The full text of the poems in “The Beacon”.
Rainer Maria Rilke:
For we are only the shell and the leaf: the great death that everyone has within them, that is the fruit around which everything revolves.
John Keats: To Autumn
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue.
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 44:
If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should not stop my way;
For then despite of space I would be brought,
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay.
No matter then although my foot did stand
Upon the farthest earth remov’d from thee;
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land,
As soon as think the place where he would be.
But, ah! thought kills me that I am not thought,
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
But that so much of earth and water wrought,
I must attend time’s leisure with my moan;
Receiving nought by elements so slow
But heavy tears, badges of either’s woe.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo:
Yes! I know from where I cameInsatiable as fireI shine and consume myselfEverything I touch turns into lightEverything I leave is nothing but asheI absolutely am the fire
Christian Morgenstern, Die Zeit (the time):
There is a very proven means,
to keep the time at the sleeping tunic:
One takes the pocket watch to the hand
and follow the hand steadfastly.
It goes so slowly then, so well-behaved
like a well-bred sheep,
puts foot in front of foot as full of manner
as like a Miss of Saint-Cyr.
However, if you dream yourself away for a while,
the demure violet moves forward
with legs like the ostrich
And stealthily like a puma.
And again you look down on her;
ha, wretch! – But what is this?
Innocently smiling she makes again
the daintiest seconds-pas.
Rigveda, Mandala 10, Hymn 129:
THEN was not non-existent nor existent: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it.
What covered in, and where? and what gave shelter? Was water there, unfathomed depth of water?
Death was not then, nor was there aught immortal: no sign was there, the day’s and night’s divider.
That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever.
Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness this All was indiscriminate chaos.
All that existed then was void and formless: by the great power of Warmth was born that Unit.
Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit.
Sages who searched with their heart’s thought discovered the existent’s kinship in the non-existent.
Transversely was their severing line extended: what was above it then, and what below it?
There were begetters, there were mighty forces, free action here and energy up yonder
Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this creation?
The Gods are later than this world’s production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?
He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it,
Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.
Rainer Maria Rilke:
Overflowing skies of wasted stars splendor over the sorrow.
Instead of into the cushions, weep up.
Here, at the weeping already,
at the ending face,
the ravishing space begins.
when you push there,
the current? No one. Unless,
that you suddenly struggle with the mighty direction
of those stars after you. Breathe.
Breathe the darkness of the earth and look up again!
Again. Light and lightless,
leans from above depth to you.
The loosened night face gives space to yours.
John Keats, Bright Star:
Bright star! would I were steadfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.
Lucretia Maria Davidson, To a Star:
Thou brightly-glittering star of even,
Thou gem upon the brow of Heaven
Oh! were this fluttering spirit free,
How quick ‘t would spread its wings to thee.
How calmly, brightly dost thou shine,
Like the pure lamp in Virtue’s shrine!
Sure the fair world which thou may’st boast
Was never ransomed, never lost.
There, beings pure as Heaven’s own air,
Their hopes, their joys together share;
While hovering angels touch the string,
And seraphs spread the sheltering wing.
There cloudless days and brilliant nights,
Illumed by Heaven’s refulgent lights;
There seasons, years, unnoticed roll,
And unregretted by the soul.
Thou little sparkling star of even,
Thou gem upon an azure Heaven,
How swiftly will I soar to thee,
When this imprisoned soul is free!