quinta-feira, 21 de abril de 2011

The Prophet, by Abraham Cowley

It was a real pleasure to watch Dead Poets Society again, since I really enjoy this film. But there is a scene which is my favorite: it is when the boys go to the cave for the first time, the moment when Charlie Dalton shows a picture of a naked woman. He recites a small excerpt of a poem that I like, which is called The Prophet, by Mr. Abraham Cowley (1618 - 1667), one of the most important English poets of the 17th century.

Here is the full version of The Prophet*:

Teach me to Love? Go teach thy self more wit;
I am chief Professor of it.
Teach craft to Scots, and thrift to Jews,
Teach boldness to the Stews;
In tyrants courts teach supple flattery,
Teach Jesuits, that have traveled far, to Lye.
Teach fire to burn and Winds to blow.
Teach restless Fountains how to flow,
Teach the dull earth, fixt, to abide,
Teach Woman-kind inconstancy and Pride.
See if your diligence here will useful prove;
But, pr'ithee, teach not me to love.

The God of Love, if such a thing there be,
May learn to love from me,
He who does boast that he has bin,
In every Heart since Adams sin,
I'll lay my Life, nay Mistress on't, that's more;
I'll teach him things he never knew before;
I'll teach him a receipt to make
Words that weep, and Tears that speak,
I'll teach him Sighs, like those in death,
At which the Souls go out too with the breath;
Still the Soul stays, yet still does from me run;
As Light and Heat does with the Sun.

'Tis I who Love's Columbus am; 'tis I, Who must new Worlds in it descry;
Rich Worlds, that yield of Treasure more,
than that has been known before,
And yet like his (I fear) my fate must be,
To find them out for others; not for Me.
Me Times to come, I know it, shall
Loves last and greatest prophet call.
But, ah, what's that, if she refuse,
To hear the whole doctrines of my Muse?
If to my share the Prophets fate must come;
Hereafter fame, here Martyrdome.

*All the poems that are recited at the film are available in full version at the site http://www.antiromantic.com/ .

Posted by Fernanda Pedrecal.

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