Thursday, August 25, 2005

Into the Valley of Dreams

Yesterday's post was about waking, this quotation is about falling asleep. Dymer is in the house of the Magician, who is trying to persuade him to drink the potion, sleep and dream, and thereby re-enter Faerie:

The Magician speaks, and as he talks, Dymer falls under his spell:


'I am very old,' he said. 'But if the time
We suffer in our dreams were counted age,
I have outlived the ocean and my prime
Is with me to this day. Years cannot gauge
The dream-life. In the turning of a page,
Dozing above my book, I have lived through
More ages than the lost Lemuria knew.


'I am not mortal. Were I doomed to die
This hour, in this half-hour I interpose
A thousand years of dream: and, those gone by,
As many more, and in the last of those,
Ten thousand--ever journeying towards a close
That I shall never reach: for time shall flow,
Wheel within wheel, interminably slow.


'And you will drink my cup and go your way
Into the valley of dreams. You have heard the call.
Come hither and escape. Why should you stay?
Earth is a sinking ship, a house whose wall
Is tottering while you sweep; the roof will fall
Before the work is done. You cannot mend it.
Patch as you will, at last the rot must end it.


Then Dymer lifted up his heavy head
Like Atlas on broad shoulders bearing up
The insufferable globe. 'I had not said,'
He mumbled, 'never said I'd taste the cup.
What, is it this you give me? Must I sup?
Oh, lies, all lies...Why did you kill the lark?
Guide me the cup to is so dark.'
C.S. Lewis, Narrative Poems, "Dymer", stanzas 33 - 36 (1969)


Link of the day:

The Lost Lemuria by W. Scott-Elliot [1904]
A short essay on the lost continent which preceeded Atlantis in Theosophic beliefs.

2 Comment(s):

At Fri Aug 26, 09:06:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nan here – puzzled by the inclusion of today’s link.
In ‘Mere Christianity’ C S L wrote “ … You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. …"

Whereas the founder of Theosophy , > sounding like Christian Science, attempts to separate Christ from the person Jesus.

However, Christ is merely his title, meaning "anointed one" or "messiah;' designating the office Jesus held. There is no justification for making any distinction between Jesus and "The Christ." Furthermore, making Christ a principle rather than a true man is a denial of the whole purpose of His coming: "And the word became flesh and dwelt amongst us" (John 1:14 KJVJ. <
From ‘The Handbook of Today’s Religions’ - Copyright © 1983 by Josh McDowell.

At Sat Aug 27, 06:11:00 AM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

Hi Nan, thanks for your comment.

I simply thought that some readers may not understand the reference to The Lost Lemuria, (I know I didn't) so I included that link.

I do like to include quotations on this blog from all the works of C.S. Lewis, including his pre-conversion ones. The preface to the 1950 publication of "Dymer" has a lengthy explanation by Lewis about his beliefs and motivations at the time he wrote it, which was largely between the years of 1922 - 1926.

I like "Dymer" for its imagery, its meter, the mastery that Lewis has of his narrative format, and the sheer beauty of some of the passages.


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