De Engelse schrijver en essayist John Fowles werd geboren in Leigh-on-Sea (Essex) op 31 maart 1926. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 maart 2007 en ook mijn blog van 31 maart 2008.en ook mijn blog van 31 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 31 maart 2010.
Uit: The Magus
„Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, and he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him
that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father’s domains, and no sign of God, the prince believed his father.
But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace and came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.
“Are those real islands?” asked the young prince.
“Of course they are real islands,” said the man in evening dress.
“And those strange and troubling creatures?”
“They are all genuine and authentic princesses.”
“Then God must also exist!” cried the young prince.
“I am God,” replied the man in evening dress, with a bow.
The young prince returned home as quickly as he could.
“So, you are back,” said his father, the king.
“I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,” said the prince reproachfully.
The king was unmoved.
“Neither real islands, real princesses nor a real God exist.”
“I saw them!”
“Tell me how God was dressed.”
“God was in full evening dress.”
“Were the sleves of his coat rolled back?”
The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled.
“That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.”
John Fowles (31 maart 1926 – 5 november 2005)
De Engelse dichter Andrew Marvell werd geboren in Winestead, Yorkshire op 31 maart 1621 in Londen. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 maart 2007 en ook mijn blog van 31 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 31 maart 2010.
On A Drop Of Dew
See how the orient dew
Shed from the bosom of the Morn
Into the blowing roses,
Yet careless of its mansion new,
For the clear region where ’twas born,
Round in its self incloses:
And in its little globe’s extent
Frames, as it can, its native element.
How it the purple flow’r does slight,
Scarce touching where it lyes,
But gazing back upon the skies,
Shines with a mournful light,
Like its own tear,
Because so long divided from the sphere.
Restless it roules, and unsecure,
Trembling, lest it grow impure;
Till the warm sun pitty its pain
And to the skies exhale it back again.
So the soul, that drop, that ray,
Of the clear fountain of eternal day,
(Could it within the humane flow’r be seen)
Rememb’ring still its former height,
Shuns the sweat leaves and blossoms green,
And, recollecting its own light,
Does in its pure and circling thoughts express
The greater heaven in an heaven less.
In how coy a figure wound,
Every way it turns away;
(So the world-excluding round)
Yet receiving in the day.
Dark beneath, but bright above,
Here disdaining, there in love.
How loose and easie hence to go;
How girt and ready to ascend;
Moving but on a point below,
It all about does upwards bend.
Such did the manna’s sacred dew destil,
White and intire, though congeal’d and chill;
Congeal’d on Earth; but does, dissolving, run
Into the glories of th’ almighty sun.
Andrew Marvell (31 maart 1621 – 16 augustus 1678)
TIS a dull sight
To see the year dying,
When winter winds
Set the yellow wood sighing:
Sighing, O sighing!
When such a time cometh
I do retire
Into an old room
Beside a bright fire:
O, pile a bright fire!
And there I sit
Reading old things,
Of knights and lorn damsels,
While the wind sings–
O, drearily sings!
I never look out
Nor attend to the blast;
For all to be seen
Is the leaves falling fast:
But close at the hearth,
Like a cricket, sit I,
Reading of summer
Then with an old friend
I talk of our youth–
How ’twas gladsome, but often
But gladsome, gladsome!
Or, to get merry,
We sing some old rhyme
That made the wood ring again
In summer time–
Sweet summer time!
Then go we smoking,
Silent and snug:
Naught passes between us,
Save a brown jug–
And sometimes a tear
Will rise in each eye,
Seeing the two old friends
And ere to bed
Go we, go we,
Down on the ashes
We kneel on the knee,
Thus, then, live I
Till, ‘mid all the gloom,
By Heaven! the bold sun
Is with me in the room
Then the clouds part,
Swallows soaring between;
The spring is alive,
And the meadows are green!
I jump up like mad,
Break the old pipe in twain,
And away to the meadows,
The meadows again!
Edward FitzGerald (31 maart 1809 – 14 juni 1883)
St. Andrews Church, Bredfield
On Any Beach
Yes, in the stream and stress of things,
That breaks around us like the sea,
There comes to Peasants and to Kings,
The solemn Hour of Jubilee.
If they, till strenuous Nature give
Some fifty harvests, chance to live!
Ah, Fifty harvests! But the corn
Is grown beside the barren main,
Is salt with sea-spray, blown and borne
Across the green unvintaged plain.
And life, lived out for fifty years,
Is briny with the spray of tears!
Ah, such is Life, to us that live
Here, in the twilight of the Gods,
Who weigh each gift the world can give,
And sigh and murmur, What’s the odds
So long’s you’re happy? Nay, what Man
Finds Happiness since Time began?
Andrew Lang (31 maart 1844 – 20 juli 1912)
Le parc de Sceaux à l’horizon,
La route des pèlerinages,
Les peupliers et les maisons,
Nous offrent les libres images
Avec lesquelles nos prisons
Essayent de nous tenir sages.
Les quatre murs de la cellule
Sont peuplés quand tombe le soir
Des feux où notre coeur se brûle,
Des spectres que nul ne peut voir,
Dans la foule pourtant circule
Et nous tend les mains dans le noir.
Un sifflet dans les corridors,
Un oeil qui s’ouvre à notre porte,
Un chariot qui repart encor.
Un chaudron que l’on nous apporte,
Semblent bruits qui montent d’un port,
Signaux d’un train ou d’une escorte.
Je pense à ceux qui, des années,
Ont attendu, près des barreaux,
Dans ces bruits de gare étouffée,
L’heure où partira le bateau,
Quand la passerelle est ôtée.
Et qu’on tire l’ancre de l’eau.
Robert Brasillach (31 maart 1909 – 6 februari 1945)