classes ::: Occultism, noun, object, thing,
children :::
branches ::: the Altar

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object:the Altar

altar of the fire ::: If a division of works has to be made, it is between those that are nearest to the heart of the sacred flame and those that are least touched or illumined by it because they are more at a distance, or between the fuel that burns strongly or brightly and the logs that if too thickly heaped on the altar may impede the ardour of the fire by their damp, heavy and diffused abundance. But otherwise, apart from this division, all activities of knowledge that seek after or express Truth are in themselves rightful materials for a complete offering ; none ought necessarily to be excluded from the wide framework of the divine life. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 1, 141
altar is the Will ::: The Altar represents the solid basis of the Work, the fixed Will* of the Magician; and the law under which he works. ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, Book 4, Magick, Part II, The Altar

a pure offering ::: THE Magical Will is in its essence twofold, for it presupposes a beginning and an end; to will to be a thing is to admit that you are not that thing.
Hence to will anything but the supreme thing, is to wander still further from it - any will but that to give up the self to the Beloved is Black Magick - yet this surrender is so simple an act that to our complex minds it is the most difficult of all acts; and hence training is necessary. Further, the Self surrendered must not be less than the All-Self; one must not come before the altar of the Most High with an impure or an imperfect offering. As it is written in Liber LXV, "To await Thee is the end, not the beginning."
The priest an ignorant mage who only makes
Futile mutations in the altar's plan
And casts blind hopes into a powerless flame.
A burden of transient gains weighs down her steps
And hardly under that load can she advance;
But the hours cry to her, she travels on
Passing from thought to thought, from want to want;
Her greatest progress is a deepened need.
~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book 02: The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds [134
the act and manner ::: Life is the altar of this sacrifice, works are our offerings; a transcendent and universal Power and Presence as yet rather felt or glimpsed than known or seen by us is the Deity to whom they are offered. This sacrifice, this self-consecration has two sides to it; there is the work itself and there is the spirit in which it is done, the spirit of worship to the Master of Works in all that we see, think and experience. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Equality and the Annihilation of Ego

the magicians tools ::: The oil consecrates everything that is touched with it; it is his aspiration; all acts performed in accordance with that are holy. The scourge tortures him; the dagger wounds him; the chain binds him. It is by virtue of these three that his aspiration remains pure, and is able to consecrate all other things. He wears a crown to affirm his lordship, his divinity; a robe to symbolize silence, and a lamen to declare his work. The book of spells or conjurations is his magical record, his Karma. In the East is the Magick Fire, in which all burns up at last. We will now consider each of these matters in detail.
~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, Book 4, Magick, Part II - Magick (elemental theory), Preliminary Marks

see also ::: the Samadhi
see also ::: the Temple, the Shrine, the Priest, the Invocation, the Mantra, the Prayer, the Wand, the Cup, the Offering, the Sacrifice, the Evocation, projects, the Fire, Agni, the Psychic Being, the Beloved, the Master, He to who the offering is made

subject class:Occultism
subject:Occultism
word class:noun
class:object
class:thing





see also ::: Agni, He_to_who_the_offering_is_made, projects, the_Beloved, the_Cup, the_Evocation, the_Fire, the_Invocation, the_Mantra, the_Master, the_Offering, the_Prayer, the_Priest, the_Psychic_Being, the_Sacrifice, the_Samadhi, the_Shrine, the_Temple, the_Wand

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


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

TOPICS
SEE ALSO

Agni
He_to_who_the_offering_is_made
projects
the_Beloved
the_Cup
the_Evocation
the_Fire
the_Invocation
the_Mantra
the_Master
the_Offering
the_Prayer
the_Priest
the_Psychic_Being
the_Sacrifice
the_Samadhi
the_Shrine
the_Temple
the_Wand

AUTH

BOOKS
Heart_of_Matter
Initiates_of_Flame
old_bookshelf
Plotinus_-_Complete_Works_Vol_01
Savitri
The_Divine_Milieu
The_Imitation_of_Christ
The_Yoga_Sutras

IN CHAPTERS TITLE
2.03_-_The_Altar

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
0.00_-_INTRODUCTION
0.00_-_The_Book_of_Lies_Text
0.02_-_Letters_to_a_Sadhak
01.01_-_The_Symbol_Dawn
01.06_-_On_Communism
0_1961-04-29
0_1967-09-16
0_1967-12-27
0_1969-10-11
02.04_-_The_Kingdoms_of_the_Little_Life
02.07_-_The_Descent_into_Night
02.08_-_The_World_of_Falsehood,_the_Mother_of_Evil_and_the_Sons_of_Darkness
02.12_-_The_Heavens_of_the_Ideal
03.15_-_Origin_and_Nature_of_Suffering
04.02_-_The_Growth_of_the_Flame
04.25_-_To_the_Heights-XXV
06.02_-_The_Way_of_Fate_and_the_Problem_of_Pain
06.13_-_Body,_the_Occult_Agent
07.01_-_The_Joy_of_Union;_the_Ordeal_of_the_Foreknowledge
07.02_-_The_Parable_of_the_Search_for_the_Soul
10.03_-_The_Debate_of_Love_and_Death
1.00c_-_DIVISION_C_-_THE_ETHERIC_BODY_AND_PRANA
1.01_-_Proem
1.02_-_BOOK_THE_SECOND
1.02_-_MAPS_OF_MEANING_-_THREE_LEVELS_OF_ANALYSIS
1.02_-_The_Child_as_growing_being_and_the_childs_experience_of_encountering_the_teacher.
1.02_-_The_Doctrine_of_the_Mystics
1.03_-_Fire_in_the_Earth
1.03_-_Sympathetic_Magic
1.04_-_Narayana_appearance,_in_the_beginning_of_the_Kalpa,_as_the_Varaha_(boar)
1.04_-_On_blessed_and_ever-memorable_obedience
1.04_-_The_Core_of_the_Teaching
1.04_-_The_Sacrifice_the_Triune_Path_and_the_Lord_of_the_Sacrifice
1.05_-_BOOK_THE_FIFTH
1.05_-_Hymns_of_Bharadwaja
1.05_-_The_Ascent_of_the_Sacrifice_-_The_Psychic_Being
1.05_-_The_Belly_of_the_Whale
1.05_-_The_Magical_Control_of_the_Weather
1.06_-_BOOK_THE_SIXTH
1.06_-_Of_imperfections_with_respect_to_spiritual_gluttony.
1.07_-_BOOK_THE_SEVENTH
1.07_-_Incarnate_Human_Gods
1.08a_-_The_Ladder
1.08_-_Origin_of_Rudra:_his_becoming_eight_Rudras
1.09_-_BOOK_THE_NINTH
1.09_-_Equality_and_the_Annihilation_of_Ego
1.09_-_SKIRMISHES_IN_A_WAY_WITH_THE_AGE
1.12_-_The_Left-Hand_Path_-_The_Black_Brothers
1.13_-_BOOK_THE_THIRTEENTH
1.14_-_FOREST_AND_CAVERN
1.14_-_The_Principle_of_Divine_Works
1.14_-_The_Succesion_to_the_Kingdom_in_Ancient_Latium
1.16_-_(Plot_continued.)_Recognition__its_various_kinds,_with_examples
1.16_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.19_-_NIGHT
1.19_-_Tabooed_Acts
1.19_-_THE_MASTER_AND_HIS_INJURED_ARM
1.19_-_The_Practice_of_Magical_Evocation
1.20_-_CATHEDRAL
1.23_-_Conditions_for_the_Coming_of_a_Spiritual_Age
1.23_-_FESTIVAL_AT_SURENDRAS_HOUSE
1.23_-_Improvising_a_Temple
1.25_-_Fascinations,_Invisibility,_Levitation,_Transmutations,_Kinks_in_Time
1.26_-_Sacrifice_of_the_Kings_Son
1.2_-_Katha_Upanishads
1.34_-_The_Myth_and_Ritual_of_Attis
1.47_-_Lityerses
1.49_-_Ancient_Deities_of_Vegetation_as_Animals
1.50_-_Eating_the_God
1.58_-_Human_Scapegoats_in_Classical_Antiquity
1.62_-_The_Fire-Festivals_of_Europe
17.04_-_Hymn_to_the_Purusha
1956-05-30_-_Forms_as_symbols_of_the_Force_behind_-_Art_as_expression_of_contact_with_the_Divine_-_Supramental_psychological_perfection_-_Division_of_works_-_The_Ashram,_idle_stupidities
1f.lovecraft_-_Sweet_Ermengarde
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Case_of_Charles_Dexter_Ward
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Doom_That_Came_to_Sarnath
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Dream-Quest_of_Unknown_Kadath
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Dunwich_Horror
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Haunter_of_the_Dark
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Horror_at_Red_Hook
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Nameless_City
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Rats_in_the_Walls
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Thing_on_the_Doorstep
1.fs_-_Feast_Of_Victory
1.fs_-_Fridolin_(The_Walk_To_The_Iron_Factory)
1.fs_-_Melancholy_--_To_Laura
1.fs_-_Pompeii_And_Herculaneum
1.fs_-_Punch_Song_(To_be_sung_in_the_Northern_Countries)
1.fs_-_The_Eleusinian_Festival
1.fs_-_The_Gods_Of_Greece
1.jk_-_Endymion_-_Book_I
1.jk_-_Endymion_-_Book_IV
1.jk_-_Hyperion,_A_Vision_-_Attempted_Reconstruction_Of_The_Poem
1.jk_-_Otho_The_Great_-_Act_V
1.jwvg_-_Happiness_And_Vision
1.pbs_-_Epipsychidion
1.pbs_-_Lines_Written_Among_The_Euganean_Hills
1.pbs_-_Oedipus_Tyrannus_or_Swellfoot_The_Tyrant
1.pbs_-_On_An_Icicle_That_Clung_To_The_Grass_Of_A_Grave
1.pbs_-_Rosalind_and_Helen_-_a_Modern_Eclogue
1.pbs_-_Saint_Edmonds_Eve
1.pbs_-_The_Cenci_-_A_Tragedy_In_Five_Acts
1.pbs_-_The_Revolt_Of_Islam_-_Canto_I-XII
1.rb_-_By_The_Fire-Side
1.rb_-_Fra_Lippo_Lippi
1.rb_-_Pauline,_A_Fragment_of_a_Question
1.rb_-_Pippa_Passes_-_Part_III_-_Evening
1.rb_-_Rhyme_for_a_Child_Viewing_a_Naked_Venus_in_a_Painting_of_'The_Judgement_of_Paris'
1.rb_-_Sordello_-_Book_the_Fourth
1.rb_-_Sordello_-_Book_the_Third
1.rmr_-_Sacrifice
1.rt_-_Birth_Story
1.rt_-_Gitanjali
1.rt_-_Senses
1.rwe_-_Quatrains
1.sfa_-_Let_the_whole_of_mankind_tremble
1.shvb_-_Columba_aspexit_-_Sequence_for_Saint_Maximin
1.wby_-_A_Thought_From_Propertius
1.whitman_-_Salut_Au_Monde
1.whitman_-_Song_of_Myself
1.whitman_-_Song_Of_Myself-_XV
1.ww_-_A_Whirl-Blast_From_Behind_The_Hill
1.ww_-_The_Prioresss_Tale_[from_Chaucer]
1.ww_-_Vaudracour_And_Julia
2.02_-_The_Circle
2.02_-_THE_DURGA_PUJA_FESTIVAL
2.02_-_The_Monstrance
2.03_-_Atomic_Forms_And_Their_Combinations
2.03_-_The_Altar
2.04_-_Agni,_the_Illumined_Will
2.05_-_VISIT_TO_THE_SINTHI_BRAMO_SAMAJ
2.06_-_The_Wand
2.07_-_The_Cup
2.10_-_The_Lamp
2_-_Other_Hymns_to_Agni
3.03_-_The_Consummation_of_Mysticism
3.03_-_The_Soul_Is_Mortal
3.06_-_Thought-Forms_and_the_Human_Aura
3.08_-_Of_Equilibrium
3.10_-_Of_the_Gestures
3.16.1_-_Of_the_Oath
31_Hymns_to_the_Star_Goddess
3.20_-_Of_the_Eucharist
33.17_-_Two_Great_Wars
3.3.1_-_Agni,_the_Divine_Will-Force
34.10_-_Hymn_To_Earth
37.01_-_Yama_-_Nachiketa_(Katha_Upanishad)
3_-_Commentaries_and_Annotated_Translations
4.04_-_Conclusion
4.05_-_The_Passion_Of_Love
4.18_-_Faith_and_shakti
5.01_-_ADAM_AS_THE_ARCANE_SUBSTANCE
5.1.01.2_-_The_Book_of_the_Statesman
5.1.01.4_-_The_Book_of_Partings
5.1.01.6_-_The_Book_of_the_Chieftains
5.1.01.8_-_The_Book_of_the_Gods
5.1.01.9_-_Book_IX
5_-_The_Phenomenology_of_the_Spirit_in_Fairytales
6.03_-_Extraordinary_And_Paradoxical_Telluric_Phenomena
Aeneid
BOOK_I._-_Augustine_censures_the_pagans,_who_attributed_the_calamities_of_the_world,_and_especially_the_sack_of_Rome_by_the_Goths,_to_the_Christian_religion_and_its_prohibition_of_the_worship_of_the_gods
BOOK_II._-_A_review_of_the_calamities_suffered_by_the_Romans_before_the_time_of_Christ,_showing_that_their_gods_had_plunged_them_into_corruption_and_vice
BOOK_III._-_The_external_calamities_of_Rome
BOOK_II._--_PART_I._ANTHROPOGENESIS.
BOOK_II._--_PART_II._THE_ARCHAIC_SYMBOLISM_OF_THE_WORLD-RELIGIONS
BOOK_I._--_PART_III._SCIENCE_AND_THE_SECRET_DOCTRINE_CONTRASTED
BOOK_I._--_PART_II._THE_EVOLUTION_OF_SYMBOLISM_IN_ITS_APPROXIMATE_ORDER
Book_of_Exodus
Book_of_Genesis
Book_of_Imaginary_Beings_(text)
BOOK_X._-_Porphyrys_doctrine_of_redemption
BOOK_XVIII._-_A_parallel_history_of_the_earthly_and_heavenly_cities_from_the_time_of_Abraham_to_the_end_of_the_world
BOOK_XVII._-_The_history_of_the_city_of_God_from_the_times_of_the_prophets_to_Christ
BOOK_XXII._-_Of_the_eternal_happiness_of_the_saints,_the_resurrection_of_the_body,_and_the_miracles_of_the_early_Church
BOOK_XXI._-_Of_the_eternal_punishment_of_the_wicked_in_hell,_and_of_the_various_objections_urged_against_it
BOOK_XX._-_Of_the_last_judgment,_and_the_declarations_regarding_it_in_the_Old_and_New_Testaments
ENNEAD_01.04_-_Whether_Animals_May_Be_Termed_Happy.
Guru_Granth_Sahib_first_part
Liber_46_-_The_Key_of_the_Mysteries
LUX.03_-_INVOCATION
Medea_-_A_Vergillian_Cento
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)
The_Book_of_Joshua
The_Book_of_the_Prophet_Isaiah
The_Coming_Race_Contents
The_Dwellings_of_the_Philosophers
The_Epistle_of_James
the_Eternal_Wisdom
The_First_Epistle_of_Paul_to_the_Corinthians
The_Gospel_According_to_Luke
The_Gospel_According_to_Matthew
The_Letter_to_the_Hebrews
The_Revelation_of_Jesus_Christ_or_the_Apocalypse

PRIMARY CLASS

object
thing
SIMILAR TITLES
the Altar

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH


TERMS ANYWHERE

  A block, pile, table, stand, mound, platform, or other elevated structure on which to place or sacrifice offerings to a deity. 2. With reference to the uses, customs, dedication, or peculiar sanctity of the altar. 3. A place consecrated to devotional observances. altar’s, altars, altar-burnings, mountain-altars.

AGNI. ::: Fire; Fire of Sacrifice; the Fire-God; Flame of Divine Force; illumined will; Divine Will; Fire of human aspiration; flame of purification or transformation in the psychic being; psychic fire.
The psychic fire is the fire of aspiration, purification and Tapasya.
Without Agni the sacrificial flame cannot bum on the altar of the soul. That flame of Agni is the seven-tongued power of the Will, a Force of God instinct with Knowledge. This conscious and forceful will is the immortal guest in our mortality, a pure priest and a divine worker, the mediator between earth and heaven. It carries what we offer to the higher Powers and brings back in return their force and light and joy into our humanity.
Agni and colours ::: the principle of Fire can manifest all the colours and the pure white fire is that which contains in itself all the colours.


  Agni first, for without him the sacrificial flame cannot burn on the altar of the soul. That flame of Agni is the seven-tongued power of the Will, a Force of God instinct with knowledge. This conscious and forceful will is the immortal guest in our mortality, a pure priest and a divine worker, the mediator between earth and heaven. It carries what we offer to the higher Powers and brings back in return their force and light and joy into our humanity.” *The Secret of the Veda

Agni first, for without him the sacrificial flame cannot burn on the altar of the soul. That flame of Agni is the seven-tongued power of the Will, a Force of God instinct with knowledge. This conscious and forceful will is the immortal guest in our mortality, a pure priest and a divine worker, the mediator between earth and heaven. It carries what we offer to the higher Powers and brings back in return their force and light and joy into our humanity.” The Secret of the Veda

Agni ::: Without him the sacrificial flame cannot burn on the altar of the soul. That flame of Agni is the seven-tongued power of the Will, a Force of God instinct with knowledge. This conscious and forceful will is the immortal guest in our mortality, a pure priest and a divine worker, the mediator between earth and heaven. It carries what we offer to the higher Powers and brings back in return their force and light and joy into our humanity.
   Ref: CWSA Vol. 15, Page: 379-80


Aliyah ::: (Heb. To go up) Aliyah refers to when one is called to the altar (bema) to read from the Torah. Also immigration to Israel. Starting in the 1880’s, moving to Palestine was known as “ingathering of the exile” or a “returning” to the promised land, thus bearing significant religious and Zionistic significance. The phases of immigration are also referred to each as an Aliyah and primarily consisted of Jews fleeing from persecution or dreaming of building Holy Land. The First Aliyah (1882-1903) were 20,000-30,000 Jews from Russia, Romania, and Galicia. The Second Aliyah (1904-1914) consisted of 35,000-40,000 pioneering youth from Russia after WWI, the Third Aliyah (1919-1923) of 35,000 youth from Russia, Poland, and Romania. The Fourth Aliyah (1924-1931) consisted of 88,000 Jews from Poland. The Fifth Aliyah (1932-1938) consisted of 215,000 Jews, during WWII about 82,000 Jews, and afterwards 57,000. After the establishment of the State of Israel, the Law of Return has made Aliyah a state policy. Since 1948, there have also been waves of immigration, such as the Soviet Union Jewish immigration in the 1990’s.

altar ::: 1. A block, pile, table, stand, mound, platform, or other elevated structure on which to place or sacrifice offerings to a deity. 2. With reference to the uses, customs, dedication, or peculiar sanctity of the altar. 3. A place consecrated to devotional observances. altar"s, altars, altar-burnings, mountain-altars.

altarage ::: n. --> The offerings made upon the altar, or to a church.
The profit which accrues to the priest, by reason of the altar, from the small tithes.


altar ::: Altar Common to most religions, an altar is a table or other raised surface on which offerings are made to deities. Quarters, or Watchtowers are sometimes called Altars, e.g. the Earth Altar is the Altar in the 'Earth Quarter of a Circle'. See A Typical magical Rite.

Altar [from Latin altare from altus high] Usually an elevation of earth, stone, or wood for the worshiper to kneel on, or for the offering of sacrifices, or as the pedestal of an invisible divinity or its statue. In the Old Testament it appears as part of the furniture of the Jewish tabernacle, that sacred shrine of the Deity. This altar has horns at each end, which is said to symbolize the fecund cow — in common with the ideas of Hindus and ancients Egyptians — which again represents Mother Nature; so the connection with the Holy of Holies, which stands for the great Mother, resurrection, and birth, is apparent. In general the altar is the earthly throne or supposed seat of a deity; and its familiar metaphorical use suggests both this and also the idea of sacrifice. The altar has been taken over by Christendom, where it has become the communion table. It also has the idea of refuge and sanctuary, for it was commonly so used both with the Hebrews and the Classical ancients.

altarpiece ::: n. --> The painting or piece of sculpture above and behind the altar; reredos.

antependium ::: n. --> The hangings or screen in front of the altar; an altar cloth; the frontal.

ara ::: n. --> The Altar; a southern constellation, south of the tail of the Scorpion.
A name of the great blue and yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), native of South America.


aruspex ::: n. --> One of the class of diviners among the Etruscans and Romans, who foretold events by the inspection of the entrails of victims offered on the altars of the gods.

Atash-Bahram, Atash Behram (Persian) Ātash-Bahrām, Ātash Behrām, Verethraghna (Avestan), Varhran, Varhram (Pahlavi) Varhrān, Varhrām. The sacred fire of the Parsis, kept perpetually burning on the altars; the third fire in the septenary system represents the first created fire, the fire of consciousness. Philosophically it alludes to the idea of becoming. It corresponds to the Hindu akasa (SD 1:338). Bahram (victorious) is one of the seven planets which rules over the first month of the Iranian year, Farvardin (Aries). In Vedic literature he is known as the slayer of the demon Vritra. In Islamic mystical writings Bahram is referred to as the fifth sphere or intellect. “As the earthly representative of the heavenly fire, it is the sacred center to which every earthly fire longs to return, in order to be united again, as much as possible, with its native abode. The more it has been defiled by worldly uses, the greater is the merit acquired by freeing it from defilement” (Vendidad 113). The Vestals in ancient Rome also kept a fire burning perpetually on their altars, as did the Greeks in the temple on the Acropolis, thus keeping the remembrance of the “living fire” by means of a visible manifestation.

calefactory ::: a. --> Making hot; producing or communicating heat. ::: n. --> An apartment in a monastery, warmed and used as a sitting room.
A hollow sphere of metal, filled with hot water, or a chafing dish, placed on the altar in cold weather for the priest to


candlemas ::: n. --> The second day of February, on which is celebrated the feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary; -- so called because the candles for the altar or other sacred uses are blessed on that day.

chancel ::: v. t. --> That part of a church, reserved for the use of the clergy, where the altar, or communion table, is placed.
All that part of a cruciform church which is beyond the line of the transept farthest from the main front.


credence ::: n. --> Reliance of the mind on evidence of facts derived from other sources than personal knowledge; belief; credit; confidence.
That which gives a claim to credit, belief, or confidence; as, a letter of credence.
The small table by the side of the altar or communion table, on which the bread and wine are placed before being consecrated.
A cupboard, sideboard, or cabinet, particularly one intended for the display of rich vessels or plate, and consisting


cruet ::: n. --> A bottle or vessel; esp., a vial or small glass bottle for holding vinegar, oil, pepper, or the like, for the table; a caster.
A vessel used to hold wine, oil, or water for the service of the altar.


Dorje (Tibetan) rdo rje. Equivalent to the Sanskrit vajra, meaning both thunderbolt and diamond. As a thunderbolt, it is represented in the hands of some of the Tibetan gods, especially the dragshed — deities who protect human beings — and is thus equivalent to the weapons of Indra and Zeus. Dorje is the scepter of power, whether spiritual or temporal, and appears on the altars of the Gelukpas together with the bell and cymbals: “It is also a Mudra, a gesture and posture used in sitting for meditation. It is, in short, a symbol of power over invisible evil influences, whether as a posture or a talisman. The Bhons or Dugpas, however, having appropriated the symbol, misuse it for purposes of Black Magic. . . . With the Dugpas, it is like the double triangle reversed, the sign of sorcery” (VS 90).

dust taken from the spot where, in time, the altar

East [from Old English est; cf Latin aurora, Greek auos dawn] One of the four quarters of the globe, different quarters being considered sacred in archaic religio-philosophy, sometimes said to be the place whence wisdom comes: there are the wise men from the East, the star in the East; Christian churches are orientated with the altar to the east. It is the place of the rising sun, and that part of the celestial equator which the ecliptic intersects at the spring equinox. Hence, as European symbology goes back to a time when the equinox was in Taurus, its corresponding figure among the four sacred animals is the bull.

footpace ::: n. --> A walking pace or step.
A dais, or elevated platform; the highest step of the altar; a landing in a staircase.


frithstool ::: n. --> A seat in churches near the altar, to which offenders formerly fled for sanctuary.

ganacakra. (T. tshogs kyi 'khor lo/tshogs). In Sanskrit, lit. "circle of assembly" or "feast"; originally, the term may have referred to an actual gathering of male and female tāntrikas engaging in antinomian behavior, including ingesting substances ordinarily deemed unclean, and sexual activities ordinarily deemed taboo. In Tibet, the ganacakra is typically a ritualized tantric liturgy, often performed by celibate monks, that involves visualizing impure substances and transforming them into a nectar (AMṚTA; PANCĀMṚTA), imagining the bliss of high tantric attainment, and mentally offering this to buddhas, bodhisattvas, and various deities (see T. TSHOGS ZHING) and to oneself visualized as a tantric deity. The ritual is regarded as a rapid means of accumulating the equipment (SAMBHĀRA) required for full enlightenment. In Tibet the word is inextricably linked with rituals for worshipping one's teacher (GURUYOGA) and in that context means an extended ritual performed on special days based on practices of highest yoga tantra (ANUTTARAYOGATANTRA). ¶ To start the ganacakra ritual, a large accumulation of food, including GTOR MA, bread, sweets, and fruit is placed near the altar, often supplemented by offerings from participants; a small plate with tiny portions of meat, a small container of an alcoholic beverage, and yogurt mixed with red jam is placed in a small container nearby. After visualizing one's teacher in the form of the entire pantheon of buddhas, bodhisattvas, and so on, the ganacakra consists of worship on the model of the BHADRACARĪPRAnIDHĀNA, i.e., the seven-branch worship (SAPTĀnGAVIDHI) of going for refuge, confessing transgressions, giving gifts, rejoicing, asking the teacher to turn the wheel of dharma, asking the buddhas not to pass into NIRVĀnA, and, finally, dedicating the merit to full enlightenment (see PARInĀMANĀ). Following this, the participants visualize the nectar (AMṚTA) and the bliss of high tantric attainment. Three participants then line up in front of the officiating master (VAJRĀCĀRYA) and ritually offer a plate with a gtor ma and other parts of the collected offerings, along with a tiny bit of meat, a slight taste of alcohol, and a drop of the mixed yogurt and jam. While singing tantric songs extolling the bliss of tantric attainment, the rest of the offerings are divided up equally among the other participants, who are also given a tiny bit of meat, a slight taste of alcohol, and a drop of the mixed yogurt and jam. The ganacakra forms the central part of the worship of the teacher (T. bla ma mchod pa) ritual and is a marker of religious identity in Tibetan Buddhism, because participants visualize their teacher in the form of the head of the particular sect, tradition, or monastery to which they are attached, with the historical buddha, and the tantric buddha telescoped into smaller and smaller figures in his heart; the entire pantheon of buddhas, bodhisattvas and so on are then arrayed around that form. A ganacakra is customarily performed at the end of a large ABHIsEKA (consecration) or teaching on TANTRA, where participants can number in the thousands.

gospeler ::: n. --> One of the four evangelists.
A follower of Wyclif, the first English religious reformer; hence, a Puritan.
A priest or deacon who reads the gospel at the altar during the communion service.


hagioscope ::: n. --> An opening made in the interior walls of a cruciform church to afford a view of the altar to those in the transepts; -- called, in architecture, a squint.

heave offering ::: --> An offering or oblation heaved up or elevated before the altar, as the shoulder of the peace offering. See Wave offering.

Holy Water As practiced in the Roman Catholic Church the rite is virtually identical with that of the ancient Egyptians: the water which has been blessed or consecrated is used to sprinkle the worshipers and objects used in the church service. It was unquestionably adopted from the ancient Mysteries, and became a rite of external symbolic purification. In Egypt and pagan Rome, it “accompanied the rite of bread and wine. ‘Holy water was sprinkled by the Egyptian priest alike upon his gods’ images and the faithful. It was both poured and sprinkled. A brush has been found, supposed to have been used for that purpose, as at this day.’ (Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief [p. 418]) As to the bread, ‘the cakes of Isis . . . were placed upon the altar. Gliddon writes that they were “identical in shape with the consecrated cake of the Roman and Eastern Churches.” Melville assures us “the Egyptians marked this holy bread with St. Andrew’s cross.” The Presence bread was broken before being distributed by the priests to the people, and was supposed to become the flesh and blood of the Deity. The miracle was wrought by the hand of the officiating priest, who blessed the food. . . . Rouge tells us “the bread offerings bear the imprint of the fingers, the mark of consecration”.’ (Ibid, page 418)” (TG 144-5).

Horns Much used in the Bible, often as a symbol of might; and the altar in the tabernacle had horns, which were seized as sanctuary by the fugitive suppliant. In the prophetic and apocalyptic books of Christianity and other religions, we find dragons and other monsters with horns, the number of horns possibly having a symbolical reference to races. Its most general sense is as a symbol of natural generative power, whence it is characteristic of several symbolic animals, as the ram, the bull and cow, the goat, etc. It is seen in Greece in Pan, the god of natural generation and procreative fertility; and in Judaism in the goat which, as the scapegoat, stands among other things for the fall into generation, and was thus said to bear away the burden of the people’s sins in early and medieval Europe. Satan or the Devil is represented with horns in a similar sense, for actually he represents the nether aspect of nature, and in popular belief his horns, like his hoofs and tail, are regarded as horrific and bestial attributes. The moon, the oldest and most graphic symbol of productive generation, is said to have horns and the same are seen in the zodiacal Taurus, the sign of the moon’s elevation, while the ram’s horns are seen in Aries — the one representing the passive, the other the active principle in nature.

In a more restricted sense, svadha is also the sacrificial offering or oblation made to each god, and is thus allegorically represented as a daughter of Daksha and wife of at least one class of the pitris, the agnishvattas and the kumaras. A svadha was therefore considered the highest form of benediction at a sacrifice, the inmost meaning being that one’s own essence is laid on the altar of self-abnegations to the good of all. The inmost self is “placed” or “fixed” in its own vitality, which becomes the carrier, supporter, and maintainer of the inner spiritual power.

introit ::: n. --> A going in.
A psalm sung or chanted immediately before the collect, epistle, and gospel, and while the priest is entering within the rails of the altar.
A part of a psalm or other portion of Scripture read by the priest at Mass immediately after ascending to the altar.
An anthem or psalm sung before the Communion service.
Any composition of vocal music appropriate to the opening


Jehovah Nissi (Hebrew) Yĕhovāh Nissī [from nēs lofty, an elevation + ī mine] Jehovah, my elevation; in the Bible the altar built by Moses (Ex 17:15); Blavatsky maintains that this aspect of Jehovah was equivalent to Dionysos or Bacchus, and that the Jews worshiped this deity (the androgyne of Nissi) as the Greeks might have worshiped Bacchus and Osiris. Tradition has it that Bacchus was reared in a cave of Nysa, which is between Phoenicia and Egypt. As the son of Zeus, he was named for his father (gen Dios) and the place: Dio-Nysos (the Zeus or Jove of Nysa). Diodorus identifies this Dionysos with Osiris.

Jerusalem, the temple, and the altar. Here, too,

Madhav: This is a Vedic imagery: the heart is the altar, and aspiration, seeking for God, is fire. The external fire on the platform is symbolic of the inner flame that is lit on the altar of the heart. Now that sacred fire is dimmed by the negative pulls.”

oath ::: n. --> A solemn affirmation or declaration, made with a reverent appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed.
A solemn affirmation, connected with a sacred object, or one regarded as sacred, as the temple, the altar, the blood of Abel, the Bible, the Koran, etc.
An appeal (in verification of a statement made) to a superior sanction, in such a form as exposes the party making the appeal to an indictment for perjury if the statement be false.


orientation ::: n. --> The act or process of orientating; determination of the points of the compass, or the east point, in taking bearings.
The tendency of a revolving body, when suspended in a certain way, to bring the axis of rotation into parallelism with the earth&


ostension ::: n. --> The showing of the sacrament on the altar in order that it may receive the adoration of the communicants.

Padmasambhava, called in Tibet Guru Rimpoche or Padma-jungne, is even today one of the patron saints of Tibet and the chief guru of the Red Caps — his image occupying the place of honor on all the altars of this sect, which he founded in 749.

percher ::: v. i. --> One who, or that which, perches.
One of the Insessores.
A Paris candle anciently used in England; also, a large wax candle formerly set upon the altar.


Phoenix [from Greek phoinix phoenix, date palm, Phoenician] The sacred bird possibly taken from the Egyptian benu. The most familiar legend about it in Europe, dating from the early medieval period, is that a bird from India lives on air for 500 years when, leaving its native land, it flies to the temple at Heliopolis, with its wings laden with spices. Flying to the altar, it burns itself to ashes on the sacred fire, whence arises a new or young phoenix. This bird is already feathered on the day following the suicide of its parent which was its former self and, having its wings full grown on the third day, it wings its way forth. Pliny and Herodotus give slightly different versions. Ancient art pictured the phoenix as a bird with wings partly golden and partly red in color; in outline and size it was drawn to resemble an eagle.

piscina ::: n. --> A niche near the altar in a church, containing a small basin for rinsing altar vessels.

priest ::: n. --> A presbyter elder; a minister
One who is authorized to consecrate the host and to say Mass; but especially, one of the lowest order possessing this power.
A presbyter; one who belongs to the intermediate order between bishop and deacon. He is authorized to perform all ministerial services except those of ordination and confirmation.
One who officiates at the altar, or performs the rites of sacrifice; one who acts as a mediator between men and the divinity or


Psychic Powers ::: The lowest powers of the intermediate or soul-nature in the human being, and we are exercising andusing them all the time -- yes, and we cannot even control them properly! Men's emotional thoughts arevagrant, wandering, uncertain, lacking precision, without positive direction, and feebly governed. Theaverage man cannot even keep his emotions and thoughts in the grip of his self-conscious will. Hisweakest passions lead him astray. It is this part of his nature whence flow his "psychic powers." It isman's work to transmute them and to turn them to employment which is good and useful and holy.Indeed, the average man cannot control the ordinary psycho-astral-physical powers that he commonlyuses; and when, forsooth, people talk about cultivating occult powers, by which they mean merelypsychic powers, it simply shows that through ignorance they know not to what they refer. Their mindsare clouded as regards the actual facts. Those who talk so glibly of cultivating occult powers are just thepeople who cannot be trusted as real guides, for before they themselves can crawl in these mysteriousregions of life, they seem to desire to teach other people how to run and to leap. What most people reallymean, apparently, when they speak of cultivating occult powers is "I want to get power over otherpeople." Such individuals are totally unfit to wield occult powers of any kind, for the motive is in mostcases purely selfish, and their minds are beclouded and darkened with ignorance.The so-called psychic powers have the same relation to genuine spiritual powers that baby-talk has to thediscourse of a wise philosopher. Before occult powers of any kind can be cultivated safely, man mustlearn the first lesson of the mystic knowledge, which is to control himself; and all powers that later hegains must be laid on the altar of impersonal service -- on the altar of service to mankind.Psychic powers will come to men as a natural development of their inner faculties, as evolution performsits wonderful work in future ages. New senses, and new organs corresponding to these new senses, bothinterior and exterior, will come into active functioning in the distant future. But it is perilous both tosanity and to health to attempt to force the development of these prematurely, and unless the training anddiscipline be done under the watchful and compassionate eye of a genuine occult teacher who knowswhat he is about. The world even today contains hundreds of thousands of "sensitives" who are the firstfeeble forerunners of what future evolution will make common in the human race; but these sensitivesare usually in a very unfortunate and trying situation, for they themselves misunderstand what is in them,and they are misunderstood by their fellows. (See also Occultism)

retable ::: n. --> A shelf behind the altar, for display of lights, vases of wlowers, etc.

retrochoir ::: n. --> Any extension of a church behind the high altar, as a chapel; also, in an apsidal church, all the space beyond the line of the back or eastern face of the altar.

sedilia ::: n. pl. --> Seats in the chancel of a church near the altar for the officiating clergy during intervals of service.

Shittim (Hebrew) Shiṭṭīm The wood from the shittah plant, believed to be the Acacia seyal, a shrub held in high esteem by the Jews, as its wood was by legend stated as used for the building of the ark of Noah, also for the altar in the temple. The horns placed near the altar, which served as the place of sanctuary or refuge when grasped by a fugitive, were also stated to be made of shittim wood.

Showbread, Shewbread The bread placed by the ancient Jews every Sabbath before Jehovah on the table made of shittim wood, which was set in the holy place on the north side of the altar of incense. The bread itself was made of fine flour and baked into twelve cakes, as commanded by Moses: “two tenth deals shall be in one cake. And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the Lord. And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row” (Lev 24:4-8). The bread remained on the golden table throughout the week, and was then removed to the sanctuary and eaten by the priests alone.

shumidan. (C. xumi tan; K. sumi tan 須彌壇). In Japanese, "MT. SUMERU altar," also known as the shumiza, or Mt. Sumeru throne; the elevated altar or platform in a Japanese Buddhist shrine, on which the central icons are placed. The shumidan is so named because it was modeled after Mt. Sumeru, the central axis of the world in Buddhist cosmology. The altar's origins are found in a legend about the buddha sĀKYAMUNI, who was said to have gone away for several months to TRĀYASTRIMsA heaven, located at the peak of Mt. Sumeru, to preach to his mother, MĀYĀ. Due to his long absence, some of his adherents made images of the missing sākyamuni (see UDĀYANA BUDDHA), which they placed on a model of the mountain. Typically constructed in either square or octagonal shape, the shumidan is usually made of wood, metal, or stone and is decorated with various symbols. The square shape may symbolize the four sides of Mt. Sumeru, which are made of four types of jewels, generally listed as silver in the east, crystal in the west, lapis lazuli in the south, and gold in the north. The octagonal shape, by contrast, is said to represent the eightfold path (ĀRYĀstĀnGAMĀRGA). The shumidan is composed of upper, middle, and lower tiers. The Kamakura-period shumidan is a square-shaped altar constructed in a sophisticated style rich with symbolic meaning: its middle level consists of one thick, but narrow, tier, along with sixteen thinner tiers that gradually widen out in each direction toward both the top and the bottom. According to Buddhist esoteric teachings, the sixteen tiers toward the top represent the sixteen great bodhisattvas in the wisdom gate (J. emon); the sixteen tiers toward the bottom represent the sixteen great bodhisattvas in the meditation gate (J. jomon); the four jewels, represented by a square shape, symbolize the five wisdoms, because the four jewels as a group symbolize the "wisdom that is the essential nature of the dharma realm" (J. hokkai taishochi) and each jewel symbolizes the remaining four of the five wisdoms. Finally, the total of these thirty-two square-shaped tiers symbolizes the beings depicted in the diamond realm (J. KONGoKAI) MAndALA. The shumidan as a whole represents the mind of awakening (J. bodaishin; S. BODHICITTA), with which all sentient beings are endowed. In CHAN and ZEN monasteries, a shumidan without any displayed icon is placed in the dharma hall for the abbot or master to ascend for such occasions as the SHANGTANG ceremony.

Stonehenge The well-known megalithic structure on Salisbury Plain, England, the most wonderful prehistoric relic in that country, now preserved as a national monument. The larger stones are about 18 feet high and weigh about 20 tons apiece. There are two concentric circles; the outer circle, now badly interrupted by breaks and disturbances, being a hundred feet in diameter and consisting of upright stones with horizontal ones across the tops, originally forming a continuous structure. The inner circle has no lintels at present. Within is a horseshoe line of great trilithons and monoliths, and inside that another horseshoe of smaller stones. In the center is a large block called the altar. Outside, facing the altar and the opening of the horseshoes, stand two outer stones, believed by some to mark the place of sunrise at the summer solstice about 1680 BC. Some of the stones, including the altar, were brought from a great distance. Transportation of such heavy stones from such a distance would require great skill and organizing power.

Sunahsepha (Sanskrit) Śunaḥśepha In ancient Hindu legend, for instance in the Ramayana, the son of the sage Richika, corresponding in some ways with the Hebrew Isaac. His father “sold him for one hundred cows to King Ambarisha, for a sacrifice and ‘burnt offering’ to Varuna, as a substitute for the kings’ son Rohita, devoted by his father to the god. When already stretched on the altar Sunasepha is saved by Rishi Visvamitra, who calls upon his own hundred sons to take the place of victim, and upon their refusal degrades them to the condition of Chandalas. After which the Sage teaches the victim a mantram the repetition of which brings the gods to his rescue; he then adopts Sunasepha for his elder son” (TG 313).

t'aenghwa. (幀). In Korean, lit. "painting"; referring to the large "hanging paintings" painted on cloth or paper, which are hung on the inside walls of Korean shrine halls or behind buddha images on the altars. The term t'aenghwa may have been in use since the Koryo dynasty (918-1392), since a painting from 1306 includes the Sinograph t'aeng in its title. Because of their vulnerability to fire, most extant t'aenghwa date from the seventeenth century onward, the period following the depredations caused by the Japanese Hideyoshi invasions (1592-1598) of the Korean peninsula. T'aenghwa tend to depict different arrangements of various buddhas, BODHISATTVAs, and ARHATs, with guardians illustrated around the perimeter of the painting. Although t'aenghwa are usually painted in full color, it is possible to find them in various restrained formats such as gold and white on a black or red background; in this type, the lines are generally drawn in gold, while the skin is painted in white. There are no examples of this restrained type of t'aenghwa before the late 1800s. In main shrine halls, t'aenghwa tend to come in sets of three, with a main painting behind the central image and accompanying paintings on the walls to the left and right of the altar. Popular themes for such central t'aenghwa include the Buddha lecturing at Vulture Peak (GṚDHRAKutAPARVATA), the PURE LAND of AMITĀBHA, the medicine buddha BHAIsAJYAGURU with the twelve zodiacal signs, and stories from Buddhist history. The t'aenghwa on the right is usually the "host of spirits" (SINJUNG) hanging painting, and shows the LOKAPĀLAs, with the dharma protector KUMĀRABHuTA (K. Tongjin) prominently featured. Kumārabhuta is typically portrayed wearing a grand, feathered headdress accompanied by over a dozen associates, who aid him in protecting the religion. The t'aenghwa on the left often commemorates the deceased and features the bodhisattva KsITIGARBHA, who has vowed to rescue all beings from the hells. Sometimes monasteries with restricted budgets or space will use t'aenghwa without accompanying statues, especially for the t'aenghwas to the left and right. T'aenghwa in smaller shrine halls may include paintings of the mountain spirit (K. sansin), the guardian kings, and the seven star (ch'ilsong; see BEIDOU QIXING) spirits of the Big Dipper. ¶ Large hanging t'aenghwa, which were traditionally displayed outdoors during Buddhist ceremonies, are known as KWAEBUL. Kwaebul are generally twenty-five to forty feet (eight to twelve m.) high, although one at SSANGGYESA is fifty feet (fifteen m.) in height. Kwaebul with a depiction of a standing MAITREYA are common. The kwaebul are displayed on the Buddha's birthday and during rites such as YoNGSANJAE, as well as for the funerals of important monks. Kwaebul are the equivalent of the Tibetan THANG KA and were especially popular in the seventeenth century.

tephramancy ::: n. --> Divination by the ashes of the altar on which a victim had been consumed in sacrifice.

The various forms of yoga from the standpoint of theosophy when properly understood are not distinct, separable means of attaining union with the god within; and it is a divergence of the attention into one or several of these forms to the exclusion of others that has brought about so much mental confusion and lack of success even in those who are more or less skilled. Every one of these forms of yoga, with the probable exception of the lower forms of hatha yoga, should be practiced concurrently by the one who has set his heart and mind upon spiritual success. Thus one should carefully watch and control his acts, acting and working unselfishly; he should live so that his daily customs distract attention as little as possible away from the spiritual purpose; his heart coincidentally should be filled with devotion and love for all things; and he should cultivate, all at the same time, his will, his capacity for self-sacrifice and self-devotion to a noble cause, and his ability to stand firm and undaunted in the face of difficulties whatever they may be; and, finally, in addition and perhaps most importantly, he should do everything in his power to cultivate his intuition and intellectual faculties, exercising not merely his ratiocinative mind, but the higher intuitive and nobly intellectual parts. Combining all these he is following the chela path and is using all the forms of yoga in the proper way. Yet the chela will never obtain his objective if his practice of yoga is followed for his own individual advancement. He will never reach higher than the superior planes of the astral world even in consciousness; but when his whole being follows this yoga as thus outlined with a desire to lay his life and all he is on the altar of service to the world, he is then indeed on the path.

Vestals enjoyed special privileges in the State, and in most respects were not subject to the Roman law. On state occasions they were preceded by a lictor and at public spectacles the best seats were reserved for them. In all the greater ceremonies and state festivals they took a prominent part. They had undisputed power to pardon any criminal whom they might meet when on his way to execution, providing the meeting was not prearranged. They could be buried within the walls, a privilege they shared with the Roman Emperor alone. Public slaves were appointed to serve them; they were the custodians of important state papers. They lived in almost royal splendor in the magnificent Atrium Vestae which adjoined the official fanum of the pontifex maximus himself. Their chief festival was the Vestalia, held on June 9th. From the central fire which they tended, the altars of other gods obtained their fires, and even distant colonies were not held to be consecrated until their own altar fires were lighted with fire from the central hearth. Compared with this cult in other parts of the world, especially in India where originally there was a lofty worship requiring the completest chastity and renunciation of the devadasis or nachnis of the temples, the cult in Rome, despite worldliness, seems to have suffered less degeneration than might have been expected from the theoretical and actual power surrounding it.

Wonbulgyo. (圓佛教). In Korean, "Won Buddhism" or "Consummate Buddhism"; a modern Korean new religion, founded in 1916 by PAK CHUNGBIN (1891-1943), later known by his sobriquet SOT'AESAN. Based on his enlightenment to the universal order of the "one-circle image" (IRWoNSANG), Sot'aesan sought to establish an ideal world where this universal order could be accomplished in and through ordinary human life, rather than the specialized institution of the monastery. After perusing the scriptures of various religions, Sot'aesan came to regard the teachings of Buddhism as the ultimate source of his enlightenment and in 1924 named his new religion the Pulpop Yon'gu hoe (Society for the Study of the Buddhadharma); this organization was later renamed Wonbulgyo in 1947 by Sot'aesan's successor and the second prime Dharma master of the religion, Chongsan, a.k.a. Song Kyu (1900-1962). Since the tenets and institutions of Wonbulgyo are distinct from those of mainstream Buddhism in Korea, the religion is usually considered an indigenous Korean religion that is nevertheless closely aligned with the broader Buddhist tradition. Sot'aesan used the "one-circle image" as a way of representing his vision of the Buddhist notion of the "DHARMAKĀYA buddha" (popsinbul), which was reality itself; since this reality transcended all possible forms of conceptualization, he represented it with a simple circle, an image that is now displayed on the altar at all Wonbulgyo temples. Sot'aesan's religious activities were also directed at improving the daily lot of his adherents, and to this end he and his followers established thrift and savings institutions and led land reclamation projects. Wonbulgyo has focused its activities on the three pillars of religious propagation (kyohwa), education (kyoyuk), and public service (chason): for example, the second prime master Chongsan established temples for propagation, schools such as Won'gwang University for education, and social-welfare facilities such as hospitals and orphanages. These activities, along with international proselytization, were continued by his successors Taesan, Kim Taego (1914-1988), who became the third prime master in 1962, Chwasan, Yi Kwangjong (b. 1936), who became the fourth prime master in 1994, and Kyongsan, Chang Ŭngch'ol (b. 1940), who became the fifth prime master in 2006. The two representative scriptures of Wonbulgyo are the Wonbulgyo chongjon ("Principal Book of Won Buddhism"), a primer of the basic tenets of Wonbulgyo, which was published by Sot'aesan in 1943, and the Taejonggyong ("Scripture of the Founding Master"), the dialogues and teachings of Sot'aesan, published in 1962 by his successor Chongsan. Wonbulgyo remains an influential religious tradition in Korea, especially in the Cholla region in the southwest of the peninsula; in addition, there currently are over fifty Wonbulgyo temples active in over fourteen countries.

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.



QUOTES [25 / 25 - 696 / 696]


KEYS (10k)

   13 Sri Aurobindo
   3 Aleister Crowley
   1 Swami Saradananda
   1 Saint Jerome
   1 Matthew V. 23
   1 Manly P Hall
   1 Hermann Hesse
   1 Anonymous
   1 The Mother
   1 Sri Ramakrishna
   1 Saint Augustine of Hippo

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   16 Anonymous
   14 Sri Aurobindo
   7 Lisa Kleypas
   7 Friedrich Schiller
   7 Brian Godawa
   6 Saint Francis of Assisi
   6 Martin Luther King Jr
   6 C S Lewis
   6 Charles Haddon Spurgeon
   5 Thomas Jefferson
   5 Saint John Chrysostom
   5 Ella Wheeler Wilcox
   5 Edith Nesbit
   5 A W Tozer
   5 Alfred Austin
   5 Alain de Botton
   4 Yann Martel
   4 Stephen Fry
   4 Saint Therese of Lisieux
   4 Neil Gaiman

1:A vice in the heart is an idol on the altar. ~ Saint Jerome,
2:Spiritual power in the present creates material power in the future. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Bande Mataram - II, One More for the Altar,
3:The spiritual life of India is the first necessity of the world's future. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Bande Mataram - II, One More for the Altar,
4:When we open the door we go not into a strange place but we stand in the presence of the altar of our own soul. ~ Manly P Hall, Lecture
5:The wide-winged hymn of a great priestly wind
Arose and failed upon the altar hills; ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Symbol Dawn,
6:You can force a man to enter a church, to approach the altar, to receive the sacrament; but you cannot force him to believe. ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo,
7:The Altar represents the solid basis of the Work, the fixed Will* of the Magician; and the law under which he works.
   ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, Book 4, Magick, Part II, The Altar,
8:Falsehood enthroned on awed and prostrate hearts
The cults and creeds that organise living death
And slay the soul on the altar of a lie. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Descent into Night,
9:Even scrubbing the floor may be turned into worship if there is the remembrance of the Lord within. Done sacra mentally, every work is an offering to the Lord. He accepts it as He accepts a flower placed at the altar with devotion. ~ Swami Saradananda,
10:In a veiled Nature's hallowed secrecies
It burns for ever on the altar Mind,
Its priests the souls of dedicated gods,
Humanity its house of sacrifice. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Heavens of the Ideal,
11:Man is given faith in himself, his ideas and his powers that he may work and create and rise to greater things and in the end bring his strength as a worthy offering to the altar of the Spirit. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
12:Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.

With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." ~ Anonymous, The Bible, Isaiah, 6:7,
13:Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother and then come and offer thy gift. ~ Matthew V. 23, the Eternal Wisdom
14:The Truth-light in the cavern heart
That burns unwitnessed in the altar crypt
Behind the still velamen's secrecy
Companioning the Godhead of the shrine. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The World of Falsehood, the Mother of Evil and the Sons of Darkness,
15:
   The priest an ignorant mage who only makes
   Futile mutations in the altar's plan
   And casts blind hopes into a powerless flame.
   A burden of transient gains weighs down her steps
   And hardly under that load can she advance;
   But the hours cry to her, she travels on
   Passing from thought to thought, from want to want;
   Her greatest progress is a deepened need.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Growth of the Flame,
16:If a division of works has to be made, it is between those that are nearest to the heart of the sacred flame and those that are least touched or illumined by it because they are more at a distance, or between the fuel that burns strongly or brightly and the logs that if too thickly heaped on the altar may impede the ardour of the fire by their damp, heavy and diffused abundance. But otherwise, apart from this division, all activities of knowledge that seek after or express Truth are in themselves rightful materials for a complete offering ; none ought necessarily to be excluded from the wide framework of the divine life. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 1, 141,
17:It is not one's self, but the band of the spirit's inner enemies that we have to discourage, expel, slay upon the altar of the growth of the spirit; these can be ruthlessly excised, whose names are desire, wrath, inequality, greed, attachment to outward pleasures and pains, the cohort of usurping demons that are the cause of the soul's errors and sufferings. These should be regarded not as part of oneself but as intruders and perverters of our self's real and diviner nature; these have to be sacrificed in the harsher sense of the word, whatever pain in going they may throw by reflection on the consciousness of the seeker.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Yoga of Divine Works, The Sacrifice, the Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice [108-109],
18:The Magician works in a Temple; the Universe, which is (be it remembered!) conterminous with himself. In this temple a Circle is drawn upon the floor for the limitation of his working. This circle is protected by divine names, the influences on which he relies to keep out hostile thoughts. Within the circle stands an Altar, the solid basis on which he works, the foundation of all. Upon the Altar are his Wand, Cup, Sword, and Pantacle, to represent his Will, his Understanding, his Reason, and the lower parts of his being, respectively. On the Altar, too, is a phial of Oil, surrounded by a Scourge, a Dagger, and a Chain, while above the Altar hangs a Lamp. The Magician wears a Crown, a single Robe, and a Lamen, and he bears a Book of Conjurations and a Bell.
   ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, Book 4, Magick [54?],
19:For throughout its life, without knowing it or with some presentiment of it, it was Thou whom it was seeking; in all its passions, all its enthusiasms, all its hopes and disillusionments, all its sufferings and all its joys, it was Thou whom it ardently wanted. And now that it has found Thee, now that it possesses Thee in a supreme Peace and Felicity, it wonders that it should have needed so many sensations, emotions, experiences to discover Thee.
   But all this, which was a struggle, a turmoil, a perpetual effort, has become through the sovereign grace of Thy conscious Presence, a priceless fortune which the being rejoices to offer as its gift to Thee. The purifying flame of Thy illumination has turned it into jewels of price laid down as a living holocaust on the altar of my heart.
   ~ The Mother, Prayers And Meditations, 322, [T1],
20:Often he went to the workshop, to encourage the assistant Erich, who continued working at the altar and eagerly awaited his master's return. Sometimes the Abbot unlocked Goldmund's room, where the Mary figure stood, lifted the cloth from the figure carefully and stayed with her awhile. He knew nothing of the figure's origin; Goldmund had never told him Lydia's story. But he felt everything; he saw that the girl's form had long lived in Goldmund's heart. Perhaps he had seduced her, perhaps betrayed and left her. But, truer than the most faithful husband, he had taken her along in his soul, preserving her image until finally, perhaps after many years in which he had never seen her again, he had fashioned this beautiful, touching statue of a girl and captured in her face, her bearing, her hands all the tenderness, admiration, and longing of their love.

   ~ Hermann Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund,
21:Sri Ramakrishna has described the incident: "The Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kāli temple that it was She who had become everything. She showed me that everything was full of Consciousness. The image was Consciousness, the Altar was Consciousness, the water-vessels were Consciousness, the door-sill was Consciousness, the marble floor was Consciousness - all was Consciousness. I found everything inside the room soaked, as it were, in Bliss - the Bliss of God. I saw a wicked man in front of the Kāli temple; but in him also I saw the power of the Divine Mother vibrating. That was why I fed a cat with the food that was to be offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceived that all this was the Divine Mother - even the cat. The manager of the temple garden wrote to Mathur Bābu saying that I was feeding the cat with the offering intended for the Divine Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
22:O King, thy fate is a transaction done
At every hour between Nature and thy soul
With God for its foreseeing arbiter.
Fate is a balance drawn in Destiny's book.
Man can accept his fate, he can refuse.
Even if the One maintains the unseen decree
He writes thy refusal in thy credit page:
For doom is not a close, a mystic seal.
Arisen from the tragic crash of life,
Arisen from the body's torture and death,
The spirit rises mightier by defeat;
Its godlike wings grow wider with each fall.
Its splendid failures sum to victory.
O man, the events that meet thee on thy road,
Though they smite thy body and soul with joy and grief,
Are not thy fate, - they touch thee awhile and pass;
Even death can cut not short thy spirit's walk:
Thy goal, the road thou choosest are thy fate.
On the altar throwing thy thoughts, thy heart, thy works,
Thy fate is a long sacrifice to the gods
Till they have opened to thee thy secret self
And made thee one with the indwelling God. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 06:02 The Way of Fate and the Problem of Pain,
23:the first necessity :::
   An entire self-consecration, a complete equality, an unsparing effacement of the ego, a transforming deliverance of the nature from its ignorant modes of action are the steps by which the surrender of all the being and nature to the Divine Will can be prepared and achieved, -- a self-giving true, total and without reserve. The first necessity is an entire spirit of self-consecration in our works; it must become first the constant will, then the ingrained need in all the being, finally its automatic but living and conscious habit, the self-existent turn to do all action as a sacrifice to the Supreme and to the veiled Power present in us and in all beings and in all the workings of the universe. Life is the altar of this sacrifice, works are our offerings; a transcendent and universal Power and Presence as yet rather felt or glimpsed than known or seen by us is the Deity to whom they are offered. This sacrifice, this self-consecration has two sides to it; there is the work itself and there is the spirit in which it is done, the spirit of worship to the Master of Works in all that we see, think and experience.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Equality and the Annihilation of Ego,
24:THE WAND
   THE Magical Will is in its essence twofold, for it presupposes a beginning and an end; to will to be a thing is to admit that you are not that thing.
   Hence to will anything but the supreme thing, is to wander still further from it - any will but that to give up the self to the Beloved is Black Magick - yet this surrender is so simple an act that to our complex minds it is the most difficult of all acts; and hence training is necessary. Further, the Self surrendered must not be less than the All-Self; one must not come before the altar of the Most High with an impure or an imperfect offering. As it is written in Liber LXV, "To await Thee is the end, not the beginning."
   This training may lead through all sorts of complications, varying according to the nature of the student, and hence it may be necessary for him at any moment to will all sorts of things which to others might seem unconnected with the goal. Thus it is not "a priori" obvious why a billiard player should need a file.
   Since, then, we may want "anything," let us see to it that our will is strong enough to obtain anything we want without loss of time.
   It is therefore necessary to develop the will to its highest point, even though the last task but one is the total surrender of this will. Partial surrender of an imperfect will is of no account in Magick.
   The will being a lever, a fulcrum is necessary; this fulcrum is the main aspiration of the student to attain. All wills which are not dependent upon this principal will are so many leakages; they are like fat to the athlete.
   The majority of the people in this world are ataxic; they cannot coordinate their mental muscles to make a purposed movement. They have no real will, only a set of wishes, many of which contradict others. The victim wobbles from one to the other (and it is no less wobbling because the movements may occasionally be very violent) and at the end of life the movements cancel each other out. Nothing has been achieved; except the one thing of which the victim is not conscious: the destruction of his own character, the confirming of indecision. Such an one is torn limb from limb by Choronzon.
   How then is the will to be trained? All these wishes, whims, caprices, inclinations, tendencies, appetites, must be detected, examined, judged by the standard of whether they help or hinder the main purpose, and treated accordingly.
   Vigilance and courage are obviously required. I was about to add self-denial, in deference to conventional speech; but how could I call that self-denial which is merely denial of those things which hamper the self? It is not suicide to kill the germs of malaria in one's blood.
   Now there are very great difficulties to be overcome in the training of the mind. Perhaps the greatest is forgetfulness, which is probably the worst form of what the Buddhists call ignorance. Special practices for training the memory may be of some use as a preliminary for persons whose memory is naturally poor. In any case the Magical Record prescribed for Probationers of the A.'.A.'. is useful and necessary.
   Above all the practices of Liber III must be done again and again, for these practices develop not only vigilance but those inhibiting centres in the brain which are, according to some psychologists, the mainspring of the mechanism by which civilized man has raised himself above the savage.
   So far it has been spoken, as it were, in the negative. Aaron's rod has become a serpent, and swallowed the serpents of the other Magicians; it is now necessary to turn it once more into a rod.
   ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, Book 4, The Wand,
25:To what gods shall the sacrifice be offered? Who shall be invoked to manifest and protect in the human being this increasing godhead?

Agni first, for without him the sacrificial flame cannot burn on the altar of the soul. That flame of Agni is the seven-tongued power of the Will, a Force of God instinct with Knowledge. This conscious and forceful will is the immortal guest in our mortality, a pure priest and a divine worker, the mediator between earth and heaven. It carries what we offer to the higher Powers and brings back in return their force and light and joy into our humanity.

Indra, the Puissant next, who is the power of pure Existence self-manifested as the Divine Mind. As Agni is one pole of Force instinct with knowledge that sends its current upward from earth to heaven, so Indra is the other pole of Light instinct with force which descends from heaven to earth. He comes down into our world as the Hero with the shining horses and slays darkness and division with his lightnings, pours down the life-giving heavenly waters, finds in the trace of the hound, Intuition, the lost or hidden illuminations, makes the Sun of Truth mount high in the heaven of our mentality.

Surya, the Sun, is the master of that supreme Truth, - truth of being, truth of knowledge, truth of process and act and movement and functioning. He is therefore the creator or rather the manifester of all things - for creation is out-bringing, expression by the Truth and Will - and the father, fosterer, enlightener of our souls. The illuminations we seek are the herds of this Sun who comes to us in the track of the divine Dawn and releases and reveals in us night-hidden world after world up to the highest Beatitude.

Of that beatitude Soma is the representative deity. The wine of his ecstasy is concealed in the growths of earth, in the waters of existence; even here in our physical being are his immortalising juices and they have to be pressed out and offered to all the gods; for in that strength these shall increase and conquer.

Each of these primary deities has others associated with him who fulfil functions that arise from his own. For if the truth of Surya is to be established firmly in our mortal nature, there are previous conditions that are indispensable; a vast purity and clear wideness destructive of all sin and crooked falsehood, - and this is Varuna; a luminous power of love and comprehension leading and forming into harmony all our thoughts, acts and impulses, - this is Mitra; an immortal puissance of clear-discerning aspiration and endeavour, - this is Aryaman; a happy spontaneity of the right enjoyment of all things dispelling the evil dream of sin and error and suffering, - this is Bhaga. These four are powers of the Truth of Surya. For the whole bliss of Soma to be established perfectly in our nature a happy and enlightened and unmaimed condition of mind, vitality and body are necessary. This condition is given to us by the twin Ashwins; wedded to the daughter of Light, drinkers of honey, bringers of perfect satisfactions, healers of maim and malady they occupy our parts of knowledge and parts of action and prepare our mental, vital and physical being for an easy and victorious ascension.

Indra, the Divine Mind, as the shaper of mental forms has for his assistants, his artisans, the Ribhus, human powers who by the work of sacrifice and their brilliant ascension to the high dwelling-place of the Sun have attained to immortality and help mankind to repeat their achievement. They shape by the mind Indra's horses, the chariot of the Ashwins, the weapons of the Gods, all the means of the journey and the battle. But as giver of the Light of Truth and as Vritra-slayer Indra is aided by the Maruts, who are powers of will and nervous or vital Force that have attained to the light of thought and the voice of self-expression. They are behind all thought and speech as its impellers and they battle towards the Light, Truth and Bliss of the supreme Consciousness.

There are also female energies; for the Deva is both Male and Female and the gods also are either activising souls or passively executive and methodising energies. Aditi, infinite Mother of the Gods, comes first; and there are besides five powers of the Truthconsciousness, - Mahi or Bharati, the vast Word that brings us all things out of the divine source; Ila, the strong primal word of the Truth who gives us its active vision; Saraswati, its streaming current and the word of its inspiration; Sarama, the Intuition, hound of heaven who descends into the cavern of the subconscient and finds there the concealed illuminations; Dakshina, whose function is to discern rightly, dispose the action and the offering and distribute in the sacrifice to each godhead its portion. Each god, too, has his female energy.

All this action and struggle and ascension is supported by Heaven our Father and Earth our Mother Parents of the Gods, who sustain respectively the purely mental and psychic and the physical consciousness. Their large and free scope is the condition of our achievement. Vayu, master of life, links them together by the mid-air, the region of vital force. And there are other deities, - Parjanya, giver of the rain of heaven; Dadhikravan, the divine war-horse, a power of Agni; the mystic Dragon of the Foundations; Trita Aptya who on the third plane of existence consummates our triple being; and more besides.

The development of all these godheads is necessary to our perfection. And that perfection must be attained on all our levels, - in the wideness of earth, our physical being and consciousness; in the full force of vital speed and action and enjoyment and nervous vibration, typified as the Horse which must be brought forward to upbear our endeavour; in the perfect gladness of the heart of emotion and a brilliant heat and clarity of the mind throughout our intellectual and psychical being; in the coming of the supramental Light, the Dawn and the Sun and the shining Mother of the herds, to transform all our existence; for so comes to us the possession of the Truth, by the Truth the admirable surge of the Bliss, in the Bliss infinite Consciousness of absolute being. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, The Doctrine of the Mystics,

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:Stillness is the altar of spirit. ~ paramahansa-yogananda, @wisdomtrove
2:Peace is the altar of God, the condition in which happiness exists. ~ paramahansa-yogananda, @wisdomtrove
3:I see the turning of the page, curtain rising on a new age, see the groom still waiting at the altar. ~ bob-dylan, @wisdomtrove
4:Character is always lost when a high ideal is sacrificed on the altar of conformity and popularity. ~ charles-spurgeon, @wisdomtrove
5:Ritual will always mean throwing away something: destroying our corn or wine upon the altar of our gods. ~ g-k-chesterton, @wisdomtrove
6:When you put your preferences on the altar of your life and say: THIS. THIS is what compels me. The real you emerges. ~ danielle-laporte, @wisdomtrove
7:Respect the altar of Justice and do not, looking to profit, dishonor it by spurning with godless foot; for punishment will come upon you. ~ aeschylus, @wisdomtrove
8:Let me be as the bullock which stands between the plough and the altar, to work or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, "Ready for either". ~ charles-spurgeon, @wisdomtrove
9:Unless we believe and see Jesus in the appearance of bread on the altar, we will not be able to see him in the distressing disguise of the poor. ~ mother-teresa, @wisdomtrove
10:May we not return to those scoundrels of old, the illustrious founders of superstition and fanaticism, who first took the knife from the altar to make victims of those who refused to be their disciples? ~ voltaire, @wisdomtrove
11:There ought to be such an atmosphere in every Christian church that a man going there and sitting two hours should take the contagion of heaven, and carry home a fire to kindle the altar whence he came. ~ henry-ward-beecher, @wisdomtrove
12:They don't worship at the altar of forced busing and mandatory quotas. They don't believe you can remedy past discrimination by mandating new discrimination. (Defending his nominees for Civil Rights Commission) ~ ronald-reagan, @wisdomtrove
13:To converse with You, O King of glory, no third person is needed, You are always ready in the Sacrament of the Altar to give audience to all. All who desire You always find You there, and converse with You face to face ~ teresa-of-avila, @wisdomtrove
14:A priest once quoted to me the Roman saying that a religion is dead when the priests laugh at each other across the altar. I always laugh at the altar, be it Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist, because real religion is the transformation of anxiety into laughter. ~ alan-watts, @wisdomtrove
15:We can no longer afford to worship the God of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. Love is the key to the solution of the problems of the world. ~ martin-luther-king, @wisdomtrove
16:Needless to say, under either system [socialism or fascism], the inequalities of income and standard of living are greater than anything possible under a free economy - and a man's position is determined, not by his productive ability and achievement, but by political pull and force. Under both systems, sacrifice is invoked as a magic, omnipotent solution in any crisis - and "the public good" is the altar on which victims are immolated. ~ ayn-rand, @wisdomtrove
17:Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God, first fill your own house with the fragrance of love. Go not to the temple to light candles before the altar of God, first remove the darkness of sin from your heart. Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer, first learn to bow in humility before your fellow men. Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees, first bend down to lift someone who is down trodden. Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins, first forgive from your heart those who have sinned against you. ~ rabindranath-tagore, @wisdomtrove
18:On the altar you are looking at the same thing as you saw there last night. You have not heard, however, what this is, what it signifies, or about the greatness of the reality of which it is a sacrament. Your eyes are looking at bread and cup. This is the evidence before your physical sight. But your faith must be instructed concerning it- this bread being Christ &

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:I have sworn upon the altar of god. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
2:Stillness is the altar of spirit. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda,
3:A vice in the heart is an idol on the altar. ~ Saint Jerome,
4:A vice in the heart is an idol on the altar. ~ Saint Jerome,
5:When gratitude dies on the altar of a man's heart, ~ Bob Jones Sr,
6:All nature is the temple; earth the altar. ~ Alphonse de Lamartine,
7:The altar cloth of one aeon is the doormat of the next. ~ Mark Twain,
8:The altar, as in pre-history, is anywhere you kneel. ~ Camille Paglia,
9:Food, the southern offering on the altar of crisis. ~ Charlaine Harris,
10:I am the fire upon the altar. I am the sacrificial butter. ~ James Joyce,
11:I'll meet you at the altar" "I'll be the one in white! ~ Stephenie Meyer,
12:Optimization is the altar where maintainability is sacrificed. ~ Anonymous,
13:Don't sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate. ~ Bob Jones Sr,
14:I'll meet you at the altar"
"I'll be the one in white! ~ Stephenie Meyer,
15:the shewbread to tell of Jesus, the Bread of Life, and the altar of ~ A W Tozer,
16:I feel sure that no girl would go to the altar if she knew all. ~ Queen Victoria,
17:Lay silently the injuries you receive upon the altar of oblivion. ~ Hosea Ballou,
18:The altar of liberty totters when it is cemented only with blood ~ Daniel O Connell,
19:12The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not go out. ~ Anonymous,
20:My attitude of love must not be sacrificed on the altar of activity. ~ Lysa TerKeurst,
21:... pissing on the altar is still a way of paying homage to the Church ~ Raoul Vaneigem,
22:Some make a conscience of spitting in the Church, yet robbe the Altar. ~ George Herbert,
23:Unbridled truth often gets sacrificed on the altar of the greater good. ~ Robert J Crane,
24:Obedience and resignation are our personal offerings upon the altar of duty. ~ Hosea Ballou,
25:Peace is the altar of God, the condition in which happiness exists. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda,
26:We should neither worship at the altar of technology nor be frightened by it. ~ Nate Silver,
27:Wealth has never yet sacrificed itself on the altar of patriotism. ~ Robert M La Follette Sr,
28:Every last grain of idealism would be sacrificed on the altar of safety. ~ Thomas Olde Heuvelt,
29:If we are the sheep of His pasture, remember that sheep are headed for the altar. ~ Jim Elliot,
30:In England you're skewered on the altar of pop culture if you become pretentious. ~ Mick Jagger,
31:with integrity sacrificed on the altar of money, the next lie would be easier. ~ Timothy J Keller,
32:God continuously comes into the world in two places - at the altar and in the womb. ~ Peter Kreeft,
33:I wont let a wife lead me to the altar. [I will not have a wife that shall be my master.] ~ Martial,
34:Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts. ~ Philip Neri,
35:I stand at the altar of murdered men, and, while I live, I fight their cause. ~ Florence Nightingale,
36:True, I tore the drapery from the altar; but it was to dress the wounds of the country. ~ Victor Hugo,
37:Like most girls, her imagination carried her just as far as the altar and no further. ~ Margaret Mitchell,
38:No one serves their friends by grinding themselves into dust on the altar of compassion. ~ Seanan McGuire,
39:I think if love is real, and headed toward the altar, the sex part-within reason-can wait. ~ Ellen Hopkins,
40:This is the sacrifice: the endless possibility that is offered up on the altar of the form. ~ Martin Buber,
41:Some make Conscience of wearing a Hat in the Church, who make none of robbing the Altar. ~ Benjamin Franklin,
42:[To W.R. Hearst:] Love is not always created at the altar. Love doesn't need a wedding ring. ~ Marion Davies,
43:With relatively few exceptions, the novel sacrifices too much, for me, on the altar of plot. ~ David Shields,
44:At the centre of Christianity is community; we are gathered by the Lord around the altar. ~ Timothy Radcliffe,
45:I thought religion would eventually wither away and we'd all be worshiping at the altar of science. ~ A J Jacobs,
46:Don't be too hard on me. Everyone has to sacrifice at the altar of stupidity from time to time. ~ Albert Einstein,
47:I have never worshipped at the altar of free trade, but I've always been an advocate of free trade. ~ John Kasich,
48:I see the turning of the page, curtain rising on a new age, see the groom still waiting at the altar. ~ Bob Dylan,
49:he slaughtered at the altar his own child, my pain grown into love, to charm away the winds of Thrace. ~ Aeschylus,
50:Humility is the altar upon which God wishes that we should offer Him His sacrifices. ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld,
51:...the complications of life do not end at the altar; some might say that this is where they begin. ~ Julian Barnes,
52:The solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. ~ Abraham Lincoln,
53:altar to God is the human mind. To “desecrate the altar” is to fill it with non-loving thoughts. ~ Marianne Williamson,
54:Character is always lost when a high ideal is sacrificed on the altar of conformity and popularity. ~ Charles Spurgeon,
55:The platform of an Ethical Society is itself the altar; the address must be the fire that burns thereon. ~ Felix Adler,
56:all too often, critical acclaim for black films is built upon the altar of black suffering or subjugation. ~ Roxane Gay,
57:We will not, on the altar of money, mortgage our conscience, mortgage our faith, mortgage our salvation. ~ Peter Akinola,
58:So we surrender to stupidity, do we?” Freedom of speech is sacrificed at the altar of manufactured rage. ~ David Mitchell,
59:I am a lover of truth, a worshiper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. ~ Stephen Fry,
60:I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. ~ Stephen Fry,
61:I have sworn upon the altar of God Eternal, hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
62:I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
63:I knelt at the altar of Ray Charles for years. I worked at a restaurant, and that's all there was on the jukebox. ~ Tom Waits,
64:who care. They are those who, while they love the altar and delight in the sacrifice, are yet unable to reconcile ~ A W Tozer,
65:Mrs. Plutarski is such a pill to me. You’d think I
routinely crapped on the altar, the way she treats me. ~ Kristan Higgins,
66:Ritual will always mean throwing away something: destroying our corn or wine upon the altar of our gods. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
67:Everyone must, from time to time, make a sacrifice on the altar of stupidity, to please the deity and mankind. ~ Walter Isaacson,
68:Spiritual power in the present creates material power in the future. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Bande Mataram - II, One More for the Altar,
69:The wide-winged hymn of a great priestly wind
Arose and failed upon the altar hills; ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Symbol Dawn,
70:"On the altar in my hermitage are images of Buddha and Jesus, and I touch both of them as my spiritual ancestors." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh,
71:The spiritual life of India is the first necessity of the world’s future. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Bande Mataram - II, One More for the Altar,
72:There are 80,000 prostitutes in London alone and what are they, if not bloody sacrifices on the altar of monogamy? ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
73:Is my gardener's pride to be sacrificed on the altar of Mr Molesley's ambitions?
- The Dowager Countess(Maggie Smith) ~ Julian Fellowes,
74:The Spirit is speaking strongly to me for you to place a $50 offering on the altar, when you do, God will do a now miracle. ~ Steve Munsey,
75:The State is the altar of political freedom and, like the religious altar, it is maintained for the purpose of human sacrifice. ~ Emma Goldman,
76:Some day the workers will take possession of your city hall, and when we do, no child will be sacrificed on the altar of profit! ~ Mother Jones,
77:Faith,” she says, “is a catch-and-release sport. And standing at the altar receiving the bread and wine is the release part. ~ Rachel Held Evans,
78:Then de Montfort, resplendent in liturgical robes as well as his own arrogance, walked back to the altar where the mass continued. ~ Paul Doherty,
79:Sometimes you must sacrifice yourself on the altar of effort to be reminded of what and who you could become if you applied yourself. ~ Mark Twight,
80:The man who can look upon a crisis without being willing to offer himself upon the altar of his country is not for public trust. ~ Millard Fillmore,
81:The absolutely alienated individual worships at the altar of an idol, and it makes little difference by what names this idol is known. ~ Erich Fromm,
82:Respect the altar of Justice and do not, looking to profit, dishonor it by spurning with godless foot; for punishment will come upon you. ~ Aeschylus,
83:They give me the evil eye every Sunday. In Church. It's like they expect the altar to melt or a million locusts to fly out of my butt. ~ Kirsten Miller,
84:Yea! for our roses fade, the world is wild;
But there, beside the altar, there, is rest.

-from "Nuns of the Perpetual Adoration ~ Ernest Dowson,
85:Truth cannot be sacrificed at the altar of pretended tolerance. Real tolerance is deference to all ideas, not indifference to the truth. ~ Ravi Zacharias,
86:There are some who want to get married and others who don't. I have never had an impulse to go to the altar. I am a difficult person to lead. ~ Greta Garbo,
87:The seeds of a happy marriage are sown in youth. Happiness does not begin at the altar; it begins during the period of youth and courtship. ~ David O McKay,
88:20Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. ~ Anonymous,
89:And that was why she would win in the end. Because she would offer up everything on the altar of sacrifice, so long as she kept her country. ~ Kiersten White,
90:To be the altar boy at the first Mass of the day was a sacred initiation rite. It was like being hazed at a fraternity, only more Catholic. ~ Ian Morgan Cron,
91:When the Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels, who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar. ~ Saint John Chrysostom,
92:a worship service finds its impetus from an inner furnace of love that burns in the hearts of God’s people and is fueled from the altar in heaven. ~ Anonymous,
93:I acknowledge that the sacrament of the altar is very God's body in form of bread, but it is in another manner God's body than it is in heaven. ~ John Wycliffe,
94:Gods, one philosophical wag had commented, should conveniently remain on the altar, rather than rampaging indiscriminately across the land. The ~ Karl Schroeder,
95:Let me be as the bullock which stands between the plough and the altar, to work or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, "Ready for either". ~ Charles Spurgeon,
96:Unless we believe and see Jesus in the appearance of bread on the altar, we will not be able to see him in the distressing disguise of the poor. ~ Mother Teresa,
97:Was that all it took, kneeling at the altar and asking for help? Or did you have to invite everyone in on your private sorrow to be saved? Later, ~ Brit Bennett,
98:so intimate is the connexion between the throne and the altar, that the banner of the church has very seldom been seen on the side of the people. ~ Edward Gibbon,
99:The Eucharist is a fire that inflames us, that, like lions breathing fire, we may retire from the altar being made terrible to the devil. ~ Saint John Chrysostom,
100:This is crucial,’ his bride-to-be panicked at the altar. He braced himself for the worst. ‘You like Calvin and Hobbes, right?’ #bride by sherein bansal ~ Various,
101:To desperation,” he said, and raised his glass. She raised hers as well, toward the altar.
“And to bleeding hearts,” she added, and they drank. ~ Max Gladstone,
102:If you want to help her, you need to help yourself first. No one serves their friends by grinding themselves into dust on the altar of compassion. ~ Seanan McGuire,
103:ALTARAGE  (A'LTARAGE)   n.s.[altaragium, Lat.] An emolument arising to the priest from oblations, through the means of the altar.Ayliffe’sParergon. ~ Samuel Johnson,
104:I need nothing in this world in order to be happy. I only need to see Jesus in heaven, Whom I now see and adore on the altar with the eyes of faith. ~ Dominic Savio,
105:The TV's the altar. I'm what people are sacrificing to.' 'What do they sacrifice?' asked Shadow. 'Their time, mostly,' said Lucy. 'Sometimes each other. ~ Neil Gaiman,
106:Gladly I close this festive day, Grasping the altar's hallow'd horn; My slips and faults are washed away, The Lamb has all my trespass borne. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
107:Tell me, son... have you ever been intimidated by anyone?'
'Oh yes,' said Thomas.
'I don't believe it. By whom?'
'By Our Lord... on the altar. ~ Louis de Wohl,
108:Do not allow doubt to distract you if only you will install in the altar of your heart steady faith in My Divinity, you can win a vision of My Reality. ~ Sathya Sai Baba,
109:Emerging onto the main level, Mappo and Fiddler were accosted with the harsh echo of a shouting voice, bouncing down the hallway from the altar chamber. ~ Steven Erikson,
110:Everything in man should halt in awe...Let all the world quake and let Heaven exult when Christ the Son of the living God is there on the altar. ~ Saint Francis of Assisi,
111:Te Rau Tauwhare was a man for whom the act of love was the true religion, and the altar of this religion was one in place of which no idols could be made. ~ Eleanor Catton,
112:The TV's the altar. I'm what people are sacrificing to.'
'What do they sacrifice?' asked Shadow.
'Their time, mostly,' said Lucy. 'Sometimes each other. ~ Neil Gaiman,
113:The images did not quite mesh, but they were very unsettling, as if you had entered a cathedral for high mass and found people copulating on the altar. Brian, ~ Jeff Lindsay,
114:Man should tremble, the world should vibrate, all heaven should be deeply moved when the Son of God appears on the altar in the hands of the priest. ~ Saint Francis of Assisi,
115:The group most likely to see themselves as lonely, stressed out, and concerned about the future is the unmarried, whether divorced or never headed to the altar. ~ George Barna,
116:We now find our gods not on the altar, but in the bottle of alcohol, the football match on television, the new pair of shoes and the arms of the casual lover. ~ Bernardo Kastrup,
117:Has no one ever told you that it is the height of impropriety to kiss any gentleman, unless you have the intention of accompanying him immediately to the altar? ~ Georgette Heyer,
118:I now place my personal will upon the altar. Your will, not my will; Your way not my way; Your time not my time—and in the twinkling of an eye it is done! ~ Florence Scovel Shinn,
119:I realized that ritual will always mean throwing away something; Destroying our corn or wine upon the altar of our gods. ~ G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles. Secret of a Train,
120:Stephen came on deck reflecting with satisfaction upon his sloth, now a parlour-boarder with the Irish Franciscans at Rio, and a secret drinker of the altar-wine. ~ Patrick O Brian,
121:In his old life, the answer would have been easy: He'd have just put a gun to Vin's head and dragged the fucker to the altar. Now? He needed to be a little more civilized. ~ J R Ward,
122:Sacrificing one's life on the altar of literature is in some ways like sacrificing a goat to some malicious spirit. It's not always a humane or necessary decision. ~ Matthew Specktor,
123:Isn’t it funny that when we get married it’s called “tying the knot”? For us, this wasn’t just an act at the altar.2 It’s something we have to do over and over again. ~ Lysa TerKeurst,
124:The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart. Anyone who has tended a fireplace fire knows that it needs to be stirred up occasionally. ~ William Booth,
125:I can tell for sure, the technologists have made it clear that they don't care about musicians. The arts have been sacrificed on the altar of technological advancement. ~ T Bone Burnett,
126:If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination o the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams. ~ Yann Martel,
127:If we, citizens do not support our artists, then we sacrifice out imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams. ~ Yann Martel,
128:The Altar represents the solid basis of the Work, the fixed Will* of the Magician; and the law under which he works.
   ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, Book 4, Magick, Part II, The Altar,
129:If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams. ~ Yann Martel,
130:Malachi Chapter 1 The Jews despise the Lord by offering polluted bread upon the altar and by sacrificing animals with blemishes—The Lord’s name will be great among the Gentiles. ~ Anonymous,
131:the alife of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the alife that makes atonement. ~ Anonymous,
132:They saw the hard decisions in front of them and pretended they were impossible, inevitably compromising their moral foundation on the altar of what was easy over what was just. ~ Evan Currie,
133:24Then fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces. ~ Anonymous,
134:Falsehood enthroned on awed and prostrate hearts
The cults and creeds that organise living death
And slay the soul on the altar of a lie. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Descent into Night,
135:In that first 'fusion' with Jesus (holy communion), it was my Heavenly Mother again who accompanied me to the altar for it was she herself who placed her Jesus into my soul. ~ Saint Therese of Lisieux,
136:If we citizens do not support our artists then we sacrifice our immagination on the altar of cruel reality & we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams." (ppXII) ~ Yann Martel,
137:Until the Quiet Revolution gave women back their bodies and Quebeckers back their lives. It invited the church to leave the womb and restrict itself to the altar. It almost worked. ~ Louise Penny,
138:But only if I believe that my directing talents will improve the material I'd be working on. I want to make sure I don't sacrifice beautiful material on the altar of my direction. ~ Andre Braugher,
139:Easy believeism dishonors the blood and prostitutes the altar. We must alter the altar, for the altar is a place to die on. Let those who will not pay this price leave it alone! ~ Leonard Ravenhill,
140:There was very much in the whole affair of which he would not be proud as he led his bride to the altar;--but a man does not expect to get four thousand pounds a year for nothing. ~ Anthony Trollope,
141:May Mary, who in the freedom of her 'Fiat' and her presence at the foot of the cross, offered to the world, Jesus, the Liberator, help us to find him in the Sacrament of the altar ~ Pope John Paul II,
142:In that first 'fusion' with Jesus (holy communion), it was my Heavenly Mother again who accompanied me to the altar for it was she herself who placed her Jesus into my soul. ~ Saint Therese of Lisieux,
143:We need not hang our heads and beg. All we need to do is lift up our faces and ask. May Jesus touch our lips again with coals from the altar and set our tongues aflame with His holy fire. ~ Beth Moore,
144:You're right. The details of your hopeless quest to sacrifice your individuality on the altar of Chromatic betterment is about as exciting to me as pulling clodworms out of the juniors. ~ Jasper Fforde,
145:Still, some might say it was her duty to endure it. But she could not sacrifice self-respect on the altar of convention. That's rather a good phrase, isn't it? I must have read it somewhere. ~ Jude Morgan,
146:At this time, girls are expected to sacrifice the parts of themselves that our culture considers masculine on the altar of social acceptibility and to shrink their souls down to a petite size ~ Mary Pipher,
147:If proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream. ~ Michelle Obama,
148:The scrutiny was smothering. Right now it seemed that being Vendan within these outpost walls was preferable to being the impudent royal who had abandoned their precious prince at the altar. ~ Mary E Pearson,
149:In a veiled Nature’s hallowed secrecies
It burns for ever on the altar Mind,
Its priests the souls of dedicated gods,
Humanity its house of sacrifice. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Heavens of the Ideal,
150:Her failure to demand her needs, losing all of her years, sacrificing herself on the altar of motherhood to a son who saved himself from eternal extinction, to a son whose desperation she had missed. ~ Cherise Wolas,
151:On our wedding day, my fiancé, James, arrived at the church in a casket. For years I’d dreamed of him waiting for me at the altar, wearing that smile he reserved just for me. It never failed to make ~ Kerry Lonsdale,
152:We give our entire lives on the altar of false gods—money, sex, reputation, work, etc.—and God continues to pursue us. He continues to chase us. He continues to woo us. That is the God of the Bible. ~ Jefferson Bethke,
153:understood what religion was really all about. Or at least was supposed to be about. I didn’t just believe in God; I knew God. As I hobbled to the altar to take Communion, tears streamed down my cheeks. ~ Eben Alexander,
154:There ought to be such an atmosphere in every Christian church that a man going there and sitting two hours should take the contagion of heaven, and carry home a fire to kindle the altar whence he came. ~ Henry Ward Beecher,
155:You're my son. I love you. You work for godless sorcerers who I'd happily gut on the altar of that pyramid and you are part of a system that will one day destroy our city and our planet, but I still love you. ~ Max Gladstone,
156:My attitude of love must be fiercely guarded when considering adding activities. My attitude of love must not be sacrificed on the altar of activity..... mt attitude of love must trump my activity every time. ~ Lysa TerKeurst,
157:The writing of novels is one of the few ways I have found to approach the altar of God and Creation itself. You try to worship God by performing the singularly courageous and impossible favor of knowing yourself. ~ Pat Conroy,
158:They don't worship at the altar of forced busing and mandatory quotas. They don't believe you can remedy past discrimination by mandating new discrimination. (Defending his nominees for Civil Rights Commission) ~ Ronald Reagan,
159:What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger. Start by satisfying his hunger and then with what is left you may adorn the altar as well. ~ Saint John Chrysostom,
160:Our gifts are very pleasant to Him. He loves to see us lay our time, our talents, our substance on the altar not for the value of what we give, but for the sake of the motive from which the gift springs. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
161:Only in the realm of Praising should Lament walk, the naiad of the wept-for fountain, watching over the stream of our complaint, to keep it clear upon the very stone that bears the arch of triumph and the altar.— ~ Rainer Maria Rilke,
162:There is something breathtakingly condescending, as well as inhumane, about the sacrificing of anyone, especially children, on the altar of 'diversity' and the virtue of preserving a variety of religious traditions. ~ Richard Dawkins,
163:a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present. ~ C S Lewis,
164:I thank God for all the victories and conquests I've had this year as a player and I bring to the altar two prizes. This is first my son who is about to be born. The other is my trophy from Fifa, which I want to dedicate to God. ~ Kaka,
165:Columbia Heights was a poor, messed up area, and the church was in the middle of it. What happened inside was a reflection of the community. I actually saw my first rock concert on the altar of that church [St. Stephen's]. ~ Ian MacKaye,
166:Are you making no progress in prayer? Then you need only offer God the prayers which the Savior has poured out for us in the sacrament of the altar. Offer God His fervent love in reparation for your sluggishness. ~ Margaret Mary Alacoque,
167:Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! ~ Anonymous,
168:When it comes to the culture, there's no such thing as peaceful coexistence. If we're not defending truth, fighting for Christian values in all of life, the truth will be sacrificed on the altar of mainstream secularism. ~ Charles Colson,
169:I do not know what has caused MacKinnon to become, and, more surprisingly, to remain, so obsessed with pornography, and so zealous for censorship. But let us not sacrifice our civil liberties on the altar of her obsession. ~ Richard Posner,
170:Bending his head over hers, Leo murmured, "When I give you away at the altar, Bea, I want you to remember something. I'm not really giving you away. I'm merely allowing him the chance to love you as much as the rest of us do. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
171:The bread that you see on the altar is the Body of Christ as soon as it is sanctified by God's word. The chalice, or better what is contained in the chalice, is the Blood of Christ as soon as it is sanctified by God's word ~ Saint Augustine,
172:You wouldn’t expect me to make social calls if you had the remotest idea of the work entailed in bringing two unfortunate persons to the altar.’

Careless words. ‘It takes ten minutes, in my experience,’ Lymond said. ~ Dorothy Dunnett,
173:I swore an oath before the altar of God to protect this woman. And if you're tellin' me that ye consider your own authority to be greater than that of the Almighty, then I must inform ye that I'm not of that opinion, myself. ~ Diana Gabaldon,
174:Leadership that exploits and sacrifices young people on the altar of its goals is nothing more than raw, demonic power. Genuine leadership is found in ceaseless efforts to foster young people, to pave the way forward for them. ~ Daisaku Ikeda,
175:To converse with You, O King of glory, no third person is needed, You are always ready in the Sacrament of the Altar to give audience to all. All who desire You always find You there, and converse with You face to face ~ Saint Teresa of Avila,
176:The role of benefactor is worse than thankless, it's the role of a victim, Doctor, a sacrificial victim, yes, they want your blood, Doctor, they want your blood on the altar steps of their outraged, outrageous egos! ~ Tennessee Williams,
177:O Christ Jesus, really present upon the altar, I cast myself down at Your feet; may all adoration be offered to You in the Sacrament which You left to us on the eve of Your Passion, as the testimony of the excess of Your love! ~ Columba Marmion,
178:When a bishop at the first shot abandons the worship of Christ and rallies his flock round the altar of Mars, he may be acting patriotically... but that does not justify him in pretending...that Christ is, in effect, Mars. ~ George Bernard Shaw,
179:He (Thomas Paine) saw oppression on every hand; injustice everywhere; hypocrisy at the altar; venality on the bench, tyranny on the throne; and with a splendid courage he espoused the cause of the weak against the strong ~ Robert Green Ingersoll,
180:There is nothing original I can offer this child. I am obligated to make an offering, however, a virgin to the gods, a stuffed animal to a new baby. If I lay this gift on the altar, will you promise me I’ll never get pregnant? I ~ Jami Attenberg,
181:...there are more terrifying monstrosities in the world than Anthropophagi. Monstrosities who, with a smile and a comforting pat on the head, are willing to sacrifice a child upon the altar of their own overweening ambition and pride. ~ Rick Yancey,
182:Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother and then come and offer thy gift. ~ Matthew V. 23,
183:You can call happy those who saw Him... But, come to the altar and you will see Him, you will touch Him, you will give to Him holy kisses, you will wash Him with your tears, you will carry Him within you like Mary Most Holy. ~ Saint John Chrysostom,
184:God is everywhere, in the very air I breathe, yes everywhere, but in His Sacrament of the Altar He is as present actually and really as my soul within my body; in His Sacrifice daily offered as really as once offered on the Cross ~ Elizabeth Ann Seton,
185:Man is given faith in himself, his ideas and his powers that he may work and create and rise to greater things and in the end bring his strength as a worthy offering to the altar of the Spirit. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
186:A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason. Think of it as the altar of the Muse Oblivion, to whom you sacrifice your botched first drafts, the tokens of your human imperfection. ~ Margaret Atwood,
187:Gay men are guardians of the masculine impulse. To have anonymous sex in a dark alleyway is to pay homage to the dream of male freedom. The unknown stranger is a wandering pagan god. The altar, as in pre-history, is anywhere you kneel. ~ Camille Paglia,
188:We live sacrificially when we’re outside the will of God, giving up all sorts of things that were meant to be ours in Christ. We want to claim those things back, but in the process we’re going to be putting a few other things on the altar. ~ Beth Moore,
189:Thank God for 9/11. Thank God that, five years ago, the wrath of God was poured out upon this evil nation. America, land of the sodomite damned. We thank thee, Lord God Almighty, for answering the prayers of those that are under the altar. ~ Fred Phelps,
190:It was harvest festival. The altar steps were spread with an array of offerings. Sheaves of corn, marrows of yellow and green, new potatoes in baskets, and several bushels of beans filled the church air with the fertile scent of autumn. ~ Elizabeth George,
191:Look at how far astray the man’s adoration had led him—so many misguided betrayals, each of them a burnt offering at the altar of her memory. But now you could sense the dawning realization that he had built a flawed temple to a false god. ~ Dan Fesperman,
192:The goal isn't to be restrictive or tight about what passes through the altar (your mouth) and into the temple (your body). It's to create sustainable and consistent energy for every deserving cell in your body. That, my friends, is true love. ~ Kris Carr,
193:We can no longer afford to worship the God of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals ~ Martin Luther King Jr,
194:Story writers say that love is concerned only with young people, and the excitement and glamour of romance end at the altar. How blind they are. The best romance is inside marriage; the finest love stories come after the wedding, not before. ~ Irving Stone,
195:The Truth-light in the cavern heart
That burns unwitnessed in the altar crypt
Behind the still velamen’s secrecy
Companioning the Godhead of the shrine. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The World of Falsehood, the Mother of Evil and the Sons of Darkness,
196:Be creative. Don`t be worried about what you are doing - one has to do many things - but do everything creatively, with devotion. Then your work becomes worship. Then whatsoever you do is a prayer. And whatsoever you do is an offering at the altar. ~ Rajneesh,
197:Someone once told the Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor that it is more open-minded to think that the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is a great, wonderful, powerful symbol.

Her response was, “If it’s only a symbol, to hell with it. ~ Flannery O Connor,
198:Although I’d had no trouble looking at the casket the day before, on that Saturday I did my best to keep my eyes averted. I stared instead at the stained-glass window behind the altar and imagined shooting the panes out with a slingshot. ~ William Kent Krueger,
199:I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom. ~ Abraham Lincoln,
200:Satan and his devils want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow's end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the Future every real gift which is offered them in the Present. ~ C S Lewis,
201:[A novel by Henry James] is like a church lit but without a congregation to distract you, with every light and line focused on the high altar. And on the altar, very reverently place, intensely there, is a dead kitten, an egg-shell, a bit of string. ~ H G Wells,
202:Thus [the altar] brings heaven into the community assembled on earth, or rather it takes the community beyond itself into the communion of saints of all times and places. We might put it this way: the altar is the place where heaven is opened up. ~ Benedict XVI,
203:We live in a technocratic culture. We worship at the altar of technology. Our lives are increasingly shaped by the machinations of the techies. It is vital, therefore, for all of us to think hard about the role the technical plays in our lives. ~ David Roochnik,
204:You’ve already learned, haven’t you, that a promise made is not always a promise kept? Just because someone is called your dad, that doesn’t mean he will act like your dad. Even though they said “yes” on the altar, they may say “no” in the marriage. ~ Max Lucado,
205:Donald Lydecker: Alcoholism is not a disease, it's a failing. You've turned it into a church. You worship the altar of self-pity. I come to these rooms for one reason, to remember what I don't want to become... helpless, impotent, and weak. ~ James Francis Cameron,
206:Twice we stood beside each other at the altar, Rosie. Twice. And twice
we got it wrong. I needed you to be there for my wedding day but I was too
stupid to see that I needed you to be the reason for my wedding day. But we
got it all wrong. ~ Cecelia Ahern,
207:It has been called yajna (sacred fire offerings). The digestive fire is the sacred fire burning in the pit of your stomach; each bite of food is an oblation and each sip of drink is a libation. This is in the temple of your body, at the altar of your soul. ~ Om Swami,
208:23Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. ~ Anonymous,
209:As I sat there in the pew during the altar call, I suddenly understood that if I didn’t surrender to Him I would go to Hell when I died. It wasn’t Hell itself that scared me—or not just Hell. It was the idea that my mother was going to Heaven without me. ~ Daryl Gregory,
210:A priest once quoted to me the Roman saying that a religion is dead when the priests laugh at each other across the altar. I always laugh at the altar, be it Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist, because real religion is the transformation of anxiety into laughter. ~ Alan Watts,
211:Yvette had never talked about her marriage - she was a smart girl, and she knew you had no right to complain about someone you got all the way to the altar with. You made that choice, even if you were a child when you did it, and the marriage vow was sacred. ~ Maile Meloy,
212:A priest once quoted to me the Roman saying that a religion is dead when the priests laugh at each other across the altar. I always laugh at the altar, be it Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist, because real religion is the transformation of anxiety into laughter. ~ Alan W Watts,
213:Our politicians have sacrificed their principles on the altar of special interests; our corporate leaders have sacrificed their integrity on the altar of profits; and our media watchdogs have sacrificed the voice of dissent on the altar of audience competition. ~ Cornel West,
214:We cannot have an authentic witness to the world without having an authentic apologetic of Christianity. Hence, the use of reasonable apologetics and biblical distinctives cannot be sacrificed at the altar of political correctness and cultural contextualization. ~ Paul Copan,
215:Every day He humbles Himself just as He did when from from His heavenly throne into the Virgin's womb; every day He comes to us and lets us see Him in lowliness, when He descends from the bosom of the Father into the hands of the priest at the altar. ~ Saint Francis of Assisi,
216:Hey, where’s your girlfriend? The one that was down at Flamingo?” “Oh, she’s home cleaning the machine guns.” Tool wasn’t sure if the guy was joking. Then, out of the blue, it hit him—that’s who the picture on the altar looked like: the blackmailer’s girlfriend. ~ Carl Hiaasen,
217:We must rouse in our people the unanimous wish for power in this sense, together with the determination to sacrifice on the altar of patriotism, not only life and property, but also private views and preferences in the interests of the common welfare. ~ Friedrich von Bernhardi,
218:The general advertisers and their agencies know almost nothing for sure, because they cannot measure the results of their advertising. They worship at the altar of creativity, which really means 'originality': The most dangerous word in the lexicon of advertising ~ David Ogilvy,
219:If I found I didn’t like him, I’d leave him at the altar. If I found I didn’t like him, I’d leave him even after the altar. I’d leave him any time I found I didn’t like him. It’s all very well to talk of aroma, but to live with a man you don’t like — is the devil! ~ Anthony Trollope,
220:Keep the altar of private prayer burning. This is the very life of all piety. The altars of church and family borrow their fires from here, so let this one burn well. Secret devotion is the very essence, evidence, and barometer of vital, experiential religion. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
221:The problem with a living sacrifice is that it can crawl off the altar, so you may have to resurrender your life fifty times a day. You must make it a daily habit. Jesus said, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing to give ~ Anonymous,
222:The tendency of organization is to kill out the spirit which gave it birth. Organizations do not protect the sacredness of the individual; their tendency is to sink the individual in the mass, to sacrifice his rights, and to immolate him on the altar of some fancied good. ~ Angelina Grimke,
223:With the advances of science he saw moral perspective being lost. Science and technology practically took on the role of religion, so that man was actually worshipping at the altar of science, a fallacy, if not a heresy, that could lead to the undoing of the American spirit. ~ Winston Groom,
224:Marriage is sacred. It was created to be the wedding portrait of Christ and His Bride hung over the blazing fireplace of judgment. A match made in Heaven, a contract signed in blood. In the bond of marriage, we are to stand at the altar of Sacrifice or we're not to stand at all. ~ Beth Moore,
225:Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women, one in Drimoleague and one in Clonakilty, Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish of Goleen, West Cork, and denounced my mother as a whore. ~ John Boyne,
226:SHE might, so noble from head
To great shapely knees
The long flowing line,
Have walked to the altar
Through the holy images
At pallas Athene's Side,
Or been fit spoil for a centaur
Drunk with the unmixed wine.

~ William Butler Yeats, A Thought From Propertius
,
227:Demanding domestic security in times of war invites carelessness in preserving civil liberties and the right of privacy. Frequently the people are only too anxious for their freedoms to be sacrificed on the altar of authoritarianism thought to be necessary to remain safe and secure. ~ Ron Paul,
228:The thing [Henry James'] novel is about is always there. It is like a church lit but without a congregation to distract you, with every light and line focused on the high altar. And on the altar, very reverently placed, intensely there, is a dead kitten, an egg-shell, a bit of string. ~ H G Wells,
229:Now, by the altar,
Over the victim
Ripe for our ritual,
Sing this enchantment:
A song without music,
A sword in the senses,
A storm in the heart
And a fire in the brain;
A clamour of Furies
To paralyse reason,
A tune full of terror,
A drought in the soul! ~ Aeschylus,
230:That’s the stuff!” he jeered. “Give the prosperous man the dickens! Legislate the thriftless man into ease, whack the stuffing out of the creditors. . . . Whoop it up for the ragged trousers; put the lazy, greasy fizzle, who can’t pay his debts, on the altar, and bow down and worship him. ~ Anonymous,
231:I hope that your example attracts many souls to the adoration of Jesus Christ who is present on the altar to be of comfort and hope to those who confide in him with faith and love; they look on him as the Emmanuel, God with us, who wished to dwell amongst us: his heart in our heart ~ Pope John Paul II,
232:Before he knelt down to pray before the altar in the bedroom, he ended the recital of his misery with a sigh as mournful as it was sincere: “I think I am going to die.” She did not even blink when she replied. “That would be best,” she said. “Then we could both have some peace. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
233:We can’t do these things in the force, Mr. Holmes,” said he. “No wonder you get results that are beyond us. But some of these days you’ll go too far, and you’ll find yourself and your friend in trouble.” “For England, home and beauty—eh, Watson? Martyrs on the altar of our country. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle,
234:We must be willing to place all that we have--not just our possessions (they may be the easiest things of all to give up), but also our ambition and pride and stubbornness and vanity--we must place it all on the altar of God, kneel there in silent submission, and willingly walk away. ~ Jeffrey R Holland,
235:Since once again, O Lord, in the steppes of Asia, I have no bread, no wine, no altar, I will raise myself above those symbols to the pure majesty of reality, and I will offer to you, I, your priest, upon the altar of the entire earth, the labor and the suffering of the world. ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,
236:I stared at the thick gold cross on the altar. It reflected every one of us: the pious and the ungodly; the opportunist and the devout. Each of us had our reasons for being there, quiet and expectant, and secreted between the pages of a hymnbook. How would God manage to answer us all? “Lamb ~ Joanna Cannon,
237:A true priest is aware of the presence of the altar during every moment that he is conducting a service. It is exactly the same way that a true artist should react to the stage all the time he is in the theater. An actor who is incapable of this feeling will never be a true artist. ~ Constantin Stanislavski,
238:The Nazis have killed priests helping Jews. They’ve pulled them right off the altar while they were saying Mass.” “We have heard that, too,” the priest said. “But we can’t stop loving our fellow man, Pino, because we’re frightened. If we lose love, all is lost. We just have to get smarter. ~ Mark T Sullivan,
239:wonder if the Lord’s broken body doesn’t in some way mirror the brokenness of the body that limps and stumbles bleeding to the altar. As much as we must learn to discern goodness in the world around us, we must learn to discern it within His Body to see its goodness despite its brokenness. ~ Hannah Anderson,
240:At that moment his soul is fuller of the tomb and him who lies there than of the altar and Him of whom it speaks. Such stages have to be gone through, I believe, by all young and brave souls, who must win their way through hero-worship to the worship of Him who is the King and Lord of heroes. ~ Thomas Hughes,
241:When the Lord is known as the heart of every joy, as well as the refuge from every sorrow, then the altar will be known for what it is—an ecclesiastical antique. The Father permitted but never ordained sacrifice; in tenderness to his children he ordered the ways of their unbelieving belief. ~ George MacDonald,
242:Afflictions, persecutions, imprisonments, and death, we must expect, according to the scriptures, which tell us that the blood of those whose souls were under the altar could not be avenged on them that dwell on the earth, until their brethren should be slain as they were.

[DHC, 3:331] ~ Joseph Smith Jr,
243:But it was definitely a hecatomb, a slaughter on a staggering scale that was not intentional, but that could have been recognized much earlier as the collateral damage of a perfidious, rapacious policy of exploitation, a living sacrifice on the altar of the pathological pursuit of profit. ~ David Van Reybrouck,
244:This is the sacrifice of Christians: we, being many, are one body in Christ. And this also is the sacrifice which the Church continually celebrates in the sacrament of the altar, known to the faithful, in which she teaches that she herself is offered in the offering she makes to God. ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo,
245:Religion assures us that our afflictions shall have an end; she comforts us, she dries our tears, she promises us another life. On the contrary, in the abominable worship of atheism, human woes are the incense, death is the priest, a coffin the altar, and annihilation the Deity. ~ Francois Rene de Chateaubriand,
246:The priest is immense because he makes others believe in a heap of weird things. The Church wanting to do everything and be everything: it is a law of human spirit. Peoples adore authority. Priests are the servants and followers of imagination. The throne and the altar: revolutionary maxim. ~ Charles Baudelaire,
247:As you submit your wills to God, you are giving Him the only thing you can actually give Him that is really yours to give. Don't wait too long to find the altar or to begin to place the gift of your wills upon it! No need to wait for a receipt; the Lord has His own special ways of acknowledging. ~ Neal A Maxwell,
248:The Nazis have killed priests helping Jews. They’ve pulled them right off the altar while they were saying Mass.” “We have heard that, too,” the priest said. “But we can’t stop loving our fellow man, Pino, because we’re frightened. If we lose love, all is lost. We just have to get smarter.” The ~ Mark T Sullivan,
249:The Eucharist completes the restoration begun in the Crib. Make merry therefore on this beautiful day, on which the sun of the Eucharist is rising. Let your gratitude never separate the Crib from the Altar, the Word made flesh from the God-Man made Bread of Life in the Most Blessed Sacrament ~ Peter Julian Eymard,
250:It may well be that the world is denied miracle after miracle and triumph after triumph because we will not bring to Christ what we have and what we are. If, just as we are, we would lay ourselves on the altar of service of Jesus Christ, there is no saying what Christ could do with us and through us. ~ William Barclay,
251:A church is a wonderful place for a wedding, surrounded as it is by the legions of the dead, whose listening bones bear silent witness to every promise made—and broken—at the altar. Dead now, every last one of them, including the man who invented the rule about not putting your elbows on the dinner table. ~ Alan Bradley,
252:You heard me, only Friend whom I love. To ravish my heart, you became man. You shed your blood, what a supreme mystery!... And you still live for me on the Altar. If I cannot see the brilliance of your Face Or hear your sweet voice, O my God, I can live by your grace, I can rest on your Sacred Heart! ~ Saint Therese of Lisieux,
253:What the altar-bound of today end up buying from their numberless vendors is a dog's breakfast of bridal excess - part society wedding of the twenties, part Long Island Italian wedding of the fifties. It's The Philadelphia Story and The Wedding Singer served up together in one curious and costly buffet. ~ Caitlin Flanagan,
254:Is not the festive season when families and friends exchange gifts in memory of The Gift laid on the altar of the world for the redemption of the human race, the most appropriate time to consecrate a portion from abounding riches and scant poverty to send forth the good tidings of great joy into all the earth? ~ Lottie Moon,
255:Havishya-anna means food that is fit for the gods. Literally, it means food that is fit for oblations. Your body is the temple, the altar, and deserves your utmost respect; the living god in your body is your mind. Your food is one of the greatest offerings to this god – it affects both your body and your mind. For ~ Om Swami,
256:You heard me, only Friend whom I love. To ravish my heart, you became man. You shed your blood, what a supreme mystery!... And you still live for me on the Altar. If I cannot see the brilliance of your Face Or hear your sweet voice, O my God, I can live by your grace, I can rest on your Sacred Heart! ~ Saint Therese of Lisieux,
257:I am not a twenty-two-year-old boy; I am not a besotted fool. If you think to jilt me, think again. For I will not turn tail and run the other way as he did, oh no. I will find you, and I will drag you to the altar on your back if need be, no matter how you might be screaming. No matter how scandalous it might be. ~ Brenda Joyce,
258:You want my take, there’s nothing wrong with matching people up according to the stars, because at least someone gave a thought to it. Lots of deuces leap the altar ’cause they like getting sacked, and lots of girls agree ’cause they think they got no choice. Ain’t fair to the human race, and that’s the short of it. ~ Stacey Lee,
259:(Scarlett) Go on! Go on now! I want you to hurry. I don't want to ever see you again. I hope a cannon ball lands right on you. I hope it blows you to a million pieces. I--

(Rhett) Never mind the rest. I follow your general idea. When I'm dead on the altar of my country, I hope your conscience hurts you. ~ Margaret Mitchell,
260:When I think of how much this world has suffered; when I think of how long our fathers were slaves, of how they cringed and crawled at the foot of the throne, and in the dust of the altar, of how they abased themselves, of how abjectly they stood in the presence of superstition robed and crowned, I am amazed. ~ Robert G Ingersoll,
261:could only be permanently overcome by a being of both deity and humanity, a kind of “god-man” that could become an eternal sacrifice. But he thought his imagination got away from him, for such a thing seemed impossible indeed. Eleazer then took a censer full of coals from the altar and brought it into the Tent of Meeting. ~ Brian Godawa,
262:looked up at the crucifix over the altar, and slowly his expression grew hard and demanding. What’s your part in this monkey business? Will you answer? Do you want to call a lawyer? Shall I read you your rights? Take it easy. I’m your friend. I can get you protection. Just answer me a few little questions, all right? ~ William Peter Blatty,
263:All said and done, my friends, it will be an ill day for us if what most humans mean by ‘religion’ ever vanishes from the Earth. It can still send us the truly delicious sins. The fine flower of unholiness can grow only in the close neighbourhood of the Holy. Nowhere do we tempt so successfully as on the very steps of the altar. ~ C S Lewis,
264:Then they went up the steps of the neighbouring Saint George's Church, and went up to the altar, where Daniel Doyce was waiting in his paternal character. And there was Little Dorrit's old friend who had given her the Burial Register for a pillow; full of admiration that she should come back to them to be married, after all. ~ Charles Dickens,
265:Then they went up the steps of the neighbouring Saint George's Church, and went up to the altar, where Daniel Doyce was waiting in his paternal character. And there was Little Dorrit's old friend who had given her the Burial Register for a pillow; full of admiration that she should come back to them to be married, after all. And ~ Charles Dickens,
266:She should have. All woman should see it. It’s a face that ought to be thrown on every screen in the country. Every woman ought to be given a copy of this face as she leaves the altar. Mothers should tell their daughters about this face. My son” – he pointed the razor at me – “go west with this face and grow up with the country. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
267:There is nothing pleasanter than all this, although a man when so treated does feel himself to look like a calf at the altar, ready for the knife, with blue ribbons round his horns and neck. Crosbie felt that he was such a calf, — and the more calf-like, in that he had not as yet dared to ask a question about his wife’s fortune. ~ Anthony Trollope,
268:His scowl deepened. “If he wanted to hurt Will, he could have easily come here when I was at work, but no, he respected your feelings, and he allowed us to come together in our own time.”
“As opposed to what? Dragging me up by my hair to the altar?” Bree asked.
“Well that was his suggestion. I suggested a more diplomatic approach. ~ E Jamie,
269:Everyone knows the beautiful story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac. How this noble father led his child to the slaughter; how Isaac meekly submitted; how the farce went on till the lad was bound and laid on the altar, and how God then stopped the murder, and blessed the intending murderer for his willingness to commit the crime. ~ Annie Besant,
270:Such was the will of the Father that his Son, blessed and glorious, whom he gave to us, and who was born for us, should by his own blood, sacrifice, and oblation, offer himself on the altar of the cross, not for himself, by whom "all things were made," but for our sins, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps. ~ Saint Francis of Assisi,
271:I once ventured to say to an old clergyman who was voicing this sort of patriotism, "But, sir, aren't we told that every people thinks its own men the bravest and its own women the fairest in the world?" He replied with total gravity—he could not have been graver if he had been saying the Creed at the altar—"Yes, but in England it's true. ~ C S Lewis,
272:Blake pushed open the door by the altar. His rented tuxedo was crisp, the bow tie perfectly straight. Livia stopped and let the sight of him evaporate her common sense.
When his eyes found hers, he placed a hand over his heart, as if it might stop again. “You are so lovely,” he said.
Livia wrinkled her nose and blew him a kiss. ~ Debra Anastasia,
273:As for me, I'm modern and traditional at the same time. I, too, believe in intimacy—who doesn't? But I also believe in commitment. Marriage is, as she says, "a peculiar institution." My parents' divorce made it clear what kinds of raw deals are brokered at the altar. But right now, in America, marriage is the closest thing to what I want. ~ Tayari Jones,
274:Ask yourself these three questions, Tatiana Metanova, and you will know who you are. Ask: what do you believe in? What do you hope for? But most important - ask: what do you love?

... I know who I am, she thought, taking his hand and turning to the altar. I am Tatiana. And I believe in, and hope for, and love Alexander for life. ~ Paullina Simons,
275:they reach the altar. You are the supervisor before you get the title. If you’re not supervisor material, you still won’t be one even after you get the job. If you’re not good husband or wife material, you still won’t be one even after you say “I do.” Your mind is already where you were called to be while you await the actual fulfillment. As ~ T D Jakes,
276:When the bee has gathered the dew of heaven and the earth's sweetest nectar from the flowers, it turns it into honey, then hastens to its hive. In the same way, the priest, having taken from the altar the Son of God (who is as the dew from heaven, and true son of Mary, flower of our humanity), gives him to you as delicious food. ~ Saint Francis de Sales,
277:She lit a candle and set it down at the altar amid a sea of tiny flames. Each of them the same, as if all the dreams and desires of people were indistinguishable from one another. The prayer of a female poet, perhaps the only one in Eivar, no different from a mother’s prayer for her sickening infant or a farmer’s prayer for a good harvest. ~ Ilana C Myer,
278:The clergy ... believe that any portion of power confided to me [as President] will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
279:There are the moments you know you’ll remember forever as soon they happen: your engagement, standing at the altar and saying “I do,” the news of your spouse cheating, someone saying the words “you’re fired.” All those beautiful and wretched pieces of news available on your personal movie reel at any second and until the end of time. Still, ~ Michelle Gable,
280:When you are before the altar where Christ reposes, you ought no longer to think that you are amongst men; but believe that there are troops of angels and archangels standing by you, and trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear, and veneration. ~ Saint John Chrysostom,
281:A grievous blow has struck the ghetto. They are asking us to give up the best we possess – the children and the elderly . . . I never thought I would be forced to deliver the sacrifice to the altar with my own hands . . . I must stretch out my hands and beg: Brothers and sisters, hand them over to me. Fathers and mothers, give me your children! ~ Wendy Holden,
282:And in any preaching you do, admonish the people concerning repentance, and that nobody can be saved except he who receives the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord. And when It is sacrificed on the altar by the priest or borne anywhere, let all the people on bended knees render praise, glory and honor to the True and Living Lord God. ~ Saint Francis of Assisi,
283:I realized that for years I'd thought of love as something that would complete me, make all my troubles go away. I worshipped at the altar of romantic completion. And it had cost me, plenty of times. ANd it had cost me most of the girls I'd dated, too, because I wanted them to be something they weren't. It's too much pressure to put on a person. ~ Donald Miller,
284:. . . distinction . . . between initiation and the hero . . . act of climbing a mountain . . . trial of strength . . . the will to achieve . . . a scene by the altar . . . task is rather to submit to a power greater than himself. He must see himself as if he were dead . . . only by such an act of submission can . . . experience rebirth. P. 125 ~ Carl Gustav Jung,
285:I, a fervent anti-Christian from early teenage years and a materialist in my heart of hearts, had in one second, without any reflection, got to my feet, walked up the aisle and knelt in front of the altar. It had been pure impulse. And, meeting those glares, I had no defence, I couldn’t say I was a Christian. I looked down, slightly ashamed. ~ Karl Ove Knausg rd,
286:We can no longer afford to worship the God of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. Love is the key to the solution of the problems of the world. ~ Martin Luther King Jr,
287:... it was religion that saved me. Our ugly church and parochial school provided me with my only aesthetic outlet, in the words ofthe Mass and the litanies and the old Latin hymns, in the Easter lilies around the altar, rosaries, ornamented prayer books, votive lamps, holy cards stamped in gold and decorated with flower wreaths and a saint's picture. ~ Mary McCarthy,
288:I know you've been aching to have your hands on my staff," I said to Ascher, as Nicodemus examined the altar for himself. I held out my hand. "But I'd rather be the one fondling my tool. Wizards are weird like that."

"Wow," she said, and flashed me a grin, her face flushed, excited. "You left me nowhere to go with that one. I have nothing to add. ~ Jim Butcher,
289:The world that we live in is full of distractions and pleasures that pull us away from a spiritual life. Even our jobs which are a very necessary and important part of our lives can end up being the altar at which we pray. They consume most of our waking hours and provide the income on which we are dependent in order to take care of our families. ~ Michael Huffington,
290:When I give you away at the altar, Bea, I want you to remember something. I’m not really giving you away. I’m merely allowing him the chance to love you as much as the rest of us do.”
Beatrix’s eyes watered, and she leaned against him. “He does,” she whispered.
“I think so, too,” her brother whispered back. “I wouldn’t let you marry him otherwise. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
291:The Christian, the Mohammedan, the Jew - their emphasis is on the second: to die as soon as possible, to surrender to God. Prayer is their way. Prayer means dying, dying and disappearing as a person, becoming part of the universal, a surrender, a trust in God. The whole emphasis is on how to surrender your ego, sacrifice your ego, at the altar of the divine. ~ Rajneesh,
292:How had he believed that nameless, faceless orgasms would ever satisfy him? He’d spent his life worshipping at the altar of a silent, absent god who promised everything but delivered something fleeting that always left him wanting. He’d trafficked in lust masquerading as eros. But nothing had been further from reality. Vanity of vanities. All is vanity. ~ Sylvain Reynard,
293:I want to stand at the altar while you walk down the aisle in a beautiful dress. I’ll take you to Italy on our honeymoon, and then we’ll come home and make love every chance we get until you’re pregnant.” He smiled. “And we’ll fill our house with children—as many as you want—and I will be the most blessed man who ever lived. All because you’re mine. ~ Denise Grover Swank,
294:But this hunger must be recognized by our religious leaders. Current evangelicalism has (to change the figure) laid the altar and divided the sacrifice into parts, but now seems satisfied to count the stones and rearrange the pieces with never a care that there is not a sign of fire upon the top of lofty Carmel. But God be thanked that there are a few who care. ~ A W Tozer,
295:Alberto Ascari says there have been atrocities, Father,” Pino said. “The Nazis have killed priests helping Jews. They’ve pulled them right off the altar while they were saying Mass.” “We have heard that, too,” the priest said. “But we can’t stop loving our fellow man, Pino, because we’re frightened. If we lose love, all is lost. We just have to get smarter. ~ Mark T Sullivan,
296:We have been taught to keep the commandments, and we have kept them all too well. We have enshrined them like religious relics in sealed containers on the altar. Thus, it could be said that one lives by the commandments in much the same way as many persons live by a neighbor, never learning his name, let alone having any understanding communication with him. ~ Eric Butterworth,
297:There is nothing else which better exposes the modern Left’s rank hypocrisy, their disregard for the facts, and their hatred for the West and all it stands for than their attitude to Islam. Every noble principle the Left claims to uphold, from rights for women to gay liberation, even diversity itself, dies on the altar of its sycophantic defense of Islam. Karl ~ Milo Yiannopoulos,
298:Being left at the altar was not for sissies. Aside from the humiliation and hurt, there were actual logistics to worry about. Odds were if a guy was willing to leave you standing alone in front of three hundred of your closest friends and relatives, not to mention both your mothers, he wasn't going to sweat the little stuff like returning the gifts and paying the caterer. ~ Susan Mallery,
299:These three religious leaders were standing before the altar, beating their breasts with great humility, saying how, before God, they were nothing. Shortly, one of the lowly acolytes in the church approached and started to beat his chest, professing that he, too, was nothing. When the three bishops heard him, one elbowed the other and said, “Look who thinks he’s nothing. ~ Dalai Lama XIV,
300:O my child, bethink you that just as the bee, having gathered heaven's dew and earth's sweetest juices from amid the flowers, carries it to her hive; so the Priest, having taken the Saviour, God's Own Son, Who came down from Heaven, the Son of Mary, Who sprang up as earth's choicest flower, from the Altar, feeds you with that Bread of Sweetness and of all delight. ~ Saint Francis de Sales,
301:Seizing a cudgel from the nearest priest, he laid about him like a veritable demon as he forged his rapid way toward the altar. The hand of La had paused at the first noise of interruption. When she saw who the author of it was she went white. She had never been able to fathom the secret of the strange white man's escape from the dungeon in which she had locked him. ~ Edgar Rice Burroughs,
302:The church has only one altar, the altar of the Almighty . . . before which all creatures must kneel. . . . Whoever seeks something other than this must keep away; he cannot join us in the house of God. . . . The church has only one pulpit, and from that pulpit, faith in God will be preached, and no other faith, and no other will than the will of God, however well-intentioned. ~ Eric Metaxas,
303:The trouble with a great many men is that they spread themselves out over too much ground. They fail in everything. If they would only put their life into one channel, and keep it in, they would accomplish something. They make no impression because they do a little work here and a little work there....Lay yourselves on the altar of God, and then concentrate on some one work. ~ Dwight L Moody,
304:I want you to speak to the faithful of the Holy Mass as a true sacrifice. They have forgotten this. No one thinks any more to tell them that the action of the Eucharist renews My sacrifice upon the Cross, and that I am present upon the altar as upon the Cross, as both Priest and Victim. It is the whole of My sacrifice of love that unfolds before their eyes. You must tell them this. ~ Anonymous,
305:Stained-glass windows glowed faintly in the moonlight streaming through, illuminating the sculpture of Christ on the cross that hung above the altar.
It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

Then the sculpture seemed to move, and Christ’s body twisted on the cross to look directly at him. ...Jesus, the son of God and his saviour, seemed be smiling at him. ~ Phillip W Simpson,
306:The Jew continues to monopolize money, and he loosens or strangles the throat of the state with the loosening or strengthening of his purse strings...He has empowered himself with the engines of the press, which he uses to batter at the foundations of society. He is at the bottom of...every enterprise that will demolish first of all thrones, afterwards the altar, afterwards civil law. ~ Franz Liszt,
307:We dare not trim stones to make God an altar, for if we do we ruin everything. We would spend time bringing people to the altar and saying, "Look at those beautiful stones we trimmed!" We merely need to accept the work that God has done for us in Christ. The object of His restrictions is to help us see how wonderful He is and to spend the rest of our lives rendering true worship to Him. ~ Max Anders,
308:And at that moment Pierre felt that Hélène not only could, but must, be his wife, and that it could not be otherwise. He knew this at that moment as surely as if he had been standing at the altar with her. How and when this would be he did not know, he did not even know if it would be a good thing (he even felt, he knew not why, that it would be a bad thing), but he knew it would happen. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
309:But I do want to take my life's work right now, today—whether it's a book I'm writing or a phone call I'm making or a meal I'm cooking—and I want to hold it all in my open hand with a Spirit-breathed prayer and intention. I want to be filled with the knowing that we are all a fragile universe needing love in this moment before I lay my gift on the altar and ask for holy fire to descend. ~ Sarah Bessey,
310:In an ideal world, marriage vows would be entirely rewritten. At the altar, a couple would speak thus: "We accept not to panic when, some years from now, what we are doing today will seem like the worst decision of our lives. Yet we promise not to look around, either, fro we accept that there cannot be better options out there. Everyone is always impossible. We are a demented species. ~ Alain de Botton,
311:The Prodigal Son story is, I think, the greatest short-story ever written. It has such drama in it, such great characters, it's so clear and concise, and it's entertaining in the sense that everyone can relate to it. But you have no doubt what our Lord was trying to communicate in the heart of that story. So the truth was not sacrificed on the altar of entertainment in that case. And it can be. ~ Max Lucado,
312:Therefore I permit every man to hold either of these opinions, as he chooses. My one concern at present is to remove all scruples of conscience, so that no one may fear being called a heretic if he believes that real bread and real wine are present on the altar, and that every one may feel at liberty to ponder, hold, and believe either one view or the other without endangering his salvation. ~ Martin Luther,
313:His touch was simple, but specific, meant to show me he could be like a lover, gentle, intimate, but also that he was a man unaccustomed to hearing the word no. Yes. I understood. He was a man, and I? I was nothing but a girl, not even a woman. I was meant to fall at his feet and worship at the altar of his masculinity, grateful that he’d deigned to acknowledge me. All this, from a simple touch. ~ C J Roberts,
314:I’d thought that this place would be the center of my world. Standing on the sidewalk after my emotional rollercoaster of a day, I could see how cold and empty that existence would have been. Countless hours spent worshipping at the altar of the almighty dollar. Superficial friendships based on social capital and influence. And probably a loveless marriage born of parental and societal pressure. ~ Meghan March,
315:Okay,” she said. “Good question. I’m the idiot box. I’m the TV. I’m the all-seeing eye and the world of the cathode ray. I’m the boob tube. I’m the little shrine the family gathers to adore.” “You’re the television? Or someone in the television?” “The TV’s the altar. I’m what people are sacrificing to.” “What do they sacrifice?” asked Shadow. “Their time, mostly,” said Lucy. “Sometimes each other. ~ Neil Gaiman,
316:This is one of the consequences of a superior education, you see. In this independent, hundred-per-cent-empowered and fully and totally indigenous blacker-than-black country, a superior education is one that the whites would value, and as whites do not value local languages at the altar of what the whites deem supreme. So it was in colonial times, and so it remains, more than thirty years later. ~ Petina Gappah,
317:a silent concave of puppet buffoons
neither eagles nor jaguars
buzzard lawyers
locuses
wings of ink sawing mindibles
ventriloquist coyotes
peddlers of shadows
beneficent satraps
the cacomistle thief of hens
the monument to the Rattle and its snake
the altar to the mauser and the machete
the mausoleum of the epauletted cayman
rhetoric sculpted in phrases of cement ~ Octavio Paz,
318:A chaplain is the minister of the Prince of Peace serving the host of the God of War--Mars. As such, he is as incongruous as a musket would be on the altar at Christmas. Why, then, is he there? Because he indirectly subserves the purpose attested by the cannon; because too he lends the sanction of the religion of the meek to that which practically is the abrogation of everything but brute Force. ~ Herman Melville,
319:Many Christians take their time and have leisure enough in their social life (no hurry here). They are leisurely, too, in their professionally activities, at table and recreation (no hurry here either). But isn't it strange how those same Christians find themselves in such a rush and want to hurry the priest, in their anxiety to shorten the time devoted to the most holy sacrifice of the altar? ~ Josemaria Escriva,
320:On the first of May, with my comrades of the catechism class, I laid lilac, chamomile and rose before the altar of the Virgin, and returned full of pride to show my blessed posy. My mother laughed her irreverent laugh and, looking at my bunch of flowers, which was bringing the may-bug into the sitting-room right under the lamp, she said: Do you suppose it wasn't already blessed before? ~ Sidonie Gabrielle Colette,
321:Bending his head over hers, Leo murmured, "When I give you away at the altar, Bea, I want you to remember something. I'm not really giving you away. I'm merely allowing him the chance to love you as much as the rest of us do."

Beatrix's eyes watered, and he leaned against him. "He does," she whispered.

"I think so, too," her brother whispered back. "I wouldn't let you marry him otherwise. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
322:As I lay down my pen, let me record my immovable conviction that this is the noblest service in which any human being can spend or be spent; and that, if God gave me back my life to be lived over again, I would without one quiver of hesitation lay it on the altar to Christ, that He might use it as before in similar ministries of love, especially amongst those who have never yet heard the Name of Jesus. ~ John Gibson Paton,
323:
   The priest an ignorant mage who only makes
   Futile mutations in the altar's plan
   And casts blind hopes into a powerless flame.
   A burden of transient gains weighs down her steps
   And hardly under that load can she advance;
   But the hours cry to her, she travels on
   Passing from thought to thought, from want to want;
   Her greatest progress is a deepened need.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Growth of the Flame,
324:There are different kinds of fire; there is false fire. No one knows this better than we do, but we are not such fools as to refuse good bank notes because there are false ones in circulation; and although we see here and there manifestations of what appears to us to be nothing more than mere earthly fire, we none the less prize and value, and seek for the genuine fire which comes from the altar of the Lord. ~ William Booth,
325:I already live like you," Evan lifted his head and looked straight into Christian's eyes. "I'm living like you right now, without her. If she leaves me when I ask her to marry me, or at the altar, or tomorrow, I could still say I tried. I could still say I loved her, that I kissed her, I held her." Evan inhaled a deep breath, his chest swelling with the intensity of it. "Without her, I'll just rot into nothing. ~ Allie Burke,
326:The Catholic Church discourages non-Catholics from receiving the Eucharist, so I remained in my seat as the twenty or so congregants approached the altar to receive the elements. The "Not Catholic?" part of my brochure suggested I use this moment to "pray for the reunification of the church," which, though I'm sure it was unintended, sounded a lot like, "You sit here and think about that schism you caused. ~ Rachel Held Evans,
327:My Lord Jesus Christ, who, for the love You bear to mankind, do remain night and day in this Sacrament, full of pity and love, awaiting, calling, and receiving all who come to visit You; I believe that You are present in the Sacrament of the Altar; I adore You from the depths of my own nothingness; I thank You for the many graces You have given me, and especially for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament. ~ Alphonsus Liguori,
328:Bluntly put, a chaplain is the minister of the Prince of Peace serving in the host of the God of War—Mars. As such, he is as incongruous as a musket would be on the altar at Christmas. Why, then, is he there? Because he indirectly subserves the purpose attested by the cannon; because too he lends the sanction of the religion of the meek to that which practically is the abrogation of everything but brute Force. 25 ~ Herman Melville,
329:Reflect upon the danger of a discovery, upon the opprobrium in which such an event would plunge me: Reflect, that my honour and reputation are at stake, and that my peace of mind depends on your compliance. As yet my heart is free; I shall separate from you with regret, but not with despair. Stay here, and a few weeks will sacrifice my happiness on the altar of your charms. You are but too interesting, too amiable!* ~ Matthew Lewis,
330:His voice shifted into a sexual purr. “I love you. And I’ve waited a lifetime to be your lover. But you were too young, Lady.”

She raised her head, her body stiff with dignity. “I wasn’t too young here, in the abyss.”

Slowly, he continued moving around the altar. “Your body had been violated. Your mind had shattered. But even if that hadn’t been the case, you were still too young—even here in the abyss. ~ Anne Bishop,
331:A cloud of incense was rising on high; the people suddenly all bowed low; what could it mean? The truth flashed on him, fearfully yet sweetly; it was the Blessed Sacrament - it was the Lord Incarnate who was on the altar, who had come to visit and bless his people. It was the Great Presence, which makes a Catholic Church different from every other place in the world; which makes it, as no other place can be - holy. ~ John Henry Newman,
332:My Lord Jesus Christ, who, for the love You bear to mankind, do remain night and day in this Sacrament, full of pity and love, awaiting, calling, and receiving all who come to visit You; I believe that You are present in the Sacrament of the Altar; I adore You from the depths of my own nothingness; I thank You for the many graces You have given me, and especially for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament. ~ Saint Alphonsus Liguori,
333:Thanks,” said Jesper, and looped his arm around the guard’s neck, applying pressure until his body went limp. Jesper slipped the leather strips from around his wrists, secured the guard’s hands behind his back, and stuffed the kerchief from his neck into the guard’s mouth. Then he rolled the body behind the altar. “Sleep well,” Jesper said. He felt bad for the guy. Not bad enough to wake him up and untie him, but still. ~ Leigh Bardugo,
334:Do you remember what I said last night?” “That I needed to feed myself before I tried to buy Moon’s debt,” said Lundy. Her jaw set stubbornly. “That doesn’t seem fair.” “Doesn’t it? Hunger makes us foolish, causes us to make poor decisions without realizing how poor they are. If you want to help her, you need to help yourself first. No one serves their friends by grinding themselves into dust on the altar of compassion. ~ Seanan McGuire,
335:I could have waited years, now that I knew the end of the story. I was cold and wet and very happy. I could even look with charity towards the altar and the figure dangling there. She loves us both, I thought, but if there is to be a conflict between an image and a man, I know who will win. I could put my hand on her thigh or my mouth on her breast; he was imprisoned behind the altar and couldn't move to plead his cause. ~ Graham Greene,
336:Normally I suppose I would have felt like kicking Chutsky for offering up Dexter’s tender skin on the altar of unnecessary danger. But as it happened, I agreed—just this once. It was clear to me that someone with a little bit of common sense should tag along, and looking around our gathering, counting everyone, that left me. “That’s right,” I said. “Besides, we can always call in for backup if it gets sticky.” Apparently, ~ Jeff Lindsay,
337:He looked at his face carefully in the glass, put a big dab of lather on each cheek-bone. "It's an honest face. It's a face any woman would be safe with."
"She'd never seen it."
"She should have. All women should see it. It's a face that ought to be thrown on every screen in the country. Every woman ought to be given a copy of this face as she leaves the altar. Mothers should tell their daughters about this face. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
338:A cloud of incense was rising on high; the people suddenly all bowed low; what could it mean? The truth flashed on him, fearfully yet sweetly; it was the Blessed Sacrament - it was the Lord Incarnate who was on the altar, who had come to visit and bless his people. It was the Great Presence, which makes a Catholic Church different from every other place in the world; which makes it, as no other place can be - holy. ~ Saint John Henry Newman,
339:Open your eyes. Block all escape routes. Eliminate all noise. The common will capture your attention as long as it’s allowed in the room. Whatever you are used to, whether cigarettes, shopping, or Twitter, must be eliminated in the quest to get into the ring. You must make a sacrifice on the altar of greatness and perform acts that others will not. If you aren’t willing to sacrifice your comfort, you don’t have what it takes. ~ Julien Smith,
340:Without conscious thought I stepped behind the altar, raised my arms, and began the celebration of the Eucharist. There was no sense of parody or melodrama in this act, no symbolism or hidden intention; it was merely the automatic reaction of a priest who had said Mass almost daily for more than forty-six years of his life and who now faced the prospect of never again participating in the reassuring ritual of that celebration. It ~ Dan Simmons,
341:We do not admire, we hardly excuse, the fanatic who wrecks this world for love of the other but what are we to say of the fanatic who wrecks this world out of hatred for the other? He sacrifices the very existence of humanity's to the idleness of the altar and the emptiness of the throne. He is ready to ruin even that primary ethic by which all things live, for his strange and eternal vengeance upon someone who never lived at all. ~ G K Chesterton,
342:We have somehow gotten the idea that the abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10 means an abundance of health, wealth, and happiness. The idea of suffering for the sake of Christ is foreign to us. We have substituted the pursuit of happiness for the pursuit of holiness. We hesitate to sacrifice even our material possessions for His cause, let alone sacrificing our lives or the lives of our children upon the altar of His service. ~ Jerry Bridges,
343:I had run away from home three times. I had been kicked out of three different schools under different circumstances. I was kicked out of everything that I didn't quit. Kicked out of schools. Kicked out of summer camp, the Boy Scouts, the altar boys, the choir, and something else that I can't think of, that I'm proud of. Anyway, that was my pattern. I just began to invent myself early in life, and went out and did something about it. ~ George Carlin,
344:Needless to say, under either system [socialism or fascism], the inequalities of income and standard of living are greater than anything possible under a free economy -- and a man's position is determined, not by his productive ability and achievement, but by political pull and force. Under both systems, sacrifice is invoked as a magic, omnipotent solution in any crisis -- and "the public good" is the altar on which victims are immolated. ~ Ayn Rand,
345:So it is that real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed! Such is the 'sacrifice unto the Lord... of a broken heart and a contrite spirit,' (D&C 59:8), a prerequisite to taking up the cross, while giving 'away all [our] sins' in order to 'know God' (Alma 22:18) for the denial of self precedes the full acceptance of Him. ~ Neal A Maxwell,
346:Next morning at breakfast he paid Mamma four hundred dollars, cash on the table, for that one night. I watched him count the money out of his wallet, and while I watched I thought what a good thing it was I hadnt told even Mamma about the altar boys those times in the sacristy, behind the stacks of missals. All told, she got twelve hundred dollars for just the last three weeks of June, plus Pullman tickets for both of us back to New Orleans. ~ Shelby Foote,
347:Quincy and Fisher walked through all this in silence. Silence was the most common stock-in-trade between them, and the portfolio of their friendship was thick with it. So, without words, they stepped across the streets, their feet pressing the pavement with the same sounds, their toes turned just so; they knew what life was like at each other's side. Sometimes he would speak, or she would, small offerings on the altar of their joint survival. ~ Beth Brower,
348:Gwendolyn had been seeking to atone for her father’s sins, but instead she found herself exalted by this potent combination of power and vulnerability, both Bernard’s and hers. She was no longer his captive, but a willing supplicant on the altar of his pleasure. Her absolution was sweeter than anything she had anticipated, but not nearly as sweet as the moment when Bernard dropped to his knees and pressed her cheek to his thundering heart. ~ Teresa Medeiros,
349:certain man being in anxiety of mind, continually tossed about between hope and fear, and being on a certain day overwhelmed with grief, cast himself down in prayer before the altar in a church, and meditated within himself, saying, "Oh! if I but knew that I should still persevere," and presently heard within him a voice from God, "And if thou didst know it, what wouldst thou do? Do now what thou wouldst do then, and thou shalt be very secure. ~ Thomas Kempis,
350:Five golden years, Heart of Mine, have we walked the way of life together, and there is not an hour I would have changed; there is no moment when I would have you other than you have been. It is the fashion these days, I know, to say that love ends at the altar, but it is not so. You and I have found the old dream of the world divinely true. It is neither a poet's fancy nor a trick of the imagination, but a thing of fadeless and unending beauty. ~ Myrtle Reed,
351:ABDOMEN, n. [1.] The temple of the god Stomach, in whose worship, with sacrificial rights, all true men engage. From women this ancient faith commands but a stammering assent. They sometimes minister at the altar in a half-hearted and ineffective way, but true reverence for the one deity that men really adore they know not. If woman had a free hand in the world's marketing the race would become graminivorous. [2.] A shrine enclosing the object. ~ Ambrose Bierce,
352:...burying the bush in these little rosettes, almost too ravishing in colour, this rustic 'pompadour'. High up on the branches, like so many of those tiny rose-trees, their pots .concealed in jackets of paper lace, whose slender stems rise in a forest from the altar of the greater festivals, a thousand buds were swelling and opening, paler in colour, but each disclosing as it burst, as at the bottom of a cup of pink marble, its blood-red stain... ~ Marcel Proust,
353:Suddenly de Montfort went rigid and the ciborium slipped from his hand, dashing the white hosts like snowflakes onto the altar steps. The man’s hand went out, pointing at the king, his usually skull-like face now almost cadaverous, the skin drawn tight, the eyes bulging. Corbett rose, his hand searching for the knife beneath his cloak. De Montfort’s mouth opened and shut like a landed carp, then with a loud cry he fell headlong down the steps, his ~ Paul Doherty,
354:Pope Gelasius in his ninth letter (chap. 26) to the bishops of Lucania condemned the evil practice which had been introduced of women serving the priest at the celebration of Mass. Since this abuse had spread to the Greeks, Innocent IV strictly forbade it in his letter to the bishop of Tusculum: 'Women should not dare to serve at the altar; they should be altogether refused this ministry.' We too have forbidden this practice in the same words. ~ Pope Benedict XIV,
355:Be grateful for your life, every detail of it, and your face will come to shine like a sun, and everyone who sees it will be made glad and peaceful. Persist in gratitude, and you will slowly become one with the Sun of Love, and Love will shine through you its all-healing joy. The path of gratitude is not for children; it is path of tender heroes, of the heroes of tenderness who, whatever happens, keep burning on the altar of their hearts the flame of adoration. ~ Rumi,
356:I absorbed the fact that we're finally here, and it hit me that this is really happening.”
“Hell yeah it is.” Rhone winked and caressed his palm down Adam's waist to his hip. “Better not faint on me at the altar.” Leaning down, he whispered oh-so-very-softly in Adam's
ear, “Or else I'll make you ten times redder with the method I use to bring you out of your swoon.” He licked his tongue into Adam's ear and shot a reaction straight down to his cock. ~ Cameron Dane,
357:Oh,' he said, 'I expect in a minute the door will be flung back and I'll be dragged off to some sort of temple arena where I'll fight maybe a couple of giant spiders and an eight-foot slave from the jungles of Klatch and then I'll rescue some kind of a princess from the altar and then kill off a few guards or whatever and then this girl will show me the secret passage out of the place and we'll liberate a couple of horses and escape with the treasure. ~ Terry Pratchett,
358:the next smallest court, the Court of Priests. This was where the animals were cut and bled and burned on the large horned altar of unhewn stones that stood before the Temple, while a chorus of priests played their instruments and sang hymns of praise to the deity. A bronze laver stood nearby for what appeared to be cleansings. The Temple façade stood sixty feet high behind the altar, with its golden roof visible from anywhere on the entire temple mount. ~ Brian Godawa,
359:In so many multifarious ways, John Henry Newman has been a blessing to the Church. How appropriate, therefore, that the Church has now conferred a great blessing upon Newman by raising him to the altar. The beatified Newman is in the Presence of the Beatific Vision. He has achieved the only goal for which life is worth living. As such, praise should make way for prayers. Blessed John Henry Newman, historian, theologian, philosopher, and poet, pray for us. ~ John Henry Newman,
360:In obedience to humanity, the King of the universe come down from heaven! In obedience to humanity, he lives imprisoned on the altar! I shall not resist. He allows humans to keep him wherever they wish-in monstrance or tabernacle; to carry him in procession; to bring him into the homes of the sick and dying; to dispense him to all, whether saint or sinner. The gospel tells how marvelously he obeyed Mary and Joseph. Today he obeys every priest in the world. ~ Alphonsus Liguori,
361:Deke met them on the porch and led the way into the house. Taller than the Dawson brothers, he was every bit as handsome with thick brown hair that he wore long enough to be sexy, hazel eyes, and broad shoulders. Women tended to flock to him like a moth to a burning candle. But taming Deke would be harder than training a Dawson cowboy to the halter. He was full of tough cowboy charm, and it would take a special woman to rope him and get him aimed toward the altar. ~ Carolyn Brown,
362:From the Heliconian Muses, let us now begin the song
Of those who hold the great and sacred hill of Helicon,
And dance on tender feet around the dark spring in a row,
And round about the altar of the son of Kronos go;
And when in the Permessos they have bathed their soft, young skin,
Or sacred stream Olmeios or the fountain Hippocrene,
They make their dancing chorus on the heights of Helicon­ --
So beautiful, beguiling, as their feet glide swiftly on. ~ Hesiod,
363:Every fairy tale, it seems, concludes with the bland phrase "happily ever after." Yet every couple I have ever known would agree that nothing about marriage is forever happy. There are moments of bliss, to be sure, and lengthy spans of satisfied companionship. Yet these come at no small effort, and the girl who reads such fiction dreaming her troubles will end ere she departs the altar is well advised to seek at once a rational women to set her straight. ~ Catherine Gilbert Murdock,
364:In obedience to humanity, the King of the universe come down from heaven! In obedience to humanity, he lives imprisoned on the altar! I shall not resist. He allows humans to keep him wherever they wish-in monstrance or tabernacle; to carry him in procession; to bring him into the homes of the sick and dying; to dispense him to all, whether saint or sinner. The gospel tells how marvelously he obeyed Mary and Joseph. Today he obeys every priest in the world. ~ Saint Alphonsus Liguori,
365:For me it's really tough because you have to go to that place where you really, really don't want to go to or revisit. After the first movie, when I was crying at the altar, whenever I would think about it, I would get chills for months after the first "Best Man" because I had to go to that place. And then, here we are with this one, and we are going to that place again. It's just extremely emotional to just have to keep revisiting it, but it can also be therapeutic. ~ Morris Chestnut,
366:This fucking band is falling apart,” Xan said, his tone rising. “First you, Jonas, taking up with Rhiannon, and now this. We’re on the cusp. We can change the fucking world, but you people are only interested in your damn personal lives. You won’t sacrifice anything for your art. I’m the only one out there, punching and fighting, every fucking night.” “The work isn’t the only thing, Xan,” Tryp said. “If you sacrifice yourself on the altar of art, you’ll be dead.” “Sounds ~ Blair Babylon,
367:In so many multifarious ways, Saint John Henry Newman has been a blessing to the Church. How appropriate, therefore, that the Church has now conferred a great blessing upon Newman by raising him to the altar. The beatified Newman is in the Presence of the Beatific Vision. He has achieved the only goal for which life is worth living. As such, praise should make way for prayers. Blessed Saint John Henry Newman, historian, theologian, philosopher, and poet, pray for us. ~ Saint John Henry Newman,
368:landau with their steaming horses were in front of the door when I arrived. I paid the man and hurried into the church. There was not a soul there save the two whom I had followed and a surpliced clergyman, who seemed to be expostulating with them. They were all three standing in a knot in front of the altar. I lounged up the side aisle like any other idler who has dropped into a church. Suddenly, to my surprise, the three at the altar faced round to me, and Godfrey Norton ~ Arthur Conan Doyle,
369:The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them. ... Love your neighbor as yourself and your country more than yourself. ... The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave. ... I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. ... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
370:Morality did not begin by one man saying to another, "I will not hit you if you do not hit me"; there is no trace of such a transaction. There IS a trace of both men having said, We must not hit each other in the holy place. They gained their morality by guarding their religion. They did not cultivate courage. They fought for the shrine, and found they had become courageous. They did not cultivate cleanliness. They purified themselves for the altar, and found that they were clean. ~ G K Chesterton,
371:The Charm
LIKE crimson lamps the tulips swing,
The lily flowers their incense bring,
The daisies votive garlands fling
Before the altar of the Spring.
And you and I in this green May,
When thrushes sing, and white lambs play,
Go glad at heart--so glad and gay,
No word seems good enough to say.
Yet there's a charm, it would appear,
Which, if I spoke it in your ear,
Would fix the spring for ever here;
Pass on--I will not speak it, dear.
~ Edith Nesbit,
372:Daba was furious, her pride wounded. She repeated all the nicknames Binetou had given her father: old man, pot-belly, sugar-daddy! . . . the person who gave her life had been daily ridiculed and he accepted it. An overwhelming anger raged inside Daba. She knew that her best friend was sincere in what she said. But what can a child do, faced with a furious mother shouting about her hunger and her thirst to live?

Binetou, like many others, was a lamb slaughtered on the altar of affluence. ~ Mariama B,
373:I had a strong sense of the mystery: I'd seen Donald physically shudder at the altar as the familiar words he was chanting suddenly gripped him. I'd heard my spiritual director say his breath was still taken away every time he celebrated the Eucharist. “The Table's a threshold, a paper-thin place, luminous, where heaven and humans meet,” Jeff told me. “It could be anywhere—a room, a jail cell; I could be ego-focused or doing a shitty job remembering the prayers; but I still cross that threshold. ~ Sara Miles,
374:So if  e you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 f Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26Truly, I say to you,  g you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. ~ Anonymous,
375:Psalms 118

25 Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.

26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

27 God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

29 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. ~ Anonymous,
376:It is essentially self-centered. It is the erotic manifestation of the creed of Polonius, which had exerted such a disastrous influence on my own life: “This above all: To thine own self be true.” It is a love that sacrifices the lover on the altar of self-worship and self-gratification. The love that is happy to break hearts and kill babies. It is, like all other manifestations of pride, an act of self-deification. In contrast to this false worldly love, true love is inseparable from self-sacrifice. ~ Joseph Pearce,
377:TOGETHER at the altar we
In vision oft were seen by thee,

Thyself as bride, as bridegroom I.
Oft from thy mouth full many a kiss
In an unguarded hour of bliss

I then would steal, while none were by.

The purest rapture we then knew,
The joy those happy hours gave too,

When tasted, fled, as time fleets on.
What now avails my joy to me?
Like dreams the warmest kisses flee,

Like kisses, soon all joys are gone.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Happiness And Vision
,
378:of sex. But was she capable of devouring this man’s body without giving him her heart and soul, without wanting to throw herself on the altar? She shook her head, trying to clear it. Hadn’t she been against matrimony since her mother’s fourth marriage ended after only three weeks? Hadn’t she sworn to never be pulled into the idea of white gowns, tiered cakes, and wedded bliss? As she grabbed a dish towel and started cleaning counters she admitted: She’d sworn all right. But then came Brian in the twelfth grade. ~ Christie Craig,
379:What a risk, Reuben thought. I could easily hit him over the head and rob the church of its gold candlesticks. He wondered how often Jim had done this kind of thing, or why Jim's life was such a round of sacrifice and exhausting work, how it was Jim could ladle up soup and corned beef hash every day for people who so often let him down, or go through the same ritual every morning at the altar, as if it really was a miracle when he consecrated the bread and wine and gave out "the Body of Christ" in tiny white wafers. ~ Anne Rice,
380:We do not admire, we hardly excuse, the fanatic who wrecks this world for love of the other. But what are we to say of the fanatic who wrecks this world out of hatred of the other? He sacrifices the very existence of humanity to the non-existence of God. He offers his victims not to the altar, but merely to assert the idleness of the altar and the emptiness of the throne. He is ready to ruin even that primary ethic by which all things live, for his strange and eternal vengeance upon some one who never lived at all. ~ G K Chesterton,
381:Niepokalanow is a home like Nazareth. The Father is God the Father, the mother and mistress of the home is the Immaculata, the firstborn son and our brother is Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. All the younger brothers try to imitate the elder Brother in love and honor towards God and the Immaculata, our common parents, and from the Immaculata they try to love the divine elder Brother, the ideal of sanctity who deigned to come down from heaven to be incarnated in her and to live with us in the tabernacle. ~ Maximilian Kolbe,
382:We do not admire, we hardly excuse, the fanatic who wrecks this world for love of the other. But what are we to say of the fanatic who wrecks this world out of hatred of the other? He sacrifices the very existence of humanity to the non-existence of God. He offers his victims not to the altar, but merely to assert the idleness of the altar and the emptiness of the throne. He is ready to ruin even that primary ethic by which all things live, for his strange and eternal vengeance upon some one who never lived at all. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
383:Mei reached into her pocket and took out another steamed egg cake, this one topped with a dark red date. "How about a treat for the loyal guardian?"
ShiShi's fur bristled, and his tail became stiff and straight. "Absolutely not. I won't be fooled into accepting food from you."
"Fine, your loss." Mei took a bite. "Mmm. So delicious. I always thought guardians had a weakness for sweets."
"Or spirits." Liwei snickered. "Where do you think all those gourds of rice wine go when you leave them for your ancestors at the altar? ~ Elizabeth Lim,
384:...The intellect cannot by its very nature participate in truth, for reality is higher than the mind. the reason may intellectually consider it, but never actually experience it. Illumination is the ceasing of the Self in Reality; so Moses the good man, is taken unto the hill of Nebo, the highest point of wisdom; and there in the distance perceives the Real. But there mind must die, and be hidden in the unknown grave; as Kundry falls dead at the feet of the altar of the Grail, in the story of Parsifal. ~ Manly P Hall, How to Understand Your Bible,
385:But we want a man hag-ridden by the Future—haunted by visions of an imminent heaven or hell upon earth—ready to break the Enemy’s commands in the present if by so doing we make him think he can attain the one or avert the other—dependent for his faith on the success or failure of schemes whose end he will not live to see. We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present. It ~ C S Lewis,
386:Sweet Mother of God, how can you risk your life to save drowning children one day, and plot something so ruthless the next day?”
Annoyed, Devon gave him a narrow-eyed glance. “There’s no need to carry on as if Helen’s going to be dragged to the altar in chains. She’ll have a choice in the matter.”
“The right words can bind someone more effectively than chains. You’ll manipulate her into doing what you want regardless of how she feels.”
“Enjoy the view from your moral pedestal,” Devon said. “Unfortunately I have to keep my feet on the ground. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
387:Revival time was a time of war: war on sin, Coca-Cola, picture shows, hunting on Sunday; war on the increasing tendency of young women to paint themselves and smoke in public; war on drinking whiskey—in this connection at least fifty children per summer went to the altar and swore they would not drink, smoke, or curse until they were twenty-one; war on something so nebulous Jean Louise never could figure out what it was, except there was nothing to swear concerning it; and war among the town’s ladies over who could set the best table for the evangelist. ~ Harper Lee,
388:The altar reminds us of the remoteness in which He lives “beyond the altar,” as we might say, meaning divine distance; or “above the altar,” meaning divine loftiness both to be understood of course not spatially, but spiritually. They mean that God is the Intangible One, far removed from all approaching, from all grasping; that He is the all-powerful, Majestic One immeasurably exalted above earthly things and earthly striving. Such breadth and height are founded not on measure, but on God’s essence: His holiness, to which man of himself has no access. ~ Romano Guardini,
389:Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God, first fill your own house with the fragrance of love. Go not to the temple to light candles before the altar of God, first remove the darkness of sin from your heart. Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer, first learn to bow in humility before your fellow men. Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees, first bend down to lift someone who is down trodden. Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins, first forgive from your heart those who have sinned against you. ~ Rabindranath Tagore,
390:God and country will step in to fill the void, offering you laws and equations, rules and punishments to carry you through those lonely, restless nights you spend tossing and turning in bed as the moon slides whispering in your window. “They’re worse than an opiate for the masses. They’ll turn you into deaf sheep standing in line as the truth bleats fearfully at the altar. They’ll have you standing in line for slaughter.” His eyes narrowed. “They’ll deafen you to the roar of your inner voice. That’s what they do. Soon, you won’t even be able to hear yourself. ~ Gregg Hurwitz,
391:If upon this earth we ever have a glimpse of heaven,it is when we pass a home in winter, at night,and through the windows, the curtains drawn aside,we see the family about the pleasant hearth; the old lady knitting; the cat playing with the yarn;the children wishing they had as many dolls or dollars or knivesor somethings, as there are sparks going out to join the roaring blast;the father reading and smoking, and the clouds rising like incense from the altar of domestic joy.I never passed such a house without feeling thatI had received a benediction. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll,
392:If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire...if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores...if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote...if a generation could defeat a depression, and define greatness for all time...if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream...and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love...then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream. ~ Michelle Obama,
393:Practically all girls are capable of pulling off the
Lady Love stunt before marriage but alas, only too
many of them think a wedding ring gives them the
right to flop down on the do-nothing stool, get fat
and eat onions... When a man see his beauteous
pride slouching around the house in a soiled house-
coat with cold cream on her face, he feels he got
cheated at the altar.
Too often after the first baby, [women] cease
being wives and are only mothers... giving all their
tenderness to Junior and letting poor husband go
heart-hungry. ~ Carol Shields,
394:Before the coming of Jesus Christ, men fled away from God and, being attached to the earth, refused to unite themselves to their Creator. But the loving God has drawn them to Himself by the bonds of love, as He promised by the prophet Osee [Hosea]: "I will draw them with the cords of Adam, with the bonds of love" (11:4). These bonds are the benefits, the lights, the calls to His love, the promises of Paradise which He makes to us, but above all, the gift which He has bestowed upon us of Jesus Christ in the Sacrifice of the Cross and in the Sacrament of the Altar. ~ Alphonsus Liguori,
395:Perhaps you will not be able completely to identify this presence and this continuous action going on within you unless it happens to be taking place formally on the altar before you: but at least then, obscurely, you will recognize in the breaking of the Bread the Stranger Who was your companion yesterday and the day before. And like the disciples of Emmaus, you will realize how fitting it was that your heart should burn within you when the incidents of your day’s work spoke to you of the Christ Who lived and worked and offered His sacrifice within you all the time. ~ Thomas Merton,
396:High up on the branches, like so many of those tiny rose-trees, their pots concealed in jackets of paper lace, whose slender stems rise in a forest from the altar on the greater festivals, a thousand buds were swelling and opening, paler in colour, but each disclosing as it burst, as at the bottom of a cup of pink marble, its blood-red stain, and suggesting even more strongly than the full-blown flowers the special, irresistible quality of the hawthorn-tree, which, wherever it budded, wherever it was about to blossom, could bud and blossom in pink flowers alone. Taking ~ Marcel Proust,
397:On the altar you are looking at the same thing as you saw there last night. You have not heard, however, what this is, what it signifies, or about the greatness of the reality of which it is a sacrament. Your eyes are looking at bread and cup. This is the evidence before your physical sight. But your faith must be instructed concerning it- this bread being Christ 's Body and the cup containing His Blood. Though perhaps these words may be enough to initiate faith, faith must be further instructed in accordance with the Prophet's words: 'Believe that you may understand' ~ Saint Augustine,
398:Marriage was a trap. The moment the man said the word “I do” at the altar, he surrendered his freedom. He was no longer free to pursue other women. Staying out past the appointed hour required his wife’s permission. Getting drunk with his friends resulted in a fight when he got home. He’d have to report where he went, when he would be back, who he would be with, and why he would choose to do something else rather than stay home and pick out fabric for new drapes. A married man was no longer carefree. He was a provider, a husband and a father. The castle was no longer his. ~ Ilona Andrews,
399:Before the coming of Jesus Christ, men fled away from God and, being attached to the earth, refused to unite themselves to their Creator. But the loving God has drawn them to Himself by the bonds of love, as He promised by the prophet Osee [Hosea]: "I will draw them with the cords of Adam, with the bonds of love" (11:4). These bonds are the benefits, the lights, the calls to His love, the promises of Paradise which He makes to us, but above all, the gift which He has bestowed upon us of Jesus Christ in the Sacrifice of the Cross and in the Sacrament of the Altar. ~ Saint Alphonsus Liguori,
400:Worthless is the charity of the man who bestows it unwillingly, because material charity is not his, but God's gift, while only the disposition of the heart belongs to the man. This is why many charities prove almost worthless, for they were bestowed unwillingly, grudgingly, without respect for the person of our neighbor. So also the hospitality of many persons proves worthless because of their hypocritical vain-glorious behavior to their guests. Let us offer our sacrifices upon the altar of love to our neighbor, with heart-felt affection: 'for God loves a cheerful giver' ~ John of Kronstadt,
401:I’ll wait for you. I’ll wait all the way to the altar if we make it that far.” Startled, her body went stiff and her breath hitched. Her beautiful brown eyes, glossy from a layer of unshed tears, stared up at me with both fear and hope. Vulnerable as she was in that moment, she was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
“I’ve been waiting for you since the moment I put on the bracelet,” I said. “And you’re waiting for me, too.” I smirked at the question in her eyes. “Four years and you’ve never fallen for anyone else?
You’re not over me. You still want this as much as I do. ~ Kelly Oram,
402:La Vierge Au Donateur
Here by the ample river’s argent sweep,
Bosomed in tilth and vintage to her walls,
A tower-crowned Cybele in armoured sleep
The city lies, fat plenty in her halls,
With calm parochial spires that hold in fee
The friendly gables clustered at their base,
And, equipoised o’er tower and market-place,
The Gothic minister’s winged immensity;
And in that narrow burgh, with equal mood,
Two placid hearts, to all life’s good resigned,
Might, from the altar to the lych-gate, find
Long years of peace and dreamless plenitude.
~ Edith Wharton,
403:In all human love it must be realized that every man promises a woman, and every woman promises a man that which only God alone can give, namely, perfect happiness. One of the reasons why so many marriages are shipwrecked is because as the young couple leave the altar, they fail to realize that human feelings tire and the enthusiasm of the honeymoon is not the same as the more solid happiness of enduring human love. One of the greatest trials of marriage is the absence of solitude. In the first moments of human love, one does not see the little hidden deformities which later on appear. ~ Fulton J Sheen,
404:My father asked me once why I was so lazy, why I did not want the world. He asked me what I wanted, and though I did not answer then, because I did not know, and followed old conventions even to the altar, I know it now. It is long past time to answer the question—and I see you, old Arthur, old love, looking up to that silhouette on your porch—what do I want? After choosing the path people wanted, the man who would do, the easy way out of things—your eyes wide in surprise as you see me—after holding it all in my hands and refusing it, what do I want from life?

And I say: "Less! ~ Andrew Sean Greer,
405:By the time of the Mosaic covenant, the peace offering (Lev 17:11ff.) was the divinely prescribed means of maintaining a harmonious relationship between God and his covenant people. The sin offering (Lev 4) dealt with sin as a barrier between the worshipers and God. This sin offering was a slaughtered bull, lamb, or goat with which the worshiper had identified himself by laying his hands on its head. When the blood of the victim, signifying its life (Lev 17:11), was daubed on the horns of the altar, symbolizing the presence of God, God and the worshipers were united in a renewed relationship. ~ D A Carson,
406:The boldest yodellers found him, impaled; they stumbled into his shop and over the longest needle in the world, which darned his spleen to the floor. He was buried in his rag coffin, under the altar of San Silvester. Strings were attached to his arms and legs, and whenever a pilgrim entered the chapel, an unseen jig was danced six feet below. The coffin is no longer there: by all accounts Morgan himself seized it for a sail. However, shards of the barber’s mirror can still be found on the hats of the locals, each carrying a reflection which arrived too late to convince a corsair of his humanity. ~ Rhys Hughes,
407:The interior journey of the soul from the wilds of sin into the enjoyed Presence of God is beautifully illustrated in the Old Testament tabernacle. The returning sinner first entered the outer court where he offered a blood sacrifice on the brazen altar and washed himself in the laver that stood near it. Then through a veil he passed into the holy place where no natural light could come, but the golden candlestick which spoke of Jesus the Light of the World threw its soft glow over all. There also was the shewbread to tell of Jesus, the Bread of Life, and the altar of incense, a figure of unceasing prayer. ~ A W Tozer,
408:How my body blooms from every vein
more fragrantly, since you appeared to me;
look, I walk slimmer now and straighter,
and all you do is wait-:who are you then?

Look: I feel how I'm moving away,
how I'm shedding my old life, leaf by leaf.
Only your smile spreads like sheer stars
over you and, soon now, over me.

Whatever shines through my childhood years
still nameless and gleaming like water,
I will name after you at the altar,
which is blazing brightly from your hair
and braided gently with your breasts.
Translated by Edward Snow

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Sacrifice
,
409:Poetry
Sometimes I tremble like a storm-swept flower,
And seek to hide my tortured soul from thee.
Bowing my head in deep humility
Before the silent thunder of thy power.
Sometimes I flee before thy blazing light,
As from the specter of pursuing death;
Intimidated lest thy mighty breath,
Windways, will sweep me into utter night.
For oh, I fear they will be swallowed up-The loves which are to me of vital worth,
My passion and my pleasure in the earth-And lost forever in thy magic cup!
I fear, I fear my truly human heart
Will perish on the altar-stone of art!
~ Claude McKay,
410:By the altar, which is made of massive slabs of stone untouched by tools since hewn from the quarry and set up in this vast edifice, a barefooted priest wearing a linen tunic waits for the Levite to hand over the turtledoves. He takes the first one, carries it to a comer of the altar, and with a single blow knocks the head from its body. [...] Joseph has nothing more to accomplish here, he must withdraw, collect his wife and child, and return home. Mary is pure once more, not in the strict sense of the word, because purity is something to which most human beings, and above all women, can scarcely hope to aspire. ~ Jos Saramago,
411:Today, in our society, in economics, and in finance, we place far too much trust in numbers. Numbers are not reality . At best, they are a pale reflection of reality. At worst, they’re a gross distortion of the truths we seek to measure. But the damage doesn’t stop there. Not only do we rely too heavily on historic economic and market data; our optimistic bias also leads us to misinterpret the data and give them credence that they rarely merit. By worshipping at the altar of numbers and by discounting the immeasurable, we have in effect created a numeric economy that can easily undermine the real one. Government: ~ John C Bogle,
412:When it is all too much; when the news is so bad meditation itself feels useless, and a single life feels too small a stone to offer on the altar of Peace, find a Human Sunrise. Find those people who are committed to changing our scary reality. Human sunrises are happening all over the earth, at every moment. People gathering, people working to change the intolerable, people coming in their robes and sandals or in their rags and bare feet, and they are singing, or not, and they are chanting, or not. But they are working to bring peace, light, compassion, to the infinitely frightening downhill slide of Human life. ~ Alice Walker,
413:Today, in our society, in economics, and in finance, we place far too much trust in numbers. Numbers are not reality . At best, they are a pale reflection of reality. At worst, they��re a gross distortion of the truths we seek to measure. But the damage doesn’t stop there. Not only do we rely too heavily on historic economic and market data; our optimistic bias also leads us to misinterpret the data and give them credence that they rarely merit. By worshipping at the altar of numbers and by discounting the immeasurable, we have in effect created a numeric economy that can easily undermine the real one. Government: ~ John C Bogle,
414:Crouched on the altar-steps, a grisly band
Of women slumbers—not like women they,
But Gorgons rather; nay, that word is weak,
Nor may I match the Gorgons’ shape with theirs!
Such have I seen in painted semblance erst—
Winged Harpies, snatching food from Phineus’ board,—
But these are wingless, black, and all their shape
The eye’s abomination to behold.
Fell is the breath—let none draw nigh to it—
Wherewith they snort in slumber; from their eyes
Exude the damnèd drops of poisonous ire:
And such their garb as none should dare to bring
To statues of the gods or homes of men. ~ Aeschylus,
415:It has been said that the body is the temple of the spirit and the mind is the altar within that temple. When we practice hatha yoga we allow ourselves to come fully into the temple of the body—not simply as a tourist wishing to admire the fine architecture, but as a seeker on a pilgrimage of deep devotion and reverence.

Meditation is the devotional practice of placing on the altar of the mind that which is sacred, holy, and revered. Just as you would not place garbage on the altar of a great temple, meditation allows a yogi to place on the altar of her mind that which is noble, pure, and free from attachment. ~ Darren Main,
416:Before the holy of holies, the most holy place, is the altar of incense, a gold-laden structure whose rising smoke represents the perpetual need of intercessory prayer on behalf of the people.” This was yet another need for the people that no human high priest could attain to. Eleazer brought his censer from the sacrifice, whose smoke mixed with the altar of incense to protect him from what he was about to do next: enter the holy of holies, the very presence of Yahweh. This was the only time each year that this could be done. If approached on any other day by the high priest or anyone else, Yahweh would strike them dead. ~ Brian Godawa,
417:Deliverance is not for me in renunciation.
I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight.

Thou ever pourest for me the fresh draught of thy wine of various
colours and fragrance, filling this earthen vessel to the brim.

My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame
and place them before the altar of thy temple.

No, I will never shut the doors of my senses.
The delights of sight and hearing and touch will bear thy delight.

Yes, all my illusions will burn into illumination of joy,
and all my desires ripen into fruits of love.

~ Rabindranath Tagore, Senses
,
418:The world's Redeemer was treated as we deserve to be treated, in order that we might be treated as he deserved to be treated. He came to our world and took our sins upon his own divine soul that we might receive his imputed righteousness. He was condemned for our sins, in which he had no share, that we might be justified by his righteousness, in which we had no share. The world's Redeemer gave himself for us. Who was he? The Majesty of heaven, pouring out his blood upon the altar of justice for the sins of guilty man. We should know our relationship to Christ and his relationship to us.
The Review and Harold 3-21-91 PR-06 ~ Ellen G White,
419:When Tatiana had been a child in Luga, her beloved Deda, seeing her depressed one summer and unable to find her way, said to her, “Ask yourself these three questions, Tatiana Metanova, and you will know who you are. Ask: what do you believe in? What do you hope for? But most important—ask: what do you love?” She looked up at Alexander. “What did you call it, Shura?” she said quietly. “Our first night, you said you and I had something, you called us…” “The life force,” he replied. I know who I am, she thought, taking his hand and turning to the altar. I am Tatiana. And I believe in, and hope for, and love Alexander for life. ~ Paullina Simons,
420:I'm the idiot box. I'm the TV. I'm the all-seeing eye and the world of the cathode ray. I'm the boob tube. I'm the little shrine the family gathers to adore.'

'You're the television? Or someone in the television?'

'The TV's the altar. I'm what people are sacrificing to.'

'What do they sacrifice?' asked Shadow.

'Their time, mostly,' said Lucy. 'Sometimes each other.' She raised two fingers, blew imaginary gunsmoke from the tips. Then she winked, a big old I Love Lucy wink.

'You're a God?' said Shadow.

Lucy smirked, and took a ladylike puff of her cigarette. 'You could say that,' she said. ~ Neil Gaiman,
421:Next comes the temptation to destroy ourselves for love of the other. The only value is love of the other. Self-sacrifice is an absolute value in itself. And the desire of the other is also absolute in itself. No matter what the lover desires, we will give up our life or even our soul to please him. This is the asceticism of Eros, which makes it a point of honor to follow the beloved even into hell. For what greater sacrifice could man offer on the altar of love than the sacrifice of his own immortal soul? Heroism in this sacrifice is measured precisely by madness: it is all the greater when it is offered for a more trivial motive. ~ Thomas Merton,
422:In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord says: “Therefore, if thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother has anything against thee, leave thy gift before the altar and go first to be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matt. 5:23-24). This means: When you go to Mass and you recall that you have been unjust to someone and that he bears you a grudge, you cannot simply walk into church as though nothing were wrong. For then you would be entering only the physical room of the building, not the congregation, which would not receive you, as you would destroy it by your mere presence. ~ Romano Guardini,
423:There were spaceships again in that century, an dthe ships were manned by fuzzy impossibilities that walked on two legs and sprouted tufts of hair in unlikely anatomical regions. They were a garrulous kind. They belonged to a race quite capable of admiring its own image in a mirror, and equally capable of cutting its own throat before the altar of some tribal god, such as the deity of Daily Shaving. It was a species that considered itself to be, basically, a race of divinely inspired toolmakers; any intelligent entity from Arcturus would instantly have perceived them to be, basically, a race of impassioned after-dinner speechmakers. ~ Walter M Miller Jr,
424:Desiree the child bride, and her sister Miranda, had gone grave-robbing for a wedding gown. In the north end of the cemetery, among the palatial mausoleums with their broken windows of stained glass where the ivy crept in, was the resting place of a young woman who’d been murdered at the altar while reciting her marital vows. The decaying tombstone, among the cemetery’s most envied, was a limestone bride in despair, shoulders as slumped as a mule’s, a bouquet of lilies strewn at her feet. Though her murder, by her groom’s jealous mother, had been long in the past, everyone knew that her father had had her buried in her gown of lace and silk. ~ Timothy Schaffert,
425:I looked up and saw myself in a most palpable vision ascending the altar steps, opening the tiny sacrosanct tabernacle, reaching with monstrous hands for the consecrated ciborium, and taking the Body of Christ and strewing Its white wafers all over the carpet; and walking then on the sacred wafers, walking up and down before the altar, giving Holy Communion to the dust. I rose up now in the pew and stood there staring at this vision. I knew full well the meaning of it. “God did not live in this church; these statues gave an image to nothingness, I was the supernatural in this cathedral. I was the only supermortal thing that stood conscious under this roof! ~ Anne Rice,
426:Man's Experience
A SCRAMBLE for gold,
And a scurry for place,
A brief pause for loving,
A kiss, an embrace,
A ring; then the altar,
A vow to be true,
Then back to the turmoil
To scramble for two.
For man's the provider,
And ever he strives
To care for his loved ones
And brighten their lives.
A year or so passes,
Still toiling is he,
'A boy!' says the doctor,
'Now scramble for three.'
For this is the common
Experience of men,
A small raise in salary
Comes now and then.
But ever we hurry
And scramble by day,
For the fam'ly increases
As fast as our pay.
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
427:The question haunts me still, and will, I suppose, until I join my parents in our final reunion. If the doctor had known what horrors awaited us not only at the cemetery that night, but in the days to come, would he still have insisted upon my company? Would he still have demanded that a mere child dive so deep into the well of human suffering and sacrifice—a literal sea of blood? And if the answer to that question is yes, then there are more terrifying monstrosities in the world than Anthropophagi. Monstrosities who, with a smile and a comforting pat on the head, are willing to sacrifice a child upon the altar of their own overweening ambition and pride. ~ Rick Yancey,
428:PSA43.1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. PSA43.2 For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?  PSA43.3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. PSA43.4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. PSA43.5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. ~ Anonymous,
429:It's possible, and I stress possible, that such a moment may never come: you may not fall in love, you may not be able to or you may not wish to give your whole life to anyone, and, like me, you may turn forty-five one day and realize that you're no longer young and you have never found a choir of cupids with lyres or a bed of white roses leading to the altar. The only revenge left for you then will be to steal from life the pleasure of firm and passionate flesh - a pleasure that evaporates faster than good intentions and is the nearest thing to heaven you will find in this stinking world where everything decays, beginning with beauty and ending with memory. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
430:The Altar
Alone, remote, nor witting where I went,
I found an altar builded in a dream—
A fiery place, whereof there was a gleam
So swift, so searching, and so eloquent
Of upward promise, that love’s murmur, blent
With sorrow’s warning, gave but a supreme
Unending impulse to that human stream
Whose flood was all for the flame’s fury bent.
Alas! I said,—the world is in the wrong.
But the same quenchless fever of unrest
That thrilled the foremost of that martyred throng
Thrilled me, and I awoke … and was the same
Bewildered insect plunging for the flame
That burns, and must burn somehow for the best.
~ Edwin Arlington Robinson,
431:On Christmas Eve, my mother and I and Teddy and Anita went to Mass together. The shadowy church was lit only by an overhead light trained on the altar and by the flames of hundreds of flickering candles in glass cups set all around the nave. If you squinted, the columns and vaults seemed to melt away, all the grandness of the architecture receded, and the space became intimate, almost as if you were cast back many centuries to a humble place where a miracle had occurred, where the radiance issued not from candles but from the air itself, back to a less hectic era before the invention of clocks, to a night of peace from which a renewed world would then begin to date itself. ~ Dean Koontz,
432:Xxx
I see thine image through my tears to-night,
And yet to-day I saw thee smiling. How
Refer the cause ?--Beloved, is it thou
Or I, who makes me sad ? The acolyte
Amid the chanted joy and thankful rite
May so fall flat, with pale insensate brow,
On the altar-stair. I hear thy voice and vow,
Perplexed, uncertain, since thou art out of sight,
As he, in his swooning ears, the choir's Amen.
Beloved, dost thou love ? or did I see all
The glory as I dreamed, and fainted when
Too vehement light dilated my ideal,
For my soul's eyes ? Will that light come again,
As now these tears come--falling hot and real ?
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
433:Kai held up the broken portscreen. "What would Cinder do? How would she fix it?"
A crease formed across Torin's brow. "You want to comm for help?"
"Sort of." He buried a hand in his hair, thinking, thinking. He pictured Cinder at her booth at the market. She would have known what to do. She would have -
He hopped to his feet, his pulse racing, and whapped the corner of the portscreen hard on the top of the altar. Torin jerked back.
Kai looked again and let out an excited whoop. Half the screen had cleared.
He opened a comm.
"How did you do that?" said Torin.
"I don't know," he said, typing in a hasty message, "but you'd be surprised how often that works. ~ Marissa Meyer,
434:New Year's Night
Now you are mine, to-night at last I say it;
You're a dove I have bought for sacrifice,
And to-night I slay it.
Here in my arms my naked sacrifice!
Death, do you hear, in my arms I am bringing
My offering, bought at great price.
She's a silvery dove worth more than all I've got.
Now I offer her up to the ancient, inexorable God,
Who knows me not.
Look, she's a wonderful dove, without blemish or spot!
I sacrifice all in her, my last of the world,
Pride, strength, all the lot.
All, all on the altar! And death swooping down
Like a falcon. 'Tis God has taken the victim;
I have won my renown.
~ David Herbert Lawrence,
435:Sonnet Xxx
I see thine image through my tears to-night,
And yet to-day I saw thee smiling. How
Refer the cause ?--Beloved, is it thou
Or I, who makes me sad ? The acolyte
Amid the chanted joy and thankful rite
May so fall flat, with pale insensate brow,
On the altar-stair. I hear thy voice and vow,
Perplexed, uncertain, since thou art out of sight,
As he, in his swooning ears, the choir's Amen.
Beloved, dost thou love ? or did I see all
The glory as I dreamed, and fainted when
Too vehement light dilated my ideal,
For my soul's eyes ? Will that light come again,
As now these tears come--falling hot and real ?
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
436:If a division of works has to be made, it is between those that are nearest to the heart of the sacred flame and those that are least touched or illumined by it because they are more at a distance, or between the fuel that burns strongly or brightly and the logs that if too thickly heaped on the altar may impede the ardour of the fire by their damp, heavy and diffused abundance. But otherwise, apart from this division, all activities of knowledge that seek after or express Truth are in themselves rightful materials for a complete offering ; none ought necessarily to be excluded from the wide framework of the divine life. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 1, 141,
437:When the wedding march began again and he came back a third time, it was with Holly. Her hair was down and loose over her shoulders, while the sleeveless ice-white gown she was wearing hugged every curve of her body to perfection. They walked down the aisle toward the altar arm in arm, and when they reached the pastor, again he asked, “Who gives this woman to this man?”
“I’m keeping this one for myself,” Bud said.
The congregation roared.
And so it began, the ritual that would bind these women to their men.
It had begun with laughter.
It ended in vows and promises.
For Andrew Slade’s daughters, the end of their wedding was just the beginning of the rest of their lives. ~ Sharon Sala,
438:Hugh Anthony, in his new nautical overcoat with brass buttons, neither knew nor cared what he looked like, but was comforted in his heated state by a whistle on a white cord. For years he had been telling his grandparents that a whistle should always accompany marine attire and now at last, just in time for the festival, this remark had sunk in. With his lovely eyes fixed on the altar and an expression of great spiritual beauty on his face he was wondering just when to blow the whistle. Should he accompany the last hymn on it or should he blow one shrill blast in the middle of the Dean's sermon? It was difficult to decide. He must, as Grandfather said one should, wait and be guided. ~ Elizabeth Goudge,
439:In The Cathedral
THE altar-lights burn low, the incense-fume
Sickens: O listen, how the priestly prayer
Runs as a fenland stream; a dim despair
Hails through their chaunt of praise, who here inhume
A clay-cold Faith within its carven tomb.
But come thou forth into the vital air
Keen, dark, and pure! grave Night is no betrayer,
And if perchance some faint cold star illume
Her brow of mystery, shall we walk forlorn?
An altar of the natural rock may rise
Somewhere for men who seek; there may be borne
On the night-wind authentic prophecies:
If not, let this--to breathe sane breath--suffice,
Till in yon East, mayhap, the dark be worn.
~ Edward Dowden,
440:The kitchen. La cucina, the true mother country, this warm cave of the good witch deep in the desolate land of loneliness, with pots of sweet potions bubbling over the fire, a cavern of magic herbs, rosemary and thyme and sage and oregano, balm of lotus that brought sanity to lunatics, peace to the troubled, joy to the joyless, this small twenty-by-twenty world, the altar a kitchen range, the magic circle a checkered tablecloth where the children fed, the old children, lured back to their beginnings, the taste of mother's milk still haunting their memories, fragrance in the nostrils, eyes brightening, the wicked world receding as the old mother witch sheltered her brood from the wolves outside. ~ John Fante,
441:Sonnet Xxx: I See Thine Image
I see thine image through my tears to-night,
And yet to-day I saw thee smiling. How
Refer the cause?--Beloved, is it thou
Or I, who makes me sad? The acolyte
Amid the chanted joy and thankful rite
May so fall flat, with pale insensate brow,
On the altar-stair. I hear thy voice and vow,
Perplexed, uncertain, since thou art out of sight,
As he, in his swooning ears, the choir's amen.
Beloved, dost thou love? or did I see all
The glory as I dreamed, and fainted when
Too vehement light dilated my ideal,
For my soul's eyes? Will that light come again,
As now these tears come--falling hot and real?
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
442:The glinting eyes of the hereditary syphilitic (also syphilitic in his own right), the illiterate day-laborers’ jaws, the rachitic acromegalic face already filled the pages of Italia Illustrata: already, once they were confirmed, all the Maria Barbisas of Italy were beginning to fall in love with him, already they began to invulvulate him, Italy’s Magdas, Milenas, Filomenas, as soon as they stepped down from the altar: in white veils, crowned with orange blossoms, photographed coming out of the narthex, dreaming of the orgies and the educatory exploits of the swinging cudgel. The ladies, at Maiano or at Cernobbio, were already choking in venereal sobs addressed to the strengthener of Italy. ~ Carlo Emilio Gadda,
443:A poem exists only in the relation between poet and reader. And I'm in need of my readers, except that they never cease to write me as they would wish, turning their reading into another writing that almost rubs out my features. I don't know why my poetry has to be killed on the altar of misunderstanding or the fallacy of ready-made intent. I am not solely a citizen of Palestine, though I am proud of this affiliation and ready to sacrifice my life in defending the radiance of the Palestinian fact, but I also want to take up the history of my people and their struggle from an aesthetic angle that differs from the prevalent and repeatable meanings readily available from an unmediated political reading. ~ Mahmoud Darwish,
444:While Christopher went to the front of the church to wait at the altar, Beatrix remained at the back with Leo.
"Beatrix,” her brother asked, “what did you do to Hector?”
“He’s a flower mule,” she said reasonably.
“I hope it won’t distress you to learn that he’s eating his hat.”
Beatrix stifled a giggle.
Bending his head over hers, Leo murmured, “When I give you away at the altar, Bea, I want you to remember something. I’m not really giving you away. I’m merely allowing him the chance to love you as much as the rest of us do.”
Beatrix’s eyes watered, and she leaned against him. “He does,” she whispered.
“I think so, too,” her brother whispered back. “I wouldn’t let you marry him otherwise. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
445:Eleazer took two goats and threw lots. Caleb explained, “Now, he decides which goat will be sacrificed to Yahweh on behalf of Israel. He follows the same procedures as he did for himself with the blood of the chosen goat to propitiate for the sins of the people.” Eleazer slew the goat at the altar. But what happened next fascinated Caleb the most. The second goat was kept alive. Eleazer took his bloody hands and placed them onto the live goat’s head. Caleb said, “He confesses the sins of Israel as a ritual means of transferring them onto the goat.” Another priest then led the goat out of the tabernacle and away from the camp. Caleb commented, “He is sending the scapegoat into the wilderness to send it to Azazel. ~ Brian Godawa,
446:We’re vampires,” he said. “Not fairies.”
“Sometimes I’m not so sure about that. You see that study your king hangs out in?”
“He’s nearly blind.”
“Which explains why he hasn’t hanged himself in that pastel train wreck.”
“I thought you were bitching about the gloom-and-doom decorating?”
“I free-associate.”
“Clearly.” Tohr didn’t look at the angel, as he figured eye contact would only encourage the guy. Oh, wait. Lassiter didn’t need help.
“You expecting that skull on the altar to talk to you or some shit?”
“Actually we’re both waiting for you to finally take a breath.” Tohr glared at the guy. “Anytime you’re ready. Anytime.”
“You say the sweetest things.”

-Tohr & Lassiter ~ J R Ward,
447:The Least Possible
DEAR goddess of the shining shrine
Where all my votive tapers burn,
Where every gold-embroidered thought
And all my flowers of life are brought
--With many, alas! that are not mine-What will you give me in return?
The bow in Bond Street--in the Park
The smile all worship on your lips,
The courteous word at dinner--dance-But never a blush--a conscious glance;
At most, at Henley, in the dark,
Your fleet mistaken finger-tips?
Ah, just for once, once only, be
An altar-server--stoop and set me
Upon the altar richly wrought
Of your most secret flower-sweet thought:
One nightlight's flicker burn for me
Before you sleep and quite forget me.
~ Edith Nesbit,
448:The mathematician may be compared to a designer of garments, who is utterly oblivious of the creatures whom his garments may fit. ...The conic sections, invented in an attempt to solve the problem of doubling the altar of an oracle, ended by becoming the orbits followed by the planets... The imaginary magnitudes invented by Cardan and Bombelli describe... the characteristic features of alternating currents. The absolute differential calculus, which originated as a fantasy of Reimann, became the mathematical model for the theory of Relativity. And the matrices which were a complete abstraction in the days of Cayley and Sylvester appear admirably adapted to the... quantum of the atom. ~ Tobias Dantzig, Number: The Language of Science (1930).,
449:Twice we stood beside each other at the altar, Rosie. Twice. And twice
we got it wrong. I needed you to be there for my wedding day but I was too
stupid to see that I needed you to be the reason for my wedding day. But we
got it all wrong.
I should never have let your lips leave mine all those years ago in Boston.
I should never have pulled away. I should never have panicked. I should never
have wasted all those years without you. Give me a chance to make them up
to you. I love you, Rosie, and I want to be with you and Katie and Josh.
Always.
Please think about it. Don’t waste your time on Greg, this is our opportunity.
Let’s stop being afraid and take the chance. I promise I’ll make you
happy. ~ Cecelia Ahern,
450:In our present fallen, rebellious condition, nothing--I say it again carefully-- nothing is more crucial for humanity than escaping the omnipotent wrath of God. That is not the ultimate goal of the cross. It is just infinitely necessary--and valuable beyond words. The ultimate goal of the cross--the ultimate good of the gospel--is the everlasting enjoyment of God. The glorious work of Christ in bearing our sins and removing God's wrath and providing our righteousness is aimed finally at this: "Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God" (1 Pet. 3:18). Jesus died for us so that we might say with the psalmist, "I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy" (Ps. 43:4). ~ John Piper,
451:I surrender my fears and burdens to God. I needn’t carry into my day the burdens of my existence. Rather, I surrender them into the hands of God. I know that they will be lifted from me, for what I place on the altar in my mind is then altered in my life. When I do not know what to say or do, He who is alive within me will illumine my thinking and guide my words. When a possible outcome makes me weak with fear, I will feel His arms around me. And when the road seems lonely and long before me, I will know I am not alone.        Dear God,        Please take from me the burdens that I carry.        Please uplift my thinking and bring forth a miracle.        Send a wave of love to disperse my fear.        And so it is.        Amen. ~ Marianne Williamson,
452:Sonnet 30 - I See Thine Image Through My Tears ToNight
XXX
I see thine image through my tears to-night,
And yet to-day I saw thee smiling. How
Refer the cause?—Beloved, is it thou
Or I, who makes me sad? The acolyte
Amid the chanted joy and thankful rite
May so fall flat, with pale insensate brow,
On the altar-stair. I hear thy voice and vow,
Perplexed, uncertain, since thou art out of sight,
As he, in his swooning ears, the choir's Amen.
Beloved, dost thou love? or did I see all
The glory as I dreamed, and fainted when
Too vehement light dilated my ideal,
For my soul's eyes? Will that light come again,
As now these tears come—falling hot and real?
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
453:Nastasia Philipovna was quite capable of ruining herself, and even of perpetrating something which would send her to Siberia, for the mere pleasure of injuring a man for whom she had developed so inhuman a sense of loathing and contempt. He had sufficient insight to understand that she valued nothing in the world —herself least of all —and he made no attempt to conceal the fact that he was a coward in some respects. For instance, if he had been told that he would be stabbed at the altar, or publicly insulted, he would undoubtedly have been frightened; but not so much at the idea of being murdered, or wounded, or insulted, as at the thought that if such things were to happen he would be made to look ridiculous in the eyes of society. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
454:OBJECTIVELY SPEAKING, my wedding to Troy Brennan was a beautiful event. Obscenely lavish and obnoxiously wasteful. Brennan spared no expense when it came to what was his. Be it his penthouse, his cars, his women or his wedding. The candles, floral arrangements, aisle runner, soloist, organist, floral archways and extravagantly decorated pews were all impeccable and plush. In fact, I was surprised the altar wasn’t built exclusively from blood diamonds and rolled one-hundred-dollar bills. Nonetheless, to me, it was as pointless as Henry Cavill with a shirt on. So much detail and beauty shouldn’t be wasted on fraud. And that’s what Brennan and I were—a lie. A charade. Doomed people trapped in a marriage built on the ruins of extortion and lies. We ~ L J Shen,
455:It is not one's self, but the band of the spirit's inner enemies that we have to discourage, expel, slay upon the altar of the growth of the spirit; these can be ruthlessly excised, whose names are desire, wrath, inequality, greed, attachment to outward pleasures and pains, the cohort of usurping demons that are the cause of the soul's errors and sufferings. These should be regarded not as part of oneself but as intruders and perverters of our self's real and diviner nature; these have to be sacrificed in the harsher sense of the word, whatever pain in going they may throw by reflection on the consciousness of the seeker.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Yoga of Divine Works, The Sacrifice, the Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice [108-109],
456:They all look alike to me,’ the lieutenant said. Something you could almost have called horror moved him when he looked at the white muslin dresses—he remembered the smell of incense in the churches of his boyhood, the candles and the laciness and the self-esteem, the immense demands made from the altar steps by men who didn’t know the meaning of sacrifice. The old peasants knelt there before the holy images with their arms held out in the attitude of the cross: tired by the long day’s labour in the plantations they squeezed out a further mortification. And the priest came round with the collecting-bag taking their centavos, abusing them for their small comforting sins, and sacrificing nothing at all in return—except a little sexual indulgence. ~ Graham Greene,
457:I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. That is my religion, and every day I am sorely, grossly, heinously and deeply offended, wounded, mortified and injured by a thousand different blasphemies against it. When the fundamental canons of truth, honesty, compassion and decency are hourly assaulted by fatuous bishops, pompous, illiberal and ignorant priests, politicians and prelates, sanctimonious censors, self-appointed moralists and busy-bodies, what recourse of ancient laws have I? None whatever. Nor would I ask for any. For unlike these blistering imbeciles my belief in my religion is strong and I know that lies will always fail and indecency and intolerance will always perish. ~ Stephen Fry,
458:Maybe you are a dancer
moving to the sound of your own future;
or a musician
banging strumming bowing plucking
blowing into,
creating soundtracks
for dream trains chugging along
through thick night;
or a painter
spilling and splattering confessions
across the face of stretched canvas;
or an actor
praying at the altar
of your alter ego;
or a photographer,
finger on the button
like a quick-draw cowboy,
shooting
not to kill anyone
but to preserve forever;
or maybe even
a writer
for some strange reason,
writing expert books,
pages of good intention
and rah-rah and fantasy
and sometimes truth,
or maybe even letters to people
you don't know but
do know you love. ~ Jason Reynolds,
459:Vox Ecclesiae, Vox Christi
Not 'neath the altar only,—yet, in sooth,
There more than elsewhere,—is the cry, “How long?”
The right sown there hath still borne fruit in wrong—
The wrong waxed fourfold. Thence, (in hate of truth)
O'er weapons blessed for carnage, to fierce youth
From evil age, the word hath hissed along:—
“Ye are the Lord's: go forth, destroy, be strong:
Christ's Church absolves ye from Christ's law of ruth.”
Therefore the wine-cup at the altar is
As Christ's own blood indeed, and as the blood
Of Christ's elect, at divers seasons spilt
On the altar-stone, that to man's church, for this,
Shall prove a stone of stumbling,—whence it stood
To be rent up ere the true Church be built.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
460:We don’t grow and mature in our Christian life by sitting in a classroom and library, listening to lectures and reading books, or going to church and singing hymns and listening to sermons. We do it by taking the stuff of our ordinary lives, our parents and children, our spouses and friends, our workplaces and fellow workers, our dreams and fantasies, our attachments, our easily accessible gratifications, our depersonalizing of intimate relations, our commodification of living truths into idolatries, taking all this and placing it on the altar of refining fire—our God is a consuming fire—and finding it all stuff redeemed for a life of holiness. A life that is not reserved for nuns and monks but accessible to every Dick and Jane in every ordinary congregation. ~ Eugene H Peterson,
461:Mystery
Now I am all
One bowl of kisses,
Such as the tall
Slim votaresses
Of Egypt filled
For a God's excesses.
I lift to you
My bowl of kisses,
And through the temple's
Blue recesses
Cry out to you
In wild caresses.
And to my lips'
Bright crimson rim
The passion slips,
And down my slim
White body drips
The shining hymn.
And still before
The altar I
Exult the bowl
Brimful, and cry
To you to stoop
And drink, Most High.
Oh drink me up
That I may be
Within your cup
Like a Mystery,
Like wine that is still
In ecstasy.
Glimmering still
In ecstasy,
Commingled wines
Of you and me
98
In One fulfill,...
The Mystery.
~ David Herbert Lawrence,
462:Have you ever noticed the way a groom looks at his bride during the wedding? I have. Perhaps it’s my vantage point. As the minister of the wedding, I’m positioned next to the groom. Side by side we stand, he about to enter the marriage, I about to perform it. By the time we reach the altar, I’ve been with him for some time backstage as he tugged his collar and mopped his brow. His buddies reminded him that it’s not too late to escape, and there’s always a half-serious look in his eyes that he might. As the minister, I’m the one to give him the signal when it’s our turn to step out of the wings up to the altar. He follows me into the chapel like a criminal walking to the gallows. But all that changes when she appears. And the look on his face is my favorite scene in the wedding. ~ Max Lucado,
463:There are those who believe knowledge is something that is acquired - a precious ore hacked, as it were, from the grey strata of ignorance.

There are those who believe that knowledge can only be recalled, that there was some Golden Age in the distant past when everything was known and the stones fitted together so you could hardly put a knife between them, you know, and it's obvious they had flying machines, right, because of the way the earthworks can only be seen from above, yeah? and there's this museum I read about where they found a pocket calculator under the altar of this ancient temple, you know what I'm saying? but the government hushed it up...

Mustrum Ridcully believed that knowledge could be acquired by shouting at people, and was endeavouring to do so. ~ Terry Pratchett,
464:Benedictio Domini
Without, the sullen noises of the street!
The voice of London, inarticulate,
Hoarse and blaspheming, surges in to meet
The silent blessing of the Immaculate.
Dark is the church, and dim the worshippers,
Hushed with bowed heads as though by some old spell.
While through the incense-laden air there stirs
The admonition of a silver bell.
Dark is the church, save where the altar stands,
Dressed like a bride, illustrious with light,
Where one old priest exalts with tremulous hands
The one true solace of man's fallen plight.
Strange silence here: without, the sounding street
Heralds the world's swift passage to the fire:
O Benediction, perfect and complete!
When shall men cease to suffer and desire?
~ Ernest Christopher Dowson,
465:Turning back to Salta, he reappeared at the hospital and was asked by the staff what he had seen on his journey. “In truth, what do I see?” he reflected. “At least I am not nourished in the same ways as the tourists, and I find it strange to find, on the tourist brochures of Jujuy, for example, the Altar of the Fatherland, the cathedral where the national ensign was blessed, the jewel of the pulpit and the miraculous little virgin of Río Blanco and Pompeii. ... No, one doesn’t come to know a country or find an interpretation of life in this way. That is a luxurious façade, while its true soul is reflected in the sick of the hospitals, the detainees in the police stations or the anxious passersby one gets to know, as the Río Grande shows the turbulence of its swollen level from underneath. ~ Jon Lee Anderson,
466:The Magician works in a Temple; the Universe, which is (be it remembered!) conterminous with himself. In this temple a Circle is drawn upon the floor for the limitation of his working. This circle is protected by divine names, the influences on which he relies to keep out hostile thoughts. Within the circle stands an Altar, the solid basis on which he works, the foundation of all. Upon the Altar are his Wand, Cup, Sword, and Pantacle, to represent his Will, his Understanding, his Reason, and the lower parts of his being, respectively. On the Altar, too, is a phial of Oil, surrounded by a Scourge, a Dagger, and a Chain, while above the Altar hangs a Lamp. The Magician wears a Crown, a single Robe, and a Lamen, and he bears a Book of Conjurations and a Bell.
   ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, Book 4, Magick [54?],
467:His ideal is a man who, having worked all day for the good of posterity (if that is his vocation), washes his mind of the whole subject, commits the issue to Heaven, and returns at once to the patience or gratitude demanded by the moment that is passing over him. But we want a man hag-ridden by the Future—haunted by visions of an imminent heaven or hell upon earth—ready to break the Enemy’s commands in the present if by so doing we make him think he can attain the one or avert the other—dependent for his faith on the success or failure of schemes whose end he will not live to see. We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present. ~ C S Lewis,
468:He smiled and looked at me steadfastly. I stood rooted to the ground, peace rushing like a mighty flood through the gates of my eyes. I was instantaneously healed of a pain in my back, which had troubled me intermittently for years. Renewed, bathed in a sea of luminous joy, I wept no more. After touching the saint’s feet, I sauntered into the jungle, making my way through its tropical tangle until I reached Tarakeswar. There I made a second pilgrimage to the famous shrine and prostrated myself fully before the altar. The round stone enlarged before my inner vision until it became the cosmical spheres, ring within ring, zone after zone, all dowered with divinity. I entrained happily an hour later for Calcutta. My travels ended, not in the lofty mountains, but in the Himalayan presence of my Master. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda,
469:I go to a children’s store in my neighborhood, pink, chirpy, cheerful, and buy the baby a book, The Giving Tree, a dire story about a selfish child sucking the life out of an enabling tree. (That tree has no agency, is what I’ve always thought.) But that is the book you buy a baby. I’m certain Indigo has five copies of it already. I’m too late to be the first at anything. I also buy a stuffed rabbit, its floppy ears draping softly in a sea of pastel tissue paper inside the gift bag. This, too, I know she has multiple versions of, more or less. There is nothing original I can offer this child. I am obligated to make an offering, however, a virgin to the gods, a stuffed animal to a new baby. If I lay this gift on the altar, will you promise me I’ll never get pregnant? I make sure to get gift receipts for both. ~ Jami Attenberg,
470:Upon the altar, a heifer had been sacrificed and was burning. Elihu had stayed watching the sheep while David came down to the town. David’s six other brothers lined up with his father at the foot of the altar. Samuel the Seer stood before the family. Everyone stared at David, waiting for him. Samuel felt like an ominous presence to David and the rest of the village. It seemed that whenever he came around, it was because Yahweh had some kind of chastisement for the people. They wanted to avoid incurring the prophet’s displeasure or Yahweh’s rebuke. Worse yet, they didn’t want their town to be of such significance that God’s holy Seer would take interest in it. That could bring some political prominence that would only end in trouble to these peaceful people. They just wished to stay out of the concern of authorities. ~ Brian Godawa,
471:All That's Not Love . . .
All that's not love is the dearth of my days,
The leaves of the volume with rubric unwrit,
The temple in times without prayer, without praise,
The altar unset and the candle unlit.
Let me survive not the lovable sway
Of early desire, nor see when it goes
The courts of Life's abbey in ivied decay,
Whence sometime sweet anthems and incense arose.
The delicate hues of its sevenfold rings
The rainbow outlives not; their yellow and blue
The butterfly sees not dissolve from his wings,
But even with their beauty life fades from them too.
No more would I linger past Love's ardent bounds
Nor live for aught else but the joy that it craves,
That, burden and essence of all that surrounds,
Is the song in the wind and the smile on the waves.
~ Alan Seeger,
472:For throughout its life, without knowing it or with some presentiment of it, it was Thou whom it was seeking; in all its passions, all its enthusiasms, all its hopes and disillusionments, all its sufferings and all its joys, it was Thou whom it ardently wanted. And now that it has found Thee, now that it possesses Thee in a supreme Peace and Felicity, it wonders that it should have needed so many sensations, emotions, experiences to discover Thee.
   But all this, which was a struggle, a turmoil, a perpetual effort, has become through the sovereign grace of Thy conscious Presence, a priceless fortune which the being rejoices to offer as its gift to Thee. The purifying flame of Thy illumination has turned it into jewels of price laid down as a living holocaust on the altar of my heart.
   ~ The Mother, Prayers And Meditations, 322, [T1],
473:This was the Goblin King. That was my sister in his arms. This was my sister tilting her head back to greet his lips. That was the Goblin King bending down to receive her kisses like sacred offerings made at the altar of his worship. This was the Goblin King running long, slender fingers down the line of my sister's neck, her shoulder, her back. That was my sister laughing, her bright, musical bell of a laugh, and this was the Goblin King smiling in return, but looking at me, always looking. I was entranced; my sister was enchanted.
Enchanted. The word was a dash of cold water, and my senses returned with a jolt. This was the Goblin King. The abductor of maidens, the punisher of misdeeds, the Lord of Mischief and the Underground. But was he also not the friend of my childhood, the confidante of my youth? ~ S Jae Jones,
474:We often fail to realize the depth of evil, terrifying as it is. I am not speaking only of the selfishness of the wealthy, heaping up riches for themselves, or of those who sacrifice to achieve their self-selected goals. Or of the dictator who breathes in the incense due only to God. I am speaking of the selfishness of good people, devout people, those who have succeeded through spiritual exercises and self-denial in being able to make the proud profession before the altar of the Most High, “Lord, I am not like the rest of men.” Yes, we have had the audacity at certain times of our lives to believe we are different from other men. And here is the deepest form of self-deception, dictated by self-centeredness at its worst: spiritual egotism. This most insidious form of egotism even uses piety and prayer for its own gain. ~ Carlo Carretto,
475:Do you really think it is we who decide? If so, you are out of touch with reality. The whole army is waiting for Iphigeneia. They have seen the knife made, they have labored to erect the altar and make the processional way. The one thing that has kept them going, kept them cheerful and joking among themselves, is the prospect of this colorful and unusual spectacle, a king’s daughter on the slab. They may believe this will bring an end to the wind, but that is an abstract matter. It is the prospect of the show itself that has held them together, given them something to look forward to. They are only human, they have to have some color and excitement in their lives. If we cheat them out of it now, we’ll have a full-scale mutiny on our hands. No, let’s face it, if we want to save our own skins, she’ll have to be sacrificed now. ~ Barry Unsworth,
476:You aren't wasting any time getting to the altar. Is there a reason for the hurry?"
Every jaw within hearing dropped.
Mr. Knight twisted around like a vengeful whirlwind.
In unison, the guests stepped back.
But for the first time, Lady Shapster hadn't the power to shame or terrify Eleanor. Maybe Eleanor had matured. Maybe the last four years, the last few days, the last few minutes, had shown her real adversity. For whatever reason, a rush of fury chased anxiety out of her mind. She didn't need Mr. Knight to defend her. She could stand up for herself.
With a smile that was more tooth than benevolence, she said, "Lady Shapster, I arrived in England less than a week ago. If you wish to spread rumors, that isn't one that will take."
Lady Shapster blinked, as if a kitten had attacked her ankles and drawn blood. ~ Christina Dodd,
477:Worry To worry is to fret or torment yourself with disturbing thoughts. A wise person once said, “Most of the problems I’ve had in life never happened.” Is the emotion of anxiety consuming you? Is it attacking someone in your family? Do you dwell on “what will happen if” more than you abide in God’s Word and promises of divine provision? “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”3 Ultimately, worry is faith in fear and not in God! We all experience various trials in this life. It’s normal to be concerned about the crisis you or a member of your family may be facing. But excessively worrying about a situation will not change it; only by taking your concerns to the Lord in prayer and leaving them at the altar can your outcome be different. ~ John Hagee,
478:I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. That is my religion, and every day I am sorely, grossly, heinously and deeply offended, wounded, mortified and injured by a thousand different blasphemies against it. When the fundamental canons of truth, honesty, compassion and decency are hourly assaulted by fatuous bishops, pompous, illiberal and ignorant priests, politicians and prelates, sanctimonious censors, self-appointed moralists and busy-bodies, what recourse of ancient laws have I? None whatever. Nor would I ask for any. For unlike these blistering imbeciles my belief in my religion is strong and I know that lies will always fail and indecency and intolerance will always perish. ~ Stephen Fry, in his "Trefusis Blasphemes" radio broadcast, as published in Paperweight (1993),
479:God help him if anyone saw him engaging in such outrageous behavior. But hell, if this little performance didn’t convince Her Majesty of the lengths he would go to get her to the altar, then he feared nothing would! He was tired of waiting. And he was beginning to find he wasn’t such a patient man after all, not where she was concerned. Her crew had remained in Portsmouth with Kestrel, but for the sake of appearances, Orla had checked into a room with Maeve, and he had taken a neighboring one. It was not an arrangement he intended to keep. Oh, hell no. He had no intention of sleeping alone. Just as he had no intention of allowing her to dally anymore with regard to this whole marriage business. She’d damn well give him an answer tonight—or, he’d carry her off to Triton and have his own flag-captain marry them, and amen to that! ~ Danelle Harmon,
480:Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,--

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln ~ Abraham Lincoln,
481:Poem 13
Behold whiles she before the altar stands
Hearing the holy priest that to her speakes
And blesseth her with his two happy hands,
How the red roses flush vp in her cheekes,
And the pure snow with goodly vermill stayne,
Like crimsin dyde in grayne,
That euen th'Angels which continually,
About the sacred Altare doe remaine,
Forget their seruice and about her fly,
Ofte peeping in her face that seemes more fayre,
The more they on it stare.
But her sad eyes still fastened on the ground,
Are gouerned with goodly modesty,
That suffers not one looke to glaunce awry,
Which may let in a little thought vnsownd,
Why blush ye loue to giue to me your hand,
The pledge of all our band,
Sing ye sweet Angels Alleluya sing,
That all the woods may answere and your eccho ring.
~ Edmund Spenser,
482:Lana started to make sounds, like the imprecations of a priestess, over the bills that the boy had given her. Whispered numerals and words floated upward from her coral lips, and, closing her eyes, she copied some figures onto a pad of paper. Her fine body, itself a profitable investment through the years, bent reverently over the Formica-top altar. Smoke, like incense, rose from the cigarette in the ashtray at her elbow, curling upward with her prayers, up above the host which she was elevating in order to study the date of its minting, the single silver dollar that lay among the offerings. Her bracelet tinkled, calling communicants to the altar, but the only one in the temple had been excommunicated from the Faith because of his parentage and continued mopping. An offering fell to the floor, the host, and Lana knelt to venerate and retrieve it. ~ John Kennedy Toole,
483:I have no understanding why but I believe washing her was one of the most profound things I’ve done in my life. There must be a reason why so many religions insist on the practice. Obviously, sanitation and health. But aside from that? Maybe because it’s the final act of devotion. I know no other possible answer. In Jewish tradition, it’s considered the only act of giving/ kindness that expects no gift in return. Somehow it seems the perfect bookend with wedding. In a Zen wedding like ours, we bow to each other at the altar . Marriage should be a partnership based on deep mutual respect and equality. In death, we figuratively bow to our beloved again by cleaning the body. The greatest number of photographs I have of Tracy are from our wedding. They surround me now. They too are part of our time together. They too remind me of my final opportunity to love her body. ~ Frederick Marx,
484:Anger 21 y “You have heard that it was said to those of old,  z ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable  a to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that  b everyone who is angry with his brother [3] will be liable  a to judgment; whoever insults [4] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to  c the hell [5] of fire. 23 d So if  e you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 f Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26Truly, I say to you,  g you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. [6] ~ Anonymous,
485:I spare you,” said the Duke in a voice of inhuman pity. “I refuse. If I gave you the faintest hint of the load of horror I have to bear alone, you would lie shrieking at these feet of mine and begging to know no more. I will spare you the hint. You shall not spell the first letter of what is written on the altar of the Unknown God.” “I know the Unknown God,” said the little priest, with an unconscious grandeur of certitude that stood up like a granite tower. “I know his name; it is Satan. The true God was made flesh and dwelt among us. And I say to you, wherever you find men ruled merely by mystery, it is the mystery of iniquity. If the devil tells you something is too fearful to look at, look at it. If he says something is too terrible to hear, hear it. If you think some truth unbearable, bear it. I entreat your Grace to end this nightmare now and here at this table.” “If ~ G K Chesterton,
486:Let the whole of mankind tremble the whole world shake and the heavens exult when Christ, the Son of the living God, is on the altar in the hands of a priest. O admirable heights and sublime lowliness! O sublime humility! O humble sublimity! That the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under the little form of bread! Look, brothers, at the humility of God and pour out your hearts before Him! Humble yourselves, as well, that you may be exalted by Him. Therefore, hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves so that He Who gives Himself totally to you may receive you totally. [1495.jpg] -- from Francis and Clare: The Complete Works: The Classics of Western Spirituality, Translated by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM CAP / Translated by Ignatius C. Brady, OFM

~ Saint Francis of Assisi, Let the whole of mankind tremble
,
487:Christmas Party At The South Danbury Church
December twenty-first
we gather at the white Church festooned
red and green, the tree flashing
green-red lights beside the altar.
After the children of Sunday School
recite Scripture, sing songs,
and scrape out solos,
they retire to dress for the finale,
to perform the pageant
again: Mary and Joseph kneeling
cradleside, Three Kings,
shepherds and shepherdesses. Their garments
are bathrobes with mothholes,
cut down from the Church's ancestors.
Standing short and long,
they stare in all directions for mothers,
sisters and brothers,
giggling and waving in recognition,
and at the South Danbury
Church, a moment before Santa
arrives with her ho-hos
and bags of popcorn, in the half-dark
of whole silence, God
enters the world as a newborn again.
~ Donald Hall,
488:Often he went to the workshop, to encourage the assistant Erich, who continued working at the altar and eagerly awaited his master's return. Sometimes the Abbot unlocked Goldmund's room, where the Mary figure stood, lifted the cloth from the figure carefully and stayed with her awhile. He knew nothing of the figure's origin; Goldmund had never told him Lydia's story. But he felt everything; he saw that the girl's form had long lived in Goldmund's heart. Perhaps he had seduced her, perhaps betrayed and left heR But, truer than the most faithful husband, he had taken her along in his soul, preserving her image until finally, perhaps after many years in which he had never seen her again, he had fashioned this beautiful, touching statue of a girl and captured in her face, her bear­ ing, her hands all the tenderness, admiration, and longing of their love.

   ~ Hermann Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund,
489:Tell me how Gisela can be married to a man she's never met?'

Aidan glanced across at Guthred as if expecting help from the king, but Guthred was still motionless, so Aidan had to confront me alone. 'I stood beside her in Lord Ælfric's place,' he said, 'so in the eyes of the church she is married.'

'Did you hump her as well?' I demanded, and the priests and monks hissed their disapproval.

'Of course not.' Aidan said, offended.

'If no one's ridden her,' I said, 'then she's not married. A mare isn't broken until she's saddled and ridden. Have you been ridden?' I asked Gisela.

'Not yet.' she said.

'She is married.' Aidan insisted.

'You stood at the altar in my uncle's place,' I said, 'and you call that a marriage?'

'It is.' Beocca said quietly.

'So if I kill you,' I suggested to Aidan, ignoring Beocca, 'she'll be a widow? ~ Bernard Cornwell,
490:The Appeal
ALL summer-time you said:
'Love has no need of shelter nor of kindness,
For all the flowers take pity on his blindness,
And lead him to his scented rose-soft bed.'
'He is a king,' you said.
'That I bow not the knee will never grieve him,
For all the summer-palaces receive him.'
But now Love has not where to lay his head.
'He is a god,' you said.
'His altars are wherever roses blossom.'
And summer made his altar of her bosom,
But now the altar is ungarlanded.
Take back the words you said:
Out in the rain he shivers broken-hearted;
Summer who bore him has with tears departed,
And o'er her grave he weeps uncomforted.
And you, for all you said,
Would weep too, if when dawn stills the wind's riot,
You found him on your threshold, pale and quiet,
Clasped him at last, and found the child was dead.
~ Edith Nesbit,
491:The obvious definition of a monarchy seems to be that of a state, in which a single person, by whatsoever name he may be distinguished, is entrusted with the execution of the laws, the management of the revenue, and the command of the army. But, unless public liberty is protected by intrepid and vigilant guardians, the authority of so formidable a magistrate will soon degenerate into despotism. The influence of the clergy, in an age of superstition, might be usefully employed to assert the rights of mankind; but so intimate is the connection between the throne and the altar, that the banner of the church has very seldom been seen on the side of the people. A martial nobility and stubborn commons, possessed of arms, tenacious of property, and collected into constitutional assemblies, form the only balance capable of preserving a free constitution against enterprises of an aspiring prince. ~ Edward Gibbon,
492:Sri Ramakrishna has described the incident: "The Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kāli temple that it was She who had become everything. She showed me that everything was full of Consciousness. The image was Consciousness, the Altar was Consciousness, the water-vessels were Consciousness, the door-sill was Consciousness, the marble floor was Consciousness - all was Consciousness. I found everything inside the room soaked, as it were, in Bliss - the Bliss of God. I saw a wicked man in front of the Kāli temple; but in him also I saw the power of the Divine Mother vibrating. That was why I fed a cat with the food that was to be offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceived that all this was the Divine Mother - even the cat. The manager of the temple garden wrote to Mathur Bābu saying that I was feeding the cat with the offering intended for the Divine Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
493:LETTING IN THE JUNGLE Veil them, cover them, wall them round—
Blossom, and creeper, and weed—
Let us forget the sight and the sound,
The smell and the touch of the breed!
Fat black ash by the altar-stone,
Here is the white-foot rain,
And the does bring forth in the fields unsown,
And none shall affright them again;
And the blind walls crumble, unknown, o'erthrown
And none shall inhabit again!
You will remember that after Mowgli had pinned Shere Khan's hide to the Council Rock, he told as many as were left of the Seeonee Pack that henceforward he would hunt in the Jungle alone; and the four children of Mother and Father Wolf said that they would hunt with him. But it is not easy to change one's life all in a minute—particularly in the Jungle. The first thing Mowgli did, when the disorderly Pack had slunk off, was to go to the home-cave, and sleep for a day and a night. ~ Rudyard Kipling,
494:Of course, she won’t figure it out,’ Pyotr Stepanovich responded like a perfect fool, ‘because legally, you see… Oh, you! And what if she did figure it out! All this kind of thing is so easily erased from the minds of women; you don’t know women yet! Besides, it’s to her full advantage to marry you because she’s the one who’s disgraced herself; and besides, I was the one who gave her all that stuff about the “barque”: I saw right away that one could have an effect on her with the “barque” business, and so that’s the calibre of girl she is. Don’t worry, she’ll step across those bodies tra-la-la, the more so since you’re completely, completely innocent, isn’t that so? Except that she’ll save up those corpses to needle you with later on, maybe in the second year of your marriage. Every woman, when she goes to the altar, stores up something of this sort from her husband’s past, but then, you know — what can happen in a year or so? Ha, ha, ha! ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
495:It is possible to feel you are “madly in love” with someone, when it is really just an attraction to someone who can meet your needs and address the insecurities and doubts you have about yourself. In that kind of relationship, you will demand and control rather than serve and give. The only way to avoid sacrificing your partner’s joy and freedom on the altar of your need is to turn to the ultimate lover of your soul. He voluntarily sacrificed himself on the cross, taking what you deserved for your sins against God and others. On the cross he was forsaken and experienced the lostness of hell, but he did it all for us. Because of the loving sacrifice of the Son, you can know the heaven of the Father’s love through the work of the Spirit. Jesus truly “built a heaven in hell’s despair.” And fortified with the love of God in your soul, you likewise can now give yourself in loving service to your spouse. “We love—because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). ~ Timothy J Keller,
496:Ingerid Sletten
Ingerid Sletten of Sillejord
Neither gold nor silver did own,
But a little hood of gay wool alone,
Her mother had given of yore.
A little hood of gay wool alone,
With no braid nor lining, was here;
But parent love made it ever dear,
And brighter than gold it shone.
She kept the hood twenty years just so:
"Be it spotless," softly she cried,
"Until I shall wear it once as bride,
When I to the altar go."
She kept the hood thirty years just so:
"Be it spotless," softly she cried,
"Then wear it I will, a gladsome bride,
When it to our Lord I show."
She kept the hood forty years just so,
With her mother ever in mind.
"Little hood, be with me to this resigned,
That ne'er to the altar we'll go."
She steps to the chest where the hood has lain,
And seeks it with swelling heart;
She guides her hand to its place apart,-But never a thread did remain.
~ Bjornstjerne Bjornson,
497:What I Have Seen #2
I saw a maid with her chivalrous lover:
He was both tender and true;
He kissed her lips, vowing over and over,
'Darling, I worship you.'
Sing, sing, bird of the spring,
Tell of the flowers the summer will bring.
I saw the maiden, sweet, loving, confiding,
Smile when he whispered 'Mine,'
Saw her lips meet his with no word of chiding,
Though his breath fumed with wine.
Wail, wail, Nightingale,
Sing of a mourner bowed and pale.
I saw the lover and maid at the altar,
Bound by the bands divine;
Heard the responses-they fail not nor falterSaw the guests pledge in wine.
Howl, howl, ominous Owl,
Shriek of the terrible tempest's scowl.
I saw the drunkard's wife weeping in anguish,
Saw her struck down by a blow;
I saw the husband in prison-cells languishThus ends the tale of woe.
Shriek, shriek, O Raven! speak
Of the terrible midnight, dark and bleak.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
498:The suppression of ecstasy and condemnation of pleasure by patriarchal religion have left us in a deep, festering morass. The pleasures people seek in modern times are superficial, venal, and corrupt. This is deeply unfortunate, for it justifies the patriarchal condemnation of pleasure that rotted out our hedonistic capacities in the first place! Narcissism is rampant, having reached a truly global scale. It now appears to have entered the terminal phase known as “cocooning,” the ultimate state of isolation. Dissociation from the natural world verges on complete disembodiment, represented in Archontic ploys such as “transhumanism,” cloning, virtual reality, and the uploading of human consciousness into cyberspace. The computer looks due to replace the cross as the primary image of salvation. It is already the altar where millions worship daily. If the technocrats prevail, artificial intelligence and artificial life will soon overrule the natural order of the planet. ~ John Lamb Lash,
499:I love my generation, but we are flaky sometimes. I’ve had several conversations with people my age who say the reason it’s so tough to build relationships or keep them going is because we come into them with only half of our hearts sometimes. We like to keep one foot out the door in case a better option comes along.
I used to be guilty of this. I would make plans with someone, but I would be flaky about the confirmation. We’d leave the time or the place open-ended. There were plenty of times when, as the meet-up approached, I’d pray that they would duck out. I’m learning you miss out on a lot of things in life when you are indecisive about your yes. Saying yes and following through builds a lot of character. It makes you a reliable person.
I had to place the habit of flakiness—as sacred as it felt to me—on the altar and sacrifice it to the gods of consistency once I decided to stay in Atlanta. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much people need you to show up. ~ Hannah Brencher,
500:Think about it this way. It has now been more than thirty years since the supply-side revolution conquered Washington, since laissez-faire became the dogma of the nation’s ruling class, shared by large numbers of Democrats as well as Republicans. We have lived through decades of deregulation, deunionization, privatization, and free-trade agreements; the neoliberal ideal has been projected into every corner of the nation’s life. Universities try to put themselves on a market-based footing these days; so do hospitals, electric utilities, churches, and museums; so does the Post Office, the CIA, and the U.S. Army. And now, after all this has been going on for decades, we have a people’s uprising demanding that we bow down before the altar of the free market. And this only a short while after the high priests of that very cosmology led the world into the greatest economic catastrophe in memory. “Amazing” is right. “Unlikely” would also be right. “Preposterous” would be even righter. ~ Thomas Frank,
501:I am not, anymore, a Christian, but I am lifted and opened by any space with prayer inside it. I didn’t know why I was going, today, to stand in the long cool darkness of St. John of the Divine, but my body knew, as bodies do, what it wanted. I entered the oddly small door of the huge space, and walked without hesitating to the altar I hadn’t consciously remembered, a national memorial for those who died of AIDS, marked by banners and placards. My heart melted, all at once, and I understood why I was there. Because the black current the masseuse had touched wanted, needed, to keep flowing. I’d needed to know I could go on, but I’d also been needing to collapse. Which is what I did, some timeless tear span of minutes sitting on the naked gray stone. A woman gave me the kind of paper napkins you get with an ice cream cone. It seemed to me the most genuine of gifts, made to a stranger: the recognition of how grief moves in the body, leaving us unable to breathe, helpless, except for each other. ~ Mark Doty,
502:In an ideal world, marriage vows would be entirely rewritten. At the altar, a couple would speak thus: “We accept not to panic when, some years from now, what we are doing today will seem like the worst decision of our lives. Yet we promise not to look around, either, for we accept that there cannot be better options out there. Everyone is always impossible. We are a demented species.” After the solemn repetition of the last sentence by the congregation, the couple would continue: “We will endeavor to be faithful. At the same time, we are certain that never being allowed to sleep with anyone else is one of the tragedies of existence. We apologize that our jealousies have made this peculiar but sound and non-negotiable restriction very necessary. We promise to make each other the sole repository of our regrets rather than distribute them through a life of sexual Don Juanism. We have surveyed the different options for unhappiness, and it is to each other we have chosen to bind ourselves. ~ Alain de Botton,
503:As long as a vessel is filled with something, nothing else can come in. And here is where a spiritual law comes into play. As long as there is something in my life, God cannot fill it. If I empty out half of my life, God can only fill half. And my spiritual life would be diluted with the things of the natural man. This seems to be the condition of many Christians today. They are willing to get rid of some things in their lives, and God comes and fills them as far as He can. But until they are willing to give up everything and put everything on the altar, as it were, God cannot fill their entire lives. One of the strange things about God is that He will come in as far as we allow Him. I have often said that a Christian is as full of the Holy Spirit as he wants to be. We can beg to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We can talk about it, but until we are willing to empty ourselves, we will never have the fullness of the Holy Spirit in our lives. God will fill as much of us as we allow Him to fill. ~ A W Tozer,
504:Dog days in Maycomb meant at least one revival, and one was in progress that week. It was customary for the town’s three churches—Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian—to unite and listen to one visiting minister, but occasionally when the churches could not agree on a preacher or his salary, each congregation held its own revival with an open invitation to all; sometimes, therefore, the populace was assured of three weeks’ spiritual reawakening. Revival time was a time of war: war on sin, Coca-Cola, picture shows, hunting on Sunday; war on the increasing tendency of young women to paint themselves and smoke in public; war on drinking whiskey—in this connection at least fifty children per summer went to the altar and swore they would not drink, smoke, or curse until they were twenty-one; war on something so nebulous Jean Louise never could figure out what it was, except there was nothing to swear concerning it; and war among the town’s ladies over who could set the best table for the evangelist. ~ Harper Lee,
505:All men, at one time or another, have fallen in love with the veiled Isis whom they call Truth. With most, this has been a passing passion: they have early seen its hopelessness and turned to more practical things. But others remain all their lives the devout lovers of reality: though the manner of their love, the vision which they make to themselves of the beloved object varies enormously. Some see Truth as Dante saw Beatrice: an adorable yet intangible figure, found in this world yet revealing the next. To others she seems rather an evil but an irresistible enchantress: enticing, demanding payment and betraying her lover at the last. Some have seen her in a test tube, and some in a poet’s dream: some before the altar, others in the slime. The extreme pragmatists have even sought her in the kitchen; declaring that she may best be recognized by her utility. Last stage of all, the philosophic sceptic has comforted an unsuccessful courtship by assuring himself that his mistress is not really there. ~ Evelyn Underhill,
506:After many weeks together, we knew it wasn’t enough to confess our sins; we had to turn from them from that time forward. Deeply humbled, we penned prayers of absolute surrender to God and offered ourselves as living sacrifices to him, to live crucified lives, dead to sin and alive to Christ. We yielded our full selves at any price to obedience to his will for our lives. It was a fearsome step to be sure, but it was like pouring pure fuel on the heart-fires God had ignited. Fully surrendered hearts, lying unrestricted on the altar of personal sacrifice, are finally able to burn freely. A few months passed, and when I met again with my friend Jillian, my heart was bursting to invite her to receive the same gift I had received. So I invited Jillian to pick up her own pen, cry out to God, make her confessions, and plead with him to help her write her way back to spiritual health, true fellowship, and passionate intimacy. I had no doubt that, if she were willing, God would revive and ignite her spirit just as he had mine. ~ Carol J Kent,
507:But now as Phoebus anointed Phaethon
With medicinal blocker
To protect him from the burning
And fixed the crown of rays on the boy’s head
He saw the tragedy to come

And sighed: “At least, if you can,
Stick to these instructions, my son.
First: use the whip not at all, or lightly.
But rein the team hard. It is not easy.
Their whole inclination is to be gone.

Second: avoid careering
Over the whole five zones of heaven.
Keep to that broad highway that curves
Within three zones, temperate and tropic.
Avoid the poles, and their killing blizzards.

Keep to that highway, follow the wheel ruts.
Share your heat fairly
Between heaven and earth, not too low
And not crashing in among the stars. Too high,
You will set heaven aflame—and, too low, earth.

The middle way is best, and safest.
And do not veer too far to the right
Where your wheels might crush the Serpent, nor to the left
Where they might be shattered against the Altar.
Take a bearing between them. ~ Ovid,
508:There were spaceships again in that century, and the ships were manned by fuzzy impossibilities that walked on two legs and sprouted tufts of hair in unlikely anatomical regions. They were a garrulous kind. They belonged to a race quite capable of admiring its own image in a mirror, and equally capable of cutting its own throat before the altar of some god, such as the deity of Daily Shaving. It was a species which often considered itself to be, basically, a race of divinely inspired toolmakers; any intelligent entity from Arcturus would instantly have perceived them to be, basically, a race of impassioned after-dinner speechmakers.

It was inevitable, it was manifest destiny, they felt (and not for the first time) that such a race go forth to conquer stars. To conquer them several times, if need be, and certainly to make speeches about the conquest. But, too, it was inevitable that the race succumb again to the old maladies on new worlds, even as on Earth before, in the litany of life and in the special liturgy of Man... ~ Walter M Miller Jr,
509:A Retreat. I have a hunch (but I don’t know whether my lips should confess it now) that the time for a Universal Retreat is at hand. The son of earth will henceforth understand that he is not expressing himself in harmony with his deepest being but always in accordance with some artificial form painfuly thrust upon him from without, either by people or by circumstances. He will then dread that form of his and feel ashamed of it, much as he had thus far idolized and flaunted it. We will soon fear our persons and our personalities, because it will become apparent that they are by no means truly our own. And instead ofroaring: “I believe in this-I feel it-that’s how I am-I’m ready to defend it,” we will say in all humility: “Maybe I believe in it-maybe I feel it-I happened to say it, to do it, or to think it.” The bard will scorn his own song. The leader will shudder at his own command. The high priest will stand in terror of the altar, and the mother will instill in her son not only principles but also ways of escaping them so that they do not smother him. ~ Witold Gombrowicz,
510:O King, thy fate is a transaction done
At every hour between Nature and thy soul
With God for its foreseeing arbiter.
Fate is a balance drawn in Destiny's book.
Man can accept his fate, he can refuse.
Even if the One maintains the unseen decree
He writes thy refusal in thy credit page:
For doom is not a close, a mystic seal.
Arisen from the tragic crash of life,
Arisen from the body's torture and death,
The spirit rises mightier by defeat;
Its godlike wings grow wider with each fall.
Its splendid failures sum to victory.
O man, the events that meet thee on thy road,
Though they smite thy body and soul with joy and grief,
Are not thy fate, - they touch thee awhile and pass;
Even death can cut not short thy spirit's walk:
Thy goal, the road thou choosest are thy fate.
On the altar throwing thy thoughts, thy heart, thy works,
Thy fate is a long sacrifice to the gods
Till they have opened to thee thy secret self
And made thee one with the indwelling God. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 06:02 The Way of Fate and the Problem of Pain,
511:Men and women of today! if there be among you any pure, fresh flower, let it be laid on the altar of God. If there are among you any who, being young, do not desire to return into the world, let them give up! Let them renounce! This is the one secret of spirituality, renunciation. Dare to do this. Be brave enough to do it. Such great sacrifices are necessary. Can you not see the tide of death and materialism that is rolling over these Western lands? Can you not see the power of lust and unholiness, that is eating into the very vitals of society? Believe me, you will not arrest these things by talk, or by movements of agitation for reform; but by renunciation, by standing up, in the midst of decay and death, as mountains of righteousness. Talk not, but let the power of purity, the power of chastity, the power of renunciation, emanate from every pore of your body. Let it strike those who are struggling day and night for gold, that even in the midst of such a state of things, there can be one to whom wealth counts for nothing. Put away lust and wealth. Sacrifice yourselves. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
512:When Constantine converted to Christianity, there basically was no Christian architecture. Local Christian communities met in converted houses, and especially in the face of periodic imperial persecution, the religion had developed no specific architectural forms of its own. In the fourth century, therefore, as imperial patronage and ongoing processes of conversion caused large numbers of specialist churches to be built for the first time, the religion took over an old form of public building from the Graeco-Roman world: the basilica. This was a rectangular, shallow-vaulted building, usually equipped with aisles around an elevated central nave and an apse at one end. It had long been used for town council buildings and audience chambers across the Mediterranean world, with the apse being occupied by the presiding figure of power (or indeed the emperor in the case of a palace audience chamber). For Christianity, the apse worked nicely for the sacred space of the altar, and the basilica was a building form essentially designed for meetings, which worked, too, as a space for church services ~ Peter Heather,
513:This is precisely the nuanced distinction that the Apostle Paul refers to when he addresses the issue of food sacrificed to idols—that is, physical images of deities on earth. He considers idols as having “no real existence,” but then refers to other “gods” in the heavens or on earth who do exist, but are not the same as the One Creator God:   1 Cor. 8:4-6 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.   1 Cor. 10:18-20 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. ~ Brian Godawa,
514:In High Life
Sir Impycu Lackland, from over the sea,
Has led to the altar Miss Bloatie Bondee.
The wedding took place at the Church of St. Blare;
The fashion, the rank and the wealth were all there
No person was absent of all whom one meets.
Lord Mammon himself bowed them into their seats,
While good Sir John Satan attended the door
And Sexton Beelzebub managed the floor,
Respectfully keeping each dog to its rug,
Preserving the peace between poodle and pug.
Twelve bridesmaids escorted the bride up the aisle
To blush in her blush and to smile in her smile;
Twelve groomsmen supported the eminent groom
To scowl in his scowl and to gloom in his gloom.
The rites were performed by the hand and the lip
Of his Grace the Diocesan, Billingham Pip,
Assisted by three able-bodied divines.
He prayed and they grunted, he read, they made signs.
Such fashion, such beauty, such dressing, such grace
Were ne'er before seen in that heavenly place!
That night, full of gin, and all blazing inside,
Sir Impycu blackened the eyes of his bride.
~ Ambrose Bierce,
515:LOVE, FORGIVE ME After Rachel McKibbens My sister told me a soul mate is not the person who makes you the happiest, but the one who makes you feel the most. Who conducts your heart to bang the loudest. Who can drag you giggling with forgiveness from the cellar they locked you in. It has always been you. You are the first person I was afraid to sleep next to, not because of the fear you would leave in the night but because I didn’t want to wake up gracelessly. In the morning, I crawled over your lumbering chest to wash my face and pinch my cheeks and lay myself out like a still-life beside you. Your new girlfriend is pretty like the cover of a cookbook. I have said her name into the empty belly of my apartment. Forgive me. When I feel myself falling out of love with you, I turn the record of your laughter over, reposition the needle. I have imagined our children. Forgive me. I made up the best parts of you. Forgive me. When you told me to look for you on my wedding day, to pause on the altar for the sound of your voice before sinking myself into the pond of another love, forgive me. I mistook it for a promise. ~ Sierra DeMulder,
516:Within moments, they were through the sanctuary tunnel way and headed down into the cavern below the altar. But the gods were gone. “Deplorable,” said Uriel, gazing upon the dismembered body parts of his brother archangel on the wall. They carefully took down the arms, legs, torso and head of Mikael and reattached them like a human anatomy puzzle. Uriel said, “Why would they have left all of him here for us to find and heal?” Uriel remembered all too terribly when he had been decapitated by Anu in the primeval city of Uruk. Anu had kept Uriel’s head separated from his body so that the angel could not heal and fight them. Gabriel said, “They must have wanted us to find him.” Raphael said, “But they did not want us to follow them, as we would have, had they taken part of his body.” The angels had done so in the past when Ishtar had cut Gabriel in half and threw his legs into the Abyss. “Which means we should follow them,” said Uriel. “But where?” It would take some time for his organic tissue to reconnect, including his voice box. But Mikael could not wait for that healing. His hand wrote out on the sandy floor, “Ashkelon. ~ Brian Godawa,
517:So many of us fail: we divorce our wives and husbands, we leave the roofs of our lovers, go once again into the lonely march, mustering our courage with work, friends, half pleasures which are not whole because they are not shared. Yet still I believe in love's possibility, in its presence on the earth; as I believe I can approach the altar on any morning of any day which may be the last and receive the touch that does not, for me, say: There is no death; but does say: In this instant I recognize, with you, that you must die. And I believe I can do this in an ordinary kitchen with an ordinary woman and five eggs. The woman sets the table She watches me beat the eggs. I scramble them in a saucepan, as my now-dead friend taught me; they stand deeper and cook softer, he said. I take our plates, spoon eggs on them, we sit and eat. She and I and the kitchen have become extraordinary; we are not simply eating; we are pausing in the march to perform an act together, we are in love; and the meal offered and received is a sacrament which says: I know you will die; I am sharing food with you; it is all I can do, and it is everything. ~ Andre Dubus,
518:Woman, even more than man, is a fetich worshipper, and though her idols may change, she is ever on her knees, ever holding up her hands, ever blind to the fact that her god has feet of clay. Thus woman has been the greatest supporter of all deities from time immemorial. Thus, too, she has had to pay the price that only gods can exact,—her freedom, her heart’s blood, her very life. Nietzsche’s memorable maxim, “When you go to woman, take the whip along,” is considered very brutal, yet Nietzsche expressed in one sentence the attitude of woman towards her gods. Religion, especially the Christian religion, has condemned woman to the life of an inferior, a slave. It has thwarted her nature and fettered her soul, yet the Christian religion has no greater supporter, none more devout, than woman. Indeed, it is safe to say that religion would have long ceased to be a factor in the lives of the people, if it were not for the support it receives from woman. The most ardent churchworkers, the most tireless missionaries the world over, are women, always sacrificing on the altar of the gods that have chained her spirit and enslaved her body. ~ Emma Goldman,
519:THE TRADITION OF sacrificing children is deeply rooted in most cultures and religions. For this reason it is also tolerated, and indeed commended, in our western civilization. Naturally, we no longer sacrifice our sons and daughters on the altar of God, as in the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac. But at birth and throughout their later upbringing, we instill in them the necessity to love, honor, and respect us, to do their best for us, to satisfy our ambitions—in short, to give us everything our parents denied us. We call this decency and morality. Children rarely have any choice in the matter. All their lives, they will force themselves to offer their parents something that they neither possess nor have any knowledge of, quite simply because they have never been given it: genuine, unconditional love that does not merely serve to gratify the needs of the recipient. Yet they will continue to strive in this direction because even as adults they still believe that they need their parents and because, despite all the disappointments they have experienced, they still hope for some token of genuine affection from those parents. Such ~ Alice Miller,
520:All eyes flew to the entrance.
A great gray stallion reared up in the doorway, its breath frosting the air with puffs of steam. It was a scene from every fairy-tale romance she'd ever read: the handsome prince bursting into the castle astride a magnificent stallion, ablaze with desire and honor as he'd declared his undying love before all and sundry. Her heart swelled with joy.
Then her brow puckered as she scrutinized her "prince." Well, it was almost like a fairy tale. Except this prince was dressed in nothing but a drenched and muddy tartan with blood on his face and hands and war braids plaited at his temples. Although determination glittered in his gaze, a declaration of undying love didn't appear to be his first priority.
"Jillian!" he roared.
Her knees buckled. His voice brought her violently to life. Everything in the room receded and there was only Grimm, blue eyes blazing, his massive frame filling the doorway. He was majestic, towering, and ruthless. Here was her fierce warrior ready to battle the world to gain her love.
He urged Occam into the crowd, making his way toward the altar.
"Grimm," she whispered. ~ Karen Marie Moning,
521:The rules about communion at Friday mass, for example, made absolutely no sense. We’d be in there for an hour of kneeling, standing, sitting, kneeling, standing, sitting, kneeling, standing, sitting, and by the end of it I’d be starving, but I was never allowed to take communion, because I wasn’t Catholic. The other kids could eat Jesus’s body and drink Jesus’s blood, but I couldn’t. And Jesus’s blood was grape juice. I loved grape juice. Grape juice and crackers—what more could a kid want? And they wouldn’t let me have any. I’d argue with the nuns and the priest all the time. “Only Catholics can eat Jesus’s body and drink Jesus’s blood, right?” “Yes.” “But Jesus wasn’t Catholic.” “No.” “Jesus was Jewish.” “Well, yes.” “So you’re telling me that if Jesus walked into your church right now, Jesus would not be allowed to have the body and blood of Jesus?” “Well…uh…um…” They never had a satisfactory reply. One morning before mass I decided, I’m going to get me some Jesus blood and Jesus body. I snuck behind the altar and I drank the entire bottle of grape juice and I ate the entire bag of Eucharist to make up for all the other times that I couldn’t. In ~ Trevor Noah,
522:Ever since black people came to this country we have needed a Moses. There has always been so much water that needs parting. It seems like all black children, from the time we are born, come into the world in the midst of a rushing current that threatens to swallow us whole if we don't heed the many, many warnings we are told to heed. We come into the world as alchemists of the water, bending it, willing it to bear us safe passage and cleanse us along the way, to teach us to move with joy and purpose and to never, ever stop flowing forward into something grand waiting at the other end of the delta. We're a people forever in exodus.
Before Moses there was Abraham, and ever since black people came to this country we have needed an Abraham. We have always been sending each other away -- for our own good, don't you know it -- and calling each other back, finding kinship where a well springs from tears. We are masters of the art of sacrifice; no one is more skilled at laying their greatest beloveds on the altar and feeling certainty even as we feel sorrow. And when we see the ram, we know how to act fast, and prosper, even as the stone knife warms in our hands. ~ Eve L Ewing,
523:When Jesus received the vinegar, He said, IT IS FINISHED. 'At these words,' said F.W. Krummacher, 'you hear fetters burst and prison walls falling down, barriers as high as heaven are overthrown, and gates which had been closed for thousands of years again move on their hinges.'
The three English words, 'it is finished', are the equivalent of a single Greek word, tetelestai.
In his charming way, F.W. Borham points out that it was a farmer's word. When there was born into his herd an animal so shapely that it seemed destitute of defects, the farmer, gazing on the creature with delighted eyes exclaimed 'Tetelestai'. It was an artist's word. When the painter had put the finishing touches to the vivid landscape, he would stand back and admire his masterpiece. Seeing that nothing called for correction or improvement he would murmur, 'tetelestai'.
It was a priestly word. When some devout worshiper overflowing with gratitude for mercies received brought to the Temple a lamb without blemish, the pride of the flock, the priest, more accustomed to seeing blind and defective animals led to the altar, would look admiringly at the pretty creature and say, 'tetelestai'. ~ J Oswald Sanders,
524:Logan folded his arms. His voice was granite."My word stands."
"Can you love an idea more than you love a man and not become a monster? How many friends will you sacrifice on the altar of Justice, Logan?"
"If you force my hand, at least one."
They were standing on a precipice. Socially, Logan had always been Kylar's superior. Morally, Kylar had always felt inferior, too. But they'd never been placed in a direct hierarchical relation. Now Logan was giving an order. He would not be moved.
Kylar could only accept his order and accept all his orders henceforth, or reject it and them forever. There was a part of him that yearned to obey. He was convinced that killing Terah was the right thing, but Logan's moral compass was a more accurate instrument than Kylar's. What was it about submission that was so hard? Kylar wasn't being asked for blind servility. He was being asked to obey a man he knew and loved and respected, who in turn respected him.
'The wolfhound is pampered by the fire. The wolf is hunted in the cold.'
"Do you know how much I love you, Logan?" Kylar asked. Logan opened his mouth, but before he could say a word, Kylar said, "This much." And left. ~ Brent Weeks,
525:Everything is argued over in this world. Apart from only one thing that is not argued over. Nobody argues about democracy. Democracy is there as if it was some sort of saint in the altar from whom miracles are no longer expected. But it’s there as a reference. A reference. Democracy. And no-one attends to the matter that the democracy in which we live is a democracy taken captive, conditioned, amputated. Because the power..the power of the citizen, the power of each one of us, is limited, in the political sphere, I repeat, in the political sphere, to remove a government that we do not like and replace it with another one that perhaps we might like in the future. Nothing else. But the big decisions are taken in a different sphere, and we all know which one that is. The big international financial organisations, the IMFs, the World Trade Organisations, the World Banks, the OECDs. All..not one of these entities is democratic. And so, how can we keep talking about democracy, if those who effectively govern the world are not chosen democratically by the people? Who chooses the representatives of each country in those organisations? Your respective peoples? No. Where then is the democracy? ~ Jos Saramago,
526:God is Santa Claus for grown-ups, not a misery-guts, not an asshole; we've got enough of those in town already. I didn't believe; but the guy I didn't believe in wasn't like that. He was a warm, smiling chap, overflowing with benevolence; someone you looked up to with the same bafflement and confused wonder and absolute trust that you had for the giants who put you on your potty when you were two. He was a nice guy who would make it all right; who understood; the one guy you never had to explain your screw-ups to. He smelled good, too: of pews and old hassocks, floor polish and musty velvet drapes, of candle wax and mildewed pages. He resided in the tranquility that can fill even the heart of an unbeliever in old churches, where the eye and the spirit are soothed by the flicker of golden candlelight and the gentle but vivid hues from the stained-glass good guys above the altar. And the great thing about Him was, He was human. You could feel sorry for Him. I knew there could be only one reason why He let us suffer like this: He can't find a way to stop it. Like a roller-coaster ride that gets too scary, there's no way off. He set it in motion and now He's as helpless as the rest of us. ~ Malcolm Pryce,
527:Two Backgrounds
I. LA VIERGE AU DONATEUR
HERE by the ample river's argent sweep,
Bosomed in tilth and vintage to her walls,
A tower-crowned Cybele in armoured sleep
The city lies, fat plenty in her halls,
With calm parochial spires that hold in fee
The friendly gables clustered at their base,
And, equipoised o'er tower and market-place,
The Gothic minister's winged immensity;
And in that narrow burgh, with equal mood,
Two placid hearts, to all life's good resigned,
Might, from the altar to the lych-gate, find
Long years of peace and dreamless plenitude.
II. MONA LISA
Yon strange blue city crowns a scarped steep
No mortal foot hath bloodlessly essayed:
Dreams and illusions beacon from its keep.
But at the gate an Angel bares his blade;
And tales are told of those who thought to gain
At dawn its ramparts; but when evening fell
Far off they saw each fading pinnacle
Lit with wild lightnings from the heaven of pain;
Yet there two souls, whom life's perversities
Had mocked with want in plenty, tears in mirth,
Might meet in dreams, ungarmented of earth,
And drain Joy's awful chalice to the lees.
~ Edith Wharton,
528:the first necessity :::
   An entire self-consecration, a complete equality, an unsparing effacement of the ego, a transforming deliverance of the nature from its ignorant modes of action are the steps by which the surrender of all the being and nature to the Divine Will can be prepared and achieved, -- a self-giving true, total and without reserve. The first necessity is an entire spirit of self-consecration in our works; it must become first the constant will, then the ingrained need in all the being, finally its automatic but living and conscious habit, the self-existent turn to do all action as a sacrifice to the Supreme and to the veiled Power present in us and in all beings and in all the workings of the universe. Life is the altar of this sacrifice, works are our offerings; a transcendent and universal Power and Presence as yet rather felt or glimpsed than known or seen by us is the Deity to whom they are offered. This sacrifice, this self-consecration has two sides to it; there is the work itself and there is the spirit in which it is done, the spirit of worship to the Master of Works in all that we see, think and experience.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Equality and the Annihilation of Ego,
529:Why did Our Blessed Lord use bread and wine as the elements of this Memorial? First of all, because no two substances in nature better symbolize unity than bread and wine. As bread is made from a multiplicity of grains of wheat, and wine is made from a multiplicity of grapes, so the many who believe are one in Christ. Second, no two substances in nature have to suffer more to become what they are than bread and wine. Wheat has to pass through the rigors of winter, be ground beneath the Calvary of a mill, and then subjected to purging fire before it can become bread. Grapes in their turn must be subjected to the Gethsemane of a wine press and have their life crushed from them to become wine. Thus, do they symbolize the Passion and Sufferings of Christ, and the condition of Salvation, for Our Lord said unless we die to ourselves we cannot live in Him. A third reason is that there are no two substances in nature which have more traditionally nourished man than bread and wine. In bringing these elements to the altar, men are equivalently bringing themselves. When bread and wine are taken or consumed, they are changed into man's body and blood. But when He took bread and wine, He changed them into Himself. ~ Fulton J Sheen,
530:Maybe he can tell us where they took our things.”
Dropping into a squat, the herbalist placed two fingers against the youth’s jugular vein, feeling his pulse. Then she slapped his cheeks and peeled back his eyelids.
The novitiate remained slack and motionless.
His lack of response seemed to annoy the herbalist. “One moment,” she said, closing her eyes. A slight frown creased her brow. For a while, she was still; then she sprang upward with sudden speed. “What a self-absorbed little wretch! No wonder his parents sent him to join the priests. I’m surprised they put up with him as long as they did.”
“Does he know anything of use?” asked Eragon.
“Only the path to the surface.” She pointed toward the door to the left of the altar, the same door through which the priests had entered and departed. “It’s amazing that he tried to free you; I suspect it’s the first time in his life he’s ever done anything of his own accord.”
“We have to bring him with us.” Eragon hated to say it, but duty compelled him. “I promised we would if he helped us.”
“He tried to kill you!”
“I gave my word.”
Angela sighed and rolled her eyes. To Arya, she said, “I don’t suppose you can convince him otherwise? ~ Christopher Paolini,
531:The Mother On The Sidewalk
The mother on the sidewalk as the troops are marching by
Is the mother of Old Glory that is waving in the sky.
Men have fought to keep it splendid, men have died to keep it bright,
But that flag was born of woman and her sufferings day and night;
'Tis her sacrifice has made it, and once more we ought to pray
For the brave and loyal mother of the boy who goes away.
There are days of grief before her; there are hours that she will weep;
There are nights of anxious waiting when her fear will banish sleep;
She has heard her country calling and has risen to the test,
And has placed upon the altar of the nation's need, her best.
And no man shall ever suffer in the turmoil of the fray
The anguish of the mother of the boy who goes away.
You may boast men's deeds of glory, you may tell their courage great,
But to die is easier service than alone to sit and wait,
And I hail the little mother, with the tear-stained face and grave,
Who has given the flag a soldier—she's the bravest of the brave.
And that banner we are proud of, with its red and blue and white,
Is a lasting holy tribute to all mothers' love of right.
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
532:The enemy can use against you anything you feel you “have to have” to be happy. If you think you have to be married to be happy, the enemy can use that against you. If you think your boss has to change before you can enjoy your work, you’ll go year after year dreading it, thinking that’s why you can’t be happy.
It’s good to have hopes and dreams. It’s good to wake up each day believing and expecting. But don’t wait for those things to come before you enjoy your life and find happiness. This is the day the Lord has made, not tomorrow, not when all your dreams come to pass, not when all the negative people are changed, but today.
Understand, God has you exactly where he wants you. If you’ll learn to be happy where you are, God will take you where you want to be. He’s promised He will give you the desires of your heart. If there is something you really want, I would encourage you to put it on the altar. Just say, “God, I would really love to have this. God, You know the desire You put in me. I would love to be married. I’d love to see my spouse change. I would love to be promoted. But God, I’m not waiting on that to be happy. I’m happy right where You have me.”
That’s the kind of attitude God is looking for. ~ Joel Osteen,
533:Kyle, please. Stop. This isn’t you. You aren’t even here anymore,” Cole said softly with his arms around her.
Kyle blinked and shook her head. Shame. Again.
Then she fought him desperately—eyeing her scattered clothes and the door.
“You don’t have to do this for me. I don’t want a show.” Cole put his hands on her face and kissed her lips gently. For the first time.
Their separated souls rejoiced and found each other again. He lifted her off the altar and set her on her feet.
“Be you for me, Kyle. Be the Kyle you’re so very afraid of being. I’ll keep her safe.” Cole skimmed his lips along her cheek and looked at her hopefully.
Kyle gazed into his eyes and nodded solemnly. The moment seemed bigger than the two of them.
Cole asked permission. “Kyle McHugh, may I worship you?”
A tear fell from her eye as she whispered, “Yes.”
Cole took a step back and whipped the cloth off her shoulders. She was no vixen now. Kyle looked terrified. She clenched her fists, as if willing herself not to run. Cole turned and gathered her scattered clothes. He found her panties and took them to her, kneeling at her feet. Kyle looked puzzled, but as he worked the panties up her legs, she got it. Unlike all the other men, he was dressing her. ~ Debra Anastasia,
534:While Cinder walked down the endless black-carpeted aisle, she tried not to think of all the people in the universe who were watching her. She tried not to wonder whether they were judging her or admiring her, afraid of her or impressed by her. She tried not to guess how many saw her as the lost princess or a pathetic cyborg, a vigilante or a criminal, a revolutionary or a mechanic that had gotten lucky.
She tried not to think about the smear of yellow frosting on her priceless gown.
Kai and Winter stood at the altar encased in the light of glowing orbs, Winter holding the queen's crown and Kai a ceremonial scepter. Together, they represented how both Earth and Luna would accept her right to rule. The rest of her friends were in their reserved seats in the front row. Thorne, on the aisle, held out his hand as Cinder passed. She snorted and accepted the high five before floating up the stairs.
Winter winked at her. "Well done, Cinder-friend. You didn't trip. The hard part is over."
Kai gave a smile meant for only Cinder, even though the entire universe was watching. "She's right, that really is the hard part."
"Thank the stars," Cinder whispered back. "Now let's get this over with."
Taking a long shaky breath, she turned to face her kingdom. ~ Marissa Meyer,
535:As idolatry and injustice always go together—injustice requiring idolatry to justify exploitation, idolatry leading to injustice as the idols fail to deliver and demand ever greater sacrifices—so with the entrenched cultural patterns we call institutions. There is always a false god lurking behind every system of injustice, the god of nationalism or racism or misogyny, wealth or lust or power itself, which promises godlike abilities to some at the expense of others. And every institution that sustains the worship of a false god ends up neglecting the most vulnerable. The little ones are sacrificed on the altar of the idols’ demands, not once but generation after generation, until we forget that there ever could have been a way for every person and every created thing to flourish. This, in a word, is sin, not a few isolated acts but a pattern embedded into every human act, even and maybe especially our well-intentioned acts. Only by seeing sin as an institutional reality—embedded in concrete artifacts, played out in terrifying large and visible arenas, dictating rules that enslave rather than set free, and turning naturally differentiated roles into oppressively rigid structures of status and privilege—can we understand the damage idolatry and injustice have done. ~ Andy Crouch,
536:Ion And The Birds
Behold! behold!
Now they come, they quit the nest
On Parnassus' topmost crest.
Hence! away! I warn ye all!
Light not on our hallowed wall!
From eave and cornice keep aloof,
And from the golden gleaming roof!
Herald of Jove! of birds the king!
Fierce of talon, strong of wing,
Hence! begone! or thou shalt know
The terrors of this deadly bow.
Lo! where rich the altar fumes,
Soars yon swan on oary plumes.
Hence, and quiver in thy flight
Thy foot that gleams with purple light,
Even though Phoebus' harp rejoice
To mingle with thy tuneful voice;
Far away thy white wings shake
O'er the silver Delian lake.
Hence! obey! or end in blood
The music of thy sweet-voiced ode.
Away! away! another stoops!
Down his flagging pinion droops;
Shall our marble eaves be hung
With straw nests for your callow young?
Hence, or dread this twanging bow,
Hence, where Alpheus' waters flow.
Or the Isthmian groves among
Go and rear your nestling young.
Hence, nor dare pollute or stain
Phoebus' offerings, Phoebus' fane.
Yet I feel a sacred dread,
Lest your scattered plumes I shed;
Holy birds! 't is yours to show
Heaven's auguries to men below.
~ Euripides,
537:If you never knew
the worlds in my mind
your sense of loss
would be small pity
and we’ll forget this on the trail.
Take what you’re given
and turn away the screwed face.
I do not deserve it,
no matter how narrow the strand
of your private shore.
If you will do your best
I’ll meet your eye.
It’s the clutch of arrows in hand
that I do not trust
bent to the smile hitching my way.
We aren’t meeting in sorrow
or some other suture
bridging scars.
We haven’t danced the same
thin ice
and my sympathy for your troubles
I give freely without thought
of reciprocity or scales on balance.
It’s the decent thing, that’s all.
Even if that thing
is a stranger to so many.
But there will be secrets
you never knew
and I would not choose any other way.
All my arrows are buried and
the sandy reach is broad
and all that’s private
cools pinned on the altar.
Even the drips are gone,
that child of wants
with a mind full of worlds
and his reddened tears.
The days I feel mortal I so hate.
The days in my worlds,
are where I live for ever,
and should dawn ever arrive
I will to its light awaken
as one reborn.

Poet’s Night iii.iv
The Malazan Book of the Fallen
Fisher kel Tath ~ Steven Erikson,
538:I saw the sky descending, black and white,
Not blue, on Boston where the winters wore
The skulls to jack-o’-lanterns on the slates,
And Hunger’s skin-and-bone retrievers tore
The chickadee and shrike. The thorn tree waits
Its victim and tonight
The worms will eat the deadwood to the foot
Of Ararat: the scythers, Time and Death,
Helmed locusts, move upon the tree of breath;
The wild ingrafted olive and the root

Are withered, and a winter drifts to where
The Pepperpot, ironic rainbow, spans
Charles River and its scales of scorched-earth miles.
I saw my city in the Scales, the pans
Of judgement rising and descending. Piles
Of dead leaves char the air—
And I am a red arrow on this graph
Of Revelations. Every dove is sold.
The Chapel’s sharp-shinned eagle shifts its hold
On serpent-Time, the rainbow’s epitaph.

In Boston serpents whistle at the cold.
The victim climbs the altar steps and sings:
“Hosannah to the lion, lamb, and beast
Who fans the furnace-face of IS with wings:
I breathe the ether of my marriage feast.”
At the high altar, gold
And a fair cloth. I kneel and the wings beat
My cheek. What can the dove of Jesus give
You now but wisdom, exile? Stand and live,
The dove has brought an olive branch to eat. ~ Robert Lowell,
539:Soft moonlight enveloped her path, guiding her toward the gate like creamy white petals leading a bride to the altar. Walter didn't understand- she needed to be in these gardens. The beauty breathed life into her. Filled her very soul.
She pushed down the latch, testing it slowly to see if it was locked on the opposite side. Her heart leapt when it opened.
The lady left her gardens every autumn now when the flowers began to die, and Mummy didn't seem to care if she visited the gardens when the lady was gone. But in the summer, when the flowers were blooming, when the air smelled sweet and the butterflies danced in the breeze, Mummy and Walter didn't want her to explore.
Yet this was her sustenance. Her magic. She needed to be here as much as the butterflies needed their nectar to fly.
Quietly she closed the gate and hurried across the brick path until she reached the circular rose garden. In the center of the roses was the most lush carpet of grass. She tossed her shoes into the air, the soft grass tickling her toes. Then she stretched out her arms and twirled in the moonlight.
Some people thought the rays of the moon were cool, like the rays of the sun were warm, but they were wrong. The light from the moon was as warm as the sun, a lovely, golden warmth that electrified her from the inside. ~ Melanie Dobson,
540:World's Worth
'TIS of the Father Hilary.
He strove, but could not pray; so took
The steep-coiled stair, where his feet shook
A sad blind echo. Ever up
He toiled. 'Twas a sick sway of air
That autumn noon within the stair,
As dizzy as a turning cup.
His brain benumbed him, void and thin;
He shut his eyes and felt it spin;
The obscure deafness hemmed him in.
He said: “O world, what world for me?”
He leaned unto the balcony
Where the chime keeps the night and day;
It hurt his brain, he could not pray.
He had his face upon the stone:
Deep 'twixt the narrow shafts, his eye
Passed all the roofs to the stark sky,
Swept with no wing, with wind alone.
Close to his feet the sky did shake
With wind in pools that the rains make;
The ripple set his eyes to ache.
He said: “O world, what world for me?”
He stood within the mystery
Girding God's blessed Eucharist:
The organ and the chaunt had ceas'd.
The last words paused against his ear
Said from the altar: drawn round him
The gathering rest was dumb and dim.
And now the sacring-bell rang clear
And ceased; and all was awe,—the breath
Of God in man that warranteth
The inmost utmost things of faith.
He said: “O God, my world in Thee!”
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
541:The individuals under a totalitarian regime are not free, even
though man in the collective sense is free. Finally, when the Empire delivers the entire human species,
freedom will reign over herds of slaves, who at least will be free in relation to God and,
in general, in relation to every kind of transcendence. The dialectic miracle, the transformation of quantity
into quality, is explained here: it is the decision to call total servitude freedom. Moreover, as in all the
examples cited by Hegel and Marx, there is no objective transformation, but only a subjective change of
denomination. In other words, there is no miracle. If the only hope of nihilism lies in thinking that
millions of slaves can one day constitute a humanity which will be freed forever, then history is nothing
but a desperate dream. Historical thought was to deliver man from subjection to a divinity; but this
liberation demanded of him the most absolute subjection to historical evolution. Then man takes refuge in
the permanence of the party in the same way that he formerly prostrated himself before the altar. That is
why the era which dares to claim that it is the most rebellious that has ever existed only offers a choice of
various types of conformity. The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude. ~ Albert Camus,
542:though books, as Milton says, may be the embalming of mighty spirits, they are also the resurrection of rebellious, reactionary, fantastical, and wicked spirits! in books dwell all the demons and all the angels of the human mind. it is for this reason that a a bookshop -- especially a second-hand bookshop / antiquarian - is an arsenal of explosives, an armory of revolutions, an opium den of reaction.

and just because books are the repository of all the redemptions and damnations, all the sanities and insanities, of the divine anarchy of the soul, they are still, as they have alwasys been, an object of suspicion to every kind of ruling authority. in a second-hand bookshop are the horns of the altar where all the outlawed thoughts of humanity can take refuge! here, like depserate bandits, hide all the reckless progeny of our wild, dark, self-lacerating hearts. a bookshop is powder-magazine, a dynamite-shed, a drugstore of poisons, a bar of intoxicants, a den of opiates, an island of sirens.

of all the 'houses of ill fame' which a tyrant, a bureaucrat, a propagandist, a moralist, a champion of law and order, an advocate of keeping people ignorant for their own good, hurries past with averted eyes or threatens with this minions, a bookshop is the most flagrant.
~ John Cowper Powys autobiography ~ John Cowper Powys,
543:If I’d known we were just going to sit around and watch the plants grow today, I would have brought my book.”
Emma jerked her attention from the columbine plants she’d been checking on and back to Sean. “Sorry. Zoned out for a minute. Did you get the weed blocker done?”
“Yeah. I don’t get why they want the pathway to the beach done in white stone. Don’t you usually walk back from the water barefoot?”
“Not this couple. It doesn’t matter how practical it is. All that matters is how it looks.”
“Whatever. It’s going to take the rest of the day to get all that stone down, so stop mentally tiptoeing through the tulips and let’s go.”
Emma wanted to tell him to shove his attitude up his ass, because she was the boss, or at least flip him the bird behind his back, but she didn’t have the energy. Living a fake life was a lot more exhausting than she’d anticipated.
She didn’t even want to think about what it was like trying to sleep every night with her boxer-brief-clad roommate sprawled across the bed only ten feet away, so she thought about Gram instead. Gram, who was, at that very moment, on her way into town. The town that had heard the rumors of her engagement, but never actually seen her fiancé.
If Gram returned from town still believing Emma and Sean were headed to the altar, it would be a miracle. ~ Shannon Stacey,
544:In the 1970s, while researching in the Library of Congress, I found an obscure history of religious architecture that assumed a fact as if it were common knowledge: the traditional design of most patriarchal buildings of worship imitates the female body. Thus, there is an outer and inner entrance, labia majora and labia minora; a central vaginal aisle toward the altar; two curved ovarian structures on either side; and then in the sacred center, the altar or womb, where the miracle takes place - where males gives birth.
Though this comparison was new to to me, it struck home like a rock down a well. Of course, I thought. The central ceremony of patriarchal religions is one in which men take over the yoni-power of creation by giving birth symbolically. No wonder male religious leaders so often say that humans were born in sin - because we were born to female creatures. Only by obeying the rules of the patriarchy can we be reborn through men. No wonder priests and ministers in skirts sprinkle imitation birth fluid over our heads, give us new names, and promise rebirth into everlasting life. No wonder the male priesthood tries to keep women away from the altar, just as women are kept away from control of our own powers of reproduction. Symbolic or real, it's all devoted to controlling the power that resides in the female body. ~ Gloria Steinem,
545:Tonight I get down from my horse,
before the door of the house, where
I said farewell with the cock's crowing.
It is shut and no one responds.
The stone bench on which mama gave birth
to my older brother, so he could saddle
backs I had ridden bare,
through lanes, past hedges, a village boy;
the bench on which I left my heartsick childhood
yellowing in the sun ... And this mourning
that frames the portal?
God in alien peace,
the beast sneezes, as if calling too;
noses about, prodding the cobbles. Then doubts,
whinnies,
his ears all ears.
Papa must be up praying, and perhaps
he will think I am late.
My sisters, humming their simple,
bubblish illusions,
preparing for the approaching holy day,
and now it's almost here.
I wait, I wait, my heart
an egg at its moment, that gets blocked.
Large family that we left
not long ago, no one awake now, and not even a candle
placed on the altar so that we might return.
I call again, and nothing.
We fall silent and begin to sob, and the animal
whinnies, keeps on whinnying.
They're all sleeping forever,
and so nicely, that at last
my horse dead-tired starts nodding
20
in his turn, and half-asleep, with each pardon, says
it's all right, everything is quite all right.
~ Cesar Vallejo,
546:A dove gazed in through a latticed window: there balm rained down on her face, raining from lucent Maximin. The heat of the sun blazed out to irradiate the dark: a bud burst open, jewel-like, in the temple of the heart (limpid and kind his heart). A tower of cypress is he, and of Lebanon's cedars -- rubies and sapphires frame his turrets -- a city passing the arts of all other artisans. A swift stag is he who ran to the fountain -- pure wellspring from a stone of power -- to water sweet-smelling spices. O perfumers! you who dwell in the luxuriance of royal gardens, climbing high when you accomplish the holy sacrifice with rams: Among you this architect is shining, a wall of the temple, he who longed for an eagle's wings as he kissed his foster-mother Wisdom in Ecclesia's garden. O Maximin, mountain and valley, on your towering height the mountain goat leapt with the elephant, and Wisdom was in rapture. Strong and sweet in the sacred rites and the shimmer of the altar, you rise like incense to the pillar of praise -- where you pray for your people who strive toward the mirror of light. Praise him! Praise in the highest! [1826.jpg] -- from Symphonia: A Critical Edition of the Symphonia armonie celstium revelationum, by Hildegard of Bingen / Translated by Barbara Newman

~ Saint Hildegard von Bingen, Columba aspexit - Sequence for Saint Maximin
,
547:A fanfare of plastic flags with cutout patterns of skeletons flapped noisily in the air and overhead a piñata swayed, waiting for the hard blows of the breaking ceremony. He searched through the crowd lined up for the puppet show, then glanced down Olvera Street. The street had been closed to traffic for a long time now and looked like a Mexican marketplace, with stands selling boldly colored ceramics and paper flowers. He didn't see Serena, but her brother, Collin, had said she had gone to the Día de los Muertos celebration with Jimena.
He turned to see candy skulls with green sequin eyes and frosting lips staring back at him from a stall. When the vendor looked away, he grabbed three and tossed one into his mouth. The sugar dissolved with tangy sweetness.
He spun around, sensing other eyes. An old woman shook her head at him as she placed a bowl of spicy-smelling sauce on her ofrenda. Orange flowers, white candles, and faded snapshots of her dead relatives covered the altar. Stanton liked the way some people waited for the spirits of their loved ones to come back and visit, while others were terrified at the thought.
The old woman placed a sign on the table: SINCE DEATH IS INEVITABLE, IT SHOULD NOT BE FEARED, BUT HONORED.
"Not for everyone," he said softly.
She looked at him. "What's not for everyone?"
"Death." He smiled. ~ Lynne Ewing,
548:Synnove's Song
Have thanks for all from our childhood's day,
Our play together in woodland roaming.
I thought that play would go on for aye,
Though life should pass to its gloaming.
I thought that play would go on for aye,
From bowers leading of leafy birches
To where the Solbakke houses lay,
And where the red-painted church is.
I sat and waited through evenings long
And scanned the ridge with the spruces yonder;
But darkening mountains made shadows throng,
And you the way did not wander.
I sat and waited with scarce a doubt:
He'll dare the way when the sun's descended.
The light shone fainter, was nearly out,
The day in darkness had ended.
My weary eye is so wont to gaze,
To turn its look it is slow in learning;
No other landmark it seeks, nor strays,
Beneath the brow sorely burning.
They name a place where I help may find,
And fain to Fagerli church would guide me;
But try not thither to move my mind;
He sits there ever beside me.
--But good it is, that full well I know,
Who placed the houses both here and yonder,
Then cut a way through the woods so low
And let my eye on it wander.
But good it is that full well I know,
Who built the church and to pray invited,
And made them meeting in pairs to go
Before the altar united.
143
~ Bjornstjerne Bjornson,
549:Flower Of Aloe
HOW can I tell you how I love you, dear?
There is no music now the world is old;
The songs have all been sung, the tales all told
Broken the vows are all this many a year.
Had we but met when all the world was new,
When virgin blossoms decked untrodden fields,
I had plucked all the buds that summer yields
And woven a garland, worthy even of you.
Or had I sung when rhymes were yet unwed,
And crowned their marriage in the songs I made,
I had laid them down before you unafraid,
Meet offering to your grace and goodlihead.
But all the dreams are dreamed, and no new heat
Touches life's altars, all the scents are burnt,
The truths all taught and all the lessons learnt,
And no new stars lead kings to kiss Love's feet.
For now in this grey world, of youth bereft,
Love has no throne, no sceptre and no crown;
His groves are hushed, his altars are cast down,
And we who worship--we have nothing left.
And yet--your lips ! The God has built him there
An altar which has known nor flower nor flame:
There may we burn the incense to Love's name,
There the immortal virgin rose be fair.
So--since my lips have known but one desire,
And all my flowers of life are vowed to you-For us, at least, the old world has something new:
For me the altar--and for you the fire!
119
~ Edith Nesbit,
550:MANASSEH WAS THE WORST KING the Hebrews ever had. He was a thoroughly bad man presiding over a totally corrupt government. He reigned in Jerusalem for fifty-five years, a dark and evil half century. He encouraged a pagan worship that involved whole communities in sexual orgies. He installed cult prostitutes at shrines throughout the countryside. He imported wizards and sorcerers who enslaved the people in superstitions and manipulated them with their magic. The man could not do enough evil. There seemed to be no end to his barbarous cruelties. His capacity for inventing new forms of evil seemed bottomless. His appetite for the sordid was insatiable. One day he placed his son on the altar in some black and terrible ritual of witchcraft and burned him as an offering (2 Kings 21). The great Solomonic temple in Jerusalem, resplendent in its holy simplicity, empty of any form of god so that the invisible God could be attended to in worship, swarmed with magicians and prostitutes. Idols shaped as beasts and monsters defiled the holy place. Lust and greed were deified. Murders were commonplace. Manasseh dragged the people into a mire far more stinking than anything the world had yet seen. The sacred historian’s judgment was blunt: “Manasseh led them off the beaten path into practices of evil even exceeding the evil of the pagan nations that GOD had earlier destroyed” (2 Kings 21:9).[2] ~ Eugene H Peterson,
551:From the Heliconian Muses let us begin to sing, who hold the great and holy mount of Helicon, and dance on soft feet about the deep-blue spring and the altar of the almighty son of Cronos, and, when they have washed their tender bodies in Permessus or in the Horse's Spring or Olmeius, make their fair, lovely dances upon highest Helicon and move with vigorous feet. Thence they arise and go abroad by night, veiled in thick mist, and utter their song with lovely voice, praising Zeus the aegis-holder and queenly Hera of Argos who walks on golden sandals and the daughter of Zeus the aegis-holder bright-eyed Athene, and Phoebus Apollo, and Artemis who delights in arrows, and Poseidon the earth-holder who shakes the earth, and reverend Themis and quick-glancing Aphrodite, and Hebe with the crown of gold, and fair Dione, Leto, Iapetus, and Cronos the crafty counsellor, Eos and great Helius and bright Selene, Earth too, and great Oceanus, and dark Night, and the holy race of all the other deathless ones that are for ever. And one day they taught Hesiod glorious song while he was shepherding his lambs under holy Helicon, and this word first the goddesses said to me—the Muses of Olympus, daughters of Zeus who holds the aegis: 'Shepherds of the wilderness, wretched things of shame, mere bellies, we know how to speak many false things as though they were true; but we know, when we will, to utter true things'. ~ Hesiod,
552:A question shot through his brain. “Can this be me?” For a thirteen-year-old who had just labeled his religious leader a bastard, twice, it was not an improper question. Louder and louder the question came to him–“Is it me? Is it me?”–until he discovered himself no longer kneeling, but racing crazily towards the edge of the roof, his eyes crying, his throat screaming, and his arms flying every whichway as though not his own.
“Is it me? Is it me Me Me Me Me? It has to be me–but is it!”
It is a question a thief must ask himself the night he jimmies open his first window, and it is said to be the question with which bridegrooms quiz themselves before the altar.
In the few wild seconds it took Ozzie’s body to propel him to the edge of the roof, his self-examination began to grow fuzzy. Gazing down at the street, he became confused as to the problem beneath the question: was it, is-it-me-who-called-Binder-a-bastard? or, is-it-me-prancing-around-on-the
roof? However, the scene below settle all, for there is an instant in any action when whether it is you or somebody else is academic. The thief crams in the money in his pockets and scoots out the window. The bridegroom signs the hotel register for two. And the boy on the roof finds a streetful of people gaping at him, necks stretched backwards, faces up, as though he was the ceiling of the Hayden Planetarium. Suddenly you know it’s you. ~ Philip Roth,
553:IN ORDER TO INCLINE our will to fulfill exactly the will of God and to promote His glory, let us remember that He has set the example by loving and honoring us in a thousand different ways. He created us out of nothing, after His own likeness, and He subordinated all other things to our use. In our redemption He passed by the most brilliant Angel to choose His only Son, Who paid the price of the world, not with perishable gold or silver, but with His sacred blood in a death as cruel as it was wretched. He continually guards us from the fury of our enemies, He fights for us with His grace, and, to nourish and strengthen us, He is always ready to feed us with the Precious Body of His Son in the Sacrament of the Altar. Do not these constitute convincing proofs of God’s tremendous love for us? Who can understand the immensity of His love for such wretched creatures? What should be our gratitude towards so generous a benefactor! If the great men of the world think they are obliged to do something in return for the respect paid them, even by those inferior as to position and wealth, what return ought not the very worms of the earth make when honored with such remarkable love and esteem by the sovereign Lord of the Universe? In particular, we must never forget that His majesty is infinitely worthy of our service, a service motivated by a single principle of love, whose only object is His will and desire. ~ Lorenzo Scupoli,
554:Horace To Phyllis
Come, Phyllis, I've a cask of wine
That fairly reeks with precious juices,
And in your tresses you shall twine
The loveliest flowers this vale produces.
My cottage wears a gracious smile,-The altar, decked in floral glory,
Yearns for the lamb which bleats the while
As though it pined for honors gory.
Hither our neighbors nimbly fare,-The boys agog, the maidens snickering;
And savory smells possess the air
As skyward kitchen flames are flickering.
You ask what means this grand display,
This festive throng, and goodly diet?
Well, since you're bound to have your way,
I don't mind telling, on the quiet.
'Tis April 13, as you know,-A day and month devote to Venus,
Whereon was born, some years ago,
My very worthy friend Maecenas.
Nay, pay no heed to Telephus,-Your friends agree he doesn't love you;
The way he flirts convinces us
He really is not worthy of you!
Aurora's son, unhappy lad!
You know the fate that overtook him?
And Pegasus a rider had-I say he had before he shook him!
Haec docet (as you must agree):
'T is meet that Phyllis should discover
A wisdom in preferring me
And mittening every other lover.
160
So come, O Phyllis, last and best
Of loves with which this heart's been smitten,-Come, sing my jealous fears to rest,
And let your songs be those I've written.
~ Eugene Field,
555:Channel Firing
BY THOMAS HARDY
That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgment-day

And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worms drew back into the mounds,

The glebe cow drooled. Till God called, “No;
It’s gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:

“All nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do no more for Christés sake
Than you who are helpless in such matters.

“That this is not the judgment-hour
For some of them’s a blessed thing,
For if it were they’d have to scour
Hell’s floor for so much threatening....

“Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need).”

So down we lay again. “I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,”
Said one, “than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!”

And many a skeleton shook his head.
“Instead of preaching forty year,”
My neighbour Parson Thirdly said,
“I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer.”

Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.

April, 1914 ~ Thomas Hardy,
556:The Bride
Little lady at the altar,
Vowing by God's book and psalter
To be faithful, fond and true
Unto him who stands by you,
Think not that romance is ended,
That youth's curtain has descended,
And love's pretty play is done;
For it's only just begun.
Marriage, blushing little lady,
Is love's sunny path and shady,
Over which two hearts should wander,
Of each other growing fonder.
As you stroll to each to-morrow,
You will come to joy and sorrow,
And as faithful man and wife
Read the troubled book of life.
Bitter cares will some day find you;
Closer, closer they will bind you;
If together you will bear them,
Cares grow sweet when lovers share them.
Love unites two happy mortals,
Brings them here to wedlock's portals
And then blithely bids them go,
Arm in arm, through weal and woe.
Little lady, just remember
Every year has its December,
Every rising sun its setting,
Every life its time of fretting;
And the honeymoon's sweet beauty
Finds too soon the clouds of duty;
But keep faith, when trouble-tried,
And in joy you shall abide.
Little lady at the altar,
Never let your courage falter,
Never stoop to unbelieving,
697
Even when your heart is grieving.
To what comes of wintry weather
Or disaster, stand together;
Through life's fearful hours of night
Love shall bring you to the light.
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
557:Because I see that the mobs are always growing, the number of errors are always increasing and Satan's rage and ruin have no end, I wish to confess with this work my faith before God and the whole world, point by point. I am doing this, lest certain people cite me or my writings, while I am alive or after I am dead, to support their errors, as those fanatics, the Sacramentarians and the Anabaptists, have begun to do. I will remain in this confession until my death (God help me!), will depart from this world in it, and appear before the Judgment Seat of our Lord Jesus Christ. So that no one will say after my death, ``If Luther was alive, he would teach and believe this article differently, because he did not think it through sufficiently,'' I state the following, once and for all: I, by God's grace, I have diligently examined these articles in the light of passages throughout the Scriptures. I have worked on them repeatedly and you can be sure that I want to defend them, in the same way that I have just defended the
Sacrament of the Altar.

No, I'm not drunk or impulsive. I know what I am saying and understand fully what this will mean for me as I stand before the Lord Jesus Christ on the Last Day. No one should think that I am joking or rambling. I'm serious! By God's grace, I know Satan very well. If Satan can turn God's Word upside down and pervert the Scriptures, what will he do with my words -- or the words of others?" - Martin Luther ~ Martin Luther,
558:Will Winterborne regain his sight?”
“The doctor thinks so, but there’s no way of knowing for certain until he’s tested.”
“And the leg?”
“The break was clean--it will heal well. However, Winterborne will be staying with us for quite a bit longer than we’d planned. At least a month.”
“Good. That will give him more time to become acquainted with Helen.”
West’s face went blank. “You’re back to that idea again? Arranging a match between them? What if Winterborne turns out to be lame and blind?”
“He’ll still be rich.”
Looking sardonic, West said, “Evidently a brush with death hasn’t changed your priorities.”
“Why should it? The marriage would benefit everyone.”
“How exactly would you stand to benefit?”
“I’ll stipulate that Winerborne settle a large dower on Helen, and name me as the trustee of her finances.”
“And then you’ll use the money as you see fit?” West asked incredulously. “Sweet Mother of God, how can you risk your life to save drowning children one day, and plot something so ruthless the next day?”
Annoyed, Devon gave him a narrow-eyed glance. “There’s no need to carry on as if Helen’s going to be dragged to the altar in chains. She’ll have a choice in the matter.”
“The right words can bind someone more effectively than chains. You’ll manipulate her into doing what you want regardless of how she feels.”
“Enjoy the view from your moral pedestal,” Devon said. “Unfortunately I have to keep my feet on the ground. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
559:From The Cantata For N. F. S. Grundtvig
His day was the greatest the Northland has seen,
It one was with the midnight-sun's wonders serene:
The light wherein he sat was the light of God's true peace,
And that has never morning, nor night when it must cease.
In light of God's peace shone the
history
he gave,
The spirit's course on earth that shall conquer the grave.
Might of God's pure peace thus our
fathers'
mighty way
Before us for example and warning open lay.
In light of God's peace he beheld with watchful eye
The people at their work and the spirit's strivings high.
In light of God's pure peace he would have all learning glow,
And where his word is honored the 'Folk-High-Schools' must grow.
In light of God's peace stood 'mid sorrow and care
For Denmark's folk his comfort, a castle strong and fair;
In light of God's pure peace there shall once again be won
And thousand-fold increased, what seems lost now and undone.
In light of God's peace stands his patriarch-worth,
The sum and the amen of a manful life on earth.
In light of God's pure peace how his face shone, lifted up,
When white-haired at the altar he held th' atoning cup.
In light of God's peace came his word o'er the wave,
In light of God's pure peace sound the sweet psalms he gave.
In light of God's pure peace, as its sunbeam curtains fall
To hide him from us, stands now his memory for all.
~ Bjornstjerne Bjornson,
560:Nuns Of The Perpetual Adoration
Calm, sad, secure; behind high convent walls,
These watch the sacred lamp, these watch and pray:
And it is one with them when evening falls,
And one with them the cold return of day.
These heed not time; their nights and days they make
Into a long returning rosary,
Whereon their lives are threaded for Christ's sake;
Meekness and vigilance and chastity.
A vowed patrol, in silent companies,
Life-long they keep before the living Christ.
In the dim church, their prayers and penances
Are fragrant incense to the Sacrificed.
Outside, the world is wild and passionate;
Man's weary laughter and his sick despair
Entreat at their impenetrable gate:
They heed no voices in their dream of prayer.
They saw the glory of the world displayed;
They saw the bitter of it, and the sweet;
They knew the roses of the world should fade,
And be trod under by the hurrying feet.
Therefore they rather put away desire,
And crossed their hands and came to sanctuary
And veiled their heads and put on coarse attire:
Because their comeliness was vanity.
And there they rest; they have serene insight
Of the illuminating dawn to be:
Mary's sweet Star dispels for them the night,
The proper darkness of humanity.
Calm, sad, secure; with faces worn and mild:
Surely their choice of vigil is the best?
Yea! for our roses fade, the world is wild;
But there, beside the altar, there is rest.
48
~ Ernest Christopher Dowson,
561:In the annual Feast of Fools at Christmastime, every rite and article of the Church no matter how sacred was celebrated in mockery. A dominus festi, or lord of the revels, was elected from the inferior clergy—the curés, subdeacons, vicars, and choir clerks, mostly ill-educated, ill-paid, and ill-disciplined—whose day it was to turn everything topsy-turvy. They installed their lord as Pope or Bishop or Abbot of Fools in a ceremony of head-shaving accompanied by bawdy talk and lewd acts; dressed him in vestments turned inside out; played dice on the altar and ate black puddings and sausages while mass was celebrated in nonsensical gibberish; swung censers made of old shoes emitting “stinking smoke”; officiated in the various offices of the priest wearing beast masks and dressed as women or minstrels; sang obscene songs in the choir; howled and hooted and jangled bells while the “Pope” recited a doggerel benediction. At his call to follow him on pain of having their breeches split, all rush violently from the church to parade through the town, drawing the dominus in a cart from which he issues mock indulgences while his followers hiss, cackle, jeer, and gesticulate. They rouse the bystanders to laughter with “infamous performances” and parody preachers in scurrilous sermons. Naked men haul carts of manure which they throw at the populace. Drinking bouts and dances accompany the procession. The whole was a burlesque of the too-familiar, tedious, and often meaningless rituals; a release of “the natural lout beneath the cassock. ~ Barbara W Tuchman,
562:As the pumping engines for the circulatory system, ventricles must have a particular ovoid, lemonlike shape for strong, swift ejection of blood. If the end of the left ventricle balloons out, as it does in takotsubo hearts, the firm, healthy contractions are reduced to inefficient spasms—floppy and unpredictable. But what’s remarkable about takotsubo is what causes the bulge. Seeing a loved one die. Being left at the altar or losing your life savings with a bad roll of the dice. Intense, painful emotions in the brain can set off alarming, life-threatening physical changes in the heart. This new diagnosis was proof of the powerful connection between heart and mind. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy confirmed a relationship many doctors had considered more metaphoric than diagnostic. As a clinical cardiologist, I needed to know how to recognize and treat takotsubo cardiomyopathy. But years before pursuing cardiology, I had completed a residency in psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. Having also trained as a psychiatrist, I was captivated by this syndrome, which lay at the intersection of my two professional passions. That background put me in a unique position that day at the zoo. I reflexively placed the human phenomenon side by side with the animal one. Emotional trigger … surge of stress hormones … failing heart muscle … possible death. An unexpected “aha!” suddenly hit me. Takotsubo in humans and the heart effects of capture myopathy in animals were almost certainly related—perhaps even the same syndrome with different names. ~ Barbara Natterson Horowitz,
563:The Newspaper Man
Bit of a priest and a bit of sailor,
Bit of a doctor and bit of a tailor,
Bit of a lawyer, and bit of detective,
Bit of a judge, for his work is corrective;
Cheering the living and soothing the dying,
Risking all things, even dare-devil flying;
True to his paper and true to his clan—
Just look him over, the newspaper man.
Sleep! There are times that he'll do with a little,
Work till his nerves and his temper are brittle;
Fire cannot daunt him, nor long hours disturb him,
Gold cannot buy him and threats cannot curb him;
Highbrow or lowbrow, your own speech he'll hand you,
Talk as you will to him, he'll understand you;
He'll go wherever another man can—
That is the way of the newspaper man.
Surgeon, if urgent the need be, you'll find him,
Ready to help, nor will dizziness blind him;
He'll give the ether and never once falter,
Say the last rites like a priest at the altar;
Gentle and kind with the weak and the weary,
Which is proved now and then when his keen eye grows teary;
Facing all things in life's curious plan—
That is the way of the newspaper man.
One night a week may he rest from his labor,
One night at home to be father and neighbor;
Just a few hours for his own bit of leisure,
All the rest's gazing at other men's pleasure,
All the rest's toiling, and yet he rejoices,
All the world is, and that men do, he voices—
Who knows a calling more glorious than
The day-by-day work of the newspaper man?
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
564:On A Young Lady
Whose Lord was Travelling.
No sooner I pronounced Celindas name,
But Troops of wing'd Pow'rs did chant the same:
Not those the Poets Bows and Arrows lend,
But such as on the Altar do attend.
Celinda nam'd, Flow'rs spring up from the Ground,
Excited meerly with the Charming Sound.
Celinda, the Courts Glory, and its fear,
The gaz'd at Wonder, where she does appear.
Celinda great in Birth, greater in Meen,
Yet none so humble as this Fair-One's seen.
Her Youth and Beauty justly might disdain,
But the least Pride her Glories ne're did stain.
Celinda of each State th' ambitious Strife,
At once a Noble Virgin, and a Wife
Who, while her Gallant Lord in Forraign parts
Adorns his Youth with all accomplisht Arts,
Grows ripe at home in Vertue, more than Years,
And in each Grace a Miracle appears!
When other of her Age a madding go,
To th' Park and Plays, and ev'ry publick Show,
Proud from their Parents Bondage they have broke,
Though justly freed, she still does wear the Yoke;
Preferring more her Mothers Friend to be,
Than Idol of the Towns Loose-Gallantry.
On her she to the Temple does attend,
Where they their Blessed Hours both save and spend.
They Smile, they Joy, together they do Pray,
You'd think two Bodies did One Soul obey:
Like Angels thus they do reflect their Bliss,
And their bright Vertues each the other kiss.
Return young Lord, while thou abroad dost rome
The World to see, thou loosest Heaven at Home.
31
~ Anne Killigrew,
565:The kid asks his mum,
From where did I come,
Me where did you find?
Holding him tight in an embrace
In tears and laughter
The mum replies,
You were in my mind
As my deepest wish.
You were with me
When I was a child
And played with my dolls.
When worshiping Shiva in the morning
I made and unmade you every moment.
You were with my deity on the altar
And with him I worshipped you too.
You were in my hopes and desires,
You were in my love,
And in the hearts of my mum and grand mum.
I dont know how long
You kept yourself hiding
In our age old home
In the lap of the goddess of our family.
When I bloomed like a flower in my youth
You were in me like its sweet smell
With your softness and sweetness
You were in my every limb.
You are the darling of all gods
You are eternal yet new
You are of the same age as the morning sun
From a universal dream
To me you came floating
On the floods of joy
That eternally flows in this world.
Staring at you in wonder
I fail to unfold your mystery
How could one come only to me
Who belongs to all?
Embracing your body with my body
You have come to this world as my kid.
So I clasp you tightly in my breast
And cry when you are away for a moment
I always remain in fear I may lose
One who is the darling of the world.
I dont know how shall I keep you
Binding in what magic bond.
Transcreation of the poem 'Janmkatha' from the collection Shishu by Rabindranath Tagore. Transcreation by Kumud Biswas.
Translated by Kumud Biswas
~ Rabindranath Tagore, Birth Story
,
566:Inside the church, the bondsmaids were walking slowly down the aisle,
with the little petal girls. Trinity turned to give Mimi her last words of
motherly advice: 'Walk straight. Don't slouch. And for heavens's sake,
smile! It's your bonding!?' Then she too walked through the door and
down the aisle. The door shut behind her, leaving Mimi alone.
Finally, Mimi heard the orchestra play the first strains of the 'Wedding
March.' Wagner. Then the ushers opened the doors and Mimi moved to the threshold. There was an appreciative gasp from the crowd as they took in the sight of Mimi in her fantastic dress. But instead of acknowledging her triumph as New York?s most beautiful bride, Mimi looked straight ahead, at Jack, who was standing so tall and straight at the altar. He met her eyes and did not smile.
'Let's just get this over with.'
His words were like an ice pick to the heart. He doesn't love me. He has
never loved me. Not the way he loves Schuyler. Not the way he loved Allegra. He has come to every bonding with this darkness. With this regret and hesitation, doubt and despair. She couldn't deny it. She knew her twin, and she knew what he was feeling, and it wasn't joy or even relief.
What am I doing?
"Ready" Forsyth Llewellyn suddenly appeared by her side. Oh, right, she
remembered, she had said yes when Forsyth had offered to walk her
down the aisle.
Here goes nothing. As if in a daze, Mimi took his arm, Jack's words still
echoing in her head. She walked, zombie-like, down the aisle, not even
noticing the flashing cameras or the murmurs of approval from the
hard-to-impress crowd. ~ Melissa de la Cruz,
567:It Is The Sinners' Dust-Tongued Bell
It is the sinners' dust-tongued bell claps me to churches
When, with his torch and hourglass, like a sulpher priest,
His beast heel cleft in a sandal,
Time marks a black aisle kindle from the brand of ashes,
Grief with dishevelled hands tear out the altar ghost
And a firewind kill the candle.
Over the choir minute I hear the hour chant:
Time's coral saint and the salt grief drown a foul sepulchre
And a whirlpool drives the prayerwheel;
Moonfall and sailing emperor, pale as their tide-print,
Hear by death's accident the clocked and dashed-down spire
Strike the sea hour through bellmetal.
There is loud and dark directly under the dumb flame,
Storm, snow, and fountain in the weather of fireworks,
Cathedral calm in the pulled house;
Grief with drenched book and candle christens the cherub time
From the emerald, still bell; and from the pacing weather-cock
The voice of bird on coral prays.
Forever it is a white child in the dark-skinned summer
Out of the font of bone and plants at that stone tocsin
Scales the blue wall of spirits;
From blank and leaking winter sails the child in colour,
Shakes, in crabbed burial shawl, by sorcerer's insect woken,
Ding dong from the mute turrets.
I mean by time the cast and curfew rascal of our marriage,
At nightbreak born in the fat side, from an animal bed
In a holy room in a wave;
And all love's sinners in sweet cloth kneel to a hyleg image,
Nutmeg, civet, and sea-parsley serve the plagued groom and bride
Who have brought forth the urchin grief.
~ Dylan Thomas,
568:In 1846 Easter fell on the same date in the Latin and Greek Orthodox calendars, so the holy shrines were much more crowded than usual, and the mood was very tense. The two religious communities had long been arguing about who should have first right to carry out their Good Friday rituals on the altar of Calvary inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the spot where the cross of Jesus was supposed to have been inserted in the rock. During recent years the rivalry between the Latins and the Greeks had reached such fever pitch that Mehmet Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Jerusalem, had been forced to position soldiers inside and outside the church to preserve order. But even this had not prevented fights from breaking out. On this Good Friday the Latin priests arrived with their white linen altar-cloth to find that the Greeks had got there first with their silk embroidered cloth. The Catholics demanded to see the Greeks’ firman, their decree from the Sultan in Constantinople, empowering them to place their silk cloth on the altar first. The Greeks demanded to see the Latins’ firman allowing them to remove it. A fight broke out between the priests, who were quickly joined by monks and pilgrims on either side. Soon the whole church was a battlefield. The rival groups of worshippers fought not only with their fists, but with crucifixes, candlesticks, chalices, lamps and incense-burners, and even bits of wood which they tore from the sacred shrines. The fighting continued with knives and pistols smuggled into the Holy Sepulchre by worshippers of either side. By the time the church was cleared by Mehmet Pasha’s guards, more than forty people lay dead on the floor.1 ~ Orlando Figes,
569:I charge you with a phrase from the gospel of John, Updike that is: Your only duty is to give the mundane its beautiful due.

You step from this moment with scripture and stole ordained to the ordinary. Ours is an existence in something more than the husk it once was but not yet the bloom it shall be; in other words, you are charged to the in-between, middle-earth, us.

Yes, our lives are sewn on occasion with a texture of joy unmistakable, the foretastes. But many days, if not most hours, reek of repetition, a mundane rising and falling punctuated with what the old hymn writer penned as “seasons of distress and grief.” The relief you are charged to bring to our souls in times like these is beauty – nothing more, nothing less. It is your only duty. Give up all other ambitions for the dross they are.

Give the mundane its beautiful due.

Bear witness to the truth we so often bury, that our lives are shot through with drama, interest, relevance, importance, and poetry. Live among us, story by story, with both precision and surprisingness. Help us to believe in God by startling us with the kicker – God believes in us. Know this, that yours is not so much a high calling as it is a careful attention; you are to be a person of prayer, not big britches.

Once you begin a gesture it's often fatal not to go through with it, so please, for the love of God and us and you, go through with this. The world for you may be even harder from here on in, but most things worth doing are hard. So break and bless and preach and teach and laugh and sing and weep and rage and whisper at the altar of this astonishingly splendid fallen world.

Give the mundane its beautiful due.

Amen and amen. ~ John Blase,
570:Before The Altar
Before the Altar, bowed, he stands
With empty hands;
Upon it perfumed offerings burn
Wreathing with smoke the sacrificial urn.
Not one of all these has he given,
No flame of his has leapt to Heaven
Firesouled, vermilion-hearted,
Forked, and darted,
Consuming what a few spare pence
Have cheaply bought, to fling from hence
In idly-asked petition.
His sole condition
Love and poverty.
And while the moon
Swings slow across the sky,
Athwart a waving pine tree,
And soon
Tips all the needles there
With silver sparkles, bitterly
He gazes, while his soul
Grows hard with thinking of the poorness of his dole.
"Shining and distant Goddess, hear my prayer
Where you swim in the high air!
With charity look down on me,
Under this tree,
Tending the gifts I have not brought,
The rare and goodly things
I have not sought.
Instead, take from me all my life!
"Upon the wings
Of shimmering moonbeams
I pack my poet's dreams
For you.
My wearying strife,
My courage, my loss,
Into the night I toss
58
For you.
Golden Divinity,
Deign to look down on me
Who so unworthily
Offers to you:
All life has known,
Seeds withered unsown,
Hopes turning quick to fears,
Laughter which dies in tears.
The shredded remnant of a man
Is all the span
And compass of my offering to you.
"Empty and silent, I
Kneel before your pure, calm majesty.
On this stone, in this urn
I pour my heart and watch it burn,
Myself the sacrifice; but be
Still unmoved: Divinity.”
From the altar, bathed in moonlight,
The smoke rose straight in the quiet night.
~ Amy Lowell,
571:Ghazal (2)
Ghazal (2)
<I>For Dawn Upshaw</I>
O water, be the string to my guitar.
The land's encircled? Follow the evening star.
The flight attendant heads for her hotel—
The fossil of a bird rising through the tar.
Another photo-shoot for the pregnant model
We met in Andalusia, in a bar!
The way the sun burned through the morning fog—
Blood from a white-tailed deer struck by a car.
The soldier at the checkpoint waved us through,
While the mendicant examined his cigar.
A plague of locusts and a partial eclipse
Of the sun: send a virgin to the altar.
17
The neurologist at his retirement party
Thanked everyone for gauging him from afar.
The sun, the mountains, and the sea: these framed
The tragedy born of the scimitar.
Bored? Seeking love? Adventure? The divine?
It's a good time to go to Zanzibar.
The emperor dismissed the courtier
Who had prepared for famine instead of war.
And so they charged into an ancient land,
Like cattle herded into an abattoir.
The scholar's parting gift to the defrocked priest:
The fetus of an ape, preserved in a jar.
Take the reins, please. Now. I can't see the road,
Thanks to the blows I received from that hussar.
18
The naturalist bitten by a rattlesnake
Wore a black leather glove to hide his scar.
Steer clear of the volcano rising from the sea
Or else you'll lose that load of cinnebar.
They entertained the spirits of their marriage—
A turning of the bones in Madagascar.
A plume of smoke and ashes on the deck:
The startled lookout dangles from the spar.
Again they rose at dawn to sing hosannas:
If you're a Romanov, then I'm the czar.
~ Christopher Merrill,
572:On the mountain's breezy summit,
Where the southern sunbeams shine,
Aided by their warming vigor,
Nature yields the golden wine.

How the wondrous mother formeth,
None have ever read aright;
Hid forever is her working,
And inscrutable her might.

Sparkling as a son of Phoebus,
As the fiery source of light,
From the vat it bubbling springeth,
Purple, and as crystal bright;

And rejoiceth all the senses,
And in every sorrowing breast
Poureth hope's refreshing balsam,
And on life bestows new zest.

But their slanting rays all feebly
On our zone the sunbeams shoot;
They can only tinge the foliage,
But they ripen ne'er the fruit.

Yet the north insists on living,
And what lives will merry be;
So, although the grape is wanting,
We invent wine cleverly.

Pale the drink we now are offering
On the household altar here;
But what living Nature maketh,
Sparkling is and ever clear.

Let us from the brimming goblet,
Drain the troubled flood with mirth;
Art is but a gift of heaven,
Borrowed from the glow of earth.

Even strength's dominions boundless
'Neath her rule obedient lie;
From the old the new she fashions
With creative energy.

She the elements' close union
Severs with her sovereign nod;
With the flame upon the altar,
Emulates the great sun-god.

For the distant, happy islands
Now the vessel sallies forth,
And the southern fruits, all-golden,
Pours upon the eager north.

As a type, then,as an image,
Be to us this fiery juice,
Of the wonders that frail mortals
Can with steadfast will produce!

~ Friedrich Schiller, Punch Song (To be sung in the Northern Countries)
,
573:There’s no need to carry on as if Helen’s going to be dragged to the altar in chains. She’ll have a choice in the matter.”
“The right words can bind someone more effectively than chains. You’ll manipulate her into doing what you want regardless of how she feels.”
“Enjoy the view from your moral pedestal,” Devon said. “Unfortunately I have to keep my feet on the ground.”
West stood and went to the window, scowling at the view. “There’s a flaw in your plan. Winterborne may decide that Helen isn’t to his taste.”
“Oh, he’ll take her,” Devon assured him. “Marrying a daughter of the peerage is the only way for him to climb in society. Consider it, West: Winterborne is one of the richest men in London and half the nobility is in debt to him--and yet the same aristocrats who beg him to extend their credit refuse to welcome him into their drawing rooms. If he marries an earl’s daughter, however, doors that have always been closed to him would instantly open.” Devon paused reflectively. “Helen would do well for him.”
“She may not want him.”
“Would she rather become a penniless spinster?”
“Perhaps,” Wes replied testily. “How should I know?”
“My question was rhetorical. Of course Helen will agree to the match. Aristocratic marriages are always arranged for the benefit of the family.”
“Yes, but the brides are usually paired with their social equals. What you’re proposing is to lower Helen by selling her to any common lout with deep pockets for your own benefit."
“Not any common lout,” Devon said. “One of our friends.”
West let out a reluctant laugh and turned back to face him. “Being a friend of ours doesn’t exactly recommend him. I’d rather let him have Pandora or Cassandra--at least they have enough spirit to stand up to him. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
574:J--K. Huysmans
A flickering glimmer through a window-pane,
A dim red glare through mud bespattered glass,
Cleaving a path between blown walls of sleet
Across uneven pavements sunk in slime
To scatter and then quench itself in mist.
And struggling, slipping, often rudely hurled
Against the jutting angle of a wall,
And cursed, and reeled against, and flung aside
By drunken brawlers as they shuffled past,
A man was groping to what seemed a light.
His eyelids burnt and quivered with the strain
Of looking, and against his temples beat
The all enshrouding, suffocating dark.
He stumbled, lurched, and struck against a door
That opened, and a howl of obscene mirth
Grated his senses, wallowing on the floor
Lay men, and dogs and women in the dirt.
He sickened, loathing it, and as he gazed
The candle guttered, flared, and then went out.
Through travail of ignoble midnight streets
He came at last to shelter in a porch
Where gothic saints and warriors made a shield
To cover him, and tortured gargoyles spat
One long continuous stream of silver rain
That clattered down from myriad roofs and spires
Into a darkness, loud with rushing sound
Of water falling, gurgling as it fell,
But always thickly dark. Then as he leaned
Unconscious where, the great oak door blew back
And cast him, bruised and dripping, in the church.
His eyes from long sojourning in the night
Were blinded now as by some glorious sun;
He slowly crawled toward the altar steps.
He could not think, for heavy in his ears
An organ boomed majestic harmonies;
He only knew that what he saw was light!
He bowed himself before a cross of flame
And shut his eyes in fear lest it should fade.
108
~ Amy Lowell,
575:If Christ Came Questioning
If Christ came questioning His world to-day,
(If Christ came questioning,)
'What hast thou done to glorify thy God,
Since last My feet this lower earth plane trod?'
How could I answer Him; and in what way
One evidence of my allegiance bring;
If Christ came questioning.
If Christ came questioning, to me alone,
(If Christ came questioning,)
I could not point to any church or shrine
And say, 'I helped build up this house of Thine;
Behold the altar, and the corner stone';
I could not show one proof of such a thing;
If Christ came questioning.
If Christ came questioning, on His demand,
(If Christ came questioning,)
No pagan soul converted to His creed
Could I proclaim; or say, that word or deed
Of mine, had spread the faith in any land;
Or sent it forth, to fly on stronger wing;
If Christ came questioning.
If Christ came questioning the soul of me,
(If Christ came questioning,)
I could but answer, 'Lord, my little part
Has been to beat the metal of my heart,
Into the shape I thought most fit for Thee;
And at Thy feet, to cast the offering;
Shouldst Thou come questioning.
'From out the earth-fed furnaces of desire,
(Ere Thou cam'st questioning,)
This formless and unfinished gift I brought,
And on life's anvil flung it down, white hot:
A glowing thing, of selfishness and fire,
With blow on blow, I made the anvil ring;
(Ere Thou cam'st questioning).
313
'The hammer, Self-Control, beat hard on it;
(Ere Thou cam'st questioning,)
And with each blow, rose fiery sparks of pain;
I bear their scars, on body, soul, and brain.
Long, long I toiled; and yet, dear Lord, unfit,
And all unworthy, is the heart I bring,
To meet Thy questioning.'
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
576:March 27 MORNING “Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” — Matthew 26:56 HE never deserted them, but they in cowardly fear of their lives, fled from Him in the very beginning of His sufferings. This is but one instructive instance of the frailty of all believers if left to themselves; they are but sheep at the best, and they flee when the wolf cometh. They had all been warned of the danger, and had promised to die rather than leave their Master; and yet they were seized with sudden panic, and took to their heels. It may be, that I, at the opening of this day, have braced up my mind to bear a trial for the Lord’s sake, and I imagine myself to be certain to exhibit perfect fidelity; but let me be very jealous of myself, lest having the same evil heart of unbelief, I should depart from my Lord as the apostles did. It is one thing to promise, and quite another to perform. It would have been to their eternal honour to have stood at Jesus’ side right manfully; they fled from honour; may I be kept from imitating them! Where else could they have been so safe as near their Master, who could presently call for twelve legions of angels? They fled from their true safety. O God, let me not play the fool also. Divine grace can make the coward brave. The smoking flax can flame forth like fire on the altar when the Lord wills it. These very apostles who were timid as hares, grew to be bold as lions after the Spirit had descended upon them, and even so the Holy Spirit can make my recreant spirit brave to confess my Lord and witness for His truth. What anguish must have filled the Saviour as He saw His friends so faithless! This was one bitter ingredient in His cup; but that cup is drained dry; let me not put another drop in it. If I forsake my Lord, I shall crucify Him afresh, and put Him to an open shame. Keep me, O blessed Spirit, from an end so shameful. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
577:April 24 MORNING “And because of all this we make a sure covenant.” — Nehemiah 9:38 THERE are many occasions in our experience when we may very rightly, and with benefit, renew our covenant with God. After recovery from sickness when, like Hezekiah, we have had a new term of years added to our life, we may fitly do it. After any deliverance from trouble, when our joys bud forth anew, let us again visit the foot of the cross, and renew our consecration. Especially, let us do this after any sin which has grieved the Holy Spirit, or brought dishonour upon the cause of God; let us then look to that blood which can make us whiter than snow, and again offer ourselves unto the Lord. We should not only let our troubles confirm our dedication to God, but our prosperity should do the same. If we ever meet with occasions which deserve to be called “crowning mercies” then, surely, if He hath crowned us, we ought also to crown our God; let us bring forth anew all the jewels of the divine regalia which have been stored in the jewel-closet of our heart, and let our God sit upon the throne of our love, arrayed in royal apparel. If we would learn to profit by our prosperity, we should not need so much adversity. If we would gather from a kiss all the good it might confer upon us, we should not so often smart under the rod. Have we lately received some blessing which we little expected? Has the Lord put our feet in a large room? Can we sing of mercies multiplied? Then this is the day to put our hand upon the horns of the altar, and say, “Bind me here, my God; bind me here with cords, even for ever.” Inasmuch as we need the fulfillment of new promises from God, let us offer renewed prayers that our old vows may not be dishonoured. Let us this morning make with Him a sure covenant, because of the pains of Jesus which for the last month we have been considering with gratitude. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
578:Melancholy isn’t, of course, a disorder that needs to be cured. It’s a species of intelligent grief which arises when we come face to face with the certainty that disappointment is written into the script from the start.
We have not been singled out. Marrying anyone, even the most suitable of beings, comes down to a case of identifying which variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for.
In an ideal world, marriage vows would be entirely rewritten. At the altar, a couple would speak thus: “We accept not to panic when, some years from now, what we are doing today will seem like the worst decision of our lives. Yet we promise not to look around, either, for we accept that there cannot be better options out there. Everyone is always impossible. We are a demented species.”
After the solemn repetition of the last sentence by the congregation, the couple would continue: “We will endeavor to be faithful. At the same time, we are certain that never being allowed to sleep with anyone else is one of the tragedies of existence. We apologize that our jealousies have made this peculiar but sound and non-negotiable restriction very necessary. We promise to make each other the sole repository of our regrets rather than distribute them through a life of sexual Don Juanism. We have surveyed the different options for unhappiness, and it is to each other we have chosen to bind ourselves.”
Spouses who had been cheated upon would no longer be at liberty furiously to complain that they had expected their partner to be content with them alone. Instead they could more poignantly and justly cry, “I was relying on you to be loyal to the specific variety of compromise and unhappiness which our hard-won marriage represents.”
Thereafter, an affair would be a betrayal not of intimate joy but of a reciprocal pledge to endure the disappointments of marriage with bravery and stoic reserve. ~ Alain de Botton,
579:The Letters
Still on the tower stood the vane,
A black yew gloomed the stagnant air,
I peered athwart the chancel pane
And saw the altar cold and bare.
A clog of lead was round my feet,
A band of pain across my brow;
"Cold altar, Heaven and earth shall meet
Before you hear my marriage vow."
I turned and hummed a bitter song
That mocked the wholesome human heart,
And then we met in wrath and wrong,
We met, but only met to part.
Full cold my greeting was and dry;
She faintly smiled, she hardly moved;
I saw with half-unconscious eye
She wore the colours I approved.
She took the little ivory chest,
With half a sigh she turned the key,
Then raised her head with lips comprest,
And gave my letters back to me.
And gave the trinkets and the rings,
My gifts, when gifts of mine could please;
As looks a father on the things
Of his dead son, I looked on these.
She told me all her friends had said;
I raged against the public liar;
She talked as if her love were dead,
But in my words were seeds of fire.
"No more of love; your sex is known:
I never will be twice deceived.
Henceforth I trust the man alone,
The woman cannot be believed.
Through slander, meanest spawn of Hell And woman's slander is the worst,
And you, whom once I loved so well,
651
Through you, my life will be accurst."
I spoke with heart, and heat and force,
I shook her breast with vague alarms Like torrents from a mountain's source
We rushed into each other's arms.
We parted: sweetly gleamed the stars,
And sweet the vapour-braided blue,
Low breezes fanned the belfry bars,
As homeward by the church I drew.
The very graves appeared to smile,
So fresh they rose in shadowed swells;
"Dark porch," I said, "and silent aisle,
There comes a sound of marriage bells."
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
580:35. The personal self seeks to feast on life, through a failure to perceive the distinction between the personal self and the spiritual man. All personal experience really exists for the sake of another: namely, the spiritual man. By perfectly concentrated Meditation on experience for the sake of the Self, comes a knowledge of the spiritual man. The divine ray of the Higher Self, which is eternal, impersonal and abstract, descends into life, and forms a personality, which, through the stress and storm of life, is hammered into a definite and concrete self-conscious individuality. The problem is, to blend these two powers, taking the eternal and spiritual being of the first, and blending with it, transferring into it, the self-conscious individuality of the second; and thus bringing to life a third being, the spiritual man, who is heir to the immortality of his father, the Higher Self, and yet has the self-conscious, concrete individuality of his other parent, the personal self. This is the true immaculate conception, the new birth from above, "conceived of the Holy Spirit." Of this new birth it is said: "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit: ye must be born again." Rightly understood, therefore, the whole life of the personal man is for another, not for himself. He exists only to render his very life and all his experience for the building up of the spiritual man. Only through failure to see this, does he seek enjoyment for himself, seek to secure the feasts of life for himself; not understanding that he must live for the other, live sacrificially, offering both feasts and his very being on the altar; giving himself as a contribution for the building of the spiritual man. When he does understand this, and lives for the Higher Self, setting his heart and thought on the Higher Self, then his sacrifice bears divine fruit, the spiritual man is built up, consciousness awakes in him, and he comes fully into being as a divine and immortal individuality. ~ Pata jali,
581:The famous field altar came from the Jewish firm of Moritz Mahler in Vienna, which manufactured all kinds of accessories for mass as well as religious objects like rosaries and images of saints.

The altar was made up of three parts, lberally provided with sham gilt like the whole glory of the Holy Church.

It was not possible without considerable ingenuity to detect what the pictures painted on these three parts actually represented. What was certain was that it was an altar which could have been used equally well by heathens in Zambesi or by the Shamans of the Buriats and Mongols.

Painted in screaming colors it appeared from a distance like a coloured chart intended for colour-blind railway workers. One figure stood out prominently - a naked man with a halo and a body which was turning green, like the parson's nose of a goose which has begun to rot and is already stinking. No one was doing anything to this saint. On the contrary, he had on both sides of him two winged creatures which were supposed to represent angels. But anyone looking at them had the impression that this holy naked man was shrieking with horror at the company around him, for the angels looked like fairy-tale monsters and were a cross between a winged wild cat and the beast of the apocalypse.

Opposite this was a picture which was meant to represent the Holy Trinity. By and large the painter had been unable to ruin the dove. He had painted a kind of bird which could equally well have been a pigeon or a White Wyandotte. God the Father looked like a bandit from the Wild West served up to the public in an American film thriller.

The Son of God on the other hand was a gay young man with a handsome stomach draped in something like bathing drawers. Altogether he looked a sporting type. The cross which he had in his hand he held as elegantly as if it had been a tennis racquet.

Seen from afar however all these details ran into each other and gave the impression of a train going into a station. ~ Jaroslav Ha ek,
582:Morning, October 4 "At evening time it shall be light." Zechariah 14:7 Oftentimes we look forward with forebodings to the time of old age, forgetful that at eventide it shall be light. To many saints, old age is the choicest season in their lives. A balmier air fans the mariner's cheek as he nears the shore of immortality, fewer waves ruffle his sea, quiet reigns, deep, still and solemn. From the altar of age the flashes of the fire of youth are gone, but the more real flame of earnest feeling remains. The pilgrims have reached the land Beulah, that happy country, whose days are as the days of heaven upon earth. Angels visit it, celestial gales blow over it, flowers of paradise grow in it, and the air is filled with seraphic music. Some dwell here for years, and others come to it but a few hours before their departure, but it is an Eden on earth. We may well long for the time when we shall recline in its shady groves and be satisfied with hope until the time of fruition comes. The setting sun seems larger than when aloft in the sky, and a splendour of glory tinges all the clouds which surround his going down. Pain breaks not the calm of the sweet twilight of age, for strength made perfect in weakness bears up with patience under it all. Ripe fruits of choice experience are gathered as the rare repast of life's evening, and the soul prepares itself for rest. The Lord's people shall also enjoy light in the hour of death. Unbelief laments; the shadows fall, the night is coming, existence is ending. Ah no, crieth faith, the night is far spent, the true day is at hand. Light is come, the light of immortality, the light of a Father's countenance. Gather up thy feet in the bed, see the waiting bands of spirits! Angels waft thee away. Farewell, beloved one, thou art gone, thou wavest thine hand. Ah, now it is light. The pearly gates are open, the golden streets shine in the jasper light. We cover our eyes, but thou beholdest the unseen; adieu, brother, thou hast light at even-tide, such as we have not yet. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
583: XX - CATHEDRAL

SERVICE, ORGAN and ANTHEM.

(MARGARET among much people: the EVIL SPIRIT behind
MARGARET.)

EVIL SPIRIT

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

MARGARET

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

CHORUS

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

EVIL SPIRIT

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

MARGARET

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

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

MARGARET

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

EVIL SPIRIT

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

CHORUS

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

EVIL SPIRIT

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

CHORUS

Quid sum miser tune dicturus?

MARGARET

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

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, CATHEDRAL
,
584:The Human Temple
The Temple in Darkness
Darkness broods upon the temple,
Glooms along the lonely aisles,
Fills up all the orient window,
Whence, like little children’s wiles,
Shadows—purple, azure, golden—
Broke upon the floor in smiles.
From the great heart of the organ
Bursts no voice of chant or psalm;
All the air, by music-pulses
Stirred no more, is deathly calm;
And no precious incense rising,
Falls, like good men’s prayer, in balm.
Not a sound of living footstep
Echoes on the marble floor;
Not a sigh of stranger passing
Pierces through the closèd door;
Quenched the light upon the altar:
Where the priest stood, none stands more.
Lord, why hast Thou left Thy temple
Scorned of man, disowned by Thee!
Rather let Thy right hand crush it,
None its desolation see!
List—‘He who the temple builded
Doth His will there. Let it be!’
A Light in the Temple
Lo, a light within the temple!
Whence it cometh no man knows;
Barred the doors: the night-black windows
Stand apart in solemn rows,
All without seems gloom eternal,
Yet the glimmer comes and goes—
176
As if silent-footed angels
Through the dim aisles wandered fair,
Only traced amid the darkness,
By the glory in their hair,
Till at the forsaken altar
They all met, and praised God there.
Now the light grows—fuller, clearer;
Hark, the organ ’gins to sound.
Faint, like broken spirit crying
Unto Heaven from the ground;
While the chorus of the angels
Mingles everywhere around.
See, the altar shines all radiant,
Though no mortal priest there stands,
And no earthly congregation
Worships with uplifted hands:
Yet they gather, slow and saintly,
In innumerable bands.
And the chant celestial rises
Where the human prayers have ceased:
No tear-sacrifice is offered,
For all anguish is appeased,
Through its night of desolation,
To His temple comes the Priest.
~ Dinah Maria Mulock Craik,
585:Clara Morris (Written For A Benefit Given Mrs. Morris)
The Radiant Ruler of Mystic Regions
Where souls of artists are fitted for birth,
Gathered together their lovely legions
And fashioned a woman to shine on earth.
They bathed her in splendor
They made her tender:
They gave her a nature both sweet and wild.
They gave her emotions
Like storm stirred oceans,
And they gave her the heart of a little child.
These Radiant Rulers (who are not human
Nor yet divine like the gods above)
Poured all their gifts in the soul of a woman
That fragile vessel meant only for love.
Still more they taught her,
Still more they brought herTill they gave her the world for a harp one day,
And they bade her string itThey bade her ring it,
While the stars all wondered to hear her play.
She touched the strings in a master fashion,
She uttered the cry of a world's despair.
Its long-hid secret, its pent-up passion,
She gave to the winds in a vibrant air.
For ah! the heart of her,
That was the art of her,
Great with the feeling that makes men kin.
Art unapproachable,
Art all uncoachable,
Fragrance and flame from the spirit within.
The earth turns ever an ear unheeding
To the sorrows of art, as it cries for more:
And she played on the harp till her hands were bleeding
131
And her brow was bruised by the laurels she wore.
She knew the trend of it,
She knew the end of it.
Men heard the music and men felt the thrill.
Bound to the altar
Of art, could she falter?
Then came a silence-the music was still.
And yet in the echoes we seem to hear it
In waves unbroken it circles the earth:
And we catch in the light of her dauntless spirit
A gleam from the center that gave her birth.
Still is the fame of her
Felt in the name of her.
But low lies the harp that once thrilled to her strain.
No hand has taken it,
No hand can waken itFor the soul of her art was her secret of pain.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
586:I.
Oh! take the pure gem to where southerly breezes,
Waft repose to some bosom as faithful as fair,
In which the warm current of love never freezes,
As it rises unmingled with selfishness there,
Which, untainted by pride, unpolluted by care,
Might dissolve the dim icedrop, might bid it arise,
Too pure for these regions, to gleam in the skies.

II.
Or where the stern warrior, his country defending,
Dares fearless the dark-rolling battle to pour,
Or o'er the fell corpse of a dread tyrant bending,
Where patriotism red with his guilt-reeking gore
Plants Liberty's flag on the slave-peopled shore,
With victory's cry, with the shout of the free,
Let it fly, taintless Spirit, to mingle with thee.

III.
For I found the pure gem, when the daybeam returning,
Ineffectual gleams on the snow-covered plain,
When to others the wished-for arrival of morning
Brings relief to long visions of soul-racking pain;
But regret is an insultto grieve is in vain:
And why should we grieve that a spirit so fair
Seeks Heaven to mix with its own kindred there?

IV.
But still 'twas some Spirit of kindness descending
To share in the load of mortality's woe,
Who over thy lowly-built sepulchre bending
Bade sympathy's tenderest teardrop to flow.
Not for THEE soft compassion celestials did know,
But if ANGELS can weep, sure MAN may repine,
May weep in mute grief o'er thy low-laid shrine.

V.
And did I then say, for the altar of glory,
That the earliest, the loveliest of flowers I'd entwine,
Though with millions of blood-reeking victims 'twas gory,
Though the tears of the widow polluted its shrine,
Though around it the orphans, the fatherless pine?
Oh! Fame, all thy glories I'd yield for a tear
To shed on the grave of a heart so sincere.
Published (without title) by Hogg, 'Life of Shelley', 1858; dated 1809-10. The poem, with title as above, is included in the Esdaile manuscript book.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, On An Icicle That Clung To The Grass Of A Grave
,
587:And to say that the citizens of those rival domains did not always see eye to eye was a bit of an understatement, because each represented the antithesis of the other’s deepest values. To the engineers and the technicians who belonged to the world of the dam, Glen was no dead monolith but, rather, a living and breathing thing, a creature that pulsed with energy and dynamism. Perhaps even more important, the dam was also a triumphant capstone of human ingenuity, the culmination of a civil-engineering lineage that had seen its first florescence in the irrigation canals of ancient Mesopotamia and China, then shot like a bold arrow through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Industrial Revolution to reach its zenith here in the sun-scorched wastelands of the American Southwest. Glen embodied the glittering inspiration and the tenacious drive of the American century—a spirit that in other contexts had been responsible for harnessing the atom and putting men on the moon. As impressive as those other accomplishments may have been, nothing excelled the nobility of transforming one of the harshest deserts on earth into a vibrant garden. In the minds of its engineers and its managers, Glen affirmed everything that was right about America. To Kenton Grua and the river folk who inhabited the world of the canyon, however, the dam was an offense against nature. Thanks to Glen and a host of similar Reclamation projects along the Colorado, one of the greatest rivers in the West, had been reduced to little more than a giant plumbing system, a network of pipes and faucets and catchment tubs whose chief purpose lay in the dubious goal of bringing golf courses to Phoenix, swimming pools to Tucson, and air-conditioned shopping malls to Vegas. A magnificent waterway had been sacrificed on the altar of a technology that enabled people to prosper without limits, without balance, without any connection to the environment in which they lived—and in the process, fostered the delusion that the desert had been conquered. But in the eyes of the river folk, even that wasn’t the real cost. To ~ Kevin Fedarko,
588:What were you looking for over here?” Jim asked again.

“I wonder if you can exorcise hands…hmm? Oh, where on the wall was that place I sent you through before. Do you remember?”

Jim shook its head. “Why are you looking for that particular spot? It have fond memories for you or something?”

“Hardly. You told me that it was easier to tear the fabric of existence in a spot where it had previously been rent. And I know I sent you through it from this room, but I don’t remember where, exactly.” I glanced at the clock on the mantel, leaping to my feet when I saw the time. “Oh my god. Oh my god! Tell me that clock isn’t right!”

“That clock isn’t right.”

Relief made me sag a bit as I dug through my purse looking for my cell phone. “Thank god. I was worried there for a minute that I’d missed the wedding.”

“You have,” Jim said complacently, snuffling around behind the fainting couch.

“What? You just told me the clock was wrong!”

“Yuh-uh. And who ordered me to tell her that?”

“Gah!” I screamed, punching a speed-dial number into the phone. “Talk about your day from hell…Jim, look around and find the weak spot. I’m not going to let something like a deranged Guardian ruin my day.”

“Sooo many things I could say to that,” Jim said, shaking its head. “I’ll confine myself to pointing out that even if I found the spot, it wouldn’t do you any good.”

“It wouldn’t? Why not?”

Inside my head, a dark, sinuous voice whistled a peppy little tune.

I ground my teeth. “Don’t tell me—I’d have to use the dark power in order to push us through.”

“Yup.”

Smirk.

“Bloody he—Drake!”

“Aisling?” I held the phone away from my ear at the sound of Drake’s roar.

“Hi, sweetie. Um. I guess we’re even on the whole jilting-at-the-altar thing, huh?”

“Where are you? Where have you been? Why have you not answered my calls?” Drake growled. “Rene and your uncle said you just disappeared on the street. Have you been harmed?”

“I’m fine. Jim’s here with me. I’m in…er…oh, hell.”

“Abaddon,” Jim corrected. ~ Katie MacAlister,
589:I am a Roman,' he said to the king; 'my name is Gaius Mucius. I came here to kill you - my enemy. I have as much courage to die as to kill. It is our Roman way to do and to suffer bravely. Nor am I alone in my resolve against your life; behind me is a long line of men eager for the same honor. Brace yourself, if you will, for the struggle - a struggle for your life from hour to hour, with an armed enemy always at your door. That is the war we declare against you: you need fear no action in the battlefield, army against army; it will be fought against you alone, by one of us at a time.'
Porsena in rage and alarm ordered the prisoner to be burnt alive unless he at once divulged the plot thus obscurely hinted at, whereupon Mucius, crying: 'See how cheap men hold their bodies when they care only for honor!' thrust his right hand into the fire which had been kindled for a sacrifice, and let it burn there as if he were unconscious of the pain. Porsena was so astonished by the young man's almost superhuman endurance that he leapt to his feet and ordered his guards to drag him from the altar. 'Go free,' he said; 'you have dared to be a worse enemy to yourself than to me. I should bless your courage, if it lay with my country to dispose of it. But, as that cannot be, I, as an honorable enemy, grant you pardon, life, and liberty.'
'Since you respect courage,' Mucius replied, as if he were thanking him for his generosity, 'I will tell you in gratitude what you could not force from me by threats. There are three hundred of us in Rome, all young like myself, and all of noble blood, who have sworn an attempt upon your life in this fashion. It was I who drew the first lot; the rest will follow, each in his turn and time, until fortune favor us and we have got you.'
The release of Mucius (who was afterwards known as Scaevola, or the Left-Handed Man, from the loss of his right hand) was quickly followed by the arrival in Rome of envoys from Porsena. The first attempt upon his life, foiled only by a lucky mistake, and the prospect of having to face the same thing again from every one of the remaining conspirators, had so shaken the king that he was coming forward with proposals for peace. ~ Livy,
590:Where The Sun Rises
If you come back,
There will be no sun,
like the day when we met for the last time in your room.
And there were no rains, but only thunder and stars.
ARSD hostel, wasn’t it? There was no sun,
but we spoke about tomorrow’s sun
that will gaze at its face in the mirror called the
Red River.
If Brahma wouldn’t have married, and Parashuram
wouldn’t have killed his mother,
this river, the mirror of the rising sun,
would have remained tumultous, caged,
like this heart today, in the Parashuram Kunda, forever.
If you have a mother, and a father
who still earns and orders, you can’t bathe there.
If you bathe there, all sins are washed away
Like peace, after the sun rose in Assam in a green flag.
Parashuram bathed there, and like blood, his axe descended
But still, he is the mother-killer.
Parashuram, there is blood on your hands your mother’s.
If you come back,
what will you bring?
the Red River is redder now.
During independence Rupkonwar sang a song,
jingoistic, nationalistic: we aren’t scared of sacrificing our lives
we will make the Brahmaputra red with our blood,
On the altar we will lay down our necks,
even if the priest runs away terrified.
What will you bring?
Those days are no more,
Those days: when young Assamese men sang so that the whites would go away
Sang, so that more young men would come and join the processions.
12
Green was there, even in that flag,
And if there was blood in nineteen-forty seven, there is still,
the Luit has become redder, only that’s the difference.
I don’t know what happened in Burma’s forests,
Did you bathe in the Lake of No Return?
What will you bring for me, if you come at all?
mosquitoes, malaria, wounds and jaundice?
Or hunger for flesh and food to the point
where flesh will be food and food will be flesh
Flesh will be food and food will be flesh
Flesh and food.
Nobody will cook for you,
Nor me. Flesh and food are the same now,
A redder river weeps, not for you,
But for peace and a natural sun rise,
Yearns for redness from the sun floating between clouds,
Not in a green flag.
~ Aruni Kashyap,
591:The Feast Of Lights
Kindle the taper like the steadfast star
Ablaze on evening's forehead o'er the earth,
And add each night a lustre till afar
An eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth.
Clash, Israel, the cymbals, touch the lyre,
Blow the brass trumpet and the harsh-tongued horn;
Chant psalms of victory till the heart takes fire,
The Maccabean spirit leap new-born.
Remember how from wintry dawn till night,
Such songs were sung in Zion, when again
On the high altar flamed the sacred light,
And, purified from every Syrian stain,
The foam-white walls with golden shields were hung,
With crowns and silken spoils, and at the shrine,
Stood, midst their conqueror-tribe, five chieftains sprung
From one heroic stock, one seed divine.
Five branches grown from Mattathias' stem,
The Blessed John, the Keen-Eyed Jonathan,
Simon the fair, the Burst-of Spring, the Gem,
Eleazar, Help of-God; o'er all his clan
Judas the Lion-Prince, the Avenging Rod,
Towered in warrior-beauty, uncrowned king,
Armed with the breastplate and the sword of God,
Whose praise is: 'He received the perishing.'
They who had camped within the mountain-pass,
Couched on the rock, and tented neath the sky,
Who saw from Mizpah's heights the tangled grass
Choke the wide Temple-courts, the altar lie
Disfigured and polluted-who had flung
Their faces on the stones, and mourned aloud
And rent their garments, wailing with one tongue,
Crushed as a wind-swept bed of reeds is bowed,
Even they by one voice fired, one heart of flame,
Though broken reeds, had risen, and were men,
They rushed upon the spoiler and o'ercame,
251
Each arm for freedom had the strength of ten.
Now is their mourning into dancing turned,
Their sackcloth doffed for garments of delight,
Week-long the festive torches shall be burned,
Music and revelry wed day with night.
Still ours the dance, the feast, the glorious Psalm,
The mystic lights of emblem, and the Word.
Where is our Judas? Where our five-branched palm?
Where are the lion-warriors of the Lord?
Clash, Israel, the cymbals, touch the lyre,
Sound the brass trumpet and the harsh-tongued horn,
Chant hymns of victory till the heart take fire,
The Maccabean spirit leap new-born!
~ Emma Lazarus,
592:La Nue
Oft when sweet music undulated round,
Like the full moon out of a perfumed sea
Thine image from the waves of blissful sound
Rose and thy sudden light illumined me.
And in the country, leaf and flower and air
Would alter and the eternal shape emerge;
Because they spoke of thee the fields seemed fair,
And Joy to wait at the horizon's verge.
The little cloud-gaps in the east that filled
Gray afternoons with bits of tenderest blue
Were windows in a palace pearly-silled
That thy voluptuous traits came glimmering through.
And in the city, dominant desire
For which men toil within its prison-bars,
I watched thy white feet moving in the mire
And thy white forehead hid among the stars.
Mystical, feminine, provoking, nude,
Radiant there with rosy arms outspread,
Sum of fulfillment, sovereign attitude,
Sensual with laughing lips and thrown-back head,
Draped in the rainbow on the summer hills,
Hidden in sea-mist down the hot coast-line,
Couched on the clouds that fiery sunset fills,
Blessed, remote, impersonal, divine;
The gold all color and grace are folded o'er,
The warmth all beauty and tenderness embower, -Thou quiverest at Nature's perfumed core,
40
The pistil of a myriad-petalled flower.
Round thee revolves, illimitably wide,
The world's desire, as stars around their pole.
Round thee all earthly loveliness beside
Is but the radiate, infinite aureole.
Thou art the poem on the cosmic page -In rubric written on its golden ground -That Nature paints her flowers and foliage
And rich-illumined commentary round.
Thou art the rose that the world's smiles and tears
Hover about like butterflies and bees.
Thou art the theme the music of the spheres
Echoes in endless, variant harmonies.
Thou art the idol in the altar-niche
Faced by Love's congregated worshippers,
Thou art the holy sacrament round which
The vast cathedral is the universe.
Thou art the secret in the crystal where,
For the last light upon the mystery Man,
In his lone tower and ultimate despair,
Searched the gray-bearded Zoroastrian.
And soft and warm as in the magic sphere,
Deep-orbed as in its erubescent fire,
So in my heart thine image would appear,
Curled round with the red flames of my desire.
~ Alan Seeger,
593:Something Like That

PARRA LAUGHS like he’s condemned to hell
but when haven’t poets laughed?
at least he declares that he’s laughing

they pass the years pass
the years
at least they seem to be passing
hypothesis non fingo
everything goes on as if they were passing

now he starts to cry
forgetting that he’s an antipoet

0

STOP RACKING YOUR BRAINS
nobody reads poetry nowadays
it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad

0

FOUR DEFECTS that my Ophelia won’t forgive me for:
old
lowlife
communist
and National Literature Prize

<for the first three
but never for the last>>

0
MY CORPSE and I
understand each other marvellously
my corpse asks me: do you believe in God?
and I respond with a hearty NO
my corpse asks: do you believe in the government?
and I respond with the hammer and sickle
my corpse asks: do you believe in the police?
and I respond with a punch in the face
then he gets up out of his coffin
and we go arm in arm to the altar

0

THE TRUE PROBLEM of philosophy
is who does the dishes

nothing otherworldly

God
    the truth
        the passage of time
absolutely
but first, who does the dishes

whoever wants to do them, go ahead
see ya later, alligator
        and we're right back to being enemies

0

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
compose a sonnet
    that begins with the following iambic pentameter line:
    I would prefer to die ahead of you
and that ends with the following:
    I would prefer that you be first to die

0

YOU KNOW what happened
while I was kneeling
in front of the cross
        looking at His wounds?

He smiled at me and winked!

before I thought He didn’t ever laugh:
but now yeah I believe for real

0

A DECREPIT old man
throws red carnations
at his beloved mother’s coffin

what you are hearing, ladies and gentlemen:
an old wino
bombarding his mother’s tomb
with ribbons of red carnations

0

I QUIT sports for religion
(I went to mass every Sunday)
I abandoned religion for art
art for the mathematical sciences

until at last illumination hit

and now I’m someone only passing through
who puts no faith in the whole or its parts ~ Nicanor Parra,
594:Ceremony After A Fire Raid
Myselves
The grievers
Grieve
Among the street burned to tireless death
A child of a few hours
With its kneading mouth
Charred on the black breast of the grave
The mother dug, and its arms full of fires.
Begin
With singing
Sing
Darkness kindled back into beginning
When the caught tongue nodded blind,
A star was broken
Into the centuries of the child
Myselves grieve now, and miracles cannot atone.
Forgive
Us forgive
Us your death that myselves the believers
May hold it in a great flood
Till the blood shall spurt,
And the dust shall sing like a bird
As the grains blow, as your death grows, through our heart.
Crying
Your dying
Cry,
Child beyond cockcrow, by the fire-dwarfed
Street we chant the flying sea
In the body bereft.
Love is the last light spoken. Oh
Seed of sons in the loin of the black husk left.
II
50
I know not whether
Adam or Eve, the adorned holy bullock
Or the white ewe lamb
Or the chosen virgin
Laid in her snow
On the altar of London,
Was the first to die
In the cinder of the little skull,
O bride and bride groom
O Adam and Eve together
Lying in the lull
Under the sad breast of the head stone
White as the skeleton
Of the garden of Eden.
I know the legend
Of Adam and Eve is never for a second
Silent in my service
Over the dead infants
Over the one
Child who was priest and servants,
Word, singers, and tongue
In the cinder of the little skull,
Who was the serpent's
Night fall and the fruit like a sun,
Man and woman undone,
Beginning crumbled back to darkness
Bare as nurseries
Of the garden of wilderness.
III
Into the organpipes and steeples
Of the luminous cathedrals,
Into the weathercocks' molten mouths
Rippling in twelve-winded circles,
Into the dead clock burning the hour
Over the urn of sabbaths
Over the whirling ditch of daybreak
Over the sun's hovel and the slum of fire
51
And the golden pavements laid in requiems,
Into the bread in a wheatfield of flames,
Into the wine burning like brandy,
The masses of the sea
The masses of the sea under
The masses of the infant-bearing sea
Erupt, fountain, and enter to utter for ever
Glory glory glory
The sundering ultimate kingdom of genesis' thunder.
~ Dylan Thomas,
595:If you’re hoping for a good meal, you’ve come to the wrong place. Miss Cameron has already attempted to sacrifice herself on the altar of domesticity this morning, and we both narrowly escaped death from her efforts. I’m cooking supper,” he finished, “and it may not be much better.”
“I’ll try my hand at breakfast,” the vicar volunteered good-naturedly.
When Elizabeth was out of earshot, Ian said quietly, “How badly is the woman hurt?”
“It’s hard to say, considering that she was almost too angry to be coherent. Or it might have been the laudanum that did it.”
“Did what?”
The vicar paused a moment to watch a bird hop about in the rustling leaves overhead, then he said, “She was in a rare state. Quite confused. Angry, too. On the one hand, she was afraid you might decide to express your ‘tender regard’ for Lady Cameron, undoubtedly in much the way you were doing it when I arrived.” When his gibe evoked nothing but a quirked eyebrow from his imperturbable nephew, Duncan sighed and continued, “At the same time, she was equally convinced that her young lady might try to shoot you with your own gun, which I distinctly understood her to say the young lady had already tried to do. It is that which I feared when I heard the gunshots that sent me galloping up here.”
“We were shooting at targets.”
The vicar nodded, but he was studying Ian with an intent frown.
“Is something else bothering you?” Ian asked, noting the look.
The vicar hesitated, then shook his head slightly, as if trying to dismiss something from his mind. “Miss Throckmorton-Jones had more to say, but I can scarcely credit it.”
“No doubt it was the laudanum,” Ian said, dismissing the matter with a shrug.
“Perhaps,” he said, his frown returning. “Yet I have not taken laudanum, and I was under the impression you are about to betroth yourself to a young woman named Christina Taylor.”
“I am.”
His face turned censorious. “Then what excuse can you have for the scene I just witnessed a few minutes ago?”
Ian’s voice was clipped. “Insanity.”
They walked back to the house, the vicar silent and thoughtful, Ian grim. Duncan’s untimely arrival had not bothered him, but now that his passion had finally cooled he was irritated as hell with his body’s uncontrollable reaction to Elizabeth Cameron. The moment his mouth touched hers it was as if his brain went dead. Even though he knew exactly what she was, in his arms she became an alluring angel. ~ Judith McNaught,
596:The wedding rehearsal itself was uneventful until Father Johnson decided it was time to show Marlboro Man and me the proper way to walk to the marriage altar. Evidently, all of Father Johnson’s theological studies and work was destined to culminate in whether or not Marlboro Man and I approached the altar in the perfectly correct and proper way, because he was intent on driving the point home.
“At this point,” Father Johnson instructed, “you’ll start to turn and Ree will take your arm.” He lightly pushed Marlboro Man in the proper direction, and the two of us began walking forward.
“Nope, nope, nope,” Father Johnson said authoritatively. “Come back, come back.”
Marlboro Man’s college friends snickered.
“Oh…what did we do wrong?” I asked Father Johnson humbly. Maybe he’d discovered the truth about the collages.
He showed us again. Marlboro Man was to turn and begin walking, then wait for me briefly. Then, as I took his arm, he was to lead me to the altar.
Wait. Wasn’t that what we just did?
We tried again, and Father Johnson corrected us…again. “Nope, nope, nope,” he said, pulling us both by the arm until we were back in our starting position. Marlboro Man’s friends chuckled. My stomach growled. And Marlboro Man kept quietly restrained, despite the fact that he was being repeatedly corrected by his fiancée’s interim minister for something that arguably wasn’t all that relevant to the commitment we were making to spend the rest of our lives together.
We went through no fewer than seven more takes, and with each redo I began to realize that this was Father Johnson’s final test for us. Forget the collage assignment--that was small potatoes. Whether we could keep our cool and take instruction when a nice steak dinner and drinks awaited us at the country club was Father Johnson’s real decider of whether or not Marlboro Man and I were mature, composed, and levelheaded enough to proceed with the wedding. And while I knew Marlboro Man would grit his teeth and bear it, I wasn’t entirely sure I could.
But I didn’t have to. On the beginning of the eighth run, just after Father Johnson gave us another “Nope. You’re not getting it right, kids…” Mike’s loud voice echoed throughout the wood-and-marble sanctuary.
Oh, c-c-c-c-come on, Father Johnson!
The chuckles turned into laughter. And out of the corner of my eye I saw Tony giving Mike a subtle high five.
Thank goodness for Mike. He was hungry. He wanted to get on to the party. ~ Ree Drummond,
597:The Witch's Child
'Tis Elfinell- a witch's child,
From holy minster banned....
Again the old glad bell rings out
Through all the Christmas land.
No gift might she receive or give,
Nor kneel to Mary's child:
She watched from far the joyous troop
That past the Crib defiled;
Far in the shadow of the porch,
Yet even there espied:
'Now, hence away, unhallowed Elf!'
The sacristan did chide.
'Hence, till some witness thou canst bring
Of gift received from thee,
In His dear name, whose birth we sing,
But this shall never be!'
Poor Elfinell- she turned away:
'Though none for me may speak,
Yet there be those may take my gift;
And them I go to seek!'
So, flitting light through lonesome fields
By summer long forgot,
She crossed the valley drifted deepThe brook in icy grot;
And gained, at last, a still, white wood
All hung with flowers of snow:
There, down she sat, and quaintly called
In tender tones and low.
They heard and came- the doe and fawn,
The squirrel and hare,
And dwellers shy in earthy homes,
And wanderers of the air!
29
To these she gave fresh leaves of kale.
To those the soft white bread,
Or filberts smooth, or yellow corn;
So each and all she fed.
She fed them from her hand- she sighed;
'Might you but speak for me,
And say, ye took my Christmas gift,
Then, I the Crib might see!'
At this, those glad, wild creatures join,
And close the child around;
They draw her on, she scarce knows how,
Across the snowy ground!
They crowd with soft, warm, furry touch;
They stoop with frolic wing:
Grown strangely bold, to haunts of men
The elfin child they bring!
They reach the town, the minster door;
The door they straightway pass;
And up the aisle and by the priest
That saith the holy mass.
Nor stay, until they reach the Crib
With all its wreathen greens;
And there above, with eyes of love,
The witch-child looks and leans!
Spake, then, the priest to all his flock:
'Forbid no more this child!
To speak for her, God sendeth these,
His loved ones of the wild!
''Twas God that made them take her gift,
Our stubborn hearts to shame!
Melt, hearts of ours; and open, hands,
And give in Christ's dear name.'
Thus, Elfinell with gifts was showered,
30
Upon a Christmas Day;
The while, beside the altar's font,
The ban was washed away.
A carven stall the minster shows,
Whereon ye see the priestThe kneeling child- and clustering forms
Of friendly bird and beast.
~ Edith Matilda Thomas,
598:Life’s got an interesting sense of humor.” He was relaxing now that she’d decided to drop the subject. A long, put-upon sigh. “Isn’t that the truth? Clearly, I’m being tested.” Curious, he asked, “And are you passing?” Another adorable pout. “I don’t think so.” That mouth looked like she’d just eaten a bowl of strawberries and the juices had stained her lips. He wanted to bite her. Lick her to see if she tasted as sweet as she looked. She got all squinty, another pretzel firmly in hand. “I’m drunk.” Unfortunately. “I don’t doubt that.” Her gaze caught his. Darted away. Her pink tongue flitted out to wet her full lower lip. It glistened like an invitation. “I’d leave, but I can’t walk. My feet hurt.” “I wouldn’t let you go, anyway.” He was a little taken aback to find the words true. It had been a long time since he’d wanted anything, but he still recognized the spark of desire. He wanted her, and wasn’t ready for her to walk off into the sunset yet. The right or wrong of the situation didn’t much matter. She swirled a finger over the edge of her ice water. “Do you think you could stop me? He cocked a brow and gave her a once-over. “Considering the way you hobbled in here, I think I can take you.” Dark lashes almost obscured the green of her irises as she squinted. “I’m supposed to be getting independent now.” “I see,” he said, considering the guy she’d ditched at the altar for the first time. It took a lot to drive a woman out a church window with nothing but the clothes on her back. “Everyone needs a little rescue sometime.” “You’re not one of those knight-in-shining-armor guys, are you?” She said the words as if they were foul. “Not normally, but I’m making an exception for you.” He was surprised to find he wanted the role, despite her distain. “I don’t want an exception.” Her tone had taken on a decided wail. “Too bad.” Yep, he wasn’t budging on this one. She wanted to stand on her own two feet. He understood, but it only made him more determined. “Why me?” “Because I want to.” It was that simple. Besides, she’d probably take off in the morning and he’d never see her again. One night to break the monotony wouldn’t hurt. Before she could respond, he turned and walked the length of the bar. Flipping open the counter, he rounded the corner, striding to stand in front of her. “It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything chivalrous. Won’t you let me?” Even white teeth nibbled on her bottom lip and he curled his hand into a fist to keep from stroking his thumb over the abused, moist flesh. Glassy, pensive eyes blinked up at him. He stepped close enough to feel the warmth of her skin. “What kind of a man would I be if I left you stranded?” “I’m ~ Jennifer Dawson,
599:Rosie,

I'm returning to Boston tomorrow but before I go I wanted to write this letter to you. All the thoughts and feelings that have been bubbling up inside me are finally overflowing from this pen and I'm leaving this letter for you so that you don't feel that I'm putting you under any great pressure. I understand that you will need to take your time trying to decide on what I am about to say.
I no what's going on, Rosie. You're my best friend and I can see the sadness in your eyes. I no that Greg isn't away working for the weekend. You never could lie to me; you were always terrible at it. Your eyes betray you time and time again. Don't pretend that everything is perfect because I see it isn't. I see that Greg is a selfish man who has absolutely no idea just how lucky he is and it makes me sick.
He is the luckiest man in the world to have you, Rosie, but he doesn't deserve you and you deserve far better. You deserve someone who loves you with every single beat of his heart, someone who thinks about you constantly, someone who spends every minute of every day just wondering what you're doing, where you are, who you're with and if you're OK. You need someone who can help you reach your dreams and who can protect you from your fears. You need someone who will treat you with respect, love every part of you, especially your flaws. You should be with someone who can make you happy, really happy, dancing-on-air happy. Someone who should have taken the chance to be with you years ago instead of becoming scared and being too afraid to try.
I am not scared any more, Rosie. I am not afraid to try. I no what the feeling was at your wedding - it was jealousy. My heart broke when I saw the woman I love turning away from me to walk down the aisle with another man, a man she planned to spend the rest of her life with. It was like a prison sentence for me - years stretching ahead without me being able to tell you how I feel or hold you how I wanted to.
Twice we've stood beside each other at the altar, Rosie. Twice. And twice we got it wrong. I needed you to be there for my wedding day but I was too stupid to see that I needed you to be the reason for my wedding day.
I should never have let your lips leave mine all those years ago in Boston. I should never have pulled away. I should never have panicked. I should never have wasted all those years without you. Give me a chance to make them up to you. I love you, Rosie, and I want to be with you and Katie and Josh. Always.
Please think about it. Don't waste your time on Greg. This is our opportunity. Let's stop being afraid and take the chance. I promise I'll make you happy.

All my love,
Alex ~ Cecelia Ahern,
600:both hands against the door. “Feet wider apart. That’s right. Like in the American movies.” Satisfied, Qazi patted the man down. “What, no gun? A GRU man without a gun …” Qazi carefully felt the man’s crotch and the arms above the wrists. “First humor and now this! The GRU will become a laughingstock. But of course there is a microphone.” Qazi lifted all the pens from the Russian’s shirt pocket and examined them, one by one. “It had better be here, Chekhov, or you will have to part with your buttons and your shoes.” It was in the third pen. “Now turn around and sit against the door.” The Russian’s face was covered with perspiration, his fleshy lips twisted in a sneer. “The shoes.” Qazi examined them carefully and tossed them back. “Now the coat.” This he scrutinized minutely. From the uppermost of the large three buttons on the front of the coat a very fine wire was just visible buried amid the thread that held the button on. Qazi sawed the button free with a small pocketknife, then dropped the pen and button down a commode. He tossed the coat back to Chekhov. “And the belt.” After a quick glance, Qazi handed it back. “Hurry, we have much to say to each other.” He unscrewed the silencer and replaced the pistol in his ankle holster. He opened the door as the Russian scrambled awkwardly to his feet. An hour later the two men were seated in the Sistine Chapel against the back wall, facing the altar and Michelangelo’s masterpiece The Last Judgment behind it. On the right the high windows admitted a subdued light. Qazi kept his eyes on the tourists examining the paintings on the ceiling and walls. “Is it in Rome, as General Simonov promised?” “Yes. But you must tell us why you want it.” “Is it genuine, or is it a masterpiece from an Aquarium print shop?” The Aquarium was the nickname for GRU headquarters in Moscow. The Russian’s lips curled, revealing yellow, impacted teeth. This was his smile. “We obtained it from Warrant Officer Walker.” “Ah, those Americans! One wonders just how long they knew about Walker’s activities.” The Russian raised his shoulders and lowered them. “Why do you want the document?” “El Hakim has not authorized me to reveal his reasons. Not that we don’t trust you. We value the goodwill of the Soviet Union most highly. And we intend to continue to cultivate that goodwill. But to reveal what you do not need to know is to take the risk that the Americans will learn of our plans through their activities against you.” “If you are implying they have penetrated—” “Chekhov, I am not implying anything. I am merely weighing risks. And I am being very forthright with you. No subterfuge. No evasion. Just the plain truth. Surely a professional like you can appreciate that?” “This document is very valuable. ~ Stephen Coonts,
601:Though in many natural objects, whiteness refiningly enhances beauty, as if imparting some special virtue of its own, as in marbles, japonicas, and pearls; and though various nations have in some way recognised a certain royal preeminence in this hue; even the barbaric, grand old kings of Pegu placing the title “Lord of the White Elephants” above all their other magniloquent ascriptions of dominion; and the modern kings of Siam unfurling the same snow-white quadruped in the royal standard; and the Hanoverian flag bearing the one figure of a snow-white charger; and the great Austrian Empire, Caesarian, heir to overlording Rome, having for the imperial color the same imperial hue; and though this pre-eminence in it applies to the human race itself, giving the white man ideal mastership over every dusky tribe; and though, besides, all this, whiteness has been even made significant of gladness, for among the Romans a white stone marked a joyful day; and though in other mortal sympathies and symbolizings, this same hue is made the emblem of many touching, noble things— the innocence of brides, the benignity of age; though among the Red Men of America the giving of the white belt of wampum was the deepest pledge of honor; though in many climes, whiteness typifies the majesty of Justice in the ermine of the Judge, and contributes to the daily state of kings and queens drawn by milk-white steeds; though even in the higher mysteries of the most august religions it has been made the symbol of the divine spotlessness and power; by the Persian fire worshippers, the white forked flame being held the holiest on the altar; and in the Greek mythologies, Great Jove himself being made incarnate in a snow-white bull; and though to the noble Iroquois, the midwinter sacrifice of the sacred White Dog was by far the holiest festival of their theology, that spotless, faithful creature being held the purest envoy they could send to the Great Spirit with the annual tidings of their own fidelity; and though directly from the Latin word for white, all Christian priests derive the name of one part of their sacred vesture, the alb or tunic, worn beneath the cassock; and though among the holy pomps of the Romish faith, white is specially employed in the celebration of the Passion of our Lord; though in the Vision of St. John, white robes are given to the redeemed, and the four-and-twenty elders stand clothed in white before the great-white throne, and the Holy One that sitteth there white like wool; yet for all these accumulated associations, with whatever is sweet, and honorable, and sublime, there yet lurks an elusive something in the innermost idea of this hue, which strikes more of panic to the soul than that redness which affrights in blood. ~ Herman Melville,
602:It contrives the acceptance of injustice, crime, and falsehood by the promise of a miracle. Still greater production, still more power, uninterrupted labor, incessant suffering, permanent war, and then a moment will come when universal bondage in the totalitarian empire will be miraculously changed into its opposite: free leisure in a universal republic. Pseudo-revolutionary mystification has now acquired a formula: all freedom must be crushed in order to conquer the empire, and one day the empire will be the equivalent of freedom. And so the way to unity passes through totality.[...]Totality is, in effect, nothing other than the ancient dream of unity common to both believers and rebels, but projected horizontally onto an earth deprived of God. To renounce every value, therefore, amounts to renouncing rebellion in order to accept the Empire and slavery. Criticism of formal values cannot pass over the concept of freedom. Once the impossibility has been recognized of creating, by means of the forces of rebellion alone, the free individual of whom the romantics dreamed, freedom itself has also been incorporated in the movement of history. It has become freedom fighting for existence, which, in order to exist, must create itself. Identified with the dynamism of history, it cannot play its proper role until history comes to a stop, in the realization of the Universal City. Until then, every one of its victories will lead to an antithesis that will render it pointless. The German nation frees itself from its oppressors, but at the price of the freedom of every German. The individuals under a totalitarian regime are not free, even though man in the collective sense is free. Finally, when the Empire delivers the entire human species, freedom will reign over herds of slaves, who at least will be free in relation to God and, in general, in relation to every kind of transcendence. The dialectic miracle, the transformation of quantity into quality, is explained here: it is the decision to call total servitude freedom. Moreover, as in all the examples cited by Hegel and Marx, there is no objective transformation, but only a subjective change of denomination. In other words, there is no miracle. If the only hope of nihilism lies in thinking that millions of slaves can one day constitute a humanity which will be freed forever, then history is nothing but a desperate dream. Historical thought was to deliver man from subjection to a divinity; but this liberation demanded of him the most absolute subjection to historical evolution. Then man takes refuge in the permanence of the party in the same way that he formerly prostrated himself before the altar. That is why the era which dares to claim that it is the most rebellious that has ever existed only offers a choice of various types of conformity. The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude. ~ Albert Camus,
603:Do you think, little flower, that there will ever come a day when you regret meeting me?” he asked quietly.
“Yes,” she said simply.
“I see,” he said tightly.
“Would you like a specific date?”
“You are teasing me,” he realized suddenly.
“No, I’m dead serious. I have an exact date in mind.”
Jacob pulled back to see her eyes, looking utterly perplexed as her pupils sparkled with mischief.
“What date is that? And why are you thinking of pink elephants?”
“The date is September 8, because, according to Gideon, that’s possibly the day I will go into labor. I say ‘possibly,’ because combining all this human/Druid and Demon DNA ‘may make for a longer period of gestation than usual for a human,’ as the Ancient medic recently quoted. Now, as I understand it, women always regret ever letting a man touch them on that day.”
Jacob lurched to his feet, dropping her onto her toes, grabbing her by the arms, and holding her still as he raked a wild, inspecting gaze over her body.
“You are pregnant?” he demanded, shaking her a little. “How long have you known? You went into battle with that monster while you are carrying my child?”
Our child,” she corrected indignantly, her fists landing firmly on her hips, “and Gideon only just told me, like, five seconds ago, so I didn’t know I was pregnant when I was fighting that thing!”
“But . . . he healed you just a few days ago! Why not tell you then?”
“Because I wasn’t pregnant then, Jacob. If you recall, we did make love between then and now.”
“Oh . . . oh Bella . . .” he said, his breath rushing from him all of a sudden.
He looked as if he needed to sit down and put a paper bag over his head. She reached to steady him as he sat back awkwardly on the altar. He leaned his forearms on his thighs, bending over them as he tried to catch his breath. Bella had the strangest urge to giggle, but she bit her lower lip to repress to impulse.
So much for the calm, cool, collected Enforcer who struck terror into the hearts of Demons everywhere.
“That is not funny,” he grumbled indignantly.
“Yeah? You should see what you look like from over here,” she teased.
“If you laugh at me I swear I am going to take you over my knee.”
“Promises, promises,” she laughed, hugging him with delight. Finally, Jacob laughed as well, his arm snaking out to circle her waist and draw her back into his lap.
“Did you ask . . . I mean, does he know what it is?”
“It’s a baby. I told him I didn’t want to know what it is. And don’t you dare find out, because you know the minute you do I’ll know, and if you spoil the surprise I’ll murder you.”
“Damn . . . she kills a couple of Demons and suddenly thinks she can order all of us around,” he taunted, pulling her close until he was nuzzling her neck, wondering if it was possible for such an underused heart as his to contain so much happiness. ~ Jacquelyn Frank,
604:From 'Lines In Memory Of Edmund Morris'
HERE Morris, on the plains that we have loved,
Think of the death of Akoose, fleet of foot,
Who, in his prime, a herd of antelope
From sunrise, without rest, a hundred miles
Drove through rank prairie, loping like a wolf,
Tired them and slew them, ere the sun went down.
Akoose, in his old age, blind from the smoke
Of tepees and the sharp snow light, alone
With his great grandchildren, withered and spent,
Crept in the warm sun along a rope
Stretched for his guidance. Once when sharp autumn
Made membranes of thin ice upon the sloughs,
He caught a pony on a quick return
Of prowess, and, all his instincts cleared and quickened,
He mounted, sensed the north and bore away
To the Last Mountain Lake where in his youth
He shot the sand-hill-cranes with his flint arrows.
And for these hours in all the varied pomp
Of pagan fancy and free dreams of foray
And crude adventure, he ranged on entranced,
Until the sun blazed level with the prairie,
Then paused, faltered and slid from off his pony.
In a little bluff of poplars, hid in the bracken,
He lay down; the populace of leaves
In the lithe poplars whispered together and trembled,
Fluttered before a sunset of gold smoke,
With interspaces, green as sea water,
And calm as the deep water of the sea.
There Akoose lay, silent amid the bracken,
Gathered at last with the Algonquin Chieftains.
Then the tenebrous sunset was blown out,
And all the smoky gold turned into cloud wrack.
Akoose slept forever amid the poplars,
Swathed by the wind from the far-off Red Deer
Where dinosaurs sleep, clamped in their rocky tombs.
Who shall count the time that lies between
The sleep of Akoose and the dinosaurs?
Innumerable time, that yet is like the breath
42
Of the long wind that creeps upon the prairie
And dies away with the shadows at sundown.
......
What we may think, who brood upon the theme,
Is, when the old world, tired of spinning, has fallen
Asleep, and all the forms, that carried the fire
Of life, are cold upon her marble heart–
Like ashes on the altar–just as she stops,
That something will escape of soul or essence,–
The sum of life, to kindle otherwhere:
Just as the fruit of a high sunny garden,
Grown mellow with autumnal sun and rain,
Shrivelled with ripeness, splits to the rich heart,
And looses a gold kernel to the mould,
So the old world, hanging long in the sun,
And deep enriched with effort and with love,
Shall, in the motions of maturity,
Wither and part, and the kernel of it all
Escape, a lovely wraith of spirit, to latitudes
Where the appearance, throated like a bird,
Winged with fire and bodied all with passion,
Shall flame with presage, not of tears, but joy.
~ Duncan Campbell Scott,
605:Stravinsky's Three Pieces
First Movement
Thin-voiced, nasal pipes
Drawing sound out and out
Until it is a screeching thread,
Sharp and cutting, sharp and cutting,
It hurts.
Whee-e-e!
Bump! Bump! Tong-ti-bump!
There are drums here,
Banging,
And wooden shoes beating the round, grey stones
Of the market-place.
Whee-e-e!
Sabots slapping the worn, old stones,
And a shaking and cracking of dancing bones;
Clumsy and hard they are,
And uneven,
Losing half a beat
Because the stones are slippery.
Bump-e-ty-tong! Whee-e-e! Tong!
The thin Spring leaves
Shake to the banging of shoes.
Shoes beat, slap,
Shuffle, rap,
And the nasal pipes squeal with their pigs' voices,
Little pigs' voices
Weaving among the dancers,
A fine white thread
Linking up the dancers.
Bang! Bump! Tong!
Petticoats,
Stockings,
Sabots,
Delirium flapping its thigh-bones;
Red, blue, yellow,
Drunkenness steaming in colours;
Red, yellow, blue,
Colours and flesh weaving together,
217
In and out, with the dance,
Coarse stuffs and hot flesh weaving together.
Pigs' cries white and tenuous,
White and painful,
White and Bump!
Tong!
Second Movement
Pale violin music whiffs across the moon,
A pale smoke of violin music blows over the moon,
Cherry petals fall and flutter,
And the white Pierrot,
Wreathed in the smoke of the violins,
Splashed with cherry petals falling, falling,
Claws a grave for himself in the fresh earth
With his finger-nails.
Third Movement
An organ growls in the heavy roof-groins of a church,
It wheezes and coughs.
The nave is blue with incense,
Writhing, twisting,
Snaking over the heads of the chanting priests.
`Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine';
The priests whine their bastard Latin
And the censers swing and click.
The priests walk endlessly
Round and round,
Droning their Latin
Off the key.
The organ crashes out in a flaring chord,
And the priests hitch their chant up half a tone.
`Dies illa, dies irae,
Calamitatis et miseriae,
Dies magna et amara valde.'
A wind rattles the leaded windows.
The little pear-shaped candle flames leap and flutter,
`Dies illa, dies irae;'
The swaying smoke drifts over the altar,
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`Calamitatis et miseriae;'
The shuffling priests sprinkle holy water,
`Dies magna et amara valde;'
And there is a stark stillness in the midst of them
Stretched upon a bier.
His ears are stone to the organ,
His eyes are flint to the candles,
His body is ice to the water.
Chant, priests,
Whine, shuffle, genuflect,
He will always be as rigid as he is now
Until he crumbles away in a dust heap.
`Lacrymosa dies illa,
Qua resurget ex favilla
Judicandus homo reus.'
Above the grey pillars the roof is in darkness.
~ Amy Lowell,
606:The Rendezvous
He faints with hope and fear. It is the hour.
Distant, across the thundering organ-swell,
In sweet discord from the cathedral-tower,
Fall the faint chimes and the thrice-sequent bell.
Over the crowd his eye uneasy roves.
He sees a plume, a fur; his heart dilates -Soars . . . and then sinks again. It is not hers he loves.
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
Braided with streams of silver incense rise
The antique prayers and ponderous antiphones.
`Gloria Patri' echoes to the skies;
`Nunc et in saecula' the choir intones.
He marks not the monotonous refrain,
The priest that serves nor him that celebrates,
But ever scans the aisle for his blonde head. . . . In vain!
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
How like a flower seemed the perfumed place
Where the sweet flesh lay loveliest to kiss;
And her white hands in what delicious ways,
With what unfeigned caresses, answered his!
Each tender charm intolerable to lose,
Each happy scene his fancy recreates.
And he calls out her name and spreads his arms . . . No use!
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
But the long vespers close. The priest on high
Raises the thing that Christ's own flesh enforms;
And down the Gothic nave the crowd flows by
And through the portal's carven entry swarms.
Maddened he peers upon each passing face
Till the long drab procession terminates.
No princess passes out with proud majestic pace.
She has not come, the woman that he waits.
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Back in the empty silent church alone
He walks with aching heart. A white-robed boy
Puts out the altar-candles one by one,
Even as by inches darkens all his joy.
He dreams of the sweet night their lips first met,
And groans -- and turns to leave -- and hesitates . . .
Poor stricken heart, he will, he can not fancy yet
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
But in an arch where deepest shadows fall
He sits and studies the old, storied panes,
And the calm crucifix that from the wall
Looks on a world that quavers and complains.
Hopeless, abandoned, desolate, aghast,
On modes of violent death he meditates.
And the tower-clock tolls five, and he admits at last,
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
Through the stained rose the winter daylight dies,
And all the tide of anguish unrepressed
Swells in his throat and gathers in his eyes;
He kneels and bows his head upon his breast,
And feigns a prayer to hide his burning tears,
While the satanic voice reiterates
`Tonight, tomorrow, nay, nor all the impending years,
She will not come,' the woman that he waits.
Fond, fervent heart of life's enamored spring,
So true, so confident, so passing fair,
That thought of Love as some sweet, tender thing,
And not as war, red tooth and nail laid bare,
How in that hour its innocence was slain,
How from that hour our disillusion dates,
When first we learned thy sense, ironical refrain,
She will not come, the woman that he waits.
~ Alan Seeger,
607:Bob,” she said, “offerings burned in the mortal world appear on this altar, right?” Bob frowned uncomfortably, like he wasn’t ready for a pop quiz. “Yes?” “So what happens if I burn something on the altar here?” “Uh…” “That’s all right,” Annabeth said. “You don’t know. Nobody knows, because it’s never been done.” There was a chance, she thought, just the slimmest chance that an offering burned on this altar might appear at Camp Half-Blood. Doubtful, but if it did work… “Annabeth?” Percy said again. “You’re planning something. You’ve got that I’m-planning-something look.” “I don’t have an I’m-planning-something look.” “Yeah, you totally do. Your eyebrows knit and your lips press together and—” “Do you have a pen?” she asked him. “You’re kidding, right?” He brought out Riptide. “Yes, but can you actually write with it?” “I—I don’t know,” he admitted. “Never tried.” He uncapped the pen. As usual, it sprang into a full-sized sword. Annabeth had watched him do this hundreds of times. Normally when he fought, Percy simply discarded the cap. It always appeared in his pocket later, as needed. When he touched the cap to the point of the sword, it would turn back into a ballpoint pen. “What if you touch the cap to the other end of the sword?” Annabeth said. “Like where you’d put the cap if you were actually going to write with the pen.” “Uh…” Percy looked doubtful, but he touched the cap to the hilt of the sword. Riptide shrank back into a ballpoint pen, but now the writing point was exposed. “May I?” Annabeth plucked it from his hand. She flattened the napkin against the altar and began to write. Riptide’s ink glowed Celestial bronze. “What are you doing?” Percy asked. “Sending a message,” Annabeth said. “I just hope Rachel gets it.” “Rachel?” Percy asked. “You mean our Rachel? Oracle of Delphi Rachel?” “That’s the one.” Annabeth suppressed a smile. Whenever she brought up Rachel’s name, Percy got nervous. At one point, Rachel had been interested in dating Percy. That was ancient history. Rachel and Annabeth were good friends now. But Annabeth didn’t mind making Percy a little uneasy. You had to keep your boyfriend on his toes. Annabeth finished her note and folded the napkin. On the outside, she wrote: Connor, Give this to Rachel. Not a prank. Don’t be a moron. Love, Annabeth She took a deep breath. She was asking Rachel Dare to do something ridiculously dangerous, but it was the only way she could think of to communicate with the Romans—the only way that might avoid bloodshed. “Now I just need to burn it,” she said. “Anybody got a match?” The point of Bob’s spear shot from his broom handle. It sparked against the altar and erupted in silvery fire. “Uh, thanks.” Annabeth lit the napkin and set it on the altar. She watched it crumble to ash and wondered if she was crazy. Could the smoke really make it out of Tartarus? “We should go now,” Bob advised. “Really, really go. Before we are killed.” Annabeth stared at the wall of blackness in front of them. Somewhere in there was a lady who dispensed a Death Mist that might hide them from monsters—a plan recommended by a Titan, one of their bitterest enemies. Another dose of weirdness to explode her brain. “Right,” she said. “I’m ready.” ANNABETH LITERALLY STUMBLED over the second Titan. ~ Rick Riordan,
608:What wonder this?we ask the lympid well,
O earth! of theeand from thy solemn womb
What yieldest thou?is there life in the abyss
Doth a new race beneath the lava dwell?
Returns the past, awakening from the tomb?
RomeGreece!Oh, come!Beholdbehold! for this!
Our living worldthe old Pompeii sees;
And built anew the town of Dorian Hercules!
House upon houseits silent halls once more
Opes the broad portico!Oh, haste and fill
Again those halls with life!Oh, pour along
Through the seven-vista'd theatre the throng!
Where are ye, mimes?Come forth, the steel prepare
For crowned Atrides, or Orestes haunt,
Ye choral Furies, with your dismal chant!
The arch of triumph!whither leads it?still
Behold the forum!on the curule chair
Where the majestic image? Lictors, where
Your solemn fasces?Place upon his throne
The Praetorhere the witness lead, and there
Bid the accuser stand

O God! how lone
The clear streets glitter in the quiet day
The footpath by the doors winding its lifeless way!
The roofs arise in shelter, and around
The desolate Atriumevery gentle room
Wears still the dear familiar smile of home!
Open the doorsthe shopson dreary night
Let lusty day laugh down in jocund light!

See the trim benches ranged in order!See
The marble-tesselated floorand there
The very walls are glittering livingly
With their clear colors. But the artist, where!
Sure but this instant he hath laid aside
Pencil and colors!Glittering on the eye
Swell the rich fruits, and bloom the flowers!See all
Art's gentle wreaths still fresh upon the wall!
Here the arch Cupid slyly seems to glide
By with bloom-laden basket. There the shapes
Of genii press with purpling feet the grapes,
Here springs the wild Bacchante to the dance,
And there she sleeps [while that voluptuous trance
Eyes the sly faun with never-sated glance]
Now on one knee upon the centaur-steeds
Hoveringthe Thyrsus plies.Hurrah!away she speeds!

Comecome, why loiter ye?Here, here, how fair
The goodly vessels still! Girls, hither turn,
Fill from the fountain the Etruscan urn!
On the winged sphinxes see the tripod. Ho!
Quickquick, ye slaves, comefire!the hearth prepare!
Ha! wilt thou sell?this coin shall pay theethis,
Fresh from the mint of mighty Titus!Lo!
Here lie the scales, and not a weight we miss
Sobring the light! The delicate lamp!what toil
Shaped thy minutest grace!quick pour the oil!
Yonder the fairy chest!come, maid, behold
The bridegroom's giftsthe armletsthey are gold,
And paste out-feigning jewels!lead the bride
Into the odorous bathlo! unguents still
And still the crystal vase the arts for beauty fill!

But where the men of oldperchance a prize
More precious yet in yon papyrus lies,
And see ev'n still the tokens of their toil
The waxen tabletsthe recording style.
The earth, with faithful watch, has hoarded all!
Still stand the mute penates in the hall;
Back to his haunts returns each ancient god.
Why absent only from their ancient stand
The priests?waves Hermes his Caducean rod,
And the winged victory struggles from the hand.
Kindle the flamebehold the altar there!
Long hath the god been worshiplessto prayer.
~ Friedrich Schiller, Pompeii And Herculaneum
,
609:She wasn’t sure when she realized that she wasn’t alone. She’d heard a louder murmur from the crowd outside, but she hadn’t connected it with the door opening. She looked over her shoulder and saw Tate standing against the back wall. He was wearing one of those Armani suits that looked so splendid on his lithe build, and he had his trenchcoat over one arm. He was leaning back, glaring at the ceremony. Something was different about him, but Cecily couldn’t think what. It wasn’t the vivid bruise high up on his cheek where Matt had hit him. But it was something…Then it dawned on her. His hair was cut short, like her own. He glared at her.
Cecily wasn’t going to cower in her seat and let him think she was afraid to face him. Mindful of the solemnity of the occasion, she got up and joined Tate by the door.
“So you actually came. Bruises and all,” she whispered with a faintly mocking smile, eyeing the very prominent green-and-yellow patch on his jaw that Matt Holden had put there.
He looked down at her from turbulent black eyes. He didn’t reply for a minute while he studied her, taking in the differences in her appearance, too. His eyes narrowed on her short hair. She thought his eyelids flinched, but it might have been the light.
His eyes went back to the ceremony. He didn’t say another word. He didn’t really need to. He’d cut his hair. In his culture-the one that part of him still belonged to-cutting the hair was a sign of grief.
She could feel the way it was hurting him to know that the people he loved most in the world had lied to him. She wanted to tell him that the pain would ease day by day, that it was better to know the truth than go through life living a lie. She wanted to tell him that having a foot in two cultures wasn’t the end of the world. But he stood there like a painted stone statue, his jaw so tense that the muscles in it were noticeable. He refused to acknowledge her presence at all.
“Congratulations on your engagement, by the way,” she said without a trace of bitterness in her tone. “I’m very happy for you.”
His eyes met hers evenly. “That isn’t what you told the press,” he said in a cold undertone. “I’m amazed that you’d go to such lengths to get back at me.”
“What lengths?” she asked.
“Planting that story in the tabloids,” he returned. “I could hate you for that.”
The teenage sex slave story, she guessed. She glared back at him. “And I could hate you, for believing I would do something so underhanded,” she returned.
He scowled down at her. The anger he felt was almost tangible. She’d sold him out in every way possible and now she’d embarrassed him publicly, again, first by confessing to the media that she’d been his teenage lover-a load of bull if ever there was one. Then she’d compounded it by adding that he was marrying Audrey at Christmas. He wondered how she could be so vindictive. Audrey was sticking to him like glue and she’d told everyone about the wedding. Not that many people hadn’t read it already in the papers. He felt sick all over. He wouldn’t have Audrey at any price. Not that he was about to confess that to Cecily now, after she’d sold him out.
He started to speak, but he thought better of it, and turned his angry eyes back toward the couple at the altar.
After a minute, Cecily turned and went back to her seat. She didn’t look at him again. ~ Diana Palmer,
610:The Dream
I stood in a princely hall, and where
Round me gather'd the brave and fair,
Music in softest strains flew by,
Flashing like gems was each radiant eye;
Joining the fair in the festal dance,
Now the proud warrior lays down his lance,
And the hand which but lately the sword had grasp'd
In love's fond pressure was gently clasp'd.
But who of such lofty stature there,
Comes to unite in the revels fair,
Beauty and grace, in his movements are,
Born but to rule, 'tis the Czar, the Czar!
See the blush deepen on beauty's cheek,
As that eagle eye to the heart doth speak,
For the softest glance, yet how fierce in war,
Is the eye of the proud Imperial Czar!
The dance has ceased, and he stands alone,
Far from the scene has his spirit flown,
That spirit proud which no more can see,
Aught of the dance or minstrelsy;
For o'er barren steppes it has wander'd far,
Where the trumpet's blast tells of fiery war,
And his strongest city beleaguered lies
By the army brave of the bold Allies!
Crushing the thoughts which his bosom swell,
He leaves the scene, as the vesper bell,
Of the dim cathedral calls to prayer;
The scene is changed, we behold him there;
Soft falls the light on the chequer'd floor,
And the form of Him who our deep sins bore,
Is raised on high, whilst around are seen,
Relics of those who have sainted been.
Still dreamed I on, as sweet chaunting stole
With soothing accents upon the soul,
And quivering banners above were hung,
While incense sweet thro' the air was flung;
Now rose with triumphant swell the strain,
Then with plaintive sweetness it died again;
And the long aisles echoed its dying tone,
Till it ceased in a low and farewell moan.
Hush'd is the strain, but its tones seemed fraught
With pain and dread to the conqueror's thought,
And there swept o'er his brow a deeper gloom,
As if it betokened mysterious doom;
For the workings fierce in that mighty breast,
Of remorse and passion forbade him rest;
And near to the altar's step he came,
To seek for peace from that passion's flame.
The Priest advanced, and that proud form shook,
As the sacred bread in his hand he took;
He bowed his head to the marble floor,
But cold big drops on his brow he bore,
For a shadowy hand on the wall pass'd by,
And he knew 'twas an omen which call'd to die;
Then a voice which but he alone could hear,
The summons gave that he soon appear-Before the throne of the King of Kings;
Still on his ear that dread voice rings,
The Priest beholds him with awe, who dare,
Encounter the ray of that eye's fierce glare?
He turned that eye on the casement dim,
And shadowy forms rose up to him,
Bleeding and dying, who still enfold,
Their banners around them in death's last hold.
He gazes still, and a weeping throng,
Widows and orphans come sweeping on,
And he hears their low and bewailing cry,
For their bosoms lords who have gone to die.
And beyond in the barren steppes below,
Lie Russia's serfs in the drifted snow,
While a glorious form is hovering nigh,
The avenging angel with sword on high!
He sees it all -- and a secret pang,
Through that all unconquered spirit rang,
And I turned to look on the conqueror dread,
I woke, 'twas a dream, and the vision fled.
~ Caroline Hayward,
611:Her Last Letter
Sitting alone by the window,
Watching the moonlit street,
Bending my head to listen
To the well-known sound of your feet,
I have been wondering, darling,
How I can bear the pain,
When I watch, with sighs and tear-wet eyes;
And wait for your coming in vain.
For I know that a day approaches
When your heart will tire of me;
When by door and gate I may watch and wait
For a form I shall not see.
When the love that is now my heaven,
The kisses that make my life,
You will bestow on another,
And that other will be-your wife.
You will grow weary of sinning
(Though you do not call it so),
You will long for a love that is purer
Than the love that we two know.
God knows I have loved you dearly,
With a passion strong as true;
But you will grow tired and leave me,
Though I gave up all for you.
I was as pure as the morning
When I first looked on your face;
I knew I never could reach you
In your high, exalted place.
But I looked and loved and worshiped
As a flower might worship a star,
And your eyes shone down upon me,
And you seemed so far-so far.
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And then? Well, then, you loved me,
Loved me with all your heart;
But we could not stand at the altar,
We were so far apart.
If a star should wed with a flower
The star must drop from the sky,
Or the flower in trying to reach it
Would droop on its stalk and die.
But you said that you loved me, darling,
And swore by the heavens above
That the Lord and all of His angels
Would sanction and bless our love.
And I? I was weak, not wicked.
My love was as pure as true,
And sin itself seemed a virtue
If only shared by you.
We have been happy together,
Though under the cloud of sin,
But I know that the day approaches
When my chastening must begin.
You have been faithful and tender,
But you will not always be,
And I think I had better leave you
While your thoughts are kind of me.
I know my beauty is fadingSin furrows the fairest browAnd I know that your heart will weary
Of the face you smile on now.
You will take a bride to your bosom
After you turn from me;
You will sit with your wife in the moonlight,
And hold her babe on your knee.
Oh, God! I never could bear it;
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It would madden my brain, I know;
And so while you love me dearly
I think I had better go.
It is sweeter to feel, my darlingTo know as I fall asleepThat some one will mourn me and miss me,
That some one is left to weep,
Than to die as I should in the future,
To drop in the street some day,
Unknown, unwept and forgotten
After you cast me away.
Perhaps the blood of the Saviour
Can wash my garments clean;
Perchance I may drink of the waters
That flow through pastures green.
Perchance we may meet in heaven,
And walk in the streets above,
With nothing to grieve us or part us
Since our sinning was all through love.
God says, 'Love one another,'
And down to the depths of hell
Will he send the soul of a women
Because she loved-and fell?
And so in the moonlight he found her,
Or found her beautiful clay,
Lifeless and pallid as marble,
For the spirit had flown away.
The farewell words she had written
She held to her cold, white breast,
And the buried blade of a dagger
Told how she had gone to rest.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
612:The Cloud
One summer morn, out of the sea-waves wild,
A speck-like Cloud, the season’s fated child,
Came softly floating up the boundless sky,
And o’er the sun-parched hills all brown and dry.
Onward she glided through the azure air,
Borne by its motion without toil or care,
When looking down in her ethereal joy,
She marked earth’s moilers at their hard employ;
“And oh!” she said, “that by some act of grace
’Twere mine to succour yon fierce-toiling race,
To give the hungry meat, the thirsty drink—
The thought of good is very sweet to think.”
The day advanced, and the cloud greater grew,
And greater; likewise her desire to do
Some charity to men had more and more,
As the long sultry summer day on wore,
Greatened and warmed within her fleecy breast,
Like a dove fledging in its downy nest.
The heat waxed fiercer, until all the land
Clared in the sun as ’twere a monstrous brand
And the shrunk rivers, few and far between,
Like molten metal lightened in the scene.
Ill could Earth’s sons endure their toilsome state,
Though still they laboured, for their need was great,
And many a long beseeching look they sped
Towards that fair cloud, with many a sigh that said:
“We famish for thy bounty! For our sake
O break thou! in a showery blessing, break!”
“I feel, and fain would help you, ” said the cloud,
And towards the earth her bounteous being bowed;
But then remem’bring a tradition she
Had in her youth learned from her native sea,
That when a cloud adventures from the skies
Too near the altar of the hills, it dies!
Awhile she wavered and was blown about
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Hither and thither by the winds of doubt;
But in the midst of heaven at length all still
She stood; then suddenly, with a keen thrill
Of light, she said within herself, “I will!
Yea, in the glad strength of devotion, I Will help
you, though in helping you I die.”
Filled with this thought’s divinity, the cloud
Grew worldlike vast, as earthward more she bowed!
Oh, never erewhile had she dreamed her state
So great might be, beneficently great!
O’er the parched fields in her angelic love
She spread her wide wings like a brooding dove
Till as her purpose deepened, drawing near,
Divinely awful did her front appear,
And men and beasts all trembled at the view,
And the woods bowed, though well all creatures knew
That near in her, to every kind the same,
A great predestined benefactress came.
And then wide-flashed throughout her full-grown form
The glory of her will! the pain and storm
Of life’s dire dread of death, whose mortal threat
From Christ himself drew agonizing sweat,
Flashed seething out of rents amid her heaps
Of lowering gloom, and thence with arrowy leaps
Hissed jagging downward, till a sheety glare
Illumined all the illimitable air;
The thunder followed, a tremendous sound,
Loud doubling and reverberating round;
Strong was her will, but stronger yet the power
Of love, that now dissolved her in a shower,
Dropping in blessings to enrich the earth
With health and plenty at one blooming birth.
Far as the rain extended o’er the land,
A splendid bow the freshened landscape spanned
Like a celestial arc, hung in the air
By angel artists, to illumine there
The parting triumph of that spirit fair.
The rainbow vanished, but the blessing craved
Rested upon the land the cloud had saved.
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~ Charles Harpur,
613:THE WAND
   THE Magical Will is in its essence twofold, for it presupposes a beginning and an end; to will to be a thing is to admit that you are not that thing.
   Hence to will anything but the supreme thing, is to wander still further from it - any will but that to give up the self to the Beloved is Black Magick - yet this surrender is so simple an act that to our complex minds it is the most difficult of all acts; and hence training is necessary. Further, the Self surrendered must not be less than the All-Self; one must not come before the altar of the Most High with an impure or an imperfect offering. As it is written in Liber LXV, "To await Thee is the end, not the beginning."
   This training may lead through all sorts of complications, varying according to the nature of the student, and hence it may be necessary for him at any moment to will all sorts of things which to others might seem unconnected with the goal. Thus it is not "a priori" obvious why a billiard player should need a file.
   Since, then, we may want "anything," let us see to it that our will is strong enough to obtain anything we want without loss of time.
   It is therefore necessary to develop the will to its highest point, even though the last task but one is the total surrender of this will. Partial surrender of an imperfect will is of no account in Magick.
   The will being a lever, a fulcrum is necessary; this fulcrum is the main aspiration of the student to attain. All wills which are not dependent upon this principal will are so many leakages; they are like fat to the athlete.
   The majority of the people in this world are ataxic; they cannot coordinate their mental muscles to make a purposed movement. They have no real will, only a set of wishes, many of which contradict others. The victim wobbles from one to the other (and it is no less wobbling because the movements may occasionally be very violent) and at the end of life the movements cancel each other out. Nothing has been achieved; except the one thing of which the victim is not conscious: the destruction of his own character, the confirming of indecision. Such an one is torn limb from limb by Choronzon.
   How then is the will to be trained? All these wishes, whims, caprices, inclinations, tendencies, appetites, must be detected, examined, judged by the standard of whether they help or hinder the main purpose, and treated accordingly.
   Vigilance and courage are obviously required. I was about to add self-denial, in deference to conventional speech; but how could I call that self-denial which is merely denial of those things which hamper the self? It is not suicide to kill the germs of malaria in one's blood.
   Now there are very great difficulties to be overcome in the training of the mind. Perhaps the greatest is forgetfulness, which is probably the worst form of what the Buddhists call ignorance. Special practices for training the memory may be of some use as a preliminary for persons whose memory is naturally poor. In any case the Magical Record prescribed for Probationers of the A.'.A.'. is useful and necessary.
   Above all the practices of Liber III must be done again and again, for these practices develop not only vigilance but those inhibiting centres in the brain which are, according to some psychologists, the mainspring of the mechanism by which civilized man has raised himself above the savage.
   So far it has been spoken, as it were, in the negative. Aaron's rod has become a serpent, and swallowed the serpents of the other Magicians; it is now necessary to turn it once more into a rod.
   ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, Book 4, The Wand,
614:Are you ready, children?” Father Mikhail walked through the church. “Did I keep you waiting?” He took his place in front of them at the altar. The jeweler and Sofia stood nearby. Tatiana thought they might have already finished that bottle of vodka. Father Mikhail smiled. “Your birthday today,” he said to Tatiana. “Nice birthday present for you, no?” She pressed into Alexander. “Sometimes I feel that my powers are limited by the absence of God in the lives of men during these trying times,” Father Mikhail began. “But God is still present in my church, and I can see He is present in you. I am very glad you came to me, children. Your union is meant by God for your mutual joy, for the help and comfort you give one another in prosperity and adversity and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children. I want to send you righteously on your way through life. Are you ready to commit yourselves to each other?” “We are,” they said. “The bond and the covenant of marriage was established by God in creation. Christ himself adorned this manner of life by his first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. A marriage is a symbol of the mystery of the union between Christ and His Church. Do you understand that those whom God has joined together, no man can put asunder?” “We do,” they said. “Do you have the rings?” “We do.” Father Mikhail continued. “Most gracious God,” he said, holding the cross above their heads, “look with favor upon this man and this woman living in a world for which Your Son gave His life. Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world. Defend this man and this woman from every enemy. Lead them into peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle upon their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their friendship, in their sleeping and in their waking, in their joys and their sorrows, in their life and in their death.” Tears trickled down Tatiana’s face. She hoped Alexander wouldn’t notice. Father Mikhail certainly had. Turning to Tatiana and taking her hands, Alexander smiled, beaming at her unrestrained happiness. Outside, on the steps of the church, he lifted her off the ground and swung her around as they kissed ecstatically. The jeweler and Sofia clapped apathetically, already down the steps and on the street. “Don’t hug her so tight. You’ll squeeze that child right out of her,” said Sofia to Alexander as she turned around and lifted her clunky camera. “Oh, wait. Hold on. Let me take a picture of the newlyweds.” She clicked once. Twice. “Come to me next week. Maybe I’ll have some paper by then to develop them.” She waved. “So you still think the registry office judge should have married us?” Alexander grinned. “He with his ‘of sound mind’ philosophy on marriage?” Tatiana shook her head. “You were so right. This was perfect. How did you know this all along?” “Because you and I were brought together by God,” Alexander replied. “This was our way of thanking Him.” Tatiana chuckled. “Do you know it took us less time to get married than to make love the first time?” “Much less,” Alexander said, swinging her around in the air. “Besides, getting married is the easy part. Just like making love. It was the getting you to make love to me that was hard. It was the getting you to marry me…” “I’m sorry. I was so nervous.” “I know,” he said. He still hadn’t put her down. “I thought the chances were twenty-eighty you were actually going to go through with it.” “Twenty against?” “Twenty for.” “Got to have a little more faith, my husband,” said Tatiana, kissing his lips. ~ Paullina Simons,
615:In The Forum
The last warm gleams of sunset fade
From cypress spire and stonepine dome,
And, in the twilight's deepening shade,
Lingering, I scan the wrecks of Rome.
Husht the Madonna's Evening Bell;
The steers lie loosed from wain and plough;
The vagrant monk is in his cell,
The meek nun-novice cloistered now.
Pedant's presumptuous voice no more
Vexes the spot where Caesar trod,
And o'er the pavement's soundless floor
Come banished priest and exiled God.
The lank-ribbed she-wolf, couched among
The regal hillside's tangled scrubs,
With doting gaze and fondling tongue
Suckles the Vestal's twin-born cubs.
Yet once again Evander leads
Æneas to his wattled home,
And, throned on Tiber's fresh-cut reeds,
Talks of burnt Troy and rising Rome.
From out the tawny dusk one hears
The half-feigned scream of Sabine maids,
The rush to arms, then swift the tears
That separate the clashing blades.
The Lictors with their fasces throng
To quell the Commons' rising roar,
As Tullia's chariot flames along,
Splashed with her murdered father's gore.
Her tresses free from band or comb,
Love-dimpled Venus, lithe and tall,
And fresh as Fiumicino's foam,
Mounts her pentelic pedestal.
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With languid lids, and lips apart,
And curving limbs like wave half-furled,
Unarmed she dominates the heart,
And without sceptre sways the world.
Nerved by her smile, avenging Mars
Stalks through the Forum's fallen fanes,
Or, changed of mien and healed of scars,
Threads sylvan slopes and vineyard plains.
With waves of song from wakening lyre
Apollo routs the wavering night,
While, parsley-crowned, the white-robed choir
Wind chanting up the Sacred Height,
Where Jove, with thunder-garlands wreathed,
And crisp locks frayed like fretted foam,
Sits with his lightnings half unsheathed,
And frowns against the foes of Rome.
You cannot kill the Gods. They still
Reclaim the thrones where once they reigned,
Rehaunt the grove, remount the rill,
And renovate their rites profaned.
Diana's hounds still lead the chase,
Still Neptune's Trident crests the sea,
And still man's spirit soars through space
On feathered heels of Mercury.
No flood can quench the Vestals' Fire;
The Flamen's robes are still as white
As ere the Salii's armoured choir
Were drowned by droning anchorite.
The saint may seize the siren's seat,
The shaveling frown where frisked the Faun;
Ne'er will, though all beside should fleet,
The Olympian Presence be withdrawn.
Here, even in the noontide glare,
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The Gods, recumbent, take their ease;
Go look, and you will find them there,
Slumbering behind some fallen frieze.
But most, when sunset glow hath paled,
And come, as now, the twilight hour,
In vesper vagueness dimly veiled
I feel their presence and their power.
What though their temples strew the ground,
And to the ruin owls repair,
Their home, their haunt, is all around;
They drive the cloud, they ride the air.
And, when the planets wend their way
Along the never-ageing skies,
``Revere the Gods'' I hear them say;
``The Gods are old, the Gods are wise.''
Build as man may, Time gnaws and peers
Through marble fissures, granite rents;
Only Imagination rears
Imperishable monuments.
Let Gaul and Goth pollute the shrine,
Level the altar, fire the fane:
There is no razing the Divine;
The Gods return, the Gods remain.
~ Alfred Austin,
616:Ordained
1.
THROUGH jewelled windows in the walls
The tempered daylight smiles,
And solemn music swells and falls
Adown these stately aisles;
Beneath that carven chancel- rood
Low murmurs, hushed to silence, brood;
One voice in prayer appeals
For Holy Spirit's quickening grace
To light his now anointed face
Who at the altar kneels.
2.
One hour ago, like us, he trod
Along these cloisters dim —
Now we are bid to reverence God
Made manifest in him;
To mock at our enlightened sense
And dearly won experience,
So far beyond his own;
To take him for our heaven- sent guide
Upon these seas, so wild and wide,
To him as yet unknown.
3.
Unconscious of the coming strife,
Unformed in mind and thought,
Without one ripe idea of life
Save what his school books taught,
An ignorant boy, he vows a vow
To think and feel as he does now
Till his gold locks are grey;
Pledges his word to learn no more —
To add no wisdom to the store
His young mind holds to- day.
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4.
How shall he keep this senseless oath
When once a full- grown man?
How shall he check his upward growth
To fit this meagre plan?
Only by ruthless pinching out
Of all the fairest shoots that sprout,
As on a healthy tree,
From his expanding brain and heart —
Defrauding his diviner part
Of its virility.
5.
And thus shall youthful passion pale
In native force and fire;
And thus shall soaring pinions fail,
Bedraggled in the mire;
This tender conscience, now so bright,
Lose its fine sense of wrong and right —
Dulled with a moral rust;
This ardent intellect be damped,
This eager spirit starved and cramped Choked in mediaeval dust.
6.
Thus shall the fettered arm grow numb,
And blind the bandaged eye;
Thus shall the silenced voice grow dumb,
As year by year goes by;
Until at last, from long abuse
And lack of free and wholesome use,
All manhood's powers decline;
And, like a lamp unfed, untrimmed,
Intelligence, once bright, is dimmed,
No more to burn and shine.
7.
Then may we see this sanguine youth —
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Born for a nobler lot —
Turn traitor to the highest truth
Because he knows it not;
Serving for Mammon, veiled as God,
Cringing for high- born patron's nod,
For social place and gain,
While he mechanically yields
The produce of his fallow fields —
Husks of long- garnered grain.
8.
No more a brave and honest man,
Whose conscience is his own,
But worse than thief and courtesan
To degradation grown;
A cheat and hypocrite, content,
In shelter of base precedent,
The downward path to tread,
Lest he should lose his Esau's bowl,
That bought the birthright of his soul,
And have to earn his bread.
9.
Or, if remorsefully aware
Of his ignoble case,
Owning himself too weak to dare
A brother's hostile face,
Too weak to stand alone and fight
Against the strong world's might with right —
A leader's part to take;
Dying a daily death in life,
At outward peace and inward strife,
For poor convention's sake.
10.
Let organ music swell and peal,
And priests and people pray,
Let those who can at altar kneel —
I have no heart to stay.
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I cannot bear to see it done —
This fresh young life, scarce yet begun,
Closed by that iron door;
A free- born spirit gagged and bound,
Tethered to one small plot of ground,
While all the great world spreads around,
And doomed to fly no more.
~ Ada Cambridge,
617:From La Pucelle: The Epic Of Joan Of Arc
––Listen my Prince. This is important. I could feel
the dew setting on the leaves and petals of lilies and camellias.
I was aware of the soil’s moisture being
absorbed by the roots of hollies and cedars. I could smell
the aroma of blooming jasmine and carnations. I could
taste the sweetness of wild berries and apples that hadn’t
ripened yet. My finger could already stroke the creeping
ivy that had not yet covered the oaks. And the immense moon
the heart of the vast mother nature, vitality
desire filling the universe from it…by God I was
so terrified to be there, alone, a lost little girl
in the presence of such greatness, and the white circle
was getting larger, expanding, devouring me
I was drowning in the heavenly brightness. What was
happening to me? The moon was now the shape
of an infinitely huge person’s face. No, don’t look at me
like that! By God I’m not lying. I saw this
huge face before me, a ghost, or a fairy, or a monster
whose eyes were a hundred stars, whose smile
the entire horizon, and I was on my knees by now
shivering, about to faint. I was screaming. Brightness
above the thing’s head, I couldn’t tell horns or
***
halo, glistening. Had a gigantic sword. And I
closed my eyes. I can’t believe how horrified I was. I thought
23
this thing, a demon, would kill me with its sword
but when I closed my eyes I saw, my Prince, I tell you
the truth: I saw houses burning, cities burning, countries
burning I saw hundreds of hundreds of soldiers of an unholy
empire destroying me, destroying the village, and
the whole world. I can’t remember if I saw anything more
that night before I collapsed after the first visitation
by Catherine of Alexandria herself, Matron Saint of Maidens.
II
––Well, no, I’m not mad. That’s what Mama thought
after one of my brothers found me passed out. She
became so angry. And vicious. When she found out
I hadn’t been to the stupid ceremony at the Hermitage
she lost her mind. She first broke a wooden ladle
on my back, then started whacking me with a broom
screaming: Jeannette, useless girl. Sick girl.
Shameful girl. After all I’ve done for you. Of course
I didn’t tell her what exactly I’d seen in the woods.
She would’ve said I was possessed by the Devil. I cried
for so many days, weeks, because now beautiful
Marguerite, all my friends, had been confirmed
as young women, started going to the village dances
without their parents, and they never took me. I don’t
know why I was all of a sudden so hated by everyone
and I kept getting so, so many pimples . . . no, I won’t
***
bore you with that my Prince. But you need to know
that I started going to the church frequently, and
24
started praying to the statue of Saint Catherine. I took
flowers, bread and wool to the alter, fasted every Friday
and said Pater Noster, Ave Maria and Credo in Mass
every Sunday. I confessed to our priest every week, then
every day. I spoke to Saint Catherine when there was
no one in the church. I knelt on the altar floor in the weak,
shimmering light of the votive candles and begged Her
to guide me. I wanted Mama to love me again. I wanted
Marguerite to stop flirting with idiot boys and ask me
over to her house to spin wool. And the serene statue
of Saint Catherine remained silent and looked on
as I cried. I tried to imagine what it’d be like if Her spirit
could hear me. I didn’t know I had just been visited by
the noble Saint. I was so sad, my Prince, so lonely
~ Ali Alizadeh,
618:An Experiment In Translation
Blest husbandmen! if they but knew their bliss!
For whom, from war remote, fair-minded Earth
Teems, to light toil, with ready sustenance.
What though from splendid palace streams at dawn
No servile train, gaping at inlaid gates,
Corinthian bronzes, garments tricked with gold;
What though for them no snow-white wool be stained
By Eastern dyes, nor oil be smeared with nard,
Secure tranquillity is theirs, a life
Of rural wealth, from galling failure free,
Of ample leisure amid broad domains,
Cool grots, and shimmering pools, and shady groves,
Lowing of kine, and, after woodland chase,
Delight of slumber under noonday boughs:
Hard-working hinds to homely fare inured,
Fear of the Gods, and reverence for age.
Justice, deserting Earth, forsook them last.
For me, enamoured of the darling Muse,
Whose badge I bear, may she to me reveal
The secret of the stars, the sun's eclipse,
Moon's endless labour, earthquake, storm, and calm,
Why winter suns subside into the sea
So soon, and summer twilights stay so long.
But if not mine the native fire and force
To find my way to Nature's very heart,
Leave me green vales and irrigating rills,
And soothe my lack of fame with woods and streams.
Where are the braes and burns of Thessaly,
And Spartan maidens wantoning in the woods!
O who will hence now wizard me away
To Haemus' dewy dingles, and with dense
Umbrageous branches curtain my retreat!
Thrice blest indeed is he that apprehends
The root and real significance of things,
Who tramples under foot both fear and fate,
Nor dreads the roar of Acheron's yawning surge.
Nor happy less, who knows the rustic gods,
Pan, old Sylvanus, and the sister nymphs.
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To menace of the mob or regal frown,
To Dacian hosts and fratricidal strife,
Future of Rome, and perishable realms,
Insensible alike, his heart is spared
Pain for the poor and envy of the rich.
His wealth the harvest trunk and furrow yield,
Nothing he recks of edicts cast in bronze,
News of the hour, or Senate's wrangling strife.
Some scour the seas in search of war, and storm
The gates of Kings, put cities to the sword,
To drain gemmed goblets, snore in Tyrian sheets;
Some gloat upon their golden hoards, while some
Are dazed by sounding rhetoric or befooled
By cheers repeated from patrician lips
And plebs alike; exult in brother's blood;
Or in sheer lust of exile quit their home
To seek a roof beneath some other sky.
With his curved share the wise swain stirs the soil,
Source of his constant care, and sustenance
Of country, kin, sleek kine, and generous steers.
Respite is none; for still the season teems
With fruits, or lambing flocks; or mellow sheaves
Crest the long furrows, and restock the barns.
Then Winter comes; the olives must be pressed,
The hogs grunt homeward gorged with mast; the grove
Yields arbutus, the Autumn peach and pear,
And the grapes ripen on the warm dry soil.
Meanwhile his children clamber to be kissed,
His honour lives unstained, the foaming pail
Brims with abounding milk, and on the sward
Young kids do mimic battle with their horns.
'Tis he that leads the Feast; and when his folk
Have lit the altar-fire and wreathed the cup,
Thee, Bacchus, with libation he invokes, and then
Tests at the target his head-shepherds' skill,
Or bids them strip and wrestle for the prize.
Such was the life the Sabines led of old,
Such Remus and his twin; and thus it was
Etruria throve; thus seven-hilled Rome became
One with itself, the glory of the world.
Such, too, ere yet unnatural Minos reigned,
And impious mortals banqueted on flesh,
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The simple manners of the Golden Age.
~ Alfred Austin,
619:I can’t help thinking,” she confided when he finished answering her questions about women in India who covered their faces and hair in public, “that it is grossly unfair that I was born a female and so must never know such adventures, or see but a few of those places. Even if I were to journey there, I’d only be allowed to go where everything was as civilized as-as London!”
“There does seem to be a case of extreme disparity between the privileges accorded the sexes,” Ian agreed.
“Still, we each have our duty to perform,” she informed him with sham solemnity. “And there’s said to be great satisfaction in that.”
“How do you view your-er-duty?” he countered, responding to her teasing tone with a lazy white smile.
“That’s easy. It is a female’s duty to be a wife who is an asset to her husband in every way. It is a male’s duty to do whatever he wishes, whenever he wishes, so long as he is prepared to defend his country should the occasion demand it in his lifetime-which it very likely won’t. Men,” she informed him, “gain honor by sacrificing themselves on the field of battle while we sacrifice ourselves on the altar of matrimony.”
He laughed aloud then, and Elizabeth smiled back at him, enjoying herself hugely. “Which, when one considers it, only proves that our sacrifice is by far the greater and more noble.”
“How is that?” he asked, still chuckling.
“It’s perfectly obvious-battles last mere days or weeks, months at the very most. While matrimony lasts a lifetime! Which brings to mind something else I’ve often wondered about,” she continued gaily, giving full rein to her innermost thoughts.
“And that is?” he prompted, grinning, watching her as if he never wanted to stop.
“Why do you suppose, after all that, they call us the weaker sex?” Their laughing gazes held, and then Elizabeth realized how outrageous he must be finding some of her remarks. “I don’t usually go off on such tangents,” she said ruefully. “You must think I’m dreadfully ill-bred.”
“I think,” he softly said, “that you are magnificent.”
The husky sincerity in his deep voice snatched her breath away. She opened her mouth, thinking frantically for some light reply that could restore the easy camaraderie of a minute before, but instead of speaking she could only draw a long, shaky breath.
“And,” he continued quietly, “I think you know it.”
This was not, not the sort of foolish, flirtatious repartee she was accustomed to from her London beaux, and it terrified her as much as the sensual look in those golden eyes. Pressing imperceptibly back against the arm of the sofa, she told herself she was only overacting to what was nothing more than empty flattery. “I think,” she managed with a light laugh that stuck in her throat, “that you must find whatever female you’re with ‘magnificent.’”
“Why would you say a thing like that?”
Elizabeth shrugged. “Last night at supper, for one thing.” When he frowned at her as if she were speaking in a foreign language, she prodded, “You remember Lady Charise Dumont, our hostess, the same lovely brunette on whose every word you were hanging at supper last night?”
His frown became a grin. “Jealous?”
Elizabeth lifted her elegant little chin and shook her head. “No more than you were of Lord Howard.”
She felt a small bit of satisfaction as his amusement vanished. “The fellow who couldn’t seem to talk to you without touching your arm?” he inquired in a silky-soft voice. “That Lord Howard? As a matter of fact, my love, I spent most of my meal trying to decide whether I wanted to shove his nose under his right ear or his left.”
Startled, musical laughter erupted from her before she could stop it. “You did nothing of the sort,” she chuckled. “Besides, if you wouldn’t duel with Lord Everly when he called you a cheat, you certainly wouldn’t harm poor Lord Howard merely for touching my arm.”
“Wouldn’t I?” he asked softly. “Those are two very different issues. ~ Judith McNaught,
620:Honorable, happy, and successful marriage is surely the principal goal of every normal person. Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but also with eternal joys. It affects not only the two people involved, but also their families and particularly their children and their children’s children down through the many generations.

In selecting a companion for life and for eternity, certainly the most careful planning and thinking and praying and fasting should be done to be sure that of all the decisions, this one must not be wrong. In true marriage there must be a union of minds as well as of hearts. Emotions must not wholly determine decisions, but the mind and the heart, strengthened by fasting and prayer and serious consideration, will give one a maximum chance of marital happiness. It brings with it sacrifice, sharing, and a demand for great selflessness. . . .

Some think of happiness as a glamorous life of ease, luxury, and constant thrills; but true marriage is based on a happiness which is more than that, one which comes from giving, serving, sharing, sacrificing, and selflessness. . . .

One comes to realize very soon after marriage that the spouse has weaknesses not previously revealed or discovered. The virtues which were constantly magnified during courtship now grow relatively smaller, and the weaknesses which seemed so small and insignificant during courtship now grow to sizable proportions. The hour has come for understanding hearts, for self-appraisal, and for good common sense, reasoning, and planning. . . .

“Soul mates” are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price.

There is a never-failing formula which will guarantee to every couple a happy and eternal marriage; but like all formulas, the principal ingredients must not be left out, reduced, or limited. The selection before courting and then the continued courting after the marriage process are equally important, but not more important than the marriage itself, the success of which depends upon the two individuals—not upon one, but upon two. . . .

The formula is simple; the ingredients are few, though there are many amplifications of each.

First, there must be the proper approach toward marriage, which contemplates the selection of a spouse who reaches as nearly as possible the pinnacle of perfection in all the matters which are of importance to the individuals. And then those two parties must come to the altar in the temple realizing that they must work hard toward this successful joint living.

Second, there must be a great unselfishness, forgetting self and directing all of the family life and all pertaining thereunto to the good of the family, subjugating self.

Third, there must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing.

Fourth, there must be a complete living of the commandments of the Lord as defined in the gospel of Jesus Christ. . . .

Two individuals approaching the marriage altar must realize that to attain the happy marriage which they hope for they must know that marriage is not a legal coverall, but it means sacrifice, sharing, and even a reduction of some personal liberties. It means long, hard economizing. It means children who bring with them financial burdens, service burdens, care and worry burdens; but also it means the deepest and sweetest emotions of all. . . .

To be really happy in marriage, one must have a continued faithful observance of the commandments of the Lord. No one, single or married, was ever sublimely happy unless he was righteous. ~ Spencer W Kimball,
621:The Sultan's Palace
My spirit only lived to look on Beauty's face,
As only when they clasp the arms seem served aright;
As in their flesh inheres the impulse to embrace,
To gaze on Loveliness was my soul's appetite.
I have roamed far in search; white road and plunging bow
Were keys in the blue doors where my desire was set;
Obedient to their lure, my lips and laughing brow
The hill-showers and the spray of many seas have wet.
Hot are enamored hands, the fragrant zone unbound,
To leave no dear delight unfelt, unfondled o'er,
The will possessed my heart to girdle Earth around
With their insatiate need to wonder and adore.
The flowers in the fields, the surf upon the sands,
The sunset and the clouds it turned to blood and wine,
Were shreds of the thin veil behind whose beaded strands
A radiant visage rose, serene, august, divine.
A noise of summer wind astir in starlit trees,
A song where sensual love's delirium rose and fell,
Were rites that moved my soul more than the devotee's
When from the blazing choir rings out the altar bell.
I woke amid the pomp of a proud palace; writ
In tinted arabesque on walls that gems o'erlay,
The names of caliphs were who once held court in it,
Their baths and bowers were mine to dwell in for a day.
Their robes and rings were mine to draw from shimmering trays--Brocades and broidered silks, topaz and tourmaline-Their turban-cloths to wind in proud capricious ways,
And fasten plumes and pearls and pendent sapphires in.
I rose; far music drew my steps in fond pursuit
Down tessellated floors and towering peristyles:
Through groves of colonnades fair lamps were blushing fruit,
On seas of green mosaic soft rugs were flowery isles.
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And there were verdurous courts that scalloped arches wreathed,
Where fountains plashed in bowls of lapis lazuli.
Through enigmatic doors voluptuous accents breathed,
And having Youth I had their Open Sesame.
I paused where shadowy walls were hung with cloths of gold,
And tinted twilight streamed through storied panes above.
In lamplit alcoves deep as flowers when they unfold
Soft cushions called to rest and fragrant fumes to love.
I hungered; at my hand delicious dainties teemed--Fair pyramids of fruit; pastry in sugared piles.
I thirsted; in cool cups inviting vintage beamed--Sweet syrups from the South; brown muscat from the isles.
I yearned for passionate Love; faint gauzes fell away.
Pillowed in rosy light I found my heart's desire.
Over the silks and down her florid beauty lay,
As over orient clouds the sunset's coral fire.
Joys that had smiled afar, a visionary form,
Behind the ranges hid, remote and rainbow-dyed,
Drew near unto my heart, a wonder soft and warm,
To touch, to stroke, to clasp, to sleep and wake beside.
Joy, that where summer seas and hot horizons shone
Had been the outspread arms I gave my youth to seek,
Drew near; awhile its pulse strove sweetly with my own,
Awhile I felt its breath astir upon my cheek.
I was so happy there; so fleeting was my stay,
What wonder if, assailed with vistas so divine,
I only lived to search and sample them the day
When between dawn and dusk the sultan's courts were mine !
Speak not of other worlds of happiness to be,
As though in any fond imaginary sphere
Lay more to tempt man's soul to immortality
Than ripens for his bliss abundant now and here!
Flowerlike I hope to die as flowerlike was my birth.
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Rooted in Nature's just benignant law like them,
I want no better joys than those that from green Earth
My spirit's blossom drew through the sweet body's stem.
I see no dread in death, no horror to abhor.
I never thought it else than but to cease to dwell
Spectator, and resolve most naturally once more
Into the dearly loved eternal spectacle.
Unto the fields and flowers this flesh I found so fair
I yield; do you, dear friend, over your rose-crowned wine,
Murmur my name some day as though my lips were there,
And frame your mouth as though its blushing kiss were mine.
Yea, where the banquet-hall is brilliant with young men,
You whose bright youth it might have thrilled my breast to know,
Drink . . . and perhaps my lips, insatiate even then
Of lips to hang upon, may find their loved ones so.
Unto the flush of dawn and evening I commend
This immaterial self and flamelike part of me,--Unto the azure haze that hangs at the world's end,
The sunshine on the hills, the starlight on the sea,--Unto angelic Earth, whereof the lives of those
Who love and dream great dreams and deeply feel may be
The elemental cells and nervules that compose
Its divine consciousness and joy and harmony.
~ Alan Seeger,
622:The Watchman
Through jewelled windows in the walls
The tender daylight smiles;
Majestic music swells and falls
Adown the stately aisles;
Shadows of carven roof and rood,
Of stony saints and angels, brood
Above the altar-glow;
They cannot dim the shining face
Of one conspicuous in his place
Amid the forms below.
He that was once my little boy,
With merry voice and look,
My babe, that quarrelled with his toy
And tore his hated book;
But yesterday a laughing lad,
In his dear worldly garments clad,
Talking of college wins,
Wickets, and bumping boats, and goals,
And not of shepherd and lost souls His sermons and their sins.
The same, he kneels there, pale and awed,
In cloud of prayer and hymn,
And we are to behold our Lord
Made manifest in him;
To sit, his pupils, and be taught,
Who knows not what the years have brought
To mothers and to men;
To take him for our heaven-sent guide
On seas he never voyaged - wide
And wild beyond his ken.
With all the lore of schools, and none
Of stern and suffering life,
A child with wooden sword and gun,
Unarmed for vital strife;
273
His mind a bud of spring, unblown,
Its flowering shape as yet unknown,
Its fruit awaiting birth A seedling of a thousand strains,
A parasite of dead men's brains,
Though sprung from living earth.
There, in his proud belief, he stands,
This simple boy of mine,
Transformed by necromantic hands
To something half divine All in a moment, in a breath,
An oracle of life and death,
A judge above us all!
What spell is this that has him fast,
When age of miracle is past,
And past beyond recall?
O knight of dreams, in fairy mail!
If for his sake I pray,
It is that fairy arms may fail
And tough steel win the day Aye, though his dear heart take the thrust,
And he be trampled in the dust.
But mother fears forbode
(May God have mercy and forefend!)
A tamer journey and an end
Upon an easier road.
A long fulfilling of the vow
Within the vow he spake To close the gates of knowledge now,
And no more dare to take
The broad highways of marching thought
By his unfettered brothers sought,
Who follow every clue
On every line, where'er it leads,
Heedless of heresies or creeds,
To find the Right and True.
The mother-love, so apt for woe,
Visions the joyless track
Where the belovèd feet may go
274
And nevermore come back;
The boy become a thinking man,
That has outgrown the changeless plan
Once fitted to his shape;
The traveller, confident, serene,
Caught in an ambush unforeseen,
Whence there is no escape.
Struggling a little - overborne Perplexed - persuaded - spent
With dim self-pity and self-scorn
Supine in discontent.
No - no escape, by any arts,
Save through a score of bleeding hearts A stair too steep to climb;
Wherefore be wise and hide the chains,
Drug conscience, with its pangs and pains.
Give peace, Lord, in our time!
O waste of precious force and fire!
The sacred passion pales.
The soaring pinions droop and tire.
Our standard-bearer fails
To keep his battle-flag aloft;
The strong young arm is slack and soft;
The eager feet are slow;
The shining mail is dulled with rust
Of contact with mediaeval dust,
And will not bear a blow.
And under harness so decayed,
What ravage unrevealed?
What moral textures soiled and frayed
And moral sores unhealed?
He must not know that dares not tell.
Hush! It is nothing. All is well.
Peace in our time, O Lord!
And leave the fighting for the heirs.
The blood of sacrifice be theirs
Who cannot shirk the sword.
O boy of mine, that played the game,
275
And never learned to cheat,
Nor knew such word or thought as shame
In victory or defeat!
Will he be found, when he grows old,
Passing off spurious coin for gold,
Selling dry husks for grain The pottage of the Esau's bowl
That bought the birthright of a soul
His all-sufficient gain?
The image and the robes of what
He seems to serve and seek
But veils - although he knows it not On Mammon's brazen cheek;
His bishop's smile, his patron's nod,
The homage of his flock, his god;
His sensuous worship drest
In forms and colours rich and rare The spirit's sanctuary bare Heart emptily at rest . . . . . .
Let organ music swell and peal,
And priests and people pray;
Let those who can at altar kneel I have no heart to stay.
I cannot bear to see it done The hands whose work has scarce begun
Locked in these gyves of lead The living spirit gagged and bound,
And tethered to one plot of ground A prisoner of the dead.
~ Ada Cambridge,
623:Oh! did you observe the Black Canon pass,
And did you observe his frown?
He goeth to say the midnight mass,
In holy St. Edmond's town.

He goeth to sing the burial chaunt,
And to lay the wandering sprite,
Whose shadowy, restless form doth haunt,
The Abbey's drear aisle this night.

It saith it will not its wailing cease,
'Till that holy man come near,
'Till he pour oer its grave the prayer of peace,
And sprinkle the hallowed tear.

The Canon's horse is stout and strong
The road is plain and fair,
But the Canon slowly wends along,
And his brow is gloomed with care.

Who is it thus late at the Abbey-gate?
Sullen echoes the portal bell,
It sounds like the whispering voice of fate,
It sounds like a funeral knell.

The Canon his faltering knee thrice bowed,
And his frame was convulsed with fear,
When a voice was heard distinct and loud,
'Prepare! for thy hour is near.'

He crosses his breast, he mutters a prayer,
To Heaven he lifts his eye,
He heeds not the Abbot's gazing stare,
Nor the dark Monks who murmured by.

Bare-headed he worships the sculptured saints
That frown on the sacred walls,
His face it grows pale,--he trembles, he faints,
At the Abbots feet he falls.

And straight the fathers robe he kissed,
Who cried, 'Grace dwells with thee,
The spirit will fade like the morning mist,
At your benedicite.

'Now haste within! the board is spread,
Keen blows the air, and cold,
The spectre sleeps in its earthy bed,
'Till St. Edmonds bell hath tolled,--

'Yet rest your wearied limbs to-night,
Youve journeyed many a mile,
To-morrow lay the wailing sprite,
That shrieks in the moonlight aisle.

'Oh! faint are my limbs and my bosom is cold,
Yet to-night must the sprite be laid,
Yet to-night when the hour of horror's told,
Must I meet the wandering shade.

'Nor food, nor rest may now delay,--
For hark! the echoing pile,
A bell loud shakes!Oh haste away,
O lead to the haunted aisle.'

The torches slowly move before,
The cross is raised on high,
A smile of peace the Canon wore,
But horror dimmed his eye--

And now they climb the footworn stair,
The chapel gates unclose,
Now each breathed low a fervent prayer,
And fear each bosom froze--

Now paused awhile the doubtful band
And viewed the solemn scene,--
Full dark the clustered columns stand,
The moon gleams pale between--

'Say father, say, what cloisters' gloom
Conceals the unquiet shade,
Within what dark unhallowed tomb,
The corse unblessed was laid.'

'Through yonder drear aisle alone it walks,
And murmurs a mournful plaint,
Of thee! Black Canon, it wildly talks,
And call on thy patron saint--

The pilgrim this night with wondering eyes,
As he prayed at St. Edmond's shrine,
From a black marble tomb hath seen it rise,
And under yon arch recline.'--

Oh! say upon that black marble tomb,
What memorial sad appears.'--
Undistinguished it lies in the chancel's gloom,
No memorial sad it bears'--

The Canon his paternoster reads,
His rosary hung by his side,
Now swift to the chancel doors he leads,
And untouched they open wide,

Resistless, strange sounds his steps impel,
To approach to the black marble tomb,
'Oh! enter, Black Canon,' a whisper fell,
'Oh! enter, thy hour is come.'

He paused, told his beads, and the threshold passed.
Oh! horror, the chancel doors close,
A loud yell was borne on the rising blast,
And a deep, dying groan arose.

The Monks in amazement shuddering stand,
They burst through the chancel's gloom,
From St. Edmonds shrine, lo! a skeletons hand,
Points to the black marble tomb.

Lo! deeply engraved, an inscription blood red,
In characters fresh and clear--
'The guilty Black Canon of Elmham's dead,
And his wife lies buried here!'

In Elmhams tower he wedded a Nun,
To St. Edmonds his bride he bore,
On this eve her noviciate here was begun,
And a Monks gray weeds she wore;--

O! deep was her conscience dyed with guilt,
Remorse she full oft revealed,
Her blood by the ruthless Black Canon was spilt,
And in death her lips he sealed;

Her spirit to penance this night was doomed,
'Till the Canon atoned the deed,
Here together they now shall rest entombed,
'Till their bodies from dust are freed--

Hark! a loud peal of thunder shakes the roof,
Round the altar bright lightnings play,
Speechless with horror the Monks stand aloof,
And the storm dies sudden away--

The inscription was gone! a cross on the ground,
And a rosary shone through the gloom,
But never again was the Canon there found,
Or the Ghost on the black marble tomb.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Saint Edmonds Eve
,
624:In Utrumque Paratus
'Then hey for boot and horse, lad !
And round the world away !
Young blood will have its course, lad !
And every dog his day !'—C. Kingsley.
There's a formula which the west country clowns
Once used, ere their blows fell thick,
At the fairs on the Devon and Cornwall downs,
In their bouts with the single-stick.
You may read a moral, not far amiss,
If you care to moralize,
In the crossing guard, where the ash-plants kiss,
To the words 'God spare our eyes.'
No game was ever yet worth a rap
For a rational man to play,
Into which no accident, no mishap,
Could possibly find its way.
If you hold the willow, a shooter from Wills
May transform you into a hopper,
And the football meadow is rife with spills,
If you feel disposed for a cropper ;
In a rattling gallop with hound and horse
You may chance to reverse the medal
On the sward, with the saddle your loins across,
And your hunter's loins on the saddle ;
In the stubbles you'll find it hard to frame
A remonstrance firm, yet civil,
When oft as 'our mutual friend' takes aim,
Long odds may be laid on the rising game,
And against your gaiters level ;
There's danger even where fish are caught
To those who a wetting fear ;
For what's worth having must ay be bought,
And sport's like life, and life's like sport,
'It ain't all skittles and beer.'
The honey bag lies close to the sting,
The rose is fenced by the thorn,
196
Shall we leave to others their gathering,
And turn from clustering fruits that cling
To the garden wall in scorn ?
Albeit those purple grapes hang high,
Like the fox in the ancient tale,
Let us pause and try, ere we pass them by,
Though we, like the fox, may fail.
All hurry is worse than useless ; think
On the adage, ' 'Tis pace that kills ;'
Shun bad tobacco, avoid strong drink,
Abstain from Holloway's pills,
Wear woollen socks, they're the best you'll find,
Beware how you leave off flannel ;
And whatever you do, don't change your mind
When once you have picked your panel ;
With a bank of cloud in the south-south-east,
Stand ready to shorten sail ;
Fight shy of a corporation feast ;
Don't trust to a martingale ;
Keep your powder dry, and shut one eye,
Not both, when you touch your trigger ;
Don't stop with your head too frequently
(This advice ain't meant for a nigger) ;
Look before you leap, if you like, but if
You mean leaping, don't look long,
Or the weakest place will soon grow stiff,
And the strongest doubly strong ;
As far as you can, to every man,
Let your aid be freely given,
And hit out straight, 'tis your shortest plan,
When against the ropes you're driven.
Mere pluck, though not in the least sublime,
Is wiser than blank dismay,
Since 'No sparrow can fall before its time,'
And we're valued higher than they ;
So hope for the best and leave the rest
In charge of a stronger hand,
Like the honest boors in the far-off west,
With the formula terse and grand.
197
They were men for the most part rough and rude,
Dull and illiterate,
But they nursed no quarrel, they cherished no feud,
They were strangers to spite and hate ;
In a kindly spirit they took their stand,
That brothers and sons might learn
How a man should uphold the sports of his land,
And strike his best with a strong right hand,
And take his strokes in return.
' 'Twas a barbarous practice,' the Quaker cries,
' 'Tis a thing of the past, thank heaven'—
Keep your thanks till the combative instinct dies
With the taint of the olden leaven ;
Yes, the times are changed, for better or worse,
The prayer that no harm befall
Has given its place to a drunken curse,
And the manly game to a brawl.
Our burdens are heavy, our natures weak,
Some pastime devoid of harm
May we look for ? 'Puritan elder, speak !'
'Yea, friend, peradventure thou mayest seek
Recreation singing a psalm.'
If I did, your visage so grim and stern
Would relax in a ghastly smile,
For of music I never one note could learn,
And my feeble minstrelsy would turn
Your chant to discord vile.
Tho' the Philistine's mail could naught avail,
Nor the spear like a weaver's beam,
There are episodes yet in the Psalmist's tale,
To obliterate which his poems fail,
Which his exploits fail to redeem.
Can the Hittite's wrongs forgotten be ?
Does HE warble 'Non nobis Domine,'
With his monarch in blissful concert, free
From all malice to flesh inherent ;
Zeruiah's offspring, who served so well,
Yet between the horns of the altar fell—
Does HIS voice the 'Quid gloriaris' swell,
Or the 'Quare fremuerunt' ?
198
It may well be thus where DAVID sings,
And Uriah joins in the chorus,
But while earth to earthy matter clings,
Neither you nor the bravest of Judah's kings
As a pattern can stand before us.
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
625:S. H.

With beams December planets dart
His cold eye truth and conduct scanned,
July was in his sunny heart,
October in his liberal hand.
A. H.

High was her heart, and yet was well inclined,
Her manners made of bounty well refined;
Far capitals, and marble courts, her eye still seemed to see,
Minstrels, and kings, and high-born dames, and of the best that be.
"SUUM CUIQUE."

Wilt thou seal up the avenues of ill?
Pay every debt, as if God wrote the bill.
HUSH!

Every thought is public,
Every nook is wide;
Thy gossips spread each whisper,
And the gods from side to side.
ORATOR.

He who has no hands
Perforce must use his tongue;
Foxes are so cunning
Because they are not strong.
ARTIST.

Quit the hut, frequent the palace,
Reck not what the people say;
For still, where'er the trees grow biggest,
Huntsmen find the easiest way.
POET.

Ever the Poet from the land
Steers his bark, and trims his sail;
Right out to sea his courses stand,
New worlds to find in pinnace frail.
POET.

To clothe the fiery thought
In simple words succeeds,
For still the craft of genius is
To mask a king in weeds.
BOTANIST.

Go thou to thy learned task,
I stay with the flowers of spring:
Do thou of the ages ask
What me the flowers will bring.
GARDENER.

True Bramin, in the morning meadows wet,
Expound the Vedas of the violet,
Or, hid in vines, peeping through many a loop,
See the plum redden, and the beurre stoop.
FORESTER.

He took the colour of his vest
From rabbit's coat or grouse's breast;
For, as the wood-kinds lurk and hide,
So walks the woodman, unespied.
NORTHMAN.

The gale that wrecked you on the sand,
It helped my rowers to row;
The storm is my best galley hand,
And drives me where I go.
FROM ALCUIN.

The sea is the road of the bold,
Frontier of the wheat-sown plains,
The pit wherein the streams are rolled,
And fountain of the rains.
EXCELSIOR.

Over his head were the maple buds,
And over the tree was the moon,
And over the moon were the starry studs,
That drop from the angel's shoon.
BORROWING.
FROM THE FRENCH.

Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you endured
From evils which never arrived!
NATURE.

Boon Nature yields each day a brag which we now first behold,
And trains us on to slight the new, as if it were the old:
But blest is he, who, playing deep, yet haply asks not why,
Too busied with the crowded hour to fear to live or die.
FATE.

Her planted eye to-day controls,
Is in the morrow most at home,
And sternly calls to being souls
That curse her when they come.
HOROSCOPE.

Ere he was born, the stars of fate
Plotted to make him rich and great:
When from the womb the babe was loosed,
The gate of gifts behind him closed.
POWER.

Cast the bantling on the rocks,
Suckle him with the she-wolf's teat,
Wintered with the hawk and fox,
Power and speed be hands and feet.
CLIMACTERIC.

I am not wiser for my age,
Nor skilful by my grief;
Life loiters at the book's first page,--
Ah! could we turn the leaf.
HERI, CRAS, HODIE.

Shines the last age, the next with hope is seen,
To-day slinks poorly off unmarked between:
Future or Past no richer secret folds,
O friendless Present! than thy bosom holds.
MEMORY.

Night-dreams trace on Memory's wall
Shadows of the thoughts of day,
And thy fortunes, as they fall,
The bias of the will betray.
LOVE.

Love on his errand bound to go
Can swim the flood, and wade through snow,
Where way is none, 'twill creep and wind
And eat through Alps its home to find.
SACRIFICE.

Though love repine, and reason chafe,
There came a voice without reply,--
''Tis man's perdition to be safe,
When for the truth he ought to die.'
PERICLES.

Well and wisely said the Greek,
Be thou faithful, but not fond;
To the altar's foot thy fellow seek,
The Furies wait beyond.
CASELLA.

Test of the poet is knowledge of love,
For Eros is older than Saturn or Jove;
Never was poet, of late or of yore,
Who was not tremulous with love-lore.
SHAKSPEARE.

I see all human wits
Are measured but a few,
Unmeasured still my Shakspeare sits,
Lone as the blessed Jew.
HAFIZ.

Her passions the shy violet
From Hafiz never hides;
Love-longings of the raptured bird
The bird to him confides.
NATURE IN LEASTS.

As sings the pine-tree in the wind,
So sings in the wind a sprig of the pine;
Her strength and soul has laughing France
Shed in each drop of wine.
[GREEK TITLE].

'A new commandment,' said the smiling Muse,
'I give my darling son, Thou shalt not preach;'--
Luther, Fox, Behmen, Swedenborg, grew pale,
And, on the instant, rosier clouds upbore
Hafiz and Shakspeare with their shining choirs.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Quatrains
,
626:Priam's castle-walls had sunk,
Troy in dust and ashes lay,
And each Greek, with triumph drunk,
Richly laden with his prey,
Sat upon his ship's high prow,
On the Hellespontic strand,
Starting on his journey now,
Bound for Greece, his own fair land.
Raise the glad exulting shout!
Toward the land that gave them birth
Turn they now the ships about,
As they seek their native earth.

And in rows, all mournfully,
Sat the Trojan women there,
Beat their breasts in agony,
Pallid, with dishevelled hair.
In the feast of joy so glad
Mingled they the song of woe,
Weeping o'er their fortunes sad,
In their country's overthrow.
"Land beloved, oh, fare thee well!
By our foreign masters led,
Far from home we're doomed to dwell,
Ah, how happy are the dead!"

Soon the blood by Calchas spilt
On the altar heavenward smokes;
Pallas, by whom towns are built
And destroyed, the priest invokes;
Neptune, too, who all the earth
With his billowy girdle laves,
Zeus, who gives to terror birth,
Who the dreaded Aegis waves.
Now the weary fight is done,
Ne'er again to be renewed;
Time's wide circuit now is run,
And the mighty town subdued!

Atreus' son, the army's head,
Told the people's numbers o'er,
Whom he, as their captain, led
To Scamander's vale of yore.
Sorrow's black and heavy clouds
Passed across the monarch's brow:
Of those vast and valiant crowds,
Oh, how few were left him now!
Joyful songs let each one raise,
Who will see his home again,
In whose veins the life-blood plays,
For, alas! not all remain!

"All who homeward wend their way,
Will not there find peace of mind;
On their household altars, they
Murder foul perchance may find.
Many fall by false friend's stroke,
Who in fight immortal proved:"
So Ulysses warning spoke,
By Athene's spirit moved.
Happy he, whose faithful spouse
Guards his home with honor true!
Woman ofttimes breaks her vows,
Ever loves she what is new.

And Atrides glories there
In the prize he won in fight,
And around her body fair
Twines his arms with fond delight.
Evil works must punished be.
Vengeance follows after crime,
For Kronion's just decree
Rules the heavenly courts sublime.
Evil must in evil end;
Zeus will on the impious band
Woe for broken guest-rights send,
Weighing with impartial hand.

"It may well the glad befit,"
Cried Olleus' valiant son,
"To extol the Gods who sit
On Olympus' lofty throne!
Fortune all her gifts supplies,
Blindly, and no justice knows,
For Patroclus buried lies,
And Thersites homeward goes!
Since she blindly throws away
Each lot in her wheel contained,
Let him shout with joy to-day
Who the prize of life has gained."

"Ay, the wars the best devour!
Brother, we will think of thee,
In the fight a very tower,
When we join in revelry!
When the Grecian ships were fired,
By thine arm was safety brought;
Yet the man by craft inspired
Won the spoils thy valor sought.
Peace be to thine ashes blest!
Thou wert vanquished not in fight:
Anger 'tis destroys the best,
Ajax fell by Ajax' might!"

Neoptolemus poured then,
To his sire renowned the wine
"'Mongst the lots of earthly men,
Mighty father, prize I thine!
Of the goods that life supplies,
Greatest far of all is fame;
Though to dust the body flies,
Yet still lives a noble name.
Valiant one, thy glory's ray
Will immortal be in song;
For, though life may pass away,
To all time the dead belong!"

"Since the voice of minstrelsy
Speaks not of the vanquished man,
I will Hector's witness be,"
Tydeus' noble son began:
"Fighting bravely in defence
Of his household-gods he fell.
Great the victor's glory thence,
He in purpose did excel!
Battling for his altars dear,
Sank that rock, no more to rise;
E'en the foemen will revere
One whose honored name ne'er dies."

Nestor, joyous reveller old,
Who three generations saw,
Now the leaf-crowned cup of gold
Gave to weeping Hecuba.
"Drain the goblet's draught so cool,
And forget each painful smart!
Bacchus' gifts are wonderful,
Balsam for a broken heart.
Drain the goblet's draught so cool,
And forget each painful smart!
Bacchus' gifts are wonderful,
Balsam for a broken heart.

"E'en to Niobe, whom Heaven
Loved in wrath to persecute,
Respite from her pangs was given,
Tasting of the corn's ripe fruit.
Whilst the thirsty lip we lave
In the foaming, living spring,
Buried deep in Lethe's wave
Lies all grief, all sorrowing!
Whilst the thirsty lip we lave
In the foaming, living spring,
Swallowed up in Lethe's wave
Is all grief, all sorrowing!"

And the Prophetess inspired
By her God, upstarted now,
Toward the smoke of homesteads fired,
Looking from the lofty prow.
"Smoke is each thing here below;
Every worldly greatness dies,
As the vapory columns go,
None are fixed but Deities!
Cares behind the horseman sit
Round about the vessel play;
Lest the morrow hinder it,
Let us, therefore, live to-day."

~ Friedrich Schiller, Feast Of Victory
,
627:Laura! a sunrise seems to break
Where'er thy happy looks may glow.
Joy sheds its roses o'er thy cheek,
Thy tears themselves do but bespeak
The rapture whence they flow;
Blest youth to whom those tears are given
The tears that change his earth to heaven;
His best reward those melting eyes
For him new suns are in the skies!

Thy soula crystal river passing,
Silver-clear, and sunbeam-glassing,
Mays into bloom sad Autumn by thee;
Night and desert, if they spy thee,
To gardens laughwith daylight shine,
Lit by those happy smiles of thine!
Dark with cloud the future far
Goldens itself beneath thy star.
Smilest thou to see the harmony
Of charm the laws of Nature keep?
Alas! to me the harmony
Brings only cause to weep!

Holds not Hades its domain
Underneath this earth of ours?
Under palace, under fame,
Underneath the cloud-capped towers?
Stately cities soar and spread
O'er your mouldering bones, ye dead!
From corruption, from decay,
Springs yon clove-pink's fragrant bloom;
Yon gay waters wind their way
From the hollows of a tomb.

From the planets thou mayest know
All the change that shifts below,
Fledbeneath that zone of rays,
Fled to night a thousand Mays;
Thrones a thousandrisingsinking,
Earth from thousand slaughters drinking
Blood profusely poured as water;
Of the sceptreof the slaughter
Wouldst thou know what trace remaineth?
Seek them where the dark king reigneth!

Scarce thine eye can ope and close
Ere life's dying sunset glows;
Sinking sudden from its pride
Into deaththe Lethe tide.
Ask'st thou whence thy beauties rise?
Boastest thou those radiant eyes?
Or that cheek in roses dyed?
All their beauty (thought of sorrow!)
From the brittle mould they borrow.
Heavy interest in the tomb
For the brief loan of the bloom,
For the beauty of the day,
Death the usurer, thou must pay,
In the long to-morrow!

Maiden!Death's too strong for scorn;
In the cheek the fairest, He
But the fairest throne doth see
Though the roses of the morn
Weave the veil by beauty worn
Aye, beneath that broidered curtain,
Stands the Archer stern and certain!
Maidthy Visionary hear
Trust the wild one as the sear,
When he tells thee that thine eye,
While it beckons to the wooer,
Only lureth yet more nigh
Death, the dark undoer!

Every ray shed from thy beauty
Wastes the life-lamp while it beams,
And the pulse's playful duty,
And the blue veins' merry streams,
Sport and run into the pall
Creatures of the Tyrant, all!
As the wind the rainbow shatters,
Death thy bright smiles rends and scatters,
Smile and rainbow leave no traces;
From the spring-time's laughing graces,
From all life, as from its germ,
Grows the revel of the worm!

Woe, I see the wild wind wreak
Its wrath upon thy rosy bloom,
Winter plough thy rounded cheek,
Cloud and darkness close in gloom;
Blackening over, and forever,
Youth's serene and silver river!
Love alike and beauty o'er,
Lovely and beloved no more!

Maiden, an oak that soars on high,
And scorns the whirlwind's breath
Behold thy Poet's youth defy
The blunted dart of Death!
His gaze as ardent as the light
That shoots athwart the heaven,
His soul yet fiercer than the light
In the eternal heaven,
Of Him, in whom as in an ocean-surge
Creation ebbs and flowsand worlds arise and merge!
Through Nature steers the poet's thought to find
No fear but thisone barrier to the mind?

And dost thou glory so to think?
And heaves thy bosom?Woe!
This cup, which lures him to the brink,
As if divinity to drink
Has poison in its flow!
Wretched, oh, wretched, they who trust
To strike the God-spark from the dust!
The mightiest tone the music knows,
But breaks the harp-string with the sound;
And genius, still the more it glows,
But wastes the lamp whose life bestows
The light it sheds around.
Soon from existence dragged away,
The watchful jailer grasps his prey:
Vowed on the altar of the abused fire,
The spirits I raised against myself conspire!
Letyes, I feel it two short springs away
Pass on their rapid flight;
And life's faint spark shall, fleeting from the clay,
Merge in the Fount of Light!

And weep'st thou, Laura?be thy tears forbid;
Would'st thou my lot, life's dreariest years amid,
Protract and doom?No: sinner, dry thy tears:
Would'st thou, whose eyes beheld the eagle wing
Of my bold youth through air's dominion spring,
Mark my sad age (life's tale of glory done)
Crawl on the sod and tremble in the sun?
Hear the dull frozen heart condemn the flame
That as from heaven to youth's blithe bosom came;
And see the blind eyes loathing turn from all
The lovely sins age curses to recall?
Let me die young!sweet sinner, dry thy tears!
Yes, let the flower be gathered in its bloom!
And thou, young genius, with the brows of gloom,
Quench thou life's torch, while yet the flame is strong!
Even as the curtain falls; while still the scene
Most thrills the hearts which have its audience been;
As fleet the shadows from the stageand long
When all is o'er, lingers the breathless throng!

~ Friedrich Schiller, Melancholy -- To Laura
,
628:Ye in the age gone by,
Who ruled the worlda world how lovely then!
And guided still the steps of happy men
In the light leading-strings of careless joy!
Ah, flourished then your service of delight!
How different, oh, how different, in the day
When thy sweet fanes with many a wreath were bright,
O Venus Amathusia!

Then, through a veil of dreams
Woven by song, truth's youthful beauty glowed,
And life's redundant and rejoicing streams
Gave to the soulless, soulwhere'r they flowed
Man gifted nature with divinity
To lift and link her to the breast of love;
All things betrayed to the initiate eye
The track of gods above!

Where lifelessfixed afar,
A flaming ball to our dull sense is given,
Phoebus Apollo, in his golden car,
In silent glory swept the fields of heaven!
On yonder hill the Oread was adored,
In yonder tree the Dryad held her home;
And from her urn the gentle Naiad poured
The wavelet's silver foam.

Yon bay, chaste Daphne wreathed,
Yon stone was mournful Niobe's mute cell,
Low through yon sedges pastoral Syrinx breathed,
And through those groves wailed the sweet Philomel,
The tears of Ceres swelled in yonder rill
Tears shed for Proserpine to Hades borne;
And, for her lost Adonis, yonder hill
Heard Cytherea mourn!

Heaven's shapes were charmed unto
The mortal race of old Deucalion;
Pyrrha's fair daughter, humanly to woo,
Came down, in shepherd-guise, Latona's son
Between men, heroes, gods, harmonious then
Love wove sweet links and sympathies divine;
Blest Amathusia, heroes, gods, and men,
Equals before thy shrine!

Not to that culture gay,
Stern self-denial, or sharp penance wan!
Well might each heart be happy in that day
For gods, the happy ones, were kin to man!
The beautiful alone the holy there!
No pleasure shamed the gods of that young race;
So that the chaste Camoenae favoring were,
And the subduing grace!

A palace every shrine;
Your sports heroic;yours the crown
Of contests hallowed to a power divine,
As rushed the chariots thundering to renown.
Fair round the altar where the incense breathed,
Moved your melodious dance inspired; and fair
Above victorious brows, the garland wreathed
Sweet leaves round odorous hair!

The lively Thyrsus-swinger,
And the wild car the exulting panthers bore,
Announced the presence of the rapture-bringer
Bounded the Satyr and blithe Faun before;
And Maenads, as the frenzy stung the soul,
Hymned in their maddening dance, the glorious wine
As ever beckoned to the lusty bowl
The ruddy host divine!

Before the bed of death
No ghastly spectre stoodbut from the porch
Of life, the lipone kiss inhaled the breath,
And the mute graceful genius lowered a torch.
The judgment-balance of the realms below,
A judge, himself of mortal lineage, held;
The very furies at the Thracian's woe,
Were moved and music-spelled.

In the Elysian grove
The shades renewed the pleasures life held dear:
The faithful spouse rejoined remembered love,
And rushed along the meads the charioteer;
There Linus poured the old accustomed strain;
Admetus there Alcestis still could greet; his
Friend there once more Orestes could regain,
His arrowsPhiloctetes!

More glorious than the meeds
That in their strife with labor nerved the brave,
To the great doer of renowned deeds
The Hebe and the heaven the Thunderer gave.
Before the rescued rescuer [10] of the dead,
Bowed down the silent and immortal host;
And the twain stars [11] their guiding lustre shed,
On the bark tempest-tossed!

Art thou, fair world, no more?
Return, thou virgin-bloom on Nature's face;
Ah, only on the minstrel's magic shore,
Can we the footstep of sweet fable trace!
The meadows mourn for the old hallowing life;
Vainly we search the earth of gods bereft;
Where once the warm and living shapes were rife,
Shadows alone are left!

Cold, from the north, has gone
Over the flowers the blast that killed their May;
And, to enrich the worship of the one,
A universe of gods must pass away!
Mourning, I search on yonder starry steeps,
But thee no more, Selene, there I see!
And through the woods I call, and o'er the deeps,
AndEcho answers me!

Deaf to the joys she gives
Blind to the pomp of which she is possessed
Unconscious of the spiritual power that lives
Around, and rules herby our bliss unblessed
Dull to the art that colors or creates,
Like the dead timepiece, godless nature creeps
Her plodding round, and, by the leaden weights,
The slavish motion keeps.

To-morrow to receive
New life, she digs her proper grave to-day;
And icy moons with weary sameness weave
From their own light their fulness and decay.
Home to the poet's land the gods are flown,
Light use in them that later world discerns,
Which, the diviner leading-strings outgrown,
On its own axle turns.

Home! and with them are gone
The hues they gazed on and the tones they heard;
Life's beauty and life's melody:alone
Broods o'er the desolate void, the lifeless word;
Yet rescued from time's deluge, still they throng
Unseen the Pindus they were wont to cherish:
All, that which gains immortal life in song,
To mortal life must perish!

~ Friedrich Schiller, The Gods Of Greece
,
629:Amours De Voyage, Canto Iv
Eastward, or Northward, or West? I wander and ask as I wander;
Weary, yet eager and sure, Where shall I come to my love?
Whitherward hasten to seek her? Ye daughters of Italy, tell me,
Graceful and tender and dark, is she consorting with you?
Thou that out-climbest the torrent, that tendest thy goats to the summit,
Call to me, child of the Alp, has she been seen on the heights?
Italy, farewell I bid thee! for whither she leads me, I follow.
Farewell the vineyard! for I, where I but guess her, must go;
Weariness welcome, and labour, wherever it be, if at last it
Bring me in mountain or plain into the sight of my love.
I. Claude to Eustace,--from Florence.
Gone from Florence; indeed! and that is truly provoking;-Gone to Milan, it seems; then I go also to Milan.
Five days now departed; but they can travel but slowly;-I quicker far; and I know, as it happens, the home they will go to.-Why, what else should I do? Stay here and look at the pictures,
Statues and churches? Alack, I am sick of the statues and pictures!-No, to Bologna, Parma, Piacenza, Lodi, and Milan,
Off go we to-night,--and the Venus go to the Devil!
II. Claude to Eustace,--from Bellaggio.
Gone to Como, they said; and I have posted to Como.
There was a letter left; but the cameriere had lost it.
Could it have been for me? They came, however, to Como,
And from Como went by the boat,--perhaps to the Splügen,-Or to the Stelvio, say, and the Tyrol; also it might be
By Porlezza across to Lugano, and so to the Simplon
Possibly, or the St. Gothard,--or possibly, too, to Baveno,
Orta, Turin, and elsewhere. Indeed, I am greatly bewildered.
37
III. Claude to Eustace,--from Bellaggio.
I have been up the Splügen, and on the Stelvio also:
Neither of these can I find they have followed; in no one inn, and
This would be odd, have they written their names. I have been to Porlezza;
There they have not been seen, and therefore not at Lugano.
What shall I do? Go on through the Tyrol, Switzerland, Deutschland,
Seeking, an inverse Saul, a kingdom to find only asses?
There is a tide, at least, in the love affairs of mortals,
Which, when taken at flood, leads on to the happiest fortune,-Leads to the marriage-morn and the orange-flowers and the altar,
And the long lawful line of crowned joys to crowned joys succeeding.-Ah, it has ebbed with me! Ye gods, and when it was flowing,
Pitiful fool that I was, to stand fiddle-faddling in that way!
IV. Claude to Eustace,--from Bellaggio.
I have returned and found their names in the book at Como.
Certain it is I was right, and yet I am also in error.
Added in feminine hand, I read, By the boat to Bellaggio.-So to Bellaggio again, with the words of he writing to aid me.
Yet at Bellaggio I find no trace, no sort of remembrance.
So I am here, and wait, and know every hour will remove them.
V. Claude to Eustace,--from Bellaggio.
I have but one chance left,--and that is going to Florence.
But it is cruel to turn. The mountains seem to demand me,-Peak and valley from far to beckon and motion me onward.
Somewhere amid their folds she passes whom fain I would follow;
Somewhere amid those heights she haply calls me to seek her.
Ah, could I hear her call! could I catch the glimpse of her raiment!
Turn, however, I must, though it seem I turn to desert her;
For the sense of the thing is simply to hurry to Florence,
Where the certainty yet may be learnt, I suppose, from the Ropers.
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VI. Mary Trevellyn, from Lucerne, to Miss Roper, at Florence.
Dear Miss Roper,--By this you are safely away, we are hoping,
Many a league from Rome; ere long we trust we shall see you.
How have you travelled? I wonder;--was Mr. Claude your companion?
As for ourselves, we went from Como straight to Lugano;
So by the Mount St. Gothard; we meant to go by Porlezza,
Taking the steamer, and stopping, as you had advised, at Bellaggio,
Two or three days or more; but this was suddenly altered,
After we left the hotel, on the very way to the steamer.
So we have seen, I fear, not one of the lakes in perfection.
Well, he is not come, and now, I suppose, he will not come.
What will you think, meantime? and yet I must really confess it;-What will you say? I wrote him a note. We left in a hurry,
Went from Milan to Como, three days before we expected.
But I thought, if he came all the way to Milan, he really
Ought not to be disappointed: and so I wrote three lines to
Say I had heard he was coming, desirous of joining our party;-If so, then I said, we had started for Como, and meant to
Cross the St. Gothard, and stay, we believed, at Lucerne, for the summer.
Was it wrong? and why, if it was, has it failed to bring him?
Did he not think it worth while to come to Milan? He knew (you
Told him) the house we should go to. Or may it, perhaps, have miscarried?
Any way, now, I repent, and am heartily vexed that I wrote it.
There is a home on the shore of the Alpine sea, that upswelling
High up the mountain-sides spreads in the hollow between;
Wilderness, mountain, and snow from the land of the olive conceal it;
Under Pilatus's hill low by the river it lies;
Italy, utter the word, and the olive and vine will allure not,-Wilderness, forest, and snow will not the passage impede;
Italy, unto thy cities receding, the clue to recover,
Hither, recovered the clue, shall not the traveller haste?
~ Arthur Hugh Clough,
630:The Last Battle Of The Cid
Low he lay upon his dying couch, the knight without a stain,
The unconquered Cid Campeadór, the bright breast-plate of Spain,
The incarnate honour of Castille, of Aragon and Navarre,
Very crown of Spanish chivalry, Rodrigo of Bivar!
Sick he lay, and grieved in spirit, for that Paynim dogs should dare
Camp around his knightly citadel, Valencia the fair!
For that he no more should face them, in his beauteous armour dight,
To whom God and Santiago aye gave victory in the fight.
Faintly rising o'er the ramparts came the murmur of the siege,
And he could but pray for Christendom, his country and his liege;
For his well-belovèd city, granite-girdled, pennon-starred,
And the royal wealth of treasure that its stately portals barred.
“Santiago, at whose altar I did watch mine armour bright,
And was girt with golden spur and brand, a consecrated knight!—
Santiago, by my vow redeemed at Compostela's shrine,
Let the Paynim life-blood only touch these blessed walls of mine!
“Santiago, warrior saintly, who with Don Fernando's host
Stormed and won the gates of Coimbra, guard my fortress on the coast!
Keep the holy leper's blessing, though the snow is on my hair;—
Strike the base-born unbelievers!—save Valencia the fair!”
Lo, a sudden cloud of glory filled his chamber as he prayed!
Lo, San Pedro stood beside him, all in shining robes arrayed!
“For thy love, Rodrigo Diaz, to Cardeña's house,” said he,
“I have offered intercessions, and the Lord hath answered me.
“Thou must die, O well-beloved!—thirty days, and thou must die!
Yet in death shall Santiago grant thee still a victory.
Thou shalt ride forth to the battle—Santiago shall be there—
For the Faith and Don Alfonso and Valencia the fair.”
Silence reigned within the chamber; none stood near the hero's bed;
All that dazzling flood of glory slowly, softly vanishèd.
He could only hear the murmur from the ramparts rise and fall;
He could only see the cross-bars stretching dimly on the wall.
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In San Pedro's chapel lay the Cid, his eyes with rapture dim,
And proclaimed the wondrous favour that the Lord had granted him.
Then he parted from his vassals, and went humbly to confess;
And the warrior-bishop clothed his soul in its baptismal dress.
'Twas the holy day of Pentecost that saw Ruy Diaz die—
Evermore the spotless mirror of Castillian chivalry!
They, in whom his will was shrinèd, Alvar Fanez and his knights,
Stood to watch the hero vanquished who had won a thousand fights.
DoXimena, the faithful, with her tears bedewed his feet,
And anointed all his body with pure incense, rich and sweet.
Then in silence and in sorrow the twelve days of waiting fled;
And the warders on the ramparts dared not whisper, “He is dead.”
In the midnight, dark and quiet, fell the torches' lurid glare
On the palaces and portals of Valencia the fair;
And a solemn, slow procession, mounted all in royal state,
Like the spectre of an army, passed beneath the city gate.
In the van was borne the ensign, known and dreaded far and wide,
With four hundred noblest knights ranged proudly by its side.
Toward Castille and Cardeña were those haughty faces set,—
And that banner never more did crown Valencia's parapet.
Then came mules, with treasure laden, stepping softly on before,
Compassed round with knights in armour—to the full four hundred more.
Then a band of belted nobles, stern and silent; and amid
Their levelled lances, he of Bivar—the Campeadór—the Cid.
On his milk-white steed, Babieca, whom none else did e'er bestride,
Clad in all his princely trappings, did the lifeless warrior ride;
Girt with helm and spur and blazoned shield, and grasping in his hand
The bright crosslet of Tizona, his thrice-consecrated brand.
Geronymo and Gil Diaz held the slackened bridlerein—
His true bishop and true vassal—as they moved on to the plain;
And Ximena and her maidens, 'mid the torchlight weird and dim,
With six hundred knights in harness, followed slowly after him.
In the solemn hush and darkness, with no joyful clarion-cry,
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And no clash and clank of weapons, riding all so silently;—
Thus they passed out from the city e'er the summer morning broke,
And were found arrayed for battle when the infidels awoke.
Great and mighty was the Moorish host, by thirty monarchs led,
But a greater was the army with Rodrigo at the head;
For, behold! came Santiago to the bloody battle-plain—
Santiago, with a hundred thousand warriors in his train.
Each in robe of shining whiteness, with a red cross on his breast,—
Each with fiery sword uplifted or with golden lance at rest;
Santiago, saintly leader, on a charger white as snow—
Sent to aid the Cid Campeadór in vanquishing the foe.
All the Paynims looked amazèd on the dreadful beauteous sight,
As the tender light of morning softly crept out from the night;
Then they harnessed them in silence, sternly grasping shield and spear,
And pressed on in serried column, full of wonder, full of fear.
There was one loud shock of battle, then they wildly turned to flee,
And the Cid and Santiago swept their hosts into the sea.
Twenty kings and twenty armies in that bloody fight were slain,
And were left, with upturned faces, stiff and stark upon the plain.
Fair and shining came the daylight, all in liquid summer sheen—
But no more was Santiago, or his white-robed warriors, seen;
Only one small train of nobles, riding on, with stately pace,
To San Pedro de Cardeña and the great Cid's resting-place.
By the altar in the chapel, where the monarch's throne doth stand,
Sat the dead Cid, robed in purple, with his good sword in his hand.
And again the Moorish ensign fluttered proudly in the air,
Lifted high above the ramparts of Valencia the fair.
~ Ada Cambridge,
631:To Ireland
``What ails you, Sister Erin, that your face
Is, like your mountains, still bedewed with tears?
As though some ancient sorrow or disgrace,
Some unforgettable wrong from far-off years,
Done to your name or wreaked upon your race,
Broods in your heart and shadows all your mind;
So that no change of Season, nor the voice
Of hopeful Time, who bids the sad rejoice,
Can lift your gloom, but you, to kind unkind,
Keep moaning with the wave, and wailing with the wind.
``Come let us sit upon yon cliff, we twain,
Whence we may gaze across your soft green Isle,
Girt by the strong immeasurable main,
That, see! looks up, and sweetens to a smile;
And you shall talk to me of all your pain,
Through deep blue eyes and dark unbraided tresses
Hooded by wimple that your own hands weaved
When you and Winter last together grieved,
While far beneath our feet the fast foam presses
Round bluff, and creek, and bay, and seabird-sung-to nesses.''
Then half withholding, yielding half, her gaze,
She smoothed her kirtle under her, and clasped
Her hands about her knees, as one who prays,
Watching the clambering billows as they grasped
At slippery rocks where wild-goats may not graze,
Then fell back foiled, shivered to spray and smoke.
And I could see the warm blood of her race
Crimson beneath her weather-beaten face:
As though her heart would break, her voice would choke,
In accents harsh with hate, and brimmed with sobs, she spoke.
``They came across the sea with greed of spoil,
And drove me hither and thither from fen to foam,
Reaving and burning, till the blackened soil
Waxed bitter-barren as the brine they clomb,
Sterile to seed and thankless unto toil.
Harried and hunted, fleeing through the land,
577
I hid among the caves, the woods, the hills,
Where the mist curdles and the blind gust shrills,
Suckling my hate and sharpening my brand,
My heart against their heart, my hand against their hand.
``And ever as I fled, they ever pursued.
They drove away my cattle and my flocks,
And left me, me a Mother! to claw for food
'Mong ocean-boulders and the brackish rocks
Where sea-hogs wallow and gorged cormorants brood;
Unroofed my hut, set the sere thatch aflame,
Scattered my hearth-fire to the wintry air,
Made what was bare before stretch yet more bare,
I waxing wilder more they strove to tame,
To force and guile alike implacably the same.
``They would not suffer me to weep or pray:
Upon the altar of my Saints they trod;
They banned my Faith, they took my Heaven away,
And tried to rob me of my very God!
And, when I sued them leave me where I lay,
And get them hence, still, still they would not go.
They reft the spindle from my famished hands,
My kith and kin they drove to other lands,
Widowed and orphaned me! And now you know
Why all my face is wet, and all my voice is woe!''
I crept a little nearer, and I laid
My hand on hers, and fondled it with mine;
And, ``Listen, dear Sister Erin,'' soft I said,
``Not to the moaning of the salt-sea brine,
Nor to the melancholy crooning made
By thoughts attuned to Sorrow's ancient song,
But to the music of a mellower day.
Forgive! Forget! lest harsher lips should say,
Like your turf fire, your rancour smoulders long.
Now let Oblivion strew Time's ashes o'er this wrong.
``The robber bands that filled the Isle with groans
Were long since clamped and prisoned in their graves:
The flesh hath dried and shrivelled from their bones,
Their wild war-standards rotted from their staves;
578
Their name is nought. 'Tis thus that Time atones
For all the griefs man fastens on his kind.
The days were dire, his passions swift and fell:
His very Heaven was but a sterner Hell.
His love was thraldom, hatred black and blind,
As headstrong as the wave, as wayward as the wind.
``Nor did alone you suffer. You too dealt
Full many a stroke, too fierce to be subdued
Till you had made the fangs of vengeance felt.
Mercy and truce you spurned, and fed the feud
Of Celt with Saxon, Saxon against Celt,
Till lust enforced whatever law forbade.
Nay! do not linger on that painful dream,
But turn and smile! as when a silvery gleam
Dimples your loughs that whilom seemed so sad,
And runs along the wave, and glistens and is glad!
``We own our fault the greater, so we now
For balance of that wrong would make amends.
Lift the low wimple from your clouded brow,
Give me your gaze, and say that we are friends;
And be your mountains witness of that vow,
Your dewy dingles white with blossoming sloe,
Your tawny torrents tumbling to the sea:
For You are far the fairest of the Three,
And we can never, never, let you go,
Long as your warm heart beats, long as your bright eyes glow.
``The Triune Flag, none now save Tyrants dread,
That with Imperial peace protects the world,
Hath by the sinewy sons you bore and bred
Round the wide globe been carried and unfurled.
Where danger greatest, they it was who led,
And stormed death rather than be backward driven.
Now, gaze no more across the western main,
Whose barren furrows hope still ploughs in vain.
Turn Eastward, where, through clouds by sunrise riven,
England holds out her hand, and craves to be forgiven.
``Live your own life, but ever at our side!
Have your own Heaven, but blend your prayer with ours!
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Remain your own fair self, to bridegroom bride,
Veiled in your mist and diamonded with showers,
We twain love-linked whom nothing can divide!
Look up! From Slievemore's brow to Dingle's shore,
From Inagh's lake to Innisfallen's Isle
And Garriffe's glen, the land is one green smile!
The dolphins gambol and the laverocks soar:
Lift up your heart and live, enthralled to grief no more!''
~ Alfred Austin,
632:To what gods shall the sacrifice be offered? Who shall be invoked to manifest and protect in the human being this increasing godhead?

Agni first, for without him the sacrificial flame cannot burn on the altar of the soul. That flame of Agni is the seven-tongued power of the Will, a Force of God instinct with Knowledge. This conscious and forceful will is the immortal guest in our mortality, a pure priest and a divine worker, the mediator between earth and heaven. It carries what we offer to the higher Powers and brings back in return their force and light and joy into our humanity.

Indra, the Puissant next, who is the power of pure Existence self-manifested as the Divine Mind. As Agni is one pole of Force instinct with knowledge that sends its current upward from earth to heaven, so Indra is the other pole of Light instinct with force which descends from heaven to earth. He comes down into our world as the Hero with the shining horses and slays darkness and division with his lightnings, pours down the life-giving heavenly waters, finds in the trace of the hound, Intuition, the lost or hidden illuminations, makes the Sun of Truth mount high in the heaven of our mentality.

Surya, the Sun, is the master of that supreme Truth, - truth of being, truth of knowledge, truth of process and act and movement and functioning. He is therefore the creator or rather the manifester of all things - for creation is out-bringing, expression by the Truth and Will - and the father, fosterer, enlightener of our souls. The illuminations we seek are the herds of this Sun who comes to us in the track of the divine Dawn and releases and reveals in us night-hidden world after world up to the highest Beatitude.

Of that beatitude Soma is the representative deity. The wine of his ecstasy is concealed in the growths of earth, in the waters of existence; even here in our physical being are his immortalising juices and they have to be pressed out and offered to all the gods; for in that strength these shall increase and conquer.

Each of these primary deities has others associated with him who fulfil functions that arise from his own. For if the truth of Surya is to be established firmly in our mortal nature, there are previous conditions that are indispensable; a vast purity and clear wideness destructive of all sin and crooked falsehood, - and this is Varuna; a luminous power of love and comprehension leading and forming into harmony all our thoughts, acts and impulses, - this is Mitra; an immortal puissance of clear-discerning aspiration and endeavour, - this is Aryaman; a happy spontaneity of the right enjoyment of all things dispelling the evil dream of sin and error and suffering, - this is Bhaga. These four are powers of the Truth of Surya. For the whole bliss of Soma to be established perfectly in our nature a happy and enlightened and unmaimed condition of mind, vitality and body are necessary. This condition is given to us by the twin Ashwins; wedded to the daughter of Light, drinkers of honey, bringers of perfect satisfactions, healers of maim and malady they occupy our parts of knowledge and parts of action and prepare our mental, vital and physical being for an easy and victorious ascension.

Indra, the Divine Mind, as the shaper of mental forms has for his assistants, his artisans, the Ribhus, human powers who by the work of sacrifice and their brilliant ascension to the high dwelling-place of the Sun have attained to immortality and help mankind to repeat their achievement. They shape by the mind Indra's horses, the chariot of the Ashwins, the weapons of the Gods, all the means of the journey and the battle. But as giver of the Light of Truth and as Vritra-slayer Indra is aided by the Maruts, who are powers of will and nervous or vital Force that have attained to the light of thought and the voice of self-expression. They are behind all thought and speech as its impellers and they battle towards the Light, Truth and Bliss of the supreme Consciousness.

There are also female energies; for the Deva is both Male and Female and the gods also are either activising souls or passively executive and methodising energies. Aditi, infinite Mother of the Gods, comes first; and there are besides five powers of the Truthconsciousness, - Mahi or Bharati, the vast Word that brings us all things out of the divine source; Ila, the strong primal word of the Truth who gives us its active vision; Saraswati, its streaming current and the word of its inspiration; Sarama, the Intuition, hound of heaven who descends into the cavern of the subconscient and finds there the concealed illuminations; Dakshina, whose function is to discern rightly, dispose the action and the offering and distribute in the sacrifice to each godhead its portion. Each god, too, has his female energy.

All this action and struggle and ascension is supported by Heaven our Father and Earth our Mother Parents of the Gods, who sustain respectively the purely mental and psychic and the physical consciousness. Their large and free scope is the condition of our achievement. Vayu, master of life, links them together by the mid-air, the region of vital force. And there are other deities, - Parjanya, giver of the rain of heaven; Dadhikravan, the divine war-horse, a power of Agni; the mystic Dragon of the Foundations; Trita Aptya who on the third plane of existence consummates our triple being; and more besides.

The development of all these godheads is necessary to our perfection. And that perfection must be attained on all our levels, - in the wideness of earth, our physical being and consciousness; in the full force of vital speed and action and enjoyment and nervous vibration, typified as the Horse which must be brought forward to upbear our endeavour; in the perfect gladness of the heart of emotion and a brilliant heat and clarity of the mind throughout our intellectual and psychical being; in the coming of the supramental Light, the Dawn and the Sun and the shining Mother of the herds, to transform all our existence; for so comes to us the possession of the Truth, by the Truth the admirable surge of the Bliss, in the Bliss infinite Consciousness of absolute being. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, The Doctrine of the Mystics,
633:Outside The Village Church
``The old Church doors stand open wide,
Though neither bells nor anthems peal.
Gazing so fondly from outside,
Why do you enter not and kneel?
``It is the sunset hour when all
Begin to feel the need to pray,
Upon our common Father call
To guard the night, condone the day.
``Is it proud scorn, or humble doubt,
That keeps you standing, lingering, there;
Half in the Church, and half without,
Midway betwixt the world and prayer?
``No meeter moment could there be
For man to talk alone with God.
The careless sexton has, you see,
Shouldered his spade, and homeward trod.
``The Vicar's daily round is done;
His back just sank below the brow.
He passed the porches, one by one,
That line the hamlet street, and now
``He, in his garden, cons the page,
And muses on to-morrow's text.
The homebound rustic counts his wage,
The same last week, the same the next.
``Nor priest nor hind are you, but each
Alike is welcome here within;
Both they who learn, and they who teach,
Have secret sorrow, secret sin.
``Enter, and bare your inmost sore;
Enter, and weep your stain away;
Leave doubt and darkness at the door;
Come in and kneel, come in and pray.''
367
Such were the words I seemed to hear,
By no one uttered, but alack!
The voice of many a bygone year,
Striking the church, and echoing back.
I entered not, but on a stone
Sate, that recorded some one's loss;
But name and date no more were shown,
The deep-cut lines were smooth with moss.
Below were longsome tags of rhyme,
But what, you could not now surmise.
Alas! alas! that death and time
Should overgrow love's eulogies.
Round me was Death that plainly spoke
The hopes and aims that life denied;
The curious pomp of simple folk,
The pedantry of rustic pride.
Some slept in square sepulchral caves,
Some were stretched flat, and some inurned;
And there were fresh brown baby graves,
Resembling cradles overturned.
From where I sate I still could watch
The old oak pews, the altar white.
Gable and oasthouse, tile and thatch,
Smiled softly in the sunset light.
From here and there a cottage roof,
Spires of blue vapour 'gan to steal;
To eyes of love a heavenly proof
The mother warmed the evening meal.
No more the mill-stream chafed and churned;
The wheel hung still, the meal lay whole;
From marsh and dyke the rooks returned,
And circled round and round the toll.
The lambs were mute, the sheep were couched,
368
The hop-poles bent 'neath leaf and bine;
Adown the road the vagrant slouched,
And glanced up at the alehouse sign.
Again I heard the unseen voice:
``Why do you come not in and rest?
Whether you grieve or you rejoice,
You here will be a welcome guest.
``To Heaven it is the half-way house,
Where hope can feed, and anguish may
Recline its limbs and rest its brows,
With simple thanks for ample pay.
``Was it not here you got the name
Which is of you so close a part,
That, uttered, it hath magic claim
To flush love's cheek, to flood love's heart?
``Here too it was, when youth confessed
The weariness of random ways,
And felt a surging in the breast
For faithful nights and fruitful days,
``You came with one who, conquering fear
When love surprised first thought to fly,
Acknowledged with a tender tear
The sweetness of captivity.
``And here 'twill be when you have ta'en
Last look of love, last look of Spring,
When hearts for you will yearn in vain,
And vain for you the birds will sing,
``That shuffling feet and slow will come,
With cumbrous coffin, gloomy pall,
And, while within you moulder dumb,
That prayers will rise and tears will fall.
``And should Death haply prove your friend,
And what in life was scorned should save,
Hither it is that feet will wend,
369
To read the name upon your grave.''
I heard the voice no more. The rooks
Had ceased to float, had ceased to caw;
The sunlight lingered but in nooks,
And, gazing toward the west, I saw,
Beyond the pasture's withered bents,
Upstanding hop, recumbent fleece,
And sheaves of wheat, like weathered tents,
A twilight bivouac of peace.
Into itself the voice withdrew.
A something subtle all around
Came floating on the rising dew,
And sweetness took the place of sound.
No word of mine, although my heart
Rebelled, the scented stillness shook;
But silence seemed to take my part,
Thus mildly answering mild rebuke:
``'Tis true I have to you not brought
My eager or despondent mood,
But still by wood and stream have sought
The sanctity of solitude.
``But as a youth who quits his home
To range in tracts of freër fame,
However far or wide he roam,
Dwells fondly on his mother's name;
``So bear me witness, dear old Church,
Although apart our ritual be,
I ne'er have breathed one word to smirch
The Creed that bore and suckled me.
``Not mine presumptuous thought to cope
With sage's faith, with saint's belief,
Or proudly mock the humble hope
That solaced the Repentant Thief.
370
``I do not let the elms, that shut
My garden in from world without,
Exclude your sacred presence, but
I lop them when they shoot and sprout;
``That I at eve, that I at dawn,
That I, when noons are warm and still,
Lying or lingering on the lawn,
May see your tower upon the hill.
``But when Faith grows a sophist's theme,
And chancels ring with doubt and din,
I sometimes think that they who seem
The most without, are most within.
``The name you gave, that name I bear;
The bond you sealed, I sacred keep;
And, when my brain is dust and air,
Let me within your precincts sleep.''
The sexton came and scanned once more
The neat square pit of smooth blue clay,
Then turned the key and locked the door,
And so, like him, I went my way.
I had the summons not obeyed;
I had nor knelt nor uttered word;
But somehow felt that I had prayed,
And somehow felt I had been heard.
~ Alfred Austin,
634:To Johan Sverdrup
When now my song selects and praises
Your forceful name, think not it raises
The rallying-flag for battle near;
The street-fight shall not reach us here.
If sacred poetry's fair hill
Lies open to assassination,Is
this
the newer revelation,
Then I withdraw and hold me still.
Then I the words of Einar borrow,
When southern change of kings brought sorrow,
And Harald's hosts their ravage spread:
I follow rather Magnus dead
Than Harald living thus,-and then
I sail away with ships and men.
Nor therefore do I lift anew
The flag of song just now for you,
Because my spirit's deepest yearning
To you for new light now is turning.
No, where the
greatest
questions started,
Just there it is our ways were partedFrom where the deepest thought can reach,
To plan and goal of daily speech.
My childhood's faith unshaken stands,
And thence our equal rights deriving,
I for a people free am striving
And brotherhood in kindred lands.
Though both of us are
Christian
men,
So wide a gulf between us lies;
Though both are true
Norwegian
men,
We Norway see with different eyes.
If but to-day we victory gain,
195
We must to-morrow fight amain.
But now I honor you in singing,
Because what ought just now to be
With strongest will you clearly see,
And foremost to the fight are springing.
When sinks the land 'neath heavy fogs
And no fair prospect cheers the eye,
The thickening air our breathing clogs,
Yes, all things dull in torpor lie,Then
mounts your mind with freest motion,
Its thunder-wings the mist-banks driving,
Its lightning-talons cloud-walls riving,
Till sunlight spreads o'er land and ocean.
You
are the freshening shower clean
Upon our sluggish day's routine.
You are the salt sea-current poured
Into each close and sultry fjord.
Your speech a mine-shaft is, deep-going
To where the veins of ore are showing.
And by your flashing eyes far-sighted
The past is for our future lighted.
So long as Sverre's sword you wield,
So long as you our hosts are heading,
We know we'll win on every field;
Foes flee, your battle trumpet dreading.
We see their struggling ranks soon rifted,
We see them set so many a snare:
Your head unharmed in thought's pure air
Above the waves of war is lifted.
We love you for this courage good,
That e'er
before
the banner stood,
We love the strength you boldly stored
In your self-forged and tempered sword.
Your vigilance we love and prize,
That sickness, slander, loss defies,
We love you, that at duty's call
196
You gave your peace, your future, all,
We love you still-hate cannot cleave!Because you dared in us believe.
How can they hope that backward here
Our land shall go? No, year by year,
Forward in freedom and in song,
Forward the truly Norse disclosing.
What might can now avail, opposing
The travail of the centuries long?
People and power no more divided;
In peace to save or war to kill,
Our freedom with
one
guard provided,
One
nation only and
one
will.
The spirit of our nation's morn,
The unity of free gods dreaming,
And all things great to be great deeming,
Forever must the spurious scorn.
The spirit that impelled the viking
'Gainst kingly power for freedom striking,That, threatened, sailed to Iceland strong
With hero-fame and hero-song,
And further on through all the ages,That spirit never dwells in cages.
The spirit that at Hjörung broke
For thousand years the foreign yoke,
By might of king ne'er made to cower,
Defying e'en the papal power,The spirit that, to weakness worn,
Held free our soil with rights unshorn,
Held free, with tongue and hand combined,
'Gainst foreign host and foreign mind,By which our Holberg's wit was whetted,
And Wessel's sword and Wessel's pen,
And to whose silent forge indebted
The thoughts that armed our Eidsvold-men,The spirit that in faith so high
197
Through Odin could to God draw nigh,
As bridge the myth of Balder threw,
And almost found the free way new
To truth's fair home in radiant Gimle,
When this was closed and warded grimly
By monkish lies and papal speech,That threw a second bridge to reach
On freedom's lightly soaring arches
To heights whereon the free soul marches,So, when for Luther blood was shed,
The North but razed a fence instead,
-The spirit that, when men were deeming
True faith in all the world were dead,
Brun, Hauge, and their lineage spread,
From soul-springs in our nation streaming,Though pietism's fog now thickens,
Still guards the altar lights and quickens;Can
this
they make the fashion better,
By modern bishop-synod's letter?
Is
this
by politics provided,
When into 'Chambers' 't is divided?
Can
this
into a box be juggled
And o'er the boundary be smuggled?
And that just now when beacons lighted
On all the mountain-tops are sighted,
And when our folk-high-school's young day
The Norse heart kindles with its ray,
Renewing mem'ries, courage bringing,
While they are hearing, trusting, singing;Just when the deep in billows surges,
Responsive to the tempest's might,
And over it the Northern Light
Of Youth's refulgent hope emerges;Just when the spirit everywhere,
While walls lie low as trumpets blare,
198
Is breaking from the ancient forms,
And will of youth the heights now storms.
A battle-age,-and we are in it!
The greatest thing on earth: to be
Where powers that are bursting free,
Self-shaping seek their place and win it;Our fusing passion all to give,
To cast the statue that shall live,
To press the mold of our own form
On what shall be the future's norm,
Into the age's soul thus breathed
The spirit God to us bequeathed.
'T was this that now I wished to say
To you, who late and early, aye
Within time's workshop great are going,
What is, what shall be, ever knowing;To you, who all our people's might
Have roused for freedom new to fight;To whom our people gave this power,
And sorrow, its eternal dower.
~ Bjornstjerne Bjornson,
635:At Delphi
Apollo! Apollo! Apollo!
II
Where hast thou, Apollo, gone?
I have wandered on and on,
Through the shaggy Dorian gorges,
Down from where Parnassus forges
Thunder for the Phocian valleys;
Where the Pleistus springs and sallies
Past ravines and caverns dread,
Have, like it, meanderëd;
But I cannot see thee, hear thee,
Find thee, feel thee, get anear thee.
Though in quest of thee I go where
Thou didst haunt, I find thee nowhere,
Apollo! Apollo! Apollo!
III
Still no answer comes. . . . Apollo!
Vainly do I call and holloa
Into each Crissoean cleft
Where the last year's leaves are left.
Deem not I have pushed my way
But from stony Amphissà.
I have come from far-off land,
Traversed foam, traversed sand,
From green pastures sea-surrounded,
Where thy phorminx never sounded;
O'er the broad and barren acres
Of the vainly furrowed breakers,
Across mountains loftier far
Than the peaks of Pindus are;
Skirted groves of pine and fir
Denser than lone Tempe's were,
With no selfish tread, but only
I might find thee, lovely, lonely,
Lingering by thy sacred city:
On me wilt thou not have pity?
152
Sun-god! Song-god! I implore thee!
Glow, and let me pale before thee,
Apollo! Apollo! Apollo!
IV
Fallen tablet, prostrate column,
Solitude and silence solemn!
Half-tilled patches, squalid hovels,
Where life multiplies and grovelsIs this Delphi, this the shrine
Of the Musagete divine?
This the cavern, this the cell,
Of the Pythian oracle!
Where the tripod, where the altar,
Incense, embassy, and psalter?
Can this pool of cresses be
Cradle of pure Castaly?
From the rock though still it bubbles,
Travels onwards, halts, and doubles,
Where the Muses wont to lave
Limbs as vestal as its wave,
'Mong the flashing waters flashing,Gaunt and withered crones are washing.
Not a note of lyre or zittern,
But, below, the booming bittern
Waits his quarry to inveigle,
While o'erhead the silent eagle,
Blinking, stares at the blank sunAll of thee that is not gone,
Apollo! Apollo!
Who art thou, intruder weird!
With the fine and flowing beard?
Whom no snowy robes encumber,
But a habit black and sombre,
Yet in whose composëd eyes
Lurks the light of mysteries.
Priest thou seemest, but not one
Of the loved Latona's son.
In thy aspect is no gladness,
Glance nor gleam of joyous madness,
153
Only gloom, only sadness.
Underneath thy knotted girdle
Thoughts congeal and passions curdle,
And about thy brow ascetic
Lives nor light nor line prophetic.
Priest, but priest not of Apollo,
Whither wouldst thou have me follow?
Lead but onward, I will enter
Where thy cold gaze seems to centre,
Underneath yon portal dismal,
Into dusk and chill abysmal.
Hast thou pent him? Is He lying
There within, dethroned and dying?
If thou breathest, hear me crying,
``Apollo! Apollo! Apollo!''
VI
No, but here He cannot be,
God of light and poesy!
What are these I see around,
Gloomy upon gloomy ground,
Making wall and roof to seem
Sepulchre of morbid dream?
Visages with aspect stony,
Bodies lean, and lank, and bony,
In whose lineaments I trace
Neither love, nor joy, nor grace:
Youth with limbs disused and old,
Maidens pale, contorted, cold,
Flames devouring, pincers wrenching
Muscles naked but unblenching,
Writhing snakes forked venom darting
Into flesh-wounds, gaping, smarting,
Furies shagged with tresses fell,
Ghouls and ghosts of nether hell!
Priest of beauty! Priest of song!
Aid me, if thou still art strong!
See me! save me! bear me whither
Glows thy light that brought me hither,
Apollo! Apollo! Apollo!
VII
154
O the sunshine once again!
O to stand a man 'mong men!
Lo! the horrid nightmare pales
In the light of flowing vales,
In the gaze of steadfast mountains,
Sidelong runnels, forward fountains,
Spacious sky, receding air,
Breadth and bounty everywhere.
What if all the gods be dead,
Nature reigneth in their stead.
Let me dream the noon away
Underneath this full-blown bay,
Where the yellow bees are busy,
Till they stagger, drowsy, dizzy,
From the honeyed wine that wells
Up the branches to the cells
Of the myriad-clustered flowers
Dropping golden flakes in showers.
Here reclined, I will surrender
Sense and soul unto the tender
Mingling of remote and close:
Gods voluptuous, gods morose;
Altars at whose marble meet
Downcast eyes and dancing feet;
Awful dirges, glad carouse,
Unveiled bosoms, shaded brows,
Wreathëd steer and tonsured skull,
Shapes austere with beautiful;
Till the past and present swim
In an ether distant, dim,
And the Delphic fumes rise denser
From a silver-swinging censer,
And in one harmonious dream,
Through a heavenly nimbus, gleam
Lovely limbs and longings saintly,
And pale virgins murmur faintly,
``Apollo! Apollo! Apollo!''
VIII
Priest, but priest not of Apollo,
Why dost thou my footsteps follow
From the deep dark shrine down there
155
To this temple of the air?
What, profaner! wouldst thou lay
Hands upon the sacred bay,
Tearing Daphne limb from limb!
Hast thou, then, no dread of Him?
How? For me? Avaunt, and pass!
I am not fool Marsyas.
Stay! Then to my forehead bind it,
Round my temples wreathe and wind it;
'Chance the Avenger then will come,
Haunt and grot no more be dumb,
But the rills and steeps be ringing,
And a long array come singing,
``Apollo! Apollo! Apollo!''
IX
All in vain! Nor prayer nor taunt
Tempts him back to his loved haunt.
Fretted tablet, fallen column,
Solitude and silence solemn!
He again from Peneus ne'er
Will to Castaly repair;
Never more in cavern dread
Will his oracles be read;
Now I know that Thou art dead,
Apollo!
Then like fountain in mine ear
Spake the god aloud and clear:
``Take it! Wear it! Tis for thee,
Singer from the Northern Sea.
If the least, not last of those,
Suckled 'mong the genial snows.
Though the Muses may have left
Tempe's glen and Delphi's cleft,
Wanderer! they have only gone
Hence to murmuring Albion.
Need was none to travel hither:
Child of England, go back thither.
Traverse foam, traverse sand;
Back, and in thy native land
156
Thou wilt find what thou dost seek.
There the oracles still speak;
There the mounting fumes inspire
Glowing brain and living lyre.
There the Muses prompt the strain,
There they renovate my reign;
There thou wilt not call in vain,
`Apollo! Apollo! Apollo!'''
~ Alfred Austin,
636: XIX - NIGHT

STREET BEFORE MARGARET'S DOOR

VALENTINE (a soldier, MARGARET'S brother)

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

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

FAUST MEPHISTOPHELES

FAUST

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

MEPHISTOPHELES

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

FAUST

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

MEPHISTOPHELES

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

FAUST

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

MEPHISTOPHELES

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

FAUST

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

MEPHISTOPHELES

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

(Sings to the cither.)

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

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

VALENTINE (comes forward)

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

MEPHISTOPHELES

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

VALENTINE

There's yet a skull I must be splitting!

MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)

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

VALENTINE

Then parry that!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Why not? 'tis light.

VALENTINE

That, too!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Of course.

VALENTINE

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

MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)

Thrust home!

VALENTINE (jails)

O God!

MEPHISTOPHELES

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

[Exit with FAUST.

MARTHA (at the window)

Come out! Come out!

MARGARET (at the window)

Quick, bring a light!

MARTHA (as above)

They swear and storm, they yell and fight!

PEOPLE

Here lies one dead alreadysee!

MARTHA (coming from the house)

The murderers, whither have they run?

MARGARET (coming out)

Who lies here?

PEOPLE

'Tis thy mother's son!

MARGARET

Almighty God! what misery!

VALENTINE

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

(All gather around him)

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

MARGARET

My brother! God! such words to me?

VALENTINE

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

MARTHA

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

VALENTINE

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

MARGARET

My brother! This is Hell's own pain!

VALENTINE

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

(Dies.)
Faust
Cathedral

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, NIGHT
,
637:
XIV - FOREST AND CAVERN

FAUST (solus)

Spirit sublime, thou gav'st me, gav'st me all
For which I prayed. Not unto me in vain
Hast thou thy countenance revealed in fire.
Thou gav'st me Nature as a kingdom grand,
With power to feel and to enjoy it. Thou
Not only cold, amazed acquaintance yield'st,
But grantest, that in her profoundest breast
I gaze, as in the bosom of a friend.
The ranks of living creatures thou dost lead
Before me, teaching me to know my brothers
In air and water and the silent wood.
And when the storm in forests roars and grinds,
The giant firs, in falling, neighbor boughs
And neighbor trunks with crushing weight bear down,
And falling, fill the hills with hollow thunders,
Then to the cave secure thou leadest me,
Then show'st me mine own self, and in my breast
The deep, mysterious miracles unfold.
And when the perfect moon before my gaze
Comes up with soothing light, around me float
From every precipice and thicket damp
The silvery phantoms of the ages past,
And temper the austere delight of thought.

That nothing can be perfect unto Man
I now am conscious. With this ecstasy,
Which brings me near and nearer to the Gods,
Thou gav'st the comrade, whom I now no more
Can do without, though, cold and scornful, he
Demeans me to myself, and with a breath,
A word, transforms thy gifts to nothingness.
Within my breast he fans a lawless fire,
Unwearied, for that fair and lovely form:
Thus in desire I hasten to enjoyment,
And in enjoyment pine to feel desire.

(MEPHISTOPHELES enters.)

MEPHISTOPHELES

Have you not led this life quite long enough?
How can a further test delight you?
'Tis very well, that once one tries the stuff,
But something new must then requite you.

FAUST

Would there were other work for thee!
To plague my day auspicious thou returnest.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Well! I'll engage to let thee be:
Thou darest not tell me so in earnest.
The loss of thee were truly very slight,
comrade crazy, rude, repelling:
Faust

One has one's hands full all the day and night;
If what one does, or leaves undone, is right,
From such a face as thine there is no telling.

FAUST

There is, again, thy proper tone!
That thou hast bored me, I must thankful be!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Poor Son of Earth, how couldst thou thus alone
Have led thy life, bereft of me?
I, for a time, at least, have worked thy cure;
Thy fancy's rickets plague thee not at all:
Had I not been, so hadst thou, sure,
Walked thyself off this earthly ball
Why here to caverns, rocky hollows slinking,
Sit'st thou, as 'twere an owl a-blinking?
Why suck'st, from sodden moss and dripping stone,
Toad-like, thy nourishment alone?
A fine way, this, thy time to fill!
The Doctor's in thy body still.

FAUST

What fresh and vital forces, canst thou guess,
Spring from my commerce with the wilderness?
But, if thou hadst the power of guessing,
Thou wouldst be devil enough to grudge my soul the blessing.

MEPHISTOPHELES

A blessing drawn from supernatural fountains!
In night and dew to lie upon the mountains;
All Heaven and Earth in rapture penetrating;
Thyself to Godhood haughtily inflating;
To grub with yearning force through Earth's dark marrow,
Compress the six days' work within thy bosom narrow,
To taste, I know not what, in haughty power,
Thine own ecstatic life on all things shower,
Thine earthly self behind thee cast,
And then the lofty instinct, thus

(With a gesture:)

at last,
I daren't say howto pluck the final flower!

FAUST

Shame on thee!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yes, thou findest that unpleasant!
Thou hast the moral right to cry me "shame!" at present.
One dares not that before chaste ears declare,
Which chaste hearts, notwithstanding, cannot spare;
And, once for all, I grudge thee not the pleasure
Of lying to thyself in moderate measure.
But such a course thou wilt not long endure;
Already art thou o'er-excited,
And, if it last, wilt soon be plighted
To madness and to horror, sure.
Enough of that! Thy love sits lonely yonder,
By all things saddened and oppressed;
Her thoughts and yearnings seek thee, tenderer, fonder,
mighty love is in her breast.
First came thy passion's flood and poured around her
As when from melted snow a streamlet overflows;
Thou hast therewith so filled and drowned her,
That now thy stream all shallow shows.
Methinks, instead of in the forests lording,
The noble Sir should find it good,
The love of this young silly blood
At once to set about rewarding.
Her time is miserably long;
She haunts her window, watching clouds that stray
O'er the old city-wall, and far away.
"Were I a little bird!" so runs her song,
Day long, and half night long.
Now she is lively, mostly sad,
Now, wept beyond her tears;
Then again quiet she appears,Always
love-mad.

FAUST

Serpent! Serpent!

MEPHISTOPHELES (aside)

Ha! do I trap thee!

FAUST

Get thee away with thine offences,
Reprobate! Name not that fairest thing,
Nor the desire for her sweet body bring
Again before my half-distracted senses!

MEPHISTOPHELES

What wouldst thou, then? She thinks that thou art flown;
And half and half thou art, I own.

FAUST

Yet am I near, and love keeps watch and ward;
Though I were ne'er so far, it cannot falter:
I envy even the Body of the Lord
The touching of her lips, before the altar.

MEPHISTOPHELES

'Tis very well! My envy oft reposes
On your twin-pair, that feed among the roses.

FAUST

Away, thou pimp!

MEPHISTOPHELES

You rail, and it is fun to me.
The God, who fashioned youth and maid,
Perceived the noblest purpose of His trade,
And also made their opportunity.
Go on! It is a woe profound!
'Tis for your sweetheart's room you're bound,
And not for death, indeed.

FAUST

What are, within her arms, the heavenly blisses?
Though I be glowing with her kisses,
Do I not always share her need?
I am the fugitive, all houseless roaming,
The monster without air or rest,
That like a cataract, down rocks and gorges foaming,
Leaps, maddened, into the abyss's breast!
And side-wards she, with young unwakened senses,
Within her cabin on the Alpine field
Her simple, homely life commences,
Her little world therein concealed.
And I, God's hate flung o'er me,
Had not enough, to thrust
The stubborn rocks before me
And strike them into dust!
She and her peace I yet must undermine:
Thou, Hell, hast claimed this sacrifice as thine!
Help, Devil! through the coming pangs to push me;
What must be, let it quickly be!
Let fall on me her fate, and also crush me,
One ruin whelm both her and me!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Again it seethes, again it glows!
Thou fool, go in and comfort her!
When such a head as thine no outlet knows,
It thinks the end must soon occur.
Hail him, who keeps a steadfast mind!
Thou, else, dost well the devil-nature wear:
Naught so insipid in the world I find
As is a devil in despair.
Faust
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, FOREST AND CAVERN
,
638:The Burden Of Nineveh
In our Museum galleries
To-day I lingered o'er the prize
Dead Greece vouchsafes to living eyes,—
Her Art for ever in fresh wise
From hour to hour rejoicing me.
Sighing I turned at last to win
Once more the London dirt and din;
And as I made the swing-door spin
And issued, they were hoisting in
A wingèd beast from Nineveh.
A human face the creature wore,
And hoofs behind and hoofs before,
And flanks with dark runes fretted o'er.
'Twas bull, 'twas mitred Minotaur,
A dead disbowelled mystery:
The mummy of a buried faith
Stark from the charnel without scathe,
Its wings stood for the light to bathe,—
Such fossil cerements as might swathe
The very corpse of Nineveh.
The print of its first rush-wrapping,
Wound ere it dried, still ribbed the thing.
What song did the brown maidens sing,
From purple mouths alternating,
When that was woven languidly?
What vows, what rites, what prayers preferr'd,
What songs has the strange image heard?
In what blind vigil stood interr'd
For ages, till an English word
Broke silence first at Nineveh?
Oh when upon each sculptured court,
Where even the wind might not resort,—
O'er which Time passed, of like import
With the wild Arab boys at sport,—
A living face looked in to see:—
Oh seemed it not—the spell once broke—
As though the carven warriors woke,
As though the shaft the string forsook,
The cymbals clashed, the chariots shook,
400
And there was life in Nineveh?
On London stones our sun anew
The beast's recovered shadow threw.
(No shade that plague of darkness knew,
No light, no shade, while older grew
By ages the old earth and sea.)
Lo thou! could all thy priests have shown
Such proof to make thy godhead known?
From their dead Past thou liv'st alone;
And still thy shadow is thine own,
Even as of yore in Nineveh.
That day whereof we keep record,
When near thy city-gates the Lord
Sheltered His Jonah with a gourd,
This sun, (I said) here present, pour'd
Even thus this shadow that I see.
This shadow has been shed the same
From sun and moon,—from lamps which came
For prayer,—from fifteen days of flame,
The last, while smouldered to a name
Sardanapalus' Nineveh.
Within thy shadow, haply, once
Sennacherib has knelt, whose sons
Smote him between the altar-stones:
Or pale Semiramis her zones
Of gold, her incense brought to thee,
In love for grace, in war for aid: . . .
Ay, and who else? . . . till 'neath thy shade
Within his trenches newly made
Last year the Christian knelt and pray'd—
Not to thy strength—in Nineveh.
Now, thou poor god, within this hall
Where the blank windows blind the wall
From pedestal to pedestal,
The kind of light shall on thee fall
Which London takes the day to be:
While school-foundations in the act
Of holiday, three files compact,
Shall learn to view thee as a fact
Connected with that zealous tract:
“ROME,—Babylon and Nineveh.”
Deemed they of this, those worshippers,
401
When, in some mythic chain of verse
Which man shall not again rehearse,
The faces of thy ministers
Yearned pale with bitter ecstasy?
Greece, Egypt, Rome,—did any god
Before whose feet men knelt unshod
Deem that in this unblest abode
Another scarce more unknown god
Should house with him, from Nineveh?
Ah! in what quarries lay the stone
From which this pillared pile has grown,
Unto man's need how long unknown,
Since those thy temples, court and cone,
Rose far in desert history?
Ah! what is here that does not lie
All strange to thine awakened eye?
Ah! what is here can testify
(Save that dumb presence of the sky)
Unto thy day and Nineveh?
Why, of those mummies in the room
Above, there might indeed have come
One out of Egypt to thy home,
An alien. Nay, but were not some
Of these thine own “antiquity”?
And now,—they and their gods and thou
All relics here together,—now
Whose profit? whether bull or cow,
Isis or Ibis, who or how,
Whether of Thebes or Nineveh?
The consecrated metals found,
And ivory tablets, underground,
Winged teraphim and creatures crown'd.
When air and daylight filled the mound,
Fell into dust immediately.
And even as these, the images
Of awe and worship,—even as these,—
So, smitten with the sun's increase,
Her glory mouldered and did cease
From immemorial Nineveh.
The day her builders made their halt,
Those cities of the lake of salt
Stood firmly 'stablished without fault,
402
Made proud with pillars of basalt,
With sardonyx and porphyry.
The day that Jonah bore abroad
To Nineveh the voice of God,
A brackish lake lay in his road,
Where erst Pride fixed her sure abode,
As then in royal Nineveh.
The day when he, Pride's lord and Man's,
Showed all the kingdoms at a glance
To Him before whose countenance
The years recede, the years advance,
And said, Fall down and worship me:—
'Mid all the pomp beneath that look,
Then stirred there, haply, some rebuke,
Where to the wind the Salt Pools shook,
And in those tracts, of life forsook,
That knew thee not, O Nineveh!
Delicate harlot! On thy throne
Thou with a world beneath thee prone
In state for ages sat'st alone;
And needs were years and lustres flown
Ere strength of man could vanquish thee:
Whom even thy victor foes must bring,
Still royal, among maids that sing
As with doves' voices, taboring
Upon their breasts, unto the King,—
A kingly conquest, Nineveh!
. . . Here woke my thought. The wind's slow sway
Had waxed; and like the human play
Of scorn that smiling spreads away,
The sunshine shivered off the day:
The callous wind, it seemed to me,
Swept up the shadow from the ground:
And pale as whom the Fates astound,
The god forlorn stood winged and crown'd:
Within I knew the cry lay bound
Of the dumb soul of Nineveh.
And as I turned, my sense half shut
Still saw the crowds of kerb and rut
Go past as marshalled to the strut
Of ranks in gypsum quaintly cut.
It seemed in one same pageantry
403
They followed forms which had been erst;
To pass, till on my sight should burst
That future of the best or worst
When some may question which was first,
Of London or of Nineveh.
For as that Bull-god once did stand
And watched the burial-clouds of sand,
Till these at last without a hand
Rose o'er his eyes, another land,
And blinded him with destiny:—
So may he stand again; till now,
In ships of unknown sail and prow,
Some tribe of the Australian plough
Bear him afar,—a relic now
Of London, not of Nineveh!
Or it may chance indeed that when
Man's age is hoary among men,—
His centuries threescore and ten,—
His furthest childhood shall seem then
More clear than later times may be:
Who, finding in this desert place
This form, shall hold us for some race
That walked not in Christ's lowly ways,
But bowed its pride and vowed its praise
Unto the God of Nineveh.
The smile rose first,—anon drew nigh
The thought: . . . Those heavy wings spread high,
So sure of flight, which do not fly;
That set gaze never on the sky;
Those scriptured flanks it cannot see;
Its crown, a brow-contracting load;
Its planted feet which trust the sod: . . .
(So grew the image as I trod
O Nineveh, was this thy God,—
Thine also, mighty Nineveh?
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
639:Wreathe in a garland the corn's golden ear!
With it, the Cyane blue intertwine
Rapture must render each glance bright and clear,
For the great queen is approaching her shrine,
She who compels lawless passions to cease,
Who to link man with his fellow has come,
And into firm habitations of peace
Changed the rude tents' ever-wandering home.

Shyly in the mountain-cleft
Was the Troglodyte concealed;
And the roving Nomad left,
Desert lying, each broad field.
With the javelin, with the bow,
Strode the hunter through the land;
To the hapless stranger woe,
Billow-cast on that wild strand!

When, in her sad wanderings lost,
Seeking traces of her child,
Ceres hailed the dreary coast,
Ah, no verdant plain then smiled!
That she here with trust may stay,
None vouchsafes a sheltering roof;
Not a temple's columns gay
Give of godlike worship proof.

Fruit of no propitious ear
Bids her to the pure feast fly;
On the ghastly altars here
Human bones alone e'er dry.
Far as she might onward rove,
Misery found she still in all,
And within her soul of love,
Sorrowed she o'er man's deep fall.

"Is it thus I find the man
To whom we our image lend,
Whose fair limbs of noble span
Upward towards the heavens ascend?
Laid we not before his feet
Earth's unbounded godlike womb?
Yet upon his kingly seat
Wanders he without a home?"

"Does no god compassion feel?
Will none of the blissful race,
With an arm of miracle,
Raise him from his deep disgrace?
In the heights where rapture reigns
Pangs of others ne'er can move;
Yet man's anguish and man's pains
My tormented heart must prove."

"So that a man a man may be,
Let him make an endless bond
With the kind earth trustingly,
Who is ever good and fond
To revere the law of time,
And the moon's melodious song
Who, with silent step sublime,
Move their sacred course along."

And she softly parts the cloud
That conceals her from the sight;
Sudden, in the savage crowd,
Stands she, as a goddess bright.
There she finds the concourse rude
In their glad feast revelling,
And the chalice filled with blood
As a sacrifice they bring.

But she turns her face away,
Horror-struck, and speaks the while
"Bloody tiger-feasts ne'er may
Of a god the lips defile,
He needs victims free from stain,
Fruits matured by autumn's sun;
With the pure gifts of the plain
Honored is the Holy One!"

And she takes the heavy shaft
From the hunter's cruel hand;
With the murderous weapon's haft
Furrowing the light-strown sand,
Takes from out her garland's crown,
Filled with life, one single grain,
Sinks it in the furrow down,
And the germ soon swells amain.

And the green stalks gracefully
Shoot, ere long, the ground above,
And, as far as eye can see,
Waves it like a golden grove.
With her smile the earth she cheers,
Binds the earliest sheaves so fair,
As her hearth the landmark rears,
And the goddess breathes this prayer:

"Father Zeus, who reign'st o'er all
That in ether's mansions dwell,
Let a sign from thee now fall
That thou lov'st this offering well!
And from the unhappy crowd
That, as yet, has ne'er known thee,
Take away the eye's dark cloud,
Showing them their deity!"

Zeus, upon his lofty throne,
Harkens to his sister's prayer;
From the blue heights thundering down,
Hurls his forked lightning there,
Crackling, it begins to blaze,
From the altar whirling bounds,
And his swift-winged eagle plays
High above in circling rounds.

Soon at the feet of their mistress are kneeling,
Filled with emotion, the rapturous throng;
Into humanity's earliest feeling
Melt their rude spirits, untutored and strong.
Each bloody weapon behind them they leave,
Rays on their senses beclouded soon shine,
And from the mouth of the queen they receive,
Gladly and meekly, instruction divine.

All the deities advance
Downward from their heavenly seats;
Themis' self 'tis leads the dance,
And, with staff of justice, metes
Unto every one his rights,
Landmarks, too, 'tis hers to fix;
And in witness she invites
All the hidden powers of Styx.

And the forge-god, too, is there,
The inventive son of Zeus;
Fashioner of vessels fair
Skilled in clay and brass's use.
'Tis from him the art man knows
Tongs and bellows how to wield;
'Neath his hammer's heavy blows
Was the ploughshare first revealed.

With projecting, weighty spear,
Front of all, Minerva stands,
Lifts her voice so strong and clear,
And the godlike host commands.
Steadfast walls 'tis hers to found,
Shield and screen for every one,
That the scattered world around
Bind in loving unison.

The immortals' steps she guides
O'er the trackless plains so vast,
And where'er her foot abides
Is the boundary god held fast;
And her measuring chain is led
Round the mountain's border green,
E'en the raging torrent's bed
In the holy ring is seen.

All the Nymphs and Oreads too
Who, the mountain pathways o'er,
Swift-foot Artemis pursue,
All to swell the concourse, pour,
Brandishing the hunting-spear,
Set to work,glad shouts uprise,
'Neath their axes' blows so clear
Crashing down the pine-wood flies.

E'en the sedge-crowned God ascends
From his verdant spring to light,
And his raft's direction bends
At the goddess' word of might,
While the hours, all gently bound,
Nimbly to their duty fly;
Rugged trunks are fashioned round
By her skilled hand gracefully.

E'en the sea-god thither fares;
Sudden, with his trident's blow,
He the granite columns tears
From earth's entrails far below;
In his mighty hands, on high,
Waves he them, like some light ball,
And with nimble Hermes by,
Raises up the rampart-wall.

But from out the golden strings
Lures Apollo harmony,
Measured time's sweet murmurings,
And the might of melody.
The Camoenae swell the strain
With their song of ninefold tone:
Captive bound in music's chain,
Softly stone unites to stone.

Cybele, with skilful hand,
Open throws the wide-winged door;
Locks and bolts by her are planned,
Sure to last forevermore.
Soon complete the wondrous halls
By the gods' own hands are made,
And the temple's glowing walls
Stand in festal pomp arrayed.

With a crown of myrtle twined,
Now the goddess queen comes there,
And she leads the fairest hind
To the shepherdess most fair.
Venus, with her beauteous boy,
That first pair herself attires;
All the gods bring gifts of joy,
Blessing their love's sacred fires.

Guided by the deities,
Soon the new-born townsmen pour,
Ushered in with harmonies,
Through the friendly open door.
Holding now the rites divine,
Ceres at Zeus' altar stands,
Blessing those around the shrine,
Thus she speaks, with folded hands:

"Freedom's love the beast inflames,
And the god rules free in air,
While the law of Nature tames
Each wild lust that lingers there.
Yet, when thus together thrown,
Man with man must fain unite;
And by his own worth alone
Can he freedom gain, and might."

Wreathe in a garland the corn's golden ear!
With it, the Cyane blue intertwine!
Rapture must render each glance bright and clear,
For the great queen is approaching her shrine,
She who our homesteads so blissful has given,
She who has man to his fellow-man bound:
Let our glad numbers extol then to heaven,
Her who the earth's kindly mother is found!

~ Friedrich Schiller, The Eleusinian Festival
,
640:The Break Away
Your daisies have come
on the day of my divorce:
the courtroom a cement box,
a gas chamber for the infectious Jew in me
and a perhaps land, a possibly promised land
for the Jew in me,
but still a betrayal room for the till-death-do-us—
and yet a death, as in the unlocking of scissors
that makes the now separate parts useless,
even to cut each other up as we did yearly
under the crayoned-in sun.
The courtroom keeps squashing our lives as they break
into two cans ready for recycling,
flattened tin humans
and a tin law,
even for my twenty-five years of hanging on
by my teeth as I once saw at Ringling Brothers.
The gray room:
Judge, lawyer, witness
and me and invisible Skeezix,
and all the other torn
enduring the bewilderments
of their division.
Your daisies have come
on the day of my divorce.
They arrive like round yellow fish,
sucking with love at the coral of our love.
Yet they wait,
in their short time,
like little utero half-borns,
half killed, thin and bone soft.
They breathe the air that stands
for twenty-five illicit days,
the sun crawling inside the sheets,
the moon spinning like a tornado
in the washbowl,
and we orchestrated them both,
calling ourselves TWO CAMP DIRECTORS.
211
There was a song, our song on your cassette,
that played over and over
and baptised the prodigals.
It spoke the unspeakable,
as the rain will on an attic roof,
letting the animal join its soul
as we kneeled before a miracleforgetting its knife.
The daisies confer
in the old-married kitchen
papered with blue and green chefs
who call out pies, cookies, yummy,
at the charcoal and cigarette smoke
they wear like a yellowy salve.
The daisies absorb it allthe twenty-five-year-old sanctioned love
(If one could call such handfuls of fists
and immobile arms that!)
and on this day my world rips itself up
while the country unfastens along
with its perjuring king and his court.
It unfastens into an abortion of belief,
as in methe legal riftas on might do with the daisies
but does not
for they stand for a love
undergoihng open heart surgery
that might take
if one prayed tough enough.
And yet I demand,
even in prayer,
that I am not a thief,
a mugger of need,
and that your heart survive
on its own,
belonging only to itself,
whole, entirely whole,
and workable
in its dark cavern under your ribs.
212
I pray it will know truth,
if truth catches in its cup
and yet I pray, as a child would,
that the surgery take.
I dream it is taking.
Next I dream the love is swallowing itself.
Next I dream the love is made of glass,
glass coming through the telephone
that is breaking slowly,
day by day, into my ear.
Next I dream that I put on the love
like a lifejacket and we float,
jacket and I,
we bounce on that priest-blue.
We are as light as a cat's ear
and it is safe,
safe far too long!
And I awaken quickly and go to the opposite window
and peer down at the moon in the pond
and know that beauty has walked over my head,
into this bedroom and out,
flowing out through the window screen,
dropping deep into the water
to hide.
I will observe the daisies
fade and dry up
wuntil they become flour,
snowing themselves onto the table
beside the drone of the refrigerator,
beside the radio playing Frankie
(as often as FM will allow)
snowing lightly, a tremor sinking from the ceilingas twenty-five years split from my side
like a growth that I sliced off like a melanoma.
It is six P.M. as I water these tiny weeds
and their little half-life,
their numbered days
that raged like a secret radio,
recalling love that I picked up innocently,
213
yet guiltily,
as my five-year-old daughter
picked gum off the sidewalk
and it became suddenly an elastic miracle.
For me it was love found
like a diamond
where carrots growthe glint of diamond on a plane wing,
meaning: DANGER! THICK ICE!
but the good crunch of that orange,
the diamond, the carrot,
both with four million years of resurrecting dirt,
and the love,
although Adam did not know the word,
the love of Adam
obeying his sudden gift.
You, who sought me for nine years,
in stories made up in front of your naked mirror
or walking through rooms of fog women,
you trying to forget the mother
who built guilt with the lumber of a locked door
as she sobbed her soured mild and fed you loss
through the keyhole,
you who wrote out your own birth
and built it with your own poems,
your own lumber, your own keyhole,
into the trunk and leaves of your manhood,
you, who fell into my words, years
before you fell into me (the other,
both the Camp Director and the camper),
you who baited your hook with wide-awake dreams,
and calls and letters and once a luncheon,
and twice a reading by me for you.
But I wouldn't!
Yet this year,
yanking off all past years,
I took the bait
and was pulled upward, upward,
into the sky and was held by the sun-
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the quick wonder of its yellow lapand became a woman who learned her own shin
and dug into her soul and found it full,
and you became a man who learned his won skin
and dug into his manhood, his humanhood
and found you were as real as a baker
or a seer
and we became a home,
up into the elbows of each other's soul,
without knowingan invisible purchasethat inhabits our house forever.
We were
blessed by the House-Die
by the altar of the color T.V.
and somehow managed to make a tiny marriage,
a tiny marriage
called belief,
as in the child's belief in the tooth fairy,
so close to absolute,
so daft within a year or two.
The daisies have come
for the last time.
And I who have,
each year of my life,
spoken to the tooth fairy,
believing in her,
even when I was her,
am helpless to stop your daisies from dying,
although your voice cries into the telephone:
Marry me! Marry me!
and my voice speaks onto these keys tonight:
The love is in dark trouble!
The love is starting to die,
right nowwe are in the process of it.
The empty process of it.
I see two deaths,
and the two men plod toward the mortuary of my heart,
and though I willed one away in court today
215
and I whisper dreams and birthdays into the other,
they both die like waves breaking over me
and I am drowning a little,
but always swimming
among the pillows and stones of the breakwater.
And though your daisies are an unwanted death,
I wade through the smell of their cancer
and recognize the prognosis,
its cartful of lossI say now,
you gave what you could.
It was quite a ferris wheel to spin on!
and the dead city of my marriage
seems less important
than the fact that the daisies came weekly,
over and over,
likes kisses that can't stop themselves.
There sit two deaths on November 5th, 1973.
Let one be forgottenBury it! Wall it up!
But let me not forget the man
of my child-like flowers
though he sinks into the fog of Lake Superior,
he remains, his fingers the marvel
of fourth of July sparklers,
his furious ice cream cones of licking,
remains to cool my forehead with a washcloth
when I sweat into the bathtub of his being.
For the rest that is left:
name it gentle,
as gentle as radishes inhabiting
their short life in the earth,
name it gentle,
gentle as old friends waving so long at the window,
or in the drive,
name it gentle as maple wings singing
themselves upon the pond outside,
as sensuous as the mother-yellow in the pond,
that night that it was ours,
216
when our bodies floated and bumped
in moon water and the cicadas
called out like tongues.
Let such as this
be resurrected in all men
whenever they mold their days and nights
as when for twenty-five days and nights you molded mine
and planted the seed that dives into my God
and will do so forever
no matter how often I sweep the floor.
~ Anne Sexton,
641:A gentle was Fridolin,
And he his mistress dear,
Savern's fair Countess, honored in
All truth and godly fear.
She was so meek, and, ah! so good!
Yet each wish of her wayward mood,
He would have studied to fulfil,
To please his God, with earnest will.

From the first hour when daylight shone
Till rang the vesper-chime,
He lived but for her will alone,
And deemed e'en that scarce time.
And if she said, "Less anxious be!"
His eye then glistened tearfully.
Thinking that he in duty failed,
And so before no toil he quailed.

And so, before her serving train,
The Countess loved to raise him;
While her fair mouth, in endless strain,
Was ever wont to praise him.
She never held him as her slave,
Her heart a child's rights to him gave;
Her clear eye hung in fond delight
Upon his well-formed features bright.

Soon in the huntsman Robert's breast
Was poisonous anger fired;
His black soul, long by lust possessed,
With malice was inspired;
He sought the Count, whom, quick in deed,
A traitor might with ease mislead,
As once from hunting home they rode,
And in his heart suspicion sowed.

"Happy art thou, great Count, in truth,"
Thus cunningly he spoke;
"For ne'er mistrust's envenomed tooth
Thy golden slumbers broke;
A noble wife thy love rewards,
And modesty her person guards.
The tempter will be able ne'er
Her true fidelity to snare."

A gloomy scowl the Count's eye filled:
"What's this thou say'st to me?
Shall I on woman's virtue build,
Inconstant as the sea?
The flatterer's mouth with ease may lure;
My trust is placed on ground more sure.
No one, methinks, dare ever burn
To tempt the wife of Count Savern."

The other spoke: "Thou sayest it well,
The fool deserves thy scorn
Who ventures on such thoughts to dwell,
A mere retainer born,
Who to the lady he obeys
Fears not his wishes' lust to raise."
"What!" tremblingly the Count began,
"Dost speak, then, of a living man?"

"Is, then, the thing, to all revealed,
Hid from my master's view?
Yet, since with care from thee concealed,
I'd fain conceal it too"
"Speak quickly, villain! speak or die!"
Exclaimed the other fearfully.
"Who dares to look on Cunigond?"
"'Tis the fair page that is so fond."

"He's not ill-shaped in form, I wot,"
He craftily went on;
The Count meanwhile felt cold and hot,
By turns in every bone.
"Is't possible thou seest not, sir,
How he has eyes for none but her?
At table ne'er attends to thee,
But sighs behind her ceaselessly?"

"Behold the rhymes that from him came
His passion to confess"
"Confess!""And for an answering flame,
The impious knave!to press.
My gracious lady, soft and meek,
Through pity, doubtless, feared to speak;
That it has 'scaped me, sore I rue;
What, lord, canst thou to help it do?"

Into the neighboring wood then rode
The Count, inflamed with wrath,
Where, in his iron foundry, glowed
The ore, and bubbled forth.
The workmen here, with busy hand,
The fire both late and early fanned.
The sparks fly out, the bellows ply,
As if the rock to liquefy.

The fire and water's might twofold
Are here united found;
The mill-wheel, by the flood seized hold,
Is whirling round and round;
The works are clattering night and day,
With measured stroke the hammers play,
And, yielding to the mighty blows,
The very iron plastic grows.

Then to two workmen beckons he,
And speaks thus in his ire;
"The first who's hither sent by me
Thus of ye to inquire
'Have ye obeyed my lord's word well?'
Him cast ye into yonder hell,
That into ashes he may fly,
And ne'er again torment mine eye!"

The inhuman pair were overjoyed,
With devilish glee possessed
For as the iron, feeling void,
Their heart was in their breast,
And brisker with the bellows' blast,
The foundry's womb now heat they fast,
And with a murderous mind prepare
To offer up the victim there.

Then Robert to his comrade spake,
With false hypocrisy:
"Up, comrade, up! no tarrying make!
Our lord has need of thee."
The lord to Fridolin then said:
"The pathway toward the foundry tread,
And of the workmen there inquire,
If they have done their lord's desire."

The other answered, "Be it so!"
But o'er him came this thought,
When he was all-prepared to go,
"Will she command me aught?"
So to the Countess straight he went:
"I'm to the iron-foundry sent;
Then say, can I do aught for thee?
For thou 'tis who commandest me."

To this the Lady of Savern
Replied in gentle tone:
"To hear the holy mass I yearn,
For sick now lies my son;
So go, my child, and when thou'rt there,
Utter for me a humble prayer,
And of thy sins think ruefully,
That grace may also fall on me."

And in this welcome duty glad,
He quickly left the place;
But ere the village bounds he had
Attained with rapid pace,
The sound of bells struck on his ear,
From the high belfry ringing clear,
And every sinner, mercy-sent,
Inviting to the sacrament.

"Never from praising God refrain
Where'er by thee He's found!"
He spoke, and stepped into the fane,
But there he heard no sound;
For 'twas the harvest time, and now
Glowed in the fields the reaper's brow;
No choristers were gathered there,
The duties of the mass to share.

The matter paused he not to weigh,
But took the sexton's part;
"That thing," he said, "makes no delay
Which heavenward guides the heart."
Upon the priest, with helping hand,
He placed the stole and sacred band,
The vessels he prepared beside,
That for the mass were sanctified.

And when his duties here were o'er,
Holding the mass-book, he,
Ministering to the priest, before
The altar bowed his knee,
And knelt him left, and knelt him right,
While not a look escaped his sight,
And when the holy Sanctus came,
The bell thrice rang he at the name.

And when the priest, bowed humbly too,
In hand uplifted high,
Facing the altar, showed to view
The present Deity,
The sacristan proclaimed it well,
Sounding the clearly-tinkling bell,
While all knelt down, and beat the breast,
And with a cross the Host confessed.

The rites thus served he, leaving none,
With quick and ready wit;
Each thing that in God's house is done,
He also practised it.
Unweariedly he labored thus,
Till the Vobiscum Dominus,
When toward the people turned the priest,
Blessed them,and so the service ceased.

Then he disposed each thing again,
In fair and due array;
First purified the holy fane,
And then he went his way,
And gladly, with a mind at rest,
On to the iron-foundry pressed,
Saying the while, complete to be,
Twelve paternosters silently.

And when he saw the furnace smoke,
And saw the workmen stand,
"Have ye, ye fellows," thus he spoke,
"Obeyed the Count's command?"
Grinning they ope the orifice,
And point into the fell abyss:
"He's cared forall is at an end!
The Count his servants will commend."

The answer to his lord he brought,
Returning hastily,
Who, when his form his notice caught,
Could scarcely trust his eye:
"Unhappy one! whence comest thou?"
"Back from the foundry""Strange, I vow!
Hast in thy journey, then, delayed?"
"'Twas only, lord, till I had prayed."

"For when I from thy presence went
(Oh pardon me!) to-day,
As duty bid, my steps I bent
To her whom I obey.
She told me, lord, the mass to hear,
I gladly to her wish gave ear,
And told four rosaries at the shrine,
For her salvation and for thine."

In wonder deep the Count now fell,
And, shuddering, thus spake he:
"And, at the foundry, quickly tell,
What answer gave they thee?"
"Obscure the words they answered in,
Showing the furnace with a grin:
'He's cared forall is at an end!
The Count his servants will commend.'"

"And Robert?" interrupted he,
While deadly pale he stood,
"Did he not, then, fall in with thee?
I sent him to the wood."
"Lord, neither in the wood nor field
Was trace of Robert's foot revealed."
"Then," cried the Count, with awe-struck mien,
"Great God in heaven his judge hath been!"

With kindness he before ne'er proved,
He led him by the hand
Up to the Countess,deeply moved,
Who naught could understand.
"This child, let him be dear to thee,
No angel is so pure as he!
Though we may have been counselled ill,
God and His hosts watch o'er him still."
~ Friedrich Schiller, Fridolin (The Walk To The Iron Factory)
,
642:The Red Lacquer Music-Stand
A music-stand of crimson lacquer, long since brought
In some fast clipper-ship from China, quaintly wrought
With bossed and carven flowers and fruits in blackening gold,
The slender shaft all twined about and thickly scrolled
With vine leaves and young twisted tendrils, whirling, curling,
Flinging their new shoots over the four wings, and swirling
Out on the three wide feet in golden lumps and streams;
Petals and apples in high relief, and where the seams
Are worn with handling, through the polished crimson sheen,
Long streaks of black, the under lacquer, shine out clean.
Four desks, adjustable, to suit the heights of players
Sitting to viols or standing up to sing, four layers
Of music to serve every instrument, are there,
And on the apex a large flat-topped golden pear.
It burns in red and yellow, dusty, smouldering lights,
When the sun flares the old barn-chamber with its flights
And skips upon the crystal knobs of dim sideboards,
Legless and mouldy, and hops, glint to glint, on hoards
Of scythes, and spades, and dinner-horns, so the old tools
Are little candles throwing brightness round in pools.
With Oriental splendour, red and gold, the dust
Covering its flames like smoke and thinning as a gust
Of brighter sunshine makes the colours leap and range,
The strange old music-stand seems to strike out and change;
To stroke and tear the darkness with sharp golden claws;
To dart a forked, vermilion tongue from open jaws;
To puff out bitter smoke which chokes the sun; and fade
Back to a still, faint outline obliterate in shade.
Creeping up the ladder into the loft, the Boy
Stands watching, very still, prickly and hot with joy.
He sees the dusty sun-mote slit by streaks of red,
He sees it split and stream, and all about his head
Spikes and spears of gold are licking, pricking, flicking,
Scratching against the walls and furniture, and nicking
The darkness into sparks, chipping away the gloom.
The Boy's nose smarts with the pungence in the room.
The wind pushes an elm branch from before the door
And the sun widens out all along the floor,
Filling the barn-chamber with white, straightforward light,
389
So not one blurred outline can tease the mind to fright.
'O All ye Works of the Lord, Bless ye the Lord; Praise Him, and Magnify Him
for ever.
O let the Earth Bless the Lord; Yea, let it Praise Him, and Magnify Him
for ever.
O ye Mountains and Hills, Bless ye the Lord; Praise Him, and Magnify Him
for ever.
O All ye Green Things upon the Earth, Bless ye the Lord; Praise Him,
and Magnify Him for ever.'
The Boy will praise his God on an altar builded fair,
Will heap it with the Works of the Lord. In the morning air,
Spices shall burn on it, and by their pale smoke curled,
Like shoots of all the Green Things, the God of this bright World
Shall see the Boy's desire to pay his debt of praise.
The Boy turns round about, seeking with careful gaze
An altar meet and worthy, but each table and chair
Has some defect, each piece is needing some repair
To perfect it; the chairs have broken legs and backs,
The tables are uneven, and every highboy lacks
A handle or a drawer, the desks are bruised and worn,
And even a wide sofa has its cane seat torn.
Only in the gloom far in the corner there
The lacquer music-stand is elegant and rare,
Clear and slim of line, with its four wings outspread,
The sound of old quartets, a tenuous, faint thread,
Hanging and floating over it, it stands supreme Black, and gold, and crimson, in one twisted scheme!
A candle on the bookcase feels a draught and wavers,
Stippling the white-washed walls with dancing shades and quavers.
A bed-post, grown colossal, jigs about the ceiling,
And shadows, strangely altered, stain the walls, revealing
Eagles, and rabbits, and weird faces pulled awry,
And hands which fetch and carry things incessantly.
Under the Eastern window, where the morning sun
Must touch it, stands the music-stand, and on each one
Of its broad platforms is a pyramid of stones,
And metals, and dried flowers, and pine and hemlock cones,
An oriole's nest with the four eggs neatly blown,
The rattle of a rattlesnake, and three large brown
390
Butternuts uncracked, six butterflies impaled
With a green luna moth, a snake-skin freshly scaled,
Some sunflower seeds, wampum, and a bloody-tooth shell,
A blue jay feather, all together piled pell-mell
The stand will hold no more. The Boy with humming head
Looks once again, blows out the light, and creeps to bed.
The Boy keeps solemn vigil, while outside the wind
Blows gustily and clear, and slaps against the blind.
He hardly tries to sleep, so sharp his ecstasy
It burns his soul to emptiness, and sets it free
For adoration only, for worship. Dedicate,
His unsheathed soul is naked in its novitiate.
The hours strike below from the clock on the stair.
The Boy is a white flame suspiring in prayer.
Morning will bring the sun, the Golden Eye of Him
Whose splendour must be veiled by starry cherubim,
Whose Feet shimmer like crystal in the streets of Heaven.
Like an open rose the sun will stand up even,
Fronting the window-sill, and when the casement glows
Rose-red with the new-blown morning, then the fire which flows
From the sun will fall upon the altar and ignite
The spices, and his sacrifice will burn in perfumed light.
Over the music-stand the ghosts of sounds will swim,
`Viols d'amore' and `hautbois' accorded to a hymn.
The Boy will see the faintest breath of angels' wings
Fanning the smoke, and voices will flower through the strings.
He dares no farther vision, and with scalding eyes
Waits upon the daylight and his great emprise.
The cold, grey light of dawn was whitening the wall
When the Boy, fine-drawn by sleeplessness, started his ritual.
He washed, all shivering and pointed like a flame.
He threw the shutters open, and in the window-frame
The morning glimmered like a tarnished Venice glass.
He took his Chinese pastilles and put them in a mass
Upon the mantelpiece till he could seek a plate
Worthy to hold them burning. Alas! He had been late
In thinking of this need, and now he could not find
Platter or saucer rare enough to ease his mind.
The house was not astir, and he dared not go down
Into the barn-chamber, lest some door should be blown
391
And slam before the draught he made as he went out.
The light was growing yellower, and still he looked about.
A flash of almost crimson from the gilded pear
Upon the music-stand, startled him waiting there.
The sun would rise and he would meet it unprepared,
Labelled a fool in having missed what he had dared.
He ran across the room, took his pastilles and laid
Them on the flat-topped pear, most carefully displayed
To light with ease, then stood a little to one side,
Focussed a burning-glass and painstakingly tried
To hold it angled so the bunched and prismed rays
Should leap upon each other and spring into a blaze.
Sharp as a wheeling edge of disked, carnation flame,
Gem-hard and cutting upward, slowly the round sun came.
The arrowed fire caught the burning-glass and glanced,
Split to a multitude of pointed spears, and lanced,
A deeper, hotter flame, it took the incense pile
Which welcomed it and broke into a little smile
Of yellow flamelets, creeping, crackling, thrusting up,
A golden, red-slashed lily in a lacquer cup.
'O ye Fire and Heat, Bless ye the Lord; Praise Him, and Magnify Him
for ever.
O ye Winter and Summer, Bless ye the Lord; Praise Him, and Magnify Him
for ever.
O ye Nights and Days, Bless ye the Lord; Praise Him, and Magnify Him
for ever.
O ye Lightnings and Clouds, Bless ye the Lord; Praise Him, and Magnify Him
for ever.'
A moment so it hung, wide-curved, bright-petalled, seeming
A chalice foamed with sunrise. The Boy woke from his dreaming.
A spike of flame had caught the card of butterflies,
The oriole's nest took fire, soon all four galleries
Where he had spread his treasures were become one tongue
Of gleaming, brutal fire. The Boy instantly swung
His pitcher off the wash-stand and turned it upside down.
The flames drooped back and sizzled, and all his senses grown
Acute by fear, the Boy grabbed the quilt from his bed
And flung it over all, and then with aching head
He watched the early sunshine glint on the remains
Of his holy offering. The lacquer stand had stains
392
Ugly and charred all over, and where the golden pear
Had been, a deep, black hole gaped miserably. His dear
Treasures were puffs of ashes; only the stones were there,
Winking in the brightness.
The clock upon the stair
Struck five, and in the kitchen someone shook a grate.
The Boy began to dress, for it was getting late.
~ Amy Lowell,
643:The Shroud Of Color
"Lord, being dark," I said, "I cannot bear
The further touch of earth, the scented air;
Lord, being dark, forewilled to that despair
My color shrouds me in, I am as dirt
Beneath my brother's heel; there is a hurt
In all the simple joys which to a child
Are sweet; they are contaminate, defiled
By truths of wrongs the childish vision fails
To see; too great a cost this birth entails.
I strangle in this yoke drawn tighter than
The worth of bearing it, just to be man.
I am not brave enough to pay the price
In full; I lack the strength to sacrifice
I who have burned my hands upon a star,
And climbed high hills at dawn to view the far
Illimitable wonderments of earth,
For whom all cups have dripped the wine of mirth,
For whom the sea has strained her honeyed throat
Till all the world was sea, and I a boat
Unmoored, on what strange quest I willed to float;
Who wore a many-colored coat of dreams,
Thy gift, O Lord--I whom sun-dabbled streams
Have washed, whose bare brown thighs have held the sun
Incarcerate until his course was run,
I who considered man a high-perfected
Glass where loveliness could lie reflected,
Now that I sway athwart Truth's deep abyss,
Denuding man for what he was and is,
Shall breath and being so inveigle me
That I can damn my dreams to hell, and be
Content, each new-born day, anew to see
The steaming crimson vintage of my youth
Incarnadine the altar-slab of Truth?
Or hast Thou, Lord, somewhere I cannot see,
A lamb imprisoned in a bush for me?
Not so?Then let me render one by one
Thy gifts, while still they shine; some little sun
Yet gilds these thighs; my coat, albeit worn,
27
Still hold its colors fast; albeit torn.
My heart will laugh a little yet, if I
May win of Thee this grace, Lord:on this high
And sacrificial hill 'twixt earth and sky,
To dream still pure all that I loved, and die.
There is no other way to keep secure
My wild chimeras, grave-locked against the lure
Of Truth, the small hard teeth of worms, yet less
Envenomed than the mouth of Truth, will bless
Them into dust and happy nothingness.
Lord, Thou art God; and I, Lord, what am I
But dust?With dust my , let me die."
Across earth's warm, palpitating crust
I flung my body in embrace; I thrust
My mouth into the grass and sucked the dew,
Then gave it back in tears my anguish drew;
So hard I pressed against the ground, I felt
The smallest sandgrain like a knife, and smelt
The next year's flowering; all this to speed
My body's dissolution, fain to feed
The so I groaned, and spent my strength
Until, all passion spent, I lay full length
And quivered like a flayed and bleeding thing.
So lay till lifted on a great black wing
That had no mate nor flesh-apparent trunk
To hamper it; with me all time had sunk
Into oblivion; when I awoke
The wing hung poised above two cliffs that broke
The bowels of the earth in twain, and cleft
The seas , above, to left,
To right, I saw what no man saw before:
Earth, hell, and heaven; sinew, vein, and core.
All things that swim or walk or creep or fly,
All things that live and hunger, faint and die,
Were made majestic then and magnified
By sight so clearly purged and deified.
The smallest bug that crawls was taller than
A tree, the mustard seed loomed like a man.
The earth that writhes eternally with pain
Of birth, and woe of taking back her slain,
28
Laid bare her teeming bosom to my sight,
And all was struggle, gasping breath, and fight.
A blind worm here dug tunnels to the light,
And there a seed, racked with heroic pain,
Thrust eager tentacles to sun and rain:
It climbed; it died; the old love conquered me
To weep the blossom it would never be.
But here a bud won light; it burst and flowered
Into a rose whose beauty challenged, "Coward!"
There was no thing alive save only I
That held life in contempt and longed to die.
And still I writhed and moaned, "The curse, the curse,
Than animated death, can death be worse?"
"Dark child of sorrow, mine no less, what art Of mine can make thee see
and play thy part? The key to all strange things is in thy heart."
What voice was this that coursed like liquid fire
Along my flesh, and turned my hair to wire?
I raised my burning eyes, beheld a field
All multitudinous with carnal yield,
A grim ensanguined mead whereon I saw
Evolve the ancient fundamental law
Of tooth and talon, fist and nail and claw.
There with the force of living, hostile hills
Whose clash the hemmed-in vale with clamor fills,
With greater din contended fierce majestic wills
Of beast with beast, of man with man, in strife
For love of what my heart despised, for life
That unto me at dawn was now a prayer
For night, at night a bloody heart-wrung tear
For day again; for this, these groans
From tangled flesh and interlocked bones.
And no thing died that did not give
A testimony that it longed to live.
Man, strange composite blend of brute and god,
Pushed on, nor backward glanced where last he trod:
He seemed to mount a misty ladder flung
Pendant from a cloud, yet never gained a rung
But at his feet another tugged and clung.
My heart was still a pool of bitterness,
29
Would yield nought else, nought else confess.
I spoke (although no form was there
To see, I knew an ear was there to hear),
"Well, let them fight; they can whose flesh is fair."
Crisp lightning flashed; a wave of thunder shook
My wing; a pause, and then a speaking, "Look."
I scarce dared trust my ears or eyes for awe
Of what they heard, and dread of what they saw;
For, privileged beyond degree, this flesh
Beheld God and His heaven in the mesh
Of Lucifer's revolt, saw Lucifer
Glow like the sun, and like a dulcimer
I heard his sin-sweet voice break on the yell
Of God's great warriors:Gabriel,
Saint Clair and Michael, Israfel and Raphael.
And strange it was to see God with His back
Against a wall, to see Christ hew and hack
Till Lucifer, pressed by the mighty pair,
And losing inch by inch, clawed at the air
With fevered wings; then, lost beyond repair,
He tricked a mass of stars into his hair;
He filled his hands with stars, crying as he fell,
"A star's a star although it burns in hell."
So God was left to His divinity,
Omnipotent at that most costly fee.
There was a lesson here, but still the clod
In me was sycophant unto the rod,
And cried, "Why mock me thus?Am I a god?"
"One trial more:this failing, then I give You leave to die; no
further need to live."
Now suddenly a strange wild music smote
A chord long impotent in me; a note
Of jungles, primitive and subtle, throbbed
Against my echoing breast, and tom-toms sobbed
In every pulse-beat of my din
A hollow log bound with a python's skin
Can make wrought every nerve to ecstasy,
30
And I was wind and sky again, and sea,
And all sweet things that flourish, being free.
Till all at once the music changed its key.
And now it was of bitterness and death,
The cry the lash extorts, the broken breath
Of liberty enchained; and yet there ran
Through all a harmony of faith in man,
A knowledge all would end as it began.
All sights and sounds and aspects of my race
Accompanied this melody, kept pace
With it; with music all their hopes and hates
Were charged, not to be downed by all the fates.
And somehow it was borne upon my brain
How being dark, and living through the pain
Of it, is courage more than angels have.I knew
What storms and tumults lashed the tree that grew
This body that I was, this cringing I
That feared to contemplate a changing sky,
This that I grovelled, whining, "Let me die,"
While others struggled in Life's abattoir.
The cries of all dark people near or far
Were billowed over me, a mighty surge
Of suffering in which my puny grief must merge
And lose itself; I had no further claim to urge
For death; in shame I raised my dust-grimed head,
And though my lips moved not, God knew I said,
"Lord, not for what I saw in flesh or bone
Of fairer men; not raised on faith alone;
Lord, I will live persuaded by mine own.
I cannot play the recreant to these;
My spirit has come home, that sailed the doubtful seas."
With the whiz of a sword that severs space,
The wing dropped down at a dizzy pace,
And flung me on my hill flat on my face;
Flat on my face I lay defying pain,
Glad of the blood in my smallest vein,
And in my hands I clutched a loyal dream,
Still spitting fire, bright twist and coil and gleam,
And chiseled like a hound's white tooth.
"Oh, I will match you yet," I cried, "to truth."
31
Right glad I was to stoop to what I once had spurned.
Glad even unto tears; I laughed aloud; I turned
Upon my back, and though the tears for joy would run,
My sight was clear; I looked and saw the rising sun.
~ Countee Cullen,
644:Lines In Memory Of Edmund Morris
Dear Morris--here is your letter-Can my answer reach you now?
Fate has left me your debtor,
You will remember how;
For I went away to Nantucket,
And you to the Isle of Orleans,
And when I was dawdling and dreaming
Over the ways and means
Of answering, the power was denied me,
Fate frowned and took her stand;
I have your unanswered letter
Here in my hand.
This--in your famous scribble,
It was ever a cryptic fist,
Cuneiform or Chaldaic
Meanings held in a mist.
Dear Morris, (now I'm inditing
And poring over your script)
I gather from the writing,
The coin that you had flipt,
Turned tails; and so you compel me
To meet you at Touchwood Hills:
Or, mayhap, you are trying to tell me
The sum of a painter's ills:
Is that Phimister Proctor
Or something about a doctor?
Well, nobody knows, but Eddie,
Whatever it is I'm ready.
For our friendship was always fortunate
In its greetings and adieux,
Nothing flat or importunate,
Nothing of the misuse
That comes of the constant grinding
Of one mind on another.
So memory has nothing to smother,
But only a few things captured
On the wing, as it were, and enraptured.
51
Yes, Morris, I am inditing-Answering at last it seems,
How can you read the writing
In the vacancy of dreams?
I would have you look over my shoulder
Ere the long, dark year is colder,
And mark that as memory grows older,
The brighter it pulses and gleams.
And if I should try to render
The tissues of fugitive splendour
That fled down the wind of living,
Will they read it some day in the future,
And be conscious of an awareness
In our old lives, and the bareness
Of theirs, with the newest passions
In the last fad of the fashions?
*****
How often have we risen without daylight
When the day star was hidden in mist,
When the dragon-fly was heavy with dew and sleep,
And viewed the miracle pre-eminent, matchless,
The prelusive light that quickens the morning.
O crystal dawn, how shall we distill your virginal freshness
When you steal upon a land that man has not sullied with his
intrusion,
When the aboriginal shy dwellers in the broad solitudes
Are asleep in their innumerable dens and night haunts
Amid the dry ferns, in the tender nests
Pressed into shape by the breasts of the Mother birds?
How shall we simulate the thrill of announcement
When lake after lake lingering in the starlight
Turn their faces towards you,
And are caressed with the salutation of colour?
How shall we transmit in tendril-like images,
The tenuous tremor in the tissues of ether,
Before the round of colour buds like the dome of a shrine,
The preconscious moment when love has fluttered in the bosom,
Before it begins to ache?
52
How often have we seen the even
Melt into the liquidity of twilight,
With passages of Titian splendour,
Pellucid preludes, exquisitely tender,
Where vanish and revive, thro' veils of the ashes of roses,
The crystal forms the breathless sky discloses.
The new moon a slender thing,
In a snood of virgin light,
She seemed all shy on venturing
Into the vast night.
Her own land and folk were afar,
She must have gone astray,
But the gods had given a silver star,
To be with her on the way.
*****
I can feel the wind on the prairie
And see the bunch-grass wave,
And the sunlights ripple and vary
The hill with Crowfoot's grave,
Where he 'pitched off' for the last time
In sight of the Blackfoot Crossing,
Where in the sun for a pastime
You marked the site of his tepee
With a circle of stones. Old Napiw
Gave you credit for that day.
And well I recall the weirdness
Of that evening at Qu'Appelle,
In the wigwam with old Sakimay,
The keen, acrid smell,
As the kinnikinick was burning;
The planets outside were turning,
And the little splints of poplar
Flared with a thin, gold flame.
He showed us his painted robe
Where in primitive pigments
He had drawn his feats and his forays,
And told us the legend
53
Of the man without a name,
The hated Blackfoot,
How he lured the warriors,
The young men, to the foray
And they never returned.
Only their ghosts
Goaded by the Blackfoot
Mounted on stallions:
In the night time
He drove the stallions
Reeking into the camp;
The women gasped and whispered,
The children cowered and crept,
And the old men shuddered
Where they slept.
When Sakimay looked forth
He saw the Blackfoot,
And the ghosts of the warriors,
And the black stallions
Covered by the night wind
As by a mantle.
*****
I remember well a day,
When the sunlight had free play,
When you worked in happy stress,
While grave Ne-Pah-Pee-Ness
Sat for his portrait there,
In his beaded coat and his bare
Head, with his mottled fan
Of hawk's feathers, A Man!
Ah Morris, those were the times
When you sang your inconsequent rhymes
Sprung from a careless fountain:
'_He met her on the mountain,
He gave her a horn to blow,
And the very last words he said to her
Were, 'Go 'long, Eliza, go.'_'
Foolish,--but life was all,
54
And under the skilful fingers
Contours came at your call-Art grows and time lingers;-But now the song has a change
Into something wistful and strange.
And one asks with a touch of ruth
What became of the youth
And where did Eliza go?
He met her on the mountain,
He gave her a horn to blow,
The horn was a silver whorl
With a mouthpiece of pure pearl,
And the mountain was all one glow,
With gulfs of blue and summits of rosy snow.
The cadence she blew on the silver horn
Was the meaning of life in one phrase caught,
And as soon as the magic notes were born,
She repeated them once in an afterthought.
They heard in the crystal passes,
The cadence, calling, calling,
And faint in the deep crevasses,
The echoes falling, falling.
They stood apart and wondered;
Her lips with a wound were aquiver,
His heart with a sword was sundered,
For life was changed forever
When he gave her the horn to blow:
But a shadow arose from the valley,
Desolate, slow and tender,
It hid the herdsmen's chalet,
Where it hung in the emerald meadow,
(Was death driving the shadow?)
It quenched the tranquil splendour
Of the colour of life on the glow-peaks,
Till at the end of the even,
The last shell-tint on the snow-peaks
Had passed away from the heaven.
And yet, when it passed, victorious,
The stars came out on the mountains,
And the torrents gusty and glorious,
Clamoured in a thousand fountains,
And even far down in the valley,
55
A light re-discovered the chalet.
The scene that was veiled had a meaning,
So deep that none might know;
Was it here in the morn on the mountain,
That he gave her the horn to blow?
*****
Tears are the crushed essence of this world,
The wine of life, and he who treads the press
Is lofty with imperious disregard
Of the burst grapes, the red tears and the murk.
But nay! that is a thought of the old poets,
Who sullied life with the passional bitterness
Of their world-weary hearts. We of the sunrise,
Joined in the breast of God, feel deep the power
That urges all things onward, not to an end,
But in an endless flow, mounting and mounting,
Claiming not overmuch for human life,
Sharing with our brothers of nerve and leaf
The urgence of the one creative breath,-All in the dim twilight--say of morning,
Where the florescence of the light and dew
Haloes and hallows with a crown adorning
The brows of life with love; herein the clue,
The love of life--yea, and the peerless love
Of things not seen, that leads the least of things
To cherish the green sprout, the hardening seed;
Here leans all nature with vast Mother-love,
Above the cradled future with a smile.
Why are there tears for failure, or sighs for weakness,
While life's rhythm beats on? Where is the rule
To measure the distance we have circled and clomb?
Catch up the sands of the sea and count and count
The failures hidden in our sum of conquest.
Persistence is the master of this life;
The master of these little lives of ours;
To the end--effort--even beyond the end.
*****
Here, Morris, on the plains that we have loved,
56
Think of the death of Akoose, fleet of foot,
Who, in his prime, a herd of antelope
From sunrise, without rest, a hundred miles
Drove through rank prairie, loping like a wolf,
Tired them and slew them, ere the sun went down.
Akoose, in his old age, blind from the smoke
Of tepees and the sharp snow light, alone
With his great grandchildren, withered and spent,
Crept in the warm sun along a rope
Stretched for his guidance. Once when sharp autumn
Made membranes of thin ice upon the sloughs,
He caught a pony on a quick return
Of prowess and, all his instincts cleared and quickened,
He mounted, sensed the north and bore away
To the Last Mountain Lake where in his youth
He shot the sand-hill-cranes with his flint arrows.
And for these hours in all the varied pomp
Of pagan fancy and free dreams of foray
And crude adventure, he ranged on entranced,
Until the sun blazed level with the prairie,
Then paused, faltered and slid from off his pony.
In a little bluff of poplars, hid in the bracken,
He lay down; the populace of leaves
In the lithe poplars whispered together and trembled,
Fluttered before a sunset of gold smoke,
With interspaces, green as sea water,
And calm as the deep water of the sea.
There Akoose lay, silent amid the bracken,
Gathered at last with the Algonquin Chieftains.
Then the tenebrous sunset was blown out,
And all the smoky gold turned into cloud wrack.
Akoose slept forever amid the poplars,
Swathed by the wind from the far-off Red Deer
Where dinosaurs sleep, clamped in their rocky tombs.
Who shall count the time that lies between
The sleep of Akoose and the dinosaurs?
Innumerable time, that yet is like the breath
Of the long wind that creeps upon the prairie
And dies away with the shadows at sundown.
*****
57
What we may think, who brood upon the theme,
Is, when the old world, tired of spinning, has fallen
Asleep, and all the forms, that carried the fire
Of life, are cold upon her marble heart-Like ashes on the altar--just as she stops,
That something will escape of soul or essence,-The sum of life, to kindle otherwhere:
Just as the fruit of a high sunny garden,
Grown mellow with autumnal sun and rain,
Shrivelled with ripeness, splits to the rich heart,
And looses a gold kernel to the mould,
So the old world, hanging long in the sun,
And deep enriched with effort and with love,
Shall, in the motions of maturity,
Wither and part, and the kernel of it all
Escape, a lovely wraith of spirit, to latitudes
Where the appearance, throated like a bird,
Winged with fire and bodied all with passion,
Shall flame with presage, not of tears, but joy.
~ Duncan Campbell Scott,
645:I.
How well I know what I mean to do
When the long dark autumn-evenings come:
And where, my soul, is thy pleasant hue?
With the music of all thy voices, dumb
In life's November too!

II.

I shall be found by the fire, suppose,
O'er a great wise book as beseemeth age,
While the shutters flap as the cross-wind blows
And I turn the page, and I turn the page,
Not verse now, only prose!

III.

Till the young ones whisper, finger on lip,
``There he is at it, deep in Greek:
``Now then, or never, out we slip
``To cut from the hazels by the creek
``A mainmast for our ship!''

IV.

I shall be at it indeed, my friends:
Greek puts already on either side
Such a branch-work forth as soon extends
To a vista opening far and wide,
And I pass out where it ends.

V.

The outside-frame, like your hazel-trees:
But the inside-archway widens fast,
And a rarer sort succeeds to these,
And we slope to Italy at last
And youth, by green degrees.

VI.

I follow wherever I am led,
Knowing so well the leader's hand:
Oh woman-country, wooed not wed,
Loved all the more by earth's male-lands,
Laid to their hearts instead!

VII.

Look at the ruined chapel again
Half-way up in the Alpine gorge!
Is that a tower, I point you plain,
Or is it a mill, or an iron-forge
Breaks solitude in vain?

VIII.

A turn, and we stand in the heart of things:
The woods are round us, heaped and dim;
From slab to slab how it slips and springs,
The thread of water single and slim,
Through the ravage some torrent brings!

IX.

Does it feed the little lake below?
That speck of white just on its marge
Is Pella; see, in the evening-glow,
How sharp the silver spear-heads charge
When Alp meets heaven in snow!

X.

On our other side is the straight-up rock;
And a path is kept 'twixt the gorge and it
By boulder-stones where lichens mock
The marks on a moth, and small ferns fit
Their teeth to the polished block.

XI.

Oh the sense of the yellow mountain-flowers ,
And thorny balls, each three in one,
The chestnuts throw on our path in showers!
For the drop of the woodland fruit's begun,
These early November hours,

XII.

That crimson the creeper's leaf across
Like a splash of blood, intense, abrupt,
O'er a shield else gold from rim to boss,
And lay it for show on the fairy-cupped
Elf-needled mat of moss,

XIII.

By the rose-flesh mushrooms, undivulged
Last evening-nay, in to-day's first dew
Yon sudden coral nipple bulged,
Where a freaked fawn-coloured flaky crew
Of toadstools peep indulged.

XIV.

And yonder, at foot of the fronting ridge
That takes the turn to a range beyond,
Is the chapel reached by the one-arched bridge
Where the water is stopped in a stagnant pond
Danced over by the midge.

XV.

The chapel and bridge are of stone alike,
Blackish-grey and mostly wet;
Cut hemp-stalks steep in the narrow dyke.
See here again, how the lichens fret
And the roots of the ivy strike!

XVI.

Poor little place, where its one priest comes
On a festa-day, if he comes at all,
To the dozen folk from their scattered homes,
Gathered within that precinct small
By the dozen ways one roams-

XVII.

To drop from the charcoal-burners ' huts,
Or climb from the hemp-dressers' low shed,
Leave the grange where the woodman stores his nuts,
Or the wattled cote where the fowlers spread
Their gear on the rock's bare juts.

XVIII.

It has some pretension too, this front,
With its bit of fresco half-moon-wise
Set over the porch, Art's early wont:
'Tis John in the Desert, I surmise,
But has borne the weather's brunt-

XIX.

Not from the fault of the builder, though,
For a pent-house properly projects
Where three carved beams make a certain show,
Dating-good thought of our architect's-
'Five, six, nine, he lets you know.

XX.

And all day long a bird sings there,
And a stray sheep drinks at the pond at times;
The place is silent and aware;
It has had its scenes, its joys and crimes,
But that is its own affair.

XXI.

My perfect wife, my Leonor,
Oh heart, my own, oh eyes, mine too,
Whom else could I dare look backward for,
With whom beside should I dare pursue
The path grey heads abhor?

XXII.

For it leads to a crag's sheer edge with them;
Youth, flowery all the way, there stops-
Not they; age threatens and they contemn,
Till they reach the gulf wherein youth drops,
One inch from life's safe hem!

XXIII.

With me, youth led I will speak now,
No longer watch you as you sit
Reading by fire-light, that great brow
And the spirit-small hand propping it,
Mutely, my heart knows how-

XXIV.

When, if I think but deep enough,
You are wont to answer, prompt as rhyme;
And you, too, find without rebuff
Response your soul seeks many a time
Piercing its fine flesh-stuff.

XXV.

My own, confirm me! If I tread
This path back, is it not in pride
To think how little I dreamed it led
To an age so blest that, by its side,
Youth seems the waste instead?

XXVI.

My own, see where the years conduct!
At first, 'twas something our two souls
Should mix as mists do; each is sucked
In each now: on, the new stream rolls,
Whatever rocks obstruct.

XXVII.

Think, when our one soul understands
The great Word which makes all things new,
When earth breaks up and heaven expands,
How will the change strike me and you
ln the house not made with hands?

XXVIII.

Oh I must feel your brain prompt mine,
Your heart anticipate my heart,
You must be just before, in fine,
See and make me see, for your part,
New depths of the divine!

XXIX.

But who could have expected this
When we two drew together first
Just for the obvious human bliss,
To satisfy life's daily thirst
With a thing men seldom miss?

XXX.

Come back with me to the first of all,
Let us lean and love it over again,
Let us now forget and now recall,
Break the rosary in a pearly rain,
And gather what we let fall!

XXXI.

What did I say?-that a small bird sings
All day long, save when a brown pair
Of hawks from the wood float with wide wings
Strained to a bell: 'gainst noon-day glare
You count the streaks and rings.

XXXII.

But at afternoon or almost eve
'Tis better; then the silence grows
To that degree, you half believe
It must get rid of what it knows,
Its bosom does so heave.

XXXIII.

Hither we walked then, side by side,
Arm in arm and cheek to cheek,
And still I questioned or replied,
While my heart, convulsed to really speak,
Lay choking in its pride.

XXXIV.

Silent the crumbling bridge we cross,
And pity and praise the chapel sweet,
And care about the fresco's loss,
And wish for our souls a like retreat,
And wonder at the moss.

XXXV.

Stoop and kneel on the settle under,
Look through the window's grated square:
Nothing to see! For fear of plunder,
The cross is down and the altar bare,
As if thieves don't fear thunder.

XXXVI.

We stoop and look in through the grate,
See the little porch and rustic door,
Read duly the dead builder's date;
Then cross the bridge that we crossed before,
Take the path again-but wait!

XXXVII.

Oh moment, one and infinite!
The water slips o'er stock and stone;
The West is tender, hardly bright:
How grey at once is the evening grown-
One star, its chrysolite!

XXXVIII.

We two stood there with never a third,
But each by each, as each knew well:
The sights we saw and the sounds we heard,
The lights and the shades made up a spell
Till the trouble grew and stirred.

XXXIX.

Oh, the little more, and how much it is!
And the little less, and what worlds away!
How a sound shall quicken content to bliss,
Or a breath suspend the blood's best play,
And life be a proof of this!

XL.

Had she willed it, still had stood the screen
So slight, so sure, 'twixt my love and her:
I could fix her face with a guard between,
And find her soul as when friends confer,
Friends-lovers that might have been.

XLI.

For my heart had a touch of the woodland-time,
Wanting to sleep now over its best.
Shake the whole tree in the summer-prime,
But bring to the Iast leaf no such test!
``Hold the last fast!'' runs the rhyme.

XLII.

For a chance to make your little much,
To gain a lover and lose a friend,
Venture the tree and a myriad such,
When nothing you mar but the year can mend:
But a last leaf-fear to touch!

XLIII.

Yet should it unfasten itself and fall
Eddying down till it find your face
At some slight wind-best chance of all!
Be your heart henceforth its dwelling-place
You trembled to forestall!

XLIV.

Worth how well, those dark grey eyes,
That hair so dark and dear, how worth
That a man should strive and agonize,
And taste a veriest hell on earth
For the hope of such a prize!

XIIV.

You might have turned and tried a man,
Set him a space to weary and wear,
And prove which suited more your plan,
His best of hope or his worst despair,
Yet end as he began.

XLVI.

But you spared me this, like the heart you are,
And filled my empty heart at a word.
If two lives join, there is oft a scar,
They are one and one, with a shadowy third;
One near one is too far.

XLVII.

A moment after, and hands unseen
Were hanging the night around us fast
But we knew that a bar was broken between
Life and life: we were mixed at last
In spite of the mortal screen.

XLVIII.

The forests had done it; there they stood;
We caught for a moment the powers at play:
They had mingled us so, for once and good,
Their work was done-we might go or stay,
They relapsed to their ancient mood.

XLIX.

How the world is made for each of us!
How all we perceive and know in it
Tends to some moment's product thus,
When a soul declares itself-to wit,
By its fruit, the thing it does

L.

Be hate that fruit or love that fruit,
It forwards the general deed of man,
And each of the Many helps to recruit
The life of the race by a general plan;
Each living his own, to boot.

LI.

I am named and known by that moment's feat;
There took my station and degree;
So grew my own small life complete,
As nature obtained her best of me-
One born to love you, sweet!

LII.

And to watch you sink by the fire-side now
Back again, as you mutely sit
Musing by fire-light, that great brow
And the spirit-small hand propping it,
Yonder, my heart knows how!

LIII.

So, earth has gained by one man the more,
And the gain of earth must be heaven's gain too;
And the whole is well worth thinking o'er
When autumn comes: which I mean to do
One day, as I said before.


~ Robert Browning, By The Fire-Side
,
646:Julia, Or The Convent Of St. Claire
Stranger, that massy, mouldering pile,
Whose ivied ruins load the ground,
Reechoed once to pious strains
By holy sisters breathed around.
There many a noble virgin came
To bid the world she loved....adieu;
There, victim of parental pride,
To years of hopeless grief withdrew.
Yes, proud St. Claire! thy costly walls
Have witnessed oft the mourner's pain;
And hearts in joyless durance bound,
Which sighed for kindred hearts in vain.
But never more within thy cells
Shall beauty breathe the fruitless sigh,
Nor hid beneath the envious veil
Shall sorrow dim the sparkling eye.
For now, a sight by reason blest,
Thy gloomy dome in ruins falls,
While bats and screechowls harbour there,
Sole tenants of thy crumbling walls.
And soon, blest change! as those dread plains,
Where Etna's burning torrents poured,
Become, when Time its power has shed,
With softly-smiling verdure stored:
So, when thy darkly-frowning towers
The verdant plain no longer load,
These scenes, where sorrow reigned, may prove
Fond, faithful lovers' blest abode.
And they shall pledge the nuptial vow,
Where once far different vows were heard;
And where thy pining virgins mourned,
Shall babes, sweet smiling babes, be reared.
Hail, glorious change, to Nature dear!
Methinks I see the bridal throng;
And hark, where lonely sisters prayed,
How sweetly swells the social song!
But nought, O! nought can her restore
To social life, to happy love,
Who once amidst thy cloistered train
With passion's hopeless sorrow strove.
Lamented maid! my faithful Muse
To pity's ear shall tell thy tale;
Shall tell, at midnight's awful hour
Why groaning ghosts affright the vale.
On Julia's softly dimpled cheek
Just bloom'd to view youth's opening rose,
When, proudly stern, her father bade
St. Claire's dark walls her bloom enclose.
But no reluctance to obey
With tears bedewed her beauteous cheek,
Since love with soft persuasive power
Not yet had taught her heart to speak.
"Yes,....be a nun's vocation mine,
So I my brother's bliss improve;
His be their wealth," sweet Julia cried,
So I may boast my parent's love!"
Proud Clermont blessed his generous child;
Her gentler mother dropped a tear,
As if her boding heart foretold
That love and Julia's woes were near.
For lo! where glows the nuptial feast,
And Clermont's heir leads in his bride,
While Julia, called that feast to grace,
Sits by a blooming baron's side.
Dear, fatal hour! the feast is o'er,
But still in faithful memory charms,
And Julia's conscious heart has learnt
To throb with passion's new alarms.
"Now then I feel the power of love,"
She on her sleepless pillow cried,
"Then must I still my sire obey,
And this warm heart in cloisters hide?
"But hold, fond girl! thy throbbing breast
May be with hopeless fondness fraught;
Yet sure Montrose's speaking eyes
Declared he felt the love he taught."
And well her hopes his glance had read,....
Montrose a mutual passion felt,
Nor long his tender pangs concealed,
But at her feet impassioned knelt.
Her downcast eye, her blush, her smile
To crown her lover's suit conspired,
Who, bold in hope, to Clermont told
The artless wish by fondness fired.
But told in vain--"Away!" he cried;
"O'er me your pleadings boast no power:
Think not my son his rights shall yield,
To swell my pining daughter's dower."
"No:--let his rights still sacred be,"
Montrose with throbbing heart replied,
"Give me but Julia's willing hand,
I ask, I wish for nought beside."
"And darest thou think that Clermont's child
Shall e'er pronounce the nuptial vow
Unless," he said, "I could a dower
Equal to Clermont's rank bestow!
"Away, young lord! entreat no more!
Nor thus with vain complainings mourn;
For, ere tomorrow's sun has set,
My child shall to her cell return."
He spoke, and frown'd.--Alas, Montrose!
In vain thy manly bosom mourned
For, ere tomorrow's sun had set,
Thy Julia to her cell returned.
But changed indeed! Youth's opening rose
Now on her cheek no longer glowed;
And now, with earthly cares opprest,
Before the holy shrine she bowed.
Now to religion's rites no more
Her heart with ready zeal impelled;
No more with genuine fervour warm,
Her voice the holy anthem swelled.
"Whence thy pale cheek? and whence, my child,
Proceeds this change?" the abbess said,
"Why heaves thy breast with deep-drawn sighs,
And wherefore droops thy youthful head?"
"Yes,....you shall know," the sufferer cried,
"And let my fate your pity move!
See Passion's victim! Morn and eve
This struggling soul is lost in love.
"And I yon sacred shrine profane;
The cross with languid zeal I press;
Montrose's image claims the vows
Which my false lips to Heaven address.
"Yes:--while I drop the sacred bead,
His form obtrudes upon my view,
And love's warm tears my rosary wet,
Love claims the sigh devotion's due.
"Inhuman Father! wilt thou risk
My peace on earth, and hopes of heaven?
Tremble, tyrannic parent, think
What love may do to madness driven!"
With pitying heart the abbess heard;
For she an answering pang had known,
And well her gentle soul could mourn
A fate, a grief, so like her own.
"But why despair, my child?" she said,
"Before thy father lowly kneel,
And teach that heart, though fenced by pride,
Compassion's generous throb to feel."
Julia the kind advice obeyed;
And when the haughty Clermont came,
Before his feet she lowly knelt,
And hailed him by a parent's name.
"Think'st thou to wrong thy brother's rights
I e'er can be by thee beguiled?"
"Father!" her trembling lips replied,
"Say, is not Julia too your child?
"For him you bid the nuptial feast,
And all life's dearest blessings glow,
While I, alike your child, you doom
To hopeless love, and lonely woe."
But vain remonstrance, tears, and prayers;
The Count's proud heart could all deride,
For Nature's voice can never melt
The callous bosom fenced by pride.
"Urge me no more," he fiercely said,
"But know, not long these prayers can last;
Reflect, fond girl! at morning's dawn
The year of thy probation's past!"
Pale, pale grew then her youthful cheek,
Heart-piercing seemed her mournful cry:
"Clermont! relent," her mother cried,
"Nor coldly doom thy child to die."
But vain was Julia's piercing shriek;
Nor justice he nor mercy knew:
"Receive," he said, "my last embrace,"....
Then from the mournful scene withdrew.
Loud called the evening bell to prayers,
But still on Julia vainly called,
Who, leaning on her mother's breast,
With desperate words that breast appalled.
"Suppress, suppress thy grief, my child,
Or fear to call dread vengeance down:
Wouldst thou not tremble, impious girl!
Before thy God's avenging frown?"
"Paint not that gracious God in frowns,
Did not for us a Saviour bleed?
In mercy clothe his awful power,
For I shall soon that mercy need."
Dark, cheerless, awful is the night
When tempests load the troubled air;
But darker, gloomier is the mind
Where reigns the ghastly fiend Despair.
Fond mother! in thy Julia's eyes
Canst thou not see his reign is near?
Inhuman father! hark! loud groans
Shall swell the blast;....Beware! beware!
"Mother, the hour commands thee hence,"
Sad Julia cried, "we now must part;
And never may thy bosom know
A grief like that which rends my heart!
"In all thy prayers tonight for me,
The awful throne of Heaven address,
While I with grateful bosom kneel,
And bid its power thy goodness bless."
Speechless the mourning mother heard;
Her tongue denied the word 'farewell!'
At length her quivering lips she pressed,
And Julia hurried to her cell.....
10
Now chill and loud the North wind blew,
Through the long aisles hoarse murmurs ran;
The shuddering sisters' cheeks were pale,
When they their midnight tasks began.
Mock'd by deep groans each anthem seemed,
The vaulted roofs still gloomier grew:
The blast of night was swelled by shrieks,
The bird of night ill-omened flew.
The trembling tapers grew more pale,
While, where their languid radiance fell,
A phantom dimly seemed to glide,
And loud was heard the passing bell.
"Did you not see a phantom flit?
Did you not hear the passing bell?"
Each sister cried; while, pale with dread,
With hurried steps she sought her cell.
At length arose the fatal morn
Decreed to seal sad Julia's doom,
And make the worm of hopeless love
Feed on her beauty's opening bloom.
"Julia, thy bridal vest prepare;
Thy heavenly spouse expects thee; rise!"
The abbess cried.--"Oh, stay awhile,"
Julia with broken tones replies.
"The tapers burn, the altar glows,
Robed are the priests in costly pride,
The organ sounds! Prepare!"--Again
"One moment stay!" the victim cried.
When through the long and echoing aisles
An unknown voice the abbess hears-It seems with wild, impatience fraught-And lo! Montrose himself appears!
"I come," he cries, "to claim my bride;
11
A father's frown no more impedes:
His son's no more!--and Julia now
To Clermont's wealth and power succeeds."
Distrest, yet pleased, the abbess heard,
While on to Julia's cell she led,
And, as she went, to pitying Heaven
Her arms in pious homage spread.
"Julia, come forth! come forth, my child!
Unlock thy cell, Montrose's bride!
Now thou art his, a father's frown
No longer will your fates divide.
"Behold him here to snatch thee hence,
And give thee to thy father's sight."
"How! silent still?" Montrose exclaimed;
"Why thus thy lover's soul affright?"
The door with trembling speed he forced....
Ah me! what object meets their eyes!
Stretcht on her bed in death's last pangs,
And bathed in blood, his Julia lies.
Presumptuous girl! when Heaven afflicts
Should we its dread decrees arraign?
Lo! Heaven thy woe with mercy saw,
But thou hast made its mercy vain.
"Behold the work of rash despair!"
In fluttering, feeble words she said:
"Had I been patient still, Montrose,
This day had blessings on me shed.
"Didst thou not say my father's heart
Had deigned at length thy vows to hear?
Too late remorse! but oh, to him
My pardon, and my blessing bear.
"But must I die? and canst not thou
Thy Julia from death's terrors save?
We should have been so blest, Montrose!
12
And must I leave thee for the grave?
"Help me! they tear me from thy arms,
Save me, O save thy destin'd bride!
It will not be;....forgive me, Heaven!"
She feebly said, then groaned and died.
Oh! who can paint the lover's woe,
Or childless father's deep remorse,
While, bending o'er the blood-stained bed,
He clasped his daughter's pallid corse!
But from this scene of dreadful woe,
Learn why the village swain turns pale,
When he at midnight wanders near
The mouldering Convent in the vale.
There, faintly heard through whispering trees,
A mournful voice on Julia calls;
There, dimly seen, a blood-stained vest
Streams ghastly o'er the ivied walls.
~ Amelia Opie,
647:Jubilate Agno: Fragment A
Rejoice in God, O ye Tongues; give the glory to the Lord, and the Lamb.
Nations, and languages, and every Creature, in which is the breath of Life.
Let man and beast appear before him, and magnify his name together.
Let Noah and his company approach the throne of Grace, and do homage to the
Ark of their Salvation.
Let Abraham present a Ram, and worship the God of his Redemption.
Let Isaac, the Bridegroom, kneel with his Camels, and bless the hope of his
pilgrimage.
Let Jacob, and his speckled Drove adore the good Shepherd of Israel.
Let Esau offer a scape Goat for his seed, and rejoice in the blessing of God his
father.
Let Nimrod, the mighty hunter, bind a Leopard to the altar, and consecrate his
spear to the Lord.
Let Ishmael dedicate a Tyger, and give praise for the liberty, in which the Lord
has let him at large.
Let Balaam appear with an Ass, and bless the Lord his people and his creatures
for a reward eternal.
Let Anah, the son of Zibion, lead a Mule to the temple, and bless God, who
amerces the consolation of the creature for the service of Man.
Let Daniel come forth with a Lion, and praise God with all his might through faith
in Christ Jesus.
Let Naphthali with an Hind give glory in the goodly words of Thanksgiving.
Let Aaron, the high priest, sanctify a Bull, and let him go free to the Lord and
Giver of Life.
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Let the Levites of the Lord take the Beavers of the brook alive into the Ark of the
Testimony.
Let Eleazar with the Ermine serve the Lord decently and in purity.
Let Ithamar minister with a Chamois, and bless the name of Him, which
cloatheth the naked.
Let Gershom with an Pygarg Hart bless the name of Him, who feedeth the
hungry.
Let Merari praise the wisdom and power of God with the Coney, who scoopeth
the rock, and archeth in the sand.
Let Kohath serve with the Sable, and bless God in the ornaments of the Temple.
Let Jehoida bless God with an Hare, whose mazes are determined for the health
of the body and to parry the adversary.
Let Ahitub humble himself with an Ape before Almighty God, who is the maker of
variety and pleasantry.
Let Abiathar with a Fox praise the name of the Lord, who ballances craft against
strength and skill against number.
Let Moses, the Man of God, bless with a Lizard, in the sweet majesty of goodnature, and the magnanimity of meekness.
Let Joshua praise God with an Unicorn -- the swiftness of the Lord, and the
strength of the Lord, and the spear of the Lord mighty in battle.
Let Caleb with an Ounce praise the Lord of the Land of beauty and rejoice in the
blessing of his good Report.
Let Othniel praise God with the Rhinoceros, who put on his armour for the reward
of beauty in the Lord.
Let Tola bless with the Toad, which is the good creature of God, tho' his virtue is
in the secret, and his mention is not made.
Let Barak praise with the Pard -- and great is the might of the faithful and great
is the Lord in the nail of Jael and in the sword of the Son of Abinoam.
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Let Gideon bless with the Panther -- the Word of the Lord is invincible by him
that lappeth from the brook.
Let Jotham praise with the Urchin, who took up his parable and provided himself
for the adversary to kick against the pricks.
Let Boaz, the Builder of Judah, bless with the Rat, which dwelleth in hardship and
peril, that they may look to themselves and keep their houses in order.
Let Obed-Edom with a Dormouse praise the Name of the Lord God his Guest for
increase of his store and for peace.
Let Abishai bless with the Hyaena -- the terror of the Lord, and the fierceness, of
his wrath against the foes of the King and of Israel.
Let Ethan praise with the Flea, his coat of mail, his piercer, and his vigour, which
wisdom and providence have contrived to attract observation and to escape it.
Let Heman bless with the Spider, his warp and his woof, his subtlety and
industry, which are good.
Let Chalcol praise with the Beetle, whose life is precious in the sight of God, tho
his appearance is against him.
Let Darda with a Leech bless the Name of the Physician of body and soul.
Let Mahol praise the Maker of Earth and Sea with the Otter, whom God has given
to dive and to burrow for his preservation.
Let David bless with the Bear -- The beginning of victory to the Lord -- to the
Lord the perfection of excellence -- Hallelujah from the heart of God, and from
the hand of the artist inimitable, and from the echo of the heavenly harp in
sweetness magnifical and mighty.
Let Solomon praise with the Ant, and give the glory to the Fountain of all
Wisdom.
Let Romamti-ezer bless with the Ferret -- The Lord is a rewarder of them, that
diligently seek him.
Let Samuel, the Minister from a child, without ceasing praise with the Porcupine,
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which is the creature of defence and stands upon his arms continually.
Let Nathan with the Badger bless God for his retired fame, and privacy
inaccessible to slander.
Let Joseph, who from the abundance of his blessing may spare to him, that
lacketh, praise with the Crocodile, which is pleasant and pure, when he is
interpreted, tho' his look is of terror and offence.
Let Esdras bless Christ Jesus with the Rose and his people, which is a nation of
living sweetness.
Let Mephibosheth with the Cricket praise the God of chearfulness, hospitality,
and gratitude.
Let Shallum with the Frog bless God for the meadows of Canaan, the fleece, the
milk and the honey.
Let Hilkiah praise with the Weasel, which sneaks for his prey in craft, and
dwelleth at ambush.
Let Job bless with the Worm -- the life of the Lord is in Humiliation, the Spirit
also and the truth.
Let Elihu bless with the Tortoise, which is food for praise and thanksgiving.
Let Hezekiah praise with the Dromedary -- the zeal for the glory of God is
excellence, and to bear his burden is grace.
Let Zadoc worship with the Mole -- before honour is humility, and he that looketh
low shall learn.
Let Gad with the Adder bless in the simplicity of the preacher and the wisdom of
the creature.
Let Tobias bless Charity with his Dog, who is faithful, vigilant, and a friend in
poverty.
Let Anna bless God with the Cat, who is worthy to be presented before the
throne of grace, when he has trampled upon the idol in his prank.
Let Benaiah praise with the Asp -- to conquer malice is nobler, than to slay the
35
lion.
Let Barzillai bless with the Snail -- a friend in need is as the balm of Gilead, or as
the slime to the wounded bark.
Let Joab with the Horse worship the Lord God of Hosts.
Let Shemaiah bless God with the Caterpiller -- the minister of vengeance is the
harbinger of mercy.
Let Ahimelech with the Locust bless God from the tyranny of numbers.
Let Cornelius with the Swine bless God, which purifyeth all things for the poor.
Let Araunah bless with the Squirrel, which is a gift of homage from the poor man
to the wealthy and increaseth good will.
Let Bakbakkar bless with the Salamander, which feedeth upon ashes as bread,
and whose joy is at the mouth of the furnace.
Let Jabez bless with Tarantula, who maketh his bed in the moss, which he
feedeth, that the pilgrim may take heed to his way.
Let Jakim with the Satyr bless God in the dance. -Let Iddo praise the Lord with the Moth -- the writings of man perish as the
garment, but the Book of God endureth for ever.
Let Nebuchadnezzar bless with the Grashopper -- the pomp and vanities of the
world are as the herb of the field, but the glory of the Lord increaseth for ever.
Let Naboth bless with the Canker-worm -- envy is cruel and killeth and preyeth
upon that which God has given to aspire and bear fruit.
Let Lud bless with the Elk, the strenuous asserter of his liberty, and the
maintainer of his ground.
Let Obadiah with the Palmer-worm bless God for the remnant that is left.
Let Agur bless with the Cockatrice -- The consolation of the world is deceitful,
and temporal honour the crown of him that creepeth.
36
Let Ithiel bless with the Baboon, whose motions are regular in the wilderness,
and who defendeth himself with a staff against the assailant.
Let Ucal bless with the Cameleon, which feedeth on the Flowers and washeth
himself in the dew.
Let Lemuel bless with the Wolf, which is a dog without a master, but the Lord
hears his cries and feeds him in the desert.
Let Hananiah bless with the Civet, which is pure from benevolence.
Let Azarias bless with the Reindeer, who runneth upon the waters, and wadeth
thro the land in snow.
Let Mishael bless with the Stoat -- the praise of the Lord gives propriety to all
things.
Let Savaran bless with the Elephant, who gave his life for his country that he
might put on immortality.
Let Nehemiah, the imitator of God, bless with the Monkey, who is work'd down
from Man.
Let Manasses bless with the Wild-Ass -- liberty begetteth insolence, but necessity
is the mother of prayer.
Let Jebus bless with the Camelopard, which is good to carry and to parry and to
kneel.
Let Huz bless with the Polypus -- lively subtlety is acceptable to the Lord.
Let Buz bless with the Jackall -- but the Lord is the Lion's provider.
Let Meshullam bless with the Dragon, who maketh his den in desolation and
rejoiceth amongst the ruins.
Let Enoch bless with the Rackoon, who walked with God as by the instinct.
Let Hashbadana bless with the Catamountain, who stood by the Pulpit of God
against the dissensions of the Heathen.
Let Ebed-Melech bless with the Mantiger, the blood of the Lord is sufficient to do
37
away the offence of Cain, and reinstate the creature which is amerced.
Let A Little Child with a Serpent bless Him, who ordaineth strength in babes to
the confusion of the Adversary.
Let Huldah bless with the Silkworm -- the ornaments of the Proud are from the
bowells of their Betters.
Let Susanna bless with the Butterfly -- beauty hath wings, but chastity is the
Cherub.
Let Sampson bless with the Bee, to whom the Lord hath given strength to annoy
the assailant and wisdom to his strength.
Let Amasiah bless with the Chaffer -- the top of the tree is for the brow of the
champion, who has given the glory to God.
Let Hashum bless with the Fly, whose health is the honey of the air, but he feeds
upon the thing strangled, and perisheth.
Let Malchiah bless with the Gnat -- it is good for man and beast to mend their
pace.
Let Pedaiah bless with the Humble-Bee, who loves himself in solitude and makes
his honey alone.
Let Maaseiah bless with the Drone, who with the appearance of a Bee is neither a
soldier nor an artist, neither a swordsman nor smith.
Let Urijah bless with the Scorpion, which is a scourge against the murmurers -the Lord keep it from our coasts.
Let Anaiah bless with the Dragon-fly, who sails over the pond by the wood-side
and feedeth on the cressies.
Let Zorobabel bless with the Wasp, who is the Lord's architect, and buildeth his
edifice in armour.
Let Jehu bless with the Hornet, who is the soldier of the Lord to extirpate
abomination and to prepare the way of peace.
Let Mattithiah bless with the Bat, who inhabiteth the desolations of pride and
38
flieth amongst the tombs.
Let Elias which is the innocency of the Lord rejoice with the Dove.
Let Asaph rejoice with the Nightingale -- The musician of the Lord! and the
watchman of the Lord!
Let Shema rejoice with the Glowworm, who is the lamp of the traveller and mead
of the musician.
Let Jeduthun rejoice with the Woodlark, who is sweet and various.
Let Chenaniah rejoice with Chloris, in the vivacity of his powers and the beauty of
his person.
Let Gideoni rejoice with the Goldfinch, who is shrill and loud, and full withal.
Let Giddalti rejoice with the Mocking-bird, who takes off the notes of the Aviary
and reserves his own.
Let Jogli rejoice with the Linnet, who is distinct and of mild delight.
Let Benjamin bless and rejoice with the Redbird, who is soft and soothing.
Let Dan rejoice with the Blackbird, who praises God with all his heart, and
biddeth to be of good cheer.
~ Christopher Smart,
648:The Bounty
[for Alix Walcott]
Between the vision of the Tourist Board and the true
Paradise lies the desert where Isaiah's elations
force a rose from the sand. The thirty-third canto
cores the dawn clouds with concentric radiance,
the breadfruit opens its palms in praise of the bounty,
bois-pain, tree of bread, slave food, the bliss of John Clare,
torn, wandering Tom, stoat-stroker in his county
of reeds and stalk-crickets, fiddling the dank air,
lacing his boots with vines, steering glazed beetles
with the tenderest prods, knight of the cockchafer,
wrapped in the mists of shires, their snail-horned steeples
palms opening to the cupped pool—but his soul safer
than ours, though iron streams fetter his ankles.
Frost whitening his stubble, he stands in the ford
of a brook like the Baptist lifting his branches to bless
cathedrals and snails, the breaking of this new day,
and the shadows of the beach road near which my mother lies,
with the traffic of insects going to work anyway.
The lizard on the white wall fixed on the hieroglyph
of its stone shadow, the palms' rustling archery,
the souls and sails of circling gulls rhyme with:
"In la sua volont è nostra pace,"
In His will is our peace. Peace in white harbours,
in marinas whose masts agree, in crescent melons
left all night in the fridge, in the Egyptian labours
of ants moving boulders of sugar, words in this sentence,
shadow and light, who live next door like neighbours,
57
and in sardines with pepper sauce. My mother lies
near the white beach stones, John Clare near the sea-almonds,
yet the bounty returns each daybreak, to my surprise,
to my surprise and betrayal, yes, both at once.
I am moved like you, mad Tom, by a line of ants;
I behold their industry and they are giants.
ii
There on the beach, in the desert, lies the dark well
where the rose of my life was lowered, near the shaken plants,
near a pool of fresh tears, tolled by the golden bell
of allamanda, thorns of the bougainvillea, and that is
their bounty! They shine with defiance from weed and flower,
even those that flourish elsewhere, vetch, ivy, clematis,
on whom the sun now rises with all its power,
not for the Tourist Board or for Dante Alighieri,
but because there is no other path for its wheel to take
except to make the ruts of the beach road an allegory
of this poem's career, of yours, that she died for the sake
of a crowning wreath of false laurel; so, John Clare, forgive me,
for this morning's sake, forgive me, coffee, and pardon me,
milk with two packets of artificial sugar,
as I watch these lines grow and the art of poetry harden me
into sorrow as measured as this, to draw the veiled figure
of Mamma entering the standard elegiac.
No, there is grief, there will always be, but it must not madden,
like Clare, who wept for a beetle's loss, for the weight
of the world in a bead of dew on clematis or vetch,
and the fire in these tinder-dry lines of this poem I hate
as much as I love her, poor rain-beaten wretch,
redeemer of mice, earl of the doomed protectorate
of cavalry under your cloak; come on now, enough!
58
iii
Bounty!
In the bells of tree-frogs with their steady clamour
in the indigo dark before dawn, the fading morse
of fireflies and crickets, then light on the beetle's armour,
and the toad's too-late presages, nettles of remorse
that shall spring from her grave from the spade's heartbreak.
And yet not to have loved her enough is to love more,
if I confess it, and I confess it. The trickle of underground
springs, the babble of swollen gulches under drenched ferns,
loosening the grip of their roots, till their hairy clods
like unclenching fists swirl wherever the gulch turns
them, and the shuddering aftermath bends the rods
of wild cane. Bounty in the ant's waking fury,
in the snail's chapel stirring under wild yams,
praise in decay and process, awe in the ordinary
in wind that reads the lines of the breadfruit's palms
in the sun contained in a globe of the crystal dew,
bounty in the ants' continuing a line of raw flour,
mercy on the mongoose scuttling past my door,
in the light's parallelogram laid on the kitchen floor,
for Thine is the Kingdom, the Glory, and the Power,
the bells of Saint Clement's in the marigolds on the altar,
in the bougainvillea's thorns, in the imperial lilac
and the feathery palms that nodded at the entry
into Jerusalem, the weight of the world on the back
of an ass; dismounting, He left His cross there for sentry
and sneering centurion; then I believed in His Word,
in a widow's immaculate husband, in pews of brown wood,
when the cattle-bell of the chapel summoned our herd
59
into the varnished stalls, in whose rustling hymnals I heard
the fresh Jacobean springs, the murmur Clare heard
of bounty abiding, the clear language she taught us,
"as the hart panteth," at this, her keen ears pronged
while her three fawns nibbled the soul-freshening waters,
"as the hart panteth for the water-brooks" that belonged
to the language in which I mourn her now, or when
I showed her my first elegy, her husband's, and then her own.
iv
But can she or can she not read this? Can you read this,
Mamma, or hear it? If I took the pulpit, lay-preacher
like tender Clare, like poor Tom, so that look, Miss!
the ants come to you like children, their beloved teacher
Alix, but unlike the silent recitation of the infants,
the choir that Clare and Tom heard in their rainy county,
we have no solace but utterance, hence this wild cry.
Snails move into harbour, the breadfruit plants on the Bounty
will be heaved aboard, and the white God is Captain Bligh.
Across white feathery grave-grass the shadow of the soul
passes, the canvas cracks open on the cross-trees of the Bounty,
and the Trades lift the shrouds of the resurrected sail.
All move in their passage to the same mother-country,
the dirt-clawing weasel, the blank owl or sunning seal.
Faith grows mutinous. The ribbed body with its cargo
stalls in its doldrums, the God-captain is cast adrift
by a mutinous Christian, in the wake of the turning Argo
plants bob in the ocean's furrows, their shoots dip and lift,
and the soul's Australia is like the New Testament
after the Old World, the code of an eye for an eye;
the horizon spins slowly and Authority's argument
60
diminishes in power, in the longboat with Captain Bligh.
This was one of your earliest lessons, how the Christ-Son
questions the Father, to settle on another island, haunted by Him,
by the speck of a raging deity on the ruled horizon,
diminishing in meaning and distance, growing more dim:
all these predictable passages that we first disobey
before we become what we challenged; but you never altered
your voice, either sighing or sewing, you would pray
to your husband aloud, pedalling the hymns we all heard
in the varnished pew: "There Is a Green Hill Far Away,"
"Jerusalem the Golden." Your melody faltered
but never your faith in the bounty which is His Word.
All of these waves crepitate from the culture of Ovid,
its sibilants and consonants; a universal metre
piles up these signatures like inscriptions of seaweed
that dry in the pungent sun, lines ruled by mitre
and laurel, or spray swiftly garlanding the forehead
of an outcrop (and I hope this settles the matter
of presences). No soul was ever invented,
yet every presence is transparent; if I met her
(in her nightdress ankling barefoot, crooning to the shallows),
should I call her shadow that of a pattern invented
by Graeco-Roman design, columns of shadows
cast by the Forum, Augustan perspectives—
poplars, casuarina-colonnades, the in-and-out light of almonds
made from original Latin, no leaf but the olive's?
Questions of pitch. Faced with seraphic radiance
(don't interrupt!), mortals rub their skeptical eyes
that hell is a beach-fire at night where embers dance,
with temporal fireflies like thoughts of Paradise;
61
but there are inexplicable instincts that keep recurring
not from hope or fear only, that are real as stones,
the faces of the dead we wait for as ants are transferring
their cities, though we no longer believe in the shining ones.
I half-expect to see you no longer, then more than half,
almost never, or never then—there I have said it—
but felt something less than final at the edge of your grave,
some other something somewhere, equally dreaded,
since the fear of the infinite is the same as death,
unendurable brightness, the substantial dreading
its own substance, dissolving to gases and vapours,
like our dread of distance; we need a horizon,
a dividing line that turns the stars into neighbours
though infinity separates them, we can think of only one sun:
all I am saying is that the dread of death is in the faces
we love, the dread of our dying, or theirs;
therefore we see in the glint of immeasurable spaces
not stars or falling embers, not meteors, but tears.
vi
The mango trees serenely rust when they are in flower,
nobody knows the name for that voluble cedar
whose bell-flowers fall, the pomme-arac purples its floor.
The blue hills in late afternoon always look sadder.
The country night waiting to come in outside the door;
the firefly keeps striking matches, and the hillside fumes
with a bluish signal of charcoal, then the smoke burns
into a larger question, one that forms and unforms,
then loses itself in a cloud, till the question returns.
Buckets clatter under pipes, villages begin at corners.
A man and his trotting dog come back from their garden.
62
The sea blazes beyond the rust roofs, dark is on us
before we know it. The earth smells of what's done,
small yards brighten, day dies and its mourners
begin, the first wreath of gnats; this was when we sat down
on bright verandahs watching the hills die. Nothing is trite
once the beloved have vanished; empty clothes in a row,
but perhaps our sadness tires them who cherished delight;
not only are they relieved of our customary sorrow,
they are without hunger, without any appetite,
but are part of earth's vegetal fury; their veins grow
with the wild mammy-apple, the open-handed breadfruit,
their heart in the open pomegranate, in the sliced avocado;
ground-doves pick from their palms; ants carry the freight
of their sweetness, their absence in all that we eat,
their savour that sweetens all of our multiple juices,
their faith that we break and chew in a wedge of cassava,
and here at first is the astonishment: that earth rejoices
in the middle of our agony, earth that will have her
for good: wind shines white stones and the shallows' voices.
vii
In spring, after the bear's self-burial, the stuttering
crocuses open and choir, glaciers shelve and thaw,
frozen ponds crack into maps, green lances spring
from the melting fields, flags of rooks rise and tatter
the pierced light, the crumbling quiet avalanches
of an unsteady sky; the vole uncoils and the otter
worries his sleek head through the verge's branches;
crannies, culverts, and creeks roar with wrist-numbing water.
Deer vault invisible hurdles and sniff the sharp air,
squirrels spring up like questions, berries easily redden,
63
edges delight in their own shapes (whoever their shaper).
But here there is one season, our viridian Eden
is that of the primal garden that engendered decay,
from the seed of a beetle's shard or a dead hare
white and forgotten as winter with spring on its way.
There is no change now, no cycles of spring, autumn, winter,
nor an island's perpetual summer; she took time with her;
no climate, no calendar except for this bountiful day.
As poor Tom fed his last crust to trembling birds,
as by reeds and cold pools John Clare blest these thin musicians,
let the ants teach me again with the long lines of words,
my business and duty, the lesson you taught your sons,
to write of the light's bounty on familiar things
that stand on the verge of translating themselves into news:
the crab, the frigate that floats on cruciform wings,
and that nailed and thorn riddled tree that opens its pews
to the blackbird that hasn't forgotten her because it sings.
~ Derek Walcott,
649:Many a green isle needs must be
In the deep wide sea of Misery,
Or the mariner, worn and wan,
Never thus could voyage on -
Day and night, and night and day,
Drifting on his dreary way,
With the solid darkness black
Closing round his vessel's track:
Whilst above the sunless sky,
Big with clouds, hangs heavily,
And behind the tempest fleet
Hurries on with lightning feet,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other flowering isles must be
In the sea of Life and Agony:
Other spirits float and flee
O'er that gulf: even now, perhaps,
On some rock the wild wave wraps,
With folded wings they waiting sit
For my bark, to pilot it
To some calm and blooming cove,
Where for me, and those I love,
May a windless bower be built,
Far from passion, pain, and guilt,
In a dell mid lawny hills,
Which the wild sea-murmur fills,
And soft sunshine, and the sound
Of old forests echoing round,
And the light and smell divine
Of all flowers that breathe and shine:
We may live so happy there,
That the Spirits of the Air,
Envying us, may even entice
To our healing Paradise
The polluting multitude;
But their rage would be subdued
By that clime divine and calm,
And the winds whose wings rain balm
On the uplifted soul, and leaves
Under which the bright sea heaves;
While each breathless interval
In their whisperings musical
The inspired soul supplies
With its own deep melodies;
And the love which heals all strife
Circling, like the breath of life,
All things in that sweet abode
With its own mild brotherhood:
They, not it, would change; and soon
Every sprite beneath the moon
Would repent its envy vain,
And the earth grow young again.
Composed at Este, October, 1818. Published with Rosalind and Helen, 1819. Amongst the late Mr. Fredk. Locker-Lampsons collections at Rowfant there is a manuscript of the lines (167-205) on Byron, interpolated after the completion of the poem.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lines Written Among The Euganean Hills
,
650:Absolution
THREE months had passed since she had knelt before
The grate of the confessional, and he,
--The priest--had wondered why she came no more
To tell her sinless sins--the vanity
Whose valid reason graced her simple dress-The prayers forgotten, or the untold beads-The little thoughtless words, the slight misdeeds,
Which made the sum of her unrighteousness.
She was the fairest maiden in his fold,
With her sweet mouth and musical pure voice,
Her deep grey eyes, her hair's tempestuous gold,
Her gracious graceful figure's perfect poise.
Her happy laugh, her wild unconscious grace,
Her gentle ways to old, or sick, or sad,
The comprehending sympathy she had,
Had made of her the idol of the place.
And when she grew so silent and so sad,
So thin and quiet, pale and hollow-eyed,
And cared no more to laugh and to be glad
With other maidens by the waterside-All wondered, kindly grieved the elders were,
And some few girls went whispering about,
'She loves--who is it? Let us find it out!'
But never dared to speak of it to her.
But the priest's duty bade him seek her out
And say, 'My child, why dost thou sit apart?
Hast thou some grief? Hast thou some secret doubt?
Come and unfold to me thine inmost heart.
God's absolution can assuage all grief
And all remorse and woe beneath the sun.
Whatever thou hast said, or thought, or done,
The Holy Church can give thy soul relief.'
38
He stood beside her, young and strong, and swayed
With pity for the sorrow in her eyes-Which, as she raised them to his own, conveyed
Into his soul a sort of sad surprise--
For in those grey eyes had a new light grown,
The light that only bitter love can bring,
And he had fancied her too pure a thing
For even happy love to dare to own.
Yet all the more he urged on her--'Confess,
And do not doubt some comfort will be lent
By Holy Church thy penitence to bless.
Trust her, my child.' With unconvinced consent
She answered, 'I will come;' and so at last
Out of the summer evening's crimson glow,
With heart reluctant and with footsteps slow
Into the cool great empty church she passed.
'By my own fault, my own most grievous fault,
I cannot say, for it is not!' she said,
Kneeling within the grey stone chapel's vault;
And on the ledge her golden hair was spread
Over the clasping hands that still increased
Their nervous pressure, poor white hands and thin,
While with hot lips she poured her tale of sin
Into the cold ear of the patient priest.
'Love broke upon me in a dream; it came
Without beginning, for to me it seemed
That all my life this thing had been the same,
And never otherwise than as I dreamed.
I only knew my heart, entire, complete,
Was given to my other self, my love-That I through all the world would gladly move
So I might follow his adorèd feet.
39
'I dreamed my soul saw suddenly appear
Immense abysses, infinite heights unknown;
Possessed new worlds, new earths, sphere after sphere,
New sceptres, kingdoms, crowns, became my own.
When I had all, all earth, all time, all space,
And every blessing, human and divine,
I hated the possessions that were mine,
And only cared for his belovèd face.
'I dreamed that in unmeasured harmony,
Rain of sweet sounds fell on my ravished sense,
And thrilled my soul with swelling ecstasy,
And rose to unimagined excellence.
And while the music bade my heart rejoice,
And on my senses thrust delicious sway,
I wished the perfect melody away,
And in its place longed for his worshipped voice.
'And at the last I felt his arms enfold,
His kisses crown my life--his whispered sighs
Echo my own unrest--his spirit hold
My spirit powerless underneath his eyes,
My face flushed with new joy, and felt more fair:
He clasped me close, and cried, 'My own, my own!'
And then I woke in dawn's chill light, alone,
With empty arms held out to empty air.
'I never knew I loved him till that dream
Drew from my eyes the veil and left me wise.
What I had thought was reverence grew to seem
Only my lifelong love in thin disguise.
And in my dream it looked so sinless too,
So beautiful, harmonious, and right;
The vision faded with the morning light,
The love will last as long as I shall do.
40
'But in the world where I have wept my tears,
My love is sinful and a bitter shame.
How can I bear the never-ending years,
When every night I hear him call my name?
For though that first dream's dear delight is past,
Yet since that night each night I dream him there
With lips caressing on my brow and hair,
And in my arms I hold my heaven fast!'
'Child, have you prayed against it?' 'Have I prayed?
Have I not clogged my very soul with prayer;
Stopped up my ears with sound of praying, made
My very body faint with kneeling there
Before the sculptured Christ, and all for this,
That when my lips can pray no more, and sleep
Shuts my unwilling eyes, my love will leap
To dreamland's bounds, to meet me with his kiss?
'Strive against this?--what profit is the strife?
If through the day a little strength I gain,
At night he comes and calls me 'love' and 'wife,'
And straightway I am all his own again.
And if from love's besieging force my fight
Some little victory have hardly won,
What do I gain? As soon as day is done,
I yield once more to love's delicious might.'
'Avoid him!' 'Ay, in dewy garden walk
How often have I strayed, avoiding him.
And heard his voice mix with the common talk,
Yet never turned his way. My eyes grow dim
With weeping over what I lose by day
And find by night, yet never have to call
My own. O God! is there no help at all-No hope, no chance, and no escapeful way?'
41
'And who is he to whom thy love is given?'
'What? Holy Church demands to know his name?
No rest for me on earth, no hope of heaven
Unless I tell it? Ah, for very shame
I cannot--yet why not?--I will--I can!
I have grown mad with brooding on my curse.
Here! Take the name, no better and no worse
My case will be. Father, thou art the man!'
An icy shock shivered through all his frame-An overwhelming cold astonishment;
But on the instant the revulsion came,
His blood felt what her revelation meant,
And madly rushed along his veins and cried:
'For you too life is possible, and love
No more a word you miss the meaning of,
But all your life's desire unsatisfied.'
Then through his being crept a new strange fear-Fear of himself, and through himself, for her;
His every fibre felt her presence near,
Disquiet in his breast began to stir.
'Lord Christ,' his soul cried, while his heart beat fast,
'Give strength in this, my hour of utmost need.'
And with the prayer strength came to him indeed,
And with calm voice he answered her at last.
'Child, go in peace! Wrestle, and watch, and pray,
And I will spend this night in prayer for thee,
That God will take thy strange great grief away.
Thou hast confessed thy sin. Absolvo te.'
Silence most absolute a little while,
Then passed the whisper of her trailing gown
Over the knee-worn stones, and soft died down
The dim deserted incense-memoried aisle.
42
She passed away, and yet, when she was gone,
His heart still echoed her remembered sighs:
What sin unpardonable had he done
That evermore those grey unquiet eyes
Floated between him and the dying day?
How had she grown so desperately dear?
Why did her love-words echo in his ear
Through all the prayers he forced his lips to say?
All night he lay upon the chancel floor,
And coined his heart in tears and prayers, and new
Strange longings he had never known before.
Her very memory so thrilled him through,
That to his being's core a shiver stole
Of utter, boundless, measureless delight,
Even while with unceasing desperate might
His lips prayed for God's armour for his soul!
The moon had bathed the chancel with her light,
But now she crept into a cloud. No ray
Was left to break the funeral black of night
That closely hung around the form that lay
So tempest-tossed within, so still without.
'God! I love her, love her, love her so!
Oh, for one spark of heaven's fire to show
Some way to cast this devil's passion out!
'I cannot choose but love--Thou knowest, Lord-Yet is my spirit strong to fly from sin,
But oh, my flesh is weak, too weak the word
I have to clothe its utter weakness in!
I am Thy priest, vowed to be Thine alone,
Yet if she came here with those love-dimmed eyes,
How could I turn away from Paradise?
Should I not wreck her soul, and blast my own?
'Christ, by Thy passion, by Thy death for men,
43
Oh, save me from myself, save her from me!'
And at the word the moon came out again
From her cloud-palace, and threw suddenly
A shadow from the great cross overhead
Upon the priest; and with it came a sense
Of strength renewed, of perfect confidence
In Him who on that cross for men hung dead.
Beneath that shadow safety seemed to lie;
And as he knelt before the altar there,
Beside the King of Heaven's agony
Light seemed all pangs His priest might have to bear-His grief, his love, his bitter wild regret,
Would they not be a fitting sacrifice,
A well-loved offering, blessed in the eyes
That never scorned a sad heart's offering yet?
But as the ghostly moon began to fade,
And moonlight glimmered into ghostlier dawn,
The shadow that the crucifix had made
With twilight mixed; and with it seemed withdrawn
The peace that with its shadowy shape began,
And as the dim east brightened, slowly ceased
The wild devotion that had filled the priest-And with full sunlight he sprang up--a man!
'Ten thousand curses on my priestly vow-The hated vow that held me back from thee!
Down with the cross! no death-dark emblems now!
I have done with death: life wakes for thee and me!'
He tore the cross from out his breast, and trod
The sacred symbol underfoot and cried,
'I am set free, unbound, unsanctified!
I am thy lover--not the priest of God!'
He strode straight down the church and passed along
44
The grave-set garden's dewy grass-grown slope:
The woods about were musical with song,
The world was bright with youth, and love, and hope;
The flowers were sweet, and sweet his visions were,
The sunlight glittered on the lily's head
And on the royal roses, rich and red,
And never had the earth seemed half so fair.
Soon would he see her--soon would kneel before
Her worshipped feet, and cry, 'I am thine own,
As thou art mine, now, and for evermore!'
And she should kiss the lips that had not known
The kiss of love in any vanished year.
And as he dreamed of his secured delight,
Round the curved road there slowly came in sight
A mourning band, and in their midst a bier.
He hastened to pass on. Why should he heed
A bier--a blot on earth's awakened face?
For to his love-warm heart it seemed indeed
That in sweet summer's bloom death had no place.
Yet still he glanced--a pale concealing fold
Veiled the dead, quiet face--and yet--and yet-Did he not know that hand, so white and wet?
Did he not know those dripping curls of gold?
'We came to you to know what we should do,
Father: we found her body in the stream,
And how it happed, God knows!' One other knew-Knew that of him had been her last wild dream-Knew the full reason of that life-disdain-Knew how the shame of hopeless love confessed
And unreturned had seemed to stain her breast,
Till only death could make her clean again.
They left her in the church where sunbeams bright
45
Gilded the wreathèd oak and carven stone
With golden floods of consecrating light;
And here at last, together and alone,
The lovers met, and here upon her hair
He set his lips, and dry-eyed kissed her face,
And in the stillness of the holy place
He spoke in tones of bitter blank despair:
'Oh, lips so quiet, eyes that will not see!
Oh, clinging hands that not again will cling!
This last poor sin may well be pardoned thee,
Since for the right's sake thou hast done this thing.
Oh, poor weak heart, for ever laid to rest,
That could no longer strive against its fate,
For thee high heaven will unbar its gate,
And thou shalt enter in and shalt be blessed.
'The chances were the same for us,' he said,
'Yet thou hast won, and I have lost, the whole;
Thou wouldst not live in sin, and thou art dead-But I--against thee I have weighed my soul,
And, losing thee, have lost my soul as well.
I have cursed God, and trampled on His cross;
Earth has no measurement for all my loss,
But I shall learn to measure it in hell!'
~ Edith Nesbit,
651:Sun And Flesh (Credo In Unam)
Birth of Venus
The Sun, the hearth of affection and life,
Pours burning love on the delighted earth,
And when you lie down in the valley, you can smell
How the earth is nubile and very full-blooded;
How its huge breast, heaved up by a soul,
Is, like God, made of love, and, like woman, of flesh,
And that it contains, big with sap and with sunlight,
The vast pullulation of all embryos!
And everything grows, and everything rises!
- O Venus, O Goddess!
I long for the days of antique youth,
Of lascivious satyrs, and animal fauns,
Gods who bit, mad with love, the bark of the boughs,
And among water-lilies kissed the Nymph with fair hair!
I long for the time when the sap of the world,
River water, the rose-coloured blood of green trees
Put into the veins of Pan a whole universe!
When the earth trembled, green,beneath his goat-feet;
When, softly kissing the fair Syrinx, his lips formed
Under heaven the great hymn of love;
When, standing on the plain, he heard round about him
Living Nature answer his call;
When the silent trees cradling the singing bird,
Earth cradling mankind, and the whole blue Ocean,
And all living creatures loved, loved in God!
I long for the time of great Cybele,
Who was said to travel, gigantically lovely,
In a great bronze chariot, through splendid cities;
Her twin breasts poured, through the vast deeps,
The pure streams of infinite life.
Mankind sucked joyfully at her blessed nipple,
Like a small child playing on her knees.
- Because he was strong, Man was gentle and chaste.
Misfortune! Now he says: I understand things,
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And goes about with eyes shut and ears closed.
- And again, no more gods! no more gods! Man is King,
Man is God! But the great faith is Love!
Oh! if only man still drew sustenance from your nipple,
Great mother of gods and of men, Cybele;
If only he had not forsaken immortal Astarte
Who long ago, rising in the tremendous brightness
Of blue waters, flower-flesh perfumed by the wave,
Showed her rosy navel, towards which the foam came snowing
And , being a goddess with the great conquering black eyes,
Made the nightingale sing in the woods and love in men's hearts!
The Birth of Venus
II
I believe! I believe in you! divine mother,
Sea-born Aphrodite! - Oh! the path is bitter
Since the other God harnessed us to his cross;
Flesh, Marble, Flower, Venus, in you I believe!
- yes, Man is sad and ugly, sad under the vast sky.
He possesses clothes, because he is no longer chaste,
Because he has defiled his proud, godlike head
And because he has bent, like an idol in the furnace,
His Olympian form towards base slaveries!
Yes, even after death, in the form of pale skeletons
He wishes to live and insult the original beauty!
- And the Idol in whom you placed such maidenhood,
Woman, in whom you rendered our clay divine,
So that Man might bring light into his poor soul
And slowly ascend, in unbounded love,
From the earthly prison to the beauty of day,
Woman no longer knows even how to be a Courtesan!
- It's a fine farce! and the world snickers
At the sweet and sacred name of great Venus!
III
If only the times which have come and gone might come again!
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- For Man is finished! Man has played all the parts!
In the broad daylight, wearied with breaking idols
He will revive, free of all his gods,
And, since he is of heaven, he will scan the heavens!
The Ideal, that eternal, invincible thought, which is
All; The living god within his fleshly clay,
Will rise, mount, burn beneath his brow!
An when you see him plumbing the whole horizon,
Despising old yokes, and free from all fear,
You will come and give him holy Redemption!
- Resplendent, radiant, from the bosom of the huge seas
You will rise up and give to the vast Universe
Infinite Love with its eternal smile!
The World will vibrate like an immense lyre
In the trembling of an infinite kiss!
- The World thirsts for love: you will come and slake its thirst.
....................................................
O! Man has raised his free, proud head!
And the sudden blaze of primordial beauty
Makes the god quiver in the altar of the flesh!
Happy in the present good, pale from the ill suffered,
Man wishes to plumb all depths, - and know all things! Thought,
So long a jade, and for so long oppressed,
Springs from his forehead! She will know Why!...
Let her but gallop free, and Man will find Faith!
- Why the blue silence, unfathomable space?
Why the golden stars, teeming like sands?
If one ascended forever, what would one see up there?
Does a sheperd drive this enormous flock
Of worlds on a journey through this horror of space?
And do all these worlds contained in the vast ether,
tremble at the tones of an eternal voice?
- And Man, can he see? can he say: I believe?
Is the langage of thought anymore than a dream?
If man is born so quickly, if life is so short
Whence does he come? Does he sink into the deep Ocean
Of Germs, of Foetuses, of Embryos, to the bottom
of the huge Crucible where Nature the Mother
Will resuscitate him, a living creature,
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To love in the rose and to grow in the corn?...
We cannot know! - We are weighed down
With a cloak of ignorance, hemmed in by chimaeras!
Men like apes, dropped from our mothers' wombs,
Our feeble reason hides the infinite from us!
We wish to perceive: - and Doubt punishes us!
Doubt, dismal bird, beat us down with its wing...
- And the horizon rushes away in endless flight!...
.......................................................
The vast heaven is open! the mysteries lie dead
Before erect Man, who folds his strong arms
Among the vast splendour of abundant Nature!
He sings... and the woods sing, the river murmurs
A song full of happiness which rises towards the light!...
- it is Redemption! it is love! it is love!...
IV
O splendour of flesh! O ideal splendour!
O renewal of love, triumphal dawn
When, prostrating the Gods and the Heroes,
White Callipyge and little Eros
Covered with the snow of rose petals, will caress
Women and flowers beneath their lovely outstretched feet!
- O great Ariadne who pour out your tears
On the shore, as you see, out there on the waves,
The sail of Theseus flying white under the sun,
O sweet virgin child whom a night has broken,
Be silent! On his golden chariot studded with black grapes,
Lysios, who has been drawn through Phrygian fields
By lascivious tigers and russet panthers,
Reddens the dark mosses along the blue rivers.
- Zeus, the Bull, cradles on his neck like a child
The nude body of Europa who throws her white arm
Round the God's muscular neck which shivers in the wave.
Slowly he turns his dreamy eye towards her;
She, droops her pale flowerlike cheek
On the brow of Zeus; her eyes are closed; she is dying
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In a divine kiss, and the murmuring waters
Strew the flowers of their golden foam on her hair.
- Between the oleander and the gaudy lotus tree
Slips amorously the great dreaming Swan
Enfloding Leda in the whiteness of his wing;
- And while Cypris goes by, strangely beautiful,
And, arching the marvellous curves of her back,
Proudly displays the golden vision of her big breasts
And snowy belly embroidered with black moss,
- Hercules, Tamer of beasts, in his Strength,
Robes his huge body with the lion's skin as with glory
And faces the horizons, his brow terrible and sweet!
Vaguely lit by the summer moon,
Erect, naked, dreaming in her pallor of gold
Streaked by the heavy wave of her long blue hair,
In the shadowy glade whenre stars spring in the moss,
The Dryade gazes up at the silent sky...
- White Selene, timidly, lets her veil float,
Over the feet of beautiful Endymion,
And throws him a kiss in a pale beam...
- The Spring sobs far off in a long ectasy...
Ii is the nymph who dreams with one elbow on her urn,
Of the handsome white stripling her wave has pressed against.
- A soft wind of love has passed in the night,
And in the sacred woods, amid the standing hair of the great trees,
Erect in majesty, the shadowly Marbles,
The Gods, on whose brows the Bullfinch has his nest,
- the Gods listen to Men, and to the infinite World!
Original French
Soleil et Chair
Le Soleil, le foyer de tendresse et de vie,
Verse l'amour brûlant à la terre ravie,
Et, quand on est couché sur la vallée, on sent
Que la terre est nubile et déborde de sang ;
Que son immense sein, soulevé par une âme,
Est d'amour comme Dieu, de chair comme la femme,
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Et qu'il renferme, gros de sève et de rayons,
Le grand fourmillement de tous les embryons !
Et tout croît, et tout monte !
spacespacespacespacespacespace- O Vénus, ô Déesse !
Je regrette les temps de l'antique jeunesse,
Des satyres lascifs, des faunes animaux,
Dieux qui mordaient d'amour l'écorce des rameaux
Et dans les nénuphars baisaient la Nymphe blonde !
Je regrette les temps où la sève du monde,
L'eau du fleuve, le sang rose des arbres verts
Dans les veines de Pan mettaient un univers !.
Où le sol palpitait, vert, sous ses pieds de chèvre ;
Où, baisant mollement le clair syrinx, sa lèvre
Modulait sous le ciel le grand hymne d'amour ;
Où, debout sur la plaine, il entendait autour
Répondre à son appel la Nature vivante ;
Où les arbres muets, berçant l'oiseau qui chante,
La terre berçant l'homme, et tout l'Océan bleu
Et tous les animaux aimaient, aimaient en Dieu !
Soleil et Chair, Suite
Je regrette les temps de la grande Cybèle
Qu'on disait parcourir, gigantesquement belle,
Sur un grand char d'airain, les splendides cités ;
Son double sein versait dans les immensités
Le pur ruissellement de la vie infinie.
L'Homme suçait, heureux, sa mamelle bénie,
Comme un petit enfant, jouant sur ses genoux.
- Parce qu'il était fort, l'Homme était chaste et doux.
Misère ! Maintenant il dit : Je sais les choses,
Et va, les yeux fermés et les oreille closes.
- Et pourtant, plus de dieux ! plus de dieux ! l'Homme est Roi,
L'Homme est Dieu ! Mais l'Amour, voilà la grande Foi !
Oh ! si l'homme puisait encore à ta mamelle,
Grande mère des dieux et des hommes, Cybèle ;
S'il n'avait pas laissé l'immortelle Astarté
Qui jadis, émergeant dans l'immense clarté
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Des flots bleus, fleur de chair que la vague parfume,
Montra son nombril rose où vint neiger l'écume,
Et fit chanter, Déesse aux grands yeux noirs vainqueurs,
Le rossignol aux bois et l'amour dans les coeurs !
II
Je crois en toi ! Je crois en toi ! divine mère,
Aphrodite marine ! - Oh ! la route est amère
Depuis que l'autre Dieu nous attelle à sa croix ;
Chair, Marbre, Fleur, Vénus, c'est en toi que je crois !
- Oui, l'Homme est triste et laid, triste sous le ciel vaste,
Il a des vêtements, parce qu'il n'est plus chaste,
Parce qu'il a sali son fier buste de Dieu,
Et qu'il a rabougri, comme une idole au feu,
Son corps Olympien aux servitudes sales !
Oui, même après la mort, dans les squelettes pâles
Il veut vivre, insultant la première beauté !
- Et l'Idole où tu mis tant de virginité,
Où tu divinisas notre argile, la Femme,
Afin que l'Homme pût éclairer sa pauvre âme
Et monter lentement, dans un immense amour,
De la prison terrestre à la beauté du jour,
La Femme ne sait plus même être Courtisane !
- C'est une bonne farce ! et le monde ricane
Au nom doux et sacré de la grande Vénus !
III
Si les temps revenaient, les temps qui sont venus !
- Car l'Homme a fini ! l'Homme a joué tous les rôles !
Au grand jour, fatigué de briser des idoles
Il ressuscitera, libre de tous ses Dieux,
Et, comme il est du ciel, il scrutera les cieux !
L'idéal, la pensée invincible, éternelle,
Tout ; le dieu qui vit, sous son argile charnelle,
Montera, montera, brûlera sous son front !
Et quand tu le verras sonder tout l'horizon,
Contempteur des vieux jougs, libre de toute crainte,
Tu viendras lui donner la Rédemption sainte !
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- Splendide, radieuse, au sein des grandes mers
Tu surgiras, jetant sur le vaste Univers
L'Amour infini dans un infini sourire !
Le Monde vibrera comme une immense lyre
Dans le frémissement d'un immense baiser
- Le Monde a soif d'amour : tu viendras l'apaiser.
IV
O splendeur de la chair ! ô splendeur idéale !
O renouveau d'amour, aurore triomphale
Où, courbant à leurs pieds les Dieux et les Héros,
Kallipyge la blanche et le petit Éros
Effleureront, couverts de la neige des roses,
Les femmes et les fleurs sous leurs beaux pieds écloses !
- O grande Ariadné, qui jette tes sanglots
Sur la rive, en voyant fuir là-bas sur les flots
Blanche sous le soleil, la voile de Thésée,
O douce vierge enfant qu'une nuit a brisée,
Tais-toi ! Sur son char d'or brodé de noirs raisins,
Lysios, promené dans les champs Phrygiens
Par les tigres lascifs et les panthères rousses,
Le long des fleuves bleus rougit les sombres mousses.
- Zeus, Taureau, sur son cou berce comme une enfant
Le corps nu d'Europé, qui jette son bras blanc
Au cou nerveux du Dieu frissonnant dans la vague
Il tourne lentement vers elle son oeil vague ;
Elle, laisse traîner sa pâle joue en fleur
Au front de Zeus ; ses yeux sont fermés ; elle meurt
Dans un divin baiser, et le flot qui murmure
De son écume d'or fleurit sa chevelure.
- Entre le laurier-rose et le lotus jaseur
Glisse amoureusement le grand Cygne rêveur
Embrassant la Léda des blancheurs de son aile ;
- Et tandis que Cypris passe, étrangement belle,
Et, cambrant les rondeurs splendides de ses reins,
Étale fièrement l'or de ses larges seins
Et son ventre neigeux brodé de mousse noire,
- Héraclès, le Dompteur, qui, comme d'une gloire
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Fort, ceint son vaste corps de la peau du lion,
S'avance, front terrible et doux, à l'horizon !
Par la lune d'été vaguement éclairée,
Debout, nue, et rêvant dans sa pâleur dorée
Que tache le flot lourd de ses longs cheveux bleus,
Dans la clairière sombre, où la mousse s'étoile,
La Dryade regarde au ciel silencieux....
- La blanche Séléné laisse flotter son voile,
Craintive, sur les pieds du bel Endymion,
Et lui jette un baiser dans un pâle rayon...
- La Source pleure au loin dans une longue extase...
C'est la nymphe qui rêve, un coude sur son vase,
Au beau jeune homme blanc que son onde a pressé.
- Une brise d'amour dans la nuit a passé,
Et, dans les bois sacrés, dans l'horreur des grands arbres,
Majestueusement debout, les sombres Marbres,
Les Dieux, au front desquels le Bouvreuil fait son nid,
- Les Dieux écoutent l'homme et le Monde infini !
~ Arthur Rimbaud,
652:Into The Silent Land
I.
'Oh for a pen of light, a tongue of fire,
That every word might burn in living flame
Upon the age's brow, and leave one name
Engraven on the future! One desire
Fills every nook and cranny of my heart;
One hope-one sorrow-one beloved aim!
She whose pure life was of my life a part,
As light is of the day, could she inspire
My unmelodious muse, or tune the lyre
To diapasons worthy of the theme,
How would her joy put on its robes of light,
And nestle in my bosom once again,
As when life, like an Oriental dream,
Fanned by Arabian airs, glode down the stream
To music whose remembrance is a pain.
The foot of time might trample on my strain,
But could not quench its essence. There was might,
And majesty, and greatness in the love
She blest me with-a blessing without stain,
And that was earthly; since her spirit-sight
Looked through the veil, and learned love's true delight,
Which sainted ministrants alone can prove
Who taste the waters of eternal love:
I pause to think how wonderful has grown
The love that was to me so wondrous here!
Chained as I am to this terrestrial sphere,
Groping my way through darkness, and alone,
Like a blind eaglet soaring towards the sun,
How would her full experience lift and cheer
The heart that never feels its duty done,
And with a girdle of pure light enzone
My flowery world of thought, and make it all her own.'
Thus mused the Minstrel, for his heart was sad.
Death had bereaved him of his bride, while youth,
And looming years of future trust and truth,
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Knit them together, till their souls were clad
With joy ineffable. Love's great High Priest
Sacrificed in their hearts to Him that doeth
All things well; and such rare, perpetual feast
Of love and truth no mortals ever had,
To keep their memories green, their lives serene and glad,
He sat again within the quiet room,
Where Death had snapped one golden thread of life,
And the pale hand of Sickness, sorrow-rife,
Robbed the plump cheek of childhood of its bloom;
Where she, another Philomena, moved
Like a fond Charity-the coming wife
Ordained to crown his being: And he loved.
The future rose before him, joy and gloom;
For where the sunlight shone, there waved the sable plume.
And yet he failed not, for the coming pain;
The coming bliss would counterbalance all.
The sight prophetic that perceived the pall,
Looked far beyond for the celestial gain.
They do not truly love who cannot yield
The mortal up at the Immortal's call,
Or fail to triumph for the soul that's sealed.
His mind was strung to one harmonious strain:
To give when God should ask, and not resign in vain.
Love was to him life's chiefest victory;
He knew no greater, and he sought no less.
Like a green isle surrounded by the sea
That gives it health and vigour, so was he
The centre of love's sphere of perfectness;
He breathed its heavenly atmosphere; the key
That opened every chamber in love's court
Was in his hand; love's mystery was his sport,
He knelt within love's fane and worshipped thereBut not alone, for one was by his side
Whose love refined his being, filled the air
Of life's irradiated sky with light,
As the sun floods the heavens with a tide
Of renovating freshness, as the night
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Is mellowed by the ample moon.
And hoping for the recompense
That would be theirs in life's approaching noon,
They built on hope's high eminence
Their airy palaces, whose magnificence
Surpassed the dreams that fancy drew,
So fair the promised land that lay within their view.
And here they lived; just within reach of heaven.
They could put forth their hands and touch the skies
That brooded o'er the walls of chrysolite,
The airy minarets, and golden domes
Of their new home, by Love, the Maker, given,
Steeped in his brightest dyes.
All nature opened up her ponderous tomes,
Whereby they had new knowledge and new sight,
Learned greater truths, and saw the paths of light,
Mosaic-paven, which to Duty led.
And there were secrets written overhead,
In burning hieroglyphs of thought,
From which they gleaned such lessons as are taught
Only to those whom heaven, in graciousness,
Lifts in her arms with a divine caress.
Earth, like a joyous maiden whose pure soul
Is filled with sudden ecstacy, became
A fruitful Eden; and the golden bowl
That held their elixir of life was filled
To overflowing with the rarest draught
Ever by gods or men in rapture quaffed;
Till from the altar of their hearts love's flame
Passed through the veins of the world, and thrilled
The soul of the rejoicing universe,
Which became theirs, and like true neophytes
They drained the sweet nepenthe, and love's rites
Wiped from their hearts all trace of the primeval curse.
The happy months rolled on; each wedded day
A bridal; and each calm and holy eve
Strewed with rare blessings all the sunny way
Through which they passed, with so divine a joy
That in his brain would meditation weave
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Love's roses into garlands of sweet song,
To deck the brow of his devoted wife.
In this their El Dorado, no alloy
Mixed with the coinage of their wedded life;
The workmen in the mint an honest throng.
No wonder, then, that with go fine a bliss
Informing every fibre of his brain,
His thoughts begat impressions such as this;
Linking their lives together with a chain
Of melody as rare as some divine refrain:
Like dew to the thirsty flower,
Like sweets to the hungry bee,
Is love's divinest dower,
Its tenderness and power,
To thee, dear Wife! to thee.
Like light to the darkened spirit,
Like oil to the turbid sea,
Like truthful words to merit,
Are the blessings I inherit
With thee, dear Wife! with thee.
Afar in the distant ages,
Soul-ransomed, and spirit-free,
I'll read all being's pages,
Unread by mortal sages,
With thee, dear Wife! with thee.
None but the happy heart could carol thus;
A feather stolen from Devotion's wing,
To keep as a memento of the time
When earth met heaven, in life's duteous
And prayerful journey towards the shadowy clime;
Ere they descended from their height sublime,
Where at Love's well-filled table, banqueting,
They sat, and watched the first glad year,
Earthlike, revolving round the sun
Of their true life. Within that sphere
Was the new Eden. One by one
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The precious moments dropped like golden sands,
And formed the solid hours. No perilous strands
Delayed life's blissful current, as it sped
Through flowery realms with blue skies overhead,
To songs and laughter musically sweet,
As if all sorrow had forever fled;
And idylls, sung with cheerful tone,
Haunted the calm, enchanted zone
That hemmed them in,
Where, like a stately queen,
Sate Peace, beatified, serene,
The guardian, heaven-sent, of this their fair demesne:
--LOVE'S ANNIVERSARY.
Like a bold, adventurous swain,
Just a year ago to-day,
I launched my bark on a radiant main,
And Hymen led the way:
'Breakers ahead!' he cried,
As he sought to overwhelm
My daring craft in the shrieking tide,
But Love, like a pilot bold and tried,
Sat, watchful, at the helm.
And we passed the treacherous shoals,
Where many a hope lay dead,
And splendid wrecks were piled, like the ghouls
Of joys forever fled.
Once safely over these,
We sped by a fairy realm,
Across the bluest and calmest seas
That were ever kissed by a truant breeze,
With Love still at the helm.
We sailed by sweet, odorous isles,
Where the flowers and trees were one;
Through lakes that vied with the golden smiles
Of heaven's unclouded sun:
Still speeds our merry bark,
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Threading life's peaceful realm,
And 'tis ever morn with our marriage-lark,
For the Pilot-Love of our safety-ark
Stands, watchful, at the helm.
II.
A beautiful land is the Land of Dreams,
Green hills and valleys, and deep lagoons,
Swift-rushing torrents and gentle streams,
Glassing a myriad silver moons;
Mirror-like lakelets with lovely isles,
And verdurous headlands looking down
On the Neread shapes, whose smiles
Were worth the price of a peaceful crown.
We clutch at the silvery bars
Flung from the motionless stars,
And climb far into space,
Defying the race
Who ride in aerial cars.
We take up the harp of the mind,
And finger its delicate strings;
The notes, soft and light
As a moonbeam's flight,
Departing on viewless wings.
Afar in some fanciful bower,
Some region of exquisite calm,
Where the starlight falls in a gleaming shower,
We sink to repose
On our couch of rose,
Inhaling no mortal balm.
The worlds are no longer unknown,
We pass through the uttermost sky,
Our eyelids are kissed
By a gentle mist,
And we feel the tone
Of a calmer zone,
As if heaven were wondrous nigh.
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A fanciful land is the Land of Dreams,
Where earth and heaven are clasping hands;
No heaven-no earth,
But one wide, new birth,
Where Beauty and Goodness, and human worth,
Make earth of heaven and heaven of earth;
And angels are walking on golden strands.
And the pearly gates of the universe
Of mind and fancy, opening
To the touch of the dainty finger-tips
Of elegant Peris with rose-bud lips,
Delicate, weird-like sounds are born
From the amber depths of odorous morn,
And spirits of beauty and light rehearse
Such strains as the young immortals sing,
When the souls of the blest
Are borne to their rest,
On luminous pinions of light serene
To the fragrant bowers of evergreen;
O'er the rosy plains, where the dying hours
Are changed by a spell to celestial flowers,
Where the skies have a hue no name can express,
For the tone of their passionate loveliness
Surpasseth all human imagining.
Such was their beautiful Dream of Life;
Each stern reality softened down;
Earth seemed to have ended her age of Strife,
And Harmony reigned, her olive crown
Besting on the Parian brow
Of the fair victor, like the gleam
Of the silvery moon on waves that flow
Thoughtfully down the summer stream.
Such was their earnest Dream of Life!
Was it some angel, with jealous eye,
Seeing such love beneath the sky
As never yet in world or star,
Or spheral height, that reached so far
'Twas never beheld by mortal sight,
Or elsewhere, save in highest heaven,
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Was duly earned, or truly given,
That leagued with the usurper, Death,
To quench the light that shone so bright
That in all the earth there was not a breath
So foul as to change their day to night?
Alone! alone! Oh, word of fearful tone!
Well might the moon withhold her light,
The stars withdraw from human sight,
When Love was overthrown.
The Minstrel's heart how changed!
Love's principalities,
O'er which he reigned supreme,
Usurped by earth's realities;
The realm through which he ranged
Become a vanished dream!
And yet he sung, as sings
The dying swan that droops its wings
And drifts along the stream:
--THE LIGHT IN THE WINDOW PANE.
A joy from my soul's departed,
A bliss from my heart is flown,
As weary, weary-hearted,
I wander alone-alone!
The night wind sadly sigheth
A withering, wild refrain,
And my heart within me dieth
For the light in the window pane.
The stars overhead are shining,
As brightly as e'er they shone,
As heartless-sad-repining,
I wander alone-alone!
A sudden flash comes streaming,
And flickers adown the lane,
But no more for me is gleaming
The light in the window pane.
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The voices that pass are cheerful,
Men laugh as the night winds moan;
They cannot tell how fearful
'Tis to wander alone-alone!
For them, with each night's returning,
Life singeth its tenderest strain,
Where the beacon of love is burningThe light in the window pane.
Oh, sorrow beyond all sorrows
To which human life is prone:
Without thee, through all the morrows,
To wander alone-alone!
Oh, dark, deserted dwelling!
Where Hope like a lamb was slain,
No voice from thy lone walls welling,
No light in thy window pane.
But memory, sainted angel!
Rolls back the sepulchral stone,
And sings like a sweet evangel:
'No-never, never alone!
True grief has its royal palace,
Each loss is a greater gain;
And Sorrow ne'er filled a chalice
That Joy did not wait to drain!
--'Man must be perfected
By suffering,' he said;
'And Death is but the stepping-stone, whereby
We mount towards the gate
Of heaven, soon or late.
Death is the penalty of life; we die,
Because we live; and life
Is but a constant strife
With the immortal Impulse that within
Our bodies seeks controlThe time-abiding Soul,
68
That wrestles with us-yet we fain would win.
And what? the victory
Would make us slaves; and we,
Who in our blindness struggle for the prize
Of this illusive state
Called Life, do but frustrate
The higher law-refusing to be wise.'
Rightly he knew, indeed,
Earth's brightest paths but lead
To the true wisdom of that perfect state,
Where Knowledge, heaven-born,
And Love's eternal morn,
Awaiteth those who would be truly great.
With what abiding trust
He rose from out the dust,
As Death's swift chariot passed him by the way;
No visionary dream
Was his-no trifling themeThe Soul's great Mystery before him lay:
--THE SOUL.
All my mind has sat in state,
Pond'ring on the deathless Soul:
What must be the Perfect Whole,
When the atom is so great!
God! I fall in spirit down,
Low as Persian to the sun;
All my senses, one by one,
In the stream of Thought must drown.
On the tide of mystery,
Like a waif, I'm seaward borne,
Ever looking for the morn
That will yet interpret Thee,
69
Opening my blinded eyes,
That have strove to look within,
'Whelmed in clouds of doubt and sin,
Sinking where I dared to rise:
Could I trace one Spirit's flight,
Track it to its final goal,
Know that 'Spirit' meant 'the Soul,'
I must perish in the light.
All in vain I search, and cry:
'What, O Soul, and whence art thou?'
Lower than the earth I bow,
Stricken with the grave reply:
'Wouldst thou ope what God has sealedSealed in mercy here below?
What is best for man to know,
Shall most surely be revealed!'
Deep on deep of mystery!
Ask the sage, he knows no more
Of the soul's unspoken lore
Than the child upon his knee!
Cannot tell me whence the thought
That is passing through my mind!
Where the mystic soul is shrined,
Wherewith all my life is fraught?
Knows not how the brain conceives
Images almost divine;
Cannot work my mental mine,
Cannot bind my golden sheaves.
Is he wiser, then, than I,
Seeing he can read the stars?
I have rode in fancy's oars
Leagues beyond his farthest sky!
Some old Rabbi, dreaming o'er
The sweet legends of his race,
70
Ask him for some certain trace
Of the far, eternal shore.
No. The Talmud page is dark,
Though it burn with quenchless fire,
And the insight must pierce higher,
That would find the vital spark.
O, my Soul! be firm and wait,
Hoping with the zealous few,
Till the Shekinah of the True
Lead thee through the Golden Gate.
~ Charles Sangster,
653:Scene.Inside the Turret on the Hill above Asolo.Luigi and his Mother entering.
Mother
If there blew wind, you'd hear a long sigh, easing
The utmost heaviness of music's heart.
Luigi
Here in the archway?
Mother
           Oh no, noin farther,
Where the echo is made, on the ridge.
Luigi
                    Here surely, then.
How plain the tap of my heel as I leaped up!
Hark"Lucius Junius!" The very ghost of a voice
Whose body is caught and kept by . . . what are those?
Mere withered wallflowers, waving overhead?
They seem an elvish group with thin bleached hair
That lean out of their topmost fortresslook
And listen, mountain men, to what we say,
Hand under chin of each grave earthy face.
Up and show faces all of you!"All of you!"
That's the king dwarf with the scarlet comb; old Franz,
Come down and meet your fate? Hark"Meet your fate!"
Mother
Let him not meet it, my Luigido not
Go to his City! Putting crime aside,
Half of these ills of Italy are feigned:
Your Pellicos and writers for effect,
Write for effect.
Luigi
         Hush! Say A. writes, and B.
         Mother
These A.s and B.s write for effect, I say.
Then, evil is in its nature loud, while good
Is silent; you hear each petty injury,
None of his virtues; he is old beside,
Quiet and kind, and densely stupid. Why
Do A. and B. not kill him themselves?
Luigi
                    They teach
Others to kill himmeand, if I fail,
Others to succeed; now, if A. tried and failed,
I could not teach that: mine's the lesser task.
Mother, they visit night by night . . .
Mother
                     You, Luigi?
Ah, will you let me tell you what you are?
Luigi
Why not? Oh, the one thing you fear to hint,
You may assure yourself I say and say
Ever to myself! At timesnay, even as now
We sitI think my mind is touched, suspect
All is not sound: but is not knowing that,
What constitutes one sane or otherwise?
I know I am thusso, all is right again.
I laugh at myself as through the town I walk.
And see men merry as if no Italy
Were suffering; then I ponder"I am rich,
"Young, healthy; why should this fact trouble me,
"More than it troubles these?" But it does trouble.
No, trouble's a bad word: for as I walk
There's springing and melody and giddiness,
And old quaint turns and passages of my youth,
Dreams long forgotten, little in themselves,
Return to mewhatever may amuse me:
And earth seems in a truce with me, and heaven
Accords with me, all things suspend their strife,
The very cicala laughs "There goes he, and there!
"Feast him, the time is short; he is on his way
"For the world's sake: feast him this once, our friend!"
And in return for all this, I can trip
Cheerfully up the scaffold-steps. I go
This evening, mother!
Mother
           But mistrust yourself
Mistrust the judgment you pronounce on him!
Luigi
Oh, there I feelam sure that I am right!
Mother
Mistrust your judgment then, of the mere means
To this wild enterprise. Say, you are right,
How should one in your state e'er bring to pass
What would require a cool head, a cold heart,
And a calm hand? You never will escape.
Luigi
Escape? To even wish that, would spoil all.
The dying is best part of it. Too much
Have I enjoyed these fifteen years of mine,
To leave myself excuse for longer life:
Was not life pressed down, running o'er with joy,
That I might finish with it ere my fellows
Who, sparelier feasted, make a longer stay?
I was put at the board-head, helped to all
At first; I rise up happy and content.
God must be glad one loves his world so much.
I can give news of earth to all the dead
Who ask me:last year's sunsets, and great stars
Which had a right to come first and see ebb
The crimson wave that drifts the sun away
Those crescent moons with notched and burning rims
That strengthened into sharp fire, and there stood,
Impatient of the azureand that day
In March, a double rainbow stopped the storm
May's warm slow yellow moonlit summer nights
Gone are they, but I have them in my soul!
Mother
(He will not go!)
Luigi
         You smile at me? 'T is true,
Voluptuousness, grotesqueness, ghastliness,
Environ my devotedness as quaintly
As round about some antique altar wreathe
The rose festoons, goats' horns, and oxen's skulls.
Mother
See now: you reach the city, you must cross
His thresholdhow?
Luigi
          Oh, that's if we conspired!
Then would come pains in plenty, as you guess
But guess not how the qualities most fit
For such an office, qualities I have,
Would little stead me, otherwise employed,
Yet prove of rarest merit only here.
Every one knows for what his excellence
Will serve, but no one ever will consider
For what his worst defect might serve: and yet
Have you not seen me range our coppice yonder
In search of a distorted ash?I find
The wry spoilt branch a natural perfect bow.
Fancy the thrice-sage, thrice-precautioned man
Arriving at the palace on my errand!
No, no! I have a handsome dress packed up
White satin here, to set off my black hair;
In I shall marchfor you may watch your life out
Behind thick walls, make friends there to betray you;
More than one man spoils everything. March straight
Only, no clumsy knife to fumble for.
Take the great gate, and walk (not saunter) on
Thro' guards and guardsI have rehearsed it all
Inside the turret here a hundred times.
Don't ask the way of whom you meet, observe!
But where they cluster thickliest is the door
Of doors; they'll let you passthey'll never blab
Each to the other, he knows not the favourite,
Whence he is bound and what's his business now.
Walk instraight up to him; you have no knife:
Be prompt, how should he scream? Then, out with you!
Italy, Italy, my Italy!
You're free, you're free! Oh mother, I could dream
They got about meAndrea from his exile,
Pier from his dungeon, Gualtier from his grave!
Mother
Well, you shall go. Yet seems this patriotism
The easiest virtue for a selfish man
To acquire: he loves himselfand next, the world
If he must love beyond,but nought between:
As a short-sighted man sees nought midway
His body and the sun above. But you
Are my adored Luigi, ever obedient
To my least wish, and running o'er with love:
I could not call you cruel or unkind.
Once more, your ground for killing him!then go!
Luigi
Now do you try me, or make sport of me?
How first the Austrians got these provinces . . .
(If that is all, I'll satisfy you soon)
Never by conquest but by cunning, for
That treaty whereby . . .
Mother
              Well?
              Luigi
                 (Sure, he's arrived,
The tell-tale cuckoo: spring's his confidant,
And he lets out her April purposes!)
Or . . . better go at once to modern time,
He has . . . they have . . . in fact, I understand
But can't restate the matter; that's my boast:
Others could reason it out to you, and prove
Things they have made me feel.
Mother
                Why go to-night?
Morn's for adventure. Jupiter is now
A morning-star. I cannot hear you, Luigi!
Luigi
"I am the bright and morning-star," saith God
And, "to such an one I give the morning-star.
The gift of the morning-star! Have I God's gift
Of the morning-star?
Mother
           Chiara will love to see
That Jupiter an evening-star next June.
Luigi
True, mother. Well for those who live through June!
Great noontides, thunder-storms, all glaring pomps
That triumph at the heels of June the god
Leading his revel through our leafy world.
Yes, Chiara will be here.
Mother
             In June: remember,
Yourself appointed that month for her coming.
Luigi
Was that low noise the echo?
Mother
               The night-wind.
She must be grownwith her blue eyes upturned
As if life were one long and sweet surprise:
In June she comes.
Luigi
         We were to see together
The Titian at Treviso. There, again!
[From without is heard the voice of Pippa, singing]
A king lived long ago,
In the morning of the world,
When earth was nigher heaven than now:
And the king's locks curled,
Disparting o'er a forehead full
As the milk-white space 'twixt horn and horn
Of some sacrificial bull
Only calm as a babe new-born:
For he was got to a sleepy mood,
So safe from all decrepitude,
Age with its bane, so sure gone by,
(The gods so loved him while he dreamed)
That, having lived thus long, there seemed
No need the king should ever die.
Luigi
No need that sort of king should ever die!
Among the rocks his city was:
Before his palace, in the sun,
He sat to see his people pass,
And judge them every one
From its threshold of smooth stone.
They haled him many a valley-thief
Caught in the sheep-pens, robber-chief
Swarthy and shameless, beggar-cheat,
Spy-prowler, or rough pirate found
On the sea-sand left aground;
And sometimes clung about his feet,
With bleeding lip and burning cheek,
A woman, bitterest wrong to speak
Of one with sullen thickset brows:
And sometimes from the prison-house
The angry priests a pale wretch brought,
Who through some chink had pushed and pressed
On knees and elbows, belly and breast,
Worm-like into the temple,caught
He was by the very god,
Who ever in the darkness strode
Backward and forward, keeping watch
O'er his brazen bowls, such rogues to catch!
These, all and every one,
The king judged, sitting in the sun.
Luigi
That king should still judge sitting in the sun!
His councillors, on left and right,
Looked anxious up,but no surprise
Disturbed the king's old smiling eyes
Where the very blue had turned to white.
'T is said, a Python scared one day
The breathless city, till he came,
With forky tongue and eyes on flame
Where the old king sat to judge alway,
But when he saw the sweepy hair
Girt with a crown of berries rare
Which the god will hardly give to wear
To the maiden who singeth, dancing bare
In the altar-smoke by the pine-torch lights,
At his wondrous forest rites,
Seeing this, he did not dare
Approach that threshold in the sun,
Assault the old king smiling there.
Such grace had kings when the world begun!
[Pippa passes]
Luigi
And such grace have they, now that the world ends!
The Python at the city, on the throne,
And brave men, God would crown for slaying him,
Lurk in bye-corners lest they fall his prey.
Are crowns yet to be won in this late time,
Which weakness makes me hesitate to reach?
'T is God's voice calls: how could I stay? Farewell!
Talk by the way, while Pippa is passing from the Turret to the Bishop's Brother's House, close to the Duomo S. Maria. PoorGirls sitting on the steps.
1st Girl
There goes a swallow to Venicethe stout seafarer!
Seeing those birds fly, makes one wish for wings.
Let us all wish; you wish first!
2nd Girl
                 I? This sunset
To finish.
3rd Girl
     That oldsomebody I know,
Greyer and older than my grandfather,
To give me the same treat he gave last week
Feeding me on his knee with fig-peckers,
Lampreys and red Breganze-wine, and mumbling
The while some folly about how well I fare,
Let sit and eat my supper quietly:
Since had he not himself been late this morning
Detained atnever mind where,had he not . . .
"Eh, baggage, had I not!"
2nd Girl
               How she can lie!
               3rd Girl
Look thereby the nails!
2nd Girl.
             What makes your fingers red?
             3rd Girl
Dipping them into wine to write bad words with
On the bright table: how he laughed!
1st Girl
                   My turn.
Spring's come and summer's coming. I would wear
A long loose gown, down to the feet and hands,
With plaits here, close about the throat, all day;
And all night lie, the cool long nights, in bed;
And have new milk to drink, apples to eat,
Deuzans and junetings, leather-coats . . ah, I should say,
This is away in the fieldsmiles!
3rd Girl
                  Say at once
You'd be at home: she'd always be at home!
Now comes the story of the farm among
The cherry orchards, and how April snowed
White blossoms on her as she ran. Why, fool,
They've rubved the chalk-mark out, how tall you were
Twisted your starling's neck, broken his cage,
Made a dung-hill of your garden!
1st Girl
                 They, destroy
My garden since I left them? wellperhaps!
I would have done so: so I hope they have!
A fig-tree curled out of our cottage wall;
They called it mine, I have forgotten why,
It must have been there long ere I was born:
CriccricI think I hear the wasps o'erhead
Pricking the papers strung to flutter there
And keep off birds in fruit-timecoarse long papers,
And the wasps eat them, prick them through and through.
3rd Girl
How her mouth twitches! Where was I?before
She broke in with her wishes and long gowns
And waspswould I be such a fool!Oh, here!
This is my way: I answer every one
Who asks me why I make so much of him
(If you say, "you love him"straight "he'll not be gulled!")
"He that seduced me when I was a girl
"Thus highhad eyes like yours, or hair like yours,
"Brown, red, white,"as the case may be: that pleases!
See how that beetle burnishes in the path!
There sparkles he along the dust: and, there
Your journey to that maize-tuft spoiled at least!
1st Girl
When I was young, they said if you killed one
Of those sunshiny beetles, that his friend
Up there, would shine no more that day nor next.
2nd Girl
When you were young? Nor are you young, that's true.
How your plump arms, that were, have dropped away!
Why, I can span them. Cecco beats you still?
No matter, so you keep your curious hair.
I wish they'd find a way to dye our hair
Your colourany lighter tint, indeed,
Than black: the men say they are sick of black,
Black eyes, black hair!
4th Girl
            Sick of yours, like enough.
Do you pretend you ever tasted lampreys
And ortolans? Giovita, of the palace,
Engaged (but there's no trusting him) to slice me
Polenta with a knife that had cut up
An ortolan.
2nd Girl
     Why, there! Is not that Pippa
We are to talk to, under the window,quick,
Where the lights are?
1st Girl
           That she? No, or she would sing.
For the Intendant said . . .
3rd Girl
               Oh, you sing first!
Then, if she listens and comes close . . I'll tell you,
Sing that song the young English noble made,
Who took you for the purest of the pure,
And meant to leave the world for youwhat fun!
2nd Girl
[sings]
You'll love me yet!and I can tarry
Your love's protracted growing:
June reared that bunch of flowers you carry,
From seeds of April's sowing.
I plant a heartful now: some seed
At least is sure to strike,
And yieldwhat you'll not pluck indeed,
Not love, but, may be, like.
You'll look at least on love's remains,
A grave's one violet:
Your look?that pays a thousand pains.
What's death? You'll love me yet!
3rd Girl
[to Pippa who approaches]
Oh, you may come closerwe shall not eat you! Why, you seem the very person that the great rich handsome Englishman has fallen so violently in love with. I'll tell you all about it.


~ Robert Browning, Pippa Passes - Part III - Evening
,
654:Eloisa To Abelard
In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
Where heav'nly-pensive contemplation dwells,
And ever-musing melancholy reigns;
What means this tumult in a vestal's veins?
Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat?
Why feels my heart its long-forgotten heat?
Yet, yet I love!--From Abelard it came,
And Eloisa yet must kiss the name.
Dear fatal name! rest ever unreveal'd,
Nor pass these lips in holy silence seal'd.
Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise,
Where mix'd with God's, his lov'd idea lies:
O write it not, my hand--the name appears
Already written--wash it out, my tears!
In vain lost Eloisa weeps and prays,
Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeys.
Relentless walls! whose darksome round contains
Repentant sighs, and voluntary pains:
Ye rugged rocks! which holy knees have worn;
Ye grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid thorn!
Shrines! where their vigils pale-ey'd virgins keep,
And pitying saints, whose statues learn to weep!
Though cold like you, unmov'd, and silent grown,
I have not yet forgot myself to stone.
All is not Heav'n's while Abelard has part,
Still rebel nature holds out half my heart;
Nor pray'rs nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain,
Nor tears, for ages, taught to flow in vain.
Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose,
That well-known name awakens all my woes.
Oh name for ever sad! for ever dear!
Still breath'd in sighs, still usher'd with a tear.
I tremble too, where'er my own I find,
Some dire misfortune follows close behind.
Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflow,
Led through a sad variety of woe:
54
Now warm in love, now with'ring in thy bloom,
Lost in a convent's solitary gloom!
There stern religion quench'd th' unwilling flame,
There died the best of passions, love and fame.
Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join
Griefs to thy griefs, and echo sighs to thine.
Nor foes nor fortune take this pow'r away;
And is my Abelard less kind than they?
Tears still are mine, and those I need not spare,
Love but demands what else were shed in pray'r;
No happier task these faded eyes pursue;
To read and weep is all they now can do.
Then share thy pain, allow that sad relief;
Ah, more than share it! give me all thy grief.
Heav'n first taught letters for some wretch's aid,
Some banish'd lover, or some captive maid;
They live, they speak, they breathe what love inspires,
Warm from the soul, and faithful to its fires,
The virgin's wish without her fears impart,
Excuse the blush, and pour out all the heart,
Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soul,
And waft a sigh from Indus to the Pole.
Thou know'st how guiltless first I met thy flame,
When Love approach'd me under Friendship's name;
My fancy form'd thee of angelic kind,
Some emanation of th' all-beauteous Mind.
Those smiling eyes, attemp'ring ev'ry day,
Shone sweetly lambent with celestial day.
Guiltless I gaz'd; heav'n listen'd while you sung;
And truths divine came mended from that tongue.
From lips like those what precept fail'd to move?
Too soon they taught me 'twas no sin to love.
Back through the paths of pleasing sense I ran,
Nor wish'd an Angel whom I lov'd a Man.
Dim and remote the joys of saints I see;
Nor envy them, that heav'n I lose for thee.
How oft, when press'd to marriage, have I said,
Curse on all laws but those which love has made!
55
Love, free as air, at sight of human ties,
Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies,
Let wealth, let honour, wait the wedded dame,
August her deed, and sacred be her fame;
Before true passion all those views remove,
Fame, wealth, and honour! what are you to Love?
The jealous God, when we profane his fires,
Those restless passions in revenge inspires;
And bids them make mistaken mortals groan,
Who seek in love for aught but love alone.
Should at my feet the world's great master fall,
Himself, his throne, his world, I'd scorn 'em all:
Not Caesar's empress would I deign to prove;
No, make me mistress to the man I love;
If there be yet another name more free,
More fond than mistress, make me that to thee!
Oh happy state! when souls each other draw,
When love is liberty, and nature, law:
All then is full, possessing, and possess'd,
No craving void left aching in the breast:
Ev'n thought meets thought, ere from the lips it part,
And each warm wish springs mutual from the heart.
This sure is bliss (if bliss on earth there be)
And once the lot of Abelard and me.
Alas, how chang'd! what sudden horrors rise!
A naked lover bound and bleeding lies!
Where, where was Eloise? her voice, her hand,
Her poniard, had oppos'd the dire command.
Barbarian, stay! that bloody stroke restrain;
The crime was common, common be the pain.
I can no more; by shame, by rage suppress'd,
Let tears, and burning blushes speak the rest.
Canst thou forget that sad, that solemn day,
When victims at yon altar's foot we lay?
Canst thou forget what tears that moment fell,
When, warm in youth, I bade the world farewell?
As with cold lips I kiss'd the sacred veil,
The shrines all trembl'd, and the lamps grew pale:
Heav'n scarce believ'd the conquest it survey'd,
And saints with wonder heard the vows I made.
56
Yet then, to those dread altars as I drew,
Not on the Cross my eyes were fix'd, but you:
Not grace, or zeal, love only was my call,
And if I lose thy love, I lose my all.
Come! with thy looks, thy words, relieve my woe;
Those still at least are left thee to bestow.
Still on that breast enamour'd let me lie,
Still drink delicious poison from thy eye,
Pant on thy lip, and to thy heart be press'd;
Give all thou canst--and let me dream the rest.
Ah no! instruct me other joys to prize,
With other beauties charm my partial eyes,
Full in my view set all the bright abode,
And make my soul quit Abelard for God.
Ah, think at least thy flock deserves thy care,
Plants of thy hand, and children of thy pray'r.
From the false world in early youth they fled,
By thee to mountains, wilds, and deserts led.
You rais'd these hallow'd walls; the desert smil'd,
And Paradise was open'd in the wild.
No weeping orphan saw his father's stores
Our shrines irradiate, or emblaze the floors;
No silver saints, by dying misers giv'n,
Here brib'd the rage of ill-requited heav'n:
But such plain roofs as piety could raise,
And only vocal with the Maker's praise.
In these lone walls (their days eternal bound)
These moss-grown domes with spiry turrets crown'd,
Where awful arches make a noonday night,
And the dim windows shed a solemn light;
Thy eyes diffus'd a reconciling ray,
And gleams of glory brighten'd all the day.
But now no face divine contentment wears,
'Tis all blank sadness, or continual tears.
See how the force of others' pray'rs I try,
(O pious fraud of am'rous charity!)
But why should I on others' pray'rs depend?
Come thou, my father, brother, husband, friend!
Ah let thy handmaid, sister, daughter move,
And all those tender names in one, thy love!
The darksome pines that o'er yon rocks reclin'd
57
Wave high, and murmur to the hollow wind,
The wand'ring streams that shine between the hills,
The grots that echo to the tinkling rills,
The dying gales that pant upon the trees,
The lakes that quiver to the curling breeze;
No more these scenes my meditation aid,
Or lull to rest the visionary maid.
But o'er the twilight groves and dusky caves,
Long-sounding aisles, and intermingled graves,
Black Melancholy sits, and round her throws
A death-like silence, and a dread repose:
Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene,
Shades ev'ry flow'r, and darkens ev'ry green,
Deepens the murmur of the falling floods,
And breathes a browner horror on the woods.
Yet here for ever, ever must I stay;
Sad proof how well a lover can obey!
Death, only death, can break the lasting chain;
And here, ev'n then, shall my cold dust remain,
Here all its frailties, all its flames resign,
And wait till 'tis no sin to mix with thine.
Ah wretch! believ'd the spouse of God in vain,
Confess'd within the slave of love and man.
Assist me, Heav'n! but whence arose that pray'r?
Sprung it from piety, or from despair?
Ev'n here, where frozen chastity retires,
Love finds an altar for forbidden fires.
I ought to grieve, but cannot what I ought;
I mourn the lover, not lament the fault;
I view my crime, but kindle at the view,
Repent old pleasures, and solicit new;
Now turn'd to Heav'n, I weep my past offence,
Now think of thee, and curse my innocence.
Of all affliction taught a lover yet,
'Tis sure the hardest science to forget!
How shall I lose the sin, yet keep the sense,
And love th' offender, yet detest th' offence?
How the dear object from the crime remove,
Or how distinguish penitence from love?
Unequal task! a passion to resign,
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For hearts so touch'd, so pierc'd, so lost as mine.
Ere such a soul regains its peaceful state,
How often must it love, how often hate!
How often hope, despair, resent, regret,
Conceal, disdain--do all things but forget.
But let Heav'n seize it, all at once 'tis fir'd;
Not touch'd, but rapt; not waken'd, but inspir'd!
Oh come! oh teach me nature to subdue,
Renounce my love, my life, myself--and you.
Fill my fond heart with God alone, for he
Alone can rival, can succeed to thee.
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;
Labour and rest, that equal periods keep;
"Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;"
Desires compos'd, affections ever ev'n,
Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to Heav'n.
Grace shines around her with serenest beams,
And whisp'ring angels prompt her golden dreams.
For her th' unfading rose of Eden blooms,
And wings of seraphs shed divine perfumes,
For her the Spouse prepares the bridal ring,
For her white virgins hymeneals sing,
To sounds of heav'nly harps she dies away,
And melts in visions of eternal day.
Far other dreams my erring soul employ,
Far other raptures, of unholy joy:
When at the close of each sad, sorrowing day,
Fancy restores what vengeance snatch'd away,
Then conscience sleeps, and leaving nature free,
All my loose soul unbounded springs to thee.
Oh curs'd, dear horrors of all-conscious night!
How glowing guilt exalts the keen delight!
Provoking Daemons all restraint remove,
And stir within me every source of love.
I hear thee, view thee, gaze o'er all thy charms,
And round thy phantom glue my clasping arms.
I wake--no more I hear, no more I view,
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The phantom flies me, as unkind as you.
I call aloud; it hears not what I say;
I stretch my empty arms; it glides away.
To dream once more I close my willing eyes;
Ye soft illusions, dear deceits, arise!
Alas, no more--methinks we wand'ring go
Through dreary wastes, and weep each other's woe,
Where round some mould'ring tower pale ivy creeps,
And low-brow'd rocks hang nodding o'er the deeps.
Sudden you mount, you beckon from the skies;
Clouds interpose, waves roar, and winds arise.
I shriek, start up, the same sad prospect find,
And wake to all the griefs I left behind.
For thee the fates, severely kind, ordain
A cool suspense from pleasure and from pain;
Thy life a long, dead calm of fix'd repose;
No pulse that riots, and no blood that glows.
Still as the sea, ere winds were taught to blow,
Or moving spirit bade the waters flow;
Soft as the slumbers of a saint forgiv'n,
And mild as opening gleams of promis'd heav'n.
Come, Abelard! for what hast thou to dread?
The torch of Venus burns not for the dead.
Nature stands check'd; Religion disapproves;
Ev'n thou art cold--yet Eloisa loves.
Ah hopeless, lasting flames! like those that burn
To light the dead, and warm th' unfruitful urn.
What scenes appear where'er I turn my view?
The dear ideas, where I fly, pursue,
Rise in the grove, before the altar rise,
Stain all my soul, and wanton in my eyes.
I waste the matin lamp in sighs for thee,
Thy image steals between my God and me,
Thy voice I seem in ev'ry hymn to hear,
With ev'ry bead I drop too soft a tear.
When from the censer clouds of fragrance roll,
And swelling organs lift the rising soul,
One thought of thee puts all the pomp to flight,
Priests, tapers, temples, swim before my sight:
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In seas of flame my plunging soul is drown'd,
While altars blaze, and angels tremble round.
While prostrate here in humble grief I lie,
Kind, virtuous drops just gath'ring in my eye,
While praying, trembling, in the dust I roll,
And dawning grace is op'ning on my soul:
Come, if thou dar'st, all charming as thou art!
Oppose thyself to Heav'n; dispute my heart;
Come, with one glance of those deluding eyes
Blot out each bright idea of the skies;
Take back that grace, those sorrows, and those tears;
Take back my fruitless penitence and pray'rs;
Snatch me, just mounting, from the blest abode;
Assist the fiends, and tear me from my God!
No, fly me, fly me, far as pole from pole;
Rise Alps between us! and whole oceans roll!
Ah, come not, write not, think not once of me,
Nor share one pang of all I felt for thee.
Thy oaths I quit, thy memory resign;
Forget, renounce me, hate whate'er was mine.
Fair eyes, and tempting looks (which yet I view!)
Long lov'd, ador'd ideas, all adieu!
Oh Grace serene! oh virtue heav'nly fair!
Divine oblivion of low-thoughted care!
Fresh blooming hope, gay daughter of the sky!
And faith, our early immortality!
Enter, each mild, each amicable guest;
Receive, and wrap me in eternal rest!
See in her cell sad Eloisa spread,
Propp'd on some tomb, a neighbour of the dead.
In each low wind methinks a spirit calls,
And more than echoes talk along the walls.
Here, as I watch'd the dying lamps around,
From yonder shrine I heard a hollow sound.
"Come, sister, come!" (it said, or seem'd to say)
"Thy place is here, sad sister, come away!
Once like thyself, I trembled, wept, and pray'd,
Love's victim then, though now a sainted maid:
But all is calm in this eternal sleep;
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Here grief forgets to groan, and love to weep,
Ev'n superstition loses ev'ry fear:
For God, not man, absolves our frailties here."
I come, I come! prepare your roseate bow'rs,
Celestial palms, and ever-blooming flow'rs.
Thither, where sinners may have rest, I go,
Where flames refin'd in breasts seraphic glow:
Thou, Abelard! the last sad office pay,
And smooth my passage to the realms of day;
See my lips tremble, and my eye-balls roll,
Suck my last breath, and catch my flying soul!
Ah no--in sacred vestments may'st thou stand,
The hallow'd taper trembling in thy hand,
Present the cross before my lifted eye,
Teach me at once, and learn of me to die.
Ah then, thy once-lov'd Eloisa see!
It will be then no crime to gaze on me.
See from my cheek the transient roses fly!
See the last sparkle languish in my eye!
Till ev'ry motion, pulse, and breath be o'er;
And ev'n my Abelard be lov'd no more.
O Death all-eloquent! you only prove
What dust we dote on, when 'tis man we love.
Then too, when fate shall thy fair frame destroy,
(That cause of all my guilt, and all my joy)
In trance ecstatic may thy pangs be drown'd,
Bright clouds descend, and angels watch thee round,
From op'ning skies may streaming glories shine,
And saints embrace thee with a love like mine.
May one kind grave unite each hapless name,
And graft my love immortal on thy fame!
Then, ages hence, when all my woes are o'er,
When this rebellious heart shall beat no more;
If ever chance two wand'ring lovers brings
To Paraclete's white walls and silver springs,
O'er the pale marble shall they join their heads,
And drink the falling tears each other sheds;
Then sadly say, with mutual pity mov'd,
"Oh may we never love as these have lov'd!"
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From the full choir when loud Hosannas rise,
And swell the pomp of dreadful sacrifice,
Amid that scene if some relenting eye
Glance on the stone where our cold relics lie,
Devotion's self shall steal a thought from Heav'n,
One human tear shall drop and be forgiv'n.
And sure, if fate some future bard shall join
In sad similitude of griefs to mine,
Condemn'd whole years in absence to deplore,
And image charms he must behold no more;
Such if there be, who loves so long, so well;
Let him our sad, our tender story tell;
The well-sung woes will soothe my pensive ghost;
He best can paint 'em, who shall feel 'em most.
~ Alexander Pope,
655:Jubilate Agno: Fragment B, Part 3
For a Man is to be looked upon in that which he excells as on a prospect.
For there be twelve cardinal virtues -- three to the East -- Greatness, Valour,
Piety.
For there be three to the West -- Goodness, Purity and Sublimity.
For there be three to the North -- Meditation, Happiness, Strength.
For there be three to the South -- Constancy, Pleasantry and Wisdom.
For the Argument A PRIORI is GOD in every man's CONSCIENCE.
For the Argument A POSTERIORI is God before every man's eyes.
For the Four and Twenty Elders of the Revelation are Four and Twenty Eternities.
For their Four and Twenty Crowns are their respective Consummations.
For a CHARACTER is the votes of the Worldlings, but the seal is of Almighty GOD
alone.
For there is no musick in flats and sharps which are not in God's natural key.
For where Accusation takes the place of encouragement a man of Genius is
driven to act the vices of a fool.
For the Devil can set a house on fire, when the inhabitants find combustibles.
For the old account of time is the true -- Decr 28th 1759-60 -- -- -For Faith as a grain of mustard seed is to believe, as I do, that an Eternity is
such in respect to the power and magnitude of Almighty God.
For a DREAM is a good thing from GOD.
For there is a dream from the adversary which is terror.
For the phenomenon of dreaming is not of one solution, but many.
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For Eternity is like a grain of mustard as a growing body and improving spirit.
For the malignancy of fire is oweing to the Devil's hiding of light, till it became
visible darkness.
For the Circle may be SQUARED by swelling and flattening.
For the Life of God is in the body of man and his spirit in the Soul.
For there was no rain in Paradise because of the delicate construction of the
spiritual herbs and flowers.
For the Planet Mercury is the WORD DISCERNMENT.
For the Scotchman seeks for truth at the bottom of a well, the Englishman in the
Heavn of Heavens.
For the Planet Venus is the WORD PRUDENCE or providence.
For GOD nevertheless is an extravagant BEING and generous unto loss.
For there is no profit in the generation of man and the loss of millions is not
worth God's tear.
For this is the twelfth day of the MILLENNIUM of the MILLENNIUM foretold by the
prophets -- give the glory to God ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY For the Planet Mars is the word FORTITUDE.
For to worship naked in the Rain is the bravest thing for the refreshing and
purifying the body.
For the Planet Jupiter is the WORD DISPENSATION.
For Tully says to be generous you must be first just, but the voice of Christ is
distribute at all events.
For Kittim is the father of the Pygmies, God be gracious to Pigg his family.
For the Soul is divisible and a portion of the Spirit may be cut off from one and
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applied to another.
For NEW BREAD is the most wholesome especially if it be leaven'd with honey.
For a NEW SONG also is best, if it be to the glory of God; and taken with the food
like the psalms.
For the Planet Saturn is the word TEMPERANCE or PATIENCE.
For Jacob's Ladder are the steps of the Earth graduated hence to Paradice and
thence to the throne of God.
For a good wish is well but a faithful prayer is an eternal benefit.
For SPICA VIRGINIS is the star that appeared to the wise men in the East and
directed their way before it was yet insphered.
For an IDEA is the mental vision of an object.
For Lock supposes that an human creature, at a given time may be an atheist i.e.
without God, by the folly of his doctrine concerning innate ideas.
For it is not lawful to sell poyson in England any more than it is in Venice, the
Lord restrain both the finder and receiver.
For the ACCENTS are the invention of the Moabites, who learning the GREEK
tongue marked the words after their own vicious pronuntiation.
For the GAULS (the now-French and original Moabites) after they were subdued
by Cæsar became such Grecians at Rome.
For the Gaullic manuscripts fell into the hands of the inventors of printing.
For all the inventions of man, which are good, are the communications of
Almighty God.
For all the stars have satellites, which are terms under their respective words.
For tiger is a word and his satellites are Griffin, Storgis, Cat and others.
For my talent is to give an Impression upon words by punching, that when the
reader casts his eye upon 'em, he takes up the image from the mould which I
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have made.
For JOB was the son of Issachar and patience is the child of strength.
For the Names of the DAYS, as they now stand, are foolish and abominable.
For the Days are the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh.
For the names of the months are false -- the Hebrew appellatives are of God.
For the Time of the Lord's temptation was in early youth and imminent danger.
For an equivocal generation is a generation and no generation.
For putrifying matter nevertheless will yield up its life in diverse creatures and
combinations of creatures.
For a TOAD can dwell in the centre of a stone, because -- there are stones whose
constituent life is of those creatures.
For a Toad hath by means of his eye the most beautiful prospects of any other
animal to make him amends for his distance from his Creator in Glory.
For FAT is the fruit of benevolence, therefore it was the Lord's in the Mosaic
sacrifices.
For the very particular laws of Moses are the determinations of CASES that fell
under his cognizance.
For the Devil can make the shadow thicker by candlelight by reason of his pow'r
over malignant fire.
For the Romans clipped their words in the Augustan thro idleness and effeminacy
and paid foreign actors for speaking them out.
For when the weight and the pow'r are equivalent the prop is of none effect.
For shaving of the beard was an invention of the people of Sodom to make men
look like women.
For the ends of the world are the accomplishment of great events, and the
consummation of periods.
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For ignorance is a sin because illumination is to be obtained by prayer.
For Preferment is not from the East, West or South, but from the North, where
Satan has most power.
For the ministers of the Devil set the hewer of wood over the head of God's free
Man.
For this inverting God's good order, edifice and edification, and appointing place,
where the Lord has not appointed.
For the Ethiopian question is already solved in that the Blacks are the children of
Cain.
For the phenomenon of the horizontal moon is the truth -- she appears bigger in
the horizon because she actually is so.
For it was said of old 'can the Ethiopian change his skin?' the Lord has answered
the question by his merit and death he shall. -For the moon is magnified in the horizon by Almighty God, and so is the Sun.
For she has done her day's-work and the blessing of God upon her, and she
communicates with the earth.
For when she rises she has been strength'ned by the Sun, who cherishes her by
night.
For man is born to trouble in the body, as the sparks fly upwards in the spirit.
For man is between the pinchers while his soul is shaping and purifying.
For the ENGLISH are the seed of Abraham and work up to him by Joab, David,
and Naphtali. God be gracious to us this day. General Fast March 14th 1760.
For the Romans and the English are one people the children of the brave man
who died at the altar praying for his posterity, whose death was the type of our
Saviour's.
For the WELCH are the children of Mephibosheth and Ziba with a mixture of
David in the Jones's.
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For the Scotch are the children of Doeg with a mixture of Cush the Benjamite,
whence their innate antipathy to the English.
For the IRISH are the children of Shimei and Cush with a mixture of something
lower -- the Lord raise them!
For the FRENCH are Moabites even the children of Lot.
For the DUTCH are the children of Gog.
For the Poles are the children of Magog.
For the Italians are the children of Samuel and are the same as the Grecians.
For the Spaniards are the children of Abishai Joab's brother, hence is the goodwill
between the two nations.
For the Portuguese are the children of Amman -- God be gracious to Lisbon and
send good angels amongst them!
For the Hottentots are the children of Gog with a Black mixture.
For the Russians are the Children of Ishmael.
For the Turks are the children of Esaw, which is Edom.
For the Wallachians are the children of Huz. God be gracious to Elizabeth Hughes,
as she was.
For the Germans are the children of the Philistins even the seed of Anak.
For the Prussians are the children of Goliah -- but the present, whom God bless
this hour, is a Campbell of the seed of Phinees.
For the Hanoverians are Hittites of the seed of Uriah. God save the king.
For the Hessians are Philistines with a mixture of Judah.
For the Saxons are Benjamites, men of great subtlety and Marshal Saxe was
direct from Benjamin.
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For the Danes are of the children of Zabulon.
For the Venetians are the children of Mark and Romans.
For the Swiss are Philistins of a particular family. God be gracious to Jonathan
Tyers his family and to all the people at Vaux Hall.
For the Sardinians are of the seed of David -- The Lord forward the Reformation
amongst the good seed first. -For the Mogul's people are the children of Phut.
For the Old Greeks and the Italians are one people, which are blessed in the gift
of Mustek by reason of the song of Hannah and the care of Samuel with regard to
divine melody.
For the Germans and the Dutch are the children of the Goths and Vandals who
did a good in destruction books written by heathen Free-Thinkers against God.
For there are Americans of the children of Toi. -For the Laplanders are the children of Gomer.
For the Phenomena of the Diving Bell are solved right in the schools.
For NEW BREAD is the most wholesome -- God be gracious to Baker.
For the English are the children of Joab, Captain of the host of Israel, who was
the greatest man in the world to GIVE and to ATCHIEVE.
For TEA is a blessed plant and of excellent virtue. God give the Physicians more
skill and honesty!
For nutmeg is exceeding wholesome and cherishing, neither does it hurt the
liver.
For The Lightning before death is God's illumination in the spirit for preparation
and for warning.
For Lavender Cotton is exceeding good for the teeth. God be gracious to
Windsmore.
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For the Fern is exceeding good and pleasant to rub the teeth.
For a strong preparation of Mandragora is good for the gout.
For the Bark was a communication from God and is sovereign.
For the method of curing an ague by terror is exaction.
For Exaction is the most accursed of all things, because it brought the Lord to the
cross, his betrayers and murderers being such from their exaction.
For an Ague is the terror of the body, when the blessing of God is withheld for a
season.
For benevolence is the best remedy in the first place and the bark in the second.
For, when the nation is at war, it is better to abstain from the punishment of
criminals especially, every act of human vengeance being a check to the grace of
God.
For the letter ל [Hebrew character lamed] which signifies GOD by himself
is on the fibre of some leaf in every Tree.
For ל is the grain of the human heart and on the network of the skin.
For ל is in the veins of all stones both precious and common.
For ל is upon every hair both of man and beast.
For ל is in the grain of wood.
For ל is in the ore of all metals.
For ל is on the scales of all fish.
For ל is on the petals of all flowers.
For ל is upon on all shells.
For ל is in the constituent particles of air.
For ל is on the mite of the earth.
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For ל is in the water yea in every drop.
For ל is in the incomprehensible ingredients of fire.
For ל is in the stars the sun and in the Moon.
For ל is upon the Sapphire Vault.
For the doubling of flowers is the improvement of the gardners talent.
For the flowers are great blessings.
For the Lord made a Nosegay in the meadow with his disciples and preached
upon the lily.
For the angels of God took it out of his hand and carried it to the Height.
For a man cannot have publick spirit, who is void of private benevolence.
For there is no Height in which there are not flowers.
For flowers have great virtues for all the senses.
For the flower glorifies God and the root parries the adversary.
For the flowers have their angels even the words of God's Creation.
For the warp and woof of flowers are worked by perpetual moving spirits.
For flowers are good both for the living and the dead.
For there is a language of flowers.
For there is a sound reasoning upon all flowers.
For elegant phrases are nothing but flowers.
For flowers are peculiarly the poetry of Christ.
For flowers are medicinal.
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For flowers are musical in ocular harmony.
For the right names of flowers are yet in heaven. God make gard'ners better
nomenclators.
For the Poorman's nosegay is an introduction to a Prince.
For it were better for the SERVICE, if only select psalms were read.
For the Lamentations of Jeremiah, Songs from other scriptures, and parts of
Esdras might be taken to supply the quantity.
For A is the beginning of learning and the door of heaven.
For B is a creature busy and bustling.
For C is a sense quick and penetrating.
For D is depth.
For E is eternity -- such is the power of the English letters taken singly.
For F is faith.
For G is God -- whom I pray to be gracious to Liveware my fellow prisoner.
For H is not a letter, but a spirit -- Benedicatur Jesus Christus, sic spirem!
For I is identity. God be gracious to Henry Hatsell.
For K is king.
For L is love. God in every language.
For M is musick and Hebrew מ [Hebrew character mem] is the direct
figure of God's harp.
For N is new.
For O is open.
For P is power.
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For Q is quick.
For R is right.
For S is soul.
For T is truth. God be gracious to Jermyn Pratt and to Harriote his Sister.
For U is unity, and his right name is Uve to work it double.
For W is word.
For X [drawn as a backwards G and a G stuck together] is hope -- consisting of
two check G -- God be gracious to Anne Hope.
For Y is yea. God be gracious to Eennet and his family!
For Z is zeal.
For in the education of children it is necessary to watch the words, -which they
pronounce with difficulty, for such are against them in their consequences.
For A is awe, if pronounced full. Stand in awe and sin not.
For B pronounced in the animal is bey importing authority.
For C pronounced hard is ke importing to shut.
For D pronounced full is day.
For E is east particularly when formed little e with his eye.
For F in it's secondary meaning is fair.
For G in a secondary sense is good.
For H is heave.
For I is the organ of vision.
For K is keep.
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For L is light, and ל [Hebrew character lamed] is the line of beauty.
For M is meet.
For N is nay.
For O is over.
For P is peace.
For Q is quarter.
For R is rain, or thus reign, or thus rein.
For S is save.
For T is take.
For V is veil.
For W is world.
For X [drawn as a backwards G and a G stuck together] beginneth not, but
connects and continues.
For Y is young -- the Lord direct me in the better way of going on in the Fifth
year of my jeopardy June the 17th N.S. 1760. God be gracious to Dr YOUNG.
For Z is zest. God give us all a relish of our duty.
For Action and Speaking are one according to God and the Ancients.
For the approaches of Death are by illumination.
For a man cannot have Publick Spirit, who is void of private benevolence.
For the order of Alamoth is first three, second six, third eighteen, fourth fifty
four, and then the whole band.
For the order of Sheminith is first ten, second twenty, third thirty and then the
whole band.
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For the first entrance into Heaven is by complement.
For Flowers can see, and Pope's Carnations knew him.
For the devil works upon damps and lowth and causes agues.
For Ignorance is a sin, because illumination is to be had by prayer.
For many a genius being lost at the plough is a false thought -- the divine
providence is a better manager.
For a man's idleness is the fruit of the adversary's diligence.
For diligence is the gift of God, as well as other good things.
For it is a good NOTHING in one's own eyes and in the eyes of fools.
For æra in its primitive sense is but a weed amongst corn.
For there is no knowing of times and seasons, in submitting them to God stands
the Christian's Chronology.
For Jacob's brown sheep wore the Golden fleece.
For Shaving of the face was the invention of the Sodomites to make men look
like women.
~ Christopher Smart,
656:Hesperus: A Legend Of The Stars
PRELUDE.
The Stars are heaven's ministers;
Right royally they teach
God's glory and omnipotence,
In wondrous lowly speech.
All eloquent with music as
The tremblings of a lyre,
To him that hath an ear to hear
They speak in words of fire.
Not to learned sagas only
Their whisperings come down;
The monarch is not glorified
Because he wears a crown.
The humblest soldier in the camp
Can win the smile of Mars,
And 'tis the lowliest spirits hold
Communion with the stars.
Thoughts too refined for utterance,
Ethereal as the air,
Crowd through the brain's dim labyrinths,
And leave their impress there;
As far along the gleaming void
Man's tender glances roll,
Wonder usurps the throne of speech,
But vivifies the soul.
Oh, heaven-cradled mysteries,
What sacred paths ye've trodBright, jewelled scintillations from
The chariot-wheels of God!
When in the spirit He rode forth,
With vast creative aim,
These were His footprints left behind,
To magnify His name!
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--We gazed on the Evening Star,
Mary and I,
As it shone
On its throne
Afar,
In the blue sky;
Shone like a ransomed soul
In the depths of that quiet heaven;
Like a pearly tear,
Trembling with fear
On the pallid cheek of Even.
And I thought of the myriad souls
Gazing with human eyes
On the light of that star,
Shining afar,
In the quiet evening skies;
Some with winged hope,
Clearing the cope
Of heaven as swift as light,
Others, with souls
Blind as the moles,
Sinking in rayless night.
Dreams such as dreamers dream
Flitted before our eyes;
Beautiful visions!Angelo's, Titian's,
Had never more gorgeous dyes:
We soared with the angels
Through vistas of glory,
We heard the evangels
Relate the glad story
Of the beautiful star,
Shining afar
In the quiet evening skies.
And we gazed and dreamed,
Till our spirits seemed
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Absorbed in the stellar world;
Sorrow was swallowed up,
Drained was the bitter cup
Of earth to the very lees;
And we sailed over seas
Of white vapour that whirled
Through the skies afar,
Angels our charioteers,
Threading the endless spheres,
And to the chorus of angels
Rehearsed the evangels
The Birth of the Evening Star.
--I.
Far back in the infant ages,
Before the eras stamped their autographs
Upon the stony records of the earth;
Before the burning incense of the sun
Rolled up the interlucent space,
Brightening the blank abyss;
Ere the Recording Angel's tears
Were shed for man's transgressions:
A Seraph, with a face of light,
And hair like heaven's golden atmosphere,
Blue eyes serene in their beatitude,
Godlike in their tranquillity,
Features as perfect as God's dearest work,
And stature worthy of her race,
Lived high exalted in the sacred sphere
That floated in a sea of harmony
Translucent as pure crystal, or the light
That flowed, unceasing, from this higher world
Unto the spheres beneath it. Far below
The extremest regions underneath the Earth
The first spheres rose, of vari-coloured light,
In calm rotation through aerial deep,
Like seas of jasper, blue, and coralline,
Crystal and violet; layers of worlds-
40
The robes of ages that had passed away,
Left as memorials of their sojournings.
For nothing passes wholly. All is changed.
The Years but slumber in their sepulchres,
And speak prophetic meanings in their sleep.
FIRST ANGEL.
Oh, how our souls are gladdened,
When we think of that brave old age,
When God's light came down
From heaven, to crown
Each act of the virgin page!
Oh, how our souls are saddened,
At the deeds which were done since then,
By the angel race
In the holy place,
And on earth by the sons of men!
Lo, as the years are fleeting,
With their burden of toil and pain,
We know that the page
Of that primal age
Will be opened up once again.
II.
Progressing still, the bright-faced Seraph rose
From Goodness to Perfection, till she stood
The fairest and the best of all that waked
The tuneful echoes of that lofty world,
Where Lucifer, then the stateliest of the throng
Of Angels, walked majestical, arrayed
In robes of brightness worthy of his place.
And all the intermediate spheres were homes
Of the existences
Of spiritual life.
41
Love, the divine arcanum, was the bond
That linked them to each other-heart to heart,
And angel world to world, and soul to soul.
Thus the first ages passed,
Cycles of perfect bliss,
God the acknowledged sovereign of all.
Sphere spake with sphere, and love conversed with love,
From the far centre to sublimest height,
And down the deep, unfathomable space,
To the remotest homes of angel-life,
A viewless chain of being circling all,
And linking every spirit to its God.
ANGEL CHORUS.
Spirits that never falter,
Before God's altar
Rehearse their paeans of unceasing praise;
Their theme the boundless love
By which God rules above,
Mysteriously engrafted
On grace divine, and wafted
Into every soul of man that disobeys.
Not till the wondrous being
Of the All-Seeing
Is manifested to finite man,
Can ye understand the love
By which God rules above,
Evermore extending,
In circles never-ending,
To every atom in the universal plan.
SECOND ANGEL.
Oh, the love beyond computing
Of the high and holy place!
The unseen bond
Circling beyond
42
The limits of time and space.
Through earth and her world of beauty
The heavenly links extend,
Man feels its presence,
Imbibes its essence,
But cannot yet comprehend.
THIRD ANGEL.
But the days are fast approaching,
When the Father of Love will send
His interpreter
From the highest sphere,
That man fully may comprehend.
III.
Oh, truest Love, because the truest life!
Oh, blest existence, to exist with Love!
Oh, Love, without which all things else must die
The death that knows no waking unto life!
Oh, Jealousy that saps the heart of Love,
And robs it of its tenderness divine;
And Pride, that tramples with its iron hoof
Upon the flower of love, whose fragrant soul
Exhales itself in sweetness as it dies!
A lofty spirit surfeited with Bliss!
A Prince of Angels cancelling all love,
All due allegiance to his rightful Lord;
Doing dishonour to his high estate;
Turning the truth and wisdom which were his
For ages of supreme felicity,
To thirst for power, and hatred of his God,
Who raised him to such vast preeminence!
SECOND ANGEL CHORUS.
43
Woe, woe to the ransomed spirit,
Once freed from the stain of sin,
Whose pride increases
Till all love ceases
To nourish it from within!
Its doom is the darkened regions
Where the rebel angel legions
Live their long night of sorrow;
Where no expectant morrow,
No mercy-tempered ray
From the altar of to-day,
Comes down through the gloom to borrow
One dropp from their cup of sorrow,
Or lighten their cheerless way.
FIRST ANGEL.
But blest be the gentle spirit
Whose love is ever increased
From its own pure soul,
The illumined goal
Where Love holds perpetual feast!
IV.
Ingrate Angel, he,
To purchase Hell, and at so vast a price!
'Tis the old story of celestial strifeRebellion in the palace-halls of GodFalse angels joining the insurgent ranks,
Who suffered dire defeats, and fell at last
From bliss supreme to darkness and despair.
But they, the faithful dwellers in the spheres,
Who kept their souls inviolate, to whom
Heaven's love and truth were truly great rewards:
For these the stars were sown throughout all space,
As fit memorials of their faithfulness.
The wretched lost were banished to the depths
Beneath the lowest spheres. Earth barred the space
44
Between them and the Faithful. Then the hills
Rose bald and rugged o'er the wild abyss;
The waters found their places; and the sun,
The bright-haired warder of the golden morn,
Parting the curtains of reposing night,
Rung his first challenge to the dismal shades,
That shrunk back, awed, into Cimmerean gloom;
And the young moon glode through the startled void
With quiet beauty and majestic mien.
SECOND ANGEL.
Slowly rose the daedal Earth,
Through the purple-hued abysm
Glowing like a gorgeous prism,
Heaven exulting o'er its birth,
Still the mighty wonder came,
Through the jasper-coloured sphere,
Ether-winged, and crystal-clear,
Trembling to the loud acclaim,
In a haze of golden rain,
Up the heavens rolled the sun,
Danae-like the earth was won,
Else his love and light were vain.
So the heart and soul of man
Own the light and love of heaven,
Nothing yet in vain was given,
Nature's is a perfect plan.
V.
The glowing Seraph with the brow of light
Was first among the Faithful. When the war
Between heaven's rival armies fiercely waged,
She bore the Will Divine from rank to rank,
The chosen courier of Deity.
45
Her presence cheered the combatants for Truth,
And Victory stood up where'er she moved.
And now, in gleaming robe of woven pearl,
Emblazoned with devices of the stars,
And legends of their glory yet to come,
The type of Beauty Intellectual,
The representative of Love and Truth,
She moves first in the innumerable throng
Of angels congregating to behold
The crowning wonder of creative power.
THIRD ANGEL CHORUS,
Oh, joy, that no mortal can fathom,
To rejoice in the smile of God!
To be first in the light
Of His Holy sight,
And freed from His chastening rod.
Faithful, indeed, that soul, to be
The messenger of Deity!
FIRST ANGEL.
This, this is the chosen spirit,
Whose love is ever increased
From its own pare soul,
The illumined goal
Where Love holds perpetual feast.
VI.
With noiseless speed the angel charioteers
In dazzling splendour all triumphant rode;
Through seas of ether painfully serene,
That flashed a golden, phosphorescent spray,
As luminous as the sun's intensest beams,
46
Athwart the wide, interminable space.
Legion on legion of the sons of God;
Vast phalanxes of graceful cherubim;
Innumerable multitudes and ranks
Of all the hosts and hierarchs of heaven,
Moved by one universal impulse, urged
Their steeds of swiftness up the arch of light,
From sphere to sphere increasing as they came,
Till world on world was emptied of its race.
Upward, with unimaginable speed,
The myriads, congregating zenith-ward,
Reached the far confines of the utmost sphere,
The home of Truth, the dwelling-place of Love,
Striking celestial symphonies divine
From the resounding sea of melody,
That heaved in swells of soft, mellifluous sound,
To the blest crowds at whose triumphal tread
Its soul of sweetness waked in thrills sublime,
The sun stood poised upon the western verge;
The moon paused, waiting for the march of earth,
That stayed to watch the advent of the stars;
And ocean hushed its very deepest deeps
In grateful expectation.
SECOND ANGEL.
Still through the viewless regions
Of the habitable air,
Through the ether ocean,
In unceasing motion,
Pass the multitudinous legions
Of angels everywhere.
Bearing each new-born spirit
Through the interlucent void
To its starry dwelling,
Angel anthems telling
Every earthly deed of merit
To each flashing asteroid.
47
THIRD ANGEL.
Through the realms sidereal,
Clothed with the immaterial,
Far as the fields elysian
In starry bloom extend,
The stretch of angel vision
Can see and comprehend.
VII.
Innumerable as the ocean sands
The angel concourse in due order stood,
In meek anticipation waiting for
The new-created orbs,
Still hidden in the deep
And unseen laboratory, where
Not even angel eyes could penetrate:
A star for each of that angelic host,
Memorials of their faithfulness and love.
The Evening Star, God's bright eternal gift
To the pure Seraph with the brow of light,
And named for her, mild Hesperus,
Came twinkling down the unencumbered blue,
On viewless wings of sweet melodious sound,
Beauty and grace presiding at its birth.
Celestial plaudits sweeping through the skies
Waked resonant paeans, till the concave thrilled
Through its illimitable bounds.
With a sudden burst
Of light, that lit the universal space
As with a flame of crystal,
Rousing the Soul of Joy
That slumbered in the patient sea,
From every point of heaven the hurrying cars
Conveyed the constellations to their thronesThe throbbing planets, and the burning suns,
Erratic comets, and the various grades
48
And magnitudes of palpitating stars.
From the far arctic and antarctic zones,
Through all the vast, surrounding infinite,
A wilderness of intermingling orbs,
The gleaming wonders, pulsing earthward, came;
Each to its destined place,
Each in itself a world,
With all its coining myriad life,
Drawing us nearer the Omnipotent,
With hearts of wonder, and with souls of praise:
Astrea, Pallas, strange Aldebaran,
The Pleiads, Arcturus, the ruddy Mars,
Pale Saturn, Ceres and OrionAll as they circle still
Through the enraptured void.
For each young angel born to us from earth,
A new-made star is launched among its peers.
FULL ANGEL CHORUS.
Dreamer in the realms aerial,
Searcher for the true and good,
Hoper for the high, ethereal
Limit of Beatitude,
Lift thy heart to heaven, for there
Is embalmed thy spirit prayer:
Not in words is shrined thy prayer,
But thy Thought awaits thee there.
God loves the silent worshipper.
The grandest hymn
That nature chants-the litany
Of the rejoicing stars-is silent praise.
Their nightly anthems stir
The souls of lofty seraphim
In the remotest heaven. The melody
Descends in throbbings of celestial light
Into the heart of man, whose upward gaze,
And meditative aspect, tell
Of the heart's incense passing up the night.
Above the crystalline height
The theme of thoughtful praise ascends.
49
Not from the wildest swell
Of the vexed ocean soars the fullest psalm;
But in the evening calm,
And in the solemn midnight, silence blends
With silence, and to the ear
Attuned to harmony divine
Begets a strain
Whose trance-like stillness wakes delicious pain.
The silent tear
Holds keener anguish in its orb of brine,
Deeper and truer grief
Than the loud wail that brings relief,
As thunder clears the atmosphere.
But the deep, tearless Sorrow,-how profound!
Unspoken to the ear
Of sense, 'tis yet as eloquent a sound
As that which wakes the lyre
Of the rejoicing Day, when
Morn on the mountains lights his urn of fire.
The flowers of the glen
Rejoice in silence; huge pines stand apart
Upon the lofty hills, and sigh
Their woes to every breeze that passeth by;
The willow tells its mournful tale
So tenderly, that e'en the passing gale
Bears not a murmur on its wings
Of what the spirit sings
That breathes its trembling thoughts through all the
drooping strings.
He loves God most who worships most
In the obedient heart.
The thunder's noisome boast,
What is it to the violet lightning thought?
So with the burning passion of the starsCreation's diamond sands,
Strewn along the pearly strands,
And far-extending corridors
Of heaven's blooming shores;
No scintil of their jewelled flame
But wafts the exquisite essence
Of prayer to the Eternal Presence,
50
Of praise to the Eternal Name.
The silent prayer unbars
The gates of Paradise, while the too-intimate,
Self-righteous' boast, strikes rudely at the gate
Of heaven, unknowing why it does not open to
Their summons, as they see pale Silence passing through.
VIII.
In grateful admiration, till the Dawn
Withdrew the gleaming curtains of the night,
We watched the whirling systems, until each
Could recognize their own peculiar star;
When, with the swift celerity
Of Fancy-footed Thought,
The light-caparisoned, aerial steeds,
Shod with rare fleetness,
Revisited the farthest of the spheres
Ere the earth's sun had kissed the mountain tops,
Or shook the sea-pearls from his locks of gold.
--Still on the Evening Star
Gazed we with steadfast eyes,
As it shone
On its throne
Afar,
In the blue skies.
No longer the charioteers
Dashed through the gleaming spheres;
No more the evangels
Rehearsed the glad story;
But, in passing, the angels
Left footprints of glory:
For up the starry void
Bright-flashing asteroid,
Pale moon and starry choir,
Aided by Fancy's fire,
51
Rung from the glittering lyre
Changes of song and hymn,
Worthy of Seraphim.
Night's shepherdess sat, queenlike, on her throne,
Watching her starry flocks from zone to zone,
While we, like mortals turned to breathing stone,
Intently pondered on the Known Unknown.
~ Charles Sangster,
657:The Legend Of Lady Gertrude
I.
Fallen the lofty halls, where vassal crowds
Drank in the dawn of Gertrude's natal day.
The dungeon roof an Alpine snow-wreath shrouds,
The strong, wild eagle's eyrie in the clouds—
The robber-baron's nest—is swept away.
II.
Bare is the mountain brow of lordly towers;
Only the sunbeams stay, the moon and stars,
The faithful saxifrage and gentian flowers,
The silvery mist, and soft, white, crystal showers,
And torrents rushing through their rocky bars.
III.
More than three hundred years ago, the flag
Charged with that dread device, an Alpine bear—
By many storm-winds rent—a grim, grey rag—
Floated above the castle on the crag,
Above the last whose heads were shelter'd there.
IV.
He was the proudest of an ancient race,
The fiercest of the robber chieftain's band,
That haughty Freiherr, with the iron face:
And she—his lady-sister, by God's grace—
The sweetest, gentlest maiden in the land.
V.
'Twas a rude nest for such a tender bird,
That lonely fortress, with its warrior-lord.
Aye drunken revels the night-stillness stirred;
From morn till eve the battle-cries were heard,
The sound of jingling spur and clanking sword.
VI.
And Lady Gertrude was both young and fair,
A mark for lawless hearts and roving eyes,—
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With sweet, grave face, and amber-tinted hair,
And a low voice soft-thrilling through the air,
Filling it full of subtlest melodies.
VII.
But the great baron, proudest of his line,
Fetter'd, with jealous care, his white dove's wing;
Guarded his treasure in an inner shrine,
Till such a day as knightly hands should twine
Her slender fingers with the marriage-ring.
VIII.
From all her household rights was she debarred—
Her chair and place within the castle-hall,
Her palfrey's saddle in the castle-yard,
Her nursing ministries when blows fell hard
In border struggles—she was kept from all.
IX.
A stone-paved chamber, and the parapet
Opening above its winding turret-stair;
The castle-chapel, where few men were met,—
Round these the brother's boundaries were set.
The sweet child-sister was so very fair!
X.
She had her faithful nurse, her doves, her lute,
Her broidery and her distaff, and the hound—
Best prized of all—the grand, half-human brute,
Who aye watched near her, beautiful and mute,
With ears love-quicken'd, listening from the ground.
XI.
But the wild bird, so honourably caged,
Grew sick and sad in its captivity;
Longed—like those hills which time nor storm had aged,
And those deep glens where Danube waters raged—
In God's own wind and sunshine to be free.
XII.
And on a day, when she had seen them ride,
Baron and troopers, on some border raid,
210
Wooed by the glory of the summer tide,
The hound's soft-slouching footstep at her side,
Adown the valley Lady Gertrude stray'd.
XIII.
Adown the crag, whose shadow, still and black,
Lay like the death-sleep on a mountain pool;
Through rocky glen, by silvery torrent's track,
Through forest glade, 'neath wild vines, fluttering back
From softest zephyr kisses, green and cool.
XIV.
E'en till the woods and hamlets down below,
And summer meadows, were all broad and clear;
The river, moving statelily and slow,
A crimson ribbon in the sunset glow—
The dim, white, distant city strangely near.
XV.
She sat her down, a-weary, on the ground,
With tremulous long-drawn breath and wistful eyes;
Caress'd the velvet muzzle of the hound,
And listen'd vainly for some little sound
To come up from her world of mysteries.
XVI.
She had forgotten of the time and place,
When clank of warrior's harness smote her dream.
A growl, a spring, a shadow on her face,
And one strode up, with slow and stately pace,
And stood before her in the soft sun-gleam.
XVII.
An armèd knight, in noblest knightly guise,
From golden spur to golden dragon-crest;
Through open vizor gazing with surprise
Into the fair, flush'd face and startled eyes,
While horse and hound stood watchfully at rest.
XVIII.
The sun went down, and, with long, stealthy stride,
The shadows came, blurring the summer light;
211
And there was none the lady's step to guide
Up the lost pathway on the mountain-side—
None to protect her but this stranger knight!
XIX.
He placed her gently on his dappled grey,
Clothed in his mantle—for the air was chill;
He led her all the long and devious way,
Through glens, where starless night held royal sway,
And vine-tressed woodlands, where the leaves were still:
XX.
Through pathless ravines, where swift waters roll'd;
Up dark crag-ramparts, perilously steep,
Where eagles and a she-bear watch'd the fold;—
Facing the mountain breezes, clear and cold—
In shy, sweet silence, eloquent and deep.
XXI.
Holding his charger by the bridle-rein,
He led her through the robber-chieftain's lands;
Led her, unchallenged by the baron's train,
E'en to the low-brow'd castle-gate again,
And there he humbly knelt to kiss her hands.
XXII.
Brave lips, o'er tender palms bent down so low,
Silent and reverent, as it were to bless—
'Twas e'en a knightly love they did bestow,
Love true as steel and undefiled as snow;
No common courtesy, no light caress.
XXIII.
He rode away; and she to turret-lair
Sped, swift and trembling, like a hunted doe.
But wherefore, on the loopholed winding stair
Knelt she till morning, weeping, watching there?—
Because he was her brother's deadliest foe.
XXIV.
Because the golden dragon's blood had mixt
In all those mountain streams, had dyed the grass
212
Now trodden for her sake; because betwixt
Those two proud barons such a gulf was fixt
As never bridge of peace might overpass.
XXV.
A bitter, passionate feud, that was begun
In ages long forgotten, and bequeath'd
With those rich baronies by sire to son—
A sacred charge, a great work never done,
A sharp and fiery weapon never sheath'd.
XXVI.
Yet, e'er a month slipped by, as summer slips
On noiseless wings, another kiss was laid,
Not on white palms or rosy finger-tips,
But softly on shut eyes and quivering lips;
And vows were sealèd in the forest glade.
XXVII.
The robber baron, who had hedged about
That fairest blossom of the sacred plant,
Saw he the insolent mailèd hand stretch'd out
To break down all his barriers, strong and stout?
Knew he aught of that gracious covenant?
XXVIII.
His pride serenely slept. Nor did it wake
Till, in amaze, he saw his enemy stand
In his own castle, praying him to take
The pledge of peace for Lady Gertrude's sake—
Praying him humbly for the lady's hand.
XXIX.
Slowly the knitted brows grew fierce and black;
Slowly the eagle eyes began to shine.
“Sir knight,” he said, “I pray you get you back.
But one hour—and the Bears are on your track.
There's naught but fire and sword 'twixt mine and thine.”
XXX.
And then the doors were barred on every side
213
Upon the innocent traitor, who had done
Such doubly-shameful despite to his pride.
Mocking, “I'll satisfy your heart,” he cried,
“An' you will have a husband, pretty one!”
XXXI.
Yet did she send a message stealthily,
Spurred by the torture of this ominous threat.
“Thou wilt not suffer it?” she said. And he,
“Fear not. To-morrow will I come for thee,—
At eve to-morrow, when the sun has set.”
XXXII.
And on the morrow, when the autumn light
Of red and gold had faded into grey,
She heard his signal up the echoing height,
Like hoarse owl-whistle, quivering through the night;
And in the dark she softly slipped away.
XXXIII.
Her faithful nurse, with trembling hands, untwined
The new-forged fetters and drew back the bars.
The hound look'd up into her face, and whined,
And scratch'd the door; he would not stay behind.
And so she went—watch'd only by the stars.
XXXIV.
Adown the mountain passes, with wing'd feet
And bright, blank eyes—her hand fast clutch'd around
A ragged slip of myrtle, white and sweet;
The hound beside her, velvet-footed, fleet
And silent, with his muzzle to the ground.
XXXV.
The knight was waiting, with his dappled steed,
Hard by the black brink of the waveless pool.
In his strong, tender arms—now safe indeed—
She cross'd the valley, with the wild bird's speed,
Fanned by the whispering night-wind, clear and cool.
XXXVI.
Away—away—far from the trysting-place—
214
Over the blood-stain'd border-lands at last!
One wandering hind alone beheld the race;
A sudden rush—a shadow on his face—
A glint of golden scales—and she was past.
XXXVII.
She felt the shadow of a mighty wall,
And then the glow of torchlight, and again
The gloom of cloister'd stair and passage, fall
Upon her vacant eyes. She heard a call;
And, in the echoing mountains, its refrain.
XXXVIII.
Then all around her a great silence lay;
She knew not why, nor greatly seem'd to care,
Till, in low tones, she heard the baron say,
“Hast thou confess'd, my little one, to-day?”—
The while he weaved the myrtle in her hair.
XXXIX.
She glanced up suddenly, in blank amaze;
And then remember'd. 'Twas an altar, hung
With silk and rich embroidery, met her gaze;
'Twas perfumed, waxen altar-tapers' blaze
On her chill'd face and troubled spirit flung.
XL.
A holy father, with his open book,
Stood by the threshold of the chapel door.
Slowly, with bated breath and hands that shook,
Soft-clasped together—drawn with but a look—
She went, and knelt down humbly on the floor.
XLI.
The baron left her, lowly crouching there,
Her bright, starred tresses trailing on the stones;
And waited, kneeling on the altar-stair—
Holding his sword-hilt to his lips, in prayer—
The while she pleaded in her tremulous tones.
XLII.
A warning voice upon the still air dwelt,
215
A long, low cry of mingled hope and dread;—
A pause—a solemn silence—and she felt
The sweet absolving whisper as she knelt,
And hands of blessing covering her head.
XLIII.
The knight arose in silence, with a brow
Haughty and pale; and, softly drawing nigh,—
Love, life, and death in the new “I and thou”—
He gave and took each solemn marriage vow,
With all his arm'd retainers standing by.
XLIV.
The soft light fell upon their faces—still,
And calm, and full of rest. None now to part
The golden link between them!—naught to chill
The blest assurance that the father's will
Laid hand in hand, and gather'd heart to heart.
XLV.
And so 'twas done. Each finger now had worn
The rings that aye ring'd in the double life;
From each the pledge had been withdrawn in turn,
As one by one the hallow'd oaths were sworn;
And Lady Gertrude was the baron's wife.
XLVI.
He led her to her chamber, when the glow
Of dawn began to quicken earth and sky;
They watch'd the rosy wine-cup overflow
The pale, cool, silvery track upon the snow
Of Alpine crests, uplifted far and high.
XLVII.
They saw the mountain floodgates open'd wide,
The downward streaming of unfetter'd day;
In blessed stillness, standing side by side—
Stillness that told how they were satisfied,
Those hearts whereon the new-born glamour lay.
XLVIII.
And then, down cloister'd aisle and sculptured stair,
216
Through open courts, all bathed in shining mist,
They pass'd together, knight and lady fair;
She with the matron's coif upon her hair,
Her golden hair by lip and finger kiss'd.
XLIX.
He throned her proudly in his castle hall,
High on the daïs above the festive board,
'Neath shields and pennons drooping from the wall;
And they below the salt rose, one and all,
To greet the bride of their puissant lord.
L.
Loud were the shouts, and fair with smiling grace
The blue eyes of the lady baroness;
And bright and eager was the haughty face
Of her brave husband, towering in his place,
Yet aye low-stooping for a mute caress.
LI.
There came a sudden pause—a thunder-cloud,
Darkening the sunshine of the golden noon—
An ominous stillness in the armèd crowd,
While slowly stiffening lips, all stern and proud,
Shut in the kindly laughter—all too soon!
LII.
“To arms! To arms!” A passionate crimson flush
Rose, sank, and blanched the fair face of the bride.
“To arms!” The cry smote sharply on the hush,
And broke it;—all was one tumultuous rush—
“The Bears have cross'd the border-land!” they cried.
LIII.
But a few hours had Lady Gertrude dwelt
With her dear lord. Sad honours now were hers,
With white, hot hands she clasp'd his silver belt;
She held his dinted shield and sword; and knelt,
Like lowly squire, to don his golden spurs.
LIV.
“Thou wilt not fight with him?—thou wilt forbear
217
For my sake?” So she pleaded, while the sun
Shone on her falling tears—each tear a prayer.
He whisper'd gravely, as he kissed her hair,
“I know not if I can, my little one.”
LV.
She held his hands, with infinite mute desire
To hold him back; then watch'd him to the field
With hungry, feverish eyes that could not tire,
Till sunny space absorb'd the fitful fire
Of the bright dragons on his crest and shield.
LVI.
When he was gone—quite gone—she crept away,
Back to the castle chapel, still and dim;
And knelt where he had knelt but yesterday,
Low on the altar step, to watch and pray—
To pour her heart out for the love of him.
LVII.
Her bower-maidens sat alone and spun
The while she pray'd, the terror-stricken wife.
The long hours slowly wanèd, one by one,
And evening came, and, with the setting sun,
The sudden darkness that eclipsed her life.
LVIII.
She listen'd, and she heard the sound at last,—
The ominous pause, the heavy, clanging tread;
She saw the strange, long shadow weirdly cast
Upon the floor, the red blood streaming fast,
The dear face grey and stiffen'd;—he was dead!
LIX.
“Ay, dead, my lady baroness; and slain
By him you call your brother. Curses light
Upon his caitiff soul! Ah, 'tis in vain
To murmur thus,—he will not hear again—
He cannot heed your whisperings to-night.”
LX.
She lay down on her bridal couch—the stone
218
Whereon he lay in his eternal rest;
They, pitying, pass'd out, leaving her alone,
To kiss the rigid lips, and cry, and moan,
With her white face upon his bleeding breast.
LXI.
'Twas night—wakeful, restless, troubled night,
Both wild and soft—fair;
With clouds fast flying through the domheight,
And shrieking winds, and silvery shining light,
And clear bells piercing the transparent air.
LXII.
Down vale and fell a lonely figure stray'd,—
Now a dark shadow on the moonlit ground,
Now flickering white and ghostly in the shade
Of haunted glen and scented forest-glade—
A woman, watched and followed by a hound.
LXIII.
'Twas Lady Gertrude, widow'd and forlorn,
Returning to the wild birds' mountain nest;
Sent out with smiling insult and with scorn,
And creeping to the home where she was born,
To hide her sorrow, to lie down and rest.
LXIV.
She reach'd the gate and cross'd the castle-yard,
And stood upon the threshold, chill'd with fear.
The baron rose and faced her, breathing hard:
“Troopers,” he thunder'd, “let the doors be barred
And double-barred!—we'll have no traitors here.”
LXV.
Such was her welcome. As she turn'd away,
Groping with sightless eyes and hands outspread,
The hound, unnoticed, slowly made his way
Along the hall, as if in track of prey,
With glistening teeth and stealthy velvet tread.
219
LXVI.
There was no clarion cry, none heard the sound
Of knightly challenge, till the champion rose,
Avenging. Lo! they saw upon the ground
The baron struggling with the savage hound,
And grim death grimly waiting for the close!
LXVII.
'Twas done. He lay there unassoilzied, dead,
Ere scarcely fell'd by the relentless paws.
And the fierce hound, with painful, limping tread,
Was following still where Lady Gertrude led,
His own red life-blood dripping from his jaws.
LXVIII.
'Neath shadowy glades, with moonbeams interlaced,
Through valleys, at day—dawning, soft and dim,
Up mountain steeps at sunrise—uplands paced
By her dead lord in childhood—she retraced
The long miles stretching betwixt her and him.
LXIX.
She reach'd the castle, ere the torches' glare
Had wanèd in the brightness of the sky—
Another lord than hers was feasting there!
She shudder'd at the sounds that fill'd the air,
Of drunken laughter and loud revelry,
LXX.
And softly up the cloister'd stairs she crept,
Back to the lonely chapel, where all sound
Of human life in solemn silence slept.
With weary heart and noiseless feet she stept
Beneath the doorway into hallow'd ground.
LXXI.
Low at the altar, wrapped in slumber sweet
And still and deep, her murder'd lord lay here;
With waxen tapers at his head and feet—
Forcing reluctant darkness to retreat—
And cross-embroider'd pall upon his bier.
220
LXXII.
The blood-hound blindly stumbled, and fell prone
Across the threshold. Something came and prest
His huge head downward, stiffening him to stone.
And Lady Gertrude, passing up alone,
Spread her white arms above the baron's breast.
LXXIII.
The weapons which his lowly coffin bore—
His sword and spurs, his helm and shield and belt—
Like him, to rest from battle evermore,
Whose long-drawn shadows barred the chapel floor,—
She kiss'd them, for his dear sake, as she knelt.
LXXIV.
She laid her cheek upon the velvet pall,
With one long, quivering sigh; and tried to creep
Where the soft shadow of the rood would fall,
'Mid light of sunrise and of tapers tall,
Upon them both, and there she fell asleep.
LXXV.
She woke no more. But where her track had been,
On that last night, became a haunted ground.
And when the wild wind blows upon the sheen
Of summer moonlight, there may still be seen
The phantom of a lady and a hound.
~ Ada Cambridge,
658:SCENE I. A part of the Forest.
Enter CONRAD and AURANTHE.
Auranthe. Go no further; not a step more; thou art
A master-plague in the midst of miseries.
Go I fear thee. I tremble every limb,
Who never shook before. There's moody death
In thy resolved looks Yes, I could kneel
To pray thee far away. Conrad, go, go
There! yonder underneath the boughs I see
Our horses!
Conrad. Aye, and the man.
Auranthe. Yes, he is there.
Go, go, no blood, no blood; go, gentle Conrad!
Conrad. Farewell!
Auranthe. Farewell, for this Heaven pardon you.
[Exit AURANTHE,
Conrad. If he survive one hour, then may I die
In unimagined tortures or breathe through
A long life in the foulest sink of the world!
He dies 'tis well she do not advertise
The caitiff of the cold steel at his back.
[Exit CONRAD.
Enter LUDOLPH and PAGE.
Ludolph. Miss'd the way, boy, say not that on your peril!
Page. Indeed, indeed I cannot trace them further.
Ludolph. Must I stop here? Here solitary die?
Stifled beneath the thick oppressive shade
Of these dull boughs, this oven of dark thickets,
Silent, without revenge? pshaw! bitter end,
A bitter death, a suffocating death,
A gnawing silent deadly, quiet death!
Escaped? fled? vanish'd? melted into air?
She's gone! I cannot clutch her! no revenge!
A muffled death, ensnar'd in horrid silence!
Suck'd to my grave amid a dreamy calm!
O, where is that illustrious noise of war,
To smother up this sound of labouring breath,
This rustle of the trees!
[AURANTHE shrieks at a distance.
Page. My Lord, a noise!
This way hark!
Ludolph. Yes, yes! A hope! A music!
A glorious clamour! How I live again! [Exeunt.

SCENE II. Another part of the Forest,
Enter ALBERT (wounded).
Albert. O for enough life to support me on
To Otho's feet
Enter LUDOLPH.
Ludolph. Thrice villainous, stay there
Tell me where that detested woman is
Or this is through thee!
Albert. My good Prince, with me
The sword has done its worst; not without worst
Done to another Conrad has it home
I see you know it all
Ludolph. Where is his sister?
AURANTHE rushes in.
Auranthe. Albert!
Ludolph. Ha! There! there! He is the paramour I
There hug him dying! O, thou innocence,
Shrine him and comfort him at his last gasp,
Kiss down his eyelids! Was he not thy love?
Wilt thou forsake him at his latest hour?
Keep fearful and aloof from his last gaze,
His most uneasy moments, when cold death
Stands with the door ajar to let him in?
Albert. O that that door with hollow slam would close
Upon me sudden, for I cannot meet,
In all the unknown chambers of the dead,
Such horrors
Ludolph. Auranthe! what can he mean?
What horrors? Is it not a joyous time?
Am I not married to a paragon
"Of personal beauty and untainted soul"?
A blushing fair-eyed Purity! A Sylph,
Whose snowy timid hand has never sin'd
Beyond a flower pluck'd, white as itself?
Albert, you do insult my Bride your Mistress
To talk of horrors on our wedding night.
Albert. Alas! poor Prince, I would you knew my heart.
'Tis not so guilty
Ludolph. Hear you he pleads not guilty
You are not? or if so what matters it?
You have escap'd me, free as the dusk air
Hid in the forest safe from my revenge;
I cannot catch you--You should laugh at me,
Poor cheated Ludolph, make the forest hiss
With jeers at me You tremble; faint at once,
You will come to again. O Cockatrice,
I have you. Whither wander those fair eyes
To entice the Devil to your help, that he
May change you to a Spider, so to crawl
Into some cranny to escape my wrath?
Albert. Sometimes the counsel of a dying man
Doth operate quietly when his breath is gone
Disjoin those hands part--part, do not destroy
Each other forget her our miseries
Are equal shar'd, and mercy is
Ludolph. A boon
When one can compass it. Auranthe, try
Your oratory your breath is not so hitch'd
Aye, stare for help
[ALBERT groans and dies.
There goes a spotted soul
Howling in vain along the hollow night
Hear him he calls you Sweet Auranthe, come!
Auranthe. Kill me.
Ludolph. No! What? upon our Marriage-night!
The earth would shudder at so foul a deed
A fair Bride, a sweet Bride, an innocent Bride!
No, we must revel it, as 'tis in use
In times of delicate brilliant ceremony:
Come, let me lead you to our halls again
Nay, linger not make no resistance sweet
Will you Ah wretch, thou canst not, for I have
The strength of twenty lions 'gainst a lamb
Now one adieu for Albert come away.
[Exeunt.
SCENE III. An inner Court of the Castle.
Enter SIGIFRED, GONFRED, and THEODORE meeting.
Theodore. Was ever such a night?
Sigifred. What horrors more?
Things unbeliev'd one hour, so strange they are,
The next hour stamps with credit.
Theodore. Your last news ?
Gonfred. After the Page's story of the death
Of Albert and Duke Conrad?
Sigifred. And the return
Of Ludolph with the Princess.
Gonfred. No more save
Prince Gersa's freeing Abbot Ethelbert,
And the sweet lady, fair Erminia,
From prison.
Theodore. Where are they now? hast yet heard?
Gonfred. With the sad Emperor they are closeted ;
I saw the three pass slowly up the stairs,
The lady weeping, the old Abbot cowl'd.
Sigifred. What next?
Thedore. I ache to think on't.
Gonfred. Tis with fate.
Theodore. One while these proud towers are hush'd as death.
Gonfred. The next our poor Prince fills the arched rooms
With ghastly ravings.
Sigifred. I do fear his brain.
Gonfred. I will see more. Bear you so stout a heart?
[Exeunt into the Castle.

SCENE IV. A Cabinet, opening towards a Terrace.
OTHO, ERMINIA, ETHELBERT, and a Physician, discovered.
Otho. O, my poor Boy! my Son! my Son! My Ludolph!
Have ye no comfort for me, ye Physicians
Of the weak Body and Soul?
Ethelbert. Tis not the Medicine
Either of heaven or earth can cure unless
Fit time be chosen to administer
Otho. A kind forbearance, holy Abbot come
Erminia, here sit by me, gentle Girl;
Give me thy hand hast thou forgiven me?
Erminia. Would I were with the saints to pray for you!
Otho. Why will ye keep me from my darling child?
Physician. Forgive me, but he must not see thy face
Otho. Is then a father's countenance a Gorgon?
Hath it not comfort in it? Would it not
Console my poor Boy, cheer him, heal his spirits?
Let me embrace him, let me speak to him
I will who hinders me? Who's Emperor?
Physician. You may not, Sire 'twould overwhelm him quite,
He is so full of grief and passionate wrath,
Too heavy a sigh would kill him or do worse.
He must be sav'd by fine contrivances
And most especially we must keep clear
Out of his sight a Father whom he loves
His heart is full, it can contain no more,
And do its ruddy office.
Ethelbert. Sage advice;
We must endeavour how to ease and slacken
The tight-wound energies of his despair,
Not make them tenser
Otho. Enough! I hear, I hear.
Yet you were about to advise more I listen.
Ethelbert. This learned doctor will agree with me,
That not in the smallest point should he be thwarted
Or gainsaid by one word his very motions,
Nods, becks and hints, should be obey'd with care,
Even on the moment: so his troubled mind
May cure itself
Physician. There is no other means.
Otho. Open the door: let's hear if all is quiet
Physician. Beseech you, Sire, forbear.
Erminia. Do, do.
Otho. I command!
Open it straight hush! quiet my lost Boy!
My miserable Child!
Ludolph (indistinctly without). Fill, fill my goblet,
Here's a health!
Erminia. O, close the door!
Otho. Let, let me hear his voice; this cannot last
And fain would I catch up his dying words
Though my own knell they be this cannot last
O let me catch his voice for lo! I hear
This silence whisper me that he is dead!
It is so. Gersa?
Enter GERSA.
Physician. Say, how fares the prince?
Gersa. More calm his features are less wild and flushed
Once he complain'd of weariness
Physician. Indeed!
'Tis good 'tis good let him but fall asleep,
That saves him.
Otho. Gersa, watch him like a child
Ward him from harm and bring me better news
Physician. Humour him to the height. I fear to go;
For should he catch a glimpse of my dull garb,
It might affright him fill him with suspicion
That we believe him sick, which must not be
Gersa. I will invent what soothing means I can.
[Exit GERSA.
Physician. This should cheer up your Highness weariness
Is a good symptom, and most favourable
It gives me pleasant hopes. Please you walk forth
Onto the Terrace; the refreshing air
Will blow one half of your sad doubts away.
[Exeunt.

SCENE V. A Banqueting Hall, brilliantly illuminated, and set forth
with all costly magnificence, with Supper-tables, laden with services
of Gold and Silver. A door in the back scene, guarded by two Soldiers.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, &c., whispering sadly,
and ranging themselves; part entering and part discovered.
First Knight. Grievously are we tantaliz'd, one and all
Sway'd here and there, commanded to and fro
As though we were the shadows of a dream
And link'd to a sleeping fancy. What do we here?
Gonfred. I am no Seer you know we must obey
The prince from A to Z though it should be
To set the place in flames. I pray hast heard
Where the most wicked Princess is?
First Knight. There, Sir,
In the next room have you remark'd those two
Stout soldiers posted at the door?
Gonfred. For what?
[They whisper.
First Lady. How ghast a train!
Second Lady. Sure this should be some splendid burial.
First Lady. What fearful whispering! See, see, Gersa there.
Enter GERSA.
Gersa. Put on your brightest looks; smile if you can;
Behave as all were happy; keep your eyes
From the least watch upon him ;
if he speaks
To any one, answer collectedly,
Without surprise, his questions, howe'er strange.
Do this to the utmost, though, alas! with me
The remedy grows hopeless! Here he comes,
Observe what I have said, show no surprise.
Enter LUDOLPH, followed by SIGIFRED and Page.
Ludolph. A splendid company! rare beauties here!
I should have Orphean lips, and Plato's fancy,
Amphion's utterance, toned with his lyre,
Or the deep key of Jove's sonorous mouth,
To give fit salutation. Methought I heard,
As I came in, some whispers, what of that?
'Tis natural men should whisper; at the kiss
Of Psyche given by Love, there was a buzz
Among the gods! and silence is as natural.
These draperies are fine, and, being a mortal,
I should desire no better; yet, in truth,
There must be some superiour costliness,
Some wider-domed high magnificence!
I would have, as a mortal I may not,
Hanging of heaven's clouds, purple and gold,
Slung from the spheres; gauzes of silver mist,
Loop'd up with cords of twisted wreathed light,
And tassell'd round with weeping meteors!
These pendent lamps and chandeliers are bright
As earthly fires from dull dross can be cleansed;
Yet could my eyes drink up intenser beams
Undazzled, this is darkness, when I close
These lids, I see far fiercer brilliances,
Skies full of splendid moons, and shooting stars,
And spouting exhalations, diamond fires,
And panting fountains quivering with deep glows!
Yes this is dark is it not dark?
Sigifred. My Lord,
'Tis late; the lights of festival are ever
Quench'd in the morn.
Ludolph. 'Tis not to-morrow then?
Sigifred. Tis early dawn.
Gersa. Indeed full time we slept;
Say you so, Prince?
Ludolph. I say I quarreled with you ; We did not tilt each other, that's a blessing,
Good gods! no innocent blood upon my head!
Sigifred. Retire, Gersa!
Ludolph. There should be three more here:
For two of them, they stay away perhaps,
Being gloomy-minded, haters of fair revels,
They know their own thoughts best.
As for the third,
Deep blue eyes semi-shaded in white lids,
Finished with lashes fine for more soft shade,
Completed by her twin-arch'd ebon brows
White temples of exactest elegance,
Of even mould felicitous and smooth
Cheeks fashioned tenderly on either side,
So perfect, so divine that our poor eyes
Are dazzled with the sweet proportioning,
And wonder that 'tis so, the magic chance!
Her nostrils, small, fragrant, faery-delicate;
Her lips -I swear no human bones e'er wore
So taking a disguise you shall behold her!
We'll have her presently; aye, you shall see her,
And wonder at her, friends, she is so fair
She is the world's chief Jewel, and by heaven
She's mine by right of marriage she is mine!
Patience, good people, in fit time I send
A Summoner she will obey my call,
Being a wife most mild and dutiful.
First I would hear what music is prepared
To herald and receive her let me hear!
Sigifred. Bid the musicians soothe him tenderly.
[A soft strain of Music.
Ludolph. Ye have none better no I am content;
'Tis a rich sobbing melody, with reliefs
Full and majestic; it is well enough,
And will be sweeter, when ye see her pace
Sweeping into this presence, glisten'd o'er
With emptied caskets, and her train upheld
By ladies, habited in robes of lawn,
Sprinkled with golden crescents; (others bright
In silks, with spangles shower'd,) and bow'd to
By Duchesses and pearled Margravines
Sad, that the fairest creature of the earth
I pray you mind me not 'tis sad, I say,
That the extremest beauty of the world
Should so entrench herself away from me,
Behind a barrier of engender 'd guilt!
Second Lady. Ah! what a moan!
First Knight. Most piteous indeed!
Ludolph. She shall be brought before this company,
And then th