The following is a [long] sonnet by Gerard de Nerval
that I think is relevant to the Marc discussion- don't
bother reading it if you aren't ineterested, it is
quite long (the second last poem in the CHIMAERAS,
which starts with El Desdichado, the poem Marc quotes
in the NONBORN KING)
CHRIST ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
'God is dead!The heavens are empty...
Weep, children, you no longer have a father!'
Jean Paul Richter
When the Lord raised his thin arms to the skies
Beneath the sacred trees, as poets do,
Long lost in speechless agonies, and knew
Himself betrayed by thankless friends, to those
Attending him below he turned, those lost
Numb in the sleep of beasts, or in their dreams
Of being sages, prophets, or great kings...
And started shouting, "God does not exist!"
They slept. "The change, friends - can you see it now?
I've touched the eternal firmament with my brow;
I've suffered many bleeding, broken!
Brothers, I cheated you: Abyss, abyss!
God's missing from my altar of sacrifice...
There is no God! No God now!" They slept on.
He went on, "All is dead! I've passed through worlds;
I've lost my flight among their milky paths,
As far as life in fertile veins unfolds
The golden sands and floods of silver waves:
Everywhere waters coast the desert earth,
Bewildered swirls of agitated seas...
The wandering spheres are moved by some vague breath,
But there's no spirit in those vastnesses.
I looked for God's eye, only saw a black
Bottomless socket pouring out its dark
Night on the world in ever thickening rays;
A weird rainbow circles that grim pit,
Brink of old chaos, nothingness its shade,
A spiral swallowing the Worlds and Days!
"Motionless Destiny, dumb sentry, cold
Necessity!...Chance, as you range across
Dead world's forever frozen in the hold of snow,
And slowly freeze the paling universe,
Primordial power, do you comprehend,
Now that the suns consume and crush to death,
What you are doing? Can you surely send
From dying to renascent world's life's breath?
Father! Within me, is it you I feel?
Have you the strength to live and conquer death?
Or will the outcast angel of the night
Have overturned you with his final thrust?
I am alone in suffering and grief,
And if I die, it's death to everything!"
No one heard the eternal victim groan,
Yielding his full heart to the world in vain;
But slumped in feebleness, about to faint
He called to the one - awake in Jerusalem:
"Judas!" he shouted. "Sell me, don't waste time
Getting the deal done; you know what I'm worth:
I suffer here, friend, lying on the earth,
Come! For at least you have the strength of crime."
Judas was leaving, vexed and pensive, full
(Though he felt badly paid) of such keen shame
He read his foulness written on each wall....
Pilate alone, who ruled in Caesar's name,
Feeling some pity, turned at last by chance:
"Go, find this lunatic!' he told his servants.
Yes, it was he, the exalted lunatic...
The forgotten Icarus who flew again,
Phaethon lost in thunderbolts, the slain
Young Attis whom Cybele resurreects!
They scanned the entrails of the sacrifice,
The earth was drunk with that most precious blood...
THe universe swayed on its axle, stunned,
Olympus reeled a moment toward the abyss.
Invoking Jupiter Ammon, Caesar cried,
"Who is this new god foisted on the world?
Answer! A devil, if he's not a god...."
But the oracle stayed silent from that day.
One only could explain this mystery:
He who gave a soul to the sons of clay.
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