March 31st, 2009


that air for ever black

monday lxxxvi

and really what happened was enough to make ignorant people, such as they were, think that st. agatha had saved them. the lava stream came straight down upon the town wall. another foot, and it would have touched it, and have begun shoving it down with a force compared with which all the battering-rams that you ever read of in ancient histories would be child's toys. but lo and behold! when the lava stream got within a few inches of the wall it stopped, and began to rear itself upright and build itself into a wall beside the wall.

and after he had laid his hand on mine
with joyful mien, whence i was comforted,
he led me in among the secret things.

there sighs, complaints, and ululations loud
resounded through the air without a star,
whence i, at the beginning, wept thereat.

languages diverse, horrible dialects,
accents of anger, words of agony,
and voices high and hoarse, with sound of hands,

made up a tumult that goes whirling on
for ever in that air for ever black,
even as the sand doth, when the whirlwind breathes.

with the smell of hyacinths across the garden
recalling things that other people have desired.
are these ideas right or wrong?

it kept him awake at nights to think that he might lose it.

a long story which he related even to us, involving his discovery of a suspicious man with a satchel and his use of a taxicab in search for him, was made up on the basis of his playing the part of a great man, a hero. when we ran down this untruth (it was long after he had told us what a liar he was) it seemed quite improbable that he had suddenly improvised this story. it was too elaborate and well sustained.

his hair was quite white, and worn a little long. his features were finely chiselled and aquiline. from them looked a pair of piercing, young, black eyes. in his time, grandpa orde had been a mighty breaker of the wilderness; but his time had passed, and with the advent of a more intensive civilisation he had fallen upon somewhat straitened ways. grandma orde, on the other hand, was a very small, spry old lady, with a small face, a small figure, small hands and feet. she dressed in the then usual cap and black silk of old ladies.

justice is equality, and to do is more disgraceful than to suffer injustice.
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    and this byrd you cannot chain (je sais)