Sunday, June 8, 2014


Prospero giving his final oration - The Tempest

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, 
As I foretold you, were all spirits and 
Are melted into air, into thin air: 
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, 
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, 
The solemn temples, the great globe itself, 
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve 
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, 
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff 
As dreams are made on, and our little life 
Is rounded with a sleep.

Shakespeare - Prospero, The Tempest

16 comments:

  1. Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.

    -Jorge Luis Borges

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  2. ___ The Garden of Proserpine ___

    Here, where the world is quiet;
    Here, where all trouble seems
    Dead winds' and spent waves' riot
    In doubtful dreams of dreams;
    I watch the green field growing
    For reaping folk and sowing,
    For harvest-time and mowing,
    A sleepy world of streams.


    I am tired of tears and laughter,
    And men that laugh and weep;
    Of what may come hereafter
    For men that sow to reap:
    I am weary of days and hours,
    Blown buds of barren flowers,
    Desires and dreams and powers
    And everything but sleep.


    Here life has death for neighbour,
    And far from eye or ear
    Wan waves and wet winds labour,
    Weak ships and spirits steer;
    They drive adrift, and whither
    They wot not who make thither;
    But no such winds blow hither,
    And no such things grow here.

    No growth of moor or coppice,
    No heather-flower or vine,
    But bloomless buds of poppies,
    Green grapes of Proserpine,
    Pale beds of blowing rushes
    Where no leaf blooms or blushes
    Save this whereout she crushes
    For dead men deadly wine.

    Pale, without name or number,
    In fruitless fields of corn,
    They bow themselves and slumber
    All night till light is born;
    And like a soul belated,
    In hell and heaven unmated,
    By cloud and mist abated
    Comes out of darkness morn.

    Though one were strong as seven,
    He too with death shall dwell,
    Nor wake with wings in heaven,
    Nor weep for pains in hell;
    Though one were fair as roses,
    His beauty clouds and closes;
    And well though love reposes,
    In the end it is not well.

    Pale, beyond porch and portal,
    Crowned with calm leaves, she stands
    Who gathers all things mortal
    With cold immortal hands;
    Her languid lips are sweeter
    Than love's who fears to greet her
    To men that mix and meet her
    From many times and lands.

    She waits for each and other,
    She waits for all men born;
    Forgets the earth her mother,
    The life of fruits and corn;
    And spring and seed and swallow
    Take wing for her and follow
    Where summer song rings hollow
    And flowers are put to scorn.

    There go the loves that wither,
    The old loves with wearier wings;
    And all dead years draw thither,
    And all disastrous things;
    Dead dreams of days forsaken,
    Blind buds that snows have shaken,
    Wild leaves that winds have taken,
    Red strays of ruined springs.


    We are not sure of sorrow,
    And joy was never sure;
    To-day will die to-morrow;
    Time stoops to no man's lure;
    And love, grown faint and fretful,
    With lips but half regretful
    Sighs, and with eyes forgetful
    Weeps that no loves endure.

    From too much love of living,
    From hope and fear set free,
    We thank with brief thanksgiving
    Whatever gods may be
    That no life lives for ever;
    That dead men rise up never;
    That even the weariest river
    Winds somewhere safe to sea.

    Then star nor sun shall waken,
    Nor any change of light:
    Nor sound of waters shaken,
    Nor any sound or sight:
    Nor wintry leaves nor vernal,
    Nor days nor things diurnal;
    Only the sleep eternal
    In an eternal night.


    ~ Algernon Charles Swinburne

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  3. ____________ On His Blindness ____________

    When I consider how my light is spent
    E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
    And that one Talent which is death to hide,
    Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent

    To serve therewith my Maker, and present
    My true account, least he returning chide,
    Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,
    I fondly ask; But patience to prevent

    That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
    Either man's work or his own gifts, who best
    Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State

    Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
    And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
    They also serve who only stand and waite.


    ~ John Milton (1608–1674)

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  4. Thanks for those. Now I return to the Dasein of my existence, for my unmowed lawn awaits!

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  5. '..and our little life is rounded with a sleep.' So that's where Mark Twain got his idea-
    “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” :)

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  6. Indeed BB Idaho, thanks for bringing a :-) to an otherwise dreary northeast day.

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  7. Someone ought to have informed MT ----- and all the rest if us, indeed everything animate and inanimate ----- that he always has, and always will exist. All is composed of the elements.

    The elements are to physical existence as the alphabet(s) are to literature, the notes of the ancient modes, the diatonic scale(s), the twelve tones of the chromatic scale are to Music, and the primary colors are to painting, etc.

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  8. NOUS aimerons beaucoup votre "bon mot," Monsieur Thersites. Merci milles fois, et Dieu vous benisse!

    ~ Légion des filles et fils du Penseur Libertarien };-)>

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  9. The heart asks pleasure first,
    And then, excuse from pain;
    And then, those little anodynes
    That deaden suffering;

    And then, to go to sleep ––
    And then, if it should be
    The will of its Inquisitor ––
    The liberty to die.


    ED

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  10. The Soul selects her own Society —
    Then — shuts the Door —
    To her divine Majority —
    Present no more —

    Unmoved — she notes the Chariots — pausing —
    At her low Gate —
    Unmoved — an Emperor be kneeling
    Upon her Mat —

    I’ve known her — from an ample nation —
    Choose One —
    Then — close the Valves of her attention —
    Like Stone —


    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

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  11. The grave my little cottage is,
    Where, keeping house for thee,
    I make my parlor orderly,
    And lay the marble tea,

    For two divided, briefly,
    A cycle, it may be,
    Till everlasting life unite
    In strong society.


    ED

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  12. Safe in their Alabaster Chambers —
    Untouched by Morning
    And untouched by Noon —
    Sleep the meek Members of the Resurrection —
    Rafter of Satin,
    And Roof of Stone.

    Light laughs the Breeze
    In her Castle of Sunshine —
    Babbles the Bee in a Stolid Ear,
    Pipe the Sweet Birds in Ignorant Scadence —
    Ah, what Sagacity perished here!


    Grand go the Years —
    In the Crescent — above them —
    Worlds scoop their Arcs—
    And Firmaments row —
    Diadems drop — and Doges surrender —
    Soundless as dots — on a Disc of Snow —


    ED

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  13. I'm nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?
    Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
    They'd banish -- you know!

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public like a frog
    To tell one's name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!


    ~ "Nobody" (1830-1886)

    ReplyDelete

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