Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Following (10) "There are examples of writing..."

There are examples of writing that only need to be broken up to draw attention to them, leaving the reader marvelling at having missed something in the square of a paragraph.

Here are the last few sentences of John Ruskin's article on Turner's engravings, The Harbours of England (1856), unaltered except for line breaks:

One great monotony, that of the successive sigh
and vanishing of the slow waves upon the sand,
no art can render to us.

Perhaps the silence of early light, even on
the "field dew consecrate" of the grass itself,
is not so tender as the lisp
of the sweet belled lips
of the clear waves in their following patience.

We will leave the shore
as their silver fringes fade upon it,
desiring thus, as far as may be,
to remember the sea.

We have regarded it perhaps too often
as an enemy to be subdued;
let us, at least this once, accept from it,
and from the soft light beyond the cliffs above,
the image of the state of a perfect Human Spirit -

"The memory, like a cloudless air,
The conscience, like a sea at rest."

No comments:

Post a Comment