Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Off the beaten trail

For those of who have heard of Edmund Spenser, the first association we have with his name is The Faerie Queene. Probably the second is some vague notion of terrible things happening in Ireland. Almost nowhere on the list are his Fowre Hymnes. There is, of course good reason for that, involving the fact that The Faerie Queene is a masterpiece and the Hymnes aren't much to write home about. Nevertheless, I was reading his "Hymne of Heavenly Love" the other day, and found myself delighted with the last two lines of this stanza. For the sake of giving credit where credit is due, I thought I'd pass it on.
Before this worlds great frame, in which al things
Are now containd, found any being place,
Ere flitting Time could wag his eyas wings
About that mightie bound, which doth embrace
The rolling spheres, and parts their houres by space,
That high eternall Powre, which now doth move
In all these things, mov’d in it selfe by love.
For some reason, the image of God before the dawn of creation moving in himself by love sent chills down my spine.

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