Dialogue between a pessimist and idealist

Elevate form over function to get at less easily articulable truths.

Dialogue between a pessimist and idealist

Postby Parodites » Mon Dec 20, 2021 1:13 pm

In the shoggoth-puppet's book I am helping it to author, and by that I mean, simply collecting selections of its output and organizing it into book form, it got into this long form verse-dialogue between what I am calling a pessimist and an idealist. This is a few pages from that. XX, the pessimist, X, the idealist.

XX. Mistake not a man's continuance for his life's accedency.
There are some sorrows that strike the spirit dumb,
And numb themselves by excess; till the soul
Were like unto an insect amber-cast and frozen in its grief,
Thou peerest into seeming life:
There are some sorrows that never move the spirit
To sigh or murmur in itself, but lie
Hanged upon the lip and maw of time
And are devoured and swallowed up.
Aye, there are some sorrows that goad into life,
And give it pangs in their intensity.
But these are few,
The rest be-trickle from the fountain till' itself exhausts.

X. But some griefs are light and swift as an arrow
shot hotly from a bow; and they fly through
the heart, and vanish in the light of day.

XX. I have drunk of bitter wine,
and yet I am not drunk. In mine own course,
The slings of bitter acrimony hath well discovered
No indeliberate purpose, having found their mark in each,
And neither missed grief's self-arresting arrow
Flung. I wish I had a heart that could take in
All that other's eyes perceive
That I have tried, and found it hard to do
This side of heaven, and yet more within.
'Tis but a little thing to read and write
Or to hear a song of love;
Yet to those who love it is a golden treasure,
And to one who loves it much, the thing is priceless.

X. Then be drunk in sweetness.
The world for sorrow turns too soon,
To the dull ear of the obtuse.
Either the time is ill, when a thing hard is
To be done, or else the thing be ill
When it turns to damage make
And does not find its true intent.
What would'st thou do with freedom, whom Fate
And the unalterable law of Necessity
Tortures and cramps with endless change,
If thou didst not change?

Methinks thee play the poet to thine own obduracy.
But of these subtle arts,
Which do but multiply the sense of life,
A poet, as I said, is but a name.
But howsoever he devises, as he does,
And all be made plain or made confused,
He knows the difference well betwixt them,
Though it were in his nature only to refuse
Us their distinction, and plays to their consistence.
In the heart there lies one great light,
And yet within a crystal shell,
Locked up; like the bright sea-borne pearl
He sits and hides his brightness from us;
For poets plunge the cloudy shapes
Of the divine substance;
Through which only one bright day
Shines up and shows its light;
And then they, like that day, are spent,
And disappear into the night.

XX. I shan't soon take night to disappearance.

X, Aye, hadst thou already by brevity remit
To counter mine distinction make, and prove the point.
And all thy subtle arts hath well made addition
Unto that sense, but neither made the seeing eye
Or made the hand, or proffer the sweet voice,
Or made the mortal instruments; the voice
Is nature’s sweetness lone, spirit’s, or soul’s,
As grace is from God, and virtue pure is born
Of his own light, and of his own heaven breaks,
That none below may boast in building higher wrought
The building of his Architect; Man, for all his glistering,
His gold and his green Virtues, his fancies purple-prowled
Unto the distant rainbow of his own imagining's expanse,
He knows not his own serenity, nor the depth
Wherein it's hid within himself, but only vapours, bubbles,
And the gilded morn that flecks with orient beams
The eastern cloud from which he plunges thro' an borrowed light
When the limit of his imagining is spent to draw upon another's.
Is there any glory yet untasted,
For what we have but tasted of this world’s joy;
Is there any beauty yet untried,
What we’ve known of worth and worthliness;
Is there any virtue yet unspoken, nor any truth unspoken?
Oh, then, let me look, let me seek, let me find,
Within the sun’s great golden rim, within the heart's
Deep sunless sea, the other sea of beauty's
Ever-beaming eye; let me swim that far and find,
For I dare to find and fear to lose, in one sea's crossing
That ocean’s tide to drink.

XX. Far fling, the ambit of thy course is made
To dispossession;
The bow is too subtle for your force.
And therewithal the eye is not as true,
As are the wings wherewith thou madest the sky
That turns from thy true beauty, nor does spy
With any vesture hide thine own excess;
But only that itself is fair for this,
Unravished of all other, as a star
Riseth o'er the sea her unshak’d green
And finds no other face but shows its own.

--- In another part in the same

What should we gain by mere addition of our years
If those behind us were not well inclined
by more certain habits to an forward charge? Time
Doth whittle them and custom makes them worse,
Not better. In us there were honour found
As 'twere an evergreen; but our unripe
Natures can neither keep pace with our desire,
Nor make therein an firm compositure.
And you speak of honor that keeps pace
With virtue's name? By Time's addition
Man is little better made than States,
That hath the morning of their founding passed.


Love is a great and splendid thing,
And I love nothing in the world so well
As love’s own self, and nothing comes amiss
To him whose soul basks in the sunny thought
Of love’s dear self and love’s fair sovereignty.
For aught that fortune or fame or worth can do,
Yea, for aught that Heaven itself can give to man,
He lives by joy that offends no virtue, and virtue
that does not constrain the heights of joy,
who enjoys love as his divinity.
Qui non intelligit, aut taceat, aut discat.

-- Hermaedion, in: the Liber Endumiaskia.

in formis perisseia mutilata in omnia perisarkos mutilatum;
omniformis protosseia immutilatum in protosarkos immutilata.

Measure the breaking of the Flesh in the flesh that is broken.
[ The Ecstasies of Zosimos, Tablet
the First.]
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