Monday, April 6, 2009

Daffodil Study with Milton and Herbert

                               Daffodils with evening rays and shadows.
                                                            Flora with Fauna.
                                Down and round the vine-wrapt trunk.
                                    Daffodils in evening backlight.
                Golden western rays take their form in daffodils.
From Paradise Lost by John Milton:
   "So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the fruit, she plucked, she ate;
Earth felt the wound, and nature from her seat,
Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe
That all was lost.  Back to the thicket slunk
The guilty serpent, and well might, for Even
Intent now only on her taste, naught else
Regarded; such delight till then, as seemed,
In fruit she never tasted, whether true,
Or fancied so through expectation high
Of knowledge; nor was godhead from her thought.
Greedily she engorged without restraint,
And knew not eating death:"

   "Where art thou, Adam wont with joy to meet
My coming, seen far off?  I miss thee here,
Not pleased, thus entertained with solitude,
Where obvious duty erewhile appeared unsought.
Or come I less conspicuous, or what change
Absents thee, or what chance detains?  Come forth!"

   "So judged he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent,
And th'instant stroke of death,denounced that day,
Removed far off;"

The Agony by George Herbert
   Philosophers have measur'd mountains,
Fathom'd the depth of seas, of states, and kings,
Walk'd with a staff to heav'n, and traced fountains:
   But there are two vast, spacious things,
The which to measure it doth more behove:
Yet few there are that sound them; Sin and Love.

   Who would know Sin, let him repair
Unto mount Olivet; there shall he see
A man so wrung with pains, that all his hair,
   His skin, his garments bloddy be.
Sin is that press and vice, which forceth pain
To hunt his cruel food through ev'ry vein.

   WHo know not Love, let him assay
And taste that juice, which on the cross a pike
Did set again abroach, then let him say
   If ever he did taste the like.
Love is that liquor sweet and most divine,
Which my God feels as blood; but I, as wine.

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