Elections are of such futile import it is best to ignore the sad results of the febrile combination of the illusions of a travelling show and a horserace, yet in this case the white smoke will pronounce Pope Donald the Golden, a man of such imperious awfulness that only a couple of reasons should give him the grass crown: he is not Hillary; and the establishment of dunces, including the ludicrous mass media who were so firmly in the bag for this scoundrel’s unbearable opponent, will hopefully implode in shock and awe.
For the rest of us, it not being a mushroom cloud, as would announce Hillary, must needs suffice.
Chesterton was pretty much a scoundrel himself, starting off as a foul republican, and with his cloying devotion to Rome ( and anti-Germanic French rascality ) which today is served by the most nuttily devout Catholic blogs; but he was a great poet, and still greater romantic. And to his death he moved, as did Shaw, somewhat nearer the truth of Royalism: had all these old chaps of that generation lived another 100 years, they might have approached the throne of Legitimatism they had rejected so vehemently in press and print their whole lives.
“Out of the mouth of the Mother of God, More than the doors of doom, I call the muster of Wessex men From grassy hamlet or ditch or den, To break and be broken, God knows when, But I have seen for whom.
“Out of the mouth of the Mother of God Like a little word come I; For I go gathering Christian men From sunken paving and ford and fen, To die in a battle, God knows when, By God, but I know why.
“And this is the word of Mary, The word of the world’s desire ‘No more of comfort shall ye get, Save that the sky grows darker yet And the sea rises higher.’”
Gilbert Keith Chesterton : The Ballad of the White Horse
Gensokyo’s Braes are bonnie, where early fa’s the dew And it’s there that Inubashiri Momiji gied me her promise true Gied me her promise true, which né’er forgot shall be And for bonnie Inubashiri Momiji I would lay me doun and dee.
And superstitious dread came to the unsuperstitious Soames; he turned his eyes away lest he should stare the little house into real unreality. He walked on, past the barracks to the Park rails, still moving west, afraid of turning homewards till he was tired out. Past four o'clock, and still an empty town, empty of all that made it a living hive, and yet this very emptiness gave it intense meaning. He felt that he would always remember a town so different from that he saw every day; and himself he would remember --- walking thus, unseen and solitary with his desire.
He went past Prince's Gate and turned. After all he had his work --- ten-thirty at the office ! Road and Park and houses stared at him now in the full light of earliest morning. He turned from them into the Park and crossed to the Row side. Funny to see the Row with no horses tearing up and down, or trapesing past like cats on hot bricks, no stream of carriages, no rows of sitting people, nothing but trees and the tan track. The trees and grass, though no dew had fallen, breathed on him; and he stretched himself at full length along a bench, his hands behind his head, his hat crushed on his chest, his eyes fixed on the leaves patterned against the still brightening sky. The air stole faint and fresh about his cheeks and lips, and the backs of his hands. The first sunlight came stealing flat from trunk to trunk, birds did not sing but talked, a wood pigeon back among the trees was cooing. Soames closed his eyes, and instantly imagination began to paint, for the eyes deep down within him, pictures of her. Picture of her --- standing passive in her frock flounced to the gleaming floor, while he wrote his initials on her card. Picture of her adjusting with long gloved fingers a camellia come loose in her corsage; turning for him to put her cloak on --- pictures, countless pictures, and ever strange, of her face sparkling for moments, or brooding, or averse; of her cheek inclined for his kiss, of her lips turned from his lips, of her eyes looking at him with a question that seemed to have no answer; of her eyes, dark and soft over a grey cat purring in her arms; picture of her auburn hair flowing as he had not seen it yet. Ah ! but soon --- but soon ! And as if answering the call of his imagination a cry --- long, not shrill, not harsh exactly, but so poignant --- jerked the blood to his heart. From back over there it came trailing, again and again, passionate --- the lost soul's cry of peacock in early morning; and with it there uprose from the spaces of his inner being the vision that was for ever haunting there, of her with hair unbound, of her all white and lost, yielding to his arms. It seared him with delight, swooned in him, and was gone. He opened his eyes; an early water-cart was nearing down the Row.
Soames rose and walking fast beneath the trees sought sanity.
John Galsworthy : Cry of Peacock, 1883 from On Forsyte 'Change
I am always stupified by an aspect of militant atheism never remarked upon: these curious little chaps so outraged and so angry at a non-existent God they devote time to refuting Him and belief in Him --- for time is the one thing they cannot afford.
Let us suppose that God does not Exist. OK then, if not thrown by eventual nothingness --- which on the contrary they gleefully embrace --- there's very little to be said; and certainly nothing of eternal value: however one may as well live one's life out as pleasantly as possible according to one's own choices. It is tough to spend half of that time labouring at a job one detests, yet this too is not a problem for them, since they enjoy whatever weird stuff they do --- such as being a professor or economist; but time runs out no matter how one uses it. If mentally unstable they may substitute Humanity as their ersatz-religion of choice, chosen solely because they happen to be human, and insist on working for and lecturing to humanity, ( and if so inclined, working for the eradication of social elements opposed to their own social philosophy of choice for the betterment of all mankind [ except those elements eradicated ] ) despite the fact that all of humanity is destined for nothingness just as much as they when time runs out. And that nothing will be left of them, their acts and thoughts, nor those of any other, when time runs out.
So let us suppose one of these: he is say, 40, that gives him roughly 40 more years of existence until he is extinguished to the point that he will never know he was extinguished or was ever alive. Not to mention that the memory of him will be as vanished as most in 10,000 years. Allowing two-thirds of time for eating, sleeping, working, worrying about money or worrying about social stability etc., that leaves 13 years of possible enjoyment. Instead he uses up this time on earth self-righteously persuading others that they will go into nothingness and unimportance with no salvation, and arguing about a deity in whom he does not believe. All the time the clock clicks to his termination and his remaining time runs out, as in a death cell. This has to be a definition of insanity: to spend the sole amount of time you will ever have, not even in anger at not going on to an afterlife, but railing against a God one thinks non-existent, hating the idea that others believe they go on, and mocking those whose faith is sure.
Karl Marx was one such, and despite his seminal work as a social philosopher and economist, all for an aim he believed he could never be conscious to see and which would end in nothingness itself, was largely inspired by early nineteenth century romantic rebellion against the God he didn't believe Existed, and Whom rationally he should not have cared about in the least, as a magnificent essay by Murray N. Rothbard I have referenced elsewhere makes clear.
Here are lyrics to Mother Nothingness ( The Triumph Of Ubbo Sathla ) from The Vision Bleak, and some of Marx's poetry from that essay: try and guess first...
Worlds I would destroy forever, Since I can create no world; Since my call they notice never
I shall build my throne high overhead, Cold, tremendous shall its summit be. For its bulwark –-- superstitious dread. For its marshal –-- blackest agony.
I shall howl gigantic curses on mankind. Ha ! Eternity ! She is an eternal grief. Ourselves being clockwork, blindly mechanical, Made to be foul-calendars of Time and Space, Having no purpose save to happen, to be ruined, So that there shall be something to ruin If there is a Something which devours, I'll leap within it, though I bring the world to ruins --– The world which bulks between me and the Abyss I will smash to pieces with my enduring curses. I'll throw my arms around its harsh reality: Embracing me, the world will dumbly pass away, And then sink down to utter nothingness, Perished, with no existence – that would be really living !
In the steaming morass Of a newborn earth Lies the formless mass Which to all gave birth
In a sea of sludge Of immense extend Lies the thoughtless mass Which is source and end
We all must follow Into her void To her fetid womb We all return
Her voiceless howl Resounds through time From primal mud And fenses foul
A limbless thing Mindless and coarse This wretches guise Is end and source
We all must follow Into her void To her fetid womb We all return
Fall through the aeons Onward to the earth in it's prime Fall through the aeons Becoming the spawn Of the great old slime
…the leaden world holds us fast And we are chained, shattered, empty, frightened, Eternally chained to this marble block of Being, … and we – We are the apes of a cold God.
THY rest was deep at the slumberer's hour If thou didst not hear the blast Of the savage horn, from the mountain-tower, As the Wild Night-Huntsman pass'd, And the roar of the stormy chase went by, Through the dark unquiet sky !
The stag sprung up from his mossy bed When he caught the piercing sounds, And the oak-boughs crash'd to his antler'd head As he flew from the viewless hounds; And the falcon soar'd from her craggy height, Away through the rushing night !
The banner shook on its ancient hold, And the pine in its desert-place, As the cloud and tempest onward roll'd With the din of the trampling race; And the glens were fill'd with the laugh and shout, And the bugle, ringing out !
From the chieftain's hand the wine-cup fell, At the castle's festive board, And a sudden pause came o'er the swell Of the harp's triumphal chord; And the Minnesinger's thrilling lay In the hall died fast away.
The convent's chanted rite was stay'd, And the hermit dropp'd his beads, And a trembling ran through the forest-shade, At the neigh of the phantom steeds, And the church-bells peal'd to the rocking blast As the Wild Night-Huntsman pass'd.
The storm hath swept with the chase away, There is stillness in the sky, But the mother looks on her son to-day, With a troubled heart and eye, And the maiden's brow hath a shade of care Midst the gleam of her golden hair !
The Rhine flows bright, but its waves ere long Must hear a voice of war, And a clash of spears our hills among, And a trumpet from afar; And the brave on a bloody turf must lie, For the Huntsman hath gone by !
Felicia Hemans : The Wild Huntsman
It is a popular belief in the Odenwald, that the passing of the Wild Huntsman announces the approach of war. He is supposed to issue with his train from the ruined castle of Rodenstein, and traverse the air to the opposite castle of Schnellerts. It is confidently asserted that the sound of his phantom horses and hounds was heard by the Duke of Baden before the commencement of the last war in Germany.
Here by the moorway you returned, And saw the borough lights ahead That lit your face — all undiscerned To be in a week the face of the dead, And you told of the charm of that haloed view That never again would beam on you.
And on your left you passed the spot Where eight days later you were to lie, And be spoken of as one who was not; Beholding it with a heedless eye As alien from you, though under its tree You soon would halt everlastingly.
I drove not with you.… Yet had I sat At your side that eve I should not have seen That the countenance I was glancing at Had a last-time look in the flickering sheen, Nor have read the writing upon your face, “I go hence soon to my resting-place;
“You may miss me then. But I shall not know How many times you visit me there, Or what your thoughts are, or if you go There never at all. And I shall not care. Should you censure me I shall take no heed And even your praises no more shall need.”
True: never you’ll know. And you will not mind. But shall I then slight you because of such ? Dear ghost, in the past did you ever find The thought “What profit”, move me much ? Yet abides the fact, indeed, the same, — You are past love, praise, indifference, blame.
A herd of hawks hover in ten thousand li of high altitude A lonely horse is buried in Qin Sichuan's soil At this night, the cold wind is blowing the tears of the moon Wails to come at a distance, that is a cuckoo of the insomnia on the tree.
Where, where will be the birds that sing A hundred years to come ? The flowers that now in beauty spring, A hundred years to come ? The rosy lips, the lofty brow, The heart that beats so gayly now. Oh, where will be love's beaming eye, Joy's pleasant smile, and sorrow's sigh, A hundred years to come ?
Who'll press for gold this crowded street, A hundred years to come ? Who'll tread yon church with willing feet A hundred years to come ? Pale, trembling age. and fiery youth, And childhood with its brow of truth; The rich and poor, on land and sea. Where will the mighty millions be A hundred years to come ?
We all within our graves shall sleep A hundred years to come; No living soul for us will weep, A hundred years to come, But other men our lands shall till, And others then these streets will fill, And other birds will sing as gay, And bright the sun shine as to-day, A hundred years to come.
“UNDER the roots of the roses, Down in the dark, rich mould, The dust of my dear one reposes Like a spark which night incloses When the ashes of day are cold.”
“Under the awful wings Which brood over land and sea, And whose shadows nor lift nor flee, --- This is the order of things, And hath been from of old: First production, And last destruction; So the pendulum swings, While cradles are rocked and bells are tolled.”
“Not under the roots of the roses, But under the luminous wings Of the King of kings The soul of my love reposes, With the light of morn in her eyes, Where the Vision of Life discloses Life that sleeps not nor dies.”
“Under or over the skies What is it that never dies ? Spirit --- if such there be --- Whom no one hath seen nor heard, We do not acknowledge thee; For, spoken or written word, Thou art but a dream, a breath; Certain is nothing but Death !”
Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle; Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty; Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle; Softer than wax, and yet, as iron, rusty: A lily pale, with damask die to grace her, None fairer, nor none falser to deface her.
Her lips to mine how often hath she join'd, Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing! How many tales to please me hath she coin'd, Dreading my love, the loss thereof still fearing ! Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings, Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jestings.
She burn'd with love, as straw with fire flameth; She burn'd out love, as soon as straw outburneth; She fram'd the love, and yet she foil'd the framing; She bade love last, and yet she fell a turning. Was this a lover, or a lecher whether ? Bad in the best, though excellent in neither.
WHERE is the German's fatherland ? The Prussian land? The Swabian land ? Where Rhine the vine-clad mountain laves ? Where skims the gull the Baltic waves ? Ah, no, no, no ! His fatherland 's not bounded so !
Where is the German's fatherland ? Bavarian land ? or Stygian land ? Where sturdy peasants plough the plain ? Where mountain-sons bright metal gain ? Ah, no, no, no ! His fatherland's not bounded so !
Where is the German's fatherland ? The Saxon hills ? The Zuyder strand ? Where sweep wild winds the sandy shores Where loud the rolling Danube roars ? Ah, no, no, no ! His fatherland 's not bounded so !
Where is the German's fatherland ? Then name, then name the mighty land ! The Austrian land in fight renowned ? The Kaiser's land with honors crowned ? Ah, no, no, no ! His fatherland 's not bounded so !
Where is the German's fatherland ? Then name, then name the mighty land ! The land of Hofer ? land of Tell ? This land I know, and love it well; But, no, no, no ! His fatherland 's not bounded so !
Where is the German's fatherland ? Is his the pieced and parceled land Where pirate-princes rule ? A gem Torn from the empire's diadem? Ah, no, no, no ! Such is no German's fatherland.
Where is the German's fatherland ? Then name, oh, name the mighty land ! Wherever is heard the German tongue, And German hymns to God are sung ! This is the land, thy Hermann's land; This, German, is thy fatherland.
This is the German's fatherland, Where faith is in the plighted hand, Where truth lives in each eye of blue, And every heart is staunch and true. This is the land, the honest land, The honest German's fatherland.
This is the land, the one true land, O God, to aid be thou at hand ! And fire each heart, and nerve each arm, To shield our German homes from harm, To shield the land, the one true land, One Deutschland and one fatherland !
Arndt was not a good man, for he was a liberal; yet he partially atoned by proving that if the Devil must have the all good tunes, he also acquires striking lyricists to complement them well...
To demonstrate that the less mundane, and more subtle, system of absolute monarchism can subvert revolutionary liberal impulses and turn them to light, Franz Liszt --- above politics and kaisertreue, put the above anthem to music, dedicated to King Friedrich Wilhelm IV who then bestowed one of the earliest civilian Pour le Merites in return...
A wind comes from the north Blowing little flocks of birds Like spray across the town, And a train, roaring forth, Rushes stampeding down With cries and flying curds Of steam, out of the darkening north.
Whither I turn and set Like a needle steadfastly, Waiting ever to get The news that she is free; But ever fixed, as yet, To the lode of her agony.
Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me Remembering again that I shall die And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks For washing me cleaner than I have been Since I was born into this solitude. Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon: But here I pray that none whom once I loved Is dying to-night or lying still awake Solitary, listening to the rain, Either in pain or thus in sympathy Helpless among the living and the dead, Like a cold water among broken reeds, Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff, Like me who have no love which this wild rain Has not dissolved except the love of death, If love it be towards what is perfect and Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.
Who would have guessed that R. D. Blackmore was also a poet ? His fiction is a trifle strenuous for these days — Lorna Doone was however quite royalist for the mainly republican Victorian era, and I recall another work of his regarding an utterly villainous 18th century clergyman, Parson Chowne, which was not unvicious; still Fringilla, this collection of poems [ Gutenberg ] was published by Elkin Mathews with very 90s illustrations by Louis Fairfax-Muckley. Mathews, who printed Yeats and Pound… The combination of R. D. Blackmore with The Yellow Book is weird at first sight. His poetry is mostly simple prettiness, yet there is a sombre bitter core rejecting mere convention.
“What means your finch ?”
“Being well aware that he cannot sing like a Nightingale, He flits about from tree to tree, and twitters a little tale.”
Albeit he is an ancient bird, who tried his pipe in better days, and then was scared by random shots, he is fain to lift the migrant wing once more towards the humble perch, among the trees he loves. All gardeners own that he does no harm, unless he flits into a thicket of young buds, or a very choice ladies’ seed-bed. And he hopes that he is now too wise to commit such indiscretions. Perhaps it would have been wiser still to have shut up his little mandible, or employed it only upon grub. But the long gnaw of last winter’s frost, which set mankind a-shivering, even in their most downy nest, has made them kindly to the race that has no roof for shelter and no hearth for warmth. Anyhow, this little finch can do no harm, if he does no good; and if he pleases nobody, he will not be surprised, because he has never satisfied himself.
Excerpts from Lita of the Nile:
Follows him the loveliest maiden, Afric’s thousand hills can show; White apparel’d, flower-laden, With the lotus on her brow. … Votive maid, who hath espousal Of the river’s high carousal; Twenty cubits if he rise, This shall be his bridal prize.
Calm, and meek of face and carriage, Deigning scarce a quicker breath, Comes she to the funeral marriage, The betrothal of black death.
Rosy hands, and hennaed fingers, Nails whereon the onyx lingers, Clasped, as at a lover’s tale, In the bosom’s marble vale. …
See, the large eyes, lit by heaven, Brighter than the Sisters Seven, ( Like a star the storm hath cowed ) Sink their flash in sorrow’s cloud.
There the crystal tear refraineth, And the founts of grief are dry; “Father, Mother — none remaineth; All are dead; and why not I ?”
Yet, by God’s will, heavenly beauty Owes to Heaven alone its duty; Off ye priests, who dare adjudge Bride, like this, to slime and sludge ! …
Every bulrush, parched and welted, Lifts his long joints yellow-belted; Every lotus, faint and sick, Hangs her fragrant tongue to lick.
Countless creatures, lone unthought of, Swarm from every hole and nook; What is man, that he make nought of Other entries in God’s book ?
Excerpts from Kadisha, or the First Jealousy
When rivulets were loth to creep, Except unto the pillow moss, And distant lake, encurtained deep, Was but a silver thread across The eyes of sleep:
When nightingales, in the sycamore, Sang low and soft, as an echo dreaming; And slept the moon upon heaven’s shore — The tidal shore of heaven, beaming With lazuled ore:
When new-born earth was fain to lean In Summer’s arms, recovering The unaccustomed toil of Spring, Why slept not Eve, their Queen ? …
The mother of all loving wives ( Condemned unborn to many a tear ) Is fain to take his hand, and strives In sorrow to be doubly dear— But shame deprives.
The Shame, The Woe, The Black Surprise, That Love’s First Dream Should Have Such Ending, to Weep, and Wipe Neglected Eyes I Oh Loss of True Love, Far Transcending Lost Paradise !
“For what is glory, what is power ? And what the pride of standing first ? A twig struck down by a thunder shower, A crown of thistle to quench the thirst, A sun-scorched flower.
“God grant the men who spring from me, As knowledge waxeth deep and splendid, To find a loftier pedigree Than any by the Lord intended — Frog, slug, or tree !
“So shall they live, without the grief Of having womankind to love, Find nought below, and less above, And be their own belief.
Right Fairy of the morn, with flowers arrayed, Whose beauties to thy young pursuer seem Beyond the ecstasy of poet’s dream — Shall I overtake thee, ere thy lustre fade ?
Ripe glory of the noon, august, and proud, A vision of high purpose, power, and skill, That melteth into mirage of good-will — Do I o’ertake thee, or embrace a cloud ?
Gray shadow of the evening, gaunt and bare, At random cast, beyond me or above, And cold as memory in the arms of love — If I o’ertook thee now, what should I care ?
“No morn, or noon, or eve am I,” she said; “But night — the depth of night behind the sun; By all mankind pursued; but never won, Until my shadow falls upon a shade.”
Last night I idly considered the tragic life and death of Anna Nicole Smith, and wondered why the keepers of Amerika still have not yet transformed the Statue of Liberty into her likeness --- for that life and death perfectly capture the parallel destiny of the land... A century ago George S. Viereck wrote this predictive fantasy. He was quintessentially an odd bird, and despite some sympathy for his Hohenzollern cousins was rather a teutonophile than in any way royalist, yet his Germanic imagination qualified him as a seer.
THE EMPIRE CITY
HUGE steel-ribbed monsters rise into the air Her Babylonian towers, while on high Like gilt-scaled serpents glide the swift trains by, Or, underfoot, creep to their secret lair. A thousand lights are jewels in her hair, The sea her girdle, and her crown the sky, Her life-blood throbs, the fevered pulses fly, Immense, defiant, breathless she stands there
And ever listens in the ceaseless din, Waiting for him, her lover who shall come, Whose singing lips shall boldly claim their own And render sonant what in her was dumb: The splendour and the madness and the sin, Her dreams in iron and her thoughts of stone.
O NINEVEH, thy realm is set Upon a base of rock and steel From where the under-rivers fret High up to where the planets reel.
Clad in a blazing coat of mail, Above the gables of the town Huge dragons with a monstrous trail Have pillared pathways up and down.
And in the bowels of the deep Where no man sees the gladdening sun, All night without the balm of sleep The human tide rolls on and on.
The Hudson's mighty waters lave In stern caress thy granite shore, And to thy port the salt sea wave Brings oil and wine and precious ore.
Yet if the ocean in its might Should rise confounding stream and bay, The stain of one delirious night Not all the tides can wash away.
Thick pours the smoke of thousand fires, Life throbs and beats relentlessly --- But lo, above the stately spires Two lemans: Death and Leprosy.
What fruit shall spring from such embrace ? Ah, even thou wouldst quake to hear ! He bends to kiss her loathsome face, She laughs --- and whispers in his ear.
Sit not too proudly on thy throne, Think on thy sisters, them that fell; Not all the hosts of Babylon Could save her from the jaws of hell.
Through the long alleys of the park On noiseless wheels and delicate springs, Glide painted women fair and dark, Bedecked with silks and jewelled things.
In peacock splendour goes the rout With shrill, loud laughter of the mad --- Red lips to suck thy life-blood out, And eyes too weary to be sad !
Their feet go down to shameful death, They flaunt the livery of their wrong, Their beauty is of Ashtoreth, Her strength it is that makes them strong.
Behold thy virgin daughters, how They know the smile a wanton wears; And oh ! on many a boyish brow The blood-red brand of murder flares.
See, through the crowded streets they fly, Like doves before the gathering storm. They cannot rest, for ceaselessly In every heart there dwells a worm.
They sing in mimic joy, and crown Their temples to the flutes of sin; But no sweet noise shall ever drown The whisper of the worm within.
They revel in the gilded line Of lamplit halls to charm the night, But think you that the crimson wine Can veil the horror from their sight ?
Ah, no --- their staring eyes are led To where it lurks with hideous leer: Therefore the women flush so red, And all the men are white with fear.
As in a mansion vowed to lust, Where wantons with their guests make free, 'Tis thus thou humblest in the dust Thy queenly body, Nineveh !
Thy course is downward; 'tis the road To sins that even where disgrace And shameful pleasure walk abroad Dare not unmask their shrouded face !
Surely at last shall come the day When these that dance so merrily Shall watch with terrible faces gray Thy doom draw near, O Nineveh !
I, too, the fatal harvest gained Of them that sow with seed of fire In passion's garden --- I have drained The goblet of thy sick desire.
I from thy love had bitter bliss, And ever in my memory stir The after-savours of thy kiss --- The taste of aloes and of myrrh.
And yet I love thee, love unblessed The poison of thy wanton's art; Though thou be sister to the Pest In thy great hands I lay my heart !
And when thy body Titan-strong Writhes on its giant couch of sin, Yea, though upon the trembling throng The very vault of Heaven fall in;
And though the palace of thy feasts Sink crumbling in a fiery sea --- l, like, the last of Baal's priests, Will share thy doom, O Nineveh.
Storm and destruction shattering Strike fear upon the world, The winds are out, and through high heaven Their Bacchanals are hurled. Their league is broken, burst the girth And launched their fury on the earth.
Torrent on torrent falls the rain, Dark are the lovely Pleiades, Their seven lamps are out, and dark The Houses where abide the stars. And Sirius shines no more at all, And heaven is hung with blackest pall.
Yet through the summits of the sky Flashes afar the livid levin, And cataracts of pallid fire Pour from the toppling crests of heaven. Struggling with clouds the mountains stand, The dark sea masses on the strand Following wave on wave behind The rush and ruin of the wind.
Along the pathways of the sea The salt waves rise in foam. The deep is boiling like a pot, Dark water seething furiously, And Ocean with his might of war And thunder of his waves afar, Storming the headlands, shock on shock, And shouting victory.
Scholar of Malmesbury : To Aldhelm [ translated by Helen Waddell ]