viernes, 1 de noviembre de 2013

Poetry: Lord Byron - The Vision Of Judgment - Part 2 - Poem XXI to XXX - Links to more Byron


"But had it come up here upon its shoulders,
 There would have been a different tale to tell;
The fellow-feeling in the saints beholders
 Seems to have acted on them like a spell;
And so this very foolish head heaven solders
 Back on its trunk: it may be very well,
And seems the custom here to overthrow
Whatever has been wisely done below."


The angel answer'd, "Peter! do not pout:
 The king who comes has head and all entire,
And never knew much what it was about --
 He did as doth the puppet -- by its wire,
And will be judged like all the rest, no doubt:
 My business and your own is not to inquire
Into such matters, but to mind our cue --
Which is to act as we are bid to do."


While thus they spake, the angelic caravan,
 Arriving like a rush of mighty wind,
Cleaving the fields of space, as doth the swan
 Some silver stream (say Ganges, Nile, or Inde,
Or Thames, or Tweed,) and 'midst them an old man
 With an old soul, and both extremely blind,
Halted before the gate, and in his shroud
Seated their fellow-travellers on a cloud.


But bringing up the rear of this bright host,
 A Spirit of a different aspect waved
His wings, like thunder-clouds above some coast
 Whose barren beach with frequent wrecks is paved:
His brow was like the deep when tempest-toss'd;
 Fierce and unfathomable thoughts engraved
Eternal wrath on his immortal face,
And /where/ he gazed a gloom pervaded space.


As he drew near, he gazed upon the gate
 Ne'er to be enter'd more by him or Sin,
With such a glance of supernatural hate,
 As made St Peter wish himself within;
He patter'd with his keys at a great rate,
 And sweated through his apostolic skin:
Of course his perspiration was but ichor,
Or some such other spiritual liquor.


The very cherubs huddled all together,
 Like birds when soars the falcon; and they felt
A tingling to the tip of every feather,
 And form'd a circle like Orion's belt
Around their poor old charge; who scarce knew whither
 His guards had led him, though they gently dealt
With royal manes (for by many stories,
And true, we learn the angels are all Tories).


As thing were in this posture, the gate flew
 Asunder, and the flashing of its hinges
Flung over space an universal hue
 Of many-colour'd flame until its tinges
Reach'd even our speck of earth, and made a new
 Aurora borealis spread its fringes
O'er the North Pole; the same seen, when ice-bound,
By Captain Parry's crew, in "Melville's Sound."


And from the gate thrown open issued beaming
 A beautiful and mighty Thing of Light,
Radiant with glory, like a banner streaming
 Victorious from some world-o'erthrowing fight:
My poor comparisons must needs be teeming
 With earthly likenesses, for here the night
Of clay obscures our best conceptions, saving
Johanna Southcote, or Bob Southey raving.


'Twas the archangel Michael: all men knew
 The make of angels and archangels, since
There's scarce a scribbler has not one to show,
 From the fiends' leader to the angels' prince.
There also are some altar-pieces, though
 I really can't say that they much evince
One's inner notions of immortal spirits;
But let the connoisseurs explain /their/ merits.


Michael flew forth in glory and in good,
 A goodly work of Him from whom all glory
And good arise; the portal past -- he stood;
 Before him the young cherubs and saints hoary --
(I say /young,/ begging to be understood
 By looks, not years, and should be very sorry
To state, they were not older than St Peter,
But merely that they seem'd a little sweeter.)

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Hebrew Melodies


The Vision Of Judgment

Heaven and Earth:

Poetry: Lord Byron - The Vision Of Judgment - Part 2 - Poem XXI to XXX - Links to more Byron

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