Archive for November, 2011

The Golden Bowl in “Lenore”

 "Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
   Let the bell toll!- a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
   And, Guy de Vere, hast thou no tear?- weep now or nevermore!
   See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
   Come! let the burial rite be read- the funeral song be sung!-
   An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young-
   A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.

   "Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,
   And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her- that she died!
   How shall the ritual, then, be read?- the requiem how be sung
   By you- by yours, the evil eye,- by yours, the slanderous tongue
   That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?"

   Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song
   Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong.
   The sweet Lenore hath "gone before," with Hope, that flew beside,
   Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy
        bride.
   For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies,
   The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes
   The life still there, upon her hair- the death upon her eyes.

   "Avaunt! avaunt! from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven-
   From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven-
   From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of
        Heaven!
   Let no bell toll, then,- lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth,
   Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damned Earth!
   And I!- to-night my heart is light!- no dirge will I upraise,
   But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!" - Edgar Allan Poe
Remember that letter that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that I posted before? Yeah... Golden bowls...
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An Excerpt from “A Meditation for All Hallows Eve”

The rituals of the Old Covenant tended to underline this terror. Animals were slaughtered by the thousands and blood was everywhere, covering furniture and altars, and the Levites and priests were constantly stained in blood from the butchery, like warriors in battle. The idea was always to “draw near” to the presence, to come near to the holiness, but the tabernacle could have easily seemed like the original haunted house, filled with thick, smoky darkness, lit by the wavering candles of the holy presence. Even at the door of the Holy Place where Israelites were commanded to appear, the panicked bleating of the lambs smelling the blood of their slaughtered cousins was constant. It was hardly comforting to know that the God of this holiness viewed the screaming beasts as pictures of you. Here, put your hands on the head of this lamb, listen to it scream and gurgle as the Levite slices open his throat. This is you, my son. This is my holiness. You are my holy people. Even with the reassurances of the priest, and the promise that the smoke was rising to God as a pleasing aroma, it would have been hard to shake the feeling that this God was a living, seething volcano.

Read the entire post by Toby Sumpter HERE.