Wednesday, October 21, 2009

take no notice of my darkness, because the sun has discoloured me

i lived in thoughts of her. where are you, i thought, where may my lonely spirit find you, sweet maiden? do you gaze before you and reflect? have you laid your work aside and rested your arm on your knee and your head on your little hand and yielded yourself to lovely thoughts?
may nothing disturb my peaceful one when she refreshes her heart with sweet fantasies, may nothing touch this bunch of grapes and graze the invigorating dew from the tender berries!

to comfort him virgil explains how beatrice descended to him in limbo and told him of her concern for dante. it is she, the symbol of divine love, who sends virgil to lead dante from error. she has come into hell itself on this errand, for dante cannot come to divine love unaided.

it is as if my soul were spinning through every nerve. she plays a melody on her clavichord with the touch of an angel, so simple, so ethereal! it is her favourite tune, and i am cured of all pain, confusion and melancholy the moment she strikes the first note.

- friedrich hölderlin - hyperion - 1797/1799 (for diotima)
- dante alighieri - inferno from the divine comedy - 1321
- j.w. von goethe - the sorrows of young werther - 1774/1786
- the letters of abelard and heloise - 12th century

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