For my part, I would rather look toward Rutland than Jerusalem. Rutland,--modern town,--land of ruts,--trivial and worn,--not toosacred,--with no holy sepulchre, but profane green fields and dusty roads, and opportunity to live as holy a life as you can, where the sacredness, if there is any, is all in yourself and not in the place.
Henry David Thoreau
Our blessed Savior chose the Garden for his Oratory, and dying, for the place of his Sepulchre; and we do avouch for many weighty causes, that there are none more fit to bury our dead in than in our Gardens and Groves, where our Beds may be decked with verdant and fragrant flowers, Trees and Perennial Plants, the most natural and instructive Hieroglyphics of our expected Resurrection and Immortality.
It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsman came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me- Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Edgar Allan Poe
They trekked out along the crescent sweep of beach, keeping to the firmer sand below the tidewrack. They stood, their clothes flapping softly. Glass floats covered with a gray crust. The bones of seabirds. At the tideline a woven mat of weeds and the ribs of fishes in their millions stretching along the shore as far as the eye could see like an isocline of death. One vast salt sepulchre. Senseless. Senseless.
Behind us lay the great Antarctic Land; snow peaks rising beyond one another until by distance they dwindled away into insignificancy. The silence and immobility of the scene was impressive; not the slightest animation or vitality anywhere. It was like a mental image of our globe in its primitive state - a spectacle of Chaos. Around is ice and snow and the remnants of internal fires; above, a sinister sky; below the sombre sea; and over all, the silence of the sepulchre!
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Edgar Allan Poe
Look on beauty, And you shall see 'tis purchased by the weight; Which therein works a miracle in nature, Making them lightest that wear most of it: So are those crisped snaky golden locks Which make such wanton gambols with the wind, Upon supposed fairness, often known To be the dowry of a second head, The skull that bred them in the sepulchre. Thus ornament is but the guiled shore To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word, The seeming truth which cunning times put on To entrap the wisest.
I found a brief piece of by Antonio Vivaldi around this time which became my 'Pinhead Mood Music'. Called Al Santo Sepolcro (At The Holy Sepulchre), it opens more like a piece of modern orchestral music, and although it it moves toward Vivaldi's familiar harmonies, there is always the threat that it will fall back into dissonance. The piece progresses in an exquisite agony, poised on a knife edge between beauty and disfigurement, joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain. Perfect.
King of the animals-- as thou hast described him-- I should rather say king of the beasts, thou being the greatest--because thou doest only help them, in order that they give thee their children for the benefit of the gullet, of which thou hast attempted to make a sepulchre for all animals; and I would say still more, if I were allowed to speak the entire truth...now does not nature produce enough simple (vegetarian) food for thee to satisfy thyself?
Leonardo da Vinci
For nearly thirty years the powerful propaganda machines of Stalinism worked furiously to expunge Trotsky's name from the annals of the revolution, or to leave it there only as the synonym for arch-traitor. To the present Soviet generation, and not only to it, Trotsky's life-story is already like an ancient Egyptian sepulchre which is known to have contained the body of a great man and the record, engraved in gold, of his deeds; but tomb-robbers and ghouls have plundered and left it so empty and desolate that no trace is found of the record it once contained. The work of the tomb-robbers has, in this present instance, been so persistent that it has strongly affected the views even of independent Western historians and scholars.
Now I myself, I cheerfully admit, feel that enormity in Kensington Gardens as something quite natural. I feel it so because I have been brought up, so to speak, under its shadow; and stared at the graven images of Raphael and Shakespeare almost before I knew their names; and long before I saw anything funny in their figures being carved, on a smaller scale, under the feet of Prince Albert. I even took a certain childish pleasure in the gilding of the canopy and spire, as if in the golden palace of what was, to Peter Pan and all children, something of a fairy garden. So do the Christians of Jerusalem take pleasure, and possibly a childish pleasure, in the gilding of a better palace, besides a nobler garden, ornamented with a somewhat worthier aim. But the point is that the people of Kensington, whatever they might think about the Holy Sepulchre, do not think anything at all about the Albert Memorial. They are quite unconscious of how strange a thing it is; and that simply because they are used to it. The religious groups in Jerusalem are also accustomed to their coloured background; and they are surely none the worse if they still feel rather more of the meaning of the colours. It may be said that they retain their childish illusion about their Albert Memorial. I confess I cannot manage to regard Palestine as a place where a special curse was laid on those who can become like little children. And I never could understand why such critics who agree that the kingdom of heaven is for children, should forbid it to be the only sort of kingdom that children would really like; a kingdom with real crowns of gold or even of tinsel. But that is another question, which I shall discuss in another place; the point is for the moment that such people would be quite as much surprised at the place of tinsel in our lives as we are at its place in theirs. If we are critical of the petty things they do to glorify great things, they would find quite as much to criticise (as in Kensington Gardens) in the great things we do to glorify petty things. And if we wonder at the way in which they seem to gild the lily, they would wonder quite as much at the way we gild the weed.