The Thursday Poem; GOLDEN VERSES by Gerard De Nerval, translated by William Stone

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Well then - all things feel! (Pythagoras)

Man, free thinker! You imagine thought

Is yours alone in a world that bursts with life?

The powers you hold are fed by freedom.

But the universe is absent from your wisdom.

Respect in the beast an active mind:

To nature, each budding flower is a soul;

A mystery of love in metal resides;

"All things feel!" And impact on mankind.

Fear, in the blind wall, a watchful gaze:

The Logos is bound even to matter...

Ensure it serves no impious use!

Often in the obscure being, dwells a hidden God;

And like a nascent eye masked by its lid,

Beneath the skin of stones ripens a purer spirit!

From Gerard de Nerval's `Les Chimeres' (pounds 7.99). Our poems this week come from books published by the Menard Press (8 The Oaks, Woodside Avenue, London N12 8AR; tel: 0181-446 5571) to celebrate its 30th birthday