Wednesday, 6 November 2013

A mystic solidarity with the land of one’s birth

SHARE

I just found this quotation from Mircea Eliade. This is probably from his semi-fascist early phase but still it is good.

“Until recently there persisted among Europeans the obscure awareness of a mystic solidarity with the land of one’s birth. It was not a commonplace love of
country or province; it was not admiration of ancestors buried, generation after generation, around the village church. It was something entirely different: the
mystic experience of autochthony, of being indigenous, the profound sense of
having emerged from the local ground, the sense that the earth had given birth to us, much as it had given birth, in its inexhaustible fertility, to rocks and stream and flowers…”

Since I am half Irish four or five generations back I should not feel this for England - nor can one feel this mystical love for Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex - and anyway I have lived in

Romania for a decade and a half, but of course I do understand.


The earth is not enough to capture my imagination, nor are landscaoes. It needs human being, buildings, books. Besides, since I am half Irish four or five generations back I should not feel this for England - nor can one feel this mystical love for Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex - and anyway I have lived in Romania for a decade and a half, but of course I do understand.
It puts me in mind of Lord Macaulay's one great poem, the Jacobite's Epitaph, though the sentiments are not mine even after fifteen years of self-imposed exile.


TO my true king I offer'd free from stain
Courage and faith; vain faith, and courage vain.
For him I threw lands, honours, wealth, away,
And one dear hope, that was more prized than they.
For him I languish'd in a foreign clime, 
Gray-hair'd with sorrow in my manhood's prime;
Heard on Lavernia Scargill's whispering trees,
And pined by Arno for my lovelier Tees;
Beheld each night my home in fever'd sleep,
Each morning started from the dream to weep; 
Till God, who saw me tried too sorely, gave
The resting-place I ask'd, an early grave.
O thou, whom chance leads to this nameless stone,
From that proud country which was once mine own,
By those white cliffs I never more must see,  
By that dear language which I spake like thee,
Forget all feuds, and shed one English tear
O'er English dust. A broken heart lies here.

No comments:

Post a Comment