Aug 142018
 

All were attentive to the godlike man,

When from his lofty couch he thus began:

Meantime the rapid heav’ns roll’d down the light,

And on the shaded ocean rush’d the night;

But anxious cares already seiz’d the queen:
She fed within her veins a flame unseen;
The hero’s valour, acts, and birth inspire
Her soul with love, and fan the secret fire.
His words, his looks, imprinted in her heart:

“He who had my vows shall ever have;
For, whom I lov’d on earth, I worship in the grave”

“O dearer than the vital air I breathe,
Will you to grief your blooming years bequeath

Think you these tears, this pompous train of woe,
Are known or valued by the ghosts below?”

still the fatal dart sticks in her side, and rankles in her heart.

He tells it o’er and o’er; but still in vain,
For still she begs to hear it once again.
The hearer on the speaker’s mouth depends,
And thus the tragic story never ends.

Himself, meantime, the softest hours would choose,
Before the love-sick lady heard the news;
And move her tender mind, by slow degrees,
To suffer what the sov’reign pow’r decrees:

is the death of a despairing queen
Not worth preventing, tho’ too well foreseen?

“See whom you fly! am I the foe you shun?
Now, by those holy vows, so late begun,
By this right hand, (since I have nothing more
To challenge, but the faith you gave before;)

For you alone I suffer in my fame,
Bereft of honour, and expos’d to shame.

Justice is fled, and Truth is now no more!
I sav’d the shipwreck’d exile on my shore;
With needful food his hungry Trojans fed;
I took the traitor to my throne and bed:
Fool that I was—— ’tis little to repeat
The rest, I stor’d and rigg’d his ruin’d fleet”.

All-pow’rful Love! what changes canst thou cause
In human hearts, subjected to thy laws!
Once more her haughty soul the tyrant bends:
To pray’rs and mean submissions she descends.
No female arts or aids she left untried,
Nor counsels unexplor’d, before she died.

“A short delay is all I ask him now;
A pause of grief, an interval from woe,
Till my soft soul be temper’d to sustain
Accustom’d sorrows, and inur’d to pain”.

Nor sleep nor ease the furious queen can find;
Sleep fled her eyes, as quiet fled her mind.
Despair, and rage, and love divide her heart;
Despair and rage had some, but love the greater part.

Thus Hermes in the dream; then took his flight
Aloft in air unseen, and mix’d with night.

Downward the various goddess took her flight,
And drew a thousand colours from the light;
Then stood above the dying lover’s head,
And said: “I thus devote thee to the dead.
This off’ring to th’ infernal gods I bear.”
Thus while she spoke, she cut the fatal hair:
The struggling soul was loos’d, and life dissolv’d in air.

Virgil, from The Aeneid, Book IV

 

May 232018
 

Now let me have
Full of the dark light
A scented glass
So that I rest; for sleep
Would be sweet among shades.
It is not good
To have our souls
Emptied by mortal thinking. But talk
Is good, with one another, and to speak
The heart’s opinion and to hear
Abundantly of days of love
And deeds that have happened.

Friedrich Holderlin, Remembrance

Jan 032016
 

0014s_0004_TreeOfLife_BlackNiteSkyOn a day when He and I were alone walking in a field, we were both hungry, and we came to a wild apple tree.

There were only two apples hanging on the bough.

And He held the trunk of the tree with His arm and shook it, and the two apples fell down.

He picked them both up and gave one to me. The other He held in His hand. In my hunger I ate the apple, and I ate it fast.

Then I looked at Him and I saw that He still held the other apple in His hand.

And He gave it to me saying, “Eat this also.” And I took the apple, and in my shameless hunger I ate it.

And as we walked on I looked upon His face.

But how shall I tell you of what I saw?

 

A night where candles burn in space,

A dream beyond our reaching;

A noon where all shepherds are at peace and happy that their flocks are grazing;

An eventide, and a stillness, and a home-coming;

Then a sleep and a dream.

All these things I saw in His face.

He had given me the two apples. And I knew He was hungry even as I was hungry.

But I now know that in giving them to me He had been satisfied. He Himself ate of other fruit from another tree.

I would tell you more of Him, but how shall I?

When love becomes vast love becomes wordless.

And when memory is overladen it seeks the silent deep.

Kahlil Gibran, John at Patmos

Jan 032016
 

orpheusOrpheus – such was the suffering of separation from the soul of his deceased love that it became magic, magic surpassing the river of sleep, forgetfulness and death which separates the dead from the living.

Orpheus is present always and everywhere where the love of a soul torn away by death is not content with pious and resigned commemoration, but aspires to find and meet the departed one beyond the threshold of death.

Such was Orpheus’ love for Eurydice and such, also, was Gilgamesh’s love for his friend and brother Eabani. And who can say how many human hearts have beaten, beat today, and will beat in the future, in union with that of Orpehus and that of Gilgamesh, the Babylonian hero?

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XXI, The Fool