Friday, 20 March 2015

Eclipsed by Literature


Several quotations posted prior to witnessing the eclipse on this day, 20 March 2015, Smethwick, Birmigham, UK.

"The sonne and mone eclipsen both."
J. Gower, Confessio Amantis, 1393.

"The Night-Hag .. comes ..to dance With Lapland Witches, while the labouring Moon Eclipses at thir charms"
Milton, Paradise Lost Book 2, 666

"God oftentimes leaves the brightest men in an eclipse."
Thomas Fuller, The Holy State, 1642

"Blind among enemies ... Irrecoverably dark, total Eclipse."
John Milton, Samson Agonistes, 1671

" Þis eclipse . þat ouer-closeþ now þe sonne. "
William Langland, Piers Plowman, 1393

"These late eclipses in the Sunne and Moone portend no good to us."
Shakespeare, King Lear, 1608

Thy beams, so reverend and strong
        Why shoulds't thou think?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
John Donne, The Sunne Rising

The Sun Rising

        Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
        Why dost thou thus,
Through windows and through curtains call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
        Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
        Late schoolboys and sour 'prentices,
    Go tell court huntsmen that the King will ride,
    Call country ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

        Thy beams, so reverend and strong
        Why shoulds't thou think?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long;
        If her eyes have not blinded thine,
        Look, and tomorrow late, tell me,
    Whether both th'Indias of spice and mine
    Be where thou left'st them, or lie here with me?
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear, 'All here in one bed lay.'

        She's all states, and all princes, I;
        Nothing else is.
Princes do but play us; compared to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
        Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,
        In that the world's contracted thus;
    Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
    To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here, to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy centre is, these walls, thy sphere.