Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Charles Algernon Swinburne: Or, Ian The Pontificator Is Lazy

So...here's the dilemma of the ages: for English-loving Christians, which comes first, content or style? Well, obviously we don't accept as Gospel Truth the content which is anti-Christian, but are we allowed to even read stuff proposing and propounding bogus worldviews? If we're allowed to read said "propaganda", are we allowed to appreciate it?

I ask because I just found some Swinburne. Algernon Charles Swinburne, online, and Griffin only knows who or what decided to make it available. The point is, he has a wonderful command of the English language, in my uninformed opinion, and people should pay attention to him. However, he seems to be using a nihilistic type of worldview. (I say nihilistic because that's what it seems like. I could be wrong.) Anyhoo...here's the link.

Allow me, as well, to do some Quotage:

There go the loves that wither,
The old loves with wearier wings;
And all dead years draw thither,
And all disastrous things;
Dead dreams of days forsaken,
Blind buds that snows have shaken,
Wild leaves that winds have taken,
Red strays of ruined springs.

We are not sure of sorrow;
And joy was never sure;
Today will die tomorrow;
Time stoops to no man's lure;
And love, grown faint and fretful,
With lips but half regretful
Sighs, and with eyes forgetful
Weeps that no loves endure.

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives forever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.

Then star nor sun shall waken,
Nor any change of light:
Nor sound of waters shaken,
Nor any sound or sight:
Nor wintry leaves or vernal,
Nor days nor things diurnal;
Only the sleep eternal
In an eternal night.

Bogus, as we all know. Or as we all should know. But there's a ring of truth to it which freaks me out just a tad. This is hell he's describing, and it's all he can look forward to.

Long live the commingling of Introspection and Philosophy!

No comments:

Post a Comment