miercuri, 23 ianuarie 2008

Hymn to Proserpine

One of the very few verses that my lazy mind was ever able to learn by heart.

By heart. One of those moments when a phrase is used ad literam.

I have lived long enough... Listen to the decadent sweetness of words rolling under the tongue. The same vibration as the beginning of Lolita. Salomeic alliteration:

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

But back to Charles Algernon Swinburne. To quote Wikipedia, "[...] a highly intelligent man and in later life a much-respected critic, [...] he himself believed that the older a man was, the more cynical and less trustworthy he became."

Vicisti, Galilæe.

I have lived long enough, having seen one thing, that love hath an end;
Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me now and befriend.
Thou art more than the day or the morrow, the seasons that laugh or that weep;
For these give joy and sorrow; but thou, Proserpina, sleep.
Sweet is the treading of wine, and sweet the feet of the dove;
But a goodlier gift is thine than foam of the grapes or love.

The rest, here.

Post scriptum: while searching for it, I've discovered other Swinsburne lines that are worth reading. And learning. And cherishing.

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no man lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea

1 comentarii:

Turambar spunea...

:p So let me guess: You understand Romanian, don't you?