Monday, February 9, 2009

William Makepeace Thackeray - The Notch On The Ax

Every one remembers in the Fourth Book of the immortal poem of your
Blind Bard (to whose sightless orbs no doubt Glorious Shapes were
apparent, and Visions Celestial), how Adam discourses to Eve of the
Bright Visitors who hovered round their Eden--

'Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth,
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep.'

"'How often,' says Father Adam, 'from the steep of echoing hill or
thicket, have we heard celestial voices to the midnight air, sole,
or responsive to each other's notes, singing!' After the Act of
Disobedience, when the erring pair from Eden took their solitary
way, and went forth to toil and trouble on common earth--though the
Glorious Ones no longer were visible, you cannot say they were
gone. It was not that the Bright Ones were absent, but that the
dim eyes of rebel man no longer could see them. In your chamber
hangs a picture of one whom you never knew, but whom you have long
held in tenderest regard, and who was painted for you by a friend
of mine, the Knight of Plympton. She communes with you. She
smiles on you. When your spirits are low, her bright eyes shine on
you and cheer you. Her innocent sweet smile is a caress to you.
She never fails to soothe you with her speechless prattle. You
love her. She is alive with you. As you extinguish your candle
and turn to sleep, though your eyes see her not, is she not there
still smiling? As you lie in the night awake, and thinking of your
duties, and the morrow's inevitable toil oppressing the busy,
weary, wakeful brain as with a remorse, the crackling fire flashes
up for a moment in the grate, and she is there, your little
Beauteous Maiden, smiling with her sweet eyes! When moon is down,
when fire is out, when curtains are drawn, when lids are closed, is
she not there, the little Beautiful One, though invisible, present
and smiling still? Friend, the Unseen Ones are round about us.
Does it not seem as if the time were drawing near when it shall be
given to men to behold them?"

Continue at the source
Image taken from here

Book Choice: The Book of Snobs

No comments: