Experience has taught me that imponderables are all-important; when science declares that it can concern itself only with that which can be measured, it classes itself with the child that counts on its fingers and brands Shakespeare and Shelley as Charlatans.
A lovely lady garmented in light
From her own beauty—deep her eyes, as are
Two openings of unfathomable night
Seen through a Temple’s cloven roof—her hair
Dark–the dim brain whirls dizzy with delight.
Picturing her form; her soft smiles shone afar,
And her low voice was heard like love, and drew
All living things towards this wonder new.
Une ravisante demoiselle portant des guirlandes lumineuses
faites de ses propres beautés, ses yeux sans fond, comme le sont
les espaces ouverts d’une clarté sans censure, la nuit obscure,
ce qu’on voit entre les toitures de trèfle d’un Temple, sa chevelure
obscure, le fade cerveau divague en transe d’une moue mielleuse.
Je peins sa forme; sa douce bouche souriante qui va briller loin,
et sa voix tempérée que j’entendais comme l’amour, et je dessine
toutes les formes qui vivent par sa découverte d’étude et de vierge.
And first the spotted cameleopard came,
And then the wise and fearless elephant;
Then the sly serpent, in the golden flame
Of his own volumes intervolved;—all gaunt
And sanguine beasts her gentle looks made tame.
They drank before her at her sacred fount;
And every beast of beating heart grew bold,
Such gentleness and power even to behold.
Et d’abord est venue, léopard sali, chameau prolongé, la première,
la girafe, puis l’éléphant, qui n’a pas peur parce qu’il est sage;
ensuite le perfide ophidien, dans la flamme de fougère
de ses propres volumes enveloppée; toutes sauvages
et sanguines espèces, vineuses, domptées par prière
de ses regards davantage gentils dans l’ivresse et le rivage;
et chaque animal, à la source pulsante du coeur,
ajusta au pouvoir de la beauté chacune de ses moeurs.”
The deep recesses of her odorous dwelling
Were stored with magic treasures–sounds of air,
Which had the power all spirits of compelling,
Folded in cells of crystal silence there;
Such as we hear in youth, and think the feeling
Will never die–yet ere we are aware,
The feeling and the sound are fled and gone,
And the regret they leave remains alone.
Les niches profondes de sa demeure odorante
Etaient parées avec de magiques trésors – les sons de l’air,
Qui avaient le pouvoir de troubler tous esprits,
Se trouvent ici sous capsule dans le silence du lieu;
Comme on entend quand on est jeune, et pense et sent
Qu’il y aurait pas Mort – ainsi nous sommes avertis,
Et le senti et le son tous deux s’envolent et s’en vont,
Et le regret présent demeure sujet de solitude.
And there lay Visions swift, and sweet, and quaint,
Each in its thin sheath, like a chrysalis,
Some eager to burst forth, some weak and faint
With the soft burthen of intensest bliss.
It was its work to bear to many a saint
Whose heart adores the shrine which holiest is,
Even Love’s:–and others white, green, gray, and black,
And of all shapes–and each was at her beck.
Là-bas gisent les Visions agiles, et douces et raffinées,
chacune dans sa fine couverture, comme une chrysalide,
Les Unes impatientes d’exploser, les Autres faibles et fanées
Par la légère charge de la jouissance la plus intense.
C’était son travail de recevoir à plus d’un saint homme
Dont le coeur adore la splendeur qui est la plus sacré,
Même celle de l’Amour : et d’autres sont blancs, verts, gris, et noirs,
Et de toutes les formes – et chacun était à son souhait.
“I think too that as he knelt before an altar, where a thin flame burnt in a lamp made of green agate, a single vision would have come to him again and again, a vision of a boat drifting down a broad river between high hills where there were caves and towers, and following the light of one Star; and that voices would have told him how there is for every man some one scene, some one adventure, some one picture that is the image of his secret life, for wisdom first speaks in images, and that this one image, if he would but brood over it his life long, would lead his soul, disentangled from unmeaning circumstance and the ebb and flow of the world, into that far household, where the undying gods await all whose souls have become simple as flame, whose bodies have become quiet as an agate lamp.” [via]
“In ancient times, it seems to me that Blake, who for all his protest was glad to be alive, and ever spoke of his gladness, would have worshipped in some chapel of the Sun, and that Keats, who accepted life gladly though ‘with a delicious diligent indolence,’ would have worshipped in some chapel of the Moon, but that Shelley, who hated life because he sought ‘more in life than any understood,’ would have wandered, lost in a ceaseless reverie, in some chapel of the Star of infinite desire.” [via]
“The Sun is the symbol of sensitive life, and of belief and joy and pride and energy, of indeed the whole life of the will, and of that beauty which neither lures from far off, nor becomes beautiful in giving itself, but makes all glad because it is beauty.” [via]
“Some old magical writer, I forget who, says if you wish to be melancholy hold in your left hand an image of the Moon made out of silver, and if you wish to be happy hold in your right hand an image of the Sun made out of gold.” [via]
“When he describes the Moon as part of some beautiful scene he can call her beautiful, but when he personifies, when his words come under the influence of that great memory or of some mysterious tide in the depth of our being, he grows unfriendly or not truly friendly or at the most pitiful.” [via]