February 7th, 2002

it tolls for thee

All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. The Green Hills of Africa, ch. 1 (1935).


Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail.

I throw myself down in my chamber, and I call in, and invite God, and his Angels thither, and when they are there, I neglect God and his Angels, for the noise of a fly, for the rattling of a coach, for the whining of a door.

When I died last, and, Dear, I die
As often as from thee I go
Though it be but an hour ago,
And lovers' hours be full eternity.


Reason is our soul's left hand, Faith her right,
By these we reach divinity.
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Non-being then existed not nor being:
There was no air, nor sky that is beyond it.
What was concealed? Wherein? In whose protection?
And was there deep unfathomable water?


Death then existed not nor life immortal;
Of neither night nor day was any token.
By its inherent force the One breathed windless:
No other thing than that beyond existed.


Darkness there was at first by darkness hidden;
Without distinctive marks, this all was water.
That which, becoming, by the void was covered,
That One by force of heat came into being.


Desire entered the One in the beginning:
It was the earliest seed, of thought the product.
The sages searching in their hearts with wisdom,
Found out the bond of being in non-being.




Their ray extended light across the darkness:
But was the One above or was it under?
Creative force was there, and fertile power:
Below was energy, above was impulse.


Who knows for certain? Who shall here declare it?
Whence was it born, and whence came this creation?
The gods were born after this world's creation:
Then who can know from whence it has arisen?


None knoweth whence creation has arisen;
And whether he has or has not produced it:
He who surveys it in the highest heaven,
only He knows, or perhaps he does not know.

Doubt that the stars are fire,
doubt that the sun doth move,
doubt truth to be a liar.
But never doubt, i love