Monday, March 14, 2016

Bitten by a Muse!

Whate'er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
Though all the Muses lend their force,
From my poor love of anything,
The verse is weak and shallow as its source.

But if with bended neck I grope
Listening behind me for my wit,
With faith superior to hope,
More anxious to keep back than forward it;

Making my soul accomplice there
Unto the flame my heart hath lit,
Then will the verse forever wear--
Time cannot bend the line which God hath writ.

Always the general show of things
Floats in review before my mind,
And such true love and reverence brings,
That sometimes I forget that I am blind.

But now there comes unsought, unseen,
Some clear divine electuary,
And I, who had but sensual been,
Grow sensible, and as God is, am wary.

I hearing get, who had but ears,
And sight, who had but eyes before,
I moments live, who lived but years,
And truth discern, who knew but learning's lore.

I hear beyond the range of sound,
I see beyond the range of sight,
New earths and skies and seas around,
And in my day the sun doth pale his light.

A clear and ancient harmony
Pierces my soul through all its din,
As through its utmost melody--
Farther behind than they, farther within.

More swift its bolt than lightning is,
Its voice than thunder is more loud,
It doth expand my privacies
To all, and leave me single in the crowd.

It speaks with such authority,
With so serene and lofty tone,
That idle Time runs gadding by,
And leaves me with Eternity alone.

Now chiefly is my natal hour,
And only now my prime of life;
Of manhood's strength it is the flower,
'Tis peace's end and war's beginning strife.

It comes in summer's broadest noon,
By a grey wall or some chance place,
Unseasoning Time, insulting June,
And vexing day with its presuming face.

Such fragrance round my couch it makes,
More rich than are Arabian drugs,
That my soul scents its life and wakes
The body up beneath its perfumed rugs.

Such is the Muse, the heavenly maid,
The star that guides our mortal course,
Which shows where life's true kernel's laid,
Its wheat's fine flour, and its undying force.

She with one breath attunes the spheres,
And also my poor human heart,
With one impulse propels the years
Around, and gives my throbbing pulse its start.

I will not doubt for evermore,
Nor falter from a steadfast faith,
For thought the system be turned o'er,
God takes not back the word which once He saith.

I will not doubt the love untold
Which not my worth nor want has bought,
Which wooed me young, and woos me old,
And to this evening hath me brought.

My memory I'll educate
To know the one historic truth,
Remembering to the latest date
The only true and sole immortal youth.

Be but thy inspiration given,
No matter through what danger sought,
I'll fathom hell or climb to heaven,
And yet esteem that cheap which love has bought.


Fame cannot tempt the bard
Who's famous with his God,
Nor laurel him reward
Who has his Maker's nod.
- Henry David Thoreau, "Inspiration"


Joe Conservative said...

"Bitten" vs "Smitten"... Lookism lives.

FreeThinke said...

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

FreeThinke said...

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not Love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing.

~ St. Paul - I Corinthians, 13

St. Paul may gave gotten there much earlier, but both Mr. Thoreau and Miss Dickinson were obviously inspired by the same Muse. Those who resist the very idea of believing in Almighty God rarely-if-ever understand that, –– aside from the performance of quotidian drudgery necessary to our survival as physical beings ––, by ourselves alone we can do nothing of value.

If we work continually, as so many of us do, to deny God, we blot Him out of our mortal consciousness, and therefore cut ourselves off from the one and only legitimate source of inspiration and motivation.

Continually "acting pious," quoting Scripture, being overtly "righteous" in our conduct, and playing "strictly by the book" has little or nothing to do with connecting ourselves to the blessing of Divine Love –– an inexhaustible treasure to all who seek it earnestly and humbly.

Thoreau's highly detailed poem does a beautiful job of explicating, amplifying and lending credence to St. Paul's statement of immortal, immutable truth.

Duke Ellington of all people may have said it best of all when he wrote "It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that zing ..." ;-)

Unfortunately, instead of acquiescing to God's simple commandments, humanity continues to build more and more "Towers of Babel" each of which never fails to bring about the same disastrous, painfully humiliating results.

I see the current trend towards ROBOTIZATION as our latest attempt the "best" God. When those increasingly horrifying machines finally become able to reproduce and maintain themselves without our help, surely they will turn on us and may well bring about our extinction as a species. A fate we will deserve for turning our back on responsibility, shirking honest labor, and turning over the governance of mortal existence to armies of loveless, soulless, essentially mindless MACHINES equipped with BRUTE STRENGTH far superior to ours.

-FJ said...


I think that there's more to it than THAT. A moral incertitude that prevents men from commanding "others".