Saturday, September 19, 2009
Not that I'd ever Nock Shelly ...
I think Feodor might be pleased, but I suspect there might be a Yale-Harvard divinity school issue there ... :-)
Shelly can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
Nock is necessary history, and still far more provocative.
With some of the old stuff, they are responding to a lot of internal dialogue of the time that simply does not endure or translate.
Plus, they are writing much closer to the dawn of modern historical-critical understanding. They have to lay a thicker philosophical groundwork, which often seems convoluted, tedious. Or they need to take their readers slowly through and so sometimes appear loquaciously simple and naive.
Another Athens shall arise,
And to remoter time
Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,
The splendour of its prime;
And leave, if naught so bright may live,
All earth can take or Heaven give.
Saturn and Love their long repose
Shall burst, more bright and good
Than all who fell, than One who rose,
Than many unsubdued:
Not gold, not blood, their altar dowers,
But votive tears and symbol flowers.
O cease! must hate and death return?
Cease! must men kill and die?
Cease! drain not its dregs the urn
Of bitter prophecy!
The world is weary of the past--
O might it die or rest at last!