Nox Oculis

Edward Dowden (1843–1913)

Né le 3 mai 1843 à Cork. Gradua du Trinity College en 1863 et se maria en 1866.

Professeur de littérature anglaise au Trinity College de Dublin à partir de 1867. Ami et correspondant de John Butler Yeats.

Durer's "Melencholia"

    The bow of promise, this last flaring star,
    Terror and hope are in mid-heaven; but She,
    The mighty-wing'd crown'd Lady Melancholy,
    Heeds not. O to what vision'd goal afar
    Does her thought bear those steadfast eyes which are
    A torch in darkness ? There nor shore nor sea,
    Nor ebbing Time vexes Eternity,
    Where that lone thought outsoars the mortal bar.
    Tools of the brain -- the globe, the cube -- no more
    She deals with; in her hand the compass stays ;
    Nor those, industrious genius, of her lore
    Student and scribe, thou gravest of the fays,
    Expect this secret to enlarge thy store;
    She moves through incommunicable ways.

    Edward Dowden

The Secret of the Universe
An Ode (By a Western Spinning Dervish)

    I spin, I spin, around, around,
    And close my eyes,
    And let the bile arise
    From the sacred region of the soul’s Profound ;
    Then gaze upon the world; how strange! how new !
    The earth and heaven are one,
    The horizon-line is gone,
    The sky how green ! the land how fair and blue !
    Perplexing items fade from my large view,
    And thought which vexed me with its false and true
    Is swallowed up in Intuition ; this,
    This is the sole true mode
    Of reaching God,
    And gaining the universal synthesis
    Which makes All—One ; while fools with peering eyes
    Dissect, divide, and vainly analyse.
    So round, and round, and round again !
    How the whole globe swells within my brain,
    The stars inside my lids appear,
    The murmur of the spheres I hear
    Throbbing and beating in each ear ;
    Right in my navel I can feel
    The centre of the world’s great wheel.
    Ah peace divine, bliss dear and deep,
    No stay, no stop,
    Like any top
    Whirling with swiftest speed, I sleep.
    O ye devout ones round me coming,
    Listen! I think that I am humming ;
    No utterance of the servile mind
    With poor chop-logic rules agreeing
    Here shall ye find,
    But inarticulate burr of man’s unsundered being.
    Ah, could we but devise some plan,
    Some patent jack by which a man
    Might hold himself ever in harmony
    With the great whole, and spin perpetually,
    As all things spin
    Without, within,
    As Time spins off into Eternity,
    And Space into the inane Immensity,
    And the Finite into God’s Infinity,
    Spin, spin, spin, spin.

    Edward Dowden, The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse (1917)

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