Autoportraits as Mab

09 March 2014


 ‘Spirit!’ the Fairy said,
And pointed to the gorgeous dome,
’this is a wondrous sight
And mocks all human grandeur;
But, were it virtue’s only meed to dwell
In a celestial palace, all resigned
To pleasurable impulses, immured
Within the prison of itself, the will
Of changeless Nature would be unfulfilled.
Learn to make others happy. Spirit, come!
This is thine high reward: -the past shall rise;
Thou shalt behold the present; I will teach
The secrets of the future.

The Fairy and the Spirit
Approached the overhanging battlement.
Below lay stretched the universe!
There, far as the remotest line
That bounds imagination’s flight,
Countless and unending orbs
In mazy motion intermingled,
Yet still fulfilled immutably
Eternal Nature’s law.
Above, below, around,
The circling systems formed
A wilderness of harmony;
Each with undeviating aim,
In eloquent silence, through the depths of space
Pursued its wondrous way.’

- Percy Bysshe Shelley, excerpt from "Queen Mab"


" Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand.
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. "

- William Butler Yeats, excerpt from "The Stolen Child"
 


" ‘I am the Fairy Mab: to me ‘tis given
The wonders of the human world to keep;
The secrets of the immeasurable past,
In the unfailing consciences of men... "

- Percy Bysshe Shelley, excerpt from "Queen Mab"

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