Friday, July 19, 2013


He Is a Great Baboon

Roy Campbell (1901-1957), "The Theology of Bongwi, the Baboon," Collected Poems, Vol. I (London: Bodley Head, 1949), p. 17:
This is the wisdom of the Ape
    Who yelps beneath the Moon—
'Tis God who made me in His shape
    He is a Great Baboon.
'Tis He who tilts the moon askew
    And fans the forest trees,
The heavens which are broad and blue
    Provide him his trapeze;
He swings with tail divinely bent
    Around those azure bars
And munches to his Soul's content
    The kernels of the stars;
And when I die, His loving care
    Will raise me from the sod
To learn the perfect Mischief there,
    The Nimbleness of God.
Xenophanes, fragment 15 (tr. G.S. Kirk and J.E. Raven):
But if cattle and horses or lions had hands, or were able to draw with their hands and do the works that men can do, horses would draw the forms of the gods like horses, and cattle like cattle, and they would make their bodies such as they each had themselves.

ἀλλ᾽ εἰ χεῖρας ἔχον βόες <ἵπποι> τ᾽ ἠὲ λέοντες
ἢ γράψαι χείρεσσι καὶ ἔργα τελεῖν ἅπερ ἄνδρες
ἵπποι μέν θ᾽ ἵπποισι βόες δέ τε βουσὶν ὁμοίας
καί <κε> θεῶν ἰδέα ἔγραφον καὶ σώματ᾽ ἐποίουν
τοαῦθ᾽ οἷόν περ αὐτοὶ δέμας εἶχον <ἕκαστοι>.

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