Respondens Vitae

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(Image: ‘Allegory of Life’ by Guido Cagnacci)

‘The Mistress of Vision’
by Francis Thompson;
(1859–1907)

WHERE is the land of Luthany?
Where is the tract of Elenore?
I am bound therefor.

‘Pierce thy heart to find the key;
With thee take
Only what none else would keep;
Learn to dream when thou dost wake,
Learn to wake when thou dost sleep.
Learn to water joy with tears,
Learn from fears to vanquish fears;
To hope, for thou dar’st not despair,
Exult, for that thou dar’st not grieve;
Plough thou the rock until it bear;
Know, for thou else couldst not believe;
Lose, that the lost thou may’st receive;
Die, for none other way canst live.
When earth and heaven lay down their veil,
And that apocalypse turns thee pale;
When thy seeing blindeth thee
To what thy fellow-mortals see;
When their sight to thee is sightless;
Their living, death; their light, most lightless;
Search no more—
Pass the gates of Luthany, tread the region Elenore.’
Where is the land of Luthany,
And where the region Elenore?
I do faint therefor.

‘When to the new eyes of thee
All things by immortal power,
Near or far,
Hiddenly
To each other linkèd are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star;
When thy song is shield and mirror
To the fair snake-curlèd Pain,
Where thou dar’st affront her terror
That on her thou may’st attain
Perséan conquest; seek no more,
O seek no more!
Pass the gates of Luthany, tread the region Elenore.’

In Lux Veritas,

The Cunning Apostle

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(Image: ‘Meditative Rose’ by Salvador Dali; 1958)

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