Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as ravens claws.
Image: ‘The Angel of Death’. Emile Jean-Horace Vernet. 1851.
Becalmed the profane noise of the crowd. Toward the risen Moon, the symbolic Bronzes Curve, in the blue night, their antique nudity In the sphinx-like majesty of attitudes. A dream of incense symphonies the lustral Lake, Enchanted by the sidereal presence of Swans, Elegiacally swooning their silver-pale lines, Beneath the sacred music of astral infinitude. Drunken with silence, the aching lawns Grow languid in the brightness of calm reveries; Amid the somnolent shadows of the bowers Hovers the conjugal slumber of weary birds; And the mute asphalt of the abandoned pathways No longer shudders beneath the lascivious step of idylls.
Hope and Memory have one daughter and her name is Art, and she has built her dwelling far from the desperate field where men hang out their garments upon forked boughs to be banners of battle. O beloved daughter of Hope and Memory, be with me for a while.
W. B. Yeats
Image: ‘Hope & Memory’. Kenyon Cox. 1900.
Phoenixes that played here once, so that the place was named for them,
Have abandoned it now to this desolate river;
The paths of Wu Palace are crooked with weeds;
The garments of Qin are ancient dust.
…Like this green horizon halving the Three Peaks,
Like this Island of White Egrets dividing the river,
A cloud has arisen between the Light of Heaven and me,
To hide his city from my melancholy heart.