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branches ::: the Lamp

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object:the Lamp
class:object
subject class:Occultism
subject:Occultism

All is mute in the being, but in the bosom of the silence burns the lamp that can never be extinguished, the fire of an ardent aspiration to know and to love integrally the Divine.
~ The Mother Words Of The Mother - II,



see also ::: 2.10 - The Lamp, the Psychic Being, the Guide, the Maze, the Path




see also ::: 2.10_-_The_Lamp, the_Guide, the_Maze, the_Path, the_Psychic_Being

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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

2.10_-_The_Lamp
the_Guide
the_Maze
the_Path
the_Psychic_Being

AUTH

BOOKS
old_bookshelf
The_Divine_Milieu

IN CHAPTERS TITLE
1.pbs_-_When_The_Lamp_Is_Shattered
2.10_-_The_Lamp

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
0.00_-_INTRODUCTION
0.00_-_The_Book_of_Lies_Text
0_1958-11-04_-_Myths_are_True_and_Gods_exist_-_mental_formation_and_occult_faculties_-_exteriorization_-_work_in_dreams
0_1968-02-07
04.42_-_To_the_Heights-XLII
07.36_-_The_Body_and_the_Psychic
09.03_-_The_Psychic_Being
10.01_-_A_Dream
1.00_-_Main
10.12_-_Awake_Mother
1.01_-_MASTER_AND_DISCIPLE
1.01_-_NIGHT
1.02_-_MAPS_OF_MEANING_-_THREE_LEVELS_OF_ANALYSIS
1.03_-_THE_STUDY_(The_Exorcism)
1.03_-_To_Layman_Ishii
1.03_-_VISIT_TO_VIDYASAGAR
1.04_-_BOOK_THE_FOURTH
1.04_-_The_Origin_and_Development_of_Poetry.
1.04_-_The_Paths
1.05_-_On_painstaking_and_true_repentance_which_constitute_the_life_of_the_holy_convicts;_and_about_the_prison.
1.06_-_THE_MASTER_WITH_THE_BRAHMO_DEVOTEES
1.070_-_The_Seven_Stages_of_Perfection
1.07_-_THE_MASTER_AND_VIJAY_GOSWAMI
1.07_-_TRUTH
1.08a_-_The_Ladder
1.08_-_Origin_of_Rudra:_his_becoming_eight_Rudras
1.09_-_ADVICE_TO_THE_BRAHMOS
1.09_-_(Plot_continued.)_Dramatic_Unity.
1.09_-_The_Guardian_of_the_Threshold
11.01_-_The_Opening_Scene_of_Savitri
1.12_-_THE_FESTIVAL_AT_PNIHTI
1.13_-_THE_MASTER_AND_M.
1.14_-_INSTRUCTION_TO_VAISHNAVS_AND_BRHMOS
1.19_-_THE_MASTER_AND_HIS_INJURED_ARM
1.19_-_The_Practice_of_Magical_Evocation
1.21_-_Chih_Men's_Lotus_Flower,_Lotus_Leaves
1.23_-_Improvising_a_Temple
1.24_-_PUNDIT_SHASHADHAR
1.25_-_ADVICE_TO_PUNDIT_SHASHADHAR
1.27_-_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.3.4.02_-_The_Hour_of_God
1.39_-_The_Ritual_of_Osiris
1.57_-_Public_Scapegoats
1914_11_08p
1953-11-11
1954-07-07_-_The_inner_warrior_-_Grace_and_the_Falsehood_-_Opening_from_below_-_Surrender_and_inertia_-_Exclusive_receptivity_-_Grace_and_receptivity
1958-04-02_-_Correcting_a_mistake
1970_03_03
1.ac_-_The_Wizard_Way
1.anon_-_The_Poem_of_Imru-Ul-Quais
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Case_of_Charles_Dexter_Ward
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Colour_out_of_Space
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Dream-Quest_of_Unknown_Kadath
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Ghost-Eater
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Hound
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Lurking_Fear
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Man_of_Stone
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Night_Ocean
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Shadow_out_of_Time
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Whisperer_in_Darkness
1.fs_-_Melancholy_--_To_Laura
1.fs_-_Parables_And_Riddles
1.hcyc_-_42_-_I_raise_the_Dharma-banner_and_set_forth_our_teaching_(from_The_Shodoka)
1.he_-_You_no_sooner_attain_the_great_void
1.hs_-_Naked_in_the_Bee-House
1.jk_-_Calidore_-_A_Fragment
1.jk_-_Otho_The_Great_-_Act_IV
1.jr_-_Did_I_Not_Say_To_You
1.kbr_-_Poem_5
1.kbr_-_The_Light_of_the_Sun
1.kbr_-_The_light_of_the_sun,_the_moon,_and_the_stars_shines_bright
1.lovecraft_-_Fungi_From_Yuggoth
1.mb_-_Collection_of_Six_Haiku
1.mb_-_The_Dagger
1.mb_-_The_Five-Coloured_Garment
1.pbs_-_Adonais_-_An_elegy_on_the_Death_of_John_Keats
1.pbs_-_Epipsychidion
1.pbs_-_Epipsychidion_(Excerpt)
1.pbs_-_Fragment_-_Satan_Broken_Loose
1.pbs_-_Ginevra
1.pbs_-_Hellas_-_A_Lyrical_Drama
1.pbs_-_Homers_Hymn_To_The_Moon
1.pbs_-_Lines_Written_Among_The_Euganean_Hills
1.pbs_-_Ode_To_Heaven
1.pbs_-_Prometheus_Unbound
1.pbs_-_Queen_Mab_-_Part_VI.
1.pbs_-_Queen_Mab_-_Part_Vi_(Excerpts)
1.pbs_-_The_Boat_On_The_Serchio
1.pbs_-_The_Cenci_-_A_Tragedy_In_Five_Acts
1.pbs_-_The_Revolt_Of_Islam_-_Canto_I-XII
1.pbs_-_The_Sensitive_Plant
1.pbs_-_The_Triumph_Of_Life
1.pbs_-_The_Two_Spirits_-_An_Allegory
1.pbs_-_When_The_Lamp_Is_Shattered
1.poe_-_The_Raven
1.pp_-_Raga_Dhanashri
1.rb_-_Paracelsus_-_Part_V_-_Paracelsus_Attains
1.rmr_-_Night_(This_night,_agitated_by_the_growing_storm)
1.rt_-_A_Dream
1.rt_-_Farewell
1.rt_-_Fireflies
1.rt_-_Fool
1.rt_-_Gitanjali
1.rt_-_Lamp_Of_Love
1.rt_-_Lovers_Gifts_XXII_-_I_Shall_Gladly_Suffer
1.rt_-_Song_Unsung
1.rt_-_Stray_Birds_61_-_70
1.rt_-_The_Gardener_IX_-_When_I_Go_Alone_At_Night
1.rt_-_The_Gardener_LXXXIII_-_She_Dwelt_On_The_Hillside
1.rt_-_The_Gardener_X_-_Let_Your_Work_Be,_Bride
1.rt_-_Waiting
1.rt_-_When_I_Go_Alone_At_Night
1.rvd_-_If_You_are_a_mountain
1.rvd_-_The_Name_alone_is_the_Truth
1.srd_-_Krishna_Awakes
1.tm_-_A_Practical_Program_for_Monks
1.wby_-_Ego_Dominus_Tuus
1.whitman_-_Carol_Of_Occupations
1.whitman_-_Song_of_Myself
1.whitman_-_Song_Of_Myself-_XLIII
2.01_-_Proem
2.02_-_Atomic_Motions
2.02_-_The_Circle
2.02_-_The_Monstrance
2.03_-_The_Altar
2.04_-_ADVICE_TO_ISHAN
2.05_-_The_Holy_Oil
2.05_-_VISIT_TO_THE_SINTHI_BRAMO_SAMAJ
2.09_-_THE_MASTERS_BIRTHDAY
2.09_-_The_Pantacle
2.1.02_-_Love_and_Death
2.10_-_The_Lamp
2.10_-_THE_MASTER_AND_NARENDRA
2.12_-_The_Robe
2.12_-_The_Way_and_the_Bhakta
2.13_-_THE_MASTER_AT_THE_HOUSES_OF_BALARM_AND_GIRISH
2.22_-_THE_MASTER_AT_COSSIPORE
2.23_-_THE_MASTER_AND_BUDDHA
2.25_-_AFTER_THE_PASSING_AWAY
3.02_-_Aspiration
3.08_-_Of_Equilibrium
3.10_-_Of_the_Gestures
3.12_-_Of_the_Bloody_Sacrifice
31_Hymns_to_the_Star_Goddess
32.01_-_Where_is_God?
39.11_-_A_Prayer
4.2_-_Karma
6.0_-_Conscious,_Unconscious,_and_Individuation
7_-_Yoga_of_Sri_Aurobindo
Aeneid
A_God's_Labour
BOOK_I._--_PART_I._COSMIC_EVOLUTION
BOOK_I._--_PART_III._SCIENCE_AND_THE_SECRET_DOCTRINE_CONTRASTED
Book_of_Exodus
Conversations_with_Sri_Aurobindo
ENNEAD_06.05_-_The_One_and_Identical_Being_is_Everywhere_Present_In_Its_Entirety.345
Guru_Granth_Sahib_first_part
IS_-_Chapter_1
Jaap_Sahib_Text_(Guru_Gobind_Singh)
Liber_46_-_The_Key_of_the_Mysteries
Liber_71_-_The_Voice_of_the_Silence_-_The_Two_Paths_-_The_Seven_Portals
P.11_-_MAGICAL_WEAPONS
Prayers_and_Meditations_by_Baha_u_llah_text
r1913_09_17
r1914_03_23
r1914_03_24
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)
Symposium_translated_by_B_Jowett
Tablets_of_Baha_u_llah_text
The_Book_of_Certitude_-_P1
The_Book_of_Certitude_-_P2
The_Dwellings_of_the_Philosophers
The_Garden_of_Forking_Paths_2
The_Gospel_According_to_Luke
The_Gospel_According_to_Mark
The_Gospel_According_to_Matthew
The_Hidden_Words_text
The_Shadow_Out_Of_Time
Verses_of_Vemana

PRIMARY CLASS

object
SIMILAR TITLES
the Lamp

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH


TERMS ANYWHERE

5. pristine cognition: look with the lamp of primordial awareness (rig pa ye shes sgron me ltos)

Baolin zhuan. (J. Horinden; K. Porim chon 寶林傳). In Chinese, "Chronicle of the Bejeweled Forest (Monastery)"; an important early lineage record of the early Chinese CHAN tradition, in ten rolls; also known as Da Tang Shaozhou Shuangfeng shan Caoxi Baolin zhuan or Caoxi Baolin zhuan. The title refers to Baolinsi, the monastery in which HUINENG, the legendary "sixth patriarch" (LIUZU) of Chan, resided. The Baolin zhuan was compiled by the obscure monk Zhiju (or Huiju) in 801, and only an incomplete version of this text remains (rolls 7, 9, 10 are no longer extant). As one of the earliest extant records of the crucial CHAN legend of patriarchal succession (cf. FASI, ZUSHI), the Baolin zhuan offers a rare glimpse into how the early Chan tradition conceived of the school's unique place in Buddhist history. Texts like the Baolin zhuan helped pave the way for the rise of a new genre of writing, called the "transmission of the lamplight records" (CHUANDENG LU), which provides much more elaborate details on the principal and collateral lineages of the various Chan traditions. The Baolin zhuan's list of patriarchs includes the buddha sAKYAMUNI, twenty-eight Indian patriarchs beginning with MAHAKAsYAPA down to BODHIDHARMA (the Baolin Zhuan is the earliest extant text to provide this account), and the six Chinese patriarchs: Bodhidharma, HUIKE, SENGCAN, DAOXIN, HONGREN, and HUINENG (the Baolin zhuan's entries on the last three figures are no longer extant). For each patriarch, the text gives a short biography and transmission verse (GATHA).

Beishan lu. (北山録). In Chinese, lit. "North Mountain Record"; a lengthy treatise in ten rolls, compiled by the Chinese monk Shenqing (d. 1361). This comprehensive treatise provides a detailed account of the formation of the world, the appearance of sages and sacred texts, and the history of Chinese thought. Among its many claims, the harmony of Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian thought and its harsh critique of the CHAN school's "transmission of the lamplight" (chuandeng; see CHUANDENG LU) theory were the most controversial and came under attack later by FORI QISONG.

Bodhidharma. (C. Putidamo; J. Bodaidaruma; K. Poridalma 菩提達磨) (c. late-fourth to early-fifth centuries). Indian monk who is the putative "founder" of the school of CHAN (K. SoN, J. ZEN, V. THIỀN). The story of a little-known Indian (or perhaps Central Asian) emigré monk grew over the centuries into an elaborate legend of Bodhidharma, the first patriarch of the Chan school. The earliest accounts of a person known as Bodhidharma appear in the Luoyang qielan ji and XU GAOSENG ZHUAN, but the more familiar and developed image of this figure can be found in such later sources as the BAOLIN ZHUAN, LENGQIE SHIZI JI, LIDAI FABAO JI, ZUTANG JI, JINGDE CHUANDENG LU, and other "transmission of the lamplight" (CHUANDENG LU) histories. According to these sources, Bodhidharma was born as the third prince of a South Indian kingdom. Little is known about his youth, but he is believed to have arrived in China sometime during the late fourth or early fifth century, taking the southern maritime route according to some sources, the northern overland route according to others. In an episode appearing in the Lidai fabao ji and BIYAN LU, after arriving in southern China, Bodhidharma is said to have engaged in an enigmatic exchange with the devout Buddhist emperor Wu (464-549, r. 502-549) of the Liang dynasty (502-557) on the subject of the Buddha's teachings and merit-making. To the emperor's questions about what dharma Bodhidharma was transmitting and how much merit (PUnYA) he, Wudi, had made by his munificent donations to construct monasteries and ordain monks, Bodhidharma replied that the Buddha's teachings were empty (hence there was nothing to transmit) and that the emperor's generous donations had brought him no merit at all. The emperor seems not to have been impressed with these answers, and Bodhidharma, perhaps disgruntled by the emperor's failure to understand the profundity of his teachings, left for northern China, taking the Yangtze river crossing (riding a reed across the river, in a scene frequently depicted in East Asian painting). Bodhidharma's journey north eventually brought him to a cave at the monastery of SHAOLINSI on SONGSHAN, where he sat in meditation for nine years while facing a wall (MIANBI), in so-called "wall contemplation" (BIGUAN). During his stay on Songshan, the Chinese monk HUIKE is said to have become Bodhidharma's disciple, allegedly after cutting off his left arm to show his dedication. This legend of Bodhidharma's arrival in China is eventually condensed into the famous Chan case (GONG'AN), "Why did Bodhidharma come from the West?" (see XILAI YI). Bodhidharma's place within the lineage of Indian patriarchs vary according to text and tradition (some list him as the twenty-eighth patriarch), but he is considered the first patriarch of Chan in China. Bodhidharma's name therefore soon became synonymous with Chan and subsequently with Son, Zen, and Thièn. Bodhidharma, however, has often been confused with other figures such as BODHIRUCI, the translator of the LAnKAVATARASuTRA, and the Kashmiri monk DHARMATRATA, to whom the DHYANA manual DAMODUOLUO CHAN JING is attributed. The Lidai fabao ji, for instance, simply fused the names of Bodhidharma and DharmatrAta and spoke of a BodhidharmatrAta whose legend traveled with the Lidai fabao ji to Tibet. Bodhidharma was even identified as the apostle Saint Thomas by Jesuit missionaries to China, such as Matteo Ricci. Several texts, a number of which were uncovered in the DUNHUANG manuscript cache in Central Asia, have been attributed to Bodhidharma, but their authorship remains uncertain. The ERRU SIXING LUN seems to be the only of these texts that can be traced with some certainty back to Bodhidharma or his immediate disciples. The legend of Bodhidharma in the Lengqie shizi ji also associates him with the transmission of the LankAvatArasutra in China. In Japan, Bodhidharma is often depicted in the form of a round-shaped, slightly grotesque-looking doll, known as the "Daruma doll." Like much of the rest of the legends surrounding Bodhidharma, there is finally no credible evidence connecting Bodhidharma to the Chinese martial arts traditions (see SHAOLINSI).

Bodhipathapradīpa. (T. Byang chub lam gyi sgron ma). In Sanskrit, "Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment"; a work composed by the Indian scholar ATIsA DĪPAMKARAsRĪJNANA at THO LING GTSUG LAG KHANG shortly after he arrived in Tibet in 1042. Tibetan histories often note that Atisa wrote this text in order to clarify problematic points of Buddhist practice, especially TANTRA, which were thought to have degenerated and become distorted, and to show that tantra did not render basic Buddhist practice irrelevant. The Bodhipathapradīpa emphasizes a gradual training in the practices of the MAHAYANA and VAJRAYANA and became a prototype and textual basis first for the bstan rim, or "stages of the teaching" genre, and then for the genre of Tibetan religious literature known as LAM RIM, or "stages of the path." It is also an early source for the instructions and practice of BLO SBYONG, or "mind training." Atisa wrote his own commentary (paNjikA) (Commentary on the Difficult Points of the Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment) to the text. The text says bodhisattvas must first follow one of the sets of PRATIMOKsA disciplinary rules; based on those precepts, they practice the six perfections (PARAMITA); with those perfections as a solid foundation, they finally practice Buddhist tantra.

Chanlin sengbao zhuan. (J. Zenrin soboden; K. Sollim sŭngbo chon 禪林僧寶傳). In Chinese, "Chronicles of the SAMGHA Jewel in the Forests of CHAN"; compiled in the twelfth century by the "lettered Chan" (WENZI CHAN) monk JUEFAN HUIHONG (1071-1128). Huihong intended for this chronicle to serve as a supplement to his own "Biographies of Eminent Monks" (GAOSENG ZHUAN), which is no longer extant. Huihong collected the biographies of over a hundred eminent Chan masters who were active in the lettered Chan movement between the late Tang and early Song dynasties, appending his own comments to each biography. Huihong's collection is said to have been pared down to eighty-one biographies by the Chan master DAHUI ZONGGAO. Later, Dahui's disciple Jinglao (d.u.) of Tanfeng added a biography of WUZU FAYAN, the teacher of Dahui's own master YUANWU KEQIN, and two other masters to the conclusion of Huihong's text, giving a total of eighty-four biographies in the extant collection. A postscript by XUTANG ZHIYU appears at the end of the compilation. Unlike Chan "lamplight histories" (CHUANDENG LU), which are typically arranged according to principal and collateral lineages, the monks treated in this compilation are listed according to their significance in the origin and development of the "lettered Chan" movement; Huihong's treatment undermines the neat charts of master-disciple connections deriving from the lamplight histories, which have become so well known in the literature. In Japan, a copy of the Chanlin sengbao zhuan was published as early as 1295 and again in 1644.

chuandeng lu. (J. dentoroku; K. chondŭng nok 傳燈録). In Chinese, "transmission of the lamplight record"; a generic term for a genre of historical writing associated with the CHAN school, or more specifically to the most representative text of that genre, the JINGDE CHUANDENG LU. These so-called "lamp" or "lamplight histories" (denglu) include the CHODANG CHIP (C. Zutang ji), CHUANFA ZHENGZONG JI, Tiansheng guangdeng lu, Wudeng huiyuan ("Collected Essentials of the Five Lamplight Histories"), and others. These texts were composed primarily to establish a genealogical map of Chan orthodoxy and to reinforce the legitimacy for the lineages, teachings, and practices of the various Chan lines. These mature Chan histories were strongly influenced by earlier genealogical histories compiled during the Tang dynasty, such as the CHUAN FABAO JI, LENGQIE SHIZI JI, LIDAI FABAO JI, and BAOLIN ZHUAN. In these earlier texts, contending groups of masters and their disciples wove together intricate lineages that they traced back to the legendary Indian founder of Chan, BODHIDHARMA, and his immediate successors. These texts began using the metaphor of a "lamplight" (deng) being transmitted from lamp to lamp to suggest the wordless, mind-to-mind transmission (YIXIN CHUANXIN) of the Buddha's insight from master to disciple and down through the generations. These chuandeng lu also came to serve another important purpose as the primary source of the stories about the interactions between masters and students, from which important precedents or cases (GONG'AN) were collected for contemplation or testing of meditative experience.

Chuan fabao ji. (J. Denbohoki; K. Chon poppo ki 傳法寶紀). In Chinese, "Annals of the Transmission of the Dharma Jewel"; compiled c. 713 by the layman Du Fei (d.u.) for followers of the so-called Northern School (BEI ZONG) of CHAN. Along with the LENGQIE SHIZI JI, the Chuan fabao ji is probably one of the earliest Chan chronicles that delineate the theory of the "transmission of the lamplight" (see CHUANDENG LU). The narrative of transmission that appears in the Chuan fabao ji seems to be based on an epitaph for the monk Faru (638-689), which is the oldest extant document outlining the transmission of the lamplight theory (written in 689). According to Faru's epitaph and the Chuan fabao ji, the wordless teaching of Chan that sAKYAMUNI transmitted to his disciple ANANDA was inherited by BODHIDHARMA, HUIKE, SENGCAN, DAOXIN, HONGREN, Faru, and finally by SHENXIU. The Chuan fabao ji is largely comprised of the biography of these figures.

Denkoroku. (傳光録). In Japanese, "Record of the Transmission of the Light"; a text also known by its full title, Keizan osho denkoroku ("A Record of the Transmission of the Light by Master Keizan"). The anthology is attributed by Soto tradition to KEIZAN JoKIN, but was most probably composed posthumously by his disciples. The Denkoroku is a collection of pithy stories and anecdotes concerning fifty-two teachers recognized by the Japanese SoToSHu as the patriarchs of the school, accompanied by the author's own explanatory commentaries and concluding verses. Each chapter includes a short opening case (honsoku), which describes the enlightenment experience of the teacher; a longer section (called a kien) offering a short biography and history of the teacher, including some of his representative teachings and exchanges with students and other teachers; a prose commentary (teisho; C. TICHANG) by the author; and a concluding appreciatory verse (juko). The teachers discussed in the text include twenty-seven Indian patriarchs from MAHĀKĀsYAPA to PrajNātāra; six Chinese patriarchs from BODHIDHARMA through HUINENG; seventeen Chinese successors of Huineng in the CAODONG ZONG, from QINGYUAN XINGSI to TIANTONG RUJING; and finally the two Japanese patriarchs DoGEN KIGEN and Koun Ejo (1198-1280). The Denkoroku belongs to a larger genre of texts known as the CHUANDENG LU ("transmission of the lamplight records"), although it is a rigidly sectarian lineage history, discussing only the single successor to each patriarch with no treatment of any collateral lines.

Dongshan famen. (J. Tozan homon; K. Tongsan pommun 東山法門). In Chinese, lit. "East Mountain Dharma Gate" or "East Mountain Teachings"; one of the principal early CHAN schools, which is associated with the putative fourth and fifth patriarchs of the tradition, DAOXIN (580-651) and HONGREN (602-675). The name of the school is a toponym for the location of Hongren's monastery, at Huangmei in Qizhou (present-day Hubei province). "East Mountain" refers to the easterly of the "twin peaks" of Mount Shuangfeng, where Hongren taught after the death of his master Daoxin, who had taught on the westerly peak; the term "East Mountain Teachings," however, is typically used to refer to the tradition associated with both masters. The designations Dongshan famen and Dongshan jingmen (East Mountain Pure Gate) first appear in the LENGQIE SHIZI JI ("Records of the Masters and Disciples of the Lankā[vatāra]") and were used in the Northern school of Chan (BEI ZONG) by SHENXIU (606?-706) and his successors to refer to the lineage and teachings that they had inherited from Daoxin and Hongren. ¶ Although later Chan lineage texts list Daoxin and Hongren as respectively the fourth and the fifth Chan patriarchs, succeeding BODHIDHARMA, HUIKE, and SENGCAN, the connection of the East Mountain lineage to these predecessors is tenuous at best and probably nonexistent. The earliest biography of Daoxin, recorded in the XU GAOSENG ZHUAN ("Supplementary Biographies of Eminent Monks"), not only does not posit any connection between Daoxin and the preceding three patriarchs, but does not even mention their names. This connection is first made explicit in the c. 713 CHUAN FABAO JI ("Annals of the Transmission of the Dharma-Jewel"), one of the earliest Chan "transmission of the lamplight" (CHUANDENG LU) lineage texts. Unlike many of the Chan "schools" that were associated with a single charismatic teacher, the "East Mountain Teachings" was unusual in that it had a single, enduring center in Huangmei, which attracted increasing numbers of students. Some five or six names of students who studied with Daoxin survive in the literature, with another twenty-five associated with Hongren. Although Hongren's biography in the Chuan fabao ji certainly exaggerates when it says that eight to nine out of every ten Buddhist practitioners in China studied under Hongren, there is no question that the number of students of the East Mountain Teachings grew significantly over two generations. ¶ The fundamental doctrines and practices of the East Mountain Teachings can be reconstructed on the basis of the two texts: the RUDAO ANXIN YAO FANGBIAN FAMEN ("Essentials of the Teachings of the Expedient Means of Entering the Path and Pacifying the Mind") and the XIUXIN YAO LUN ("Treatise on the Essentials of Cultivating the Mind"), ascribed respectively to Daoxin and Hongren. The Rudao anxin yao fangbian famen, which is included in the Lengqie shizi ji, employs the analogy of a mirror from the Banzhou sanmei jing (S. PRATYUTPANNABUDDHASAMMUKHĀVASTHITASAMĀDHISuTRA) to illustrate the insubstantiality of all phenomena, viz., one's sensory experiences are no more substantial than the reflections in a mirror. The text then presents the "single-practice SAMĀDHI" (YIXING SANMEI) as a practical means of accessing the path leading to NIRVĀnA, based on the Wenshushuo bore jing ("Perfection of Wisdom Sutra Spoken by MANJUsRĪ"). Single-practice samādhi here refers to sitting in meditation, the supreme practice that subsumes all other practices; it is not one samādhi among others, as it is portrayed in the MOHE ZHIGUAN ("Great Calming and Contemplation"). Single-practice samādhi means to contemplate every single aspect of one's mental and physical existence until one realizes they are all empty, just like the reflections in the mirror, and "to guard that one without deviation" (shouyi buyi). The Xiuxin yao lun, which is attributed to Hongren, stresses the importance of "guarding the mind" (SHOUXIN). Here, the relationship between the pure mind and the afflictions (KLEsA) is likened to that between the sun and clouds: the pure mind is obscured by afflictions, just as the sun is covered by layers of clouds, but if one can guard the mind so that it is kept free from false thoughts and delusions, the sun of NIRVĀnA will then appear. The text suggests two specific meditation techniques for realizing this goal: one is continuously to visualize the original, pure mind (viz., the sun) so that it shines without obscuration; the other is to concentrate on one's own deluded thoughts (the clouds) until they disappear. These two techniques purport to "guard the mind" so that delusion can never recur. The East Mountain Teachings laid a firm foundation for the doctrines and practices of later Chan traditions like the Northern school.

Enpo dentoroku. (延寶傳燈). In Japanese, "The Enpo Reign-Era Transmission of the Lamplight Record"; a late Japanese genealogical history of the ZEN school, written by the RINZAISHu monk Mangen Shiban (1626-1710) and completed in 1678 and published in 1706, in a total of 41 rolls. Like the earlier Chinese lamplight record JINGDE CHUANDENG LU, which was named after the Chinese reign-era during which the text was compiled, Mangen used the Japanese reign-era Enpo to designate his collection. The text includes the biographies of over one thousand Zen clerics and lay practitioners in the major Zen lineages of the Japanese Rinzaishu and SoToSHu, with excerpts from their sermons and verses. Because of its vast scope, the collection offers a comprehensive overview of the history of the Japanese Zen tradition up to Mangen's time. In his preface, Shiban states that his source materials were these masters' discourse records (J. goroku; C. YULU), biographies, and stele and pagoda inscriptions, which he had collected for over thirty years since his youth. Mangen subsequently collected the biographies of 1,662 Buddhist monks from a range of Japanese sects and compiled them into the HONCHo KoSoDEN, completed in 1702 in a total of 75 rolls.

hag ::: n. --> A witch, sorceress, or enchantress; also, a wizard.
An ugly old woman.
A fury; a she-monster.
An eel-like marine marsipobranch (Myxine glutinosa), allied to the lamprey. It has a suctorial mouth, with labial appendages, and a single pair of gill openings. It is the type of the order Hyperotpeta. Called also hagfish, borer, slime eel, sucker, and sleepmarken.
The hagdon or shearwater.


hyperoartia ::: n. pl. --> An order of marsipobranchs including the lampreys. The suckerlike moth contains numerous teeth; the nasal opening is in the middle of the head above, but it does not connect with the mouth. See Cyclostoma, and Lamprey.

Jingde chuandeng lu. (J. Keitoku dentoroku; K. Kyongdok chondŭng nok 景德傳燈録). In Chinese, "Record of the Transmission of the Lamplight [Compiled during the] Jingde [Era]." A comprehensive, thirty-roll genealogical collection of short hagiographical notes and anecdotes of the ancient "patriarchs" and teachers (see ZUSHI) of the CHAN school, compiled by Daoyuan (d.u.) in 1004. Beginning with the seven buddhas of the past (SAPTATATHĀGATA) and up to the dharma heirs (see FASI) of the Tang-dynasty Chan monk FAYAN WENYI, the Jingde chuandeng lu provides a record of 1,701 Indian and Chinese successors in different main and collateral lineages of the Chan school. The first twenty-six rolls of the Jingde chuandeng lu is a series of hagiographies of Chan masters, focusing on their enlightenment experiences, and arranged genealogically; roll twenty-seven discusses eminent monks who do not belong to the Chan tradition; and the last three rolls contain YULU, viz., discourse records (roll twenty-eight), poetry and verses (roll twenty-nine), and other miscellaneous materials, such as the XINXIN MING (roll thirty). As the earliest and most influential of the many lamplight histories (denglu) compiled during the Song dynasty, the Jingde chuandeng lu is an invaluable resource for understanding the origins and development of the Chan school in China.

lampadist ::: n. --> One who gained the prize in the lampadrome.

lamprey ::: n. --> An eel-like marsipobranch of the genus Petromyzon, and allied genera. The lampreys have a round, sucking mouth, without jaws, but set with numerous minute teeth, and one to three larger teeth on the palate (see Illust. of Cyclostomi). There are seven small branchial openings on each side.

Lengqie shizi ji. (J. Ryoga shishiki; K. Nŭngga saja ki 楞伽師資). In Chinese, "Records of the Masters and Disciples of the Lankāvatāra"; a genealogical anthology associated with the Northern school (BEI ZONG) of the early CHAN tradition, compiled by JINGJUE (683-c. 760). The Lengqie shizi ji contains the biographies and sayings of eight generations of masters (twenty-four in total), who received the "transmission of the lamp" (chuandeng) as patriarchs (ZUSHI) in the Chan school. The transmission narrative presented in this text differs markedly from that found in the LIUZU TAN JING ("Platform Sutra"), which becomes normative in the mature Chan tradition. The recipients of the special transmission of the Chan teachings in the Lenqi shizi ji belong instead to the Northern school. Jingjue places GUnABHADRA before BODHIDHARMA in the Chan patriarchal lineage (probably because of his role in translating the LAnKĀVATĀRASuTRA, an important scriptural influence in the early Chan school); in addition, SHENXIU is listed as the successor to the fifth Chinese patriarch, HONGREN, in place of HUINENG. The Lenqie shizi ji also contains a set of rhetorical questions and doctrinal admonitions known as zhishi wenyi (lit. "pointing at things and inquiring into their meaning") in the biographies of Gunabhadra, Bodhidharma, Hongren, and Shenxiu. Jingjue quotes from numerous sources, including his teacher Xuanze's (d.u.) Lengqie renfa zhi ("Records of the Men and Teachings of the Lankāvatāra," apparently extant only in these embedded quotations in the Lenqie shizi ji), the DASHENG QIXIN LUN, the XIUXIN YAO LUN, Bodhidharma's ERRU SIXING LUN, and the Rudao anxin yao fangpian famen attributed to DAOXIN (which also seems to exist only as quoted, apparently in its entirety, in the Lenqie shizi ji). As one of the earliest Chan texts to delineate the transmission-of-the-lamplight theory as espoused by the adherents of the Northern school of Chan, the Lenqie shizi ji is an invaluable tool for understanding the development of the lineage of Chan patriarchs and the early history of the Chan school. See also CHUANDENG LU; LIDAI FABAO JI.

marsipobranchia ::: n. pl. --> A class of Vertebrata, lower than fishes, characterized by their purselike gill cavities, cartilaginous skeletons, absence of limbs, and a suckerlike mouth destitute of jaws. It includes the lampreys and hagfishes. See Cyclostoma, and Lamprey. Called also Marsipobranchiata, and Marsipobranchii.

Nan zong. (J. Nanshu; K. Nam chong 南宗). In Chinese, "Southern School," an appellation used widely throughout the Tang dynasty, largely due to the efforts of HEZE SHENHUI (684-758) and his lineage, to describe what they claimed to be the orthodox lineage of the CHAN ZONG; in distinction to the collateral lineage of the "Northern School" (BEI ZONG) of SHENXIU (606-706) and his successors. Heze Shenhui toured various provinces and constructed ordination platforms, where he began to preach that HUINENG (638-713), whom he claimed as his teacher, was the true sixth patriarch (LIUZU) of the Chan school. In 732, during an "unrestricted assembly" (WUZHE DAHUI) held at the monastery of Dayunsi in Huatai, Shenhui engaged a monk by the name of Chongyuan (d.u.) and publicly criticized what he called the "Northern School" of Shenxiu's disciples PUJI (651-739), YIFU (661-736), and XIANGMO ZANG (d.u.) as being merely a collateral branch of BODHIDHARMA's lineage, which advocated an inferior gradualistic teaching. Shenhui argued that his teacher Huineng had received the orthodox transmission of Bodhidharma's lineage and the "sudden teaching" (DUNJIAO), which was the unique soteriological doctrine of Bodhidharma and his Chan school. Shenhui launched a vociferous attack on the Northern School, whose influence and esteem in both religious and political circles were unrivaled at the time. He condemned Shenxiu's so-called "Northern School" for having wrongly usurped the mantle of the Chan patriarchy from Huineng's "Southern School." Shenhui also (mis)characterized the teaching of the "Northern School" as promoting a "gradual" approach to enlightenment (JIANWU), which ostensibly stood in stark contrast to Huineng's and thus Shenhui's own "sudden awakening" (DUNWU) teachings. As a result of Shenhui's polemical attacks on Shenxiu and his disciples, subsequent Chan historians, such as GUIFENG ZONGMI (780-841), came to refer reflexively to a gradualist "Northern School" that was to be rigidly distinguished from a subitist "Southern School." Modern scholarship has demonstrated that, in large measure, the centrality of the "Southern School" to early Chan history is a retrospective creation. The Chan patriarchal lineage going back to Chan's putative founder, Bodhidharma, was still inchoate in the eighth century; indeed, contemporary genealogical histories, such as the LIDAI FABAO JI, CHUAN FABAO JI, LENGQIE SHIZI JI, and BAOLIN ZHUAN, demonstrate how fluid and fragile the notion of the Chan lineage remained at this early period. Because the lineages that eventually came to be recognized within the later tradition were not yet cast in stone, it was therefore possible for Shenhui to advocate that a semilegendary, and relatively unknown figure, Huineng, rather than the leading Chan figures of his time, was the orthodox successor of the fifth patriarch HONGREN and the real sixth patriarch (liuzu). While this characterization is now known to be misleading, subsequent histories of the Chan tradition more or less adopted Shenhui's vision of early Chan history. The influential LIUZU TAN JING played an important role in this process of distinguishing a supposedly inferior, gradualist Northern School from a superior, subitist Southern School. By the eleventh century, with the composition of the mature Chan genealogical histories, such as the CHODANG CHIP (C. ZUTANG JI) and JINGDE CHUANDENG LU, this orthodox lineage was solidified within the tradition and became mainstream. In these later "transmission of the lamplight" records (CHUANDENG LU), the "Southern School" was now unquestioned as the orthodox successor in Bodhidharma's lineage, a position it retained throughout the subsequent history of the Chan tradition. Despite Shenhui's virulent attacks against the "Northern School," we now know that Shenxiu and his disciples were much more central to the early Chan school, and played much more important roles in Chan's early growth and development, than the mature tradition realized.

nine-eyes ::: n. --> The lamprey.

of the book of fate, his emblem is the lamp. He

Padma gling pa. (Pema Lingpa) (1450-1521). An esteemed Bhutanese treasure revealer (GTER STON), famous for unearthing treasure in public and responsible for promulgating numerous important religious traditions, including forms of ritual monastic dance ('CHAM). He is counted as the fourth of the so-called five kingly treasure revealers (GTER STON RGYAL PO LNGA) and the last of the five pure incarnations of the royal princess PADMA GSAL. He is also regarded as the mind incarnation of the translator VAIROCANA and an incarnation of KLONG CHEN RAB 'BYAMS. Padma gling pa was born into a humble family of blacksmiths in the Bum thang region of Bhutan and studied the craft from the age of nine. Many examples of Padma gling pa's craftsmanship, in the form of swords and chain mail, still exist. Padma gling pa's life is somewhat unusual in that he did not undertake a traditional course of study with a spiritual master; it is recorded that he once declared, "I have no master and I am not a disciple." Rather, his religious training was achieved almost entirely through visionary revelation. At the age of twenty-six, he had a vision of PADMASAMBHAVA, who bestowed on him a roster of 108 treasure texts that he would unearth in the future. The next year, amid a large public gathering, he made his first treasure discovery at ME 'BAR MTSHO, a wide pool of water in a nearby river. Surrounded by a multitude of people gathered along the riverside, Padma gling pa dove in the waters holding a burning butter lamp in his hand. When he reemerged, he held a great treasure chest under his arm, and, to the crowd's amazement, the lamp in his hand was unextinguished; from that point on the pool was called "Burning Flame Lake." This feat marked the beginning of Padma gling pa's prolific career as treasure revealer and teacher. Between the years 1501 and 1505, he founded his seat at GTAM ZHING monastery in Bum thang. Padma gling pa composed a lengthy autobiography recording many of his activities in great detail. He was a controversial figure in his time (some of the treasure texts he discovered contain condemnations of those who doubted their authenticity), and the historicity of his deeds has been the subject of scholarly critique. However, Padma gling pa remains an important figure in the religious and cultural life of Bhutan, where he is considered both a saint and a national hero. He never received monastic ordination and fathered several sons who continued to transmit Padma gling pa's spiritual lineage, especially at SGANG STENG monastery in central Bhutan. Several incarnation lineages of Padma gling pa were also recognized, such as the gsung sprul ("speech incarnation") based at LHA LUNG Monastery in southern Tibet. Both the sixth DALAI LAMA TSHANGS DBYANGS RGYA MTSHO and the Bhutanese royal family are said to be descendants of Padma gling pa's familial lineage.

Pārsva. (T. Rtsibs logs; C. Xie; J. Kyo; K. Hyop 脇). A North Indian ĀBHIDHARMIKA associated with the SARVĀSTIVĀDA school, who may have lived during the second century CE. Some four hundred years after the death of the Buddha, the king KANIsKA (r. 132-152) is said to have convened an assembly of five hundred ARHATs to redact the canon; according to XUANZANG, Pārsva presided over this assembly, which came to be known as the fourth Buddhist council (SAMGĪTI; see COUNCIL, FOURTH). It was at that council that the ABHIDHARMAPItAKA of the Sarvāstivāda school was compiled, including its massive encyclopedic coverage of abhidharma scholastic debates, the ABHIDHARMAMAHĀVIBHĀsĀ. Pārsva is also claimed to have been a great expert in debate, which led him to convert AsVAGHOsA, who became his disciple after Pārsva defeated him in a public debate. In Chinese texts, Pārsva is also called Nansheng ("Hard to Be Born," probably a translation of Durjāta), since according to legend he stayed in his mother's womb until the age of six (or sixty) because of misdeeds he performed in his previous life. Some of the Chinese transmission of the lamplight (CHUANDENG LU) literature states that Pārsva was a native of central India who lived during the fifth century BCE and lists Pārsva as the ninth (as in, for example, the FOZU TONGJI) or tenth Indian patriarch (C. ZUSHI; as in the Zhiyuelu). ¶ Pārsva is also the name of the predecessor of MAHĀVĪRA (a.k.a. NIRGRANTHA-JNĀTĪPUTRA), the Buddha's contemporary in the rival JAINA school of the Indian sRAMAnA movement. This Pārsva seems to have been a historical figure, who appears on a list of twenty-four JINA in the Jaina spiritual lineage.

Phúc ĐiỂn. (福田) (c. late-nineteenth century). Scholar-monk of the Nguyễn dynasty, considered one of the most important historians of Buddhism in premodern Vietnam. His biography is recorded in the Thiền Uyẻn Truyền Đăng Lục ("Recorded Transmission of the Lamplight in the CHAN Community"). According to this source, he was a native of Sơn Minh, Hà Nội province. His family name was Vũ. He left home to become a monk at the age of twelve and first studied under the Venerable Vien Quang of Thịnh Liẹt Đại Bi Temple. After three years, Vien Quang passed away, and Phúc Đièn went to study under the Venerable Từ Phong of Nam Dư Phúc Xuan Temple. When he was twenty years old Từ Phong passed away, and Phúc Đièn moved to Phap Van Temple in Bắc Ninh province and received full ordination under the Venerable Từ Quang. Phúc Đièn's biography shows that he was not only an author, translator, and historian, but also an activist who tirelessly built and repaired many monasteries. Besides reprinting, editing, translating (from classical Chinese into vernacular Nôm Vietnamese) numerous Buddhist texts, and recording detailed histories of various temples, he also left behind several independent works, the most important of which are the Tam Giao Nguyen Lưu ("Sources of the Three Religions"), the Đại Nam Thiền Uyẻn Truyền Đăng Tạp Lục ("Recorded Transmission of the Lamplight [in the Chan Community] of Vietnam"), and the Thiền Uyẻn Truyền Đăng Lục ("Transmission of the Lamplight in the Chan Community"). His extant writings include more works on history than on Buddhist doctrine. His aspiration was to collect all the extant materials regarding the origin and transmission of Vietnamese Buddhism. Because he was convinced that Vietnamese Buddhism was a continuation of the orthodox school of Chinese Buddhism (and specifically the CHAN ZONG), he implicitly accepted the hermeneutical strategies of Chinese Chan in constructing his view of Vietnamese Buddhist history. However, in addition to Chinese Chan documents, he also consulted Vietnamese sources, together with copious notes drawn from his own fieldwork at various temples. His writings, therefore, provide valuable sources for the understanding of Vietnamese Buddhist history.

Sengcan. (J. Sosan; K. Sŭngch'an 僧粲) (d. 606?). Chinese monk and reputed third patriarch of the CHAN tradition. Although the influential Chan poem XINXIN MING ("Faith in Mind") is attributed to Sengcan, little is actually known of this mysterious figure, and he may simply have been a later invention created to connect the BODHIDHARMA-HUIKE line of early Chan with the East Mountain teachings (DONGSHAN FAMEN) of DAOXIN (580-651) and HONGREN (602-675). Most of what is known of Sengcan is constructed retrospectively in such early Chan genealogical histories as the BAOLIN ZHUAN, LENGQIE SHIZI JI, CHUAN FABAO JI, and LIDAI FABAO JI, and in later Chan histories known as "transmission of the lamplight records" (CHUANDENG LU). Sengcan is claimed to have studied under Huike, the first Chinese disciple of the Chan founder, Bodhidharma, and the second patriarch of the Chan school. During Emperor Wu's (r. 502-549) persecution of Buddhism, Sengcan is said to have gone into hiding and later resided on Mt. Sikong in Shuzhou (present-day Anhui province). The Lengqie shizi ji and Chuan fabao ji claim that Daoxin became Sengcan's disciple sometime in the late-sixth century, but Daoxin's connection to this dubious figure is tenuous at best and most probably spurious. Sengcan was later given the posthumous title Chan Master Jingzhi (Mirror-like Wisdom).

Thièn Uyën Tập Anh. (禪苑集英). In Vietnamese, "Outstanding Figures in the THIỀN Garden." Compiled by an unknown author around the third decade of the fourteenth century, this anthology is a collection of the biographies of eminent Thièn masters in Vietnam from the sixth to the thirteenth centuries, organized around the transmission of the three major Vietnamese Thièn schools: VINĪTARUCI, VÔ NGÔN THÔNG, and THẢO ĐƯỜNG. The Thiển Uyẻn purports to be a narrative history of Vietnamese Buddhism and as such is modeled upon the Chinese CHAN literary genre known as the "transmission of the lamplight" (CHUANDENG LU). According to the account presented in the Thiển Uyẻn, Vietnamese Buddhist history is a continuation of the development of the Chinese Chan tradition. In the same period during which the Thièn Uyẻn was compiled, there emerged a number of texts of the same genre, but only fragments of those are extant. The Thièn Uyẻn is the only such lineage history that appears to have been preserved in its entirety and is the only text that attempts to provide a cohesive narrative history of Vietnamese Buddhism. The Thiển Uyẻn, however, was all but forgotten for centuries until a later recension of the text was accidentally discovered by the scholar Tràn Văn Giap in 1927. Tràn wrote a long article outlining the content of text, which accepts the record of the Thiển Uyẻn as veridical history. Since that time, the account of the order provided in the Thiển Uyẻn has been widely regarded as the official history of Vietnamese Buddhism.

Thông Biẹn. (通辦) (d. 1134). The first Vietnamese Buddhist author to write a history of Vietnamese Buddhism based on the model of the "transmission of the lamplight" (CHUANDENG) histories of the Chinese CHAN school. He was a native of Đan Phượng (which is now in Hà Tay province, North Vietnam). His family name was Ngô and he was born into a Buddhist family. He was respected by the Lý court and was bestowed the title quềc sư (state preceptor; C. GUOSHI). The THIỀN UYỂN TẬP ANH relates that in a lecture in 1096 he interpreted Vietnamese Buddhist history as the continuation of the transmission of both the scriptural school and the mind (or Chan) school of Chinese Buddhism. According to Thông Biẹn, the Scriptural School began with Mou Bo and Kang Senghui, and the Chan school was transmitted by BODHIDHARMA. He further claimed that Chan came to Vietnam through two streams, represented, respectively, by VINĪTARUCI (d. 594) and VÔ NGÔN THÔNG (d. 826). Vinītaruci and Vô Ngôn Thông thus were the ancestral teachers of the two streams of Chan that produced numerous side branches in Vietnam. Later in his life, Thông Biẹn founded a great teaching center and taught the SADDHARMAPUndARĪKASuTRA. His contemporaries referred to him as Ngộ Phap Hoa (Awakened to the Lotus). Thông Biẹn's model of Vietnamese Buddhist history was subsequently adopted by Buddhist authors of later generations and thus exercised lasting influence on the traditional understanding of Vietnamese Buddhist history. Many modern Vietnamese Buddhist leaders still accept Thông Biẹn's views about the history of Buddhism in Vietnam.

transmission of the lamplight. See CHUANDENG LU; JINGDE CHUANDENG LU.

transmission of the lamplight

Wumen guan. (J. Mumonkan; K. Mumun kwan 無門關). In Chinese, lit., "Gateless Checkpoint," or "Wumen's Checkpoint"; compiled by the CHAN master WUMEN HUIKAI, after whom the collection is named, also known as the Chanzong Wumen guan ("Gateless Checkpoint of the Chan Tradition"). Along with the BIYAN LU ("Blue Cliff Record"), the Wumen guan is considered one of the two most important GONG'AN (J. koan; K. kongan) collections of the Chan tradition. In the summer of 1228, at the request of the resident monks at the monastery of Longxiangsi, Wumen lectured on a series of forty-eight cases (gong'an) that he culled from various "transmission of the lamplight" (CHUANDENG LU) histories and the recorded sayings (YULU) of previous Chan masters. His lectures were recorded and compiled that same year and published with a preface by Wumen in the following year (1229). Another case (case 49), composed by the layman Zheng Qingzhi, was added to the Wumen guan in 1246. The Wumen guan begins with a popular case attributed to ZHAOZHOU CONGSHEN, in which Zhaozhou replies "WU" (no) to the question, "Does a dog have buddha nature, or not?" (see WU GONG'AN). Wumen himself is known to have struggled with this case, which was given to him by his teacher Yuelin Shiguan (1143-1217). The Japanese monk SHINICHI KAKUSHIN, who briefly studied under Wumen in China, brought the Wumen guan to Japan. Although the collection was once declared to be heretical by the SoToSHu in the mid-seventeenth century, many Japanese commentaries on the Wumen guan were composed at the time, testifying to its growing influence during the Edo period.

Xiangyan Zhixian. (J. Kyogen Chikan; K. Hyangom Chihan 香嚴智閑) (d. 898). Chinese CHAN master in the GUIYANG ZONG of the Chan tradition. Zhixian entered the monastery under BAIZHANG HUAIHAI and later became a student of YANGSHAN HUIJI. Zhixian dwelled for a long time at Mt. Xiangyan, whence his toponym. One day while he was sweeping the garden, Zhixian is said to have attained awakening when he heard the bamboo brush against the roof tiles. He is best known for the GONG'AN case "Xiangyan Hanging from a Tree": A man is dangling by his mouth from the branch of a tall tree, his hands tied behind his back and nothing beneath his feet. Someone comes under the tree branch and asks, "Why did BODHIDHARMA come from the West?" If he keeps his mouth clenched and refuses to answer, he is rude to the questioner; but if he opens his mouth to answer, he will fall to his death. How does he answer? Upon Zhixian's death, he was given the posthumous title Chan master Xideng (Inheritor of the Lamplight).

Zongmen liandeng huiyao. (J. Shumon rentoeyo; K. Chongmun yondŭng hoeyo 宗門聯燈會要). In Chinese, "Essential Collection of the Lamplight Connections within the [Chan] Tradition"; composed by Huiweng Wuming (d.u.), a third-generation disciple of the CHAN master DAHUI ZONGGAO, in 1183. This work is a collection of anecdotes and teachings culled from the biographies and discourse records (YULU) of over six hundred patriarchs and teachers (ZUSHI) of the Chan tradition. Huiweng begins the collection with the seven buddhas of the past (SAPTABUDDHA), the twenty-eight Indian patriarchs, and the six patriarchs of China (see CHUANDENG LU). His collections also include the various lineages and collateral lines that split off from the sixth patriarch (LIUZU) HUINENG's disciples QINGYUAN XINGSI (up to the seventeenth generation) and NANYUE HUAIRANG (up to the fifteenth generation). In addition to its role as a genealogical history, the Zongmen liandeng huiyao was favored by many followers of Chan as a reliable and convenient collection of Chan cases (GONG'AN).

zuishangsheng Chan. (J. saijojozen; K. ch'oesangsŭng Son 最上乘禪). In Chinese, lit. "supreme vehicle Chan," referring to one of the styles of practice and pedagogy associated with the CHAN school; often considered to be equivalent to "unconventional Chan" (GEWAI CHAN). Supreme vehicle Chan is one of the five categories of Chan listed by GUIFENG ZONGMI (780-841) in his CHANYUAN ZHUJUAN JI DUXU ("Prolegomena to the Source of Chan Collection"). According to Zongmi's treatment, "supreme vehicle Chan" refers to meditation practices that rely on sudden approaches to awakening (DUNWU) and generate an initial insight into the true nature of mind, i.e., the original purity of mind that is shared by both sentient beings and buddhas. The text equates this form of Chan with the "pure Chan of the TATHĀGATAs" (rulai qingjing Chan), also known by its abbreviated name, tathāgata Chan (rulai Chan); it also is said to be equivalent to "single-practice SAMĀDHI" (YIXING SANMEI) and the "samādhi of suchness" (zhenru sanmei), since "supreme vehicle Chan" is the root of all kinds of samādhi. The text also defines supreme vehicle Chan as the "Chan transmitted from BODHIDHARMA"; this latter form of Chan is subsequently named "patriarchal Chan" (zushi Chan) in the Song-dynasty Chan collections, such as the JINGDE ZHUANDENG LU ("Record of the Transmission of the Lamplight Published during the Jingde Era") and Puji's (1179-1253) Wudeng huiyuan ("Collected Essentials of the Five Lamplight Histories"), which in turn redefines "tathāgata Chan" as subordinate to "patriarchal Chan."

zushi. (J. soshi; K. chosa 祖師). In Chinese, "patriarch" (lit. "ancestral teacher"), referring to eminent teachers in lineages that are claimed to trace back to sĀKYAMUNI Buddha or even earlier buddhas. Indian Sanskrit texts dating from the 2nd century CE onward refer to a tradition of five "masters of the dharma" (dharmācārya) who succeeded the Buddha as head of the SAMGHA: MAHĀKĀsYAPA, ĀNANDA, MADHYĀNTIKA, sĀnAKAVĀSIN, and UPAGUPTA . Later sources expand this list into a roster of nine eminent masters who "handed down the lamplight of wisdom successively through the generations." Often, these genealogies were extended as far back as the seven buddhas of antiquity (SAPTATATHĀGATA). It is widely presumed that this notion of dharma-transmission lineages developed from the earlier VINAYA concept of the "preceptor" (UPĀDHYĀYA), a senior monk who confers the lower ordination (pravrajyā, see PRAVRAJITA) to new novices (sRĀMAnERA) and higher ordination (UPASAMPADĀ) to monks (BHIKsU). This personal connection between preceptor and disciple created incipient ordination families connected to specific preceptors, connections that later could be extended to dharma transmission as well. ¶ In East Asia, these lists of Indian dharma masters continued to be expanded and elaborated upon so that they also included the preeminent indigenous figures within each lineage, thus connecting the Chinese patriarchs of each lineage with their Indian predecessors. Most of the indigenous traditions of East Asian Buddhism, including the CHAN ZONG, TIANTAI ZONG, JINGTU ZONG, and HUAYAN ZONG, draw their legitimacy at least partially from their claims that their teachings and practices derive from an unbroken lineage of authoritative teachers that can be traced back geographically to India and temporally to the person of the Buddha himself. The specific names and numbers of patriarchs recognized within each lineage typically change over time and vary widely between the different traditions. Of these lists, the list of patriarchs recognized in the Chan school has received the lion's share of scholarly attention in the West. This Chan list varies widely, but a well-established roster includes twenty-eight Indian and six Chinese patriarchs. These six Chinese patriarchs (liu zu)-BODHIDHARMA, HUIKE, SENGCAN, DAOXIN, HONGREN, and HUINENG-are credited by the classical tradition with the development and growth of Chan in China, but early records of the Chan school, such as the LENGQIE SHIZU JI and LIDAI FABAO JI, reveal the polemical battles fought between disparate contemporary Chan communities to place their own teachers on this roster of patriarchal orthodoxy. It is important to note that all of these various lists of patriarchs, in all the different traditions, are created retrospectively as a way of legitimizing specific contemporary lineages or teachers and verifying the authenticity of their teachings; thus their accounts of the chronology and history of their lineages must be used critically. The compound zushi can mean either "patriarch" (lit., ancestral teacher) or in other contexts "patriarchs and teachers," as in the stock phrase "all the buddhas of the three time-periods and patriarchs and teachers throughout successive generations" (sanshi zhufo lidai zushi), which explicitly traces a school's ancestral lineage from the past to the present and into the future. Some modern Buddhists, especially in the West, deplore the sexism inherent in the term "patriarch," preferring instead to render it with the gender-neutral term "ancestor." See also CHUANDENG LU; FASI; PARAMPARĀ; YINKE.



QUOTES [12 / 12 - 497 / 497]


KEYS (10k)

   3 Rabindranath Tagore
   2 Sri Ramakrishna
   1 Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
   1 Manly P Hall
   1 Koran
   1 Gregory of Nazianzen
   1 Buson
   1 The Mother
   1 Jalaluddin Rumi

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   25 Cassandra Clare
   13 Anonymous
   9 Rabindranath Tagore
   6 Rumi
   5 Lisa Kleypas
   5 Jessica Khoury
   5 Gustave Flaubert
   4 James Joyce
   4 G K Chesterton
   4 Gautama Buddha
   4 Emily Dickinson
   4 Edgar Allan Poe
   4 C S Lewis
   4 Charles Haddon Spurgeon
   4 Catherine Steadman
   4 Anthony Doerr
   3 Ursula K Le Guin
   3 T S Eliot
   3 Sathya Sai Baba
   3 Robert Green Ingersoll

1:by the lamp
of the moon
she reads her letter
~ Buson, @BashoSociety
2:The temple of the body should not be kept in darkness; the lamp of knowledge must light it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
3:Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because dawn has come." ~ Rabindranath Tagore, @Sufi_Path
4:Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come." ~ Rabindranath Tagore, (1861 - 7 1941), a polymath, poet, musician, and artist from the Indian subcontinent, Wikipedia.,
5:Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come." ~ Rabindranath Tagore, (1861 - 7 1941), a polymath, poet, musician, and artist from the Indian subcontinent, Wikipedia.",
6:All is mute in the being, but in the bosom of the silence burns the lamp that can never be extinguished, the fire of an ardent aspiration to know and to love integrally the Divine.
   ~ The Mother, Words Of The Mother II,
7:Christ, the light of all lights, follows John, the lamp that goes before him. The Word of God follows the voice in the wilderness; the bridegroom follows the bridegroom's friend, who prepares a worthy people for the Lord by cleansing them by water. ~ Gregory of Nazianzen,
8:Ignorance can be compared to a dark room in which you sleep. No matter how long the room has been dark, an hour or a million years, the moment the lamp of awareness is lit the entire room becomes luminous. You are that luminosity. You are that clear light. ~ Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche,
9:God is the light of the heavens and the earth, his light is like a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp in glass and the glass like a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West whose oil would almost give light even though no fire touched it. Light upon light; God guides to his light whomsoever he wills. ~ Koran, 24, 35
10:823. Should you think of God only at the time of meditation and remain forgetful of Him at all other times? Have you not noticed how during Durga Puja a lamp is kept constantly burning near the image? It should never be allowed to go out. If ever it is extinguished, the house-holder meets with some mishap. Similarly, after installing the Deity on the lotus of your heart, you must keep the lamp of remembering Him ever burning. While engaged in the affairs of the world, you should constantly turn your gaze inwards and see whether the lamp is burning or not. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna,
11:The alchemist of today is not hidden in caves and cellars, studying alone, but as he goes on with his work, it is seen that walls are built around him, and while he is in the world, like the master of old, he is not of it. As he goes further in his work, the light of other people's advice and outside help grows weaker and weaker, until finally he stands alone in darkness, and then comes the time that he must use his own lamp, and the various experiments which he has carried on must be his guide. He must take the Elixir of Life which he has developed and with it fill the lamp of his spiritual consciousness, and holding that above his head, walk into the Great Unknown, where if he has been a good and faithful servant, he will learn of the alchemy of Divinity. Where now test tubes and bottles are his implements, then worlds and globes he will study, and as a silent watcher will learn from that Divine One, who is the Great Alchemist of all the universe, the greatest alchemy of all, the creation of life, the maintenance of form, and the building of worlds. ~ Manly P Hall, The Initiates of the Flame,
12:Eternal, unconfined, unextended, without cause and without effect, the Holy Lamp mysteriously burns. Without quantity or quality, unconditioned and sempiternal, is this Light.
It is not possible for anyone to advise or approve; for this Lamp is not made with hands; it exists alone for ever; it has no parts, no person; it is before "I am." Few can behold it, yet it is always there. For it there is no "here" nor "there," no "then" nor "now;" all parts of speech are abolished, save the noun; and this noun is not found either in {106} human speech or in Divine. It is the Lost Word, the dying music of whose sevenfold echo is I A O and A U M.
Without this Light the Magician could not work at all; yet few indeed are the Magicians that have know of it, and far fewer They that have beheld its brilliance!

The Temple and all that is in it must be destroyed again and again before it is worthy to receive that Light. Hence it so often seems that the only advice that any master can give to any pupil is to destroy the Temple.

"Whatever you have" and "whatever you are" are veils before that Light. Yet in so great a matter all advice is vain. There is no master so great that he can see clearly the whole character of any pupil. What helped him in the past may hinder another in the future.

Yet since the Master is pledged to serve, he may take up that service on these simple lines. Since all thoughts are veils of this Light, he may advise the destruction of all thoughts, and to that end teach those practices which are clearly conductive to such destruction.

These practices have now fortunately been set down in clear language by order of the A.'.A.'..

In these instructions the relativity and limitation of each practice is clearly taught, and all dogmatic interpretations are carefully avoided. Each practice is in itself a demon which must be destroyed; but to be destroyed it must first be evoked.

Shame upon that Master who shirks any one of these practices, however distasteful or useless it may be to him! For in the detailed knowledge of it, which experience alone can give him, may lie his opportunity for crucial assistance to a pupil. However dull the drudgery, it should be undergone. If it were possible to regret anything in life, which is fortunately not the case, it would be the hours wasted in fruitful practices which might have been more profitably employed on sterile ones: for NEMO<> in tending his garden seeketh not to single out the flower that shall be NEMO after him. And we are not told that NEMO might have used other things than those which he actually does use; it seems possible that if he had not the acid or the knife, or the fire, or the oil, he might miss tending just that one flower which was to be NEMO after him! ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, The Lamp,

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:The lamp burns bright when wick and oil are clean. ~ ovid, @wisdomtrove
2:All darkness vanished, when I saw the Lamp within my heart. ~ kabir, @wisdomtrove
3:God's grace is the oil that fills the lamp of love. ~ henry-ward-beecher, @wisdomtrove
4:Death is turning out the lamp because the dawn has appeared. ~ rabindranath-tagore, @wisdomtrove
5:A s the lamp does not burn without oil, so man cannot live without God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
6:In order to keep the lamp burning you have to keep putting the oil in it. ~ mother-teresa, @wisdomtrove
7:Those dreams are true which we have in the morning, as the lamp begins to flicker. ~ ovid, @wisdomtrove
8:Pythias once, scoffing at Demosthenes, said that his arguments smelt of the lamp. ~ plutarch, @wisdomtrove
9:Let not the hours pass by in the dark. Kindle the lamp of love with thy life. ~ rabindranath-tagore, @wisdomtrove
10:Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come. ~ rabindranath-tagore, @wisdomtrove
11:The truth of love is the truth of the universe: it is the lamp of the soul that reveals the secrets of darkness ~ kabir, @wisdomtrove
12:We have a lamp inside us. The oil of that lamp is our breathing, our steps, and our peaceful smile. Our practice is to light up the lamp. ~ thich-nhat-hanh, @wisdomtrove
13:This is the land of Narnia,' said the Faun, &
14:Demosthenes, when taunted by Pytheas that all his arguments "smelled of the lamp," replied, "Yes, but your lamp and mine, my friend, do not witness the same labours. ~ plutarch, @wisdomtrove
15:The highest teaching is never written down. It's only communicated from teacher to student because it's a "transmission of the lamp." It's a transmission of mind. ~ frederick-lenz, @wisdomtrove
16:We call it the transmission of the lamp in Zen. That's when we take enlightened states of mind and literally, you can transfer them, just like you can hand somebody flowers. ~ frederick-lenz, @wisdomtrove
17:Braving obstacles and hardships is nobler than retreat to tranquility. The butterfly that hovers around the lamp until it dies is more admirable than the mole that lives in a dark tunnel. ~ kahlil-gibran, @wisdomtrove
18:One man may read the Bhagavata by the light of a lamp, and another may commit a forgery by that very light; but the lamp is unaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wicked as well as on the virtuous. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
19:One man may read the Bhagavata by the light of a lamp, and another may commit a forgery by that very light; but the lamp is unaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wicked as well as on the virtuous.” ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
20:On each race is laid the duty to keep alight its own lamp of mind as its part in the illumination of the world. To break the lamp of any people into deprive it of its rightful place in the world festival. ~ rabindranath-tagore, @wisdomtrove
21:Love is not a possession but a growth. The heart is a lamp with just oil enough to burn for an hour, and if there be no oil to put in again its light will go out. God's grace is the oil that fills the lamp of love. ~ henry-ward-beecher, @wisdomtrove
22:Emergencies have always been necessary to progress. It was darkness which produced the lamp. It was fog that produced the compass. It was hunger that drove us to exploration. And it took a depression to teach us the real value of a job. ~ victor-hugo, @wisdomtrove
23:God has bestowed upon you intelligence and knowledge. Do not extinguish the lamp of Divine Grace and do not let the candle of wisdom die out in the darkness of lust and error. For a wise man approaches with his torch to light up the path of mankind. ~ kahlil-gibran, @wisdomtrove
24:We've gotten caught up in thinking we are what we look like, the physical, the exterior. We think we're the lamp shade. We've forgotten that we are the light-the electricity and the luminosity that lights up every man, woman, and child. The light is who we truly are. ~ michael-beckwith, @wisdomtrove
25:For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to&
26:The meditation I am talking about is not a meditation on something. If you light a lamp and remove all the objects surrounding it, the lamp will still go on giving light. In the same way, if you remove all objects from your consciousness, all thoughts, all imagination, what will happen? – only consciousness will remain. ~ rajneesh, @wisdomtrove
27:Thich Nhat Hanh has the ability to express some of the most profound teachings of interdependence and emptiness I've ever heard. With the eloquence of a poet, he holds up a sheet of paper and teaches us that the rain cloud and the tree and the logger who cut the tree down are all there in the paper. He's been one of the most significant carriers of the lamp of the dharma to the West that we have had. ~ jack-kornfield, @wisdomtrove
28:The universe is wired with the electricity of God, & each of us is a lamp. It doesn't matter the size or shape of the lamp; it only matters that the lamp is plugged in. With every prayer, every thought of forgiveness, every meditation, every act of love, we plug in. The more of us who plug in, to more the darkness of the world will be cast from our midst. Today, let's all increase love's wattage! ~ marianne-williamson, @wisdomtrove
29:Is it possible for the rose to say, I will give my fragrance to the good people who smell me, but I will withhold it from the bad? Or is it possible for the lamp to say, I will give my light to the good people in this room, but I will withhold it from the evil people? Or can a tree say, I'll give my shade to the good people who rest under me, but I will withhold it from the bad? These are images of what love is about. ~ anthony-de-mello, @wisdomtrove
30:The song I came to sing remains unsung to this day. I have spent my days in stringing and in unstringing my instrument. The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set; only there is the agony of wishing in my heart‚¶.. I have not seen his face, nor have I listened to his voice; only I have heard his gentle footsteps from the road before my house‚¶.. But the lamp has not been lit and I cannot ask him into my house; I live in the hope of meeting with him; but this meeting is not yet. ~ rabindranath-tagore, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Hope is patience with the lamp lit. ~ Tertullian,
2:Instead of cursing the darkness, try to fix the lamp. ~,
3:Scared is the lamp that lights the way. ~ Walter Mosley,
4:And the eyes are the lamp of the body. ~ Karen Kingsbury,
5:The lamp burns bright when wick and oil are clean. ~ Ovid,
6:Within my heart is the lamp of love, ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley,
7:for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked ~ Anonymous,
8:All darkness vanished, when I saw the Lamp within my heart. ~ Kabir,
9:Love, which is lust, is the Lamp in the Tomb. ~ William Ernest Henley,
10:Anger is the wind which blows out the lamp of the mind. ~ Bodie Thoene,
11:God's grace is the oil that fills the lamp of love. ~ Henry Ward Beecher,
12:The lamp of genius burns quicker than the lamp of life. ~ Friedrich Schiller,
13:Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll,
14:... history - the lamp which illumines national character... ~ Lawrence Durrell,
15:Death is turning out the lamp because the dawn has appeared. ~ Rabindranath Tagore,
16:Sometimes you're the lamp post, and sometimes you're the dog. ~ Catherine Steadman,
17:Still the race of hero spirits pass the lamp from hand to hand. ~ Charles Kingsley,
18:It never fails - you get in the bath and there's a rub at the lamp ~ Robin Williams,
19:Why should the lamp or the house be an art object but not our life? ~ Michel Foucault,
20:Purification is but the cleaning of the lamp-glass which hides the Light ~ Annie Besant,
21:Good-bye,” he says. “Bring back the lamp.” Not going to happen, mister. ~ Sarah Mlynowski,
22:In order to keep the lamp burning you have to keep putting the oil in it. ~ Mother Teresa,
23:Those dreams are true which we have in the morning, as the lamp begins to flicker. ~ Ovid,
24:Now deep in ocean sunk the lamp of light, And drew behind the cloudy vale of night. ~ Homer,
25:Pythias once, scoffing at Demosthenes, said that his arguments smelt of the lamp. ~ Plutarch,
26:Just as the lamp burns bright when wick and oil are clean, so is it with our minds. ~ Jeff Wheeler,
27:Let not the hours pass by in the dark. Kindle the lamp of love with thy life. ~ Rabindranath Tagore,
28:I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. ~ Patrick Henry,
29:The lamp of war is kindled here, not to be extinguished but by torrents of blood. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
30:Then she leans over, brushes her lips against his forehead, and turns off the lamp. ~ Kiersten White,
31:If the American people knew what we have done, they would string us up from the lamp posts. ~ George H W Bush,
32:Reflection is the lamp of the heart. If it departs, the heart will have no light. ~ Abdullah ibn Alawi al Haddad,
33:All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside. ~ Cassandra Clare,
34:And the lamp of my soul is alight with love, for life, and the world, and the Giver. ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Heresy,
35:A gust of wind blows in through the porch with the sound of shaken leaves. The flame of the lamp leaps. ~ James Joyce,
36:because the moon has always been to him the lamp of wisdom, a symbol of the right way to see the world. ~ Dean Koontz,
37:Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come. ~ Rabindranath Tagore,
38:The truth of love is the truth of the universe: it is the lamp of the soul that reveals the secrets of darkness ~ Kabir,
39:I have said: "Blow out the lamp! Day is here!" And you keep saying: "Give me a lamp so I can find the day. ~ Frank Herbert,
40:I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster. ~ Sathya Sai Baba,
41:Argument cannot be answered with insults. Kindness is strength; anger blows out the lamp of the mind. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll,
42:... while the light burning within may have been divine, the outer case of the lamp was assuredly cheap enough. ~ Rebecca Harding Davis,
43:When the lamp is shattered The light in the dust lies dead - When the cloud is scattered The rainbow's glory is shed. ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley,
44:The overhead light isn’t on, just the lamp on the night table. Its glow encloses them and gives them their own little place to be. ~ Stephen King,
45:The apartment had never been darker.
I turned on the lamp.
It became bright around us.
The apartment became darker. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer,
46:Just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree. ~ G K Chesterton,
47:He had no wish to face whatever lurked in the unknown darkness, just beyond the little circle of light cast by the lamp of Science. ~ Arthur C Clarke,
48:‎We have a lamp inside us. The oil of that lamp is our breathing, our steps, and our peaceful smile. Our practice is to light up the lamp. ~ Nhat Hanh,
49:This is the land of Narnia,' said the Faun, 'where we are now; all that lies between the lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel.... ~ C S Lewis,
50:Well...I need the lamp. And the ashtray. And the remote control. And the paddleball game. And you, Dean Holder. But that's all I need. ~ Colleen Hoover,
51:The road to Hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of bishops are the lamp posts that light the path. ~ Saint John Chrysostom,
52:The object of any tyrant would be to overthrow or diminish trial by jury, for it is the lamp that shows that freedom lives. ~ Patrick Devlin Baron Devlin,
53:I have no form, I have no name. I am the Slave of the Lamp, and your will is my will. Your wishes are my commands.” ~ Jessica KhouryZahra ~ Jessica Khoury,
54:Just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
55:I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past. ~ Edward Gibbon,
56:‎"We have a lamp inside us. The oil of that lamp is our breathing, our steps, and our peaceful smile. Our practice is to light up the lamp. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh,
57:To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. ~ Gautama Buddha,
58:You are a lamp to give light to people; you must mount the lamp stand and shine bright! Don't hide your gifts; expose and share them freely! ~ Israelmore Ayivor,
59:Baba's words and actions have lit the lamp of love in the hearts of devotees and they will always remember him for the good things he has done. ~ Sathya Sai Baba,
60:Then, like before, the flame started to go out again.
'Oh for fuck's sake!' I shook the lamp back and forth, screaming, 'Fuuuuck! Fuck you, lamp! ~ Karina Halle,
61:So the last night the girl and her lover would be together, the girl would bring the lamp and set it so it threw the lover's shadow to the wall!!!!! ~ Chuck Palahniuk,
62:And indeed, what is better than to sit by one's fireside in the evening with a book, while the wind beats against the window and the lamp is buring? ~ Gustave Flaubert,
63:This is the land of Narnia,' said the Faun, 'where we are now; all that lies between the lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel on the eastern sea. ~ C S Lewis,
64:And indeed, what is better than to sit by one's fireside in the evening with a book, while the wind beats against the window and the lamp is burning? ~ Gustave Flaubert,
65:I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all mean are created free and equal. ~ Seth Grahame Smith,
66:The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. ~ Ted Dekker,
67:Demosthenes, when taunted by Pytheas that all his arguments "smelled of the lamp," replied, "Yes, but your lamp and mine, my friend, do not witness the same labours. ~ Plutarch,
68:A person writing at night may put out the lamp, but the words he has written will remain. It is the same with the destiny we create for ourselves in this world. ~ Gautama Buddha,
69:That's all I need," I say. "Well...I need the lamp. And the astray. And the remote control. And the paddleball game. And you, Dean Holder. But that's all I need ~ Colleen Hoover,
70:The highest teaching is never written down. It's only communicated from teacher to student because it's a "transmission of the lamp." It's a transmission of mind. ~ Frederick Lenz,
71:Anyone who does not acknowledge the darkness in his nature will succumb to it...the lamp of conviction needs to be shaded by doubt, or it burns with a blinding light. ~ Philip Caputo,
72:cement in bold relief,—far underground. I lean my elbows on the table, and the lamp lights brightly the newspapers I am fool enough to re-read, and the absurd books. ~ Arthur Rimbaud,
73:How can we expect that the illiterate and benighted child of want will remain faithful . . . when he in whose breast the lamp of science brightly burns is found derelict? ~ Paul Collins,
74:But the earth keeps spinning, the waves keep crashing, the lamp in the lighthouse keeps turning. Nothing stops just because I feel as though it should. Just because I’m lost. ~ Carrie Ryan,
75:Each day we trudge through factory gates and lean into our traces and forget. Death and worse are easily dismissed over dram and darts while the lamp shines warm and cozy. ~ Simon Strantzas,
76:We call it the transmission of the lamp in Zen. That's when we take enlightened states of mind and literally, you can transfer them, just like you can hand somebody flowers. ~ Frederick Lenz,
77:There's something unrefined about a reading woman, they always reek of the lamp. How can she grow up to be a lady if she's always got her nose
in a book?

Granny Rudin ~ Florence King,
78:All the same,” replied Syme patiently, “just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree. ~ Garth Risk Hallberg,
79:Goodbye, Zahra,” says the princess, and she pulls her arm back, preparing to throw the lamp.
“Do it, Princess,” says a voice, “and I will tear your head from your shoulders. ~ Jessica Khoury,
80:There's something unrefined about a reading woman, they always reek of the lamp. How can she grow up to be a lady if she's always got her nose
in a book?

Granny Rudin ~ Florence King,
81:At times he would become so absorbed in reading, that all the kerosene in the lamp would burn out, and still he could not tear himself away. And so Avdyeitch used to read every evening. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
82:We’re survivors he told her across the flame of the lamp. Survivors? she said. Yes. What in God’s name are you talking about? We’re not survivors. We’re the walking dead in a horror film. ~ Anonymous,
83:He cut the veil of the rock; the hooves clattered the bellowing waters below him in the dark. The lamp brought the moon from the blade, and the blade the bull from the rock. The ice rang. ~ Alan Garner,
84:Braving obstacles and hardships is nobler than retreat to tranquility. The butterfly that hovers around the lamp until it dies is more admirable than the mole that lives in a dark tunnel. ~ Khalil Gibran,
85:Does the light of the lamp shine without losing its splendour until it is extinguished; and shall the truth which is in thee and justice and temperance be extinguished before thy death? ~ Marcus Aurelius,
86:The lamp you lighted in the olden time Will show you my heart's-blood beating through the rhyme: A poet's journal, writ in fire and tears... Then slow deliverance, with the gaps of years. ~ Bayard Taylor,
87:a “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 a but if  b your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light ~ Anonymous,
88:If you have a soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame. ~ Cassandra Clare,
89:As a general principle, if we would exercise our memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress, strike a match which would instantaneously kindle the lamp of comfort. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
90:Give of thy love, nor wait to know the worth Of what thou lovest; and ask no returning. And wheresoe'er thy pathway leads on earth, There thou shalt find the lamp of love-light burning. ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
91:Why is the TV on, and why aren't you on the way to naked?"...
"My head and the rest of me" - he drew her attention to his erection - "heard sex. No putting that genie back in the lamp... ~ Mary J Williams,
92:Why is the TV on, and why aren't you on the way to naked?"...
"My head and the rest of me" - he drew her attention to his erection - "heard sex. No putting that genie back in the lamp... ~ Mary J Williams,
93:Andre was propped in bed, reading by the light of the lamp. He looked up when she entered. "You look beautiful, my dear. I predict the local swains will find you more delectable than the ice cream. ~ Debra Holland,
94:And books all over the floor, some stacked in piles, some worn-looking, some brand-new, some splayed upside down, some sliding off the pink bedside table next to the lamp with the orange fabric shade. ~ Rebecca Stead,
95:I found that the writer who says SUBLATA LUCERNA NULLUM DISCRIMEN INTER MULIERES ('when the lamp is taken away, all women are alike') says true; but without love, this great business is a vile thing. ~ Giacomo Casanova,
96:Most men get their deepest conviction of self-worth from a woman, wife, mother, or if they are highly conscious, from their own anima. The woman sees and shows the man his value by lighting the lamp. ~ Robert A Johnson,
97:The love in a marriage turns like the lamp in a lighthouse, leaving you in darkness for long stretches, but it always comes back. I believe that but I can't tell whether it is a thought or a quotation. ~ Marcel Theroux,
98:You are as the yellow leaf. The messengers of death are at hand. You are to travel far away. What will you take with you? You are the lamp To lighten the way. Then hurry, hurry. When your light shines. ~ Gautama Buddha,
99:One man may read the Bhagavata by the light of a lamp, and another may commit a forgery by that very light; but the lamp is unaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wicked as well as on the virtuous. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
100:All is mute in the being, but in the bosom of the silence burns the lamp that can never be extinguished, the fire of an ardent aspiration to know and to love integrally the Divine.
   ~ The Mother, Words Of The Mother II,
101:He would sit all night under the lamp, book of the moment in front of him, dictionary and thesaurus on either side, wringing the meaning out of every word, punching ceaselessly at his own ignorance. When ~ Terry Pratchett,
102:No matter how long the room has been dark, an hour or a million years, the moment the lamp of awareness is lit the entire room becomes luminous. You are that luminosity. You are that clear light. ~ Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche,
103:On each race is laid the duty to keep alight its own lamp of mind as its part in the illumination of the world. To break the lamp of any people into deprive it of its rightful place in the world festival. ~ Rabindranath Tagore,
104:The Parade
Along the lamp-lit streets they glide and go:
Here Nature in her brutishness is nude:
See, thinly trickling from the age-old wound,
The steady stream of squandered womanhood!
~ Arthur Henry Adams,
105:They had run out of words.... Then he and the Lamp were gone.... Ruse swallowed hard and then began counting bones again in the dark. Then when he reached the right elbow he stopped, and started counting suspects. ~ Ruth Downie,
106:...and the lamp having at last resigned itself to death. There was nothing now but firelight in the room, And every time a flame uttered a gasp for breath It flushed her amber skin with the blood of its bloom. ~ Charles Baudelaire,
107:In oratory affectation must be avoided; it being better for a man by a native and clear eloquence to express himself than by those words which may smell either of the lamp or inkhorn. ~ Edward Herbert 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury,
108:The cubs began to tell him the story of the big bird that flew in the window and broke the lamp. It was harder to tell the second time. For one thing, they couldn’t quite remember how they had told it the first time. ~ Stan Berenstain,
109:Love is not a possession but a growth. The heart is a lamp with just oil enough to burn for an hour, and if there be no oil to put in again its light will go out. God's grace is the oil that fills the lamp of love. ~ Henry Ward Beecher,
110:The Lady with the Lamp, the Statue of Liberty, stands in New York Harbour. Her back is squarely turned on the USA. It’s no wonder, considering what she would have to look upon. She would weep, if she had to face this way. ~ Claudia Jones,
111:...and the lamp having at last resigned itself to death.
There was nothing now but firelight in the room,
And every time a flame uttered a gasp for breath
It flushed her amber skin with the blood of its bloom. ~ Charles Baudelaire,
112:Arguments cannot be answered with insults. . . . Kindness is strength. . . . Anger blows out the lamp of the mind. In the examination of a great and important question, every one should be serene, slow-pulsed, and calm. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll,
113:He lifted his head, the sight of his dark, disheveled hair, eyes glinting with longing in the lamp light, the gorgeous spread of his shoulders, tapering down to the narrow thrust of his hips, made my ovaries ache deep in my belly. ~ Emme Rollins,
114:What patient can trust the knowledge of a physician without reputation or furniture, in a period when publicity is all-powerful and when the government gilds the lamp posts on the Place de la Concorde in order to dazzle the poor? ~ Honore de Balzac,
115:22“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! ~ Anonymous,
116:Only one of the five Pandava brothers could light the lamp. Do you know where he went, human girl?" Aru lifted her chin. "I lit the lamp." The bird stared. And then stared some more. "Well, then, we might as well let the world end. ~ Roshani Chokshi,
117:Emergencies have always been necessary to progress. It was darkness which produced the lamp. It was fog that produced the compass. It was hunger that drove us to exploration. And it took a depression to teach us the real value of a job. ~ Victor Hugo,
118:Whatever you are physically: male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy, all those things matter less than what your heart contains. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside. ~ Cassandra Clare,
119:There was the lamp--dead indeed, and so changed that she would never have taken it for a lamp but for the shape! No, it was not the lamp anymore now it was dead, for all that made it a lamp was gone, namely, the bright shining of it. ~ George MacDonald,
120:You’re a—you’re a—”
Say it, boy. Demon of fire. Monster of smoke. Devil of sand and ash. Servant of Nardukha, Daughter of Ambadya, the Nameless, the Faceless, the Limitless. Slave of the Lamp. Jinni.
“. . . a girl!” he finishes. ~ Jessica Khoury,
121:Don’t you see?” said Digory. “This is where the bar fell—the bar she tore off the lamp-post at home. It sank into the ground and now it’s coming up as a young lamp-post.” (But not so very young now; it was as tall as Digory while he said this.) ~ C S Lewis,
122:That would be fine,” she said “If we’re alone, we’ll leave the lamp lighted so that we can see each other, and I can holler as much as I want without anybody’s having to butt in, and you can whisper in my ear any crap you can think of. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
123:You don’t have to believe in God to do the programme. You just have to accept that there’s a higher power – it could be the lamp in the corner of the room, for all they care. Some people use nature, the ocean, their d**k – whatever comes to mind. ~ Ozzy Osbourne,
124:God has bestowed upon you intelligence and knowledge. Do not extinguish the lamp of Divine Grace and do not let the candle of wisdom die out in the darkness of lust and error. For a wise man approaches with his torch to light up the path of mankind. ~ Khalil Gibran,
125:She switched the headlamp on and saw bats clinging to the side of the cave inches from her face. Someone whimpered. She supposed it was her. She switched the lamp off and played out the rope, dropping more slowly, trying to control the whimpering. ~ Janet Evanovich,
126:And here is the sense of its existence: it is conscious of being superfluous. It dilutes, scatters itself, tries to lose itself on the brown wall, along the lamp post or down there in the evening mist. But it never forgets itself. That is its lot. ~ Jean Paul Sartre,
127:If you don't take the lamp of awareness with you, you are going to create a hell around you. Light your lamp wherever you gocourting, not courting, that is not the point. Wherever you go, whatsoever you do, always do it in the inner light, with awareness. ~ Rajneesh,
128:Come on, Ella. Sleep green.' Ignoring him, I got into bed wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts printed with penguins. I reached over to the nightstand and flipped off the lamp. A moment of silence, and then I heard a lecherous murmur. 'I like your penguins. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
129:Come on, Ella. Sleep green.'
Ignoring him, I got into bed wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts printed with penguins. I reached over to the nightstand and flipped off the lamp.
A moment of silence, and then I heard a lecherous murmur. 'I like your penguins. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
130:Alan lowered the lamp flame until there was only a glimmer of light in the room. His skin burned with fever as he climbed into bed beside Huiann. He felt like a groom on his wedding night except, he reminded himself, there would be no copulation. None. Not tonight. ~ Bonnie Dee,
131:A yawning gap of seven feet lay in front of her. She handed the lamp to Raghava and took a few steps back. ‘You are crazy,’ she heard him say as she ran and gracefully leaped over the gap. She landed safely on the other side, though the bridge swayed wildly. ~ Anand Neelakantan,
132:Thus, when the lamp that lighted The traveller at first goes out, He feels awhile benighted, And looks around in fear and doubt. But soon, the prospect clearing, By cloudless starlight on he treads, And thinks no lamp so cheering As that light which Heaven sheds. ~ Charles Lamb,
133:But I won't bore you any longer on the subject of old men. It won't make things any better and all my plans of revenge (such as disconnecting the lamp, shutting the door, hiding his clothes) must be abandoned in order to keep the peace. Oh, I'm becoming so sensible! ~ Anne Frank,
134:I sat up straight and looked down at my pad, and then I realized: I'd been sketching you, really. I mean, I'd drawn the lamp, and the chaos on the desk, but I'd given it your soul. I'd given that lamp your optimism, your bright face looking down on all the havoc. ~ Steve Brezenoff,
135:Neither in environment nor in heredity can I find the exact instrument that fashioned me, the anonymous roller that pressed upon my life a certain intricate watermark whose unique design becomes visible when the lamp of art is made to shine through life's foolscap. ~ Vladimir Nabokov,
136:The lamp tipped over, nailing Kane in the head.
Sabin shook his head. The man was a walking disaster Literally. Whenever Kane stepped into a room, things went to hell pretty quickly. Sabin expected the ceiling to cave in any moment. And yea, it had happened before. ~ Gena Showalter,
137:Neither in environment nor in heredity can I find the exact instrument that fashioned me, the a.non.y.muse roller that passed upon my life a certain intricate watermark whose unique design becomes visible when the lamp of art is made to shine through life's foolscap. ~ Vladimir Nabokov,
138:We've gotten caught up in thinking we are what we look like, the physical, the exterior. We think we're the lamp shade. We've forgotten that we are the light-the electricity and the luminosity that lights up every man, woman, and child. The light is who we truly are. ~ Michael Beckwith,
139:Just as a lamp waved in darkness creates a figure of light in the air, which remains for as long as the lamp repeats its motion exactly, so the universe retains its shape by repetition: the universe is Time's body. And how will we perceive this body? And how operate on it? ~ John Crowley,
140:You hate people. Because, really, you’re afraid of them, aren’t you? Always have been, ever since you were a little tyke. Rather snuggle up in a chair under the lamp and read. You did it thirty years ago, and you’re still doing it now. Hiding away under the covers of a book. ~ Robert Bloch,
141:Because now there's time enough not to hurry, to light the lamp and open the window to the moon and take a moment to dream of a great and broken city, because when the day starts its business I'll have to stop, these are night-time tales that vanish in the sunlight like vampire dust ~ Jeet Thayil,
142:What does a lamp do? The lamp is like a horse that is running but stays put. But by virtue of being a lamp it illuminates the space around it. Therefore, the practice of purifying one's soul, of living virtuously, has tremendous impacts upon the ethics of the surrounding society. ~ Seyyed Hossein Nasr,
143:The lamp that is aglow in the obedient life will shine. The city set on the hill cannot be hid. Obedience to Christ from the heart and by the Spirit is such a radical reality that those who live in it automatically realize the unity that can never be achieved by direct efforts at union. ~ Dallas Willard,
144:Men lived among mighty mountains and eternal forests for ages before they realized that they were poetical; it may reasonably be inferred that some of our descendants may see the chimney-pots as rich a purple as the mountain-peaks, and find the lamp-posts as old and natural as the trees. ~ G K Chesterton,
145:For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to--a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song. ~ Helen Keller,
146:Whatever you are physically...male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy--all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside. ~ Cassandra Clare,
147:Whatever you are physically… male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy — all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside. ~ Cassandra Clare,
148:We often forget that the Author of our faith must be the Preserver of it also. The lamp which was burning in the temple was never allowed to go out, but it had to be daily replenished with fresh oil; in like manner, our faith can only live by being sustained with the oil of grace, ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
149:The ego is nothing but condensed unawareness. When you become aware by and by that condensed unawareness we call 'ego' disappears. Just as if you bring a lamp into the room - and the darkness disappears. Awareness is the lamp, the lamp we were talking about the first day. Be a lamp unto yourself. ~ Rajneesh,
150:Whatever you are physically... male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy – all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside. ~ Cassandra Clare,
151:You know Case, who oversees the dairy? He saw us together in the loft last week. He says I'm the biggest fool who ever lived. I don't think he's right. But, just to be safe, I'll put out the lamp. We'll pretend we're the ancient explorers, and find our way by the stars.
Yours,
Kai ~ Diana Peterfreund,
152:The Lamp Burns Sure—within
233
The Lamp burns sure—within—
Tho' Serfs—supply the Oil—
It matters not the busy Wick—
At her phosphoric toil!
The Slave—forgets—to fill—
The Lamp—burns golden—on—
Unconscious that the oil is out—
As that the Slave—is gone.
~ Emily Dickinson,
153:Nigel gave the lamp a cautious buff and small smoking red letters appeared in the air. "Hi," Nigel read aloud, "Do not put down the lamp because your custom is important to us. Please leave a wish after the tone and, very shortly, it will be our command. In the meantime, have a nice eternity." ~ Terry Pratchett,
154:There's a mouse in here with me. He's sitting there in the light of the lamp, looking up at me. He seems as surprised to see me as I am to see him. There he goes. I can hear him still, scurrying about somewhere under the hayrick. I think he's gone now. I hope he comes back. I miss him already. ~ Michael Morpurgo,
155:Whatever you are physically...male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy--all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside. ~ Cassandra Clare,
156:No matter what you are physically, male or female , strong or weak, sick or healthy , everything is not as important as what you have in the heart . If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior . All those other things are just the glass of the lamp , but you're the light shining inside. ~ Cassandra Clare,
157:When I take on a design project, I have to jet from the bookstore to the hardware shop to the lamp store and back again just to collect a small portion of the many items I need to fill a home. But, when you hit the flea market, they're all right there. From booth to booth, you have the bases covered. ~ Nate Berkus,
158:The lamp sizzled as it burned. It made everything seem close and safe, a little family circle they all knew and trusted. Outside this circle lay everything that was strange and frightening, and the darkness seemed to reach higher and higher and further and further away, right to the end of the world. ~ Tove Jansson,
159:Shadow, shadow, on the wall, Who casts the longest shade of all? Is it death; or yet desire? Is it night, tamed by fire? Who’s the man who lights the lamp And calls the storm that brings the damp? Which the god who blocks the sun And fills the rivers in their run? Call the hammer, call the lightning… ~ L E Modesitt Jr,
160:The world has a thousand creeds, and never a one have I;
Nor a church of my own, though a million spires are pointing the way on high.
But I float on the bosom of faith, that bears me along like a river;
And the lamp of my soul is alight with love, for life, and the world, and the Giver. ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
161:...he plundered the living treasure of those shelves. There was Burton's marvelous Anatomy, his staggering erudition never smelling of the dust or of the lamp...There was the dark tremendous music of Sir Thomas Browne, and Hooker's sounding and tremendous passion made great by genius and made true by faith. ~ Thomas Wolfe,
162:The perfume of incense reminds us of the pervading influence of virtue, the lamp reminds us of light of knowledge and the flowers which soon fade and die, reminds us of impermanence. When we bow, we express our gratitude to the Buddha for what his teachings have given us. This is the nature of Buddhist worship. ~ Anonymous,
163:Ah, when, within our narrow chamber The lamp with friendly lustre glows, Flames in the breast each faded ember, And in the heart, itself that knows. Then Hope again lends sweet assistance, And Reason then resumes her speech: One yearns, the rivers of existence, The very founts of Life, to reach. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
164:Please listen to me - you are not paying attention. I am talking to you about the Holy Scriptures, and you are looking at the lamps and the people lighting them. It is very frivolous to be more interested in what the lamplighters are doing... After all, I am lighting a lamp too - the lamp of God's Word. ~ Saint John Chrysostom,
165:Wisdom is the lamp of love, and love is the oil of the lamp. Love, sinking deeper, grows wiser; and wisdom that springs up aloft comes ever the nearer to love.

Love is the food of wisdom; wisdom the food of love; a circle of light within which those who love, clasp the hands of those who are wise. ~ Maurice Maeterlinck,
166:Since it is the very substance of the animal, it is the blood which transports the fuel.If the animal did not habitually replace, through nourishing themselves,what they losethrough respiration, the lamp would very soon run out of oil and the animal would perish, just as the lamp goes out when it lacks fuel. ~ Antoine Lavoisier,
167:Water’s still warm. I’ll take one too.” “I’ll wait outside.” “No. Your wet hair will call all the mosquitoes in the territory.” He shut the door, closing off her escape. “Susannah, I’m your husband,” he said in a low voice. The lamp flame cast deep shadows on the planes of his face. He unbuttoned his shirt. ~ Catherine Richmond,
168:Woman is an incarnation of 'Shakti'- the goddess of power. If she is bestowed with education, Gujarat's strength will double. Let the campaign of 'Kanya Kelavni' be spread in every home. Let the lamp of educating daughters be lit up in every heart. Then only the vision of 'Jay Jay Garvi Gujarat' will be realized. ~ Narendra Modi,
169:1.5 billion people lack proper access to electricity. Many buy kerosene, which can cost 30 percent of their income. It sends millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. And often the lamp will fall over and catch the house on fire. So mothers hate it, but it's their only option. ~ Jacqueline Novogratz,
170:The meditation I am talking about is not a meditation on something. If you light a lamp and remove all the objects surrounding it, the lamp will still go on giving light. In the same way, if you remove all objects from your consciousness, all thoughts, all imagination, what will happen? – only consciousness will remain. ~ Rajneesh,
171:One I did, Travis flipped off the lamp, and then pulled me against him without permission or apology. He tensed his arms and sighed, and I nestled my face into his neck. I shut my eyes tight, trying to savor the moment. I knew I would wish for that moment back every day of my life, so I lived it with everything I had. ~ Jamie McGuire,
172:...she tore a strip from a dish towel in order to make wicks, then returned to the room where the lamp stood, it was going to be useful for the first time since it was manufactured, at first this did not appear to be its destiny, but none of us, lamps, dogs or humans, knows at the outset, why we have come into this world. ~ Jos Saramago,
173:A physician who fails to enter the body of a patient with the lamp of knowledge and understanding can never treat diseases. He should first study all the factors, including environment, which influence a patient's disease, and then prescribe treatment. It is more important to prevent the occurrence of disease than to seek a cure. ~ Charaka,
174:Wathever you are physically male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame. ~ Cassandra Clare,
175:Whatever you are physically ... male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy -- all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside." - Jem Carstairs, Clockwork Angel ~ Cassandra Clare,
176:Whatever you are physically, male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy, all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame. ~ Cassandra Clare,
177:Whatever you are physically, male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy - all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame. ~ Cassandra Clare,
178:Whatever you are physically, male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy – all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame. ~ Cassandra Clare,
179:Whatever you are physically, male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy - all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the spul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame. ~ Cassandra Clare,
180:When the lamp has been removed from my sight, and my wife, no stranger now to my habit, has fallen silent, I examine the whole of my day and retrace my actions and words; I hide nothing from myself, pass over nothing. For why should I be afraid of any of my mistakes, when I can say: ‘Beware of doing that again, and this time I pardon you. ~ Seneca,
181:Whatever you are physically, he said, male of female, strong or weak, ill or healthy- all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color,the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame. ~ Cassandra Clare,
182:Whatever you are physically," he said, "male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy--all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame. ~ Cassandra Clare,
183:Whatever you are physically,' he said, 'Male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy -- all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are the flame. ~ Cassandra Clare,
184:Whatever you are physically,” he said, “male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy—all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame.” He ~ Cassandra Clare,
185:A king is a king, but a bard is the heart and soul of the people; he is their life in song, and the lamp which guides their steps along the paths of destiny. A bard is the essential spirit of the clan; he is the linking ring, the golden cord which unites the manifold ages of the clan, binding all that is past with all that is yet to come. ~ Stephen R Lawhead,
186:What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright...Haven't you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you've had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings? ~ Gustave Flaubert,
187:God is the Light of the heavens and the earth;
the likeness of His Light is as a niche wherein is a lamp
(the lamp in a glass, the glass as it were a glittering star)
lit from a blessed tree,
an olive that is neither of the East nor of the West
whose oil wellnigh would shine,
even if no life touched it;
Light upon Light; ~ Anonymous,
188:The light that shines through the windows of the eyes and ears—if those windows did not exist, the light would not stop. It would find other windows to shine through.

If you bring a lamp before the sun, do you say, "I see the sun by means of this lamp"? God forbid! If you did not bring the lamp, the sun would still shine. What need is there for a lamp? ~ Rumi,
189:Whatever you are physically, male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy - all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. YOU are the flame. That's what I believe. ~ Cassandra Clare,
190:What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn't everyone's life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life? ~ Michel Foucault,
191:should be read in the Golden Future, some snowy evening by the fire after a home dinner à deux. Your predestined husband, mademoiselle, is to extend his god-like figure upon a sofa, with an ash-tray convenient. You are to do the reading, curled up in the big velvet wing-chair, with the lamp at your left elbow and the fender under your pretty feet. ~ Robert W Chambers,
192:Yes, she would explain to neither of them that everything was slowly changing... That she had put away her smile like one who has finally turned off the lamp and decided to go to bed. Now no living thing was allowed in her inner self, merging into it. The way she related to people was becoming increasingly different to the way she related to herself. ~ Clarice Lispector,
193:Good friends, how then are meditation and wisdom alike? They are like the lamp and the light it gives forth. If there is a lamp there is light; if there is no lamp there is no light. The lamp is the substance of light; the light is the function of the lamp. Thus, although they have two names, in substance they are not two. Meditation and wisdom are also like this. ~ Huineng,
194:Ann Street was reckoned by many to be the most beautiful terrace in the city. Tucked away between Queensferry Road and Stockbridge, its two elegant facing rows of Georgian homes were separated by a narrow roadway constructed of traditional setts. The front gardens were immaculate, the black metal railings glossy, the lamp posts harking back to a more elegant age. ~ Ian Rankin,
195:The Oil In The Lamp Dwindled
The oil in the lamp dwindled;
the wick was a flicker
and
the light too dwindled.
A moth danced into the dying flame;
the half-burnt hope
fell into a niche.
When the flame died
darkness gave a hysterical laugh.
Why trust laughter!
Weeping knows no end.
Who lost
and
who won?
~ Dina Nath Nadim,
196:Kindness is strength. Good-nature is often mistaken for virtue, and good health sometimes passes for genius. Anger blows out the lamp of the mind. In the examination of a great and important question, every one should be serene, slow-pulsed, and calm. Intelligence is not the foundation of arrogance. Insolence is not logic. Epithets are the arguments of malice. ~ Robert G Ingersoll,
197:And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor:
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted — nevermore! ~ Edgar Allan Poe,
198:Zahra, what happens to you when I make my last wish?”
“When your third wish is granted, you will cease to be my master. You may possess the lamp, but you cannot call me. I will return to it and await the next Lampholder.”
Abruptly he stands and walks across the room. When he reaches the wall, he turns and stares down at me. “So to win my revenge, I must lose you. ~ Jessica Khoury,
199:The soul of man is the lamp of God,’ says a wise Jewish proverb. Man is a weak and miserable creature when God’s light is not burning in his soul. But when it burns (and it only burns in souls enlightened by religion), man becomes the most powerful creature in the world. And it cannot be otherwise, for what then works in him is not his own strength, but the strength of God. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
200:So I often saw my father writing under the lamp, scratching his head to find something to write about, even telling her that the handle had come off the kettle, and about Gareth cutting a lump out of the door with my chisel, with pages about Taliesin, of course.

There is strange to see a man quiet in his own world, and searching it for jewels to give his queen. ~ Richard Llewellyn,
201:On the edge of the prairie, where the sun had gone down, the sky was turquoise blue, like a lake, with gold light throbbing in it. Higher up, in the utter clarity of the western slope, the evening star hung like a lamp suspended by silver chains -- like the lamp engraved up the title-page of old Latin texts, which is always appearing in new heavens and waking new desires in men. ~ Willa Cather,
202:Won'T It Be Curious
WON'T it be curious when I am dead;
Some one, unknown to me, here in my stead?
Curious surely for others to see
Trifles I made or marred outlasting me;
All my possessions - bracelets and rings,
Young and unaltered like immortal things
Young and unaltered, always the same
Changeless the lamp though we blow out the flame.
~ Alice Duer Miller,
203:This silent cry is of ecstasy for what has been done, and of despair at being forestalled, and being thus forewarned, that neither This Year nor Next Year am I to have the ability and wisdom to light the lamp on my own. Although one branch of childhood is in this fashion lopped for all time, the rest of it still inhabits the body of a child which occupies itself in childish matters. ~ Hal Porter,
204:Look," she sighed. "You might be a lovely lad, in fairness you look like a lovely lad, but I can't take the chance. My kids wouldn't even be able to remember what I was wearing to tell the police. And all the recent photographs of me are bad, very jowly. I couldn't have them stuck to the lamp posts around the city. On your way, son." (Woman to Matt, when he tried to give her a lift.) ~ Marian Keyes,
205:Love is eternal -- the aspect may change, but not the essence. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and was a good lamp, but now it is shedding light too, and that is its real function. And love makes one calmer about many things, and that way, one is more fit for one's work. ~ Vincent Van Gogh,
206:This work opens the eyes of the world blinded by ignorance. As the sun dispels darkness, so does Bharata by its exposition of religion, duty, action, contemplation, and so forth. As the full moon by shedding soft light helps the buds of the lotus to open, so this Purana by its exposition expands the human intellect. The lamp of history illumines the ‘whole mansion of the womb of Nature.’ —Vyasa ~ R K Narayan,
207:A fool came and sat in a seat above one of the great saints. What difference does it make to the saints whether such a person is above or below the lamp? If the lamp wants to be on high, it does not desire that for its own sake. Its purpose is for the benefit of others, so they can enjoy their share of the light. Wherever the lamp may be, whether below or above, it is still the lamp of the Eternal Sun. ~ Rumi,
208:All morning I lay down sentences, erase them, and try new ones. Soon enough, when things go well, the world around me dwindles: the sky out the window, the furious calm of the big umbrella pine ten feet away, the smell of dust falling onto the hot bulb in the lamp. That's the miracle of writing, the place you try to find--when the room, your body, and even time itself cooperate in a vanishing act. ~ Anthony Doerr,
209: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,
210:Together they will spend a happy hour seated side by side..., while Ivy's tender hand guides Duffy's as he traces out laboriously, in pencil, over and over until he has them off pat, the magic letters of his name. More than the wedding itself, that little ceremony there under the lamp, all silent save for the soft scratching of graphite on paper, will mark the true beginning of their life together. ~ John Banville,
211:Thich Nhat Hanh has the ability to express some of the most profound teachings of interdependence and emptiness I've ever heard. With the eloquence of a poet, he holds up a sheet of paper and teaches us that the rain cloud and the tree and the logger who cut the tree down are all there in the paper. He's been one of the most significant carriers of the lamp of the dharma to the West that we have had. ~ Jack Kornfield,
212:The universe is wired with the electricity of God, & each of us is a lamp. It doesn't matter the size or shape of the lamp; it only matters that the lamp is plugged in. With every prayer, every thought of forgiveness, every meditation, every act of love, we plug in. The more of us who plug in, to more the darkness of the world will be cast from our midst. Today, let's all increase love's wattage! ~ Marianne Williamson,
213:the biggest damage to the Baghdad Zoo had not been done in battle, fierce as it had been. It was the looters. They had killed or kidnapped anything edible and ransacked everything else. Even the lamp poles had been unbolted, tipped over, and their copper wiring wrenched out like multicolored spaghetti. As we drove past, we could see groups of looters still at it, scavenging like colonies of manic ants. ~ Lawrence Anthony,
214:We are men born in a land of eternal darkness. We grope where we cannot see clearly. Why mistrust what ancient books say? Why mistrust what our souls say? Our forefathers gave us this lamp, and the flame was lit in brighter days, when men saw further. I agree the lamp-light of such far-off lore, is dim for us; but surely that proves it to be folly, not wisdom, to cast the lamp aside: for then we are blind. ~ John C Wright,
215:O Fool, try to carry thyself upon thy own shoulders!
O beggar, to come beg at thy own door!

Leave all thy burdens on his hands who can bear all,
and never look behind in regret.

Thy desire at once puts out the light from the lamp it touches with its breath.
It is unholy-take not thy gifts through its unclean hands.
Accept only what is offered by sacred love.

~ Rabindranath Tagore, Fool
,
216:waking at night;
the lamp is low,
the oil freezing

it has rained enough
the stubble on the field
black

winter rain
falling on the cow-shed;
a cock crows.
the leeks
newly washed white-
how cold it is!

the sea darkens;
voices of wild ducks
are faintly white.
ill on a journey;
my dreams wander
over a withered moor.
~ Matsuo Basho, Collection of Six Haiku
,
217:Faith's way of walking is to cast all care upon the Lord, and then to anticipate good results from the worst calamities. Like Gideon's men, she does not fret over the broken pitcher, but rejoices that the lamp blazes forth the more. Out of the rough oyster-shell of difficulty she extracts the rare pearl of honor, and from the deep ocean-caves of distress she uplifts the priceless coral of experience. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
218:The night before, Bharati had been sitting at the entrance of her hut studying for the exam with a small kerosene lamp for light. Her mother was asleep on the ground outside. They were so poor they couldn’t afford a lamp with a glass cover over the flame. Bharati dozed off. The lamp fell over. Kerosene spilled. The hut caught fire. Thirteen-year-old Bharati, the daughter of the martyr Noble, was consumed in the blaze. ~ Sujatha Gidla,
219:22 a “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 a but if  b your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 c “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and  d money. [6] ~ Anonymous,
220:Florence Nightingale was never called “the Lady with the Lamp,” but “the Lady with the Hammer,” an image deftly readjusted by the war reporter of the Times since it was far too coarse for the folks back home. Far from gliding about the hospital with her lamp aloft, Nightingale earned her nickname through a ferocious attack on a locked storeroom when a military commander refused to give her the medical supplies she needed. ~ Rosalind Miles,
221:Albert Einstein To Archibald Macleish
I should have been a plumber fixing drains.
And mending pure white bathtubs for the great Diogenes
(who scorned all lies, all liars, and all tyrannies),
And then, perhaps, he would bestow on me -- majesty!
(O modesty aside, forgive my fallen pride, O hidden
majesty,
The lamp, the lantern, the lucid light he sought for
All too often -- sick humanity!)
~ Delmore Schwartz,
222:Is it possible for the rose to say, "I will give my fragrance to the good people who smell me, but I will withhold it from the bad?" Or is it possible for the lamp to say, "I will give my light to the good people in this room, but I will withhold it from the evil people"? Or can a tree say, "I'll give my shade to the good people who rest under me, but I will withhold it from the bad"? These are images of what love is about. ~ Anthony de Mello,
223:Rain On Autumn Night
Cold, cold this third night of autumn
Rain makes me sleepy
Alone, this old man is contented and idle
It's late when I extinguish the lamp and lie down
To sleep, listening to the beautiful sound of rain
Incense ashes still glowing in the burner
My only heat in this lodging
At daybreak, I will stay under the quilt to stay warm
And the steps will be covered by frosty red leaves
~ Bai Juyi,
224:Before turning down the lamp, Lara paused to take one last glance at her husband. He was like some magnificent slumbering beast, all his alertness and vitality temporarily banked, his claws sheathed. But on the morrow he would be back in his usual form, mocking, argumentative, charming... and he would resume his efforts to seduce her.
What unnerved her was the realization that in some small way she was actually looking forward to it. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
225:She simply does what her daughter tells her to, and finds a surprising relief in it. Maybe, she thinks, one could begin dying into this: the ministrations of a grown daughter, the comforts of a room. Here, then, is age. Here are the little consolations, the lamp and the book. Here is the world, increasingly managed by people who are not you; who will do either well or badly; who do not look at you when they pass you in the street. ~ Michael Cunningham,
226:So, cutting the lashing of the waterproof match keg, after many failures Starbuck contrived to ignite the lamp in the lantern; then stretching it on a waif pole, handed it to Queequeg as the standard-bearer of this forlorn hope. There, then, he sat, holding up that imbecile candle in the heart of that almighty forlornness. There, then, he sat, the sign and symbol of a man without faith, hopelessly holding up hope in the midst of despair. ~ Herman Melville,
227:Black is closing in around my eyes. I realize with a great, tired sadness that I am losing the world. The walls, the molding on the door frame, the yellow of the lamp, his back at the sink… are all achingly beautiful. I reach out and feel myself groping in the air, feel myself falling great distances, feel nothing at all. Suddenly, with a red rush I can breathe and I can see. I get up from the floor before he turns around and says, “You look flushed. ~ Eula Biss,
228:I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers!
I bow to you all and take my departure.

Here I give back the keys of my door
-and I give up all claims to my house.
I only ask for last kind words from you.

We were neighbors for long,
but I received more than I could give.
Now the day has dawned
and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out.
A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.

~ Rabindranath Tagore, Farewell
,
229:The delicate muses lose their head if their attention is once diverted. Perhaps if you were successful abroad in talking and dealing with men, you would not come back to your bookshelf and your task. When the spirit chooses you for its scribe to publish some commandment, it makes you odious to men and men odious to you, and you shall accept that loathsomeness with joy. The moth must fly to the lamp, and you must solve those questions though you die. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
230:You will never be a hero. You were never meant to be a hero."
Hero. that one word made Aru lift her chin. It made her think of Mini and Boo, her mom, and all the incredible things she herself had done in just nine days. Breaking the lamp hadn't been heroic... but everything else? Fighting for people she cared about and doing everything it took to fix her mistake? That was heroism.
Vajra became a spear in her hand.
"I already am. And it's heroine. ~ Roshani Chokshi,
231:Finally, then, I conclude with an iconic image of that foundational reconciliation from the later fourth century. It is a bronze hanging lamp from the villa of the aristocratic Valerii on the Celian Hill in Rome, now preserved in the National Archaeological Museum in Florence. The lamp is shaped like a boat. Peter is seated in the stern at the tiller. Paul is standing in the prow looking forward. Peter steers. Paul guides. And the boat sails full before the wind. ~ Marcus J Borg,
232:For example, if you are shocked when you turn on a lamp because of a wiring defect in the switch, the lamp-shock association (a CS-US association) will cause you to avoid touching the lamp. Then, if after getting the lamp repaired you cautiously turn it on and find you are not shocked, you can proceed with abandon in using it. You’ve formed a new association—a “lamp–no shock” association (CS–no US association)—that overrides or suppresses the original association.61 ~ Joseph E LeDoux,
233:Gregory struck out with his stick at the lamp-post, and then at the tree. "About this and this," he cried; "about order and anarchy. There is your precious order, that lean, iron lamp, ugly and barren; and there is anarchy, rich, living, reproducing itself—there is anarchy, splendid in green and gold." "All the same," replied Syme patiently, "just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree. ~ G K Chesterton,
234:She walks away, and I am too stunned to follow her. At the end of the hallways she turns and says, "Have a piece of cake for me, all right? The chocolate. It's delicious." She smiles a strange, twisted smile, and adds," I love you, you know." And then she's gone. I stand alone in the blue light coming from the lamp above me, and I understand: She has been to the compound before. She remembered this hallways. She knows about the initiation process. My mother was a dauntless. ~ Veronica Roth,
235:He stared at me for a couple of seconds, then picked up his cutlery, hunched over his plate. Outside, behind him, the wind carried the rain, the lamp posts quivered. I found myself thinking of certain people I knew--people not that far away--how surprised they'd be (wouldn't they?) to see me sitting there with that bright, bland expression on my face, trying to fence with this nonsense. Or had I been very naive? Was this what life was like, really, and everyone knew it but me? ~ Gwendoline Riley,
236:Silence
So silent is the world to-night
The lamp gives silence out like light,
The latticed windows open wide
Show silence, like the night, outside:
The nightingale's faint song draws near
Like musical silence to mine ear.
The empty house calls not to me,
'Here, but for fate, were thou and she--'
Its gibe for once is checked. To-night
Silence is queen in grief's despite,
And even the longing of my soul
Is silent 'neath this hour's control.
~ Edith Nesbit,
237:But he was careful. He didn’t make a simple remark without rehearsing it beforehand. And he continually removed the expression from his face lest it be the wrong one, and give him away. He also avoided any strong light, such as the lamp on the kitchen table. Sometimes a weakness overcame him, his legs were unstrung, and he had to find some place to sit down, but this was easy enough to disguise. It was his voice that gave him the most trouble. It sounded false to him and not like his voice at all. ~ William Maxwell,
238:The song I came to sing remains unsung to this day. I have spent my days in stringing and in unstringing my instrument. The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set; only there is the agony of wishing in my heart….. I have not seen his face, nor have I listened to his voice; only I have heard his gentle footsteps from the road before my house….. But the lamp has not been lit and I cannot ask him into my house; I live in the hope of meeting with him; but this meeting is not yet. ~ Rabindranath Tagore,
239:He went often to her little cottage outside Dublin; often they spent their evenings alone. Little by little, as their thoughts entangled, they spoke of subjects less remote. Her companionship was like a warm soil about an exotic. Many times she allowed the dark to fall upon them, refraining from lighting the lamp. The dark discreet room, their isolation, the music that still vibrated in their ears united them. This union exalted him, wore away the rough edges of his character, emotionalised his mental life. ~ James Joyce,
240:Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted—nevermore! ~ Edgar Allan Poe,
241:He would not beg Zoya to stay. It was not in his nature to plead with anyone, and that was not the pact they shared. They did not look to each other for comfort. They kept each other marching. They kept each other strong. So he would not find another excuse to get her talking again. He would not tell her he was afraid to be left alone with the thing he might become, and he would not ask her to leave the lamp burning, a child's bit of magic to ward off the dark.
But he was relieved when she did it anyway. ~ Leigh Bardugo,
242:Genie: Okay, fine. So what are your three wishes?

Marco: Only three? In the stories I heard, the genies granted unlimited wishes.

Genie: Ah, not again. Well, let me clarify this for you. I only provide the “Limited to three wishes” plan, also called the “Classic package”. There were certain gold and platinum plans offered in the past, which granted infinite wishes and where the genie practically stayed with the lamp-finder all their life. But those plans were discontinued around 2,300 years back. ~ Varun Sayal,
243:Just as the lamp burns bright when wick and oil are clean, so is it with our minds. All things can corrupt when minds are prone to evil. A soft word of praise benignly intended can wreak havoc on one whose ears itch to hear it. So often, we are pulled and strung along by our feelings, led to this mischief and that because we crave a fleeting emotion. Our simmering anger needs but a nudge to flame up and scald everyone around us. Yet when our thoughts are pure, we become a light by which others learn to read. — ~ Jeff Wheeler,
244:I have come to light the lamp of Love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster. I have not come on behalf of any exclusive religion. I have not come on a mission of publicity for a sect or creed or cause, nor have I come to collect followers for a doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into my fold or any fold. I have come to tell you of this unitary faith, this spiritual principle, this path of Love, this virtue of Love, this duty of Love, this obligation of Love. ~ Sathya Sai Baba,
245:And here Dante describes an evidently spherical world... "The lamp of the world [the sun] rises to mortals through different passages; but through that which joins four circles with three crosses [the position of the rising sun at the vernal equinox] it issues with a better course and conjoined with better stars, and tempers and stamps the wax of the world more after its own fashion. Although such an outlet had made morning there and evening here, and all the hemisphere there was bright, and the other dark..." ~ Dante Alighieri,
246:You went about with your soul full of suspicion and hatred; you understood that you were environed by hostile powers that were trying to get your money, and who used all the virtues to bait their traps with. The storekeepers plastered up their windows with all sorts of lies to entice you; the very fences by the wayside, the lamp-posts and telegraph-poles, were pasted over with lies. The great corporation which employed you lied to you, and lied to the whole country—from top to bottom it was nothing but one gigantic lie. ~ Anonymous,
247:The old man slowly unwrapped the shining blade and let the lamplight slip along it for a moment. Then he wrapped it up again. 'You go now. I want to go to bed. He blew out the lamp almost before Jody had closed the door.

As he went back towards the house, Jody knew one thing more sharply than he had ever known anything. He must never tell anyone about the rapier. It would be a dreadful thing to tell anyone about it, for it would destroy some fragile structure of truth. It was truth that might be shattered by division. ~ John Steinbeck,
248:Jem seemed to look through her then, as if he were seeing something beyond her, beyond the corridor, beyond the Institute itself. "Whatever you are physically," he said, "male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy--all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside." He smiled them, seeming to have come back to himself, slightly embarrassed. "That's what I believe. ~ Cassandra Clare,
249:About time you woke up, lazy." Cinder glanced over her shoulder to see Thorne in the doorway. Cress and Jacin filled in behind him. "How's the hand?"
"Almost fully functional."
"Of course it's almost fully functional," said Iko. "Cress and I are geniuses." She flashed Cress a thumbs-up.
"I helped," said Thorne.
"He held the lamp," Iko clarified.
"Jacin did nothing," said Thorne, pointing.
"Jacin checked your pulse and breathing and made sure you weren't dead," said Iko.
Thorne snorted. "I could have done that. ~ Marissa Meyer,
250:He keeps some goats, and a garden patch. In autumn he goes wandering over the island, alone, in the forests, on the mountainsides, through the valleys of the rivers. I lived there once with him, when I was younger than you are now. I didn't stay long, I hadn't the sense to stay. I went off seeking evil, and sure enough I found it... But you come escaping evil; seeking freedom; seeking silence for a while, until you find your own way. There you will find kindness and silence, Tenar. There the lamp will burn out of the wind awhile. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
251:I examined it cautiously. On the opposite side of the chain from the wolf, there now hung a brilliant heart-shaped crystal. It was cut in a million facets, so that even in the subdued light shining from the lamp, it sparkled. I inhaled in a low gasp..."
"But I thought it was a good representation,' he continued. 'It's hard and cold.' He laughed. 'And it throws rainbows in the sunlight.'
'You forgot the most important similarity,' I murmured. 'It's beautiful.'
'My heart is just as silent,' he mused. 'And it, too, is yours. ~ Stephenie Meyer,
252:To get light from an oil lamp, filling it first with oil is entirely reasonable. To get a car to provide you with transportation, filling the tank with gas is completely logical. In the same way, divine logic affirms that obtaining righteousness from a man or woman happens only when that person is filled with God. Oil in the lamp, gas in the car … and Christ in the Christian. It takes God to be a man, and that is why it takes Christ to be a Christian, because Christ puts God back into a man, the only way we can again become functional. ~ W Ian Thomas,
253:The Name alone is the Truth, O Ravidas, It was true in the beginning and shall remain true in the end. It destroyeth all sins and sufferings, and is, indeed, the mine of all true Bliss. Steeped in meditation with one-pointed attention, practice devotion to God, O Ravidas. Let the automatic repetition be continued within, reverberating Sat Naam. When surat merges into the Shabda, and becomes one with It, then one obtains the Supreme Bliss. The lamp burns inside, O Ravidas, and Divine Bliss arises within.

~ Ravidas, The Name alone is the Truth
,
254:As I search the archives of my memory I seem to discern six types or methods [of judicial writing] which divide themselves from one another with measurable distinctness. There is the type magisterial or imperative; the type laconic or sententious; the type conversational or homely; the type refined or artificial, smelling of the lamp, verging at times upon preciosity or euphuism; the demonstrative or persuasive; and finally the type tonsorial or agglutinative, so called from the shears and the pastepot which are its implements and emblem. ~ Benjamin Cardozo,
255:And indeed, what is better than to sit by one's fireside in the evening with a book, while the wind beats against the window and the lamp is burning?" "What, indeed?" she said, fixing her large black eyes wide open upon him. "One thinks of nothing," he continued; "the hours slip by. Motionless we traverse countries we fancy we see, and your thought, blending with the fiction, playing with the details, follows the outline of the adventures. It mingles with the characters, and it seems as if it were yourself palpitating beneath their costumes. ~ Gustave Flaubert,
256:For example, John Law's Mississippi Company venture printed shares, and the money had gone up in smoke when it had been inscribed objects. The inscription made it magic and changed its meaning. That's how objects become charmed in The Arabian Nights, and they are often originally ordinary objects. The carpet is an ordinary, paltry object. The lamp is a rusty old lamp, and the bottles jinns are imprisoned within are old bottles. They are changed by the magic and the jinn's presence, and the jinn's presence is often embodied in the seal or inscription. ~ Marina Warner,
257:I’ve come to think that, much as neglect in infancy scars the eventual adult, so our first experiences of pleasurable solitude teach us how to be content by ourselves and shape the conditions in which we seek it. For me it was being alone up in that bedroom, reading or lazing about, one ear forever tuned to the orchestra of family life. As I slipped beneath the sheets, that lost din echoed in all its comforting familiarity. By the time I turned off the lamp, it seemed incomprehensible that anything of consequence had ever existed beyond this tiny pinnacle. ~ Kate Bolick,
258:She especially liked my bedside lamp, which had a five-sided porcelain shade. Unlit, the shade seemed like bumpy ivory. Lit, each panel came to life with the image of a bird: a blue jay, a cardinal, wrens, an oriole, and a dove. Kathleen turned it off and on again, several times. "How does it do that?"

"The panels are called lithophanes." I knew because I'd asked my father about the lamp, years ago. "The porcelain is carved and painted. You can see it if you look inside the shade."

"No," she said. "It's magic. I don't want to know how it's done. ~ Susan Hubbard,
259:Study is the lamp to dispel the darkness of benightedness. It is the best of possessions—thieves cannot rob you of it. It is a weapon to defeat your enemy—your blindness to all things. It is your best friend who instructs you in the means; It is a relative who will not desert you, though you be poor. It is a medicine against sorrow that does you no harm. It is the best army, which defeats great legions of misdeeds. It is also the best of treasures, of fame, and of glory. You could have no better gift when meeting the most high. It pleases the scholars in any gathering. ~ Anonymous,
260:On his way though the lobby minutes later, Artemis was highly amused to overhear several audience members gushing over the unorthodox direction of the opera's final scene. The exploding lamp, mused one buff, was doubtless a metaphor for Norma's own falling star. But no, argued a second. The lamp was obviously a modernistic interpretation of the burning stake which Norma was about to face.

Or perhaps, thought Artemis as he pushed through the crowd to find a light Sicilian mist falling on his forehead, the exploding lamp was simply an exploding lamp. ~ Eoin Colfer,
261:Samuel glanced at him. “That’s right,” he said. “Set your teeth in it. How we do defend a wrongness! Shall I tell you what you do, so you will not think you invented it? When you go to bed and blow out the lamp—then she stands in the doorway with a little light behind her, and you can see her nightgown stir. And she comes sweetly to your bed, and you, hardly breathing, turn back the covers to receive her and move your head over on the pillow to make room for her head beside yours. You can smell the sweetness of her skin, and it smells like no other skin in the world— ~ John Steinbeck,
262:What old illusion of hope is not here forever repeated! Says the soul of the toiler
to itself, "I shall soon be free. I shall be in the ways and the hosts of the merry. The
streets, the lamp, the lighted chamber set for dining are for me. The theatres, the halls,
the parties, the ways of rest and the paths of song—these are mine in the night." Though
all humanity be still enclosed in the shops, the thrill runs abroad. It is in the air. The
dullest feel something which they may not always express or describe. It is the lifting of
the burden of toil. ~ Theodore Dreiser,
263:Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.” And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted — nevermore! ~ Edgar Allan Poe,
264:The song I came to sing
remains unsung to this day.
I have spent my days in stringing
and in unstringing my instrument.

The time has not come true,
the words have not been rightly set;
only there is the agony
of wishing in my heart..

I have not seen his face,
nor have I listened to his voice;
only I have heard his gentle footsteps
from the road before my house..

But the lamp has not been lit
and I cannot ask him into my house;
I live in the hope of meeting with him;
but this meeting is not yet.

~ Rabindranath Tagore, Waiting
,
265:You are as the yellow leaf.
The messengers of death are at hand.
You are to travel far away.
What will you take with you?

You are the lamp
To lighten the way.
Then hurry, hurry.

When your light shines
Without impurity or desire
You will come into the boundless country.

Your life is falling away.
Death is at hand.
Where will you rest on the way?
What have you taken with you?

You are the lamp
To lighten the way.
Then hurry, hurry.

When your light shines purely
You will not be born
And you will not die. ~ Gautama Buddha,
266:You understand why you must go through with this marriage.”
“You say you couldn’t live with yourself if anything happened to Caspida. Yet you ask me to live with myself, knowing I sentenced you to this!” He holds up the lamp. “What’s the difference?”
I look away angrily. “The difference is that this is my choice, Aladdin.”
“Well, it’s a stupid choice!”
I stand up. “Promise me you’ll go through with it.”
He shuts his eyes.
“Promise me! Please!”
He opens his eyes then, and they are filled with pain. But he nods.
“I have to hear you say it.”
“I promise. ~ Jessica Khoury,
267:Prayer: Father God, I can’t thank You enough for all that You have given me. I have so much to be thankful for. My barns are overflowing, and grain is spilling out over the top. Thank You. Thank You. Amen.   Action: Take a risk and say “Thank You” in God’s presence.   Today’s Wisdom: For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to—a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song. —HELEN KELLER ~ Emilie Barnes,
268:823. Should you think of God only at the time of meditation and remain forgetful of Him at all other times? Have you not noticed how during Durga Puja a lamp is kept constantly burning near the image? It should never be allowed to go out. If ever it is extinguished, the house-holder meets with some mishap. Similarly, after installing the Deity on the lotus of your heart, you must keep the lamp of remembering Him ever burning. While engaged in the affairs of the world, you should constantly turn your gaze inwards and see whether the lamp is burning or not. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna,
269:You were the vessel of evil. The evil is poured out. It is done. It is buried in its own tomb. You were never made for cruelty and darkness; you were made to hold light, as a lamp burning holds and gives its light. I found the lamp unlit; I won't leave it on some desert island like a thing found and cast away. I'll take you to Havnor and say to the princes of Earthsea, 'Look! In the place of darkness I found the light, her spirit. By her an old evil was brought to nothing. By her I was brought out of the grave. By her the broken was made whole, and where there was hatred there will be peace. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
270:Weakness or strength: there you are, strength. You do not know where you are going, nor why you are going; enter anywhere, reply to anything. They will no more kill you than if you were a corpse.” In the morning I had a look so lost, a face so dead, that perhaps those whom I met did not see me.

In cities, suddenly, the mud seemed red and black like a mirror when the lamp moves about in the adjoining room, like a treasure in the forest! Good luck, I cried, and I saw a sea of flames and smoke in the sky; to the right, to the left all the riches of the world flaming like a billion thunder-bolts. ~ Arthur Rimbaud,
271:I looked at the door, at war with myself. On the one hand, I hated going anything Reth wanted me to. On the other hand, there was a mop with my name on it inside.
"Fine, but if you try anything-"
"Really, Evelyn,how I've missed your charming company."
Keeping a wary eye on the faerie, I followed hi, through the alley. We made our way down the lamp-lined street, his step so light it bordered on dancing. I felt like a graceless clod next to him. Then there was the aspect of his ethereal, near-angelic beauty compared to my..well, for the sake of my self-esteem, it was probably best not to compete. ~ Kiersten White,
272:The body is God, the body is the temple, the body is the worshiper, the body is the sacred shrine. The body is the incense, the lamp, the sacred offerings; it is the body I worship with broken petals. After searching all the world, it was in the body I found all the treasure of the world. Nothing is born, nothing dies -- such is Ram's light. What is contained in the universe is also contained in the body: whatever you seek, you shall find. Pipa says, He is Primal Matter; the true guru will show this. [2184.jpg] -- from Songs of the Saints from the Adi Granth, Translated by Nirmal Dass

~ Pipa, Raga Dhanashri
,
273:...May I have this damaged bunch for two cents? Speak strongly and it shall be yours for two cents. That is a saved penny that you put in the star bank...Suffer the cold for an hour. Put a shawl around you. Sai, I am cold because I am saving to buy land. That hour will save you three cents' worth of coal... When you are alone at night, do not light the lamp. Sit in the darkness and dream awhile. Reckon out how much oil you saved and put its value in pennies in the bank. The money will grow. Someday there will be fifty dollars and somewhere on this long island is a piece of land that you may buy for that money. ~ Betty Smith,
274:Tomorrow, Reader and Other Reader, if you are together, if you lie down in the same bed like a settled couple, each will turn on the lamp at the side of the bed and sink into his or her book; two parallel readings will accompany the approach of sleep; first you, then you will turn out the light; returning from separated universes, you will find each other fleetingly in the darkness, where all separations are erased, before divergent dreams draw you again, one to one side, and one to the other. But do not wax ironic on this prospect of conjugal harmony: what happier image of a couple could you set against it? ~ Italo Calvino,
275:Listen, Tenar. Heed me. You were the vessel of evil. The evil is poured out. It is done. It is buried in its own tomb. You were never made for cruelty and darkness; you were made to hold light, as a lamp burning holds and gives its light. I found the lamp unlit; I won’t leave it on some desert island like a thing found and cast away. I’ll take you to Havnor and say to the princes of Earthsea, ‘Look! In the place of darkness I found the light, her spirit. By her an old evil was brought to nothing. By her I was brought out of the grave. By her the broken was made whole, and where there was hatred there will be peace. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
276:1191
We Grow Accustomed To The Dark
We grow accustomed to the Dark When light is put away As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Goodbye A Moment - We uncertain step
For newness of the night Then - fit our Vision to the Dark And meet the Road - erect And so of larger - Darknesses Those Evenings of the Brain When not a Moon disclose a sign Or Star - come out - within The Bravest - grope a little And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead But as they learn to see Either the Darkness alters Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight And Life steps almost straight.
~ Emily Dickinson,
277:The lamp hummed:
'Regard the moon,
La lune ne garde aucune rancune,
She winks a feeble eye,
She smiles into corners.
She smoothes the hair of the grass.
The moon has lost her memory.
A washed-out smallpox cracks her face,
Her hand twists a paper rose,
That smells of dust and old Cologne,
She is alone
With all the old nocturnal smells
That cross and cross across her brain."
The reminiscence comes
Of sunless dry geraniums
And dust in crevices,
Smells of chestnuts in the streets,
And female smells in shuttered rooms,
And cigarettes in corridors
And cocktail smells in bars. ~ T S Eliot,
278:His first coming He was wrapped in swadding clothes. In His second coming He will be clothed royally in a robe dipped in blood. common people. In His second coming He will be accompanied by the massive armies of heaven. In His first coming the door of the inn was closed to Him. In His second coming the door of the heavens will be opened to Him. In His first coming His voice was the tiny cry of a baby. In His second coming His voice will thunder as the sound of many waters. In His first coming, He was the lamp of God who came bringing salvation. In His second coming, He will be the Lion of the tribe of Judah who comes bringing ~ David Jeremiah,
279:It does not stop with the negro…. So I say in relation to the principle that all men are created equal, let it be as nearly reached as we can…. Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man—this race and that race and the other race being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position…. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal…. I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.20 ~ Eric Foner,
280:I was waiting for you," said Gregory. "Might I have a moment's conversation?"

"Certainly. About what?" asked Syme in a sort of weak wonder.

Gregory struck out with his stick at the lamp-post, and then at the tree. "About this and this," he cried; "about order and anarchy. There is your precious order, that lean, iron lamp, ugly and barren; and there is anarchy, rich, living, reproducing itself--there is anarchy, splendid in green and gold."

"All the same," replied Syme patiently, "just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree. ~ G K Chesterton,
281:Lately, I usually write at the desk in my living-room or bedroom. From time to time, our red and stripy cat named Foxy decides to be my companion, poking his curious caramel-colored nose to the screen, watching me typing, and making attempts to put his paws on the keyboard despite the fact that he knows he is not allowed to; he also loves to arrange “sunbathing sessions for himself, purring joyfully while lying with his belly up under the lamp placed to the left of my computer; and, of course, the cat can’t wait for when I happen to have a snack, to beg for some treats that seem to him tastiest if eaten from a caring human’s hand. ~ Sahara Sanders,
282:Those very traumatic events in our lives give us a privileged opportunity to let God's love become concrete for us. What the psychoanaylyst strives to do by bringing traumatic experiences to consciousness often comes about much quicker and more completely by the action of the Holy Spirit. "The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his inermost parts" (Prov. 20:27) We can ask him to illuminate our past and lead us to those incidents that we have still not accepted wholeheartedly. We can save a lot of time if we go into analysis with the Holy Spirit...who is our true and ultimate therapist. Nothing is hidden from him. ~ Wilfrid Stinissen,
283:And when she finally dozed off, it wasn’t a cry that woke her, but the soft sound of a footstep.
“Psst. You awake, cher?”
Miranda fought her way up from sleep. “I am now.” Annoyance gave way to relief. She wondered why she wans’t more startled; it was almost as if she’d expected Etienne to show up. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Well, you musta been wishing for me, yeah?” he teased. “’Cause here I am.”
Switching on the lamp, Miranda solemnly patted the edge of the bed. “Sit down. We need to talk.”
“Awww, don’t be mad now. I just--”
“I know. You wanted to check on me. And I’m glad--I’m glad you came. ~ Richie Tankersley Cusick,
284:And indeed, what is better than to sit by one's fireside in the evening with a book, while the wind beats against the window and the lamp is burning? One thinks of nothing, the hours slip by. Motionless we traverse countries we fancy we see, and your thought, blending with the fiction, playing with the details, follows the outline of the adventures. It mingles with the characters, and it seems as if it were yourself palpitating beneath their costumes. Has it ever happened to you, to come across some vague idea of one's own in a book, some dim image that comes back to you from afar, and as the completest expression of your own slightest sentiment? ~ Gustave Flaubert,
285:The result would be random little lurches that would result in what is known as a random walk. The best way for us to envision this is to imagine a drunk who starts at a lamppost and lurches one step in a random direction every second. After two such lurches he may have gone back and forth to return to the lamp. Or he may be two steps away in the same direction. Or he may be one step west and one step northeast. A little mathematical plotting and charting reveals an interesting thing about such a random walk: statistically, the drunk’s distance from the lamp will be proportional to the square root of the number of seconds that have elapsed.35 Einstein ~ Walter Isaacson,
286:I have been reading Plotinus all evening. He has the power to sooth me; and I find his sadness curiously comforting. Even when he writes: “Life here with the things of earth is a sinking, a defeat, a failure of the wing.” The wing has indeed failed. One sinks. Defeat is certain. Even as I write these lines, the lamp wick sputters to an end, and the pool of light in which I sit contracts. Soon the room will be dark. One has always feared that death would be like this. But what else is there? With Julian, the light went, and now nothing remains but to let the darkness come, and hope for a new sun and another day, born of time’s mystery and a man’s love of life. ~ Gore Vidal,
287:The Lamp Of Life
Always we are following a light,
Always the light recedes; with groping hands
We stretch toward this glory, while the lands
We journey through are hidden from our sight
Dim and mysterious, folded deep in night,
We care not, all our utmost need demands
Is but the light, the light! So still it stands
Surely our own if we exert our might.
Fool! Never can'st thou grasp this fleeting gleam,
Its glowing flame would die if it were caught,
Its value is that it doth always seem
But just a little farther on. Distraught,
But lighted ever onward, we are brought
Upon our way unknowing, in a dream.
~ Amy Lowell,
288:We grow accustomed to the Dark —
When Light is put away —
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Good bye —

A Moment — We Uncertain step
For newness of the night —
Then — fit our Vision to the Dark —
And meet the Road — erect —

And so of larger — Darknesses —
Those Evenings of the Brain —
When not a Moon disclose a sign —
Or Star — come out — within —

The Bravest — grope a little —
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead —
But as they learn to see —

Either the Darkness alters —
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight —
And Life steps almost straight. ~ Emily Dickinson,
289:They paused at a table bearing a collection of magic lanterns, small embossed tin lamps with condensing lenses at the front. There was a slot for a hand-painted glass slide just behind the lens. When the lamp was lit, an image would be projected on a wall. Rohan insisted on buying one for Amelia, along with a packet of slides.
“But it’s a child’s toy,” she protested, holding the lantern by its wire handle. “What am I to do with it?”
“Indulge in pointless entertainment. Play. You should try it sometime.”
“Playing is for children, not adults.”
“Oh, Miss Hathaway,” he murmured, leading her away from the table. “The best kind of playing is for adults. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
290:So the Scouts went to work
setting up camp--
raising the tent,

filling the lamp,

building the fire,
getting it lit.

Jane took time
to explore a bit.

She collected some leaves.
She studied some seeds.
That’s when she heard
a voice in the weeds.

Chuckling and talking
to himself in there
was--you guessed it--
Papa Q. Bear!

“This trick will be fun,”
Papa Bear said
as he pulled the sheet
over his head.

“Hmm,” said Jane
as she tiptoed away.
“This is a game
that two can play!”

Then using twigs
and leaves as a base,
she started to make
what looked like…

A FACE! ~ Stan Berenstain,
291:It soon became apparent that the light of the lamp, though bestowing the doubtful privilege of a clearer view of Mr. Repetto's face, held certain disadvantages. Scarcely had the staff of Cosy Moments reached the faint yellow pool of light, in the centre of which Mr. Repetto reclined, than, with a suddenness which caused them to leap into the air, there sounded from the darkness down the road the crack-crack-crack of a revolver. Instantly from the opposite direction came other shots. Three bullets flicked grooves in the roadway almost at Billy's feet. The Kid gave a sudden howl. Psmith's hat, suddenly imbued with life, sprang into the air and vanished, whirling into the night. ~ P G Wodehouse,
292:English version by Nirmal Dass If You are a mountain, then I am a peacock. If You are the moon, then I am a partridge. O Madho, if You break from me, then I shall break with You. And if I break from You, to whom shall I then go? If You are the lamp, then I am the wick. If You are the shrine, then I am the pilgrim. My love for You is true and real. When I fell in love with You, I gave up my love for others. Wherever I go, there I seek to serve You. No other god can be a Master like You. By praising You, I cut Yama's noose. Yearning for love Ravi Dass loudly sings. [2184.jpg] -- from Songs of the Saints from the Adi Granth, Translated by Nirmal Dass

~ Ravidas, If You are a mountain
,
293:Small animals are a great problem. I wish God had never created small animals, or else that He had made them so they could talk, or else that He'd given them better faces. Space. Take moths. They fly at the lamp and burn themsleves, and then they fly right back again. It can't be instinct, because it isn't the way it works. They just don't understand, so they go right on doing it. Then they lie on their backs and all their legs quiver, and then they're dead. Did you get all that? Does it sound good?"
"Very good," Grandmother said.
Sophia stood up and shouted, "Say this: say I hate everything that dies slow! Say I hate everything that won't let you help! Did you write that? ~ Tove Jansson,
294:As I sat there in the uncomfortable silence, the first visual that crept into my mind was that dreadful scene in The Silence of the Lambs when Hannibal Lecter exposes Jodie Foster’s character, FBI agent Clarice Starling: “You’re so-o-o ambitious, aren’t you? You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well-scrubbed, hustling rube, with a little taste. Good nutrition’s given you some length of bone, but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling? And that accent you’ve tried so desperately to shed—pure West Virginia. What does your father do? Is he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamp? ~ Bren Brown,
295:The soul has need of a divine lamp, even of the Holy Ghost, who sets in order the darkened house. It needs the bright Sun of righteousness, which enlightens and rises upon the heart, as an instrument to win the battle. That woman who lost the piece of silver, first lighted the lamp, and then set the house in order, and thus, the house being set in order and the lamp lit, the piece of silver was found, buried in dirt and filth and earth. So now the soul cannot of itself find its own thoughts and disengage them; but when the divine lamp is lit, it lights up the darkened house, and then the soul beholds its thoughts how they lie buried in the filth and mire of sin. ~ Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou,
296:At home in Moscow everything was in its winter routine; the stoves were heated, and in the morning it was still dark when the children were having breakfast and getting ready for school, and the nurse would light the lamp for a short time. The frosts had begun already. When the first snow has fallen, on the first day of sledge-driving it is pleasant to see the white earth, the white roofs, to draw soft, delicious breath, and the season brings back the days of one's youth. The old limes and birches, white with hoar-frost, have a good-natured expression; they are nearer to one's heart than cypresses and palms, and near them one doesn't want to be thinking of the sea and the mountains. ~ Anton Chekhov,
297:A Note

Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on the sand,
rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain
from everything it's not;

to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes.

An extraordinary chance
to remember for a moment
a conversation held
with the lamp switched off;

and if only once
to stumble upon a stone,
end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;
and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;
and to keep on not knowing
something important. ~ Wis awa Szymborska,
298:It has made me better loving you... it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better. It’s just as when one has been trying to spell out a book in the twilight, and suddenly the lamp comes in. I had been putting out my eyes over the book of life, and finding nothing to reward me for my pains; but now that I can read it properly I see that it’s a delightful story. ~ Henry James,
299:Sleeping On A Night Of Autumn Rain
Cold cold 3rd autumn night
Peaceful leisure one old man
Lie late lamp go out after
Sleep beautiful rain sound in
Ash long warm bottle fire
Fragrance increase warm quilt cover
Sawn clear cold not rise
Frost leaf full level red
It's cold this night in autumn's third month,
Peacefully within, a lone old man.
He lies down late, the lamp already gone out,
And beautifully sleeps amid the sound of rain.
The ash inside the vessel still warm from the fire,
Its fragrance increases the warmth of quilt and covers.
When dawn comes, clear and cold, he does not rise,
The red frosted leaves cover the steps.
~ Bai Juyi,
300:Now I saw his lifeless sate. And that there was no longer any difference between what once had been my father and the table he was lying on, or the floor on which the table stood, or the wall socket beneath the window, or the cable running to the lamp beside him. For humans are merely one form among many, which the world produces over and over again, not only in everything that lives but also in everything that does not live, drawn in sand, stone, and water. And death, which I have always regarded as the greatest dimension of life, dark, compelling, was no more than a pipe that springs a leak, a branch that cracks in the wind, a jacket that slips off a clothes hanger and falls to the floor. ~ Karl Ove Knausg rd,
301:Now I saw his lifeless state. And that there was no longer any difference between what once had been my father and the table he was lying on, or the floor on which the table stood, or the wall socket beneath the window, or the cable running to the lamp beside him. For humans are merely one form among many, which the world produces over and over again, not only in everything that lives but also in everything that does not live, drawn in sand, stone, and water. And death, which I have always regarded as the greatest dimension of life, dark, compelling, was no more than a pipe that springs a leak, a branch that cracks in the wind, a jacket that slips off a clothes hanger and falls to the floor. ~ Karl Ove Knausg rd,
302:The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day.

I have spent my days in stringing and in unstringing my instrument.

The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set;
only there is the agony of wishing in my heart.

The blossom has not opened; only the wind is sighing by.

I have not seen his face, nor have I listened to his voice;
only I have heard his gentle footsteps from the road before my house.

The livelong day has passed in spreading his seat on the floor;
but the lamp has not been lit and I cannot ask him into my house.

I live in the hope of meeting with him; but this meeting is not yet.

~ Rabindranath Tagore, Song Unsung
,
303:the time I got back to my room, I had thoroughly envisioned every wretched scenario imaginable . . . only to find a new, neatly folded tunic lying on the lid of my trunk. Beside the tunic, there was a broad crimson leather belt that cinched tight with fine bronze buckles, and a pair of red-dyed leather sandals that laced all the way up to the knee. There was also a lamp—a fine new oil lamp to replace the dim little lump of tallow candle that sat in a clay dish on my windowsill. I remembered the lamp the Lanista had lowered into the grave of the gladiatrix Ismene, and a shiver ran up my spine. I had been chosen to swear the oath. The lamp would light my cell until the day I won my freedom. Or died. ~ Lesley Livingston,
304:The Beautiful American Word, Sure
The beautiful American word, Sure,
As I have come into a room, and touch
The lamp's button, and the light blooms with such
Certainty where the darkness loomed before,
As I care for what I do not know, and care
Knowing for little she might not have been,
And for how little she would be unseen,
The intercourse of lives miraculous and dear.
Where the light is, and each thing clear,
separate from all others, standing in its place,
I drink the time and touch whatever's near,
And hope for day when the whole world has that face:
For what assures her present every year?
In dark accidents the mind's sufficient grace.
~ Delmore Schwartz,
305:Sonnet Xxxv: The Lamp's Shrine
Sometimes I fain would find in thee some fault,
That I might love thee still in spite of it:
Yet how should our Lord Love curtail one whit
Thy perfect praise whom most he would exalt?
Alas! he can but make my heart's low vault
Even in men's sight unworthier, being lit
By thee, who thereby show'st more exquisite
Like fiery chrysoprase in deep basalt.
Yet will I nowise shrink; but at Love's shrine
Myself within the beams his brow doth dart
Will set the flashing jewel of thy heart
In that dull chamber where it deigns to shine:
For lo! in honour of thine excellencies
My heart takes pride to show how poor it is.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
306:THE TREE OF LIFE

The sun is rising,
And the ether dance at the first sight of his light,
As he ascends like a phoenix from the ashes of morality,
His luminous rays form the magnificent tree of life.
He springs up from the east,
Spreading his long arms like branches,
Over the horizons of milky meadows and open seas,
Extending his wings to embrace all living things.
He walks on water and grazes through fields,
Pouring his butter like honey to feed the Earth.
Towering over all of creation,
He who is the lamp of the universe,
The power source of all life.
And in his truth and light,
Everything becomes aroused
Like a flower,
And everything is given
Sight. ~ Suzy Kassem,
307:Today each of you is the object of the other's reading, each reads in the other the unwritten story. Tomorrow, Reader and Other Reader, if you are together, if you lie down in the same bed like a settled couple, each will turn on the lamp at the side of the bed and sink into his or her book; two parallel readings will accompany the approach of sleep; first you, then you will turn out the light; returning from separated universes, you will find each other fleetingly in the darkness, where all separations are erased, before divergent dreams draw you again, one to one side, and one to the other. But do not wax ironic on this prospect of conjugal harmony: what happier image of a couple could you set against it? ~ Italo Calvino,
308:This is a powder that when applied to the air causes ghosts to become visible,” Henry said.

Magnus tilted the jar of shining grains up to the lamp admiringly, and when Henry beamed in an
encouraging fashion, Magnus removed the cork.
“It seems very fine to me,” he said, and on a whim he poured it upon his hand. It coated his brown skin, gloving one hand in shimmering luminescence. “And in addition to its practical uses, it would seem to work for cosmetic purposes. This powder would make my very skin glimmer for eternity.”
Henry frowned. “Not eternity,” he said, but then he brightened. “But I could make you up another batch whenever you please!”
“I could shine at will!” Magnus grinned at Henry ~ Cassandra Clare,
309:Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. ~ Anonymous,
310:Returning To Brussels
Upon a Flemish road, when noon was deep,
I passed a little consecrated shrine,
Where, among simple pictures ranged in line,
The blessed Mary holds her child asleep.
To kneel here, shepherd-maidens leave their sheep
When they feel grave because of the sunshine,
And again kneel here in the day's decline;
And here, when their life ails them, come to weep.
Night being full, I passed on the same road
By the same shrine; within, a lamp was lit
Which through the silence of clear darkness glowed.
Thus, when life's heat is past and doubts arise
Darkling, the lamp of Faith must strengthen it,
Which sometimes will not light and sometimes dies.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
311:The door opened. A guy came in. Busy, bustling, sixty-something, medium size, a gray suit, a tight waistband, a warm and friendly face. Pink and round. Lots of energy, and the start of a smile. A guy who got things done, with a lot of charm. Like a salesman. Something complicated. Like a financial instrument, or a Rolls-Royce automobile. “I’m sorry,” the guy said. To Sinclair only. “I didn’t know you had company.” American. An old-time Yankee accent. No one spoke. Then Sinclair said, “Excuse me. Sergeant Frances Neagley and Major Jack Reacher, U.S. Army, meet Mr. Rob Bishop, CIA head of station at the Hamburg consulate.” “I just did a drive-by,” Bishop said. “On the parallel street. The kid’s bedroom. The lamp has moved in the window. ~ Lee Child,
312:She gathered her quilt around her body and went inside, made her way gingerly around furniture to the living room, and curled up in a chair in a dark corner, flipped on the lamp beside her and jumped two feet straight up. Roxie was sitting in a rocking chair not two feet away. Pink sponge curlers covered her head. She wore some kind of whitish-green mask on her face. Her yellow satin caftan had splashes of red flowers the size of dinner plates all over it. One yellow satin slipper with marabou trip and two-inch heels dangled from the end of her right foot, which was slung over the leg of the chair. “So do we get two shovels and bury him, or did he have some kind of tale to tell that kept his heart beating a while longer?” Roxie asked. ~ Carolyn Brown,
313:One thing had always confused Quentin about the magic he read about in books: it never seemed especially hard to do. There were lots of furrowed brows and thick books and long white beards and whatnot, but when it came right down to it, you memorized the incantation—or you just read it off the page, if that was too much trouble—you collected the herbs, waved the wand, rubbed the lamp, mixed the potion, said the words—and just like that the forces of the beyond did your bidding. It was like making salad dressing or driving stick or assembling Ikea furniture—just another skill you could learn. It took some time and effort, but compared to doing calculus, say, or playing the oboe—well, there really was no comparison. Any idiot could do magic. ~ Lev Grossman,
314:The luminosity below me seemed confined directly to the area to be lighted; there was no diffusion of light upward or beyond the limits the lamps were designed to light. This was effected, I was told, by lamps designed upon principles resulting from ages of investigation of the properties of light waves and the laws governing them which permit Barsoomian scientists to confine and control light as we confine and control matter. The light waves leave the lamp, pass along a prescribed circuit and return to the lamp. There is no waste nor, strange this seemed to me, are there any dense shadows when lights are properly installed and adjusted, for the waves in passing around objects to return to the lamp, illuminate all sides of them. The ~ Edgar Rice Burroughs,
315:The Spook
Last night I dreamed that I was come again
Unto the house where my beloved dwells
After long years of wandering and pain.
And I stood out beneath the drenching rain
And all the street was bare, and black with night,
But in my true love's house was warmth and light.
Yet I could not draw near nor enter in,
And long I wondered if some secret sin
Or old, unhappy anger held me fast;
Till suddenly it came into my head
That I was killed long since and lying deadOnly a homeless wraith that way had passed.
So thus I found my true love's house again
And stood unseen amid the winter night
And the lamp burned within, a rosy light,
And the wet street was shining in the rain.
~ Clive Staples Lewis,
316:Mrs. Fisher, her hands folded on her lap, was doing nothing, merely gazing fixedly into the fire. The lamp was arranged conveniently for reading, but she was not reading. Her great dead friends did not seem worth reading that night. They always said the same things now—over and over again they said the same things, and nothing new was to be got out of them any more for ever. No doubt they were greater than any one was now, but they had this immense disadvantage, that they were dead. Nothing further was to be expected of them; while of the living, what might one not still expect? She craved for the living, the developing—the crystallized and finished wearied her. She was thinking that if only she had had a son—a son like Mr. Briggs, a dear ~ Elizabeth von Arnim,
317:Let’s get some sleep,” he whispered. “Before dawn we’ll see what we can gather up.”
His eyes rested on her forehead, on the new bruises and gashes from the Juggernaut blast.
“You look awful,” he said.
Camille narrowed her eyes to slits. She grabbed the lamp from his hands. “Thank you very much.”
“I didn’t mean it like that,” he said, following her as she climbed the narrow stairwell.
“You look just as whipped,” she said over her shoulder. Camille already felt like a load of dung-her head throbbed, her limbs ached, and the rope marks around her wrists burned. She didn’t need to be told she looked dreadful, too.
“The bruises, Camille. Your injuries look awful, not you,” he said. She walked down the hallway in self-conscious silence. ~ Angie Frazier,
318:At evening when the lamp is lit,
The tired Human People sit
And doze, or turn with solemn looks
The speckled pages of their books.

Then I, the Dangerous Kitten, prowl
And in the Shadows softly growl,
And roam about the farthest floor
Where Kitten never trod before.

And, crouching in the jungle damp,
I watch the Human Hunter’s camp,
Ready to spring with fearful roar
As soon as I shall hear them snore.

And then with stealthy tread I crawl
Into the dark and trackless hall,
Where 'neath the Hat-tree's shadows deep
Umbrellas fold their wings and sleep.

A cuckoo calls — and to their dens
The People climb like frightened hens,
And I'm alone — and no one cares
In Darkest Africa — downstairs. ~ Oliver Herford,
319:Amelia, if we have children … will you mind that they’re part Roma?”
“Not if you don’t mind that they’re part Hathaway.”
He made a sound of amusement and finished undressing. “And I thought life on the road would be a challenge. You know, it would terrify a lesser man, trying to manage your family.”
“You’re right. I can’t imagine why you’re willing to take us on.”
He gave her naked body a frankly lascivious glance as he joined her beneath the covers. “Believe me, the compensations are well worth it.”
“What about your freedom?” Amelia asked, snuggling close as he lay beside her. “Are you sorry to have lost it?”
“No, love.” Cam reached to turn down the lamp, enfolding them in velvet darkness. “I’ve finally found it. Right here, with you. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
320:He just stared into the flames. 2 A happy man has no past, while an unhappy man has nothing else. In his old age Dorrigo Evans never knew if he had read this or had himself made it up. Made up, mixed up, and broken down. Relentlessly broken down. Rock to gravel to dust to mud to rock and so the world goes, as his mother used to say when he demanded reasons or explanation as to how the world got to be this way or that. The world is, she would say. It just is, boy. He had been trying to wrest the rock free from an outcrop to build a fort for a game he was playing when another, larger rock dropped onto his thumb, causing a large and throbbing blood blister beneath the nail. His mother swung Dorrigo up onto the kitchen table where the lamp light fell strongest ~ Richard Flanagan,
321:Hello,' he said, his voice and smile pleasant.
'You can't touch me!' I sat up and pulled the covers over myself.
'Yes about that. You need to negate the command.'
'Excuse me?'
He looked at me patiently, like he was explaining something to a stubborn child. 'You need to break that command.'
'And why on earth would I ever want to do that?' I glared at him. Lunatic.
'Because I wasn't finished.'
'Oh, no, I really think that you were.' I held up my wrist. It still bore the scarlet mark of his hand and, to my eyes at least, was bright against the light of the lamp. Then, since I was holding up my hand anyway, I flipped him off.
'You're going to need more.'
'Well, that's easy.' I held up my other hand and flipped him off with that one, too. ~ Kiersten White,
322:Why do you care what happens to her? I thought we humans were vapors to you, here today and gone tomorrow.”
“Caspida is . . . different. She reminds me of someone, someone I’d give my life for if I could.”
“The queen?” he asks. “The one who died?”
“Roshana. My dear Ro.” My voice is soft as a ripple on the water. “She once ruled the Amulens, and Caspida is her descendant. She has Roshana’s strength of spirit, and I cannot look at her without thinking of my old friend. If she were to come to harm on my account . . . I could not bear that through the centuries.” I already carry a mountain of shame, a constant reminder of that day on Mount Tissia.
Aladdin lifts a hand and brushes the hair back from my face. “You truly are remarkable, Zahra of the Lamp. ~ Jessica Khoury,
323:Aureliano Segundo was deep in the reading of a book. Although it had no cover and the title did not appear anywhere, the boy enjoyed the story of a woman who sat at a table and ate nothing but kernels of rice, which she picked up with a pin, and the story of the fisherman who borrowed a weight for his net from a neighbor and when he gave him a fish in payment later it had a diamond in its stomach, and the one about the lamp that fulfilled wishes and about flying carpets. Surprised, he asked Ursula if all that was true and she answered him that it was, that many years ago the gypsies had brought magic lamps and flying mats to Macondo.
"What's happening," she sighed, "is that the world is slowly coming to an end and those things don't come here any more. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
324:He noticed her eyes especially were beautiful, well-shaped and of an odd color. “I’ve never seen anybody with eyes the color of yours,” he said. “They are from my mother, I guess. Almost everyone in Jericho has dark eyes, but my mother was a slave. She used to tell me about her home where she was born. There was ice and snow there. Very cold. Her hair was light and her eyes were blue. She died some time ago.” Othniel could not help but admire the woman’s appearance. The lamp was burning, and the yellow light was kind to her, showing the full, soft lines of her body. He noticed also that her face was very expressive. Her feelings showed immediately on her face. She did not smile much, but when she did her whole expression lit up. He wanted to ask her about herself, ~ Gilbert Morris,
325:I’m nothing, nothing but a pile of furs, nothing important. You don’t see me. You don’t see anything. “Jitan!” He shouts to his men. “Imir!” The swift footsteps of two men approach, and a moment later, lamplight chases away the darkness beneath the cart. Shikaat rips the fur free, and I find myself staring into his triumphant face. Except his triumph turns to bewilderment almost immediately. He gazes at the fur and then back at me. He holds up the lamp, illuminating me clearly. But he doesn’t look at me. Almost as if he can’t see me. As if I’m invisible. Which is impossible. The second I think it, he blinks and grabs me. “You disappeared,” he whispers. “And now you’re here. Did you magick me?” He shakes me hard, rattling my teeth in my head. “How did you do it?” “Piss ~ Sabaa Tahir,
326:It all matters. That someone turns out the lamp, picks up the windblown wrapper, says hello to the invalid, pays at the unattended lot, listens to the repeated tale, folds the abandoned laundry, plays the game fairly, tells the story honestly, acknowledges help, gives credit, says good night, resists temptation, wipes the counter, waits at the yellow, makes the bed, tips the maid, remembers the illness, congratulates the victor, accepts the consequences, takes a stand, steps up, offers a hand, goes first, goes last, chooses the small portion, teaches the child, tends to the dying, comforts the grieving, removes the splinter, wipes the tear, directs the lost, touches the lonely, is the whole thing. What is most beautiful is least acknowledged. What is worth dying for is barely noticed. ~ Laura McBride,
327:The Glow-Worm To Her Love
BENEATH cool ferns, in dewy grass,
Among the leaves that fringe the stream,
I hear the feet of lovers pass,
--I hide all day, and dream.
But when the night, with wide soft wings,
Droops on the trembling waiting wood,
And lulls the restless woodland things
Within its solitude,
Ah, then my soft green lamp I light,
That thou may'st find me by its fire-Come, crown me, O my winged delight
My darling, my desire.
Yet they who praise the lamp I bear
Have never a word of praise for thee,
My love, my life, my King of Air,
Who lightest the lamp in me.
Thine, thine should be the praise they give
My King, who art all praise above,
Since but for thee I dream and live,
And light the lamp of love.
~ Edith Nesbit,
328:i am dead but i know the dead are not like this."

the dead can sleep
they don’t get up and rage
they don’t have a wife.

her white face
like a flower in a closed window lifts up and
looks at me.

the curtain smokes a cigarette
and a moth dies in a
freeway cash
as I examine the shadows of my
hands.

an owl, the size of a baby clock
rings for me, come on come on
it says as Jerusalem is hustled
down crotch-stained halls.

the 5 a.m. grass is nasal now
in hums of battleships and valleys
in the raped light that brings on
the fascist birds.

I put out the lamp and get in bed
beside her, she thinks I’m there
mumbles a rosy gratitude
as I stretch my legs
to coffin length
get in and swim away
from frogs and fortunes. ~ Charles Bukowski,
329:If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger--

If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early--

If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless--

If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won't understand what Bastian did next. ~ Michael Ende,
330:Where perfumed rivers flow,
Is the home of my beloved.
Where passing breezes halt,
Is the home of my beloved.

Where dawn arrives on bare toes,
Where night paints henna-beams on feet,
Where fragrance bathes in moonlight,
Is the home of my beloved.

Where rays of light roam nakedly,
In green forests of sandalwood.
Where the flame seeks the lamp,
Is the home of my beloved.

Where sunsets sleep on wide waters,
And the deer leap.
Where tears fall for no reason,
Is the home of my beloved.

Where the farmer sleeps hungry,
Even though the wheat is the color of my beloved,
Where the wealthy ones lie in hiding,
Is the home of my beloved.

Where perfumed rivers flow,
Is the home of my beloved.
Where passing breezes halt,
Is the home of my beloved. ~ Shiv Kumar Batalvi,
331:An old chinaman - he must have been sixty - shuffled by me hastily with a hop layout and spread it out in a nearby bunk. He was shaking with the yen-yen, the hop habit. His withered, claw-like hands trembled as he feverishly rolled the first pill, a large one. His burning eyes devoured it. Half-cooked, he stuck the pill in its place, and turning his pipe to the lamp, greedily sucked the smoke into his lungs. Now, with a long grateful exhalation, the smoke is discharged. The cramped limbs relax and straighten out. The smoker heaves a sigh of satisfaction, and the hands, no longer shaking, turn with surer touch to another pill. This is smaller, rolled and shaped with more care, better cooked and inhaled with a long, slaw draw. Each succeeding pill is smaller, more carefully browned over the lamp and smoked with increasing pleasure. ~ Jack Black,
332:The Penitent
I had a little Sorrow,
Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
And shut us all within;
And, "Little Sorrow, weep," said I,
"And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
And think how bad I've been!"
Alas for pious planning—
It mattered not a whit!
As far as gloom went in that room,
The lamp might have been lit!
My little Sorrow would not weep,
My little Sin would go to sleep—
To save my soul I could not keep
My graceless mind on it!
So I got up in anger,
And took a book I had,
And put a ribbon on my hair
To please a passing lad,
And, "One thing there's no getting by—
I've been a wicked girl," said I:
"But if I can't be sorry, why,
I might as well be glad!"
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay,
333:I won’t force the rest of it on you tonight.” Her voice sounded strange and thick to her own ears. “You . . . you needn’t stop. As I told you—” “Yes, you want to have done with it,” Harry said sardonically. “So you’ll have nothing left to dread.” Releasing her, he rolled away and stood, adjusting the front of his trousers with casual unconcern. Poppy’s face flamed. “But I’ve decided to let you dread it a bit longer. Just remember that if you have any idea about requesting an annulment, I’ll have you on your back and divested of your virginity before you can blink.” He drew the covers over her and paused. “Tell me, Poppy . . . Did you think of him at all just now? Was his face, his name in your mind while I was touching you?” Poppy shook her head, refusing to look at him. “That’s a start,” he said softly. He extinguished the lamp and left. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
334:The Patient's Sweater
A life of its own and a long one is led
By this penguin, with nothing to do with the breastThe wingless pullover, the patient's old vest;
Now pass it some warmth, move the lamp to the bed.
It dreams of the skiing; in darkness it poured
From shaftbows, from harness, from bodies; it seemed
That Christmas itself also sweated and snored;
The walking, the riding-all squeaked and all steamed.
A homestead, and horror and bareness beside,
Cut-glass in the sideboards, and carpets and chests;
The house was inflamed; this attracted the fence;
The lights swam in pleurisy, seen from outside.
Consumed by the sky, bloated shrubs on the way
Were white as a scare and had ice in their looks.
The blaze from the kitchen laid down by the sleigh
On the snow the enormous hands of the cooks.
~ Boris Pasternak,
335:Vimes, listening with his mouth open, wondered why the hell it was that dwarfs believed that they had no religion and no priests. Being a dwarf was a religion. People went into the dark for the good of the clan, and heard things, and were changed, and came back to tell…
And then, fifty years ago, a dwarf tinkering in Ankh-Morpork had found that if you put a simple fine mesh over your lantern flame it'd burn blue in the presence of the gas but wouldn't explode. It was a discovery of immense value to the good of dwarfkind and, as so often happens with such discoveries, almost immediately led to a war.
"And afterwards there were two kinds of dwarf," said Cheery sadly. "There's the Copperheads, who all use the lamp and the patent gas exploder, and the Schmaltzbergers, who stick to the old ways. Of course we're all dwarfs," she said, "but relations are strained. ~ Terry Pratchett,
336:Night fell, and her husband came to bed, and as soon as they had finished kissing and embracing each other, he fell fast asleep. Psyche was not naturally either very strong or very brave, but the cruel power of fate made a virago of her. Holding the carving knife in a murderous grip, she uncovered the lamp and let its light shine on the bed.

At once the secret was revealed. There lay the gentlest and sweetest of all wild creatures, Cupid himself, the beautiful Love-god, and at sight of him the flame of the lamp spurted joyfully up and the knife turned its edge for shame.

Psyche was terrified. She lost all control of her senses, and pale as death, fell trembling to her knees, where she desperately tried to hide the knife by plunging it in her own heart. She would have succeeded, too, had the knife not shrunk from the crime and twisted itself out of her hand. ~ Apuleius,
337:WHEN I go alone at night to my love-tryst, birds do not sing, the wind does not stir, the houses on both sides of the street stand silent.
      It is my own anklets that grow loud at every step and I am ashamed.
    
      When I sit on my balcony and listen for his footsteps, leaves do not rustle on the trees, and the water is still in the river like the sword on the knees of a sentry fallen asleep.
      It is my own heart that beats wildly -- I do not know how to quiet it.
    
      When my love comes and sits by my side, when my body trembles and my eyelids droop, the night darkens, the wind blows out the lamp, and the clouds draw veils over the stars.
      It is the jewel at my own breast that shines and gives light. I do not know how to hide it.


~ Rabindranath Tagore, When I Go Alone At Night
,
338:The World's Age
Who will say the world is dying?
Who will say our prime is past?
Sparks from Heaven, within us lying,
Flash, and will flash till the last.
Fools! who fancy Christ mistaken;
Man a tool to buy and sell;
Earth a failure, God-forsaken,
Anteroom of Hell.
Still the race of Hero-spirits
Pass the lamp from hand to hand;
Age from age the Words inherits'Wife, and Child, and Fatherland.'
Still the youthful hunter gathers
Fiery joy from wold and wood;
He will dare as dared his fathers
Give him cause as good.
While a slave bewails his fetters;
While an orphan pleads in vain;
While an infant lisps his letters,
Heir of all the age's gain;
While a lip grows ripe for kissing;
While a moan from man is wrung;
Know, by every want and blessing,
That the world is young.
1849
~ Charles Kingsley,
339:Since Nine O'Clock
Half past twelve. Time has gone by quickly
since nine o'clock when I lit the lamp
and sat down here. I've been sitting without reading,
without speaking. Completely alone in the house,
whom could I talk to?
Since nine o'clock when I lit the lamp
the shade of my young body
has come to haunt me, to remind me
of shut scented rooms,
of past sensual pleasure - what daring pleasure.
And it's also brought back to me
streets now unrecognizable,
bustling night clubs now closed,
theatres and cafes no longer here.
The shade of my young body
also brought back the things that make us sad:
family grief, separations,
the feelings of my own people, feelings
of the dead so little acknowledged.
Half past twelve. How the time has gone by.
Half past twelve. How the years have gone by.
~ Constantine P. Cavafy,
340:The room had been picked and stripped till only the bare walls and floor remained. Here where they had been married, where the wedding supper had taken place, where Trina had bade farewell to her father and mother, here where she had spent those first few hard months of her married life, where afterward she had grown to be happy and contented, where she had passed the long hours of the afternoon at her work of whittling, and where she and her husband had spent so many evenings looking out of the window before the lamp was lit—here in what had been her home, nothing was left but echoes and the emptiness of complete desolation. Only one thing remained. On the wall between the windows, in its oval glass frame, preserved by some unknown and fearful process, a melancholy relic of a vanished happiness, unsold, neglected, and forgotten, a thing that nobody wanted, hung Trina’s wedding bouquet. ~ Frank Norris,
341:Finding the Father

My friend, this body offers to carry us for nothing– as the ocean carries logs. So on some days the body wails with its great energy; it smashes up the boulders, lifting small crabs, that flow around the sides.

Someone knocks on the door. We do not have time to dress. He wants us to go with him through the blowing and rainy streets, to the dark house.

We will go there, the body says, and there find the father whom we have never met, who wandered out in a snowstorm the night we were born, and who then lost his memory, and has lived since longing for his child, whom he saw only once… while he worked as a shoemaker, as a cattle herder in Australia, as a restaurant cook who painted at night.

When you light the lamp you will see him. He sits there behind the door… the eyebrows so heavy, the forehead so light… lonely in his whole body, waiting for you. ~ Robert Bly,
342:Autumn
The leaves are falling one by one,
The Summer days are past and gone,
The nights are cool and damp;
The little children think it strange
At tea-time, for they note the change,
We have to light the lamp;
To roost the chickens earlier go,
And everything has ceased to grow.
The pumpkins now are big and round,
And turning yellow on the ground,
The leaves are drifting down;
The farm seems bigger than before,
'T is stripped of all its wondrous store;
Only the russets brown
Still linger on the trees, and they
Will soon be picked and packed away.
The cellar's stored with rare delights
To while away the winter nights;
The squeaking cider mill
Is gushing forth its nectar rare,
A drink that all the gods call fair;
And O, the world is still;
A hush has settled over all,
The Summer's gone and it is Fall.
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
343:When I go alone at night to my
love-tryst, birds do not sing, the wind
does not stir, the houses on both sides
of the street stand silent.
  It is my own anklets that grow loud
at every step and I am ashamed.
  When I sit on my balcony and listen
for his footsteps, leaves do not rustle
on the trees, and the water is still in
the river like the sword on the knees
of a sentry fallen asleep.
  It is my own heart that beats wildly
I do not know how to quiet it.
  When my love comes and sits by
my side, when my body trembles and
my eyelids droop, the night darkens,
the wind blows out the lamp, and the
clouds draw veils over the stars.
  It is the jewel at my own breast
that shines and gives light. I do not
know how to hide it.
(This short poem is an excerpt from 'The Gardener' by Tagore)

~ Rabindranath Tagore, The Gardener IX - When I Go Alone At Night
,
344:Light, oh where is the light?
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!

There is the lamp but never a flicker of a flame-is such thy fate, my heart?
Ah, death were better by far for thee!

Misery knocks at thy door,
and her message is that thy lord is wakeful,
and he calls thee to the love-tryst through the darkness of night.

The sky is overcast with clouds and the rain is ceaseless.
I know not what this is that stirs in me-I know not its meaning.

A moment's flash of lightning drags down a deeper gloom on my sight,
and my heart gropes for the path to where the music of the night calls me.

Light, oh where is the light!
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!
It thunders and the wind rushes screaming through the void.
The night is black as a black stone.
Let not the hours pass by in the dark.
Kindle the lamp of love with thy life.

~ Rabindranath Tagore, Lamp Of Love
,
345:English version by V. K. Sethi I am infused in the Lord's hue, O friend. Pray, get my garment dyed in five colours so I may go and play in the arbour. within the alcove I will meet my Master; Shedding all falsity, I'll sing in joy. The sun will perish, so too the moon; Earth and sky will exist no more. Air and water will also go; The Eternal alone will there be. Of surat and nirat make the lamp, And let thy longing be the wick. In this lamp pour the oil from love's mart; Day and night it will keep burning bright. They write letters whose spouses are afar. My Beloved resides in my heart; I need go nowhere to search for Him. I live not with my parents, Nor with my in-laws. Ever do I live in the Word My Master blessed me with. Not mine nor thine is this house, O friend; Mira lives absorbed in the Lord's hue. [2594.jpg] -- from Mira: The Divine Lover (Mystics of the East Series), Translated by V. K. Sethi

~ Mirabai, The Five-Coloured Garment
,
346:A: Absorbed in our discussion of immortality, we had let night fall without lighting the lamp, and we couldn't see each other's faces. With an offhandedness or gentleness more convincing than passion would have been, Macedonio Fernandez' voice said once more that the soul is immortal. He assured me that the death of the body is altogether insignificant, and that dying has to be the most unimportant thing that can happen to a man. I was playing with Macedonio's pocketknife, opening and closing it. A nearby accordion was infinitely dispatching La Comparsita, that dismaying trifle that so many people like because it's been misrepresented to them as being old... I suggested to Macedonio that we kill ourselves, so we might have our discussion without all that racket.
Z: (mockingly) But I suspect that at the last moment you reconsidered.
A: (now deep in mysticism) Quite frankly, I don't remember whether we committed suicide that night or not. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
347:There are always a few bored audience members at an opera, especially by the time act four comes along. Those particular eyes would be wandering around the hall, searching for something, anything, interesting to watch. Those eyes would land on the little demon downstage right, unless they were distracted.
Right on cue, a large stage lamp broke free of its clamp in the rigging and swung on its cable into the back canvas. [...]
On his way though the lobby minutes later, Artemis was highly amuse to overhear several audience members gushing over the unorthodox direction of the opera's final scene. The exploding lamp, muse one buff, was doubtless a metaphor for Norma's own falling star. But no, argued a second. The lamp was obviously a modernistic interpretation of the burning stake that Norma was about to face.
Or perhaps, thought Artemis as he pushed through the crowd to find a light Sicilian mist falling on his forehead, the exploding lamp was simply an exploding lamp. ~ Eoin Colfer,
348:After picking up the lamp, she went to Joyce, who was clutching her injured shoulder. I should leave you here, she thought. She was unaware she had said the words aloud until Joyce replied.
"You can't let me die!"
"You're not going to die." Disgusted, terrified, Sara removed her own petticoat, wadded it up, and pressed it firmly against the wound to staunch the blood. Joyce screamed like an enraged cat, her eyes slitted and demonic. Sara's ears rang from the piercing cry.
"Be quiet, you bitch!" Sara snapped. "Not another sound!" Suddenly her entire body was filled with furious energy. She felt strong enough to push down a stone wall with her bare hands. She went to the crumbling entrance of the castle and saw that the hack driver was still waiting, craning his neck curiously. "You!" she shouted. "Come here right away, or you won't get a bloody shilling of what she promised!" She turned back to Joyce, her blue eyes blazing. "And you... give me back my necklace. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
349:Naked Thoughts
My love provides this desert with
Your lovely hair's luxuriant shade.
Time and gain your memory
Knocks wildly at the door of my heart.
Who would for ages live alone? It's not with that wish we were born.
When the wind had idle sport with the lamp,
Trembling seized the lights of heaven.
Being helpless, for the mind lives close,
The heart put a lid on its agony.
Hate never will know softened lips;
Love is blest with streams of tears.
Old goblets are too small for thought I wish some better form were found,
Else I might sell, not sing love's yearnings,
And follow only in others' wake.
Who says man can't be found here now?
Then what are these? Only ghosts?
The brocade of words is not to be had,
And naked thoughts just waste away.
The dog wears a collar of gold O how your barking thrills my heart!
In this city of sad decay
Even a fluttering heart is a treasure.
[Translated from the Kashmiri by Trilokinath Raina]
~ Amin Kamil,
350:My despair liked a sunny day, windless, a day warmer than it should be, a day that would bring delight to most other people. It would hang in this air and then creep inside me so I felt a bit off, as if infected by a virus, but was not quite sure what was wrong until it had settled in for good and it was too late to fight it back. Soon, my vision would be warped, my head and thighs heavy, my gait lumbering. It kept both fatigue and rest at bay, so I’d wander through day and night as if sleepwalking through water. And I would wander. Around and around the house I’d go, trying to find something to hold my attention, something that felt important and necessary to do. I’d pick up the broom, the rake, the checkbook, the telephone, the pen, but the vapor had penetrated everything, rendering each object weightless and irrelevant. The lamp, the tea kettle, the books on the shelf, the notes I’d written to myself and stuck on the wall: all had been compressed from 3-D to 2-D, like flimsy cartoon versions of themselves. ~ Frances Lefkowitz,
351:Asphalt
Light your cigarette, then, in this shadow,
And talk to her, your arm engaged with hers.
Heavily over your heads the eaten maple
In the dead air of August strains and stirs.
Her stone-white face, in the lamp-light, turns toward you;
Darkly, with time-dark eyes, she questions you
Whether this universe is what she thinks it—
Simple and passionate and profound and true—
Or whether, as with a sound of dim disaster,
A plaintive music brought to a huddled fall,
Some ancient treachery slides through the heart of things—
The last star falling, seen from the utmost wall…
And you—what sinister, far, reserves of laughter,
What understandings, remote, perplexed, remain
Unguessed forever by her who is your victim—
Victim, of whom you too are victim again?
…Come! let us dance once more on the ancient asphalt:
Seeing, beneath its strange and recent shape,
The eternal horror of rock, from which, for ever,
We toss our tortured hands, to no escape.
~ Conrad Potter Aiken,
352:She also discovered that he was attracted by the dreadful, among the galactic wares cramming the narrow shops into which they ducked. He actually appeared to seriously consider for several minutes what was claimed to be a genuine twentieth-century reproduction lamp, of Jacksonian manufacture, consisting of a sealed glass vessel containing two immiscible liquids which slowly rose and fell in the convection currents. “It looks just like red blood corpuscles floating in plasma,” Vorkosigan opined, staring in fascination at the under-lit blobs. “But as a wedding present?” she choked, half amused, half appalled. “What kind of message would people take it for?” “It would make Gregor laugh,” he replied. “Not a gift he gets much. But you’re right, the wedding present proper needs to be, er, proper. Public and political, not personal.” With a regretful sigh, he returned the lamp to its shelf. After another moment, he changed his mind again, bought it, and had it shipped. “I’ll get him another present for the wedding. This can be for his birthday.” After ~ Lois McMaster Bujold,
353:Alms
My heart is what it was before,
A house where people come and go;
But it is winter with your love,
The sashes are beset with snow.
I light the lamp and lay the cloth,
I blow the coals to blaze again;
But it is winter with your love,
The frost is thick upon the pane..
I know a winter when it comes:
The leaves are listless on the boughs;
I watched your love a little while,
And brought my plants into the house.
I water them and turn them south,
I snap the dead brown from the stem;
But it is winter with your love,
I only tend and water them.
There was a time I stood and watched
The small, ill-natured sparrows' fray;
I loved the beggar that I fed,
I cared for what he had to say,
I stood and watched him out of sight:
Today I reach around the door
And set a bowl upon the step;
My heart is what it was before,
But it is winter with your love;
I scatter crumbs upon the sill,
And close the window,and the birds
May take or leave them, as they will.
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay,
354:The alchemist of today is not hidden in caves and cellars, studying alone, but as he goes on with his work, it is seen that walls are built around him, and while he is in the world, like the master of old, he is not of it. As he goes further in his work, the light of other people's advice and outside help grows weaker and weaker, until finally he stands alone in darkness, and then comes the time that he must use his own lamp, and the various experiments which he has carried on must be his guide. He must take the Elixir of Life which he has developed and with it fill the lamp of his spiritual consciousness, and holding that above his head, walk into the Great Unknown, where if he has been a good and faithful servant, he will learn of the alchemy of Divinity. Where now test tubes and bottles are his implements, then worlds and globes he will study, and as a silent watcher will learn from that Divine One, who is the Great Alchemist of all the universe, the greatest alchemy of all, the creation of life, the maintenance of form, and the building of worlds. ~ Manly P Hall, The Initiates of the Flame,
355:Moving Pictures In Cactus Center
The culture game in Cactus has been boosted quite a spell
By a gent with movin' pictures--and he played the show game well;
But he had himself sure tangled, and the uplift game was messed
When he tried to show a drammer of the palpitatin' West.
The hall was filled with punchers when he turned up his machine,
And showed up what was labeled a real Wild Western scene;
There was mountains in the background, which was real enough, perhaps,
But you oughter seem them actors that cavorted round in chaps!
We stood it without knockin' till a bronk drifts in the play
And the cowboy and his sweetheart make their weddin' getaway;
Then we groans in chorus mighty, and we turns jest where we sits,
And it only takes one volley to reduce the lamp to bits.
Then we sought the frightened owner, and we paid the damage done,
But we cautioned him hereafter nary Western film to run;
''Cause,' we say, 'it makes us nervous--nay, we may say, peeved and cross-When we see an actor-cowboy mount the wrong side of a hoss!'
~ Arthur Chapman,
356:If This Be All
O God! if this indeed be all
That Life can show to me;
If on my aching brow may fall
No freshening dew from Thee, -If with no brighter light than this
The lamp of hope may glow,
And I may only dream of bliss,
And wake to weary woe;
If friendship's solace must decay,
When other joys are gone,
And love must keep so far away,
While I go wandering on, -Wandering and toiling without gain,
The slave of others' will,
With constant care, and frequent pain,
Despised, forgotten still;
Grieving to look on vice and sin,
Yet powerless to quell
The silent current from within,
The outward torrent's swell:
While all the good I would impart,
The feelings I would share,
Are driven backward to my heart,
And turned to wormwood, there;
If clouds must ever keep from sight
The glories of the Sun,
And I must suffer Winter's blight,
Ere Summer is begun;
If life must be so full of care,
Then call me soon to Thee;
Or give me strength enough to bear
My load of misery.
53
Acton
~ Anne Brontë,
357:If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth... for understanding. Too often, we assume that the light on the wall is God, but the light is not the goal of the search, it is the result of the search. The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it. Similarly, someone who does not search - who does not bring a lantern - sees nothing. What we perceive as God is the by-product of our search for God. It may simply be an appreciation of the light... pure and unblemished... not understanding that it comes from us. Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe - God looks astonishingly like we do - or we turn to look at our shadow and assume that all is darkness. If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose, which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty and in all its flaws; and in so doing, better understand the world around us. ~ J Michael Straczynski,
358:I.
When the lamp is shattered
The light in the dust lies dead--
When the cloud is scattered
The rainbow's glory is shed.
When the lute is broken,
Sweet tones are remembered not;
When the lips have spoken,
Loved accents are soon forgot.

II.
As music and splendour
Survive not the lamp and the lute,
The hearts echoes render
No song when the spirit is mute:--
No song but sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruined cell,
Or the mournful surges
That ring the dead seamans knell.

III.
When hearts have once mingled
Love first leaves the well-built nest;
The weak one is singled
To endure what it once possessed.
O Love! who bewailest
The frailty of all things here,
Why choose you the frailest
For your cradle, your home, and your bier?

IV.
Its passions will rock thee
As the storms rock the ravens on high;
Bright reason will mock thee,
Like the sun from a wintry sky.
From thy nest every rafter
Will rot, and thine eagle home
Leave thee naked to laughter,
When leaves fall and cold winds come.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, When The Lamp Is Shattered
,
359:When The Lamp Is Shattered

When the lamp is shattered,
The light in the dust lies dead;
When the cloud is scattered,
The rainbow's glory is shed;
When the lute is broken,
Sweet tones are remembered not;
When the lips have spoken,
Loved accents are soon forgot.


As music and splendor
Survive not the lamp and the lute,
The heart's echoes render
No song when the spirit is mute:--
No song but sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruined cell,
Or the mournful surges
That ring the dead seaman's knell.

When hearts have once mingled,
Love first leaves the well-built nest;
The weak one is singled
To endure what it once possessed.
O Love! who bewailest
The frailty of all things here,
Why choose you the frailest
For your cradle, your home, and your bier?

Its passions will rock thee,
As the storms rock the ravens on high;
Bright reason will mock thee,
Like the sun from a wintry sky.
From thy nest every rafter
Will rot, and thine eagle home
Leave thee naked to laughter,
When leaves fall and cold winds come. ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley,
360:Study
Somewhere the long mellow note of the blackbird
Quickens the unclasping hands of hazel,
Somewhere the wind-flowers fling their heads back,
Stirred by an impetuous wind. Some ways’ll
All be sweet with white and blue violet.
(Hush now, hush. Where am I?—Biuret—)
On the green wood’s edge a shy girl hovers
From out of the hazel-screen on to the grass,
Where wheeling and screaming the petulant plovers
Wave frighted. Who comes? A labourer, alas!
Oh the sunset swims in her eyes’ swift pool.
(Work, work, you fool——!)
Somewhere the lamp hanging low from the ceiling
Lights the soft hair of a girl as she reads,
And the red firelight steadily wheeling
Weaves the hard hands of my friend in sleep.
And the white dog snuffs the warmth, appealing
For the man to heed lest the girl shall weep.
(Tears and dreams for them; for me
Bitter science—the exams are near.
I wish I bore it more patiently.
I wish you did not wait, my dear,
For me to come: since work I must:
Though it’s all the same when we are dead.—
I wish I was only a bust,
All head.)
~ David Herbert Lawrence,
361:Unfinished History
WE HAVE loved each other in this time twenty years
And with such love as few men have in them even for
One or for the marriage month or the hearing of
Three nights' carts in the street but it will leave them:
We have been lovers the twentieth year now:
Our bed has been made in many houses and evenings:
The apple-tree moves at the window in this house:
There were palms rattled the night through in one:
In one there were red tiles and the sea's hours:
We have made our bed in the changes of many months and the
Light of the day is still overlong in the windows
Till night shall bring us the lamp and one another:
Those that have seen her have no thought what she is:
Her face is clear in the sun as a palmful of water:
Only by night and in love are the dark winds on it....
I wrote this poem that day when I thought
Since we have loved we two so long together
Shall we have done together all love gone?
Or how then will it change with us when the breath
Is no more able for such joy and the blood is
Thin in the throat and the time not come for death?
~ Archibald MacLeish,
362: Did I not say to you, Go not there, for I am your friend; in this
mirage of annihilation I am the fountain of life?
Even though in anger you depart a hundred thousand years
from me, in the end you will come to me, for I am your goal.
Did I not say to you, Be not content with worldly forms, for I
am the fashioner of the tabernacle of your contentment?
Did I not say to you, I am the sea and you are a single fish;
go not to dry land, for I am your crystal sea?
Did I not say to you, Go not like birds to the snare; come, for
I am the power of flight and your wings and feet?
Did I not say to you, They will waylay you and make you
cold, for I am the fire and warmth and heat of your desire?
Did I not say to you, They will implant in you ugly qualities
so that you will forget that I am the source of purity to you?
Did I not say to you, Do not say from what direction the ser-
vants affairs come into order? I am the Creator without
directions.
If you are the lamp of the heart, know where the road is to the
house; and if you are godlike of attribute, know that I am your
Maser.
~ Jalaluddin Rumi, Did I Not Say To You
,
363:The Intellect And The Heart
One day Intellect said to the heart
'A guide to the misguided ones I am
Being on the earth I reach up to the sky
Look, how deep in comprehension I am
Guidance on earth is my sole occupation
Like the auspicious Khidr 1 in character I am
Interpreter of the book of life I am
The Manifestation of God's Glory I am
You are only a dropp of blood, but
The invaluable ruby's envy I am'
Hearing this the heart said, 'All this is true
But look at me as well, what I am
You understand the secrets of life
But seeing them with my own eyes I am
Concerned with the manifest order you are
And acquainted with the inward I am
Learning is from you, but Divine Knowledge is from me
You only seek Divinity, but showing Divinity I am
Restlessness is the end of Knowledge 2
But the remedy for that malady I am
You are the candle of the assembly of Truth
The lamp of the Divine Beauty's assemblage I am
You are related to time and space
The bird recognizing the Sidrah 3 I am
Look at the grandeur of my station
The throne of the God of Majesty I am
50
~ Allama Muhammad Iqbal,
364:Sheila and Hugh Resting in arms Testing your charms Repeating a ritualized “I love you” Sharing a fight Or a kiss in the night Shrugging when friends ask “What’s new?” After the wedding Her hips started spreading His hair line began to recede They remained together Out of habit now And not out of any great need He’ll show up from work Showing signs of strain While her day was spent cleaning Letting the soap operas wash her brain . . . He reads the evening paper She calls him in to eat They share their meal silently She’s bored, he’s just beat Then they climb the stairs Multiplying the monotony With each step they take The hours spent sleeping They find more satisfying Than those spent awake He removes his work clothes She puts on her curlers and cream Hoping the sheets will protect them From the demon of daily routine Then he clicks off the lamp And the darkness holds no noise For in the dark you can be anyone Housewives will be girls And businessmen boys . . . “I love you, Sheila” I love you, Hugh” But she’s deciding on dishes And his thoughts are all askew And the sheets supply refuge For this perpetual pair Neither really knowing anymore Why the other one is there ~ Carrie Fisher,
365:ORIGIN OF HOLLYWOOD On ride the masked men, wrapped in white sheets, bearing white crosses, torches held high: mounted avengers of the virtue of ladies and the honor of gentlemen strike fear into Negroes hungering for damsels’ white flesh. At the height of a wave of lynchings, D. W. Griffith’s film The Birth of a Nation sings a hymn of praise to the Ku Klux Klan. This is Hollywood’s first blockbuster and the greatest box office success ever for a silent movie. It is also the first film to ever open at the White House. President Woodrow Wilson gives it a standing ovation. Applauding it, he applauds himself: freedom’s famous flag-bearer wrote most of the texts that accompany the epic images. The president’s words explain that the emancipation of the slaves was “a veritable overthrow of Civilization in the South, the white South under the heel of the black South.” Ever since, chaos reigns because blacks are “men who knew none of the uses of authority, except its insolences.” But the president lights the lamp of hope: “At last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan.” And even Jesus himself comes down from heaven at the end of the movie to give his blessing. ~ Eduardo Galeano,
366:When The Lamp Is Shattered

When the lamp is shattered,
The light in the dust lies dead;
When the cloud is scattered,
The rainbow's glory is shed;
When the lute is broken,
Sweet tones are remembered not;
When the lips have spoken,
Loved accents are soon forgot.


As music and splendor
Survive not the lamp and the lute,
The heart's echoes render
No song when the spirit is mute:--
No song but sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruined cell,
Or the mournful surges
That ring the dead seaman's knell.

When hearts have once mingled,
Love first leaves the well-built nest;
The weak one is singled
To endure what it once possessed.
O Love! who bewailest
The frailty of all things here,
Why choose you the frailest
For your cradle, your home, and your bier?

Its passions will rock thee,
As the storms rock the ravens on high;
Bright reason will mock thee,
Like the sun from a wintry sky.
From thy nest every rafter
Will rot, and thine eagle home
Leave thee naked to laughter,
When leaves fall and cold winds come.
When The Lamp Is Shattered ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley,
367:Did I Not Say To You

Did I not say to you, “Go not there, for I am your friend; in this
mirage of annihilation I am the fountain of life?”
Even though in anger you depart a hundred thousand years
from me, in the end you will come to me, for I am your goal.
Did I not say to you, “Be not content with worldly forms, for I
am the fashioner of the tabernacle of your contentment?”
Did I not say to you, “I am the sea and you are a single fish;
go not to dry land, for I am your crystal sea?”
Did I not say to you, “ Go not like birds to the snare; come, for
I am the power of flight and your wings and feet?”
Did I not say to you, “ They will waylay you and make you
cold, for I am the fire and warmth and heat of your desire?”
Did I not say to you, “ They will implant in you ugly qualities
so that you will forget that I am the source of purity to you?”
Did I not say to you, “Do not say from what direction the ser-
vant’s affairs come into order?” I am the Creator without
directions.
If you are the lamp of the heart, know where the road is to the
house; and if you are godlike of attribute, know that I am your
Maser. ~ Rumi,
368:Come back to bed,” she whispered. “I need you to warm me.” Cam stripped away his shirt, and laughed quietly as he felt her hands plucking at the buttons of his trousers. “What happened to my prudish gadji?” “I’m afraid”—she reached into his open falls and stroked his aroused flesh—“ that continued association with you has made me shameless.” “Good, I was hoping for that.” His lashes lowered, and his voice turned slightly breathless at her touch. “Amelia, if we have children … will you mind that they’re part Roma?” “Not if you don’t mind that they’re part Hathaway.” He made a sound of amusement and finished undressing. “And I thought life on the road would be a challenge. You know, it would terrify a lesser man, trying to manage your family.” “You’re right. I can’t imagine why you’re willing to take us on.” He gave her naked body a frankly lascivious glance as he joined her beneath the covers. “Believe me, the compensations are well worth it.” “What about your freedom?” Amelia asked, snuggling close as he lay beside her. “Are you sorry to have lost it?” “No, love.” Cam reached to turn down the lamp, enfolding them in velvet darkness. “I’ve finally found it. Right here, with you. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
369:Later, when they were quiet, he looked down at her where she lay. Stretched out alongside her, Arin propped himself up on one elbow. “I think that I’m not awake.” His fingertips floated over her: nose, eyelashes, messy braid, shoulder. “Beautiful.”
She smiled. “Like you.”
Arin made a skeptical cough, scrunched his face. He found the end of her braid and paintbrushed it across her cheek.
“It’s true,” she told him. “You never believe me when I say it.”
The lamp’s wick fizzed and sparked in its oil. It would soon go out.
“I love your eyes,” she said. “I have from the start.”
“They’re common.”
“No, they’re not.” She traced his scarred face. “This.” He shivered. “I love this.” She bit him on the jaw. “And this.” She continued to touch him.
“Really?”
“Yes.”
“This, too.” Not quite a question.
“That, too.”
She felt laughter travel through him, and something else, quieter and more intense. “Your mouth,” she said, “is not bad.”
“Not bad?”
“Quite tolerable.”
He cocked one brow. “I’ll show you.
They stopped talking.

In the morning, when Roshar saw their faces he rolled his eyes. “I want my tent back,” he said.
Kestrel laughed. ~ Marie Rutkoski,
370:Dead bodies are so impersonal... 'The morgue had no electricity, just a kerosene lamp, and after some time I noticed that the flame was very low. As I was about to turn it up, it suddenly went out. I lit the lamp again, after extending the wick. I returned to the bench, but I had not been sitting there for long when the lamp again went out, and something moved very softly and quietly past me. 'I felt quite sick and faint, and could hear my heart pounding away. The strength had gone out of my legs, otherwise I would have fled from the room. I felt quite weak and helpless, unable even to call out..... 'Presently the footsteps came nearer and nearer. Something cold and icy touched one of my hands and felt its way up towards my neck and throat. It was behind me, then it was before me. Then it was over me. I was in the arms of the corpse! 'I must have fainted, because when I woke up I was on the floor, and my friend was trying to revive me. The corpse was back on the table.' 'It may have been a nightmare,' I suggested 'Or you allowed your imagination to run riot.' 'No,' said Mr Jacobs. 'There were wet, slimy marks on my clothes. And the feet of the corpse matched the wet footprints on the floor.' After ~ Ruskin Bond,
371:I always knew it would end like this. It always does. There’s no point in fighting it, Aladdin. It is simply the way of things.”
“I can’t accept that.”
“You must.”
“How can you just give up? How can you say that?” His eyes light up, and he takes the lamp from his sash and grips it so tightly his knuckles whiten. “Earlier, before you kissed me, I was about to wish for your freedom.”
I leap to my feet. “Aladdin, you must not do that. You must never even think it!”
“Why is that so bad? You’d be free.”
“It’s called the Forbidden Wish for a reason!”
“By whom? Nardukha? Let him come. I have a few things I’d like to say to him.”
“I forbid it. Aladdin. If anything we have done together means anything to you, please, please trust me now. Don’t make that wish. It is the worst wish you can make. It is—it will break my heart.”
“What is it?” he asks softly. “What is it you’re not telling me? What happens if I wish for your freedom?”
I stand trembling, the words clawing at my throat, until I can hold them back no more.
“Like all wishes, the Forbidden Wish comes at a price. My freedom must be bought with a death, a life paid in sacrifice. And I will not let you make that sacrifice, not for me. ~ Jessica Khoury,
372:She was like a queen who beholds the virgin soil of her kingdom invaded and wasted by a traitor.
Any other thing she would have pardoned: infidelity, indifference, cruelty, any sins of manhood's caprice or passion, but who should pardon this?
The sin was not alone against herself; it was against every law of decency and truth that ever she had been taught to hold sacred; it was against all those great dead, who lay with the cross on their breasts and their swords by their side, from whom she had received and treasured the traditions of honor and purity of race.
It was those dead knights whom he had smote upon the mouth and mocked, crying to them: 'Lo! your place is mine; my sons will reign in your stead. I have tainted your race forever; for every my blood flows with yours!'
The greatness of a race is a thing far higher than mere pride. Its instincts are noble and supreme. Its obligations are no less than its privileges; it is a great light which streams backward through the darkness of the ages, and if by that light you guide not your footsteps, then are you thrice accursed, holding as you do that lamp of honor in your hands.
So she had always thought, and now he had dashed the lamp in the dust.
--"Wanda ~ Ouida,
373:A good writer is likely to know and use, or find out and use, the words for common architectural features, like "lintel," "newel post," "corbelling," "abutment," and the concrete or stone "hems" alongisde the steps leading up into churches or public buildings; the names of carpenters' or pumbers' tools, artists' materials, or whatever furniture, implements, or processes his characters work with; and the names of common household items, including those we do not usually hear named, often as we use them. Above all, the writer should stretch his vocabulary of ordinary words and idioms--words and idioms he sees all the time and knows how to use but never uses. I mean here not language that smells of the lamp but relatively common verbs, nouns, and adjectives. The serious-mined way to vocabulary is to read through a dictionary, making lists of all the common words one happens never to use. And of course the really serious-minded way is to study languages--learn Greek, Latin, and one or two modern languages. Among writers of the first rank one can name very few who were not or are not fluent in at least two. Tolstoy, who spoke Russian, French, and English easily, and other languages and dialects with more difficulty, studied Greek in his forties. ~ John Gardner,
374:As You Leave Me
Shiny record albums scattered over
the living room floor, reflecting light
from the lamp, sharp reflections that hurt
my eyes as I watch you, squatting among the platters,
the beer foam making mustaches on your lips.
And, too,
the shadows on your cheeks from your long lashes
fascinate me--almost as much as the dimples
in your cheeks, your arms and your legs.
You
hum along with Mathis--how you love Mathis!
with his burnished hair and quicksilver voice that dances
among the stars and whirls through canyons
like windblown snow, sometimes I think that Mathis
could take you from me if you could be complete
without me. I glance at my watch. It is now time.
You rise,
silently, and to the bedroom and the paint;
on the lips red, on the eyes black,
and I lean in the doorway and smoke, and see you
grow old before my eyes, and smoke, why do you
chatter while you dress? and smile when you grab
your large leather purse? don't you know that when you leave me
I walk to the window and watch you? and light
a reefer as I watch you? and I die as I watch you
disappear in the dark streets
to whistle and smile at the johns
Submitted by Hen
~ Etheridge Knight,
375:He thought dawdling, protective thoughts, sitting under the lamp, but he knew that pretty soon his
name would be called and he would have to go up before the bench with himself as judge and his own
crimes as jurors.

And his name was called, shrilly in his ears. His mind walked in to face the accusers: Vanity, which charged him with being ill dressed and dirty and vulgar; and Lust, slipping him the money for his whoring; Dishonesty, to make him pretend to talent and thought he did not have; Laziness and Gluttony arm in arm. Tom felt comforted by these because they screened the great Gray One in the back seat, waiting—the gray and dreadful crime. He dredged up lesser things, used small sins almost like virtues to save himself. There were Covetousness of Will’s money, Treason toward his mother’s God, Theft of time and hope, sick Rejection of love.

Samuel spoke softly but his voice filled the room. “Be good, be pure, be great, be Tom Hamilton.”

Tom ignored his father. He said, “I’m busy greeting my friends,” and he nodded to Discourtesy and Ugliness and Unfilial Conduct and Unkempt Fingernails. Then he started with Vanity again. The
Gray One shouldered up in front. It was too late to stall with baby sins. This Gray One was Murder. ~ John Steinbeck,
376:Though just a girl, I had ideas about violence. Violence had a horizon, a scent, a color. I'd seen it in books and newsreels, but I didn't truly know it until I saw the effects of it on Zayde, saw him come to our basement home in the ghetto with a red rag over his face, saw Mama go soundless as she bound his nose with the scrap torn from the hem of her nightgown. Pearl held the lamp during this procedure so that Mama could see, but I was shuddering so much that I couldn't assist her. I should be able to say that I saw violence happen to Mama when a guard came to our door with news about the disappearance, but I kept my eyes closed tight the whole time, sealed them shut while Pearl stared straight ahead, and because my sister saw it all, I felt the images secondhand, felt them burn on the backs of my eyelids - I saw the guard's boot glow and furrow itself in Mama's side as she lay on the floor. Pearl was angry that I was not an active witness, and so she forced me to take it all in, and when I begged her to stop subjecting me to such sights, she informed me that I had no say in the matter, because she would never look away, not ever, no matter how much it hurt me, because in looking away, she said, we would lose ourselves so thoroughly that our loss would require another name. ~ Affinity Konar,
377:I caught the bus to town and the tram to the Half-way and walked the rest. I was too down-hearted even to call in at Hutton's for a drink. It was dark when I got indoors and I lit the lamp. The house was empty, empty, empty! I was alone and I new I would be alone for the rest of my days. I don't know how I managed to live since then. I have had friends or, at least, people I have talked to: and many people have been good to me. I can't ever say how good Tabitha have been to me: but I took it for granted while she lived. I have chased after this girl, or that girl, when the spirit moved me: or, more likely, as Raymond would have said, from force of habit. I have lived in Raymond's tragic story as if it was my own: but it is a mystery to me yet, and perhaps i put things wrong when I tried to put things right. I have held my own against strangers and against enemies from another country: and against the double-faced behaviour of some of my own people. I have seen the funny side of things, and made a lot of people laugh: and I suppose they have thought I am the happy-go-lucky sort: but since that night I have lived without hope. I have often wondered what it is I can have done wrong to have to live for so many years without hope. It is no wonder I think a lot and am a bit funny in the head. ~ G B Edwards,
378:Medusa the hedgehog was wandering casually along the hallway. She paused as Christopher approached. A faint smile touched his lips. He bent to pick her up as Beatrix had showed him, inserting his hands beneath her. The hedgehog's quills flattened naturally as he turned her up to look at him. Relaxed and curious, she viewed him with her perpetual hedgehog smile.
"Medusa," he said softly, "I wouldn't advise climbing out of your pen at night. One of the maids might find you, and then what? You might find yourself taken to the scullery and used to scrub a pot." Taking her to the private upstairs receiving room, he lowered her into her pen.
Continuing on to Beatrix's room, he reflected that his wife viewed poor Bennett as yet another wounded creature. She had shown no hesitation in welcoming him into their home. One would expect no less of Beatrix.
Entering the room quietly, he saw his wife at her dressing table, carefully filing the claws of Lucky's remaining paw. The cat regarded her with a bored expression, tail flicking lazily. "... you must stay away from the settee cushions," Beatrix was lecturing, "or Mrs. Clocker will have both our heads."
Christopher's gaze traveled over the long, elegant lines of her figure, her silhouette revealed in the lamp glow that shone through her muslin nightgown. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
379:A Mother's Dream
As I slept one night I saw this dream
Which further increased my vexation
I dreamt I was going somewhere on the way
Dark it was and impossible to find the way
Trembling all over with fear I was
Difficult to take even a step with fear was
With some courage as I forward moved
I saw some boys as lined in nice array
Dressed in emerald-like raiment they were
Carrying lighted lamps in their hands they were
They were going quietly behind each other
No one knew where they were to go
Involved in this thought was I
When in this troupe my son saw I
He was walking at the back, and was not walking fast
The lamp he had in his hand was not lighted
Recognizing him I said 'O My dear!
Where have you come leaving me there?
Restless due to separation I am
Weeping every day for ever I am
You did not care even a little for me
What loyalty you showed, you left me'!
As the child saw the distress in me
He replied thus, turning around to me
'The separation from me makes you cry
Not least little good does this to me'
14
He remained quiet for a while after talking
Showing me the lamp then he started talking
'Do you understand what happened to this?
Your tears have extinguished this'!
~ Allama Muhammad Iqbal,
380:Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good—" At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark. ~ G K Chesterton,
381:Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good--" At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark. ~ G K Chesterton,
382:Vi?" Jag's soft voice called from the other room. I'd been soaking so long, the water in the tub was cold. I stepped out, careful not to get the book wet, and wrapped a towel around myself.
"In here," I whispered. He had switched the lamp on and was rubbing his eyes when I came into the bedroom.
"Hey."
I slipped the book back onto the table next to his bed. "I didn't get it wet."
"Not. That." His eyes raked over my only-towel-covered body with a hungry expression.
"Knock it off." I pulled the towel tighter and returned to the bathroom. He followed me, putting his hand on the door before I could close it. I looked anywhere but at him. Lying fully clothed in bed with him was bad enough.
I couldn't help it when I drank him in, starting at his feet and slowly creeping up to his neck, past his chin, lips, nose to his eyes. When I finally reached them, my heart clutched almost painfully. I swallowed hard and cleared my throat, playing with the end of my towel.
"Vi, babe-"
"Don't talk like that," I said.
He smiled his Jag-winner. I took a shuddering breath and tried to focus. "Don't smile like that either. It's not fair."
"Okay, then. Let's talk about being fair." He carefully wove his fingers through mine. The way he studied the ground was adorable. He took a few slow steps back into the bedroom, pulling me with him.
"Jag- ~ Elana Johnson,
383: Do it, Zhian urges. Let me out, Zahra. Let me out.
Listen to me first,
I demand. There are jinn charmers out here—did you hear them? They are playing, filling the hills with their charms. You must not go near the humans, or we will both end up right back where we started.
We could take them together,
he replies. You and I—working as a team. We would be unstoppable!
To that, I only send him an image of the lamp, and he curses. I quickly relay to him the deal I made with Nardukha. Zhian stews in his jar, his impatience hammering through my thoughts.
When I finish, he spits, So do it! Let me out!
I glance around, making sure we’re alone, then lift the jar high before dashing it against a rock. The pottery shatters, as does the charm that held Zhian captive inside.
A burst of smoke fills the air, red and angry. It swells and thunders.
“Quiet!” I hiss. “They’ll come!”
I do not fear mortals!
“Then you’re an idiot. If it weren’t for me, they’d still have you bottled up in their crypts.”
My father would not allow it! Zhian swirls around me, his wind pulling at my hair and my black cloak. Dragon heads materialize in the smoke, snapping and hissing dangerously close to my face. He would burn their city for my sake! He would sink their ships and wreck their walls! ~ Jessica Khoury,
384:Ha! Listen, this guy walks into a bar, with a shopping bag, right? He sits down, puts the bag on the bar. Something in the bag is moving, and the bartender says ‘Hey, buddy, no animals in here’. You with me, Jones?” “Yah.” “The guy is looking real unhappy, totally down in the dumps, he reaches in the bag. He pulls out a brass lantern, then a small piano, a little stool, and finally a little guy in a tuxedo, about a foot tall. The little guy sits on the stool and starts playing the piano. Playing the piano, right?” “Yah. Got, it.” “Bartender says,” Williams’ grasp on a handhold slipped for a heart-stopping moment before the suit gloves restored their sticky grip. He could see the problem was some sort of fluid leaking from the access hatch above had coated the handhold. He moved his hand to the left to avoid the slippery fluid, and continued climbing down. “Bartender says, ‘That’s amazing, where’d you get him?’ Guy points to the lamp. ‘Magic genie granted me a wish, But he don’t hear so well-’ Before the guy can stop him, the bartender grabs the lamp, rubs it and shouts ‘I want a million bucks!’. POOF! The bar is filled with ducks! Ducks everywhere, under the tables, in the street outside, feathers flying all over the place. The bartender says ‘What the hell?’ So the guy says ‘I told you the genie don’t hear so well. You really think I asked for a twelve inch pianist? ~ Craig Alanson,
385:He did not know how much time passed. He got up, ripped the canvas off the frame, threw it into a corner, and put on a new one. He mixed some paints, sat down, and began work. One starts with a hopeless struggle to follow nature, and everything goes wrong; one ends by calmly creating from one’s palette, and nature agrees with it and follows. On croit que j’imagine—ce n’est pas vrai—je me souviens. It was just as Pietersen had told him in Brussels; he had been too close to his models. He had not been able to get a perspective. He had been pouring himself into the mould of nature; now he poured nature into the mould of himself. He painted the whole thing in the colour of a good, dusty, unpeeled potato. There was the dirty, linen table cloth, the smoky wall, the lamp hanging down from the rough rafters, Stien serving her father with steamed potatoes, the mother pouring the black coffee, the brother lifting a cup to his lips, and on all their faces the calm, patient acceptance of the eternal order of things. The sun rose and a bit of light peered into the storeroom window. Vincent got up from his stool. He felt perfectly calm and peaceful. The twelve days’ excitement was gone. He looked at his work. It reeked of bacon, smoke, and potato steam. He smiled. He had painted his Angelus. He had captured that which does not pass in that which passes. The Brabant peasant would never die. ~ Irving Stone,
386:One evening coming in with a candle I was startled to hear him say a little tremulously, "I am lying here in the dark waiting for death." The light was within a foot of his eyes. I forced myself to murmur, "Oh, nonsense!" and stood over him as if transfixed.
Anything approaching the change that came over his features I have never seen before, and hope never to see again. Oh, I wasn't touched. I was fascinated. It was as though a veil had been rent. I saw on that ivory face the expression of sombre pride, of ruthless power, of craven terror - of an intense and hopeless despair. Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision - he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath - "The horror! The horror!"
I blew the candle out and left the cabin. The pilgrims were dining in the mess-room, and I took my place opposite the manager, who lifted his eyes to give me a questioning glance, which I successfully ignored. He leaned back, serene, with that peculiar smile of his sealing the unexpressed depths of his meanness. A continuous shower of small flies streamed upon the lamp, upon the cloth, upon our hands and faces. Suddenly the manager's boy put his insolent black head in the doorway, and said in a tone of scathing contempt -
"Mistah Kurtz - he dead. ~ Joseph Conrad,
387:A (impatient): Well?
B (reading): "... sick headaches... eye trouble... irrational fear of
vipers... ear trouble... "--nothing for us there--"... fibroid
tumours... pathological horror of songbirds... throat trouble...
need of affection... "--we're coming to it--"... inner void...
congenital timidity... nose trouble... "--ah! listen to this--"...
morbidly sensitive to the opinions of others..." (Looks up.)
What did I tell you?
A (glum): Tsstss!
B: I'll read the whole passage: "... morbidly sensitive to the opinion
of others--" (His lamp goes out.) Well! The bulb has blown!
(The lamp goes on again.) No, it hasn't! Must be a faulty
connection. (Examines the lamp, straightens the flex.) The
flex was twisted, now all is well. (Reading.) "... morbidly
sensitive--" (The lamp goes out.) Bugger and shit!

Pause.

(next two lines spoken on top of each other)
B: "... morbidly sensitive--"
A: Keep your hands off the table.

B: What?
A: Keep your hands off the table. If it's a connection the least jog
can do it.
B: (having pulled back his chair a little way): "... morbidly
sensitive--"

The lamp goes out. B Bangs on the table with his fist.
The lamp goes on again. Pause.


A: Mysterious affair, electricity. ~ Samuel Beckett,
388:Tonight the President will bury himself, perhaps, in two volumes Mrs. Lodge has just sent him for review: Gissing’s Charles Dickens, A Critical Study, and The Greek View of Life, by Lowes Dickinson. He will be struck, as he peruses the latter, by interesting parallels between the Periclean attitude toward women and that of present-day Japan, and will make a mental note to write to Mrs. Lodge about it.122 He may also read, with alternate approval and disapproval, two articles on Mormonism in the latest issue of Outlook. A five-thousand-word essay on “The Ancient Irish Sagas” in this month’s Century magazine will not detain him long, since he is himself the author.123 His method of reading periodicals is somewhat unusual: each page, as he comes to the end of it, is torn out and thrown onto the floor.124 When both magazines have been thus reduced to a pile of crumpled paper, Roosevelt will leap from his rocking-chair and march down the corridor. Slowing his pace at the door of the presidential suite, he will tiptoe in, brush the famous teeth with only a moderate amount of noise, and pull on his blue-striped pajamas. Beside his pillow he will deposit a large, precautionary revolver.125 His last act, after turning down the lamp and climbing into bed, will be to unclip his pince-nez and rub the reddened bridge of his nose. Then, there being nothing further to do, Theodore Roosevelt will energetically fall asleep. ~ Edmund Morris,
389:Morning Twilight
Reveille was sounding on barrack-squares,
and the wind of dawn blew on lighted stairs.
It was the hour when a swarm of evil visions
torments swarthy adolescents, when pillows hum:
when, a bloodshot eye, throbbing and quivering,
the lamp makes a reddened stain on the morning:
when the soul, by dull sour body, bowed down,
enacts the struggle between lamp and dawn.
Like a tearful face that the breeze wipes dry,
the air’s filled with the frisson of things that fly,
and man is tired of writing, woman with loving.
The chimneys, here and there, began smoking.
The women of pleasure, with their bleary eyes,
and gaping mouths, were sleeping stupefied:
poor old women, with chilled and meagre breasts,
blew the embers, then fingers, roused from rest.
It was the hour, when frozen, with money scarcer,
the pains of women in childbirth grew fiercer:
and like a sob cut short by a surge of blood
a cock-crow far away broke through the fog:
a sea of mist bathed the buildings, dying men,
in the depths of the workhouse, groaned again
emitting their death-rattles in ragged breaths.
Debauchees, tired by their efforts, headed for rest.
Shivering dawn in a robe of pink and green
made her way slowly along the deserted Seine,
and sombre Paris, eyes rubbed and watering,
groped for its tools, an old man, labouring.
~ Charles Baudelaire,
390:Tagore criticized the ideas behind the form of political action Bengal began to witness: secret societies, acquisition of bombs and other weapons, induction of very young activists, and political assassination. This path of action created some iconic figures of revolutionary militancy against foreign rule. Tagore did not question their heroism but he questioned the political efficacy of their action. Anguished to see the death of heroic freedom fighters he urged, We must not forget ourselves in our excitement, it needs to be explained to those who are excited that … whatever the strength of the urge [to resist foreign rule], in action we have to take to the broad highway because a shortcut through a narrow lane will lead us nowhere. Just because we are in our mind impatient, the World does not curtail the length of the road nor does Time curtail itself. There was no shortcut of the kind militants imagined. Tagore went on, in his own metaphorical language, to point to the limitations of the militants’ violence. Anger against repression by government had sparked off violent action. ‘But a spark and a flame are two different things. The spark does not dispel the dark in our home’, a flame that lasts is needed. ‘The flame needs a lamp. And thus long preparation is required to prepare the lamp and its wick and its fuel.’13 Thus patient preparation in politics was required, not unthinking haste in the path of violence. ~ Sabyasachi Bhattacharya,
391:Let your work be, bride. Listen, the
guest has come.
  Do you hear, he is gently shaking
the chain which fastens the door?
  See that your anklets make no loud
noise, and that your step is not over-
hurried at meeting him.
  Let your work be, bride, the guest
had come in the evening.
  No, it is not the ghostly wind, bride,
do not be frightened.
  It is the full moon on a night of
April; shadows are pale in the court-
yard; the sky overhead is bright.
  Draw your veil over your face if
you must, carry the lamp to the door
if you fear.
  No, it is not the ghostly wind, bride,
do not be frightened.
  Have no word with him if you are
shy; stand aside by the door when you
meet him.
  If he asks you questions, and if
you wish to, you can lower you eyes
in silence.
  Do not let your bracelets jingle
when, lamp in hand, you lead him in.
  Have no words with him if your are
shy.
  Have you not finished you work yet,
bride? Listen, the guest has come.
  Have you not lit the lamp in the
cowshed?
  Have you not got ready the offering
basket for the evening service?
  Have you not put the red lucky
mark at the parting of your hair, and
done your toilet for the night?
  O bride, do you hear, the guest has
come?
  Let your work be!


~ Rabindranath Tagore, The Gardener X - Let Your Work Be, Bride
,
392:I shall gladly suffer the pride of culture to die out in my house,
if only in some happy future I am born a herd-boy in the Brinda
forest.
  The herd-boy who grazes his cattle sitting under the banyan
tree, and idly weaves gunja flowers into garlands, who loves to
splash and plunge in the Jamuna's cool deep stream.
  He calls his companions to wake up when morning dawns, and all
the houses in the lane hum with the sound of the churn, clouds of
dust are raised by the cattle, the maidens come out in the
courtyard to milk the king.
  As the shadows deepen under the tomal trees, and the dusk
gathers on the river-banks; when the milkmaids, while crossing the
turbulent water, tremble with fear; and loud peacocks, with tails
outspread, dance in the forest, he watchers the summer clouds.
  When the April night is sweet as a fresh-blown flower, he
disappears in the forest with a peacock's plume in his hair; the
swing ropes are twined with flowers on the branches; the south wind
throbs with music, and the merry shepherd boys crowd on the banks
of the blue river.
  No, I will never be the leader, brothers, of this new age of
new Bengal; I shall not trouble to light the lamp of culture for
the benighted. If only I could be born, under the shady asoka
groves, in some village of Brinda, where milk is churned by the
maidens!

~ Rabindranath Tagore, Lovers Gifts XXII - I Shall Gladly Suffer
,
393:He stripped off his jeans and T-shirt, climbed into bed, and watched me change into my pajamas.
“You don’t need those,” he said.
I smiled at the sight of him leaning back against the brass headboard with his hands clasped comfortably behind his head. He was brawny and tan, incongruously masculine against all the frilly antique fabric and lace.
“I don’t like to sleep naked,” I told him.
“Why? It’s a great look for you.”
“I like to be prepared.”
“For what?”
“If there’s ever an emergency— a fire or something. . . .”
“Jesus, Ella.” He was laughing. “Think of it this way— going to bed naked is better for the environment.”
“Oh, shut up.”
“Come on, Ella. Sleep green.”
Ignoring him, I got into bed wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts printed with penguins. I reached over to the nightstand and flipped off the lamp.
A moment of silence, and then I heard a lecherous murmur. “I like your penguins.”
I snuggled back against him, and his knees tucked under mine.
“I’m guessing your usual female company doesn’t wear boxer shorts to bed,” I said.
“Nope.” Jack’s hand settled on my hip. “If they wear anything, it’s usually some kind of see-through nightgown.”
“That sounds pretty pointless.” I yawned, relaxing into the warmth of his body. “But I’ll wear one someday if you want me to.”
“I don’t know.” Jack sounded pensive. His hand circled my bottom. “I’m kind of partial to these penguins.”

-Jack & Ella ~ Lisa Kleypas,
394:I rest my head on his shoulder, feeling his heart beating against me. I wish I could gather time around us, slowing the minutes, making them last a lifetime.
“I was born on the island kingdom of Ghedda,” I whisper. This is a story I never told even to you, Habiba. I tell it now only because I cannot bear to leave him without the truth, knowing only half of me. I raise my head and meet his eyes. “That was more than four thousand years ago. I was the eldest daughter of a wise and generous king.”
Aladdin stares at me, his eyes soft and curious, encouraging me to go on.
“When I was seventeen, I became queen of Ghedda. In those days, the jinn were greater in number, and the Shaitan held greater sway over the realms of men. He demanded we offer him twenty maidens and twenty warriors in sacrifice, in return for fair seas and lucrative trade. I was young and proud and desired, above all else, to be a fair ruler. I would not bow to his wishes, so he shook our island until it began to fall into the sea.”
I shudder, and Aladdin draws me closer.
“I climbed to the alomb at the top of the Mountain of Tongues, and there offered myself to the Shaitan, if he would only save my city from the sea.” My voice falls to a whisper, little more than a ripple on the water. “So he took me and made me jinn and put me in the lamp. And then he caused the Mountain of Tongues to erupt, and Ghedda was lost to fire. For he had sworn only to save my people from the sea, not from flame. ~ Jessica Khoury,
395:My well-beloved was stripped. Knowing my whim,
She wore her tinkling gems, but naught besides:
And showed such pride as, while her luck betides,
A sultan's favoured slave may show to him.

When it lets off its lively, crackling sound,
This blazing blend of metal crossed with stone,
Gives me an ecstasy I've only known
Where league of sound and luster can be found.

She let herself be loved: then, drowsy-eyed,
Smiled down from her high couch in languid ease.
My love was deep and gentle as the seas
And rose to her as to a cliff the tide.

My own approval of each dreamy pose,
Like a tamed tiger, cunningly she sighted:
And candour, with lubricity united,
Gave piquancy to every one she chose.

Her limbs and hips, burnished with changing lustres,
Before my eyes clairvoyant and serene,
Swanned themselves, undulating in their sheen;
Her breasts and belly, of my vine and clusters,

Like evil angels rose, my fancy twitting,
To kill the peace which over me she'd thrown,
And to disturb her from the crystal throne
Where, calm and solitary, she was sitting.

So swerved her pelvis that, in one design,
Antiope's white rump it seemed to graft
To a boy's torso, merging fore and aft.
The talc on her brown tan seemed half-divine.

The lamp resigned its dying flame. Within,
The hearth alone lit up the darkened air,
And every time it sighed a crimson flare
It drowned in blood that amber-coloured skin ~ Charles Baudelaire,
396:The Jewels
My well-beloved was stripped. Knowing my whim,
She wore her tinkling gems, but naught besides:
And showed such pride as, while her luck betides,
A sultan's favoured slave may show to him.
When it lets off its lively, crackling sound,
This blazing blend of metal crossed with stone,
Gives me an ecstasy I've only known
Where league of sound and luster can be found.
She let herself be loved: then, drowsy-eyed,
Smiled down from her high couch in languid ease.
My love was deep and gentle as the seas
And rose to her as to a cliff the tide.
My own approval of each dreamy pose,
Like a tamed tiger, cunningly she sighted:
And candour, with lubricity united,
Gave piquancy to every one she chose.
Her limbs and hips, burnished with changing lustres,
Before my eyes clairvoyant and serene,
Swanned themselves, undulating in their sheen;
Her breasts and belly, of my vine and clusters,
Like evil angels rose, my fancy twitting,
To kill the peace which over me she'd thrown,
And to disturb her from the crystal throne
Where, calm and solitary, she was sitting.
So swerved her pelvis that, in one design,
Antiope's white rump it seemed to graft
To a boy's torso, merging fore and aft.
The talc on her brown tan seemed half-divine.
The lamp resigned its dying flame. Within,
The hearth alone lit up the darkened air,
And every time it sighed a crimson flare
It drowned in blood that amber-coloured skin.
458
~ Charles Baudelaire,
397:Oscar hung his jacket on the back of a chair and undid the first few buttons of his checked shirt. Camille’s fingers trembled as she reached for the lamp on the dresser and twisted the knob, lowering the wick until the light it gave off was that of a small candle’s flame. She sat on the bed, and the other side of the hand-rolled mattress dipped with Oscar’s weight. She didn’t know how to look at him, if she should lie down or just come to her senses and ask him to leave. God, she wasn’t doing any of this right.
“You sleep sitting up?” he asked.
Camille smiled, thankful he’d lightened the moment enough for her to lean back onto one of the pillows. Turning on her side, she saw he’d already taken the same position. They lay without touching, without talking, only looking. His eyes grazed her body, slowly absorbing the pink skin of her neck, the slight curves of her breasts, and the arc of her hip. He didn’t need to lay a finger on her for the breath to stall in her lungs.
He breeched the few inches between them by sliding his hand atop hers, his skin warm and dry while beads of nervous sweat formed hot on her back. Camille reached out and let her fingertip travel along the fullness of his lower lip and down the curve of his chin. With one sweeping movement, Oscar pulled her tight against his chest and kissed her. A sensation kindled between her hips, spreading to every nerve ending in her body. This was it, the fire and heat she’d always yearned for. All these years, and Oscar had been right in front of her the whole time. ~ Angie Frazier,
398:The Unknown Soldier
He is known to the sun-white Majesties
Who stand at the gates of dawn.
He is known to the cloud-borne company
Whose souls but late have gone.
Like wind-flung stars through lattice bars
They throng to greet their own,
With voice of flame they sound his name
Who died to us unknown.
He is hailed by the time-crowned brotherhood,
By the Dauntless of Marathon,
By Raymond, Godfrey and Lion Heart
Whose dreams he carried on.
His name they call through the heavenly hall
Unheard by earthly ear,
He is claimed by the famed in Arcady
Who knew no title here.
Oh faint was the lamp of Sirius
And dim was the Milky Way.
Oh far was the floor of Paradise
From the soil where the soldier lay.
Oh chill and stark was the crimson dark
Where huddled men lay deep;
His comrades all denied his call
Long had they lain in sleep.
Oh strange how the lamp of Sirius
Drops low to the dazzled eyes,
Oh strange how the steel-red battlefields
Are floors of Paradise.
Oh strange how the ground with never a sound
Swings open, tier on tier,
And standing there in the shining air
Are the friends he cherished here.
They are known to the sun-shod sentinels
Who circle the morning's door,
They are led by a cloud-bright company
Through paths unseen before.
Like blossoms blown, their souls have flown
Past war and reeking sod,
In the book unbound their names are found
They are known in the courts of God!
~ Angela Morgan,
399:After breakfast, the gentlemen went shooting, Aunt Saffronia was busy with the mute servants, and Miss Heartwright was still at the cottage, leaving Jane and Miss Charming alone in the morning room. They stared at the brown-flecked wallpaper.
“I’m so bored. This isn’t what Mrs. Wattlesbrook promised me yesterday.”
“We could play whist,” Jane said. “Whist in the morning, whist in the evening, ain’t we got fun?”
The wallpaper hadn’t changed. Jane kept an eye on it all the same.
“I mean, is this what you expected?” asked Miss Charming.
Jane glanced at the lamp, wondering if Mrs. Wattlesbrook had it bugged. “I am Jane Erstwhile, niece of Lady Templeton, visiting from America,” she said robotically.
“Well, I can’t take another minute. I’m going to go find that Miss Heartwreck and see what she thinks.”
Jane’s gaze jumped from wall to window, and she watched for hints of the men out in the fields, wondering if Captain East thought her pretty, if Colonel Andrews liked her better than Miss Charming.
Stop it, she told herself.
And then she thought about Mr. Nobley last night, his odd outburst, his insistence on dancing with her, and then his abrupt withdrawal after one dance. He truly was exasperating. But, she considered, he irritated in a very useful way. The dream of Mr. Darcy was tangling in the unpleasant reality of Mr. Nobley. As she gave herself pause to breathe in that idea, the truth felt as obliterating as her no Santa Claus discovery at age eight. There is no Mr. Darcy. Or more likely, Mr. Darcy would actually be a boring, pompous pinhead. ~ Shannon Hale,
400:How did you know? How did you know who I was as soon as you saw me come out of the trapdoor in the museum?”
“You’re so like your father. The eyes, the way your voice is pitched. He wasn’t much older than you are now when he ran away from Westwood. And I knew he’d married an Indian woman and had a son; we kept in touch. So when I saw that the crows had caught you, I realized your plan had gone wrong.”
“You mean you knew what we were planning?” said Maia--not at all pleased.
“More or less. Your acting skills are not very great,” said Miss Minton, “And as a liar you are bottom of the class. I made friends with old Lila, and when she realized that I knew Bernard, she told me about this place. But you seemed to know what you were doing, so I left you to it.”
“We did know what we were doing,” said Finn. “But Clovis just went berserk when he got down to the cellar. Some skulls came tumbling out of a packing case, and he saw these eye sockets staring at him. Then he fell over a throwing spear and the lamp kept going out. There was a weird moaning noise, too--it was only the water pipes--but he got hysterical and said he felt sick and he couldn’t go through with it. I suppose it was sort of stage fright--he really thought the crows were going to hurt him. I’d promised Maia I wouldn’t let him get too scared, so I stayed. I meant to make a dash for it when the crows opened the door and lead them away from him. When the sloth fell over he thought it was a bomb!”
“Poor Clovis,” said Maia.
“She’s always sticking up for him,” said Finn.
“Still, he gave a fine performance at the end, you must admit,” said Miss Minton. ~ Eva Ibbotson,
401:The 90th Year
High in the jacaranda shines the gilded thread
of a small bird's curlicue of song-too high
for her to see or hear.
I've learned
not to say, these last years,
‘O, look!-O, listen, Mother!'
as I used to.
(It was she
who taught me to look;
to name the flowers when I was still close to the ground,
my face level with theirs;
or to watch the sublime metamorphoses
unfold and unfold
over the walled back gardens of our street…
It had not been given her
to know the flesh as good in itself,
as the flesh of a fruit is good. To her
the human body has been a husk,
a shell in which souls were prisoned.
Yet, from within it, with how much gazing
her life has paid tribute to the world's body!
How tears of pleasure
would choke her, when a perfect voice,
deep or high, clove to its note unfaltering!
She has swept the crackling seedpods,
the litter of mauve blossoms, off the cement path,
tipped them into the rubbish bucket.
She's made her bed, washed up the breakfast dishes,
wiped the hotplate. I've taken the butter and milkjug
back to the fridge next door-but it's not my place,
visiting here, to usurp the tasks
that weave the day's pattern.
Now she is leaning forward in her chair,
by the lamp lit in the daylight,
rereading War and Peace.
When I look up
73
from her wellworn copy of The Divine Milieu,
which she wants me to read, I see her hand
loose on the black stem of the magnifying glass,
she is dozing.
‘I am so tired,' she has written me, ‘of appreciating
the gift of life.'
~ Denise Levertov,
402:What agony he suffered as he watched that light, in whose golden atmosphere were moving, behind the closed sash, the unseen and detested pair, as he listened to that murmur which revealed the presence of the man who had crept in after his own departure, the perfidy of Odette, and the pleasures which she was at that moment tasting with the stranger.
And yet he was not sorry that he had come; the torment which had forced him to leave his own house had lost its sharpness when it lost its uncertainty, now that Odette's other life, of which he had had, at that first moment, a sudden helpless suspicion, was definitely there, almost within his grasp, before his eyes, in the full glare of the lamp-light, caught and kept there, an unwitting prisoner, in that room into which, when he would, he might force his way to surprise and seize it; or rather he would tap upon the shutters, as he had often done when he had come there very late, and by that signal Odette would at least learn that he knew, that he had seen the light and had heard the voices; while he himself, who a moment ago had been picturing her as laughing at him, as sharing with that other the knowledge of how effectively he had been tricked, now it was he that saw them, confident and persistent in their error, tricked and trapped by none other than himself, whom they believed to be a mile away, but who was there, in person, there with a plan, there with the knowledge that he was going, in another minute, to tap upon the shutter. And, perhaps, what he felt (almost an agreeable feeling) at that moment was something more than relief at the solution of a doubt, at the soothing of a pain; was an intellectual pleasure. ~ Marcel Proust,
403:Agitated, he hooked a finger under his neck cloth and pulled it loose. “Care for her,” he muttered. “How could that be possible? I’ve scarcely gone near the woman in weeks.”
“I don’t know how it’s possible, but it seems to be true. In fact, I think you’re half in love with her. More than half, perhaps.”
Rising from his chair, Gray straightened to his full height. “Now wait. I’m half out of my mind with lust, I’ll grant you that. More than half, perhaps. But I’m certainly not in love with that girl. Don’t forget who you’re talking to, Joss. I keep my conscience in my bank account, remember? I don’t even know what love looks like.”
Joss paused over his desk. “I know what love looks like. Using up all those Portuguese on one meal, killing a valuable goat, bringing out porcelain from the cargo hold…Crack one plate, and you’d lose half the set’s price. Serving meat onto a lady’s plate.” He shrugged. “Love looks something like that.”
Gray ran his hands through his hair, shaking off the lunatic notion before it could take root in his brain. “I’m telling you, I’m not in love. I’m just too damned bored. I’ve nothing to do on this voyage but plan dinner parties. And it’s about to get worse. No chance of cracking a plate tonight.” He jerked his chin at the lamp dangling from a hook, which on any normal night would have been swaying in time with the waves. “If you hadn’t noticed, we’re becalmed.”
“I’d noticed.” Joss grimaced and motioned for the flask. Gray tossed it to him. “Good thing we’ve given the men a fine meal and grog tonight. Becalming’s never good for the crew’s morale.”
“Not good for the investor’s morale, either.” Gray rubbed his temples. “Let’s hope it doesn’t last. ~ Tessa Dare,
404:My Birthday
A dozen years since in this house what commotion,
What bustle, what stir, and what joyful ado;
Every soul in the family at my devotion,
When into the world I came twelve years ago.
I've been told by my friends (if they do not belie me)
My promise was such as no parent would scorn;
The wise and the aged who prophesied by me
Augured nothing but good of me when I was born.
But vain are the hopes which are formed by a parent,
Fallacious the marks which in infancy shine;
My frail constitution soon made it apparent,
I nourished within me the seeds of decline.
On a sick bed I lay, through the flesh my bones started,
My grief-wasted frame to a skeleton fell;
My physicians foreboding took leave and departed,
And they wished me dead now, who wishëd me well.
Life and soul were kept in by a mother's assistance,
Who struggled with faith, and prevailed 'gainst despair;
Like an angel she watched o'er the lamp of existence,
And never would leave while a glimmer was there.
By her care I'm alive now-but what retribution
Can I for a life twice bestowed thus confer?
Were I to be silent, each year's revolution
Proclaims-each new birthday is owing to her.
The chance-rooted tree that by waysides is planted,
Where no friendly hand will watch o'er its young shoots,
Has less blame if in autumn, when produce is wanted,
78
Enriched by small culture it put forth small fruits.
But that which with labour in hot-beds is reared,
Secured by nice art from the dews and the rains,
Unsound at the root may with justice be feared,
If it pay not with interest the tiller's hard pains.
~ Charles Lamb,
405:A large and comfortable double-bedded room had been placed at our disposal, and I was quickly between the sheets, for I was weary after my night of adventure. Sherlock Holmes was a man, however, who when he had an unsolved problem upon his mind would go for days, and even for a week, without rest, turning it over, rearranging his facts, looking at it from every point of view, until he had either fathomed it, or convinced himself that his data were insufficient. It was soon evident to me that he was now preparing for an all-night sitting. He took off his coat and waistcoat, put on a large blue dressing-gown, and then wandered about the room collecting pillows from his bed, and cusions from the sofa and armchairs. With these he constructed a sort of Eastern divan, upon which he perched himself cross-legged, with an ounce of shag tobacco and a box of matches laid out in front of him. In the dim light of the lamp I saw him sitting there, an old brier pipe between his lips, his eyes fixed vacantly upon the corner of the ceiling, the blue smoke curling up from him, silent, motionless, with the light shining upon his strong-set aquiline features. So he sat as I dropped off to sleep, and so he sat when a sudden ejaculation caused me to wake up, and I found the summer sun shining into the apartment. The pipe was still between his lips, the smoke still curled upwards, and the room was full of a dense tobacco haze, but nothing remained of the heap of shag which I had seen upon the previous night.
'Awake, Watson?' he asked.
'Yes.'
'Game for a morning drive?'
'Certainly.'
'Then dress. No one is stirring yet, but I know where the stable-boy sleeps, and we shall soon have the trap out. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle,
406:Haunted Chambers
The lamp-lit page is turned, the dream forgotten;
The music changes tone, you wake, remember
Deep worlds you lived before, deep worlds hereafter
Of leaf on falling leaf, music on music,
Rain and sorrow and wind and dust and laughter.
Helen was late, and Miriam came too soon;
Joseph was dead, his wife and children starving;
Elaine was married and soon to have a child.
You dreamed last night of fiddler crabs with fiddles.
They played a buzzing melody, and you smiled.
Tomorrow—what ? And what of yesterday ?
Through soundless labyrinths of dream you pass,
Through many doors to the one door of all.
Soon as it's opened we shall hear a music:
Or see a skeleton fall.
We walk with you. Where is it that you lead us ?
We climbed the muffled stairs beneath high lanterns.
We descend again. We grope through darkened cells.
You say: 'This darkness, here, 'will slowly kill me—
It creeps and weighs upon me .... is full of bells.
'This is the thing remembered I would forget:
No matter where I go, how soft I tread,
This windy gesture menaces me with death.
'Fatigue!' it says—and points its finger at me;
Touches my throat and stops my breath.
'My fans, my jewels, the portrait of my husband,
The torn certificate for my daughter's grave—
These are but mortal seconds in immortal time.
They brush me, fade away—like drops of water.
They signify no crime.
'Let us retrace our steps: I have deceived you!
Nothing is here I could not frankly tell you—
No hint of guilt, or faithlessness, or threat.
48
Dreams—they are madness; staring eyes—illusion.
Let us return, hear music, and forget.'
~ Conrad Potter Aiken,
407:The Lost Path
The garden's full of scented wallflowers,
And, save that these stir faintly, nothing stirs;
Only a distant bell in hollow chime
Cried out just now for far-forgoten time,
And three reverberate words the great bell spoke.
The knocker's made of brass, the door of oak,
And such a clamor must be loosed on air
By the knocker's blow that knock I do not dare.
The silence is a spell, and if it break,
What things, that now lie sleeping, will awake?
Are simple creatures lying there in cool
Sweet linen sheets, in slumber like the pool
Of moonlight white as water on the floor?
Will they come down laughing and unlock the door?
And will they draw me in, and let me sit
On the tall settle while the lamp is lit?
And shall I see their innocent clean lives
Shining as plainly as the plates and knives,
The blue bowls, and the brass cage with its bird?
But listen! listen! surely something stirred
Within the house, and creeping down the halls
Draws close to me with sinister footfalls.
Will long pale fingers softly lift the latch,
And lead me up, under the osier thatch,
To a little room, a little secret room,
Hung with green arras picturing the doom,
The most disasterous death of some proud knight?
And shall I search the room by candle-light
And see, behind the curtains of my bed,
A murdered man who sleeps as sleep the dead?
Or will my clamorous knocking shake the trees
With lonely thunder through the stillnesses,
And then lie down--the coldest fear of all-To nothing, and deliberate silence fall
On the house deep in the silence, and no one come
To door or window, staring blind and dumb?
49
~ Elinor Morton Wylie,
408:A Psalm For New Year’s Eve
A FRIEND stands at the door;
In either tight-closed hand
Hiding rich gifts, three hundred and three score:
Waiting to strew them daily o'er the land
Even as seed the sower.
Each drops he, treads it in and passes by:
It cannot be made fruitful till it die.
O good New Year, we clasp
This warm shut hand of thine,
Loosing forever, with half sigh, half gasp,
That which from ours falls like dead fingers' twine:
Ay, whether fierce its grasp
Has been, or gentle, having been, we know
That it was blessed: let the Old Year go.
O New Year, teach us faith!
The road of life is hard:
When our feet bleed and scourging winds us scathe,
Point thou to Him whose visage was more marred
Than any man's: who saith
'Make straight paths for your feet'--and to the opprest-'Come ye to Me, and I will give you rest.'
Yet hang some lamp-like hope
Above this unknown way,
Kind year, to give our spirits freer scope
And our hands strength to work while it is day.
But if that way must slope
Tombward, O bring before our fading eyes
The lamp of life, the Hope that never dies.
Comfort our souls with love,-Love of all human kind;
Love special, close--in which like sheltered dove
Each weary heart its own safe nest may find;
And love that turns above
Adoringly; contented to resign
All loves, if need be, for the Love Divine.
27
Friend, come thou like a friend,
And whether bright thy face,
Or dim with clouds we cannot comprehend,-We'll hold out patient hands, each in his place,
And trust thee to the end.
Knowing thou leadest onwards to those spheres
Where there are neither days nor months nor years.
~ Dinah Maria Mulock Craik,
409:I struck a match to find the keyhole, but my eyes, involuntarily, caught sight of the black-clad figure, and I recognized the two oblique eyes—two large, black eyes amid a silvery thin face—the same eyes that stared at a man's face without actually seeing. Even if I had not seen her before, I would have recognized her. No. I was not mistaken. This black-clad figure was she. Astounded and bewildered, I stood petrified in my place. I felt like someone who is dreaming, and who knows that he is asleep, but who cannot wake up when he wants to. The match, having burnt itself and my fingers, brought me to reality. I turned the key, opened the door, and drew myself aside. Like someone familiar with the way, she got off the platform and crossed the dark corridor. She opened the door of my room and entered. I followed her in. I lit the lamp quickly and saw that she had already retired to my bed and was lying on it. Her face was in the shade. I did not know whether she could see me or hear me. Her outward appearance showed no trace of either fear, or of a desire to resist me. It seemed as though she had involuntarily come to my house. Was she sick? Had she lost her way? She had come here like a sleepwalker, quite unconsciously. The mental state I experienced at this moment is beyond the imagination of any living being. I felt a kind of pleasant, yet indescribable, pain. No. I was not mistaken. That lady, and this girl, who unceremoniously and without uttering a word had entered my room were the same person. I had always imagined our first meeting to happen like this. For me, this state was like an endless, deep sleep; one has to be in a very deep sleep to have such a dream. The silence that weighed on me was like an eternal life. It is hard to speak at the beginning, or at the end of eternity. ~ Sadegh Hedayat,
410:The Mad Gardener's Song

He thought he saw an Elephant,
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
'At length I realise,' he said,
'The bitterness of Life!'

He thought he saw a Buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His Sister's Husband's Niece.
'Unless you leave this house,' he said,
'I'll send for the Police!'

He thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That questioned him in Greek:
He looked again, and found it was
The Middle of Next Week.
'The one thing I regret,' he said,
'Is that it cannot speak!'

He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk
Descending from the bus:
He looked again, and found it was
A Hippopotamus.
'If this should stay to dine,' he said,
'There won't be much for us!'

He thought he saw a Kangaroo
That worked a coffee-mill:
He looked again, and found it was
A Vegetable-Pill.
'Were I to swallow this,' he said,
'I should be very ill!'

He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four
That stood beside his bed:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bear without a Head.
'Poor thing,' he said, 'poor silly thing!
It's waiting to be fed!'

He thought he saw an Albatross
That fluttered round the lamp:
He looked again, and found it was
A Penny-Postage Stamp.
'You'd best be getting home,' he said:
'The nights are very damp!'

He thought he saw a Garden-Door
That opened with a key:
He looked again, and found it was
A Double Rule of Three:
'And all its mystery,' he said,
'Is clear as day to me!'

He thought he saw a Argument
That proved he was the Pope:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bar of Mottled Soap.
'A fact so dread,' he faintly said,
'Extinguishes all hope! ~ Lewis Carroll,
411:Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” — 1 Corinthians 10:12 IT is a curious fact, that there is such a thing as being proud of grace. A man says, “I have great faith, I shall not fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall.” “I have fervent love,” says another, “I can stand, there is no danger of my going astray.” He who boasts of grace has little grace to boast of. Some who do this imagine that their graces can keep them, knowing not that the stream must flow constantly from the fountain head, or else the brook will soon be dry. If a continuous stream of oil comes not to the lamp, though it burn brightly to-day, it will smoke to-morrow, and noxious will be its scent. Take heed that thou gloriest not in thy graces, but let all thy glorying and confidence be in Christ and His strength, for only so canst thou be kept from falling. Be much more in prayer. Spend longer time in holy adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation be redolent of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men’s souls. So live that men may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus, and have learned of Him; and when that happy day shall come, when He whom you love shall say, “Come up higher,” may it be your happiness to hear Him say, “Thou hast fought a good fight, thou hast finished thy course, and henceforth there is laid up for thee a crown of righteousness which fadeth not away.” On, Christian, with care and caution! On, with holy fear and trembling! On, with faith and confidence in Jesus alone, and let your constant petition be, “Uphold me according to Thy word.” He is able, and He alone, “To keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
412:The Candle Of The Lord
“The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord.”
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of
God.”
Our spirit—ay, our own!—the tree whose fruits
Have never fail'd—the sign upon the door
'Twixt us and God's intelligent dumb brutes,
That parts us evermore!
Our spirit—last, best gift—still unbereft
Of treasures stored in Eden's happy land;
One fragment of the human, as it left
The Divine Maker's hand.
That seal of our high birth He did allow
Toea unharm'd the sin and woe and strife;
That remnant of our godhead—wanting now
Only the “breath of life.”
Only the breath of life, whereby the Lord
Made us to be His equals, fit to fill
His throne—our free wills brought into accord
With His own sovereign will.
Our spirit—not the feeble soul which came
With our dishonour'd state and its new needs;
And not the feebler heart of sin and shame,
That daily breaks and bleeds.
Our spirit—our unshatter'd lamp—still ours—
Fill'd with the heavenly essence, as of yore,—
To bear a light, to light the midnight hours,
And light the wreck to shore.
Ay, 'tis the same—the same! It hath not shared
The mutilation and the curse and blight;
When the destruction fell, the lamp was spared—
Only deprived of Light.
178
O God! and hath it ever ceased to grope
For light, and yearn and cry for light to come?
In blackest gloom, ere revelation spoke,
While yet the Christ was dumb,
Thou knowest it search'd for every wandering ray,
And never wearied of the weary quest;
And fed and fenced and treasured, day by day,
A glimmer in its breast.
O holy Dove! O Grace! O Love! come down—
Our spirit with Thy perfect light inspire!
Circle each candle with its flaming crown,
Its cloven tongue of fire!
~ Ada Cambridge,
413:The change will do you good,” she said simply, when he had finished; “and you must be sure to go and see Ellen,” she added, looking him straight in the eyes with her cloudless smile, and speaking in the tone she might have employed in urging him not to neglect some irksome family duty.

It was the only word that passed between them on the subject; but in the code in which they had both been trained it meant: “Of course you understand that I know all that people have been saying about Ellen, and heartily sympathize with my family in their effort to get her to return to her husband. I also know that, for some reason you have not chosen to tell me, you have advised her against this course, which all the older men of the family, as well as our grandmother, agree in approving; and that it is owing to your encouragement that Ellen defies us all, and exposes herself to the kind of criticism of which Mr. Sillerton Jackson probably gave you this evening, the hint that has made you so irritable… Hints have indeed not been wanting; but since you appear unwilling to take them from others, I offer you this one myself, in the only form in which well-bred people of our kind can communicate unpleasant things to each other: by letting you understand that I know you mean to see Ellen when you are in Washington, and are perhaps going there expressly for that purpose; and that, since you are sure to see her, I wish you to do so with my full and explicit approval—and to take the opportunity of letting her know what the course of conduct you have encouraged her in is likely to lead to.”

Her hand was still on the key of the lamp when the last word of this mute message reached him. She turned the wick down, lifted off the globe, and breathed on the sulky flame.

“They smell less if one blows them out,” she explained, with her bright housekeeping air. On the threshold she turned and paused for his kiss. ~ Edith Wharton,
414:Gifts
'O World-God, give me Wealth!' the Egyptian cried.
His prayer was granted. High as heaven, behold
Palace and Pyramid; the brimming tide
Of lavish Nile washed all his land with gold.
Armies of slaves toiled ant-wise at his feet,
World-circling traffic roared through mart and street,
His priests were gods, his spice-balmed kings enshrined,
Set death at naught in rock-ribbed charnels deep.
Seek Pharaoh's race to-day and ye shall find
Rust and the moth, silence and dusty sleep.
'O World-God, give me beauty!' cried the Greek.
His prayer was granted. All the earth became
Plastic and vocal to his sense; each peak,
Each grove, each stream, quick with Promethean flame,
Peopled the world with imaged grace and light.
The lyre was his, and his the breathing might
Of the immortal marble, his the play
Of diamond-pointed thought and golden tongue.
Go seek the sun-shine race, ye find to-day
A broken column and a lute unstrung.
'O World-God, give me Power!' the Roman cried.
His prayer was granted. The vast world was chained
A captive to the chariot of his pride.
The blood of myriad provinces was drained
To feed that fierce, insatiable red heart.
Invulnerably bulwarked every part
With serried legions and with close-meshed Code,
Within, the burrowing worm had gnawed its home,
A roofless ruin stands where once abode
The imperial race of everlasting Rome.
'O Godhead, give me Truth!' the Hebrew cried.
His prayer was granted; he became the slave
Of the Idea, a pilgrim far and wide,
Cursed, hated, spurned, and scourged with none to save.
The Pharaohs knew him, and when Greece beheld,
His wisdom wore the hoary crown of Eld.
85
Beauty he hath forsworn, and wealth and power.
Seek him to-day, and find in every land.
No fire consumes him, neither floods devour;
Immortal through the lamp within his hand.
~ Emma Lazarus,
415:May 28 Evening "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope." – Lamentations 3:21 Memory is frequently the bond slave of despondency. Dispairing minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding in the past, and dilate upon every gloomy feature in the present; thus memory, clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of mingled gall and wormwood. There is, however, no necessity for this. Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same recollection which in its left hand brings so many gloomy omens, may be trained to bear in its right a wealth of hopeful signs. She need not wear a crown of iron, she may encircle her brow with a fillet of gold, all spangled with stars. Thus it was in Jeremiah’s experience: in the previous verse memory had brought him to deep humiliation of soul: "My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me;" and now this same memory restored him to life and comfort. "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope." Like a two-edged sword, his memory first killed his pride with one edge, and then slew his despair with the other. As a general principle, if we would exercise our memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress, strike a match which would instantaneously kindle the lamp of comfort. There is no need for God to create a new thing upon the earth in order to restore believers to joy; if they would prayerfully rake the ashes of the past, they would find light for the present; and if they would turn to the book of truth and the throne of grace, their candle would soon shine as aforetime. Be it ours to remember the lovingkindness of the Lord, and to rehearse his deeds of grace. Let us open the volume of recollection which is so richly illuminated with memorials of mercy, and we shall soon be happy. Thus memory may be, as Coleridge calls it, "the bosom-spring of joy," and when the Divine Comforter bends it to his service, it may be chief among earthly comforters. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
416:Filipinos, Remember Us
You, if it fall to you to take
From us the lamp that Athens gave,
Fill it with mercy for our sake,
And light us gently to the grave.
The Goth and Vandal rendered not
For evil good --but all in vain
Have we, your victors, prayed and taught
If through you freedom bleeds again.
Bound home, but blown across the sea
In earth that clings about his feet,
The whinchat bears the seedling tree,
And plants the sterile lands with wheat.
But we --we shipped with slime for freight,
Unknown to us what in it grew;
And brought untoward to our hate
The germ of Liberty to you.
When you have armed and joined the East
To swell the Peril which affrights
Our bloody conscience at the feast,
Where Fate the ancient curse re-writes;
When the White Peril, slumber bound,
Gorged full, the sport of bottle flies,
Awakes to find you on his ground
Puissant, cynical and wise;
Kicking his childish lies and frauds
'Round infamy's quiescent yard;
And raking from the wall the gawds
Despite the dull and drunken guard;
Or battering down the entrance door
Long shut, while yours was opened wide,
To forage in our golden store,
Our rich possessions to divide;
127
To us it were but poor amends
Our sons with hatred to entreat;
Remember us, who were your friends
Right in the battle's blood and heat.
For our sakes, centuries sunk in sleep,
Who strove to stave the certain doom,
Our brothers' sons forgive, and keep
The flower of Liberty in bloom.
Move not in blindness, as of old
The unconscious Hun devoured the land;
You must, with history's page unrolled,
Be god-like in your great command.
Yes, if it fall to you to take
From us the lamp that Athens gave,
Fill it with gladness for our sake,
Restore the weak and free the slave:
Fill every place of waste with love,
And every land of woe with light,
Till Peace, the pentecostal dove,
Descend and consecrate your might
~ Edgar Lee Masters,
417:Empty
Can this be my poem?—this poor fragment
Of bald thought in meanest language dressed!
Can this string of rhymes be my sweet poem?
All its poetry wholly unexpressed!
Does it tell me of the dreams that wandered,
In the silent night-time, through my brain?
Of the woven web of wondrous fancies,
Half of keenest joy and half of pain?
Does it tell me of the awful beauty
That came down to hide this sordid earth?
Does it tell me of the inward crying?—
Of the glory whence it had its birth?
Only as the lamp, all dull and rusted,
Tells me of the flame that is put out,—
Of the shiny hair and happy faces
Lighted, when its radiance streamed about?
Only as this piece of glass, now lying
In the shade beside me, as I sit,
Tells me of the soft hues of the rainbow,
That the morning sunshine gave to it!
Only as this little flask, now smelling
Of the dust and mould with which 'tis lined,
Tells me of the lovely subtle fragrance
Of the perfume that it once enshrined!
Only as a picture, blurred and faded,
Tells me of the bloom of colour there,
When the painter's soul was with his canvas,
And his paint was bright, and fresh, and fair!
Only as the wires and keys—notes broken,
Odd and scattered—tell me of a strain
That once filled my very soul with rapture,
But can never be spelled out again!
95
Only as a bare brown flower-stalk tells me
Of the delicate blossom that it wore;
Of the humming bees in silken petals,
And the downy butterflies it bore!
Only as a crazy boat, sun-blistered,
Drawn up high and dry upon the sands,
Tells me of the blue and buoyant billows
Bearing breezy sails to foreign lands!
Only as a little dead lark, lying
With bedraggled wings and withered throat,
Tells me of the songs it heard in heaven—
Trying to teach me, here and there, a note!
Oh no! oh no! this is not my treasure—
This is but the shell where it has lain;
It is gone—the life, and light, and glory,—
And 'twill never come to me again!
~ Ada Cambridge,
418:Earth Voices
I heard the spring wind whisper
Above the brushwood fire,
'The world is made forever
Of transport and desire.
'I am the breath of being,
The primal urge of things;
I am the whirl of star dust,
I am the lift of wings.
'I am the splendid impulse
That comes before the thought,
The joy and exaltation
Wherein the life is caught.
'Across the sleeping furrows
I call the buried seed,
And blade and bud and blossom
Awaken at my need.
'Within the dying ashes
I blow the sacred spark,
And make the hearts of lovers
To leap against the dark.'II
I heard the spring light whisper
Above the dancing stream,
'The world is made forever
In likeness of a dream.
'I am the law of planets,
I am the guide of man;
The evening and the morning
Are fashioned to my plan.
'I tint the dawn with crimson,
I tinge the sea with blue;
My track is in the desert,
My trail is in the dew.
80
'I paint the hills with color,
And in my magic dome
I light the star of evening
To steer the traveller home.
'Within the house of being,
I feed the lamp of truth
With tales of ancient wisdom
And prophecies of youth.'III
I heard the spring rain murmur
Above the roadside flower,
'The world is made forever
In melody and power.
'I keep the rhythmic measure
That marks the steps of time,
And all my toil is fashioned
To symmetry and rhyme.
'I plow the untilled upland,
I ripe the seeding grass,
And fill the leafy forest
With music as I pass.
'I hew the raw, rough granite
To loveliness of line,
And when my work is finished,
Behold, it is divine!
'I am the master-build
er
In whom the ages trust.
I lift the lost perfection
To blossom from the dust.'IV
Then Earth to them made answer,
As with a slow refrain
Born of the blended voices
Of wind and sun and rain,
'This is the law of being
81
That links the threefold chain:
The life we give to beauty
Returns to us again.'
~ Bliss William Carman,
419:Nightmare
'Draw three cards, and I will tell your future . . .
Draw three cards, and lay them down,
Rest your palms upon them, stare at the crystal,
And think of time . . . My father was a clown,
My mother was a gypsy out of Egypt;
And she was gotten with child in a strange way;
And I was born in a cold eclipse of the moon,
With the future in my eyes as clear as day.'
I sit before the gold-embroidered curtain
And think her face is like a wrinkled desert.
The crystal burns in lamplight beneath my eyes.
A dragon slowly coils on the scaly curtain.
Upon a scarlet cloth a white skull lies.
'Your hand is on the hand that holds three lilies.
You will live long, love many times.
I see a dark girl here who once betrayed you.
I see a shadow of secret crimes.
'There was a man who came intent to kill you,
And hid behind a door and waited for you;
There was a woman who smiled at you and lied.
There was a golden girl who loved you, begged you,
Crawled after you, and died.
'There is a ghost of murder in your bloodComing or past, I know not which.
And here is danger-a woman with sea-green eyes,
And white-skinned as a witch . . .'
The words hiss into me, like raindrops falling
On sleepy fire . . . She smiles a meaning smile.
Suspicion eats my brain; I ask a question;
Something is creeping at me, something vile;
And suddenly on the wall behind her head
I see a monstrous shadow strike and spread,
The lamp puffs out, a great blow crashes down.
93
I plunge through the curtain, run through dark to the street,
And hear swift steps retreat . . .
The shades are drawn, the door is locked behind me.
Behind the door I hear a hammer sounding.
I walk in a cloud of wonder; I am glad.
I mingle among the crowds; my heart is pounding;
You do not guess the adventure I have had! . . .
Yet you, too, all have had your dark adventures,
Your sudden adventures, or strange, or sweet . . .
My peril goes out from me, is blown among you.
We loiter, dreaming together, along the street.
~ Conrad Potter Aiken,
420:Now when I say “I,” it seems hollow to me. I can’t manage to feel myself very well, I am so forgotten. The only real thing left in me is existence which feels it exists. I yawn, lengthily. No one. Antoine Roquentin exists for on one. That amuses me. And just what is Antoine Roquentin? An abstraction. A pale reflection of myself wavers in my consciousness. Antoine Roquentin . . . and suddenly the “I” pales, pales, and fades out.

Lucid, forlorn, consciousness is walled-up; it perpetuates itself. Nobody lives there any more. A little while ago someone said “me,” said my consciousness. Who? Outside there were streets, alive with known smells and colours. Now nothing is left but anonymous walls, anonymous consciousness. That is what there is: walls, and between the walls, a small transparency, alive and impersonal. Consciousness exists as a tree, as a blade of grass. It slumbers, it grows bored. Small fugitive presences populate it like birds in the branches. Populate it and disappear. Consciousness forgotten, forsaken between these walls, under this grey sky. And here is the sense of its existence: it is conscious of being superfluous. It dilutes, scatters itself, tries to lose itself on the brown wall, along the lamp post or down there in the evening mist. But it never forgets itself. That is its lot. There is a stifled voice which tells it: “The train leaves in two hours,” and there is the consciousness of this voice. There is also consciousness of a face. It passes slowly, full of blood, spattered, and its bulging eyes weep. It is not between the walls, it is nowhere. It vanishes; a bent body with a bleeding face replaces it, walks slowly away, seems to stop at each step, never stops. There is a consciousness of this body walking slowly in a dark street. It walks but it gets no further away. The dark street does not end, it loses itself in nothingness. It is not between the walls, it is nowhere. And there is consciousness of a stifled voice which says: “The Self-Taught Man is wandering through the city.”

Not the same city, not between these toneless walls, the Self-Taught Man walks in a city where he is not forgotten. ~ Jean Paul Sartre,
421:What are you doing?” Leo demanded, wondering if she had lost her wits entirely. “He doesn’t need a lamp, Win.” Ignoring him, Win removed the glass fount and tossed it to the bed. She did the same with the brass wick burner, exposing the oil reservoir. Without hesitation, she poured the lamp oil over the front of the wardrobe. The pungent odor of highly flammable paraffin spread through the room. “Have you lost your mind?” Leo demanded, astonished not only by her actions, but also by her calm demeanor. “I have a matchbox, Julian,” she said. “Tell me what to give Mr. Rohan, or I’ll set the wardrobe on fire.” “You wouldn’t dare,” Harrow cried. “Win,” Leo said, “you’ll burn the entire damned house down, just after it’s been rebuilt. Give me the bloody matchbox.” She shook her head resolutely. “Are we starting a new springtime ritual?” Leo demanded. “The annual burning-of-the-manse? Come to your senses, Win.” Win turned from him and glared at the wardrobe door. “I was told, Julian, that you killed your first wife. Possibly by poison. And now knowing what you have done to my brother-in-law, I believe it. And if you don’t help us, I’m going to roast you like a piece of Welsh rarebit.” She opened the matchbox. Realizing she couldn’t possibly be serious, Leo decided to back her bluff. “I’m begging you, Win,” he said theatrically, “don’t do this. There’s no need to—Christ!” This last as Win struck a match and set the wardrobe on fire. It wasn’t a bluff, Leo thought dazedly. She actually intended to broil the bastard. At the first bright, curling blossom of flame, there was a terrified cry from inside the wardrobe. “All right! Let me out! Let me out! It’s tannic acid. Tannic acid. It’s in my medical case; let me out!” “Very well, Leo,” Win said, a bit breathless. “You may extinguish the fire.” In spite of the panic that raced through his veins, Leo couldn’t suppress a choked laugh. She spoke as if she’d asked him to snuff a candle, not put out a large flaming piece of furniture. Tearing off his coat, he rushed forward and beat wildly at the wardrobe door. “You’re a madwoman,” he told Win as he passed her. “He wouldn’t have told us otherwise,” Win said. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
422:The House Of Dust: Part 02: 04: Nightmare
'Draw three cards, and I will tell your future . . .
Draw three cards, and lay them down,
Rest your palms upon them, stare at the crystal,
And think of time . . . My father was a clown,
My mother was a gypsy out of Egypt;
And she was gotten with child in a strange way;
And I was born in a cold eclipse of the moon,
With the future in my eyes as clear as day.'
I sit before the gold-embroidered curtain
And think her face is like a wrinkled desert.
The crystal burns in lamplight beneath my eyes.
A dragon slowly coils on the scaly curtain.
Upon a scarlet cloth a white skull lies.
'Your hand is on the hand that holds three lilies.
You will live long, love many times.
I see a dark girl here who once betrayed you.
I see a shadow of secret crimes.
'There was a man who came intent to kill you,
And hid behind a door and waited for you;
There was a woman who smiled at you and lied.
There was a golden girl who loved you, begged you,
Crawled after you, and died.
'There is a ghost of murder in your blood—
Coming or past, I know not which.
And here is danger—a woman with sea-green eyes,
And white-skinned as a witch . . .'
The words hiss into me, like raindrops falling
On sleepy fire . . . She smiles a meaning smile.
Suspicion eats my brain; I ask a question;
Something is creeping at me, something vile;
And suddenly on the wall behind her head
I see a monstrous shadow strike and spread,
The lamp puffs out, a great blow crashes down.
227
I plunge through the curtain, run through dark to the street,
And hear swift steps retreat . . .
The shades are drawn, the door is locked behind me.
Behind the door I hear a hammer sounding.
I walk in a cloud of wonder; I am glad.
I mingle among the crowds; my heart is pounding;
You do not guess the adventure I have had! . . .
Yet you, too, all have had your dark adventures,
Your sudden adventures, or strange, or sweet . . .
My peril goes out from me, is blown among you.
We loiter, dreaming together, along the street.
~ Conrad Potter Aiken,
423:She dwelt on the hillside by edge
of a maize-field, near the spring that
flows in laughing rills through the
solemn shadows of ancient trees. The
women came there to fill their jars,
and travellers would sit there to rest
and talk. She worked and dreamed
daily to the tune of the bubbling
stream.
  One evening the stranger came down
from the cloud-hidden peak; his locks
were tangled like drowsy snakes. We
asked in wonder, "Who are you?"
He answered not but sat by the
garrulous stream and silently gazed at
the hut where she dwelt. Our hearts
quaked in fear and we came back home
when it was night.
  Next morning when the women
came to fetch water at the spring by
the deodar trees, they found the doors
open in her hut, but her voice was gone
and where was her smiling face?
The empty jar lay on the floor and her
lamp had burnt itself out in the
corner. No one knew where she had
fled to before it was morningand the
stranger had gone.
  In the month of May the sun grew
strong and the snow melted, and we
sat by the spring and wept. We
wondered in our mind, "Is there a
spring in the land where she has gone
and where she can fill her vessel in
these hot thirsty days?" And we
asked each other in dismay, "Is there
a land beyond these hills where we
live?"
  It was a summer night; the breeze
blew from the south; and I sat in her
deserted room where the lamp stood
still unlit. When suddenly from
before my eyes the hills vanished like
curtains drawn aside. "Ah, it is
she who comes. How are you, my
child? Are you happy? But where
can you shelter under this open sky?
And, alas! our spring is not here to
allay your thirst."
  "Here is the same sky," she said,
"only free from the fencing hills,
this is the same stream grown into a
river,the same earth widened into
a plain." "Everything is here," I
sighed, "only we are not." She
smiled sadly and said, "You are in
my heart." I woke up and heard the
babbling of the stream and the rustling
of the deodars at night.

~ Rabindranath Tagore, The Gardener LXXXIII - She Dwelt On The Hillside
,
424:Mr. Rudolph reaches out and lifts the flower out of its vase. "To a flower, this photograph means nothing. So when you ask what is the meaning of life, there can be no answer that will apply to everyone and everything. What is a photograph, or a sunset, to a flower? We all bring our own perceptions, needs, and experiences to everything we do. We will all interpret an event, or a sunset, differently."

He pauses, and I am trying to keep up with him. "Basically," I (Jeremy) say slowly, concentrating on my words. "What you're saying is that it's all relative. The meaning of the sunset, or of life itself, is different for everyone?"

Exactly," he says.

... As we head slowly into the big room, I turn to him and ask, "But even if the sunset has different meanings for everyone, it still has meaning, right?"

"That's a tricky question to answer," Mr. Rudolph says, stopping to replace the frame back on the wall. "That sunset will still shine just as surely, just as colorfully, whether it is shining on a wedding or a war. So it would seem that the sunset itself doesn't have inherent meaning; it is just doing its job. If the sunset doesn't have meaning apart from what we give it, does a rock? Or a fish? Or life itself? But just because a park bench, for instance, doesn't have meaning, that doesn't mean it doesn't have worth."

... We have reached the door now, and I'm not sure I'm any closer to understanding what's in the box. My shoulders sag.

"Maybe this will help clear things up," Mr. Rudolph says. "You need to be sure of the question you are asking. Sometimes people think they are looking for the meaning of life, when really they are looking for an understanding of why they are here. What their purpose is, the purpose of life in general. And that is a much easier question to answer that the meaning of life."

Lizzy is already halfway out the door. "It is?" I ask, pulling her back in by the sleeve. ...

"You are the same as the lamp, the chair, the flower," Mr. Rudolph explains. "All you have to do is be the most authentic you that you can be. Find out who you really are, find out why you are here, and you will find your purpose. And with it, the meaning of life. ~ Wendy Mass,
425:After dinner Karamenaios would drop in. We had about fifty words with which to make lingual currency. We didn't even need that many, as I soon discovered. There are a thousand ways of talking and words don't help if the spirit is absent. Karamenaios and I were eager to talk. lt made little difference to me whether we talked about the war or about knives and forks. Sometimes we discovered that a word or phrase which we had been using for days, he in English or I in Greek, meant something entirely different than we had thought it to mean. It made no difference. We understood one another even with the wrong words. I could learn five new words in an evening and forget six or eight during my sleep. The important thing was the warm handclasp, the light in the eyes, the grapes which we devoured in common, the glass we raised to our lips in sign of friendship. Now and then I would get excited and, using a melange of English, Greek, German, French, Choctaw, Eskimo, Swahili or any other tongue I felt would serve the purpose, using the chair, the table, the spoon, the lamp, the bread knife, I would enact for him a fragment of my life in New York, Paris, London, Chula Vista, Canarsie, Hackensack or in some place I had never been or some place I had been in a dream or when lying asleep on the operating table. Sometimes I felt so good, so versatile and acrobatic, that I would stand on the table and sing in some unknown language or hop from the table to the commode and from the commode to the staircase or swing from the rafters, anything to entertain him, keep him amused, make him roll from side to side with laughter. I was considered an old man in the village because of my bald pate and fringe of white hair. Nobody had ever seen an old man cut up the way I did. "The old man is going for a swim," they would say. "The old man is taking the boat out." Always "the old man." If a storm came up and they knew I was out in the middle of the pond they would send someone out to see that "the old man" got in safely. If I decided to take a jaunt through the hills Karamenaios would offer to accompany me so that no harm would come to me. If I got stranded somewhere I had only to announce that I was an American and at once a dozen hands were ready to help me. ~ Henry Miller,
426:Spring Star
I.
Over the lamp-lit street,
Trodden by hurrying feet,
Where mostly pulse and beat
Life's throbbing veins,
See where the April star,
Blue-bright as sapphires are,
Hangs in deep heavens far,
Waxes and wanes.
Strangely alive it seems,
Darting keen, dazzling gleams,
Veiling anon its beams,
Large, clear, and pure.
In the broad western sky
No orb may shine anigh,
No lesser radiancy
May there endure.
Spring airs are blowing sweet:
Low in the dusky street
Star-beams and eye-beams meet.
Rapt in his dreams,
All through the crowded mart
Poet with swift-stirred heart,
Passing beneath, must start,
Thrilled by those gleams.
Naught doth he note anear,
Fain through Night's veil to peer,
Reach that resplendent sphere,
Reading her sign.
Where point those sharp, thin rays,
Guiding his weary maze,
Blesseth she or betrays,
Who may divine?
'Guard me, celestial light,
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Lofty, serenely bright:
Lead my halt feet aright,'
Prayerful he speaks.
'For a new ray hath shone
Over my spirit lone.
Be this new soul the one
whom my soul seeks.'
II.
Beside her casement oped the maiden sits,
Where the mild evening spirit of the Spring
Gently between the city's homesteads flits
To kiss her brows, and floats on languid wing,
Vague longings in her breast awakening.
While her heart trembles 'neath those dim, deep skies,
As the quick sea that 'neath the globed moon lies.
Where her eyes rest the full-orbed evening star
Burns with white flame: it beckons, shrinks, dilates.
She, dazzled by that shining world afar,
May not withdraw her gaze: breathless she waits.
Some promised joy from Heaven's very gates
Unto her soul seems proffered. When shall be
The bright fulfilment of that star's decree?
Nor glad nor sad is she: she doth not know
That through the city's throng one threads his way,
Thrilled likewise by that planet's mystic glow,
And hastes to seek her. What sweet change shall sway
Her spirit at his coming? What new ray
Upon his shadowy life from her shall fall?
The silent star burns on, and knoweth all.
~ Emma Lazarus,
427:My journey wasn’t becoming more than I was, because I was already complete. Rather, it was to awaken to or see who I already was because when and as I did that, I found myself rushing to my Father’s table where His fruits were peace, love and power in limitless abundance. It is as Jesus taught: The eye (perception) is the lamp of our body (earthly experience.) If we see clearly, our earthly experience is full of light, but if our perception isn’t clear, the light within us is dark, and how deep is that darkness. We are the light of the world, but we cover up that truth and so cannot see it. This was why Jesus came to bring sight to the blind. He came to bring sight to me! I also discovered that the only way I could see (and be) who I truly am in this life is to let go of my attachment to all other identities. However alluring they are, they only block my sight to who I already am in the light. As I see who I am as my Father’s son and His extravagant love for me, my natural experience and expression of life always leads to a staggering kind of love, on earth as it is in heaven, right now, right here. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. In fact, love is surely the whole point of our union with and in Christ, even as He prayed: I have given them the glory that you gave me that they may be one, just as we are one. Why? So that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you have loved me. It is only in the awareness of how I am loved by the Father and of my union with Christ that I can share that same love… so that the world would know how they are loved, and that Jesus really was sent by the Father. All of this was incredibly good news to me, the one who seemed to fail every day in his own efforts to become worthy, just like the Pharisees did with all their laws. Perhaps this is why they called it gospel, which simply means “good news.” It was far better than I had dared hope. I can now see that my Father had been gently leading me to that place of surrender for over forty years. In fact, it was my own separation from my earthly father at age six that first set me on that journey. It is said that suffering gets our attention. So then, what a blessing, however much suffering I experienced on the path of awakening. ~ Ted Dekker,
428:In The Manner Of Spenser
So long estranged from every Muse's lyre,
And groveling in the tangled net of Care;
What powerful breath shall kindle up that fire
Smothered with damps of most unkindly air?
Ah, how is quenched the lamp that burnt so fair!
Come, sweet seducers, late too far away,
Once more to my deserted cell repair;
Your rebel courts again your gentle sway;—
Come, soothe the winter's night, and charm the summer's day.
Come, dear companions of my youthful hour,
Fill my fond breast with your majestic themes;
Meet me again on hill, by stream, or bower,
And bathe my fancy in the bliss of dreams.
Vain wish! no more the star of Fancy gleams;
They with becoming scorn reject thy prayer:
Nor will they haunt thy bower, or bless thy streams,
No more to thy deserted cell repair:—
“Go, court the world,” they cry, “thou art not worth our care.”
Bustle and hurry, noise and thrall they hate,
And plodding Method with her leaden rule;
And all that swells the' unwieldy pomp of state,
And all that binds to earth the golden fool;
And creeping Labour with his patient tool:
Free like the birds they wander unconfined,
Nor dip their wings in Lucre's muddy pool;
Business they hate, in crowded nook enshrined,
That spins her dirty web, and clouds the' ethereal mind.
Ah, why should man, in hard unsocial strife,
And withering care whose vigils never cease,
Fretting away this little thread of life,
Of his sad birthright reap such large increase!
Why should he toil for aught but bread and peace?
Why rear to heaven his clay-built pyramids?
Nor from his tasks himself, poor slave! release;
With anxious thought, which wholesome rest forbids,
Drying the balm of sleep from sorrow's swollen lids.
Despising cheap delights, he loves to scoop
75
His marble palace from the rock's hard breast,
And in close dungeon walls himself to coop,
On golden couches wooing pale unrest;
With foreign looms his stately halls are drest,
And grim-wrought tapestry clothes the darkened room;
While in the flowery vale Peace builds her nest,
Amidst the purple heath or yellow broom,
Or where midst rustling corn the nodding poppies bloom.
~ Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
429:She pulled the shawl closer as a tall, lithe figure cut across the parking lot and joined her at the passenger door.
“You’re already famous,” Colby Lane told her, his dark eyes twinkling in his lean, scarred face. “You’ll see yourself on the evening news, if you live long enough to watch it.” He jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “Tate’s on his way right now.”
“Unlock this thing and get me out of here!” she squeaked.
He chuckled. “Coward.”
He unlocked the door and let her climb in. By the time he got behind the wheel and took off, Tate was striding across the parking lot with blood in his eye.
Cecily blew him a kiss as Colby gunned the engine down the busy street.
“You’re living dangerously tonight,” Colby told her. “He knows where you live,” he added.
“He should. He paid for the apartment,” she added in a sharp, hurt tone. She wrapped her arms closer around her. “I don’t want to go home, Colby. Can I stay with you tonight?”
She knew, as few other people did, that Colby Lane was still passionately in love with his ex-wife, Maureen. He had nothing to do with other women even two years after his divorce was final. He drank to excess from time to time, but he wasn’t dangerous. Cecily trusted no one more. He’d been a good friend to her, as well as to Tate, over the years.
“He won’t like it,” he said.
She let out a long breath. “What does it matter now?” she asked wearily. “I’ve burned my bridges.”
“I don’t know why that socialite Audrey had to tell you,” he muttered irritably. “It was none of her business.”
“Maybe she wants a big diamond engagement ring, and Tate can’t afford it because he’s keeping me,” she said bitterly.
He glanced at her rigid profile. “He won’t marry her.”
She made a sound deep in her throat. “Why not? She’s got everything…money, power, position and beauty-and a degree from Vassar.”
“In psychology,” Colby mused.
“She’s been going around with Tate for several months.”
“He goes around with a lot of women. He won’t marry any of them.”
“Well, he certainly won’t marry me,” she assured him. “I’m white.”
“More of a nice, soft tan,” he told her. “You can marry me. I’ll take care of you.”
She made a face at him. “You’d call me Maureen in your sleep and I’d lay your head open with the lamp. It would never work. ~ Diana Palmer,
430:1 Each one shall sit at table with his own cup and spoon, and with his own repentance. Each one's own business shall be his most important affair, and provide his own remedies. They have neglected bowl and plate. Have you a wooden fork? Yes, each monk has a wooden fork as well as a potato. 2 Each one shall wipe away tears with his own saint, when three bells hold in store a hot afternoon. Each one is supposed to mind his own heart, with its conscience, night and morning. Another turn on the wheel: ho hum! And observe the Abbot! Time to go to bed in a straw blanket. 3 Plenty of bread for everyone between prayers and the psalter: will you recite another? Merci, and Miserere. Always mind both the clock and the Abbot until eternity. Miserere. 4 Details of the Rule are all liquid and solid. What canon was the first to announce regimentation before us? Mind the step on the way down! Yes, I dare say you are right, Father. I believe you; I believe you. I believe it is easier when they have ice water and even a lemon. Each one can sit at table with his own lemon, and mind his own conscience. 5 Can we agree that the part about the lemon is regular? In any case, it is better to have sheep than peacocks, and cows rather than a chained leopard says Modest, in one of his proverbs. The monastery, being owner of a communal rowboat, is the antechamber of heaven. Surely that ought to be enough. 6 Each one can have some rain after Vespers on a hot afternoon, but ne quid nimis, or the purpose of the Order will be forgotten. We shall send you hyacinths and a sweet millennium. Everything the monastery provides is very pleasant to see and to sell for nothing. What is baked smells fine. There is a sign of God on every leaf that nobody sees in the garden. The fruit trees are there on purpose, even when no one is looking. Just put the apples in the basket. In Kentucky there is also room for a little cheese. Each one shall fold his own napkin, and neglect the others. 7 Rain is always very silent in the night, under such gentle cathedrals. Yes, I have taken care of the lamp, Miserere. Have you a patron saint, and an angel? Thank you. Even though the nights are never dangerous, I have one of everything. [1499.jpg] -- from Selected Poems of Thomas Merton, by Thomas Merton

~ Thomas Merton, A Practical Program for Monks
,
431:The blinking message light on the phone screamed at us when we walked into the bedroom of our suite. Marlboro Man audibly exhaled, clearly wishing the world--and his brother and the grain markets and the uncertainties of agriculture--would leave us alone already. I wish they’d leave us alone, too.
In light of the recent developments, though, Marlboro Man picked up the phone and dialed Tim to get an update. I excused myself to the bathroom to freshen up and put on a champagne satin negligee in an effort to thwart the external forces that were trying to rob me of my husband’s attention. I brushed my teeth and spritzed myself with Jil Sander perfume before opening the door to the bedroom, where I would seduce my Marlboro Man away from his worries. I knew I could win if only I applied myself.
He was just getting off the phone when I entered the room.
“Dammit,” I heard him mumble as he plopped down onto the enormous king-size bed.
Oh no. Jil Sander had her work cut out for her.
I climbed on the bed and lay beside him, resting my head on his arm. He draped his arm across my waist. I draped my leg around his.
He sighed. “The markets are totally in the shitter.”
I didn’t know the details, but I did know the shitter wasn’t a good place.
I wanted to throw out the usual platitudes. Don’t worry about it, try not to think about it, we’ll figure it out, everything will be okay. But I didn’t know enough about it. I knew he and his brother owned a lot of land. I knew they worked hard to pay for it. I knew they weren’t lawyers or physicians by profession and didn’t have a whole separate income to supplement their ranching operation. As full-time ranchers, their livelihoods were completely reliant on so many things outside of their control--weather, market fluctuations, supply, demand, luck. I knew they weren’t home free in terms of finances--Marlboro Man and I had talked about it. But I didn’t understand enough about the ramifications of this current wrinkle to reassure him that everything would be okay, businesswise. And he probably didn’t want me to.
So I did the only thing I could think of to do. I assured my new husband everything would be okay between us by leaning over, turning off the lamp, and letting the love between us--which had zero to do with markets or grains--take over. ~ Ree Drummond,
432:FIRST SPIRIT:
O thou, who plumed with strong desire
Wouldst float above the earth, beware!
A Shadow tracks thy flight of fire--
Night is coming!
Bright are the regions of the air,
And among the winds and beams
It were delight to wander there--
Night is coming!

SECOND SPIRIT:
The deathless stars are bright above;
If I would cross the shade of night,
Within my heart is the lamp of love,
And that is day!
And the moon will smile with gentle light
On my golden plumes whereer they move;
The meteors will linger round my flight,
And make night day.

FIRST SPIRIT:
But if the whirlwinds of darkness waken
Hail, and lightning, and stormy rain;
See, the bounds of the air are shaken--
Night is coming!
The red swift clouds of the hurricane
Yon declining sun have overtaken,
The clash of the hail sweeps over the plain--
Night is coming!

SECOND SPIRIT:
I see the light, and I hear the sound; 25
Ill sail on the flood of the tempest dark
With the calm within and the light around
Which makes night day:
And thou, when the gloom is deep and stark,
Look from thy dull earth, slumber-bound,
My moon-like flight thou then mayst mark
On high, far away.

...

Some say there is a precipice
Where one vast pine is frozen to ruin
Oer piles of snow and chasms of ice
Mid Alpine mountains;
And that the languid storm pursuing
That winged shape, for ever flies
Round those hoar branches, aye renewing
Its aery fountains.

Some say when nights are dry and clear,
And the death-dews sleep on the morass,
Sweet whispers are heard by the traveller,
Which make night day:
And a silver shape like his early love doth pass
Upborne by her wild and glittering hair,
And when he awakes on the fragrant grass,
He finds night day.
Assigned to 1820 by Mary Shelley, the poet's wife. A notebook draft, whose many variants are of doubtful authority for establishing Shelley's final intention,
survives. Two important variants are listed (from the Julian edition) in the notes below.

25.
Light. MS. reads "glare."

41.
Nights are. MS. starts to change this to the singular, correcting "are"
to "is," but not going on to correct the subject.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Two Spirits - An Allegory
,
433:The Old Camp-Oven
WE DON’T keep a grand piano in our hut beside the creek,
And I’m pretty certain Hannah couldn’t bang it, anyhow,
But we’ve got one box of music, and I’d rather hear its squeak
Than the daisiest cantata that’s been fashioned up to now.
It’s an old camp-oven merely, with a handle made of wire,
But no organ built could nearly compensate to me for it
When I come off graft and find it playing tunes before the fire,
And I’m feeling sort of vacant, but just wonder fully fit.
In its sizzle, sizzle, sizzle,
There’s a thousand little airs,
And no man can sit and grizzle
’Bout his troubles and his cares
While the flames are gaily winding,
And the tea is down to brew,
And the old camp-oven’s grinding
All the reels he ever knew.
When the wet winds meet and whip me in the early winter nights,
And the hissing hailstones clip me all the way across the flat,
As I battle for’ards, water-logged, toward the beckoning lights,
There is always there a welcome to console a chap for that.
For my little wife is beaming brisk and bright beside the lamp,
And the old camp-oven’s going. Gosh! I feel just like a kid
As I peel and sluice so slippy, and I hear the storm winds vamp
To the singing of the oven when the missus lifts the lid.
There’s a sizzle and a splutter
And a whirr of many harps;
Where’s the instrument can utter
Such a maze of flats and sharps?
Not for me the great creations
When the old camp-oven plays
‘Home Sweet Home,’ with variations,
At the end of working days.
In the evenings dim and hazy, stretched outside along a butt,
Feeling reasonably lazy, blowing clouds that curl and climb,
I can hear the old camp-oven on the logs before the hut
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Ripping out a mellow chorus that just suits the place and time.
If we strike it in the ranges, or The Windmill turns out well,
I suppose there’ll be some changes, and I’ll want to make things gee;
But the time will never happen when I’ll be so steep a swell
That the old camp-oven’s measure won’t be melody to me.
’Neath its bubble, bubble, bubble,
There’s the lilt of jigs and reels;
All the common kind of trouble
That the horney-handed feels
Is wiped out in half a minute
By the restfulness it brings,
And the peaceful rapture in it
When the old camp-oven sings.
~ Edward George Dyson,
434:Aladdin
Aladdin poor the wizard found,
Who moved from cavern’s mouth a stone;
Then bade him go beneath the ground,
And pace through unknown realms alone,
Till from a niche he bore away
A lamp—extinguishing its ray.
The youth obedient instant hied,
When fruits luxuriant met his sight;
The white were pearls in snowy pride,
Diamonds the clear—of brilliant light;
For red the rubies dazzling blazed,
Whereof Aladdin gathered store;
Then on the lamp in rapture gazed,
And from its niche the treasure bore.
Regained his home, he seized anon
The lamp, and cried “straight bring me food;”
The Genii instantly was gone,
But soon again before him stood.
The youth his fear-struck mother bore,
As plates of silver met his view;
Of viands choice, containing store,
And cups, with wine of rosy hue.
Aladdin next by chance descried,
The Sultan’s daughter, witching fair;
Love’s high control was not denied—
He sought to gain the beauty rare.
Before the Sultan lowly bent
His mother, and the jewels spread;
The Prince, astonished, gave consent,
And all Aladdin’s terrors fled.
In gorgeous robes the youth arrayed,
29
Vaulted anon his prancing steed;
And of the glittering, gay parade,
Right joyous smiling took the lead.
With loud huzzas then rang the air,
Which louder pealed, as gold amain
By slaves was cast, for mob to share,
That glittered on the vasty plain
Ne’er dreaming lamp so worn and old
More worth commanded than Peru,
Our Princess bartered wealth untold,
For the Magician’s lamp quite new:
So when this change the eunuch made
In scorn the rabble ’gan to shout;
Beholding such a silly trade,
They deemed the wizard fool and lout.
O’erwhelmed with grief, Aladdin prayed
Once more the Genii life would spare;
Beseeching he might be conveyed
Where late had stood his palace fair.
Then swift as thought, the spirit bore
The youth through airy realms above;
Who lighted safe on Afric’s shore,
And gained the chamber of his love
His foe the poison quaffed and fell—
A writhing form the wizard lay;
Aladdin knew how worked the spell,
And tore from vest the lamps, his prey.
The Princess with a panting heart,
Flew to receive affection’s kiss:
Thus met they, never more to part;
From that hour sealed their lasting blis
~ Anonymous Americas,
435:Counterpoint: Two Rooms
He, in the room above, grown old and tired;
She, in the room below, his floor her ceiling,
Pursue their separate dreams. He turns his light,
And throws himself on the bed, face down, in laughter.
She, by the window, smiles at a starlight night.
His watch—the same he has heard these cycles of ages—
Wearily chimes at seconds beneath his pillow.
The clock upon her mantelpiece strikes nine.
The night wears on. She hears dull steps above her.
The world whirs on. New stars come up to shine.
His youth—far off—he sees it brightly walking
In a golden cloud .... wings flashing about it....
Darkness
Walls it around with dripping enormous walls.
Old age, far off—or death—what do they matter?
Down the smooth purple night a streaked star falls.
She hears slow steps in the street; they chime like music,
They climb to her heart, they break and flower in beauty,
Along her veins they glisten and ring and burn.
He hears his own slow steps tread down to silence.
Far off they pass. He knows they will never return.
Far off, on a smooth dark road, he hears them faintly.
The road, like a sombre river, quietly flowing,
Moves among murmurous walls. A deeper breath
Swells them to sound: he hears his steps more clearly.
And death seems nearer to him; or he to death.
What's death?—she smiles. The cool stone hurts her elbow,
The last few raindrops gather and fall from elm-boughs,
She sees them glisten and break. The arc-lamp sings,
The new leaves dip in the warm wet air and fragrance,
A sparrbw whirs to the eaves and shakes its wings.
What's death—what's death ? The spring returns like music ;
The trees are like dark lovers who dream in starlight;
25
The soft grey clouds go over the stars like dreams.
The cool stone wounds her arms to pain, to pleasure.
Under the lamp a circle of wet street gleams.
And death seems far away—a thing of roses,
A golden portal where golden music closes,
Death seems far away;
And spring returns, the countless singing of lovers,
And spring returns to stay....
He, in the room above, grown old and tired,
Flings himself on the bed, face down, in laughter,
And clenches his hands, and remembers, and desires to die.
And she, by the window, smiles at a night of starlight....
The soft grey clouds go slowly across the sky.
~ Conrad Potter Aiken,
436:I had once gone to Ujjaini
On the banks of the river Shipra
Far far away in that land of dreams
To seek the first love of my former life.
She had lodhra* powder on her face
A lotus she playfully held in her hand
She stuck buds of kunda in her ears
And kurubak flower in her hair
Her slim body she dressed in red
With a knot at her waist
Anklets gently jingled on her feet.
It was on a day in spring
To find my way I had to travel long
In that unknown land.

In the temple of Mahakal
The evening prayer bell rang
The crowded roads were now empty
The dusk was falling
And the rooftops were glowing
With the rays of setting sun.

My beloved's home
On a lonely narrow serpentine street
Was difficult to reach.
On the door was painted
A conchshell and a discus
On either side of its entrance
Grew two young mango trees
Like two beloved sons
On a white pillar at the gate
The statue of a lion stood.

Her pigeons had returned home
And on a golden bar
Her peacock had gone to sleep
With a lamp in her hand
My Malabika slowly came down.
She descended the stairs like a goddess
Holding an evening star in her hand.
The scent of flowers and her body
Fell on me like warm breaths
Her half-slipped dress
Revealed her left breast
Painted in chandan paste.

Seeing me my beloved
Put down the lamp on the stairs
And stood before me.
She held my hand
And silently asked with her anxious eyes,
'How are you, my friend?'
Looking at her I tried to reply
But no words came.
I had forgotten her language
Both of us tried hard
But failed to remember our names.
Only silent tears
Trickled down our eyes.

Sitting under the tree
We thought and thought
As a bird seeks its nest at the day's end
Her hands sought mine
Like a lotus bending on its stem
She slowly bent her head on my breast
And our warm eager breaths
Silently mingled.
In the darkness of night
Ujjaini was lost
At the gate
The lamp went out
In the temple
On the banks of Shipra
The prayers stopped.
*Lodhra is the name of a tree, the powder of its ground bark was used by women in poet Kalidasa's time for beautification. Kunda and Kurubak are names of flowers while Chandan is sandal wood.
Transcreation of the poem ''Swapna' from the collection Kalpana by Rabindranath Tagore. Transcreation by Kumud Biswas.
Translated by Kumud Biswas
~ Rabindranath Tagore, A Dream
,
437: Zhian, is that you? I focus the words on the clay jar above Darian.
The reply comes like a clap of thunder
GET ME OUT OF HERE!
I stumble at the force of his words, and Darian steps forward to catch me.
“Wine catching up to you?” he asks, grinning.
I just nod distractedly, stiffening a little when his hands slide up my arms.
Zhian, I’m here to help you.
GET ME OUT NOW!

Darian’s hands are far too familiar, one on my back now, the other cupping my jaw. His touch is repulsive, his heartbeat erratic and too fast. I feel assaulted on all sides: by Zhian’s shouting, by the jinn clamoring, by Darian’s desire.
“You really are quite pretty,” he says, his eyes dropping to my lips. “I’ve shown you something secret. Now what are you going to show me?”
Steeling myself, I grasp his coat and step forward, backing him into the shelves, and around him bottles shake dangerously.
“Easy,” he cautions, but his eyes brighten greedily. Our faces are just inches apart, his eyes locked on mine. “You’re a feisty one. I knew it the moment I saw you. No wonder Rahzad likes to keep you close.”
“What about the princess?” I murmur, working a hand behind him as if to thread my fingers in his oiled hair.
“Caspida hardly appreciates the finer pleasures in life. I, on the other hand, have a king’s appetite.”
He kisses me forcefully, stepping away from the wall, and I’m barely able to grab Zhian’s jar before it’s out of reach. No bigger than my hand, it’s simple to let it slip down my sleeve. The jinn prince rages inside, but I ignore him and focus on the human trying to force his tongue down my throat. I can feel myself hovering on the very edge of the lamp’s boundary. Ripples of smoke race under my skin as I strain to keep from shifting, the effort bringing tears to my eyes.
I shove Darian hard, and he shouts as he slams into the wall of bottled jinn. A few topple from their shelves, and panic springs into his eyes as he struggles to catch them all.
“Bleeding gods, you whore!” he growls. “Are you mad?”
“My master is probably looking for me,” I gasp. “I should go.”
I turn and flee the room, letting out a soft, relieved cry as the lamp’s pull on me slackens. Darian pursues too quickly for me to shift into a more speedy form. Zhian’s jar rattling in my sleeve, I hurry through the dark crypt and up the stairs, the prince close on my heels.
“Stop!” he shouts. “Or I’ll have you whipped!”
Sister! Zhian cries. Set me free and I will devour the wretch! ~ Jessica Khoury,
438:The night following the reading, Gansey woke up to a completely unfamiliar sound and fumbled for his glasses. It sounded a little like one of his roommates was being killed by a possum, or possibly the final moments of a fatal cat fight. He wasn’t certain of the specifics, but he was sure death was involved.
Noah stood in the doorway to his room, his face pathetic and long-suffering. “Make it stop,” he said.
Ronan’s room was sacred, and yet here Gansey was, twice in the same weak, pushing the door open. He found the lamp on and Ronan hunched on the bed, wearing only boxers. Six months before, Ronan had gotten the intricate black tattoo that covered most of his back and snaked up his neck, and now the monochromatic lines of it were stark in the claustrophobic lamplight, more real than anything else in the room. It was a peculiar tattoo, both vicious and lovely, and every time Gansey saw it, he saw something different in the pattern. Tonight, nestled in an inked glen of wicked, beautiful flowers, was a beak where before he’d seen a scythe.
The ragged sound cut through the apartment again.
“What fresh hell is this?” Gansey asked pleasantly. Ronan was wearing headphones as usual, so Gansey stretched forward far enough to tug them down around his neck. Music wailed faintly into the air.
Ronan lifted his head. As he did, the wicked flowers on his back shifted and hid behind his sharp shoulder blades. In his lap was the half-formed raven, its head tilted back, beak agape.
“I thought we were clear on what a closed door meant,” Ronan said. He held a pair of tweezers in one hand.
“I thought we were clear that night was for sleeping.”
Ronan shrugged. “Perhaps for you.”
“Not tonight. Your pterodactyl woke me. Why is it making that sound?”
In response, Ronan dipped the tweezers into a plastic baggy on the blanket in front of him. Gansey wasn’t certain he wanted to know what the gray substance was in the tweezers’ grasp. As soon as the raven heard the rustle of the bag, it made the ghastly sound again—a rasping squeal that became a gurgle as it slurped down the offering. At once, it inspired both Gansey’s compassion and his gag reflex.
“Well, this is not going to do,” he said. “You’re going to have to make it stop.”
“She has to be fed,” Ronan replied. The ravel gargled down another bite. This time it sounded a lot like vacuuming potato salad. “It’s only every two hours for the first six weeks.”
“Can’t you keep her downstairs?”
In reply, Ronan half-lifted the little bird toward him. “You tell me. ~ Maggie Stiefvater,
439:She said, “Why can’t you see that people care for you?”
She said, “I care for you.”
“I know that you care. But…” He searched her face. “Anyone would, for a friend.”
“You’re more than a friend.”
“On the battlefield, you stayed--”
“Of course I did.”
“You have a strong sense of honor. You always have. I think you think you owe me something.”
“I stayed because I love you.”
He flinched and looked away. “You don’t mean that.”
“Yes, I do.”
The night outside seemed to swell against the tent. The lamp smelled like a hot stone. His face slowly opened. He touched her hand as it pressed against his heart. His caress was light, secret, almost unsure of her knuckles, the thin tendons as strong as bone. She felt him become sure.
There was no sound when he kissed her. None when she unthreaded the ties of his shirt and found his skin.
He grasped her dagger belt, flexed his fingers once around the leather, then simply held on. He whispered something into her mouth that was almost a word. It lost its shape, became something else.
He let go. She heard the brush of linen as he drew the shirt over his head, his fingertips grazing the tent’s sloped ceiling as if for balance. His ribs were bound with gauze, his body marked by scars. Old ones, badly healed and raised. Others, pink and fresh. His shoulders bore pale gouges; they looked like sets of claws, almost deliberate, like tattoos. Curious, she touched them.
He bit his lip.
“That hurts?”
“No.”
“What is this? What happened?”
“I’ll tell you,” he said. “Later.”
His hand strayed over her shirt, which was eastern, as Arin’s was, with no collar. Threadbare in places. Frayed at the neck. He worried the cloth there, rubbing it between fingers and thumb. Then he drew her shirt open, and she felt as if reality had grown larger and tremulous: a drop of water on the point of a pin.
“Kestrel…I’ve never--”
She whispered that this was new for her, too.
There was a long pause. “Are you certain you want--”
“Yes.”
“Because…”
“Arin.”
“Maybe you--”
“Arin.” She laughed, and then so did he, aware that they’d already found the bed. Words had fallen away. Maybe the words lay on the earth, nestled among clothes, curled into the undone dagger belt. Maybe later, language would be recovered and pieced together. Made to make sense. But not now. Now there was touch and taste and sound.
When he eased into her, she was glad for the burning lamp, the fuzzy glow of it on his skin. The way it showed the black fall of his wet hair, the flesh and scars that made him. She didn’t look away. ~ Marie Rutkoski,
440:The House Of Dust: Part 04: 04: Counterpoint: Two
Rooms
He, in the room above, grown old and tired,
She, in the room below—his floor her ceiling—
Pursue their separate dreams. He turns his light,
And throws himself on the bed, face down, in laughter. . . .
She, by the window, smiles at a starlight night,
His watch—the same he has heard these cycles of ages—
Wearily chimes at seconds beneath his pillow.
The clock, upon her mantelpiece, strikes nine.
The night wears on. She hears dull steps above her.
The world whirs on. . . .New stars come up to shine.
His youth—far off—he sees it brightly walking
In a golden cloud. . . .Wings flashing about it. . . . Darkness
Walls it around with dripping enormous walls.
Old age—far off—her death—what do they matter?
Down the smooth purple night a streaked star falls.
She hears slow steps in the street—they chime like music;
They climb to her heart, they break and flower in beauty,
Along her veins they glisten and ring and burn. . . .
He hears his own slow steps tread down to silence.
Far off they pass. He knows they will never return.
Far off—on a smooth dark road—he hears them faintly.
The road, like a sombre river, quietly flowing,
Moves among murmurous walls. A deeper breath
Swells them to sound: he hears his steps more clearly.
And death seems nearer to him: or he to death.
What's death?—She smiles. The cool stone hurts her elbows.
The last of the rain-drops gather and fall from elm-boughs,
She sees them glisten and break. The arc-lamp sings,
The new leaves dip in the warm wet air and fragrance.
A sparrow whirs to the eaves, and shakes his wings.
What's death—what's death? The spring returns like music,
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The trees are like dark lovers who dream in starlight,
The soft grey clouds go over the stars like dreams.
The cool stone wounds her arms to pain, to pleasure.
Under the lamp a circle of wet street gleams. . . .
And death seems far away, a thing of roses,
A golden portal, where golden music closes,
Death seems far away:
And spring returns, the countless singing of lovers,
And spring returns to stay. . . .
He, in the room above, grown old and tired,
Flings himself on the bed, face down, in laughter,
And clenches his hands, and remembers, and desires to die.
And she, by the window, smiles at a night of starlight.
. . . The soft grey clouds go slowly across the sky.
~ Conrad Potter Aiken,
441:We had been out for one of our evening rambles, Holmes and I, and had returned about six o’clock on a cold, frosty winter’s evening. As Holmes turned up the lamp the light fell upon a card on the table. He glanced at it, and then, with an ejaculation of disgust, threw it on the floor. I picked it up and read: CHARLES AUGUSTUS MILVERTON, Appledore Towers, Hampstead. Agent. “Who is he?” I asked. “The worst man in London,” Holmes answered, as he sat down and stretched his legs before the fire. “Is anything on the back of the card?” I turned it over. “Will call at 6:30--C.A.M.,” I read. “Hum! He’s about due. Do you feel a creeping, shrinking sensation, Watson, when you stand before the serpents in the Zoo, and see the slithery, gliding, venomous creatures, with their deadly eyes and wicked, flattened faces? Well, that’s how Milverton impresses me. I’ve had to do with fifty murderers in my career, but the worst of them never gave me the repulsion which I have for this fellow. And yet I can’t get out of doing business with him--indeed, he is here at my invitation.” “But who is he?” “I’ll tell you, Watson. He is the king of all the blackmailers. Heaven help the man, and still more the woman, whose secret and reputation come into the power of Milverton! With a smiling face and a heart of marble, he will squeeze and squeeze until he has drained them dry. The fellow is a genius in his way, and would have made his mark in some more savoury trade. His method is as follows: He allows it to be known that he is prepared to pay very high sums for letters which compromise people of wealth and position. He receives these wares not only from treacherous valets or maids, but frequently from genteel ruffians, who have gained the confidence and affection of trusting women. He deals with no niggard hand. I happen to know that he paid seven hundred pounds to a footman for a note two lines in length, and that the ruin of a noble family was the result. Everything which is in the market goes to Milverton, and there are hundreds in this great city who turn white at his name. No one knows where his grip may fall, for he is far too rich and far too cunning to work from hand to mouth. He will hold a card back for years in order to play it at the moment when the stake is best worth winning. I have said that he is the worst man in London, and I would ask you how could one compare the ruffian, who in hot blood bludgeons his mate, with this man, who methodically and at his leisure tortures the soul and wrings the nerves in order to add to his already swollen money-bags?” I had seldom heard my friend speak with such intensity of feeling. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle,
442:firmly by the shoulders. Jon says, ‘How the hell did you ever get keys for this place?’ I chuckle, though there is really nothing to laugh about. It is the irony, I suppose. ‘The first summer I was here, I landed one day to find that the Lighthouse Board had sent in decorators to paint the place. Everything was opened up. The guys were okay with me taking a look around and we got chatting. The forecast was good, and they expected to be here for a few days. So I spun them the story about writing a book and said I would probably be back tomorrow. And I was. Only this time with a pack of Blu-tack. When they were having their lunch, I took the keys from the inner and outer doors and made impressions. Dead simple. Had keys cut, and access to the place whenever I wanted thereafter.’ The final panel falls away in my hands, and I reach in to retrieve a black plastic bag. I hand it up to Jon, and he peels back the plastic to look inside. As I stand up, I lift one of the wooden panels. I know that this is the one chance I will get, while he is distracted, and I swing the panel at his head as hard as I can. The force with which it hits him sends a judder back up my arms to my shoulders, and I actually hear it snap. He falls to his knees, dropping the hard drive, and his gun skids away across the floor. Sally is so startled, she barely has time to move before I punch her hard in the face. I feel teeth breaking beneath the force of my knuckles, behind lips I once kissed with tenderness and lust. Blood bubbles at her mouth. I grab Karen by the arm and hustle her fast down the corridor, kicking open the door and dragging her out into the night. The storm hits us with a force that assails all the senses. The wind is deafening, driving stinging rain horizontally into our faces. The cold wraps icy fingers around us, instantly numbing. Beyond the protection of the walls, it is worse, and I find it nearly impossible to keep my feet as I pull my daughter off into the dark. Only the relentless turning of the lamp in the light room above us provides any illumination. We turn right, and I know that almost immediately the island drops away into a chasm that must be two or three hundred feet deep. I can hear the ocean rushing into it. Snarling, snapping at the rocks below and sending an amplified roar almost straight up into the air. I guide Karen away from it, half-dragging her, until we reach a small cluster of rocks and I push her flat into the ground behind them. I tear away the tape that binds her wrists, then roll her on to her back to peel away the strip of it over her mouth. She gasps, almost choking, and I feel her body next to mine, racked by sobs, as she ~ Peter May,
443:Layla!" Don bounded into her sight. The door behind her was still bolted. Where had he come from?
The starshot tumbled from her hands and clattered to the floor. She snatched it up and slipped it back inside her dress. Bill was gone.But Don was-Daniel was right where she wanted him to be.
"What are you doing here?" Her voice broke with the force of having to act surprised to see him.
He didn't seem to hear it.He rushed toward her and wrapped her in his arms. "Saving your life."
"How did you get in?"
"Don't worry about that.No mortal man, no slab of stone can obstruct a love as true as ours. I will always find you."
In his bare, bronzed arms, it was Luce's instinct to feel comforted. But she couldn't right then.Her heart felt ragged and cold.This easy happiness, these feelings of complete trust, every one of the lovely emotions Daniel had shown her how to feel in every life-they were torture to her now.
"Fear not," he whispered. "Let me tell you, my love, what happens after this life.You come back,you rise again. Your rebirth is beautiful and real.You come back to me,again and again-"
The light from the lamp flickered and made his violet eyes sparkle.His body was so warm against hers.
"But I die again and again."
"What?" He tilted his head.Even when his physique looked exotic to her, she knew his expressions so well-that bemused adoration when she expressed something he hadn't expected her to understand. "How do you-Never mind. It doesn't matter.What matters is that we will again be together.We will always find each other,always love each other, no matter what.I will never leave you."
Luce fell to her knees on the stone steps. She hid her face in her hands. "I don't know how you can stand it.Over and over again,the same sadness-"
He lifted her up. "The same ecstasy-"
"The same fire that kills everything-"
"The same passion that ignites it all again.You don't know.You can't remember how wonderful-"
"I've seen it.I do know."
How she had his attention. He didn't seem sure whether or not to believe her, but at least he was listening.
"What if there's no hope of anything ever changing?" she asked.
"There is only hope. One day, you will live through it.That absolute truth is the only thing that keeps me going. I will never give up on you. Even if it takes forever." He wiped away her tears with his thumb. "I'll love you with all my heart,in every life, through every death. I will not be bound by anything but my love for you."
"But it's so hard.Isn't it hard for you? Haven't you ever thought,what if..."
"One day,our love will conquer this dark cycle.That's worth everything to me. ~ Lauren Kate,
444:Dennis Shand
THE shadows fall along the wall,
It's night at Haye-la-Serre;
The maidens weave since day grew eve,
The lady's in her chair.
O passing slow the long hours go
With time to think and sigh,
When weary maidens weave beneath
A listless lady's eye.
It's two days that Earl Simon's gone
And it's the second night;
At Haye-la-Serre the lady's fair,
In June the moon is light.
O it's “Maids, ye'll wake till I come back,”
And the hound's i' the lady's chair:
No shuttles fly, the work stands by,
It's play at Haye-la-Serre.
The night is worn, the lamp's forlorn,
The shadows waste and fail;
There's morning air at Haye-la-Serre,
The watching maids look pale.
O all unmarked the birds at dawn
Where drowsy maidens be;
But heard too soon the lark's first tune
Beneath the trysting tree.
“Hold me thy hand, sweet Dennis Shand,”
Says the Lady Joan de Haye,
“That thou to-morrow do forget
To-day and yesterday.
“For many a weary month to come
My lord keeps house with me,
And sighing summer must lie cold
In winter's company.
“And many an hour I'll pass thee by
And see thee and be seen;
Yet not a glance must tell by chance
How sweet these hours have been.
“We've all to fear; there's Maud the spy,
There's Ann whose face I scor'd,
There's Blanch tells Huot everything,
85
And Huot loves my lord.
“But O and it's my Dennis 'll know,
When my eyes look weary dim,
Who finds the gold for his girdle-fee
And who keeps love for him.”
The morrow's come and the morrow-night,
It's feast at Haye-la-Serre,
And Dennis Shand the cup must hand
Beside Earl Simon's chair.
And still when the high pouring's done
And cup and flagon clink,
Till his lady's lips have touched the brim
Earl Simon will not drink.
But it's, “Joan my wife,” Earl Simon says,
“Your maids are white and wan.”
And it's, “O,” she says, “they've watched the night
With Maud's sick sister Ann.”
But it's, “Lady Joan and Joan my bird,
Yourself look white and wan.”
And it's, “O, I've walked the night myself
To pull the herbs for Ann:
“And some of your knaves were at the hutch
And some in the cellarage,
But the only one that watched with us
Was Dennis Shand your page.
“Look on the boy, sweet honey lord,
How drooped his eyelids be:
The rosy colour's not yet back
That paled in serving me.”
O it's, “Wife, your maids are foolish jades,
And you're a silly chuck,
And the lazy knaves shall get their staves
About their ears for luck:
“But Dennis Shand may take the cup
And pour the wine to his hand;
Wife, thou shalt touch it with thy lips,
And drink thou, Dennis Shand!”
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
445:Eternal, unconfined, unextended, without cause and without effect, the Holy Lamp mysteriously burns. Without quantity or quality, unconditioned and sempiternal, is this Light.
It is not possible for anyone to advise or approve; for this Lamp is not made with hands; it exists alone for ever; it has no parts, no person; it is before "I am." Few can behold it, yet it is always there. For it there is no "here" nor "there," no "then" nor "now;" all parts of speech are abolished, save the noun; and this noun is not found either in {106} human speech or in Divine. It is the Lost Word, the dying music of whose sevenfold echo is I A O and A U M.
Without this Light the Magician could not work at all; yet few indeed are the Magicians that have know of it, and far fewer They that have beheld its brilliance!

The Temple and all that is in it must be destroyed again and again before it is worthy to receive that Light. Hence it so often seems that the only advice that any master can give to any pupil is to destroy the Temple.

"Whatever you have" and "whatever you are" are veils before that Light. Yet in so great a matter all advice is vain. There is no master so great that he can see clearly the whole character of any pupil. What helped him in the past may hinder another in the future.

Yet since the Master is pledged to serve, he may take up that service on these simple lines. Since all thoughts are veils of this Light, he may advise the destruction of all thoughts, and to that end teach those practices which are clearly conductive to such destruction.

These practices have now fortunately been set down in clear language by order of the A.'.A.'..

In these instructions the relativity and limitation of each practice is clearly taught, and all dogmatic interpretations are carefully avoided. Each practice is in itself a demon which must be destroyed; but to be destroyed it must first be evoked.

Shame upon that Master who shirks any one of these practices, however distasteful or useless it may be to him! For in the detailed knowledge of it, which experience alone can give him, may lie his opportunity for crucial assistance to a pupil. However dull the drudgery, it should be undergone. If it were possible to regret anything in life, which is fortunately not the case, it would be the hours wasted in fruitful practices which might have been more profitably employed on sterile ones: for NEMO<> in tending his garden seeketh not to single out the flower that shall be NEMO after him. And we are not told that NEMO might have used other things than those which he actually does use; it seems possible that if he had not the acid or the knife, or the fire, or the oil, he might miss tending just that one flower which was to be NEMO after him! ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, The Lamp,
446:A Te Deum
Now let me praise the Lord,
The Lord, the Maker of all!
I will praise Him on timbrel and chord;
Will praise Him, whatever befall.
For the Heavens are His, and the Earth,
His are the wind and the wave;
His the begetting, the birth,
And His the jaws of the grave.
'Tis He that hath made us, not we;
We were dust and slime of the ground:
He breathed on the dark, and we see;
He flooded the silence with sound.
Shall I pick and choose for His praise?
Shall I thank Him for good, not ill?
He is the Ancient of Days,
And He hews the rocks as He will.
So I praise Thee, O Lord, for the good,
For the ill, for the weal, for the woe,
For the cushat that coos in the wood,
And the wolves that howl in the snow.
For the close-fitting doors that are barred,
Lest the vagrant should whine for bread,
And the yawn of the slinking pard
That hath gorged and surfeited.
For the owl that jibbers and blinks
In the arches the Flavian planned,
And the stare of the stony Sphynx
O'er the ribs of the fleshless sand.
What is there Thou hast done,
I will not thank for and praise?
Thanks for the sands that are run,
Thanks for the unborn days.
112
For the stealthy mildew and blight
That shows on the mellowing corn,
And the bankrupt that wakes at night
And weeps o'er the day he was born.
For the fears and the years that are null,
And the hopes Thou dost bring to nought,
And the worm-thridden ways of the skull
In which Shakespeare thought.
How shall I thank Thee, O Lord!
For Thy infinite ways and deeds?
For the edge of the cleaving sword,
And the neigh of riderless steeds:
The murderous glitter and tramp,
And the lives that are mown like grain,
The cheers of the victors' camp,
And the clammy sleep of the slain.
The laurels and loves that await
The Hero returned from the strife,
And the widows that stand at the gate
Loveless and lonely for life.
Thanks for all things that are,
For the fair, the foul, the fell;
Thanks for the Morning-star,
And the nethermost murk of Hell.
For the music of moonlight nights,
And the savour of summer days,
For the swoop of carrion kites,
And the stench of gibbeted jays.
The soft ripples that laugh in the bay,
The soft shadows that sweep o'er the moor,
And the plunge of the tides at their prey
When they level the homes of the poor.
Lift up your throats, ye waves!
113
Swell out your voice, ye hills!
Thank for the chance that saves;
Thank for the flash that kills.
For the bliss of a dewy dell
When lover and maiden meet,
And the venal kisses they sell
In the shade of the lamp-lit street.
For the tumult of hopes and fears
When the bridegroom steals to his bride,
And the coldness born of the years,
Though they still lie side by side.
Praise we, praise we the Lord,
The Lord, the Maker of all!
Praise Him on timbrel and chord;
Praise Him, whatever befall!
~ Alfred Austin,
447:Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky-tonks, restaurants and whore-houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flop-houses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, "whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches," by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peep-hole he might have said: "Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men," and he would have meant the same thing.

In the morning when the sardine fleet has made a catch, the purse-seiners waddle heavily into the bay blowing their whistles. The deep-laden boats pull in against the coast where the canneries dip their tails into the bay. The figure is advisedly chosen, for if the canneries dipped their mouths into the bay the canned sardines which emerge from the other end would be metaphorically, at least, even more horrifying. Then cannery whistles scream and all over the town men and women scramble into their clothes and come running down to the Row to go to work. Then shining cars bring the upper classes down: superintendents, accountants, owners who disappear into offices. Then from the town pour Wops and Chinamen and Polaks, men and women in trousers and rubber coats and oilcloth aprons. They come running to clean and cut and pack and cook and can the fish. The whole street rumbles and groans and screams and rattles while the silver rivers of fish pour in out of the boats and the boats rise higher and higher in the water until they are empty. The canneries rumble and rattle and squeak until the last fish is cleaned and cut and cooked and canned and then the whistles scream again and the dripping, smelly, tired Wops and Chinamen and Polaks, men and women, straggle out and droop their ways up the hill into the town and Cannery Row becomes itself again-quiet and magical. Its normal life returns. The bums who retired in disgust under the black cypress-tree come out to sit on the rusty pipes in the vacant lot. The girls from Dora's emerge for a bit of sun if there is any. Doc strolls from the Western Biological Laboratory and crosses the street to Lee Chong's grocery for two quarts of beer. Henri the painter noses like an Airedale through the junk in the grass-grown lot for some pan or piece of wood or metal he needs for the boat he is building. Then the darkness edges in and the street light comes on in front of Dora's-- the lamp which makes perpetual moonlight in Cannery Row. Callers arrive at Western Biological to see Doc, and he crosses the street to Lee Chong's for five quarts of beer.

How can the poem and the stink and the grating noise-- the quality of light, the tone, the habit and the dream-- be set down alive? When you collect marine animals there are certain flat worms so delicate that they are almost impossible to capture whole, for they break and tatter under the touch. You must let them ooze and crawl of their own will on to a knife blade and then lift them gently into your bottle of sea water. And perhaps that might be the way to write this book-- to open the page and to let the stories crawl in by themselves. ~ John Steinbeck,
448:The Undivided Wholeness of All Things
Most mind-boggling of all are Bohm's fully developed ideas about wholeness. Because everything in the cosmos is made out of the seamless holographic fabric of the implicate order, he believes it is as meaningless to view the universe as composed of "parts, " as it is to view the different geysers in a fountain as separate from the water out of which they flow. An electron is not an "elementary particle. " It is just a name given to a certain aspect of the holomovement. Dividing reality up into parts and then naming those parts is always arbitrary, a product of convention, because subatomic particles, and everything else in the universe, are no more separate from one another than different patterns in an ornate carpet. This is a profound suggestion. In his general theory of relativity Einstein astounded the world when he said that space and time are not separate entities, but are smoothly linked and part of a larger whole he called the space-time continuum. Bohm takes this idea a giant step further. He says that everything in the universe is part of a continuum. Despite the apparent separateness of things at the explicate level, everything is a seamless extension of everything else, and ultimately even the implicate and explicate orders blend into each other. Take a moment to consider this. Look at your hand. Now look at the light streaming from the lamp beside you. And at the dog resting at your feet. You are not merely made of the same things. You are the same thing. One thing. Unbroken. One enormous something that has extended its uncountable arms and appendages into all the apparent objects, atoms, restless oceans, and twinkling stars in the cosmos. Bohm cautions that this does not mean the universe is a giant undifferentiated mass. Things can be part of an undivided whole and still possess their own unique qualities. To illustrate what he means he points to the little eddies and whirlpools that often form in a river. At a glance such eddies appear to be separate things and possess many individual characteristics such as size, rate, and direction of rotation, et cetera. But careful scrutiny reveals that it is impossible to determine where any given whirlpool ends and the river begins. Thus, Bohm is not suggesting that the differences between "things" is meaningless. He merely wants us to be aware constantly that dividing various aspects of the holomovement into "things" is always an abstraction, a way of making those aspects stand out in our perception by our way of thinking. In attempts to correct this, instead of calling different aspects of the holomovement "things, " he prefers to call them "relatively independent subtotalities. "10 Indeed, Bohm believes that our almost universal tendency to fragment the world and ignore the dynamic interconnectedness of all things is responsible for many of our problems, not only in science but in our lives and our society as well. For instance, we believe we can extract the valuable parts of the earth without affecting the whole. We believe it is possible to treat parts of our body and not be concerned with the whole. We believe we can deal with various problems in our society, such as crime, poverty, and drug addiction, without addressing the problems in our society as a whole, and so on. In his writings Bohm argues passionately that our current way of fragmenting the world into parts not only doesn't work, but may even lead to our extinction. ~ Michael Talbot,
449:Description Of A Tropical Island
Behold an Indian isle, reposed
Upon the deep’s enamoured breast,
Even like a royal bride, be-rosed
With passion in her happy rest.
Or, when the morn is there disclosed,
Or eve is robing in the west,
The deep, as by that isle embossed
With central gauds of sumless cost,
And else outspread in circuit—wide
And round as heaven from side to side—
Might figure to a fancy bold
A wide vast shield of fretted gold,
Dropped by some conquer’d elder god,
When on his track, where’er he trod,
Jove’s chasing thunders rolled.
Or in the broad noon domed with heaven,
A world-wide temple’s marble floor
It seemeth, with one alter graven
From the rude mass of things terrene,
By Time inspired with Eden lore;—
An isle-like alter, sculptured o’er
With craggy hills and valleys green,
And heaping forests hung between:
By Time, with an old love enthralled,
Wrought thus in living emerald;—
And after nature’s earliest style
Is shaped that wondrous Indian isle.
Or circling out beneath the moon,
Or sowed with all the stars of night,
And by the lamp-like planets strewn
With long and flame-like tracks of light,
Might seem it to a watcher fond,
Grey Time’s broad seal of diamond,
Enchased by nature, memory-taught,
With one most rich and rare device,
A haunting isolated thought
Of her sin-ruined Paradise.
A summer island! There the trees,
52
Of glorious forms, unseen elsewhere,
Hang forth in golden congeries
Their fruit through all the purple year;
And flowers of every sunset hue,
And peerless plants of stateliest stem,
Fresh-showered each morn with honey-dew,
Voluptuously impave and gem
The pillary aisles of primal groves
That skirt the sunny sea-board coves,
Or hang in their umbrageous crowds
From coasting slopes like verdant clouds:
While from the craggy midland hills,
Out of their gelid springs, the rills
Leap, as exulting to be free,
And thence in their bright liberty
Through glades and cultured valleys vast,
And many a wide pasture lea,
Come murmurously winding, fast
And flashing to the sea.
There, too, what birds on plain and mountain,
The fairest creatures of the earth,
The deepest dipt in beauty’s fountain,
(The summer’s loveliest birth),
Flock round, and vividly unfold
Their fulgent wings of feathery gold;
Bedropt with gem-like lustres, which
All interbeaming in their flight
Break, as they pass, into a rich
Flame-vision on the sight.
Thus fly they, and with splendours rare
Emblaze the warm and genial air.
Such is the summer wealth and worth
Of that bright isle I’d picture forth:
Nor wants it fields that well afford
The yellow grain and mellow gourd;
With many a cultivated plain
Prolific of the luscious cane
And mealy root: for all things there
Are bounteous in their kind, and fair
And genial; all but the bad mind
53
Of recreant man! And this hath made
Its very beauty seem designed
To deepen Evil’s deadly shade,
And given its repute to be
Borne far abroad by every wind
That wafts a white sail o’er the sea,
Even like the savour, damp with doom,
Of some o’ergorged though costly tomb.
O learn how, like a Upas-tree,
(Not fabled) his dread cruelty
Can make a scene that else might tell
Of Paradise, a type of hell!
~ Charles Harpur,
450:Elizabeth Speaks
(Aetat Six)
Now every night we light the grate
And I sit up till _really_ late;
My Father sits upon the right,
My Mother on the left, and I
Between them on an ancient chair,
That once belonged to my Great-Gran,
Before my Father was a man.
We sit without another light;
I really, truly never tire
Watching that space, as black as night,
That hangs behind the fire;
For there sometimes, you know,
The dearest, queerest little sparks,
Without a sound creep to and fro;
Sometimes they form in rings
Or lines that look like many things,
Like skipping ropes, or hoops, or swings:
Before you know what you're about,
They all go out!
My Father says that they are gnomes,
Beyond the grate they have their homes,
In a tall, black, and windy town,
Behind a door we cannot see.
Often when it's time for bed
The children run away instead,
Out through the door to see our fire,
Then their angry parents come
With every candle in the town,
The beadle with his lantern too,
And search and rummage up and down,
To catch the children as they play,
Between the rows of new-mown hay,
And bring them home;
(They must be, O, so very small,
How do they capture them at all?
33
But then they must be very _dear_);
When they can find no more
They blow a horn we cannot hear,
And march with the beadle at their head,
Right through the little open door,
Then close it tight and go to bed.
My Mother says that may be so;
(They both agree they're _gnomes_, you know).
She says, she thinks that every night,
The gnomes have had a fearful fight;
Their valiant General has been slain,
And all the soldiers leave the camp
To dig his grave upon the plain;
They drag the General on a gun;
Every bandsman has a lamp
And there's a torch for every one,
They dig his grave with bayonets
And wrap him grandly in his flag,
Then they gather in a ring,
The band plays very soft and low,
And all the soldiers sing.
(Of course we cannot hear, you know,)
Then some one calls 'The enemy comes!'
They muffle up their pipes and drums;
Every soldier in a fright
Puts out his light.
Then hand in hand, and very still,
They clamber up the dark, dark hill
And hold their breath tight--tight.
(I'd like to know which tale is right.)
O! there is something I forgot!
Sometimes one little spark burns on
Long after the rest have gone.
My Father says that lamp is left
By a little crooked, crotchety man,
Who cannot find his wayward son;
When the horn begins to blow,
He has to drop his light and run.
34
Of course he limps so slow
He squeezes through the very last,
When he is gone the naughty scamp
Jumps up and puff! out goes the lamp.
My Mother says that is the light,
Borne by the very bravest knight;
He is so very, very brave,
He would not leave his General's grave,
And when the Enemy General tries
To make him tell where his General lies,
He answers boldly, 'I--will--not!'
Then they shoot him on the spot,
And give a horrid, dreadful shout,
And then of course his light goes out.
I sit and think when they are through,
Which tale I like best of the two.
Sometimes I like the _Father_ one;
It is such fun!
But then I love the _Mother_ one,
That dear brave soldier and the rest:-_Now which one do you like the best?_
~ Duncan Campbell Scott,
451:I have been so great a lover: filled my days
So proudly with the splendour of Love's praise,
The pain, the calm, and the astonishment,
Desire illimitable, and still content,
And all dear names men use, to cheat despair,
For the perplexed and viewless streams that bear
Our hearts at random down the dark of life.
Now, ere the unthinking silence on that strife
Steals down, I would cheat drowsy Death so far,
My night shall be remembered for a star
That outshone all the suns of all men's days.
Shall I not crown them with immortal praise
Whom I have loved, who have given me, dared with me
High secrets, and in darkness knelt to see
The inenarrable godhead of delight?
Love is a flame:—we have beaconed the world's night.
A city:—and we have built it, these and I.
An emperor:—we have taught the world to die.
So, for their sakes I loved, ere I go hence,
And the high cause of Love's magnificence,
And to keep loyalties young, I'll write those names
Golden for ever, eagles, crying flames,
And set them as a banner, that men may know,
To dare the generations, burn, and blow
Out on the wind of Time, shining and streaming . . . .

These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such—
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair's fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year's ferns. . . .
Dear names,
And thousand other throng to me! Royal flames;
Sweet water's dimpling laugh from tap or spring;
Holes in the ground; and voices that do sing;
Voices in laughter, too; and body's pain,
Soon turned to peace; and the deep-panting train;
Firm sands; the little dulling edge of foam
That browns and dwindles as the wave goes home;
And washen stones, gay for an hour; the cold
Graveness of iron; moist black earthen mould;
Sleep; and high places; footprints in the dew;
And oaks; and brown horse-chestnuts, glossy-new;
And new-peeled sticks; and shining pools on grass;—
All these have been my loves. And these shall pass,
Whatever passes not, in the great hour,
Nor all my passion, all my prayers, have power
To hold them with me through the gate of Death.
They'll play deserter, turn with the traitor breath,
Break the high bond we made, and sell Love's trust
And sacramented covenant to the dust.
——Oh, never a doubt but, somewhere, I shall wake,
And give what's left of love again, and make
New friends, now strangers. . . .
But the best I've known
Stays here, and changes, breaks, grows old, is blown
About the winds of the world, and fades from brains
Of living men, and dies.
Nothing remains.

O dear my loves, O faithless, once again
This one last gift I give: that after men
Shall know, and later lovers, far-removed,
Praise you, 'All these were lovely'; say, 'He loved. ~ Rupert Brooke,
452:I have been so great a lover: filled my days
So proudly with the splendour of Love's praise,
The pain, the calm, and the astonishment,
Desire illimitable, and still content,
And all dear names men use, to cheat despair,
For the perplexed and viewless streams that bear
Our hearts at random down the dark of life.
Now, ere the unthinking silence on that strife
Steals down, I would cheat drowsy Death so far,
My night shall be remembered for a star
That outshone all the suns of all men's days.
Shall I not crown them with immortal praise
Whom I have loved, who have given me, dared with me
High secrets, and in darkness knelt to see
The inenarrable godhead of delight?
Love is a flame; -- we have beaconed the world's night.
A city: -- and we have built it, these and I.
An emperor: -- we have taught the world to die.
So, for their sakes I loved, ere I go hence,
And the high cause of Love's magnificence,
And to keep loyalties young, I'll write those names
Golden for ever, eagles, crying flames,
And set them as a banner, that men may know,
To dare the generations, burn, and blow
Out on the wind of Time, shining and streaming....
These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such --
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair's fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year's ferns....
Dear names,
And thousand other throng to me! Royal flames;
Sweet water's dimpling laugh from tap or spring;
Holes in the ground; and voices that do sing;
Voices in laughter, too; and body's pain,
Soon turned to peace; and the deep-panting train;
Firm sands; the little dulling edge of foam
That browns and dwindles as the wave goes home;
And washen stones, gay for an hour; the cold
Graveness of iron; moist black earthen mould;
Sleep; and high places; footprints in the dew;
And oaks; and brown horse-chestnuts, glossy-new;
And new-peeled sticks; and shining pools on grass; --
All these have been my loves. And these shall pass,
Whatever passes not, in the great hour,
Nor all my passion, all my prayers, have power
To hold them with me through the gate of Death.
They'll play deserter, turn with the traitor breath,
Break the high bond we made, and sell Love's trust
And sacramented covenant to the dust.
---- Oh, never a doubt but, somewhere, I shall wake,
And give what's left of love again, and make
New friends, now strangers....
But the best I've known,
Stays here, and changes, breaks, grows old, is blown
About the winds of the world, and fades from brains
Of living men, and dies.
Nothing remains.

O dear my loves, O faithless, once again
This one last gift I give: that after men
Shall know, and later lovers, far-removed,
Praise you, "All these were lovely"; say, "He loved. ~ Rupert Brooke,
453:I have been so great a lover: filled my days
So proudly with the splendour of Love's praise,
The pain, the calm, and the astonishment,
Desire illimitable, and still content,
And all dear names men use, to cheat despair,
For the perplexed and viewless streams that bear
Our hearts at random down the dark of life.
Now, ere the unthinking silence on that strife
Steals down, I would cheat drowsy Death so far,
My night shall be remembered for a star
That outshone all the suns of all men's days.
Shall I not crown them with immortal praise
Whom I have loved, who have given me, dared with me
High secrets, and in darkness knelt to see
The inenarrable godhead of delight?
Love is a flame:—we have beaconed the world's night.
A city:—and we have built it, these and I.
An emperor:—we have taught the world to die.
So, for their sakes I loved, ere I go hence,
And the high cause of Love's magnificence,
And to keep loyalties young, I'll write those names
Golden for ever, eagles, crying flames,
And set them as a banner, that men may know,
To dare the generations, burn, and blow
Out on the wind of Time, shining and streaming . . . .

These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such—
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair's fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year's ferns. . . .
Dear names,
And thousand other throng to me! Royal flames;
Sweet water's dimpling laugh from tap or spring;
Holes in the ground; and voices that do sing;
Voices in laughter, too; and body's pain,
Soon turned to peace; and the deep-panting train;
Firm sands; the little dulling edge of foam
That browns and dwindles as the wave goes home;
And washen stones, gay for an hour; the cold
Graveness of iron; moist black earthen mould;
Sleep; and high places; footprints in the dew;
And oaks; and brown horse-chestnuts, glossy-new;
And new-peeled sticks; and shining pools on grass;—
All these have been my loves. And these shall pass,
Whatever passes not, in the great hour,
Nor all my passion, all my prayers, have power
To hold them with me through the gate of Death.
They'll play deserter, turn with the traitor breath,
Break the high bond we made, and sell Love's trust
And sacramented covenant to the dust.
——Oh, never a doubt but, somewhere, I shall wake,
And give what's left of love again, and make
New friends, now strangers. . . .
But the best I've known
Stays here, and changes, breaks, grows old, is blown
About the winds of the world, and fades from brains
Of living men, and dies.
Nothing remains.

O dear my loves, O faithless, once again
This one last gift I give: that after men
Shall know, and later lovers, far-removed,
Praise you, 'All these were lovely'; say, 'He loved. ~ Rupert Brooke,
454:Hic. On the grey sand beside the shallow stream
Under your old wind-beaten tower, where still
A lamp burns on beside the open book
That Michael Robartes left, you walk in the moon,
And, though you have passed the best of life, still trace,
Enthralled by the unconquerable delusion,
Magical shapes.
Ille. By the help of an image
I call to my own opposite, summon all
That I have handled least, least looked upon.
Hic. And I would find myself and not an image.
Ille. That is our modern hope, and by its light
We have lit upon the gentle, sensitive mind
And lost the old nonchalance of the hand;
Whether we have chosen chisel, pen or brush,
We are but critics, or but half create,
Timid, entangled, empty and abashed,
Lacking the countenance of our friends.
Hic. And yet
The chief imagination of Christendom,
Dante Alighieri, so utterly found himself
That he has made that hollow face of his
More plain to the mind's eye than any face
But that of Christ.
Ille. And did he find himself
Or was the hunger that had made it hollow
A hunger for the apple on the bough
Most out of reach? and is that spectral image
The man that Lapo and that Guido knew?
I think he fashioned from his opposite
An image that might have been a stony face
Staring upon a Bedouin's horse-hair roof
From doored and windowed cliff, or half upturned
Among the coarse grass and the camel-dung.
He set his chisel to the hardest stone.
Being mocked by Guido for his lecherous life,
Derided and deriding, driven out
To climb that stair and eat that bitter bread,
He found the unpersuadable justice, he found
The most exalted lady loved by a man.
Hic. Yet surely there are men who have made their art
Out of no tragic war, lovers of life,
Impulsive men that look for happiness
And sing when t"hey have found it.
Ille. No, not sing,
For those that love the world serve it in action,
Grow rich, popular and full of influence,
And should they paint or write, still it is action:
The struggle of the fly in marmalade.
The rhetorician would deceive his neighbours,
The sentimentalist himself; while art
Is but a vision of reality.
What portion in the world can the artist have
Who has awakened from the common dream
But dissipation and despair?
Hic. And yet
No one denies to Keats love of the world;
Remember his deliberate happiness.
Ille. His art is happy, but who knows his mind?
I see a schoolboy when I think of him,
With face and nose pressed to a sweet-shop window,
For certainly he sank into his grave
His senses and his heart unsatisfied,
And made being poor, ailing and ignorant,
Shut out from all the luxury of the world,
The coarse-bred son of a livery-stable keeper
Luxuriant song.
Hic. Why should you leave the lamp
Burning alone beside an open book,
And trace these characters upon the sands?
A style is found by sedentary toil
And by the imitation of great masters.
Ille. Because I seek an image, n-not a book.
Those men that in their writings are most wise,
Own nothing but their blind, stupefied hearts.
I call to the mysterious one who yet
Shall walk the wet sands by the edge of the stream
And look most like me, being indeed my double,
And prove of all imaginable things
The most unlike, being my anti-self,
And, standing by these characters, disclose
All that I seek; and whisper it as though
He were afraid the birds, who cry aloud
Their momentary cries before it is dawn,
Would carry it away to blasphemous men.

~ William Butler Yeats, Ego Dominus Tuus
,
455:/Farsi Being humble is right for you now. Don't thrash around showing your strength. You're naked in the bee-house! It doesn't matter how powerful your arms and legs are. To God, that is more of a lie than your weakness is. In his doorway your prestige and your physical energy are just dust on your face. Be helpless and completely poor. And don't try to meet his eye! That's like signing a paper that honors yourself. If you can take care of things, do so! But when you're living at home with God, you neither sew the world together with desires nor tear it apart with disappointments. In that place existence itself is illusion. All that is, is one. Lost in that, your personal form becomes a vast, empty mosque. When you hold on to yourself, you're a fire-worshipping temple. Dissolve, and let everything get done. When you don't, you're an untrained colt, full of erratic loving and biting. Loyal sometimes, then treacherous. Be more like the servant who owns nothing and is neither hungry nor satisfied, who has no hopes for anything, and no fear of anyone. An owl living near the king's palace is considered a bird of misfortune, ragged and ominous. But off in the woods, sitting alone, its feathers grow splendid and sleek like the Phoenix restored. Musk should not be kept near water or heat. The dampness and the dryness spoil its fragrance. But when the musk is at home in the musk bladder, fire and wetness mean nothing. In God's doorway your guilt and your virtue don't count. Whether you're Muslim, or Christian, or fire-worshipper, the categories disappear. You're seeking, and God is what is sought, the essence beyond any cause. External theological learning moves like a moon and fades when the sun of experience rises. We are here for a week, or less. We arrive and leave almost simultaneously. To be is not to be. The Qur'an says, "They go hastening, with the Light running on before them." Clear the way! Muhammed says, "How fine!" A sigh goes out, and there is union. Forget how you came to this gate, your history. Let that be as if it had not been. Do you think the day plans its course by what the rooster says? God does not depend on any of his creatures. Your existence or non-existence is insignificant. Many like you have come here before. When the fountain of light is pouring, there's no need to urge it on! That's like a handful of straw trying to help the sun. "This way! Please, let this light through!" The sun doesn't need an announcer. The lamp you carry is your self-reliance. The sun is something else! Half a sneeze might extinguish your lantern, whereas all a winter's windiness cannot put That out. The road you must take has no particular name. It's the one composed of your own sighing and giving up. What you've been doing is not devotion. Your hoping and worrying are like donkeys wandering loose, sometimes docile, or suddenly mean. Your face looks wise at times, and ashamed at others. There is another way, a pure blankness where those are one expression. Omar once saw a group of boys on the road challenging each other to wrestle. They were all claiming to be champions, but when Omar, the fierce and accomplished warrior, came near, they scattered. All but one, Abdullah Zubair. Omar asked, "Why didn't you run?" "Why should I? You are not a tyrant, and I am not guilty." When someone knows his own inner value, he doesn't care about being accepted or rejected by anyone else. The prince here is strong and just. Stand wondering in his presence. There is nothing but That. [1841.jpg] -- from The Hand of Poetry: Five Mystic Poets of Persia, with Lectures by Inayat Khan, Translated by Coleman Barks

~ Hakim Sanai, Naked in the Bee-House
,
456:From an essay on early reading by Robert Pinsky:
My favorite reading for many years was the "Alice" books. The sentences had the same somber, drugged conviction as Sir John Tenniel's illustrations, an inexplicable, shadowy dignity that reminded me of the portraits and symbols engraved on paper money. The books were not made of words and sentences but of that smoky assurance, the insistent solidity of folded, textured, Victorian interiors elaborately barricaded against the doubt and ennui of a dreadfully God-forsaken vision. The drama of resisting some corrosive, enervating loss, some menacing boredom, made itself clear in the matter-of-fact reality of the story. Behind the drawings I felt not merely a tissue of words and sentences but an unquestioned, definite reality.
I read the books over and over. Inevitably, at some point, I began trying to see how it was done, to unravel the making--to read the words as words, to peek behind the reality. The loss entailed by such knowledge is immense. Is the romance of "being a writer"--a romance perhaps even created to compensate for this catastrophic loss--worth the price? The process can be epitomized by the episode that goes with one of my favorite illustrations. Alice has entered a dark wood--"much darker than the last wood":
[S]he reached the wood: It looked very cool and shady. "Well, at any rate it's a great comfort," she said as she stepped under the trees, "after being so hot, to get into the--into the--into what?" she went on, rather surprised at not being able to think of the word. "I mean to get under the--under the--under this, you know!" putting her hand on the trunk of the tree. "What does it call itself, I wonder? I do believe it's got no name--why to be sure it hasn't!"
This is the wood where things have no names, which Alice has been warned about. As she tries to remember her own name ("I know it begins with L!"), a Fawn comes wandering by. In its soft, sweet voice, the Fawn asks Alice, "What do you call yourself?" Alice returns the question, the creature replies, "I'll tell you, if you'll come a little further on . . . . I can't remember here".
The Tenniel picture that I still find affecting illustrates the first part of the next sentence: So they walked on together through the wood, Alice with her arms clasped lovingly round the soft neck of the Fawn, till they came out into another open field, and here the Fawn gave a sudden bound into the air, and shook itself free from Alice's arm. "I'm a Fawn!" it cried out in a voice of delight. "And dear me! you're a human child!" A sudden look of alarm came into its beautiful brown eyes, and in another moment it had darted away at full speed.
In the illustration, the little girl and the animal walk together with a slightly awkward intimacy, Alice's right arm circled over the Fawn's neck and back so that the fingers of her two hands meet in front of her waist, barely close enough to mesh a little, a space between the thumbs. They both look forward, and the affecting clumsiness of the pose suggests that they are tripping one another. The great-eyed Fawn's legs are breathtakingly thin. Alice's expression is calm, a little melancholy or spaced-out.
What an allegory of the fall into language. To imagine a child crossing over from the jubilant, passive experience of such a passage in its physical reality, over into the phrase-by-phrase, conscious analysis of how it is done--all that movement and reversal and feeling and texture in a handful of sentences--is somewhat like imagining a parallel masking of life itself, as if I were to discover, on reflection, that this room where I am writing, the keyboard, the jar of pens, the lamp, the rain outside, were all made out of words.

From "Some Notes on Reading," in The Most Wonderful Books (Milkweed Editions) ~ Robert Pinsky,
457:They'd followed him up and had seen him open the door of a room not far from the head of the stairs. He hadn't so much as glanced their way but had gone in and shut the door. She'd walked on with Martha, past that door, down the corridor and around a corner to their chamber.
Drawing in a tight-faintly excited-breath, she set out, quietly creeping back to the corner, her evening slippers allowing her to tiptoe along with barely a sound.
Nearing the corner, she paused and glanced back along the corridor. Still empty. Reassured, she started to turn, intending to peek around the corner-
A hard body swung around the corner and plowed into her.
She stumbled back. Hard hands grabbed her, holding her upright.
Her heart leapt to her throat. She looked up,saw only darkness.
She opened her mouth-
A palm slapped over her lips. A steely arm locked around her-locked her against a large, adamantine male body; she couldn't even squirm.
Her senses scrambled. Strength, male heat, muscled hardness engulfed her.
Then a virulent curse singed her ears.
And she realized who'd captured her.
Panic and sheer fright had tensed her every muscle; relief washed both away and she felt limp. The temptation to sag in his arms, to sink gratefully against him, was so nearly overwhelming that it shocked her into tensing again.
He lowered his head so he could look into her face. Through clenched teeth, he hissed, "What the hell are you doing?"
His tone very effectively dragged her wits to the fore. He hadn't removed his hand from her lips. She nipped it.
With a muted oath, he pulled the hand away.
She moistened her lips and angrily whispered back, "Coming to see you, of course. What are you doing here?"
"Coming to fetch you-of course."
"You ridiculous man." Her hands had come to rest on his chest. She snatched them back, waved them. "I'm hardly likely to come to grief over the space of a few yards!"
Even to her ears they sounded like squabbling children.
He didn't reply.
Through the dark, he looked at her.
She couldn't see his eyes, but his gaze was so intent, so intense that she could feel...
her heart started thudding, beating heavier, deeper.
Her senses expanded, alert in a wholly unfamiliar way.
he looked at her...looked at her.
Primitive instinct riffled the delicate hairs at her nape.
Abruptly he raised his head, straightened, stepped back. "Come on."
Grabbing her elbow, he bundled her unceremoniously around the corner and on up the corridor before him. Her temper-always close to the surface when he was near-started to simmer. If they hadn't needed to be quiet, she would have told him what she thought of such cavalier treatment.
Breckenridge halted her outside the door to his bedchamber; he would have preferred any other meeting place, but there was no safer place, and regardless of all and everything else, he needed to keep her safe. Reaching around her, he raised the latch and set the door swinging. "In here."
He'd left the lamp burning low. As he followed her in, then reached back and shut the door, he took in what she was wearing. He bit back another curse.
She glanced around, but there was nowhere to sit but on the bed. Quickly he strode past her, stripped off the coverlet, then autocratically pointed at the sheet. "Sit there."
With a narrow-eyed glare, she did, with the haughty grace of a reigning monarch.
Immediately she'd sat, he flicked out the coverlet and swathed her in it.
She cast him a faintly puzzled glance but obligingly held the enveloping drape close about her.
He said nothing; if she wanted to think he was concerned about her catching a chill, so be it. At least the coverlet was long enough to screen her distracting angles and calves.
Which really was ridiculous. Considering how many naked women he'd seen in his life, why the sight of her stockinged ankles and calves should so affect him was beyond his ability to explain. ~ Stephanie Laurens,
458:"Throughout these infinite orbs of mingling light,
Of which yon earth is one, is wide diffus'd
A Spirit of activity and life,
That knows no term, cessation, or decay;
That fades not when the lamp of earthly life,
Extinguish'd in the dampness of the grave,
Awhile there slumbers, more than when the babe
In the dim newness of its being feels
The impulses of sublunary things,
And all is wonder to unpractis'd sense:
But, active, steadfast and eternal, still
Guides the fierce whirlwind, in the tempest roars,
Cheers in the day, breathes in the balmy groves,
Strengthens in health, and poisons in disease;
And in the storm of change, that ceaselessly
Rolls round the eternal universe and shakes
Its undecaying battlement, presides,
Apportioning with irresistible law
The place each spring of its machine shall fill;
So that when waves on waves tumultuous heap
Confusion to the clouds, and fiercely driven
Heaven's lightnings scorch the uprooted ocean-fords,
Whilst, to the eye of shipwreck'd mariner,
Lone sitting on the bare and shuddering rock,
All seems unlink'd contingency and chance,
No atom of this turbulence fulfils
A vague and unnecessitated task,
Or acts but as it must and ought to act.
Even the minutest molecule of light,
That in an April sunbeam's fleeting glow
Fulfils its destin'd, though invisible work,
The universal Spirit guides; nor less,
When merciless ambition, or mad zeal,
Has led two hosts of dupes to battlefield,
That, blind, they there may dig each other's graves,
And call the sad work glory, does it rule
All passions: not a thought, a will, an act,
No working of the tyrant's moody mind,
Nor one misgiving of the slaves who boast
Their servitude to hide the shame they feel,
Nor the events enchaining every will,
That from the depths of unrecorded time
Have drawn all-influencing virtue, pass
Unrecogniz'd or unforeseen by thee,
Soul of the Universe! eternal spring
Of life and death, of happiness and woe,
Of all that chequers the phantasmal scene
That floats before our eyes in wavering light,
Which gleams but on the darkness of our prison,
Whose chains and massy walls
We feel, but cannot see.
"Spirit of Nature! all-sufficing Power,
Necessity! thou mother of the world!
Unlike the God of human error, thou
Requir'st no prayers or praises; the caprice
Of man's weak will belongs no more to thee
Than do the changeful passions of his breast
To thy unvarying harmony: the slave,
Whose horrible lusts spread misery o'er the world,
And the good man, who lifts with virtuous pride
His being in the sight of happiness
That springs from his own works; the poison-tree,
Beneath whose shade all life is wither'd up,
And the fair oak, whose leafy dome affords
A temple where the vows of happy love
Are register'd, are equal in thy sight:
No love, no hate thou cherishest; revenge
And favouritism, and worst desire of fame
Thou know'st not: all that the wide world contains
Are but thy passive instruments, and thou
Regard'st them all with an impartial eye,
Whose joy or pain thy nature cannot feel,
Because thou hast not human sense,
Because thou art not human mind.
"Yes! when the sweeping storm of time
Has sung its death-dirge o'er the ruin'd fanes
And broken altars of the almighty Fiend
Whose name usurps thy honours, and the blood
Through centuries clotted there has floated down
The tainted flood of ages, shalt thou live
Unchangeable! A shrine is rais'd to thee,
Which, nor the tempest-breath of time,
Nor the interminable flood
Over earth's slight pageant rolling,
Availeth to destroy--
The sensitive extension of the world.
That wondrous and eternal fane,
Where pain and pleasure, good and evil join,
To do the will of strong necessity,
And life, in multitudinous shapes,
Still pressing forward where no term can be,
Like hungry and unresting flame
Curls round the eternal columns of its strength."

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab - Part Vi (Excerpts)
,
459:Childhood
I.
That idol, black eyes and yellow mop, without parents or court,
nobler than Mexican and Flemish fables;
his domain, insolent azure and verdure,
runs over beaches called by the shipless waves,
names ferociously Greek, Slav, Celt.
At the border of the forest-- dream flowers tinkle, flash, and flare,-the girl with orange lips, knees
crossed in the clear flood that gushes from the fields,
nakedness shaded, traversed, dressed by rainbow, flora, sea.
Ladies who stroll on terraces adjacent to the sea;
baby girls and giantesses,
superb blacks in the verdigris moss,
jewels upright on the rich ground
of groves and little thawed gardens,-young mothers and big sisters with eyes full of pilgrimages,
sultanas, princesses tyrannical of costume and carriage,
little foreign misses and young ladies gently unhappy.
What boredom, the hour of the 'dear body' and 'dear heart.'
II.
It is she, the little girl, dead behind the rosebushes. -The young mamma, deceased, comes down the stoop.-The cousin's carriage creaks on the sand.-The little brother (he is in India!) there,
before the western sky in the meadow of pinks.
The old men who have been buried upright
in the rampart overgrown with gillyflowers.
Swarms of golden leaves surround the general's house.
They are in the south.-You follow the red road to reach the empty inn.
The chateau is for sale; the shutters are coming off.
The priest must have taken away the key of the church.
Around the park the keepers' cottages are uninhabited.
24
The enclosures are so high that nothing
can be seen but the rustling tree tops.
Besides, there is nothing to be seen within.
The meadows go up to the hamlets without anvils or cocks.
The sluice gate is open.
O the Calvaries and the windmills of the desert,
the islands and the haystacks!
Magic flowers droned.
The slopes cradled him.
Beasts of a fabulous elegance moved about.
The clouds gathered over the high sea,
formed of an eternity of hot tears.
III.
In the woods there is a bird;
his song stops you and makes you blush.
There is a clock that never strikes.
There is a hollow with a nest of white beasts.
There is a cathedral that goes down and a lake that goes up.
There is a little carriage abandoned in the copse
or that goes running down the road beribboned.
There is a troupe of little actors in costume, glimpsed on the road
through the border of the woods.
And then, when you are hungry and thirsty,
there is someone who drives you away.
IV.
I am the saint at prayer on the terrace
like the peaceful beasts
that graze down to the sea of Palestine.
I am the scholar of the dark armchair.
Branches and rain hurl themselves at the windows of my library.
I am the pedestrian of the highroad by way of the dwarf woods;
the roar of the sluices drowns my steps.
I can see for a long time the melancholy wash of the setting sun.
I might well be the child abandoned on the jetty
on its way to the high seas, the little farm boy following the lane,
its forehead touching the sky. The paths are rough.
The hillocks are covered with broom.
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The air is motionless. How far away are the birds and the springs!
It can only be the end of the world ahead.
V.
Let them rent me this whitewashed tomb, at last,
with cement lines in relief,-- far down under ground.
I lean my elbows on the table,
the lamp shines brightly on these newspapers
I am fool enough to read again, these stupid books.
An enormous distance above my subterranean parlor,
houses take root, fogs gather.
The mud is red or black.
Monstrous city, night without end!
Less high are the sewers. At the sides,
nothing but the thickness of the globe.
Chasms of azure, wells of fire perhaps.
Perhaps it is on these levels that moons and comets meet,
fables and seas. In hours of bitterness,
I imagine balls of sapphire, of metal.
I am master of silence.
Why should the semblance of an opening
pale under one corner of the vault?
~ Arthur Rimbaud,
460:The Givers Of Life
I.
WHO called us forth out of darkness and gave us the gift of life,
Who set our hands to the toiling, our feet in the field of strife?
Darkly they mused, predestined to knowledge of viewless things,
Sowing the seed of wisdom, guarding the living springs.
Little they reckoned privation, hunger or hardship or cold,
If only the life might prosper, and the joy that grows not old.
With sorceries subtler than music, with knowledge older than speech,
Gentle as wind in the wheat-field, strong as the tide on the beach,
Out of their beauty and longing, out of their raptures and tears,
In patience and pride they bore us, to war with the warring years.
2.
Who looked on the world before them, and summoned and chose our sires,
Subduing the wayward impulse to the will of their deep desires?
Sovereigns of ultimate issues under the greater laws,
Theirs was the mystic mission of the eternal cause;
Confident, tender, courageous, leaving the low for the higher,
Lifting the feet of the nations out of the dust and the mire;
Luring civilization on to the fair and new,
Given God's bidding to follow, having God's business to do.
3.
Who strengthened our souls with courage, and taught us the ways of Earth?
Who gave us our patterns of beauty, our standards of flawless worth?
Mothers, unmilitant, lovely, moulding our manhood then,
Walked in their woman's glory, swaying the might of men.
They schooled us to service and honor, modest and clean and fair, —
The code of their worth of living, taught with the sanction of prayer.
They were our sharers of sorrow, they were our makers of joy,
Lighting the lamp of manhood in the heart of the lonely boy.
Haloed with love and with wonder, in sheltered ways they trod,
Seers of sublime divination, keeping the truce of God.
4.
Who called us from youth and dreaming, and set ambition alight,
And made us fit for the contest, —men, by their tender rite?
Sweethearts above our merit, charming our strength and skill
To be the pride of their loving, to be the means of their will.
If we be the builders of beauty, if we be the masters of art,
Theirs were the gleaming ideals, theirs the uplift of the heart.
Truly they measure the lightness of trappings and ease and fame,
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For the teeming desire of their yearning is ever and ever the same:
To crown their lovers with gladness, to clothe their sons with delight,
And see the men of their making lords in the best man's right.
Lavish of joy and labor, broken only by wrong,
These are the guardians of being, spirited, sentient and strong.
Theirs is the starry vision, theirs the inspiriting hope,
Since Night, the brooding enchantress, promised that day should ope.
5.
Lo, we have built and invented, reasoned, discovered and planned,
To rear us a palace of splendor, and make us a heaven by hand.
We are shaken with dark misgiving, as kingdoms rise and fall;
But the women who went to found them are never counted at all.
Versed in the soul's traditions, skilled in humanity's lore,
They wait for their crown of rapture, and weep for the sins of war.
And behold they turn from our triumphs, as it was in the first of days,
For a little heaven of ardor and a little heartening of praise.
These are the rulers of kingdoms beyond the domains of state,
Martyrs of all men's folly, over-rulers of fate.
These we will love and honor, these we will serve and defend,
Fulfilling the pride of nature, till nature shall have an end.
6.
This is the code unwritten, this is the creed we hold,
Guarding the little and lonely, gladdening the helpless and old,—
Apart from the brunt of the battle our wondrous women shall bide,
For the sake of a tranquil wisdom and the need of a spirit's guide.
Come they into assembly, or keep they another door,
Our makers of life shall lighten the days as the years of yore.
The lure of their laughter shall lead us, the lilt of their words shall sway.
Though life and death should defeat us, their solace shall be our stay.
Veiled in mysterious beauty, vested in magical grace,
They have walked with angels at twilight and looked upon glory's face.
Life we will give for their safety, care for their fruitful ease,
Though we break at the toiling benches or go down in the smoky seas.
This is the gospel appointed to govern a world of men,
Till love has died, and the echoes have whispered the last Amen.
~ Bliss William Carman,
461:Franciscae Meae Laudes (Praises Of My Francesca)
Novis te cantabo chordis,
O novelletum quod ludis
In solitudine cordis.
Esto sertis implicata,
Ô femina delicata
Per quam solvuntur peccata!
Sicut beneficum Lethe,
Hauriam oscula de te,
Quae imbuta es magnete.
Quum vitiorum tempegtas
Turbabat omnes semitas,
Apparuisti, Deitas,
Velut stella salutaris
In naufragiis amaris.....
Suspendam cor tuis aris!
Piscina plena virtutis,
Fons æternæ juventutis
Labris vocem redde mutis!
Quod erat spurcum, cremasti;
Quod rudius, exaequasti;
Quod debile, confirmasti.
In fame mea taberna
In nocte mea lucerna,
Recte me semper guberna.
Adde nunc vires viribus,
Dulce balneum suavibus
Unguentatum odoribus!
Meos circa lumbos mica,
O castitatis lorica,
Aqua tincta seraphica;
179
Patera gemmis corusca,
Panis salsus, mollis esca,
Divinum vinum, Francisca!
In Praise of My Frances
I'll sing to you on a new note,
O young hind that gambols gaily
In the solitude of my heart.
Be adorned with wreaths of flowers,
O delightful woman
By whom our sins are washed away!
As from a benign Lethe,
I shall drink kisses from you,
Who were given a magnet's strength.
When a tempest of vices
Was sweeping down on every path,
You appeared, O divinity!
Like the star of salvation
Above a disastrous shipwreck...
I shall place my heart on your altar!
Reservoir full of virtue,
Fountain of eternal youth,
Restore the voice to my mute lips!
You have burned that which was filthy,
Made smooth that which was rough,
Strengthened that which was weak.
In my hunger you are the inn,
In the darkness my lamp,
Lead me always on virtue's path.
Add your strength now to my strength,
Sweet bath scented
With pleasant perfumes!
180
Shine forth from my loins,
O cuirass of chastity,
That was dipped in seraphic water,
Cup glittering with precious stones,
Bread seasoned with salt, delectable dish,
Heavenly wine — My Frances.
— Translated by William Aggeler
Praises of My Francesca
(Verses to a learned and devout Milliner)
Upon new chords of you I sing.
And the new-born bud you bring
From solitude, the pure heart's Spring.
Your brows should be with garlands twined
Woman of delightful mind,
Who our trespasses unbind.
As the wondrous balm of Lethe,
Through thy kisses, I will breathe thee.
All are magnetised who see thee.
When my vices, wild and stormy,
From my wonted courses bore me
It was You appeared before me,
Star of Oceans! you that alter
Courses, when the pilots falter —
Take my heart upon your altar.
Cistern full of virtuous ruth,
Fountain of eternal youth,
Give to dumbness speech and truth!
181
What was dirty, you cremated,
What uneven — you equated,
What was weak you re-created.
Inn, on the hungry roads I tramp,
And, in the dark, a guiding lamp
To steer the lost one back to camp.
To my strength add strength, O sweet
Bath, where scents and unguents meet!
Anoint me for some peerless feat!
Holy water most seraphic,
On the lusts in which I traffic
Flash your chastity ecstatic.
Bowl of gems where radiance dances.
Salt that the holy bread enhances,
And sacred wine — your name is Frances!
— Translated by Roy Campbell
Francescae Meae Laudes
I shall sing new chords, O hind,
As you gambol unconfined
Through my solitary mind.
Rest, adorned with wreaths of flowers,
Comely woman whose vast powers
Wash away these sins of ours
As from Lethe's stream I shall
Drink your kisses, one and all,
Magnet-like and magical.
When our vices stormily
Swept down every path with glee,
You approved, O Deity!
Like the bright star of salvation
182
Amid shipwreck's desolation —
Take my heart in rapt oblation.
Source of every good and store
Of eternal youth, restore
Song to my mute lips once more.
What was foul you calcinated
What was rough you Ievigated,
What was weak you stimulated.
In my hunger, you the inn,
In my dark, the lamp; and in
Your pale hands, an end to sin.
Add your strength to mine, new-sent,
Sweet bath ever redolent
Of the suaver perfumes blent.
From my loins, gleam radiantly
O cuirass of chastity
Steeped in balm seraphically.
Cup with precious gems ashine,
Savory bread, celestial wine,
Blessed food, Francesca mine!
— Translated by Jacques LeClercq
~ Charles Baudelaire,
462:Epilogue: 1908
The droning tram swings westward: shrill
the wire sings overhead, and chill
midwinter draughts rattle the glass
that shows the dusking way I pass
to yon four turreted square tower
that still exalts the golden hour
where youth, initiate once, endears
a treasure richer with the years.
Dim-seen, the upper stories fleet
along the twisting shabby street;
beneath, the shop-fronts' cover'd ways
bask in their lampions' orange blaze,
or stare phantasmal, weirdly new,
in the electrics' ghastly blue:
and, up and down, I see them go,
along the windows pleas'd and slow
but hurrying where the darkness falls,
the city's drift of pavement thralls
whom the poor pleasures of the street
lure from their niggard homes, to meet
and mix, unknown, and feel the bright
banality 'twixt them and night:
so, in my youth, I saw them flit
where their delusive dream was lit;
so now I see them, and can read
the urge of their unwitting need
one with my own, however dark,
and questing towards one mother-ark.
But, past the gin-shop's ochrous flare,
sudden, a gap of quiet air
and gather'd dark, where, set a pace
beyond the pavement's coiling race
and mask'd by bulk of sober leaves,
the plain obtruncate chancel heaves,
whose lancet-windows faintly show
suffusion of a ruddy glow,
the lamp of adoration, dim
and rich with unction kept for Him
16
whom Bethlehem's manger first made warm,
the sweetest god in human form,
love's prisoner in the Eucharist,
man's pleading, patient amorist:
and there the sacring laver stands
where I was brought in pious hands,
a chrisom-child, that I might be
accepted of that company
who, thro' their journeying, behold
beyond the apparent heavens, controu'd
to likeness of a candid rose,
ascending where the gold heart glows,
cirque within cirque, the blessed host,
their kin, their comfort, and their boast.
With them I walk'd in love and awe
till I was ware of that grim maw
and lazar-pit that reek'd beneath:
what outcast howlings these? what teeth
gnashing in vain? and was that bliss
whose counter-hemisphere was this?
and could it be, when times fulfill'd
had made the tally of either guild,
that this mid-world, dredged clean in both,
should no more bar their gruesome troth?
So from beneath that choiring tent
I stepp'd, and tho' my spirit's bent
was dark to me as yet, I sought
a sphere appeas'd and undistraught;
and found viaticum and goal
in that hard atom of the soul,
that final grain of deathless mind,
which Satan's watch-fiends shall not find
nor the seven mills of darkness bruise,
for all permission to abuse;
stubborn, yet, if one seek aright,
translucent all within and bright
with sheen that bath no paradigm,
not where our proud Golcondas brim,
tho' sky and sea and leaf and flower,
in each rare mood of virtual power,
sleep in their gems' excepted day:
17
and so, nor long, the guarded ray
broke on my eagerness, who brought
the lucid diamond-probe of thought
and, driving it behind, the extreme
blind vehemence of travailing dream
against the inhibitory shell:
and found, no grim eternal cell
and presence of the shrouded Norn,
but Eden, clad in nuptial mom,
young, fair, and radiant with delight
remorse nor sickness shall requite.
Yes, Eden was my own, my bride;
whatever malices denied,
faithful and found again, nor long
absent from aura of wooing song:
but promis'd only, while the sun
must travel yet thro' times undone;
and life must guard the prize of youth,
and thought must steward into truth
the mines of magian ore divined
in rich Cipangos of the mind:
and I, that made my high attempt
no bliss whence any were exempt,
their fellow-pilgrim, I must greet
these listless captives of the street,
these fragments of an orphan'd drift
whose dower was our mother's thrift,
and, tho' they know it not, have care
of what would be their loving prayer
if skill bestow'd might,help them heed
their craving for the simple meed
to be together in the light
when loneliness and dark incite:
long is the way till we are met
where Eden pays her hoarded debt
and we are orb'd in her, and she
hath still'd her hungering to be,
with plentitude beyond impeach,
single, distinct, and whole in each:
and many an evening hour shall bring
the dark crowd's dreary loitering
18
to me who pass and see the tale
of all my striving, bliss or bale,
dated from either spire that strives
clear of the shoal of shiftless lives,
and promise, in all years' despite,
fidelity to old delight.
~ Christopher John Brennan,
463:On The Road
October, and eleven after dark:
Both mist and night. Among us in the coach
Packed heat on which the windows have been shut:
Our backs unto the motion—Hunt's and mine.
The last lamps of the Paris Station move
Slow with wide haloes past the clouded pane;
The road in secret empty darkness. One
Who sits beside me, now I turn, has pulled
A nightcap to his eyes. A woman here,
Knees to my knees—a twenty-nine-year-old—
Smiles at the mouth I open, seeing him:
I look her gravely in the jaws, and write.
Already while I write heads have been leaned
Upon the wall,—the lamp that's overhead
Dropping its shadow to the waist and hands.
Some time 'twixt sleep and wake. A dead pause then,
With giddy humming silence in the ears.
It is a Station. Eyes are opening now,
And mouths collecting their propriety.
From one of our two windows, now drawn up,
A lady leans, hawks a clear throat, and spits.
Hunt lifts his head from my cramped shoulder where
It has been lying—long stray hairs from it
Crawling upon my face and teazing me.
Ten minutes' law. Our feet are in the road.
A weak thin dimness at the sky, whose chill
Lies vague and hard. The mist of crimson heat
Hangs, a spread glare, about our engine's bulk.
I shall get in again, and sleep this time.
A heavy clamour that fills up the brain
Like thought grown burdensome; and in the ears
Speed that seems striving to o'ertake itself;
And in the pulses torpid life, which shakes
As water to a stir of wind beneath.
Poor Hunt, who has the toothache and can't smoke,
Has asked me twice for brandy. I would sleep;
But man proposes, and no more. I sit
With open eyes, and a head quite awake,
But which keeps catching itself lolled aside
196
And looking sentimental. In the coach,
If any one tries talking, the voice jolts,
And stuns the ear that stoops for it.
Amiens.
Half-an-hour's rest. Another shivering walk
Along the station, waiting for the bell.
Ding-dong. Now this time, by the Lord, I'll sleep.
I must have slept some while. Now that I wake,
Day is beginning in a kind of haze
White with grey trees. The hours have had their lapse.
A sky too dull for cloud. A country lain
In fields, where teams drag up the furrow yet;
Or else a level of trees, the furthest ones
Seen like faint clouds at the horizon's point.
Quite a clear distance, though in vapour. Mills
That turn with the dry wind. Large stacks of hay
Made to look bleak. Dead autumn, and no sun.
The smoke upon our course is borne so near
Along the earth, the earth appears to steam.
Blanc-Misseron, the last French station, passed.
We are in Belgium. It is just the same:—
Nothing to write of, and no good in verse.
Curse the big mounds of sand-weed! curse the miles
Of barren chill,—the twentyfold relays!
Curse every beastly Station on the road!
As well to write as swear. Hunt was just now
Making great eyes because outside the pane
One of the stokers passed whom he declared
A stunner. A vile mummy with a bag
Is squatted next me: a disgusting girl
Broad opposite. We have a poet, though,
Who is a gentleman, and looks like one;
Only he seems ashamed of writing verse,
And heads each new page with “Mon cher Ami.”
Hunt's stunner has just come into the coach,
And set us hard agrin from ear to ear.
Another Station. There's a stupid horn
Set wheezing. Now I should just like to know
—Just merely for the whim—what good that is.
These Stations for the most part are a kind
Of London coal-merchant's back premises;
Whitewashed, but as by hands of coal-heavers;
197
Grimy themselves, and always circled in
With foul coke-loads that make the nose aroint.
Here is a Belgian village,—no, a town
Moated and buttressed. Next, a water-track
Lying with draggled reeds in a flat slime.
Next, the old country, always all the same.
Now by Hans Hemmling and by John Van Eyck,
You'll find, till something's new, I write no more.
(4 HOURS)
There is small change of country; but the sun
Is out, and it seems shame this were not said:
For upon all the grass the warmth has caught;
And betwixt distant whitened poplar-stems
Makes greener darkness; and in dells of trees
Shows spaces of a verdure that was hid;
And the sky has its blue floated with white,
And crossed with falls of the sun's glory aslant
To lay upon the waters of the world;
And from the road men stand with shaded eyes
To look; and flowers in gardens have grown strong,
And our own shadows here within the coach
Are brighter; and all colour has more bloom.
So, after the sore torments of the route:—
Toothache, and headache, and the ache of wind,
And huddled sleep, and smarting wakefulness,
And night, and day, and hunger sick at food,
And twentyfold relays, and packages
To be unlocked, and passports to be found,
And heavy well-kept landscape;—we were glad
Because we entered Brussels in the sun.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
464:The light of the sun, the moon, and the stars shines bright: The melody of love swells forth, and the rhythm of love's detachment beats the time. Day and night, the chorus of music fills the heavens; and Kabir says "My Beloved One gleams like the lightning flash in the sky." Do you know how the moments perform their adoration? Waving its row of lamps, the universe sings in worship day and night, There are the hidden banner and the secret canopy: There the sound of the unseen bells is heard. Kabir says: "There adoration never ceases; there the Lord of the Universe sitteth on His throne." The whole world does its works and commits its errors: but few are the lovers who know the Beloved. The devout seeker is he who mingles in his heart the double currents of love and detachment, like the mingling of the streams of Ganges and Jumna; In his heart the sacred water flows day and night; and thus the round of births and deaths is brought to an end. Behold what wonderful rest is in the Supreme Spirit! and he enjoys it, who makes himself meet for it. Held by the cords of love, the swing of the Ocean of Joy sways to and fro; and a mighty sound breaks forth in song. See what a lotus blooms there without water! and Kabir says "My heart's bee drinks its nectar." What a wonderful lotus it is, that blooms at the heart of the spinning wheel of the universe! Only a few pure souls know of its true delight. Music is all around it, and there the heart partakes of the joy of the Infinite Sea. Kabir says: "Dive thou into that Ocean of sweetness: thus let all errors of life and of death flee away." Behold how the thirst of the five senses is quenched there! and the three forms of misery are no more! Kabir says: "It is the sport of the Unattainable One: look within, and behold how the moon-beams of that Hidden One shine in you." There falls the rhythmic beat of life and death: Rapture wells forth, and all space is radiant with light. There the Unstruck Music is sounded; it is the music of the love of the three worlds. There millions of lamps of sun and of moon are burning; There the drum beats, and the lover swings in play. There love-songs resound, and light rains in showers; and the worshipper is entranced in the taste of the heavenly nectar. Look upon life and death; there is no separation between them, The right hand and the left hand are one and the same. Kabir says: "There the wise man is speechless; for this truth may never be found in Vedas or in books." I have had my Seat on the Self-poised One, I have drunk of the Cup of the Ineffable, I have found the Key of the Mystery, I have reached the Root of Union. Travelling by no track, I have come to the Sorrowless Land: very easily has the mercy of the great Lord come upon me. They have sung of Him as infinite and unattainable: but I in my meditations have seen Him without sight. That is indeed the sorrowless land, and none know the path that leads there: Only he who is on that path has surely transcended all sorrow. Wonderful is that land of rest, to which no merit can win; It is the wise who has seen it, it is the wise who has sung of it. This is the Ultimate Word: but can any express its marvelous savour? He who has savoured it once, he knows what joy it can give. Kabir says: "Knowing it, the ignorant man becomes wise, and the wise man becomes speechless and silent, The worshipper is utterly inebriated, His wisdom and his detachment are made perfect; He drinks from the cup of the inbreathings and the outbreathings of love." There the whole sky is filled with sound, and there that music is made without fingers and without strings; There the game of pleasure and pain does not cease. Kabir says: "If you merge your life in the Ocean of Life, you will find your life in the Supreme Land of Bliss." What a frenzy of ecstasy there is in every hour! and the worshipper is pressing out and drinking the essence of the hours: he lives in the life of Brahma. I speak truth, for I have accepted truth in life; I am now attached to truth, I have swept all tinsel away. Kabir says: "Thus is the worshipper set free from fear; thus have all errors of life and of death left him." There the sky is filled with music: There it rains nectar: There the harp-strings jingle, and there the drums beat. What a secret splendour is there, in the mansion of the sky! There no mention is made of the rising and the setting of the sun; In the ocean of manifestation, which is the light of love, day and night are felt to be one. Joy for ever, no sorrow,--no struggle! There have I seen joy filled to the brim, perfection of joy; No place for error is there. Kabir says: "There have I witnessed the sport of One Bliss!" I have known in my body the sport of the universe: I have escaped from the error of this world. The inward and the outward are become as one sky, the Infinite and the finite are united: I am drunken with the sight of this All! This Light of Thine fulfills the universe: the lamp of love that burns on the salver of knowledge. Kabir says: "There error cannot enter, and the conflict of life and death is felt no more." [bk1sm.gif] -- from One Hundred Poems of Kabir: Translated by Rabindranath Tagore, by Kabir / Translated by Rabindranath Tagore

~ Kabir, The light of the sun, the moon, and the stars shines bright
,
465:THE light of the sun, the moon, and the stars shines bright:
The melody of love swells forth, and the rhythm of love's detachment beats the time.
Day and night, the chorus of music fills the heavens; and Kabr says
"My Beloved One gleams like the lightning flash in the sky."

Do you know how the moments perform their adoration?
Waving its row of lamps, the universe sings in worship day and night,
There are the hidden banner and the secret canopy:
There the sound of the unseen bells is heard.
Kabr says: "There adoration never ceases; there the Lord of the Universe sitteth on His throne."
The whole world does its works and commits its errors: but few are the lovers who know the Beloved.
The devout seeker is he who mingles in his heart the double currents of love and detachment, like the mingling of the streams of Ganges and Jumna;
In his heart the sacred water flows day and night; and thus the round of births and deaths is brought to an end.

Behold what wonderful rest is in the Supreme Spirit! and he enjoys it, who makes himself meet for it.
Held by the cords of love, the swing of the Ocean of Joy sways to and fro; and a mighty sound breaks forth in song.
See what a lotus blooms there without water! and Kabr says
"My heart's bee drinks its nectar."
What a wonderful lotus it is, that blooms at the heart of the spinning wheel of the universe! Only a few pure souls know of its true delight.
Music is all around it, and there the heart partakes of the joy of the Infinite Sea.
Kabr says: "Dive thou into that Ocean of sweetness: thus let all errors of life and of death flee away."

Behold how the thirst of the five senses is quenched there! and the three forms of misery are no more!
Kabr says: "It is the sport of the Unattainable One: look within, and behold how the moon-beams of that Hidden One shine in you."
There falls the rhythmic beat of life and death:
Rapture wells forth, and all space is radiant with light.
There the Unstruck Music is sounded; it is the music of the love of the three worlds.
There millions of lamps of sun and of moon are burning;
There the drum beats, and the lover swings in play.
There love-songs resound, and light rains in showers; and the worshipper is entranced in the taste of the heavenly nectar.
Look upon life and death; there is no separation between them,
The right hand and the left hand are one and the same.
Kabr says: "There the wise man is speechless; for this truth may never be found in Vadas or in books."

I have had my Seat on the Self-poised One,
I have drunk of the Cup of the Ineffable,
I have found the Key of the Mystery,
I have reached the Root of Union.
Travelling by no track, I have come to the Sorrowless Land: very easily has the mercy of the great Lord come upon me.
They have sung of Him as infinite and unattainable: but I in my meditations have seen Him without sight.
That is indeed the sorrowless land, and none know the path that leads there:
Only he who is on that path has surely transcended all sorrow.
Wonderful is that land of rest, to which no merit can win;
It is the wise who has seen it, it is the wise who has sung of it.
This is the Ultimate Word: but can any express its marvellous savour? {p. 65}
He who has savoured it once, he knows what joy it can give.
Kabr says: "Knowing it, the ignorant man becomes wise, and the wise man becomes speechless and silent,
The worshipper is utterly inebriated,
His wisdom and his detachment are made perfect;
He drinks from the cup of the inbreathings and the outbreathings of love."

There the whole sky is filled with sound, and there that music is made without fingers and without strings;
There the game of pleasure and pain does not cease.
Kabr says: "If you merge your life in the Ocean of Life, you will find your life in the Supreme Land of Bliss."

What a frenzy of ecstasy there is in every hour! and the worshipper is pressing out and drinking the essence of the hours: he lives in the life of Brahma.
I speak truth, for I have accepted truth in life; I am now attached to truth, I have swept all tinsel away.
Kabr says: "Thus is the worshipper set free from fear; thus have all errors of life and of death left him."

There the sky is filled with music:
There it rains nectar:
There the harp-strings jingle, and there the drums beat.
What a secret splendour is there, in the mansion of the sky!
There no mention is made of the rising and the setting of the sun;
In the ocean of manifestation, which is the light of love, day and night are felt to be one.
Joy for ever, no sorrow,no struggle!
There have I seen joy filled to the brim, perfection of joy;
No place for error is there.
Kabr says: "There have I witnessed the sport of One Bliss!"

I have known in my body the sport of the universe: I have escaped from the error of this world..
The inward and the outward are become as one sky, the Infinite and the finite are united: I am drunken with the sight of this All!
This Light of Thine fulfils the universe: the lamp of love that burns on the salver of knowledge.
Kabr says: "There error cannot enter, and the conflict of life and death is felt no more."

~ Kabir, The Light of the Sun
,
466: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
,
467:Theology In Extremis: Or A Soliloquy That May Have
Been Delivered In India, June, 1857
"They would have spared life to any of their English prisoners who should
consent to profess Mahometanism, by repeating the usual short formula; but
only one half-caste cared to save himself in that way." -- Extract from an Indian
newspaper.

MORITURUS LOQUITUR.
Oft in the pleasant summer years,
Reading the tales of days bygone,
I have mused on the story of human tears,
All that man unto man had done,
Massacre, torture, and black despair;
Reading it all in my easy-chair.
Passionate prayer for a minute's life;
Tortured crying for death as rest;
Husband pleading for child or wife,
Pitiless stroke upon tender breast.
Was it all real as that I lay there
Lazily stretched on my easy-chair?
Could I believe in those hard old times,
Here in this safe luxurious age?
Were the horrors invented to season rhymes,
Or truly is man so fierce in his rage?
What could I suffer, and what could I dare?
I who was bred to that easy-chair.
They were my fathers, the men of yore,
Little they recked of a cruel death;
They would dip their hands in a heretic's gore,
They stood and burnt for a rule of faith.
What would I burn for, and whom not spare?
I, who had faith in an easy-chair.
Now do I see old tales are true,
Here in the clutch of a savage foe;
Now shall I know what my fathers knew,
Bodily anguish and bitter woe,
Naked and bound in the strong sun's glare,
Far from my civilized easy-chair.
Now have I tasted and understood
That old world feeling of mortal hate;
For the eyes all round us are hot with blood;
They will kill us coolly -- they do but wait;
While I, I would sell ten lives, at least,
For one fair stroke at that devilish priest
Just in return for the kick he gave,
Bidding me call on the prophet's name;
Even a dog by this may save
Skin from the knife, and soul from the flame;
My soul! if he can let the prophet burn it,
But life is sweet if a word may earn it.
A bullock's death, and at thirty years!
Just one phrase, and a man gets off it;
Look at that mongrel clerk in his tears
Whining aloud the name of the prophet;
Only a formula easy to patter,
And, God Almighty, what can it matter?
"Matter enough," will my comrade say
Praying aloud here close at my side,
"Whether you mourn in despair alway,
Cursed for ever by Christ denied;
Or whether you suffer a minute's pain
All the reward of Heaven to gain."
Not for a moment faltereth he,
Sure of the promise and pardon of sin;
Thus did the martyrs die, I see,
Little to lose and muckle to win;
Death means Heaven, he longs to receive it,
But what shall I do if I don't believe it?
Life is pleasant, and friends may be nigh,
10
Fain would I speak one word and be spared;
Yet I could be silent and cheerfully die,
If I were only sure God cared;
If I had faith, and were only certain
That light is behind that terrible curtain.
But what if He listeth nothing at all
Of words a poor wretch in his terror may say?
That mighty God who created all
To labour and live their appointed day;
Who stoops not either to bless or ban,
Weaving the woof of an endless plan.
He is the Reaper, and binds the sheaf,
Shall not the season its order keep?
Can it be changed by a man's belief?
Millions of harvests still to reap;
Will God reward, if I die for a creed,
Or will He but pity, and sow more seed?
Surely He pities who made the brain,
When breaks that mirror of memories sweet,
When the hard blow falleth, and never again
Nerve shall quiver nor pulse shall beat;
Bitter the vision of vanishing joys;
Surely He pities when man destroys.
Here stand I on the ocean's brink,
Who hath brought news of the further shore?
How shall I cross it? Sail or sink,
One thing is sure, I return no more;
Shall I find haven, or aye shall I be
Tossed in the depths of a shoreless sea?
They tell fair tales of a far-off land,
Of love rekindled, of forms renewed;
There may I only touch one hand
Here life's ruin will little be rued;
But the hand I have pressed and the voice I have heard,
To lose them for ever, and all for a word?
Now do I feel that my heart must break
11
All for one glimpse of a woman's face;
Swiftly the slumbering memories wake
Odour and shadow of hour and place;
One bright ray through the darkening past
Leaps from the lamp as it brightens last,
Showing me summer in western land
Now, as the cool breeze murmureth
In leaf and flower -- And here I stand
In this plain all bare save the shadow of death;
Leaving my life in its full noonday,
And no one to know why I flung it away.
Why? Am I bidding for glory's roll?
I shall be murdered and clean forgot;
Is it a bargain to save my soul?
God, whom I trust in, bargains not;
Yet for the honour of English race,
May I not live or endure disgrace.
Ay, but the word, if I could have said it,
I by no terrors of hell perplext;
Hard to be silent and have no credit
From man in this world, or reward in the next;
None to bear witness and reckon the cost
Of the name that is saved by the life that is lost.
I must be gone to the crowd untold
Of men by the cause which they served unknown,
Who moulder in myriad graves of old;
Never a story and never a stone
Tells of the martyrs who die like me,
Just for the pride of the old countree.
~ Alfred Comyn Lyall,
468:Song Of Unending Sorrow.
China's Emperor, craving beauty that might shake an empire,
Was on the throne for many years, searching, never finding,
Till a little child of the Yang clan, hardly even grown,
Bred in an inner chamber, with no one knowing her,
But with graces granted by heaven and not to be concealed,
At last one day was chosen for the imperial household.
If she but turned her head and smiled, there were cast a hundred spells,
And the powder and paint of the Six Palaces faded into nothing.
...It was early spring. They bathed her in the FlowerPure Pool,
Which warmed and smoothed the creamy-tinted crystal of her skin,
And, because of her languor, a maid was lifting her
When first the Emperor noticed her and chose her for his bride.
The cloud of her hair, petal of her cheek, gold ripples of her crown when she
moved,
Were sheltered on spring evenings by warm hibiscus curtains;
But nights of spring were short and the sun arose too soon,
And the Emperor, from that time forth, forsook his early hearings
And lavished all his time on her with feasts and revelry,
His mistress of the spring, his despot of the night.
There were other ladies in his court, three thousand of rare beauty,
But his favours to three thousand were concentered in one body.
By the time she was dressed in her Golden Chamber, it would be almost evening;
And when tables were cleared in the Tower of Jade, she would loiter, slow with
wine.
Her sisters and her brothers all were given titles;
And, because she so illumined and glorified her clan,
She brought to every father, every mother through the empire,
Happiness when a girl was born rather than a boy.
...High rose Li Palace, entering blue clouds,
And far and wide the breezes carried magical notes
Of soft song and slow dance, of string and bamboo music.
The Emperor's eyes could never gaze on her enoughTill war-drums, booming from Yuyang, shocked the whole earth
And broke the tunes of The Rainbow Skirt and the Feathered Coat.
The Forbidden City, the nine-tiered palace, loomed in the dust
From thousands of horses and chariots headed southwest.
The imperial flag opened the way, now moving and now pausing- But thirty miles from the capital, beyond the western gate,
65
The men of the army stopped, not one of them would stir
Till under their horses' hoofs they might trample those moth- eyebrows....
Flowery hairpins fell to the ground, no one picked them up,
And a green and white jade hair-tassel and a yellowgold hair- bird.
The Emperor could not save her, he could only cover his face.
And later when he turned to look, the place of blood and tears
Was hidden in a yellow dust blown by a cold wind.
... At the cleft of the Dagger-Tower Trail they crisscrossed through a cloud-line
Under Omei Mountain. The last few came.
Flags and banners lost their colour in the fading sunlight....
But as waters of Shu are always green and its mountains always blue,
So changeless was His Majesty's love and deeper than the days.
He stared at the desolate moon from his temporary palace.
He heard bell-notes in the evening rain, cutting at his breast.
And when heaven and earth resumed their round and the dragon car faced
home,
The Emperor clung to the spot and would not turn away
From the soil along the Mawei slope, under which was buried
That memory, that anguish. Where was her jade-white face?
Ruler and lords, when eyes would meet, wept upon their coats
As they rode, with loose rein, slowly eastward, back to the capital.
...The pools, the gardens, the palace, all were just as before,
The Lake Taiye hibiscus, the Weiyang Palace willows;
But a petal was like her face and a willow-leaf her eyebrow -And what could he do but cry whenever he looked at them?
...Peach-trees and plum-trees blossomed, in the winds of spring;
Lakka-foliage fell to the ground, after autumn rains;
The Western and Southern Palaces were littered with late grasses,
And the steps were mounded with red leaves that no one swept away.
Her Pear-Garden Players became white-haired
And the eunuchs thin-eyebrowed in her Court of PepperTrees;
Over the throne flew fire-flies, while he brooded in the twilight.
He would lengthen the lamp-wick to its end and still could never sleep.
Bell and drum would slowly toll the dragging nighthours
And the River of Stars grow sharp in the sky, just before dawn,
And the porcelain mandarin-ducks on the roof grow thick with morning frost
And his covers of kingfisher-blue feel lonelier and colder
With the distance between life and death year after year;
And yet no beloved spirit ever visited his dreams.
...At Lingqiong lived a Taoist priest who was a guest of heaven,
Able to summon spirits by his concentrated mind.
And people were so moved by the Emperor's constant brooding
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That they besought the Taoist priest to see if he could find her.
He opened his way in space and clove the ether like lightning,
Up to heaven, under the earth, looking everywhere.
Above, he searched the Green Void, below, the Yellow Spring;
But he failed, in either place, to find the one he looked for.
And then he heard accounts of an enchanted isle at sea,
A part of the intangible and incorporeal world,
With pavilions and fine towers in the five-coloured air,
And of exquisite immortals moving to and fro,
And of one among them-whom they called The Ever TrueWith a face of snow and flowers resembling hers he sought.
So he went to the West Hall's gate of gold and knocked at the jasper door
And asked a girl, called Morsel-of-Jade, to tell The Doubly- Perfect.
And the lady, at news of an envoy from the Emperor of China,
Was startled out of dreams in her nine-flowered, canopy.
She pushed aside her pillow, dressed, shook away sleep,
And opened the pearly shade and then the silver screen.
Her cloudy hair-dress hung on one side because of her great haste,
And her flower-cap was loose when she came along the terrace,
While a light wind filled her cloak and fluttered with her motion
As though she danced The Rainbow Skirt and the Feathered Coat.
And the tear-drops drifting down her sad white face
Were like a rain in spring on the blossom of the pear.
But love glowed deep within her eyes when she bade him thank her liege,
Whose form and voice had been strange to her ever since their parting -Since happiness had ended at the Court of the Bright Sun,
And moons and dawns had become long in Fairy-Mountain Palace.
But when she turned her face and looked down toward the earth
And tried to see the capital, there were only fog and dust.
So she took out, with emotion, the pledges he had given
And, through his envoy, sent him back a shell box and gold hairpin,
But kept one branch of the hairpin and one side of the box,
Breaking the gold of the hairpin, breaking the shell of the box;
"Our souls belong together," she said, " like this gold and this shell -Somewhere, sometime, on earth or in heaven, we shall surely
And she sent him, by his messenger, a sentence reminding him
Of vows which had been known only to their two hearts:
"On the seventh day of the Seventh-month, in the Palace of Long Life,
We told each other secretly in the quiet midnight world
That we wished to fly in heaven, two birds with the wings of one,
And to grow together on the earth, two branches of one tree."
Earth endures, heaven endures; some time both shall end,
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While this unending sorrow goes on and on for ever.
~ Bai Juyi,
469:Recollections
Ye dear stars of the Bear, I did not think
I should again be turning, as I used,
To see you over father's garden shine,
And from the windows talk with you again
Of this old house, where as a child I dwelt,
And where I saw the end of all my joys.
What charming images, what fables, once,
The sight of you created in my thought,
And of the lights that bear you company!
Silent upon the verdant clod I sat,
My evening thus consuming, as I gazed
Upon the heavens, and listened to the chant
Of frogs that in the distant marshes croaked;
While o'er the hedges, ditches, fire-flies roamed,
And the green avenues and cypresses
In yonder grove were murmuring to the wind;
While in the house were heard, at intervals,
The voices of the servants at their work.
What thoughts immense in me the sight inspired
Of that far sea, and of the mountains blue,
That yonder I behold, and which I thought
One day to cross, mysterious worlds and joys
Mysterious in the future fancying!
Of my hard fate unconscious, and how oft
This sorrowful and barren life of mine
I willingly would have for death exchanged!
Nor did my heart e'er tell me, I should be
Condemned the flower of my youth to spend
In this wild native region, and amongst
A wretched, clownish crew, to whom the names
Of wisdom, learning, are but empty sounds,
Or arguments of laughter and of scorn;
Who hate, avoid me; not from envy, no;
For they do not esteem me better than
Themselves, but fancy that I, in my heart,
That feeling cherish; though I strive, indeed,
No token of such feeling to display.
And here I pass my years, abandoned, lost,
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Of love deprived, of life; and rendered fierce,
'Mid such a crowd of evil-minded ones,
My pity and my courtesy I lose,
And I become a scorner of my race,
By such a herd surrounded; meanwhile, fly
The precious hours of youth, more precious far
Than fame, or laurel, or the light of day,
Or breath of life: thus uselessly, without
One joy, I lose thee, in this rough abode,
Whose only guests are care and suffering,
O thou, the only flower of barren life!
The wind now from the tower of the town
The deep sound of the bell is bringing. Oh,
What comfort was that sound to me, a child,
When in my dark and silent room I lay,
Besieged by terrors, longing for the dawn!
Whate'er I see or hear, recalls to mind
Some vivid image, recollection sweet;
Sweet in itself, but O how bitter made
By painful sense of present suffering,
By idle longing for the past, though sad,
And by the still recurring thought, '_I was_'!
Yon gallery that looks upon the west;
Those frescoed walls, these painted herds, the sun
Just rising o'er the solitary plain,
My idle hours with thousand pleasures filled,
While busy Fancy, at my side, still spread
Her bright illusions, wheresoe'er I went.
In these old halls, when gleamed the snow without,
And round these ample windows howled the wind,
My sports resounded, and my merry words,
In those bright days, when all the mysteries
And miseries of things an aspect wear,
So full of sweetness; when the ardent youth
Sees in his untried life a world of charms,
And, like an unexperienced lover, dotes
On heavenly beauty, creature of his dreams!
O hopes, illusions of my early days!-Of you I still must speak, to you return;
For neither flight of time, nor change of thoughts,
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Or feelings, can efface you from my mind.
Full well I know that honor and renown
Are phantoms; pleasures but an idle dream;
That life, a useless misery, has not
One solid fruit to show; and though my days
Are empty, wearisome, my mortal state
Obscure and desolate, I clearly see
That Fortune robs me but of little. Yet,
Alas! as often as I dwell on you,
Ye ancient hopes, and youthful fancy's dreams,
And then look at the blank reality,
A life of ennui and of wretchedness;
And think, that of so vast a fund of hope,
Death is, to-day, the only relic left,
I feel oppressed at heart, I feel myself
Of every comfort utterly bereft.
And when the death, that I have long invoked,
Shall be at hand, the end be reached of all
My sufferings; when this vale of tears shall be
To me a stranger, and the future fade,
Fade from sight forever; even then, shall I
Recall you; and your images will make
Me sigh; the thought of having lived in vain,
Will then intrude, with bitterness to taint
The sweetness of that day of destiny.
Nay, in the first tumultuous days of youth,
With all its joys, desires, and sufferings,
I often called on death, and long would sit
By yonder fountain, longing, in its waves
To put an end alike to hope and grief.
And afterwards, by lingering sickness brought
Unto the borders of the grave, I wept
O'er my lost youth, the flower of my days,
So prematurely fading; often, too,
At late hours sitting on my conscious bed,
Composing, by the dim light of the lamp,
I with the silence and the night would moan
O'er my departing soul, and to myself
In languid tones would sing my funeral-song.
Who can remember you without a sigh,
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First entrance into manhood, O ye days
Bewitching, inexpressible, when first
On the enchanted mortal smiles the maid,
And all things round in emulation smile;
And envy holds its peace, not yet awake,
Or else in a benignant mood; and when,
--O marvel rare!--the world a helping hand
To him extends, his faults excuses, greets
His entrance into life, with bows and smiles
Acknowledges his claims to its respect?
O fleeting days! How like the lightning's flash,
They vanish! And what mortal can escape
Unhappiness, who has already passed
That golden period, his own _good_ time,
That comes, alas, so soon to disappear?
And thou, Nerina, does not every spot
Thy memory recall? And couldst thou e'er
Be absent from my thought? Where art thou gone,
That here I find the memory alone,
Of thee, my sweet one? Thee thy native place
Beholds no more; that window, whence thou oft
Wouldst talk with me, which sadly now reflects
The light of yonder stars, is desolate.
Where art thou, that I can no longer hear
Thy gentle voice, as in those days of old,
When every faintest accent from thy lips
Was wont to turn me pale? Those days have gone.
They _have been_, my sweet love! And thou with them
Hast passed. To others now it is assigned
To journey to and fro upon the earth,
And others dwell amid these fragrant hills.
How quickly thou hast passed! Thy life was like
A dream. While dancing there, joy on thy brow
Resplendent shone, anticipations bright
Shone in thy eyes, the light of youth, when Fate
Extinguished them, and thou didst prostrate lie.
Nerina, in my heart the old love reigns.
If I at times still go unto some feast,
Or social gathering, unto myself
I say: 'Nerina, thou no more to feast
Dost go, nor for the ball thyself adorn.'
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If May returns, when lovers offerings
Of flowers and of songs to maidens bring,
I say: 'Nerina mine, to thee spring ne'er
Returns, and love no more its tribute brings.'
Each pleasant day, each flowery field that I
Behold, each pleasure that I taste, the thought
Suggest: 'Nerina pleasure knows no more,
The face of heaven and earth no more beholds.'
Ah, thou hast passed, for whom I ever sigh!
Hast passed; and still the memory of thee
Remains, and with each thought and fancy blends
Each varying emotion of the heart;
And _will_ remain, so bitter, yet so sweet!
~ Count Giacomo Leopardi,
470:
[Dedicated to General J.C.F. Fuller]
Velvet soft the night-star glowed
Over the untrodden road,
Through the giant glades of yew
Where its ray fell light as dew
Lighting up the shimmering veil
Maiden pure and aery frail
That the spiders wove to hide
Blushes of the sylvan bride
Earth, that trembled with delight
At the male caress of Night.

Velvet soft the wizard trod
To the Sabbath of his God.
With his naked feet he made
Starry blossoms in the glade,
Softly, softly, as he went
To the sombre sacrament,
Stealthy stepping to the tryst
In his gown of amethyst.

Earlier yet his soul had come
To the Hill of Martyrdom,
Where the charred and crooked stake
Like a black envenomed snake
By the hangman's hands is thrust
Through the wet and writhing dust,
Never black and never dried
Heart's blood of a suicide.

He had plucked the hazel rod
From the rude and goatish god,
Even as the curved moon's waning ray
Stolen from the King of Day.
He had learnt the elvish sign;
Given the Token of the Nine:
Once to rave, and once to revel,
Once to bow before the devil,
Once to swing the thurible,
Once to kiss the goat of hell,
Once to dance the aspen spring,
Once to croak, and once to sing,
Once to oil the savoury thighs
Of the witch with sea-green eyes
With the unguents magical.
Oh the honey and the gall
Of that black enchanter's lips
As he croons to the eclipse
Mingling that most puissant spell
Of the giant gods of hell
With the four ingredients
Of the evil elements;
Ambergris from golden spar,
Musk of ox from Mongol jar,
Civet from a box of jade,
Mixed with fat of many a maid
Slain by the inchauntments cold
Of the witches wild and old.

He had crucified a toad
In the basilisk abode,
Muttering the Runes averse
Mad with many a mocking curse.

He had traced the serpent sigil
In his ghastly virgin vigil.
Sursum cor! the elfin hill,
Where the wind blows deadly chill
From the world that wails beneath
Death's black throat and lipless teeth.
There he had stood - his bosom bare -
Tracing Life upon the Air
With the crook and with the flail
Lashing forward on the gale,
Till its blade that wavereth
Like the flickering of Death
Sank before his subtle fence
To the starless sea of sense.

Now at last the man is come
Haply to his halidom.
Surely as he waves his rod
In a circle on the sod
Springs the emerald chaste and clean
From the duller paler green.
Surely in the circle millions
Of immaculate pavilions
Flash upon the trembling turf
Like the sea-stars in the surf -
Millions of bejewelled tents
For the warrior sacraments.
Vaster, vaster, vaster, vaster,
Grows the stature of the master;
All the ringed encampment vies
With the infinite galaxies.
In the midst a cubic stone
With the Devil set thereon;
Hath a lamb's virginal throat;
Hath the body of a stoat;
Hath the buttocks of a goat;
Hath the sanguine face and rod
Of a goddess and a god!

Spell by spell and pace by pace!
Mystic flashes swing and trace
Velvet soft the sigils stepped
By the silver-starred adept.
Back and front, and to and fro,
Soul and body sway and flow
In vertiginous caresses
To imponderable recesses,
Till at last the spell is woven,
And the faery veil is cloven
That was Sequence, Space, and Stress
Of the soul-sick consciousness.

"Give thy body to the beasts!
Give thy spirit to the priests!
Break in twain the hazel rod
On the virgin lips of God!
Tear the Rosy Cross asunder!
Shatter the black bolt of thunder!
Suck the swart ensanguine kiss
Of the resolute abyss!"
Wonder-weft the wizard heard
This intolerable word.
Smote the blasting hazel rod
On the scarlet lips of God;
Trampled Cross and rosy core;
Brake the thunder-tool of Thor;
Meek and holy acolyte
Of the priestly hells of spite,
Sleek and shameless catamite
Of the beasts that prowl the night!

Like a star that streams from heaven
Through the virgin airs light-riven,
From the lift there shot and fell
An admirable miracle.
Carved minute and clean, a key
Of purest lapis-lazuli
More blue than the blind sky that aches
(Wreathed with the stars, her torturing snakes),
For the dead god's kiss that never wakes;
Shot with golden specks of fire
Like a virgin with desire.
Look, the levers! fern-frail fronds
Of fantastic diamonds,
Glimmering with ethereal azure
In each exquisite embrasure.
On the shaft the letters laced,
As if dryads lunar-chaste
With the satyrs were embraced,
Spelled the secret of the key:
Sic pervenias. And he
Went his wizard way, inweaving
Dreams of things beyond believing.

When he will, the weary world
Of the senses closely curled
Like a serpent round his heart
Shakes herself and stands apart.
So the heart's blood flames, expanding,
Strenuous, urgent, and commanding;
And the key unlocks the door
Where his love lives evermore.

She is of the faery blood;
All smaragdine flows its flood.
Glowing in the amber sky
To ensorcelled porphyry
She hath eyes of glittering flake
Like a cold grey water-snake.
She hath naked breasts of amber
Jetting wine in her bed-chamber,
Whereof whoso stoops and drinks
Rees the riddle of the Sphinx.

She hath naked limbs of amber
Whereupon her children clamber.
She hath five navels rosy-red
From the five wounds of God that bled;
Each wound that mothered her still bleeding,
And on that blood her babes are feeding.
Oh! like a rose-winged pelican
She hath bred blessed babes to Pan!
Oh! like a lion-hued nightingale
She hath torn her breast on thorns to avail
The barren rose-tree to renew
Her life with that disastrous dew,
Building the rose o' the world alight
With music out of the pale moonlight!
O She is like the river of blood
That broke from the lips of the bastard god,
When he saw the sacred mother smile
On the ibis that flew up the foam of Nile
Bearing the limbs unblessed, unborn,
That the lurking beast of Nile had torn!

So (for the world is weary) I
These dreadful souls of sense lay by.
I sacrifice these impure shoon
To the cold ray of the waning moon.
I take the forked hazel staff,
And the rose of no terrene graff,
And the lamp of no olive oil
With heart's blood that alone may boil.
With naked breast and feet unshod
I follow the wizard way to God.

Wherever he leads my foot shall follow;
Over the height, into the hollow,
Up to the caves of pure cold breath,
Down to the deeps of foul hot death,
Across the seas, through the fires,
Past the palace of desires;
Where he will, whether he will or no,
If I go, I care not whither I go.

For in me is the taint of the faery blood.
Fast, fast its emerald flood
Leaps within me, violent rude
Like a bestial faun's beatitude.
In me the faery blood runs hard:
My sires were a druid, a devil, a bard,
A beast, a wizard, a snake and a satyr;
For - as my mother said - what does it matter?
She was a fay, pure of the faery;
Queen Morgan's daughter by an aery
Demon that came to Orkney once
To pay the Beetle his orisons.

So, it is I that writhe with the twitch
Of the faery blood, and the wizard itch
To attain a matter one may not utter
Rather than sink in the greasy splutter
Of Britons munching their bread and butter;
Ailing boys and coarse-grained girls
Grown to sloppy women and brutal churls.
So, I am off with staff in hand
To the endless light of the nameless land.

Darkness spreads its sombre streams,
Blotting out the elfin dreams.
I might haply be afraid,
Were it not the Feather-maid
Leads me softly by the hand,
Whispers me to understand.
Now (when through the world of weeping
Light at last starrily creeping
Steals upon my babe-new sight,
Light - O light that is not light!)
On my mouth the lips of her
Like a stone on my sepulchre
Seal my speech with ecstasy,
Till a babe is born of me
That is silent more than I;
For its inarticulate cry
Hushes as its mouth is pressed
To the pearl, her honey breast;
While its breath divinely ripples
The rose-petals of her nipples,
And the jetted milk he laps
From the soft delicious paps,
Sweeter than the bee-sweet showers
In the chalice of the flowers,
More intoxicating than
All the purple grapes of Pan.

Ah! my proper lips are stilled.
Only, all the world is filled
With the Echo, that drips over
Like the honey from the clover.
Passion, penitence, and pain
Seek their mother's womb again,
And are born the triple treasure,
Peace and purity and pleasure.

- Hush, my child, and come aloft
Where the stars are velvet soft!

~ Aleister Crowley, The Wizard Way
,
471:White Nocturne
The first soft snowflakes hovering down the night,
From one white cloud that hurries beneath the stars,Whispering over the black unfrozen pool,
Silently falling on withered leaves,
Eddying slowly among bare boughs of trees,The music you are to me is as ghostly as these,
Softly falling, softly passing,
Wandering slowly on dreamless air ...
The first soft snowflakes slanting down this night
Melt on the lifted palms of your hands,
Or in the fragrant darkness of your hair ...
One of them finds your lip, and you quietly laugh,
A laught that means to say
'This was the kiss you gave me yesterday,
Or the ghost of it- ah yes, the ghost of it ...
For the ghost of it is all we have to-day ...'
The first slow snowflakes pass
Leaving a sprinkled whiteness on leaves and grass,
The cloud whirls ghostlike against the cold bright stars,
Over the long black boughs that seem to reach
Forlornly after it,
And now it is gone, and suddenly we seem
To walk in silence where before we walked in speech ...
But the silence itself is exquisite,
Like a pause in music, ghostly with overtones,
And, silent, we seem to hear
The echoes of words we spoke and heard last year.
Clearly our footsteps sound on the moistened stones,
Clearly the lamplit hill-street gleams before us,
And silently we climb,
Climbing our tragic destiny together,
From lamp to lamp up the bright street of time.
II
You sit beneath the lamp and talk to me,
With dark hair somehow turned to fire,
Your white hands lie in your lap, or touch your lips,
And your talk, like music, weaving intricately,
Plays upon me. It is a magic of white
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Touching and changing all familiar things;
It flows in the windy night,
It quietly opens secret doors, it sings,
It returns upon itself, repeats, denies,
Or takes sweet pleasure in silence. And all the while
You sit beneath the lamp, and smile,
Or turn away your eyes.
We remember, you seem to say,Choosing strange words to say it, in another way,How slowly and how inevitably we change,
How what was then familiar now grows strange ...
White valleys fall between us,
Your words become a wind, and heavily blow,
We seem to be crying across a chasm of snow,
Trying to hear the half-remembered words,
Trying to guess what we no longer know.
Yes, life changes, we are never the same ...
Your eyes grow dark with a tiny flame,
You say the words, and wait,
And a sudden terror seizes me, for I fear
That you have divined the things that I have forgotten,
Things that still shine before you white and clear.
Yes, it is strange ... You sigh, your talk flows on,
You touch your hair with your hands, and sigh,
And suddenly then it seems to me that this word,
This word so quietly said, was a terrible cry ...
And I am confused, I desire to touch your hand,
But again white chasms open, the night flows chill,
And something freezes within me, and I am still.
III
The snowflakes tick the frosted windowpane,
The night is mad with the senseless dance of flakes,
The coal fire sinks and shakes;
And I wait by the window, and look along the street,
To where in the snow, beneath a lamp,
A man and a woman stand:
He is leaning close to her face, he takes her hand,
He pleads with her, she tries to turn away ...
What is it he leans to say?
What is the savage music he plays upon her?
What chords profound with memories?
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He takes her in his arms, and she is his,
She lifts her face in the sombre light,
And together, slowly, they walk away
Whirled about by the mad dance of snow;
Down the white silent street from lamp to lamp they go,
Into the immortal night.
Where have they gone? Where will the white streets lead them?
To what tempestuous or ignoble end?
To what faint peace, or dazzling pain?
The snowflakes whirl and madden my brain,
They whirl in patterns before my eyes ...
And I see them at last in a small and sombre room,
In the yellow lamplight I see them rise;
She smiles, and lifts white hands to touch her hair:
And he waits wearily in the eternal chair.
IV
I would like to touch this snow with the wind of a dream,
With a sudden warmth of music, and turn it all
To petals of roses ... Why is it that I recall
Your two pale hands holding a bowl of roses,
Wide open like lotos flowers, floating in water?
I would like to touch this snow with the wind of a dream;
To hold the world in my hands and let it fall.
We have walked among the hills immortally white,
Golden by noon and blue by night.
I would like to touch this snow with the wind of a dream:
And hear you singing again by a starlight wall ...
You talk to me- what is it that you are saying?
April ... April ... the soft sun falls between,
The deep white chasm, the gorge of the frozen river,
Flashes with white and green;
And we are walking there by the blue river,
By the blue river scaled with golden fire,
Our feet move pace for pace through the tall grasses,
And the earth is light with desire.
Youth ... youth ... so sing we for a space ...
And darkness comes over your face,
A great cloud crosses the golden sky,
Wind shakes the leaves, you fall in the grass and cry;
336
Crying silently, hiding your face with your hands.
Youth ... youth ... so sing we for a space,
And you are crying, I know,
Because this day, this youth, this beauty, must go,
Go down into the dust.
The golden river is dark with a sudden gust,
The green of the willows is ruffled grey,
A great cloud crosses the sky,
Wind shakes the leaves, you fall in the grass and cry.
Youth ... April ... we clamour to them to stay,
And a shadow is on us, for we know that love must die.
And rising, then, we see white peaks in the distance ...
White peaks ... quiet ... peace ... eternity.
VI
Do you remember, you who smiled at me,
Under this lamp, here in this world of snow,
Do you remember, long ago ...
What was I going to tell you? What was my dream to be?
It does not matter; for all we need to say
To strike our hearts to a bitter-chorded music
Is 'do you remember ... on a certain day ...'
And all the years fall down from us like leaves,
And all this sinister world is blown away.
Take my hand and dream of youth once more,
Take my arm, and let us walk
On the wet flagstones gleaming yellow with lamps,
And along the sea-furled shore;
Or up a certain flight of marble stairs,
Resting our hands on the green-veined balustrade,
And into a room where a low-toned waltz is played,
And women rise from gilded chairs.
Ah, this has been a golden day,You lean and say,A day like music of strange rich involutions,
Swift and profound and huddled and sweet ...
The wind of it blows even into this room,
There is a hint of forests in this rich gloom ...
You smile, your eyes intensely darken at mine,
I feel the music about us heavily beat,
Waver and vanish and shine.
One white rose with a golden heart-
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Held in the cup of your handTo-day, I muse, all things will find solution,
The universe is simple to understand.
Take my arm, and let us drift
Like leaves when the wind is driven; for the day soon ends.
It is strange how such a day, with such a music,
And one white rose, will make friends more than friends.
VII
White hours like snow, white hours like eternal snow ...
Long white streets jewelled with lights ...
Our steps are muffled and silent, we scarcely know
How swiftly we cross the nights.
I would like to touch this snow with the fire of a dream,
With the mouth of a dream. And turn it all
To petals of roses ... I would like to touch you, too,
And change you into the chord of music I knew.
Can you not change?... Run back again to April?
Laugh out at me from among young lilac leaves?...
Play with your jewels, and sing!
Feeling the earth beneath you float with spring!...
You talk in an even tone, I answer you;
And all about us seems to say
Peace ... peace ... the hills and streets are cold.
You are growing cold.
VIII
Yes, we have changed, slowly and silently changed;
We are the hungry ghosts of the selves we knew;
We sit on each other's tombs and stare at death,
We are not lovely, we scarcely believe it true,And only then with a pang that is almost a cry,That once, long ago, we were the I and the you
Who shivered in music under an April sky.
White night of snow, and a thousand nights like this;
Snow on our lips like the ghost of a kiss;
And a thousand nights in a hollow second of time
We will return again,
Silently, or with trivial speech, to climb
From lamp to lamp up the white street of pain.
Yet, is it better, you say,
Painfully turning your darkened eyes away,
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To lend our souls to a quieter music at last,Remembering, when we will,
The sudden and gorgeous clashings of the past?...
Snow falls about us, the hills immortally white
Wait far off in the undisturbing night.
~ Conrad Potter Aiken,
472:Les Bijoux (The Jewels)
La très chère était nue, et, connaissant mon coeur,
Elle n'avait gardé que ses bijoux sonores,
Dont le riche attirail lui donnait l'air vainqueur
Qu'ont dans leurs jours heureux les esclaves des Mores.
Quand il jette en dansant son bruit vif et moqueur,
Ce monde rayonnant de métal et de pierre
Me ravit en extase, et j'aime à la fureur
Les choses où le son se mêle à la lumière.
Elle était donc couchée et se laissait aimer,
Et du haut du divan elle souriait d'aise
À mon amour profond et doux comme la mer,
Qui vers elle montait comme vers sa falaise.
Les yeux fixés sur moi, comme un tigre dompté,
D'un air vague et rêveur elle essayait des poses,
Et la candeur unie à la lubricité
Donnait un charme neuf à ses métamorphoses;
Et son bras et sa jambe, et sa cuisse et ses reins,
Polis comme de l'huile, onduleux comme un cygne,
Passaient devant mes yeux clairvoyants et sereins;
Et son ventre et ses seins, ces grappes de ma vigne,
S'avançaient, plus câlins que les Anges du mal,
Pour troubler le repos où mon âme était mise,
Et pour la déranger du rocher de cristal
Où, calme et solitaire, elle s'était assise.
Je croyais voir unis par un nouveau dessin
Les hanches de l'Antiope au buste d'un imberbe,
Tant sa taille faisait ressortir son bassin.
Sur ce teint fauve et brun, le fard était superbe!
— Et la lampe s'étant résignée à mourir,
Comme le foyer seul illuminait la chambre
Chaque fois qu'il poussait un flamboyant soupir,
Il inondait de sang cette peau couleur d'ambre!
335
The Jewels
My darling was naked, and knowing my heart well,
She was wearing only her sonorous jewels,
Whose opulent display made her look triumphant
Like Moorish concubines on their fortunate days.
When it dances and flings its lively, mocking sound,
This radiant world of metal and of gems
Transports me with delight; I passionately love
All things in which sound is mingled with light.
She had lain down; and let herself be loved
From the top of the couch she smiled contentedly
Upon my love, deep and gentle as the sea,
Which rose toward her as toward a cliff.
Her eyes fixed upon me, like a tamed tigress,
With a vague, dreamy air she was trying poses,
And by blending candor with lechery,
Her metamorphoses took on a novel charm;
And her arm and her leg, and her thigh and her loins,
Shiny as oil, sinuous as a swan,
Passed in front of my eyes, clear-sighted and serene;
And her belly, her breasts, grapes of my vine,
Advanced, more cajoling than angels of evil,
To trouble the quiet that had possessed my soul,
To dislodge her from the crag of crystal,
Where calm and alone she had taken her seat.
I thought I saw blended in a novel design
Antiope's haunches and the breast of a boy,
Her waist set off so well the fullness of her hips.
On that tawny brown skin the rouge stood out superb!
— And when at last the lamp allowed itself to die,
Since the fire alone lighted the room,
Each time that it uttered a flaming sigh,
It drenched with blood that amber colored skin!
336
— Translated by William Aggeler
The Jewels
My well-beloved was stripped. Knowing my whim,
She wore her tinkling gems, but naught besides:
And showed such pride as, while her luck betides,
A sultan's favoured slave may show to him.
When it lets off its lively, crackling sound,
This blazing blend of metal crossed with stone,
Gives me an ecstasy I've only known
Where league of sound and lustre can be found.
She let herself be loved: then, drowsy-eyed,
Smiled down from her high couch in languid ease.
My love was deep and gentle as the seas
And rose to her as to a cliff the tide.
My own approval of each dreamy pose,
Like a tarned tiger, cunningly she sighted:
And candour, with lubricity united,
Gave piquancy to every one she chose,
Her limbs and hips, burnished with changing lustres,
Before my eyes clairvoyant and serene,
Swarmed themselves, undulating in their sheen;
Her breasts and belly, of my vine the clusters,
Like evil angels rose, my fancy twitting,
To kill the peace which over me she'd thrown,
And to disturb her from the crystal throne
Where, calm and solitary, she was sitting.
So swerved her pelvis that, in one design,
Antiope's white rump it seemed to graft
To a boy's torso, merging fore and aft.
The talc on her brown tan seemed half-divine.
The lamp resigned its dying flame. Within,
337
The hearth alone lit up the darkened air,
And every time it sighed a crimson flare
It drowned in blood that amber-coloured skin.
— Translated by Roy Campbell
The Jewels
The lovely one was naked and, knowing well my prayer,
She wore her loud bright armory of jewels. They
Evoked in her the savage and victorious air
Of Moorish concubines upon a holiday.
When it gives forth, being shaken, its gay mocking noise,
This world of metal and of stone, aflare in the night,
Excites me monstrously, for chiefest of my joys
Is the luxurious commingling of sound and light.
Relaxed among the pillows, she looked down at me
And let herself be gazed upon at leisure — as if
Lulled by my wordless adoration, like the sea
Washing perpetually about the foot of a cliff.
Slowly, regarding me like a trained leopardess,
She slouched into successive poses. A certain ease,
A certain candor coupled with lasciviousness,
Lent a new charm to the old metamorphoses.
The whole lithe harmony of loins, hips, buttocks, thighs,
Tawny and sleek, and undulant as the neck of a swan,
Began to move hypnotically before my eyes:
And her large breasts, those fruits I have grown lean upon,
I saw float toward me, tempting as the angels of hell,
To win my soul in thralldom to their dark caprice
Once more, and lure it down from the high citadel
Where, calm and solitary, it thought to have found peace.
She stretched and reared, and made herself all belly. In truth,
It was as if some playful artist had joined the stout
Hips of Antiope to the torso of a youth!...
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The room grew dark, the lamp having flickered and gone out,
And now the whispering fire that had begun to die,
Falling in lucent embers, was all the light therein —
And when it heaved at moments a flamboyant sigh
It inundated as with blood her amber skin.
— Translated by George Dillon
The Jewels
Naked was my dark love, and, knowing my heart,
Adorned in but her most sonorous gems,
Their high pomp decked her with the conquering art
Of Moorish slave girls crowned with diadems.
Dancing for me with lively, mocking sound,
This world of stone and metal, brittle and bright,
Fills me with rapture who have always found
Excess of joy where hue and tone unite.
Naked she lay, suffered love pleasurably
To mould her, smiled on my desire as if,
Profound and gentle as the rising sea,
It rode the tide toward its appointed cliff.
A tiger, tamed, her eyes on mine, intent
On lust, she sought all strange ways to please:
Her air, half-candid, half-lascivious, lent
A new charm to her metamorphoses.
In turn, her arms and limbs, her veins, her thighs,
Polished as nard, undulant as a swan,
Passed under my serene clairvoyant eyes
As belly and breasts, grapes of my vine, moved on.
Skilled in more spells than evil angels muster
To break the solace which possessed my heart,
Smashing the crystal rock upon whose luster
My quietude sat on its own, apart,
339
Her waist, awrithe, her belly enormously
Out-thrust, formed strange designs unknown to us,
As if the haunches of Antiope
Flowed from a body not yet Ephebus.
Slowly the lamplight sank, resigned to die.
Firelight pierced darkness, stud on glowing stud,
Each time it heaved a sharply flaming sigh
It steeped her amber flesh in pools of blood.
— Translated by Jacques LeClercq
The Jewels
My well-beloved was stripped. Knowing my whim,
She wore her tinkling gems, but naught besides:
And showed such pride as, while her luck betides,
A sultan's favoured slave may show to him.
When it lets off its lively, crackling sound,
This blazing blend of metal crossed with stone,
Gives me an ecstasy I've only known
Where league of sound and luster can be found.
She let herself be loved: then, drowsy-eyed,
Smiled down from her high couch in languid ease.
My love was deep and gentle as the seas
And rose to her as to a cliff the tide.
My own approval of each dreamy pose,
Like a tamed tiger, cunningly she sighted:
And candour, with lubricity united,
Gave piquancy to every one she chose.
Her limbs and hips, burnished with changing lustres,
Before my eyes clairvoyant and serene,
Swanned themselves, undulating in their sheen;
Her breasts and belly, of my vine and clusters,
Like evil angels rose, my fancy twitting,
340
To kill the peace which over me she'd thrown,
And to disturb her from the crystal throne
Where, calm and solitary, she was sitting.
So swerved her pelvis that, in one design,
Antiope's white rump it seemed to graft
To a boy's torso, merging fore and aft.
The talc on her brown tan seemed half-divine.
The lamp resigned its dying flame. Within,
The hearth alone lit up the darkened air,
And every time it sighed a crimson flare
It drowned in blood that amber-coloured skin.
Translated by Anonymous
~ Charles Baudelaire,
473:At The Gate Of The Convent
Beside the Convent Gate I stood,
Lingering to take farewell of those
To whom I owed the simple good
Of three days' peace, three nights' repose.
My sumpter-mule did blink and blink;
Was nothing more to munch or quaff;
Antonio, far too wise to think,
Leaned vacantly upon his staff.
It was the childhood of the year:
Bright was the morning, blithe the air;
And in the choir I plain could hear
The monks still chanting matin prayer.
The throstle and the blackbird shrilled,
Loudly as in an English copse,
Fountain-like note that, still refilled,
Rises and falls, but never stops.
As lush as in an English chase,
The hawthorn, guessed by its perfume,
With folds on folds of snowy lace
Blindfolded all its leaves with bloom.
Scarce seen, and only faintly heard,
A torrent, 'mid far snow-peaks born,
Sang kindred with the gurgling bird,
Flowed kindred with the foaming thorn.
The chanting ceased, and soon instead
Came shuffling sound of sandalled shoon;
Each to his cell and narrow bed
Withdrew, to pray and muse till noon.
Only the Prior-for such their RuleInto the morning sunshine came.
Antonio bared his locks; the mule
Kept blinking, blinking, just the same.
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I thanked him with a faltering tongue;
I thanked him with a flowing heart.
``This for the poor.'' His hand I wrung,
And gave the signal to depart.
But still in his he held my hand,
As though averse that I should go.
His brow was grave, his look was bland,
His beard was white as Alpine snow.
And in his eye a light there shone,
A soft, subdued, but steadfast ray,
Like to those lamps that still burn on
In shrines where no one comes to pray.
And in his voice I seemed to hear
The hymns that novice-sisters sing,
When only anguished Christ is near,
And earth and life seem vanishing.
``Why do you leave us, dear my son?
Why from calm cloisters backward wend,
Where moil is much and peace is none,
And journeying hath nor bourne nor end?
``Read I your inmost soul aright,
Heaven hath to you been strangely kind;
Gave gentle cradle, boyhood bright,
A fostered soul, a tutored mind.
``Nor wealth did lure, nor penury cramp,
Your ripening soul; it lived and throve,
Nightly beside the lettered lamp,
Daily in field, and glade, and grove.
``And when the dawn of manhood brought
The hour to choose to be of those
Who serve for gold, or sway by thought,
You doubted not, and rightly chose.
``Loving your Land, you face the strife;
176
Loved by the Muse, you shun the throng;
And blend within your dual life
The patriot's pen, the poet's song.
``Hence now, in gaze mature and wise,
Dwells scorn of praise, dwells scorn of blame;
Calm consciousness of surer prize
Than dying noise of living fame.
``Have you not loved, been loved, as few
Love, or are loved, on loveless earth?
How often have you felt its dew?
Say, have you ever known its dearth?
``I speak of love divorced from pelf,
I speak of love unyoked and free,
Of love that deadens sense of self,
Of love that loveth utterly.
``And this along your life hath flowed
In full and never-failing stream,
Fresh from its source, unbought, unowed,
Beyond your boyhood's fondest dream.''
He paused. The cuckoo called. I thought
Of English voices, English trees.
The far-off fancy instant brought
The tears; and he, misled by these,
With hand upon my shoulder, said,
``You own 'tis true. The richest years
Bequeath the beggared heart, when fled,
Only this legacy of tears.
``Why is it that all raptures cloy?
Though men extol, though women bless,
Why are we still chagrined with joy,
Dissatisfied with happiness?
``Yes, the care-flouting cuckoo calls,
And yet your smile betokens grief,
Like meditative light that falls
177
Through branches fringed with autumn leaf.
``Whence comes this shadow? You are now
In the full summer of the soul.
The answer darkens on your brow:
`Winter the end, and death the goal.'
``Yes, vain the fires of pride and lust
Fierce in meridian pulses burn:
Remember, Man, that thou art dust,
And unto dust thou shalt return.
``Rude are our walls, our beds are rough,
But use is hardship's subtle friend.
He hath got all that hath enough;
And rough feels softest, in the end.
``While luxury hath this disease,
It ever craves and pushes on.
Pleasures, repeated, cease to please,
And rapture, once 'tis reaped, is gone.
``My flesh hath long since ceased to creep,
Although the hairshirt pricketh oft.
A plank my couch; withal, I sleep
Soundly as he that lieth soft.
``And meagre though may be the meal
That decks the simple board you see,
At least, my son, we never feel
The hunger of satiety.
``You have perhaps discreetly drunk:
O, then, discreetly, drink no more!
Which is the happier, worldling, monk,
When youth is past, and manhood o'er?
``Of life beyond I speak not yet.
'Tis solitude alone can e'er,
By hushing controversy, let
Man catch earth's undertone of prayer.
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``Your soul which Heaven at last must reap,
From too much noise hath barren grown;
Long fallow silence must it keep,
Ere faith revive, and grace be sown.
``Let guide and mule alone return.
For you I will prepare a cell,
In whose calm silence you will learn,
Living or dying, All is well!''
Again the cuckoo called; again
The merle and mavis shook their throats;
The torrent rambled down the glen,
The ringdove cooed in sylvan cotes.
The hawthorn moved not, but still kept
As fixedly white as far cascade;
The russet squirrel frisked and leapt
From breadth of sheen to breadth of shade.
I did not know the words had ceased,
I thought that he was speaking still,
Nor had distinguished sacred priest
From pagan thorn, from pagan rill.
Not that I had not harked and heard;
But all he bade me shun or do,
Seemed just as sweet as warbling bird,
But not more grave and not more true.
So deep yet indistinct my bliss,
That when his counsels ceased to sound,
That one sweet note I did not miss
From other sweet notes all around.
But he, misreading my delight,
Again with urging accents spoke.
Then I, like one that's touched at night,
From the deep swoon of sweetness woke.
And just as one that, waking, can
Recall the thing he dreamed, but knows
179
'Twas of the phantom world that man
Visits in languors of repose;
So, though I straight repictured plain
All he had said, it seemed to me,
Recalled from slumber, to retain
No kinship with reality.
``Father, forgive!'' I said; ``and look!
Who taught its carolling to the merle?
Who wed the music to the brook?
Who decked the thorn with flakes of pearl?
``'Twas He, you answer, that did make
Earth, sea, and sky: He maketh all;
The gleeful notes that flood the brake,
The sad notes wailed in Convent stall.
``And my poor voice He also made;
And like the brook, and like the bird,
And like your brethren mute and staid,
I too can but fulfil His word.
``Were I about my loins to tie
A girdle, and to hold in scorn
Beauty and Love, what then were I
But songless stream, but flowerless thorn?
``Why do our senses love to list
When distant cataracts murmur thus?
Why stealeth o'er your eyes a mist
When belfries toll the Angelus?
``It is that every tender sound
Art can evoke, or Nature yield,
Betokens something more profound,
Hinted, but never quite revealed.
``And though it be the self-same Hand
That doth the complex concert strike,
The notes, to those that understand,
Are individual, and unlike.
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``Allow my nature. All things are,
If true to instinct, well and wise.
The dewdrop hinders not the star;
The waves do not rebuke the skies.
``So leave me free, good Father dear,
While you on humbler, holier chord
Chant your secluded Vespers here,
To fling my matin notes abroad.
``While you with sacred sandals wend
To trim the lamp, to deck the shrine,
Let me my country's altar tend,
Nor deem such worship less divine.
``Mine earthly, yours celestial love:
Each hath its harvest; both are sweet.
You wait to reap your Heaven, above;
I reap the Heaven about my feet.
``And what if I-forgive your guest
Who feels, so frankly speaks, his qualmThough calm amid the world's unrest,
Should restless be amid your calm?
``But though we two be severed quite,
Your holy words will sound between
Our lives, like stream one hears at night,
Louder, because it is not seen.
``Father, farewell! Be not distressed;
And take my vow, ere I depart,
To found a Convent in my breast,
And keep a cloister in my heart.''
The mule from off his ribs a fly
Flicked, and then zigzagged down the road.
Antonio lit his pipe, and I
Behind them somewhat sadly strode.
Just ere the Convent dipped from view,
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Backward I glanced: he was not there.
Within the chapel, well I knew,
His lips were now composed in prayer.
But I have kept my vow. And when
The cuckoo chuckleth o'er his theft,
When throstles sing, again, again,
And runnels gambol down the cleft,
With these I roam, I sing with those,
And should the world with smiles or jeers
Provoke or lure, my lids I close,
And draw a cowl about my ears.
~ Alfred Austin,
474:Father Abraham Lincoln
My private shrine. The Gettysburg Address
Framed in with all authentic photographs
Of him from whom the New Religion flows.
Homely? That’s it. A perfect homeliness.
Homely as Home itself that countenance
Benign, immortal sweet, his very soul,
The steadfast, common, great American.
It is a gladness in my aging heart
These eyes three times beheld himself alive,
Ungainly, jointed loose, rail-fence-like, queer
In garb that hung with scarecrow shapelessness—
Absolute figure of The States half-made,
Turning from toil and joke to sacred war.
MY heart has smiles and tears, remembering how
The boy, fourteen, round-cheeked and downy-lipped,
With Philadelphia cheese-cake freshly bit,
Halted to stare on marbled Chestnut Street;
He could not gulp the richness in his maw,
Because that black-frock-coated countryman
Of bulged umbrella, rusty stovepipe hat,
Five yards ahead, and coming rapidly,
Could be none other than the President,
From caricatures familiar as the day.
A sudden twinkle lit his downcast eyes,
Marking the cheese-cake and the staring boy;
Tickled to note the checked gastronomy,
31
Passing, he asked, “Good, sonny?” in a tone
Applausive more than questioning, full of fun,
Yet half-embracive, as your mother’s voice,
And smiled so comrade-like the wondering lad
Glowed with a sense of being chosen chum
To Father Abraham Lincoln, President.
Such was the miracle his spirit wrought
In millions while he lived. And still it lives.
He stalked along, unguarded, all alone,
That central soul of unremitting war,
A common man level with common Man.
The heart-warmed, wondering boy stared after him,
And wonders yet to-day on how it chanced
The mighty, well-loved, martyr President
Went rambling on unknown in broadest day
On crowded street, as if by nimbus hid
From all except the cheese-caked worshipper
He sonnied, smiled on, joked at fatherly.
That night the streets of Philadelphia thronged;
No end of faces; one great human cross,
As far each way as lamp-post boys could see,
Packed Ninth and Chestnut, waiting Father Abe;
The Continental’s balcony on high
Glowed Stars and Stripes, with crape for all the dead
“We cannot dedicate, nor consecrate.”
On chime of eight precise, gaunt, bare of head,
They saw his tallness in the balcony-flare,
And straightway all the murmurous street grew still,
Till silence absolute as death befell.
32
And in that perfect silence one clear voice
Inspired began, from out the multitude, [Page 40]
The song of all the songs of all the war,
Simple, ecstatic, sacrificial, strong—
“We’re coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand
more”—
And neighboring voices took the long refrain
While some more distant raised the opening words,
Till to and fro and far and near at once,
Never in chorus, chanting as by groups,
Here ending, there beginning, some halfway,
All sang at once, and all renewing all
In pledge and passion of the mighty song,
Their different words and clashing cadences
Wondrously merging in a sound supreme,
As if the inmost meaning of the hymn
Harmonious rolled in one unending vow
While all the singers gazed on Lincoln’s face.
Hands gripping balcony-rail, he stooped and saw
And listened motionless, with such a look
The boy upon the lamp-post clearly knew
“The heavens were opened unto him,”
“The spirit of God descending like a dove”—
Until the mystery of the general soul
Wrought to unwonted sense of unison
Moved all to silence for the homely words
Of Father Abraham Lincoln to his kind—
Words clear as Light itself, so plain—so plain
None deemed him other than their fellow man.
Once more. A boy in blue at sixteen years,
Mid groups of blue along the crazy road
33
Of corduroy astretch from City Point,
Toward yonder spire in fatal Petersburg,
Beyond what trenches, rifle-pits, and forts,
What woeful far-front grave-mounds sunken down
To puddles over pickets shot on post—
What cemeteries shingle-marked with names
Of companies and regiments and corps
Of mouldering bones and rags of blue and gray,
And belts and buttons, rain and wind exposed—
Mired army wagons—forms of swollen mules—
Springfields and Enfields, broken-stocked, stuck up
Or strown, all rusting—parked artillery—
Brush shelter stables—lines and lines of huts,
Tent-covered winter quarters, sticks and mud
For chimneys to the many thousand smokes
Whose dropping cinders black-rimmed million holes
Through veteran canvas ludicrously patched—
Squares of parade all mud—and mud, and mud,
With mingled grass and chips and refuse cans
Strown myriad far about the plain of war,
Whose scrub-oak roots for scanty fires were grubbed,
And one sole house, and never fence remained
Where fifty leagues of corn-land smiled before.
Belated March—a lowering, rainless day
With glints of shine; the veteran tents of Meade
Gave forth their veteran boys in crowds of blue,
Infantry, cavalry, gunners, engineers,
Easterner, Westerner, Yankee, Irish, “Dutch,”
Canuck, all sorts and sizes, frowsed, unkempt,
Unwashed, half-smoked, profane exceedingly,
Moody or jokeful, formidable, free
From fear of colonels as of corporals,
Each volunteer the child of his own whim,
And every man heart-sworn American
Trudging the mud to view the cavalcade
34
Of Father Abraham Lincoln to The Front.
He, Chief Commander of all Union hosts,
Of more than thrice three hundred thousand more,
Rode half a horseneck first, since Grant on right
And Meade on left kept reining back their bays;
Full uniformed were they and all their train,
Sheridan, Humphreys, Warren, Hazen, Kautz,
Barlow, McLaughlen, Ord, and thirty more,
Blazing for once in feathers and in gold.
Old Abe, all black, bestrode the famous steed,
Grant’s pacing black—and sure since war began
No host of war had such Commander seen!
Loose-reined he let the steady pacer walk;
Those rail-like legs, that forked the saddle, thrust
Prodigious spattered boots anear the mud,
Preposterous his parted coat-tails hung,
In negligence his lounging body stooped,
Tipping the antic-solemn stovepipe hat;
It seemed some old-time circuit preacher turned
From Grant to Meade and back again to Grant,
Attentive, questioning, pondering, deep concerned—
The common Civil Power directing War.
He, travesty of every point of horsemanship,
They, so bedizened, riding soldier stern—
The contrast past all telling comical—
And Father Abraham wholly unaware!
Too much by far for soldier gravity—
A breeze of laughter travelling as he passed,
Rose sudden to a gale that stormed his ear.
The President turned and gazed and understood
35
All in one moment, slightly shook his head,
Not warningly, but with a cheerful glee,
And sympathy and love, as if he spoke:
“You scalawags, you scamps, but have your fun!”
Pushed up the stovepipe hat, and all around
Bestowed his warming, right paternal smile,
As if his soul embraced us all at once.
Then strangely fell all laughter. Some men choked,
And some grew inarticulate with tears;
A thousand veteran children thrilled as one,
And not a man of all the throng knew why;
Some called his name, some blessed his holy heart
And then, inspired with pentecostal tongues,
We cheered so wildly for Old Father Abe
That all the bearded generals flamed in joy!
What was the miracle? His miracle.
Was Father Abraham just a son of Man,
As Jesus seemed to common Nazarenes?
Shall Father Abraham Lincoln yet prevail,
And his Republic come to stay at last?
Kind Age, unenvious Youth, democracy,
None lower than the first in comradeship,
However differing in mental force,
The higher intellect set free to Serve,
All undistracted by the woeful need
To grab or pander lest its children want;
Old trivial gewgaws of the peacock past
Smiled to the nothingness of desuetude,
With strutful Rank, with pinchbeck Pageantry,
With apish separative-cant of Class,
With inhumane conventions, all designed
To sanctify the immemorial robbery
36
Of Man by men; with mockful mummeries,
Called Law, to save the one perennial Wrong—
That fundamental social crime which fate
All babes alike to Inequality,
And so condemns the many million minds
(That might, with happier nurture, finely serve)
To share, through life, the harmful hates or scorns
The accursed System breeds, which still most hurts
The few who fancy it their benefit,
Shutting them lifelong from the happiness
Of such close sympathy with all their kind
As feels the universal God, or Soul,
Alive to love in every human heart.
Was it for this our Mother’s sons were slain?
Shall Father Abraham not prevail again?
We who are marching to the small-flagged graves
We earned by fight to free our fathers’ slaves,
We who by Lincoln’s hero soul were sworn,
We go more sadly toward our earthly bourne
To join our comrade host of long ago,
Since, oh so clearly, do our old hearts know
We shall not witness what we longed to see—
Our own dear children minded to be free.
Why let democracy be flouted down?
Why let your money-mongers more renown
Their golden idol than the Common Weal,
Flaunting the gains of liberty-to-steal,
Fouling the promise of the heights we trod
With Freedom’s sacrifice to Lincoln’s God?
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Was it for this he wept his children slain?
Or shall our Father’s spirit rise again?
~ Edward William Thomson,
475:A Soul In Prison
(The Doubter lays aside his book.)
"Answered a score of times." Oh, looked for teacher,
is this all you will teach me? I in the dark
reaching my hand for you to help me forth
to the happy sunshine where you stand, "Oh shame,
to be in the dark there, prisoned!" answer you;
"there are ledges somewhere there by which strong feet
might scale to daylight: I would lift you out
with just a touch, but that your need's so slight;
for there are ledges." And I grope and strain,
think I've found footing, and slip baffled back,
slip, maybe, deeper downwards. "Oh, my guide,
I find no ledges: help me: say at least
where they are placed, that I may know to seek."
But you in anger, "Nay, wild wilful soul,
thou will rot in the dark, God's sunshine here
at thy prison's very lip: blame not the guide;
have I not told thee there is footing for thee?"
and so you leave me, and with even tread
guide men along the highway ... where, I think,
they need you less.
Say 'twas my wanton haste,
or my drowsed languor, my too earthward eyes
watching for hedge flowers, or my too rapt gaze
it the mock sunshine of a sky-born cloud,
that led me, blindling, here: say the black walls
grew round me while I slept, or that I built
with ignorant hands a temple for my soul
to pray in to herself, and that, for want
of a window heavenwards, a loathsome night
of mildew and decay festered upon it,
till the rotted pillars fell and tombed me in:
let it so be my fault, whichever way,
must I be left to die? A murderer
is helped by holy hands to the byway road
that comes at God through shame; a thief is helped;
A harlot; a sleek cozener that prays,
36
swindles his customers, and gives God thanks,
and so to bed with prayers. Let them repent,
lay let them not repent, you'll say "These souls
may yet be saved, and make a joy in heaven:"
you are thankful you have found them, you whose charge
is healing sin. But I, hundreds as I,
whose sorrow 'tis only to long to know,
and know too plainly that we know not yet,
we are beyond your mercies. You pass by
and note the moral of our fate: 'twill point
a Sunday's sermon ... for we have our use,
boggarts to placid Christians in their pews-"Question not, prove not, lest you grow like these:"
and then you tell them how we daze ourselves
on problems now so many times resolved
that you'll not re-resolve them, how we crave
new proofs, as once an evil race desired
new signs and could not see, for stubbornness,
signs given already.
Proofs enough, you say,
quote precedent, "Hear Moses and the prophets."
I know the answer given across the gulf,
but I know too what Christ did: there were proofs,
enough for John and Peter, yet He taught
new proofs and meanings to those doubting two
who sorrowing walked forth to Emmaus
and came back joyful.
"They," you'd answer me,
if you owned my instance, "sorrowed in their doubt,
and did not wholly doubt, and loved."
Oh, men
who read the age's heart in library books
writ by our fathers, this is how you know it!
Do we say "The old faith is obsolete,
the world wags all the better, let us laugh,"
we of to-day? Why will you not divine
the fathomless sorrow of doubt? why not divine
the yearning to be lost from it in love?
And who doubts wholly? That were not to doubt.
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Doubt's to be ignorant, not to deny:
doubt's to be wistful after perfect faith.
You will not think that: you come not to us
to ask of us, who know doubt, what doubt is,
but one by one you pass the echoes on,
each of his own pulpit, each of all the pulpits,
and in the swelling sound can never catch
the tremulous voice of doubt that wails in the cold:
you make sham thunder for it, to outpeal
with your own better thunders.
You wise man
and worthy, utter honest in your will,
I love you and I trust you: so I thought
"Here's one whose love keeps measure to belief
with onward vigorous feet, one quick of sight
to catch the clue in scholars' puzzle-knots,
deft to unweave the coil to one straight thread,
one strong to grapple vague Protean faith
and keep her to his heart in one fixed shape
and living; he comes forward in his strength,
as to a battlefield to answer challenge,
as in a storm to buffet with the waves
for shipwrecked men clutching the frothy crests
and sinking; he is stalwart on my side-mine, who, untrained and weaponless, have warred
at the powers of unbelief, and am borne down-mine, who am struggling in the sea for breath."
I looked to you as the sick man in his pain
looks to the doctor whose sharp medicines
have the taste of health behind them, looked to you
for--well, for a boon different from this.
My doctor tells me "Why, quite long ago
they knew your fever (or one very like);
and they knew remedies, you'll find them named
in many ancient writers, let those serve:"
and "Thick on the commons, by the daily roads,
the herbs are growing that give instant strength
to palsied limbs like yours, clear such filmed sight:
you need but eyes to spy them, hands to uproot,
that's all."
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All, truly.
Strong accustomed eyes,
strong tutored hands, see for me, reach for me!
But there's a cry like mine rings through the world,
and no help comes. And with slow severing rasp
at our very heart-roots the toothed question grates,
"Do these, who know most, not know anything?"
Oh, teachers, will you teach us? Growing, growing,
like the great river made of little brooks,
our once unrest swells to a smooth despair:
stop us those little brooks; you say you can.
Oh, teachers, teach us, you who have been taught;
learn for us, you who have learned how to learn:
we, jostling, jostled, through the market world
where our work lies, lack breathing space, lack calm,
lack skill, lack tools, lack heart, lack everything,
for your work of the studies. Such roughed minds
we bring to it as when the ploughman tries
his hard unpliant fingers at the pen;
so toil and smudge, then put the blurred scrawl by,
unfinished, till next holiday comes round.
Thus maybe I shall die and the blurred scrawl
be still unfinished, where I try to write
some clear belief, enough to get by heart.
Die still in the dark! Die having lived in the dark!
there's a sort of creeping horror thinking that.
'Tis hard too, for I yearned for light, grew dazed,
not by my sight's unuse and choice of gloom,
but by too bold a gaze at the sun,
thinking to apprehend his perfect light
not darkly through a glass.
Too bold, too bold.
Would I had been appeased with the earth's wont
of helpful daily sunbeams bringing down
only so much heaven's light as may be borne-heaven's light enough for many a better man
to see his God by. Well, but it is done:
never in any day shall I now be
39
as if I had not gazed and seen strange lights
swim amid darknesses against the sky.
Never: and, when I dream as if I saw,
'tis dreaming of the sun, and, when I yearn
in agony to see, still do I yearn,
not for the sight I had in happier days,
but for the eagle's strong gaze at the sun.
Ah, well! that's after death, if all be true.
Nay, but for me, never, if all be true:
I love not God, because I know Him not,
I do but long to love Him--long and long
with an ineffable great pain of void;
I cannot say I love Him: that not said,
they of the creeds all tell me I am barred
from the very hope of knowing.
Maybe so;
for daily I know less. 'Tis the old tale
of men lost in the mouldy vaults of mines
or dank crypt cemeteries--lamp puffed out,
guides, comrades, out of hearing, on and on
groping and pushing he makes farther way
from his goal of open daylight. Best to wait
till some one come to seek him. But the strain
of such a patience!--and "If no one comes!"
He cannot wait.
If one could hear a voice,
"Not yet, not yet: myself have still to find
what way to guide you forth, but I seek well,
I have the lamp you lack, I have a chart:
not yet; but hope." So might one strongly bear
through the long night, attend with hearkening breath
for the next word, stir not but as it bade.
Who will so cry to us?
Or is it true
you could come to us, guide us, but you will not?
You say it, and not we, teachers of faith;
must we believe you? Shall we not more think
our doubt is consciousness of ignorance,
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your faith unconsciousness of ignorance;
so you know less than we?
My author here,
honest at heart, but has your mind a warp-the zealot's warp, who takes believed for proved;
the disciple's warp, who takes all heard for proved;
the teacher's warp, who takes all taught for proved,
and cannot think "I know not"? Do you move
one stumbling-block that bars out souls from Heaven?
your back to it, you say, "I see no stone;
'tis a fool's dream, an enemy's false tale
to hinder passengers." And I who lean
broken against the stone?
Well, learned man,
I thank you for your book. 'Tis eloquent,
'tis subtle, resolute; I like the roar
of the big battling phrases, like those frets
of hissing irony--a book to read.
It helps one too--a sort of evidence-to see so strong a mind so strongly clasped
to creeds whose truth one hopes. What would I more?
'tis a dark world, and no man lights another:
'tis a dark world, and no man sees so plain
as he believes he sees ... excepting those
who are mere blind and know it.
Here's a man
thinks his eyes' stretch can plainly scan out God,
and cannot plainly scan his neighbour's face-he'll make you a hobgoblin, hoofs and horns,
of a poor cripple shivering at his door
begging a bit of food.
We get no food;
stones, stones: but then he but half sees, he trows
'tis honest bread he gives us.
A blind world.
Light! light! oh God, whose other name is Light,
if--
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Ay, ay, always if: thought's cursed with ifs.
Well, where's my book?--No "ifs" in that, I think;
a readable shrewd book; 'twill win the critics.
~ Augusta Davies Webster,
476:The Book Of Hours Of Sister Clotilde
The Bell in the convent tower swung.
High overhead the great sun hung,
A navel for the curving sky.
The air was a blue clarity.
Swallows flew,
And a cock crew.
The iron clanging sank through the light air,
Rustled over with blowing branches. A flare
Of spotted green, and a snake had gone
Into the bed where the snowdrops shone
In green new-started,
Their white bells parted.
Two by two, in a long brown line,
The nuns were walking to breathe the fine
Bright April air. They must go in soon
And work at their tasks all the afternoon.
But this time is theirs!
They walk in pairs.
First comes the Abbess, preoccupied
And slow, as a woman often tried,
With her temper in bond. Then the oldest nun.
Then younger and younger, until the last one
Has a laugh on her lips,
And fairly skips.
They wind about the gravel walks
And all the long line buzzes and talks.
They step in time to the ringing bell,
With scarcely a shadow. The sun is well
In the core of a sky
Domed silverly.
Sister Marguerite said: 'The pears will soon bud.'
Sister Angelique said she must get her spud
And free the earth round the jasmine roots.
Sister Veronique said: 'Oh, look at those shoots!
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There's a crocus up,
With a purple cup.'
But Sister Clotilde said nothing at all,
She looked up and down the old grey wall
To see if a lizard were basking there.
She looked across the garden to where
A sycamore
Flanked the garden door.
She was restless, although her little feet danced,
And quite unsatisfied, for it chanced
Her morning's work had hung in her mind
And would not take form. She could not find
The beautifulness
For the Virgin's dress.
Should it be of pink, or damasked blue?
Or perhaps lilac with gold shotted through?
Should it be banded with yellow and white
Roses, or sparked like a frosty night?
Or a crimson sheen
Over some sort of green?
But Clotilde's eyes saw nothing new
In all the garden, no single hue
So lovely or so marvellous
That its use would not seem impious.
So on she walked,
And the others talked.
Sister Elisabeth edged away
From what her companion had to say,
For Sister Marthe saw the world in little,
She weighed every grain and recorded each tittle.
She did plain stitching
And worked in the kitchen.
'Sister Radegonde knows the apples won't last,
I told her so this Friday past.
I must speak to her before Compline.'
Her words were like dust motes in slanting sunshine.
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The other nun sighed,
With her pleasure quite dried.
Suddenly Sister Berthe cried out:
'The snowdrops are blooming!' They turned about.
The little white cups bent over the ground,
And in among the light stems wound
A crested snake,
With his eyes awake.
His body was green with a metal brightness
Like an emerald set in a kind of whiteness,
And all down his curling length were disks,
Evil vermilion asterisks,
They paled and flooded
As wounds fresh-blooded.
His crest was amber glittered with blue,
And opaque so the sun came shining through.
It seemed a crown with fiery points.
When he quivered all down his scaly joints,
From every slot
The sparkles shot.
The nuns huddled tightly together, fear
Catching their senses. But Clotilde must peer
More closely at the beautiful snake,
She seemed entranced and eased. Could she make
Colours so rare,
The dress were there.
The Abbess shook off her lethargy.
'Sisters, we will walk on,' said she.
Sidling away from the snowdrop bed,
The line curved forwards, the Abbess ahead.
Only Clotilde
Was the last to yield.
When the recreation hour was done
Each went in to her task. Alone
In the library, with its great north light,
Clotilde wrought at an exquisite
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Wreath of flowers
For her Book of Hours.
She twined the little crocus blooms
With snowdrops and daffodils, the glooms
Of laurel leaves were interwoven
With Stars-of-Bethlehem, and cloven
Fritillaries,
Whose colour varies.
They framed the picture she had made,
Half-delighted and half-afraid.
In a courtyard with a lozenged floor
The Virgin watched, and through the arched door
The angel came
Like a springing flame.
His wings were dipped in violet fire,
His limbs were strung to holy desire.
He lowered his head and passed under the arch,
And the air seemed beating a solemn march.
The Virgin waited
With eyes dilated.
Her face was quiet and innocent,
And beautiful with her strange assent.
A silver thread about her head
Her halo was poised. But in the stead
Of her gown, there remained
The vellum, unstained.
Clotilde painted the flowers patiently,
Lingering over each tint and dye.
She could spend great pains, now she had seen
That curious, unimagined green.
A colour so strange
It had seemed to change.
She thought it had altered while she gazed.
At first it had been simple green; then glazed
All over with twisting flames, each spot
A molten colour, trembling and hot,
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And every eye
Seemed to liquefy.
She had made a plan, and her spirits danced.
After all, she had only glanced
At that wonderful snake, and she must know
Just what hues made the creature throw
Those splashes and sprays
Of prismed rays.
When evening prayers were sung and said,
The nuns lit their tapers and went to bed.
And soon in the convent there was no light,
For the moon did not rise until late that night,
Only the shine
Of the lamp at the shrine.
Clotilde lay still in her trembling sheets.
Her heart shook her body with its beats.
She could not see till the moon should rise,
So she whispered prayers and kept her eyes
On the window-square
Till light should be there.
The faintest shadow of a branch
Fell on the floor. Clotilde, grown staunch
With solemn purpose, softly rose
And fluttered down between the rows
Of sleeping nuns.
She almost runs.
She must go out through the little side door
Lest the nuns who were always praying before
The Virgin's altar should hear her pass.
She pushed the bolts, and over the grass
The red moon's brim
Mounted its rim.
Her shadow crept up the convent wall
As she swiftly left it, over all
The garden lay the level glow
Of a moon coming up, very big and slow.
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The gravel glistened.
She stopped and listened.
It was still, and the moonlight was getting clearer.
She laughed a little, but she felt queerer
Than ever before. The snowdrop bed
Was reached and she bent down her head.
On the striped ground
The snake was wound.
For a moment Clotilde paused in alarm,
Then she rolled up her sleeve and stretched out her arm.
She thought she heard steps, she must be quick.
She darted her hand out, and seized the thick
Wriggling slime,
Only just in time.
The old gardener came muttering down the path,
And his shadow fell like a broad, black swath,
And covered Clotilde and the angry snake.
He bit her, but what difference did that make!
The Virgin should dress
In his loveliness.
The gardener was covering his new-set plants
For the night was chilly, and nothing daunts
Your lover of growing things. He spied
Something to do and turned aside,
And the moonlight streamed
On Clotilde, and gleamed.
His business finished the gardener rose.
He shook and swore, for the moonlight shows
A girl with a fire-tongued serpent, she
Grasping him, laughing, while quietly
Her eyes are weeping.
Is he sleeping?
He thinks it is some holy vision,
Brushes that aside and with decision
Jumps -- and hits the snake with his stick,
Crushes his spine, and then with quick,
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Urgent command
Takes her hand.
The gardener sucks the poison and spits,
Cursing and praying as befits
A poor old man half out of his wits.
'Whatever possessed you, Sister, it's
Hatched of a devil
And very evil.
It's one of them horrid basilisks
You read about. They say a man risks
His life to touch it, but I guess I've sucked it
Out by now. Lucky I chucked it
Away from you.
I guess you'll do.'
'Oh, no, Francois, this beautiful beast
Was sent to me, to me the least
Worthy in all our convent, so I
Could finish my picture of the Most High
And Holy Queen,
In her dress of green.
He is dead now, but his colours won't fade
At once, and by noon I shall have made
The Virgin's robe. Oh, Francois, see
How kindly the moon shines down on me!
I can't die yet,
For the task was set.'
'You won't die now, for I've sucked it away,'
Grumbled old Francois, 'so have your play.
If the Virgin is set on snake's colours so strong, --'
'Francois, don't say things like that, it is wrong.'
So Clotilde vented
Her creed. He repented.
'He can't do no more harm, Sister,' said he.
'Paint as much as you like.' And gingerly
He picked up the snake with his stick. Clotilde
Thanked him, and begged that he would shield
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Her secret, though itching
To talk in the kitchen.
The gardener promised, not very pleased,
And Clotilde, with the strain of adventure eased,
Walked quickly home, while the half-high moon
Made her beautiful snake-skin sparkle, and soon
In her bed she lay
And waited for day.
At dawn's first saffron-spired warning
Clotilde was up. And all that morning,
Except when she went to the chapel to pray,
She painted, and when the April day
Was hot with sun,
Clotilde had done.
Done! She drooped, though her heart beat loud
At the beauty before her, and her spirit bowed
To the Virgin her finely-touched thought had made.
A lady, in excellence arrayed,
And wonder-souled.
Christ's Blessed Mould!
From long fasting Clotilde felt weary and faint,
But her eyes were starred like those of a saint
Enmeshed in Heaven's beatitude.
A sudden clamour hurled its rude
Force to break
Her vision awake.
The door nearly leapt from its hinges, pushed
By the multitude of nuns. They hushed
When they saw Clotilde, in perfect quiet,
Smiling, a little perplexed at the riot.
And all the hive
Buzzed 'She's alive!'
Old Francois had told. He had found the strain
Of silence too great, and preferred the pain
Of a conscience outraged. The news had spread,
And all were convinced Clotilde must be dead.
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For Francois, to spite them,
Had not seen fit to right them.
The Abbess, unwontedly trembling and mild,
Put her arms round Clotilde and wept, 'My child,
Has the Holy Mother showed you this grace,
To spare you while you imaged her face?
How could we have guessed
Our convent so blessed!
A miracle! But Oh! My Lamb!
To have you die! And I, who am
A hollow, living shell, the grave
Is empty of me. Holy Mary, I crave
To be taken, Dear Mother,
Instead of this other.'
She dropped on her knees and silently prayed,
With anguished hands and tears delayed
To a painful slowness. The minutes drew
To fractions. Then the west wind blew
The sound of a bell,
On a gusty swell.
It came skipping over the slates of the roof,
And the bright bell-notes seemed a reproof
To grief, in the eye of so fair a day.
The Abbess, comforted, ceased to pray.
And the sun lit the flowers
In Clotilde's Book of Hours.
It glistened the green of the Virgin's dress
And made the red spots, in a flushed excess,
Pulse and start; and the violet wings
Of the angel were colour which shines and sings.
The book seemed a choir
Of rainbow fire.
The Abbess crossed herself, and each nun
Did the same, then one by one,
They filed to the chapel, that incensed prayers
Might plead for the life of this sister of theirs.
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Clotilde, the Inspired!
She only felt tired.
*****
The old chronicles say she did not die
Until heavy with years. And that is why
There hangs in the convent church a basket
Of osiered silver, a holy casket,
And treasured therein
A dried snake-skin.
~ Amy Lowell,
477: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,
34
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,
478: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
,
479:Xantippe
(A Fragment)>/i>
What, have I waked again? I never thought
To see the rosy dawn, or ev'n this grey,
Dull, solemn stillness, ere the dawn has come.
The lamp burns low; low burns the lamp of life:
The still morn stays expectant, and my soul,
All weighted with a passive wonderment,
Waiteth and watcheth, waiteth for the dawn.
Come hither, maids; too soundly have ye slept
That should have watched me; nay, I would not chide-Oft have I chidden, yet I would not chide
In this last hour;--now all should be at peace.
I have been dreaming in a troubled sleep
Of weary days I thought not to recall;
Of stormy days, whose storms are hushed long since;
Of gladsome days, of sunny days; alas!
In dreaming, all their sunshine seem'd so sad,
As though the current of the dark To-Be
Had flow'd, prophetic, through the happy hours.
And yet, full well, I know it was not thus;
I mind me sweetly of the summer days,
When, leaning from the lattice, I have caught
The fair, far glimpses of a shining sea;
And, nearer, of tall ships which thronged the bay,
And stood out blackly from a tender sky
All flecked with sulphur, azure, and bright gold;
And in the still, clear air have heard the hum
Of distant voices; and methinks there rose
No darker fount to mar or stain the joy
Which sprang ecstatic in my maiden breast
Than just those vague desires, those hopes and fears,
Those eager longings, strong, though undefined,
Whose very sadness makes them seem so sweet.
What cared I for the merry mockeries
Of other maidens sitting at the loom?
Or for sharp voices, bidding me return
To maiden labour? Were we not apart,--
97
I and my high thoughts, and my golden dreams,
My soul which yearned for knowledge, for a tongue
That should proclaim the stately mysteries
Of this fair world, and of the holy gods?
Then followed days of sadness, as I grew
To learn my woman-mind had gone astray,
And I was sinning in those very thoughts-For maidens, mark, such are not woman's thoughts-(And yet, 'tis strange, the gods who fashion us
Have given us such promptings). . . .
Fled the years,
Till seventeen had found me tall and strong,
And fairer, runs it, than Athenian maids
Are wont to seem ; I had not learnt it well-My lesson of dumb patience--and I stood
At Life's great threshold with a beating heart,
And soul resolved to conquer and attain. . . .
Once, walking 'thwart the crowded market place,
With other maidens, bearing in the twigs
White doves for Aphrodite's sacrifice,
I saw him, all ungainly and uncouth,
Yet many gathered round to hear his words,
Tall youths and stranger-maidens--Sokrates-I saw his face and marked it, half with awe,
Half with a quick repulsion at the shape. . . .
The richest gem lies hidden furthest down,
And is the dearer for the weary search;
We grasp the shining shells which strew the shore,
Yet swift we fling them from us; but the gem
We keep for aye and cherish. So a soul,
Found after weary searching in the flesh
Which half repelled our senses, is more dear,
For that same seeking, than the sunny mind
Which lavish Nature marks with thousand hints
Upon a brow of beauty. We are prone
To overweigh such subtle hints, then deem,
In after disappointment, we are fooled. . .
And when, at length, my father told me all,
That I should wed me with great Sokrates,
I, foolish, wept to see at once cast down
The maiden image of a future love,
Where perfect body matched the perfect soul.
98
But slowly, softly did I cease to weep;
Slowly I 'gan to mark the magic flash
Leap to the eyes, to watch the sudden smile
Break round the mouth, and linger in the eyes;
To listen for the voice's lightest tone-Great voice, whose cunning modulations seemed
Like to the notes of some sweet instrument.
So did I reach and strain, until at last
I caught the soul athwart the grosser flesh.
Again of thee, sweet Hope, my spirit dreamed!
I, guided by his wisdom and his love,
Led by his words, and counselled by his care,
Should lift the shrouding veil from things which be,
And at the flowing fountain of his soul
Refresh my thirsting spirit. . .
And indeed,
In those long days which followed that strange day
When rites and song, and sacrifice and flow'rs,
Proclaimed that we were wedded, did I learn,
In sooth, a-many lessons; bitter ones
Which sorrow taught me, and not love inspired,
Which deeper knowledge of my kind impressed
With dark insistence on reluctant brain;-But that great wisdom, deeper, which dispels
Narrowed conclusions of a half-grown mind,
And sees athwart the littleness of life
Nature's divineness and her harmony,
Was never poor Xantippe's. . .
I would pause
And would recall no more, no more of life,
Than just the incomplete, imperfect dream
Of early summers, with their light and shade,
Their blossom-hopes, whose fruit was never ripe;
But something strong within me, some sad chord
Which loudly echoes to the later life,
Me to unfold the after-misery
Urges with plaintive wailing in my heart.
Yet, maidens, mark ; I would not that ye thought
I blame my lord departed, for he meant
No evil, so I take it, to his wife.
'Twas only that the high philosopher,
Pregnant with noble theories and great thoughts,
99
Deigned not to stoop to touch so slight a thing
As the fine fabric of a woman's brain-So subtle as a passionate woman's soul.
I think, if he had stooped a little, and cared,
I might have risen nearer to his height,
And not lain shattered, neither fit for use
As goodly household vessel, nor for that
Far finer thing which I had hoped to be. . .
Death, holding high his retrospective lamp,
Shows me those first, far years of wedded life,
Ere I had learnt to grasp the barren shape
Of what the Fates had destined for my life.
Then, as all youthful spirits are, was I
Wholly incredulous that Nature meant
So little, who had promised me so much.
At first I fought my fate with gentle words,
With high endeavours after greater things;
Striving to win the soul of Sokrates,
Like some slight bird, who sings her burning love
To human master, till at length she finds
Her tender language wholly misconceived,
And that same hand whose kind caress she sought,
With fingers flippant flings the careless corn. . .
I do remember how, one summer's eve,
He, seated in an arbour's leafy shade,
Had bade me bring fresh wine-skins. . .
As I stood
Ling'ring upon the threshold, half concealed
By tender foliage, and my spirit light
With draughts of sunny weather, did I mark
An instant, the gay group before mine eyes.
Deepest in shade, and facing where I stood,
Sat Plato, with his calm face and low brows
Which met above the narrow Grecian eyes,
The pale, thin lips just parted to the smile,
Which dimpled that smooth olive of his cheek.
His head a little bent, sat Sokrates,
With one swart finger raised admonishing,
And on the air were borne his changing tones.
Low lounging at his feet, one fair arm thrown
Around his knee (the other, high in air
Brandish'd a brazen amphor, which yet rained
100
Bright drops of ruby on the golden locks
And temples with their fillets of the vine),
Lay Alkibiades the beautiful.
And thus, with solemn tone, spake Sokrates:
' This fair Aspasia, which our Perikles
Hath brought from realms afar, and set on high
In our Athenian city, hath a mind,
I doubt not, of a strength beyond her race;
And makes employ of it, beyond the way
Of women nobly gifted : woman's frail-Her body rarely stands the test of soul;
She grows intoxicate with knowledge; throws
The laws of custom, order, 'neath her feet,
Feasting at life's great banquet with wide throat.'
Then sudden, stepping from my leafy screen,
Holding the swelling wine-skin o'er my head,
With breast that heaved, and eyes and cheeks aflame,
Lit by a fury and a thought, I spake:
' By all great powers around us ! can it be
That we poor women are empirical?
That gods who fashioned us did strive to make
Beings too fine, too subtly delicate,
With sense that thrilled response to ev'ry touch
Of nature's and their task is not complete?
That they have sent their half-completed work
To bleed and quiver here upon the earth?
To bleed and quiver, and to weep and weep,
To beat its soul against the marble walls
Of men's cold hearts, and then at last to sin!'
I ceased, the first hot passion stayed and stemmed
And frighted by the silence: I could see,
Framed by the arbour foliage, which the sun
In setting softly gilded with rich gold,
Those upturned faces, and those placid limbs;
Saw Plato's narrow eyes and niggard mouth,
Which half did smile and half did criticise,
One hand held up, the shapely fingers framed
To gesture of entreaty--' Hush, I pray,
Do not disturb her; let us hear the rest;
Follow her mood, for here's another phase
Of your black-browed Xantippe. . .'
Then I saw
101
Young Alkibiades, with laughing lips
And half-shut eyes, contemptuous shrugging up
Soft, snowy shoulders, till he brought the gold
Of flowing ringlets round about his breasts.
But Sokrates, all slow and solemnly,
Raised, calm, his face to mine, and sudden spake:
' I thank thee for the wisdom which thy lips
Have thus let fall among us : prythee tell
From what high source, from what philosophies
Didst cull the sapient notion of thy words?'
Then stood I straight and silent for a breath,
Dumb, crushed with all that weight of cold contempt;
But swiftly in my bosom there uprose
A sudden flame, a merciful fury sent
To save me; with both angry hands I flung
The skin upon the marble, where it lay
Spouting red rills and fountains on the white;
Then, all unheeding faces, voices, eyes,
I fled across the threshold, hair unbound-White garment stained to redness--beating heart
Flooded with all the flowing tide of hopes
Which once had gushed out golden, now sent back
Swift to their sources, never more to rise. . .
I think I could have borne the weary life,
The narrow life within the narrow walls,
If he had loved me; but he kept his love
For this Athenian city and her sons;
And, haply, for some stranger-woman, bold
With freedom, thought, and glib philosophy. . .
Ah me ! the long, long weeping through the nights,
The weary watching for the pale-eyed dawn
Which only brought fresh grieving : then I grew
Fiercer, and cursed from out my inmost heart
The Fates which marked me an Athenian maid.
Then faded that vain fury ; hope died out;
A huge despair was stealing on my soul,
A sort of fierce acceptance of my fate,-He wished a household vessel--well! 'twas good,
For he should have it! He should have no more
The yearning treasure of a woman's love,
But just the baser treasure which he sought.
I called my maidens, ordered out the loom,
102
And spun unceasing from the morn till eve;
Watching all keenly over warp and woof,
Weighing the white wool with a jealous hand.
I spun until, methinks, I spun away
The soul from out my body, the high thoughts
From out my spirit; till at last I grew
As ye have known me,--eye exact to mark
The texture of the spinning; ear all keen
For aimless talking when the moon is up,
And ye should be a-sleeping; tongue to cut
With quick incision, 'thwart the merry words
Of idle maidens. . .
Only yesterday
My hands did cease from spinning; I have wrought
My dreary duties, patient till the last.
The gods reward me! Nay, I will not tell
The after years of sorrow; wretched strife
With grimmest foes--sad Want and Poverty;-Nor yet the time of horror, when they bore
My husband from the threshold; nay, nor when
The subtle weed had wrought its deadly work.
Alas! alas! I was not there to soothe
The last great moment; never any thought
Of her that loved him--save at least the charge,
All earthly, that her body should not starve. . .
You weep, you weep; I would not that ye wept;
Such tears are idle; with the young, such grief
Soon grows to gratulation, as, 'her love
Was withered by misfortune; mine shall grow
All nurtured by the loving,' or, 'her life
Was wrecked and shattered--mine shall smoothly sail.'
Enough, enough. In vain, in vain, in vain!
The gods forgive me! Sorely have I sinned
In all my life. A fairer fate befall
You all that stand there. . .
Ha! the dawn has come;
I see a rosy glimmer--nay ! it grows dark;
Why stand ye so in silence? throw it wide,
The casement, quick; why tarry?--give me air-O fling it wide, I say, and give me light!
103
~ Amy Levy,
480:All touch, all eye, all ear,
The Spirit felt the Fairy's burning speech.
   O'er the thin texture of its frame
The varying periods painted changing glows,
     As on a summer even,
When soul-enfolding music floats around,
   The stainless mirror of the lake
   Re-images the eastern gloom,
Mingling convulsively its purple hues
     With sunset's burnished gold.
     Then thus the Spirit spoke:
'It is a wild and miserable world!
     Thorny, and full of care,
Which every fiend can make his prey at will!
   O Fairy! in the lapse of years,
     Is there no hope in store?
     Will yon vast suns roll on
   Interminably, still illuming
   The night of so many wretched souls,
     And see no hope for them?
Will not the universal Spirit e'er
Revivify this withered limb of Heaven?'

     The Fairy calmly smiled
In comfort, and a kindling gleam of hope
Suffused the Spirit's lineaments.
'Oh! rest thee tranquil; chase those fearful doubts
Which ne'er could rack an everlasting soul
That sees the chains which bind it to its doom.
Yes! crime and misery are in yonder earth,
     Falsehood, mistake and lust;
     But the eternal world
Contains at once the evil and the cure.
Some eminent in virtue shall start up,
     Even in perversest time;
The truths of their pure lips, that never die,
Shall bind the scorpion falsehood with a wreath
     Of ever-living flame,
Until the monster sting itself to death.

  'How sweet a scene will earth become!
Of purest spirits a pure dwelling-place,
Symphonious with the planetary spheres;
When man, with changeless Nature coalescing,
Will undertake regeneration's work,
When its ungenial poles no longer point
     To the red and baleful sun
     That faintly twinkles there!

     'Spirit, on yonder earth,
  Falsehood now triumphs; deadly power
Has fixed its seal upon the lip of truth!
   Madness and misery are there!
The happiest is most wretched! Yet confide
Until pure health-drops from the cup of joy
Fall like a dew of balm upon the world.
Now, to the scene I show, in silence turn,
And read the blood-stained charter of all woe,
Which Nature soon with recreating hand
Will blot in mercy from the book of earth.
How bold the flight of passion's wandering wing,
How swift the step of reason's firmer tread,
How calm and sweet the victories of life,
How terrorless the triumph of the grave!
How powerless were the mightiest monarch's arm,
Vain his loud threat, and impotent his frown!
How ludicrous the priest's dogmatic roar!
The weight of his exterminating curse
How light! and his affected charity,
To suit the pressure of the changing times,
What palpable deceit!but for thy aid,
Religion! but for thee, prolific fiend,
Who peoplest earth with demons, hell with men,
And heaven with slaves!

'Thou taintest all thou lookest upon!the stars,
Which on thy cradle beamed so brightly sweet,
Were gods to the distempered playfulness
Of thy untutored infancy; the trees,
The grass, the clouds, the mountains and the sea,
All living things that walk, swim, creep or fly,
Were gods; the sun had homage, and the moon
Her worshipper. Then thou becamest, a boy,
More daring in thy frenzies; every shape,
Monstrous or vast, or beautifully wild,
Which from sensation's relics fancy culls;
The spirits of the air, the shuddering ghost,
The genii of the elements, the powers
That give a shape to Nature's varied works,
Had life and place in the corrupt belief
Of thy blind heart; yet still thy youthful hands
Were pure of human blood. Then manhood gave
Its strength and ardor to thy frenzied brain;
Thine eager gaze scanned the stupendous scene,
Whose wonders mocked the knowledge of thy pride;
Their everlasting and unchanging laws
Reproached thine ignorance. Awhile thou stood'st
Baffled and gloomy; then thou didst sum up
The elements of all that thou didst know;
The changing seasons, winter's leafless reign,
The budding of the heaven-breathing trees,
The eternal orbs that beautify the night,
The sunrise, and the setting of the moon,
Earthquakes and wars, and poisons and disease,
And all their causes, to an abstract point
Converging thou didst bend, and called it God!
The self-sufficing, the omnipotent,
The merciful, and the avenging God!
Who, prototype of human misrule, sits
High in heaven's realm, upon a golden throne,
Even like an earthly king; and whose dread work,
Hell, gapes forever for the unhappy slaves
Of fate, whom he created in his sport
To triumph in their torments when they fell!
Earth heard the name; earth trembled as the smoke
Of his revenge ascended up to heaven,
Blotting the constellations; and the cries
Of millions butchered in sweet confidence
And unsuspecting peace, even when the bonds
Of safety were confirmed by wordy oaths
Sworn in his dreadful name, rung through the land;
Whilst innocent babes writhed on thy stubborn spear,
And thou didst laugh to hear the mother's shriek
Of maniac gladness, as the sacred steel
Felt cold in her torn entrails!

'Religion! thou wert then in manhood's prime;
But age crept on; one God would not suffice
For senile puerility; thou framedst
A tale to suit thy dotage and to glut
Thy misery-thirsting soul, that the mad fiend
Thy wickedness had pictured might afford
A plea for sating the unnatural thirst
For murder, rapine, violence and crime,
That still consumed thy being, even when
Thou heard'st the step of fate; that flames might light
Thy funeral scene; and the shrill horrent shrieks
Of parents dying on the pile that burned
To light their children to thy paths, the roar
Of the encircling flames, the exulting cries
Of thine apostles loud commingling there,
    Might sate thine hungry ear
    Even on the bed of death!

'But now contempt is mocking thy gray hairs;
Thou art descending to the darksome grave,
Unhonored and unpitied but by those
Whose pride is passing by like thine, and sheds,
Like thine, a glare that fades before the sun
Of truth, and shines but in the dreadful night
That long has lowered above the ruined world.

'Throughout these infinite orbs of mingling light
Of which yon earth is one, is wide diffused
A Spirit of activity and life,
That knows no term, cessation or decay;
That fades not when the lamp of earthly life,
Extinguished in the dampness of the grave,
Awhile there slumbers, more than when the babe
In the dim newness of its being feels
The impulses of sublunary things,
And all is wonder to unpractised sense;
But, active, steadfast and eternal, still
Guides the fierce whirlwind, in the tempest roars,
Cheers in the day, breathes in the balmy groves,
Strengthens in health, and poisons in disease;
And in the storm of change, that ceaselessly
Rolls round the eternal universe and shakes
Its undecaying battlement, presides,
Apportioning with irresistible law
The place each spring of its machine shall fill;
So that, when waves on waves tumultuous heap
Confusion to the clouds, and fiercely driven
Heaven's lightnings scorch the uprooted ocean-fords
Whilst, to the eye of shipwrecked mariner,
Lone sitting on the bare and shuddering rock,
All seems unlinked contingency and chance
No atom of this turbulence fulfils
A vague and unnecessitated task
Or acts but as it must and ought to act.
Even the minutest molecule of light,
That in an April sunbeam's fleeting glow
Fulfils its destined though invisible work,
The universal Spirit guides; nor less
When merciless ambition, or mad zeal,
Has led two hosts of dupes to battle-field,
That, blind, they there may dig each other's graves
And call the sad work glory, does it rule
All passions; not a thought, a will, an act,
No working of the tyrant's moody mind,
Nor one misgiving of the slaves who boast
Their servitude to hide the shame they feel,
Nor the events enchaining every will,
That from the depths of unrecorded time
Have drawn all-influencing virtue, pass
Unrecognized or unforeseen by thee,
Soul of the Universe! eternal spring
Of life and death, of happiness and woe,
Of all that chequers the phantasmal scene
That floats before our eyes in wavering light,
Which gleams but on the darkness of our prison
   Whose chains and massy walls
   We feel but cannot see.

'Spirit of Nature! all-sufficing Power,
Necessity! thou mother of the world!
Unlike the God of human error, thou
Requirest no prayers or praises; the caprice
Of man's weak will belongs no more to thee
Than do the changeful passions of his breast
To thy unvarying harmony; the slave,
Whose horrible lusts spread misery o'er the world,
And the good man, who lifts with virtuous pride
His being in the sight of happiness
That springs from his own works; the poison-tree,
Beneath whose shade all life is withered up,
And the fair oak, whose leafy dome affords
A temple where the vows of happy love
Are registered, are equal in thy sight;
No love, no hate thou cherishest; revenge
And favoritism, and worst desire of fame
Thou knowest not; all that the wide world contains
Are but thy passive instruments, and thou
Regard'st them all with an impartial eye,
Whose joy or pain thy nature cannot feel,
  Because thou hast not human sense,
  Because thou art not human mind.

'Yes! when the sweeping storm of time
Has sung its death-dirge o'er the ruined fanes
And broken altars of the almighty fiend,
Whose name usurps thy honors, and the blood
Through centuries clotted there has floated down
The tainted flood of ages, shalt thou live
Unchangeable! A shrine is raised to thee,
  Which nor the tempest breath of time,
  Nor the interminable flood
  Over earth's slight pageant rolling,
    Availeth to destroy,
The sensitive extension of the world;
  That wondrous and eternal fane,
Where pain and pleasure, good and evil join,
To do the will of strong necessity,
  And life, in multitudinous shapes,
Still pressing forward where no term can be,
  Like hungry and unresting flame
Curls round the eternal columns of its strength.'
198.
Necessity! thou mother of the world! Shelley annotates this line (in part)
as follows: "He who asserts the doctrine of Necessity means that, contemplating the events which compose the moral and material universe, he beholds only an immense and uninterrupted chain of causes and effects, no one of which could occupy any other place than it does occupy, or act in any other place than it does act. The idea of necessity is obtained by our experience of the connection between objects, the uniformity of the operations of nature, the constant conjunction of similar events, and the consequent inference of one from the other. Mankind are therefore agreed in the admission of necessity, if they admit that these two circumstances take place in voluntary action. Motive is to voluntary action in the human mind what cause is to effect in the material universe. The word liberty, as applied to mind, is analogous to the word chance as applied to matter: they spring from an ignorance of the certainty of the conjunction of antecedents and consequents. ... Religion is the perception of the relation in which we stand to the principle of the universe. But if the principle of the universe be not an organic being, the model and prototype of man, the relation between it and human beings is absolutely none. Without some insight into its will respecting our actions religion is nugatory and vain. But will is only a mode of animal mind; moral qualities are also such as only a human being can possess; to attribute them to the principle of the universe is to annex to it properties incompatible with any possible definition of its nature. It is probable
that the word God was originally only an expression denoting the unknown
cause of the known events which men perceived in the universe. By the vulgar
mistake of a metaphor for a real being, of a word for a thing, it became a man, endowed with human qualities and governing the universe as an earthly
monarch governs his kingdom. Their addresses to this imaginary being, indeed,
are much in the same style as those of subjects to a king. They acknowledge
his benevolence, deprecate his anger and supplicate his favour."
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab - Part VI.
,
481: III - THE STUDY

FAUST

(Entering, with the poodle.)

Behind me, field and meadow sleeping,
I leave in deep, prophetic night,
Within whose dread and holy keeping
The better soul awakes to light.
The wild desires no longer win us,
The deeds of passion cease to chain;
The love of Man revives within us,
The love of God revives again.

Be still, thou poodle; make not such racket and riot!
Why at the threshold wilt snuffing be?
Behind the stove repose thee in quiet!
My softest cushion I give to thee.
As thou, up yonder, with running and leaping
Amused us hast, on the mountain's crest,

So now I take thee into my keeping,
A welcome, but also a silent, guest.

Ah, when, within our narrow chamber
The lamp with friendly lustre glows,
Flames in the breast each faded ember,
And in the heart, itself that knows.
Then Hope again lends sweet assistance,
And Reason then resumes her speech:
One yearns, the rivers of existence,
The very founts of Life, to reach.

Snarl not, poodle! To the sound that rises,
The sacred tones that my soul embrace,
This bestial noise is out of place.
We are used to see, that Man despises
What he never comprehends,
And the Good and the Beautiful vilipends,
Finding them often hard to measure:
Will the dog, like man, snarl his displeasure?

But ah! I feel, though will thereto be stronger,
Contentment flows from out my breast no longer.
Why must the stream so soon run dry and fail us,
And burning thirst again assail us?
Therein I've borne so much probation!
And yet, this want may be supplied us;
We call the Supernatural to guide us;
We pine and thirst for Revelation,
Which nowhere worthier is, more nobly sent,
Than here, in our New Testament.
I feel impelled, its meaning to determine,
With honest purpose, once for all,
The hallowed Original
To change to my beloved German.

(He opens a volume, and commences.)
'Tis written: "In the Beginning was the Word."
Here am I balked: who, now can help afford?
The Word?impossible so high to rate it;
And otherwise must I translate it.
If by the Spirit I am truly taught.
Then thus: "In the Beginning was the Thought"
This first line let me weigh completely,
Lest my impatient pen proceed too fleetly.
Is it the Thought which works, creates, indeed?
"In the Beginning was the Power," I read.
Yet, as I write, a warning is suggested,
That I the sense may not have fairly tested.
The Spirit aids me: now I see the light!
"In the Beginning was the Act," I write.

If I must share my chamber with thee,
Poodle, stop that howling, prithee!
Cease to bark and bellow!
Such a noisy, disturbing fellow
I'll no longer suffer near me.
One of us, dost hear me!
Must leave, I fear me.
No longer guest-right I bestow;
The door is open, art free to go.
But what do I see in the creature?
Is that in the course of nature?
Is't actual fact? or Fancy's shows?
How long and broad my poodle grows!
He rises mightily:
A canine form that cannot be!
What a spectre I've harbored thus!
He resembles a hippopotamus,
With fiery eyes, teeth terrible to see:
O, now am I sure of thee!
For all of thy half-hellish brood
The Key of Solomon is good.

SPIRITS (in the corridor)

Some one, within, is caught!
Stay without, follow him not!
Like the fox in a snare,
Quakes the old hell-lynx there.
Take heedlook about!
Back and forth hover,
Under and over,
And he'll work himself out.
If your aid avail him,
Let it not fail him;
For he, without measure,
Has wrought for our pleasure.

FAUST

First, to encounter the beast,
The Words of the Four be addressed:
Salamander, shine glorious!
Wave, Undine, as bidden!
Sylph, be thou hidden!
Gnome, be laborious!

Who knows not their sense
(These elements),
Their properties
And power not sees,
No mastery he inherits
Over the Spirits.

Vanish in flaming ether,
Salamander!
Flow foamingly together,
Undine!
Shine in meteor-sheen,
Sylph!
Bring help to hearth and shelf.
Incubus! Incubus!
Step forward, and finish thus!

Of the Four, no feature
Lurks in the creature.
Quiet he lies, and grins disdain:
Not yet, it seems, have I given him pain.
Now, to undisguise thee,
Hear me exorcise thee!
Art thou, my gay one,
Hell's fugitive stray-one?
The sign witness now,
Before which they bow,
The cohorts of Hell!

With hair all bristling, it begins to swell.

Base Being, hearest thou?
Knowest and fearest thou
The One, unoriginate,
Named inexpressibly,
Through all Heaven impermeate,
Pierced irredressibly!

Behind the stove still banned,
See it, an elephant, expand!
It fills the space entire,
Mist-like melting, ever faster.
'Tis enough: ascend no higher,
Lay thyself at the feet of the Master!
Thou seest, not vain the threats I bring thee:
With holy fire I'll scorch and sting thee!
Wait not to know
The threefold dazzling glow!
Wait not to know
The strongest art within my hands!

MEPHISTOPHELES

(while the vapor is dissipating, steps forth from behind the
stove, in the costume of a Travelling Scholar.)
Why such a noise? What are my lord's commands?

FAUST

This was the poodle's real core,
A travelling scholar, then? The casus is diverting.

MEPHISTOPHELES

The learned gentleman I bow before:
You've made me roundly sweat, that's certain!

FAUST

What is thy name?

MEPHISTOPHELES

A question small, it seems,
For one whose mind the Word so much despises;
Who, scorning all external gleams,
The depths of being only prizes.

FAUST

With all you gentlemen, the name's a test,
Whereby the nature usually is expressed.
Clearly the latter it implies
In names like Beelzebub, Destroyer, Father of Lies.
Who art thou, then?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Part of that Power, not understood,
Which always wills the Bad, and always works the Good.

FAUST

What hidden sense in this enigma lies?

MEPHISTOPHELES

I am the Spirit that Denies!
And justly so: for all things, from the Void
Called forth, deserve to be destroyed:
'Twere better, then, were naught created.
Thus, all which you as Sin have rated,
Destruction,aught with Evil blent,
That is my proper element.

FAUST

Thou nam'st thyself a part, yet show'st complete to me?

MEPHISTOPHELES

The modest truth I speak to thee.
If Man, that microcosmic fool, can see
Himself a whole so frequently,
Part of the Part am I, once All, in primal Night,
Part of the Darkness which brought forth the Light,
The haughty Light, which now disputes the space,
And claims of Mother Night her ancient place.
And yet, the struggle fails; since Light, howe'er it weaves,
Still, fettered, unto bodies cleaves:
It flows from bodies, bodies beautifies;
By bodies is its course impeded;
And so, but little time is needed,
I hope, ere, as the bodies die, it dies!

FAUST

I see the plan thou art pursuing:
Thou canst not compass general ruin,
And hast on smaller scale begun.

MEPHISTOPHELES

And truly 'tis not much, when all is done.
That which to Naught is in resistance set,
The Something of this clumsy world,has yet,
With all that I have undertaken,
Not been by me disturbed or shaken:
From earthquake, tempest, wave, volcano's brand,
Back into quiet settle sea and land!
And that damned stuff, the bestial, human brood,
What use, in having that to play with?
How many have I made away with!
And ever circulates a newer, fresher blood.
It makes me furious, such things beholding:
From Water, Earth, and Air unfolding,
A thousand germs break forth and grow,
In dry, and wet, and warm, and chilly;
And had I not the Flame reserved, why, really,
There's nothing special of my own to show!

FAUST

So, to the actively eternal
Creative force, in cold disdain
You now oppose the fist infernal,
Whose wicked clench is all in vain!
Some other labor seek thou rather,
Queer Son of Chaos, to begin!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Well, we'll consider: thou canst gather
My views, when next I venture in.
Might I, perhaps, depart at present?

FAUST

Why thou shouldst ask, I don't perceive.
Though our acquaintance is so recent,
For further visits thou hast leave.
The window's here, the door is yonder;
A chimney, also, you behold.

MEPHISTOPHELES

I must confess that forth I may not wander,
My steps by one slight obstacle controlled,
The wizard's-foot, that on your threshold made is.

FAUST

The pentagram prohibits thee?
Why, tell me now, thou Son of Hades,
If that prevents, how cam'st thou in to me?
Could such a spirit be so cheated?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Inspect the thing: the drawing's not completed.
The outer angle, you may see,
Is open left the lines don't fit it.

FAUST

Well,Chance, this time, has fairly hit it!
And thus, thou'rt prisoner to me?
It seems the business has succeeded.

MEPHISTOPHELES

The poodle naught remarked, as after thee he speeded;
But other aspects now obtain:
The Devil can't get out again.

FAUST

Try, then, the open window-pane!

MEPHISTOPHELES

For Devils and for spectres this is law:
Where they have entered in, there also they withdraw.
The first is free to us; we're governed by the second.

FAUST

In Hell itself, then, laws are reckoned?
That's well! So might a compact be
Made with you gentlemen and binding,surely?

MEPHISTOPHELES

All that is promised shall delight thee purely;
No skinflint bargain shalt thou see.
But this is not of swift conclusion;
We'll talk about the matter soon.
And now, I do entreat this boon
Leave to withdraw from my intrusion.

FAUST

One moment more I ask thee to remain,
Some pleasant news, at least, to tell me.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Release me, now! I soon shall come again;
Then thou, at will, mayst question and compel me.

FAUST

I have not snares around thee cast;
Thyself hast led thyself into the meshes.
Who traps the Devil, hold him fast!
Not soon a second time he'll catch a prey so precious.

MEPHISTOPHELES

An't please thee, also I'm content to stay,
And serve thee in a social station;
But stipulating, that I may
With arts of mine afford thee recreation.

FAUST

Thereto I willingly agree,
If the diversion pleasant be.

MEPHISTOPHELES

My friend, thou'lt win, past all pretences,
More in this hour to soo the thy senses,
Than in the year's monotony.
That which the dainty spirits sing thee,
The lovely pictures they shall bring thee,
Are more than magic's empty show.
Thy scent will be to bliss invited;
Thy palate then with taste delighted,
Thy nerves of touch ecstatic glow!
All unprepared, the charm I spin:
We're here together, so begin!

SPIRITS

Vanish, ye darking
Arches above him!
Loveliest weather,
Born of blue ether,
Break from the sky!
O that the darkling
Clouds had departed!
Starlight is sparkling,
Tranquiller-hearted
Suns are on high.
Heaven's own children
In beauty bewildering,
Waveringly bending,
Pass as they hover;
Longing unending
Follows them over.
They, with their glowing
Garments, out-flowing,
Cover, in going,
Landscape and bower,
Where, in seclusion,
Lovers are plighted,
Lost in illusion.
Bower on bower!
Tendrils unblighted!
Lo! in a shower
Grapes that o'ercluster
Gush into must, or
Flow into rivers
Of foaming and flashing
Wine, that is dashing
Gems, as it boundeth
Down the high places,
And spreading, surroundeth
With crystalline spaces,
In happy embraces,
Blossoming forelands,
Emerald shore-lands!
And the winged races
Drink, and fly onward
Fly ever sunward
To the enticing
Islands, that flatter,
Dipping and rising
Light on the water!
Hark, the inspiring
Sound of their quiring!
See, the entrancing
Whirl of their dancing!
All in the air are
Freer and fairer.
Some of them scaling
Boldly the highlands,
Others are sailing,
Circling the islands;
Others are flying;
Life-ward all hieing,
All for the distant
Star of existent
Rapture and Love!

MEPHISTOPHELES

He sleeps! Enough, ye fays! your airy number
Have sung him truly into slumber:
For this performance I your debtor prove.
Not yet art thou the man, to catch the Fiend and hold him!
With fairest images of dreams infold him,
Plunge him in seas of sweet untruth!
Yet, for the threshold's magic which controlled him,
The Devil needs a rat's quick tooth.
I use no leng thened invocation:
Here rustles one that soon will work my liberation.

The lord of rats and eke of mice,
Of flies and bed-bugs, frogs and lice,
Summons thee hither to the door-sill,
To gnaw it where, with just a morsel
Of oil, he paints the spot for thee:
There com'st thou, hopping on to me!
To work, at once! The point which made me craven
Is forward, on the ledge, engraven.
Another bite makes free the door:
So, dream thy dreams, O Faust, until we meet once more!

FAUST (awaking)

Am I again so foully cheated?
Remains there naught of lofty spirit-sway,
But that a dream the Devil counterfeited,
And that a poodle ran away?


~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, THE STUDY (The Exorcism)
,
482:I - NIGHT

(A lofty-arched, narrow, Gothic chamber. FAUST, in a chair at his
desk, restless.)
FAUST

I've studied now Philosophy
And Jurisprudence, Medicine,
And even, alas! Theology,
From end to end, with labor keen;
And here, poor fool! with all my lore
I stand, no wiser than before:
I'm Magisteryea, Doctorhight,
And straight or cross-wise, wrong or right,
These ten years long, with many woes,
I've led my scholars by the nose,
And see, that nothing can be known!
That knowledge cuts me to the bone.
I'm cleverer, true, than those fops of teachers,
Doctors and Magisters, Scribes and Preachers;
Neither scruples nor doubts come now to smite me,
Nor Hell nor Devil can longer affright me.

For this, all pleasure am I foregoing;
I do not pretend to aught worth knowing,
I do not pretend I could be a teacher
To help or convert a fellow-creature.
Then, too, I've neither lands nor gold,
Nor the world's least pomp or honor hold
No dog would endure such a curst existence!
Wherefore, from Magic I seek assistance,
That many a secret perchance I reach
Through spirit-power and spirit-speech,
And thus the bitter task forego
Of saying the things I do not know,
That I may detect the inmost force
Which binds the world, and guides its course;
Its germs, productive powers explore,
And rummage in empty words no more!

O full and splendid Moon, whom I
Have, from this desk, seen climb the sky
So many a midnight,would thy glow
For the last time beheld my woe!
Ever thine eye, most mournful friend,
O'er books and papers saw me bend;
But would that I, on mountains grand,
Amid thy blessed light could stand,
With spirits through mountain-caverns hover,
Float in thy twilight the meadows over,
And, freed from the fumes of lore that swa the me,
To health in thy dewy fountains ba the me!

Ah, me! this dungeon still I see.
This drear, accursed masonry,
Where even the welcome daylight strains
But duskly through the painted panes.
Hemmed in by many a toppling heap
Of books worm-eaten, gray with dust,
Which to the vaulted ceiling creep,
Against the smoky paper thrust,
With glasses, boxes, round me stacked,
And instruments together hurled,
Ancestral lumber, stuffed and packed
Such is my world: and what a world!

And do I ask, wherefore my heart
Falters, oppressed with unknown needs?
Why some inexplicable smart
All movement of my life impedes?
Alas! in living Nature's stead,
Where God His human creature set,
In smoke and mould the fleshless dead
And bones of beasts surround me yet!

Fly! Up, and seek the broad, free land!
And this one Book of Mystery
From Nostradamus' very hand,
Is't not sufficient company?
When I the starry courses know,
And Nature's wise instruction seek,
With light of power my soul shall glow,
As when to spirits spirits speak.
Tis vain, this empty brooding here,
Though guessed the holy symbols be:
Ye, Spirits, comeye hover near
Oh, if you hear me, answer me!

(He opens the Book, and perceives the sign of the Macrocosm.)

Ha! what a sudden rapture leaps from this
I view, through all my senses swiftly flowing!
I feel a youthful, holy, vital bliss
In every vein and fibre newly glowing.
Was it a God, who traced this sign,
With calm across my tumult stealing,
My troubled heart to joy unsealing,
With impulse, mystic and divine,
The powers of Nature here, around my path, revealing?
Am I a God?so clear mine eyes!
In these pure features I behold
Creative Nature to my soul unfold.
What says the sage, now first I recognize:
"The spirit-world no closures fasten;
Thy sense is shut, thy heart is dead:
Disciple, up! untiring, hasten
To ba the thy breast in morning-red!"

(He contemplates the sign.)

How each the Whole its substance gives,
Each in the other works and lives!
Like heavenly forces rising and descending,
Their golden urns reciprocally lending,
With wings that winnow blessing
From Heaven through Earth I see them pressing,
Filling the All with harmony unceasing!
How grand a show! but, ah! a show alone.
Thee, boundless Nature, how make thee my own?
Where you, ye beasts? Founts of all Being, shining,
Whereon hang Heaven's and Earth's desire,
Whereto our withered hearts aspire,
Ye flow, ye feed: and am I vainly pining?

(He turns the leaves impatiently, and perceives the sign of the
Earth-Spirit.)

How otherwise upon me works this sign!
Thou, Spirit of the Earth, art nearer:
Even now my powers are loftier, clearer;
I glow, as drunk with new-made wine:
New strength and heart to meet the world incite me,
The woe of earth, the bliss of earth, invite me,
And though the shock of storms may smite me,
No crash of shipwreck shall have power to fright me!
Clouds gather over me
The moon conceals her light
The lamp's extinguished!
Mists rise,red, angry rays are darting
Around my head!There falls
A horror from the vaulted roof,
And seizes me!
I feel thy presence, Spirit I invoke!
Reveal thyself!
Ha! in my heart what rending stroke!
With new impulsion
My senses heave in this convulsion!
I feel thee draw my heart, absorb, exhaust me:
Thou must! thou must! and though my life it cost me!

(He seizes the book, and mysteriously pronounces the sign of
the Spirit. A ruddy flame flashes: the Spirit appears in
the flame.)
SPIRIT

Who calls me?
FAUST (with averted head)

Terrible to see!

SPIRIT

Me hast thou long with might attracted,
Long from my sphere thy food exacted,
And now

FAUST

Woe! I endure not thee!
SPIRIT

To view me is thine aspiration,
My voice to hear, my countenance to see;
Thy powerful yearning moveth me,
Here am I!what mean perturbation
Thee, superhuman, shakes? Thy soul's high calling, where?
Where is the breast, which from itself a world did bear,
And shaped and cherishedwhich with joy expanded,
To be our peer, with us, the Spirits, banded?
Where art thou, Faust, whose voice has pierced to me,
Who towards me pressed with all thine energy?
He art thou, who, my presence breathing, seeing,
Trembles through all the depths of being,
A writhing worm, a terror-stricken form?
FAUST

Thee, form of flame, shall I then fear?
Yes, I am Faust: I am thy peer!
SPIRIT

In the tides of Life, in Action's storm,
A fluctuant wave,
A shuttle free,
Birth and the Grave,
An eternal sea,
A weaving, flowing
Life, all-glowing,
Thus at Time's humming loom 'tis my hand prepares
The garment of Life which the Deity wears!
FAUST

Thou, who around the wide world wendest,
Thou busy Spirit, how near I feel to thee!
SPIRIT

Thou'rt like the Spirit which thou comprehendest,
Not me!

(Disappears.)
FAUST (overwhelmed)

Not thee!
Whom then?
I, image of the Godhead!
Not even like thee!

(A knock).

O Death!I know it'tis my Famulus!
My fairest luck finds no fruition:
In all the fullness of my vision
The soulless sneak disturbs me thus!

(Enter WAGNER, in dressing-gown and night-cap, a lamp in
his hand. FAUST turns impatiently.)
WAGNER

Pardon, I heard your declamation;
'Twas sure an old Greek tragedy you read?
In such an art I crave some preparation,
Since now it stands one in good stead.
I've often heard it said, a preacher
Might learn, with a comedian for a teacher.
FAUST

Yes, when the priest comedian is by nature,
As haply now and then the case may be.
WAGNER

Ah, when one studies thus, a prisoned creature,
That scarce the world on holidays can see,
Scarce through a glass, by rare occasion,
How shall one lead it by persuasion?
FAUST

You'll ne'er attain it, save you know the feeling,
Save from the soul it rises clear,
Serene in primal strength, compelling
The hearts and minds of all who hear.
You sit forever gluing, patching;
You cook the scraps from others' fare;
And from your heap of ashes hatching
A starveling flame, ye blow it bare!
Take children's, monkeys' gaze admiring,
If such your taste, and be content;
But ne'er from heart to heart you'll speak inspiring,
Save your own heart is eloquent!
WAGNER

Yet through delivery orators succeed;
I feel that I am far behind, indeed.
FAUST

Seek thou the honest recompense!
Beware, a tinkling fool to be!
With little art, clear wit and sense
Suggest their own delivery;
And if thou'rt moved to speak in earnest,
What need, that after words thou yearnest?
Yes, your discourses, with their glittering show,
Where ye for men twist shredded thought like paper,
Are unrefreshing as the winds that blow
The rustling leaves through chill autumnal vapor!
WAGNER

Ah, God! but Art is long,
And Life, alas! is fleeting.
And oft, with zeal my critic-duties meeting,
In head and breast there's something wrong.

How hard it is to compass the assistance
Whereby one rises to the source!
And, haply, ere one travels half the course
Must the poor devil quit existence.
FAUST

Is parchment, then, the holy fount before thee,
A draught wherefrom thy thirst forever slakes?
No true refreshment can restore thee,
Save what from thine own soul spontaneous breaks.
WAGNER

Pardon! a great delight is granted
When, in the spirit of the ages planted,
We mark how, ere our times, a sage has thought,
And then, how far his work, and grandly, we have brought.
FAUST

O yes, up to the stars at last!
Listen, my friend: the ages that are past
Are now a book with seven seals protected:
What you the Spirit of the Ages call
Is nothing but the spirit of you all,
Wherein the Ages are reflected.
So, oftentimes, you miserably mar it!
At the first glance who sees it runs away.
An offal-barrel and a lumber-garret,
Or, at the best, a Punch-and-Judy play,
With maxims most pragmatical and hitting,
As in the mouths of puppets are befitting!
WAGNER

But then, the world the human heart and brain!
Of these one covets some slight apprehension.
FAUST

Yes, of the kind which men attain!
Who dares the child's true name in public mention?
The few, who thereof something really learned,
Unwisely frank, with hearts that spurned concealing,
And to the mob laid bare each thought and feeling,
Have evermore been crucified and burned.
I pray you, Friend, 'tis now the dead of night;
Our converse here must be suspended.
WAGNER

I would have shared your watches with delight,
That so our learned talk might be extended.
To-morrow, though, I'll ask, in Easter leisure,
This and the other question, at your pleasure.
Most zealously I seek for erudition:
Much do I know but to know all is my ambition.

[Exit.
FAUST (solus)

That brain, alone, not loses hope, whose choice is
To stick in shallow trash forevermore,
Which digs with eager hand for buried ore,
And, when it finds an angle-worm, rejoices!

Dare such a human voice disturb the flow,
Around me here, of spirit-presence fullest?
And yet, this once my thanks I owe
To thee, of all earth's sons the poorest, dullest!
For thou hast torn me from that desperate state
Which threatened soon to overwhelm my senses:
The apparition was so giant-great,
It dwarfed and withered all my soul's pretences!

I, image of the Godhead, who began
Deeming Eternal Truth secure in nearness
Ye choirs, have ye begun the sweet, consoling chant,
Which, through the night of Death, the angels ministrant
Sang, God's new Covenant repeating?
CHORUS OF WOMEN

With spices and precious
Balm, we arrayed him;
Faithful and gracious,
We tenderly laid him:
Linen to bind him
Cleanlily wound we:
Ah! when we would find him,
Christ no more found we!
CHORUS OF ANGELS

Christ is ascended!
Bliss hath invested him,
Woes that molested him,
Trials that tested him,
Gloriously ended!
FAUST

Why, here in dust, entice me with your spell,
Ye gentle, powerful sounds of Heaven?
Peal rather there, where tender natures dwell.
Your messages I hear, but faith has not been given;
The dearest child of Faith is Miracle.
I venture not to soar to yonder regions
Whence the glad tidings hither float;
And yet, from childhood up familiar with the note,
To Life it now renews the old allegiance.
Once Heavenly Love sent down a burning kiss
Upon my brow, in Sabbath silence holy;
And, filled with mystic presage, chimed the church-bell slowly,
And prayer dissolved me in a fervent bliss.
A sweet, uncomprehended yearning
Drove forth my feet through woods and meadows free,
And while a thousand tears were burning,
I felt a world arise for me.
These chants, to youth and all its sports appealing,
Proclaimed the Spring's rejoicing holiday;
And Memory holds me now, with childish feeling,
Back from the last, the solemn way.
Sound on, ye hymns of Heaven, so sweet and mild!
My tears gush forth: the Earth takes back her child!
CHORUS OF DISCIPLES

Has He, victoriously,
Burst from the vaulted
Grave, and all-gloriously
Now sits exalted?
Is He, in glow of birth,
Rapture creative near?
Ah! to the woe of earth
Still are we native here.
We, his aspiring
Followers, Him we miss;
Weeping, desiring,
Master, Thy bliss!

CHORUS OF ANGELS

Christ is arisen,
Out of Corruption's womb:
Burst ye the prison,
Break from your gloom!
Praising and pleading him,
Lovingly needing him,
Brotherly feeding him,
Preaching and speeding him,
Blessing, succeeding Him,
Thus is the Master near,
Thus is He here!

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, NIGHT
,
483:Gilbert
I. THE GARDEN.
ABOVE the city hung the moon,
Right o'er a plot of ground
Where flowers and orchard-trees were fenced
With lofty walls around:
'Twas Gilbert's garden­there, to-night
Awhile he walked alone;
And, tired with sedentary toil,
Mused where the moonlight shone.
This garden, in a city-heart,
Lay still as houseless wild,
Though many-windowed mansion fronts
Were round it closely piled;
But thick their walls, and those within
Lived lives by noise unstirred;
Like wafting of an angel's wing,
Time's flight by them was heard.
Some soft piano-notes alone
Were sweet as faintly given,
Where ladies, doubtless, cheered the hearth
With song, that winter-even.
The city's many-mingled sounds
Rose like the hum of ocean;
They rather lulled the heart than roused
Its pulse to faster motion.
Gilbert has paced the single walk
An hour, yet is not weary;
And, though it be a winter night,
He feels nor cold nor dreary.
The prime of life is in his veins,
And sends his blood fast flowing,
And Fancy's fervour warms the thoughts
Now in his bosom glowing.
Those thoughts recur to early love,
19
Or what he love would name,
Though haply Gilbert's secret deeds
Might other title claim.
Such theme not oft his mind absorbs,
He to the world clings fast,
And too much for the present lives,
To linger o'er the past.
But now the evening's deep repose
Has glided to his soul;
That moonlight falls on Memory,
And shows her fading scroll.
One name appears in every line
The gentle rays shine o'er,
And still he smiles and still repeats
That one name­Elinor.
There is no sorrow in his smile,
No kindness in his tone;
The triumph of a selfish heart
Speaks coldly there alone;
He says: ' She loved me more than life;
And truly it was sweet
To see so fair a woman kneel,
In bondage, at my feet.
There was a sort of quiet bliss
To be so deeply loved,
To gaze on trembling eagerness
And sit myself unmoved.
And when it pleased my pride to grant,
At last some rare caress,
To feel the fever of that hand
My fingers deigned to press.
'Twas sweet to see her strive to hide
What every glance revealed;
Endowed, the while, with despot-might
Her destiny to wield.
I knew myself no perfect man,
Nor, as she deemed, divine;
I knew that I was glorious­but
20
By her reflected shine;
Her youth, her native energy,
Her powers new-born and fresh,
'Twas these with Godhead sanctified
My sensual frame of flesh.
Yet, like a god did I descend
At last, to meet her love;
And, like a god, I then withdrew
To my own heaven above.
And never more could she invoke
My presence to her sphere;
No prayer, no plaint, no cry of hers
Could win my awful ear.
I knew her blinded constancy
Would ne'er my deeds betray,
And, calm in conscience, whole in heart,
I went my tranquil way.
Yet, sometimes, I still feel a wish,
The fond and flattering pain
Of passion's anguish to create,
In her young breast again.
Bright was the lustre of her eyes,
When they caught fire from mine;
If I had power­this very hour,
Again I 'd light their shine.
But where she is, or how she lives,
I have no clue to know;
I 've heard she long my absence pined,
And left her home in woe.
But busied, then, in gathering gold,
As I am busied now,
I could not turn from such pursuit,
To weep a broken vow.
Nor could I give to fatal risk
The fame I ever prized;
Even now, I fear, that precious fame
Is too much compromised.'
21
An inward trouble dims his eye,
Some riddle he would solve;
Some method to unloose a knot,
His anxious thoughts revolve.
He, pensive, leans against a tree,
A leafy evergreen,
The boughs, the moonlight, intercept,
And hide him like a screen;
He starts­the tree shakes with his tremor,
Yet nothing near him pass'd,
He hurries up the garden alley,
In strangely sudden haste.
With shaking hand, he lifts the latchet,
Steps o'er the threshold stone;
The heavy door slips from his fingers,
It shuts, and he is gone.
What touched, transfixed, appalled, his soul ?
A nervous thought, no more;
'Twill sink like stone in placid pool,
And calm close smoothly o'er.
II. THE PARLOUR.
WARM is the parlour atmosphere,
Serene the lamp's soft light;
The vivid embers, red and clear,
Proclaim a frosty night.
Books, varied, on the table lie,
Three children o'er them bend,
And all, with curious, eager eye,
The turning leaf attend.
Picture and tale alternately
Their simple hearts delight,
And interest deep, and tempered glee,
Illume their aspects bright;
The parents, from their fireside place,
Behold that pleasant scene,
And joy is on the mother's face,
22
Pride, in the father's mien.
As Gilbert sees his blooming wife,
Beholds his children fair,
No thought has he of transient strife,
Or past, though piercing fear.
The voice of happy infancy
Lisps sweetly in his ear,
His wife, with pleased and peaceful eye,
Sits, kindly smiling, near.
The fire glows on her silken dress,
And shows its ample grace,
And warmly tints each hazel tress,
Curled soft around her face.
The beauty that in youth he wooed,
Is beauty still, unfaded,
The brow of ever placid mood
No churlish grief has shaded.
Prosperity, in Gilbert's home,
Abides, the guest of years;
There Want or Discord never come,
And seldom Toil or Tears.
The carpets bear the peaceful print
Of comfort's velvet tread,
And golden gleams from plenty sent,
In every nook are shed.
The very silken spaniel seems
Of quiet ease to tell,
As near its mistress' feet it dreams,
Sunk in a cushion's swell;
And smiles seem native to the eyes
Of those sweet children, three;
They have but looked on tranquil skies,
And know not misery.
Alas ! that misery should come
In such an hour as this;
Why could she not so calm a home
A little longer miss ?
23
But she is now within the door,
Her steps advancing glide;
Her sullen shade has crossed the floor,
She stands at Gilbert's side.
She lays her hand upon his heart,
It bounds with agony;
His fireside chair shakes with the start
That shook the garden tree.
His wife towards the children looks,
She does not mark his mien;
The children, bending o'er their books,
His terror have not seen.
In his own home, by his own hearth,
He sits in solitude,
And circled round with light and mirth,
Cold horror chills his blood.
His mind would hold with desperate clutch
The scene that round him lies;
No­changed, as by some wizard's touch,
The present prospect flies.
A tumult vague­a viewless strife
His futile struggles crush;
'Twixt him and his, an unknown life
And unknown feelings rush.
He sees­but scarce can language paint
The tissue Fancy weaves;
For words oft give but echo faint
Of thoughts the mind conceives.
Noise, tumult strange, and darkness dim,
Efface both light and quiet;
No shape is in those shadows grim,
No voice in that wild riot.
Sustained and strong, a wondrous blast
Above and round him blows;
A greenish gloom, dense overcast,
Each moment denser grows.
He nothing knows­nor clearly sees,
24
Resistance checks his breath,
The high, impetuous, ceaseless breeze
Blows on him. cold as death.
And still the undulating gloom
Mocks sight with formless motion;
Was such sensation Jonah's doom,
Gulphed in the depths of ocean ?
Streaking the air, the nameless vision,
Fast-driven, deep-sounding, flows;
Oh ! whence its source, and what its mission ?
How will its terrors close ?
Long-sweeping, rushing, vast and void,
The Universe it swallows;
And still the dark, devouring tide,
A Typhoon tempest follows.
More slow it rolls; its furious race
Sinks to a solemn gliding;
The stunning roar, the wind's wild chase,
To stillness are subsiding.
And, slowly borne along, a form
The shapeless chaos varies;
Poised in the eddy to the storm,
Before the eye it tarries.
A woman drowned­sunk in the deep,
On a long wave reclining;
The circling waters' crystal sweep,
Like glass, her shape enshrining;
Her pale dead face, to Gilbert turned,
Seems as in sleep reposing;
A feeble light, now first discerned,
The features well disclosing.
No effort from the haunted air
The ghastly scene could banish;
That hovering wave, arrested there,
Rolled­throbbed­but did not vanish.
If Gilbert upward turned his gaze,
He saw the ocean-shadow;
If he looked down, the endless seas
25
Lay green as summer meadow.
And straight before, the pale corpse lay,
Upborne by air or billow,
So near, he could have touched the spray
That churned around its pillow.
The hollow anguish of the face
Had moved a fiend to sorrow;
Not Death's fixed calm could rase the trace
Of suffering's deep-worn furrow.
All moved; a strong returning blast,
The mass of waters raising,
Bore wave and passive carcase past,
While Gilbert yet was gazing.
Deep in her isle-conceiving womb,
It seemed the Ocean thundered,
And soon, by realms of rushing gloom,
Were seer and phantom sundered.
Then swept some timbers from a wreck,
On following surges riding;
Then sea-weed, in the turbid rack
Uptorn, went slowly gliding.
The horrid shade, by slow degrees,
A beam of light defeated,
And then the roar of raving seas,
Fast, far, and faint, retreated.
And all was gone­gone like a mist,
Corse, billows, tempest, wreck;
Three children close to Gilbert prest
And clung around his neck.
Good night ! good night ! the prattlers said
And kissed their father's cheek;
'Twas now the hour their quiet bed
And placid rest to seek.
The mother with her offspring goes
To hear their evening prayer;
She nought of Gilbert's vision knows,
And nought of his despair.
26
Yet, pitying God, abridge the time
Of anguish, now his fate !
Though, haply, great has been his crime,
Thy mercy, too, is great.
Gilbert, at length, uplifts his head,
Bent for some moments low,
And there is neither grief nor dread
Upon his subtle brow.
For well can he his feelings task,
And well his looks command;
His features well his heart can mask,
With smiles and smoothness bland.
Gilbert has reasoned with his mind­
He says 'twas all a dream;
He strives his inward sight to blind
Against truth's inward beam.
He pitied not that shadowy thing,
When it was flesh and blood;
Nor now can pity's balmy spring
Refresh his arid mood.
' And if that dream has spoken truth,'
Thus musingly he says;
' If Elinor be dead, in sooth,
Such chance the shock repays:
A net was woven round my feet,
I scarce could further go,
Are Shame had forced a fast retreat,
Dishonour brought me low. '
' Conceal her, then, deep, silent Sea,
Give her a secret grave !
She sleeps in peace, and I am free,
No longer Terror's slave:
And homage still, from all the world,
Shall greet my spotless name,
Since surges break and waves are curled
Above its threatened shame.'
27
III. THE WELCOME HOME
ABOVE the city hangs the moon,
Some clouds are boding rain,
Gilbert, erewhile on journey gone,
To-night comes home again.
Ten years have passed above his head,
Each year has brought him gain;
His prosperous life has smoothly sped,
Without or tear or stain.
'Tis somewhat late­the city clocks
Twelve deep vibrations toll,
As Gilbert at the portal knocks,
Which is his journey's goal.
The street is still and desolate,
The moon hid by a cloud;
Gilbert, impatient, will not wait,­
His second knock peals loud.
The clocks are hushed; there's not a light
In any window nigh,
And not a single planet bright
Looks from the clouded sky;
The air is raw, the rain descends,
A bitter north-wind blows;
His cloak the traveller scarce defends­
Will not the door unclose ?
He knocks the third time, and the last;
His summons now they hear,
Within, a footstep, hurrying fast,
Is heard approaching near.
The bolt is drawn, the clanking chain
Falls to the floor of stone;
And Gilbert to his heart will strain
His wife and children soon.
The hand that lifts the latchet, holds
A candle to his sight,
And Gilbert, on the step, beholds
A woman, clad in white.
28
Lo ! water from her dripping dress
Runs on the streaming floor;
From every dark and clinging tress,
The drops incessant pour.
There's none but her to welcome him;
She holds the candle high,
And, motionless in form and limb,
Stands cold and silent nigh;
There's sand and sea-weed on her robe,
Her hollow eyes are blind;
No pulse in such a frame can throb,
No life is there defined.
Gilbert turned ashy-white, but still
His lips vouchsafed no cry;
He spurred his strength and master-will
To pass the figure by,­
But, moving slow, it faced him straight,
It would not flinch nor quail:
Then first did Gilbert's strength abate,
His stony firmness quail.
He sank upon his knees and prayed;
The shape stood rigid there;
He called aloud for human aid,
No human aid was near.
An accent strange did thus repeat
Heaven's stern but just decree:
' The measure thou to her didst mete,
To thee shall measured be !'
Gilbert sprang from his bended knees,
By the pale spectre pushed,
And, wild as one whom demons seize,
Up the hall-staircase rushed;
Entered his chamber­near the bed
Sheathed steel and fire-arms hung­
Impelled by maniac purpose dread,
He chose those stores among.
Across his throat, a keen-edged knife
29
With vigorous hand he drew;
The wound was wide­his outraged life
Rushed rash and redly through.
And thus died, by a shameful death,
A wise and worldly man,
Who never drew but selfish breath
Since first his life began.
~ Charlotte Brontë,
484:Jenny
Lazy laughing languid Jenny,
Fond of a kiss and fond of a guinea,
Whose head upon my knee to-night
Rests for a while, as if grown light
With all our dances and the sound
To which the wild tunes spun you round:
Fair Jenny mine, the thoughtless queen
Of kisses which the blush between
Could hardly make much daintier;
Whose eyes are as blue skies, whose hair
Is countless gold incomparable:
Fresh flower, scarce touched with signs that tell
Of Love's exuberant hotbed:—Nay,
Poor flower left torn since yesterday
Until to-morrow leave you bare;
Poor handful of bright spring-water
Flung in the whirlpool's shrieking face;
Poor shameful Jenny, full of grace
Thus with your head upon my knee;—
Whose person or whose purse may be
The lodestar of your reverie?
This room of yours, my Jenny, looks
A change from mine so full of books,
Whose serried ranks hold fast, forsooth,
So many captive hours of youth,—
The hours they thieve from day and night
To make one's cherished work come right,
And leave it wrong for all their theft,
Even as to-night my work was left:
Until I vowed that since my brain
And eyes of dancing seemed so fain,
My feet should have some dancing too:—
And thus it was I met with you.
Well, I suppose 'twas hard to part,
For here I am. And now, sweetheart,
You seem too tired to get to bed.
It was a careless life I led
When rooms like this were scarce so strange
Not long ago. What breeds the change,—
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The many aims or the few years?
Because to-night it all appears
Something I do not know again.
The cloud's not danced out of my brain—
The cloud that made it turn and swim
While hour by hour the books grew dim.
Why, Jenny, as I watch you there,—
For all your wealth of loosened hair,
Your silk ungirdled and unlac'd
And warm sweets open to the waist,
All golden in the lamplight's gleam,—
You know not what a book you seem,
Half-read by lightning in a dream!
How should you know, my Jenny? Nay,
And I should be ashamed to say:—
Poor beauty, so well worth a kiss!
But while my thought runs on like this
With wasteful whims more than enough,
I wonder what you're thinking of.
If of myself you think at all,
What is the thought?—conjectural
On sorry matters best unsolved?—
Or inly is each grace revolved
To fit me with a lure?—or (sad
To think!) perhaps you're merely glad
That I'm not drunk or ruffianly
And let you rest upon my knee.
For sometimes, were the truth confess'd,
You're thankful for a little rest,—
Glad from the crush to rest within,
From the heart-sickness and the din
Where envy's voice at virtue's pitch
Mocks you because your gown is rich;
And from the pale girl's dumb rebuke,
Whose ill-clad grace and toil-worn look
Proclaim the strength that keeps her weak,
And other nights than yours bespeak;
And from the wise unchildish elf,
To schoolmate lesser than himself
Pointing you out, what thing you are:—
Yes, from the daily jeer and jar,
From shame and shame's outbraving too,
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Is rest not sometimes sweet to you?—
But most from the hatefulness of man,
Who spares not to end what he began,
Whose acts are ill and his speech ill,
Who, having used you at his will,
Thrusts you aside, as when I dine
I serve the dishes and the wine.
Well, handsome Jenny mine, sit up:
I've filled our glasses, let us sup,
And do not let me think of you,
Lest shame of yours suffice for two.
What, still so tired? Well, well then, keep
Your head there, so you do not sleep;
But that the weariness may pass
And leave you merry, take this glass.
Ah! lazy lily hand, more bless'd
If ne'er in rings it had been dress'd
Nor ever by a glove conceal'd!
Behold the lilies of the field,
They toil not neither do they spin;
(So doth the ancient text begin,—
Not of such rest as one of these
Can share.) Another rest and ease
Along each summer-sated path
From its new lord the garden hath,
Than that whose spring in blessings ran
Which praised the bounteous husbandman,
Ere yet, in days of hankering breath,
The lilies sickened unto death.
What, Jenny, are your lilies dead?
Aye, and the snow-white leaves are spread
Like winter on the garden-bed.
But you had roses left in May,—
They were not gone too. Jenny, nay,
But must your roses die, and those
Their purfled buds that should unclose?
Even so; the leaves are curled apart,
Still red as from the broken heart,
And here's the naked stem of thorns.
Nay, nay, mere words. Here nothing warns
As yet of winter. Sickness here
Or want alone could waken fear,—
135
Nothing but passion wrings a tear.
Except when there may rise unsought
Haply at times a passing thought
Of the old days which seem to be
Much older than any history
That is written in any book;
When she would lie in fields and look
Along the ground through the blown grass
And wonder where the city was,
Far out of sight, whose broil and bale
They told her then for a child's tale.
Jenny, you know the city now.
A child can tell the tale there, how
Some things which are not yet enroll'd
In market-lists are bought and sold
Even till the early Sunday light,
When Saturday night is market-night
Everywhere, be it dry or wet,
And market-night in the Haymarket.
Our learned London children know,
Poor Jenny, all your pride and woe;
Have seen your lifted silken skirt
Advertise dainties through the dirt;
Have seen your coach-wheels splash rebuke
On virtue; and have learned your look
When, wealth and health slipped past, you stare
Along the streets alone, and there,
Round the long park, across the bridge,
The cold lamps at the pavement's edge
Wind on together and apart,
A fiery serpent for your heart.
Let the thoughts pass, an empty cloud!
Suppose I were to think aloud,—
What if to her all this were said?
Why, as a volume seldom read
Being opened halfway shuts again,
So might the pages of her brain
Be parted at such words, and thence
Close back upon the dusty sense.
For is there hue or shape defin'd
In Jenny's desecrated mind,
Where all contagious currents meet,
136
A Lethe of the middle street?
Nay, it reflects not any face,
Nor sound is in its sluggish pace,
But as they coil those eddies clot,
And night and day remember not.
Why, Jenny, you're asleep at last!—
Asleep, poor Jenny, hard and fast,—
So young and soft and tired; so fair,
With chin thus nestled in your hair,
Mouth quiet, eyelids almost blue
As if some sky of dreams shone through!
Just as another woman sleeps!
Enough to throw one's thoughts in heaps
Of doubt and horror,—what to say
Or think,—this awful secret sway,
The potter's power over the clay!
Of the same lump (it has been said)
For honour and dishonour made,
Two sister vessels. Here is one.
My cousin Nell is fond of fun,
And fond of dress, and change, and praise,
So mere a woman in her ways:
And if her sweet eyes rich in youth
Are like her lips that tell the truth,
My cousin Nell is fond of love.
And she's the girl I'm proudest of.
Who does not prize her, guard her well?
The love of change, in cousin Nell,
Shall find the best and hold it dear:
The unconquered mirth turn quieter
Not through her own, through others' woe:
The conscious pride of beauty glow
Beside another's pride in her,
One little part of all they share.
For Love himself shall ripen these
In a kind soil to just increase
Through years of fertilizing peace.
Of the same lump (as it is said)
For honour and dishonour made,
Two sister vessels. Here is one.
It makes a goblin of the sun.
So pure,—so fall'n! How dare to think
137
Of the first common kindred link?
Yet, Jenny, till the world shall burn
It seems that all things take their turn;
And who shall say but this fair tree
May need, in changes that may be,
Your children's children's charity?
Scorned then, no doubt, as you are scorn'd!
Shall no man hold his pride forewarn'd
Till in the end, the Day of Days,
At Judgment, one of his own race,
As frail and lost as you, shall rise,—
His daughter, with his mother's eyes?
How Jenny's clock ticks on the shelf!
Might not the dial scorn itself
That has such hours to register?
Yet as to me, even so to her
Are golden sun and silver moon,
In daily largesse of earth's boon,
Counted for life-coins to one tune.
And if, as blindfold fates are toss'd,
Through some one man this life be lost,
Shall soul not somehow pay for soul?
Fair shines the gilded aureole
In which our highest painters place
Some living woman's simple face.
And the stilled features thus descried
As Jenny's long throat droops aside,—
The shadows where the cheeks are thin,
And pure wide curve from ear to chin,—
With Raffael's, Leonardo's hand
To show them to men's souls, might stand,
Whole ages long, the whole world through,
For preachings of what God can do.
What has man done here? How atone,
Great God, for this which man has done?
And for the body and soul which by
Man's pitiless doom must now comply
With lifelong hell, what lullaby
Of sweet forgetful second birth
Remains? All dark. No sign on earth
What measure of God's rest endows
The many mansions of his house.
138
If but a woman's heart might see
Such erring heart unerringly
For once! But that can never be.
Like a rose shut in a book
In which pure women may not look,
For its base pages claim control
To crush the flower within the soul;
Where through each dead rose-leaf that clings,
Pale as transparent Psyche-wings,
To the vile text, are traced such things
As might make lady's cheek indeed
More than a living rose to read;
So nought save foolish foulness may
Watch with hard eyes the sure decay;
And so the life-blood of this rose,
Puddled with shameful knowledge, flows
Through leaves no chaste hand may unclose:
Yet still it keeps such faded show
Of when 'twas gathered long ago,
That the crushed petals' lovely grain,
The sweetness of the sanguine stain,
Seen of a woman's eyes, must make
Her pitiful heart, so prone to ache,
Love roses better for its sake:—
Only that this can never be:—
Even so unto her sex is she.
Yet, Jenny, looking long at you,
The woman almost fades from view.
A cipher of man's changeless sum
Of lust, past, present, and to come,
Is left. A riddle that one shrinks
To challenge from the scornful sphinx.
Like a toad within a stone
Seated while Time crumbles on;
Which sits there since the earth was curs'd
For Man's transgression at the first;
Which, living through all centuries,
Not once has seen the sun arise;
Whose life, to its cold circle charmed,
The earth's whole summers have not warmed;
Which always—whitherso the stone
Be flung—sits there, deaf, blind, alone;—
139
Aye, and shall not be driven out
Till that which shuts him round about
Break at the very Master's stroke,
And the dust thereof vanish as smoke,
And the seed of Man vanish as dust:—
Even so within this world is Lust.
Come, come, what use in thoughts like this?
Poor little Jenny, good to kiss,—
You'd not believe by what strange roads
Thought travels, when your beauty goads
A man to-night to think of toads!
Jenny, wake up…. Why, there's the dawn!
And there's an early waggon drawn
To market, and some sheep that jog
Bleating before a barking dog;
And the old streets come peering through
Another night that London knew;
And all as ghostlike as the lamps.
So on the wings of day decamps
My last night's frolic. Glooms begin
To shiver off as lights creep in
Past the gauze curtains half drawn-to,
And the lamp's doubled shade grows blue,—
Your lamp, my Jenny, kept alight,
Like a wise virgin's, all one night!
And in the alcove coolly spread
Glimmers with dawn your empty bed;
And yonder your fair face I see
Reflected lying on my knee,
Where teems with first foreshadowings
Your pier-glass scrawled with diamond rings:
And on your bosom all night worn
Yesterday's rose now droops forlorn,
But dies not yet this summer morn.
And now without, as if some word
Had called upon them that they heard,
The London sparrows far and nigh
Clamour together suddenly;
And Jenny's cage-bird grown awake
Here in their song his part must take,
Because here too the day doth break.
And somehow in myself the dawn
140
Among stirred clouds and veils withdrawn
Strikes greyly on her. Let her sleep.
But will it wake her if I heap
These cushions thus beneath her head
Where my knee was? No,—there's your bed,
My Jenny, while you dream. And there
I lay among your golden hair,
Perhaps the subject of your dreams,
These golden coins.
For still one deems
That Jenny's flattering sleep confers
New magic on the magic purse,—
Grim web, how clogged with shrivelled flies!
Between the threads fine fumes arise
And shape their pictures in the brain.
There roll no streets in glare and rain,
Nor flagrant man-swine whets his tusk;
But delicately sighs in musk
The homage of the dim boudoir;
Or like a palpitating star
Thrilled into song, the opera-night
Breathes faint in the quick pulse of light;
Or at the carriage-window shine
Rich wares for choice; or, free to dine,
Whirls through its hour of health (divine
For her) the concourse of the Park.
And though in the discounted dark
Her functions there and here are one,
Beneath the lamps and in the sun
There reigns at least the acknowledged belle
Apparelled beyond parallel.
Ah Jenny, yes, we know your dreams.
For even the Paphian Venus seems
A goddess o'er the realms of love,
When silver-shrined in shadowy grove:
Aye, or let offerings nicely plac'd
But hide Priapus to the waist,
And whoso looks on him shall see
An eligible deity.
Why, Jenny, waking here alone
May help you to remember one,
Though all the memory's long outworn
141
Of many a double-pillowed morn.
I think I see you when you wake,
And rub your eyes for me, and shake
My gold, in rising, from your hair,
A Danaë for a moment there.
Jenny, my love rang true! for still
Love at first sight is vague, until
That tinkling makes him audible.
And must I mock you to the last,
Ashamed of my own shame,—aghast
Because some thoughts not born amiss
Rose at a poor fair face like this?
Well, of such thoughts so much I know:
In my life, as in hers, they show,
By a far gleam which I may near,
A dark path I can strive to clear.
Only one kiss. Good-bye, my dear.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
485:A Dialogue At Fiesole
HE.
Halt here awhile. That mossy-cushioned seat
Is for your queenliness a natural throne;
As I am fitly couched on this low sward,
Here at your feet.
SHE.
And I, in thought, at yours:
My adoration, deepest.
HE.
Deep, so deep,
I have no thought wherewith to fathom it;
Or, shall I say, no flight of song so high,
To reach the Heaven whence you look down on me,
My star, my far-off star!
SHE.
If far, yet fixed:
No shifting planet leaving you to seek
Where now it shines.
HE.
A little light, if near,
Glows livelier than the largest orb in Heaven.
SHE.
But little lights burn quickly out, and then,
Another must be kindled. Stars gleam on,
Unreached, but unextinguished. . . . Now, the song.
HE.
Yes, yes, the song: your music to my verse.
SHE.
In this sequestered dimple of the hill,
Forgotten by the furrow, none will hear:
Only the nightingales, that misconceive
The mid-day darkness of the cypresses
29
For curtained night.
HE.
And they will hush to hear
A sudden singing sweeter than their own.
Delay not the enchantment, but begin.
SHE
(singing).
If you were here, if you were here,
The cattle-bells would sound more clear;
The cataracts would flash and leap
More silvery from steep to steep;
The farewell of a rosier glow
Soften the summit of the snow;
The valley take a tenderer green;
In dewy gorge and dim ravine
The loving bramble-flowers embrace
The rough thorn with a gentler grace;
The gentian open bluer eyes,
In bluer air, to bluer skies:
The frail anemone delay,
The jonquil hasten on its way,
The primrose linger past its time,
The violet prolong its prime;
And every flower that seeks the light,
On Alpine lowland, Alpine height,
Wear April's smile without its tear,
If you were here; if you were here!
If you were here, the Spring would wake
A fuller music in the brake.
The mottled misselthrush would pipe
A note more ringing, rich, and ripe;
The whitethroat peer above its nest
With brighter eye and downier breast;
The cuckoo greet the amorous year,
Chanting its joy without its jeer;
The lark betroth the earth and sky
With peals of heavenlier minstrelsy;
And every wildwood bird rejoice
On fleeter wing, with sweeter voice,
30
If you were here!
If you were here, I too should feel
The moisture of the Springtide steal
Along my veins, and rise and roll
Through every fibre of my soul.
In my live breast would melt the snow,
And all its channels flush and flow
With waves of life and streams of song,
Frozen and silent all too long.
A something in each wilding flower,
Something in every scented shower,
Something in flitting voice and wing,
Would drench my heart and bid me sing:
Not in this feeble halting note,
But, like the merle's exulting throat,
With carol full and carol clear,
If you were here, if you were here.
HE.
Hark! How the hills have caught the strain, and seem
Loth to surrender it, and now enclose
Its cadence in the silence of their folds.
Still as you sang, the verses had the wing
Of that which buoyed them, and your aery voice
Lifted my drooping music from the ground.
Now that you cease, there is an empty nest,
From which the full-fledged melody hath flown.
SHE.
Dare I with you contend in metaphor,
It might not be so fanciful to show
That nest, and eggs, and music, all are yours.
But modesty in poets is too rare,
To be reproved for error. Let me then
Be crowned full queen of song, albeit in sooth
I am but consort, owing my degree
To the real sceptred Sovereign at my side.
But now repay my music, and in kind.
Unfolding to my ear the youngest flower
Of song that seems to blossom all the year;
``Delay not the enchantment, but begin.''
31
HE
(reciting). Yet, you are here; yes, you are here.
There's not a voice that wakes the year,
In vale frequented, upland lone,
But steals some sweetness from your own.
When dream and darkness have withdrawn,
I feel you in the freshening dawn:
You fill the noonday's hushed repose;
You scent the dew of daylight's close.
The twilight whispers you are nigh;
The stars announce you in the sky.
The moon, when most alone in space,
Fills all the heavens with your face.
In darkest hour of deepest night,
I see you with the spirit's sight;
And slumber murmurs in my ear,
``Hush! she is here. Sleep! she is here.''
SHE.
Hark how you bare your secret when you sing!
Imagination's universal scope
Can swift endue this gray and shapeless world
With the designs and colour of the sky.
What want you with our fixed and lumpish forms,
You, unconditioned arbiter of air?
``Yet, you are here; yes, you are here.'' The span
Of nimble fancy leaps the interval,
And brings the distant nearer than the near.
HE.
Distance is nearer than proximity,
When distance longs, proximity doth not.
SHE.
The near is always distant to the mind
That craves for satisfaction of its end;
Nor doth the distance ever feel so far
As when the end is touched. Retard that goal,
Prolonging appetite beyond the feast
That feeds anticipation.
32
HE.
Specious foil!
That parries every stroke before 'tis made.
Yet surfeit's self doth not more surely cloy
Than endless fasting.
SHE.
Still a swifter cure
Waits on too little than attends too much.
While disappointment merely woundeth Hope,
The deadly blow by disenchantment dealt
Strikes at the heart of Faith. O happy you,
The favourites of Fancy, who replace
Illusion with illusion, and conceive
Fresh cradles in the dark womb of the grave.
While we, prosaic victims, prove that time
Kills love while leaving loveless life alive,
You still, divinely duped, sing deathless love,
And with your wizard music, once again,
Make Winter Spring. Yet surely you forgive
That I have too much pity for the flowers
Children and poets cull to fling away,
To be an April nosegay.
HE.
How you swell
The common chorus! Women, who are wronged
So roughly by men's undiscerning word,
As though one pattern served to show them all,
Should be more just to poets. These, in truth,
Diverge from one another nowise less
Than ``women,'' vaguely labelled: children some,
With childish voice and nature, lyric bards,
Weaklings that on life's threshold sweetly wail,
But never from that silvery treble pass
Into the note and chant of manliness.
Their love is like their verse, a frail desire,
A fluttering fountain falling feebly back
Into its shallow origin. Next there are
The poets of contention, wrestlers born,
Who challenge iron Circumstance, and fail:
Generous and strong, withal not strong enough,
33
Since lacking sinewy wisdom, hard as life.
The love of these is like the lightning spear,
And shrivels whom it touches. They consume
All things within their reach, and, last of all,
Their lonely selves; and then through time they tower,
Sublime but charred, and wear on their high fronts
The gloomy glory of the sunlit pine.
But the great gods of Song, in clear white light,
The radiance of their godhead, calmly dwell,
And with immutable cold starlike gaze
Scan both the upper and the under world,
As it revolves, themselves serenely fixed.
Their bias is the bias of the sphere,
That turns all ways, but turns away from none,
Save to return to it. They have no feud
With gods or men, the living or the dead,
The past or present, and their words complete
Life's incompleteness with a healing note.
For they are not more sensitive than strong,
More wise than tender; understanding all,
At peace with all, at peace with life and death,
And love that gives a meaning unto life
And takes from death the meaning and the sting:
At peace with hate, and every opposite.
Were I but one of these-presumptuous thought!Even you, the live fulfilment of such dreams
As these secrete, would hazard well your love
On my more largely loving. 'Twould be you,
Yes, even you, that first would flag and fail
In either of my choosing; you, whose wing
Would droop on mine and pray to be upborne.
And when my pinions did no more suffice
For that their double load, then softly down,
Softly and smoothly as descending lark
That hath fulfilled its rhapsody in Heaven,
And with diminished music must decline
To earthy sounds and concepts, I should curb
Illimitable longings to the range
Of lower aspiration. Were I such!But, since I am notSHE.
34
Am not? Who shall say,
Save she who tests, and haply to her loss?
'Tis better left untested. Strange that you,
Who can imagine whatso thing you will,
Should lack imagination to appraise
Imagination at its topmost worth.
Now wield your native sceptre and extend
Your fancy forth where Florence overbrims
In eddies fairer even than herself.
Look how the landscape smiles complacently
At its own beauty, as indeed it may;
Villa and vineyard each a separate home,
Containing possibilities unseen,
Materials for your pleasure. Now disport!
Which homestead may it please my lord of song
To chalk for his, as those rough Frenchmen did
Who came with bow-legged Charles to justify
Savonarola's scourgeful prophecies?
Shall it be that one gazing in our face,
Not jealous of its beauty, but exposed
To all the wantonness of sun and air,
With roses girt, with roses garlanded,
And balustraded terrace topped with jars
Of clove carnations; unambitious roof,
Italian equivalent to house
Love in a cottage? Why, the very place
For her you once described! Wait! Let me see,
Can I recall the lines? Yes, thus they ran.
Do you remember them? Or are they now
A chronicle forgotten and erased
From that convenient palimpsest, the heart?
In dewy covert of her eyes
The secret of the violet lies;
The sun and wind caress and pair
In the lithe wavelets of her hair;
The fragrance of the warm soft south
Hovers about her honeyed mouth;
And, when she moves, she floats through air
Like zephyr-wafted gossamer.
Hers is no lore of dumb dead books;
Her learning liveth in her looks;
35
And still she shows, in meek replies,
Wisdom enough to deem you wise.
Her voice as soothing is and sweet
As whispers of the waving wheat,
And in the moisture of her kiss
Is April-like deliciousness.
Like gloaming-hour, she doth inspire
A vague, an infinite desire;
And, like the stars, though out of sight,
Filleth the loneliness of night.
Come how she may, or slow or fleet,
She brings the morning on her feet;
Gone, leaves behind a nameless pain,
Like the sadness of a silenced strain.
HE.
A youthful dream.
SHE.
Yet memory can surmise
That young dream fruited to reality,
Then, like reality, was dream no more.
All dreams are youthful; you are dreaming still.
What lovely visions denizen your sleep!
Let me recall another; for I know
All you have written, thought, and felt, and much
You neither thought nor felt, but only sang.
A wondrous gift, a godlike gift, that breathes
Into our exiled clay unexiled lives,
Manlier than Adam, comelier than Eve.
That massive villa, we both know so well,
With one face set toward Settignano, one
Gazing at Bellosguardo, and its rear
Locked from the north by clustered cypresses,
That seem like fixed colossal sentinels,
And tower above its tower, but look not in,
Might be abode for her whom you conceived
In tropes so mystical, you must forgive
If recollection trips.
To dwell with her is calmly to abide
Through every change of time and every flux of tide.
36
In her the Present, Past, and Future meet,
The Father, and the Son, and dovelike Paraclete.
She holdeth silent intercourse with Night,
Still journeying with the stars, and shining with their light.
Her love, illumination; her embrace,
The sweep of angels' wings across a mortal's face.
Her lap is piled with autumn fruits, her brow
Crowned with the blossoming trails that smile from April's bough.
Like wintry stars that shine with frosty fire,
Her loftiness excites to elevate desire.
To love her is to burn with such a flame
As lights the lamp which bears the Sanctuary's name.
That lamp burns on for ever, day and night,
Before her mystic shrine. I am its acolyte.
HE.
The merest foam of fancy; foam and spray.
SHE.
Foam-drift of fancy that hath ebbed away.
See how the very simile rebukes
Man's all unsealike longings! For confess,
While ocean still returns, the puny waves
Of mortal love are sucked into the sand,
Their motion felt, their music heard, no more.
Look when the vines are linking hands, and seem
As pausing from the dance of Spring, or just
Preparing to renew it, round and round,
On the green carpet of the bladed corn,
That spreads about their feet: corn, vine, and fig,
Almond and mulberry, cherry, and pear, and peach,
Not taught to know their place, but left to range
Up to the villa's walls, windows, and doors,
And peep into its life and smile good-day,
A portion of its homeliness and joy:
37
A poet's villa once, a poet's again,
If you but dream it such; a roof for her,
To whom you wrote-I wonder who she wasThis saucy sonnet; saucy, withal sweet,
And O, how true of the reflected love
You poets render to your worshippers.
TRUE AS THE DIAL TO THE SUN.
You are the sun, and I the dial, sweet,
So you can mark on me what time you will.
If you move slowly, how can I move fleet?
And when you halt, I too must fain be still.
Chide not the cloudy humours of my brow,
If you behold no settled sunshine there:
Rather upbraid your own, sweet, and allow,
My looks cannot be foul if yours be fair.
Then from the heaven of your high witchery shine,
And I with smiles shall watch the hours glide by;
You have no mood that is not straightway mine;
My cheek but takes complexion from your eye.
All that I am dependeth so on you,
What clouds the sun must cloud the dial too.
HE.
No man should quarrel with his Past, and I
Maintain no feud with mine. Do we not ripen,
Ripen and mellow in love, unto the close,
Thanks no more to the present than the past?
First love is fresh but fugitive as Spring,
A wilding flower no sooner plucked than faded;
And summer's sultry fervour ends in storm,
Recriminating thunder, wasteful tears,
And angry gleam of lightning menaces.
Give me October's meditative haze,
Its gossamer mornings, dewy-wimpled eves,
Dewy and fragrant, fragrant and secure,
The long slow sound of farmward-wending wains,
When homely Love sups quiet 'mong its sheaves,
Sups 'mong its sheaves, its sickle at its side,
And all is peace, peace and plump fruitfulness.
SHE.
38
Picture of all we dream and we desire:
Autumn's grave cheerfulness and sober bliss,
Rich resignation, humble constancy.
For, prone to bear the load piled up by life,
We, once youth's pasture season at an end,
Submit to crawl. Unbroken to the last,
You spurn the goad of stern taskmaster Time.
Even 'mid autumn harvest you demand
Returning hope and blossom of the Spring,
All seasons and sensations, and at once,
Or in too quick succession. Do we blame?
We envy rather the eternal youth
We cannot share. But youth is pitiless,
And, marching onward, neither asks nor seeks
Who falls behind. Thus women who are wise,
Beside their thresholds knitting homely gear,
Wave wistful salutation as you pass,
And think of you regretfully, when gone:
A soft regret, a sweet regret, that is
Only the mellow fruit of unplucked joy.
Now improvise some other simple strain,
That with harmonious cadence may attune
The vain and hazard discords of discourse.
HE.
When Love was young, it asked for wings,
That it might still be roaming;
And away it sped, by fancy led,
Through dawn, and noon, and gloaming.
Each daintiness that blooms and blows
It wooed in honeyed metre,
And when it won the sweetest sweet,
It flew off to a sweeter:
When Love was young.
When Love was old, it craved for rest,
For home, and hearth, and haven;
For quiet talks round sheltered walks,
And long lawns smoothly shaven.
And what Love sought, at last it found,
A roof, a porch, a garden,
And from a fond unquestioning heart
39
Peace, sympathy, and pardon,
When Love was old.
SHE.
Simple, in sooth, and haply true: withal,
Too, too autumnal even for my heart.
I never weary of your vernal note.
Carol again, and sing me back my youth
With the redundant melodies of Spring.
HE.
I breathe my heart in the heart of the rose,
The rose that I pluck and send you,
With a prayer that the perfume its leaves enclose
May kiss, and caress, and tend you:
Caress and tend you till I can come,
To the garden where first I found you,
And the thought that as yet in the rose is dumb
Can ripple in music round you.
O rose, that will shortly be her guest,
You may well look happy, at leaving:
Will you lie in the cradle her snowy breast
Doth rock with its gentle heaving?
Will you mount the throne of her hazel hair,
That waves like a summer billow,
Or be hidden and hushed, at nightfall prayer,
In the folds of her dimpled pillow?
And when she awakes at dawn to feel
If you have been dreaming with her,
Then the whole of your secret, sweet rose, reveal,
And say I am coming thither:
And that when there is silence in earth and sky,
And peace from the cares that cumber,
She must not ask if your leaves or I
Be clasped in her perfumed slumber.
SHE.
Give me your hand; and, if you will, keep mine
Engraffed in yours, as slowly thus we skirt
La Doccia's dark declivity, and make
40
Athwart Majano's pathless pines a path
To lead us onward haply where it may.
Lo! the Carrara mountains flush to view,
That in the noonday were not visible.
Shall we not fold this comfort to our hearts,
Humbly rejoiced to think as there are heights
Seen only in the sunset, so our lives,
If that they lack not loftiness, may wear
A glow of glory on their furrowed fronts,
Until they faint and fade into the night!
~ Alfred Austin,
486:Dante At Verona
Behold, even I, even I am Beatrice.
(Div. Com. Purg. xxx.)
OF Florence and of Beatrice
Servant and singer from of old,
O'er Dante's heart in youth had toll'd
The knell that gave his Lady peace;
And now in manhood flew the dart
Wherewith his City pierced his heart.
Yet if his Lady's home above
Was Heaven, on earth she filled his soul;
And if his City held control
To cast the body forth to rove,
The soul could soar from earth's vain throng,
And Heaven and Hell fulfil the song.
Follow his feet's appointed way;—
But little light we find that clears
The darkness of the exiled years.
Follow his spirit's journey:—nay,
What fires are blent, what winds are blown
On paths his feet may tread alone?
Yet of the twofold life he led
In chainless thought and fettered will
Some glimpses reach us,—somewhat still
Of the steep stairs and bitter bread,—
Of the soul's quest whose stern avow
For years had made him haggard now.
Alas! the Sacred Song whereto
Both heaven and earth had set their hand
Not only at Fame's gate did stand
Knocking to claim the passage through,
But toiled to ope that heavier door
Which Florence shut for evermore.
Shall not his birth's baptismal Town
One last high presage yet fulfil,
And at that font in Florence still
His forehead take the laurel-crown?
O God! or shall dead souls deny
The undying soul its prophecy?
Aye, 'tis their hour. Not yet forgot
69
The bitter words he spoke that day
When for some great charge far away
Her rulers his acceptance sought.
“And if I go, who stays?”—so rose
His scorn:—“and if I stay, who goes?”
“Lo! thou art gone now, and we stay”
(The curled lips mutter): “and no star
Is from thy mortal path so far
As streets where childhood knew the way.
To Heaven and Hell thy feet may win,
But thine own house they come not in.”
Therefore, the loftier rose the song
To touch the secret things of God,
The deeper pierced the hate that trod
On base men's track who wrought the wrong;
Till the soul's effluence came to be
Its own exceeding agony.
Arriving only to depart,
From court to court, from land to land,
Like flame within the naked hand
His body bore his burning heart
That still on Florence strove to bring
God's fire for a burnt offering.
Even such was Dante's mood, when now,
Mocked for long years with Fortune's sport,
He dwelt at yet another court,
There where Verona's knee did bow
And her voice hailed with all acclaim
Can Grande della Scala's name.
As that lord's kingly guest awhile
His life we follow; through the days
Which walked in exile's barren ways,—
The nights which still beneath one smile
Heard through all spheres one song increase,—
“Even I, even I am Beatrice.”
At Can La Scala's court, no doubt,
Due reverence did his steps attend;
The ushers on his path would bend
At ingoing as at going out;
The penmen waited on his call
At council-board, the grooms in hall.
And pages hushed their laughter down,
70
And gay squires stilled the merry stir,
When he passed up the dais-chamber
With set brows lordlier than a frown;
And tire-maids hidden among these
Drew close their loosened bodices.
Perhaps the priests, (exact to span
All God's circumference,) if at whiles
They found him wandering in their aisles,
Grudged ghostly greeting to the man
By whom, though not of ghostly guild,
With Heaven and Hell men's hearts were fill'd.
And the court-poets (he, forsooth,
A whole world's poet strayed to court!)
Had for his scorn their hate's retort.
He'd meet them flushed with easy youth,
Hot on their errands. Like noon-flies
They vexed him in the ears and eyes.
But at this court, peace still must wrench
Her chaplet from the teeth of war:
By day they held high watch afar,
At night they cried across the trench;
And still, in Dante's path, the fierce
Gaunt soldiers wrangled o'er their spears.
But vain seemed all the strength to him,
As golden convoys sunk at sea
Whose wealth might root out penury:
Because it was not, limb with limb,
Knit like his heart-strings round the wall
Of Florence, that ill pride might fall.
Yet in the tiltyard, when the dust
Cleared from the sundered press of knights
Ere yet again it swoops and smites,
He almost deemed his longing must
Find force to yield that multitude
And hurl that strength the way he would.
How should he move them,—fame and gain
On all hands calling them at strife?
He still might find but his one life
To give, by Florence counted vain;
One heart the false hearts made her doubt,
One voice she heard once and cast out.
Oh! if his Florence could but come,
71
A lily-sceptred damsel fair,
As her own Giotto painted her
On many shields and gates at home,—
A lady crowned, at a soft pace
Riding the lists round to the dais:
Till where Can Grande rules the lists,
As young as Truth, as calm as Force,
She draws her rein now, while her horse
Bows at the turn of the white wrists;
And when each knight within his stall
Gives ear, she speaks and tells them all:
All the foul tale,—truth sworn untrue
And falsehood's triumph. All the tale?
Great God! and must she not prevail
To fire them ere they heard it through,—
And hand achieve ere heart could rest
That high adventure of her quest?
How would his Florence lead them forth,
Her bridle ringing as she went;
And at the last within her tent,
'Neath golden lilies worship-worth,
How queenly would she bend the while
And thank the victors with her smile!
Also her lips should turn his way
And murmur: “O thou tried and true,
With whom I wept the long years through!
What shall it profit if I say,
Thee I remember? Nay, through thee
All ages shall remember me.”
Peace, Dante, peace! The task is long,
The time wears short to compass it.
Within thine heart such hopes may flit
And find a voice in deathless song:
But lo! as children of man's earth,
Those hopes are dead before their birth.
Fame tells us that Verona's court
Was a fair place. The feet might still
Wander for ever at their will
In many ways of sweet resort;
And still in many a heart around
The Poet's name due honour found.
Watch we his steps. He comes upon
72
The women at their palm-playing.
The conduits round the gardens sing
And meet in scoops of milk-white stone,
Where wearied damsels rest and hold
Their hands in the wet spurt of gold.
One of whom, knowing well that he,
By some found stern, was mild with them,
Would run and pluck his garment's hem,
Saying, “Messer Dante, pardon me,”—
Praying that they might hear the song
Which first of all he made, when young.
“Donne che avete” . . . Thereunto
Thus would he murmur, having first
Drawn near the fountain, while she nurs'd
His hand against her side: a few
Sweet words, and scarcely those, half said:
Then turned, and changed, and bowed his head.
For then the voice said in his heart,
“Even I, even I am Beatrice”;
And his whole life would yearn to cease:
Till having reached his room, apart
Beyond vast lengths of palace-floor,
He drew the arras round his door.
At such times, Dante, thou hast set
Thy forehead to the painted pane
Full oft, I know; and if the rain
Smote it outside, her fingers met
Thy brow; and if the sun fell there,
Her breath was on thy face and hair.
Then, weeping, I think certainly
Thou hast beheld, past sight of eyne,—
Within another room of thine
Where now thy body may not be
But where in thought thou still remain'st,—
A window often wept against:
The window thou, a youth, hast sought,
Flushed in the limpid eventime,
Ending with daylight the day's rhyme
Of her; where oftenwhiles her thought
Held thee—the lamp untrimmed to write—
In joy through the blue lapse of night.
At Can La Scala's court, no doubt,
73
Guests seldom wept. It was brave sport,
No doubt, at Can La Scala's court,
Within the palace and without;
Where music, set to madrigals,
Loitered all day through groves and halls.
Because Can Grande of his life
Had not had six-and-twenty years
As yet. And when the chroniclers
Tell you of that Vicenza strife
And of strifes elsewhere,—you must not
Conceive for church-sooth he had got
Just nothing in his wits but war:
Though doubtless 'twas the young man's joy
(Grown with his growth from a mere boy,)
To mark his “Viva Cane!” scare
The foe's shut front, till it would reel
All blind with shaken points of steel.
But there were places—held too sweet
For eyes that had not the due veil
Of lashes and clear lids—as well
In favour as his saddle-seat:
Breath of low speech he scorned not there
Nor light cool fingers in his hair.
Yet if the child whom the sire's plan
Made free of a deep treasure-chest
Scoffed it with ill-conditioned jest,—
We may be sure too that the man
Was not mere thews, nor all content
With lewdness swathed in sentiment.
So you may read and marvel not
That such a man as Dante—one
Who, while Can Grande's deeds were done,
Had drawn his robe round him and thought—
Now at the same guest-table far'd
Where keen Uguccio wiped his beard.
Through leaves and trellis-work the sun
Left the wine cool within the glass,—
They feasting where no sun could pass:
And when the women, all as one,
Rose up with brightened cheeks to go,
It was a comely thing, we know.
But Dante recked not of the wine;
74
Whether the women stayed or went,
His visage held one stern intent:
And when the music had its sign
To breathe upon them for more ease,
Sometimes he turned and bade it cease.
And as he spared not to rebuke
The mirth, so oft in council he
To bitter truth bore testimony:
And when the crafty balance shook
Well poised to make the wrong prevail,
Then Dante's hand would turn the scale.
And if some envoy from afar
Sailed to Verona's sovereign port
For aid or peace, and all the court
Fawned on its lord, “the Mars of war,
Sole arbiter of life and death,”—
Be sure that Dante saved his breath.
And Can La Scala marked askance
These things, accepting them for shame
And scorn, till Dante's guestship came
To be a peevish sufferance:
His host sought ways to make his days
Hateful; and such have many ways.
There was a Jester, a foul lout
Whom the court loved for graceless arts;
Sworn scholiast of the bestial parts
Of speech; a ribald mouth to shout
In Folly's horny tympanum
Such things as make the wise man dumb.
Much loved, him Dante loathed. And so,
One day when Dante felt perplexed
If any day that could come next
Were worth the waiting for or no,
And mute he sat amid their din,—
Can Grande called the Jester in.
Rank words, with such, are wit's best wealth.
Lords mouthed approval; ladies kept
Twittering with clustered heads, except
Some few that took their trains by stealth
And went. Can Grande shook his hair
And smote his thighs and laughed i' the air.
Then, facing on his guest, he cried,—
75
“Say, Messer Dante, how it is
I get out of a clown like this
More than your wisdom can provide.”
And Dante: “'Tis man's ancient whim
That still his like seems good to him.”
Also a tale is told, how once,
At clearing tables after meat,
Piled for a jest at Dante's feet
Were found the dinner's well-picked bones;
So laid, to please the banquet's lord,
By one who crouched beneath the board.
Then smiled Can Grande to the rest:—
“Our Dante's tuneful mouth indeed
Lacks not the gift on flesh to feed!”
“Fair host of mine,” replied the guest,
“So many bones you'd not descry
If so it chanced the dog were I.”
But wherefore should we turn the grout
In a drained cup, or be at strife
From the worn garment of a life
To rip the twisted ravel out?
Good needs expounding; but of ill
Each hath enough to guess his fill.
They named him Justicer-at-Law:
Each month to bear the tale in mind
Of hues a wench might wear unfin'd
And of the load an ox might draw;
To cavil in the weight of bread
And to see purse-thieves gibbeted.
And when his spirit wove the spell
(From under even to over-noon
In converse with itself alone,)
As high as Heaven, as low as Hell,—
He would be summoned and must go:
For had not Gian stabbed Giacomo?
Therefore the bread he had to eat
Seemed brackish, less like corn than tares;
And the rush-strown accustomed stairs
Each day were steeper to his feet;
And when the night-vigil was done,
His brows would ache to feel the sun.
Nevertheless, when from his kin
76
There came the tidings how at last
In Florence a decree was pass'd
Whereby all banished folk might win
Free pardon, so a fine were paid
And act of public penance made,—
This Dante writ in answer thus,
Words such as these: “That clearly they
In Florence must not have to say,—
The man abode aloof from us
Nigh fifteen years, yet lastly skulk'd
Hither to candleshrift and mulct.
“That he was one the Heavens forbid
To traffic in God's justice sold
By market-weight of earthly gold,
Or to bow down over the lid
Of steaming censers, and so be
Made clean of manhood's obloquy.
“That since no gate led, by God's will,
To Florence, but the one whereat
The priests and money-changers sat,
He still would wander; for that still,
Even through the body's prison-bars,
His soul possessed the sun and stars.”
Such were his words. It is indeed
For ever well our singers should
Utter good words and know them good
Not through song only; with close heed
Lest, having spent for the work's sake
Six days, the man be left to make.
Months o'er Verona, till the feast
Was come for Florence the Free Town:
And at the shrine of Baptist John
The exiles, girt with many a priest
And carrying candles as they went,
Were held to mercy of the saint.
On the high seats in sober state,—
Gold neck-chains range o'er range below
Gold screen-work where the lilies grow,—
The Heads of the Republic sate,
Marking the humbled face go by
Each one of his house-enemy.
And as each proscript rose and stood
77
From kneeling in the ashen dust
On the shrine-steps, some magnate thrust
A beard into the velvet hood
Of his front colleague's gown, to see
The cinders stuck in the bare knee.
Tosinghi passed, Manelli passed,
Rinucci passed, each in his place;
But not an Alighieri's face
Went by that day from first to last
In the Republic's triumph; nor
A foot came home to Dante's door.
(RESPUBLICA—a public thing:
A shameful shameless prostitute,
Whose lust with one lord may not suit,
So takes by turn its revelling
A night with each, till each at morn
Is stripped and beaten forth forlorn,
And leaves her, cursing her. If she,
Indeed, have not some spice-draught, hid
In scent under a silver lid,
To drench his open throat with—he
Once hard asleep; and thrust him not
At dawn beneath the stairs to rot.
Such this Republic!—not the Maid
He yearned for; she who yet should stand
With Heaven's accepted hand in hand,
Invulnerable and unbetray'd:
To whom, even as to God, should be
Obeisance one with Liberty.)
Years filled out their twelve moons, and ceased
One in another; and alway
There were the whole twelve hours each day
And each night as the years increased;
And rising moon and setting sun
Beheld that Dante's work was done.
What of his work for Florence? Well
It was, he knew, and well must be.
Yet evermore her hate's decree
Dwelt in his thought intolerable:—
His body to be burned,*—his soul
To beat its wings at hope's vain goal.
What of his work for Beatrice?
78
Now well-nigh was the third song writ,—
The stars a third time sealing it
With sudden music of pure peace:
For echoing thrice the threefold song,
The unnumbered stars the tone prolong.†
Each hour, as then the Vision pass'd,
He heard the utter harmony
Of the nine trembling spheres, till she
Bowed her eyes towards him in the last,
So that all ended with her eyes,
Hell, Purgatory, Paradise.
“It is my trust, as the years fall,
To write more worthily of her
Who now, being made God's minister,
Looks on His visage and knows all.”
Such was the hope that love dar'd blend
With grief's slow fires, to make an end
Of the “New Life,” his youth's dear book:
Adding thereunto: “In such trust
I labour, and believe I must
Accomplish this which my soul took
In charge, if God, my Lord and hers,
Leave my life with me a few years.”
The trust which he had borne in youth
Was all at length accomplished. He
At length had written worthily—
Yea even of her; no rhymes uncouth
'Twixt tongue and tongue; but by God's aid
The first words Italy had said.
Ah! haply now the heavenly guide
Was not the last form seen by him:
But there that Beatrice stood slim
And bowed in passing at his side,
For whom in youth his heart made moan
Then when the city sat alone Quomodo sedet sola civitas!
—The words quoted by Dante in the Vita Nuova when
he speaks of the death of Beatrice.
Clearly herself: the same whom he
Met, not past girlhood, in the street,
Low-bosomed and with hidden feet;
And then as woman perfectly,
In years that followed, many an once,—
79
And now at last among the suns
In that high vision. But indeed
It may be memory might recall
Last to him then the first of all,—
The child his boyhood bore in heed
Nine years. At length the voice brought peace,—
“Even I, even I am Beatrice.”
All this, being there, we had not seen.
Seen only was the shadow wrought
On the strong features bound in thought;
The vagueness gaining gait and mien;
The white streaks gathering clear to view
In the burnt beard the women knew.
For a tale tells that on his track,
As through Verona's streets he went,
This saying certain women sent:—
“Lo, he that strolls to Hell and back
At will! Behold him, how Hell's reek
Has crisped his beard and singed his cheek.”
“Whereat” (Boccaccio's words) “he smiled
For pride in fame.” It might be so:
Nevertheless we cannot know
If haply he were not beguiled
To bitterer mirth, who scarce could tell
If he indeed were back from Hell.
So the day came, after a space,
When Dante felt assured that there
The sunshine must lie sicklier
Even than in any other place,
Save only Florence. When that day
Had come, he rose and went his way.
He went and turned not. From his shoes
It may be that he shook the dust,
As every righteous dealer must
Once and again ere life can close:
And unaccomplished destiny
Struck cold his forehead, it may be.
No book keeps record how the Prince
Sunned himself out of Dante's reach,
Nor how the Jester stank in speech:
While courtiers, used to cringe and wince,
Poets and harlots, all the throng,
80
Let loose their scandal and their song.
No book keeps record if the seat
Which Dante held at his host's board
Were sat in next by clerk or lord,—
If leman lolled with dainty feet
At ease, or hostage brooded there,
Or priest lacked silence for his prayer.
Eat and wash hands, Can Grande;—scarce
We know their deeds now: hands which fed
Our Dante with that bitter bread;
And thou the watch-dog of those stairs
Which, of all paths his feet knew well,
Were steeper found than Heaven or Hell.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
487:My fancies are fireflies,
Specks of living light
twinkling in the dark.

he voice of wayside pansies,
that do not attract the careless glance,
murmurs in these desultory lines.

In the drowsy dark caves of the mind
dreams build their nest with fragments
dropped from day's caravan.

Spring scatters the petals of flowers
that are not for the fruits of the future,
but for the moment's whim.

Joy freed from the bond of earth's slumber
rushes into numberless leaves,
and dances in the air for a day.

My words that are slight
my lightly dance upon time's waves
when my works havy with import have gone down.

Mind's underground moths
grow filmy wings
and take a farewell flight
in the sunset sky.

The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.

My thoughts, like spark, ride on winged surprises,
carrying a single laughter.
The tree gazes in love at its own beautiful shadow
which yet it never can grasp.

Let my love, like sunlight, surround you
and yet give you illumined freedom.

Days are coloured vbubbles
that float upon the surface of fathomless night.

My offerings are too timid to claim your remembrance,
and therefore you may remember them.

Leave out my name from the gift
if it be a burden,
but keep my song.

April, like a child,
writes hieroglyphs on dust with flowers,
wipes them away and forgets.

Memory, the priestess,
kills the present
and offers its heart to the shrine of the dead past.

From the solemn gloom of the temple
children run out to sit in the dust,
God watches them play
and forgets the priest.

My mind starts up at some flash
on the flow of its thoughts
like a brook at a sudden liquid note of its own
that is never repeated.

In the mountain, stillness surges up
to explore its own height;
in the lake, movement stands still
to contemplate its own depth.

The departing night's one kiss
on the closed eyes of morning
glows in the star of dawn.

Maiden, thy beauty is like a fruit
which is yet to mature,
tense with an unyielding secret.

Sorrow that has lost its memory
is like the dumb dark hours
that have no bird songs
but only the cricket's chirp.

Bigotry tries to keep turth safe in its hand
with a grip that kills it.
Wishing to hearten a timid lamp
great night lights all her stars.

Though he holds in his arms the earth-bride,
the sky is ever immensely away.

God seeks comrades and claims love,
the Devil seeks slaves and claims obedience.

The soil in return for her service
keeps the tree tied to her,
the sky asks nothing and leaves it free.

Jewel-like immortal
does not boast of its length of years
but of the scintillating point of its moment.

The child ever dwells in the mystery of ageless time,
unobscured by the dust of history.

Alight laughter in the steps of creation
carries it swiftly across time.

One who was distant came near to me in the morning,
and still nearer when taken away by night.

White and pink oleanders meet
and make merry in different dialects.

When peace is active swepping its dirt, it is storm.

The lake lies low by the hill,
a tearful entreaty of love
at the foot of the inflexible.

There smiles the Divine Child
among his playthings of unmeaning clouds
and ephemeral lights and shadows.

The breeze whispers to the lotus,
"What is thy secret?"
"It is myself," says the lotus,
"Steal it and I disappear!"

The freedom of the storm and the bondage of the stem
join hands in the dance of swaying branches.

The jasmine's lisping of love to the sun is her flowers.

The tyrant claims freedom to kill freedom
and yet to keep it for himself.

Gods, tired of their paradise, envy man.

Clouds are hills in vapour,
hills are clouds in stone,
a phantasy in time's dream.

While God waits for His temple to be built of love,
men bring stones.

I touch God in my song
as the hill touches the far-away sea
with its waterfall.

Light finds her treasure of colours
through the antagonism of clouds.

My heart to-day smiles at its past night of tears
like a wet tree glistening in the sun
after the rain is over.

I have thanked the trees that have made my life fruitflul,
but have failed to remember the grass
that has ever kept it green.

The one without second is emptiness,
the other one makes it true.

Life's errors cry for the merciful beauty
that can modulate their isolation
into a harmony with the whole.

They expect thanks for the banished nest
because their cage is shapely and secure.

In love I pay my endless debt to thee
for what thou art.

The pond sends up its lyrics from its dark in lilies,
and the sun says, they are good.

Your calumny against the great is impious,
it hurts yourself;
against the small it is mean,
for it hurts the victim.

The first flower that blossomed on this earth
was an invitation to the unborn song.

Dawnthe many-coloured flowerfades,
and then the simple light-fruit,
the sun appears.

The muscle that has a doubt if its wisdom
throttles the voice that would cry.

The wind tries to take the flame by storm
only to blow it out.

Life's play is swift,
Life's playthings fall behind one by one
and are forgotten.

My flower, seek not thy paradise
in a fool's buttonhole.

Thou hast risen late, my crescent moon,
but my night bird is still awake to greet thee.

Darkness is the veiled bride
silently waiting for the errant light
to return to her bosom.

Trees are the earth's endless effort to
speak to the listening heaven.

The burden of self is lightened
when I laugh at myself.

The weak can be terrible
because they try furiously to appear strong.

The wind of heaven blows,
The anchor desperately clutches the mud,
and my boat is beating its breast against the chain.

The spirit of death is one,
the spirit of life is many,
Whe God is dead religion becomes one.

The blue of the sky longs for the earth's green,
the wind between them sighs, "Alas."
Day's pain muffled by its own glare,
burns among stars in the night.

The stars crowd round the virgin night
in silent awe at her loneliness
that can never be touched.

The cloud gives all its gold
to the departing sun
and greets the rising moon
with only a pale smile.

He who does good comes to the temple gate,
he who loves reaches the shrine.

Flower, have pity for the worm,
it is not a bee,
its love is a blunder and a burden.

With the ruins of terror's triumph
children build their doll's house.

The lamp waits through the long day of neglect
for the flame's kiss in the night.

Feathers in the dust lying lazily content
have forgotten their sky.

The flowers which is single
need not envy the thorns
that are numerous.

The world suffers most from the disinterested tyranny
of its well-wisher.

We gain freedom whrn we have paid the full price
for our right to live.

Your careless gifts of a moment,
like the meteors of an autumn night,
catch fire in the depth of my being.

The faith waiting in the heart of a seed
promises a miracle of life
which it cannot prove at once.

Spring hesitates at winter's door,
but the mango blossom rashly runs our to him
before her time and meets her doom.

The world is the ever-changing foam
thet floats on the surface of a sea of silence.

The two separated shores mingle their voices
in a song of unfathomed tears.

As a river in the sea,
work finds its fulfilment
in the depth of leisure.

I lingered on my way till thy cherry tree lost ist bossom,
but the azalea brins to me, my love, thy forgiveness.

Thy shy little pomegranate bud,
blushing to-day behind her veil,
will burst into a passionate flower
to-morrow when I am away.

The clumsiness of power spoils the key,
and uses the pickaxe.

Birth is from the mystery of night
into the grerater mystery of day.

These paper boats of mine are meant to dance
on the ripples of hours,
and not to reach any destination.

Migratory songs wing from my heart
and seek their nests in your voice of love.

The sea of danger, doubt and denial
around man's little island of certainty
challenges him to dare the unknown.

Love punishes when it forgives,
and injured beauty by its awful silence.

You live alone and unrecompensed
because they are afraid of your great worth.

The same sun is newly born in new lands
in a ring of endless dawns.

God is world is ever renewed by death,
a Titan's ever crushed by its own existence.

The glow-worm while exploring the dust
never knows that stars are in the sky.

The tree is of to-day, the flower is old,
it brings with it the message
of the immemorial seed.

Each rose that comes brings me greetings
from the Rose of an eternal spring.
God honours me when I work,
He loves me when I sing.

My love of to-day finds no home
in the nest deserted by yesterday's love.

The fire of pain tracse for my soul
a luminous path across her sorrow.

The grass survives the hill
through its resurrections from countless deaths.

Thou hast vanished from my reach
leaving an impalpable touch in the blue of the sky,
an invisible image in the wind moving
among the shadows.

In pity for the desolate branch
spring leaves to it a kiss that fluttered in a lonely leaf.

The shy shadow in the farden
loves the sun in silence,
Flowers guess the secret, and mile,
while the leaves whisper.

I leave no trace of wings in the air,
but I am glad I have had my flight.

The fireflies, twinkling among leaves,
make the stars wonder.

The mountain remains unmoved
at its seeming defeat by the mist.

While the rose said to the sun,
"I shall ever remember thee,"
her petals fell to the dust.

Hills are the earth's gesture of despair
for the unreachable.

Though the thorn in thy flower pricked me,
O Beauty,
I am grateful.

The world knows that the few
are more than the many.

Let not my love be a burden on you, my friend,
know that it pays itself.

Dawn plays her lute before the gate of darkness,
and is content to vanish when the sun comes out.

Beauty is truth's smile
when she beholds her own face
in a perfect mirror.

The dew-drop knows the sun
only within its own tiny orb.

Forlorn thoughts from the forsaken hives of all ages,
swarming in the air, hum round my heart
and seek my voice.

The desert is imprisoned in the wall
of its unbounded barrenness.

In the thrill of little leaves
I see the air's invisible dance,
and in their glimmering
the secret heart-beats of the sky.

You are like a flowering tree,
amazed when I praise you for your gifts.

The earth's sacrifical fire
flames up in her trees,
scattering sparks in flowers.

Foretsts, the clouds of earth,
hold up to the sky their silence,
and clouds from above come down
in resonant showers.

The world speaks to me in pictures,
my soul answers in music.

The sky tells its beads all night
on the countless stars
in memory of the sun.

The darkness of night, like pain, is dumb,
the darkness of dawn, like peace, is silent.

Pride engraves his frowns in stones,
loe offers her surrender in flowers.

The obsequious brush curtails truth
in diference to the canvas which is narrow.

The hill in its longing for the far-away sky
wishes to be like the cloud
with its endless urge of seeking.

To justify their own spilling of ink
they spell the day as night.

Profit smiles on goodness
when the good is profitable.

In its swelling pride
the bubble doubts the turth of the sea,
and laughs and bursts into emptiness.

Love is an endless mystery,
for it has nothing else to explain its.

My clouds, sorrowing in the dark,
forget that they themselves
have hidden the sun.

Man discovers his own wealth
when God comes to ask gifts of him.

You leave your memory as a flame
to my lonely lamp of separation.

I came to offer thee a flower,
but thou must have all my garden,
It is thine.

The picturea memory of light
treasured by the shadow.

It is easy to make faces at the sun,
He is exposed by his own light in all
directions.

History slowly smothers its truth,
but hastily struggles to revive it
in the terrible penance of pain.

My work is rewarded in daily wages,
I wait for my final value in love.

Beauty knows to say, "Enough,"
barbarism clamours for still more.

God loves to see in me, not his servant,
but himself who serves all.

The darkness of night is in harmony with day,
the morning of mist is discordant.

In the bounteous time of roses love is wine,
it is food in the famished hour
when their petals are shed.

An unknown flower in a strange land
speaks to the poet:
"Are we not of the same soil, my lover?"

I am able to love my God
because He gives me freedom to deny Him.

My untuned strings beg for music
in their anguished cry of shame.

The worm thinks it strange and foolish
that man does not eat his books.

The clouded sky to-day bears the visior
of the shadow of a divine sadness
on the forehead of brooding eternity.

The shade of my tree is for passers-by,
its fruit for the one for whom I wait.

Flushed with the glow of sunset
earth seems like a ripe fruit
ready to be harvested by night.

Light accepts darkness for his spouse
for the sake of creation.

The reed waits for his master's breath,
the Master goes seeking for his reed.

To the blind pen the hand that writes is unreal,
its writing unmeaning.

The sea smites his own barren breast
because he has no flowers to offer to the moon.

The greed for fruit misses the flower.

God in His temple of stars
waits for man to bring him his lamp.

The fire restrained in the tree fashions flowers.
Released from bonds, the shameless flame
dies in barren ashes.

The sky sets no snare to capture the moon,
it is her own freedom which binds her.
The light that fills the sky
seeks its limit in a dew-drop on the grass.

Wealth is the burden of bigness,
Welfare the fulness of being.

The razor-blade is proud of its keenness
when it sneers at the sun.

The butterfly has leisure to love the lotus,
not the bee busily storing honey.

Child, thou bringest to my heart
the babble of the wind and the water,
the flower's speechless secrets, the clouds' dreams,
the mute gaze of wonder of the morning sky.

The rainbow among the clouds may be great
but the little butterfly among the bushes is greater.

The mist weaves her net round the morning,
captivates him, and makes him blind.

The Morning Star whispers to Dawn,
"Tell me that you are only for me."
"Yes," she answers,
"And also only for that nameless flower."

The sky remains infinitely vacant
for earth there to build its heaven with dreams.

Perhaps the crescent moon smiles in doubt
at being told that it is a fragment
awaiting perfection.

Let the evening forgive the mistakes of the day
and thus win peace for herself.

Beauty smiles in the confinement of the bud,
in the heart of a sweet incompleteness.

Your flitting love lightly brushed with its wings
my sun-flower
and never asked if it was ready to surrender its honey.

Leaves are silences
around flowers which are their words.

The tree bears its thousand years
as one large majestic moment.

My offerings are not for the temple at the end of the road,
but for the wayside shrines
that surprise me at every bend.

Hour smile, my love, like the smell of a strange flower,
is simple and inexplicable.

Death laughs when the merit of the dead is exaggerated
for it swells his store with more than he can claim.

The sigh of the shore follows in vain
the breeze that hastens the ship across the sea.

Truth loves its limits,
for there it meets the beautiful.

Between the shores of Me and Thee
there is the loud ocean, my own surging self,
which I long to cross.

The right to possess boasts foolishly
of its right to enjoy.

The rose is a great deal more
than a blushing apology for the thorn.

Day offers to the silence of stars
his golden lute to be tuned
for the endless life.

The wise know how to teach,
the fool how to smite.

The centre is still and silent in the heart
of an enternal dance of circles.

The judge thinks that he is just when he compares
The oil of another's lamp
with the light of his own.

The captive flower in the King's wreath
smiles bitterly when the meadow-flower envies her.

Its store of snow is the hill's own burden,
its outpouring if streams is borne by all the world.

Listen to the prayer of the forest
for its freedom in flowers.

Let your love see me
even through the barrier of nearness.

The spirit of work in creation is there
to carry and help the spirit of play.

To carry the burden of the insturment,
count the cost of its material,
and never to know that it is for music,
is the tragedy of deaf life.

Faith is the bird that feels the light
and sings when the dawn is still dark.

I bring to thee, night, my day's empty cup,
to be cleansed with thy cool darkness
for a new morning's festival.

The mountain fir, in its rustling,
modulates the memory of its fights with the storm
into a hymn of peace.

God honoured me with his fight
when I was rebellious,
He ignored me when I was languid.

The sectarina thinks
that he has the sea
ladled into his private pond.

In the shady depth of life
are the lonely nests of memories
that shrink from words.

Let my love find its strength
in the service of day,
its peace in the union of night.

Life sends up in blades of grass
its silent hymn of praise
to the unnamed Light.

The stars of night are to me
the memorials of my day's faded flowers.

Open thy door to that which must go,
for the loss becomes unseemly when obstructed.

True end is not in the reaching of the limit,
but in a completion which is limitless.

The shore whispers to the sea:
"Write to me what thy waves struggle to say."
The sea writes in foam again and again
and wipes off the lines in a boisterous despair.

Let the touch ofthy finger thrill my life's strings
and make the music thine and mine.

The inner world rounded in my life like a fruit,
matured in joy and sorrow,
will drop into the darkness of the orogonal soil
for some further course of creation.

Form is in Matter, rhythm in Force,
meaning in the Person.

There are seekers of wisdom and seekers of wealth,
I seek thy company so that I may sing.

As the tree its leaves, I shed my words on the earth,
let my thoughts unuttered flower in thy silence.

My faith in truth, my vision of the perfect,
help thee, Master, in thy creation.

All the delights that I have felt
in life's fruits and flowers
let me offer to thee at the end of the feast,
in a perfect union of love.

Some have thought deeply and explored the
meaning of thy truth,
and they are great;
I have listened to catch the music of thy play,
and I am glad.

The tree is a winged spirit
released from the bondage of seed,
pursuing its adventure of life
across the unknown.

The lotus offers its beauty to the heaven,
the grass its service to the earth.

The sun's kiss mellows into abandonment
the miserliness of the green fruit clinging to its stem.

The flame met the earthen lamp in me,
and what a great marvel of light!

Mistakes live in the neighbourhood of truth
and therefore delude us.

The cloud laughed at the rainbow
saying that is was an upstart
gaudy in its emptiness.
The rainbow calmly answered,
"I am as inevitably real as tha sun himself."

Let me not grope in vain in the dark
but keep my mind still in the faith
that the day will break
and truth will appear
in its simplicity.

Through the silent night
I hear the returning vagrant hopes of the morning
knock at my heart.

My new love comes
bringing to me the eternal wealth of the old.

The earth gazes at the moon and wonders
that she sould have all her music in her smile.

Day with its glare of curiosity
puts the stars to flight.

My mind has itstrue union with thee, O sky,
at the window which is mine own,
and not in the open
where thou hast thy sole kingdom.

Man claims God's flowers as his own
when he weaves them in a garland.

The buried city, laid bare to the sun of a new age,
is ashamed that is has lost all its song.

Like my heart's pain that has long missed its meaning,
the sun's rays robed in dark
hide themselves under the ground.
Like my heart'spain at love's sudden touch,
they change their veil at the spring's call
and come out in the carnival of colours,
in flowers and leaves.

My life's empty flute
waits for its final music
like the primal darkness
before the stars came out.

Emancipation from the bondage of the soil
is no freedom for the tree.

The tapestry of life's story is woven
with the threads of life's ties
ever joining and breaking.

Those thoughts of mine that are never captured by words
perch upon my song and dance.

My soul to-night loses itself
in the silent heart of a tree
standing alone among the whispers of immensity.

Pearl shells cast up by the sea
on death's barren beach,
a magnificent wastefulness of creative life.

The sunlight opens for me the word's gate,
love's light its terasure.

My life like the reed with ist stops,
has its play od colours
through the gaps in its hopes and gains.

Let not my thanks to thee
rob my silence of its fuller homage.

Life's aspirations come
in the guise of children.

The faded flower sighs
that the spring has vanished for ever.

In my life's garden
my wealth has been of the shadows and lights
that are never gathered and stored.

The fruit that I Have gained for ever
is thet which thou hast accepted.

The jasmine knows the sun to be her brother
in the heaven.

Light is young, the ancient light;
shadows are of the moment, they are born old.

I feel that the ferry of my songs at the day's end
will brong me across to the other shore
from where I shall see.

The butterfly flitting from flower to flower
ever remains mine,
I lose the one that is netted by me.

Your voice, free bird, reaches my sleeping nest,
and my drowsy wings dream
of a voyage to the light
above the clouds.

I miss the meaning of my own part
in the play of life
because I know not of the parts
that others play.

The flower sheds all its petals
and finds the fruit.

I leave my songs behind me
to the bloom of the ever-returning honeysuckles
and the joy of the wind from the south.

Dead leaves when they lose themselves in soil
take part in the life of the forest.

The mind ever seeks its words
from its sounds and silence
as the sky from its darkness and light.

The unseen dark plays on his flute
and the rhythm of light
eddies into stars and suns,
into thoughts and reams.

My songs are to sing
that I have loved Thy singing.

When the voice of the Silent touches my words
I know him and therefore I know myself.

My last salutations are to them
who knew me imperfect and loved me.

Love's gift cannot be given,
it waits to be accepted.

When death comes and whispers to me,
"Thy days are ended,"
let me say to him, "I have lived in love
and not in mere time."
He will ask, "Will thy songs remain?"
I shall say, "I know not, but this I know
that often when I sang I found my eternity."

"Let me light my lamp,"
say the star,
'and never debate
if it will help to remove the darkness."

Before the end of my journey
may I reach within myself
the one which is the all,
leaving the outer shell
to float away with the drifting multitude
upon the current of chance and change.
~ Rabindranath Tagore, Fireflies
,
488:Rose Mary
Of her two fights with the Beryl-stone
Lost the first, but the second won.
PART I
“MARY mine that art Mary's Rose
Come in to me from the garden-close.
The sun sinks fast with the rising dew,
And we marked not how the faint moon grew;
But the hidden stars are calling you.
“Tall Rose Mary, come to my side,
And read the stars if you'd be a bride.
In hours whose need was not your own,
While you were a young maid yet ungrown
You've read the stars in the Beryl-stone.
“Daughter, once more I bid you read;
But now let it be for your own need:
Because to-morrow, at break of day,
To Holy Cross he rides on his way,
Your knight Sir James of Heronhaye.
“Ere he wed you, flower of mine,
For a heavy shrift he seeks the shrine.
Now hark to my words and do not fear;
Ill news next I have for your ear;
But be you strong, and our help is here.
“On his road, as the rumour's rife,
An ambush waits to take his life.
He needs will go, and will go alone;
Where the peril lurks may not be known;
But in this glass all things are shown.”
Pale Rose Mary sank to the floor:—
“The night will come if the day is o'er!”
“Nay, heaven takes counsel, star with star,
And help shall reach your heart from afar:
A bride you'll be, as a maid you are.”
The lady unbound her jewelled zone
And drew from her robe the Beryl-stone.
Shaped it was to a shadowy sphere,—
World of our world, the sun's compeer,
219
That bears and buries the toiling year.
With shuddering light 'twas stirred and strewn
Like the cloud-nest of the wading moon:
Freaked it was as the bubble's ball,
Rainbow-hued through a misty pall
Like the middle light of the waterfall.
Shadows dwelt in its teeming girth
Of the known and unknown things of earth;
The cloud above and the wave around,—
The central fire at the sphere's heart bound,
Like doomsday prisoned underground.
A thousand years it lay in the sea
With a treasure wrecked from Thessaly;
Deep it lay 'mid the coiled sea-wrack,
But the ocean-spirits found the track:
A soul was lost to win it back.
The lady upheld the wondrous thing:—
“Ill fare”(she said) “with a fiend's-faring:
But Moslem blood poured forth like wine
Can hallow Hell, 'neath the Sacred Sign;
And my lord brought this from Palestine.
“Spirits who fear the Blessed Rood
Drove forth the accursed multitude
That heathen worship housed herein,—
Never again such home to win,
Save only by a Christian's sin.
“All last night at an altar fair
I burnt strange fires and strove with prayer;
Till the flame paled to the red sunrise,
All rites I then did solemnize;
And the spell lacks nothing but your eyes.”
Low spake maiden Rose Mary:—
“O mother mine, if I should not see!”
“Nay, daughter, cover your face no more,
But bend love's heart to the hidden lore,
And you shall see now as heretofore.”
Paler yet were the pale cheeks grown
As the grey eyes sought the Beryl-stone:
Then over her mother's lap leaned she,
And stretched her thrilled throat passionately,
And sighed from her soul, and said, “I see.”
Even as she spoke, they two were 'ware
220
Of music-notes that fell through the air;
A chiming shower of strange device,
Drop echoing drop, once, twice, and thrice,
As rain may fall in Paradise.
An instant come, in an instant gone,
No time there was to think thereon.
The mother held the sphere on her knee:—
“Lean this way and speak low to me,
And take no note but of what you see.”
“I see a man with a besom grey
That sweeps the flying dust away.”
“Ay, that comes first in the mystic sphere;
But now that the way is swept and clear,
Heed well what next you look on there.”
“Stretched aloft and adown I see
Two roads that part in waste-country:
The glen lies deep and the ridge stands tall;
What's great below is above seen small,
And the hill-side is the valley-wall.”
“Stream-bank, daughter, or moor and moss,
Both roads will take to Holy Cross.
The hills are a weary waste to wage;
But what of the valley-road's presage?
That way must tend his pilgrimage.”
“As 'twere the turning leaves of a book,
The road runs past me as I look;
Or it is even as though mine eye
Should watch calm waters filled with sky
While lights and clouds and wings went by.”
“In every covert seek a spear;
They'll scarce lie close till he draws near.”
“The stream has spread to a river now;
The stiff blue sedge is deep in the slough,
But the banks are bare of shrub or bough.’
“Is there any roof that near at hand
Might shelter yield to a hidden band?”
“On the further bank I see but one,
And a herdsman now in the sinking sun
Unyokes his team at the threshold-stone.”
“Keep heedful watch by the water's edge,—
Some boat might lurk 'neath the shadowed sedge.”
“One slid but now 'twixt the winding shores,
221
But a peasant woman bent to the oars
And only a young child steered its course.
“Mother, something flashed to my sight!—
Nay, it is but the lapwing's flight.—
What glints there like a lance that flees?—
Nay, the flags are stirred in the breeze,
And the water's bright through the dart-rushes.
“Ah! vainly I search from side to side:—
Woe's me! and where do the foemen hide?
Woe's me! and perchance I pass them by,
And under the new dawn's blood-red sky
Even where I gaze the dead shall lie.”
Said the mother: “For dear love's sake,
Speak more low, lest the spell should break.”
Said the daughter: “By love's control,
My eyes, my words, are strained to the goal;
But oh! the voice that cries in my soul!”
“Hush, sweet, hush! be calm and behold.”
“I see two floodgates broken and old:
The grasses wave o'er the ruined weir,
But the bridge still leads to the breakwater;
And—mother, mother, O mother dear!”
The damsel clung to her mother's knee,
And dared not let the shriek go free;
Low she crouched by the lady's chair,
And shrank blindfold in her fallen hair,
And whispering said, “The spears are there!”
The lady stooped aghast from her place,
And cleared the locks from her daughter's face.
“More's to see, and she swoons, alas!
Look, look again, ere the moment pass!
One shadow comes but once to the glass.
“See you there what you saw but now?”
“I see eight men 'neath the willow bough.
All over the weir a wild growth's spread:
Ah me! it will hide a living head
As well as the water hides the dead.
“They lie by the broken water-gate
As men who have a while to wait.
The chief's high lance has a blazoned scroll,—
He seems some lord of tithe and toll
With seven squires to his bannerole.
222
“The little pennon quakes in the air,
I cannot trace the blazon there:—
Ah! now I can see the field of blue,
The spurs and the merlins two and two;—
It is the Warden of Holycleugh!”
“God be thanked for the thing we know!
You have named your good knight's mortal foe.
Last Shrovetide in the tourney-game
He sought his life by treasonous shame;
And this way now doth he seek the same.
“So, fair lord, such a thing you are!
But we too watch till the morning star.
Well, June is kind and the moon is clear:
Saint Judas send you a merry cheer
For the night you lie in Warisweir!
“Now, sweet daughter, but one more sight,
And you may lie soft and sleep to-night.
We know in the vale what perils be:
Now look once more in the glass, and see
If over the hills the road lies free.”
Rose Mary pressed to her mother's cheek,
And almost smiled but did not speak;
Then turned again to the saving spell,
With eyes to search and with lips to tell
The heart of things invisible.
“Again the shape with the besom grey
Comes back to sweep the clouds away.
Again I stand where the roads divide;
But now all's near on the steep hillside,
And a thread far down is the rivertide.”
“Ay, child, your road is o'er moor and moss,
Past Holycleugh to Holy Cross.
Our hunters lurk in the valley's wake,
As they knew which way the chase would take:
Yet search the hills for your true love's sake.”
“Swift and swifter the waste runs by,
And nought I see but the heath and the sky;
No brake is there that could hide a spear,
And the gaps to a horseman's sight lie clear;
Still past it goes, and there's nought to fear.”
“Fear no trap that you cannot see,—
They'd not lurk yet too warily.
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Below by the weir they lie in sight,
And take no heed how they pass the night
Till close they crouch with the morning light.”
“The road shifts ever and brings in view
Now first the heights of Holycleugh:
Dark they stand o'er the vale below,
And hide that heaven which yet shall show
The thing their master's heart doth know.
“Where the road looks to the castle steep,
There are seven hill-clefts wide and deep:
Six mine eyes can search as they list,
But the seventh hollow is brimmed with mist:
If aught were there, it might not be wist.”
“Small hope, my girl, for a helm to hide
In mists that cling to a wild moorside:
Soon they melt with the wind and sun,
And scarce would wait such deeds to be done
God send their snares be the worst to shun.”
“Still the road winds ever anew
As it hastens on towards Holycleugh;
And ever the great walls loom more near,
Till the castle-shadow, steep and sheer,
Drifts like a cloud, and the sky is clear.”
“Enough, my daughter,” the mother said,
And took to her breast the bending head;
“Rest, poor head, with my heart below,
While love still lulls you as long ago:
For all is learnt that we need to know.
“Long the miles and many the hours
From the castle-height to the abbey-towers;
But here the journey has no more dread;
Too thick with life is the whole road spread
For murder's trembling foot to tread.”
She gazed on the Beryl-stone full fain
Ere she wrapped it close in her robe again:
The flickering shades were dusk and dun
And the lights throbbed faint in unison
Like a high heart when a race is run.
As the globe slid to its silken gloom,
Once more a music rained through the room;
Low it splashed like a sweet star-spray,
And sobbed like tears at the heart of May,
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And died as laughter dies away.
The lady held her breath for a space,
And then she looked in her daughter's face:
But wan Rose Mary had never heard;
Deep asleep like a sheltered bird
She lay with the long spell minister'd.
“Ah! and yet I must leave you, dear,
For what you have seen your knight must hear.
Within four days, by the help of God,
He comes back safe to his heart's abode:
Be sure he shall shun the valley-road.”
Rose Mary sank with a broken moan,
And lay in the chair and slept alone,
Weary, lifeless, heavy as lead:
Long it was ere she raised her head
And rose up all discomforted.
She searched her brain for a vanished thing,
And clasped her brows, remembering;
Then knelt and lifted her eyes in awe,
And sighed with a long sigh sweet to draw:—
“Thank God, thank God, thank God I saw!”
The lady had left her as she lay,
To seek the Knight of Heronhaye.
But first she clomb by a secret stair,
And knelt at a carven altar fair,
And laid the precious Beryl there.
Its girth was graved with a mystic rune
In a tongue long dead 'neath sun and moon:
A priest of the Holy Sepulchre
Read that writing and did not err;
And her lord had told its sense to her.
She breathed the words in an undertone:—
“None sees here but the pure alone.”
“And oh!” she said, “what rose may be
In Mary's bower more pure to see
Than my own sweet maiden Rose Mary?”
BERYL-SONG
We whose home is the Beryl,
Fire-spirits of dread desire,
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Who entered in
By a secret sin,
'Gainst whom all powers that strive with ours are sterile,—
We cry, Woe to thee, mother!
What hast thou taught her, the girl thy daughter,
That she and none other
Should this dark morrow to her deadly sorrow imperil?
What were her eyes
But the fiend's own spies,
O mother,
And shall We not fee her, our proper prophet and seër?
Go to her, mother,
Even thou, yea thou and none other,
Thou, from the Beryl:
Her fee must thou take her,
Her fee that We send, and make her,
Even in this hour, her sin's unsheltered avower.
Whose steed did neigh,
Riderless, bridleless,
At her gate before it was day?
Lo! where doth hover
The soul of her lover?
She sealed his doom, she, she was the sworn approver,—
Whose eyes were so wondrous wise,
Yet blind, ah! blind to his peril!
For stole not We in
Through a love-linked sin,
'Gainst whom all powers at war with ours are sterile,—
Fire-spirits of dread desire,
We whose home is the Beryl?
PART II
“PALE Rose Mary, what shall be done
With a rose that Mary weeps upon?”
“Mother, let it fall from the tree,
And never walk where the strewn leaves be
Till winds have passed and the path is free.”
“Sad Rose Mary, what shall be done
With a cankered flower beneath the sun?”
“Mother, let it wait for the night;
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Be sure its shame shall be out of sight
Ere the moon pale or the east grow light.”
“Lost Rose Mary, what shall be done
With a heart that is but a broken one?”
“Mother, let it lie where it must;
The blood was drained with the bitter thrust,
And dust is all that sinks in the dust.”
“Poor Rose Mary, what shall I do,—
I, your mother, that lovèd you?”
“O my mother, and is love gone?
Then seek you another love anon:
Who cares what shame shall lean upon?”
Low drooped trembling Rose Mary,
Then up as though in a dream stood she.
“Come, my heart, it is time to go;
This is the hour that has whispered low
When thy pulse quailed in the nights we know.
“Yet O my heart, thy shame has a mate
Who will not leave thee desolate.
Shame for shame, yea and sin for sin:
Yet peace at length may our poor souls win
If love for love be found therein.
“O thou who seek'st our shrift to-day,”
She cried, “O James of Heronhaye—
Thy sin and mine was for love alone;
And oh! in the sight of God 'tis known
How the heart has since made heavy moan.
“Three days yet!” she said to her heart;
“But then he comes, and we will not part.
God, God be thanked that I still could see!
Oh! he shall come back assuredly,
But where, alas! must he seek for me?
“O my heart, what road shall we roam
Till my wedding-music fetch me home?
For love's shut from us and bides afar,
And scorn leans over the bitter bar
And knows us now for the thing we are.”
Tall she stood with a cheek flushed high
And a gaze to burn the heart-strings by.
'Twas the lightning-flash o'er sky and plain
Ere labouring thunders heave the chain
From the floodgates of the drowning rain.
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The mother looked on the daughter still
As on a hurt thing that's yet to kill.
Then wildly at length the pent tears came;
The love swelled high with the swollen shame,
And their hearts' tempest burst on them.
Closely locked, they clung without speech,
And the mirrored souls shook each to each,
As the cloud-moon and the water-moon
Shake face to face when the dim stars swoon
In stormy bowers of the night's mid-noon.
They swayed together, shuddering sore,
Till the mother's heart could bear no more.
'Twas death to feel her own breast shake
Even to the very throb and ache
Of the burdened heart she still must break.
All her sobs ceased suddenly,
And she sat straight up but scarce could see.
“O daughter, where should my speech begin?
Your heart held fast its secret sin:
How think you, child, that I read therein?”
“Ah me! but I thought not how it came
When your words showed that you knew my shame:
And now that you call me still your own,
I half forget you have ever known.
Did you read my heart in the Beryl-stone?”
The lady answered her mournfully:—
“The Beryl-stone has no voice for me:
But when you charged its power to show
The truth which none but the pure may know,
Did naught speak once of a coming woe?”
Her hand was close to her daughter's heart,
And it felt the life-blood's sudden start:
A quick deep breath did the damsel draw,
Like the struck fawn in the oakenshaw:
“O mother,” she cried, “but still I saw!”
“O child, my child, why held you apart
From my great love your hidden heart?
Said I not that all sin must chase
From the spell's sphere the spirits of grace,
And yield their rule to the evil race?
“Ah! would to God I had clearly told
How strong those powers, accurst of old:
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Their heart is the ruined house of lies;
O girl, they can seal the sinful eyes,
Or show the truth by contraries!”
The daughter sat as cold as a stone,
And spoke no word but gazed alone,
Nor moved, though her mother strove a space
To clasp her round in a close embrace,
Because she dared not see her face.
“Oh!” at last did the mother cry,
“Be sure, as he loved you, so will I!
Ah! still and dumb is the bride, I trow;
But cold and stark as the winter snow
Is the bridegroom's heart, laid dead below!
“Daughter, daughter, remember you
That cloud in the hills by Holycleugh?
'Twas a Hell-screen hiding truth away:
There, not i' the vale, the ambush lay,
And thence was the dead borne home to-day.”
Deep the flood and heavy the shock
When sea meets sea in the riven rock:
But calm is the pulse that shakes the sea
To the prisoned tide of doom set free
In the breaking heart of Rose Mary.
Once she sprang as the heifer springs
With the wolf's teeth at its red heart-strings.
First 'twas fire in her breast and brain,
And then scarce hers but the whole world's pain,
As she gave one shriek and sank again.
In the hair dark-waved the face lay white
As the moon lies in the lap of night;
And as night through which no moon may dart
Lies on a pool in the woods apart,
So lay the swoon on the weary heart.
The lady felt for the bosom's stir,
And wildly kissed and called on her;
Then turned away with a quick footfall,
And slid the secret door in the wall,
And clomb the strait stair's interval.
There above in the altar-cell
A little fountain rose and fell:
She set a flask to the water's flow,
And, backward hurrying, sprinkled now
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The still cold breast and the pallid brow.
Scarce cheek that warmed or breath on the air,
Yet something told that life was there.
“Ah! not with the heart the body dies!”
The lady moaned in a bitter wise;
Then wrung her hands and hid her eyes.
“Alas! and how may I meet again
In the same poor eyes the selfsame pain?
What help can I seek, such grief to guide?
Ah! one alone might avail,” she cried—
“The priest who prays at the dead man's side.”
The lady arose, and sped down all
The winding stairs to the castle-hall.
Long-known valley and wood and stream,
As the loopholes passed, naught else did seem
Than the torn threads of a broken dream.
The hall was full of the castle-folk;
The women wept, but the men scarce spoke.
As the lady crossed the rush-strewn floor,
The throng fell backward, murmuring sore,
And pressed outside round the open door.
A stranger shadow hung on the hall
Than the dark pomp of a funeral.
'Mid common sights that were there alway,
As 'twere a chance of the passing day,
On the ingle-bench the dead man lay.
A priest who passed by Holycleugh
The tidings brought when the day was new.
He guided them who had fetched the dead;
And since that hour, unwearièd,
He knelt in prayer at the low bier's head.
Word had gone to his own domain
That in evil wise the knight was slain:
Soon the spears must gather apace
And the hunt be hard on the hunters' trace;
But all things yet lay still for a space.
As the lady's hurried step drew near,
The kneeling priest looked up to her.
“Father, death is a grievous thing;
But oh! the woe has a sharper sting
That craves by me your ministering.
“Alas for the child that should have wed
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This noble knight here lying dead!
Dead in hope, with all blessed boon
Of love thus rent from her heart ere noon,
I left her laid in a heavy swoon.
“O haste to the open bower-chamber
That's topmost as you mount the stair:
Seek her, father, ere yet she wake;
Your words, not mine, be the first to slake
This poor heart's fire, for Christ's sweet sake!
“God speed!” she said as the priest passed through,
“And I ere long will be with you.”
Then low on the hearth her knees sank prone;
She signed all folk from the threshold-stone,
And gazed in the dead man's face alone.
The fight for life found record yet
In the clenched lips and the teeth hard-set;
The wrath from the bent brow was not gone,
And stark in the eyes the hate still shone
Of that they last had looked upon.
The blazoned coat was rent on his breast
Where the golden field was goodliest;
But the shivered sword, close-gripped, could tell
That the blood shed round him where he fell
Was not all his in the distant dell.
The lady recked of the corpse no whit,
But saw the soul and spoke to it:
A light there was in her steadfast eyes,—
The fire of mortal tears and sighs
That pity and love immortalize.
“By thy death have I learnt to-day
Thy deed, O James of Heronhaye!
Great wrong thou hast done to me and mine;
And haply God hath wrought for a sign
By our blind deed this doom of thine.
“Thy shrift, alas! thou wast not to win;
But may death shrive thy soul herein!
Full well do I know thy love should be
Even yet—had life but stayed with thee—
Our honour's strong security.”
She stooped, and said with a sob's low stir,—
“Peace be thine,—but what peace for her?”
But ere to the brow her lips were press'd,
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She marked, half-hid in the riven vest,
A packet close to the dead man's breast.
'Neath surcoat pierced and broken mail
It lay on the blood-stained bosom pale.
The clot hung round it, dull and dense,
And a faintness seized her mortal sense
As she reached her hand and drew it thence.
'Twas steeped in the heart's flood welling high
From the heart it there had rested by:
'Twas glued to a broidered fragment gay,—
A shred by spear-thrust rent away
From the heron-wings of Heronhaye.
She gazed on the thing with piteous eyne:—
“Alas, poor child, some pledge of thine!
Ah me! in this troth the hearts were twain,
And one hath ebbed to this crimson stain,
And when shall the other throb again?”
She opened the packet heedfully;
The blood was stiff, and it scarce might be.
She found but a folded paper there,
And round it, twined with tenderest care,
A long bright tress of golden hair.
Even as she looked, she saw again
That dark-haired face in its swoon of pain:
It seemed a snake with a golden sheath
Crept near, as a slow flame flickereth,
And stung her daughter's heart to death.
She loosed the tress, but her hand did shake
As though indeed she had touched a snake;
And next she undid the paper's fold,
But that too trembled in her hold,
And the sense scarce grasped the tale it told.
“My heart's sweet lord,” ('twas thus she read,)
“At length our love is garlanded.
At Holy Cross, within eight days' space,
I seek my shrift; and the time and place
Shall fit thee too for thy soul's good grace.
“From Holycleugh on the seventh day
My brother rides, and bides away:
And long or e'er he is back, mine own,
Afar where the face of fear's unknown
We shall be safe with our love alone.
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“Ere yet at the shrine my knees I bow,
I shear one tress for our holy vow.
As round these words these threads I wind,
So, eight days hence, shall our loves be twined,
Says my lord's poor lady, JOCELIND.”
She read it twice, with a brain in thrall,
And then its echo told her all.
O'er brows low-fall'n her hands she drew:—
“O God!” she said, as her hands fell too,—
“The Warden's sister of Holycleugh!”
She rose upright with a long low moan,
And stared in the dead man's face new-known.
Had it lived indeed? She scarce could tell:
'Twas a cloud where fiends had come to dwell,—
A mask that hung on the gate of Hell.
She lifted the lock of gleaming hair
And smote the lips and left it there.
“Here's gold that Hell shall take for thy toll!
Full well hath thy treason found its goal,
O thou dead body and damnèd soul!”
She turned, sore dazed, for a voice was near,
And she knew that some one called to her.
On many a column fair and tall
A high court ran round the castle-hall;
And thence it was that the priest did call.
“I sought your child where you bade me go,
And in rooms around and rooms below;
But where, alas! may the maiden be?
Fear nought,—we shall find her speedily,—
But come, come hither, and seek with me.”
She reached the stair like a lifelorn thing,
But hastened upward murmuring,
“Yea, Death's is a face that's fell to see;
But bitterer pang Life hoards for thee,
Thou broken heart of Rose Mary!”
BERYL-SONG
We whose throne is the Beryl,
Dire-gifted spirits of fire,
Who for a twin
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Leash Sorrow to Sin,
Who on no flower refrain to lour with peril,—
We cry,—O desolate daughter!
Thou and thy mother share newer shame with each other
Than last night's slaughter.
Awake and tremble, for our curses assemble!
What more, that thou know'st not yet,—
That life nor death shall forget?
No help from Heaven,—thy woes heart-riven are sterile!
O once a maiden,
With yet worse sorrow can any morrow be laden?
It waits for thee,
It looms, it must be,
O lost among women,—
It comes and thou canst not flee.
Amen to the omen,
Says the voice of the Beryl.
Thou sleep'st? Awake,—
What dar'st thou yet for his sake,
Who each for other did God's own Future imperil?
Dost dare to live
`Mid the pangs each hour must give?
Nay, rather die,—
With him thy lover 'neath Hell's cloud-cover to fly,—
Hopeless, yet not apart,
Cling heart to heart,
And beat through the nether storm-eddying winds together?
Shall this be so?
There thou shalt meet him, but mayst thou greet him? ah no !
He loves, but thee he hoped nevermore to see,—
He sighed as he died,
But with never a thought for thee.
Alone!
Alone, for ever alone,—
Whose eyes were such wondrous spies for the fate foreshown!
Lo! have not We leashed the twin
Of endless Sorrow to Sin,—
Who on no flower refrain to lour with peril,—
Dire-gifted spirits of fire,
We whose throne is the Beryl?
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PART III
A SWOON that breaks is the whelming wave
When help comes late but still can save.
With all blind throes is the instant rife,—
Hurtling clangour and clouds at strife,—
The breath of death, but the kiss of life.
The night lay deep on Rose Mary's heart,
For her swoon was death's kind counterpart:
The dawn broke dim on Rose Mary's soul,—
No hill-crown's heavenly aureole,
But a wild gleam on a shaken shoal.
Her senses gasped in the sudden air,
And she looked around, but none was there.
She felt the slackening frost distil
Through her blood the last ooze dull and chill:
Her lids were dry and her lips were still.
Her tears had flooded her heart again;
As after a long day's bitter rain,
At dusk when the wet flower-cups shrink,
The drops run in from the beaded brink,
And all the close-shut petals drink.
Again her sighs on her heart were rolled;
As the wind that long has swept the wold,—
Whose moan was made with the moaning sea,—
Beats out its breath in the last torn tree,
And sinks at length in lethargy.
She knew she had waded bosom-deep
Along death's bank in the sedge of sleep:
All else was lost to her clouded mind;
Nor, looking back, could she see defin'd
O'er the dim dumb waste what lay behind.
Slowly fades the sun from the wall
Till day lies dead on the sun-dial:
And now in Rose Mary's lifted eye
'Twas shadow alone that made reply
To the set face of the soul's dark sky.
Yet still through her soul there wandered past
Dread phantoms borne on a wailing blast,—
Death and sorrow and sin and shame;
And, murmured still, to her lips there came
Her mother's and her lover's name.
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How to ask, and what thing to know?
She might not stay and she dared not go.
From fires unseen these smoke-clouds curled;
But where did the hidden curse lie furled?
And how to seek through the weary world?
With toiling breath she rose from the floor
And dragged her steps to an open door:
'Twas the secret panel standing wide,
As the lady's hand had let it bide
In hastening back to her daughter's side.
She passed, but reeled with a dizzy brain
And smote the door which closed again.
She stood within by the darkling stair,
But her feet might mount more freely there,—
'Twas the open light most blinded her.
Within her mind no wonder grew
At the secret path she never knew:
All ways alike were strange to her now,—
One field bare-ridged from the spirit's plough,
One thicket black with the cypress-bough.
Once she thought that she heard her name;
And she paused, but knew not whence it came.
Down the shadowed stair a faint ray fell
That guided the weary footsteps well
Till it led her up to the altar-cell.
No change there was on Rose Mary's face
As she leaned in the portal's narrow space:
Still she stood by the pillar's stem,
Hand and bosom and garment's hem,
As the soul stands by at the requiem.
The altar-cell was a dome low-lit,
And a veil hung in the midst of it:
At the pole-points of its circling girth
Four symbols stood of the world's first birth,—
Air and water and fire and earth.
To the north, a fountain glittered free;
To the south, there glowed a red fruit-tree;
To the east, a lamp flamed high and fair;
To the west, a crystal casket rare
Held fast a cloud of the fields of air.
The painted walls were a mystic show
Of time's ebb-tide and overflow;
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His hoards long-locked and conquering key,
His service-fires that in heaven be,
And earth-wheels whirled perpetually.
Rose Mary gazed from the open door
As on idle things she cared not for,—
The fleeting shapes of an empty tale;
Then stepped with a heedless visage pale,
And lifted aside the altar-veil.
The altar stood from its curved recess
In a coiling serpent's life-likeness:
Even such a serpent evermore
Lies deep asleep at the world's dark core
Till the last Voice shake the sea and shore.
From the altar-cloth a book rose spread
And tapers burned at the altar-head;
And there in the altar-midst alone,
'Twixt wings of a sculptured beast unknown,
Rose Mary saw the Beryl-stone.
Firm it sat 'twixt the hollowed wings,
As an orb sits in the hand of kings:
And lo! for that Foe whose curse far-flown
Had bound her life with a burning zone,
Rose Mary knew the Beryl-stone.
Dread is the meteor's blazing sphere
When the poles throb to its blind career;
But not with a light more grim and ghast
Thereby is the future doom forecast,
Than now this sight brought back the past.
The hours and minutes seemed to whirr
In a clanging swarm that deafened her;
They stung her heart to a writhing flame,
And marshalled past in its glare they came,—
Death and sorrow and sin and shame.
Round the Beryl's sphere she saw them pass
And mock her eyes from the fated glass:
One by one in a fiery train
The dead hours seemed to wax and wane,
And burned till all was known again.
From the drained heart's fount there rose no cry,
There sprang no tears, for the source was dry.
Held in the hand of some heavy law,
Her eyes she might not once withdraw,
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Nor shrink away from the thing she saw.
Even as she gazed, through all her blood
The flame was quenched in a coming flood:
Out of the depth of the hollow gloom
On her soul's bare sands she felt it boom,—
The measured tide of a sea of doom.
Three steps she took through the altar-gate,
And her neck reared and her arms grew straight:
The sinews clenched like a serpent's throe,
And the face was white in the dark hair's flow,
As her hate beheld what lay below.
Dumb she stood in her malisons,—
A silver statue tressed with bronze:
As the fabled head by Perseus mown,
It seemed in sooth that her gaze alone
Had turned the carven shapes to stone.
O'er the altar-sides on either hand
There hung a dinted helm and brand:
By strength thereof, 'neath the Sacred Sign,
That bitter gift o'er the salt sea-brine
Her father brought from Palestine.
Rose Mary moved with a stern accord
And reached her hand to her father's sword;
Nor did she stir her gaze one whit
From the thing whereon her brows were knit;
But gazing still, she spoke to it.
“O ye, three times accurst,” she said,
“By whom this stone is tenanted!
Lo! here ye came by a strong sin's might;
Yet a sinner's hand that's weak to smite
Shall send you hence ere the day be night.
“This hour a clear voice bade me know
My hand shall work your overthrow:
Another thing in mine ear it spake,—
With the broken spell my life shall break.
I thank Thee, God, for the dear death's sake!
“And he Thy heavenly minister
Who swayed erewhile this spell-bound sphere,—
My parting soul let him haste to greet,
And none but he be guide for my feet
To where Thy rest is made complete.”
Then deep she breathed, with a tender moan:—
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“My love, my lord, my only one!
Even as I held the cursed clue,
When thee, through me, these foul ones slew,—
By mine own deed shall they slay me too!
“Even while they speed to Hell, my love,
Two hearts shall meet in Heaven above.
Our shrift thou sought'st, but might'st not bring:
And oh! for me 'tis a blessed thing
To work hereby our ransoming.
“One were our hearts in joy and pain,
And our souls e'en now grow one again.
And O my love, if our souls are three,
O thine and mine shall the third soul be,—
One threefold love eternally.”
Her eyes were soft as she spoke apart,
And the lips smiled to the broken heart:
But the glance was dark and the forehead scored
With the bitter frown of hate restored,
As her two hands swung the heavy sword.
Three steps back from her Foe she trod:—
“Love, for thy sake! In Thy Name, O God!”
In the fair white hands small strength was shown;
Yet the blade flashed high and the edge fell prone,
And she cleft the heart of the Beryl-stone.
What living flesh in the thunder-cloud
Hath sat and felt heaven cry aloud?
Or known how the levin's pulse may beat?
Or wrapped the hour when the whirlwinds meet
About its breast for a winding-sheet?
Who hath crouched at the world's deep heart
While the earthquake rends its loins apart?
Or walked far under the seething main
While overhead the heavens ordain
The tempest-towers of the hurricane?
Who hath seen or what ear hath heard
The secret things unregister'd
Of the place where all is past and done,
And tears and laughter sound as one
In Hell's unhallowed unison?
Nay, is it writ how the fiends despair
In earth and water and fire and air?
Even so no mortal tongue may tell
239
How to the clang of the sword that fell
The echoes shook the altar-cell.
When all was still on the air again
The Beryl-stone lay cleft in twain;
The veil was rent from the riven dome;
And every wind that's winged to roam
Might have the ruined place for home.
The fountain no more glittered free;
The fruit hung dead on the leafless tree;
The flame of the lamp had ceased to flare;
And the crystal casket shattered there
Was emptied now of its cloud of air.
And lo! on the ground Rose Mary lay,
With a cold brow like the snows ere May,
With a cold breast like the earth till Spring,
With such a smile as the June days bring
When the year grows warm with harvesting.
The death she had won might leave no trace
On the soft sweet form and gentle face:
In a gracious sleep she seemed to lie;
And over her head her hand on high
Held fast the sword she triumphed by.
'Twas then a clear voice said in the room:—
“Behold the end of the heavy doom.
O come,—for thy bitter love's sake blest;
By a sweet path now thou journeyest,
And I will lead thee to thy rest.
“Me thy sin by Heaven's sore ban
Did chase erewhile from the talisman:
But to my heart, as a conquered home,
In glory of strength thy footsteps come
Who hast thus cast forth my foes therefrom.
“Already thy heart remembereth
No more his name thou sought'st in death:
For under all deeps, all heights above,—
So wide the gulf in the midst thereof,—
Are Hell of Treason and Heaven of Love.
“Thee, true soul, shall thy truth prefer
To blessed Mary's rose-bower:
Warmed and lit is thy place afar
With guerdon-fires of the sweet Love-star
Where hearts of steadfast lovers are:—
240
“Though naught for the poor corpse lying here
Remain to-day but the cold white bier,
But burial-chaunt and bended knee,
But sighs and tears that heaviest be,
But rent rose-flower and rosemary.”
BERYL-SONG
We, cast forth from the Beryl,
Gyre-circling spirits of fire,
Whose pangs begin
With God's grace to sin,
For whose spent powers the immortal hours are sterile,—
Woe! must We behold this mother
Find grace in her dead child's face, and doubt of none other
But that perfect pardon, alas! hath assured her guerdon?
Woe! must We behold this daughter,
Made clean from the soil of sin wherewith We had fraught her,
Shake off a man's blood like water?
Write up her story
On the Gate of Heaven's glory,
Whom there We behold so fair in shining apparel,
And beneath her the ruin
Of our own undoing!
Alas, the Beryl!
We had for a foeman
But one weak woman;
In one day's strife,
Her hope fell dead from her life;
And yet no iron,
Her soul to environ,
Could this manslayer, this false soothsayer imperil!
Lo, where she bows
In the Holy House!
Who now shall dissever her soul from its joy for ever
While every ditty
Of love and plentiful pity
Fills the White City,
And the floor of Heaven to her feet for ever is given?
Hark, a voice cries “Flee!”
Woe! woe! what shelter have We,
241
Whose pangs begin
With God's grace to sin,
For whose spent powers the immortal hours are sterile,
Gyre-circling spirits of fire,
We, cast forth from the Beryl?
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
489:Scene. Salzburg; a cell in the Hospital of St. Sebastian. 1541.
Festus, Paracelsus.
Festus.
No change! The weary night is well-nigh spent,
The lamp burns low, and through the casement-bars
Grey morning glimmers feebly: yet no change!
Another night, and still no sigh has stirred
That fallen discoloured mouth, no pang relit
Those fixed eyes, quenched by the decaying body,
Like torch-flame choked in dust. While all beside
Was breaking, to the last they held out bright,
As a stronghold where life intrenched itself;
But they are dead nowvery blind and dead:
He will drowse into death without a groan.
My Aureolemy forgotten, ruined Aureole!
The days are gone, are gone! How grand thou wast!
And now not one of those who struck thee down
Poor glorious spiritconcerns him even to stay
And satisfy himself his little hand
Could turn God's image to a livid thing.
Another night, and yet no change! 'T is much
That I should sit by him, and bathe his brow,
And chafe his hands; 't is much: but he will sure
Know me, and look on me, and speak to me
Once morebut only once! His hollow cheek
Looked all night long as though a creeping laugh
At his own state were just about to break
From the dying man: my brain swam, my throat swelled,
And yet I could not turn away. In truth,
They told me how, when first brought here, he seemed
Resolved to live, to lose no faculty;
Thus striving to keep up his shattered strength,
Until they bore him to this stifling cell:
When straight his features fell, an hour made white
The flushed face, and relaxed the quivering limb,
Only the eye remained intense awhile
As though it recognized the tomb-like place,
And then he lay as here he lies.
                 Ay, here!
Here is earth's noblest, nobly garlanded
Her bravest champion with his well-won prize
Her best achievement, her sublime amends
For countless generations fleeting fast
And followed by no trace;the creature-god
She instances when angels would dispute
The title of her brood to rank with them.
Angels, this is our angel! Those bright forms
We clothe with purple, crown and call to thrones,
Are human, but not his; those are but men
Whom other men press round and kneel before;
Those palaces are dwelt in by mankind;
Higher provision is for him you seek
Amid our pomps and glories: see it here!
Behold earth's paragon! Now, raise thee, clay!
God! Thou art love! I build my faith on that
Even as I watch beside thy tortured child
Unconscious whose hot tears fall fast by him,
So doth thy right hand guide us through the world
Wherein we stumble. God! what shall we say?
How has he sinned? How else should he have done?
Surely he sought thy praisethy praise, for all
He might be busied by the task so much
As half forget awhile its proper end.
Dost thou well, Lord? Thou canst not but prefer
That I should range myself upon his side
How could he stop at every step to set
Thy glory forth? Hadst thou but granted him
Success, thy honour would have crowned success,
A halo round a star. Or, say he erred,
Save him, dear God; it will be like thee: bathe him
In light and life! Thou art not made like us;
We should be wroth in such a case; but thou
Forgivestso, forgive these passionate thoughts
Which come unsought and will not pass away!
I know thee, who hast kept my path, and made
Light for me in the darkness, tempering sorrow
So that it reached me like a solemn joy;
It were too strange that I should doubt thy love.
But what am I? Thou madest him and knowest
How he was fashioned. I could never err
That way: the quiet place beside thy feet,
Reserved for me, was ever in my thoughts:
But hethou shouldst have favoured him as well!
Ah! he wakens! Aureole, I am here! 't is Festus!
I cast away all wishes save one wish
Let him but know me, only speak to me!
He mutters; louder and louder; any other
Than I, with brain less laden, could collect
What he pours forth. Dear Aureole, do but look!
Is it talking or singing, this he utters fast?
Misery that he should fix me with his eye,
Quick talking to some other all the while!
If he would husband this wild vehemence
Which frustrates its intent!I heard, I know
I heard my name amid those rapid words.
Oh, he will know me yet! Could I divert
This current, lead it somehow gently back
Into the channels of the past!His eye
Brighter than ever! It must recognize me!
I am Erasmus: I am here to pray
That Paracelsus use his skill for me.
The schools of Paris and of Padua send
These questions for your learning to resolve.
We are your students, noble master: leave
This wretched cell, what business have you here?
Our class awaits you; come to us once more!
(O agony! the utmost I can do
Touches him not; how else arrest his ear?)
I am commissioned . . . I shall craze like him.
Better be mute and see what God shall send.
Paracelsus.
Stay, stay with me!
Festus.
          I will; I am come here
To stay with youFestus, you loved of old;
Festus, you know, you must know!
Paracelsus.
                 Festus! Where's
Aprile, then? Has he not chanted softly
The melodies I heard all night? I could not
Get to him for a cold hand on my breast,
But I made out his music well enough,
O well enough! If they have filled him full
With magical music, as they freight a star
With light, and have remitted all his sin,
They will forgive me too, I too shall know!
Festus.
Festus, your Festus!
Paracelsus.
           Ask him if Aprile
Knows as he Lovesif I shall Love and Know?
I try; but that cold hand, like leadso cold!
Festus.
My hand, see!
Paracelsus.
       Ah, the curse, Aprile, Aprile!
We get so nearso very, very near!
'T is an old tale: Jove strikes the Titans down,
Not when they set about their mountain-piling
But when another rock would crown the work.
And Phaetondoubtless his first radiant plunge
Astonished mortals, though the gods were calm,
And Jove prepared his thunder: all old tales!
Festus.
And what are these to you?
Paracelsus.
              Ay, fiends must laugh
So cruelly, so well! most like I never
Could tread a single pleasure underfoot,
But they were grinning by my side, were chuckling
To see me toil and drop away by flakes!
Hell-spawn! I am glad, most glad, that thus I fail!
Your cunning has o'ershot its aim. One year,
One month, perhaps, and I had served your turn!
You should have curbed your spite awhile. But now,
Who will believe 't was you that held me back?
Listen: there's shame and hissing and contempt,
And none but laughs who names me, none but spits
Measureless scorn upon me, me alone,
The quack, the cheat, the liar,all on me!
And thus your famous plan to sink mankind
In silence and despair, by teaching them
One of their race had probed the inmost truth,
Had done all man could do, yet failed no less
Your wise plan proves abortive. Men despair?
Ha, ha! why, they are hooting the empiric,
The ignorant and incapable fool who rushed
Madly upon a work beyond his wits;
Nor doubt they but the simplest of themselves
Could bring the matter to triumphant issue.
So, pick and choose among them all, accursed!
Try now, persuade some other to slave for you,
To ruin body and soul to work your ends!
No, no; I am the first and last, I think.
Festus.
Dear friend, who are accursed? who has done
Paracelsus.
What have I done? Fiends dare ask that? or you,
Brave men? Oh, you can chime in boldly, backed
By the others! What had you to do, sage peers?
Here stand my rivals; Latin, Arab, Jew,
Greek, join dead hands against me: all I ask
Is, that the world enrol my name with theirs,
And even this poor privilege, it seems,
They range themselves, prepared to disallow.
Only observe! why, fiends may learn from them!
How they talk calmly of my throes, my fierce
Aspirings, terrible watchings, each one claiming
Its price of blood and brain; how they dissect
And sneeringly disparage the few truths
Got at a life's cost; they too hanging the while
About my neck, their lies misleading me
And their dead names browbeating me! Grey crew,
Yet steeped in fresh malevolence from hell,
Is there a reason for your hate? My truths
Have shaken a little the palm about each prince?
Just think, Aprile, all these leering dotards
Were bent on nothing less than to be crowned
As we! That yellow blear-eyed wretch in chief
To whom the rest cringe low with feigned respect,
Galen of Pergamos and hellnay speak
The tale, old man! We met there face to face:
I said the crown should fall from thee. Once more
We meet as in that ghastly vestibule:
Look to my brow! Have I redeemed my pledge?
Festus.
Peace, peace; ah, see!
Paracelsus.
           Oh, emptiness of fame!
Oh Persic Zoroaster, lord of stars!
Who said these old renowns, dead long ago,
Could make me overlook the living world
To gaze through gloom at where they stood, indeed,
But stand no longer? What a warm light life
After the shade! In truth, my delicate witch,
My serpent-queen, you did but well to hide
The juggles I had else detected. Fire
May well run harmless o'er a breast like yours!
The cave was not so darkened by the smoke
But that your white limbs dazzled me: oh, white,
And panting as they twinkled, wildly dancing!
I cared not for your passionate gestures then,
But now I have forgotten the charm of charms,
The foolish knowledge which I came to seek,
While I remember that quaint dance; and thus
I am come back, not for those mummeries,
But to love you, and to kiss your little feet
Soft as an ermine's winter coat!
Festus.
                 A light
Will struggle through these thronging words at last.
As in the angry and tumultuous West
A soft star trembles through the drifting clouds.
These are the strivings of a spirit which hates
So sad a vault should coop it, and calls up
The past to stand between it and its fate.
Were he at Einsiedelnor Michal here!
Paracelsus.
Cruel! I seek her nowI kneelI shriek
I clasp her vesturebut she fades, still fades;
And she is gone; sweet human love is gone!
'T is only when they spring to heaven that angels
Reveal themselves to you; they sit all day
Beside you, and lie down at night by you
Who care not for their presence, muse or sleep,
And all at once they leave you, and you know them!
We are so fooled, so cheated! Why, even now
I am not too secure against foul play;
The shadows deepen and the walls contract:
No doubt some treachery is going on.
'T is very dusk. Where are we put, Aprile?
Have they left us in the lurch? This murky loathsome
Death-trap, this slaughter-house, is not the hall
In the golden city! Keep by me, Aprile!
There is a hand groping amid the blackness
To catch us. Have the spider-fingers got you,
Poet? Hold on me for your life! If once
They pull you!Hold!
           'Tis but a dreamno more!
I have you still; the sun comes out again;
Let us be happy: all will yet go well!
Let us confer: is it not like, Aprile,
That spite of trouble, this ordeal passed,
The value of my labours ascertained,
Just as some stream foams long among the rocks
But after glideth glassy to the sea,
So, full content shall henceforth be my lot?
What think you, poet? Louder! Your clear voice
Vibrates too like a harp-string. Do you ask
How could I still remain on earth, should God
Grant me the great approval which I seek?
I, you, and God can comprehend each other,
But men would murmur, and with cause enough;
For when they saw me, stainless of all sin,
Preserved and sanctified by inward light,
They would complain that comfort, shut from them,
I drank thus unespied; that they live on,
Nor taste the quiet of a constant joy,
For ache and care and doubt and weariness,
While I am calm; help being vouchsafed to me,
And hid from them.'T were best consider that!
You reason well, Aprile; but at least
Let me know this, and die! Is this too much?
I will learn this, if God so please, and die!
If thou shalt please, dear God, if thou shalt please!
We are so weak, we know our motives least
In their confused beginning. If at first
I sought . . . but wherefore bare my heart to thee?
I know thy mercy; and already thoughts
Flock fast about my soul to comfort it,
And intimate I cannot wholly fail,
For love and praise would clasp me willingly
Could I resolve to seek them. Thou art good,
And I should be content. Yetyet first show
I have done wrong in daring! Rather give
The supernatural consciousness of strength
Which fed my youth! Only one hour of that
With thee to helpO what should bar me then!
Lost, lost! Thus things are ordered here! God's creatures,
And yet he takes no pride in us!none, none!
Truly there needs another life to come!
If this be all(I must tell Festus that)
And other life await us notfor one,
I say 't is a poor cheat, a stupid bungle,
A wretched failure. I, for one, protest
Against it, and I hurl it back with scorn.
Well, onward though alone! Small time remains,
And much to do: I must have fruit, must reap
Some profit from my toils. I doubt my body
Will hardly serve me through; while I have laboured
It has decayed; and now that I demand
Its best assistance, it will crumble fast:
A sad thought, a sad fate! How very full
Of wormwood 't is, that just at altar-service,
The rapt hymn rising with the rolling smoke,
When glory dawns and all is at the best,
The sacred fire may flicker and grow faint
And die for want of a wood-piler's help!
Thus fades the flagging body, and the soul
Is pulled down in the overthrow. Well, well
Let men catch every word, let them lose nought
Of what I say; something may yet be done.
They are ruins! Trust me who am one of you!
All ruins, glorious once, but lonely now.
It makes my heart sick to behold you crouch
Beside your desolate fane: the arches dim,
The crumbling columns grand against the moon,
Could I but rear them up once morebut that
May never be, so leave them! Trust me, friends,
Why should you linger here when I have built
A far resplendent temple, all your own?
Trust me, they are but ruins! See, Aprile,
Men will not heed! Yet were I not prepared
With better refuge for them, tongue of mine
Should ne'er reveal how blank their dwelling is:
I would sit down in silence with the rest.
Ha, what? you spit at me, you grin and shriek
Contempt into my earmy ear which drank
God's accents once? you curse me? Why men, men,
I am not formed for it! Those hideous eyes
Will be before me sleeping, waking, praying,
They will not let me even die. Spare, spare me,
Sinning or no, forget that, only spare me
The horrible scorn! You thought I could support it.
But now you see what silly fragile creature
Cowers thus. I am not good nor bad enough,
Not Christ nor Cain, yet even Cain was saved
From Hate like this. Let me but totter back!
Perhaps I shall elude those jeers which creep
Into my very brain, and shut these scorched
Eyelids and keep those mocking faces out.
Listen, Aprile! I am very calm:
Be not deceived, there is no passion here
Where the blood leaps like an imprisoned thing:
I am calm: I will exterminate the race!
Enough of that: 't is said and it shall be.
And now be merry: safe and sound am I
Who broke through their best ranks to get at you.
And such a havoc, such a rout, Aprile!
Festus.
Have you no thought, no memory for me,
Aureole? I am so wretchedmy pure Michal
Is gone, and you alone are left me now,
And even you forget me. Take my hand
Lean on me thus. Do you not know me, Aureole?
Paracelsus.
Festus, my own friend, you are come at last?
As you say, 't is an awful enterprise;
But you believe I shall go through with it:
'T is like you, and I thank you. Thank him for me,
Dear Michal! See how bright St. Saviour's spire
Flames in the sunset; all its figures quaint
Gay in the glancing light: you might conceive them
A troop of yellow-vested white-haired Jews
Bound for their own land where redemption dawns.
Festus.
Not that blest timenot our youth's time, dear God!
Paracelsus.
Hastay! true, I forgetall is done since,
And he is come to judge me. How he speaks,
How calm, how well! yes, it is true, all true;
All quackery; all deceit; myself can laugh
The first at it, if you desire: but still
You know the obstacles which taught me tricks
So foreign to my natureenvy and hate,
Blind opposition, brutal prejudice,
Bald ignorancewhat wonder if I sunk
To humour men the way they most approved?
My cheats were never palmed on such as you,
Dear Festus! I will kneel if you require me,
Impart the meagre knowledge I possess,
Explain its bounded nature, and avow
My insufficiencywhate'er you will:
I give the fight up: let there be an end,
A privacy, an obscure nook for me.
I want to be forgotten even by God.
But if that cannot be, dear Festus, lay me,
When I shall die, within some narrow grave,
Not by itselffor that would be too proud
But where such graves are thickest; let it look
Nowise distinguished from the hillocks round,
So that the peasant at his brother's bed
May tread upon my own and know it not;
And we shall all be equal at the last,
Or classed according to life's natural ranks,
Fathers, sons, brothers, friendsnot rich, nor wise,
Nor gifted: lay me thus, then say, "He lived
"Too much advanced before his brother men;
"They kept him still in front: 't was for their good
"But yet a dangerous station. It were strange
"That he should tell God he had never ranked
"With men: so, here at least he is a man."
Festus.
That God shall take thee to his breast, dear spirit,
Unto his breast, be sure! and here on earth
Shall splendour sit upon thy name for ever.
Sun! all the heaven is glad for thee: what care
If lower mountains light their snowy phares
At thine effulgence, yet acknowledge not
The source of day? Their theft shall be their bale:
For after-ages shall retrack thy beams,
And put aside the crowd of busy ones
And worship thee alonethe master-mind,
The thinker, the explorer, the creator!
Then, who should sneer at the convulsive throes
With which thy deeds were born, would scorn as well
The sheet of winding subterraneous fire
Which, pent and writhing, sends no less at last
Huge islands up amid the simmering sea.
Behold thy might in me! thou hast infused
Thy soul in mine; and I am grand as thou,
Seeing I comprehend theeI so simple,
Thou so august. I recognize thee first;
I saw thee rise, I watched thee early and late,
And though no glance reveal thou dost accept
My homagethus no less I proffer it,
And bid thee enter gloriously thy rest.
Paracelsus.
Festus!
Festus.
   I am for noble Aureole, God!
I am upon his side, come weal or woe.
His portion shall be mine. He has done well.
I would have sinned, had I been strong enough,
As he has sinned. Reward him or I waive
Reward! If thou canst find no place for him,
He shall be king elsewhere, and I will be
His slave for ever. There are two of us.
Paracelsus.
Dear Festus!
Festus.
      Here, dear Aureole! ever by you!
      Paracelsus.
Nay, speak on, or I dream again. Speak on!
Some story, anythingonly your voice.
I shall dream else. Speak on! ay, leaning so!
Festus.
                         Thus the Mayne glideth
Where my Love abideth.
Sleep's no softer: it proceeds
On through lawns, on through meads,
On and on, whate'er befall,
Meandering and musical,
Though the ****rd pasturage
Bears not on its shaven ledge
Aught but weeds and waving grasses
To view the river as it passes,
Save here and there a scanty patch
Of primroses too faint to catch
A weary bee.
Paracelsus.
More, more; say on!
Festus.
          And scarce it pushes
Its gentle way through strangling rushes
Where the glossy kingfisher
Flutters when noon-heats are near,
Glad the shelving banks to shun,
Red and steaming in the sun,
Where the shrew-mouse with pale throat
Burrows, and the speckled stoat;
Where the quick sandpipers flit
In and out the marl and grit
That seems to breed them, brown as they:
Nought disturbs its quiet way,
Save some lazy stork that springs,
Trailing it with legs and wings,
Whom the shy fox from the hill
Rouses, creep he ne'er so still.
Paracelsus.
My heart! they loose my heart, those simple words;
Its darkness passes, which nought else could touch:
Like some dark snake that force may not expel,
Which glideth out to music sweet and low.
What were you doing when your voice broke through
A chaos of ugly images? You, indeed!
Are you alone here?
Festus.
          All alone: you know me?
This cell?
Paracelsus.
     An unexceptionable vault:
Good brick and stone: the bats kept out, the rats
Kept in: a snug nook: how should I mistake it?
Festus.
But wherefore am I here?
Paracelsus.
             Ah, well remembered!
Why, for a purposefor a purpose, Festus!
'T is like me: here I trifle while time fleets,
And this occasion, lost, will ne'er return.
You are here to be instructed. I will tell
God's message; but I have so much to say,
I fear to leave half out. All is confused
No doubt; but doubtless you will learn in time.
He would not else have brought you here: no doubt
I shall see clearer soon.
Festus.
             Tell me but this
You are not in despair?
Paracelsus.
            I? and for what?
            Festus.
Alas, alas! he knows not, as I feared!
Paracelsus.
What is it you would ask me with that earnest
Dear searching face?
Festus.
           How feel you, Aureole?
           Paracelsus.
                       Well:
Well. 'T is a strange thing: I am dying, Festus,
And now that fast the storm of life subsides,
I first perceive how great the whirl has been.
I was calm then, who am so dizzy now
Calm in the thick of the tempest, but no less
A partner of its motion and mixed up
With its career. The hurricane is spent,
And the good boat speeds through the brightening weather;
But is it earth or sea that heaves below?
The gulf rolls like a meadow-swell, o'erstrewn
With ravaged boughs and remnants of the shore;
And now some slet, loosened from the land,
Swims past with all its trees, sailing to ocean;
And now the air is full of uptorn canes,
Light strippings from the fan-trees, tamarisks
Unrooted, with their birds still clinging to them,
All high in the wind. Even so my varied life
Drifts by me; I am young, old, happy, sad,
Hoping, desponding, acting, taking rest,
And all at once: that is, those past conditions
Float back at once on me. If I select
Some special epoch from the crowd, 't is but
To will, and straight the rest dissolve away,
And only that particular state is present
With all its long-forgotten circumstance
Distinct and vivid as at firstmyself
A careless looker-on and nothing more,
Indifferent and amused, but nothing more.
And this is death: I understand it all.
New being waits me; new perceptions must
Be born in me before I plunge therein;
Which last is Death's affair; and while I speak,
Minute by minute he is filling me
With power; and while my foot is on the threshold
Of boundless lifethe doors unopened yet,
All preparations not complete within
I turn new knowledge upon old events,
And the effect is . . . but I must not tell;
It is not lawful. Your own turn will come
One day. Wait, Festus! You will die like me.
Festus.
'T is of that past life that I burn to hear.
Paracelsus.
You wonder it engages me just now?
In truth, I wonder too. What 's life to me?
Where'er I look is fire, where'er I listen
Music, and where I tend bliss evermore.
Yet how can I refrain? 'T is a refined
Delight to view those chances,one last view.
I am so near the perils I escape,
That I must play with them and turn them over,
To feel how fully they are past and gone.
Still, it is like, some further cause exists
For this peculiar moodsome hidden purpose;
Did I not tell you something of it, Festus?
I had it fast, but it has somehow slipt
Away from me; it will return anon.
Festus.
(Indeed his cheek seems young again, his voice
Complete with its old tones: that little laugh
Concluding every phrase, with upturned eye,
As though one stooped above his head to whom
He looked for confirmation and approval,
Where was it gone so long, so well preserved?
Then, the fore-finger pointing as he speaks,
Like one who traces in an open book
The matter he declares; 't is many a year
Since I remarked it last: and this in him,
But now a ghastly wreck!)
             And can it be,
Dear Aureole, you have then found out at last
That worldly things are utter vanity?
That man is made for weakness, and should wait
In patient ignorance, till God appoint . . .
Paracelsus.
Ha, the purpose: the true purpose: that is it!
How could I fail to apprehend! You here,
I thus! But no more trifling: I see all,
I know all: my last mission shall be done
If strength suffice. No trifling! Stay; this posture
Hardly befits one thus about to speak:
I will arise.
Festus.
       Nay, Aureole, are you wild?
You cannot leave your couch.
Paracelsus.
               No help; no help;
Not even your hand. So! there, I stand once more!
Speak from a couch? I never lectured thus.
My gownthe scarlet lined with fur; now put
The chain about my neck; my signet-ring
Is still upon my hand, I thinkeven so;
Last, my good sword; ah, trusty Azoth, leapest
Beneath thy master's grasp for the last time?
This couch shall be my throne: I bid these walls
Be consecrate, this wretched cell become
A shrine, for here God speaks to men through me.
Now, Festus, I am ready to begin.
Festus.
I am dumb with wonder.
Paracelsus.
           Listen, therefore, Festus!
There will be time enough, but none to spare.
I must content myself with telling only
The most important points. You doubtless feel
That I am happy, Festus; very happy.
Festus.
'T is no delusion which uplifts him thus!
Then you are pardoned, Aureole, all your sin?
Paracelsus.
Ay, pardoned: yet why pardoned?
Festus.
                 'T is God's praise
That man is bound to seek, and you . . .
Paracelsus.
                     Have lived!
We have to live alone to set forth well
God's praise. 'T is true, I sinned much, as I thought,
And in effect need mercy, for I strove
To do that very thing; but, do your best
Or worst, praise rises, and will rise for ever
Pardon from him, because of praise denied
Who calls me to himself to exalt himself?
He might laugh as I laugh!
Festus.
              But all comes
To the same thing. 'T is fruitless for mankind
To fret themselves with what concerns them not;
They are no use that way: they should lie down
Content as God has made them, nor go mad
In thriveless cares to better what is ill.
Paracelsus.
No, no; mistake me not; let me not work
More harm than I have worked! This is my case:
If I go joyous back to God, yet bring
No offering, if I render up my soul
Without the fruits it was ordained to bear,
If I appear the better to love God
For sin, as one who has no claim on him,-
Be not deceived! It may be surely thus
With me, while higher prizes still await
The mortal persevering to the end.
Beside I am not all so valueless:
I have been something, though too soon I left
Following the instincts of that happy time.
Festus.
What happy time? For God's sake, for man's sake,
What time was happy? All I hope to know
That answer will decide. What happy time?
Paracelsus.
When but the time I vowed myself to man?
Festus.
Great God, thy judgments are inscrutable!
Paracelsus.
Yes, it was in me; I was born for it
I, Paracelsus: it was mine by right.
Doubtless a searching and impetuous soul
Might learn from its own motions that some task
Like this awaited it about the world;
Might seek somewhere in this blank life of ours
For fit delights to stay its longings vast;
And, grappling Nature, so prevail on her
To fill the creature full she dared thus frame
Hungry for joy; and, bravely tyrannous,
Grow in demand, still craving more and more,
And make each joy conceded prove a pledge
Of other joy to followbating nought
Of its desires, still seizing fresh pretence
To turn the knowledge and the rapture wrung
As an extreme, last boon, from destiny,
Into occasion for new coyetings,
New strifes, new triumphs:doubtless a strong soul,
Alone, unaided might attain to this,
So glorious is our nature, so august
Man's inborn uninstructed impulses,
His naked spirit so majestical!
But this was born in me; I was made so;
Thus much time saved: the feverish appeties,
The tumult of unproved desire, the unaimed
Uncertain yearnings, aspirations blind,
Distrust, mistake, and all that ends in tears
Were saved me; thus I entered on my course.
You may be sure I was not all exempt
From human trouble; just so much of doubt
As bade me plant a surer foot upon
The sun-road, kept my eye unruined 'mid
The fierce and flashing splendour, set my heart
Trembling so much as warned me I stood there
On sufferancenot to idly gaze, but cast
Light on a darkling race; save for that doubt,
I stood at first where all aspire at last
To stand: the secret of the world was mine.
I knew, I felt, (perception unexpressed,
Uncomprehended by our narrow thought,
But somehow felt and known in every shift
And change in the spirit,nay, in every pore
Of the body, even,)what God is, what we are,
What life ishow God tastes an infinite joy
In infinite waysone everlasting bliss,
From whom all being emanates, all power
Proceeds; in whom is life for evermore,
Yet whom existence in its lowest form
Includes; where dwells enjoyment there is he;
With still a flying point of bliss remote,
A happiness in store afar, a sphere
Of distant glory in full view; thus climbs
Pleasure its heights for ever and for ever.
The centre-fire heaves underneath the earth,
And the earth changes like a human face;
The molten ore bursts up among the rocks,
Winds into the stone's heart, outbranches bright
In hidden mines, spots barren river-beds,
Crumbles into fine sand where sunbeams bask
God joys therein. The wroth sea's waves are edged
With foam, white as the bitten lip of hate,
When, in the solitary waste, strange groups
Of young volcanos come up, cyclops-like,
Staring together with their eyes on flame
God tastes a pleasure in their uncouth pride.
Then all is still; earth is a wintry clod:
But spring-wind, like a dancing psaltress, passes
Over its breast to waken it, rare verdure
Buds tenderly upon rough banks, between
The withered tree-roots and the cracks of frost,
Like a smile striving with a wrinkled face;
The grass grows bright, the boughs are swoln with blooms
Like chrysalids impatient for the air,
The shining dorrs are busy, beetles run
Along the furrows, ants make their ado;
Above, birds fly in merry flocks, the lark
Soars up and up, shivering for very joy;
Afar the ocean sleeps; white fishing-gulls
Flit where the strand is purple with its tribe
Of nested limpets; savage creatures seek
Their loves in wood and plainand God renews
His ancient rapture. Thus he dwells in all,
From life's minute beginnings, up at last
To manthe consummation of this scheme
Of being, the completion of this sphere
Of life: whose attributes had here and there
Been scattered o'er the visible world before,
Asking to be combined, dim fragments meant
To be united in some wondrous whole,
Imperfect qualities throughout creation,
Suggesting some one creature yet to make,
Some point where all those scattered rays should meet
Convergent in the faculties of man.
Powerneither put forth blindly, nor controlled
Calmly by perfect knowledge; to be used
At risk, inspired or checked by hope and fear:
Knowledgenot intuition, but the slow
Uncertain fruit of an enhancing toil,
Strengthened by love: lovenot serenely pure,
But strong from weakness, like a chance-sown plant
Which, cast on stubborn soil, puts forth changed buds
And softer stains, unknown in happier climes;
Love which endures and doubts and is oppressed
And cherished, suffering much and much sustained,
And blind, oft-failing, yet believing love,
A half-enlightened, often-chequered trust:
Hints and previsions of which faculties,
Are strewn confusedly everywhere about
The inferior natures, and all lead up higher,
All shape out dimly the superior race,
The heir of hopes too fair to turn out false,
And man appears at last. So far the seal
Is put on life; one stage of being complete,
One scheme wound up: and from the grand result
A supplementary reflux of light,
Illustrates all the inferior grades, explains
Each back step in the circle. Not alone
For their possessor dawn those qualities,
But the new glory mixes with the heaven
And earth; man, once descried, imprints for ever
His presence on all lifeless things: the winds
Are henceforth voices, wailing or a shout,
A querulous mutter or a quick gay laugh,
Never a senseless gust now man is born.
The herded pines commune and have deep thoughts
A secret they assemble to discuss
When the sun drops behind their trunks which glare
Like grates of hell: the peerless cup afloat
Of the lake-lily is an urn, some nymph
Swims bearing high above her head: no bird
Whistles unseen, but through the gaps above
That let light in upon the gloomy woods,
A shape peeps from the breezy forest-top,
Arch with small puckered mouth and mocking eye.
The morn has enterprise, deep quiet droops
With evening, triumph takes the sunset hour,
Voluptuous transport ripens with the corn
Beneath a warm moon like a happy face:
And this to fill us with regard for man.
With apprehension of his passing worth,
Desire to work his proper nature out,
And ascertain his rank and final place,
For these things tend still upward, progress is
The law of life, man is not Man as yet.
Nor shall I deem his object served, his end
Attained, his genuine strength put fairly forth,
While only here and there a star dispels
The darkness, here and there a towering mind
O'erlooks its prostrate fellows: when the host
Is out at once to the despair of night,
When all mankind alike is perfected,
Equal in full-blown powersthen, not till then,
I say, begins man's general infancy.
For wherefore make account of feverish starts
Of restless members of a dormant whole,
Impatient nerves which quiver while the body
Slumbers as in a grave? Oh long ago
The brow was twitched, the tremulous lids astir,
The peaceful mouth disturbed; half-uttered speech
Ruffled the lip, and then the teeth were set,
The breath drawn sharp, the strong right-hand clenched stronger,
As it would pluck a lion by the jaw;
The glorious creature laughed out even in sleep!
But when full roused, each giant-limb awake,
Each sinew strung, the great heart pulsing fast,
He shall start up and stand on his own earth,
Then shall his long triumphant march begin,
Thence shall his being date,thus wholly roused,
What he achieves shall be set down to him.
When all the race is perfected alike
As man, that is; all tended to mankind,
And, man produced, all has its end thus far:
But in completed man begins anew
A tendency to God. Prognostics told
Man's near approach; so in man's self arise
August anticipations, symbols, types
Of a dim splendour ever on before
In that eternal circle life pursues.
For men begin to pass their nature's bound,
And find new hopes and cares which fast supplant
Their proper joys and griefs; they grow too great
For narrow creeds of right and wrong, which fade
Before the unmeasured thirst for good: while peace
Rises within them ever more and more.
Such men are even now upon the earth,
Serene amid the half-formed creatures round
Who should be saved by them and joined with them.
Such was my task, and I was born to it
Free, as I said but now, from much that chains
Spirits, high-dowered but limited and vexed
By a divided and delusive aim,
A shadow mocking a reality
Whose truth avails not wholly to disperse
The flitting mimic called up by itself,
And so remains perplexed and nigh put out
By its fantastic fellow's wavering gleam.
I, from the first, was never cheated thus;
I never fashioned out a fancied good
Distinct from man's; a service to be done,
A glory to be ministered unto
With powers put forth at man's expense, withdrawn
From labouring in his behalf; a strength
Denied that might avail him. I cared not
Lest his success ran counter to success
Elsewhere: for God is glorified in man,
And to man's glory vowed I soul and limb.
Yet, constituted thus, and thus endowed,
I failed: I gazed on power till I grew blind.
Power; I could not take my eyes from that:
That only, I thought, should be preserved, increased
At any risk, displayed, struck out at once-
The sign and note and character of man.
I saw no use in the past: only a scene
Of degradation, ugliness and tears,
The record of disgraces best forgotten,
A sullen page in human chronicles
Fit to erase. I saw no cause why man
Should not stand all-sufficient even now,
Or why his annals should be forced to tell
That once the tide of light, about to break
Upon the world, was sealed within its spring:
I would have had one day, one moment's space,
Change man's condition, push each slumbering claim
Of mastery o'er the elemental world
At once to full maturity, then roll
Oblivion o'er the work, and hide from man
What night had ushered morn. Not so, dear child
Of after-days, wilt thou reject the past
Big with deep warnings of the proper tenure
By which thou hast the earth: for thee the present
Shall have distinct and trembling beauty, seen
Beside that past's own shade when, in relief,
Its brightness shall stand out: nor yet on thee
Shall burst the future, as successive zones
Of several wonder open on some spirit
Flying secure and glad from heaven to heaven:
But thou shalt painfully attain to joy,
While hope and fear and love shall keep thee man!
All this was hid from me: as one by one
My dreams grew dim, my wide aims circumscribed,
As actual good within my reach decreased,
While obstacles sprung up this way and that
To keep me from effecting half the sum,
Small as it proved; as objects, mean within
The primal aggregate, seemed, even the least,
Itself a match for my concentred strength
What wonder if I saw no way to shun
Despair? The power I sought for man, seemed God's.
In this conjuncture, as I prayed to die,
A strange adventure made me know, one sin
Had spotted my career from its uprise;
I saw Aprilemy Aprile there!
And as the poor melodious wretch disburthened
His heart, and moaned his weakness in my ear,
I learned my own deep error; love's undoing
Taught me the worth of love in man's estate,
And what proportion love should hold with power
In his right constitution; love preceding
Power, and with much power, always much more love;
Love still too straitened in his present means,
And earnest for new power to set love free.
I learned this, and supposed the whole was learned:
And thus, when men received with stupid wonder
My first revealings, would have worshipped me,
And I despised and loathed their proffered praise
When, with awakened eyes, they took revenge
For past credulity in casting shame
On my real knowledge, and I hated them
It was not strange I saw no good in man,
To overbalance all the wear and waste
Of faculties, displayed in vain, but born
To prosper in some better sphere: and why?
In my own heart love had not been made wise
To trace love's faint beginnings in mankind,
To know even hate is but a mask of love's,
To see a good in evil, and a hope
In ill-success; to sympathize, be proud
Of their half-reasons, faint aspirings, dim
Struggles for truth, their poorest fallacies,
Their prejudice and fears and cares and doubts;
All with a touch of nobleness, despite
Their error, upward tending all though weak,
Like plants in mines which never saw the sun,
But dream of him, and guess where he may be,
And do their best to climb and get to him.
All this I knew not, and I failed. Let men
Regard me, and the poet dead long ago
Who loved too rashly; and shape forth a third
And better-tempered spirit, warned by both:
As from the over-radiant star too mad
To drink the life-springs, beamless thence itself
And the dark orb which borders the abyss,
Ingulfed in icy night,might have its course
A temperate and equidistant world.
Meanwhile, I have done well, though not all well.
As yet men cannot do without contempt;
'T is for their good, and therefore fit awhile
That they reject the weak, and scorn the false,
Rather than praise the strong and true, in me:
But after, they will know me. If I stoop
Into a dark tremendous sea of cloud,
It is but for a time; I press God's lamp
Close to my breast; its splendour, soon or late,
Will pierce the gloom: I shall emerge one day.
You understand me? I have said enough?
Festus.
Now die, dear Aureole!
Paracelsus.
           Festus, let my hand
This hand, lie in your own, my own true friend!
Aprile! Hand in hand with you, Aprile!
Festus.
And this was Paracelsus!


~ Robert Browning, Paracelsus - Part V - Paracelsus Attains
,
490: Love and Death

Love and Death
In woodlands of the bright and early world,
When love was to himself yet new and warm
And stainless, played like morning with a flower
Ruru with his young bride Priyumvada.

Fresh-cheeked and dew-eyed white Priyumvada
Opened her budded heart of crimson bloom
To love, to Ruru; Ruru, a happy flood
Of passion round a lotus dancing thrilled,
Blinded with his soul's waves Priyumvada.

To him the earth was a bed for this sole flower,
To her all the world was filled with his embrace.

Wet with new rains the morning earth, released
From her fierce centuries and burning suns,
Lavished her breath in greenness; poignant flowers
Thronged all her eager breast, and her young arms
Cradled a childlike bounding life that played
And would not cease, nor ever weary grew
Of her bright promise; for all was joy and breeze
And perfume, colour and bloom and ardent rays
Of living, and delight desired the world.

Then Earth was quick and pregnant tamelessly;
A free and unwalled race possessed her plains
Whose hearts uncramped by bonds, whose unspoiled thoughts
At once replied to light. Foisoned the fields;
Lonely and rich the forests and the swaying
Of those unnumbered tops affected men
With thoughts to their vast music kin. Undammed
The virgin rivers moved towards the sea,
And mountains yet unseen and peoples vague
Winged young imagination like an eagle
To strange beauty remote. And Ruru felt
The sweetness of the early earth as sap
All through him, and short life an aeon made
By boundless possibility, and love,

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Sweetest of all unfathomable love,
A glory untired. As a bright bird comes flying
From airy extravagance to his own home,
And breasts his mate, and feels her all his goal,
So from boon sunlight and the fresh chill wave
Which swirled and lapped between the slumbering fields,
From forest pools and wanderings mid leaves
Through emerald ever-new discoveries,
Mysterious hillsides ranged and buoyant-swift
Races with our wild brothers in the meads,
Came Ruru back to the white-bosomed girl,
Strong-winged to pleasure. She all fresh and new
Rose to him, and he plunged into her charm.

For neither to her honey and poignancy
Artlessly interchanged, nor any limit
To the sweet physical delight of her
He found. Her eyes like deep and infinite wells
Lured his attracted soul, and her touch thrilled
Not lightly, though so light; the joy prolonged
And sweetness of the lingering of her lips
Was every time a nectar of surprise
To her lover; her smooth-gleaming shoulder bared
In darkness of her hair showed jasmine-bright,
While her kissed bosom by rich tumults stirred
Was a moved sea that rocked beneath his heart.

Then when her lips had made him blind, soft siege
Of all her unseen body to his rule
Betrayed the ravishing realm of her white limbs,
An empire for the glory of a God.

He knew not whether he loved most her smile,
Her causeless tears or little angers swift,
Whether held wet against him from the bath
Among her kindred lotuses, her cheeks
Soft to his lips and dangerous happy breasts
That vanquished all his strength with their desire,
Meeting his absence with her sudden face,
Or when the leaf-hid bird at night complained

Love and Death
Near their wreathed arbour on the moonlit lake,
Sobbing delight out from her heart of bliss,
Or in his clasp of rapture laughing low
Of his close bosom bridal-glad and pleased
With passion and this fiery play of love,
Or breaking off like one who thinks of grief,
Wonderful melancholy in her eyes
Grown liquid and with wayward sorrow large.

Thus he in her found a warm world of sweets,
And lived of ecstasy secure, nor deemed
Any new hour could match that early bliss.

But Love has joys for spirits born divine
More bleeding-lovely than his thornless rose.

That day he had left, while yet the east was dark,
Rising, her bosom and into the river
Swam out, exulting in the sting and swift
Sharp-edged desire around his limbs, and sprang
Wet to the bank, and streamed into the wood.

As a young horse upon the pastures glad
Feels greensward and the wind along his mane
And arches as he goes his neck, so went
In an immense delight of youth the boy
And shook his locks, joy-crested. Boundlessly
He revelled in swift air of life, a creature
Of wide and vigorous morning. Far he strayed
Tempting for flower and fruit branches in heaven,
And plucked, and flung away, and brighter chose,
Seeking comparisons for her bloom; and followed
New streams, and touched new trees, and felt slow beauty
And leafy secret change; for the damp leaves,
Grey-green at first, grew pallid with the light
And warmed with consciousness of sunshine near;
Then the whole daylight wandered in, and made
Hard tracts of splendour, and enriched all hues.

But when a happy sheltered heat he felt
And heard contented voice of living things
Harmonious with the noon, he turned and swiftly

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Went homeward yearning to Priyumvada,
And near his home emerging from green leaves
He laughed towards the sun: "O father Sun,"
He cried, "how good it is to live, to love!
Surely our joy shall never end, nor we
Grow old, but like bright rivers or pure winds
Sweetly continue, or revive with flowers,
Or live at least as long as senseless trees."
He dreamed, and said with a soft smile: "Lo, she!
And she will turn from me with angry tears
Her delicate face more beautiful than storm
Or rainy moonlight. I will follow her,
And soo the her heart with sovereign flatteries;
Or rather all tyranny exhaust and taste
The beauty of her anger like a fruit,
Vexing her soul with helplessness; then soften
Easily with quiet undenied demand
Of heart insisting upon heart; or else
Will reinvest her beauty bright with flowers,
Or with my hands her little feet persuade.

Then will her face be like a sudden dawn,
And flower compelled into reluctant smiles."
He had not ceased when he beheld her. She,
Tearing a jasmine bloom with waiting hands,
Stood drooping, petulant, but heard at once
His footsteps and before she was aware,
A sudden smile of exquisite delight
Leaped to her mouth, and a great blush of joy
Surprised her cheeks. She for a moment stood
Beautiful with her love before she died;
And he laughed towards her. With a pitiful cry
She paled; moaning, her stricken limbs collapsed.

But petrified, in awful dumb surprise,
He gazed; then waking with a bound was by her,
All panic expectation. As he came,
He saw a brilliant flash of coils evade
The sunlight, and with hateful gorgeous hood

Love and Death
Darted into green safety, hissing, death.

Voiceless he sank beside her and stretched out
His arms and desperately touched her face,
As if to attract her soul to live, and sought
Beseeching with his hands her bosom. O, she
Was warm, and cruel hope pierced him; but pale
As jasmines fading on a girl's sweet breast
Her cheek was, and forgot its perfect rose.

Her eyes that clung to sunlight yet, with pain
Were large and feebly round his neck her arms
She lifted and, desiring his pale cheek
Against her bosom, sobbed out piteously,
"Ah, love!" and stopped heart-broken; then, "O Love!
Alas the green dear home that I must leave
So early! I was so glad of love and kisses,
And thought that centuries would not exhaust
The deep embrace. And I have had so little
Of joy and the wild day and throbbing night,
Laughter, and tenderness, and strife and tears.

I have not numbered half the brilliant birds
In one green forest, nor am familiar grown
With sunrise and the progress of the eves,
Nor have with plaintive cries of birds made friends,
Cuckoo and rainlark and love-speak-to-me.

I have not learned the names of half the flowers
Around me; so few trees know me by my name;
Nor have I seen the stars so very often
That I should die. I feel a dreadful hand
Drawing me from the touch of thy warm limbs
Into some cold vague mist, and all black night
Descends towards me. I no more am thine,
But go I know not where, and see pale shapes
And gloomy countries and that terrible stream.

O Love, O Love, they take me from thee far,
And whether we shall find each other ever
In the wide dreadful territory of death,
I know not. Or thou wilt forget me quite,

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And life compel thee into other arms.

Ah, come with me! I cannot bear to wander
In that cold cruel country all alone,
Helpless and terrified, or sob by streams
Denied sweet sunlight and by thee unloved."
Slower her voice came now, and over her cheek
Death paused; then, sobbing like a little child
Too early from her bounding pleasures called,
The lovely discontented spirit stole
From her warm body white. Over her leaned
Ruru, and waited for dead lips to move.

Still in the greenwood lay Priyumvada,
And Ruru rose not from her, but with eyes
Emptied of glory hung above his dead,
Only, without a word, without a tear.

Then the crowned wives of the great forest came,
They who had fed her from maternal breasts,
And grieved over the lovely body cold,
And bore it from him; nor did he entreat
One last look nor one kiss, nor yet denied
What he had loved so well. They the dead girl
Into some distant greenness bore away.

But Ruru, while the stillness of the place
Remembered her, sat without voice. He heard
Through the great silence that was now his soul,
The forest sounds, a squirrel's leap through leaves,
The cheeping of a bird just overhead,
A peacock with his melancholy cry
Complaining far away, and tossings dim
And slight unnoticeable stir of trees.

But all these were to him like distant things
And he alone in his heart's void. And yet
No thought he had of her so lately lost.

Rather far pictures, trivial incidents
Of that old life before her delicate face
Had lived for him, dumbly distinct like thoughts

Love and Death
Of men that die, kept with long pomps his mind
Excluding the dead girl. So still he was,
The birds flashed by him with their swift small wings,
Fanning him. Then he moved, then rigorous
Memory through all his body shuddering
Awoke, and he looked up and knew the place,
And recognised greenness immutable,
And saw old trees and the same flowers still bloom.

He felt the bright indifference of earth
And all the lonely uselessness of pain.

Then lifting up the beauty of his brow
He spoke, with sorrow pale: "O grim cold Death!
But I will not like ordinary men
Satiate thee with cries, and falsely woo thee,
And make my grief thy theatre, who lie
Prostrate beneath thy thunderbolts and make
Night witness of their moans, shuddering and crying
When sudden memories pierce them like swords,
And often starting up as at a thought
Intolerable, pace a little, then
Sink down exhausted by brief agony.

O secrecy terrific, darkness vast,
At which we shudder! Somewhere, I know not where,
Somehow, I know not how, I shall confront
Thy gloom, tremendous spirit, and seize with hands
And prove what thou art and what man." He said,
And slowly to the forest wandered. There
Long months he travelled between grief and grief,
Reliving thoughts of her with every pace,
Measuring vast pain in his immortal mind.

And his heart cried in him as when a fire
Roars through wide forests and the branches cry
Burning towards heaven in torture glorious.

So burned, immense, his grief within him; he raised
His young pure face all solemnised with pain,
Voiceless. Then Fate was shaken, and the Gods
Grieved for him, of his silence grown afraid.
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Therefore from peaks divine came flashing down
Immortal Agni and to the uswutth-tree
Cried in the Voice that slays the world: "O tree
That liftest thy enormous branches able
To shelter armies, more than armies now
Shelter, be famous, house a brilliant God.

For the grief grows in Ruru's breast up-piled,
As wrestles with its anguished barricades
In silence an impending flood, and Gods
Immortal grow afraid. For earth alarmed
Shudders to bear the curse lest her young life
Pale with eclipse and all-creating love
Be to mere pain condemned. Divert the wrath
Into thy boughs, Uswuttha - thou shalt be
My throne - glorious, though in eternal pangs,
Yet worth much pain to harbour divine fire."
So ended the young pure destroyer's voice,
And the dumb god consented silently.

In the same noon came Ruru; his mind had paused,
Lured for a moment by soft wandering gleams
Into forgetfulness of grief; for thoughts
Gentle and near-eyed whispering memories
So sweetly came, his blind heart dreamed she lived.

Slow the uswuttha-tree bent down its leaves,
And smote his cheek, and touched his heavy hair.

And Ruru turned illumined. For a moment,
One blissful moment he had felt 'twas she.

So had she often stolen up and touched
His curls with her enamoured fingers small,
Lingering, while the wind smote him with her hair
And her quick breath came to him like spring. Then he,
Turning, as one surprised with heaven, saw
Ready to his swift passionate grasp her bosom
And body sweet expecting his embrace.

Oh, now saw her not, but the guilty tree
Shrinking; then grief back with a double crown
Arose and stained his face with agony.
Love and Death
Nor silence he endured, but the dumb force
Ascetic and inherited, by sires
Fierce-musing earned, from the boy's bosom blazed.

"O uswutth-tree, wantonly who hast mocked
My anguish with the wind, but thou no more
Have joy of the cool wind nor green delight,
But live thy guilty leaves in fire, so long
As Aryan wheels by thy doomed shadow vast
Thunder to war, nor bless with cool wide waves
Lyric Saruswathi nations impure."
He spoke, and the vast tree groaned through its leaves,
Recognising its fate; then smouldered; lines
Of living fire rushed up the girth and hissed
Serpentine in the unconsuming leaves;
Last, all Hutashan in his chariot armed
Sprang on the boughs and blazed into the sky,
And wailing all the great tormented creature
Stood wide in agony; one half was green
And earthly, the other a weird brilliance
Filled with the speed and cry of endless flame.

But he, with the fierce rushing-out of power
Shaken and that strong grasp of anguish, flung
His hands out to the sun; "Priyumvada!"
He cried, and at that well-loved sound there dawned
With overwhelming sweetness miserable
Upon his mind the old delightful times
When he had called her by her liquid name,
Where the voice loved to linger. He remembered
The chompuc bushes where she turned away
Half-angered, and his speaking of her name
Masterfully as to a lovely slave
Rebellious who has erred; at that the slow
Yielding of her small head, and after a little
Her sliding towards him and beautiful
Propitiating body as she sank down
With timid graspings deprecatingly
In prostrate warm surrender, her flushed cheeks

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Upon his feet and little touches soft;
Or her long name uttered beseechingly,
And the swift leap of all her body to him,
And eyes of large repentance, and the weight
Of her wild bosom and lips unsatisfied;
Or hourly call for little trivial needs,
Or sweet unneeded wanton summoning,
Daily appeal that never staled nor lost
Its sudden music, and her lovely speed,
Sedulous occupation left, quick-breathing,
With great glad eyes and eager parted lips;
Or in deep quiet moments murmuring
That name like a religion in her ear,
And her calm look compelled to ecstasy;
Or to the river luring her, or breathed
Over her dainty slumber, or secret sweet
Bridal outpantings of her broken name.

All these as rush unintermitting waves
Upon a swimmer overborne, broke on him
Relentless, things too happy to be endured,
Till faint with the recalled felicity
Low he moaned out: "O pale Priyumvada!
O dead fair flower! yet living to my grief!
But I could only slay the innocent tree,
Powerless when power should have been. Not such
Was Bhrigu from whose sacred strength I spring,
Nor Bhrigu's son, my father, when he blazed
Out from Puloma's side, and burning, blind,
Fell like a tree the ravisher unjust.

But I degenerate from such sires. O Death
That showest not thy face beneath the stars,
But comest masked, and on our dear ones seizing
Fearest to wrestle equally with love!
Nor from thy gloomy house any come back
To tell thy way. But O, if any strength
In lover's constancy to torture dwell
Earthward to force a helping god and such

Love and Death
Ascetic force be born of lover's pain,
Let my dumb pangs be heard. Whoe'er thou art,
O thou bright enemy of Death, descend
And lead me to that portal dim. For I
Have burned in fires cruel as the fire
And lain upon a sharper couch than swords."
He ceased, and heaven thrilled, and the far blue
Quivered as with invisible downward wings.

But Ruru passioned on, and came with eve
To secret grass and a green opening moist
In a cool lustre. Leaned upon a tree
That bathed in faery air and saw the sky
Through branches, and a single parrot loud
Screamed from its top, there stood a golden boy,
Half-naked, with bright limbs all beautiful -
Delicate they were, in sweetness absolute:
For every gleam and every soft strong curve
Magically compelled the eye, and smote
The heart to weakness. In his hands he swung
A bow - not such as human archers use:
For the string moved and murmured like many bees,
And nameless fragrance made the casual air
A peril. He on Ruru that fair face
Turned, and his steps with lovely gesture chained.

"Who art thou here, in forests wandering,
And thy young exquisite face is solemnised
With pain? Luxuriously the Gods have tortured
Thy heart to see such dreadful glorious beauty
Agonise in thy lips and brilliant eyes:
As tyrants in the fierceness of others' pangs
Joy and feel strong, clothing with brilliant fire,
Tyrants in Titan lands. Needs must her mouth
Have been pure honey and her bosom a charm,
Whom thou desirest seeing not the green
And common lovely sounds hast quite forgot."
And Ruru, mastered by the God, replied:

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"I know thee by thy cruel beauty bright,
Kama, who makest many worlds one fire.

Ah, wherefore wilt thou ask of her to increase
The passion and regret? Thou knowest, great love!
Thy nymph her mother, if thou truly art he
And not a dream of my disastrous soul."
But with the thrilled eternal smile that makes
The spring, the lover of Rathi golden-limbed
Replied to Ruru, "Mortal, I am he;
I am that Madan who inform the stars
With lustre and on life's wide canvas fill
Pictures of light and shade, of joy and tears,
Make ordinary moments wonderful
And common speech a charm: knit life to life
With interfusions of opposing souls
And sudden meetings and slow sorceries:
Wing the boy bridegroom to that panting breast,
Smite Gods with mortal faces, dreadfully
Among great beautiful kings and watched by eyes
That burn, force on the virgin's fainting limbs
And drive her to the one face never seen,
The one breast meant eternally for her.

By me come wedded sweets, by me the wife's
Busy delight and passionate obedience,
And loving eager service never sated,
And happy lips, and worshipping soft eyes:
And mine the husband's hungry arms and use
Unwearying of old tender words and ways,
Joy of her hair, and silent pleasure felt
Of nearness to one dear familiar shape.

Nor only these, but many affections bright
And soft glad things cluster around my name.

I plant fraternal tender yearnings, make
The sister's sweet attractiveness and leap
Of heart towards imperious kindred blood,
And the young mother's passionate deep look,
Earth's high similitude of One not earth,

Love and Death
Teach filial heart-beats strong. These are my gifts
For which men praise me, these my glories calm:
But fiercer shafts I can, wild storms blown down
Shaking fixed minds and melting marble natures,
Tears and dumb bitterness and pain unpitied,
Racked thirsting jealousy and kind hearts made stone:
And in undisciplined huge souls I sow
Dire vengeance and impossible cruelties,
Cold lusts that linger and fierce fickleness,
The loves close kin to hate, brute violence
And mad insatiable longings pale,
And passion blind as death and deaf as swords.

O mortal, all deep-souled desires and all
Yearnings immense are mine, so much I can."
So as he spoke, his face grew wonderful
With vast suggestion, his human-seeming limbs
Brightened with a soft splendour: luminous hints
Of the concealed divinity transpired.

But soon with a slight discontented frown:
"So much I can, as even the great Gods learn.

Only with death I wrestle in vain, until
My passionate godhead all becomes a doubt.

Mortal, I am the light in stars, of flowers
The bloom, the nameless fragrance that pervades
Creation: but behind me, older than me,
He comes with night and cold tremendous shade.

Hard is the way to him, most hard to find,
Harder to tread, for perishable feet
Almost impossible. Yet, O fair youth,
If thou must needs go down, and thou art strong
In passion and in constancy, nor easy
The soul to slay that has survived such grief -
Steel then thyself to venture, armed by Love.

Yet listen first what heavy trade they drive
Who would win back their dead to human arms."
So much the God; but swift, with eager eyes
And panting bosom and glorious flushed face,

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The lover: "O great Love! O beautiful Love!
But if by strength is possible, of body
Or mind, battle of spirit or moving speech,
Sweet speech that makes even cruelty grow kind,
Or yearning melody - for I have heard
That when Saruswathi in heaven her harp
Has smitten, the cruel sweetness terrible
Coils taking no denial through the soul,
And tears burst from the hearts of Gods - then I,
Making great music, or with perfect words,
Will strive, or staying him with desperate hands
Match human strength 'gainst formidable Death.

But if with price, ah God! what easier! Tears
Dreadful, innumerable I will absolve,
Or pay with anguish through the centuries,
Soul's agony and torture physical,
So her small hands about my face at last
I feel, close real hair sting me with life,
And palpable breathing bosom on me press."
Then with a lenient smile the mighty God:
"O ignorant fond lover, not with tears
Shalt thou persuade immitigable Death.

He will not pity all thy pangs: nor know
His stony eyes with music to grow kind,
Nor lovely words accepts. And how wilt thou
Wrestle with that grim shadow, who canst not save
One bloom from fading? A sole thing the Gods
Demand from all men living, sacrifice:
Nor without this shall any crown be grasped.

Yet many sacrifices are there, oxen,
And prayers, and Soma wine, and pious flowers,
Blood and the fierce expense of mind, and pure
Incense of perfect actions, perfect thoughts,
Or liberality wide as the sun's,
Or ruthless labour or disastrous tears,
Exile or death or pain more hard than death,
Absence, a desert, from the faces loved;

Love and Death
Even sin may be a sumptuous sacrifice
Acceptable for unholy fruits. But none
Of these the inexorable shadow asks:
Alone of gods Death loves not gifts: he visits
The pure heart as the stained. Lo, the just man
Bowed helpless over his dead, nor all his virtues
Shall quicken that cold bosom: near him the wild
Marred face and passionate and will not leave
Kissing dead lips that shall not chide him more.

Life the pale ghost requires: with half thy life
Thou mayst protract the thread too early cut
Of that delightful spirit - half sweet life.

O Ruru, lo, thy frail precarious days,
And yet how sweet they are! simply to breathe
How warm and sweet! And ordinary things
How exquisite, thou then shalt learn when lost,
How luminous the daylight was, mere sleep
How soft and friendly clasping tired limbs,
And the deliciousness of common food.

And things indifferent thou then shalt want,
Regret rejected beauty, brightnesses
Bestowed in vain. Wilt thou yield up, O lover,
Half thy sweet portion of this light and gladness,
Thy little insufficient share, and vainly
Give to another? She is not thyself:
Thou dost not feel the gladness in her bosom,
Nor with the torture of thy body will she
Throb and cry out: at most with tender looks
And pitiful attempt to feel move near thee,
And weep how far she is from what she loves.

Men live like stars that see each other in heaven,
But one knows not the pleasure and the grief
The others feel: he lonely rapture has,
Or bears his incommunicable pain.

O Ruru, there are many beautiful faces,
But one thyself. Think then how thou shalt mourn
When thou hast shortened joy and feelst at last

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The shadow that thou hadst for such sweet store."
He ceased with a strange doubtful look. But swift
Came back the lover's voice, like passionate rain.

"O idle words! For what is mere sunlight?
Who would live on into extreme old age,
Burden the impatient world, a weary old man,
And look back on a selfish time ill-spent
Exacting out of prodigal great life
Small separate pleasures like an usurer,
And no rich sacrifice and no large act
Finding oneself in others, nor the sweet
Expense of Nature in her passionate gusts
Of love and giving, first of the soul's needs?
Who is so coldly wise, and does not feel
How wasted were our grandiose human days
In prudent personal unshared delights?
Why dost thou mock me, friend of all the stars?
How canst thou be love's god and know not this,
That love burns down the body's barriers cold
And laughs at difference - playing with it merely
To make joy sweeter? O too deeply I know,
The lover is not different from the loved,
Nor is their silence dumb to each other. He
Contains her heart and feels her body in his,
He flushes with her heat, chills with her cold.

And when she dies, oh! when she dies, oh me,
The emptiness, the maim! the life no life,
The sweet and passionate oneness lost! And if
By shortening of great grief won back, O price
Easy! O glad briefness, aeons may envy!
For we shall live not fearing death, nor feel
As others yearning over the loved at night
When the lamp flickers, sudden chills of dread
Terrible; nor at short absence agonise,
Wrestling with mad imagination. Us
Serenely when the darkening shadow comes,
One common sob shall end and soul clasp soul,

Love and Death
Leaving the body in a long dim kiss.

Then in the joys of heaven we shall consort,
Amid the gladness often touching hands
To make bliss sure; or in the ghastly stream
If we must anguish, yet it shall not part
Our passionate limbs inextricably locked
By one strong agony, but we shall feel
Hell's pain half joy through sweet companionship.

God Love, I weary of words. O wing me rather
To her, my eloquent princess of the spring,
In whatsoever wintry shores she roam."
He ceased with eager forward eyes; once more
A light of beauty immortal through the limbs
Gleaming of the boy-god and soft sweet face,
Glorifying him, flushed, and he replied:
"Go then, O thou dear youth, and bear this flower
In thy hand warily. For thou shalt come
To that high meeting of the Ganges pure
With vague and violent Ocean. There arise
And loudly appeal my brother, the wild sea."
He spoke and stretched out his immortal hand,
And Ruru's met it. All his young limbs yearned
With dreadful rapture shuddering through them. He
Felt in his fingers subtle uncertain bloom,
A quivering magnificence, half fire,
Whose petals changed like flame, and from them breathed
Dangerous attraction and alarmed delight,
As at a peril near. He raised his eyes,
But the green place was empty of the God.

Only the faery tree looked up at heaven
Through branches, and with recent pleasure shook.

Then over fading earth the night was lord.

But from Shatudru and Bipasha, streams
Once holy, and loved Iravathi and swift
Clear Chandrabhaga and Bitosta's toil
For man, went Ruru to bright sumptuous lands

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By Aryan fathers not yet paced, but wild,
But virgin to our fruitful human toil,
Where Nature lay reclined in dumb delight
Alone with woodlands and the voiceless hills.

He with the widening yellow Ganges came,
Amazed, to trackless countries where few tribes,
Kirath and Poundrian, warred, worshipping trees
And the great serpent. But robust wild earth,
But forests with their splendid life of beasts
Savage mastered those strong inhabitants.

Thither came Ruru. In a thin soft eve
Ganges spread far her multitudinous waves,
A glimmering restlessness with voices large,
And from the forests of that half-seen bank
A boat came heaving over it, white-winged,
With a sole silent helmsman marble-pale.

Then Ruru by his side stepped in; they went
Down the mysterious river and beheld
The great banks widen out of sight. The world
Was water and the skies to water plunged.

All night with a dim motion gliding down
He felt the dark against his eyelids; felt,
As in a dream more real than daylight,
The helmsman with his dumb and marble face
Near him and moving wideness all around,
And that continual gliding dimly on,
As one who on a shoreless water sails
For ever to a port he shall not win.

But when the darkness paled, he heard a moan
Of mightier waves and had the wide great sense
Of ocean and the depths below our feet.

But the boat stopped; the pilot lifted on him
His marble gaze coeval with the stars.

Then in the white-winged boat the boy arose
And saw around him the vast sea all grey
And heaving in the pallid dawning light.

Loud Ruru cried across the murmur: "Hear me,

Love and Death
O inarticulate grey Ocean, hear.

If any cadence in thy infinite
Rumour was caught from lover's moan, O Sea,
Open thy abysses to my mortal tread.

For I would travel to the despairing shades,
The spheres of suffering where entangled dwell
Souls unreleased and the untimely dead
Who weep remembering. Thither, O, guide me,
No despicable wayfarer, but Ruru,
But son of a great Rishi, from all men
On earth selected for peculiar pangs,
Special disaster. Lo, this petalled fire,
How freshly it blooms and lasts with my great pain!"
He held the flower out subtly glimmering.

And like a living thing the huge sea trembled,
Then rose, calling, and filled the sight with waves,
Converging all its giant crests; towards him
Innumerable waters loomed and heaven
Threatened. Horizon on horizon moved
Dreadfully swift; then with a prone wide sound
All Ocean hollowing drew him swiftly in,
Curving with monstrous menace over him.

He down the gulf where the loud waves collapsed
Descending, saw with floating hair arise
The daughters of the sea in pale green light,
A million mystic breasts suddenly bare,
And came beneath the flood and stunned beheld
A mute stupendous march of waters race
To reach some viewless pit beneath the world.

Ganges he saw, as men predestined rush
Upon a fearful doom foreseen, so run,
Alarmed, with anguished speed, the river vast.

Veiled to his eyes the triple goddess rose.

She with a sound of waters cried to him,
A thousand voices moaning with one pain:
"Lover, who fearedst not sunlight to leave,
With me thou mayst behold that helpless spirit

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Lost in the gloom, if still thy burning bosom
Have courage to endure great Nature's night
In the dire lands where I, a goddess, mourn
Hurting my heart with my own cruelty."
She darkened to the ominous descent,
Unwilling, and her once so human waves
Sent forth a cry not meant for living ears.

And Ruru chilled; but terrible strong love
Was like a fiery finger in his breast
Pointing him on; so he through horror went
Conducted by inexorable sound.

For monstrous voices to his ear were close,
And bodiless terrors with their dimness seized him
In an obscurity phantasmal. Thus
With agony of soul to the grey waste
He came, glad of the pain of passage over,
As men who through the storms of anguish strive
Into abiding tranquil dreariness
And draw sad breath assured; to the grey waste,
Hopeless Patala, the immutable
Country, where neither sun nor rain arrives,
Nor happy labour of the human plough
Fruitfully turns the soil, but in vague sands
And indeterminable strange rocks and caverns
That into silent blackness huge recede,
Dwell the great serpent and his hosts, writhed forms,
Sinuous, abhorred, through many horrible leagues
Coiling in a half darkness. Shapes he saw,
And heard the hiss and knew the lambent light
Loathsome, but passed compelling his strong soul.

At last through those six tired hopeless worlds,
Too hopeless far for grief, pale he arrived
Into a nether air by anguish moved,
And heard before him cries that pierced the heart,
Human, not to be borne, and issued shaken
By the great river accursed. Maddened it ran,
Anguished, importunate, and in its waves

Love and Death
The drifting ghosts their agony endured.

There Ruru saw pale faces float of kings
And grandiose victors and revered high priests
And famous women. Now rose from the wave
A golden shuddering arm and now a face.

Torn piteous sides were seen and breasts that quailed.

Over them moaned the penal waters on,
And had no joy of their fierce cruelty.

Then Ruru, his young cheeks with pity wan,
Half moaned: "O miserable race of men,
With violent and passionate souls you come
Foredoomed upon the earth and live brief days
In fear and anguish, catching at stray beams
Of sunlight, little fragrances of flowers;
Then from your spacious earth in a great horror
Descend into this night, and here too soon
Must expiate your few inadequate joys.

O bargain hard! Death helps us not. He leads
Alarmed, all shivering from his chill embrace,
The naked spirit here. O my sweet flower,
Art thou too whelmed in this fierce wailing flood?
Ah me! But I will haste and deeply plunge
Into its hopeless pools and either bring
Thy old warm beauty back beneath the stars,
Or find thee out and clasp thy tortured bosom
And kiss thy sweet wrung lips and hush thy cries.

Love shall draw half thy pain into my limbs;
Then we shall triumph glad of agony."
He ceased and one replied close by his ear:
"O thou who troublest with thy living eyes
Established death, pass on. She whom thou seekest
Rolls not in the accursed tide. For late
I saw her mid those pale inhabitants
Whom bodily anguish visits not, but thoughts
Sorrowful and dumb memories absolve,
And martyrdom of scourged hearts quivering."
He turned and saw astride the dolorous flood

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A mighty bridge paved with mosaic fire,
All restless, and a woman clothed in flame,
With hands calamitous that held a sword,
Stood of the quaking passage sentinel.

Magnificent and dire her burning face.

"Pass on," she said once more, "O Bhrigu's son;
The flower protects thee from my hands." She stretched
One arm towards him and with violence
Majestic over the horrid arch compelled.

Unhurt, though shaking from her touch, alone
He stood upon an inner bank with strange
Black dreary mosses covered and perceived
A dim and level plain without one flower.

Over it paced a multitude immense
With gentle faces occupied by pain;
Strong men were there and grieving mothers, girls
With early beauty in their limbs and young
Sad children of their childlike faces robbed.

Naked they paced with falling hair and gaze
Drooping upon their bosoms, weak as flowers
That die for want of rain unmurmuring.

Always a silence was upon the place.

But Ruru came among them. Suddenly
One felt him there and looked, and as a wind
Moves over a still field of patient corn,
And the ears stir and shudder and look up
And bend innumerably flowing, so
All those dumb spirits stirred and through them passed
One shuddering motion of raised faces; then
They streamed towards him without sound and caught
With desperate hands his robe or touched his hair
Or strove to feel upon them living breath.

Pale girls and quiet children came and knelt
And with large sorrowful eyes into his looked.

Yet with their silent passion the cold hush
Moved not; but Ruru's human heart half burst
With burden of so many sorrows; tears

Love and Death
Welled from him; he with anguish understood
That terrible and wordless sympathy
Of dead souls for the living. Then he turned
His eyes and scanned their lovely faces strange
For that one face and found it not. He paled,
And spoke vain words into the listless air:
"O spirits once joyous, miserable race,
Happier if the old gladness were forgot!
My soul yearns with your sorrow. Yet ah! reveal
If dwell my love in your sad nation lost.

Well may you know her, O wan beautiful spirits!
But she most beautiful of all that died,
By sweetness recognisable. Her name
The sunshine knew." Speaking his tears made way:
But they with dumb lips only looked at him,
A vague and empty mourning in their eyes.

He murmured low: "Ah, folly! were she here,
Would she not first have felt me, first have raised
Her lids and run to me, leaned back her face
Of silent sorrow on my breast and looked
With the old altered eyes into my own
And striven to make my anguish understand?
Oh joy, had she been here! for though her lips
Of their old excellent music quite were robbed,
Yet her dumb passion would have spoken to me;
We should have understood each other and walked
Silently hand in hand, almost content."
He said and passed through those untimely dead.

Speechless they followed him with clinging eyes.

Then to a solemn building weird he came
With grave colossal pillars round. One dome
Roofed the whole brooding edifice, like cloud,
And at the door strange shapes were pacing, armed.

Then from their fear the sweet and mournful dead
Drew back, returning to their wordless grief.

But Ruru to the perilous doorway strode,
And those disastrous shapes upon him raised

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Their bows and aimed; but he held out Love's flower,
And with stern faces checked they let him pass.

He entered and beheld a silent hall
Dim and unbounded; moving then like one
Who up a dismal stair seeks ever light,
Attained a dais brilliant doubtfully
With flaming pediment and round it coiled
Python and Naga monstrous, Joruthcaru,
Tuxuc and Vasuki himself, immense,
Magic Carcotaca all flecked with fire;
And many other prone destroying shapes
Coiled. On the wondrous dais rose a throne,
And he its pedestal whose lotus hood
With ominous beauty crowns his horrible
Sleek folds, great Mahapudma; high displayed
He bears the throne of Death. There sat supreme
With those compassionate and lethal eyes,
Who many names, who many natures holds;
Yama, the strong pure Hades sad and subtle,
Dharma, who keeps the laws of old untouched,
Critanta, who ends all things and at last
Himself shall end. On either side of him
The four-eyed dogs mysterious rested prone,
Watchful, with huge heads on their paws advanced;
And emanations of the godhead dim
Moved near him, shadowy or serpentine,
Vast Time and cold irreparable Death.

Then Ruru came and bowed before the throne;
And swaying all those figures stirred as shapes
Upon a tapestry moved by the wind,
And the sad voice was heard: "What breathing man
Bows at the throne of Hades? By what force,
Spiritual or communicated, troubles
His living beauty the dead grace of Hell?"
And one replied who seemed a neighbouring voice:
"He has the blood of Gods and Titans old.

An Apsara his mother liquid-orbed

Love and Death
Bore to the youthful Chyavan's strong embrace
This passionate face of earth with Eden touched.

Chyavan was Bhrigu's child, Puloma bore,
The Titaness, - Bhrigu, great Brahma's son.

Love gave the flower that helps by anguish; therefore
He chilled not with the breath of Hades, nor
The cry of the infernal stream made stone."
But at the name of Love all hell was moved.

Death's throne half faded into twilight; hissed
The phantoms serpentine as if in pain,
And the dogs raised their dreadful heads. Then spoke
Yama: "And what needs Love in this pale realm,
The warm great Love? All worlds his breath confounds,
Mars solemn order and old steadfastness.

But not in Hell his legates come and go;
His vernal jurisdiction to bare Hell
Extends not. This last world resists his power
Youthful, anarchic. Here will he enlarge
Tumult and wanton joys?" The voice replied:
"Menaca momentary on the earth,
Heaven's Apsara by the fleeting hours beguiled
Played in the happy hidden glens; there bowed
To yoke of swift terrestrial joys she bore,
Immortal, to that fair Gundhurva king
A mortal blossom of delight. That bloom
Young Ruru found and plucked, but her too soon
Thy fatal hooded snake on earth surprised,
And he through gloom now travels armed by Love."
But then all Hades swaying towards him cried:
"O mortal, O misled! But sacrifice
Is stronger, nor may law of Hell or Heaven
Its fierce effectual action supersede.

Thy dead I yield. Yet thou bethink thee, mortal,
Not as a tedious evil nor to be
Lightly rejected gave the gods old age,
But tranquil, but august, but making easy
The steep ascent to God. Therefore must Time

137

138

Baroda, c. 1898 - 1902

Still batter down the glory and form of youth
And animal magnificent strong ease,
To warn the earthward man that he is spirit
Dallying with transience, nor by death he ends,
Nor to the dumb warm mother's arms is bound,
But called unborn into the unborn skies.

For body fades with the increasing soul
And wideness of its limit grown intolerant
Replaces life's impetuous joys by peace.

Youth, manhood, ripeness, age, four seasons
Twixt its return and pale departing life
Describes, O mortal, - youth that forward bends
Midst hopes, delights and dreamings; manhood deepens
To passions, toils and thoughts profound; but ripeness
For large reflective gathering-up of these,
As on a lonely slope whence men look back
Down towards the cities and the human fields
Where they too worked and laughed and loved; next age,
Wonderful age with those approaching skies.

That boon wilt thou renounce? Wherefore? To bring
For a few years - how miserably few! -
Her sunward who must after all return.

Ah, son of Rishis, cease. Lo, I remit
Hell's grasp, not oft relinquished, and send back
Thy beautiful life unborrowed to the stars.

Or thou must render to the immutable
Total all thy fruit-bearing years; then she
Reblossoms." But the Shadow antagonist:
"Let him be shown the glory he would renounce."
And over the flaming pediment there moved,
As on a frieze a march of sculptures, carved
By Phidias for the Virgin strong and pure,
Most perfect once of all things seen in earth
Or Heaven, in Athens on the Acropolis,
But now dismembered, now disrupt! or as
In Buddhist cavern or Orissan temple,
Large aspirations architectural,

Love and Death
Warrior and dancing-girl, adept and king,
And conquering pomps and daily peaceful groups
Dream delicately on, softening with beauty
Great Bhuvanayshwar, the Almighty's house,
With sculptural suggestion so were limned
Scenes future on a pediment of fire.

There Ruru saw himself divine with age,
A Rishi to whom infinity is close,
Rejoicing in some green song-haunted glade
Or boundless mountain-top where most we feel
Wideness, not by small happy things disturbed.

Around him, as around an ancient tree
Its seedlings, forms august or flame-like rose;
They grew beneath his hands and were his work;
Great kings were there whom time remembers, fertile
Deep minds and poets with their chanting lips
Whose words were seed of vast philosophies -
These worshipped; above this earth's half-day he saw
Amazed the dawn of that mysterious Face
And all the universe in beauty merge.

Mad the boy thrilled upwards, then spent ebbed back.

Over his mind, as birds across the sky
Sweep and are gone, the vision of those fields
And drooping faces came; almost he heard
The burdened river with human anguish wail.

Then with a sudden fury gathering
His soul he hurled out of it half its life,
And fell, like lightning, prone. Triumphant rose
The Shadow chill and deepened giant night.

Only the dais flickered in the gloom,
And those snake-eyes of cruel fire subdued.

But suddenly a bloom, a fragrance. Hell
Shuddered with bliss: resentful, overborne,
The world-besetting Terror faded back
Like one grown weak by desperate victory,
And a voice cried in Ruru's tired soul:
"Arise! the strife is over, easy now

139

140

Baroda, c. 1898 - 1902

The horror that thou hast to face, the burden
Now shared." And with a sudden burst like spring
Life woke in the strong lover over-tried.

He rose and left dim Death. Twelve times he crossed
Boithorini, the river dolorous,
Twelve times resisted Hell and, hurried down
Into the ominous pit where plunges black
The vast stream thundering, saw, led puissantly
From night to unimaginable night, -
As men oppressed in dreams, who cannot wake,
But measure penal visions, - punishments
Whose sight pollutes, unheard-of tortures, pangs
Monstrous, intolerable mute agonies,
Twisted unmoving attitudes of pain,
Like thoughts inhuman in statuary. A fierce
And iron voicelessness had grasped those worlds.

No horror of cries expressed their endless woe,
No saving struggle, no breathings of the soul.

And in the last hell irremediable
Where Ganges clots into that fatal pool,
Appalled he saw her; pallid, listless, bare -
O other than that earthly warmth and grace
In which the happy roses deepened and dimmed
With come-and-go of swift enamoured blood!
Dumb drooped she; round her shapes of anger armed
Stood dark like thunder-clouds. But Ruru sprang
Upon them, burning with the admitted God.

They from his touch like ineffectual fears
Vanished; then sole with her, trembling he cried
The old glad name and crying bent to her
And touched, and at the touch the silent knots
Of Hell were broken and its sombre dream
Of dreadful stately pains at once dispersed.

Then as from one whom a surpassing joy
Has conquered, all the bright surrounding world
Streams swiftly into distance, and he feels
His daily senses slipping from his grasp,

Love and Death
So that unbearable enormous world
Went rolling mighty shades, like the wet mist
From men on mountain-tops; and sleep outstretched
Rising its soft arms towards him and his thoughts,
As on a bed, sank to ascending void.

But when he woke, he heard the kol insist
On sweetness and the voice of happy things
Content with sunlight. The warm sense was round him
Of old essential earth, known hues and custom
Familiar tranquillising body and mind,
As in its natural wave a lotus feels.

He looked and saw all grass and dense green trees,
And sunshine and a single grasshopper
Near him repeated fierily its note.

Thrilling he felt beneath his bosom her;
Oh, warm and breathing were those rescued limbs
Against the greenness, vivid, palpable, white,
With great black hair and real and her cheek's
Old softness and her mouth a dewy rose.

For many moments comforting his soul
With all her jasmine body sun-ensnared
He fed his longing eyes and, half in doubt,
With touches satisfied himself of her.

Hesitating he kissed her eyelids. Sighing
With a slight sob she woke and earthly large
Her eyes looked upward into his. She stretched
Her arms up, yearning, and their souls embraced;
Then twixt brief sobbing laughter and blissful tears,
Clinging with all her limbs to him, "O love,
The green green world! the warm sunlight!" and ceased,
Finding no words; but the earth breathed round them,
Glad of her children, and the kol's voice
Persisted in the morning of the world.
141

A NOTE ON LOVE AND DEATH
The story of Ruru and Pramadvura - I have substituted a name more manageable to the English tongue - her death in the forest by the snake and restoration at the price of half her husband's life is told in the Mahabharata. It is a companion legend to the story of Savitri but not being told with any poetic skill or beauty has remained generally unknown. I have attempted in this poem to bring it out of its obscurity. For full success, however, it should have had a more faithfully Hindu colouring, but it was written a score of years ago when I had not penetrated to the heart of the Indian idea and its traditions, and the shadow of the Greek underworld and Tartarus with the sentiment of life and love and death which hangs about them has got into the legendary framework of the Indian Patala and hells. The central idea of the narrative alone is in the Mahabharata; the meeting with
Kama and the descent into Hell were additions necessitated by the poverty of incident in the original story.

~ Sri Aurobindo, - Love and Death
,
491:BOOK THE FOURTH

The Story of Alcithoe and her Sisters

Yet still Alcithoe perverse remains,
And Bacchus still, and all his rites, disdains.
Too rash, and madly bold, she bids him prove
Himself a God, nor owns the son of Jove.
Her sisters too unanimous agree,
Faithful associates in impiety.
Be this a solemn feast, the priest had said;
Be, with each mistress, unemploy'd each maid.
With skins of beasts your tender limbs enclose,
And with an ivy-crown adorn your brows,
The leafy Thyrsus high in triumph bear,
And give your locks to wanton in the air.

These rites profan'd, the holy seer foreshow'd
A mourning people, and a vengeful God.

Matrons and pious wives obedience show,
Distaffs, and wooll, half spun, away they throw:
Then incense burn, and, Bacchus, thee adore,
Or lov'st thou Nyseus, or Lyaeus more?
O! doubly got, O! doubly born, they sung,
Thou mighty Bromius, hail, from light'ning sprung!
Hail, Thyon, Eleleus! each name is thine:
Or, listen parent of the genial vine!
Iachus! Evan! loudly they repeat,
And not one Grecian attri bute forget,
Which to thy praise, great Deity, belong,
Stil'd justly Liber in the Roman song.
Eternity of youth is thine! enjoy
Years roul'd on years, yet still a blooming boy.
In Heav'n thou shin'st with a superior grace;
Conceal thy horns, and 'tis a virgin's face.
Thou taught'st the tawny Indian to obey,
And Ganges, smoothly flowing, own'd thy sway.
Lycurgus, Pentheus, equally profane,
By thy just vengeance equally were slain.
By thee the Tuscans, who conspir'd to keep
Thee captive, plung'd, and cut with finns the deep.
With painted reins, all-glitt'ring from afar,
The spotted lynxes proudly draw thy car.
Around, the Bacchae, and the satyrs throng;
Behind, Silenus, drunk, lags slow along:
On his dull ass he nods from side to side,
Forbears to fall, yet half forgets to ride.
Still at thy near approach, applauses loud
Are heard, with yellings of the female crowd.
Timbrels, and boxen pipes, with mingled cries,
Swell up in sounds confus'd, and rend the skies.
Come, Bacchus, come propitious, all implore,
And act thy sacred orgies o'er and o'er.

But Mineus' daughters, while these rites were pay'd,
At home, impertinently busie, stay'd.
Their wicked tasks they ply with various art,
And thro' the loom the sliding shuttle dart;
Or at the fire to comb the wooll they stand,
Or twirl the spindle with a dext'rous hand.
Guilty themselves, they force the guiltless in;
Their maids, who share the labour, share the sin.
At last one sister cries, who nimbly knew
To draw nice threads, and winde the finest