Melancholy Musing#1: Words which now appear palliative to me too

Many years ago, I first read this marvellous tale and there were at least two or three people I quoted a dialogue from it, in an attempt to tell them in – an elegant way – the unexplainable iniquities of an unjust world. I would have  just gone to the dialogue directly, but I think I owe some words of explanation before it.

The advice is taken from an old, old tale by a misunderstood genius and follows the protagonist’s three disturbing dreams, the night before a big occasion. Since I hope some of you might read the story yourself, I will refrain from revealing what the dreams comprised but just what happend before and after before I come to that bit of advice itself, which I think is more of a realisation of the world actually but then you decide for yourself. 

~~And as he slept he dreamed a dream, and this was his dream.

~~ gave a loud cry and woke, and lo! he was in his own chamber, and through the window he saw the great honey-coloured moon hanging in the dusky air.

~~And he fell asleep again and dreamed, and this was his dream.

And when the ~ heard this he gave a great cry, and woke, and through the window he saw the long grey fingers of the dawn clutching at the fading stars.

And he fell asleep again, and dreamed, and this was his dream.

And he looked in the mirror, and, seeing his own face, he gave a great cry and woke, and the bright sunlight was streaming into the room, and from the trees of the garden and pleasaunce the birds were singing.

When the Bishop had heard them he knit his brows, and said, ‘My son, I am an old man, and in the winter of my days, and I know that many evil things are done in the wide world.  The fierce robbers come down from the mountains, and carry off the little children, and sell them to the Moors.  The lions lie in wait for the caravans, and leap upon the camels.  The wild boar roots up the corn in the valley, and the foxes gnaw the vines upon the hill.  The pirates lay waste the sea-coast and burn the ships of the fishermen, and take their nets from them.  The beggars wander through the cities, and eat their food with the dogs.  Canst thou make these things not to be?  Wilt thou take the leper for thy bedfellow, and set the beggar at thy board?  Shall the lion do thy bidding, and the wild boar obey thee?  Is not He who made misery wiser than thou art?  Wherefore I praise thee not for this that thou hast done, but I bid thee ride back to the Palace and make thy face glad, and put on the raiment that beseemeth a king, and with the crown of gold I will crown thee, and the sceptre of pearl will I place in thy hand.  And as for thy dreams, think no more of them.  The burden of this world is too great for one man to bear, and the world’s sorrow too heavy for one heart to suffer.’

I repeat the important part…..

“And as for thy dreams, think no more of them.  The burden of this world is too great for one man to bear, and the world’s sorrow too heavy for one heart to suffer.”

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