Tuesday, June 19, 2007

'Tis placid midnight, stars are keeping
Their meek and silent course in heaven;
Save pale recluse, for knowledge seeking,
All mortal things to sleep are given.

But see! a wandering Night-moth enters, 
Allured by taper gleaming bright;
Awhile keeps hovering round, then ventures
On Goethe's mystic page to light.
With awe she views the candle blazing;
A universe of fire it seems
To moth-savante with rapture gazing, 
Or Fount whence Live and Motion streams.

What passions in her small heart whirling, 
Hopes boundless, adoration, dread;
At length her tiny pinions twirling,
She darts, and--puff!--the moth is dead.

--Thomas Carlyle, The Tragedy of the Night Moth

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