Tuesday, 7 June 2011


I'm finding myself increasingly drawn to the mid-late Victorian period: Ruskin, Dickens, Tennyson, Morris. Perhaps this is because, in so many ways, this is the culture we're being returned to, one of unchecked, unopposed liberal materialism, one in which reform will have to start from the bottom-up, with a blind, "sentimental" leap of hope.

Oh yet we trust that somehow good
      Will be the final goal of ill,
      To pangs of nature, sins of will,
Defects of doubt, and taints of blood;

That nothing walks with aimless feet;
      That not one life shall be destroy'd,
      Or cast as rubbish to the void,
When God hath made the pile complete;

That not a worm is cloven in vain;
      That not a moth with vain desire
      Is shrivell'd in a fruitless fire,
Or but subserves another's gain.

Behold, we know not anything;
      I can but trust that good shall fall
      At last - far off - at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring.

So runs my dream, but what am I?
      An infant crying in the night:
      An infant crying for the light:
And with no language but a cry.

(In Memoriam, LIV)

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