That knowledge increases unreality, that
Mirror on mirror mirrored is all the show.
When gong and conch declare the hour to bless
Grimalkin crawls to Buddha’s emptiness.’
'Cognito ergo sum'
From ‘Le bien germe parfois…’ (Good Sometimes Germinates…),
from the collection Toute la lyre, first published 1888.
“Her antiquity in preceding and surviving succeeding tellurian generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence: her luminary reflection: her constancy under all her phases, rising and setting by her appointed times, waxing and waning: the forced invariability of her aspect: her indeterminate response to inaffirmative interrogation: her potency over effluent and refluent waters: her power to enamour, to mortify, to invest with beauty, to render insane, to incite to and aid delinquency: the tranquil inscrutability of her visage: the terribility of her isolated dominant resplendent propinquity: her omens of tempest and of calm: the stimulation of her light, her motion and her presence: the admonition of her craters, her arid seas, her silence: her splendour, when visible: her attraction, when invisible.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses
Ah, that Time could touch a form
That could show what Homer’s age
Bred to be a hero’s wage.
’Were not all her life but a storm,
Would not painters pain a form
Of such noble lines,’ I said,
'Such a delicate high head,
All that sternness amid charm,
All that sweetness amid strength?
Ah, but peace that comes at length,
Came when Time had touched her form.
O heart, be at peace, because
Nor knave nor dolt can break
What’s not for their applause
Being for a woman’s sake.
Enough if the work has seemed,
So did she your strength renew,
A dream that a lion had dreamed
Till the wilderness cried aloud,
A secret between you two,
Between the proud and the proud.
What, still you would have their praise!
But here’s a haughtier text,
The labyrinth of her days
That her own strangeness perplexed;
And how what her dreaming gave
Earned slander, ingratitude,
From self-same dolt and knave;
Aye, and worse wrong than these.
Yet she, singing upon her road,
Half lion, half child, is at peace.