Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The gods themselves know pain


'The gods themselves know pain, the eternal forms.
In realms beyond the reach of cloud, and skies
Nearest the ends of air, where come no storms
Nor sound of earth, I have looked into their eyes
Peaceful and filled with pain beyond surmise,
filled with an ancient woe man cannot reach
One moment though in fire; yet calm their speech.'


'Then these,' Dymer, 'were the world I wooed...
These were the holiness of flowers and grass
And desolate dews...these, the eternal mood
Blowing the eternal theme through men that pass.
I called myself their lover--I that was
Less fit for that long service than the least
Dull, workday drudge of men or faithful beast.


'Why do they lure to them such spirits as mine,
The weak, the passionate, and the fool of dreams?
When better men go safe and never pine
With whisperings at the heart, soul-sickening gleams
Of infinite desire, and joy that seems
The promise of full power! For it was they,
The gods themselves, that led me on this way.


'Give me the truth! I ask now now for pity.
When gods call, can the following them be sin?
Was it false light that lured me from the City?
Where was the path--without it or within?
Must it be one blind throw to lose or win?
Has heaven no voice to help? Must things of dust
Guess their own way in the dark?' She said, 'They must.'

~C.S. Lewis, Dymer, Canto VIII, (1926)

Escapist link of the day: Fly through the clouds (use your mouse to steer)

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