Monday, June 30, 2014

change into a tree

"Not that I want to be a god or a hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone." 
[Czesław Miłosz]

freends everych oother moot obeye, if they wol longe holden compaignye

"For o thyng, sires, saufly dar I seye,
That freendes everych oother moot (must) obeye,
If they wol longe holden compaignye.
Love wol nat been constreyned by maistrye.
Whan maistrie comth, the God of Love anon
Beteth his wynges, and farewel, he is gon!
Love is a thyng as any spirit free.
Wommen, of kynde, desiren libertee,
And nat to been constreyned as a thral (slave);
And so doon men, if I sooth seyen shal.
Looke who that is moost pacient in love,
He is at his avantage al above.
Pacience is an heigh vertu, certeyn,
For it venquysseth, as thise clerkes seyn,
Thynges that rigour sholde nevere atteyne.
For every word men may nat chide or pleyne.
Lerneth to suffre, or elles, so moot I goon (I swear),
Ye shul it lerne, wher so ye wole or noon;
For in this world, certein, ther no wight is
That he ne dooth or seith somtyme amys.
Ire, siknesse, or constellacioun,
Wyn, wo, or chaungynge of complexioun
Causeth ful ofte to doon amys or speken.
On every wrong a man may nat be wreken (avenged).
After the tyme moste be temperaunce
To every wight (person) that kan on governaunce (knows about governance)."

[from Chaucher's The Canterbury Tales, The Franklin's Tale)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The tongue of man is a twisty thing

But come, let us know longer stand here talking of these things like children, here in the space between the advancing armies. For there are harsh things enough that could be spoken against us both, a ship of hundred locks could not carry the burden. The tongue of man is a twisty thing, there are plenty of words there of every kind, the range of words is wide and their variance. The sort of thing you say is the thing that will be said to you. 

[Aineias to Achilleus in The Iliad by Homer]

Friday, June 20, 2014

when two go together

"When two go together, one of them at least looks forward
to see what is best; a man by himself, though he be careful, 
still has less mind in him than two, and his wits have less weight."

[from Homer's The Iliad, Diomedes speaks about the need for a co-spy in his  assigned task / Book X, lines 224-226]

Friday, June 06, 2014

expose thyself to feel what wretches feel

During a storm, King Lear: 
"This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
On things would hurt me more. But I'll go in...
Poor naked wretches, whereso'ever you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your looped and windowed raggedness defend you
From such seasons as these? O, I have ta'en
Too little care of this. Take physic, pomp.
Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
That thou may's shake the superflux to them
And show the heavens more just." 
[from Shakespeare's King Lear, Act III, Lines 27-41]

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

the generation of leaves on the ground

"As is the generation of leaves on the ground, so is that of humanity." 
[Glaukos to Diomedes on the battlefield near Troy, from Homer's The Iliad, Book VI, Line 146]