Inspiration and Beginnings

When once poetry has pierced my soul, I cannot shake it off.  When once a shaft of light has entered my mind, I cannot close my eyes to brightness.  When once I have begun to feel, I cannot ask my heart to keep silence.  This is my journey unfolding.

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Where is the land of Luthany,
Where is the tract of Elenore?
I am bound therefore.
 
‘Pierce thy heart to find the key;
With thee take
Only what none else would keep;
Learn to dream when thou dost wake;
Learn to wake when thou dost sleep.
Learn to water joy with tears,
Learn from fears to vanquish fears;
To hope, for thou dar’st not despair;
Exult, for that thou dar’st not grieve;
Plough thou the rock until it bear;
Know, for thou else couldst not believe;
Lose, that the lost thou may’st receive;
Die, for none other way canst live.
 
‘When earth and heave lay down their veil,
And that apocalypse turns thee pale;
When thy seeing blindeth thee
To what thy fellow-mortals see;
When their sight to thee is sightless;
Their living, death; their light, most lightless;
Search no more–
Pass the gates of Luthany,
Tread the region Elenore!’
 
Where is the land of Luthany?
And where the region Elenore?
I do faint therefore.
 
‘When to the new eyes of thee
All things by immortal power,
Near or far,
Hiddenly
To each other linkéd are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star;
When thy song is shield and mirror
To the fair snake curléd pain,
Where thou dar’st affront her terror
That on her thou may’st attain
Perséan Conquest; seek no more,
O seek no more!
Pass the gates of Luthany,
Tread the region Elenore!’

– Francis Thompson