815. Poem from The Consolation of Philosophy, by Boethius

What strife breaks the civil bonds
of the things of this world? What God would set
such incompatible truths loose
to struggle thus with one another?
Either could stand alone, but together
how can their contradictions be joined?
Or is there some way that they can get on
that the human mind, enmeshed in flesh,
cannot discern? The flame is covered,
and in the darkness the world's subtle
connections are hidden. And yet we feel
the warmth of the love that holds together
all that there is in eternal truth
that knows what it seeks and has its end
in its beginning. But which of us yearns
to learn those things he already knows?
And is that wisdom or is it blindness?
(And how do we know that we not know
what we do not know?) If it were found,
could the ignorant seeker recognize it?
From our minds to the mind of God
is an awesome leap: the infinite number
of separate truths that are yet all one
leave us breathless. The body's dense
flesh obscures our recollection
of the separate truths and the one truth
and yet allows us at least to suspect
that we all live in an awkward state
with inklings of our ignorance
that turn out to be our greatest wisdom—
as if we had long ago ascended
and beheld from on high the exalted vision
of which we now retain nothing
but the sense of loss of that exaltation.

(trans David R. Slavitt)

Source: The Consolation of Philosophy

816. Shiva, by Robinson Jeffers

There is a hawk that is picking the birds out of our sky.
She killed the pigeons of peace and security,
She has taken honesty and confidence from nations and men,
She is hunting the lonely heron of liberty.
She loads the arts with nonsense, she is very cunning,
Science with dreams and the state with powers to catch them at last.
Nothing will escape her at last, flying nor running.
This is the hawk that picks out the stars' eyes.
This is the only hunter that will ever catch the wild swan;
The prey she will take last is the wild white swan of the beauty
          of things.
Then she will be alone, pure destruction, achieved and supreme,
Empty darkness under the death-tent wings.
She will build a nest of the swan's bones and hatch a new brood,
Hang new heavens with new birds, all be renewed.

Source: The Selected Poetry Of Robinson Jeffers