|WHEN I am dead, and doctors know not why,
And my friends’ curiosity
Will have me cut up to survey each part,
When they shall find your picture in my heart,
You think a sudden damp of love
Will thorough all their senses move,
And work on them as me, and so prefer
Your murder to the name of massacre,Poor victories ; but if you dare be brave,
And pleasure in your conquest have,
First kill th’ enormous giant, your Disdain ;
And let th’ enchantress Honour, next be slain ;
And like a Goth and Vandal rise,
Deface records and histories
Of your own arts and triumphs over men,
And without such advantage kill me then,For I could muster up, as well as you,
My giants, and my witches too,
Which are vast Constancy and Secretness ;
But these I neither look for nor profess ;
Kill me as woman, let me die
As a mere man ; do you but try
Your passive valour, and you shall find then,
Naked you have odds enough of any man.-John Donne
I am two fools, I know,
For loving, and for saying so
In whining poetry ;
But where’s that wise man, that would not be I,
If she would not deny ?
Then as th’ earth’s inward narrow crooked lanes
Do purge sea water’s fretful salt away,
I thought, if I could draw my pains
Through rhyme’s vexation, I should them allay.
Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For he tames it, that fetters it in verse.
But when I have done so,
Some man, his art and voice to show,
Doth set and sing my pain ;
And, by delighting many, frees again
Grief, which verse did restrain.
To love and grief tribute of verse belongs,
But not of such as pleases when ’tis read.
Both are increasèd by such songs,
For both their triumphs so are published,
And I, which was two fools, do so grow three.
Who are a little wise, the best fools be.
– John Donne
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“It is with and without one, that the other finds the sum. The two unbeknownst to me, rings truer in the dirge; its gradient death hidden within the blea. Beneath the tread to lot, beneath the tread to none…it is with and without the one, eternity naught in mediation to none.”
It is in the closest thoughts to the one, that one reaches a true uncovering. To meditate in and under the life…is to pass through that which holds still. It is in these peculiar moments in the between, where the recognizance of existence yields the verboten pome. The answer which leads to a question, a posit held in place. A disregard for that which one stands in front of and understands from behind.
To meditate is to see that what applies to the sum, applies to none. Yet, it is through the sum of understanding, that which applies to none abounded becomes the sum. To meditate is to catch a momentary motion, above and through the apex that eternally sums the mount.
Whom is he which mediates in the path that enters to nothingness. Whom is he which meditates, on the alive and the sum which breathes sustenance to form. Whom is he which mediates, on the path of narrowest fit. He whom grasps the hand of life, he whom grasps no nearer to the hand of passing…the bridge of meditation, the nexus evermore.
No man in exception, understands within and without. He meditates in that which breathes life-force, to reach from point to point. And in this in-between, the straight and narrow, he finds that which may escape him in this life. Only, then do his thoughts become a mediation and the life-breath yields its force.
This be the life-breath, the meditations of John Donne…
All Rights Reserved © mmartel∞
All Rights Reserved © mmartel∞
Of old sat Freedom on the heights,
The thunders breaking at her feet:
Above her shook the starry lights:
She heard the torrents meet.
There in her place she did rejoice,
Self-gather’d in her prophet-mind,
But fragments of her mighty voice
Came rolling on the wind.
Then stept she down thro’ town and field
To mingle with the human race,
And part by part to men reveal’d
The fullness of her face –
Grave mother of majestic works,
From her isle-alter gazing down,
Who, God-like, grasps the triple forks,
And, King-like, wears the crown:
Her open eyes desire the truth.
The wisdom of a thousand years
Is in them. May perpetual youth
Keep dry their light from tears;
That her fair form may stand and shine
Make bright our days and light our dreams,
Turning to scorn with lips divine
The falsehood of extremes!
My good blade carves the casques of men,
My tough lance thrusteth sure,
My strength is as the strength of ten,
Because my heart is pure.
The shattering trumpet shrilleth high,
The hard brands shiver on the steel,
The splinter’d spear-shafts crack and fly,
The horse and rider reel:
They reel, they roll in clanging lists,
And when the tide of combat stands,
Perfume and flowers fall in showers,
That lightly rain from ladies’ hands.
How sweet are looks that ladies bend
On whom their favours fall!
For them I battle till the end,
To save from shame and thrall:
But all my heart is drawn above,
My knees are bow’d in crypt and shrine:
I never felt the kiss of love,
Nor maiden’s hand in mine.
More bounteous aspects on me beam,
Me mightier transports move and thrill;
So keep I fair thro’ faith and prayer
A virgin heart in work and will.
When down the stormy crescent goes,
A light before me swims,
Between dark stems the forest glows,
I hear a noise of hymns:
Then by some secret shrine I ride;
I hear a voice, but none are there;
The stalls are void, the doors are wide,
The tapers burning fair.
Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth,
The silver vessels sparkle clean,
The shrill bell rings, the censer swings,
And solemn chaunts resound between.
Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres
I find a magic bark;
I leap on board: no helmsman steers:
I float till all is dark.
A gentle sound, an awful light!
Three angels bear the holy Grail:
With folded feet, in stoles of white,
On sleeping wings they sail.
Ah, blessed vision! blood of God!
My spirit beats her mortal bars,
As down dark tides the glory slides,
And star-like mingles with the stars.
When on my goodly charger borne
Thro’ dreaming towns I go,
The cock crows ere the Christmas morn,
The streets are dumb with snow.
The tempest crackles on the leads,
And, ringing, spins from brand and mail;
But o’er the dark a glory spreads,
And gilds the driving hail.
I leave the plain, I climb the height;
No branchy thicket shelter yields;
But blessed forms in whistling storms
Fly o’er waste fens and windy fields.
A maiden knight–to me is given
Such hope, I know not fear;
I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven
That often meet me here.
I muse on joy that will not cease,
Pure spaces clothed in living beams,
Pure lilies of eternal peace,
Whose odours haunt my dreams;
And, stricken by an angel’s hand,
This mortal armour that I wear,
This weight and size, this heart and eyes,
Are touch’d, are turn’d to finest air.
The clouds are broken in the sky,
And thro’ the mountain-walls
A rolling organ-harmony
Swells up, and shakes and falls.
Then move the trees, the copses nod,
Wings flutter, voices hover clear:
“O just and faithful knight of God!
Ride on! the prize is near”.
So pass I hostel, hall, and grange;
By bridge and ford, by park and pale,
All-arm’d I ride, whate’er betide,
Until I find the holy Grail.