Tuesday, June 22, 2010
"I was a dweller once in paradise"
I was zipping down a narrow country road this afternoon, rounded a blind curve and before me was a peacock, ambling along as if the last thing he expected was somebody driving a car into his domain. He was certainly the last thing I expected. It's always a little shocking to see something so beautiful when you're not braced for it. The sun was fierce today, so his feathers glowed as if lit from within.
I was a dweller once in paradise;
There the insinuating snake's advice
Deceived me--I became his friend, disgrace
Was swift and I was banished from that place.
My dearest hope is that some blessèd day
A guide will come to indicate the way
Back to my paradise.
From "The peacock's excuse and the hoopoe's answer" in The Conference of the Birds
A Peacock in a Classical Landscape with Lilies and Roses, Gyula Juluis De Benczur (1844-1920)