The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday



Since Susan Cooper inspired so much discussion, I thought I'd post two poems discovered via another favorite children's book, Madeleine L'Engle's A Ring of Endless Light. This book did not have quite the impact on me that A Wrinkle In Time did -- I read that one much younger, in fourth grade -- but it certainly influenced my decision to study the metaphysical poets in college.


The Night
By Henry Vaughan


John 2.3

          THROUGH that pure Virgin-shrine,
That sacred vail drawn o’er thy glorious noon
That men might look and live as Glow-worms shine,
            And face the Moon:
          Wise Nicodemus saw such light
          As made him know his God by night.

          Were all my loud, evil days
Calm and unhaunted as is thy dark Tent,
Whose peace but by some Angels wing or voice
            Is seldom rent;
          Then I in Heaven all the long year
          Would keep, and never wander here.

          But living where the Sun
Doth all things wake, and where all mix and tyre
Themselves and others, I consent and run
            To ev’ry myre,
          And by this worlds ill-guiding light,
          Erre more then I can do by night.

          There is in God (some say)
A deep, but dazling darkness; as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
            See not all clear;
          O for that night! where I in him
          Might live invisible and dim.


The World
by Henry Vaughan


I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light,
     All calm, as it was bright,
And round beneath it, Time is hours, days, years
     Driven by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov'd, in which the world
     And all her train were hurl'd;
The doting lover in his quaintest strain
     Did there complain,
Near him, his lute, his fancy, and his flights,
     Wit's sour delights,
With gloves, and knots the silly snares of pleasure
     Yet his dear treasure
All scatter'd lay, while he his eyes did pour
     Upon a flower.

The darksome statesman hung with weights and woe
Like a thick midnight fog mov'd there so slow
He did nor stay, nor go;
Condemning thoughts (like sad eclipses) scowl
     Upon his soul,
And clouds of crying witnesses without
Pursued him with one shout.
Yet digg'd the mole, and lest his ways be found
     Work'd under ground,
Where he did clutch his prey, but one did see
     That policy,
Churches and altars fed him, perjuries
     Were gnats and flies,
It rain'd about him blood and tears, but he
     Drank them as free.

The fearful miser on a heap of rust
Sat pining all his life there, did scarce trust
His own hands with the dust,
But would not place one piece above, but lives
     In fear of thieves.
Thousands there were as frantic as himself
And hugg'd each one his pelf,
The downright epicure plac'd heav'n in sense
     And scorn'd pretnece
While others slipt into a wide excess
     Said little less;
The weaker sort slight, trivial wares enslave
     Who think them brave,
And poor, despised Truth sat counting by
     Their victory.

Yet some, who all this while did weep and sing,
And sing, and weep, soar'd up into the Ring,
But most would use no wing.
O fools (said I,) thus to prefer dark night
     Before true light,
To live in grots, and caves, and hate the day
Because it shows the way,
The way which from the dead and dark abode
     Leads up to God,
A way where you might tread the Sun, and be
     More bright than he.
But as I did their madness so discuss
     One whisper'd thus,
"This Ring the Bridegroom did for none provide
     But for his bride."



--------


My reading for today (via Arianna's Daily Tarot) says:

Nine of Swords: If you can go back to bed today; do so, if not be prepared for a bit of a rough ride today. It is a day of upset as plans go awry and stress levels are very high. This is a day where nothing seems to go right, you meet up with obstacles on each step you take though there is not much to change things, and you must ride this out. Do not make plans or try to accomplish serious tasks today, it is not a good energy day for completing tasks instead you will find that the obstacles caused by others are just to much to overcome. When plans become impossible just step back today and regroup your thoughts; if you can get through today this could be the catalyst for big changes.

Any reason I should NOT take this to heart? *looks out window* Maybe not. My throat hurts, my head is off and I STILL can't get my body off Daylight Savings Time.
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