Tuesday, August 3, 2010
"a flaw in the firmament"
JOHN BLACK SAID: To explain mistrust and wars,
Theogony has a black witch with hell’s broth;
Or a preposterous marriage of fleshless stars;
Or the Fiend’s own naked person; or God wroth
Fingering his red scars.
And philosophy, an art of equal worth,
Tells of a flaw in the firmament—spots in the sun—
A Third Day’s error when the upheaving earth
Was young and prime—a Fate reposed upon
The born before their birth.
JANE SNEED WITH GRIM LIPS MOCKED HIM: Who can tell—
Not I, not you—about those mysteries!
Something, John Black, came flapping out of hell
And wrought between us, and the chasm is
Digged, and it digged it well.
JOHN BLACK IN DEPRECATION SAID: Be sure
That love has suffered a most fatal eclipse;
All brotherhoods, filialities insecure;
Lovers compounding honey on their lips
With deep doubts to endure.
JANE SNEED SIGHED SLOWLY: I suppose it stands
Just so. Yet I can picture happiness—
Perhaps there wander lovers in some lands
Who when Night comes, when it is fathomless,
Consort their little hands...
From "Eclogue" by John Crowe Ransom
An Eclogue, Kenyon Cox 1890