Aug 142012
 

That they should have knowledge of the languages, books, affairs, of those that lie at such a distance from them, it was a thing we could not tell what to make of; for that it seemed to us a condition and propriety of divine powers and beings, to be hidden and unseen to others, and yet to have others open, and as in a light to them.

At this speech the Governor gave a gracious smile and said that we did well to ask pardon for this question we now asked, for that it imported, as if we thought this land a land of magicians, that sent forth spirits of the air into all parts, to bring them news and intelligence of other countries. It was answered by us all, in all possible humbleness, but yet with a countenance taking knowledge, that we knew he spoke it but merrily; that we were apt enough to think that there was somewhat supernatural in this island, but yet rather angelical than magical.

Francis Bacon, New Atlantis

Mar 022011
 

The firmament was now flooded with moonlight, as if the moon’s orb, which had not yet risen far, was, like the waterpipe of the temple of the universe, discharging a thousand streams of the heavenly Ganges, pouring forth the waves of an ambrosial ocean, shedding many a cascade of sandal-juice, and bearing floods of nectar; the world seemed to learn what life was in the White Continent, and the pleasures of seeing the land of Soma;

the round earth was being poured out from the deptbs of a Milky Ocean by the moon, which was like the rounded tusk of the Great jioar; the moonrise offerings were being presented in every house by the women with sandal-water fragrant with open lotuses; the highways were crowded with thousands of women-messengers sent by fair ladies; girls going to meet their lovers ran hither and thither, veiled in blue silk and fluttered by the dread of the bright moonlight as if they were the nymphs of the white day lotus groves concealed in the splendours of the blue lotuses;

the sky became an alluvial island in the river of night, with its centre whitened by tlie thick pollen of the groves of open night lotuses ; while the night lotus-beds in the house-tanks were waking, encircled by bees which clung to every blossom; the world of mortals was, like the ocean, unable to contain the joy of moonrise, and seemed made of love, of festivity, of mirth, and of tenderness : evening was pleasant with the murmur of peacocks garrulous in gladness at the cascade that fell from the waterpipes of moonstone.

*

Destiny is strong. We cannot even draw a breath at our own will. The freaks of that accursed and most harsh destiny are exceeding cruel. A love fair in its sincerity is not allowed long to endure; for joys are wont to be in their essence frail and unlasting, while sorrows by their nature are long-lived. For how hardly are mortals united in one life, while in a thousand lives they are separated. Thou canst not surely then blame thyself, all undeserving of blame. For these things often happen to those who enter the tangled path of Harivaipia, and it is the brave who conquer misfortune

“This evil Love,’ thought he, “has a power hard alike to cure and to endure. For even great men, when overcome by him, regard not the course of time, but suddenly lose all courage and surrender life. Yet all hail to Love, whose rule is honoured throughout the three worlds!’ And again he asked her: “She that was thy handmaiden, thy friend in the resolve to dwell in the woods, and the sharer of the ascetic vow taken in thy sorrow — Taralika, where is she?’

Kadambari, Bana

Jun 142010
 

When we landed, we fell to extolling these master touches of the Creator’s hand, for, indeed, the place was, at it were, born of fragrant musk – so fresh and beautiful and full of all delights not made by man.

Selecting a rare spot on the bank of a stream, I sat apart, meditating upon the wonderful works of the Omnipotent One. There the soft zephyrs singing in the trees, and the stream murmuring at my feet, lulled me to slumber; and when I awoke later, I looked forth upon the sea and lo, the ship was far out on the wall of the ocean sloping to the sky.

They had forgotten me and I was left alone upon the island.

The Second Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor, The Arabian Nights