Dryden’s Golden Trump

JUDGEMENT Heard on high2TAROT jdgmnt51St Cecelia

When in mid-air the golden trump shall sound,
To raise the nations under ground;
When, in the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
The judging God shall close the book of Fate,
And there the last assizes keep
For those who wake and those who sleep;
When rattling bones together fly
From the four corners of the sky;
When sinews o’er the skeletons are spread,
Those cloth’d with flesh, and life inspires the dead;
The sacred poets first shall hear the sound,
And foremost from the tomb shall bound,
For they are cover’d with the lightest ground;
And straight, with inborn vigour, on the wing,
Like mounting larks, to the new morning sing.
There thou, sweet Saint, before the quire shalt go,
As harbinger of Heaven, the way to show,
The way which thou so well hast learn’d below
GnosiSofiaNEGATIVE

John Dryden: Ode To the Pious Memory of the accomplished young lady, Mrs. Anne Killigrew
(1685)

Kiss the Pope Goodbye

To a Lady on the Characters of Women by Alexander Pope is a fine screed, and I am the wiser for reading it – however in light of our post-postmodern attention span, I found it a bit LONG and WORDY. Therefore I leave it to you, you lyrical omnivore, to read the whole thing on your own (after you have paid the bills & updated your FeedBook face). Thus, having confessed, I must say goodbye and adieu to Pastora, Fannia, Leda,  Magdalen, Cecilia, Cynthia, Rufa, Sappho, Calista, Papillia, Calypso, Narcissa, and even haughty Philomede. I shall miss you all and I prize more keenly your feminine charms.

The flits who feed on Twitter-seed
and Instagram their meals
are not expected, then, to heed
what poetry reveals.
Alexander’s verses scold
the children of this cyber-age
yet Pope, still witty, waxes bold
to goad the dunces into rage.

.Pope 2

The Destruction of Sennacherib

 
 

George Gordon (Lord Byron)  1788 – 1824

 

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
   Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
   For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
   And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
   And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
   And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

 

Gabriel1

Eastern Dawn: Judean Palms

I thought that it was a Sunday morning in May, that it was Easter Sunday,

and as yet very early in the morning.  I was standing, as it seemed to me, at the door of my own cottage.  Right before me lay the very scene which could really be commanded from that situation, but exalted, as was usual, and solemnised by the power of dreams.  There were the same mountains, and the same lovely valley at their feet; but the mountains were raised to more than Alpine height, and there was interspace far larger between them of meadows and forest lawns; the hedges were rich with white roses; and no living creature was to be seen, excepting that in the green churchyard there were cattle tranquilly reposing upon the verdant graves, and particularly round about the grave of a child whom I had tenderly loved, just as I had really beheld them, a little before sunrise in the same summer, when that child died.  I gazed upon the well-known scene, and I said aloud (as I thought) to myself, “It yet wants much of sunrise, and it is Easter Sunday; and that is the day on which they celebrate the first fruits of resurrection.  I will walk abroad; old griefs shall be forgotten to-day; for the air is cool and still, and the hills are high and stretch away to heaven; and the forest glades are as quiet as the churchyard, and with the dew I can wash the fever from my forehead, and then I shall be unhappy no longer.”

And I turned as if to open my garden gate, and immediately I saw upon the left a scene far different, but which yet the power of dreams had reconciled into harmony with the other.  The scene was an Oriental one, and there also it was Easter Sunday, and very early in the morning.  And at a vast distance were visible, as a stain upon the horizon, the domes and cupolas of a great city—an image or faint abstraction, caught perhaps in childhood from some picture of Jerusalem.  And not a bow-shot from me, upon a stone and shaded by Judean palms, there sat a woman, and I looked, and it was—Ann!  She fixed her eyes upon me earnestly, and I said to her at length: “So, then, I have found you at last.”  I waited, but she answered me not a word.  Her face was the same as when I saw it last, and yet again how different!  Seventeen years ago, when the lamplight fell upon her face, as for the last time I kissed her lips (lips, Ann, that to me were not polluted), her eyes were streaming with tears: the tears were now wiped away; she seemed more beautiful than she was at that time, but in all other points the same, and not older.  Her looks were tranquil, but with unusual solemnity of expression, and I now gazed upon her with some awe; but suddenly her countenance grew dim, and turning to the mountains I perceived vapours rolling between us.  In a moment all had vanished, thick darkness came on, and in the twinkling of an eye I was far away from mountains, and by lamplight in Oxford Street, walking again with Ann—just as we walked seventeen years before, when we were both children.

From: Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas De Quincey, 1821.

Photo: http://toulogoilogou.blogspot.com/