October 23, 2009

A poem.

I came across this poem today, and instantly thought of my painting "Another Failed Attempt". A lot of times I'll paint from an idea, but don't exactly have words for it. Then later I'll stumble upon the perfect fit. 
Read and ponder.

She's empty: hark, she sounds: there's nothing there
    But noise to fill thy ear;
Thy vain enquiry can at length but find
    A blast of murmuring wind:
It is a cask, that seems as full as fair
    But merely tunned with air:
Fond youth, go build thy hopes on better grounds:
    The soul that vainly founds
Her joys upon this world but feeds on empty sounds.

She's empty: hark, she sounds: there's nothing in't
    The spark-engendering flint
Shall sooner melt, and hardest raunce shall first
    Dissolve and quench they thirst;
Ere this false world shall still they stormy breast
    With smooth-faced calms of rest:
Thou mayst as well expect Meridian light
    From shades of black-mouthed night
As in this empty world to find a full delight.

She's empty: hark, she sounds; 'tis void and vast
    What if some flattering blast
Of flatuous honor should perchance be there,
    And whisper in thine ear:
It is but wind, and blows but where it list,
    And vanishes like a mist:
Poor honor earth can give! What generous mind
    Would be so base to bind
Her Heaven-bred soul a slave to serve a blast of wind?

She's empty: hark, she sounds; 'tis but a ball
    For fools to play withal:
The painted film but of a stronger bubble,
    That's lined with silken trouble:
It is a world, whose work and recreation 
    Is vanity and vexation? 
A hag, repaired with vice-complexion, paint,
    A quest-house of complaint:
It is a saint, a fiend, worse fiend, when most a saint.

Francis Quarles (1592-1644)