Niezwykłe dzieło pióra noblisty Williama Butlera Yeatsa zabiera czytelnika w podróż po irlandzkim folklorze, oczarowuje mistycyzmem i zmusza do refleksji.
Tajemnicza róża to zbiór wierszy i opowiadań pisanych w różnych okresach, w którym autor zawarł swoje poglądy filozoficzne. W utrzymanych w ezoterycznej atmosferze miłosnych utworach znajdzie się echo romantycznego idealizmu, ale Yeats na tym nie poprzestaje; na czytelnika czekają również liryki niemalże obsceniczne, zupełnie inaczej traktujące kwestie seksualności.
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The Secret Rose
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THE SECRET ROSE
By W.B. Yeats
As for living, our servants will do that for us.—Villiers de L Isle Adam.
Helen, when she looked in her mirror, seeing the withered wrinkles made in her face by old age, wept,
and wondered why she had twice been carried away.—Leonardo da Vinci.
My dear A.E.—I dedicate this book to you because, whether you think it well or ill written, you will
sympathize with the sorrows and the ecstasies of its personages, perhaps even more than I do myself.
Although I wrote these stories at different times and in different manners, and without any definite plan,
they have but one subject, the war of spiritual with natural order; and how can I dedicate such a book to
anyone but to you, the one poet of modern Ireland who has moulded a spiritual ecstasy into verse? My
friends in Ireland sometimes ask me when I am going to write a really national poem or romance, and
by a national poem or romance I understand them to mean a poem or romance founded upon some
famous moment of Irish history, and built up out of the thoughts and feelings which move the greater
number of patriotic Irishmen. I on the other hand believe that poetry and romance cannot be made by
the most conscientious study of famous moments and of the thoughts and feelings of others, but only by
looking into that little, infinite, faltering, eternal flame that we call ourselves. If a writer wishes to interest
a certain people among whom he has grown up, or fancies he has a duty towards them, he may choose
for the symbols of his art their legends, their history, their beliefs, their opinions, because he has a right
to choose among things less than himself, but he cannot choose among the substances of art. So far,
however, as this book is visionary it is Irish for Ireland, which is still predominantly Celtic, has preserved
with some less excellent things a gift of vision, which has died out among more hurried and more
successful nations: no shining candelabra have prevented us from looking into the darkness, and when
one looks into the darkness there is always something there.
TO THE SECRET ROSE
THE CRUCIFIXION OF THE OUTCAST.
OUT OF THE ROSE.
THE WISDOM OF THE KING.
THE HEART OF THE SPRING.
THE CURSE OF THE FIRES AND OF THE SHADOWS.
THE OLD MEN OF THE TWILIGHT.
WHERE THERE IS NOTHING, THERE IS GOD.
OF COSTELLO THE PROUD, OF OONA THE DAUGHTER OF DERMOTT, AND OF THE
TO THE SECRET ROSE
Far off, most secret, and inviolate Rose,
Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those
Who sought thee at the Holy Sepulchre,
Or in the wine-vat, dwell beyond the stir
And tumult of defeated dreams; and deep
Among pale eyelids heavy with the sleep
Men have named beauty. Your great leaves enfold
The ancient beards, the helms of ruby and gold
Of the crowned Magi; and the king whose eyes
Saw the Pierced Hands and Rood of Elder rise
In druid vapour and make the torches dim;
Till vain frenzy awoke and he died; and him
Who met Fand walking among flaming dew,
By a grey shore where the wind never blew,
And lost the world and Emir for a kiss;
And him who drove the gods out of their liss
And till a hundred morns had flowered red
Feasted, and wept the barrows of his dead;
And the proud dreaming king who flung the crown
And sorrow away, and calling bard and clown
Dwelt among wine-stained wanderers in deep woods;
And him who sold tillage and house and goods,
And sought through lands and islands numberless years
Until he found with laughter and with tears
A woman of so shining loveliness
That men threshed corn at midnight by a tress,
A little stolen tress. I too await
The hour of thy great wind of love and hate.
When shall the stars be blown about the sky,
Like the sparks blown out of a smithy, and die?
Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows,
Far off, most secret, and inviolate Rose?
THE CRUCIFIXION OF THE OUTCAST.
A man, with thin brown hair and a pale face, half ran, half walked, along the road that wound from the
south to the town of Sligo. Many called him Cumhal, the son of Cormac, and many called him the Swift,
Wild Horse; and he was a gleeman, and he wore a short parti-coloured doublet, and had pointed shoes,
and a bulging wallet. Also he was of the blood of the Ernaans, and his birth-place was the Field of Gold;
but his eating and sleeping places where the four provinces of Eri, and his abiding place was not upon
the ridge of the earth. His eyes strayed from the Abbey tower of the White Friars and the town
battlements to a row of crosses which stood out against the sky upon a hill a little to the eastward of the
town, and he clenched his fist, and shook it at the crosses. He knew they were not empty, for the birds
were fluttering about them; and he thought how, as like as not, just such another vagabond as himself
was hanged on one of them; and he muttered: If it were hanging or bowstringing, or stoning or
beheading, it would be bad enough. But to have the birds pecking your eyes and the wolves eating your
feet! I would that the red wind of the Druids had withered in his cradle the soldier of Dathi, who brought
the tree of death out of barbarous lands, or that the lightning, when it smote Dathi at the foot of the
mountain, had smitten him also, or that his grave had been dug by the green-haired and green-toothed
merrows deep at the roots of the deep sea.
While he spoke, he shivered from head to foot, and the sweat came out upon his face, and he knew not
why, for he had looked upon many crosses. He passed over two hills and under the battlemented gate,
and then round by a left-hand way to the door of the Abbey. It was studded with great nails, and when
he knocked at it, he roused the lay brother who was the porter, and of him he asked a place in the guest-
house. Then the lay brother took a glowing turf on a shovel, and led the way to a big and naked outhouse
strewn with very dirty rushes; and lighted a rush-candle fixed between two of the stones of the wall, and
set the glowing turf upon the hearth and gave him two unlighted sods and a wisp of straw, and showed
him a blanket hanging from a nail, and a shelf with a loaf of bread and a jug of water, and a tub in a far
corner. Then the lay brother left him and went back to his place by the door. And Cumhal the son of
Cormac began to blow upon the glowing turf that he might light the two sods and the wisp of straw; but
the sods and the straw would not light, for they were damp. So he took off his pointed shoes, and drew
the tub out of the corner with the thought of washing the dust of the highway from his feet; but the water
was so dirty that he could not see the bottom. He was very hungry, for he had not eaten all that day; so
he did not waste much anger upon the tub, but took up the black loaf, and bit into it, and then spat out
the bite, for the bread was hard and mouldy. Still he did not give way to his anger, for he had not drunken
these many hours; having a hope of heath beer or wine at his day s end, he had left the brooks untasted,
to make his supper the more delightful. Now he put the jug to his lips, but he flung it from him
straightway, for the water was bitter and ill-smelling. Then he gave the jug a kick, so that it broke against
the opposite wall, and he took down the blanket to wrap it about him for the night. But no sooner did he
touch it than it was alive with skipping fleas. At this, beside himself with anger, he rushed to the door
of the guest-house, but the lay brother, being well accustomed to such outcries, had locked it on the
outside; so he emptied the tub and began to beat the door with it, till the lay brother came to the door
and asked what ailed him, and why he woke him out of sleep. What ails me! shouted Cumhal, are not
the sods as wet as the sands of the Three Rosses? and are not the fleas in the blanket as many as the
waves of the sea and as lively? and is not the bread as hard as the heart of a lay brother who has forgotten
God? and is not the water in the jug as bitter and as ill-smelling as his soul? and is not the foot-water the
colour that shall be upon him when he has been charred in the Undying Fires? The lay brother saw that
the lock was fast, and went back to his niche, for he was too sleepy to talk with comfort. And Cumhal
went on beating at the door, and presently he heard the lay brother s foot once more, and cried out at
him, O cowardly and tyrannous race of friars, persecutors of the bard and the gleeman, haters of life
and joy! O race that does not draw the sword and tell the truth! O race that melts the bones of the people
with cowardice and with deceit!
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