KING NICANDER I (3)

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Contemplation on the essence of great suffering and its courtship with Purpose.

NICANDER:

Hear me, youth, close; I have heard tales told since boy-child days of men’s stormy courses, and seen the old wrinkled wept that told them, and young tremble that hearken’d: yet now, holing these against mine up, do I think mine stranger than all fearful encounters men meet, and all demon-appearing inventions imagination frame out: that then stand I profess’d this hour to be cast out of the orbit and revolution of daily men! – I, who have broke and foil’d many traps till Death, lurking amongst the hay, himself hath sicken’d with the hunt! The Moirae so fetch me forth against a thunder in a cloud of work, and decree I ricochet the stroke, clearing it! ‘Tis a black storm tonight roiling, hodhead, source me fire suddenly to give eye this trode trod, nighted as Nyx; tonight do I yomp, I impledge, and venture without company toward my Self! – die or live – death and life be as to me alike as tumult and order! – these threescore years and eight, nay, since my nativity, thus click’d from my Self quite, like swan laved in quag! No more! Ho! Who is it plays?! Give me music the instant, ho, pease me! Such mighty witchery is sweet music quidditative of, as calls wandering spirits home and tames the gnarring billows to an attemperature, till all, hearing, long in quiet, sleeping fall; or not discover paigles yellow the air; sweetbriars perfume; mollyblobs fledge vauntful May; crowfoots enflower dank bayous with treading; or kingcups balsam swollen joints of the slighted shore; tender musk-mallows give flower-flies suck; or pretty umbels unclew infant heads from tender buds under Springtime’s brood to peep the vale; or pollywogs where put up the gills and slough down infanthood, shunning of soft beds, the rather grown paddocks, and fall foot on dry hillocks to whisk up scents of open air; or mark a parcel of bobolinks and true thrushes together trooping, laying on wing; — but fall pale all there with love, as rise aglow with intellection!

 

CRISPBRAIN:

Cold sooth, mighty King, thou’rt a man more peccadilloed

Than childhood abus’d, or Virginity’s abode;

Yet do eyes questant plumb some stone inhumed in suffering,

More rich enjewell’d than that which rich Ease mayest bring!

 

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