Enchanted worlds still exist because the child within us never dies. The doorways may be more obscure, but we can still seek them out. There are still noble adventures to undertake. There are still trees that speak and caverns that lead to nether realms. There will always be faeries and elves within nature because they will always be dancing in our hearts.
Far over the misty mountains cold To dungeons deep and caverns old We must away ere break of day To seek the pale enchanted gold. The dwarves of yore made mighty spells, While hammers fell like ringing bells In places deep, where dark things sleep, In hollow halls beneath the fells. For ancient king and elvish lord There many a gleaming golden hoard They shaped and wrought, and light they caught To hide in gems on hilt of sword. On silver necklaces they strung The flowering stars, on crowns they hung The dragon-fire, in twisted wire They meshed the light of moon and sun. Far over the misty mountains cold To dungeons deep and caverns old We must away, ere break of day, To claim our long-forgotten gold. Goblets they carved there for themselves And harps of gold; where no man delves There lay they long, and many a song Was sung unheard by men or elves. The pines were roaring on the height, The wind was moaning in the night. The fire was red, it flaming spread; The trees like torches blazed with light. The bells were ringing in the dale And men looked up with faces pale; The dragon's ire more fierce than fire Laid low their towers and houses frail. The mountain smoked beneath the moon; The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom. They fled their hall to dying fall Beneath his feet, beneath the moon. Far over the misty mountains grim To dungeons deep and caverns dim We must away, ere break of day, To win our harps and gold from him!
But the worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caverns and forests. Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself! And your way goes past yourself, and past your seven devils! You will be a heretic to yourself and witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and villain. You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?
Believing is a fine thing, but placing those beliefs into execution is a test of strength. Many are those who talk like the roar of the sea, gut their lives are shallow and stagnant, like the rotting marshes. Many are those who lift their heads above the mountain tops, but their spirits remain dormant in the obscurity of the caverns.
...for it is the fate of a woman Long to be patient and silent, to wait like a ghost that is speechless, Till some questioning voice dissolves the spell of its silence. Hence is the inner life of so many suffering women Sunless and silent and deep, like subterranean rivers Runnng through caverns of darkness...
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Child of woe is wane and delicate... sensitive and on the quiet side, she loves the picnics and outings to the underground caverns... a solemn child, prim in dress and, on the whole, pretty lost... secretive and imaginative, poetic, seems underprivileged and given to occasional tantrums... has six toes on one foot...
The Loneliness One dare not sound -- And would as soon surmise AS in its Grave go plumbing To ascertain the size -- The Loneliness whose worst alarm Is lest itself should see -- And perish from before itself For just a scrutiny -- The Horror not to be surveyed -- But skirted in the Dark -- With Consciousness suspended -- And Being under Lock -- I fear me this -- is Loneliness -- The Maker of the soul Its Caverns and its Corridors Illuminate -- or seal
It's not that I literally think I'm a fearie. It's just that I feel so different from most people. And this idea of a race living underground in caverns, spending all their days dancing and playing the fiddle and eating flowers and reciting poetry and sharing their dreams, that to me sounds much more real than the way people live in this world, hating and fighting and wanting and hurting.
Francesca Lia Block
I know, perhaps as well as anyone, what depression means, and what it is to feel myself sinking lower and lower. Yet at the worst, when I reach the lowest depths, I have an inward peace which no pain or depression can in the least disturb. Trusting in Jesus Christ my Savior, there is still a blessed quietness in the deep caverns of my soul, though upon the surface, a rough tempest may be raging, and there may be little apparent calm.
Under the sanctuary are the catacombs where the dead wait for resurrection. The living do not venture there. The caverns here underneath the Sanctuary are illuminated only by dim shafts of light from the sanctuary. The walls are etched with flowers of frost, but at least I am out of the wind. Dark bays line the hall in front of me, a vast rabbit warren, each hold filled to the brim with the scent of the past.
I am the daughter of Earth and Water, And the nursling of the Sky; I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores; I change, but I cannot die. For after the rain when with never a stain The pavilion of Heaven is bare, And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams Build up the blue dome of air, I silently laugh at my own cenotaph, And out of the caverns of rain, Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb, I arise and unbuild it again.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms. Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
All cities are geological; you cannot take three steps without encountering ghosts bearing all the prestige of their legends. We move within a closed landscape whose landmarks constantly draw us toward the past. Certain shifting angles, certain receding perspectives, allow us to glimpse original conceptions of space, but this vision remains fragmentary. It must be sought in the magical locales of fairy tales and surrealist writings: castles, endless walls, little forgotten bars, mammoth caverns, casino mirrors.
Fresh beauty opens one's eyes wherever it is really seen, but the very abundance and completeness of the common beauty that besets our steps prevents its being absorbed and appreciated. It is a good thing, therefore, to make short excursions now and then to the bottom of the sea among dulse and coral, or up among the clouds on mountain-tops, or in balloons, or even to creep like worms into dark holes and caverns underground, not only to learn something of what is going on in those out-of-the-way places, but to see better what the sun sees on our return to common every-day beauty.
So, in the end, above ground you must have the Haves, pursuing pleasure and comfort and beauty, and below ground the Have-nots, the Workers getting continually adapted to the conditions of their labour. Once they were there, they would no doubt have to pay rent, and not a little of it, for the ventilation of their caverns; and if they refused, they would starve or be suffocated for arrears. Such of them as were so constituted as to be miserable and rebellious would die; and, in the end, the balance being permanent, the survivors would become as well adapted to the conditions of underground life, and as happy in their way, as the Upper-world people were to theirs.
Let us be today's Christians. Let us not take fright at the boldness of today's church. With Christ's light let us illuminate even the most hideous caverns of the human person: torture, jail, plunder, want, chronic illness. The oppressed must be saved, not with a revolutionary salvation, in mere human fashion, but with the holy revolution of the Son of Man, who dies on the cross to cleanse God's image, which is soiled in today's humanity, a humanity so enslaved, so selfish, so sinful.
Oscar A. Romero
Far over the Misty Mountains cold, To dungeons deep and caverns old, We must away, ere break of day, To seek our pale enchanted gold. The dwarves of yore made mighty spells, While hammers fell like ringing bells, In places deep, where dark things sleep, In hollow halls beneath the fells. The pines were roaring on the heights, The wind was moaning in the night, The fire was red, it flaming spread, The trees like torches blazed with light.
J. R. R. Tolkien
And I will now rock the brown basin from side to side so that my ships may ride the waves. Some will founder. Some will dash themselves against the cliffs. One sails alone. That is my ship. It sails into icy caverns where the sea-bear barks and stalactites swing green chairs. The waves rise, their crests curl; look at the lights on the mastheads. They have scattered, they have foundered, all except my ship which mounts the wave and sweeps before the gale and reaches the islands where the parrots chatter and then the creepers...
Objections to Christianity... are phrased in words, but that does not mean that they are really a matter of language and analysis and argument. Words are tokens of the will. If something stronger than language were available then we would use it. But by the same token, words in defense of Christianity miss the mark as well: they are a translation into the dispassionate language of argument of something that resides far deeper in the caverns of volition, of commitment. Perhaps this is why Saint Francis, so the story goes, instructed his followers to "preach the Gospel always, using words if necessary." It is not simply and straightforwardly wrong to make arguments in the defense of the Christian faith, but it is a relatively superficial activity: it fails to address the core issues.
While a battle still entirely political was preparing in this same place which had already seen so many revolutionary events, while the youth, the secret associations, the schools in the name of principles, and the middle class in the name of interests, were moving in to dash against each other, to grapple and overthrow each other, while each was hurrying and calling the final and decisive hour of the crisis, far off and outside that fatal sector, in the deepest of the unfathomable caverns of that miserable old Paris, the gloomy voice of the people was heard deeply growling. A fearful, sacred voice, composed of the roaring brute and the speech of God, which terrifies the feeble and warns the wise, which comes at the same time from below like the voice of a lion and from above like the voice of thunder. Page 1123 Saint-Denis Chapter 13 part II
Whether or not, he felt very much at home in this state. It was to places like this that they had sent him all over the world in defense of New York, until he had come almost to believe that the concrete caverns and towers he seemed dimly to remember, the pale people themselves, were no more than childhood fantasies he had dreamed for himself. He had felt little urge to try to find them again. Hopefully he had followed the Cat out to the new coast, only to find there the same grotesque imaginary cities already erected and fanatically maintained by old children. It was his loss alone that he could not play at their game with them, but he could not. He had been born in New York, taught the rules in New York and New England, yet it seemed to him that he had been holding his breath until he reached Arivada, New Africa. Here the dream cities, no matter whether adobe or gold, had long ago been abandoned, thus had collapsed, and all that remained was the earth. It spread around him as drab and coarse as an old army blanket, inviting only those weary with fighting or dying, overlooked by the children. If still in one piece the whole world would look like this in old age - Arivada was ready, but could Manhattan support mesquite?
You would hardly think, at first, that horrid monsters lie up there waiting to be discovered by any moderately penetrating mind-monsters to which those of the oceans bear no sort of comparison." What monsters may they be?" Impersonal monsters, namely, Immensities. Until a person has thought out the stars and their inter-spaces, he has hardly learnt that there are things much more terrible than monsters of shape, namely, monsters of magnitude without known shape. Such monsters are the voids and waste places of the sky... In these our sight plunges quite beyond any twinkler we have yet visited. Those deep wells for the human mind to let itself down into, leave alone the human body! and think of the side caverns and secondary abysses to right and left as you pass on!... There is a size at which dignity begins," he exclaimed; "further on there is a size at which grandeur begins; further on there is a size at which solemnity begins; further on, a size at which awfulness begins; further on, a size at which ghastliness begins. That size faintly approaches the size of the stellar universe. So am I not right in saying that those minds who exert their imaginative powers to bury themselves in the depths of that universe merely strain their faculties to gain a new horror?
There, at a depth to which divers would find it difficult to descend, are caverns, haunts, and dusky mazes, where monstrous creatures multiply and destroy each other. Huge crabs devour fish and are devoured in their turn. Hideous shapes of living things, not created to be seen by human eyes wander in this twilight. Vague forms of antennae, tentacles, fins, open jaws, scales, and claws, float about there, quivering, growing larger, or decomposing and perishing in the gloom, while horrible swarms of swimming things prowl about seeking their prey. To gaze into the depths of the sea is, in the imagination, like beholding the vast unknown, and from its most terrible point of view. The submarine gulf is analogous to the realm of night and dreams. There also is sleep, unconsciousness, or at least apparent unconsciousness, of creation. There in the awful silence and darkness, the rude first forms of life, phantomlike, demoniacal, pursue their horrible instincts.
If ever again we happened to lose our balance, just when sleepwalking through the same dream on the brink of hell's valley, if ever the magical mare (whom I ride through the night air hollowed out into caverns and caves where wild animals live) in a crazy fit of anger over some word I might have said without the perfect sweetness that works on her like a charm, if ever the magic Mare looks over her shoulder and whinnies: 'So! You don't love me!' and bucks me off, sends me flying to the hyenas, if ever the paper ladder that I climb so easily to go pick stars for Promethea-at the very instant that I reach out my hand and it smells like fresh new moon, so good, it makes you believe in god's genius-if ever at that very instant my ladder catches fire-because it is so fragile, all it would take is someone's brushing against it tactlessly and all that would be left is ashes-if ever I had the dreadful luck again to find myself falling screaming down into the cruel guts of separation, and emptying all my being of hope, down to the last milligram of hope, until I am able to melt into the pure blackness of the abyss and be no more than night and a death rattle, I would really rather not be tumbling around without my pencil and paper.
And suddenly first one and then another began to sing as they played, deep-throated singing of the dwarves in the deep places of their ancient homes; and this is like a fragment of their song, if it can be like their song without their music. [... ]As they sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves. Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick. He looked out of the window. The stars were out in a dark sky above the trees. He thought of the jewels of the dwarves shining in dark caverns. Suddenly in the wood beyond The Water a flame leapt up - probably somebody lighting a wood-fire-and he thought of plundering dragons settling on his quiet Hill and kindling it all to flames. He shuddered; and very quickly he was plain Mr. Baggins of Bag-End, Under-Hill, again. He got up trembling.
They have nothing to give. They have no power of making. All their power is to darken and destroy. They cannot leave this place; they are this place; and it should be left to them. They should not be denied nor forgotten, but neither should they be worshiped. The Earth is beautiful, and bright, and kindly, but that is not all. The Earth is also terrible, and dark, and cruel. The rabbit shrieks dying in the green meadows. The mountains clench their great hands full of hidden fire. There are sharks in the sea, and there is cruelty in men's eyes. And where men worship these things and abase themselves before them, there evil breeds; there places are made in the world where darkness gathers, places given over wholly to the Ones whom we call Nameless, the ancient and holy Powers of the Earth before the Light, the powers of the dark, of ruin, of madness... I think they drove your priestess Kossil mad a long time ago; I think she has prowled these caverns as she prowls the labyrinth of her own self, and now she cannot see the daylight any more. She tells you that the Nameless Ones are dead; only a lost soul, lost to truth, could believe that. They exist. But they are not your Masters. They never were. You are free, Tenar. You were taught to be a slave, but you have broken free.
Ursula K. Le Guin
FORCED INTO THE STAGELIGHT / A WEAK, WAN AND MARBLED HIDE / DISGORGED UP TO JUGDEMENT / SHARP CRACKS OF THE GAVEL GREAT CAPS IN A ROW / THEIR FINE MYSTERY CERTAIN / AND THE BALCONY HEAVES WITH OLD FAMILIARTS, LECHERS AND TREASON THE PRISONER'S STANCE / A CALM ACCEPTANCE IN THE STIFLING SCOWL OF THE HANGING JUDGE / THE DEFENDANT SPEAKS... WHERE AM I NOW THAT YOU COULD DELIVER ME? / I HAVE LIVED OVER CLOUDS AND BENEATH THE DEEPEST SEA I SANG FROM THE CAVERNS AS THE ROCKS PEELED AND BROKE WITH TREES / I WAS ORIGIN, EVERYTHING. WHO COULD DELIVER ME? FOR I WAS A BLAZE IN YOUR SHALLOW DUSK / THE WINDING BERTH OF STARS / WHERE LONELY GAVELS POUND THE EARTH TO WORK IT DARK WITH SCARS / BUT I TIRE OF THE CHASE, THE HARVEST MONOPOLY / HOW YOU BORE WITH YOUR DELICATE GRACES AND CHARITY / I'LL SOOTHE QUIET DESIRES AND THE ACHE OF THE EVERGREEN / AND THEN HOW SHALL I WAIT - FOR JUDGEMENT OR CLARITY? FOR I AM YOUR ACHE AND YOUR REVERIE / YOUR WILD DESIRE AND COLOUR / AND IN MY FLAWS ADORN THE COURT / THE PIVOT OF MY GARDEN DELIVER YOUR JUDGEMENT / MY CHANCERY, PAUSE TO DECIDE DELIVER YOUR JUDGEMENT / MY GARDEN, MY FLOWERS OF LIGHT
Princess Cookie's cognitive pathways may have required a more comprehensive analysis. He knew that it was possible to employ certain progressive methods of neural interface, but he felt somewhat apprehensive about implementing them, for fear of the risks involved and of the limited returns such tactics might yield. For instance, it would be a particularly wasteful endeavor if, for the sake of exhausting every last option available, he were even to go so far as resorting to invasive Ontological Neurospelunkery, for this unorthodox process would only prove to be the cerebral equivalent of tracking a creature one was not even sure existed: surely one could happen upon some new species deep in the caverns somewhere and assume it to be the goal of one's trek, but then there was a certain idiocy to this notion, as one would never be sure this newfound entity should prove to be what one wished it to be; taken further, this very need to find something, to begin with, would only lead one to clamber more deeply inward along rigorous paths and over unsteady terrain, the entirety of which could only be traversed with the arrogant resolve of someone who has already determined, with a misplaced sense of pride in his own assumptions, that he was undoubtedly making headway in a direction worthwhile. And assuming still that this process was the only viable option available, and further assuming that Morell could manage to find a way to track down the beast lingering ostensibly inside of Princess Cookie, what was he then to do with it? Exorcise the thing? Reason with it? Negotiate maybe? How? Could one hope to impose terms and conditions upon the behavior of something tracked and captured in the wilds of the intellect? The thought was a bizarre one and the prospect of achieving success with it unlikely. Perhaps, it would be enough to track the beast, but also to let it live according to its own inclinations inside of her. This would seem a more agreeable proposition. Unfortunately, however, the possibility still remained that there was no beast at all, but that the aberration plaguing her consciousness was merely a side effect of some divine, yet misunderstood purpose with which she had been imbued by the Almighty Lord Himself. She could very well have been functioning on a spiritual plane far beyond Morell's ability to grasp, which, of course, seared any scrutiny leveled against her with the indelible brand of blasphemy. To say the least, the fear of Godly reprisal which this brand was sure to summon up only served to make the prospect of engaging in such measures as invasive Ontological Neurospelunkery seem both risky and wasteful. And thus, it was a nonstarter.