classes ::: object, thing,
children :::
branches ::: scroll

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


object:scroll
class:object
class:thing

see also :::

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


OBJECT INSTANCES [1] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
Savitri_Favorites_Section_Map
SEE ALSO


AUTH

BOOKS
DND_DM_Guide_5E
Infinite_Library
The_Complete_Dead_Sea_Scrolls_in_English

IN CHAPTERS TITLE

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
01.05_-_The_Yoga_of_the_King_-_The_Yoga_of_the_Spirits_Freedom_and_Greatness
01.11_-_Aldous_Huxley:_The_Perennial_Philosophy
0_1969-07-26
0_1970-01-10
03.03_-_The_House_of_the_Spirit_and_the_New_Creation
10.04_-_The_Dream_Twilight_of_the_Earthly_Real
1.01_-_The_Castle
1.04_-_The_Paths
1.07_-_TRUTH
1.09_-_WHO_STOLE_THE_TARTS?
1.11_-_The_Master_of_the_Work
1953-09-30
1.ac_-_A_Birthday
1.ac_-_The_Garden_of_Janus
1f.lovecraft_-_He
1f.lovecraft_-_In_the_Walls_of_Eryx
1f.lovecraft_-_Out_of_the_Aeons
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Book
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Case_of_Charles_Dexter_Ward
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Dream-Quest_of_Unknown_Kadath
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Mound
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Silver_Key
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Very_Old_Folk
1.fs_-_To_Laura_(Mystery_Of_Reminiscence)
1.ia_-_A_Garden_Among_The_Flames
1.ia_-_Wonder
1.jk_-_Endymion_-_Book_II
1.jk_-_Endymion_-_Book_III
1.jk_-_Hyperion._Book_II
1.jk_-_On_Receiving_A_Curious_Shell
1.lb_-_Remembering_the_Springs_at_Chih-chou
1.lovecraft_-_Fungi_From_Yuggoth
1.lovecraft_-_The_Conscript
1.pbs_-_Chorus_from_Hellas
1.pbs_-_Hellas_-_A_Lyrical_Drama
1.pbs_-_On_Keats,_Who_Desired_That_On_His_Tomb_Should_Be_Inscribed--
1.pbs_-_Prometheus_Unbound
1.pbs_-_The_Daemon_Of_The_World
1.pbs_-_The_Revolt_Of_Islam_-_Canto_I-XII
1.pbs_-_The_Witch_Of_Atlas
1.rb_-_A_Grammarian's_Funeral_Shortly_After_The_Revival_Of_Learning
1.rb_-_Paracelsus_-_Part_III_-_Paracelsus
1.rb_-_Sordello_-_Book_the_First
1.rb_-_The_Last_Ride_Together
1.rwe_-_Song_of_Nature
1.rwe_-_The_Days_Ration
1.rwe_-_Threnody
1.rwe_-_Waves
1.ww_-_Book_Seventh_[Residence_in_London]
1.ww_-_September,_1819
1.ww_-_Upon_Perusing_The_Forgoing_Epistle_Thirty_Years_After_Its_Composition
2.07_-_I_Also_Try_to_Tell_My_Tale
3.11_-_Spells
5.1.01.1_-_The_Book_of_the_Herald
5.1.01.4_-_The_Book_of_Partings
6.02_-_Great_Meteorological_Phenomena,_Etc
Aeneid
Appendix_4_-_Priest_Spells
BOOK_II._--_PART_II._THE_ARCHAIC_SYMBOLISM_OF_THE_WORLD-RELIGIONS
BOOK_I._--_PART_I._COSMIC_EVOLUTION
BOOK_I._--_PART_II._THE_EVOLUTION_OF_SYMBOLISM_IN_ITS_APPROXIMATE_ORDER
Book_of_Psalms
COSA_-_BOOK_XIII
Guru_Granth_Sahib_first_part
IS_-_Chapter_1
Liber_111_-_The_Book_of_Wisdom_-_LIBER_ALEPH_VEL_CXI
Liber_71_-_The_Voice_of_the_Silence_-_The_Two_Paths_-_The_Seven_Portals
Prayers_and_Meditations_by_Baha_u_llah_text
Tablets_of_Baha_u_llah_text
The_Book_of_Certitude_-_P2
The_Book_of_the_Prophet_Isaiah
The_Book_(short_story)
The_Revelation_of_Jesus_Christ_or_the_Apocalypse

PRIMARY CLASS

object
thing
SIMILAR TITLES
scroll
The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH

scrollable list "operating system" A list of information in a {graphical user interface} with a {scroll bar}, often used to present a list of choices. (1999-10-03)

scrollable list ::: (operating system) A list of information in a graphical user interface with a scroll bar, often used to present a list of choices. (1999-10-03)

scroll ::: a roll, as of parchment or papyrus, used especially for writing a document.

scroll bar ::: (graphics) A widget found in graphical user interfaces and used to show and control (scroll) which portion of a document is currently visible in a window. A window may have a horizontal or, most often, vertical scroll bar or both.A vertical scroll bar is a narrow strip drawn up the side of the window containing a bubble whose position in the scroll bar represents the position bubble to that point or move it some amount (typically a screenful) in that direction.Different WIMP systems define different standards for whether scroll bars appear on the left or right, top or bottom of the window, and for their behaviour.To reduce mouse movement, the up and down scroll buttons should either be next to each other at one end of the scroll bar (as in NEXTSTEP) or should reverse System and RISC OS). The fraction of the scroll bar filled by the bubble should indicate the fraction of the document visible in the window. (1998-06-26)

scroll bar "graphics" A {widget} found in {graphical user interfaces} and used to show and control ("scroll") which portion of a document is currently visible in a window. A window may have a horizontal or, most often, vertical scroll bar or both. A vertical scroll bar is a narrow strip drawn up the side of the window containing a "bubble" whose position in the scroll bar represents the position of the visible part within the whole document. By dragging the bubble with the mouse the user can scroll the view over the entire document. Arrow buttons are usually provided at the end(s) of the scroll bar to allow the window to be scrolled by a small amount, e.g. one line of text, in either direction by clicking them with the mouse. Some programs provide a second pair of buttons for scrolling a page at a time or some other unit. Clicking on the scroll bar outside the bubble will either, depending on the particular {WIMP}, move the bubble to that point or move it some amount (typically a screenful) in that direction. Different {WIMP} systems define different standards for whether scroll bars appear on the left or right, top or bottom of the window, and for their behaviour. To reduce mouse movement, the up and down scroll buttons should either be next to each other at one end of the scroll bar (as in {NEXTSTEP}) or should reverse their effect when clicked with the right-hand mouse button (as in the {X Window System} and {RISC OS}). The fraction of the scroll bar filled by the bubble should indicate the fraction of the document visible in the window. (1998-06-26)

scrolled ::: a. --> Formed like a scroll; contained in a scroll; adorned with scrolls; as, scrolled work.

scrolling "chat, games" To flood a {chat room} or {Internet game} with text or {macros} in an attempt to annoy the occupants. This can often cause the chat room to be "uninhabitable" due to the "noise" created by the scroller. Compare {spam}. (2001-03-27)

scrolling ::: (chat, games) To flood a chat room or Internet game with text or macros in an attempt to annoy the occupants. This can often cause the chat room to be uninhabitable due to the noise created by the scroller. Compare spam.(2001-03-27)

scroll "interface" (From a scroll of paper) To change the portion of a document displayed in a window or on a {VDU} screen. In a {graphical user interface}, scrolling is usually controlled by the user via {scroll bars}, whereas on a VDU the text scrolls up automatically as lines of data are output at the bottom of the screen. (2001-04-27)

scroll ::: n. --> A roll of paper or parchment; a writing formed into a roll; a schedule; a list.
An ornament formed of undulations giving off spirals or sprays, usually suggestive of plant form. Roman architectural ornament is largely of some scroll pattern.
A mark or flourish added to a person&


SCROLL ::: String and Character Recording Oriented Logogrammatic Language.[SCROLL - A Pattern Recording Language, M. Sargent, Proc SJCC 36 (1970)]. (1994-12-01)

SCROLL String and Character Recording Oriented Logogrammatic Language. ["SCROLL - A Pattern Recording Language", M. Sargent, Proc SJCC 36 (1970)]. (1994-12-01)


TERMS ANYWHERE

Allegro, John M. The Dead Sea Scrolls. Harmondsworth,

amulet ::: n. --> An ornament, gem, or scroll, or a package containing a relic, etc., worn as a charm or preservative against evils or mischief, such as diseases and witchcraft, and generally inscribed with mystic forms or characters. [Also used figuratively.]

Ark ::: (Heb. Aron hakodesh, lit. holy chest) The cabinet where the Torah scrolls are kept. The word has no connection with Noah's Ark, which is “teyvat” in Hebrew.

arrow key "hardware" One of four keys on a {keyboard} marked with arrows pointing up, down, left and right. The arrow keys are used for such things as moving the {cursor} in a text document, for moving the {input focus} between the fields of a form or sometimes for scrolling a picture. (1998-06-26)

arrow key ::: (hardware) One of four keys on a keyboard marked with arrows pointing up, down, left and right. The arrow keys are used for such things as moving the cursor in a text document, for moving the input focus between the fields of a form or sometimes for scrolling a picture. (1998-06-26)

Ashuritic script :::
Ashuritic script is the sacred Hebrew script used in the ritual writing of Torah scrolls as well as Tefilin and mezuzah parchments.


Bailian jiao. (白蓮教). In Chinese, "White Lotus teachings." As with the BAILIAN SHE, this name was used frequently during the Ming dynasty to refer pejoratively to various religious teachings and magical techniques deemed heretical or traitorous by local officials and Buddhist leaders. No specific religious group, however, seems to coincide precisely with this appellation. The White Lotus teachings are nonetheless often associated with millenarian movements that began to appear during the Mongol Yuan dynasty. Religious groups associated with these movements compiled their own scriptures, known as "precious scrolls" (BAOJUAN), which spoke of the future buddha MAITREYA and the worship of Wusheng Laomu ("Eternal Venerable Mother").

baojuan. (寶巻). In Chinese, "precious scrolls" or "treasure scrolls"; a genre of scripture produced mainly by popular religious sects with Buddhist orientations during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The baojuan are believed to have been divinely revealed to select beings who often became the leaders of these new religious movements (see also T. GTER MA). The earliest extant baojuan, which focuses on the worship of MAITREYA, the future buddha, is dated 1430, shortly after the fall of the Yuan dynasty. Lo Qing (1442-1527), a lay Buddhist, founded the Wuwei jiao ("Teachings of Noninterference"), for instance, for which he produced "five books and six volumes" of baojuan. Precious scrolls seem to share certain mythological elements, such as a new cosmogony of both the creation and demise of the world. Many of them also expound a new soteriology based on CHAN meditation and Daoist alchemy. The baojuan genre seems to be an evolutionary development from the earlier Buddhist vernacular narrative known as "transformation texts" (BIANWEN). Like bianwen, the baojuan were also employed for both popular entertainment and religious propagation.

bianwen. (變文). In Chinese, "transformation texts"; the earliest examples of Chinese vernacular writings, many drawing on prominent Buddhist themes. Produced during the Tang dynasty (c. seventh through tenth centuries), they were lost to history until they were rediscovered among the manuscript cache at DUNHUANG early in the twentieth century. The vernacular narratives of bianwen are probably descended from BIANXIANG, pictorial representations of Buddhist and religious themes. The Sinograph bian in both compounds refers to the "transformations" or "manifestations" of spiritual adepts, and seems most closely related to such Sanskrit terms as nirmAna ("magical creation" or "magical transformation," as in NIRMAnAKAYA) or ṚDDHI ("magical powers"). Bianwen were once thought to have been prompt books that were used during public performances, but this theory is no longer current. Even so, bianwen have a clear pedigree in oral literature and are the first genre of Chinese literature to vary verse recitation with spoken prose (so-called "prosimetric" narratives). As such, the bianwen genre was extremely influential in the evolution of Chinese performing arts, opera, and vernacular storytelling. Bianwen are primarily religious in orientation, and the Buddhist bianwen are culled from various sources, such as the JATAKAMALA, SADDHARMAPUndARĪKASuTRA, and VIMALAKĪRTINIRDEsA. The genre does, however, include a few examples drawn from secular subjects. Bianwen may also have led to the development of later vernacular genres of literature with a religious orientation, such as the "treasure scrolls," or BAOJUAN.

Bruce, F. F. Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

scrollable list "operating system" A list of information in a {graphical user interface} with a {scroll bar}, often used to present a list of choices. (1999-10-03)

scrollable list ::: (operating system) A list of information in a graphical user interface with a scroll bar, often used to present a list of choices. (1999-10-03)

scroll ::: a roll, as of parchment or papyrus, used especially for writing a document.

scroll bar ::: (graphics) A widget found in graphical user interfaces and used to show and control (scroll) which portion of a document is currently visible in a window. A window may have a horizontal or, most often, vertical scroll bar or both.A vertical scroll bar is a narrow strip drawn up the side of the window containing a bubble whose position in the scroll bar represents the position bubble to that point or move it some amount (typically a screenful) in that direction.Different WIMP systems define different standards for whether scroll bars appear on the left or right, top or bottom of the window, and for their behaviour.To reduce mouse movement, the up and down scroll buttons should either be next to each other at one end of the scroll bar (as in NEXTSTEP) or should reverse System and RISC OS). The fraction of the scroll bar filled by the bubble should indicate the fraction of the document visible in the window. (1998-06-26)

scroll bar "graphics" A {widget} found in {graphical user interfaces} and used to show and control ("scroll") which portion of a document is currently visible in a window. A window may have a horizontal or, most often, vertical scroll bar or both. A vertical scroll bar is a narrow strip drawn up the side of the window containing a "bubble" whose position in the scroll bar represents the position of the visible part within the whole document. By dragging the bubble with the mouse the user can scroll the view over the entire document. Arrow buttons are usually provided at the end(s) of the scroll bar to allow the window to be scrolled by a small amount, e.g. one line of text, in either direction by clicking them with the mouse. Some programs provide a second pair of buttons for scrolling a page at a time or some other unit. Clicking on the scroll bar outside the bubble will either, depending on the particular {WIMP}, move the bubble to that point or move it some amount (typically a screenful) in that direction. Different {WIMP} systems define different standards for whether scroll bars appear on the left or right, top or bottom of the window, and for their behaviour. To reduce mouse movement, the up and down scroll buttons should either be next to each other at one end of the scroll bar (as in {NEXTSTEP}) or should reverse their effect when clicked with the right-hand mouse button (as in the {X Window System} and {RISC OS}). The fraction of the scroll bar filled by the bubble should indicate the fraction of the document visible in the window. (1998-06-26)

scrolled ::: a. --> Formed like a scroll; contained in a scroll; adorned with scrolls; as, scrolled work.

scrolling "chat, games" To flood a {chat room} or {Internet game} with text or {macros} in an attempt to annoy the occupants. This can often cause the chat room to be "uninhabitable" due to the "noise" created by the scroller. Compare {spam}. (2001-03-27)

scrolling ::: (chat, games) To flood a chat room or Internet game with text or macros in an attempt to annoy the occupants. This can often cause the chat room to be uninhabitable due to the noise created by the scroller. Compare spam.(2001-03-27)

scroll "interface" (From a scroll of paper) To change the portion of a document displayed in a window or on a {VDU} screen. In a {graphical user interface}, scrolling is usually controlled by the user via {scroll bars}, whereas on a VDU the text scrolls up automatically as lines of data are output at the bottom of the screen. (2001-04-27)

scroll ::: n. --> A roll of paper or parchment; a writing formed into a roll; a schedule; a list.
An ornament formed of undulations giving off spirals or sprays, usually suggestive of plant form. Roman architectural ornament is largely of some scroll pattern.
A mark or flourish added to a person&


buhlwork ::: n. --> Decorative woodwork in which tortoise shell, yellow metal, white metal, etc., are inlaid, forming scrolls, cartouches, etc.

Burrows, Millar. The Dead Sea Scrolls. New York:

cedule ::: n. --> A scroll; a writing; a schedule.

Chumash ::: (Heb.) The five books of the Torah, bound in one volume (not a scroll).

Comments in Dupont-Sommer, The Dead Sea Scrolls.

Community (a scroll recently discovered among

companions. [Rf. Allegro, The Dead Sea Scrolls, p.

covered Dead Sea scrolls) speaks of “the Sheol of

Crown ::: Decorative ornament traditionally placed atop a Torah scroll as a sign of respect and grandeur.

dai-gohonzon. (大御本尊). In Japanese, lit. "great object of devotion"; the most important object of worship in the NICHIREN SHoSHu school of Japanese Buddhism. The dai-gohonzon is a plank of camphor wood that has at its center an inscription of homage to the title of the SADDHARMAPUndARĪKASuTRA ("Lotus Sutra")-NAMU MYoHo RENGEKYo, as well as the name of NICHIREN (1222-1282), surrounded by a cosmological chart (MAndALA) of the Buddhist universe, written in Nichiren's own hand in 1279. By placing namu Myohorengekyo and his name on the same line, the school understands that Nichiren meant that the teachings of the Saddharmapundarīkasutra and the person who proclaimed those teachings (Nichiren) are one and the same (ninpo ikka). The dai-gohonzon has been enshrined at TAISEKIJI, the administrative head temple of Nichiren Shoshu, since the temple's foundation in 1290; for this reason, the temple remains the major pilgrimage center for the school's adherents. The dai-gohonzon itself, the sanctuary (kaidan) where it is enshrined at Kaisekiji, and the teaching of namu Myohorengekyo, are together called the "three great esoteric laws" (SANDAI HIHo), because they were hidden between the lines of the Saddharmapundarīkasutra until Nichiren discovered them and revealed them to the world. Transcriptions of the mandala, called simply GOHONZON, are inscribed on wooden tablets in temples or on paper scrolls when they are enshrined in home altars. See also DAIMOKU.

Davies, A. Powell. The Meaning oj the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Midrash is a corpus of many works written over the span of many centuries (roughly the second to the eighth CE), mostly in the Holy Land. The chief collection of homiletic midrashic material is the Rabbah (&

Dead Sea scrolls. Ezriel is referred to as an arch¬

Dead Sea Scrolls ::: See Qumran. ::: Death Camp ::: Nazi extermination centers where Jews and non-Jews were brought to be put to death as part of Hitler's Final Solution during the Holocaust.

Dead Sea Scrolls, The. See Allegro, Bruce, Burrows,

demo /de'moh/ 1. A demonstration of a product, often of an early version or prototype. A demo is a far more effective way of inducing bugs to manifest themselves than any number of {test} runs, especially when important people are watching. 2. {demo version}. 3. A program written to demonstrate the programmer's coding ability and/or the power of the computer it runs on. Such demos are nearly always written in {machine code} and traditionally feature scrolling text about the author, his friends, his code and anything else he fancies and animated graphics. [{Jargon File}] (1994-11-04)

demo ::: /de'moh/ 1. A demonstration of a product, often of an early version or prototype. A demo is a far more effective way of inducing bugs to manifest themselves than any number of test runs, especially when important people are watching.2. demo version.3. A program written to demonstrate the programmer's coding ability and/or the power of the computer it runs on. Such demos are nearly always written in machine code and traditionally feature scrolling text about the author, his friends, his code and anything else he fancies and animated graphics.[Jargon File] (1994-11-04)

discovered Dead Sea scrolls there is one titled the

Discovery in the Judean Desert (The Dead Sea scrolls and

DOCMaker ::: (text, tool, product) An application for the Apple Macintosh which creates stand-alone, self-running document files. It features scrollable and re-sizable windows, graphics, varied text styles and fonts, full printing capability, and links to other software and information.Companies such as Federal Express, GTE, Hewlett-Packard, Iomega, Adobe Systems, Inc., Apple Computer and Aladdin use DOCMaker to distribute disk-based documentation with their products. . (1998-01-27)

DOCMaker "text, tool, product" An application for the {Apple} {Macintosh} which creates stand-alone, self-running document {files}. It features scrollable and re-sizable windows, graphics, varied text styles and {fonts}, full printing capability, and links to other {software} and {information}. Companies such as Federal Express, GTE, {Hewlett-Packard}, {Iomega}, {Adobe Systems, Inc.}, {Apple Computer} and {Aladdin} use DOCMaker to distribute disk-based {documentation} with their products. {(http://hsv.tis.net/~greenmtn/docm1.html)}. (1998-01-27)

driftpiece ::: n. --> An upright or curved piece of timber connecting the plank sheer with the gunwale; also, a scroll terminating a rail.

Dunhuang. (J. Tonko; K. Tonhwang 敦煌). A northwest Chinese garrison town on the edge of the Taklamakan desert in Central Asia, first established in the Han dynasty and an important stop along the ancient SILK ROAD; still seen written also as Tun-huang, followed the older Wade-Giles transcription. Today an oasis town in China's Gansu province, Dunhuang is often used to refer to the nearby complex of approximately five hunded Buddhist caves, including the MOGAO KU (Peerless Caves) to the southeast of town and the QIANFO DONG (Caves of the Thousand Buddhas) about twenty miles to the west. Excavations to build the caves at the Mogao site began in the late-fourth century CE and continued into the mid-fourteenth century CE. Of the more than one thousand caves that were hewn from the cliff face, roughly half were decorated. Along with the cave sites of LONGMEN and YUNGANG further east and BEZEKLIK and KIZIL to the west, the Mogao grottoes contain some of the most spectacular examples of ancient Buddhist sculpture and wall painting to be found anywhere in the world. Legend has it that in 366 CE a wandering monk named Yuezun had a vision of a thousand golden buddhas at a site along some cliffs bordering a creek and excavated the first cave in the cliffs for his meditation practice. Soon afterward, additional caves were excavated and the first monasteries established to serve the needs of the monks and merchants traveling to and from China along the Silk Road. The caves were largely abandoned in the fourteenth century. In the early twentieth century, Wang Yuanlu (1849-1931), self-appointed guardian of the Dunhuang caves, discovered a large cache of ancient manuscripts and paintings in Cave 17, a side chamber of the larger Cave 16. As rumors of these manuscripts reached Europe, explorer-scholars such as SIR MARC AUREL STEIN and PAUL PELLIOT set out across Central Asia to obtain samples of ancient texts and artwork buried in the ruins of the Taklamakan desert. Inside were hundreds of paintings on silk and tens of thousands of manuscripts dating from the fifth to roughly the eleventh centuries CE, forming what has been described as the world's earliest and largest paper archive. The texts were written in more than a dozen languages, including Chinese, Tibetan, Sanskrit, Sogdian, Uighur, Khotanese, Tangut, and TOCHARIAN and consisted of paper scrolls, wooden tablets, and one of the world's earliest printed books (868 CE), a copy of the VAJRACCHEDIKĀPRAJNĀPĀRAMITĀSuTRA ("Diamond Sutra"). In the seventh-century, a Tibetan garrison was based at Dunhuang, and materials discovered in the library cave also include some of the earliest documents in the Tibetan language. This hidden library cave was apparently sealed in the eleventh century. As a result of the competition between European, American, and Japanese institutions to acquire documents from Dunhuang, the material was dispersed among collections world-wide, making access to all the manuscripts difficult. Many items have still not been properly catalogued or conserved and there are scholarly disputes over what quantity of the materials are modern forgeries. In 1944 the Dunhuang Academy was established to document and study the site and in 1980 the site was opened to the public. In 1987 the Dunhuang caves were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and today are being preserved through the efforts of both Chinese and international groups.

Dupont-Sommer, A. The Dead Sea Scrolls, (tr. from the

escroll ::: n. --> A scroll.
A long strip or scroll resembling a ribbon or a band of parchment, or the like, anciently placed above the shield, and supporting the crest.
In modern heraldry, a similar ribbon on which the motto is inscribed.


Emacs ::: (text, tool) /ee'maks/ (Editing MACroS, or Extensible MACro System, GNU Emacs) A popular screen editor for Unix and most other operating systems.Emacs is distributed by the Free Software Foundation and was Richard Stallman's first step in the GNU project. Emacs is extensible - it is easy to add new display. Emacs is writen in C and the higher levels are programmed in Emacs Lisp.Emacs has an entire Lisp system inside it. It was originally written in TECO under ITS at the MIT AI lab. AI Memo 554 described it as an advanced, self-documenting, customisable, extensible real-time display editor.It includes facilities to view directories, run compilation subprocesses and send and receive electronic mail and Usenet news (GNUS). W3 is a web browser, reducing start-up time and memory consumption. Many hackers (including Denis Howe) spend more than 80% of their tube time inside Emacs.GNU Emacs is available for Unix, VMS, GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, MS Windows, MS-DOS, and other systems. Emacs has been re-implemented more than 30 times. Other variants include GOSMACS, CCA Emacs, UniPress Emacs, Montgomery Emacs, and XEmacs. Jove, epsilon, and MicroEmacs are limited look-alikes.Some Emacs versions running under window managers iconify as an overflowing kitchen sink, perhaps to suggest the one feature the editor does not (yet) Storage, and Emacs Makes A Computer Slow (see recursive acronym). See also vi.Latest version: 20.6, as of 2000-05-11. 21.1 (RSN) adds a new redisplay engine with support for proportional text, images, toolbars, tool tips, toolkit scroll bars, and a mouse-sensitive mode line.FTP from your nearest GNU archive site.E-mail: (bug reports only) .Usenet newsgroups: gnu.emacs.help, gnu.emacs.bug, alt.religion.emacs, gnu.emacs.sources, gnu.emacs.announce.[Jargon File] (1997-02-04)

Emacs "text, tool" /ee'maks/ (Editing MACroS, or Extensible MACro System, GNU Emacs) A popular {screen editor} for {Unix} and most other {operating systems}. Emacs is distributed by the {Free Software Foundation} and was {Richard Stallman}'s first step in the {GNU} project. Emacs is extensible - it is easy to add new functions; customisable - you can rebind keys, and modify the behaviour of existing functions; self-documenting - there is extensive on-line, context-sensitive help; and has a real-time "what you see is what you get" display. Emacs is writen in {C} and the higher levels are programmed in {Emacs Lisp}. Emacs has an entire {Lisp} system inside it. It was originally written in {TECO} under {ITS} at the {MIT} {AI lab}. AI Memo 554 described it as "an advanced, self-documenting, customisable, extensible real-time display editor". It includes facilities to view directories, run compilation subprocesses and send and receive {electronic mail} and {Usenet} {news} ({GNUS}). {W3} is a {web browser}, the ange-ftp package provides transparent access to files on remote {FTP} {servers}. {Calc} is a calculator and {symbolic mathematics} package. There are "modes" provided to assist in editing most well-known programming languages. Most of these extra functions are configured to load automatically on first use, reducing start-up time and memory consumption. Many hackers (including {Denis Howe}) spend more than 80% of their {tube time} inside Emacs. GNU Emacs is available for {Unix}, {VMS}, {GNU}/{Linux}, {FreeBSD}, {NetBSD}, {OpenBSD}, {MS Windows}, {MS-DOS}, and other systems. Emacs has been re-implemented more than 30 times. Other variants include {GOSMACS}, CCA Emacs, UniPress Emacs, Montgomery Emacs, and {XEmacs}. {Jove}, {epsilon}, and {MicroEmacs} are limited look-alikes. Some Emacs versions running under {window managers} iconify as an overflowing kitchen sink, perhaps to suggest the one feature the editor does not (yet) include. Indeed, some hackers find Emacs too {heavyweight} and {baroque} for their taste, and expand the name as "Escape Meta Alt Control Shift" to spoof its heavy reliance on keystrokes decorated with {bucky bits}. Other spoof expansions include "Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping", "Eventually "malloc()'s All Computer Storage", and "Emacs Makes A Computer Slow" (see {recursive acronym}). See also {vi}. Version 21.1 added a redisplay engine with support for {proportional text}, images, {toolbars}, {tool tips}, toolkit scroll bars and a mouse-sensitive mode line. {FTP} from your nearest {GNU archive site}. E-mail: (bug reports only) "bug-gnu-emacs@gnu.org". {Usenet} newsgroups: {news:gnu.emacs.help}, {news:gnu.emacs.bug}, {news:alt.religion.emacs}, {news:gnu.emacs.sources}, {news:gnu.emacs.announce}. [{Jargon File}] (1997-02-04)

escrol ::: n. --> Alt. of Escroll

Gelilah ::: (Heb. The rolling) The act of rolling a Torah scroll after it is read. Such a task is given as an honor and often to young children.

glitch ::: /glich/ [German glitschen to slip, via Yiddish glitshen, to slide or skid] 1. (Electronics) When the inputs of a circuit change, and the outputs change to reading the random value, the results can be very wrong and very hard to debug (a glitch is one of many causes of electronic heisenbugs).2. A sudden interruption in electric service, sanity, continuity, or program function. Sometimes recoverable. An interruption in electric service is specifically called a power glitch (or power hit), of grave concern because it usually crashes all the computers. See also gritch.2. [Stanford] To scroll a display screen, especially several lines at a time. WAITS terminals used to do this in order to avoid continuous scrolling, which is distracting to the eye.4. Obsolete. Same as magic cookie.[Jargon File]

glitch /glich/ [German "glitschen" to slip, via Yiddish "glitshen", to slide or skid] 1. (Electronics) When the inputs of a circuit change, and the outputs change to some {random} value for some very brief time before they settle down to the correct value. If another circuit inspects the output at just the wrong time, reading the random value, the results can be very wrong and very hard to debug (a glitch is one of many causes of electronic {heisenbugs}). 2. A sudden interruption in electric service, sanity, continuity, or program function. Sometimes recoverable. An interruption in electric service is specifically called a "power glitch" (or {power hit}), of grave concern because it usually crashes all the computers. See also {gritch}. 2. [Stanford] To scroll a display screen, especially several lines at a time. {WAITS} terminals used to do this in order to avoid continuous scrolling, which is distracting to the eye. 4. Obsolete. Same as {magic cookie}. [{Jargon File}]

Hakafot (&

inscrolled ::: imp. & p. p. --> of Inscroll

inscrolling ::: p. pr. & vb. n. --> of Inscroll

inscroll ::: v. t. --> To write on a scroll; to record.

in the Dead Sea scroll. War of the Sous of Light

In the recently discovered Dead Sea scrolls, one of

Ippen. (一遍) (1239-1289). Japanese itinerant holy man (HIJIRI) and reputed founder of the JISHU school of the Japanese PURE LAND tradition. Due perhaps to his own antinomian proclivities, Ippen's life remains a mixture of history and legend. Ippen was a native of Iyo in Shikoku. In 1249, after his mother's death, Ippen became a monk at the urging of his father, a Buddhist monk, and was given the name Zuien. In 1251, Ippen traveled to Dazaifu in northern Kyushu, where he studied under the monk Shodatsu (d.u.). In 1263, having learned of his father's death, Ippen returned to Iyo and briefly married. In 1271, Ippen visited Shodatsu once more and made a pilgrimage to the monastery of ZENKoJI in Shinano to see its famous Amida (AMITĀBHA) triad. His visit to Zenkoji is said to have inspired Ippen to go on retreat, spending half a year in a hut that he built in his hometown of Iyo. The site of his retreat, Sugo, was widely known as a sacred place of practice for mountain ascetics (YAMABUSHI). In 1272, Ippen set out for the monastery of SHITENNoJI in osaka, where he is said to have received the ten precepts. At this time, Ippen also developed the eponymous practice known as ippen nenbutsu (one-time invocation of the name [see NIANFO] of the buddha Amitābha), which largely consists of the uttering the phrase NAMU AMIDABUTSU as if this one moment were the time of one's death. Ippen widely propagated this teaching wherever he went, and, to those who complied, he offered an amulet (fusan), which he said would assure rebirth in Amitābha's pure land. From Shitennoji, Ippen made a pilgrimage to KoYASAN and a shrine at KUMANO, where he is said to have had a revelation from a local manifestation of Amitābha. Ippen then began the life of an itinerant preacher, in the process acquiring a large following now known as the Jishu. In 1279, Ippen began performing nenbutsu while dancing with drums and bells, a practice known as odori nenbutsu and developed first by the monk KuYA. Ippen continued to wander through the country, spreading his teaching until his death. A famous set of twelve narrative hand scrolls known as the Ippen hijiri e ("The Illustrated Biography of the Holy Man Ippen") is an important source for the study of Ippen's life. Currently designated a Japanese national treasure (kokuho), the Ippen hijiri e was completed in 1299 on the tenth anniversary of Ippen's death. See also ICHINENGI.

Kālika. [alt. Karīka] (T. Dus ldan; C. Jialijia zunzhe; J. Karika sonja; K. Kariga chonja 迦里迦尊者). The Sanskrit name of one of the sixteen ARHAT elders (sOdAsASTHAVIRA), who were charged by the Buddha with protecting his dispensation until the advent of the next Buddha, MAITREYA. Kālika is said to reside in the Lion's Island (SiMhatā; viz., Sri Lanka) with one thousand disciples. According to Chinese tradition, Kālika used to be an elephant tamer. (Because elephants have both great strength and endurance, they are a common symbol of the BUDDHADHARMA.) Because of this talent, he earned the nickname "Elephant-Riding Arhat" (Jixiang Luohan). In Tibetan iconography, he holds two earrings; East Asian images often portray him as an old man reading a scroll. In Chanyue Guanxiu's standard Chinese depiction, Kālika is encircled by long eyebrows, sitting in easy comfort on a rock, with his right arm wrapped around his right knee, and his long eyebrows twisted around his fingers. His right hand is placed naturally on an adjacent rock.

Katsuragisan. (J) (葛城山). Mountain practice site on the border between the present-day Japanese prefectures of Nara and osaka, which was an important center of SHUGENDo practice. The semilegendary founder of Shugendo, EN NO OZUNU (b. 634), is said to have lived for some thirty years in a cave on this mountain. Since En no Ozunu was considered to be a manifestation of Hoki Bosatsu (DHARMODGATA) who, according to the AVATAMSAKASuTRA, lived in the Diamond Mountains, the Katsuragi range includes the appositely named KONGoSAN (Mt. Kongo; see also KŬMGANGSAN). Like many sacred mountains around Japan, there are encased sutras known to be interred in Katsuragisan region. Twenty-eight buried scrolls (J. kyozuka) of the SADDHARMAPUndARĪKASuTRA ("Lotus Sutra")-corresponding to its twenty-eight chapters-were presumed to have been buried at Mt. Katsuragi, according to the late twelfth-century Shozan engi text. Also purportedly interred on the mountain are twenty-nine scrolls of the Nyohokyo (C. *Rufa jing) and eight hannyakyo (PRAJNAPĀRAMITĀ) scrolls. During the Heian period, burying Buddhist scriptures at mountains in Japan served the dual role of physically sacralizing the mountain and also preserving the dharma in the face of the religion's predicted demise (J. mappo; C. MOFA).

Lachesis (Greek) Lot, destiny; second of the three Moirae (Fates), represented in Greek mythology as allotting to each person the characteristics as well as the length of his life, measuring these by the thread which they spun. Lachesis measured the thread spun by her sister Clotho, which then was cut by Atropos. She is often represented as a maiden with a scroll or globe.

leges, and place in them scrolls of the law with

ma ni 'khor lo. In Tibetan, lit. "MAnI wheel," commonly rendered into English as a "prayer wheel"; a device for the repetition of a MANTRA, so-called because of its frequent use in conjunction with repetitions of the mantra OM MAnI PADME HuM. The device, commonly used in Tibetan Buddhism, is a hollow cylinder ranging in length from a few inches to a few feet, filled with a long scroll of paper on which a mantra has been printed thousands of times. The scroll is wrapped tightly around the central axis of the device and enclosed in the cylinder. Each turn of the wheel is considered the equivalent of one recitation of the mantra, multiplied by the number of times the mantra is printed on the scroll. Smaller prayer wheels are carried and spun in the left hand while a rosary (JAPAMĀLĀ) is counted in the right hand as the mantra is recited. Larger versions are often mounted in a series along walls; very large wheels may even fill a small temple, where they are turned by pushing handles at their base. There are also wheels that are turned by the wind, water, or convection.

Mansoor, Menahem. The Dead Sea Scrolls. Grand Rapids:

Megillah ::: (Heb., “scroll”). Usually refers to the biblical scroll of Esther read on the festival of Purim.

Megillat Esther ::: Story of Purim written on a scroll of parchment that was incorporated into the Tanakh.

Megillat Ha'atzmaut ::: Scroll on which the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel is inscribed, proclaimed in Tel Aviv on the 5th of Iyar 5708 (May 15, 1948).

Mezuzah ::: parchment scroll attached to doorpost

Mezuzah ::: (pl. mezuzot; "doorpost"). A parchment scroll with selected Torah verses (Deuteronomy 6.4-9; 11.13-21) placed in a container and affixed to the exterior doorposts (at the right side of the entrance) of observant Jewish homes (see Deuteronomy 6.1-4), and sometimes also to interior doorposts of rooms. The word shaddai (almighty) usually is inscribed on the back of the container.

Miaoshan. (J. Myozen; K. Myoson 妙善). In Chinese, "Sublime Wholesomeness"; a legendary Chinese princess who is said to have been an incarnation of the BODHISATTVA GUANYIN (S. AVALOKITEsVARA). According to legend, Princess Miaoshan was the youngest of three daughters born to King Zhuangyan. As in the legend of Prince SIDDHĀRTHA, Miaoshan refused to fulfill the social expectations of her father and instead endured great privations in order to pursue her Buddhist practice. In frustration, Miaoshan's father banished her to a convent, where the nuns were ordered to break the princess's religious resolve. The nuns were ultimately unsuccessful, however, and in anger, the king ordered the convent set ablaze. Miaoshan escaped to the mountain of Xiangshan, where she pursued a reclusive life. After several years, her father contracted jaundice, which, according to his doctors' diagnosis, was caused by his disrespect toward the three jewels (RATNATRAYA). The only thing that could cure him would be a tonic made from the eyes and ears of a person who was completely free from anger. As fate would have it, the only person who fulfilled this requirement turned out to be his own daughter. When Miaoshan heard of her father's dilemma, she willingly donated her eyes and ears for the tonic; and upon learning of their daughter's selfless generosity and filiality, Miaoshan's father and mother both repented and became devoted lay Buddhists. Miaoshan then apotheosized into the goddess Guanyin, specifically her manifestation as the "thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Guanyin" (SĀHASRABHUJASĀHASRANETRĀVALOKITEsVARA). Later redactions of the legend include Miaoshan's visit to hell, where she was said to have relieved the suffering of the hell denizens. The earliest reference to the Miaoshan legend appears in stele fragments that date from the early eleventh century, discovered at a site near Hangzhou. Other written sources include the Xiangshan baojuan ("Precious Scroll of Xiangshan Mountain"), which was revealed to a monk and then transmitted and disseminated by a minor civil servant. With the advent of the Princess Miaoshan legend, the Upper Tianzhu monastery, already recognized as early as the tenth century as a Guanyin worship site, became a major pilgrimage center. The earliest complete rendition of the Miaoshan legend dates from the early Song dynasty (c. twelve century). Thereafter, several renditions of the legend were produced up through the Qing dynasty.

mouse "hardware, graphics" The most commonly used computer {pointing device}, first introduced by {Douglas Engelbart} in 1968. The mouse is a device used to manipulate an on-screen {pointer} that's normally shaped like an arrow. With the mouse in hand, the computer user can select, move, and change items on the screen. A conventional {roller-ball mouse} is slid across the surface of the desk, often on a {mouse mat}. As the mouse moves, a ball set in a depression on the underside of the mouse rolls accordingly. The ball is also in contact with two small shafts set at right angles to each other inside the mouse. The rotating ball turns the shafts, and sensors inside the mouse measure the shafts' rotation. The distance and direction information from the sensors is then transmitted to the computer, usually through a connecting wire - the mouse's "tail". The computer then moves the mouse pointer on the screen to follow the movements of the mouse. This may be done directly by the {graphics adaptor}, but where it involves the processor the task should be assigned a high {priority} to avoid any perceptible delay. Some mice are contoured to fit the shape of a person's right hand, and some come in left-handed versions. Other mice are symmetrical. Included on the mouse are usually two or three buttons that the user may press, or click, to initiate various actions such as running {programs} or opening {files}. The left-most button (the {primary mouse button}) is operated with the index finger to select and activate objects represented on the screen. Different {operating systems} and {graphical user interfaces} have different conventions for using the other button(s). Typical operations include calling up a {context-sensitive menu}, modifying the selection, or pasting text. With fewer mouse buttons these require combinations of mouse and keyboard actions. Between its left and right buttons, a mouse may also have a wheel that can be used for scrolling or other special operations defined by the software. Some systems allow the mouse button assignments to be swapped round for left-handed users. Just moving the pointer across the screen with the mouse typically does nothing (though some CAD systems respond to patterns of mouse movement with no buttons pressed). Normally, the pointer is positioned over something on the screen (an {icon} or a {menu} item), and the user then clicks a mouse button to actually affect the screen display. The five most common "gestures" performed with the mouse are: {point} (to place the pointer over an on-screen item), {click} (to press and release a mouse button), {double-click} {to press and release a mouse button twice in rapid succession}, {right-click} (to press and release the right mouse button}, and {drag} (to hold down the mouse button while moving the mouse). Most modern computers include a mouse as standard equipment. However, some systems, especially portable {laptop} and {notebook} models, may have a {trackball}, {touchpad} or {Trackpoint} on or next to the {keyboard}. These input devices work like the mouse, but take less space and don't need a desk. Many other alternatives to the conventional roller-ball mouse exist. A {tailless mouse}, or {hamster}, transmits its information with {infrared} impulses. A {foot-controlled mouse (http://footmouse.com/)} is one used on the floor underneath the desk. An {optical mouse} uses a {light-emitting diode} and {photocells} instead of a rolling ball to track its position. Some optical designs may require a special mouse mat marked with a grid, others, like the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, work on nearly any surface. {Yahoo! (http://dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Companies/Computers/Hardware/Peripherals/Input_Devices/Mice/)}. {(http://peripherals.about.com/library/weekly/aa041498.htm)}. {PC Guide's "Troubleshooting Mice" (http://pcguide.com/ts/x/comp/mice.htm)}. (1999-07-21)

mouse ::: (hardware, graphics) The most commonly used computer pointing device, first introduced by Douglas Engelbart in 1968. The mouse is a device used to mouse in hand, the computer user can select, move, and change items on the screen.A conventional roller-ball mouse is slid across the surface of the desk, often on a mouse mat. As the mouse moves, a ball set in a depression on the underside processor the task should be assigned a high priority to avoid any perceptible delay.Some mice are contoured to fit the shape of a person's right hand, and some come in left-handed versions. Other mice are symmetrical.Included on the mouse are usually two or three buttons that the user may press, or click, to initiate various actions such as running programs or opening files. scrolling or other special operations defined by the software. Some systems allow the mouse button assignments to be swapped round for left-handed users.Just moving the pointer across the screen with the mouse typically does nothing (though some CAD systems respond to patterns of mouse movement with no buttons icon or a menu item), and the user then clicks a mouse button to actually affect the screen display.The five most common gestures performed with the mouse are: point (to place the pointer over an on-screen item), click (to press and release a mouse succession, right-click (to press and release the right mouse button}, and drag (to hold down the mouse button while moving the mouse).Most modern computers include a mouse as standard equipment. However, some systems, especially portable laptop and notebook models, may have a trackball, touchpad or Trackpoint on or next to the keyboard. These input devices work like the mouse, but take less space and don't need a desk.Many other alternatives to the conventional roller-ball mouse exist. A tailless mouse, or hamster, transmits its information with infrared impulses. A marked with a grid, others, like the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, work on nearly any surface. . . . (1999-07-21)

Neumann, Henry. The Dead Sea Scrolls. New York:

OLE custom controls "programming" (OCX) An {Object Linking and Embedding} (OLE) custom control allowing infinite extension of the {Microsoft Access} control set. OCX is similar in purpose to {VBX} used in {Visual Basic}. Available OCX's include "Scroll Bar Control", "Calendar Control", and "Data Outline Control". [Details?] (1995-12-05)

OLE custom controls ::: (programming) (OCX) An Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) custom control allowing infinite extension of the Microsoft Access control set. OCX is similar in purpose to VBX used in Visual Basic. Available OCX's include Scroll Bar Control, Calendar Control, and Data Outline Control.[Details?] (1995-12-05)

pager ::: 1. (hardware, communications) (Or beeper, bleeper (UK?)) A small wireless receiver that, when triggered (generally via phone), will beep or vibrate (un)pleasantly. The wearer will have been trained to respond to this signal by looking at a small screen on the device for an unimportant message.In recent years, pagers have grown more complex, allowing for long alphanumeric messages to be received and scrolled though (as opposed to earlier models, which integrated into some PDAs. If this trend continues, the distinction between PDAs and high-end pagers will disappear.Short Message Service allows a mobile phone to display a message, just like an alphanumeric pager.2. (tool) A program for viewing a text file a screenful at a time via a text terminal, as opposed to scrolling through it in a GUI window, or catting it all at once to the terminal.The best known pagers are more, less, pg and list.com. (1997-09-11)

pager 1. "hardware, communications" (Or "beeper", "bleeper" (UK?)) A small wireless receiver that, when triggered (generally via phone), will beep or vibrate (un)pleasantly. The wearer will have been trained to respond to this signal by looking at a small screen on the device for an unimportant message. In recent years, pagers have grown more complex, allowing for long {alphanumeric} messages to be received and scrolled though (as opposed to earlier models, which supported only short numeric messages); at the same time as pager functions are integrated into some {PDAs}. If this trend continues, the distinction between {PDAs} and high-end {pagers} will disappear. {Short Message Service} allows a mobile phone to display a message, just like an alphanumeric pager. 2. "tool" A program for viewing a {text file} a screenful at a time via a text {terminal}, as opposed to scrolling through it in a {GUI} window, or {cat}ting it all at once to the terminal. The best known pagers are {more}, {less}, pg and list.com. (1997-09-11)

Panthaka. [alt. Mahāpanthaka] (P. Mahāpanthaka; T. Lam chen bstan; C. Bantuojia; J. Hantaka; K. Pant'akka 半託迦). An ARHAT known for his mastery of the four immaterial absorptions (ĀRuPYADHYĀNA); according to Pāli sources, the Buddha declared him foremost in the ability to manipulate perception (saNNāvivattakusalānaM). Panthaka was the elder of two brothers born to a merchant's daughter from RĀJAGṚHA who had eloped with a slave. After she became pregnant, she decided to return home to give birth, but the infant was born along the way. This happened again when she gave birth to her second child. Because both he and his younger brother, CudAPANTHAKA, were born along the side of a road, they were given the names, "Greater" and "Lesser" Roadside. The boys were eventually taken to Rājagṛha and raised by their grandparents, who were devoted to the Buddha. Panthaka often accompanied his grandfather to listen to the Buddha's sermons and was inspired to ordain. He proved to be an able monk, skilled in doctrine, and eventually attained arhatship. He later ordained his younger brother Cudapanthaka but was gravely disappointed in his brother's inability to memorize even a single verse of the dharma. He treated Cudapanthaka with such contempt that the Buddha intervened on his behalf, giving the younger brother a simple technique by which he too attained arhatship. ¶ Panthaka is also traditionally listed as tenth of the sixteen ARHAT elders (sOdAsASTHAVIRA), who were charged by the Buddha with protecting his dispensation until the advent of the next buddha, MAITREYA; his younger brother Cudapanthaka is the sixteenth on that list. Panthaka resides in the TRĀYASTRIMsA heaven (the heaven of the thirty-three devas) with 1,300 disciples. Panthaka was good at arithmetic and an expert in chanting and music. When sitting in meditation, Panthaka often sat in half-lotus posture; and after his finished his sitting, he would raise both his hands and take a deep breath. For this reason, he was given the nickname "the Arhat who Reaches Out His Hands" (Tanshou Luohan). In CHANYUE GUANXIU's standard Chinese depiction, Panthaka has placed his sitting-cloth on a rock, where he sits in meditation, with a sash across his shoulders. Holding a scroll in both hands, he appears to be reading a SuTRA.

papyrus ::: n. --> A tall rushlike plant (Cyperus Papyrus) of the Sedge family, formerly growing in Egypt, and now found in Abyssinia, Syria, Sicily, etc. The stem is triangular and about an inch thick.
The material upon which the ancient Egyptians wrote. It was formed by cutting the stem of the plant into thin longitudinal slices, which were gummed together and pressed.
A manuscript written on papyrus; esp., pl., written scrolls made of papyrus; as, the papyri of Egypt or Herculaneum.


Pelliot, Paul. (1878-1945). French Sinologist, whose retrieval of thousands of manuscripts from DUNHUANG greatly advanced the modern understanding of Buddhism along the ancient SILK ROAD. A pupil of SYLVAIN LÉVI (1863-1935), Pelliot was appointed to the École Française d'Extreme-Orient in Hanoi in 1899. In 1906, Pelliot turned his attention to Chinese Central Asia, leading an expedition from Paris to Tumchuq and KUCHA, where he unearthed documents in the lost TOCHARIAN language. In Urumchi, Pelliot received word of the hidden library cave at Dunhuang discovered by AUREL STEIN and arrived at the site in February 1908. There, he spent three weeks reading through an estimated twenty thousand scrolls. Like Stein, Pelliot sent thousands of manuscripts to Europe to be studied and preserved. Unlike Stein, who knew no Chinese or Prakritic languages, Pelliot was able to more fully appreciate the range of documents at Dunhuang, selecting texts in Chinese, Tibetan, Khotanese, Sogdian (see SOGDIANA), and Uighur and paying particular attention to unusual texts, including rare Christian and Manichaean manuscripts. Today these materials form the Pelliot collection of Dunhuang materials in the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris. Ironically, it was Pelliot's announcement of the Dunhuang manuscript cache to scholars in Beijing in May 1908 that resulted in the immediate closing of the site to all foreigners. Pelliot returned to Paris in 1909, only to be confronted by the erroneous claim that he had returned with forged manuscripts. These charges were proved false only in 1912 with the publication of Stein's book, Ruins of Desert Cathay, which made clear that Stein had left manuscripts behind in Dunhuang. In 1911, Pelliot was made chair of Central Asian Languages at the Collège de France and dedicated the rest of his career to the study of both China and Central Asia. During the First World War, Pelliot served as French military attaché in Beijing. In the postwar years he was an active member of the Société Asiatique. In 1920, he succeeded Édouard Chavannes as the editor of the journal T'oung Pao. His vast erudition, combined with his knowledge of some thirteen languages, made him one of the leading scholars of Asia of his generation.

Pentateuch ::: (from Greek for “five books/scrolls”). The five books attributed to Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy; known in Jewish tradition as Torat Mosheh (the teaching of Moses), or simply the Torah.

plan file ::: (operating system) On Unix systems that support finger, the .plan file in a user's home directory is displayed when the user is fingered. This feature humorous and self-expressive purposes (like a sig block). See also Hacking X for Y.A later innovation in plan files was the introduction of scrolling plan files which are one-dimensional animations made using only the printable ASCII sequences, since the finger command will (for security reasons; see letterbomb) not pass the escape character.Scrolling .plan files have become art forms in miniature, and some sites have started competitions to find who can create the longest running, funniest, and most original animations. A compiler (ASP) is available on Usenet for producing them. Typical animation components include: Centipede: mmmmmeLorry/Truck: oo-oP a much richer forum for the publication of personal minutiae and digital creativity.See also twirling baton.[Jargon File] (1998-01-16)

plan file "operating system" On {Unix} systems that support {finger}, the ".plan" file in a user's {home directory} is displayed when the user is fingered. This feature was originally intended to be used to keep potential fingerers apprised of one's location and near-future plans, but has been turned almost universally to humorous and self-expressive purposes (like a {sig block}). See also {Hacking X for Y}. A later innovation in plan files was the introduction of "scrolling plan files" which are one-dimensional animations made using only the printable {ASCII} character set, {carriage return} and {line feed}, avoiding terminal specific {escape sequences}, since the {finger} command will (for security reasons; see {letterbomb}) not pass the {escape} character. Scrolling .plan files have become art forms in miniature, and some sites have started competitions to find who can create the longest running, funniest, and most original animations. A compiler (ASP) is available on {Usenet} for producing them. Typical animation components include: Centipede: mmmmme Lorry/Truck: oo-oP Andalusian Video Snail: _@/ In the mid-1990s {WWW} {home pages} largely supplanted .plan files, providing a much richer forum for the publication of personal minutiae and digital creativity. See also {twirling baton}. [{Jargon File}] (1998-01-16)

pull-down menu ::: (operating system) (Or drop-down menu, pop-down menu) A menu in a graphical user interface, whose title is normally visible but whose contents are by dragging the mouse from the menu title to the item and releasing or by clicking the title and then the item.When a pull-down menu appears in the main area of a window, as opposed to the menu bar, it may have a small, downward-pointing triangle to the right.Compare: scrollable list. (1999-09-22)

pull-down menu "operating system" (Or "drop-down menu", "pop-down menu") A {menu} in a {graphical user interface}, whose title is normally visible but whose contents are revealed only when the user activates it, normally by pressing the {mouse} button while the {pointer} is over the title, whereupon the menu items appear below the title. The user may then select an item from the menu or click elsewhere, in either case the menu contents are hidden again. A menu item is selected either by dragging the mouse from the menu title to the item and releasing or by clicking the title and then the item. When a pull-down menu appears in the main area of a window, as opposed to the {menu bar}, it may have a small, downward-pointing triangle to the right. Compare: {scrollable list}. (1999-09-22)

Qumran or Khirbet Qumran ::: The site near the northwest corner of the Dead Sea in modern Israel where the main bulk of the Jewish “Dead Sea Scrolls” were discovered around 1946. The “Qumran community” that apparently produced the scrolls seems to have flourished from the 3rd century B.C.E. to the 1st century CE, and is usually identified with the Jewish Essenes, or a group like them.

Sash ::: A sash or belt is used to tie the Sefer Torah scroll together when it is not being read because otherwise it would come unrolled.

schedule ::: n. --> A written or printed scroll or sheet of paper; a document; especially, a formal list or inventory; a list or catalogue annexed to a larger document, as to a will, a lease, a statute, etc. ::: v. t. --> To form into, or place in, a schedule. html{color:

scrit ::: n. --> Writing; document; scroll.

SCROLL ::: String and Character Recording Oriented Logogrammatic Language.[SCROLL - A Pattern Recording Language, M. Sargent, Proc SJCC 36 (1970)]. (1994-12-01)

SCROLL String and Character Recording Oriented Logogrammatic Language. ["SCROLL - A Pattern Recording Language", M. Sargent, Proc SJCC 36 (1970)]. (1994-12-01)

scrool /skrool/ [The pioneering Roundtable chat system in Houston ca. 1984; probably originated as a typo for "scroll"] The log of old messages, available for later perusal or to help one get back in synch with the conversation. It was originally called the "scrool monster", because an early version of the roundtable software had a bug where it would dump all 8K of scrool on a user's terminal. [{Jargon File}]

scrool ::: /skrool/ [The pioneering Roundtable chat system in Houston ca. 1984; probably originated as a typo for scroll] The log of old messages, available for later roundtable software had a bug where it would dump all 8K of scrool on a user's terminal.[Jargon File]

scrow ::: n. --> A scroll.
A clipping from skins; a currier&


Second Temple Period (520 B.C.-70 A.D.) ::: A time of crucial development for monotheistic religions; ended with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Period in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were copied.

Sefer K'ritut ::: (Lit. scroll of cutting off). A writ of divorce. Also called a get.

Sefer Torah ::: Torah scroll used for public reading in the synagogue.

Sesshu Toyo. (雪舟等楊) (1420-1506). A Japanese monk-painter of the Muromachi (1337-1573) period, best known for his use of realism in landscape painting. He was born to a warrior family in Bitchu province (present-day Okayama Prefecture, in the southwestern part of the main Japanese island of Honshu) and became a ZEN monk in the RINZAISHu tradition in 1431. From early in his monastic career, however, Sesshu (lit. Snow Boat) showed more interest in painting than in Zen training. Around 1440, he moved to SHoKOKUJI, one of the GOZAN (five mountains) temples of Kyoto, where he received formal training in Chinese painting of the Song-dynasty (960-1279) style from Tensho Shubun (d. c. 1444-1450), the most famous monk-painter of his time. In 1467, Sesshu traveled to China, where he studied the emerging Ming style of painting. After returning to Japan in 1469, he established an atelier in present-day oita Prefecture in Kyushu; subsequently, he moved to present-day Yamaguchi prefecture in the far west of Honshu in 1486. Using his "splashed-ink" (haboku) style, he established a style of realism in landscape painting, which included bold brush strokes and splashes of ink, with subtle tones. Many students gathered around him, later forming what became known as the Unkoku-rin (Cloud Valley) school, after the name of the monastery where Sesshu served as abbot. Sesshu's best-known works include his 1486 Sansui chokan ("Long Landscape Scroll"), a fifty-foot-long scroll depicting the four seasons; Haboku sansui ("Splashed-Ink Landscape") of 1495; and the Ama-no-Hashidate zu ("View of Ama-no-Hashidate") of c. 1501-1505, which offers an unusual bird's-eye view of a picturesque sandbar, bay, and mountains in Tango province facing the Sea of Japan/East Sea. Sesshu is often judged to be the greatest of all Japanese painters.

sodasasthavira. (T. gnas brtan bcu drug; C. shiliu zunzhe; J. jurokusonja; K. simnyuk chonja 十六尊者). In Sanskrit, "the sixteen elders" (most commonly known in the East Asian tradition as the "sixteen ARHATs"); a group of sixteen venerated arhat (C. LUOHAN) disciples of the Buddha whom the Buddha orders to forgo NIRVĀnA and to continue to dwell in this world in order to preserve the Buddhist teachings until the coming of the future buddha, MAITREYA. Each of these arhats is assigned an (often mythical) residence and a retinue of disciples. With Maitreya's advent, they will gather the relics of the current buddha sĀKYAMUNI and erect one last STuPA to hold them, after which they will finally pass into PARINIRVĀnA. The sāriputraparipṛcchā ("Sutra on sāriputra's Questions"), which was translated at least by the Eastern Jin dynasty (317-420 CE) but may date closer to the beginning of the millennium, mentions four great monks (mahā-BHIKsU) to whom the Buddha entrusted the propagation of the teachings after his death: MAHĀKĀsYAPA, PIndOLA, Kundovahan (C. Juntoupohan, "Holder of the Mongoose," apparently identical to BAKKULA), and RĀHULA. The MILE XIASHENG JING ("Sutra on the Advent of Maitreya"), translated in 303 CE by DHARMARAKsA, states instead that the Buddha instructed these same four monks to wait until after the buddhadharma of the current dispensation was completely extinct before entering PARINIRVĀnA. The sāriputraparipṛcchā's account is also found in the FAHUA WENJU by TIANTAI ZHIYI (538-597) of the Sui dynasty. The Mahāyānāvatāra (C. Ru dasheng lun; "Entry into the Mahāyāna"), a treatise written by Sāramati (C. Jianyi) and translated into Chinese c. 400 CE by Daotai of the Northern Liang dynasty (397-439) first mentions "sixteen" great disciples (mahā-sRĀVAKA) who disperse throughout the world to preserve the Buddha's teachings after his death, but does not name them. Indeed, it is not until the Tang dynasty that the full list of sixteen disciples who preserve the buddhadharma is first introduced into the Chinese tradition. This complete list first appears in the Nandimitrāvadāna (Da aluohan Nantimiduo luo suoshuo fazhu ji, abbr. Fazhu ji, "Record of the Duration of the Dharma Spoken by the Great Arhat NANDIMITRA"), which was translated by XUANZANG in 654 CE. (Nandimitra [C. Qingyou zunzhe] was born in the second century CE in Sri Lanka.) This text tells the story of the Buddha's special charge to this group of elders and offers each of their names, residences, and numbers of disciples. JINGQI ZHANRAN's (711-782) Fahua wenju ji, a commentary to TIANTAI ZHIYI's (538-597) FAHUA WENJU, also cites an account from the apocryphal Ratnameghasutra (Bao yun jing) that the Buddha charged sixteen "worthy ones" (S. arhat; C. luohan) with preserving the BUDDHADHARMA until the advent of Maitreya, after which they could then enter parinirvāna. Zhanran's citation of this sutra gives the names of each of the sixteen arhats, along with their residence and the number of their followers; but while Pindola's and Rāhula's names are included in the sixteen, Mahākāsyapa is not mentioned. According to the Xuanhe huapu ("The Xuanhe Chronology of Painting"), the earliest Chinese iconography showing a group of sixteen disciples probably dates to the Liang dynasty (502-557), when ZHANG SENGYAO (d.u.; fl c. 502-549) first painted a rendering of the sodasasthavira. After the Nandimitrāvadāna was translated into Chinese in the middle of the seventh century, the group of sixteen elders became so universally revered within China that many verses, paintings, and sculptures were dedicated to them. As a group, they appear frequently in East Asian monastic art, each arhat specifically identified by his unique (and often wildly exaggerated) physical characteristics. The most renowned such painting was made at the end of the ninth century by the monk CHANYUE GUANXIU (832-912); his work became the standard presentation of the sixteen. His vivid portrayal of the arhats offers an extreme, stylized rendition of how the Chinese envisioned "Indians" (fan) or "Westerners" (hu). He gives each of his subjects a distinctive bearing and deportment and unique phrenological features and physical characteristics; these features are subsequently repeated routinely in the Chinese artistic tradition. The standard roster of arhats now recognized in the East Asian tradition, in their typical order, are (1) PIndOLA BHĀRADVĀJA; (2) KANAKAVATSA; (3) KANAKA BHĀRADVĀJA; (4) SUBINDA [alt. Suvinda]; (5) BAKKULA [alt. Bākula, Nakula]; (6) BHADRA; (7) KĀLIKA [alt. Karīka]; (8) VAJRAPUTRA; (9) JĪVAKA; (10) PANTHAKA; (11) RĀHULA; (12) NĀGASENA; (13) AnGAJA; (14) VANAVĀSIN; (15) AJITA; (16) CudAPANTHAKA. Sometime before the Song dynasty, the Chinese occasionally added two extra arhats to the roster, possibly in response to Daoist configurations of teachers, giving a total of eighteen. The most common of these additional members were Nandimitra (the putative subject of the text in which the protectors are first mentioned by name) and Pindola Bhāradvāja (another transcription of the arhat who already appears on the list), although Mahākāsyapa also frequently appears. The Tibetan tradition adds still other figures. In a standard form of the Tibetan ritual, the sixteen elders are listed as Angaja, Ajita, Vanavāsin, Kālika, Vajraputra, Bhadra, Kanakavatsa, Kanaka Bhāradvāja, Bakkula, Rāhula, Cudapanthaka, Pindola Bhāradvāja, Panthaka, Nāgasena, GOPAKA (Sbed byed), and Abheda (Mi phyed pa). They are visualized together with sākyamuni Buddha whose teaching they have been entrusted to protect, their benefactor the layman (UPĀSAKA) Dharmatāla [alt. Dharmatāra, Dharmatrāta], and the four great kings (CATURMAHĀRĀJA) VAIsRAVAnA [alt. Kubera], DHṚTARĀstRA, VIRudHAKA, and VIRuPĀKsA. Each of the elders is described as having a particular scroll, begging bowl, staff, and so on, and in a particular posture with a set number of arhats. They come miraculously from their different sacred abodes, assemble, are praised, and worshipped with the recitation of the bodhisattva SAMANTABHADRA's ten vows in the BHADRACARĪPRAnIDHĀNA. Then, with solemn requests to protect the dispensation by watching over the lives of the gurus, they are requested to return to their respective homelands. In other rituals, one finds BUDAI heshang (Cloth-Bag Monk, viz., AnGAJA), the Buddha's mother, Queen MĀYĀ, and his successor, Maitreya; or the two ancient Indian Buddhist sages "Subduer of Dragons" (C. Xianglong) and "Subduer of Lions" (C. Fuhu). See also LUOHAN; and individual entries on each of the sixteen arhats/sthaviras.

Sommer, The Dead Sea Scrolls.]

spam ::: 1. (messaging) (From Hormel's Spiced Ham, via the Monty Python Spam song) To post irrelevant or inappropriate messages to one or more Usenet newsgroups, mailing lists, or other messaging system in deliberate or accidental violation of netiquette.It is possible to spam a newsgroup with one well- (or ill-) planned message, e.g. asking What do you think of abortion? on soc.women. This can be done by alt.politics.homosexuality will almost inevitably spam both groups. (Compare troll and flame bait).Posting a message to a significant proportion of all newsgroups is a sure way to spam Usenet and become an object of almost universal hatred. Canter and Siegel spammed the net with their Green card post.If you see an article which you think is a deliberate spam, DO NOT post a follow-up - doing so will only contribute to the general annoyance. Send a the apparent sender's account might have been used by someone else without his permission.The word was coined as the winning entry in a 1937 competition to choose a name for Hormel Foods Corporation's spiced meat (now officially known as SPAM Times Herald describing Public Relations as throwing a can of spam into an electric fan just to see if any of it would stick to the unwary passersby.Usenet newsgroup: news.admin.net-abuse.See also netiquette.2. (A narrowing of sense 1, above) To indiscriminately send large amounts of unsolicited e-mail meant to promote a product or service. Spam in this sense is sort of like the electronic equivalent of junk mail sent to Occupant.In the 1990s, with the rise in commercial awareness of the net, there are actually scumbags who offer spamming as a service to companies wishing to addresses, Usenet news, or mailing lists. Such practises have caused outrage and aggressive reaction by many net users against the individuals concerned.3. (Apparently a generalisation of sense 2, above) To abuse any network service or tool by for promotional purposes.AltaVista is an index, not a promotional tool. Attempts to fill it with promotional material lower the value of the index for everyone. [...] We will disallow URL submissions from those who spam the index. In extreme cases, we will exclude all their pages from the index. -- Altavista.4. (jargon, programming) To crash a program by overrunning a fixed-size buffer with excessively large input data.See also buffer overflow, overrun screw, smash the stack.5. (chat, games) (A narrowing of sense 1, above) To flood any chat forum or Internet game with purposefully annoying text or macros. Compare Scrolling.(2003-09-21)

spam 1. "messaging" (From Hormel's Spiced Ham, via the Monty Python "Spam" song) To post irrelevant or inappropriate messages to one or more {Usenet} {newsgroups}, {mailing lists}, or other messaging system in deliberate or accidental violation of {netiquette}. It is possible to spam a newsgroup with one well- (or ill-) planned message, e.g. asking "What do you think of abortion?" on soc.women. This can be done by {cross-post}ing, e.g. any message which is crossposted to alt.rush-limbaugh and alt.politics.homosexuality will almost inevitably spam both groups. (Compare {troll} and {flame bait}). Posting a message to a significant proportion of all newsgroups is a sure way to spam Usenet and become an object of almost universal hatred. Canter and Siegel spammed the net with their Green card post. If you see an article which you think is a deliberate spam, DO NOT post a {follow-up} - doing so will only contribute to the general annoyance. Send a polite message to the poster by private e-mail and CC it to "postmaster" at the same address. Bear in mind that the posting's origin might have been forged or the apparent sender's account might have been used by someone else without his permission. The word was coined as the winning entry in a 1937 competition to choose a name for Hormel Foods Corporation's "spiced meat" (now officially known as "SPAM luncheon meat"). Correspondant Bob White claims the modern use of the term predates Monty Python by at least ten years. He cites an editor for the Dallas Times Herald describing Public Relations as "throwing a can of spam into an electric fan just to see if any of it would stick to the unwary passersby." {Usenet} newsgroup: {news:news.admin.net-abuse}. See also {netiquette}. 2. (A narrowing of sense 1, above) To indiscriminately send large amounts of unsolicited {e-mail} meant to promote a product or service. Spam in this sense is sort of like the electronic equivalent of junk mail sent to "Occupant". In the 1990s, with the rise in commercial awareness of the net, there are actually scumbags who offer spamming as a "service" to companies wishing to advertise on the net. They do this by mailing to collections of {e-mail} addresses, Usenet news, or mailing lists. Such practises have caused outrage and aggressive reaction by many net users against the individuals concerned. 3. (Apparently a generalisation of sense 2, above) To abuse any network service or tool by for promotional purposes. "AltaVista is an {index}, not a promotional tool. Attempts to fill it with promotional material lower the value of the index for everyone. [...] We will disallow {URL} submissions from those who spam the index. In extreme cases, we will exclude all their pages from the index." -- {Altavista}. 4. "jargon, programming" To crash a program by overrunning a fixed-size {buffer} with excessively large input data. See also {buffer overflow}, {overrun screw}, {smash the stack}. 5. "chat, games" (A narrowing of sense 1, above) To flood any {chat} forum or {Internet game} with purposefully annoying text or macros. Compare {Scrolling}. (2003-09-21)

STDWIN ::: A windowing interface from CWI with windows, menus, modal dialogs, mouse and keyboard input, scroll bars, drawing primitives, etc that is portable between platforms. STDWIN is available for Macintosh and the X Window System.

STDWIN A windowing interface from {CWI} with windows, menus, modal dialogs, mouse and keyboard input, scroll bars, drawing primitives, etc that is portable between {platforms}. STDWIN is available for {Macintosh} and the {X Window System}.

Stein, Sir Marc Aurel. (1862-1943). Hungarian-born archaeologist who led four British expeditions through Central Asia to document and collect artifacts from the lost cultures of the ancient SILK ROAD. After receiving his doctorate in Sanskrit and Oriental religions under Rudolf von Roth at the University of Tübingen, Stein moved to England where he made use of the resources at the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, the India Office Library, and the British Museum to further his study of Sanskrit. During his service in the Hungarian military, Stein learned both surveying and map-making, skills that would aid him in his career. Stein's greatest discovery was made at the DUNHUANG caves in northwest China. There, he came across a hidden library cave (Cave 17) containing over forty thousand scrolls, many of which he sent back to England for study. The Stein collection at the British Library contains over thirty thousand manuscripts and printed documents in languages as varied as Chinese, Tibetan, Sanskrit, Mongolian, Tangut, Khotanese, Kuchean, Sogdian, and Uighur. The art objects Stein collected are now divided between the British Museum, the British Library, the Srinigar Museum, and the Indian National Museum at New Delhi. In addition, thousands of photographs taken by Stein dating from the 1890s to 1938 have been preserved, as well as several volumes published by Stein detailing his explorations. These items are critical to the study of the history of Central Asia generally and the spread of Buddhist art and literature. Stein died and was buried in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Sugi. (守其) (c. mid-thirteenth century). Korean monk during the Koryo dynasty who served as editor-in-chief of the second carving of the Korean Buddhist canon (KORYo TAEJANGGYoNG). To supervise this massive editorial project, Sugi established a main editorial headquarters at Kanghwa Island, off the west-central coast of Korea, and a branch at Namhae in the far south of the Korean peninsula. Sugi gathered an army of scholars, first to collate the various editions of the scriptures and to establish the correct reading, and then to proofread meticulously the finished xylographs to ferret out any misprints. In editing this new canon, Sugi and his editorial team consulted principally three earlier canons: (1) the Chinese canon, carved during the Song-dynasty's Kaibao reign era between 971 and 983, which he called variously the Old Song edition (Ku-Song pon), Song edition (Song pon), etc.; (2) the Khitan Liao canon, printed c. 1031-1055, which he generally referred to as the Khitan edition (Tan pon); and (3) the first Koryo canon of 1011, which he usually called the State edition (Kuk pon). Foremost among these editions was the Liao canon of the Khitans, a complete copy of which Koryo had received in 1064. The xylographs of 1,514 texts in 6,815 rolls were carved between 1236 and 1251 in a total of 81,258 wood blocks-the oldest of the few complete xylographic canons still extant in East Asia. This second Koryo canon continues to be stored today in paired wooden archives at HAEINSA in Kyongsang province, as they have been since 1398. Sugi documented in remarkable detail the process he and his editorial team followed in compiling this new canon in his thirty-roll KORYoGUK SINJO TAEJANG KYOJoNG PYoLLOK ("Supplementary Record of Collation Notes to the New Carving of the Great Canon of the Koryo Kingdom"), which was finished around 1247. In these notes, Sugi collated seventy-six passages from sixty-five different texts. In his textual analysis of a specific scripture, Sugi generally treated major issues of structure, translator attribution, textual lineage, and the like; he did not discuss minor variations in readings of a few Sinographs. In a typical entry for a specific text, Sugi lists the case character in the second Koryo canon where the work appears; the title of the text and the roll (K. kwon; C. quan) in which the disputed point appears; followed by the passage itself, generally indicated by kwon, scroll (p'ok) and line (haeng) numbers. The most common types of textual problems noted by Sugi in earlier canons were transpositions of passages (K. chonhu toch'ak) and dittographies (K. chungsa; chungch'om). After evaluating the discrepancies in the different canonical editions, Sugi then indicated which reading he preferred and this reading was then entered into the second Koryo carving. Sugi also treated issues of textual authenticity in the course of editing his canon, especially in attempting to adjudicate the authenticity of some of the variant Chinese translations of Indic Buddhist scriptures. The information Sugi provides in his "Collation Notes" offers important information on how East Asian Buddhist scholars in the premodern era went about the task of collating and editing multiple recensions of thousands of scriptures into a definitive canonical collection. Sugi's notes also help to document the textual genealogies of the various East Asian canons and provide definitive proof that, in style and format, the second Koryo canon imitated both the Chinese Kaibao and first Koryo canons, but its readings followed more closely those found in the Khitan Liao canon. Sugi's annotations are thus an extremely valuable source for detailing medieval Chinese xylographic lineages. In making editorial decisions, Sugi rejects such discredited techniques as following the reading of the majority of manuscripts-as when he rejects the readings of both the Kaibao and first Koryo canons-or following uncritically the "best" manuscript, as in the cases where he rejects the reading of the Khitan edition. Sugi's reputation for scholarly accuracy was such that Japanese scholars adopted the second Koryo canon as the textus receptus for the modern Taisho printed edition of the canon, the TAISHo SHINSHu DAIZoKYo, compiled in Japan between 1922 and 1934.

*suraMgamasutra. (T. Dpa' bar 'gro ba'i mdo; C. Shoulengyan jing; J. Shuryogongyo; K. Sunŭngom kyong 首楞嚴經). A Chinese indigenous scripture (see APOCRYPHA), usually known in the West by its reconstructed Sanskrit title suraMgamasutra, meaning "Heroic March Sutra." Its full title is Dafoding rulai miyin xiuzheng liaoyi zhu pusa wanxing Shoulengyan jing; in ten rolls. (This indigenous scripture should be distinguished from an early-fifth century Chinese translation of the suRAMGAMASAMĀDHISuTRA, attributed by KUMĀRAJĪVA, in two rolls, for which Sanskrit fragments are extant.) According to the account in the Chinese cataloguer Zhisheng's Xu gujin yijing tuji, the suraMgamasutra was brought to China by a sRAMAnA named Pāramiti. Because the suraMgamasutra had been proclaimed a national treasure, the Indian king had forbidden anyone to take the sutra out of the country. In order to transmit this scripture to China, Pāramiti wrote the sutra out in minute letters on extremely fine silk, then he cut open his arm and hid the small scroll inside his flesh. With the sutra safely hidden away, Pāramiti set out for China and eventually arrived in Guangdong province. There, he happened to meet the exiled Prime Minister Fangrong, who invited him to reside at the monastery of Zhizhisi, where he translated the sutra in 705 CE. Apart from Pāramiti's putative connection to the suraMgamasutra, however, nothing more is known about him and he has no biography in the GAOSENG ZHUAN ("Biographies of Eminent Monks"). Zhisheng also has an entry on the suraMgamasutra in his KAIYUAN SHIJIAO LU, but there are contradictions in these two extant catalogue accounts of the sutra's transmission and translation. The Kaiyuan Shijiao lu merely records that the sramana Huidi encountered an unnamed Western monk at Guangdong, who had with him a copy of the Sanskrit recension of this sutra, and Huidi invited him to translate the scripture together. Since the names of this Western monk and his patron Fangrong are not mentioned, the authenticity of the scripture has been called into question. Although Zhisheng assumed the suraMgamasutra was a genuine Indian scripture, the fact that no Sanskrit manuscript of the text is known to exist, as well as the inconsistencies in the stories about its transmission to China, have led scholiasts for centuries to questions the scripture's authenticity. There is also internal evidence of the scripture's Chinese provenance, such as the presence of such indigenous Chinese philosophical concepts as yin-yang cosmology and the five elements (wuxing) theory, the stylistic beauty of the literary Chinese in which the text is written, etc. For these and other reasons, the suraMgamasutra is now generally recognized to be a Chinese apocryphal composition. The sutra opens with one of the most celebrated stories in East Asian Buddhist literature: the Buddha's attendant ĀNANDA's near seduction by the harlot Mātangī. With Ānanda close to being in flagrante delicto, the Buddha sends the bodhisattva MANJUsRĪ to save him from a PĀRĀJIKA offense, by employing the suraMgama DHĀRAnĪ to thwart Mātangī's seductive magic. The Buddha uses the experience to teach to Ānanda and the congregation the suRAMGAMASAMĀDHI, which counters the false views about the aggregates (SKANDHA) and consciousness (VIJNĀNA) and reveals the TATHĀGATAGARBHA that is inherent in all sentient beings. This tathāgatagarbha, or buddha-nature, is made manifest through the suraMgamasamādhi, which constitutes the "heroic march" forward toward enlightenment. The suraMgamasutra was especially influential in the CHAN school during the Song and Ming dynasties, which used the text as the scriptural justification for the school's distinctive teaching that Chan "points directly to the human mind" (ZHIZHI RENXIN), so that one may "see the nature and achieve buddhahood" (JIANXING CHENGFO). Several noted figures within the Chan school achieved their own awakenings through the influence of the suraMgamasutra, including the Ming-dynasty master HANSHAN DEQING (1546-1623), and the sutra was particularly important in the writings of such Ming-dynasty Chan masters as YUNQI ZHUHONG (1535-1615). The leading Chan monk of modern Chinese Buddhism, XUYUN (1840-1959), advocated the practice of the suraMgamasutra throughout his life, and it was the only scripture that he ever annotated. As a mark of the sutra's influence in East Asian Buddhism, the suraMgamasutra is one of the few apocryphal scriptures that receives its own mention in another indigenous sutra: the apocryphal Foshuo fa miejin jing ("The Sutra on the Extinction of the Dharma") states that the first sutra to disappear from the world during the dharma-ending age (MOFA) will in fact be the suraMgamasutra. The Tibetan translation of this Chinese apocryphon was produced during the Qianlong era (1735-1796) of the Qing dynasty; the scripture was apparently so important in contemporary Chinese Buddhism that it was deemed essential for it to be represented in the Tibetan canon as well.

Surplus of Life Used in theosophy to express the original processes building the globes of a planetary chain, as well as the living beings forming the hierarchies of the chain. Applying the Christian analogy of the unrolling of a scroll to the manifestation of the globes of a chain, when the first globe (globe A) has come into manifestation, only 1/7th of the scroll has been unrolled or opened out, leaving 6/7ths of the scroll intact or unopened. The surplus of life applies to the 6/7ths still not manifested — which would be globes B, C, D, E, F, and G. After the appearance of globe A, the surplus of life moves down a plane in order to develop globe B, and thus the scroll is opened another seventh, leaving 5/7ths intact; and so the process continues until all the seven globes of the planetary chain have appeared.

Synagogue ::: (Greek for “gathering”) The central institution of Jewish communal worship and study since antiquity (see also bet midrash), and by extension, a term used for the place of gathering. The structure of such buildings has changed, though in all cases the ark containing the Torah scrolls faces the ancient Temple site in Jerusalem.

Ta pho gtsug lag khang. (Tapo Tsuklakang). An important Tibetan Buddhist institution, also known as Ta pho chos 'khor, located at an altitude of ten thousand feet (3,050 m.) along the Spiti River in the modern-day Lahoul and Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh in northwest India. It is situated along two of the former routes of travel between India and Tibet. Over its long existence, Ta pho has been an important center for both scholarship and artistic activity and remains an active Tibetan monastery, preserving many important Buddhist manuscripts, scroll paintings, statues, and murals. It was established in 996 by the king of the western Tibetan region of GU GE YE SHES 'OD and the translator RIN CHEN BZANG PO. According to traditional histories, at the age of seventeen, Rin chen bzang po was sent to India together with a group of twenty other youths by King Ye shes 'od to study Sanskrit and Indian vernacular languages. Rin chen bzang po made several trips to India, spending a total of seventeen years in Kashmir and the Buddhist monastic university of VIKRAMAsĪLA before returning to Tibet. He is said to have founded 108 monasteries, among which was Ta pho. Among the many monasteries of western Tibet, it was second in importance only to THO LING and was the repository of a trove of old Tibetan texts that contributed to greater understanding of the formation of the Tibetan canon (BKA' 'GYUR). In 1996, the fourteenth DALAI LAMA gave the KĀLACAKRA initiation at Ta pho in commemoration of the one thousandth anniversary of the monastery's founding.

tarsiatura ::: n. --> A kind of mosaic in woodwork, much employed in Italy in the fifteenth century and later, in which scrolls and arabesques, and sometimes architectural scenes, landscapes, fruits, flowers, and the like, were produced by inlaying pieces of wood of different colors and shades into panels usually of walnut wood.

thang ka. In Tibetan, "scroll painting"; a Tibetan term for an image (usually of a deity or religious figure) drawn, painted, or sewn onto cloth (or sometimes paper), sewn into a border of silk brocade, and then mounted on dowels at the top and the bottom to allow the image to be rolled up and transported. It is the most common format for the presentation of Tibetan art. The term is also seen spelled as thang kha and thang ga. See also KWAEBUL; T'AENGHWA.

the Dead Sea Scrolls; Grant, Gnosticism and Early

the Dead Sea Scrolls). [Rf. Potter, The Last

-. The Hebrew Scrolls from the Neighborhood of

the recently discovered Dead Sea scrolls.

thumb "jargon" The slider or "bubble" on a window system {scrollbar}. So called because moving it allows you to browse through the contents of a text window in a way analogous to thumbing through a book. [{Jargon File}] (1995-03-14)

tourbillion ::: n. --> An ornamental firework which turns round, when in the air, so as to form a scroll of fire.

tshogs zhing. (tsok shing). In Tibetan, "field of assembly" or "field of accumulation"; the assembly of buddhas, bodhisattvas, and other deities visualized in meditation practice (and represented in Tibetan scroll paintings, or THANG KA). The term is generally glossed to mean "the field for the collection of merit" because the assembly of deities are the objects of various virtuous practices through which the meditator accumulates merit. The most common practice performed in the presence of the field of assembly would be the sevenfold offering (SAPTĀnGAVIDHI): obeisance (vandana), offering (pujana), confession of transgressions (PĀPADEsANĀ), rejoicing in others' virtues (ANUMODANA), requesting that the buddhas turn the wheel of the dharma (dharmacakrapravartanacodana), beseeching the buddhas not pass into NIRVĀnA (aparinirvṛtādhyesana), and the dedication (PARInĀMANĀ) of merit. In paintings of the field of assembly, the central figure is often depicted with previous figures in the lineage in a vertical line above, with various disciples on either side and protector deities at the bottom.

Tucci, Giuseppe. (1894-1984). One of the leading European Tibetologists of the twentieth century. Born in Macerata, Italy, Guiseppe Tucci attended the University of Rome, where he later became professor of the religions and philosophies of India and the Far East. Between 1925 and 1930, he taught Italian, Chinese, and Tibetan in India at the University of Calcutta and the University of Santiniketan. During this time, he made numerous expeditions into Nepal and Tibet, gathering historical, religious, and artistic materials. In 1937, the Fascist government of Italy sent him to Japan in order to promote understanding between the two countries. In 1948, he was named president of the Italian Institute for the Middle and Far East. Over the next two decades, he led expeditions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran and remained an active scholar until shortly before his death. Tucci published extensively in Italian and English on a wide range of topics using Sanskrit, Chinese, and Tibetan sources. His works include Indo-Tibetica (published in seven volumes 1932-1942), To Lhasa and Beyond (1946), Minor Buddhist Texts (1956), and what many consider his magnum opus, Tibetan Painted Scrolls (1949).

turbinal ::: a. --> Rolled in a spiral; scroll-like; turbinate; -- applied to the thin, plicated, bony or cartilaginous plates which support the olfactory and mucous membranes of the nasal chambers. ::: n. --> A turbinal bone or cartilage.

Until the mid-twentieth century, the principal extant Gnostic writings were quotes in surviving attacks against the Gnostics made by early Christian writers, the Pistis Sophia and “two Books of Jeu,” and the Neoplatonic Corpus Hermeticum (Hermes Trimegistos, Divine Pymander, etc.). With the discovery of the Nag-Hammadi scrolls, many more Gnostic writings have come to light and scholars are gaining a wider understanding of both Christian and non-Christian Gnosticism.

volume ::: n. --> A roll; a scroll; a written document rolled up for keeping or for use, after the manner of the ancients.
Hence, a collection of printed sheets bound together, whether containing a single work, or a part of a work, or more than one work; a book; a tome; especially, that part of an extended work which is bound up together in one cover; as, a work in four volumes.
Anything of a rounded or swelling form resembling a roll; a turn; a convolution; a coil.


voluted ::: a. --> Having a volute, or spiral scroll.

volute ::: n. --> A spiral scroll which forms the chief feature of the Ionic capital, and which, on a much smaller scale, is a feature in the Corinthian and Composite capitals. See Illust. of Capital, also Helix, and Stale.
A spiral turn, as in certain shells.
Any voluta.


widget 1. "jargon" A placeholder term used to stand for a real object in didactic examples (especially database tutorials). Legend has it that the original widgets were holders for buggy whips. "But suppose the parts list for a widget has 52 entries..." 2. In a {graphical user interface}, a combination of a graphic symbol and some program code to perform a specific function. E.g. a scroll-bar or button. [possibly evoking "window gadget"] Windowing systems usually provide widget libraries containing commonly used widgets drawn in a certain style and with consistent behaviour. In {Microsoft Windows} GUI programming, these are generally known as "controls". [{Jargon File}]

Wilson, Edmund. The Scrolls from the Dead Sea. New

Xcoral A multiwindow mouse-based text editor, for the {X Window System} with a built-in browser to navigate through {C} functions and {C++} {class}es hierarchies. Xcoral provides variables width {fonts}, menus, {scrollbars}, {buttons}, search, regions, kill-buffers and 3D look. Commands are accessible from menus or standard key bindings. Xcoral is a direct {Xlib} {client} and runs on colour or monochrome X displays. {Version 1.72 (ftp://ftp.inria.fr/X/contrib/clients/xcoral*)}. (1993-03-14)

Yad ::: (Heb. hand) Hand-shaped pointer used while reading from Torah scrolls.

Yongsanjae. (山齋). In Korean, "Vulture Peak Ceremony"; a Korean Buddhist rite associated with the SADDHARMAPUndARĪKASuTRA ("Lotus Sutra"), which has been performed in Korea since the mid to late Koryo dynasty (918-1392). This elaborate ritual is a loose reenactment of the Saddharmapundarīkasutra and is intended to depict the process by which all beings, both the living and the dead, are led to enlightenment. Its performance often occurs in conjunction with the forty-ninth day ceremony (K. sasipku [il] chae; C. SISHIJIU [RI] ZHAI), which sends a deceased being in the intermediate transitional state (ANTARĀBHAVA) on to the next rebirth. The Yongsanjae is renowned for including the most complete repertoire of Buddhist chant and dance preserved in the Korean tradition. The rite may last for between one day and a week, although it is rare nowadays to see it extend beyond a single day; briefer productions lasting a couple of hours are sometimes staged for tourists. The Yongsanjae is protected through the Korean Cultural Property Protection Law as an intangible cultural asset (Muhyong Munhwajae, no. 50), and the group responsible for protecting and preserving the rite for the future consists of monks at the monastery of PONGWoNSA in Seoul, the headquarters of the T'AEGO CHONG. The monks at the monastery also train monks and nuns from other orders of Buddhism, as well as laypeople, in different components of the rite. In recent years, the dominant CHOGYE CHONG of Korean Buddhism has also begun to perform the Yongsanjae again, thanks to training from the Pongwonsa specialists in the tradition. ¶ The Yongsanjae is held in front of a large KWAEBUL (hanging painting) scroll depicting sĀKYAMUNI teaching at Vulture Peak (GṚDHRAKutAPARVATA), delivering the Saddharmapundarīkasutra to his followers. A day-long version of the ceremony starts with bell ringing and a procession escorting the attending spirits in a palanquin, which then proceeds to a ceremonial raising of the kwaebul. The rest of the day is made up of the following sequence of events: chanting spells (DHĀRAnĪ) to the bodhisattva AVALOKITEsVARA (K. Kwanseŭm posal); the cymbal dance, or PARACH'UM, as monks chant the Ch'onsu kyong (C. QIANSHOU JING) dedicated to the thousand-handed incarnation of Avalokitesvara (see SĀHASRABHUJASĀHASRANETRĀVALOKITEsVARA); PoMP'AE; purification of the ritual site (toryanggye), during which the butterfly dance, or NABICH'UM, is performed to entice the dead to attend the ceremony while the pomp'ae chants entreat the three jewels (RATNATRAYA) and dragons (NĀGA) to be present; the dharma drum dance, or PoPKOCH'UM, during which a large drum is beaten to awaken all sentient beings; a group prayer to the Buddha and bodhisattvas, where everyone in attendance has the chance to take refuge in the three jewels (ratnatraya); an offering of flowers and incense (hyanghwagye) to the Buddha and bodhisattvas is made by the nabich'um dancers, followed by offering chants; a chant hoping that the food offerings on the altar will be sufficient as the parach'um is performed again together with four dhāranī chants; placing the offerings on the altar while chanting continues; culminating in a transfer of merit (kongdokkye) to all the people in attendance, including sending off the spiritual guests of the ceremony. The siktang chakpop, an elaborate ceremonial meal, is then consumed. A recitation on behalf of the lay donors who funded the ceremony (hoehyang ŭisik) concludes the rite.

Zadokite Fragments and the Dead Sea Scrolls,

Zadokite Fragments and the Dead Sea Scrolls, The. See



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*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:When a buddha is painted, not only a clay altar or lump of earth is used, but the thirty-two marks, a blade of grass, and the cultivation of wisdom for incalculable eons are used. As a Buddha has been painted on a single scroll in this way, all buddhas are painted buddhas, and all painted buddhas are actual buddhas. ~ dogen, @wisdomtrove
2:Never has there been a map, however carefully executed to detail and scale, which has carried its owner over even one inch of ground. Never has there been a parchment of law, however fair, which prevented one crime. Never has there been a scroll, even such as the one I hold, which so much as a penny or produced a single word of acclamation. Action, alone, is the tinder which ignites the map, the parchment, this scroll, my plans, my goals, into a living force. Action is the food and drink which will nourish my success. I will act now. ~ og-mandino, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:The Dead Sea Scroll Deception),6 ~ Peter Levenda,
2:History is but the unrolled scroll of prophecy. ~ James A Garfield,
3:The scroll is coming back (Twitter is a scroll.) ~ Margaret Atwood,
4:Fine. I hereby declare myself Alpha Sinta. I’ll send Egeria a scroll. ~ Amanda Bouchet,
5:There are names written in her immortal scroll at which Fame blushes! ~ William Hazlitt,
6:I am the scroll of the poet behind which samurai swords are being sharpened. ~ Lester Cole,
7:There's no beginning to the farmer's year, / Only recurrent patterns on a scroll / Unwinding... ~ Vita Sackville West,
8:For all mankind that unstained scroll unfurled, Where God might write anew the story of the World. ~ Edward Everett Hale,
9:When one is writing a letter, he should think that the recipient will make it into a hanging scroll. ~ Yamamoto Tsunetomo,
10:The LORD then said to Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a reminder and recite it to Joshua. ”Exodus 17:14 ~ Beth Moore,
11:Through the lights cameras and action, glamour glitters and gold I unfold the scroll, plant seeds to stampede the globe. ~ Nas,
12:How do you scroll down?"
"I don't, I turn the page. It's a book."
"Do you blog with it?"
"No, it's a book. ~ Lane Smith,
13:Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth, that are written down old with all the characters of age? ~ William Shakespeare,
14:they talked day and night, as though inside them an endless scroll of paper were unraveling out through the mouth. ~ Meg Wolitzer,
15:anointed ones [2] who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” A Vision of a Flying Scroll ZECHARIAH 5 Again I lifted my eyes ~ Anonymous,
16:No sword
Of wrath her right arm whirl'd,
But one poor poet's scroll, and with his word
She shook the world. ~ Alfred Tennyson,
17:Patrick Kenzie asking a bemused waitress for a newspaper in smalltown USA. 'It’s like a homepage without a scroll button? ~ Dennis Lehane,
18:Patrick Kenzie asking a bemused waitress for a newspaper in smalltown USA. 'It's like a homepage without a scroll button?' ~ Dennis Lehane,
19:To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click 'I Agree'. ~ Bill Maher,
20:To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click 'I agree'. ~ Bill Maher,
21:It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. ~ Liane Moriarty,
22:It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. ~ Robert Masello,
23:A digital wall of masks stared back at him. His finger rolled the mouse in a slow downward scroll.
"Okay, you bastard. Where are you? ~ Lisa Kessler,
24:I scroll through iPhone photos and see that if I delete pictures of myself with a double chin, I will erase all proof of my glorious life. ~ Helen Ellis,
25:Religion called – Angels beckoned – God commanded – life rolled together like a scroll – death's gates opening showed eternity beyond. ~ Charlotte Bront,
26:It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll; I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. ~ William Ernest Henley,
27:Weep no more; behold,  k the Lion  l of the tribe of Judah,  m the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals. ~ Anonymous,
28:His face was all sharp angles, thin and pointed, like something Pythagoras had doodled on the corner of his scroll before getting on with his theorem. ~ Philip Kerr,
29:23“Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, 24that they were inscribed with an iron tool on† lead, or engraved in rock forever! ~ Anonymous,
30:It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. ~ William Ernest Henley,
31:(In the computer era we have returned to the custom of scrolling through texts, but we now scroll up and down, rather than right to left as the Romans did.) ~ Tom Standage,
32:William Henley put it: It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul. ~ Piers Anthony,
33:That world! These days it's all been erased and they've rolled it up like a scroll and put it away somewhere. Yes, I can touch it with my fingers. But where is it? ~ Denis Johnson,
34:Wisdom of the ages, this,” said Didactylos. “Got to write a book, see, to prove you’re a philosopher. Then you get your scroll and free official philosopher’s loofah. ~ Terry Pratchett,
35:What should I do? he demanded of his demon, abandoning thoughts about “all of you.” They’d gotten him nowhere. As Strider would say, the backpack and scroll could suck it. At ~ Gena Showalter,
36:Morse code didn’t leave a paper trail, or an email thread on the screen of your tablet. She would never be able to scroll back and reread the exchange she’d just had with Rufus. ~ Neal Stephenson,
37:The story in that particular spot was an ancient history story, and we wanted to give it a historical feeling, which was why we used a historical calligraphy scroll come to life. ~ Jennifer Yuh Nelson,
38:In a still hot morning, the tide went out and didn't come back in. This was not a spectacular event. The sea did not roll up like a scroll, like the sky in Revelations. It quietly withdrew. ~ Ruth Park,
39:Do you know what happened when they tried to upgrade SCROLL?” said Bradshaw. “The system conflict wiped out the entire library at Alexandria—they had to torch the lot to stop it spreading. ~ Jasper Fforde,
40:Charge!’ Sadie barrelled into the clearing, her staff in one hand and her Greek scroll in the other.

I glanced at Annabeth. ‘Your new friend is awesome.’

Then I followed Sadie. ~ Rick Riordan,
41:I Google “five star hotels, new york city” and scroll through the list. The Surrey—nah, too fussy. The Peninsula—just looked at that one last week. Anything Trump—no, thanks, too overdone. ~ Kristan Higgins,
42:And the list of traitors?" said Dylan, eying the scroll with an unsavory gleam in his eyes. What did he plan on doing, hunting down each and every one of them? Somehow that didn't feel to far from the truth. ~ Aimee Carter,
43:the time it took to get our smartphones out of our pockets and into our hands, scroll and click on our camera app, choose the right photo or video option and finally point and click is as long as 12 seconds. ~ Robert Scoble,
44:the exact definition for psychopath. I scroll through every personality trait. Pathological liar, cunning and manipulative, lack of remorse or guilt, callousness and lack of empathy, shallow emotional response. ~ Colleen Hoover,
45:When I read that the flash came, and I took a sheet of paper. . .and I wrote on it: I, Emily Byrd Starr, do solemnly vow this day that I will climb the Alpine Path and write my name on the scroll of fame. ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery,
46:I scroll through my own stories in my phone, the ones I write when I can't sleep, when I think about her, about what the fuck happened, when I make like Alvy Singer and try to correct it all with my imagination. ~ Caroline Kepnes,
47:In the old days – or so I’ve heard – you could go round someone’s place and rifle through their record collection, take a look at their bookcases. Now you have to scroll through their iTunes or click on their Kindle. ~ Mark Edwards,
48:This scroll, majestic in its severe simplicity, illuminated a little slip of front garden abutting on the thirsty high-road, where a few of the dustiest of leaves hung their dismal heads and led a life of choking. ~ Charles Dickens,
49:Alice Green, your deeds will now be revealed,” the perfect man before me continued. I could not find the will to even look up to see which scroll was longer. The numbers continued to roll off my tongue, faster and faster ~ Keary Taylor,
50:The men’s prose spread out on the page, sprawled leisurely like someone having a bath and a shave and then they talked day and night, as though inside them an endless scroll of paper were unraveling out through the mouth. ~ Meg Wolitzer,
51:I'm getting more and more into Chinese art and Japanese, some of those scroll paintings are amazing. You follow the change of the seasons. It's really something. These guys were great masters and of course the use of space. ~ Robert Barry,
52:I’d love to tell you that I walked in and killed the snakes, Annabeth stabbed Elvis in the back and took his scroll, and we went home happy. You’d figure once in a while things would work out the way we planned. But noooooo. ~ Rick Riordan,
53:[The clerk] held in front of him a scroll with a red wax seal affixed, the kind of thing believed to make a document official - or at least expensive and difficult to understand, which, in fact, amounts to the same thing. ~ Terry Pratchett,
54:From anger results delusion, from delusion results confusion of memory ...’ Not only anger, but a scroll of other unhappy emotions can fog your mind: fear, depression, self-pity, envy, grief, hatred, restlessness, anxiety. ~ Shakuntala Devi,
55:The Fool, when removed
from solid ground, leaps-
From mountaintop,
to burning star,
to black, black space.
The scholar,
when bereft of scroll,
of quill,
of heavy tome,
Falls.
And cannot be found. ~ Kelly Barnhill,
56:She knew him so well, the amused, detached tone of his voice, the scroll of his ear, his eyes, his bony frame. Someone whom she always wanted in the room, someone who saw the world the same way, and it had always been like that. ~ Harriet Evans,
57:I’d love to tell you that I walked in and killed the snakes, Annabeth stabbed Elvis in the back and took his scroll, and we went home happy.
You’d figure once in a while things would work out the way we planned.
But noooooo. ~ Rick Riordan,
58:Doughboy," I said. "What is this scroll?" "A spell lost in time!" he pronounced. "Ancient words of tremendous power!" "Well?" I demanded. "Does it tell how to defeat Set?" "Better! The title reads: The Book of Summoning Fruit Bats! ~ Rick Riordan,
59:Doughboy," I said. "What is this scroll?"
"A spell lost in time!" he pronounced. "Ancient words of tremendous power!"
"Well?" I demanded. "Does it tell how to defeat Set?"
"Better! The title reads: The Book of Summoning Fruit Bats! ~ Rick Riordan,
60:Fuck that!" My turn to drop the scroll-case as though it were hot. "...your stewardness."

"'Highness' is the correct form of address when the steward is of noble birth... if we're being formal, Jalan."

"Fuck that, your highness. ~ Mark Lawrence,
61:Several paragraphs of dense text began to scroll across the screen, an unreadable blur of legalese outlining all the details of enlistment. It would have taken hours to read it all, and then I still probably wouldn’t have understood a word of it. ~ Ernest Cline,
62:Again and again he spoke to Charlotte of things, watermelons and grain and cattle and string, reaper-mowers and harvester combines, chisel mortisers and scroll saws and flue stops and piston rings and grain elevators. Objects existing in time and space. ~ Jennifer Egan,
63:Religion called--Angels beckoned--God commanded--life rolled together like a scroll--death's gates opening, showed eternity beyond: it seemed, that for safety and bliss there, all here might be sacrificed in a second. The dim room was full of visions. ~ Charlotte Bront,
64:The song ends and tears spring to my eyes. I quickly scroll to another—“The Scientist” by Coldplay—one of Kate’s favorite bands. I know the track, but I’ve never really listened to the lyrics before. I close my eyes and let the words wash over and through me. ~ E L James,
65:This is the Scroll of Thoth. Herein are set down the magic words by which Isis raised Osiris from the dead. Oh! Amon-Ra--Oh! God of Gods--Death is but the doorway to new life--We live today-we shall live again--In many forms shall we return-Oh, mighty one. ~ John L Balderston,
66:What’s so satisfying about liking something? How could that ever fulfill you? Why scroll through posts and pictures and links? Why comment on other human beings’ updates when you’ve walked by twenty people on the street and didn’t take the time to talk to any of them? ~ Joshua Mohr,
67:So I switch to my MacBook and make my rounds: news sites, blogs, tweets. I scroll back to find the conversations that happened without me during the day. When every single piece of media you consume is time-shifted, does that mean it’s actually you that’s time-shifted? ~ Robin Sloan,
68:Walking the path, I stop to pick up
bleached bark from a tree, curled into
a scroll of ancient wisdom I am unable to read.

Even in my dreams I’m hiking
these mountain trails expecting to find a rock
that nature has shaped to remind me of a heart. ~ Harryette Mullen,
69:Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made; Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky.1 ~ Jen Wilkin,
70:When I say, “one obvious button,” I don’t mean “only one button,” but rather one that stands out. Make the button a different color, larger, a bolder text, whatever you need to do. Then repeat that same button over and over so people see it as they scroll down the page. ~ Donald Miller,
71:I always say that I need to travel to keep from dying of boredom from my own internal monologue. I think that, generally, most of us have a total of about twenty thoughts. And we just scroll through those thoughts, over and over again, in varying order, all day every day. ~ Kristin Newman,
72:There should be a “Buy Now” button in the top right corner of your website, and it shouldn’t be cluttered with a bunch of other buttons. The same call to action should be repeated above the fold and in the center of your website, and again and again as people scroll down the page. ~ Donald Miller,
73:Therefore the tongue of mutual understanding is different indeed: to be one in heart is better than to be one in tongue. Without speech and without sign or scroll, hundreds of thousands of interpreters arise from the heart. The birds, all and each, their secrets of skill and knowledge and practice ~ Rumi,
74:A Human Face I love to view and trace the passions of the soul. On it the spirit writes anew each thought and feeling on a scroll. There the mind it's evil doing tells, and there it's noblest deeds do speak; just as the ringing of the bells proclaims a knell or wedding feast.-author unknown ~ Spencer W Kimball,
75:...all assumed he died too.' (leo)

'Beause he did,' NIco said.

'Then a few days later,' Will continued, 'his scroll came fluttering into camp on the wind...'

'I still have it.' Nico rummaged through the pockets of his bomber jacket. 'I look at it whenever I want to get angry. ~ Rick Riordan,
76:She remembered how her heart, so tight, like a scroll, had opened when Arin kissed her.
It had unfurled.
If her heart were truly a scroll, she could burn it.
It would become a tunnel of flame, a handful of ash.
The secrets she had written inside herself would be gone. No one would know ~ Marie Rutkoski,
77:The last scroll was rolled so tight it seemed almost solid. Likely it was the oldest. As I forced it open it broke in pieces: two, three, and eventually five. I regretted doing it, but it was the only way to read it. If it had stayed coiled much longer, it would have crumbled into bits, never to be read again. ~ Robin Hobb,
78:Fine, you fun-vampire. I’ll take my scroll over here and play by myself. (Kat) Fun-vampire? What is that? (Sin) That would be you sucking all the fun out of life. (Kat) You have the most interesting terms for things. (Sin) Yes, but notice mine are creative, unlike the so stellarly named Rod of Time. (Kat) ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon,
79:When a buddha is painted, not only a clay altar or lump of earth is used, but the thirty-two marks, a blade of grass, and the cultivation of wisdom for incalculable eons are used. As a Buddha has been painted on a single scroll in this way, all buddhas are painted buddhas, and all painted buddhas are actual buddhas. ~ Dogen,
80:These stunt guys are good at what they do and they're professional. A smart actor will step back and say, "I'm going to let the professionals do this." Hats off to those guys, man. When you see the credits scroll, look at all those stunt guys and remember all those names 'cause they earned their money on this. ~ James Badge Dale,
81:We Irish prefer embroideries to plain cloth. To us Irish, memory is a canvas--stretched, primed, and ready for painting on. We love the "story" part of the word "history," and we love it trimmed out with color and drama, ribbons and bows. Listen to our tunes, observe a Celtic scroll: we always decorate our essence. ~ Frank Delaney,
82:How can a website make browsing easier? One solution popularized by digital pinboard site, Pinterest, is the infinite scroll. In the past, getting from one web page to the next required clicking and waiting. However on sites such as Pinterest, whenever the user nears the bottom of a page, more results automatically load. ~ Nir Eyal,
83:If this was a movie, she’d be the young, ambitious teacher who shows up at the inner city school and inspires the fuckups, and suddenly everyone’s putting down their AKs and picking up their pencils, and the end credits scroll up to announce how all the kids got into Harvard or some shit. Instant Oscar for Hilary Swank. ~ Elle Kennedy,
84:There!” Mars finished writing and threw the scroll at Octavian. “A prophecy. You can add it to your books, engrave it on your floor, whatever.”
Octavian read the scroll. “This says, ‘Go to Alaska. Find Thanatos and free him. Come back by sundown on June twenty-fourth or die.’”
“Yes,” Mars said. “Is that not clear? ~ Rick Riordan,
85:5 1/2 centuries after its 1.0 release, the book is a surprisingly robust piece of information technology. Sure, its memory is relatively tiny--one novel adds up to less than a megabyte. But it doesn't need charging, and it never crashes. Its interface is rapidly and intuitively navigable. The scroll never stood a chance. ~ Lev Grossman,
86:Fine, you fun-vampire. I’ll take my scroll over here and play by myself. (Kat)
Fun-vampire? What is that? (Sin)
That would be you sucking all the fun out of life. (Kat)
You have the most interesting terms for things. (Sin)
Yes, but notice mine are creative, unlike the so stellarly named Rod of Time. (Kat) ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon,
87:Over the last few millennia we've invented a series of technologies - from the alphabet to the scroll to the codex, the printing press, photography, the computer, the smartphone - that have made it progressively easier and easier for us to externalize our memories, for us to essentially outsource this fundamental human capacity. ~ Joshua Foer,
88:The Love of God,” written by Frederick M. Lehman (1868–1953): Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry. Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky. ~ A W Tozer,
89:My phone rings on my bare thigh as I scroll through my recorded Ellens, and I hit pause to glance at the number. Ah… case in point. My sister has sent me a birthday message along with a picture of a guy who knows her husband’s co-worker’s aunt, and she just knows we are meant to be! She’s ready to set me up with him for this weekend. ~ Cassie Mae,
90:Practice in letter writing goes to the extent of taking care in even one-line letters. It is good if all the above contain a quiet strength. Moreover, according to what the priest Ryōzan heard when he was in the Kamigata area, when one is writing a letter, he should think that the recipient will make it into a hanging scroll. ~ Yamamoto Tsunetomo,
91:...by tragic historical coincidence a period of abysmal under-educating in literacy has coincided with this unexpected explosion of global self-publishing. Thus people who don't know their apostrophe from their elbow are positively invited to disseminate their writings to anyone on the planet stupid enough to double-click and scroll. ~ Lynne Truss,
92:The Pannion Domin … why are we sparing a mole’s ass for some upstart zealots? These things burn out. Every time. They implode. The scroll scribblers take over – they always do – and start arguing obscure details of the faith. Sects form. Civil war erupts, and there it is, just one more dead flower trampled on history’s endless road. ~ Steven Erikson,
93:...Come on let’s see the degree.”

Katherine unrolled her scroll displaying a long declaration in Latin affixed with a red seal proclaiming her a Master of Art.

“Imagine working for years to obtain a piece of paper we can hardly read ” Katherine joked.

“And to officially declare you have talent ” Suzy returned. ~ E A Bucchianeri,
94:See, the 'On the Road' that came out in 1957 was censored. A lot of the honesty of it, the bitter honesty, is in the original scroll version that came out in 2007 on the 50-year anniversary. Back then, there was so much post-Second World War fear that was imposed on everybody - 'You must live life this way' - and these guys were bored. ~ Garrett Hedlund,
95:The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it. ~ Margaret Atwood,
96:Disturber shuffled his scroll. 'You have used magi for evil purposes, including twenty-three murders--'

'Self-defense!' Setne tried to spread his hands, but the ribbons restrained him.

'--including one incident where you were paid to kill with magic,' Disturber said.

Setne shrugged. 'That was self-defense for my employer. ~ Rick Riordan,
97:I didn’t even care about being cautious. It would serve him right that I be killed while he pretended to flirt with coeds. I started to mutter. Something I did often when irritated. “I should frame him for my death. I could scroll his name on the sidewalk in my blood just to give the local authorities a direction to focus their investigation.” Spending ~ L A Fiore,
98:Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky. FREDERICK M. LEHMAN (1868–1953) Thy love, O God, is my stay for today. I praise Thee ~ A W Tozer,
99:Tell me how it is that whoever wrote out the great scroll could have decreed that such would be the reward of a noble act? Why should I, who am merely a miserable compound of faults, take your defence while He calmly watched you being attacked, knocked down, manhandled and trampled underfoot, He who is supposed to be the embodiment of all perfection? ~ Denis Diderot,
100:There’s my baby!” I cried, quite carried away. “There’s my Poochiekins!” Ammit ran at me and leaped into my arms, nuzzling me with his rough snout. “My lord Osiris!” Disturber lost the bottom of his scroll again, which unraveled around his legs. “This is an outrage!” “Sadie,” Dad said firmly, “please do not refer to the Devourer of Souls as Poochiekins. ~ Rick Riordan,
101:“There’s my baby!” I cried, quite carried away. “There’s my Poochiekins!” Ammit ran at me and leaped into my arms, nuzzling me with his rough snout. “My lord Osiris!” Disturber lost the bottom of his scroll again, which unraveled around his legs. “This is an outrage!” “Sadie,” Dad said firmly, “please do not refer to the Devourer of Souls as Poochiekins.” ~ Rick Riordan,
102:All that glitters is not gold; Often have you heard that told: Many a man his life has sold But my outside to behold: Gilded tombs do worms enfold Had you been as wise as bold, Your in limbs, in judgment old, Your answer had not been in'scroll'd Fare you well: your suit is cold.' Cold, indeed, and labour lost: Then, farewell, heat and welcome, frost! ~ William Shakespeare,
103:There’s my baby!” I cried, quite carried away. “There’s my Poochiekins!”
Ammit ran at me and leaped into my arms, nuzzling me with his rough snout.
“My lord Osiris!” Disturber lost the bottom of his scroll again, which unraveled around his legs. “This is an outrage!”
“Sadie,” Dad said firmly, “please do not refer to the Devourer of Souls as Poochiekins. ~ Rick Riordan,
104:I scroll past images every bit as violent and beautiful as Jeb's paintings: luminious, rainbow-skinned creatures with bulbous eyes and sparkly, silken wings who carry knives and swords; hideous, naked hobgoblins in chains who crawl on all fours and have corkscrew tails and cloven feet like pigs; silvery pixielike beings trapped in cages and crying oily black tears. ~ A G Howard,
105:My phone buzzed in the center console again.
"What's happening with this thing?" Dad grabbed it.
"Dad, really?" I didn't want him to see the texts between Dash and me. Awkward.
"He says he knew it."
The traffic opened up, and I went right on Sunset. "Please don't scroll."
"Knew what?"
"I have no idea, and I'm driving. So forget it for now."
"I'll ask him."
,
106:'Here lieth One whose name was writ on water.
But, ere the breath that could erase it blew,
Death, in remorse for that fell slaughter,
Death, the immortalizing winter, flew
Athwart the stream,--and time's printless torrent grew
A scroll of crystal, blazoning the name
Of Adonais!

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, On Keats, Who Desired That On His Tomb Should Be Inscribed--
,
107:Kestrel listened to the slap of waves against the ship, the cries of struggle and death. She remembered how her heart, so tight, like a scroll, had opened when Arin kissed her. It had unfurled.
If her heart were truly a scroll, she could burn it. It would become a tunnel of flame, a handful of ash. The secrets she had written inside herself would be gone. No one would know. ~ Marie Rutkoski,
108:All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life has sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold
Had you been as wise as bold,
Your in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been in'scroll'd
Fare you well: your suit is cold.' Cold, indeed, and labour lost: Then, farewell, heat and welcome, frost! ~ William Shakespeare,
109:The future of narrative? Built in, part of the human template. Not going away. The future of the codex book, with pages and so forth? A platform for transmitting narratives. There are others. The scroll is coming back (Twitter is a scroll.) Short forms are returning online. Interactivity is coming back; it was always there in oral storytelling. Each form has its pluses and its minuses. ~ Margaret Atwood,
110:So when we do sit down in front of a TV screen, it will be for a specific purpose and with a specific hope, not just of entertainment or distraction but of wonder and exploration. When we do scroll through social media, it will be to have a chance to give thanks for our friends, enjoy their creative gifts, and pray for their needs, rather than just something to take our mind off our tedium. ~ Andy Crouch,
111:There were no laptops or handheld devices in class. Ilgauskas didn't exclude them; we did, sort of, unspokenly. Some of us could barely complete a thought without touch pads or scroll buttons, but we understood that high-speed data systems did not belong here. They were an assault on the environment, which was defined by length, width, and depth, with time drawn out, computed in heartbeats. ~ Don DeLillo,
112:The Torah, then, was compact, transferable history, law, wisdom, poetic chant, prophecy, consolation and self-strengthening counsel. Just as the sanctuary could be erected in safety and dismantled in crisis, the speaking scroll was designed to survive even incineration, because the scribes who had composed and edited it had memorised its oral traditions and its texts as part of their basic education. ~ Simon Schama,
113:Now, personally, I’m not fond of huge snakes, especially ones with human heads and stupid hats. If I’d summoned this thing, I would’ve cast a spell to send it back, super quick. But Setne just rolled up his scroll, slipped it in his jacket pocket, and grinned. “Awesome!” The cobra lady hissed. “Who dares summon me? I am Wadjet, queen of cobras, protector of Lower Egypt, eternal mistress of—” “I know!” Setne clapped his hands. “I’m a huge fan!” I ~ Rick Riordan,
114:selection. Each button in the tool bar has variable width except for the search button, which is a fixed square. Users may tap on the title of the card to open a menu and make a non-linear jump to another card. if the number of options in the menu exceeds the height of the card, then the menu should scroll. After users have advanced past the first available card, then cards peek on either side of the active card. Users may tap, swipe or use pagepress to advance ~ Anonymous,
115:Then he read the words of the scroll slowly, first in Japanese and then carefully translated into English: 'There is really nothing you must be. And there is nothing you must do. There is really nothing you must have. And there is nothing you must know. There is really nothing you must become. However. It helps to understand that fire burns, and when it rains, the earth gets wet. . . .' 'Whatever, there are consequences. Nobody is exempt,' said the master. ~ Robert Fulghum,
116:The foundation of the Christian's peace is everlasting; it is what no time, no change can destroy. It will remain when the body dies; it will remain when the mountains depart and the hills shall be removed, and when the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll. The fountain of His comfort shall never be diminished, and the stream shall never be dried. His comfort and joy is a living spring in the soul, a well of water springing up to everlasting life. ~ Jonathan Edwards,
117:There yet remains but one concluding tale, And then this chronicle of mine is ended - Fulfilled, the duty God ordained to me, A sinner. Not without purpose did the Lord, Put me to witness much for many years, And educate me in the love of books. One day some indefatigable monk, Will find my conscientious, unsigned work; Like me, he will light up his ikon-lamp, And, shaking from the scroll the age-old dust, He will transcribe these tales in all their truth. ~ Alexander Pushkin,
118:And then I walked out, straight through the twilight, treading the beaten earth. There were no dust clouds, no signs of anyone, but I paid no mind. I was my own lucky hand of solitaire. The desert landscape unchanging: a long, unwinding scroll that I would one day amuse myself by filling. I'm going to remember everything and then I'm going to write it all down. An aria to a coat. A requiem for a café. That's what I was thinking, in my dream, looking down at my hands. ~ Patti Smith,
119:In the stories after the war, all the resistance heroes were dashing, sinewy types who could construct machine guns from paperclips. And the Germans either raised their godlike blond heads through open tank hatches to watch broken cities scroll past, or else were psychopathic, sex-crazed torturers of beautiful Jewesses. Where did the boy fit in? He made such a faint presence. It was like being in the room with a feather. But his soul glowed with some fundamental kindness, didn’t it? ~ Anthony Doerr,
120:Anyone who refused to renounce this new and traitorous faith had had his right eye put out with a sword, and the tendons on his left foot severed, before he was enslaved and shipped off to die in the copper mines. “In these conflicts,” according to a scroll Dr. Rashid attributed to the church polemicist Eusebius, “the noble martyrs of Christ shone illustrious over the entire world . . . and the evidences of the truly divine and unspeakable power of our Saviour were made manifest through them. ~ Robert Masello,
121:Then he read the words of the scroll slowly, first in Japanese and then carefully translated into English:

'There is really nothing you must be.
And there is nothing you must do.
There is really nothing you must have.
And there is nothing you must know.
There is really nothing you must become.
However. It helps to understand
that fire burns, and when it rains,
the earth gets wet. . . .'

'Whatever, there are consequences. Nobody is exempt,' said the master. ~ Robert Fulghum,
122:Time has a different meaning for me, and these events that seem so monumental in the moment will one day be nothing more than a line in a scroll. These humans are but letters to be inked into history. A hundred years from now, I will be free. I will have forgotten their names and faces, and the struggles they have will not matter. Time has a way of burying things, shifting like the desert and swallowing entire civilizations, erasing them from map and memory. Always, in the end, everything returns to dust. ~ Jessica Khoury,
123:Four scrolls hung on the east-facing wall, their edges slightly wrinkled with age. Her great-grandfather had spent years painting the scrolls. Each one portrayed a different season- spring, summer, autumn, and winter- in their family garden.
Mulan stopped in front of the scroll of spring, studying her ancestor's confident brushstrokes and the delicate cherry blossoms forever captured in midbloom. Her fingers crept up, skimming the painting from the top of the trees to the bright yellow carp swimming in the pond. ~ Elizabeth Lim,
124:There!" Mars finished writing and threw the scroll at Octavian. "A prophecy. You can add it to your books, engrave it on the floor, whatever." Octavian read the scroll. "This says, 'Go to Alaska. Find Thanatos and free him. Come back by sundown on June twenty-fourth or die'." "Yes," Mars said. "Is that not clear?" "Well, my lord...usually prophecies are unclear. They're wrapped in riddles. They rhyme, and..." Mars casually popped another grenade off his belt. "Yes?" "The prophecy is clear!" Octavian announced. "A quest! ~ Rick Riordan,
125:The bulk of the Bible, from generation to generation, was written when the weaknesses of state power were most apparent. The portable scroll-book became the countervailing force to the sword. Once that happened, the idea that Jewish life was Jewish words, and they could and would endure beyond the vicissitudes of power, the loss of land, the subjection of people, took off into history. Since other monotheistic book-faiths allied word and sword rather than divorced them, this would turn out to be a uniquely Jewish vision. ~ Simon Schama,
126:The Firefly
Born from rotting grasses damp
Still the daylight thou must fear,
On my scroll thy tiny lamp
Scarcely lets the words appear.
But on stranger's dress from far
Shinest thou a tender star.
Or when wind-borne on the gauze
Of my window making pause,
Small thy phosphorescent beam
As a fairy's eye doth gleam.
From the rain you safely hide
In the woodland undescried.
But once November's frosts are chill
Thou leaflike fadest from the hill.
translated by W. J. B. Fletcher
~ Du Fu,
127:When people look under the hood, we want them to be impressed with the neatness, consistency, and attention to detail that they perceive. We want them to be struck by the orderliness. We want their eyebrows to rise as they scroll through the modules. We want them to perceive that professionals have been at work. If instead they see a scrambled mass of code that looks like it was written by a bevy of drunken sailors, then they are likely to conclude that the same inattention to detail pervades every other aspect of the project. ~ Robert C Martin,
128:Age To Youth
Sunrise is in your eyes, and in your heart
The hope and bright desire of morn and May.
My eyes are full of shadow, and my part
Of life is yesterday.
Yet lend my hand your hand, and let us sit
And see your life unfolding like a scroll,
Rich with illuminated blazon, fit
For your arm-bearing soul.
My soul bears arms too, but the scroll's rolled tight,
Yet the one strip of faded brightness shown
Proclaims that when 'twas splendid in the light
Its blazon matched your own.
~ Edith Nesbit,
129:Never has there been a map, however carefully executed to detail and scale, which has carried its owner over even one inch of ground. Never has there been a parchment of law, however fair, which prevented one crime. Never has there been a scroll, even such as the one I hold, which so much as a penny or produced a single word of acclamation. Action, alone, is the tinder which ignites the map, the parchment, this scroll, my plans, my goals, into a living force. Action is the food and drink which will nourish my success. I will act now. ~ Og Mandino,
130:Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. Contrary ~ Ben Sasse,
131:There!" Mars finished writing and threw the scroll at Octavian. "A prophecy. You can add it to your books, engrave it on the floor, whatever."
Octavian read the scroll. "This says, 'Go to Alaska. Find Thanatos and free him. Come back by sundown on June twenty-fourth or die'."
"Yes," Mars said. "Is that not clear?"
"Well, my lord...usually prophecies are unclear. They're wrapped in riddles. They rhyme, and..."
Mars casually popped another grenade off his belt. "Yes?"
"The prophecy is clear!" Octavian announced. "A quest! ~ Rick Riordan,
132:Pinterest users never know what they will find on the site. To keep them searching and scrolling, the company employs an unusual design. As the user scrolls to the bottom of the page, some images appear to be cut-off. Often, images appear out of view below the browser fold. However, these images offer a glimpse of what's ahead, even if just barely visible. To relieve their curiosity, all users have to do is scroll to reveal the full picture (figure 25). As more images load on the page, the endless search for variable rewards of the hunt continues. ~ Nir Eyal,
133:scroll written in Greek. The text, known as the Septuagint, was a translation done by Judean scholars, and it had been completed a century and a half before Jesus was born. Jacob had studied those very scrolls in his youth, and he knew the text was usually referred to as the Seventy, representing the number of scholars who had labored on the translation. All students were required to memorize the prophets in Greek as a beginning to their studies. The Hebrew version of the Scriptures was used only during the formal reading of the Sabbath services. ~ Davis Bunn,
134:forgive.” The creature turned abruptly and headed at high speed back toward his ship. They stared dumbly after the departed alien until the vast craft swallowed the single dark opening in its side. One of the engineers, who had completely forgotten his assignment (which was to observe the details of the alien’s suit), said, “Well!” He repeated it several times. That was the signal for a mild explosion of intersuit communication, mostly inane. Cleve examined the roll of metal, found its function anything but esoteric. It was a simple scroll, in ~ Alan Dean Foster,
135:William Ernest Henley Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul. ~ Preeti Shenoy,
136:Lord Antesh,” Uncle Sentes said. “I see no recognisable flag of truce, do you?” Antesh pursed his lips and shook his head. “Can’t say as I do, my lord.” “Well then.” “. . . swift transportation to any land of your choice,” the Volarian was saying, the scroll held in front of his eyes. “Plus one hundred pounds in gol—” He choked off as Antesh’s arrow punched through the scroll and the breastplate beyond. He tumbled from the saddle and lay still, the scroll pinned to his chest. “Right,” the Fief Lord said, turning away. “Let me know when the rest get here. ~ Anthony Ryan,
137:It is a matter for wonder: a moment, now here and then gone, nothing before it came, again nothing after it has gone, nonetheless returns as a ghost and disturbs the peace of a later moment. A leaf flutters from the scroll of time, floats away- and suddenly floats back again and falls into the man's lap. Then the man says 'I remember' and envies the animal, who at once forgets and for whom every moment really dies, sinks back into night and f og and is extinguished for ever. Thus the animal lives unhistorically: for it is contained in the present... ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
138:For the sake of Christ, God has made peace with the pilgrim, Christian. Christian is justified and is forgiven of all his sins. Christian is stripped of his rags and is given a robe of righteousness, which represents the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Christian is given a mark on his forehead that sets him apart from the world and marks him as a true child of God who will be preserved from divine judgment. Christian is given a scroll with a seal on it, which represents his temporal assurance of his new life and acceptance into the Celestial City.
4. ~ John Bunyan,
139:If you blink, you might miss it. You might miss the wet floor at the threshold, symbolically cleansing you before the meal begins. You might overlook the flower arrangement in the corner, a spare expression of the passing season. You might miss the scroll on the wall drawn with a single unbroken line, signaling the infinite continuity of nature. You might not detect the gentle current of young ginger rippling through the dashi, the extra sheet of Hokkaido kelp in the soup, the mochi that is made to look like a cherry blossom at midnight.
You might miss the water. ~ Matt Goulding,
140:All these years I thought I had been protecting a space alien from the government." She laughed and it was dry and filled with sadness. "And now I find out that I've been protecting something evil."
Catty started shaking. "What did you read?"
Kendra looked down at the manuscript. Her finger ran across a line as she translated it. "The child of a fallen goddess and an evil spirit will take possession of the Secret Scroll without fear of its curse."
"You think that's me?" Catty asked nervously. Could she be the daughter of a fallen goddess and an evil spirit? ~ Lynne Ewing,
141:On the mission I brought a flag from China, I brought the stone sculpture from Hong Kong, and I brought a scroll from Taiwan. And what I wanted to do is, because as I was going up and I am this Chinese-American, I wanted to represent Chinese people from the major population centers around the world where there are a lot of Chinese people. And so, I wanted to bring something from each of those places and so it really wasn't a political thing and I hope people saw it that way. I was born here, I was raised in the U.S., and I'm an American first, but also very proud of my heritage. ~ Leroy Chiao,
142:demonstration to poke fun at himself. “A word that’s sometimes used to describe me is ‘mercurial,’ ” he said, then paused. The audience laughed knowingly, especially those in the front rows, which were filled with NeXT employees and former members of the Macintosh team. Then he pulled up the word in the computer’s dictionary and read the first definition: “Of or relating to, or born under the planet Mercury.” Scrolling down, he said, “I think the third one is the one they mean: ‘Characterized by unpredictable changeableness of mood.’ ” There was a bit more laughter. “If we scroll ~ Walter Isaacson,
143:I have a scenario but almost always it's entwined with at least one person to begin with. Then I sort of expand from there and I'm thinking about books novels. I've got these scrolls of paper that I hang up in my office and this is my idea room, my nightmare factory, and I have a big title at the top of the scroll and on the left hand side I have these character sketches on the characters, and then once I figure out who they are I can figure out what they want and once I figure out what they want I'm able to put obstacles in the way of that desire, and that's where plot springs from. ~ Benjamin Percy,
144:Potter!” “Yes, Professor?” She glanced up and down the corridor; there were students coming from both directions. “Bear in mind,” she said quickly and quietly, her eyes on the scroll in his hand, “that channels of communication in and out of Hogwarts may be being watched, won’t you?” “I —” said Harry, but the flood of students rolling along the corridor was almost upon him. Professor McGonagall gave him a curt nod and retreated into the staffroom, leaving Harry to be swept out into the courtyard with the crowd. Here he spotted Ron and Hermione already standing in a sheltered corner, their ~ J K Rowling,
145:Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. ~ William Ernest Henley,
146:I feared that you were the destined heir to the Secret Scroll because of the prophecy."
"What prophecy?" Catty hated the tremor that had crept into her voice.
"Only the child of a fallen goddess and an evil spirit will inherit the Scroll, Zoe recited.
Catty's heart sunk. Her mother was a Follower, her father an evil member of the Inner Circle. She suddenly felt damned. How could she overcome such a birthright?
Zoe took Catty's hand. "You must never worry that you are evil because of your heritage. The manuscript can only be given to someone with a pure heart and the strength to fight the Atrox. ~ Lynne Ewing,
147:how would Messiah gather the Sons of Light together for their war against the Sons of Darkness? The War Scroll from the Community said that Edom, Moab, Ammon, Amalek, and Philistia would join the Roman Kittim as the army of Belial against the true sons of Israel exiled in the desert—in other words, the Essenes—but that “the great hand of God shall overcome Belial and all the angels of his dominion, and all the men of his forces shall be destroyed forever.” The way Jesus was violating all the principles of holiness and separation, if he was Messiah, he certainly didn’t fit the Community’s definition in the scrolls. ~ Brian Godawa,
148:The Starling
Forever the impenetrable wall
Of self confines my poor rebellious soul,
I never see the towering white clouds roll
Before a sturdy wind, save through the small
Barred window of my jail. I live a thrall
With all my outer life a clipped, square hole,
Rectangular; a fraction of a scroll
Unwound and winding like a worsted ball.
My thoughts are grown uneager and depressed
Through being always mine, my fancy's wings
Are moulted and the feathers blown away.
I weary for desires never guessed,
For alien passions, strange imaginings,
To be some other person for a day.
~ Amy Lowell,
149:Certitude
There was a time when I was confident
That God's stupendous mystery of birth
Was mine to know. The wonder of it lent
New ecstasy and glory to the earth.
I heard no voice that uttered it aloud,
Nor was it written for me on a scroll;
Yet, if alone or in the common crowd,
I felt myself a consecrated soul.
My child leaped in its dark and silent room
And cried, 'I am,' though all unheard by men.
So leaps my spirit in the body's gloom
And cries, 'I live! I shall be born again.'
Elate with certitude towards death I go,
Nor doubt, nor argue, since I know, I know!
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
150:Kestrel listened to the slap of waves against the ship, the cries of struggle and death. She remembered how her heart, so tight, like a scroll, had opened when Arin kissed her. It had unfurled.
If her heart were truly a scroll, she could burn it. It would become a tunnel of flame, a handful of ash. The secrets she had written inside herself would be gone. No one would know.
Her father would choose the water for Kestrel if he knew.
Yet she couldn't. In the end, it wasn't cunning that kept her from jumping, or determination. It was a glassy fear.
She didn't want to die. Arin was right. She played a game until its end. ~ Marie Rutkoski,
151:See! I went a little farther, and I saw one who hung bleeding upon a tree, and the very sight of Him made my burden fall off my back (for I had groaned under a very heavy burden, but then it fell off). It was a strange thing to see, and I have never seen anything like it before. And while I stood looking up at the one hanging on the cross, three Shining Ones came to me. One of them testified that
my sins were forgiven; another stripped me of my rags and gave me this embroidered coat that you see; and the third gave me the mark that you see on my forehead and gave me this sealed scroll." And with that he plucked it out of his coat. ~ John Bunyan,
152:Twitter The “feed” has become a social staple of many online products. The stream of limitless information displayed in a scrolling interface makes for a compelling reward of the hunt. The Twitter timeline, for example, is filled with a mix of both mundane and relevant content. This variety creates an enticingly unpredictable user experience. On occasion a user might find a particularly interesting piece of news, while other times, she won’t. But to keep hunting for more information, all that is needed is a flick of the finger or scroll of a mouse. Users scroll and scroll and scroll to search for variable rewards in the form of relevant tweets ~ Nir Eyal,
153:Shakespeare's Kingdom
When Shakespeare came to London
He met no shouting throngs;
He carried in his knapsack
A scroll of quiet songs.
No proud heraldic trumpet
Acclaimed him on his way;
Their court and camp have perished;
The songs live on for ay.
Nobody saw or heard them,
But, all around him there,
Spirits of light and music
Went treading the April air.
He passed like any pedlar,
Yet he had wealth untold.
The galleons of th' armada
Could not contain his gold.
The kings rode on to darkness.
In England's conquering hour,
Unseen arrived her splendour;
Unknown, her conquering power.
~ Alfred Noyes,
154:At the center of the requirements of the scroll is the provision for “the year of release,” the elimination of debt after seven years (Deut. 15:1–18).5 This teaching requires that at the end of six years, debts that remain unpaid will be cancelled. This most radical teaching intends that the practice of economy shall be subordinated to the well-being of the neighborhood. Social relationships between neighbors—creditors and debtors—are more important and definitional than the economic realities under consideration and there should be no permanent underclass in Israel, so that even the poor are assured wherewithal to participate in the economy in viable ways. ~ Walter Brueggemann,
155:What place is this,” Drizzt asked the cat quietly, “that I call home? These are my people, by skin and by heritage, but I am no kin to them. They are lost and ever will be. “How many others are like me, I wonder?” Drizzt whispered, taking one final look. “Doomed souls, as was Zaknafein, poor Zak. I do this for him, Guenhwyvar; I leave as he could not, His life has been my lesion, a dark scroll etched by the heavy price exacted by Matron Malice’s evil promises. “Goodbye, Zack!” he cried, his voice rising in final defiance. “My father. Take heart, as do I, that when we meet again, in a life after this, it will surely not be in the hellfire our kin are doomed to endure. ~ R A Salvatore,
156:The day that Levy got his press preview of the iPod, he happened to be meeting Bill Gates at a dinner, and he showed it to him. “Have you seen this yet?” Levy asked. Levy noted, “Gates went into a zone that recalls those science fiction films where a space alien, confronted with a novel object, creates some sort of force tunnel between him and the object, allowing him to suck directly into his brain all possible information about it.” Gates played with the scroll wheel and pushed every button combination, while his eyes stared fixedly at the screen. “It looks like a great product,” he finally said. Then he paused and looked puzzled. “It’s only for Macintosh?” he asked. ~ Walter Isaacson,
157:know,” Maris sighed. “I’m disgusting.” “No. You’re very beautiful like this.” Stunned, Maris looked up, unsure of what to expect. But he saw truth in Ture’s eyes, not horror. Ture cupped Maris’s cheek as he stared in awe of the man’s current appearance. He’d never seen anything like this. Mari’s skin reminded him of a sleek, silvery fish’s. Only it wasn’t scaled and it was as soft was warm velvet. Even his eyes were now an eerie glowing silver color. Not their normal dark chocolate. The neatest part was the beautiful design that was now visible around his eyes. Like someone had used dark gray and black eye shadow and liner to draw an intricate flowing scroll pattern. He ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon,
158:When they finally got to the front, it took Rin a long time to find her name. She scanned the lower half of the scroll, hardly daring to breathe. Surely she hadn’t scored well enough to make the top ten. She didn’t see Fang Runin anywhere. Only when she looked at Tutor Feyrik and saw that he was crying did she realize what had happened. Her name was at the very top of the scroll. She hadn’t placed in the top ten. She’d placed at the top of the entire village. The entire province. She had bribed a teacher. She had stolen opium. She had burned herself, lied to her foster parents, abandoned her responsibilities at the store, and broken a marriage deal. And she was going to Sinegard. ~ R F Kuang,
159:Love's Substitute
This love, that dares not warm before its flame
Our yearning hands, or from its tempting tree
Yield fruit we may consume, or let us claim
In Hymen's scroll of happy heraldry
The twining glyphs of perfect you and me -May kindle social fires whence curls no blame,
Find gardens where no fruits forbidden be,
And mottoes weave, unsullied by a shame.
For, love, unmothered Childhood wanly waits
For such as you to cherish it to Youth:
Raw social soils untilled need Love's own verve
That Peace a-flower may oust their weedy hates:
And where Distress would faint from wolfish sleuth
The perfect lovers' symbol is "We serve!"
~ Bernard O'Dowd,
160:For The Holy Family By Michelangelo
TURN not the prophet's page, O Son! He knew
All that Thou hast to suffer, and hath writ.
Not yet Thine hour of knowledge. Infinite
The sorrows that Thy manhood's lot must rue
And dire acquaintance of Thy grief. That clue
The spirits of Thy mournful ministerings
Seek through yon scroll in silence. For these things
The angels have desired to look into.
Still before Eden waves the fiery sword,—
Her Tree of Life unransomed: whose sad Tree
Of Knowledge yet to growth of Calvary
Must yield its Tempter,—Hell the earliest dead
Of Earth resign,—and yet, O Son and Lord,
The seed o' the woman bruise the serpent's head.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
161:I post a petition on my Facebook page. Which of my friends will see it on their news feed? I have no idea. As soon as I hit send, that petition belongs to Facebook, and the social network’s algorithm makes a judgment about how to best use it. It calculates the odds that it will appeal to each of my friends. Some of them, it knows, often sign petitions, and perhaps share them with their own networks. Others tend to scroll right past. At the same time, a number of my friends pay more attention to me and tend to click the articles I post. The Facebook algorithm takes all of this into account as it decides who will see my petition. For many of my friends, it will be buried so low on their news feed that they’ll never see it. ~ Cathy O Neil,
162:The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled about them--all sorts of little birds and beasts, as well as the whole pack of cards: the Knave was standing before them, in chains, with a soldier on each side to guard him; and near the King was the White Rabbit, with a trumpet in one hand, and a scroll of parchment in the other. In the very middle of the court was a table, with a large dish of tarts upon it: they looked so good, that it made Alice quite hungry to look at them--'I wish they'd get the trial done,' she thought, 'and hand round the refreshments!' But there seemed to be no chance of this, so she began looking at everything about her, to pass away the time. ~ Lewis Carroll,
163:Keriat haTorah therefore means not reading, but proclaiming the Torah, reading it aloud. The one who reads it has the written word in front of him, but for the rest of the gathering it is an experience not of the eye, but of the ear. The divine word is something heard rather than seen. Indeed, it was only with the spread of manuscripts, and the invention of printing in the fifteenth century, that reading become a visual rather than auditory experience. To this day the primary experience of keriat haTorah involves listening to the reader declaim the words from the Torah scroll, rather than following them in a printed book. We miss some of the most subtle effects of Torah if we think of it as the text seen, rather than the word heard. ~ Jonathan Sacks,
164:Last Night I Heard The Plaintive Whippoorwill,
Last night I heard the plaintive whippoorwill,
And straightway Sorrow shot his swiftest dart.
I know not why, but it has chilled my heart
Like some dread thing of evil. All night long
My nerves were shaken, and my pulse stood still,
And waited for a terror yet to come
To strike harsh discords through my life's sweet song.
Sleep came-an incubus that filled the sum
Of wretchedness with dreams so wild and chill
The sweat oozed from me like great drops of gall;
An evil spirit kept my mind in thrall,
And rolled my body up like a poor scroll
On which is written curses that the soul
Shrinks back from when it sees some hellish carnival.
~ Charles Sangster,
165:FROM A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE by Victoria Vane:
His gaze glued to the bed, Ned made a mechanical backward retreat to the center of the room where he had a clearer prospect of its crowning glory. His vision rose to the top of the headboard, to the heraldic shield seated betwixt the carved figures of a lion and a unicorn. His gaze slid with dread to the engraved scroll beneath. Dieu Et Mon Driot. God and my right, the motto of the king. His chest seized. The room began to spin. He looked to Phoebe, aware that the blood was draining from his face, and that his voice emerged as a strangled sound. "May the same God save me...for I'm going to be hung, drawn, and quartered for spending last night rutting in the King of England's bed!" coming April 27, 2012 from Breathless Press ~ Emery Lee,
166:Then, on impulse, I scroll back through my previous Instagram posts, looking at the photos of London cafes, sights, drinks, and smiling faces (mostly strangers). The whole thing is like a feel-good movie, and what's wrong with that? Loads of people use colored filters or whatever on Instagram. Well, my filter is the “this is how I'd like it to be” filter. It's not that I lie. I was in those places, even if I couldn't afford a hot chocolate. It's just I don't dwell on any of the not-so-great stuff in my life, like the commute or the prices or having to keep all my stuff in a hammock. Let alone vanilla-whey-coated eggs and abnoxious lechy flatmates. And the point is, it's something to aspire to, something to hope for. One day my life will match my Instagram posts. One day. ~ Sophie Kinsella,
167:Isaiah was not only the most remarkable of the prophets, he was by far the greatest writer in the Old Testament. He was evidently a magnificent preacher, but it is likely he set his words down in writing. They certainly achieved written form very early and remained among the most popular of all the holy writings: among the texts found at Qumran after the Second World War was a leather scroll, 23 feet long, giving the whole of Isaiah in fifty columns of Hebrew, the best preserved and longest ancient manuscript of the Bible we possess.216 The early Jews loved his sparkling prose with its brilliant images, many of which have since passed into the literature of all civilized nations. But more important than the language was the thought: Isaiah was pushing humanity towards new moral discoveries. ~ Paul Johnson,
168:You never stop to think how the history of whiteness in America is one long scroll of affirmative action. You never stop to think that Babe Ruth never had to play the greatest players of his generation - just the greatest white players. You never stop to think that most of our presidents never rose to the top because they bested the competition - just the white competition. White privilege is a self-selecting tool that keeps you from having to compete with the best. The history of white folk gaining access to Harvard, Princeton, or Yale is the history of white folk deciding ahead of the game that you were superior. You argue that slots in school should be reserved for your kin, because, after all, they are smarter, more disciplined, better suited, and more deserving that inferior blacks. ~ Michael Eric Dyson,
169:Nikhilananda’s birthday. Maybe we’d Morris dance, naked, around the base of an old-growth California redwood, its branches lavishly festooned with the soiled hammocks and poop buckets of crunchy-granola tree sitters mentoring spotted owls in passive-resistance protest techniques. You get the picture. In place of Santa Claus, my mom and dad said Maya Angelou kept tabs on whether little children were naughty or nice. Dr. Angelou, they warned me, did her accounting on a long hemp scroll of names, and if I failed to turn my compost I’d be sent to bed with no algae. Me, I just wanted to know that someone wise and carbon neutral—Dr. Maya or Shirley Chisholm or Sean Penn—was paying attention. But none of that was really Christmas. And none of that Earth First! baloney helps out once you’re dead and you discover that the snake-handling, ~ Chuck Palahniuk,
170:A Promised Fast Train
I turned my eyes upon the Future's scroll
And saw its pictured prophecies unroll.
I saw that magical life-laden train
Flash its long glories o'er Nebraska's plain.
I saw it smoothly up the mountain glide.
'O happy, happy passengers!' I cried.
For Pleasure, singing, drowned the engine's roar,
And Hope on joyous pinions flew before.
Then dived the train adown the sunset slopePleasure was silent and unseen was Hope.
Crashes and shrieks attested the decay
That greed had wrought upon that iron way.
The rusted rails broke down the rotting ties,
And clouds of flying spikes obscured the skies.
My coward eyes I drew away, distressed,
And fixed them on the terminus to-West,
Where soon, its melancholy tale to tell,
One bloody car-wheel wabbled in and fell!
~ Ambrose Bierce,
171:Consider the roots of a simple and mundane action, for instance, buying bread for your breakfast. A farmer has grown the grain in a field carved from wilderness by his ancestors; in the ancient city a miller has ground the flour and a baker prepared the loaf; the vendor has transported it to your house in a cart built by a cartwright and his apprentices. Even the donkey that draws the cart, what stories could she not tell if you could decipher her braying? And then you yourself hand over a coin of copper dug from the very heart of the earth, you who have risen from a bed of dreams and darkness to stand in the light of the vast and terrifying sun. Are there not a thousand strands woven together into this tapestry of a morning meal? How then can you expect that the omens of great events should be easy to unravel? The Pseudo-Iamblichus Scroll ~ Katharine Kerr,
172:Knock it off, you two.’ Annabeth handed her scroll to Sadie. ‘Carter, let’s trade. I’ll try your khopesh ; you try my Yankees cap.’

She tossed him the hat.

‘I’m usually more of a basketball guy, but …’ Carter put on the cap and disappeared. ‘Wow, okay. I’m invisible, aren’t I?’

Sadie applauded. ‘You’ve never looked better, brother dear.’

‘Very funny.’

‘If you can sneak up on Setne,’ Annabeth suggested, ‘you might be able to take him by surprise, get the crown away from him.’

‘But you told us Setne saw right through your invisibility,’ Carter said.

‘That was me ,’ Annabeth said, ‘a Greek using a Greek magic item. For you, maybe it’ll work better – or differently, at least.’

‘Carter, give it a shot,’ I said. ‘The only thing better than a giant chicken man is a giant invisible chicken man. ~ Rick Riordan,
173:Isa. 34:4 All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine.   Rev. 6:13-14 [An earthquake occurs] and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.   Matt. 24:29 “The stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”   Job 26:11 “The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astounded at His rebuke.   2Sam. 22:8 Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations of the heavens trembled and quaked.   Is. 13:13 Therefore I shall make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place at the wrath of the LORD of hosts.   Joel 2:10 The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble. ~ Brian Godawa,
174:First there was OralTrad, upgraded ten thousand years later by the rhyming (for easier recall) Oral TradPlus. For thousands of years this was the only Story Operating System and it is still in use today. The system branched in two about twenty thousand years ago; on one side with CaveDaubPro (forerunner of PaintPlus V2.3, GrecianUrn V1.2, Sculpt-Marble V1.4 and the latest, all-encompassing SuperArtisticExpression-5). The other strand, the Picto-Phonetic Storytelling Systems, started with Clay Tablet V2.1 and went through several competing systems (Wax-Tablet, Papyrus, VellumPlus) before merging into the award-winning SCROLL, which was upgraded eight times to V3.5 before being swept aside by the all new and clearly superior BOOK V1. Stable, easy to store and transport, compact and with a workable index, BOOK has led the way for nearly eighteen hundred years. WORDMASTER XAVIER LIBRIS,
Story Operating Systems—the Early Years ~ Jasper Fforde,
175:A few thousand years ago, we knew everything—how the world began, what it was for, our place in it … everything. It was all there, in the stories the old men told around the fire or had written down in a big book. No more questions, everything sorted out. But now we know that there’s vast amounts of things that, well, we simply don’t know. Universities have made great efforts in this area. Think about how it works: you arrive at university, the gleam still on your A levels, and you’ve pretty well got it all sussed. Then the first thing they tell you—well, the second thing, obviously, because they have to tell you where the toilets are and so on—is that what you’ve learned so far is not so much the truth as a way of looking at things. And after three years or so you’ve learned there’s a huge amount that you don’t know yet, and that’s when they give you a scroll and push you out. Ignorance is a wonderful thing—it’s the state you have to be in before you can really learn anything. ~ Anonymous,
176:Geography lessons go virtual: Danish government creates Minecraft version of ENTIRE country to help teachers Geography lessons go virtual: Danish government creates Minecraft version of ENTIRE country to help teachers Entire country was recreated by government's mapping department Minecraft lesson plans for teachers also created in bid to make education more accessible By Mark Prigg Published: 22:06 GMT, 25 April 2014 | Updated: 23:01 GMT, 25 April 2014 The Danish government has recreated the entire country in the hit computer game Minecraft. The first country to be fully transplanted into the blocky Minecraft games, the government hopes it could help make lessons more fun for students. It has even produced a series of lesson plans for teachers to help them navigate the virtual version of their country. Scroll down for video Denmark's Ministry of the Environment has created a full-scale model of the country in Minecraft for players to explore. The downloadable model consists of 4,000 billion blocks and requires one terabyte of storage space. ~ Anonymous,
177:Right On
Ho! children of the brave,
Ho! freemen of the land,
That hurl'd into the grave
Oppression's bloody band;
Come on, come on, and joined be we
To make the fettered bondman free.
Let coward vassals sneak
From freedom's battle still,
Poltroons that dare not speak
But as their priests may will;
Come on, come on, and joined be we
To make the fettered bondman free.
On parchment, scroll and creed,
With human life blood red,
Untrembling at the deed,
Plant firm your manly tread;
The priest may howl, the jurist rave,
But we will free the fettered slave.
The tyrant's scorn is vain,
In vain the slanderer's breath,
We'll rush to break the chain,
E'en on the jaws of death;
Hurrah! Hurrah! right on go we,
The fettered slave shall yet be free.
Right on, in freedom's name,
And in the strength of God,
Wipe out the damning stain,
And break the oppressor's rod;
Hurrah! Hurrah! right on go we,
The fettered slave shall yet be free.
~ Anonymous Americas,
178:You think I am so wicked, don't you? A monster. Unnatural. How cruel of me to keep you here and rattle on about my dead grandmother whom you care nothing about. To hold back the doom I keep in store for you and tease you about your mother. I am telling you all this for a reason, you curdle-brained child. Didn't you ever have a tutor? I am teaching dead, dull history—so that you will understand why your feet carried you here instead of towards some other broken old woman's hut, and what you ended when you snapped my daughter's neck. Don't keep looking at me with that same idiot stare. Listen, or you will comprehend nothing, not even your mother. Shall I just kill you now and have my revenge? It would certainly save breath, and at my age every breath is named and numbered. I entertain you at the expense of not a few figures in that scroll of sighs, boy; do not test me." She paused, grimacing as if she truly were tallying the accounts of her lungs. "And never assume that a woman is wicked simply because she is ugly and behaves unfavorably towards you. It is unbecoming behavior for a Prince. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
179:Afternoon In School The Last Lesson
When will the bell ring, and end this weariness?
How long have they tugged the leash, and strained apart
My pack of unruly hounds: I cannot start
Them again on a quarry of knowledge they hate to hunt,
I can haul them and urge them no more.
No more can I endure to bear the brunt
Of the books that lie out on the desks: a full three score
Of several insults of blotted pages and scrawl
Of slovenly work that they have offered me.
I am sick, and tired more than any thrall
Upon the woodstacks working weariedly.
And shall I take
The last dear fuel and heap it on my soul
Till I rouse my will like a fire to consume
Their dross of indifference, and burn the scroll
Of their insults in punishment? - I will not!
I will not waste myself to embers for them,
Not all for them shall the fires of my life be hot,
For myself a heap of ashes of weariness, till sleep
Shall have raked the embers clear: I will keep
Some of my strength for myself, for if I should sell
It all for them, I should hate them - I will sit and wait for the bell.
~ David Herbert Lawrence,
180:BARABAS: As for myself, I walk abroad a-nights,
And kill sick people groaning under walls.
Sometimes I go about and poison wells;
And now and then, to cherish Christian thieves,
I am content to lose some of my crowns,
That I may, walking in my gallery,
See 'em go pinion'd along by my door.
Being young, I studied physic, and began
To practice first upon the Italian;
There I enrich'd the priests with burials,
And always kept the sexton's arms in ure
With digging graves and ringing dead men's knells.
And, after that, was I an engineer,
And in the wars 'twixt France and Germany,
Under pretence of helping Charles the Fifth,
Slew friend and enemy with my stratagems:
Then, after that, was I an usurer,
And with extorting, cozening, forfeiting,
And tricks belonging unto brokery,
I fill'd the gaols with bankrupts in a year,
And with young orphans planted hospitals;
And every moon made some or other mad,
And now and then one hang himself for grief,
Pinning upon his breast a long great scroll
How I with interest tormented him.
But mark how I am blest for plaguing them:
I have as much coin as will buy the town. ~ Christopher Marlowe,
181:Forbidden Speech
The passion you forbade my lips to utter
Will not be silenced. You must hear it in
The sullen thunders when they roll and mutter:
And when the tempest nears, with wail and din,
I know your calm forgetfulness is broken,
And to your heart you whisper, 'He has spoken.'
All nature understands and sympathises
With human passion. When the restless sea
Turns in its futile search for peace, and rises
To plead and to pursue, it pleads for me.
And with each desperate billow's anguished fretting.
Your heart must tell you, 'He is not forgetting.'
When unseen hands in lightning strokes are writing
Mysterious words upon a cloudy scroll,
Know that my pent-up passion is inditing
A cypher message for your woman's soul;
And when the lawless winds rush by you shrieking,
Let your heart say, 'Now his despair is speaking.'
Love comes, nor goes, at beck or call of reason,
Nor is love silent, though it says no word;
By day or night, in any clime or season,
A dominating passion must be heard.
So shall you hear, through Junes and through Decembers,
The voice of Nature saying, 'He remembers.'
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
182:Consider the cattle, grazing as they pass you by: they do not know what is meant by yesterday or today, they leap about, eat, rest, digest, leap about again, and so from morn till night and from day to day, fettered to the moment and its pleasure or displeasure, and thus neither melancholy nor bored. This is a hard sight for man to see; for, though he thinks himself better than the animals because he is human, he cannot help envying them their happiness – what they have, a life neither bored nor painful, is precisely what he wants, yet he cannot have it because he refuses to be like an animal…
[Man] also wonders at himself, that he cannot learn to forget but clings relentlessly to the past: however far and fast he may run, this chain runs with him. And it is a matter for wonder: a moment, now here and then gone, nothing before it came, again nothing after it has gone, nonetheless returns as a ghost and disturbs the peace of a later moment. A leaf flutters from the scroll of time, floats away – and suddenly floats back again and falls into the man’s lap. Then the man says ‘I remember’ and envies the animal, who at once forgets and for whom every moment really dies, sinks back into night and fog and is extinguished forever. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
183:In Tom's hurried exchange, he had not forgotten to transfer his cherished Bible to his pocket. It was well he did so; for Mr. Legree, having refitted Tom's handcuffs, proceeded deliberately to investigate the contents of his pockets. He drew out a silk handkerchief, and put it into his own pocket. Several little trifles, which Tom had treasured, chiefly because they had amused Eva, he looked upon with a contemptuous grunt, and tossed them over his shoulder into the river.

Tom's Methodist hymn-book, which, in his hurry, he had forgotten, he now held up and turned over.

"Humph! pious, to be sure. So, what's yer name,—you belong to the church, eh?"

"Yes, Mas'r," said Tom, firmly.

"Well, I'll soon have that out of you. I have none o' yer bawling, praying, singing niggers on my place; so remember. Now, mind yourself," he said, with a stamp and a fierce glance of his gray eye, directed at Tom, "I'm your church now! You understand,—you've got to be as I say."

Something within the silent black man answered No! and, as if repeated by an invisible voice, came the words of an old prophetic scroll, as Eva had often read them to him,—"Fear not! for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by my name. Thou art MINE! ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe,
184:To Iris
IF I might build a palace, fair
With every joy of soul and sense,
And set my heart as sentry there
To guard your happy innocence-If I might plant a hedge so strong
No creeping sorrow could writhe through,
And find my whole life not too long
To give, to make your hedge for you-If I could teach the wandering air
To bring no sounds that were not sweet,
Could teach the earth that only fair
Untrodden flower deserved your feet:
Would I not tear the secret scroll
Where all your griefs lie closely curled,
And give your little hand control
Of all the joys of all the world?
But ah! I have no skill to raise
The palace, teach the hedge to grow;
The common airs blow through your days,
By common ways your dear feet go.
And you must twine of common flowers
The wreath that happy women wear,
And bear in desolate darkened hours
The common griefs that all men bear.
The pinions of my love I fold
Your little shoulders close about:
Ah--could my love keep out the cold
And shut the creeping sorrows out!
Rough paths will tire your darling feet,
Gray skies will weep your tears above,
While round you still, in torment, beat
The impotent wings of mother-love.
~ Edith Nesbit,
185:Rosalind's Scroll
I LEFT thee last, a child at heart,
A woman scarce in years:
I come to thee, a solemn corpse
Which neither feels nor fears.
I have no breath to use in sighs;
They laid the dead-weights on mine eyes
To seal them safe from tears.
Look on me with thine own calm look:
I meet it calm as thou.
No look of thine can change this smile,
Or break thy sinful vow:
I tell thee that my poor scorn'd heart
Is of thine earth--thine earth--a part:
It cannot vex thee now.
I have pray'd for thee with bursting sob
When passion's course was free;
I have pray'd for thee with silent lips
In the anguish none could see;
They whisper'd oft, 'She sleepeth soft'-But I only pray'd for thee.
Go to! I pray for thee no more:
The corpse's tongue is still;
Its folded fingers point to heaven,
But point there stiff and chill:
No farther wrong, no farther woe
Hath licence from the sin below
Its tranquil heart to thrill.
I charge thee, by the living's prayer,
And the dead's silentness,
To wring from out thy soul a cry
Which God shall hear and bless!
Lest Heaven's own palm droop in my hand,
And pale among the saints I stand,
A saint companionless.
86
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
186:For one moment, she stood stock-still, drinking in the simple beauty of the marble fountain, the base of its pedestal wreathed in delicate fronds, that stood, glowing lambently in the soft white light, in the center of a small, secluded, fern-shrouded clearing. Water poured steadily from the pitcher of the partially clad maiden frozen forever in her task of filling the wide, scroll-lipped basin.
The area had clearly been designed to provide the lady of the house with a private, refreshing, calming retreat in which to embroider, or simply rest and gather thoughts. In the moonlit night, surrounded by mysterious shadow and steeped in a silence rendered only more intense by the distant sighing of music and the silvery tinkle of the water, it was a hauntingly magical place.
For three heartbeats, the magic held Patience immobile.
Then, through the fine silk of her gown, she felt the heat of Vane's body. He did not touch her, but that heat, and the flaring awareness that raced through her, had her quickly stepping forward. Hauling in a desperate breath, she gestured to the fountain. "It's lovely."
"Hmm," came from close behind.
Too close behind. Patience found herself heading for a stone bench, shaded by a canopy of palms. Stifling a gasp, she veered away, toward the fountain. ~ Stephanie Laurens,
187:I take my phone out of my pocket and scroll to Sky’s number. It’s late, but I want to hear her voice. It’s stupid, I know. But it is what it is. “Hello,” she says, her voice hesitant. I lean against the building because my knees wobble when I talk to her. It makes me giddy. “Hi,” I say quietly. “Hi,” she breathes back. “Were you asleep?” “No, I was just thinking.” “About what?” “You,” she admits. My heart starts to beat harder. “Good thoughts?” I ask. I can almost hear her smile through the phone. “Very good.” “I just wanted to say good night.” It sounds stupid aloud. “I’m glad you called,” she replies. “Really glad.” “Can I call you tomorrow?” She laughs. “You better.” “Good night, Sky,” I say. “’Night, Matt.” I disconnect the call and put my phone in my pocket. No one is up when I get home. I’m not even sure if Paul is home. I go into my bedroom and get ready for bed. Just as I slide between the sheets, my phone rings. I see that it’s her number. “Sky?” “Yeah,” she admits. “You okay?” “I just wanted to tell you good night,” she says quietly. “I think you already did that.” But inside, my heart is beating like a tattoo gun. “Oh,” she says quietly. She laughs. “Sorry.” “You tired?” I ask. “Not at all.” So we talk late into the night. We talk until my eyes are droopy, and I still don’t want to hang up the phone. ~ Tammy Falkner,
188:Only the Great Poison, he who is handsome and wise and charming and handsome, can lead the faithful to Edom. So cater to the Great Poison with food and drink and baths and the occasional massage.
"They wrote 'handsome' twice," murmured Alec.
"Why is it called the Red Scrolls," said Shiyun, "when it is a book? And not a scroll?"
"It's definitely not plural scrolls," said Alec.
"I'm sure whoever this handsome, handsome cult founder is," said Magnus, his chest constricting, "he had his reasons."
Shinyun read on. "The prince wishes only the best for his children. Thus, to honor his name, there must be a hearth crowded with only the finest of liquors and cigars and bonbons. Tithes of treasure and gifts showered upon the Great Poison symbolize the love between the faithful, so keep the spirits flowing and the gold growing, and always remember the sacred roles.
"Life is a stage, so exit in style.
"Only the faithful who make a truly great drink shall be favored.
"Offend not the Great Poison with cruel deeds or poor fashion.
"Seek the children of demons. Love them as you love your lord. Do not let the children be alone.
"In times of trouble, remember: all roads lead to Rome."
Alec looked at Magnus, and Magnus could not entirely understand Alec's small smile. "I think you wrote this. ~ Cassandra Clare,
189:Until three weeks before,Lu Xin had lived on her family's millet farm on the banks of the Huan River. Passing through her river valley on his shining chariot one afternoon,the king had glimpsed Lu Xin tending the crops.He had decided that he fancied her. The next day,two militiamen had arrived at her door.She'd had to leave her family and her home. She'd had to leave De, the handsome young fisherman from the next village.
Before the king's summons, De had shown Lu Xin how to fish using his pair of pet cormorants,by tying a bit of rope loosely around their necks so that they could catch several fish in their mouths but not swallow them. Watching De gently coax the fish from the depths of the funny bird's beaks,Lu Xin had fallen in love with him.The very next morning,she'd had to say goodbye to him. Forever.
Or so she'd thought.
It had been nineteen sunsets since Lu Xin had seen De,seven sunsets since she'd received a scroll from home with bad news: De and some other boys from the neighboring farms had run away to join the rebel army, and no sooner had he left than the kind's men had ransacked the village,looking for the deserters.
With the king dead,the Shang men would show no mercy to Lu Xin,and she would never find De,never reunite with Daniel.
Unless the king's council didn't find out that their king was dead. ~ Lauren Kate,
190:The Honor Roll
The boys upon the honor roll, God bless them all, I pray!
God watch them when they sleep at night, and guard them through the day.
We've stamped their names upon our walls, the list in glory grows,
Our brave boys and our splendid boys who stand to meet our foes.
Oh, here are sons of mothers fair and fathers fine and true,
The little ones of yesterday, the children that we knew;
We thought of them as youngsters gay, still laughing at their games,
And then we found the honor roll emblazoned with their names.
We missed their laughter and their cheer; it seems but yesterday
We had them here to walk with us, and now they've marched away.
And here where once their smiles were seen we keep a printed scroll;
The absent boy we long to see is on the honor roll.
So quickly did the summons come we scarcely marked the change,
One day life marched its normal pace, the next all things seemed strange,
And when we questioned where they were, the sturdiest of us all,
We saw the silent honor roll on each familiar wall.
The laughter that we knew has gone; the merry voice of youth
No longer rings where graybeards sit, discussing sombre truth.
No longer jests are flung about to rouse our weary souls,
For they who meant so much to us are on our honor rolls.
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
191:His gaze meandered along my chest. "Hey!" I crossed my arms over my breasts.
"Those are…"
"Patrick's?"
"Well, his name isn't tattooed on them, but yeah, currently they are reserved for him."
I peered at him and noted the similarities between him and his sons. "Ruadan, I presume?"
"Got it in one," he said, silver eyes twinkling.
"You scared the shit out of me." One corner of his mouth lifted into a grin. He picked up the parchment and tapped on it.
"So, you're Patrick's soul mate."
"No."
"But you read the scroll. Only his sonuachar can do that."
"Let me explain." I paused. "No, there is too much. Let me sum up."
" The Princess Bride!" Ruadan exclaimed in happy surprise. "I love that movie. 'Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!'" He leapt off the bed and made fencing motions.
"Ruadan, we're in a bit of crisis around here."
"Hey! My swords." He practically skipped to the dresser where I had left them when I got ready for my bath. He whirled the half-swords like a master swordsman, which, of course, he was. "My mother really knows how to smith a weapon, doesn't she? Real fairy gold." He stabbed an invisible foe's chest with one and his stomach with the other. "Die, evil one! Die!"
He jumped up and down, the swords held above his head, and did a victory dance.
"You're like a big puppy!" I exclaimed. "A big, dumb puppy. ~ Michele Bardsley,
192:Jobs spent part of every day for six months helping to refine the display. “It was the most complex fun I’ve ever had,” he recalled. “It was like being the one evolving the variations on ‘Sgt. Pepper.’ ” A lot of features that seem simple now were the result of creative brainstorms. For example, the team worried about how to prevent the device from playing music or making a call accidentally when it was jangling in your pocket. Jobs was congenitally averse to having on-off switches, which he deemed “inelegant.” The solution was “Swipe to Open,” the simple and fun on-screen slider that activated the device when it had gone dormant. Another breakthrough was the sensor that figured out when you put the phone to your ear, so that your lobes didn’t accidentally activate some function. And of course the icons came in his favorite shape, the primitive he made Bill Atkinson design into the software of the first Macintosh: rounded rectangles. In session after session, with Jobs immersed in every detail, the team members figured out ways to simplify what other phones made complicated. They added a big bar to guide you in putting calls on hold or making conference calls, found easy ways to navigate through email, and created icons you could scroll through horizontally to get to different apps—all of which were easier because they could be used visually on the screen rather than by using a keyboard built into the hardware. ~ Walter Isaacson,
193:Terms


BEN MARCUS, THE 1. False map, scroll, caul, or parchment. It is comprised of the first skin. In ancient times, it hung from a pole, where wind and birds inscribed its surface. Every year, it was lowered and the engravings and dents that the wind had introduced were studied. It can be large, although often it is tiny and illegible. Members wring it dry. It is a fitful chart in darkness. When properly decoded (an act in which the rule of opposite perception applies), it indicates only that we should destroy it and look elsewhere for instruction. In four, a chaplain donned the Ben Marcus and drowned in Green River. 2. The garment that is too heavy to allow movement. These cloths are designed as prison structures for bodies, dogs, persons, members. 3. Figure from which the antiperson is derived; or, simply, the antiperson. It must refer uselessly and endlessly and always to weather, food, birds, or cloth, and is produced of an even ratio of skin and hair, with declension of the latter in proportion to expansion of the former. It has been represented in other figures such as Malcolm and Laramie, although aspects of it have been co-opted for uses in John. Other members claim to inhabit its form and are refused entry to the house. The victuals of the antiperson derive from itself, explaining why it is often represented as a partial or incomplete body or system--meaning it is often missing things: a knee, the mouth, shoes, a heart ~ Ben Marcus,
194:Some Consequences of the Made Thing

The End. Above these words the sky closes.
It closes by turning white. Not
The white of all clouds or being within a cloud.
White of worldless light. The End.
Feel a silence there that reminds you of a scent.
Crushed grass the hooves galloped through
Or is it the binder’s glue?
Some silence never not real finally can be
Heard. Silence before the first words.
Precedent chaos. Or marrow work.
Or just the sound of the throat opening to speak.
Like those scholars of pure water
Who rode through mountains and meadows
To drink from each fresh spring a glass
And then with brush and ink wrote poems
On the differences of sameness,
You too feel yourself taste the silent page
Of the end and the silent page of beginning.
They taste so much of whiteness never more
White than white that’s been lost.
You have some sense of the book
Altering, page sewn secretly next to page,
Last page stitched to first. O, earth—
It rolls around the solar scroll
Turning nothing into years and years into
Nothing. At The End you’re a witness to this work
That wears the witness away. And who are you
Anyway. Pronoun of the 2nd person. Lover,
Stranger, God. Student, Child, Shade.
Something similar gathers in you.
Another way of saying I in a poem—
Of saying I in a poem that realizes at the end
That I am just a distance from myself.
And so are you. That same distance. ~ Dan Beachy Quick,
195:The next thing he knew, a creature from between dimensions was standing beside his bed looking down at him disapprovingly.

The creature had many eyes, all over it, ultra-modern expensive-looking clothing, and rose up eight feet high. Also, it carried an enormous scroll.

"You're going to read me my sins," Charles Freck said.
The creature nodded and unsealed the scroll.
Freck said, lying helpless on his bed, "And it's going to take a hundred thousand hours."

Fixing its many compound eyes on him, the creature from between dimensions said, "We are no longer in the mundane universe. Lower-plane categories of material existence such as 'space' and 'time' no longer apply to you. You have been elevated to the transcendent realm. Your sins will be read to you ceaselessly, in shifts, throughout eternity. The list will never end."

Know your dealer. Charles Freck thought, and wished he could take back the last half-hour of his life.

A thousand years later he was still lying there on his bed with the Ayn Rand book and the letter to Exxon on his chest, listening to them read his sins to him. They had gotten up to the first grade, when he was six years old.

Ten thousand years later they had reached the sixth grade.
The year he had discovered masturbation.
He shut his eyes, but he could still see the multi-eyed, eight-foot-high being with its endless scroll reading on and on.
"And next-" it was saying.

Charles Freck thought, At least I got a good wine. ~ Philip K Dick,
196:Thora's Song ('Ashtaroth')
We severed in Autumn early,
Ere the earth was torn by the plough;
The wheat and the oats and the barley
Are ripe for the harvest now.
We sunder'd one misty morning
Ere the hills were dimm'd by the rain;
Through the flowers those hills adorning -Thou comest not back again.
My heart is heavy and weary
With the weight of a weary soul;
The mid-day glare grows dreary,
And dreary the midnight scroll.
The corn-stalks sigh for the sickle,
'Neath the load of their golden grain;
I sigh for a mate more fickle -Thou comest not back again.
The warm sun riseth and setteth,
The night bringeth moistening dew,
But the soul that longeth forgetteth
The warmth and the moisture too.
In the hot sun rising and setting
There is naught save feverish pain;
There are tears in the night-dews wetting -Thou comest not back again.
Thy voice in my ear still mingles
With the voices of whisp'ring trees,
Thy kiss on my cheek still tingles
At each kiss of the summer breeze.
While dreams of the past are thronging
For substance of shades in vain,
I am waiting, watching and longing -Thou comest not back again.
Waiting and watching ever,
Longing and lingering yet;
Leaves rustle and corn-stalks quiver,
305
Winds murmur and waters fret.
No answer they bring, no greeting,
No speech, save that sad refrain,
Nor voice, save an echo repeating -He cometh not back again.
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
197:Mrs. Winterson didn't want her body resurrected because she had never, ever loved it, not even for a single minute of a single day But although she believed in End Time, she felt that the bodily resurrection was unscientific. When I asked her about this she told me she had seen Pathé newsreels of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and she knew all about Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project. She had lived through the war. Her brother had been in the air force, my dad had been in the army -- it was their life, not their history. She said that after the atomic bomb you couldn't believe in mass any more, it was all about energy. 'This life is all mass. When we go, we'll be all energy, that's all there is to it.'

I have thought about this a lot over the years. She had understood something infinitely complex and absolutely simple. For her, in the Book of Revelation, the 'things of the world' that would pass away, 'heaven and earth rolled up like a scroll,' were demonstrations of the inevitable movement from mass to energy. Her uncle, her beloved mother's beloved brother, had been a scientist. She was an intelligent woman, and somewhere in the middle of the insane theology and the brutal politics, the flamboyant depression and the refusal of books, of knowledge, of life, she had watched the atomic bomb go off and realised that the true nature of the world is energy not mass.

But she never understood that energy could have been her own true nature while she was alive. She did not need to be trapped in mass. ~ Jeanette Winterson,
198:This scroll, five hundred years old and more, had been inspired by her favorite, the great Wang Wei, master of landscape art, who had painted the scenes from his own home, where he lived for thirty years before he died. Now behind the palace walls on this winter’s day, where she could see only sky and falling snow, Tzu His gazed upon the green landscapes of continuing spring. One landscape melted into another as slowly she unrolled the scroll, so that she might dwell upon every detail of tree and brook and distant hillside. So did she, in imagination, pass beyond the high walls which enclosed her, and she traveled through a delectable country, beside flowing brooks and spreading lakes, and following the ever-flowing river she crossed over wooden bridges and climbed the stony pathways upon a high mountainside and thence looked down a gorge to see a torrent fed by still higher springs, and breaking into waterfalls as it traveled toward the plains. Down from the mountain again she came, past small villages nestling in pine forests and into the warmer valleys among bamboo groves, and she paused in a poet’s pavilion, and so reached at last the shore where the river lost itself in a bay. There among the reeds a fisherman’s boat rose and fell upon the rising tide. Here the river ended, its horizon the open sea and the misted mountains of infinity. This scroll, Lady Miao had once told her, was the artist’s picture of the human soul, passing through the pleasantest scenes of earth to the last view of the unknown future, far beyond. ~ Pearl S Buck,
199:The Day's Ration
When I was born,
From all the seas of strength Fate filled a chalice,
Saying, This be thy portion, child; this chalice,
Less than a lily's, thou shalt daily draw
From my great arteries; nor less, nor more.
All substances the cunning chemist Time
Melts down into that liquor of my life,
Friends, foes, joys, fortunes, beauty, and disgust,
And whether I am angry or content,
Indebted or insulted, loved or hurt,
All he distils into sidereal wine,
And brims my little cup; heedless, alas!
Of all he sheds how little it will hold,
How much runs over on the desert sands.
If a new muse draw me with splendid ray,
And I uplift myself into her heaven,
The needs of the first sight absorb my blood,
And all the following hours of the day
Drag a ridiculous age.
To-day, when friends approach, and every hour
Brings book or starbright scroll of genius,
The tiny cup will hold not a bead more,
And all the costly liquor runs to waste,
Nor gives the jealous time one diamond drop
So to be husbanded for poorer days.
Why need I volumes, if one word suffice?
Why need I galleries, when a pupil's draught
After the master's sketch, fills and o'erfills
My apprehension? Why should I roam,
Who cannot circumnavigate the sea
Of thoughts and things at home, but still adjourn
The nearest matters to another moon?
Why see new men
Who have not understood the old?
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Days Ration
,
200:The Dwarves Of Tao-Chou
In the land of Tao-chou
Many of the people are dwarfs;
The tallest of them never grow to more than three feet.
They were sold in the market as dwarf slaves and yearly sent to Court;
Described as “an offering of natural products from the land of Tao-chou.”
A strange “offering of natural products “; I never heard of one yet
That parted men from those they loved, never to meet again!
Old men—weeping for their grandsons; mothers for their children!
One day—Yang Ch’ëng came to govern the land;
He refused to send up dwarf slaves in spite of incessant mandates.
He replied to the Emperor “Your servant finds in the Six Canonical Books
‘In offering products, one must offer what is there, and not what isn’t there’
On the waters and lands of Tao-chou, among all the things that live
I only find dwarfish people; no dwarfish slaves.”
The Emperor’s heart was deeply moved and he sealed and sent a scroll
“The yearly tribute of dwarfish slaves is henceforth annulled.’’
The people of Tao-chou,
Old ones and young ones, how great their joy!
Father with son and brother with brother henceforward kept together;
From that day for ever more they lived as free men.
The people of Tao-chou
Still enjoy this gift.
And even now when they speak of the Governor
Tears start to their eyes.
And lest their children and their children’s children should forget the Governor’s
name,
When boys are born the syllable “Yang” is often used in their forename.
~ Bai Juyi,
201:Brethren Of The Boat
WHEN some of the ancient lineage prate
We brothers listen with a smile,
We do not boast ancestral state,
It really is n’t worth our while,
Since all must know that we can trace
Our line to ages so remote
As when Pa Noah gave a place
To none but brethren of his boat.
In that old world where sin was rife,
How natural that the only man
Found worthy of continuing life
Was one who’d lived on such a plan
That when the earth was all submerged
He knew the way to go afloat
And save—the point is once more urged—
Our line, the Brethren of the Boat.
Since then our long immortal scroll
Has blazed with names of Men of Might,
Jason, Ulysses, on the roll
With Cæsar, and with Wallace wight;
From age to age, on every shore,
Who raised the strong triumphant note
If not the Vikings of the Oar,
We, tuggers, Brethren of the Boat?
Who holds the keys of Heaven and Hell
And Purgatory in his hand?
A boating man—and does it well—
St. Peter, so we understand!
Where were the first Apostles found?—
Sure, every child knows this by rote—
20
Amongst the men whose hearts be sound,
The virtuous Brethren of the Boat.
It may be false, yet some contend
That when to other spheres men go,
The judgment of their final end
Hangs on the question, Did he row?
But this is sure,—on us at last
Old Father Charon’s eyes will doat,
As o’er the Styx he ferries fast
His comrade Brethren of the Boat.
~ Edward William Thomson,
202:What, then, were the original vowels in God’s name? Ultimately, we do not know. During the period of the divided kingdom, the name may have been pronounced something like “Yau,” with the “au” forming a diphthong rather than two separate syllables. Evidence from classical Hebrew (found in both Biblical and non-Biblical texts) and certain Greek renderings of the name, however, have led scholars generally to believe that “Yahweh” was the way in which the name eventually came to be pronounced. More significant is the meaning of the name Yahweh. For this there has been a wide range of suggestions: “Truly He!”; “My One”; “He Who Is”; “He Who Brings into Being”; “He Who Storms.” One of the best suggestions is that the name is a shortened form of a longer name, Yahweh Sabaoth (often rendered in English as “the LORD of Hosts” or “the LORD Almighty”; see, e.g., 2Sa 6:2). The word “Yahweh” itself is most likely a verb. Many other shortened names from the ancient Near East are verb forms, which is exactly what Yahweh appears to be. It comes from the Hebrew verb meaning “to be.” But if the first vowel really is an a-vowel, then the verb likely has a causative sense: “to cause to be.” Thus, a fairly literal translation of Yahweh Sabaoth would be “He Who Causes the Hosts (of Heaven) to Be.” In general, then, the name refers to the One who creates or brings into being. ◆ The Tetragrammaton in one of the Dead Sea Scrolls and in a modern scroll, with the vowel sounds of Adonay added. Wikimedia Commons Go to Index of Articles in Canonical Order 4:3 it became a snake. ~ Anonymous,
203:already laid out to get responses from “warm” e-mails. • Live and die by your Subject line. If you don’t, your e-mail may never get read. Focus on your strongest hook, either the contact you have in common or the specific value you have to offer. Make them curious. • Game the timing. There’s a lot of debate about the best time to e-mail, but I personally like to fire away when I think the person is apt to be spending time on e-mailing. Their morning, lunchtime, and the last hours of the workday are typical. • Be brief. Once you’ve written a draft, the “best” version of it is usually 50 percent shorter. Yes, we’re half as interesting as we think! Your e-mail should fit into a single screen. If I have to scroll to get to the point, I’ve already lost interest. • Have a clear call to action. What do you want them to do? Make your first request clear and easy. Request fifteen minutes on the phone, not just a vague phone call. Offer suggested dates and times, not just “a meeting sometime.” Short-circuit the process as much as you can, and don’t make them guess what you’re looking for. • Read it out loud. I had an assistant who would do this with every e-mail she wrote, and it always made me laugh when I caught her in the act. But she was smart. Listening to herself, she ensured that the language was clear and conversational, and she timed it, too, with a forty-five-second limit. • Spell-check. There’s no excuse for poor spelling and grammar in an e-mail. I’ve written two books and have a URL with my name in it, and I still get people e-mailing “Keith Ferazzi” with one “r.” I know you’ll do better. ~ Keith Ferrazzi,
204:The firm’s fourth partner, Jeff Nussbaum, had carved out a niche writing jokes for public figures. It was he who taught me about the delicate balance all public-sector humorists hope to strike. Writing something funny for a politician, I learned, is like designing something stunning for Marlon Brando past his prime. The qualifier is everything. At first I didn’t understand this. In June, President Obama’s speechwriters asked Jeff to pitch jokes for an upcoming appearance at the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Dinner. I sent him a few ideas, including one about the president and First Lady’s recent trip to see a Broadway show: “My critics are upset it cost taxpayer dollars to fly me and Michelle to New York for date night. But let me be clear. That wasn’t spending. It was stimulus.” Unsurprisingly, my line about stimulating America’s first couple didn’t make it into the script. But others did. The morning after the speech, I watched on YouTube as President Obama turned to NBC reporter Chuck Todd. “Chuck embodies the best of both worlds: he has the rapid-fire style of a television correspondent, and the facial hair of a radio correspondent.” That was my joke! I grabbed the scroll bar and watched again. The line wasn’t genius. The applause was largely polite. Still, I was dumbfounded. A thought entered my brain, and then, just a few days later, exited the mouth of the president of the United States. This was magic. Still, even then, I had no illusions of becoming a presidential speechwriter. When friends asked if I hoped to work in the White House, I told them Obama had more than enough writers already. I meant it. ~ David Litt,
205:What’s wrong, Mom?” Anna asked.

Mom looked like she’d been crying, but she said, “Nothing, sweetie.”

“Who is Dad talking to?” I asked. I knew she’d protect us from whatever was happening, so I went straight for facts. If I gathered enough facts I could figure it out on my own.

“Some friends of his from work.”

“Uncle Jack?” I asked. Jack wasn’t an uncle but we called him that. He was my dad’s foreman in the roofing business.

“No, honey. From the Army. His old work.”

It was September 11, 2001, and the call he’d made was to his commanding officer in the Reserve. I’d figure that out later.

And I’d learn that he’d done ROTC through college, then served with the Fifth Special Forces Group in Desert Storm. I’d learn that his shoulder injury had come from shrapnel embedded in his rotator cuff. I’d learn, just from watching him, from listening to him talk to his buddies, about Ranger School. Jump school. The Ranger Battalions. The Scroll. The Creed. That Rangers lead the way.

But I didn’t know any of that then. I knew my dad as a roofer. A fisherman. A lover of Pearl Jam and Giants baseball. He was the guy who launched me over the waves on the beach, and who bench-pressed Anna because it made her giggle in a way that nothing else did. He was my mom’s best friend, with some additional elements like kissing that seemed pretty gross because, you know, I was six. But I learned something new about him that morning.

I learned that when bad things happened, my dad stepped forward first.

I learned he was a hero. A real one.

And that I wanted to be like him ~ Veronica Rossi,
206:Our Country 1859
A land there is, lying near far-northern snow,
Where only the fissures life's springtime may know.
But surging, the sea tells of great deeds done,
And loved is the land as a mother by son.
What time we were little and sat on her knee,
She gave us her saga with pictures to see.
We read till our eyes opened wide and moist,
While nodding and smiling she mute rejoiced.
We went to the fjord and in wonder beheld
The ashen-gray bauta, that record of eld;
Still older she stood and her silence kept,
While stone-studded hows all around us slept.
Our hands she then took and away o'er the hill
She led to the church ever lowly and still,
Where humbly our forefathers knelt to pray,
And mildly she taught us: "Do ye as they!"
She scattered her snow on the mountain's steep side,
Then bade on swift skis her young manhood to glide;
The North Sea she maddened with scourge of gales,
Then bade her young manhood to hoist the sails.
Of beautiful maidens she gathered a throng,
To follow our daring with smiles and with song,
While she sat enthroned with her saga's scroll
In mantle of moonlight beneath the Pole.
Then "Forward, go forward!" was borne on the wind,
"With forefathers' aim and with forefathers' mind,
For freedom, for Norsehood, for Norway, hurrah!"
While echoing mountains voiced their hurrah.
Then life-giving fountains burst forth on our sight,
Then we were baptized with her spirit of might,
Then gleamed o'er the mountains a vision high,
That summons us onward until we die.
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~ Bjornstjerne Bjornson,
207:Humanity
I dreamed I was a sculptor, and had wrought
Out of a towering adamantine crag
A mighty figure, stately, giant-limbed,
And with the face of a Homeric god.
Planted aloft upon the levelled cone
Of a vast tumulus, that seemed to swell
Above the sinking outline of the view
As up from the dusk past, firm fixed it stood,
Full in the face of the resplendent morn
Against the deep of heaven all flecked with clouds;
And I methought was glorying in my work
One large arm lay upon the powerful breast,
The other held a scroll. The ample head,
Majestic in its dome-like curvatures,
Looked heedful out with full expectant eyes
Over the brightening world, and in the lines
And gracious curves of nostrils and of lips
You traced the use of smiles. But on the brows
There pained a weight and weariness of thought,
And furrows spake of care. Much, too, of doubt
Shadowed the meaning of the mighty face;
Much was there also in its cast, that seemed
Significant of a striving to believe,
To be the liege of an ancestral faith
In things remote, unsecular, more the birth
Of mystic than sciential lore, and thence
But half assured itself.
Such was my work:
A formal type, though dream-designed, it seemed
Of that great ultimate of manhood, which
By daring, hoping, doing, and enduring,
Doubting, divining,—still from age to age
Doth mould the world, and lead it truthward on,
Even through its seers, its heroes, and its kings:
For all who saw it were constrained, methought,
To sigh, as they looked up—“Humanity.”
84
~ Charles Harpur,
208:Yet this religious outcast, this man who was thought to be in a state of perpetual uncleanliness, had gotten his hands on a sacred scroll and found a passage from the prophet Isaiah that resonated profoundly with his own experience: He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth. ACTS 8:32–33 When Philip heard the eunuch reading these words aloud, he approached the chariot and asked if the eunuch understood them. “How can I unless someone guides me?” the eunuch replied. Philip climbed into the chariot, and as it rumbled through the wilderness, told the eunuch about Jesus—about how when God became one of us, God suffered too. Overcome, the eunuch looked out at the rugged landscape that surrounded them and shouted, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” We don’t know how long that question, brimming with such childlike joy it wrenches the heart, hung vulnerable as a drop of water in the desert air. At another time in his life, Philip might have pointed to the eunuch’s ethnicity, or his anatomy, or his inability to gain access to the ceremonial baths that made a person clean. But instead, with no additional conversation between the travelers, the chariot lumbered to a halt and Philip baptized the eunuch in the first body of water the two could find. It might have been a river, or it might have been a puddle in the road. Philip got out of God’s way. He remembered that what makes the gospel offensive isn’t who it keeps out, but who it lets in. ~ Rachel Held Evans,
209:Mafeking
Once again, banners, fly!
Clang again, bells, on high,
Sounding to sea and sky,
Longer and louder,
Mafeking's glory with
Kimberley, Ladysmith,
Of our unconquered kith
Prouder and prouder.
Hemmed in for half a year,
Still with no succour near,
Nor word of hope to cheer
Wounded and dying,
Famished, and foiled of sleep
By the fierce cannon's leap,
They vowed still, still to keep
England's Flag flying.
Nor was their mettle shown
By male and strong alone,
But, as intrepid grown,
Fragile and tender,
Without or tear or sigh,
Echoed the brave old cry,
``We, too, would rather die,
Die than surrender.''
As pressed the foe more near,
Only with naked spear,
Ne'er knowing what to fear,
Parley, or blench meant,
Forward through shot and shell,
While still the foremost fell,
They with resistless yell
Stormed his entrenchment.
Then, when hope dawned at last,
And fled the foe, aghast
At the relieving blast
350
Heard in the melley,O our stout, stubborn kith!
Kimberley, Ladysmith,
Mafeking, wedded with
Lucknow and Delhi!
Sound for them martial lay!
Crown them with battle-bay,
Both those who died, and they
'Gainst death could wrestle:
Powell of endless fame,
All, all with equal claim,
And, of the storied name,
Gallant young Cecil!
Long as the waves shall roll,
Long as Fame guards her scroll,
And men through heart and soul
Thrill to true glory,
Their deed, from age to age,
Shall voice and verse engage,
Swelling the splendid page
Of England's Story.
~ Alfred Austin,
210:[Professor Greene's] reaction to GAMAY, as published in the Yale Daily News, fairly took one's breath away. He fondled the word "fascist" as though he had come up with a Dead Sea Scroll vouchsafing the key word to the understanding of God and Man at Yale. In a few sentences he used the term thrice. "Mr. Buckley has done Yale a great service" (how I would tire of this pedestrian rhetorical device), "and he may well do the cause of liberal education in America an even greater service, by stating the fascist alternative to liberalism. This fascist thesis . . . This . . . pure fascism . . . What more could Hitler, Mussolini, or Stalin ask for . . . ?" (They asked for, and got, a great deal more.)

What survives, from such stuff as this, is ne-plus-ultra relativism, idiot nihlism. "What is required," Professor Greene spoke, "is more, not less tolerance--not the tolerance of indifference, but the tolerance of honest respect for divergent convictions and the determination of all that such divergent opinions be heard without administrative censorship. I try my best in the classroom to expound and defend my faith, when it is relevant, as honestly and persuasively as I can. But I can do so only because many of my colleagues are expounding and defending their contrasting faiths, or skepticisms, as openly and honestly as I am mine."

A professor of philosophy! Question: What is the 1) ethical, 2) philosophical, or 3) epistemological argument for requiring continued tolerance of ideas whose discrediting it is the purpose of education to effect? What ethical code (in the Bible? in Plato? Kant? Hume?) requires "honest respect" for any divergent conviction? ~ William F Buckley Jr,
211:What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?
The barbarians are due here today.
Why isn't anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?
Because the barbarians are coming today.
What laws can the senators make now?
Once the barbarians are here, they'll do the legislating.
Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city's main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
replete with titles, with imposing names.
Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that dazzle the barbarians.
Why don't our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and they're bored by rhetoric and public speaking.
Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people's faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?
Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.
And now, what's going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution ~ Constantinos P Cavafy,
212:ALL day the waves assailed the rock,
I heard no church-bell chime;
The sea-beat scorns the minster clock
And breaks the glass of Time.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
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Ode
O tenderly the haughty day
Fills his blue urn with fire;
One morn is in the mighty heaven,
And one in our desire.

The cannon booms from town to town,
Our pulses are not less,
The joy-bells chime their tidings down,
Which children's voices bless.

For He that flung the broad blue fold
O'er-mantling land and sea,
One third part of the sky unrolled
For the banner of the free.

The men are ripe of Saxon kind
To build an equal state,--
To take the statute from the mind,
And make of duty fate.

United States! the ages plead,--
Present and Past in under-song,--
Go put your creed into your deed,
Nor speak with double tongue.

For sea and land don't understand,
Nor skies without a frown
See rights for which the one hand fights
By the other cloven down.

Be just at home; then write your scroll
Of honour o'er the sea,
And bid the broad Atlantic roll,
A ferry of the free.

And, henceforth, there shall be no chain,
Save underneath the sea
The wires shall murmur through the main
Sweet songs of LIBERTY.

The conscious stars accord above,
The waters wild below,
And under, through the cable wove,
Her fiery errands go.

For He that worketh high and wise,
Nor pauses in his plan,
Will take the sun out of the skies
Ere freedom out of man.
Ode Sung In The Town Hall 1857 by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Waves
,
213:Waiting For The Barbarians
What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?
The barbarians are due here today.
Why isn't anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?
Because the barbarians are coming today.
What laws can the senators make now?
Once the barbarians are here, they'll do the legislating.
Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city's main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
replete with titles, with imposing names.
Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that dazzle the barbarians.
Why don't our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and they're bored by rhetoric and public speaking.
Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people's faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?
Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.
203
And now, what's going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.
~ Constantine P. Cavafy,
214:Kestrel listened to the slap of waves against the ship, the cries of struggle and death. She remembered how her heart, so tight, like a scroll, had opened when Arin kissed her. It had unfurled.
If her heart were truly a scroll, she could burn it. It would become a tunnel of flame, a handful of ash. The secrets she had written inside herself would be gone. No one would know.
Her father would choose the water for Kestrel if he knew.
Yet she couldn’t. In the end, it wasn’t cunning that kept her from jumping, or determination. It was a glassy fear.
She didn’t want to die. Arin was right. She played a game until its end.
Suddenly, Kestrel heard his voice. She opened her eyes. He was shouting. He was shouting her name. He was barreling past people, driving a path between the mainmast and the railing alongside the launch. Kestrel saw the horror in him mirror what she had felt when facing the water.
Kestrel gathered the strength in her legs and jumped onto the deck.
Her feet hit the planks, the force of movement toppling her. But she had learned from fighting Rax how to protect her hands. She tucked them to her, pressed the hard knots of her bonds against her chest, fell shoulder first, and rolled.
Arin hauled her to her feet. And even though he had seen her choice, must have seen it still blazing on her face, he shook her. He kept saying the words he had been shouting as he had neared the railing. “Don’t, Kestrel. Don’t.”
His hands cradled her face.
“Don’t touch me,” she said.
Arin’s hands fell. “Gods,” he said hoarsely.
“Yes, it would be rather unfortunate for you, wouldn’t it, if you lost your little bargaining chip against the general? Never fear.” She smiled a brittle smile. “It turns out that I am a coward.”
Arin shook his head. “It’s harder to live. ~ Marie Rutkoski,
215:Last Stanzas Of The Bush
WHERE is Australia, singer, do you know?
These sordid farms and joyless factories,
Mephitic mines and lanes of pallid woe?
Those ugly towns and cities such as these
With incense sick to all unworthy power,
And all old sin in full malignant flower?
No! to her bourn her children still are faring:
She is a temple that we are to build:
For her the ages have been long preparing:
She is a prophecy to be fulfilled!
All that we love in olden lands and lore
Was signal of her coming long ago!
Bacon foresaw her, Campanella, More,
And Plato’s eyes were with her star aglow!
Who toiled for Truth, whate’er their countries were,
Who fought for Liberty, they yearned for her!
No corsair’s gathering ground, nor tryst for schemers,
No chapman Carthage to a huckster Tyre,
She is the Eldorado of old dreamers,
The Sleeping Beauty of the world’s desire.
She is the scroll on which we are to write
Mythologies our own and epics new:
She is the port of our propitious flight
From Ur idolatrous and Pharaoh’s crew.
She is our own, unstained, if worthy we,
By dream, or god, or star we would not see:
Her crystal beams all but the eagle dazzle.
Her wind-wide ways none but the strong-winged sail:
She is Eutopia, she is Hy-Brasil,
The watchers on the tower of morning hail!
Yet she shall be as we, the Potter, mould:
Altar or tomb, as we aspire, despair:
What wine we bring shall she, the chalice, hold:
What word we write shall she, the script, declare:
Bandage our eyes, she shall be Memphis, Spain:
Barter our souls, she shall be Tyre again:
25
And if we pour on her the red oblation,
All o’er the world shall Asshur’s buzzards throng:
Love-lit, her Chaos shall become Creation:
And dewed with dream, her silence flower in song.
~ Bernard O'Dowd,
216:O May I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence: live
In pulses stirr’d to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
For miserable aims that end with self,
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
And with their mild persistence urge man’s search
To vaster issues.

So to live is heaven:
To make undying music in the world,
Breathing as beauteous order that controls
With growing sway the growing life of man.
So we inherit that sweet purity
For which we struggled, fail’d, and agoniz’d
With widening retrospect that bred despair.
Rebellious flesh that would not be subdued,
A vicious parent shaming still its child,
Poor anxious penitence, is quick dissolv’d;
Its discords, quench’d by meeting harmonies,
Die in the large and charitable air.
And all our rarer, better, truer self,
That sobb’d religiously in yearning song,
That watch’d to ease the burthen of the world,
Laboriously tracing what must be,
And what may yet be better,—saw within
A worthier image for the sanctuary,
And shap’d it forth before the multitude,
Divinely human, raising worship so
To higher reverence more mix’d with love,—
That better self shall live till human Time
Shall fold its eyelids, and the human sky
Be gather’d like a scroll within the tomb Unread forever.

This is life to come,
Which martyr’d men have made more glorious
For us who strive to follow. May I reach
That purest heaven, be to other souls
The cup of strength in some great agony,
Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty,
Be the sweet presence of a good diffus’d,
And in diffusion ever more intense!
So shall I join the choir invisible
Whose music is the gladness of the world. ~ George Eliot,
217:Answers
What is the end of each man's toil,
Brother, O Brother?
A handful of dust in a bit of soilHis name forgotten as centuries roll,
Though blazoned to-day on Glory's scroll;
For the lordliest work of brain or hand
Is only an imprint made on sand;
When the tidal wave sweeps over the shore
It is there no more,
Brother, my Brother.
Then what is the use of striving at all,
Brother, O Brother?
Because each effort or great or small
Is a step on the long, long road that leads
To the Kingdom of Growth on the River of Deeds:
And that is the kingdom no man can gain
Till he uses his hand and his mind and brain,
And when he has used them and learned control
He finds his soul,
Brother, my Brother.
And after he finds it, what is the end,
Brother, O Brother?
Upward ever its course and trend;
For this is the purpose and aim and plan
To seek in the soul for the Super-manThe man who is conscious that Heaven is nearA bulletin bearer from There to Here,
Finding God dwells in the spirit within
Where He ever has been,
Brother, my Brother.
And what will the God-man do when He comes,
Brother, O Brother?
He will better the world or in courts or slums,
80
He will do in gladness his nearest duty:
He will teach the religion of love and beauty
In field or factory, mine or mart,
While He tells the world of the larger part
And the wider life that is yet to be
When spirit is free,
Brother, my Brother.
When spirit is free, then where will it go,
Brother, O Brother?
Its uttermost summit no man may know,
For it goes up to God in His holy Tower
To gather more knowledge and force and power;
Like a ray of the sun it shall shine again
To brighten new planets and races of men.
Life had no beginning, life has no end,
Brother and friendBrother, my Brother.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
218:She took down the framed manuscript from the kitchen wall. It was Kendra's prized possession, and part of her felt guilty for what she planned, but it had to be done. She carefully removed the parchment from its frame, then searched through the piles of translations and notes on the kitchen table. Finally she found the Secret Scroll on the chair where Kendra had been the night before. She carried both manuscripts upstairs and set them on her desk.
Next she gathered paints and brushes and sat down. She studied the artwork on the Secret Scroll, then slowly began copying its rich patterns of gold, red, and blue onto Kendra's old manuscript.
It was late afternoon when she finished. She studied her work. She had managed to copy the exotic birds and animals hidden in the foliage on the borders, and even the detailed picture of the goddess locking the jaws of hell. Her work was rough, but at a distance it would fool Toby or any of the Regulators, especially since they were afraid to touch it.
Satisfied, she went to her closet. She searched through her clothes until she found the strapless top with the slit in the front. She slipped it over her head, then grabbed a silky black skirt and stepped into it. She carried her stiletto boots to the bed and tugged them on.
At last she drew black liquid eyeliner over her top lid, added green glitter shadow, rolled thick mascara on her lashes, and brushed her hair. She added gloss to her lips and rubbed sparkle lotion over her arms and chest. Then she remembered the dragon stencils. Soon, she had a sinuous dragon adorning her thigh between the bottom of her skirt and the top of her boots. She liked the look. She turned in front of the full-length mirror behind the bathroom door.
"Dynamite," she whispered. Her reflection thrilled her. She looked vamped-out and mystical. At once, she sensed the fierce power of the dragon rising in her. She felt like an invincible goddess-warrior. ~ Lynne Ewing,
219:The progress of Sybilla though a market was the progress of worker bee through a bower of intently propagating blossoms. Everything stuck. From the toy stall she bought two ivory dolls, a hen whistle, a rattle and a charming set of miniature bells for a child’s skirts: all were heroically received and borne by Tom, henceforth marked by a faint, distracted jingling. From the spice booth, set with delicious traps for the fat purse, she took cinnamon, figs, cumin seed and saffron, ginger, flower of gillyflower and crocus and—an afterthought—some brazil for dyeing her new wool. These were distributed between Christian and Tom. They listened to a balladmonger, paid him for all the verses of “When Tay’s Bank,” and bought a lengthy scroll containing a brand-new ballad which Tom Erskine read briefly and then discreetly lost. “No matter,” said the Dowager cheerfully, when told. “Dangerous quantity, music. Because it spouts sweet venom in their ears and makes their minds all effeminate, you know. We can’t have that.” He was never very sure whether she was laughing at him, but rather thought not. They pursued their course purposefully, and the Dowager bought a new set of playing cards, some thread, a boxful of ox feet, a quantity of silver lace and a pair of scissors. She was dissuaded from buying a channel stone, which Tom, no curling enthusiast, refused utterly to carry, and got a toothpick in its case instead. They watched acrobats, invested sixpence for an unconvincing mermaid and finally stumbled, flattened and hot, into a tavern, where Tom forcibly commandeered a private space for the two women and brought them refreshments. “Dear, dear,” said Lady Culter, seating herself among the mute sea of her parcels, like Arion among his fishes. “I’m afraid I’ve forgotten which are the squashy ones. Never mind. If we spread them out, they can’t take much hurt, I should think. Unless the ox feet … Oh. What a pity, Tom. But I’m sure it will clean off. ~ Dorothy Dunnett,
220:The Discovery Of A Soul
_The proof of a man is the danger test_,
_That shows him up at his worst or best_.
He didn't seem to care for work, he wasn't much at school.
His speech was slow and commonplace- you wouldn't call him fool.
And yet until the war broke out you'd calmly pass him by,
For nothing in his make-up or his way would catch your eye.
He seemed indifferent to the world, the kind that doesn't careThat's satisfied with just enough to eat and drink and wear;
That doesn't laugh when others do or cry when others weep,
But seems to walk the wakeful world half dormant and asleep;
Then came the war, and soldiers marched and drums began to roll,
And suddenly we realized his body held a soul.
We little dreamed how much he loved his Country and her Flag;
About the glorious Stars and Stripes we'd never heard him brag.
But he was first to volunteer, while brilliant men demurred,
He took the oath of loyalty without a faltering word,
And then we found that he could talk, for one remembered night,
There came a preaching pacifist denouncing men who fight,
And he got up in uniform and looked at him and said:
'I wonder if you ever think about our soldiers dead.
All that you are to-day you owe some soldier in his grave;
If he had been afraid to fight, you still would be a slave.'
If he had died a year ago beneath a peaceful sky,
Unjust our memory would have been; of him our tongues would lie.
We should have missed his splendid worth, we should have called him frail
And listed him among the weak and sorry men who fail.
But few regrets had marked his end; he would have passed unmournedPerhaps by those who knew him best, indifferently scorned.
But now he stands among us all, eyes bright and shoulders true,
A strong defender of the faith; a man with work to do;
And if he dies, his name shall find its place on history's scroll;
The great chance has revealed to men the splendor of his soul.
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
221:God spreads the heavens above us like great wings
And gives a little round of deeds and days,
And then come the wrecked angels and set snares,
And bait them with light hopes and heavy dreams,
Until the heart is puffed with pride and goes
Half shuddering and half joyous from God's peace;
And it was some wrecked angel, blind with tears,
Who flattered Edane's heart with merry words.

Come, faeries, take me out of this dull house!
Let me have all the freedom I have lost;
Work when I will and idle when I will!
Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.

I would take the world
And break it into pieces in my hands
To see you smile watching it crumble away.

Once a fly dancing in a beam of the sun,
Or the light wind blowing out of the dawn,
Could fill your heart with dreams none other knew,
But now the indissoluble sacrament
Has mixed your heart that was most proud and cold
With my warm heart for ever; the sun and moon
Must fade and heaven be rolled up like a scroll
But your white spirit still walk by my spirit.

When winter sleep is abroad my hair grows thin,
My feet unsteady. When the leaves awaken
My mother carries me in her golden arms;
I'll soon put on my womanhood and marry
The spirits of wood and water, but who can tell
When I was born for the first time?

The wind blows out of the gates of the day,
The wind blows over the lonely of heart,
And the lonely of heart is withered away;
While the faeries dance in a place apart,
Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring,
Tossing their milk-white arms in the air;
For they hear the wind laugh and murmur and sing
Of a land where even the old are fair,
And even the wise are merry of tongue;
But I heard a reed of Coolaney say--
When the wind has laughed and murmured and sung,
The lonely of heart is withered away. ~ W B Yeats,
222:The New Year
Rosh-Hashanah, 5643
Not while the snow-shroud round dead earth is rolled,
And naked branches point to frozen skies.?
When orchards burn their lamps of fiery gold,
The grape glows like a jewel, and the corn
A sea of beauty and abundance lies,
Then the new year is born.
Look where the mother of the months uplifts
In the green clearness of the unsunned West,
Her ivory horn of plenty, dropping gifts,
Cool, harvest-feeding dews, fine-winnowed light;
Tired labor with fruition, joy and rest
Profusely to requite.
Blow, Israel, the sacred cornet! Call
Back to thy courts whatever faint heart throb
With thine ancestral blood, thy need craves all.
The red, dark year is dead, the year just born
Leads on from anguish wrought by priest and mob,
To what undreamed-of morn?
For never yet, since on the holy height,
The Temple's marble walls of white and green
Carved like the sea-waves, fell, and the world's light
Went out in darkness,?never was the year
Greater with portent and with promise seen,
Than this eve now and here.
Even as the Prophet promised, so your tent
Hath been enlarged unto earth's farthest rim.
To snow-capped Sierras from vast steppes ye went,
Through fire and blood and tempest-tossing wave,
For freedom to proclaim and worship Him,
Mighty to slay and save.
High above flood and fire ye held the scroll,
259
Out of the depths ye published still the Word.
No bodily pang had power to swerve your soul:
Ye, in a cynic age of crumbling faiths,
Lived to bear witness to the living Lord,
Or died a thousand deaths.
In two divided streams the exiles part,
One rolling homeward to its ancient source,
One rushing sunward with fresh will, new heart.
By each the truth is spread, the law unfurled,
Each separate soul contains the nation's force,
And both embrace the world.
Kindle the silver candle's seven rays,
Offer the first fruits of the clustered bowers,
The garnered spoil of bees. With prayer and praise
Rejoice that once more tried, once more we prove
How strength of supreme suffering still is ours
For Truth and Law and Love.
~ Emma Lazarus,
223:The Tryst
Just when all hope had perished in my soul,
And balked desire made havoc with my mind,
My cruel Ladye suddenly grew kind,
And sent those gracious words upon a scroll:
“When knowing Night her dusky scarf has tied
Across the bold, intrusive eyes of day,
Come as a glad, triumphant lover may,
No longer fearing that he be denied.”
I read her letter for the hundredth time,
And for the hundredth time my gladdened sight
Blurred with the rapture of my vast delight,
And swooned upon the page. I caught the chime
Of far off bells, and at each silver note
My heart on tiptoe pressed its eager ear
Against my breast; it was such a joy to hear
The tolling of the hour of which she wrote.
The curious day still lingered in the skies
And watched me as I hastened to the tryst.
And back, beyond great clouds of amethyst,
I saw Night’s soft, reassuring eyes.
“Oh, Night, ” I cried, “dear Love’s considerate friend,
Haste from the far, dim valleys of the west,
Rock the sad striving earth to quiet rest,
And bid the day’s insistent vigil end.”
Down brooding streets, and past the harboured ships
The Night’s young handmaid, Twilight, walked with me.
A spent moon leaned inertly o’er the sea;
A few, pale, phantom stars were in eclipse.
There was the house, My Ladye’s sea-girt bower
All draped in gloom, save for one taper’s glow,
Which lit the path, where willing feet would go.
There was the house, and this the promised hour.
The tide was out; and from the sea’s salt path
Rose amorous odours, filtering through the night
And stirring all the senses with delight;
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Sweet perfumes left since Aphrodite’s bath.
Back in the wooded copse, a whip-poor-will
Gave love’s impassioned and impatient call.
On pebbled sands I heard the waves kiss fall,
And fall again, so hushed the hour and still.
Light was my knock upon the door, so light,
And yet the sound seemed rude. My pulses beat
So loud they drowned out the coming of her feet
The arrow of her taper pierced the gloom –
The portal closed behind me. She was there –
Love on her lips and yielding in her eyes
And but the sea to hear our vows and sighs.
She took my hand and led me up the stair.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
224:As I brush my teeth, I scroll through my phone to see if Sabrina texted when my phone was on silent last night.

She didn’t. Damn. I was hoping my speech—and that amazing fucking kiss—might’ve changed her mind about going out with me, but I guess it didn’t.

I do, however, find the most mind-boggling conversation in the group chat I have with my roommates. All the messages are from last night, and they’re bizarre as fuck.

Garrett: The hells, D?!

Dean: It’s not what you think!!

Logan: It’s hard to mistake ur romantic bath with that giant pink thing! In ur ass!

Dean: It wasn’t in my ass!

Garrett: I’m not even going to ask where it was

Dean: I had a girl over!

Garrett: Suuuuuuuuure

Logan: Suuuuuuuuure

Dean: I hate you guys

Garrett: <3

Logan: <3

I rinse my mouth out, spit, and drop the toothbrush into the little cup on the sink. Then I quickly type out a text.

Me: Wait… what did I miss?

Since we have practice in twenty minutes, the guys are already awake and clearly on their phones. Two photos pop up simultaneously. Garrett and Logan have both sent me pics of pink dildos. I’m even more confused now.

Dean messages immediately with, Why do you guys have dildo pics handy?

Logan: ALINIMB

Dean: ??

Me: ??

Garrett: At Least It’s Not In My Butt.

I snort to myself, because I’m starting to piece it together.

Logan: Nice, G! U got that on the first try!

Garrett: We spend too much time 2gether.

Me: PLEASE tell me u caught D playing w/ dildos.

Logan: Sure did.

Dean is quick to object again.

I HAD A GIRL OVER!

The guys and I rag on him for a couple more minutes, but I have to stop when Fitzy stumbles into the bathroom and shoves me aside. He’s got crazy bedhead and he’s buck-naked.

“Gotta piss,” he mumbles.

“Mornin’, sunshine,” I say cheerfully. “Want me to make you some coffee?”

“God. Yes. Please.”

Chuckling, I duck out of the bathroom and walk the four or so steps into his kitchenette. When he finally emerges, I shove a cup of coffee in his hand, sip my own, and say, “Dean shoved a dildo up his ass last night.”

Fitzy nods. “Makes sense.”

I snicker mid-sip. Coffee spills over the rim of my cup. “It really does, huh? ~ Elle Kennedy,
225:Love Elegy, To Henry
Then thou hast learnt the secret of my soul,
Officious Friendship has its trust betrayed;
No more I need the bursting sigh control,
Nor summon pride my struggling soul to aid.
But think not banished hope returns again,
Think not I write thy thankless heart to move;
The faded form that tells my tender pain
May win thy pity, but it can't thy love.
Nor can I move thee by soft winning art,
By manners taught to charm, or practised glance;
Artless as thine, my too too feeling heart
Disdains the tutored eye, the fond advance.
The cold coquette, to win her destined prey,
May feign a passion which she ne'er can feel;
But I true Passion's soft commands obey,
And fain my tender feelings would conceal.
In others' eyes, when fixed on thine, I see
That fondness painted which alone I know;
Think not, my Henry, they can love like me,
More love I hide than they can e'er bestow.
While tender glances their emotions speak,
And oft they heave and oft suppress the sigh;
O turn to me, behold my pallid cheek
Shrinking from thine, behold my downcast eye!
While they by mirth, by wit, thine ear amuse,
And by their eloquence thy plaudits seek;
See me the fond contention still refuse,
Nor in thy presence, Henry, dare to speak.
When asked to breathe the soul-enchanting song,
See them o'erjoyed exert their utmost art;
While vainly I would join the choral throng,
Lost are those tones which once could touch the heart.
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But, Henry, wert thou in Love's language wise,
Vainly would others more than Emma shine;
Beyond their sweetest strains thy heart would prize
One faint, one broken, tender tone of mine.
O proofs of passion, eloquent as vain!
By thee unheeded, or perhaps unknown,....
But learn, the pangs that prompt this pensive strain,
Ere long, disdainful youth, may be thine own.
Ah! no....in hopeless love thou canst not pine,
Thou ne'er canst woo the brightest maid in vain;
For thee Love's star midst cloudless skies will shine,
And light thy graceful steps to Hymen's fane:
While I, as hope, and strength, and life recede,
Far, far from thee shall waste the languid day;
Blest, if the scroll that speaks thy bliss I read,
But far more blest to feel life's powers decay.
~ Amelia Opie,
226:What can I get for you, Princess?” a low, deep voice rumbled. Maddie’s head shot up and a man blinked into focus. Her mouth dropped open. In front of her stood the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen. Was she hallucinating? Was he a mirage? She blinked again. Nope. Still there. Unusual amber eyes, glimmering with amusement, stared at her from among strong, chiseled features. She swallowed. Teeth snapping together, she tried to speak. She managed a little squeak before words failed her. A hot flush spread over her chest. Men like this should be illegal. Unable to resist the temptation pulling her gaze lower, she let it fall. Just when she’d thought nothing could rival that face. Shoulders, a mile wide, stretched the gray T-shirt clinging to his broad chest. The muscles in his arms flexed as he rested his hands on the counter. A tribal tattoo in black ink rippled across his left bicep. Oh, she liked those. Her fingers twitched with the urge to trace the intricate scroll as moisture slid over her tongue. For the love of God, she was salivating. Stop staring. She shouldn’t be thinking about this. Not now. Not after today. It was so, so wrong. But she couldn’t look away. Stop. She tried again, but it was impossible. He was a work of art. “You okay there?” The smile curving his full mouth was pure sin. That low, rumbling voice snapped her out of her stupor, and she squared her shoulders. “Yes, thank you.” His gaze did some roaming of its own and stopped at her dress. One golden brow rose. Before he could ask any questions, she said, “I’ll have three shots of whiskey and a glass of water.” His lips quirked. “Three?” “Yes, please.” With a sharp nod, she ran a finger along the dull, black surface of the bar. “You can line them up right here.” When he continued to stare at her as if she might be an escaped mental patient, she reached into her small bag and pulled out her only cash. She waved the fifty in front of his face. “I assume this will cover it.” “If I give you the shots, are you going to get sick all over that pretty dress?” He leaned over the counter, and his scent wafted in her direction. She sucked in a breath. He smelled good, like spice, soap, and danger. She shook her head. What was wrong with her? She was so going to hell. She pushed the money toward him. “I’ll be fine. I’m Irish. We can handle our liquor.” “All right, then.” The bartender chuckled, and Maddie’s stomach did a strange little dip. He ~ Jennifer Dawson,
227:Milestones
Gay balloons and coloured streamers,
Gliding figures, footsteps light,
Flannelled youths and short-frocked maidens
Jazzing gaily through the night.
Music quaint and queer and catchy,
Lilting cadence of the band,
‘Tis a scene of harmless frolic.
Youth and pleasure hand in hand.
Laughter, frank and merry hearted,
Careless banter – burst of song“While the red, red robin
Goes bob-bob-bobbin’
Goes bob-bob-bobbin’ along!”
Small Miss Anne is sitting, dreaming
In the vine-clad window-seat
Listening to the lilting music,
To the trip of dancing feet,
But her vision sees a ballroom
Where the swaying lanterns glow
Over maidens in flowing muslins,
Courteous gallants bowing low.
Hear the cooing flutes and violins,
‘Tis a waltz song sweet and old“Glide along, oh river,
Where the willows quiver,
Glide along for ever
O’er thy sands of gold.”
Ah, the cruel, gleaming river
That can sweep young lives away,
Gone, long gone the youthful lover,
Closed the boyish eyes of grey.
But the old heart-wound is throbbing
As she dreams, with cheeks aglow,
Of a dew-drenched, fragrant garden
Where the river breezes blow
Over beds of phlox and pansy,
Waxen jasmine, while and cold-
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“There amid the gloaming
Lover true are roaming
Hand in hand in Love’s dreamland,
Where fond hearts ne’er grow old.”
Soft and clear the rippling music
Steals into a chamber nigh
Where the dear Old Irish grandma
Waits her summons from on High,
Ready for the great adventure
Is her gently child-like soul,
For the grand old Faith upholds her,
And her life’s long simple scroll
Is a screed of shining whiteness;
But just now her old eyes glow
As, like dancing, flickering turf-fires,
Long-lost memories come and go‘When the boys began to gather
In the glen of a summer night,
And the Kerry pipers tuning
Made us long with a wild delight.”
Like the horns of elf-land blowing,
Rings the distant pipers’ tune,
Laughter gay of lads and colleens
Underneath the harvest moon.
To the “wind that shook the barley”
Tripped their glancing footsteps fleet,
Ah! Did you dance light, dear Grandma
On the hearts beneath your feet?
On the daisy spangled greensward
‘Neath the hawthorn hedge abloom“Ah! The days of Kerry dancing
Oh! The lilt of the pipers’ tune.
~ Alice Guerin Crist,
228:Commencez!' cried I, when they had all produced their books. The moon-faced youth (by name of Jules Vanderkelkov, as I afterwards learned) took the first sentence. The 'livre de lecteur' was 'The Vicar of Wakefield', much used in foreign schools, because it is supposed to contain prime samples of conversational English. It might, however, have been a Runic scroll for any resemblance the worse, as enunciated by Jules, bore to the language in ordinary use amongst the natives of Great Britain. My God! how he did snuffle, snort, and wheeze! All he said was said in his throat and nose, for it is thus the Flamands speak; but I heard him to the end of his paragraph without proffering a word of correction, whereat he looked vastly self-complacent, convinced, no doubt, that he had acquitted himself like a real born and bred 'Anglais'. In the same unmoved silence I listened to a dozen in rotation; and when the twelfth had concluded with splutter, hiss, and mumble, I solemnly laid down the book.
'Arrêtez!', said I. There was a pause, during which I regarded them all with a steady and somewhat stern gaze. A dog, if stared at hard enough and long enough, will show symptoms of embarrassment, and so at length did my bench of Belgians. Perceiving that some of the faces before me were beginning to look sullen, and others ashamed, I slowly joined my hands, and ejaculated in a deep 'voix de poitrine' -
'Comme c'est affreux!'
They looked at each other, pouted, coloured, swung their heels, they were not pleased, I saw, but they were impressed, and in the way I wished them to be. Having thus taken them down a peg in their self-conceit, the next step was to raise myself in their estimation - not a very easy thing, considering that I hardly dared to speak for fear of betraying my own deficiencies.
'Ecoutez, messieurs!' I said, and I endeavoured to throw into my accents the compassionate tone of a superior being, who, touched by the extremity of the helplessness which at first only excited his scorn, deigns at length to bestow aid. I then began at the very beginning of 'The Vicar of Wakefield,' and read, in a slow, distinct voice, some twenty pages, they all the while sitting mute and listening with fixed attention. By the time I had done nearly an hour had elapsed. I then rose and said, -
'C'est assez pour aujourd'hui, messieurs; demain nous recommençerons, et j'espère que tout ira bien.'
With this oracular sentence I bowed, and in company with M. Pelet quitted the schoolroom. ~ Charlotte Bront,
229:The Exeter Road
Panels of claret and blue which shine
Under the moon like lees of wine.
A coronet done in a golden scroll,
And wheels which blunder and creak as they roll
Through the muddy ruts of a moorland track.
They daren't look back!
They are whipping and cursing the horses. Lord!
What brutes men are when they think they're scored.
Behind, my bay gelding gallops with me,
In a steaming sweat, it is fine to see
That coach, all claret, and gold, and blue,
Hop about and slue.
They are scared half out of their wits, poor souls.
For my lord has a casket full of rolls
Of minted sovereigns, and silver bars.
I laugh to think how he'll show his scars
In London to-morrow. He whines with rage
In his varnished cage.
My lady has shoved her rings over her toes.
'Tis an ancient trick every night-rider knows.
But I shall relieve her of them yet,
When I see she limps in the minuet
I must beg to celebrate this night,
And the green moonlight.
There's nothing to hurry about, the plain
Is hours long, and the mud's a strain.
My gelding's uncommonly strong in the loins,
In half an hour I'll bag the coins.
'Tis a clear, sweet night on the turn of Spring.
The chase is the thing!
How the coach flashes and wobbles, the moon
Dripping down so quietly on it. A tune
Is beating out of the curses and screams,
And the cracking all through the painted seams.
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Steady, old horse, we'll keep it in sight.
'Tis a rare fine night!
There's a clump of trees on the dip of the down,
And the sky shimmers where it hangs over the town.
It seems a shame to break the air
In two with this pistol, but I've my share
Of drudgery like other men.
His hat? Amen!
Hold up, you beast, now what the devil!
Confound this moor for a pockholed, evil,
Rotten marsh. My right leg's snapped.
'Tis a mercy he's rolled, but I'm nicely capped.
A broken-legged man and a broken-legged horse!
They'll get me, of course.
The cursed coach will reach the town
And they'll all come out, every loafer grown
A lion to handcuff a man that's down.
What's that? Oh, the coachman's bulleted hat!
I'll give it a head to fit it pat.
Thank you! No cravat.
~They handcuffed the body just for style,
And they hung him in chains for the volatile
Wind to scour him flesh from bones.
Way out on the moor you can hear the groans
His gibbet makes when it blows a gale.
'Tis a common tale.~
~ Amy Lowell,
230:Who and what gave to me the wish to woo thee
Still, lip to lip, to cling for aye unto thee?
Who made thy glances to my soul the link
Who bade me burn thy very breath to drink
My life in thine to sink?
As from the conqueror's unresisted glaive,
Flies, without strife subdued, the ready slave
So, when to life's unguarded fort, I see
Thy gaze draw near and near triumphantly
Yields not my soul to thee?
Why from its lord doth thus my soul depart?
Is it because its native home thou art?
Or were they brothers in the days of yore,
Twin-bound both souls, and in the link they bore
Sigh to be bound once more?
Were once our beings blent and intertwining,
And therefore still my heart for thine is pining?
Knew we the light of some extinguished sun
The joys remote of some bright realm undone,
Where once our souls were ONE?
Yes, it is so!And thou wert bound to me
In the long-vanish'd Eld eternally!
In the dark troubled tablets which enroll
The Pastmy Muse beheld this blessed scroll
"One with thy love my soul!"
Oh yes, I learned in awe, when gazing there,
How once one bright inseparate life we were,
How once, one glorious essence as a God,
Unmeasured space our chainless footsteps trod
All Nature our abode!
Round us, in waters of delight, forever
Voluptuous flowed the heavenly Nectar river;
We were the master of the seal of things,
And where the sunshine bathed Truth's mountain-springs
Quivered our glancing wings.
Weep for the godlike life we lost afar
Weep!thou and I its scattered fragments are;
And still the unconquered yearning we retain
Sigh to restore the rapture and the reign,
And grow divine again.
And therefore came to me the wish to woo thee
Still, lip to lip, to cling for aye unto thee;
This made thy glances to my soul the link
This made me burn thy very breath to drink
My life in thine to sink;
And therefore, as before the conqueror's glaive,
Flies, without strife subdued, the ready slave,
So, when to life's unguarded fort, I see
Thy gaze draw near and near triumphantly
Yieldeth my soul to thee!
Therefore my soul doth from its lord depart,
Because, beloved, its native home thou art;
Because the twins recall the links they bore,
And soul with soul, in the sweet kiss of yore,
Meets and unites once more!
Thou, tooAh, there thy gaze upon me dwells,
And thy young blush the tender answer tells;
Yes! with the dear relation still we thrill,
Both livesthough exiles from the homeward hill
One lifeall glowing still!
~ Friedrich Schiller, To Laura (Mystery Of Reminiscence)
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231:Norse Nature
(In Ringerike During The Student Meeting Of 1869)
We wander and sing with glee
Of glorious Norway, fair to see.
Let sweetly the tones go twining
In colors so softly shining
On mountain, forest, fjord, and shore,
'Neath heaven's azure arching o'er.
The warmth of the nation's heart,
The depth, the strength, its songs impart,
Here opens its eyes to greet you,
Rejoicing just now to meet you,
And giving, grateful for the chance,
In love a self-revealing glance.
Here wakened our history first,
Here Halfdan dreamed of greatness erst,
In vision of hope beholding
The kingdom's future unfolding,
And
Nore
stood and summons gave,
While forth to conquest called the wave.
Here singing we must unroll
Of our dear land the pictured scroll!
Let calm turn to storm of wildness,
Bring might into bonds of mildness:
Then Norsemen mustering, each shall see
This is our land's whole history.
To them first our way we wing,
The hundred harbors in the spring,
Where follow fond love and yearning,
When sea-ward the ships are turning.
For Norway's weal pure prayers exhale
From sixty thousand men that sail.
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See sloping the skerried coasts,
With gulls and whales and fishing-posts,
And vessels in shelter riding,
While boats o'er the sea are gliding,
And nets in fjord and seines in sound,
And white with spawn the ocean's ground.
See Lofoten's tumult grand,
Where tow'ring cliffs in ocean stand,
Whose summits the fogs are cleaving,
Beneath them the surges heaving,
And all is darkness, mystery, dread,
But 'mid the tumult sails are spread.
Here ships of the Arctic sea;
Through snow and gloom their course must be;
Commands from the masthead falling
The boats toward the ice are calling;
And shot on shot and seal on seal,
And souls and bodies strong as steel.
On mountains we now shall guest,
When eventide to all brings rest,
In dairy on highland meadow,
On hay-field 'neath slanting shadow,
While to the alphorn's tender tone
Great Nature's voice responds alone.
But quickly we must away,
If a11 the land we would survey,The mines of our metal treasures,
The hills of our hunters' pleasures,
The foam-white river's rush and noise,
The timber-driver's foot-sure poise.
Returning, we linger here,
These valleys broad to us are dear,
Whose men in their faithful living
To Norway are honor giving;
Their fathers, strong in brain and brawn,
Lent luster to our morning-dawn.
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We wander and sing with glee
Of glorious Norway fair to see.
Our present to labor binds us,
Each how of the past reminds us,
Our future shall be sure and bright,
As God we trust and do the right.
~ Bjornstjerne Bjornson,
232:Hast thou from the caves of Golconda, a gem
Pure as the ice-drop that froze on the mountain?
Bright as the humming-bird's green diadem,
When it flutters in sun-beams that shine through a fountain?

Hast thou a goblet for dark sparkling wine?
That goblet right heavy, and massy, and gold?
And splendidly mark'd with the story divine
Of Armida the fair, and Rinaldo the bold?

Hast thou a steed with a mane richly flowing?
Hast thou a sword that thine enemy's smart is?
Hast thou a trumpet rich melodies blowing?
And wear'st thou the shield of the famd Britomartis?

What is it that hangs from thy shoulder, so brave,
Embroidered with many a spring peering flower?
Is it a scarf that thy fair lady gave?
And hastest thou now to that fair lady's bower?

Ah! courteous Sir Knight, with large joy thou art crown'd;
Full many the glories that brighten thy youth!
I will tell thee my blisses, which richly abound
In magical powers to bless, and to sooth.

On this scroll thou seest written in characters fair
A sun-beamy tale of a wreath, and a chain;
And, warrior, it nurtures the property rare
Of charming my mind from the trammels of pain.

This canopy mark: 'tis the work of a fay;
Beneath its rich shade did King Oberon languish,
When lovely Titania was far, far away,
And cruelly left him to sorrow, and anguish.

There, oft would he bring from his soft sighing lute
Wild strains to which, spell-bound, the nightingales listened;
The wondering spirits of heaven were mute,
And tears 'mong the dewdrops of morning oft glistened.

In this little dome, all those melodies strange,
Soft, plaintive, and melting, for ever will sigh;
Nor e'er will the notes from their tenderness change;
Nor e'er will the music of Oberon die.

So, when I am in a voluptuous vein,
I pillow my head on the sweets of the rose,
And list to the tale of the wreath, and the chain,
Till its echoes depart; then I sink to repose.

Adieu, valiant Eric! with joy thou art crown'd;
Full many the glories that brighten thy youth,
I too have my blisses, which richly abound
In magical powers, to bless and to sooth.
On Receiving A Curious Shell, And A Copy Of Verses, From The Same Ladies : The very same as in the poem 'To Some Ladies'

'Leigh Hunt calls these verses a "string of magistrate-interrogatories about a shell and a copy of verses." In Tom Keats's book of transcripts,... the poem is headed merely "On receiving a curious shell and a copy of verses;" but another transcript, in the hand-writing of George Keats, is subscribed (not headed) "Written on receiving a copy of Tom Moore's 'Golden Chain,' and a most beautiful Dome shaped shell from a Lady." The reference is no doubt to The Wreath and the Chain; and this small revelation is satisfactory as accounting for the Tom Moorish triviality of the two pieces.' ~ John Keats, On Receiving A Curious Shell
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233:Mine are the night and morning,
The pits of air, the gulf of space,
The sportive sun, the gibbous moon,
The innumerable days.

I hid in the solar glory,
I am dumb in the pealing song,
I rest on the pitch of the torrent,
In slumber I am strong.

No numbers have counted my tallies,
No tribes my house can fill,
I sit by the shining Fount of Life,
And pour the deluge still;

And ever by delicate powers
Gathering along the centuries
From race on race the rarest flowers,
My wreath shall nothing miss.

And many a thousand summers
My apples ripened well,
And light from meliorating stars
With firmer glory fell.

I wrote the past in characters
Of rock and fire the scroll,
The building in the coral sea,
The planting of the coal.

And thefts from satellites and rings
And broken stars I drew,
And out of spent and aged things
I formed the world anew;

What time the gods kept carnival,
Tricked out in star and flower,
And in cramp elf and saurian forms
They swathed their too much power.

Time and Thought were my surveyors,
They laid their courses well,
They boiled the sea, and baked the layers
Or granite, marl, and shell.

But he, the man-child glorious,
Where tarries he the while?
The rainbow shines his harbinger,
The sunset gleams his smile.

My boreal lights leap upward,
Forthright my planets roll,
And still the man-child is not born,
The summit of the whole.

Must time and tide forever run?
Will never my winds go sleep in the west?
Will never my wheels which whirl the sun
And satellites have rest?

Too much of donning and doffing,
Too slow the rainbow fades,
I weary of my robe of snow,
My leaves and my cascades;

I tire of globes and races,
Too long the game is played;
What without him is summer's pomp,
Or winter's frozen shade?

I travail in pain for him,
My creatures travail and wait;
His couriers come by squadrons,
He comes not to the gate.

Twice I have moulded an image,
And thrice outstretched my hand,
Made one of day, and one of night,
And one of the salt sea-sand.

One in a Judaean manger,
And one by Avon stream,
One over against the mouths of Nile,
And one in the Academe.

I moulded kings and saviours,
And bards o'er kings to rule;
But fell the starry influence short,
The cup was never full.

Yet whirl the glowing wheels once more,
And mix the bowl again;
Seethe, fate! the ancient elements,
Heat, cold, wet, dry, and peace, and pain.

Let war and trade and creeds and song
Blend, ripen race on race,
The sunburnt world a man shall breed
Of all the zones, and countless days.

No ray is dimmed, no atom worn,
My oldest force is good as new,
And the fresh rose on yonder thorn
Gives back the bending heavens in dew.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Song of Nature
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234:To the Fire-Fly of Jamaica, Seen in a Collection
How art thou alter'd! since afar,
Thou seem'dst a bright earth wandering star;
When thy living lustre ran,
Tall majestic trees between,
And Guazume, or Swietan,
Or the Pimento's glossy green,
As caught their varnish'd leaves, thy glancing light
Reflected flying fires, amid the moonless night.
From shady heights, where currents spring,
Where the ground dove dips her wing,
Winds of night reviving blow,
Thro' rustling fields of maize and cane,
And wave the Coffee's fragrant bough;
But winds of night, for thee in vain
May breathe, of the Plumeria's luscious bloom,
Or Granate's scarlet buds, or Plinia's mild perfume.
The recent captive, who in vain,
Attempts to break his heavy chain,
And find his liberty in flight;
Shall no more in terror hide,
From thy strange and doubtful light,
In the mountain's cavern'd side,
Or gully deep, where gibbering monkies cling,
And broods the giant bat, on dark funereal wing.
Nor thee his darkling steps to aid,
Thro' the forest's pathless shade,
Shall the sighing Slave invoke;
Who, his daily task perform'd,
Would forget his heavy yoke;
And by fond affections warm'd,
Glide to some dear sequester'd spot, to prove,
Friendship's consoling voice, or sympathising love.
Now, when sinks the Sun away,
And fades at once the sultry day,
Thee, as falls the sudden night,
207
Never Naturalist shall view,
Dart with corruscation bright,
Down the cocoa avenue;
Or see thee give, with transient gleams to glow,
The green Banana's head, or Shaddock's loaded bough.
Ah! never more shalt thou behold,
The midnight Beauty, slow unfold
Her golden zone, and thro' the gloom
To thee her radiant leaves display,
More lovely than the roseate bloom
Of flowers, that drink the tropic day;
And while thy dancing flames around her blaze,
Shed odours more refin'd, and beam with brighter rays.
The glass thy faded form contains,
But of thy lamp no spark remains;
That lamp, which through the palmy grove,
Floated once with sapphire beam,
As lucid as the star of Love,
Reflected in the bickering stream;
Transient and bright! so human meteors rise,
And glare and sink, in pensive Reason 's eyes.
Ye dazzling comets that appear
In Fashion's rainbow atmosphere,
Lightning and flashing for a day;
Think ye, how fugitive your fame?
How soon from her light scroll away,
Is wafted your ephemeron name?
Even tho' on canvas still your forms are shewn,
Or the slow chisel shapes the pale resembling stone.
Let vaunting O STENTATION trust
The pencil's art, or marble bust,
While long neglected modest worth
Unmark'd, unhonor'd, and unknown,
Obtains at length a little earth,
Where kindred merit weeps alone;
Yet there, tho' V ANITY no trophies rear,
Is Friendship 's long regret, and true A FFECTION 's tear!
208
~ Charlotte Smith,
235:When we reached the street that branched off into the western section of the city, I expected Saadi to conintue north, but he did not. We dismounted and walked side by side, leading our horses, until my house came into view.
“You should leave,” I said to him, hoping I didn’t sound rude.
“Let me help you take King to your stable.”
I hesitated, unsure of the idea, then motioned for him to follow me as I cut across the property to approach the barn from the rear. After putting King in his private stall at the back of the building, sectioned off from the mares, I lit a lantern and grabbed a bucket. While Saadi watched me from the open door of the building, I went to the well to fill it.
“You should really go now,” I murmured upon my return, not wanting anyone to see us or the light.
He nodded and hung the lantern on its hook, but he did not leave. Instead, he took the bucket from me, placing it in King’s stall, and I noticed he had tossed in some hay. Brushing off his hands, he approached me.
“Tell your family I returned the horse to your care, that our stable master found him too unruly and disruptive to serve us other than to sire an occasional foal.”
“Yes, I will,” I mumbled, grateful for the lie he had provided. I had been so focused on recovering the stallion that explaining his reappearance had not yet entered my mind. Then an image of Rava, standing outside the barn tapping the scroll against her palm, surfaced. What was to prevent her return?
“And your sister? What will you tell her?”
He smirked. “You seem to think Rava is in charge of everything. Well, she’s not in charge of our stables. And our stable master will be content as long as we can still use the stallion for breeding. As for Rava, keep the horse out of sight and she’ll likely never know he’s back in your hands.”
“But what if you’re wrong and she does find out?”
“Then I’ll tell her that I have been currying a friendship with you. That you have unwittingly become an informant. That the return of the stallion, while retaining Cokyrian breeding rights, furthered that goal.”
I gaped at him, for his words flowed so easily, I wondered if there was truth behind them.
“And is that what this is really all about?”
I studied his blue eyes, almost afraid of what they might reveal. But they were remarkably sincere when he addressed the question.
“In a way, I suppose, for I am learning much from you.” He smiled and reached out to push my hair back from my face. “But it is not the sort of information that would be of interest to Rava.”
His hand caressed my cheek, and he slowly leaned toward me until his lips met mine. I moved my mouth against his, following his lead, and a tingle went down my spine. With my knees threatening to buckle, I put my hands on his chest for balance, feeling his heart beating beneath my palms. Then he was gone.
I stood dumbfounded, not knowing what to do, then traced my still-moist lips, the taste of him lingering. This was the first time I’d been kissed, and the experience, I could not deny, had been a good one. I no longer cared that Saadi was Cokyrian, for my feelings on the matter were clear. I’d kiss him again if given the chance. ~ Cayla Kluver,
236:The Monument
Now can you see the monument? It is of wood
built somewhat like a box. No. Built
like several boxes in descending sizes
one above the other.
Each is turned half-way round so that
its corners point toward the sides
of the one below and the angles alternate.
Then on the topmost cube is set
a sort of fleur-de-lys of weathered wood,
long petals of board, pierced with odd holes,
four-sided, stiff, ecclesiastical.
From it four thin, warped poles spring out,
(slanted like fishing-poles or flag-poles)
and from them jig-saw work hangs down,
four lines of vaguely whittled ornament
over the edges of the boxes
to the ground.
The monument is one-third set against
a sea; two-thirds against a sky.
The view is geared
(that is, the view's perspective)
so low there is no "far away,"
and we are far away within the view.
A sea of narrow, horizontal boards
lies out behind our lonely monument,
its long grains alternating right and left
like floor-boards--spotted, swarming-still,
and motionless. A sky runs parallel,
and it is palings, coarser than the sea's:
splintery sunlight and long-fibred clouds.
"Why does the strange sea make no sound?
Is it because we're far away?
Where are we? Are we in Asia Minor,
or in Mongolia?"
An ancient promontory,
an ancient principality whose artist-prince
might have wanted to build a monument
to mark a tomb or boundary, or make
a melancholy or romantic scene of it...
115
"But that queer sea looks made of wood,
half-shining, like a driftwood, sea.
And the sky looks wooden, grained with cloud.
It's like a stage-set; it is all so flat!
Those clouds are full of glistening splinters!
What is that?"
It is the monument.
"It's piled-up boxes,
outlined with shoddy fret-work, half-fallen off,
cracked and unpainted. It looks old."
--The strong sunlight, the wind from the sea,
all the conditions of its existence,
may have flaked off the paint, if ever it was painted,
and made it homelier than it was.
"Why did you bring me here to see it?
A temple of crates in cramped and crated scenery,
what can it prove?
I am tired of breathing this eroded air,
this dryness in which the monument is cracking."
It is an artifact
of wood. Wood holds together better
than sea or cloud or and could by itself,
much better than real sea or sand or cloud.
It chose that way to grow and not to move.
The monument's an object, yet those decorations,
carelessly nailed, looking like nothing at all,
give it away as having life, and wishing;
wanting to be a monument, to cherish something.
The crudest scroll-work says "commemorate,"
while once each day the light goes around it
like a prowling animal,
or the rain falls on it, or the wind blows into it.
It may be solid, may be hollow.
The bones of the artist-prince may be inside
or far away on even drier soil.
But roughly but adequately it can shelter
what is within (which after all
cannot have been intended to be seen).
It is the beginning of a painting,
a piece of sculpture, or poem, or monument,
and all of wood. Watch it closely.
116
~ Elizabeth Bishop,
237:A Vision Of Twilight
By a void and soundless river
On the outer edge of space,
Where the body comes not ever,
But the absent dream hath place,
Stands a city, tall and quiet,
And its air is sweet and dim;
Never sound of grief or riot
Makes it mad, or makes it grim.
And the tender skies thereover
Neither sun, nor star, behold-Only dusk it hath for cover,-But a glamour soft with gold,
Through a mist of dreamier essence
Than the dew of twilight, smiles
On strange shafts and domes and crescents,
Lifting into eerie piles.
In its courts and hallowed places
Dreams of distant worlds arise,
Shadows of transfigured faces,
Glimpses of immortal eyes,
Echoes of serenest pleasure,
Notes of perfect speech that fall,
Through an air of endless leisure,
Marvellously musical.
And I wander there at even,
Sometimes when my heart is clear,
When a wider round of heaven
And a vaster world are near,
When from many a shadow steeple
Sounds of dreamy bells begin,
And I love the gentle people
That my spirit finds therein.
Men of a diviner making
Than the sons of pride and strife,
Quick with love and pity, breaking
17
From a knowledge old as life;
Women of a spiritual rareness,
Whom old passion and old woe
Moulded to a slenderer fairness
Than the dearest shapes we know.
In its domed and towered centre
Lies a garden wide and fair,
Open for the soul to enter,
And the watchful townsmen there
Greet the stranger gloomed and fretting
From this world of stormy hands,
With a look that deals forgetting
And a touch that understands.
For they see with power, not borrowed
From a record taught or told,
But they loved and laughed and sorrowed
In a thousand worlds of old;
Now they rest and dream for ever,
And with hearts serene and whole
See the struggle, the old fever,
Clear as on a painted scroll.
Wandering by that grey and solemn
Water, with its ghostly quays-Vistas of vast arch and column,
Shadowed by unearthly trees-Biddings of sweet power compel me,
And I go with bated breath,
Listening to the tales they tell me,
Parables of Life and Death.
In a tongue that once was spoken,
Ere the world was cooled by Time,
When the spirit flowed unbroken
Through the flesh, and the Sublime
Made the eyes of men far-seeing,
And their souls as pure as rain,
They declare the ends of being,
And the sacred need of pain.
18
For they know the sweetest reasons
For the products most malign-They can tell the paths and seasons
Of the farthest suns that shine.
How the moth-wing's iridescence
By an inward plan was wrought,
And they read me curious lessons
In the secret ways of thought.
When day turns, and over heaven
To the balmy western verge
Sail the victor fleets of even,
And the pilot stars emerge,
Then my city rounds and rises,
Like a vapour formed afar,
And its sudden girth surprises,
And its shadowy gates unbar.
Dreamy crowds are moving yonder
In a faint and phantom blue;
Through the dusk I lean, and wonder
If their winsome shapes are true;
But in veiling indecision
Come my questions back again-Which is real? The fleeting vision?
Or the fleeting world of men?
~ Archibald Lampman,
238:And Yet
THEY drew him from the darkened room,
Where, swooning in a peace profound,
Beneath a heavy fragrance drowned
Her grey form glimmered in the gloom.
Death smoothed from her each sordid trace
Of Life; at last he read the scroll;
For all the meaning of her soul
Flowered upon her perfect face.
“In other worlds her soul finds scope;
Her spirit lives; she is not dead,”
In his dulled ear they said and said,
Suave-murmuring the ancient Hope.
“You loved her; she was worthy love.
Think you her spheral soul can cease?
Nay, she has ripened to release
From this bare earth, and waits above.”
His brain their clamour heard aloof;
He, too, had said the self-same thing;
But now his heart was quivering
For more than comfort—parched for proof.
He put them from him. “Let me be;
You proffer in my bitter need
The coward comfort of a creed
That tears her soul apart from me.
“She waits in no drear Heaven afar.
Her woman's soul in all its worth,
Yearning for me, for homely earth,
No gates of beaten gold could bar.
“No, she is near me, ever close;
One with the world, but free again;
One with the breezes and the rain;
One with the mountain and the rose.
“She knows me not; her voice is dumb;
But aching through the twilight peers,
And, unremembering, yet with tears,
She strives to say she cannot come.
“Yes, she is changed, but not destroyed;
The words that were her soul are hushed;
18
The gem that was her heart is crushed—
Its fragments white stars in the void.
“And I shall see her in disguise;
In the grey vistas of the street
A face that hints of her I meet;
Whispers her soul from alien eyes.
“In Time's great garden, spring on spring,
The blossoms glow; then at a breath
Their petals flutter down to death—
Ah love, how brief your blossoming!
“Death has but severed part from part.
Borne on an ever-moving air
The fragrance of her life somewhere
Freshens some lonely wistful heart!
“No word of hers can God forget;
Her laughter Time dare not disperse;
It shakes the tense-strung universe,
And with the chord it trembles yet.
“Each mood of hers, each fancy slight,
In deep pulsations, ring on ring,
Dilating, ever-widening,
Ripples across the outer night.
“Her life with deathless charm was fraught,
And God with smiles remembers now
The puzzled pucker of her brow
Ruffled with sudden gusts of thought.
“And in His cosmic memory wise
Still live her subtle features thin,
Her dear iconoclastic chin,
The grave enigma of her eyes.
“And if beyond she might draw breath.
And know that I was not with her,
The wistful eyes of her despair
Would be more desolate than death.
“But not to meet her in the wide
Night-spaces I must wander through;
To kiss the pretty pout I knew,
And nevermore to hear her chide;
“To speak those childish words that were
So foolish-sweet, so passionate-wise;
19
Her subtle fragrance recognise
And hear the whispers of her hair! …
“Her sun has set; but still, sublime,
She is a star, of God a part;
She is a petal at the heart
Of the eternal flower of Time.
“I triumph so beyond regret,
I win her immortality:
Where, Death, your vaunted victory?
Where, Grave, your sting? And yet—and yet——!”
~ Arthur Henry Adams,
239:I.

I said-Then, dearest, since 'tis so,
Since now at length my fate I know,
Since nothing all my love avails,
Since all, my life seemed meant for, fails,
Since this was written and needs must be-
My whole heart rises up to bless
Your name in pride and thankfulness!
Take back the hope you gave,-I claim
-Only a memory of the same,
-And this beside, if you will not blame,
Your leave for one more last ride with me.

II.

My mistress bent that brow of hers;
Those deep dark eyes where pride demurs
When pity would be softening through,
Fixed me, a breathing-while or two,
With life or death in the balance: right!
The blood replenished me again;
My last thought was at least not vain:
I and my mistress, side by side
Shall be together, breathe and ride,
So, one day more am I deified.
Who knows but the world may end tonight?

III.

Hush! if you saw some western cloud
All billowy-bosomed, over-bowed
By many benedictions-sun's
And moon's and evening-star's at once-
And so, you, looking and loving best,
Conscious grew, your passion drew
Cloud, sunset, moonrise, star-shine too,
Down on you, near and yet more near,
Till flesh must fade for heaven was here!-
Thus leant she and lingered-joy and fear!
Thus lay she a moment on my breast.

IV.

Then we began to ride. My soul
Smoothed itself out, a long-cramped scroll
Freshening and fluttering in the wind.
Past hopes already lay behind.
What need to strive with a life awry?
Had I said that, had I done this,
So might I gain, so might I miss.
Might she have loved me? just as well
She might have hated, who can tell!
Where had I been now if the worst befell?
And here we are riding, she and I.

V.

Fail I alone, in words and deeds?
Why, all men strive and who succeeds?
We rode; it seemed my spirit flew,
Saw other regions, cities new,
As the world rushed by on either side.
I thought,-All labour, yet no less
Bear up beneath their unsuccess.
Look at the end of work, contrast
The petty done, the undone vast,
This present of theirs with the hopeful past!
I hoped she would love me; here we ride.

VI.

What hand and brain went ever paired?
What heart alike conceived and dared?
What act proved all its thought had been?
What will but felt the fleshly screen?
We ride and I see her bosom heave.
There's many a crown for who can reach,
Ten lines, a statesman's life in each!
The flag stuck on a heap of bones,
A soldier's doing! what atones?
They scratch his name on the Abbey-stones.
My riding is better, by their leave.

VII.

What does it all mean, poet? Well,
Your brains beat into rhythm, you tell
What we felt only; you expressed
You hold things beautiful the best,
And pace them in rhyme so, side by side.
'Tis something, nay 'tis much: but then,
Have you yourself what's best for men?
Are you-poor, sick, old ere your time-
Nearer one whit your own sublime
Than we who never have turned a rhyme?
Sing, riding's a joy! For me, I ride.

VIII.

And you, great sculptor-so, you gave
A score of years to Art, her slave,
And that's your Venus, whence we turn
To yonder girl that fords the burn!
You acquiesce, and shall I repine?
What, man of music, you grown grey
With notes and nothing else to say,
Is this your sole praise from a friend,
``Greatly his opera's strains intend,
``Put in music we know how fashions end!''
I gave my youth; but we ride, in fine.

IX.

Who knows what's fit for us? Had fate
Proposed bliss here should sublimate
My being-had I signed the bond-
Still one must lead some life beyond,
Have a bliss to die with, dim-descried.
This foot once planted on the goal,
This glory-garland round my soul,
Could I descry such? Try and test!
I sink back shuddering from the quest.
Earth being so good, would heaven seem best?
Now, heaven and she are beyond this ride.

X.

And yet-she has not spoke so long!
What if heaven be that, fair and strong
At life's best, with our eyes upturned
Whither life's flower is first discerned,
We, fixed so, ever should so abide?
What if we still ride on, we two
With life for ever old yet new,
Changed not in kind but in degree,
The instant made eternity,-
And heaven just prove that I and she
Ride, ride together, for ever ride?


~ Robert Browning, The Last Ride Together
,
240:August Moon
Look! the round-cheeked moon floats high,
In the glowing August sky,
Quenching all her neighbor stars,
Save the steady flame of Mars.
White as silver shines the sea,
Far-off sails like phantoms be,
Gliding o'er that lake of light,
Vanishing in nether night.
Heavy hangs the tasseled corn,
Sighing for the cordial morn;
But the marshy-meadows bare,
Love this spectral-lighted air,
Drink the dews and lift their song,
Chirp of crickets all night long;
Earth and sea enchanted lie
'Neath that moon-usurped sky.
To the faces of our friends
Unfamiliar traits she lendsQuaint, white witch, who looketh down
With a glamour all her own.
Hushed are laughter, jest, and speech,
Mute and heedless each of each,
In the glory wan we sit,
Visions vague before us flit;
Side by side, yet worlds apart,
Heart becometh strange to heart.
Slowly in a moved voice, then,
Ralph, the artist spake again'Does not that weird orb unroll
Scenes phantasmal to your soul?
As I gaze thereon, I swear,
Peopled grows the vacant air,
Fables, myths alone are real,
White-clad sylph-like figures steal
'Twixt the bushes, o'er the lawn,
Goddess, nymph, undine, and faun.
Yonder, see the Willis dance,
42
Faces pale with stony glance;
They are maids who died unwed,
And they quit their gloomy bed,
Hungry still for human pleasure,
Here to trip a moonlit measure.
Near the shore the mermaids play,
Floating on the cool, white spray,
Leaping from the glittering surf
To the dark and fragrant turf,
Where the frolic trolls, and elves
Daintily disport themselves.
All the shapes by poet's brain,
Fashioned, live for me again,
In this spiritual light,
Less than day, yet more than night.
What a world! a waking dream,
All things other than they seem,
Borrowing a finer grace,
From yon golden globe in space;
Touched with wild, romantic glory,
Foliage fresh and billows hoary,
Hollows bathed in yellow haze,
Hills distinct and fields of maize,
Ancient legends come to mind.
Who would marvel should he find,
In the copse or nigh the spring,
Summer fairies gamboling
Where the honey-bees do suck,
Mab and Ariel and Puck?
Ah! no modern mortal sees
Creatures delicate as these.
All the simple faith has gone
Which their world was builded on.
Now the moonbeams coldly glance
On no gardens of romance;
To prosaic senses dull,
Baldur's dead, the Beautiful,
Hark, the cry rings overhead,
'Universal Pan is dead!''
'Requiescant!' Claude's grave tone
Thrilled us strangely. 'I am one
Who would not restore that Past,
43
Beauty will immortal last,
Though the beautiful must dieThis the ages verify.
And had Pan deserved the name
Which his votaries misclaim,
He were living with us yet.
I behold, without regret,
Beauty in new forms recast,
Truth emerging from the vast,
Bright and orbed, like yonder sphere,
Making the obscure air clear.
He shall be of bards the king,
Who, in worthy verse, shall sing
All the conquests of the hour,
Stealing no fictitious power
From the classic types outworn,
But his rhythmic line adorn
With the marvels of the real.
He the baseless feud shall heal
That estrangeth wide apart
Science from her sister Art.
Hold! look through this glass for me?
Artist, tell me what you see?'
'I!' cried Ralph. 'I see in place
Of Astarte's silver face,
Or veiled Isis' radiant robe,
Nothing but a rugged globe
Seamed with awful rents and scars.
And below no longer Mars,
Fierce, flame-crested god of war,
But a lurid, flickering star,
Fashioned like our mother earth,
Vexed, belike, with death and birth.'
Rapt in dreamy thought the while,
With a sphinx-like shadowy smile,
Poet Florio sat, but now
Spake in deep-voiced accents slow,
More as one who probes his mind,
Than for us-'Who seeks, shall findWidening knowledge surely brings
Vaster themes to him who sings.
44
Was veiled Isis more sublime
Than yon frozen fruit of Time,
Hanging in the naked sky?
Death's domain-for worlds too die.
Lo! the heavens like a scroll
Stand revealed before my soul;
And the hieroglyphs are sunsChangeless change the law that runs
Through the flame-inscribed page,
World on world and age on age,
Balls of ice and orbs of fire,
What abides when these expire?
Through slow cycles they revolve,
Yet at last like clouds dissolve.
Jove, Osiris, Brahma pass,
Races wither like the grass.
Must not mortals be as gods
To embrace such periods?
Yet at Nature's heart remains
One who waxes not nor wanes.
And our crowning glory still
Is to have conceived his will.'
~ Emma Lazarus,
241:The world's great age begins anew,
   The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
   Her winter weeds outworn:
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.

A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
   From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls his fountains
   Against the morning star.
Where fairer Tempes bloom, there sleep
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.

A loftier Argo cleaves the main,
   Fraught with a later prize;
Another Orpheus sings again,
   And loves, and weeps, and dies.
A new Ulysses leaves once more
Calypso for his native shore.

Oh, write no more the tale of Troy,
   If earth Death's scroll must be!
Nor mix with Laian rage the joy
   Which dawns upon the free:
Although a subtler Sphinx renew
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.

Another Athens shall arise,
   And to remoter time
Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,
   The splendour of its prime;
And leave, if nought so bright may live,
All earth can take or Heaven can give.

Saturn and Love their long repose
   Shall burst, more bright and good
Than all who fell, than One who rose,
   Than many unsubdu'd:
Not gold, not blood, their altar dowers,
But votive tears and symbol flowers.

Oh cease! must hate and death return?
   Cease! must men kill and die?
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn
   Of bitter prophecy.
The world is weary of the past,
Oh might it die or rest at last!
NOTES
Form:
ababcc

Composition Date:
1821

1060.
Written at Pisa in the autumn of 1821 and published in 1822, Hellas
is a "lyrical drama" treating of the contemporary struggle for freedom in
Greece and dedicated to Prince Mavrocordato, whom Shelley met in exile at
Pisa and who had returned to Greece in June 1821 to take part in the revolution
against the Turks. Shelley writes in a Preface: "The Persae of Aeschylus
afforded me the first model of my conception, although the decision of the
glorious contest now waging in Greece being yet suspended forbids a catastrophe
parallel to the return of Xerxes and the desolation of the Persians. I have,
therefore, contented myself with exhibiting a series of lyric pictures ... [suggesting]
the final triumph of the Greek cause as a portion of the cause of civilization
and social improvement." The action takes place in the palace of the Turkish
king, where he receives reports on the progress of the war from messengers
and prophecies of doom from visionary visitors. The last news, however, is of
a Turkish victory, to the dismay of the Greek slaves who act as chorus throughout
the play. "The final chorus," according to Shelley's note, "is indistinct and
obscure, as the event of the living drama whose arrival it foretells. Prophecies
of wars, and rumours of wars, etc., may safely be made by poet or prophet in
any age, but to anticipate however darkly a period of regeneration and happiness
is a more hazardous exercise of the faculty which bards possess or feign. It
will remind the reader 'magno nec proximus intervallo' of Isaiah and
Virgil, whose ardent spirits overleaping the actual reign of evil which we
endure and bewail, already saw the possible and perhaps approaching state of
society in which the 'lion shall lie down with the lamb,' and 'omnis feret
omnia tellus.' Let these great names be my authority and excuse."

The world's great age: the "annus magnus" at the end of which, according
to an idea of the ancients, all the heavenly bodies would return to their original
positions, and when, in consequence, the history of the world would begin to
repeat itself.

1068.
Peneus: a river in Thessaly.

1070.
Tempe: the vale through which Peneus flows.

1071.
Cyclads: a group of islands in the Aegean.

1072.
Argo: the vessel which bore Jason on his search for the Golden Fleece.

1072-77.
See Virgil, Eclogue IV:

Another Tiphys shall new seas explore;
Another Argo land the chiefs upon th'Iberian shore;
Another Helen other wars create,
And great Achilles urge the Trojan fate

(Dryden's translation).

1074.
Orpheus. For the stories of Orpheus--his entrancing music, the loss of his
wife Eurydice and his ultimate failure to recover her from the underworld, and
his death at the hands of Maenads (worshippers of Dionysus)--see Ovid's
Metamorphoses.

Calypso: a sorceress on whose island Ulysses remained for seven years on
the way home from Troy to Ithaca.

1080.
Laian rage. Laius was King of Thebes, father of Oedipus, and head of a
house whose horrors were a favourite theme of Greek tragedy.

1082.
Sphinx: a monster who sat on the roadside at Thebes and slew all who could
not solve a riddle it proposed.

1090-93.
Shelley's note reads (in part): "Saturn and Love were among the deities of
a real or imaginary state of innocence and happiness. All those who
fell, or the Gods of Greece, Asia and Egypt; the One who rose, or
Jesus Christ . . .; and the many unsubdued, or the monstrous objects of
the idolatry of China, India, the Antarctic islands, and the native tribes of
America...."


~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Chorus from Hellas
,
242:Let us begin and carry up this corpse,
    Singing together.
  Leave we the common crofts, the vulgar thorpes
    Each in its tether
  Sleeping safe on the bosom of the plain,
    Cared-for till cock-crow:
  Look out if yonder be not day again
   Rimming the rock-row!
  That's the appropriate country; there, man's thought,
   Rarer, intenser,
Self-gathered for an outbreak, as it ought,
   Chafes in the censer.
Leave we the unlettered plain its herd and crop;
   Seek we sepulture
On a tall mountain, citied to the top,
   Crowded with culture!
All the peaks soar, but one the rest excels;
   Clouds overcome it;
No! yonder sparkle is the citadel's
   Circling its summit.
Thither our path lies; wind we up the heights:
   Wait ye the warning?
Our low life was the level's and the night's;
   He's for the morning.
Step to a tune, square chests, erect each head,
   'Ware the beholders!
This is our master, famous, calm and dead,
   Borne on our shoulders.

  Sleep, crop and herd! sleep, darkling thorpe and croft,
   Safe from the weather!
He, whom we convoy to his grave aloft,
   Singing together,
He was a man born with thy face and throat,
   Lyric Apollo!
Long he lived nameless: how should spring take note
   Winter would follow?
Till lo, the little touch, and youth was gone!
   Cramped and diminished,
Moaned he, "New measures, other feet anon!
   My dance is finished"?
No, that's the world's way: (keep the mountain-side,
   Make for the city!)
He knew the signal, and stepped on with pride
   Over men's pity;
Left play for work, and grappled with the world
   Bent on escaping:
"What's in the scroll," quoth he, "thou keepest furled
   Show me their shaping,
Theirs who most studied man, the bard and sage,
   Give!"So, he gowned him,
Straight got by heart that book to its last page:
   Learned, we found him.
Yea, but we found him bald too, eyes like lead,
   Accents uncertain:
"Time to taste life," another would have said,
   "Up with the curtain!"
This man said rather, "Actual life comes next?
   Patience a moment!
Grant I have mastered learning's crabbed text,
   Still there's the comment.
Let me know all! Prate not of most or least,
   Painful or easy!
Even to the crumbs I'd fain eat up the feast,
   Ay, nor feel queasy."
Oh, such a life as he resolved to live,
   When he had learned it,
When he had gathered all books had to give!
   Sooner, he spurned it.
Image the whole, then execute the parts
   Fancy the fabric
Quite, ere you build, ere steel strike fire from quartz,
   Ere mortar dab brick!

  (Here's the town-gate reached: there's the market-place
   Gaping before us.)
Yea, this in him was the peculiar grace
   (Hearten our chorus!)
That before living he'd learn how to live
   No end to learning:
Earn the means firstGod surely will contrive
   Use for our earning.
Others mistrust and say, "But time escapes:
   Live now or never!"
He said, "What's time? Leave Now for dogs and apes!
   Man has Forever."
Back to his book then: deeper drooped his head:
   Calculus racked him:
Leaden before, his eyes grew dross of lead:
   Tussis attacked him.
"Now, master, take a little rest!"not he!
   (Caution redoubled
Step two abreast, the way winds narrowly!)
   Not a whit troubled,
Back to his studies, fresher than at first,
   Fierce as a dragon
He (soul-hydroptic with a sacred thirst)
   Sucked at the flagon.
Oh, if we draw a circle premature,
   Heedless of far gain,
Greedy for quick returns of profit, sure
   Bad is our bargain!
Was it not great? did not he throw on God,
   (He loves the burthen)
God's task to make the heavenly period
   Perfect the earthen?
Did not he magnify the mind, show clear
   Just what it all meant?
He would not discount life, as fools do here,
   Paid by instalment.
He ventured neck or nothingheaven's success
   Found, or earth's failure:
"Wilt thou trust death or not?" He answered "Yes:
   Hence with life's pale lure!"
That low man seeks a little thing to do,
   Sees it and does it:
This high man, with a great thing to pursue,
   Dies ere he knows it.
That low man goes on adding one to one,
   His hundred's soon hit:
This high man, aiming at a million,
   Misses an unit.
That, has the world hereshould he need the next,
   Let the world mind him!
This, throws himself on God, and unperplexed
   Seeking shall find him.
So, with the throttling hands of death at strife,
   Ground he at grammar;
Still, thro' the rattle, parts of speech were rife:
   While he could stammer
He settled Hoti's businesslet it be!
   Properly based Oun
Gave us the doctrine of the enclitic De,
   Dead from the waist down.
Well, here's the platform, here's the proper place:
   Hail to your purlieus,
All ye highfliers of the feathered race,
   Swallows and curlews!
Here's the top-peak; the multitude below
   Live, for they can, there:
This man decided not to Live but Know
   Bury this man there?
Herehere's his place, where meteors shoot, clouds form,
   Lightnings are loosened,
Stars come and go! Let joy break with the storm,
   Peace let the dew send!
Lofty designs must close in like effects:
   Loftily lying,
Leave himstill loftier than the world suspects,
   Living and dying.


~ Robert Browning, A Grammarian's Funeral Shortly After The Revival Of Learning
,
243:Scene 3. A Cliff On The Breton Coast, Overhanging
The Sea
Hugo.
Down drops the red sun; through the gloaming
They burst-raging waves of the sea,
Foaming out their own shame-ever foaming
Their leprosy up with fierce glee;
Flung back from the stone, snowy fountains
Of feathery flakes, scarcely flag
Where, shock after shock, the green mountains
Explode on the iron-grey crag.
The salt spray with ceaseless commotion
Leaps round me. I sit on the verge
Of the cliff-'twixt the earth and the ocean
With feet overhanging the surge.
In thy grandeur, oh, sea! we acknowledge,
In thy fairness, oh, earth! we confess,
Hidden truths that are taught in no college,
Hidden songs that no parchments express.
Were they wise in their own generations,
Those sages and sagas of old?
They have pass'd; o'er their names and their nations
Time's billows have silently roll'd;
They have pass'd, leaving little to their children,
Save histories of a truth far from strict;
Or theories more vague and bewildering,
Since three out of four contradict.
Lost labour! vain bookworms have sat in
The halls of dull pedants who teach
Strange tongues, the dead lore of the Latin,
The scroll that is god-like and Greek:
Have wasted life's springtide in learning
Things long ago learnt all in vain;
They are slow, very slow, in discerning
That book lore and wisdom are twain.
242
Pale shades of a creed that was mythic,
By time or by truth overcome,
Your Delphian temples and Pythic
Are ruins deserted and dumb;
Your Muses are hush'd, and your Graces
Are bruised and defaced; and your gods,
Enshrin'd and enthron'd in high places
No longer, are powerless as clods;
By forest and streamlet, where glisten'd
Fair feet of the Naiads that skimm'd
The shallows; where the Oreads listen'd,
Rose-lipp'd, amber-hair'd, marble-limb'd,
No lithe forms disport in the river,
No sweet faces peer through the boughs,
Elms and beeches wave silent for ever,
Ever silent the bright water flows.
(Were they duller or wiser than we are,
Those heathens of old? Who shall say?
Worse or better? Thy wisdom, O 'Thea
Glaucopis', was wise in thy day;
And the false gods alluring to evil,
That sway'd reckless votaries then,
Were slain to no purpose; they revel
Re-crowned in the hearts of us men.)
Dead priests of Osiris and Isis,
And Apis! that mystical lore,
Like a nightmare, conceived in a crisis
Of fever, is studied no more;
Dead Magian! yon star-troop that spangles
The arch of yon firmament vast
Looks calm, like a host of white angels,
On dry dust of votaries past.
On seas unexplored can the ship shun
Sunk rocks? Can man fathom life's links,
Past or future, unsolved by Egyptian
Or Theban, unspoken by Sphinx?
The riddle remains still unravell'd
By students consuming night oil.
243
Oh, earth! we have toil'd, we have travail'd,
How long shall we travail and toil?
How long? The short life that fools reckon
So sweet, by how much is it higher
Than brute life?-the false gods still beckon,
And man, through the dust and the mire,
Toils onward, as toils the dull bullock,
Unreasoning, brutish, and blind,
With Ashtaroth, Mammon, and Moloch
In front, and Alecto behind.
The wise one of earth, the Chaldean,
Serves folly in wisdom's disguise;
And the sensual Epicurean,
Though grosser, is hardly less wise;
'Twixt the former, half pedant, half pagan,
And the latter, half sow and half sloth,
We halt, choose Astarte or Dagon,
Or sacrifice freely to both.
With our reason that seeks to disparage,
Brute instinct it fails to subdue;
With our false illegitimate courage,
Our sophistry, vain and untrue;
Our hopes that ascend so and fall so,
Our passions, fierce hates and hot loves,
We are wise (aye, the snake is wise also)
Wise as serpents, NOT harmless as doves.
Some flashes, like faint sparks from heaven,
Come rarely with rushing of wings;
We are conscious at times we have striven,
Though seldom, to grasp better things;
These pass, leaving hearts that have falter'd,
Good angels with faces estranged,
And the skin of the Ethiop unalter'd,
And the spots of the leopard unchanged.
Oh, earth! pleasant earth! have we hanker'd
To gather thy flowers and thy fruits?
The roses are wither'd, and canker'd
244
The lilies, and barren the roots
Of the fig-tree, the vine, the wild olive,
Sharp thorns and sad thistles that yield
Fierce harvest-so WE live, and SO live
The perishing beasts of the field.
And withal we are conscious of evil
And good-of the spirit and the clod,
Of the power in our hearts of a devil,
Of the power in our souls of a God,
Whose commandments are graven in no cypher,
But clear as His sun-from our youth
One at least we have cherished-'An eye for
An eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'
Oh, man! of thy Maker the image;
To passion, to pride, or to wealth,
Sworn bondsman, from dull youth to dim age,
Thy portion the fire or the filth,
Dross seeking, dead pleasure's death rattle
Thy memories' happiest song,
And thy highest hope-scarce a drawn battle
With dark desperation. How long?
Roar louder! leap higher! ye surf-beds,
And sprinkle your foam on the furze;
Bring the dreams that brought sleep to our turf-beds,
To camps of our long ago years,
With the flashing and sparkling of broadswords,
With the tossing of banners and spears,
With the trampling of hard hoofs on hard swards,
With the mingling of trumpets and cheers.
The gale has gone down; yet outlasting
The gale, raging waves of the sea,
Casting up their own foam, ever casting
Their leprosy up with wild glee,
Still storm; so in rashness and rudeness
Man storms through the days of his grace;
Yet man cannot fathom God's goodness,
Exceeding God's infinite space.
245
And coldly and calmly and purely
Grey rock and green hillock lie white
In star-shine dream-laden-so surely
Night cometh-so cometh the night
When we, too, at peace with our neighbour,
May sleep where God's hillocks are piled,
Thanking HIM for a rest from day's labour,
And a sleep like the sleep of a child!
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
244:After Sixty Years
RING, bells! flags, fly! and let the great crowd roar
Its ecstasy. Let the hid heart in prayer
Lift up your name. God bless you evermore,
Lady, who have the noblest crown to wear
That ever woman wore.
A jewel, in the front of time, shall blaze
This day, of all your days commemorate;
With Time's white bays your brows are laureate,
And England's love shall garland all your days.
When England's crown, to Love's acclaim, was laid
On the soft brightness of a maiden's hair,
Amid delight, Love trembled, half afraid,
To give that little head such weight to bear,-Bind on so slight a maid
A kingdom's purple--bid her hands hold high
The sceptre and the heavy orb of power,
To give to youth and beauty for a dower
Care and a crown, sorrow and sovereignty.
But from our hearts sprang an intenser flame
When loyal Love met tender Love half way,
And, in love's script, wrote on the scroll of fame,
Entwined with all the splendour of that day,
The letters of her name.
Then as fair roses grow 'mid leaves of green,
Love amid loyalty grew strong and close,
To hedge a pleasaunce round our Royal rose,
Our sovereign maiden flower, our child, our Queen.
The trumpets spake--in sonorous triumph shout,
Their speech found echo in the hundred guns;
From countless towers the answering bells rang out,
And England's heart spoke clamorous, through her sons,
The exulting land throughout.
Down streets ablaze with light the flags unfurled,
51
Along dark, lonely hills the joy-fires crept,
And eager swords within their scabbards leapt
To guard our Lady and Queen against the world.
Those swords are rusted now. Good men and true
Dust in the dust are laid who held her dear;
But from their grave the bright flower springs anew,
Which for her festival we bring her here,
The long years' meed and due;
The bud of homage grafted on chivalry.
God took the souls that shrined the jewel of love,
But made their sons inheritors thereof,
In endless gold entail of loyalty.
Time, compensating life, the fruit bestowed
When in spent perfume passed the flower of youth;
Her feet were set upon the upward road,
Her face was turned towards the star of truth
That in her soul abode.
With youth the maid's bright brow was garlanded
But richer crowns adorn the dear white hair;
The gathered love of all the years lies there,
In coronal benediction on her head.
She is of our blood, for hath not she, too, met
The angels of delight and of despair?
Does not she, too, remember and forget
How bitter or how bright the lost days were?
Her eyes have tears made wet;
She has seen joy unveilèd even as we,
Has laid upon cold clay the heart-warm kiss,
She has known Sorrow for the king he is;
She has held little children on her knee.
Mother, dear Mother, these your children rise
And call you blessèd, and shall we not, too,
Who are your children in the greater wise,
And love you for our land and her for you?
52
The blessing sanctifies
Your children as they breathe it at your knees,
And, bringing little gifts from very far,
Where the great nurseries of your Empire are,
Your children's blessings throng from over seas.
On Love's spread wings, and over leagues of space,
Homage is borne from far-off sun-steeped lands;
From many a domed mysterious Eastern place,
Where Secresy holds Time between her hands,
The children of your race
Reach English hands towards your English throne;
And from the far South turn blue English eyes,
That never saw the blue of English skies,
Yet call you Mother, and your land their own.
Where 'mid great trees the mighty waters flow
In arrogant submission to your sway,
In fur of price your northern hunters go,
And shafts of ardent greeting fly your way
Across the splendid snow;
And isles that with their coral, safe and small,
Rock in the cradle of the tropic seas,
In soft, strange speech join in the litanies
That pride and prayer breathe at your festival.
All round the world, on every far-off sea,
In wind-ploughed oceans and in sun-kissed bays,
By every busy wharf and chattering quay,
Some cantle of your Empire sails or stays-Flaunts your supremacy
Against the winds of all the world, and flies
Your flag triumphant between blue and blue,
Blazons to sun and star the name of you,
And spreads your glory between seas and skies,
There is no cottage garden, sunny-sweet,
There is no pasture where our shepherds tend
53
Their quiet flocks, no red-roofed village street,
But holds for you the love-wish of a friend,
Blent with high homage meet;
No little farm among the cornfields lone,
No little cot upon the uplands bare,
But hears to-day in blessing and in prayer
One name, Victoria, and that name your own.
From the vast cities where the giant's might,
Pauseless, resistless, moves by night and day,
From hidden mines where day is one with night,
From weary lives whose days and nights are grey
And empty of delight,
From lives that rhyme to sunshine and the spring,
From happiness at flood and hope at ebb,
Rose the magnificent and mingled web
That floats, your banner, at your thanksgiving.
Throned on the surety of a splendid past,
With present glory clothed as with the sun,
Crowned with the future's hopes, you know at last
What treasure from the years your life has won;
Behold, your hands hold fast
The moon of Empire, and its sway controls
The tides of war and peace, while in those hands
Lies tender homage out of all the lands
Against whose feet your furthest ocean rolls.
How seems your life, looked back at through the years?
Much love, much sorrow, dead desires, lost dreams,
A great life lived out greatly; hidden tears,
And smiles for daily wear; strong plans and schemes,
And mighty hopes and fears;
War in the South and murder in the East,
And England's heart-throbs echoed by your heart
When loss, and labour, and sorrow were her part,
Or when Fate bade her to some flower-crowned feast.
54
Red battle-fields whereon your soldiers died,
Green pastoral fields saved by the blood of these,
Duty that bade mere sorrow stand aside,
And love transforming anguish into ease;
Long longing satisfied,
Great secrets wrenched from Nature's grudging breast,
The fruit of knowledge plucked for all to eat,-These have you known, Life's circle is complete,
And, knowing these, you know what is Life's best:
The dear small secrets of our common life,
The English woods and hills, the English home,
The common joys and griefs of Mother and wife,
Joy coming, going--griefs that go and come,
Soul's peace amid world's strife;
Hours when the Queen's cares leave the woman free;
Dear friendships, where the friend forgets the Queen
And stoops to wear a dearer, homelier mien,
And be more loved than mere Queens rise to be.
And, in your hour of triumph, when you shine
The centre of our triumph's blazing star,
And, gazing down your long life's lustrous line,
Behold how great your life-long glories are,
Yet, in your heart's veiled shrine,
No splendour of all splendours that have been
Will brim your eyes with tremulous thanksgivings,
But little memories of little things-The treasures of the woman, not the Queen.
Yet, Queen, because the love of you hath wound
A golden girdle all about the earth,
Because your name is as a trumpet sound
To call toward you men of English birth
From the world's outmost bound,
Because old kinsmen, long estranged from home,
Come, with old foes, to greet you, friend and kin,
With kindly eyes behold your guests come in,
See from afar the long procession come!
55
No Emperor in Rome's Imperial days
Knew ever such a triumph day as this,
Though captive kings bore chains along his ways,
Though tribute from the furthest isles was his,
With pageant and with praise.
For you--free kings and free republics grace
Your triumph, and across the conquered waves
Come gifts from friends, not tributes wrung from slaves,
And praise kneels, clothed in love, before your face.
Ring, bells! flags, fly! and let the great crowd roar
Its ecstasy! Let the hid heart in prayer
Lift up your name! God bless you evermore,
Lady, who have the noblest crown to wear
That ever monarch wore.
For, 'mid this day's triumphal voluntaries,
Your name shines like the splendour of the sun,
Because your name with England's name is one,
As Hers, thank God! is one with Liberty's.
~ Edith Nesbit,
245:Phantasies
I. Evening.
Rest, beauty, stillness: not a waif of a cloud
From gray-blue east sheer to the yellow westNo film of mist the utmost slopes to shroud.
The earth lies grace, by quiet airs caressed,
And shepherdeth her shadows, but each stream,
Free to the sky, is by that glow possessed,
And traileth with the splendors of a dream
Athwart the dusky land. Uplift thine eyes!
Unbroken by a vapor or a gleam,
The vast clear reach of mild, wan twilight skies.
But look again, and lo, the evening star!
Against the pale tints black the slim elms rise,
The earth exhales sweet odors nigh and far,
And from the heavens fine influences fall.
Familiar things stand not for what they are:
What they suggest, foreshadow, or recall
The spirit is alert to apprehend,
Imparting somewhat of herself to all.
Labor and thought and care are at an end:
The soul is filled with gracious reveries,
And with her mood soft sounds and colors blend;
For simplest sounds ring forth like melodies
In this weird-lighted air-the monotone
Of some far bell, the distant farmyard cries,
A barking dog, the thin, persistent drone
Of crickets, and the lessening call of birds.
The apparition of yon star alone
Breaks on the sense like music. Beyond word
The peace that floods the soul, for night is here,
158
And Beauty still is guide and harbinger.
II. Aspiration.
Dark lies the earth, and bright with worlds the sky:
That soft, large, lustrous star, that first outshone,
Still holds us spelled with potent sorcery.
Dilating, shrinking, lightening, it hath won
Our spirit with its strange strong influence,
And sways it as the tides beneath the moon.
What impulse this, o'ermastering heart and sense?
Exalted, thrilled, the freed soul fain would soar
Unto that point of shining prominence,
Craving new fields and some unheard-of shore,
Yea, all the heavens, for her activity,
To mount with daring flight, to hover o'er
Low hills of earth, flat meadows, level sea,
And earthly joy and trouble. In this hour
Of waning light and sound, of mystery,
Of shadowed love and beauty-veiled power,
She feels her wings: she yearns to grasp her own,
Knowing the utmost good to be her dower.
A dream! a dream! for at a touch 't is gone.
O mocking spirit! thy mere fools are we,
Unto the depths from heights celestial thrown.
From these blind gropings toward reality,
This thirst for truth, this most pathetic need
Of something to uplift, to justify,
To help and comfort while we faint and bleed,
May we not draw, wrung from the last despair,
Some argument of hope, some blessed creed,
That we can trust the faith which whispers prayer,
159
The vanishings, the ecstasy, the gleam,
The nameless aspiration, and the dream?
III. Wherefore?
Deep languor overcometh mind and frame:
A listless, drowsy, utter weariness,
A trance wherein no thought finds speech or name,
The overstrained spirit doth possess.
She sinks with drooping wing-poor unfledged bird,
That fain had flown!-in fluttering breathlessness.
To what end those high hopes that wildly stirred
The beating heart with aspirations vain?
Why proffer prayers unanswered and unheard
To blank, deaf heavens that will not heed her pain?
Where lead these lofty, soaring tendencies,
That leap and fly and poise, to fall again,
Yet seem to link her with the utmost skies?
What mean these clinging loves that bind to earth,
And claim her with beseeching, wistful eyes?
This little resting-place 'twixt death and birth,
Why is it fretted with the ceaseless flow
Of flood and ebb, with overgrowth and dearth,
And vext with dreams, and clouded with strange woe?
Ah! she is tired of thought, she yearns for peace,
Seeing all things one equal end must know.
Wherefore this tangle of perplexities,
The trouble or the joy? the weary maze
Of narrow fears and hopes that may not cease?
A chill falls on her from the skyey ways,
Black with the night-tide, where is none to hear
The ancient cry, the Wherefore of our days.
160
IV. Fancies.
The ceaseless whirr of crickets fills the ear
From underneath each hedge and bush and tree,
Deep in the dew-drenched grasses everywhere.
The simple sound dispels the fantasy
Of gloom and terror gathering round the mind.
It seems a pleasant thing to breathe, to be,
To hear the many-voiced, soft summer wind
Lisp through the dark thick leafage overheadTo see the rosy half-moon soar behind
The black slim-branching elms. Sad thoughts have fled,
Trouble and doubt, and now strange reveries
And odd caprices fill us in their stead.
From yonder broken disk the redness dies,
Like gold fruit through the leaves the half-sphere gleams,
Then over the hoar tree-tops climbs the skies,
Blanched ever more and more, until it beams
Whiter than crystal. Like a scroll unfurled,
And shadowy as a landscape seen in dreams,
Reveals itself the sleeping, quiet world,
Painted in tender grays and whites subduedThe speckled stream with flakes of light impearled,
The wide, soft meadow and the massive wood.
Naught is too wild for our credulity
In this weird hour: our finest dreams hold good.
Quaint elves and frolic flower-sprites we see,
And fairies weaving rings of gossamer,
And angels floating through the filmy air.
V. In the Night.
161
Let us go in: the air is dank and chill
With dewy midnight, and the moon rides high
O'er ghostly fields, pale stream, and spectral hill.
This hour the dawn seems farthest from the sky
So weary long the space that lies between
That sacred joy and this dark mystery
Of earth and heaven: no glimmering is seen,
In the star-sprinkled east, of coming day,
Nor, westward, of the splendor that hath been.
Strange fears beset us, nameless terrors sway
The brooding soul, that hungers for her rest,
Out worn with changing moods, vain hopes' delay,
With conscious thought o'erburdened and oppressed.
The mystery and the shadow wax too deep;
She longs to merge both sense and thought in sleep.
VI. Faerie.
From the oped lattice glance once more abroad
While the ethereal moontide bathes with light
Hill, stream, and garden, and white-winding road.
All gracious myths born of the shadowy night
Recur, and hover in fantastic guise,
Airy and vague, before the drowsy sight.
On yonder soft gray hill Endymion lies
In rosy slumber, and the moonlit air
Breathes kisses on his cheeks and lips and eyes.
'Twixt bush and bush gleam flower-white limbs, left bare,
Of huntress-nymphs, and flying raiment thin,
Vanishing faces, and bright floating hair.
The quaint midsummer fairies and their kin,
Gnomes, elves, and trolls, on blossom, branch, and grass
Gambol and dance, and winding out and in
162
Leave circles of spun dew where'er they pass.
Through the blue ether the freed Ariel flies;
Enchantment holds the air; a swarming mass
Of myriad dusky, gold-winged dreams arise,
Throng toward the gates of sense, and so possess
The soul, and lull it to forgetfulness.
VII. Confused Dreams.
O strange, dim other-world revealed to us,
Beginning there where ends reality,
Lying 'twixt life and death, and populous
With souls from either sphere! now enter we
Thy twisted paths. Barred is the silver gate,
But the wild-carven doors of ivory
Spring noiselessly apart: between them straight
Flies forth a cloud of nameless shadowy things,
With harpies, imps, and monsters, small and great,
Blurring the thick air with darkening wings.
All humors of the blood and brain take shape,
And fright us with our own imaginings.
A trouble weighs upon us: no escape
From this unnatural region can there be.
Fixed eyes stare on us, wide mouths grin and gape,
Familiar faces out of reach we see.
Fain would we scream, to shatter with a cry
The tangled woof of hideous fantasy,
When, lo! the air grows clear, a soft fair sky
Shines over head: sharp pain dissolves in peace;
Beneath the silver archway quietly
We float away: all troublous visions cease.
By a strange sense of joy we are possessed,
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Body and spirit soothed in perfect rest.
VIII. The End of the Song.
What dainty note of long-drawn melody
Athwart our dreamless sleep rings sweet and clear,
Till all the fumes of slumber are brushed by,
And with awakened consciousness we hear
The pipe of birds? Look forth! The sane, white day
Blesses the hilltops, and the sun is near.
All misty phantoms slowly roll away
With the night's vapors toward the western sky.
The Real enchants us, the fresh breath of hay
Blows toward us; soft the meadow-grasses lie,
Bearded with dew; the air is a caress;
The sudden sun o'ertops the boundary
Of eastern hills, the morning joyousness
Thrills tingling through the frame; life's pulse beats strong;
Night's fancies melt like dew. So ends the song!
~ Emma Lazarus,
246:I

The cloud my bed is tinged with blood and foam.
The vault yet blazes with the sun
Writhing above the West, brave hippodrome
Whose gladiators shock and shun
As the blue night devours them, crested comb
Of sleep's dead sea
That eats the shores of life, rings round eternity!

II

So, he is gone whose giant sword shed flame
Into my bowels; my blood's bewitched;
My brain's afloat with ecstasy of shame.
That tearing pain is gone, enriched
By his life-spasm; but he being gone, the same
Myself is gone
Sucked by the dragon down below death's horizon.

III
I woke from this. I lay upon the lawn;
They had thrown roses on the moss
With all their thorns; we came there at the dawn,
My lord and I; God sailed across
The sky in's galleon of amber, drawn
By singing winds
While we wove garlands of the flowers of our minds.

IV

All day my lover deigned to murder me,
Linking his kisses in a chain
About my neck; demon-embroidery!
Bruises like far-ff mountains stain
The valley of my body of ivory!
Then last came sleep.
I wake, and he is gone; what should I do but weep?

V

Nay, for I wept enough --- more sacred tears! ---
When first he pinned me, gripped

My flesh, and as a stallion that rears,
Sprang, hero-thewed and satyr-lipped;
Crushed, as a grape between his teeth, my fears;
Sucked out my life
And stamped me with the shame, the monstrous word of
wife.

VI

I will not weep; nay, I will follow him
Perchance he is not far,
Bathing his limbs in some delicious dim
Depth, where the evening star
May kiss his mouth, or by the black sky's rim
He makes his prayer
To the great serpent that is coiled in rapture there.

VII

I rose to seek him. First my footsteps faint
Pressed the starred moss; but soon
I wandered, like some sweet sequestered saint,
Into the wood, my mind. The moon
Was staggered by the trees; with fierce constraint
Hardly one ray
Pierced to the ragged earth about their roots that lay.

VIII

I wandered, crying on my Lord. I wandered
Eagerly seeking everywhere.
The stories of life that on my lips he squandered
Grew into shrill cries of despair,
Until the dryads frightened and dumfoundered
Fled into space ---
Like to a demon-king's was grown my maiden face!

XI

At last I came unto the well, my soul
In that still glass, I saw no sign
Of him, and yet --- what visions there uproll
To cloud that mirror-soul of mine?
Above my head there screams a flying scroll
Whose word burnt through
My being as when stars drop in black disastrous dew.

X

For in that scroll was written how the globe
Of space became; of how the light
Broke in that space and wrapped it in a robe
Of glory; of how One most white
Withdrew that Whole, and hid it in the lobe
Of his right Ear,
So that the Universe one dewdrop did appear.

IX

Yea! and the end revealed a word, a spell,
An incantation, a device
Whereby the Eye of the Most Terrible
Wakes from its wilderness of ice
To flame, whereby the very core of hell
Bursts from its rind,
Sweeping the world away into the blank of mind.

XII

So then I saw my fault; I plunged within
The well, and brake the images
That I had made, as I must make - Men spin
The webs that snare them - while the knee
Bend to the tyrant God - or unto Sin
The lecher sunder!
Ah! came that undulant light from over or from under?

XIII

It matters not. Come, change! come, Woe! Come, mask!
Drive Light, Life, Love into the deep!
In vain we labour at the loathsome task
Not knowing if we wake or sleep;
But in the end we lift the plumed casque
Of the dead warrior;
Find no chaste corpse therein, but a soft-smiling whore.

XIV

Then I returned into myself, and took
All in my arms, God's universe:
Crushed its black juice out, while His anger shook
His dumbness pregnant with a curse.
I made me ink, and in a little book
I wrote one word
That God himself, the adder of Thought, had never heard.

XV

It detonated. Nature, God, mankind
Like sulphur, nitre, charcoal, once
Blended, in one annihilation blind
Were rent into a myriad of suns.
Yea! all the mighty fabric of a Mind
Stood in the abyss,
Belching a Law for "That" more awful than for "This."

XVI

Vain was the toil. So then I left the wood
And came unto the still black sea,
That oily monster of beatitude!
('Hath "Thee" for "Me," and "Me" for "Thee!")
There as I stood, a mask of solitude
Hiding a face
Wried as a satyr's, rolled that ocean into space.

XVII

Then did I build an altar on the shore
Of oyster-shells, and ringed it round
With star-fish. Thither a green flame I bore
Of phosphor foam, and strewed the ground
With dew-drops, children of my wand, whose core
Was trembling steel
Electric that made spin the universal Wheel.

XVIII

With that a goat came running from the cave
That lurked below the tall white cliff.
Thy name! cried I. The answer that gave
Was but one tempest-whisper - "If!"
Ah, then! his tongue to his black palate clave;
For on soul's curtain
Is written this one certainty that naught is certain!

XIX

So then I caught that goat up in a kiss.
And cried Io Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan!
Then all this body's wealth of ambergris,
(Narcissus-scented flesh of man!)
I burnt before him in the sacrifice;
For he was sure -
Being the Doubt of Things, the one thing to endure!

XX

Wherefore, when madness took him at the end,
He, doubt-goat, slew the goat of doubt;
And that which inward did for ever tend
Came at the last to have come out;
And I who had the World and God to friend
Found all three foes!
Drowned in that sea of changes, vacancies, and woes!

XXI

Yet all that Sea was swallowed up therein;
So they were not, and it was not.
As who should sweat his soul out through the skin
And find (sad fool!) he had begot
All that without him that he had left in,
And in himself
All he had taken out thereof, a mocking elf!

XXII

But now that all was gone, great Pan appeared.
Him then I strove to woo, to win,
Kissing his curled lips, playing with his beard,
Setting his brain a-shake, a-spin,
By that strong wand, and muttering of the weird
That only I
Knew of all souls alive or dead beneath the sky.

XXIII

So still I conquered, and the vision passed.
Yet still was beaten, for I knew
Myself was He, Himself, the first and last;
And as an unicorn drinks dew
From under oak-leaves, so my strength was cast
Into the mire;
For all I did was dream, and all I dreamt desire.

XXIV

More; in this journey I had clean forgotten
The quest, my lover. But the tomb
Of all these thoughts, the rancid and the rotten,
Proved in the end to be my womb
Wherein my Lord and lover had begotten
A little child
To drive me, laughing lion, into the wanton wild!

XXV

This child hath not one hair upon his head,
But he hath wings instead of ears.
No eyes hath he, but all his light is shed
Within him on the ordered sphere
Of nature that he hideth; and in stead
Of mouth he hath
One minute point of jet; silence, the lightning path!

XXVI

Also his nostrils are shut up; for he
Hath not the need of any breath;
Nor can the curtain of eternity
Cover that head with life or death.
So all his body, a slim almond-tree,
Knoweth no bough
Nor branch nor twig nor bud, from never until now.

XXVII

This thought I bred within my bowels, I am.
I am in him, as he in me;
And like a satyr ravishing a lamb
So either seems, or as the sea
Swallows the whale that swallows it, the ram
Beats its own head
Upon the city walls, that fall as it falls dead.

XXVIII

Come, let me back unto the lilied lawn!
Pile me the roses and the thorns,
Upon this bed from which he hath withdrawn!
He may return. A million morns
May follow that first dire daemonic dawn
When he did split
My spirit with his lightnings and enveloped it!

XXIX

So I am stretched out naked to the knife,
My whole soul twitching with the stress
Of the expected yet surprising strife,
A martyrdom of blessedness.
Though Death came, I could kiss him into life;
Though Life came, I
Could kiss him into death, and yet nor live nor die!

XXX

Yet I that am the babe, the sire, the dam,
Am also none of these at all;
For now that cosmic chaos of I AM
Bursts like a bubble. Mystical
The night comes down, a soaring wedge of flame
Woven therein
To be a sign to them who yet have never been.

XXXI

The universe I measured with my rod.
The blacks were balanced with the whites;
Satan dropped down even as up soared God;
Whores prayed and danced with anchorites.
So in my book the even matched the odd:
No word I wrote
Therein, but sealed it with the signet of the goat.

XXXII

This also I seal up. Read thou herein
Whose eyes are blind! Thou may'st behold
Within the wheel (that alway seems to spin
All ways) a point of static gold.
Then may'st thou out therewith, and fit it in
That extreme spher
Whose boundless farness makes it infinitely near.
~ Aleister Crowley, The Garden of Janus
,
247:Interim
The room is full of you!—As I came in
And closed the door behind me, all at once
A something in the air, intangible,
Yet stiff with meaning, struck my senses sick!—
Sharp, unfamiliar odors have destroyed
Each other room's dear personality.
The heavy scent of damp, funereal flowers,—
The very essence, hush-distilled, of Death—
Has strangled that habitual breath of home
Whose expiration leaves all houses dead;
And wheresoe'er I look is hideous change.
Save here. Here 'twas as if a weed-choked gate
Had opened at my touch, and I had stepped
Into some long-forgot, enchanted, strange,
Sweet garden of a thousand years ago
And suddenly thought, "I have been here before!"
You are not here. I know that you are gone,
And will not ever enter here again.
And yet it seems to me, if I should speak,
Your silent step must wake across the hall;
If I should turn my head, that your sweet eyes
Would kiss me from the door.—So short a time
To teach my life its transposition to
This difficult and unaccustomed key!—
The room is as you left it; your last touch—
A thoughtless pressure, knowing not itself
As saintly—hallows now each simple thing;
Hallows and glorifies, and glows between
The dust's grey fingers like a shielded light.
There is your book, just as you laid it down,
Face to the table,—I cannot believe
That you are gone!—Just then it seemed to me
You must be here. I almost laughed to think
How like reality the dream had been;
Yet knew before I laughed, and so was still.
That book, outspread, just as you laid it down!
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Perhaps you thought, "I wonder what comes next,
And whether this or this will be the end";
So rose, and left it, thinking to return.
Perhaps that chair, when you arose and passed
Out of the room, rocked silently a while
Ere it again was still. When you were gone
Forever from the room, perhaps that chair,
Stirred by your movement, rocked a little while,
Silently, to and fro...
And here are the last words your fingers wrote,
Scrawled in broad characters across a page
In this brown book I gave you. Here your hand,
Guiding your rapid pen, moved up and down.
Here with a looping knot you crossed a "t,"
And here another like it, just beyond
These two eccentric "e's." You were so small,
And wrote so brave a hand!
How strange it seems
That of all words these are the words you chose!
And yet a simple choice; you did not know
You would not write again. If you had known—
But then, it does not matter,—and indeed
If you had known there was so little time
You would have dropped your pen and come to me
And this page would be empty, and some phrase
Other than this would hold my wonder now.
Yet, since you could not know, and it befell
That these are the last words your fingers wrote,
There is a dignity some might not see
In this, "I picked the first sweet-pea to-day."
To-day! Was there an opening bud beside it
You left until to-morrow?—O my love,
The things that withered,—and you came not back
That day you filled this circle of my arms
That now is empty. (O my empty life!)
That day—that day you picked the first sweet-pea,—
And brought it in to show me! I recall
With terrible distinctness how the smell
Of your cool gardens drifted in with you.
I know, you held it up for me to see
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And flushed because I looked not at the flower,
But at your face; and when behind my look
You saw such unmistakable intent
You laughed and brushed your flower against my lips.
(You were the fairest thing God ever made,
I think.) And then your hands above my heart
Drew down its stem into a fastening,
And while your head was bent I kissed your hair.
I wonder if you knew. (Beloved hands!
Somehow I cannot seem to see them still.
Somehow I cannot seem to see the dust
In your bright hair.) What is the need of Heaven
When earth can be so sweet?—If only God
Had let us love,—and show the world the way!
Strange cancellings must ink th' eternal books
When love-crossed-out will bring the answer right!
That first sweet-pea! I wonder where it is.
It seems to me I laid it down somewhere,
And yet,—I am not sure. I am not sure,
Even, if it was white or pink; for then
'Twas much like any other flower to me
Save that it was the first. I did not know
Then, that it was the last. If I had known—
But then, it does not matter. Strange how few,
After all's said and done, the things that are
Of moment.
Few indeed! When I can make
Of ten small words a rope to hang the world!
"I had you and I have you now no more."
There, there it dangles,—where's the little truth
That can for long keep footing under that
When its slack syllables tighten to a thought?
Here, let me write it down! I wish to see
Just how a thing like that will look on paper!
"I had you and I have you now no more."
O little words, how can you run so straight
Across the page, beneath the weight you bear?
How can you fall apart, whom such a theme
Has bound together, and hereafter aid
In trivial expression, that have been
64
So hideously dignified?—Would God
That tearing you apart would tear the thread
I strung you on! Would God—O God, my mind
Stretches asunder on this merciless rack
Of imagery! O, let me sleep a while!
Would I could sleep, and wake to find me back
In that sweet summer afternoon with you.
Summer? Tis summer still by the calendar!
How easily could God, if He so willed,
Set back the world a little turn or two!
Correct its griefs, and bring its joys again!
We were so wholly one I had not thought
That we could die apart. I had not thought
That I could move,—and you be stiff and still!
That I could speak,—and you perforce be dumb!
I think our heart-strings were, like warp and woof
In some firm fabric, woven in and out;
Your golden filaments in fair design
Across my duller fibre. And to-day
The shining strip is rent; the exquisite
Fine pattern is destroyed; part of your heart
Aches in my breast; part of my heart lies chilled
In the damp earth with you. I have been tom
In two, and suffer for the rest of me.
What is my life to me? And what am I
To life,—a ship whose star has guttered out?
A Fear that in the deep night starts awake
Perpetually, to find its senses strained
Against the taut strings of the quivering air,
Awaiting the return of some dread chord?
Dark, Dark, is all I find for metaphor;
All else were contrast,—save that contrast's wall
Is down, and all opposed things flow together
Into a vast monotony, where night
And day, and frost and thaw, and death and life,
Are synonyms. What now—what now to me
Are all the jabbering birds and foolish flowers
That clutter up the world? You were my song!
Now, let discord scream! You were my flower!
Now let the world grow weeds! For I shall not
65
Plant things above your grave—(the common balm
Of the conventional woe for its own wound!)
Amid sensations rendered negative
By your elimination stands to-day,
Certain, unmixed, the element of grief;
I sorrow; and I shall not mock my truth
With travesties of suffering, nor seek
To effigy its incorporeal bulk
In little wry-faced images of woe.
I cannot call you back; and I desire
No utterance of my immaterial voice.
I cannot even turn my face this way
Or that, and say, "My face is turned to you";
I know not where you are, I do not know
If Heaven hold you or if earth transmute,
Body and soul, you into earth again;
But this I know:—not for one second's space
Shall I insult my sight with visionings
Such as the credulous crowd so eager-eyed
Beholds, self-conjured, in the empty air.
Let the world wail! Let drip its easy tears!
My sorrow shall be dumb!
What do I say?
God! God!—God pity me! Am I gone mad
That I should spit upon a rosary?
Am I become so shrunken? Would to God
I too might feel that frenzied faith whose touch
Makes temporal the most enduring grief;
Though it must walk a while, as is its wont,
With wild lamenting! Would I too might weep
Where weeps the world and hangs its piteous wreaths
For its new dead! Not Truth, but Faith, it is
That keeps the world alive. If all at once
Faith were to slacken,—that unconscious faith
Which must, I know, yet be the corner-stone
Of all believing,—birds now flying fearless
Across would drop in terror to the earth;
Fishes would drown; and the all-governing reins
Would tangle in the frantic hands of God
And the worlds gallop headlong to destruction!
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O God, I see it now, and my sick brain
Staggers and swoons! How often over me
Flashes this breathlessness of sudden sight
In which I see the universe unrolled
Before me like a scroll and read thereon
Chaos and Doom, where helpless planets whirl
Dizzily round and round and round and round,
Like tops across a table, gathering speed
With every spin, to waver on the edge
One instant—looking over—and the next
To shudder and lurch forward out of sight—
Ah, I am worn out—I am wearied out—
It is too much—I am but flesh and blood,
And I must sleep. Though you were dead again,
I am but flesh and blood and I must sleep.
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay,
248:From House To House
The first was like a dream through summer heat,
The second like a tedious numbing swoon,
While the half-frozen pulses lagged to beat
Beneath a winter moon.
'But,' says my friend, 'what was this thing and where?'
It was a pleasure-place within my soul;
An earthly paradise supremely fair
That lured me from the goal.
The first part was a tissue of hugged lies;
The second was its ruin fraught with pain:
Why raise the fair delusion to the skies
But to be dashed again?
My castle stood of white transparent glass
Glittering and frail with many a fretted spire,
But when the summer sunset came to pass
It kindled into fire.
My pleasaunce was an undulating green,
Stately with trees whose shadows slept below,
With glimpses of smooth garden-beds between
Like flame or sky or snow.
Swift squirrels on the pastures took their ease,
With leaping lambs safe from the unfeared knife;
All singing-birds rejoicing in those trees
Fulfilled their careless life.
Woodpigeons cooed there, stockdoves nestled there;
My trees were full of songs and flowers and fruit,
Their branches spread a city to the air
And mice lodged in their root.
My heath lay farther off, where lizards lived
In strange metallic mail, just spied and gone;
Like darted lightnings here and there perceived
But nowhere dwelt upon.
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Frogs and fat toads were there to hop or plod
And propagate in peace, an uncouth crew,
Where velvet-headed rushes rustling nod
And spill the morning dew.
All caterpillars throve beneath my rule,
With snails and slugs in corners out of sight;
I never marred the curious sudden stool
That perfects in a night.
Safe in his excavated gallery
The burrowing mole groped on from year to year;
No harmless hedgehog curled because of me
His prickly back for fear.
Oft times one like an angel walked with me,
With spirit-discerning eyes like flames of fire,
But deep as the unfathomed endless sea,
Fulfilling my desire:
And sometimes like a snowdrift he was fair,
And sometimes like a sunset glorious red,
And sometimes he had wings to scale the air
With aureole round his head.
We sang our songs together by the way,
Calls and recalls and echoes of delight;
So communed we together all the day,
And so in dreams by night.
I have no words to tell what way we walked.
What unforgotten path now closed and sealed;
I have no words to tell all things we talked,
All things that he revealed:
This only can I tell: that hour by hour
I waxed more feastful, lifted up and glad;
I felt no thorn-prick when I plucked a flower,
Felt not my friend was sad.
'To-morrow,' once I said to him with smiles:
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'To-night,' he answered gravely and was dumb,
But pointed out the stones that numbered miles
And miles to come.
'Not so,' I said: 'to-morrow shall be sweet;
To-night is not so sweet as coming days.'
Then first I saw that he had turned his feet,
Had turned from me his face:
Running and flying miles and miles he went,
But once looked back to beckon with his hand
And cry: 'Come home, O love, from banishment:
Come to the distant land.'
That night destroyed me like an avalanche;
One night turned all my summer back to snow:
Next morning not a bird upon my branch,
Not a lamb woke below,—
No bird, no lamb, no living breathing thing;
No squirrel scampered on my breezy lawn,
No mouse lodged by his hoard: all joys took wing
And fled before that dawn.
Azure and sun were starved from heaven above,
No dew had fallen, but biting frost lay hoar:
O love, I knew that I should meet my love,
Should find my love no more.
'My love no more,' I muttered stunned with pain:
I shed no tear, I wrung no passionate hand,
Till something whispered: 'You shall meet again,
Meet in a distant land.'
Then with a cry like famine I arose,
I lit my candle, searched from room to room,
Searched up and down; a war of winds that froze
Swept through the blank of gloom.
I searched day after day, night after night;
Scant change there came to me of night or day:
'No more,' I wailed, 'no more:' and trimmed my light,
160
And gnashed but did not pray,
Until my heart broke and my spirit broke:
Upon the frost-bound floor I stumbled, fell,
And moaned: 'It is enough: withhold the stroke.
Farewell, O love, farewell.'
Then life swooned from me. And I heard the song
Of spheres and spirits rejoicing over me:
One cried: 'Our sister, she hath suffered long.'—
One answered: 'Make her see.'—
One cried: 'Oh blessed she who no more pain,
Who no more disappointment shall receive.'—
One answered: 'Not so: she must live again;
Strengthen thou her to live.'
So while I lay entranced a curtain seemed
To shrivel with crackling from before my face;
Across mine eyes a waxing radiance beamed
And showed a certain place.
I saw a vision of a woman, where
Night and new morning strive for domination;
Incomparably pale, and almost fair,
And sad beyond expression.
Her eyes were like some fire-enshrining gem,
Were stately like the stars, and yet were tender;
Her figure charmed me like a windy stem
Quivering and drooped and slender.
I stood upon the outer barren ground,
She stood on inner ground that budded flowers;
While circling in their never-slackening round
Danced by the mystic hours.
But every flower was lifted on a thorn,
And every thorn shot upright from its sands
To gall her feet; hoarse laughter pealed in scorn
With cruel clapping hands.
161
She bled and wept, yet did not shrink; her strength
Was strung up until daybreak of delight:
She measured measureless sorrow toward its length,
And breadth, and depth, and height.
Then marked I how a chain sustained her form,
A chain of living links not made nor riven:
It stretched sheer up through lighting, wind, and storm,
And anchored fast in heaven.
One cried: 'How long? yet founded on the Rock
She shall do battle, suffer, and attain.'—
One answered: 'Faith quakes in the tempest shock:
Strengthen her soul again.'
I saw a cup sent down and come to her
Brimfull of loathing and of bitterness:
She drank with livid lips that seemed to stir
The depth, not make it less.
But as she drank I spied a hand distil
New wine and virgin honey; making it
First bitter-sweet, then sweet indeed, until
She tasted only sweet.
Her lips and cheeks waxed rosy-fresh and young;
Drinking she sang: 'My soul shall nothing want;'
And drank anew: while soft a song was sung,
A mystical slow chant.
One cried: 'The wounds are faithful of a friend:
The wilderness shall blossom as a rose.'—
One answered: 'Rend the veil, declare the end,
Strengthen her ere she goes.'
Then earth and heaven were rolled up like a scroll;
Time and space, change and death, had passed away;
Weight, number, measure, each had reached its whole;
The day had come, that day.
Multitudes—multitudes—stood up in bliss,
Made equal to the angels, glorious, fair;
162
With harps, palms, wedding-garments, kiss of peace
And crowned and haloed hair.
They sang a song, a new song in the height,
Harping with harps to Him Who is Strong and True:
They drank new wine, their eyes saw with new light,
Lo, all things were made new.
Tier beyond tier they rose and rose and rose
So high that it was dreadful, flames with flames:
No man could number them, no tongue disclose
Their secret sacred names.
As though one pulse stirred all, one rush of blood
Fed all, one breath swept through them myriad-voiced,
They struck their harps, cast down their crowns, they stood
And worshipped and rejoiced.
Each face looked one way like a moon new-lit,
Each face looked one way towards its Sun of Love;
Drank love and bathed in love and mirrored it
And knew no end thereof.
Glory touched glory on each blessed head,
Hands locked dear hands never to sunder more:
These were the new-begotten from the dead
Whom the great birthday bore.
Heart answered heart, soul answered soul at rest,
Double against each other, filled, sufficed:
All loving, loved of all; but loving best
And best beloved of Christ.
I saw that one who lost her love in pain,
Who trod on thorns, who drank the loathsome cup;
The lost in night, in day was found again;
The fallen was lifted up.
They stood together in the blessed noon,
They sang together through the length of days;
Each loving face bent Sunwards like a moon
New-lit with love and praise.
163
Therefore, O friend, I would not if I might
Rebuild my house of lies, wherein I joyed
One time to dwell: my soul shall walk in white,
Cast down but not destroyed.
Therefore in patience I possess my soul;
Yea, therefore as a flint I set my face,
To pluck down, to build up again the whole—
But in a distant place.
These thorns are sharp, yet I can tread on them;
This cup is loathsome, yet He makes it sweet:
My face is steadfast toward Jerusalem,
My heart remembers it.
I lift the hanging hands, the feeble knees—
I, precious more than seven times molten gold—
Until the day when from his storehouses
God shall bring new and old;
Beauty for ashes, oil of joy for grief,
Garment of praise for spirit of heaviness:
Although to-day I fade as doth a leaf,
I languish and grow less.
Although to-day He prunes my twigs with pain,
Yet doth His blood nourish and warm my root:
To-morrow I shall put forth buds again
And clothe myself with fruit.
Although to-day I walk in tedious ways,
To-day His staff is turned into a rod,
Yet will I wait for Him the appointed days
And stay upon my God.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti,
249:Vesalius In Zante
Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.
I loved light ever, light in eye and brain—
No tapers mirrored in long palace floors,
Nor dedicated depths of silent aisles,
But just the common dusty wind-blown day
That roofs earth’s millions.
O, too long I walked
In that thrice-sifted air that princes breathe,
Nor felt the heaven-wide jostling of the winds
And all the ancient outlawry of earth!
Now let me breathe and see.
This pilgrimage
They call a penance—let them call it that!
I set my face to the East to shrive my soul
Of mortal sin? So be it. If my blade
Once questioned living flesh, if once I tore
The pages of the Book in opening it,
See what the torn page yielded ere the light
Had paled its buried characters—and judge!
The girl they brought me, pinioned hand and foot
In catalepsy—say I should have known
That trance had not yet darkened into death,
And held my scalpel. Well, suppose I knew?
Sum up the facts—her life against her death.
Her life? The scum upon the pools of pleasure
Breeds such by thousands. And her death? Perchance
The obolus to appease the ferrying Shade,
And waft her into immortality.
Think what she purchased with that one heart-flutter
That whispered its deep secret to my blade!
For, just because her bosom fluttered still,
It told me more than many rifled graves;
Because I spoke too soon, she answered me,
Her vain life ripened to this bud of death
As the whole plant is forced into one flower,
All her blank past a scroll on which God wrote
90
His word of healing—so that the poor flesh,
Which spread death living, died to purchase life!
Ah, no! The sin I sinned was mine, not theirs.
Not that they sent me forth to wash away—
None of their tariffed frailties, but a deed
So far beyond their grasp of good or ill
That, set to weigh it in the Church’s balance,
Scarce would they know which scale to cast it in.
But I, I know. I sinned against my will,
Myself, my soul—the God within the breast:
Can any penance wash such sacrilege?
When I was young in Venice, years ago,
I walked the hospice with a Spanish monk,
A solitary cloistered in high thoughts,
The great Loyola, whom I reckoned then
A mere refurbisher of faded creeds,
Expert to edge anew the arms of faith,
As who should say, a Galenist, resolved
To hold the walls of dogma against fact,
Experience, insight, his own self, if need be!
Ah, how I pitied him, mine own eyes set
Straight in the level beams of Truth, who groped
In error’s old deserted catacombs
And lit his tapers upon empty graves!
Ay, but he held his own, the monk—more man
Than any laurelled cripple of the wars,
Charles’s spent shafts; for what he willed he willed,
As those do that forerun the wheels of fate,
Not take their dust—that force the virgin hours,
Hew life into the likeness of themselves
And wrest the stars from their concurrences.
So firm his mould; but mine the ductile soul
That wears the livery of circumstance
And hangs obsequious on its suzerain’s eye.
For who rules now? The twilight-flitting monk,
Or I, that took the morning like an Alp?
He held his own, I let mine slip from me,
The birthright that no sovereign can restore;
And so ironic Time beholds us now
Master and slave—he lord of half the earth,
91
I ousted from my narrow heritage.
For there’s the sting! My kingdom knows me not.
Reach me that folio—my usurper’s title!
Fallopius reigning, vice—nay, not so:
Successor, not usurper. I am dead.
My throne stood empty; he was heir to it.
Ay, but who hewed his kingdom from the waste,
Cleared, inch by inch, the acres for his sowing,
Won back for man that ancient fief o’ the Church,
His body? Who flung Galen from his seat,
And founded the great dynasty of truth
In error’s central kingdom?
Ask men that,
And see their answer: just a wondering stare
To learn things were not always as they are—
The very fight forgotten with the fighter;
Already grows the moss upon my grave!
Ay, and so meet—hold fast to that, Vesalius.
They only, who re-conquer day by day
The inch of ground they camped on over-night,
Have right of foothold on this crowded earth.
I left mine own; he seized it; with it went
My name, my fame, my very self, it seems,
Till I am but the symbol of a man,
The sign-board creaking o’er an empty inn.
He names me—true! Oh, give the door its due
I entered by. Only, I pray you, note,
Had door been none, a shoulder-thrust of mine
Had breached the crazy wall”—he seems to say.
So meet—and yet a word of thanks, of praise,
Of recognition that the clue was found,
Seized, followed, clung to, by some hand now dust—
Had this obscured his quartering of my shield?
How the one weakness stirs again! I thought
I had done with that old thirst for gratitude
That lured me to the desert years ago.
I did my work—and was not that enough?
No; but because the idlers sneered and shrugged,
The envious whispered, the traducers lied,
92
And friendship doubted where it should have cheered
I flung aside the unfinished task, sought praise
Outside my soul’s esteem, and learned too late
That victory, like God’s kingdom, is within.
(Nay, let the folio rest upon my knee.
I do not feel its weight.) Ingratitude?
The hurrying traveller does not ask the name
Of him who points him on his way; and this
Fallopius sits in the mid-heart of me,
Because he keeps his eye upon the goal,
Cuts a straight furrow to the end in view,
Cares not who oped the fountain by the way,
But drinks to draw fresh courage for his journey.
That was the lesson that Ignatius taught—
The one I might have learned from him, but would not—
That we are but stray atoms on the wind,
A dancing transiency of summer eves,
Till we become one with our purpose, merged
In that vast effort of the race which makes
Mortality immortal.
“He that loseth
His life shall find it”: so the Scripture runs.
But I so hugged the fleeting self in me,
So loved the lovely perishable hours,
So kissed myself to death upon their lips,
That on one pyre we perished in the end—
A grimmer bonfire than the Church e’er lit!
Yet all was well—or seemed so—till I heard
That younger voice, an echo of my own,
And, like a wanderer turning to his home,
Who finds another on the hearth, and learns,
Half-dazed, that other is his actual self
In name and claim, as the whole parish swears,
So strangely, suddenly, stood dispossessed
Of that same self I had sold all to keep,
A baffled ghost that none would see or hear!
“Vesalius? Who’s Vesalius? This Fallopius
It is who dragged the Galen-idol down,
Who rent the veil of flesh and forced a way
Into the secret fortalice of life”—
Yet it was I that bore the brunt of it!
93
Well, better so! Better awake and live
My last brief moment as the man I was,
Than lapse from life’s long lethargy to death
Without one conscious interval. At least
I repossess my past, am once again
No courtier med’cining the whims of kings
In muffled palace-chambers, but the free
Friendless Vesalius, with his back to the wall
And all the world against him. O, for that
Best gift of all, Fallopius, take my thanks—
That, and much more. At first, when Padua wrote:
“Master, Fallopius dead, resume again
The chair even he could not completely fill,
And see what usury age shall take of youth
In honours forfeited”—why, just at first,
I was quite simply credulously glad
To think the old life stood ajar for me,
Like a fond woman’s unforgetting heart.
But now that death waylays me—now I know
This isle is the circumference of my days,
And I shall die here in a little while—
So also best, Fallopius!
For I see
The gods may give anew, but not restore;
And though I think that, in my chair again,
I might have argued my supplanters wrong
In this or that—this Cesalpinus, say,
With all his hot-foot blundering in the dark,
Fabricius, with his over-cautious clutch
On Galen (systole and diastole
Of Truth’s mysterious heart!)—yet, other ways,
It may be that this dying serves the cause.
For Truth stays not to build her monument
For this or that co-operating hand,
But props it with her servants’ failures—nay,
Cements its courses with their blood and brains,
A living substance that shall clinch her walls
Against the assaults of time. Already, see,
Her scaffold rises on my hidden toil,
I but the accepted premiss whence must spring
94
The airy structure of her argument;
Nor could the bricks it rests on serve to build
The crowning finials. I abide her law:
A different substance for a different end—
Content to know I hold the building up;
Though men, agape at dome and pinnacles,
Guess not, the whole must crumble like a dream
But for that buried labour underneath.
Yet, Padua, I had still my word to say!
Let others say it!—Ah, but will they guess
Just the one word—? Nay, Truth is many-tongued.
What one man failed to speak, another finds
Another word for. May not all converge
In some vast utterance, of which you and I,
Fallopius, were but halting syllables?
So knowledge come, no matter how it comes!
No matter whence the light falls, so it fall!
Truth’s way, not mine—that I, whose service failed
In action, yet may make amends in praise.
Fabricius, Cesalpinus, say your word,
Not yours, or mine, but Truth’s, as you receive it!
You miss a point I saw? See others, then!
Misread my meaning? Yet expound your own!
Obscure one space I cleared? The sky is wide,
And you may yet uncover other stars.
For thus I read the meaning of this end:
There are two ways of spreading light: to be
The candle or the mirror that reflects it.
I let my wick burn out—there yet remains
To spread an answering surface to the flame
That others kindle.
Turn me in my bed.
The window darkens as the hours swing round;
But yonder, look the other casement glows!
Let me face westward as my sun goes down.
~ Edith Wharton,
250:The south-wind brings
Life, sunshine, and desire,
And on every mount and meadow
Breathes aromatic fire,
But over the dead he has no power,
The lost, the lost he cannot restore,
And, looking over the hills, I mourn
The darling who shall not return.

I see my empty house,
I see my trees repair their boughs,
And he, the wondrous child,
Whose silver warble wild
Outvalued every pulsing sound
Within the air's cerulean round,
The hyacinthine boy, for whom
Morn well might break, and April bloom,
The gracious boy, who did adorn
The world whereinto he was born,
And by his countenance repay
The favor of the loving Day,
Has disappeared from the Day's eye;
Far and wide she cannot find him,
My hopes pursue, they cannot bind him.
Returned this day the south-wind searches
And finds young pines and budding birches,
But finds not the budding man;
Nature who lost him, cannot remake him;
Fate let him fall, Fate can't retake him;
Nature, Fate, men, him seek in vain.

And whither now, my truant wise and sweet,
Oh, whither tend thy feet?
I had the right, few days ago,
Thy steps to watch, thy place to know;
How have I forfeited the right?
Hast thou forgot me in a new delight?
I hearken for thy household cheer,
O eloquent child!
Whose voice, an equal messenger,
Conveyed thy meaning mild.
What though the pains and joys
Whereof it spoke were toys
Fitting his age and ken;
Yet fairest dames and bearded men,
Who heard the sweet request
So gentle, wise, and grave,
Bended with joy to his behest,
And let the world's affairs go by,
Awhile to share his cordial game,
Or mend his wicker wagon frame,
Still plotting how their hungry ear
That winsome voice again might hear,
For his lips could well pronounce
Words that were persuasions.

Gentlest guardians marked serene
His early hope, his liberal mien,
Took counsel from his guiding eyes
To make this wisdom earthly wise.
Ah! vainly do these eyes recall
The school-march, each day's festival,
When every morn my bosom glowed
To watch the convoy on the road;
The babe in willow wagon closed,
With rolling eyes and face composed,
With children forward and behind,
Like Cupids studiously inclined,
And he, the Chieftain, paced beside,
The centre of the troop allied,
With sunny face of sweet repose,
To guard the babe from fancied foes,
The little Captain innocent
Took the eye with him as he went,
Each village senior paused to scan
And speak the lovely caravan.

From the window I look out
To mark thy beautiful parade
Stately marching in cap and coat
To some tune by fairies played;
A music heard by thee alone
To works as noble led thee on.
Now love and pride, alas, in vain,
Up and down their glances strain.
The painted sled stands where it stood,
The kennel by the corded wood,
The gathered sticks to stanch the wall
Of the snow-tower, when snow should fall,
The ominous hole he dug in the sand,
And childhood's castles built or planned.
His daily haunts I well discern,
The poultry yard, the shed, the barn,
And every inch of garden ground
Paced by the blessed feet around,
From the road-side to the brook;
Whereinto he loved to look.
Step the meek birds where erst they ranged,
The wintry garden lies unchanged,
The brook into the stream runs on,
But the deep-eyed Boy is gone.

On that shaded day,
Dark with more clouds than tempests are,
When thou didst yield thy innocent breath
In bird-like heavings unto death,
Night came, and Nature had not thee,
I said, we are mates in misery.
The morrow dawned with needless glow,
Each snow-bird chirped, each fowl must crow,
Each tramper started, but the feet
Of the most beautiful and sweet
Of human youth had left the hill
And garden,they were bound and still,
There's not a sparrow or a wren,
There's not a blade of autumn grain,
Which the four seasons do not tend,
And tides of life and increase lend,
And every chick of every bird,
And weed and rock-moss is preferred.
O ostriches' forgetfulness!
O loss of larger in the less!
Was there no star that could be sent,
No watcher in the firmament,
No angel from the countless host,
That loiters round the crystal coast,
Could stoop to heal that only child,
Nature's sweet marvel undefiled,
And keep the blossom of the earth,
Which all her harvests were not worth?
Not mine, I never called thee mine,
But nature's heir, if I repine,
And, seeing rashly torn and moved,
Not what I made, but what I loved.
Grow early old with grief that then
Must to the wastes of nature go,
'Tis because a general hope
Was quenched, and all must doubt and grope
For flattering planets seemed to say,
This child should ills of ages stay,
By wondrous tongue and guided pen
Bring the flown muses back to men.
Perchance, not he, but nature ailed,
The world, and not the infant failed,
It was not ripe yet, to sustain
A genius of so fine a strain,
Who gazed upon the sun and moon
As if he came unto his own,
And pregnant with his grander thought,
Brought the old order into doubt.
Awhile his beauty their beauty tried,
They could not feed him, and he died,
And wandered backward as in scorn
To wait an on to be born.
Ill day which made this beauty waste;
Plight broken, this high face defaced!
Some went and came about the dead,
And some in books of solace read,
Some to their friends the tidings say,
Some went to write, some went to pray,
One tarried here, there hurried one,
But their heart abode with none.
Covetous death bereaved us all
To aggrandize one funeral.
The eager Fate which carried thee
Took the largest part of me.
For this losing is true dying,
This is lordly man's down-lying,
This is slow but sure reclining,
Star by star his world resigning.

O child of Paradise!
Boy who made dear his father's home
In whose deep eyes
Men read the welfare of the times to come;
I am too much bereft;
The world dishonored thou hast left;
O truths and natures costly lie;
O trusted, broken prophecy!
O richest fortune sourly crossed;
Born for the future, to the future lost!

The deep Heart answered, Weepest thou?
Worthier cause for passion wild,
If I had not taken the child.
And deemest thou as those who pore
With aged eyes short way before?
Think'st Beauty vanished from the coast
Of matter, and thy darling lost?
Taught he not thee, the man of eld,
Whose eyes within his eyes beheld
Heaven's numerous hierarchy span
The mystic gulf from God to man?
To be alone wilt thou begin,
When worlds of lovers hem thee in?
To-morrow, when the masks shall fall
That dizen nature's carnival,
The pure shall see, by their own will,
Which overflowing love shall fill,
'Tis not within the force of Fate
The fate-conjoined to separate.
But thou, my votary, weepest thou?
I gave thee sight, where is it now?
I taught thy heart beyond the reach
Of ritual, Bible, or of speech;
Wrote in thy mind's transparent table
As far as the incommunicable;
Taught thee each private sign to raise
Lit by the supersolar blaze.
Past utterance and past belief,
And past the blasphemy of grief,
The mysteries of nature's heart,
And though no muse can these impart,
Throb thine with nature's throbbing breast,
And all is clear from east to west.

I came to thee as to a friend,
Dearest, to thee I did not send
Tutors, but a joyful eye,
Innocence that matched the sky,
Lovely locks a form of wonder,
Laughter rich as woodland thunder;
That thou might'st entertain apart
The richest flowering of all art;
And, as the great all-loving Day
Through smallest chambers takes its way,
That thou might'st break thy daily bread
With Prophet, Saviour, and head;
That thou might'st cherish for thine own
The riches of sweet Mary's Son,
Boy-Rabbi, Israel's Paragon:
And thoughtest thou such guest
Would in thy hall take up his rest?
Would rushing life forget its laws,
Fate's glowing revolution pause?
High omens ask diviner guess,
Not to be conned to tediousness.
And know, my higher gifts unbind
The zone that girds the incarnate mind,
When the scanty shores are full
With Thought's perilous whirling pool,
When frail Nature can no more,
Then the spirit strikes the hour,
My servant Death with solving rite
Pours finite into infinite.
Wilt thou freeze love's tidal flow,
Whose streams through nature circling go?
Nail the star struggling to its track
On the half-climbed Zodiack?
Light is light which radiates,
Blood is blood which circulates,
Life is life which generates,
And many-seeming life is one,
Wilt thou transfix and make it none,
Its onward stream too starkly pent
In figure, bone, and lineament?

Wilt thou uncalled interrogate
Talker! the unreplying fate?
Nor see the Genius of the whole
Ascendant in the private soul,
Beckon it when to go and come,
Self-announced its hour of doom.
Fair the soul's recess and shrine,
Magic-built, to last a season,
Masterpiece of love benign!
Fairer than expansive reason
Whose omen 'tis, and sign.
Wilt thou not ope this heart to know
What rainbows teach and sunsets show,
Verdict which accumulates
From lengthened scroll of human fates,
Voice of earth to earth returned,
Prayers of heart that inly burned;
Saying, what is excellent,
As God lives, is permanent
Hearts are dust, hearts' loves remain,
Heart's love will meet thee again.
Revere the Maker; fetch thine eye
Up to His style, and manners of the sky.
Not of adamant and gold
Built He heaven stark and cold,
No, but a nest of bending reeds,
Flowering grass and scented weeds,
Or like a traveller's fleeting tent,
Or bow above the tempest pent,
Built of tears and sacred flames,
And virtue reaching to its aims;
Built of furtherance and pursuing,
Not of spent deeds, but of doing.
Silent rushes the swift Lord
Through ruined systems still restored,
Broad-sowing, bleak and void to bless,
Plants with worlds the wilderness,
Waters with tears of ancient sorrow
Apples of Eden ripe to-morrow;
House and tenant go to ground,
Lost in God, in Godhead found.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Threnody
,
251:Fragmentary Scenes From The Road To Avernus
Scene I
'Discontent'
LAURENCE RABY.
Laurence:
I said to young Allan M'Ilveray,
Beside the swift swirls of the North,
When, in lilac shot through with a silver ray,
We haul'd the strong salmon fish forth
Said only, 'He gave us some trouble
To land him, and what does he weigh?
Our friend has caught one that weighs double,
The game for the candle won't pay
Us to-day,
We may tie up our rods and away.'
I said to old Norman M'Gregor,
Three leagues to the west of Glen Dhu
I had drawn, with a touch of the trigger,
The best BEAD that ever I drew
Said merely, 'For birds in the stubble
I once had an eye-I could swear
He's down-but he's not worth the trouble
Of seeking. You once shot a bear
In his lair'Tis only a buck that lies there.'
I said to Lord Charles only last year,
The time that we topp'd the oak rail
Between Wharton's plough and Whynne's pasture,
And clear'd the big brook in Blakesvale
We only-at Warburton's double
He fell, then I finish'd the run
And kill'd clean-said, 'So bursts a bubble
That shone half an hour in the sun
What is won?
Your sire clear'd and captured a gun.'
159
I said to myself, in true sorrow,
I said yestere'en, 'A fair prize
Is won, and it may be to-morrow
'Twill not seem so fair in thine eyes
Real life is a race through sore trouble,
That gains not an inch on the goal,
And bliss an intangible bubble
That cheats an unsatisfied soul,
And the whole
Of the rest an illegible scroll.'
Scene VII
'Two Exhortations'
A Shooting-box in the West of Ireland. A Bedchamber.
LAURENCE RABY and MELCHIOR. Night.
Melchior:
Surely in the great beginning God made all things good, and still
That soul-sickness men call sinning entered not without His will.
Nay, our wisest have asserted that, as shade enhances light,
Evil is but good perverted, wrong is but the foil of right.
Banish sickness, then you banish joy for health to all that live;
Slay all sin, all good must vanish, good being but comparative.
Sophistry, you say-yet listen: look you skyward, there 'tis known
Worlds on worlds in myriads glisten-larger, lovelier than our own
This has been, and this still shall be, here as there, in sun or star;
These things are to be and will be, those things were to be and are.
Man in man's imperfect nature is by imperfection taught:
Add one cubit to your stature if you can by taking thought.
Laurence:
Thus you would not teach that peasant, though he calls you 'father'.
Melchior: True,
I should magnify this present, mystify that future, too
We adapt our conversation always to our hearer's light.
Laurence:
160
I am not of your persuasion.
Melchior: Yet the difference is but slight.
Laurence:
I, EVEN I, say, 'He who barters worldly weal for heavenly worth
He does well'-your saints and martyrs were examples here on earth.
Melchior:
Aye, in earlier Christian ages, while the heathen empire stood,
When the war 'twixt saints and sages cried aloud for saintly blood,
Christ was then their model truly. Now, if all were meek and pure,
Save the ungodly and the unruly, would the Christian Church endure?
Shall the toiler or the fighter dream by day and watch by night,
Turn the left cheek to the smiter, smitten rudely on the right?
Strong men must encounter bad men-so-called saints of latter days
Have been mostly pious madmen, lusting after righteous praise
Or the thralls of superstition, doubtless worthy some reward,
Since they came by their condition hardly of their free accord.
'Tis but madness, sad and solemn, that these fakir-Christians feel
Saint Stylites on his column gratified a morbid zeal.
Laurence:
By your showing, good is really on a par (of worth) with ill.
Melchior:
Nay, I said not so; I merely tell you both some ends fulfil
Priestly vows were my vocation, fast and vigil wait for me.
You must work and face temptation. Never should the strong man flee,
Though God wills the inclination with the soul at war to be. (Pauses.)
In the strife 'twixt flesh and spirit, while you can the spirit aid.
Should you fall not less your merit, be not for a fall afraid.
Whatsoe'er most right, most fit is you shall do. When all is done
Chaunt the noble Nunc Dimittis-Benedicimur, my son.
[Exit MELCHIOR.]
Laurence (alone):
Why do I provoke these wrangles? Melchior talks (as well he may)
With the tongues of men and angels.
(Takes up a pamphlet.) What has this man got to say?
(Reads.) Sic sacerdos fatur (ejus nomen quondam erat Burgo.)
Mala mens est, caro pejus, anima infirma, ergo
161
I nunc, ora, sine mora-orat etiam Sancta Virgo.
(Thinks.)
(Speaks.) So it seems they mean to make her wed the usurer, Nathan Lee.
Poor Estelle! her friends forsake her; what has this to do with me?
Glad I am, at least, that Helen still refuses to discard
Her, through tales false gossips tell
in spite or heedlessness.-'Tis hard!
Lee, the Levite!-some few years back Herbert horsewhipp'd him-the cur
Show'd his teeth and laid his ears back. Now his wealth has purchased her.
Must his baseness mar her brightness? Shall the callous, cunning churl
Revel in the rosy whiteness of that golden-headed girl?
(Thinks and smokes.)
(Reads.) Cito certe venit vitae finis (sic sacerdos fatur),
Nunc audite omnes, ite, vobis fabula narratur
Nunc orate et laudate, laudat etiam Alma Mater.
(Muses.) Such has been, and such shall still be,
here as there, in sun or star;
These things are to be and will be, those things were to be and are.
If I thought that speech worth heeding I should-Nay, it seems to me
More like Satan's special pleading than like Gloria Domine.
(Lies down on his couch.)
(Reads.) Et tuquoque frater meus facta mala quod fecisti
Denique confundit Deus omnes res quas tetegisti.
Nunc si unquam, nunc aut nunquam, sanguine adjuro Christi.
Scene IX
'In the Garden'
Aylmer's Garden, near the Lake. LAURENCE RABY and ESTELLE.
He:
Come to the bank where the boat is moor'd to the willow-tree low;
Bertha, the baby, won't notice, Brian, the blockhead, won't know.
She:
Bertha is not such a baby, sir, as you seem to suppose;
Brian, a blockhead he may be, more than you think for he knows.
He:
This much, at least, of your brother, from the beginning he knew
Somewhat concerning that other made such a fool of by you.
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She:
Firmer those bonds were and faster, Frank was my spaniel, my slave.
You! you would fain be my master; mark you! the difference is grave.
He:
Call me your spaniel, your starling, take me and treat me as these,
I would be anything, darling! aye, whatsoever you please.
Brian and Basil are 'punting', leave them their dice and their wine,
Bertha is butterfly hunting, surely one hour shall be mine.
See, I have done with all duty; see, I can dare all disgrace,
Only to look at your beauty, feasting my eyes on your face.
She:
Look at me, aye, till your eyes ache! How, let me ask, will it end?
Neither for your sake, nor my sake, but for the sake of my friend?
He:
Is she your friend then? I own it, this is all wrong, and the rest,
Frustra sed anima monet, caro quod fortius est.
She:
Not quite so close, Laurence Raby, not with your arm round my waist;
Something to look at I may be, nothing to touch or to taste.
He:
Wilful as ever and wayward; why did you tempt me, Estelle?
She:
You misinterpret each stray word, you for each inch take an ell.
Lightly all laws and ties trammel me, I am warn'd for all that.
He (aside):
Perhaps she will swallow her camel when she has strained at her gnat.
She:
Therefore take thought and consider, weigh well, as I do, the whole,
You for mere beauty a bidder, say, would you barter a soul?
He:
Girl! THAT MAY happen, but THIS IS; after this welcome the worst;
Blest for one hour by your kisses, let me be evermore curs'd.
Talk not of ties to me reckless, here every tie I discard
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Make me your girdle, your necklace
She: Laurence, you kiss me too hard.
He:
Aye, 'tis the road to Avernus, n'est ce pas vrai donc, ma belle?
There let them bind us or burn us, mais le jeu vaut la chandelle.
Am I your lord or your vassal? Are you my sun or my torch?
You, when I look at you, dazzle, yet when I touch you, you scorch.
She:
Yonder are Brian and Basil watching us fools from the porch.
Scene X
'After the Quarrel'
Laurence Raby's Chamber. LAURENCE enters, a little the worse for liquor.
Laurence:
He never gave me a chance to speak,
And he call'd her-worse than a dog
The girl stood up with a crimson cheek,
And I fell'd him there like a log.
I can feel the blow on my knuckles yet
He feels it more on his brow.
In a thousand years we shall all forget
The things that trouble us now.
Scene XI
'Ten Paces Off'
An open country. LAURENCE RABY and FORREST, BRIAN AYLMER and PRESCOT.
Forrest:
I've won the two tosses from Prescot;
Now hear me, and hearken and heed,
And pull that vile flower from your waistcoat,
And throw down that beast of a weed;
I'm going to give you the signal
I gave Harry Hunt at Boulogne,
The morning he met Major Bignell,
And shot him as dead as a stone;
For he must look round on his right hand
To watch the white flutter-that stops
His aim, for it takes off his sight, and
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I COUGH WHILE THE HANDKERCHIEF DROPS.
And you keep both eyes on his figure,
Old fellow, and don't take them off.
You've got the sawhandled hair trigger
You sight him and shoot when I cough.
Laurence (aside):
Though God will never forgive me,
Though men make light of my name,
Though my sin and my shame outlive me,
I shall not outlast my shame.
The coward, does he mean to miss me?
His right hand shakes like a leaf;
Shall I live for my friends to hiss me,
Of fools and of knaves the chief?
Shall I live for my foes to twit me?
He has master'd his nerve again
He is firm, he will surely hit me
Will he reach the heart or the brain?
One long look eastward and northward
One prayer-'Our Father which art'
And the cough chimes in with the fourth word,
And I shoot skyward-the heart.
Last Scene
'Exeunt'
HELEN RABY.
Where the grave-deeps rot, where the grave-dews rust,
They dug, crying, 'Earth to earth'
Crying, 'Ashes to ashes and dust to dust'
And what are my poor prayers worth?
Upon whom shall I call, or in whom shall I trust,
Though death were indeed new birth.
And they bid me be glad for my baby's sake
That she suffered sinless and young
Would they have me be glad when my breasts still ache
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Where that small, soft, sweet mouth clung?
I am glad that the heart will so surely break
That has been so bitterly wrung.
He was false, they tell me, and what if he were?
I can only shudder and pray,
Pouring out my soul in a passionate prayer
For the soul that he cast away;
Was there nothing that once was created fair
In the potter's perishing clay?
Is it well for the sinner that souls endure?
For the sinless soul is it well?
Does the pure child lisp to the angels pure?
And where does the strong man dwell,
If the sad assurance of priests be sure,
Or the tale that our preachers tell?
The unclean has follow'd the undefiled,
And the ill MAY regain the good,
And the man MAY be even as the little child!
We are children lost in the wood
Lord! lead us out of this tangled wild,
Where the wise and the prudent have been beguil'd,
And only the babes have stood.
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
252:The Princess (Part 1)
A prince I was, blue-eyed, and fair in face,
Of temper amorous, as the first of May,
With lengths of yellow ringlet, like a girl,
For on my cradle shone the Northern star.
There lived an ancient legend in our house.
Some sorcerer, whom a far-off grandsire burnt
Because he cast no shadow, had foretold,
Dying, that none of all our blood should know
The shadow from the substance, and that one
Should come to fight with shadows and to fall.
For so, my mother said, the story ran.
And, truly, waking dreams were, more or less,
An old and strange affection of the house.
Myself too had weird seizures, Heaven knows what:
On a sudden in the midst of men and day,
And while I walked and talked as heretofore,
I seemed to move among a world of ghosts,
And feel myself the shadow of a dream.
Our great court-Galen poised his gilt-head cane,
And pawed his beard, and muttered 'catalepsy'.
My mother pitying made a thousand prayers;
My mother was as mild as any saint,
Half-canonized by all that looked on her,
So gracious was her tact and tenderness:
But my good father thought a king a king;
He cared not for the affection of the house;
He held his sceptre like a pedant's wand
To lash offence, and with long arms and hands
Reached out, and picked offenders from the mass
For judgment.
Now it chanced that I had been,
While life was yet in bud and blade, bethrothed
To one, a neighbouring Princess: she to me
Was proxy-wedded with a bootless calf
At eight years old; and still from time to time
Came murmurs of her beauty from the South,
And of her brethren, youths of puissance;
And still I wore her picture by my heart,
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And one dark tress; and all around them both
Sweet thoughts would swarm as bees about their queen.
But when the days drew nigh that I should wed,
My father sent ambassadors with furs
And jewels, gifts, to fetch her: these brought back
A present, a great labour of the loom;
And therewithal an answer vague as wind:
Besides, they saw the king; he took the gifts;
He said there was a compact; that was true:
But then she had a will; was he to blame?
And maiden fancies; loved to live alone
Among her women; certain, would not wed.
That morning in the presence room I stood
With Cyril and with Florian, my two friends:
The first, a gentleman of broken means
(His father's fault) but given to starts and bursts
Of revel; and the last, my other heart,
And almost my half-self, for still we moved
Together, twinned as horse's ear and eye.
Now, while they spake, I saw my father's face
Grow long and troubled like a rising moon,
Inflamed with wrath: he started on his feet,
Tore the king's letter, snowed it down, and rent
The wonder of the loom through warp and woof
From skirt to skirt; and at the last he sware
That he would send a hundred thousand men,
And bring her in a whirlwind: then he chewed
The thrice-turned cud of wrath, and cooked his spleen,
Communing with his captains of the war.
At last I spoke. 'My father, let me go.
It cannot be but some gross error lies
In this report, this answer of a king,
Whom all men rate as kind and hospitable:
Or, maybe, I myself, my bride once seen,
Whate'er my grief to find her less than fame,
May rue the bargain made.' And Florian said:
'I have a sister at the foreign court,
Who moves about the Princess; she, you know,
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Who wedded with a nobleman from thence:
He, dying lately, left her, as I hear,
The lady of three castles in that land:
Through her this matter might be sifted clean.'
And Cyril whispered: 'Take me with you too.'
Then laughing 'what, if these weird seizures come
Upon you in those lands, and no one near
To point you out the shadow from the truth!
Take me: I'll serve you better in a strait;
I grate on rusty hinges here:' but 'No!'
Roared the rough king, 'you shall not; we ourself
Will crush her pretty maiden fancies dead
In iron gauntlets: break the council up.'
But when the council broke, I rose and past
Through the wild woods that hung about the town;
Found a still place, and plucked her likeness out;
Laid it on flowers, and watched it lying bathed
In the green gleam of dewy-tasselled trees:
What were those fancies? wherefore break her troth?
Proud looked the lips: but while I meditated
A wind arose and rushed upon the South,
And shook the songs, the whispers, and the shrieks
Of the wild woods together; and a Voice
Went with it, 'Follow, follow, thou shalt win.'
Then, ere the silver sickle of that month
Became her golden shield, I stole from court
With Cyril and with Florian, unperceived,
Cat-footed through the town and half in dread
To hear my father's clamour at our backs
With Ho! from some bay-window shake the night;
But all was quiet: from the bastioned walls
Like threaded spiders, one by one, we dropt,
And flying reached the frontier: then we crost
To a livelier land; and so by tilth and grange,
And vines, and blowing bosks of wilderness,
We gained the mother city thick with towers,
And in the imperial palace found the king.
His name was Gama; cracked and small his voice,
But bland the smile that like a wrinkling wind
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On glassy water drove his cheek in lines;
A little dry old man, without a star,
Not like a king: three days he feasted us,
And on the fourth I spake of why we came,
And my bethrothed. 'You do us, Prince,' he said,
Airing a snowy hand and signet gem,
'All honour. We remember love ourselves
In our sweet youth: there did a compact pass
Long summers back, a kind of ceremony-I think the year in which our olives failed.
I would you had her, Prince, with all my heart,
With my full heart: but there were widows here,
Two widows, Lady Psyche, Lady Blanche;
They fed her theories, in and out of place
Maintaining that with equal husbandry
The woman were an equal to the man.
They harped on this; with this our banquets rang;
Our dances broke and buzzed in knots of talk;
Nothing but this; my very ears were hot
To hear them: knowledge, so my daughter held,
Was all in all: they had but been, she thought,
As children; they must lose the child, assume
The woman: then, Sir, awful odes she wrote,
Too awful, sure, for what they treated of,
But all she is and does is awful; odes
About this losing of the child; and rhymes
And dismal lyrics, prophesying change
Beyond all reason: these the women sang;
And they that know such things--I sought but peace;
No critic I--would call them masterpieces:
They mastered ~me~. At last she begged a boon,
A certain summer-palace which I have
Hard by your father's frontier: I said no,
Yet being an easy man, gave it: and there,
All wild to found an University
For maidens, on the spur she fled; and more
We know not,--only this: they see no men,
Not even her brother Arac, nor the twins
Her brethren, though they love her, look upon her
As on a kind of paragon; and I
(Pardon me saying it) were much loth to breed
Dispute betwixt myself and mine: but since
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(And I confess with right) you think me bound
In some sort, I can give you letters to her;
And yet, to speak the truth, I rate your chance
Almost at naked nothing.'
Thus the king;
And I, though nettled that he seemed to slur
With garrulous ease and oily courtesies
Our formal compact, yet, not less (all frets
But chafing me on fire to find my bride)
Went forth again with both my friends. We rode
Many a long league back to the North. At last
From hills, that looked across a land of hope,
We dropt with evening on a rustic town
Set in a gleaming river's crescent-curve,
Close at the boundary of the liberties;
There, entered an old hostel, called mine host
To council, plied him with his richest wines,
And showed the late-writ letters of the king.
He with a long low sibilation, stared
As blank as death in marble; then exclaimed
Averring it was clear against all rules
For any man to go: but as his brain
Began to mellow, 'If the king,' he said,
'Had given us letters, was he bound to speak?
The king would bear him out;' and at the last-The summer of the vine in all his veins-'No doubt that we might make it worth his while.
She once had past that way; he heard her speak;
She scared him; life! he never saw the like;
She looked as grand as doomsday and as grave:
And he, he reverenced his liege-lady there;
He always made a point to post with mares;
His daughter and his housemaid were the boys:
The land, he understood, for miles about
Was tilled by women; all the swine were sows,
And all the dogs'-But while he jested thus,
A thought flashed through me which I clothed in act,
Remembering how we three presented Maid
Or Nymph, or Goddess, at high tide of feast,
In masque or pageant at my father's court.
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We sent mine host to purchase female gear;
He brought it, and himself, a sight to shake
The midriff of despair with laughter, holp
To lace us up, till, each, in maiden plumes
We rustled: him we gave a costly bribe
To guerdon silence, mounted our good steeds,
And boldly ventured on the liberties.
We followed up the river as we rode,
And rode till midnight when the college lights
Began to glitter firefly-like in copse
And linden alley: then we past an arch,
Whereon a woman-statue rose with wings
From four winged horses dark against the stars;
And some inscription ran along the front,
But deep in shadow: further on we gained
A little street half garden and half house;
But scarce could hear each other speak for noise
Of clocks and chimes, like silver hammers falling
On silver anvils, and the splash and stir
Of fountains spouted up and showering down
In meshes of the jasmine and the rose:
And all about us pealed the nightingale,
Rapt in her song, and careless of the snare.
There stood a bust of Pallas for a sign,
By two sphere lamps blazoned like Heaven and Earth
With constellation and with continent,
Above an entry: riding in, we called;
A plump-armed Ostleress and a stable wench
Came running at the call, and helped us down.
Then stept a buxom hostess forth, and sailed,
Full-blown, before us into rooms which gave
Upon a pillared porch, the bases lost
In laurel: her we asked of that and this,
And who were tutors. 'Lady Blanche' she said,
'And Lady Psyche.' 'Which was prettiest,
Best-natured?' 'Lady Psyche.' 'Hers are we,'
One voice, we cried; and I sat down and wrote,
In such a hand as when a field of corn
Bows all its ears before the roaring East;
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'Three ladies of the Northern empire pray
Your Highness would enroll them with your own,
As Lady Psyche's pupils.'
This I sealed:
The seal was Cupid bent above a scroll,
And o'er his head Uranian Venus hung,
And raised the blinding bandage from his eyes:
I gave the letter to be sent with dawn;
And then to bed, where half in doze I seemed
To float about a glimmering night, and watch
A full sea glazed with muffled moonlight, swell
On some dark shore just seen that it was rich.
As through the land at eve we went,
And plucked the ripened ears,
We fell out, my wife and I,
O we fell out I know not why,
And kissed again with tears.
And blessings on the falling out
That all the more endears,
When we fall out with those we love
And kiss again with tears!
For when we came where lies the child
We lost in other years,
There above the little grave,
O there above the little grave,
We kissed again with tears.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
253:The Rhyme Of Joyous Garde
Through the lattice rushes the south wind, dense
With fumes of the flowery frankincense
From hawthorn blossoming thickly ;
And gold is shower'd on grass unshorn,
And poppy-fire on shuddering corn,
With May-dew flooded and flush'd with morn,
And scented with sweetness sickly.
The bloom and brilliance of summer days,
The buds that brighten, the fields that blaze,
The fruits that ripen and redden,
And all the gifts of a God-sent light
Are sadder things in my shameful sight
Than the blackest gloom of the bitterest night,
When the senses darken and deaden.
For the days recall what the nights efface,
Scenes of glory and seasons of grace,
For which there is no returning—
Else the days were even as the nights to me,
Now the axe is laid to the root of the tree,
And to-morrow the barren trunk may be
Cut down—cast forth for the burning.
Would God I had died the death that day
When the bishop blessed us before the fray
At the shrine of the Saviour's Mother ;
We buckled the spur, we braced the belt,
Arthur and I—together we knelt,
And the grasp of his kingly hand I felt
As the grasp of an only brother.
The body and the blood of Christ we shared,
Knees bended and heads bow'd down and bared,
We listened throughout the praying.
Eftsoon the shock of the foe we bore,
Shoulder to shoulder on Severn's shore,
Till our hilts were glued to our hands with gore,
And our sinews slacken'd with slaying.
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Was I far from Thy Kingdom, gracious Lord,
With a shattered casque and a shiver'd sword,
On the threshold of Mary's chapel ?
Pardie ! I had well-nigh won that crown
Which endureth more than a knight's renown,
When the pagan giant had got me down,
Sore spent in the deadly grapple.
May his craven spirit find little grace,
He was seal'd to Satan in any case,
Yet the loser had been the winner ;
Had I waxed fainter or he less faint,
Then my soul was free from this loathsome taint,
I had died as a Christian knight—no saint
Perchance, yet a pardon'd sinner.
But I strove full grimly beneath his weight,
I clung to his poignard desperate
I baffled the thrust that followed,
And writhing uppermost rose, to deal,
With bare three inches of broken steel,
One stroke—Ha ! the headpiece crash'd piecemeal,
And the knave in his black blood wallow'd.
So I lived for worse—in fulness of time,
When peace for a season sway'd the clime,
And spears for a space were idle ;
Trusted and chosen of all the court,
A favoured herald of fair report,
I travell'd eastward, and duly brought
A bride to a queenly bridal.
Pardie ! 'twas a morning even as this
(The skies were warmer if aught, I wis,
Albeit the fields were duller ;
Or it may be that the envious spring,
Abash'd at the sight of a fairer thing,
Wax'd somewhat sadder of colouring
Because of her faultless colour).
With her through the Lyonesse I rode,
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Till the woods with the noontide fervour glow'd,
And there for a space we halted,
Where the intertwining branches made
Cool carpets of olive-tinted shade,
And the floors with fretwork of flame inlaid
From leafy lattices vaulted.
And scarf and mantle for her I spread,
And strewed them over the grassiest bed
And under the greenest awning,
And loosen'd latch and buckle, and freed
From selle and housing the red roan steed,
And the jennet of swift Iberian breed,
That had carried us since the dawning.
The brown thrush sang through the briar and bower,
All flush'd or frosted with forest flower
In the warm sun's wanton glances ;
And I grew deaf to the song bird—blind
To blossom that sweeten'd the sweet spring wind—
I saw her only—a girl reclined
In her girlhood's indolent trances.
And the song and the scent and sense wax'd weak,
The wild rose withered beside the cheek
She poised on her fingers slender ;
The soft spun gold of her glittering hair
Ran rippling into a wondrous snare,
That flooded the round arm bright and bare,
And the shoulder's silvery splendour.
The deep dusk fires in those dreamy eyes,
Like seas clear-coloured in summer skies,
Were guiltless of future treason ;
And I stood watching her, still and mute
Yet the evil seed in my soul found root,
And the sad plant throve, and the sinful fruit
Grew ripe in the shameful season.
Let the sin be mine as the shame was hers,
In desolate days of departed years
She had leisure for shame and sorrow—
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There was light repentance and brief remorse,
When I rode against Saxon foes or Norse,
With clang of harness and clatter of horse,
And little heed for the morrow.
And now she is dead, men tell me, and I,
In this living death must I linger and lie
Till my cup to the dregs is drunken ?
I looked through the lattice, worn and grim,
With eyelids darken'd and eyesight dim,
And weary body and wasted limb,
And sinew slacken'd and shrunken.
She is dead ! Gone down to the burial-place,
Where the grave-dews cleave to her faultless face ;
Where the grave-sods crumble around her ;
And that bright burden of burnish'd gold,
That once on those waxen shoulders roll'd,
Will it spoil with the damps of the deadly mould ?
Was it shorn when the church vows bound her ?
Now I know full well that the fair spear shaft
Shall never gladden my hand, nor the haft
Of the good sword grow to my fingers ;
Now the maddest fray, the merriest din,
Would fail to quicken this life-stream thin,
Yet the sleepy poison of that sweet sin
In the sluggish current still lingers.
Would God I had slept with the slain men, long
Or ever the heart conceiv'd a wrong
That the innermost soul abhorred—
Or ever these lying lips were strained
To her lids, pearl-tinted and purple-vein'd,
Or ever those traitorous kisses stained
The snows of her spotless forehead.
Let me gather a little strength to think,
As one who reels on the outermost brink,
To the innermost gulf descending.
In that truce the longest and last of all,
In the summer nights of that festival—
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Soft vesture of samite and silken pall—
The beginning came of the ending.
And one trod softly with sandall'd feet—
Ah ! why are the stolen waters sweet ?—
And one crept stealthily after ;
I would I had taken him there and wrung
His knavish neck when the dark door swung,
Or torn by the roots his treacherous tongue,
And stifled his hateful laughter.
So the smouldering scandal blazed—but he,
My king, to the last put trust in me—
Aye, well was his trust requited !
Now priests may patter, and bells may toll,
He will need no masses to aid his soul ;
When the angels open the judgment scroll,
His wrong will be tenfold righted.
Then dawn'd the day when the mail was donn'd,
And the steed for the strife caparison'd,
But not ‘gainst the Norse invader.
Then was bloodshed—not by untoward chance,
As the blood that is drawn by the jouster's lance,
The fray in the castle of Melegrance,
The fight in the lists with Mador.
Then the guilt made manifest, then the siege,
When the true men rallying round the liege
Beleaguer'd his base betrayer ;
Then the fruitless parleys, the pleadings vain,
And the hard-fought battles with brave Gawaine,
Twice worsted, and once so nearly slain,
I may well be counted his slayer.
Then the crime of Modred—a little sin
At the side of mine, though the knave was kin
To the king by the knave's hand stricken.
And the once-loved knight, was he there to save
That knightly king who that knighthood gave ?
Ah, Christ ! will he greet me as knight or knave
In the day when the dust shall quicken.
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Had he lightly loved, had he trusted less,
I had sinn'd perchance with the sinfulness
That through prayer and penance is pardon'd.
Oh, love most loyal ! Oh, faith most sure !
In the purity of a soul so pure
I found my safeguard—I sinn'd secure,
Till my heart to the sin grew harden'd.
We were glad together in gladsome meads,
When they shook to the strokes of our snorting steeds ;
We were joyful in joyous lustre
When it flush'd the coppice or fill'd the glade,
Where the horn of the Dane or the Saxon bray'd,
And we saw the heathen banner display'd,
And the heathen lances cluster.
Then a steel-shod rush and a steel-clad ring,
And a crash of the spear staves splintering,
And the billowy battle blended.
Riot of chargers, revel of blows,
And fierce flush'd faces of fighting foes,
From croup to bridle, that reel'd and rose,
In a sparkle of sword-play splendid.
And the long, lithe sword in the hand became
As a leaping light, as a falling flame,
As a fire through the flax that hasted ;
Slender, and shining, and beautiful,
How it shore through shivering casque and skull,
And never a stroke was void and null,
And never a thrust was wasted.
I have done for ever with all these things—
Deeds that were joyous to knights and kings,
In days that with songs were cherish'd.
The songs are ended, the deeds are done,
There shall none of them gladden me now, not one ;
There is nothing good for me under the sun,
But to perish as these things perish'd.
Shall it profit me aught that the bishop seeks
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My presence daily, and duly speaks
Soft words of comfort and kindness ?
Shall it aught avail me ? 'Certes,' he said,
'Though thy soul is darken'd, be not afraid—
God hateth nothing that He hath made—
His light shall disperse thy blindness.'
I am not afraid for myself, although
I know I have had that light, and I know
The greater my condemnation.
When I well-nigh swoon'd in the deep-drawn bliss
Of that first long, sweet, slow, stolen kiss,
I would gladly have given, for less than this
Myself, with my soul's salvation.
I would languish thus in some loathsome den,
As a thing of naught in the eyes of men,
In the mouths of men as a byword,
Through years of pain, and when God saw fit,
Singing His praises my soul should flit
To the darkest depth of the nethermost pit,
If hers could be wafted skyward.
Lord Christ ! have patience a little while,
I have sinn'd because I am utterly vile,
Having light, loving darkness rather.
And I pray Thee deal with me as Thou wilt,
Yet the blood of Thy foes I have freely spilt,
And, moreover, mine is the greater guilt
In the sight of Thee and Thy Father.
That saint, Thy servant, was counted dear
Whose sword in the garden grazed the ear
Of Thine enemy, Lord Redeemer !
Not thus on the shattering visor jarr'd
In this hand the iron of the hilt cross-barr'd,
When the blade was swallow'd up to the guard
Through the teeth of the strong blasphemer.
If ever I smote as a man should smite,
If I struck one stroke that seem'd good in Thy sight,
By Thy loving mercy prevailing,
273
Lord ! let her stand in the light of Thy face,
Cloth'd with Thy love and crown'd with Thy grace,
When I gnash my teeth in the terrible place
That is fill'd with weeping and wailing.
Shall I comfort my soul on account of this ?
In the world to come, whatsoever it is,
There is no more earthly ill-doing—
For the dusty darkness shall slay desire,
And the chaff may burn with unquenchable fire,
But for green wild growth of thistle and briar,
At least there is no renewing.
And this grievous burden of life shall change
In the dim hereafter, dreamy and strange,
And sorrows and joys diurnal.
And partial blessings and perishing ills
Shall fade in the praise, or the pang that fills
The glory of God's eternal hills,
Or the gloom of His gulf eternal.
Yet if all things change to the glory of One
Who for all ill-doers gave His Own sweet Son,
To His goodness so shall He change ill,
When the world as a wither'd leaf shall be,
And the sky like a shrivell'd scroll shall flee,
And souls shall be summon'd from land and sea,
At the blast of His bright archangel.
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
254:Gilbert
I. THE GARDEN.
ABOVE the city hung the moon,
Right o'er a plot of ground
Where flowers and orchard-trees were fenced
With lofty walls around:
'Twas Gilbert's garden­there, to-night
Awhile he walked alone;
And, tired with sedentary toil,
Mused where the moonlight shone.
This garden, in a city-heart,
Lay still as houseless wild,
Though many-windowed mansion fronts
Were round it closely piled;
But thick their walls, and those within
Lived lives by noise unstirred;
Like wafting of an angel's wing,
Time's flight by them was heard.
Some soft piano-notes alone
Were sweet as faintly given,
Where ladies, doubtless, cheered the hearth
With song, that winter-even.
The city's many-mingled sounds
Rose like the hum of ocean;
They rather lulled the heart than roused
Its pulse to faster motion.
Gilbert has paced the single walk
An hour, yet is not weary;
And, though it be a winter night,
He feels nor cold nor dreary.
The prime of life is in his veins,
And sends his blood fast flowing,
And Fancy's fervour warms the thoughts
Now in his bosom glowing.
Those thoughts recur to early love,
19
Or what he love would name,
Though haply Gilbert's secret deeds
Might other title claim.
Such theme not oft his mind absorbs,
He to the world clings fast,
And too much for the present lives,
To linger o'er the past.
But now the evening's deep repose
Has glided to his soul;
That moonlight falls on Memory,
And shows her fading scroll.
One name appears in every line
The gentle rays shine o'er,
And still he smiles and still repeats
That one name­Elinor.
There is no sorrow in his smile,
No kindness in his tone;
The triumph of a selfish heart
Speaks coldly there alone;
He says: ' She loved me more than life;
And truly it was sweet
To see so fair a woman kneel,
In bondage, at my feet.
There was a sort of quiet bliss
To be so deeply loved,
To gaze on trembling eagerness
And sit myself unmoved.
And when it pleased my pride to grant,
At last some rare caress,
To feel the fever of that hand
My fingers deigned to press.
'Twas sweet to see her strive to hide
What every glance revealed;
Endowed, the while, with despot-might
Her destiny to wield.
I knew myself no perfect man,
Nor, as she deemed, divine;
I knew that I was glorious­but
20
By her reflected shine;
Her youth, her native energy,
Her powers new-born and fresh,
'Twas these with Godhead sanctified
My sensual frame of flesh.
Yet, like a god did I descend
At last, to meet her love;
And, like a god, I then withdrew
To my own heaven above.
And never more could she invoke
My presence to her sphere;
No prayer, no plaint, no cry of hers
Could win my awful ear.
I knew her blinded constancy
Would ne'er my deeds betray,
And, calm in conscience, whole in heart,
I went my tranquil way.
Yet, sometimes, I still feel a wish,
The fond and flattering pain
Of passion's anguish to create,
In her young breast again.
Bright was the lustre of her eyes,
When they caught fire from mine;
If I had power­this very hour,
Again I 'd light their shine.
But where she is, or how she lives,
I have no clue to know;
I 've heard she long my absence pined,
And left her home in woe.
But busied, then, in gathering gold,
As I am busied now,
I could not turn from such pursuit,
To weep a broken vow.
Nor could I give to fatal risk
The fame I ever prized;
Even now, I fear, that precious fame
Is too much compromised.'
21
An inward trouble dims his eye,
Some riddle he would solve;
Some method to unloose a knot,
His anxious thoughts revolve.
He, pensive, leans against a tree,
A leafy evergreen,
The boughs, the moonlight, intercept,
And hide him like a screen;
He starts­the tree shakes with his tremor,
Yet nothing near him pass'd,
He hurries up the garden alley,
In strangely sudden haste.
With shaking hand, he lifts the latchet,
Steps o'er the threshold stone;
The heavy door slips from his fingers,
It shuts, and he is gone.
What touched, transfixed, appalled, his soul ?
A nervous thought, no more;
'Twill sink like stone in placid pool,
And calm close smoothly o'er.
II. THE PARLOUR.
WARM is the parlour atmosphere,
Serene the lamp's soft light;
The vivid embers, red and clear,
Proclaim a frosty night.
Books, varied, on the table lie,
Three children o'er them bend,
And all, with curious, eager eye,
The turning leaf attend.
Picture and tale alternately
Their simple hearts delight,
And interest deep, and tempered glee,
Illume their aspects bright;
The parents, from their fireside place,
Behold that pleasant scene,
And joy is on the mother's face,
22
Pride, in the father's mien.
As Gilbert sees his blooming wife,
Beholds his children fair,
No thought has he of transient strife,
Or past, though piercing fear.
The voice of happy infancy
Lisps sweetly in his ear,
His wife, with pleased and peaceful eye,
Sits, kindly smiling, near.
The fire glows on her silken dress,
And shows its ample grace,
And warmly tints each hazel tress,
Curled soft around her face.
The beauty that in youth he wooed,
Is beauty still, unfaded,
The brow of ever placid mood
No churlish grief has shaded.
Prosperity, in Gilbert's home,
Abides, the guest of years;
There Want or Discord never come,
And seldom Toil or Tears.
The carpets bear the peaceful print
Of comfort's velvet tread,
And golden gleams from plenty sent,
In every nook are shed.
The very silken spaniel seems
Of quiet ease to tell,
As near its mistress' feet it dreams,
Sunk in a cushion's swell;
And smiles seem native to the eyes
Of those sweet children, three;
They have but looked on tranquil skies,
And know not misery.
Alas ! that misery should come
In such an hour as this;
Why could she not so calm a home
A little longer miss ?
23
But she is now within the door,
Her steps advancing glide;
Her sullen shade has crossed the floor,
She stands at Gilbert's side.
She lays her hand upon his heart,
It bounds with agony;
His fireside chair shakes with the start
That shook the garden tree.
His wife towards the children looks,
She does not mark his mien;
The children, bending o'er their books,
His terror have not seen.
In his own home, by his own hearth,
He sits in solitude,
And circled round with light and mirth,
Cold horror chills his blood.
His mind would hold with desperate clutch
The scene that round him lies;
No­changed, as by some wizard's touch,
The present prospect flies.
A tumult vague­a viewless strife
His futile struggles crush;
'Twixt him and his, an unknown life
And unknown feelings rush.
He sees­but scarce can language paint
The tissue Fancy weaves;
For words oft give but echo faint
Of thoughts the mind conceives.
Noise, tumult strange, and darkness dim,
Efface both light and quiet;
No shape is in those shadows grim,
No voice in that wild riot.
Sustained and strong, a wondrous blast
Above and round him blows;
A greenish gloom, dense overcast,
Each moment denser grows.
He nothing knows­nor clearly sees,
24
Resistance checks his breath,
The high, impetuous, ceaseless breeze
Blows on him. cold as death.
And still the undulating gloom
Mocks sight with formless motion;
Was such sensation Jonah's doom,
Gulphed in the depths of ocean ?
Streaking the air, the nameless vision,
Fast-driven, deep-sounding, flows;
Oh ! whence its source, and what its mission ?
How will its terrors close ?
Long-sweeping, rushing, vast and void,
The Universe it swallows;
And still the dark, devouring tide,
A Typhoon tempest follows.
More slow it rolls; its furious race
Sinks to a solemn gliding;
The stunning roar, the wind's wild chase,
To stillness are subsiding.
And, slowly borne along, a form
The shapeless chaos varies;
Poised in the eddy to the storm,
Before the eye it tarries.
A woman drowned­sunk in the deep,
On a long wave reclining;
The circling waters' crystal sweep,
Like glass, her shape enshrining;
Her pale dead face, to Gilbert turned,
Seems as in sleep reposing;
A feeble light, now first discerned,
The features well disclosing.
No effort from the haunted air
The ghastly scene could banish;
That hovering wave, arrested there,
Rolled­throbbed­but did not vanish.
If Gilbert upward turned his gaze,
He saw the ocean-shadow;
If he looked down, the endless seas
25
Lay green as summer meadow.
And straight before, the pale corpse lay,
Upborne by air or billow,
So near, he could have touched the spray
That churned around its pillow.
The hollow anguish of the face
Had moved a fiend to sorrow;
Not Death's fixed calm could rase the trace
Of suffering's deep-worn furrow.
All moved; a strong returning blast,
The mass of waters raising,
Bore wave and passive carcase past,
While Gilbert yet was gazing.
Deep in her isle-conceiving womb,
It seemed the Ocean thundered,
And soon, by realms of rushing gloom,
Were seer and phantom sundered.
Then swept some timbers from a wreck,
On following surges riding;
Then sea-weed, in the turbid rack
Uptorn, went slowly gliding.
The horrid shade, by slow degrees,
A beam of light defeated,
And then the roar of raving seas,
Fast, far, and faint, retreated.
And all was gone­gone like a mist,
Corse, billows, tempest, wreck;
Three children close to Gilbert prest
And clung around his neck.
Good night ! good night ! the prattlers said
And kissed their father's cheek;
'Twas now the hour their quiet bed
And placid rest to seek.
The mother with her offspring goes
To hear their evening prayer;
She nought of Gilbert's vision knows,
And nought of his despair.
26
Yet, pitying God, abridge the time
Of anguish, now his fate !
Though, haply, great has been his crime,
Thy mercy, too, is great.
Gilbert, at length, uplifts his head,
Bent for some moments low,
And there is neither grief nor dread
Upon his subtle brow.
For well can he his feelings task,
And well his looks command;
His features well his heart can mask,
With smiles and smoothness bland.
Gilbert has reasoned with his mind­
He says 'twas all a dream;
He strives his inward sight to blind
Against truth's inward beam.
He pitied not that shadowy thing,
When it was flesh and blood;
Nor now can pity's balmy spring
Refresh his arid mood.
' And if that dream has spoken truth,'
Thus musingly he says;
' If Elinor be dead, in sooth,
Such chance the shock repays:
A net was woven round my feet,
I scarce could further go,
Are Shame had forced a fast retreat,
Dishonour brought me low. '
' Conceal her, then, deep, silent Sea,
Give her a secret grave !
She sleeps in peace, and I am free,
No longer Terror's slave:
And homage still, from all the world,
Shall greet my spotless name,
Since surges break and waves are curled
Above its threatened shame.'
27
III. THE WELCOME HOME
ABOVE the city hangs the moon,
Some clouds are boding rain,
Gilbert, erewhile on journey gone,
To-night comes home again.
Ten years have passed above his head,
Each year has brought him gain;
His prosperous life has smoothly sped,
Without or tear or stain.
'Tis somewhat late­the city clocks
Twelve deep vibrations toll,
As Gilbert at the portal knocks,
Which is his journey's goal.
The street is still and desolate,
The moon hid by a cloud;
Gilbert, impatient, will not wait,­
His second knock peals loud.
The clocks are hushed; there's not a light
In any window nigh,
And not a single planet bright
Looks from the clouded sky;
The air is raw, the rain descends,
A bitter north-wind blows;
His cloak the traveller scarce defends­
Will not the door unclose ?
He knocks the third time, and the last;
His summons now they hear,
Within, a footstep, hurrying fast,
Is heard approaching near.
The bolt is drawn, the clanking chain
Falls to the floor of stone;
And Gilbert to his heart will strain
His wife and children soon.
The hand that lifts the latchet, holds
A candle to his sight,
And Gilbert, on the step, beholds
A woman, clad in white.
28
Lo ! water from her dripping dress
Runs on the streaming floor;
From every dark and clinging tress,
The drops incessant pour.
There's none but her to welcome him;
She holds the candle high,
And, motionless in form and limb,
Stands cold and silent nigh;
There's sand and sea-weed on her robe,
Her hollow eyes are blind;
No pulse in such a frame can throb,
No life is there defined.
Gilbert turned ashy-white, but still
His lips vouchsafed no cry;
He spurred his strength and master-will
To pass the figure by,­
But, moving slow, it faced him straight,
It would not flinch nor quail:
Then first did Gilbert's strength abate,
His stony firmness quail.
He sank upon his knees and prayed;
The shape stood rigid there;
He called aloud for human aid,
No human aid was near.
An accent strange did thus repeat
Heaven's stern but just decree:
' The measure thou to her didst mete,
To thee shall measured be !'
Gilbert sprang from his bended knees,
By the pale spectre pushed,
And, wild as one whom demons seize,
Up the hall-staircase rushed;
Entered his chamber­near the bed
Sheathed steel and fire-arms hung­
Impelled by maniac purpose dread,
He chose those stores among.
Across his throat, a keen-edged knife
29
With vigorous hand he drew;
The wound was wide­his outraged life
Rushed rash and redly through.
And thus died, by a shameful death,
A wise and worldly man,
Who never drew but selfish breath
Since first his life began.
~ Charlotte Brontë,
255:Just at the self-same beat of Time's wide wings
Hyperion slid into the rustled air,
And Saturn gain'd with Thea that sad place
Where Cybele and the bruised Titans mourn'd.
It was a den where no insulting light
Could glimmer on their tears; where their own groans
They felt, but heard not, for the solid roar
Of thunderous waterfalls and torrents hoarse,
Pouring a constant bulk, uncertain where.
Crag jutting forth to crag, and rocks that seem'd
Ever as if just rising from a sleep,
Forehead to forehead held their monstrous horns;
And thus in thousand hugest phantasies
Made a fit roofing to this nest of woe.
Instead of thrones, hard flint they sat upon,
Couches of rugged stone, and slaty ridge
Stubborn'd with iron. All were not assembled:
Some chain'd in torture, and some wandering.
Caus, and Gyges, and Briareus,
Typhon, and Dolor, and Porphyrion,
With many more, the brawniest in assault,
Were pent in regions of laborious breath;
Dungeon'd in opaque element, to keep
Their clenched teeth still clench'd, and all their limbs
Lock'd up like veins of metal, crampt and screw'd;
Without a motion, save of their big hearts
Heaving in pain, and horribly convuls'd
With sanguine feverous boiling gurge of pulse.
Mnemosyne was straying in the world;
Far from her moon had Phoebe wandered;
And many else were free to roam abroad,
But for the main, here found they covert drear.
Scarce images of life, one here, one there,
Lay vast and edgeways; like a dismal cirque
Of Druid stones, upon a forlorn moor,
When the chill rain begins at shut of eve,
In dull November, and their chancel vault,
The Heaven itself, is blinded throughout night.
Each one kept shroud, nor to his neighbour gave
Or word, or look, or action of despair.
Creus was one; his ponderous iron mace
Lay by him, and a shatter'd rib of rock
Told of his rage, ere he thus sank and pined.
Iapetus another; in his grasp,
A serpent's plashy neck; its barbed tongue
Squeez'd from the gorge, and all its uncurl'd length
Dead: and because the creature could not spit
Its poison in the eyes of conquering Jove.
Next Cottus: prone he lay, chin uppermost,
As though in pain; for still upon the flint
He ground severe his skull, with open mouth
And eyes at horrid working. Nearest him
Asia, born of most enormous Caf,
Who cost her mother Tellus keener pangs,
Though feminine, than any of her sons:
More thought than woe was in her dusky face,
For she was prophesying of her glory;
And in her wide imagination stood
Palm-shaded temples, and high rival fanes
By Oxus or in Ganges' sacred isles.
Even as Hope upon her anchor leans,
So leant she, not so fair, upon a tusk
Shed from the broadest of her elephants.
Above her, on a crag's uneasy shelve,
Upon his elbow rais'd, all prostrate else,
Shadow'd Enceladus; once tame and mild
As grazing ox unworried in the meads;
Now tiger-passion'd, lion-thoughted, wroth,
He meditated, plotted, and even now
Was hurling mountains in that second war,
Not long delay'd, that scar'd the younger Gods
To hide themselves in forms of beast and bird.
Not far hence Atlas; and beside him prone
Phorcus, the sire of Gorgons. Neighbour'd close
Oceanus, and Tethys, in whose lap
Sobb'd Clymene among her tangled hair.
In midst of all lay Themis, at the feet
Of Ops the queen; all clouded round from sight,
No shape distinguishable, more than when
Thick night confounds the pine-tops with the clouds:
And many else whose names may not be told.
For when the Muse's wings are air-ward spread,
Who shall delay her flight? And she must chaunt
Of Saturn, and his guide, who now had climb'd
With damp and slippery footing from a depth
More horrid still. Above a sombre cliff
Their heads appear'd, and up their stature grew
Till on the level height their steps found ease:
Then Thea spread abroad her trembling arms
Upon the precincts of this nest of pain,
And sidelong fix'd her eye on Saturn's face:
There saw she direst strife; the supreme God
At war with all the frailty of grief,
Of rage, of fear, anxiety, revenge,
Remorse, spleen, hope, but most of all despair.
Against these plagues he strove in vain; for Fate
Had pour'd a mortal oil upon his head,
A disanointing poison: so that Thea,
Affrighted, kept her still, and let him pass
First onwards in, among the fallen tribe.

  As with us mortal men, the laden heart
Is persecuted more, and fever'd more,
When it is nighing to the mournful house
Where other hearts are sick of the same bruise;
So Saturn, as he walk'd into the midst,
Felt faint, and would have sunk among the rest,
But that he met Enceladus's eye,
Whose mightiness, and awe of him, at once
Came like an inspiration; and he shouted,
"Titans, behold your God!" at which some groan'd;
Some started on their feet; some also shouted;
Some wept, some wail'd, all bow'd with reverence;
And Ops, uplifting her black folded veil,
Show'd her pale cheeks, and all her forehead wan,
Her eye-brows thin and jet, and hollow eyes.
There is a roaring in the bleak-grown pines
When Winter lifts his voice; there is a noise
Among immortals when a God gives sign,
With hushing finger, how he means to load
His tongue with the filll weight of utterless thought,
With thunder, and with music, and with pomp:
Such noise is like the roar of bleak-grown pines;
Which, when it ceases in this mountain'd world,
No other sound succeeds; but ceasing here,
Among these fallen, Saturn's voice therefrom
Grew up like organ, that begins anew
Its strain, when other harmonies, stopt short,
Leave the dinn'd air vibrating silverly.
Thus grew it up-"Not in my own sad breast,
Which is its own great judge and searcher out,
Can I find reason why ye should be thus:
Not in the legends of the first of days,
Studied from that old spirit-leaved book
Which starry Uranus with finger bright
Sav'd from the shores of darkness, when the waves
Low-ebb'd still hid it up in shallow gloom;-
And the which book ye know I ever kept
For my firm-based footstool:-Ah, infirm!
Not there, nor in sign, symbol, or portent
Of element, earth, water, air, and fire,-
At war, at peace, or inter-quarreling
One against one, or two, or three, or all
Each several one against the other three,
As fire with air loud warring when rain-floods
Drown both, and press them both against earth's face,
Where, finding sulphur, a quadruple wrath
Unhinges the poor world;-not in that strife,
Wherefrom I take strange lore, and read it deep,
Can I find reason why ye should be thus:
No, nowhere can unriddle, though I search,
And pore on Nature's universal scroll
Even to swooning, why ye, Divinities,
The first-born of all shap'd and palpable Gods,
Should cower beneath what, in comparison,
Is untremendous might. Yet ye are here,
O'erwhelm'd, and spurn'd, and batter'd, ye are here!
O Titans, shall I say 'Arise!'-Ye groan:
Shall I say 'Crouch!'-Ye groan. What can I then?
O Heaven wide! O unseen parent dear!
What can I? Tell me, all ye brethren Gods,
How we can war, how engine our great wrath!
O speak your counsel now, for Saturn's ear
Is all a-hunger'd. Thou, Oceanus,
Ponderest high and deep; and in thy face
I see, astonied, that severe content
Which comes of thought and musing: give us help!"

  So ended Saturn; and the God of the sea,
Sophist and sage, from no Athenian grove,
But cogitation in his watery shades,
Arose, with locks not oozy, and began,
In murmurs, which his first-endeavouring tongue
Caught infant-like from the far-foamed sands.
"O ye, whom wrath consumes! who, passion-stung,
Writhe at defeat, and nurse your agonies!
Shut up your senses, stifle up your ears,
My voice is not a bellows unto ire.
Yet listen, ye who will, whilst I bring proof
How ye, perforce, must be content to stoop:
And in the proof much comfort will I give,
If ye will take that comfort in its truth.
We fall by course of Nature's law, not force
Of thunder, or of Jove. Great Saturn, thou
Hast sifted well the atom-universe;
But for this reason, that thou art the King,
And only blind from sheer supremacy,
One avenue was shaded from thine eyes,
Through which I wandered to eternal truth.
And first, as thou wast not the first of powers,
So art thou not the last; it cannot be:
Thou art not the beginning nor the end.
From Chaos and parental Darkness came
Light, the first fruits of that intestine broil,
That sullen ferment, which for wondrous ends
Was ripening in itself. The ripe hour came,
And with it Light, and Light, engendering
Upon its own producer, forthwith touch'd
The whole enormous matter into life.
Upon that very hour, our parentage,
The Heavens and the Earth, were manifest:
Then thou first born, and we the giant race,
Found ourselves ruling new and beauteous realms.
Now comes the pain of truth, to whom 'tis pain;
O folly! for to bear all naked truths,
And to envisage circumstance, all calm,
That is the top of sovereignty. Mark well!
As Heaven and Earth are fairer, fairer far
Than Chaos and blank Darkness, though once chiefs;
And as we show beyond that Heaven and Earth
In form and shape compact and beautiful,
In will, in action free, companionship,
And thousand other signs of purer life;
So on our heels a fresh perfection treads,
A power more strong in beauty, born of us
And fated to excel us, as we pass
In glory that old Darkness: nor are we
Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule
Of shapeless Chaos. Say, doth the dull soil
Quarrel with the proud forests it hath fed,
And feedeth still, more comely than itself?
Can it deny the chiefdom of green groves?
Or shall the tree be envious of the dove
Because it cooeth, and hath snowy wings
To wander wherewithal and find its joys?
We are such forest-trees, and our fair boughs
Have bred forth, not pale solitary doves,
But eagles golden-feather'd, who do tower
Above us in their beauty, and must reign
In right thereof; for 'tis the eternal law
That first in beauty should be first in might:
Yea, by that law, another race may drive
Our conquerors to mourn as we do now.
Have ye beheld the young God of the seas,
My dispossessor? Have ye seen his face?
Have ye beheld his chariot, foam'd along
By noble winged creatures he hath made?
I saw him on the calmed waters scud,
With such a glow of beauty in his eyes,
That it enforc'd me to bid sad farewell
To all my empire: farewell sad I took,
And hither came, to see how dolorous fate
Had wrought upon ye; and how I might best
Give consolation in this woe extreme.
Receive the truth, and let it be your balm."

  Whether through pos'd conviction, or disdain,
They guarded silence, when Oceanus
Left murmuring, what deepest thought can tell?
But so it was, none answer'd for a space,
Save one whom none regarded, Clymene;
And yet she answer'd not, only complain'd,
With hectic lips, and eyes up-looking mild,
Thus wording timidly among the fierce:
"O Father! I am here the simplest voice,
And all my knowledge is that joy is gone,
And this thing woe crept in among our hearts,
There to remain for ever, as I fear:
I would not bode of evil, if I thought
So weak a creature could turn off the help
Which by just right should come of mighty Gods;
Yet let me tell my sorrow, let me tell
Of what I heard, and how it made me weep,
And know that we had parted from all hope.
I stood upon a shore, a pleasant shore,
Where a sweet clime was breathed from a land
Of fragrance, quietness, and trees, and flowers.
Full of calm joy it was, as I of grief;
Too full of joy and soft delicious warmth;
So that I felt a movement in my heart
To chide, and to reproach that solitude
With songs of misery, music of our woes;
And sat me down, and took a mouthed shell
And murmur'd into it, and made melody-
O melody no more! for while I sang,
And with poor skill let pass into the breeze
The dull shell's echo, from a bowery strand
Just opposite, an island of the sea,
There came enchantment with the shifting wind,
That did both drown and keep alive my ears.
I threw my shell away upon the sand,
And a wave fill'd it, as my sense was fill'd
With that new blissful golden melody.
A living death was in each gush of sounds,
Each family of rapturous hurried notes,
That fell, one after one, yet all at once,
Like pearl beads dropping sudden from their string:
And then another, then another strain,
Each like a dove leaving its olive perch,
With music wing'd instead of silent plumes,
To hover round my head, and make me sick
Of joy and grief at once. Grief overcame,
And I was stopping up my frantic ears,
When, past all hindrance of my trembling hands,
A voice came sweeter, sweeter than all tune,
And still it cried, 'Apollo! young Apollo!
The morning-bright Apollo! young Apollo!'
I fled, it follow'd me, and cried 'Apollo!'
O Father, and O Brethren, had ye felt
Those pains of mine; O Saturn, hadst thou felt,
Ye would not call this too indulged tongue
Presumptuous, in thus venturing to be heard."

  So far her voice flow'd on, like timorous brook
That, lingering along a pebbled coast,
Doth fear to meet the sea: but sea it met,
And shudder'd; for the overwhelming voice
Of huge Enceladus swallow'd it in wrath:
The ponderous syllables, like sullen waves
In the half-glutted hollows of reef-rocks,
Came booming thus, while still upon his arm
He lean'd; not rising, from supreme contempt.
"Or shall we listen to the over-wise,
Or to the over-foolish, Giant-Gods?
Not thunderbolt on thunderbolt, till all
That rebel Jove's whole armoury were spent,
Not world on world upon these shoulders piled,
Could agonize me more than baby-words
In midst of this dethronement horrible.
Speak! roar! shout! yell! ye sleepy Titans all.
Do ye forget the blows, the buffets vile?
Are ye not smitten by a youngling arm?
Dost thou forget, sham Monarch of the waves,
Thy scalding in the seas? What! have I rous'd
Your spleens with so few simple words as these?
O joy! for now I see ye are not lost:
O joy! for now I see a thousand eyes
Wide-glaring for revenge!"-As this he said,
He lifted up his stature vast, and stood,
Still without intermission speaking thus:
"Now ye are flames, I'll tell you how to burn,
And purge the ether of our enemies;
How to feed fierce the crooked stings of fire,
And singe away the swollen clouds of Jove,
Stifling that puny essence in its tent.
O let him feel the evil he hath done;
For though I scorn Oceanus's lore,
Much pain have I for more than loss of realms:
The days of peace and slumbrous calm are fled;
Those days, all innocent of scathing war,
When all the fair Existences of heaven
Carne open-eyed to guess what we would speak:-
That was before our brows were taught to frown,
Before our lips knew else but solemn sounds;
That was before we knew the winged thing,
Victory, might be lost, or might be won.
And be ye mindful that Hyperion,
Our brightest brother, still is undisgraced-
Hyperion, lo! his radiance is here!"

  All eyes were on Enceladus's face,
And they beheld, while still Hyperion's name
Flew from his lips up to the vaulted rocks,
A pallid gleam across his features stern:
Not savage, for he saw full many a God
Wroth as himself. He look'd upon them all,
And in each face he saw a gleam of light,
But splendider in Saturn's, whose hoar locks
Shone like the bubbling foam about a keel
When the prow sweeps into a midnight cove.
In pale and silver silence they remain'd,
Till suddenly a splendor, like the morn,
Pervaded all the beetling gloomy steeps,
All the sad spaces of oblivion,
And every gulf, and every chasm old,
And every height, and every sullen depth,
Voiceless, or hoarse with loud tormented streams:
And all the everlasting cataracts,
And all the headlong torrents far and near,
Mantled before in darkness and huge shade,
Now saw the light and made it terrible.
It was Hyperion:-a granite peak
His bright feet touch'd, and there he stay'd to view
The misery his brilliance had betray'd
To the most hateful seeing of itself.
Golden his hair of short Numidian curl,
Regal his shape majestic, a vast shade
In midst of his own brightness, like the bulk
Of Memnon's image at the set of sun
To one who travels from the dusking East:
Sighs, too, as mournful as that Memnon's harp
He utter'd, while his hands contemplative
He press'd together, and in silence stood.
Despondence seiz'd again the fallen Gods
At sight of the dejected King of day,
And many hid their faces from the light:
But fierce Enceladus sent forth his eyes
Among the brotherhood; and, at their glare,
Uprose Iapetus, and Creus too,
And Phorcus, sea-born, and together strode
To where he towered on his eminence.
There those four shouted forth old Saturn's name;
Hyperion from the peak loud answered, "Saturn!"
Saturn sat near the Mother of the Gods,
In whose face was no joy, though all the Gods
Gave from their hollow throats the name of "Saturn!"
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ John Keats, Hyperion. Book II
,
256:Fragments From 'Genius Lost'
Prelude
I SEE the boy-bard neath life’s morning skies,
While hope’s bright cohorts guess not of defeat,
And ardour lightens from his earnest eyes,
And faith’s cherubic wings around his being beat.
Loudly the echo of his soul repeats
Those deathless strains that witched the world of old;
While to the deeds, his high heart proudly beats,
Of names within them, treasured like heroic gold.
To love he lights the ode of vocal fire,
And yearns in song o’er freedom’s sacred throes,
Or pours a pious incense from his lyre,
Wherever o’er the grave a martyre-glory glows.
Or as he wanders waking dreams arise,
And paint new Edens on the future’s scroll,
While on the wings of rapture he outflies
The faltering mood that warns in his prophetic soul.
“All doubt away!” he cries in trustful mood;
“From Time’s unknown the perfect yet shall rise;
And this full heart attests how much of God
Might dwell with man beneath these purple-clouded skies!”
Thus holiest shapes inhabit his desire,
And love’s dream-turtles sing along his way;
Thus faith keeps mounting, like a skylark, higher,
As hope engoldens more the morning of his day.
But ah! Too high that harp-like heart is strung,
To bear the jar of this harsh world’s estate;
And ’tis betrayed by that too fervent tongue
How burns the fire within, that bodes a wayward fate.
Soon on the morning’s wings shall fancy flee,
And world-damps quench love’s spiritual flame,
And his wild powers, now as the wild waves free,
66
Be reef-bound by low wants and beaten down by shame.
Now mark him in the city’s weltering crowd
Haggard and pale; and yet, in his distress,
How quick to scorn the vile—defy the pround—
Grim, cold, and distant now—then seized with recklessness.
Yet oft what agony his pride assails,
When life’s first morning faith to thought appears
Lost in the shadowy past, and nought avails
Her calling to the lost—then blood is in his tears.
Henceforth must his sole comrade be despair,
Sole wanderer by his side in ways forlorn;
And as a root-wrenched vine no more may bear,
No more by this dry wood shall fruit be borne.
No more! And every care of life, in woe
And desperation, to the wind is hurled!
He thanks dull wondering pity with a blow,
And leaps, though into hell, out of the cruel world.
First Love
I, even when a child,
Had fondly brooded, with a glowing cheek
And asking heart, with lips apart, and breath
Hushed to such silence as the matron dove
Preserves while warming into life her young,
Over the secretely-disclosing hope
Of finding in the fulness of my youth
Some sweet, congenial one to love, to call
My own. And one has been whose soul
Felt to its depth the influence of mine,
Albeit between us the sweet name of Love
Passed never, to bring blooming to the check
Those rosy shames that burn it on the heart—
Symbol of heaven, sole synonym of God!—
Yet not the less a sympathy that heard,
Through many a whisper, Love’s sweet spirit-self,
Low breathing in the silence of our souls,
Knit us together with a still consent.
67
And she was beautiful in outward shape,
As lovely in her mind. Such eyes she had
As burn in the far depths of passionate thought,
While yet the visionary heart of youth
Is lonely in its hope! Cherries were ne’er
More ruby-rich, more delicately full,
Than were her lips; and, when her young heart would,
A smile, ineffably enchanting, played
The unwitting conqueress there.
Her light, round form
Had grace in every impulse, motions fair
As her life’s purity; her being all
Was as harmonious to the mind, as are
Most perfect strains of purest tones prolonged,
To music-loving ears.
But full of dole
Her mortal fate to me! Ere sixteen springs
Had bloomed about her being, a most fell
And secret malady did feel amid
The roses of her cheeks, her lips—but still,
Felon-like, shunned the lustre of her eyes,
That more replendent grew. And so, before
Those glowing orbs had turned their starry light
Upon one human face with other troth
Than a meek daughter or fond sister yields;
Ere her white arms and heaving bosom held
A nestling other than the weary head
Of sickness or a stranger babe, the grass
That whistled dry in the autumnal wind,
Was billowing round her grave.
And yet I live
Within a world that knoweth her no more.
’Tis well when misery’s harassed son
For shelter to the grave doth go,
As to his mountain-hold may run
The hunted roe.
68
Yet when, beneath benignant skies,
The angle Grace herself appears
But Death’s born bride, the stoniest eyes
Might break in tears.
Chorus of the Hours
Ah! That Death
Should ever, like a drear, untimely night,
Descent upon the loved, in Love’s despite!
Ah! That a little breath
Expiring from the world, should leave each scene,
Where its warm influence before hath been,
So empty to the heart in its despair
Of all but misery—misery everywhere!
Thus in the morning of my life have I
No happiness rooted in the earth, to hold
My spirit to the actual. All my hopes
Are blown away by adverse chilling winds,
Blown sheer away, out of the world, to seek
Such solace as may be derived from far
And lonely flights of faith. Yet even these
Only divert, not satisfy, my soul;
Still, when her wings refuse them, wearied out
By so wild-will’d an aeronaut as I,
Having no nearer comfort, even as now,
Their foregone influence do I meditate,
Tracing them upward in their heavenward track.
As through an ocean of uprolling mist
Amid the morning Alps, a morning bird
Keeps soaring, trustful of the risen sun—
Who then is turning all the mountain tops
To diamond islets washed by waves of gold,
That shatter as they surge—keeps soaring, till
It shoots at length into the cloudless light,
And gleams a bird of fire; so faith upmounts
Through the earth’s misty tribulations, up
Into the clear of the eternal world,
Unfainting, fervent, till, with happy wings
Outspreading full amid the rays of God
69
It glories, gleaming like the Alpine bird.
But wearying in her flight, even faith returns,
As does the bird—returns into the mist
That shutteth down all less adventurous life,
But stronger for the mighty vision left
And for the heavenly warmth upon her wings.
Once,—did I only stand in thought beside
The grave of one who had for freedom died,
Or on some spot made holy by the vow
Of tuneful love, though of an ancient day,—
My very life would thrill—and am I now
Journeying away
From that fraternal interest which cast
Around me then the feeling of the past?
I know not; but my heart no more will leap
Even to the trump of some Homeric lay:
Bad progress is it, if from that I keep
Journeying away!
Misery
As the moaning wild waves ever
Fret around some lonely isle,
There are griefs that no endeavour
Stilleth even for a while,
Beating at my heart for ever,
Beating at it now,
Beating at my heart—and aching
Upward to my brow.
Like the wild clouds flying over
High above all human reach,
There are joys that I their lover
Cannot even scale in speech;
Flying o’er my head for ever
Flying o’er it now;
Flying o’er my head—and shading
With despair my brow.
70
Chorus of the Hours
Alas! The veriest human clod
Is happier than he,
On whom the majesty,
And the mystery
Of thought, had fallen like the fire of God!
Ah! Those by nature gifted to pursue
The beautiful and true
Have chiefly in dishonour trod
The regions they redeemed—as even yet they do!
And where are they, to gods upgrown,
Shall drive this darksome doom?
Ye suffering sons of Genius, you
Must dissipate the gloom
That clouds you even as of old
In its mist so deadly cold!
With your own injuries, let stern thought
Of the most desolate deathless of those
Who with the power of darkness fought,
(Each in his age, whereon his spirit rose,
As rises some peculiar star of night
To burn eternally apart,)
Yea, let stern thought of those
Now nerve you to re-urge the lengthened fight;
And for those others,
Your future brothers,
Now follow victory with unflinching heart!
Looking Beyond
Yes, it is well, in this our cold grim earth
To steal an hour for meditation free;
To die in body, and with all the mind
Thus freed, to bridge with might beams of thought
The depth of the Eternal. Even on me
Such mood sometimes descends, the precious gift
Of pitying Urania, then I fly,
Even as a stork mid evening’s purple clouds
In mid-Elysiums—Paradises fair
71
Perhaps in stars consummated, whereon
The once earth-treading votaries of Truth
In soul reside, until a period when
Knowledge, advancing them from height to height,
And Love, grown perfect, shall have nurtured forth
Angelic wings for heaven.
But by these
I mean not such as with sour faces boast;
Blind moles of fear, who deem thy honour God
By offering up on outraged human hearts,
As upon blood-stained altars, every gay
And happy feeling, every rose wish
That sweetens human souls: and who, convened
In their dull tabernacles, all at once
Behowl the Diety as dogs the moon,
Or deprecate his wrath with grovelling rites,
And boisterous groans, that from stentorian lungs
Are grunted, swine-like, forth! Oh no! For such
The paradise of fools full wide extends
Her dismal gates!
I speak not thus in scorn;
Scorn is not sweet to me; but when the rights
Of man are trampled on; when villains sit
In the high places of the land, and sport
With what the just hold sacred; when mere wealth
Can win its Nestor’s favour, and the sleek
Regard even of its saints, and when religion
Itself is ever in a bad extreme—
A bloated pomp of mystery and show,
Or a most crude and coarse perversity,
Vile as a beggar’s raiment—then the scorn
Of indignation, then the brave disgust
Of righteous shame and honest hate, put forth
In tones like God’s own thunder burst aboard,
Are things the thin-souled scoundrel never feels.
Enough. The good I deem leave vain disputes
On things that are, and must be from their kind,
Mainly unknown, and still with faithful heed
Have care of those God gave them light to see
72
Strewn round their daily being: and of such
Rightfully choosing, and to fitting ends
Well shaping all, upbuild with honest hands
A true and simple life; and in the jars
Of national factions they alway, despite
Of frowning kings and banning priests afford
Their aid to freedom.
Yet will there come a day, though not to me,
When excellence of being shall be sought
Not only thus in vision, but within
The actual round of this diurnal world,—
A day whose light shall chase the clouds that veil
Upon the mountain tops of old repute
The imaginary gods of wrongful power,
And pierce thence downward to the vales of toil,
Healing and blessing all men—the great day
Of knowledge. Then the accident of birth—
That empty imposition! Or the claim
Of wealth—that earthly and most gnomish cheat!
Shall neither arrogate to any, proud
Distinctions as of right, nor qualify
Any by its sole influence for power
Over his fellows, but all men shall stand
Proudly beneath the fair wide roof of heaven,
As God-created equals, each the sire
Of his own worth, and the joint sanctioner
Of all political pertainment, all
Moral and social honour.
Yea, for such
Is Freedom’s charter traced upon the heart
Of our humanity, whene’er ’tis rid
Of the foul scroff of vice, and on the brain
Built godlike, when disclouded by God’s light
Of a too old distemper’s fatal rout,
Of boastful hell-suggested superstitions
And customs born of Error. And let none
Despair of such an advent; for, as when
Some solemn wood’s familiar cadences,
Deepening and deepening all around, portend
The salutary storm, even so the wide
73
Pervading instinct of a sure revolt
Against the ancient tyrannies of the earth
Roams on before it in the living stress
Of knowledge, omening the unborn change
By harshening still to the fine ear of thought
The daily jar of customary wrongs.
And let none fear that earthly power, or aught
Less than Omnipotence, can still or stay
The solemn prelude that for ever thus
Keeps deepening round and onward in the front
Of that great victory over wrong, which time
Shall witness—wrong and its abettors, all
Whom lust of sway unsanctioned by the truth
Shall to the last disnature; for the spirit
It first evokes—a mighty will to think—
Doth thenceforth charge it with oracular tones
That may not be mistaken.
Yea, great thoughts
With great thoughts coalescing through the world,
Into the future of all progress pour
Sun-prophecies, there quickening what were else
Nascent too long.
Chorus of the Hours
O why is not this beauteous earth
The Eden men imagine—the fair seat
Of fruitful peace, pure love, and sunny mirth?
And why are its prime souls, though so complete
In apprehension of a Godlike state,
The subjects ever of fraternal hate—
Oppressing or oppressed,
That so the portion is of all, deceit
And fear, and anger, sorrow, and unrest?
There’s not one bright enduring thing
In this great round of nature that appears—
No shining stars, no river murmuring,
No morn-crowned hill, no golden evening scene,
That hath not glimmered and distorted been
Through the dim mist of tears—
74
Tears not as blood from some wrung human brain,
Throbbing and aching with unpitied pain!
There is not one green mound, existent long
In any region, nor old wayside stone,
On which some weary child of social wrong
Hath sat not—there, alone,
To bite his pallid lip and heave the unheeded groan!
And such hath been the state of man
Since first the race’s recreancy began;
And thus his piety is scared away
From earth, its proper home,
To seek vague heavens above the source of day;
Or out beyond the gorgeous gloom
Wherewith dusk evening curtains up the west;
There flying, like the psalmist’s dove, to rest
In sinless gardens of perpetual bloom
And islands of the blest.
Ah! My heart
Is like a core of fire within my breast,
And by this agony is all my mind
Shaken away from its tenacious hold
Of time and sensuous things. Now come, thou meek
Religious trust, that sometime to my soul
Fliest friendly, like a heaven-descended dove,
With wings that whisper of the peace of God!
Come, and assure it now, that all thus seen
Of evil, by the patience of the One
Almighty Master of the Universe,
Is but allowed, to dash our vain repose
On Time’s foundations, and all mad belief
In human consequence; that, finally,
Amid the death of expectations fond,—
Discoveries diurnal that the pomps
And pleasures of the world are but bright mists
Concealing, mid its heights of pomp and shame,
Its depths of degradation,—that all weal,
Beauty, and peace, even in their permanence,
Are but the florid riches of a soil
75
That crusts the cone of some yet masked volcano,
Whose darling fires but wait the dread command:
“Up, to the work appointed! ”—we at length,
Even thus admonished, thus in hope and heart
Subdued and chastened, might be so constrained
To look between the thunder-bearing clouds
That darken over this mysterious ball s
Blind face, for surer, better things beyond
Its flying scenes of doubtful good, commixed
With evident evil: yea, conclude at last
That wereso in the universe of God
Our better home may be, it is not here;
Then here why build we?
O! Then, farewell,
Fancy and Hope, twin angels of the past!
Thee, Fancy, chiefly of my younger life
The spiritual spouse, farewell! With all
Thy pictured equipage: the shapes sublime
Of universal liberty and right,
Dethroning tyrants and investing worth
Alone with power and honour; and with these
Fair visions that come shining to the heart
Like evening stars from a serener air
Of generosity, in rapture high
At rival excellence; of charity
Living in secret for her own sweet sake;
Of mercy lifting up a fallen foe;
Of pity yearning o’er the child of shame;
Unselfish love, and resolute friendship—all,
Even to common trust—farewell! These lights
May never burn in the grey dome of time
or constellate for me the world again!
No more! No, never more.
The Cemetery
Here, only here
In the dark dwellings of this silent city
Is rest for the world-weary. Slander here,
Disease and poverty, forego their victim;
76
The fox of envy and the wolf of scorn
Snarl not within these gates. The enemy
Who comes to triumph o’er the powerless bones
That once he feared, still hates—even as he comes,
By the dismaying silence smitten, stops,
Listening for some far reproachful voice
Heard only through the mystery of his soul,
And, shuddering, asks forgiveness. Slept I here,
And should an enemy so plead, and might
My injured spirit, hovering over, hear—
The boon were granted. O that here, even now,
The sense were frozen to forgetfulness
That I, upon this populous star of God,
This earth that I was born to, and have loved,
Am utterly uncared-for and alone!
Whither?
Alas! These thoughts are storming all my soul
With madness—yea, the madness of despair!
And though my reason lifting up its strength
As desperately confronts them, just as well
Might the poor castaway, who helpless stands
On some bleak rock in the mid ocean, preach
Obedience to the breakers surging round
That perilous point, as I (in this wild gloom)
Strive to o’ercome them—And why should I strive?
No, rather let them howl like midnight wolves
Within my failing brain, and gnaw and tug
At my sick heart, their bitter food, for they
Will help me to my one desire—death.
Be his rest who sleeps below,
Done to death by toil and woe,
Sound and sweet.
So much in fortune did he lack,
So little meet
Of kindness, as with bleeding feet
He journeyed life’s most barren track,
That only hate in its deceit,
Not love, not pity, would entreat
77
To have him back.
But he sleeps well where many a bloom
That might not grace his living home
Pranks the raised sod:
Tokening, perhaps, that one who here
Missed the world’s smile, hath met elsewhere
The smile of God.
~ Charles Harpur,
257:The Emigrants: Book Ii
Scene, on an Eminence on one of those Downs, which afford to the South a
view of the Sea; to the North of the Weald of Sussex. Time, an Afternoon in
April, 1793.

Long wintry months are past; the Moon that now
Lights her pale crescent even at noon, has made
Four times her revolution; since with step,
Mournful and slow, along the wave-worn cliff,
Pensive I took my solitary way,
Lost in despondence, while contemplating
Not my own wayward destiny alone,
(Hard as it is, and difficult to bear!)
But in beholding the unhappy lot
Of the lorn Exiles; who, amid the storms
Of wild disastrous Anarchy, are thrown,
Like shipwreck'd sufferers, on England's coast,
To see, perhaps, no more their native land,
Where Desolation riots: They, like me,
From fairer hopes and happier prospects driven,
Shrink from the future, and regret the past.
But on this Upland scene, while April comes,
With fragrant airs, to fan my throbbing breast,
Fain would I snatch an interval from Care,
That weighs my wearied spirit down to earth;
Courting, once more, the influence of Hope
(For "Hope" still waits upon the flowery prime)
As here I mark Spring's humid hand unfold
The early leaves that fear capricious winds,
While, even on shelter'd banks, the timid flowers
Give, half reluctantly, their warmer hues
To mingle with the primroses' pale stars.
No shade the leafless copses yet afford,
Nor hide the mossy labours of the Thrush,
That, startled, darts across the narrow path;
But quickly re-assur'd, resumes his talk,
Or adds his louder notes to those that rise
From yonder tufted brake; where the white buds
Of the first thorn are mingled with the leaves
164
Of that which blossoms on the brow of May.
Ah! 'twill not be:---- So many years have pass'd,
Since, on my native hills, I learn'd to gaze
On these delightful landscapes; and those years
Have taught me so much sorrow, that my soul
Feels not the joy reviving Nature brings;
But, in dark retrospect, dejected dwells
On human follies, and on human woes.---What is the promise of the infant year,
The lively verdure, or the bursting blooms,
To those, who shrink from horrors such as War
Spreads o'er the affrighted world? With swimming eye,
Back on the past they throw their mournful looks,
And see the Temple, which they fondly hop'd
Reason would raise to Liberty, destroy'd
By ruffian hands; while, on the ruin'd mass,
Flush'd with hot blood, the Fiend of Discord sits
In savage triumph; mocking every plea
Of policy and justice, as she shews
The headless corse of one, whose only crime
Was being born a Monarch--Mercy turns,
From spectacle so dire, her swol'n eyes;
And Liberty, with calm, unruffled brow
Magnanimous, as conscious of her strength
In Reason's panoply, scorns to distain
Her righteous cause with carnage, and resigns
To Fraud and Anarchy the infuriate crowd.---What is the promise of the infant year
To those, who (while the poor but peaceful hind
Pens, unmolested, the encreasing flock
Of his rich master in this sea-fenc'd isle)
Survey, in neighbouring countries, scenes that make
The sick heart shudder; and the Man, who thinks,
Blush for his species? There the trumpet's voice
Drowns the soft warbling of the woodland choir;
And violets, lurking in their turfy beds
Beneath the flow'ring thorn, are stain'd with blood.
There fall, at once, the spoiler and the spoil'd;
While War, wide-ravaging, annihilates
The hope of cultivation; gives to Fiends,
The meagre, ghastly Fiends of Want and Woe,
The blasted land--There, taunting in the van
165
Of vengeance-breathing armies, Insult stalks;
And, in the ranks, "1 Famine, and Sword, and Fire,
"Crouch for employment."--Lo! the suffering world,
Torn by the fearful conflict, shrinks, amaz'd,
From Freedom's name, usurp'd and misapplied,
And, cow'ring to the purple Tyrant's rod,
Deems that the lesser ill--Deluded Men!
Ere ye prophane her ever-glorious name,
Or catalogue the thousands that have bled
Resisting her; or those, who greatly died
Martyrs to Liberty --revert awhile
To the black scroll, that tells of regal crimes
Committed to destroy her; rather count
The hecatombs of victims, who have fallen
Beneath a single despot; or who gave
Their wasted lives for some disputed claim
Between anointed robbers: 2 Monsters both!
"3 Oh! Polish'd perturbation--golden care!"
So strangely coveted by feeble Man
To lift him o'er his fellows;--Toy, for which
Such showers of blood have drench'd th' affrighted earth-Unfortunate his lot, whose luckless head
Thy jewel'd circlet, lin'd with thorns, has bound;
And who, by custom's laws, obtains from thee
Hereditary right to rule, uncheck'd,
Submissive myriads: for untemper'd power,
Like steel ill form'd, injures the hand
It promis'd to protect--Unhappy France!
If e'er thy lilies, trampled now in dust,
And blood-bespotted, shall again revive
In silver splendour, may the wreath be wov'n
By voluntary hands; and Freemen, such
As England's self might boast, unite to place
The guarded diadem on his fair brow,
Where Loyalty may join with Liberty
To fix it firmly.--In the rugged school
Of stern Adversity so early train'd,
His future life, perchance, may emulate
That of the brave Bernois 4 , so justly call'd
The darling of his people; who rever'd
The Warrior less, than they ador'd the Man!
But ne'er may Party Rage, perverse and blind,
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And base Venality, prevail to raise
To public trust, a wretch, whose private vice
Makes even the wildest profligate recoil;
And who, with hireling ruffians leagu'd, has burst
The laws of Nature and Humanity!
Wading, beneath the Patriot's specious mask,
And in Equality's illusive name,
To empire thro' a stream of kindred blood-Innocent prisoner!--most unhappy heir
Of fatal greatness, who art suffering now
For all the crimes and follies of thy race;
Better for thee, if o'er thy baby brow
The regal mischief never had been held:
Then, in an humble sphere, perhaps content,
Thou hadst been free and joyous on the heights
Of Pyrennean mountains, shagg'd with woods
Of chesnut, pine, and oak: as on these hills
Is yonder little thoughtless shepherd lad,
Who, on the slope abrupt of downy turf
Reclin'd in playful indolence, sends off
The chalky ball, quick bounding far below;
While, half forgetful of his simple task,
Hardly his length'ning shadow, or the bells'
Slow tinkling of his flock, that supping tend
To the brown fallows in the vale beneath,
Where nightly it is folded, from his sport
Recal the happy idler.--While I gaze
On his gay vacant countenance, my thoughts
Compare with his obscure, laborious lot,
Thine, most unfortunate, imperial Boy!
Who round thy sullen prison daily hear'st
The savage howl of Murder, as it seeks
Thy unoffending life: while sad within
Thy wretched Mother, petrified with grief,
Views thee with stony eyes, and cannot weep!-Ah! much I mourn thy sorrows, hapless Queen!
And deem thy expiation made to Heaven
For every fault, to which Prosperity
Betray'd thee, when it plac'd thee on a throne
Where boundless power was thine, and thou wert rais'd
High (as it seem'd) above the envious reach
Of destiny! Whate'er thy errors were,
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Be they no more remember'd; tho' the rage
Of Party swell'd them to such crimes, as bade
Compassion stifle every sigh that rose
For thy disastrous lot--More than enough
Thou hast endur'd; and every English heart,
Ev'n those, that highest beat in Freedom's cause,
Disclaim as base, and of that cause unworthy,
The Vengeance, or the Fear, that makes thee still
A miserable prisoner!--Ah! who knows,
From sad experience, more than I, to feel
For thy desponding spirit, as it sinks
Beneath procrastinated fears for those
More dear to thee than life! But eminence
Of misery is thine, as once of joy;
And, as we view the strange vicissitude,
We ask anew, where happiness is found?-----Alas! in rural life, where youthful dreams
See the Arcadia that Romance describes,
Not even Content resides!--In yon low hut
Of clay and thatch, where rises the grey smoke
Of smold'ring turf, cut from the adjoining moor,
The labourer, its inhabitant, who toils
From the first dawn of twilight, till the Sun
Sinks in the rosy waters of the West,
Finds that with poverty it cannot dwell;
For bread, and scanty bread, is all he earns
For him and for his household--Should Disease,
Born of chill wintry rains, arrest his arm,
Then, thro' his patch'd and straw-stuff'd casement, peeps
The squalid figure of extremest Want;
And from the Parish the reluctant dole,
Dealt by th' unfeeling farmer, hardly saves
The ling'ring spark of life from cold extinction:
Then the bright Sun of Spring, that smiling bids
All other animals rejoice, beholds,
Crept from his pallet, the emaciate wretch
Attempt, with feeble effort, to resume
Some heavy task, above his wasted strength,
Turning his wistful looks (how much in vain!)
To the deserted mansion, where no more
The owner (gone to gayer scenes) resides,
Who made even luxury, Virtue; while he gave
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The scatter'd crumbs to honest Poverty.-But, tho' the landscape be too oft deform'd
By figures such as these, yet Peace is here,
And o'er our vallies, cloath'd with springing corn,
No hostile hoof shall trample, nor fierce flames
Wither the wood's young verdure, ere it form
Gradual the laughing May's luxuriant shade;
For, by the rude sea guarded, we are safe,
And feel not evils such as with deep sighs
The Emigrants deplore, as, they recal
The Summer past, when Nature seem'd to lose
Her course in wild distemperature, and aid,
With seasons all revers'd, destructive War.
Shuddering, I view the pictures they have drawn
Of desolated countries, where the ground,
Stripp'd of its unripe produce, was thick strewn
With various Death--the war-horse falling there
By famine, and his rider by the sword.
The moping clouds sail'd heavy charg'd with rain,
And bursting o'er the mountains misty brow,
Deluged, as with an inland sea, the vales 5 ;
Where, thro' the sullen evening's lurid gloom,
Rising, like columns of volcanic fire,
The flames of burning villages illum'd
The waste of water; and the wind, that howl'd
Along its troubled surface, brought the groans
Of plunder'd peasants, and the frantic shrieks
Of mothers for their children; while the brave,
To pity still alive, listen'd aghast
To these dire echoes, hopeless to prevent
The evils they beheld, or check the rage,
Which ever, as the people of one land
Meet in contention, fires the human heart
With savage thirst of kindred blood, and makes
Man lose his nature; rendering him more fierce
Than the gaunt monsters of the howling waste.
Oft have I heard the melancholy tale,
Which, all their native gaiety forgot,
These Exiles tell--How Hope impell'd them on,
Reckless of tempest, hunger, or the sword,
Till order'd to retreat, they knew not why,
From all their flattering prospects, they became
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The prey of dark suspicion and regret 6 :
Then, in despondence, sunk the unnerv'd arm
Of gallant Loyalty--At every turn
Shame and disgrace appear'd, and seem'd to mock
Their scatter'd squadrons; which the warlike youth,
Unable to endure, often implor'd,
As the last act of friendship, from the hand
Of some brave comrade, to receive the blow
That freed the indignant spirit from its pain.
To a wild mountain, whose bare summit hides
Its broken eminence in clouds; whose steeps
Are dark with woods; where the receding rocks
Are worn by torrents of dissolving snow,
A wretched Woman, pale and breathless, flies!
And, gazing round her, listens to the sound
Of hostile footsteps---- No! it dies away:
Nor noise remains, but of the cataract,
Or surly breeze of night, that mutters low
Among the thickets, where she trembling seeks
A temporary shelter--clasping close
To her hard-heaving heart, her sleeping child,
All she could rescue of the innocent groupe
That yesterday surrounded her--Escap'd
Almost by miracle! Fear, frantic Fear,
Wing'd her weak feet: yet, half repentant now
Her headlong haste, she wishes she had staid
To die with those affrighted Fancy paints
The lawless soldier's victims--Hark! again
The driving tempest bears the cry of Death,
And, with deep sudden thunder, the dread sound
Of cannon vibrates on the tremulous earth;
While, bursting in the air, the murderous bomb
Glares o'er her mansion. Where the splinters fall,
Like scatter'd comets, its destructive path
Is mark'd by wreaths of flame!--Then, overwhelm'd
Beneath accumulated horror, sinks
The desolate mourner; yet, in Death itself,
True to maternal tenderness, she tries
To save the unconscious infant from the storm
In which she perishes; and to protect
This last dear object of her ruin'd hopes
From prowling monsters, that from other hills,
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More inaccessible, and wilder wastes,
Lur'd by the scent of slaughter, follow fierce
Contending hosts, and to polluted fields
Add dire increase of horrors--But alas!
The Mother and the Infant perish both!-The feudal Chief, whose Gothic battlements
Frown on the plain beneath, returning home
From distant lands, alone and in disguise,
Gains at the fall of night his Castle walls,
But, at the vacant gate, no Porter sits
To wait his Lord's admittance!--In the courts
All is drear silence!--Guessing but too well
The fatal truth, he shudders as he goes
Thro' the mute hall; where, by the blunted light
That the dim moon thro' painted casements lends,
He sees that devastation has been there:
Then, while each hideous image to his mind
Rises terrific, o'er a bleeding corse
Stumbling he falls; another interrupts
His staggering feet--all, all who us'd to rush
With joy to meet him--all his family
Lie murder'd in his way!--And the day dawns
On a wild raving Maniac, whom a fate
So sudden and calamitous has robb'd
Of reason; and who round his vacant walls
Screams unregarded, and reproaches Heaven!-Such are thy dreadful trophies, savage War!
And evils such as these, or yet more dire,
Which the pain'd mind recoils from, all are thine-The purple Pestilence, that to the grave
Sends whom the sword has spar'd, is thine; and thine
The Widow's anguish and the Orphan's tears!-Woes such as these does Man inflict on Man;
And by the closet murderers, whom we style
Wise Politicians; are the schemes prepar'd,
Which, to keep Europe's wavering balance even,
Depopulate her kingdoms, and consign
To tears and anguish half a bleeding world!-Oh! could the time return, when thoughts like these
Spoil'd not that gay delight, which vernal Suns,
Illuminating hills, and woods, and fields,
Gave to my infant spirits--Memory come!
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And from distracting cares, that now deprive
Such scenes of all their beauty, kindly bear
My fancy to those hours of simple joy,
When, on the banks of Arun, which I see
Make its irriguous course thro' yonder meads,
I play'd; unconscious then of future ill!
There (where, from hollows fring'd with yellow broom,
The birch with silver rind, and fairy leaf,
Aslant the low stream trembles) I have stood,
And meditated how to venture best
Into the shallow current, to procure
The willow herb of glowing purple spikes,
Or flags, whose sword-like leaves conceal'd the tide,
Startling the timid reed-bird from her nest,
As with aquatic flowers I wove the wreath,
Such as, collected by the shepherd girls,
Deck in the villages the turfy shrine,
And mark the arrival of propitious May.-How little dream'd I then the time would come,
When the bright Sun of that delicious month
Should, from disturb'd and artificial sleep,
Awaken me to never-ending toil,
To terror and to tears!--Attempting still,
With feeble hands and cold desponding heart,
To save my children from the o'erwhelming wrongs,
That have for ten long years been heap'd on me!-The fearful spectres of chicane and fraud
Have, Proteus like, still chang'd their hideous forms
(As the Law lent its plausible disguise),
Pursuing my faint steps; and I have seen
Friendship's sweet bonds (which were so early form'd,)
And once I fondly thought of amaranth
Inwove with silver seven times tried) give way,
And fail; as these green fan-like leaves of fern
Will wither at the touch of Autumn's frost.
Yet there are those , whose patient pity still
Hears my long murmurs; who, unwearied, try
With lenient hands to bind up every wound
My wearied spirit feels, and bid me go
"Right onward 7 "--a calm votary of the Nymph,
Who, from her adamantine rock, points out
To conscious rectitude the rugged path,
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That leads at length to Peace!--Ah! yes, my friends
Peace will at last be mine; for in the Grave
Is Peace--and pass a few short years, perchance
A few short months, and all the various pain
I now endure shall be forgotten there,
And no memorial shall remain of me,
Save in your bosoms; while even your regret
Shall lose its poignancy, as ye reflect
What complicated woes that grave conceals!
But, if the little praise, that may await
The Mother's efforts, should provoke the spleen
Of Priest or Levite; and they then arraign
The dust that cannot hear them; be it yours
To vindicate my humble fame; to say,
That, not in selfish sufferings absorb'd,
"I gave to misery all I had, my tears 8 ."
And if, where regulated sanctity
Pours her long orisons to Heaven, my voice
Was seldom heard, that yet my prayer was made
To him who hears even silence; not in domes
Of human architecture, fill'd with crowds,
But on these hills, where boundless, yet distinct,
Even as a map, beneath are spread the fields
His bounty cloaths; divided here by woods,
And there by commons rude, or winding brooks,
While I might breathe the air perfum'd with flowers,
Or the fresh odours of the mountain turf;
And gaze on clouds above me, as they sail'd
Majestic: or remark the reddening north,
When bickering arrows of electric fire
Flash on the evening sky--I made my prayer
In unison with murmuring waves that now
Swell with dark tempests, now are mild and blue,
As the bright arch above; for all to me
Declare omniscient goodness; nor need I
Declamatory essays to incite
My wonder or my praise, when every leaf
That Spring unfolds, and every simple bud,
More forcibly impresses on my heart
His power and wisdom--Ah! while I adore
That goodness, which design'd to all that lives
Some taste of happiness, my soul is pain'd
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By the variety of woes that Man
For Man creates--his blessings often turn'd
To plagues and curses: Saint-like Piety,
Misled by Superstition, has destroy'd
More than Ambition; and the sacred flame
Of Liberty becomes a raging fire,
When Licence and Confusion bid it blaze.
From thy high throne, above yon radiant stars,
O Power Omnipotent! with mercy view
This suffering globe, and cause thy creatures cease,
With savage fangs, to tear her bleeding breast:
Refrain that rage for power, that bids a Man,
Himself a worm, desire unbounded rule
O'er beings like himself: Teach the hard hearts
Of rulers, that the poorest hind, who dies
For their unrighteous quarrels, in thy sight
Is equal to the imperious Lord, that leads
His disciplin'd destroyers to the field.---May lovely Freedom, in her genuine charms,
Aided by stern but equal Justice, drive
From the ensanguin'd earth the hell-born fiends
Of Pride, Oppression, Avarice, and Revenge,
That ruin what thy mercy made so fair!
Then shall these ill-starr'd wanderers, whose sad fate
These desultory lines lament, regain
Their native country; private vengeance then
To public virtue yield; and the fierce feuds,
That long have torn their desolated land,
May (even as storms, that agitate the air,
Drive noxious vapours from the blighted earth)
Serve, all tremendous as they are, to fix
The reign of Reason, Liberty, and Peace!
~ Charlotte Smith,
258:The Manuscript Of Saint Alexius
There came a child into the solemn hall
where great Pope Innocent sat throned and heard
angry disputings on Free-Will in man,
Grace, Purity, and the Pelagian creed-an ignorantly bold poor child, who stood
shewing his rags before the Pope's own eyes,
and bade him come to shrive a beggar man
he found alone and dying in a shed,
who sent him for the Pope, "not any else
but the Pope's self." And Innocent arose
and hushed the mockers "Surely I will go:
servant of servants, I." So he went forth
to where the man lay sleeping into death,
and blessed him. Then, with a last spurt of life,
the dying man rose sitting, "Take," he said,
and placed a written scroll in the Pope's hand,
and so fell back and died. Thus said the scroll:
Alexius, meanest servant of the Lord,
son of Euphemianus, senator,
and of Aglaia, writes his history,
God willing it, which, if God so shall will,
shall be revealed when he is fallen asleep.
Spirit of Truth, Christ, and all saints of Heaven,
and Mary, perfect dove of guilelessness,
make his mind clear, that he write utter truth.
That which I was all know: that which I am
God knows, not I, if I stand near to Him
because I have not yielded, or, by curse
of recreant longings, am to Him a wretch
it needs Such grace to pardon: but I know
that one day soon I, dead, shall see His face
with that great pity on it which is ours
who love Him and have striven and then rest,
that I shall look on Him and be content.
For what I am, in my last days, to men,
'tis nothing; scarce a name, and even that
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known to be not my own; a wayside wretch
battening upon a rich lord's charity
and praying, (some say like the hypocrites),
a wayside wretch who, harboured for a night,
is harboured still, and, idle on the alms,
prays day and night and night and day, and fears
lest, even praying, he should suddenly
undo his prayer and perish and be great
and rich and happy. Jesu, keep me Thine.
Father and mother, when ye hear of me,
(for I shall choose so sure a messenger
whom God will shew me), when ye hear these words,
and Claudia, whom I dead will dare count mine,
bidding her pray she be Christ's more than mine,
believe I loved you; know it; but, beloved,
you never will know how much till at length
God bids you know all things in the new life.
Alas, you have had little joy of me:
beloved, could I have given drops of blood
in place of your shed tears, the cruellest wounds
had been my perfect joys: but both my love
and your distress needs were my cross to bear.
Forgive me that you sorrowed. And be glad
because you sorrowed and your sorrow was
holy to God, a sacrifice to Him.
Know now, all men who read or hear my words,
that I, Alexius, lived in much delights
of a dear home where they who looked on me
looked with a smile, and where I did but smile
to earn sweet praises as for some good deed:
I was the sunlight to my mother's eyes,
that waked their deepest blueness and warm glow,
I was my father's joy, ambition, boast,
his hope and his fulfilment. It may be
I grew too strong a link betwixt their hearts
and this poor world whose best gifts seemed to them
destined for me, grew, when they looked on Heaven,
a blur upon their sight, too largely near,
as any trivial tiny shape held close
will make eclipse against the eye it fills:
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and so, maybe. for their sake, not for mine,
God took me from them, me, their only son,
for whom they prayed, and trebled pious deeds,
and took thought in this life.
I grew by them,
learning all meet for my estate on earth,
but learning more, what they taught more, of God,
and loving most that learning. And at times,
even from childhood, would my heart grow still
and seem to feel Him, hear Him, and I knew,
but not with ears, a voice that spoke no words
yet called me. And, as ignorant children choose
"I will be emperor when I am big,"
my foolish wont was "I will be a saint:"
later, when riper sense brought humbleness,
I said "When I am grown a man, my lot
Shall be with those who vow their lives to Christ."
But, when my father thought my words took shape
of other than boy's prattle, he grew grave,
and answered me "Alexius, thou art young,
and canst not judge of duties; but know this
thine is to serve God, living in the world."
And still the days went on, and still I felt
the silent voice that called me: then I said
"My father, now I am no more a child,
and I can know my heart; give me to God:"
but he replied "God gives no son save thee
to keep our fathers' name alive, and thus
He shews thy place and duty:" and, with tears,
my mother said "God gives no child save thee;
make me not childless." And their words seemed God's
more than my heart's, theirs who had rule on me.
But still my longing grew, and still the voice:
and they both answered "Had God need of thee
to leave thy natural place none else can fill,
there would be signs which none could doubt, nor we
nor thou thyself." And I received that word;
knowing I doubted since they bade me doubt.
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And still the days went on, and still the voice
and then my father said "The bride is chosen,
if thou wilt have her; if not, choose thyself."
And more and more I prayed "Give me to God:"
and more and more they urged "Whom gives He us
save thee to keep our name alive? whom else
to stay us from a desolate old age,
and give us children prattling at our knees?"
and more and more they answered "Shew to us
how He has called thee from thy certain path
where He has set thy feet?" Wherefore I said
"I will obey, and will so serve my God
as you have bidden me serve Him, honouring you:"
and they two blessed me, and we were agreed.
And afterwards Euphemianus laughed
"He asks not of the bride; but, boy, art pleased?
'tis thy fair playmate Claudia, fair and good."
I, who asked not because I nothing cared,
was glad in afterthinking: for the girl
lad been my playmate, and of later time
knew her beauty with familiar eyes
and no more feared it than I feared the grace
of useless goddesses perfect in stone,
lingering dishonoured in unholy nooks
where comes no worship more; so that I mused
"The damsel brings no perilous wedding gift
of amorous unknown fetters for my soul;
my soul shall still be spared me, consecrate,
virgin to God until the better days
when I may live the life alone with Him:"
so was I comforted.
But, in the hour
when all the rite was done and the new bride
come to her home, I sitting half apart,
my mother took her fondly by the hand
and drew her, lagging timidly, to me,
and spoke "Look up my daughter, look on him:
Alexius, shall I tell what I have guessed,
how this girl loves you?" Then she raised her head
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a moment long, and looked: and I grew white,
and sank back sickly. For I suddenly
knew that I might know that which men call love.
And through the tedious feast my mind was torn
with reasonings and repentance. For I said
"But I may love her," and kept marshalling forth
such scriptures as should seem to grant it me:
then would an anguish hurl my fabric down,
while I discerned that he who has put hand
upon the plough must never turn again
to take the joyaunce granted easy lives.
And bye and bye I stole away and went,
half conscious, through the darkling garden groves,
amid the evening silence, till I came
to a small lonely chapel, little used,
left open by I know not what new chance,
where there was patterned out in polished stones
Peter denying Christ. I hastened in,
and threw me on the floor, and would have prayed;
but, in a rush of tears, I fell asleep.
And there I dreamed: meseemed the easy years
had slipped along, and I sat, pleased and proud,
among my ruddy children, and I held
my wife's smooth hand, who but so much had changed
as to grow fairer in her womanhood;
and, facing us, a carved and marble Christ
hung on a Cross and gazed with Its dumb eyes,
I looking on It: and I turned my head
to smile to Claudia, and then looked again;
behold Its right arm moved, and then was still,
And a low voice came forth "Alexius, come."
And I replied "Oh Lord I am content;
but lo my father."
Then my father stood,
meseemed, beside me, leading in his hand
a sturdy urchin, copy of himself,
and answered "Son, my ears do hear thee called;
and now I have this son of thine: go forth."
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And once again the voice, "Alexius, come."
And I replied "My Lord, I am content;
but lo my mother."
Then my mother stood,
meseemed, beside me, and her arm was wound
round my wife's neck, and clinging to her skirt
a baby boy and girl that teased and played
and clamoured for her kisses: so she stood,
and answered "Son, my ears do hear thee called;
and now this daughter hast thou given me,
and now I have these babes of thine: go forth."
And louder then the voice, "Alexius, come."
And I replied "Dear Lord, I am content;
I come."
Then Claudia's hand grew tight in mine,
and I looked on her face and saw it so
as when my mother bade her look on me,
and I replied "Oh Lord I were content,
but lo my wife."
And still again the voice;
and still again her hand that drew mine back;
and I replied "My wife: I cannot come."
And still again the voice, "Alexius, come,"
loud and in wrath.
And I replied "My wife:
I will not come."
And with that word I woke.
I was in darkness, and the door was locked,
(doubtless while I, asleep or tranced, lay dumb
some one had sought me there and had not found,
and so had gone, unconscious, prisoning me);
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I groped my way toward the altar steps,
and thanked my God, and prayed.
When morning broke
I heard without two voices, as it seemed
of holy pilgrims talking, and one said
"The youth Alexius surely has fled forth
to serve God safelier;" the other said
"Then doth he well; for now that better part
shall none take from him, he shall be all God's
and only God's, not father's, mother's, son's,
nor any fond fair woman's." Then they went.
But I was still there prisoned. Day moved on,
and brightened, and then waned, and darkness came,
broken by one white moonbeam, for an hour,
that seemed a promise, and, in that good hope,
I prayed, then slept.
But when morn grew again,
and no deliverance came, but frequent steps,
and voices passing, I grew scared with doubts
if, keeping silence, as from enemies,
and by my silence dying, I should be
self-murdered or God's martyr; and I thought
how, maybe, at the last my fainting voice
should vainly cry too late, and I should pass
with none to give God's comfort. But I thought
"If God wills even that, then let it be."
But when the noon sun glowed I heard a hand
touch at the door, and crouched me in a nook,
and scarce had crouched when Claudia passed by me
with slow steps to the altar: she prayed long;
praying, poor child, to have me given back,
claiming me back of Heaven, as if her right
could equal That right, crying out for me
by loving names, and weeping, that my heart
went out of me towards her, wondering,
and yearned for her. But God was pitiful,
so that I swerved not.
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When I heard her vow
to pray there daily, I perceived through her
deliverance should come shortly: and I planned
to stand within the shadow the noon light
threw from a massive column by the door,
and, when she had passed in and hid her face,
get me forth softly.
But the flesh was weak,
and when I waked again the noon beams fell
full on the face of Peter where he wept
repenting; Claudia was already there.
I thought a moment should I not come forth,
and charge her let none know, and go my way;
but, did she give one startled sudden cry,
womanlike, I had been betrayed: and then
I feared her if she wept.
May God forgive
my weak heart then, my weak heart all my days,
which never has been so strong as not feel
always the fall at hand, but then so weak
that some few urgent tears and soft sad words
might, haply might, have bought me from my God.
So she went forth, unconscious: and I prayed
death should not come at night, with none at hand
to minister beside me, and in faith
I laid me down to wait what God should send.
And in a little while she came again,
and sought and found a gold and emerald pin,
(one of the gifts they made me give to her),
dropped from her loosened hair, then, kissing it,
passed out, and, for a moment long, forgot
to make the door fast, turned back to the task,
then, murmuring "Why? For it is better thus,
when whoso wills can enter in and pray,"
left it and went.
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Then free, I made my vow
to live unknown, unhonoured, with no ties,
no certain home, no aims, no rights, no name,
an unregarded wanderer, whose steps,
by whichsoever road they passed, but passed
to travel nearer Heaven. And, for a sign,
I made a secret place and hid my ring
under the altar.
You will find it there:
at the right hand a cross upon an A
cut on the floor, so small you must look well,
and near it, at the altar-base, a crack
I found there in the chiselling, (just behind
a cherub's wing), is closed with dust and earth;
there lies the ring. Give it me mine again,
it and my name I take back for my grave,
as I take back my kinsfolk and my friends
to pray and mourn for me and give God thanks.
That done, I got me forth, and saw none nigh,
(the search near home being over, as it seemed),
and with my best poor speed I found a copse
whose green thick tangles hid me: there I lay
till the cool nightfall came and patient stars
watched Earth asleep, as if they prayed for her;
and other eyes saw not save theirs, and those
that look from Heaven, when I came sickly forth
and dragged my limp and failing limbs along.
I made my clothes in tatters; thus I went
and begged food at a convent for my life
that else were flickered out: so they gave food,
and they gave shelter: and at dawn I went,
while none who could have known had looked on me,
and, hastening on my journey, followed forth
my fellow-Roman Tiber's seaward strides,
and reached the port. There, as I since have learned,
Euphemianus had left men in wait
while he searched otherwhere: but God ruled all.
A little ship was just launched out to sea,
172
her heel still caught upon the grating beach,
the men were good and took the pilgrim in
who at the farewell moment called to them,
and, in what while I know not, but it seemed
as short as in a dream are days and years,
I saw my shores grown narrow purple clouds,
and then (for I write truth though shaming me)
I broke into such weeping that the men
felt whiteness in their cheeks, and, marvelling,
sent whispers to and fro, in doubt of me
lest witchcraft held me or my some deep crime
had set a curse demoniac; and they schemed
if they should put back to be rid of me,
but one said "Tush! the youth weeps for his home;
at his age, maybe, some of us could weep;
let him alone."
A rough and grizzled man,
who after, at the haven, came and clapped
a great hand on my shoulder, "Look, my boy,
you keep your secrets safer: for I heard
of a hot hunt after a great man's son,
and when I saw you weep ...... Well go your way,
my tongue shall earn no wages by its blab.
Maybe at your age I should have fled too,
if yoked against my will; but I am old
and preach go home again. Some say she's fair;
and a fair woman, love her or not love,
is a fair woman: but, or fair or foul,
be wise, young sir, be wise; never go starve
because your cake's not candied to your taste."
I said "Kind friend, I have no home to seek;
God gives me not a home till bye and bye,"
and left him. So my pilgrimage began.
But, oh vain heart of man! can this be true
which I remember, that I, plodding on,
whither I did not ask me, as God willed,
undoubting and ungrieving, yea, puffed up
to feel my heart was numb of all regret,
carrying upon my lips (as men will burr
a day long some persistent measured strain)
173
for refrain-catch "Now all and only God's,"
drew from my bosom, with my crucifix,
a withered crumpled weed, a clinging thing
that, green and dainty, new brushed from its root,
with one white flower-speck on it, trailed its sprays
athwart the purple hem of Claudia's veil
the last time in the chapel while she prayed;
it lay upon the floor when she was gone.
A worthless grass, what good was it to me?
and, lo, made fellow with my crucifix!
yet surely I had done it scarce aware,
for now I gazed on it so stupidly
as though a secret hand had placed it there
to set a riddle so, nor could recall
what thought I took it with. But see what snares
I fled from, flying Claudia; suddenly
the thing was at my lips, in such a kiss
as, maybe, lovers kiss on women's mouths,
in such a kiss howbeit as brought forth shame
almost in its own birth. I hurled the weed,
the viperous thing, into the battling surf
that dragged and sucked the booming shingles down,
lashing the beach before a coming storm;
I hurled it forth and went.
It seems to me,
looking back now, as if that made an end.
I think I had no temptings afterwards.
Natheless my grief was bitter many times
remembering home: but that I felt not sin,
because 'twas as a soul among the dead
might sorrow, never wishing to come back.
And Claudia was not of my memories:
scarcely at all: a stray bad dream at night
would bring her to me, make me dream I wept
because I might not love her, but not dream
that I did love; in daytime she came not.
Ten years I wandered: who cares know the whither?
a pilgrim and alone I trod my way,
no man regarding me. Alone with God:
174
whether in deserts or the throng of towns;
whether upon the mountain-tops, whence earth
shows sometimes so too exquisite for man
as though the devil had leave to fashion it
and cozen us with its beauty; or below,
where in the valleys one beholds the hills
grow nearer Heaven at sunset; or my ears
full of the hymn of waters, where the sea
breaks at one's feet among the rough brown rocks;
whether in pain, in weariness, in fear,
or, thankful, taking comfortable rest;
always alone with God.
So for ten years:
and in the later of them I had peace:
so for ten years, and then, by what degrees
I know not, (for the stupor crept like sleep,
slowly yet sudden on one at the last),
my peace became a blankness. And one day
I sought to rouse me, questioning "Where is God?"
and could not weep because I found him not,
yea, could not rouse me. And my prayers were words,
like trite goodmorrows when two gossips meet
and never look for answers; and my praise
was rounded like the song the poet makes
to one who never lived for him to love.
I was my Pharisee to cheat myself
and make myself believe me that God's friend
I had forgotten what it felt to be.
So, when I saw this plainly, I took thought,
pondering how it should be that when I pined
for thirst of human love I loved God more
and felt His love more near me than when now
my heart was swept and garnished, void for Him:
at last I saw my need of quickening pain
to stir the sluggish soul awake in me,
and knew I offered nothing to my Lord,
offering Him that it cost me nought to give;
what good to turn to Him, "Lord I leave all,"
if all be noway precious?
175
I arose
and set my face to Rome, making all haste.
On the forty-seventh day I saw the sun
droop to the hills behind my father's house,
and lo, while I toiled up the rude ascent,
our last slope of the Aventine, there came,
riding apart and grave, from the far side,
Euphemianus. When he reached the gate
he entered not, but seemed to point me out
to the servitors that followed with his hawks,
and watched me coming upwards painfully.
And when he saw me footsore and so spent
he had compassion: ere my prayer was done,
"Food, my good lord, and rest, for charity,"
he bade them take me in.
Six years ago:
and now I die here. No one bade depart;
they gave me daily scraps, and let me live
in the shed for harbouring squalid wanderers
that sleep a night, and take their alms, and go.
None knew me; who should know me? Gone away,
past ten years since, a comely petted boy,
and now a half decrepit sickly wretch,
a lean and shrivelled carcase, the ten years
writ twenty on my leathery wrinkled face,
how was I their Alexius? Nay, they looked
and saw the stranger in the beggar's shed
they called, for want of name, Old Lazarus.
In the beggar's shed with God: with God again!
Oh exquisite pain that brought so exquisite joy!
even by instant peril to be lost
lo I was saved. Oh blessed exquisite pain!
my heart awoke, for anguish, and felt God.
I saw my father pass out and pass in;
sometimes he noted me and spoke a word
or looked a careless greeting, oftenest not;
I saw him daily, and I learned his face
176
how stern long sorrow made it and how still,
and, when some days he could not make a smile,
I heard the servants whisper "Do you see?
this is his lost son's birthday," or "the day
his son fled forth," or else "his baptism,"
"confirming," "going to school," all such home dates
as parents count who watch their children grow:
and he was changed, they said, cared not to see
friends' faces greeting him, nor join in talk,
but would be solitary; changed, they said,
since that strange losing of his only child.
My mother I saw not in the first days,
for she came never forth, but sat and slept,
and wakened querulous, and slept again.
And Claudia tended her: I had not thought
to find her here; I looked she'd count me dead
and marry her, ('tis known what women are),
and was all startled when I saw her first:
but only for the strangeness, after that
she was no more to me than I to her,
she might have smiled to me, or in my sight,
that dangerous smile and I be no more moved
than if a babe had laughed as I passed by.
Then a day came, a still and sultry day
when one might take count of each leaf that stirred
and think the one shrill grasshopper too loud,
my mother waked and heard a hymn I sang,
and took a whim to have the singer brought:
only a whim, belike, for could my voice
bring back the stripling's voice she had thought sweet?
they fetched me, I stood by her: ah my mother!
and she so changed! nothing of her old self;
the goodliness, the sweetness, the delight,
gone, waned out from her, as the light of day
was waning from her eyes long dulled by tears.
Ah, could I but have clung about her feet,
crying out "Mother, take thy son again!"
But yet for her it would have been too late.
She talked to me, inconsequent grave talk
like children's, whispered after when I prayed,
177
and made me sing her hymns, so was content
longer than was her wont, then bade me go
and come again to-morrow: ever since
she calls me every day.
And every day
is Claudia there. More than two thousand days,
and every day I look on Claudia's face
grown wistful and more sweet, and every day
behold her patience, hear her wise grave words,
and better know her all she is.
What then?
Have I not striven? have I not prevailed?
And now death is at hand: some few days more
and I shall lay me down and be at rest.
There will be no farewell at last, I think;'
they will not know of me that I lie sick
and pass away; and, even if they knew,
why should they come to close my dying eyes?
the beggar Lazarus can die alone,
as he has lived alone. My mother, though,
will lack me, ask for me, Claudia will send
to bid me hasten, then the word will come
"He died this morning," and she will not weep
but say "Poor wretch: God rest the parted soul,"
and turn to soothe my mother with some wile
to make her never miss me: and may be
Euphemianus will not hear the news,
or will not note it if he ever hears.
So I shall lie in the grave and they not care,
but wait for lost Alexius to come home,
and mourn for him, half hating him for their grief.
Give me fruit, give me fruit, oh Christ give my earned fruit,
for all my sufferings: I have mine for me,
but I claim theirs, give fruit for them I smote.
Have I written wildly? I will cancel nought.
for I have written looking death in face,
thinking God bade me write: and words come so
178
must stand untouched. But surely this much grace
my Lord hath given me, that they shall know.
Behold, I make this paper, being forced
as by the Spirit, and it comes on me
that God doth choose his highest in the world
to be the beggar's messenger: he first,
and I the last, so thereto he is called;
servant of servants. This, which I have witten,
do I entrust to him, my testament:
some shall learn patience from it and to do
what God bids and not doubt; for all is good,
all happy, if it be to do His will,
the suffering ye may guess, but not the bliss
till ye have tasted it.
And I desire
that, having scanned the scroll, he shall, or then
or later, as seems to his wisdom wise,
deliver all its words to them and her,
my father and my mother and my wife,
(lo, this once in my life I call her so).
I pray Thee, Lord, give the poor words the power
to comfort them and strengthen; and, I pray,
give the words power to strengthen and stir souls
which hear Thee call and pause to count with Thee.
And now, oh Lord, let earth be dim to me,
and Heaven come near mine eyes: the time is short,
and I am fain for thee. Lord Jesus come.
Now, when Pope Innocent had read the scroll,
he bade one with him enter in the house
and call the lord Euphemianus thither,
and Claudia, and Aglaia. So they came,
Aglaia feebly leaning on the two,
and questioning them who knew not; so they came;
and the Pope pointed them to the dead man,
"Behold, for this is one whom you should know."
Euphemianus gazed and was perplexed:
and the poor purblind mother gazed and peered,
"Old Lazarus? no, yes, old Lazarus;
179
asleep or dead? Why is it? is he dead?"
but Claudia answered softly "Yes I know;
I knew it;" and then, suddenly, borne down
by one strong gust of passion, flung herself
beside the corpse, her head upon its breast,
her arms clasped straining round it, weeping out.
And Innocent answered the father's eyes,
"This was Alexius, thy long lost son."
But yet the father, stricken dumb, looked doubt:
Aglaia cried "My boy, where is he then?"
and fretfully "This is old Lazarus:
where is my boy? show me Alexius."
Then Innocent bade peace, and read the scroll:
Euphemianus, with his face hid down
between his hands, listened and never stirred;
and Claudia listened, weeping silently;
but Aglaia whispered always "Is it true?
is the tale of Lazarus or of my boy?
I cannot understand." And, when 'twas read,
Euphemianus gazed upon his son,
"Yet did he well?" he said "he was our son,
he was her husband: how could it be well?
for look upon his mother, what she is."
But Claudia rose up tearless, and replied
"Alexius did all well: he knew God called:"
and Innocent, not tearless, raised his hand
and spoke "She answers wisely: he obeyed;
he knew, being a very saint of God:
let us bless God for him." And they all knelt.
But still Aglaia could not understand.
~ Augusta Davies Webster,
259:The Bush
I wonder if the spell, the mystery,
That like a haze about your silence clings,
Moulding your void until we seem to see
Tangible Presences of Deathless Things,
Patterned but little to our spirits' woof,
Yet from our love or hate not all aloof,
Can. be the matrix where are forming slowly
Troy tales of Old Australia, to refine
Eras to come of ordered melancholy
'Neath lily-pale Perfection's anodyne.
For Troy hath ever been, and Homer sang
Its younger story for a lodging's fee,
While o'er Scamander settlers' axes rang
Amid the Bush where Ilium was to be.
For Cretan Art, dim centuries before,
Minoan Dream-times some Briseis bore.
Sumerian Phoebus by a willowed water
Song-built a Troy for far Chaldea, where
The sons of God, beholding Leda's daughter,
Bartered eternal thrones for love of her.
Across each terraced aeon Time hath sowed
With green tautology of vanished years,
Gaping aghast or webbed with shining lode,
Achilles' anger's earthquake-rift appears.
The towers that Phoebus builds can never fall:
Desire that Helen lights can never pall:
Yea, wounded Love hath still but gods to fly to,
When lust of war inflames Diomedes:
Must some Australian Hector vainly die, too?
Captives in ships? (0 change that omen, Trees!)
Yea, Mother Bush, in your deep dreams abide
Cupids alert for man and maid unborn,
Apprentice Pucks amid your saplings hide,
And wistful gorges wait a Roland horn:
Wallet of Sigurd shall this swag replace,
And centaurs curvet where those brumbies race.
39
That drover's tale of love shall greaten duly
Through magic prisms of a myriad years,
Till bums Isolde to Tristram's fervour newly,
Or Launcelot to golden Guinevere's.
The miner cradling washdirt by the creek,
Or pulled through darkness dripping to the plat:
The navvy boring tunnels through the peak:
The farmer grubbing box-trees on the flat:
The hawker camping by the roadside spring:
The hodman on the giddy scaffolding:
Moths that around the fashion windows flutter:
The racecourse spider and the betting fly:
The children romping by the city gutter,
While baby crows to every passer-byFrom these rough blocks strewn o'er our ancient stream
Sculptors shall chisel brownie, fairy, faun,
Any myrmidons of some Homeric dream
From Melbourne mob and Sydney push be drawn.
The humdrum lives that now we tire of, then
Romance shall be, and 'we heroic men
Treading the vestibule of Golden Ages,
The Isthmus of the Land of Heart's Desire:
For lo! the Sybil's final volume's pages
Ope with our Advent, close when we expire.
Forgetful Change in one 'antiquity'
Boreal gleams shall drown, and southern glows;
Out of some singing woman's heart-break plea
Australia's dawn shall flush with Sappho's rose:
Strong Shirlow's hand shall trace Mantegna's line,
And Soma foam from Victor Daley's wine:
Scholars to be our prehistoric drama
From Esson's 'Woman Tamer' shall restore,
Or find in Gilbert's 'Lotus Stream and Lama'
An Austral Nile and Buddhas we adore.
The sunlit Satyrs follow Hugh McCrae,
Quinn spans the ocean with a Celtic ford,
And Williamson the Pan-pipe learns to play
From magpie-songs our schoolboy ears ignored:
40
A sweeter woe no keen of Erin gave
Than Kendall sings o'er Araluen's grave:
Tasmanian Wordsworth to his chapel riding
The Burning Bush and Ardath mead shall pass,
Or, from the sea-coast of Bohemia gliding
On craft of dream, behold a shepherd lass.
Jessie Mackay on Southern Highlands sees
The elves deploy in kem and gallowglass:
Our Gilbert Murray writes 'Euripides':
Pirani merges in Pythagoras:
Marsyas plunges into Lethe, flayed,
From Rhadamanthine Stephens' steady blade:
While Benvenuto Morton, drunk with singing,
Sees salamanders in a bush-fire's bed,
And Spencer sails from Alcheringa bringing
Intaglios, totems and Books of the Dead.
On Southern fiords shall Brady's Long Snakes hiss,
Heavy with brides he wins to Viking troth:
O'Reilly's Sydney shall be Sybaris,
While Melbourne's Muses sup their Spartan broth:
Murdoch, Zenobia's counsellor, in time,
Redacts from Burke his book on The Sublime:
By Way was Homer into Greek translated:
And Shakespeare's self is Sophocles so plain
They know the kerb whereon the Furies waited
Outside the Mermaid Inn in Brogan's Lane.
Vane shall divide with Vern Eureka's fame;
Tillett and Mann are Tyler then and Cade:
Dowie's entwines with Cagliostro's name,
And in Tarpeia's, lo, those fair forms fade
Who drug the poor, for social bread and wine,
And lift the furtive latch to Catiline:
There, where the Longmore-featured Gracchi hurry,
And Greek-browed Higinbotham walks, anon,
The 'wealthy lower orders' leap the Murray
Before the stockwhip cracks of Jardine Don.
Cleons in 'Windsor dress at Syracuse
Their thin plebeians' promised meal delay;
41
And Archibald begets Australia's Muse
Upon an undine red of Chowder Bay:
Paterson's swan draws Amphitrite's car,
And Sidon learns from Young what purples are:
Rose Scott refutes dogmatic Cyril gaily,
Hypatia turns the anti-suffrage flank,
And Herod's daughter sools her 'morning daily'
On John the Baptist by the Yarra Bank.
Yon regal bustard, fading hence ere long,
Shall seem the guide we followed to the Grail;
This lyre-bird on his dancing-mound of song
Our mystagogue of some Bacchantic vale,
Where feathered Pan guffaws 'Evoe!' above,
And Maenad curlews shriek their midnight love:
That trailing flight of distant swans is bearing
Sarpedon's soul to its eternal joy:
This ibis, from the very Nile, despairing,
Memnon our own would warn from fatal Troy.
Primeval gnomes distilled the golden bribes
That have impregnated your musing waste with men;
But shall the spell of your pathetic tribes
Curl round, in time, our fairer limbs again?
Through that long tunnel of your gloom, I see
Gardens of a metropolis to be!
Out of the depths the mountain ash is soaring
To embryon gods of what unsounded space?
Out of the heights what influence is pouring
Thin desolation on your haunted face?
Many there are who see no higher lot
For all your writhing centuries of toil
Than that the avaricious plough should blot
Their wilding burgeon, and the red brand spoil
Your cyclopean garniture, to sow
The cheap parterres of Europe on your woe.
They weave all sorceries but yours, and borrow
The tinkling spells of alien winds and seas
To drown the chord of purifying sorrow,
Bom ere the world, that pulses through your trees.
42
For, save when we, in not o'er-subtle mood,
Hear magpies warbling soft November in,
Or, hand in hand with Love, a dreaming wood
Or bouldered crest of crisper April win,
Your harps, unblurred by glozing strings, intone
The dirges that behind Creation moan'Where, riding reinless billows, new lives dash on
The souring beach of yesterday's decay,
Where Love's chord leaps from mandrake shrieks of passion,
And groping gods mould man from quivering clay.
(Is Nature deaf and blind and dumb? A cruse
Unfilled of wine? Clay for an unbreathed soul?
Alien to man, till his desires transfuse
Their flames through wind and water, leaf and bole,
And each crude fane elaborately fit
With oracles that echo all his wit?
The living wilds of Greece saw death returning
When Pan that men had made fell from his throne:
Till through her sap our very blood is churning
The Bush her lonely alien woe shall moan!
Or is she reticent but to be kind?
Whispers she not beneath her mask of clods'Who asks he shall receive, who seeks shall find,
Who knocks shall open every door of God's?'
Dumb Faith's, blind Hope's eternal consort she,
Gravid with all that is on earth to be;
Corn, wine and oil in hungry granite hiding,
All Beauty under sober wings of clay,
All life beneath her dead heart long abiding,
Yea, all the gods her sons and she obey!)
What sin's wan expiation strewed your Vast
With mounded pillage of what conquering fire?
Slumbering throes of what prodigious Past
Exhale these lingering ghosts of its desire?
Sunshine that bleached corruption out, that glare?
Desolate blue of Purgatory, there?
Flagellant winds through guilty Eden scouring?
Sahara drowning Prester John's domain?
Satumian dam her progeny devouring?
Hath dawn-time Hun these footprints left? Hath Cain?
43
Even the human wave, that shall at length
To man's endurance key your strident surge,
Sings in your poignant tones and sombre strength,
And makes, as yet, its own your primal dirge:
A gun-shot startles dawn back from the sky,
And mourning tea-trees echo Gordon's sigh:
Nardoo with Burke's faint sweat is dank for ever:
Spectral a tribe round poisoned rations shrieks:
Till doomday Leichhardt walks die Never Never:
Pensive, of Boake, the circling stock-whip speaks.
The wraiths unseen of roadside crimes unnamed
About that old-time shanty's ruins roam:
This squatter's fenceless acres hide ashamed
The hearth and battered zinc of Naboth's home:
Deserted 'yam-holes' pit your harmonies
With sloughing pock-marks of the gold-disease:
The sludgy creek 'mid hungry rushes rambles,
Where teal once dived and lowan raised her mound:
That tree, with crows, o'erlooks the township shambles:
These paddocks, ordure-smeared, the city bound.
0 yield not all to factory and farm!
For we, who drew a milk no stranger knows
From her scant paps, yearn for the acrid charm
That gossamers the Bush Where No Tree Grows.
And we have ritual moments when we crave
For worship in some messmate-pillared nave,
Where contrite 'bears' for woodland sins are kneeling,
And, 'mid the censers of the mountain musk,
Acolyte bell-birds the Angelus are pealing,
And boobooks moan lone vespers in the dusk,
And you have Children of the Dreaming Star,
Who care but little for the crowded ways
Where meagre spirits' vapid prizes are,
Or for the paddocked ease of dreamless days
And hedges clipped of every sunny growth
That plights the soul to God in daily troth:
Their wayward love prefers your desolation,
Or (where the human trail hath seared its charm)
44
The briar-rose on some abandoned 'station',
To all the tilled obedience of the farm.
Vineyards that purblind thrift shall never glean
The weedy waste and thistly gully hold:
No mint shall melt to currency unclean
Yon river-rounded hillock's Cape-broom gold:
The onion-grass upon that dark green slope
Returns our gaze from eyes of heliotrope:
But more we seek your underflowered expanses
Of scrub monotonous, or, where, O Bush,
The craters of your fiery noon's romances,
Like great firm bosoms, through the bare plains push.
As many. Mother, are your moods and forms
As all the sons who love you. Here, you mow
Careering grounds for every brood of storms
The wild sea-mares to desert stallions throw;
Anon, up through a sea of sand you glance
With green ephemeral exuberance,
And then quick seeds dive deep to years of slumber
From hot-hoofed drought's precipitate return:
There, league on league, the snow's cold fingers number
The shrinking nerves of supple-jack and fern.
To other eyes and ears you are a great
Pillared cathedral tremulously green,
An odorous and hospitable gate
To genial mystery, the happy screen
Of truants or of lovers rambling there
'Neath sun-shot boughs o'er miles of maidenhair.
Wee rubies dot the leaflets of the cherries,
The wooing wagtails hop from log to bough,
The bronzewing comes from Queensland for the berries,
The bell-bird by the creek is calling now.
And you can ride, an Eastern queen, they say,
By living creatures sumptuously borne,
With all barbaric equipages gay,
Beneath the torrid blue of Capricorn.
That native lotus is the very womb
That was the Hindoo goddess' earthly tomb.
45
The gang-gang screams o'er cactus wildernesses,
Palm trees are there, and swampy widths of rice,
Unguents and odours ooze from green recesses,
The jungles blaze with birds of Paradise.
But I, in city exile, hear you sing
Of saplinged hill and box-tree dotted plain,
Or silver-grass that prays the North Wind's wing
Convey its sigh to the loitering rain:
And Spring is half distraught with wintry gusts,
Summer the daily spoil of tropic lusts
The sun and she too fiercely shared together
Lingering thro' voluptuous Hindoo woods,
But o'er my windless, soft autumnal weather
The peace that passes understanding broods.
When, now, they say 'The Bush!', I see the top
Delicate amber leanings of the gum
Flutter, or flocks of screaming green leeks drop
Silent, where in the shining morning hum
The gleaning bees for honey-scented hours
'Mid labyrinthine leaves and white gum flowers.
Cantering midnight hoofs are nearing, nearing,
The straining bullocks flick the harpy flies,
The 'hatter' weeds his melancholy clearing,
The distant cow-bell tinkles o'er the rise.
You are the brooding comrade of our way,
Whispering rumour of a new Unknown,
Moulding us white ideals to obey,
Steeping whate'er we learn in lore your own,
And freshening with unpolluted light
The squalid city's day and pallid night,
Till we become ourselves distinct, Australian,
(Your native lightning charging blood and nerve),
Stripped to the soul of borrowed garments, alien
To that approaching Shape of God you serve.
Brooding, brooding, your whispers murmur plain
That searching for the clue to mystery
In grottos of decrepitude is vain,
That never shall the eye of prophet see
46
In crooked Trade's tumultuous streets the plan
Of templed cities adequate to man.
Brooding, brooding, you make us Brahmins waiting
(While uninspired pass on the hurtling years),
Faithful to dreams your spirit is creating,
Till Great Australia, born of you, appears.
For Great Australia is not yet: She waits
(Where o'er the Bush prophetic auras play)
The passing of these temporary States,
Flaunting their tawdry flags of far decay.
Her aureole above the alien mists
Beacons our filial eyes to mountain trysts:
'Mid homely trees with all ideals fruited,
She shelters us till Trade's Simoom goes by,
And slakes our thirst from cisterns unpolluted .
For ages cold in brooding deeps of sky.
We love our brothers, and to heal their woe
Pluck simples from the known old gardens still:
We love our kindred over seas, and grow
Their symbols tenderly o'er plain and hill;
We feel their blood rebounding in our hearts,
And speak as they would speak our daily parts:
But under all we know, we know that only
A virgin womb unsoiled by ancient fear
Can Saviours bear. So, we, your Brahmins, lonely,
Deaf to the barren tumult, wait your Year.
The Great Year's quivering dawn pencils the Night
To be the morning of our children's prime,
And weave from rays of yet ungathered Light
A richer noon than e'er apparelled Time.
If it must be, as Tuscan wisdom knew,
Babylon's seer, and wistful Egypt too,
That mellow afternoon shall pensive guide us
Down somnolent Decay's ravine to rest,
Then you, reborn, 0 Mother Bush, shall hide us
All the long night at your dream-laden breast.
Australian eyes that heed your lessons know
Another world than older pilgrims may:
47
Prometheus chained in Kosciusko's snow
Sees later gods than Zeus in turn decay:
Boundless plateaux expand the spirit's sight,
Resilient gales uphold her steeper flight:
And your close beating heart, 0 savage Mother,
Throbs secret words of joy and starker pain
Than reach the ears all old deceptions smother
In Lebanon, or e'en in Westermain.
We marvel not, who hear your undersong,
And catch a glimpse in rare exalted hours
Of something like a Being gleam along
Festooned arcades of flossie creeper flowers,
Or, toward the mirk, seem privileged to share
The silent rapture of the trees at prayerWe marvel not that seers in other ages,
With eyes unstrained by peering logic, saw
The desolation glow with Koran pages,
Or Sinai stones with Tables of the Law.
Homers are waiting in the gum trees now,
Far driven from the tarnished Cyclades:
More Druids to your green enchantment bow
Than 'neath unfaithful Mona's vanished trees:
A wind hath spirited from ageing France
To our fresh hills the carpet of Romance:
Heroes and maids of old with young blood tingling
In ampler gardens grow their roses new:
And races long apart their manas mingling
Prepare the cradle of an Advent due.
And those who dig the mounded eld for runes
To read Religion's tangled cipher, here,
Where all Illusion haunts the fainting noons
Of days hysteric with the tireless leer
Of ravenous enamoured suns, shall find
How May a flings her mantle o'er the mind,
Till sober sand to shining water changes,
Dodona whispers from the she-oak groves,
Afreets upon the tempest cross the ranges,
And Fafnir through the bunyip marshes roves.
48
Once, when Uranian Love appeared to glow
Through that abysmal Night that bounds our reignLove that a man may scarcely feel and know i
Quite the same world as other men againWith earthward-streaming frontier wraiths distraught,
Your oracles, 0 Mother Bush, I sought:
But found, dismayed, that eerie light revealing
Those wraiths already in your depths on sleuth,
Termagant Scorns along your hillsides stealing,
Remorse unbaring slow her barbed tooth.
My own thoughts first from far dispersion flew
Back to their sad creator, with the crops
Of woes in flower and all the harvests due
Till tiring Time the fearful seeding stops:
In pigmy forms of friends and foes, anon
In my own image, they came, stung, were gone:
And then I heard the voice of Him Who Questions,
Knowing the faltered answer ere it came,
Chilling the soul by hovering suggestions
Of wan damnation at a wince of blame.
And all your leaves in symbols were arranged,
Despairs long dead would leap from bough to bough,
A gum-tree buttress to a goblin changed
Grinning the warmth of some old broken vow:
Furtive desires for scarce-remembered maids
Glanced in a fearful bo-peep from your shades:
Till you became a purgatory cleansing
With rosy flakes in form of manikins,
To fiercer shame within my soul condensing,
The dim pollution of forgotten sins.
And She, the human symbol of that Love,
Would, as my cleansed eyes forgot their fear,
Comrade beside me. Comforter above,
With sunny smile ubiquitous appear:
Run on before me to the nooks we knew,
Walk hand in hand as glad young lovers do,
Gravely reprove me toying with temptation,
Show me the eyes and ears in roots and clods,
Bend with me o'er some blossom's revelation,
49
Or read from clouds the judgments of the gods.
My old ideals She would tune until
The grating note of self no longer rang:
She drove the birds of gloom and evil will
Out of the cote wherein my poems sang.
Time at Her wand annulled his calendar,
And Space his fallacy of Near and Far,
For through my Bush along with me She glided,
And crowded days of Beauty made more fair,
Though lagging weeks and ocean widths divided
Her mortal casing from Her Presence there.
Her wetted finger oped my shuttered eyes
To boyhood's scership of the Real again:
Upon the Bush descended from the skies
The rapt-up Eden of primordial men:
August Dominions through the vistas strode:
On white-maned clouds the smiling cherubs rode:
Maltreated Faith restored my jangled hearing
Till little seraphs sang from chip and clod:
And prayers were radiant children that, unfearing,
Floated as kisses to the lips of God.
It matters not that for some purpose wise
Myopic Reason censored long ago
The revelations of that Paradise,
When, back of all I feel or will or know,
Its silent angels beacon through the Dark
And point to harbours new my drifted ark.
Nor need we dread the fogs that round us thicken
Questing the Bush for Grails decreed for man,
When Powers our fathers saw unseen still quicken
Eyes that were ours before the world began.
'Twas then I saw the Vision of the Ways,
And 'mid their gloom and glory seemed to live,
Threaded the coverts of the Dark Road's maze,
Toiled up, with tears, the Track Retributive,
And, on the Path of Grace, beheld aglow
The love-lit Nave of all that wheeled below.
And She who flowered, my Mystic Rose, in Heaven,
50
And lit the Purging Mount, my Guiding Star,
Trudged o'er the marl, my mate, through Hell's wan levin,
Nor shrank, like lonely Dante's love, afar.
High towered a cloud over one leafy wild,
And to a bridged volcano grew. Above,
A great Greek group of father, mother, child,
Illumed a narrow round with radiant love.
Below, a smoke-pool thick with faces swirled,
The mutinous omen. of an Under-world,
Defeated, plundered, blackened, but preparing,
E'en though that calm, white dominance fell down,
To overflow the rim, and, sunward faring,
Shape myriad perfect groups from slave and clown.
Or thus I read the symbol, though 'twas sent
To hound compunction on my wincing pride,
That dreamed of raceless brotherhood, content
Though all old Charm dissolved and Glory died.
For often signs will yield their deeper signs,
Virginal Bush, in your untrodden shrines,
Than where the craven ages' human clamour
Distorts the boldest oracle with fear,
Or where dissolving wizards dew with glamour
Arden, Broceliande, or Windermere.
Once while my mother by a spreading tree
Our church's sober rubric bade me con,
My vagrant eyes among the boughs would see
Forbidden wings and •wizard aprons on
Father's 'wee people' from their Irish glades
Brighten and darken with your lights and shades.
And I would only read again those stern leaves
For whispered bribe that, when their tale I told,
We would go and look for fairies in the fern-leaves
And red-capped leprechauns with crocks of gold.
Anon, my boyhood saw how Sunbursts flamed
Or filmy hinds lured on a pale Oisin,
Where lithe indignant saplings crowding claimed
The digger's ravage for their plundered queen:
And heard within yon lichened 'mullock-heap'
51
Lord Edward's waiting horsemen moan in sleep:
Or flew the fragrant path of swans consoling
Lir's exiled daughter wandering with me,
And traced below the Wattle River rolling
Exuberant and golden toward the sea.
Here, would the •wavering wings of heat uplift
Some promontory till the tree-crowned pile
Above a phantom sea would swooning drift,
St. Brendan's vision of the Winged Isle:
Anon, the isle divides again, again,
Till archipelagos poise o'er the main.
There, lazy fingers of a breeze have scattered
The distant blur of factory chimney smoke
hi poignant groups of all the young lives shattered
To feed the ravin of a piston-stroke!
Or when I read the tale of what you were
Beyond these hungry eyes' home-keeping view,
I peopled petrel rocks with Sirens fair,
In Maid Mirage the Fairy Morgan knew,
Steered Quetzalcoatl's skiff to coral coasts,
On Chambers' Pillar throned the Olympian hosts,
Heard in white sulphur-crested parrots' screeches
Remorseful Peris vent their hopeless rage,
Atlantis' borders traced on sunken beaches,
m Alcheringa found the Golden Age.
Sibyl and Siren, with alternate breaths
You read our foetal nation's boon and bane,
And lure to trysts of orgiastic Deaths
Adventurous love that listens to your strain:
Pelsarts and Vanderdeckens of the world
Circle your charms or at your feet are hurled:
And, Southern witch, whose glamour drew De Quiros
O'er half the earth for one unyielded kiss,
Were yours the arms that healed the scalded Eros
When Psyche's curious lamp darkened their bliss?
Ye, who would challenge when we claim to see
The bush alive with Northern wealth of wings,
Forget that at a common mother's knee
52
We learned, with you, the lore of Silent Things.
There is no New that is not older far
Than swirling cradle of the first-born star:
Our youngest hearts prolong the far pulsation
And churn the brine of the primordial sea:
The foetus writes the précis of Creation:
Australia is the whole world's legatee.
Imagination built her throne in us
Before your present bodies saw the sky:
Your myths were counters of our abacus,
And in your brain developed long our eye:
We from the misty folk have also sprung
Who saw the gnomes and heard the Ever Young:
Do Southern skies the fancy disinherit
Of moly flower and Deva-laden breeze?
Do nerves attuned by old defect and merit
Their timbre lose by crossing tropic seas?
All mysteries ye claim as yours alone
Have wafted secrets over oceans here:
Our living soil Antiquity hath sown
With just the corn and tares ye love and fear:
Romance and song enthral us just as you,
Nor change of zenith changes spirit too:
Our necks as yours are sore with feudal halters:
To the Pole ye know our compasses are set;
And shivering years that huddled round your altars
Beneath our stars auspicious tremble yet.
Who fenced the nymphs in European vales?
Or Pan tabooed from all but Oxford dreams?
Warned Shakespeare off from foreign Plutarch's tales?
Or tethered Virgil to Italian themes?
And when the body sailed from your control
Think ye we left behind in bond the soul?
Whate'er was yours is ours in equal measure,
The Temple was not built for you alone,
Altho' 'tis ours to grace the common treasure
With Lares and Penates of our own!
Ye stole yourselves from gardens fragrant long
53
The sprouting seed-pods of your choicest blooms,
And wove the splendid garments of your song
From Viking foam on grave Hebraic looms:
'Twas Roman nerve and rich Hellenic lymph
Changed your pale pixie to a nubile nymph:
Yea, breathed at dawn around Atlantis' islands,
Wind-home o'er some Hesperidean road,
The morning clouds on dim Accadian highlands
Spring-fed the Nile that over Hellas flowed!
As large-eyed Greek amid Sicilian dews
Saw Dis, as ne'er before, pursue the Maid,
Or, safe 'neath screening billows, Arethuse
Alpheus' rugged sleuth unsoiled evade:
We shall complete the tale ye left half-told,
Under the ocean lead your fountains old,
To slake our sceptic thirst with haunted water,
And tame our torrents with a wedding kiss,
Shall loose, mayhap, the spell on Ceres' daughter,
And show, unclouded, God in very Dis.
(Yet, there are moods and mornings when I hear,
Above the music of the Bush's breath,
The rush of alien breezes far and near
Drowning her oracles to very death:
Exotic battle-cries the silence mar,
Seductive perfumes drive the gum-scent far;
And organ-tones august a moment show me
Miltonic billows and Homeric gales
Until I feel the older worlds below me,
And all her wonder trembles, thins and fails.)
Yea, you are all that we may be, and yet
In us is all you are to be for aye!
The Giver of the gifts that we shall get?
An empty womb that waits the wedding day?
Thus drifting sense by age-long habit buoyed
Plays round the thought that knows all nature void!
And so, my song alternate would believe her
Idiot Bush and Daughter of the Sun,
A worthless gift apart from the receiver,
An empty womb, but in a Deathless One.
54
To shapes we would of Freedom, Truth and Joy
Shall we your willing plasm mould for man:
Afresh rebuild the world, and thus destroy
What only Ragnarok in Europe can:
There is no Light but in your dark blendes sleeps,
Drops from your stars or through your ether leaps:
Yea, you are Nature, Chaos since Creation,
Waiting what human Word to chord in song?
Matrix inert of what auspicious nation?
For what far bees your nectar hiving long?
Exhausted manas of the conquering North
Shall rise refreshed to vivid life again
At your approach, and in your lap pour forth
Grateful the gleanings of his mighty reign:
As, when a tropic heat-king southward crawls,
Blistering the ranges, till he hears the calls
Of some cold high-browed bride, her streaming tresses,
Sprinkled with rose-buds, make his wild eyes thrill
To such desire for her superb caresses
He yields his fiery treasures to her will.
'Where is Australia, singer, do you know?
These sordid farms and joyless factories,
Mephitic mines and lanes of pallid woe?
Those ugly towns and cities such as these
With incense sick to all unworthy power,
And all old sin in full malignant flower?
No! to her bourn her children still are faring:
She is a Temple that we are to build:
For her the ages have been long preparing:
She is a prophecy to be fulfilled!
All that we love in olden lands and lore
Was signal of her coming long ago!
Bacon foresaw her, Campanella, More
And Plato's eyes were with her star aglow!
Who toiled for Truth, whate'er their countries were,
Who fought for Liberty, they yearned for her!
No corsair's gathering ground, or tryst for schemers,
55
No chapman Carthage to a huckster Tyre,
She is the Eldorado of old dreamers,
The Sleeping Beauty of the world's desire!
She is the scroll on which we are to write
Mythologies our own and epics new:
She is the port of our propitious flight
From Ur idolatrous and Pharaoh's crew.
She is our own, unstained, if worthy we,
By dream, or god, or star we would not see:
Her crystal beams all but the eagle dazzle;
Her wind-wide ways none but the strong-winged sail:
She is Eutopia, she is Hy-Brasil,
The watchers on the tower of morning hail I
Yet she shall be as we, the Potter, mould:
Altar or tomb, as we aspire, despair:
What wine we bring shall she, the chalice, hold:
What word we write shall she, the script, declare:
Bandage our eyes, she shall be Memphis, Spain:
Barter our souls, she shall be Tyre again:
And if we pour on her the red oblation
All o'er the world shall Asshur's buzzards throng:
Love-lit, her Chaos shall become Creation:
And dewed with dream, her silence flower in song.
~ Bernard O'Dowd,
260: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
19
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,
21
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,
261:Beachy Head
ON thy stupendous summit, rock sublime !
That o'er the channel rear'd, half way at sea
The mariner at early morning hails,
I would recline; while Fancy should go forth,
And represent the strange and awful hour
Of vast concussion; when the Omnipotent
Stretch'd forth his arm, and rent the solid hills,
Bidding the impetuous main flood rush between
The rifted shores, and from the continent
Eternally divided this green isle.
Imperial lord of the high southern coast !
From thy projecting head-land I would mark
Far in the east the shades of night disperse,
Melting and thinned, as from the dark blue wave
Emerging, brilliant rays of arrowy light
Dart from the horizon; when the glorious sun
Just lifts above it his resplendent orb.
Advances now, with feathery silver touched,
The rippling tide of flood; glisten the sands,
While, inmates of the chalky clefts that scar
Thy sides precipitous, with shrill harsh cry,
Their white wings glancing in the level beam,
The terns, and gulls, and tarrocks, seek their food,
And thy rough hollows echo to the voice
Of the gray choughs, and ever restless daws,
With clamour, not unlike the chiding hounds,
While the lone shepherd, and his baying dog,
Drive to thy turfy crest his bleating flock.
The high meridian of the day is past,
And Ocean now, reflecting the calm Heaven,
Is of cerulean hue; and murmurs low
The tide of ebb, upon the level sands.
The sloop, her angular canvas shifting still,
Catches the light and variable airs
That but a little crisp the summer sea.
Dimpling its tranquil surface.
Afar off,
17
And just emerging from the arch immense
Where seem to part the elements, a fleet
Of fishing vessels stretch their lesser sails;
While more remote, and like a dubious spot
Just hanging in the horizon, laden deep,
The ship of commerce richly freighted, makes
Her slower progress, on her distant voyage,
Bound to the orient climates, where the sun
Matures the spice within its odorous shell,
And, rivalling the gray worm's filmy toil,
Bursts from its pod the vegetable down;
Which in long turban'd wreaths, from torrid heat
Defends the brows of Asia's countless casts.
There the Earth hides within her glowing breast
The beamy adamant, and the round pearl
Enchased in rugged covering; which the slave,
With perilous and breathless toil, tears off
From the rough sea-rock, deep beneath the waves.
These are the toys of Nature; and her sport
Of little estimate in Reason's eye:
And they who reason, with abhorrence see
Man, for such gaudes and baubles, violate
The sacred freedom of his fellow man­
Erroneous estimate ! As Heaven's pure air,
Fresh as it blows on this aërial height,
Or sound of seas upon the stony strand,
Or inland, the gay harmony of birds,
And winds that wander in the leafy woods;
Are to the unadulterate taste more worth
Than the elaborate harmony, brought out
From fretted stop, or modulated airs
Of vocal science.­So the brightest gems,
Glancing resplendent on the regal crown,
Or trembling in the high born beauty's ear,
Are poor and paltry, to the lovely light
Of the fair star, that as the day declines,
Attendant on her queen, the crescent moon,
Bathes her bright tresses in the eastern wave.
For now the sun is verging to the sea,
18
And as he westward sinks, the floating clouds
Suspended, move upon the evening gale,
And gathering round his orb, as if to shade
The insufferable brightness, they resign
Their gauzy whiteness; and more warm'd, assume
All hues of purple. There, transparent gold
Mingles with ruby tints, and sapphire gleams,
And colours, such as Nature through her works
Shews only in the ethereal canopy.
Thither aspiring Fancy fondly soars,
Wandering sublime thro' visionary vales,
Where bright pavilions rise, and trophies, fann'd
By airs celestial; and adorn'd with wreaths
Of flowers that bloom amid elysian bowers.
Now bright, and brighter still the colours glow,
Till half the lustrous orb within the flood
Seems to retire: the flood reflecting still
Its splendor, and in mimic glory drest;
Till the last ray shot upward, fires the clouds
With blazing crimson; then in paler light,
Long lines of tenderer radiance, lingering yield
To partial darkness; and on the opposing side
The early moon distinctly rising, throws
Her pearly brilliance on the trembling tide.
The fishermen, who at set seasons pass
Many a league off at sea their toiling night,
Now hail their comrades, from their daily task
Returning; and make ready for their own,
With the night tide commencing:­The night tide
Bears a dark vessel on, whose hull and sails
Mark her a coaster from the north. Her keel
Now ploughs the sand; and sidelong now she leans,
While with loud clamours her athletic crew
Unload her; and resounds the busy hum
Along the wave-worn rocks. Yet more remote,
Where the rough cliff hangs beetling o'er its base,
All breathes repose; the water's rippling sound
Scarce heard; but now and then the sea-snipe's cry
Just tells that something living is abroad;
And sometimes crossing on the moonbright line,
19
Glimmers the skiff, faintly discern'd awhile,
Then lost in shadow.
Contemplation here,
High on her throne of rock, aloof may sit,
And bid recording Memory unfold
Her scroll voluminous­bid her retrace
The period, when from Neustria's hostile shore
The Norman launch'd his galleys, and the bay
O'er which that mass of ruin frowns even now
In vain and sullen menace, then received
The new invaders; a proud martial race,
Of Scandinavia the undaunted sons,
Whom Dogon, Fier-a-bras, and Humfroi led
To conquest: while Trinacria to their power
Yielded her wheaten garland; and when thou,
Parthenope ! within thy fertile bay
Receiv'd the victors­
In the mailed ranks
Of Normans landing on the British coast
Rode Taillefer; and with astounding voice
Thunder'd the war song daring Roland sang
First in the fierce contention: vainly brave,
One not inglorious struggle England made­
But failing, saw the Saxon heptarchy
Finish for ever.­Then the holy pile,
Yet seen upon the field of conquest, rose,
Where to appease heaven's wrath for so much blood,
The conqueror bade unceasing prayers ascend,
And requiems for the slayers and the slain.
But let not modern Gallia form from hence
Presumptuous hopes, that ever thou again,
Queen of the isles ! shalt crouch to foreign arms.
The enervate sons of Italy may yield;
And the Iberian, all his trophies torn
And wrapp'd in Superstition's monkish weed,
May shelter his abasement, and put on
Degrading fetters. Never, never thou !
Imperial mistress of the obedient sea;
But thou, in thy integrity secure,
20
Shalt now undaunted meet a world in arms.
England ! 'twas where this promontory rears
Its rugged brow above the channel wave,
Parting the hostile nations, that thy fame,
Thy naval fame was tarnish'd, at what time
Thou, leagued with the Batavian, gavest to France
One day of triumph­triumph the more loud,
Because even then so rare. Oh ! well redeem'd,
Since, by a series of illustrious men,
Such as no other country ever rear'd,
To vindicate her cause. It is a list
Which, as Fame echoes it, blanches the cheek
Of bold Ambition; while the despot feels
The extorted sceptre tremble in his grasp.
From even the proudest roll by glory fill'd,
How gladly the reflecting mind returns
To simple scenes of peace and industry,
Where, bosom'd in some valley of the hills
Stands the lone farm; its gate with tawny ricks
Surrounded, and with granaries and sheds,
Roof'd with green mosses, and by elms and ash
Partially shaded; and not far remov'd
The hut of sea-flints built; the humble home
Of one, who sometimes watches on the heights,
When hid in the cold mist of passing clouds,
The flock, with dripping fleeces, are dispers'd
O'er the wide down; then from some ridged point
That overlooks the sea, his eager eye
Watches the bark that for his signal waits
To land its merchandize:­Quitting for this
Clandestine traffic his more honest toil,
The crook abandoning, he braves himself
The heaviest snow-storm of December's night,
When with conflicting winds the ocean raves,
And on the tossing boat, unfearing mounts
To meet the partners of the perilous trade,
And share their hazard. Well it were for him,
If no such commerce of destruction known,
He were content with what the earth affords
21
To human labour; even where she seems
Reluctant most. More happy is the hind,
Who, with his own hands rears on some black moor,
Or turbary, his independent hut
Cover'd with heather, whence the slow white smoke
Of smouldering peat arises­­A few sheep,
His best possession, with his children share
The rugged shed when wintry tempests blow;
But, when with Spring's return the green blades rise
Amid the russet heath, the household live
Joint tenants of the waste throughout the day,
And often, from her nest, among the swamps,
Where the gemm'd sun-dew grows, or fring'd buck-bean,
They scare the plover, that with plaintive cries
Flutters, as sorely wounded, down the wind.
Rude, and but just remov'd from savage life
Is the rough dweller among scenes like these,
(Scenes all unlike the poet's fabling dreams
Describing Arcady)­But he is free;
The dread that follows on illegal acts
He never feels; and his industrious mate
Shares in his labour. Where the brook is traced
By crouding osiers, and the black coot hides
Among the plashy reeds, her diving brood,
The matron wades; gathering the long green rush
That well prepar'd hereafter lends its light
To her poor cottage, dark and cheerless else
Thro' the drear hours of Winter. Otherwhile
She leads her infant group where charlock grows
'Unprofitably gay,' or to the fields,
Where congregate the linnet and the finch,
That on the thistles, so profusely spread,
Feast in the desert; the poor family
Early resort, extirpating with care
These, and the gaudier mischief of the ground;
Then flames the high rais'd heap; seen afar off
Like hostile war-fires flashing to the sky.
Another task is theirs: On fields that shew
As angry Heaven had rain'd sterility,
Stony and cold, and hostile to the plough,
22
Where clamouring loud, the evening curlew runs
And drops her spotted eggs among the flints;
The mother and the children pile the stones
In rugged pyramids;­and all this toil
They patiently encounter; well content
On their flock bed to slumber undisturb'd
Beneath the smoky roof they call their own.
Oh ! little knows the sturdy hind, who stands
Gazing, with looks where envy and contempt
Are often strangely mingled, on the car
Where prosperous Fortune sits; what secret care
Or sick satiety is often hid,
Beneath the splendid outside: He knows not
How frequently the child of Luxury
Enjoying nothing, flies from place to place
In chase of pleasure that eludes his grasp;
And that content is e'en less found by him,
Than by the labourer, whose pick-axe smooths
The road before his chariot; and who doffs
What was an hat; and as the train pass on,
Thinks how one day's expenditure, like this,
Would cheer him for long months, when to his toil
The frozen earth closes her marble breast.
Ah ! who is happy ? Happiness ! a word
That like false fire, from marsh effluvia born,
Misleads the wanderer, destin'd to contend
In the world's wilderness, with want or woe­
Yet they are happy, who have never ask'd
What good or evil means. The boy
That on the river's margin gaily plays,
Has heard that Death is there­He knows not Death,
And therefore fears it not; and venturing in
He gains a bullrush, or a minnow­then,
At certain peril, for a worthless prize,
A crow's, or raven's nest, he climbs the boll,
Of some tall pine; and of his prowess proud,
Is for a moment happy. Are your cares,
Ye who despise him, never worse applied ?
The village girl is happy, who sets forth
23
To distant fair, gay in her Sunday suit,
With cherry colour'd knots, and flourish'd shawl,
And bonnet newly purchas'd. So is he
Her little brother, who his mimic drum
Beats, till he drowns her rural lovers' oaths
Of constant faith, and still increasing love;
Ah ! yet a while, and half those oaths believ'd,
Her happiness is vanish'd; and the boy
While yet a stripling, finds the sound he lov'd
Has led him on, till he has given up
His freedom, and his happiness together.
I once was happy, when while yet a child,
I learn'd to love these upland solitudes,
And, when elastic as the mountain air,
To my light spirit, care was yet unknown
And evil unforeseen:­Early it came,
And childhood scarcely passed, I was condemned,
A guiltless exile, silently to sigh,
While Memory, with faithful pencil, drew
The contrast; and regretting, I compar'd
With the polluted smoky atmosphere
And dark and stifling streets, the southern hills
That to the setting Sun, their graceful heads
Rearing, o'erlook the frith, where Vecta breaks
With her white rocks, the strong impetuous tide,
When western winds the vast Atlantic urge
To thunder on the coast­Haunts of my youth !
Scenes of fond day dreams, I behold ye yet !
Where 'twas so pleasant by thy northern slopes
To climb the winding sheep-path, aided oft
By scatter'd thorns: whose spiny branches bore
Small woolly tufts, spoils of the vagrant lamb
There seeking shelter from the noon-day sun;
And pleasant, seated on the short soft turf,
To look beneath upon the hollow way
While heavily upward mov'd the labouring wain,
And stalking slowly by, the sturdy hind
To ease his panting team, stopp'd with a stone
The grating wheel.
Advancing higher still
24
The prospect widens, and the village church
But little, o'er the lowly roofs around
Rears its gray belfry, and its simple vane;
Those lowly roofs of thatch are half conceal'd
By the rude arms of trees, lovely in spring,
When on each bough, the rosy-tinctur'd bloom
Sits thick, and promises autumnal plenty.
For even those orchards round the Norman farms,
Which, as their owners mark the promis'd fruit,
Console them for the vineyards of the south,
Surpass not these.
Where woods of ash, and beech,
And partial copses, fringe the green hill foot,
The upland shepherd rears his modest home,
There wanders by, a little nameless stream
That from the hill wells forth, bright now and clear,
Or after rain with chalky mixture gray,
But still refreshing in its shallow course,
The cottage garden; most for use design'd,
Yet not of beauty destitute. The vine
Mantles the little casement; yet the briar
Drops fragrant dew among the July flowers;
And pansies rayed, and freak'd and mottled pinks
Grow among balm, and rosemary and rue:
There honeysuckles flaunt, and roses blow
Almost uncultured: Some with dark green leaves
Contrast their flowers of pure unsullied white;
Others, like velvet robes of regal state
Of richest crimson, while in thorny moss
Enshrined and cradled, the most lovely, wear
The hues of youthful beauty's glowing cheek.­
With fond regret I recollect e'en now
In Spring and Summer, what delight I felt
Among these cottage gardens, and how much
Such artless nosegays, knotted with a rush
By village housewife or her ruddy maid,
Were welcome to me; soon and simply pleas'd.
An early worshipper at Nature's shrine;
I loved her rudest scenes­warrens, and heaths,
25
And yellow commons, and birch-shaded hollows,
And hedge rows, bordering unfrequented lanes
Bowered with wild roses, and the clasping woodbine
Where purple tassels of the tangling vetch
With bittersweet, and bryony inweave,
And the dew fills the silver bindweed's cups­
I loved to trace the brooks whose humid banks
Nourish the harebell, and the freckled pagil;
And stroll among o'ershadowing woods of beech,
Lending in Summer, from the heats of noon
A whispering shade; while haply there reclines
Some pensive lover of uncultur'd flowers,
Who, from the tumps with bright green mosses clad,
Plucks the wood sorrel, with its light thin leaves,
Heart-shaped, and triply folded; and its root
Creeping like beaded coral; or who there
Gathers, the copse's pride, anémones,
With rays like golden studs on ivory laid
Most delicate: but touch'd with purple clouds,
Fit crown for April's fair but changeful brow.
Ah ! hills so early loved ! in fancy still
I breathe your pure keen air; and still behold
Those widely spreading views, mocking alike
The Poet and the Painter's utmost art.
And still, observing objects more minute,
Wondering remark the strange and foreign forms
Of sea-shells; with the pale calcareous soil
Mingled, and seeming of resembling substance.
Tho' surely the blue Ocean (from the heights
Where the downs westward trend, but dimly seen)
Here never roll'd its surge. Does Nature then
Mimic, in wanton mood, fantastic shapes
Of bivalves, and inwreathed volutes, that cling
To the dark sea-rock of the wat'ry world ?
Or did this range of chalky mountains, once
Form a vast bason, where the Ocean waves
Swell'd fathomless ? What time these fossil shells,
Buoy'd on their native element, were thrown
Among the imbedding calx: when the huge hill
Its giant bulk heaved, and in strange ferment
26
Grew up a guardian barrier, 'twixt the sea
And the green level of the sylvan weald.
Ah ! very vain is Science' proudest boast,
And but a little light its flame yet lends
To its most ardent votaries; since from whence
These fossil forms are seen, is but conjecture,
Food for vague theories, or vain dispute,
While to his daily task the peasant goes,
Unheeding such inquiry; with no care
But that the kindly change of sun and shower,
Fit for his toil the earth he cultivates.
As little recks the herdsman of the hill,
Who on some turfy knoll, idly reclined,
Watches his wether flock; that deep beneath
Rest the remains of men, of whom is left
No traces in the records of mankind,
Save what these half obliterated mounds
And half fill'd trenches doubtfully impart
To some lone antiquary; who on times remote,
Since which two thousand years have roll'd away,
Loves to contemplate. He perhaps may trace,
Or fancy he can trace, the oblong square
Where the mail'd legions, under Claudius, rear'd,
The rampire, or excavated fossé delved;
What time the huge unwieldy Elephant
Auxiliary reluctant, hither led,
From Afric's forest glooms and tawny sands,
First felt the Northern blast, and his vast frame
Sunk useless; whence in after ages found,
The wondering hinds, on those enormous bones
Gaz'd; and in giants dwelling on the hills
Believed and marvell'd­
Hither, Ambition, come !
Come and behold the nothingness of all
For which you carry thro' the oppressed Earth,
War, and its train of horrors­see where tread
The innumerous hoofs of flocks above the works
By which the warrior sought to register
His glory, and immortalize his name­
27
The pirate Dane, who from his circular camp
Bore in destructive robbery, fire and sword
Down thro' the vale, sleeps unremember'd here;
And here, beneath the green sward, rests alike
The savage native, who his acorn meal
Shar'd with the herds, that ranged the pathless woods;
And the centurion, who on these wide hills
Encamping, planted the Imperial Eagle.
All, with the lapse of Time, have passed away,
Even as the clouds, with dark and dragon shapes,
Or like vast promontories crown'd with towers,
Cast their broad shadows on the downs: then sail
Far to the northward, and their transient gloom
Is soon forgotten.
But from thoughts like these,
By human crimes suggested, let us turn
To where a more attractive study courts
The wanderer of the hills; while shepherd girls
Will from among the fescue bring him flowers,
Of wonderous mockery; some resembling bees
In velvet vest, intent on their sweet toil,
While others mimic flies, that lightly sport
In the green shade, or float along the pool,
But here seem perch'd upon the slender stalk,
And gathering honey dew. While in the breeze
That wafts the thistle's plumed seed along,
Blue bells wave tremulous. The mountain thyme
Purples the hassock of the heaving mole,
And the short turf is gay with tormentil,
And bird's foot trefoil, and the lesser tribes
Of hawkweed; spangling it with fringed stars.­
Near where a richer tract of cultur'd land
Slopes to the south; and burnished by the sun,
Bend in the gale of August, floods of corn;
The guardian of the flock, with watchful care,
Repels by voice and dog the encroaching sheep­
While his boy visits every wired trap
That scars the turf; and from the pit-falls takes
The timid migrants, who from distant wilds,
Warrens, and stone quarries, are destined thus
28
To lose their short existence. But unsought
By Luxury yet, the Shepherd still protects
The social bird, who from his native haunts
Of willowy current, or the rushy pool,
Follows the fleecy croud, and flirts and skims,
In fellowship among them.
Where the knoll
More elevated takes the changeful winds,
The windmill rears its vanes; and thitherward
With his white load, the master travelling,
Scares the rooks rising slow on whispering wings,
While o'er his head, before the summer sun
Lights up the blue expanse, heard more than seen,
The lark sings matins; and above the clouds
Floating, embathes his spotted breast in dew.
Beneath the shadow of a gnarled thorn,
Bent by the sea blast, from a seat of turf
With fairy nosegays strewn, how wide the view !
Till in the distant north it melts away,
And mingles indiscriminate with clouds:
But if the eye could reach so far, the mart
Of England's capital, its domes and spires
Might be perceived­Yet hence the distant range
Of Kentish hills, appear in purple haze;
And nearer, undulate the wooded heights,
And airy summits, that above the mole
Rise in green beauty; and the beacon'd ridge
Of Black-down shagg'd with heath, and swelling rude
Like a dark island from the vale; its brow
Catching the last rays of the evening sun
That gleam between the nearer park's old oaks,
Then lighten up the river, and make prominent
The portal, and the ruin'd battlements
Of that dismantled fortress; rais'd what time
The Conqueror's successors fiercely fought,
Tearing with civil feuds the desolate land.
But now a tiller of the soil dwells there,
And of the turret's loop'd and rafter'd halls
Has made an humbler homestead­Where he sees,
29
Instead of armed foemen, herds that graze
Along his yellow meadows; or his flocks
At evening from the upland driv'n to fold­
In such a castellated mansion once
A stranger chose his home; and where hard by
In rude disorder fallen, and hid with brushwood
Lay fragments gray of towers and buttresses,
Among the ruins, often he would muse­
His rustic meal soon ended, he was wont
To wander forth, listening the evening sounds
Of rushing milldam, or the distant team,
Or night-jar, chasing fern-flies: the tir'd hind
Pass'd him at nightfall, wondering he should sit
On the hill top so late: they from the coast
Who sought bye paths with their clandestine load,
Saw with suspicious doubt, the lonely man
Cross on their way: but village maidens thought
His senses injur'd; and with pity say
That he, poor youth ! must have been cross'd in love­
For often, stretch'd upon the mountain turf
With folded arms, and eyes intently fix'd
Where ancient elms and firs obscured a grange,
Some little space within the vale below,
They heard him, as complaining of his fate,
And to the murmuring wind, of cold neglect
And baffled hope he told.­The peasant girls
These plaintive sounds remember, and even now
Among them may be heard the stranger's songs.
Were I a Shepherd on the hill
And ever as the mists withdrew
Could see the willows of the rill
Shading the footway to the mill
Where once I walk'd with you­
And as away Night's shadows sail,
And sounds of birds and brooks arise,
Believe, that from the woody vale
I hear your voice upon the gale
In soothing melodies;
And viewing from the Alpine height,
30
The prospect dress'd in hues of air,
Could say, while transient colours bright
Touch'd the fair scene with dewy light,
'Tis, that her eyes are there !
I think, I could endure my lot
And linger on a few short years,
And then, by all but you forgot,
Sleep, where the turf that clothes the spot
May claim some pitying tears.
For 'tis not easy to forget
One, who thro' life has lov'd you still,
And you, however late, might yet
With sighs to Memory giv'n, regret
The Shepherd of the Hill.
Yet otherwhile it seem'd as if young Hope
Her flattering pencil gave to Fancy's hand,
And in his wanderings, rear'd to sooth his soul
Ideal bowers of pleasure­Then, of Solitude
And of his hermit life, still more enamour'd,
His home was in the forest; and wild fruits
And bread sustain'd him. There in early spring
The Barkmen found him, e'er the sun arose;
There at their daily toil, the Wedgecutters
Beheld him thro' the distant thicket move.
The shaggy dog following the truffle hunter,
Bark'd at the loiterer; and perchance at night
Belated villagers from fair or wake,
While the fresh night-wind let the moonbeams in
Between the swaying boughs, just saw him pass,
And then in silence, gliding like a ghost
He vanish'd ! Lost among the deepening gloom.­
But near one ancient tree, whose wreathed roots
Form'd a rude couch, love-songs and scatter'd rhymes,
Unfinish'd sentences, or half erased,
And rhapsodies like this, were sometimes found­
­­­­­­
Let us to woodland wilds repair
While yet the glittering night-dews seem
To wait the freshly-breathing air,
31
Precursive of the morning beam,
That rising with advancing day,
Scatters the silver drops away.
An elm, uprooted by the storm,
The trunk with mosses gray and green,
Shall make for us a rustic form,
Where lighter grows the forest scene;
And far among the bowery shades,
Are ferny lawns and grassy glades.
Retiring May to lovely June
Her latest garland now resigns;
The banks with cuckoo-flowers are strewn,
The woodwalks blue with columbines,
And with its reeds, the wandering stream
Reflects the flag-flower's golden gleam.
There, feathering down the turf to meet,
Their shadowy arms the beeches spread,
While high above our sylvan seat,
Lifts the light ash its airy head;
And later leaved, the oaks between
Extend their bows of vernal green.
The slender birch its paper rind
Seems offering to divided love,
And shuddering even without a wind
Aspins, their paler foliage move,
As if some spirit of the air
Breath'd a low sigh in passing there.
The Squirrel in his frolic mood,
Will fearless bound among the boughs;
Yaffils laugh loudly thro' the wood,
And murmuring ring-doves tell their vows;
While we, as sweetest woodscents rise,
Listen to woodland melodies.
And I'll contrive a sylvan room
Against the time of summer heat,
Where leaves, inwoven in Nature's loom,
Shall canopy our green retreat;
And gales that 'close the eye of day'
Shall linger, e'er they die away.
32
And when a sear and sallow hue
From early frost the bower receives,
I'll dress the sand rock cave for you,
And strew the floor with heath and leaves,
That you, against the autumnal air
May find securer shelter there.
The Nightingale will then have ceas'd
To sing her moonlight serenade;
But the gay bird with blushing breast,
And Woodlarks still will haunt the shade,
And by the borders of the spring
Reed-wrens will yet be carolling.
The forest hermit's lonely cave
None but such soothing sounds shall reach,
Or hardly heard, the distant wave
Slow breaking on the stony beach;
Or winds, that now sigh soft and low,
Now make wild music as they blow.
And then, before the chilling North
The tawny foliage falling light,
Seems, as it flits along the earth,
The footfall of the busy Sprite,
Who wrapt in pale autumnal gloom,
Calls up the mist-born Mushroom.
Oh ! could I hear your soft voice there,
And see you in the forest green
All beauteous as you are, more fair
You'ld look, amid the sylvan scene,
And in a wood-girl's simple guise,
Be still more lovely in mine eyes.
Ye phantoms of unreal delight,
Visions of fond delirium born !
Rise not on my deluded sight,
Then leave me drooping and forlorn
To know, such bliss can never be,
Unless loved like me.
The visionary, nursing dreams like these,
Is not indeed unhappy. Summer woods
Wave over him, and whisper as they wave,
33
Some future blessings he may yet enjoy.
And as above him sail the silver clouds,
He follows them in thought to distant climes,
Where, far from the cold policy of this,
Dividing him from her he fondly loves,
He, in some island of the southern sea,
May haply build his cane-constructed bower
Beneath the bread-fruit, or aspiring palm,
With long green foliage rippling in the gale.
Oh ! let him cherish his ideal bliss­
For what is life, when Hope has ceas'd to strew
Her fragile flowers along its thorny way ?
And sad and gloomy are his days, who lives
Of Hope abandon'd !
Just beneath the rock
Where Beachy overpeers the channel wave,
Within a cavern mined by wintry tides
Dwelt one, who long disgusted with the world
And all its ways, appear'd to suffer life
Rather than live; the soul-reviving gale,
Fanning the bean-field, or the thymy heath,
Had not for many summers breathed on him;
And nothing mark'd to him the season's change,
Save that more gently rose the placid sea,
And that the birds which winter on the coast
Gave place to other migrants; save that the fog,
Hovering no more above the beetling cliffs
Betray'd not then the little careless sheep
On the brink grazing, while their headlong fall
Near the lone Hermit's flint-surrounded home,
Claim'd unavailing pity; for his heart
Was feelingly alive to all that breath'd;
And outraged as he was, in sanguine youth,
By human crimes, he still acutely felt
For human misery.
Wandering on the beach,
He learn'd to augur from the clouds of heaven,
And from the changing colours of the sea,
And sullen murmurs of the hollow cliffs,
34
Or the dark porpoises, that near the shore
Gambol'd and sported on the level brine
When tempests were approaching: then at night
He listen'd to the wind; and as it drove
The billows with o'erwhelming vehemence
He, starting from his rugged couch, went forth
And hazarding a life, too valueless,
He waded thro' the waves, with plank or pole
Towards where the mariner in conflict dread
Was buffeting for life the roaring surge;
And now just seen, now lost in foaming gulphs,
The dismal gleaming of the clouded moon
Shew'd the dire peril. Often he had snatch'd
From the wild billows, some unhappy man
Who liv'd to bless the hermit of the rocks.
But if his generous cares were all in vain,
And with slow swell the tide of morning bore
Some blue swol'n cor'se to land; the pale recluse
Dug in the chalk a sepulchre­above
Where the dank sea-wrack mark'd the utmost tide,
And with his prayers perform'd the obsequies
For the poor helpless stranger.
One dark night
The equinoctial wind blew south by west,
Fierce on the shore; ­the bellowing cliffs were shook
Even to their stony base, and fragments fell
Flashing and thundering on the angry flood.
At day-break, anxious for the lonely man,
His cave the mountain shepherds visited,
Tho' sand and banks of weeds had choak'd their way­
He was not in it; but his drowned cor'se
By the waves wafted, near his former home
Receiv'd the rites of burial. Those who read
Chisel'd within the rock, these mournful lines,
Memorials of his sufferings, did not grieve,
That dying in the cause of charity
His spirit, from its earthly bondage freed,
Had to some better region fled for ever.
35
~ Charlotte Smith,
262:Rose Mary
Of her two fights with the Beryl-stone
Lost the first, but the second won.
PART I
“MARY mine that art Mary's Rose
Come in to me from the garden-close.
The sun sinks fast with the rising dew,
And we marked not how the faint moon grew;
But the hidden stars are calling you.
“Tall Rose Mary, come to my side,
And read the stars if you'd be a bride.
In hours whose need was not your own,
While you were a young maid yet ungrown
You've read the stars in the Beryl-stone.
“Daughter, once more I bid you read;
But now let it be for your own need:
Because to-morrow, at break of day,
To Holy Cross he rides on his way,
Your knight Sir James of Heronhaye.
“Ere he wed you, flower of mine,
For a heavy shrift he seeks the shrine.
Now hark to my words and do not fear;
Ill news next I have for your ear;
But be you strong, and our help is here.
“On his road, as the rumour's rife,
An ambush waits to take his life.
He needs will go, and will go alone;
Where the peril lurks may not be known;
But in this glass all things are shown.”
Pale Rose Mary sank to the floor:—
“The night will come if the day is o'er!”
“Nay, heaven takes counsel, star with star,
And help shall reach your heart from afar:
A bride you'll be, as a maid you are.”
The lady unbound her jewelled zone
And drew from her robe the Beryl-stone.
Shaped it was to a shadowy sphere,—
World of our world, the sun's compeer,
219
That bears and buries the toiling year.
With shuddering light 'twas stirred and strewn
Like the cloud-nest of the wading moon:
Freaked it was as the bubble's ball,
Rainbow-hued through a misty pall
Like the middle light of the waterfall.
Shadows dwelt in its teeming girth
Of the known and unknown things of earth;
The cloud above and the wave around,—
The central fire at the sphere's heart bound,
Like doomsday prisoned underground.
A thousand years it lay in the sea
With a treasure wrecked from Thessaly;
Deep it lay 'mid the coiled sea-wrack,
But the ocean-spirits found the track:
A soul was lost to win it back.
The lady upheld the wondrous thing:—
“Ill fare”(she said) “with a fiend's-faring:
But Moslem blood poured forth like wine
Can hallow Hell, 'neath the Sacred Sign;
And my lord brought this from Palestine.
“Spirits who fear the Blessed Rood
Drove forth the accursed multitude
That heathen worship housed herein,—
Never again such home to win,
Save only by a Christian's sin.
“All last night at an altar fair
I burnt strange fires and strove with prayer;
Till the flame paled to the red sunrise,
All rites I then did solemnize;
And the spell lacks nothing but your eyes.”
Low spake maiden Rose Mary:—
“O mother mine, if I should not see!”
“Nay, daughter, cover your face no more,
But bend love's heart to the hidden lore,
And you shall see now as heretofore.”
Paler yet were the pale cheeks grown
As the grey eyes sought the Beryl-stone:
Then over her mother's lap leaned she,
And stretched her thrilled throat passionately,
And sighed from her soul, and said, “I see.”
Even as she spoke, they two were 'ware
220
Of music-notes that fell through the air;
A chiming shower of strange device,
Drop echoing drop, once, twice, and thrice,
As rain may fall in Paradise.
An instant come, in an instant gone,
No time there was to think thereon.
The mother held the sphere on her knee:—
“Lean this way and speak low to me,
And take no note but of what you see.”
“I see a man with a besom grey
That sweeps the flying dust away.”
“Ay, that comes first in the mystic sphere;
But now that the way is swept and clear,
Heed well what next you look on there.”
“Stretched aloft and adown I see
Two roads that part in waste-country:
The glen lies deep and the ridge stands tall;
What's great below is above seen small,
And the hill-side is the valley-wall.”
“Stream-bank, daughter, or moor and moss,
Both roads will take to Holy Cross.
The hills are a weary waste to wage;
But what of the valley-road's presage?
That way must tend his pilgrimage.”
“As 'twere the turning leaves of a book,
The road runs past me as I look;
Or it is even as though mine eye
Should watch calm waters filled with sky
While lights and clouds and wings went by.”
“In every covert seek a spear;
They'll scarce lie close till he draws near.”
“The stream has spread to a river now;
The stiff blue sedge is deep in the slough,
But the banks are bare of shrub or bough.’
“Is there any roof that near at hand
Might shelter yield to a hidden band?”
“On the further bank I see but one,
And a herdsman now in the sinking sun
Unyokes his team at the threshold-stone.”
“Keep heedful watch by the water's edge,—
Some boat might lurk 'neath the shadowed sedge.”
“One slid but now 'twixt the winding shores,
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But a peasant woman bent to the oars
And only a young child steered its course.
“Mother, something flashed to my sight!—
Nay, it is but the lapwing's flight.—
What glints there like a lance that flees?—
Nay, the flags are stirred in the breeze,
And the water's bright through the dart-rushes.
“Ah! vainly I search from side to side:—
Woe's me! and where do the foemen hide?
Woe's me! and perchance I pass them by,
And under the new dawn's blood-red sky
Even where I gaze the dead shall lie.”
Said the mother: “For dear love's sake,
Speak more low, lest the spell should break.”
Said the daughter: “By love's control,
My eyes, my words, are strained to the goal;
But oh! the voice that cries in my soul!”
“Hush, sweet, hush! be calm and behold.”
“I see two floodgates broken and old:
The grasses wave o'er the ruined weir,
But the bridge still leads to the breakwater;
And—mother, mother, O mother dear!”
The damsel clung to her mother's knee,
And dared not let the shriek go free;
Low she crouched by the lady's chair,
And shrank blindfold in her fallen hair,
And whispering said, “The spears are there!”
The lady stooped aghast from her place,
And cleared the locks from her daughter's face.
“More's to see, and she swoons, alas!
Look, look again, ere the moment pass!
One shadow comes but once to the glass.
“See you there what you saw but now?”
“I see eight men 'neath the willow bough.
All over the weir a wild growth's spread:
Ah me! it will hide a living head
As well as the water hides the dead.
“They lie by the broken water-gate
As men who have a while to wait.
The chief's high lance has a blazoned scroll,—
He seems some lord of tithe and toll
With seven squires to his bannerole.
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“The little pennon quakes in the air,
I cannot trace the blazon there:—
Ah! now I can see the field of blue,
The spurs and the merlins two and two;—
It is the Warden of Holycleugh!”
“God be thanked for the thing we know!
You have named your good knight's mortal foe.
Last Shrovetide in the tourney-game
He sought his life by treasonous shame;
And this way now doth he seek the same.
“So, fair lord, such a thing you are!
But we too watch till the morning star.
Well, June is kind and the moon is clear:
Saint Judas send you a merry cheer
For the night you lie in Warisweir!
“Now, sweet daughter, but one more sight,
And you may lie soft and sleep to-night.
We know in the vale what perils be:
Now look once more in the glass, and see
If over the hills the road lies free.”
Rose Mary pressed to her mother's cheek,
And almost smiled but did not speak;
Then turned again to the saving spell,
With eyes to search and with lips to tell
The heart of things invisible.
“Again the shape with the besom grey
Comes back to sweep the clouds away.
Again I stand where the roads divide;
But now all's near on the steep hillside,
And a thread far down is the rivertide.”
“Ay, child, your road is o'er moor and moss,
Past Holycleugh to Holy Cross.
Our hunters lurk in the valley's wake,
As they knew which way the chase would take:
Yet search the hills for your true love's sake.”
“Swift and swifter the waste runs by,
And nought I see but the heath and the sky;
No brake is there that could hide a spear,
And the gaps to a horseman's sight lie clear;
Still past it goes, and there's nought to fear.”
“Fear no trap that you cannot see,—
They'd not lurk yet too warily.
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Below by the weir they lie in sight,
And take no heed how they pass the night
Till close they crouch with the morning light.”
“The road shifts ever and brings in view
Now first the heights of Holycleugh:
Dark they stand o'er the vale below,
And hide that heaven which yet shall show
The thing their master's heart doth know.
“Where the road looks to the castle steep,
There are seven hill-clefts wide and deep:
Six mine eyes can search as they list,
But the seventh hollow is brimmed with mist:
If aught were there, it might not be wist.”
“Small hope, my girl, for a helm to hide
In mists that cling to a wild moorside:
Soon they melt with the wind and sun,
And scarce would wait such deeds to be done
God send their snares be the worst to shun.”
“Still the road winds ever anew
As it hastens on towards Holycleugh;
And ever the great walls loom more near,
Till the castle-shadow, steep and sheer,
Drifts like a cloud, and the sky is clear.”
“Enough, my daughter,” the mother said,
And took to her breast the bending head;
“Rest, poor head, with my heart below,
While love still lulls you as long ago:
For all is learnt that we need to know.
“Long the miles and many the hours
From the castle-height to the abbey-towers;
But here the journey has no more dread;
Too thick with life is the whole road spread
For murder's trembling foot to tread.”
She gazed on the Beryl-stone full fain
Ere she wrapped it close in her robe again:
The flickering shades were dusk and dun
And the lights throbbed faint in unison
Like a high heart when a race is run.
As the globe slid to its silken gloom,
Once more a music rained through the room;
Low it splashed like a sweet star-spray,
And sobbed like tears at the heart of May,
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And died as laughter dies away.
The lady held her breath for a space,
And then she looked in her daughter's face:
But wan Rose Mary had never heard;
Deep asleep like a sheltered bird
She lay with the long spell minister'd.
“Ah! and yet I must leave you, dear,
For what you have seen your knight must hear.
Within four days, by the help of God,
He comes back safe to his heart's abode:
Be sure he shall shun the valley-road.”
Rose Mary sank with a broken moan,
And lay in the chair and slept alone,
Weary, lifeless, heavy as lead:
Long it was ere she raised her head
And rose up all discomforted.
She searched her brain for a vanished thing,
And clasped her brows, remembering;
Then knelt and lifted her eyes in awe,
And sighed with a long sigh sweet to draw:—
“Thank God, thank God, thank God I saw!”
The lady had left her as she lay,
To seek the Knight of Heronhaye.
But first she clomb by a secret stair,
And knelt at a carven altar fair,
And laid the precious Beryl there.
Its girth was graved with a mystic rune
In a tongue long dead 'neath sun and moon:
A priest of the Holy Sepulchre
Read that writing and did not err;
And her lord had told its sense to her.
She breathed the words in an undertone:—
“None sees here but the pure alone.”
“And oh!” she said, “what rose may be
In Mary's bower more pure to see
Than my own sweet maiden Rose Mary?”
BERYL-SONG
We whose home is the Beryl,
Fire-spirits of dread desire,
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Who entered in
By a secret sin,
'Gainst whom all powers that strive with ours are sterile,—
We cry, Woe to thee, mother!
What hast thou taught her, the girl thy daughter,
That she and none other
Should this dark morrow to her deadly sorrow imperil?
What were her eyes
But the fiend's own spies,
O mother,
And shall We not fee her, our proper prophet and seër?
Go to her, mother,
Even thou, yea thou and none other,
Thou, from the Beryl:
Her fee must thou take her,
Her fee that We send, and make her,
Even in this hour, her sin's unsheltered avower.
Whose steed did neigh,
Riderless, bridleless,
At her gate before it was day?
Lo! where doth hover
The soul of her lover?
She sealed his doom, she, she was the sworn approver,—
Whose eyes were so wondrous wise,
Yet blind, ah! blind to his peril!
For stole not We in
Through a love-linked sin,
'Gainst whom all powers at war with ours are sterile,—
Fire-spirits of dread desire,
We whose home is the Beryl?
PART II
“PALE Rose Mary, what shall be done
With a rose that Mary weeps upon?”
“Mother, let it fall from the tree,
And never walk where the strewn leaves be
Till winds have passed and the path is free.”
“Sad Rose Mary, what shall be done
With a cankered flower beneath the sun?”
“Mother, let it wait for the night;
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Be sure its shame shall be out of sight
Ere the moon pale or the east grow light.”
“Lost Rose Mary, what shall be done
With a heart that is but a broken one?”
“Mother, let it lie where it must;
The blood was drained with the bitter thrust,
And dust is all that sinks in the dust.”
“Poor Rose Mary, what shall I do,—
I, your mother, that lovèd you?”
“O my mother, and is love gone?
Then seek you another love anon:
Who cares what shame shall lean upon?”
Low drooped trembling Rose Mary,
Then up as though in a dream stood she.
“Come, my heart, it is time to go;
This is the hour that has whispered low
When thy pulse quailed in the nights we know.
“Yet O my heart, thy shame has a mate
Who will not leave thee desolate.
Shame for shame, yea and sin for sin:
Yet peace at length may our poor souls win
If love for love be found therein.
“O thou who seek'st our shrift to-day,”
She cried, “O James of Heronhaye—
Thy sin and mine was for love alone;
And oh! in the sight of God 'tis known
How the heart has since made heavy moan.
“Three days yet!” she said to her heart;
“But then he comes, and we will not part.
God, God be thanked that I still could see!
Oh! he shall come back assuredly,
But where, alas! must he seek for me?
“O my heart, what road shall we roam
Till my wedding-music fetch me home?
For love's shut from us and bides afar,
And scorn leans over the bitter bar
And knows us now for the thing we are.”
Tall she stood with a cheek flushed high
And a gaze to burn the heart-strings by.
'Twas the lightning-flash o'er sky and plain
Ere labouring thunders heave the chain
From the floodgates of the drowning rain.
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The mother looked on the daughter still
As on a hurt thing that's yet to kill.
Then wildly at length the pent tears came;
The love swelled high with the swollen shame,
And their hearts' tempest burst on them.
Closely locked, they clung without speech,
And the mirrored souls shook each to each,
As the cloud-moon and the water-moon
Shake face to face when the dim stars swoon
In stormy bowers of the night's mid-noon.
They swayed together, shuddering sore,
Till the mother's heart could bear no more.
'Twas death to feel her own breast shake
Even to the very throb and ache
Of the burdened heart she still must break.
All her sobs ceased suddenly,
And she sat straight up but scarce could see.
“O daughter, where should my speech begin?
Your heart held fast its secret sin:
How think you, child, that I read therein?”
“Ah me! but I thought not how it came
When your words showed that you knew my shame:
And now that you call me still your own,
I half forget you have ever known.
Did you read my heart in the Beryl-stone?”
The lady answered her mournfully:—
“The Beryl-stone has no voice for me:
But when you charged its power to show
The truth which none but the pure may know,
Did naught speak once of a coming woe?”
Her hand was close to her daughter's heart,
And it felt the life-blood's sudden start:
A quick deep breath did the damsel draw,
Like the struck fawn in the oakenshaw:
“O mother,” she cried, “but still I saw!”
“O child, my child, why held you apart
From my great love your hidden heart?
Said I not that all sin must chase
From the spell's sphere the spirits of grace,
And yield their rule to the evil race?
“Ah! would to God I had clearly told
How strong those powers, accurst of old:
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Their heart is the ruined house of lies;
O girl, they can seal the sinful eyes,
Or show the truth by contraries!”
The daughter sat as cold as a stone,
And spoke no word but gazed alone,
Nor moved, though her mother strove a space
To clasp her round in a close embrace,
Because she dared not see her face.
“Oh!” at last did the mother cry,
“Be sure, as he loved you, so will I!
Ah! still and dumb is the bride, I trow;
But cold and stark as the winter snow
Is the bridegroom's heart, laid dead below!
“Daughter, daughter, remember you
That cloud in the hills by Holycleugh?
'Twas a Hell-screen hiding truth away:
There, not i' the vale, the ambush lay,
And thence was the dead borne home to-day.”
Deep the flood and heavy the shock
When sea meets sea in the riven rock:
But calm is the pulse that shakes the sea
To the prisoned tide of doom set free
In the breaking heart of Rose Mary.
Once she sprang as the heifer springs
With the wolf's teeth at its red heart-strings.
First 'twas fire in her breast and brain,
And then scarce hers but the whole world's pain,
As she gave one shriek and sank again.
In the hair dark-waved the face lay white
As the moon lies in the lap of night;
And as night through which no moon may dart
Lies on a pool in the woods apart,
So lay the swoon on the weary heart.
The lady felt for the bosom's stir,
And wildly kissed and called on her;
Then turned away with a quick footfall,
And slid the secret door in the wall,
And clomb the strait stair's interval.
There above in the altar-cell
A little fountain rose and fell:
She set a flask to the water's flow,
And, backward hurrying, sprinkled now
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The still cold breast and the pallid brow.
Scarce cheek that warmed or breath on the air,
Yet something told that life was there.
“Ah! not with the heart the body dies!”
The lady moaned in a bitter wise;
Then wrung her hands and hid her eyes.
“Alas! and how may I meet again
In the same poor eyes the selfsame pain?
What help can I seek, such grief to guide?
Ah! one alone might avail,” she cried—
“The priest who prays at the dead man's side.”
The lady arose, and sped down all
The winding stairs to the castle-hall.
Long-known valley and wood and stream,
As the loopholes passed, naught else did seem
Than the torn threads of a broken dream.
The hall was full of the castle-folk;
The women wept, but the men scarce spoke.
As the lady crossed the rush-strewn floor,
The throng fell backward, murmuring sore,
And pressed outside round the open door.
A stranger shadow hung on the hall
Than the dark pomp of a funeral.
'Mid common sights that were there alway,
As 'twere a chance of the passing day,
On the ingle-bench the dead man lay.
A priest who passed by Holycleugh
The tidings brought when the day was new.
He guided them who had fetched the dead;
And since that hour, unwearièd,
He knelt in prayer at the low bier's head.
Word had gone to his own domain
That in evil wise the knight was slain:
Soon the spears must gather apace
And the hunt be hard on the hunters' trace;
But all things yet lay still for a space.
As the lady's hurried step drew near,
The kneeling priest looked up to her.
“Father, death is a grievous thing;
But oh! the woe has a sharper sting
That craves by me your ministering.
“Alas for the child that should have wed
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This noble knight here lying dead!
Dead in hope, with all blessed boon
Of love thus rent from her heart ere noon,
I left her laid in a heavy swoon.
“O haste to the open bower-chamber
That's topmost as you mount the stair:
Seek her, father, ere yet she wake;
Your words, not mine, be the first to slake
This poor heart's fire, for Christ's sweet sake!
“God speed!” she said as the priest passed through,
“And I ere long will be with you.”
Then low on the hearth her knees sank prone;
She signed all folk from the threshold-stone,
And gazed in the dead man's face alone.
The fight for life found record yet
In the clenched lips and the teeth hard-set;
The wrath from the bent brow was not gone,
And stark in the eyes the hate still shone
Of that they last had looked upon.
The blazoned coat was rent on his breast
Where the golden field was goodliest;
But the shivered sword, close-gripped, could tell
That the blood shed round him where he fell
Was not all his in the distant dell.
The lady recked of the corpse no whit,
But saw the soul and spoke to it:
A light there was in her steadfast eyes,—
The fire of mortal tears and sighs
That pity and love immortalize.
“By thy death have I learnt to-day
Thy deed, O James of Heronhaye!
Great wrong thou hast done to me and mine;
And haply God hath wrought for a sign
By our blind deed this doom of thine.
“Thy shrift, alas! thou wast not to win;
But may death shrive thy soul herein!
Full well do I know thy love should be
Even yet—had life but stayed with thee—
Our honour's strong security.”
She stooped, and said with a sob's low stir,—
“Peace be thine,—but what peace for her?”
But ere to the brow her lips were press'd,
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She marked, half-hid in the riven vest,
A packet close to the dead man's breast.
'Neath surcoat pierced and broken mail
It lay on the blood-stained bosom pale.
The clot hung round it, dull and dense,
And a faintness seized her mortal sense
As she reached her hand and drew it thence.
'Twas steeped in the heart's flood welling high
From the heart it there had rested by:
'Twas glued to a broidered fragment gay,—
A shred by spear-thrust rent away
From the heron-wings of Heronhaye.
She gazed on the thing with piteous eyne:—
“Alas, poor child, some pledge of thine!
Ah me! in this troth the hearts were twain,
And one hath ebbed to this crimson stain,
And when shall the other throb again?”
She opened the packet heedfully;
The blood was stiff, and it scarce might be.
She found but a folded paper there,
And round it, twined with tenderest care,
A long bright tress of golden hair.
Even as she looked, she saw again
That dark-haired face in its swoon of pain:
It seemed a snake with a golden sheath
Crept near, as a slow flame flickereth,
And stung her daughter's heart to death.
She loosed the tress, but her hand did shake
As though indeed she had touched a snake;
And next she undid the paper's fold,
But that too trembled in her hold,
And the sense scarce grasped the tale it told.
“My heart's sweet lord,” ('twas thus she read,)
“At length our love is garlanded.
At Holy Cross, within eight days' space,
I seek my shrift; and the time and place
Shall fit thee too for thy soul's good grace.
“From Holycleugh on the seventh day
My brother rides, and bides away:
And long or e'er he is back, mine own,
Afar where the face of fear's unknown
We shall be safe with our love alone.
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“Ere yet at the shrine my knees I bow,
I shear one tress for our holy vow.
As round these words these threads I wind,
So, eight days hence, shall our loves be twined,
Says my lord's poor lady, JOCELIND.”
She read it twice, with a brain in thrall,
And then its echo told her all.
O'er brows low-fall'n her hands she drew:—
“O God!” she said, as her hands fell too,—
“The Warden's sister of Holycleugh!”
She rose upright with a long low moan,
And stared in the dead man's face new-known.
Had it lived indeed? She scarce could tell:
'Twas a cloud where fiends had come to dwell,—
A mask that hung on the gate of Hell.
She lifted the lock of gleaming hair
And smote the lips and left it there.
“Here's gold that Hell shall take for thy toll!
Full well hath thy treason found its goal,
O thou dead body and damnèd soul!”
She turned, sore dazed, for a voice was near,
And she knew that some one called to her.
On many a column fair and tall
A high court ran round the castle-hall;
And thence it was that the priest did call.
“I sought your child where you bade me go,
And in rooms around and rooms below;
But where, alas! may the maiden be?
Fear nought,—we shall find her speedily,—
But come, come hither, and seek with me.”
She reached the stair like a lifelorn thing,
But hastened upward murmuring,
“Yea, Death's is a face that's fell to see;
But bitterer pang Life hoards for thee,
Thou broken heart of Rose Mary!”
BERYL-SONG
We whose throne is the Beryl,
Dire-gifted spirits of fire,
Who for a twin
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Leash Sorrow to Sin,
Who on no flower refrain to lour with peril,—
We cry,—O desolate daughter!
Thou and thy mother share newer shame with each other
Than last night's slaughter.
Awake and tremble, for our curses assemble!
What more, that thou know'st not yet,—
That life nor death shall forget?
No help from Heaven,—thy woes heart-riven are sterile!
O once a maiden,
With yet worse sorrow can any morrow be laden?
It waits for thee,
It looms, it must be,
O lost among women,—
It comes and thou canst not flee.
Amen to the omen,
Says the voice of the Beryl.
Thou sleep'st? Awake,—
What dar'st thou yet for his sake,
Who each for other did God's own Future imperil?
Dost dare to live
`Mid the pangs each hour must give?
Nay, rather die,—
With him thy lover 'neath Hell's cloud-cover to fly,—
Hopeless, yet not apart,
Cling heart to heart,
And beat through the nether storm-eddying winds together?
Shall this be so?
There thou shalt meet him, but mayst thou greet him? ah no !
He loves, but thee he hoped nevermore to see,—
He sighed as he died,
But with never a thought for thee.
Alone!
Alone, for ever alone,—
Whose eyes were such wondrous spies for the fate foreshown!
Lo! have not We leashed the twin
Of endless Sorrow to Sin,—
Who on no flower refrain to lour with peril,—
Dire-gifted spirits of fire,
We whose throne is the Beryl?
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PART III
A SWOON that breaks is the whelming wave
When help comes late but still can save.
With all blind throes is the instant rife,—
Hurtling clangour and clouds at strife,—
The breath of death, but the kiss of life.
The night lay deep on Rose Mary's heart,
For her swoon was death's kind counterpart:
The dawn broke dim on Rose Mary's soul,—
No hill-crown's heavenly aureole,
But a wild gleam on a shaken shoal.
Her senses gasped in the sudden air,
And she looked around, but none was there.
She felt the slackening frost distil
Through her blood the last ooze dull and chill:
Her lids were dry and her lips were still.
Her tears had flooded her heart again;
As after a long day's bitter rain,
At dusk when the wet flower-cups shrink,
The drops run in from the beaded brink,
And all the close-shut petals drink.
Again her sighs on her heart were rolled;
As the wind that long has swept the wold,—
Whose moan was made with the moaning sea,—
Beats out its breath in the last torn tree,
And sinks at length in lethargy.
She knew she had waded bosom-deep
Along death's bank in the sedge of sleep:
All else was lost to her clouded mind;
Nor, looking back, could she see defin'd
O'er the dim dumb waste what lay behind.
Slowly fades the sun from the wall
Till day lies dead on the sun-dial:
And now in Rose Mary's lifted eye
'Twas shadow alone that made reply
To the set face of the soul's dark sky.
Yet still through her soul there wandered past
Dread phantoms borne on a wailing blast,—
Death and sorrow and sin and shame;
And, murmured still, to her lips there came
Her mother's and her lover's name.
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How to ask, and what thing to know?
She might not stay and she dared not go.
From fires unseen these smoke-clouds curled;
But where did the hidden curse lie furled?
And how to seek through the weary world?
With toiling breath she rose from the floor
And dragged her steps to an open door:
'Twas the secret panel standing wide,
As the lady's hand had let it bide
In hastening back to her daughter's side.
She passed, but reeled with a dizzy brain
And smote the door which closed again.
She stood within by the darkling stair,
But her feet might mount more freely there,—
'Twas the open light most blinded her.
Within her mind no wonder grew
At the secret path she never knew:
All ways alike were strange to her now,—
One field bare-ridged from the spirit's plough,
One thicket black with the cypress-bough.
Once she thought that she heard her name;
And she paused, but knew not whence it came.
Down the shadowed stair a faint ray fell
That guided the weary footsteps well
Till it led her up to the altar-cell.
No change there was on Rose Mary's face
As she leaned in the portal's narrow space:
Still she stood by the pillar's stem,
Hand and bosom and garment's hem,
As the soul stands by at the requiem.
The altar-cell was a dome low-lit,
And a veil hung in the midst of it:
At the pole-points of its circling girth
Four symbols stood of the world's first birth,—
Air and water and fire and earth.
To the north, a fountain glittered free;
To the south, there glowed a red fruit-tree;
To the east, a lamp flamed high and fair;
To the west, a crystal casket rare
Held fast a cloud of the fields of air.
The painted walls were a mystic show
Of time's ebb-tide and overflow;
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His hoards long-locked and conquering key,
His service-fires that in heaven be,
And earth-wheels whirled perpetually.
Rose Mary gazed from the open door
As on idle things she cared not for,—
The fleeting shapes of an empty tale;
Then stepped with a heedless visage pale,
And lifted aside the altar-veil.
The altar stood from its curved recess
In a coiling serpent's life-likeness:
Even such a serpent evermore
Lies deep asleep at the world's dark core
Till the last Voice shake the sea and shore.
From the altar-cloth a book rose spread
And tapers burned at the altar-head;
And there in the altar-midst alone,
'Twixt wings of a sculptured beast unknown,
Rose Mary saw the Beryl-stone.
Firm it sat 'twixt the hollowed wings,
As an orb sits in the hand of kings:
And lo! for that Foe whose curse far-flown
Had bound her life with a burning zone,
Rose Mary knew the Beryl-stone.
Dread is the meteor's blazing sphere
When the poles throb to its blind career;
But not with a light more grim and ghast
Thereby is the future doom forecast,
Than now this sight brought back the past.
The hours and minutes seemed to whirr
In a clanging swarm that deafened her;
They stung her heart to a writhing flame,
And marshalled past in its glare they came,—
Death and sorrow and sin and shame.
Round the Beryl's sphere she saw them pass
And mock her eyes from the fated glass:
One by one in a fiery train
The dead hours seemed to wax and wane,
And burned till all was known again.
From the drained heart's fount there rose no cry,
There sprang no tears, for the source was dry.
Held in the hand of some heavy law,
Her eyes she might not once withdraw,
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Nor shrink away from the thing she saw.
Even as she gazed, through all her blood
The flame was quenched in a coming flood:
Out of the depth of the hollow gloom
On her soul's bare sands she felt it boom,—
The measured tide of a sea of doom.
Three steps she took through the altar-gate,
And her neck reared and her arms grew straight:
The sinews clenched like a serpent's throe,
And the face was white in the dark hair's flow,
As her hate beheld what lay below.
Dumb she stood in her malisons,—
A silver statue tressed with bronze:
As the fabled head by Perseus mown,
It seemed in sooth that her gaze alone
Had turned the carven shapes to stone.
O'er the altar-sides on either hand
There hung a dinted helm and brand:
By strength thereof, 'neath the Sacred Sign,
That bitter gift o'er the salt sea-brine
Her father brought from Palestine.
Rose Mary moved with a stern accord
And reached her hand to her father's sword;
Nor did she stir her gaze one whit
From the thing whereon her brows were knit;
But gazing still, she spoke to it.
“O ye, three times accurst,” she said,
“By whom this stone is tenanted!
Lo! here ye came by a strong sin's might;
Yet a sinner's hand that's weak to smite
Shall send you hence ere the day be night.
“This hour a clear voice bade me know
My hand shall work your overthrow:
Another thing in mine ear it spake,—
With the broken spell my life shall break.
I thank Thee, God, for the dear death's sake!
“And he Thy heavenly minister
Who swayed erewhile this spell-bound sphere,—
My parting soul let him haste to greet,
And none but he be guide for my feet
To where Thy rest is made complete.”
Then deep she breathed, with a tender moan:—
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“My love, my lord, my only one!
Even as I held the cursed clue,
When thee, through me, these foul ones slew,—
By mine own deed shall they slay me too!
“Even while they speed to Hell, my love,
Two hearts shall meet in Heaven above.
Our shrift thou sought'st, but might'st not bring:
And oh! for me 'tis a blessed thing
To work hereby our ransoming.
“One were our hearts in joy and pain,
And our souls e'en now grow one again.
And O my love, if our souls are three,
O thine and mine shall the third soul be,—
One threefold love eternally.”
Her eyes were soft as she spoke apart,
And the lips smiled to the broken heart:
But the glance was dark and the forehead scored
With the bitter frown of hate restored,
As her two hands swung the heavy sword.
Three steps back from her Foe she trod:—
“Love, for thy sake! In Thy Name, O God!”
In the fair white hands small strength was shown;
Yet the blade flashed high and the edge fell prone,
And she cleft the heart of the Beryl-stone.
What living flesh in the thunder-cloud
Hath sat and felt heaven cry aloud?
Or known how the levin's pulse may beat?
Or wrapped the hour when the whirlwinds meet
About its breast for a winding-sheet?
Who hath crouched at the world's deep heart
While the earthquake rends its loins apart?
Or walked far under the seething main
While overhead the heavens ordain
The tempest-towers of the hurricane?
Who hath seen or what ear hath heard
The secret things unregister'd
Of the place where all is past and done,
And tears and laughter sound as one
In Hell's unhallowed unison?
Nay, is it writ how the fiends despair
In earth and water and fire and air?
Even so no mortal tongue may tell
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How to the clang of the sword that fell
The echoes shook the altar-cell.
When all was still on the air again
The Beryl-stone lay cleft in twain;
The veil was rent from the riven dome;
And every wind that's winged to roam
Might have the ruined place for home.
The fountain no more glittered free;
The fruit hung dead on the leafless tree;
The flame of the lamp had ceased to flare;
And the crystal casket shattered there
Was emptied now of its cloud of air.
And lo! on the ground Rose Mary lay,
With a cold brow like the snows ere May,
With a cold breast like the earth till Spring,
With such a smile as the June days bring
When the year grows warm with harvesting.
The death she had won might leave no trace
On the soft sweet form and gentle face:
In a gracious sleep she seemed to lie;
And over her head her hand on high
Held fast the sword she triumphed by.
'Twas then a clear voice said in the room:—
“Behold the end of the heavy doom.
O come,—for thy bitter love's sake blest;
By a sweet path now thou journeyest,
And I will lead thee to thy rest.
“Me thy sin by Heaven's sore ban
Did chase erewhile from the talisman:
But to my heart, as a conquered home,
In glory of strength thy footsteps come
Who hast thus cast forth my foes therefrom.
“Already thy heart remembereth
No more his name thou sought'st in death:
For under all deeps, all heights above,—
So wide the gulf in the midst thereof,—
Are Hell of Treason and Heaven of Love.
“Thee, true soul, shall thy truth prefer
To blessed Mary's rose-bower:
Warmed and lit is thy place afar
With guerdon-fires of the sweet Love-star
Where hearts of steadfast lovers are:—
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“Though naught for the poor corpse lying here
Remain to-day but the cold white bier,
But burial-chaunt and bended knee,
But sighs and tears that heaviest be,
But rent rose-flower and rosemary.”
BERYL-SONG
We, cast forth from the Beryl,
Gyre-circling spirits of fire,
Whose pangs begin
With God's grace to sin,
For whose spent powers the immortal hours are sterile,—
Woe! must We behold this mother
Find grace in her dead child's face, and doubt of none other
But that perfect pardon, alas! hath assured her guerdon?
Woe! must We behold this daughter,
Made clean from the soil of sin wherewith We had fraught her,
Shake off a man's blood like water?
Write up her story
On the Gate of Heaven's glory,
Whom there We behold so fair in shining apparel,
And beneath her the ruin
Of our own undoing!
Alas, the Beryl!
We had for a foeman
But one weak woman;
In one day's strife,
Her hope fell dead from her life;
And yet no iron,
Her soul to environ,
Could this manslayer, this false soothsayer imperil!
Lo, where she bows
In the Holy House!
Who now shall dissever her soul from its joy for ever
While every ditty
Of love and plentiful pity
Fills the White City,
And the floor of Heaven to her feet for ever is given?
Hark, a voice cries “Flee!”
Woe! woe! what shelter have We,
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Whose pangs begin
With God's grace to sin,
For whose spent powers the immortal hours are sterile,
Gyre-circling spirits of fire,
We, cast forth from the Beryl?
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
263:The Holy Grail
From noiseful arms, and acts of prowess done
In tournament or tilt, Sir Percivale,
Whom Arthur and his knighthood called The Pure,
Had passed into the silent life of prayer,
Praise, fast, and alms; and leaving for the cowl
The helmet in an abbey far away
From Camelot, there, and not long after, died.
And one, a fellow-monk among the rest,
Ambrosius, loved him much beyond the rest,
And honoured him, and wrought into his heart
A way by love that wakened love within,
To answer that which came: and as they sat
Beneath a world-old yew-tree, darkening half
The cloisters, on a gustful April morn
That puffed the swaying branches into smoke
Above them, ere the summer when he died
The monk Ambrosius questioned Percivale:
`O brother, I have seen this yew-tree smoke,
Spring after spring, for half a hundred years:
For never have I known the world without,
Nor ever strayed beyond the pale: but thee,
When first thou camest--such a courtesy
Spake through the limbs and in the voice--I knew
For one of those who eat in Arthur's hall;
For good ye are and bad, and like to coins,
Some true, some light, but every one of you
Stamped with the image of the King; and now
Tell me, what drove thee from the Table Round,
My brother? was it earthly passion crost?'
`Nay,' said the knight; `for no such passion mine.
But the sweet vision of the Holy Grail
Drove me from all vainglories, rivalries,
And earthly heats that spring and sparkle out
Among us in the jousts, while women watch
Who wins, who falls; and waste the spiritual strength
Within us, better offered up to Heaven.'
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To whom the monk: `The Holy Grail!--I trust
We are green in Heaven's eyes; but here too much
We moulder--as to things without I mean-Yet one of your own knights, a guest of ours,
Told us of this in our refectory,
But spake with such a sadness and so low
We heard not half of what he said. What is it?
The phantom of a cup that comes and goes?'
`Nay, monk! what phantom?' answered Percivale.
`The cup, the cup itself, from which our Lord
Drank at the last sad supper with his own.
This, from the blessd land of Aromat-After the day of darkness, when the dead
Went wandering o'er Moriah--the good saint
Arimathan Joseph, journeying brought
To Glastonbury, where the winter thorn
Blossoms at Christmas, mindful of our Lord.
And there awhile it bode; and if a man
Could touch or see it, he was healed at once,
By faith, of all his ills. But then the times
Grew to such evil that the holy cup
Was caught away to Heaven, and disappeared.'
To whom the monk: `From our old books I know
That Joseph came of old to Glastonbury,
And there the heathen Prince, Arviragus,
Gave him an isle of marsh whereon to build;
And there he built with wattles from the marsh
A little lonely church in days of yore,
For so they say, these books of ours, but seem
Mute of this miracle, far as I have read.
But who first saw the holy thing today?'
`A woman,' answered Percivale, `a nun,
And one no further off in blood from me
Than sister; and if ever holy maid
With knees of adoration wore the stone,
A holy maid; though never maiden glowed,
But that was in her earlier maidenhood,
With such a fervent flame of human love,
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Which being rudely blunted, glanced and shot
Only to holy things; to prayer and praise
She gave herself, to fast and alms. And yet,
Nun as she was, the scandal of the Court,
Sin against Arthur and the Table Round,
And the strange sound of an adulterous race,
Across the iron grating of her cell
Beat, and she prayed and fasted all the more.
`And he to whom she told her sins, or what
Her all but utter whiteness held for sin,
A man wellnigh a hundred winters old,
Spake often with her of the Holy Grail,
A legend handed down through five or six,
And each of these a hundred winters old,
From our Lord's time. And when King Arthur made
His Table Round, and all men's hearts became
Clean for a season, surely he had thought
That now the Holy Grail would come again;
But sin broke out. Ah, Christ, that it would come,
And heal the world of all their wickedness!
"O Father!" asked the maiden, "might it come
To me by prayer and fasting?" "Nay," said he,
"I know not, for thy heart is pure as snow."
And so she prayed and fasted, till the sun
Shone, and the wind blew, through her, and I thought
She might have risen and floated when I saw her.
`For on a day she sent to speak with me.
And when she came to speak, behold her eyes
Beyond my knowing of them, beautiful,
Beyond all knowing of them, wonderful,
Beautiful in the light of holiness.
And "O my brother Percivale," she said,
"Sweet brother, I have seen the Holy Grail:
For, waked at dead of night, I heard a sound
As of a silver horn from o'er the hills
Blown, and I thought, `It is not Arthur's use
To hunt by moonlight;' and the slender sound
As from a distance beyond distance grew
Coming upon me--O never harp nor horn,
Nor aught we blow with breath, or touch with hand,
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Was like that music as it came; and then
Streamed through my cell a cold and silver beam,
And down the long beam stole the Holy Grail,
Rose-red with beatings in it, as if alive,
Till all the white walls of my cell were dyed
With rosy colours leaping on the wall;
And then the music faded, and the Grail
Past, and the beam decayed, and from the walls
The rosy quiverings died into the night.
So now the Holy Thing is here again
Among us, brother, fast thou too and pray,
And tell thy brother knights to fast and pray,
That so perchance the vision may be seen
By thee and those, and all the world be healed."
`Then leaving the pale nun, I spake of this
To all men; and myself fasted and prayed
Always, and many among us many a week
Fasted and prayed even to the uttermost,
Expectant of the wonder that would be.
`And one there was among us, ever moved
Among us in white armour, Galahad.
"God make thee good as thou art beautiful,"
Said Arthur, when he dubbed him knight; and none,
In so young youth, was ever made a knight
Till Galahad; and this Galahad, when he heard
My sister's vision, filled me with amaze;
His eyes became so like her own, they seemed
Hers, and himself her brother more than I.
`Sister or brother none had he; but some
Called him a son of Lancelot, and some said
Begotten by enchantment--chatterers they,
Like birds of passage piping up and down,
That gape for flies--we know not whence they come;
For when was Lancelot wanderingly lewd?
`But she, the wan sweet maiden, shore away
Clean from her forehead all that wealth of hair
Which made a silken mat-work for her feet;
And out of this she plaited broad and long
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A strong sword-belt, and wove with silver thread
And crimson in the belt a strange device,
A crimson grail within a silver beam;
And saw the bright boy-knight, and bound it on him,
Saying, "My knight, my love, my knight of heaven,
O thou, my love, whose love is one with mine,
I, maiden, round thee, maiden, bind my belt.
Go forth, for thou shalt see what I have seen,
And break through all, till one will crown thee king
Far in the spiritual city:" and as she spake
She sent the deathless passion in her eyes
Through him, and made him hers, and laid her mind
On him, and he believed in her belief.
`Then came a year of miracle: O brother,
In our great hall there stood a vacant chair,
Fashioned by Merlin ere he past away,
And carven with strange figures; and in and out
The figures, like a serpent, ran a scroll
Of letters in a tongue no man could read.
And Merlin called it "The Siege perilous,"
Perilous for good and ill; "for there," he said,
"No man could sit but he should lose himself:"
And once by misadvertence Merlin sat
In his own chair, and so was lost; but he,
Galahad, when he heard of Merlin's doom,
Cried, "If I lose myself, I save myself!"
`Then on a summer night it came to pass,
While the great banquet lay along the hall,
That Galahad would sit down in Merlin's chair.
`And all at once, as there we sat, we heard
A cracking and a riving of the roofs,
And rending, and a blast, and overhead
Thunder, and in the thunder was a cry.
And in the blast there smote along the hall
A beam of light seven times more clear than day:
And down the long beam stole the Holy Grail
All over covered with a luminous cloud.
And none might see who bare it, and it past.
But every knight beheld his fellow's face
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As in a glory, and all the knights arose,
And staring each at other like dumb men
Stood, till I found a voice and sware a vow.
`I sware a vow before them all, that I,
Because I had not seen the Grail, would ride
A twelvemonth and a day in quest of it,
Until I found and saw it, as the nun
My sister saw it; and Galahad sware the vow,
And good Sir Bors, our Lancelot's cousin, sware,
And Lancelot sware, and many among the knights,
And Gawain sware, and louder than the rest.'
Then spake the monk Ambrosius, asking him,
`What said the King? Did Arthur take the vow?'
`Nay, for my lord,' said Percivale, `the King,
Was not in hall: for early that same day,
Scaped through a cavern from a bandit hold,
An outraged maiden sprang into the hall
Crying on help: for all her shining hair
Was smeared with earth, and either milky arm
Red-rent with hooks of bramble, and all she wore
Torn as a sail that leaves the rope is torn
In tempest: so the King arose and went
To smoke the scandalous hive of those wild bees
That made such honey in his realm. Howbeit
Some little of this marvel he too saw,
Returning o'er the plain that then began
To darken under Camelot; whence the King
Looked up, calling aloud, "Lo, there! the roofs
Of our great hall are rolled in thunder-smoke!
Pray Heaven, they be not smitten by the bolt."
For dear to Arthur was that hall of ours,
As having there so oft with all his knights
Feasted, and as the stateliest under heaven.
`O brother, had you known our mighty hall,
Which Merlin built for Arthur long ago!
For all the sacred mount of Camelot,
And all the dim rich city, roof by roof,
Tower after tower, spire beyond spire,
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By grove, and garden-lawn, and rushing brook,
Climbs to the mighty hall that Merlin built.
And four great zones of sculpture, set betwixt
With many a mystic symbol, gird the hall:
And in the lowest beasts are slaying men,
And in the second men are slaying beasts,
And on the third are warriors, perfect men,
And on the fourth are men with growing wings,
And over all one statue in the mould
Of Arthur, made by Merlin, with a crown,
And peaked wings pointed to the Northern Star.
And eastward fronts the statue, and the crown
And both the wings are made of gold, and flame
At sunrise till the people in far fields,
Wasted so often by the heathen hordes,
Behold it, crying, "We have still a King."
`And, brother, had you known our hall within,
Broader and higher than any in all the lands!
Where twelve great windows blazon Arthur's wars,
And all the light that falls upon the board
Streams through the twelve great battles of our King.
Nay, one there is, and at the eastern end,
Wealthy with wandering lines of mount and mere,
Where Arthur finds the brand Excalibur.
And also one to the west, and counter to it,
And blank: and who shall blazon it? when and how?-O there, perchance, when all our wars are done,
The brand Excalibur will be cast away.
`So to this hall full quickly rode the King,
In horror lest the work by Merlin wrought,
Dreamlike, should on the sudden vanish, wrapt
In unremorseful folds of rolling fire.
And in he rode, and up I glanced, and saw
The golden dragon sparkling over all:
And many of those who burnt the hold, their arms
Hacked, and their foreheads grimed with smoke, and seared,
Followed, and in among bright faces, ours,
Full of the vision, prest: and then the King
Spake to me, being nearest, "Percivale,"
(Because the hall was all in tumult--some
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Vowing, and some protesting), "what is this?"
`O brother, when I told him what had chanced,
My sister's vision, and the rest, his face
Darkened, as I have seen it more than once,
When some brave deed seemed to be done in vain,
Darken; and "Woe is me, my knights," he cried,
"Had I been here, ye had not sworn the vow."
Bold was mine answer, "Had thyself been here,
My King, thou wouldst have sworn." "Yea, yea," said he,
"Art thou so bold and hast not seen the Grail?"
`"Nay, lord, I heard the sound, I saw the light,
But since I did not see the Holy Thing,
I sware a vow to follow it till I saw."
`Then when he asked us, knight by knight, if any
Had seen it, all their answers were as one:
"Nay, lord, and therefore have we sworn our vows."
`"Lo now," said Arthur, "have ye seen a cloud?
What go ye into the wilderness to see?"
`Then Galahad on the sudden, and in a voice
Shrilling along the hall to Arthur, called,
"But I, Sir Arthur, saw the Holy Grail,
I saw the Holy Grail and heard a cry-`O Galahad, and O Galahad, follow me.'"
`"Ah, Galahad, Galahad," said the King, "for such
As thou art is the vision, not for these.
Thy holy nun and thou have seen a sign-Holier is none, my Percivale, than she-A sign to maim this Order which I made.
But ye, that follow but the leader's bell"
(Brother, the King was hard upon his knights)
"Taliessin is our fullest throat of song,
And one hath sung and all the dumb will sing.
Lancelot is Lancelot, and hath overborne
Five knights at once, and every younger knight,
Unproven, holds himself as Lancelot,
Till overborne by one, he learns--and ye,
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What are ye? Galahads?--no, nor Percivales"
(For thus it pleased the King to range me close
After Sir Galahad); "nay," said he, "but men
With strength and will to right the wronged, of power
To lay the sudden heads of violence flat,
Knights that in twelve great battles splashed and dyed
The strong White Horse in his own heathen blood-But one hath seen, and all the blind will see.
Go, since your vows are sacred, being made:
Yet--for ye know the cries of all my realm
Pass through this hall--how often, O my knights,
Your places being vacant at my side,
This chance of noble deeds will come and go
Unchallenged, while ye follow wandering fires
Lost in the quagmire! Many of you, yea most,
Return no more: ye think I show myself
Too dark a prophet: come now, let us meet
The morrow morn once more in one full field
Of gracious pastime, that once more the King,
Before ye leave him for this Quest, may count
The yet-unbroken strength of all his knights,
Rejoicing in that Order which he made."
`So when the sun broke next from under ground,
All the great table of our Arthur closed
And clashed in such a tourney and so full,
So many lances broken--never yet
Had Camelot seen the like, since Arthur came;
And I myself and Galahad, for a strength
Was in us from this vision, overthrew
So many knights that all the people cried,
And almost burst the barriers in their heat,
Shouting, "Sir Galahad and Sir Percivale!"
`But when the next day brake from under ground-O brother, had you known our Camelot,
Built by old kings, age after age, so old
The King himself had fears that it would fall,
So strange, and rich, and dim; for where the roofs
Tottered toward each other in the sky,
Met foreheads all along the street of those
Who watched us pass; and lower, and where the long
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Rich galleries, lady-laden, weighed the necks
Of dragons clinging to the crazy walls,
Thicker than drops from thunder, showers of flowers
Fell as we past; and men and boys astride
On wyvern, lion, dragon, griffin, swan,
At all the corners, named us each by name,
Calling, "God speed!" but in the ways below
The knights and ladies wept, and rich and poor
Wept, and the King himself could hardly speak
For grief, and all in middle street the Queen,
Who rode by Lancelot, wailed and shrieked aloud,
"This madness has come on us for our sins."
So to the Gate of the three Queens we came,
Where Arthur's wars are rendered mystically,
And thence departed every one his way.
`And I was lifted up in heart, and thought
Of all my late-shown prowess in the lists,
How my strong lance had beaten down the knights,
So many and famous names; and never yet
Had heaven appeared so blue, nor earth so green,
For all my blood danced in me, and I knew
That I should light upon the Holy Grail.
`Thereafter, the dark warning of our King,
That most of us would follow wandering fires,
Came like a driving gloom across my mind.
Then every evil word I had spoken once,
And every evil thought I had thought of old,
And every evil deed I ever did,
Awoke and cried, "This Quest is not for thee."
And lifting up mine eyes, I found myself
Alone, and in a land of sand and thorns,
And I was thirsty even unto death;
And I, too, cried, "This Quest is not for thee."
`And on I rode, and when I thought my thirst
Would slay me, saw deep lawns, and then a brook,
With one sharp rapid, where the crisping white
Played ever back upon the sloping wave,
And took both ear and eye; and o'er the brook
Were apple-trees, and apples by the brook
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Fallen, and on the lawns. "I will rest here,"
I said, "I am not worthy of the Quest;"
But even while I drank the brook, and ate
The goodly apples, all these things at once
Fell into dust, and I was left alone,
And thirsting, in a land of sand and thorns.
`And then behold a woman at a door
Spinning; and fair the house whereby she sat,
And kind the woman's eyes and innocent,
And all her bearing gracious; and she rose
Opening her arms to meet me, as who should say,
"Rest here;" but when I touched her, lo! she, too,
Fell into dust and nothing, and the house
Became no better than a broken shed,
And in it a dead babe; and also this
Fell into dust, and I was left alone.
`And on I rode, and greater was my thirst.
Then flashed a yellow gleam across the world,
And where it smote the plowshare in the field,
The plowman left his plowing, and fell down
Before it; where it glittered on her pail,
The milkmaid left her milking, and fell down
Before it, and I knew not why, but thought
"The sun is rising," though the sun had risen.
Then was I ware of one that on me moved
In golden armour with a crown of gold
About a casque all jewels; and his horse
In golden armour jewelled everywhere:
And on the splendour came, flashing me blind;
And seemed to me the Lord of all the world,
Being so huge. But when I thought he meant
To crush me, moving on me, lo! he, too,
Opened his arms to embrace me as he came,
And up I went and touched him, and he, too,
Fell into dust, and I was left alone
And wearying in a land of sand and thorns.
`And I rode on and found a mighty hill,
And on the top, a city walled: the spires
Pricked with incredible pinnacles into heaven.
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And by the gateway stirred a crowd; and these
Cried to me climbing, "Welcome, Percivale!
Thou mightiest and thou purest among men!"
And glad was I and clomb, but found at top
No man, nor any voice. And thence I past
Far through a ruinous city, and I saw
That man had once dwelt there; but there I found
Only one man of an exceeding age.
"Where is that goodly company," said I,
"That so cried out upon me?" and he had
Scarce any voice to answer, and yet gasped,
"Whence and what art thou?" and even as he spoke
Fell into dust, and disappeared, and I
Was left alone once more, and cried in grief,
"Lo, if I find the Holy Grail itself
And touch it, it will crumble into dust."
`And thence I dropt into a lowly vale,
Low as the hill was high, and where the vale
Was lowest, found a chapel, and thereby
A holy hermit in a hermitage,
To whom I told my phantoms, and he said:
`"O son, thou hast not true humility,
The highest virtue, mother of them all;
For when the Lord of all things made Himself
Naked of glory for His mortal change,
`Take thou my robe,' she said, `for all is thine,'
And all her form shone forth with sudden light
So that the angels were amazed, and she
Followed Him down, and like a flying star
Led on the gray-haired wisdom of the east;
But her thou hast not known: for what is this
Thou thoughtest of thy prowess and thy sins?
Thou hast not lost thyself to save thyself
As Galahad." When the hermit made an end,
In silver armour suddenly Galahad shone
Before us, and against the chapel door
Laid lance, and entered, and we knelt in prayer.
And there the hermit slaked my burning thirst,
And at the sacring of the mass I saw
The holy elements alone; but he,
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"Saw ye no more? I, Galahad, saw the Grail,
The Holy Grail, descend upon the shrine:
I saw the fiery face as of a child
That smote itself into the bread, and went;
And hither am I come; and never yet
Hath what thy sister taught me first to see,
This Holy Thing, failed from my side, nor come
Covered, but moving with me night and day,
Fainter by day, but always in the night
Blood-red, and sliding down the blackened marsh
Blood-red, and on the naked mountain top
Blood-red, and in the sleeping mere below
Blood-red. And in the strength of this I rode,
Shattering all evil customs everywhere,
And past through Pagan realms, and made them mine,
And clashed with Pagan hordes, and bore them down,
And broke through all, and in the strength of this
Come victor. But my time is hard at hand,
And hence I go; and one will crown me king
Far in the spiritual city; and come thou, too,
For thou shalt see the vision when I go."
`While thus he spake, his eye, dwelling on mine,
Drew me, with power upon me, till I grew
One with him, to believe as he believed.
Then, when the day began to wane, we went.
`There rose a hill that none but man could climb,
Scarred with a hundred wintry water-courses-Storm at the top, and when we gained it, storm
Round us and death; for every moment glanced
His silver arms and gloomed: so quick and thick
The lightnings here and there to left and right
Struck, till the dry old trunks about us, dead,
Yea, rotten with a hundred years of death,
Sprang into fire: and at the base we found
On either hand, as far as eye could see,
A great black swamp and of an evil smell,
Part black, part whitened with the bones of men,
Not to be crost, save that some ancient king
Had built a way, where, linked with many a bridge,
A thousand piers ran into the great Sea.
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And Galahad fled along them bridge by bridge,
And every bridge as quickly as he crost
Sprang into fire and vanished, though I yearned
To follow; and thrice above him all the heavens
Opened and blazed with thunder such as seemed
Shoutings of all the sons of God: and first
At once I saw him far on the great Sea,
In silver-shining armour starry-clear;
And o'er his head the Holy Vessel hung
Clothed in white samite or a luminous cloud.
And with exceeding swiftness ran the boat,
If boat it were--I saw not whence it came.
And when the heavens opened and blazed again
Roaring, I saw him like a silver star-And had he set the sail, or had the boat
Become a living creature clad with wings?
And o'er his head the Holy Vessel hung
Redder than any rose, a joy to me,
For now I knew the veil had been withdrawn.
Then in a moment when they blazed again
Opening, I saw the least of little stars
Down on the waste, and straight beyond the star
I saw the spiritual city and all her spires
And gateways in a glory like one pearl-No larger, though the goal of all the saints-Strike from the sea; and from the star there shot
A rose-red sparkle to the city, and there
Dwelt, and I knew it was the Holy Grail,
Which never eyes on earth again shall see.
Then fell the floods of heaven drowning the deep.
And how my feet recrost the deathful ridge
No memory in me lives; but that I touched
The chapel-doors at dawn I know; and thence
Taking my war-horse from the holy man,
Glad that no phantom vext me more, returned
To whence I came, the gate of Arthur's wars.'
`O brother,' asked Ambrosius,--`for in sooth
These ancient books--and they would win thee--teem,
Only I find not there this Holy Grail,
With miracles and marvels like to these,
Not all unlike; which oftentime I read,
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Who read but on my breviary with ease,
Till my head swims; and then go forth and pass
Down to the little thorpe that lies so close,
And almost plastered like a martin's nest
To these old walls--and mingle with our folk;
And knowing every honest face of theirs
As well as ever shepherd knew his sheep,
And every homely secret in their hearts,
Delight myself with gossip and old wives,
And ills and aches, and teethings, lyings-in,
And mirthful sayings, children of the place,
That have no meaning half a league away:
Or lulling random squabbles when they rise,
Chafferings and chatterings at the market-cross,
Rejoice, small man, in this small world of mine,
Yea, even in their hens and in their eggs-O brother, saving this Sir Galahad,
Came ye on none but phantoms in your quest,
No man, no woman?'
Then Sir Percivale:
`All men, to one so bound by such a vow,
And women were as phantoms. O, my brother,
Why wilt thou shame me to confess to thee
How far I faltered from my quest and vow?
For after I had lain so many nights
A bedmate of the snail and eft and snake,
In grass and burdock, I was changed to wan
And meagre, and the vision had not come;
And then I chanced upon a goodly town
With one great dwelling in the middle of it;
Thither I made, and there was I disarmed
By maidens each as fair as any flower:
But when they led me into hall, behold,
The Princess of that castle was the one,
Brother, and that one only, who had ever
Made my heart leap; for when I moved of old
A slender page about her father's hall,
And she a slender maiden, all my heart
Went after her with longing: yet we twain
Had never kissed a kiss, or vowed a vow.
And now I came upon her once again,
615
And one had wedded her, and he was dead,
And all his land and wealth and state were hers.
And while I tarried, every day she set
A banquet richer than the day before
By me; for all her longing and her will
Was toward me as of old; till one fair morn,
I walking to and fro beside a stream
That flashed across her orchard underneath
Her castle-walls, she stole upon my walk,
And calling me the greatest of all knights,
Embraced me, and so kissed me the first time,
And gave herself and all her wealth to me.
Then I remembered Arthur's warning word,
That most of us would follow wandering fires,
And the Quest faded in my heart. Anon,
The heads of all her people drew to me,
With supplication both of knees and tongue:
"We have heard of thee: thou art our greatest knight,
Our Lady says it, and we well believe:
Wed thou our Lady, and rule over us,
And thou shalt be as Arthur in our land."
O me, my brother! but one night my vow
Burnt me within, so that I rose and fled,
But wailed and wept, and hated mine own self,
And even the Holy Quest, and all but her;
Then after I was joined with Galahad
Cared not for her, nor anything upon earth.'
Then said the monk, `Poor men, when yule is cold,
Must be content to sit by little fires.
And this am I, so that ye care for me
Ever so little; yea, and blest be Heaven
That brought thee here to this poor house of ours
Where all the brethren are so hard, to warm
My cold heart with a friend: but O the pity
To find thine own first love once more--to hold,
Hold her a wealthy bride within thine arms,
Or all but hold, and then--cast her aside,
Foregoing all her sweetness, like a weed.
For we that want the warmth of double life,
We that are plagued with dreams of something sweet
Beyond all sweetness in a life so rich,--
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Ah, blessd Lord, I speak too earthlywise,
Seeing I never strayed beyond the cell,
But live like an old badger in his earth,
With earth about him everywhere, despite
All fast and penance. Saw ye none beside,
None of your knights?'
`Yea so,' said Percivale:
`One night my pathway swerving east, I saw
The pelican on the casque of our Sir Bors
All in the middle of the rising moon:
And toward him spurred, and hailed him, and he me,
And each made joy of either; then he asked,
"Where is he? hast thou seen him--Lancelot?--Once,"
Said good Sir Bors, "he dashed across me--mad,
And maddening what he rode: and when I cried,
`Ridest thou then so hotly on a quest
So holy,' Lancelot shouted, `Stay me not!
I have been the sluggard, and I ride apace,
For now there is a lion in the way.'
So vanished."
`Then Sir Bors had ridden on
Softly, and sorrowing for our Lancelot,
Because his former madness, once the talk
And scandal of our table, had returned;
For Lancelot's kith and kin so worship him
That ill to him is ill to them; to Bors
Beyond the rest: he well had been content
Not to have seen, so Lancelot might have seen,
The Holy Cup of healing; and, indeed,
Being so clouded with his grief and love,
Small heart was his after the Holy Quest:
If God would send the vision, well: if not,
The Quest and he were in the hands of Heaven.
`And then, with small adventure met, Sir Bors
Rode to the lonest tract of all the realm,
And found a people there among their crags,
Our race and blood, a remnant that were left
Paynim amid their circles, and the stones
They pitch up straight to heaven: and their wise men
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Were strong in that old magic which can trace
The wandering of the stars, and scoffed at him
And this high Quest as at a simple thing:
Told him he followed--almost Arthur's words-A mocking fire: "what other fire than he,
Whereby the blood beats, and the blossom blows,
And the sea rolls, and all the world is warmed?"
And when his answer chafed them, the rough crowd,
Hearing he had a difference with their priests,
Seized him, and bound and plunged him into a cell
Of great piled stones; and lying bounden there
In darkness through innumerable hours
He heard the hollow-ringing heavens sweep
Over him till by miracle--what else?-Heavy as it was, a great stone slipt and fell,
Such as no wind could move: and through the gap
Glimmered the streaming scud: then came a night
Still as the day was loud; and through the gap
The seven clear stars of Arthur's Table Round-For, brother, so one night, because they roll
Through such a round in heaven, we named the stars,
Rejoicing in ourselves and in our King-And these, like bright eyes of familiar friends,
In on him shone: "And then to me, to me,"
Said good Sir Bors, "beyond all hopes of mine,
Who scarce had prayed or asked it for myself-Across the seven clear stars--O grace to me-In colour like the fingers of a hand
Before a burning taper, the sweet Grail
Glided and past, and close upon it pealed
A sharp quick thunder." Afterwards, a maid,
Who kept our holy faith among her kin
In secret, entering, loosed and let him go.'
To whom the monk: `And I remember now
That pelican on the casque: Sir Bors it was
Who spake so low and sadly at our board;
And mighty reverent at our grace was he:
A square-set man and honest; and his eyes,
An out-door sign of all the warmth within,
Smiled with his lips--a smile beneath a cloud,
But heaven had meant it for a sunny one:
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Ay, ay, Sir Bors, who else? But when ye reached
The city, found ye all your knights returned,
Or was there sooth in Arthur's prophecy,
Tell me, and what said each, and what the King?'
Then answered Percivale: `And that can I,
Brother, and truly; since the living words
Of so great men as Lancelot and our King
Pass not from door to door and out again,
But sit within the house. O, when we reached
The city, our horses stumbling as they trode
On heaps of ruin, hornless unicorns,
Cracked basilisks, and splintered cockatrices,
And shattered talbots, which had left the stones
Raw, that they fell from, brought us to the hall.
`And there sat Arthur on the das-throne,
And those that had gone out upon the Quest,
Wasted and worn, and but a tithe of them,
And those that had not, stood before the King,
Who, when he saw me, rose, and bad me hail,
Saying, "A welfare in thine eye reproves
Our fear of some disastrous chance for thee
On hill, or plain, at sea, or flooding ford.
So fierce a gale made havoc here of late
Among the strange devices of our kings;
Yea, shook this newer, stronger hall of ours,
And from the statue Merlin moulded for us
Half-wrenched a golden wing; but now--the Quest,
This vision--hast thou seen the Holy Cup,
That Joseph brought of old to Glastonbury?"
`So when I told him all thyself hast heard,
Ambrosius, and my fresh but fixt resolve
To pass away into the quiet life,
He answered not, but, sharply turning, asked
Of Gawain, "Gawain, was this Quest for thee?"
`"Nay, lord," said Gawain, "not for such as I.
Therefore I communed with a saintly man,
Who made me sure the Quest was not for me;
For I was much awearied of the Quest:
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But found a silk pavilion in a field,
And merry maidens in it; and then this gale
Tore my pavilion from the tenting-pin,
And blew my merry maidens all about
With all discomfort; yea, and but for this,
My twelvemonth and a day were pleasant to me."
`He ceased; and Arthur turned to whom at first
He saw not, for Sir Bors, on entering, pushed
Athwart the throng to Lancelot, caught his hand,
Held it, and there, half-hidden by him, stood,
Until the King espied him, saying to him,
"Hail, Bors! if ever loyal man and true
Could see it, thou hast seen the Grail;" and Bors,
"Ask me not, for I may not speak of it:
I saw it;" and the tears were in his eyes.
`Then there remained but Lancelot, for the rest
Spake but of sundry perils in the storm;
Perhaps, like him of Cana in Holy Writ,
Our Arthur kept his best until the last;
"Thou, too, my Lancelot," asked the king, "my friend,
Our mightiest, hath this Quest availed for thee?"
`"Our mightiest!" answered Lancelot, with a groan;
"O King!"--and when he paused, methought I spied
A dying fire of madness in his eyes-"O King, my friend, if friend of thine I be,
Happier are those that welter in their sin,
Swine in the mud, that cannot see for slime,
Slime of the ditch: but in me lived a sin
So strange, of such a kind, that all of pure,
Noble, and knightly in me twined and clung
Round that one sin, until the wholesome flower
And poisonous grew together, each as each,
Not to be plucked asunder; and when thy knights
Sware, I sware with them only in the hope
That could I touch or see the Holy Grail
They might be plucked asunder. Then I spake
To one most holy saint, who wept and said,
That save they could be plucked asunder, all
My quest were but in vain; to whom I vowed
620
That I would work according as he willed.
And forth I went, and while I yearned and strove
To tear the twain asunder in my heart,
My madness came upon me as of old,
And whipt me into waste fields far away;
There was I beaten down by little men,
Mean knights, to whom the moving of my sword
And shadow of my spear had been enow
To scare them from me once; and then I came
All in my folly to the naked shore,
Wide flats, where nothing but coarse grasses grew;
But such a blast, my King, began to blow,
So loud a blast along the shore and sea,
Ye could not hear the waters for the blast,
Though heapt in mounds and ridges all the sea
Drove like a cataract, and all the sand
Swept like a river, and the clouded heavens
Were shaken with the motion and the sound.
And blackening in the sea-foam swayed a boat,
Half-swallowed in it, anchored with a chain;
And in my madness to myself I said,
`I will embark and I will lose myself,
And in the great sea wash away my sin.'
I burst the chain, I sprang into the boat.
Seven days I drove along the dreary deep,
And with me drove the moon and all the stars;
And the wind fell, and on the seventh night
I heard the shingle grinding in the surge,
And felt the boat shock earth, and looking up,
Behold, the enchanted towers of Carbonek,
A castle like a rock upon a rock,
With chasm-like portals open to the sea,
And steps that met the breaker! there was none
Stood near it but a lion on each side
That kept the entry, and the moon was full.
Then from the boat I leapt, and up the stairs.
There drew my sword. With sudden-flaring manes
Those two great beasts rose upright like a man,
Each gript a shoulder, and I stood between;
And, when I would have smitten them, heard a voice,
`Doubt not, go forward; if thou doubt, the beasts
Will tear thee piecemeal.' Then with violence
621
The sword was dashed from out my hand, and fell.
And up into the sounding hall I past;
But nothing in the sounding hall I saw,
No bench nor table, painting on the wall
Or shield of knight; only the rounded moon
Through the tall oriel on the rolling sea.
But always in the quiet house I heard,
Clear as a lark, high o'er me as a lark,
A sweet voice singing in the topmost tower
To the eastward: up I climbed a thousand steps
With pain: as in a dream I seemed to climb
For ever: at the last I reached a door,
A light was in the crannies, and I heard,
`Glory and joy and honour to our Lord
And to the Holy Vessel of the Grail.'
Then in my madness I essayed the door;
It gave; and through a stormy glare, a heat
As from a seventimes-heated furnace, I,
Blasted and burnt, and blinded as I was,
With such a fierceness that I swooned away-O, yet methought I saw the Holy Grail,
All palled in crimson samite, and around
Great angels, awful shapes, and wings and eyes.
And but for all my madness and my sin,
And then my swooning, I had sworn I saw
That which I saw; but what I saw was veiled
And covered; and this Quest was not for me."
`So speaking, and here ceasing, Lancelot left
The hall long silent, till Sir Gawain--nay,
Brother, I need not tell thee foolish words,-A reckless and irreverent knight was he,
Now boldened by the silence of his King,-Well, I will tell thee: "O King, my liege," he said,
"Hath Gawain failed in any quest of thine?
When have I stinted stroke in foughten field?
But as for thine, my good friend Percivale,
Thy holy nun and thou have driven men mad,
Yea, made our mightiest madder than our least.
But by mine eyes and by mine ears I swear,
I will be deafer than the blue-eyed cat,
And thrice as blind as any noonday owl,
622
To holy virgins in their ecstasies,
Henceforward."
`"Deafer," said the blameless King,
"Gawain, and blinder unto holy things
Hope not to make thyself by idle vows,
Being too blind to have desire to see.
But if indeed there came a sign from heaven,
Blessd are Bors, Lancelot and Percivale,
For these have seen according to their sight.
For every fiery prophet in old times,
And all the sacred madness of the bard,
When God made music through them, could but speak
His music by the framework and the chord;
And as ye saw it ye have spoken truth.
`"Nay--but thou errest, Lancelot: never yet
Could all of true and noble in knight and man
Twine round one sin, whatever it might be,
With such a closeness, but apart there grew,
Save that he were the swine thou spakest of,
Some root of knighthood and pure nobleness;
Whereto see thou, that it may bear its flower.
`"And spake I not too truly, O my knights?
Was I too dark a prophet when I said
To those who went upon the Holy Quest,
That most of them would follow wandering fires,
Lost in the quagmire?--lost to me and gone,
And left me gazing at a barren board,
And a lean Order--scarce returned a tithe-And out of those to whom the vision came
My greatest hardly will believe he saw;
Another hath beheld it afar off,
And leaving human wrongs to right themselves,
Cares but to pass into the silent life.
And one hath had the vision face to face,
And now his chair desires him here in vain,
However they may crown him otherwhere.
`"And some among you held, that if the King
Had seen the sight he would have sworn the vow:
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Not easily, seeing that the King must guard
That which he rules, and is but as the hind
To whom a space of land is given to plow.
Who may not wander from the allotted field
Before his work be done; but, being done,
Let visions of the night or of the day
Come, as they will; and many a time they come,
Until this earth he walks on seems not earth,
This light that strikes his eyeball is not light,
This air that smites his forehead is not air
But vision--yea, his very hand and foot-In moments when he feels he cannot die,
And knows himself no vision to himself,
Nor the high God a vision, nor that One
Who rose again: ye have seen what ye have seen."
`So spake the King: I knew not all he meant.'
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
264:TO J. MILSAND, OF DIJON.

1840.

BOOK THE FIRST.
Who will, may hear Sordello's story told:
His story? Who believes me shall behold
The man, pursue his fortunes to the end,
Like me: for as the friendless-people's friend
Spied from his hill-top once, despite the din
And dust of multitudes, Pentapolin
Named o' the Naked Arm, I single out
Sordello, compassed murkily about
With ravage of six long sad hundred years.
Only believe me. Ye believe?
               Appears
Verona . . . Never,I should warn you first,
Of my own choice had this, if not the worst
Yet not the best expedient, served to tell
A story I could body forth so well
By making speak, myself kept out of view,
The very man as he was wont to do,
And leaving you to say the rest for him.
Since, though I might be proud to see the dim
Abysmal past divide its hateful surge,
Letting of all men this one man emerge
Because it pleased me, yet, that moment past,
I should delight in watching first to last
His progress as you watch it, not a whit
More in the secret than yourselves who sit
Fresh-chapleted to listen. But it seems
Your setters-forth of unexampled themes,
Makers of quite new men, producing them,
Would best chalk broadly on each vesture's hem
The wearer's quality; or take their stand,
Motley on back and pointing-pole in hand,
Beside him. So, for once I face ye, friends,
Summoned together from the world's four ends,
Dropped down from heaven or cast up from hell,
To hear the story I propose to tell.
Confess now, poets know the dragnet's trick,
Catching the dead, if fate denies the quick,
And shaming her; 't is not for fate to choose
Silence or song because she can refuse
Real eyes to glisten more, real hearts to ache
Less oft, real brows turn smoother for our sake:
I have experienced something of her spite;
But there 's a realm wherein she has no right
And I have many lovers. Say; but few
Friends fate accords me? Here they are: now view
The host I muster! Many a lighted face
Foul with no vestige of the grave's disgrace;
What else should tempt them back to taste our air
Except to see how their successors fare?
My audience! and they sit, each ghostly man
Striving to look as living as he can,
Brother by breathing brother; thou art set,
Clear-witted critic, by . . . but I 'll not fret
A wondrous soul of them, nor move death's spleen
Who loves not to unlock them. Friends! I mean
The living in good earnestye elect
Chiefly for lovesuppose not I reject
Judicious praise, who contrary shall peep,
Some fit occasion, forth, for fear ye sleep,
To glean your bland approvals. Then, appear,
Verona! staythou, spirit, come not near
Nownot this time desert thy cloudy place
To scare me, thus employed, with that pure face!
I need not fear this audience, I make free
With them, but then this is no place for thee!
The thunder-phrase of the Athenian, grown
Up out of memories of Marathon,
Would echo like his own sword's griding screech
Braying a Persian shield,the silver speech
Of Sidney's self, the starry paladin,
Turn intense as a trumpet sounding in
The knights to tilt,wert thou to hear! What heart
Have I to play my puppets, bear my part
Before these worthies?
           Lo, the past is hurled
In twain: up-thrust, out-staggering on the world,
Subsiding into shape, a darkness rears
Its outline, kindles at the core, appears
Verona. 'T is six hundred years and more
Since an event. The Second Friedrich wore
The purple, and the Third Honorius filled
The holy chair. That autumn eve was stilled:
A last remains of sunset dimly burned
O'er the far forests, like a torch-flame turned
By the wind back upon its bearer's hand
In one long flare of crimson; as a brand,
The woods beneath lay black. A single eye
From all Verona cared for the soft sky.
But, gathering in its ancient market-place,
Talked group with restless group; and not a face
But wrath made livid, for among them were
Death's staunch purveyors, such as have in care
To feast him. Fear had long since taken root
In every breast, and now these crushed its fruit,
The ripe hate, like a wine: to note the way
It worked while each grew drunk! Men grave and grey
Stood, with shut eyelids, rocking to and fro,
Letting the silent luxury trickle slow
About the hollows where a heart should be;
But the young gulped with a delirious glee
Some foretaste of their first debauch in blood
At the fierce news: for, be it understood,
Envoys apprised Verona that her prince
Count Richard of Saint Boniface, joined since
A year with Azzo, Este's Lord, to thrust
Taurello Salinguerra, prime in trust
With Ecelin Romano, from his seat
Ferrara,over zealous in the feat
And stumbling on a peril unaware,
Was captive, trammelled in his proper snare,
They phrase it, taken by his own intrigue.
Immediate succour from the Lombard League
Of fifteen cities that affect the Pope,
For Azzo, therefore, and his fellow-hope
Of the Guelf cause, a glory overcast!
Men's faces, late agape, are now aghast.
"Prone is the purple pavis; Este makes
"Mirth for the devil when he undertakes
"To play the Ecelin; as if it cost
"Merely your pushing-by to gain a post
"Like his! The patron tells ye, once for all,
"There be sound reasons that preferment fall
"On our beloved" . . .
           "Duke o' the Rood, why not?"
Shouted an Estian, "grudge ye such a lot?
"The hill-cat boasts some cunning of her own,
"Some stealthy trick to better beasts unknown,
"That quick with prey enough her hunger blunts,
"And feeds her fat while gaunt the lion hunts."
"Taurello," quoth an envoy, "as in wane
"Dwelt at Ferrara. Like an osprey fain
"To fly but forced the earth his couch to make
"Far inland, till his friend the tempest wake,
"Waits he the Kaiser's coming; and as yet
"That fast friend sleeps, and he too sleeps: but let
"Only the billow freshen, and he snuffs
"The aroused hurricane ere it enroughs
"The sea it means to cross because of him.
"Sinketh the breeze? His hope-sick eye grows dim;
"Creep closer on the creature! Every day
"Strengthens the Pontiff; Ecelin, they say,
"Dozes now at Oliero, with dry lips
"Telling upon his perished finger-tips
"How many ancestors are to depose
"Ere he be Satan's Viceroy when the doze
"Deposits him in hell. So, Guelfs rebuilt
"Their houses; not a drop of blood was spilt
"When Cino Bocchimpane chanced to meet
"Buccio VirtGod's wafer, and the street
"Is narrow! Tutti Santi, think, a-swarm
"With Ghibellins, and yet he took no harm!
"This could not last. Off Salinguerra went
"To Padua, Podest, 'with pure intent,'
"Said he, 'my presence, judged the single bar
"'To permanent tranquillity, may jar
"'No longer'so! his back is fairly turned?
"The pair of goodly palaces are burned,
"The gardens ravaged, and our Guelfs laugh, drunk
"A week with joy. The next, their laughter sunk
"In sobs of blood, for they found, some strange way,
"Old Salinguerra back againI say,
"Old Salinguerra in the town once more
"Uprooting, overturning, flame before,
"Blood fetlock-high beneath him. Azzo fled;
"Who 'scaped the carnage followed; then the dead
"Were pushed aside from Salinguerra's throne,
"He ruled once more Ferrara, all alone,
"Till Azzo, stunned awhile, revived, would pounce
"Coupled with Boniface, like lynx and ounce,
"On the gorged bird. The burghers ground their teeth
"To see troop after troop encamp beneath
"I' the standing corn thick o'er the scanty patch
"It took so many patient months to snatch
"Out of the marsh; while just within their walls
"Men fed on men. At length Taurello calls
"A parley: 'let the Count wind up the war!'
"Richard, light-hearted as a plunging star,
"Agrees to enter for the kindest ends
"Ferrara, flanked with fifty chosen friends,
"No horse-boy more, for fear your timid sort
"Should fly Ferrara at the bare report.
"Quietly through the town they rode, jog-jog;
"'Ten, twenty, thirty,curse the catalogue
"'Of burnt Guelf houses! Strange, Taurello shows
"'Not the least sign of life'whereat arose
"A general growl: 'How? With his victors by?
"'I and my Veronese? My troops and I?
"'Receive us, was your word?' So jogged they on,
"Nor laughed their host too openly: once gone
"Into the trap!"
         Six hundred years ago!
Such the time's aspect and peculiar woe
(Yourselves may spell it yet in chronicles,
Albeit the worm, our busy brother, drills
His sprawling path through letters anciently
Made fine and large to suit some abbot's eye)
When the new Hohenstauffen dropped the mask,
Flung John of Brienne's favour from his casque,
Forswore crusading, had no mind to leave
Saint Peter's proxy leisure to retrieve
Losses to Otho and to Barbaross,
Or make the Alps less easy to recross;
And, thus confirming Pope Honorius' fear,
Was excommunicate that very year.
"The triple-bearded Teuton come to life!"
Groaned the Great League; and, arming for the strife,
Wide Lombardy, on tiptoe to begin,
Took up, as it was Guelf or Ghibellin,
Its cry: what cry?
         "The Emperor to come!"
His crowd of feudatories, all and some,
That leapt down with a crash of swords, spears, shields,
One fighter on his fellow, to our fields,
Scattered anon, took station here and there,
And carried it, till now, with little care
Cannot but cry for him; how else rebut
Us longer?cliffs, an earthquake suffered jut
In the mid-sea, each domineering crest
Which nought save such another throe can wrest
From out (conceive) a certain chokeweed grown
Since o'er the waters, twine and tangle thrown
Too thick, too fast accumulating round,
Too sure to over-riot and confound
Ere long each brilliant islet with itself,
Unless a second shock save shoal and shelf,
Whirling the sea-drift wide: alas, the bruised
And sullen wreck! Sunlight to be diffused
For that!sunlight, 'neath which, a scum at first,
The million fibres of our chokeweed nurst
Dispread themselves, mantling the troubled main,
And, shattered by those rocks, took hold again,
So kindly blazed itthat same blaze to brood
O'er every cluster of the multitude
Still hazarding new clasps, ties, filaments,
An emulous exchange of pulses, vents
Of nature into nature; till some growth
Unfancied yet, exuberantly clothe
A surface solid now, continuous, one:
"The Pope, for us the People, who begun
"The People, carries on the People thus,
"To keep that Kaiser off and dwell with us!"
See you?
    Or say, Two Principles that live
Each fitly by its Representative.
"Hill-cat"who called him so?the gracefullest
Adventurer, the ambiguous stranger-guest
Of Lombardy (sleek but that ruffling fur,
Those talons to their sheath!) whose velvet purr
Soothes jealous neighbours when a Saxon scout
Arpo or Yoland, is it?one without
A country or a name, presumes to couch
Beside their noblest; until men avouch
That, of all Houses in the Trevisan,
Conrad descries no fitter, rear or van,
Than Ecelo! They laughed as they enrolled
That name at Milan on the page of gold,
Godego's lord,Ramon, Marostica,
Cartiglion, Bassano, Loria,
And every sheep cote on the Suabian's fief!
No laughter when his son, "the Lombard Chief"
Forsooth, as Barbarossa's path was bent
To Italy along the Vale of Trent,
Welcomed him at Roncaglia! Sadness now
The hamlets nested on the Tyrol's brow,
The Asolan and Euganean hills,
The Rhetian and the Julian, sadness fills
Them all, for Ecelin vouchsafes to stay
Among and care about them; day by day
Choosing this pinnacle, the other spot,
A castle building to defend a cot,
A cot built for a castle to defend,
Nothing but castles, castles, nor an end
To boasts how mountain ridge may join with ridge
By sunken gallery and soaring bridge.
He takes, in brief, a figure that beseems
The griesliest nightmare of the Church's dreams,
A Signory firm-rooted, unestranged
From its old interests, and nowise changed
By its new neighbourhood: perchance the vaunt
Of Otho, "my own Este shall supplant
"Your Este," come to pass. The sire led in
A son as cruel; and this Ecelin
Had sons, in turn, and daughters sly and tall
And curling and compliant; but for all
Romano (so they styled him) throve, that neck
Of his so pinched and white, that hungry cheek
Proved 't was some fiend, not him, the man's-flesh went
To feed: whereas Romano's instrument,
Famous Taurello Salinguerra, sole
I' the world, a tree whose boughs were slipt the bole
Successively, why should not he shed blood
To further a design? Men understood
Living was pleasant to him as he wore
His careless surcoat, glanced some missive o'er,
Propped on his truncheon in the public way,
While his lord lifted writhen hands to pray,
Lost at Oliero's convent.
             Hill-cats, face
Our Azzo, our Guelf Lion! Why disgrace
A worthiness conspicuous near and far
(Atii at Rome while free and consular,
Este at Padua who repulsed the Hun)
By trumpeting the Church's princely son?
Styled Patron of Rovigo's Polesine,
Ancona's march, Ferrara's . . . ask, in fine,
Our chronicles, commenced when some old monk
Found it intolerable to be sunk
(Vexed to the quick by his revolting cell)
Quite out of summer while alive and well:
Ended when by his mat the Prior stood,
'Mid busy promptings of the brotherhood,
Striving to coax from his decrepit brains
The reason Father Porphyry took pains
To blot those ten lines out which used to stand
First on their charter drawn by Hildebrand.
The same night wears. Verona's rule of yore
Was vested in a certain Twenty-four;
And while within his palace these debate
Concerning Richard and Ferrara's fate,
Glide we by clapping doors, with sudden glare
Of cressets vented on the dark, nor care
For aught that 's seen or heard until we shut
The smother in, the lights, all noises but
The carroch's booming: safe at last! Why strange
Such a recess should lurk behind a range
Of banquet-rooms? Your fingerthusyou push
A spring, and the wall opens, would you rush
Upon the banqueters, select your prey,
Waiting (the slaughter-weapons in the way
Strewing this very bench) with sharpened ear
A preconcerted signal to appear;
Or if you simply crouch with beating heart,
Bearing in some voluptuous pageant part
To startle them. Nor mutes nor masquers now;
Nor any . . . does that one man sleep whose brow
The dying lamp-flame sinks and rises o'er?
What woman stood beside him? not the more
Is he unfastened from the earnest eyes
Because that arras fell between! Her wise
And lulling words are yet about the room,
Her presence wholly poured upon the gloom
Down even to her vesture's creeping stir.
And so reclines he, saturate with her,
Until an outcry from the square beneath
Pierces the charm: he springs up, glad to breathe,
Above the cunning element, and shakes
The stupor off as (look you) morning breaks
On the gay dress, and, near concealed by it,
The lean frame like a half-burnt taper, lit
Erst at some marriage-feast, then laid away
Till the Armenian bridegroom's dying day,
In his wool wedding-robe.
             For hefor he,
Gate-vein of this hearts' blood of Lombardy,
(If I should falter now)for he is thine!
Sordello, thy forerunner, Florentine!
A herald-star I know thou didst absorb
Relentless into the consummate orb
That scared it from its right to roll along
A sempiternal path with dance and song
Fulfilling its allotted period,
Serenest of the progeny of God
Who yet resigns it not! His darling stoops
With no quenched lights, desponds with no blank troops
Of disenfranchised brilliances, for, blent
Utterly with thee, its shy element
Like thine upburneth prosperous and clear.
Still, what if I approach the august sphere
Named now with only one name, disentwine
That under-current soft and argentine
From its fierce mate in the majestic mass
Leavened as the sea whose fire was mixt with glass
In John's transcendent vision,launch once more
That lustre? Dante, pacer of the shore
Where glutted hell disgorgeth filthiest gloom,
Unbitten by its whirring sulphur-spume
Or whence the grieved and obscure waters slope
Into a darkness quieted by hope;
Plucker of amaranths grown beneath God's eye
In gracious twilights where his chosen lie,
I would do this! If I should falter now!
In Mantua territory half is slough,
Half pine-tree forest; maples, scarlet oaks
Breed o'er the river-beds; even Mincio chokes
With sand the summer through: but 't is morass
In winter up to Mantua walls. There was,
Some thirty years before this evening's coil,
One spot reclaimed from the surrounding spoil,
Goito; just a castle built amid
A few low mountains; firs and larches hid
Their main defiles, and rings of vineyard bound
The rest. Some captured creature in a pound,
Whose artless wonder quite precludes distress,
Secure beside in its own loveliness,
So peered with airy head, below, above,
The castle at its toils, the lapwings love
To glean among at grape-time. Pass within.
A maze of corridors contrived for sin,
Dusk winding-stairs, dim galleries got past,
You gain the inmost chambers, gain at last
A maple-panelled room: that haze which seems
Floating about the panel, if there gleams
A sunbeam over it, will turn to gold
And in light-graven characters unfold
The Arab's wisdom everywhere; what shade
Marred them a moment, those slim pillars made,
Cut like a company of palms to prop
The roof, each kissing top entwined with top,
Leaning together; in the carver's mind
Some knot of bacchanals, flushed cheek combined
With straining forehead, shoulders purpled, hair
Diffused between, who in a goat-skin bear
A vintage; graceful sister-palms! But quick
To the main wonder, now. A vault, see; thick
Black shade about the ceiling, though fine slits
Across the buttress suffer light by fits
Upon a marvel in the midst. Nay, stoop
A dullish grey-streaked cumbrous font, a group
Round it,each side of it, where'er one sees,
Upholds it; shrinking Caryatides
Of just-tinged marble like Eve's lilied flesh
Beneath her maker's finger when the fresh
First pulse of life shot brightening the snow.
The font's edge burthens every shoulder, so
They muse upon the ground, eyelids half closed;
Some, with meek arms behind their backs disposed,
Some, crossed above their bosoms, some, to veil
Their eyes, some, propping chin and cheek so pale,
Some, hanging slack an utter helpless length
Dead as a buried vestal whose whole strength
Goes when the grate above shuts heavily.
So dwell these noiseless girls, patient to see,
Like priestesses because of sin impure
Penanced for ever, who resigned endure,
Having that once drunk sweetness to the dregs.
And every eve, Sordello's visit begs
Pardon for them: constant as eve he came
To sit beside each in her turn, the same
As one of them, a certain space: and awe
Made a great indistinctness till he saw
Sunset slant cheerful through the buttress-chinks,
Gold seven times globed; surely our maiden shrinks
And a smile stirs her as if one faint grain
Her load were lightened, one shade less the stain
Obscured her forehead, yet one more bead slipt
From off the rosary whereby the crypt
Keeps count of the contritions of its charge?
Then with a step more light, a heart more large,
He may depart, leave her and every one
To linger out the penance in mute stone.
Ah, but Sordello? 'T is the tale I mean
To tell you.
      In this castle may be seen,
On the hill tops, or underneath the vines,
Or eastward by the mound of firs and pines
That shuts out Mantua, still in loneliness,
A slender boy in a loose page's dress,
Sordello: do but look on him awhile
Watching ('t is autumn) with an earnest smile
The noisy flock of thievish birds at work
Among the yellowing vineyards; see him lurk
('T is winter with its sullenest of storms)
Beside that arras-length of broidered forms,
On tiptoe, lifting in both hands a light
Which makes yon warrior's visage flutter bright
Ecelo, dismal father of the brood,
And Ecelin, close to the girl he wooed,
Auria, and their Child, with all his wives
From Agnes to the Tuscan that survives,
Lady of the castle, Adelaide. His face
Look, now he turns away! Yourselves shall trace
(The delicate nostril swerving wide and fine,
A sharp and restless lip, so well combine
With that calm brow) a soul fit to receive
Delight at every sense; you can believe
Sordello foremost in the regal class
Nature has broadly severed from her mass
Of men, and framed for pleasure, as she frames
Some happy lands, that have luxurious names,
For loose fertility; a footfall there
Suffices to upturn to the warm air
Half-germinating spices; mere decay
Produces richer life; and day by day
New pollen on the lily-petal grows,
And still more labyrinthine buds the rose.
You recognise at once the finer dress
Of flesh that amply lets in loveliness
At eye and ear, while round the rest is furled
(As though she would not trust them with her world)
A veil that shows a sky not near so blue,
And lets but half the sun look fervid through.
How can such love?like souls on each full-fraught
Discovery brooding, blind at first to aught
Beyond its beauty, till exceeding love
Becomes an aching weight; and, to remove
A curse that haunts such naturesto preclude
Their finding out themselves can work no good
To what they love nor make it very blest
By their endeavour,they are fain invest
The lifeless thing with life from their own soul,
Availing it to purpose, to control,
To dwell distinct and have peculiar joy
And separate interests that may employ
That beauty fitly, for its proper sake.
Nor rest they here; fresh births of beauty wake
Fresh homage, every grade of love is past,
With every mode of loveliness: then cast
Inferior idols off their borrowed crown
Before a coming glory. Up and down
Runs arrowy fire, while earthly forms combine
To throb the secret forth; a touch divine
And the scaled eyeball owns the mystic rod;
Visibly through his garden walketh God.
So fare they. Now revert. One character
Denotes them through the progress and the stir,
A need to blend with each external charm,
Bury themselves, the whole heart wide and warm,
In something not themselves; they would belong
To what they worshipstronger and more strong
Thus prodigally fedwhich gathers shape
And feature, soon imprisons past escape
The votary framed to love and to submit
Nor ask, as passionate he kneels to it,
Whence grew the idol's empery. So runs
A legend; light had birth ere moons and suns,
Flowing through space a river and alone,
Till chaos burst and blank the spheres were strown
Hither and thither, foundering and blind:
When into each of them rushed lightto find
Itself no place, foiled of its radiant chance.
Let such forego their just inheritance!
For there 's a class that eagerly looks, too,
On beauty, but, unlike the gentler crew,
Proclaims each new revealment born a twin
With a distinctest consciousness within,
Referring still the quality, now first
Revealed, to their own soulits instinct nursed
In silence, now remembered better, shown
More thoroughly, but not the less their own;
A dream come true; the special exercise
Of any special function that implies
The being fair, or good, or wise, or strong,
Dormant within their nature all along
Whose fault? So, homage, other souls direct
Without, turns inward. "How should this deject
"Thee, soul?" they murmur; "wherefore strength be quelled
"Because, its trivial accidents withheld,
"Organs are missed that clog the world, inert,
"Wanting a will, to quicken and exert,
"Like thineexistence cannot satiate,
"Cannot surprise? Laugh thou at envious fate,
"Who, from earth's simplest combination stampt
"With individualityuncrampt
"By living its faint elemental life,
"Dost soar to heaven's complexest essence, rife
"With grandeurs, unaffronted to the last,
"Equal to being all!"
           In truth? Thou hast
Life, thenwilt challenge life for us: our race
Is vindicated so, obtains its place
In thy ascent, the first of us; whom we
May follow, to the meanest, finally,
With our more bounded wills?
               Ah, but to find
A certain mood enervate such a mind,
Counsel it slumber in the solitude
Thus reached nor, stooping, task for mankind's good
Its nature just as life and time accord
"Too narrow an arena to reward
"Emprizethe world's occasion worthless since
"Not absolutely fitted to evince
"Its mastery!" Or if yet worse befall,
And a desire possess it to put all
That nature forth, forcing our straitened sphere
Contain it,to display completely here
The mastery another life should learn,
Thrusting in time eternity's concern,
So that Sordello. . . .
            Fool, who spied the mark
Of leprosy upon him, violet-dark
Already as he loiters? Born just now,
With the new century, beside the glow
And efflorescence out of barbarism;
Witness a Greek or two from the abysm
That stray through Florence-town with studious air,
Calming the chisel of that Pisan pair:
If Nicolo should carve a Christus yet!
While at Siena is Guidone set,
Forehead on hand; a painful birth must be
Matured ere Saint Eufemia's sacristy
Or transept gather fruits of one great gaze
At the moon: look you! The same orange haze,
The same blue stripe round thatand, in the midst,
Thy spectral whiteness, Mother-maid, who didst
Pursue the dizzy painter!
             Woe, then, worth
Any officious babble letting forth
The leprosy confirmed and ruinous
To spirit lodged in a contracted house!
Go back to the beginning, rather; blend
It gently with Sordello's life; the end
Is piteous, you may see, but much between
Pleasant enough. Meantime, some pyx to screen
The full-grown pest, some lid to shut upon
The goblin! So they found at Babylon,
(Colleagues, mad Lucius and sage Antonine)
Sacking the city, by Apollo's shrine,
In rummaging among the rarities,
A certain coffer; he who made the prize
Opened it greedily; and out there curled
Just such another plague, for half the world
Was stung. Crawl in then, hag, and couch asquat,
Keeping that blotchy bosom thick in spot
Until your time is ripe! The coffer-lid
Is fastened, and the coffer safely hid
Under the Loxian's choicest gifts of gold.
Who will may hear Sordello's story told,
And how he never could remember when
He dwelt not at Goito. Calmly, then,
About this secret lodge of Adelaide's
Glided his youth away; beyond the glades
On the fir-forest border, and the rim
Of the low range of mountain, was for him
No other world: but this appeared his own
To wander through at pleasure and alone.
The castle too seemed empty; far and wide
Might he disport; only the northern side
Lay under a mysterious interdict
Slight, just enough remembered to restrict
His roaming to the corridors, the vault
Where those font-bearers expiate their fault,
The maple-chamber, and the little nooks
And nests, and breezy parapet that looks
Over the woods to Mantua: there he strolled.
Some foreign women-servants, very old,
Tended and crept about himall his clue
To the world's business and embroiled ado
Distant a dozen hill-tops at the most.
And first a simple sense of life engrossed
Sordello in his drowsy Paradise;
The day's adventures for the day suffice
Its constant tribute of perceptions strange,
With sleep and stir in healthy interchange,
Suffice, and leave him for the next at ease
Like the great palmer-worm that strips the trees,
Eats the life out of every luscious plant,
And, when September finds them sere or scant,
Puts forth two wondrous winglets, alters quite,
And hies him after unforeseen delight.
So fed Sordello, not a shard dissheathed;
As ever, round each new discovery, wreathed
Luxuriantly the fancies infantine
His admiration, bent on making fine
Its novel friend at any risk, would fling
In gay profusion forth: a ficklest king,
Confessed those minions!eager to dispense
So much from his own stock of thought and sense
As might enable each to stand alone
And serve him for a fellow; with his own,
Joining the qualities that just before
Had graced some older favourite. Thus they wore
A fluctuating halo, yesterday
Set flicker and to-morrow filched away,
Those upland objects each of separate name,
Each with an aspect never twice the same,
Waxing and waning as the new-born host
Of fancies, like a single night's hoar-frost,
Gave to familiar things a face grotesque;
Only, preserving through the mad burlesque
A grave regard. Conceive! the orpine patch
Blossoming earliest on the log-house thatch
The day those archers wound along the vines
Related to the Chief that left their lines
To climb with clinking step the northern stair
Up to the solitary chambers where
Sordello never came. Thus thrall reached thrall;
He o'er-festooning every interval,
As the adventurous spider, making light
Of distance, shoots her threads from depth to height,
From barbican to battlement: so flung
Fantasies forth and in their centre swung
Our architect,the breezy morning fresh
Above, and merry,all his waving mesh
Laughing with lucid dew-drops rainbow-edged.
This world of ours by tacit pact is pledged
To laying such a spangled fabric low
Whether by gradual brush or gallant blow.
But its abundant will was baulked here: doubt
Rose tardily in one so fenced about
From most that nurtures judgment,care and pain:
Judgment, that dull expedient we are fain,
Less favoured, to adopt betimes and force
Stead us, diverted from our natural course
Of joyscontrive some yet amid the dearth,
Vary and render them, it may be, worth
Most we forego. Suppose Sordello hence
Selfish enough, without a moral sense
However feeble; what informed the boy
Others desired a portion in his joy?
Or say a ruthful chance broke woof and warp
A heron's nest beat down by March winds sharp,
A fawn breathless beneath the precipice,
A bird with unsoiled breast and unfilmed eyes
Warm in the brakecould these undo the trance
Lapping Sordello? Not a circumstance
That makes for you, friend Naddo! Eat fern-seed
And peer beside us and report indeed
If (your word) "genius" dawned with throes and stings
And the whole fiery catalogue, while springs,
Summers, and winters quietly came and went.
Time put at length that period to content,
By right the world should have imposed: bereft
Of its good offices, Sordello, left
To study his companions, managed rip
Their fringe off, learn the true relationship,
Core with its crust, their nature with his own:
Amid his wild-wood sights he lived alone.
As if the poppy felt with him! Though he
Partook the poppy's red effrontery
Till Autumn spoiled their fleering quite with rain,
And, turbanless, a coarse brown rattling crane
Lay bare. That 's gone: yet why renounce, for that,
His disenchanted tributariesflat
Perhaps, but scarce so utterly forlorn,
Their simple presence might not well be borne
Whose parley was a transport once: recall
The poppy's gifts, it flaunts you, after all,
A poppy:why distrust the evidence
Of each soon satisfied and healthy sense?
The new-born judgment answered, "little boots
"Beholding other creatures' attributes
"And having none!" or, say that it sufficed,
"Yet, could one but possess, oneself," (enticed
Judgment) "some special office!" Nought beside
Serves you? "Well then, be somehow justified
"For this ignoble wish to circumscribe
"And concentrate, rather than swell, the tribe
"Of actual pleasures: what, now, from without
"Effects it?proves, despite a lurking doubt,
"Mere sympathy sufficient, trouble spared?
"That, tasting joys by proxy thus, you fared
"The better for them?" Thus much craved his soul,
Alas, from the beginning love is whole
And true; if sure of nought beside, most sure
Of its own truth at least; nor may endure
A crowd to see its face, that cannot know
How hot the pulses throb its heart below.
While its own helplessness and utter want
Of means to worthily be ministrant
To what it worships, do but fan the more
Its flame, exalt the idol far before
Itself as it would have it ever be.
Souls like Sordello, on the contrary,
Coerced and put to shame, retaining will,
Care little, take mysterious comfort still,
But look forth tremblingly to ascertain
If others judge their claims not urged in vain,
And say for them their stifled thoughts aloud.
So, they must ever live before a crowd:
"Vanity," Naddo tells you.
               Whence contrive
A crowd, now? From these women just alive,
That archer-troop? Forth glidednot alone
Each painted warrior, every girl of stone,
Nor Adelaide (bent double o'er a scroll,
One maiden at her knees, that eve, his soul
Shook as he stumbled through the arras'd glooms
On them, for, 'mid quaint robes and weird perfumes,
Started the meagre Tuscan up,her eyes,
The maiden's, also, bluer with surprise)
But the entire out-world: whatever, scraps
And snatches, song and story, dreams perhaps,
Conceited the world's offices, and he
Had hitherto transferred to flower or tree,
Not counted a befitting heritage
Each, of its own right, singly to engage
Some man, no other,such now dared to stand
Alone. Strength, wisdom, grace on every hand
Soon disengaged themselves, and he discerned
A sort of human life: at least, was turned
A stream of lifelike figures through his brain.
Lord, liegeman, valvassor and suzerain,
Ere he could choose, surrounded him; a stuff
To work his pleasure on; there, sure enough:
But as for gazing, what shall fix that gaze?
Are they to simply testify the ways
He who convoked them sends his soul along
With the cloud's thunder or a dove's brood-song?
While they live each his life, boast each his own
Peculiar dower of bliss, stand each alone
In some one point where something dearest loved
Is easiest gainedfar worthier to be proved
Than aught he envies in the forest-wights!
No simple and self-evident delights,
But mixed desires of unimagined range,
Contrasts or combinations, new and strange,
Irksome perhaps, yet plainly recognized
By this, the sudden companyloves prized
By those who are to prize his own amount
Of loves. Once care because such make account,
Allow that foreign recognitions stamp
The current value, and his crowd shall vamp
Him counterfeits enough; and so their print
Be on the piece, 't is gold, attests the mint,
And "good," pronounce they whom his new appeal
Is made to: if their casual print conceal
This arbitrary good of theirs o'ergloss
What he has lived without, nor felt the loss
Qualities strange, ungainly, wearisome,
What matter? So must speech expand the dumb
Part-sigh, part-smile with which Sordello, late
Whom no poor woodland-sights could satiate,
Betakes himself to study hungrily
Just what the puppets his crude phantasy
Supposes notablest,popes, kings, priests, knights,
May please to promulgate for appetites;
Accepting all their artificial joys
Not as he views them, but as he employs
Each shape to estimate the other's stock
Of attributes, whereona marshalled flock
Of authorized enjoymentshe may spend
Himself, be men, now, as he used to blend
With tree and flowernay more entirely, else
'T were mockery: for instance, "How excels
"My life that chieftain's?" (who apprised the youth
Ecelin, here, becomes this month, in truth,
Imperial Vicar?) "Turns he in his tent
"Remissly? Be it somy head is bent
"Deliciously amid my girls to sleep.
"What if he stalks the Trentine-pass? Yon steep
"I climbed an hour ago with little toil:
"We are alike there. But can I, too, foil
"The Guelf's paid stabber, carelessly afford
"Saint Mark's a spectacle, the sleight o' the sword
"Baffling the treason in a moment?" Here
No rescue! Poppy he is none, but peer
To Ecelin, assuredly: his hand,
Fashioned no otherwise, should wield a brand
With Ecelin's successtry, now! He soon
Was satisfied, returned as to the moon
From earth; left each abortive boy's-attempt
For feats, from failure happily exempt,
In fancy at his beck. "One day I will
"Accomplish it! Are they not older still
"Not grown-up men and women? 'T is beside
"Only a dream; and though I must abide
"With dreams now, I may find a thorough vent
"For all myself, acquire an instrument
"For acting what these people act; my soul
"Hunting a body out may gain its whole
"Desire some day!" How else express chagrin
And resignation, show the hope steal in
With which he let sink from an aching wrist
The rough-hewn ash-bow? Straight, a gold shaft hissed
Into the Syrian air, struck Malek down
Superbly! "Crosses to the breach! God's Town
"Is gained him back!" Why bend rough ash-bows more?
Thus lives he: if not careless as before,
Comforted: for one may anticipate,
Rehearse the future, be prepared when fate
Shall have prepared in turn real men whose names
Startle, real places of enormous fames,
Este abroad and Ecelin at home
To worship him,Mantua, Verona, Rome
To witness it. Who grudges time so spent?
Rather test qualities to heart's content
Summon them, thrice selected, near and far
Compress the starriest into one star,
And grasp the whole at once!
               The pageant thinned
Accordingly; from rank to rank, like wind
His spirit passed to winnow and divide;
Back fell the simpler phantasms; every side
The strong clave to the wise; with either classed
The beauteous; so, till two or three amassed
Mankind's beseemingnesses, and reduced
Themselves eventually,graces loosed,
Strengths lavished,all to heighten up One Shape
Whose potency no creature should escape.
Can it be Friedrich of the bowmen's talk?
Surely that grape-juice, bubbling at the stalk,
Is some grey scorching Saracenic wine
The Kaiser quaffs with the Miramoline
Those swarthy hazel-clusters, seamed and chapped,
Or filberts russet-sheathed and velvet-capped,
Are dates plucked from the bough John Brienne sent
To keep in mind his sluggish armament
Of Canaan:Friedrich's, all the pomp and fierce
Demeanour! But harsh sounds and sights transpierce
So rarely the serene cloud where he dwells
Whose looks enjoin, whose lightest words are spells
On the obdurate! That right arm indeed
Has thunder for its slave; but where 's the need
Of thunder if the stricken multitude
Hearkens, arrested in its angriest mood,
While songs go up exulting, then dispread,
Dispart, disperse, lingering overhead
Like an escape of angels? 'T is the tune,
Nor much unlike the words his women croon
Smilingly, colourless and faint-designed
Each, as a worn-out queen's face some remind
Of her extreme youth's love-tales. "Eglamor
"Made that!" Half minstrel and half emperor,
What but ill objects vexed him? Such he slew.
The kinder sort were easy to subdue
By those ambrosial glances, dulcet tones;
And these a gracious hand advanced to thrones
Beneath him. Wherefore twist and torture this,
Striving to name afresh the antique bliss,
Instead of saying, neither less nor more,
He had discovered, as our world before,
Apollo? That shall be the name; nor bid
Me rag by rag expose how patchwork hid
The youthwhat thefts of every clime and day
Contributed to purfle the array
He climbed with (June at deep) some close ravine
Mid clatter of its million pebbles sheen,
Over which, singing soft, the runnel slipped
Elate with rains: into whose streamlet dipped
He foot, yet trod, you thought, with unwet sock
Though really on the stubs of living rock
Ages ago it crenelled; vines for roof,
Lindens for wall; before him, aye aloof,
Flittered in the cool some azure damsel-fly,
Born of the simmering quiet, there to die.
Emerging whence, Apollo still, he spied
Mighty descents of forest; multiplied
Tuft on tuft, here, the frolic myrtle-trees,
There gendered the grave maple stocks at ease.
And, proud of its observer, straight the wood
Tried old surprises on him; black it stood
A sudden barrier ('twas a cloud passed o'er)
So dead and dense, the tiniest brute no more
Must pass; yet presently (the cloud dispatched)
Each clump, behold, was glistering detached
A shrub, oak-boles shrunk into ilex-stems!
Yet could not he denounce the stratagems
He saw thro', till, hours thence, aloft would hang
White summer-lightnings; as it sank and sprang
To measure, that whole palpitating breast
Of heaven, 't was Apollo, nature prest
At eve to worship.
         Time stole: by degrees
The Pythons perish off; his votaries
Sink to respectful distance; songs redeem
Their pains, but briefer; their dismissals seem
Emphatic; only girls are very slow
To disappearhis Delians! Some that glow
O' the instant, more with earlier loves to wrench
Away, reserves to quell, disdains to quench;
Alike in one material circumstance
All soon or late adore Apollo! Glance
The bevy through, divine Apollo's choice,
His Daphne! "We secure Count Richard's voice
"In Este's counsels, good for Este's ends
"As our Taurello," say his faded friends,
"By granting him our Palma!"the sole child,
They mean, of Agnes Este who beguiled
Ecelin, years before this Adelaide
Wedded and turned him wicked: "but the maid
"Rejects his suit," those sleepy women boast.
She, scorning all beside, deserves the most
Sordello: so, conspicuous in his world
Of dreams sat Palma. How the tresses curled
Into a sumptuous swell of gold and wound
About her like a glory! even the ground
Was bright as with spilt sunbeams; breathe not, breathe
Not!poised, see, one leg doubled underneath,
Its small foot buried in the dimpling snow,
Rests, but the other, listlessly below,
O'er the couch-side swings feeling for cool air,
The vein-streaks swollen a richer violet where
The languid blood lies heavily; yet calm
On her slight prop, each flat and outspread palm,
As but suspended in the act to rise
By consciousness of beauty, whence her eyes
Turn with so frank a triumph, for she meets
Apollo's gaze in the pine glooms.
                 Time fleets:
That 's worst! Because the pre-appointed age
Approaches. Fate is tardy with the stage
And crowd she promised. Lean he grows and pale,
Though restlessly at rest. Hardly avail
Fancies to soothe him. Time steals, yet alone
He tarries here! The earnest smile is gone.
How long this might continue matters not;
For ever, possibly; since to the spot
None come: our lingering Taurello quits
Mantua at last, and light our lady flits
Back to her place disburthened of a care.
Strangeto be constant here if he is there!
Is it distrust? Oh, never! for they both
Goad Ecelin alike, Romano's growth
Is daily manifest, with Azzo dumb
And Richard wavering: let but Friedrich come,
Find matter for the minstrelsy's report
Lured from the Isle and its young Kaiser's court
To sing us a Messina morning up,
And, double rillet of a drinking cup,
Sparkle along to ease the land of drouth,
Northward to Provence that, and thus far south
The other! What a method to apprise
Neighbours of births, espousals, obsequies,
Which in their very tongue the Troubadour
Records! and his performance makes a tour,
For Trouveres bear the miracle about,
Explain its cunning to the vulgar rout,
Until the Formidable House is famed
Over the countryas Taurello aimed,
Who introduced, although the rest adopt,
The novelty. Such games, her absence stopped,
Begin afresh now Adelaide, recluse
No longer, in the light of day pursues
Her plans at Mantua: whence an accident
Which, breaking on Sordello's mixed content
Opened, like any flash that cures the blind,
The veritable business of mankind.


~ Robert Browning, Sordello - Book the First
,
265:The Unknown Eros. Book I.
Saint Valentine’s Day
Well dost thou, Love, thy solemn Feast to hold
In vestal February;
Not rather choosing out some rosy day
From the rich coronet of the coming May,
When all things meet to marry!
O, quick, prævernal Power
That signall'st punctual through the sleepy mould
The Snowdrop's time to flower,
Fair as the rash oath of virginity
Which is first-love's first cry;
O, Baby Spring,
That flutter'st sudden 'neath the breast of Earth
A month before the birth;
Whence is the peaceful poignancy,
The joy contrite,
Sadder than sorrow, sweeter than delight,
That burthens now the breath of everything,
Though each one sighs as if to each alone
The cherish'd pang were known?
At dusk of dawn, on his dark spray apart,
With it the Blackbird breaks the young Day's heart;
In evening's hush
About it talks the heavenly-minded Thrush;
The hill with like remorse
Smiles to the Sun's smile in his westering course;
The fisher's drooping skiff
In yonder sheltering bay;
The choughs that call about the shining cliff;
The children, noisy in the setting ray;
Own the sweet season, each thing as it may;
Thoughts of strange kindness and forgotten peace
In me increase;
And tears arise
Within my happy, happy Mistress' eyes,
And, lo, her lips, averted from my kiss,
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Ask from Love's bounty, ah, much more than bliss!
Is't the sequester'd and exceeding sweet
Of dear Desire electing his defeat?
Is't the waked Earth now to yon purpling cope
Uttering first-love's first cry,
Vainly renouncing, with a Seraph's sigh,
Love's natural hope?
Fair-meaning Earth, foredoom'd to perjury!
Behold, all amorous May,
With roses heap'd upon her laughing brows,
Avoids thee of thy vows!
Were it for thee, with her warm bosom near,
To abide the sharpness of the Seraph's sphere?
Forget thy foolish words;
Go to her summons gay,
Thy heart with dead, wing'd Innocencies fill'd,
Ev'n as a nest with birds
After the old ones by the hawk are kill'd.
Well dost thou, Love, to celebrate
The noon of thy soft ecstasy,
Or e'er it be too late,
Or e'er the Snowdrop die!
II
Wind And Wave
The wedded light and heat,
Winnowing the witless space,
Without a let,
What are they till they beat
Against the sleepy sod, and there beget
Perchance the violet!
Is the One found,
Amongst a wilderness of as happy grace,
To make Heaven's bound;
So that in Her
All which it hath of sensitively good
Is sought and understood
After the narrow mode the mighty Heavens prefer?
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She, as a little breeze
Following still Night,
Ripples the spirit's cold, deep seas
Into delight;
But, in a while,
The immeasurable smile
Is broke by fresher airs to flashes blent
With darkling discontent;
And all the subtle zephyr hurries gay,
And all the heaving ocean heaves one way,
T'ward the void sky-line and an unguess'd weal;
Until the vanward billows feel
The agitating shallows, and divine the goal,
And to foam roll,
And spread and stray
And traverse wildly, like delighted hands,
The fair and fleckless sands;
And so the whole
Unfathomable and immense
Triumphing tide comes at the last to reach
And burst in wind-kiss'd splendours on the deaf'ning beach,
Where forms of children in first innocence
Laugh and fling pebbles on the rainbow'd crest
Of its untired unrest.
III
Winter
I, singularly moved
To love the lovely that are not beloved,
Of all the Seasons, most
Love Winter, and to trace
The sense of the Trophonian pallor on her face.
It is not death, but plenitude of peace;
And the dim cloud that does the world enfold
Hath less the characters of dark and cold
Than warmth and light asleep,
And correspondent breathing seems to keep
With the infant harvest, breathing soft below
Its eider coverlet of snow.
Nor is in field or garden anything
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But, duly look'd into, contains serene
The substance of things hoped for, in the Spring,
And evidence of Summer not yet seen.
On every chance-mild day
That visits the moist shaw,
The honeysuckle, 'sdaining to be crost
In urgence of sweet life by sleet or frost,
'Voids the time's law
With still increase
Of leaflet new, and little, wandering spray;
Often, in sheltering brakes,
As one from rest disturb'd in the first hour,
Primrose or violet bewilder'd wakes,
And deems 'tis time to flower;
Though not a whisper of her voice he hear,
The buried bulb does know
The signals of the year,
And hails far Summer with his lifted spear.
The gorse-field dark, by sudden, gold caprice,
Turns, here and there, into a Jason's fleece;
Lilies, that soon in Autumn slipp'd their gowns of green,
And vanish'd into earth,
And came again, ere Autumn died, to birth,
Stand full-array'd, amidst the wavering shower,
And perfect for the Summer, less the flower;
In nook of pale or crevice of crude bark,
Thou canst not miss,
If close thou spy, to mark
The ghostly chrysalis,
That, if thou touch it, stirs in its dream dark;
And the flush'd Robin, in the evenings hoar,
Does of Love's Day, as if he saw it, sing;
But sweeter yet than dream or song of Summer or Spring
Are Winter's sometime smiles, that seem to well
From infancy ineffable;
Her wandering, languorous gaze,
So unfamiliar, so without amaze,
On the elemental, chill adversity,
The uncomprehended rudeness; and her sigh
And solemn, gathering tear,
And look of exile from some great repose, the sphere
Of ether, moved by ether only, or
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By something still more tranquil.
IV
Beta
Of infinite Heaven the rays,
Piercing some eyelet in our cavern black,
Ended their viewless track
On thee to smite
Solely, as on a diamond stalactite,
And in mid-darkness lit a rainbow's blaze,
Wherein the absolute Reason, Power, and Love,
That erst could move
Mainly in me but toil and weariness,
Renounced their deadening might,
Renounced their undistinguishable stress
Of withering white,
And did with gladdest hues my spirit caress,
Nothing of Heaven in thee showing infinite,
Save the delight.
The Day After To-Morrow
Perchance she droops within the hollow gulf
Which the great wave of coming pleasure draws,
Not guessing the glad cause!
Ye Clouds that on your endless journey go,
Ye Winds that westward flow,
Thou heaving Sea
That heav'st 'twixt her and me,
Tell her I come;
Then only sigh your pleasure, and be dumb;
For the sweet secret of our either self
We know.
Tell her I come,
And let her heart be still'd.
One day's controlled hope, and then one more,
And on the third our lives shall be fulfill'd!
Yet all has been before:
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Palm placed in palm, twin smiles, and words astray.
What other should we say?
But shall I not, with ne'er a sign, perceive,
Whilst her sweet hands I hold,
The myriad threads and meshes manifold
Which Love shall round her weave:
The pulse in that vein making alien pause
And varying beats from this;
Down each long finger felt, a differing strand
Of silvery welcome bland;
And in her breezy palm
And silken wrist,
Beneath the touch of my like numerous bliss
Complexly kiss'd,
A diverse and distinguishable calm?
What should we say!
It all has been before;
And yet our lives shall now be first fulfill'd,
And into their summ'd sweetness fall distill'd
One sweet drop more;
One sweet drop more, in absolute increase
Of unrelapsing peace.
O, heaving Sea,
That heav'st as if for bliss of her and me,
And separatest not dear heart from heart,
Though each 'gainst other beats too far apart,
For yet awhile
Let it not seem that I behold her smile.
O, weary Love, O, folded to her breast,
Love in each moment years and years of rest,
Be calm, as being not.
Ye oceans of intolerable delight,
The blazing photosphere of central Night,
Be ye forgot.
Terror, thou swarthy Groom of Bride-bliss coy,
Let me not see thee toy.
O, Death, too tardy with thy hope intense
Of kisses close beyond conceit of sense;
O, Life, too liberal, while to take her hand
Is more of hope than heart can understand;
Perturb my golden patience not with joy,
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Nor, through a wish, profane
The peace that should pertain
To him who does by her attraction move.
Has all not been before?
One day's controlled hope, and one again,
And then the third, and ye shall have the rein,
O Life, Death, Terror, Love!
But soon let your unrestful rapture cease,
Ye flaming Ethers thin,
Condensing till the abiding sweetness win
One sweet drop more;
One sweet drop more in the measureless increase
Of honied peace.
VI
Tristitia
Darling, with hearts conjoin'd in such a peace
That Hope, so not to cease,
Must still gaze back,
And count, along our love's most happy track,
The landmarks of like inconceiv'd increase,
Promise me this:
If thou alone should'st win
God's perfect bliss,
And I, beguiled by gracious-seeming sin,
Say, loving too much thee,
Love's last goal miss,
And any vows may then have memory,
Never, by grief for what I bear or lack,
To mar thy joyance of heav'n's jubilee.
Promise me this;
For else I should be hurl'd,
Beyond just doom
And by thy deed, to Death's interior gloom,
From the mild borders of the banish'd world
Wherein they dwell
Who builded not unalterable fate
On pride, fraud, envy, cruel lust, or hate;
Yet loved too laxly sweetness and heart's ease,
And strove the creature more than God to please.
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For such as these
Loss without measure, sadness without end!
Yet not for this do thou disheaven'd be
With thinking upon me.
Though black, when scann'd from heaven's surpassing bright,
This might mean light,
Foil'd with the dim days of mortality.
For God is everywhere.
Go down to deepest Hell, and He is there,
And, as a true but quite estranged Friend,
He works, 'gainst gnashing teeth of devilish ire,
With love deep hidden lest it be blasphemed,
If possible, to blend
Ease with the pangs of its inveterate fire;
Yea, in the worst
And from His Face most wilfully accurst
Of souls in vain redeem'd,
He does with potions of oblivion kill
Remorse of the lost Love that helps them still.
Apart from these,
Near the sky-borders of that banish'd world,
Wander pale spirits among willow'd leas,
Lost beyond measure, sadden'd without end,
But since, while erring most, retaining yet
Some ineffectual fervour of regret,
Retaining still such weal
As spurned Lovers feel,
Preferring far to all the world's delight
Their loss so infinite,
Or Poets, when they mark
In the clouds dun
A loitering flush of the long sunken sun,
And turn away with tears into the dark.
Know, Dear, these are not mine
But Wisdom's words, confirmed by divine
Doctors and Saints, though fitly seldom heard
Save in their own prepense-occulted word,
Lest fools be fool'd the further by false hope,
And wrest sweet knowledge to their own decline;
217
And (to approve I speak within my scope)
The Mistress of that dateless exile gray
Is named in surpliced Schools Tristitia.
But, O, my Darling, look in thy heart and see
How unto me,
Secured of my prime care, thy happy state,
In the most unclean cell
Of sordid Hell,
And worried by the most ingenious hate,
It never could be anything but well,
Nor from my soul, full of thy sanctity,
Such pleasure die
As the poor harlot's, in whose body stirs
The innocent life that is and is not hers:
Unless, alas, this fount of my relief
By thy unheavenly grief
Were closed.
So, with a consecrating kiss
And hearts made one in past all previous peace,
And on one hope reposed,
Promise me this!
VII
The Azalea
There, where the sun shines first
Against our room,
She train'd the gold Azalea, whose perfume
She, Spring-like, from her breathing grace dispersed.
Last night the delicate crests of saffron bloom,
For this their dainty likeness watch'd and nurst,
Were just at point to burst.
At dawn I dream'd, O God, that she was dead,
And groan'd aloud upon my wretched bed,
And waked, ah, God, and did not waken her,
But lay, with eyes still closed,
Perfectly bless'd in the delicious sphere
By which I knew so well that she was near,
My heart to speechless thankfulness composed.
Till 'gan to stir
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A dizzy somewhat in my troubled head—
It was the azalea's breath, and she was dead!
The warm night had the lingering buds disclosed,
And I had fall'n asleep with to my breast
A chance-found letter press'd
In which she said,
‘So, till to-morrow eve, my Own, adieu!
Parting's well-paid with soon again to meet,
Soon in your arms to feel so small and sweet,
Sweet to myself that am so sweet to you!’
VIII
Departure
It was not like your great and gracious ways!
Do you, that have nought other to lament,
Never, my Love, repent
Of how, that July afternoon,
You went,
With sudden, unintelligible phrase,
And frighten'd eye,
Upon your journey of so many days,
Without a single kiss, or a good-bye?
I knew, indeed, that you were parting soon;
And so we sate, within the low sun's rays,
You whispering to me, for your voice was weak,
Your harrowing praise.
Well, it was well,
To hear you such things speak,
And I could tell
What made your eyes a growing gloom of love,
As a warm South-wind sombres a March grove.
And it was like your great and gracious ways
To turn your talk on daily things, my Dear,
Lifting the luminous, pathetic lash
To let the laughter flash,
Whilst I drew near,
Because you spoke so low that I could scarcely hear.
But all at once to leave me at the last,
More at the wonder than the loss aghast,
With huddled, unintelligible phrase,
219
And frighten'd eye,
And go your journey of all days
With not one kiss, or a good-bye,
And the only loveless look the look with which you pass'd:
'Twas all unlike your great and gracious ways.
IX
Eurydice
Is this the portent of the day nigh past,
And of a restless grave
O'er which the eternal sadness gathers fast;
Or but the heaped wave
Of some chance, wandering tide,
Such as that world of awe
Whose circuit, listening to a foreign law,
Conjunctures ours at unguess'd dates and wide,
Does in the Spirit's tremulous ocean draw,
To pass unfateful on, and so subside?
Thee, whom ev'n more than Heaven loved I have,
And yet have not been true
Even to thee,
I, dreaming, night by night, seek now to see,
And, in a mortal sorrow, still pursue
Thro' sordid streets and lanes
And houses brown and bare
And many a haggard stair
Ochrous with ancient stains,
And infamous doors, opening on hapless rooms,
In whose unhaunted glooms
Dead pauper generations, witless of the sun,
Their course have run;
And ofttimes my pursuit
Is check'd of its dear fruit
By things brimful of hate, my kith and kin,
Furious that I should keep
Their forfeit power to weep,
And mock, with living fear, their mournful malice thin.
But ever, at the last, my way I win
To where, with perfectly sad patience, nurst
By sorry comfort of assured worst,
220
Ingrain'd in fretted cheek and lips that pine,
On pallet poor
Thou lyest, stricken sick,
Beyond love's cure,
By all the world's neglect, but chiefly mine.
Then sweetness, sweeter than my tongue can tell,
Does in my bosom well,
And tears come free and quick
And more and more abound
For piteous passion keen at having found,
After exceeding ill, a little good;
A little good
Which, for the while,
Fleets with the current sorrow of the blood,
Though no good here has heart enough to smile.
The Toys
My little Son, who look'd from thoughtful eyes
And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise,
Having my law the seventh time disobey'd,
I struck him, and dismiss'd
With hard words and unkiss'd,
His Mother, who was patient, being dead.
Then, fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep,
I visited his bed,
But found him slumbering deep,
With darken'd eyelids, and their lashes yet
From his late sobbing wet.
And I, with moan,
Kissing away his tears, left others of my own;
For, on a table drawn beside his head,
He had put, within his reach,
A box of counters and a red-vein'd stone,
A piece of glass abraded by the beach
And six or seven shells,
A bottle with bluebells
And two French copper coins, ranged there with careful art,
To comfort his sad heart.
So when that night I pray'd
221
To God, I wept, and said:
Ah, when at last we lie with tranced breath,
Not vexing Thee in death,
And Thou rememberest of what toys
We made our joys,
How weakly understood,
Thy great commanded good,
Then, fatherly not less
Than I whom Thou hast moulded from the clay,
Thou'lt leave Thy wrath, and say,
‘I will be sorry for their childishness.’
XI
Tired Memory
The stony rock of death's insensibility
Well'd yet awhile with honey of thy love
And then was dry;
Nor could thy picture, nor thine empty glove,
Nor all thy kind, long letters, nor the band
Which really spann'd
Thy body chaste and warm,
Thenceforward move
Upon the stony rock their wearied charm.
At last, then, thou wast dead.
Yet would I not despair,
But wrought my daily task, and daily said
Many and many a fond, unfeeling prayer,
To keep my vows of faith to thee from harm.
In vain.
‘For 'tis,’ I said, ‘all one,
The wilful faith, which has no joy or pain,
As if 'twere none.’
Then look'd I miserably round
If aught of duteous love were left undone,
And nothing found.
But, kneeling in a Church, one Easter-Day,
It came to me to say:
‘Though there is no intelligible rest,
In Earth or Heaven,
For me, but on her breast,
222
I yield her up, again to have her given,
Or not, as, Lord, Thou wilt, and that for aye.’
And the same night, in slumber lying,
I, who had dream'd of thee as sad and sick and dying,
And only so, nightly for all one year,
Did thee, my own most Dear,
Possess,
In gay, celestial beauty nothing coy,
And felt thy soft caress
With heretofore unknown reality of joy.
But, in our mortal air,
None thrives for long upon the happiest dream,
And fresh despair
Bade me seek round afresh for some extreme
Of unconceiv'd, interior sacrifice
Whereof the smoke might rise
To God, and 'mind Him that one pray'd below.
And so,
In agony, I cried:
‘My Lord, if Thy strange will be this,
That I should crucify my heart,
Because my love has also been my pride,
I do submit, if I saw how, to bliss
Wherein She has no part.’
And I was heard,
And taken at my own remorseless word.
O, my most Dear,
Was't treason, as I fear?
'Twere that, and worse, to plead thy veiled mind,
Kissing thy babes, and murmuring in mine ear,
‘Thou canst not be
Faithful to God, and faithless unto me!’
Ah, prophet kind!
I heard, all dumb and blind
With tears of protest; and I cannot see
But faith was broken. Yet, as I have said,
My heart was dead,
Dead of devotion and tired memory,
When a strange grace of thee
In a fair stranger, as I take it, bred
To her some tender heed,
Most innocent
223
Of purpose therewith blent,
And pure of faith, I think, to thee; yet such
That the pale reflex of an alien love,
So vaguely, sadly shown,
Did her heart touch
Above
All that, till then, had woo'd her for its own.
And so the fear, which is love's chilly dawn,
Flush'd faintly upon lids that droop'd like thine,
And made me weak,
By thy delusive likeness doubly drawn,
And Nature's long suspended breath of flame
Persuading soft, and whispering Duty's name,
Awhile to smile and speak
With this thy Sister sweet, and therefore mine;
Thy Sister sweet,
Who bade the wheels to stir
Of sensitive delight in the poor brain,
Dead of devotion and tired memory,
So that I lived again,
And, strange to aver,
With no relapse into the void inane,
For thee;
But (treason was't?) for thee and also her.
XII
Magna Est Veritas
Here, in this little Bay,
Full of tumultuous life and great repose,
Where, twice a day,
The purposeless, glad ocean comes and goes,
Under high cliffs, and far from the huge town,
I sit me down.
For want of me the world's course will not fail:
When all its work is done, the lie shall rot;
The truth is great, and shall prevail,
When none cares whether it prevail or not.
XIII
224
1867
In the year of the great crime,
When the false English Nobles and their Jew,
By God demented, slew
The Trust they stood twice pledged to keep from wrong,
One said, Take up thy Song,
That breathes the mild and almost mythic time
Of England's prime!
But I, Ah, me,
The freedom of the few
That, in our free Land, were indeed the free,
Can song renew?
Ill singing 'tis with blotting prison-bars,
How high soe'er, betwixt us and the stars;
Ill singing 'tis when there are none to hear;
And days are near
When England shall forget
The fading glow which, for a little while,
Illumes her yet,
The lovely smile
That grows so faint and wan,
Her people shouting in her dying ear,
Are not two daws worth two of any swan!
Ye outlaw'd Best, who yet are bright
With the sunken light,
Whose common style
Is Virtue at her gracious ease,
The flower of olden sanctities,
Ye haply trust, by love's benignant guile,
To lure the dark and selfish brood
To their own hated good;
Ye haply dream
Your lives shall still their charmful sway sustain,
Unstifled by the fever'd steam
That rises from the plain.
Know, 'twas the force of function high,
In corporate exercise, and public awe
Of Nature's, Heaven's, and England's Law
That Best, though mix'd with Bad, should reign,
Which kept you in your sky!
225
But, when the sordid Trader caught
The loose-held sceptre from your hands distraught,
And soon, to the Mechanic vain,
Sold the proud toy for nought,
Your charm was broke, your task was sped,
Your beauty, with your honour, dead,
And though you still are dreaming sweet
Of being even now not less
Than Gods and Goddesses, ye shall not long so cheat
Your hearts of their due heaviness.
Go, get you for your evil watching shriven!
Leave to your lawful Master's itching hands
Your unking'd lands,
But keep, at least, the dignity
Of deigning not, for his smooth use, to be,
Voteless, the voted delegates
Of his strange interests, loves and hates.
In sackcloth, or in private strife
With private ill, ye may please Heaven,
And soothe the coming pangs of sinking life;
And prayer perchance may win
A term to God's indignant mood
And the orgies of the multitude,
Which now begin;
But do not hope to wave the silken rag
Of your unsanction'd flag,
And so to guide
The great ship, helmless on the swelling tide
Of that presumptuous Sea,
Unlit by sun or moon, yet inly bright
With lights innumerable that give no light,
Flames of corrupted will and scorn of right,
Rejoicing to be free.
And, now, because the dark comes on apace
When none can work for fear,
And Liberty in every Land lies slain,
And the two Tyrannies unchallenged reign,
And heavy prophecies, suspended long
At supplication of the righteous few,
And so discredited, to fulfilment throng,
Restrain'd no more by faithful prayer or tear,
226
And the dread baptism of blood seems near
That brings to the humbled Earth the Time of Grace,
Breathless be song,
And let Christ's own look through
The darkness, suddenly increased,
To the gray secret lingering in the East.
XIV
‘If I Were Dead’
‘If I were dead, you'd sometimes say, Poor Child!’
The dear lips quiver'd as they spake,
And the tears brake
From eyes which, not to grieve me, brightly smiled.
Poor Child, poor Child!
I seem to hear your laugh, your talk, your song.
It is not true that Love will do no wrong.
Poor Child!
And did you think, when you so cried and smiled,
How I, in lonely nights, should lie awake,
And of those words your full avengers make?
Poor Child, poor Child!
And now, unless it be
That sweet amends thrice told are come to thee,
O God, have Thou no mercy upon me!
Poor Child!
XV
Peace
O England, how hast thou forgot,
In dullard care for undisturb'd increase
Of gold, which profits not,
The gain which once thou knew'st was for thy peace!
Honour is peace, the peace which does accord
Alone with God's glad word:
‘My peace I send you, and I send a sword.’
O England, how hast thou forgot,
How fear'st the things which make for joy, not fear,
Confronted near.
227
Hard days? 'Tis what the pamper'd seek to buy
With their most willing gold in weary lands.
Loss and pain risk'd? What sport but understands
These for incitements! Suddenly to die,
With conscience a blurr'd scroll?
The sunshine dreaming upon Salmon's height
Is not so sweet and white
As the most heretofore sin-spotted soul
That darts to its delight
Straight from the absolution of a faithful fight.
Myriads of homes unloosen'd of home's bond,
And fill'd with helpless babes and harmless women fond?
Let those whose pleasant chance
Took them, like me, among the German towns,
After the war that pluck'd the fangs from France,
With me pronounce
Whether the frequent black, which then array'd
Child, wife, and maid,
Did most to magnify the sombreness of grief,
Or add the beauty of a staid relief
And freshening foil
To cheerful-hearted Honour's ready smile!
Beneath the heroic sun
Is there then none
Whose sinewy wings by choice do fly
In the fine mountain-air of public obloquy,
To tell the sleepy mongers of false ease
That war's the ordained way of all alive,
And therein with goodwill to dare and thrive
Is profit and heart's peace?
But in his heart the fool now saith:
‘The thoughts of Heaven were past all finding out,
Indeed, if it should rain
Intolerable woes upon our Land again,
After so long a drought!’
‘Will a kind Providence our vessel whelm,
With such a pious Pilot at the helm?’
‘Or let the throats be cut of pretty sheep
228
That care for nought but pasture rich and deep?’
‘Were 't Evangelical of God to deal so foul a blow
At people who hate Turks and Papists so?’
‘What, make or keep
A tax for ship and gun,
When 'tis full three to one
Yon bully but intends
To beat our friends?’
‘Let's put aside
Our costly pride.
Our appetite's not gone
Because we've learn'd to doff
Our caps, where we were used to keep them on.’
‘If times get worse,
We've money in our purse,
And Patriots that know how, let who will scoff,
To buy our perils off.
Yea, blessed in our midst
Art thou who lately didst,
So cheap,
The old bargain of the Saxon with the Dane.’
Thus in his heart the fool now saith;
And, lo, our trusted leaders trust fool's luck,
Which, like the whale's 'mazed chine,
When they thereon were mulling of their wine,
Will some day duck.
Remnant of Honour, brooding in the dark
Over your bitter cark,
Staring, as Rispah stared, astonied seven days,
Upon the corpses of so many sons,
Who loved her once,
Dead in the dim and lion-haunted ways,
Who could have dreamt
That times should come like these!
Prophets, indeed, taught lies when we were young,
And people loved to have it so;
For they teach well who teach their scholars' tongue!
229
But that the foolish both should gaze,
With feeble, fascinated face,
Upon the wan crest of the coming woe,
The billow of earthquake underneath the seas,
And sit at ease,
Or stand agape,
Without so much as stepping back to 'scape,
Mumbling, ‘Perchance we perish if we stay:
'Tis certain wear of shoes to stir away!’
Who could have dreamt
That times should come like these!
Remnant of Honour, tongue-tied with contempt,
Consider; you are strong yet, if you please.
A hundred just men up, and arm'd but with a frown,
May hoot a hundred thousand false loons down,
Or drive them any way like geese.
But to sit silent now is to suborn
The common villainy you scorn.
In the dark hour
When phrases are in power,
And nought's to choose between
The thing which is not and which is not seen,
One fool, with lusty lungs,
Does what a hundred wise, who hate and hold their tongues,
Shall ne'er undo.
In such an hour,
When eager hands are fetter'd and too few,
And hearts alone have leave to bleed,
Speak; for a good word then is a good deed.
XVI
A Farewell
With all my will, but much against my heart,
We two now part.
My Very Dear,
Our solace is, the sad road lies so clear.
It needs no art,
With faint, averted feet
And many a tear,
In our opposed paths to persevere.
230
Go thou to East, I West.
We will not say
There's any hope, it is so far away.
But, O, my Best,
When the one darling of our widowhead,
The nursling Grief,
Is dead,
And no dews blur our eyes
To see the peach-bloom come in evening skies,
Perchance we may,
Where now this night is day,
And even through faith of still averted feet,
Making full circle of our banishment,
Amazed meet;
The bitter journey to the bourne so sweet
Seasoning the termless feast of our content
With tears of recognition never dry.
XVII
1880-85
Stand by,
Ye Wise, by whom Heav'n rules!
Your kingly hands suit not the hangman's tools.
When God has doom'd a glorious Past to die,
Are there no knaves and fools?
For ages yet to come your kind shall count for nought.
Smoke of the strife of other Powers
Than ours,
And tongues inscrutable with fury fraught
'Wilder the sky,
Till the far good which none can guess be wrought.
Stand by!
Since tears are vain, here let us rest and laugh,
But not too loudly; for the brave time's come,
When Best may not blaspheme the Bigger Half,
And freedom for our sort means freedom to be dumb.
Lo, how the dross and draff
Jeer up at us, and shout,
‘The Day is ours, the Night is theirs!’
231
And urge their rout
Where the wild dawn of rising Tartarus flares.
Yon strives their Leader, lusting to be seen.
His leprosy's so perfect that men call him clean!
Listen the long, sincere, and liberal bray
Of the earnest Puller at another's hay
'Gainst aught that dares to tug the other way,
Quite void of fears
With all that noise of ruin round his ears!
Yonder the people cast their caps o'erhead,
And swear the threaten'd doom is ne'er to dread
That's come, though not yet past.
All front the horror and are none aghast;
Brag of their full-blown rights and liberties,
Nor once surmise
When each man gets his due the Nation dies;
Nay, still shout ‘Progress!’ as if seven plagues
Should take the laggard who would stretch his legs.
Forward! glad rush of Gergesenian swine;
You've gain'd the hill-top, but there's yet the brine.
Forward! to meet the welcome of the waves
That mount to 'whelm the freedom which enslaves.
Forward! bad corpses turn into good dung,
To feed strange futures beautiful and young.
Forward! God speed ye down the damn'd decline,
And grant ye the Fool's true good, in abject ruin's gulf
As the Wise see him so to see himself!
Ah, Land once mine,
That seem'd to me too sweetly wise,
Too sternly fair for aught that dies,
Past is thy proud and pleasant state,
That recent date
When, strong and single, in thy sovereign heart,
The thrones of thinking, hearing, sight,
The cunning hand, the knotted thew
Of lesser powers that heave and hew,
And each the smallest beneficial part,
And merest pore of breathing, beat,
Full and complete,
The great pulse of thy generous might,
Equal in inequality,
232
That soul of joy in low and high;
When not a churl but felt the Giant's heat,
Albeit he simply call'd it his,
Flush in his common labour with delight,
And not a village-Maiden's kiss
But was for this
More sweet,
And not a sorrow but did lightlier sigh,
And for its private self less greet,
The whilst that other so majestic self stood by!
Integrity so vast could well afford
To wear in working many a stain,
To pillory the cobbler vain
And license madness in a lord.
On that were all men well agreed;
And, if they did a thing,
Their strength was with them in their deed,
And from amongst them came the shout of a king!
But, once let traitor coward meet,
Not Heaven itself can keep its feet.
Come knave who said to dastard, ‘Lo,
‘The Deluge!’ which but needed ‘No!’
For all the Atlantic's threatening roar,
If men would bravely understand,
Is softly check'd for evermore
By a firm bar of sand.
But, dastard listening knave, who said,
‘'Twere juster were the Giant dead,
That so yon bawlers may not miss
To vote their own pot-belly'd bliss,’
All that is past!
We saw the slaying, and were not aghast.
But ne'er a sun, on village Groom and Bride,
Albeit they guess not how it is,
At Easter or at Whitsuntide,
But shines less gay for this!
XVIII
The Two Deserts
233
Not greatly moved with awe am I
To learn that we may spy
Five thousand firmaments beyond our own.
The best that's known
Of the heavenly bodies does them credit small.
View'd close, the Moon's fair ball
Is of ill objects worst,
A corpse in Night's highway, naked, fire-scarr'd, accurst;
And now they tell
That the Sun is plainly seen to boil and burst
Too horribly for hell.
So, judging from these two,
As we must do,
The Universe, outside our living Earth,
Was all conceiv'd in the Creator's mirth,
Forecasting at the time Man's spirit deep,
To make dirt cheap.
Put by the Telescope!
Better without it man may see,
Stretch'd awful in the hush'd midnight,
The ghost of his eternity.
Give me the nobler glass that swells to the eye
The things which near us lie,
Till Science rapturously hails,
In the minutest water-drop,
A torment of innumerable tails.
These at the least do live.
But rather give
A mind not much to pry
Beyond our royal-fair estate
Betwixt these deserts blank of small and great.
Wonder and beauty our own courtiers are,
Pressing to catch our gaze,
And out of obvious ways
Ne'er wandering far.
XIX
Crest And Gulf
Much woe that man befalls
234
Who does not run when sent, nor come when Heaven calls;
But whether he serve God, or his own whim,
Not matters, in the end, to any one but him;
And he as soon
Shall map the other side of the Moon,
As trace what his own deed,
In the next chop of the chance gale, shall breed.
This he may know:
His good or evil seed
Is like to grow,
For its first harvest, quite to contraries:
The father wise
Has still the hare-brain'd brood;
'Gainst evil, ill example better works than good;
The poet, fanning his mild flight
At a most keen and arduous height,
Unveils the tender heavens to horny human eyes
Amidst ingenious blasphemies.
Wouldst raise the poor, in Capuan luxury sunk?
The Nation lives but whilst its Lords are drunk!
Or spread Heav'n's partial gifts o'er all, like dew?
The Many's weedy growth withers the gracious Few!
Strange opposites, from those, again, shall rise.
Join, then, if thee it please, the bitter jest
Of mankind's progress; all its spectral race
Mere impotence of rest,
The heaving vain of life which cannot cease from self,
Crest altering still to gulf
And gulf to crest
In endless chace,
That leaves the tossing water anchor'd in its place!
Ah, well does he who does but stand aside,
Sans hope or fear,
And marks the crest and gulf in station sink and rear,
And prophesies 'gainst trust in such a tide:
For he sometimes is prophet, heavenly taught,
Whose message is that he sees only nought.
Nathless, discern'd may be,
By listeners at the doors of destiny,
The fly-wheel swift and still
Of God's incessant will,
235
Mighty to keep in bound, tho' powerless to quell,
The amorous and vehement drift of man's herd to hell.
XX
‘Let Be!’
Ah, yes; we tell the good and evil trees
By fruits: But how tell these?
Who does not know
That good and ill
Are done in secret still,
And that which shews is verily but show!
How high of heart is one, and one how sweet of mood:
But not all height is holiness,
Nor every sweetness good;
And grace will sometimes lurk where who could guess?
The Critic of his kind,
Dealing to each his share,
With easy humour, hard to bear,
May not impossibly have in him shrined,
As in a gossamer globe or thickly padded pod,
Some small seed dear to God.
Haply yon wretch, so famous for his falls,
Got them beneath the Devil-defended walls
Of some high Virtue he had vow'd to win;
And that which you and I
Call his besetting sin
Is but the fume of his peculiar fire
Of inmost contrary desire,
And means wild willingness for her to die,
Dash'd with despondence of her favour sweet;
He fiercer fighting, in his worst defeat,
Than I or you,
That only courteous greet
Where he does hotly woo,
Did ever fight, in our best victory.
Another is mistook
Through his deceitful likeness to his look!
Let be, let be:
Why should I clear myself, why answer thou for me?
That shaft of slander shot
236
Miss'd only the right blot.
I see the shame
They cannot see:
'Tis very just they blame
The thing that's not.
XXI
‘Faint Yet Pursuing’
Heroic Good, target for which the young
Dream in their dreams that every bow is strung,
And, missing, sigh
Unfruitful, or as disbelievers die,
Thee having miss'd, I will not so revolt,
But lowlier shoot my bolt,
And lowlier still, if still I may not reach,
And my proud stomach teach
That less than highest is good, and may be high.
An even walk in life's uneven way,
Though to have dreamt of flight and not to fly
Be strange and sad,
Is not a boon that's given to all who pray.
If this I had
I'd envy none!
Nay, trod I straight for one
Year, month or week,
Should Heaven withdraw, and Satan me amerce
Of power and joy, still would I seek
Another victory with a like reverse;
Because the good of victory does not die,
As dies the failure's curse,
And what we have to gain
Is, not one battle, but a weary life's campaign.
Yet meaner lot being sent
Should more than me content;
Yea, if I lie
Among vile shards, though born for silver wings,
In the strong flight and feathers gold
Of whatsoever heavenward mounts and sings
I must by admiration so comply
That there I should my own delight behold.
237
Yea, though I sin each day times seven,
And dare not lift the fearfullest eyes to Heaven,
Thanks must I give
Because that seven times are not eight or nine,
And that my darkness is all mine,
And that I live
Within this oak-shade one more minute even,
Hearing the winds their Maker magnify.
XXII
Victory In Defeat
Ah, God, alas,
How soon it came to pass
The sweetness melted from thy barbed hook
Which I so simply took;
And I lay bleeding on the bitter land,
Afraid to stir against thy least command,
But losing all my pleasant life-blood, whence
Force should have been heart's frailty to withstand.
Life is not life at all without delight,
Nor has it any might;
And better than the insentient heart and brain
Is sharpest pain;
And better for the moment seems it to rebel,
If the great Master, from his lifted seat,
Ne'er whispers to the wearied servant ‘Well!’
Yet what returns of love did I endure,
When to be pardon'd seem'd almost more sweet
Than aye to have been pure!
But day still faded to disastrous night,
And thicker darkness changed to feebler light,
Until forgiveness, without stint renew'd,
Was now no more with loving tears imbued,
Vowing no more offence.
Not less to thine Unfaithful didst thou cry,
‘Come back, poor Child; be all as 'twas before.
But I,
‘No, no; I will not promise any more!
Yet, when I feel my hour is come to die,
And so I am secured of continence,
238
Then may I say, though haply then in vain,
'My only, only Love, O, take me back again!'’
Thereafter didst thou smite
So hard that, for a space,
Uplifted seem'd Heav'n's everlasting door,
And I indeed the darling of thy grace.
But, in some dozen changes of the moon,
A bitter mockery seem'd thy bitter boon.
The broken pinion was no longer sore.
Again, indeed, I woke
Under so dread a stroke
That all the strength it left within my heart
Was just to ache and turn, and then to turn and ache,
And some weak sign of war unceasingly to make.
And here I lie,
With no one near to mark,
Thrusting Hell's phantoms feebly in the dark,
And still at point more utterly to die.
O God, how long!
Put forth indeed thy powerful right hand,
While time is yet,
Or never shall I see the blissful land!
Thus I: then God, in pleasant speech and strong,
(Which soon I shall forget):
‘The man who, though his fights be all defeats,
Still fights,
Enters at last
The heavenly Jerusalem's rejoicing streets
With glory more, and more triumphant rites
Than always-conquering Joshua's, when his blast
The frighted walls of Jericho down cast;
And, lo, the glad surprise
Of peace beyond surmise,
More than in common Saints, for ever in his eyes.
XXIII
Remembered Grace
Since succour to the feeblest of the wise
239
Is charge of nobler weight
Than the security
Of many and many a foolish soul's estate,
This I affirm,
Though fools will fools more confidently be:
Whom God does once with heart to heart befriend,
He does so till the end:
And having planted life's miraculous germ,
One sweet pulsation of responsive love,
He sets him sheer above,
Not sin and bitter shame
And wreck of fame,
But Hell's insidious and more black attempt,
The envy, malice, and pride,
Which men who share so easily condone
That few ev'n list such ills as these to hide.
From these unalterably exempt,
Through the remember'd grace
Of that divine embrace,
Of his sad errors none,
Though gross to blame,
Shall cast him lower than the cleansing flame,
Nor make him quite depart
From the small flock named ‘after God's own heart,’
And to themselves unknown.
Nor can he quail
In faith, nor flush nor pale
When all the other idiot people spell
How this or that new Prophet's word belies
Their last high oracle;
But constantly his soul
Points to its pole
Ev'n as the needle points, and knows not why;
And, under the ever-changing clouds of doubt,
When others cry,
‘The stars, if stars there were,
Are quench'd and out!’
To him, uplooking t'ward the hills for aid,
Appear, at need display'd,
Gaps in the low-hung gloom, and, bright in air,
Orion or the Bear.
240
XXIV
Vesica Piscis
In strenuous hope I wrought,
And hope seem'd still betray'd;
Lastly I said,
‘I have labour'd through the Night, nor yet
Have taken aught;
But at Thy word I will again cast forth the net!’
And, lo, I caught
(Oh, quite unlike and quite beyond my thought,)
Not the quick, shining harvest of the Sea,
For food, my wish,
But Thee!
Then, hiding even in me,
As hid was Simon's coin within the fish,
Thou sigh'd'st, with joy, ‘Be dumb,
Or speak but of forgotten things to far-off times to come.’
~ Coventry Patmore,
266:Merlin And Vivien
A storm was coming, but the winds were still,
And in the wild woods of Broceliande,
Before an oak, so hollow, huge and old
It looked a tower of ivied masonwork,
At Merlin's feet the wily Vivien lay.
For he that always bare in bitter grudge
The slights of Arthur and his Table, Mark
The Cornish King, had heard a wandering voice,
A minstrel of Caerlon by strong storm
Blown into shelter at Tintagil, say
That out of naked knightlike purity
Sir Lancelot worshipt no unmarried girl
But the great Queen herself, fought in her name,
Sware by her--vows like theirs, that high in heaven
Love most, but neither marry, nor are given
In marriage, angels of our Lord's report.
He ceased, and then--for Vivien sweetly said
(She sat beside the banquet nearest Mark),
'And is the fair example followed, Sir,
In Arthur's household?'--answered innocently:
'Ay, by some few--ay, truly--youths that hold
It more beseems the perfect virgin knight
To worship woman as true wife beyond
All hopes of gaining, than as maiden girl.
They place their pride in Lancelot and the Queen.
So passionate for an utter purity
Beyond the limit of their bond, are these,
For Arthur bound them not to singleness.
Brave hearts and clean! and yet--God guide them--young.'
Then Mark was half in heart to hurl his cup
Straight at the speaker, but forbore: he rose
To leave the hall, and, Vivien following him,
Turned to her: 'Here are snakes within the grass;
And you methinks, O Vivien, save ye fear
The monkish manhood, and the mask of pure
365
Worn by this court, can stir them till they sting.'
And Vivien answered, smiling scornfully,
'Why fear? because that fostered at THY court
I savour of thy--virtues? fear them? no.
As Love, if Love is perfect, casts out fear,
So Hate, if Hate is perfect, casts out fear.
My father died in battle against the King,
My mother on his corpse in open field;
She bore me there, for born from death was I
Among the dead and sown upon the wind-And then on thee! and shown the truth betimes,
That old true filth, and bottom of the well
Where Truth is hidden. Gracious lessons thine
And maxims of the mud! "This Arthur pure!
Great Nature through the flesh herself hath made
Gives him the lie! There is no being pure,
My cherub; saith not Holy Writ the same?"-If I were Arthur, I would have thy blood.
Thy blessing, stainless King! I bring thee back,
When I have ferreted out their burrowings,
The hearts of all this Order in mine hand-Ay--so that fate and craft and folly close,
Perchance, one curl of Arthur's golden beard.
To me this narrow grizzled fork of thine
Is cleaner-fashioned--Well, I loved thee first,
That warps the wit.'
Loud laughed the graceless Mark,
But Vivien, into Camelot stealing, lodged
Low in the city, and on a festal day
When Guinevere was crossing the great hall
Cast herself down, knelt to the Queen, and wailed.
'Why kneel ye there? What evil hath ye wrought?
Rise!' and the damsel bidden rise arose
And stood with folded hands and downward eyes
Of glancing corner, and all meekly said,
'None wrought, but suffered much, an orphan maid!
My father died in battle for thy King,
My mother on his corpse--in open field,
The sad sea-sounding wastes of Lyonnesse--
366
Poor wretch--no friend!--and now by Mark the King
For that small charm of feature mine, pursued-If any such be mine--I fly to thee.
Save, save me thou--Woman of women--thine
The wreath of beauty, thine the crown of power,
Be thine the balm of pity, O Heaven's own white
Earth-angel, stainless bride of stainless King-Help, for he follows! take me to thyself!
O yield me shelter for mine innocency
Among thy maidens!
Here her slow sweet eyes
Fear-tremulous, but humbly hopeful, rose
Fixt on her hearer's, while the Queen who stood
All glittering like May sunshine on May leaves
In green and gold, and plumed with green replied,
'Peace, child! of overpraise and overblame
We choose the last. Our noble Arthur, him
Ye scarce can overpraise, will hear and know.
Nay--we believe all evil of thy Mark-Well, we shall test thee farther; but this hour
We ride a-hawking with Sir Lancelot.
He hath given us a fair falcon which he trained;
We go to prove it. Bide ye here the while.'
She past; and Vivien murmured after 'Go!
I bide the while.' Then through the portal-arch
Peering askance, and muttering broken-wise,
As one that labours with an evil dream,
Beheld the Queen and Lancelot get to horse.
'Is that the Lancelot? goodly--ay, but gaunt:
Courteous--amends for gauntness--takes her hand-That glance of theirs, but for the street, had been
A clinging kiss--how hand lingers in hand!
Let go at last!--they ride away--to hawk
For waterfowl. Royaller game is mine.
For such a supersensual sensual bond
As that gray cricket chirpt of at our hearth-Touch flax with flame--a glance will serve--the liars!
Ah little rat that borest in the dyke
Thy hole by night to let the boundless deep
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Down upon far-off cities while they dance-Or dream--of thee they dreamed not--nor of me
These--ay, but each of either: ride, and dream
The mortal dream that never yet was mine-Ride, ride and dream until ye wake--to me!
Then, narrow court and lubber King, farewell!
For Lancelot will be gracious to the rat,
And our wise Queen, if knowing that I know,
Will hate, loathe, fear--but honour me the more.'
Yet while they rode together down the plain,
Their talk was all of training, terms of art,
Diet and seeling, jesses, leash and lure.
'She is too noble' he said 'to check at pies,
Nor will she rake: there is no baseness in her.'
Here when the Queen demanded as by chance
'Know ye the stranger woman?' 'Let her be,'
Said Lancelot and unhooded casting off
The goodly falcon free; she towered; her bells,
Tone under tone, shrilled; and they lifted up
Their eager faces, wondering at the strength,
Boldness and royal knighthood of the bird
Who pounced her quarry and slew it. Many a time
As once--of old--among the flowers--they rode.
But Vivien half-forgotten of the Queen
Among her damsels broidering sat, heard, watched
And whispered: through the peaceful court she crept
And whispered: then as Arthur in the highest
Leavened the world, so Vivien in the lowest,
Arriving at a time of golden rest,
And sowing one ill hint from ear to ear,
While all the heathen lay at Arthur's feet,
And no quest came, but all was joust and play,
Leavened his hall. They heard and let her be.
Thereafter as an enemy that has left
Death in the living waters, and withdrawn,
The wily Vivien stole from Arthur's court.
She hated all the knights, and heard in thought
Their lavish comment when her name was named.
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For once, when Arthur walking all alone,
Vext at a rumour issued from herself
Of some corruption crept among his knights,
Had met her, Vivien, being greeted fair,
Would fain have wrought upon his cloudy mood
With reverent eyes mock-loyal, shaken voice,
And fluttered adoration, and at last
With dark sweet hints of some who prized him more
Than who should prize him most; at which the King
Had gazed upon her blankly and gone by:
But one had watched, and had not held his peace:
It made the laughter of an afternoon
That Vivien should attempt the blameless King.
And after that, she set herself to gain
Him, the most famous man of all those times,
Merlin, who knew the range of all their arts,
Had built the King his havens, ships, and halls,
Was also Bard, and knew the starry heavens;
The people called him Wizard; whom at first
She played about with slight and sprightly talk,
And vivid smiles, and faintly-venomed points
Of slander, glancing here and grazing there;
And yielding to his kindlier moods, the Seer
Would watch her at her petulance, and play,
Even when they seemed unloveable, and laugh
As those that watch a kitten; thus he grew
Tolerant of what he half disdained, and she,
Perceiving that she was but half disdained,
Began to break her sports with graver fits,
Turn red or pale, would often when they met
Sigh fully, or all-silent gaze upon him
With such a fixt devotion, that the old man,
Though doubtful, felt the flattery, and at times
Would flatter his own wish in age for love,
And half believe her true: for thus at times
He wavered; but that other clung to him,
Fixt in her will, and so the seasons went.
Then fell on Merlin a great melancholy;
He walked with dreams and darkness, and he found
A doom that ever poised itself to fall,
An ever-moaning battle in the mist,
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World-war of dying flesh against the life,
Death in all life and lying in all love,
The meanest having power upon the highest,
And the high purpose broken by the worm.
So leaving Arthur's court he gained the beach;
There found a little boat, and stept into it;
And Vivien followed, but he marked her not.
She took the helm and he the sail; the boat
Drave with a sudden wind across the deeps,
And touching Breton sands, they disembarked.
And then she followed Merlin all the way,
Even to the wild woods of Broceliande.
For Merlin once had told her of a charm,
The which if any wrought on anyone
With woven paces and with waving arms,
The man so wrought on ever seemed to lie
Closed in the four walls of a hollow tower,
From which was no escape for evermore;
And none could find that man for evermore,
Nor could he see but him who wrought the charm
Coming and going, and he lay as dead
And lost to life and use and name and fame.
And Vivien ever sought to work the charm
Upon the great Enchanter of the Time,
As fancying that her glory would be great
According to his greatness whom she quenched.
There lay she all her length and kissed his feet,
As if in deepest reverence and in love.
A twist of gold was round her hair; a robe
Of samite without price, that more exprest
Than hid her, clung about her lissome limbs,
In colour like the satin-shining palm
On sallows in the windy gleams of March:
And while she kissed them, crying, 'Trample me,
Dear feet, that I have followed through the world,
And I will pay you worship; tread me down
And I will kiss you for it;' he was mute:
So dark a forethought rolled about his brain,
As on a dull day in an Ocean cave
The blind wave feeling round his long sea-hall
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In silence: wherefore, when she lifted up
A face of sad appeal, and spake and said,
'O Merlin, do ye love me?' and again,
'O Merlin, do ye love me?' and once more,
'Great Master, do ye love me?' he was mute.
And lissome Vivien, holding by his heel,
Writhed toward him, slided up his knee and sat,
Behind his ankle twined her hollow feet
Together, curved an arm about his neck,
Clung like a snake; and letting her left hand
Droop from his mighty shoulder, as a leaf,
Made with her right a comb of pearl to part
The lists of such a board as youth gone out
Had left in ashes: then he spoke and said,
Not looking at her, 'Who are wise in love
Love most, say least,' and Vivien answered quick,
'I saw the little elf-god eyeless once
In Arthur's arras hall at Camelot:
But neither eyes nor tongue--O stupid child!
Yet you are wise who say it; let me think
Silence is wisdom: I am silent then,
And ask no kiss;' then adding all at once,
'And lo, I clothe myself with wisdom,' drew
The vast and shaggy mantle of his beard
Across her neck and bosom to her knee,
And called herself a gilded summer fly
Caught in a great old tyrant spider's web,
Who meant to eat her up in that wild wood
Without one word. So Vivien called herself,
But rather seemed a lovely baleful star
Veiled in gray vapour; till he sadly smiled:
'To what request for what strange boon,' he said,
'Are these your pretty tricks and fooleries,
O Vivien, the preamble? yet my thanks,
For these have broken up my melancholy.'
And Vivien answered smiling saucily,
'What, O my Master, have ye found your voice?
I bid the stranger welcome. Thanks at last!
But yesterday you never opened lip,
Except indeed to drink: no cup had we:
In mine own lady palms I culled the spring
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That gathered trickling dropwise from the cleft,
And made a pretty cup of both my hands
And offered you it kneeling: then you drank
And knew no more, nor gave me one poor word;
O no more thanks than might a goat have given
With no more sign of reverence than a beard.
And when we halted at that other well,
And I was faint to swooning, and you lay
Foot-gilt with all the blossom-dust of those
Deep meadows we had traversed, did you know
That Vivien bathed your feet before her own?
And yet no thanks: and all through this wild wood
And all this morning when I fondled you:
Boon, ay, there was a boon, one not so strange-How had I wronged you? surely ye are wise,
But such a silence is more wise than kind.'
And Merlin locked his hand in hers and said:
'O did ye never lie upon the shore,
And watch the curled white of the coming wave
Glassed in the slippery sand before it breaks?
Even such a wave, but not so pleasurable,
Dark in the glass of some presageful mood,
Had I for three days seen, ready to fall.
And then I rose and fled from Arthur's court
To break the mood. You followed me unasked;
And when I looked, and saw you following me still,
My mind involved yourself the nearest thing
In that mind-mist: for shall I tell you truth?
You seemed that wave about to break upon me
And sweep me from my hold upon the world,
My use and name and fame. Your pardon, child.
Your pretty sports have brightened all again.
And ask your boon, for boon I owe you thrice,
Once for wrong done you by confusion, next
For thanks it seems till now neglected, last
For these your dainty gambols: wherefore ask;
And take this boon so strange and not so strange.'
And Vivien answered smiling mournfully:
'O not so strange as my long asking it,
Not yet so strange as you yourself are strange,
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Nor half so strange as that dark mood of yours.
I ever feared ye were not wholly mine;
And see, yourself have owned ye did me wrong.
The people call you prophet: let it be:
But not of those that can expound themselves.
Take Vivien for expounder; she will call
That three-days-long presageful gloom of yours
No presage, but the same mistrustful mood
That makes you seem less noble than yourself,
Whenever I have asked this very boon,
Now asked again: for see you not, dear love,
That such a mood as that, which lately gloomed
Your fancy when ye saw me following you,
Must make me fear still more you are not mine,
Must make me yearn still more to prove you mine,
And make me wish still more to learn this charm
Of woven paces and of waving hands,
As proof of trust. O Merlin, teach it me.
The charm so taught will charm us both to rest.
For, grant me some slight power upon your fate,
I, feeling that you felt me worthy trust,
Should rest and let you rest, knowing you mine.
And therefore be as great as ye are named,
Not muffled round with selfish reticence.
How hard you look and how denyingly!
O, if you think this wickedness in me,
That I should prove it on you unawares,
That makes me passing wrathful; then our bond
Had best be loosed for ever: but think or not,
By Heaven that hears I tell you the clean truth,
As clean as blood of babes, as white as milk:
O Merlin, may this earth, if ever I,
If these unwitty wandering wits of mine,
Even in the jumbled rubbish of a dream,
Have tript on such conjectural treachery-May this hard earth cleave to the Nadir hell
Down, down, and close again, and nip me flat,
If I be such a traitress. Yield my boon,
Till which I scarce can yield you all I am;
And grant my re-reiterated wish,
The great proof of your love: because I think,
However wise, ye hardly know me yet.'
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And Merlin loosed his hand from hers and said,
'I never was less wise, however wise,
Too curious Vivien, though you talk of trust,
Than when I told you first of such a charm.
Yea, if ye talk of trust I tell you this,
Too much I trusted when I told you that,
And stirred this vice in you which ruined man
Through woman the first hour; for howsoe'er
In children a great curiousness be well,
Who have to learn themselves and all the world,
In you, that are no child, for still I find
Your face is practised when I spell the lines,
I call it,--well, I will not call it vice:
But since you name yourself the summer fly,
I well could wish a cobweb for the gnat,
That settles, beaten back, and beaten back
Settles, till one could yield for weariness:
But since I will not yield to give you power
Upon my life and use and name and fame,
Why will ye never ask some other boon?
Yea, by God's rood, I trusted you too much.'
And Vivien, like the tenderest-hearted maid
That ever bided tryst at village stile,
Made answer, either eyelid wet with tears:
'Nay, Master, be not wrathful with your maid;
Caress her: let her feel herself forgiven
Who feels no heart to ask another boon.
I think ye hardly know the tender rhyme
Of "trust me not at all or all in all."
I heard the great Sir Lancelot sing it once,
And it shall answer for me. Listen to it.
"In Love, if Love be Love, if Love be ours,
Faith and unfaith can ne'er be equal powers:
Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all.
"It is the little rift within the lute,
That by and by will make the music mute,
And ever widening slowly silence all.
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"The little rift within the lover's lute
Or little pitted speck in garnered fruit,
That rotting inward slowly moulders all.
"It is not worth the keeping: let it go:
But shall it? answer, darling, answer, no.
And trust me not at all or all in all."
O Master, do ye love my tender rhyme?'
And Merlin looked and half believed her true,
So tender was her voice, so fair her face,
So sweetly gleamed her eyes behind her tears
Like sunlight on the plain behind a shower:
And yet he answered half indignantly:
'Far other was the song that once I heard
By this huge oak, sung nearly where we sit:
For here we met, some ten or twelve of us,
To chase a creature that was current then
In these wild woods, the hart with golden horns.
It was the time when first the question rose
About the founding of a Table Round,
That was to be, for love of God and men
And noble deeds, the flower of all the world.
And each incited each to noble deeds.
And while we waited, one, the youngest of us,
We could not keep him silent, out he flashed,
And into such a song, such fire for fame,
Such trumpet-glowings in it, coming down
To such a stern and iron-clashing close,
That when he stopt we longed to hurl together,
And should have done it; but the beauteous beast
Scared by the noise upstarted at our feet,
And like a silver shadow slipt away
Through the dim land; and all day long we rode
Through the dim land against a rushing wind,
That glorious roundel echoing in our ears,
And chased the flashes of his golden horns
Till they vanished by the fairy well
That laughs at iron--as our warriors did-Where children cast their pins and nails, and cry,
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"Laugh, little well!" but touch it with a sword,
It buzzes fiercely round the point; and there
We lost him: such a noble song was that.
But, Vivien, when you sang me that sweet rhyme,
I felt as though you knew this cursd charm,
Were proving it on me, and that I lay
And felt them slowly ebbing, name and fame.'
And Vivien answered smiling mournfully:
'O mine have ebbed away for evermore,
And all through following you to this wild wood,
Because I saw you sad, to comfort you.
Lo now, what hearts have men! they never mount
As high as woman in her selfless mood.
And touching fame, howe'er ye scorn my song,
Take one verse more--the lady speaks it--this:
'"My name, once mine, now thine, is closelier mine,
For fame, could fame be mine, that fame were thine,
And shame, could shame be thine, that shame were mine.
So trust me not at all or all in all."
'Says she not well? and there is more--this rhyme
Is like the fair pearl-necklace of the Queen,
That burst in dancing, and the pearls were spilt;
Some lost, some stolen, some as relics kept.
But nevermore the same two sister pearls
Ran down the silken thread to kiss each other
On her white neck--so is it with this rhyme:
It lives dispersedly in many hands,
And every minstrel sings it differently;
Yet is there one true line, the pearl of pearls:
"Man dreams of Fame while woman wakes to love."
Yea! Love, though Love were of the grossest, carves
A portion from the solid present, eats
And uses, careless of the rest; but Fame,
The Fame that follows death is nothing to us;
And what is Fame in life but half-disfame,
And counterchanged with darkness? ye yourself
Know well that Envy calls you Devil's son,
And since ye seem the Master of all Art,
They fain would make you Master of all vice.'
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And Merlin locked his hand in hers and said,
'I once was looking for a magic weed,
And found a fair young squire who sat alone,
Had carved himself a knightly shield of wood,
And then was painting on it fancied arms,
Azure, an Eagle rising or, the Sun
In dexter chief; the scroll "I follow fame."
And speaking not, but leaning over him
I took his brush and blotted out the bird,
And made a Gardener putting in a graff,
With this for motto, "Rather use than fame."
You should have seen him blush; but afterwards
He made a stalwart knight. O Vivien,
For you, methinks you think you love me well;
For me, I love you somewhat; rest: and Love
Should have some rest and pleasure in himself,
Not ever be too curious for a boon,
Too prurient for a proof against the grain
Of him ye say ye love: but Fame with men,
Being but ampler means to serve mankind,
Should have small rest or pleasure in herself,
But work as vassal to the larger love,
That dwarfs the petty love of one to one.
Use gave me Fame at first, and Fame again
Increasing gave me use. Lo, there my boon!
What other? for men sought to prove me vile,
Because I fain had given them greater wits:
And then did Envy call me Devil's son:
The sick weak beast seeking to help herself
By striking at her better, missed, and brought
Her own claw back, and wounded her own heart.
Sweet were the days when I was all unknown,
But when my name was lifted up, the storm
Brake on the mountain and I cared not for it.
Right well know I that Fame is half-disfame,
Yet needs must work my work. That other fame,
To one at least, who hath not children, vague,
The cackle of the unborn about the grave,
I cared not for it: a single misty star,
Which is the second in a line of stars
That seem a sword beneath a belt of three,
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I never gazed upon it but I dreamt
Of some vast charm concluded in that star
To make fame nothing. Wherefore, if I fear,
Giving you power upon me through this charm,
That you might play me falsely, having power,
However well ye think ye love me now
(As sons of kings loving in pupilage
Have turned to tyrants when they came to power)
I rather dread the loss of use than fame;
If you--and not so much from wickedness,
As some wild turn of anger, or a mood
Of overstrained affection, it may be,
To keep me all to your own self,--or else
A sudden spurt of woman's jealousy,-Should try this charm on whom ye say ye love.'
And Vivien answered smiling as in wrath:
'Have I not sworn? I am not trusted. Good!
Well, hide it, hide it; I shall find it out;
And being found take heed of Vivien.
A woman and not trusted, doubtless I
Might feel some sudden turn of anger born
Of your misfaith; and your fine epithet
Is accurate too, for this full love of mine
Without the full heart back may merit well
Your term of overstrained. So used as I,
My daily wonder is, I love at all.
And as to woman's jealousy, O why not?
O to what end, except a jealous one,
And one to make me jealous if I love,
Was this fair charm invented by yourself?
I well believe that all about this world
Ye cage a buxom captive here and there,
Closed in the four walls of a hollow tower
From which is no escape for evermore.'
Then the great Master merrily answered her:
'Full many a love in loving youth was mine;
I needed then no charm to keep them mine
But youth and love; and that full heart of yours
Whereof ye prattle, may now assure you mine;
So live uncharmed. For those who wrought it first,
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The wrist is parted from the hand that waved,
The feet unmortised from their ankle-bones
Who paced it, ages back: but will ye hear
The legend as in guerdon for your rhyme?
'There lived a king in the most Eastern East,
Less old than I, yet older, for my blood
Hath earnest in it of far springs to be.
A tawny pirate anchored in his port,
Whose bark had plundered twenty nameless isles;
And passing one, at the high peep of dawn,
He saw two cities in a thousand boats
All fighting for a woman on the sea.
And pushing his black craft among them all,
He lightly scattered theirs and brought her off,
With loss of half his people arrow-slain;
A maid so smooth, so white, so wonderful,
They said a light came from her when she moved:
And since the pirate would not yield her up,
The King impaled him for his piracy;
Then made her Queen: but those isle-nurtured eyes
Waged such unwilling though successful war
On all the youth, they sickened; councils thinned,
And armies waned, for magnet-like she drew
The rustiest iron of old fighters' hearts;
And beasts themselves would worship; camels knelt
Unbidden, and the brutes of mountain back
That carry kings in castles, bowed black knees
Of homage, ringing with their serpent hands,
To make her smile, her golden ankle-bells.
What wonder, being jealous, that he sent
His horns of proclamation out through all
The hundred under-kingdoms that he swayed
To find a wizard who might teach the King
Some charm, which being wrought upon the Queen
Might keep her all his own: to such a one
He promised more than ever king has given,
A league of mountain full of golden mines,
A province with a hundred miles of coast,
A palace and a princess, all for him:
But on all those who tried and failed, the King
Pronounced a dismal sentence, meaning by it
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To keep the list low and pretenders back,
Or like a king, not to be trifled with-Their heads should moulder on the city gates.
And many tried and failed, because the charm
Of nature in her overbore their own:
And many a wizard brow bleached on the walls:
And many weeks a troop of carrion crows
Hung like a cloud above the gateway towers.'
And Vivien breaking in upon him, said:
'I sit and gather honey; yet, methinks,
Thy tongue has tript a little: ask thyself.
The lady never made UNWILLING war
With those fine eyes: she had her pleasure in it,
And made her good man jealous with good cause.
And lived there neither dame nor damsel then
Wroth at a lover's loss? were all as tame,
I mean, as noble, as the Queen was fair?
Not one to flirt a venom at her eyes,
Or pinch a murderous dust into her drink,
Or make her paler with a poisoned rose?
Well, those were not our days: but did they find
A wizard? Tell me, was he like to thee?
She ceased, and made her lithe arm round his neck
Tighten, and then drew back, and let her eyes
Speak for her, glowing on him, like a bride's
On her new lord, her own, the first of men.
He answered laughing, 'Nay, not like to me.
At last they found--his foragers for charms-A little glassy-headed hairless man,
Who lived alone in a great wild on grass;
Read but one book, and ever reading grew
So grated down and filed away with thought,
So lean his eyes were monstrous; while the skin
Clung but to crate and basket, ribs and spine.
And since he kept his mind on one sole aim,
Nor ever touched fierce wine, nor tasted flesh,
Nor owned a sensual wish, to him the wall
That sunders ghosts and shadow-casting men
Became a crystal, and he saw them through it,
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And heard their voices talk behind the wall,
And learnt their elemental secrets, powers
And forces; often o'er the sun's bright eye
Drew the vast eyelid of an inky cloud,
And lashed it at the base with slanting storm;
Or in the noon of mist and driving rain,
When the lake whitened and the pinewood roared,
And the cairned mountain was a shadow, sunned
The world to peace again: here was the man.
And so by force they dragged him to the King.
And then he taught the King to charm the Queen
In such-wise, that no man could see her more,
Nor saw she save the King, who wrought the charm,
Coming and going, and she lay as dead,
And lost all use of life: but when the King
Made proffer of the league of golden mines,
The province with a hundred miles of coast,
The palace and the princess, that old man
Went back to his old wild, and lived on grass,
And vanished, and his book came down to me.'
And Vivien answered smiling saucily:
'Ye have the book: the charm is written in it:
Good: take my counsel: let me know it at once:
For keep it like a puzzle chest in chest,
With each chest locked and padlocked thirty-fold,
And whelm all this beneath as vast a mound
As after furious battle turfs the slain
On some wild down above the windy deep,
I yet should strike upon a sudden means
To dig, pick, open, find and read the charm:
Then, if I tried it, who should blame me then?'
And smiling as a master smiles at one
That is not of his school, nor any school
But that where blind and naked Ignorance
Delivers brawling judgments, unashamed,
On all things all day long, he answered her:
'Thou read the book, my pretty Vivien!
O ay, it is but twenty pages long,
But every page having an ample marge,
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And every marge enclosing in the midst
A square of text that looks a little blot,
The text no larger than the limbs of fleas;
And every square of text an awful charm,
Writ in a language that has long gone by.
So long, that mountains have arisen since
With cities on their flanks--thou read the book!
And ever margin scribbled, crost, and crammed
With comment, densest condensation, hard
To mind and eye; but the long sleepless nights
Of my long life have made it easy to me.
And none can read the text, not even I;
And none can read the comment but myself;
And in the comment did I find the charm.
O, the results are simple; a mere child
Might use it to the harm of anyone,
And never could undo it: ask no more:
For though you should not prove it upon me,
But keep that oath ye sware, ye might, perchance,
Assay it on some one of the Table Round,
And all because ye dream they babble of you.'
And Vivien, frowning in true anger, said:
'What dare the full-fed liars say of me?
THEY ride abroad redressing human wrongs!
They sit with knife in meat and wine in horn!
THEY bound to holy vows of chastity!
Were I not woman, I could tell a tale.
But you are man, you well can understand
The shame that cannot be explained for shame.
Not one of all the drove should touch me: swine!'
Then answered Merlin careless of her words:
'You breathe but accusation vast and vague,
Spleen-born, I think, and proofless. If ye know,
Set up the charge ye know, to stand or fall!'
And Vivien answered frowning wrathfully:
'O ay, what say ye to Sir Valence, him
Whose kinsman left him watcher o'er his wife
And two fair babes, and went to distant lands;
Was one year gone, and on returning found
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Not two but three? there lay the reckling, one
But one hour old! What said the happy sire?'
A seven-months' babe had been a truer gift.
Those twelve sweet moons confused his fatherhood.'
Then answered Merlin, 'Nay, I know the tale.
Sir Valence wedded with an outland dame:
Some cause had kept him sundered from his wife:
One child they had: it lived with her: she died:
His kinsman travelling on his own affair
Was charged by Valence to bring home the child.
He brought, not found it therefore: take the truth.'
'O ay,' said Vivien, 'overtrue a tale.
What say ye then to sweet Sir Sagramore,
That ardent man? "to pluck the flower in season,"
So says the song, "I trow it is no treason."
O Master, shall we call him overquick
To crop his own sweet rose before the hour?'
And Merlin answered, 'Overquick art thou
To catch a loathly plume fallen from the wing
Of that foul bird of rapine whose whole prey
Is man's good name: he never wronged his bride.
I know the tale. An angry gust of wind
Puffed out his torch among the myriad-roomed
And many-corridored complexities
Of Arthur's palace: then he found a door,
And darkling felt the sculptured ornament
That wreathen round it made it seem his own;
And wearied out made for the couch and slept,
A stainless man beside a stainless maid;
And either slept, nor knew of other there;
Till the high dawn piercing the royal rose
In Arthur's casement glimmered chastely down,
Blushing upon them blushing, and at once
He rose without a word and parted from her:
But when the thing was blazed about the court,
The brute world howling forced them into bonds,
And as it chanced they are happy, being pure.'
'O ay,' said Vivien, 'that were likely too.
383
What say ye then to fair Sir Percivale
And of the horrid foulness that he wrought,
The saintly youth, the spotless lamb of Christ,
Or some black wether of St Satan's fold.
What, in the precincts of the chapel-yard,
Among the knightly brasses of the graves,
And by the cold Hic Jacets of the dead!'
And Merlin answered careless of her charge,
'A sober man is Percivale and pure;
But once in life was flustered with new wine,
Then paced for coolness in the chapel-yard;
Where one of Satan's shepherdesses caught
And meant to stamp him with her master's mark;
And that he sinned is not believable;
For, look upon his face!--but if he sinned,
The sin that practice burns into the blood,
And not the one dark hour which brings remorse,
Will brand us, after, of whose fold we be:
Or else were he, the holy king, whose hymns
Are chanted in the minster, worse than all.
But is your spleen frothed out, or have ye more?'
And Vivien answered frowning yet in wrath:
'O ay; what say ye to Sir Lancelot, friend
Traitor or true? that commerce with the Queen,
I ask you, is it clamoured by the child,
Or whispered in the corner? do ye know it?'
To which he answered sadly, 'Yea, I know it.
Sir Lancelot went ambassador, at first,
To fetch her, and she watched him from her walls.
A rumour runs, she took him for the King,
So fixt her fancy on him: let them be.
But have ye no one word of loyal praise
For Arthur, blameless King and stainless man?'
She answered with a low and chuckling laugh:
'Man! is he man at all, who knows and winks?
Sees what his fair bride is and does, and winks?
By which the good King means to blind himself,
And blinds himself and all the Table Round
384
To all the foulness that they work. Myself
Could call him (were it not for womanhood)
The pretty, popular cause such manhood earns,
Could call him the main cause of all their crime;
Yea, were he not crowned King, coward, and fool.'
Then Merlin to his own heart, loathing, said:
'O true and tender! O my liege and King!
O selfless man and stainless gentleman,
Who wouldst against thine own eye-witness fain
Have all men true and leal, all women pure;
How, in the mouths of base interpreters,
From over-fineness not intelligible
To things with every sense as false and foul
As the poached filth that floods the middle street,
Is thy white blamelessness accounted blame!'
But Vivien, deeming Merlin overborne
By instance, recommenced, and let her tongue
Rage like a fire among the noblest names,
Polluting, and imputing her whole self,
Defaming and defacing, till she left
Not even Lancelot brave, nor Galahad clean.
Her words had issue other than she willed.
He dragged his eyebrow bushes down, and made
A snowy penthouse for his hollow eyes,
And muttered in himself, 'Tell HER the charm!
So, if she had it, would she rail on me
To snare the next, and if she have it not
So will she rail. What did the wanton say?
"Not mount as high;" we scarce can sink as low:
For men at most differ as Heaven and earth,
But women, worst and best, as Heaven and Hell.
I know the Table Round, my friends of old;
All brave, and many generous, and some chaste.
She cloaks the scar of some repulse with lies;
I well believe she tempted them and failed,
Being so bitter: for fine plots may fail,
Though harlots paint their talk as well as face
With colours of the heart that are not theirs.
I will not let her know: nine tithes of times
385
Face-flatterer and backbiter are the same.
And they, sweet soul, that most impute a crime
Are pronest to it, and impute themselves,
Wanting the mental range; or low desire
Not to feel lowest makes them level all;
Yea, they would pare the mountain to the plain,
To leave an equal baseness; and in this
Are harlots like the crowd, that if they find
Some stain or blemish in a name of note,
Not grieving that their greatest are so small,
Inflate themselves with some insane delight,
And judge all nature from her feet of clay,
Without the will to lift their eyes, and see
Her godlike head crowned with spiritual fire,
And touching other worlds. I am weary of her.'
He spoke in words part heard, in whispers part,
Half-suffocated in the hoary fell
And many-wintered fleece of throat and chin.
But Vivien, gathering somewhat of his mood,
And hearing 'harlot' muttered twice or thrice,
Leapt from her session on his lap, and stood
Stiff as a viper frozen; loathsome sight,
How from the rosy lips of life and love,
Flashed the bare-grinning skeleton of death!
White was her cheek; sharp breaths of anger puffed
Her fairy nostril out; her hand half-clenched
Went faltering sideways downward to her belt,
And feeling; had she found a dagger there
(For in a wink the false love turns to hate)
She would have stabbed him; but she found it not:
His eye was calm, and suddenly she took
To bitter weeping like a beaten child,
A long, long weeping, not consolable.
Then her false voice made way, broken with sobs:
'O crueller than was ever told in tale,
Or sung in song! O vainly lavished love!
O cruel, there was nothing wild or strange,
Or seeming shameful--for what shame in love,
So love be true, and not as yours is--nothing
Poor Vivien had not done to win his trust
386
Who called her what he called her--all her crime,
All--all--the wish to prove him wholly hers.'
She mused a little, and then clapt her hands
Together with a wailing shriek, and said:
'Stabbed through the heart's affections to the heart!
Seethed like the kid in its own mother's milk!
Killed with a word worse than a life of blows!
I thought that he was gentle, being great:
O God, that I had loved a smaller man!
I should have found in him a greater heart.
O, I, that flattering my true passion, saw
The knights, the court, the King, dark in your light,
Who loved to make men darker than they are,
Because of that high pleasure which I had
To seat you sole upon my pedestal
Of worship--I am answered, and henceforth
The course of life that seemed so flowery to me
With you for guide and master, only you,
Becomes the sea-cliff pathway broken short,
And ending in a ruin--nothing left,
But into some low cave to crawl, and there,
If the wolf spare me, weep my life away,
Killed with inutterable unkindliness.'
She paused, she turned away, she hung her head,
The snake of gold slid from her hair, the braid
Slipt and uncoiled itself, she wept afresh,
And the dark wood grew darker toward the storm
In silence, while his anger slowly died
Within him, till he let his wisdom go
For ease of heart, and half believed her true:
Called her to shelter in the hollow oak,
'Come from the storm,' and having no reply,
Gazed at the heaving shoulder, and the face
Hand-hidden, as for utmost grief or shame;
Then thrice essayed, by tenderest-touching terms,
To sleek her ruffled peace of mind, in vain.
At last she let herself be conquered by him,
And as the cageling newly flown returns,
The seeming-injured simple-hearted thing
Came to her old perch back, and settled there.
387
There while she sat, half-falling from his knees,
Half-nestled at his heart, and since he saw
The slow tear creep from her closed eyelid yet,
About her, more in kindness than in love,
The gentle wizard cast a shielding arm.
But she dislinked herself at once and rose,
Her arms upon her breast across, and stood,
A virtuous gentlewoman deeply wronged,
Upright and flushed before him: then she said:
'There must now be no passages of love
Betwixt us twain henceforward evermore;
Since, if I be what I am grossly called,
What should be granted which your own gross heart
Would reckon worth the taking? I will go.
In truth, but one thing now--better have died
Thrice than have asked it once--could make me stay-That proof of trust--so often asked in vain!
How justly, after that vile term of yours,
I find with grief! I might believe you then,
Who knows? once more. Lo! what was once to me
Mere matter of the fancy, now hath grown
The vast necessity of heart and life.
Farewell; think gently of me, for I fear
My fate or folly, passing gayer youth
For one so old, must be to love thee still.
But ere I leave thee let me swear once more
That if I schemed against thy peace in this,
May yon just heaven, that darkens o'er me, send
One flash, that, missing all things else, may make
My scheming brain a cinder, if I lie.'
Scarce had she ceased, when out of heaven a bolt
(For now the storm was close above them) struck,
Furrowing a giant oak, and javelining
With darted spikes and splinters of the wood
The dark earth round. He raised his eyes and saw
The tree that shone white-listed through the gloom.
But Vivien, fearing heaven had heard her oath,
And dazzled by the livid-flickering fork,
And deafened with the stammering cracks and claps
That followed, flying back and crying out,
388
'O Merlin, though you do not love me, save,
Yet save me!' clung to him and hugged him close;
And called him dear protector in her fright,
Nor yet forgot her practice in her fright,
But wrought upon his mood and hugged him close.
The pale blood of the wizard at her touch
Took gayer colours, like an opal warmed.
She blamed herself for telling hearsay tales:
She shook from fear, and for her fault she wept
Of petulancy; she called him lord and liege,
Her seer, her bard, her silver star of eve,
Her God, her Merlin, the one passionate love
Of her whole life; and ever overhead
Bellowed the tempest, and the rotten branch
Snapt in the rushing of the river-rain
Above them; and in change of glare and gloom
Her eyes and neck glittering went and came;
Till now the storm, its burst of passion spent,
Moaning and calling out of other lands,
Had left the ravaged woodland yet once more
To peace; and what should not have been had been,
For Merlin, overtalked and overworn,
Had yielded, told her all the charm, and slept.
Then, in one moment, she put forth the charm
Of woven paces and of waving hands,
And in the hollow oak he lay as dead,
And lost to life and use and name and fame.
Then crying 'I have made his glory mine,'
And shrieking out 'O fool!' the harlot leapt
Adown the forest, and the thicket closed
Behind her, and the forest echoed 'fool.'
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
267: 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 the surges,
Ares impetuous called to the fire in mens hearts, and his passion
Woke in the shadowy depths the forms of the Titan and demon;
Dumb and coerced by the grip of the gods in the abyss of the being,
Formidable, veiled they sit in the grey subconscient darkness
Watching the sleep of the snake-haired Erinnys. Miracled, haloed,
Seer and magician and prophet who beholds what the thought cannot witness,
Lifting the godhead within us to more than a human endeavour,
Slayer and saviour, thinker and mystic, leaped from his sun-peaks
Guarding in Ilion the wall of his mysteries Delphic Apollo.
Heavens strengths divided swayed in the whirl of the Earth-force.
All that is born and destroyed is reborn in the sweep of the ages;
Life like a decimal ever recurring repeats the old figure;
Goal seems there none for the ball that is chased throughout Time by the Fate-teams;
Evil once ended renews and no issue comes out of living:
Only an Eye unseen can distinguish the thread of its workings.
Such seemed the rule of the pastime of Fate on the plains of the Troad;
All went backwards and forwards tossed in the swing of the death-game.
Vain was the toil of the heroes, the blood of the mighty was squandered,
Spray as of surf on the cliffs when it moans unappeased, unrequited
Age after fruitless age. Day hunted the steps of the nightfall;
Joy succeeded to grief; defeat only greatened the vanquished,
Victory offered an empty delight without guerdon or profit.
End there was none of the effort and end there was none of the failure.
Triumph and agony changing hands in a desperate measure
Faced and turned as a man and a maiden trampling the grasses
Face and turn and they laugh in their joy of the dance and each other.
These were gods and they trampled lives. But though Time is immortal,
Mortal his works are and ways and the anguish ends like the rapture.
Artists of Nature content with their work in the plan of the transience,
Beautiful, deathless, august, the Olympians turned from the carnage,
Leaving the battle already decided, leaving the heroes
Slain in their minds, Troy burned, Greece left to her glory and downfall.
Into their heavens they rose up mighty like eagles ascending
Fanning the world with their wings. As the great to their luminous mansions
Turn from the cry and the strife, forgetting the wounded and fallen,
Calm they repose from their toil and incline to the joy of the banquet,
Watching the feet of the wine-bearers rosily placed on the marble,
Filling their hearts with ease, so they to their sorrowless ether
Passed from the wounded earth and its air that is ploughed with mens anguish;
Calm they reposed and their hearts inclined to the joy and the silence.
Lifted was the burden laid on our wills by their starry presence:
Man was restored to his smallness, the world to its inconscient labour.
Life felt a respite from height, the winds breathed freer delivered;
Light was released from their blaze and the earth was released from their greatness.
But their immortal content from the struggle titanic departed.
Vacant the noise of the battle roared like the sea on the shingles;
Wearily hunted the spears their quarry; strength was disheartened;
Silence increased with the march of the months on the tents of the leaguer.
But not alone on the Achaians the steps of the moments fell heavy;
Slowly the shadow deepened on Ilion mighty and scornful:
Dragging her days went by; in the rear of the hearts of her people
Something that knew what they dared not know and the mind would not utter,
Something that smote at her soul of defiance and beauty and laughter,
Darkened the hours. For Doom in her sombre and giant uprising
Neared, assailing the skies: the sense of her lived in all pastimes;
Time was pursued by unease and a terror woke in the midnight:
Even the ramparts felt her, stones that the gods had erected.
Now no longer she dallied and played, but bounded and hastened,
Seeing before her the end and, imagining massacre calmly,
Laughed and admired the flames and rejoiced in the cry of the captives.
Under her, dead to the watching immortals, Deiphobus hastened
Clanging in arms through the streets of the beautiful insolent city,
Brilliant, a gleaming husk but empty and left by the daemon.
Even as a star long extinguished whose light still travels the spaces,
Seen in its form by men, but itself goes phantom-like fleeting
Void and null and dark through the uncaring infinite vastness,
So now he seemed to the sight that sees all things from the Real.
Timeless its vision of Time creates the hour by things coming.
Borne on a force from the past and no more by a power for the future
Mighty and bright was his body, but shadowy the shape of his spirit
Only an eidolon seemed of the being that had lived in him, fleeting
Vague like a phantom seen by the dim Acherontian waters.
But to the guardian towers that watched over Pergamas gateway
Out of the waking city Deiphobus swiftly arriving
Called, and swinging back the huge gates slowly, reluctant,
Flung Troy wide to the entering Argive. Ilions portals
Parted admitting her destiny, then with a sullen and iron
Cry they closed. Mute, staring, grey like a wolf descended
Old Talthybius, propping his steps on the staff of his errand;
Feeble his body, but fierce still his glance with the fire within him;
Speechless and brooding he gazed on the hated and coveted city.
Suddenly, seeking heaven with her buildings hewn as for Titans,
Marvellous, rhythmic, a child of the gods with marble for raiment,
Smiting the vision with harmony, splendid and mighty and golden,
Ilion stood up around him entrenched in her giant defences.
Strength was uplifted on strength and grandeur supported by grandeur;
Beauty lay in her lap. Remote, hieratic and changeless,
Filled with her deeds and her dreams her gods looked out on the Argive,
Helpless and dumb with his hate as he gazed on her, they too like mortals
Knowing their centuries past, not knowing the morrow before them.
Dire were his eyes upon Troya the beautiful, his face like a doom-mask:
All Greece gazed in them, hated, admired, grew afraid, grew relentless.
But to the Greek Deiphobus cried and he turned from his passion
Fixing his ominous eyes with the god in them straight on the Trojan:
Messenger, voice of Achaia, wherefore confronting the daybreak
Comest thou driving thy car from the sleep of the tents that besiege us?
Fateful, I deem, was the thought that, conceived in the silence of midnight,
Raised up thy aged limbs from the couch of their rest in the stillness,
Thoughts of a mortal but forged by the Will that uses our members
And of its promptings our speech and our acts are the tools and the image.
Oft from the veil and the shadow they leap out like stars in their brightness,
Lights that we think our own, yet they are but tokens and counters,
Signs of the Forces that flow through us serving a Power that is secret.
What in the dawning bringst thou to Troya the mighty and dateless
Now in the ending of Time when the gods are weary of struggle?
Sends Agamemnon challenge or courtesy, Greek, to the Trojans?
High like the northwind answered the voice of the doom from Achaia:
Trojan Deiphobus, daybreak, silence of night and the evening
Sink and arise and even the strong sun rests from his splendour.
Not for the servant is rest nor Time is his, only his death-pyre.
I have not come from the monarch of men or the armoured assembly
Held on the wind-swept marge of the thunder and laughter of ocean.
One in his singleness greater than kings and multitudes sends me.
I am a voice out of Phthia, I am the will of the Hellene.
Peace in my right I bring to you, death in my left hand. Trojan,
Proudly receive them, honour the gifts of the mighty Achilles.
Death accept, if Ate deceives you and Doom is your lover,
Peace if your fate can turn and the god in you chooses to hearken.
Full is my heart and my lips are impatient of speech undelivered.
It was not made for the streets or the market, nor to be uttered
Meanly to common ears, but where counsel and majesty harbour
Far from the crowd in the halls of the great and to wisdom and foresight
Secrecy whispers, there I will speak among Ilions princes.
Envoy, answered the Laomedontian, voice of Achilles,
Vain is the offer of peace that sets out with a threat for its prelude.
Yet will we hear thee. Arise who are fleetest of foot in the gateway,
Thou, Thrasymachus, haste. Let the domes of the mansion of Ilus
Wake to the bruit of the Hellene challenge. Summon Aeneas.
Even as the word sank back into stillness, doffing his mantle
Started to run at the bidding a swift-footed youth of the Trojans
First in the race and the battle, Thrasymachus son of Aretes.
He in the dawn disappeared into swiftness. Deiphobus slowly,
Measuring Fate with his thoughts in the troubled vasts of his spirit,
Back through the stir of the city returned to the house of his fathers,
Taming his mighty stride to the pace infirm of the Argive.
But with the god in his feet Thrasymachus rapidly running
Came to the halls in the youth of the wonderful city by Ilus
Built for the joy of the eye; for he rested from war and, triumphant,
Reigned adored by the prostrate nations. Now when all ended,
Last of its mortal possessors to walk in its flowering gardens,
Great Anchises lay in that luminous house of the ancients
Soothing his restful age, the far-warring victor Anchises,
High Bucoleons son and the father of Rome by a goddess;
Lonely and vagrant once in his boyhood divine upon Ida
White Aphrodite ensnared him and she loosed her ambrosial girdle
Seeking a mortals love. On the threshold Thrasymachus halted
Looking for servant or guard, but felt only a loneness of slumber
Drawing the souls sight within away from its life and things human;
Soundless, unheeding, the vacant corridors fled into darkness.
He to the shades of the house and the dreams of the echoing rafters
Trusted his high-voiced call, and from chambers still dim in their twilight
Strong Aeneas armoured and mantled, leonine striding,
Came, Anchises son; for the dawn had not found him reposing,
But in the night he had left his couch and the clasp of Cresa,
Rising from sleep at the call of his spirit that turned to the waters
Prompted by Fate and his mother who guided him, white Aphrodite.
Still with the impulse of speed Thrasymachus greeted Aeneas:
Hero Aeneas, swift be thy stride to the Ilian hill-top.
Dardanid, haste! for the gods are at work; they have risen with the morning,
Each from his starry couch, and they labour. Doom, we can see it,
Glows on their anvils of destiny, clang we can hear of their hammers.
Something they forge there sitting unknown in the silence eternal,
Whether of evil or good it is they who shall choose who are masters
Calm, unopposed; they are gods and they work out their iron caprices.
Troy is their stage and Argos their background; we are their puppets.
Always our voices are prompted to speech for an end that we know not,
Always we think that we drive, but are driven. Action and impulse,
Yearning and thought are their engines, our will is their shadow and helper.
Now too, deeming he comes with a purpose framed by a mortal,
Shaft of their will they have shot from the bow of the Grecian leaguer,
Lashing themselves at his steeds, Talthybius sent by Achilles.
Busy the gods are always, Thrasymachus son of Aretes,
Weaving Fate on their looms, and yesterday, now and tomorrow
Are but the stands they have made with Space and Time for their timber,
Frame but the dance of their shuttle. What eye unamazed by their workings
Ever can pierce where they dwell and uncover their far-stretching purpose?
Silent they toil, they are hid in the clouds, they are wrapped with the midnight.
Yet to Apollo I pray, the Archer friendly to mortals,
Yet to the rider on Fate I abase myself, wielder of thunder,
Evil and doom to avert from my fatherland. All night Morpheus,
He who with shadowy hands heaps error and truth upon mortals,
Stood at my pillow with images. Dreaming I erred like a phantom
Helpless in Ilions streets with the fire and the foeman around me.
Red was the smoke as it mounted triumphant the house-top of Priam,
Clang of the arms of the Greeks was in Troya, and thwarting the clangour
Voices were crying and calling me over the violent Ocean
Borne by the winds of the West from a land where Hesperus harbours.
Brooding they ceased, for their thoughts grew heavy upon them and voiceless.
Then, in a farewell brief and unthought and unconscious of meaning,
Parting they turned to their tasks and their lives now close but soon severed:
Destined to perish even before his perishing nation,
Back to his watch at the gate sped Thrasymachus rapidly running;
Large of pace and swift, but with eyes absorbed and unseeing,
Driven like a car of the gods by the whip of his thoughts through the highways,
Turned to his mighty future the hero born of a goddess.
One was he chosen to ascend into greatness through fall and disaster,
Loser of his world by the will of a heaven that seemed ruthless and adverse,
Founder of a newer and greater world by daring adventure.
Now, from the citadels rise with the townships crowding below it
High towards a pondering of domes and the mystic Palladium climbing,
Fronted with the morning ray and joined by the winds of the ocean,
Fate-weighed up Troys slope strode musing strong Aeneas.
Under him silent the slumbering roofs of the city of Ilus
Dreamed in the light of the dawn; above watched the citadel, sleepless
Lonely and strong like a goddess white-limbed and bright on a hill-top,
Looking far out at the sea and the foe and the prowling of danger.
Over the brow he mounted and saw the palace of Priam,
Home of the gods of the earth, Laomedons marvellous vision
Held in the thought that accustomed his will to unearthly achievement
And in the blaze of his spirit compelling heaven with its greatness,
Dreamed by the harp of Apollo, a melody caught into marble.
Out of his mind it arose like an epic canto by canto;
Each of its halls was a strophe, its chambers lines of an epode,
Victor chant of Ilions destiny. Absent he entered,
Voiceless with thought, the brilliant megaron crowded with paintings,
Paved with a splendour of marble, and saw Deiphobus seated,
Son of the ancient house by the opulent hearth of his fathers,
And at his side like a shadow the grey and ominous Argive.
Happy of light like a lustrous star when it welcomes the morning,
Brilliant, beautiful, glamoured with gold and a fillet of gem-fire,
Paris, plucked from the song and the lyre by the Grecian challenge,
Came with the joy in his face and his eyes that Fate could not alter.
Ever a child of the dawn at play near a turn of the sun-roads,
Facing destinys look with the careless laugh of a comrade,
He with his vision of delight and beauty brightening the earth-field
Passed through its peril and grief on his way to the ambiguous Shadow.
Last from her chamber of sleep where she lay in the Ilian mansion
Far in the heart of the house with the deep-bosomed daughters of Priam,
Noble and tall and erect in a nimbus of youth and of glory,
Claiming the world and life as a fief of her strength and her courage,
Dawned through a doorway that opened to distant murmurs and laughter,
Capturing the eye like a smile or a sunbeam, Penthesilea.
She from the threshold cried to the herald, crossing the marble,
Regal and fleet, with her voice that was mighty and dire in its sweetness.
What with such speed has impelled from the wind-haunted beaches of Troas,
Herald, thy car though the sun yet hesitates under the mountains?
Comest thou humbler to Troy, Talthybius, now than thou camest
Once when the streams of my East sang low to my ear, not this Ocean
Loud, and I roamed in my mountains uncalled by the voice of Apollo?
Bringest thou dulcet-eyed peace or, sweeter to Penthesilea,
Challenge of war when the spears fall thick on the shields of the fighters,
Lightly the wheels leap onward chanting the anthem of Ares,
Death is at work in his fields and the heart is enamoured of danger?
What says Odysseus, the baffled Ithacan? what Agamemnon?
Are they then weary of war who were rapid and bold and triumphant,
Now that their gods are reluctant, now victory darts not from heaven
Down from the clouds above Ida directing the luminous legions
Armed by Fate, now Pallas forgets, now Poseidon slumbers?
Bronze were their throats to the battle like bugles blaring in chorus;
Mercy they knew not, but shouted and ravened and ran to the slaughter
Eager as hounds when they chase, till a woman met them and stayed them,
Loud my war-shout rang by Scamander. Herald of Argos,
What say the vaunters of Greece to the virgin Penthesilea?
High was the Argives answer confronting the mighty in Troya.
Princes of Pergama, whelps of the lion who roar for the mellay,
Suffer my speech! It shall ring like a spear on the hearts of the mighty.
Blame not the herald; his voice is an impulse, an echo, a channel
Now for the timbrels of peace and now for the drums of the battle.
And I have come from no cautious strength, from no half-hearted speaker,
But from the Phthian. All know him! Proud is his soul as his fortunes,
Swift as his sword and his spear are the speech and the wrath from his bosom.
I am his envoy, herald am I of the conquering Argives.
Has not one heard in the night when the breezes whisper and shudder,
Dire, the voice of a lion unsatisfied, gnawed by his hunger,
Seeking his prey from the gods? For he prowls through the glens of the mountains,
Errs a dangerous gleam in the woodlands, fatal and silent.
So for a while he endures, for a while he seeks and he suffers
Patient yet in his terrible grace as assured of his banquet;
But he has lacked too long and he lifts his head and to heaven
Roars in his wonder, incensed, impatiently. Startled the valleys
Shrink from the dreadful alarum, the cattle gallop to shelter.
Arming the herdsmen cry to each other for comfort and courage.
So Talthybius spoke, as a harper voicing his prelude
Touches his strings to a varied music, seeks for a concord;
Long his strain he prepares. But one broke in on the speaker,
Sweet was his voice like a harps though heard in the front of the onset,
One of the sons of Fate by the people loved whom he ruined,
Leader in counsel and battle, the Priamid, he in his beauty
Carelessly walking who scattered the seeds of Titanic disaster.
Surely thou dreamedst at night and awaking thy dreams have not left thee!
Hast thou not woven thy words to intimidate children in Argos
Sitting alarmed in the shadows who listen pale to their nurses?
Greek, thou art standing in Ilion now and thou facest her princes.
Use not thy words but thy kings. If friendship their honey-breathed burden,
Friendship we clasp from Achilles, but challenge outpace with our challenge
Meeting the foe ere he moves in his will to the clash of encounter.
Such is the way of the Trojans since Phryx by the Hellespont halting
Seated Troy on her hill with the Ocean for comrade and sister.
Shaking in wrath his filleted head Talthybius answered:
Princes, ye speak their words who drive you! Thus said Achilles:
Rise, Talthybius, meet in her spaces the car of the morning;
Challenge her coursers divine as they bound through the plains of the Troad.
Hasten, let not the day wear gold ere thou stand in her ramparts.
Herald charged with my will to a haughty and obstinate nation,
Speak in the palace of Priam the word of the Phthian Achilles.
Freely and not as his vassal who leads, Agamemnon, the Argive,
But as a ruler in Hellas I send thee, king of my nations.
Long I have walked apart from the mellay of gods in the Troad,
Long has my listless spear leaned back on the peace of my tent-side,
Deaf to the talk of the trumpets, the whine of the chariots speeding;
Sole with my heart I have lived, unheeding the Hellene murmur,
Chid when it roared for the hunt the lion pack of the war-god,
Day after day I walked at dawn and in blush of the sunset,
Far by the call of the seas and alone with the gods and my dreaming,
Leaned to the unsatisfied chant of my heart and the rhythms of ocean,
Sung to by hopes that were sweet-lipped and vain. For Polyxenas brothers
Still are the brood of the Titan Laomedon slain in his greatness,
Engines of God unable to bear all the might that they harbour.
Awe they have chid from their hearts, nor our common humanity binds them,
Stay have they none in the gods who approve, giving calmness to mortals:
But like the Titans of old they have hugged to them grandeur and ruin.
Seek then the race self-doomed, the leaders blinded by heaven
Not in the agora swept by the winds of debate and the shoutings
Lion-voiced, huge of the people! In Troyas high-crested mansion
Speak out my word to the hero Deiphobus, head of the mellay,
Paris the racer of doom and the stubborn strength of Aeneas.
Herald of Greece, when thy feet shall be pressed on the gold and the marble,
Rise in the Ilian megaron, curb not the cry of the challenge.
Thus shalt thou say to them striking the ground with the staff of defiance,
Fronting the tempests of war, the insensate, the gamblers with downfall.
Princes of Troy, I have sat in your halls, I have slept in your chambers;
Not in the battle alone as a warrior glad of his foemen,
Glad of the strength that mates with his own, in peace we encountered.
Marvelling I sat in the halls of my enemies, close to the bosoms
Scarred by the dints of my sword and the eyes I had seen through the battle,
Ate rejoicing the food of the East at the tables of Priam
Served by the delicatest hands in the world, by Hecubas daughter,
Or with our souls reconciled in some careless and rapturous midnight
Drank of the sweetness of Phrygian wine, admiring your bodies
Shaped by the gods indeed, and my spirit revolted from hatred,
Softening it yearned in its strings to the beauty and joy of its foemen,
Yearned from the death that oertakes and the flame that cries and desires
Even at the end to save and even on the verge to deliver
Troy and her wonderful works and her sons and her deep-bosomed daughters.
Warned by the gods who reveal to the heart what the mind cannot hearken
Deaf with its thoughts, I offered you friendship, I offered you bridal,
Hellas for comrade, Achilles for brother, the world for enjoyment
Won by my spear. And one heard my call and one turned to my seeking.
Why is it then that the war-cry sinks not to rest by the Xanthus?
We are not voices from Argolis, Lacedaemonian tricksters,
Splendid and subtle and false; we are speakers of truth, we are Hellenes,
Men of the northl and faithful in friendship and noble in anger,
Strong like our fathers of old. But you answered my truth with evasion
Hoping to seize what I will not yield and you flattered your people.
Long have I waited for wisdom to dawn on your violent natures.
Lonely I paced oer the sands by the thousand-throated waters
Praying to Pallas the wise that the doom might turn from your mansions,
Buildings delightful, gracious as rhythms, lyrics in marble,
Works of the transient gods, and I yearned for the end of the war-din
Hoping that Death might relent to the beautiful sons of the Trojans.
Far from the cry of the spears, from the speed and the laughter of axles,
Heavy upon me like iron the intolerable yoke of inaction
Weighed like a load on a runner. The war-cry rose by Scamander;
Xanthus was crossed on a bridge of the fallen, not by Achilles.
Often I stretched out my hand to the spear, for the Trojan beaches
Rang with the voice of Deiphobus shouting and slaying the Argives;
Often my heart like an anxious mother for Greece and her children
Leaped, for the air was full of the leonine roar of Aeneas.
Always the evening fell or the gods protected the Argives.
Then by the moat of the ships, on the hither plain of the Xanthus
New was the voice that climbed through the din and sailed on the breezes,
High, insistent, clear, and it shouted an unknown war-cry
Threatening doom to the peoples. A woman had come in to aid you,
Regal and insolent, fair as the morning and fell as the northwind,
Freed from the distaff who grasps at the sword and she spurns at subjection
Breaking the rule of the gods. She is turbulent, swift in the battle.
Clanging her voice of the swan as a summons to death and disaster,
Fleet-footed, happy and pitiless, laughing she runs to the slaughter;
Strong with the gait that allures she leaps from her car to the slaying,
Dabbles in blood smooth hands like lilies. Europe astonished
Reels from her shock to the Ocean. She is the panic and mellay,
War is her paean, the chariots thunder of Penthesilea.
Doom was her coming, it seems, to the men of the West and their legions;
Ajax sleeps for ever, Meriones lies on the beaches.
One by one they are falling before you, the great in Achaia.
Ever the wounded are borne like the stream of the ants when they forage
Past my ships, and they hush their moans as they near and in silence
Gaze at the legions inactive accusing the fame of Achilles.
Still have I borne with you, waited a little, looked for a summons,
Longing for bridal torches, not flame on the Ilian housetops,
Blood in the chambers of sweetness, the golden amorous city
Swallowed by doom. Not broken I turned from the wrestle Titanic,
Hopeless, weary of toil in the ebb of my glorious spirit,
But from my stress of compassion for doom of the kindred nations,
But for her sake whom my soul desires, for the daughter of Priam.
And for Polyxenas sake I will speak to you yet as your lover
Once ere the Fury, abrupt from Erebus, deaf to your crying,
Mad with the joy of the massacre, seizes on wealth and on women
Calling to Fire as it strides and Ilion sinks into ashes.
Yield; for your doom is impatient. No longer your helpers hasten,
Legions swift to your call; the yoke of your pride and your splendour
Lies not now on the nations of earth as when Fortune desired you,
Strength was your slave and Troya the lioness hungrily roaring
Threatened the western world from her ramparts built by Apollo.
Gladly released from the thraldom they hated, the insolent shackles
Curbing their manhood the peoples arise and they pray for your ruin;
Piled are their altars with gifts; their blessings help the Achaians.
Memnon came, but he sleeps, and the faces swart of his nation
Darken no more like a cloud over thunder and surge of the onset.
Wearily Lycia fights; far fled are the Carian levies.
Thrace retreats to her plains preferring the whistle of stormwinds
Or on the banks of the Strymon to wheel in her Orphean measure,
Not in the revel of swords and fronting the spears of the Hellenes.
Princes of Pergama, open your gates to our Peace who would enter,
Life in her gracious clasp and forgetfulness, grave of earths passions,
Healer of wounds and the past. In a comity equal, Hellenic,
Asia join with Greece, one world from the frozen rivers
Trod by the hooves of the Scythian to farthest undulant Ganges.
Tyndarid Helen resign, the desirable cause of your danger,
Back to Greece that is empty long of her smile and her movements.
Broider with riches her coming, pomp of her slaves and the waggons
Endlessly groa