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

TOPICS
SEE ALSO


AUTH

BOOKS
Heart_of_Matter
Savitri
Vishnu_Purana

IN CHAPTERS TITLE
19.24_-_The_Canto_of_Desire
1.da_-_All_Being_within_this_order,_by_the_laws_(from_The_Paradiso,_Canto_I)
1.da_-_And_as_a_ray_descending_from_the_sky_(from_The_Paradiso,_Canto_I)
1.da_-_The_glory_of_Him_who_moves_all_things_rays_forth_(from_The_Paradiso,_Canto_I)
1.jk_-_Spenserian_Stanza._Written_At_The_Close_Of_Canto_II,_Book_V,_Of_The_Faerie_Queene
1.pbs_-_The_Revolt_Of_Islam_-_Canto_I-XII
1.ww_-_The_Waggoner_-_Canto_First
1.ww_-_The_Waggoner_-_Canto_Fourth
1.ww_-_The_Waggoner_-_Canto_Second
1.ww_-_The_Waggoner_-_Canto_Third

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
01.01_-_The_Symbol_Dawn
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_Yoga_of_the_King_-_The_Yoga_of_the_Spirits_Freedom_and_Greatness
0.11_-_Letters_to_a_Sadhak
0_1962-01-24
0_1962-02-03
0_1963-01-30
0_1963-03-13
0_1969-04-16
0_1969-08-02
02.01_-_The_World-Stair
02.02_-_The_Kingdom_of_Subtle_Matter
02.03_-_The_Glory_and_the_Fall_of_Life
02.04_-_The_Kingdoms_of_the_Little_Life
02.05_-_The_Godheads_of_the_Little_Life
02.06_-_The_Kingdoms_and_Godheads_of_the_Greater_Life
02.07_-_The_Descent_into_Night
02.08_-_The_World_of_Falsehood,_the_Mother_of_Evil_and_the_Sons_of_Darkness
02.09_-_The_Paradise_of_the_Life-Gods
02.10_-_The_Kingdoms_and_Godheads_of_the_Little_Mind
02.11_-_The_Kingdoms_and_Godheads_of_the_Greater_Mind
02.12_-_The_Heavens_of_the_Ideal
02.13_-_In_the_Self_of_Mind
02.14_-_The_World-Soul
02.15_-_The_Kingdoms_of_the_Greater_Knowledge
03.01_-_The_Pursuit_of_the_Unknowable
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
04.01_-_The_Birth_and_Childhood_of_the_Flame
04.01_-_The_Divine_Man
04.02_-_The_Growth_of_the_Flame
04.03_-_The_Call_to_the_Quest
04.04_-_The_Quest
04.06_-_To_Be_or_Not_to_Be
05.01_-_The_Destined_Meeting-Place
05.02_-_Satyavan
05.03_-_Satyavan_and_Savitri
05.06_-_The_Role_of_Evil
06.01_-_The_Word_of_Fate
06.02_-_The_Way_of_Fate_and_the_Problem_of_Pain
07.01_-_The_Joy_of_Union;_the_Ordeal_of_the_Foreknowledge
07.02_-_The_Parable_of_the_Search_for_the_Soul
07.03_-_The_Entry_into_the_Inner_Countries
07.04_-_The_Triple_Soul-Forces
07.05_-_The_Finding_of_the_Soul
07.06_-_Nirvana_and_the_Discovery_of_the_All-Negating_Absolute
07.07_-_The_Discovery_of_the_Cosmic_Spirit_and_the_Cosmic_Consciousness
08.03_-_Death_in_the_Forest
09.01_-_Towards_the_Black_Void
09.02_-_The_Journey_in_Eternal_Night_and_the_Voice_of_the_Darkness
10.01_-_The_Dream_Twilight_of_the_Ideal
10.02_-_The_Gospel_of_Death_and_Vanity_of_the_Ideal
10.03_-_The_Debate_of_Love_and_Death
10.04_-_The_Dream_Twilight_of_the_Earthly_Real
1.02_-_Groups_and_Statistical_Mechanics
1.02_-_The_Pit
1.05_-_Computing_Machines_and_the_Nervous_System
1.05_-_THE_HOSTILE_BROTHERS_-_ARCHETYPES_OF_RESPONSE_TO_THE_UNKNOWN
1.05_-_The_Magical_Control_of_the_Weather
1.06_-_The_Greatness_of_the_Individual
1.07_-_Savitri
1.08_-_Sri_Aurobindos_Descent_into_Death
11.01_-_The_Eternal_Day__The_Souls_Choice_and_the_Supreme_Consummation
1.12_-_God_Departs
1.14_-_The_Limits_of_Philosophical_Knowledge
1.15_-_The_Worship_of_the_Oak
1.17_-_The_Seven-Headed_Thought,_Swar_and_the_Dashagwas
1.20_-_The_Fourth_Bolgia__Soothsayers._Amphiaraus,_Tiresias,_Aruns,_Manto,_Eryphylus,_Michael_Scott,_Guido_Bonatti,_and_Asdente._Virgil_reproaches_Dante's_Pity.
1.47_-_Lityerses
1.48_-_The_Corn-Spirit_as_an_Animal
1.56_-_The_Public_Expulsion_of_Evils
1.62_-_The_Fire-Festivals_of_Europe
1.65_-_Balder_and_the_Mistletoe
1.67_-_The_External_Soul_in_Folk-Custom
1.68_-_The_Golden_Bough
19.23_-_Of_the_Elephant
19.24_-_The_Canto_of_Desire
19.25_-_The_Bhikkhu
1953-12-09
1.da_-_All_Being_within_this_order,_by_the_laws_(from_The_Paradiso,_Canto_I)
1.da_-_And_as_a_ray_descending_from_the_sky_(from_The_Paradiso,_Canto_I)
1.da_-_The_glory_of_Him_who_moves_all_things_rays_forth_(from_The_Paradiso,_Canto_I)
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Shadow_over_Innsmouth
1.jk_-_An_Extempore
1.jk_-_Endymion_-_Book_II
1.jk_-_Endymion_-_Book_IV
1.jk_-_Hyperion,_A_Vision_-_Attempted_Reconstruction_Of_The_Poem
1.jk_-_Spenserian_Stanza._Written_At_The_Close_Of_Canto_II,_Book_V,_Of_The_Faerie_Queene
1.jk_-_The_Cap_And_Bells;_Or,_The_Jealousies_-_A_Faery_Tale_.._Unfinished
1.pbs_-_Matilda_Gathering_Flowers
1.pbs_-_The_Revolt_Of_Islam_-_Canto_I-XII
1.rb_-_Fra_Lippo_Lippi
1.rt_-_Compensation
1.whitman_-_Salut_Au_Monde
1.ww_-_The_Waggoner_-_Canto_First
1.ww_-_The_Waggoner_-_Canto_Fourth
1.ww_-_The_Waggoner_-_Canto_Second
1.ww_-_The_Waggoner_-_Canto_Third
2.01_-_AT_THE_STAR_THEATRE
2.01_-_On_Books
2.1.7.07_-_On_the_Verse_and_Structure_of_the_Poem
2.1.7.08_-_Comments_on_Specific_Lines_and_Passages_of_the_Poem
2.19_-_Feb-May_1939
24.05_-_Vision_of_Dante
3.00_-_The_Magical_Theory_of_the_Universe
3.2.3_-_Dreams
4.05_-_THE_DARK_SIDE_OF_THE_KING
5.1.01.1_-_The_Book_of_the_Herald
6.03_-_Extraordinary_And_Paradoxical_Telluric_Phenomena
Aeneid
Avatars_of_the_Tortoise
Averroes_Search
Book_of_Imaginary_Beings_(text)
SB_1.1_-_Questions_by_the_Sages
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_1
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_2
The_Act_of_Creation_text
The_Aleph
The_Waiting

PRIMARY CLASS

media
SIMILAR TITLES
a canto of Savitri a day until completion
canto

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH

canto: A division in a longer poem.

cantonal ::: a. --> Of or pertaining to a canton or cantons; of the nature of a canton.

canton crape ::: --> A soft, white or colored silk fabric, of a gauzy texture and wavy appearance, used for ladies&

cantoned ::: imp. & p. p. --> of Canton ::: a. --> Having a charge in each of the four corners; -- said of a cross on a shield, and also of the shield itself.
Having the angles marked by, or decorated with, projecting moldings or small columns; as, a cantoned pier or pilaster.


canton flannel ::: --> See Cotton flannel.

cantoning ::: p. pr. & vb. n. --> of Canton

cantonize ::: v. i. --> To divide into cantons or small districts.

cantonment ::: n. --> A town or village, or part of a town or village, assigned to a body of troops for quarters; temporary shelter or place of rest for an army; quarters.

canton ::: n. --> A song or canto
A small portion; a division; a compartment.
A small community or clan.
A small territorial district; esp. one of the twenty-two independent states which form the Swiss federal republic; in France, a subdivision of an arrondissement. See Arrondissement.
A division of a shield occupying one third part of the chief, usually on the dexter side, formed by a perpendicular line from


canto ::: n. --> One of the chief divisions of a long poem; a book.
The highest vocal part; the air or melody in choral music; anciently the tenor, now the soprano.


canto ::: one of the principal divisions of a long poem.

cantoon ::: n. --> A cotton stuff showing a fine cord on one side and a satiny surface on the other.

cantoral ::: a. --> Of or belonging to a cantor.

cantoris ::: a. --> Of or pertaining to a cantor; as, the cantoris side of a choir; a cantoris stall.

cantor ::: n. --> A singer; esp. the leader of a church choir; a precentor.

cantos ::: pl. --> of Canto

Cantong qi. (J. Sandokai; K. Ch'amdong kye 参同契). A famous verse attributed to the Chinese CHAN master SHITOU XIQIAN. Along with the BAOJING SANMEI, the Cantong qi is revered in the Chinese CAODONG ZONG and Japanese SoToSHu traditions as the foundational scripture of the tradition. The Cantong qi is relatively short (forty-four five-character stanzas, for a total of 220 Sinographs), but Shitou's verse is praised for its succinct and unequivocal expression of the teaching of nonduality. The Sinograph "can" in the title means to "consider," "compare," or "differentiate"; it thus carries the connotation of "difference" and is said to refer to the myriad phenomena. The Sinograph "tong" means "sameness" and is said to refer to the oneness of all phenomena. The Sinograph "qi" means "tally" and is said to refer to the tallying of oneself and all phenomena. The title might be alluding to an earlier verse bearing the same title, which is attributed to the renowned Daoist master Wei Boyang. The Cantong qi also seems to be the root source from which were derived core concepts in the "five ranks" (WUWEI) doctrine, an emblematic teaching of the mature Caodong school.

Cantong qi

Cantor ::: 1. (person, mathematics) A mathematician.Cantor devised the diagonal proof of the uncountability of the real numbers:Given a function, f, from the natural numbers to the real numbers, consider the real number r whose binary expansion is given as follows: for each natural number i, r's i-th digit is the complement of the i-th digit of f(i).Thus, since r and f(i) differ in their i-th digits, r differs from any value taken by f. Therefore, f is not surjective (there are values of its result type which it cannot return).Consequently, no function from the natural numbers to the reals is surjective. A further theorem dependent on the axiom of choice turns this result into the statement that the reals are uncountable.This is just a special case of a diagonal proof that a function from a set to its power set cannot be surjective:Let f be a function from a set S to its power set, P(S) and let U = x in S: x not in f(x) . Now, observe that any x in U is not in f(x), so U != f(x); and any x not in U is in f(x), so U != f(x): whence U is not in f(x) : x in S . But U is in P(S). Therefore, no function from a set to its power-set can be surjective.2. (language) An object-oriented language with fine-grained concurrency.[Athas, Caltech 1987. Multicomputers: Message Passing Concurrent Computers, W. Athas et al, Computer 21(8):9-24 (Aug 1988)]. (1997-03-14)

Cantor 1. "person, mathematics" A mathematician. Cantor devised the diagonal proof of the uncountability of the {real numbers}: Given a function, f, from the {natural numbers} to the {real numbers}, consider the real number r whose binary expansion is given as follows: for each natural number i, r's i-th digit is the complement of the i-th digit of f(i). Thus, since r and f(i) differ in their i-th digits, r differs from any value taken by f. Therefore, f is not {surjective} (there are values of its result type which it cannot return). Consequently, no function from the natural numbers to the reals is surjective. A further theorem dependent on the {axiom of choice} turns this result into the statement that the reals are uncountable. This is just a special case of a diagonal proof that a function from a set to its {power set} cannot be surjective: Let f be a function from a set S to its power set, P(S) and let U = { x in S: x not in f(x) }. Now, observe that any x in U is not in f(x), so U != f(x); and any x not in U is in f(x), so U != f(x): whence U is not in { f(x) : x in S }. But U is in P(S). Therefore, no function from a set to its power-set can be surjective. 2. "language" An {object-oriented language} with {fine-grained concurrency}. [Athas, Caltech 1987. "Multicomputers: Message Passing Concurrent Computers", W. Athas et al, Computer 21(8):9-24 (Aug 1988)]. (1997-03-14)

Cantor, Contributions to the Founding of the Theory of Trasfinite Numbers, translated and with an introduction bv P.E.B. Jourdain, Chicago and London, 1915. Whitehead and Russell, Principia Mathematica, vol. 2.

Cantor, Georg (Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp), 1845-1918, (Russian born) German mathematician. Professor of mathematics at Halle, 1872-1913. He is known for contributions to the foundations of (mathematical) analysis, and as the founder of the theory of transfinite cardinal numbers (q.v.) and ordinal numbers (q.v.). See Infinite. -- A.C.

Cantor ::: (Lat. one who sings) In Judaism, a chanter/singer of liturgical materials in the synagogue; also used similarly in Christian contexts (choir leader, etc.). (See also: hazzan)


TERMS ANYWHERE

2. In Logic and Mathematics, a collection, a manifold, a multiplicity, a set, an ensemble, an assemblage, a totality of elements (usually numbers or points) satisfying a given condition or subjected to definite operational laws. According to Cantor, an aggregate is any collection of separate objects of thought gathered into a whole; or again, any multiplicity which can be thought as one; or better, any totality of definite elements bound up into a whole by means of a law. Aggregates have several properties: for example, they have the "same power" when their respective elements can be brought into one-to-one correspondence; and they are "enumerable" when they have the same power as the aggregate of natural numbers. Aggregates may be finite or infinite; and the laws applying to each type are different and often incompatible, thus raising difficult philosophical problems. See One-One; Cardinal Number; Enumerable. Hence the practice to isolate the mathematical notion of the aggregate from its metaphysical implications and to consider such collections as symbols of a certain kind which are to facilitate mathematical calculations in much the same way as numbers do. In spite of the controversial nature of infinite sets great progress has been made in mathematics by the introduction of the Theory of Aggregates in arithmetic, geometry and the theory of functions. (German, Mannigfaltigkeit, Menge; French, Ensemble).

6 cantos. See Brooks, Maria Gowen.

Again in Book II, Canto X, The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Little Mind

Again, in In Book III Canto ii, The Adoration of the Divine Mother

And again, in Book II, Canto VIII, The World of Falsehood, the Mother of Evil and the Sons of Darkness,

And again, in Book X, Canto II, The Gospel of Death and Vanity of the Ideal we find these lines:

and avatars. I felt somewhat like Dante, in the opening canto of The Divine Comedy, when,

And, in Book II, Canto X, The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Little Mind

And in Book VI, Canto II, The Way of Fate and the Problem of Pain, Sri Aurobindo speaks to us again of man’s science:

Aswapati ::: Purani: “Aswapathy, the father of Savitri, has been significantly called by the poet ‘the Lord of Life’. (book II, Canto XV). The name suggests an affinity to Vedic symbolism. In the Veda, Aswa, the horse, is the symbol of life-energy or vital power. Aswa + aty, Lord, would mean the ‘Lord of Life’. In the poem King Aswapathy is the symbol of the aspiring soul of man as manifested in life on earth.”Savitri”—An Approach and a Study

avoyer ::: n. --> A chief magistrate of a free imperial city or canton of Switzerland.

banneret ::: n. --> Originally, a knight who led his vassals into the field under his own banner; -- commonly used as a title of rank.
A title of rank, conferred for heroic deeds, and hence, an order of knighthood; also, the person bearing such title or rank.
A civil officer in some Swiss cantons.
A small banner.


Baojing sanmei. (J. Hokyo sanmai/zanmai; K. Pogyong sammae 寶鏡三昧). In Chinese, "Jeweled-Mirror SAMADHI"; a definitive poem on enlightenment and practice from the standpoint of the Chinese CAODONG ZONG; otherwise known as the Baojing sanmei ge, or "GATHA of the Jeweled-Mirror SamAdhi." This lengthy Chinese song is attributed to the Chan master DONGSHAN LIANGJIE and, along with the CANTONG QI, is revered in the Chinese Caodong and Japanese SoTo schools of CHAN and ZEN as the foundational scripture of their tradition. Although the song is traditionally attributed to Dongshan, a number of sources note that Dongshan secretly received this song from his teacher Yunyan Tansheng (780-841), and Dongshan in turn transmitted it to his head disciple CAOSHAN BENJI. The earliest version of this song appears in the entry on Caoshan in the CHANLIN SENGBAO ZHUAN, written in 1123. The Baojing sanmei emphasizes the "inherent enlightenment" (BENJUE; cf. HONGAKU) of sentient beings and the futility of seeking that enlightenment through conscious reflection. Instead, the song urges its audience to allow one's inherently pure enlightened nature to "silently illuminate" itself through meditation (MOZHAO CHAN), as the Buddha did under the BODHI TREE. Numerous commentaries on this song are extant.

canto: A division in a longer poem.

cantonal ::: a. --> Of or pertaining to a canton or cantons; of the nature of a canton.

canton crape ::: --> A soft, white or colored silk fabric, of a gauzy texture and wavy appearance, used for ladies&

cantoned ::: imp. & p. p. --> of Canton ::: a. --> Having a charge in each of the four corners; -- said of a cross on a shield, and also of the shield itself.
Having the angles marked by, or decorated with, projecting moldings or small columns; as, a cantoned pier or pilaster.


canton flannel ::: --> See Cotton flannel.

cantoning ::: p. pr. & vb. n. --> of Canton

cantonize ::: v. i. --> To divide into cantons or small districts.

cantonment ::: n. --> A town or village, or part of a town or village, assigned to a body of troops for quarters; temporary shelter or place of rest for an army; quarters.

canton ::: n. --> A song or canto
A small portion; a division; a compartment.
A small community or clan.
A small territorial district; esp. one of the twenty-two independent states which form the Swiss federal republic; in France, a subdivision of an arrondissement. See Arrondissement.
A division of a shield occupying one third part of the chief, usually on the dexter side, formed by a perpendicular line from


canto ::: n. --> One of the chief divisions of a long poem; a book.
The highest vocal part; the air or melody in choral music; anciently the tenor, now the soprano.


canto ::: one of the principal divisions of a long poem.

cantoon ::: n. --> A cotton stuff showing a fine cord on one side and a satiny surface on the other.

cantoral ::: a. --> Of or belonging to a cantor.

cantoris ::: a. --> Of or pertaining to a cantor; as, the cantoris side of a choir; a cantoris stall.

cantor ::: n. --> A singer; esp. the leader of a church choir; a precentor.

cantos ::: pl. --> of Canto

bernese ::: a. --> Pertaining to the city or canton of Bern, in Switzerland, or to its inhabitants. ::: n. sing. & pl. --> A native or natives of Bern.

Bolzano, Bernard: (1781-1848) Austrian philosopher and mathematician. Professor of the philosophy of religion at Prague, 1805-1820, he was compelled to resign in the latter year because of his rationalistic tendencies in theology and afterwards held no academic position. His Wissenschaftslehre of 1837, while it is to be classed as a work on traditional logic, contains significant anticipations of many ideas which have since become important in symbolic logic and mathematics. In his posthumously published Paradoxien des Unendlitchen (1851) he appears as a forerunner in some respects of Cantor's theory of transfinite numbers. -- A.C.

Book I, Canto III

Book V, Canto III

Buddhacarita. (T. Sangs rgyas kyi spyod pa; C. Fosuoxing zan; J. Butsushogyosan; K. Pulsohaeng ch'an 佛所行讚). In Sanskrit, "Acts [viz., Life] of the Buddha"; the title of two verse compositions written in the first and second centuries CE that were intended to serve as a complete biography of the historical Buddha. The first was by the monk Sangharaksa (c. first century CE), whose work survives today only in its Chinese translation. The second version, which became hugely popular across Asia, was composed by the well-known Indian philosopher-poet AsVAGHOsA (c. second century), who was supposedly an opponent of Buddhism until he converted after losing a debate with the VAIBHAsIKA teacher PARsVA. Because of the early date of Asvaghosa's epic poem, it is of great importance for both the history of Indian Buddhism, as well as the study of classical Indian linguistics and thought. Asvaghosa's version of the Buddha's life begins with a description of his parents-King sUDDHODANA and Queen MAYA-and ends with the events that immediately follow his death, or PARINIRVAnA. His text is written in the style of high court poetry, or kAvya. In keeping with this style, the Buddhacarita is characterized by lengthy digressions and elaborate descriptions. For example, one entire canto is devoted to a detailed description of the sight of the women sleeping in the palace that precedes GAUTAMA's renunciation (pravrajya; see PRAVRAJITA). Canto XII provides an invaluable outline of the ancient Indian SAMkhya philosophical system. The Buddhacarita has served an important role within the Buddhist tradition itself, as the canonical works do not offer a systematic, chronological account of the Buddha's life from his birth through his death. Only the first half of the Buddhacarita is extant in its original Sanskrit; the remainder survives in Tibetan and Chinese translations.

canticle ::: n. --> A song; esp. a little song or hymn.
The Song of Songs or Song of Solomon, one of the books of the Old Testament.
A canto or division of a poem
A psalm, hymn, or passage from the Bible, arranged for chanting in church service.


Cantong qi. (J. Sandokai; K. Ch'amdong kye 参同契). A famous verse attributed to the Chinese CHAN master SHITOU XIQIAN. Along with the BAOJING SANMEI, the Cantong qi is revered in the Chinese CAODONG ZONG and Japanese SoToSHu traditions as the foundational scripture of the tradition. The Cantong qi is relatively short (forty-four five-character stanzas, for a total of 220 Sinographs), but Shitou's verse is praised for its succinct and unequivocal expression of the teaching of nonduality. The Sinograph "can" in the title means to "consider," "compare," or "differentiate"; it thus carries the connotation of "difference" and is said to refer to the myriad phenomena. The Sinograph "tong" means "sameness" and is said to refer to the oneness of all phenomena. The Sinograph "qi" means "tally" and is said to refer to the tallying of oneself and all phenomena. The title might be alluding to an earlier verse bearing the same title, which is attributed to the renowned Daoist master Wei Boyang. The Cantong qi also seems to be the root source from which were derived core concepts in the "five ranks" (WUWEI) doctrine, an emblematic teaching of the mature Caodong school.

Cantong qi

Cantor ::: 1. (person, mathematics) A mathematician.Cantor devised the diagonal proof of the uncountability of the real numbers:Given a function, f, from the natural numbers to the real numbers, consider the real number r whose binary expansion is given as follows: for each natural number i, r's i-th digit is the complement of the i-th digit of f(i).Thus, since r and f(i) differ in their i-th digits, r differs from any value taken by f. Therefore, f is not surjective (there are values of its result type which it cannot return).Consequently, no function from the natural numbers to the reals is surjective. A further theorem dependent on the axiom of choice turns this result into the statement that the reals are uncountable.This is just a special case of a diagonal proof that a function from a set to its power set cannot be surjective:Let f be a function from a set S to its power set, P(S) and let U = x in S: x not in f(x) . Now, observe that any x in U is not in f(x), so U != f(x); and any x not in U is in f(x), so U != f(x): whence U is not in f(x) : x in S . But U is in P(S). Therefore, no function from a set to its power-set can be surjective.2. (language) An object-oriented language with fine-grained concurrency.[Athas, Caltech 1987. Multicomputers: Message Passing Concurrent Computers, W. Athas et al, Computer 21(8):9-24 (Aug 1988)]. (1997-03-14)

Cantor 1. "person, mathematics" A mathematician. Cantor devised the diagonal proof of the uncountability of the {real numbers}: Given a function, f, from the {natural numbers} to the {real numbers}, consider the real number r whose binary expansion is given as follows: for each natural number i, r's i-th digit is the complement of the i-th digit of f(i). Thus, since r and f(i) differ in their i-th digits, r differs from any value taken by f. Therefore, f is not {surjective} (there are values of its result type which it cannot return). Consequently, no function from the natural numbers to the reals is surjective. A further theorem dependent on the {axiom of choice} turns this result into the statement that the reals are uncountable. This is just a special case of a diagonal proof that a function from a set to its {power set} cannot be surjective: Let f be a function from a set S to its power set, P(S) and let U = { x in S: x not in f(x) }. Now, observe that any x in U is not in f(x), so U != f(x); and any x not in U is in f(x), so U != f(x): whence U is not in { f(x) : x in S }. But U is in P(S). Therefore, no function from a set to its power-set can be surjective. 2. "language" An {object-oriented language} with {fine-grained concurrency}. [Athas, Caltech 1987. "Multicomputers: Message Passing Concurrent Computers", W. Athas et al, Computer 21(8):9-24 (Aug 1988)]. (1997-03-14)

Cantor, Contributions to the Founding of the Theory of Trasfinite Numbers, translated and with an introduction bv P.E.B. Jourdain, Chicago and London, 1915. Whitehead and Russell, Principia Mathematica, vol. 2.

Cantor, Georg (Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp), 1845-1918, (Russian born) German mathematician. Professor of mathematics at Halle, 1872-1913. He is known for contributions to the foundations of (mathematical) analysis, and as the founder of the theory of transfinite cardinal numbers (q.v.) and ordinal numbers (q.v.). See Infinite. -- A.C.

Cantor ::: (Lat. one who sings) In Judaism, a chanter/singer of liturgical materials in the synagogue; also used similarly in Christian contexts (choir leader, etc.). (See also: hazzan)

Ch'amdong kye 参同契. See CANTONG QI

Chazzan (hazzan) ::: See cantor. ::: Cheder ::: (Heb/Yid. lit. Room) Traditional school of talmudic study which draws its name from the one-room buildings in which the students studied.

companion to Ithuriel ( q.v .). In canto VII of

constructive ::: (mathematics) A proof that something exists is constructive if it provides a method for actually constructing it. Cantor's proof that the real irrational numbers exist. (There are easy constructive proofs, too; but there are existence theorems with no known constructive proof).Obviously, all else being equal, constructive proofs are better than non-constructive proofs. A few mathematicians actually reject *all* makes proof by contradiction invalid. See intuitionistic logic for more information on this.Most mathematicians are perfectly happy with non-constructive proofs; however, the constructive approach is popular in theoretical computer science, both and because intuitionistic logic turns out to be the right theory for a theoretical treatment of the foundations of computer science. (1995-04-13)

counterpoint ::: n. --> An opposite point
The setting of note against note in harmony; the adding of one or more parts to a given canto fermo or melody
The art of polyphony, or composite melody, i. e., melody not single, but moving attended by one or more related melodies.
Music in parts; part writing; harmony; polyphonic music. See Polyphony.
A coverlet; a cover for a bed, often stitched or


cumshaw ::: n. --> A present or bonus; -- originally applied to that paid on ships which entered the port of Canton. ::: v. t. --> To give or make a present to.

decani ::: a. --> Used of the side of the choir on which the dean&

descant ::: v. i. --> Originally, a double song; a melody or counterpoint sung above the plain song of the tenor; a variation of an air; a variation by ornament of the main subject or plain song.
The upper voice in part music.
The canto, cantus, or soprano voice; the treble.
A discourse formed on its theme, like variations on a musical air; a comment or comments.
To sing a variation or accomplishment.


Dor6. Illustration to Canto 29 of Dante’s

Dore. Illustrations to Canto 31 of Dante’s

duan ::: n. --> A division of a poem corresponding to a canto; a poem or song.

fit ::: --> imp. & p. p. of Fight. ::: n. --> In Old English, a song; a strain; a canto or portion of a ballad; a passus.
The quality of being fit; adjustment; adaptedness; as of dress to the person of the wearer.


General Recursion Theorem "mathematics" {Cantor}'s {theorem}, originally stated for {ordinals}, which extends {inductive} proof to {recursive} construction. The proof is by pasting together "attempts" (partial solutions). [Better explanation?] (1995-06-15)

General Recursion Theorem ::: (mathematics) Cantor's theorem, originally stated for ordinals, which extends inductive proof to recursive construction. The proof is by pasting together attempts (partial solutions).[Better explanation?] (1995-06-15)

Gödel, Kurt, 1906-, Austrian mathematician and logician -- educated at Vienna, and now located (1941) at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N. J. -- is best known for his important incompleteness theorem, the closely related theorem on the impossibility (under certain circumstances) of formalizing a consistency proof for a logistic system within that system, and the essentially simple but far-reaching device of arithmetization of syntax which is emploved in the proof of these theorems (see Logic, formal, § 6). Also of importance are his proof of the completeness of the functional calculus of first order (see Logic, formal, § 3), and his recent work on the consistency of the axiom of choice (q. v.) and of Cantor's continuum hypothesis. -- A.C.

grisons ::: n. pl. --> Inhabitants of the eastern Swiss Alps.
The largest and most eastern of the Swiss cantons.


Hazzan ::: See cantor. ::: He-Chalutz ::: An association of Jewish youth whose aim was to train its members to settle on the land in Eretz Israel.

hong ::: n. --> A mercantile establishment or factory for foreign trade in China, as formerly at Canton; a succession of offices connected by a common passage and used for business or storage. ::: v. t. & i. --> To hang.

hoppo ::: n. --> A collector of customs, as at Canton; an overseer of commerce.
A tribunal or commission having charge of the revenue derived from trade and navigation.


incanton ::: v. t. --> To unite to, or form into, a canton or separate community.

In Book II, Canto II, ‘a golden artifice’

In Book V, Canto I, Sri Aurobindo speaks of man…

ing for joy. In Dante’s Paradiso, canto 27, the

in his Paradiso, canto 28, calls Pope Gregory to

(in mathematics): The concept of an aggregate is now usually identified with that of a class (q.v.) -- although as a historical matter this does not, perhaps, exactly represent Cantor's notion. -- A.C.

In Savitri, Book II, Canto V, we find these lines:*

In the same Canto, Sri Aurobindo again uses artificer

landamman ::: n. --> A chief magistrate in some of the Swiss cantons.
The president of the diet of the Helvetic republic.


messa di voce: in singing, a controlled swell, i.e. crescendo then diminuendo, on a long held note, especially in Baroque music and in the bel canto period

Moritz Cantor, Vorlesungen über Geschichte der Mathematik, 4 vols., Leipzig, 1880-1908; 4th edn., Leipzig, 1921.

Morrison-Grady Plan ::: A new plan in 1946 after the failure to implement the plan of the Anglo-American Committee that created semiautonomous Arab and Jewish cantons. The plan turned the mandate into a trusteeship and divided Jewish and Arab districts. The plan collapsed after President Truman decided to stick to his earlier demand for the immediate admission of 100,000 Jewish refugees from Europe to Palestine.

motto ::: n. --> A sentence, phrase, or word, forming part of an heraldic achievment.
A sentence, phrase, or word, prefixed to an essay, discourse, chapter, canto, or the like, suggestive of its subject matter; a short, suggestive expression of a guiding principle; a maxim.


Nanhai jigui neifa zhuan. (J. Nankai kiki naihoden; K. Namhae kigwi naebop chon 南海寄歸内法傳). In Chinese, lit., "Tales of Returning from the South Seas with the Dharma," translated into English as A Record of the Buddhist Kingdoms of the Southern Archipelago; an important Buddhist travelogue by the Chinese monk YIJING (635-713) and a major source of information on monastic practice in the various places that he visited during his trip. Yijing dreamed of following in the footsteps of the renowned pilgrims FAXIAN and XUANZANG and, in 671, at the age of thirty-six, set out for India via the southern maritime route. After arriving in 673, he visited the major pilgrimage sites (see MAHĀSTHĀNA) on the subcontinent, before traveling to the monastic university at NĀLANDĀ, where he remained for the next ten years, studying Sanskrit texts especially associated with the VINAYA tradition. After departing from India in 685, Yijing stayed over in sRĪVIJAYA (Palembang in present-day Sumatra) and continued his studies for another four years. It is there that he composed this record of his travels and began his translation of the massive MuLASARVĀSTIVĀDA VINAYA. After returning once to Guangdong (Canton) to retrieve more paper and ink, he returned to China for good in 695 CE. Yijing's four-roll long pilgrimage record is divided into forty sections, which provide a detailed description of the customs, rules, and regulations of the different Buddhist kingdoms and regions he visited. Unlike Xuanzang, Yijing is less concerned with describing the areas he visited and more with detailing the practice of Buddhism in the homeland of the religion. Yijing's interest in establishing an orthodox interpretation of vinaya that could be emulated by the Chinese can be readily observed in his detailed account of monastic rules and best practices governing ordination procedures, monastic residence during the rains retreat (VARsĀ), worshipping a buddha image, cleaning, washing, caring for the sick, and performing funerals, to name but a few. Many of the texts that Yijing cites in corroboration of these practices are now lost; Yijing's record also serves as a valuable source for the study of the Buddhist literature of the period.

nevertheless, in his Paradiso, canto 9, places in

non-constructive proof "logic" (Or "existence proof") A {proof} that something exists that does not provide an example of that thing or a method for finding an example. (A {constructive proof} does provide such an example or method). For example, for any pair of finite real numbers n " 0 and p " 0 there exists a real number 0 " k " 1 such that f(k) = (1-k)*n + k*p = 0. A non-constructive proof might proceed by observing that as k changes continuously from 0 to 1, f(k) changes continuously from n to p and, since they lie either side of zero, f(k) must pass through zero for some intermediate value of k. This proof does not tell us what that value of k is, only that it exists. {Cantor}'s proof that the {real numbers} are {uncountable} can be thought of as a non-constructive proof that {irrational numbers} exist. There are existence theorems with no known constructive proof. (2014-08-23)

passus ::: pl. --> of Passus ::: n. --> A division or part; a canto; as, the passus of Piers Plowman. See 2d Fit.

Purani: “Aswapathy, the father of Savitri, has been significantly called by the poet ‘the Lord of Life’. (book II, Canto XV). The name suggests an affinity to Vedic symbolism. In the Veda, Aswa, the horse, is the symbol of life-energy or vital power. Aswa + aty, Lord, would mean the ‘Lord of Life’. In the poem King Aswapathy is the symbol of the aspiring soul of man as manifested in life on earth.”Savitri”—An Approach and a Study

purpled ::: Amal: “To become richly manifest, beautifully intense, colourfully deep.” (Bk. II, Canto 10, Line 403)

(q.v.). In Klopstock, The Messiah, Canto 21,

sacrificantone who offers up as a sacrifice (oneself, something, etc.).

Sandokai 参同契. See CANTONG QI

senate ::: n. --> An assembly or council having the highest deliberative and legislative functions.
A body of elders appointed or elected from among the nobles of the nation, and having supreme legislative authority.
The upper and less numerous branch of a legislature in various countries, as in France, in the United States, in most of the separate States of the United States, and in some Swiss cantons.
In general, a legislative body; a state council; the


Shitou Xiqian. (J. Sekito Kisen; K. Soktu Hŭich'on 石頭希遷) (700-790). In Chinese, "Rare Transformation Atop a Stone"; master in the Tang-dynasty CHAN ZONG, who was an important ancestor in the lineages of the CAODONG ZONG, YUNMEN ZONG, and FAYAN ZONG, three of the five major houses of the mature Song-dynasty Chan tradition (see WU JIA QI ZONG). Xiqian is claimed to have studied with the sixth patriarch (LIUZU) HUINENG (638-713) while still a youth and was present at the master's deathbed. He subsequently traveled to Qingyuanshan in modern-day Jiangxi province to study with a monk who was claimed to have been one of the sixth patriarch's most eminent disciples: QINGYUAN XINGSI (d. 740). Xingsi is said to have thought highly of his new disciple, famously calling him a unicorn among the other horned animals in his congregation, and eventually made Xiqian his principal dharma heir (FASI). In 742, after his teacher's death, he traveled to Mt. Nanyue (present-day Hunan province), where he lived in a hermitage built on top of a large boulder, hence his cognomen Shitou ("Atop a Stone"). In 762, he traveled to Tanzhou near present-day Changsha, before returning to Mt. Nanyue, where he passed away at the age of ninety. Although during his lifetime Xiqian seems to have been a fairly obscure teacher in a little-known regional lineage, he retrospectively came to be viewed as one of the two most influential teachers of the classical Chan period, along with MAZU DAOYI (709-788). This inflated appraisal is largely a result of the prominence of Xiqian's third-generation successor DONGSHAN LIANGJIE (807-869), one of the two teachers after whom the Caodong school is named. Xiqian is the author of the CANTONG QI, regarded by the Chinese Caodong zong and Japanese SoToSHu as one of their foundational scriptures. Xiqian's short verse, in a total of 220 Sinographs, is highly regarded for its succinct and unequivocal expression of the teaching of nonduality.

Silk Road. (C. Silu 絲路; J. Shiruku rodo シルクロード; K. Pidan kil 緋緞). Term coined by the German geographer Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877 to describe the ancient caravan routes through Central Asia that connected China, India, Syria, and the Roman Empire; also called the Silk Route. (Translations or transcriptions of the English term are now widely used in Asian languages as well, as in the CJK examples above.) Because silk was among the most highly prized commodities in this East-West trade, von Richthofen chose it as the symbolic designation for these trade routes. Other commodities that were traded along these routes included spices, livestock, perfumes, precious metals, and ceramics. The term Silk Road does not refer to a single road, but rather to a network of major and minor trade routes running through Central Asia that connected East and West. Looked at broadly, the Silk Road ultimately extended as far west as the Mediterranean Sea and as far east as modern Guangzhou (Canton) in China. In addition to facilitating trade, these routes also served as a principal conduit for cultural and religious interaction between the peoples of the different regions of Asia. Thus, it was via the Silk Road that Buddhism migrated out of its Indian homeland and into Central and East Asia; over the centuries, adherents of other religions, such as Nestorian Christianity, Manichaeism, and eventually Islam, would follow the same routes into India and China. From the Indian subcontinent, the Silk Road led northwest through KASHMIR to the outpost of Kashgar; there, it split, with a western route leading to SOGDIANA and eventually Damascus in the Middle East, and an eastern route leading through Central Asia into China and the rest of East Asia. There were two main routes through the oasis kingdoms of Central Asia, both skirting the Takla Makan desert in the Tarim basin. Starting at the city of Kashgar in the west, the northern route moved along the oases kingdoms of KUCHA, TURFAN, and KIZIL along the Tian Mountains; the southern route traveled along the base of the Kunlun Mountains through Niya and KHOTAN, until both routes reconnected at DUNHUANG, often the farthest outpost of the Chinese empire. From Dunhuang the route continued east until it terminated in the Chinese co-capitals of Chang'an and Luoyang, whence it connected to domestic feeder routes spreading throughout East Asia. Many of these Central Asian city-states were populated by various Indo-European peoples. The only remaining evidence of the long-lost native languages of these peoples are inscriptions and fragments of religious and civil-government manuscripts, such as the Niya documents, Gandhāran texts in the KHAROstHĪ script, documents written in the TOCHARIAN and Kuchean languages, and so on. Scores of these documents were discovered in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In missions that began shortly after the death of the Buddha, Indian Buddhist monks accompanied the trading caravans that plied the overland Silk Road. These missions lasted for centuries and changed the religious and cultural landscape of Asia. Buddhist inscriptions, sculptures, manuscripts, reliquary mounds (STuPA), and paintings have been discovered along the Silk Road. From northwestern India, Buddhism was taken to Central Asia. We find a host of inscriptions, texts, and images in the regions of modern-day Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, and the Islamic states of the former Soviet Union. By the first century CE, there existed a network of Buddhist religious centers stretching from northwestern India, to the Tarim basin, and into China. Buddhism entered East Asia along the Silk Road as well. According to Chinese sources, interaction between Indian and Chinese culture began as early as the first century BCE, when an emperor of the Han dynasty-by some accounts Emperor Wu (156-87 BCE), by others Emperor Ming (MINGDI) (r. 58-76 CE)-is said to have sent an emissary to the west along the Silk Road in response to the expansion of the KUSHAN empire to gather evidence of the new religion of Buddhism. In the second century CE, monks from India and the oasis kingdoms along the Silk Road began translating Indian and Central Asian Buddhist texts into Chinese. One of the earliest of these translators was AN SHIGAO, who translated dozens of Indian works into Chinese. In the centuries that followed, East Asian pilgrims such as FAXIAN, XUANZANG, YIJING, and HYECH'O used the Silk Road to make their way back and forth between East Asia and the Buddhist homeland of India. From India, these pilgrims brought back manuscripts, relics, and insights into proper religious practice. Today the travelogues of these East Asian monks provide invaluable information regarding the development of Buddhism in Asia. Of the regions along the Silk Road where Buddhism flourished, China, Tibet, and Mongolia are the only ones where Buddhism survived beyond the first millennium CE. This decline was the result of a number of historical factors, including the revival of brahmanical Hinduism in India and the expansion of Islam into Central Asia.

“singing hymns.” Dante in Purgatorio, canto 29,

Still in Book II, Canto X, The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Little Mind

Supplementary Ideographic Plane "text, standard" (SIP) The third plane (plane 2) defined in {Unicode}/{ISO 10646}, designed to hold all the {ideographs} descended from Chinese writing (mainly found in Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and Chinese) that aren't found in the {Basic Multilingual Plane}. The BMP was supposed to hold all ideographs in modern use; unfortunately, many Chinese dialects (like Cantonese and Hong Kong Chinese) were overlooked; to write these, characters from the SIP are necessary. This is one reason even non-academic software must support characters outside the BMP. {Unicode home (http://unicode.org)}. (2002-06-19)

tanka ::: n. --> A kind of boat used in Canton. It is about 25 feet long and is often rowed by women. Called also tankia.

That paradoxes of this kind could be relevant to mathematics first became clear in connection with the paradox of the greatest ordinal number, published by Burali-Forti in 1897, and the paradox of the greatest cardinal number, published by Russell in 1903. The first of these had been discovered by Cantor in 1895, and communicated to Hilbert in 1896, and both are mentioned in Cantor's correspondence with Dedekind of 1899, but were never published by Cantor.

The Elders in the Mystic Procession by Dor6. Illustration to Canto 29 of Dante's Purgatorio. 100

The Messiah, notes to canto vii.]

The saintly throng in the form of a rose by Dore. Illustration to Canto 31 of Dante’s Paradiso. 232

The sparkling circle of the heavenly host by Dore. Illustration to Canto 27 of Dante’s Partidiso,

The sparkling circle of the heavenly host by Dor<, Illustration to Canto 27 of Dante’s Paradiso. 139

this and the succeeding canto, Dore provided wood

Three senses of "Ockhamism" may be distinguished: Logical, indicating usage of the terminology and technique of logical analysis developed by Ockham in his Summa totius logicae; in particular, use of the concept of supposition (suppositio) in the significative analysis of terms. Epistemological, indicating the thesis that universality is attributable only to terms and propositions, and not to things as existing apart from discourse. Theological, indicating the thesis that no tneological doctrines, such as those of God's existence or of the immortality of the soul, are evident or demonstrable philosophically, so that religious doctrine rests solely on faith, without metaphysical or scientific support. It is in this sense that Luther is often called an Ockhamist.   Bibliography:   B. Geyer,   Ueberwegs Grundriss d. Gesch. d. Phil., Bd. II (11th ed., Berlin 1928), pp. 571-612 and 781-786; N. Abbagnano,   Guglielmo di Ockham (Lanciano, Italy, 1931); E. A. Moody,   The Logic of William of Ockham (N. Y. & London, 1935); F. Ehrle,   Peter von Candia (Muenster, 1925); G. Ritter,   Studien zur Spaetscholastik, I-II (Heidelberg, 1921-1922).     --E.A.M. Om, aum: (Skr.) Mystic, holy syllable as a symbol for the indefinable Absolute. See Aksara, Vac, Sabda. --K.F.L. Omniscience: In philosophy and theology it means the complete and perfect knowledge of God, of Himself and of all other beings, past, present, and future, or merely possible, as well as all their activities, real or possible, including the future free actions of human beings. --J.J.R. One: Philosophically, not a number but equivalent to unit, unity, individuality, in contradistinction from multiplicity and the mani-foldness of sensory experience. In metaphysics, the Supreme Idea (Plato), the absolute first principle (Neo-platonism), the universe (Parmenides), Being as such and divine in nature (Plotinus), God (Nicolaus Cusanus), the soul (Lotze). Religious philosophy and mysticism, beginning with Indian philosophy (s.v.), has favored the designation of the One for the metaphysical world-ground, the ultimate icility, the world-soul, the principle of the world conceived as reason, nous, or more personally. The One may be conceived as an independent whole or as a sum, as analytic or synthetic, as principle or ontologically. Except by mysticism, it is rarely declared a fact of sensory experience, while its transcendent or transcendental, abstract nature is stressed, e.g., in epistemology where the "I" or self is considered the unitary background of personal experience, the identity of self-consciousness, or the unity of consciousness in the synthesis of the manifoldness of ideas (Kant). --K.F.L. One-one: A relation R is one-many if for every y in the converse domain there is a unique x such that xRy. A relation R is many-one if for every x in the domain there is a unique y such that xRy. (See the article relation.) A relation is one-one, or one-to-one, if it is at the same time one-many and many-one. A one-one relation is said to be, or to determine, a one-to-one correspondence between its domain and its converse domain. --A.C. On-handedness: (Ger. Vorhandenheit) Things exist in the mode of thereness, lying- passively in a neutral space. A "deficient" form of a more basic relationship, termed at-handedness (Zuhandenheit). (Heidegger.) --H.H. Ontological argument: Name by which later authors, especially Kant, designate the alleged proof for God's existence devised by Anselm of Canterbury. Under the name of God, so the argument runs, everyone understands that greater than which nothing can be thought. Since anything being the greatest and lacking existence is less then the greatest having also existence, the former is not really the greater. The greatest, therefore, has to exist. Anselm has been reproached, already by his contemporary Gaunilo, for unduly passing from the field of logical to the field of ontological or existential reasoning. This criticism has been repeated by many authors, among them Aquinas. The argument has, however, been used, if in a somewhat modified form, by Duns Scotus, Descartes, and Leibniz. --R.A. Ontological Object: (Gr. onta, existing things + logos, science) The real or existing object of an act of knowledge as distinguished from the epistemological object. See Epistemological Object. --L.W. Ontologism: (Gr. on, being) In contrast to psychologism, is called any speculative system which starts philosophizing by positing absolute being, or deriving the existence of entities independently of experience merely on the basis of their being thought, or assuming that we have immediate and certain knowledge of the ground of being or God. Generally speaking any rationalistic, a priori metaphysical doctrine, specifically the philosophies of Rosmini-Serbati and Vincenzo Gioberti. As a philosophic method censored by skeptics and criticists alike, as a scholastic doctrine formerly strongly supported, revived in Italy and Belgium in the 19th century, but no longer countenanced. --K.F.L. Ontology: (Gr. on, being + logos, logic) The theory of being qua being. For Aristotle, the First Philosophy, the science of the essence of things. Introduced as a term into philosophy by Wolff. The science of fundamental principles, the doctrine of the categories. Ultimate philosophy; rational cosmology. Syn. with metaphysics. See Cosmology, First Principles, Metaphysics, Theology. --J.K.F. Operation: "(Lit. operari, to work) Any act, mental or physical, constituting a phase of the reflective process, and performed with a view to acquiring1 knowledge or information about a certain subject-nntter. --A.C.B.   In logic, see Operationism.   In philosophy of science, see Pragmatism, Scientific Empiricism. Operationism: The doctrine that the meaning of a concept is given by a set of operations.   1. The operational meaning of a term (word or symbol) is given by a semantical rule relating the term to some concrete process, object or event, or to a class of such processes, objectj or events.   2. Sentences formed by combining operationally defined terms into propositions are operationally meaningful when the assertions are testable by means of performable operations. Thus, under operational rules, terms have semantical significance, propositions have empirical significance.   Operationism makes explicit the distinction between formal (q.v.) and empirical sentences. Formal propositions are signs arranged according to syntactical rules but lacking operational reference. Such propositions, common in mathematics, logic and syntax, derive their sanction from convention, whereas an empirical proposition is acceptable (1) when its structure obeys syntactical rules and (2) when there exists a concrete procedure (a set of operations) for determining its truth or falsity (cf. Verification). Propositions purporting to be empirical are sometimes amenable to no operational test because they contain terms obeying no definite semantical rules. These sentences are sometimes called pseudo-propositions and are said to be operationally meaningless. They may, however, be 'meaningful" in other ways, e.g. emotionally or aesthetically (cf. Meaning).   Unlike a formal statement, the "truth" of an empirical sentence is never absolute and its operational confirmation serves only to increase the degree of its validity. Similarly, the semantical rule comprising the operational definition of a term has never absolute precision. Ordinarily a term denotes a class of operations and the precision of its definition depends upon how definite are the rules governing inclusion in the class.   The difference between Operationism and Logical Positivism (q.v.) is one of emphasis. Operationism's stress of empirical matters derives from the fact that it was first employed to purge physics of such concepts as absolute space and absolute time, when the theory of relativity had forced upon physicists the view that space and time are most profitably defined in terms of the operations by which they are measured. Although different methods of measuring length at first give rise to different concepts of length, wherever the equivalence of certain of these measures can be established by other operations, the concepts may legitimately be combined.   In psychology the operational criterion of meaningfulness is commonly associated with a behavioristic point of view. See Behaviorism. Since only those propositions which are testable by public and repeatable operations are admissible in science, the definition of such concepti as mind and sensation must rest upon observable aspects of the organism or its behavior. Operational psychology deals with experience only as it is indicated by the operation of differential behavior, including verbal report. Discriminations, or the concrete differential reactions of organisms to internal or external environmental states, are by some authors regarded as the most basic of all operations.   For a discussion of the role of operational definition in phvsics. see P. W. Bridgman, The Logic of Modern Physics, (New York, 1928) and The Nature of Physical Theory (Princeton, 1936). "The extension of operationism to psychology is discussed by C. C. Pratt in The Logic of Modem Psychology (New York. 1939.)   For a discussion and annotated bibliography relating to Operationism and Logical Positivism, see S. S. Stevens, Psychology and the Science of Science, Psychol. Bull., 36, 1939, 221-263. --S.S.S. Ophelimity: Noun derived from the Greek, ophelimos useful, employed by Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) in economics as the equivalent of utility, or the capacity to provide satisfaction. --J.J.R. Opinion: (Lat. opinio, from opinor, to think) An hypothesis or proposition entertained on rational grounds but concerning which doubt can reasonably exist. A belief. See Hypothesis, Certainty, Knowledge. --J.K.F- Opposition: (Lat. oppositus, pp. of oppono, to oppose) Positive actual contradiction. One of Aristotle's Post-predicaments. In logic any contrariety or contradiction, illustrated by the "Square of Opposition". Syn. with: conflict. See Logic, formal, § 4. --J.K.F. Optimism: (Lat. optimus, the best) The view inspired by wishful thinking, success, faith, or philosophic reflection, that the world as it exists is not so bad or even the best possible, life is good, and man's destiny is bright. Philosophically most persuasively propounded by Leibniz in his Theodicee, according to which God in his wisdom would have created a better world had he known or willed such a one to exist. Not even he could remove moral wrong and evil unless he destroyed the power of self-determination and hence the basis of morality. All systems of ethics that recognize a supreme good (Plato and many idealists), subscribe to the doctrines of progressivism (Turgot, Herder, Comte, and others), regard evil as a fragmentary view (Josiah Royce et al.) or illusory, or believe in indemnification (Henry David Thoreau) or melioration (Emerson), are inclined optimistically. Practically all theologies advocating a plan of creation and salvation, are optimistic though they make the good or the better dependent on moral effort, right thinking, or belief, promising it in a future existence. Metaphysical speculation is optimistic if it provides for perfection, evolution to something higher, more valuable, or makes room for harmonies or a teleology. See Pessimism. --K.F.L. Order: A class is said to be partially ordered by a dyadic relation R if it coincides with the field of R, and R is transitive and reflexive, and xRy and yRx never both hold when x and y are different. If in addition R is connected, the class is said to be ordered (or simply ordered) by R, and R is called an ordering relation.   Whitehcid and Russell apply the term serial relation to relations which are transitive, irreflexive, and connected (and, in consequence, also asymmetric). However, the use of serial relations in this sense, instead ordering relations as just defined, is awkward in connection with the notion of order for unit classes.   Examples: The relation not greater than among leal numbers is an ordering relation. The relation less than among real numbers is a serial relation. The real numbers are simply ordered by the former relation. In the algebra of classes (logic formal, § 7), the classes are partially ordered by the relation of class inclusion.   For explanation of the terminology used in making the above definitions, see the articles connexity, reflexivity, relation, symmetry, transitivity. --A.C. Order type: See relation-number. Ordinal number: A class b is well-ordered by a dyadic relation R if it is ordered by R (see order) and, for every class a such that a ⊂ b, there is a member x of a, such that xRy holds for every member y of a; and R is then called a well-ordering relation. The ordinal number of a class b well-ordered by a relation R, or of a well-ordering relation R, is defined to be the relation-number (q. v.) of R.   The ordinal numbers of finite classes (well-ordered by appropriate relations) are called finite ordinal numbers. These are 0, 1, 2, ... (to be distinguished, of course, from the finite cardinal numbers 0, 1, 2, . . .).   The first non-finite (transfinite or infinite) ordinal number is the ordinal number of the class of finite ordinal numbers, well-ordered in their natural order, 0, 1, 2, . . .; it is usually denoted by the small Greek letter omega. --A.C.   G. Cantor, Contributions to the Founding of the Theory of Transfinite Numbers, translated and with an introduction by P. E. B. Jourdain, Chicago and London, 1915. (new ed. 1941); Whitehead and Russell, Princtpia Mathematica. vol. 3. Orexis: (Gr. orexis) Striving; desire; the conative aspect of mind, as distinguished from the cognitive and emotional (Aristotle). --G.R.M.. Organicism: A theory of biology that life consists in the organization or dynamic system of the organism. Opposed to mechanism and vitalism. --J.K.F. Organism: An individual animal or plant, biologically interpreted. A. N. Whitehead uses the term to include also physical bodies and to signify anything material spreading through space and enduring in time. --R.B.W. Organismic Psychology: (Lat. organum, from Gr. organon, an instrument) A system of theoretical psychology which construes the structure of the mind in organic rather than atomistic terms. See Gestalt Psychology; Psychological Atomism. --L.W. Organization: (Lat. organum, from Gr. organon, work) A structured whole. The systematic unity of parts in a purposive whole. A dynamic system. Order in something actual. --J.K.F. Organon: (Gr. organon) The title traditionally given to the body of Aristotle's logical treatises. The designation appears to have originated among the Peripatetics after Aristotle's time, and expresses their view that logic is not a part of philosophy (as the Stoics maintained) but rather the instrument (organon) of philosophical inquiry. See Aristotelianism. --G.R.M.   In Kant. A system of principles by which pure knowledge may be acquired and established.   Cf. Fr. Bacon's Novum Organum. --O.F.K. Oriental Philosophy: A general designation used loosely to cover philosophic tradition exclusive of that grown on Greek soil and including the beginnings of philosophical speculation in Egypt, Arabia, Iran, India, and China, the elaborate systems of India, Greater India, China, and Japan, and sometimes also the religion-bound thought of all these countries with that of the complex cultures of Asia Minor, extending far into antiquity. Oriental philosophy, though by no means presenting a homogeneous picture, nevertheless shares one characteristic, i.e., the practical outlook on life (ethics linked with metaphysics) and the absence of clear-cut distinctions between pure speculation and religious motivation, and on lower levels between folklore, folk-etymology, practical wisdom, pre-scientiiic speculation, even magic, and flashes of philosophic insight. Bonds with Western, particularly Greek philosophy have no doubt existed even in ancient times. Mutual influences have often been conjectured on the basis of striking similarities, but their scientific establishment is often difficult or even impossible. Comparative philosophy (see especially the work of Masson-Oursel) provides a useful method. Yet a thorough treatment of Oriental Philosophy is possible only when the many languages in which it is deposited have been more thoroughly studied, the psychological and historical elements involved in the various cultures better investigated, and translations of the relevant documents prepared not merely from a philological point of view or out of missionary zeal, but by competent philosophers who also have some linguistic training. Much has been accomplished in this direction in Indian and Chinese Philosophy (q.v.). A great deal remains to be done however before a definitive history of Oriental Philosophy may be written. See also Arabian, and Persian Philosophy. --K.F.L. Origen: (185-254) The principal founder of Christian theology who tried to enrich the ecclesiastic thought of his day by reconciling it with the treasures of Greek philosophy. Cf. Migne PL. --R.B.W. Ormazd: (New Persian) Same as Ahura Mazdah (q.v.), the good principle in Zoroastrianism, and opposed to Ahriman (q.v.). --K.F.L. Orphic Literature: The mystic writings, extant only in fragments, of a Greek religious-philosophical movement of the 6th century B.C., allegedly started by the mythical Orpheus. In their mysteries, in which mythology and rational thinking mingled, the Orphics concerned themselves with cosmogony, theogony, man's original creation and his destiny after death which they sought to influence to the better by pure living and austerity. They taught a symbolism in which, e.g., the relationship of the One to the many was clearly enunciated, and believed in the soul as involved in reincarnation. Pythagoras, Empedocles, and Plato were influenced by them. --K.F.L. Ortega y Gasset, Jose: Born in Madrid, May 9, 1883. At present in Buenos Aires, Argentine. Son of Ortega y Munillo, the famous Spanish journalist. Studied at the College of Jesuits in Miraflores and at the Central University of Madrid. In the latter he presented his Doctor's dissertation, El Milenario, in 1904, thereby obtaining his Ph.D. degree. After studies in Leipzig, Berlin, Marburg, under the special influence of Hermann Cohen, the great exponent of Kant, who taught him the love for the scientific method and awoke in him the interest in educational philosophy, Ortega came to Spain where, after the death of Nicolas Salmeron, he occupied the professorship of metaphysics at the Central University of Madrid. The following may be considered the most important works of Ortega y Gasset:     Meditaciones del Quijote, 1914;   El Espectador, I-VIII, 1916-1935;   El Tema de Nuestro Tiempo, 1921;   España Invertebrada, 1922;   Kant, 1924;   La Deshumanizacion del Arte, 1925;   Espiritu de la Letra, 1927;   La Rebelion de las Masas, 1929;   Goethe desde Adentio, 1934;   Estudios sobre el Amor, 1939;   Ensimismamiento y Alteracion, 1939;   El Libro de las Misiones, 1940;   Ideas y Creencias, 1940;     and others.   Although brought up in the Marburg school of thought, Ortega is not exactly a neo-Kantian. At the basis of his Weltanschauung one finds a denial of the fundamental presuppositions which characterized European Rationalism. It is life and not thought which is primary. Things have a sense and a value which must be affirmed independently. Things, however, are to be conceived as the totality of situations which constitute the circumstances of a man's life. Hence, Ortega's first philosophical principle: "I am myself plus my circumstances". Life as a problem, however, is but one of the poles of his formula. Reason is the other. The two together function, not by dialectical opposition, but by necessary coexistence. Life, according to Ortega, does not consist in being, but rather, in coming to be, and as such it is of the nature of direction, program building, purpose to be achieved, value to be realized. In this sense the future as a time dimension acquires new dignity, and even the present and the past become articulate and meaning-full only in relation to the future. Even History demands a new point of departure and becomes militant with new visions. --J.A.F. Orthodoxy: Beliefs which are declared by a group to be true and normative. Heresy is a departure from and relative to a given orthodoxy. --V.S. Orthos Logos: See Right Reason. Ostensible Object: (Lat. ostendere, to show) The object envisaged by cognitive act irrespective of its actual existence. See Epistemological Object. --L.W. Ostensive: (Lat. ostendere, to show) Property of a concept or predicate by virtue of which it refers to and is clarified by reference to its instances. --A.C.B. Ostwald, Wilhelm: (1853-1932) German chemist. Winner of the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1909. In Die Uberwindung des wissenschaftlichen Materialistmus and in Naturphilosophie, his two best known works in the field of philosophy, he advocates a dynamic theory in opposition to materialism and mechanism. All properties of matter, and the psychic as well, are special forms of energy. --L.E.D. Oupnekhat: Anquetil Duperron's Latin translation of the Persian translation of 50 Upanishads (q.v.), a work praised by Schopenhauer as giving him complete consolation. --K.F.L. Outness: A term employed by Berkeley to express the experience of externality, that is the ideas of space and things placed at a distance. Hume used it in the sense of distance Hamilton understood it as the state of being outside of consciousness in a really existing world of material things. --J.J.R. Overindividual: Term used by H. Münsterberg to translate the German überindividuell. The term is applied to any cognitive or value object which transcends the individual subject. --L.W. P

“Two Cantos of Mutabilitie” in The Fairie

vaudois ::: n. sing. & pl. --> An inhabitant, or the inhabitants, of the Swiss canton of Vaud.
A modern name of the Waldenses.


wuwei. (J. goi; K. owi 五位). In Chinese, lit., "five ranks"; a doctrinal formula generally attributed to the CHAN master DONGSHAN LIANGJIE (807-869), the putative cofounder of the CAODONG ZONG of the mature Chan tradition. The antecedents of these five ranks are traced to SHITOU XIQIAN's CANTONG QI, which discusses the mutual "turning back on one other" (huihu) of the terms brightness and darkness. This dichotomy is eventually generalized as "relative" (pian), lit., "askew" or "partial," referring to that which is bright, conceivable, effable, and phenomena (SHI); and absolute (zheng), lit., "upright," correlating with what is dark, inconceivable, ineffable, and principle (LI). Although these two valences of relative and absolute may be discrete, they are interconnected, interdependent, and mutually defining, thus constantly "turning back on one other." The five ranks are systematized by Dongshan in his "Verses on the Five Ranks" (Wuwei song) as follows. (1) The relative within the absolute (zhengzhong pian): this valence suggests that the ordinary person constantly abides in original enlightenment (BENJUE), but is unaware of it. (2) The absolute within the relative (pianzhong zheng): the practitioner may have become aware of the reality of original enlightenment, but still treats it as an object to be understood conceptually, rather than directly experienced. (3) [The relative] emerging from the absolute (zhengzhong lai): as the Chan practitioner experiences the pervasiveness of emptiness, that emptiness turns back on itself and transforms into a more dynamic and luxuriant way of experience of reality. (4) [The relative and the absolute] jointly accessible (jianzhong zhi): as the reality of each and every independent phenomenon (shi) is experienced, the reality of principle (li) is simultaneously accessed. (5) Integration of the absolute and the relative, or lit. "arriving within together" (jianzhong dao): the bifurcations between relative and absolute, the experiencing subject and the object experienced, the realizer and the realized, etc., all drop away, so that the practitioner continues to practice but now without practicing anything, and seeks buddhahood while understanding that there is no buddhahood to be sought. In some interpretations, the first two ranks evoke the famous passage in the PRAJNĀPĀRAMITĀHṚDAYASuTRA: "form is emptiness, emptiness is form" (see RuPAM suNYATĀ sUNYATAIVA RuPAM). The third rank implies the bodhisattva practice of returning to the world after his or her attainment of enlightenment (BODHI). Similarly, the fourth and fifth ranks imply the bodhisattva vow to save all living beings so that they may all access NIRVĀnA together. Despite the use of the term "rank," a systematic progression is not necessarily implied, and some commentators suggest that all five ranks may be experienced simultaneously in a moment of sudden awakening (DUNWU); thus, the five ranks may be an attempt to demonstrate how gradual and sequential outlines of Buddhist soteriology can be integrated with the more subitist soteriologies that become emblematic of the mature Chan tradition. The five ranks are also sometimes correlated with the five wisdoms (PANCAJNĀNA) of a buddha in the MAHĀYĀNA, and specifically in the YOGĀCĀRA school. Dongshan's "five ranks" were frequently used in East Asian GONG'AN collections as a means of checking a student's level of understanding. In one of the modern Japanese RINZAISHu systematizations of koan training, the final stage in the practice that follows initial sudden awakening (J. SATORI, C. dunwu) also involves mastery of the five ranks (J. goi).

Xinxin ming. (J. Shinjinmei; K. Sinsim myong 信心銘). In Chinese, "Inscription on the Mind of Faith" (or "Faith in Mind"); attributed to the dubious third patriarch of the CHAN tradition, the otherwise-unknown SENGCAN. The Xinxin ming is a relatively short poem that praises nonduality and the method for attaining that experience. The last stanza, for instance, states that "faith and mind" (xinxin) are not two, and nonduality (lit. "not two") is the "perfected mind" (xinxin). According to the Xinxin ming, the method of attaining nonduality largely involves the cultivation of detachment, especially from words and thoughts. Along with the ZHENGDAO GE, CANTONG QI, and BAOJING SANMEI, the Xinxin ming has been regarded as one of the seminal statements of the Chan understanding of the dharma. Numerous commentaries on the poem were composed in East Asia. The Xinxin ming is still recited aloud in some Chan and ZEN monasteries.



QUOTES [3 / 3 - 249 / 249]


KEYS (10k)

   1 M P Pandit
   1 Eddie Cantor
   1 Dante Alighieri

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   91 Eric Cantona
   12 Georg Cantor
   12 Eddie Cantor
   10 Mario Cantone
   9 Jillian Cantor
   9 Janice Cantore
   7 Anonymous
   6 Eric Cantor
   5 Samuel Butler
   4 Augosto dos Anjos
   4 Álvares de Azevedo
   2 Suzanne Collins
   2 Steven Moffat
   2 Mark Canton
   2 Kerstin Gier
   2 Dante Alighieri
   2 Cassandra Clare
   2 Casimiro de Abreu

1:Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
   ~ Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto 3, Verse 9,
2:I know some individuals who make this their daily practice: starting at the beginning and reading a canto or half a canto every day till they reach the end and then starting at the beginning again, and in that way they have gone through the whole of Savitri many times. When this is done in groups there's really no doubt that by this going through the whole soundbody of the epic from beginning to end aloud, there must be built up a very strong force field of vibrations. It is definitely of benefit to the people who participate in it. But again I would say that the effect or benefit of this sacrifice will be richer to the extent that the reading is done with understanding and above all with soul surrender. It shouldn't become a mere ritual.
Sri Aurobindo's mantric lines, repeated one after the other, will always have their power; but the power will be much greater if the mind can participate, and the will and the heart.
I have also heard of some groups who select one line that seems to have a particular mantric power and then within the group they chant that line many, many times. They concentrate on that one special line, and try to take its vibrations deep into themselves. Again I am sure that this is very beneficial to those who practice it.
In that way the words enter very deeply into the consciousness. There they resonate and do their work, and perhaps not just the surface meaning but the deeper meaning and the deeper vibrations may reveal their full depth to those who undertake this exercise if it is done with self-dedication, with a true aspiration to internalise the heart of the meaning, not just as a mere repetition.
At another end of the spectrum of possible approaches to Savitri, we can say there would be the aesthetic approach, the approach of enjoying it for its poetic beauty. I met a gentleman a couple of months ago, who told me, "We have faith in Sri Aurobindo, but it is so difficult to understand his books. We tried with The Life Divine, we tried with The Synthesis of Yoga but we found them so difficult. ~ collab summer & fall 2011,
3:HOW CAN I READ SAVITRI?
An open reply by Dr Alok Pandey to a fellow devotee

A GIFT OF LOVE TO THE WORLD
Most of all enjoy Savitri. It is Sri Aurobindo's gift of Love to the world. Read it from the heart with love and gratitude as companions and drown in its fiery bliss. That is the true understanding rather than one that comes by a constant churning of words in the head.

WHEN
Best would be to fix a time that works for you. One can always take out some time for the reading, even if it be late at night when one is done with all the daily works. Of course, a certain receptivity is needed. If one is too tired or the reading becomes too mechanical as a ritual routine to be somehow finished it tends to be less effective, as with anything else. Hence the advice is to read in a quiet receptive state.

THE PACE
As to the pace of reading it is best to slowly build up and keep it steady. To read a page or a passage daily is better than reading many pages one day and then few lines or none for days. This brings a certain discipline in the consciousness which makes one receptive. What it means is that one should fix up that one would read a few passages or a page or two daily, and then if an odd day one is enjoying and spontaneously wants to read more then one can go by the flow.

COMPLETE OR SELECTIONS?
It is best to read at least once from cover to cover. But if one is not feeling inclined for that do read some of the beautiful cantos and passages whose reference one can find in various places. This helps us familiarise with the epic and the style of poetry. Later one can go for the cover to cover reading.

READING ALOUD, SILENTLY, OR WRITING DOWN?
One can read it silently. Loud reading is needed only if one is unable to focus with silent reading. A mantra is more potent when read subtly. I am aware that some people recommend reading it aloud which is fine if that helps one better. A certain flexibility in these things is always good and rigid rules either ways are not helpful.

One can also write some of the beautiful passages with which one feels suddenly connected. It is a help in the yoga since such a writing involves the pouring in of the consciousness of Savitri through the brain and nerves and the hand.

Reflecting upon some of these magnificent lines and passages while one is engaged in one\s daily activities helps to create a background state for our inner being to get absorbed in Savitri more and more.

HOW DO I UNDERSTAND THE MEANING? DO I NEED A DICTIONARY?
It is helpful if a brief background about the Canto is known. This helps the mind top focus and also to keep in sync with the overall scene and sense of what is being read.

But it is best not to keep referring to the dictionary while reading. Let the overall sense emerge. Specifics can be done during a detailed reading later and it may not be necessary at all. Besides the sense that Sri Aurobindo has given to many words may not be accurately conveyed by the standard dictionaries. A flexibility is required to understand the subtle suggestions hinted at by the Master-poet.

In this sense Savitri is in the line of Vedic poetry using images that are at once profound as well as commonplace. That is the beauty of mystic poetry. These are things actually experienced and seen by Sri Aurobindo, and ultimately it is Their Grace that alone can reveal the intrinsic sense of this supreme revelation of the Supreme. ~ Dr Alok Pandey,

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:All human history attests That happiness for man, - the hungry sinner! - Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner. ~Lord Byron, Don Juan, Canto XIII, stanza 99 ~ lord-byron, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Canto Íntimo
~ Augosto dos Anjos,
2:Canto De Amor
~ Casimiro de Abreu,
3:Canto Segundo
~ Álvares de Azevedo,
4:Canto De Agonia
~ Augosto dos Anjos,
5:Canto Primeiro
~ Álvares de Azevedo,
6:O Canto Dos Presos
~ Augosto dos Anjos,
7:Um Canto Do Século
~ Álvares de Azevedo,
8:Canto De Onipotência
~ Augosto dos Anjos,
9:Il canto dei morti è il pianto dei vivi. ~ Christopher Paolini,
10:la sospecha de la inhumanidad de todo canto humano ~ Anonymous,
11:CANTO I IN the midway of this our mortal life, ~ Dante Alighieri,
12:Bel canto is to opera what pole-vaulting is to ballet. ~ Ned Rorem,
13:Fragmento De Um Canto Em Cordas De Bronze
~ Álvares de Azevedo,
14:¿Qué es lo que canto y qué es lo que mi tambor canta? ~ Idries Shah,
15:Battle. Canto XXVI. Dúshan's Death. Canto XXVII. The Death ~ Valmiki,
16:Star canto: star speaks light, and world to world ~ Philip James Bailey,
17:La risa era seca, pero libre, el canto era bajo, pero indiferente. ~ Victor Hugo,
18:The monument of vanished mindes. ~ Sir William Davenant, Gondibert, Book II, Canto V.,
19:And after every swarm its own. ~ Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part III (1678), Canto II, line 7,
20:Nunca habrá otra perfección que la de ahora. Canto a mí mismo, WALT WHITMAN ~ Deepak Chopra,
21:Manage the Babylonish sport. ~ Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto III, line 1,095,
22:For nothing else but to be mended. ~ Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto I, line 205,
23:The green retreats  Of Academus. ~ Mark Akenside, Pleasures of the Imagination, Canto I, line 591.,
24:Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
   ~ Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto 3, Verse 9,
25:" — I may stand alone,But would not change my free thoughts for a throne." ~ Lord Byron(Don Juan ; Canto 11),
26:Tutto attorno a lui, gli odori erano come un canto, un coro che pareva permeare il buon mondo verde. ~ Anonymous,
27:Se encerraba a cal y canto en su caparazón y marcaba en todo momento una distancia con su entorno. ~ Stieg Larsson,
28:el sonido no es el artífice del canto, antes está sujeto al alma que canta por el cuerpo, ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo,
29:My vocal style is called bel canto, which is an old Italian vocal style going back hundreds of years. ~ Sebastian Bach,
30:There's naught, no doubt, so much the spirit calms as rum and true religion. ~ Lord Byron, Don Juan (1818-24), Canto II, Stanza 34,
31:There was something in the bel canto, not just opera, but a certain style of Italian singing that I responded to deeply. ~ Robert Davi,
32:All which he understood by rote,  And, as occasion serv'd, would quote. ~ Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto I, line 135.,
33:And wisely tell what hour o' th' day  The clock does strike by Algebra. ~ Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto I, line 125.,
34:Mientras mas honda la herida,
Es mi canto mas hermoso.

While more deeper is the wound
The more beautiful the art. ~ Jos Mart,
35:¿No tendrás un cepillo para el pelo? Es que canto mejor cuando tengo uno en la mano.
Gideon parecía un poco desesperado. ~ Kerstin Gier,
36:I love to doubt as well as know." ~ Dante Alighieri Dante's Inferno, Canto XI, 93: "non men che saver, dubbiar m'aggrata. ~ Dante Alighieri,
37:I want to be known by people who are knowledgeable about opera, who appreciate bel canto singing, people who have more sensitivity. ~ Alfredo Kraus,
38:Se o senhor me permite arriscar uma comparação, diria que os livros são as pautas e a conversa é o canto. - A enfermaria Nº6 (novela) ~ Anton Chekhov,
39:En el fondo, toda filosofía no era más que el canto lastimero de un niño que se ve obligado a ahuyentar el miedo que le causa la oscuridad. ~ Marlen Haushofer,
40:toda escolha tem sua história, muitos momentos de nossa vida estão espremidos num canto só esperando uma brecha, e no final essa brecha aparece. ~ Elena Ferrante,
41:In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself in a dark wood where the straight way was lost. —DANTE ALIGHIERI, The Divine Comedy: Canto I ~ Erik Larson,
42:He understood b’ implicit faith. ~ Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto I, line 127. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 596-97.,
43:Alle sembianze il Padre, alle amene sembianze eterno regno diè alle genti; e per virili imprese, per dotta lira o canto, virtù non luce in disadorno ammanto. ~ Giacomo Leopardi,
44:All human history attests That happiness for man, - the hungry sinner! - Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner. ~Lord Byron, Don Juan, Canto XIII, stanza 99 ~ Lord Byron,
45:Open your mind to what I shall disclose, and hold it fast within you; he who hears, but does not hold what he has heard, learns nothing. Beatrice - Canto V 40-42 ~ Dante Alighieri,
46:Me celebro y me canto a mí mismo.
Y lo que yo diga ahora de mí, lo digo de ti,
porque lo que yo tengo lo tienes tú
y cada átomo de mi cuerpo es tuyo también. ~ Walt Whitman,
47:There is no god but God! — to prayer — lo!  God is great! ~ Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto II (1812), Stanza 59, this is a translation of standard Islamic exclamations,
48:I saw two beings in the hues of the youth
Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill... And both were young-- and one was beautiful
-The Dream, Canto II
Lord Byron ~ Madeleine L Engle,
49:And of that second kingdom will I sing Wherein the human spirit doth purge itself, And to ascend to heaven becometh worthy.” -Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio, Canto I.004-006. ~ Sylvain Reynard,
50:instrumento menos grave, canto de amor suave las iras y desdenes, los males y los bienes, no del todo olvidado del fiero taratántara, templado con el silbo del pícaro sonoro. ~ Lope de Vega,
51:Versi di un canto Navajo

Poi gli dissero:
Tutto quello che hai visto, ricordalo,
Perché tutto quel che dimentichi
Ritorna a volare nel vento. ~ William Least Heat Moon,
52:Sentada no seu canto, a morte olhava. Muito mais tarde, o cão levantou-se do tapete e subiu para o sofá. Pela primeira vez na sua vida a morte soube o que era ter um cão no regaço. ~ Jos Saramago,
53:All human history attests
That happiness for man, - the hungry sinner! -
Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner. ~ Lord ByronLord Byron, Don Juan, Canto XIII, stanza 99 ~ Lord Byron,
54:Num cotovelo do caminho avistou um canto de cerca, encheu-o a esperança de achar comida, sentiu desejo de cantar. A voz saiu-lhe rouca, medonha. Calou-se para não estragar força. ~ Graciliano Ramos,
55:In mathematics he was greater  Than Tycho Brahe, or Erra Pater;  For he, by geometric scale,  Could take the size of pots of ale. ~ Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto I, line 119.,
56:Io mi siedo sulla soglia e immergo il mio sguardo e il mio udito nei colori e nei suoni del paesaggio e canto piano piano, per me soltanto, dei vaghi canti che compongo nell'attesa. ~ Fernando Pessoa,
57:¿Quién habrá inventado la música? ¿El viento? ¿El mar? ¿La lluvia? ¿Cuándo habrá nacido la armonía? ¿Qué habrá sonado primero? ¿El lenguaje de la brisa o el canto del ruiseñor? Desde ~ Mario Benedetti,
58:A Terra dizia: Toma aqui, um presente para você. Mas o que fazemos? Nós a removemos com pás. Nós a golpeamos. Nós a raspamos. Nós a limpamos. Saia do nosso caminho. Nós a colocamos de canto. ~ Jerry Spinelli,
59:this publisher guy
is asking me about my favorite canto in Child Harolde
that’s like asking someone to pick who’s hotter
his half-sister or his cousins
it’s literally impossible ~ Mallory Ortberg,
60:In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself in a dark wood where the straight way was lost. —DANTE ALIGHIERI,
The Divine Comedy: Canto I
(Carlyle-Wicksteed Translation, 1932) ~ Erik Larson,
61:HELEN HAYES: “Which part of The Divine Comedy do you like the most, Tiziano?”
TIZIANO CONTI: “The fifth Canto.”
HELEN HAYES: “The Hell, huh?”
TIZIANO CONTI: “L’inferno depicts the truth. ~ Merce Cardus,
62:In the Bhāgavatam, Twelfth Canto, it is said that in the Kali-yuga marriage will be based on the consideration of sex life; as soon as there is deficiency in sex life, the question of divorce will arise. ~ Anonymous,
63:Amor que incendia el corazón de los orangutanes, de los bomberos. Amor que exalta el canto de las ranas bajo las ramas, que arranca los botones de los botines, que se alimenta de encelo y ensalada. ~ Oliverio Girondo,
64:... Vi alguna lágrima. El hombre alzaba o alejaba la voz y los acordes casi iguales eran monótonos o, mejor aún, infinitos. Yo hubiera querido que el canto siguiera para siempre y fuera mi vida. ... ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
65:Os pássaros ficavam encolhidos a um canto, tentando evitar olhar para aquela porta aberta, desviavam os olhos da liberdade, que é uma das portas mais assustadoras. Só se sentiam livres dentro de uma prisão. ~ Afonso Cruz,
66:6 Recostado, me quedo despierto       pensando y meditando en ti durante la noche. 7 Como eres mi ayudador,       canto de alegría a la sombra de tus alas. 8 Me aferro a ti;       tu fuerte mano derecha me mantiene seguro. ~ Anonymous,
67:Si svegliò al canto degli uccelli, con la bruma del primo mattino che saliva oltre l’erba alta dov’era sdraiata. Sul volto erano impressi i segni delle margherite schiacciate, i fiorellini richiusi sotto il viso fragile. ~ Alyson Richman,
68:Nadie está escuchando. Ahora puedes cantar tu canto, como hace el pájaro, no para el territorio o el dominio, sino para tu autoexpansión. Deja que algo provenga de nada. [...] STAN RICE de «Suite Tejana» Cuerpo de trabajo (1983) ~ Anne Rice,
69:My dear Pepper,” said Ellery, “that is the curse of my composition. I’m always thinking. I’m pursued by what Byron in Childe Harold—you recall that magnificent first canto?—saw fit to call, ‘The blight of life—the demon Thought. ~ Ellery Queen,
70:Basta-me minha imortalidade,/ o fluir de meu sangue de uma para outra era,/
mas em troca de um canto quente e seguro/ daria de bom grado minha vida,/ conquanto sua agulha voadora/ não me arrastasse, feito linha, mundo afora. ~ Arseny Tarkovsky,
71:I began a poem in lines of one syllable. It's rather difficult, but the merit of all things lies in their difficulty. The subject matter is gallant. I'll read you the first canto; it's four hundred verses long and takes one minute. ~ Alexandre Dumas,
72:Toquei Bafo de Serpente de novo e me pareceu que ela teve um tremor. Algumas vezes eu achava que a espada cantava. Era um canto fino, apenas entreouvido, um som penetrante, a canção da espada que desejava sangue; a canção da espada. ~ Bernard Cornwell,
73:Longe dos outros, deixado num extremo, no canto mais escuro e esquerdo do telheiro, Sete-de-Ouros estava. Só e sério. Sem desperdício, sem desnorteio, cumpridor de obrigação, aproveitava para encher, mais um trecho, a infinda linguiça da vida. ~ Jo o Guimar es Rosa,
74:Stella oía el canto de los pájaros, la brisa, olía la hierba y la piel húmeda. Un heliotropo salió volando del tiesto que había regado. Sentía los músculos de Logan, como cuerdas tensas, sus hombros anchos, las ondas sorprendentemente suaves de su pelo. ~ Anonymous,
75:I’ve not forgotten the song of those dark years, hambre del alma, the song of the starved soul. But neither have I forgotten the joyous canto hondo, the deep song, the words of which come back to us when we do the work of soulful reclamation. ~ Clarissa Pinkola Est s,
76:los romanos han perdido un eslabón vital con la Fuente. Ya no escuchan el canto de la creación. Sólo oyen sus propias voces, por lo que hacen dioses a su imagen y semejanza. O más bien son imágenes de ellos mismos perfeccionadas, tal como les gustaría ser. ~ Anonymous,
77:Come voi avete occhi per vedere la luce, e orecchie per sentire i suoni, così avete un cuore per percepire il tempo. E tutto il tempo che il cuore non percepisce è perduto, come i colori dell'arcobaleno per un cieco o il canto dell'usignolo per un sordo. ~ Michael Ende,
78:The languages, especially the dead,  The sciences, and most of all the abstruse,  The arts, at least all such as could be said  To be the most remote from common use,  In all these he was much and deeply read. ~ Lord Byron, Don Juan (1818-24), Canto I, Stanza 40.,
79:...todos a los que cuidamos y amamos han de morir. ¿Y no es todo nuestro canto un lamento porque todo lo que es verde y bello ha de pasar, como las sombras sobre una llanura, sin dejar rastro? ¿Qué canción, por bella que sea, puede aliviar esta angustia? ~ Alison Croggon,
80:Flatterers (canto XVIII) who made their way figuratively by ample applications of their tongues to the objects of their flattery are now immersed in human excrement, produced by the same posteriors they so obsequiously kissed to further their nefarious causes. ~ Anonymous,
81:Di recente - aveva detto - ho dato al mio capo un ultimatum. O mi paga di più o me ne vado. - E com'è finita - aveva chiesto Musja. - Con un compromesso. Lui in definitiva lo stipendio non me l'ha aumentato e io, dal canto mio, ho deciso di non licenziarmi. ~ Sergei Dovlatov,
82:The Srimad Bhagavatam is the very essence of all the Vedanta literature. One who has enjoyed the nectar of its rasa never has any desire for anything else. ~ Rūpagosvāmī (2003), in Twelfth canto of Bhagavat Purana (12.13.15), in The Bhaktirasāmṛtasindhu of Rūpa Gosvāmin, p. 65,
83:tudo isso teve início no verão em que Oliver veio para nossa casa. Está gravado em cada música que foi sucesso naquele verão, em cada romance que li durante e após sua estadia, em tudo, do cheiro do alecrim em dias quentes ao canto frenético das cigarras à tarde — ~ Andr Aciman,
84:I prefer it when the conductor follows me. It is more difficult to work with a conductor who does not listen - even if I understand that sometimes it makes sense when one person is ruling everything. But for bel canto, I have to have a conductor who listens and supports me. ~ Anna Netrebko,
85:Linaje de sangre de dioses/ troyano hijo de Aquiles, es fácil la bajada al Averno; / las noches y los días permanece abierta la puerta de Dite; / pero hacer el camino de regreso y escapar a los aires de arriba, / eso cuesta trabajo, eso conlleva sufrimiento. Canto VI, versos 129-130 ~ Virgil,
86:Los pájaros cantaban. El efecto era apacible siempre que no se supiera nada del canto de los pájaros, pero Polly reconocía las llamadas de alarma cercanas y las amenazas territoriales más lejos y, por todas partes, la obsesión por el sexo. Lo volvía todo un poco menos agradable. ~ Terry Pratchett,
87:…the vast theme
Of those impassioned songs, when Cythna sate
Amid the calm which rapture doth create
After its tumult, her heart vibrating,
Her spirit o’er the Ocean’s floating state
From her deep eyes far wandering...

From "Revolt of Islam", Canto 2, Verse 29 ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley,
88:all flee from virtue as if it were a snake,
an enemy to all, whether some curse
is on the place or evil habits goad them on,

'and those who live in that unhappy valley
are so altered in their nature it is as though
Circe were grazing them at pasture."

Canto XV, 67-75 ~ Dante Alighieri,
89:D'altro canto, c'era sempre la morale che bisogna continuare a fare quanto si può, giorno per giorno; nella politica come in tutto il resto della vita, per chi non è un balordo, contano quei due principî lì: non farsi mai troppe illusioni e non smettere di credere che ogni cosa che fai potrà servire. ~ Italo Calvino,
90:Eficientes, localizavam-se na calçada, canto de muro, caixa de correio, lata de lixo, num objeto aparentemente abandonado. Uma
rede conduzia os gases hilariante, lacrimogêneo, diarréico, espirrador, tossidor, vomitador, cegante, lancinante, escorregadio,
disparador, diurético e fungador. ~ Ign cio de Loyola Brand o,
91:En cuanto a mí, yo cantaré de tu poder;        cada mañana cantaré con alegría acerca de tu amor inagotable.   Pues tú has sido mi refugio,        un lugar seguro cuando estoy angustiado. 17 Oh Fortaleza mía, a ti canto alabanzas,        porque tú, oh Dios, eres mi refugio,        el Dios que me demuestra amor inagotable. ~ Anonymous,
92:L'egoismo generato dal sistema induce i leaders ad apprezzare di più il successo personale che non la responsabilità sociale. [...] D'altro canto, il vasto pubblico è anch'esso a tal punto egoisticamente occupato da interessi privati, da prestare scarsa attenzione a tutto ciò che trascende l'ambito strettamente personale ~ Erich Fromm,
93:Siempre había creído que había que ser importante para tener enemigos. Por ejemplo: históricamente, Alemania ha tenido más enemigos que Luxemburgo. Margo Roth Spiegelman era Alemania. Y Gran Bretaña. Y Estados Unidos. Y la Rusia de los zares. Yo soy Luxemburgo. Me siento por ahí, vigilo las ovejas y canto canciones tirolesas ~ John Green,
94:In qualche luogo, non lontano, cantava una donna. Dove e da che parte, era difficile capire. Il canto sommesso, lento, malinconico, simile a un pianto e percepibile appena, si faceva udire ora a destra ora a sinistra, ora dall’alto, ora sembrava sottoterra, come se dovunque nella steppa si librasse uno spirito invisibile, e cantasse. ~ Anton Chekhov,
95:las más bellas del mundo entero que él encontraba sentadas con una decencia de maestras de canto en la penumbra de la oficina, se desnudaban como artistas, se acostaban en el diván de peluche con las tiras del traje de baño impresas en negativo de fotografía sobre el pellejo tibio de melaza de oro, olían a dentífricos de mentol, ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
96:E o canto daquela guitarra estrangeira era um lamento choroso e dolorido, eram vozes magoadas, mais tristes do que uma oração em alto-mar, quando a tempestade agita as negras asas homicidas, e as gaivotas doidejam assanhadas, cortando a treva com os seus gemidos pressagos, tontas como se estivessem fechadas dentro de uma abóbada de chumbo. ~ Alu sio Azevedo,
97:Non vorrei essere nella tua pelle se uno di questi giorni ti colgono in flagrante, Nella mia pelle non ci potresti essere, tu sei solo un soffitto di stucco, Si, ma anche quello che vedi di me è una pelle, e d'altro canto la pelle è tutto quanto vogliamo che gli altri vedano di noi, sotto la pelle neanche noi stessi riusciamo a sapere chi siamo. ~ Jos Saramago,
98:Salió la paloma temprano una tibia mañana; vio al cisne blanco, «gail, gail», allá en la orilla, «gail, gail», con un canto fúnebre de muerte, «gail, gail». Un cisne blanco, herido, herido, un cisne blanco, magullado, magullado, el cisne blanco de las dos visiones, «gail, gail», el cisne blanco de los dos presagios, «gail, gail», la vida y la muerte, ~ Anonymous,
99:En el canto, como en el beso, no parece existir la mentira perfecta, puesto que ambas actividades exigen renunciar a la comodidad de la certeza para saltar a un precipicio que en el fondo tal vez ni fondo tenga. Cantar y besar son, cuando se hacen al mando de la pasión, quehaceres que nos exponen a que una legión de acomplejados se ría de nosotros. ~ Xavier Velasco,
100:A impaciencia, pensaban Jérôme e Sylvie, é unha virtude do século vinte. Ós vinte anos, en canto viron, ou creron ver, o que podía se-la vida, a cantidade de alegrías que agachaba, as infinitas conquistas que permitía, etc., souberon que non terían azos para agardar. Poderían triunfar, como calquera outro, pero eles o único que querían era ter triunfado. ~ Georges Perec,
101:El jilguero canta en la jaulita colgada entre las cortinas de la ventana. ¿Siente quizá la primavera que se aproxima? Ay de mí, quizá la siente también el antiguo tronco de nogal con el que fue hecha mi silla, que ahora cruje con el canto del jilguero. Tal vez se hablan, con ese canto y con este crujido, el pájaro enjaulado y el nogal reducido a silla. ~ Luigi Pirandello,
102:F. CARY, M.A. HELL
OR THE INFERNO Part 3. LIST OF CANTOS Canto 5
Canto 6
CANTO V FROM the first circle I descended thus
Down to the second, which, a lesser space
Embracing, so much more of grief contains
Provoking bitter moans.  There, Minos stands
Grinning with ghastly feature: he, of all
Who enter, strict examining the crimes, ~ Dante Alighieri,
103:His classical reading is great: he can quote  Horace, Juvenal, Ovid and Martial by rote.  He has read Metaphysics * * * Spinoza and Kant  And Theology too: I have heard him descant  Upon Basil and Jerome. Antiquities, art, He is fond of. He knows the old masters by heart,  And his taste is refined. ~ Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Lucile (1860), Canto II, Part IV.,
104:Spirito.D’altro canto, quando Lukács sostiene che l’irrazionalismo filosofico degli ultimi due secoli è un’invenzione della borghesia che cerca di reagire alla crisi cui si trova di fronte legittimando filosoficamente la propria volontà di potenza e la propria pratica imperialistica, sta semplicemente traducendo la sindrome gnostica in linguaggio marxista. C’è ~ Umberto Eco,
105:Quando leggiamo versi davvero straordinari, davvero buoni, tendiamo a farlo ad alta voce. Un buon verso non si lascia leggere a bassa voce o in silenzio. Se ci riusciamo, non è un verso efficace: il verso esige di essere declamato. Il verso non dimentica di essere stato un’arte orale prima di essere un’arte scritta, non dimentica di essere stato un canto. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
106:Daisy ha una voce indiscreta," osservai.
"È piena di..." esitai.
"Ha una voce piena di soldi," disse lui all'improvviso.
Era così. Prima non me n'ero mai reso conto. Era piena di soldi: era quello l'inesauribile fascino che saliva e scendeva dentro, il tintinnio, il canto dei cembali... Lassù in un palazzo bianco la figlia del re, la ragazza d'oro... ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
107:Entre las aves, la contienda es con frecuencia de carácter más pacífico, pues hay gran rivalidad entre los machos de muchas especies para atraer a las hembras, por el canto; o despliegan hermosos plumajes para verse de la mejor manera posible. También hacen extrañas y grotescas figuras, y luego las hembras espectadoras escogen al compañero que más atractivos les ofrece. ~ Charles Darwin,
108:En Vauville, el recuerdo del canto de la mendiga vuelve a mí. Ese canto tan simple. El de los locos, de todos los locos, por todas partes, los de la indiferencia. El de la muerte fácil. Los de la muerte por obra del hambre, la de los muertos de los caminos, de las fosas, medio devorados por los perros, los tigres, las aves de presa, las ratas gigantes de los pantanos. ~ Marguerite Duras,
109:Nana tinha dito, certa vez, que cada floco de neve era o suspiro de uma mulher sofrida em algum canto do mundo. Todos esses suspiros subiam ao céu, formavam nuvens e, então, se partiam em mil pedacinhos que caíam, em silêncio, sobre as pessoas aqui embaixo.

'Para lembrar como sofrem as mulheres como nós', disse ela. 'Como aguentamos caladas tudo o que nos acontece. ~ Khaled Hosseini,
110:El poeta ¡Oh rosa, me hablan de la guerra! ¿Cómo podré decirles que eres aquí en mi ser exactamente la sola y esencial respuesta? Yo no estoy lejos de la calle porque abra arriba mi balcón, ni lejos del cantar mi voz porque en el coro usual no cante. Oh rosa, me hablan de los hombres como de un triste y cruel trabajo. Sólo tú sabes que te canto para llevarte hasta sus voces. ~ Julio Cort zar,
111:Era dolce come una festa. Quell'acqua era ben altro che un alimento. Era nata dalla marcia sotto le stelle, dal canto della carrucola, dallo sforzo delle mie braccia. Faceva bene al cuore, come un regalo. Come da bambino, quando erano le luci dell'albero di Natale, la musica della messa di mezzanotte, la dolcezza dei sorrisi, a far risplendere il regalo che ricevevo. ~ Antoine de Saint Exup ry,
112:Son el alma del estío, el reloj de los minutos de abundancia, el ala diligente de los perfumes que vuelan, la inteligencia de los rayos de luz que se ciernen, el murmullo de las caridades que vibran, el canto de la atmósfera que descansa, y su vuelo es la señal visible, la nota convencida y musical de las pequeñas alegrías innumerables que nacen del calor y viven en la luz ~ Maurice Maeterlinck,
113:Il vento portò da lontano
l’accenno di un canto primaverile,
chissà dove, lucido e profondo
si aprì un pezzetto di cielo.
In questo azzurro smisurato,
fra barlumi della vicina primavera
piangevano burrasche invernali,
si libravano sogni stellati.
Timide, cupe e profonde
piangevano le mie corde.
Il vento portò da lontano
le sue squillanti canzoni. ~ Alexander Blok,
114:»En el bullicio de las ciudades, que las ratas y los romanos parecen amar, el estrépito de las construcciones y el ruido de las ruedas sobre las piedras del pavimento ahogan las voces del agua, el viento y los árboles. Sin la música de los dioses naturales para guiarles, los romanos han perdido un eslabón vital con la Fuente. Ya no escuchan el canto de la creación. Sólo oyen sus propias voces, ~ Anonymous,
115:And lo! towards us coming in a boat An old man, grizzled with the hair of eld, Moaning: “Woe unto you, debased souls! Hope nevermore to look upon the heavens. I come to lead you to the other shore; Into eternal darkness; into fire and frost. And thou, that yonder standest, living soul, Withdraw from these people, who are dead!” But he saw that I did not withdraw … —Dante’s Inferno, Canto III ~ Ransom Riggs,
116:She had chosen Dante because she found the rhyme scheme pleasingly jaunty, but she realized too late that the Inferno's tale of sinners being cruelly punished in the afterlife was much too bloody and disturbing to be suitable for young minds. Penelope could tell this by the way the children hung on her every word and demanded "More, more!" each time she reached the end of a canto and tried to stop. ~ Maryrose Wood,
117:La oscuridad reinaba en torno a mí; todo estaba tranquilo, todo. Pero en las alturas zumbaba el eterno canto de la atmósfera, ese bordoneo lejano, sin modulaciones, que jamás se calla. Presté atención tanto tiempo a ese murmullo sin fin, a ese murmullo morboso, que comenzó a turbarme. Eran, sin duda, las sinfonías de los mundos girando en el espacio por encima de mí, las estrellas que entonaban un himno. ~ Knut Hamsun,
118:- Existe un pacto –dijo Albert, pero en su voz se oyó un asombro de duda, ligero como el canto de un mosquito-. Existe un acuerdo.
- Pero no conmigo.
- ¡Existe un acuerdo! ¿Adónde iríamos a parar si no se cumplieran los acuerdos?
- No sé adónde iría a parar yo –dijo Mort en voz baja-. PERO SÉ ADÓNDE IRÍAS A PARAR TÚ.
- ¡No es justo!
Su voz era un gemido.
- LA JUSTICIA NO EXISTE. SÓLO EXISTO YO. ~ Terry Pratchett,
119:The world's history is a divine poem, of which the history of every nation is a canto, and every man a word. Its strains have been pealing along down the centuries, and though there have been mingled the discords of warring cannon and dying men, yet to the Christian philosopher and historian - the humble listener - there has been a Divine melody running through the song which speaks of hope and halcyon days to come. ~ James A Garfield,
120:Algunos pájaros no están destinados a que los enjaulen, eso es todo. Tienen las plumas demasiado brillantes, su canto es demasiado dulce y libre. Así que, o les dejas irse, o, cuando abres la jaula para darles de comer, se las arreglan para escapar volando. Y la parte de ti que en el fondo creía que era un error tenerlos cautivos se alboroza, pese al hecho de que el lugar en que vives sea mucho más lóbrego y triste tras su partida. ~ Stephen King,
121:I primi pellegrini avevano una cattedrale al posto del cuore. Erano loro il tempio, non costruito da mani umane. L'Ecclesia di Dio. Il canto che li sospingeva sulle onde era l'inno che intonavano i barcaioli. Le gole nude in onore di Dio. Guardali, le teste riverse, le bocche aperte, soli, se non per i gabbiani che si tuffano a prua. Contro il mare troppo salato e il cielo inospitale, le loro voci elevano uno schermo di laudi. ~ Jeanette Winterson,
122:One day in Auschwitz, the writer Primo Levi recited a canto of Dante’s Inferno to a companion, and the poem about hell reached out from six hundred years before to roll back Levi’s despair and his dehumanization. It was the canto about Ulysses, and though it ends tragically, it contains the lines You were not made to live like animals But to pursue virtue and know the world which he recited and translated to the man walking with him. ~ Rebecca Solnit,
123:Cantó el amor, y el canto suyo
era tan límpido y puro
como el pensar de una doncella,
como los sueños de un niño,
como la luna en los cielos,
nocturna diosa indolente
de los misterios y suspiros.

Cantó el dolor y el olvido,
cantó las rosas y las brumas,
cantó lejanas tierras donde
sus lágrimas se derramaban
en la soledad; cantó asimismo
marchitas flores de la vida
teniendo apenas dieciocho. ~ Alexander Pushkin,
124:Là dove il popolo partiva per la guerra, restavano sentieri amari… E tutto quell’universo di terrestre bellezza e di angosce, Danijar l’apriva davanti a me nel suo canto. Dove aveva imparato, da chi aveva avuto tutto ciò? Capivo che così può amare la sua terra solo chi per lunghi anni ha languito per essa, chi ha patito di questo amore. Quando la cantava, vedevo proprio lui, un povero ragazzetto, vagabondare per le strade della steppa. ~ Chingiz Aitmatov,
125:Vive nel verde che sbuca tra la neve, vive negli steli fruscianti del morente grano d'autunno, vive dove i morti vengono per un bacio, e i vivi inviano loro preghiere. Vive nel luogo in cui si fa il linguaggio. Vive di poesia e percussione e canto. Vive di quarti di tono e di note di passaggio, e in una cantata, in una sestina, nei blues. E' l'attimo che precede l'ispirazione che ci abbaglia. Vive in un luogo lontano che si apre un varco verso il nostro mondo. ~ Clarissa Pinkola Est s,
126:—Me ha esclavizado con sólo mirarme; me ha obligado a comprenderlo sin decir una palabra; me ha forzado a guardar silencio sin hacerme jamás una amenaza; cuando toco el piano, sus ojos están fijos en mis manos. Cuando canto no se apartan de mis labios. Cuando me reprende o golpea una nota, o escucha una canción o ejecuta un trozo cualquiera, siento que su voz pasa atravesando el sonido y murmurando que es un amante que me persigue y que me ordena guardar el secreto. Evito ~ Charles Dickens,
127:Pure devotional service is śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. Pure devotees, who take transcendental pleasure in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, do not care for any kind of liberation; even if they are offered the five liberations, they refuse to accept them, as stated in the Bhāgavatam in the Third Canto. Materialistic persons aspire for the sense enjoyment of heavenly pleasure in the heavenly kingdom, but devotees reject such material pleasure at once. The ~ A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhup da,
128:That's The Man
Unknown -a stranger in Antioch- the man from Edessa
writes and writes. And at last, there,
the final canto's done. That makes
eighty-three poems in all. But so much writing,
so much versifying, the intense strain
of phrasing in Greek, has worn the poet out,
and now everything has gone stale.
But a thought suddenly brings him out of his dejection:
the sublime 'That's the man'
which Lucian once heard in his sleep.
~ Constantine P. Cavafy,
129:cuando se habituó a ella, le pareció que era la hierba la que cantaba: medio muerta, ya marchita, aseveraba, mediante ese canto sin palabras, quejumbroso y sincero, que no era culpable de nada, que el sol la había quemado injustamente; aseguraba que deseaba vivir, que era joven y aún sería hermosa si no fuera por el calor y la sequedad; ella no era culpable, pero de todos modos pedía perdón y juraba que padecía un dolor insoportable, que se sentía triste y se compadecía de sí misma. ~ Anonymous,
130:Eu não reclamo que o país escreva livros, ou que faça artes; contentar-me-ia que lesse os livros que já estão escritos e que se interessasse pelas artes que já estão criadas. A sua esterilidade assusta-me menos que o seu indiferentismo. O doloroso espectáculo é vê-lo viver no marasmo, sem vida intelectual, alheio a toda a ideia nova, hostil a toda a originalidade, crasso e mazroro, amuado ao seu canto, com os pés ao sol, o cigarro nos dedos e a boca às mocas...É isso que punge. ~ E a de Queir s,
131:Mas sabes principalmente, com uma certa misericórdia doce por ti, por todos, que tudo passará um dia, quem sabe tão de repente quanto veio, ou lentamente, não importa. Por trás de todos os artifícios, só não saberás nunca que nesse exacto momento tens a beleza insuportável da coisa inteiramente viva. Como um trapezista que só repara na ausência da rede após o salto lançado, acendes o abajur no canto da sala depois de apagar a luz mais forte no alto. E finalmente começas a falar. ~ Caio Fernando Abreu,
132:dolci le melodie conosciute, ma più dolci le ignote così voi, tenere cornamuse, il vostro canto non al mero orecchio portate- ma, per questo più care, allo spirito offrite silenziosi concerti."
" o grazioso giovane alla fresca ombra mai potrà il tuo canto languire- nè a quei rami venir meno la fronda."
"audace amante, mai tu potrai baciarla,
seppur vicino alla meta
e tuttavia non disperare."
"ella non può sfiorare e, seppur mai colta,
per sempre l'amerai-
e lei sarà per sempre bella. ~ John Keats,
133:Nel bosco c'è un uccello, il suo canto vi ferma e vi fa arrossire.

C'è un orologio che non suona.

C'è un burrone con un nido di bestie bianche.

C'è una cattedrale che scende e un lago che sale.

C'è una carrozzina abbandonata nel bosco ceduo, o che scende per il sentiero di corsa, infiocchettata.

C'è una compagnia di piccoli commedianti in costume, intravisti sulla strada attraverso il margine del bosco.

C'è infine, quando si ha fame e sete, qualcuno che ti scaccia. ~ Arthur Rimbaud,
134:Mudam-se os tempos, mudam-se as vontades
Muda-se o ser, muda-se a confiança;
Todo o mundo é composto de mudança,
Tomando sempre novas qualidades.
Continuamente vemos novidades,
Diferentes em tudo da esperança;
Do mal ficam as mágoas na lembrança,
E do bem, se algum houve, as saudades.
O tempo cobre o chão de verde manto,
Que já coberto foi de neve fria,
E em mim converte em choro o doce canto.
E, afora este mudar-se cada dia,
Outra mudança faz de mor espanto:
Que não se muda já como soía. ~ Lu s de Cam es,
135:Hay otros como yo, otros que recuerdan a Andy. Estamos contentísimos de que se escapara, aunque también un poco tristes. Algunos pájaros no están destinados a que los enjaulen, eso es todo. Tienen las plumas demasiado brillantes, su canto es demasiado dulce y libre. Así que, o les dejas irse, o, cuando abres la jaula para darles de comer, se las arreglan para escapar volando. Y la parte de ti que en el fondo creía que era un error tenerlos cautivos se alboroza, pese al hecho de que el lugar en que vives sea mucho más lóbrego y triste tras su partida. ~ Stephen King,
136:....da qualche parte bisogna pur posare gli occhi, non sono come le mani che possono semplicemente addormentarsi, o come le gambe, che nessuno nota per un po' di tempo, gli occhi sono tutti diversi, si riposano soltanto dietro le palpebre, quel sipario sui sogni. Gli occhi sfuggono ad ogni controllo. Dobbiamo pensare a dove e quando li posiamo. L'intera nostra vita scorre attraverso gli occhi, e per questo possono essere fucili quanto note musicali, un canto di uccelli o un grido di guerra. Hanno il potere di svelarci, di salvarti, di perderti. ~ J n Kalman Stef nsson,
137:- A voz é uma destino, um lugar onde pousar a cabeça, é o nosso verdadeiro corpo. Quando cantamos, desaparecemos, passamos a ser a ária, o nosso esqueleto é o ritmo, o pâncreas é um ré diminuto, os braços são melodia, os pulmões harmonia, a bexiga compassos, passamos a ser voz, encontramos a nossa verdadeira natureza, o canto. É isso que somos na coisa mais essencial, uma canção. Acha que é difícil encontrar o bloco construtor da matéria? Descobrir um quark não é nada comparado com a dificuldade imensa de descobrir a partícula essencial de uma canção. ~ Afonso Cruz,
138:De tudo ao meu amor serei atento
Antes, e com tal zelo, e sempre, e tanto
Que mesmo em face do maior encanto
Dele se encante mais meu pensamento.

Quero vivê-lo em cada vão momento
E em seu louvor hei de espalhar meu canto
E rir meu riso e derramar meu pranto
Ao seu pesar ou seu contentamento

E assim, quando mais tarde me procure
Quem sabe a morte, angústia de quem vive
Quem sabe a solidão, fim de quem ama

Eu possa me dizer do amor (que tive):
Que não seja imortal, posto que é chama
Mas que seja infinito enquanto dure. ~ Vinicius de Moraes,
139:author class:Dante Alighieri
The glory of Him who moves all things rays forth through all the universe, and is reflected from each thing in proportion to its worth. I have been in that Heaven of His most light, and what I saw, those who descend from there lack both the knowledge and the power to write. For as our intellect draws near its goal it opens to such depths of understanding as memory cannot plumb within the soul. [2327.jpg] -- from The Divine Comedy: The Inferno, the Purgatorio, and the Paradiso, / Translated by John Ciardi

~ glory of Him who moves all things rays forth (from The Paradiso, Canto I)
,
140:Aprendi desde pequeno a conciliar o sono conversando com minha mãe na penumbra do quarto sobre os acontecimentos do dia, o que fizera no colégio, o que tinha aprendido naquele dia. Não podia ouvir a sua voz ou sentir o seu tato, mas a sua luz e o seu calor inflamavam cada canto daquela casa e eu, com aquela fé dos que ainda podem contar os anos nos dedos das mãos, achava que, se fechasse os olhos e falasse com ela, ela poderia me escutar onde quer que estivesse. Às vezes meu pai escutava da sala de jantar e chorava baixinho.

Zafón, Carlos Ruiz. A sombra do vento (Locais do Kindle 41-43). Companhia das Letras. Edição do Kindle. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
141:Ao Amor Antigo
O amor antigo vive de si mesmo,
não de cultivo alheio ou de presença.
Nada exige nem pede. Nada espera,
mas do destino vão nega a sentença.

O amor antigo tem raízes fundas,
feitas de sofrimento e de beleza.
Por aquelas mergulha no infinito,
e por estas suplanta a natureza.

Se em toda parte o tempo desmorona
aquilo que foi grande e deslumbrante,
a antigo amor, porém, nunca fenece
e a cada dia surge mais amante.

Mais ardente, mas pobre de esperança.
Mais triste? Não. Ele venceu a dor,
e resplandece no seu canto obscuro,
tanto mais velho quanto mais amor. ~ Carlos Drummond de Andrade,
142:Happy New Year

Mira, no pido mucho,
solamente tu mano, tenerla
como un sapito que duerme así contento.
Necesito esa puerta que me dabas
para entrar a tu mundo, ese trocito
de azúcar verde, de redondo alegre.
¿No me prestas tu mano en esta noche
de fin de año de lechuzas roncas?
No puedes, por razones técnicas. Entonces
la tramo en el aire, urdiendo cada dedo,
el durazno sedoso de la palma
y el dorso, ese país de azules árboles.
Así la tomo y la sostengo, como
si de ello dependiera
muchísimo del mundo,
la sucesión de las cuatro estaciones,
el canto de los gallos, el amor de los hombres. ~ Julio Cort zar,
143:Verrai a visitarmi in sogno ed io sarò felice: è dolce vedere i propri cari anche di notte, per il tempo che ci è concesso. Magari avessi la voce e il canto di Orfeo, per ammaliare la figlia di Demetra o il suo sposo e così portarti via dall'Ade. Scenderei tra le ombre, e né il cane di Plutone né Caronte, il nocchiero delle anime potrebbero impedirmi di restituirti alla luce. Ma così come stanno le cose, aspettami, finchè non giunga il mio ultimo giorno: prepara la dimora, dove tu ed io abiteremo insieme. Ordinerò ai miei figli di depormi nella tua stessa bara di cedro, giaceremo fianco a fianco: neanche da morto voglio restar separato da te, l'unica persona a me fedele. ~ Euripides,
144:Secondo mio marito non esiste femmina più fortunata della donna. Me lo ripete spesso. Dice che soltanto la femmina umana possiede un aspetto e una voce più armoniosi del maschio. Nel mondo animale sono i maschi ad esercitare il loro fascino: si pensi alle danze nuziali dei ragni e dei tacchini, al canto dei grilli e dei canarini, alla vistosa bellezza dei pavoni, al profumo del gatto muschiato: la donna è l'unica femmina più attraente del maschio, e oltretutto assomma tutti i modelli di seduzione degli animali. Il maschio biologicamente è sfavorito, È in virtù della prole che la femmina dell'animale può considerarsi superiore al maschio. La natura protegge le madri. ~ Yasunari Kawabata,
145:Usted pregunta, lo que está cantando en júbilo? Significa darse cuenta de que las palabras no son suficientes para expresar lo que estamos cantando en nuestros corazones. En la cosecha, en la viña, siempre que los hombres deben de trabajos forzados, que comenzará con canciones cuyas palabras expresar su alegría. Pero cuando su alegría se desborda y las palabras no son suficientes, abandonan incluso esta coherencia y la entregan a la gran sonido de canto. ¿Qué es este júbilo, esta canción exultante? Es la melodía que significa que nuestros corazones están llenos de sentimientos que las palabras no pueden expresar .. Y ¿a quién pertenece este júbilo más? Seguramente a Dios que es indecible? ~ Anonymous,
146:Dois garrafões é um bocado de vinho, mesmo para dois paisanos. Espiritualmente, o garrafão pode ser graduado assim: logo abaixo do gargalo do primeiro, conversa séria e concentrada. Cinco centímetros mais abaixo, suaves recordações tristes.  Sete centímetros mais, lembranças de velhos e agradáveis amores. Dois centímetros, pensamentos de amores antigos e amargos. Fundo do primeiro garrafão, tristeza geral esparsa. Abaixo do gargalo do segundo garrafão, desalento pecaminoso sinistro.  Dois dedos abaixo, canto de morte ou ansiedade. Um polegar, qualquer canção que cada um conheça. A gradação para aqui, pois a trilha se divide e não há certeza. Deste ponto em diante, tudo pode acontecer. ~ John Steinbeck,
147:Orfeu rebelde, canto como sou:

Canto como um possesso

Que na casca do tempo, a canivete,

Gravasse a fúria de cada momento;

Canto, a ver se o meu canto compromete

A eternidade do meu sofrimento.



Outros, felizes, sejam os rouxinóis...

Eu ergo a voz assim, num desafio:

Que o céu e a terra, pedras conjugadas

Do moinho cruel que me tritura,

Saibam que há gritos como há nortadas,

Violências famintas de ternura.



Bicho instintivo que adivinha a morte

No corpo dum poeta que a recusa,

Canto como quem usa

Os versos em legítima defesa.

Canto, sem perguntar à Musa

Se o canto é de terror ou de beleza. ~ Miguel Torga,
148:Yo soy mi adivinanza. Señor, no pretende usted bondadosamente aliviar ni secuestrar mi soledad. Es una cosa que a las mujeres se nos enseña a temer: oh la torre terrible, oh las zarzas que las circundan; no un nido sociable, sino un calabazo.
Pero nos han mentido, sabe usted, en esto como en otras tantas cosas. El calabozo podrá ser severo y amenazador, pero dentro de él estamos muy seguras, dentro de sus confines somos libres de una manera que ustedes, que tienen libertad para correr el mundo, no necesitan imaginar. Ni yo recomiendo imaginarla; pero hágame la justicia de creer que mi soledad es mi tesoro, lo mejor que poseo. No me decido a salir. Si abriera usted la puertecilla, no escaparía; pero ay, cómo canto en mi jaula de oro... ~ A S Byatt,
149:Inferno: Canto XIII
Not yet had Nessus reached the other side,
When we had put ourselves within a wood,
That was not marked by any path whatever.
Not foliage green, but of a dusky colour,
Not branches smooth, but gnarled and intertangled,
Not apple-trees were there, but thorns with poison.
Such tangled thickets have not, nor so dense,
Those savage wild beasts, that in hatred hold
'Twixt Cecina and Corneto the tilled places.
There do the hideous Harpies make their nests,
Who chased the Trojans from the Strophades,
With sad announcement of impending doom;
Broad wings have they, and necks and faces human,
And feet with claws, and their great bellies fledged;
They make laments upon the wondrous trees. ~ Dante Alighieri,
150:Krishna. The mystic who worships the Supersoul within himself is also called Atmarama. Such Atmarama yogis are of two kinds: The one is called sagarbha; the other is called nigarbha. In Srimad Bhagwatam it is stated, in the Second Canto, Second Chapter: "Some of the yogis meditate within the heart on the localized situation of Vishnu, Who is four-handed with four symbols: the conch shell, the wheel, the club and the lotus." The yogi who thinks of the fourhanded Vishnu becomes developed in devotional ecstasy, and attains the different symptoms of that position. Sometimes he cries, sometimes he feels separation. In this way he becomes merged in transcendental bliss. So, as a result of such transcendental bliss, he is practically entrapped like a fish. ~ Anonymous,
151:Ma Gonzalo? Oh, il bel nome della vita! una continuità che s'adempie. Di nuovo le sembrò, dal terrazzo, di scorgere la curva del mondo: la spera dei lumi, a rivolversi; tra brume color pervinca disparivano incontro al sopore della notte. Sul mondo portatore di frumenti, e d'un canto, le quiete luminarie di mezza estate. Le sembrò di assistervi ancora, dalla terrazza di sua vita, oh!, ancora per un attimo, di far parte della calma sera. Una levità dolce. E, nel cielo alto, lo zaffiro dell'oceano: che avevano rimirato l'Alvise, a tremare, e Antoniotto di Noli, doppiando capi dalla realità senza nome incontro al sogno apparito degli arcipelaghi. Si sentì ripresa nell'evento, nel flusso antico della possibilità, della continuazione: come tutti, vicina a tutti. ~ Carlo Emilio Gadda,
152:Le stagioni si agognano l’un l’altra, come uomini e donne, in modo da essere guarite dai loro eccessi. La primavera, se si protrae per più di una settimana oltre il suo tempo naturale, comincia a patire l’assenza dell’estate che ponga fine ai giorni della promessa perpetua. L’estate dal suo canto comincia ben presto a invocare qualcosa che plachi la sua calura e il più ubere degli autunni alla lunga si stanca della sua generosità e reclama una rapida, aspra gelata che lo sterilizzi. Persino l’inverno, la più dura delle stagioni, la più implacabile, sogna all’apparire di febbraio la fiamma che presto lo scioglierà. Ogni cosa si stanca con il tempo e comincia a cercare un suo contrario che la salvi da se stessa. Così agosto cedette il posto a settembre e pochi se ne lamentarono. ~ Clive Barker,
153:El precio de una camiseta con la imagen de la princesa Pocahontas, vendida por la casa Disney, equivale al salario de toda una semana del obrero que ha cosido esa camiseta en Haití, a un ritmo de 375 camisetas por hora. Haití fue el primer país en el mundo que abolió la esclavitud; y dos siglos después de aquella hazaña, que muchos muertos costó, el país padece la esclavitud asalariada. La cadena McDonald's regala juguetes a sus clientes infantiles. Esos juguetes se fabrican en Vietnam, donde las obreras trabajan diez horas seguidas, en galpones cerrados a cal y canto, a cambio de ochenta centavos. Vietnam había derrotado la invasión militar de los Estados Unidos; y un cuarto de siglo después de aquella hazaña, que muchos muertos costó, el país padece la humillación globalizada. ~ Eduardo Galeano,
154:Thus it was up to God, to Him alone
in His own ways - by one or both, I say -
to give man back his whole life and perfection.

But since a deed done is more prized the more
it manifests within itself the mark
of the loving heart and goodness of the doer,

the Everlasting Love, whose seal is plain
on all the wax of the world was pleased to move
in all His ways to raise you up again.

There was not, nor will be, from the first day
to the last night, an act so glorious
and so magnificent, on either way.

For God, in giving Himself that man might be
able to raise himself, gave even more
than if he had forgiven him in mercy.

All other means would have been short, I say,
of perfect justice, but that God's own Son
humbled Himself to take on mortal clay.

-Paradiso, Canto VII ~ Dante Alighieri,
155:All Being within this order, by the laws of its own nature is impelled to find its proper station round its Primal Cause. Thus every nature moves across the tide of the great sea of being to its own port, each with its given instinct as its guide. This instinct draws the fire about the Moon. It is the mover in the mortal heart. It draws the earth together and makes it one. Not only the brute creatures, but all those possessed of intellect and love, this instinct drives to their mark as a bow shoots forth its arrows. The Providence that makes all things hunger here satisfies forever with its light the heaven within which whirls the fastest sphere. [2327.jpg] -- from The Divine Comedy: The Inferno, the Purgatorio, and the Paradiso,
/ Translated by John Ciardi

~ Dante Alighieri, All Being within this order, by the laws (from The Paradiso, Canto I)
,
156:I agree with Proust in this, he says, that books create their own silences in ways that friends rarely do. And the silence that grows palpable when one has finished a canto of Dante, he says, is quite different from the silence that grows palpable when one has reached the end of Oedipus at Colonus. The most terrible thing that has happened to people today, he says, is that they have grown frightened of silence. Instead of seeking it as a friend and as a source of renewal they now try in every way they can to shut it out... the fear of silence is the fear of loneliness, he says, and the fear of loneliness is the fear of silence. People fear silence, he says, because they have lost the ability to trust the world to bring about renewal. Silence for them means only the recognition that they have been abandoned... How can people find the strength to be happy if they are so terrified of silence? ~ Gabriel Josipovici,
157:No lo creo todavía
estás llegando a mi lado
y la noche es un puñado
de estrellas y de alegría
palpo gusto escucho y veo
tu rostro tu paso largo
tus manos y sin embargo
todavía no lo creo
tu regreso tiene tanto
que ver contigo y conmigo
que por cábala lo digo
y por las dudas lo canto
nadie nunca te reemplaza
y las cosas más triviales
se vuelven fundamentales
porque estás llegando a casa
sin embargo todavía dudo
de esta buena suerte
porque el cielo de tenerte
me parece fantasía
pero venís y es seguro
y venís con tu mirada
y por eso tu llegada
hace mágico el futuro
y aunque no siempre he entendido
mis culpa y mis fracasos
en cambio sé que en tus brazos
el mundo tiene sentido
y si beso la osadía
y el misterio de tus labios
no habrá dudas ni resabios
te querré más
todavía. ~ Mario Benedetti,
158:Desço aos infernos, a descer em mim.

Mas agora o meu canto não perfura

O coração da morte,

À procura

Da sombra

Dum amor perdido.

Agora

É o repetido

Aceno

Do próprio abismo

Que me seduz.

É ele, embriaguez nocturna da vontade,

Que me obriga a sair da claridade

E a caminhar sem luz.



Ergo a voz e mergulho

Dentro do poço,

Neste moço heroísmo

Dos poetas,

Que enfrentas confiantes

O interdito

Guardado por gigantes,

Cães vigilantes

Aos portões do mito.



E entro finalmente

No reino tenebroso

Das minhas trvas.

Quebra-se a lira,

Cessa a melodia;

E um medo triste, de vergonha e assombro,

Gela-me o sangue, rio sem nascente,

Onde o céu, lá no alto, se reflecte,

Inútil como a paz que me promete. ~ Miguel Torga,
159:As lavadeiras de Mossoró, cada uma tem sua pedra no rio; cada pedra é herança de família, passando de mãe a filha, de filha a neta, como vão passando as águas no tempo. As pedras têm um polimento que revela a ação de muitos dias e muitas lavadeiras. Servem de espelho a suas donas. E suas formas diferentes também correspondem de certo modo à figura física de quem as usa. Umas são arredondadas e cheias, aquelas magras e angulosas, e todas têm ar próprio, que não se presta a confusão.
A lavadeira e a pedra formam um ente especial, que se divide e se unifica ao sabor do trabalho. Se a mulher entoa uma canção, percebe-se que a pedra a acompanha em surdina. Outras vezes, parece que o canto murmurante vem da pedra, e a lavadeira lhe dá volume e desenvolvimento.
Na pobreza natural das lavadeiras, as pedras são uma fortuna, jóias que elas não precisam levar para casa. Ninguém as rouba, nem elas, de tão fiéis, se deixariam seduzir por estranhos. ~ Carlos Drummond de Andrade,
160:À parte estes aborrecimentos, não me sentia muito infeliz. Todo o problema, repito-o, estava em matar o tempo. Por último, acabei por já não me maçar, a partir do instante em que aprendi a recordar. Punha-me às vezes a pensar no meu quarto e, em imaginação, partia de um canto e dava a volta ao quarto, enumerando mentalmente tudo o que encontrava pelo caminho. Ao princípio, isto durava pouco. Mas, cada vez que recomeçava, ia durando mais, pois lembrava-me de cada móvel e, para cada móvel, de cada objecto que lá havia e, para cada objecto, de todos os pormenores, e para os próprios pormenores, de uma incrustação, de uma racha, de um bordo quebrado, da cor que tinham, ou da qualidade de que eram feitos. Tentava ao mesmo tempo não perder o fio a este inventário e fazer uma enumeração completa. De tal forma que, ao fim de algumas semanas, passava horas só a catalogar tudo o que havia no meu quarto. Assim, quanto mais pensava, mais coisas esquecidas ia tirando da memória. ~ Albert Camus,
161:I monaci cistercensi la cui abbazia si trovava qui nel tredicesimo secolo, non indossavano altri abiti se non ruvidi sai con il cappuccio e la loro dieta escludeva la carne, i pesci e le uova. Dormivano sulla paglia e si alzavano a mezzanotte per assistere alla messa. Trascorrevano le giornate lavorando, leggendo e pregando; e per tutta la loro esistenza osservavano un silenzio assoluto come quello della morte, poiché nessuno parlava mai. Una tetra confraternita che viveva una tetra vita in quel luogo soave, reso così splendido da Dio! È strano che le voci della natura tutto attorno a loro… il canto sommesso dell'acqua, i sussurri delle erbe sul fiume, la musica frusciante del vento... Non avessero insegnato a quella gente un più autentico significato dell'esistenza. Stavano ad ascoltare, durante le lunghe giornate, in silenzio, in attesa di una voce dal cielo; e per tutte le lunghe giornate e nelle notti solenni, quella voce parlava loro in miriadi di toni, ma essi non la udivano. ~ Jerome K Jerome,
162:A fragrância da vegetação,
ainda humedecida
p'las gotas de orvalho,
penetra gentilmente meu quarto,
pela janela entreaberta,
em sublime comunhão
com o vapor libertado
p'la infusão de camomila
sobre a ecrivaninha.

Diante dela, estou eu.
Ou o que considero ser "eu".
Invadido pelos odores
que o olfato deleitam,
com igual doçura ao rouxinol
que no parapeito pousa,
e cujo canto efeitiça
minha escuta.

Ah! Uma orquestra que sensações-
Uma sinfonia para os sentidos.

Mas resisto.

Resisto.
Jamais nenhum destes estímulos,
nenhum tilintar da natureza,
aprisionará mais minha atenção
do que corda que do teto pende.

Jamais o natural alcançará
a suntuosidade, a imponência,
a magnificiência,
da artifiial serpente
que em meu lar acolhi.

Materialização da descrença.
Da esperança que em mim se diluiu
e que lugar deu
à tristeza.
À melancolia que em mim não cabe.
E que transborda
a tudo aquilo em que toco,
que vejo, que sinto, que ouço. ~ Anonymous,
163:On Translating Eugene Onegin


1
What is translation? On a platter
A poet's pale and glaring head,
A parrot's screech, a monkey's chatter,
And profanation of the dead.
The parasites you were so hard on
Are pardoned if I have your pardon,
O, Pushkin, for my stratagem:
I traveled down your secret stem,
And reached the root, and fed upon it;
Then, in a language newly learned,
I grew another stalk and turned
Your stanza patterned on a sonnet,
Into my honest roadside prose--
All thorn, but cousin to your rose.


2
Reflected words can only shiver
Like elongated lights that twist
In the black mirror of a river
Between the city and the mist.
Elusive Pushkin! Persevering,
I still pick up Tatiana's earring,
Still travel with your sullen rake.
I find another man's mistake,
I analyze alliterations
That grace your feasts and haunt the great
Fourth stanza of your Canto Eight.
This is my task--a poet's patience
And scholastic passion blent:
Dove-droppings on your monument. ~ Vladimir Nabokov,
164:Avrebbe desiderato essere di nuovo l'uomo che all'inizio dell'epidemia voleva lanciarsi i corsa fuori dalla città per gettarsi incontro a colei che amava. Ma sapeva che non era più possibile. Era cambiato, la peste gli aveva messo dentro un distacco che con tutte le sue forze cercava di negare e che tuttavia persisteva in lui come una sorda angoscia. [...] Rambert, dal canto suo, non fece in tempo a guardare la forma che gli correva incontro che già questa gli si gettava contro il petto. E abbracciandola, stringendo a sé una testa di cui vedeva soltanto i capelli familiari, lasciò scorrere le lacrime senza sapere se venivano dalla felicità presente o da un dolore troppo a lungo soffocato, sicuro soltanto che gli avrebbero impedito di scoprire se il volto affondato nell'incavo della spalla era quello che tanto a lungo aveva sognato o non invece il volto di un'estranea. Solo più tardi avrebbe saputo se il suo sospetto era fondato. Per il momento voleva fare come tutti quelli che, intorno a lui, sembravano credere che la peste può venire e andarsene senza che il cuore degli uomini ne sia trasformato. ~ Albert Camus,
165:Para que los pasos no me lloren,
para que las palabras no me sangren:
canto.

Para tu rostro fronterizo del alma
que me ha nacido entre las manos:
canto.

Para decir qe me has crecido clara
en los huesos más amargos de la voz:
canto.

Para que nadie diga: ¡tierra mía!,
con toda la decisión de la nostalgia:
canto.

Por lo que no debe morir, tu pueblo:
canto.

Me lanzo a caminar sobre mi voz para decirte:
tú, interrogación de frutas y mariposas silvestres, no perderás el paso en los andamios de mi grito, porque hay un maya alfarero en tu corazón, que bajo el mar, adentro de la estrella,
humeando en las raíces, palpitando mundo, enreda tu nombre en mis palabras.

Canto tu nombre, alegre como un violín de surcos, porque viene al encuentro de mi dolor humano.

Me busca del abrazo del mar hasta el abrazo del viento para ordenarme que no tolere el crepúsculo en mi boca.

Me acompaña emocionado el sacrificio de ser hombre, para que nunca baje al lugar donde nació la traición
del vil que ató tu corazón a la tiniebla, ¡negándote! ~ Otto Ren Castillo,
166:There are five kinds of liberation, the least important of which is called sāyujya, to become one with the Supreme. Devotees don’t care for such liberation because they are actually intelligent. Nor are they inclined to accept any of the other four kinds of liberation, namely to live on the same planet as the Lord, to live with Him side by side as an associate, to have the same opulence, or to attain the same bodily features. They are concerned only with glorifying the Supreme Lord and His auspicious activities. Pure devotional service is śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. Pure devotees, who take transcendental pleasure in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, do not care for any kind of liberation; even if they are offered the five liberations, they refuse to accept them, as stated in the Bhāgavatam in the Third Canto. Materialistic persons aspire for the sense enjoyment of heavenly pleasure in the heavenly kingdom, but devotees reject such material pleasure at once. The devotee does not even care for the post of Indra. A devotee knows that any pleasurable material position is subject to be annihilated at a certain point. Even ~ A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhup da,
167:Suddenly I'd had Enough and this was no turn of phrase but a warm body, nervous, with a constitution I could count on like a younger brother. That's when I told my mother: on the other side it's really underdeveloped. We're going back. Really, I said: I want to go back, not possible unless Mummy who is part of me comes too. We wait in the empty street at the stop for Lethe, the only bus that runs both ways. My mother is losing patience. The bus doesn't come. It's not easy to wait for a bus you've heard is the only one that runs both ways. I check the guidebook. Neither Canto XIV of the Iliad nor Canto XI of the Odyssey mentions the place. Just what you'd expect for Lethe I tell myself. Naturally forgetfulness attracts attention to itself by means of absence and omission. But for my mother the bus not turning up is the theme of her nightmares. I explain that in this country one comes along every quarter of an hour...To signal to the vehicle that one wishes to board Oblivion Return one must fan open the grille by pressing a button and lighting up the small lantern on the top of the archway, which I did. It's the one gleam of hope in this world. ~ H l ne Cixous,
168:Generally, the conditioned soul is mad because he is always engaged in activities that are the causes of bondage and suffering.” The spirit soul in his original condition is joyful, blissful, eternal and full of knowledge. Only by his implication in material activities has he become miserable, temporary and full of ignorance. This is due to vikarma. Vikarma means “actions which should not be done.” Therefore, we must practice sādhana-bhakti – which means to offer maṅgala-ārati (Deity worship) in the morning, to refrain from certain material activities, to offer obeisances to the spiritual master and to follow many other rules and regulations that will be discussed here one after another. These practices will help one become cured of madness. As a man’s mental disease is cured by the directions of a psychiatrist, so this sādhana-bhakti cures the conditioned soul of his madness under the spell of māyā, material illusion. Nārada Muni mentions this sādhana-bhakti in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Seventh Canto, first chapter, verse 32. He says there to King Yudhiṣṭhira, “My dear King, one has to fix his mind on Kṛṣṇa by any means.” That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. ~ A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhup da,
169:And as a ray descending from the sky gives rise to another, which climbs back again, as a pilgrim yearns for home; so through my eye her action, like a ray into my mind, gave rise to mine: I stared into the Sun so hard that here it would have left me blind; but much is granted to our senses there, in that garden made to be man's proper place, that is not granted us when we are here. I had to look away soon, and yet not so soon but what I saw him spark and blaze like new-tapped iron when it pours white-hot. And suddenly, as it appeared to me, day was added to day, as if He who can had added a new Sun to Heaven's glory. Beatrice stared at the eternal spheres entranced, unmoving; and I looked away from the Sun's height to fix my eyes on hers. And as I looked, I felt begin within me what Glaucus felt eating the herb that made him a god among the others in the sea. How speak trans-human change to human sense? Let the example speak until God's grace grants the pure spirit the experience. [2327.jpg] -- from The Divine Comedy: The Inferno, the Purgatorio, and the Paradiso,
/ Translated by John Ciardi

~ Dante Alighieri, And as a ray descending from the sky (from The Paradiso, Canto I)
,
170:Danijar riprese il canto. L’inizio era sempre così timido, malsicuro, ma a poco a poco la voce prese forza, riempì la valle, andò a risvegliare l’eco nelle rocce lontane.

Ciò che mi sorprendeva di più era la passione, l’ardore che permeava la melodia stessa. Non sapevo come chiamare tutto questo, e non lo so tuttora, o più esattamente non posso dire se quella fosse soltanto la voce o qualche cosa di ben più importante che usciva dal cuore stesso dell’uomo, qualche cosa capace di suscitare negli altri una simile emozione, capace di animare i più segreti pensieri.

Se mi fosse possibile, in qualche modo, riprodurre la canzone di Danijar!

In essa non c’erano quasi parole, essa apriva senza parole l’anima profonda dell’uomo. Né prima, né dopo, mai ho udito una canzone simile: non somigliava né alle canzoni kazake, né alle canzoni kirghise, ma c’era in essa qualcosa delle due e delle altre. La musica di Danijar portava in sé tutte le più belle melodie dei due popoli fratelli e le fondeva in una sola canzone impossibile a ripetersi. Era una canzone dei monti e delle steppe, che ora s’alzava sonora come i monti kirghisi e ora si stendeva senza barriere come la steppa kazaka. ~ Chingiz Aitmatov,
171:La ragazza tornò anche quella mattina. Il sole non era
ancora sorto e la sua figura sembrava confondersi con le
ultime ombre della notte. Si sistemò sotto le mura della
prigione, alzò un poco il capo e prese a intonare i versi
divenuti oramai familiari. La sua voce era melodiosa,
gradevole da ascoltare, tant'è che i soldati ancora di
guardia si affacciarono alle feritoie per vedere e mettersi in
ascolto. Il canto accompagnò l'arrivo dell'alba e i primi
timidi raggi del sole illuminarono una fanciulla esile, dai
lunghi capelli corvini e l'abito logoro. I suoi piedi erano
scalzi e sporchi. Come ogni volta, doveva essere giunta
alla prigione a piedi sfidando il freddo, l'oscurità e le
occhiate di rimprovero dei contadini del villaggio.
........
Il canto della ragazza accompagnò anche il risveglio dei
carcerati. Molti di loro non avrebbero rimesso piede fuori
dalla prigione se non per raggiungere il patibolo. Ladri,
truffatori, assassini. Uomini di rango elevato come anche
poveri contadini del villaggio. Dietro le sbarre di ferro ogni
essere umano diventava uguale all'altro e le differenze
sociali cessavano di esistere.
da L'Amante del Boia ~ Alessandra Paoloni,
172:Subitamente, porém, quando transpúnhamos o portão, tive o choque de um alarme.
A casota do cão ficava a um canto do quintal, perto do alpendre onde se arrumavam os bois. Admiti bruscamente que o cão tivesse morrido. E, abandonando o grupo, fui sozinho até ao fundo do jardim. À luz da lua, espreitei para a casota, chamei o cão. Mondego não respondeu. Meti a mão dentro - o cão não estava. Presumi, absurdamente, que tivesse rebentado a corrente, se tivesse aninhado no alpendre. Fui para lá, mergulhei para um lado e outro no escuro, chamei: Mondego!
Nada. Mas eis que, ao voltar-me para sair, eu vi o cão, enfim: suspenso de uma trave enforcado no arame, Mondego recortava-se contra o céu, iluminado de lua e de estrelas. Dominei-me, não gritei. E corri para o grupo, que voltava atrás a procurar-me. Desculpei-me como pude e segui para a igreja, chorando duramente: quando Cristo nascia entre cânticos e luzes, Mondego balançava de uma trave o seu corpo leproso, banhado de luar...
No dia seguinte quiseram iludir-me: o cão teria aparecido morto à porta da casota. Não reagi. Levantei-me apenas e fui eu enterrar o animal, para que fosse amortalhado com ternura, para que a última voz da terra a falar-lhe fosse uma voz de aliança. ~ Verg lio Ferreira,
173:È un bene che non si ripeta due volte, la febbre del primo amore. Poiché è una febbre, e anche un fardello, checché ne dicano i poeti. Non si è molto coraggiosi, quando si ha ventun anno. Sono tempi pieni di piccole viltà, di minime paure senza fondamento, e ci si sente così presto vinti, ci vuol tanto poco a esser feriti; e si cede alla prima parola pungente. Oggi, avvolta nella comoda armatura della maturità che s'avvicina, le innumeri piccole punture della vita quotidiana non mi sfiorano che lievemente e sono presto obliate, ma allora - oh, allora, una parola detta a caso sostava a lungo, diventava un marchio rovente; e uno sguardo, un'occhiata di sopra una spalla s'imprimeva per l'eternità. Un rifiuto annunciava un triplice canto di gallo, e una mancanza di sincerità era simile al bacio di Giuda. La mente matura può mentire con la coscienza netta, con un viso ridente, ma in quei giorni, anche il più lieve inganno bruciava sulla lingua, legandoci al palo del supplizio da noi stessi innalzato.
==========

«Se ci fosse mai qualcuno che scoprisse il modo di imbottigliare le memorie, come un profumo...» dissi. «Che non svanissero mai, non perdessero mai la freschezza. E quando si volesse, si potrebbe aprir la boccetta, e rivedere il momento...» ~ Daphne du Maurier,
174:No te rindas, aún estás a tiempo
de alcanzar y comenzar de nuevo,
aceptar tus sombras, enterrar tus miedos,
liberar el lastre, retomar el vuelo.

No te rindas que la vida es eso,
continuar el viaje,
perseguir tus sueños,
destrabar el tiempo,
correr los escombros y destapar el cielo.

No te rindas, por favor no cedas,
aunque el frío queme,
aunque el miedo muerda,
aunque el sol se esconda y se calle el viento,
aún hay fuego en tu alma,
aún hay vida en tus sueños,
porque la vida es tuya y tuyo también el deseo,
porque lo has querido y porque te quiero.

Porque existe el vino y el amor, es cierto,
porque no hay heridas que no cure el tiempo,
abrir las puertas, quitar los cerrojos,
abandonar las murallas que te protegieron.

Vivir la vida y aceptar el reto,
recuperar la risa, ensayar el canto,
bajar la guardia y extender las manos,
desplegar las alas e intentar de nuevo,
celebrar la vida y retomar los cielos,

No te rindas, por favor no cedas,
aunque el frío queme,
aunque el miedo muerda,
aunque el sol se ponga y se calle el viento,
aún hay fuego en tu alma,
aún hay vida en tus sueños,
porque cada día es un comienzo,
porque esta es la hora y el mejor momento,
porque no estas sola,
porque yo te quiero. ~ Mario Benedetti,
175:Che cosa avevano in comune quel corpo, l'uso che non poteva fare l'amore, i suoi inevitabili scopi, e il destino di un altro corpo di donna, votato a delicati rapimenti, dotato i una genialità da predone, di un'appassionata implacabilità, di una pedagogia ipocrita e incantatrice?

"Nascondeva con difficoltà un dolore che non riusciva a comprendere. Che cosa aveva dunque conquistato, la notte scorsa, nell'ombra profumata, tra quelle braccia ansiose di farlo uomo e vittorioso? Il diritto di soffrire? Il diritto di mancare per debolezza davanti a una fanciulla innocente e pura? Il diritto di tremare se non si sa perchè, dinanzi alla delicata vita delle bestie e al sangue fuggito dalle sue sorgenti?

"Ah, la luce sorda e rossastra di una camera sconosciuta! Ah, quella buia felicità, quella morte raggiunta per gradi, e poi la vita, recuperata a lenti colpi d'ala..."

"Quelle piccole orecchie arrossate risuonavano ancora di un grido sommesso, soffocato come quello di un essere che venga sgozzato? Qulle braccia, ricche di muscoli appena visibili, l'avevano portato, leggero, confuso, da questo mondo in un altro mondo; quella bocca avara di parole, s'era chinaa per trasmetter e per mormorare, indistinto, un canto che nasceva debole eco, dalle profondità in cui la vita è una convulsione terribile...Ella sapeva tutto... ~ Colette,
176:Il grande gioco della politica internazionale, dopo il crollo delle Torri gemelle, è stato forse più di prima costruito a tavolino. Senza grandi rapporti con la realtà. Anzi. Proprio una cattiva conoscenza della realtà ha reso più vulnerabili – nel momento della massima potenza – gli Stati Uniti. E con loro l'Occidente tutto. Buonsenso vorrebbe, dunque, che il grande Risiko riponesse nella scatola soldatini e carri armati e rimettesse in funzione i vecchi sistemi: la conoscenza approfondita e vera di quanto sta succedendo oltre la soglia di casa. Così ancora non avviene. Soprattutto non c'è ancora un rapporto alla pari con gli arabi, senza il quale non si possono risolvere la diffidenza e la sfiducia. Non dobbiamo esportare la nostra democrazia, né con i carri armati né con lo sguardo mellifluo di chi vuole imporre le proprie regole con altri mezzi, meno violenti ma non per questo meno discutibili. Dobbiamo (semplicemente?) leggere quale concetto di democrazia sta emergendo nelle élite arabe. Dobbiamo accettare che il loro modello di democrazia (che i sostenitori dell'islam politico cosiddetto "modernista" considerano islamizzabile) sia diverso, e che possa avere una sua dignità specifica. D'altro canto, per molti dei musulmani arabi la nostra – di democrazia – non rispetta i loro, di valori. (Arabi invisibili, Feltrinelli) ~ Paola Caridi,
177:Pochi uccelli Stephen preferiva ai succiacapre, ma non era stato il loro canto a farlo scendere dal letto. Rimase fermo, appoggiato alla ringhiera, e poco dopo Jack Aubrey, in un padiglione presso il campo di bocce, ricominciò a suonare con grande dolcezza nel buio, improvvisando solo per sé, fantasticando sul suo violino con una maestria che Stephen non aveva mai conosciuto in lui, sebbene avessero suonato insieme per tanti anni.[...] In effetti suonava meglio di Stephen, e ora che stava usando il suo prezioso Guarnieri invece del robusto strumento adatto al mare, la differenza era ancora più marcata: ma il Guarnieri non bastava a spiegarla del tutto, assolutamente no. Quando suonavano insieme, Jack nascondeva la propria eccellenza, mantenendosi al mediocre livello di Stephen [...]; mentre rifletteva su questo, Maturin si rese conto a un tratto che era sempre stato così: Jack, indipendentemente dalle condizioni di Stephen, detestava mettersi in mostra. Ma in quel momento, in quella notte tiepida, ora che non vi era nessuno da sostenere moralmente, cui dare il proprio appoggio, nessuno che potesse criticare il suo virtuosismo, Jack poteva lasciarsi andare completamente; e mentre la musica grave e delicata continuava a diffondersi, Stephen si stupì una volta di più dell'apparente contraddizione tra il grande e grosso ufficiale di marina, florido e allegro [...] e la musica pensosa, complessa che quello stesso uomo stava ora creando. Una musica che contrastava immensamente con il suo limitato vocabolario, un vocabolario che lo rendeva talvolta quasi incapace di esprimersi. ~ Patrick O Brian,
178:Os romances nunca serão totalmente imaginários nem totalmente reais. Ler um romance é confrontar-se tanto com a imaginação do autor quanto com o mundo real cuja superfície arranhamos com uma curiosidade tão inquieta. Quando nos refugiamos num canto, nos deitamos numa cama, nos estendemos num divã com um romance nas mãos, nossa imaginação passa a trafegar o tempo entre o mundo daquele romance e o mundo no qual ainda vivemos. O romance em nossas mãos pode nos levar a um outro mundo onde nunca estivemos, que nunca vimos ou de que nunca tivemos notícia. Ou pode nos levar até as profundezas ocultas de um personagem que, na superfície, parece semelhante às pessoas que conhecemos melhor. Estou chamando atenção para cada uma dessas possibilidades isoladas porque há uma visão que acalento de tempos em tempos que abarca os dois extremos. Às vezes tento conjurar, um a um, uma multidão de leitores recolhidos num canto e aninhados em suas poltronas com um romance nas mãos; e também tento imaginar a geografia de sua vida cotidiana. E então, diante dos meus olhos, milhares, dezenas de milhares de leitores vão tomando forma, distribuídos por todas as ruas da cidade, enquanto eles lêem, sonham os sonhos do autor, imaginam a existência dos seus heróis e vêem o seu mundo. E então, agora, esses leitores, como o próprio autor, acabam tentando imaginar o outro; eles também se põem no lugar de outra pessoa. E são esses os momentos em que sentimos a presença da humanidade, da compaixão, da tolerância, da piedade e do amor no nosso coração: porque a grande literatura não se dirige à nossa capacidade de julgamento, e sim à nossa capacidade de nos colocarmos no lugar do outro. ~ Orhan Pamuk,
179:In after-time, a sage of mickle lore
Yclep'd Typographus, the Giant took,
And did refit his limbs as heretofore,
And made him read in many a learned book,
And into many a lively legend look;
Thereby in goodly themes so training him,
That all his brutishness he quite forsook,
When, meeting Artegall and Talus grim,
The one he struck stone-blind, the other's eyes wox dim.
'This stanza, given by Lord Houghton in the Life, Letters &c. (1848), Volume I, page 281, was preceded by the following note:--
"The copy of Spenser which Keats had in daily use, contains the following stanza, inserted at the close of Canto II, Book V. His sympathies were very much on the side of the revolutionary 'Gyant,' who 'undertook for to repair' the 'realms and nations run awry,' and to suppress 'tyrants that make men subject to their law', 'and lordings curbe that commons over-aw,' while he grudged the legitamate victory, as he rejected the conservative philosophy, of the 'righteous Artegall' and ex post facto prophecy, his conviction of the ultimate triumph of freedom and equality by the power of transmitted knowledge."
I have no data whereby to fix the period of this commentary of Keats on the political attitude of Spenser; but I should judge it to belong to the end of 1818 or thereabouts. The copy of Spenser in which the stanza was written is not now forthcoming: it passed into the hands of Miss Brawne, and was lost, with other books, many years after Keats's death.'
~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ John Keats, Spenserian Stanza. Written At The Close Of Canto II, Book V, Of The Faerie Queene
,
180:-Escribí algo para ti,- dijo, agarrando su guitarra para nuestra noche de sexo música, como él la llamaba. La primera vez que escuche su voz cantando, me sorprendió. Su voz cuando hablaba era increíble, pero su canto era como si la miel y el humo se hubieran enganchado en la parte trasera de una camioneta en un concierto de rock y tuvieron un cariñoso hijo. Era suave y áspero al mismo tiempo.

Te voy a contar una historia de una chica que conozco,

Su nombre es Missy, y ella quiere hacérmelo,

Quiero hablarte de mi chica Missy,

Su cabello es castaño y sus labios son de color rosa,

Sus ojos son de color verdoso o azulado creo,

Ella lucha y coquetea conmigo todo el día,

Es por eso que me decidí a escribir esta canción,

Ella puede pensar que yo he cruzado la línea,

Pero ella me dice que me odia todo el tiempo,

Así que realmente no crean nada de lo que dice.

Me gusta la forma en que se ve cuando ella está enojada conmigo,

Me gusta la forma en que sonríe cuando piensa que nadie la ve,

Puedes pensar que esta canción significa que me gusta,

Pero ella estaría muy equivocada,

Me aburría mucho, por lo que me decidí a escribir una canción,

Hay dos cosas más sobre Missy que me gustan,

¿Podría alguien entregarme un micrófono por favor?

La forma en que se pone su aparato de dientes cuando lee obscenidades vampíricas,

Y realmente, realmente me gusta su… Me guiña un ojo.

…culo.

Yo le tiro una almohada a él, pero eso no impidió que parara la canción. Se trataba de mí.

Mi tonta, linda y sexy chica Missy… chica Missy… chica Missy.

El toco el último acorde y la guitarra paro de sonar. ~ Chelsea M Cameron,
181:Del ovillo enmarañado de la memoria, de la oscuridad, de los nudos ciegos, tiro de un hilo que me aparece suelto.
Lo libero poco a poco, con miedo de que se deshaga entre mis dedos.
Es un hilo largo, verde y azul, con olor a cieno, y tiene la blandura caliente del lodo vivo.
Es un río.
Me corre entre las manos, ahora mojadas.
Toda el agua me pasa por entre las palmas abiertas, y de pronto no sé si las aguas nacen de mí o hacia mí fluyen.
Sigo tirando, no ya sólo memoria, sino el propio cuerpo del río.
Sobre mi piel navegan barcos, y soy también los barcos y el cielo que los cubre y los altos chopos que lentamente se deslizan sobre la película luminosa de los ojos.
Nadan peces en mi sangre y oscilan entre dos aguas como las llamadas imprecisas de la memoria.
Siento la fuerza de los brazos y la vara que los prolonga.
Al fondo del río y de mí, baja como un lento y firme latir del corazón.
Ahora el cielo está más cerca y cambió de color.
Y todo él es verde y sonoro porque de rama en rama despierta el canto de las aves.
Y cuando en un ancho espacio el barco se detiene, mi cuerpo desnudo brilla bajo el sol, entre el esplendor mayor que enciende la superficie de las aguas.
Allí se funden en una sola verdad los recuerdos confusos de la memoria y el bulto súbitamente anunciado del futuro.
Un ave sin nombre baja de no sé dónde y va a posarse callada sobre la proa rigurosa del barco.
Inmóvil, espero que toda el agua se bañe de azul y que las aves digan en las ramas por qué son altos los chopos y rumorosas sus hojas.
Entonces, cuerpo de barco y de río en la dimensión del hombre, sigo adelante hasta el dorado remanso que las espadas verticales circundan.
Allí, tres palmos enterraré mi vara hasta la piedra viva.
Habrá un gran silencio primordial cuando las manos se junten con las manos.
Después lo sabré todo. ~ Jos Saramago,
182:The Faerie Queene: Book I, Canto I
THE FIRST BOOKE OF THE FAERIE QUEENE
Contayning
THE LEGENDE OF THE KNIGHT OF THE
RED CROSSE, OR OF HOLINESSEProemi
Lo I the man, whose Muse whilome did maske,
As time her taught in lowly Shepheards weeds,
Am now enforst a far unfitter taske,
For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds,
And sing of Knights and Ladies gentle deeds;
Whose prayses having slept in silence long,
Me, all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds
To blazon broad emongst her learned throng:
Fierce warres and faithful loves shall moralize my song.
ii
Helpe then, O holy Virgin chiefe of nine,
Thy weaker Novice to performe thy will,
Lay forth out of thine everlasting scryne
The antique rolles, which there lye hidden still,
Of Faerie knights and fairest Tanaquill,
Whom that most noble Briton Prince so long
Sought through the world, and suffered so much ill,
That I must rue his undeserved wrong:
O helpe thou my weake wit, and sharpen my dull tong.
iii
And thou most dreaded impe of highest Jove,
Faire Venus sonne, that with thy cruell dart
At that good knight so cunningly didst rove,
That glorious fire it kindled in his hart,
Lay now thy deadly Heben bow apart,
And with thy mother milde come to mine ayde:
Come both, and with you bring triumphant Mart,
In loves and gentle jollities arrayd,
After his murdrous spoiles and bloudy rage allayd.
iv
320
And with them eke, O Goddesse heavenly bright,
Mirrour of grace and Majestie divine,
Great Lady of the greatest Isle, whose light
Like Phoebus lampe throughout the world doth shine,
Shed thy faire beames into my feeble eyne,
And raise my thoughts too humble and too vile,
To thinke of that true glorious type of thine,
The argument of mine afflicted stile:
The which to heare, vouchsafe, O dearest dred a-while.
CANTO I
~ Edmund Spenser,
183:España, Aparta De Mí Este Cáliz
Niños del mundo,
si cae España -digo, es un decirsi cae
del cielo abajo su antebrazo que asen,
en cabestro, dos láminas terrestres;
niños, ¡qué edad la de las sienes cóncavas!
¡qué temprano en el sol lo que os decía!
¡qué pronto en vuestro pecho el ruido anciano!
¡qué viejo vuestro 2 en el cuaderno!
¡Niños del mundo, está
la madre España con su vientre a cuestas;
está nuestra maestra con sus férulas,
está madre y maestra,
cruz y madera, porque os dio la altura,
vértigo y división y suma, niños;
está con ella, padres procesales!
Si cae -digo, es un decir- si cae
España, de la tierra para abajo,
niños, ¡cómo vais a cesar de crecer!
¡cómo va a castigar el año al mes!
¡cómo van a quedarse en diez los dientes,
en palote el diptongo, la medalla en llanto!
¡Cómo va el corderillo a continuar
atado por la pata al gran tintero!
¡Cómo vais a bajar las gradas del alfabeto
hasta la letra en que nació la pena!
Niños,
hijos de los guerreros, entre tanto,
bajad la voz, que España está ahora mismo repartiendo
la energía entre el reino animal,
las florecillas, los cometas y los hombres.
¡Bajad la voz, que esta
con su rigor, que es grande, sin saber
qué hacer, y está en su mano
la calavera hablando y habla y habla,
la calavera, aquélla de la trenza,
la calavera , aquélla de la vida!
¡Bajad la voz, os digo;
bajad la voz, el canto de las sílabas, el llanto
de la materia y el rumor menor de las pirámides, y aún
el de las sienes que andan con dos piedras!
¡Bajad el aliento, y si
el antebrazo baja,
si las férulas suenan, si es la noche,
si el cielo cabe en dos limbos terrestres,
si hay ruido en el sonido de las puertas,
si tardo,
si no veis a nadie, si os asustan
los lápices sin punta, si la madre
España cae -digo, es un decirsalid, niños del mundo; id a buscarla!...
~ Cesar Vallejo,
184:I know some individuals who make this their daily practice: starting at the beginning and reading a canto or half a canto every day till they reach the end and then starting at the beginning again, and in that way they have gone through the whole of Savitri many times. When this is done in groups there's really no doubt that by this going through the whole soundbody of the epic from beginning to end aloud, there must be built up a very strong force field of vibrations. It is definitely of benefit to the people who participate in it. But again I would say that the effect or benefit of this sacrifice will be richer to the extent that the reading is done with understanding and above all with soul surrender. It shouldn't become a mere ritual.
Sri Aurobindo's mantric lines, repeated one after the other, will always have their power; but the power will be much greater if the mind can participate, and the will and the heart.
I have also heard of some groups who select one line that seems to have a particular mantric power and then within the group they chant that line many, many times. They concentrate on that one special line, and try to take its vibrations deep into themselves. Again I am sure that this is very beneficial to those who practice it.
In that way the words enter very deeply into the consciousness. There they resonate and do their work, and perhaps not just the surface meaning but the deeper meaning and the deeper vibrations may reveal their full depth to those who undertake this exercise if it is done with self-dedication, with a true aspiration to internalise the heart of the meaning, not just as a mere repetition.
At another end of the spectrum of possible approaches to Savitri, we can say there would be the aesthetic approach, the approach of enjoying it for its poetic beauty. I met a gentleman a couple of months ago, who told me, "We have faith in Sri Aurobindo, but it is so difficult to understand his books. We tried with The Life Divine, we tried with The Synthesis of Yoga but we found them so difficult. ~ collab summer & fall 2011,
185:(Cont.. Página 46)

O seu rosto negro, bonito, cintilava ali na minha frente. Fiquei boquiaberto, tentando pensar em alguma maneira de responder. Ficamos juntos, enlaçados daquela maneira durante alguns segundos; então o som da fábrica saltou num arranco, e alguma coisa começou a puxá-la para trás, afastando-a de mim. Um cordão em algum lugar que eu não via se havia prendido naquela saia vermelha florida e a puxava para trás. As unhas dela foram arranhando as minhas mãos e, tão logo ela desfez o contato comigo, seu rosto saiu novamente de foco, tornou-se suave e escorregadio como chocolate derretendo-se atrás daquela neblina de algodão que soprava. Ela riu e girou depressa, deixando que eu visse a perna amarela, quando a saia subiu. Lançou-me uma piscadela de olho por sobre o ombro enquanto corria para sua máquina, onde uma pilha de fibra deslizava da mesa para o chão; ela apanhou tudo e saiu correndo sem barulho pela fileira de máquinas para enfiar as fibra num funil de enchimento; depois, desapareceu no meu ângulo de visão virando num canto.

(Página 47)

"Todos aqueles fusos bobinando e rodando, e lançadeiras saltando por todo lado, e carretéis fustigando o ar com fios, paredes caiadas e máquinas cinza-aço e moças com saias floridas saltitando para a frente e para trás e a coisa toda tecida como uma tela, com linhas brancas corrediças que prendiam a fábrica, mantendo-a unida - aquilo tudo me marcou e de vez em quando alguma coisa na enfermaria o traz de volta à minha mente
Sim. Isto é o que sei.. A enfermaria é uma fábrica da Liga. Serve para reparar os enganos cometidos nas vizinhanças, nas escolas e nas igrejas, isso é o que o hospital é. Quando um produto acaba, volta para a sociedade lá fora - todo reparado e bom como se fosse novo, às vezes melhor do que se fosse novo, traz alegria ao coração da Chefona; algo que entrou deformado, todo diferente, agora é um componente em funcionamento e bem-ajustado, um crédito para todo esquema e uma maravilha para ser observado. Observe-o se esgueirando pela terra com um sorriso, encaixando-se em alguma vizinhançazinha, onde estão escavando valas agora mesmo, por toda a rua, para colocar encanamento para a água da cidade. Ele está contente com isso. Ele finalmente está ajustado ao meio-ambiente... ~ Ken Kesey,
186:FROM THE PURGATORIO OF DANTE, CANTO 28, LINES 1-51.

And earnest to explore within--around--
The divine wood, whose thick green living woof
Tempered the young day to the sight--I wound

Up the green slope, beneath the forests roof,
With slow, soft steps leaving the mountains steep,
And sought those inmost labyrinths, motion-proof

Against the air, that in that stillness deep
And solemn, struck upon my forehead bare,
The slow, soft stroke of a continuous...

In which the ... leaves tremblingly were
All bent towards that part where earliest
The sacred hill obscures the morning air.

Yet were they not so shaken from the rest,
But that the birds, perched on the utmost spray,
Incessantly renewing their blithe quest,

With perfect joy received the early day,
Singing within the glancing leaves, whose sound
Kept a low burden to their roundelay,

Such as from bough to bough gathers around
The pine forest on bleak Chiassis shore,
When Aeolus Sirocco has unbound.

My slow steps had already borne me oer
Such space within the antique wood, that I
Perceived not where I entered any more,--

When, lo! a stream whose little waves went by,
Bending towards the left through grass that grew
Upon its bank, impeded suddenly

My going on. Water of purest hue
On earth, would appear turbid and impure
Compared with this, whose unconcealing dew,

Dark, dark, yet clear, moved under the obscure
Eternal shades, whose interwoven looms
The rays of moon or sunlight neer endure.

I moved not with my feet, but mid the glooms
Pierced with my charmed eye, contemplating
The mighty multitude of fresh May blooms

Which starred that night, when, even as a thing
That suddenly, for blank astonishment,
Charms every sense, and makes all thought take wing,--

A solitary woman! and she went
Singing and gathering flower after flower,
With which her way was painted and besprent.

Bright lady, who, if looks had ever power
To bear true witness of the heart within,
Dost bask under the beams of love, come lower

Towards this bank. I prithee let me win
This much of thee, to come, that I may hear
Thy song: like Proserpine, in Ennas glen,

Thou seemest to my fancy, singing here
And gathering flowers, as that fair maiden when
She lost the Spring, and Ceres her, more dear.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Matilda Gathering Flowers
,
187:XVIII ALLA SUA DONNA                Cara beltà che amore             Lunge m’inspiri o nascondendo il viso,             Fuor se nel sonno il core             Ombra diva mi scuoti,         5  O ne’ campi ove splenda             Più vago il giorno e di natura il riso;             Forse tu l’innocente             Secol beasti che dall’oro ha nome,             Or leve intra la gente       10  Anima voli? o te la sorte avara             Ch’a noi t’asconde, agli avvenir prepara?                Viva mirarti omai             Nulla spene m’avanza;             S’allor non fosse, allor che ignudo e solo       15  Per novo calle a peregrina stanza             Verrà lo spirto mio. Già sul novello             Aprir di mia giornata incerta e bruna,             Te viatrice in questo arido suolo             Io mi pensai. Ma non è cosa in terra       20  Che ti somigli; e s’anco pari alcuna             Ti fosse al volto, agli atti, alla favella,             Saria, così conforme, assai men bella.                Fra cotanto dolore             Quanto all’umana età propose il fato,       25  Se vera e quale il mio pensier ti pinge,             Alcun t’amasse in terra, a lui pur fora             Questo viver beato:             E ben chiaro vegg’io siccome ancora             Seguir loda e virtù qual ne’ prim’anni       30  L’amor tuo mi farebbe. Or non aggiunse             Il ciel nullo conforto ai nostri affanni;             E teco la mortal vita saria             Simile a quella che nel cielo india.                Per le valli, ove suona       35  Del faticoso agricoltore il canto,             Ed io seggo e mi lagno             Del giovanile error che m’abbandona;             E per li poggi, ov’io rimembro e piagno             I perduti desiri, e la perduta       40  Speme de’ giorni miei; di te pensando,             A palpitar mi sveglio. E potess’io,             Nel secol tetro e in questo aer nefando,             L’alta specie serbar; che dell’imago,             Poi che del ver m’è tolto, assai m’appago.       45     Se dell’eterne idee             L’una sei tu, cui di sensibil forma             Sdegni l’eterno senno esser vestita,             E fra caduche spoglie             Provar gli affanni di funerea vita;       50  O s’altra terra ne’ superni giri             Fra’ mondi innumerabili t’accoglie,             E più vaga del Sol prossima stella             T’irraggia, e più benigno etere spiri;             Di qua dove son gli anni infausti e brevi,       55  Questo d’ignoto amante inno ricevi. ~ Giacomo Leopardi,
188:(Página 45)
"A enfermaria zumbe da maneira como ouvi uma fábrica de tecido zumbir uma vez, quando o time de futebol jogou com a escola secundária na Califórnia. Depois de uma boa temporada, s promotores da cidade estavam tão orgulhosos e exaltados que pagavam para que fôssemos de avião até a Califórnia para disputar um campeonato de escolas secundárias com o time de lá. Quando chegamos à cidade tivemos de visitar um indústria local qualquer. Nosso treinador era um daqueles dados a convencer as pessoas de que o atletismo era educativo por causa do aprendizado proporcionado pelas viagens, e em todas as viagens que fazíamos ele carregava com o time para visitar fábricas de laticínios, fazendas de plantação de beterraba e fábricas de conservas, antes do jogo . Na Califórnia foi uma fábrica de tecido. Quando entramos na fábrica, a maior parte do time deu uma olhada rápida e saiu para ir sentar-se no ônibus e jogar pôquer em cima das malas, mas eu fiquei lá dentro numa canto, fora do caminho das moças negras que corriam de um lado para o outro entre as fileiras de máquinas.
A fábrica me colocou numa espécie de sonho, todos aqueles zumbidos e estalos a chocalhar de gente e de máquinas sacudindo-se em espasmos regulares. Foi por isso que eu fiquei quando todos os outros se foram, por isso e porque aquilo me lembrou de alguma forma os homens da tribo que haviam deixado a aldeia nos últimos dias para ir trabalhar na trituradora de pedras para a represa. O padrão frenético, os rostos hipnotizados pela rotina... eu queria ir com o time, mas não pude.
Era de manhã, no princípio do inverno, e eu ainda usava a jaqueta que nos deram quando ganhamos o campeonato - uma jaqueta vermelha e verde com mangas de couro e um emblema com o formato de uma bola de futebol bordado nas costas, dizendo o que havíamos vencido - e ela estava fazendo com que uma porção de moças negras olhassem. Eu a tirei , mas elas continuaram olhando. Eu era muito maior naquela época. "

(Página 46)

"Uma das moças afastou-se de sua máquina e olhou para um lado e para o outro das passagens entre as máquinas, para ver se o capataz estava por perto, depois veio até onde eu estava. Perguntou se íamos jogar na escola secundária naquela noite e me disse que tinha um irmão que jogava como zagueiro para eles. Falamos um pouco a respeito do futebol e coisas assim, e reparei como o rosto dela parecia indistinto, como se houvesse uma névoa entre nós dois. Era a lanugem de algodão pairando no ar.
Falei-lhe a respeito da lanugem. Ela revirou os olhos e cobriu a boca com a mão, para rir, quando eu lhe disse como era parecido com o olhar o seu rosto numa manhã enevoada de caça ao pato. E ela disse : " Agora me diga para que é que você quereria nesse bendito mundo estar sozinho comigo lá fora, numa tocaia de pato ?" Disse-lhe que ela poderia tomar de conta da minha arma, e as moças começaram a rir com a boca escondida atrás das mãos na fábrica inteira. Eu também ri um pouco, vendo como havia parecido inteligente. Anda estávamos conversando e rindo quando ela agarrou meus pulsos e os apertou com as mãos. Os traços do seu rosto de repente se acentuaram num foco radioso; vi que ela estava aterrorizada por alguma coisa.
- Leve-me - disse ela num murmúrio - Leve-me mesmo garotão. Para fora desta fábrica aqui, para fora desta cidade, para fora desta vida. Me leva para uma tocaia de pato qualquer, num lugar qualquer . Num outro lugar qualquer. Hem garotão, hem ? ~ Ken Kesey,
189:HOW CAN I READ SAVITRI?
An open reply by Dr Alok Pandey to a fellow devotee

A GIFT OF LOVE TO THE WORLD
Most of all enjoy Savitri. It is Sri Aurobindo's gift of Love to the world. Read it from the heart with love and gratitude as companions and drown in its fiery bliss. That is the true understanding rather than one that comes by a constant churning of words in the head.

WHEN
Best would be to fix a time that works for you. One can always take out some time for the reading, even if it be late at night when one is done with all the daily works. Of course, a certain receptivity is needed. If one is too tired or the reading becomes too mechanical as a ritual routine to be somehow finished it tends to be less effective, as with anything else. Hence the advice is to read in a quiet receptive state.

THE PACE
As to the pace of reading it is best to slowly build up and keep it steady. To read a page or a passage daily is better than reading many pages one day and then few lines or none for days. This brings a certain discipline in the consciousness which makes one receptive. What it means is that one should fix up that one would read a few passages or a page or two daily, and then if an odd day one is enjoying and spontaneously wants to read more then one can go by the flow.

COMPLETE OR SELECTIONS?
It is best to read at least once from cover to cover. But if one is not feeling inclined for that do read some of the beautiful cantos and passages whose reference one can find in various places. This helps us familiarise with the epic and the style of poetry. Later one can go for the cover to cover reading.

READING ALOUD, SILENTLY, OR WRITING DOWN?
One can read it silently. Loud reading is needed only if one is unable to focus with silent reading. A mantra is more potent when read subtly. I am aware that some people recommend reading it aloud which is fine if that helps one better. A certain flexibility in these things is always good and rigid rules either ways are not helpful.

One can also write some of the beautiful passages with which one feels suddenly connected. It is a help in the yoga since such a writing involves the pouring in of the consciousness of Savitri through the brain and nerves and the hand.

Reflecting upon some of these magnificent lines and passages while one is engaged in one\s daily activities helps to create a background state for our inner being to get absorbed in Savitri more and more.

HOW DO I UNDERSTAND THE MEANING? DO I NEED A DICTIONARY?
It is helpful if a brief background about the Canto is known. This helps the mind top focus and also to keep in sync with the overall scene and sense of what is being read.

But it is best not to keep referring to the dictionary while reading. Let the overall sense emerge. Specifics can be done during a detailed reading later and it may not be necessary at all. Besides the sense that Sri Aurobindo has given to many words may not be accurately conveyed by the standard dictionaries. A flexibility is required to understand the subtle suggestions hinted at by the Master-poet.

In this sense Savitri is in the line of Vedic poetry using images that are at once profound as well as commonplace. That is the beauty of mystic poetry. These are things actually experienced and seen by Sri Aurobindo, and ultimately it is Their Grace that alone can reveal the intrinsic sense of this supreme revelation of the Supreme. ~ Dr Alok Pandey,
190:Canto I

And then went down to the ship,
Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and
We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,
Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also
Heavy with weeping, and winds from sternward
Bore us out onward with bellying canvas,
Circe’s this craft, the trim-coifed goddess.
Then sat we amidships, wind jamming the tiller,
Thus with stretched sail, we went over sea till day’s end.
Sun to his slumber, shadows o’er all the ocean,
Came we then to the bounds of deepest water,
To the Kimmerian lands, and peopled cities
Covered with close-webbed mist, unpierced ever
With glitter of sun-rays
Nor with stars stretched, nor looking back from heaven
Swartest night stretched over wretched men there.
The ocean flowing backward, came we then to the place
Aforesaid by Circe.
Here did they rites, Perimedes and Eurylochus,
And drawing sword from my hip
I dug the ell-square pitkin;
Poured we libations unto each the dead,
First mead and then sweet wine, water mixed with white flour.
Then prayed I many a prayer to the sickly death’s-heads;
As set in Ithaca, sterile bulls of the best
For sacrifice, heaping the pyre with goods,
A sheep to Tiresias only, black and a bell-sheep.
Dark blood flowed in the fosse,
Souls out of Erebus, cadaverous dead, of brides
Of youths and of the old who had borne much;
Souls stained with recent tears, girls tender,
Men many, mauled with bronze lance heads,
Battle spoil, bearing yet dreory arms,
These many crowded about me; with shouting,
Pallor upon me, cried to my men for more beasts;
Slaughtered the herds, sheep slain of bronze;
Poured ointment, cried to the gods,
To Pluto the strong, and praised Proserpine;
Unsheathed the narrow sword,
I sat to keep off the impetuous impotent dead,
Till I should hear Tiresias.
But first Elpenor came, our friend Elpenor,
Unburied, cast on the wide earth,
Limbs that we left in the house of Circe,
Unwept, unwrapped in sepulchre, since toils urged other.
Pitiful spirit. And I cried in hurried speech:
“Elpenor, how art thou come to this dark coast?
“Cam’st thou afoot, outstripping seamen?”
And he in heavy speech:
“Ill fate and abundant wine. I slept in Circe’s ingle.
“Going down the long ladder unguarded,
“I fell against the buttress,
“Shattered the nape-nerve, the soul sought Avernus.
“But thou, O King, I bid remember me, unwept, unburied,
“Heap up mine arms, be tomb by sea-bord, and inscribed:
“A man of no fortune, and with a name to come.
“And set my oar up, that I swung mid fellows.”

And Anticlea came, whom I beat off, and then Tiresias Theban,
Holding his golden wand, knew me, and spoke first:
“A second time? why? man of ill star,
“Facing the sunless dead and this joyless region?
“Stand from the fosse, leave me my bloody bever
“For soothsay.”
And I stepped back,
And he strong with the blood, said then: “Odysseus
“Shalt return through spiteful Neptune, over dark seas,
“Lose all companions.” And then Anticlea came.
Lie quiet Divus. I mean, that is Andreas Divus,
In officina Wecheli, 1538, out of Homer.
And he sailed, by Sirens and thence outward and away
And unto Circe.
Venerandam,
In the Cretan’s phrase, with the golden crown, Aphrodite,
Cypri munimenta sortita est, mirthful, orichalchi, with golden
Girdles and breast bands, thou with dark eyelids
Bearing the golden bough of Argicida. So that: ~ Ezra Pound,
191:The Battle Of The Summer Islands : Canto 1
What fruits they have, and how heaven smiles
Upon those late-discovered isles.
Aid me, Bellona, while the dreadful fight
Betwixt a nation and two whales I write.
Seas stained with gore I sing, adventurous toil,
And how these monsters did disarm an isle.
Bermudas, walled with rocks, who does not know?
That happy island where huge lemons grow,
And orange trees, which golden fruit do bear,
The Hesperian garden boasts of none so fair;
Where shining pearl, coral, and many a pound,
On the rich shore, of ambergris is found.
The lofty cedar, which to heaven aspires,
The prince of trees, is fuel for their fires;
The smoke by which their loaded spits do turn,
For incense might on sacred altars burn;
Their private roofs on odorous timber borne,
Such as might palaces for kings adorn.
The sweet palmettos a new Bacchus yield,
With leaves as ample as the broadest shield,
Under the shadow of whose friendly boughs
They sit, carousing where their liquor grows.
Figs there unplanted through the fields do grow,
Such as fierce Cato did the Romans show,
With the rare fruit inviting them to spoil
Carthage, the mistress of so rich a soil.
The naked rocks are not unfruitful there,
But, at some constant seasons, every year
Their barren tops with luscious food abound,
And with the eggs of various fowls are crowned.
Tobacco is the worst of things which they
To English landlords, as their tribute, pay.
Such is the mold, that the blest tenant feeds
On precious fruits, and pays his rent in weeds.
With candied plantains, and the juicy pine,
On choicer melons, and sweet grapes, they dine,
And with potatoes fat their wanton swine.
24
Nature these cates with such a lavish hand
Pours out among them, that our coarser land
Tastes of that bounty, and does cloth return,
Which not for warmth but ornament is worn;
For the kind spring, which but salutes us here,
Inhabits there, and courts them all the year.
Ripe fruits and blossoms on the same tress live;
At once they promise what at once they give.
So sweet the air, so moderate the clime,
None sickly lives, or dies before his time.
Heaven sure has kept this spot of earth uncursed
To show how all things were created first.
The tardy plants in our cold orchards placed
Reserve their fruit for the next age's taste.
There a small grain in some few months will be
A firm, a lofty, and a spacious tree.
The palma-christi, and the fair papaw,
Now but a seed, preventing nature's law,
In half the circle of the hasty year
Project a shade, and lovely fruit do wear.
And as their trees, in our dull region set,
But faintly grow, and no perfection get,
So in this northern tract our hoarser throats
Utter unripe and ill-constrained notes,
Where the supporter of the poets' style,
Phoebus, on them eternally does smile.
Oh! how I long my careless limbs to lay
Under the plantain's shade, and all the day
With amorous airs my fancy entertain,
Invoke the Muses, and improve my vein!
No passion there in my free breast should move,
None but the sweet and best of passions, love.
There while I sing, if gentle love be by,
That tunes my lute, and winds the strings so high,
With the sweet sound of Sacharissa's name
I'll make the listening savages grow tame But while I do these pleasing dreams indite,
I am diverted from the promised fight.
~ Edmund Waller,
192:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto Ix.
Preludes.
I The Nursling of Civility
Lo, how the woman once was woo'd:
Forth leapt the savage from his lair,
And fell'd her, and to nuptials rude
He dragg'd her, bleeding, by the hair.
From that to Chloe's dainty wiles
And Portia's dignified consent,
What distance! But these Pagan styles
How far below Time's fair intent!
Siegfried sued Kriemhild. Sweeter life
Could Love's self covet? Yet 'tis sung
In what rough sort he chid his wife
For want of curb upon her tongue!
Shall Love, where last I leave him, halt?
Nay; none can fancy or foresee
To how strange bliss may time exalt
This nursling of civility.
II The Foreign Land
A woman is a foreign land,
Of which, though there he settle young,
A man will ne'er quite understand
The customs, politics, and tongue.
The foolish hie them post-haste through,
See fashions odd, and prospects fair,
Learn of the language, ‘How d'ye do,’
And go and brag they have been there.
The most for leave to trade apply,
For once, at Empire's seat, her heart,
Then get what knowledge ear and eye
Glean chancewise in the life-long mart.
And certain others, few and fit,
Attach them to the Court, and see
The Country's best, its accent hit,
And partly sound its polity.
143
III Disappointment
‘The bliss which woman's charms bespeak,
‘I've sought in many, found in none!’
‘In many 'tis in vain you seek
‘What can be found in only one.’
The Friends.
Frank's long, dull letter, lying by
The gay sash from Honoria's waist,
Reproach'd me; passion spared a sigh
For friendship without fault disgraced.
How should I greet him? how pretend
I felt the love he once inspired?
Time was when either, in his friend,
His own deserts with joy admired;
We took one side in school-debate,
Like hopes pursued with equal thirst,
Were even-bracketed by Fate,
Twin-Wranglers, seventh from the First;
And either loved a lady's laugh
More than all music; he and I
Were perfect in the pleasant half
Of universal charity.
II
From pride of likeness thus I loved
Him, and he me, till love begot
The lowliness which now approved
Nothing but that which I was not.
Blest was the pride of feeling so
Subjected to a girl's soft reign.
She was my vanity, and, oh,
All other vanities how vain!
III
Frank follow'd in his letter's track,
And set my guilty heart at ease
By echoing my excuses back
With just the same apologies.
144
So he had slighted me as well!
Nor was my mind disburthen'd less
When what I sought excuse to tell
He of himself did first confess.
IV
Each, rapturous, praised his lady's worth;
He eloquently thus: ‘Her face
‘Is the summ'd sweetness of the earth,
‘Her soul the glass of heaven's grace,
‘To which she leads me by the hand;
‘Or, briefly all the truth to say
‘To you, who briefly understand,
‘She is both heaven and the way.
‘Displeasures and resentments pass
‘Athwart her charitable eyes
‘More fleetingly than breath from glass,
‘Or truth from foolish memories;
‘Her heart's so touch'd with others' woes
‘She has no need of chastisement;
‘Her gentle life's conditions close,
‘Like God's commandments, with content,
‘And make an aspect calm and gay,
‘Where sweet affections come and go,
‘Till all who see her, smile and say,
‘How fair, and happy that she's so!
‘She is so lovely, true, and pure,
‘Her virtue virtue so endears,
‘That often, when I think of her,
‘Life's meanness fills mine eyes with tears—’
‘You paint Miss Churchill! Pray go on—’
‘She's perfect, and, if joy was much
‘To think her nature's paragon,
‘'Tis more that there's another such!’
Praising and paying back their praise
With rapturous hearts, t'ward Sarum Spire
We walk'd, in evening's golden haze,
Friendship from passion stealing fire.
In joy's crown danced the feather jest,
145
And, parting by the Deanery door,
Clasp'd hands, less shy than words, confess'd
We had not been true friends before.
~ Coventry Patmore,
193:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto X.
Preludes.
I Frost in Harvest
The lover who, across a gulf
Of ceremony, views his Love,
And dares not yet address herself,
Pays worship to her stolen glove.
The gulf o'erleapt, the lover wed,
It happens oft, (let truth be told),
The halo leaves the sacred head,
Respect grows lax, and worship cold,
And all love's May-day promising,
Like song of birds before they pair,
Or flush of flowers in boastful Spring,
Dies out, and leaves the Summer bare
Yet should a man, it seems to me,
Honour what honourable is,
For some more honourable plea
Than only that it is not his.
The gentle wife, who decks his board
And makes his day to have no night,
Whose wishes wait upon her lord,
Who finds her own in his delight,
Is she another now than she
Who, mistress of her maiden charms,
At his wild prayer, incredibly
Committed them to his proud arms?
Unless her choice of him's a slur
Which makes her proper credit dim,
He never enough can honour her
Who past all speech has honour'd him.
II Felicity
To marry her and take her home!
The poet, painting pureness, tells
Of lilies; figures power by Rome;
And each thing shows by something else!
But through the songs of poets look,
And who so lucky to have found
164
In universal nature's book
A likeness for a life so crown'd!
Here they speak best who best express
Their inability to speak,
And none are strong, but who confess
With happy skill that they are weak.
III Marriage Indissoluble
‘In heaven none marry.’ Grant the most
Which may by this dark word be meant,
Who shall forbid the eternal boast
‘I kiss'd, and kiss'd with her consent!’
If here, to Love, past favour is
A present boast, delight, and chain,
What lacks of honour, bond, and bliss,
Where Now and Then are no more twain!
The Epitaph.
‘At Church, in twelve hours more, we meet!
‘This, Dearest, is our last farewell.’
‘Oh, Felix, do you love me?’ ‘Sweet,
‘Why do you ask?’ ‘I cannot tell.’
II
And was it no vain fantasy
That raised me from the earth with pride?
Should I to-morrow verily
Be Bridegroom, and Honoria Bride?
Should I, in simple fact, henceforth
Live unconditionally lord
Of her whose smile for brightest worth
Seem'd all too bountiful reward?
Incredible life's promise seem'd,
Or, credible, for life too great;
Love his own deity blasphemed,
And doff'd at last his heavenly state.
What law, if man could mount so high,
To further insolence set bars,
165
And kept the chaste moon in the sky,
And bade him not tread out the stars!
III
Patience and hope had parted truce,
And, sun-like, Love obscured his ray
With dazzling mists, driven up profuse
Before his own triumphant way.
I thought with prayer how Jacob paid
The patient price of Rachel; then,
Of that calm grace Tobias said,
And Sarah's innocent ‘Amen.’
Without avail! O'erwhelming wealth,
The wondrous gift of God so near,
Which should have been delight and health
Made heart and spirit sick and sere.
Until at last the soul of love,
That recks not of its own delight,
Awoke and bade the mists remove,
And then once more I breathed aright;
And I rehears'd my marriage vow,
And swore her welfare to prefer
To all things, and for aye as now
To live, not for myself, but her.
Forth, from the glittering spirit's peace
And gaiety ineffable,
Stream'd to the heart delight and ease,
As from an overflowing well;
And, orderly deriving thence
Its pleasure perfect and allow'd,
Bright with the spirit shone the sense,
As with the sun a fleecy cloud.
If now to part with her could make,
Her pleasure greater, sorrow less,
I for my epitaph would take
‘To serve seem'd more than to possess.’
And I perceiv'd, (the vision sweet
Dimming with happy dew mine eyes),
That love and joy are torches lit
From altar-fires of sacrifice.
IV
166
Across the sky the daylight crept,
And birds grew garrulous in the grove,
And on my marriage-morn I slept
A soft sleep, undisturb'd by love.
~ Coventry Patmore,
194:Ariosto. Orlando Furioso, Canto X, 91-99
Ruggiero, to amaze the British host,
And wake more wonder in their wondering ranks,
The bridle of his winged courser loosed,
And clapped his spurs into the creature's flanks;
High in the air, even to the topmost banks
Of crudded cloud, uprose the flying horse,
And now above the Welsh, and now the Manx,
And now across the sea he shaped his course,
Till gleaming far below lay Erin's emerald shores.
There round Hibernia's fabled realm he coasted,
Where the old saint had left the holy cave,
Sought for the famous virtue that it boasted
To purge the sinful visitor and save.
Thence back returning over land and wave,
Ruggiero came where the blue currents flow,
The shores of Lesser Brittany to lave,
And, looking down while sailing to and fro,
He saw Angelica chained to the rock below.
'Twas on the Island of Complaint -- well named,
For there to that inhospitable shore,
A savage people, cruel and untamed,
Brought the rich prize of many a hateful war.
To feed a monster that bestead them sore,
They of fair ladies those that loveliest shone,
Of tender maidens they the tenderest bore,
And, drowned in tears and making piteous moan,
Left for that ravening beast, chained on the rocks alone.
Thither transported by enchanter's art,
Angelica from dreams most innocent
(As the tale mentioned in another part)
Awoke, the victim for that sad event.
Beauty so rare, nor birth so excellent,
Nor tears that make sweet Beauty lovelier still,
14
Could turn that people from their harsh intent.
Alas, what temper is conceived so ill
But, Pity moving not, Love's soft enthralment will?
On the cold granite at the ocean's rim
These folk had chained her fast and gone their way;
Fresh in the softness of each delicate limb
The pity of their bruising violence lay.
Over her beauty, from the eye of day
To hide its pleading charms, no veil was thrown.
Only the fragments of the salt sea-spray
Rose from the churning of the waves, wind-blown,
To dash upon a whiteness creamier than their own.
Carved out of candid marble without flaw,
Or alabaster blemishless and rare,
Ruggiero might have fancied what he saw,
For statue-like it seemed, and fastened there
By craft of cunningest artificer;
Save in the wistful eyes Ruggiero thought
A teardrop gleamed, and with the rippling hair
The ocean breezes played as if they sought
In its loose depths to hide that which her hand might not.
Pity and wonder and awakening love
Strove in the bosom of the Moorish Knight.
Down from his soaring in the skies above
He urged the tenor of his courser's flight.
Fairer with every foot of lessening height
Shone the sweet prisoner. With tightening reins
He drew more nigh, and gently as he might:
"O lady, worthy only of the chains
With which his bounden slaves the God of Love constrains,
"And least for this or any ill designed,
Oh, what unnatural and perverted race
Could the sweet flesh with flushing stricture bind,
And leave to suffer in this cold embrace
15
That the warm arms so hunger to replace?"
Into the damsel's cheeks such color flew
As by the alchemy of ancient days
If whitest ivory should take the hue
Of coral where it blooms deep in the liquid blue.
Nor yet so tightly drawn the cruel chains
Clasped the slim ankles and the wounded hands,
But with soft, cringing attitudes in vain
She strove to shield her from that ardent glance.
So, clinging to the walls of some old manse,
The rose-vine strives to shield her tender flowers,
When the rude wind, as autumn weeks advance,
Beats on the walls and whirls about the towers
And spills at every blast her pride in piteous showers.
And first for choking sobs she might not speak,
And then, "Alas!" she cried, "ah, woe is me!"
And more had said in accents faint and weak,
Pleading for succor and sweet liberty.
But hark! across the wide ways of the sea
Rose of a sudden such a fierce affray
That any but the brave had turned to flee.
Ruggiero, turning, looked. To his dismay,
Lo, where the monster came to claim his quivering prey!
~ Alan Seeger,
195:When they were come into Faery's Court
They rang -- no one at home -- all gone to sport
And dance and kiss and love as faerys do
For Faries be as human lovers true --
Amid the woods they were so lone and wild
Where even the Robin feels himself exil'd
And where the very books as if affraid
Hurry along to some less magic shade.
'No one at home'! the fretful princess cry'd
'And all for nothing such a dre[a]ry ride
And all for nothing my new diamond cross
No one to see my persian feathers toss
No one to see my Ape, my Dwarf, my Fool
Or how I pace my Otaheitan mule.
Ape, Dwarf and Fool why stand you gaping there
Burst the door open, quick -- or I declare
I'll switch you soundly and in pieces tear.'
The Dwarf began to tremble and the Ape
Star'd at the Fool, the Fool was all agape
The Princess grasp'd her switch but just in time
The Dwarf with piteous face began to rhyme.
"O mighty Princess did you ne'er hear tell
What your poor servants know but too too well
Know you the three great crimes in faery land
The first alas! poor Dwarf I understand
I made a whipstock of a faery's wand
The next is snoring in their company
The next the last the direst of the three
Is making free when they are not at home.
I was a Prince -- a baby prince -- my doom
You see, I made a whipstock of a wand
My top has henceforth slept in faery land.
He was a Prince the Fool, a grown up Prince
But he has never been a King's son since
He fell a snoring at a faery Ball
Your poor Ape was a Prince and he poor thing
But ape -- so pray your highness stay awhile
'Tis sooth indeed we know it to our sorrow --
Persist and you may be an ape tomorrow --
While the Dwarf spake the Princess all for spite
Peal'd the brown hazel twig to lilly white
Clench'd her small teeth, and held her lips apart
Try'd to look unconcerned with beating heart.
They saw her highness had made up her mind
And quaver'd like the reeds before the wind
And they had had it, but O happy chance
The Ape for very fear began to dance
And grin'd as all his uglyness did ache--
She staid her vixen fingers for his sake
He was so very ugly: then she took
Her pocket mirror and began to look
First at herself and [then] at him and then
She smil'd at her own beauteous face again.
Yet for all this -- for all her pretty face
She took it in her head to see the place.
Women gain little from experience
Either in Lovers, husbands or expense.
The more their beauty the more fortune too
Beauty before the wide world never knew.
So each fair reasons -- tho' it oft miscarries.
She thought her pretty face would please the fa[e]ries.
"My darling Ape I wont whip you today
Give me the Picklock sirrah and go play."
   They all three wept but counsel was as vain
As crying cup biddy to drops of rain.
Yet lingeringly did the sad Ape forth draw
The Picklock from the Pocket in his Jaw.
The Princess took it and dismounting straight
Trip'd in blue silver'd slippers to the gate
And touch'd the wards, the Door full courteously
Opened -- she enter'd with her servants three.
Again it clos'd and there was nothing seen
But the Mule grasing on the herbage green.
End of Canto xii.

Canto the xiii.
The Mule no sooner saw himself alone
Than he prick'd up his Ears -- and said 'well done!
At least unhappy Prince I may be free --
No more a Princess shall side saddle me
O King of Othaiete -- tho' a Mule
'Aye every inch a King' -- tho' 'Fortune's fool.'
Well done -- for by what Mr. Dwarfy said
I would not give a sixpence for her head.'
Even as he spake he trotted in high glee
To the knotty side of an old Pollard tree
And rub'd his sides against the mossed bark
Till his Girths burst and left him naked stark
Except his Bridle -- how get rid of that
Buckled and tied with many a twist and plait.
At last it struck him to pretend to sleep
And then the thievish Monkies down would creep
And filch the unpleasant trammels quite away.
No sooner thought of than adown he lay
Sham'd a good snore -- the Monkey-men descended
And whom they thought to injure they befriended.
They hung his Bridle on a topmost bough
And of[f] he went run, trot, or anyhow--
Found at the end of "Nonsense Verses" in Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ John Keats, An Extempore
,
196:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto Xii.
Preludes
I The Married Lover
Why, having won her, do I woo?
Because her spirit's vestal grace
Provokes me always to pursue,
But, spirit-like, eludes embrace;
Because her womanhood is such
That, as on court-days subjects kiss
The Queen's hand, yet so near a touch
Affirms no mean familiarness,
Nay, rather marks more fair the height
Which can with safety so neglect
To dread, as lower ladies might,
That grace could meet with disrespect,
Thus she with happy favour feeds
Allegiance from a love so high
That thence no false conceit proceeds
Of difference bridged, or state put by;
Because, although in act and word
As lowly as a wife can be,
Her manners, when they call me lord,
Remind me 'tis by courtesy;
Not with her least consent of will,
Which would my proud affection hurt,
But by the noble style that still
Imputes an unattain'd desert;
Because her gay and lofty brows,
When all is won which hope can ask,
Reflect a light of hopeless snows
That bright in virgin ether bask;
Because, though free of the outer court
I am, this Temple keeps its shrine
Sacred to Heaven; because, in short,
She's not and never can be mine.
II The Amaranth
Feasts satiate; stars distress with height;
Friendship means well, but misses reach,
173
And wearies in its best delight
Vex'd with the vanities of speech;
Too long regarded, roses even
Afflict the mind with fond unrest;
And to converse direct with Heaven
Is oft a labour in the breast;
Whate'er the up-looking soul admires,
Whate'er the senses' banquet be,
Fatigues at last with vain desires,
Or sickens by satiety;
But truly my delight was more
In her to whom I'm bound for aye
Yesterday than the day before,
And more to-day than yesterday.
Husband And Wife
I, while the shop-girl fitted on
The sand-shoes, look'd where, down the bay,
The sea glow'd with a shrouded sun.
‘I'm ready, Felix; will you pay?’
That was my first expense for this
Sweet Stranger, now my three days' Wife.
How light the touches are that kiss
The music from the chords of life!
II
Her feet, by half-a-mile of sea,
In spotless sand left shapely prints;
With agates, then, she loaded me;
(The lapidary call'd them flints);
Then, at her wish, I hail'd a boat,
To take her to the ships-of-war,
At anchor, each a lazy mote
Black in the brilliance, miles from shore.
III
The morning breeze the canvas fill'd,
Lifting us o'er the bright-ridged gulf,
And every lurch my darling thrill'd
174
With light fear smiling at itself;
And, dashing past the ‘Arrogant,’
Asleep upon the restless wave,
After its cruise in the Levant,
We reach'd the ‘Wolf,’ and signal gave
For help to board: with caution meet,
My bride was placed within the chair,
The red flag wrapp'd about her feet,
And so swung laughing through the air.
IV
‘Look, Love,’ she said, ‘there's Frederick Graham,
‘My cousin, whom you met, you know.’
And seeing us, the brave man came,
And made his frank and courteous bow,
And gave my hand a sailor's shake,
And said, ‘You ask'd me to the Hurst:
‘I never thought my luck would make
‘Your wife and you my guests the first.’
And Honor, cruel, ‘Nor did we:
‘Have you not lately changed your ship?’
‘Yes: I'm Commander, now,’ said he,
With a slight quiver of the lip.
We saw the vessel, shown with pride;
Took luncheon; I must eat his salt!
Parting he said, (I fear my bride
Found him unselfish to a fault),
His wish, he saw, had come to pass,
(And so, indeed, her face express'd),
That that should be, whatever 'twas,
Which made his Cousin happiest.
We left him looking from above;
Rich bankrupt! for he could afford
To say most proudly that his love
Was virtue and its own reward.
But others loved as well as he,
(Thought I, half-anger'd), and if fate,
Unfair, had only fashion'd me
As hapless, I had been as great.
As souls, ambitious, but low-born,
175
If raised past hope by luck or wit,
All pride of place will proudly scorn,
And live as they'd been used to it,
So we two wore our strange estate:
Familiar, unaffected, free,
We talk'd, until the dusk grew late,
Of this and that; but, after tea,
As doubtful if a lot so sweet
As ours was ours in very sooth,
Like children, to promote conceit,
We feign'd that it was not the truth;
And she assumed the maiden coy,
And I adored remorseless charms,
And then we clapp'd our hands for joy,
And ran into each other's arms.
~ Coventry Patmore,
197:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto Vii.
Preludes.
I Joy and Use
Can ought compared with wedlock be
For use? But He who made the heart
To use proportions joy. What He
Has join'd let no man put apart.
Sweet Order has its draught of bliss
Graced with the pearl of God's consent,
Ten times delightful in that 'tis
Considerate and innocent.
In vain Disorder grasps the cup;
The pleasure's not enjoy'd but spilt,
And, if he stoops to lick it up,
It only tastes of earth and guilt.
His sorry raptures rest destroys;
To live, like comets, they must roam;
On settled poles turn solid joys,
And sunlike pleasures shine at home.
II ‘She was Mine’
‘Thy tears o'erprize thy loss! Thy wife,
‘In what was she particular?
‘Others of comely face and life,
‘Others as chaste and warm there are,
‘And when they speak they seem to sing;
‘Beyond her sex she was not wise;
‘And there is no more common thing
‘Than kindness in a woman's eyes.
‘Then wherefore weep so long and fast,
‘Why so exceedingly repine!
‘Say, how has thy Beloved surpass'd
‘So much all others?’ ‘She was mine.’
The Revulsion.
155
'Twas when the spousal time of May
Hangs all the hedge with bridal wreaths,
And air's so sweet the bosom gay
Gives thanks for every breath it breathes;
When like to like is gladly moved,
And each thing joins in Spring's refrain,
‘Let those love now who never loved;
‘Let those who have loved love again;’
That I, in whom the sweet time wrought,
Lay stretch'd within a lonely glade,
Abandon'd to delicious thought,
Beneath the softly twinkling shade.
The leaves, all stirring, mimick'd well
A neighbouring rush of rivers cold,
And, as the sun or shadow fell,
So these were green and those were gold;
In dim recesses hyacinths droop'd,
And breadths of primrose lit the air,
Which, wandering through the woodland, stoop'd
And gather'd perfumes here and there;
Upon the spray the squirrel swung,
And careless songsters, six or seven,
Sang lofty songs the leaves among,
Fit for their only listener, Heaven.
I sigh'd, ‘Immeasurable bliss
‘Gains nothing by becoming more!
‘Millions have meaning; after this
‘Cyphers forget the integer.’
II
And so I mused, till musing brought
A dream that shook my house of clay,
And, in my humbled heart, I thought,
To me there yet may come a day
With this the single vestige seen
Of comfort, earthly or divine,
My sorrow some time must have been
Her portion, had it not been mine.
Then I, who knew, from watching life,
That blows foreseen are slow to fall,
Rehearsed the losing of a wife,
156
And faced its terrors each and all.
The self-chastising fancy show'd
The coffin with its ghastly breath;
The innocent sweet face that owed
None of its innocence to death;
The lips that used to laugh; the knell
That bade the world beware of mirth;
The heartless and intolerable
Indignity of ‘earth to earth;’
At morn remembering by degrees
That she I dream'd about was dead;
Love's still recurrent jubilees,
The days that she was born, won, wed;
The duties of my life the same,
Their meaning for the feelings gone;
Friendship impertinent, and fame
Disgusting; and, more harrowing none,
Small household troubles fall'n to me,
As, ‘What time would I dine to-day?’
And, oh, how could I bear to see
The noisy children at their play.
Besides, where all things limp and halt,
Could I go straight, should I alone
Have kept my love without default
Pitch'd at the true and heavenly tone?
The festal-day might come to mind
That miss'd the gift which more endears;
The hour which might have been more kind,
And now less fertile in vain tears;
The good of common intercourse,
For daintier pleasures, then despised,
Now with what passionate remorse,
What poignancy of hunger prized!
The little wrong, now greatly rued,
Which no repentance now could right;
And love, in disbelieving mood,
Deserting his celestial height.
Withal to know, God's love sent grief
To make me less the world's, and more
Meek-hearted: ah, the sick relief!
Why bow'd I not my heart before?
157
III
‘What,’ I exclaimed, with chill alarm,
‘If this fantastic horror shows
‘The feature of an actual harm!’
And, coming straight to Sarum Close,
As one who dreams his wife is dead,
And cannot in his slumber weep,
And moans upon his wretched bed,
And wakes, and finds her there asleep,
And laughs and sighs, so I, not less
Relieved, beheld, with blissful start,
The light and happy loveliness
Which lay so heavy on my heart.
~ Coventry Patmore,
198:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto Iii.
Preludes
I Love Ceremonious
Keep your undrest, familiar style
For strangers, but respect your friend,
Her most, whose matrimonial smile
Is and asks honour without end.
'Tis found, and needs it must so be,
That life from love's allegiance flags,
When love forgets his majesty
In sloth's unceremonious rags.
Let love make home a gracious Court;
There let the world's rude, hasty ways
Be fashion'd to a loftier port,
And learn to bow and stand at gaze;
And let the sweet respective sphere
Of personal worship there obtain
Circumference for moving clear,
None treading on another's train.
This makes that pleasures do not cloy,
And dignifies our mortal strife
With calmness and considerate joy,
Befitting our immortal life.
II The Rainbow
A stately rainbow came and stood,
When I was young, in High-Hurst Park;
Its bright feet lit the hill and wood
Beyond, and cloud and sward were dark;
And I, who thought the splendour ours
Because the place was, t'wards it flew,
And there, amidst the glittering showers,
Gazed vainly for the glorious view.
With whatsoever's lovely, know
It is not ours; stand off to see,
Or beauty's apparition so
Puts on invisibility.
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III A Paradox
To tryst Love blindfold goes, for fear
He should not see, and eyeless night
He chooses still for breathing near
Beauty, that lives but in the sight.
The County Ball.
Well, Heaven be thank'd my first-love fail'd,
As, Heaven be thank'd, our first-loves do!
Thought I, when Fanny past me sail'd,
Loved once, for what I never knew,
Unless for colouring in her talk,
When cheeks and merry mouth would show
Three roses on a single stalk,
The middle wanting room to blow,
And forward ways, that charm'd the boy
Whose love-sick mind, misreading fate,
Scarce hoped that any Queen of Joy
Could ever stoop to be his mate.
II
But there danced she, who from the leaven
Of ill preserv'd my heart and wit
All unawares, for she was heaven,
Others at best but fit for it.
One of those lovely things she was
In whose least action there can be
Nothing so transient but it has
An air of immortality.
I mark'd her step, with peace elate,
Her brow more beautiful than morn,
Her sometime look of girlish state
Which sweetly waived its right to scorn;
The giddy crowd, she grave the while,
Although, as 'twere beyond her will,
Around her mouth the baby smile,
That she was born with, linger'd still.
Her ball-dress seem'd a breathing mist,
From the fair form exhaled and shed,
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Raised in the dance with arm and wrist
All warmth and light, unbraceleted.
Her motion, feeling 'twas beloved,
The pensive soul of tune express'd,
And, oh, what perfume, as she moved,
Came from the flowers in her breast!
How sweet a tongue the music had!
‘Beautiful Girl,’ it seem'd to say,
‘Though all the world were vile and sad,
‘Dance on; let innocence be gay.’
Ah, none but I discern'd her looks,
When in the throng she pass'd me by,
For love is like a ghost, and brooks
Only the chosen seer's eye;
And who but she could e'er divine
The halo and the happy trance,
When her bright arm reposed on mine,
In all the pauses of the dance!
III
Whilst so her beauty fed my sight,
And whilst I lived in what she said,
Accordant airs, like all delight
Most sweet when noted least, were play'd;
And was it like the Pharisee
If I in secret bow'd my face
With joyful thanks that I should be,
Not as were many, but with grace,
And fortune of well-nurtured youth,
And days no sordid pains defile,
And thoughts accustom'd to the truth,
Made capable of her fair smile?
IV
Charles Barton follow'd down the stair,
To talk with me about the Ball,
And carp at all the people there.
The Churchills chiefly stirr'd his gall:
‘Such were the Kriemhilds and Isondes
‘You storm'd about at Trinity!
‘Nothing at heart but handsome Blondes!
‘Folk say that you and Fanny Fry—’
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‘They err! Good-night! Here lies my course,
‘Through Wilton.’ Silence blest my ears,
And, weak at heart with vague remorse,
A passing poignancy of tears
Attack'd mine eyes. By pale and park
I rode, and ever seem'd to see,
In the transparent starry dark,
That splendid brow of chastity,
That soft and yet subduing light,
At which, as at the sudden moon,
I held my breath, and thought ‘how bright!’
That guileless beauty in its noon,
Compelling tribute of desires
Ardent as day when Sirius reigns,
Pure as the permeating fires
That smoulder in the opal's veins.
~ Coventry Patmore,
199:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto Vii.
Preludes.
I Love's Immortality
How vilely 'twere to misdeserve
The poet's gift of perfect speech,
In song to try, with trembling nerve,
The limit of its utmost reach,
Only to sound the wretched praise
Of what to-morrow shall not be;
So mocking with immortal bays
The cross-bones of mortality!
I do not thus. My faith is fast
That all the loveliness I sing
Is made to bear the mortal blast,
And blossom in a better Spring.
Doubts of eternity ne'er cross
The Lover's mind, divinely clear:
For ever is the gain or loss
Which maddens him with hope or fear:
So trifles serve for his relief,
And trifles make him sick and pale;
And yet his pleasure and his grief
Are both on a majestic scale.
The chance, indefinitely small,
Of issue infinitely great,
Eclipses finite interests all,
And has the dignity of fate.
II Heaven and Earth
How long shall men deny the flower
Because its roots are in the earth,
And crave with tears from God the dower
They have, and have despised as dearth,
And scorn as low their human lot,
With frantic pride, too blind to see
That standing on the head makes not
Either for ease or dignity!
But fools shall feel like fools to find
(Too late inform'd) that angels' mirth
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Is one in cause, and mode, and kind
With that which they profaned on earth.
Aetna And The Moon.
To soothe my heart I, feigning, seized
A pen, and, showering tears, declared
My unfeign'd passion; sadly pleased
Only to dream that so I dared.
Thus was the fervid truth confess'd,
But wild with paradox ran the plea,
As wilfully in hope depress'd,
Yet bold beyond hope's warranty:
II
‘O, more than dear, be more than just,
‘And do not deafly shut the door!
‘I claim no right to speak; I trust
‘Mercy, not right; yet who has more?
‘For, if more love makes not more fit,
‘Of claimants here none's more nor less,
‘Since your great worth does not permit
‘Degrees in our unworthiness.
‘Yet, if there's aught that can be done
‘With arduous labour of long years,
‘By which you'll say that you'll be won,
‘O tell me, and I'll dry my tears.
‘Ah, no; if loving cannot move,
‘How foolishly must labour fail!
‘The use of deeds is to show love;
‘If signs suffice let these avail:
‘Your name pronounced brings to my heart
‘A feeling like the violet's breath,
‘Which does so much of heaven impart
‘It makes me amorous of death;
‘The winds that in the garden toss
‘The Guelder-roses give me pain,
‘Alarm me with the dread of loss,
‘Exhaust me with the dream of gain;
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‘I'm troubled by the clouds that move;
‘Tired by the breath which I respire;
‘And ever, like a torch, my love,
‘Thus agitated, flames the higher;
‘All's hard that has not you for goal;
‘I scarce can move my hand to write,
‘For love engages all my soul,
‘And leaves the body void of might;
‘The wings of will spread idly, as do
‘The bird's that in a vacuum lies;
‘My breast, asleep with dreams of you,
‘Forgets to breathe, and bursts in sighs;
‘I see no rest this side the grave,
‘No rest nor hope, from you apart;
‘Your life is in the rose you gave,
‘Its perfume suffocates my heart;
‘There's no refreshment in the breeze;
‘The heaven o'erwhelms me with its blue;
‘I faint beside the dancing seas;
‘Winds, skies, and waves are only you;
‘The thought or act which not intends
‘You service, seems a sin and shame;
‘In that one only object ends
‘Conscience, religion, honour, fame.
‘Ah, could I put off love! Could we
‘Never have met! What calm, what ease!
‘Nay, but, alas, this remedy
‘Were ten times worse than the disease!
‘For when, indifferent, I pursue
‘The world's best pleasures for relief,
‘My heart, still sickening back to you,
‘Finds none like memory of its grief;
‘And, though 'twere very hell to hear
‘You felt such misery as I,
‘All good, save you, were far less dear
‘Than is that ill with which I die!
‘Where'er I go, wandering forlorn,
‘You are the world's love, life, and glee:
‘Oh, wretchedness not to be borne
‘If she that's Love should not love me!’
98
III
I could not write another word,
Through pity for my own distress;
And forth I went, untimely stirr'd
To make my misery more or less.
I went, beneath the heated noon,
To where, in her simplicity,
She sate at work; and, as the Moon
On Ætna smiles, she smiled on me.
But, now and then, in cheek and eyes,
I saw, or fancied, such a glow
As when, in summer-evening skies,
Some say, ‘It lightens,’ some say, ‘No.’
‘Honoria,’ I began—No more.
The Dean, by ill or happy hap,
Came home; and Wolf burst in before,
And put his nose upon her lap.
~ Coventry Patmore,
200:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto I.
Preludes.
I The Song of Songs
The pulse of War, whose bloody heats
Sane purposes insanely work,
Now with fraternal frenzy beats,
And binds the Christian to the Turk,
And shrieking fifes and braggart flags,
Through quiet England, teach our breath
The courage corporate that drags
The coward to heroic death.
Too late for song! Who henceforth sings,
Must fledge his heavenly flight with more
Song-worthy and heroic things
Than hasty, home-destroying war.
While might and right are not agreed,
And battle thus is yet to wage,
So long let laurels be the meed
Of soldier as of poet sage;
But men expect the Tale of Love,
And weary of the Tale of Hate;
Lift me, O Muse, myself above,
And let the world no longer wait!
II The Kites
I saw three Cupids (so I dream'd),
Who made three kites, on which were drawn,
In letters that like roses gleam'd,
‘Plato,’ ‘Anacreon,’ and ‘Vaughan.’
The boy who held by Plato tried
His airy venture first; all sail,
It heav'nward rush'd till scarce descried,
Then pitch'd and dropp'd, for want of tail.
Anacreon's Love, with shouts of mirth
That pride of spirit thus should fall,
To his kite link'd a lump of earth,
And, lo, it would not soar at all.
Last, my disciple freighted his
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With a long streamer made of flowers,
The children of the sod, and this
Rose in the sun, and flew for hours.
III Orpheus
The music of the Sirens found
Ulysses weak, though cords were strong;
But happier Orpheus stood unbound,
And shamed it with a sweeter song.
His mode be mine. Of Heav'n I ask,
May I, with heart-persuading might,
Pursue the Poet's sacred task
Of superseding faith by sight,
Till ev'n the witless Gadarene,
Preferring Christ to swine, shall know
That life is sweetest when it's clean.
To prouder folly let me show
Earth by divine light made divine;
And let the saints, who hear my word,
Say, ‘Lo, the clouds begin to shine
‘About the coming of the Lord!’
IV Nearest the Dearest
Till Eve was brought to Adam, he
A solitary desert trod,
Though in the great society
Of nature, angels, and of God.
If one slight column counterweighs
The ocean, 'tis the Maker's law,
Who deems obedience better praise
Than sacrifice of erring awe.
V Perspective
What seems to us for us is true.
The planet has no proper light,
And yet, when Venus is in view,
No primal star is half so bright.
Accepted.
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I
What fortune did my heart foretell?
What shook my spirit, as I woke,
Like the vibration of a bell
Of which I had not heard the stroke?
Was it some happy vision shut
From memory by the sun's fresh ray?
Was it that linnet's song; or but
A natural gratitude for day?
Or the mere joy the senses weave,
A wayward ecstasy of life?
Then I remember'd, yester-eve
I won Honoria for my Wife.
II
Forth riding, while as yet the day
Was dewy, watching Sarum Spire,
Still beckoning me along my way,
And growing every minute higher,
I reach'd the Dean's. One blind was down,
Though nine then struck. My bride to be!
And had she rested ill, my own,
With thinking (oh, my heart!) of me?
I paced the streets; a pistol chose,
To guard my now important life
When riding late from Sarum Close;
At noon return'd. Good Mrs. Fife,
To my, ‘The Dean, is he at home?’
Said, ‘No, Sir; but Miss Honor is;’
And straight, not asking if I'd come,
Announced me, ‘Mr. Felix, Miss,’
To Mildred, in the Study. There
We talk'd, she working. We agreed
The day was fine; the Fancy-Fair
Successful; ‘Did I ever read
‘De Genlis?’ ‘Never.’ ‘Do! She heard
‘I was engaged.’ ‘To whom?’ ‘Miss Fry.’
‘Was it the fact?’ ‘No!’ ‘On my word?’
‘What scandal people talk'd!’ ‘Would I
‘Hold out this skein of silk.’ So pass'd
I knew not how much time away.
‘How were her sisters?’ ‘Well.’ At last
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I summon'd heart enough to say,
‘I hoped to see Miss Churchill too.’
‘Miss Churchill, Felix! What is this?
‘I said, and now I find 'tis true,
‘Last night you quarrell'd! Here she is.’
III
She came, and seem'd a morning rose
When ruffling rain has paled its blush;
Her crown once more was on her brows;
And, with a faint, indignant flush,
And fainter smile, she gave her hand,
But not her eyes, then sate apart,
As if to make me understand
The honour of her vanquish'd heart.
But I drew humbly to her side;
And she, well pleased, perceiving me
Liege ever to the noble pride
Of her unconquer'd majesty,
Once and for all put it away;
The faint flush pass'd; and, thereupon,
Her loveliness, which rather lay
In light than colour, smiled and shone,
Till sick was all my soul with bliss;
Or was it with remorse and ire
Of such a sanctity as this
Subdued by love to my desire?
~ Coventry Patmore,
201:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto V.
Preludes.
I Rejected
‘Perhaps she's dancing somewhere now!’
The thoughts of light and music wake
Sharp jealousies, that grow and grow
Till silence and the darkness ache.
He sees her step, so proud and gay,
Which, ere he spake, foretold despair;
Thus did she look, on such a day,
And such the fashion of her hair;
And thus she stood, when, kneeling low,
He took the bramble from her dress,
And thus she laugh'd and talk'd, whose ‘No’
Was sweeter than another's ‘Yes.’
He feeds on thoughts that most deject;
He impudently feigns her charms,
So reverenced in his own respect,
Dreadfully clasp'd by other arms;
And turns, and puts his brows, that ache,
Against the pillow where 'tis cold.
If only now his heart would break!
But, oh, how much a heart can hold.
II Rachel
You loved her, and would lie all night
Thinking how beautiful she was,
And what to do for her delight.
Now both are bound with alien laws!
Be patient; put your heart to school;
Weep if you will, but not despair;
The trust that nought goes wrong by rule
Should ease this load the many bear.
Love, if there's heav'n, shall meet his dues,
Though here unmatch'd, or match'd amiss
Meanwhile, the gentle cannot choose
But learn to love the lips they kiss.
Ne'er hurt the homely sister's ears
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With Rachel's beauties; secret be
The lofty mind whose lonely tears
Protest against mortality.
III The Heart's Prophecies
Be not amazed at life; 'tis still
The mode of God with His elect
Their hopes exactly to fulfil,
In times and ways they least expect.
The Queen’s Room.
There's nothing happier than the days
In which young Love makes every thought
Pure as a bride's blush, when she says
‘I will’ unto she knows not what;
And lovers, on the love-lit globe,
For love's sweet sake, walk yet aloof,
And hear Time weave the marriage-robe,
Attraction warp and reverence woof!
II
My Housekeeper, my Nurse of yore,
Cried, as the latest carriage went,
‘Well, Mr. Felix, Sir, I'm sure
‘The morning's gone off excellent!
‘I never saw the show to pass
‘The ladies, in their fine fresh gowns,
‘So sweetly dancing on the grass,
‘To music with its ups and downs.
‘We'd such work, Sir, to clean the plate;
‘'Twas just the busy times of old.
‘The Queen's room, Sir, look'd quite like state.
‘Miss Smythe, when she went up, made bold
‘To peep into the Rose Boudoir,
‘And cried, 'How charming! all quite new!'
‘And wonder'd who it could be for.
‘All but Miss Honor look'd in too.
‘But she's too proud to peep and pry.
‘None's like that sweet Miss Honor, Sir!
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‘Excuse my humbleness, but I
‘Pray Heav'n you'll get a wife like her!
‘The Poor love dear Miss Honor's ways
‘Better than money. Mrs. Rouse,
‘Who ought to know a lady, says
‘No finer goes to Wilton House.
‘Miss Bagshaw thought that dreary room
‘Had kill'd old Mrs. Vaughan with fright;
‘She would not sleep in such a tomb
‘For all her host was worth a night!
‘Miss Fry, Sir, laugh'd; they talk'd the rest
‘In French; and French Sir's Greek to me.
‘But, though they smiled, and seem'd to jest,
‘No love was lost, for I could see
‘How serious-like Miss Honor was—’
‘Well, Nurse, this is not my affair.
‘The ladies talk'd in French with cause.
‘Good-day; and thank you for your prayer.’
III
I loiter'd through the vacant house,
Soon to be hers; in one room stay'd,
Of old my mother's. Here my vows
Of endless thanks were oftenest paid.
This room its first condition kept;
For, on her road to Sarum Town,
Therein an English Queen had slept,
Before the Hurst was half-pull'd down.
The pictured walls the place became:
Here ran the Brook Anaurus, where
Stout Jason bore the wrinkled dame
Whom serving changed to Juno; there,
Ixion's selfish hope, instead
Of the nuptial goddess, clasp'd a cloud;
And, here, translated Psyche fed
Her gaze on Love, not disallow'd.
IV
And in this chamber had she been,
And into that she would not look,
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My Joy, my Vanity, my Queen,
At whose dear name my pulses shook!
To others how express at all
My worship in that joyful shrine?
I scarcely can myself recall
What peace and ardour then were mine!
And how more sweet than aught below,
The daylight and its duties done,
It felt to fold the hands, and so
Relinquish all regards but one;
To see her features in the dark;
To lie and meditate once more
The grace I did not fully mark,
The tone I had not heard before;
And from my pillow then to take
Her notes, her picture, and her glove,
Put there for joy when I should wake,
And press them to the heart of love;
And then to whisper ‘Wife!’ and pray
To live so long as not to miss
That unimaginable day
Which farther seems the nearer 'tis;
And still from joy's unfathom'd well
To drink, in dreams, while on her brows
Of innocence ineffable
Blossom'd the laughing bridal rose.
~ Coventry Patmore,
202:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto Vi.
Preludes.
I Perfect Love rare
Most rare is still most noble found,
Most noble still most incomplete;
Sad law, which leaves King Love uncrown'd
In this obscure, terrestrial seat!
With bale more sweet than others' bliss,
And bliss more wise than others' bale,
The secrets of the world are his.
And freedom without let or pale.
O, zealous good, O, virtuous glee,
Religious, and without alloy,
O, privilege high, which none but he
Who highly merits can enjoy;
O, Love, who art that fabled sun
Which all the world with bounty loads,
Without respect of realms, save one,
And gilds with double lustre Rhodes;
A day of whose delicious life,
Though full of terrors, full of tears,
Is better than of other life
A hundred thousand million years;
Thy heavenly splendour magnifies
The least commixture of earth's mould,
Cheapens thyself in thine own eyes,
And makes the foolish mocker bold.
II Love Justified
What if my pole-star of respect
Be dim to others? Shall their ‘Nay,’
Presumably their own defect,
Invalidate my heart's strong ‘Yea’?
And can they rightly me condemn,
If I, with partial love, prefer?
I am not more unjust to them,
But only not unjust to her.
Leave us alone! After awhile,
This pool of private charity
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Shall make its continent an isle,
And roll, a world-embracing sea;
This foolish zeal of lip for lip,
This fond, self-sanction'd, wilful zest,
Is that elect relationship
Which forms and sanctions all the rest;
This little germ of nuptial love,
Which springs so simply from the sod,
The root is, as my song shall prove,
Of all our love to man and God.
III Love Serviceable
What measure Fate to him shall mete
Is not the noble Lover's care;
He's heart-sick with a longing sweet
To make her happy as she's fair.
Oh, misery, should she him refuse,
And so her dearest good mistake!
His own success he thus pursues
With frantic zeal for her sole sake.
To lose her were his life to blight,
Being loss to hers; to make her his,
Except as helping her delight,
He calls but accidental bliss;
And, holding life as so much pelf
To buy her posies, learns this lore:
He does not rightly love himself
Who does not love another more.
IV A Riddle Solved
Kind souls, you wonder why, love you,
When you, you wonder why, love none.
We love, Fool, for the good we do,
Not that which unto us is done!
The Dean.
The Ladies rose. I held the door,
And sigh'd, as her departing grace
Assured me that she always wore
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A heart as happy as her face;
And, jealous of the winds that blew,
I dreaded, o'er the tasteless wine,
What fortune momently might do
To hurt the hope that she'd be mine.
II
Towards my mark the Dean's talk set:
He praised my ‘Notes on Abury,’
Read when the Association met
At Sarum; he was pleased to see
I had not stopp'd, as some men had,
At Wrangler and Prize Poet; last,
He hoped the business was not bad
I came about: then the wine pass'd.
III
A full glass prefaced my reply:
I loved his daughter, Honor; I told
My estate and prospects; might I try
To win her? At my words so bold
My sick heart sank. Then he: He gave
His glad consent, if I could get
Her love. A dear, good Girl! she'd have
Only three thousand pounds as yet;
More bye and bye. Yes, his good will
Should go with me; he would not stir;
He and my father in old time still
Wish'd I should one day marry her;
But God so seldom lets us take
Our chosen pathway, when it lies
In steps that either mar or make
Or alter others' destinies,
That, though his blessing and his pray'r
Had help'd, should help, my suit, yet he
Left all to me, his passive share
Consent and opportunity.
My chance, he hoped, was good: I'd won
Some name already; friends and place
Appear'd within my reach, but none
Her mind and manners would not grace.
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Girls love to see the men in whom
They invest their vanities admired;
Besides, where goodness is, there room
For good to work will be desired.
'Twas so with one now pass'd away;
And what she was at twenty-two,
Honor was now; and he might say
Mine was a choice I could not rue.
IV
He ceased, and gave his hand. He had won
(And all my heart was in my word),
From me the affection of a son,
Whichever fortune Heaven conferr'd!
Well, well, would I take more wine? Then go
To her; she makes tea on the lawn
These fine warm afternoons. And so
We went whither my soul was drawn;
And her light-hearted ignorance
Of interest in our discourse
Fill'd me with love, and seem'd to enhance
Her beauty with pathetic force,
As, through the flowery mazes sweet,
Fronting the wind that flutter'd blythe,
And loved her shape, and kiss'd her feet,
Shown to their insteps proud and lithe,
She approach'd, all mildness and young trust,
And ever her chaste and noble air
Gave to love's feast its choicest gust,
A vague, faint augury of despair.
~ Coventry Patmore,
203:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto Iv.
Preludes.
I Honour and Desert
O queen, awake to thy renown,
Require what 'tis our wealth to give,
And comprehend and wear the crown
Of thy despised prerogative!
I, who in manhood's name at length
With glad songs come to abdicate
The gross regality of strength,
Must yet in this thy praise abate,
That, through thine erring humbleness
And disregard of thy degree,
Mainly, has man been so much less
Than fits his fellowship with thee.
High thoughts had shaped the foolish brow,
The coward had grasp'd the hero's sword,
The vilest had been great, hadst thou,
Just to thyself, been worth's reward.
But lofty honours undersold
Seller and buyer both disgrace;
And favours that make folly bold
Banish the light from virtue's face.
II Love and Honour
What man with baseness so content,
Or sick with false conceit of right,
As not to know that the element
And inmost warmth of love's delight
Is honour? Who'd not rather kiss
A duchess than a milkmaid, prank
The two in equal grace, which is
Precedent Nature's obvious rank?
Much rather, then, a woman deck'd
With saintly honours, chaste and good,
Whose thoughts celestial things affect,
Whose eyes express her heavenly mood!
Those lesser vaunts are dimm'd or lost
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Which plume her name or paint her lip,
Extinct in the deep-glowing boast
Of her angelic fellowship.
III Valour misdirected
‘I'll hunt for dangers North and South,
‘To prove my love, which sloth maligns!’
What seems to say her rosy mouth?
‘I'm not convinced by proofs but signs.’
Love In Idleness.
What should I do? In such a wife
Fortune had lavish'd all her store,
And nothing now seem'd left for life
But to deserve her more and more.
To this I vow'd my life's whole scope;
And Love said, ‘I forewarn you now,
‘The Maiden will fulfil your hope
‘Only as you fulfil your vow.’
II
A promised service, (task for days),
Was done this morning while she slept,
With that full heart which thinks no praise
Of vows which are not more than kept;
But loftier work did love impose,
And studious hours. Alas, for these,
While she from all my thoughts arose
Like Venus from the restless seas!
III
I conn'd a scheme, with mind elate:
My Uncle's land would fall to me,
My skill was much in school debate,
My friends were strong in Salisbury;
A place in Parliament once gain'd,
Thro' saps first labour'd out of sight,
Far loftier peaks were then attain'd
140
With easy leaps from height to height;
And that o'erwhelming honour paid,
Or recognised, at least, in life,
Which this most sweet and noble Maid
Should yield to him who call'd her Wife.
IV
I fix'd this rule: in Sarum Close
To make two visits every week,
The first to-day; and, save on those,
I nought would do, think, read, or speak,
Which did not help my settled will
To earn the Statesman's proud applause.
And now, forthwith, to mend my skill
In ethics, politics, and laws,
The Statesman's learning! Flush'd with power
And pride of freshly-form'd resolve,
I read Helvetius half-an-hour;
But, halting in attempts to solve
Why, more than all things else that be,
A lady's grace hath force to move
That sensitive appetency
Of intellectual good, call'd love,
Took Blackstone down, only to draw
My swift-deriving thoughts ere long
To love, which is the source of law,
And, like a king, can do no wrong;
Then open'd Hyde, where loyal hearts,
With faith unpropp'd by precedent,
Began to play rebellious parts.
O, mighty stir that little meant!
How dull the crude, plough'd fields of fact
To me who trod the Elysian grove!
How idle all heroic act
By the least suffering of love!
I could not read; so took my pen,
And thus commenced, in form of notes,
A Lecture for the Salisbury men,
With due regard to Tory votes:
‘A road's a road, though worn to ruts;
‘They speed who travel straight therein;
‘But he who tacks and tries short cuts
141
‘Gets fools' praise and a broken shin—’
And here I stopp'd in sheer despair;
But, what to-day was thus begun,
I vow'd, up starting from my chair,
To-morrow should indeed be done;
So loosed my chafing thoughts from school,
To play with fancy as they chose,
And then, according to my rule,
I dress'd, and came to Sarum Close.
Ah, that sweet laugh! Diviner sense
Did Nature, forming her, inspire
To omit the grosser elements,
And make her all of air and fire!
VII
To-morrow, Cowes Regatta fell:
The Dean would like his girls to go,
If I went too. ‘Most gladly.’ Well,
I did but break a foolish vow!
Unless Love's toil has love for prize,
(And then he's Hercules), above
All other contrarieties
Is labour contrary to love.
No fault of Love's, but nature's laws!
And Love, in idleness, lies quick;
For as the worm whose powers make pause,
And swoon, through alteration sick,
The soul, its wingless state dissolved,
Awaits its nuptial life complete,
All indolently self-convolved,
Cocoon'd in silken fancies sweet.
~ Coventry Patmore,
204:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto Xi.
Preludes.
I Platonic Love
Right art thou who wouldst rather be
A doorkeeper in Love's fair house,
Than lead the wretched revelry
Where fools at swinish troughs carouse.
But do not boast of being least;
And if to kiss thy Mistress' skirt
Amaze thy brain, scorn not the Priest
Whom greater honours do not hurt.
Stand off and gaze, if more than this
Be more than thou canst understand,
Revering him whose power of bliss,
Angelic, dares to seize her hand,
Or whose seraphic love makes flight
To the apprehension of her lips;
And think, the sun of such delight
From thine own darkness takes eclipse.
And, wouldst thou to the same aspire,
This is the art thou must employ,
Live greatly; so shalt thou acquire
Unknown capacities of joy.
II A Demonstration
Nature, with endless being rife,
Parts each thing into ‘him’ and ‘her,’
And, in the arithmetic of life,
The smallest unit is a pair;
And thus, oh, strange, sweet half of me,
If I confess a loftier flame,
If more I love high Heaven than thee,
I more than love thee, thee I am;
And, if the world's not built of lies,
Nor all a cheat the Gospel tells,
If that which from the dead shall rise
Be I indeed, not something else,
There's no position more secure
168
In reason or in faith than this,
That those conditions must endure,
Which, wanting, I myself should miss.
III The Symbol
As if I chafed the sparks from glass,
And said, ‘It lightens,’ hitherto
The songs I've made of love may pass
For all but for proportion true;
But likeness and proportion both
Now fail, as if a child in glee,
Catching the flakes of the salt froth,
Cried, ‘Look, my mother, here's the sea.’
Yet, by the help of what's so weak,
But not diverse, to those who know,
And only unto those I speak,
May far-inferring fancy show
Love's living sea by coasts uncurb'd,
Its depth, its mystery, and its might,
Its indignation if disturb'd,
The glittering peace of its delight.
IV Constancy rewarded
I vow'd unvarying faith, and she,
To whom in full I pay that vow,
Rewards me with variety
Which men who change can never know.
The Wedding.
Life smitten with a feverish chill,
The brain too tired to understand,
In apathy of heart and will,
I took the woman from the hand
Of him who stood for God, and heard
Of Christ, and of the Church his Bride;
The Feast, by presence of the Lord
And his first Wonder, beautified;
The mystic sense to Christian men;
The bonds in innocency made,
169
And gravely to be enter'd then
For children, godliness, and aid,
And honour'd, and kept free from smirch;
And how a man must love his wife
No less than Christ did love His Church,
If need be, giving her his life;
And, vowing then the mutual vow,
The tongue spoke, but intention slept.
'Tis well for us Heaven asks not how
We take this oath, but how 'tis kept.
II
O, bold seal of a bashful bond,
Which makes the marriage-day to be,
To those before it and beyond,
An iceberg in an Indian sea!
III
‘Now, while she's changing,’ said the Dean,
‘Her bridal for her travelling dress,
‘I'll preach allegiance to your queen!
‘Preaching's the thing which I profess;
‘And one more minute's mine! You know
‘I've paid my girl a father's debt,
‘And this last charge is all I owe.
‘She's your's; but I love more than yet
‘You can; such fondness only wakes
‘When time has raised the heart above
‘The prejudice of youth, which makes
‘Beauty conditional to love.
‘Prepare to meet the weak alarms
‘Of novel nearness: recollect
‘The eye which magnifies her charms
‘Is microscopic for defect.
‘Fear comes at first; but soon, rejoiced,
‘You'll find your strong and tender loves,
‘Like holy rocks by Druids poised,
‘The least force shakes, but none removes.
‘Her strength is your esteem; beware
‘Of finding fault; her will's unnerv'd
‘By blame; from you 'twould be despair;
‘But praise that is not quite deserv'd
170
‘Will all her noble nature move
‘To make your utmost wishes true.
‘Yet think, while mending thus your Love,
‘Of matching her ideal too!
‘The death of nuptial joy is sloth:
‘To keep your mistress in your wife,
‘Keep to the very height your oath,
‘And honour her with arduous life.
‘Lastly, no personal reverence doff.
‘Life's all externals unto those
‘Who pluck the blushing petals off,
‘To find the secret of the rose.—
‘How long she's tarrying! Green's Hotel
‘I'm sure you'll like. The charge is fair,
‘The wines good. I remember well
‘I stay'd once, with her Mother, there.
‘A tender conscience of her vow
‘That Mother had! She's so like her!’
But Mrs. Fife, much flurried, now
Whisper'd, ‘Miss Honor's ready, Sir.’
IV
Whirl'd off at last, for speech I sought,
To keep shy Love in countenance;
But, whilst I vainly tax'd my thought,
Her voice deliver'd mine from trance:
‘Look, is not this a pretty shawl,
‘Aunt's parting gift.’ ‘She's always kind,’
‘The new wing spoils Sir John's old Hall:
‘You'll see it, if you pull the blind.’
I drew the silk: in heaven the night
Was dawning; lovely Venus shone,
In languishment of tearful light,
Swathed by the red breath of the sun.
171
~ Coventry Patmore,
205:Amours De Voyage, Canto Iv
Eastward, or Northward, or West? I wander and ask as I wander;
Weary, yet eager and sure, Where shall I come to my love?
Whitherward hasten to seek her? Ye daughters of Italy, tell me,
Graceful and tender and dark, is she consorting with you?
Thou that out-climbest the torrent, that tendest thy goats to the summit,
Call to me, child of the Alp, has she been seen on the heights?
Italy, farewell I bid thee! for whither she leads me, I follow.
Farewell the vineyard! for I, where I but guess her, must go;
Weariness welcome, and labour, wherever it be, if at last it
Bring me in mountain or plain into the sight of my love.
I. Claude to Eustace,--from Florence.
Gone from Florence; indeed! and that is truly provoking;-Gone to Milan, it seems; then I go also to Milan.
Five days now departed; but they can travel but slowly;-I quicker far; and I know, as it happens, the home they will go to.-Why, what else should I do? Stay here and look at the pictures,
Statues and churches? Alack, I am sick of the statues and pictures!-No, to Bologna, Parma, Piacenza, Lodi, and Milan,
Off go we to-night,--and the Venus go to the Devil!
II. Claude to Eustace,--from Bellaggio.
Gone to Como, they said; and I have posted to Como.
There was a letter left; but the cameriere had lost it.
Could it have been for me? They came, however, to Como,
And from Como went by the boat,--perhaps to the Splügen,-Or to the Stelvio, say, and the Tyrol; also it might be
By Porlezza across to Lugano, and so to the Simplon
Possibly, or the St. Gothard,--or possibly, too, to Baveno,
Orta, Turin, and elsewhere. Indeed, I am greatly bewildered.
37
III. Claude to Eustace,--from Bellaggio.
I have been up the Splügen, and on the Stelvio also:
Neither of these can I find they have followed; in no one inn, and
This would be odd, have they written their names. I have been to Porlezza;
There they have not been seen, and therefore not at Lugano.
What shall I do? Go on through the Tyrol, Switzerland, Deutschland,
Seeking, an inverse Saul, a kingdom to find only asses?
There is a tide, at least, in the love affairs of mortals,
Which, when taken at flood, leads on to the happiest fortune,-Leads to the marriage-morn and the orange-flowers and the altar,
And the long lawful line of crowned joys to crowned joys succeeding.-Ah, it has ebbed with me! Ye gods, and when it was flowing,
Pitiful fool that I was, to stand fiddle-faddling in that way!
IV. Claude to Eustace,--from Bellaggio.
I have returned and found their names in the book at Como.
Certain it is I was right, and yet I am also in error.
Added in feminine hand, I read, By the boat to Bellaggio.-So to Bellaggio again, with the words of he writing to aid me.
Yet at Bellaggio I find no trace, no sort of remembrance.
So I am here, and wait, and know every hour will remove them.
V. Claude to Eustace,--from Bellaggio.
I have but one chance left,--and that is going to Florence.
But it is cruel to turn. The mountains seem to demand me,-Peak and valley from far to beckon and motion me onward.
Somewhere amid their folds she passes whom fain I would follow;
Somewhere amid those heights she haply calls me to seek her.
Ah, could I hear her call! could I catch the glimpse of her raiment!
Turn, however, I must, though it seem I turn to desert her;
For the sense of the thing is simply to hurry to Florence,
Where the certainty yet may be learnt, I suppose, from the Ropers.
38
VI. Mary Trevellyn, from Lucerne, to Miss Roper, at Florence.
Dear Miss Roper,--By this you are safely away, we are hoping,
Many a league from Rome; ere long we trust we shall see you.
How have you travelled? I wonder;--was Mr. Claude your companion?
As for ourselves, we went from Como straight to Lugano;
So by the Mount St. Gothard; we meant to go by Porlezza,
Taking the steamer, and stopping, as you had advised, at Bellaggio,
Two or three days or more; but this was suddenly altered,
After we left the hotel, on the very way to the steamer.
So we have seen, I fear, not one of the lakes in perfection.
Well, he is not come, and now, I suppose, he will not come.
What will you think, meantime? and yet I must really confess it;-What will you say? I wrote him a note. We left in a hurry,
Went from Milan to Como, three days before we expected.
But I thought, if he came all the way to Milan, he really
Ought not to be disappointed: and so I wrote three lines to
Say I had heard he was coming, desirous of joining our party;-If so, then I said, we had started for Como, and meant to
Cross the St. Gothard, and stay, we believed, at Lucerne, for the summer.
Was it wrong? and why, if it was, has it failed to bring him?
Did he not think it worth while to come to Milan? He knew (you
Told him) the house we should go to. Or may it, perhaps, have miscarried?
Any way, now, I repent, and am heartily vexed that I wrote it.
There is a home on the shore of the Alpine sea, that upswelling
High up the mountain-sides spreads in the hollow between;
Wilderness, mountain, and snow from the land of the olive conceal it;
Under Pilatus's hill low by the river it lies;
Italy, utter the word, and the olive and vine will allure not,-Wilderness, forest, and snow will not the passage impede;
Italy, unto thy cities receding, the clue to recover,
Hither, recovered the clue, shall not the traveller haste?
~ Arthur Hugh Clough,
206:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto Vi.
Preludes.
I Love's Perversity
How strange a thing a lover seems
To animals that do not love!
Lo, where he walks and talks in dreams,
And flouts us with his Lady's glove;
How foreign is the garb he wears;
And how his great devotion mocks
Our poor propriety, and scares
The undevout with paradox!
His soul, through scorn of worldly care,
And great extremes of sweet and gall,
And musing much on all that's fair,
Grows witty and fantastical;
He sobs his joy and sings his grief,
And evermore finds such delight
In simply picturing his relief,
That 'plaining seems to cure his plight;
He makes his sorrow, when there's none;
His fancy blows both cold and hot;
Next to the wish that she'll be won,
His first hope is that she may not;
He sues, yet deprecates consent;
Would she be captured she must fly;
She looks too happy and content,
For whose least pleasure he would die.
Oh, cruelty, she cannot care
For one to whom she's always kind!
He says he's nought, but, oh, despair,
If he's not Jove to her fond mind!
He's jealous if she pets a dove,
She must be his with all her soul;
Yet 'tis a postulate in love
That part is greater than the whole;
And all his apprehension's stress,
When he's with her, regards her hair,
Her hand, a ribbon of her dress,
As if his life were only there;
151
Because she's constant, he will change,
And kindest glances coldly meet,
And, all the time he seems so strange,
His soul is fawning at her feet;
Of smiles and simple heaven grown tired,
He wickedly provokes her tears,
And when she weeps, as he desired,
Falls slain with ecstasies of fears;
He blames her, though she has no fault,
Except the folly to be his;
He worships her, the more to exalt
The profanation of a kiss;
Health's his disease; he's never well
But when his paleness shames her rose;
His faith's a rock-built citadel,
Its sign a flag that each way blows;
His o'erfed fancy frets and fumes;
And Love, in him, is fierce, like Hate,
And ruffles his ambrosial plumes
Against the bars of time and fate.
II The Power of Love
Samson the Mighty, Solomon
The Wise, and Holy David all
Must doff their crowns to Love, for none
But fell as Love would scorn to fall!
And what may fallen spirits win,
When stripes and precepts cannot move?
Only the sadness of all sin,
When look'd at in the light of Love.
The Love-Letters.
‘You ask, Will admiration halt,
‘Should spots appear within my Sun?
‘Oh, how I wish I knew your fault,
‘For Love's tired gaze to rest upon!
‘Your graces, which have made me great,
‘Will I so loftily admire,
152
‘Yourself yourself shall emulate,
‘And be yourself your own desire.
‘I'll nobly mirror you too fair,
‘And, when you're false to me your glass,
‘What's wanting you'll by that repair,
‘So bring yourself through me to pass.
‘O Dearest, tell me how to prove
‘Goodwill which cannot be express'd;
‘The beneficial heart of love
‘Is labour in an idle breast.
‘Name in the world your chosen part,
‘And here I vow, with all the bent
‘And application of my heart
‘To give myself to your content.
‘Would you live on, home-worshipp'd, thus,
‘Not proudly high nor poorly low?
‘Indeed the lines are fall'n to us
‘In pleasant places! Be it so.
‘But would you others heav'nward move,
‘By sight not faith, while you they admire?
‘I'll help with zeal as I approve
‘That just and merciful desire.
‘High as the lonely moon to view
‘I'll lift your light; do you decree
‘Your place, I'll win it; for from you
‘Command inspires capacity.
‘Or, unseen, would you sway the world
‘More surely? Then in gracious rhyme
‘I'll raise your emblem, fair unfurl'd
‘With blessing in the breeze of time.
‘Faith removes mountains, much more love;
‘Let your contempt abolish me
‘If ought of your devisal prove
‘Too hard or high to do or be.’
II
I ended. ‘From your Sweet-Heart, Sir,’
Said Nurse, ‘The Dean's man brings it down.’
I could have kiss'd both him and her!
‘Nurse, give him that, with half-a-crown.’
How beat my heart, how paused my breath.
153
When with perversely fond delay,
I broke the seal, that bore a wreath
Of roses link'd with one of bay.
III
‘I found your note. How very kind
‘To leave it there! I cannot tell
‘How pleased I was, or how you find
‘Words to express your thoughts so well.
‘The Girls are going to the Ball
‘At Wilton. If you can, do come;
‘And any day this week you call
‘Papa and I shall be at home.
‘You said to Mary once—I hope
‘In jest—that women should be vain:
‘On Saturday your friend (her Pope),
‘The Bishop dined with us again.
‘She put the question, if they ought?
‘He turn'd it cleverly away
‘(For giddy Mildred cried, she thought
‘We must), with 'What we must we may.'
‘Dear papa laugh'd, and said 'twas sad
‘To think how vain his girls would be,
‘Above all Mary, now she had
‘Episcopal authority.
‘But I was very dull, dear friend,
‘And went upstairs at last, and cried.
‘Be sure to come to-day, or send
‘A rose-leaf kiss'd on either side.
‘Adieu! I am not well. Last night
‘My dreams were wild: I often woke,
‘The summer-lightning was so bright;
‘And when it flash'd I thought you spoke.’
~ Coventry Patmore,
207:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto Iv.
Preludes
I The Rose of the World
Lo, when the Lord made North and South
And sun and moon ordained, He,
Forthbringing each by word of mouth
In order of its dignity,
Did man from the crude clay express
By sequence, and, all else decreed,
He form'd the woman; nor might less
Than Sabbath such a work succeed.
And still with favour singled out,
Marr'd less than man by mortal fall,
Her disposition is devout,
Her countenance angelical;
The best things that the best believe
Are in her face so kindly writ
The faithless, seeing her, conceive
Not only heaven, but hope of it;
No idle thought her instinct shrouds,
But fancy chequers settled sense,
Like alteration of the clouds
On noonday's azure permanence;
Pure dignity, composure, ease
Declare affections nobly fix'd,
And impulse sprung from due degrees
Of sense and spirit sweetly mix'd.
Her modesty, her chiefest grace,
The cestus clasping Venus' side,
How potent to deject the face
Of him who would affront its pride!
Wrong dares not in her presence speak,
Nor spotted thought its taint disclose
Under the protest of a cheek
Outbragging Nature's boast the rose.
In mind and manners how discreet;
How artless in her very art;
How candid in discourse; how sweet
The concord of her lips and heart;
77
How simple and how circumspect;
How subtle and how fancy-free;
Though sacred to her love, how deck'd
With unexclusive courtesy;
How quick in talk to see from far
The way to vanquish or evade;
How able her persuasions are
To prove, her reasons to persuade;
How (not to call true instinct's bent
And woman's very nature, harm),
How amiable and innocent
Her pleasure in her power to charm;
How humbly careful to attract,
Though crown'd with all the soul desires,
Connubial aptitude exact,
Diversity that never tires.
II The Tribute
Boon Nature to the woman bows;
She walks in earth's whole glory clad,
And, chiefest far herself of shows,
All others help her, and are glad:
No splendour 'neath the sky's proud dome
But serves for her familiar wear;
The far-fetch'd diamond finds its home
Flashing and smouldering in her hair;
For her the seas their pearls reveal;
Art and strange lands her pomp supply
With purple, chrome, and cochineal,
Ochre, and lapis lazuli;
The worm its golden woof presents;
Whatever runs, flies, dives, or delves,
All doff for her their ornaments,
Which suit her better than themselves;
And all, by this their power to give,
Proving her right to take, proclaim
Her beauty's clear prerogative
To profit so by Eden's blame.
III Compensation
That nothing here may want its praise,
78
Know, she who in her dress reveals
A fine and modest taste, displays
More loveliness than she conceals.
The Morning Call.
‘By meekness charm'd, or proud to allow
‘A queenly claim to live admired,
‘Full many a lady has ere now
‘My apprehensive fancy fired,
‘And woven many a transient chain;
‘But never lady like to this,
‘Who holds me as the weather-vane
‘Is held by yonder clematis.
‘She seems the life of nature's powers;
‘Her beauty is the genial thought
‘Which makes the sunshine bright; the flowers,
‘But for their hint of her, were nought.’
II
A voice, the sweeter for the grace
Of suddenness, while thus I dream'd,
‘Good morning!’ said or sang. Her face
The mirror of the morning seem'd.
Her sisters in the garden walk'd,
And would I come? Across the Hall
She led me; and we laugh'd and talk'd,
And praised the Flower-show and the Ball;
And Mildred's pinks had gain'd the Prize;
And, stepping like the light-foot fawn,
She brought me ‘Wiltshire Butterflies,’
The Prize-book; then we paced the lawn,
Close-cut, and with geranium-plots,
A rival glow of green and red;
Then counted sixty apricots
On one small tree; the gold-fish fed;
And watch'd where, black with scarlet tans,
Proud Psyche stood and flash'd like flame,
Showing and shutting splendid fans;
And in the prize we found its name.
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III
The sweet hour lapsed, and left my breast
A load of joy and tender care;
And this delight, which life oppress'd,
To fix'd aims grew, that ask'd for pray'r.
I rode home slowly; whip-in-hand
And soil'd bank-notes all ready, stood
The Farmer who farm'd all my land,
Except the little Park and Wood;
And, with the accustom'd compliment
Of talk, and beef, and frothing beer,
I, my own steward, took my rent,
Three hundred pounds for half the year;
Our witnesses the Cook and Groom,
We sign'd the lease for seven years more,
And bade Good-day; then to my room
I went, and closed and lock'd the door,
And cast myself down on my bed,
And there, with many a blissful tear,
I vow'd to love and pray'd to wed
The maiden who had grown so dear;
Thank'd God who had set her in my path;
And promised, as I hoped to win,
That I would never dim my faith
By the least selfishness or sin;
Whatever in her sight I'd seem
I'd truly be; I'd never blend
With my delight in her a dream
'Twould change her cheek to comprehend;
And, if she wish'd it, I'd prefer
Another's to my own success;
And always seek the best for her,
With unofficious tenderness.
IV
Rising, I breathed a brighter clime,
And found myself all self above,
And, with a charity sublime,
Contemn'd not those who did not love;
And I could not but feel that then
I shone with something of her grace,
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And went forth to my fellow men
My commendation in my face.
~ Coventry Patmore,
208:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto Viii.
Preludes.
I In Love
If he's capricious she'll be so,
But, if his duties constant are,
She lets her loving favour glow
As steady as a tropic star;
Appears there nought for which to weep,
She'll weep for nought, for his dear sake;
She clasps her sister in her sleep;
Her love in dreams is most awake.
Her soul, that once with pleasure shook,
Did any eyes her beauty own,
Now wonders how they dare to look
On what belongs to him alone;
The indignity of taking gifts
Exhilarates her loving breast;
A rapture of submission lifts
Her life into celestial rest;
There's nothing left of what she was;
Back to the babe the woman dies,
And all the wisdom that she has
Is to love him for being wise.
She's confident because she fears,
And, though discreet when he's away,
If none but her dear despot hears,
She prattles like a child at play.
Perchance, when all her praise is said,
He tells the news, a battle won,
On either side ten thousand dead.
‘Alas!’ she says; but, if 'twere known,
She thinks, ‘He's looking on my face!
‘I am his joy; whate'er I do,
‘He sees such time-contenting grace
‘In that, he'd have me always so!’
And, evermore, for either's sake,
To the sweet folly of the dove,
She joins the cunning of the snake,
To rivet and exalt his love;
159
Her mode of candour is deceit;
And what she thinks from what she'll say,
(Although I'll never call her cheat),
Lies far as Scotland from Cathay.
Without his knowledge he was won;
Against his nature kept devout;
She'll never tell him how 'twas done,
And he will never find it out.
If, sudden, he suspects her wiles,
And hears her forging chain and trap,
And looks, she sits in simple smiles,
Her two hands lying in her lap.
Her secret (privilege of the Bard,
Whose fancy is of either sex),
Is mine; but let the darkness guard
Myst'ries that light would more perplex!
II Love Thinking
What lifts her in my thought so far
Beyond all else? Let Love not err!
'Tis that which all right women are,
But which I'll know in none but her.
She is to me the only Ark
Of that high mystery which locks
The lips of joy, or speaks in dark
Enigmas and in paradox;
That potent charm, which none can fly,
Nor would, which makes me bond and free,
Nor can I tell if first 'twas I
Chose it, or it elected me;
Which, when I look intentest, lo,
Cheats most mine eyes, albeit my heart,
Content to feel and not to know,
Perceives it all in every part;
I kiss its cheek; its life divine
Exhales from its resplendent shroud;
Ixion's fate reversed is mine,
Authentic Juno seems a cloud;
I feel a blessed warmth, I see
A bright circumference of rays,
But darkness, where the sun should be,
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Fills admiration with amaze;
And when, for joy's relief, I think
To fathom with the line of thought
The well from which I, blissful, drink,
The spring's so deep I come to nought.
III The Kiss
‘I saw you take his kiss!’ ‘'Tis true.’
‘O, modesty!’ ‘'Twas strictly kept:
‘He thought me asleep; at least, I knew
‘He thought I thought he thought I slept.’
The Koh-I-Noor.
‘Be man's hard virtues highly wrought,
‘But let my gentle Mistress be,
‘In every look, word, deed, and thought,
‘Nothing but sweet and womanly!
‘Her virtues please my virtuous mood,
‘But what at all times I admire
‘Is, not that she is wise or good,
‘But just the thing which I desire.
‘With versatility to sing
‘The theme of love to any strain,
‘If oft'nest she is anything,
‘Be it careless, talkative, and vain.
‘That seems in her supremest grace
‘Which, virtue or not, apprises me
‘That my familiar thoughts embrace
‘Unfathomable mystery.’
II
I answer'd thus; for she desired
To know what mind I most approved;
Partly to learn what she inquired,
Partly to get the praise she loved.
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III
I praised her, but no praise could fill
The depths of her desire to please,
Though dull to others as a Will
To them that have no legacies.
The more I praised the more she shone,
Her eyes incredulously bright,
And all her happy beauty blown
Beneath the beams of my delight.
Sweet rivalry was thus begot;
By turns, my speech, in passion's style,
With flatteries the truth o'ershot,
And she surpass'd them with her smile.
IV
‘You have my heart so sweetly seized,
‘And I confess, nay, 'tis my pride
‘That I'm with you so solely pleased,
‘That, if I'm pleased with aught beside,
‘As music, or the month of June,
‘My friend's devotion, or his wit,
‘A rose, a rainbow, or the moon,
‘It is that you illustrate it.
‘All these are parts, you are the whole;
‘You fit the taste for Paradise,
‘To which your charms draw up the soul
‘As turning spirals draw the eyes.
‘Nature to you was more than kind;
‘'Twas fond perversity to dress
‘So much simplicity of mind
‘In such a pomp of loveliness!
‘But, praising you, the fancy deft
‘Flies wide, and lets the quarry stray,
‘And, when all's said, there's something left,
‘And that's the thing I meant to say.’
‘Dear Felix!’ ‘Sweet, my Love!’ But there
Was Aunt Maude's noisy ring and knock!
‘Stay, Felix; you have caught my hair.
‘Stoop! Thank you!’ ‘May I have that lock?’
‘Not now. Good morning, Aunt!’ ‘Why, Puss,
‘You look magnificent to-day.’
‘Here's Felix, Aunt.’ ‘Fox and green goose!
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‘Who handsome gets should handsome pay!’
‘Aunt, you are friends!’ ‘Ah, to be sure!
‘Good morning! Go on flattering, Sir;
‘A woman, like the Koh-i-noor,
‘Mounts to the price that's put on her.’
~ Coventry Patmore,
209:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto V.
Preludes.
I The Comparison
Where she succeeds with cloudless brow,
In common and in holy course,
He fails, in spite of prayer and vow
And agonies of faith and force;
Or, if his suit with Heaven prevails
To righteous life, his virtuous deeds
Lack beauty, virtue's badge; she fails
More graciously than he succeeds.
Her spirit, compact of gentleness,
If Heaven postpones or grants her pray'r,
Conceives no pride in its success,
And in its failure no despair;
But his, enamour'd of its hurt,
Baffled, blasphemes, or, not denied,
Crows from the dunghill of desert,
And wags its ugly wings for pride.
He's never young nor ripe; she grows
More infantine, auroral, mild,
And still the more she lives and knows
The lovelier she's express'd a child.
Say that she wants the will of man
To conquer fame, not check'd by cross,
Nor moved when others bless or ban;
She wants but what to have were loss.
Or say she wants the patient brain
To track shy truth; her facile wit
At that which he hunts down with pain
Flies straight, and does exactly hit.
Were she but half of what she is,
He twice himself, mere love alone,
Her special crown, as truth is his,
Gives title to the worthier throne;
For love is substance, truth the form;
Truth without love were less than nought;
But blindest love is sweet and warm,
And full of truth not shaped by thought;
87
And therefore in herself she stands
Adorn'd with undeficient grace,
Her happy virtues taking hands,
Each smiling in another's face.
So, dancing round the Tree of Life,
They make an Eden in her breast,
While his, disjointed and at strife,
Proud-thoughted, do not bring him rest.
II Love in Tears
If fate Love's dear ambition mar,
And load his breast with hopeless pain,
And seem to blot out sun and star,
Love, won or lost, is countless gain;
His sorrow boasts a secret bliss
Which sorrow of itself beguiles,
And Love in tears too noble is
For pity, save of Love in smiles.
But, looking backward through his tears,
With vision of maturer scope,
How often one dead joy appears
The platform of some better hope!
And, let us own, the sharpest smart
Which human patience may endure
Pays light for that which leaves the heart
More generous, dignified, and pure.
III Prospective Faith
They safely walk in darkest ways
Whose youth is lighted from above,
Where, through the senses' silvery haze,
Dawns the veil'd moon of nuptial love.
Who is the happy husband? He
Who, scanning his unwedded life,
Thanks Heaven, with a conscience free,
'Twas faithful to his future wife.
IV Venus Victrix
Fatal in force, yet gentle in will,
Defeats, from her, are tender pacts,
For, like the kindly lodestone, still
She's drawn herself by what she attracts.
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The Violets.
I went not to the Dean's unbid:
I would not have my mystery,
From her so delicately hid,
The guess of gossips at their tea.
A long, long week, and not once there,
Had made my spirit sick and faint,
And lack-love, foul as love is fair,
Perverted all things to complaint.
How vain the world had grown to be!
How mean all people and their ways,
How ignorant their sympathy,
And how impertinent their praise;
What they for virtuousness esteem'd,
How far removed from heavenly right;
What pettiness their trouble seem'd,
How undelightful their delight;
To my necessity how strange
The sunshine and the song of birds;
How dull the clouds' continual change,
How foolishly content the herds;
How unaccountable the law
Which bade me sit in blindness here,
While she, the sun by which I saw,
Shed splendour in an idle sphere!
And then I kiss'd her stolen glove,
And sigh'd to reckon and define
The modes of martyrdom in love,
And how far each one might be mine.
I thought how love, whose vast estate
Is earth and air and sun and sea,
Encounters oft the beggar's fate,
Despised on score of poverty;
How Heaven, inscrutable in this,
Lets the gross general make or mar
The destiny of love, which is
So tender and particular;
How nature, as unnatural
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And contradicting nature's source,
Which is but love, seems most of all
Well-pleased to harry true love's course;
How, many times, it comes to pass
That trifling shades of temperament,
Affecting only one, alas,
Not love, but love's success prevent;
How manners often falsely paint
The man; how passionate respect,
Hid by itself, may bear the taint
Of coldness and a dull neglect;
And how a little outward dust
Can a clear merit quite o'ercloud,
And make her fatally unjust,
And him desire a darker shroud;
How senseless opportunity
Gives baser men the better chance;
How powers, adverse else, agree
To cheat her in her ignorance;
How Heaven its very self conspires
With man and nature against love,
As pleased to couple cross desires,
And cross where they themselves approve.
Wretched were life, if the end were now!
But this gives tears to dry despair,
Faith shall be blest, we know not how,
And love fulfilled, we know not where.
II
While thus I grieved, and kiss'd her glove,
My man brought in her note to say,
Papa had bid her send his love,
And would I dine with them next day?
They had learn'd and practised Purcell's glee,
To sing it by to-morrow night.
The Postscript was: Her sisters and she
Inclosed some violets, blue and white;
She and her sisters found them where
I wager'd once no violets grew;
So they had won the gloves. And there
The violets lay, two white, one blue.
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~ Coventry Patmore,
210:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto Iii.
Preludes
I The Lover
He meets, by heavenly chance express,
The destined maid; some hidden hand
Unveils to him that loveliness
Which others cannot understand.
His merits in her presence grow,
To match the promise in her eyes,
And round her happy footsteps blow
The authentic airs of Paradise.
For joy of her he cannot sleep;
Her beauty haunts him all the night;
It melts his heart, it makes him weep
For wonder, worship, and delight.
O, paradox of love, he longs,
Most humble when he most aspires,
To suffer scorn and cruel wrongs
From her he honours and desires.
Her graces make him rich, and ask
No guerdon; this imperial style
Affronts him; he disdains to bask,
The pensioner of her priceless smile.
He prays for some hard thing to do,
Some work of fame and labour immense,
To stretch the languid bulk and thew
Of love's fresh-born magnipotence.
No smallest boon were bought too dear,
Though barter'd for his love-sick life;
Yet trusts he, with undaunted cheer,
To vanquish heaven, and call her Wife.
He notes how queens of sweetness still
Neglect their crowns, and stoop to mate;
How, self-consign'd with lavish will,
They ask but love proportionate;
How swift pursuit by small degrees,
Love's tactic, works like miracle;
How valour, clothed in courtesies,
Brings down the haughtiest citadel;
72
And therefore, though he merits not
To kiss the braid upon her skirt,
His hope, discouraged ne'er a jot,
Out-soars all possible desert.
II Love a Virtue
Strong passions mean weak will, and he
Who truly knows the strength and bliss
Which are in love, will own with me
No passion but a virtue 'tis.
Few hear my word; it soars above
The subtlest senses of the swarm
Of wretched things which know not love,
Their Psyche still a wingless worm.
Ice-cold seems heaven's noble glow
To spirits whose vital heat is hell;
And to corrupt hearts even so
The songs I sing, the tale I tell.
These cannot see the robes of white
In which I sing of love. Alack,
But darkness shows in heavenly light,
Though whiteness, in the dark, is black!
III Unthrift
Ah, wasteful woman, she who may
On her sweet self set her own price,
Knowing man cannot choose but pay,
How has she cheapen'd paradise;
How given for nought her priceless gift,
How spoil'd the bread and spill'd the wine,
Which, spent with due, respective thrift,
Had made brutes men, and men divine.
IV The Attainment
You love? That's high as you shall go;
For 'tis as true as Gospel text,
Not noble then is never so,
Either in this world or the next.
Honoria.
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I
Grown weary with a week's exile
From those fair friends, I rode to see
The church-restorings; lounged awhile,
And met the Dean; was ask'd to tea,
And found their cousin, Frederick Graham,
At Honor's side. Was I concern'd,
If, when she sang, his colour came,
That mine, as with a buffet, burn'd?
A man to please a girl! thought I,
Retorting his forced smiles, the shrouds
Of wrath, so hid as she was by,
Sweet moon between her lighted clouds!
II
Whether this Cousin was the cause
I know not, but I seem'd to see,
The first time then, how fair she was,
How much the fairest of the three.
Each stopp'd to let the other go;
But, time-bound, he arose the first.
Stay'd he in Sarum long? If so
I hoped to see him at the Hurst.
No: he had call'd here, on his way
To Portsmouth, where the ‘Arrogant,’
His ship, was; he should leave next day,
For two years' cruise in the Levant.
II
Had love in her yet struck its germs?
I watch'd. Her farewell show'd me plain
She loved, on the majestic terms
That she should not be loved again.
And so her cousin, parting, felt.
Hope in his voice and eye was dead.
Compassion did my malice melt;
Then went I home to a restless bed.
I, who admired her too, could see
His infinite remorse at this
Great mystery, that she should be
So beautiful, yet not be his,
And, pitying, long'd to plead his part;
74
But scarce could tell, so strange my whim,
Whether the weight upon my heart
Was sorrow for myself or him.
IV
She was all mildness; yet 'twas writ
In all her grace, most legibly,
‘He that's for heaven itself unfit,
‘Let him not hope to merit me.’
And such a challenge, quite apart
From thoughts of love, humbled, and thus
To sweet repentance moved my heart,
And made me more magnanimous,
And led me to review my life,
Inquiring where in aught the least,
If question were of her for wife,
Ill might be mended, hope increas'd.
Not that I soar'd so far above
Myself, as this great hope to dare;
And yet I well foresaw that love
Might hope where reason must despair;
And, half-resenting the sweet pride
Which would not ask me to admire,
‘Oh,’ to my secret heart I sigh'd,
‘That I were worthy to desire!’
As drowsiness my brain reliev'd,
A shrill defiance of all to arms,
Shriek'd by the stable-cock, receiv'd
An angry answer from three farms.
And, then, I dream'd that I, her knight,
A clarion's haughty pathos heard,
And rode securely to the fight,
Cased in the scarf she had conferr'd;
And there, the bristling lists behind,
Saw many, and vanquish'd all I saw
Of her unnumber'd cousin-kind,
In Navy, Army, Church, and Law;
Smitten, the warriors somehow turn'd
To Sarum choristers, whose song,
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Mix'd with celestial sorrow, yearn'd
With joy no memory can prolong;
And phantasms as absurd and sweet
Merged each in each in endless chace,
And everywhere I seem'd to meet
The haunting fairness of her face.
~ Coventry Patmore,
211:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto Ix.
Preludes.
I The Wife's Tragedy
Man must be pleased; but him to please
Is woman's pleasure; down the gulf
Of his condoled necessities
She casts her best, she flings herself.
How often flings for nought, and yokes
Her heart to an icicle or whim,
Whose each impatient word provokes
Another, not from her, but him;
While she, too gentle even to force
His penitence by kind replies,
Waits by, expecting his remorse,
With pardon in her pitying eyes;
And if he once, by shame oppress'd,
A comfortable word confers,
She leans and weeps against his breast,
And seems to think the sin was hers;
And whilst his love has any life,
Or any eye to see her charms,
At any time, she's still his wife,
Dearly devoted to his arms;
She loves with love that cannot tire;
And when, ah woe, she loves alone,
Through passionate duty love springs higher,
As grass grows taller round a stone.
II Common Graces
Is nature in thee too spiritless,
Ignoble, impotent, and dead,
To prize her love and loveliness
The more for being thy daily bread?
And art thou one of that vile crew
Which see no splendour in the sun,
Praising alone the good that's new,
Or over, or not yet begun?
And has it dawn'd on thy dull wits
That love warms many as soft a nest,
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That, though swathed round with benefits,
Thou art not singularly blest?
And fail thy thanks for gifts divine,
The common food of many a heart,
Because they are not only thine?
Beware lest in the end thou art
Cast for thy pride forth from the fold,
Too good to feel the common grace
Of blissful myriads who behold
For evermore the Father's face.
III The Zest of Life
Give thanks. It is not time misspent;
Worst fare this betters, and the best,
Wanting this natural condiment,
Breeds crudeness, and will not digest.
The grateful love the Giver's law;
But those who eat, and look no higher,
From sin or doubtful sanction draw
The biting sauce their feasts require.
Give thanks for nought, if you've no more,
And, having all things, do not doubt
That nought, with thanks, is blest before
Whate'er the world can give, without.
IV Fool and Wise
Endow the fool with sun and moon,
Being his, he holds them mean and low;
But to the wise a little boon
Is great, because the giver's so.
Sahara.
I stood by Honor and the Dean,
They seated in the London train.
A month from her! yet this had been,
Ere now, without such bitter pain.
But neighbourhood makes parting light,
And distance remedy has none;
Alone, she near, I felt as might
83
A blind man sitting in the sun;
She near, all for the time was well;
Hope's self, when we were far apart,
With lonely feeling, like the smell
Of heath on mountains, fill'd my heart.
To see her seem'd delight's full scope,
And her kind smile, so clear of care,
Ev'n then, though darkening all my hope,
Gilded the cloud of my despair.
II
She had forgot to bring a book.
I lent one; blamed the print for old;
And did not tell her that she took
A Petrarch worth its weight in gold.
I hoped she'd lose it; for my love
Was grown so dainty, high, and nice,
It prized no luxury above
The sense of fruitless sacrifice.
III
The bell rang, and, with shrieks like death,
Link catching link, the long array,
With ponderous pulse and fiery breath,
Proud of its burthen, swept away;
And through the lingering crowd I broke,
Sought the hill-side, and thence, heart-sick,
Beheld, far off, the little smoke
Along the landscape kindling quick.
IV
What should I do, where should I go,
Now she was gone, my love! for mine
She was, whatever here below
Cross'd or usurp'd my right divine.
Life, without her, was vain and gross,
The glory from the world was gone,
And on the gardens of the Close
As on Sahara shone the sun.
Oppress'd with her departed grace,
My thoughts on ill surmises fed;
The harmful influence of the place
84
She went to fill'd my soul with dread.
She, mixing with the people there,
Might come back alter'd, having caught
The foolish, fashionable air
Of knowing all, and feeling nought.
Or, giddy with her beauty's praise,
She'd scorn our simple country life,
Its wholesome nights and tranquil days,
And would not deign to be my Wife.
‘My Wife,’ ‘my Wife,’ ah, tenderest word!
How oft, as fearful she might hear,
Whispering that name of ‘Wife,’ I heard
The chiming of the inmost sphere.
I pass'd the home of my regret.
The clock was striking in the hall,
And one sad window open yet,
Although the dews began to fall.
Ah, distance show'd her beauty's scope!
How light of heart and innocent
That loveliness which sicken'd hope
And wore the world for ornament!
How perfectly her life was framed;
And, thought of in that passionate mood,
How her affecting graces shamed
The vulgar life that was but good!
VI
I wonder'd, would her bird be fed,
Her rose-plots water'd, she not by;
Loading my breast with angry dread
Of light, unlikely injury.
So, fill'd with love and fond remorse,
I paced the Close, its every part
Endow'd with reliquary force
To heal and raise from death my heart.
How tranquil and unsecular
The precinct! Once, through yonder gate,
I saw her go, and knew from far
Her love-lit form and gentle state.
Her dress had brush'd this wicket; here
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She turn'd her face, and laugh'd, with light
Like moonbeams on a wavering mere.
Weary beforehand of the night,
I went; the blackbird, in the wood,
Talk'd by himself, and eastward grew
In heaven the symbol of my mood,
Where one bright star engross'd the blue.
~ Coventry Patmore,
212:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto I.
Preludes.
I The Impossibility
Lo, Love's obey'd by all. 'Tis right
That all should know what they obey,
Lest erring conscience damp delight,
And folly laugh our joys away.
Thou Primal Love, who grantest wings
And voices to the woodland birds,
Grant me the power of saying things
Too simple and too sweet for words!
II Love's Reality
I walk, I trust, with open eyes;
I've travell'd half my worldly course;
And in the way behind me lies
Much vanity and some remorse;
I've lived to feel how pride may part
Spirits, tho' match'd like hand and glove;
I've blush'd for love's abode, the heart;
But have not disbelieved in love;
Nor unto love, sole mortal thing
Of worth immortal, done the wrong
To count it, with the rest that sing,
Unworthy of a serious song;
And love is my reward; for now,
When most of dead'ning time complain,
The myrtle blooms upon my brow,
Its odour quickens all my brain.
III The Poet's Confidence
The richest realm of all the earth
Is counted still a heathen land:
Lo, I, like Joshua, now go forth
To give it into Israel's hand.
I will not hearken blame or praise;
For so should I dishonour do
To that sweet Power by which these Lays
Alone are lovely, good, and true;
62
Nor credence to the world's cries give,
Which ever preach and still prevent
Pure passion's high prerogative
To make, not follow, precedent.
From love's abysmal ether rare
If I to men have here made known
New truths, they, like new stars, were there
Before, though not yet written down.
Moving but as the feelings move,
I run, or loiter with delight,
Or pause to mark where gentle Love
Persuades the soul from height to height,
Yet, know ye, though my words are gay
As David's dance, which Michal scorn'd,
If kindly you receive the Lay,
You shall be sweetly help'd and warn'd.
The Cathedral Close.
Once more I came to Sarum Close,
With joy half memory, half desire,
And breathed the sunny wind that rose
And blew the shadows o'er the Spire,
And toss'd the lilac's scented plumes,
And sway'd the chestnut's thousand cones,
And fill'd my nostrils with perfumes,
And shaped the clouds in waifs and zones,
And wafted down the serious strain
Of Sarum bells, when, true to time,
I reach'd the Dean's, with heart and brain
That trembled to the trembling chime.
II
'Twas half my home, six years ago.
The six years had not alter'd it:
Red-brick and ashlar, long and low,
With dormers and with oriels lit.
Geranium, lychnis, rose array'd
The windows, all wide open thrown;
And some one in the Study play'd
63
The Wedding-March of Mendelssohn.
And there it was I last took leave:
'Twas Christmas: I remember'd now
The cruel girls, who feign'd to grieve,
Took down the evergreens; and how
The holly into blazes woke
The fire, lighting the large, low room
A dim, rich lustre of old oak
And crimson velvet's glowing gloom.
III
No change had touch'd Dean Churchill: kind,
By widowhood more than winters bent,
And settled in a cheerful mind,
As still forecasting heaven's content.
Well might his thoughts be fix'd on high,
Now she was there! Within her face
Humility and dignity
Were met in a most sweet embrace.
She seem'd expressly sent below
To teach our erring minds to see
The rhythmic change of time's swift flow
As part of still eternity.
Her life, all honour, observed, with awe
Which cross experience could not mar,
The fiction of the Christian law
That all men honourable are;
And so her smile at once conferr'd
High flattery and benign reproof;
And I, a rude boy, strangely stirr'd,
Grew courtly in my own behoof.
The years, so far from doing her wrong,
Anointed her with gracious balm,
And made her brows more and more young
With wreaths of amaranth and palm.
IV
Was this her eldest, Honor; prude,
Who would not let me pull the swing;
Who, kiss'd at Christmas, call'd me rude,
And, sobbing low, refused to sing?
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How changed! In shape no slender Grace,
But Venus; milder than the dove;
Her mother's air; her Norman face;
Her large sweet eyes, clear lakes of love.
Mary I knew. In former time
Ailing and pale, she thought that bliss
Was only for a better clime,
And, heavenly overmuch, scorn'd this.
I, rash with theories of the right,
Which stretch'd the tether of my Creed,
But did not break it, held delight
Half discipline. We disagreed.
She told the Dean I wanted grace.
Now she was kindest of the three,
And soft wild roses deck'd her face.
And, what, was this my Mildred, she
To herself and all a sweet surprise?
My Pet, who romp'd and roll'd a hoop?
I wonder'd where those daisy eyes
Had found their touching curve and droop.
Unmannerly times! But now we sat
Stranger than strangers; till I caught
And answer'd Mildred's smile; and that
Spread to the rest, and freedom brought.
The Dean talk'd little, looking on,
Of three such daughters justly vain.
What letters they had had from Bonn,
Said Mildred, and what plums from Spain!
By Honor I was kindly task'd
To excuse my never coming down
From Cambridge; Mary smiled and ask'd
Were Kant and Goethe yet outgrown?
And, pleased, we talk'd the old days o'er;
And, parting, I for pleasure sigh'd.
To be there as a friend, (since more),
Seem'd then, seems still, excuse for pride;
For something that abode endued
With temple-like repose, an air
Of life's kind purposes pursued
With order'd freedom sweet and fair.
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A tent pitch'd in a world not right
It seem'd, whose inmates, every one,
On tranquil faces bore the light
Of duties beautifully done,
And humbly, though they had few peers,
Kept their own laws, which seem'd to be
The fair sum of six thousand years'
Traditions of civility.
~ Coventry Patmore,
213:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto Viii.
Preludes.
I Life of Life
What's that, which, ere I spake, was gone:
So joyful and intense a spark
That, whilst o'erhead the wonder shone,
The day, before but dull, grew dark?
I do not know; but this I know,
That, had the splendour lived a year,
The truth that I some heavenly show
Did see, could not be now more clear.
This know I too: might mortal breath
Express the passion then inspired,
Evil would die a natural death,
And nothing transient be desired;
And error from the soul would pass,
And leave the senses pure and strong
As sunbeams. But the best, alas,
Has neither memory nor tongue.
II The Revelation
An idle poet, here and there,
Looks round him; but, for all the rest,
The world, unfathomably fair,
Is duller than a witling's jest.
Love wakes men, once a lifetime each;
They lift their heavy lids, and look;
And, lo, what one sweet page can teach,
They read with joy, then shut the book.
And some give thanks, and some blaspheme
And most forget; but, either way,
That and the Child's unheeded dream
Is all the light of all their day.
III The Spirit's Epochs
Not in the crises of events,
Of compass'd hopes, or fears fulfill'd,
Or acts of gravest consequence,
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Are life's delight and depth reveal'd.
The day of days was not the day;
That went before, or was postponed;
The night Death took our lamp away
Was not the night on which we groan'd.
I drew my bride, beneath the moon,
Across my threshold; happy hour!
But, ah, the walk that afternoon
We saw the water-flags in flower!
IV The Prototype
Lo, there, whence love, life, light are pour'd,
Veil'd with impenetrable rays,
Amidst the presence of the Lord
Co-equal Wisdom laughs and plays.
Female and male God made the man;
His image is the whole, not half;
And in our love we dimly scan
The love which is between Himself.
V The Praise of Love
Spirit of Knowledge, grant me this:
A simple heart and subtle wit
To praise the thing whose praise it is
That all which can be praised is it.
Sarum Plain.
Breakfast enjoy'd, 'mid hush of boughs
And perfumes thro' the windows blown;
Brief worship done, which still endows
The day with beauty not its own;
With intervening pause, that paints
Each act with honour, life with calm
(As old processions of the Saints
At every step have wands of palm),
We rose; the ladies went to dress,
And soon return'd with smiles; and then,
Plans fix'd, to which the Dean said ‘Yes,’
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Once more we drove to Salisbury Plain.
We past my house (observed with praise
By Mildred, Mary acquiesced),
And left the old and lazy grays
Below the hill, and walk'd the rest.
II
The moods of love are like the wind,
And none knows whence or why they rise:
I ne'er before felt heart and mind
So much affected through mine eyes.
How cognate with the flatter'd air,
How form'd for earth's familiar zone,
She moved; how feeling and how fair
For others' pleasure and her own!
And, ah, the heaven of her face!
How, when she laugh'd, I seem'd to see
The gladness of the primal grace,
And how, when grave, its dignity!
Of all she was, the least not less
Delighted the devoted eye;
No fold or fashion of her dress
Her fairness did not sanctify.
I could not else than grieve. What cause?
Was I not blest? Was she not there?
Likely my own? Ah, that it was:
How like seem'd ‘likely’ to despair!
III
And yet to see her so benign,
So honourable and womanly,
In every maiden kindness mine,
And full of gayest courtesy,
Was pleasure so without alloy,
Such unreproved, sufficient bliss,
I almost wish'd, the while, that joy
Might never further go than this.
So much it was as now to walk,
And humbly by her gentle side
Observe her smile and hear her talk,
Could it be more to call her Bride?
I feign'd her won; the mind finite,
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Puzzled and fagg'd by stress and strain
To comprehend the whole delight,
Made bliss more hard to bear than pain.
All good, save heart to hold, so summ'd
And grasp'd, the thought smote, like a knife,
How laps'd mortality had numb'd
The feelings to the feast of life;
How passing good breathes sweetest breath;
And love itself at highest reveals
More black than bright, commending death
By teaching how much life conceals.
IV
But happier passions these subdued,
When from the close and sultry lane,
With eyes made bright by what they view'd,
We emerged upon the mounded Plain.
As to the breeze a flag unfurls,
My spirit expanded, sweetly embraced
By those same gusts that shook her curls
And vex'd the ribbon at her waist.
To the future cast I future cares;
Breathed with a heart unfreighted, free,
And laugh'd at the presumptuous airs
That with her muslins folded me;
Till, one vague rack along my sky,
The thought that she might ne'er be mine
Lay half forgotten by the eye
So feasted with the sun's warm shine.
By the great stones we chose our ground
For shade; and there, in converse sweet,
Took luncheon. On a little mound
Sat the three ladies; at their feet
I sat; and smelt the heathy smell,
Pluck'd harebells, turn'd the telescope
To the country round. My life went well,
For once, without the wheels of hope;
And I despised the Druid rocks
That scowl'd their chill gloom from above,
Like churls whose stolid wisdom mocks
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The lightness of immortal love.
And, as we talk'd, my spirit quaff'd
The sparkling winds; the candid skies
At our untruthful strangeness laugh'd;
I kiss'd with mine her smiling eyes;
And sweet familiarness and awe
Prevail'd that hour on either part,
And in the eternal light I saw
That she was mine; though yet my heart
Could not conceive, nor would confess
Such contentation; and there grew
More form and more fair stateliness
Than heretofore between us two.
~ Coventry Patmore,
214:Paradiso: Canto I
The glory of Him who moveth everything
Doth penetrate the universe, and shine
In one part more and in another less.
Within that heaven which most his light receives
Was I, and things beheld which to repeat
Nor knows, nor can, who from above descends;
Because in drawing near to its desire
Our intellect ingulphs itself so far,
That after it the memory cannot go.
Truly whatever of the holy realm
I had the power to treasure in my mind
Shall now become the subject of my song.
O good Apollo, for this last emprise
Make of me such a vessel of thy power
As giving the beloved laurel asks!
One summit of Parnassus hitherto
Has been enough for me, but now with both
I needs must enter the arena left.
Enter into my bosom, thou, and breathe
As at the time when Marsyas thou didst draw
Out of the scabbard of those limbs of his.
O power divine, lend'st thou thyself to me
So that the shadow of the blessed realm
Stamped in my brain I can make manifest,
Thou'lt see me come unto thy darling tree,
And crown myself thereafter with those leaves
Of which the theme and thou shall make me worthy.
So seldom, Father, do we gather them
For triumph or of Caesar or of Poet,
(The fault and shame of human inclinations,)
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That the Peneian foliage should bring forth
Joy to the joyous Delphic deity,
When any one it makes to thirst for it.
A little spark is followed by great flame;
Perchance with better voices after me
Shall prayer be made that Cyrrha may respond!
To mortal men by passages diverse
Uprises the world's lamp; but by that one
Which circles four uniteth with three crosses,
With better course and with a better star
Conjoined it issues, and the mundane wax
Tempers and stamps more after its own fashion.
Almost that passage had made morning there
And evening here, and there was wholly white
That hemisphere, and black the other part,
When Beatrice towards the left-hand side
I saw turned round, and gazing at the sun;
Never did eagle fasten so upon it!
And even as a second ray is wont
To issue from the first and reascend,
Like to a pilgrim who would fain return,
Thus of her action, through the eyes infused
In my imagination, mine I made,
And sunward fixed mine eyes beyond our wont.
There much is lawful which is here unlawful
Unto our powers, by virtue of the place
Made for the human species as its own.
Not long I bore it, nor so little while
But I beheld it sparkle round about
Like iron that comes molten from the fire;
And suddenly it seemed that day to day
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Was added, as if He who has the power
Had with another sun the heaven adorned.
With eyes upon the everlasting wheels
Stood Beatrice all intent, and I, on her
Fixing my vision from above removed,
Such at her aspect inwardly became
As Glaucus, tasting of the herb that made him
Peer of the other gods beneath the sea.
To represent transhumanise in words
Impossible were; the example, then, suffice
Him for whom Grace the experience reserves.
If I was merely what of me thou newly
Createdst, Love who governest the heaven,
Thou knowest, who didst lift me with thy light!
When now the wheel, which thou dost make eternal
Desiring thee, made me attentive to it
By harmony thou dost modulate and measure,
Then seemed to me so much of heaven enkindled
By the sun's flame, that neither rain nor river
E'er made a lake so widely spread abroad.
The newness of the sound and the great light
Kindled in me a longing for their cause,
Never before with such acuteness felt;
Whence she, who saw me as I saw myself,
To quiet in me my perturbed mind,
Opened her mouth, ere I did mine to ask,
And she began: 'Thou makest thyself so dull
With false imagining, that thou seest not
What thou wouldst see if thou hadst shaken it off.
Thou art not upon earth, as thou believest;
But lightning, fleeing its appropriate site,
Ne'er ran as thou, who thitherward returnest.'
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If of my former doubt I was divested
By these brief little words more smiled than spoken,
I in a new one was the more ensnared;
And said: 'Already did I rest content
From great amazement; but am now amazed
In what way I transcend these bodies light.'
Whereupon she, after a pitying sigh,
Her eyes directed tow'rds me with that look
A mother casts on a delirious child;
And she began: 'All things whate'er they be
Have order among themselves, and this is form,
That makes the universe resemble God.
Here do the higher creatures see the footprints
Of the Eternal Power, which is the end
Whereto is made the law already mentioned.
In the order that I speak of are inclined
All natures, by their destinies diverse,
More or less near unto their origin;
Hence they move onward unto ports diverse
O'er the great sea of being; and each one
With instinct given it which bears it on.
This bears away the fire towards the moon;
This is in mortal hearts the motive power
This binds together and unites the earth.
Nor only the created things that are
Without intelligence this bow shoots forth,
But those that have both intellect and love.
The Providence that regulates all this
Makes with its light the heaven forever quiet,
Wherein that turns which has the greatest haste.
And thither now, as to a site decreed,
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Bears us away the virtue of that cord
Which aims its arrows at a joyous mark.
True is it, that as oftentimes the form
Accords not with the intention of the art,
Because in answering is matter deaf,
So likewise from this course doth deviate
Sometimes the creature, who the power possesses,
Though thus impelled, to swerve some other way,
(In the same wise as one may see the fire
Fall from a cloud,) if the first impetus
Earthward is wrested by some false delight.
Thou shouldst not wonder more, if well I judge,
At thine ascent, than at a rivulet
From some high mount descending to the lowland.
Marvel it would be in thee, if deprived
Of hindrance, thou wert seated down below,
As if on earth the living fire were quiet.'
Thereat she heavenward turned again her face.
~ Dante Alighieri,
215:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto Xi.
Preludes.
I The Daughter of Eve
The woman's gentle mood o'erstept
Withers my love, that lightly scans
The rest, and does in her accept
All her own faults, but none of man's.
As man I cannot judge her ill,
Or honour her fair station less,
Who, with a woman's errors, still
Preserves a woman's gentleness;
For thus I think, if one I see
Who disappoints my high desire,
‘How admirable would she be,
‘Could she but know how I admire!’
Or fail she, though from blemish clear,
To charm, I call it my defect;
And so my thought, with reverent fear
To err by doltish disrespect,
Imputes love's great regard, and says,
‘Though unapparent 'tis to me,
‘Be sure this Queen some other sways
‘With well-perceiv'd supremacy.’
Behold the worst! Light from above
On the blank ruin writes ‘Forbear!
‘Her first crime was unguarded love,
‘And all the rest, perhaps, despair.’
Discrown'd, dejected, but not lost,
O, sad one, with no more a name
Or place in all the honour'd host
Of maiden and of matron fame,
Grieve on; but, if thou grievest right,
'Tis not that these abhor thy state,
Nor would'st thou lower the least the height
Which makes thy casting down so great.
Good is thy lot in its degree;
For hearts that verily repent
Are burden'd with impunity
And comforted by chastisement.
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Sweet patience sanctify thy woes!
And doubt not but our God is just,
Albeit unscathed thy traitor goes,
And thou art stricken to the dust.
That penalty's the best to bear
Which follows soonest on the sin;
And guilt's a game where losers fare
Better than those who seem to win.
II Aurea Dicta
'Tis truth (although this truth's a star
Too deep-enskied for all to see),
As poets of grammar, lovers are
The fountains of morality.
Child, would you shun the vulgar doom,
In love disgust, in death despair?
Know, death must come and love must come,
And so for each your soul prepare.
Who pleasure follows pleasure slays;
God's wrath upon himself he wreaks;
But all delights rejoice his days
Who takes with thanks, and never seeks.
The wrong is made and measured by
The right's inverted dignity.
Change love to shame, as love is high
So low in hell your bed shall be.
How easy to keep free from sin!
How hard that freedom to recall!
For dreadful truth it is that men
Forget the heavens from which they fall.
Lest sacred love your soul ensnare,
With pious fancy still infer
‘How loving and how lovely fair
‘Must He be who has fashion'd her!’
Become whatever good you see,
Nor sigh if, forthwith, fades from view
The grace of which you may not be
The subject and spectator too.
Love's perfect blossom only blows
Where noble manners veil defect.
Angels may be familiar; those
Who err each other must respect.
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Love blabb'd of is a great decline;
A careless word unsanctions sense;
But he who casts Heaven's truth to swine
Consummates all incontinence.
Not to unveil before the gaze
Of an imperfect sympathy
In aught we are, is the sweet praise
And the main sum of modesty.
The Dance.
‘My memory of Heaven awakes!
‘She's not of the earth, although her light,
‘As lantern'd by her body, makes
‘A piece of it past bearing bright.
‘So innocently proud and fair
‘She is, that Wisdom sings for glee
‘And Folly dies, breathing one air
‘With such a bright-cheek'd chastity;
‘And though her charms are a strong law
‘Compelling all men to admire,
‘They go so clad with lovely awe
‘None but the noble dares desire.
‘He who would seek to make her his
‘Will comprehend that souls of grace
‘Own sweet repulsion, and that 'tis
‘The quality of their embrace
‘To be like the majestic reach
‘Of coupled suns, that, from afar,
‘Mingle their mutual spheres, while each
‘Circles the twin obsequious star;
‘And, in the warmth of hand to hand,
‘Of heart to heart, he'll vow to note
‘And reverently understand
‘How the two spirits shine remote;
‘And ne'er to numb fine honour's nerve,
‘Nor let sweet awe in passion melt,
‘Nor fail by courtesies to observe
‘The space which makes attraction felt;
‘Nor cease to guard like life the sense
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‘Which tells him that the embrace of love
‘Is o'er a gulf of difference
‘Love cannot sound, nor death remove.’
II
This learn'd I, watching where she danced,
Native to melody and light,
And now and then toward me glanced,
Pleased, as I hoped, to please my sight.
III
Ah, love to speak was impotent,
Till music did a tongue confer,
And I ne'er knew what music meant,
Until I danced to it with her.
Too proud of the sustaining power
Of my, till then, unblemish'd joy,
My passion, for reproof, that hour
Tasted mortality's alloy,
And bore me down an eddying gulf;
I wish'd the world might run to wreck,
So I but once might fling myself
Obliviously about her neck.
I press'd her hand, by will or chance
I know not, but I saw the rays
Withdrawn, which did till then enhance
Her fairness with its thanks for praise.
I knew my spirit's vague offence
Was patent to the dreaming eye
And heavenly tact of innocence,
And did for fear my fear defy,
And ask'd her for the next dance. ‘Yes.’
‘No,’ had not fall'n with half the force.
She was fulfill'd with gentleness,
And I with measureless remorse;
And, ere I slept, on bended knee
I own'd myself, with many a tear,
Unseasonable, disorderly,
And a deranger of love's sphere;
Gave thanks that, when we stumble and fall,
We hurt ourselves, and not the truth;
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And, rising, found its brightness all
The brighter through the tears of ruth.
IV
Nor was my hope that night made less,
Though order'd, humbled, and reproved;
Her farewell did her heart express
As much, but not with anger, moved.
My trouble had my soul betray'd;
And, in the night of my despair,
My love, a flower of noon afraid,
Divulged its fulness unaware.
I saw she saw; and, O sweet Heaven,
Could my glad mind have credited
That influence had to me been given
To affect her so, I should have said
That, though she from herself conceal'd
Love's felt delight and fancied harm,
They made her face the jousting field
Of joy and beautiful alarm.
~ Coventry Patmore,
216:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto X.
Preludes.
I The Joyful Wisdom
Would Wisdom for herself be woo'd,
And wake the foolish from his dream,
She must be glad as well as good,
And must not only be, but seem.
Beauty and joy are hers by right;
And, knowing this, I wonder less
That she's so scorn'd, when falsely dight
In misery and ugliness.
What's that which Heaven to man endears,
And that which eyes no sooner see
Than the heart says, with floods of tears,
‘Ah, that's the thing which I would be!’
Not childhood, full of frown and fret;
Not youth, impatient to disown
Those visions high, which to forget
Were worse than never to have known;
Not worldlings, in whose fair outside
Nor courtesy nor justice fails,
Thanks to cross-pulling vices tied,
Like Samson's foxes, by the tails;
Not poets; real things are dreams,
When dreams are as realities,
And boasters of celestial gleams
Go stumbling aye for want of eyes;
Not patriots nor people's men,
In whom two worse-match'd evils meet
Than ever sought Adullam's den,
Base conscience and a high conceit;
Not new-made saints, their feelings iced,
Their joy in man and nature gone,
Who sing ‘O easy yoke of Christ!’
But find 'tis hard to get it on;
Not great men, even when they're good;
The good man whom the time makes great,
By some disgrace of chance or blood,
God fails not to humiliate;
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Not these: but souls, found here and there,
Oases in our waste of sin,
Where everything is well and fair,
And Heav'n remits its discipline;
Whose sweet subdual of the world
The worldling scarce can recognise,
And ridicule, against it hurl'd,
Drops with a broken sting and dies;
Who nobly, if they cannot know
Whether a 'scutcheon's dubious field
Carries a falcon or a crow,
Fancy a falcon on the shield;
Yet, ever careful not to hurt
God's honour, who creates success,
Their praise of even the best desert
Is but to have presumed no less;
Who, should their own life plaudits bring,
Are simply vex'd at heart that such
An easy, yea, delightful thing
Should move the minds of men so much.
They live by law, not like the fool,
But like the bard, who freely sings
In strictest bonds of rhyme and rule,
And finds in them, not bonds, but wings.
Postponing still their private ease
To courtly custom, appetite,
Subjected to observances,
To banquet goes with full delight;
Nay, continence and gratitude
So cleanse their lives from earth's alloy,
They taste, in Nature's common food,
Nothing but spiritual joy.
They shine like Moses in the face,
And teach our hearts, without the rod,
That God's grace is the only grace,
And all grace is the grace of God.
II The Devices
Love, kiss'd by Wisdom, wakes twice Love,
And Wisdom is, thro' loving, wise.
Let Dove and Snake, and Snake and Dove,
This Wisdom's be, that Love's device.
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Going To Church.
I woke at three; for I was bid
To breakfast with the Dean at nine,
And thence to Church. My curtain slid,
I found the dawning Sunday fine;
And could not rest, so rose. The air
Was dark and sharp; the roosted birds
Cheep'd, ‘Here am I, Sweet; are you there?’
On Avon's misty flats the herds
Expected, comfortless, the day,
Which slowly fired the clouds above;
The cock scream'd, somewhere far away;
In sleep the matrimonial dove
Was crooning; no wind waked the wood,
Nor moved the midnight river-damps,
Nor thrill'd the poplar; quiet stood
The chestnut with its thousand lamps;
The moon shone yet, but weak and drear,
And seem'd to watch, with bated breath,
The landscape, all made sharp and clear
By stillness, as a face by death.
II
My pray'rs for her being done, I took
Occasion by the quiet hour
To find and know, by Rule and Book,
The rights of love's beloved power.
III
Fronting the question without ruth,
Nor ignorant that, evermore,
If men will stoop to kiss the Truth,
She lifts them higher than before,
I, from above, such light required
As now should once for all destroy
The folly which at times desired
A sanction for so great a joy.
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IV
Thenceforth, and through that pray'r, I trod
A path with no suspicions dim.
I loved her in the name of God,
And for the ray she was of Him;
I ought to admire much more, not less;
Her beauty was a godly grace;
The mystery of loveliness,
Which made an altar of her face,
Was not of the flesh, though that was fair,
But a most pure and living light
Without a name, by which the rare
And virtuous spirit flamed to sight.
If oft, in love, effect lack'd cause
And cause effect, 'twere vain to soar
Reasons to seek for that which was
Reason itself, or something more.
My joy was no idolatry
Upon the ends of the vile earth bent,
For when I loved her most then I
Most yearn'd for more divine content.
That other doubt, which, like a ghost,
In the brain's darkness haunted me,
Was thus resolved: Him loved I most,
But her I loved most sensibly.
Lastly, my giddiest hope allow'd
No selfish thought, or earthly smirch;
And forth I went, in peace, and proud
To take my passion into Church;
Grateful and glad to think that all
Such doubts would seem entirely vain
To her whose nature's lighter fall
Made no divorce of heart from brain.
I found them, with exactest grace
And fresh as Spring, for Spring attired;
And by the radiance in her face
I saw she felt she was admired;
And, through the common luck of love,
A moment's fortunate delay,
To fit the little lilac glove,
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Gave me her arm; and I and they
(They true to this and every hour,
As if attended on by Time),
Enter'd the Church while yet the tower
Was noisy with the finish'd chime.
VI
Her soft voice, singularly heard
Beside me, in her chant, withstood
The roar of voices, like a bird
Sole warbling in a windy wood;
And, when we knelt, she seem'd to be
An angel teaching me to pray;
And all through the high Liturgy
My spirit rejoiced without allay,
Being, for once, borne clearly above
All banks and bars of ignorance,
By this bright spring-tide of pure love
And floated in a free expanse,
Whence it could see from side to side,
The obscurity from every part
Winnow'd away and purified
By the vibrations of my heart.
~ Coventry Patmore,
217:Translations: Dante - Inferno, Canto Xxvi
Florence, rejoice! For thou o'er land and sea
So spread'st thy pinions that the fame of thee
Hath reached no less into the depths of Hell.
So noble were the five I found to dwell
Therein -- thy sons -- whence shame accrues to me
And no great praise is thine; but if it be
That truth unveil in dreamings before dawn,
Then is the vengeful hour not far withdrawn
When Prato shall exult within her walls
To see thy suffering. Whate'er befalls,
Let it come soon, since come it must, for later,
Each year would see my grief for thee the greater.
We left; and once more up the craggy side
By the blind steps of our descent, my guide,
Remounting, drew me on. So we pursued
The rugged path through that steep solitude,
Where rocks and splintered fragments strewed the land
So thick, that foot availed not without hand.
Grief filled me then, and still great sorrow stirs
My heart as oft as memory recurs
To what I saw; that more and more I rein
My natural powers, and curb them lest they strain
Where Virtue guide not, -- that if some good star,
Or better thing, have made them what they are,
That good I may not grudge, nor turn to ill.
As when, reclining on some verdant hill -What season the hot sun least veils his power
That lightens all, and in that gloaming hour
The fly resigns to the shrill gnat -- even then,
As rustic, looking down, sees, o'er the glen,
Vineyard, or tilth where lies his husbandry,
Fireflies innumerable sparkle: so to me,
Come where its mighty depth unfolded, straight
With flames no fewer seemed to scintillate
The shades of the eighth pit. And as to him
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Whose wrongs the bears avenged, dim and more dim
Elijah's chariot seemed, when to the skies
Uprose the heavenly steeds; and still his eyes
Strained, following them, till naught remained in view
But flame, like a thin cloud against the blue:
So here, the melancholy gulf within,
Wandered these flames, concealing each its sin,
Yet each, a fiery integument,
Wrapped round a sinner.
On the bridge intent,
Gazing I stood, and grasped its flinty side,
Or else, unpushed, had fallen. And my guide,
Observing me so moved, spake, saying: "Behold
Where swathed each in his unconsuming fold,
The spirits lie confined." Whom answering,
"Master," I said, "thy words assurance bring
To that which I already had supposed;
And I was fain to ask who lies enclosed
In the embrace of that dividing fire,
Which seems to curl above the fabled pyre,
Where with his twin-born brother, fiercely hated,
Eteocles was laid." He answered, "Mated
In punishment as once in wrath they were,
Ulysses there and Diomed incur
The eternal pains; there groaning they deplore
The ambush of the horse, which made the door
For Rome's imperial seed to issue: there
In anguish too they wail the fatal snare
Whence dead Deidamia still must grieve,
Reft of Achilles; likewise they receive
Due penalty for the Palladium."
"Master," I said, "if in that martyrdom
The power of human speech may still be theirs,
I pray -- and think it worth a thousand prayers -That, till this horned flame be come more nigh,
We may abide here; for thou seest that I
With great desire incline to it." And he:
"Thy prayer deserves great praise; which willingly
I grant; but thou refrain from speaking; leave
That task to me; for fully I conceive
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What thing thou wouldst, and it might fall perchance
That these, being Greeks, would scorn thine utterance."
So when the flame had come where time and place
Seemed not unfitting to my guide with grace
To question, thus he spoke at my desire:
"O ye that are two souls within one fire,
If in your eyes some merit I have won -Merit, or more or less -- for tribute done
When in the world I framed my lofty verse:
Move not; but fain were we that one rehearse
By what strange fortunes to his death he came."
The elder crescent of the antique flame
Began to wave, as in the upper air
A flame is tempest-tortured, here and there
Tossing its angry height, and in its sound
As human speech it suddenly had found,
Rolled forth a voice of thunder, saying: "When,
The twelvemonth past in Circe's halls, again
I left Gaeta's strand (ere thither came
Aeneas, and had given it that name)
Not love of son, nor filial reverence,
Nor that affection that might recompense
The weary vigil of Penelope,
Could so far quench the hot desire in me
To prove more wonders of the teeming earth, -Of human frailty and of manly worth.
In one small bark, and with the faithful band
That all awards had shared of Fortune's hand,
I launched once more upon the open main.
Both shores I visited as far as Spain, -Sardinia, and Morocco, and what more
The midland sea upon its bosom wore.
The hour of our lives was growing late
When we arrived before that narrow strait
Where Hercules had set his bounds to show
That there Man's foot shall pause, and further none shall go.
Borne with the gale past Seville on the right,
And on the left now swept by Ceuta's site,
`Brothers,' I cried, `that into the far West
Through perils numberless are now addressed,
127
In this brief respite that our mortal sense
Yet hath, shrink not from new experience;
But sailing still against the setting sun,
Seek we new worlds where Man has never won
Before us. Ponder your proud destinies:
Born were ye not like brutes for swinish ease,
But virtue and high knowledge to pursue.'
My comrades with such zeal did I imbue
By these brief words, that scarcely could I then
Have turned them from their purpose; so again
We set out poop against the morning sky,
And made our oars as wings wherewith to fly
Into the Unknown. And ever from the right
Our course deflecting, in the balmy night
All southern stars we saw, and ours so low,
That scarce above the sea-marge it might show.
So five revolving periods the soft,
Pale light had robbed of Cynthia, and as oft
Replenished since our start, when far and dim
Over the misty ocean's utmost rim,
Rose a great mountain, that for very height
Passed any I had seen. Boundless delight
Filled us -- alas, and quickly turned to dole:
For, springing from our scarce-discovered goal,
A whirlwind struck the ship; in circles three
It whirled us helpless in the eddying sea;
High on the fourth the fragile stern uprose,
The bow drove down, and, as Another chose,
Over our heads we heard the surging billows close."
~ Alan Seeger,
218:Paradiso: Canto Ii
Paradiso Canto 2
O Ye, who in some pretty little boat,
Eager to listen, have been following
Behind my ship, that singing sails along,
Turn back to look again upon your shores;
Do not put out to sea, lest peradventure,
In losing me, you might yourselves be lost.
The sea I sail has never yet been passed;
Minerva breathes, and pilots me Apollo,
And Muses nine point out to me the Bears.
Ye other few who have the neck uplifted
Betimes to th' bread of Angels upon which
One liveth here and grows not sated by it,
Well may you launch upon the deep salt-sea
Your vessel, keeping still my wake before you
Upon the water that grows smooth again.
Those glorious ones who unto Colchos passed
Were not so wonder-struck as you shall be,
When Jason they beheld a ploughman made!
The con-created and perpetual thirst
For the realm deiform did bear us on,
As swift almost as ye the heavens behold.
Upward gazed Beatrice, and I at her;
And in such space perchance as strikes a bolt
And flies, and from the notch unlocks itself,
Arrived I saw me where a wondrous thing
Drew to itself my sight; and therefore she
From whom no care of mine could be concealed,
Towards me turning, blithe as beautiful,
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Said unto me: 'Fix gratefully thy mind
On God, who unto the first star has brought us.'
It seemed to me a cloud encompassed us,
Luminous, dense, consolidate and bright
As adamant on which the sun is striking.
Into itself did the eternal pearl
Receive us, even as water doth receive
A ray of light, remaining still unbroken.
If I was body, (and we here conceive not
How one dimension tolerates another,
Which needs must be if body enter body,)
More the desire should be enkindled in us
That essence to behold, wherein is seen
How God and our own nature were united.
There will be seen what we receive by faith,
Not demonstrated, but self-evident
In guise of the first truth that man believes.
I made reply: 'Madonna, as devoutly
As most I can do I give thanks to Him
Who has removed me from the mortal world.
But tell me what the dusky spots may be
Upon this body, which below on earth
Make people tell that fabulous tale of Cain?'
Somewhat she smiled; and then, 'If the opinion
Of mortals be erroneous,' she said,
'Where'er the key of sense doth not unlock,
Certes, the shafts of wonder should not pierce thee
Now, forasmuch as, following the senses,
Thou seest that the reason has short wings.
But tell me what thou think'st of it thyself.'
And I: 'What seems to us up here diverse,
Is caused, I think, by bodies rare and dense.'
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And she: 'Right truly shalt thou see immersed
In error thy belief, if well thou hearest
The argument that I shall make against it.
Lights many the eighth sphere displays to you
Which in their quality and quantity
May noted be of aspects different.
If this were caused by rare and dense alone,
One only virtue would there be in all
Or more or less diffused, or equally.
Virtues diverse must be perforce the fruits
Of formal principles; and these, save one,
Of course would by thy reasoning be destroyed.
Besides, if rarity were of this dimness
The cause thou askest, either through and through
This planet thus attenuate were of matter,
Or else, as in a body is apportioned
The fat and lean, so in like manner this
Would in its volume interchange the leaves.
Were it the former, in the sun's eclipse
It would be manifest by the shining through
Of light, as through aught tenuous interfused.
This is not so; hence we must scan the other,
And if it chance the other I demolish,
Then falsified will thy opinion be.
But if this rarity go not through and through,
There needs must be a limit, beyond which
Its contrary prevents the further passing,
And thence the foreign radiance is reflected,
Even as a colour cometh back from glass,
The which behind itself concealeth lead.
Now thou wilt say the sunbeam shows itself
284
More dimly there than in the other parts,
By being there reflected farther back.
From this reply experiment will free thee
If e'er thou try it, which is wont to be
The fountain to the rivers of your arts.
Three mirrors shalt thou take, and two remove
Alike from thee, the other more remote
Between the former two shall meet thine eyes.
Turned towards these, cause that behind thy back
Be placed a light, illuming the three mirrors
And coming back to thee by all reflected.
Though in its quantity be not so ample
The image most remote, there shalt thou see
How it perforce is equally resplendent.
Now, as beneath the touches of warm rays
Naked the subject of the snow remains
Both of its former colour and its cold,
Thee thus remaining in thy intellect,
Will I inform with such a living light,
That it shall tremble in its aspect to thee.
Within the heaven of the divine repose
Revolves a body, in whose virtue lies
The being of whatever it contains.
The following heaven, that has so many eyes,
Divides this being by essences diverse,
Distinguished from it, and by it contained.
The other spheres, by various differences,
All the distinctions which they have within them
Dispose unto their ends and their effects.
Thus do these organs of the world proceed,
As thou perceivest now, from grade to grade;
Since from above they take, and act beneath.
285
Observe me well, how through this place I come
Unto the truth thou wishest, that hereafter
Thou mayst alone know how to keep the ford
The power and motion of the holy spheres,
As from the artisan the hammer's craft,
Forth from the blessed motors must proceed.
The heaven, which lights so manifold make fair,
From the Intelligence profound, which turns it,
The image takes, and makes of it a seal.
And even as the soul within your dust
Through members different and accommodated
To faculties diverse expands itself,
So likewise this Intelligence diffuses
Its virtue multiplied among the stars.
Itself revolving on its unity.
Virtue diverse doth a diverse alloyage
Make with the precious body that it quickens,
In which, as life in you, it is combined.
From the glad nature whence it is derived,
The mingled virtue through the body shines,
Even as gladness through the living pupil.
From this proceeds whate'er from light to light
Appeareth different, not from dense and rare:
This is the formal principle that produces,
According to its goodness, dark and bright.'
~ Dante Alighieri,
219:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto Ii.
Preludes.
I The Paragon
When I behold the skies aloft
Passing the pageantry of dreams,
The cloud whose bosom, cygnet-soft,
A couch for nuptial Juno seems,
The ocean broad, the mountains bright,
The shadowy vales with feeding herds,
I from my lyre the music smite,
Nor want for justly matching words.
All forces of the sea and air,
All interests of hill and plain,
I so can sing, in seasons fair,
That who hath felt may feel again.
Elated oft by such free songs,
I think with utterance free to raise
That hymn for which the whole world longs,
A worthy hymn in woman's praise;
A hymn bright-noted like a bird's,
Arousing these song-sleepy times
With rhapsodies of perfect words,
Ruled by returning kiss of rhymes.
But when I look on her and hope
To tell with joy what I admire,
My thoughts lie cramp'd in narrow scope,
Or in the feeble birth expire;
No mystery of well-woven speech,
No simplest phrase of tenderest fall,
No liken'd excellence can reach
Her, the most excellent of all,
The best half of creation's best,
Its heart to feel, its eye to see,
The crown and complex of the rest,
Its aim and its epitome.
Nay, might I utter my conceit,
'Twere after all a vulgar song,
For she's so simply, subtly sweet,
My deepest rapture does her wrong.
67
Yet is it now my chosen task
To sing her worth as Maid and Wife;
Nor happier post than this I ask,
To live her laureate all my life.
On wings of love uplifted free,
And by her gentleness made great,
I'll teach how noble man should be
To match with such a lovely mate;
And then in her may move the more
The woman's wish to be desired,
(By praise increased), till both shall soar,
With blissful emulations fired.
And, as geranium, pink, or rose
Is thrice itself through power of art,
So may my happy skill disclose
New fairness even in her fair heart;
Until that churl shall nowhere be
Who bends not, awed, before the throne
Of her affecting majesty,
So meek, so far unlike our own;
Until (for who may hope too much
From her who wields the powers of love?)
Our lifted lives at last shall touch
That happy goal to which they move;
Until we find, as darkness rolls
Away, and evil mists dissolve,
The nuptial contrasts are the poles
On which the heavenly spheres revolve.
II Love at Large
Whene'er I come where ladies are,
How sad soever I was before,
Though like a ship frost-bound and far
Withheld in ice from the ocean's roar,
Third-winter'd in that dreadful dock,
With stiffen'd cordage, sails decay'd,
And crew that care for calm and shock
Alike, too dull to be dismay'd,
Yet, if I come where ladies are,
How sad soever I was before,
Then is my sadness banish'd far,
And I am like that ship no more;
68
Or like that ship if the ice-field splits,
Burst by the sudden polar Spring,
And all thank God with their warming wits,
And kiss each other and dance and sing,
And hoist fresh sails, that make the breeze
Blow them along the liquid sea,
Out of the North, where life did freeze,
Into the haven where they would be.
III Love and Duty
Anne lived so truly from above,
She was so gentle and so good,
That duty bade me fall in love,
And ‘but for that,’ thought I, ‘I should!’
I worshipp'd Kate with all my will.
In idle moods you seem to see
A noble spirit in a hill,
A human touch about a tree.
IV A Distinction
The lack of lovely pride, in her
Who strives to please, my pleasure numbs,
And still the maid I most prefer
Whose care to please with pleasing comes.
Mary And Mildred.
One morning, after Church, I walk'd
Alone with Mary on the lawn,
And felt myself, howe'er we talk'd,
To grave themes delicately drawn.
When she delighted, found I knew
More of her peace than she supposed,
Our confidences heavenwards grew,
Like fox-glove buds, in pairs disclosed.
Our former faults did we confess,
Our ancient feud was more than heal'd.
And, with the woman's eagerness
For amity full-sign'd and seal'd,
She, offering up for sacrifice
69
Her heart's reserve, brought out to show
Some verses, made when she was ice
To all but Heaven, six years ago;
Since happier grown! I took and read
The neat-writ lines. She, void of guile,
Too late repenting, blush'd, and said,
I must not think about the style.
II
‘Day after day, until to-day,
‘Imaged the others gone before,
‘The same dull task, the weary way,
‘The weakness pardon'd o'er and o'er,
‘The thwarted thirst, too faintly felt,
‘For joy's well-nigh forgotten life,
‘The restless heart, which, when I knelt,
‘Made of my worship barren strife.
‘Ah, whence to-day's so sweet release,
‘This clearance light of all my care,
‘This conscience free, this fertile peace,
‘These softly folded wings of prayer,
‘This calm and more than conquering love,
‘With which nought evil dares to cope,
‘This joy that lifts no glance above,
‘For faith too sure, too sweet for hope?
‘O, happy time, too happy change,
‘It will not live, though fondly nurst!
‘Full soon the sun will seem as strange
‘As now the cloud which seems dispersed.’
III
She from a rose-tree shook the blight;
And well she knew that I knew well
Her grace with silence to requite;
And, answering now the luncheon-bell,
I laugh'd at Mildred's laugh, which made
All melancholy wrong, its mood
Such sweet self-confidence display'd,
So glad a sense of present good.
IV
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I laugh'd and sigh'd; for I confess
I never went to Ball, or Fête,
Or Show, but in pursuit express
Of my predestinated mate;
And thus to me, who had in sight
The happy chance upon the cards,
Each beauty blossom'd in the light
Of tender personal regards;
And, in the records of my breast,
Red-letter'd, eminently fair,
Stood sixteen, who, beyond the rest,
By turns till then had been my care:
At Berlin three, one at St. Cloud,
At Chatteris, near Cambridge, one,
At Ely four, in London two,
Two at Bowness, in Paris none,
And, last and best, in Sarum three;
But dearest of the whole fair troop,
In judgment of the moment, she
Whose daisy eyes had learn'd to droop
Her very faults my fancy fired;
My loving will, so thwarted, grew;
And, bent on worship, I admired
Whate'er she was, with partial view.
And yet when, as to-day, her smile
Was prettiest, I could not but note
Honoria, less admired the while,
Was lovelier, though from love remote.
~ Coventry Patmore,
220:The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 2
Not with more glories, in th' etherial plain,
The sun first rises o'er the purpled main,
Than, issuing forth, the rival of his beams
Launch'd on the bosom of the silver Thames.
Fair nymphs, and well-dress'd youths around her shone,
But ev'ry eye was fix'd on her alone.
On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore,
Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore.
Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose,
Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as those:
Favours to none, to all she smiles extends;
Oft she rejects, but never once offends.
Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike,
And, like the sun, they shine on all alike.
Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride,
Might hide her faults, if belles had faults to hide:
If to her share some female errors fall,
Look on her face, and you'll forget 'em all.
This nymph, to the destruction of mankind,
Nourish'd two locks, which graceful hung behind
In equal curls, and well conspir'd to deck
With shining ringlets the smooth iv'ry neck.
Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains,
And mighty hearts are held in slender chains.
With hairy springes we the birds betray,
Slight lines of hair surprise the finney prey,
Fair tresses man's imperial race ensnare,
And beauty draws us with a single hair.
Th' advent'rous baron the bright locks admir'd;
He saw, he wish'd, and to the prize aspir'd.
Resolv'd to win, he meditates the way,
By force to ravish, or by fraud betray;
For when success a lover's toil attends,
Few ask, if fraud or force attain'd his ends.
For this, ere Phœbus rose, he had implor'd
Propitious Heav'n, and ev'ry pow'r ador'd,
But chiefly love--to love an altar built,
Of twelve vast French romances, neatly gilt.
There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves;
225
And all the trophies of his former loves;
With tender billet-doux he lights the pyre,
And breathes three am'rous sighs to raise the fire.
Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes
Soon to obtain, and long possess the prize:
The pow'rs gave ear, and granted half his pray'r,
The rest, the winds dispers'd in empty air.
But now secure the painted vessel glides,
The sun-beams trembling on the floating tides,
While melting music steals upon the sky,
And soften'd sounds along the waters die.
Smooth flow the waves, the zephyrs gently play,
Belinda smil'd, and all the world was gay.
All but the Sylph--with careful thoughts opprest,
Th' impending woe sat heavy on his breast.
He summons strait his denizens of air;
The lucid squadrons round the sails repair:
Soft o'er the shrouds aerial whispers breathe,
That seem'd but zephyrs to the train beneath.
Some to the sun their insect-wings unfold,
Waft on the breeze, or sink in clouds of gold.
Transparent forms, too fine for mortal sight,
Their fluid bodies half dissolv'd in light,
Loose to the wind their airy garments flew,
Thin glitt'ring textures of the filmy dew;
Dipp'd in the richest tincture of the skies,
Where light disports in ever-mingling dyes,
While ev'ry beam new transient colours flings,
Colours that change whene'er they wave their wings.
Amid the circle, on the gilded mast,
Superior by the head, was Ariel plac'd;
His purple pinions op'ning to the sun,
He rais'd his azure wand, and thus begun.
"Ye Sylphs and Sylphids, to your chief give ear!
Fays, Fairies, Genii, Elves, and Dæmons, hear!
Ye know the spheres and various tasks assign'd
By laws eternal to th' aerial kind.
Some in the fields of purest æther play,
And bask and whiten in the blaze of day.
Some guide the course of wand'ring orbs on high,
226
Or roll the planets through the boundless sky.
Some less refin'd, beneath the moon's pale light
Pursue the stars that shoot athwart the night,
Or suck the mists in grosser air below,
Or dip their pinions in the painted bow,
Or brew fierce tempests on the wintry main,
Or o'er the glebe distil the kindly rain.
Others on earth o'er human race preside,
Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide:
Of these the chief the care of nations own,
And guard with arms divine the British throne.
"Our humbler province is to tend the fair,
Not a less pleasing, though less glorious care.
To save the powder from too rude a gale,
Nor let th' imprison'd essences exhale,
To draw fresh colours from the vernal flow'rs,
To steal from rainbows e'er they drop in show'rs
A brighter wash; to curl their waving hairs,
Assist their blushes, and inspire their airs;
Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow,
To change a flounce, or add a furbelow.
"This day, black omens threat the brightest fair
That e'er deserv'd a watchful spirit's care;
Some dire disaster, or by force, or slight,
But what, or where, the fates have wrapt in night.
Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law,
Or some frail china jar receive a flaw;
Or stain her honour, or her new brocade,
Forget her pray'rs, or miss a masquerade;
Or lose her heart, or necklace, at a ball;
Or whether Heav'n has doom'd that Shock must fall.
Haste, then, ye spirits! to your charge repair:
The flutt'ring fan be Zephyretta's care;
The drops to thee, Brillante, we consign;
And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine;
Do thou, Crispissa, tend her fav'rite lock;
Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock.
"To fifty chosen Sylphs, of special note,
We trust th' important charge, the petticoat:
227
Oft have we known that sev'n-fold fence to fail,
Though stiff with hoops, and arm'd with ribs of whale.
Form a strong line about the silver bound,
And guard the wide circumference around.
"Whatever spirit, careless of his charge,
His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large,
Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake his sins,
Be stopp'd in vials, or transfix'd with pins;
Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie,
Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye:
Gums and pomatums shall his flight restrain,
While clogg'd he beats his silken wings in vain;
Or alum styptics with contracting pow'r
Shrink his thin essence like a rivell'd flow'r.
Or, as Ixion fix'd, the wretch shall feel
The giddy motion of the whirling mill,
In fumes of burning chocolate shall glow,
And tremble at the sea that froths below!"
He spoke; the spirits from the sails descend;
Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend,
Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair,
Some hang upon the pendants of her ear;
With beating hearts the dire event they wait,
Anxious, and trembling for the birth of fate.
~ Alexander Pope,
221:The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 1
Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos;
Sedjuvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis.
(Martial, Epigrams 12.84)
What dire offence from am'rous causes springs,
What mighty contests rise from trivial things,
I sing--This verse to Caryl, Muse! is due:
This, ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view:
Slight is the subject, but not so the praise,
If she inspire, and he approve my lays.
Say what strange motive, Goddess! could compel
A well-bred lord t' assault a gentle belle?
O say what stranger cause, yet unexplor'd,
Could make a gentle belle reject a lord?
In tasks so bold, can little men engage,
And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage?
Sol thro' white curtains shot a tim'rous ray,
And op'd those eyes that must eclipse the day;
Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake,
And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake:
Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground,
And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound.
Belinda still her downy pillow press'd,
Her guardian sylph prolong'd the balmy rest:
'Twas he had summon'd to her silent bed
The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head;
A youth more glitt'ring than a birthnight beau,
(That ev'n in slumber caus'd her cheek to glow)
Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay,
And thus in whispers said, or seem'd to say.
"Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care
Of thousand bright inhabitants of air!
If e'er one vision touch'd thy infant thought,
Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught,
Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen,
The silver token, and the circled green,
Or virgins visited by angel pow'rs,
With golden crowns and wreaths of heav'nly flow'rs,
221
Hear and believe! thy own importance know,
Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.
Some secret truths from learned pride conceal'd,
To maids alone and children are reveal'd:
What tho' no credit doubting wits may give?
The fair and innocent shall still believe.
Know then, unnumber'd spirits round thee fly,
The light militia of the lower sky;
These, though unseen, are ever on theg,
Hang o'er the box, and hover round the Ring.
Think what an equipage thou hast in air,
And view with scorn two pages and a chair.
As now your own, our beings were of old,
And once inclos'd in woman's beauteous mould;
Thence, by a soft transition, we repair
From earthly vehicles to these of air.
Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled,
That all her vanities at once are dead;
Succeeding vanities she still regards,
And tho' she plays no more, o'erlooks the cards.
Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive,
And love of ombre, after death survive.
For when the fair in all their pride expire,
To their first elements their souls retire:
The sprites of fiery termagants in flame
Mount up, and take a Salamander's name.
Soft yielding minds to water glide away,
And sip with Nymphs, their elemental tea.
The graver prude sinks downward to a Gnome,
In search of mischief still on earth to roam.
The light coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair,
And sport and flutter in the fields of air.
Know further yet; whoever fair and chaste
Rejects mankind, is by some sylph embrac'd:
For spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease
Assume what sexes and what shapes they please.
What guards the purity of melting maids,
In courtly balls, and midnight masquerades,
Safe from the treach'rous friend, the daring spark,
The glance by day, the whisper in the dark,
When kind occasion prompts their warm desires,
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When music softens, and when dancing fires?
'Tis but their sylph, the wise celestials know,
Though honour is the word with men below.
Some nymphs there are, too conscious of their face,
For life predestin'd to the gnomes' embrace.
These swell their prospects and exalt their pride,
When offers are disdain'd, and love denied:
Then gay ideas crowd the vacant brain,
While peers, and dukes, and all their sweeping train,
And garters, stars, and coronets appear,
And in soft sounds 'Your Grace' salutes their ear.
'Tis these that early taint the female soul,
Instruct the eyes of young coquettes to roll,
Teach infant cheeks a bidden blush to know,
And little hearts to flutter at a beau.
Oft, when the world imagine women stray,
The Sylphs through mystic mazes guide their way,
Thro' all the giddy circle they pursue,
And old impertinence expel by new.
What tender maid but must a victim fall
To one man's treat, but for another's ball?
When Florio speaks, what virgin could withstand,
If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand?
With varying vanities, from ev'ry part,
They shift the moving toyshop of their heart;
Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots sword-knots strive,
Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive.
This erring mortals levity may call,
Oh blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all.
Of these am I, who thy protection claim,
A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name.
Late, as I rang'd the crystal wilds of air,
In the clear mirror of thy ruling star
I saw, alas! some dread event impend,
Ere to the main this morning sun descend,
But Heav'n reveals not what, or how, or where:
Warn'd by the Sylph, oh pious maid, beware!
This to disclose is all thy guardian can.
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Beware of all, but most beware of man!"
He said; when Shock, who thought she slept too long,
Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue.
'Twas then, Belinda, if report say true,
Thy eyes first open'd on a billet-doux;
Wounds, charms, and ardors were no sooner read,
But all the vision vanish'd from thy head.
And now, unveil'd, the toilet stands display'd,
Each silver vase in mystic order laid.
First, rob'd in white, the nymph intent adores
With head uncover'd, the cosmetic pow'rs.
A heav'nly image in the glass appears,
To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears;
Th' inferior priestess, at her altar's side,
Trembling, begins the sacred rites of pride.
Unnumber'd treasures ope at once, and here
The various off'rings of the world appear;
From each she nicely culls with curious toil,
And decks the goddess with the glitt'ring spoil.
This casket India's glowing gems unlocks,
And all Arabia breathes from yonder box.
The tortoise here and elephant unite,
Transform'd to combs, the speckled and the white.
Here files of pins extend their shining rows,
Puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet-doux.
Now awful beauty puts on all its arms;
The fair each moment rises in her charms,
Repairs her smiles, awakens ev'ry grace,
And calls forth all the wonders of her face;
Sees by degrees a purer blush arise,
And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes.
The busy Sylphs surround their darling care;
These set the head, and those divide the hair,
Some fold the sleeve, whilst others plait the gown;
And Betty's prais'd for labours not her own.
~ Alexander Pope,
222:The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 5
She said: the pitying audience melt in tears,
But Fate and Jove had stopp'd the Baron's ears.
In vain Thalestris with reproach assails,
For who can move when fair Belinda fails?
Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain,
While Anna begg'd and Dido rag'd in vain.
Then grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her fan;
Silence ensu'd, and thus the nymph began.
"Say, why are beauties prais'd and honour'd most,
The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast?
Why deck'd with all that land and sea afford,
Why angels call'd, and angel-like ador'd?
Why round our coaches crowd the white-glov'd beaux,
Why bows the side-box from its inmost rows?
How vain are all these glories, all our pains,
Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains:
That men may say, when we the front-box grace:
'Behold the first in virtue, as in face!'
Oh! if to dance all night, and dress all day,
Charm'd the smallpox, or chas'd old age away;
Who would not scorn what housewife's cares produce,
Or who would learn one earthly thing of use?
To patch, nay ogle, might become a saint,
Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint.
But since, alas! frail beauty must decay,
Curl'd or uncurl'd, since locks will turn to grey,
Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade,
And she who scorns a man, must die a maid;
What then remains but well our pow'r to use,
And keep good humour still whate'er we lose?
And trust me, dear! good humour can prevail,
When airs, and flights, and screams, and scolding fail.
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll;
Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul."
So spoke the dame, but no applause ensu'd;
Belinda frown'd, Thalestris call'd her prude.
"To arms, to arms!" the fierce virago cries,
And swift as lightning to the combat flies.
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All side in parties, and begin th' attack;
Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whalebones crack;
Heroes' and heroines' shouts confus'dly rise,
And bass, and treble voices strike the skies.
No common weapons in their hands are found,
Like gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound.
So when bold Homer makes the gods engage,
And heav'nly breasts with human passions rage;
'Gainst Pallas, Mars; Latona, Hermes arms;
And all Olympus rings with loud alarms.
Jove's thunder roars, heav'n trembles all around;
Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps resound;
Earth shakes her nodding tow'rs, the ground gives way;
And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day!
Triumphant Umbriel on a sconce's height
Clapp'd his glad wings, and sate to view the fight:
Propp'd on their bodkin spears, the sprites survey
The growing combat, or assist the fray.
While through the press enrag'd Thalestris flies,
And scatters death around from both her eyes,
A beau and witling perish'd in the throng,
One died in metaphor, and one in song.
"O cruel nymph! a living death I bear,"
Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair.
A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast,
"Those eyes are made so killing"--was his last.
Thus on Mæeander's flow'ry margin lies
Th' expiring swan, and as he sings he dies.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down,
Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown;
She smil'd to see the doughty hero slain,
But at her smile, the beau reviv'd again.
Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air,
Weighs the men's wits against the lady's hair;
The doubtful beam long nods from side to side;
At length the wits mount up, the hairs subside.
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See, fierce Belinda on the baron flies,
With more than usual lightning in her eyes,
Nor fear'd the chief th' unequal fight to try,
Who sought no more than on his foe to die.
But this bold lord with manly strength endu'd,
She with one finger and a thumb subdu'd:
Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew,
A charge of snuff the wily virgin threw;
The Gnomes direct, to ev'ry atom just,
The pungent grains of titillating dust.
Sudden, with starting tears each eye o'erflows,
And the high dome re-echoes to his nose.
"Now meet thy fate", incens'd Belinda cried,
And drew a deadly bodkin from her side.
(The same, his ancient personage to deck,
Her great great grandsire wore about his neck
In three seal-rings; which after, melted down,
Form'd a vast buckle for his widow's gown:
Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew,
The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew;
Then in a bodkin grac'd her mother's hairs,
Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.)
"Boast not my fall," he cried, "insulting foe!
Thou by some other shalt be laid as low.
Nor think, to die dejects my lofty mind;
All that I dread is leaving you benind!
Rather than so, ah let me still survive,
And burn in Cupid's flames--but burn alive."
"Restore the lock!" she cries; and all around
"Restore the lock!" the vaulted roofs rebound.
Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain
Roar'd for the handkerchief that caus'd his pain.
But see how oft ambitious aims are cross'd,
The chiefs contend 'till all the prize is lost!
The lock, obtain'd with guilt, and kept with pain,
In ev'ry place is sought, but sought in vain:
With such a prize no mortal must be blest,
So Heav'n decrees! with Heav'n who can contest?
241
Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere,
Since all things lost on earth are treasur'd there.
There hero's wits are kept in pond'rous vases,
And beaux' in snuff boxes and tweezercases.
There broken vows and deathbed alms are found,
And lovers' hearts with ends of riband bound;
The courtier's promises, and sick man's prayers,
The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs,
Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea,
Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.
But trust the Muse--she saw it upward rise,
Though mark'd by none but quick, poetic eyes:
(So Rome's great founder to the heav'ns withdrew,
To Proculus alone confess'd in view)
A sudden star, it shot through liquid air,
And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.
Not Berenice's locks first rose so bright,
The heav'ns bespangling with dishevell'd light.
The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies,
And pleas'd pursue its progress through the skies.
This the beau monde shall from the Mall survey,
And hail with music its propitious ray.
This the blest lover shall for Venus take,
And send up vows from Rosamonda's lake.
This Partridge soon shall view in cloudless skies,
When next he looks through Galileo's eyes;
And hence th' egregious wizard shall foredoom
The fate of Louis, and the fall of Rome.
Then cease, bright nymph! to mourn thy ravish'd hair,
Which adds new glory to the shining sphere!
Not all the tresses that fair head can boast
Shall draw such envy as the lock you lost.
For, after all the murders of your eye,
When, after millions slain, yourself shall die:
242
When those fair suns shall set, as set they must,
And all those tresses shall be laid in dust,
This lock, the Muse shall consecrate to fame
And 'midst the stars inscribe Belinda's name.
~ Alexander Pope,
223:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto Xii.
Preludes.
I The Chace
She wearies with an ill unknown;
In sleep she sobs and seems to float,
A water-lily, all alone
Within a lonely castle-moat;
And as the full-moon, spectral, lies
Within the crescent's gleaming arms,
The present shows her heedless eyes
A future dim with vague alarms.
She sees, and yet she scarcely sees,
For, life-in-life not yet begun,
Too many are its mysteries
For thought to fix on any one.
She's told that maidens are by youths
Extremely honour'd and desired;
And sighs, ‘If those sweet tales be truths,
‘What bliss to be so much admired!’
The suitors come; she sees them grieve;
Her coldness fills them with despair;
She'd pity if she could believe;
She's sorry that she cannot care.
But who now meets her on her way?
Comes he as enemy or friend,
Or both? Her bosom seems to say,
He cannot pass, and there an end.
Whom does he love? Does he confer
His heart on worth that answers his?
Or is he come to worship her?
She fears, she hopes, she thinks he is!
Advancing stepless, quick, and still,
As in the grass a serpent glides,
He fascinates her fluttering will,
Then terrifies with dreadful strides.
At first, there's nothing to resist;
He fights with all the forms of peace;
He comes about her like a mist,
With subtle, swift, unseen increase;
115
And then, unlook'd for, strikes amain
Some stroke that frightens her to death,
And grows all harmlessness again,
Ere she can cry, or get her breath.
At times she stops, and stands at bay;
But he, in all more strong than she,
Subdues her with his pale dismay,
Or more admired audacity.
She plans some final, fatal blow,
But when she means with frowns to kill
He looks as if he loved her so,
She smiles to him against her will.
How sweetly he implies her praise!
His tender talk, his gentle tone,
The manly worship in his gaze,
They nearly made her heart his own.
With what an air he speaks her name;
His manner always recollects
Her sex, and still the woman's claim
Is taught its scope by his respects.
Her charms, perceived to prosper first
In his beloved advertencies,
When in her glass they are rehearsed,
Prove his most powerful allies.
Ah, whither shall a maiden flee,
When a bold youth so swift pursues,
And siege of tenderest courtesy,
With hope perseverant, still renews!
Why fly so fast? Her flatter'd breast
Thanks him who finds her fair and good;
She loves her fears; veil'd joys arrest
The foolish terrors of her blood.
By secret, sweet degrees, her heart,
Vanquish'd, takes warmth from his desire;
She makes it more, with hidden art,
And fuels love's late dreaded fire.
The generous credit he accords
To all the signs of good in her
Redeems itself; his praiseful words
The virtues they impute confer.
Her heart is thrice as rich in bliss,
She's three times gentler than before;
116
He gains a right to call her his
Now she through him is so much more;
'Tis heaven where'er she turns her head;
Tis music when she talks; 'tis air
On which, elate, she seems to tread,
The convert of a gladder sphere!
Ah, might he, when by doubts aggrieved,
Behold his tokens next her breast,
At all his words and sighs perceived
Against its blythe upheaval press'd!
But still she flies. Should she be won,
It must not be believed or thought
She yields; she's chased to death, undone,
Surprised, and violently caught.
II Denied
The storm-cloud, whose portentous shade
Fumes from a core of smother'd fire,
His livery is whose worshipp'd maid
Denies herself to his desire.
Ah, grief that almost crushes life,
To lie upon his lonely bed,
And fancy her another's wife!
His brain is flame, his heart is lead.
Sinking at last, by nature's course,
Cloak'd round with sleep from his despair,
He does but sleep to gather force
That goes to his exhausted care.
He wakes renew'd for all the smart.
His only Love, and she is wed!
His fondness comes about his heart,
As milk comes, when the babe is dead.
The wretch, whom she found fit for scorn,
His own allegiant thoughts despise;
And far into the shining morn
Lazy with misery he lies.
III The Churl
This marks the Churl: when spousals crown
His selfish hope, he finds the grace,
Which sweet love has for even the clown,
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Was not in the woman, but the chace.
The Abdication.
From little signs, like little stars,
Whose faint impression on the sense
The very looking straight at mars,
Or only seen by confluence;
From instinct of a mutual thought,
Whence sanctity of manners flow'd;
From chance unconscious, and from what
Concealment, overconscious, show'd;
Her hand's less weight upon my arm,
Her lowlier mien; that match'd with this;
I found, and felt with strange alarm,
I stood committed to my bliss.
II
I grew assured, before I ask'd,
That she'd be mine without reserve,
And in her unclaim'd graces bask'd,
At leisure, till the time should serve,
With just enough of dread to thrill
The hope, and make it trebly dear;
Thus loth to speak the word to kill
Either the hope or happy fear.
III
Till once, through lanes returning late,
Her laughing sisters lagg'd behind;
And, ere we reach'd her father's gate,
We paused with one presentient mind;
And, in the dim and perfumed mist,
Their coming stay'd, who, friends to me,
And very women, loved to assist
Love's timid opportunity.
IV
Twice rose, twice died my trembling word;
The faint and frail Cathedral chimes
118
Spake time in music, and we heard
The chafers rustling in the limes.
Her dress, that touch'd me where I stood,
The warmth of her confided arm,
Her bosom's gentle neighbourhood,
Her pleasure in her power to charm;
Her look, her love, her form, her touch,
The least seem'd most by blissful turn,
Blissful but that it pleased too much,
And taught the wayward soul to yearn.
It was as if a harp with wires
Was traversed by the breath I drew;
And, oh, sweet meeting of desires,
She, answering, own'd that she loved too.
Honoria was to be my bride!
The hopeless heights of hope were scaled;
The summit won, I paused and sigh'd,
As if success itself had fail'd.
It seem'd as if my lips approach'd
To touch at Tantalus' reward,
And rashly on Eden life encroach'd,
Half-blinded by the flaming sword.
The whole world's wealthiest and its best,
So fiercely sought, appear'd, when found,
Poor in its need to be possess'd,
Poor from its very want of bound.
My queen was crouching at my side,
By love unsceptred and brought low,
Her awful garb of maiden pride
All melted into tears like snow;
The mistress of my reverent thought,
Whose praise was all I ask'd of fame,
In my close-watch'd approval sought
Protection as from danger and blame;
Her soul, which late I loved to invest
With pity for my poor desert,
Buried its face within my breast,
Like a pet fawn by hunters hurt.
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~ Coventry Patmore,
224:Himno A Los Voluntarios De La República
Voluntario de España, miliciano
de huesos fidedignos, cuando marcha a morir tu corazón,
cuando marcha a matar con su agonía
mundial, no sé verdaderamente
qué hacer, dónde ponerme; corro, escribo, aplaudo,
lloro, atisbo, destrozo, apagan, digo
a mi pecho que acabe, al que bien, que venga,
y quiero desgraciarme;
descúbrome la frente impersonal hasta tocar
el vaso de la sangre, me detengo,
detienen mi tamaño esas famosas caídas de arquitecto
con las que se honra el animal que me honra;
refluyen mis instintos a sus sogas,
humea ante mi tumba la alegría
y, otra vez, sin saber qué hacer, sin nada, déjame,
desde mi piedra en blanco, déjame,
solo,
cuadrumano, más acá, mucho más lejos,
al no caber entre mis manos tu largo rato extático,
quiebro con tu rapidez de doble filo
mi pequeñez en traje de grandeza!
Un día diurno, claro, atento, fértil
¡oh bienio, el de los lóbregos semestres suplicantes,
por el que iba la pólvora mordiéndose los codos!
¡oh dura pena y más duros pedernales!
!oh frenos los tascados por el pueblo!
Un día prendió el pueblo su fósforo cautivo, oró de cólera
y soberanamente pleno, circular,
cerró su natalicio con manos electivas;
arrastraban candado ya los déspotas
y en el candado, sus bacterias muertas...
¿Batallas? ¡No! Pasiones. Y pasiones precedidas
de dolores con rejas de esperanzas,
de dolores de pueblos con esperanzas de hombres!
¡Muerte y pasión de paz, las populares!
¡Muerte y pasión guerreras entre olivos, entendámosnos!
11
Tal en tu aliento cambian de agujas atmosféricas los vientos
y de llave las tumbas en tu pecho,
tu frontal elevándose a primera potencia de martirio.
El mundo exclama: '¡Cosas de españoles!' Y es verdad.
Consideremos,
durante una balanza, a quema ropa,
a Calderon, dormido sobre la cola de un anfibio muerto
o a Cervantes, diciendo: 'Mi reino es de este mundo, pero
también del otro': ¡punta y filo en dos papeles!
Contemplemos a Goya, de hinojos y rezando ante un espejo,
a Coll, el paladín en cuyo asalto cartesiano
tuvo un sudor de nube el paso llano
o a Quevedo, ese abuelo instantáneo de los dinamiteros
o a Cajal, devorado por su pequeño infinito, o todavía
a Teresa, mujer que muere porque no muere
o a Lina Odena, en pugna en más de un punto con Teresa...
(Todo acto o voz genial viene del pueblo
y va hacia él, de frente o transmitidos
por incesantes briznas, por el humo rosado
de amargas contraseñas sin fortuna)
Así tu criatura, miliciano, así tu exangüe criatura,
agitada por una piedra inmóvil,
se sacrifica, apártase,
decae para arriba y por su llama incombustible sube,
sube hasta los débiles,
distribuyendo españas a los toros,
toros a las palomas...
Proletario que mueres de universo, ¡en qué frenética armonía
acabará tu grandeza, tu miseria, tu vorágine impelente,
tu violencia metódica, tu caos teórico y práctico, tu gana
dantesca, españolísima, de amar, aunque sea a traición,
a tu enemigo!
¡Liberador ceñido de grilletes,
sin cuyo esfuerzo hasta hoy continuaría sin asas la extensión,
vagarían acéfalos los clavos,
antiguo, lento, colorado, el día,
nuestros amados cascos, insepultos!
¡Campesino caído con tu verde follaje por el hombre,
con la inflexión social de tu meñique,
12
con tu buey que se queda, con tu física,
también con tu palabra atada a un palo
y tu cielo arrendado
y con la arcilla inserta en tu cansancio
y la que estaba en tu uña, caminando!
¡Constructores
agrícolas, civiles y guerreros,
de la activa, hormigueante eternidad: estaba escrito
que vosotros haríais la luz, entornando
con la muerte vuestros ojos;
que, a la caída cruel de vuestras bocas,
vendrá en siete bandejas la abundancia, todo
en el mundo será de oro súbito
y el oro,
fabulosos mendigos de vuestra propia secreción de sangre,
y el oro mismo será entonces de oro!
¡Se amarán todos los hombres
y comerán tomados de las puntas de vuestros pañuelos tristes
y beberan en nombre
de vuestras gargantas infaustas!
Descansarán andando al pie de esta carrera,
sollozarán pensando en vuestras órbitas, venturosos
serán y al son
de vuestro atroz retorno, florecido, innato,
ajustarán mañana sus quehaceres, sus figuras soñadas y cantadas!
¡Unos mismos zapatos irán bien al que asciende
sin vías a su cuerpo
y al que baja hasta la forma de su alma!
¡Entrelazándose hablarán los mudos, los tullidos andarán!
¡Verán, ya de regreso, los ciegos
y palpitando escucharán los sordos!
¡Sabrán los ignorantes, ignorarán los sabios!
¡Serán dados los besos que no pudisteis dar!
¡Sólo la muerte morirá! ¡La hormiga
traerá pedacitos de pan al elefante encadenado
a su brutal delicadeza; volverán
los niños abortados a nacer perfectos, espaciales
y trabajarán todos los hombres,
engendrarán todos los hombres,
comprenderán todos los hombres!
13
¡Obrero, salvador, redentor nuestro,
perdónanos, hermano, nuestras deudas!
Como dice un tambor al redoblar, en sus adagios:
qué jamás tan efímero, tu espalda!
qué siempre tan cambiante, tu perfil!
¡Voluntario italiano, entre cuyos animales de batalla
un león abisinio va cojeando!
¡Voluntario soviético, marchando a la cabeza de tu pecho universal!
¡Voluntarios del sur, del norte, del oriente
y tú, el occidental, cerrando el canto fúnebre del alba!
¡Soldado conocido, cuyo nombre
desfila en el sonido de un abrazo!
¡Combatiente que la tierra criara, armándote
de polvo,
calzándote de imanes positivos,
vigentes tus creencias personales,
distinto de carácter, íntima tu férula,
el cutis inmediato,
andándote tu idioma por los hombros
y el alma coronada de guijarros!
¡Voluntario fajado de tu zona fría,
templada o tórrida,
héroes a la redonda,
víctima en columna de vencedores:
en España, en Madrid, están llamando
a matar, voluntarios de la vida!
¡Porque en España matan, otros matan
al niño, a su juguete que se pára,
a la madre Rosenda esplendorosa,
al viejo Adán que hablaba en alta voz con su caballo
y al perro que dormía en la escalera.
Matan al libro, tiran a sus verbos auxiliares,
a su indefensa página primera!
Matan el caso exacto de la estatua,
al sabio, a su bastón, a su colega,
al barbero de al lado -me cortó posiblemente,
pero buen hombre y, luego, infortunado;
al mendigo que ayer cantaba enfrente,
a la enfermera que hoy pasó llorando,
14
al sacerdote a cuestas con la altura tenaz de sus rodillas...
¡Voluntarios,
por la vida, por los buenos, matad
a la muerte, matad a los malos!
¡Hacedlo por la libertad de todos,
del explotado, del explotador,
por la paz indolora -la sospecho
cuando duermo al pie de mi frente
y más cuando circulo dando vocesy hacedlo, voy diciendo,
por el analfabeto a quien escribo,
por el genio descalzo y su cordero,
por los camaradas caídos,
sus cenizas abrazadas al cadáver de un camino!
Para que vosotros,
voluntarios de España y del mundo, vinierais,
soñé que era yo bueno, y era para ver
vuestra sangre, voluntarios...
De esto hace mucho pecho, muchas ansias,
muchos camellos en edad de orar.
Marcha hoy de vuestra parte el bien ardiendo,
os siguen con cariño los reptiles de pestaña inmanente
y, a dos pasos, a uno,
la dirección del agua que corre a ver su límite antes que arda.
~ Cesar Vallejo,
225:The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 4
But anxious cares the pensive nymph oppress'd,
And secret passions labour'd in her breast.
Not youthful kings in battle seiz'd alive,
Not scornful virgins who their charms survive,
Not ardent lovers robb'd of all their bliss,
Not ancient ladies when refus'd a kiss,
Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die,
Not Cynthia when her manteau's pinn'd awry,
E'er felt such rage, resentment, and despair,
As thou, sad virgin! for thy ravish'd hair.
For, that sad moment, when the Sylphs withdrew,
And Ariel weeping from Belinda flew,
Umbriel, a dusky, melancholy sprite,
As ever sullied the fair face of light,
Down to the central earth, his proper scene,
Repair'd to search the gloomy cave of Spleen.
Swift on his sooty pinions flits the Gnome,
And in a vapour reach'd the dismal dome.
No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows,
The dreaded East is all the wind that blows.
Here, in a grotto, shelter'd close from air,
And screen'd in shades from day's detested glare,
She sighs for ever on her pensive bed,
Pain at her side, and Megrim at her head.
Two handmaids wait the throne: alike in place,
But diff'ring far in figure and in face.
Here stood Ill Nature like an ancient maid,
Her wrinkled form in black and white array'd;
With store of pray'rs, for mornings, nights, and noons,
Her hand is fill'd; her bosom with lampoons.
There Affectation, with a sickly mien,
Shows in her cheek the roses of eighteen,
Practis'd to lisp, and hang the head aside,
Faints into airs, and languishes with pride,
On the rich quilt sinks with becoming woe,
234
Wrapp'd in a gown, for sickness, and for show.
The fair ones feel such maladies as these,
When each new night-dress gives a new disease.
A constant vapour o'er the palace flies;
Strange phantoms, rising as the mists arise;
Dreadful, as hermit's dreams in haunted shades,
Or bright, as visions of expiring maids.
Now glaring fiends, and snakes on rolling spires,
Pale spectres, gaping tombs, and purple fires:
Now lakes of liquid gold, Elysian scenes,
And crystal domes, and angels in machines.
Unnumber'd throngs on ev'ry side are seen,
Of bodies chang'd to various forms by Spleen.
Here living teapots stand, one arm held out,
One bent; the handle this, and that the spout:
A pipkin there, like Homer's tripod walks;
Here sighs a jar, and there a goose pie talks;
Men prove with child, as pow'rful fancy works,
And maids turn'd bottles, call aloud for corks.
Safe pass'd the Gnome through this fantastic band,
A branch of healing spleenwort in his hand.
Then thus address'd the pow'r: "Hail, wayward Queen!
Who rule the sex to fifty from fifteen:
Parent of vapours and of female wit,
Who give th' hysteric, or poetic fit,
On various tempers act by various ways,
Make some take physic, others scribble plays;
Who cause the proud their visits to delay,
And send the godly in a pet to pray.
A nymph there is, that all thy pow'r disdains,
And thousands more in equal mirth maintains.
But oh! if e'er thy gnome could spoil a grace,
Or raise a pimple on a beauteous face,
Like citron waters matrons' cheeks inflame,
Or change complexions at a losing game;
If e'er with airy horns I planted heads,
Or rumpled petticoats, or tumbled beds,
Or caus'd suspicion when no soul was rude,
Or discompos'd the head-dress of a prude,
235
Or e'er to costive lap-dog gave disease,
Which not the tears of brightest eyes could ease:
Hear me, and touch Belinda with chagrin;
That single act gives half the world the spleen."
The goddess with a discontented air
Seems to reject him, though she grants his pray'r.
A wondrous bag with both her hands she binds,
Like that where once Ulysses held the winds;
There she collects the force of female lungs,
Sighs, sobs, and passions, and the war of tongues.
A vial next she fills with fainting fears,
Soft sorrows, melting griefs, and flowing tears.
The Gnome rejoicing bears her gifts away,
Spreads his black wings, and slowly mounts to day.
Sunk in Thalestris' arms the nymph he found,
Her eyes dejected and her hair unbound.
Full o'er their heads the swelling bag he rent,
And all the Furies issu'd at the vent.
Belinda burns with more than mortal ire,
And fierce Thalestris fans the rising fire.
"Oh wretched maid!" she spread her hands, and cried,
(While Hampton's echoes, "Wretched maid!" replied,
"Was it for this you took such constant care
The bodkin, comb, and essence to prepare?
For this your locks in paper durance bound,
For this with tort'ring irons wreath'd around?
For this with fillets strain'd your tender head,
And bravely bore the double loads of lead?
Gods! shall the ravisher display your hair,
While the fops envy, and the ladies stare!
Honour forbid! at whose unrivall'd shrine
Ease, pleasure, virtue, all, our sex resign.
Methinks already I your tears survey,
Already hear the horrid things they say,
Already see you a degraded toast,
And all your honour in a whisper lost!
How shall I, then, your helpless fame defend?
'Twill then be infamy to seem your friend!
And shall this prize, th' inestimable prize,
Expos'd through crystal to the gazing eyes,
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And heighten'd by the diamond's circling rays,
On that rapacious hand for ever blaze?
Sooner shall grass in Hyde Park Circus grow,
And wits take lodgings in the sound of Bow;
Sooner let earth, air, sea, to chaos fall,
Men, monkeys, lap-dogs, parrots, perish all!"
She said; then raging to Sir Plume repairs,
And bids her beau demand the precious hairs:
(Sir Plume, of amber snuff-box justly vain,
And the nice conduct of a clouded cane)
With earnest eyes, and round unthinking face,
He first the snuffbox open'd, then the case,
And thus broke out--"My Lord, why, what the devil?
Z{-}{-}{-}ds! damn the lock! 'fore Gad, you must be civil!
Plague on't! 'tis past a jest--nay prithee, pox!
Give her the hair"--he spoke, and rapp'd his box.
"It grieves me much," replied the peer again,
"Who speaks so well should ever speak in vain.
But by this lock, this sacred lock I swear,
(Which never more shall join its parted hair;
Which never more its honours shall renew,
Clipp'd from the lovely head where late it grew)
That while my nostrils draw the vital air,
This hand, which won it, shall for ever wear."
He spoke, and speaking, in proud triumph spread
The long-contended honours of her head.
But Umbriel, hateful gnome! forbears not so;
He breaks the vial whence the sorrows flow.
Then see! the nymph in beauteous grief appears,
Her eyes half-languishing, half-drown'd in tears;
On her heav'd bosom hung her drooping head,
Which, with a sigh, she rais'd; and thus she said:
"For ever curs'd be this detested day,
Which snatch'd my best, my fav'rite curl away!
Happy! ah ten times happy, had I been,
If Hampton Court these eyes had never seen!
Yet am not I the first mistaken maid,
By love of courts to num'rous ills betray'd.
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Oh had I rather unadmir'd remain'd
In some lone isle, or distant northern land;
Where the gilt chariot never marks the way,
Where none learn ombre, none e'er taste bohea!
There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye,
Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.
What mov'd my mind with youthful lords to roam?
Oh had I stay'd, and said my pray'rs at home!
'Twas this, the morning omens seem'd to tell,
Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell;
The tott'ring china shook without a wind,
Nay, Poll sat mute, and Shock was most unkind!
A Sylph too warn'd me of the threats of fate,
In mystic visions, now believ'd too late!
See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs!
My hands shall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares:
These, in two sable ringlets taught to break,
Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck.
The sister-lock now sits uncouth, alone,
And in its fellow's fate foresees its own;
Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal shears demands
And tempts once more thy sacrilegious hands.
Oh hadst thou, cruel! been content to seize
Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these!"
~ Alexander Pope,
226:The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 3
Close by those meads, for ever crown'd with flow'rs,
Where Thames with pride surveys his rising tow'rs,
There stands a structure of majestic frame,
Which from the neighb'ring Hampton takes its name.
Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom
Of foreign tyrants and of nymphs at home;
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,
Dost sometimes counsel take--and sometimes tea.
Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort,
To taste awhile the pleasures of a court;
In various talk th' instructive hours they pass'd,
Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last;
One speaks the glory of the British queen,
And one describes a charming Indian screen;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
At ev'ry word a reputation dies.
Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat,
With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that.
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day,
The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray;
The hungry judges soon the sentence sign,
And wretches hang that jury-men may dine;
The merchant from th' Exchange returns in peace,
And the long labours of the toilet cease.
Belinda now, whom thirst of fame invites,
Burns to encounter two adventrous knights,
At ombre singly to decide their doom;
And swells her breast with conquests yet to come.
Straight the three bands prepare in arms to join,
Each band the number of the sacred nine.
Soon as she spreads her hand, th' aerial guard
Descend, and sit on each important card:
First Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore,
Then each, according to the rank they bore;
For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race,
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place.
Behold, four Kings in majesty rever'd,
229
With hoary whiskers and a forky beard;
And four fair Queens whose hands sustain a flow'r,
Th' expressive emblem of their softer pow'r;
Four Knaves in garbs succinct, a trusty band,
Caps on their heads, and halberds in their hand;
And parti-colour'd troops, a shining train,
Draw forth to combat on the velvet plain.
The skilful nymph reviews her force with care:
"Let Spades be trumps!" she said, and trumps they were.
Now move to war her sable Matadores,
In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors.
Spadillio first, unconquerable lord!
Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board.
As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,
And march'd a victor from the verdant field.
Him Basto follow'd, but his fate more hard
Gain'd but one trump and one plebeian card.
With his broad sabre next, a chief in years,
The hoary Majesty of Spades appears;
Puts forth one manly leg, to sight reveal'd;
The rest, his many-colour'd robe conceal'd.
The rebel Knave, who dares his prince engage,
Proves the just victim of his royal rage.
Ev'n mighty Pam, that kings and queens o'erthrew
And mow'd down armies in the fights of loo,
Sad chance of war! now destitute of aid,
Falls undistinguish'd by the victor Spade!
Thus far both armies to Belinda yield;
Now to the baron fate inclines the field.
His warlike Amazon her host invades,
Th' imperial consort of the crown of Spades.
The Club's black tyrant first her victim died,
Spite of his haughty mien, and barb'rous pride:
What boots the regal circle on his head,
His giant limbs, in state unwieldy spread;
That long behind he trails his pompous robe,
And of all monarchs, only grasps the globe?
The baron now his diamonds pours apace;
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Th' embroider'd King who shows but half his face,
And his refulgent Queen, with pow'rs combin'd
Of broken troops an easy conquest find.
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild disorder seen,
With throngs promiscuous strow the level green.
Thus when dispers'd a routed army runs,
Of Asia's troops, and Afric's sable sons,
With like confusion diff'rent nations fly,
Of various habit, and of various dye,
The pierc'd battalions disunited fall.
In heaps on heaps; one fate o'erwhelms them all.
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts,
And wins (oh shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts.
At this, the blood the virgin's cheek forsook,
A livid paleness spreads o'er all her look;
She sees, and trembles at th' approaching ill,
Just in the jaws of ruin, and codille.
And now (as oft in some distemper'd state)
On one nice trick depends the gen'ral fate.
An Ace of Hearts steps forth: The King unseen
Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn'd his captive Queen:
He springs to vengeance with an eager pace,
And falls like thunder on the prostrate Ace.
The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky;
The walls, the woods, and long canals reply.
Oh thoughtless mortals! ever blind to fate,
Too soon dejected, and too soon elate!
Sudden, these honours shall be snatch'd away,
And curs'd for ever this victorious day.
For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd,
The berries crackle, and the mill turns round.
On shining altars of Japan they raise
The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze.
From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoking tide.
At once they gratify their scent and taste,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast.
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Straight hover round the fair her airy band;
Some, as she sipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd,
Some o'er her lap their careful plumes display'd,
Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade.
Coffee, (which makes the politician wise,
And see through all things with his half-shut eyes)
Sent up in vapours to the baron's brain
New stratagems, the radiant lock to gain.
Ah cease, rash youth! desist ere 'tis too late,
Fear the just gods, and think of Scylla's fate!
Chang'd to a bird, and sent to flit in air,
She dearly pays for Nisus' injur'd hair!
But when to mischief mortals bend their will,
How soon they find fit instruments of ill!
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting grace
A two-edg'd weapon from her shining case;
So ladies in romance assist their knight
Present the spear, and arm him for the fight.
He takes the gift with rev'rence, and extends
The little engine on his fingers' ends;
This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her head.
Swift to the lock a thousand sprites repair,
A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair,
And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear,
Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the foe drew near.
Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought
The close recesses of the virgin's thought;
As on the nosegay in her breast reclin'd,
He watch'd th' ideas rising in her mind,
Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her art,
An earthly lover lurking at her heart.
Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his pow'r expir'd,
Resign'd to fate, and with a sigh retir'd.
The peer now spreads the glitt'ring forfex wide,
T' inclose the lock; now joins it, to divide.
Ev'n then, before the fatal engine clos'd,
A wretched Sylph too fondly interpos'd;
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Fate urg'd the shears, and cut the Sylph in twain,
(But airy substance soon unites again).
The meeting points the sacred hair dissever
From the fair head, for ever, and for ever!
Then flash'd the living lightning from her eyes,
And screams of horror rend th' affrighted skies.
Not louder shrieks to pitying Heav'n are cast,
When husbands or when lap-dogs breathe their last,
Or when rich China vessels, fall'n from high,
In glitt'ring dust and painted fragments lie!
"Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine,"
The victor cried, "the glorious prize is mine!
While fish in streams, or birds delight in air,
Or in a coach and six the British fair,
As long at Atalantis shall be read,
Or the small pillow grace a lady's bed,
While visits shall be paid on solemn days,
When num'rous wax-lights in bright order blaze,
While nymphs take treats, or assignations give,
So long my honour, name, and praise shall live!
What time would spare, from steel receives its date,
And monuments, like men, submit to fate!
Steel could the labour of the gods destroy,
And strike to dust th' imperial tow'rs of Troy;
Steel could the works of mortal pride confound,
And hew triumphal arches to the ground.
What wonder then, fair nymph! thy hairs should feel
The conqu'ring force of unresisted steel?"
~ Alexander Pope,
227:The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto Ii.
Preludes.
I The Changed Allegiance
Watch how a bird, that captived sings,
The cage set open, first looks out,
Yet fears the freedom of his wings,
And now withdraws, and flits about,
And now looks forth again; until,
Grown bold, he hops on stool and chair,
And now attains the window-sill,
And now confides himself to air.
The maiden so, from love's free sky
In chaste and prudent counsels caged,
But longing to be loosen'd by
Her suitor's faith declared and gaged,
When blest with that release desired,
First doubts if truly she is free,
Then pauses, restlessly retired,
Alarm'd at too much liberty;
But soon, remembering all her debt
To plighted passion, gets by rote
Her duty; says, ‘I love him!’ yet
The thought half chokes her in her throat;
And, like that fatal ‘I am thine,’
Comes with alternate gush and check
And joltings of the heart, as wine
Pour'd from a flask of narrow neck.
Is he indeed her choice? She fears
Her Yes was rashly said, and shame,
Remorse, and ineffectual tears
Revolt from his conceded claim.
Oh, treason! So, with desperate nerve,
She cries, ‘I am in love, am his;’
Lets run the cables of reserve,
And floats into a sea of bliss,
And laughs to think of her alarm,
Avows she was in love before,
Though his avowal was the charm
Which open'd to her own the door.
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She loves him for his mastering air,
Whence, Parthian-like, she slaying flies;
His flattering look, which seems to wear
Her loveliness in manly eyes;
His smile, which, by reverse, portends
An awful wrath, should reason stir;
(How fortunate it is they're friends,
And he will ne'er be wroth with her!)
His power to do or guard from harm;
If he but chose to use it half,
And catch her up in one strong arm,
What could she do but weep, or laugh!
His words, which still instruct, but so
That this applause seems still implied,
‘How wise in all she ought to know,
‘How ignorant of all beside!’
His skilful suit, which leaves her free,
Gives nothing for the world to name,
And keeps her conscience safe, while he,
With half the bliss, takes all the blame;
His clear repute with great and small;
The jealousy his choice will stir;
But, ten times more than ten times all,
She loves him for his love of her.
How happy 'tis he seems to see
In her that utter loveliness
Which she, for his sake, longs to be!
At times, she cannot but confess
Her other friends are somewhat blind;
Her parents' years excuse neglect,
But all the rest are scarcely kind,
And brothers grossly want respect;
And oft she views what he admires
Within her glass, and sight of this
Makes all the sum of her desires
To be devotion unto his.
But still, at first, whatever's done,
A touch, her hand press'd lightly, she
Stands dizzied, shock'd, and flush'd, like one
Set sudden neck-deep in the sea;
And, though her bond for endless time
To his good pleasure gives her o'er,
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The slightest favour seems a crime,
Because it makes her love him more.
But that she ne'er will let him know;
For what were love should reverence cease!
A thought which makes her reason so
Inscrutable, it seems caprice.
With her, as with a desperate town,
Too weak to stand, too proud to treat,
The conqueror, though the walls are down,
Has still to capture street by street;
But, after that, habitual faith,
Divorced from self, where late 'twas due,
Walks nobly in its novel path,
And she's to changed allegiance true;
And prizing what she can't prevent,
(Right wisdom, often misdeem'd whim),
Her will's indomitably bent
On mere submissiveness to him;
To him she'll cleave, for him forsake
Father's and mother's fond command!
He is her lord, for he can take
Hold of her faint heart with his hand.
II Beauty
‘Beauty deludes.’ O shaft well shot,
To strike the mark's true opposite!
That ugly good is scorn'd proves not
Tis beauty lies, but lack of it.
By Heaven's law the Jew might take
A slave to wife, if she was fair;
So strong a plea does beauty make
That, where 'tis seen, discretion's there.
If, by a monstrous chance, we learn
That this illustrious vaunt's a lie,
Our minds, by which the eyes discern,
See hideous contrariety,
And laugh at Nature's wanton mood,
Which, thus a swinish thing to flout,
Though haply in its gross way good,
Hangs such a jewel in its snout.
III Lais and Lucretia
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Did first his beauty wake her sighs?
That's Lais! Thus Lucretia's known:
The beauty in her Lover's eyes
Was admiration of her own.
The Course Of True Love.
Oh, beating heart of sweet alarm,
Which stays the lover's step, when near
His mistress and her awful charm
Of grace and innocence sincere!
I held the half-shut door, and heard
The voice of my betrothed wife,
Who sang my verses, every word
By music taught its latent life;
With interludes of well-touch'd notes,
That flash'd, surprising and serene,
As meteor after meteor floats
The soft, autumnal stars between.
There was a passion in her tone,
A tremor when she touch'd the keys,
Which told me she was there alone,
And uttering all her soul at ease.
I enter'd; for I did not choose
To learn how in her heart I throve,
By chance or stealth; beyond her use,
Her greeting flatter'd me with love.
II
With true love's treacherous confidence,
And ire, at last to laughter won,
She spoke this speech, and mark'd its sense,
By action, as her Aunt had done.
III
‘'You, with your looks and catching air,
‘'To think of Vaughan! You fool! You know,
‘'You might, with ordinary care,
‘'Ev'n yet be Lady Clitheroe.
‘'You're sure he'll do great things some day!
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‘'Nonsense, he won't; he's dress'd too well.
‘'Dines with the Sterling Club, they say;
‘'Not commonly respectable!
‘'Half Puritan, half Cavalier!
‘'His curly hair I think's a wig;
‘'And, for his fortune, why, my Dear,
‘''Tis not enough to keep a gig.
‘'Rich Aunts and Uncles never die;
‘'And what you bring won't do for dress;
‘'And so you'll live on Bye-and-bye,
‘'With oaten-cake and water-cress!'
IV
‘I cried, but did not let her see.
‘At last she soften'd her dispraise,
‘On learning you had bought for me
‘A carriage and a pair of bays.
‘But here she comes! You take her in
‘To dinner. I impose this task:
‘Make her approve my love; and win
‘What thanks from me you choose to ask!’
‘My niece has told you every word
‘I said of you! What may I mean?
‘Of course she has; but you've not heard
‘How I abused you to the Dean;—
‘Yes, I'll take wine; he's mad, like her;
‘And she will have you: there it ends!
‘And, now I've done my duty, Sir,
‘And you've shown common-sense, we're friends!’
VI
‘Go, Child, and see him out yourself,’
Aunt Maude said, after tea, ‘and show
‘The place, upon that upper shelf,
‘Where Petrarch stands, lent long ago.’
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VII
‘These rose-leaves to my heart be press'd,
‘Honoria, while it aches for you!’
(The rose in ruin, from her breast,
Fell, as I took a fond adieu.)
‘You must go now, Love!’ ‘See, the air
‘Is thick with starlight!’ ‘Let me tie
‘This scarf on. Oh, your Petrarch! There!
‘I'm coming, Aunt!’ ‘Sweet, Sweet!’ ‘Good-bye!’
‘Ah, Love, to me 'tis death to part,
‘Yet you, my sever'd life, smile on!’
‘These 'Good-nights,' Felix, break my heart;
‘I'm only gay till you are gone!’
With love's bright arrows from her eyes,
And balm on her permissive lips,
She pass'd, and night was a surprise,
As when the sun at Quito dips.
Her beauties were like sunlit snows,
Flush'd but not warm'd with my desire.
Oh, how I loved her! Fiercely glows
In the pure air of frost the fire
Who for a year is sure of fate!
I thought, dishearten'd, as I went,
Wroth with the Dean, who bade me wait,
And vex'd with her, who seem'd content.
Nay, could eternal life afford
That tyranny should thus deduct
From this fair land, which call'd me lord,
A year of the sweet usufruct?
It might not and it should not be!
I'd go back now, and he must own,
At once, my love's compulsive plea.
I turn'd, I found the Dean alone.
‘Nonsense, my friend; go back to bed!
‘It's half-past twelve!’ ‘July, then, Sir?’
‘Well, come to-morrow,’ at last he said,
‘And you may talk of it with her.’
A light gleam'd as I pass'd the stair.
A pausing foot, a flash of dress,
And a sweet voice. ‘Is Felix there?’
‘July, Love!’ ‘Says Papa so?’ ‘Yes!’
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~ Coventry Patmore,
228:O Soldado Espanhol
O céu era azul, tão meigo e tão brando,
E a terra era a noiva que bem se arreava
Que a mente exultava, mais longe escutando
O mar a quebrar-se na praia arenosa.
O céu era azul, e na cor semelhava
Vestido sem nódoa de pura donzela;
E a terra era a noiva que bem se arreava
De flores, matizes; mas vária, mas bela.
Ela era brilhante,
Qual raio do sol;
E ele arrogante,
De sangue espanhol.
E o espanhol muito amava
A virgem mimosa e bela;
Ela amante, ele zeloso
Dos amores da donzela;
Ele tão nobre e folgando
De chamar-se escravo dela!
E ele disse: — Vês o céu? —
E ela disse: — Vejo, sim;
Mais polido que o polido
Do meu véu azul cetim. —
Torna-lhe ele... (oh! quanto é doce
Passar-se uma noite assim!)
— Por entre os vidros pintados
D’igreja antiga, a luzir
Não vês luz? — Vejo. — E não sentes
De a veres, meigo sentir?
— É doce ver entre as sombras
A luz do templo a luzir!
— E o mar, além, preguiçoso
24
Não vês tu em calmaria?
— É belo o mar; porém sinto,
Só de o ver, melancolia.
— Que mais o teu rosto enfeita
Que um sorriso de alegria.
— E eu também acho em ser triste
Do que alegre, mais prazer;
Sou triste, quando em ti penso,
Que só me falta morrer;
Mesmo a tua voz saudosa
Vem minha alma entristecer.
— E eu sou feliz, como agora,
Quando me falas assim;
Sou feliz quando se riem
Os lábios teus de carmim;
Quando dizes que me adoras,
Eu sinto o céu dentro em mim.
— És tu só meu Deus, meu tudo.
És tu só meu puro amar,
És tu só que o pranto podes
Dos meus olhos enxugar. —
Com ela repete o amante:
— És tu só meu puro amar! —
E o céu era azul, tão meigo e tão brando
E a terra tão erma, tão só, tão saudosa
Que a mente exultava, mais longe escutando
O mar a quebrar-se na praia arenosa!
II
E o espanhol viril, nobre e formoso,
No bandolim
Seus amores dizia mavioso,
Cantando assim:
“Já me vou por mar em fora
Daqui longe a mover guerra,
Já me vou, deixando tudo,
25
Meus amores, minha terra.
“Já me vou lidar em guerras,
Vou-me à índia Ocidental;
Hei de ter novos amores...
De guerras... não temas ai.
“Não chores, não, tão coitada,
Não chores por t’eu deixar;
Não chores que assim me custa
O pranto meu sofrear.
“Não chores! - sou como o Cid
Partindo para a campanha;
Não ceifarei tantos louros,
Mas terei pena tamanha.”
E a amante que assim o via
Partir-se tão desditoso,
— Vai, mas volta; lhe dizia:
Volta, sim, vitorioso.
“Como o Cid, oh! crua sorte!
Não me vou nesta campanha
Guerrear contra o crescente,
Porém sim contra os d’Espanha!
“Não me aterram; porém sinto
Cerrar-se o meu coração,
Sinto deixar-te, meu anjo,
Meu prazer, minha afeição.
“Como é doce o romper d’alva,
É-me doce o teu sorrir,
Doce e puro, qual d’estrela
De noite — o meigo luzir.
“Eram meus teus pensamentos,
Teu prazer minha alegria,
Doirada fonte d'encantos,
Fonte da minha poesia.
26
“Vou-me longe, e o peito levo
Rasgado de acerba dor,
Mas comigo vão teus votos,
Teus encantos, teu amor!
“Já me vou lidar em guerras,
Vou-me à índia Ocidental;
Hei de ter novos amores...
De guerras... não temas ai.”
Esta era a canção que acompanhava
No bandolim,
Tão triste, que triste não chorava
Dizendo assim.
III
“Quero, pajens, selado o ginete,
Quero em punho nebris e falcão,
Qu’é promessa de grande caçada
Fresca aurora d’amigo verão.
“Quero tudo luzindo, brilhante
— Curta espada e venáb’lo e punhal,
Cães e galgos farejem diante
Leve odor de sanhudo animal.
“E ai do gamo que eu vir na coutada,
Corça, onagro, que eu primo avistar!
Que o venáb’lo nos ares voando
Lhe há de o salto no meio quebrar.
“Eia, avante! — dizia folgando
O fidalgo mancebo, loução:
— Eía, avante! — e já todos galopam
Trás do moço, soberbo infanção.
E partem, qual do arco arranca e voa
Nos amplos ares, mais veloz que a vista,
A plúmea seta da entesada corda.
Longe o eco reboa; — já mais fraco,
Mais fraco ainda, pelos ares voa.
27
Dos cães dúbios o latir se escuta apenas,
Dos ginetes tropel, rinchar distante
Que em lufadas o vento traz por vezes.
Já som nenhum se escuta... Quê! — latido
De cães, incerto, ao longe? Não, foi vento
Na torre castelã batendo acaso,
Nas seteiras acaso sibilando
Do castelo feudal, deserto agora.
IV
Já o sol se escondeu; cobre a terra
Belo manto de frouxo luar;
E o ginete, que esporas atracam,
Nitre e corre sem nunca parar.
Da coutada nas ínvias ramagens
Vai sozinho o mancebo infanção;
Vai sozinho, afanoso trotando
Sem temores, sem pajens, sem cão.
Companheiros da caça há perdido,
Há perdido no aceso caçar;
Há perdido, e não sente receio
De sozinho, nas sombras trotar.
Corno ebúmeo embocou muitas vezes,
Muitas vezes de si deu sinal;
Bebe atento a resposta, e não ouve
Outro som responder-lhe; — lnda mal!
E o ginete que esporas atracam,
Nitre e corre sem nunca parar;
Já o sol se escondeu, cobre a terra
Belo manto de frouxo luar.
Silêncio grato da noite
Quebram sons duma canção,
Que vai dos lábios de um anjo
Do que escuta ao coração.
28
Dizia a letra mimosa
Saudades de muito amar;
E o infanção enleado,
Atento, pôs-se a escutar.
Era encantos voz tão doce,
Incentivo essa ternura,
Gerava delícias n’alma
Sonhar d’havê-la a ventura.
Queixosa cantava a esposa
Do guerreiro que partiu,
Largos anos são passados,
Missiva dele não viu...
Parou!... escutando ao perto
Responder-lhe outra canção!...
Era terna a voz que ouvia,
Lisonjeira — do infanção:
“Tenho castelo soberbo
Num monte, que beija um rio,
De terra tenho no Doiro
Jeiras cem de lavradio;
“Tenho lindas haquenéias,
Tenho pajens e matilha,
Tenho os melhores ginetes
Dos ginetes de Sevilha;
“Tenho punhal, tenho espada
D’alfageme alta feitura,
Tenho lança, tenho adaga,
Tenho completa armadura.
“Tenho fragatas que cingem
Dos mares a linfa clara,
Que vão preando piratas
Pelas rochas de Megara.
“Dou-te o castelo soberbo
29
E as terras do fértil Doiro,
Dou-te ginetes e pajens
E a espada de pomo d’oiro.
“Dera a completa armadura
E os meus barcos d’alto-mar,
Que nas rochas de Megara
Vão piratas cativar.
“Fala de amores teu canto,
Fala de acesa paixão...
Ah! senhora, quem tivera
Dos agrados teus condão!
“Eu sou mancebo, sou Nobre,
Sou nobre moço infanção;
Assim pudesse o meu canto
Algemar-te o coração,
Ó Dona, que eu dera tudo
Por vencer-te essa isenção!”
Atenta escutava a esposa
Do guerreiro que partiu,
Largos anos são passados,
Missiva dele não viu;
Mas da letra que escutava
Delícias n'alma sentiu.
VI
E noutra noite saudosa
Bem junto dela sentado,
Cantava brandas endechas
O gardingo namorado .
“Careço de ti, meu anjo,
Careço do teu amor,
Como da gota d’orvalho
Carece no prado a flor.
“Prazeres que eu nem sonhava
Teu amor me fez gozar;
30
Ah! que não queiras, senhora,
Minha dita rematar.
O teu marido é já morto,
Notícia dele não soa;
Pois desta gente guerreira
Bastos ceifa a morte à toa.
“Ventura me fora ver-te
Nos lábios teus um sorriso,
Delícias me fora amar-te,
Gozar-te meu paraíso.
“Sinto aflição, quando choras;
Se te ris, sinto prazer;
Se te ausentas, fico triste,
Que só me falta morrer.
“Careço de ti, meu ardo,
Careço do teu amor,
Como da gota d’orvalho
Carece no prado a flor.”
VII
Era noite hibernal; girava dentro
Da casa do guerreiro o riso, a dança,
E reflexos de luz, e sons, e vozes,
E deleite, e prazer: e fora a chuva,
A escuridão, a tempestade, e o vento,
Rugindo solto, indómito e terrível
Entre o negror do céu e o horror da terra.
Na geral confusão os céus e a terra
Horrenda simpatia alimentavam.
Ferve dentro o prazer, reina o sorriso,
E fora a tiritar, fria, medonha,
Marcha a vingança pressurosa e torva:
Traz na destra o punhal, no peito a raiva,
Nas faces palidez, nos olhos morte.
O infanção extremoso enchia rasa
A taça de licor mimoso e velho,
31
Da usança ao brinde convidando a todos
Em honra da esposada: — À noiva! exclama
E a porta range e cede, e franca e livre
Introduz o tufão, e um vulto assoma
Altivo e colossal. — Em honra, brada,
Do esposo deslembrado! — e a taça empunha
Mas antes que o licor chegasse aos lábios,
Desmaiada e por terra jaz a esposa,
E a destra do infanção maneja o ferro,
Por que tão grande afronta lave o sangue,
Pouco, bem pouco para injúria tanta.
Debalde o fez, que lhe golfeja o sangue
D’ampla ferida no sinistro lado,
E ao pé da esposa o assassino surge
Co’o sangrento punhal na destra alçado.
A flor purpúrea que matiza o prado,
Se o vento da manhã lhe entorna o cálix,
Perde aroma talvez; porém mais belo
Colorido lhe vem do sol nos raios,
As fagueiras feições daquele rosto
Assim foram também; não foi do tempo
Fatal o perpassar às faces lindas.
Nota-lhe ele as feições, nota-lhe os lábios,
Os curtos lábios que lhe deram vida,
Longa vida de amor em longos beijos,
Qual jamais não provou; e as iras todas
Dos zelos vingadores descansaram
No peito de sofrer cansado e cheio,
Cheio qual na praia fica a esponja,
Quando a vaga do mar passou sobre ela.
Num relance fugiu, minaz no vulto:
Como o raio que luz um breve instante,
Sobre a terra baixou, deixando a morte.
~ Antônio Gonçalves Dias,
229:Inferno Canto 01
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
ché la diritta via era smarrita .
When I had journeyed half of our life's way,
I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray.
Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura
esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte
che nel pensier rinova la paura !
Ah, it is hard to speak of what it was,
that savage forest, dense and difficult,
which even in recall renews my fear:
Tant'è amara che poco è più morte;
ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai,
dirò de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte .
so bitter-death is hardly more severe!
But to retell the good discovered there,
I'll also tell the other things I saw.
Io non so ben ridir com'i' v'intrai,
tant'era pien di sonno a quel punto
che la verace via abbandonai .
I cannot clearly say how I had entered
the wood; I was so full of sleep just at
the point where I abandoned the true path.
Ma poi ch'i' fui al piè d'un colle giunto,
là dove terminava quella valle
che m'avea di paura il cor compunto ,
241
But when I'd reached the bottom of a hillit rose along the boundary of the valley
that had harassed my heart with so much fear-
guardai in alto, e vidi le sue spalle
vestite già de' raggi del pianeta
che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle .
I looked on high and saw its shoulders clothed
already by the rays of that same planet
which serves to lead men straight along all roads.
Allor fu la paura un poco queta
che nel lago del cor m'era durata
la notte ch'i' passai con tanta pieta .
At this my fear was somewhat quieted;
for through the night of sorrow I had spent,
the lake within my heart felt terror present.
E come quei che con lena affannata
uscito fuor del pelago a la riva
si volge a l'acqua perigliosa e guata ,
And just as he who, with exhausted breath,
having escaped from sea to shore, turns back
to watch the dangerous waters he has quit,
così l'animo mio, ch'ancor fuggiva,
si volse a retro a rimirar lo passo
che non lasciò già mai persona viva .
so did my spirit, still a fugitive,
turn back to look intently at the pass
that never has let any man survive.
242
Poi ch'èi posato un poco il corpo lasso,
ripresi via per la piaggia diserta,
sì che 'l piè fermo sempre era 'l più basso .
I let my tired body rest awhile.
Moving again, I tried the lonely slopemy firm foot always was the one below.
Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l'erta,
una lonza leggera e presta molto,
che di pel macolato era coverta ;
And almost where the hillside starts to riselook there!-a leopard, very quick and lithe,
a leopard covered with a spotted hide.
e non mi si partia dinanzi al volto,
anzi 'mpediva tanto il mio cammino,
ch'i' fui per ritornar più volte vòlto .
He did not disappear from sight, but stayed;
indeed, he so impeded my ascent
that I had often to turn back again.
Temp'era dal principio del mattino,
e 'l sol montava 'n sù con quelle stelle
ch'eran con lui quando l'amor divino
The time was the beginning of the morning;
the sun was rising now in fellowship
with the same stars that had escorted it
mosse di prima quelle cose belle;
sì ch'a bene sperar m'era cagione
di quella fiera a la gaetta pelle
when Divine Love first moved those things of beauty;
so that the hour and the gentle season
243
gave me good cause for hopefulness on seeing
l'ora del tempo e la dolce stagione;
ma non sì che paura non mi desse
la vista che m'apparve d'un leone .
that beast before me with his speckled skin;
but hope was hardly able to prevent
the fear I felt when I beheld a lion.
Questi parea che contra me venisse
con la test'alta e con rabbiosa fame,
sì che parea che l'aere ne tremesse .
His head held high and ravenous with hungereven the air around him seemed to shudderthis lion seemed to make his way against me.
Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame
sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza,
e molte genti fé già viver grame ,
And then a she-wolf showed herself; she seemed
to carry every craving in her leanness;
she had already brought despair to many.
questa mi porse tanto di gravezza
con la paura ch'uscia di sua vista,
ch'io perdei la speranza de l'altezza .
The very sight of her so weighted me
with fearfulness that I abandoned hope
of ever climbing up that mountain slope.
E qual è quei che volontieri acquista,
e giugne 'l tempo che perder lo face,
che 'n tutt'i suoi pensier piange e s'attrista ;
244
Even as he who glories while he gains
will, when the time has come to tally loss,
lament with every thought and turn despondent,
tal mi fece la bestia sanza pace,
che, venendomi 'ncontro, a poco a poco
mi ripigneva là dove 'l sol tace .
so was I when I faced that restless beast
which, even as she stalked me, step by step
had thrust me back to where the sun is speechless.
Mentre ch'i' rovinava in basso loco,
dinanzi a li occhi mi si fu offerto
chi per lungo silenzio parea fioco .
While I retreated down to lower ground,
before my eyes there suddenly appeared
one who seemed faint because of the long silence.
Quando vidi costui nel gran diserto,
«Miserere di me», gridai a lui,
«qual che tu sii, od ombra od omo certo !».
When I saw him in that vast wilderness,
"Have pity on me," were the words I cried,
"whatever you may be-a shade, a man."
Rispuosemi: «Non omo, omo già fui,
e li parenti miei furon lombardi,
mantoani per patria ambedui .
He answered me: "Not man; I once was man.
Both of my parents came from Lombardy,
and both claimed Mantua as native city.
245
Nacqui sub Iulio, ancor che fosse tardi,
e vissi a Roma sotto 'l buono Augusto
nel tempo de li dèi falsi e bugiardi .
And I was born, though late, sub Julio,
and lived in Rome under the good Augustusthe season of the false and lying gods.
Poeta fui, e cantai di quel giusto
figliuol d'Anchise che venne di Troia,
poi che 'l superbo Ilión fu combusto .
I was a poet, and I sang the righteous
son of Anchises who had come from Troy
when flames destroyed the pride of Ilium.
Ma tu perché ritorni a tanta noia?
perché non sali il dilettoso monte
ch'è principio e cagion di tutta gioia? ».
But why do you return to wretchedness?
Why not climb up the mountain of delight,
the origin and cause of every joy?"
«Or se' tu quel Virgilio e quella fonte
che spandi di parlar sì largo fiume?»,
rispuos'io lui con vergognosa fronte .
"And are you then that Virgil, you the fountain
that freely pours so rich a stream of speech?"
I answered him with shame upon my brow.
«O de li altri poeti onore e lume
vagliami 'l lungo studio e 'l grande amore
che m'ha fatto cercar lo tuo volume .
"O light and honor of all other poets,
may my long study and the intense love
246
that made me search your volume serve me now.
Tu se' lo mio maestro e 'l mio autore;
tu se' solo colui da cu' io tolsi
lo bello stilo che m'ha fatto onore .
You are my master and my author, youthe only one from whom my writing drew
the noble style for which I have been honored.
Vedi la bestia per cu' io mi volsi:
aiutami da lei, famoso saggio,
ch'ella mi fa tremar le vene e i polsi ».
You see the beast that made me turn aside;
help me, o famous sage, to stand against her,
for she has made my blood and pulses shudder,"
«A te convien tenere altro viaggio»,
rispuose poi che lagrimar mi vide,
«se vuo' campar d'esto loco selvaggio :
"It is another path that you must take,"
he answered when he saw my tearfulness,
"if you would leave this savage wilderness;
ché questa bestia, per la qual tu gride,
non lascia altrui passar per la sua via,
ma tanto lo 'mpedisce che l'uccide ;
the beast that is the cause of your outcry
allows no man to pass along her track,
but blocks him even to the point of death;
e ha natura sì malvagia e ria,
che mai non empie la bramosa voglia,
e dopo 'l pasto ha più fame che pria .
247
her nature is so squalid, so malicious
that she can never sate her greedy will;
when she has fed, she's hungrier than ever.
Molti son li animali a cui s'ammoglia,
e più saranno ancora, infin che 'l veltro
verrà, che la farà morir con doglia .
She mates with many living souls and shall
yet mate with many more, until the Greyhound
arrives, inflicting painful death on her.
Questi non ciberà terra né peltro,
ma sapienza, amore e virtute,
e sua nazion sarà tra feltro e feltro .
That Hound will never feed on land or pewter,
but find his fare in wisdom, love, and virtue;
his place of birth shall be between two felts.
Di quella umile Italia fia salute
per cui morì la vergine Cammilla,
Eurialo e Turno e Niso di ferute .
He will restore low-lying Italy for which
the maid Camilla died of wounds,
and Nisus, Turnus, and Euryalus.
Questi la caccerà per ogne villa,
fin che l'avrà rimessa ne lo 'nferno,
là onde 'nvidia prima dipartilla .
And he will hunt that beast through every city
until he thrusts her back again to Hell,
for which she was first sent above by envy.
248
Ond'io per lo tuo me' penso e discerno
che tu mi segui, e io sarò tua guida,
e trarrotti di qui per loco etterno ,
Therefore, I think and judge it best for you
to follow me, and I shall guide you, taking
you from this place through an eternal place,
ove udirai le disperate strida,
vedrai li antichi spiriti dolenti,
ch'a la seconda morte ciascun grida ;
where you shall hear the howls of desperation
and see the ancient spirits in their pain,
as each of them laments his second death;
e vederai color che son contenti
nel foco, perché speran di venire
quando che sia a le beate genti .
and you shall see those souls who are content
within the fire, for they hope to reachwhenever that may be-the blessed people.
A le quai poi se tu vorrai salire,
anima fia a ciò più di me degna:
con lei ti lascerò nel mio partire ;
If you would then ascend as high as these,
a soul more worthy than I am will guide you;
I'll leave you in her care when I depart,
ché quello imperador che là sù regna,
perch'i' fu' ribellante a la sua legge,
non vuol che 'n sua città per me si vegna .
because that Emperor who reigns above,
since I have been rebellious to His law,
249
will not allow me entry to His city.
In tutte parti impera e quivi regge;
quivi è la sua città e l'alto seggio:
oh felice colui cu' ivi elegge! ».
He governs everywhere, but rules from there;
there is His city, His high capital:
o happy those He chooses to be there!"
E io a lui: «Poeta, io ti richeggio
per quello Dio che tu non conoscesti,
acciò ch'io fugga questo male e peggio ,
And I replied: "O poet-by that God
whom you had never come to know-I beg you,
that I may flee this evil and worse evils,
che tu mi meni là dov'or dicesti,
sì ch'io veggia la porta di san Pietro
e color cui tu fai cotanto mesti ».
to lead me to the place of which you spoke,
that I may see the gateway of Saint Peter
and those whom you describe as sorrowful."
Allor si mosse, e io li tenni dietro.
Then he set out, and I moved on behind him.
~ Dante Alighieri,
230:The Bounty
[for Alix Walcott]
Between the vision of the Tourist Board and the true
Paradise lies the desert where Isaiah's elations
force a rose from the sand. The thirty-third canto
cores the dawn clouds with concentric radiance,
the breadfruit opens its palms in praise of the bounty,
bois-pain, tree of bread, slave food, the bliss of John Clare,
torn, wandering Tom, stoat-stroker in his county
of reeds and stalk-crickets, fiddling the dank air,
lacing his boots with vines, steering glazed beetles
with the tenderest prods, knight of the cockchafer,
wrapped in the mists of shires, their snail-horned steeples
palms opening to the cupped pool—but his soul safer
than ours, though iron streams fetter his ankles.
Frost whitening his stubble, he stands in the ford
of a brook like the Baptist lifting his branches to bless
cathedrals and snails, the breaking of this new day,
and the shadows of the beach road near which my mother lies,
with the traffic of insects going to work anyway.
The lizard on the white wall fixed on the hieroglyph
of its stone shadow, the palms' rustling archery,
the souls and sails of circling gulls rhyme with:
"In la sua volont è nostra pace,"
In His will is our peace. Peace in white harbours,
in marinas whose masts agree, in crescent melons
left all night in the fridge, in the Egyptian labours
of ants moving boulders of sugar, words in this sentence,
shadow and light, who live next door like neighbours,
57
and in sardines with pepper sauce. My mother lies
near the white beach stones, John Clare near the sea-almonds,
yet the bounty returns each daybreak, to my surprise,
to my surprise and betrayal, yes, both at once.
I am moved like you, mad Tom, by a line of ants;
I behold their industry and they are giants.
ii
There on the beach, in the desert, lies the dark well
where the rose of my life was lowered, near the shaken plants,
near a pool of fresh tears, tolled by the golden bell
of allamanda, thorns of the bougainvillea, and that is
their bounty! They shine with defiance from weed and flower,
even those that flourish elsewhere, vetch, ivy, clematis,
on whom the sun now rises with all its power,
not for the Tourist Board or for Dante Alighieri,
but because there is no other path for its wheel to take
except to make the ruts of the beach road an allegory
of this poem's career, of yours, that she died for the sake
of a crowning wreath of false laurel; so, John Clare, forgive me,
for this morning's sake, forgive me, coffee, and pardon me,
milk with two packets of artificial sugar,
as I watch these lines grow and the art of poetry harden me
into sorrow as measured as this, to draw the veiled figure
of Mamma entering the standard elegiac.
No, there is grief, there will always be, but it must not madden,
like Clare, who wept for a beetle's loss, for the weight
of the world in a bead of dew on clematis or vetch,
and the fire in these tinder-dry lines of this poem I hate
as much as I love her, poor rain-beaten wretch,
redeemer of mice, earl of the doomed protectorate
of cavalry under your cloak; come on now, enough!
58
iii
Bounty!
In the bells of tree-frogs with their steady clamour
in the indigo dark before dawn, the fading morse
of fireflies and crickets, then light on the beetle's armour,
and the toad's too-late presages, nettles of remorse
that shall spring from her grave from the spade's heartbreak.
And yet not to have loved her enough is to love more,
if I confess it, and I confess it. The trickle of underground
springs, the babble of swollen gulches under drenched ferns,
loosening the grip of their roots, till their hairy clods
like unclenching fists swirl wherever the gulch turns
them, and the shuddering aftermath bends the rods
of wild cane. Bounty in the ant's waking fury,
in the snail's chapel stirring under wild yams,
praise in decay and process, awe in the ordinary
in wind that reads the lines of the breadfruit's palms
in the sun contained in a globe of the crystal dew,
bounty in the ants' continuing a line of raw flour,
mercy on the mongoose scuttling past my door,
in the light's parallelogram laid on the kitchen floor,
for Thine is the Kingdom, the Glory, and the Power,
the bells of Saint Clement's in the marigolds on the altar,
in the bougainvillea's thorns, in the imperial lilac
and the feathery palms that nodded at the entry
into Jerusalem, the weight of the world on the back
of an ass; dismounting, He left His cross there for sentry
and sneering centurion; then I believed in His Word,
in a widow's immaculate husband, in pews of brown wood,
when the cattle-bell of the chapel summoned our herd
59
into the varnished stalls, in whose rustling hymnals I heard
the fresh Jacobean springs, the murmur Clare heard
of bounty abiding, the clear language she taught us,
"as the hart panteth," at this, her keen ears pronged
while her three fawns nibbled the soul-freshening waters,
"as the hart panteth for the water-brooks" that belonged
to the language in which I mourn her now, or when
I showed her my first elegy, her husband's, and then her own.
iv
But can she or can she not read this? Can you read this,
Mamma, or hear it? If I took the pulpit, lay-preacher
like tender Clare, like poor Tom, so that look, Miss!
the ants come to you like children, their beloved teacher
Alix, but unlike the silent recitation of the infants,
the choir that Clare and Tom heard in their rainy county,
we have no solace but utterance, hence this wild cry.
Snails move into harbour, the breadfruit plants on the Bounty
will be heaved aboard, and the white God is Captain Bligh.
Across white feathery grave-grass the shadow of the soul
passes, the canvas cracks open on the cross-trees of the Bounty,
and the Trades lift the shrouds of the resurrected sail.
All move in their passage to the same mother-country,
the dirt-clawing weasel, the blank owl or sunning seal.
Faith grows mutinous. The ribbed body with its cargo
stalls in its doldrums, the God-captain is cast adrift
by a mutinous Christian, in the wake of the turning Argo
plants bob in the ocean's furrows, their shoots dip and lift,
and the soul's Australia is like the New Testament
after the Old World, the code of an eye for an eye;
the horizon spins slowly and Authority's argument
60
diminishes in power, in the longboat with Captain Bligh.
This was one of your earliest lessons, how the Christ-Son
questions the Father, to settle on another island, haunted by Him,
by the speck of a raging deity on the ruled horizon,
diminishing in meaning and distance, growing more dim:
all these predictable passages that we first disobey
before we become what we challenged; but you never altered
your voice, either sighing or sewing, you would pray
to your husband aloud, pedalling the hymns we all heard
in the varnished pew: "There Is a Green Hill Far Away,"
"Jerusalem the Golden." Your melody faltered
but never your faith in the bounty which is His Word.
All of these waves crepitate from the culture of Ovid,
its sibilants and consonants; a universal metre
piles up these signatures like inscriptions of seaweed
that dry in the pungent sun, lines ruled by mitre
and laurel, or spray swiftly garlanding the forehead
of an outcrop (and I hope this settles the matter
of presences). No soul was ever invented,
yet every presence is transparent; if I met her
(in her nightdress ankling barefoot, crooning to the shallows),
should I call her shadow that of a pattern invented
by Graeco-Roman design, columns of shadows
cast by the Forum, Augustan perspectives—
poplars, casuarina-colonnades, the in-and-out light of almonds
made from original Latin, no leaf but the olive's?
Questions of pitch. Faced with seraphic radiance
(don't interrupt!), mortals rub their skeptical eyes
that hell is a beach-fire at night where embers dance,
with temporal fireflies like thoughts of Paradise;
61
but there are inexplicable instincts that keep recurring
not from hope or fear only, that are real as stones,
the faces of the dead we wait for as ants are transferring
their cities, though we no longer believe in the shining ones.
I half-expect to see you no longer, then more than half,
almost never, or never then—there I have said it—
but felt something less than final at the edge of your grave,
some other something somewhere, equally dreaded,
since the fear of the infinite is the same as death,
unendurable brightness, the substantial dreading
its own substance, dissolving to gases and vapours,
like our dread of distance; we need a horizon,
a dividing line that turns the stars into neighbours
though infinity separates them, we can think of only one sun:
all I am saying is that the dread of death is in the faces
we love, the dread of our dying, or theirs;
therefore we see in the glint of immeasurable spaces
not stars or falling embers, not meteors, but tears.
vi
The mango trees serenely rust when they are in flower,
nobody knows the name for that voluble cedar
whose bell-flowers fall, the pomme-arac purples its floor.
The blue hills in late afternoon always look sadder.
The country night waiting to come in outside the door;
the firefly keeps striking matches, and the hillside fumes
with a bluish signal of charcoal, then the smoke burns
into a larger question, one that forms and unforms,
then loses itself in a cloud, till the question returns.
Buckets clatter under pipes, villages begin at corners.
A man and his trotting dog come back from their garden.
62
The sea blazes beyond the rust roofs, dark is on us
before we know it. The earth smells of what's done,
small yards brighten, day dies and its mourners
begin, the first wreath of gnats; this was when we sat down
on bright verandahs watching the hills die. Nothing is trite
once the beloved have vanished; empty clothes in a row,
but perhaps our sadness tires them who cherished delight;
not only are they relieved of our customary sorrow,
they are without hunger, without any appetite,
but are part of earth's vegetal fury; their veins grow
with the wild mammy-apple, the open-handed breadfruit,
their heart in the open pomegranate, in the sliced avocado;
ground-doves pick from their palms; ants carry the freight
of their sweetness, their absence in all that we eat,
their savour that sweetens all of our multiple juices,
their faith that we break and chew in a wedge of cassava,
and here at first is the astonishment: that earth rejoices
in the middle of our agony, earth that will have her
for good: wind shines white stones and the shallows' voices.
vii
In spring, after the bear's self-burial, the stuttering
crocuses open and choir, glaciers shelve and thaw,
frozen ponds crack into maps, green lances spring
from the melting fields, flags of rooks rise and tatter
the pierced light, the crumbling quiet avalanches
of an unsteady sky; the vole uncoils and the otter
worries his sleek head through the verge's branches;
crannies, culverts, and creeks roar with wrist-numbing water.
Deer vault invisible hurdles and sniff the sharp air,
squirrels spring up like questions, berries easily redden,
63
edges delight in their own shapes (whoever their shaper).
But here there is one season, our viridian Eden
is that of the primal garden that engendered decay,
from the seed of a beetle's shard or a dead hare
white and forgotten as winter with spring on its way.
There is no change now, no cycles of spring, autumn, winter,
nor an island's perpetual summer; she took time with her;
no climate, no calendar except for this bountiful day.
As poor Tom fed his last crust to trembling birds,
as by reeds and cold pools John Clare blest these thin musicians,
let the ants teach me again with the long lines of words,
my business and duty, the lesson you taught your sons,
to write of the light's bounty on familiar things
that stand on the verge of translating themselves into news:
the crab, the frigate that floats on cruciform wings,
and that nailed and thorn riddled tree that opens its pews
to the blackbird that hasn't forgotten her because it sings.
~ Derek Walcott,
231:The Faerie Queene, Book Vi, Canto X
THE SIXTE BOOKE OF THE FAERIE QUEENE
Contayning
THE LEGEND OF S. CALIDORE
OR OF COURTESIECANTO X
Calidore sees the Graces daunce,
To Colins melody:
The whiles his Pastorell is led,
Into captivity.
Who now does follow the foule Blatant Beast,
Whilest Calidore does follow that faire Mayd,
Unmyndfull of his vow and high beheast,
Which by the Faery Queene was on him layd,
That he should never leave, nor be delayd
From chacing him, till he had it attchieved?
But now entrapt of love, which him betrayd,
He mindeth more, how he may be relieved
With grace from her, whose love his heart hath sore engrieved.
ii
That from henceforth he meanes no more to sew
His former quest, so full of toile and paine;
Another quest, another game in vew
He hath, the guerdon of his love to gaine:
With whom he myndes for ever to remaine,
And set his rest amongst the rusticke sort,
Rather then hunt still after shadowes vaine
Of courtly favour, fed with light report
Of every blaste, and sayling alwaies on the port.
iii
Ne certes mote he greatly blamed be,
From so high step to stoupe unto so low.
For who had tasted once (as oft did he)
The happy peace, which there doth overthow,
310
And prov'd the perfect pleasures, which doe grow
Amongst poore hyndes, in hils, in woods, in dales,
Would never more delight in painted show
Of such false blisse, as there is set for stales,
T'entrap unwary fooles in their eternall bales.
iv
For what hath all that goodly glorious gaze
Like to one sight, which Calidore did vew?
The glaunce whereof their dimmed eies would daze,
That never more they should endure the shew
Of that sunne-shine, that makes them looke askew.
Ne ought in all that world of beauties rare,
(Save onely Glorianaes heavenly hew
To which what can compare?) can it compare;
The which as commeth now, by course I will declare.
One day as he did raunge the fields abroad,
Whilest his faire Pastorella was elsewhere,
He chaunst to come, far from all peoples troad,
Unto a place, whose pleasaunce did appere
To passe all others, on the earth which were:
For all that ever was by natures skill
Devized to worke delight, was gathered there,
And there by her were poured forth at fill,
As if this to adorne, she all the rest did pill.
vi
It was an hill plaste in an open plaine,
That round about was bordered with a wood
Of matchlesse hight, that seem'd th'earth to disdaine,
In which all trees of honour stately stood,
And did all winter as in sommer bud,
Spredding pavilions for the birds to bowre,
Which in their lower braunches sung aloud;
And in their tops the soring hauke did towre,
Sitting like King of fowles in majesty and powre.
311
vii
And at the foote thereof, a gentle flud
His silver waves did softly tumble downe,
Unmard with ragged mosse or filthy mud,
Ne mote wylde beastes, ne mote the ruder clowne
Thereto approch, ne filth mote therein drowne:
But Nymphes and Faeries bythe bancks did sit,
In the woods shade, which did the waters crowne,
Keeping all noysome things away from it,
And to the waters fall tuning their accents fit.
viii
And on the top thereof a spacious plaine
Did spred it selfe, to serve to all delight,
Either to daunce, when they to daunce would faine,
Or else to course about their bases light;
Ne ought there wanted, which for pleasure might
Desired be, or thence to banish bale:
So pleasauntly the hill with equall hight,
Did seeme to overlooke the lowly vale;
Therefore it rightly cleeped was mount Acidale.
ix
They say that Venus, when she did dispose
Her selfe to pleasaunce, used to resort
Unto this place, and therein to repose
And rest her selfe, as in a gladsome port,
Or with the Graces there to play and sport;
That even her owne Cytheron, though in it
She used most to keepe her royall court,
And in her soveraine Majesty to sit,
She in regard thereof refusde and thought unfit.
Unto this place when as the Elfin Knight
Approcht, him seemed that the merry sound
Of a shrill pipe he playing heard on hight,
And many feete fast thumping th'hollow ground,
312
That through the woods their Eccho did rebound.
He nigher drew, to weete what mote it be;
There he a troupe of Ladies dauncing found
Full merrily, and making gladfull glee,
And in the midst a Shepheard piping he did see.
xi
He durst not enter into th'open greene,
For dread of them unwares to be descryde,
For breaking of their daunce, if he were seene;
But in the covert of the wood did byde,
Beholding all, yet of them unespyde.
There he did see, that pleased much his sight,
That even he him selfe his eyes envyde,
An hundred naked maidens lilly white,
All raunged in a ring, and dauncing in delight.
xii
All they without were raunged in a ring,
And daunced round; but in the midst of them
Three other Ladies did both daunce and sing,
The whilest the rest them round about did hemme,
And like a girlond did in compasse stemme:
And in the middest of those same three, was placed
Another Damzell, as a precious gemme,
Amidst a ring most richly well enchaced,
That with her goodly presence all the rest much graced.
xiii
Looke how the Crowne, which Ariadne wore
Upon her yvory forehead that same day,
That Theseus her unto his bridale bore,
When the bold Centaures made that bloudy fray
With the fierce Lapithes, which did them dismay;
Being now placed in the firmament,
Through the bright heaven doth her beams display,
And is unto the starres an ornament,
313
Which round about her move in order excellent.
xiv
Such was the beauty of this goodly band,
Whose sundry parts were here too long to tell:
But she that in the midst of them did stand,
Seem'd all the rest in beauty to excell,
Crownd with a rosie girlond, that right well
Did her beseeme. And ever, as the crew
About her daunst, sweet flowres, that far did smell,
And fragrant odours they uppon her threw;
But most of all, those three did her with gifts endew.
xv
Those were the Graces, daughters of delight,
Handmaides of Venus, which are wont to haunt
Uppon this hill, and daunce there day and night:
Those three to men all gifts of grace do graunt,
And all, that Venus in her selfe doth vaunt,
Is borrowed of them. But that faire one,
That in the midst was placed paravaunt,
Was she to whom that shepheard pypt alone,
That made him pipe so merrily, as never none.
xvi
She was to weete that jolly Shepheards lasse,
Which piped there unto that merry rout,
That jolly shepheard, which there piped, was
Poore Colin Clout (who knowes not Colin Clout?)
He pypt apace, whilest they him daunst about.
Pype jolly shepheard, pype thou now apace
Unto thy love, that made thee low to lout;
Thy love is present there with thee in place,
Thy love is there advaunst to be another Grace.
xvii
314
Much wondred Calidore at this straunge sight,
Whose like before his eye had never seene,
And standing long astonished in spright,
And rapt with pleasaunce, wist not what to weene;
Whether it were the traine of beauties Queene,
Or Nymphes, or Faeries, or enchaunted show,
With which his eyes mote have deluded beene.
Therefore resolving, what it was, to know,
Out of the wood he rose, and toward them did go.
xviii
But soone as he appeared to their vew,
They vanisht all away out of his sight,
And cleane were gone, which way he never knew;
All save the shepheard, who for fell despight
Of that displeasure, broke his bagpipe quight,
And made great mone for that unhappy turne.
But Calidore, though no lesse sory wight,
For that mishap, yet seeing him to mourne,
Drew neare, that he the truth of all by him mote learne.
xix
And first him greeting, thus unto him spake,
Haile jolly shepheard, which thy joyous dayes
Here leadest in this goodly merry make,
Frequented of these gentle Nymphes alwayes,
Which to thee flocke, to heare thy lovely layes;
Tell me, what mote these dainty Damzels be,
Which here with thee doe make their pleasant playes?
Right happy thou, that mayst them freely see:
But why when I them saw, fled they away from me?
xx
Not I so happy, answerd then that swaine,
315
As thou unhappy, which them thence didst chace,
Whom by no meanes thou canst recall againe,
For being gone, none can them bring in place,
But whom they of them selves list so to grace.
Right sory I, (said then Sir Calidore,)
That my ill fortune did them hence displace.
But since all things passed none may now restore,
Tell me, what were they all, whose lacke thee grieves so sore.
xxi
Tho gan that shepheard thus for to dilate;
Then wote thou shepheard, whatsoever thou bee,
That all those Ladies, which thou sawest late,
Are Venus Damzels, all within her fee,
But differing in honour and degree:
They all are Graces, which on her depend,
Besides a thousand more, which ready bee
Her to adorne, when so she forth doth wend:
But those three in the midst, doe chiefe on her attend.
xxii
They are the daughters of sky-ruling Jove,
By him begot of faire Eurynome,
The Oceans daughter, in this pleasant grove,
As he this way comming from feastfull glee,
Of Thetis wedding with {AE}acidee,
In sommers shade him selfe here rested weary.
The first of them hight mylde Euphrosyne,
Next faire Aglaia, last Thalia merry:
Sweete Goddesses all three which me in mirth do cherry.
xxiii
These three on men all gracious gifts bestow,
Which decke the body or adorne the mynde,
To make them lovely or well favourd show,
As comely carriage, entertainment kynde,
316
Sweete semblaunt. friendly offices that bynde,
And all the complements of curtesie:
They teach us, how to each degree and kynde
should our selves demeane, to low, to hie;
To friends, to foes, which skill men call Civility.
xxiv
Therefore they alwaies smoothly seeme to smile,
That we likewise should mylde and gentle be,
And also naked are, that without guile
Or false dissemblaunce all them plaine may see,
Simple and true from covert malice free:
And eeke them selves so in their daunce they bore,
That two of them still froward seem'd to bee,
But one still towards shew'd her selfe afore;
That good should from us goe, then come in greater store.
xxv
Such were those Goddesses, which ye did see;
But that fourth Mayd, which there amidst them traced,
Who can aread, what creature mote she bee,
Whether a creature, or a goddesse graced
With heavenly gifts from heven first enraced?
But what so sure she was, she worthy was
To be the fourth with those three other placed:
Yet was she certes but a countrey lasse,
Yet she all other countrey lasses farre did passe.
xxvi
So farre as doth the daughter of the day,
All other lesser lights in light excell,
So farre doth she in beautyfull array,
Above all other lasses beare the bell,
Ne lesse in vertue that beseemes her well,
Doth she exceede the rest of all her race,
For which the Graces that here wont to dwell,
317
Have for more honor brought her to this place,
And graced her so much to be another Grace.
xxvii
Another Grace she well deserves to be,
In whom so many Graces gathered are,
Excelling much the meane of her degree;
Divine resemblaunce, beauty soveraine rare,
Firme Chastity, that spight ne blemish dare;
All which she with such courtesie doth grace,
That all her peres cannot with her compare,
But quite are dimmed, when she is in place.
She made me often pipe and now to pipe apace.
xxviii
Sunne of the world, great glory of the sky,
That all the earth doest lighten with thy rayes,
Great Gloriana, greatest Majesty,
Pardon thy shepheard, mongst so many layes,
As he hath sung of thee in all his dayes,
To make one minime of thy poore handmayd,
And underneath thy feete to place her prayse,
That when thy glory shall be farre displayd
To future age of her this mention may be made.
xxix
When thus that shepherd ended had his speach,
Sayd Calidore: Now sure it yrketh mee,
That to thy blisse I made this luckelesse breach,
As now the author of thy bale to be,
Thus to bereave thy loves deare sight from thee:
But gentle Shepheard pardon thou my shame,
Who rashly sought that, which I mote not see.
Thus did the courteous Knight excuse his blame,
And to recomfort him, all comely meanes did frame....
318
~ Edmund Spenser,
232:Amours De Voyage, Canto V
There is a city, upbuilt on the quays of the turbulent Arno,
Under Fiesole's heights,--thither are we to return?
There is a city that fringes the curve of the inflowing waters,
Under the perilous hill fringes the beautiful bay,-Parthenope, do they call thee?--the Siren, Neapolis, seated
Under Vesevus's hill,--are we receding to thee?-Sicily, Greece, will invite, and the Orient;--or are we turn to
England, which may after all be for its children the best?
I. Mary Trevellyn, at Lucerne, to Miss Roper, at Florence.
So you are really free, and living in quiet at Florence;
That is delightful news; you travelled slowly and safely;
Mr. Claude got you out; took rooms at Florence before you;
Wrote from Milan to say so; had left directly for Milan,
Hoping to find us soon;--if he could, he would, you are certain.-Dear Miss Roper, your letter has made me exceedingly happy.
You are quite sure, you say, he asked you about our intentions;
You had not heard as yet of Lucerne, but told him of Como.-Well, perhaps he will come; however, I will not expect it.
Though you say you are sure,--if he can, he will, you are certain.
O my dear, many thanks from your ever affectionate Mary.
II. Claude to Eustace.
Florence.
Action will furnish belief,--but will that belief be the true one?
This is the point, you know. However, it doesn't much matter.
What one wants, I suppose, is to predetermine the action,
So as to make it entail, not a chance belief, but the true one.
Out of the question, you say; if a thing isn't wrong we may do it.
Ah! but this wrong, you see--but I do not know that it matters.
Eustace, the Ropers are gone, and no one can tell me about them.
40
Pisa.
Pisa, they say they think, and so I follow to Pisa,
Hither and thither inquiring. I weary of making inquiries.
I am ashamed, I declare, of asking people about it.-Who are your friends? You said you had friends who would certainly know them.
Florence.
But it is idle, moping, and thinking, and trying to fix her
Image once more and more in, to write the whole perfect inscription
Over and over again upon every page of remembrance.
I have settled to stay at Florence to wait for your answer.
Who are your friends? Write quickly and tell me. I wait for your answer.
III. Mary Trevellyn to Miss Roper.--at Lucca Baths.
You are at Lucca baths, you tell me, to stay for the summer;
Florence was quite too hot; you can't move further at present.
Will you not come, do you think, before the summer is over?
Mr. C. got you out with very considerable trouble;
And he was useful and kind, and seemed so happy to serve you.
Didn't stay with you long, but talked very openly to you;
Made you almost his confessor, without appearing to know it,-What about?--and you say you didn't need his confessions.
O my dear Miss Roper, I dare not trust what you tell me!
Will he come, do you think? I am really so sorry for him.
They didn't give him my letter at Milan, I feel pretty certain.
You had told him Bellaggio. We didn't go to Bellaggio;
So he would miss our track, and perhaps never come to Lugano,
Where we were written in full, To Lucerne across the St. Gothard.
But he could write to you;--you would tell him where you were going.
IV. Claude to Eustace.
Let me, then, bear to forget her. I will not cling to her falsely:
Nothing factitious or forced shall impair the old happy relation.
I will let myself go, forget, not try to remember;
41
I will walk on my way, accept the chances that meet me,
Freely encounter the world, imbibe these alien airs, and
Never ask if new feelings and thoughts are of her or of others.
Is she not changing herself?--the old image would only delude me.
I will be bold, too, and change,--if it must be. Yet if in all things,
Yet if I do but aspire evermore to the Absolute only,
I shall be doing, I think, somehow, what she will be doing;-I shall be thine, O my child, some way, though I know not in what way,
Let me submit to forget her; I must; I already forget her.
V. Claude to Eustace.
Utterly vain is, alas! this attempt at the Absolute,--wholly!
I, who believed not in her, because I would fain believe nothing,
Have to believe as I may, with a wilful, unmeaning acceptance.
I, who refused to enfasten the roots of my floating existence
In the rich earth, cling now to the hard, naked rock that is left me,-Ah! she was worthy, Eustace,--and that, indeed, is my comfort,-Worthy a nobler heart than a fool such as I could have given her.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Yes, it relieves me to write, though I do not send, and the chance that
Takes may destroy my fragments. But as men pray, without asking

Whether One really exist to hear or do anything for them,-Simply impelled by the need of the moment to turn to a Being

In a conception of whom there is freedom from all limitation,-So in your image I turn to an ens rationis of friendship,

Even so write in your name I know not to whom nor in what wise.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------There was a time, methought it was but lately departed,
When, if a thing was denied me, I felt I was bound to attempt it;

Choice alone should take, and choice alone should surrender.

There was a time, indeed, when I had not retired thus early,

Languidly thus, from pursuit of a purpose I once had adopted,

But it is all over, all that! I have slunk from the perilous field in

42

Whose wild struggle of forces the prizes of life are contested.

It is over, all that! I am a coward, and know it.

Courage in me could be only factitious, unnatural, useless.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Comfort has come to me here in the dreary streets of the city,
Comfort--how do you think?--with a barrel-organ to bring it.

Moping along the streets, and cursing my day as I wandered,

All of a sudden my ear met the sound of an English psalm-tune,

Comfort me it did, till indeed I was very near crying.

Ah, there is some great truth, partial, very likely, but needful,

Lodged, I am strangely sure, in the tones of the English psalm-tune.

Comfort it was at least; and I must take without question

Comfort, however it come, in the dreary streets of the city.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------I shall behold thee again (is it so?) at a new visitation,
O ill genius thou! I shall at my life's dissolution

(When the pulses are weak, and the feeble light of the reason

Flickers, an unfed flame retiring slow from the socket),

Low on a sick-bed laid, hear one, as it were, at the doorway,

And, looking up, see thee standing by, looking emptily at me;

I shall entreat thee then, though now I dare to refuse thee,-Pale and pitiful now, but terrible then to the dying.-Well, I will see thee again, and while I can, will repel thee.

VI. Claude to Eustace.

Rome is fallen, I hear, the gallant Medici taken,

Noble Manara slain, and Garibaldi has lost il Moro;-Rome is fallen; and fallen, or falling, heroical Venice.

I, meanwhile, for the loss of a single small chit of a girl, sit

Moping and mourning here,--for her, and myself much smaller.

Whither depart the souls of the brave that die in the battle,

Die in the lost, lost fight, for the cause that perishes with them?

Are they upborne from the field on the slumberous pinions of angels

43

Unto a far-off home, where the weary rest from their labour,

And the deep wounds are healed, and the bitter and burning moisture

Wiped from the generous eyes? or do they linger, unhappy,

Pining, and haunting the grave of their by-gone hope and endeavour?

All declamation, alas! though I talk, I care not for Rome nor

Italy; feebly and faintly, and but with the lips, can lament the

Wreck of the Lombard youth, and the victory of the oppressor.

Whither depart the brave?--God knows; I certainly do not.

VII. Mary Trevellyn to Miss Roper.

He has not come as yet; and now I must not expect it.

You have written, you say, to friends at Florence, to see him,

If he perhaps should return;--but that is surely unlikely.

Has he not written to you?--he did not know your direction.

Oh, how strange never once to have told him where you were going!

Yet if he only wrote to Florence, that would have reached you.

If what you say he said was true, why has he not done so?

Is he gone back to Rome, do you think, to his Vatican marbles?-O my dear Miss Roper, forgive me! do not be angry!-You have written to Florence;--your friends would certainly find him.

Might you not write to him ?--but yet it is so little likely!

I shall expect nothing more.--Ever yours, your affectionate Mary.

VIII. Claude to Eustace.

I cannot stay at Florence, not even to wait for a letter.

Galleries only oppress me. Remembrance of hope I had cherished

(Almost more than as hope, when I passed through Florence the first time)

Lies like a sword in my soul. I am more a coward than ever,

Chicken-hearted, past thought. The caffès and waiters distress me.

All is unkind, and, alas! I am ready for anyone's kindness.

Oh, I knew it of old, and knew it, I thought, to perfection,

If there is any one thing in the world to preclude all kindness

It is the need of it,--it is this sad, self-defeating dependence.

Why is this, Eustace? Myself, were I stronger, I think I could tell you.

But it is odd when it comes. So plumb I the deeps of depression,

Daily in deeper, and find no support, no will, no purpose.

44

All my old strengths are gone. And yet I shall have to do something.

Ah, the key of our life, that passes all wards, opens all locks,

Is not I will, but I must. I must,--I must,--and I do it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------After all, do I know that I really cared so about her?
Do whatever I will, I cannot call up her image;

For when I close my eyes, I see, very likely, St. Peter's,

Or the Pantheon facade, or Michel Angelo's figures,

Or, at a wish, when I please, the Alban hills and the Forum,-But that face, those eyes,--ah, no, never anything like them;

Only, try as I will, a sort of featureless outline,

And a pale blank orb, which no recollection will add to.

After all, perhaps there was something factitious about it;

I have had pain, it is true: I have wept; and so have the actors.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------At the last moment I have your letter, for which I was waiting;
I have taken my place, and see no good in inquiries.

Do nothing more, good Eustace, I pray you. It only will vex me.

Take no measures. Indeed, should we meet, I could not be certain;

All might be changed, you know. Or perhaps there was nothing to be changed.

It is a curious history, this; and yet I foresaw it;

I could have told it before. The Fates, it is clear, are against us;

For it is certain enough I met with the people you mention;

They were at Florence the day I returned there, and spoke to me even;

Stayed a week, saw me often; departed, and whither I know not.

Great is Fate, and is best. I believe in Providence partly.

What is ordained is right, and all that happens is ordered.

Ah, no, that isn't it. But yet I retain my conclusion.

I will go where I am led, and will not dictate to the chances.

Do nothing more, I beg. If you love me, forbear interfering.

IX. Claude to Eustace.

Shall we come out of it all, some day, as one does from a tunnel?

45

Will it be all at once, without our doing or asking,

We shall behold clear day, the trees and meadows about us,

And the faces of friends, and the eyes we loved looking at us?

Who knows? Who can say? It will not do to suppose it.

X. Claude to Eustace,-from Rome.

Rome will not suit me, Eustace; the priests and soldiers possess it;

Priests and soldiers:--and, ah! which is the worst, the priest or the soldier?

Politics, farewell, however! For what could I do? with inquiring,

Talking, collating the journals, go fever my brain about things o'er

Which I can have no control. No, happen whatever may happen,

Time, I suppose, will subsist; the earth will revolve on its axis;

People will travel; the stranger will wander as now in the city;

Rome will be here, and the Pope the custode of Vatican marbles.

I have no heart, however, for any marble or fresco;

I have essayed it in vain; 'tis in vain as yet to essay it:

But I may haply resume some day my studies in this kind;

Not as the Scripture says, is, I think, the fact. Ere our death-day,

Faith, I think, does pass, and Love; but Knowledge abideth.

Let us seek Knowledge;--the rest may come and go as it happens.

Knowledge is hard to seek, and harder yet to adhere to.

Knowledge is painful often; and yet when we know we are happy.

Seek it, and leave mere Faith and Love to come with the chances.

As for Hope,--to-morrow I hope to be starting for Naples.

Rome will not do, I see, for many very good reasons.

Eastward, then, I suppose, with the coming of winter, to Egypt.

XI. Mary Trevellyn to Miss Roper.

You have heard nothing; of course I know you can have heard nothing.

Ah, well, more than once I have broken my purpose, and sometimes,

Only too often, have looked for the little lake steamer to bring him.

But it is only fancy,--I do not really expect it.

Oh, and you see I know so exactly how he would take it:

Finding the chances prevail against meeting again, he would banish

Forthwith every thought of the poor little possible hope, which

I myself could not help, perhaps, thinking only too much of;

46

He would resign himself, and go. I see it exactly.

So I also submit, although in a different manner.

Can you not really come? We go very shortly to England.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So go forth to the world, to the good report and the evil!

Go, little book! thy tale, is it not evil and good?

Go, and if strangers revile, pass quietly by without answer.

Go, and if curious friends ask of thy rearing and age,

Say, 'I am flitting about many years from brain unto brain of

Feeble and restless youths born to inglorious days:

But,' so finish the word, 'I was writ in a Roman chamber,

When from Janiculan heights thundered the cannon of France.'

~ Arthur Hugh Clough,
233:The Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto Iv (Excerpts)
CANTO IIII
To sinfull house of Pride, Duessa
guides the faithfull knight,
Where brothers death to wreak Sansjoy
doth chalenge him to fight.
Young knight, what ever that dost armes professe,
And through long labours huntest after fame,
Beware of fraud, beware of ficklenesse,
In choice, and change of thy deare loved Dame,
Least thou of her beleeve too lightly blame,
And rash misweening doe thy hart remove:
For unto knight there is no greater shame,
Then lightnesse and inconstancie in love;
That doth this Redcrosse knights ensample plainly prove.
ii
Who after that he had faire Una lorne,
Through light misdeeming of her loialtie,
And false Duessa in her sted had borne,
Called Fidess', and so supposd to bee;
Long with her traveild, till at last they see
A goodly building, bravely garnished,
The house of mightie Prince it seemd to bee:
And towards it a broad high way that led,
All bare through peoples feet, which thither traveiled.
iii
Great troupes of people traveild thitherward
Both day and night, of each degree and place,
But few returned, having scaped hard,
With balefull beggerie, or foule disgrace,
Which ever after in most wretched case,
Like loathsome lazars, by the hedges lay.
Thither Duessa bad him bend his pace:
For she is wearie of the toilesome way,
282
And also nigh consumed is the lingring day.
iv
A stately Pallace built of squared bricke,
Which cunningly was without morter laid,
Whose wals were high, but nothing strong, nor thick,
And golden foile all over them displaid,
That purest skye with brightnesse they dismaid:
High lifted up were many loftie towres,
And goodly galleries farre over laid,
Full of faire windowes, and delightfull bowres;
And on the top a Diall told the timely howres.
It was a goodly heape for to behould,
And spake the praises of the workmans wit;
But full great pittie, that so faire a mould
Did on so weake foundation ever sit:
For on a sandie hill, that still did flit,
And fall away, it mounted was full hie,
That every breath of heaven shaked it:
And all the hinder parts, that few could spie,
Were ruinous and old, but painted cunningly.
vi
Arrived there they passed in forth right;
For still to all the gates stood open wide,
Yet charge of them was to a Porter hight
Cald Malven{'u}, who entrance none denide:
Thence to the hall, which was on every side,
With rich array and costly arras dight:
Infinite sorts of people did abide
There waiting long, to win the wished sight
Of her, that was the Lady of that Pallace bright.
vii
By them they passe, all gazing on them round,
And to the Presence mount; whose glorious vew
283
Their frayle amazed senses did confound:
In living Princes court none ever knew
Such endlesse richesse, and so sumptuous shew;
Ne Persia selfe, the nourse of pompous pride
Like ever saw. And there a noble crew
Of Lordes and Ladies stood on every side
Which with their presence faire, the place much beautifide.
viii
High above all a cloth of State was spred,
And a rich throne, as bright as sunny day,
On which there sate most brave embellished
With royall robes and gorgeous array,
A mayden Queene, that shone as Titans ray,
In glistring gold, and peerelesse pretious stone:
Yet her bright blazing beautie did assay
To dim the brightnesse of her glorious throne,
As envying her selfe, that too exceeding shone.
ix
Exceeding shone, like Phoebus fairest childe,
That did presume his fathers firie wayne,
And flaming mouthes of steedes unwonted wilde
Through highest heaven with weaker hand to rayne;
Proud of such glory and advancement vaine,
While flashing beames do daze his feeble eyen,
He leaves the welkin way most beaten plaine,
And rapt with whirling wheels, inflames the skyen,
With fire not made to burne, but fairely for to shyne.
So proud she shyned in her Princely state,
Looking to heaven; for earth she did disdayne,
And sitting high; for lowly she did hate:
Lo underneath her scornefull feete, was layne
A dreadfull Dragon with an hideous trayne,
And in her hand she held a mirrhour bright,
Wherein her face she often vewed fayne,
And in her selfe-lov'd semblance tooke delight;
284
For she was wondrous faire, as any living wight.
xi
Of griesly Pluto she the daughter was,
And sad Proserpina the Queene of hell;
Yet did she thinke her pearelesse worth to pas
That parentage, with pride so did she swell,
And thundring Jove, that high in heaven doth dwell,
And wield the world, she claymed for her syre,
Or if that any else did Jove excell:
For to the highest she did still aspyre,
Or if ought higher were then that, did it desyre.
xii
And proud Lucifera men did her call,
That made her selfe a Queene, and crownd to be,
Yet rightfull kingdome she had none at all,
Ne heritage of native soveraintie,
But did usurpe with wrong and tyrannie
Upon the scepter, which she now did hold:
Ne ruld her Realme with lawes, but pollicie,
And strong advizement of six wisards old,
That with their counsels bad her kingdome did uphold.
xiii
Soone as the Elfin knight in presence came,
And false Duessa seeming Lady faire,
A gentle Husher, Vanitie by name
Made rowme, and passage for them did prepaire:
So goodly brought them to the lowest stair
Of her high throne, where they on humble knee
Making obeyssance, did the cause declare,
Why they were come, her royall state to see,
To prove the wide report of her great Majestee.
xiv
285
With loftie eyes, halfe loth to looke so low,
She thanked them in her disdainefull wise,
Ne other grace vouchsafed them to show
Of Princesse worthy, scarse them bad arise.
Her Lordes and Ladies all this while devise
Themselves to setten forth to straungers sight:
Some frounce their curled haire in courtly guise,
Some prancke their ruffes, and others trimly dight
Their gay attire: each others greater pride does spight.
xv
Goodly they all that knight do entertaine,
Right glad with him to have increast their crew:
But to Duess' each one himselfe did paine
All kindnesse and faire courtesie to shew;
For in that court whylome her well they knew:
Yet the stout Faerie mongst the middest crowd
Thought all their glorie vaine in knightly vew,
And that great Princesse too exceeding prowd,
That to strange knight no better countenance allowd.
xvi
Suddein upriseth from her stately place
The royall Dame, and for her coche doth call:
All hurtlen forth, and she with Princely pace,
As faire Aurora in her purple pall,
Out of the East the dawning day doth call:
So forth she comes: her brightnesse brode doth blaze;
The heapes of people thronging in the hall,
Do ride each other, upon her to gaze:
Her glorious glitterand light doth all mens eyes amaze.
xvii
So forth she comes, and to her coche does clyme,
Adorned all with gold, and girlonds gay,
286
That seemd as fresh as Flora in her prime,
And strove to match, in royall rich array,
Great Junoes golden chaire, the which they say
The Gods stand gazing on, when she does ride
To Joves high house through heavens bras-paved way
Drawne of faire Pecocks, that excell in pride,
And full of Argus eyes their tailes dispredden wide.
xviii
But this was drawne of six unequall beasts,
On which her six sage Counsellours did ryde,
Taught to obay thelr bestiall beheasts,
With like conditions to their kinds applyde:
Of which the first, that all the rest did guyde,
Was sluggish Idlenesse the nourse of sin;
Upon a slouthfull Asse he chose to ryde,
Arayd in habit blacke, and amis thin,
Like to an holy Monck, the service to begin.
xix
And in his hand his Portesse still he bare,
That much was worne, but therein little red,
For of devotion he had little care,
Still drownd in sleepe, and most of his dayes ded;
Scarse could he once uphold his heavie hed,
To looken, whether it were night or day:
May seeme the wayne was very evill led,
When such an one had guiding of the way,
That knew not, whether right he went, or else astray.
xx
From worldly cares himselfe he did esloyne.
And greatly shunned manly exercise,
From every worke he chalenged essoyne.
For contemplation sake: yet otherwise,
His life he led in lawlesse riotise;
287
By which he grew to grievous malady;
For in his lustlesse limbs through evill guise
A shaking fever raignd continually:
Such one was Idlenesse, first of this company.
xxi
And by his side rode loathsome Gluttony,
Deformed creature, on a filthie swyne,
His belly was up-blowne with luxury,
And eke with fatnesse swollen were his eyne,
And like a Crane his necke was long and fyne,
With which he swallowd up excessive feast,
For want whereof poore people oft did pyne;
And all the way, most like a brutish beast,
He spued up his gorge, that all did him deteast.
xxii
In greene vine leaves he was right fitly clad;
For other clothes he could not weare for heat,
And on his head an yvie girland had,
From under which fast trickled downe the sweat:
Still as he rode, he somewhat still did eat,
And in his hand did beare a bouzing can,
Of which he supt so oft, that on his seat
His dronken corse he scarse upholden can,
In shape and life more like a monster, than man.
xxiii
Unfit he was for any worldly thing,
And eke unhable once to stirre or go,
Not meet to be of counsell to a king,
Whose mind in meat and drinke was drowned so,
That from his friend he seldome knew his fo:
Full of diseases was his carcas blew,
And a dry dropsie through his flesh did flow,
Which by misdiet daily greater grew:
288
Such one was Gluttony, the second of that crew.
xxiv
And next to him rode lustfull Lechery,
Upon a bearded Goat, whose rugged haire,
And whally eyes (the signe of gelosy,)
Was like the person selfe, whom he did beare:
Who rough, and blacke, and filthy did appeare,
Unseemely man to please faire Ladies eye;
Yet he of Ladies oft was loved deare,
When fairer faces were bid standen by:
O who does know the bent of womens fantasy?
xxv
In a greene gowne he clothed was full faire,
Which underneath did hide his filthinesse,
And in his hand a burning hart he bare,
Full of vaine follies, and new fanglenesse:
For he was false, and fraught with ficklenesse,
And learned had to love with secret lookes,
And well could daunce, and sing with ruefulnesse,
And fortunes tell, and read in loving bookes,
And thousand other wayes, to bait his fleshly hookes.
xxvi
Inconstant man, that loved all he saw,
And lusted after all, that he did love,
Ne would his looser life be tide to law,
But joyd weake wemens hearts to tempt, and prove
If from their loyall loves he might them move;
Which lewdnesse fild him with reprochfull paine
Of that fowle evill, which all men reprove,
That rots the marrow, and consumes the braine:
Such one was Lecherie, the third of all this traine.
xxvii
289
And greedy Avarice by him did ride,
Upon a Camell loaden all with gold;
Two iron coffers hong on either side,
With precious mettall full, as they might hold,
And in his lap an heape of coine he told;
For of his wicked pelfe his God he made,
And unto hell him selfe for money sold;
Accursed usurie was all his trade,
And right and wrong ylike in equall ballaunce waide.
xxviii
His life was nigh unto deaths doore yplast,
And thred-bare cote, and cobled shoes he ware,
Ne scarse good morsell all his life did tast,
But both from backe and belly still did spare,
To fill his bags, and richesse to compare;
Yet chylde ne kinsman living had he none
To leave them to; but thorough daily care
To get, and nightly feare to lose his owne,
He led a wretched life unto him selfe unknowne.
xxix
Most wretched wight, whom nothing might suffise,
Whose greedy lust did lacke in greatest store,
Whose need had end, but no end covetise,
Whose wealth was want, whose plenty made him pore,
Who had enough, yet wished ever more;
A vile disease, and eke in foote and hand
A grievous gout tormented him full sore,
That well he could not touch, nor go, nor stand:
Such one was Avarice, the fourth of this faire band.
xxx
And next to him malicious Envie rode,
290
Upon a ravenous wolfe, and still did chaw
Betweene his cankred teeth a venemous tode,
That all the poison ran about his chaw;
But inwardly he chawed his owne maw
At neighbours wealth, that made him ever sad;
For death it was, when any good he saw,
And wept, that cause of weeping none he had,
But when he heard of harme, he wexed wondrous glad.
xxxi
All in a kirtle of discolourd say
He clothed was, ypainted full of eyes;
And in his bosome secretly there lay
An hatefull Snake, the which his taile uptyes
In many folds, and mortall sting implyes.
Still as he rode, he gnasht his teeth, to see
Those heapes of gold with griple Covetyse,
And grudged at the great felicitie
Of proud Lucifera, and his owne companie.
xxxii
He hated all good workes and vertuous deeds,
And him no lesse, that any like did use,
And who with gracious bread the hungry feeds,
His almes for want of faith he doth accuse;
So every good to bad he doth abuse:
And eke the verse of famous Poets witt
He doth backebite, and spightfull poison spues
From leprous mouth on all, that ever writt:
Such one vile Envie was, that fifte in row did sitt.
xxxiii
And him beside rides fierce revenging Wrath,
Upon a Lion, loth for to be led;
And in his hand a burning brond he hath,
The which he brandisheth about his hed;
291
His eyes did hurle forth sparkles fiery red,
And stared sterne on all, that him beheld,
As ashes pale of hew and seeming ded;
And on his dagger still his hand he held,
Trembling through hasty rage, when choler in him sweld.
xxxiv
His ruffin raiment all was staind with blood,
Which he had spilt, and all to rags yrent,
Through unadvized rashnesse woxen wood;
For of his hands he had no governement,
Ne car'd for bloud in his avengement:
But when the furious fit was overpast,
His cruell facts he often would repent;
Yet wilfull man he never would forecast,
How many mischieves should ensue his heedlesse hast.
xxxv
Full many mischiefes follow cruell Wrath;
Abhorred bloudshed, and tumultuous strife,
Unmanly murder, and unthrifty scath,
Bitter despight, with rancours rusty knife,
And fretting griefe the enemy of life;
All these, and many evils moe haunt ire,
The swelling Splene, and Frenzy raging rife,
The shaking Palsey, and Saint Fraunces fire:
Such one was Wrath, the last of this ungodly tire.
xxxvi
And after all, upon the wagon beame
Rode Sathan, with a smarting whip in hand,
With which he forward lasht the laesie teme,
So oft as Slowth still in the mire did stand.
Huge routs of people did about them band,
Showting for joy, and still before their way
A foggy mist had covered all the land;
292
And underneath their feet, all scattered lay
Dead sculs and bones of men, whose life had gone astray.
~ Edmund Spenser,
234:I-Juca Pirama
No meio das tabas de amenos verdores,
Cercadas de troncos — cobertos de flores,
Alteiam-se os tetos d’altiva nação;
São muitos seus filhos, nos ânimos fortes,
Temíveis na guerra, que em densas coortes
Assombram das matas a imensa extensão.
São rudos, severos, sedentos de glória,
Já prélios incitam, já cantam vitória,
Já meigos atendem à voz do cantor:
São todos Timbiras, guerreiros valentes!
Seu nome lá voa na boca das gentes,
Condão de prodígios, de glória e terror!
As tribos vizinhas, sem forças, sem brio,
As armas quebrando, lançando-as ao rio,
O incenso aspiraram dos seus maracás:
Medrosos das guerras que os fortes acendem,
Custosos tributos ignavos lá rendem,
Aos duros guerreiros sujeitos na paz.
No centro da taba se estende um terreiro,
Onde ora se aduna o concílio guerreiro
Da tribo senhora, das tribos servis:
Os velhos sentados praticam d’outrora,
E os moços inquietos, que a festa enamora,
Derramam-se em torno dum índio infeliz.
Quem é? — ninguém sabe: seu nome é ignoto,
Sua tribo não diz: — de um povo remoto
Descende por certo — dum povo gentil;
Assim lá na Grécia ao escravo insulano
Tornavam distinto do vil muçulmano
As linhas corretas do nobre perfil.
Por casos de guerra caiu prisioneiro
Nas mãos dos Timbiras: — no extenso terreiro
Assola-se o teto, que o teve em prisão;
Convidam-se as tribos dos seus arredores,
Cuidosos se incumbem do vaso das cores,
Dos vários aprestos da honrosa função.
Acerva-se a lenha da vasta fogueira,
Entesa-se a corda de embira ligeira,
Adorna-se a maça com penas gentis:
A custo, entre as vagas do povo da aldeia
Caminha o Timbira, que a turba rodeia,
Garboso nas plumas de vário matiz.
Entanto as mulheres com leda trigança,
Afeitas ao rito da bárbara usança,
O índio já querem cativo acabar:
A coma lhe cortam, os membros lhe tingem,
Brilhante enduape no corpo lhe cingem,
Sombreia-lhe a fronte gentil canitar.
II
Em fundos vasos d’alvacenta argila ferve o cauim;
Enchem-se as copas, o prazer começa, reina o festim.
O prisioneiro, cuja morte anseiam, sentado está,
O prisioneiro, que outro sol no ocaso jamais verá!
A dura corda, que lhe enlaça o colo, mostra-lhe o fim
Da vida escura, que será mais breve do que o festim!
Contudo os olhos d’ignóbil pranto secos estão;
Mudos os lábios não descerram queixas do coração.
Mas um martírio, que encobrir não pode, em rugas faz
A mentirosa placidez do rosto na fronte audaz!
Que tens, guerreiro? Que temor te assalta no passo horrendo?
Honra das tabas que nascer te viram, folga morrendo.
Folga morrendo; porque além dos Andes revive o forte,
Que soube ufano contrastar os medos da fria morte.
Rasteira grama, exposta ao sol, à chuva, lá murcha e pende:
Somente ao tronco, que devassa os ares, o raio ofende!
Que foi? Tupã mandou que ele caísse, como viveu;
E o caçador que o avistou prostrado esmoreceu!
Que temes, ó guerreiro? Além dos Andes revive o forte,
Que soube ufano contrastar os medos da fria morte.
III
Em larga roda de novéis guerreiros
Ledo caminha o festival Timbira,
A quem do sacrifício cabe as honras.
Na fronte o canitar sacode em ondas,
O enduape na cinta se embalança,
Na destra mão sopesa a ivirapeme,
Orgulhoso e pujante. — Ao menor passo
Colar d’alvo marfim, insígnia d’honra,
Que lhe orna o colo e o peito, ruge e freme,
Como que por feitiço não sabido
Encantadas ali as almas grandes
Dos vencidos Tapuias, inda chorem
Serem glória e brasão d'imigos feros.
“Eis-me aqui, diz ao índio prisioneiro;
“Pois que fraco, e sem tribo, e sem família,
“As nossas matas devassaste ousado,
“Morrerás morte vil da mão de um forte.”
Vem a terreiro o mísero contrário;
Do colo à cinta a muçurana desce:
“Dize-nos quem és, teus feitos canta,
“Ou se mais te apraz, defende-te.” Começa
O índio, que ao redor derrama os olhos,
Com triste voz que os ânimos comove.
IV
Meu canto de morte,
Guerreiros, ouvi:
Sou filho das selvas,
Nas selvas cresci;
Guerreiros, descendo
Da tribo Tupi.
10
Da tribo pujante,
Que agora anda errante
Por fado inconstante,
Guerreiros, nasci;
Sou bravo, sou forte,
Sou filho do Norte;
Meu canto de morte,
Guerreiros, ouvi.
Já vi cruas brigas,
De tribos imigas,
E as duras fadigas
Da guerra provei;
Nas ondas mendaces
Senti pelas faces
Os silvos fugaces
Dos ventos que amei.
Andei longes terras,
Lidei cruas guerras,
Vaguei pelas serras
Dos vis Aimorés;
Vi lutas de bravos,
Vi fortes — escravos!
De estranhos ignavos
Calcados aos pés.
E os campos talados,
E os arcos quebrados,
E os piagas coitados
Já sem maracás;
E os meigos cantores,
Servindo a senhores,
Que vinham traidores,
Com mostras de paz
Aos golpes do imigo
Meu último amigo,
Sem lar, sem abrigo
Caiu junto a mi!
Com plácido rosto,
Sereno e composto,
11
O acerbo desgosto
Comigo sofri.
Meu pai a meu lado
Já cego e quebrado,
De penas ralado,
Firmava-se em mi:
Nós ambos, mesquinhos,
Por ínvios caminhos,
Cobertos d’espinhos
Chegamos aqui!
O velho no entanto
Sofrendo já tanto
De fome e quebranto,
Só qu’ria morrer!
Não mais me contenho,
Nas matas me embrenho,
Das frechas que tenho
Me quero valer.
Então, forasteiro,
Caí prisioneiro
De um troço guerreiro
Com que me encontrei:
O cru dessossego
Do pai fraco e cego,
Enquanto não chego,
Qual seja — dizei!
Eu era o seu guia
Na noite sombria,
A só alegria
Que Deus lhe deixou:
Em mim se apoiava,
Em mim se firmava,
Em mim descansava,
Que filho lhe sou.
Ao velho coitado
De penas ralado,
Já cego e quebrado,
12
Que resta? - Morrer.
Enquanto descreve
O giro tão breve
Da vida que teve,
Deixa-me viver!
Não vil, não ignavo,
Mas forte, mas bravo,
Serei vosso escravo:
Aqui virei ter.
Guerreiros, não coro
Do pranto que choro;
Se a vida deploro,
Também sei morrer.
Soltai-o! — diz o chefe. Pasma a turba;
Os guerreiros murmuram: mal ouviram,
Nem pode nunca um chefe dar tal ordem!
Brada segunda vez com voz mais alta,
Afrouxam-se as prisões, a embira cede,
A custo, sim; mas cede: o estranho é salvo,
— Timbira, diz o índio enternecido,
Solto apenas dos nós que o seguravam:
És um guerreiro ilustre, um grande chefe,
Tu que assim do meu mal te comoveste,
Nem sofres que, transposta a natureza,
Com olhos onde a luz já não cintila,
Chore a morte do filho o pai cansado,
Que somente por seu na voz conhece.
— És livre; parte.
— E voltarei.
— Debalde.
— Sim, voltarei, morto meu pai.
— Não voltes!
É bem feliz, se existe, em que não veja,
Que filho tem, qual chora: és livre; parte!
— Acaso tu supões que me acobardo,
13
Que receio morrer!
— És livre; parte!
— Ora não partirei; quero provar-te
Que um filho dos Tupis vive com honra,
E com honra maior, se acaso vencem,
Da morte o passo glorioso afronta.
— Mentiste, que um Tupi não chora nunca,
E tu choraste!... parte; não queremos
Com carne vil enfraquecer os fortes.
Sobresteve o Tupi: - arfando em ondas
O rebater do coração se ouvia
Precipite. - Do rosto afogueado
Gélidas bagas de suor corriam:
Talvez que o assaltava um pensamento...
Já não... que na enlutada fantasia,
Um pesar, um martírio ao mesmo tempo,
Do velho pai a moribunda imagem
Quase bradar-lhe ouvia: - Ingrato! ingrato!
Curvado o colo, taciturno e frio,
Espectro d’homem, penetrou no bosque!
VI
— Filho meu, onde estás?
— Ao vosso lado;
Aqui vos trago provisões: tomai-as,
As vossas forças restaurar perdidas,
E a caminho, e já!
— Tardaste muito!
Não era nado o sol, quando partiste,
E frouxo o seu calor já sinto agora!
— Sim, demorei-me a divagar sem rumo,
Perdi-me nestas matas intrincadas,
Reaviei-me e tornei; mas urge o tempo;
Convém partir, e já!
14
— Que novos males
Nos resta de sofrer? — que novas dores,
No outro fado pior Tupã nos guarda?
— As setas da aflição já se esgotaram,
Nem para novo golpe espaço intacto
Em nossos corpos resta.
— Mas tu tremes
— Talvez do afã da caça...
— Oh filho caro
Um quê misterioso aqui me fala,
Aqui no coração; piedosa fraude
Será por certo, que não mentes nunca!
Não conheces temor, e agora temes?
Vejo e sei: é Tupã que nos aflige,
E contra o seu querer não valem brios.
Partamos!... — E com mão trêmula, incerta
Procura o filho, tateando as trevas
Da sua noite lúgubre e medonha.
Sentindo o acre odor das frescas tintas,
Uma idéia fatal correu-lhe à mente...
Do filho os membros gélidos apalpa,
E a dolorosa maciez das plumas
Conhece estremecendo: — foge, volta,
encontra sob as mãos o duro crânio,
Despido então do natural ornato!...
Recua aflito e pávido, cobrindo
Às mãos ambas os olhos fulminados,
Como que teme ainda o triste velho
De ver, não mais cruel, porém mais clara,
Daquele exício grande a imagem viva
Ante os olhos do corpo afigurada.
Não era que a verdade conhecesse
Inteira e tão cruel qual tinha sido;
Mas que funesto azar correra o filho,
Ele o via; ele o tinha ali presente;
E era de repetir-se a cada instante.
A dor passada, a previsão futura
E o presente tão negro, ali os tinha;
Ali no coração se concentrava,
15
Era num ponto só, mas era a morte!
— Tu prisioneiro, tu?
— Vós o dissesses.
— Dos índios?
— Sim.
— De que nação?
— Timbiras
— E a muçurana funeral rompeste,
Dos falsos manitôs quebraste a maça...
— Nada fiz... aqui estou.
— Nada! —
Emudecem;
Curto instante depois prossegue o velho:
— Tu és valente, bem o sei; confesso,
Fizeste-o, certo, ou já não foras vivo!
— Nada fiz; mas souberam da existência
De um pobre velho, que em mim só vivia...
— E depois?...
—Eis-me aqui.
—Fica essa taba?
— Na direção do sol, quando transmonta.
— Longe?
— Não muito.
16
— Tens razão: partamos.
— E quereis ir?...
— Na direção do ocaso.
VII
“Por amor de um triste velho,
Que ao termo fatal já chega,
Vós, guerreiros, concedesses
A vida a um prisioneiro.
Ação tão nobre vos honra,
Nem tão alta cortesia
Vi eu jamais praticada
Entre os Tupis — e mas foram
Senhores em gentileza.
“Eu porém nunca vencido,
Nem os combates por armas
Nem por nobreza nos atos;
Aqui venho, e o filho trago.
Vós o dizeis prisioneiro,
Seja assim como dizeis;
Manda! vir a lenha, o fogo,
A maça do sacrifício
E a muçurana ligeira:
Em tudo o rito se cumpra!
E quando eu for só na terra,
Certo acharei entre os vossos,
Que tão gentis se revelam,
Alguém que meus passos guie;
Alguém, que vendo o meu peito
Coberto de cicatrizes,
Tomando a vez de meu filho,
De haver-me por pai se ufane!"
Mas o chefe dos Timbiras,
Os sobrolhos encrespando,
Ao velho Tupi guerreiro
Responde com torvo acento:
17
— Nada farei do que dizes:
É teu filho imbele e fraco!
Aviltaria o triunfo
Da mais guerreira das tribos
Derramar seu ignóbil sangue:
Ele chorou de cobarde;
Nós outros, fortes Timbiras,
Só de heróis fazemos pasto. —
Do velho Tupi guerreiro
A surda voz na garganta
Faz ouvir uns sons confusos,
Como os rugidos de um tigre,
Que pouco a pouco se assanha!
VIII
“Tu choraste em presença da morte?
Na presença de estranhos choraste?
Não descende o cobarde do forte;
Pois choraste, meu filho não és!
Possas tu, descendente maldito
De uma tribo de nobres guerreiros,
Implorando cruéis forasteiros,
Seres presa de vis Aimorés.
“Possas tu, isolado na terra,
Sem arrimo e sem pátria vagando,
Rejeitado da morte na guerra,
Rejeitado dos homens na paz,
Ser das gentes o espectro execrado;
Não encontres amor nas mulheres,
Teus amigos, se amigos tiveres,
Tenham alma inconstante e falaz!
“Não encontres doçura no dia,
Nem as cores da aurora te ameiguem,
E entre as larvas da noite sombria
Nunca possas descanso gozar:
Não encontres um tronco, uma pedra,
Posta ao sol, posta às chuvas e aos ventos,
Padecendo os maiores tormentos,
Onde possas a fronte pousar.
18
“Que a teus passos a relva se torre;
Murchem prados, a flor desfaleça,
E o regato que límpido corre,
Mais te acenda o vesano furor;
Suas águas depressa se tornem,
Ao contacto dos lábios sedentos,
Lago impuro de vermes nojentos,
Donde festas como asco e terror!
“Sempre o céu, como um teto incendido,
Creste e punja teus membros malditos
E o oceano de pó denegrido
Seja a terra ao ignavo tupi!
Miserável, faminto, sedento,
Manitôs lhe não falem nos sonhos,
E do horror os espectros medonhos
Traga sempre o cobarde após si.
“Um amigo não tenhas piedoso
Que o teu corpo na terra embalsame,
Pondo em vaso d’argila cuidoso
Arco e frecha e tacape a teus pés!
Sé maldito, e sozinho na terra;
Pois que a tanta vileza chegaste,
Que em presença da morte choraste,
Tu, cobarde, meu filho não és.”
IX
Isto dizendo, o meserando velho
A quem Tupã tamanha dor, tal fado
Já nos confins da vida reservara,
Vai com trêmulo pé, com as mãos já frias
Da sua noite escura as densas trevas
Palpando. - Alarma! alarma! - O velho para.
O grito que escutou é voz do filho,
Voz de guerra que ouviu já tantas vezes
Noutra quadra melhor. - Alarma! alarma!
— Esse momento só vale apagar-lhe
Os tão compridos transes, as angústias,
Que o frio coração lhe atormentaram
19
De guerreiro e de pai: - vale, e de sobra.
Ele que em tanta dor se contivera,
Tomado pelo súbito contraste,
Desfaz-se agora em pranto copioso,
Que o exaurido coração remoça.
A taba se alborota, os golpes descem,
Gritos, imprecações profundas soam,
Emaranhada a multidão braveja,
Revolve-se, enovela-se confusa,
E mais revolta em mor furor se acende.
E os sons dos golpes que incessantes fervem.
Vozes, gemidos, estertor de morte
Vão longe pelas ermas serranias
Da humana tempestade propagando
Quantas vagas de povo enfurecido
Contra um rochedo vivo se quebravam.
Era ele, o Tupi; nem fora justo
Que a fama dos Tupis - o nome, a glória,
Aturado labor de tantos anos,
Derradeiro brasão da raça extinta,
De um jacto e por um só se aniquilasse.
— Basta! clama o chefe dos Timbiras,
— Basta, guerreiro ilustre! assaz lutaste,
E para o sacrifício é mister forças. O guerreiro parou, caiu nos braços
Do velho pai, que o cinge contra o peito,
Com lágrimas de júbilo bradando:
“Este, sim, que é meu filho muito amado!
“E pois que o acho enfim, qual sempre o tive,
“Corram livres as lágrimas que choro,
“Estas lágrimas, sim, que não desonram.”
Um velho Timbira, coberto de glória,
guardou a memória
Do moço guerreiro, do velho Tupi!
20
E à noite, nas tabas, se alguém duvidava
do que ele contava,
Dizia prudente: - “Meninos, eu vi!
“Eu vi o brioso no largo terreiro
cantar prisioneiro
Seu canto de morte, que nunca esqueci:
Valente, como era, chorou sem ter pejo;
parece que o vejo,
Que o tenho nest’hora diante de mim.
“Eu disse comigo: Que infâmia d’escravo!
Pois não, era um bravo;
Valente e brioso, como ele, não vi!
E à fé que vos digo: parece-me encanto
Que quem chorou tanto,
Tivesse a coragem que tinha o Tupi!”
Assim o Timbira, coberto de glória,
guardava a memória
Do moço guerreiro, do velho Tupi.
E à noite nas tabas, se alguém duvidava
do que ele contava,
Tomava prudente: “Meninos, eu vi!”
~ Antônio Gonçalves Dias,
235:The Faerie Queene, Book Iii, Canto Vi
THE THIRD BOOKE OF THE FAERIE QUEENE
Contayning
THE LEGENDE OF BRITOMARTIS
OR OF CHASTITIECANTO VI
The birth of faire Belphoebe and
Of Amoret is told.
The Gardins of Adonis fraught
With pleasures manifold.
Well may I weene, faire Ladies, all this while
Ye wonder, how this noble Damozell
So great perfections did in her compile,
Sith that in salvage forests she did dwell,
So farre from court and royall Citadell,
The great schoolmistresse of all curtesy:
Seemeth that such wild woods should far expell
All civill usage and gentility,
And gentle sprite deforme with rude rusticity.
ii
But to this faire Belphoebe in her berth
The heavens so favourable were and free,
Looking with myld aspect upon the earth,
In th'Horoscope of her nativitee,
That all the gifts of grace and chastitee
On her they poured forth of plenteous horne;
Jove laught on Venus from his soveraigne see,
And Phoebus with faire beames did her adorne,
And all the Graces rockt her cradle being borne.
iii
Her berth was of the wombe of Morning dew,
And her conception of the joyous Prime,
And all her whole creation did her shew
Pure and unspotted from all loathly crime,
294
That is ingenerate in fleshly slime.
So was this virgin borne, so was she bred,
So was she trayned up from time to time,
In all chast vertue, and true bounti-hed
Till to her dew perfection she was ripened.
iv
Her mother was the faire Chrysogonee,
The daughter of Amphisa, who by race
A Faerie was, yborne of high degree,
She bore Belphoebe, she bore in like cace
Faire Amoretta in the second place:
These two were twinnes, and twixt them two did share
The heritage of all celestiall grace.
That all the rest it seem'd they robbed bare
Of bountie, and of beautie, and all vertues rare.
It were a goodly storie, to declare,
By what straunge accident faire Chrysogone
Conceiv'd these infants, and how them she bare,
In this wild forrest wandring all alone,
After she had nine moneths fulfild and gone:
For not as other wemens commune brood,
They were enwombed in the sacred throne
Of her chaste bodie, nor with commune food,
As other wemens babes, they sucked vitall blood.
vi
But wondrously they were begot, and bred
Through influence of th'heavens fruitfull ray,
As it in antique bookes is mentioned.
It was upon a Sommers shynie day,
When Titan faire his beames did display,
In a fresh fountaine, farre from all mens vew,
She bath'd her brest, the boyling heat t'allay;
She bath'd with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.
295
vii
Till faint through irkesome wearinesse, adowne
Upon the grassie ground her selfe she layd
To sleepe, the whiles a gentle slombring swowne
Upon her fell all naked bare displayd;
The sunne-beames bright upon her body playd,
Being through former bathing mollifide,
And pierst into her wombe, where they embayd
With so sweet sence and secret power unspide,
That in her pregnant flesh they shortly fructifide.
viii
Miraculous may seeme to him, that reades
So straunge ensample of conception;
But reason teacheth that the fruitfull seades
Of all things living, through impression
Of the sunbeames in moyst complexion,
Doe life conceive and quickned are by kynd:
So after Nilus inundation,
Infinite shapes of creatures men do fynd,
Informed in the mud, on which the Sunne hath shynd.
ix
Great father he of generation
Is rightly cald, th'author of life and light;
And his faire sister for creation
Ministreth matter fit, which tempred right
With heate and humour, breedes the living wight.
So sprong these twinnes in wombe of Chrysogone,
Yet wist she nought thereof, but sore affright,
Wondred to see her belly so upblone,
Which still increast, till she her terme had full outgone.
Whereof conceiving shame and foule disgrace,
Albe her guiltlesse conscience her cleard,
She fled into the wildernesse a space,
Till that unweeldy burden she had reard,
296
And shund dishonor, which as death she feard:
Where wearie of long travell, downe to rest
Her selfe she set, and comfortably cheard;
There a sad cloud of sleepe her overkest,
And seized every sense with sorrow sore opprest.
xi
It fortuned, faire Venus having lost
Her little sonne, the winged god of love,
Who for some light displeasure, which him crost,
Was from her fled, as flit as ayerie Dove,
And left her blisfull bowre of joy above,
(So from her often he had fled away,
When she for ought him sharpely did reprove,
And wandred in the world in strange aray,
Disguiz'd in thousand shapes, that none might him bewray.)
xii
Him for to seeke, she left her heavenly hous,
The house of goodly formes and faire aspects,
Whence all the world derives the glorious
Features of beautie, and all shapes select,
With which high God his workmanship hath deckt;
And searched every way, through which his wings
Had borne him, or his tract she mote detect:
She promist kisses sweet, and sweeter things
Unto the man, that of him tydings to her brings.
xiii
First she him sought in Court, where most he used
Whylome to haunt, but there she found him not;
But many there she found, which sore accused
His falsehood, and with foule infamous blot
His cruell deedes and wicked wyles did spot:
Ladies and Lords she every where mote heare
Complayning, how with his empoysned shot
Their wofull harts he wounded had whyleare,
297
And so had left them languishing twixt hopt and feare.
xiv
She then the Citties sought from gate to gate,
And every one did aske, did he him see;
And every one her answerd, that too late
He had him seene, and felt the crueltie
Of his sharpe darts and whot artillerie;
And every one threw forth reproches rife
Of his mischievous deedes, and said, That hee
Was the disturber of all civill life,
The enimy of peace, and author of all strife.
xv
Then in the countrey she abroad him sought,
And in the rurall cottages inquired,
Where also many plaints to her were brought,
How he their heedlesse harts with love had fyred,
And his false venim through their veines inspyred;
And eke the gentle shepheard swaynes, which sat
Keeping their fleecie flockes, as they were hyred,
She sweetly heard complaine, both how and what
Her sonne had to them doen; yet she did smile thereat.
xvi
But when in none of all these she him got,
She gan avize, where else he mote him hyde:
At last she her bethought, that she had not
Yet sought the salvage woods and forrests wyde,
In which full many lovely Nymphes abyde,
Mongst whom might be, that he did closely lye,
Or that the love of some of them him tyde:
For thy she thither cast her course t'apply,
To search the secret haunts of Dianes company.
xvii
298
Shortly unto the wastefull woods she came,
Whereas she found the Goddesse with her crew,
After late chace of their embrewed game,
Sitting beside a fountaine in a rew,
Some of them washing with the liquid dew
From offtheir dainty limbes the dustie sweat,
And soyle which did deforme their lively hew;
Others lay shaded from the scorching heat;
The rest upon her person gave attendance great.
xviii
She having hong upon a bough on high
Her bow and painted quiver, had unlaste
Her silver buskins from her nimble thigh,
And her lancke loynes ungirt, and brests unbraste,
After her heat the breathing cold to taste;
Her golden lockes, that late in tresses bright
Embreaded were for hindring of her haste,
Now loose about her shoulders hong undight,
And were with sweet Ambrosia all besprinckled light.
xix
Soone as she Venus saw behind her backe,
She was asham'd to be so loose surprized,
And woxe halfe wroth against her damzels slacke,
That had not her thereof before avized,
But suffred her so carelesly disguized
Be overtaken. Soone her garments loose
Upgath'ring, in her bosome she comprized,
Well as she might, and to the Goddesse rose,
Whiles all her Nymphes did like a girlond her enclose.
xx
Goodly she gan faire Cytherea greet,
299
And shortly asked her, what cause her brought
Into that wildernesse for her unmeet,
From her sweete bowres, and beds with pleasures fraught:
That suddein change she strange adventure thought.
To whom halfe weeping, she thus answered,
That she her dearest sonne Cupido sought,
Who in his frowardnesse from her was fled;
That she repented sore, to have him angered.
xxi
Thereat Diana gan to smile, in scorne
Of her vaine plaint, and to her scoffmg sayd;
Great pittie sure, that ye be so forlorne
Of your gay sonne, that gives ye so good ayd
To your disports: ill mote ye bene apayd.
But she was more engrieved, and replide;
Faire sister, ill beseemes it to upbrayd
A dolefull heart with so disdainfull pride;
The like that mine, may be your paine another tide.
xxii
As you in woods and wanton wildernesse
Your glory set, to chace the salvage beasts,
So my delight is all in joyfulnesse,
In beds, in bowres, in banckets, and in feasts:
And ill becomes you with your loftie creasts,
To scorne the joy, that Jove is glad to seeke;
We both are bound to follow heavens beheasts,
And tend our charges with obeisance meeke:
Spare, gentle sister, with reproch my paine to eeke.
xxiii
And tell me, if that ye my sonne have heard,
To lurk emongst your Nymphes in secret wize;
Or keepe their cabins: much I am affeard,
Lest he like one of them him selfe disguize,
300
And turne his arrowes to their exercize:
So may he long himselfe full easie hide:
For he is faire and fresh in face and guize,
As any Nymph (let not it be envyde.)
So saying every Nymph full narrowly she eyde.
xxiv
But Phoebe therewith sore was angered,
And sharply said; Goe Dame, goe seeke your boy,
Where you him lately left, in Mars his bed;
He comes not here, we scorne his foolish joy,
Ne lend we leisure to his idle toy:
But if I catch him in this company,
By Stygian lake I vow, whose sad annoy
The Gods doe dread, he dearely shall abye:
Ile clip his wanton wings, that he no more shall fly.
xxv
Whom when as Venus saw so sore displeased,
She inly sory was, and gan relent,
What she had said: so her she soone appeased,
With sugred words and gentle blandishment,
Which as a fountaine from her sweet lips went,
And welled goodly forth, that in short space
She was well pleasd, and forth her damzels sent,
Through all the woods, to search from place to place,
If any tract of him or tydings they mote trace.
xxvi
To search the God of love, her Nymphes she sent
Throughout the wandring forrest every where:
But after them her selfe eke with her went
To seeke the fugitive, both farre and nere.
So long they sought, till they arrived were
In that same shadie covert, whereas lay
Faire Crysogone in slombry traunce whilere:
301
Who in her sleepe (a wondrous thing to say)
Unwares had borne two babes, as faire as springing day.
xxvii
Unwares she them conceiv'd, unwares she bore:
She bore withouten paine, that she conceived
Withouten pleasure: ne her need implore
Lucinaes aide: which when they both perceived,
They were through wonder nigh of sense bereaved,
And gazing each on other, nought bespake:
At last they both agreed, her seeming grieved
Out of her heavy swowne not to awake,
But from her loving side the tender babes to take.
xxviii
Up they them tooke, each one a babe uptooke,
And with them carried, to be fostered;
Dame Phoebe to a Nymph her babe betooke,
To be upbrought in perfect Maydenhed,
And of her selfe her name Belphoebe red:
But Venus hers thence farre away convayd,
To be upbrought in goodly womanhed,
And in her litle loves stead, which was strayd,
Her Amoretta cald, to comfort her dismayd.
xxix
She brought her to her joyous Paradize,
Where most she wonnes, when she on earth does dwel.
So faire a place, as Nature can devize:
Whether in Paphos, or Cytheron hill,
Or it in Gnidus be, I wote not well;
But well I wote by tryall, that this same
All other pleasant places doth excell,
And called is by her lost lovers name,
The Gardin of Adonis, farre renowmd by fame.
302
xxx
In that same Gardin all the goodly flowres,
Wherewith dame Nature doth her beautifie,
And decks the girlonds of her paramoures,
Are fetcht: there is the first seminarie
Of all things, that are borne to live and die,
According to their kindes. Long worke it were,
Here to account the endlesse progenie
Of all the weedes, that bud and blossome there;
But so much as doth need, must needs be counted here.
xxxi
It sited was in fruitfull soyle of old,
And girt in with two walles on either side;
The one of yron, the other of bright gold,
That none might thorough breake, nor over-stride:
And double gates it had, which opened wide,
By which both in and out men moten pas;
Th'one faire and fresh, the other old and dride:
Old Genius the porter of them was,
Old Genius, the which a double nature has.
xxxii
He letteth in, he letteth out to wend,
All that to come into the world desire;
A thousand thousand naked babes attend
About him day and night, which doe require,
That he with fleshly weedes would them attire:
Such as him list, such as eternall fate
Ordained hath, he clothes with sinfull mire,
And sendeth forth to live in mortall state,
Till they againe returne backe by the hinder gate.
xxxiii
303
After that they againe returned beene,
They in that Gardin planted be againe;
And grow afresh, as they had never seene
Fleshly corruption, nor mortall paine.
Some thousand yeares so doen they there remaine;
And then of him are clad with other hew,
Or sent into the chaungefull world againe,
Till thither they returne, where first they grew:
So like a wheele around they runne from old to new.
xxxiv
Ne needs there Gardiner to set, or sow,
To plant or prune: for of their owne accord
All things, as they created were, doe grow,
And yet remember well the mightie word,
Which first was spoken by th'Almightie lord,
That bad them to increase and multiply:
Ne doe they need with water of the ford,
Or of the clouds to moysten their roots dry;
For in themselves eternall moisture they imply.
xxxv
Infinite shapes of creatures there are bred,
And uncouth formes, which none yet ever knew,
And every sort is in a sundry bed
Set by it selfe, and ranckt in comely rew:
Some fit for reasonable soules t'indew,
Some made for beasts, some made for birds to weare,
And all the fruitfull spawne of fishes hew
In endlesse rancks along enraunged were,
That seem'd the Ocean could not containe them there.
xxxvi
Daily they grow, and daily forth are sent
Into the world, it to replenish more;
Yet is the stocke not lessened, nor spent,
304
But still remaines in everlasting store,
As it at first created was of yore.
For in the wide wombe of the world there lyes,
In hatefull darkenesse and in deepe horrore,
An huge eternall Chaos, which supplyes
The substances of natures fruitfull progenyes.
xxxvii
All things from thence doe their first being fetch,
And borrow matter, whereof they are made,
Which when as forme and feature it does ketch,
Becomes a bodie, and doth then invade
The state of life, out of the griesly shade.
That substance is eterne, and bideth so,
Ne when the life decayes, and forme does fade,
Doth it consume, and into nothing go,
But chaunged is, and often altred to and fro.
xxxviii
The substance is not chaunged, nor altered,
But th'only forme and outward fashion;
For every substance is conditioned
To change her hew, and sundry formes to don,
Meet for her temper and complexion:
For formes are variable and decay,
By course of kind, and by occasion;
And that faire flowre of beautie fades away,
As doth the lilly fresh before the sunny ray.
xxxix
Great enimy to it, and to all the rest,
That in the Gardin of Adonis springs,
Is wicked Time, who with his scyth addrest,
Does mow the flowring herbes and goodly things,
And all their glory to the ground downe flings,
Where they doe wither, and are fowly mard:
305
He flyes about, and with his flaggy wings
Beates downe both leaves and buds without regard,
Ne ever pittie may relent his malice hard.
xl
Yet pittie often did the gods relent,
To see so faire things mard, and spoyled quight:
And their great mother Venus did lament
The losse of her deare brood, her deare delight;
Her hart was pierst with pittie at the sight,
When walking through the Gardin, them she saw,
Yet no'te she find redresse for such despight.
For all that lives, is subject to that law:
All things decay in time, and to their end do draw.
xli
But were it not, that Time their troubler is,
All that in this delightfull Gardin growes,
Should happie be, and have immortall blis:
For here all plentie, and all pleasure flowes,
And sweet love gentle fits emongst them throwes,
Without fell rancor, or fond gealosie;
Franckly each paramour his leman knowes,
Each bird his mate, ne any does envie
Their goodly meriment, and gay felicitie.
xlii
There is continuall spring, and harvest there
Continuall, both meeting at one time:
For both the boughes doe laughing blossomes beare,
And with fresh colours decke the wanton Prime,
And eke attonce the heavy trees they clime,
Which seeme to labour under their fruits lode:
The whiles the joyous birdes make their pastime
Emongst the shadie leaves, their sweet abode,
And their true loves without suspition tell abrode.
306
xliii
Right in the middest of that Paradise,
There stood a stately Mount, on whose round top
A gloomy grove of mirtle trees did rise,
Whose shadie boughes sharpe steele did never lop,
Nor wicked beasts their tender buds did crop,
But like a girlond compassed the hight,
And from their fruitfull sides sweet gum did drop,
That all the ground with precious deaw bedight,
Threw forth most dainty odours, and most sweet delight.
xliv
And in the thickest covert of that shade,
There was a pleasant arbour, not by art,
But of the trees owne inclination made,
Which knitting their rancke braunches part to part,
With wanton yvie twyne entrayld athwart,
And Eglantine, and Caprifole emong,
Fashiond above within their inmost part,
That neither Phoebus beams could through them throng,
Nor Aeolus sharp blast could worke them any wrong.
xlv
And all about grew every sort of flowre,
To which sad lovers were transformd of yore;
Fresh Hyacinthus, Phoebus paramoure,
And dearest love,
Foolish Narcisse, that likes the watry shore,
Sad Amaranthus, made a flowre but late,
Sad Amaranthus, in whose purple gore
Me seemes I see Amintas wretched fate,
To whom sweet Poets verse hath given endlesse date.
xlvi
307
There wont faire Venus often to enjoy
Her deare Adonis joyous company,
And reape sweet pleasure of the wanton boy;
There yet, some say, in secret he does ly,
Lapped in flowres and pretious spycery,
By her hid from the world, and from the skill
Of Stygian Gods, which doe her love envy;
But she her selfe, when ever that she will,
Possesseth him, and of his sweetnesse takes her fill.
xlvii
And sooth it seemes they say: for he may not
For ever die, and ever buried bee
In balefull night, where all things are forgot;
All be he subject to mortalitie,
Yet is eterne in mutabilitie,
And by succession made perpetuall,
Transformed oft, and chaunged diverslie:
For him the Father of all formes they call;
Therefore needs mote he live, that living gives to all.
xlviii
There now he liveth in eternall blis,
Joying his goddesse, and of her enjoyd:
Ne feareth he henceforth that foe of his,
Which with his cruell tuske him deadly cloyd:
For that wilde Bore, the which him once annoyd,
She firmely hath emprisoned for ay,
That her sweet love his malice mote avoyd,
In a strong rocky Cave, which is they say,
Hewen underneath that Mount, that none him losen may.
xlix
There now he lives in everlasting joy,
With many of the Gods in company,
308
Which thither haunt, and with the winged boy
Sporting himselfe in safe felicity:
Who when he hath with spoiles and cruelty
Ransackt the world, and in the wofull harts
Of many wretches set his triumphes hye,
Thither resorts, and laying his sad darts
Aside, with faire Adonis playes his wanton parts.
And his true love faire Psyche with him playes,
Faire Psyche to him lately reconcyld,
After long troubles and unmeet upbrayes,
With which his mother Venus her revyld,
And eke himselfe her cruelly exyld:
But now in stedfast love and happy state
She with him lives, and hath him borne a chyld,
Pleasure, that doth both gods and men aggrate,
Pleasure, the daughter of Cupid and Psyche late.
li
Hither great Venus brought this infant faire,
The younger daughter of Chrysogonee,
And unto Psyche with great trust and care
Committed her, yfostered to bee,
And trained up in true feminitee:
Who no lesse carefully her tendered,
Then her owne daughter Pleasure, to whom shee
Made her companion, and her lessoned
In all the lore of love, and goodly womanhead....
~ Edmund Spenser,
236:CANTO I.
Fanatics have their dreams, wherewith they weave
A paradise for a sect; the savage, too,
From forth the loftiest fashion of his sleep
Guesses at heaven; pity these have not
Trac'd upon vellum or wild Indian leaf
The shadows of melodious utterance,
But bare of laurel they live, dream, and die;
For Poesy alone can tell her dreams,--
With the fine spell of words alone can save
Imagination from the sable chain
And dumb enchantment. Who alive can say,
"Thou art no Poet -- may'st not tell thy dreams?"
Since every man whose soul is not a clod
Hath visions and would speak, if he had loved,
And been well nurtured in his mother tongue.
Whether the dream now purpos'd to rehearse
Be poet's or fanatic's will be known
When this warm scribe, my hand, is in the grave.

Methought I stood where trees of every clime,
Palm, myrtle, oak, and sycamore, and beech,
With plantane and spice-blossoms, made a screen,
In neighbourhood of fountains (by the noise
Soft-showering in mine ears), and (by the touch
Of scent) not far from roses. Twining round
I saw an arbour with a drooping roof
Of trellis vines, and bells, and larger blooms,
Like floral censers, swinging light in air;
Before its wreathed doorway, on a mound
Of moss, was spread a feast of summer fruits,
Which, nearer seen, seem'd refuse of a meal
By angel tasted or our Mother Eve;
For empty shells were scatter'd on the grass,
And grapestalks but half-bare, and remnants more
Sweet-smelling, whose pure kinds I could not know.
Still was more plenty than the fabled horn
Thrice emptied could pour forth at banqueting,
For Prosperine return'd to her own fields,
Where the white heifers low. And appetite,
More yearning than on earth I ever felt,
Growing within, I ate deliciously,--
And, after not long, thirsted; for thereby
Stood a cool vessel of transparent juice
Sipp'd by the wander'd bee, the which I took,
And pledging all the mortals of the world,
And all the dead whose names are in our lips,
Drank. That full draught is parent of my theme.
No Asian poppy nor elixir fine
Of the soon-fading, jealous, Caliphat,
No poison gender'd in close monkish cell,
To thin the scarlet conclave of old men,
Could so have rapt unwilling life away.
Among the fragment husks and berries crush'd
Upon the grass, I struggled hard against
The domineering potion, but in vain.
The cloudy swoon came on, and down I sank,
Like a Silenus on an antique vase.
How long I slumber'd 'tis a chance to guess.
When sense of life return'd, I started up
As if with wings, but the fair trees were gone,
The mossy mound and arbour were no more;
I look'd around upon the curved sides
Of an old sanctuary, with roof august,
Builded so high, it seem'd that filmed clouds
Might spread beneath as o'er the stars of heaven.
So old the place was, I remember'd none
The like upon the earth: what I had seen
Of grey cathedrals, buttress'd walls, rent towers,
The superannuations of sunk realms,
Or Nature's rocks toil'd hard in waves and winds,
Seem'd but the faulture of decrepit things
To that eternal domed monument.
Upon the marble at my feet there lay
Store of strange vessels and large draperies,
Which needs have been of dyed asbestos wove,
Or in that place the moth could not corrupt,
So white the linen, so, in some, distinct
Ran imageries from a sombre loom.
All in a mingled heap confus'd there lay
Robes, golden tongs, censer and chafing-dish,
Girdles, and chains, and holy jewelries.

Turning from these with awe, once more I raised
My eyes to fathom the space every way:
The embossed roof, the silent massy range
Of columns north and south, ending in mist
Of nothing; then to eastward, where black gates
Were shut against the sunrise evermore;
Then to the west I look'd, and saw far off
An image, huge of feature as a cloud,
At level of whose feet an altar slept,
To be approach'd on either side by steps
And marble balustrade, and patient travail
To count with toil the innumerable degrees.
Towards the altar sober-pac'd I went,
Repressing haste as too unholy there;
And, coming nearer, saw beside the shrine
One ministering; and there arose a flame
When in mid-day the sickening east-wind
Shifts sudden to the south, the small warm rain
Melts out of the frozen incense from all flowers,
And fills the air with so much pleasant health
That even the dying man forgets his shroud;--
Even so that lofty sacrificial fire,
Sending forth Maian incense, spread around
Forgetfulness of everything but bliss,
And clouded all the altar with soft smoke;
From whose white fragrant curtains thus I heard
Language pronounc'd: "If thou canst not ascend
These steps, die on that marble where thou art.
Thy flesh, near cousin to the common dust,
Will parch for lack of nutriment; thy bones
Will wither in few years, and vanish so
That not the quickest eye could find a grain
Of what thou now art on that pavement cold.
The sands of thy short life are spent this hour,
And no hand in the universe can turn
Thy hourglass, if these gummed leaves be burnt
Ere thou canst mount up these immortal steps."
I heard, I look'd: two senses both at once,
So fine, so subtle, felt the tyranny
Of that fierce threat and the hard task proposed.
Prodigious seem'd the toil; the leaves were yet
Burning, when suddenly a palsied chill
Struck from the paved level up my limbs.
And was ascending quick to put cold grasp
Upon those streams that pulse beside the throat.
I shriek'd, and the sharp anguish of my shriek
Stung my own ears; I strove hard to escape
The numbness, strove to gain the lowest step.
Slow, heavy, deadly was my pace: the cold
Grew stifling, suffocating at the heart;
And when I clasp'd my hands I felt them not.
One minute before death my ic'd foot touch'd
The lowest stair; and, as it touch'd, life seem'd
To pour in at the toes; I mounted up
As once fair angels on a ladder flew
From the green turf to heaven. "Holy Power,"
Cry'd I, approaching near the horned shrine,
"What am I that another death come not
To choke my utterance, sacrilegious, here?"
Then said the veiled shadow: "Thou hast felt
What 'tis to die and live again before
Thy fated hour; that thou hadst power to do so
Is thine own safety; thou hast dated on
Thy doom." "High Prophetess," said I, "purge off,
Benign, if so it please thee, my mind's film."
"None can usurp this height," return'd that shade,
"But those to whom the miseries of the world
Are misery, and will not let them rest.
All else who find a haven in the world,
Where they may thoughtless sleep away their days,
If by a chance into this fane they come,
Rot on the pavement where thou rottedst half."
"Are there not thousands in the world," said I,
Encourag'd by the sooth voice of the shade,
"Who love their fellows even to the death,
Who feel the giant agony of the world,
And more, like slaves to poor humanity,
Labour for mortal good? I sure should see
Other men here, but I am here alone."
"Those whom thou spakest of are no visionaries,"
Rejoin'd that voice; "they are no dreamers weak;
They seek no wonder but the human face,
No music but a happy-noted voice:
They come not here, they have no thought to come;
And thou art here, for thou art less than they.
What benefit canst thou do, or all thy tribe,
To the great world? Thou art a dreaming thing,
A fever of thyself: think of the earth;
What bliss, even in hope, is there for thee?
What haven? every creature hath its home,
Every sole man hath days of joy and pain,
Whether his labours be sublime or low --
The pain alone, the joy alone, distinct:
Only the dreamer venoms all his days,
Bearing more woe than all his sins deserve.
Therefore, that happiness be somewhat shared,
Such things as thou art are admitted oft
Into like gardens thou didst pass erewhile,
And suffer'd in these temples: for that cause
Thou standest safe beneath this statue's knees."
"That I am favour'd for unworthiness,
But such propitious parley medicined
In sickness not ignoble, I rejoice,
Aye, and could weep for love of such award."
So answer'd I, continuing, "If it please,
Majestic shadow, tell me where I am,
Whose altar this, for whom this incense curls;
What image this whose face I cannot see
For the broad marble knees; and who thou art,
Of accent feminine so courteous?"

Then the tall shade, in drooping linen veil'd,
Spoke out, so much more earnest, that her breath
Stirr'd the thin folds of gauze that drooping hung
About a golden censer from her hand
Pendent; and by her voice I knew she shed
Long-treasured tears. "This temple, sad and lone,
Is all spar'd from the thunder of a war
Foughten long since by giant hierarchy
Against rebellion: this old image here,
Whose carved features wrinkled as he fell,
Is Saturn's; I, Moneta, left supreme,
Sole goddess of this desolation."
I had no words to answer, for my tongue,
Useless, could find about its roofed home
No syllable of a fit majesty
To make rejoinder of Moneta's mourn:
There was a silence, while the altar's blaze
Was fainting for sweet food. I look'd thereon,
And on the paved floor, where nigh were piled
****s of cinnamon, and many heaps
Of other crisped spicewood: then again
I look'd upon the altar, and its horns
Whiten'd with ashes, and its languorous flame,
And then upon the offerings again;
And so, by turns, till sad Moneta cry'd:
"The sacrifice is done, but not the less
Will I be kind to thee for thy good will.
My power, which to me is still a curse,
Shall be to thee a wonder; for the scenes
Still swooning vivid through my globbed brain,
With an electral changing misery,
Thou shalt with these dull mortal eyes behold
Free from all pain, if wonder pain thee not."
As near as an immortal's sphered words
Could to a mother's soften were these last:
And yet I had a terror of her robes,
And chiefly of the veils that from her brow
Hung pale, and curtain'd her in mysteries,
That made my heart too small to hold its blood.
This saw that Goddess, and with sacred hand
Parted the veils. Then saw I a wan face,
Not pin'd by human sorrows, but bright-blanch'd
By an immortal sickness which kills not;
It works a constant change, which happy death
Can put no end to; deathwards progressing
To no death was that visage; it had past
The lilly and the snow; and beyond these
I must not think now, though I saw that face.
But for her eyes I should have fled away;
They held me back with a benignant light,
Soft, mitigated by divinest lids
Half-clos'd, and visionless entire they seem'd
Of all external things; they saw me not,
But in blank splendour beam'd, like the mild moon,
Who comforts those she sees not, who knows not
What eyes are upward cast. As I had found
A grain of gold upon a mountain's side,
And, twing'd with avarice, strain'd out my eyes
To search its sullen entrails rich with ore,
So, at the sad view of Moneta's brow,
I ask'd to see what things the hollow brow
Behind environ'd: what high tragedy
In the dark secret chambers of her skull
Was acting, that could give so dread a stress
To her cold lips, and fill with such a light
Her planetary eyes, and touch her voice
With such a sorrow? "Shade of Memory!"
Cried I, with act adorant at her feet,
"By all the gloom hung round thy fallen house,
By this last temple, by the golden age,
By Great Apollo, thy dear Foster-child,
And by thyself, forlorn divinity,
The pale Omega of a wither'd race,
Let me behold, according as thou saidst,
What in thy brain so ferments to and fro!"
No sooner had this conjuration past
My devout lips, than side by side we stood
(Like a stunt bramble by a solemn pine)
Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon and eve's one star.
Onward I look'd beneath the gloomy boughs,
And saw what first I thought an image huge,
Like to the image pedestall'd so high
In Saturn's temple; then Moneta's voice
Came brief upon mine ear. "So Saturn sat
When he had lost his realms;" whereon there grew
A power within me of enormous ken
To see as a god sees, and take the depth
Of things as nimbly as the outward eye
Can size and shape pervade. The lofty theme
Of those few words hung vast before my mind
With half-unravell'd web. I sat myself
Upon an eagle's watch, that I might see,
And seeing ne'er forget. No stir of life
Was in this shrouded vale, -- not so much air
As in the zoning of a summer's day
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass;
But where the dead leaf fell there did it rest.
A stream went noiseless by, still deaden'd more
By reason of the fallen divinity
Spreading more shade; the Naiad 'mid her reeds
Prest her cold finger closer to her lips.

Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went
No further than to where old Saturn's feet
Had rested, and there slept how long a sleep!
Degraded, cold, upon the sodden ground
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
Unsceptred, and his realmless eyes were closed;
While his bow'd head seem'd listening to the Earth,
His ancient mother, for some comfort yet.

It seem'd no force could wake him from his place;
But there came one who, with a kindred hand,
Touch'd his wide shoulders, after bending low
With reverence, though to one who knew it not.
Then came the griev'd voice of Mnemosyne,
And griev'd I hearken'd. "That divinity
Whom thou saw'st step from yon forlornest wood,
And with slow pace approach our fallen king,
Is Thea, softest-natured of our brood."
I mark'd the Goddess, in fair statuary
Surpassing wan Moneta by the head,
And in her sorrow nearer woman's tears.
There was a list'ning fear in her regard,
As if calamity had but begun;
As if the venom'd clouds of evil days
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear
Was with its stored thunder labouring up,
One hand she press'd upon that aching spot
Where beats the human heart, as if just there,
Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain;
The other upon Saturn's bended neck
She laid, and to the level of his ear
Leaning, with parted lips some words she spoke
In solemn tenour and deep organ-tone;
Some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue
Would come in this like accenting; how frail
To that large utterance of the early gods!

"Saturn, look up! and for what, poor lost king?
I have no comfort for thee; no, not one;
I cannot say, wherefore thus sleepest thou?
For Heaven is parted from thee, and the Earth
Knows thee not, so afflicted, for a god.
The Ocean, too, with all its solemn noise,
Has from thy sceptre pass'd; and all the air
Is emptied of thy hoary majesty.
Thy thunder, captious at the new command,
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house;
And thy sharp lightning, in unpractis'd hands,
Scourges and burns our once serene domain.

"With such remorseless speed still come new woes,
That unbelief has not a space to breathe.
Saturn! sleep on: me thoughtless, why should I
Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude?
Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes?
Saturn! sleep on, while at thy feet I weep."

As when upon a tranced summer-night
Forests, branch-charmed by the earnest stars,
Dream, and so dream all night without a noise,
Save from one gradual solitary gust
Swelling upon the silence, dying off,
As if the ebbing air had but one wave,
So came these words and went; the while in tears
She prest her fair large forehead to the earth,
Just where her fallen hair might spread in curls,
A soft and silken net for Saturn's feet.
Long, long these two were postured motionless,
Like sculpture builded-up upon the grave
Or their own power. A long awful time
I look'd upon them: still they were the same;
The frozen God still bending to the earth,
And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet;
Moneta silent. Without stay or prop
But my own weak mortality, I bore
The load of this eternal quietude,
The unchanging gloom and the three fixed shapes
Ponderous upon my senses, a whole moon;
For by my burning brain I measured sure
Her silver seasons shedded on the night.
And every day by day methought I grew
More gaunt and ghostly. Oftentimes I pray'd
Intense, that death would take me from the vale
And all its burthens; gasping with despair
Of change, hour after hour I curs'd myself,
Until old Saturn rais'd his faded eyes,
And look'd around and saw his kingdom gone,
And all the gloom and sorrow of the place,
And that fair kneeling Goddess at his feet.

As the moist scent of flowers, and grass, and leaves,
Fills forest-dells with a pervading air,
Known to the woodland nostril, so the words
Of Saturn fill'd the mossy glooms around,
Even to the hollows of time-eaten oaks,
And to the windings of the foxes' hole,
With sad, low tones, while thus he spoke, and sent
Strange moanings to the solitary Pan.
"Moan, brethren, moan, for we are swallow'd up
And buried from all godlike exercise
Of influence benign on planets pale,
And peaceful sway upon man's harvesting,
And all those acts which Deity supreme
Doth ease its heart of love in. Moan and wail;
Moan, brethren, moan; for lo, the rebel spheres
Spin round; the stars their ancient courses keep;
Clouds still with shadowy moisture haunt the earth,
Still suck their fill of light from sun and moon;
Still buds the tree, and still the seashores murmur;
There is no death in all the universe,
No smell of death. -- There shall be death. Moan, moan,
Moan, Cybele, moan; for thy pernicious babes
Weak as the reed, weak, feeble as my voice.
Oh! Oh! the pain, the pain of feebleness;
Moan, moan, for still I thaw; or give me help;
Throw down those imps, and give me victory.
Let me hear other groans, and trumpets blown
Of triumph calm, and hymns of festival,
From the gold peaks of heaven's high-piled clouds;
Voices of soft proclaim, and silver stir
Of strings in hollow shells; and there shall be
Beautiful things made new, for the surprise
Of the sky-children." So he feebly ceased,
With such a poor and sickly-sounding pause,
Methought I heard some old man of the earth
Bewailing earthly loss; nor could my eyes
And ears act with that unison of sense
Which marries sweet sound with the grace of form,
And dolorous accent from a tragic harp
With large-limb'd visions. More I scrutinized.
Still fixt he sat beneath the sable trees,
Whose arms spread straggling in wild serpent forms
With leaves all hush'd; his awful presence there
(Now all was silent) gave a deadly lie
To what I erewhile heard: only his lips
Trembled amid the white curls of his beard;
They told the truth, though round the snowy locks
Hung nobly, as upon the face of heaven
A mid-day fleece of clouds. Thea arose,
And stretcht her white arm through the hollow dark,
Pointing some whither: whereat he too rose,
Like a vast giant, seen by men at sea
To grow pale from the waves at dull midnight.
They melted from my sight into the woods;
Ere I could turn, Moneta cry'd, "These twain
Are speeding to the families of grief,
Where, rooft in by black rocks, they waste in pain
And darkness, for no hope." And she spake on,
As ye may read who can unwearied pass
Onward from the antechamber of this dream,
Where, even at the open doors, awhile
I must delay, and glean my memory
Of her high phrase -- perhaps no further dare.

CANTO II.

"Mortal, that thou may'st understand aright,
I humanize my sayings to thine ear,
Making comparisons of earthly things;
Or thou might'st better listen to the wind,
Whose language is to thee a barren noise,
Though it blows legend-laden thro' the trees.
In melancholy realms big tears are shed,
More sorrow like to this, and such like woe,
Too huge for mortal tongue or pen of scribe.
The Titans fierce, self-hid or prison-bound,
Groan for the old allegiance once more,
Listening in their doom for Saturn's voice.
But one of the whole eagle-brood still keeps
His sovereignty, and rule, and majesty:
Blazing Hyperion on his orbed fire
Still sits, still snuffs the incense teeming up
From Man to the Sun's God -- yet insecure.
For as upon the earth dire prodigies
Fright and perplex, so also shudders he;
Not at dog's howl or gloom-bird's hated screech,
Or the familiar visiting of one
Upon the first toll of his passing bell,
Or prophesyings of the midnight lamp;
But horrors, portioned to a giant nerve,
Make great Hyperion ache. His palace bright,
Bastion'd with pyramids of shining gold,
And touch'd with shade of bronzed obelisks,
Glares a blood-red thro' all the thousand courts,
Arches, and domes, and fiery galleries;
And all its curtains of Aurorian clouds
Flash angerly; when he would taste the wreaths
Of incense, breath'd aloft from sacred hills,
Instead of sweets, his ample palate takes
Savour of poisonous brass and metals sick;
Wherefore when harbour'd in the sleepy West,
After the full completion of fair day,
For rest divine upon exalted couch,
And slumber in the arms of melody,
He paces through the pleasant hours of ease,
With strides colossal, on from hall to hall,
While far within each aisle and deep recess
His winged minions in close clusters stand
Amaz'd, and full of fear; like anxious men,
Who on a wide plain gather in sad troops,
When earthquakes jar their battlements and towers.
Even now where Saturn, rous'd from icy trance,
Goes step for step with Thea from yon woods,
Hyperion, leaving twilight in the rear,
Is sloping to the threshold of the West.
Thither we tend." Now in the clear light I stood,
Reliev'd from the dusk vale. Mnemosyne
Was sitting on a square-edg'd polish'd stone,
That in its lucid depth reflected pure
Her priestess' garments. My quick eyes ran on
From stately nave to nave, from vault to vault,
Through bow'rs of fragrant and enwreathed light,
And diamond-paved lustrous long arcades.
Anon rush'd by the bright Hyperion;
His flaming robes stream'd out beyond his heels,
And gave a roar as if of earthy fire,
That scar'd away the meek ethereal hours,
And made their dove-wings tremble. On he flared.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ John Keats, Hyperion, A Vision - Attempted Reconstruction Of The Poem
,
237:The Botanic Garden (Part Vii)
THE LOVES OF THE PLANTS.
CANTO III.
And now the Goddess founds her silver shell,
And shakes with deeper tones the inchanted dell;
Pale, round her grassy throne, bedew'd with tears,
Flit the thin forms of Sorrows, and of Fears;
Soft Sighs responsive whisper to the chords,
And Indignations half-unsheath their swords.
'Thrice round the grave CIRCÆA prints her tread,
And chaunts the numbers, which disturb the dead;
Shakes o'er the holy earth her sable plume,
Waves her dread wand, and strikes the echoing tomb!
-Pale shoot the stars across the troubled night,
The timorous moon withholds her conscious light;
Shrill scream the famish'd bats, and shivering owls,
And loud and long the dog of midnight howls!-Then yawns the bursting ground!- two imps obscene
Rise on broad wings, and hail the baleful queen;
Each with dire grin salutes the potent wand,
And leads the sorceress with his sooty hand;
Onward they glide, where sheds the sickly yew
O'er many a mouldering bone its nightly dew;
The ponderous portals of the church unbar,Hoarse on their hinge the ponderous portals jar;
As through the colour'd glass the moon-beam falls,
Huge shapeless spectres quiver on the walls;
Low murmurs creep along the hollow ground,
And to each step the pealing ailes resound;
By glimmering lamps, protecting saints among,
The shrines all tremble as they pass along,
O'er the still choir with hideous laugh they move,
(Fiends yell below, and angels weep above!)
Their impious march to God's high altar bend,
With feet impure the sacred steps ascend;
With wine unbless'd the holy chalice stain,
Assume the mitre, and the cope profane;
To heaven their eyes in mock devotion throw,
54
And to the cross with horrid mummery bow;
Adjure by mimic rites the powers above,
And plite alternate their Satanic love.
Avaunt, ye Vulgar! from her sacred groves
With maniac step the Pythian LAURA moves;
Full of the God her labouring bosom sighs,
Foam on her lips, and fury in her eyes,
Strong writhe her limbs, her wild dishevell'd hair
Starts from her laurel-wreath, and swims in air.While twenty Priests the gorgeous shrine surround
Cinctur'd with ephods, and with garlands crown'd,
Contending hosts and trembling nations wait
The firm immutable behests of Fate;
-She speaks in thunder from her golden throne
With words unwill'd , and wisdom not her own.
So on his NIGHTMARE through the evening fog
Flits the squab Fiend o'er fen, and lake, and bog;
Seeks some love-wilder'd Maid with sleep oppress'd,
Alights, and grinning fits upon her breast.
-Such as of late amid the murky sky
Was mark'd by FUSELI'S poetic eye;
Whose daring tints, with SHAKESPEAR'S happiest grace,
Gave to the airy phantom form and place.Back o'er her pillow sinks her blushing head,
Her snow-white limbs hang helpless from the bed;
While with quick sighs, and suffocative breath,
Her interrupted heart-pulse swims in death.
-Then shrieks of captured towns, and widows' tears,
Pale lovers stretch'd upon their blood-stain'd biers,
The headlong precipice that thwarts her flight,
The trackless desert, the cold starless night,
And stern-eye'd Murder with his knife behind,
In dread succession agonize her mind.
O'er her fair limbs convulsive tremors fleet,
Start in her hands, and struggle in her feet;
In vain to scream with quivering lips she tries,
And strains in palsy'd lids her tremulous eyes;
In vain she wills to run, fly, swim, walk, creep;
The WILL presides not in the bower of SLEEP.
-On her fair bosom sits the Demon-Ape
Erect, and balances his bloated shape;
Rolls in their marble orbs his Gorgon-eyes,
55
And drinks with leathern ears her tender cries.
Arm'd with her ivory beak, and talon-hands,
Descending FICA dives into the sands;
Chamber'd in earth with cold oblivion lies;
Nor heeds, ye Suitor-train , your amorous sighs;
Erewhile with renovated beauty blooms,
Mounts into air, and moves her leafy plumes.
-Where HAMPS and MANIFOLD, their cliffs among,
Each in his flinty channel winds along;
With lucid lines the dusky Moor divides,
Hurrying to intermix their sister tides.
Where still their silver-bosom'd Nymphs abhor,
The blood-smear'd mansion of gigantic THOR,-Erst, fires volcanic in the marble womb
Of cloud-wrapp'd WETTON raised the massy dome;
Rocks rear'd on rocks in huge disjointed piles
Form the tall turrets, and the lengthen'd ailes;
Broad ponderous piers sustain the roof, and wide
Branch the vast rain-bow ribs from side to side.
While from above descends in milky streams
One scanty pencil of illusive beams,
Suspended crags and gaping gulphs illumes,
And gilds the horrors of the deepen'd glooms.
-Here oft the Naiads, as they chanced to play
Near the dread Fane on THOR'S returning day,
Saw from red altars streams of guiltless blood
Stain their green reed-beds, and pollute their flood;
Heard dying babes in wicker prisons wail,
And shrieks of matrons thrill the affrighted Gale;
While from dark caves infernal Echoes mock,
And Fiends triumphant shout from every rock!
--So still the Nymphs emerging lift in air
Their snow-white shoulders and their azure hair;
Sail with sweet grace the dimpling streams along,
Listening the Shepherd's or the Miner's song;
But, when afar they view the giant-cave,
On timorous fins they circle on the wave,
With streaming eyes and throbbing hearts recoil,
Plunge their fair forms, and dive beneath the soil.Closed round their heads reluctant eddies sink,
And wider rings successive dash the brink.Three thousand steps in sparry clefts they stray,
56
Or seek through sullen mines their gloomy way;
On beds of Lava sleep in coral cells,
Or sigh o'er jasper fish, and agate shells.
Till, where famed ILAM leads his boiling floods
Through flowery meadows and impending woods,
Pleased with light spring they leave the dreary night,
And 'mid circumfluent surges rise to light;
Shake their bright locks, the widening vale pursue,
Their sea-green mantles fringed with pearly dew;
In playful groups by towering THORP they move,
Bound o'er the foaming wears, and rush into the Dove.
With fierce distracted eye IMPATIENS stands,
Swells her pale cheeks, and brandishes her hands,
With rage and hate the astonish'd groves alarms,
And hurls her infants from her frantic arms.
-So when MEDÆA left her native soil
Unaw'd by danger, unsubdued by toil;
Her weeping sire and beckoning friends withstood,
And launch'd enamour'd on the boiling flood;
One ruddy boy her gentle lips caress'd,
And one fair girl was pillow'd on her breast;
While high in air the golden treasure burns,
And Love and Glory guide the prow by turns.
But, when Thessalia's inauspicious plain
Received the matron-heroine from the main;
While horns of triumph sound, and altars burn,
And shouting nations hail their Chief's return:
Aghaft, She saw new-deck'd the nuptial bed,
And proud CREUSA to the temple led;
Saw her in JASON'S mercenary arms
Deride her virtues, and insult her charms;
Saw her dear babes from fame and empire torn,
In foreign realms deserted and forlorn;
Her love rejected, and her vengeance braved,
By Him her beauties won, her virtues saved.With stern regard she eyed the traitor-king,
And felt, Ingratitude! thy keenest sting;
'Nor Heaven,' She cried, 'nor Earth, nor Hell can hold
'A Heart abandon'd to the thirst of Gold!'
Stamp'd with wild foot, and shook her horrent brow,
And call'd the furies from their dens below.
-Slow out of earth, before the festive crowds,
57
On wheels of fire, amid a night of clouds,
Drawn by fierce fiends arose a magic car,
Received the Queen, and hovering flamed in air.As with raised hands the suppliant traitors kneel
And fear the vengeance they deserve to feel,
Thrice with parch'd lips her guiltless babes she press'd,
And thrice she clasp'd them to her tortur'd breast;
Awhile with white uplifted eyes she stood,
Then plung'd her trembling poniards in their blood.
'Go, kiss your sire! go, share the bridal mirth!'
She cry'd, and hurl'd their quivering limbs on earth.
Rebellowing thunders rock the marble towers,
And red-tongued lightnings shoot their arrowy showers;
Earth yawns!-the crashing ruin sinks!-o'er all
Death with black hands extends his mighty Pall;
Their mingling gore the Fiends of Vengeance quaff,
And Hell receives them with convulsive laugh.
Round the vex'd isles where fierce tornados roar,
Or tropic breezes sooth the sultry shore;
What time the eve her gauze pellucid spreads
O'er the dim flowers, and veils the misty meads;
Slow, o'er the twilight sands or leafy walks,
With gloomy dignity DICTAMNA stalks;
In sulphurous eddies round the weird dame
Plays the light gas, or kindles into flame.
If rests the traveller his weary head,
Grim MANCINELLA haunts the mossy bed,
Brews her black hebenon, and, stealing near,
Pours the curst venom in his tortured ear.Wide o'er the mad'ning throng URTICA flings
Her barbed shafts, and darts her poison'd stings.
And fell LOBELIA'S suffocating breath
Loads the dank pinion of the gale with death.With fear and hate they blast the affrighted groves,
Yet own with tender care their kindred Loves! So, where PALMIRA 'mid her wasted plains,
Her shatter'd aqueducts, and prostrate sanes,
(As the bright orb of breezy midnight pours
Long threads of silver through her gaping towers,
O'er mouldering tombs, and tottering columns gleams,
And frosts her deserts with diffusive beams),
Sad o'er the mighty wreck in silence bends,
58
Lifts her wet eyes, her tremulous hands extends.If from lone cliffs a bursting rill expands
Its transient course, and sinks into the sands;
O'er the moist rock the fell Hyæna prowls,
The Leopard hisses, and the Panther growls;
On quivering wing the famish'd Vulture screams,
Dips his dry beak, and sweeps the gushing streams;
With foamy jaws, beneath, and sanguine tongue,
Laps the lean Wolf, and pants, and runs along;
Stern stalks the Lion, on the rustling brinks
Hears the dread Snake, and trembles as he drinks;
Quick darts the scaly Monster o'er the plain,
Fold after fold, his undulating train;
And, bending o'er the lake his crested brow,
Starts at the Crocodile, that gapes below.
Where seas of glass with gay reflections smile
Round the green coasts of Java's palmy isle;
A spacious plain extends its upland scene,
Rocks rise on rocks, and fountains gush between;
Soft zephyrs blow, eternal summers reign,
And showers prolific bless the soil,-in vain!
-No spicy nutmeg scents the vernal gales,
Nor towering plaintain shades the mid-day vales;
No grassy mantle hides the sable hills,
No flowery chaplet crowns the trickling rills;
Nor tufted moss, nor leathery lichen creeps
In russet tapestry o'er the crumbling steeps.
-No step retreating, on the sand impress'd,
Invites the visit of a second guest;
No refluent fin the unpeopled stream divides,
No revolant pinion cleaves the airy tides;
Nor handed moles, nor beaked worms return,
That mining pass the irremeable bourn.Fierce in dread silence on the blasted heath
Fell UPAS sits, the HYDRA-TREE of death.
Lo! from one root, the envenom'd soil below,
A thousand vegetative serpents grow;
In shining rays the scaly monster spreads
O'er ten square leagues his far-diverging heads;
Or in one trunk entwists his tangled form,
Looks o'er the clouds, and hisses in the storm.
Steep'd in fell poison, as his sharp teeth part,
59
A thousand tongues in quick vibration dart;
Snatch the proud Eagle towering o'er the heath,
Or pounce the Lion, as he stalks beneath;
Or strew, as marshall'd hosts contend in vain,
With human skeletons the whiten'd plain.
-Chain'd at his root two scion-demons dwell,
Breathe the faint hiss, or try the shriller yell;
Rise, fluttering in the air on callow wings,
And aim at insect-prey their little stings.
So Time's strong arms with sweeping scythe erase
Art's cumberous works, and empires, from their base;
While each young Hour its sickle fine employs,
And crops the sweet buds of domestic joys!
With blushes bright as morn fair ORCHIS charms,
And lulls her infant in her fondling arms;
Soft play Affection round her bosom's throne,
And guards his life, forgetful of her own.
So wings the wounded Deer her headlong flight,
Pierced by some ambush'd archer of the night,
Shoots to the woodlands with her bounding fawn,
And drops of blood bedew the conscious lawn;
There hid in shades she shuns the cheerful day,
Hangs o'er her young, and weeps her life away.
So stood Eliza on the wood-crown'd height,
O'er Minden's plain, spectatress of the sight,
Sought with bold eye amid the bloody strife
Her dearer self, the partner of her life;
From hill to hill the rushing host pursued,
And view'd his banner, or believed she view'd.
Pleased with the distant roar, with quicker tread
Fast by his hand one lisping boy she led;
And one fair girl amid the loud alarm
Slept on her kerchief, cradled by her arm;
While round her brows bright beams of Honour dart,
And Love's warm eddies circle round her heart
-Near and more near the intrepid Beauty press'd,
Saw through the driving smoke his dancing crest,
Heard the exulting shout, 'they run! they run!'
'Great GOD!' she cried, 'He's safe! the battle's won!'
-A ball now hisses through the airy tides,
(Some Fury wing'd it, and some Demon guides!)
Parts the fine locks, her graceful head that deck,
60
Wounds her fair ear, and sinks into her neck;
The red stream, issuing from her azure veins,
Dyes her white veil, her ivory bosom stains.-'Ah me!' she cried, and, sinking on the ground,
Kiss'd her dear babes, regardless of the wound;
'Oh, cease not yet to beat, thou Vital Urn!
'Wait, gushing Life, oh, wait my Love's return!'Hoarse barks the wolf, the vulture screams from far!
'The angel, Pity, shuns the walks of war!-'Oh, spare ye War-hounds, spare their tender age!'On me, on me,' she cried, 'exhaust your rage!'Then with weak arms her weeping babes caress'd,
And sighing bid them in her blood-stain'd vest.
From tent to tent the impatient warrior flies,
Fear in his heart, and frenzy in his eyes;
Eliza's name along the camp he calls,
Eliza echoes through the canvas walls;
Quick through the murmuring gloom his footsteps tread,
O'er groaning heaps, the dying and the dead,
Vault o'er the plain, and in the tangled wood,
Lo! dead Eliza weltering in her blood!-Soon hears his listening son the welcome sounds,
With open arms and sparkling eyes he bounds:'Speak low,' he cries, and gives his little hand,
'Eliza sleeps upon the dew-cold sand;
'Poor weeping Babe with bloody fingers press'd,
'And tried with pouting lips her milkless breast;
'Alas! we both with cold and hunger quake'Why do you weep?-Mama will soon awake.'
-'She'll wake no more!' the hopeless mourner cried
Upturn'd his eyes, and clasp'd his hands, and sigh'd;
Stretch'd on the ground awhile entranc'd he lay,
And press'd warm kisses on the lifeless clay;
And then unsprung with wild convulsive start,
And all the Father kindled in his heart;
'Oh, Heavens!' he cried, 'my first rash vow forgive!
'These bind to earth, for these I pray to live!'Round his chill babes he wrapp'd his crimson vest,
And clasp'd them sobbing to his aching breast.
Two Harlot-Nymphs, the fair CUSCUTAS, please
With labour'd negligence, and studied ease;
In the meek garb of modest worth disguised,
61
The eye averted, and the smile chastised,
With sly approach they spread their dangerous charms,
And round their victim wind their wiry arms.
So by Scamander when LAOCOON stood,
Where Troy's proud turrets glitter'd in the flood,
Raised high his arm, and with prophetic call
To shrinking realms announced her fatal fall;
Whirl'd his fierce spear with more than mortal force,
And pierced the thick ribs of the echoing horse;
Two Serpent-forms incumbent on the main,
Lashing the white waves with redundant train,
Arch'd their blue necks, and (hook their towering crests,
And plough'd their foamy way with speckled breasts;
Then darting fierce amid the affrighted throngs,
Roll'd their red eyes, and shot their forked tongues,-Two daring Youths to guard the hoary fire
Thwart their dread progress, and provoke their ire.
Round sire and sons the scaly monsters roll'd,
Ring above ring, in many a tangled fold,
Close and more close their writhing limbs surround,
And fix with foamy teeth the envenom'd wound.
-With brow upturn'd to heaven the holy Sage
In silent agony sustains their rage;
While each fond Youth, in vain, with piercing cries
Bends on the tortured Sire his dying eyes.
'Drink deep, sweet youths' seductive VITIS cries,
The maudlin tear-drop glittering in her eyes;
Green leaves and purple clusters crown her head,
And the tall Thyrsus stays her tottering tread.
- Five hapless swains with soft assuasive smiles
The harlot meshes in her deathful toils;
'Drink deep,' she carols, as she waves in air
The mantling goblet, 'and forget your care.'O'er the dread feast malignant Chemia scowls,
And mingles poison in the nectar'd bowls;
Fell Gout peeps grinning through the flimsy scene,
And bloated Dropsy pants behind unseen;
Wrapp'd in his robe white Lepra hides his stains,
And silent Frenzy writhing bites his chains.
So when PROMETHEUS braved the Thunderer's ire,
Stole from his blazing throne etherial fire,
And, lantern'd in his breast, from realms of day
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Bore the bright treasure to his Man of clay;High on cold Caucasus by VULCAN bound,
The lean impatient Vulture fluttering round,
His writhing limbs in vain he twists and strains
To break or loose the adamantine chains.
The gluttonous bird, exulting in his pangs,
Tears his swoln liver with remorseless fangs.
The gentle CYCLAMEN with dewy eye
Breathes o'er her lifeless babe the parting sigh;
And, bending low to earth, with pious hands
Inhumes her dear Departed in the sands.
'Sweet Nursling! withering in thy tender hour,
'Oh, sleep,' She cries, 'and rise a fairer flower!'
-So when the Plague o'er London's gasping crowds
Shook her dank wing, and steer'd her murky clouds;
When o'er the friendless bier no rites were read,
No dirge slow-chanted, and no pall out-spread;
While Death and Night piled up the naked throng,
And Silence drove their ebon cars along;
Six lovely daughters, and their father, swept
To the throng'd grave CLEONE saw, and wept;
Her tender mind, with meek Religion fraught,
Drank all-resigned Affliction's bitter draught;
Alive and listening to the whisper'd groan
Of others' woes, unconscious of her own!One smiling boy, her last sweet hope, she warms
Hushed on her bosom, circled in her arms,Daughter of woe! ere morn, in vain caress'd,
Clung the cold Babe upon thy milkless breast,
With feeble cries thy last sad aid required,
Stretch'd its stiff limbs, and on thy lap expired!-Long with wide eye-lids on her Child she gazed,
And long to heaven their tearless orbs she raised;
Then with quick foot and throbbing heart she found
Where Chartreuse open'd deep his holy ground;
Bore her last treasure through the midnight gloom,
And kneeling dropp'd it in the mighty tomb;
'I follow next!' the frantic mourner said,
And living plunged amid the festering dead.
Where vast Ontario rolls his brineless tides,
And feeds the trackless forests on his sides,
Fair CASSIA trembling hears the howling woods,
63
And trusts her tawny children to the floods.Cinctured with gold while ten fond brothers stand,
And guard the beauty on her native land,
Soft breathes the gale, the current gently moves,
And bears to Norway's coasts her infant-loves.
-So the sad mother at the noon of night
From bloody Memphis stole her silent flight;
Wrapp'd her dear babe beneath her folded vest,
And clasp'd the treasure to her throbbing breast,
With soothing whispers hushed its feeble cry,
Pressed the soft kiss, and breathed the secret sigh.-With dauntless step she seeks the winding shore,
Hears unappall'd the glimmering torrents roar;
With Paper-flags a floating cradle weaves,
And hides the smiling boy in Lotus-leaves;
Gives her white bosom to his eager lips,
The salt tears mingling with the milk he sips;
Waits on the reed-crown'd brink with pious guile,
And trusts the scaly monsters of the Nile.-Erewhile majestic from his lone abode,
Embassador of Heaven, the Prophet trod;
Wrench'd the red Scourge from proud Oppression's hands,
And broke, curst Slavery! thy iron bands.
Hark! heard ye not that piercing cry,
Which shook the waves and rent the sky!E'en now, e'en now, on yonder Western shores
Weeps pale Despair, and writhing Anguish roars:
E'en now in Afric's groves with hideous yell
Fierce SLAVERY stalks, and slips the dogs of hell;
From vale to vale the gathering cries rebound,
And sable nations tremble at the sound!-YE BANDS OF SENATORS! whose suffrage sways
Britannia's realms, whom either Ind obeys;
Who right the injured, and reward the brave,
Stretch your strong arm, for ye have power to save!
Throned in the vaulted heart, his dread resort,
Inexorable CONSCIENCE holds his court;
With still small voice the plots of Guilt alarms,
Bares his mask'd brow, his lifted hand disarms;
But, wrapp'd in night with terrors all his own,
He speaks in thunder, when the deed is done.
Hear him ye Senates! hear this truth sublime,
64
'HE, WHO ALLOWS OPPRESSION, SHARES THE CRIME.'
No radiant pearl, which crested Fortune wears,
No gem, that twinkling hangs from Beauty's ears,
Not the bright stars, which Night's blue arch adorn,
Nor rising suns that gild the vernal morn,
Shine with such lustre as the tear, that breaks
For other's woe down Virtue's manly cheeks.'
Here ceased the MUSE, and dropp'd her tuneful shell,
Tumultuous woes her panting bosom swell,
O'er her flush'd cheek her gauzy veil she throws,
Folds her white arms, and bends her laurel'd brows;
For human guilt awhile the Goddess sighs,
And human sorrows dim celestial eyes.
~ Erasmus Darwin,
238:Amours De Voyage, Canto Ii
Is it illusion? or does there a spirit from perfecter ages,
Here, even yet, amid loss, change, and corruption abide?
Does there a spirit we know not, though seek, though we find, comprehend not,
Here to entice and confuse, tempt and evade us, abide?
Lives in the exquisite grace of the column disjointed and single,
Haunts the rude masses of brick garlanded gaily with vine,
E'en in the turret fantastic surviving that springs from the ruin,
E'en in the people itself? is it illusion or not?
Is it illusion or not that attracteth the pilgrim transalpine,
Brings him a dullard and dunce hither to pry and to stare?
Is it illusion or not that allures the barbarian stranger,
Brings him with gold to the shrine, brings him in arms to the gate?
I. Claude to Eustace.
What do the people say, and what does the government do?--you
Ask, and I know not at all. Yet fortune will favour your hopes; and
I, who avoided it all, am fated, it seems, to describe it.
I, who nor meddle nor make in politics,--I who sincerely
Put not my trust in leagues nor any suffrage by ballot,
Never predicted Parisian millenniums, never beheld a
New Jerusalem coming down dressed like a bride out of heaven
Right on the Place de la Concorde,--I, nevertheless, let me say it,
Could in my soul of souls, this day, with the Gaul at the gates shed
One true tear for thee, thou poor little Roman Republic;
What, with the German restored, with Sicily safe to the Bourbon,
Not leave one poor corner for native Italian exertion?
France, it is foully done! and you, poor foolish England,-You, who a twelvemonth ago said nations must choose for themselves, you
Could not, of course, interfere,--you, now, when a nation has chosen---Pardon this folly! The Times will, of course, have announced the occasion,
Told you the news of to-day; and although it was slightly in error
When it proclaimed as a fact the Apollo was sold to a Yankee,
You may believe when it tells you the French are at Civita Vecchia.
16
II. Claude to Eustace.
Dulce it is, and decorum, no doubt, for the country to fall,--to
Offer one's blood an oblation to Freedom, and die for the Cause; yet
Still, individual culture is also something, and no man
Finds quite distinct the assurance that he of all others is called on,
Or would be justified even, in taking away from the world that
Precious creature, himself. Nature sent him here to abide here;
Else why send him at all? Nature wants him still, it is likely;
On the whole, we are meant to look after ourselves; it is certain
Each has to eat for himself, digest for himself, and in general
Care for his own dear life, and see to his own preservation;
Nature's intentions, in most things uncertain, in this are decisive;
Which, on the whole, I conjecture the Romans will follow, and I shall.
So we cling to our rocks like limpets; Ocean may bluster,
Over and under and round us; we open our shells to imbibe our
Nourishment, close them again, and are safe, fulfilling the purpose
Nature intended,--a wise one, of course, and a noble, we doubt not.
Sweet it may be and decorous, perhaps, for the country to die; but,
On the whole, we conclude the Romans won't do it, and I sha'n't.
III. Claude to Eustace.
Will they fight? They say so. And will the French? I can hardly,
Hardly think so; and yet----He is come, they say, to Palo,
He is passed from Monterone, at Santa Severa
He hath laid up his guns. But the Virgin, the Daughter of Roma,
She hath despised thee and laughed thee to scorn,--The Daughter of Tiber,
She hath shaken her head and built barricades against thee!
Will they fight? I believe it. Alas! 'tis ephemeral folly,
Vain and ephemeral folly, of course, compared with pictures,
Statues, and antique gems!--Indeed: and yet indeed too,
Yet, methought, in broad day did I dream,--tell it not in St. James's,
Whisper it not in thy courts, O Christ Church!--yet did I, waking,
Dream of a cadence that sings, Si tombent nos jeunes héros, la
Terre en produit de nouveaux contre vous tous prêts à se battre;
Dreamt of great indignations and angers transcendental,
Dreamt of a sword at my side and a battle-horse underneath me.
17
IV. Claude to Eustace.
Now supposing the French or the Neapolitan soldier
Should by some evil chance come exploring the Maison Serny
(Where the family English are all to assemble for safety),
Am I prepared to lay down my life for the British female?
Really, who knows? One has bowed and talked, till, little by little,
All the natural heat has escaped of the chivalrous spirit.
Oh, one conformed, of course; but one doesn't die for good manners,
Stab or shoot, or be shot, by way of graceful attention.
No, if it should be at all, it should be on the barricades there;
Should I incarnadine ever this inky pacifical finger,
Sooner far should it be for this vapour of Italy's freedom,
Sooner far by the side of the d----d and dirty plebeians.
Ah, for a child in the street I could strike; for the full-blown lady---Somehow, Eustace, alas! I have not felt the vocation.
Yet these people of course will expect, as of course, my protection,
Vernon in radiant arms stand forth for the lovely Georgina,
And to appear, I suppose, were but common civility. Yes, and
Truly I do not desire they should either be killed or offended.
Oh, and of course, you will say, 'When the time comes, you will be ready.'
Ah, but before it comes, am I to presume it will be so?
What I cannot feel now, am I to suppose that I shall feel?
Am I not free to attend for the ripe and indubious instinct?
Am I forbidden to wait for the clear and lawful perception?
Is it the calling of man to surrender his knowledge and insight,
For the mere venture of what may, perhaps, be the virtuous action?
Must we, walking our earth, discerning a little, and hoping
Some plain visible task shall yet for our hands be assigned us,-Must we abandon the future for fear of omitting the present,
Quit our own fireside hopes at the alien call of a neighbour,
To the mere possible shadow of Deity offer the victim?
And is all this, my friend, but a weak and ignoble refining,
Wholly unworthy the head or the heart of Your Own Correspondent?
V. Claude to Eustace.
Yes, we are fighting at last, it appears. This morning as usual,
Murray, as usual, in hand, I enter the Caffè Nuovo;
18
Seating myself with a sense as it were of a change in the weather,
Not understanding, however, but thinking mostly of Murray,
And, for to-day is their day, of the Campidoglio Marbles;
Caffè-latte! I call to the waiter,--and Non c'è latte,
This is the answer he makes me, and this is the sign of a battle.
So I sit: and truly they seem to think any one else more
Worthy than me of attention. I wait for my milkless nero,
Free to observe undistracted all sorts and sizes of persons,
Blending civilian and soldier in strangest costume, coming in, and
Gulping in hottest haste, still standing, their coffee,--withdrawing
Eagerly, jangling a sword on the steps, or jogging a musket
Slung to the shoulder behind. They are fewer, moreover, than usual,
Much and silenter far; and so I begin to imagine
Something is really afloat. Ere I leave, the Caffe is empty,
Empty too the streets, in all its length the Corso
Empty, and empty I see to my right and left the Condotti.
Twelve o'clock, on the Pincian Hill, with lots of English,
Germans, Americans, French,--the Frenchmen, too, are protected,-So we stand in the sun, but afraid of a probable shower;
So we stand and stare, and see, to the left of St. Peter's,
Smoke, from the cannon, white,--but that is at intervals only,-Black, from a burning house, we suppose, by the Cavalleggieri;
And we believe we discern some lines of men descending
Down through the vineyard-slopes, and catch a bayonet gleaming.
Every ten minutes, however,--in this there is no misconception,-Comes a great white puff from behind Michel Angelo's dome, and
After a space the report of a real big gun,--not the Frenchman's!-That must be doing some work. And so we watch and conjecture.
Shortly, an Englishman comes, who says he has been to St. Peter's,
Seen the Piazza and troops, but that is all he can tell us;
So we watch and sit, and, indeed, it begins to be tiresome.-All this smoke is outside; when it has come to the inside,
It will be time, perhaps, to descend and retreat to our houses.
Half-past one, or two. The report of small arms frequent,
Sharp and savage indeed; that cannot all be for nothing:
So we watch and wonder; but guessing is tiresome, very.
Weary of wondering, watching, and guessing, and gossiping idly,
Down I go, and pass through the quiet streets with the knots of
National Guards patrolling, and flags hanging out at the windows,
English, American, Danish,--and, after offering to help an
Irish family moving en masse to the Maison Serny,
After endeavouring idly to minister balm to the trembling
19
Quinquagenarian fears of two lone British spinsters,
Go to make sure of my dinner before the enemy enter.
But by this there are signs of stragglers returning; and voices
Talk, though you don't believe it, of guns and prisoners taken;
And on the walls you read the first bulletin of the morning.-This is all that I saw, and all that I know of the battle.
VI. Claude to Eustace.
Victory! Victory!--Yes! ah, yes, thou republican Zion,
Truly the kings of the earth are gathered and gone by together;
Doubtless they marvelled to witness such things, were astonished, and so forth.
Victory! Victory! Victory!--Ah, but it is, believe me,
Easier, easier far, to intone the chant of the martyr
Than to indite any paean of any victory. Death may
Sometimes be noble; but life, at the best, will appear an illusion.
While the great pain is upon us, it is great; when it is over,
Why, it is over. The smoke of the sacrifice rises to heaven,
Of a sweet savour, no doubt, to Somebody; but on the altar,
Lo, there is nothing remaining but ashes and dirt and ill odour.
So it stands, you perceive; the labial muscles that swelled with
Vehement evolution of yesterday Marseillaises,
Articulations sublime of defiance and scorning, to-day colLapse and languidly mumble, while men and women and papers
Scream and re-scream to each other the chorus of Victory. Well, but
I am thankful they fought, and glad that the Frenchmen were beaten.
VII. Claude to Eustace.
So, I have seen a man killed! An experience that, among others!
Yes, I suppose I have; although I can hardly be certain,
And in a court of justice could never declare I had seen it.
But a man was killed, I am told, in a place where I saw
Something; a man was killed, I am told, and I saw something.
I was returning home from St. Peter's; Murray, as usual,
Under my arm, I remember; had crossed the St. Angelo bridge; and
Moving towards the Condotti, had got to the first barricade, when
Gradually, thinking still of St. Peter's, I became conscious
20
Of a sensation of movement opposing me,--tendency this way
(Such as one fancies may be in a stream when the wave of the tide is
Coming and not yet come,--a sort of noise and retention);
So I turned, and, before I turned, caught sight of stragglers
Heading a crowd, it is plain, that is coming behind that corner.
Looking up, I see windows filled with heads; the Piazza,
Into which you remember the Ponte St. Angelo enters,
Since I passed, has thickened with curious groups; and now the
Crowd is coming, has turned, has crossed that last barricade, is
Here at my side. In the middle they drag at something. What is it?
Ha! bare swords in the air, held up? There seem to be voices
Pleading and hands putting back; official, perhaps; but the swords are
Many, and bare in the air. In the air? they descend; they are smiting,
Hewing, chopping--At what? In the air once more upstretched? And-Is it blood that's on them? Yes, certainly blood! Of whom, then?
Over whom is the cry of this furor of exultation?
While they are skipping and screaming, and dancing their caps on the points of
Swords and bayonets, I to the outskirts back, and ask a
Mercantile-seeming bystander, 'What is it?' and he, looking always
That way, makes me answer, 'A Priest, who was trying to fly to
The Neapolitan army,'--and thus explains the proceeding.
You didn't see the dead man? No;--I began to be doubtful;
I was in black myself, and didn't know what mightn't happen,-But a National Guard close by me, outside of the hubbub,
Broke his sword with slashing a broad hat covered with dust,--and
Passing away from the place with Murray under my arm, and
Stooping, I saw through the legs of the people the legs of a body.
You are the first, do you know, to whom I have mentioned the matter.
Whom should I tell it to else?--these girls?--the Heavens forbid it!-Quidnuncs at Monaldini's--Idlers upon the Pincian?
If I rightly remember, it happened on that afternoon when
Word of the nearer approach of a new Neapolitan army
First was spread. I began to bethink me of Paris Septembers,
Thought I could fancy the look of that old 'Ninety-two. On that evening
Three or four, or, it may be, five, of these people were slaughtered
Some declared they had, one of them, fired on a sentinel; others
Say they were only escaping; a Priest, it is currently stated,
Stabbed a National Guard on the very Piazza Colonna:
History, Rumour of Rumours, I leave to thee to determine!
But I am thankful to say the government seems to have strength to
Put it down; it has vanished, at least; the place is most peaceful.
Through the Trastevere walking last night, at nine of the clock, I
21
Found no sort of disorder; I crossed by the Island-bridges,
So by the narrow streets to the Ponte Rotto, and onwards
Thence by the Temple of Vesta, away to the great Coliseum,
Which at the full of the moon is an object worthy a visit.
VIII. Georgina Trevellyn to Louisa ----.
Only think, dearest Louisa, what fearful scenes we have witnessed!-****************
George has just seen Garibaldi, dressed up in a long white cloak, on
Horseback, riding by, with his mounted negro behind him:
This is a man, you know, who came from America with him,
Out of the woods, I suppose, and uses a lasso in fighting,
Which is, I don't quite know, but a sort of noose, I imagine;
This he throws on the heads of the enemy's men in a battle,
Pulls them into his reach, and then most cruelly kills them:
Mary does not believe, but we heard it from an Italian.
Mary allows she was wrong about Mr. Claude being selfish;
He was most useful and kind on the terrible thirtieth of April.
Do not write here any more; we are starting directly for Florence:
We should be off to-morrow, if only Papa could get horses;
All have been seized everywhere for the use of this dreadful Mazzini
P.S.
Mary has seen thus far.--I am really so angry, Louisa,-Quite out of patience, my dearest! What can the man be intending?
I am quite tired; and Mary, who might bring him to in a moment,
Lets him go on as he likes, and neither will help nor dismiss him.
IX. Claude to Eustace.
It is most curious to see what a power a few calm words (in
Merely a brief proclamation) appear to possess on the people.
Order is perfect, and peace; the city is utterly tranquil;
And one cannot conceive that this easy and nonchalant crowd, that
Flows like a quiet stream through street and market-place, entering
Shady recesses and bays of church, osteria, and caffè,
Could in a moment be changed to a flood as of molten lava,
22
Boil into deadly wrath and wild homicidal delusion.
Ah, 'tis an excellent race,--and even in old degradation,
Under a rule that enforces to flattery, lying, and cheating,
E'en under Pope and Priest, a nice and natural people.
Oh, could they but be allowed this chance of redemption!--but clearly
That is not likely to be. Meantime, notwithstanding all journals,
Honour for once to the tongue and the pen of the eloquent writer!
Honour to speech! and all honour to thee, thou noble Mazzini!
X. Claude to Eustace.
I am in love, meantime, you think; no doubt you would think so.
I am in love, you say; with those letters, of course, you would say so.
I am in love, you declare. I think not so; yet I grant you
It is a pleasure indeed to converse with this girl. Oh, rare gift,
Rare felicity, this! she can talk in a rational way, can
Speak upon subjects that really are matters of mind and of thinking,
Yet in perfection retain her simplicity; never, one moment,
Never, however you urge it, however you tempt her, consents to
Step from ideas and fancies and loving sensations to those vain
Conscious understandings that vex the minds of mankind.
No, though she talk, it is music; her fingers desert not the keys; 'tis
Song, though you hear in the song the articulate vocables sounded,
Syllabled singly and sweetly the words of melodious meaning.
I am in love, you say; I do not think so, exactly.
XI. Claude to Eustace.
There are two different kinds, I believe, of human attraction:
One which simply disturbs, unsettles, and makes you uneasy,
And another that poises, retains, and fixes and holds you.
I have no doubt, for myself, in giving my voice for the latter.
I do not wish to be moved, but growing where I was growing,
There more truly to grow, to live where as yet I had languished.
I do not like being moved: for the will is excited; and action
Is a most dangerous thing; I tremble for something factitious,
Some malpractice of heart and illegitimate process;
We are so prone to these things, with our terrible notions of duty.
23
XII. Claude to Eustace.
Ah, let me look, let me watch, let me wait, unhurried, unprompted!
Bid me not venture on aught that could alter or end what is present!
Say not, Time flies, and Occasion, that never returns, is departing!
Drive me not out yet, ye ill angels with fiery swords, from my Eden,
Waiting, and watching, and looking! Let love be its own inspiration!
Shall not a voice, if a voice there must be, from the airs that environ,
Yea, from the conscious heavens, without our knowledge or effort,
Break into audible words? And love be its own inspiration?
XIII. Claude to Eustace.
Wherefore and how I am certain, I hardly can tell; but it is so.
She doesn't like me, Eustace; I think she never will like me.
Is it my fault, as it is my misfortune, my ways are not her ways?
Is it my fault, that my habits and modes are dissimilar wholly?
'Tis not her fault; 'tis her nature, her virtue, to misapprehend them:
'Tis not her fault; 'tis her beautiful nature, not ever to know me.
Hopeless it seems,--yet I cannot, though hopeless, determine to leave it:
She goes--therefore I go; she moves,--I move, not to lose her.
XIV. Claude to Eustace.
Oh, 'tisn't manly, of course, 'tisn't manly, this method of wooing;
'Tisn't the way very likely to win. For the woman, they tell you,
Ever prefers the audacious, the wilful, the vehement hero;
She has no heart for the timid, the sensitive soul; and for knowledge,-Knowledge, O ye Gods!--when did they appreciate knowledge?
Wherefore should they, either? I am sure I do not desire it.
Ah, and I feel too, Eustace, she cares not a tittle about me!
(Care about me, indeed! and do I really expect it?)
But my manner offends; my ways are wholly repugnant;
Every word that I utter estranges, hurts, and repels her;
Every moment of bliss that I gain, in her exquisite presence,
24
Slowly, surely, withdraws her, removes her, and severs her from me.
Not that I care very much!--any way I escape from the boy's own
Folly, to which I am prone, of loving where it is easy.
Not that I mind very much! Why should I? I am not in love, and
Am prepared, I think, if not by previous habit,
Yet in the spirit beforehand for this and all that is like it;
It is an easier matter for us contemplative creatures,
Us upon whom the pressure of action is laid so lightly;
We, discontented indeed with things in particular, idle,
Sickly, complaining, by faith, in the vision of things in general,
Manage to hold on our way without, like others around us,
Seizing the nearest arm to comfort, help, and support us.
Yet, after all, my Eustace, I know but little about it.
All I can say for myself, for present alike and for past, is,
Mary Trevellyn, Eustace, is certainly worth your acquaintance.
You couldn't come, I suppose, as far as Florence to see her?
XV. Georgina Trevellyn to Louisa ----.
. . . . . . To-morrow we're starting for Florence,
Truly rejoiced, you may guess, to escape from republican terrors;
Mr. C. and Papa to escort us; we by vettura
Through Siena, and Georgy to follow and join us by Leghorn.
Then---- Ah, what shall I say, my dearest? I tremble in thinking!
You will imagine my feelings,--the blending of hope and of sorrow.
How can I bear to abandon Papa and Mamma and my Sisters?
Dearest Louise, indeed it is very alarming; but, trust me
Ever, whatever may change, to remain your loving Georgina.
P.S. by Mary Trevellyn.
. . . . . . . 'Do I like Mr. Claude any better?'
I am to tell you,--and, 'Pray, is it Susan or I that attract him?'
This he never has told, but Georgina could certainly ask him.
All I can say for myself is, alas! that he rather repels me.
There! I think him agreeable, but also a little repulsive.
So be content, dear Louisa; for one satisfactory marriage
Surely will do in one year for the family you would establish
Neither Susan nor I shall afford you the joy of a second.
25
P.S. by Georgina Trevellyn.
Mr. Claude, you must know, is behaving a little bit better;
He and Papa are great friends; but he really is too shilly-shally,-So unlike George! Yet I hope that the matte is going on fairly.
I shall, however, get George, before he goes, to say something.
Dearest Louise, how delightful to bring young people together!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Is it Florence we follow, or are we to tarry yet longer,

E'en amid clamour of arms, here in the city of old,

Seeking from clamour of arms in the Past and the Arts to be hidden,

Vainly 'mid Arts and the Past seeking one life to forget?

Ah, fair shadow, scarce seen, go forth! for anon he shall follow,-He that beheld thee, anon, whither thou leadest must go!

Go, and the wise, loving Muse, she also will follow and find thee!

She, should she linger in Rome, were not dissevered from thee!

~ Arthur Hugh Clough,
239:The Botanic Garden (Part V)
THE LOVES OF THE PLANTS.
CANTO I.
Descend, ye hovering Sylphs! aerial Quires,
And sweep with little hands your silver lyres;
With fairy footsteps print your grassy rings,
Ye Gnomes! accordant to the tinkling strings;
While in soft notes I tune to oaten reed
Gay hopes, and amorous sorrows of the mead.From giant Oaks, that wave their branches dark,
To the dwarf Moss, that clings upon their bark,
What Beaux and Beauties crowd the gaudy groves,
And woo and win their vegetable Loves.
How Snowdrops cold, and blue-eyed Harebels blend
Their tender tears, as o'er the stream they bend;
The lovesick Violet, and the Primrose pale
Bow their sweet heads, and whisper to the gale;
With secret sighs the Virgin Lily droops,
And jealous Cowslips hang their tawny cups.
How the young Rose in beauty's damask pride
Drinks the warm blushes of his bashful bride;
With honey'd lips enamour'd Woodbines meet,
Clasp with fond arms, and mix their kisses sweet.Stay thy soft-murmuring waters, gentle Rill;
Hush, whispering Winds, ye ruflling Leaves, be still;
Rest, silver Butterflies, your quivering wings;
Alight, ye Beetles, from your airy rings;
Ye painted Moths, your gold-eyed plumage furl,
Bow your wide horns, your spiral trunks uncurl;
Glitter, ye Glow-worms, on your mossy beds;
Descend, ye Spiders, on your lengthen'd threads;
Slide here, ye horned Snails, with varnish'd shells;
Ye Bee-nymphs, listen in your waxen cells!BOTANIC MUSE! who in this latter age
Led by your airy hand the Swedish sage,
Bad his keen eye your secret haunts explore
On dewy dell, high wood, and winding shore;
Say on each leaf how tiny Graces dwell;
27
How laugh the Pleasures in a blossom's bell;
How insect Loves arise on cobweb wings,
Aim their light shafts, and point their little stings.
First the tall CANNA lifts his curled brow
Erect to heaven, and plights his nuptial vow;
The virtuous pair, in milder regions born,
Dread the rude blast of Autumn's icy morn;
Round the chill fair he folds his crimson vest,
And clasps the timorous beauty to his breast.
Thy love, CALLITRICHE,
two
Virgins share,
Smit with thy starry eye and radiant hair;On the green margin sits the youth, and laves
His floating train of tresses in the waves;
Sees his fair features paint the streams that pass,
And bends for ever o'er the watery glass.
Two
brother swains, of COLLIN'S gentle name,
The same their features, and their forms the same,
With rival love for fair COLLINIA sigh,
Knit the dark brow, and roll the unsteady eye.
With sweet concern the pitying beauty mourns,
And sooths with smiles the jealous pair by turns.
Sweet blooms GENISTA in the myrtle shade,
And
ten
fond brothers woo the haughty maid.
Two
knights before thy fragrant altar bend,
Adored MELISSA! and
two
squires attend.
MEADIA'S soft chains
five
suppliant beaux confess,
And hand in hand the laughing belle address;
Alike to all, she bows with wanton air,
Rolls her dark eye, and waves her golden hair.
Woo'd with long care, CURCUMA cold and shy
28
Meets her fond husband with averted eye:
Four
beardless youths the obdurate beauty move
With soft attentions of Platonic love.
With vain desires the pensive ALCEA burns,
And, like sad ELOISA, loves and mourns.
The freckled IRIS owns a fiercer flame,
And
three
unjealous husbands wed the dame.
CUPRESSUS dark disdains his dusky bride,
One
dome contains them, but
two
beds divide.
The proud OSYRIS flies his angry fair,
Two
houses hold the fashionable pair.
With strange deformity PLANTAGO treads,
A Monster-birth! and lifts his hundred heads;
Yet with soft love a gentle belle he charms,
And clasps the beauty in his hundred arms.
So hapless DESDEMONA, fair and young,
Won by OTHELLO'S captivating tongue,
Sigh'd o'er each strange and piteous tale, distress'd,
And sunk enamour'd on his sooty breast.
Two
gentle shepherds and their sister-wives
With thee, ANTHOXA! lead ambrosial lives;
Where the wide heath in purple pride extends,
And scatter'd furze its golden lustre blends,
Closed in a green recess, unenvy'd lot!
The blue smoak rises from their turf-built cot;
Bosom'd in fragrance blush their infant train,
Eye the warm sun, or drink the silver rain.
The fair OSMUNDA seeks the silent dell,
The ivy canopy, and dripping cell;
There hid in shades
29
clandestine
rites approves,
Till the green progeny betrays her loves.
With charms despotic fair CHONDRILLA reigns
O'er the soft hearts of
five
fraternal swains;
If sighs the changeful nymph, alike they mourn;
And, if she smiles, with rival raptures burn.
So, tun'd in unison, Eolian Lyre!
Sounds in sweet symphony thy kindred wire;
Now, gently swept by Zephyr's vernal wings,
Sink in soft cadences the love-sick strings;
And now with mingling chords, and voices higher,
Peal the full anthems of the aerial choir.
Five
sister-nymphs to join Diana's train
With thee, fair LYCHNIS! vow,-but vow in vain;
Beneath one roof resides the virgin band,
Flies the fond swain, and scorns his offer'd hand;
But when soft hours on breezy pinions move,
And smiling May attunes her lute to love,
Each wanton beauty, trick'd in all her grace,
Shakes the bright dew-drops from her blushing face;
In gay undress displays her rival charms,
And calls her wondering lovers to her arms.
When the young Hours amid her tangled hair
Wove the fresh rose-bud, and the lily fair,
Proud GLORIOSA led
three
chosen swains,
The blushing captives of her virgin chains.-When Time's rude hand a bark of wrinkles spread
Round her weak limbs, and silver'd o'er her head,
Three
other youths her riper years engage,
The flatter'd victims of her wily age.
So, in her wane of beauty, NINON won
With fatal smiles her gay unconscious son.Clasp'd in his arms she own'd a mother's name,-
30
'Desist, rash youth! restrain your impious flame,
'First on that bed your infant-form was press'd,
'Born by my throes, and nurtured at my breast.'Back as from death he sprung, with wild amaze
Fierce on the fair he fix'd his ardent gaze;
Dropp'd on one knee, his frantic arms outspread,
And stole a guilty glance toward the bed;
Then breath'd from quivering lips a whisper'd vow,
And bent on heaven his pale repentant brow;
'Thus, thus!' he cried, and plung'd the furious dart,
And life and love gush'd mingled from his heart.
The fell SILENE and her sisters fair,
Skill'd in destruction, spread the viscous snare.
The harlot-band
ten
lofty bravoes screen,
And frowning guard the magic nets unseen.Haste, glittering nations, tenants of the air,
Oh, steer from hence your viewless course afar!
If with soft words, sweet blushes, nods, and smiles,
The
three
dread Syrens lure you to their toils,
Limed by their art in vain you point your stings,
In vain the efforts of your whirring wings!Go, seek your gilded mates and infant hives,
Nor taste the honey purchas'd with your lives!
When heaven's high vault condensing clouds deform,
Fair AMARYLLIS flies the incumbent storm,
Seeks with unsteady step the shelter'd vale,
And turns her blushing beauties from the gale.Six
rival youths, with soft concern impress'd,
Calm all her fears, and charm her cares to rest.So shines at eve the sun-illumin'd fane,
Lifts its bright cross, and waves its golden vane;
From every breeze the polish'd axle turns,
And high in air the dancing meteor burns.
Four
of the giant brood with ILEX stand,
31
Each grasps a thousand arrows in his hand;
A thousand steely points on every scale
Form the bright terrors of his bristly male.So arm'd, immortal Moore uncharm'd the spell,
And slew the wily dragon of the well.Sudden with rage their
injur'd
bosoms burn,
Retort the insult, or the wound return;
Unwrong'd
, as gentle as the breeze that sweeps
The unbending harvests or undimpled deeps,
They guard, the Kings of Needwood's wide domains,
Their sister-wives and fair infantine trains;
Lead the lone pilgrim through the trackless glade,
Or guide in leafy wilds the wand'ring maid.
So WRIGHT's bold pencil from Vesuvio's hight
Hurls his red lavas to the troubled night;
From Calpè starts the intolerable flash,
Skies burst in flames, and blazing oceans dash;Or bids in sweet repose his shades recede,
Winds the still vale, and slopes the velvet mead;
On the pale stream expiring Zephyrs sink,
And Moonlight sleeps upon its hoary brink.
Gigantic Nymph! the fair KLEINHOVIA reigns,
The grace and terror of Orixa's plains;
O'er her warm cheek the blush of beauty swims,
And nerves Herculean bend her sinewy limbs;
With frolic eye she views the affrighted throng,
And shakes the meadows, as she towers along,
With playful violence displays her charms,
And bears her trembling lovers in her arms.
So fair THALESTRIS shook her plumy crest,
And bound in rigid mail her jutting breast;
Poised her long lance amid the walks of war,
And Beauty thunder'd from Bellona's car;
Greece arm'd in vain, her captive heroes wove
The chains of conquest with the wreaths of love.
When o'er the cultured lawns and dreary wastes
Retiring Autumn flings her howling blasts,
Bends in tumultuous waves the struggling woods,
32
And showers their leafy honours on the floods,
In withering heaps collects the flowery spoil,
And each chill insect sinks beneath the soil;
Quick flies fair TULIPA the loud alarms,
And folds her infant closer in her arms;
In some lone cave, secure pavilion, lies,
And waits the courtship of serener skies.So, six cold moons, the Dormouse charm'd to rest,
Indulgent Sleep! beneath thy eider breast,
In fields of Fancy climbs the kernel'd groves,
Or shares the golden harvest with his loves.But bright from earth amid the troubled air
Ascends fair COLCHICA with radiant hair,
Warms the cold bosom of the hoary year,
And lights with Beauty's blaze the dusky sphere.
Three
blushing Maids the intrepid Nymph attend,
And
six
gay Youths, enamour'd train! defend.
So shines with silver guards the Georgian star,
And drives on Night's blue arch his glittering car;
Hangs o'er the billowy clouds his lucid form,
Wades through the mist, and dances in the storm.
GREAT HELIANTHUS guides o'er twilight plains
In gay solemnity his Dervise-trains;
Marshall'd in
fives
each gaudy band proceeds,
Each gaudy band a plumed Lady leads;
With zealous step he climbs the upland lawn,
And bows in homage to the rising dawn;
Imbibes with eagle-eye the golden ray,
And watches, as it moves, the orb of day.
Queen of the marsh, imperial DROSERA treads
Rush-fringed banks, and moss-embroider'd beds;
Redundant folds of glossy silk surround
Her slender waist, and trail upon the ground;
Five
sister-nymphs collect with graceful ease,
33
Or spread the floating purple to the breeze;
And
five
fair youths with duteous love comply
With each soft mandate of her moving eye.
As with sweet grace her snowy neck she bows,
A zone of diamonds trembles round her brows;
Bright shines the silver halo, as she turns;
And, as she steps, the living lustre burns.
Fair LONICERA prints the dewy lawn,
And decks with brighter blush the vermil dawn;
Winds round the shadowy rocks, and pansied vales,
And scents with sweeter breath the summer-gales;
With artless grace and native ease she charms,
And bears the Horn of Plenty in her arms.
Five
rival Swains their tender cares unfold,
And watch with eye askance the treasured gold.
Where rears huge Tenerif his azure crest,
Aspiring DRABA builds her eagle nest;
Her pendant eyry icy caves surround,
Where erst Volcanos min'd the rocky ground.
Pleased round the Fair
four
rival Lords ascend
The shaggy steeps,
two
menial youths attend.
High in the setting ray the beauty stands,
And her tall shadow waves on distant lands.
Stay, bright inhabitant of air, alight,
Ambitious VISCA, from thy eagle-flight!--Scorning the sordid soil, aloft she springs,
Shakes her white plume, and claps her golden wings;
High o'er the fields of boundless ether roves,
And seeks amid the clouds her soaring loves!
Stretch'd on her mossy couch, in trackless deeps,
Queen of the coral groves, ZOSTERA sleeps;
The silvery sea-weed matted round her bed,
And distant surges murmuring o'er her head.High in the flood her azure dome ascends,
34
The crystal arch on crystal columns bends;
Roof'd with translucent shell the turrets blaze,
And far in ocean dart their colour'd rays;
O'er the white floor successive shadows move,
As rise and break the ruffled waves above.Around the nymph her mermaid-trains repair,
And weave with orient pearl her radiant hair;
With rapid fins she cleaves the watery way,
Shoots like a diver meteor up to day;
Sounds a loud conch, convokes a scaly band,
Her sea-born lovers, and ascends the strand.
E'en round the pole the flames of Love aspire,
And icy bosoms feel the
secret
fire!Cradled in snow and fann'd by arctic air
Shines, gentle BAROMETZ! thy golden hair;
Rooted in earth each cloven hoof descends,
And round and round her flexile neck she bends;
Crops the grey coral moss, and hoary thyme,
Or laps with rosy tongue the melting rime;
Eyes with mute tenderness her distant dam,
Or seems to bleat, a
Vegetable Lamb
-So, warm and buoyant in his oily mail,
Gambols on seas of ice the unwieldy Whale;
Wide-waving fins round floating islands urge
His bulk gigantic through the troubled surge;
With hideous yawn the flying shoals He seeks,
Or clasps with fringe of horn his massy cheeks;
Lifts o'er the tossing wave his nostrils bare,
And spouts pellucid columns into air;
The silvery arches catch the setting beams,
And transient rainbows tremble o'er the streams.
Weak with nice sense, the chaste MIMOSA stands,
From each rude touch withdraws her timid hands;
Oft as light clouds o'er-pass the Summer-glade,
Alarm'd she trembles at the moving shade;
And feels, alive through all her tender form,
The whisper'd murmurs of the gathering storm;
Shuts her sweet eye-lids to approaching night;
35
And hails with freshen'd charms the rising light.
Veil'd, with gay decency and modest pride,
Slow to the mosque she moves, an eastern bride;
There her soft vows unceasing love record,
Queen of the bright seraglio of her Lord.So sinks or rises with the changeful hour
The liquid silver in its glassy tower.
So turns the needle to the pole it loves,
With fine librations quivering as it moves.
All wan and shivering in the leafless glade
The sad ANEMONE reclined her head;
Grief on her cheeks had paled the roseate hue,
And her sweet eye-lids dropp'd with pearly dew.
-'See, from bright regions, borne on odorous gales
The Swallow, herald of the summer, sails;
'Breathe, gentle AIR! from cherub-lips impart
Thy balmy influence to my anguish'd heart;
Thou, whose soft voice calls forth the tender blooms,
Whose pencil paints them, and whose breath perfumes;
O chase the Fiend of Frost, with leaden mace
Who seals in death-like sleep my hapless race;
Melt his hard heart, release his iron hand,
And give my ivory petals to expand.
So may each bud, that decks the brow of spring,
Shed all its incense on thy wafting wing!'To her fond prayer propitious Zephyr yields,
Sweeps on his sliding shell through azure fields,
O'er her fair mansion waves his whispering wand,
And gives her ivory petals to expand;
Gives with new life her filial train to rise,
And hail with kindling smiles the genial skies.
So shines the Nymph in beauty's blushing pride,
When Zephyr wafts her deep calash aside;
Tears with rude kiss her bosom's gauzy veil,
And flings the fluttering kerchief to the gale.
So bright, the folding canopy undrawn,
Glides the gilt Landau o'er the velvet lawn,
Of beaux and belles displays the glittering throng;
And soft airs fan them, as they roll along.
Where frowning Snowden bends his dizzy brow
O'er Conway, listening to the surge below;
Retiring LICHEN climbs the topmost stone,
36
And 'mid the airy ocean dwells alone.Bright shine the stars unnumber'd
o'er her head
And the cold moon-beam gilds her flinty bed;
While round the rifted rocks hoarse whirlwinds breathe,
And dark with thunder sail the clouds
beneath
.The steepy path her plighted swain pursues,
And tracks her light step o'er th' imprinted dews,
Delighted Hymen gives his torch to blaze,
Winds round the craggs, and lights the mazy ways;
Sheds o'er their
secret
vows his influence chaste,
And decks with roses the admiring waste.
High in the front of heaven when Sirius glares,
And o'er Britannia shakes his fiery hairs;
When no soft shower descends, no dew distills,
Her wave-worn channels dry, and mute her rills;
When droops the sickening herb, the blossom fades,
And parch'd earth gapes beneath the withering glades.
-With languid step fair DYPSACA retreats;
'Fall gentle dews!' the fainting nymph repeats;
Seeks the low dell, and in the sultry shade
Invokes in vain the Naiads to her aid.Four
silvan youths in crystal goblets bear
The untasted treasure to the grateful fair;
Pleased from their hands with modest grace she sips,
And the cool wave reflects her coral lips.
With nice selection modest RUBIA blends,
Her vermil dyes, and o'er the cauldron bends;
Warm 'mid the rising steam the Beauty glows,
As blushes in a mist the dewy rose.
With chemic art
four
favour'd youths aloof
Stain the white fleece, or stretch the tinted woof;
O'er Age's cheek the warmth of youth diffuse,
37
Or deck the pale-eyed nymph in roseate hues.
So when MEDEA to exulting Greece
From plunder'd COLCHIS bore the golden fleece;
On the loud shore a magic pile she rais'd,
The cauldron bubbled, and the faggots blaz'd;-Pleased on the boiling wave old ÆSON swims,
And feels new vigour stretch his swelling limbs;
Through his thrill'd nerves forgotten ardors dart,
And warmer eddies circle round his heart;
With softer fires his kindling eye-balls glow,
And darker tresses wanton round his brow.
As dash the waves on India's breezy strand,
Her flush'd cheek press'd upon her lily hand,
VALLISNER sits, up-turns her tearful eyes,
Calls her lost lover, and upbraids the skies;
For him she breathes the silent sigh, forlorn,
Each setting-day; for him each rising morn.'Bright orbs, that light yon high etherial plain,
Or bathe your radiant tresses in the main;
Pale moon, that silver'st o'er night's sable brow;For ye were witness to his parting vow!Ye shelving rocks, dark waves, and sounding shore,Ye echoed sweet the tender words he swore!Can stars or seas the sails of love retain?
O guide my wanderer to my arms again!'Her buoyant skiff intrepid ULVA guides,
And seeks her Lord amid the trackless tides;
Her
secret
vows the Cyprian Queen approves,
And hovering halcyons guard her infant-loves;
Each in his floating cradle round they throng,
And dimpling Ocean bears the fleet along.Thus o'er the waves, which gently bend and swell,
Fair GALATEA steers her silver shell;
Her playful Dolphins stretch the silken rein,
Hear her sweet voice, and glide along the main.
As round the wild meandering coast she moves
By gushing rills, rude cliffs, and nodding groves;
Each by her pine the Wood-nymphs wave their locks,
And wondering Naiads peep amid the rocks;
Pleased trains of Mermaids rise from coral cells,
38
Admiring Tritons sound their twisted shells;
Charm'd o'er the car pursuing Cupids sweep,
Their snow-white pinions twinkling in the deep;
And, as the lustre of her eye she turns,
Soft sighs the Gale, and amorous Ocean burns.
On DOVE'S green brink the fair TREMELLA stood,
And view'd her playful image in the flood;
To each rude rock, lone dell, and echoing grove
Sung the sweet sorrows of her
secret
love.
'Oh, stay!-return!'-along the sounding shore
Cry'd the sad Naiads,-she return'd no more!Now girt with clouds the sullen Evening frown'd,
And withering Eurus swept along the ground;
The misty moon withdrew her horned light,
And sunk with Hesper in the skirt of night;
No dim electric streams, (the northern dawn,)
With meek effulgence quiver'd o'er the lawn;
No star benignant shot one transient ray
To guide or light the wanderer on her way.
Round the dark craggs the murmuring whirlwinds blow,
Woods groan above, and waters roar below;
As o'er the steeps with pausing foot she moves,
The pitying Dryads shriek amid their groves;
She flies,-she stops,-she pants-she looks behind,
And hears a demon howl in every wind.
-As the bleak blast unfurls her fluttering vest,
Cold beats the snow upon her shuddering breast;
Through her numb'd limbs the chill sensations dart,
And the keen ice bolt trembles at her heart.
'I sink, I fall! oh, help me, help!' she cries,
Her stiffening tongue the unfinish'd sound denies;
Tear after tear adown her cheek succeeds,
And pearls of ice bestrew the glittering meads;
Congealing snows her lingering feet surround,
Arrest her flight, and root her to the ground;
With suppliant arms she pours the silent prayer;
Her suppliant arms hang crystal in the air;
Pellucid films her shivering neck o'erspread,
Seal her mute lips, and silver o'er her head,
Veil her pale bosom, glaze her lifted hands,
39
And shrined in ice the beauteous statue stands.
-DOVE'S azure nymphs on each revolving year
For fair TREMELLA shed the tender tear;
With rush-wove crowns in sad procession move,
And sound the sorrowing shell to hapless love.'
Here paused the MUSE,-across the darken'd pole
Sail the dim clouds, the echoing thunders roll;
The trembling Wood-nymphs, as the tempest lowers,
Lead the gay Goddess to their inmost bowers;
Hang the mute lyre the laurel shade beneath,
And round her temples bind the myrtle wreath.
-Now the light swallow with her airy brood
Skims the green meadow, and the dimpled flood;
Loud shrieks the lone thrush from his leafless thorn,
Th' alarmed beetle sounds his bugle horn;
Each pendant spider winds with fingers fine
His ravel'd clue, and climbs along the line;
Gay Gnomes in glittering circles stand aloof
Beneath a spreading mushroom's fretted roof;
Swift bees returning seek their waxen cells,
And Sylphs cling quivering in the lily's bells.
Through the still air descend the genials showers,
And pearly rain-drops deck the laughing flowers.
~ Erasmus Darwin,
240:The Botanic Garden (Part Vi)
THE LOVES OF THE PLANTS.
CANTO II.
Again the Goddess strikes the golden lyre,
And tunes to wilder notes the warbling wire;
With soft suspended step Attention moves,
And Silence hovers o'er the listening groves;
Orb within orb the charmed audience throng,
And the green vault reverberates the song.
'Breathe soft, ye Gales!' the fair CARLINA cries,
Bear on broad wings your Votress to the skies.
How sweetly mutable yon orient hues,
As Morn's fair hand her opening roses strews;
How bright, when Iris blending many a ray
Binds in embroider'd wreath the brow of Day;
Soft, when the pendant Moon with lustres pale
O'er heaven's blue arch unfurls her milky veil;
While from the north long threads of silver light
Dart on swift shuttles o'er the tissued night!
'Breathe soft, ye Zephyrs! hear my fervent sighs,
Bear on broad wings your Votress to the skies!'-Plume over plume in long divergent lines
On whale-bone ribs the fair Mechanic joins;
Inlays with eider down the silken strings,
And weaves in wide expanse Dædalian wings;
Round her bold sons the waving pennons binds,
And walks with angel-step upon the winds.
So on the shoreless air the intrepid Gaul
Launch'd the vast concave of his buoyant ball.Journeying on high, the silken castle glides
Bright as a meteor through the azure tides;
O'er towns and towers and temples wins its way,
Or mounts sublime, and gilds the vault of day.
Silent with upturn'd eyes unbreathing crowds
Pursue the floating wonder to the clouds;
And, flush'd with transport or benumb'd with fear,
Watch, as it rises, the diminish'd sphere.
-Now less and less!-and now a speck is seen!-
41
And now the fleeting rack obtrudes between!With bended knees, raised arms, and suppliant brow
To every shrine with mingled cries they vow.'Save Him, ye Saints! who o'er the good preside;
'Bear Him, ye Winds! ye Stars benignant! guide.'
-The calm Philosopher in ether fails,
Views broader stars, and breathes in purer gales;
Sees, like a map, in many a waving line
Round Earth's blue plains her lucid waters mine;
Sees at his feet the forky lightnings glow,
And hears innocuous thunders roar below.
--Rife, great MONGOLFIER! urge thy venturous flight
High o'er the Moon's pale ice-reflected light;
High o'er the pearly Star, whose beamy horn.
Hangs in the east, gay harbinger of morn;
Leave the red eye of Mars on rapid wing;
Jove's silver guards, and Saturn's dusky ring;
Leave the fair beams, which, issuing from afar;
Play with new lustres round the Georgian star;
Shun with strong oars the Sun's attractive throne,
The sparkling zodiack, and the milky zone;
Where headlong Comets with increasing force
Through other systems bend their blazing course.For thee Cassiope her chair withdraws,
For thee the Bear retracts his shaggy paws;
High o'er the North thy golden orb shall roll,
And blaze eternal round the wondering pole.
So Argo, rising from the southern main,
Lights with new stars the blue etherial plain;
With favoring beams the mariner protects,
And the bold course, which first it steer'd, directs.
Inventress of the Woof, fair LINA flings
The flying shuttle through the dancing strings;
Inlays the broider'd weft with flowery dyes,
Quick beat the reeds, the pedals fall and rise;
Slow from the beam the lengths of warp unwind,
And dance and nod the massy weights behind.Taught by her labours, from the fertile soil
Immortal Isis clothed the banks of Nile;
And fair ARACHNE with her rival loom
Found undeserved a melancholy doom.-
42
Five
Sister-nymphs with dewy fingers twine
The beamy flax, and stretch the fibre-line;
Quick eddying threads from rapid spindles reel,
Or whirl with beaten foot the dizzy wheel.
-Charm'd round the busy Fair
five
shepherds press,
Praise the nice texture of their snowy dress,
Admire the Artists, and the art approve,
And tell with honey'd words the tale of love.
So now, where Derwent rolls his dusky floods
Through vaulted mountains, and a night of woods,
The Nymph, GOSSYPIA, treads the velvet sod,
And warms with rosy smiles the watery God;
His ponderous oars to slender spindles turns,
And pours o'er massy wheels his foamy urns;
With playful charms her hoary lover wins,
And wields his trident,-while the Monarch spins.
-First with nice eye emerging Naiads cull
From leathery pods the vegetable wool;
With wiry teeth
revolving cards
release
The tanged knots, and smooth the ravell'd fleece;
Next moves the
iron-band
with fingers fine,
Combs the wide card, and forms the eternal line;
Slow, with soft lips, the
whirling Can
acquires
The tender skeins, and wraps in rising spires;
With quicken'd pace
successive rollers
move,
And these retain, and those extend the
rove
Then fly the spoles, the rapid axles glow;And slowly circumvolves the labouring wheel below.
PAPYRA, throned upon the banks of Nile,
43
Spread her smooth leaf, and waved her silver style.
-The storied pyramid, the laurel'd bust,
The trophy'd arch had crumbled into dust;
The sacred symbol, and the epic song,
(Unknown the character, forgot the tongue,)
With each unconquer'd chief, or fainted maid,
Sunk undistinguish'd in Oblivion's shade.
Sad o'er the scatter'd ruins Genius sigh'd,
And infant Arts but learn'd to lisp and died.
Till to astonish'd realms PAPYRA taught
To paint in mystic colours Sound and Thought.
With Wisdom's voice to print the page sublime,
And mark in adamant the steps of Time.
-Three favour'd youths her soft attention share,
The fond disciples of the studious Fair,
Hear her sweet voice, the golden process prove;
Gaze, as they learn; and, as they listen, love.
The first
from Alpha to Omega joins
The letter'd tribes along the level lines;
Weighs with nice ear the vowel, liquid, surd,
And breaks in syllables the volant word.
Then forms
the next
upon the marshal'd plain
In deepening ranks his dexterous cypher-train;
And counts, as wheel the decimating bands,
The dews of Ægypt, or Arabia's sands,
And then
the third
on four concordant lines
Prints the lone crotchet, and the quaver joins;
Marks the gay trill, the solemn pause inscribes,
And parts with bars the undulating tribes.
Pleased round her cane-wove throne, the applauding crowd
Clap'd their rude hands, their swarthy foreheads bow'd;
With loud acclaim 'a present God!' they cry'd,
'A present God!' rebellowing shores reply'dThen peal'd at intervals with mingled swell
The echoing harp, shrill clarion, horn, and shell;
While Bards ecstatic, bending o'er the lyre,
44
Struck deeper chords, and wing'd the song with fire.
Then mark'd Astronomers with keener eyes
The Moon's refulgent journey through the skies;
Watch'd the swift Comets urge their blazing cars,
And weigh'd the Sun with his revolving Stars.
High raised the Chemists their Hermetic wands,
(And changing forms obey'd their waving hands,)
Her treasur'd gold from Earth's deep chambers tore,
Or fused and harden'd her chalybeate ore.
All with bent knee from fair PAPYRA claim
Wove by her hands the wreath of deathless fame.
-Exulting Genius crown'd his darling child,
The young Arts clasp'd her knees, and Virtue smiled.
So now DELANY forms her mimic bowers,
Her paper foliage, and her silken flowers;
Her virgin train the tender scissars ply,
Vein the green leaf, the purple petal dye:
Round wiry stems the flaxen tendril bends,
Moss creeps below, and waxen fruit impends.
Cold Winter views amid his realms of snow
DELANY'S vegetable statues blow;
Smooths his stern brow, delays his hoary wing,
And eyes with wonder all the blooms of spring.
The gentle LAPSANA, NYMPHÆA fair,
And bright CALENDULA with golden hair,
Watch with nice eye the Earth's diurnal way,
Marking her solar and sidereal day,
Her slow nutation, and her varying clime,
And trace with mimic art the march of Time;
Round his light foot a magic chain they fling,
And count the quick vibrations of his wing.First in its brazen cell reluctant roll'd
Bends the dark spring in many a steely fold;
On spiral brass is stretch'd the wiry thong,
Tooth urges tooth, and wheel drives wheel along;
In diamond-eyes the polish'd axles flow,
Smooth slides the hand, the ballance pants below.
Round the white circlet in relievo bold
A Serpent twines his scaly length in gold;
And brightly pencil'd on the enamel'd sphere
Live the fair trophies of the passing year.
-Here
45
Time's
huge fingers grasp his giant-mace,
And dash proud Superstition from her base,
Rend her strong towers and gorgeous fanes, and shed
The crumbling fragments round her guilty head.
There the gay
Hours
, whom wreaths of roses deck,
Lead their young trains amid the cumberous wreck;
And, slowly purpling o'er the mighty waste,
Plant the fair growths of Science and of Taste.
While each light
Moment
, as it dances by
With feathery foot and pleasure-twinkling eye,
Feeds from its baby-hand, with many a kiss,
The callow nestlings of domestic Bliss.
As yon gay clouds, which canopy the skies,
Change their thin forms, and lose their lucid dyes;
So the soft bloom of Beauty's vernal charms
Fades in our eyes, and withers in our arms.
-Bright as the silvery plume, or pearly shell,
The snow-white rose, or lily's virgin bell,
The fair HELLEBORAS attractive shone,
Warm'd every Sage, and every Shepherd won.Round the gay sisters press the
enamour'd bands
And seek with soft solicitude their hands.
-Ere while how chang'd!-in dim suffusion lies
The glance divine, that lighten'd in their eyes;
Cold are those lips, where smiles seductive hung,
And the weak accents linger on their tongue;
Each roseat feature fades to livid green,-Disgust with face averted shuts the scene.
So from his gorgeous throne, which awed the world,
The mighty Monarch of the east was hurl'd,
To dwell with brutes beneath the midnight storm,
By Heaven's just vengeance changed in mind and form.
-Prone to the earth He bends his brow superb,
Crops the young floret and the bladed herb;
Lolls his red tongue, and from the reedy side
46
Of slow Euphrates laps the muddy tide.
Long eagle-plumes his arching neck invest,
Steal round his arms, and clasp his sharpen'd breast;
Dark brinded hairs in bristling ranks, behind,
Rise o'er his back, and rustle in the wind,
Clothe his lank sides, his shrivel'd limbs surround,
And human hands with talons print the ground.
Silent in shining troops the Courtier-throng
Pursue their monarch as he crawls along;
E'en Beauty pleads in vain with smiles and tears,
Nor Flattery's self can pierce his pendant ears.
Two
Sister-Nymphs to Ganges' flowery brink
Bend their light steps, the lucid water drink,
Wind through the dewy rice, and nodding canes,
(As
eight
black Eunuchs guard the sacred plains),
With playful malice watch the scaly brood,
And shower the inebriate berries on the flood.Stay in your crystal chambers, silver tribes!
Turn your bright eyes, and shun the dangerous bribes;
The tramel'd net with less destruction sweeps
Your curling shallows, and your azure deeps;
With less deceit, the gilded fly beneath,
Lurks the fell hook unseen,-to taste is death!-Dim your slow eyes, and dull your pearly coat,
Drunk on the waves your languid forms shall float,
On useless fins in giddy circles play,
And Herons and Otters seize you for their prey.So, when the Saint from Padua's graceless land
In silent anguish sought the barren strand,
High on the shatter'd beech sublime He stood,
Still'd with his waving arm the babbling flood;
'To Man's dull ear,' He cry'd, 'I call in vain,
'Hear me, ye scaly tenants of the main!'Misshapen Seals approach in circling flocks,
In dusky mail the Tortoise climbs the rocks,
Torpedoes, Sharks, Rays, Porpus, Dolphins, pour
Their twinkling squadrons round the glittering shore;
47
With tangled fins, behind, huge Phocæ glide,
And Whales and Grampi swell the distant tide.
Then kneel'd the hoary Seer, to heaven address'd
His fiery eyes, and smote his sounding breast;
'Bless ye the Lord!' with thundering voice he cry'd,
'Bless ye the Lord!' the bending shores reply'd;
The winds and waters caught the sacred word,
And mingling echoes shouted 'Bless the Lord!'
The listening shoals the quick contagion feel,
Pant on the floods, inebriate with their zeal,
Ope their wide jaws, and bow their slimy heads,
And dash with frantic fins their foamy beds.
Sopha'd on silk, amid her charm-built towers,
Her meads of asphodel, and amaranth bowers,
Where Sleep and Silence guard the soft abodes,
In sullen apathy PAPAVER nods.
Faint o'er her couch in scintillating streams
Pass the thin forms of Fancy and of Dreams;
Froze by inchantment on the velvet ground
Fair youths and beauteous ladies glitter round;
On crystal pedestals they seem to sigh,
Bend the meek knee, and lift the imploring eye.
-And now the Sorceress bares her shrivel'd hand,
And circles thrice in air her ebon wand;
Flush'd with new life descending statues talk,
The pliant marble softening as they walk;
With deeper sobs reviving lovers breathe,
Fair bosoms rise, and soft hearts pant beneath;
With warmer lips relenting damsels speak,
And kindling blushes tinge the Parian cheek;
To viewless lutes aërial voices sing,
And hovering Loves are heard on rustling wing.
-She waves her wand again!-fresh horrors seize
Their stiffening limbs, their vital currents freeze;
By each cold nymph her marble lover lies,
And iron slumbers seal their glassy eyes.
So with his dread Caduceus HERMES led
From the dark regions of the imprison'd dead,
Or drove in silent shoals the lingering train
To Night's dull shore, and PLUTO'S dreary reign
So with her waving pencil CREWE commands
The realms of Taste, and Fancy's fairy lands;
48
Calls up with magic voice the shapes, that sleep
In earth's dark bosom, or unfathom'd deep;
That shrined in air on viewless wings aspire,
Or blazing bathe in elemental fire.
As with nice touch her plaistic hand she moves,
Rise the fine forms of Beauties, Graces, Loves;
Kneel to the fair Inchantress, smile or sigh,
And fade or flourish, as she turns her eye.
Fair CISTA, rival of the rosy dawn,
Call'd her light choir, and trod the dewy lawn;
Hail'd with rude melody the new-born May,
As cradled yet in April's lap she lay.
I.
'Born in yon blaze of orient sky,
'Sweet MAY! thy radiant form unfold;
'Unclose thy blue voluptuous eye,
'And wave thy shadowy locks of gold.
II.
'For Thee the fragrant zephyrs blow,
'For Thee descends the sunny shower;
'The rills in softer murmurs slow,
'And brighter blossoms gem the bower.
III.
'Light Graces dress'd in flowery wreaths
'And tiptoe Joys their hands combine;
'And Love his sweet contagion breathes,
'And laughing dances round thy shrine.
IV.
'Warm with new life the glittering throngs
'On quivering fin and rustling wing
'Delighted join their votive songs,
'And hail thee, GODDESS OF THE SPRING.'
O'er the green brinks of Severn's oozy bed,
49
In changeful rings, her sprightly troop She led;
PAN tripp'd before, where Eudness shades the mead,
And blew with glowing lip his sevenfold reed;
Emerging Naiads swell'd the jocund strain,
And aped with mimic step the dancing train.'I faint, I fall!'at noon
the Beauty cried,
'Weep o'er my tomb, ye Nymphs!'-and sunk and died.
-Thus, when white Winter o'er the shivering clime
Drives the still snow, or showers the silver rime;
As the lone shepherd o'er the dazzling rocks
Prints his steep step, and guides his vagrant flocks;
Views the green holly veil'd in network nice,
Her vermil clusters twinkling in the ice;
Admires the lucid vales, and slumbering floods,
Fantastic cataracts, and crystal woods,
Transparent towns, with seas of milk between,
And eyes with transport the refulgent scene:If breaks the sunshine o'er the spangled trees,
Or flits on tepid wing the western breeze,
In liquid dews descends the transient glare,
And all the glittering pageant melts in air.
Where Andes hides his cloud-wreath'd crest in snow,
And roots his base on burning sands below;
Cinchona, fairest of Peruvian maids
To Health's bright Goddess in the breezy glades
On Quito's temperate plain an altar rear'd,
Trill'd the loud hymn, the solemn prayer preferr'd:
Each balmy bud she cull'd, and honey'd flower,
And hung with fragrant wreaths the sacred bower;
Each pearly sea she search'd, and sparkling mine,
And piled their treasures on the gorgeous shrine;
Her suppliant voice for sickening Loxa raised,
Sweet breath'd the gale, and bright the censor blazed.
-'Divine HYGEIA! on thy votaries bend
Thy angel-looks, oh, hear us, and defend!
While streaming o'er the night with baleful glare
The star of Autumn rays his misty hair;
Fierce from his fens the Giant AGUE springs,
And wrapp'd in fogs descends on vampire wings;
'Before, with shuddering limbs cold Tremor reels,
50
And Fever's burning nostril dogs his heels;
Loud claps the grinning Fiend his iron hands,
Stamps with his marble feet, and shouts along the lands;
Withers the damask cheek, unnerves the strong,
And drives with scorpion-lash the shrieking throng.
Oh, Goddess! on thy kneeling votaries bend
Thy angel-looks, oh, hear us, and defend!'
-HYGEIA, leaning from the blest abodes,
The crystal mansions of the immortal gods,
Saw the sad Nymph uplift her dewy eyes,
Spread her white arms, and breathe her fervid sighs;
Call'd to her fair associates, Youth, and Joy,
And shot all-radiant through the glittering sky;
Loose waved behind her golden train of hair,
Her sapphire mantle swam diffus'd in air.O'er the grey matted moss, and pansied sod,
With step sublime the glowing Goddess trod,
Gilt with her beamy eye the conscious shade,
And with her smile celestial bless'd the maid.
'Come to my arms,' with seraph voice she cries,
'Thy vows are heard, benignant Nymph! arise;
Where yon aspiring trunks fantastic wreath
Their mingled roots, and drink the rill beneath,
Yield to the biting axe thy sacred wood,
And strew the bitter foliage on the flood.'
In silent homage bow'd the blushing maid,Five
youths athletic hasten to her aid,
O'er the scar'd hills re-echoing strokes resound,
And headlong forests thunder on the ground.
Round the dark roots, rent bark, and shatter'd boughs,
From ocherous beds the swelling fountain flows;
With streams austere its winding margin laves,
And pours from vale to vale its dusky waves.
-As the pale squadrons, bending o'er the brink,
View with a sigh their alter'd forms, and drink;
Slow-ebbing life with refluent crimson breaks
O'er their wan lips, and paints their haggard cheeks;
Through each fine nerve rekindling transports dart,
Light the quick eye, and swell the exulting heart.
-Thus ISRAEL's heaven-taught chief o'er trackless lands
51
Led to the sultry rock his murmuring bands.
Bright o'er his brows the forky radiance blazed,
And high in air the rod divine He raised.Wide yawns the cliff!-amid the thirsty throng
Rush the redundant waves, and shine along;
With gourds and shells and helmets press the bands,
Ope their parch'd lips, and spread their eager hands,
Snatch their pale infants to the exuberant shower,
Kneel on the shatter'd rock, and bless the Almighty Power.
Bolster'd with down, amid a thousand wants,
Pale Dropsy rears his bloated form, and pants;
'Quench me, ye cool pellucid rills!' he cries,
Wets his parch'd tongue, and rolls his hollow eyes.
So bends tormented TANTALUS to drink,
While from his lips the refluent waters shrink;
Again the rising stream his bosom laves,
And Thirst consumes him 'mid circumfluent waves.
-Divine HYGEIA, from the bending sky
Descending, listens to his piercing cry;
Assumes bright DIGITALIS' dress and air,
Her ruby cheek, white neck, and raven hair;
Four
youths protect her from the circling throng,
And like the Nymph the Goddess steps along.-O'er Him She waves her serpent-wreathed wand,
Cheers with her voice, and raises with her hand,
Warms with rekindling bloom his visage wan,
And charms the shapeless monster into man.
So when Contagion with mephitic breath
And withered Famine urged the work of death;
Marseilles' good Bishop, London's generous Mayor,
With food and faith, with medicine and with prayer,
Raised the weak head and stayed the parting sigh,
Or with new life relumed the swimming eye.-And now, PHILANTHROPY! thy rays divine
Dart round the globe from Zembla to the Line;
O'er each dark prison plays the cheering light,
Like northern lustres o'er the vault of night.From realm to realm, with cross or crescent crown'd,
Where'er Mankind and Misery are found,
O'er burning sands, deep waves, or wilds of snow,
52
Thy HOWARD journeying seeks the house of woe.
Down many a winding step to dungeons dank,
Where anguish wails aloud, and fetters clank;
To caves bestrew'd with many a mouldering bone,
And cells, whose echoes only learn to groan;
Where no kind bars a whispering friend disclose,
No sunbeam enters, and no zephyr blows,
HE treads, inemulous of fame or wealth,
Profuse of toil, and prodigal of health;
With soft assuasive eloquence expands
Power's rigid heart, and opes his clenching hands;
Leads stern-ey'd Justice to the dark domains,
If not to fever, to relax the chains;
Or guides awaken'd Mercy through the gloom,
And shews the prison, sister to the tomb!Gives to her babes the self-devoted wife,
To her fond husband liberty and life!-The Spirits of the Good, who bend from high
Wide o'er these earthly scenes their partial eye,
When first, array'd in VIRTUE'S purest robe,
They saw her HOWARD traversing the globe;
Saw round his brows her sun-like Glory blaze
In arrowy circles of unwearied rays;
Mistook a Mortal for an Angel-Guest,
And ask'd what Seraph-foot the earth imprest.
-Onward he moves!-Disease and Death retire,
And murmuring Demons hate him, and admire.'
Here paused the Goddess,-on HYGEIA'S shrine
Obsequious Gnomes repose the lyre divine;
Descending Sylphs relax the trembling strings,
And catch the rain-drops on their shadowy wings.
-And now her vase a modest Naiad fills
With liquid crystal from her pebbly rills;
Piles the dry cedar round her silver urn,
(Bright climbs the blaze, the crackling faggots burn),
Culls the green herb of China's envy'd bowers,
In gaudy cups the steamy treasure pours;
And, sweetly-smiling, on her bended knee
Presents the fragrant quintessence of Tea.
~ Erasmus Darwin,
241:The Botanic Garden (Part Viii)
THE LOVES OF THE PLANTS
CANTO IV.
Now the broad Sun his golden orb unshrouds,
Flames in the west, and paints the parted clouds;
O'er heaven's wide arch refracted lustres flow,
And bend in air the many-colour'd bow.-The tuneful Goddess on the glowing sky
Fix'd in mute extacy her glistening eye;
And then her lute to sweeter tones she strung,
And swell'd with softer chords the Paphian song.
Long ailes of Oaks return'd the silver sound,
And amorous Echoes talk'd along the ground;
Pleas'd Lichfield listen'd from her sacred bowers,
Bow'd her tall groves, and shook her stately towers.
'Nymph! not for thee the radiant day returns,
Nymph! not for thee the golden solstice burns,
Refulgent CEREA!-at the dusky hour
She seeks with pensive step the mountain-bower,
Bright as the blush of rising morn, and warms
The dull cold eye of Midnight with her charms.
There to the skies she lifts her pencill'd brows,
Opes her fair lips, and breathes her virgin vows;
Eyes the white zenyth; counts the suns, that roll
Their distant fires, and blaze around the Pole;
Or marks where Jove directs his glittering car
O'er Heaven's blue vault,-Herself a brighter star.
-There as soft Zephyrs sweep with pausing airs
Thy snowy neck, and part thy shadowy hairs,
Sweet Maid of Night! to Cynthia's sober beams
Glows thy warm cheek, thy polish'd bosom gleams.
In crowds
around thee gaze the admiring swains,
And guard in silence the enchanted plains;
Drop the still tear, or breathe the impassion'd sigh,
And drink inebriate rapture from thine eye.
Thus, when old Needwood's hoary scenes the Night
66
Paints with blue shadow, and with milky light;
Where MUNDY pour'd, the listening nymphs among,
Loud to the echoing vales his parting song;
With measured step the Fairy Sovereign treads,
Shakes her high plume, and glitters o'er the meads;
Round each green holly leads her sportive train,
And little footsteps mark the circled plain;
Each haunted rill with silver voices rings,
And Night's sweet bird in livelier accents sings.
Ere the bright star, which leads the morning sky,
Hangs o'er the blushing east his diamond eye,
The chaste TROPAEO leaves her secret bed;
A saint-like glory trembles round her head;
Eight
watchful swains along the lawns of night
With amorous steps pursue the virgin light;
O'er her fair form the electric lustre plays,
And cold she moves amid the lambent blaze.
So shines the glow-fly, when the sun retires,
And gems the night-air with phosphoric fires;
Thus o'er the marsh aërial lights betray,
And charm the unwary wanderer from his way.
So when thy King, Assyria, fierce and proud,
Three human victims to his idol vow'd;
Rear'd a vast pyre before the golden shrine
Of sulphurous coal, and pitch-exsuding pine;-Loud roar the flames, the iron nostrils breathe,
And the huge bellows pant and heave beneath;
Bright and more bright the blazing deluge flows,
And white with seven-fold heat the furnace glows.
And now the Monarch fix'd with dread surprize
Deep in the burning vault his dazzled eyes.
'Lo! Three unbound amid the frightful glare,
Unscorch'd their sandals, and unsing'd their hair!
And now a fourth with seraph-beauty bright
Descends, accosts them, and outshines the light!
Fierce flames innocuous, as they step, retire!
And slow they move amid a world of fire!'
He spoke,-to Heaven his arms repentant spread,
And kneeling bow'd his gem-incircled head.
67
Two
Sister-Nymphs, the fair AVENAS, lead
Their fleecy squadrons on the lawns of Tweed;
Pass with light step his wave-worn banks along,
And wake his Echoes with their silver tongue;
Or touch the reed, as gentle Love inspires,
In notes accordant to their chaste desires.
I.
'Sweet ECHO! sleeps thy vocal shell,
'Where this high arch o'erhangs the dell;
'While Tweed with sun-reflecting streams
'Chequers thy rocks with dancing beams?-
II.
'Here may no clamours harsh intrude,
No brawling hound or clarion rude;
Here no fell beast of midnight prowl,
And teach thy tortured cliffs to howl!
III.
'Be thine to pour these vales along
Some artless Shepherd's evening song;
While Night's sweet bird, from yon high spray
Responsive, listens to his lay.
IV.
'And if, like me, some love-lorn maid
'Should sing her sorrows to thy shade,
'Oh, sooth her breast, ye rocks around!
'With softest sympathy of sound.'
From ozier bowers the brooding Halcyons peep,
The Swans pursuing cleave the glassy deep,
On hovering wings the wondering Reed-larks play,
And silent Bitterns listen to the lay.-
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Three
shepherd-swains beneath the beechen shades
Twine rival garlands for the tuneful maids;
On each smooth bark the mystic love-knot frame,
Or on white sands inscribe the favour'd name.
From Time's remotest dawn where China brings
In proud succession all her Patriot-Kings;
O'er desert-sands, deep gulfs, and hills sublime,
Extends her massy wall from clime to clime;
With bells and dragons crests her Pagod-bowers,
Her silken palaces, and porcelain towers;
With long canals a thousand nations laves;
Plants all her wilds, and peoples all her waves;
Slow treads fair CANNABIS the breezy strand,
The distaff streams dishevell'd in her hand;
Now to the left her ivory neck inclines,
And leads in Paphian curves its azure lines;
Dark waves the fringed lid, the warm cheek glows,
And the fair ear the parting locks disclose;
Now to the right with airy sweep she bends,
Quick join the threads, the dancing spole depends.
Five
Swains attracted guard the Nymph, by turns
Her grace inchants them, and her beauty burns;
To each She bows with sweet assuasive smile,
Hears his soft vows, and turns her spole the while.
So when with light and shade, concordant strife!
Stern CLOTHO weaves the chequer'd thread of life;
Hour after hour the growing line extends,
The cradle and the coffin bound its ends;
Soft cords of silk the whirling spoles reveal,
If smiling Fortune turn the giddy wheel;
But if sweet Love with baby-fingers twines,
And wets with dewy lips the lengthening lines,
Skein after skein celestial tints unfold,
And all the silken tissue shines with gold.
Warm with sweet blushes bright GALANTHA glows,
And prints with frolic step the melting snows;
O'er silent floods, white hills, and glittering meads
Six
69
rival swains the playful beauty leads,
Chides with her dulcet voice the tardy Spring,
Bids slumbering Zephyr stretch his folded wing,
Wakes the hoarse Cuckoo in his gloomy cave,
And calls the wondering Dormouse from his grave,
Bids the mute Redbreast cheer the budding grove,
And plaintive Ringdove tune her notes to love.
Spring! with thy own sweet smile, and tuneful tongue,
Delighted BELLIS calls her infant throng.
Each on his reed astride, the Cherub-train
Watch her kind looks, and circle o'er the plain;
Now with young wonder touch the siding snail,
Admire his eye-tipp'd horns, and painted mail;
Chase with quick step, and eager arms outspread,
The pausing Butterfly from mead to mead;
Or twine green oziers with the fragrant gale,
The azure harebel, and the primrose pale,
Join hand in hand, and in procession gay
Adorn with votive wreaths the shrine of May.
-So moves the Goddess to the Idalian groves,
And leads her gold-hair'd family of Loves.
These, from the flaming furnace, strong and bold
Pour the red steel into the sandy mould;
On tinkling anvils (with Vulcanian art),
Turn with hot tongs, and forge the dreadful dart;
The barbed head on whirling jaspers grind,
And dip the point in poison for the mind;
Each polish'd shaft with snow-white plumage wing,
Or strain the bow reluctant to its string.
Those on light pinion twine with busy hands,
Or stretch from bough to bough the flowery bands;
Scare the dark beetle, as he wheels on high,
Or catch in silken nets the gilded fly;
Call the young Zephyrs to their fragrant bowers,
And stay with kisses sweet the Vernal Hours.
Where, as proud Maffon rises rude and bleak,
And with mishapen turrets crests the Peak,
Old Matlock gapes with marble jaws, beneath,
And o'er fear'd Derwent bends his flinty teeth;
Deep in wide caves below the dangerous soil
Blue sulphurs flame, imprison'd waters boil.
Impetuous steams in spiral colums rise
70
Through rifted rocks, impatient for the skies;
Or o'er bright seas of bubbling lavas blow,
As heave and toss the billowy fires below;
Condensed on high, in wandering rills they glide
From Maffon's dome, and burst his sparry side;
Round his grey towers, and down his fringed walls,
From cliff to cliff, the liquid treasure falls;
In beds of stalactite, bright ores among,
O'er corals, shells, and crystals, winds along;
Crusts the green mosses, and the tangled wood,
And sparkling plunges to its parent flood.
-O'er the warm wave a smiling youth presides,
Attunes its murmurs, its meanders guides,
(The blooming FUCUS), in her sparry coves
To amorous Echo sings his
secret
loves,
Bathes his fair forehead in the misty stream,
And with sweet breath perfumes the rising steam.
-So, erst, an Angel o'er Bethesda's springs,
Each morn descending, shook his dewy wings;
And as his bright translucent form He laves,
Salubrious powers enrich the troubled waves.
Amphibious Nymph, from Nile's prolific bed
Emerging TRAPA lifts her pearly head;
Fair glows her virgin cheek and modest breast,
A panoply of scales deforms the rest;
Her quivering fins and panting gills she hides
But spreads her silver arms upon the tides;
Slow as she sails, her ivory neck she laves,
And shakes her golden tresses o'er the waves.
Charm'd round the Nymph, in circling gambols glide
Four
Nereid-forms, or shoot along the tide;
Now all as one they rise with frolic spring,
And beat the wondering air on humid wing;
Now all descending plunge beneath the main,
And lash the foam with undulating train;
Above, below, they wheel, retreat, advance,
In air and ocean weave the mazy dance;
Bow their quick heads, and point their diamond eyes,
71
And twinkle to the sun with ever-changing dyes.
Where Andes, crested with volcanic beams,
Sheds a long line of light on Plata's streams;
Opes all his springs, unlocks his golden caves,
And feeds and freights the immeasurable waves;
Delighted OCYMA at twilight hours
Calls her light car, and leaves the sultry bowers;Love's rising ray, and Youth's seductive dye,
Bloom'd on her cheek, and brighten'd in her eye;
Chaste, pure, and white, a zone of silver graced
Her tender breast, as white, as pure, as chaste;-By
four
fond swains in playful circles drawn,
On glowing wheels she tracks the moon-bright lawn,
Mounts the rude cliff, unveils her blushing charms,
And calls the panting zephyrs to her arms.
Emerged from ocean springs the vaporous air,
Bathes her light limbs, uncurls her amber hair,
Incrusts her beamy form with films saline,
And Beauty blazes through the crystal shrine.So with pellucid studs the ice-flower gems
Her rimy foliage, and her candied stems.
So from his glassy horns, and pearly eyes,
The diamond-beetle darts a thousand dyes;
Mounts with enamel'd wings the vesper gale,
And wheeling shines in adamantine mail.
Thus when loud thunders o'er Gomorrah burst,
And heaving earthquakes shook his realms accurst,
An Angel-guest led forth the trembling Fair
With shadowy hand, and warn'd the guiltless pair;
'Haste from these lands of sin, ye Righteous! fly,
Speed the quick step, nor turn the lingering eye!'-Such the command, as fabling Bards indite,
When Orpheus charm'd the grisly King of Night;
Sooth'd the pale phantoms with his plaintive lay,
And led the fair Assurgent into day.Wide yawn'd the earth, the fiery tempest flash'd,
And towns and towers in one vast ruin crash'd;Onward they move,--loud horror roars behind,
And shrieks of Anguish bellow in the wind.
With many a sob, amid a thousand fears,
72
The beauteous wanderer pours her gushing tears;
Each soft connection rends her troubled breast,
-She turns, unconscious of the stern behest!'I faint!-I fall!-ah, me!-sensations chill
Shoot through my bones, my shuddering bosom thrill!
I freeze! I freeze! just Heaven regards my fault,
Numbs my cold limbs, and hardens into salt!Not yet, not yet, your dying Love resign!This last, last kiss receive!-no longer thine!'She said, and ceased,-her stiffen'd form He press'd,
And strain'd the briny column to his breast;
Printed with quivering lips the lifeless snow,
And wept, and gazed the monument of woe.So when Aeneas through the flames of Troy
Bore his pale fire, and led his lovely boy;
With loitering step the fair Creusa stay'd,
And Death involved her in eternal shade.Oft the lone Pilgrim that his road forsakes,
Marks the wide ruins, and the sulphur'd lakes;
On mouldering piles amid asphaltic mud
Hears the hoarse bittern, where Gomorrah stood;
Recalls the unhappy Pair with lifted eye,
Leans on the crystal tomb, and breathes the silent sigh..
With net-wove sash and glittering gorget dress'd,
And scarlet robe lapell'd upon her breast,
Stern ARA frowns, the measured march assumes,
Trails her long lance, and nods her shadowy plumes;
While Love's soft beams illume her treacherous eyes,
And Beauty lightens through the thin disguise.
So erst, when HERCULES, untamed by toil,
Own'd the soft power of DEJANIRA'S smile;His lion-spoils the laughing Fair demands,
And gives the distaff to his awkward hands;
O'er her white neck the bristly mane she throws,
And binds the gaping whiskers on her brows;
Plaits round her slender waist the shaggy vest,
And clasps the velvet paws across her breast.
Next with soft hands the knotted club she rears,
Heaves up from earth, and on her shoulder bears.
Onward with loftier step the Beauty treads,
And trails the brinded ermine o'er the meads;
Wolves, bears, and bards, forsake the affrighted groves,
73
And grinning Satyrs tremble, as she moves.
CARYO'S sweet smile DIANTHUS proud admires,
And gazing burns with unallow'd desires;
With sighs and sorrows her compassion moves,
And wins the damsel to illicit loves.
The Monster-offspring heirs the father's pride,
Mask'd in the damask beauties of the bride.
So, when the Nightingale in eastern bowers
On quivering pinion woos the Queen of flowers;
Inhales her fragrance, as he hangs in air,
And melts with melody the blushing fair;
Half-rose, half-bird, a beauteous Monster springs,
Waves his thin leaves, and claps his glossy wings;
Long horrent thorns his mossy legs surround,
And tendril-talons root him to the ground;
Green films of rind his wrinkled neck o'espread,
And crimson petals crest his curled head;
Soft-warbling beaks in each bright blossom move,
And vocal Rosebuds thrill the enchanted grove!Admiring Evening stays her beamy star,
And still Night listens from his ebon ear;
While on white wings descending Houries throng,
And drink the floods of odour and of song.
When from his golden urn the Solstice pours
O'er Afric's sable sons the sultry hours;
When not a gale flits o'er her tawny hills,
Save where the dry Harmattan breathes and kills;
-Fair CHUNDA smiles amid the burning waste,
Her brow unturban'd, and her zone unbrac'd;
Ten
brother-youths with light umbrella's shade,
Or fan with busy hands the panting maid;
Loose wave her locks, disclosing, as they break,
The rising bosom and averted cheek;
Clasp'd round her ivory neck with studs of gold
Flows her thin vest in many a gauzy fold;
O'er her light limbs the dim transparence plays,
And the fair form, it seems to hide, betrays.
Where leads the northern Star his lucid train
High o'er the snow-clad earth, and icy main,
With milky light the white horizon streams,
74
And to the moon each sparkling mountain gleams.Slow o'er the printed snows with silent walk
Huge shaggy forms across the twilight stalk;
And ever and anon with hideous sound
Burst the thick ribs of ice, and thunder round.There, as old Winter slaps his hoary wing,
And lingering leaves his empire to the Spring,
Pierced with quick shafts of silver-shooting light
Fly in dark troops the dazzled imps of night'Awake, my Love!' enamour'd MUSCHUS cries,
'Stretch thy fair limbs, resulgent Maid! arise;
Ope thy sweet eye-lids to the rising ray,
And hail with ruby lips returning day.
Down the white hills dissolving torrents pour,
Green springs the turf, and purple blows the flower;
His torpid wing the Rail exulting tries,
Mounts the soft gale, and wantons in the skies;
Rise, let us mark how bloom the awaken'd groves,
And 'mid the banks of roses
hide
our loves.'
Night's tinsel beams on smooth Lock-lomond dance,
Impatient ÆGA views the bright expanse;In vain her eyes the parting floods explore,
Wave after wave rolls freightless to the shore.
-Now dim amid the distant foam she spies
A rising speck,-''tis he! 'tis he!' She cries;
As with firm arms he beats the streams aside,
And cleaves with rising chest the tossing tide,
With bended knee she prints the humid sands,
Up-turns her glistening eyes, and spreads her hands;
-''Tis he, 'tis he!-My Lord, my life, my love!Slumber, ye winds; ye billows, cease to move!
beneath his arms your buoyant plumage spread,
Ye Swans! ye Halcyons! hover round his head!'-With eager step the boiling surf she braves,
And meets her refluent lover in the waves;
Loose o'er the flood her azure mantle swims,
And the clear stream betrays her snowy limbs.
So on her sea-girt tower fair HERO stood
At parting day, and mark'd the dashing flood;
While high in air, the glimmering rocks above,
75
Shone the bright lamp, the pilot-star of Love.
-With robe outspread the wavering flame behind
She kneels, and guards it from the shifting wind;
Breathes to her Goddess all her vows, and guides
Her bold LEANDER o'er the dusky tides;
Wrings his wet hair, his briny bosom warms,
And clasps her panting lover in her arms.
Deep, in wide caverns and their shadowy ailes,
Daughter of Earth, the chaste TRUFFELIA smiles;
On silvery beds, of soft asbestus wove,
Meets her Gnome-husband, and avows her love.
High
o'er her couch impending diamonds blaze,
And branching gold the crystal roof inlays;
With verdant light the modest emeralds glow,
Blue sapphires glare, and rubies blush,
below
Light piers of lazuli the dome surround,
And pictured mochoes tesselate the ground;
In glittering threads along reflective walls
The warm rill murmuring twinkles, as it falls;
Now sink the Eolian strings, and now they swell,
And Echoes woo in every vaulted cell;
While on white wings delighted Cupids play,
Shake their bright lamps, and shed celestial day.
Closed in an azure fig by fairy spells,
Bosom'd in down, fair CAPRI-FICA dwells;So sleeps in silence the Curculio, shut
In the dark chambers of the cavern'd nut,
Erodes with ivory beak the vaulted shell,
And quits on filmy wings its narrow cell.
So the pleased Linnet in the moss-wove nest,
Waked into life beneath its parent's breast,
Chirps in the gaping shell, bursts forth erelong,
Shakes its new plumes, and tries its tender song.-And now the talisman she strikes, that charms
Her husband-Sylph,-and calls him to her arms.Quick, the light Gnat her airy Lord bestrides,
With cobweb reins the flying courser guides,
From crystal steeps of viewless ether springs,
76
Cleaves the soft air on still expanded wings;
Darts like a sunbeam o'er the boundless wave,
And seeks the beauty in her
secret
cave.
So with quick impulse through all nature's frame
Shoots the electric air its subtle flame.
So turns the impatient needle to the pole,
Tho' mountains rise between, and oceans roll.
Where round the Orcades white torrents roar,
Scooping with ceaseless rage the incumbent shore,
Wide o'er the deep a dusky cavern bends
Its marble arms, and high in air impends;
Basaltic piers the ponderous roof sustain,
And steep their massy sandals in the main;
Round the dim walls, and through the whispering ailes
Hoarse breathes the wind, the glittering water boils.
Here the charm'd BYSSUS with his blooming bride
Spreads his green sails, and braves the foaming tide;
The star of Venus gilds the twilight wave,
And lights her votaries to the
secret
cave;
Light Cupids flutter round the nuptial bed,
And each coy sea-maid hides her blushing head.
Where cool'd by rills, and curtain'd round by woods,
Slopes the green dell to meet the briny floods,
The sparkling noon-beams trembling on the tide,
The PROTEUS-LOVER woos his playful bride,
To win the fair he tries a thousand forms,
Basks on the sands, or gambols in the storms.
A Dolphin now, his scaly sides he laves,
And bears the sportive damsel on the waves;
She strikes the cymbal as he moves along,
And wondering Ocean listens to the song.
-And now a spotted Pard the lover stalks,
Plays round her steps, and guards her favour'd walks;
As with white teeth he prints her hand, caress'd,
And lays his velvet paw upon her breast,
O'er his round face her snowy fingers strain
The silken knots, and fit the ribbon-rein.
-And now a Swan, he spreads his plumy sails,
77
And proudly glides before the fanning gales;
Pleas'd on the flowery brink with graceful hand
She waves her floating lover to the land;
Bright shines his sinuous neck, with crimson beak
He prints fond kisses on her glowing cheek,
Spreads his broad wings, elates his ebon crest,
And clasps the beauty to his downy breast.
hundred
virgins join a
hundred
swains,
And fond ADONIS leads the sprightly trains;
Pair after pair, along his sacred groves
To Hymen's fane the bright procession moves;
Each smiling youth a myrtle garland shades,
And wreaths of roses veil the blushing maids;
Light joys on twinkling feet attend the throng,
Weave the gay dance, or raise the frolic song;
-Thick, as they pass, exulting Cupids fling
Promiscuous arrows from the sounding string;
On wings of gossamer soft Whispers fly,
And the sly Glance steals side-long from the eye.
-As round his shrine the gaudy circles bow,
And seal with muttering lips the faithless vow,
Licentious Hymen joins their mingled hands,
And loosely twines the meretricious bands.Thus where pleased VENUS, in the southern main,
Sheds all her smiles on Otaheite's plain,
Wide o'er the isle her silken net she draws,
And the Loves laugh at all, but Nature's laws.'
Here ceased the Goddess,-o'er the silent strings
Applauding Zephyrs swept their fluttering wings;
Enraptur'd Sylphs arose in murmuring crowds
To air-wove canopies and pillowy clouds;
Each Gnome reluctant sought his earthy cell,
And each bright Floret clos'd her velvet bell.
Then, on soft tiptoe, NIGHT approaching near
Hung o'er the tuneless lyre his sable ear;
Gem'd with bright stars the still etherial plain,
And bad his Nightingales repeat the strain.
78
~ Erasmus Darwin,
242:I am poor brother Lippo, by your leave!
You need not clap your torches to my face.
Zooks, what's to blame? you think you see a monk!
What, 'tis past midnight, and you go the rounds,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar?
The Carmine's my cloister: hunt it up,
Do,harry out, if you must show your zeal,
Whatever rat, there, haps on his wrong hole,
And nip each softling of a wee white mouse,
Weke, weke, that's crept to keep him company!
Aha, you know your betters! Then, you'll take
Your hand away that's fiddling on my throat,
And please to know me likewise. Who am I?
Why, one, sir, who is lodging with a friend
Three streets offhe's a certain . . . how d'ye call?
MasteraCosimo of the Medici,
I' the house that caps the corner. Boh! you were best!
Remember and tell me, the day you're hanged,
How you affected such a gullet's-gripe!  
But you, sir, it concerns you that your knaves
Pick up a manner nor discredit you:
Zooks, are we pilchards, that they sweep the streets
And count fair price what comes into their net?
He's Judas to a tittle, that man is!
Just such a face! Why, sir, you make amends.
Lord, I'm not angry! Bid your hang-dogs go
Drink out this quarter-florin to the health
Of the munificent House that harbours me
(And many more beside, lads! more beside!)
And all's come square again. I'd like his face
His, elbowing on his comrade in the door
With the pike and lantern,for the slave that holds
John Baptist's head a-dangle by the hair
With one hand ("Look you, now," as who should say)
And his weapon in the other, yet unwiped!
It's not your chance to have a bit of chalk,
A wood-coal or the like? or you should see!
Yes, I'm the painter, since you style me so.
What, brother Lippo's doings, up and down,
You know them and they take you? like enough!
I saw the proper twinkle in your eye
'Tell you, I liked your looks at very first.
Let's sit and set things straight now, hip to haunch.
Here's spring come, and the nights one makes up bands
To roam the town and sing out carnival,
And I've been three weeks shut within my mew,
A-painting for the great man, saints and saints
And saints again. I could not paint all night
Ouf! I leaned out of window for fresh air.
There came a hurry of feet and little feet,
A sweep of lute strings, laughs, and whifts of song,
Flower o' the broom,
Take away love, and our earth is a tomb!
Flower o' the quince,
I let Lisa go, and what good in life since?
Flower o' the thymeand so on. Round they went.
Scarce had they turned the corner when a titter
Like the skipping of rabbits by moonlight,three slim shapes,
And a face that looked up . . . zooks, sir, flesh and blood,
That's all I'm made of! Into shreds it went,
Curtain and counterpane and coverlet,
All the bed-furniturea dozen knots,
There was a ladder! Down I let myself,
Hands and feet, scrambling somehow, and so dropped,
And after them. I came up with the fun
Hard by Saint Laurence, hail fellow, well met,
Flower o' the rose,
If I've been merry, what matter who knows?
And so as I was stealing back again
To get to bed and have a bit of sleep
Ere I rise up to-morrow and go work
On Jerome knocking at his poor old breast
With his great round stone to subdue the flesh,
You snap me of the sudden. Ah, I see!
Though your eye twinkles still, you shake your head
Mine's shaveda monk, you saythe sting 's in that!
If Master Cosimo announced himself,
Mum's the word naturally; but a monk!
Come, what am I a beast for? tell us, now!
I was a baby when my mother died
And father died and left me in the street.
I starved there, God knows how, a year or two
On fig-skins, melon-parings, rinds and shucks,
Refuse and rubbish. One fine frosty day,
My stomach being empty as your hat,
The wind doubled me up and down I went.
Old Aunt Lapaccia trussed me with one hand,
(Its fellow was a stinger as I knew)
And so along the wall, over the bridge,
By the straight cut to the convent. Six words there,
While I stood munching my first bread that month:
"So, boy, you're minded," quoth the good fat father
Wiping his own mouth, 'twas refection-time,--
"To quit this very miserable world?
Will you renounce" . . . "the mouthful of bread?" thought I;
By no means! Brief, they made a monk of me;
I did renounce the world, its pride and greed,
Palace, farm, villa, shop, and banking-house,
Trash, such as these poor devils of Medici
Have given their hearts toall at eight years old.
Well, sir, I found in time, you may be sure,
'T#was not for nothingthe good bellyful,
The warm serge and the rope that goes all round,
And day-long blessed idleness beside!
"Let's see what the urchin's fit for"that came next.
Not overmuch their way, I must confess.
Such a to-do! They tried me with their books:
Lord, they'd have taught me Latin in pure waste!
Flower o' the clove.
All the Latin I construe is, "amo" I love!
But, mind you, when a boy starves in the streets
Eight years together, as my fortune was,
Watching folk's faces to know who will fling
The bit of half-stripped grape-bunch he desires,
And who will curse or kick him for his pains,
Which gentleman processional and fine,
Holding a candle to the Sacrament,
Will wink and let him lift a plate and catch
The droppings of the wax to sell again,
Or holla for the Eight and have him whipped,
How say I?nay, which dog bites, which lets drop
His bone from the heap of offal in the street,
Why, soul and sense of him grow sharp alike,
He learns the look of things, and none the less
For admonition from the hunger-pinch.
I had a store of such remarks, be sure,
Which, after I found leisure, turned to use.
I drew men's faces on my copy-books,
Scrawled them within the antiphonary's marge,
Joined legs and arms to the long music-notes,
Found eyes and nose and chin for A's and B's,
And made a string of pictures of the world
Betwixt the ins and outs of verb and noun,
On the wall, the bench, the door. The monks looked black.
"Nay," quoth the Prior, "turn him out, d'ye say?
In no wise. Lose a crow and catch a lark.
What if at last we get our man of parts,
We Carmelites, like those Camaldolese
And Preaching Friars, to do our church up fine
And put the front on it that ought to be!"
And hereupon he bade me daub away.
Thank you! my head being crammed, the walls a blank,
Never was such prompt disemburdening.
First, every sort of monk, the black and white,
I drew them, fat and lean: then, folk at church,
From good old gossips waiting to confess
Their cribs of barrel-droppings, candle-ends,
To the breathless fellow at the altar-foot,
Fresh from his murder, safe and sitting there
With the little children round him in a row
Of admiration, half for his beard and half
For that white anger of his victim's son
Shaking a fist at him with one fierce arm,
Signing himself with the other because of Christ
(Whose sad face on the cross sees only this
After the passion of a thousand years)
Till some poor girl, her apron o'er her head,
(Which the intense eyes looked through) came at eve
On tiptoe, said a word, dropped in a loaf,
Her pair of earrings and a bunch of flowers
(The brute took growling), prayed, and so was gone.
I painted all, then cried " `T#is ask and have;
Choose, for more's ready!"laid the ladder flat,
And showed my covered bit of cloister-wall.
The monks closed in a circle and praised loud
Till checked, taught what to see and not to see,
Being simple bodies,"That's the very man!
Look at the boy who stoops to pat the dog!
That woman's like the Prior's niece who comes
To care about his asthma: it's the life!''
But there my triumph's straw-fire flared and funked;
Their betters took their turn to see and say:
The Prior and the learned pulled a face
And stopped all that in no time. "How? what's here?
Quite from the mark of painting, bless us all!
Faces, arms, legs, and bodies like the true
As much as pea and pea! it's devil's-game!
Your business is not to catch men with show,
With homage to the perishable clay,
But lift them over it, ignore it all,
Make them forget there's such a thing as flesh.
Your business is to paint the souls of men
Man's soul, and it's a fire, smoke . . . no, it's not . . .
It's vapour done up like a new-born babe
(In that shape when you die it leaves your mouth)
It's . . . well, what matters talking, it's the soul!
Give us no more of body than shows soul!
Here's Giotto, with his Saint a-praising God,
That sets us praisingwhy not stop with him?
Why put all thoughts of praise out of our head
With wonder at lines, colours, and what not?
Paint the soul, never mind the legs and arms!
Rub all out, try at it a second time.
Oh, that white smallish female with the breasts,
She's just my niece . . . Herodias, I would say,
Who went and danced and got men's heads cut off!
Have it all out!" Now, is this sense, I ask?
A fine way to paint soul, by painting body
So ill, the eye can't stop there, must go further
And can't fare worse! Thus, yellow does for white
When what you put for yellow's simply black,
And any sort of meaning looks intense
When all beside itself means and looks nought.
Why can't a painter lift each foot in turn,
Left foot and right foot, go a double step,
Make his flesh liker and his soul more like,
Both in their order? Take the prettiest face,
The Prior's niece . . . patron-saintis it so pretty
You can't discover if it means hope, fear,
Sorrow or joy? won't beauty go with these?
Suppose I've made her eyes all right and blue,
Can't I take breath and try to add life's flash,
And then add soul and heighten them three-fold?
Or say there's beauty with no soul at all
(I never saw itput the case the same)
If you get simple beauty and nought else,
You get about the best thing God invents:
That's somewhat: and you'll find the soul you have missed,
Within yourself, when you return him thanks.
"Rub all out!" Well, well, there's my life, in short,
And so the thing has gone on ever since.
I'm grown a man no doubt, I've broken bounds:
You should not take a fellow eight years old
And make him swear to never kiss the girls.
I'm my own master, paint now as I please
Having a friend, you see, in the Corner-house!
Lord, it's fast holding by the rings in front
Those great rings serve more purposes than just
To plant a flag in, or tie up a horse!
And yet the old schooling sticks, the old grave eyes
Are peeping o'er my shoulder as I work,
The heads shake still"It's art's decline, my son!
You're not of the true painters, great and old;
Brother Angelico's the man, you'll find;
Brother Lorenzo stands his single peer:
Fag on at flesh, you'll never make the third!"
Flower o' the pine,
You keep your mistr manners, and I'll stick to mine!
I'm not the third, then: bless us, they must know!
Don't you think they're the likeliest to know,
They with their Latin? So, I swallow my rage,
Clench my teeth, suck my lips in tight, and paint
To please themsometimes do and sometimes don't;
For, doing most, there's pretty sure to come
A turn, some warm eve finds me at my saints
A laugh, a cry, the business of the world
(Flower o' the peach
Death for us all, and his own life for each!)
And my whole soul revolves, the cup runs over,
The world and life's too big to pass for a dream,
And I do these wild things in sheer despite,
And play the fooleries you catch me at,
In pure rage! The old mill-horse, out at grass
After hard years, throws up his stiff heels so,
Although the miller does not preach to him
The only good of grass is to make chaff.
What would men have? Do they like grass or no
May they or mayn't they? all I want's the thing
Settled for ever one way. As it is,
You tell too many lies and hurt yourself:
You don't like what you only like too much,
You do like what, if given you at your word,
You find abundantly detestable.
For me, I think I speak as I was taught;
I always see the garden and God there
A-making man's wife: and, my lesson learned,
The value and significance of flesh,
I can't unlearn ten minutes afterwards.
You understand me: I'm a beast, I know.
But see, nowwhy, I see as certainly
As that the morning-star's about to shine,
What will hap some day. We've a youngster here
Comes to our convent, studies what I do,
Slouches and stares and lets no atom drop:
His name is Guidihe'll not mind the monks
They call him Hulking Tom, he lets them talk
He picks my practice uphe'll paint apace.
I hope sothough I never live so long,
I know what's sure to follow. You be judge!
You speak no Latin more than I, belike;
However, you're my man, you've seen the world
The beauty and the wonder and the power,
The shapes of things, their colours, lights and shades,
Changes, surprises,and God made it all!
For what? Do you feel thankful, ay or no,
For this fair town's face, yonder river's line,
The mountain round it and the sky above,
Much more the figures of man, woman, child,
These are the frame to? What's it all about?
To be passed over, despised? or dwelt upon,
Wondered at? oh, this last of course!you say.
But why not do as well as say,paint these
Just as they are, careless what comes of it?
God's workspaint any one, and count it crime
To let a truth slip. Don't object, "His works
Are here already; nature is complete:
Suppose you reproduce her(which you can't)
There's no advantage! you must beat her, then."
For, don't you mark? we're made so that we love
First when we see them painted, things we have passed
Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see;
And so they are better, paintedbetter to us,
Which is the same thing. Art was given for that;
God uses us to help each other so,
Lending our minds out. Have you noticed, now,
Your cullion's hanging face? A bit of chalk,
And trust me but you should, though! How much more,
If I drew higher things with the same truth!
That were to take the Prior's pulpit-place,
Interpret God to all of you! Oh, oh,
It makes me mad to see what men shall do
And we in our graves! This world's no blot for us,
Nor blank; it means intensely, and means good:
To find its meaning is my meat and drink.
"Ay, but you don't so instigate to prayer!"
Strikes in the Prior: "when your meaning's plain
It does not say to folkremember matins,
Or, mind you fast next Friday!" Why, for this
What need of art at all? A skull and bones,
Two bits of stick nailed crosswise, or, what's best,
A bell to chime the hour with, does as well.
I painted a Saint Laurence six months since
At Prato, splashed the fresco in fine style:
"How looks my painting, now the scaffold's down?"
I ask a brother: "Hugely," he returns
"Already not one phiz of your three slaves
Who turn the Deacon off his toasted side,
But's scratched and prodded to our heart's content,
The pious people have so eased their own
With coming to say prayers there in a rage:
We get on fast to see the bricks beneath.
Expect another job this time next year,
For pity and religion grow i' the crowd
Your painting serves its purpose!" Hang the fools!
That isyou'll not mistake an idle word
Spoke in a huff by a poor monk, God wot,
Tasting the air this spicy night which turns
The unaccustomed head like Chianti wine!
Oh, the church knows! don't misreport me, now!
It's natural a poor monk out of bounds
Should have his apt word to excuse himself:
And hearken how I plot to make amends.
I have bethought me: I shall paint a piece
There's for you! Give me six months, then go, see
Something in Sant' Ambrogio's! Bless the nuns!
They want a cast o' my office. I shall paint
God in the midst, Madonna and her babe,
Ringed by a bowery, flowery angel-brood,
Lilies and vestments and white faces, sweet
As puff on puff of grated orris-root
When ladies crowd to Church at midsummer.
And then i' the front, of course a saint or two
Saint John' because he saves the Florentines,
Saint Ambrose, who puts down in black and white
The convent's friends and gives them a long day,
And Job, I must have him there past mistake,
The man of Uz (and Us without the z,
Painters who need his patience). Well, all these
Secured at their devotion, up shall come
Out of a corner when you least expect,
As one by a dark stair into a great light,
Music and talking, who but Lippo! I!
Mazed, motionless, and moonstruckI'm the man!
Back I shrinkwhat is this I see and hear?
I, caught up with my monk's-things by mistake,
My old serge gown and rope that goes all round,
I, in this presence, this pure company!
Where's a hole, where's a corner for escape?
Then steps a sweet angelic slip of a thing
Forward, puts out a soft palm"Not so fast!"
Addresses the celestial presence, "nay
He made you and devised you, after all,
Though he's none of you! Could Saint John there draw
His camel-hair make up a painting brush?
We come to brother Lippo for all that,
Iste perfecit opus! So, all smile
I shuffle sideways with my blushing face
Under the cover of a hundred wings
Thrown like a spread of kirtles when you're gay
And play hot cockles, all the doors being shut,
Till, wholly unexpected, in there pops
The hothead husband! Thus I scuttle off
To some safe bench behind, not letting go
The palm of her, the little lily thing
That spoke the good word for me in the nick,
Like the Prior's niece . . . Saint Lucy, I would say.
And so all's saved for me, and for the church
A pretty picture gained. Go, six months hence!
Your hand, sir, and good-bye: no lights, no lights!
The street's hushed, and I know my own way back,
Don't fear me! There's the grey beginning. Zooks!
NOTES



Form:
unrhyming

1.
First published in Men and Women, 1855.In this poem, Browning makes use of the account of
Lippi in Vasari's Lives of the Painters, from
which the following is an extract: "The Carmelite monk,
Fra Filippo di Tommaso Lippi (1412-1469), was born
at Florence in a bye-street called Ardiglione, under the
Canto alla Cuculia, and behind the convent of the
Carmelites. By the death of his father he was left a
friendless orphan at the age of two years, his mother
having also died shortly after his birth. The child was
for some time under the care of a certain Mona Lapaccia,
his aunt, the sister of his father, who brought him up
with very great difficulty till he had attained his eighth
year, when, being no longer able to support the burden
of his maintenance, she placed him in the above-named
convent of the Carmelites. Here, in proportion as he
showed himself dexterous and ingenious in all works
performed by hand, did he manifest the utmost dullness
and incapacity in letters, to which he would never apply
himself, nor would he take any pleasure in learning of
any kind. The boy continued to be called by his worldly
name of Filippo, and being placed with others, who like
himself were in the house of the novices, under the care
of the master, to the end that the latter might see what
could be done with him\; in place of studying, he never
did anything but daub his own books, and those of the
other boys, with caricatures, whereupon the prior determined
to give him all means and every opportunity for learning
to draw. The chapel of the Carmine had then been newly
painted by Masaccio, and this being exceedingly beautiful,
pleased Fra Filippo greatly, wherefore he frequented it daily
for his recreation, and, continually practising there, in
company with many other youths, who were constantly
drawing in that place, he surpassed all the others by very
much in dexterity and knowledge .... Proceeding thus, and
improving from day to day, he has so closely followed the
manner of Masaccio, and his works displayed so much
similarity to those of the latter, that many affirmed the spirit
of Masaccio to have entered the body of Fra Filippo .... "It is
said that Fra Filippo was much addicted to the pleasures of
sense, insomuch that he would give all he possessed to secure
the gratification of whatever inclination might at the moment
be predominant .... It was known that, while occupied in the
pursuit of his pleasures, the works undertaken by him received
little or none of his attention\; for which reason Cosimo de'
Medici, wishing him to execute a work in his own palace, shut
him up, that he might not waste his time in running about\; but
having endured this confinement for two days, he then made
ropes with sheets of his bed, which he cut to pieces for that
purpose, and so having let himself down from a window, escaped,
and for several days gave himself up to his amusements. When
Cosimo found that the painter had disappeared, he caused him
to be sought, and Fra Filippo at last returned to his work, but
from that time forward Cosimo gave him liberty to go in and
out at his pleasure, repenting greatly of having previously shut
him up, when he considered the danger that Fra Filippo had
incurred by his folly in descending from the window\; and ever
afterwards labouring to keep him to his work by kindness only,
he was by this means much more promptly and effectually
served by the painter, and was wont to say that the excellencies
of rare genius were as forms of light and not beasts of burden."

17.
Cosimo of the Medici (1389-1464): the real ruler of Florence,
and a patron of art and literature.

53.
The snatches of song represent a species of Italian folk-song
called Stornelli\; each consisting of three lines of a set form,
and containing the name of a flower in the first line.

67.
Saint Laurence: the Church at San Lorenzo, now famous for
the tombs of the Medici, the work of Michael Angelo.

73.
Jerome: one of the Christian Fathers, translated the Bible
into Latin\; he led a life of extreme asceticism.

117-18.
A reference to the procession carrying the consecrated wafer.

121.
the Eight: a body of magistrates who kept order.

130.
antiphonary: the service-book.

140.
Preaching Friars: the Dominicans.

172.
funked: turned to smoke.

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

189.
Giotto (1267-1337): the earliest of the greater Florentine
painters.

196.
Herodias: sister-in-law of Herod, and mother of Salome.
See Matthew, 14 for the story of Salome's dance and the beheading
of John the Baptist.

227.
See line 18 above.

235.
Brother Angelico: Fra Angelico (1387-1455), "By purity of
life, habitual elevation of thought, and natural sweetness of
disposition, he was enabled to express the sacred affections
upon the human countenance, as no one ever did before or since" (Ruskin).

236.
Lorenzo: Lorenzo Monaco (1370-1425), a Camaldolese
friar who painted in Florence.

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

324.
Prato: a town some dozen miles from Florence\; in the Cathedral
are frescoes by Filippo, but they represent St. Stephen, and the
Baptist, not St. Laurence.

328.
According to tradition, St. Laurence was roasted on a gridiron.

339.
Chianti wine: the common red wine of Tuscany.

346.
Browning proceeds to put into Fra Filippo's mouth a description
of what is considered his masterpiece --a Coronation of the Virgin--which
he painted for the nuns of Sant' Ambrogio. Browning, following Vasari,
believes that the painter put a self-portrait in the lower corner of the
picture. Recent research has shown that the figure is a portrait, not of
Fra Filippo, but of the benefactor who ordered the picture for the
church. In this case, perfecit opus means "caused the work to
be made," not, as Browning takes it, "completed the work himself."

354.
St. John the Baptist is the patron saint of the Florentines.


~ Robert Browning, Fra Lippo Lippi
,
243:The Botanic Garden( Part Iii)
The Economy Of Vegetation
Canto III
AGAIN the GODDESS speaks!-glad Echo swells
The tuneful tones along her shadowy dells,
Her wrinkling founts with soft vibration shakes,
Curls her deep wells, and rimples all her lakes,
Thrills each wide stream, Britannia's isle that laves,
Her headlong cataracts, and circumfluent waves.
-Thick as the dews, which deck the morning flowers,
Or rain-drops twinkling in the sun-bright showers,
Fair Nymphs, emerging in pellucid bands,
Rise, as she turns, and whiten all the lands.
I. 'YOUR buoyant troops on dimpling ocean tread,
Wafting the moist air from his oozy bed,
AQUATIC NYMPHS!-YOU lead with viewless march
The winged vapours up the aerial arch,
On each broad cloud a thousand sails expand,
And steer the shadowy treasure o'er the land,
Through vernal skies the gathering drops diffuse,
Plunge in soft rains, or sink in silver dews.YOUR lucid bands condense with fingers chill
The blue mist hovering round the gelid hill;
In clay-form'd beds the trickling streams collect,
Strain through white sands, through pebbly veins direct;
Or point in rifted rocks their dubious way,
And in each bubbling fountain rise to day.
'NYMPHS! YOU then guide, attendant from their source,
The associate rills along their sinuous course;
Float in bright squadrons by the willowy brink,
Or circling slow in limpid eddies sink;
Call from her crystal cave the Naiad-Nymph,
Who hides her fine form in the passing lymph,
And, as below she braids her hyaline hair,
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Eyes her soft smiles reflected in the air;
Or sport in groups with River-Boys, that lave
Their silken limbs amid the dashing wave;
Pluck the pale primrose bending from its edge,
Or tittering dance amid the whispering sedge.'Onward YOU pass, the pine-capt hills divide,
Or feed the golden harvests on their side;
The wide-ribb'd arch with hurrying torrents fill,
Shove the slow barge, or whirl the foaming mill.
OR lead with beckoning hand the sparkling train
Of refluent water to its parent main,
And pleased revisit in their sea-moss vales
Blue Nereid-forms array'd in shining scales,
Shapes, whose broad oar the torpid wave impels,
And Tritons bellowing through their twisted shells.
'So from the heart the sanguine stream distils,
O'er Beauty's radiant shrine in vermil rills,
Feeds each fine nerve, each slender hair pervades,
The skins bright snow with living purple shades,
Each dimpling cheek with warmer blushes dyes,
Laughs on the lips, and lightens in the eyes.
-Erewhile absorb'd, the vagrant globules swim
From each fair feature, and proportion'd limb,
Join'd in one trunk with deeper tint return
To the warm concave of the vital urn.
II. 1.'AQUATIC MAIDS! YOU sway the mighty realms
Of scale and shell, which Ocean overwhelms;
As Night's pale Queen her rising orb reveals,
And climbs the zenith with refulgent wheels,
Car'd on the foam your glimmering legion rides,
Your little tridents heave the dashing tides,
Urge on the sounding shores their crystal course,
Restrain their fury, or direct their force.
2.'NYMPHS! YOU adorn, in glossy volumes roll'd,
The gaudy conch with azure, green, and gold.
You round Echinus ray his arrowy mail,
Give the keel'd Nautilus his oar and sail;
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Firm to his rock with silver cords suspend
The anchor'd Pinna, and his Cancer-friend;
With worm-like beard his toothless lips array,
And teach the unwieldy Sturgeon to betray.Ambush'd in weeds, or sepulcher'd in sands,
In dread repose He waits the scaly bands,
Waves in red spires the living lures, and draws
The unwary plunderers to his circling jaws,
Eyes with grim joy the twinkling shoals beset,
And clasps the quick inextricable net.
You chase the warrior Shark, and cumberous Whale,
And guard the Mermaid in her briny vale;
Feed the live petals of her insect-flowers,
Her shell-wrack gardens, and her sea-fan bowers;
With ores and gems adorn her coral cell,
And drop a pearl in every gaping shell.
3. 'YOUR myriad trains o'er stagnant ocean's tow,
Harness'd with gossamer, the loitering prow;
Or with fine films, suspended o'er the deep,
Of oil effusive lull the waves to sleep.
You stay the flying bark, conceal'd beneath,
Where living rocks of worm-built coral breathe;
Meet fell TEREDO, as he mines the keel
With beaked head, and break his lips of steel;
Turn the broad helm, the fluttering canvas urge
From MAELSTROME'S fierce innavigable surge.
-'Mid the lorn isles of Norway's stormy main,
As sweeps o'er many a league his eddying train,
Vast watery walls in rapid circles spin,
And deep-ingulph'd the Demon dwells within;
Springs o'er the fear-froze crew with Harpy-claws,
Down his deep den the whirling vessel draws;
Churns with his bloody mouth the dread repast,
The booming waters murmuring o'er the mast.
III. 'Where with chill frown enormous ALPS alarms
A thousand realms, horizon'd in his arms;
While cloudless suns meridian glories shed
From skies of silver round his hoary head,
Tall rocks of ice refract the coloured rays,
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And Frost sits throned amid the lambent blaze;
NYMPHS! YOUR thin forms pervade his glittering piles,
His roofs of chrystal, and his glasy ailes;
Where in cold caves imprisoned Naiads sleep,
Or chain'd on mossy couches wake and weep;
Where round dark crags indignant waters bend
Through rifted ice, in ivory veins descend,
Seek through unfathom'd snows their devious track,
Heave the vast spars, the ribbed granites crack,
Rush into day, in foamy torrents shine,
And swell the imperial Danube or the Rhine.Or feed the murmuring TIBER, as he laves
His realms inglorious with diminish'd waves,
Hears his lorn Forum sound with Eunuch-strains,
Sees dancing slaves insult his martial plains;
Parts with chill stream the dim religious bower,
Time-mouldered bastion, and dismantled tower;
By alter'd fanes and nameless villas glides,
And classic domes, that tremble on his sides;
Sighs o'er each broken urn, and yawning tomb,
And mourns the fall of LIBERTY and ROME.
IV. 'Sailing in air, when dark MONSOON inshrouds
His tropic mountains in a night of clouds;
Or drawn by whirlwinds from the Line returns,
And showers o'er Afric all his thousand urns;
High o'er his head the beams of SIRIUS glow,
And, Dog of Nile, ANUBIS barks below.
NYMPHS! YOU from cliff to cliff attendant guide
In headlong cataracts the impetuous tide;
Or lead o'er wastes of Abyssinian sands
The bright expanse to EGYPT'S shower-less lands.
-Her long canals the sacred waters fill,
And edge with silver every peopled hill;
Gigantic SPHINX in circling waves admire;
And MEMNON bending o'er his broken lyre;
O'er furrow'd glebes and green savannas sweep,
And towns and temples laugh amid the deep.
V. 1. 'High in the frozen North where HECCLA glows,
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And melts in torrents his coeval snows;
O'er isles and oceans sheds a sanguine light,
Or shoots red stars amid the ebon night;
When, at his base intomb'd, with bellowing sound
Fell GIESAR roar'd, and struggling shook the ground;
Pour'd from red nostrils, with her scalding breath,
A boiling deluge o'er the blasted heath;
And, wide in air, in misty volumes hurl'd
Contagious atoms o'er the alarmed world;
NYMPHS! YOUR bold myriads broke the infernal spell,
And crush'd the Sorceress in her flinty cell.
2. 'Where with soft fires in unextinguish'd urns,
Cauldron'd in rock, innocuous Lava burns;
On the bright lake YOUR gelid hands distil
In pearly mowers the parsimonious rill;
And, as aloft the curling vapours rise
Through the cleft roof, ambitious for the skies,
In vaulted hills condense the tepid steams,
And pour to HEALTH the medicated streams.
-So in green vales amid her mountains bleak
BUXTONIA smiles, the Goddess-Nymyh of Peak;
Deep in warm waves, and pebbly baths she dwells,
And calls HYGEIA to her sainted wells.
'Hither in sportive bands bright DEVON leads
Graces and Loves from Chatsworth's flowery meads.Charm'd round the NYMPH, they climb the rifted rocks;
And steep in mountain-mist their golden locks;
On venturous step her sparry caves explore,
And light with radiant eyes her realms of ore;
-Oft by her bubbling founts, and shadowy domes,
In gay undress the fairy legion roams,
Their dripping palms in playful malice fill,
Or taste with ruby lip the sparkling rill;
Croud round her baths, and, bending o'er the side,
Unclasp'd their sandals, and their zones untied,
Dip with gay fear the shuddering foot undress'd,
And quick retract it to the fringed vest;
Or cleave with brandish'd arms the lucid stream,
And sob, their blue eyes twinkling in the steam.
-High o'er the chequer'd vault with transient glow
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Bright lustres dart, as dash the waves below;
And Echo's sweet responsive voice prolongs
The dulcet tumult of their silver tongues.O'er their flush'd cheeks uncurling tresses flow,
And dew-drops glitter on their necks of snow;
Round each fair Nymph her dropping mantle clings,
And Loves emerging shake their showery wings.
'Here oft her LORD surveys the rude domain,
Fair arts of Greece triumphant in his train;
LO! as he steps, the column'd pile ascends,
The blue roof closes, or the crescent bends;
New woods aspiring clothe their hills with green,
Smooth slope the lawns, the grey rock peeps between;
Relenting Nature gives her hand to Taste,
And Health and Beauty crown the laughing waste.
VI. 'NYMPHS! YOUR bright squadrons watch with chemic eyes
The cold-elastic vapours, as they rise;
With playful force arrest them as they pass,
And to
pure
AIR betroth the
flaming
GAS.
Round their translucent forms at once they fling
Their rapturous arms, with silver bosoms cling;
In fleecy clouds their fluttering wings extend,
Or from the skies in lucid showers descend;
Whence rills and rivers owe their secret birth,
And Ocean's hundred arms infold the earth.
'So, robed by Beauty's Queen, with softer charms
SATURNIA woo'd the Thunderer to her arms;
O'er her fair limbs a veil of light she spread,
And bound a starry diadem on her head;
Long braids of pearl her golden tresses grac'd,
And the charm'd CESTUS sparkled round her waist.
-Raised o'er the woof, by Beauty's hand inwrought,
Breathes the soft Sigh, and glows the enamour'd Thought;
Vows on light wings succeed, and quiver'd Wiles,
Assuasive Accents, and seductive Smiles.
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-Slow rolls the Cyprian car in purple pride,
And, steer'd by LOVE, ascends admiring Ide;
Climbs the green slopes, the nodding woods pervades,
Burns round the rocks, or gleams amid the shades.
-Glad ZEPHYR leads the train, and waves above
The barbed darts, and blazing torch of Love;
Reverts his smiling face, and pausing flings
Soft showers of roses from aurelian wings.
Delighted Fawns, in wreathes of flowers array'd,
With tiptoe Wood-Boys beat the chequer'd glade;
Alarmed Naiads, rising into air,
Lift o'er their silver urns their leafy hair;
Each to her oak the bashful Dryads shrink,
And azure eyes are seen through every chink.
-LOVE culls a flaming shaft of broadest wing,
And rests the fork upon the quivering string;
Points his arch eye aloft, with fingers strong
Draws to his curled ear the silken thong;
Loud twangs the steel, the golden arrow flies,
Trails a long line of lustre through the skies;
''Tis done!' he shouts, 'the mighty Monarch feels!'
And with loud laughter shakes the silver wheels;
Bends o'er the car, and whirling, as it moves,
His loosen'd bowstring, drives the rising doves.
-Pierced on his throne the slarting Thunderer turns,
Melts with soft sighs, with kindling rapture burns;
Clasps her fair hand, and eyes in fond amaze
The bright Intruder with enamour'd gaze.
'And leaves my Goddess, like a blooming bride,
'The fanes of Argos for the rocks of Ide?
'Her gorgeous palaces, and amaranth bowers,
'For cliff-top'd mountains, and aerial towers?'
He said; and, leading from her ivory seat
The blushing Beauty to his lone retreat,
Curtain'd with night the couch imperial shrouds,
And rests the crimson cushions upon clouds.Earth feels the grateful influence from above,
Sighs the soft Air, and Ocean murmurs love;
Etherial Warmth expands his brooding wing,
And in still showers descends the genial Spring.
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VII. 'NYMPHS OF AQUATIC TASTE! whose placid smile
Breathes sweet enchantment o'er BRITANNIA'S isle;
Whose sportive touch in showers resplendent flings
Her lucid cataracts, and her bubbling springs;
Through peopled vales the liquid silver guides,
And swells in bright expanse her freighted tides.
YOU with nice ear, in tiptoe trains, pervade
Dim walks of morn or evening's silent shade;
Join the lone Nightingale, her woods among,
And roll your rills symphonious to her song;
Through fount-full dells, and wave-worn valleys move,
And tune their echoing waterfalls to love;
Or catch, attentive to the distant roar,
The pausing murmurs of the dashing shore;
Or, as aloud she pours her liquid strain,
Pursue the NEREID on the twilight main.
-Her playful Sea-horse woos her soft commands,
Turns his quick ears, his webbed claws expands,
His watery way with waving volutes wins,
Or listening librates on unmoving fins.
The Nymph emerging mounts her scaly seat,
Hangs o'er his glossy sides her silver feet,
With snow-white hands her arching veil detains,
Gives to his slimy lips the slacken'd reins,
Lifts to the star of Eve her eye serene,
And chaunts the birth of Beauty's radiant Queen.O'er her fair brow her pearly comb unfurls
Her beryl locks, and parts the waving curls,
Each tangled braid with glistening teeth unbinds
And with the floating treasure musks the winds.Thrill'd by the dulcet accents, as she sings,
The rippling wave in widening circles rings;
Night's shadowy forms along the margin gleam
With pointed ears, or dance upon the stream;
The Moon transported stays her bright career,
And maddening Stars shoot headlong from the sphere.
VIII. 'NYMPHS! whose fair eyes with vivid lustres glow
For human weal, and melt at human woe;
Late as YOU floated on your silver shells,
Sorrowing and slow by DERWENT'S willowy dells;
Where by tall groves his foamy flood he steers
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Through ponderous arches o'er impetuous wears,
By DERBY'S shadowy towers reflective sweeps,
And gothic grandeur chills his dusky deeps;
You pearl'd with Pity's drops his velvet sides,
Sigh'd in his gales, and murmur'd in his tides,
Waved o'er his fringed brink a deeper gloom,
And bow'd his alders o'er MILCENA'S tomb.
'Oft with sweet voice She led her infant-train,
Printing with graceful step his spangled plain,
Explored his twinkling swarms, that swim or fly,
And mark'd his florets with botanic eye.'Sweet bud of Spring! how frail thy transient bloom,
'Fine film,' she cried, 'of Nature's fairest loom!
'Soon Beauty fades upon its damask throne!'-Unconscious of the worm, that mined her own!-Pale are those lips, where soft caresses hung,
Wan the warm cheek, and mute the tender tongue,
Cold rests that feeling heart on Derwent's shore,
And those love-lighted eye-balls roll no more!
-HERE her sad Consort, stealing through the gloom
Of
Hangs in mute anguish o'er the scutcheon'd hearse,
Or graves with trembling style the votive verse.
'Sexton! oh, lay beneath this sacred shrine,
When Time's cold hand shall close my aching eyes,
Oh, gently lay this wearied earth of mine,
Where wrap'd in night my loved MILCENA lies.
'So shall with purer joy my spirit move,
When the last trumpet thrills the caves of Death,
Catch the first whispers of my waking love,
And drink with holy kiss her kindling breath.
'The spotless Fair, with blush ethereal warm,
Shall hail with sweeter smile returning day,
Rise from her marble bed a brighter form,
And win on buoyant step her airy way.
'Shall bend approved, where beckoning hosts invite,
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On clouds of silver her adoring knee,
Approach with Seraphim the throne of light,
-And BEAUTY plead with angel-tongue for Me!'
IX. 'YOUR virgin trains on BRINDLEY'S cradle smiled,
And nursed with fairy-love the unletter'd child,
Spread round his pillow all your secret spells,
Pierced all your springs, and open'd all your wells.As now on grass, with glossy folds reveal'd,
Glides the bright serpent, now in flowers conceal'd;
Far shine the scales, that gild his sinuous back,
And lucid undulations mark his track;
So with strong arm immortal BRINDLEY leads
His long canals, and parts the velvet meads;
Winding in lucid lines, the watery mass
Mines the firm rock, or loads the deep morass,
With rising locks a thousand hills alarms,
Flings o'er a thousand streams its silver arms,
Feeds the long vale, the nodding woodland laves,
And Plenty, Arts, and Commerce freight the waves.
-NYMPHS! who erewhile round BRINDLEY'S early bier
On show-white bosoms shower'd the incessant tear,
Adorn his tomb!-oh, raise the marble bust,
Proclaim his honours, and protect his dust!
With urns inverted, round the sacred shrine
Their ozier wreaths let weeping Naiads twine;
While on the top MECHANIC GENIUS stands,
Counts the fleet waves, and balances the lands.
X. 'NYMPHS! YOU first taught to pierce the secret caves
Of humid earth, and lift her ponderous waves;
Bade with quick stroke the sliding piston bear
The viewless columns of incumbent air;Press'd by the incumbent air the floods below,
Through opening valves in foaming torrents flow,
Foot after foot with lessen'd impulse move,
And rising seek the vacancy above.So when the Mother, bending o'er his charms,
Clasps her fair nurseling in delighted arms;
Throws the thin kerchief from her neck of snow,
And half unveils the pearly orbs below;
With sparkling eye the blameless Plunderer owns
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Her soft embraces, and endearing tones,
Seeks the salubrious fount with opening lips,
Spreads his inquiring hands, and smiles, and sips.
'CONNUBIAL FAIR! whom no fond transport warms
To lull your infant in maternal arms;
Who, bless'd in vain with tumid bosoms, hear
His tender wailings with unfeeling ear;
The soothing kiss and milky rill deny
To the sweet pouting lip, and glistening eye!Ah! what avails the cradle's damask roof,
The eider bolster, and embroider'd woof!Oft hears the gilded couch unpity'd plains,
And many a tear the tassel'd cushion stains!
No voice so sweet attunes his cares to rest,
So soft no pillow, as his Mother's breast!-Thus charm'd to sweet repose, when twilight hours
Shed their soft influence on celestial bowers,
The Cherub, Innocence, with smile divine
Shuts his white wings, and sleeps on Beauty's shrine.
XI. 'From dome to dome when flames infuriate climb,
Sweep the long street, invest the tower sublime;
Gild the tall vanes amid the astonish'd night,
And reddening heaven returns the sanguine light;
While with vast strides and bristling hair aloof
Pale Danger glides along the falling roof;
And Giant Terror howling in amaze
Moves his dark limbs across the lurid blaze.
NYMPHS! you first taught the gelid wave to rise
Hurl'd in resplendent arches to the skies;
In iron cells condensed the airy spring,
And imp'd the torrent with unfailing wing;
-On the fierce flames the shower impetuous falls,
And sudden darkness shrouds the shatter'd walls;
Steam, smoak, and dust in blended volumes roll,
And Night and Silence repossess the Pole.'Where were ye, NYMPHS! in those disasterous hours,
Which wrap'd in flames AUGUSTA'S sinking towers?
Why did ye linger in your wells and groves,
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When sad WOODMASON mourn'd her infant loves?
When thy fair Daughters with unheeded screams,
Ill-fated MOLESWORTH! call'd the loitering streams?The trembling Nymph on bloodless fingers hung
Eyes from the tottering wall the distant throng,
With ceaseless shrieks her sleeping friends alarms,
Drops with singed hair into her lover's arms.The illumin'd Mother seeks with footsteps fleet,
Where hangs the safe balcony o'er the street,
Wrap'd in her sheet her youngest hope suspends,
And panting lowers it to her tiptoe friends;
Again she hurries on affection's wings,
And now a third, and now a fourth, she brings;
Safe all her babes, she smooths her horrent brow,
And bursts through bickering flames, unscorch'd, below.
So, by her Son arraign'd, with feet unshod
O'er burning bars indignant Emma trod.
'E'en on the day when Youth with Beauty wed,
The flames surprized them in their nuptial bed;Seen at the opening sash with bosom bare,
With wringing hands, and dark dishevel'd hair,
The blushing Beauty with disorder'd charms
Round her fond lover winds her ivory arms;
Beat, as they clasp, their throbbing hearts with fear,
And many a kiss is mix'd with many a tear;Ah me! in vain the labouring engines pour
Round their pale limbs the ineffectual shower!-Then crash'd the floor, while shrinking crouds retire,
And Love and Virtue sunk amid the fire!With piercing screams afflicted strangers mourn,
And their white ashes mingle in their urn.
XII. 'PELLUCID FORMS! whose crystal bosoms show
The shine of welfare, or the shade of woe;
Who with soft lips salute returning Spring,
And hail the Zephyr quivering on his wing;
Or watch, untired, the wintery clouds, and share
With streaming eyes my vegetable care;
Go, shove the dim mist from the mountain's brow,
Chase the white fog, which floods the vale below;
Melt the thick snows, that linger on the lands,
122
And catch the hailstones in your little hands;
Guard the coy blossom from the pelting shower,
And dash the rimy spangles from the bower;
From each chill leaf the silvery drops repel,
And close the timorous floret's golden bell.
'So should young SYMPATHY, in female form,
Climb the tall rock, spectatress of the storm;
Life's sinking wrecks with secret sighs deplore,
And bleed for others' woes, Herself on shore;
To friendless Virtue, gasping on the strand,
Bare her warm heart, her virgin arms expand,
Charm with kind looks, with tender accents cheer,
And pour the sweet consolatory tear;
Grief's cureless wounds with lenient balms asswage,
Or prop with firmer staff the steps of Age;
The lifted arm of mute Despair arrest,
And snatch the dagger pointed to his breast;
Or lull to slumber Envy's haggard mien,
And rob her quiver'd shafts with hand unseen.
-Sound, NYMPHS OF HELICON! the trump of Fame,
And teach Hibernian echoes JONES'S name;
Bind round her polish'd brow the civic bay,
And drag the fair Philanthropist to day.So from secluded springs, and secret caves,
Her Liffy pours his bright meandering waves,
Cools the parch'd vale, the sultry mead divides,
And towns and temples star his shadowy sides.
XIII. 'CALL YOUR light legions, tread the swampy heath,
Pierce with sharp spades the tremulous peat beneath;
With colters bright the rushy sward bisect,
And in new veins the gushing rills direct;So flowers shall rise in purple light array'd,
And blossom'd orchards stretch their silver shade;
Admiring glebes their amber ears unfold,
And Labour sleep amid the waving gold.
'Thus when young HERCULES with firm disdain
Braved the soft smiles of Pleasure's harlot train;
To valiant toils his forceful limbs assign'd,
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And gave to Virtue all his mighty mind,
Fierce ACHELOUS rush'd from mountain-caves,
O'er sad Etolia pour'd his wasteful waves,
O'er lowing vales and bleating pastures roll'd,
Swept her red vineyards, and her glebes of gold,
Mined all her towns, uptore her rooted woods,
And Famine danced upon the shining floods.
The youthful Hero seized his curled crest,
And dash'd with lifted club the watery Pest;
With waving arm the billowy tumult quell'd,
And to his course the bellowing Fiend repell'd.
'Then to a Snake the finny Demon turn'd
His lengthen'd form, with scales of silver burn'd;
Lash'd with restless sweep his dragon-train,
And shot meandering o'er the affrighted plain.
The Hero-God, with giant fingers clasp'd
Firm round his neck, the hissing monster grasp'd;
With starting eyes, wide throat, and gaping teeth,
Curl his redundant folds, and writhe in death.
'And now a Bull, amid the flying throng
The grisly Demon foam'd, and roar'd along;
With silver hoofs the flowery meadows spurn'd,
Roll'd his red eye, his threatening antlers turn'd.
Dragg'd down to earth, the Warrior's victor-hands
Press'd his deep dewlap on the imprinted sands;
Then with quick bound his bended knee he fix'd
High on his neck, the branching horns betwixt,
Strain'd his strong arms, his sinewy shoulders bent,
And from his curled brow the twisted terror rent.
-Pleased Fawns and Nymphs with dancing step applaud,
And hang their chaplets round the resting God;
Link their soft hands, and rear with pausing toil
The golden trophy on the furrow'd soil;
Fill with ripe fruits, with wreathed flowers adorn,
And give to PLENTY her prolific horn.
XIV. 'On Spring's fair lap, CERULEAN SISTERS! pour
From airy urns the sun-illumined shower,
Feed with the dulcet drops my tender broods,
Mellifluous flowers, and aromatic buds;
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Hang from each bending grass and horrent thorn
The tremulous pearl, that glitters to the morn;
Or where cold dews their secret channels lave,
And Earth's dark chambers hide the stagnant wave,
O, pierce, YE NYMPHS! her marble veins, and lead
Her gushing fountains to the thirsty mead;
Wide o'er the shining vales, and trickling hills
Spread the bright treasure in a thousand rills.
So shall my peopled realms of Leaf and Flower
Exult, inebriate with the genial shower;
Dip their long tresses from the mossy brink,
With tufted roots the glassy currents drink;
Shade your cool mansions from meridian beams,
And view their waving honours in your streams.
'Thus where the veins their confluent branches bend,
And milky eddies with the purple blend;
The Chyle's white trunk, diverging from its source,
Seeks through the vital mass its shining course;
O'er each red cell, and tissued membrane spreads
In living net-work all its branching threads;
Maze within maze its tortuous path pursues,
Winds into glands, inextricable clues;
Steals through the stomach's velvet sides, and sips
The silver surges with a thousand lips;
Fills each fine pore, pervades each slender hair,
And drinks salubrious dew-drops from the air.
'Thus when to kneel in Mecca's awful gloom,
Or press with pious kiss Medina's tomb,
League after league, through many a lingering day,
Steer the swart Caravans their sultry way;
O'er sandy wastes on gasping camels toil,
Or print with pilgrim-steps the burning soil;
If from lone rocks a sparkling rill descend,
O'er the green brink the kneeling nations bend,
Bathe the parch'd lip, and cool the feverish tongue,
And the clear lake reflects the mingled throng.'
The Goddess paused,-the listening bands awhile
Still seem to hear, and dwell upon her smile;
Then with soft murmur sweep in lucid trains
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Down the green slopes, and o'er the pebbly plains,
To each bright stream on silver sandals glide,
Reflective fountain, and tumultuous tide.
So shoot the Spider-broods at breezy dawn
Their glittering net-work o'er the autumnal lawn;
From blade to blade connect with cordage fine
The unbending grass, and live along the line;
Or bathe unwet their oily forms, and dwell
With feet repulsive on the dimpling well.
So when the North congeals his watery mass,
Piles high his snows, and floors his seas with glass;
While many a Month, unknown to warmer rays,
Marks its slow chronicle by lunar days;
Stout youths and ruddy damsels, sportive train,
Leave the white soil, and rush upon the main;
From isle to isle the moon-bright squadrons stray,
And win in easy curves their graceful way;
On step alternate borne, with balance nice
Hang o'er the gliding steel, and hiss along the ice.
~ Erasmus Darwin,
244:The Botanic Garden( Part I)
The Economy Of Vegetation
Canto I
STAY YOUR RUDE STEPS! whose throbbing breasts infold
The legion-fiends of Glory, or of Gold!
Stay! whose false lips seductive simpers part,
While Cunning nestles in the harlot-heart!For you no Dryads dress the roseate bower,
For you no Nymphs their sparkling vases pour;
Unmark'd by you, light Graces swim the green,
And hovering Cupids aim their shafts, unseen.
'But THOU! whose mind the well-attemper'd ray
Of Taste and Virtue lights with purer day;
Whose finer sense each soft vibration owns
With sweet responsive sympathy of tones;
So the fair flower expands it's lucid form
To meet the sun, and shuts it to the storm;For thee my borders nurse the fragrant wreath,
My fountains murmur, and my zephyrs breathe;
Slow slides the painted snail, the gilded fly
Smooths his fine down, to charm thy curious eye;
On twinkling fins my pearly nations play,
Or win with sinuous train their trackless way;
My plumy pairs in gay embroidery dress'd
Form with ingenious bill the pensile nest,
To Love's sweet notes attune the listening dell,
And Echo sounds her soft symphonious shell.
'And, if with Thee some hapless Maid should stray,
Disasterous Love companion of her way,
Oh, lead her timid steps to yonder glade,
Whose arching cliffs depending alders shade;
There, as meek Evening wakes her temperate breeze,
And moon-beams glimmer through the trembling trees,
The rills, that gurgle round, shall soothe her ear,
The weeping rocks shall number tear for tear;
There as sad Philomel, alike forlorn,
Sings to the Night from her accustomed thorn;
While at sweet intervals each falling note
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Sighs in the gale, and whispers round the grot;
The sister-woe shall calm her aching breast,
And softer slumbers steal her cares to rest.'Winds of the North! restrain your icy gales,
Nor chill the bosom of these happy vales!
Hence in dark heaps, ye gathering Clouds, revolve!
Disperse, ye Lightnings! and, ye Mists, dissolve!
-Hither, emerging from yon orient skies,
BOTANIC GODDESS! bend thy radiant eyes;
O'er these soft scenes assume thy gentle reign,
Pomona, Ceres, Flora in thy train;
O'er the still dawn thy placid smile effuse,
And with thy silver sandals print the dews;
In noon's bright blaze thy vermil vest unfold,
And wave thy emerald banner star'd with gold.'
Thus spoke the GENIUS, as He stept along,
And bade these lawns to Peace and Truth belong;
Down the steep slopes He led with modest skill
The willing pathway, and the truant rill,
Stretch'd o'er the marshy vale yon willowy mound,
Where shines the lake amid the tufted ground,
Raised the young woodland, smooth'd the wavy green,
And gave to Beauty all the quiet scene.She comes!-the GODDESS!-through the whispering air,
Bright as the morn, descends her blushing car;
Each circling wheel a wreath of flowers intwines,
And gem'd with flowers the silken harness shines;
The golden bits with flowery studs are deck'd,
And knots of flowers the crimson reins connect.And now on earth the silver axle rings,
And the shell sinks upon its slender springs;
Light from her airy seat the Goddess bounds,
And steps celestial press the pansied grounds.
Fair Spring advancing calls her feather'd quire,
And tunes to softer notes her laughing lyre;
Bids her gay hours on purple pinions move,
And arms her Zephyrs with the shafts of Love,
Pleased GNOMES, ascending from their earthy beds,
Play round her graceful footsteps, as she treads;
Gay SYLPHS attendant beat the fragrant air
On winnowing wings, and waft her golden hair;
Blue NYMPHS emerging leave their sparkling streams,
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And FIERY FORMS alight from orient beams;
Musk'd in the rose's lap fresh dews they shed,
Or breathe celestial lustres round her head.
First the fine Forms her dulcet voice requires,
Which bathe or bask in elemental fires;
From each bright gem of Day's refulgent car,
From the pale sphere of every twinkling star,
From each nice pore of ocean, earth, and air,
With eye of flame the sparkling hosts repair,
Mix their gay hues, in changeful circles play,
Like motes, that tenant the meridian ray.So the clear Lens collects with magic power
The countless glories of the midnight hour;
Stars after stars with quivering lustre fall,
And twinkling glide along the whiten'd wall.Pleased, as they pass, she counts the glittering bands,
And stills their murmur with her waving hands;
Each listening tribe with fond expectance burns,
And now to these, and now to those, she turns.
I. 'NYMPHS OF PRIMEVAL FIRE! YOUR vestal train
Hung with gold-tresses o'er the vast inane,
Pierced with your silver shafts the throne of Night,
And charm'd young Nature's opening eyes with light;
When LOVE DIVINE, with brooding wings unfurl'd,
Call'd from the rude abyss the living world.
'-LET THERE BE LIGHT!' proclaim'd the ALMIGHTY LORD,
Astonish'd Chaos heard the potent word;Through all his realms the kindling Ether runs,
And the mass starts into a million suns;
Earths round each sun with quick explosions burst,
And second planets issue from the first;
Bend, as they journey with projectile force,
In bright ellipses their reluctant course;
Orbs wheel in orbs, round centres centres roll,
And form, self-balanced, one revolving Whole.
-Onward they move amid their bright abode,
Space without bound, THE BOSOM OF THEIR GOD!
II. 'ETHEREAL POWERS! YOU chase the shooting stars,
Or yoke the vollied lightenings to your cars,
Cling round the aërial bow with prisms bright,
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And pleased untwist the sevenfold threads of light;
Eve's silken couch with gorgeous tints adorn,
And fire the arrowy throne of rising Morn.
-OR, plum'd with flame, in gay battalion's spring
To brighter regions borne on broader wing;
Where lighter gases, circumfused on high,
Form the vast concave of exterior sky;
With airy lens the scatter'd rays assault,
And bend the twilight round the dusky vault;
Ride, with broad eye and scintillating hair,
The rapid Fire-ball through the midnight air;
Dart from the North on pale electric streams,
Fringing Night's sable robe with transient beams.
-OR rein the Planets in their swift careers,
Gilding with borrow'd light their twinkling spheres;
Alarm with comet-blaze the sapphire plain,
The wan stars glimmering through its silver train;
Gem the bright Zodiac, stud the glowing pole,
Or give the Sun's phlogistic orb to roll.
III. NYMPHS! YOUR fine forms with steps impassive mock
Earth's vaulted roofs of adamantine rock;
Round her still centre tread the burning soil,
And watch the billowy Lavas, as they boil;
Where, in basaltic caves imprison'd deep,
Reluctant fires in dread suspension sleep;
Or sphere on sphere in widening waves expand,
And glad with genial warmth the incumbent land.
So when the Mother-bird selects their food
With curious bill, and feeds her callow brood;
Warmth from her tender heart eternal springs,
And pleased she clasps them with extended wings.
'YOU from deep cauldrons and unmeasured caves
Blow flaming airs, or pour vitrescent waves;
O'er shining oceans ray volcanic light,
Or hurl innocuous embers to the night.While with loud shouts to Etna Heccla calls,
And Andes answers from his beacon'd walls;
Sea-wilder'd crews the mountain-stars admire,
And Beauty beams amid tremendous fire.
'Thus when of old, as mystic bards presume,
Huge CYCLOPS dwelt in Etna's rocky womb,
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On thundering anvils rung their loud alarms,
And leagued with VULCAN forged immortal arms;
Descending VENUS sought the dark abode,
And sooth'd the labours of the grisly God.While frowning Loves the threatening falchion wield,
And tittering Graces peep behind the shield,
With jointed mail their fairy limbs o'erwhelm,
Or nod with pausing step the plumed helm;
With radiant eye She view'd the boiling ore,
Heard undismay'd the breathing bellows roar,
Admired their sinewy arms, and shoulders bare,
And ponderous hammers lifted high in air,
With smiles celestial bless'd their dazzled sight,
And Beauty blazed amid infernal night.
IV. 'EFFULGENT MAIDS! YOU round deciduous day,
Tressed with soft beams, your glittering bands array;
On Earth's cold bosom, as the Sun retires,
Confine with folds of air the lingering fires;
O'er Eve's pale forms diffuse phosphoric light,
And deck with lambent flames the shrine of Night.
So, warm'd and kindled by meridian skies,
And view'd in darkness with dilated eyes,
BOLOGNA'S chalks with faint ignition blaze,
BECCARI'S shells emit prismatic rays.
So to the sacred Sun in MEMNON's fane,
Spontaneous concords quired the matin strain;
-Touch'd by his orient beam, responsive rings
The living lyre, and vibrates all it's strings;
Accordant ailes the tender tones prolong,
And holy echoes swell the adoring song.
'YOU with light Gas the lamps nocturnal feed,
Which dance and glimmer o'er the marshy mead;
Shine round Calendula at twilight hours,
And tip with silver all her saffron flowers;
Warm on her mossy couch the radiant Worm,
Guard from cold dews her love-illumin'd form,
From leaf to leaf conduct the virgin light,
Star of the earth, and diamond of the night.
You bid in air the tropic Beetle burn,
And fill with golden flame his winged urn;
Or gild the surge with insect-sparks, that swarm
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Round the bright oar, the kindling prow alarm;
Or arm in waves, electric in his ire,
The dread Gymnotus with ethereal fire.Onward his course with waving tail he helms,
And mimic lightenings scare the watery realms,
So, when with bristling plumes the Bird of JOVE
Vindictive leaves the argent fields above,
Borne on broad wings the guilty world he awes,
And grasps the lightening in his shining claws.
V. 1. 'NYMPHS! Your soft smiles uncultur'd man subdued,
And charm'd the Savage from his native wood;
You, while amazed his hurrying Hords retire
From the fell havoc of devouring FIRE,
Taught, the first Art! with piny rods to raise
By quick attrition the domestic blaze,
Fan with soft breath, with kindling leaves provide,
And lift the dread Destroyer on his side.
So, with bright wreath of serpent-tresses crown'd,
Severe in beauty, young MEDUSA frown'd;
Erewhile subdued, round WISDOM'S Aegis roll'd
Hiss'd the dread snakes, and flam'd in burnish'd gold;
Flash'd on her brandish'd arm the immortal shield,
And Terror lighten'd o'er the dazzled field.
2. NYMPHS! YOU disjoin, unite, condense, expand,
And give new wonders to the Chemist's hand;
On tepid clouds of rising steam aspire,
Or fix in sulphur all it's solid fire;
With boundless spring elastic airs unfold,
Or fill the fine vacuities of gold;
With sudden flash vitrescent sparks reveal,
By fierce collision from the flint and steel;
Or mark with shining letter KUNKEL's name
In the pale Phosphor's self-consuming flame.
So the chaste heart of some enchanted Maid
Shines with insidious light, by Love betray'd;
Round her pale bosom plays the young Desire,
And slow she wastes by self-consuming fire.
3. 'YOU taught mysterious BACON to explore
Metallic veins, and part the dross from ore;
With sylvan coal in whirling mills combine
The crystal'd nitre, and the sulphurous mine;
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Through wiry nets the black diffusion strain,
And close an airy ocean in a grain.Pent in dark chambers of cylindric brass
Slumbers in grim repose the sooty mass;
Lit by the brilliant spark, from grain to grain
Runs the quick fire along the kindling train;
On the pain'd ear-drum bursts the sudden crash,
Starts the red flame, and Death pursues the flash.Fear's feeble hand directs the fiery darts,
And Strength and Courage yield to chemic arts;
Guilt with pale brow the mimic thunder owns,
And Tyrants tremble on their blood-stain'd thrones.
VI. NYMPHS! You erewhile on simmering cauldrons play'd,
And call'd delighted SAVERY to your aid;
Bade round the youth explosive STEAM aspire
In gathering clouds, and wing'd the wave with fire;
Bade with cold streams the quick expansion stop,
And sunk the immense of vapour to a drop.Press'd by the ponderous air the Piston falls
Resistless, sliding through it's iron walls;
Quick moves the balanced beam, of giant-birth,
Wields his large limbs, and nodding shakes the earth.
'The Giant-Power from earth's remotest caves
Lifts with strong arm her dark reluctant waves;
Each cavern'd rock, and hidden den explores,
Drags her dark coals, and digs her shining ores.Next, in close cells of ribbed oak confined,
Gale after gale, He crowds the struggling wind;
The imprison'd storms through brazen nostrils roar,
Fan the white flame, and fuse the sparkling ore.
Here high in air the rising stream He pours
To clay-built cisterns, or to lead-lined towers;
Fresh through a thousand pipes the wave distils,
And thirsty cities drink the exuberant rills.There the vast mill-stone with inebriate whirl
On trembling floors his forceful fingers twirl.
Whose flinty teeth the golden harvests grind,
Feast without blood! and nourish human-kind.
'Now his hard hands on Mona's rifted crest,
Bosom'd in rock, her azure ores arrest;
With iron lips his rapid rollers seize
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The lengthening bars, in thin expansion squeeze;
Descending screws with ponderous fly-wheels wound
The tawny plates, the new medallions round;
Hard dyes of steel the cupreous circles cramp,
And with quick fall his massy hammers stamp.
The Harp, the Lily and the Lion join,
And GEORGE and BRITAIN guard the sterling coin.
'Soon shall thy arm, UNCONQUER'D STEAM! afar
Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car;
Or on wide-waving wings expanded bear
The flying-chariot through the fields of air.
-Fair crews triumphant, leaning from above,
Shall wave their fluttering kerchiefs as they move;
Or warrior-bands alarm the gaping crowd,
And armies shrink beneath the shadowy cloud.
'So mighty HERCULES o'er many a clime
Waved his vast mace in Virtue's cause sublime,
Unmeasured strength with early art combined,
Awed, served, protected, and amazed mankind.First two dread Snakes at JUNO'S vengeful nod
Climb'd round the cradle of the sleeping God;
Waked by the shrilling hiss, and rustling sound,
And shrieks of fair attendants trembling round,
Their gasping throats with clenching hands he holds;
And Death untwists their convoluted folds.
Next in red torrents from her sevenfold heads
Fell HYDRA'S blood on Lerna's lake he sheds;
Grasps ACHELOUS with resistless force,
And drags the roaring River to his course;
Binds with loud bellowing and with hideous yell
The monster Bull, and threefold Dog of Hell.
'Then, where Nemea's howling forests wave,
He drives the Lion to his dusky cave;
Seized by the throat the growling fiend disarms,
And tears his gaping jaws with sinewy arms;
Lifts proud ANTEUS from his mother-plains,
And with strong grasp the struggling Giant strains;
Back falls his fainting head, and clammy hair,
Writhe his weak limbs, and flits his life in air;By steps reverted o'er the blood-dropp'd fen
He tracks huge CACUS to his murderous den;
Where breathing flames through brazen lips he fled,
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And shakes the rock-roof'd cavern o'er his head.
'Last with wide arms the solid earth He tears,
Piles rock on rock, on mountain mountain rears;
Heaves up huge ABYLA on Afric's sand,
Crowns with high CALPÈ Europe's saliant strand,
Crests with opposing towers the splendid scene,
And pours from urns immense the sea between.-Loud o'er her whirling flood Charybdis roars,
Affrighted Scylla bellows round his shores,
Vesuvio groans through all his echoing caves,
And Etna thunders o'er the insurgent waves.
VII. 1. NYMPHS! YOUR fine hands ethereal floods amass
From the warm cushion, and the whirling glass;
Beard the bright cylinder with golden wire,
And circumfuse the gravitating fire.
Cold from each point cerulean lustres gleam,
Or shoot in air the scintillating stream.
So, borne on brazen talons, watch'd of old
The sleepless dragon o'er his fruits of gold;
Bright beam'd his scales, his eye-balls blazed with ire,
And his wide nostrils breath'd inchanted fire.
'YOU bid gold-leaves, in crystal lantherns held,
Approach attracted, and recede repel'd;
While paper-nymphs instinct with motion rife,
And dancing fauns the admiring Sage surprize.
OR, if on wax some fearless Beauty stand,
And touch the sparkling rod with graceful hand;
Through her fine limbs the mimic lightnings dart,
And flames innocuous eddy round her heart;
O'er her fair brow the kindling lustres glare,
Blue rays diverging from her bristling hair;
While some fond Youth the kiss ethereal sips.
And soft fires issue from their meeting lips.
So round the virgin Saint in silver streams
The holy Halo shoots it's arrowy beams.
'YOU crowd in coated jars the denser fire,
Pierce the thin glass, and fuse the blazing wire;
Or dart the red flash through the circling band
Of youths and timorous damsels, hand in hand.
-Starts the quick Ether through the fibre-trains
Of dancing arteries, and of tingling veins,
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Goads each fine nerve, with new sensation thrill'd,
Bends the reluctant limbs with power unwill'd;
Palsy's cold hands the fierce concussion own,
And Life clings trembling on her tottering throne.So from dark clouds the playful lightning springs,
Rives the firm oak, or prints the Fairy-rings.
2. NYMPHS! on that day YE shed from lucid eyes.
Celestial tears, and breathed ethereal sighs!
When RICHMAN rear'd, by fearless haste betrayed,
The wiry rod in Nieva's fatal shade;Clouds o'er the Sage, with fringed skirts succeed,
Flash follows flash, the warning corks recede;
Near and more near He ey'd with fond amaze
The silver streams, and watch'd the saphire blaze;
Then burst the steel, the dart electric sped,
And the bold Sage lay number'd with the dead!NYMPHS! on that day YE shed from lucid eyes
Celestial tears, and breathed ethereal sighs!
3. 'YOU led your FRANKLIN to your glazed retreats,
Your air-built castles, and your silken seats;
Bade his bold arm invade the lowering sky,
And seize the tiptoe lightnings, ere they fly;
O'er the young Sage your mystic mantle spread,
And wreath'd the crown electric round his head.Thus when on wanton wing intrepid LOVE
Snatch'd the raised lightning from the arm of JOVE;
Quick o'er his knee the triple bolt He bent,
The cluster'd darts and forky arrows rent,
Snapp'd with illumin'd hands each flaming shaft,
His tingling fingers shook, and stamp'd, and laugh'd;
Bright o'er the floor the scatter'd fragments blaz'd,
And Gods retreating trembled as they gaz'd;
The immortal Sire, indulgent to his child,
Bow'd his ambrosial locks, and Heaven relenting smiled.
VIII. 'When Air's pure essence joins the vital flood,
And with phosphoric Acid dyes the blood,
YOUR VIRGIN TRAINS the transient HEAT dispart,
And lead the soft combustion round the heart;
Life's holy lamp with fires successive feed,
From the crown'd forehead to the prostrate weed,
From Earth's proud realms to all that swim or sweep
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The yielding ether or tumultuous deep.
You swell the bulb beneath the heaving lawn,
Brood the live seed, unfold the bursting spawn;
Nurse with soft lap, and warm with fragrant breath
The embryon panting in the arms of Death;
Youth's vivid eye with living light adorn,
And fire the rising blush of Beauty's golden morn.
'Thus when the Egg of Night, on Chaos hurl'd,
Burst, and disclosed the cradle of the world;
First from the gaping shell refulgent sprung
IMMORTAL LOVE, his bow celestial strung;O'er the wide waste his gaudy wings unfold,
Beam his soft smiles, and wave his curls of gold;With silver darts He pierced the kindling frame,
And lit with torch divine the ever-living flame.'
IX. The GODDESS paused, admired with conscious pride
The effulgent legions marshal'd by her side,
Forms sphered in fire with trembling light array'd,
Ens without weight, and substance without shade;
And, while tumultuous joy her bosom warms,
Waves her white hand, and calls her hosts to arms,
'Unite, ILLUSTRIOUS NYMPHS! your radiant powers,
Call from their long repose the VERNAL HOURS.
Wake with soft touch, with rosy hands unbind
The struggling pinions of the WESTERN WIND;
Chafe his wan cheeks, his ruffled plumes repair,
And wring the rain-drops from his tangled hair.
Blaze round each frosted rill, or stagnant wave,
And charm the NAIAD from her silent cave;
Where, shrined in ice, like NIOBE she mourns,
And clasps with hoary arms her empty urns.
Call your bright myriads, trooping from afar,
With beamy helms, and glittering shafts of war;
In phalanx firm the FIEND OF FROST assail,
Break his white towers, and pierce his crystal mail;
To Zembla's moon-bright coasts the Tyrant bear,
And chain him howling to the Northern Bear.
'So when enormous GRAMPUS, issuing forth
From the pale regions of the icy North;
Waves his broad tail, and opes his ribbed mouth,
And seeks on winnowing fin the breezy South;
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From towns deserted rush the breathless hosts,
Swarm round the hills, and darken all the coasts;
Boats follow boats along the shouting tides,
And spears and javelins pierce his blubbery sides;
Now the bold Sailor, raised on pointed toe,
Whirls the wing'd harpoon on the slimy foe;
Quick sinks the monster in his oozy bed,
The blood-stain'd surges circling o'er his head,
Steers to the frozen pole his wonted track,
And bears the iron tempest on his back.
X. 'On wings of flame, ETHEREAL VIRGINS! sweep
O'er Earth's fair bosom, and complacent deep;
Where dwell my vegetative realms benumb'd,
In buds imprison'd, or in bulbs intomb'd,
Pervade, PELLUCID FORMS! their cold retreat,
Ray from bright urns your viewless floods of
heat
From earth's deep wastes
electric
torrents pour,
Or shed from heaven the scintillating shower;
Pierce the dull root, relax its fibre-trains,
Thaw the thick blood, which lingers in its veins;
Melt with warm breath the fragrant gums, that bind
The expanding foliage in its scaly rind;
And as in air the laughing leaflets play,
And turn their shining bosoms to the ray,
NYMPHS! with sweet smile each opening glower invite,
And on its damask eyelids pour the
light
'So shall my pines, Canadian wilds that shade,
Where no bold step has pierc'd the tangled glade,
High-towering palms, that part the Southern flood
With shadowy isles and continents of wood,
Oaks, whose broad antlers crest Britannia's plain,
Or bear her thunders o'er the conquer'd main,
Shout, as you pass, inhale the genial skies,
And bask and brighten in your beamy eyes;
Bow their white heads, admire the changing clime,
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Shake from their candied trunks the tinkling rime;
With bursting buds their wrinkled barks adorn,
And wed the timorous floret to her thorn;
Deep strike their roots, their lengthening tops revive,
And all my world of foliage wave, alive.
'Thus with Hermetic art the ADEPT combines
The royal acid with cobaltic mines;
Marks with quick pen, in lines unseen portrayed,
The blushing mead, green dell, and dusky glade;
Shades with pellucid clouds the tintless field,
And all the future Group exists conceal'd;
Till waked by fire the dawning tablet glows,
Green springs the herb, the purple floret blows,
Hills vales and woods in bright succession rise,
And all the living landscape charms his eyes.
XI. 'With crest of gold should sultry SIRIUS glare,
And with his kindling tresses scorch the air;
With points of flame the shafts of Summer arm,
And burn the beauties he designs to warm;-So erst when JOVE his oath extorted mourn'd,
And clad in glory to the Fair return'd;
While Loves at forky bolts their torches light,
And resting lightnings gild the car of Night;
His blazing form the dazzled Maid admir'd,
Met with fond lips, and in his arms expir'd;NYMPHS! on light pinion lead your banner'd hosts
High o'er the cliffs of ORKNEY'S gulphy coasts;
Leave on your left the red volcanic light,
Which HECCLA lifts amid the dusky night;
Mark on the right the DOFRINE'S snow-capt brow,
Where whirling MAELSTROME roars and foams below;
Watch with unmoving eye, where CEPHEUS bends
His triple crown, his scepter'd hand extends;
Where studs CASSIOPE with stars unknown
Her golden chair, and gems her sapphire zone;
Where with vast convolution DRACO holds
The ecliptic axis in his scaly folds,
O'er half the skies his neck enormous rears,
And with immense meanders parts the BEARS;
Onward, the kindred BEARS with footstep rude
Dance round the Pole, pursuing and pursued.
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'There in her azure coif and starry stole,
Grey TWILIGHT sits, and rules the slumbering Pole;
Bends the pale moon-beams round the sparkling coast,
And strews with livid hands eternal frost.
There, NYMPHS! alight, array your dazzling powers,
With sudden march alarm the torpid Hours;
On ice-built isles expand a thousand sails,
Hinge the strong helms, and catch the frozen gales;
The winged rocks to feverish climates guide,
Where fainting Zephyrs pant upon the tide;
Pass, where to CEUTA CALPE'S thunder roars,
And answering echoes shake the kindred shores;
Pass, where with palmy plumes CANARY smiles,
And in her silver girdle binds her isles;
Onward, where NIGER'S dusky Naiad laves
A thousand kingdoms with prolific waves,
Or leads o'er golden sands her threefold train
In steamy channels to the fervid main,
While swarthy nations croud the sultry coast,
Drink the fresh breeze, and hail the floating Frost,
NYMPHS! veil'd in mist, the melting treasures steer,
And cool with arctic snows the tropic year.
So from the burning Line by Monsoons driven
Clouds sail in squadrons o'er the darken'd heaven;
Wide wastes of sand the gelid gales pervade,
And ocean cools beneath the moving shade.
XII. Should SOLSTICE, stalking through the sickening bowers,
Suck the warm dew-drops, lap the falling showers;
Kneel with parch'd lip, and bending from it's brink
From dripping palm the scanty river drink;
NYMPHS! o'er the soil ten thousand points erect,
And high in air the electric flame collect.
Soon shall dark mists with self-attraction shroud
The blazing day, and sail in wilds of cloud;
Each silvery Flower the streams aerial quaff,
Bow her sweet head, and infant Harvest laugh.
'Thus when ELIJA mark'd from Carmel's brow
In bright expanse the briny flood below;
Roll'd his red eyes amid the scorching air,
Smote his firm breast, and breathed his ardent prayer;
High in the midst a massy altar stood,
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And slaughter'd offerings press'd the piles of wood;
While ISRAEL'S chiefs the sacred hill surround,
And famish'd armies crowd the dusty ground;
While proud Idolatry was leagued with dearth,
And wither'd famine swept the desert earth.'OH, MIGHTY LORD! thy woe-worn servant hear,
'Who calls thy name in agony of prayer;
'Thy fanes dishonour'd, and thy prophets slain,
'Lo! I alone survive of all thy train!'Oh send from heaven thy sacred fire,-and pour
'O'er the parch'd land the salutary shower,'So shall thy Priest thy erring flock recal,'And speak in thunder, 'THOU ART LORD OF ALL.'He cried, and kneeling on the mountain-sands,
Stretch'd high in air his supplicating hands.
-Descending flames the dusky shrine illume;
Fire the wet wood, the sacred bull consume;
Wing'd from the sea the gathering mists arise,
And floating waters darken all the skies;
The King with shifted reins his chariot bends,
And wide o'er earth the airy flood descends;
With mingling cries dispersing hosts applaud,
And shouting nations own THE LIVING GOD.'
The GODDESS ceased,-the exulting tribes obey,
Start from the soil, and win their airy way;
The vaulted skies with streams of transient rays
Shine, as they pass, and earth and ocean blaze.
So from fierce wars when lawless Monarch's cease,
Or Liberty returns with laurel'd Peace;
Bright fly the sparks, the colour'd lustres burn,
Flash follows f
Blue serpents sweep along the dusky air,
Imp'd by long trains of scintillating hair;
Red rockets rise, loud cracks are heard on high,
And showers of stars rush headlong from the sky,
Burst, as in silver lines they hiss along,
And the quick flash unfolds the gazing throng.
~ Erasmus Darwin,
245:The Botanic Garden( Part Ii)
The Economy Of Vegetation
Canto II
AND NOW THE GODDESS with attention sweet
Turns to the GNOMES, that circle round her feet;
Orb within orb approach the marshal'd trains,
And pigmy legions darken all the plains;
Thrice shout with silver tones the applauding bands,
Bow, ere She speaks, and clap their fairy hands.
So the tall grass, when noon-tide zephyr blows,
Bends it's green blades in undulating rows;
Wide o'er the fields the billowy tumult spreads,
And rustling harvests bow their golden heads.
I. 'GNOMES! YOUR bright forms, presiding at her birth,
Clung in fond squadrons round the new-born EARTH;
When high in ether, with explosion dire,
From the deep craters of his realms of fire,
The whirling Sun this ponderous planet hurl'd,
And gave the astonish'd void another world.
When from it's vaporous air, condensed by cold,
Descending torrents into oceans roll'd;
And fierce attraction with relentless force
Bent the reluctant wanderer to it's course.
'Where yet the Bull with diamond-eye adorns
The Spring's fair forehead, and with golden horns;
Where yet the Lion climbs the ethereal plain,
And shakes the Summer from his radiant mane;
Where Libra lifts her airy arm, and weighs,
Poised in her silver ballance, nights and days;
With paler lustres where Aquarius burns,
And showers the still snow from his hoary urns;
YOUR ardent troops pursued the flying sphere,
Circling the starry girdle of the year;
While sweet vicissitudes of day and clime
Mark'd the new annals of enascent Time.
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II. 'You trod with printless step Earth's tender globe,
While Ocean wrap'd it in his azure robe;
Beneath his waves her hardening strata spread,
Raised her PRIMEVAL ISLANDS from his bed,
Stretch'd her wide lawns, and sunk her winding dells,
And deck'd her shores with corals, pearls, and shells.
'O'er those blest isles no ice-crown'd mountains tower'd,
No lightnings darted, and no tempests lower'd;
Soft fell the vesper-drops, condensed below,
Or bent in air the rain-refracted bow;
Sweet breathed the zephyrs, just perceiv'd and lost;
And brineless billows only kiss'd the coast;
Round the bright zodiac danced the vernal hours,
And Peace, the Cherub, dwelt in mortal bowers!
'So young DIONE, nursed beneath the waves,
And rock'd by Nereids in their coral caves,
Charm'd the blue sisterhood with playful wiles,
Lisp'd her sweet tones, and tried her tender smiles.
Then, on her beryl throne by Triton's borne,
Bright rose the Goddess like the Star of morn;
When with soft fires the milky dawn He leads,
And wakes to life and love the laughing meads;With rosy fingers, as uncurl'd they hung
Round her fair brow, her golden locks she wrung;
O'er the smooth surge on silver sandals flood,
And look'd enchantment on the dazzled flood.The bright drops, rolling from her lifted arms,
In slow meanders wander o'er her charms,
Seek round her snowy neck their lucid track,
Pearl her white shoulders, gem her ivory back,
Round her fine waist and swelling bosom swim,
And star with glittering brine each crystal limb.-The immortal form enamour'd Nature hail'd,
And Beauty blazed to heaven and earth, unvail'd.
III. 'You! who then, kindling after many an age,
Saw with new fires the first VOLCANO rage,
O'er smouldering heaps of livid sulphur swell
At Earth's firm centre, and distend her shell,
Saw at each opening cleft the furnace glow,
And seas rush headlong on the gulphs below.-
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GNOMES! how you shriek'd! when through the troubled air
Roar'd the fierce din of elemental war;
When rose the continents, and sunk the main,
And Earth's huge sphere exploding burst in twain.GNOMES! how you gazed! when from her wounded side
Where now the South-Sea heaves its waste of tide,
Rose on swift wheels the MOON'S refulgent car,
Circling the solar orb; a sister-star,
Dimpled with vales, with shining hills emboss'd,
And roll'd round Earth her airless realms of frost.
'GNOMES! how you trembled! with the dreadful force
When Earth recoiling stagger'd from her course;
When, as her Line in slower circles spun,
And her shock'd axis nodded from the sun,
With dreadful march the accumulated main
Swept her vast wrecks of mountain, vale, and plain;
And, while new tides their shouting floods unite,
And hail their Queen, fair Regent of the night;
Chain'd to one centre whirl'd the kindred spheres,
And mark'd with lunar cycles solar years.
IV. 'GNOMES! you then bade dissolving SHELLS distil
From the loose summits of each shatter'd hill,
To each fine pore and dark interstice flow,
And fill with liquid chalk the mass below.
Whence sparry forms in dusky caverns gleam
With borrow'd light, and twice refract the beam;
While in white beds congealing rocks beneath
Court the nice chissel, and desire to breathe.'Hence wearied HERCULES in marble rears
His languid limbs, and rests a thousand years;
Still, as he leans, shall young ANTINOUS please
With careless grace, and unaffected ease;
Onward with loftier step APOLLO spring,
And launch the unerring arrow from the string;
In Beauty's bashful form, the veil unfurl'd,
Ideal VENUS win the gazing world.
Hence on ROUBILIAC'S tomb shall Fame sublime
Wave her triumphant wings, and conquer Time;
Long with soft touch shall DAMER'S chissel charm,
With grace delight us, and with beauty warm;
FOSTER'S fine form shall hearts unborn engage,
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And MELBOURN's smile enchant another age.
V. GNOMES! you then taught transuding dews to pass
Through time-fall'n woods, and root-inwove morass
Age after age; and with filtration fine
Dispart, from earths and sulphurs, the saline.
1. 'HENCE with diffusive SALT old Ocean steeps
His emerald shallows, and his sapphire deeps.
Oft in wide lakes, around their warmer brim
In hollow pyramids the crystals swim;
Or, fused by earth-born fires, in cubic blocks
Shoot their white forms, and harden into rocks.
'Thus, cavern'd round in CRACOW'S mighty mines,
With crystal walls a gorgeous city shines;
Scoop'd in the briny rock long streets extend
Their hoary course, and glittering domes ascend;
Down the bright steeps, emerging into day,
Impetuous fountains burst their headlong way,
O'er milk-white vales in ivory channels spread,
And wondering seek their subterraneous bed.
Form'd in pellucid salt with chissel nice,
The pale lamp glimmering through the sculptured ice,
With wild reverted eyes fair LOTTA stands,
And spreads to Heaven, in vain, her glassy hands;
Cold dews condense upon her pearly breast,
And the big tear rolls lucid down her vest.
Far gleaming o'er the town transparent fanes
Rear their white towers, and wave their golden vanes;
Long lines of lustres pour their trembling rays,
And the bright vault returns the mingled blaze.
2. 'HENCE orient NITRE owes it's sparkling birth,
And with prismatic crystals gems the earth,
O'er tottering domes in filmy foliage crawls,
Or frosts with branching plumes the mouldering walls.
As woos Azotic Gas the virgin Air,
And veils in crimson clouds the yielding Fair,
Indignant Fire the treacherous courtship flies,
Waves his light wing, and mingles with the skies.
'So Beauty's GODDESS, warm with new desire,
Left, on her silver wheels, the GOD of Fire;
Her faithless charms to fiercer MARS resign'd,
Met with fond lips, with wanton arms intwin'd.
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-Indignant VULCAN eyed the parting Fair,
And watch'd with jealous step the guilty pair;
O'er his broad neck a wiry net he flung,
Quick as he strode, the tinkling meshes rung;
Fine as the spider's flimsy thread He wove
The immortal toil to lime illicit love;
Steel were the knots, and steel the twisted thong,
Ring link'd in ring, indissolubly strong;
On viewless hooks along the fretted roof
He hung, unseen, the inextricable woof.-Quick start the springs, the webs pellucid spread,
And lock the embracing Lovers on their bed;
Fierce with loud taunts vindictive VULCAN springs,
Tries all the bolts, and tightens all the strings,
Shakes with incessant shouts the bright abodes,
Claps his rude hands, and calls the festive Gods.-With spreading palms the alarmed Goddess tries
To veil her beauties from celestial eyes,
Writhes her fair limbs, the slender ringlets strains,
And bids her Loves untie the obdurate chains;
Soft swells her panting bosom, as she turns,
And her flush'd cheek with brighter blushes burns.
Majestic grief the Queen of Heaven avows,
And chaste Minerva hides her helmed brows;
Attendant Nymphs with bashful eyes askance
Steal of intangled MARS a transient glance;
Surrounding Gods the circling nectar quaff,
Gaze on the Fair, and envy as they laugh.
3. 'HENCE dusky IRON sleeps in dark abodes,
And ferny foliage nestles in the nodes;
Till with wide lungs the panting bellows blow,
And waked by fire the glittering torrents flow;
-Quick whirls the wheel, the ponderous hammer falls,
Loud anvils ring amid the trembling walls,
Strokes follow strokes, the sparkling ingot shines,
Flows the red slag, the lengthening bar refines;
Cold waves, immersed, the glowing mass congeal,
And turn to adamant the hissing Steel.
'Last MICHELL'S hands with touch of potent charm
The polish'd rods with powers magnetic arm;
With points directed to the polar stars
In one long line extend the temper'd bars;
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Then thrice and thrice with steady eye he guides,
And o'er the adhesive train the magnet slides;
The obedient Steel with living instinct moves,
And veers for ever to the pole it loves.
'Hail, adamantine STEEL! magnetic Lord!
King of the prow, the plowshare, and the sword!
True to the pole, by thee the pilot guides
His steady helm amid the struggling tides,
Braves with broad sail the immeasurable sea,
Cleaves the dark air, and asks no star but Thee.By thee the plowshare rends the matted plain,
Inhumes in level rows the living grain;
Intrusive forests quit the cultured ground,
And Ceres laughs with golden fillets crown'd.O'er restless realms when scowling Discord flings
Her snakes, and loud the din of battle rings;
Expiring Strength, and vanquish'd Courage feel
Thy arm resistless, adamantine STEEL!
4. 'HENCE in fine streams diffusive ACIDS flow,
Or wing'd with fire o'er Earth's fair bosom blow;
Transmute to glittering Flints her chalky lands,
Or sink on Ocean's bed in countless Sands.
Hence silvery Selenite her chrystal moulds,
And soft Asbestus smooths his silky folds;
His cubic forms phosphoric Fluor prints,
Or rays in spheres his amethystine tints.
Soft cobweb clouds transparent Onyx spreads,
And playful Agates weave their colour'd threads;
Gay pictured Mochoes glow with landscape-dyes,
And changeful Opals roll their lucid eyes;
Blue lambent light around the Sapphire plays,
Bright Rubies blush, and living Diamonds blaze.
'Thus, for attractive earth, inconstant JOVE
Mask'd in new shapes forsook his realms above.First her sweet eyes his Eagle-form beguiles,
And HEBE feeds him with ambrosial smiles;
Next the chang'd God a Cygnet's down assumes,
And playful LEDA smooths his glossy plumes;
Then glides a silver Serpent, treacherous guest!
And fair OLYMPIA folds him in her breast;
Now lows a milk-white Bull on Afric's strand,
And crops with dancing head the daisy'd land.-
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With rosy wreathes EUROPA'S hand adorns
His fringed forehead, and his pearly horns;
Light on his back the sportive Damsel bounds,
And pleased he moves along the flowery grounds;
Bears with slow step his beauteous prize aloof,
Dips in the lucid flood his ivory hoof;
Then wets his velvet knees, and wading laves
His silky sides amid the dimpling waves.
While her fond train with beckoning hands deplore,
Strain their blue eyes, and shriek along the shore;
Beneath her robe she draws her snowy feet,
And, half-reclining on her ermine seat,
Round his raised neck her radiant arms she throws,
And rests her fair cheek on his curled brows;
Her yellow tresses wave on wanton gales,
And high in air her azure mantle sails.
-Onward He moves, applauding Cupids guide,
And skim on shooting wing the shining tide;
Emerging Triton's leave their coral caves,
Sound their loud conchs, and smooth the circling waves,
Surround the timorous Beauty, as she swims,
And gaze enamour'd on her silver limbs.
-Now Europe's shadowy shores with loud acclaim
Hail the fair fugitive, and shout her name;
Soft echoes warble, whispering forests nod,
And conscious Nature owns the present God.
-Changed from the Bull, the rapturous God assumes
Immortal youth, with glow celestial blooms,
With lenient words her virgin fears disarms,
And clasps the yielding Beauty in his arms;
Whence Kings and Heroes own illustrious birth,
Guards of mankind, and demigods on earth.
VI. 'GNOMES! as you pass'd beneath the labouring soil,
The guards and guides of Nature's chemic toil,
YOU saw, deep-sepulchred in dusky realms,
Which Earth's rock-ribbed ponderous vault o'erwhelms,
With self-born fires the mass fermenting glow,
And flame-wing'd sulphurs quit the earths below.
1. 'HENCE ductile CLAYS in wide expansion spread,
Soft as the Cygnet's down, their snow-white bed;
With yielding flakes successive forms reveal,
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And change obedient to the whirling wheel.
-First CHINA'S sons, with early art elate,
Form'd the gay tea-pot, and the pictured plate;
Saw with illumin'd brow and dazzled eyes
In the red stove vitrescent colours rise;
Speck'd her tall beakers with enamel'd stars,
Her monster-josses, and gigantic jars;
Smear'd her huge dragons with metallic hues,
With golden purples, and cobaltic blues;
Bade on wide hills her porcelain castles glare,
And glazed Pagodas tremble in the air.
'ETRURIA! next beneath thy magic hands
Glides the quick wheel, the plaistic clay expands,
Nerved with fine touch, thy fingers (as it turns)
Mark the nice bounds of vases, ewers, and urns;
Round each fair form in lines immortal trace
Uncopied Beauty, and ideal Grace.
'GNOMES! as you now dissect with hammers fine
The granite-rock, the nodul'd flint calcine;
Grind with strong arm, the circling chertz betwixt,
Your pure Ka-o-lins and Pe-tun-tses mixt;
O'er each red saggars burning cave preside,
The keen-eyed Fire-Nymphs blazing by your side;
And pleased on WEDGWOOD ray your partial smile,
A new Etruria decks Britannia's isle.Charm'd by your touch, the flint liquescent pours
Through finer sieves, and falls in whiter showers;
Charm'd by your touch, the kneaded clay refines,
The biscuit hardens, the enamel shines;
Each nicer mould a softer feature drinks,
The bold Cameo speaks, the soft Intaglio thinks.
'To call the pearly drops from Pity's eye,
Or stay Despair's disanimating sigh,
Whether, O Friend of art! the gem you mould
Rich with new taste, with antient virtue bold;
Form the poor fetter'd SLAVE on bended knee
From Britain's sons imploring to be free;
Or with fair HOPE the brightening scenes improve,
And cheer the dreary wastes at Sydney-cove;
Or bid Mortality rejoice and mourn
O'er the fine forms on PORTLAND'S mystic urn.'
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Here
by fall'n columns and disjoin'd arcades,
On mouldering stones, beneath deciduous shades,
Sits HUMANKIND in hieroglyphic state,
Serious, and pondering on their changeful state;
While with inverted torch, and swimming eyes,
Sinks the fair shade of MORTAL LIFE, and dies.
There
the pale GHOST through Death's wide portal bends
His timid feet, the dusky steep descends;
With smiles assuasive LOVE DIVINE invites,
Guides on broad wing, with torch uplifted lights;
IMMORTAL LIFE, her hand extending, courts
The lingering form, his tottering step supports;
Leads on to Pluto's realms the dreary way,
And gives him trembling to Elysian day.
Beneath
in sacred robes the PRIESTESS dress'd,
The coif close-hooded, and the fluttering vest,
With pointing finger guides the initiate youth,
Unweaves the many-colour'd veil of Truth,
Drives the profane from Mystery's bolted door,
And Silence guards the Eleusinian lore.'Whether, O Friend of Art! your gems derive
Fine forms from Greece, and fabled Gods revive;
Or bid from modern life the Portrait breathe,
And bind round Honour's brow the laurel wreath;
Buoyant shall sail, with Fame's historic page,
Each fair medallion o'er the wrecks of age;
Nor Time shall mar; nor steel, nor fire, nor rust
Touch the hard polish of the immortal bust.
2. 'HENCE sable COAL his massy couch extends,
And stars of gold the sparkling Pyrite blends;
Hence dull-eyed Naphtha pours his pitchy streams,
And Jet uncolour'd drinks the solar beams,
Bright Amber shines on his electric throne,
And adds ethereal lustres to his own.
-Led by the phosphor-light, with daring tread
Immortal FRANKLIN sought the fiery bed;
Where, nursed in night, incumbent Tempest shrouds
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The seeds of Thunder in circumfluent clouds,
Besieged with iron points his airy cell,
And pierced the monster slumbering in the shell.
'So, born on sounding pinions to the WEST,
When Tyrant-Power had built his eagle nest;
While from his eyry shriek'd the famish'd brood,
Clenched their sharp claws, and champ'd their beaks for blood,
Immortal FRANKLIN watch'd the callow crew,
And stabb'd the struggling Vampires, ere they flew.
-The patriot-flame with quick contagion ran,
Hill lighted hill, and man electrised man;
Her heroes slain awhile COLUMBIA mourn'd,
And crown'd with laurels LIBERTY return'd.
'The Warrior, LIBERTY, with bending sails
Helm'd his bold course to fair HIBERNIA'S vales;Firm as he steps, along the shouting lands,
Lo! Truth and Virtue range their radiant bands;
Sad Superstition wails her empire torn,
Art plies his oar, and Commerce pours her horn.
'Long had the Giant-form on GALLIA'S plains
Inglorious slept, unconscious of his chains;
Round his large limbs were wound a thousand strings
By the weak hands of Confessors and Kings;
O'er his closed eyes a triple veil was bound,
And steely rivets lock'd him to the ground;
While stern Bastile with iron cage inthralls
His folded limbs, and hems in marble walls.
-Touch'd by the patriot-flame, he rent amazed
The flimsy bonds, and round and round him gazed;
Starts up from earth, above the admiring throng
Lifts his Colossal form, and towers along;
High o'er his foes his hundred arms He rears,
Plowshares his swords, and pruning hooks his spears;
Calls to the Good and Brave with voice, that rolls
Like Heaven's own thunder round the echoing poles;
Gives to the winds his banner broad unfurl'd,
And gathers in its shade the living world!
VII. 'GNOMES! YOU then taught volcanic airs to force
Through bubbling Lavas their resistless course,
O'er the broad walls of rifted Granite climb,
And pierce the rent roof of incumbent Lime,
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Round sparry caves metallic lustres fling,
And bear phlogiston on their tepid wing.
'HENCE glows, refulgent Tin! thy chrystal grains,
And tawny Copper shoots her azure veins;
Zinc lines his fretted vault with sable ore,
And dull Galena tessellates the floor;
On vermil beds in Idria's mighty caves
The living Silver rolls its ponderous waves;
With gay refractions bright Platina shines,
And studs with squander'd stars his dusky mines;
Long threads of netted gold, and silvery darts,
Inlay the Lazuli, and pierce the Quartz;-Whence roof'd with silver beam'd PERU, of old,
And hapless MEXICO was paved with gold.
'Heavens! on my sight what sanguine colours blaze!
Spain's deathless shame! the crimes of modern days!
When Avarice, shrouded in Religion's robe,
Sail'd to the West, and slaughter'd half the globe;
While Superstition, stalking by his side,
Mock'd the loud groans, and lap'd the bloody tide;
For sacred truths announced her frenzied dreams,
And turn'd to night the sun's meridian beams.Hear, oh, BRITANNIA! potent Queen of isles,
On whom fair Art, and meek Religion smiles,
Now AFRIC'S coasts thy craftier sons invade
With murder, rapine, theft,-and call it Trade!
-The SLAVE, in chains, on supplicating knee,
Spreads his wide arms, and lifts his eyes to Thee;
With hunger pale, with wounds and toil oppress'd,
'ARE WE NOT BRETHREN?' sorrow choaks the rest;-AIR! bear to heaven upon thy azure flood
Their innocent cries!-EARTH! cover not their blood!
VIII. 'When Heaven's dread justice smites in crimes o'ergrown
The blood-nursed Tyrant on his purple throne,
GNOMES! YOUR bold forms unnumber'd arms outstretch,
And urge the vengeance o'er the guilty wretch.Thus when CAMBYSES led his barbarous hosts
From Persia's rocks to Egypt's trembling coasts,
Defiled each hallowed fane, and sacred wood,
And, drunk with fury, swell'd the Nile with blood;
Waved his proud banner o'er the Theban states,
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And pour'd destruction through her hundred gates;
In dread divisions march'd the marshal'd bands,
And swarming armies blacken'd all the lands,
By Memphis these to ETHIOP'S sultry plains,
And those to HAMMON'S sand-incircled fanes.Slow as they pass'd, the indignant temples frown'd,
Low curses muttering from the vaulted ground;
Long ailes of Cypress waved their deepen'd glooms,
And quivering spectres grinn'd amid the tombs;
Prophetic whispers breathed from S
And MEMNON'S lyre with hollow murmurs rung;
Burst from each pyramid expiring groans,
And darker shadows stretch'd their lengthen'd cones.Day after day their deathful rout They steer,
Lust in the van, and rapine in the rear.
'GNOMES! as they march'd, You hid the gathered fruits,
The bladed grass, sweet grains, and mealy roots;
Scared the tired quails, that journey'd o'er their heads,
Retain'd the locusts in their earthy beds;
Bade on your sands no night-born dews distil,
Stay'd with vindictive hands the scanty rill.Loud o'er the camp the Fiend of Famine shrieks,
Calls all her brood, and champs her hundred beaks;
O'er ten square leagues her pennons broad expand,
And twilight swims upon the shuddering sand;
Perch'd on her crest the Griffin Discord clings,
And Giant Murder rides between her wings;
Blood from each clotted hair, and horny quill,
And showers of tears in blended streams distil;
High-poised in air her spiry neck she bends,
Rolls her keen eye, her Dragon-claws extends,
Darts from above, and tears at each fell swoop
With iron fangs the decimated troop.
'Now o'er their head the whizzing whirlwinds breathe,
And the live desert pants, and heaves beneath;
Tinged by the crimson sun, vast columns rise
Of eddying sands, and war amid the skies,
In red arcades the billowy plain surround,
And stalking turrets dance upon the ground.
-Long ranks in vain their shining blades extend,
To Demon-Gods their knees unhallow'd bend,
Wheel in wide circle, form in hollow square,
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And now they front, and now they fly the war,
Pierce the deaf tempest with lamenting cries,
Press their parch'd lips, and close their blood-shot eyes.
-GNOMES! o'er the waste YOU led your myriad powers,
Climb'd on the whirls, and aim'd the flinty showers!Onward resistless rolls the infuriate surge,
Clouds follow clouds, and mountains mountains urge;
Wave over wave the driving desert swims,
Bursts o'er their heads, inhumes their struggling limbs;
Man mounts on man, on camels camels rush,
Hosts march o'er hosts, and nations nations crush,Wheeling in air the winged islands fall,
And one great earthy Ocean covers all!Then ceased the storm,-NIGHT bow'd his Ethiop brow
To earth, and listen'd to the groans below,Grim HORROR shook,-awhile the living hill
Heaved with convulsive throes,-and all was still!
IX. 'GNOMES! whose fine forms, impassive as the air,
Shrink with soft sympathy for human care;
Who glide unseen, on printless slippers borne,
Beneath the waving grass, and nodding corn;
Or lay your tiny limbs, when noon-tide warms,
Where shadowy cowslips stretch their golden arms,So mark'd on orreries in lucid signs,
Star'd with bright points the mimic zodiac shines;
Borne on fine wires amid the pictured skies
With ivory orbs the planets set and rise;
Round the dwarf earth the pearly moon is roll'd,
And the sun twinkling whirls his rays of gold.Call your bright myriads, march your mailed hosts,
With spears and helmets glittering round the coasts;
Thick as the hairs, which rear the Lion's mane,
Or fringe the Boar, that bays the hunter-train;
Watch, where proud Surges break their treacherous mounds,
And sweep resistless o'er the cultured grounds;
Such as erewhile, impell'd o'er Belgia's plain,
Roll'd her rich ruins to the insatiate main;
With piles and piers the ruffian waves engage,
And bid indignant Ocean stay his rage.
'Where, girt with clouds, the rifted mountain yawns,
And chills with length of shade the gelid lawns,
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Climb the rude steeps, the granite-cliffs surround,
Pierce with steel points, with wooden wedges wound;
Break into clays the soft volcanic slaggs,
Or melt with acid airs the marble craggs;
Crown the green summits with adventurous flocks,
And charm with novel flowers the wondering rocks.
-So when proud Rome the Afric Warrior braved,
And high on Alps his crimson banner waved;
While rocks on rocks their beetling brows oppose
With piny forests, and unfathomed snows;
Onward he march'd, to Latium's velvet ground
With fires and acids burst the obdurate bound,
Wide o'er her weeping vales destruction hurl'd,
And shook the rising empire of the world.
X. 'Go, gentle GNOMES! resume your vernal toil,
Seek my chill tribes, which sleep beneath the soil;
On grey-moss banks, green meads, or furrow'd lands
Spread the dark mould, white lime, and crumbling sands;
Each bursting bud with healthier juices feed,
Emerging scion, or awaken'd seed.
So, in descending streams, the silver Chyle
Streaks with white clouds the golden floods of bile;
Through each nice valve the mingling currents glide,
Join their fine rills, and swell the sanguine tide;
Each countless cell, and viewless fibre seek,
Nerve the strong arm, and tinge the blushing cheek.
'Oh, watch, where bosom'd in the teeming earth,
Green swells the germ, impatient for its birth;
Guard from rapacious worms its tender shoots,
And drive the mining beetle from its roots;
With ceaseless efforts rend the obdurate clay,
And give my vegetable babes to day!
-Thus when an Angel-form, in light array'd,
Like HOWARD pierced the prison's noisome shade;
Where chain'd to earth, with eyes to heaven upturn'd,
The kneeling Saint in holy anguish mourn'd;Ray'd from his lucid vest, and halo'd brow
O'er the dark roof celestial lustres glow,
'PETER, arise!' with cheering voice He calls,
And sounds seraphic echo round the walls;
Locks, bolts, and chains his potent touch obey,
108
And pleased he leads the dazzled Sage to day.
XI. 'YOU! whose fine fingers fill the organic cells,
With virgin earth, of woods and bones and shells;
Mould with retractile glue their spongy beds,
And stretch and strengthen all their fibre-threads.Late when the mass obeys its changeful doom,
And sinks to earth, its cradle and its tomb,
GNOMES! with nice eye the slow solution watch,
With fostering hand the parting atoms catch,
Join in new forms, combine with life and sense,
And guide and guard the transmigrating Ens.
'So when on Lebanon's sequester'd hight
The fair ADONIS left the realms of light,
Bow'd his bright locks, and, fated from his birth
To change eternal, mingled with the earth;With darker horror shook the conscious wood,
Groan'd the sad gales, and rivers blush'd with blood;
On cypress-boughs the Loves their quivers hung,
Their arrows scatter'd, and their bows unstrung;
And BEAUTY'S GODDESS, bending o'er his bier,
Breathed the soft sigh, and pour'd the tender tear.Admiring PROSERPINE through dusky glades
Led the fair phantom to Elysian shades,
Clad with new form, with finer sense combined,
And lit with purer flame the ethereal mind.
-Erewhile, emerging from infernal night,
The bright Assurgent rises into light,
Leaves the drear chambers of the insatiate tomb,
And shines and charms with renovated bloom.While wondering Loves the bursting grave surround,
And edge with meeting wings the yawning ground,
Stretch their fair necks, and leaning o'er the brink
View the pale regions of the dead, and shrink;
Long with broad eyes ecstatic BEAUTY stands,
Heaves her white bosom, spreads her waxen hands;
Then with loud shriek the panting Youth alarms,
'My Life! my Love!' and springs into his arms.'
The GODDESS ceased,-the delegated throng
O'er the wide plains delighted rush along;
In dusky squadrons, and in shining groups,
Hosts follow hosts, and troops succeed to troops;
109
Scarce bears the bending grass the moving freight,
And nodding florets bow beneath their weight.
So when light clouds on airy pinions sail,
Flit the soft shadows o'er the waving vale;
Shade follows shade, as laughing Zephyrs drive,
And all the chequer'd landscape seems alive.
~ Erasmus Darwin,
246:The Botanic Garden (Part Iv)
The Economy Of Vegetation
Canto IV
As when at noon in Hybla's fragrant bowers
CACALIA opens all her honey'd flowers;
Contending swarms on bending branches cling,
And nations hover on aurelian wing;
So round the GODDESS, ere she speaks, on high
Impatient SYLPHS in gawdy circlets fly;
Quivering in air their painted plumes expand,
And coloured shadows dance upon the land.
I. 'SYLPHS! YOUR light troops the tropic Winds confine,
And guide their streaming arrows to the Line;
While in warm floods ecliptic breezes rise,
And sink with wings benumb'd in colder skies.
You bid Monsoons on Indian seas reside,
And veer, as moves the sun, their airy tide;
While southern gales o'er western oceans roll,
And Eurus steals his ice-winds from the Pole.
Your playful trains, on sultry islands born,
Turn on fantastic toe at eve and morn;
With soft susurrant voice alternate sweep
Earth's green pavilions and encircling deep.
OR in itinerant cohorts, borne sublime
On tides of ether, float from clime to clime;
O'er waving Autumn bend your airy ring,
Or waft the fragrant bosom of the Spring.
II. 'When Morn, escorted by the dancing Hours,
O'er the bright plains her dewy lustre showers;
Till from her sable chariot Eve serene
Drops the dark curtain o'er the brilliant scene;
You form with chemic hands the airy surge,
Mix with broad vans, with shadowy tridents urge.
SYLPHS! from each sun-bright leaf, that twinkling shakes
O'er Earth's green lap, or shoots amid her lakes,
Your playful bands with simpering lips invite,
10
And wed the enamour'd OXYGENE to LIGHT.Round their white necks with fingers interwove,
Cling the fond Pair with unabating love;
Hand link'd in hand on buoyant step they rise,
And soar and glisten in unclouded skies.
Whence in bright floods the VITAL AIR expands,
And with concentric spheres involves the lands;
Pervades the swarming seas, and heaving earths,
Where teeming Nature broods her myriad births;
Fills the fine lungs of all that
breathe
or
bud
Warms the new heart, and dyes the gushing blood;
With Life's first spark inspires the organic frame,
And, as it wastes, renews the subtile flame.
'So pure, so soft, with sweet attraction shone
Fair PSYCHE, kneeling at the ethereal throne;
Won with coy smiles the admiring court of Jove,
And warm'd the bosom of unconquer'd LOVE.Beneath a moving shade of fruits and flowers
Onward they march to HYMEN'S sacred bowers;
With lifted torch he lights the festive train,
Sublime, and leads them in his golden chain;
Joins the fond pair, indulgent to their vows,
And hides with mystic veil their blushing brows.
Round their fair forms their mingling arms they fling,
Meet with warm lip, and clasp with rustling wing.-Hence plastic Nature, as Oblivion whelms
Her fading forms, repeoples all her realms;
Soft Joys disport on purple plumes unfurl'd,
And Love and Beauty rule the willing world.
III. 1. 'SYLPHS! Your bold myriads on the withering heath
Stay the fell SYROC'S suffocative breath;
Arrest SIMOOM in his realms of sand,
The poisoned javelin balanced in his hand;Fierce on blue streams he rides the tainted air,
Points his keen eye, and waves his whistling hair;
While, as he turns, the undulating soil
Rolls in red waves, and billowy deserts boil.
11
You seize TORNADO by his locks of mist,
Burst his dense clouds, his wheeling spires untwist;
Wide o'er the West when borne on headlong gales,
Dark as meridian night, the Monster sails,
Howls high in air, and shakes his curled brow,
Lashing with serpent-train the waves below,
Whirls his black arm, the forked lightning flings,
And showers a deluge from his demon-wings.
2. 'SYLPHS! with light shafts YOU pierce the drowsy FOG,
That lingering slumbers on the sedge-wove bog,
With webbed feet o'er midnight meadows creeps,
Or flings his hairy limbs on stagnant deeps.
YOU meet CONTAGION issuing from afar,
And dash the baleful conqueror from his car;
When, Guest of DEATH! from charnel vaults he steals,
And bathes in human gore his armed wheels.
'Thus when the PLAGUE, upborne on Belgian air,
Look'd through the mist and shook his clotted hair,
O'er shrinking nations steer'd malignant clouds,
And rain'd destruction on the gasping crouds.
The beauteous AEGLE felt the venom'd dart,
Slow roll'd her eye, and feebly throbb'd her heart;
Each fervid sigh seem'd shorter than the last,
And starting Friendship shunn'd her, as she pass'd.
-With weak unsteady step the fainting Maid
Seeks the cold garden's solitary shade,
Sinks on the pillowy moss her drooping head,
And prints with lifeless limbs her leafy bed.
-On wings of Love her plighted Swain pursues,
Shades her from winds, and shelters her from dews,
Extends on tapering poles the canvas roof,
Spreads o'er the straw-wove matt the flaxen woof,
Sweet buds and blossoms on her bolster strows,
And binds his kerchief round her aching brows;
Sooths with soft kiss, with tender accents charms,
And clasps the bright Infection in his arms.With pale and languid smiles the grateful Fair
Applauds his virtues, and rewards his care;
Mourns with wet cheek her fair companions fled
On timorous step, or number'd with the dead;
Calls to its bosom all its scatter'd rays,
And pours on THYRSIS the collected blaze;
12
Braves the chill night, caressing and caress'd,
And folds her Hero-lover to her breast.Less bold, LEANDER at the dusky hour
Eyed, as he swam, the far love-lighted tower;
Breasted with struggling arms the tossing wave,
And sunk benighted in the watery grave.
Less bold, TOBIAS claim'd the nuptial bed,
Where seven fond Lovers by a Fiend had bled;
And drove, instructed by his Angel-Guide,
The enamour'd Demon from the fatal bride.-SYLPHS! while your winnowing pinions fan'd the air,
And shed gay visions o'er the sleeping pair;
LOVE round their couch effused his rosy breath,
And with his keener arrows conquer'd DEATH.
IV. 1. 'You charm'd, indulgent SYLPHS! their learned toil,
And crown'd with fame your TORRICELL, and BOYLE;
Taught with sweet smiles, responsive to their prayer,
The spring and pressure of the viewless air.
-How up exhausted tubes bright currents flow
Of liquid silver from the lake below,
Weigh the long column of the incumbent skies,
And with the changeful moment fall and rise.
-How, as in brazen pumps the pistons move,
The membrane-valve sustains the weight above;
Stroke follows stroke, the gelid vapour falls,
And misty dew-drops dim the crystal walls;
Rare and more rare expands the fluid thin,
And Silence dwells with Vacancy within.So in the mighty Void with grim delight
Primeval Silence reign'd with ancient Night.
2. 'SYLPHS! your soft voices, whispering from the skies,
Bade from low earth the bold MONGULFIER rise;
Outstretch'd his buoyant ball with airy spring,
And bore the Sage on levity of wing;Where were ye, SYLPHS! when on the ethereal main
Young ROSIERE launch'd, and call'd your aid in vain?
Fair mounts the light balloon, by Zephyr driven,
Parts the thin clouds, and sails along the heaven;
Higher and yet higher the expanding bubble flies,
Lights with quick flash, and bursts amid the skies.Headlong He rushes through the affrighted air
13
With limbs distorted, and dishevel'd hair,
Whirls round and round, the flying croud alarms,
And DEATH receives him in his sable arms!So erst with melting wax and loosen'd strings
Sunk hapless ICARUS on unfaithful wings;
His scatter'd plumage danced upon the wave,
And sorrowing Mermaids deck'd his watery grave;
O'er his pale corse their pearly sea-flowers shed,
And strew'd with crimson moss his marble bed;
Struck in their coral towers the pausing bell,
And wide in ocean toll'd his echoing knell.
V. 'SYLPHS! YOU, retiring to sequester'd bowers,
Where oft your PRIESTLEY woos your airy powers,
On noiseless step or quivering pinion glide,
As sits the Sage with Science by his side;
To his charm'd eye in gay undress appear,
Or pour your secrets on his raptured ear.
How nitrous Gas from iron ingots driven
Drinks with red lips the purest breath of heaven;
How, while Conferva from its tender hair
Gives in bright bubbles empyrean air;
The crystal floods phlogistic ores calcine,
And the pure ETHER marries with the MINE.
'So in Sicilia's ever-blooming shade
When playful PROSERPINE from CERES stray'd,
Led with unwary step her virgin trains
O'er Etna's steeps, and Enna's golden plains;
Pluck'd with fair hand the silver-blossom'd bower,
And purpled mead,-herself a fairer flower;
Sudden, unseen amid the twilight glade,
Rush'd gloomy DIS, and seized the trembling maid.Her starting damsels sprung from mossy seats,
Dropp'd from their gauzy laps the gather'd sweets,
Clung round the struggling Nymph, with piercing cries,
Pursued the chariot, and invoked the skies;Pleased as he grasps her in his iron arms,
Frights with soft sighs, with tender words alarms,
The wheels descending roll'd in smoky rings,
Infernal Cupids flapp'd their demon wings;
Earth with deep yawn received the Fair, amaz'd,
And far in Night celestial Beauty blaz'd.
14
VI. 'Led by the Sage, Lo! Britain's sons shall guide
Huge SEA-BALLOONS beneath the tossing tide;
The diving castles, roof'd with spheric glass,
Ribb'd with strong oak, and barr'd with bolts of brass,
Buoy'd with pure air shall endless tracks pursue,
And PRIESTLEY'S hand the vital flood renew.Then shall BRITANNIA rule the wealthy realms,
Which Ocean's wide insatiate wave o'erwhelms;
Confine in netted bowers his scaly flocks,
Part his blue plains, and people all his rocks.
Deep, in warm waves beneath the Line that roll,
Beneath the shadowy ice-isles of the Pole,
Onward, through bright meandering vales, afar,
Obedient Sharks shall trail her sceptred car,
With harness'd necks the pearly flood disturb,
Stretch the silk rein, and champ the silver curb;
Pleased round her triumph wondering Tritons play,
And Seamaids hail her on the watery way.
-Oft shall she weep beneath the crystal waves
O'er shipwreck'd lovers weltering in their graves;
Mingling in death the Brave and Good behold
With slaves to glory, and with slaves to gold;
Shrin'd in the deep shall DAY and SPALDING mourn,
Each in his treacherous bell, sepulchral urn!Oft o'er thy lovely daughters, hapless PIERCE!
Her sighs shall breathe, her sorrows dew their hearse.With brow upturn'd to Heaven, 'WE WILL NOT PART!'
He cried, and clasp'd them to his aching heart,-Dash'd in dread conflict on the rocky grounds,
Crash the mock'd masts, the staggering wreck rebounds;
Through gaping seams the rushing deluge swims,
Chills their pale bosoms, bathes their shuddering limbs,
Climbs their white shoulders, buoys their streaming hair,
And the last sea-shriek bellows in the air.Each with loud sobs her tender sire caress'd,
And gasping strain'd him closer to her breast!-Stretch'd on one bier they sleep beneath the brine,
And their white bones with ivory arms intwine!
'VII. SYLPHS OF NICE EAR! with beating wings you guide
The fine vibrations of the aerial tide;
15
Join in sweet cadences the measured words,
Or stretch and modulate the trembling cords.
You strung to melody the Grecian lyre,
Breathed the rapt song, and fan'd the thought of fire,
Or brought in combinations, deep and clear,
Immortal harmony to HANDEL'S ear.YOU with soft breath attune the vernal gale,
When breezy evening broods the listening vale;
Or wake the loud tumultuous sounds, that dwell
In Echo's many-toned diurnal shell.
YOU melt in dulcet chords, when Zephyr rings
The Eolian Harp, and mingle all its strings;
Or trill in air the soft symphonious chime,
When rapt CECILIA lifts her eye sublime,
Swell, as she breathes, her bosoms rising snow,
O'er her white teeth in tuneful accents slow,
Through her fair lips on whispering pinions move,
And form the tender sighs, that kindle love!
'So playful LOVE on Ida's flowery sides
With ribbon-rein the indignant Lion guides;
Pleased on his brinded back the lyre he rings,
And shakes delirious rapture from the strings;
Slow as the pausing Monarch stalks along,
Sheaths his retractile claws, and drinks the song;
Soft Nymphs on timid step the triumph view,
And listening Fawns with beating hoofs pursue;
With pointed ears the alarmed forest starts,
And Love and Music soften savage hearts.
VIII. 'SYLPHS! YOUR bold hosts, when Heaven with justice dread
Calls the red tempest round the guilty head,
Fierce at his nod assume vindictive forms,
And launch from airy cars the vollied storms.From Ashur's vales when proud SENACHERIB trod,
Pour'd his swoln heart, defied the living GOD,
Urged with incessant shouts his glittering powers;
And JUDAH shook through all her massy towers;
Round her sad altars press'd the prostrate crowd,
Hosts beat their breasts, and suppliant chieftains bow'd;
Loud shrieks of matrons thrill'd the troubled air,
And trembling virgins rent their scatter'd hair;
High in the midst the kneeling King adored,
16
Spread the blaspheming scroll before the Lord,
Raised his pale hands, and breathed his pausing sighs,
And fixed on Heaven his dim imploring eyes,'Oh! MIGHTY GOD! amidst thy Seraph-throng
'Who sit'st sublime, the Judge of Right and Wrong;
'Thine the wide earth, bright sun, and starry zone,
'That twinkling journey round thy golden throne;
'Thine is the crystal source of life and light,
'And thine the realms of Death's eternal night.
'Oh, bend thine ear, thy gracious eye incline,
'Lo! Ashur's King blasphemes thy holy shrine,
'Insults our offerings, and derides our vows,-'Oh! strike the diadem from his impious brows,
'Tear from his murderous hand the bloody rod,
'And teach the trembling nations, 'THOU ART GOD!'-SYLPHS! in what dread array with pennons broad
Onward ye floated o'er the ethereal road,
Call'd each dank steam the reeking marsh exhales,
Contagious vapours, and volcanic gales,
Gave the soft South with poisonous breath to blow,
And rolled the dreadful whirlwind on the foe!Hark! o'er the camp the venom'd tempest sings,
Man falls on Man, on buckler buckler rings;
Groan answers groan, to anguish anguish yields,
And DEATH'S loud accents shake the tented fields!
-High rears the Fiend his grinning jaws, and wide
Spans the pale nations with colossal stride,
Waves his broad falchion with uplifted hand,
And his vast shadow darkens all the land.
IX. 1. 'Ethereal cohorts! Essences of Air!
Make the green children of the Spring your care!
Oh, SYLPHS! disclose in this inquiring age
One GOLDEN SECRET to some favour'd sage;
Grant the charm'd talisman, the chain, that binds,
Or guides the changeful pinions of the winds!
-No more shall hoary Boreas, issuing forth
With Eurus, lead the tempests of the North;
Rime the pale Dawn, or veil'd in flaky showers
Chill the sweet bosoms of the smiling Hours.
By whispering Auster waked shall Zephyr rise,
Meet with soft kiss, and mingle in the skies,
17
Fan the gay floret, bend the yellow ear,
And rock the uncurtain'd cradle of the year;
Autumn and Spring in lively union blend,
And from the skies the Golden Age descend.
2. 'Castled on ice, beneath the circling Bear,
A vast CAMELION spits and swallows air;
O'er twelve degrees his ribs gigantic bend,
And many a league his leathern jaws extend;
Half-fish, beneath, his scaly volutes spread,
And vegetable plumage crests his head;
Huge fields of air his wrinkled skin receives,
From panting gills, wide lungs, and waving leaves;
Then with dread throes subsides his bloated form,
His shriek the thunder, and his sigh the storm.
Oft high in heaven the hissing Demon wins
His towering course, upborne on winnowing fins;
Steers with expanded eye and gaping mouth,
His mass enormous to the affrighted South;
Spreads o'er the shuddering Line his shadowy limbs,
And Frost and Famine follow as he swims.SYLPHS! round his cloud-built couch your bands array,
And mould the Monster to your gentle sway;
Charm with soft tones, with tender touches check,
Bend to your golden yoke his willing neck,
With silver curb his yielding teeth restrain,
And give to KIRWAN'S hand the silken rein.
-Pleased shall the Sage, the dragon-wings between,
Bend o'er discordant climes his eye serene,
With Lapland breezes cool Arabian vales,
And call to Hindostan antarctic gales,
Adorn with wreathed ears Kampschatca's brows,
And scatter roses on Zealandic snows,
Earth's wondering Zones the genial seasons share,
And nations hail him 'MONARCH OF THE AIR.'
X. 1. 'SYLPHS! as you hover on ethereal wing,
Brood the green children of parturient Spring!Where in their bursting cells my Embryons rest,
I charge you guard the vegetable nest;
Count with nice eye the myriad SEEDS, that swell
Each vaulted womb of husk, or pod, or shell;
Feed with sweet juices, clothe with downy hair,
18
Or hang, inshrined, their little orbs in air.
'So, late descry'd by HERSCHEL'S piercing sight,
Hang the bright squadrons of the twinkling Night;
Ten thousand marshall'd stars, a silver zone,
Effuse their blended lustres round her throne;
Suns call to suns, in lucid clouds conspire,
And light exterior skies with golden fire;
Resistless rolls the illimitable sphere,
And one great circle forms the unmeasured year.
-Roll on, YE STARS! exult in youthful prime,
Mark with bright curves the printless steps of Time;
Near and more near your beamy cars approach,
And lessening orbs on lessening orbs encroach;Flowers of the sky! ye too to age must yield,
Frail as your silken sisters of the field!
Star after star from Heaven's high arch shall rush,
Suns sink on suns, and systems systems crush,
Headlong, extinct, to one dark centre fall,
And Death and Night and Chaos mingle all!
-Till o'er the wreck, emerging from the storm,
Immortal NATURE lifts her changeful form,
Mounts from her funeral pyre on wings of flame,
And soars and shines, another and the same.
2. 'Lo! on each SEED within its slender rind
Life's golden threads in endless circles wind;
Maze within maze the lucid webs are roll'd,
And, as they burst, the living flame unfold.
The pulpy acorn, ere it swells, contains
The Oak's vast branches in its milky veins;
Each ravel'd bud, fine film, and fibre-line
Traced with nice pencil on the small design.
The young Narcissus, in it's bulb compress'd,
Cradles a second nestling on its breast;
In whose fine arms a younger embryon lies,
Folds its thin leaves, and shuts its floret-eyes;
Grain within grain successive harvests dwell,
And boundless forests slumber in a shell.
-So yon grey precipice, and ivy'd towers,
Long winding meads, and intermingled bowers,
Green files of poplars, o'er the lake that bow,
And glimmering wheel, which rolls and foams below,
In one bright point with nice distinction lie
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Plan'd on the moving tablet of the eye.
-So, fold on fold, Earth's wavy plains extend,
And, sphere in sphere, its hidden strata bend;Incumbent Spring her beamy plumes expands
O'er restless oceans, and impatient lands,
With genial lustres warms the mighty ball,
And the GREAT SEED evolves, disclosing ALL;
LIFE
buds
or
breathes
from Indus to the Poles,
And the vast surface kindles, as it rolls!
3. 'Come, YE SOFT SYLPHS! who sport on Latian land,
Come, sweet-lip'd Zephyr, and Favonius bland!
Teach the fine SEED, instinct with life, to shoot
On Earth's cold bosom its descending root;
With Pith elastic stretch its rising stem,
Part the twin Lobes, expand the throbbing Gem;
Clasp in your airy arms the aspiring Plume,
Fan with your balmy breath its kindling bloom,
Each widening scale and bursting film unfold,
Swell the green cup, and tint the flower with gold;
While in bright veins the silvery Sap ascends,
And refluent blood in milky eddies bends;
While, spread in air, the leaves respiring play,
Or drink the golden quintessence of day.
-So from his shell on Delta's shower-less isle
Bursts into life the Monster of the Nile;
First in translucent lymph with cobweb-threads
The Brain's fine floating tissue swells, and spreads;
Nerve after nerve the glistening spine descends,
The red Heart dances, the Aorta bends;
Through each new gland the purple current glides,
New veins meandering drink the refluent tides;
Edge over edge expands the hardening scale,
And sheaths his slimy skin in silver mail.
-Erewhile, emerging from the brooding sand,
With Tyger-paw He prints the brineless strand,
High on the flood with speckled bosom swims,
Helm'd with broad tail, and oar'd with giant limbs;
Rolls his fierce eye-balls, clasps his iron claws,
20
And champs with gnashing teeth his massy jaws;
Old Nilus sighs along his cane-crown'd shores,
And swarthy Memphis trembles and adores.
XI. 'Come, YE SOFT SYLPHS! who fan the Paphian groves,
And bear on sportive wings the callow Loves;
Call with sweet whisper, in each gale that blows,
The slumbering Snow-drop from her long repose;
Charm the pale Primrose from her clay-cold bed,
Unveil the bashful Violet's tremulous head;
While from her bud the playful Tulip breaks,
And young Carnations peep with blushing cheeks;
Bid the closed
Petals
from nocturnal cold
The virgin
Style
in silken curtains fold,
Shake into viewless air the morning dews,
And wave in light their iridescent hues;
While from on high the bursting
Anthers
trust
To the mild breezes their prolific dust;
Or bend in rapture o'er the central Fair,
Love out their hour, and leave their lives in air.
So in his silken sepulchre the Worm,
Warm'd with new life, unfolds his larva-form;
Erewhile aloft in wanton circles moves,
And woos on Hymen-wings his velvet loves.
XII. 1. 'If prouder branches with exuberance rude
Point their green gems, their barren shoots protrude;
Wound them, ye SYLPHS! with little knives, or bind
A wiry ringlet round the swelling rind;
Bisect with chissel fine the root below,
Or bend to earth the inhospitable bough.
So shall each germ with new prolific power
Delay the leaf-bud, and expand the flower;
Closed in the
Style
the tender pith shall end,
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The lengthening Wood in circling
Stamens
bend;
The smoother Rind its soft embroidery spread
In vaulted
Petals
o'er their fertile bed;
While the rough Bark, in circling mazes roll'd,
Forms the green
Cup
with many a wrinkled fold;
And each small bud-scale spreads its foliage hard,
Firm round the callow germ, a
Floral Guard
2. 'Where cruder juices swell the leafy vein,
Stint the young germ, the tender blossom stain;
On each lop'd shoot a softer scion bind,
Pith press'd to pith, and rind applied to rind,
So shall the trunk with loftier crest ascend,
And wide in air its happier arms extend;
Nurse the new buds, admire the leaves unknown,
And blushing bend with fruitage not its own.
'Thus when in holy triumph Aaron trod,
And offer'd on the shrine his mystic rod;
First a new bark its silken tissue weaves,
New buds emerging widen into leaves;
Fair fruits protrude, enascent flowers expand,
And blush and tremble round the living wand.
XIII. 1. 'SYLPHS! on each Oak-bud wound the wormy galls,
With pigmy spears, or crush the venom'd balls;
Fright the green Locust from his foamy bed,
Unweave the Caterpillar's gluey thread;
Chase the fierce Earwig, scare the bloated Toad,
Arrest the snail upon his slimy road;
Arm with sharp thorns the Sweet-brier's tender wood,
And dash the Cynips from her damask bud;
Steep in ambrosial dews the Woodbine's bells,
And drive the Night-moth from her honey'd cells.
So where the Humming-bird in Chili's bowers
On murmuring pinions robs the pendent flowers;
22
Seeks, where fine pores their dulcet balm distill,
And sucks the treasure with proboscis-bill;
Fair CYPREPEDIA with successful guile
Knits her smooth brow, extinguishes her smile;
A Spiders bloated paunch and jointed arms
Hide her fine form, and mask her blushing charms;
In ambush sly the mimic warrior lies,
And on quick wing the panting plunderer flies.
2. 'Shield the young Harvest from devouring blight,
The Smut's dark poison, and the Mildew white;
Deep-rooted Mould, and Ergot's horn uncouth,
And break the Canker's desolating tooth.
First in one point the festering wound confin'd
Mines unperceived beneath the shrivel'd rin'd;
Then climbs the branches with increasing strength,
Spreads as they spread, and lengthens with their length;
-Thus the slight wound ingraved on glass unneal'd
Runs in white lines along the lucid field;
Crack follows crack, to laws elastic just,
And the frail fabric shivers into dust.
XIV. 1. 'SYLPHS! if with morn destructive Eurus springs,
O, clasp the Harebel with your velvet wings;
Screen with thick leaves the Jasmine as it blows,
And shake the white rime from the shuddering Rose;
Whilst Amaryllis turns with graceful ease
Her blushing beauties, and eludes the breeze.SYLPHS! if at noon the Fritillary droops,
With drops nectareous hang her nodding cups;
Thin clouds of Gossamer in air display,
And hide the vale's chaste Lily from the ray;
Whilst Erythrina o'er her tender flower
Bends all her leaves, and braves the sultry hour;Shield, when cold Hesper sheds his dewy light,
Mimosa's soft sensations from the night;
Fold her thin foilage, close her timid flowers,
And with ambrosial slumbers guard her bowers;
O'er each warm wall while Cerea flings her arms,
And wastes on night's dull eye a blaze of charms.
2. Round her tall Elm with dewy fingers twine
The gadding tendrils of the adventurous Vine;
From arm to arm in gay festoons suspend
23
Her fragrant flowers, her graceful foliage bend;
Swell with sweet juice her vermil orbs, and feed
Shrined in transparent pulp her pearly seed;
Hang round the Orange all her silver bells,
And guard her fragrance with Hesperian spells;
Bud after bud her polish'd leaves unfold,
And load her branches with successive gold.
So the learn'd Alchemist exulting sees
Rise in his bright matrass DIANA'S trees;
Drop after drop, with just delay he pours
The red-fumed acid on Potosi's ores;
With sudden flash the fierce bullitions rise,
And wide in air the gas phlogistic flies;
Slow shoot, at length, in many a brilliant mass
Metallic roots across the netted glass;
Branch after branch extend their silver stems,
Bud into gold, and blossoms into gems.
So sits enthron'd in vegetable pride
Imperial KEW by Thames's glittering side;
Obedient sails from realms unfurrow'd bring
For her the unnam'd progeny of spring;
Attendant Nymphs her dulcet mandates hear,
And nurse in fostering arms the tender year,
Plant the young bulb, inhume the living seed,
Prop the weak stem, the erring tendril lead;
Or fan in glass-built fanes the stranger flowers
With milder gales, and steep with warmer showers.
Delighted Thames through tropic umbrage glides,
And flowers antarctic, bending o'er his tides;
Drinks the new tints, the sweets unknown inhales,
And calls the sons of science to his vales.
In one bright point admiring Nature eyes
The fruits and foliage of discordant skies,
Twines the gay floret with the fragrant bough,
And bends the wreath round GEORGE'S royal brow.
-Sometimes retiring, from the public weal
One tranquil hour the ROYAL PARTNERS steal;
Through glades exotic pass with step sublime,
Or mark the growths of Britain's happier clime;
With beauty blossom'd, and with virtue blaz'd,
Mark the fair Scions, that themselves have rais'd;
Sweet blooms the Rose, the towering Oak expands,
24
The Grace and Guard of Britain's golden lands.
XV. SYLPHS! who, round earth on purple pinions borne,
Attend the radiant chariot of the morn;
Lead the gay hours along the ethereal hight,
And on each dun meridian shower the light;
SYLPHS! who from realms of equatorial day
To climes, that shudder in the polar ray,
From zone to zone pursue on shifting wing,
The bright perennial journey of the spring;
Bring my rich Balms from Mecca's hallow'd glades,
Sweet flowers, that glitter in Arabia's shades;
Fruits, whose fair forms in bright succession glow
Gilding the Banks of Arno, or of Po;
Each leaf, whose fragrant steam with ruby lip
Gay China's nymphs from pictur'd vases sip;
Each spicy rind, which sultry India boasts,
Scenting the night-air round her breezy coasts;
Roots whose bold stems in bleak Siberia blow,
And gem with many a tint the eternal snow;
Barks, whose broad umbrage high in ether waves
O'er Ande's steeps, and hides his golden caves;
-And, where yon oak extends his dusky shoots
Wide o'er the rill, that bubbles from his roots;
Beneath whose arms, protected from the storm
A turf-built altar rears it's rustic form;
SYLPHS! with religious hands fresh garlands twine,
And deck with lavish pomp HYGEIA'S shrine.
'Call with loud voice the Sisterhood, that dwell
On floating cloud, wide wave, or bubbling well;
Stamp with charm'd foot, convoke the alarmed Gnomes
From golden beds, and adamantine domes;
Each from her sphere with beckoning arm invite,
Curl'd with red flame, the Vestal Forms of light.
Close all your spotted wings, in lucid ranks
Press with your bending knees the crowded banks,
Cross your meek arms, incline your wreathed brows,
And win the Goddess with unwearied vows.
'Oh, wave, HYGEIA! o'er BRITANNIA'S throne
Thy serpent-wand, and mark it for thy own;
Lead round her breezy coasts thy guardian trains,
Her nodding forests, and her waving plains;
25
Shed o'er her peopled realms thy beamy smile,
And with thy airy temple crown her isle!'
The GODDESS ceased,-and calling from afar
The wandering Zephyrs, joins them to her car;
Mounts with light bound, and graceful, as she bends,
Whirls the long lash, the flexile rein extends;
On whispering wheels the silver axle slides,
Climbs into air, and cleaves the crystal tides;
Burst from its pearly chains, her amber hair
Streams o'er her ivory shoulders, buoy'd in air;
Swells her white veil, with ruby clasp confined
Round her fair brow, and undulates behind;
The lessening coursers rise in spiral rings,
Pierce the slow-sailing clouds, and stretch their shadowy wings.
~ Erasmus Darwin,
247:Muse of my native land! loftiest Muse!
O first-born on the mountains! by the hues
Of heaven on the spiritual air begot:
Long didst thou sit alone in northern grot,
While yet our England was a wolfish den;
Before our forests heard the talk of men;
Before the first of Druids was a child;--
Long didst thou sit amid our regions wild
Rapt in a deep prophetic solitude.
There came an eastern voice of solemn mood:--
Yet wast thou patient. Then sang forth the Nine,
Apollo's garland:--yet didst thou divine
Such home-bred glory, that they cry'd in vain,
"Come hither, Sister of the Island!" Plain
Spake fair Ausonia; and once more she spake
A higher summons:--still didst thou betake
Thee to thy native hopes. O thou hast won
A full accomplishment! The thing is done,
Which undone, these our latter days had risen
On barren souls. Great Muse, thou know'st what prison
Of flesh and bone, curbs, and confines, and frets
Our spirit's wings: despondency besets
Our pillows; and the fresh to-morrow morn
Seems to give forth its light in very scorn
Of our dull, uninspired, snail-paced lives.
Long have I said, how happy he who shrives
To thee! But then I thought on poets gone,
And could not pray:nor can I now--so on
I move to the end in lowliness of heart.--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The imprint of Endymion is as follows:-- T. Miller, Printer, Noble Street, Cheapside. by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ John Keats, Endymion - Book IV
,
248: Ilion

Book I: The Book of the Herald



Dawn in her journey eternal compelling the labour of mortals,
Dawn the beginner of things with the night for their rest or their ending,
Pallid and bright-lipped arrived from the mists and the chill of the Euxine.
Earth in the dawn-fire delivered from starry and shadowy vastness
Woke to the wonder of life and its passion and sorrow and beauty,
All on her bosom sustaining, the patient compassionate Mother.
Out of the formless vision of Night with its look on things hidden
Given to the gaze of the azure she lay in her garment of greenness,
Wearing light on her brow. In the dawn-ray lofty and voiceless
Ida climbed with her god-haunted peaks into diamond lustres,
Ida first of the hills with the ranges silent beyond her
Watching the dawn in their giant companies, as since the ages
First began they had watched her, upbearing Time on their summits.
Troas cold on her plain awaited the boon of the sunshine.
There, like a hope through an emerald dream sole-pacing for ever,
Stealing to wideness beyond, crept Simois lame in his currents,
Guiding his argent thread mid the green of the reeds and the grasses.
Headlong, impatient of Space and its boundaries, Time and its slowness,
Xanthus clamoured aloud as he ran to the far-surging waters,
Joining his call to the many-voiced roar of the mighty Aegean,
Answering Oceans limitless cry like a whelp to its parent.
Forests looked up through their rifts, the ravines grew aware of their shadows.
Closer now gliding glimmered the golden feet of the goddess.
Over the hills and the headlands spreading her garment of splendour,
Fateful she came with her eyes impartial looking on all things,
Bringer to man of the day of his fortune and day of his downfall.
Full of her luminous errand, careless of eve and its weeping,
Fateful she paused unconcerned above Ilions mysteried greatness,
Domes like shimmering tongues of the crystal flames of the morning,
Opalesque rhythm-line of tower-tops, notes of the lyre of the sungod.
High over all that a nation had built and its love and its laughter,
Lighting the last time highway and homestead, market and temple,
Looking on men who must die and women destined to sorrow,
Looking on beauty fire must lay low and the sickle of slaughter,
Fateful she lifted the doom-scroll red with the script of the Immortals,
Deep in the invisible air that folds in the race and its morrows
Fixed it, and passed on smiling the smile of the griefless and deathless,
Dealers of death though death they know not, who in the morning
Scatter the seed of the event for the reaping ready at nightfall.
Over the brooding of plains and the agelong trance of the summits
Out of the sun and its spaces she came, pausing tranquil and fatal,
And, at a distance followed by the golden herds of the sungod,
Carried the burden of Light and its riddle and danger to Hellas.
Even as fleets on a chariot divine through the gold streets of ether,
Swiftly when Life fleets, invisibly changing the arc of the soul-drift,
And, with the choice that has chanced or the fate man has called and now suffers
Weighted, the moment travels driving the past towards the future,
Only its face and its feet are seen, not the burden it carries.
Weight of the event and its surface we bear, but the meaning is hidden.
Earth sees not; lifes clamour deafens the ear of the spirit:
Man knows not; least knows the messenger chosen for the summons.
Only he listens to the voice of his thoughts, his hearts ignorant whisper,
Whistle of winds in the tree-tops of Time and the rustle of Nature.
Now too the messenger hastened driving the car of the errand:
Even while dawn was a gleam in the east, he had cried to his coursers.
Half yet awake in lights turrets started the scouts of the morning
Hearing the jar of the wheels and the throb of the hooves exultation,
Hooves of the horses of Greece as they galloped to Phrygian Troya.
Proudly they trampled through Xanthus thwarting the foam of his anger,
Whinnying high as in scorn crossed Simois tangled currents,
Xanthus reed-girdled twin, the gentle and sluggard river.
One and unarmed in the car was the driver; grey was he, shrunken,
Worn with his decades. To Pergama cinctured with strength Cyclopean
Old and alone he arrived, insignificant, feeblest of mortals,
Carrying Fate in his helpless hands and the doom of an empire.
Ilion, couchant, saw him arrive from the sea and the darkness.
Heard mid the faint slow stirrings of life in the sleep of the city,
Rapid there neared a running of feet, and the cry of the summons
Beat round the doors that guarded the domes of the splendour of Priam.
Wardens charged with the night, ye who stand in Laomedons gateway,
Waken the Ilian kings. Talthybius, herald of Argos,
Parleying stands at the portals of Troy in the grey of the dawning.
High and insistent the call. In the dimness and hush of his chamber
Charioted far in his dreams amid visions of glory and terror,
Scenes of a vivider world,though blurred and deformed in the brain-cells,
Vague and inconsequent, there full of colour and beauty and greatness,
Suddenly drawn by the pull of the conscious thread of the earth-bond
And of the needs of Time and the travail assigned in the transience
Warned by his body, Deiphobus, reached in that splendid remoteness,
Touched through the nerve-ways of life that branch to the brain of the dreamer,
Heard the terrestrial call and slumber startled receded
Sliding like dew from the mane of a lion. Reluctant he travelled
Back from the light of the fields beyond death, from the wonderful kingdoms
Where he had wandered a soul among souls in the countries beyond us,
Free from the toil and incertitude, free from the struggle and danger:
Now, compelled, he returned from the respite given to the time-born,
Called to the strife and the wounds of the earth and the burden of daylight.
He from the carven couch upreared his giant stature.
Haste-spurred he laved his eyes and regained earths memories, haste-spurred
Donning apparel and armour strode through the town of his fathers,
Watched by her gods on his way to his fate, towards Pergamas portals.
Nine long years had passed and the tenth now was wearily ending,
Years of the wrath of the gods, and the leaguer still threatened the ramparts
Since through a tranquil morn the ships came past Tenedos sailing
And the first Argive fell slain as he leaped on the Phrygian beaches;
Still the assailants attacked, still fought back the stubborn defenders.
When the reward is withheld and endlessly leng thens the labour,
Weary of fruitless toil grows the transient heart of the mortal.
Weary of battle the invaders warring hearthless and homeless
Prayed to the gods for release and return to the land of their fathers:
Weary of battle the Phrygians beset in their beautiful city
Prayed to the gods for an end of the danger and mortal encounter.
Long had the high-beached ships forgotten their measureless ocean.
Greece seemed old and strange to her children camped on the beaches,
Old like a life long past one remembers hardly believing
But as a dream that has happened, but as the tale of another.
Time with his tardy touch and Nature changing our substance
Slowly had dimmed the faces loved and the scenes once cherished:
Yet was the dream still dear to them longing for wife and for children,
Longing for hearth and glebe in the far-off valleys of Hellas.
Always like waves that swallow the shingles, lapsing, returning,
Tide of the battle, race of the onset relentlessly thundered
Over the Phrygian corn-fields. Trojan wrestled with Argive,
Caria, Lycia, Thrace and the war-lord mighty Achaia
Joined in the clasp of the fight. Death, panic and wounds and disaster,
Glory of conquest and glory of fall, and the empty hearth-side,
Weeping and fortitude, terror and hope and the pang of remembrance,
Anguish of hearts, the lives of the warriors, the strength of the nations
Thrown were like weights into Destinys scales, but the balance wavered
Pressed by invisible hands. For not only the mortal fighters,
Heroes half divine whose names are like stars in remoteness,
Triumphed and failed and were winds or were weeds on the dance of the surges,
But from the peaks of Olympus and shimmering summits of Ida
Gleaming and clanging the gods of the antique ages descended.
Hidden from human knowledge the brilliant shapes of Immortals
Mingled unseen in the mellay, or sometimes, marvellous, maskless,
Forms of undying beauty and power that made tremble the heart-strings
Parting their deathless secrecy crossed through the borders of vision,
Plain as of old to the demigods out of their glory emerging,
Heard by mortal ears and seen by the eyeballs that perish.
Mighty they came from their spaces of freedom and sorrowless splendour.
Sea-vast, trailing the azure hem of his clamorous waters,
Blue-lidded, maned with the Night, Poseidon smote for the future,
Earth-shaker who with his trident releases the coils of the Dragon,
Freeing the forces unborn that are locked in the caverns of Nature.
Calm and unmoved, upholding the Word that is Fate and the order
Fixed in the sight of a Will foreknowing and silent and changeless,
Hera sent by Zeus and Athene lifting his aegis
Guarded the hidden decree. But for Ilion, loud as th