1.01 - The Dark Forest. The Hill of Difficulty. The Panther, the Lion, and the Wolf. Virgil.
the Dark Forest
NEW FULL DB (2.4M)
15 Erin Hunter
6 Joseph Campbell
3 Liu Cixin
2 Emma Scott
*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***
1:Your father killed Firestar in the Dark Forest. You must be so proud of him! ~ Erin Hunter
2:It's coming, a battle between Starclan and The Dark Forest and every warrior will be called upon to fight. ~ Erin Hunter
3:It’s coming,” Jayfeather whispered. “A battle between StarClan and the Dark Forest, and every warrior will be called upon to fight. ~ Erin Hunter
4:Hitlerites are blood and soil worshipers, human sacrifice mystics out of the dark forests of Germany before the dawn of civilization. ~ Upton Sinclair
5:The whole universe is in darkness, but we remain lit. We're a tiny bird tied to a branch in the dark forest, with a spotlight trained on on us. ~ Liu Cixin
6:In the final confrontation with the Dark Forest, Spottedleaf gave her life in the stars to save Sandstorm, one last gift to her beloved Firestar. ~ Erin Hunter
7:It sounded like an owl, perhaps a horned owl. They were cloistered in the dark forests, honing their wisdom. I must be as wise as they are, she thought. ~ Haruki Murakami
8:The dark forest looked on fire. The trees were lit up like funeral pyres. She thought she saw bodies strapped to the trees, burning, burning, burning. ~ Jeanette Winterson
9:I will honor my ancestors in StarClan, but not those who have ever walked in the Dark Forest. Guide my steps wisely, warriors of the past. And warriors of now. ~ Erin Hunter
10:Your father killed Firestar in the Dark Forest. You must be so proud of him! If not for his savagery, you might never have become leader. Did you and Tigerstar make that plan together? ~ Erin Hunter
11:What in your life is calling you, When all the noise is silenced, The meetings adjourned... The lists laid aside, And the Wild Iris blooms By itself In the dark forest... What still pulls on your soul? ~ Rumi
12:And so Galahad decided that it would be a disgrace to set off on a quest with the other knights. Alone he would enter the dark forest where there was no path. This is the myth of The Hero's Journey. ~ Joseph Campbell
13:I will honor my ancestors in StarClan," Bramblestar vowed, "but not those who have ever walked in the Dark Forest. Guide my steps wisely, warriors of the past." He lowered his head. "And warriors of now". ~ Erin Hunter
14:My earliest memories all involve being drawn deep into nature, where I welcome, rather than fear, getting lost. I welcome the mysteries that lurk at the bottom of the sea and live inside the dark forest of night. ~ Joe Perry
15:Breezepelt looked up at him, equally awkward. His eyes were guilty as he replied. “I should never have listened to the Dark Forest cats,” he mewed stiffly. “You’re a Clan cat, and my loyalty should be to the Clans. ~ Erin Hunter
16:What in your life is calling you,
When all the noise is silenced,
The meetings adjourned...
The lists laid aside,
And the Wild Iris blooms
In the dark forest...
What still pulls on your soul? ~ Rumi
17:Where’s Simon?” she asked as they spun again around the champagne fountain. Clary saw Isabelle there, with Alec, both of them in royal blue. They were holding hands like Hansel and Gretel in the dark forest. “This place is for the living, ~ Cassandra Clare
18:The myth is the public domain and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn't, you've got a long adventure in the dark forest ahead of you. ~ Joseph Campbell
19:Tigerstar struck the fatal blow that took the ThunderClan leader’s ninth life. But Firestar matched it with a strike that ended Tigerstar’s existence in the Dark Forest, and put him beyond revenge, beyond influence, and beyond a warrior’s darkest dreams once and for all. ~ Erin Hunter
20:Standing at the edge of the dark forest, he kissed me.
The forest shook, trembled. Where snow touched the trees, white flecks rose into the air and danced on the hands of the wind. Branches waved. Trees swayed, bending to almost break.
Or maybe it was me, us. Maybe it was us moving while the rest of the world stood still. ~ David James
21:But maybe I am. Maybe that’s exactly what I am. Maybe all I wanted was for Toby to hear the wolves that lived in the dark forest of my heart. And maybe that’s what it meant. Tell the Wolves I’m Home. Maybe Finn understood everything, as usual. You may as well tell them where you live, because they’ll find you anyway. They always do. ~ Carol Rifka Brunt
22:The Dark Forest will win if we do not forgive those cats who were once their allies. Forgiveness is far more powerful than hatred and suspicion. United, we are as strong as we ever were. Divided, we will fall. Remember that the Dark Forest is still out there, ready to prey on our dreams. Hostility and distrust among us will give them more force than they deserve. Do you want that? ~ Erin Hunter
23:Sing in me, O Muse the tale of two travelers, the ones who burned across ruddy hill and serpent trail – the last golden days of youth before the fall. Spell and sword, song and steel- the green hills roll on, and the dark forest waits but before the sun dies, let the thousand tales be told again, forgotten cradle-rhymes spun again, glory-gold and terror-black, the tale of two before the shadows fall. ~ G Derek Adams
24:Oh, because a dream is a personal experience of that deep, dark ground that is the support of our conscious lives, and a myth is the society’s dream. The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn’t, you’ve got an adventure in the dark forest ahead of you. ~ Joseph Campbell
25:Thank you for helping me,” Lionblaze began, halting a pace or two in front of Breezepelt. His gaze and his tone were wary. “But why did you? You said I should never have been born. You wanted me dead.” Breezepelt looked up at him, equally awkward. His eyes were guilty as he replied. “I should never have listened to the Dark Forest cats,” he mewed stiffly. “You’re a Clan cat, and my loyalty should be to the Clans. ~ Erin Hunter
26:Behold little Belgium and her pitiable plight, but has the world forgotten Congo? What Belgium now suffers is not half, not even a tenth, of what she has done to black Congo since Stanley's great dream of 1880. Down the dark forests of inmost Africa sailed this modern Sir Galahad, in the name of "the noble-minded men of several nations," to introduce commerce and civilization. What came of it? "Rubber and murder, slavery in its worst form," wrote Glave in 1895. ~ W E B Du Bois
27:The Dark Forest
Dark is the forest and deep, and overhead
Hang stars like seeds of light
In vain, though not since they were sown was bred
Anything more bright.
And evermore mighty multitudes ride
About, nor enter in;
Of the other multitudes that dwell inside
Never yet was one seen.
The forest foxglove is purple, the marguerite
Outside is gold and white,
Nor can those that pluck either blossom greet
The others, day or night.
~ Edward Thomas
28:For more than a century, churches and theologians struggled to complete a new interpretation of the Bible and of accepted doctrines—and just when they had almost succeeded in patching up the faith, the monster that was the dark forest appeared. People had to accept the knowledge that many, many intelligent civilizations existed in the universe, and if each civilization had an Adam and an Eve, then the population of Eden must have been about the same as the current population of Earth. ~ Liu Cixin
29:Dovewing felt bone-weary from her ears to the tip of her tail. Just because she had better hearing, sharper senses than any cat didn't seem to give her more strength. She needed to rest, eat, talk with Jayfeather and Lionblaze about the challenge that sol had left them with, of hostile Clans that would be crushed by the dark forest if they tried to fight alone. Starclan, light my path, please.
"Come on," she meowed to Hollyleaf. "It's time we went home. Our Clnmates are waitning for us
P. 315 ~ Erin Hunter
30:Dovewing felt bone-weary from her ears to the tip of her tail. Just because she had better hearing, sharper senses than any cat didn't seem to give her more strength. She needed to rest, eat, talk with Jayfeather and Lionblaze about the challenge that sol had left them with, of hostile Clans that would be crushed by the dark forest if they tried to fight alone. Starclan, light my path, please.
"Come on," she meowed to Hollyleaf. "It's time we went home. Our Clnmates are waitning for us"
P. 315 ~ Erin Hunter
31:Like all truly pure souls she [Chantal] quickly resigned herself to past faults, thought only of how to repair whatever harm they had done. "Of all my daughters, you are certainly the least bothered by scruples of conscience," Abbé Chevance used to say.... Even sin, once the will is detached and no longer nourishes it, withers and dies sterile. It is in the secret of intentions, like in a decomposing humus, in the dark forest of future sins, unpardoned sins, half dead, half living, that new poisons are distilled. ~ Georges Bernanos
32:This story is about the Once Born and the Twice Born,” Professor O said. “The Once Born man walks the path of life, and when the path takes him into the dark forest of hardship and trauma, loss or pain, he stops, refusing to take another step. He tries to flee the way he came, but it’s closed forever. So he lives his life certain the world is unfair and harsh. Others around him point to the scratching branches and looming shadows and say ‘Yes, life is hard and unfair. See?’ And they make camp among the hardships, instead of continuing on the path ~ Emma Scott
33:They’ve moved out of the society that would have protected them, and into the dark forest, into the world of fire, of original experience. Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you’ve got to work out your life for yourself. Either you can take it or you can’t. You don’t have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience—that is the hero’s deed. ~ Joseph Campbell
34:Whatever exists, he said. Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent. He looked about at the dark forest in which they were bivouacked. He nodded toward the specimens he'd collected. These anonymous creatures, he said, may seem little or nothing in the world. Yet the smallest crumb can devour us. Any smallest thing beneath yon rock out of men's knowing. Only nature can enslave man and only when the existence of each last entity is routed out and made to stand naked before him will he be properly suzerain of the earth. ~ Cormac McCarthy
35:In the fairy tales there's only one Big Bad Wolf and the little girl takes only one trip through the Dark Forest and fights only one fight for her life before the story ends in happily and ever after. But life on the Calle is real, not make-believe, and every Calle girl knows that once the My-What-Big-Paws-You-Have fall on her skin, Little Red will carry that scent no matter how hard she scrubs. From that point on, every wolf in the every forest of her very real life will recognize her and they'll do their Biggest and Baddest to get into her basket anytime she drops her guard. So be prepared. We're not out of the woods yet. ~ Tupelo Hassman
36:But aren’t many visionaries and even leaders and heroes close to the edge of neuroticism? CAMPBELL: Yes, they are. MOYERS: How do you explain that? CAMPBELL: They’ve moved out of the society that would have protected them, and into the dark forest, into the world of fire, of original experience. Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you’ve got to work out your life for yourself. Either you can take it or you can’t. You don’t have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience—that is the hero’s deed. ~ Joseph Campbell
37:ahead. The way out.” His deep, melodious voice crafted words of air and sound that landed gently on my chest, seeping into my bones. “But there is the Twice Born man, Weston,” he said, his hand tightening on mine. “The man who walks into the dark forest of his life and suffers. Sometimes unimaginably. The way back is forever closed to him, but the Twice Born man walks forward. The path becomes more twisted, the hardships seemingly impossible to overcome. But he keeps going until one day, the shadows lift. The branches cease to scratch at his skin and they part for him. He’ll regard the scars with pride as he emerges from the forest reborn. Stronger for what he has endured. Wiser. Transformed. And grateful for the lessons he learned. ~ Emma Scott
38:Help. We can be freed from a damaging insistence on forward thrust, from a commitment to running wildly down a convenient path that might actually be taking us deeper into the dark forest. Praying “Help” means that we ask that Something give us the courage to stop in our tracks, right where we are, and turn our fixation away from the Gordian knot of our problems. We stop the toxic peering and instead turn our eyes to something else: to our feet on the sidewalk, to the middle distance, to the hills, whence our help comes—someplace else, anything else. Maybe this is a shift of only eight degrees, but it can be a miracle. It may be one of those miracles where your heart sinks, because you think it means you have lost. But in surrender you have won. And if it were me, after a moment, I would say, Thanks. ~ Anne Lamott
39:He Sees Through Stone
He sees through stone
he has the secret
eyes this old black one
who under prison skies
sits pressed by the sun
against the western wall
his pipe between purple gums
the years fall
like overripe plums
bursting red flesh
on the dark earth
his time is not my time
but I have known him
in a time gone
he led me trembling cold
into the dark forest
taught me the secret rites
to make it with a woman
to be true to my brothers
to make my spear drink
the blood of my enemies
now black cats circle him
flash white teeth
snarl at the air
mashing green grass beneath
ears peeling his words
the hunt the enemy
he has the secret eyes
he sees through stone
~ Etheridge Knight
40:Gos was still out there in the forest, the dark forest to which all things lost must go. I'd wanted to slip across the borders of this world into that wood and bring back the hawk White lost. Some part of me that was very small and old had known this, some part of me that didn't work according to the everyday rules of the world but with the logic of myths and dreams. And that part of me had hoped, too, that somewhere in that other world was my father. His death had been so sudden. there had been no time to prepare for it, no sense in it happening at all. He could only be lost. He was out there, still, somewhere out there in that tangled wood with all the rest of the lost and dead. I know now what those dreams in spring had meant, the ones of a hawk slipping through a rent in the air into another world. I'd wanted to fly with the hawk to find my father; find him and bring him home. ~ Helen Macdonald
41:Jen smiled at them, a wicked gleam in her eyes.
"Do you hear that, Desdemona, last of the witches? I have so named you! Hear me now," Jen yelled into the dark forest, the wind and thunder still rolling around her. "Your time is drawing near! We are coming. Throw back your head in your tiny victory, laugh at our short-lived defeat, but we are coming. The night will be filled with our howls, the ground will shake with the stomping of our feet! We are coming. We are coming for you, Desdemona, and death follows!"
Jen lifted her head and let out a howl worthy of an Alpha female. The others joined. And as their howls died down, for a brief moment before the silence took over, they heard howls beyond the earthly realm, howls filled with grief and triumph, pain and fear, anger and love-howls from those caught in the jaws of the In Between. They had heard their females' cries and they had answered. ~ Quinn Loftis
42:MOYERS: So if my private dreams are in accord with the public mythology, I'm more likely to live healthily in that society. But if my private dreams are out of step with the public –
CAMPBELL: -- you'll be in trouble. If you're forced to live in that system, you'll be a neurotic.
MOYERS: But aren't many visionaries and even leaders and heroes close to the edge of neuroticism?
CAMPBELL: Yes, they are.
MOYERS: How do you explain that?
CAMPBELL: They've moved out of the society that would have protected them, and into the dark forest, into the world of fire, of original experience. Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you've got to work out your life for yourself. Either you can take it or you can't. You don't have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience -- that is the hero's deed. ~ Joseph Campbell
Rose Red's hair is brown as fur
and shines in firelight as she prepares
supper of honey and apples, curds and whey,
for the bear, and leaves it ready
on the hearth-stone.
Rose White's grey eyes
look into the dark forest.
Rose Red's cheeks are burning,
sign of her ardent, joyful
Rose White is pale,
turning away when she hears
the bear's paw on the latch.
When he enters, there is
frost on his fur,
he draws near to the fire
giving off sparks.
Rose Red catches the scent of the forest,
of mushrooms, of rosin.
Together Rose Red and Rose White
sing to the bear;
it is a cradle song, a loom song,
a song about marriage, about
a pilgrimage to the mountains
Raised on an elbow,
the bear stretched on the hearth
nods and hums; soon he sighs
and puts down his head.
He sleeps; the Roses
bank the fire.
Sunk in the clouds of their feather bed
they prepare to dream.
Rose Red in a cave that smells of honey
dreams she is combing the fur of her cubs
with a golden comb.
Rose White is lying awake.
Rose White shall marry the bear's brother.
Shall he too
when the time is ripe,
step from the bear's hide?
Is that other, her bridegroom,
here in the room?
~ Denise Levertov
44:By force-marching his exhausted men through the unknown, rain-swept wilderness of the German-infested Teutoburg Forest, this guy had just made a brain-explodingly boneheaded mistake so amazing in its incompetence that it makes the Roman consuls at Cannae look like a conjoined triplet made out of Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great, and that dude from Total Recall who had the baby coming out of his stomach. In terms of career moves, marching three legions into the Teutoberg was the Classical Age equivalent of coauthoring an academic paper with the Unabomber or asking Charles Manson to write you a letter of recommendation for law school. Unsurprisingly, this came back to bite him in the ass. We don’t know exactly how many Germans were hiding in the woods, watching the column of imperial invaders trudge past. The Germans didn’t bother to write anything down more detailed than “killed sum d00ds 2day lulz,” and the only Romans who managed to run screaming out of this forest alive were the ones who knew better than to sit there and try to count how many GWAR fans were currently trying to brutally dismember them with axes. Let’s just say it was probably a crapload, and that when these long-haired death metal freaks unleashed a bloodcurdling shout and started charging through the forest like a bunch of gigantic mutant Ewok-Wookies ambushing the Imperial Stormtroopers on the Forest Moon of Endor it wasn’t exactly the sort of hilarious laugh riot you might see in an animated GIF involving unicorns, rainbows, and cartoon kitties with Pop-Tarts where their bodies are supposed to be. Bellowing like madmen, these balls-out, frothing-at-the-mouth, beer-swilling sausage fiends went Leeroy Jenkins toward the enemy, blitzkrieging out of the woods from every side seemingly at the same time, their ferociousness magnified not only by their savage blood rage, but by the fact that some of the dudes had taken to painting their entire bodies black with mud to help them hide in the dark forest like how Schwarzenegger hid from the Predator’s infrared vision. It was so damned terrifying that it took every ounce of Roman discipline to not simply spontaneously combust into blood vapor on the spot. ~ Anonymous
45:Ivypool backed away. She twisted and ducked under him as he leaped, but his claws sank into her tail and pinned her to the ground. Thistleclaw and Snowtuft attacked from opposite sides, snarling, slicing her ears. She struggled away from them, crashing into hard muscle. Hawkfrost was behind her now. He stabbed his claws into her shoulders. With a gasp, Ivypool saw his teeth flashing beside her throat. Then a black pelt flashed over the top of the gorse. Paws landed with a thump beside her.
"Get off her!" Hollyleaf yowled.
Ivypool's world spun as the black warrior slammed into Hawkfrost and sent him reeling into the gorse. Free from Hawkfrost's claws, Ivypool turned on Thistleclaw and Snowtuft. She began slashing with her front paws, remembering in a crystalline moment every moon of training. Hollyleaf reared up beside her, matching her blow for blow, as though she instinctively knew where Ivypool would strike next. Blood sprayed the forest floor as Ivypool sliced Snowtuft's muzzle and tore Thistleclaw's nose. Turning she kicked with hind legs and knocked Thistleclaw backward, then sank her teeth into Snowtuft's neck.
The white warrior screeched and ripped free from her jaws. Ivypool tasted his blood as he hared away through the bracken. She met Thistleclaw's gaze. Fear sparked in his eyes as she spat out a bloody clump of Snowtuft's fur.
"Run," she hissed. "Because if you stay, I will kill you".
Mouth open, Thistleclaw fled, disappearing through the gorse. A shriek exploded behind Ivypool. She turned and saw Hollyleaf swipe at Hawkfrost's muzzle. The force of the blow sent the Dark Forest warrior crashing away. He dropped with a thump and scrabbled to his paws. Blood dripping from his cheek, one eye swollen shut, he glanced at Hollyleaf and tore his way through the gorse.
Ivypool stared at the black she-cat. "You saved my life!"
Hollyleaf staggered and fell to the ground. "Hollyleaf!" Ivypool darted to her side and saw blood pulsing from a wound in her neck. Panic formed a hard lump in Ivypool's belly. Grasping Hollyleaf's scruff in her teeth, she began to half drag, half carry her Clanmate toward the ThunderClan border. Jayfeather would know what to do.
"I'll get you home," Ivypool growled through gritted teeth. "I promise I'll get you home". ~ Erin Hunter
46:You don’t need to pity them. Really, let me tell you: don’t. The reality of the universe is not something to envy.” “Why?” Yifan lifted a hand and pointed at the stars of the galaxy. Then he let the 3G force pull his arm back to this chest. “Darkness. Only darkness.” “You mean the dark forest state?” Guan Yifan shook his head, a gesture that appeared to be a struggle in hypergravity. “For us, the dark forest state is all-important, but it’s just a detail of the cosmos. If you think of the cosmos as a great battlefield, dark forest strikes are nothing more than snipers shooting at the careless—messengers, mess men, etc. In the grand scheme of the battle, they are nothing. You have not seen what a true interstellar war is like.” “Have you?” “We’ve caught a few glimpses. But most things we know are just guesses.… Do you really want to know? The more you possess of this kind of knowledge, the less light remains in your heart.” “My heart is already completely dark. I want to know.” And so, more than six centuries after Luo Ji had fallen through ice into that lake, another dark veil hiding the truth about the universe was lifted before the gaze of one of the only survivors of Earth civilization. Yifan asked, “Why don’t you tell me what the most powerful weapon for a civilization possessing almost infinite technological prowess is? Don’t think of this as a technical question. Think philosophy.” Cheng Xin pondered for a while and then struggled to shake her head. “I don’t know.” “Your experiences should give you a hint.” What had she experienced? She had seen how a cruel attacker could lower the dimensions of space by one and destroy a solar system. What are dimensions? “The universal laws of physics,” Cheng Xin said. “That’s right. The universal laws of physics are the most terrifying weapons, and also the most effective defenses. Whether it’s by the Milky Way or the Andromeda Galaxy, at the scale of the local galactic group or the Virgo Supercluster, those warring civilizations possessing godlike technology will not hesitate to use the universal laws of physics as weapons. There are many laws that can be manipulated into weapons, but most commonly, the focus is on spatial dimensions and the speed of light. Typically, lowering spatial dimensions is a technique for attack, and lowering the speed of light is a technique for defense. Thus, the dimensional strike on the Solar System was an advanced attack method. A dimensional strike is a sign of respect. In this universe, respect is not easy to earn. I guess you could consider it an honor for Earth civilization. ~ Liu Cixin
47:It’s the cats who trained with the Dark Forest who are fighting hardest, Crowfeather realized. They’re throwing themselves into the worst of the battle. As he looked around, Crowfeather’s heart swelled with pride as he saw his Clanmates, who had suffered so much suspicion after the mistake they’d made, showing their loyalty by risking their lives for their Clan. At the same time, rage against the stoats gave him new strength and energy. A stoat rushed at him, rearing up to attack him with both forepaws. Crowfeather ducked underneath its forelegs, and as the stoat landed, he spun around to fasten his teeth in its throat. He pinned it to the ground, his paws gripping it determinedly until he felt a warm rush of blood; the stoat went limp and he tossed it aside. Looking up, he found himself staring into the face of Nightcloud. “Neat kill,” she commented. “Leave some for the rest of us, won’t you?” As she spoke, a stoat dived for her, leaping up to land on her back. But before it could get a firm grip on her, Crowfeather lashed out with one forepaw, knocking it to the ground. Nightcloud sank her claws into its throat; the stoat twitched and lay still. She gave Crowfeather a nod of gratitude before turning back to the battle. Crowfeather and Nightcloud fought together, standing tail to tail as they turned in a circle, paws striking out at the endless surge of stoats. As soon as they killed or injured one, another would take its place. The white bodies, the small, malignant eyes and snarling fangs, seemed to Crowfeather like something out of a nightmare. He could only go on struggling, grateful for Nightcloud’s steady presence beside him. Then pain exploded in Crowfeather’s shoulder. He turned his head to see a stoat gripping him with its claws, while a splash of drool on his muzzle warned him it was going for his throat. Crowfeather couldn’t shake it off; he dropped to the ground, buying time, but the pressing weight of the frenzied creature made him feel there was no escape. The angle of their bodies meant that he couldn’t batter at it with his hind legs. StarClan, help me! he prayed. The stoat abruptly vanished. Crowfeather looked up to see Nightcloud holding it by the scruff, shaking it vigorously, then tossing it away into the crowd. “Thanks,” Crowfeather gasped, scrambling to his paws. “Anytime,” Nightcloud responded. They turned as one to attack two other stoats that dived in from opposite directions. Even while his body remembered his battle moves, Crowfeather could reflect on how well he and Nightcloud fought together, how well they knew each other. We may not be in love, but we make a fierce team on the battlefield. I know she’ll fight ferociously for me, and for all her Clanmates. Crowfeather’s reflections were interrupted by a screech of pain. Glancing over his shoulder he saw Lionblaze fall, the golden tabby warrior overwhelmed beneath a swarm of stoats. Crowfeather leaped toward him, only to run into what ~ Erin Hunter
48:The House Of Dust: Part 03: 12: Witches' Sabbath
Now, when the moon slid under the cloud
And the cold clear dark of starlight fell,
He heard in his blood the well-known bell
Tolling slowly in heaves of sound,
Slowly beating, slowly beating,
Shaking its pulse on the stagnant air:
Sometimes it swung completely round,
Horribly gasping as if for breath;
Falling down with an anguished cry . . .
Now the red bat, he mused, will fly;
Something is marked, this night, for death . . .
And while he mused, along his blood
Flew ghostly voices, remote and thin,
They rose in the cavern of his brain,
Like ghosts they died away again;
And hands upon his heart were laid,
And music upon his flesh was played,
Until, as he was bidden to do,
He walked the wood he so well knew.
Through the cold dew he moved his feet,
And heard far off, as under the earth,
Discordant music in shuddering tones,
Screams of laughter, horrible mirth,
Clapping of hands, and thudding of drums,
And the long-drawn wail of one in pain.
To-night, he thought, I shall die again,
We shall die again in the red-eyed fire
To meet on the edge of the wood beyond
With the placid gaze of fed desire . . .
He walked; and behind the whisper of trees,
In and out, one walked with him:
She parted the branches and peered at him,
Through lowered lids her two eyes burned,
He heard her breath, he saw her hand,
Wherever he turned his way, she turned:
Kept pace with him, now fast, now slow;
Moving her white knees as he moved . . .
This is the one I have always loved;
This is the one whose bat-soul comes
To dance with me, flesh to flesh,
In the starlight dance of horns and drums . . .
The walls and roofs, the scarlet towers,
Sank down behind a rushing sky.
He heard a sweet song just begun
Abruptly shatter in tones and die.
It whirled away. Cold silence fell.
And again came tollings of a bell.
This air is alive with witches: the white witch rides
Swifter than smoke on the starlit wind.
In the clear darkness, while the moon hides,
They come like dreams, like something remembered . .
Let us hurry! beloved; take my hand,
Forget these things that trouble your eyes,
Forget, forget! Our flesh is changed,
Lighter than smoke we wreathe and rise . . .
The cold air hisses between us . . . Beloved, beloved,
What was the word you said?
Something about clear music that sang through water . . .
I cannot remember. The storm-drops break on the leaves.
Something was lost in the darkness. Someone is dead.
Someone lies in the garden and grieves.
Look how the branches are tossed in this air,
Flinging their green to the earth!
Black clouds rush to devour the stars in the sky,
The moon stares down like a half-closed eye.
The leaves are scattered, the birds are blown,
Oaks crash down in the darkness,
We run from our windy shadows; we are running alone.
The moon was darkened: across it flew
The swift grey tenebrous shape he knew,
Like a thing of smoke it crossed the sky,
The witch! he said. And he heard a cry,
And another came, and another came,
And one, grown duskily red with blood,
Floated an instant across the moon,
Hung like a dull fantastic flame . . .
The earth has veins: they throb to-night,
The earth swells warm beneath my feet,
The tips of the trees grow red and bright,
The leaves are swollen, I feel them beat,
They press together, they push and sigh,
They listen to hear the great bat cry,
The great red bat with the woman's face . . .
Hurry! he said. And pace for pace
That other, who trod the dark with him,
Crushed the live leaves, reached out white hands
And closed her eyes, the better to see
The priests with claws, the lovers with hooves,
The fire-lit rock, the sarabands.
I am here! she said. The bough he broke—
Was it the snapping bough that spoke?
I am here! she said. The white thigh gleamed
Cold in starlight among dark leaves,
The head thrown backward as he had dreamed,
The shadowy red deep jasper mouth;
And the lifted hands, and the virgin breasts,
Passed beside him, and vanished away.
I am here! she cried. He answered 'Stay!'
And laughter arose, and near and far
Answering laughter rose and died . . .
Who is there? in the dark? he cried.
He stood in terror, and heard a sound
Of terrible hooves on the hollow ground;
They rushed, were still; a silence fell;
And he heard deep tollings of a bell.
Look beloved! Why do you hide your face?
Look, in the centre there, above the fire,
They are bearing the boy who blasphemed love!
They are playing a piercing music upon him
With a bow of living wire! . . .
The virgin harlot sings,
She leans above the beautiful anguished body,
And draws slow music from those strings.
They dance around him, they fling red roses upon him,
They trample him with their naked feet,
His cries are lost in laughter,
Their feet grow dark with his blood, they beat and
They dance upon him, until he cries no more . . .
Have we not heard that cry before?
Beside a sea, in the green evening,
Beneath green clouds, in a copper sky . . .
Was it you? was it I?
They have quenched the fires, they dance in the darkness,
The satyrs have run among them to seize and tear,
Look! he has caught one by the hair,
She screams and falls, he bears her away with him,
And the night grows full of whistling wings.
Far off, one voice, serene and sweet,
Rises and sings . . .
'By the clear waters where once I died,
In the calm evening bright with stars. . . .'
Where have I heard these words? Was it you who sang them?
It was long ago.
Let us hurry, beloved! the hard hooves trample;
The treetops tremble and glow.
In the clear dark, on silent wings,
The red bat hovers beneath her moon;
She drops through the fragrant night, and clings
Fast in the shadow, with hands like claws,
With soft eyes closed and mouth that feeds,
To the young white flesh that warmly bleeds.
The maidens circle in dance, and raise
From lifting throats, a soft-sung praise;
Their knees and breasts are white and bare,
They have hung pale roses in their hair,
Each of them as she dances by
Peers at the blood with a narrowed eye.
See how the red wing wraps him round,
See how the white youth struggles in vain!
The weak arms writhe in a soundless pain;
He writhes in the soft red veiny wings,
But still she whispers upon him and clings. . . .
This is the secret feast of love,
Look well, look well, before it dies,
See how the red one trembles above,
See how quiet the white one lies! . . . .
Wind through the trees. . . .and a voice is heard
Singing far off. The dead leaves fall. . . .
'By the clear waters where once I died,
In the calm evening bright with stars,
One among numberless avatars,
I wedded a mortal, a mortal bride,
And lay on the stones and gave my flesh,
And entered the hunger of him I loved.
How shall I ever escape this mesh
Or be from my lover's body removed?'
Dead leaves stream through the hurrying air
And the maenads dance with flying hair.
The priests with hooves, the lovers with horns,
Rise in the starlight, one by one,
They draw their knives on the spurting throats,
They smear the column with blood of goats,
They dabble the blood on hair and lips
And wait like stones for the moon's eclipse.
They stand like stones and stare at the sky
Where the moon leers down like a half-closed eye. . .
In the green moonlight still they stand
While wind flows over the darkened sand
And brood on the soft forgotten things
That filled their shadowy yesterdays. . . .
Where are the breasts, the scarlet wings? . . . .
They gaze at each other with troubled gaze. . . .
And then, as the shadow closes the moon,
Shout, and strike with their hooves the ground,
And rush through the dark, and fill the night
With a slowly dying clamor of sound.
There, where the great walls crowd the stars,
There, by the black wind-riven walls,
In a grove of twisted leafless trees. . . .
Who are these pilgrims, who are these,
These three, the one of whom stands upright,
While one lies weeping and one of them crawls?
The face that he turned was a wounded face,
I heard the dripping of blood on stones. . . .
Hooves had trampled and torn this place,
And the leaves were strewn with blood and bones.
Sometimes, I think, beneath my feet,
The warm earth stretches herself and sighs. . . .
Listen! I heard the slow heart beat. . . .
I will lie on this grass as a lover lies
And reach to the north and reach to the south
And seek in the darkness for her mouth.
Beloved, beloved, where the slow waves of the wind
Shatter pale foam among great trees,
Under the hurrying stars, under the heaving arches,
Like one whirled down under shadowy seas,
I run to find you, I run and cry,
Where are you? Where are you? It is I. It is I.
It is your eyes I seek, it is your windy hair,
Your starlight body that breathes in the darkness there.
Under the darkness I feel you stirring. . . .
Is this you? Is this you?
Bats in this air go whirring. . . .
And this soft mouth that darkly meets my mouth,
Is this the soft mouth I knew?
Darkness, and wind in the tortured trees;
And the patter of dew.
Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance!
Dance till the brain is red with speed!
Dance till you fall! Lift your torches!
Kiss your lovers until they bleed!
Backward I draw your anguished hair
Until your eyes are stretched with pain;
Backward I press you until you cry,
Your lips grow white, I kiss you again,
I will take a torch and set you afire,
I will break your body and fling it away. . . .
Look, you are trembling. . . .Lie still, beloved!
Lock your hands in my hair, and say
Darling! darling! darling! darling!
All night long till the break of day.
Is it your heart I hear beneath me. . . .
Or the far tolling of that tower?
The voices are still that cried around us. . . .
The woods grow still for the sacred hour.
Rise, white lover! the day draws near.
The grey trees lean to the east in fear.
'By the clear waters where once I died . . . .'
Beloved, whose voice was this that cried?
'By the clear waters that reach the sun
By the clear waves that starward run. . . .
I found love's body and lost his soul,
And crumbled in flame that should have annealed. . .
How shall I ever again be whole,
By what dark waters shall I be healed?'
Silence. . . .the red leaves, one by one,
Fall. Far off, the maenads run.
Silence. Beneath my naked feet
The veins of the red earth swell and beat.
The dead leaves sigh on the troubled air,
Far off the maenads bind their hair. . . .
Hurry, beloved! the day comes soon.
The fire is drawn from the heart of the moon.
The great bell cracks and falls at last.
The moon whirls out. The sky grows still.
Look, how the white cloud crosses the stars
And suddenly drops behind the hill!
Your eyes are placid, you smile at me,
We sit in the room by candle-light.
We peer in each other's veins and see
No sign of the things we saw this night.
Only, a song is in your ears,
A song you have heard, you think, in dream:
The song which only the demon hears,
In the dark forest where maenads scream . . .
'By the clear waters where once I died . . .
In the calm evening bright with stars . . . '
What do the strange words mean? you say,—
And touch my hand, and turn away.
~ Conrad Potter Aiken
06.01_-_The_Word_of_Fate, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
"What stealthy doom has crept across her path
Emerging from the Dark Forest's sullen heart,
What evil thing stood smiling by the way
1.01_-_the_Call_to_Adventure, #The Hero with a Thousand Faces, #Joseph Campbell, #Mythology
no longer fit; the time for the passing of a threshold is at hand.
Typical of the circumstances of the call are the Dark Forest, the
great tree, the babbling spring, and the loathly, underestimated
1.01_-_The_Dark_Forest._The_Hill_of_Difficulty._The_Panther,_the_Lion,_and_the_Wolf._Virgil., #The Divine Comedy, #Dante Alighieri, #Christianity
object:1.01 - the Dark Forest. The Hill of Difficulty. The Panther, the Lion, and the Wolf. Virgil.
Midway upon the journey of our life
The_Act_of_Creation_text, #The Act of Creation, #Arthur Koestler, #Psychology
However, the reduction of the uncanny and vexing to the orderly and
familiar, of the rustling of leaves in the Dark Forest to the whisper of
fairies or the vibrations of compressed air both equally reassuring