Saturday, 8 December 2007


line 72

As when, upon a tranced summer-night, those green-rob'd senators of mighty woods, tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars, dream, and so dream all night without a stir, save from one gradual solitary gust which comes upon the silence, and dies off, as if the ebbing air had but one wave; so came these words and went; the while in tears she touch'd her fair large forehead to the ground, just where her falling hair might be outspread a soft and silken mat for Saturn's feet. One moon, with alteration slow, had shed her silver seasons four upon the night, and still these two were postured motionless, like natural sculpture in cathedral cavern; the frozen God still couchant on the earth, and the sad Goddess weeping at his feet: until at lenght old Saturn lifted up his faded eyes, and saw his kingdom gone, and all the gloom and sorrow of the place, and that fair kneeling Goddess; and then spake, as with a palsied tongue, and while his beard shook horrid with such aspen-malady: " O tender spouse of gold Hyperion, Thea, I feel thee ere I see thy face; look up, and let me see our doom in it; look up , and tell me if this feeble shape is Saturn's; tell me, if thou hear'st the voice of Saturn; tell me, if this wrinkling brow, naked and bare of its great diadem, peers like the front of Saturn. Who had power to make me desolate? whence came the strength? how was it nurtur'd to such bursting forth, while Fate seem'd strangled in my nervous grasp? But it is so; and I am smother'd up, and buried from all godlike exercise of influence benign on planets pale, of admonitions to the winds and seas, of peaceful sway above man's harvesting, and all those acts which Deity supreme doth ease its heart of love in. - I am gone away from my own bosom: I have left my stong identity, my real self, somewhere between the thone, and where I sit here on this spot of earth. Search, Thea, search, open thine eyes eterne, and sphere them round upon all space: space starr'd, and lorn of light; space region'd with life-air; and barren void; spaces of fire, and all the yawn of hell. - Search, Thea, search! and tell me, if thou seest a certain shape or shadow, making way with wings or chariot fierce to repossess a heaven he lost erewhile: it must - it must be of ripe progress - Saturn must be King. Yes, there must be a golden victory; there must be Gods thrown down, and trumpets blown of triumph, and hymns of festival upon the gold clouds metropolitan, voices of soft proclaim, and silver stir of strings in hollow shells; and there shall be beautiful things made new, for the surprise of the sky-children; I will give command: Thea! Thea! Thea! where is Saturn?"

This passion lifted him upon his feet, and made his hands to struggle in the air, his Druid locks to shake and ooze with sweat, his eyes to fever out, his voice to cease. He stood, and heard not Thea's sobbing deep; a little time, and then again he snatch'd utterance thus. - "But cannot I create? cannot I form? cannot I fashion forth another world, another universe, to overhear and crumble this to nought? where is another chaos? where?"

That word found way unto Olympus, and made quake the rebel three. - Thea was startled up, and in her bearing was a sort of hope, as thus she quick-voic'd spake, yet full of awe... Keats: work in progress.



Hyperion: A fragment
Deep in the shady sadness of a vale far sunken from the healthy breath of morn, far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star, sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone, still as the silence round about his lair; forest on forest hung about his head like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there, not so much life as on a summer's day robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass, but where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest. A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more by reason of his fallen divinity spreading a shade: the Naiad' mid her reeds press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.

Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went, no further than to where his feet had stray'd, and slept there since. Upon the sodden ground his old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead, unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed; while his bow'd head seem'd list'ning to the Earth, his ancient mother, for some comfort yet.

It seem'd no force could wake him from his place; but there came one, who with a kindred hand touch'd his wide shoulders, after bending low with reverence, though to one who knew it not. She was a Goddess of the infant world; by her in stature the tall Amazon had stood a pigmy's height: she would have ta'en Achilles by the hair and bent his neck; or with a finger stay'd Ixion's wheel. Her face was large as that of Memphian sphinx, pedestal'd haply in a palace court, when sages look'd to Egypt for their lore. But oh! how unlike marble was that face: how beautiful, if sorrow had not made sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self. There was a listening fear in her regard, as if calamity had but begun; as if the vanward clouds of evil days had spent their malice, and the sullen rear was with its stored thunder labouring up. One hand she press'd upon that aching spot where beats the human heart, as if just there, though an immortal, she felt cruel pain: the other upon Saturn's bended neck she laid, and to the level of his ear leaning with parted lips, some words she spake in solemn tenour and deep organ tone: some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue would come in these like accents; Oh how frail to that large utterance of the early Gods! "Saturn, look up! - though wherefore, poor old King? I have no comfort for thee, no not one: I cannot say, 'O wherefore sleepest thou? For heaven is parted from thee, and the earth knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a God; and ocean too, with all its solemn noise, has from thy sceptre pass'd; and all the air is emptied of thine hoary majesty. Thy thunder, conscious of the new command, rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house; and thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands scorches and burns our once serene domain. O aching time! O moments big as years! All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth, and press it so upon our weary griefs that unbelief has not a space to breathe. Saturn, sleep on:- O thoughtless, why did I thus violate thy slumbrous solitude? Why should I ope thy melancholy eyse? Saturn, sleep on! while at thy feet I weep"

... in progress: Keats.

Rubaiyat segments

Looking up to the Tree above Ide, Exeter

...Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise to talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies; one thing is certain and the Rest is Lies; the Flower that once has blown for ever dies.

Myself when young did eagerly frequent Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument about it and about again: but evermore came I by the same Door as in I went. With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow, and with my own hand labour'd it to grow: and this was all the Harvest that I reap'd - I came like Water, and like Wind I go.

Into this Universe, and why not knowing, nor whence. Like Water willy-nilly flowing in; and out of it, as Wind along the Waste, willy-nilly blowing.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Pomegranets and Pythagoras


Pythagoras was an ancient Greek philosopher-mathematician who lived around 500 BC. Among his claims to fame is the abstraction of mathematics [Pythagoras realised, for instance, that numbers are actually abstract objects. He would assert: 16 is just as real a concept as 16 pomegranates.

From the treasure trove of Amanda