ove. Hate. The raging human temperament.
We are reminded of the seasons of life (youth: springtime, manhood: summer; riper years: autumn; latter age: winter's chill) as portrayed in "The Shepheardes Calender" [sic] by Edmund Spenser (1552?-1599). Spencer likened love and passion in manhood to heat and a drought, caused by a comet or star:
...heproportioneth his life to the foure seasons of theyeare, comparing hys youthe to the spring time, when he was fresh and free form loues follye. His manhoode to the sommer, which he sayth, was consumed withgreate heate and excessiue drouth caused through a Comet or blasinge starre, by which he meaneth loue, which passion is comenly compared to such flames and immoderate heate ...
A modern-day rendering could be: "he proportions his life to the four seasons of the year, comparing his youth to the spring time, when he was fresh and free from love's folly. His manhood to the summer, which he said, was consumed with great heat and excessive drought caused through a Comet of blazing star, by which he means love, whose passion is commonly compared to such flames and immoderate heat ..."
The emotions of shepherd Colin in "The Shepheardes Calender" [sic] where we read "Colin cloute a shepheardes boy complaineth him of his vnfortunate loue, being but newly (as semeth) enamoured of a countrie lasse called Rosalinde ... fynding himselfe robbed of all former pleasaunce and delights, hee breaketh his Pipe in peeces [sic] ..." (The reader is referred to Figure 185 for the accompanying woodcut illustration - over 400 years Scholium old - showing Colin's Pipe lying in pieces on the ground.) 377
The emotions of man and woman, boy and girl, juxtaposed against the silence of comets (Figures 186 and 187) and of the stars.
The extract below poignantly describes a little boy, filled with anger and bitterness, who sits on the ridge of a roof, and who subsequently feels so ashamed, as he looks upon the Milky Way. It was a time of sunflowers; of wooden ladders and of the ox-wagon (Figures 188 and 189).
It is extracted from a wonderful novel The Story ofan African Farm written by South African born writer Olive Schreiner (1855-1920), who so poetically expresses the unspoken voices of our Milky Way, with its imposing Shrouds of the Night.
He walked with his eyes bent upon the ground, but overhead it was one of those brilliant southern nights when every space so small that your hand might cover it shows fifty cold white points, and the Milky-Way is a belt of sharp frosted silver.
He lifted the black damp hair from his knit forehead, and looked round to cool his hot face. Then he saw what a regal night it was. He knelt silently and looked up. A thousand eyes were looking down at him, bright and so cold. There was a laughing irony in them.
"So hot, so bitter, so angry ? Poor little mortal?"
He was ashamed. He folded his arms, and sat on the ridge of the roof looking up at them.
"So hot, so bitter, so angry?"
It was as though a cold hand had been laid upon his throbbing forehead, and slowly they began to fade and grow dim ... Those stars that shone on up above so quietly, they had seen a thousand such little existences fight just so fiercely, flare up just so brightly and go out; and they, the old, old stars, shone on forever.
"So hot, so angry, poor little soul?" they said.
The "riem" [a thong of ox leather] slipped from his fingers; he sat with his arms folded, looking up.
"We," said the stars, "have seen the earth when it was young. We have seen small things creep out upon its surface - small things that prayed and loved and cried very loudly, and then crept under it again. But we", said the stars, "are as old as the Unknown." (See Figure 190).
He leaned his chin against the palm of his hand and looked up at them. So long he sat there that bright stars set and new ones rose, and yet he sat on.
Then at last he stood up, and began to loosen the "riem" from the gable . Scholium
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