Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam, by W.Habington

Pic from here

 

Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam

 

1 When I survey the bright
2 Celestial sphere,
3 So rich with jewels hung, that night
4 Doth like an Ethiop bride appear,

5 My soul her wings doth spread
6 And heavenward flies,
7 Th’ Almighty’s mysteries to read
8 In the large volumes of the skies.

9 For the bright firmament
10 Shoots forth no flame
11 So silent, but is eloquent
12 In speaking the Creator’s name.

13 No unregarded star
14 Contracts its light
15 Into so small a character,
16 Remov’d far from our human sight,

17 But if we steadfast look,
18 We shall discern
19 In it, as in some holy book,
20 How man may heavenly knowledge learn.

21 It tells the conqueror
22 That far-stretch’d power
23 Which his proud dangers traffic for,
24 Is but the triumph of an hour.

25 That from the farthest north,
26 Some nation may
27 Yet undiscovered, issue forth
28 And o’er his new-got conquest sway.

29 Some nation yet shut in
30 With hills of ice
31 May be let out to scourge his sin
32 Till they shall equal him in vice.

33 And then they likewise shall
34 Their ruin have;
35 For as yourselves, your empires fall,
36 And every kingdom hath a grave.

37 Thus those celestial fires,
38 Though seeming mute,
39 The fallacy of our desires
40 And all the pride of life confute.

41 For they have watch’d since first
42 The world had birth;
43 And found sin in itself accurst,
44 And nothing permanent on earth.

 

by William Habington

 

Notes

1] The title is from Psalms xix.2: “night unto night sheweth knowledge.”

4] Cf. Romeo and Juliet I.v.48-49.

25-32] Cf. Jeremiah i.15.

 

I studied at high school when a tv program about science showed this poem.

When I read these beautiful words I feel again that emotion I felt first time I read them.

I completely agree with Mr. Habigton.

It’s so moving, indeed!

The Hedge

Judy in a dreaming wood spring, sl, today

 

Beyond hedge is a garden and further
things I already know and don’t know.
World is changing out there, far away
and we’re caged, a long way from Time

That hedge forces my view here but I
know a lot about shadows of woods,
about hidden things, like two-leaf squill
and wind flowers, pure white just now there

Beyond hedge which is edge to my place
there’s a garden and farther some woods
that I don’t see yet I see and know
how they are when awake from their sleep

A hedge is border to all my world
but there is further gardens and woods
and beyond, towards east and its dawn
where sun rises there is Easter light

 

April, 4th 2020

Italian version

A note

I usually hate any explaining note when I write, but this time I need to say something about the words I saw during last days, when I was together with my Love and my sons in a short holiday across south France and based at Montpellier.

My son led us to know some beautiful places rich in their nature and with gothic abbeys and cathedrals.

 

April, 22nd 2019.


April, 23rd 2019.

  • Lagrasse

  • Cathédrale de Narbonne

April, 24th 2019.

  • La Vacquerie-et-Saint-Martin-de-Castries

  • Laroque (Hérault)

April, 25th 2019.

  • Frontignan, Les Salines

 

April, 26th 2019.

  • Montpellier

April, 27th 2019.

 

With my next posts I’ll try to show, as I can do it, all sadness and all beauty we saw.

 

Italian version

A jackdaw

Mater Ecclesiae Abbey, on St.Giulio Island

 

A black jackdaw nests twigs
in that hole between stones
built as life and upright pinnacle
between world’s history and the eternal

Sober sisters are peace, joy and calm;
women, nuns and sweet hope
showing that life is possible, nice.
They’re the same holy spirit and song

Jackdaw is black and black is too the cape
of these so many mothers, that are
built as life and upright pinnacles
into history, yet in the eternal

 

St.Giulio Island, April, 7th 2019

 

Italian version

Sweep me

Sorry… I could not take a my photography, so I used this one, found here

 

You put gold in a so deep blue sky
tonight and bright red copper reflections
in the clean crystal of this new air
after a whole day of strong fast wind
 

Sweep me like mountain breeze on my face,
enter my twisted mind, hold up my
heart: it’s already tired and it sways.
Make me burn again as a new spark

October, 24th 2018

Italian version

Dawn is coming

Photo by JB, 2018

 

Dawn is coming, colouring pale rocks
on the Sfulmini as does on each mountain.
Up there glaciers are shining deep blue
and my mind is kidnapped away
 

I gaze at any peaks standing up
above soft cotton made by white clouds
I curl up in the cold sunrise light,
that’s all. I kneel and stammer prayers

 

Refuge Alimonta,
August, 9th 2018

 

Italian version

Blue light

Photo by J.B., 2018

 

Blue light, she is reflected by water:
dragonfly turns around and the pool
is her whole universe so contracted.
She doesn’t know about Dolomites, there

I too go around, trapped days
of the norm that dulls every sense,
where I lose both Your world and Your Beauty
and I waste all my life and its meaning

Malga Valchestria (Brenta Dolomites), August 4th, 2018

Italian version

Arles

Photo by JB, 2018

 

That’s the Rhone bend, entire universe
made by control and impressive power
On the bridge broken by the last war
lions lost stand on column as guards

Creeping culture degrades itself as
evening does at night when always fades.
It’s dusk, setting of the western sun
after drunks of so selfish Lumières

Dirty and urine smell welcome us
in the beautiful town of the past
Now they sell to each visitor views
of their Roman remains and lost pasts

In the square vague chatter of tourists
mix themselves with the sad rituals
of the fast passing life. Coffins, crowd,
ice creams, photos and laughs

The church gate shines with its carved stone
that vibrates at the sun towards Christ,
majesty, centre, pin, sense and meaning
of each thing and of this sculpture too

The cathedral: a relict inside
something else that’s the world,
passing flesh. Not a symbol alone:
beauty going to high sky, real presence

 

Arles, April, 3rd 2018

 

Italian version

Cold and peace

Picture by JB, 2018


Cold and peace. A stone church is deserted,
swindled out its old decorations,
all ruined, returned, again risen
surely pale yet now surely alive

There’s a silver cross, it’s as a flame
brightly shining. It hardens immanence
of tangible solace and hope too.
Inside it a Wood crosses our flesh
 

In the cloister, where it now survives
– it was sold – spring and warmth
exalt us like the beautiful apses.
Truly I regret old times of saints
 

Hammer blows on the face of my Christ,
all the heads ripped off from white angels,
columns sold, above all the stone graves
desecrated. Every space marred, spoiled …
 

Stupid beasts pushed out history
which built them and destroyed their own faces
so erasing each sense, beauty, hope.
Cold and peace and memory are left
 

St.Guilhem le Desert, April, 4th 2018

Relic of the Holy Cross, Angel without face, body of St.Guilhem. Picture by JB, 2018

Italian version

 

It is difficult to know who best deserves the title of Most Cretinous Philistine – the people who sold them [the columns of the cloister], those who bought them, or those who now decline to return them. The cumulative damage of these various acts of vandalism [begun with the French revolution] was so severe that it is now impossible to determine the number and sequence of its columns – or even the dimensions of the cloister