister's arms?
Oh were I not that despicable she,
How bless'd, how pleas'd, how happy shou'd I be!
But unregarded now must bear my pain,
And but in dreams, my wishes can obtain.

O sea-born Goddess! with thy wanton boy!
Was ever such a charming scene of joy?
Such perfect bliss! such ravishing delight!
Ne'er hid before in the kind shades of night.
How pleas'd my heart! in what sweet raptures tost!
Ev'n life it self in the soft combat lost,
While breathless he on my heav'd bosom lay,
And snatch'd the treasures of my soul away.

If the bare fancy so affects my mind,
How shou'd I rave if to the substance join'd?
Oh, gentle Caunus! quit thy hated line,
Or let thy parents be no longer mine!
Oh that in common all things were enjoy'd,
But those alone who have our hopes destroy'd.
Were I a princess, thou an humble swain,
The proudest kings shou'd rival thee in vain.
It cannot be, alas! the dreadful ill
Is fix'd by Fate, and he's my brother still.
Hear me, ye Gods! I must have friends in Heav'n,
For Jove himself was to a sister giv'n:
But what are their prerogatives above,
To the short liberties of human love?
Fantastick thoughts! down, down, forbidden fires,
Or instant death extinguish my desires.
Strict virtue, then, with thy malicious leave,
Without a crime I may a kiss receive:
But say shou'd I in spight of laws comply,
Yet cruel Caunus might himself deny,
No pity take of an afflicted maid
(For love's sweet game must be by couples play'd).
Yet why shou'd youth, and charms like mine, despair?
Such fears ne'er startled the Aeolian pair;
No ties of blood could their full hopes destroy,
They broke thro' all, for the prevailing joy;
And who can tell but Caunus too may be
Rack'd and tormented in his breast for me?
Like me, to the extreamest anguish drove,
Like me, just waking from a dream of love?
But stay! Oh whither wou'd my fury run!
What arguments I urge to be undone!
Away fond Byblis, quench these guilty flames;
Caunus thy love but as brother claims;
Yet had he first been touch'd with love of me,
The charming youth cou'd I despairing see?
Oppress'd with grief, and dying by disdain?
Ah no! too sure I shou'd have eas'd his pain!
Since then, if Caunus ask'd me, it were done;
Asking my self, what dangers can I run?
But canst thou ask? and see that right betray'd,
From Pyrrha down to thy whole sex convey'd?
That self-denying gift we all enjoy,
Of wishing to be won, yet seeming to be coy.
Well then, for once, let a fond mistress woo;
The force of love no custom can subdue;
This frantick passion he by words shall know,
Soft as the melting heart from whence they flow.
The pencil then in her fair hand she held,
By fear discourag'd, but by love compell'd
She writes, then blots, writes on, and blots again,
Likes it as fit, then razes it as vain:
Shame, and assurance in her face appear,
And a faint hope just yielding to despair;
Sister was wrote, and blotted as a word
Which she, and Caunus too (she hop'd) abhorr'd;
But now resolv'd to be no more controul'd
By scrup'lous virtue, thus her grief she told.

Thy lover (gentle Caunus) wishes thee
That health, which thou alone canst give to me.
O charming youth! the gift I ask bestow,
Ere thou the name of the fond writer know;
To thee without a name I would be known,
Since knowing that, my frailty I must own.
Yet why shou'd I my wretched name conceal?
When thousand instances my flames reveal:
Wan looks, and weeping eyes have spoke my pain,
And sighs discharg'd from my heav'd heart in vain;
Had I not wish'd my passion might be seen,
What cou'd such fondness and embraces mean?
Such kisses too! (Oh heedless lovely boy)
Without a crime no sister cou'd enjoy:
Yet (tho' extreamest rage has rack'd my soul,
And raging fires in my parch'd bosom roul)
Be witness, Gods! how piously I strove,
To rid my thoughts of this enchanting love.
But who cou'd scape so fierce, and sure a dart,
Aim'd at a tender, and defenceless heart?
Alas! what maid cou'd suffer, I have born,
Ere the dire secret from my breast was torn;
To thee a helpless vanquish'd wretch I come,
'Tis you alone can save, or give my doom;
My life, or death this moment you may chuse.
Yet think, oh think, no hated stranger sues,
No foe; but one, alas! too near ally'd,
And wishing still much nearer to be ty'd.
The forms of decency let age debate,
And virtue's rules by their cold morals state;
Their ebbing joys give leisure to enquire,
And blame those noble flights our youth inspire:
Where Nature kindly summons let us go,
Our sprightly years no bounds in love shou'd know,
Shou'd feel no check of guilt, and fear no ill;
Lovers, and Gods act all things at their will:
We gain one blessing from our hated kin,
Since our paternal freedom hides the sin;
Uncensur'd in each other's arms we lye,
Think then how easie to compleat our joy.
Oh, pardon and oblige a blushing maid,
Whose rage the pride of her vain sex betray'd;
Nor let my tomb thus mournfully complain,
Here Byblis lies, by her lov'd Caunus slain.

Forc'd here to end, she with a falling tear
Temper'd the pliant wax, which did the signet bear:
The curious cypher was impress'd by art,
But love had stamp'd one deeper in her heart;
Her page, a youth of confidence, and skill,
(Secret as night) stood waiting on her will;
Sighing (she cry'd): Bear this, thou faithful boy,
To my sweet partner in eternal joy:
Here a long pause her secret guilt confess'd,
And when at length she would have spoke the rest,
Half the dear name lay bury'd in her breast.

Thus as he listned to her vain command,
Down fell the letter from her trembling hand.
The omen shock'd her soul. Yet go, she cry'd;
Can a request from Byblis be deny'd?

To the Maeandrian youth this message's born,
The half-read lines by his fierce rage were torn;
Hence, hence, he cry'd, thou pandar to her lust,
Bear hence the triumph of thy impious trust:
Thy instant death will but divulge her shame,
Or thy life's blood shou'd quench the guilty flame.
Frighted, from threatning Caunus he withdrew,
And with the dreadful news to his lost mistress flew.
The sad repulse so struck the wounded fair,
Her sense was bury'd in her wild despair;
Pale was her visage, as the ghastly dead;
And her scar'd soul from the sweet mansion fled;
Yet with her life renew'd, her love returns,
And faintly thus her cruel fate she mourns:
'Tis just, ye Gods! was my false reason blind?
To write a secret of this tender kind?
With female craft I shou'd at first have strove,
By dubious hints to sound his distant love;
And try'd those useful, tho' dissembled, arts,
Which women practise on disdainful hearts:
I shou'd have watch'd whence the black storm might rise;

Ere I had trusted the unfaithful skies.
Now on the rouling billows I am tost,
And with extended sails, on the blind shelves am lost.
Did not indulgent Heav'n my doom foretell,
When from my hand the fatal letter fell?
What madness seiz'd my soul? and urg'd me on
To take the only course to be undone?
I cou'd my self have told the moving tale
With such alluring grace as must prevail;
Then had his eyes beheld my blushing fears,
My rising sighs, and my descending tears;
Round his dear neck these arms I then had spread,
And, if rejected, at his feet been dead:
If singly these had not his thoughts inclin'd,
Yet all united would have shock'd his mind.
Perhaps, my careless page might be in fault,
And in a luckless hour the fatal message brought;
Business, and worldly thoughts might fill his breast,
Sometimes ev'n love itself may be an irksome guest:
He cou'd not else have treated me with scorn,
For Caunus was not of a tygress born;
Nor steel, nor adamant has fenc'd his heart;
Like mine, 'tis naked to the burning dart.

Away false fears! he must, he shall be mine;
In death alone I will my claim resign;
'Tis vain to wish my written crime unknown,
And for my guilt much vainer to atone.
Repuls'd and baffled, fiercer still she burns,
And Caunus with disdain her impious love returns.
He saw no end of her injurious flame,
And fled his country to avoid the shame.
Forsaken Byblis, who had hopes no more;
Burst out in rage, and her loose robes she tore;
With her fair hands she smote her tender breast,
And to the wond'ring world her love confess'd;
O'er hills and dales, o'er rocks and streams she flew,
But still in vain did her wild lust pursue:
Wearied at length, on the cold earth she fell,
And now in tears alone could her sad story tell.
Relenting Gods in pity fix'd her there,
And to a fountain turn'd the weeping fair.

The Fable of Iphis and Ian the

The fame of this, perhaps, thro' Crete had flown:
But Crete had newer wonders of her own,
In Iphis chang'd; for, near the Gnossian bounds
(As loud report the miracle resounds),
At Phaestus dwelt a man of honest blood,
But meanly born, and not so rich as good;
Esteem'd, and lov'd by all the neighbourhood;
Who to his wife, before the time assign'd
For child-birth came, thus bluntly spoke his mind.
If Heav'n, said Lygdus, will vouchsafe to hear,
I have but two petitions to prefer;
Short pains for thee, for me a son and heir.
Girls cost as many throes in bringing forth;
Beside, when born, the titts are little worth;
Weak puling things, unable to sustain
Their share of labour, and their bread to gain.
If, therefore, thou a creature shalt produce,
Of so great charges, and so little use
(Bear witness, Heav'n, with what reluctancy),
Her hapless innocence I doom to die.
He said, and common tears the common grief display,
Of him who bad, and her who must obey.

Yet Telethusa still persists, to find
Fit arguments to move a father's mind;
T' extend his wishes to a larger scope,
And in one vessel not confine his hope.
Lygdus continues hard: her time drew near,
And she her heavy load could scarcely bear;
When slumbring, in the latter shades of night,
Before th' approaches of returning light,
She saw, or thought she saw, before her bed,
A glorious train, and Isis at their head:
Her moony horns were on her forehead plac'd,
And yellow shelves her shining temples grac'd:
A mitre, for a crown, she wore on high;
The dog, and dappl'd bull were waiting by;
Osyris, sought along the banks of Nile;
The silent God: the sacred crocodile;
And, last, a long procession moving on,
With timbrels, that assist the lab'ring moon.
Her slumbers seem'd dispell'd, and, broad awake,
She heard a voice, that thus distinctly spake.
My votary, thy babe from death defend,
Nor fear to save whate'er the Gods will send.
Delude with art thy husband's dire decree:
When danger calls, repose thy trust on me:
And know thou hast not serv'd a thankless deity.
This promise made, with night the Goddess fled;
With joy the woman wakes, and leaves her bed;
Devoutly lifts her spotless hands on high,
And prays the Pow'rs their gift to ratifie.

Now grinding pains proceed to bearing throes,
'Till its own weight the burden did disclose.
'Twas of the beauteous kind, and brought to light
With secrecy, to shun the father's sight.
Th' indulgent mother did her care employ,
And past it on her husb and for a boy.
The nurse was conscious of the fact alone;
The father paid his vows as for a son;
And call'd him Iphis, by a common name,
Which either sex with equal right may claim.
Iphis his grandsire was; the wife was pleas'd,
Of half the fraud by Fortune's favour eas'd:
The doubtful name was us'd without deceit,
And truth was cover'd with a pious cheat.
The habit show'd a boy, the beauteous face
With manly fierceness mingled female grace.

Now thirteen years of age were swiftly run,
When the fond father thought the time drew on
Of settling in the world his only son.
Ian the was his choice; so wondrous fair,
Her form alone with Iphis cou'd compare;
A neighbour's daughter of his own degree,
And not more bless'd with Fortune's goods than he.

They soon espous'd; for they with ease were join'd,
Who were before contracted in the mind.
Their age the same, their inclinations too;
And bred together, in one school they grew.
Thus, fatally dispos'd to mutual fires,
They felt, before they knew, the same desires.
Equal their flame, unequal was their care;
One lov'd with hope, one languish'd in despair.
The maid accus'd the lingring day alone:
For whom she thought a man, she thought her own.
But Iphis bends beneath a greater grief;
As fiercely burns, but hopes for no relief.
Ev'n her despair adds fuel to her fire;
A maid with madness does a maid desire.
And, scarce refraining tears, Alas, said she,
What issue of my love remains for me!
How wild a passion works within my breast,
With what prodigious flames am I possest!
Could I the care of Providence deserve,
Heav'n must destroy me, if it would preserve.
And that's my fate, or sure it would have sent
Some usual evil for my punishment:
Not this unkindly curse; to rage, and burn,
Where Nature shews no prospect of return.
Nor cows for cows consume with fruitless fire;
Nor mares, when hot, their fellow-mares desire:
The father of the fold supplies his ewes;
The stag through secret woods his hind pursues;
And birds for mates the males of their own species chuse.

Her females Nature guards from female flame,
And joins two sexes to preserve the game:
Wou'd I were nothing, or not what I am!
Crete, fam'd for monsters, wanted of her store,
'Till my new love produc'd one monster more.
The daughter of the sun a bull desir'd,
And yet ev'n then a male a female fir'd:
Her passion was extravagantly new,
But mine is much the madder of the two.
To things impossible she was not bent,
But found the means to compass her intent.
To cheat his eyes she took a different shape;
Yet still she gain'd a lover, and a leap.
Shou'd all the wit of all the world conspire,
Shou'd Daedalus assist my wild desire,
What art can make me able to enjoy,
Or what can change Ian the to a boy?
Extinguish then thy passion, hopeless maid,
And recollect thy reason for thy aid.
Know what thou art, and love as maidens ought,
And drive these golden wishes from thy thought.
Thou canst not hope thy fond desires to gain;
Where hope is wanting, wishes are in vain.

And yet no guards against our joys conspire;
No jealous husb and hinders our desire;
My parents are propitious to my wish,
And she herself consenting to the bliss.
All things concur to prosper our design;
All things to prosper any love but mine.
And yet I never can enjoy the fair;
'Tis past the pow'r of Heav'n to grant my pray'r.
Heav'n has been kind, as far as Heav'n can be;
Our parents with our own desires agree;
But Nature, stronger than the Gods above,
Refuses her assistance to my love;
She sets the bar that causes all my pain;
One gift refus'd, makes all their bounty vain.
And now the happy day is just at hand,
To bind our hearts in Hymen's holy band:
Our hearts, but not our bodies: thus accurs'd,
In midst of water I complain of thirst.
Why com'st thou, Juno, to these barren rites,
To bless a bed defrauded of delights?
But why shou'd Hymen lift his torch on high,
To see two brides in cold embraces lye?

Thus love-sick Iphis her vain passion mourns;
With equal ardour fair Ian the burns,
Invoking Hymen's name, and Juno's pow'r,
To speed the work, and haste the happy hour.

She hopes, while Telethusa fears the day,
And strives to interpose some new delay:
Now feigns a sickness, now is in a fright
For this bad omen, or that boding sight.
But having done whate'er she could devise,
And empty'd all her magazine of lies,
The time approach'd; the next ensuing day
The fatal secret must to light betray.
Then Telethusa had recourse to pray'r,
She, and her daughter with dishevel'd hair;
Trembling with fear, great Isis they ador'd,
Embrac'd her altar, and her aid implor'd.

Fair queen, who dost on fruitful Egypt smile,
Who sway'st the sceptre of the Pharian isle,
And sev'n-fold falls of disemboguing Nile,
Relieve, in this our last distress, she said,
A suppliant mother, and a mournful maid.
Thou, Goddess, thou wert present to my sight;
Reveal'd I saw thee by thy own fair light:
I saw thee in my dream, as now I see,
With all thy marks of awful majesty:
The glorious train that compass'd thee around;
And heard the hollow timbrels holy sound.
Thy words I noted, which I still retain;
Let not thy sacred oracles be vain.
That Iphis lives, that I myself am free
From shame, and punishment, I owe to thee.
On thy protection all our hopes depend.
Thy counsel sav'd us, let thy pow'r defend.

Her tears pursu'd her words; and while she spoke,
The Goddess nodded, and her altar shook:
The temple doors, as with a blast of wind,
Were heard to clap; the lunar horns that bind
The brows of Isis cast a blaze around;
The trembling timbrel made a murm'ring sound.

Some hopes these happy omens did impart;
Forth went the mother with a beating heart:
Not much in fear, nor fully satisfy'd;
But Iphis follow'd with a larger stride:
The whiteness of her skin forsook her face;
Her looks embolden'd with an awful grace;
Her features, and her strength together grew,
And her long hair to curling locks withdrew.
Her sparkling eyes with manly vigour shone,
Big was her voice, audacious was her tone.
The latent parts, at length reveal'd, began
To shoot, and spread, and burnish into man.
The maid becomes a youth; no more delay
Your vows, but look, and confidently pay.
Their gifts the parents to the temple bear:
The votive tables this inscription wear;
Iphis the man, has to the Goddess paid
The vows, that Iphis offer'd when a maid.

Now when the star of day had shewn his face,
Venus and Juno with their presence grace
The nuptial rites, and Hymen from above
Descending to compleat their happy love;
The Gods of marriage lend their mutual aid;
And the warm youth enjoys the lovely maid.

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~ Ovid, BOOK THE NINTH

,
304:BOOK THE FIRST

The Creation of the World

Of bodies chang'd to various forms, I sing:
Ye Gods, from whom these miracles did spring,
Inspire my numbers with coelestial heat;
'Till I my long laborious work compleat:
And add perpetual tenour to my rhimes,
Deduc'd from Nature's birth, to Caesar's times.
Before the seas, and this terrestrial ball,
And Heav'n's high canopy, that covers all,
One was the face of Nature; if a face:
Rather a rude and indigested mass:
A lifeless lump, unfashion'd, and unfram'd,
Of jarring seeds; and justly Chaos nam'd.
No sun was lighted up, the world to view;
No moon did yet her blunted horns renew:
Nor yet was Earth suspended in the sky,
Nor pois'd, did on her own foundations lye:
Nor seas about the shores their arms had thrown;
But earth, and air, and water, were in one.
Thus air was void of light, and earth unstable,
And water's dark abyss unnavigable.
No certain form on any was imprest;
All were confus'd, and each disturb'd the rest.
For hot and cold were in one body fixt;
And soft with hard, and light with heavy mixt.

But God, or Nature, while they thus contend,
To these intestine discords put an end:
Then earth from air, and seas from earth were driv'n,
And grosser air sunk from aetherial Heav'n.
Thus disembroil'd, they take their proper place;
The next of kin, contiguously embrace;
And foes are sunder'd, by a larger space.
The force of fire ascended first on high,
And took its dwelling in the vaulted sky:
Then air succeeds, in lightness next to fire;
Whose atoms from unactive earth retire.
Earth sinks beneath, and draws a num'rous throng
Of pondrous, thick, unwieldy seeds along.
About her coasts, unruly waters roar;
And rising, on a ridge, insult the shore.
Thus when the God, whatever God was he,
Had form'd the whole, and made the parts agree,
That no unequal portions might be found,
He moulded Earth into a spacious round:
Then with a breath, he gave the winds to blow;
And bad the congregated waters flow.
He adds the running springs, and standing lakes;
And bounding banks for winding rivers makes.
Some part, in Earth are swallow'd up, the most
In ample oceans, disembogu'd, are lost.
He shades the woods, the vallies he restrains
With rocky mountains, and extends the plains.

And as five zones th' aetherial regions bind,
Five, correspondent, are to Earth assign'd:
The sun with rays, directly darting down,
Fires all beneath, and fries the middle zone:
The two beneath the distant poles, complain
Of endless winter, and perpetual rain.
Betwixt th' extreams, two happier climates hold
The temper that partakes of hot, and cold.
The fields of liquid air, inclosing all,
Surround the compass of this earthly ball:
The lighter parts lye next the fires above;
The grosser near the watry surface move:
Thick clouds are spread, and storms engender there,
And thunder's voice, which wretched mortals fear,
And winds that on their wings cold winter bear.
Nor were those blustring brethren left at large,
On seas, and shores, their fury to discharge:
Bound as they are, and circumscrib'd in place,
They rend the world, resistless, where they pass;
And mighty marks of mischief leave behind;
Such is the rage of their tempestuous kind.
First Eurus to the rising morn is sent
(The regions of the balmy continent);
And Eastern realms, where early Persians run,
To greet the blest appearance of the sun.
Westward, the wanton Zephyr wings his flight;
Pleas'd with the remnants of departing light:
Fierce Boreas, with his off-spring, issues forth
T' invade the frozen waggon of the North.
While frowning Auster seeks the Southern sphere;
And rots, with endless rain, th' unwholsom year.

High o'er the clouds, and empty realms of wind,
The God a clearer space for Heav'n design'd;
Where fields of light, and liquid aether flow;
Purg'd from the pondrous dregs of Earth below.

Scarce had the Pow'r distinguish'd these, when streight
The stars, no longer overlaid with weight,
Exert their heads, from underneath the mass;
And upward shoot, and kindle as they pass,
And with diffusive light adorn their heav'nly place.
Then, every void of Nature to supply,
With forms of Gods he fills the vacant sky:
New herds of beasts he sends, the plains to share:
New colonies of birds, to people air:
And to their oozy beds, the finny fish repair.

A creature of a more exalted kind
Was wanting yet, and then was Man design'd:
Conscious of thought, of more capacious breast,
For empire form'd, and fit to rule the rest:
Whether with particles of heav'nly fire
The God of Nature did his soul inspire,
Or Earth, but new divided from the sky,
And, pliant, still retain'd th' aetherial energy:
Which wise Prometheus temper'd into paste,
And, mixt with living streams, the godlike image cast.

Thus, while the mute creation downward bend
Their sight, and to their earthly mother tend,
Man looks aloft; and with erected eyes
Beholds his own hereditary skies.
From such rude principles our form began;
And earth was metamorphos'd into Man.

The Golden Age

The golden age was first; when Man yet new,
No rule but uncorrupted reason knew:
And, with a native bent, did good pursue.
Unforc'd by punishment, un-aw'd by fear,
His words were simple, and his soul sincere;
Needless was written law, where none opprest:
The law of Man was written in his breast:
No suppliant crowds before the judge appear'd,
No court erected yet, nor cause was heard:
But all was safe, for conscience was their guard.
The mountain-trees in distant prospect please,
E're yet the pine descended to the seas:
E're sails were spread, new oceans to explore:
And happy mortals, unconcern'd for more,
Confin'd their wishes to their native shore.
No walls were yet; nor fence, nor mote, nor mound,
Nor drum was heard, nor trumpet's angry sound:
Nor swords were forg'd; but void of care and crime,
The soft creation slept away their time.
The teeming Earth, yet guiltless of the plough,
And unprovok'd, did fruitful stores allow:
Content with food, which Nature freely bred,
On wildings and on strawberries they fed;
Cornels and bramble-berries gave the rest,
And falling acorns furnish'd out a feast.
The flow'rs unsown, in fields and meadows reign'd:
And Western winds immortal spring maintain'd.
In following years, the bearded corn ensu'd
From Earth unask'd, nor was that Earth renew'd.
From veins of vallies, milk and nectar broke;
And honey sweating through the pores of oak.

The Silver Age

But when good Saturn, banish'd from above,
Was driv'n to Hell, the world was under Jove.
Succeeding times a silver age behold,
Excelling brass, but more excell'd by gold.
Then summer, autumn, winter did appear:
And spring was but a season of the year.
The sun his annual course obliquely made,
Good days contracted, and enlarg'd the bad.
Then air with sultry heats began to glow;
The wings of winds were clogg'd with ice and snow;
And shivering mortals, into houses driv'n,
Sought shelter from th' inclemency of Heav'n.
Those houses, then, were caves, or homely sheds;
With twining oziers fenc'd; and moss their beds.
Then ploughs, for seed, the fruitful furrows broke,
And oxen labour'd first beneath the yoke.

The Brazen Age

To this came next in course, the brazen age:
A warlike offspring, prompt to bloody rage,
Not impious yet...

The Iron Age

Hard steel succeeded then:
And stubborn as the metal, were the men.
Truth, modesty, and shame, the world forsook:
Fraud, avarice, and force, their places took.
Then sails were spread, to every wind that blew.
Raw were the sailors, and the depths were new:
Trees, rudely hollow'd, did the waves sustain;
E're ships in triumph plough'd the watry plain.

Then land-marks limited to each his right:
For all before was common as the light.
Nor was the ground alone requir'd to bear
Her annual income to the crooked share,
But greedy mortals, rummaging her store,
Digg'd from her entrails first the precious oar;
Which next to Hell, the prudent Gods had laid;
And that alluring ill, to sight display'd.
Thus cursed steel, and more accursed gold,
Gave mischief birth, and made that mischief bold:
And double death did wretched Man invade,
By steel assaulted, and by gold betray'd,
Now (brandish'd weapons glittering in their hands)
Mankind is broken loose from moral bands;
No rights of hospitality remain:
The guest, by him who harbour'd him, is slain,
The son-in-law pursues the father's life;
The wife her husb and murders, he the wife.
The step-dame poyson for the son prepares;
The son inquires into his father's years.
Faith flies, and piety in exile mourns;
And justice, here opprest, to Heav'n returns.

The Giants' War

Nor were the Gods themselves more safe above;
Against beleaguer'd Heav'n the giants move.
Hills pil'd on hills, on mountains mountains lie,
To make their mad approaches to the skie.
'Till Jove, no longer patient, took his time
T' avenge with thunder their audacious crime:
Red light'ning plaid along the firmament,
And their demolish'd works to pieces rent.
Sing'd with the flames, and with the bolts transfixt,
With native Earth, their blood the monsters mixt;
The blood, indu'd with animating heat,
Did in th' impregnant Earth new sons beget:
They, like the seed from which they sprung, accurst,
Against the Gods immortal hatred nurst,
An impious, arrogant, and cruel brood;
Expressing their original from blood.

Which when the king of Gods beheld from high
(Withal revolving in his memory,
What he himself had found on Earth of late,
Lycaon's guilt, and his inhumane treat),
He sigh'd; nor longer with his pity strove;
But kindled to a wrath becoming Jove:

Then call'd a general council of the Gods;
Who summon'd, issue from their blest abodes,
And fill th' assembly with a shining train.
A way there is, in Heav'n's expanded plain,
Which, when the skies are clear, is seen below,
And mortals, by the name of Milky, know.
The ground-work is of stars; through which the road
Lyes open to the Thunderer's abode:
The Gods of greater nations dwell around,
And, on the right and left, the palace bound;
The commons where they can: the nobler sort
With winding-doors wide open, front the court.
This place, as far as Earth with Heav'n may vie,
I dare to call the Louvre of the skie.
When all were plac'd, in seats distinctly known,
And he, their father, had assum'd the throne,
Upon his iv'ry sceptre first he leant,
Then shook his head, that shook the firmament:
Air, Earth, and seas, obey'd th' almighty nod;
And, with a gen'ral fear, confess'd the God.
At length, with indignation, thus he broke
His awful silence, and the Pow'rs bespoke.

I was not more concern'd in that debate
Of empire, when our universal state
Was put to hazard, and the giant race
Our captive skies were ready to imbrace:
For tho' the foe was fierce, the seeds of all
Rebellion, sprung from one original;
Now, wheresoever ambient waters glide,
All are corrupt, and all must be destroy'd.
Let me this holy protestation make,
By Hell, and Hell's inviolable lake,
I try'd whatever in the godhead lay:
But gangren'd members must be lopt away,
Before the nobler parts are tainted to decay.
There dwells below, a race of demi-gods,
Of nymphs in waters, and of fawns in woods:
Who, tho' not worthy yet, in Heav'n to live,
Let 'em, at least, enjoy that Earth we give.
Can these be thought securely lodg'd below,
When I my self, who no superior know,
I, who have Heav'n and Earth at my command,
Have been attempted by Lycaon's hand?

At this a murmur through the synod went,
And with one voice they vote his punishment.
Thus, when conspiring traytors dar'd to doom
The fall of Caesar, and in him of Rome,
The nations trembled with a pious fear;
All anxious for their earthly Thunderer:
Nor was their care, o Caesar, less esteem'd
By thee, than that of Heav'n for Jove was deem'd:
Who with his hand, and voice, did first restrain
Their murmurs, then resum'd his speech again.
The Gods to silence were compos'd, and sate
With reverence, due to his superior state.

Cancel your pious cares; already he
Has paid his debt to justice, and to me.
Yet what his crimes, and what my judgments were,
Remains for me thus briefly to declare.
The clamours of this vile degenerate age,
The cries of orphans, and th' oppressor's rage,
Had reach'd the stars: I will descend, said I,
In hope to prove this loud complaint a lye.
Disguis'd in humane shape, I travell'd round
The world, and more than what I heard, I found.
O'er Maenalus I took my steepy way,
By caverns infamous for beasts of prey:
Then cross'd Cyllene, and the piny shade
More infamous, by curst Lycaon made:
Dark night had cover'd Heaven, and Earth, before
I enter'd his unhospitable door.
Just at my entrance, I display'd the sign
That somewhat was approaching of divine.
The prostrate people pray; the tyrant grins;
And, adding prophanation to his sins,
I'll try, said he, and if a God appear,
To prove his deity shall cost him dear.
'Twas late; the graceless wretch my death prepares,
When I shou'd soundly sleep, opprest with cares:
This dire experiment he chose, to prove
If I were mortal, or undoubted Jove:
But first he had resolv'd to taste my pow'r;
Not long before, but in a luckless hour,
Some legates, sent from the Molossian state,
Were on a peaceful errand come to treat:
Of these he murders one, he boils the flesh;
And lays the mangled morsels in a dish:
Some part he roasts; then serves it up, so drest,
And bids me welcome to this humane feast.
Mov'd with disdain, the table I o'er-turn'd;
And with avenging flames, the palace burn'd.
The tyrant in a fright, for shelter gains
The neighb'ring fields, and scours along the plains.
Howling he fled, and fain he wou'd have spoke;
But humane voice his brutal tongue forsook.
About his lips the gather'd foam he churns,
And, breathing slaughters, still with rage he burns,
But on the bleating flock his fury turns.
His mantle, now his hide, with rugged hairs
Cleaves to his back; a famish'd face he bears;
His arms descend, his shoulders sink away
To multiply his legs for chase of prey.
He grows a wolf, his hoariness remains,
And the same rage in other members reigns.
His eyes still sparkle in a narr'wer space:
His jaws retain the grin, and violence of his face

This was a single ruin, but not one
Deserves so just a punishment alone.
Mankind's a monster, and th' ungodly times
Confed'rate into guilt, are sworn to crimes.
All are alike involv'd in ill, and all
Must by the same relentless fury fall.
Thus ended he; the greater Gods assent;
By clamours urging his severe intent;
The less fill up the cry for punishment.
Yet still with pity they remember Man;
And mourn as much as heav'nly spirits can.
They ask, when those were lost of humane birth,
What he wou'd do with all this waste of Earth:
If his dispeopl'd world he would resign
To beasts, a mute, and more ignoble line;
Neglected altars must no longer smoke,
If none were left to worship, and invoke.
To whom the Father of the Gods reply'd,
Lay that unnecessary fear aside:
Mine be the care, new people to provide.
I will from wondrous principles ordain
A race unlike the first, and try my skill again.

Already had he toss'd the flaming brand;
And roll'd the thunder in his spacious hand;
Preparing to discharge on seas and land:
But stopt, for fear, thus violently driv'n,
The sparks should catch his axle-tree of Heav'n.
Remembring in the fates, a time when fire
Shou'd to the battlements of Heaven aspire,
And all his blazing worlds above shou'd burn;
And all th' inferior globe to cinders turn.
His dire artill'ry thus dismist, he bent
His thoughts to some securer punishment:
Concludes to pour a watry deluge down;
And what he durst not burn, resolves to drown.

The northern breath, that freezes floods, he binds;
With all the race of cloud-dispelling winds:
The south he loos'd, who night and horror brings;
And foggs are shaken from his flaggy wings.
From his divided beard two streams he pours,
His head, and rheumy eyes distill in show'rs,
With rain his robe, and heavy mantle flow:
And lazy mists are lowring on his brow;
Still as he swept along, with his clench'd fist
He squeez'd the clouds, th' imprison'd clouds resist:
The skies, from pole to pole, with peals resound;
And show'rs inlarg'd, come pouring on the ground.
Then, clad in colours of a various dye,
Junonian Iris breeds a new supply
To feed the clouds: impetuous rain descends;
The bearded corn beneath the burden bends:
Defrauded clowns deplore their perish'd grain;
And the long labours of the year are vain.

Nor from his patrimonial Heaven alone
Is Jove content to pour his vengeance down;
Aid from his brother of the seas he craves,
To help him with auxiliary waves.
The watry tyrant calls his brooks and floods,
Who rowl from mossie caves (their moist abodes);
And with perpetual urns his palace fill:
To whom in brief, he thus imparts his will.

Small exhortation needs; your pow'rs employ:
And this bad world, so Jove requires, destroy.
Let loose the reins to all your watry store:
Bear down the damms, and open ev'ry door.

The floods, by Nature enemies to land,
And proudly swelling with their new command,
Remove the living stones, that stopt their way,
And gushing from their source, augment the sea.
Then, with his mace, their monarch struck the ground;
With inward trembling Earth receiv'd the wound;
And rising streams a ready passage found.
Th' expanded waters gather on the plain:
They float the fields, and over-top the grain;
Then rushing onwards, with a sweepy sway,
Bear flocks, and folds, and lab'ring hinds away.
Nor safe their dwellings were, for, sap'd by floods,
Their houses fell upon their houshold Gods.
The solid piles, too strongly built to fall,
High o'er their heads, behold a watry wall:
Now seas and Earth were in confusion lost;
A world of waters, and without a coast.

One climbs a cliff; one in his boat is born:
And ploughs above, where late he sow'd his corn.
Others o'er chimney-tops and turrets row,
And drop their anchors on the meads below:
Or downward driv'n, they bruise the tender vine,
Or tost aloft, are knock'd against a pine.
And where of late the kids had cropt the grass,
The monsters of the deep now take their place.
Insulting Nereids on the cities ride,
And wond'ring dolphins o'er the palace glide.
On leaves, and masts of mighty oaks they brouze;
And their broad fins entangle in the boughs.
The frighted wolf now swims amongst the sheep;
The yellow lion wanders in the deep:
His rapid force no longer helps the boar:
The stag swims faster, than he ran before.
The fowls, long beating on their wings in vain,
Despair of land, and drop into the main.
Now hills, and vales no more distinction know;
And levell'd Nature lies oppress'd below.
The most of mortals perish in the flood:
The small remainder dies for want of food.

A mountain of stupendous height there stands
Betwixt th' Athenian and Boeotian lands,
The bound of fruitful fields, while fields they were,
But then a field of waters did appear:
Parnassus is its name; whose forky rise
Mounts thro' the clouds, and mates the lofty skies.
High on the summit of this dubious cliff,
Deucalion wafting, moor'd his little skiff.
He with his wife were only left behind
Of perish'd Man; they two were human kind.
The mountain nymphs, and Themis they adore,
And from her oracles relief implore.
The most upright of mortal men was he;
The most sincere, and holy woman, she.

When Jupiter, surveying Earth from high,
Beheld it in a lake of water lie,
That where so many millions lately liv'd,
But two, the best of either sex, surviv'd;
He loos'd the northern wind; fierce Boreas flies
To puff away the clouds, and purge the skies:
Serenely, while he blows, the vapours driv'n,
Discover Heav'n to Earth, and Earth to Heav'n.
The billows fall, while Neptune lays his mace
On the rough sea, and smooths its furrow'd face.
Already Triton, at his call, appears
Above the waves; a Tyrian robe he wears;
And in his hand a crooked trumpet bears.
The soveraign bids him peaceful sounds inspire,
And give the waves the signal to retire.
His wri then shell he takes; whose narrow vent
Grows by degrees into a large extent,
Then gives it breath; the blast with doubling sound,
Runs the wide circuit of the world around:
The sun first heard it, in his early east,
And met the rattling ecchos in the west.
The waters, listning to the trumpet's roar,
Obey the summons, and forsake the shore.

A thin circumference of land appears;
And Earth, but not at once, her visage rears,
And peeps upon the seas from upper grounds;
The streams, but just contain'd within their bounds,
By slow degrees into their channels crawl;
And Earth increases, as the waters fall.
In longer time the tops of trees appear,
Which mud on their dishonour'd branches bear.

At length the world was all restor'd to view;
But desolate, and of a sickly hue:
Nature beheld her self, and stood aghast,
A dismal desart, and a silent waste.

Which when Deucalion, with a piteous look
Beheld, he wept, and thus to Pyrrha spoke:
Oh wife, oh sister, oh of all thy kind
The best, and only creature left behind,
By kindred, love, and now by dangers joyn'd;
Of multitudes, who breath'd the common air,
We two remain; a species in a pair:
The rest the seas have swallow'd; nor have we
Ev'n of this wretched life a certainty.
The clouds are still above; and, while I speak,
A second deluge o'er our heads may break.
Shou'd I be snatcht from hence, and thou remain,
Without relief, or partner of thy pain,
How cou'dst thou such a wretched life sustain?
Shou'd I be left, and thou be lost, the sea
That bury'd her I lov'd, shou'd bury me.
Oh cou'd our father his old arts inspire,
And make me heir of his informing fire,
That so I might abolisht Man retrieve,
And perisht people in new souls might live.
But Heav'n is pleas'd, nor ought we to complain,
That we, th' examples of mankind, remain.
He said; the careful couple joyn their tears:
And then invoke the Gods, with pious prayers.
Thus, in devotion having eas'd their grief,
From sacred oracles they seek relief;
And to Cephysus' brook their way pursue:
The stream was troubled, but the ford they knew;
With living waters, in the fountain bred,
They sprinkle first their garments, and their head,
Then took the way, which to the temple led.
The roofs were all defil'd with moss, and mire,
The desart altars void of solemn fire.
Before the gradual, prostrate they ador'd;
The pavement kiss'd; and thus the saint implor'd.

O righteous Themis, if the Pow'rs above
By pray'rs are bent to pity, and to love;
If humane miseries can move their mind;
If yet they can forgive, and yet be kind;
Tell how we may restore, by second birth,
Mankind, and people desolated Earth.
Then thus the gracious Goddess, nodding, said;
Depart, and with your vestments veil your head:
And stooping lowly down, with losen'd zones,
Throw each behind your backs, your mighty mother's bones.

Amaz'd the pair, and mute with wonder stand,
'Till Pyrrha first refus'd the dire command.
Forbid it Heav'n, said she, that I shou'd tear
Those holy reliques from the sepulcher.
They ponder'd the mysterious words again,
For some new sense; and long they sought in vain:
At length Deucalion clear'd his cloudy brow,
And said, the dark Aenigma will allow
A meaning, which, if well I understand,
From sacrilege will free the God's command:
This Earth our mighty mother is, the stones
In her capacious body, are her bones:
These we must cast behind. With hope, and fear,
The woman did the new solution hear:
The man diffides in his own augury,
And doubts the Gods; yet both resolve to try.
Descending from the mount, they first unbind
Their vests, and veil'd, they cast the stones behind:
The stones (a miracle to mortal view,
But long tradition makes it pass for true)
Did first the rigour of their kind expel,
And suppled into softness, as they fell;
Then swell'd, and swelling, by degrees grew warm;
And took the rudiments of human form.
Imperfect shapes: in marble such are seen,
When the rude chizzel does the man begin;
While yet the roughness of the stone remains,
Without the rising muscles, and the veins.
The sappy parts, and next resembling juice,
Were turn'd to moisture, for the body's use:
Supplying humours, blood, and nourishment;
The rest, too solid to receive a bent,
Converts to bones; and what was once a vein,
Its former name and Nature did retain.
By help of pow'r divine, in little space,
What the man threw, assum'd a manly face;
And what the wife, renew'd the female race.
Hence we derive our nature; born to bear
Laborious life; and harden'd into care.

The rest of animals, from teeming Earth
Produc'd, in various forms receiv'd their birth.
The native moisture, in its close retreat,
Digested by the sun's aetherial heat,
As in a kindly womb, began to breed:
Then swell'd, and quicken'd by the vital seed.
And some in less, and some in longer space,
Were ripen'd into form, and took a sev'ral face.
Thus when the Nile from Pharian fields is fled,
And seeks, with ebbing tides, his ancient bed,
The fat manure with heav'nly fire is warm'd;
And crusted creatures, as in wombs, are form'd;
These, when they turn the glebe, the peasants find;
Some rude, and yet unfinish'd in their kind:
Short of their limbs, a lame imperfect birth:
One half alive; and one of lifeless earth.

For heat, and moisture, when in bodies join'd,
The temper that results from either kind
Conception makes; and fighting 'till they mix,
Their mingled atoms in each other fix.
Thus Nature's hand the genial bed prepares
With friendly discord, and with fruitful wars.

From hence the surface of the ground, with mud
And slime besmear'd (the faeces of the flood),
Receiv'd the rays of Heav'n: and sucking in
The seeds of heat, new creatures did begin:
Some were of sev'ral sorts produc'd before,
But of new monsters, Earth created more.
Unwillingly, but yet she brought to light
Thee, Python too, the wondring world to fright,
And the new nations, with so dire a sight:
So monstrous was his bulk, so large a space
Did his vast body, and long train embrace.
Whom Phoebus basking on a bank espy'd;
E're now the God his arrows had not try'd
But on the trembling deer, or mountain goat;
At this new quarry he prepares to shoot.
Though ev'ry shaft took place, he spent the store
Of his full quiver; and 'twas long before
Th' expiring serpent wallow'd in his gore.
Then, to preserve the fame of such a deed,
For Python slain, he Pythian games decred.
Where noble youths for mastership shou'd strive,
To quoit, to run, and steeds, and chariots drive.
The prize was fame: in witness of renown
An oaken garl and did the victor crown.
The laurel was not yet for triumphs born;
But every green alike by Phoebus worn,
Did, with promiscuous grace, his flowing locks adorn.

The Transformation of Daphne into a Lawrel

The first and fairest of his loves, was she
Whom not blind fortune, but the dire decree
Of angry Cupid forc'd him to desire:
Daphne her name, and Peneus was her sire.
Swell'd with the pride, that new success attends,
He sees the stripling, while his bow he bends,
And thus insults him: Thou lascivious boy,
Are arms like these for children to employ?
Know, such atchievements are my proper claim;
Due to my vigour, and unerring aim:
Resistless are my shafts, and Python late
In such a feather'd death, has found his fate.
Take up the torch (and lay my weapons by),
With that the feeble souls of lovers fry.
To whom the son of Venus thus reply'd,
Phoebus, thy shafts are sure on all beside,
But mine of Phoebus, mine the fame shall be
Of all thy conquests, when I conquer thee.

He said, and soaring, swiftly wing'd his flight:
Nor stopt but on Parnassus' airy height.
Two diff'rent shafts he from his quiver draws;
One to repel desire, and one to cause.
One shaft is pointed with refulgent gold:
To bribe the love, and make the lover bold:
One blunt, and tipt with lead, whose base allay
Provokes disdain, and drives desire away.
The blunted bolt against the nymph he drest:
But with the sharp transfixt Apollo's breast.

Th' enamour'd deity pursues the chace;
The scornful damsel shuns his loath'd embrace:
In hunting beasts of prey, her youth employs;
And Phoebe rivals in her rural joys.
With naked neck she goes, and shoulders bare;
And with a fillet binds her flowing hair.
By many suitors sought, she mocks their pains,
And still her vow'd virginity maintains.
Impatient of a yoke, the name of bride
She shuns, and hates the joys, she never try'd.
On wilds, and woods, she fixes her desire:
Nor knows what youth, and kindly love, inspire.
Her father chides her oft: Thou ow'st, says he,
A husb and to thy self, a son to me.
She, like a crime, abhors the nuptial bed:
She glows with blushes, and she hangs her head.
Then casting round his neck her tender arms,
Sooths him with blandishments, and filial charms:
Give me, my Lord, she said, to live, and die,
A spotless maid, without the marriage tye.
'Tis but a small request; I beg no more
Than what Diana's father gave before.
The good old sire was soften'd to consent;
But said her wish wou'd prove her punishment:
For so much youth, and so much beauty join'd,
Oppos'd the state, which her desires design'd.

The God of light, aspiring to her bed,
Hopes what he seeks, with flattering fancies fed;
And is, by his own oracles, mis-led.
And as in empty fields the stubble burns,
Or nightly travellers, when day returns,
Their useless torches on dry hedges throw,
That catch the flames, and kindle all the row;
So burns the God, consuming in desire,
And feeding in his breast a fruitless fire:
Her well-turn'd neck he view'd (her neck was bare)
And on her shoulders her dishevel'd hair;
Oh were it comb'd, said he, with what a grace
Wou'd every waving curl become her face!
He view'd her eyes, like heav'nly lamps that shone,
He view'd her lips, too sweet to view alone,
Her taper fingers, and her panting breast;
He praises all he sees, and for the rest
Believes the beauties yet unseen are best:
Swift as the wind, the damsel fled away,
Nor did for these alluring speeches stay:
Stay Nymph, he cry'd, I follow, not a foe.
Thus from the lyon trips the trembling doe;
Thus from the wolf the frighten'd lamb removes,
And, from pursuing faulcons, fearful doves;
Thou shunn'st a God, and shunn'st a God, that loves.
Ah, lest some thorn shou'd pierce thy tender foot,
Or thou shou'dst fall in flying my pursuit!
To sharp uneven ways thy steps decline;
Abate thy speed, and I will bate of mine.
Yet think from whom thou dost so rashly fly;
Nor basely born, nor shepherd's swain am I.
Perhaps thou know'st not my superior state;
And from that ignorance proceeds thy hate.
Me Claros, Delphi, Tenedos obey;
These hands the Patareian scepter sway.
The King of Gods begot me: what shall be,
Or is, or ever was, in Fate, I see.
Mine is th' invention of the charming lyre;
Sweet notes, and heav'nly numbers, I inspire.
Sure is my bow, unerring is my dart;
But ah! more deadly his, who pierc'd my heart.
Med'cine is mine; what herbs and simples grow
In fields, and forrests, all their pow'rs I know;
And am the great physician call'd, below.
Alas that fields and forrests can afford.
No remedies to heal their love-sick lord!
To cure the pains of love, no plant avails:
And his own physick, the physician falls.

She heard not half; so furiously she flies;
And on her ear th' imperfect accent dies,
Fear gave her wings; and as she fled, the wind
Increasing, spread her flowing hair behind;
And left her legs and thighs expos'd to view:
Which made the God more eager to pursue.
The God was young, and was too hotly bent
To lose his time in empty compliment:
But led by love, and fir'd with such a sight,
Impetuously pursu'd his near delight.

As when th' impatient greyhound slipt from far,
Bounds o'er the glebe to course the fearful hare,
She in her speed does all her safety lay;
And he with double speed pursues the prey;
O'er-runs her at the sitting turn, and licks
His chaps in vain, and blows upon the flix:
She scapes, and for the neighb'ring covert strives,
And gaining shelter, doubts if yet she lives:
If little things with great we may compare,
Such was the God, and such the flying fair,
She urg'd by fear, her feet did swiftly move,
But he more swiftly, who was urg'd by love.
He gathers ground upon her in the chace:
Now breathes upon her hair, with nearer pace;
And just is fast'ning on the wish'd embrace.
The nymph grew pale, and in a mortal fright,
Spent with the labour of so long a flight;
And now despairing, cast a mournful look
Upon the streams of her paternal brook;
Oh help, she cry'd, in this extreamest need!
If water Gods are deities indeed:
Gape Earth, and this unhappy wretch intomb;
Or change my form, whence all my sorrows come.
Scarce had she finish'd, when her feet she found
Benumb'd with cold, and fasten'd to the ground:
A filmy rind about her body grows;
Her hair to leaves, her arms extend to boughs:
The nymph is all into a lawrel gone;
The smoothness of her skin remains alone.
Yet Phoebus loves her still, and casting round
Her bole, his arms, some little warmth he found.
The tree still panted in th' unfinish'd part:
Not wholly vegetive, and heav'd her heart.
He fixt his lips upon the trembling rind;
It swerv'd aside, and his embrace declin'd.
To whom the God, Because thou canst not be
My mistress, I espouse thee for my tree:
Be thou the prize of honour, and renown;
The deathless poet, and the poem, crown.
Thou shalt the Roman festivals adorn,
And, after poets, be by victors worn.
Thou shalt returning Caesar's triumph grace;
When pomps shall in a long procession pass.
Wreath'd on the posts before his palace wait;
And be the sacred guardian of the gate.
Secure from thunder, and unharm'd by Jove,
Unfading as th' immortal Pow'rs above:
And as the locks of Phoebus are unshorn,
So shall perpetual green thy boughs adorn.
The grateful tree was pleas'd with what he said;
And shook the shady honours of her head.

The Transformation of Io into a Heyfer

An ancient forest in Thessalia grows;
Which Tempe's pleasing valley does inclose:
Through this the rapid Peneus take his course;
From Pindus rolling with impe