Thursday, October 6, 2011

What is an aristocratic soul to do?

From Laudator Temporis Acti:

The Eagle and the Mole, Elinor Wylie

Avoid the reeking herd,
Shun the polluted flock,
Live like that stoic bird,
The eagle of the rock.

The huddled warmth of crowds
Begets and fosters hate;
He keeps, above the clouds,
His cliff inviolate.

When flocks are folded warm,
And herds to shelter run,
He sails above the storm,
He stares into the sun.

If in the eagle's track
Your sinews cannot leap,
Avoid the lathered pack,
Turn from the steaming sheep.

If you would keep your soul
From spotted sight or sound,
Live like the velvet mole;
Go burrow underground.

And there hold intercourse
With roots of trees and stones,
With rivers at their source,
And disembodied bones.

The Question:

Ah, what am I to do? Where must I go to escape misfortune? Soar to high heaven or sink beneath the earth?
οἴμοι, τί δράσω; ποῖ κακῶν ἐρημίαν εὕρω, πτερωτὸς ἢ κατὰ χθονὸς μολών;
Well, that's one way to do it. You could also turn off your TV and radio, stop gaming so much, homeschool your children, read Shakespeare, Cicero, et al., learn to fish and hunt, learn to build and repair your own house, car, and machinery.

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