Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Thou shalt not

    from Songs of Experience by William Blake

I went to the Garden of Love,
   And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
   Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
   And ‘Thou shalt not’ writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love
   That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
   And tombstones where flowers should be;
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
   And binding with briars my joys and desires.

The same theme appearing in the myth of the Piper’s Stones: piper and dancers lithified for having defiled the Sabbath; it refers to the change in culture on the arrival of catholicism in Ireland. A number of neolithic stone circles inside and outside Ireland are referred to as the Piper’s  Stones.

from ‘Above Ground Below Ground’

In those days the piper played the music of streams:
fast flowing runs, sprays that erupted in feet,
blood hitting high C, dancers whirling dizzy with life.       

Then a new order.

That day on Brewel Hill, piper and dancers broke the Sabbath,
angered a god, who having decreed that music-making was subversive;
had gaiety transfigured to stone.

Athgreaney Piper's Stones

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