Thursday, August 11, 2016

the true come on

Henry Vaughan

FALSE life! a foil and no more, when
  Wilt thou be gone?
Thou foul deception of all men
That would not have the true come on.
Thou art a Moon-like toil; a blinde        5
  Self-posing state;
A dark contest of waves and winde;
A meer tempestuous debate.
Life is a fix’d, discerning light,
  A knowing Joy;       10
No chance, or fit: but ever bright,
And calm and full, yet doth not cloy.
’Tis such a blissful thing, that still
  Doth vivifie,
And shine and smile, and hath the skill       15
To please without Eternity.
Thou art a toylsom Mole, or less
  A moving mist
But life is, what none can express,
A quickness, which my God hath kist.       20

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The propositions of, the projects of

THE PEARL (Matthew 13) 

I know the ways of learning; both the head 
And pipes that feed the press, and make it run; 
What reason hath from nature borrowed, 
Or of itself, like a good huswife, spun 
In laws and policy; what the stars conspire, 
What willing nature speaks, what forc'd by fire; 
Both th'old discoveries and the new-found seas, 
The stock and surplus, cause and history; 
All these stand open, or I have the keys: 
Yet I love thee. 

I know the ways of honour; what maintains 
The quick returns of courtesy and wit; 
In vies of favours whether party gains 
When glory swells the heart and moldeth it 
To all expressions both of hand and eye, 
Which on the world a true-love-knot may tie, 
And bear the bundle wheresoe'er it goes; 
How many drams of spirit there must be 
To sell my life unto my friends or foes: 
Yet I love thee. 

I know the ways of pleasure; the sweet strains 
The lullings and the relishes of it; 
The propositions of hot blood and brains; 
What mirth and music mean; what love and wit 
Have done these twenty hundred years and more; 
I know the projects of unbridled store; 
My stuff is flesh, not brass; my senses live, 
And grumble oft that they have more in me 
Than he that curbs them, being but one to five: 
Yet I love thee. 

I know all these and have them in my hand; 
Therefore not seeled but with open eyes 
I fly to thee, and fully understand 
Both the main sale and the commodities; 
And at what rate and price I have thy love, 
With all the circumstances that may move. 
Yet through the labyrinths, not my grovelling wit, 
But thy silk twist let down from heav'n to me 
Did both conduct and teach me how by it 
To climb to thee. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

double malady / double penance


Long languishing in double malady,
  of my hearts wound and of my body's grief:
  there came to me a leech that would apply
  fit medicines for my body's best relief
Vain man (quoth I) that hast but little prief:
  in deep discovery of the mind's disease,
  is not the heart of all the body chief?
  and rules the members as it self doth please.
Then with some cordials seek first to appease,
  the inward languor of my wounded heart,
  and then my body shall have shortly ease:
  but such sweet cordials pass Physicians art.
Then my life's Leech do you your skill reveal,
  and with one salve both heart and body heal.

Spenser 50


O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
That did not better for my life provide,
Than public means which public manners breeds.
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
And almost thence my nature is subdu'd
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand:
Pity me then and wish I were renew'd;
Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Potions of eysell, 'gainst my strong infection;
No bitterness that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance, to correct correction.
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye
Even that your pity is enough to cure me. 

Shakespeare 111


obliquid / aliquid


... that power and vertue which ye spake,
That ye here worke, doth many changes take,
And your owne natures change: for, each of you
That vertue have, or this, or that to make,
Is checkt and changed from his nature trew,
By others opposition or obliquid view.

-Spenser, Mutability canto VII,  54


Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Will play the tyrants to the very same
And that unfair which fairly doth excel:
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter and confounds him there;
Sap cheque'd with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o'ersnow'd and bareness every where:
Then, were not summer's distillation left,
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft,
Nor it nor no remembrance what it was:

-Shakespeare, sonnet V


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

all things one

SOLIMAN: ... You move me; yet remove I not.
Man comprehends a man, but not a king.
I feel myself (tis true) and I feel you;
How to itself can power then prove untrue?
Succession on the present never wins
But by the death of body, or of spirit:
Let not misprision wound me in thy love:
Great inequality of worth you yield
To them, you think can on my ruins build.


CAMENA ... In what a labyrinth is honor cast,
Drawn divers ways with sex, with time, with state?
In all which error's course is infinite,
By hope, by fear, by spite, by love, and hate;
And but one only way until the right,
A thorny way: where pain must be the guide;
Danger the light; offence of power the praise:
Such are the golden hopes of iron days.


CHORUS: ...whence I conclude: Mankind is both the form
And matter, wherewith tyrannies transform.
For power can neither see, work, or devise,
Without the people's hands, hearts, wits, and eyes:
So that were man not by himself oppressed
Kings would not, tyrants could not make him beast.


BEGLERBY: Ah, humourous kings, how are you tossed, like waves,
With breaths that from the earth beneath you move;
Observed and betrayed, known and undone,
By being nothing, unto all things won.